Mary Agnes Welch

  • Indigenous issues hot topic in mayoral race

    Historic marginalization. That's a university professor phrase you don't expect to hear in a civic election campaign typically dominated by potholes, police and tax hikes.
  • City dangerous by design

    When the doors of the downtown parkade elevator opened to the basement and I realized I'd pushed the wrong button, a fleeting moment of panic washed over me. It was mid-morning, a few days after news broke about a young woman raped by a cab driver after a night out with friends. The parkade basement was dark, and I couldn't see much outside the elevator. Close the doors, close the doors, close the doors.
  • When words fail us

    On the walls of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, behind the headlines of this newspaper, on the Facebook pages of young indigenous writers, the same debate keeps popping up. What should we call Canada's first peoples? Or, better put, what do Canada's first peoples want to be called, especially by white reporters like me?
  • Dangerous demographic: Lion's share of grief on road caused by young dudes with attitude

    There's a word, a little bit rude, that perfectly describes a certain kind of driver. The guy who weaves in and out of lanes, cutting off other motorists, swerving into the spaces between cars to get to the red light a few seconds faster. The guy who floors it down Portage Avenue, engine roaring, blowing through yellows. The guy who tailgates so close it borders on road-rage intimidation.
  • Excuse me while I stop disparaging myself

    Robert. John.
  • Can MPs find the courage to debate the right to die?

    Not long ago, I was sipping my juice box and eating my chocolate-dip donut after giving blood, killing the required 10 minutes to make sure I didn't feel woozy. I happened to pick up an old, wrinkly copy of Businessweek magazine and flipped to a short story about Alzheimer's. It was devastating.
  • Risky business

    Peter MacKay has a tough job ahead, one that could alter the fate of hundreds of Winnipeg's most vulnerable women. Before the end of the year, the federal justice minister must untangle Canada's bewildering, arcane and ineffective prostitution laws, key parts of which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in December.
  • Paying for a purebred doesn't make sense when so many lovable dogs need homes

    The best dogs are the ones you get for a case of beer. That's what my Edmontonian father always says, and that's how we got our best dog, Gizmo (named after Henry "Gizmo" Williams, the Edmonton Eskimos' wide receiver.)
  • Boycotting the obscene Olympics

    At $51 billion, the Sochi Olympics cost more than all other past Winter Games combined. That tidbit, now widely repeated, was included in a national news story one night last week, and marked the moment I decided to boycott, as best I can, the Sochi Olympics.
  • Politicians used to try to make a splash; now they're more focused on splash pads

    Last year, teeter-totters dominated Manitoba politics. Over the summer, which feels so long ago now, it seemed every cabinet minister in the Manitoba government was out in the sunny suburbs announcing a few thousand dollars for splash pads and twirly slides. Every week brought a new photo-op next to the monkey bars. At one point, after I made a snide tweet about the merry-go-round of announcements about merry-go-rounds, a senior New Democrat half-jokingly replied it was great to have a provincial government "focused most on what matters to Manitoba families."
  • Bank shot

    Rick Waugh is one of this city's outstanding products. The son of a Winnipeg firefighter, Waugh began his career as a bank teller in Windsor Park and retired last week as the head of Scotiabank, Canada's third-biggest lender. During Waugh's 10-year tenure as Scotia's CEO, he tripled the bank's profits to $6.5 billion and beefed up Scotia's presence around the world. Scotiabank now does business in 50-plus countries, and makes almost as much from its operations abroad as it does in Canada. If you've ever taken a winter holiday in Puerto Vallarta, you've probably spotted the familiar red colours of a Scotiabank ATM.
  • Homing in on homelessness

    More than 300 North American cities have pledged to end homelessness in 10 years. Winnipeg will soon do the same. The Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council is launching a high-level task force that will create the city's first 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness. That plan could include the first real count of Winnipeg's chronic couch-surfers and street-sleepers, a cap on shelter stays and a way to better co-ordinate the dozens of non-profits and government agencies who help the homeless. It will also include hard targets.
  • Rough road to redemption?

    "Terrible." "Atrocious."
  • The campaigns within the campaign

    In the days following the 2007 election, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s board was deflated. The board gathered for a debrief, where the chamber’s policy and communications boss Chuck Davidson explained how the election shook out and what then-premier Gary Doer’s third term would mean for business.
  • Hydro sell-off hot campaign issue

    BETWEEN the TV ads, the duelling websites and the endless political chatter, you’d be forgiven for thinking Manitoba Hydro will be the only issue in this fall’s election. So far, it’s trumped the typical bedrock issues of crime and health care thanks to bickering about Bipole III and the NDP’s attempts to whip up fears the Conservatives have a secret plan to sell Manitoba Hydro.
  • It's more out of duty than passion for politics

    Young mother Erin McDowell is a steadfast and enthusiastic voter -- "I don't ever miss it," she said. During one of the flurry of federal elections several years ago, McDowell was knocked out by a brutal cold, but dragged herself down to her neighbourhood community club to vote anyway. "Then I went home, got back into my pyjamas and went back to bed," said the former hairstylist, small business owner and now mother of two girls. "If you don't vote, you do not get to complain."
  • But how do we reconcile?

    The search for truth, however arduous, will be the easier part.

  • Off the political radar

    111Environmentalists might be the exception. Frustrated with lethargic progress on big green issues like climate change, smog standards and sewage dumping, some are wondering if a national campaign might catapult the environment back onto Ottawa's agenda.


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