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Malak Abas

Malak Abas

Reporter

Malak Abas grew up in Winnipeg’s North End and spent her childhood living behind a convenience store her parents owned. She spent much of her free time working there, too – some of her earliest memories involve regular customers getting a kick out of the child sweeping floors or stocking shelves.

The years behind that counter talking to Winnipeg’s diverse community inspired a love of hearing and telling stories, a skill that would come in handy years later.

After a long time at the University of Manitoba unsure of what to do with her life, Malak walked into the university’s student paper, the Manitoban, on a whim in 2015. She spent the next five years working her way from a reporter to the publication’s editor-in-chief.

During those years, Malak spent more time in the newsroom than anywhere else, always nursing a comically large coffee (usually cold brew) and waxing poetic about the paper. Eventually what started as a way to hear and tell stories became something more, and she decided this is what she wanted to do with her life.

After a copy-editing internship with Postmedia and a long time covering campus news, Malak left the paper that trained her to take on an exciting new opportunity: reporting for the Winnipeg Free Press, a paper she had sold at her parents’ store, cut out comics from as a child, and enjoyed her entire life.

When she’s not reporting on her hometown, Malak can be found arguing about movies with anyone who will listen, “just getting into” a new instrument, and generally trying her best.

Recent articles of Malak Abas

Advocates, police adopt Buffalo Woman name for unknown victim of alleged serial killer

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

Advocates, police adopt Buffalo Woman name for unknown victim of alleged serial killer

Malak Abas 4 minute read Yesterday at 6:12 PM CST

When a woman believed to be a victim of an alleged Winnipeg serial killer couldn’t yet be identified, Indigenous leadership across the province and beyond gathered in consultation.

They decided she would be known — in their conversations, protests, prayers and hearts — as Buffalo Woman (mashkode bizhiki’ikwe in Ojibwa), until her true name is confirmed.

Now, city police say they will follow that lead.

“As a sign of respect and at the request of community advocates, knowledge keepers, elders and leadership, the Winnipeg Police Service will refer to the fourth victim, yet to be identified, as Buffalo Woman,” the WPS said in a news release Monday.

Yesterday at 6:12 PM CST

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

People gathered at the Oodena Circle at the Forks for a vigil to name and remember victims of alleged serial killer.

Homicide probes to cost $10M this year: chief

Malak Abas 2 minute read Preview

Homicide probes to cost $10M this year: chief

Malak Abas 2 minute read Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

The cost of investigating the record number of homicides in Winnipeg this year, including four blamed on an accused serial killer who preyed on vulnerable women, is expected to hit $10 million.

“Police resources are finite, and the way we respond, not unlike an ER hospital, it’s a triage system. We end up often having to put most of our resources into higher-priority things. Homicide is certainly one of those,” police chief Danny Smyth told the Winnipeg Police Board Friday.

As of Dec. 2, homicide detectives had probed 50 slayings, including four cases linked to a 35-year-old man. Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

On Thursday, police released photos of a reversible jacket similar to one worn by one of the victims, and appealed for the public’s help to identify her.

Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

The average cost of investigating a homicide was $214,000 in 2021, Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth told the police board. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Siloam announces commitment to truth, reconciliation

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

Siloam announces commitment to truth, reconciliation

Malak Abas 3 minute read Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022

Siloam Mission released a new commitment statement to fostering truth and reconciliation during its first annual community report Thursday.

The announcement comes two years after the “Not My Siloam” social media campaign called out the organization for failing to properly support its Indigenous visitors.

The inner city non-profit has spent those years seeking perspectives from Indigenous communities and has come to face how its space has been “not always a strong ally to the original peoples of this land,” Siloam Mission CEO Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud said.

“While we know that the majority of the community that we have served over the years at Siloam is Indigenous, regrettably, there have been times where we failed to recognize that good intentions which carry cultural ignorance were, and continue to be, very traumatizing and oppressive to Indigenous peoples,” she said at the public announcement Thursday.

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The inner city non-profit has spent those years seeking perspectives from Indigenous communities and has come to face how its space has been “not always a strong ally to the original peoples of this land,” Siloam Mission CEO Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud said.

Rising cost of living leading more Winnipeggers to seek help from food banks

Malak Abas 7 minute read Preview

Rising cost of living leading more Winnipeggers to seek help from food banks

Malak Abas 7 minute read Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022

Christina Dewitt has finally been able to put a roof over her head after becoming homeless during the pandemic, but still goes without food some days.

Dewitt, 45, lost her job in Carberry during the pandemic and she came to Winnipeg searching for work. She was the victim of a violent assault, and at that point, in her words, her life “kind of went down” and she found herself on the streets. She was able to find housing three months ago, and has been looking for work — in construction, she hopes — ever since.

As she told her story, she was waiting in line outside in the cold to receive a meal hamper from a Furby Street food bank. Going without meals to get by in between support from friends and charities, she said, is a constant in her life.

“Before I come here, I usually spend that week — if it wasn’t for friends — going without food,” she said Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Desperate people in line for food at the food bank at Agape Table Thursday afternoon. See Malak Abas story 221201 - Thursday, December 01, 2022.

Two charged in off-ice fight during Jets game

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

Two charged in off-ice fight during Jets game

Malak Abas 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022

A fight in the Canada Life Centre stands during Tuesday night’s Winnipeg Jets game ended with blood on the rink boards and two people in handcuffs.

As the Jets took on the visiting Colorado Avalanche, a 34-year-old man from Winnipeg and a 28-year-old woman from The Pas began getting rowdy and yelling profanities to the point where security staff asked the pair to leave at the beginning of the third period and were subsequently assaulted by the suspects, police said Wednesday.

Two security guards (a 50-year-old woman and 36-year-old man) were treated for minor injuries.

Video shared on social media shows another man in a Jets jersey attempting to intervene, tussling with the male suspect before the two fall down some stairs in the lower bowl.

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022

ALLAN ROY VIDEO

- video of fight at Jets game November 29, 2022

Winnipeg Foundation gets Canada’s biggest-ever donation

Malak Abas 6 minute read Preview

Winnipeg Foundation gets Canada’s biggest-ever donation

Malak Abas 6 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

Winnipeg businesswoman Miriam Bergen was not one for the spotlight, but had an extraordinary life.

The daughter of prominent apartment developer Martin Bergen, she took ownership of the family business and spent her life using her wealth to help others, often anonymously.

When she died suddenly earlier this year at the age of 66, no one could have guessed her final act of kindness would be leaving approximately $500 million — the largest donation from an individual made to a Canadian charity in history — to The Winnipeg Foundation.

“I was stunned by the generosity,” foundation board chair Tom Bryk said Tuesday.

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

The Winnipeg Foundation received approximately $500 million donated by the late Miriam Bergen. From left: Tom Bryk, on the board of directors of The Winnipeg Foundation, Doris Gietz, Miriam Bergen’s cousin and Sky Bridges, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation, at Fairmont Hotel. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Homeless camp destroyed by fire

Malak Abas 5 minute read Preview

Homeless camp destroyed by fire

Malak Abas 5 minute read Monday, Nov. 28, 2022

John Chen has lived above the Chinese restaurant he owns on the corner of Sargent Avenue and Langside Street for 21 years. When a homeless encampment formed in the community garden behind it five months ago, his relationship with its residents varied.

He called 311 regularly asking the City of Winnipeg to dismantle the encampment, yet brought the people living there free meals from his business.

On Sunday evening, when a large fire broke out at the encampment as Chen was taking dinner orders, he rushed to call 911.

“I didn’t want to see anybody hurt, so I called right away,” he said Monday morning, outside of the burnt remains of the encampment.

Monday, Nov. 28, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The remains of a fire in a temporary encampment in a community garden on Langside Street between Sargent and Cumberland avenues.

Ottawa announces nearly $24M in funds to transform health-care, community safety on Manitoba First Nations

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

Ottawa announces nearly $24M in funds to transform health-care, community safety on Manitoba First Nations

Malak Abas 4 minute read Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

The federal government is sending nearly $24 million to Manitoba First Nations groups to transform health-care delivery and community-safety initiatives in northern communities.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu announced Friday that $23 million will be used by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. — the recently established northern First Nations-led health organization — to make systemic changes to the way First Nations residents access and receive services over the next two years.

As well, more than $715,000 will go to MKO over three years to enhance lawmaking capabilities on First Nations.

Earlier this year, Ottawa began transferring control of federal health programs, services and functions to the two organizations.

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu announced Friday that $23 million will be used to make systemic changes to the way First Nations residents access and receive services. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS A teary eyed Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, during the announcement of investments to support First Nations health and community safety initiatives in Northern Manitoba. Grand Chief Garrison Settee of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), and Dr. Barry Lavallee, CEO of Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM) were also in attendance. See Malak Abas story 221125 - Friday, November 25, 2022.

Studies look at easing path for newcomers

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

Studies look at easing path for newcomers

Malak Abas 3 minute read Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

Two studies have identified ways to better settle newcomers to Winnipeg and ensure organizations that help them have diverse representation.

The Immigration Partnership Winnipeg and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives unveiled the studies on Thursday. They could help inform how they choose to bring people on at the board level, said IPW director Reuben Garang.

“When we talk about racism actually in the system, what can that mean? It’s a very general term, but these reports zoom in into looking into what is happening. What are some of the experiences of the newcomers?” he said.

The Newcomer Settlement Strategy Report by IPW highlights three barriers to positive settlement amongst immigrants and refugees in Winnipeg: a lack of economic integration, systemic racism and “rampant” mental health issues affecting these communities.

Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The Immigration Partnership Winnipeg and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives unveiled the studies on Thursday. They could help inform how they choose to bring people on at the board level, said IPW director Reuben Garang.

Supported tiny home complex nears grand opening

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

Supported tiny home complex nears grand opening

Malak Abas 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

A tiny village in the heart of the city is slowly, but surely, readying to open its doors.

A 22-unit cluster of bachelor-style transitional housing spaces named Astum Api Niikinaahk — “come and sit in our home” in Cree and Michif — has been under construction near Thunderbird House on Henry Avenue for years.

Delayed by COVID-19 impacts and rising costs, the finishing touches are underway, with a hopeful opening date of Dec. 1.

A small but crucial feature, the fencing, needs to be completed before anyone can become a tenant. The divider between the tiny homes and the streets around them was crucial to organizers, said project co-ordinator Melissa Stone of Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A 22-unit cluster of bachelor-style transitional housing spaces named Astum Api Niikinaahk is nearing completion, with a hopeful opening date of Dec. 1.

Program aims to improve rural children’s mental health

Malak Abas 2 minute read Preview

Program aims to improve rural children’s mental health

Malak Abas 2 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

The Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba has launched a program to improve mental health support for children and youth in rural areas.

A team of mental health professionals will use Manitoba’s eHealth service to create advisory groups and infrastructure for young people with mental health issues. Digital health services can include trauma-informed therapy, support groups, and hybrid models of care both online and with an in-person clinician.

“Pediatric reports highlight an imminent need to address the child mental health crisis and ensure children in need of services can receive adequate care,” said Stefano Grande, president and CEO of the foundation, in a statement.

The “Promoting Innovation in Mental Health through e-Health Excellence” — PRIME, for short — will receive its full funding of $150,000 a year for the next three years from the Sobeys Family of Support fundraising initiative.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

Pediatric reports highlight an imminent need to address the child mental health crisis, says Stefano Grande, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. (Ethan Cairns / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Manitoba municipality loses $514K in alleged fraud

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

Manitoba municipality loses $514K in alleged fraud

Malak Abas 4 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022

A Manitoba municipality says it has lost more than $514,000 after an employee allegedly e-transferred funds out of its bank account without permission.

Gilbert Plains Reeve Jim Manchur said multiple unauthorized transfers were brought to council’s attention by its credit union, after which it brought in MNP accounting firm for a third-party inquiry.

After a nearly six-month-long investigation, Gilbert Plains contacted the RCMP.

“It’s obviously shocking, and kind of unbelievable, that it did happen,” Manchur said Tuesday.

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022

Gilbert Plains lost more than $500,000 after an employee allegedly e-transferred funds out of its bank account. (Dreamstime / TNS files)

What’s driving fuel prices?

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

What’s driving fuel prices?

Malak Abas 4 minute read Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

Two gas stations, side-by-side on Ness Avenue, less than a minute’s drive apart. At the Shell station, gas is $1.679 a litre on Monday. Just across the street, the Domo is offering regular gasoline at $1.59 a litre.

The constantly-changing cost of gas across the city has confused drivers just trying to get the best deal they can. At a nearby Portage Avenue gas station, 58-year-old Susan Meged said she balked at the $1.87 per litre gas cost just a few weeks ago. On Monday, she paid $1.67 — a difference large enough to have an impact on how much she’s able to spend on other expenses.

“I was scared, because really, that’s groceries right there,” she said while pumping gas. “That’s groceries. It’s ridiculous.”

It’s a relief to Meged to see the cost change, but it’s not easy to keep track of what gas stations have the most affordable options, especially on top of keeping track of the rising costs of everything else.

Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Susan Meged pays for gas at the 701 Portage Avenue Shell in Winnipeg on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. For Malak Abas story. Winnipeg Free Press 2022.

The Leaf set to open doors to plant diversity

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

The Leaf set to open doors to plant diversity

Malak Abas 4 minute read Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022

Years in the making, the indoor portion of The Leaf in Assiniboine Park finally opened to a select few guests Saturday afternoon.

Politicians, industry partners and other supporters of the project gathered to take a sneak peek at the thriving plant life kept in the near-completed horticultural development, which features thousands of trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants from across different climates in four indoor biomes.

To visit the 92,000-square-foot facility it is to find yourself taking a journey across the world in the span of several floors —among the four biomes is a humid tropical zone, home to diverse plants and a 60-foot man-made waterfall, a Mediterranean area that smells of herbs and features a sitting area, a display space that will exhibit different plants and structures depending on the time of year, and a butterfly garden.

It’s a long time coming, Assiniboine Park Conservancy communications director Laura Cabak said Saturday, and the final touches of construction are still underway.

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Leaf offered select guests and supporters a sneak peek on Saturday of the thousands of trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants in the new 92,000-square-foot facility ahead of its opening to the public in time for the holiday season.

Operation Red Nose gears up for hectic holidays

Malak Abas 4 minute read Preview

Operation Red Nose gears up for hectic holidays

Malak Abas 4 minute read Friday, Nov. 18, 2022

Operation Red Nose is hitting the road for the first time since the pandemic shut down holiday parties — and it’s gearing up for a busy season.

The Winnipeg chapter of the Canada-wide driving service, in which teams of volunteers drive partygoers home in their own cars, hasn’t oeprated since 2019.

This year, they’re preparing for people to break out the Champagne and hit the party circuit. Organizers hope they can recruit enough volunteers to meet demand.

“I hate to say it, but we’re just keeping fingers crossed, and we’re making it up as we go,” Red Nose co-ordinator Sharra Hinton joked at a kick-off event in the Safety Services Manitoba building Friday.

Friday, Nov. 18, 2022

Manta Swim Club president Steve Lang says he isn't sure what kind of numbers to expect this holiday season. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

After 116 years, RM elects a woman

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

After 116 years, RM elects a woman

Malak Abas 3 minute read Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

Gail Johnson made history just by being elected reeve.

The 62-year-old became the first woman to win a council seat in the history of the Rural Municipality of Grey, which has been around since 1906.

She credits what she calls the “old school” approach of knocking on doors and listening to residents’ concerns.

“That’s what my dad always said: ‘Leave a note, lose your hope,’” she said Monday.

Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

SUPPLIED

Gail Johnson became the first woman to win a council seat in the history of the Rural Municipality of Grey, which has been around since 1906.

Fires underscore city’s homeless problem: incoming mayor

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

Fires underscore city’s homeless problem: incoming mayor

Malak Abas 3 minute read Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

As he prepares to be sworn in as Winnipeg mayor, Scott Gillingham received three vivid reminders of the tough job he’s about to take on.

Fire broke out in two vacant buildings and at a homeless encampment near Higgins Avenue. No one was hurt in any of the incidents, but it underscores the danger faced by people who take shelter in unsafe places and start fires to keep warm. It’s going to get worse as winter closes in, and Gillingham knows it.

“I will be speaking with our senior fire officials soon to talk not only about the most recent incidents, but to make sure that all things are in place for the winter to reduce the likelihood of future fires,” he said Monday afternoon.

He plans to appoint a senior adviser on homelessness and addictions, who would be a liaison between his office and support groups and non-profits that help the homeless. He said the position is a high priority.

Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

“I will be speaking with our senior fire officials soon to talk not only about the most recent incidents, but to make sure that all things are in place for the winter to reduce the likelihood of future fires,” said newly elected Mayor Scott Gillingham.

Sakeenah Homes expands west to serve Winnipeg’s Muslim women

Malak Abas 7 minute read Preview

Sakeenah Homes expands west to serve Winnipeg’s Muslim women

Malak Abas 7 minute read Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

In an unmarked building in Winnipeg, the city’s first shelter catering to the needs of Muslim women and families quietly opened its doors Oct. 13.

Sakeenah Homes hopes to serve Winnipeg Muslim women fleeing domestic violence situations and abuse, and families struggling with poverty. Within a week, the shelter had already seen a family and begun the intake process. It’s what the organization does — the nation-wide charity has four homes in Ontario and one in Quebec — and bringing their sixth shelter to Winnipeg made sense.

Sakeenah Homes founder Zena Chaudhry noticed that while they were providing remote mental health casework during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were getting more and more calls out of Manitoba.

They connected with shelters and resource centres across Manitoba to assess need, and Chaudhry said as the immigrant and refugee population in the province has risen, so has the need for culturally sensitive supports.

Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Islamic Social Services Association executive director Shahina Siddiqui has worked in this community for decades. She has housed survivors of domestic violence in her own home out of desperation before, because people felt they had nowhere else to go.

Cross-Canada Ukrainian-famine awareness tour stops in Winnipeg

Malak Abas 2 minute read Preview

Cross-Canada Ukrainian-famine awareness tour stops in Winnipeg

Malak Abas 2 minute read Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

A mobile classroom that travels across Canada to teach people about the Holodomor famine in Ukraine has made a stop in Winnipeg.

The Holodomor National Awareness Tour bus presents more than 20 different documentary videos, along with educational activities for youth that outline the man-made famine, which killed millions in Soviet Ukraine from 1932-33.

The bus is sometimes used for school presentations, but it has been parted outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights since Thursday, and is open to all through Sunday.

It contextualizes the tragedy within the greater fabric of human rights.

Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Holodomor National Tour bus is in Winnipeg and will be parked in front of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights for the next couple of days.

PM meets with Winnipeg Iranians

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

PM meets with Winnipeg Iranians

Malak Abas 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with leaders of the Winnipeg Iranian community Friday to discuss what more Canada can do to respond to the violent clashes in their home country.

The discussion — held over plates of baklava at Pembina Highway’s Tehran Café — comes in the midst of an aggressive crackdown on protests in Iran for the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Iran’s religious morality police and died under mysterious circumstances in September.

Trudeau assured attendees Canada would uphold “some of the strongest sanctions in the world” against the Islamic Republic.

“We have listed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps under the most stringent legislation (and) powers we have. (They are) the same kinds of tools we used for those responsible for the Rwandan genocide or Bosnian war zones, in banning the top leaders of Iran, including the top leaders of the IRGC, for life from Canada, from ever being able to see this country as a haven, a place where they can take refuge or hide,” he said.

Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with members of the Iranian community at the Tehran Cafe in Winnipeg on Friday.

Evan Duncan thrilled to be new kid on the block

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

Evan Duncan thrilled to be new kid on the block

Malak Abas 3 minute read Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

Evan Duncan says he won’t have first-day jitters the first time he steps foot in city hall.

As the newly elected councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood, he will be the only true fresh face when city politicians get down to business. The other two new councillors — Shawn Dobson and Russ Wyatt — served on previous councils.

“I’m excited to get down there and get to work for the people,” said Duncan, who was still feeling elated at having won the seat in a five-person contest Wednesday.

“Everyone that I’ve spoken with from city hall, they have been so welcoming, they sound very excited to have me on board there,” Duncan said Thursday.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

As the newly elected councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood, Evan Duncan will be the only true fresh face when city politicians get down to business.

Wyatt reclaims Transcona seat

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

Wyatt reclaims Transcona seat

Malak Abas 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Transcona welcomed back its former councillor with open arms on election night, with Russ Wyatt retaking the city hall seat he held for 16 years from incumbent Shawn Nason.

According to City of Winnipeg website numbers, Wyatt ended the night with just over 46 per cent of the vote, with Nason (who held the seat from 2018-22) collecting just under 39 per cent. Steve Lipischak and Wally Welechenko were a distant third and fourth, respectively.

Wyatt’s entrance at Transcona restaurant Dal’s, where supporters had gathered Wednesday night to watch the vote result come in, was met with raucous cheers. He started his victory speech by asking that the crowd sing Happy Birthday to the 13-year-old son of a supporter, complete with a cake and candles.

His thank-you speech, surrounded by family and friends, was an emotional one.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Russ Wyatt celebrates his return to council after winning his Transcona seat back. (Malak Abas / Winnipeg Free Press)

Voters cast their ballots, candidates confident

Malak Abas and Erik Pindera 5 minute read Preview

Voters cast their ballots, candidates confident

Malak Abas and Erik Pindera 5 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

The two perceived mayoral frontrunners — Scott Gillingham and Glen Murray ― were confident, albeit tired, as the closure of the polls inched nearer this afternoon.

A jubilant Murray walked up to École Lavérendrye in the Crescentwood neighbourhood to cast his ballot mid-day, speaking in French to children playing in the yard.

“I’m feeling great, I’m feeling really excited,” said Murray, who was Winnipeg’s mayor from 1998 to 2004. “We’ve been out burma-shaving the past few days, and the horn-honking… if that’s any indication of support, it’s really good.

“It’ll be nice to get up tomorrow and not have to knock on doors… it’ll feel a little unusual.”

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mayoral candidate Glen Murray attends to voting station at École LaVérendrye on Lilac Street this afternoon.

In-store police incident sparks claims of profiling

Malak Abas 3 minute read Preview

In-store police incident sparks claims of profiling

Malak Abas 3 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022

A Indigenous advocate is refusing to accept what she calls yet another empty apology, saying she was unfairly targeted by special duty police officers in a Winnipeg store.

Vivian Ketchum, 58, said she was accused of stealing and asked to empty her pockets Monday evening by three uniformed officers, who were acting as security at a Shoppers Drug Mart on Sherbrook Street.

Ketchum told the Free Press she was confronted after placing her gloves in her jacket pocket. She had to put her possessions on the store floor, including her coat, to prove she wasn’t stealing, Ketchum said.

Afterward, the officers watched her visibly struggle to gather her things (she suffers from a medical issue that makes it difficult to bend down) without helping her, she said.

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Vivian Ketchum said she believes she was targeted because she is Indigenous, and is no stranger to bigoted treatment day-to-day.