- Pallister’s passport: We begin today highlighting the odd case of Brian Pallister. The leader of Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party has spent 240 days -- or nearly one in five days -- in Costa Rica since he assumed the helm of the party five years ago. For some reason, however, Pallister has been reluctant to admit how much time he spends at his Central America property. FP columnist Dan Lett weighs in today.
- Your forecast: Al Jolson sang it in on Broadway in 1921, Judy Garland had her own version on an album in 1956 and others like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Mel Tormé have warbled the tune on stage. But the gang at Head Start still prefers the version sung by the incorrigible Bugs Bunny as he takes his morning shower beneath a waterfall in the ’62 Looney Tunes animated classic ‘Wet Hare’. The song? Why, April Showers, of course. So, hum it if you know it while the rain falls the next 72 hours. In fact, we could get up to 10 millimetres today and another 15 millimetres on Saturday. The daytime high today is 14 C, while Saturday’s high is just 4 C. On Sunday, expect a cloudy day with a chance of showers and a high of 8 C. On the bright side, the forecast for Monday through Thursday features plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the high teens.
In case you missed it
- Hefty gift to U of M: The Richardson Foundation has donated $10 million to the Front and Centre campaign of the University of Manitoba. The money will be put towards a variety of upgrades, including lab and classroom renewals, software and hardware, projectors, audio-visual equipment, flat-screen TVs, flooring and furnishings. That brings the total up to $365 million of the $500 million goal.
- Providing assisted death: Nurse practitioners, not just doctors, will be able to provide patients with assistance in dying. Under new legislation tabled by the federal Liberal government Thursday, physicians and nurse practitioners would be protected from Criminal Code prosecution for helping patients to end their lives. Other health-care practitioners peripherally involved in assisted death, such as pharmacists, physician assistants, registered nurses and social workers, would also be protected from prosecution. The same is true for a family member who, for example, lifts a glass to a patient's mouth to help them swallow the drugs.
- Appeal denied by court: Manitoba's highest court has refused to interfere in a case in which a career criminal went on a random rampage that involved four separate attacks — including the sexual assault of a young boy. Peter Laporte was convicted of eight charges following a lengthy trial in 2012 that included 65 witnesses. He was then branded a dangerous offender and given an indefinite prison sentence with no guarantee of ever being released. He filed an appeal of his conviction, however, the province’s Court of Appeal released a 70-page decision this week upholding all aspects of the case, saying there were no tangible errors in law which would require intervention.
- May lends support: Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth visits Winnipeg today to support the Manitoba Greens ahead of the province’s April 19 general election. She joins provincial leader James Beddome and Wolseley candidate Dave Nickarz for a couple of appearances, including a noon rally on the front lawn of the University of Winnipeg at noon. The trio has a 3 p.m. news conference scheduled for Nickarz’s campaign office at 888 Portage Ave., at 3 p.m.
- Leaders on the move: Today, PC Leader Brian Pallister holds a media event to highlight his Better Services Plan. It’s slated for 10 a.m. at the campaign office of Mamadou Ka, Tory candidate for St. Boniface. Meahwhile, Liberal candidates hold an event at 11:30 a.m. on the grand staircase of the Manitoba Legislature to demand answers about federal child and family services funding. As of 7 a.m., the New Democrats hadn’t released their campaign plans for the day.
Around the water cooler
- Different blue for Blue: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are hoping its players can turn back the clock this season. The team announced at their annual fan forum that they will return to royal blue home uniforms from the navy that they’ve worn for the last 21 years. The Bombers haven’t won a Grey Cup since 1990.
- Tried as an adult: The Crown in Saskatchewan has served notice that it wants to sentence a teen as an adult if he's convicted in a deadly shooting. The teen, who is now 18, allegedly shot and killed two teenaged brothers and a teacher and a teacher's aide in the small Dene community of La Loche on Jan. 22. He's due back in court on June 6.
- Stars out of Allan Cup: An apparent clerical error has knocked the Île des Chênes North Stars out of contention at the Allan Cup in Steinbach. Officials determined Thursday that the team used seven import players for two games earlier in the week, one more than allowed. They won one of those two games but the victory was forfeited.
- Métis: Following the landmark Supreme Court decision, ruling that Métis and non-status Indians are now in fact aboriginal peoples in the eyes of the court, the topic has been trending across Canada.
- #AddSportsRuinASong: At Head Start headquarters, we think these might actually make pretty good song, to be honest: "Hit My With Your Best Shot-put," "Leaving on a Winnipeg Jet Plane," "Strawberry Track & Fields Forever," and "It's the End of the World Series As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
On this date
- On April 15, 1919: The Manitoba Free Press reported that German would be required to pay $25 billion to the allied and associated countries for damages caused by the First World War, with $5 billion to be paid in the first two years. In the Winnipeg, the question whether to adopt daylight saving time was still in doubt at city council. Winnipeg was to become the first city in western Canada to send express mail by airplane, with a delivery flight scheduled between Winnipeg and Brandon.