- Your forecast: There’s no real need to wear the Ray-Bans today or Saturday, other than as a fashion statement. Environment Canada is forecasting a couple of grey days and isn’t promising much sunshine until Sunday. Today, expect plenty of clouds, a 30 per cent chance of light snow with a risk of freezing rain this morning and a daytime high of -3 C. It looks like Saturday is a near carbon copy, with a grey sky, some light snow and a high of -2 C. The forecast Sunday calls for a mix of sun and cloud and a high of -2 C, while Monday and Tuesday should be sunny, with daytime temperatures around -6 C.
In case you missed it
- Big surprise for board: The Winnipeg Police Service’s decision to purchase a $343,000 armoured vehicle was made without consultation from the Winnipeg Police Board, and it caught chairman Scott Gillingham by surprise. Now, the board plans to keep a closer watch on big-ticket purchases by the WPS -- all police purchases over $100,000 will go before the board. Gillingham saw the police’s bid notice, from the tender selection process, notice on the city’s website in mid-November.
- Allegations of a flawed system: Three First Nations agencies — serving 15 bands and 2,150 kids — are being overseen by appointed administrators instead of Indigenous leaders, and have been, in two cases, for years, the Free Press has learned. Aboriginal leaders say Indigenous control of child welfare is a mirage, little more than “a white system” micromanaged by the Family Services ministry, strangled by rules most band-based agencies can never meet and still intent on taking children out of First Nations families.
- Creepy cabbie: Hailey McKay, 18, says she had a frightening ride in a Duffy’s cab last weekend, with the driver making inappropriate, sexually suggestive remarks and then taking a sudden detour from the agreed-upon route. The quick-thinking teen called a friend and stayed on the line until the driver altered course and took her home. She ran inside and called police. Duffy’s has suspended the driver pending the results of a police investigation and a probe by the Manitoba Taxicab Board.
- Introducing kids to WSO: For parents looking for an opportunity to pry their children away from video games and engage in a cultural outing such as a concert by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the opportunity is as close as the Centennial Concert Hall downtown. Tonight through Sunday, the WSO is playing the soundtrack to "Home Alone" while the classic film shows on a big screen. It’s an ideal way to introduce children to the power of symphony music – just don’t forget the child at home. Check out wso.ca/homealone for more details.
- Manitoba's other lake: There’s been considerable and justifiable hand-wringing about the pollution of Lake Winnipeg in recent years, but much less about the state of Manitoba’s other big lake. Today is the second day of a science workshop at the University of Winnipeg involving presentations by experts who know Lake Manitoba suffers the same water quality issues that affect Lake Winnipeg, including elevated nutrient concentrations and algal blooms. But they say there is very little water quality data available for Lake Manitoba.
- Sentencing: Former Winnipeg radio DJ and Scouts Canada leader Christopher (Shecky) Elwick is scheduled to appear today in a Winnipeg courtroom to learns his fate on several convictions of child sex abuse charges. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to eight charges for incidents that occurred in Manitoba and Alberta from 2008 to 2013. They include sexual assaults against two boys and making child pornography with numerous unsuspecting children he secretly videotaped — including many police have never identified.
Around the water cooler
- That just Trumps all: Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman thinks American presidential hopeful Donald Trump could get a lesson in compassion and tolerance from a visit to Winnipeg and its Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Bowman sent an invitation Thursday to the billionaire and leading Republican candidate for president to visit the city in hopes of converting an individual whose most recent comments about banning Muslims from entering the United States paint him as a frightening fascist. But a spokesman for the local Muslim community said Trump isn’t welcome here.
- Jets throw wrinkle at Jackets: Winnipeg forward Adam Lowry scored his first goal of the season on Thursday as the Jets held off the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 6-4 win at the MTS Centre. Mathieu Perreault had a four-point night for the Jets, with a goal and three assists. Winnipeg upped its record to 14-13-2, while the Blue Jackets fell to 11-17-2 this season. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves to remain a perfect 4-0 this year. The Jets head to Chicago to play the Blackhawks tonight at 7:30 p.m.
- No to booze privatization: Manitoba Opposition Leader Brian Pallister said he would not privatize liquor sales if he and the Tories wins the provincial election April 19. The Progressive Conservative leader, whose party is well ahead in recent opinion polls, said he can rule out any further private involvement in liquor distribution because he has far more important priorities such as education, health care and improved economic growth.
- #RuinAChristmasMovie: Surprisingly easy to do. Consider: "Home Alone Without Bacon," "Planes, Trains and Other Forms of CO2 Emissions," "Shingles All the Way" or "Starring Ben Affleck."
- #WelcomeToCanada: The phrase is trending across the nation as hundreds of Syrian refugees begin arriving here. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was at Pearson International Airport in Toronto as the first large group of refugees arrived Thursday aboard a government aircraft.
On this date
- On Dec. 11, 1991: The Winnipeg Free press reported that Russian president Boris Yeltsin was beginning an all-out effort to convince Russian military officials, parliament and citizens that the new commonwealth between Russian, Ukraine and Byelorussia was the only viable successor to the former Soviet Union. Manitoba's outgoing energy minister, Harold Neufeld, said that in light of what he now knew, he considered the Conawapa hydroelectric project a mistake.
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