November 22, 2019

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Memories of war, spending money and party business: Politics 204 for April 25


Quote of the day

  • Korean War veteran Michael Czuboka graduated from Brandon College in 1957 and went on to become a teacher following the war.  (Submitted)

    Korean War veteran Michael Czuboka graduated from Brandon College in 1957 and went on to become a teacher following the war.

    "We wanted to go to Korea to help the Korean people... but it was also something exciting that we were going to do.” -- Winnipegger Michael Czuboka recalls details of The Battle of Kapyong, a pivotal battle in the Korean War which occurred 65years ago.

Spending money

  • Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

    Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi

    Federal cash: Manitoba is set to receive $82.8 million in federal cash for public transit construction over the next three years and another $95 million for water and waste-water projects, says Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi in a letter to Premier-designate Brian Pallister. The letter was sent Friday, three days after Pallister's commanding victory in the Manitoba election, so perhaps Sohi's staff can be forgiven for misspelling Pallister's name as Palliser in the letter. With Pallister set to be sworn in May 3, Manitoba's priorities for those infrastructure dollars won't come into focus for some time yet. The funds will cover up to 50 per cent of eligible projects, with the province and municipalities expected to pick up the rest.
  • Municipal cash: The city of Winnipeg will take more than $100 million from the sewer and water utility in so-called dividends over the next three years, a euphemism for looting a self-supporting agency in order to control property taxes. There is no justification for such wide-scale looting, other than the fact the city can get away with it.
  • Resort cash: Canada's cabinet ministers are attending their second retreat at a swanky Canadian resort in a little over three months this week. Manitoba's ministers Jim Carr and MaryAnn Mihychuk are among those attending the three-day meeting in Kananaskis, Alta., during yet another break week for the House of Commons. Since the Trudeau Liberals took office in November, the House of Commons has been in session for just 49 days. The ministers first met at a retreat in January in St. Andrew's, New Brunswick, an event which the Canadian Press reports cost $150,000.

Party business

  • Premier-designate Brian Pallister

    Premier-designate Brian Pallister

    Senior staff: Premier-designate Brian Pallister has named his senior staff and on May 3, he will name his cabinet. The official swearing in ceremony is May 11. Meanwhile, the NDP caucus is meeting this afternoon. Larry Kusch is monitoring the hallways to get the skinny on who the interim leader will be. Check our website as that story unfolds.
  • Small parties targeted: Should changes to Manitoba Elections finance laws move forward that will get rid of the per-vote subsidy, smaller parties like the Liberals and the Greens will cease to exist. But as Liberal communications consultant Dougald Lamont points out, there are fairer ways to deal with electoral reform.

Stories you may have missed

  • Free Press reporter Kevin Rollason said his daughter, Mary, accomplished something 41.2 per cent of the electorate did not. She cast a ballot.

    Free Press reporter Kevin Rollason said his daughter, Mary, accomplished something 41.2 per cent of the electorate did not. She cast a ballot.

    Exercising her right: Mary Rollason did something many of us take for granted. She voted. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but as many of our readers know, Mary is severely disabled. Her dad, Kevin, writes about her experience as a first-time voter.
  • Not wasting time: Gord Sinclair doesn’t let any grass grow under his feet, with this column criticizing Premier-designate Brian Pallister – or Captain Costa Rica as he calls him.
  • Change of heart: Michael Coren has long had a reputation as being a right-wing columnist who is also anti-gay. However, Coren writes that he has had an epiphany on how he views gay rights. And he also feels a fair amount of regret for the hurt his viewpoints caused.

Today in history

  • The Trans-Canada Highway west of MacGregor. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

    The Trans-Canada Highway west of MacGregor.

    Highway: Today in 1950, B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and P.E.I. signed an agreement with the federal government to create the Trans-Canada Highway. Construction began later that summer.

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