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Politics 204 for January 19

Quote of the day

  • "I, too, can say that my Transit experiences are usually pretty uneventful. And I don’t chalk that up to signage — I credit that to my fellow riders, the ones who don’t need to be reminded about how to behave on a bus." -- Columnist Jen Zoratti commenting on Winnipeg Transit's new Code of Conduct.

Federal leaders and Winnipeg

  • Rona Ambrose (left) interim leader of the Conservative Party and leader of the opposition during a Winnipeg Free Press Editorial Board meeting being held at the NewsCafe.

    Leader in the 'Peg: Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose spoke with the Winnipeg Free Press editorial board at the Free Press News Café. Ambrose made it clear today that she has competent people as critics and she'll let them do their job while she is interim leader. With a leadership convention in May of 2017 she also suggested there are at least 10 candidates coming forward. And yes, O'Leary's name came up. She says she won't judge. Watch a replay of the interview here:
  • Trudeau donation: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau donated a sketch he drew of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a visit to the museum. It will be auctioned off on eBay, to raise funds for the iconic institution at The Forks.

More announcements

  • Premier Greg Selinger

    Before the blackout: Provincial ministers and Premier Greg Selinger were out in full force on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a 90-day blackout on government announcements takes effect in the lead-up to the April 19 general election. Housing and Community Development Minister Mohinder Saran announced a new $10-million loan fund to support social enterprise at the sod-turning of a new 19-unit multi-family housing project. Attorney General and Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh announced a lake approximately 45 kilometres north of Flin Flon will be named Commodore Lake, after fallen correctional officer Rhonda Commodore.
  • Selinger: Meanwhile, Premier Greg Selinger made three appearances on Tuesday, announcing support for Assiniboine Park Conservancy, supports for United Way’s Family Resource Centres, and he will be present at a media tour at 2 p.m. for a new flood forecast centre.
  • One billion a year: Not to be outdone, Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister pledged to spend an average of $1 billion a year on infrastructure if his party forms the next government at a breakfast meeting of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and the Manitoba Home Builders Association.

On the calendar

  • Monthly delegate meeting: Winnipeg School Division board of trustees monthly public delegation meeting is 7 p.m. this evening at 1577 Wall St. You can find the agenda here:
  • Federal meetings: The federal NDP is having a caucus meeting today in Montebello, Que., to plan its parliamentary strategy for when the House returns next week. In Winnipeg, interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose and Conservative Finance critic Lisa Raitt will hold a pre-budget roundtable meeting. The meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton Winnipeg Airport, 1999 Wellington St.
  • Executive Policy Committee tomorrow: The lawyer for developer Andrew Marquess will speak to Mayor Bowman and his EPC over the city’s plans to expropriate 20.5 acres of Marquess’ property for the Parker storm retention pond and another 4.4 acres for the transit corridor. You can find the agenda here:

Column preview

  • Women chiefs: Some of the best chiefs in Manitoba are women – Swan Lake’s Francine Meeches, War Lake’s Betsy Kennedy, Wasagamack’s Sharon Maron. But the province has a surprising dearth of women elected to top jobs on reserve. There are just seven female chiefs in the province. Mary Agnes Welch looks at why, and what we’re missing because of it.

In case you missed it

  • As construction begins on True North Square, the provincial and civic governments made an announcement to commit money via tax increment financing.

    True North: True North Square got a big boost Monday. The $400-million project got word that both the province and city will share $17.6-million of tax increment financing to invest in more than two acres of public space within the development. That space will include a skating rink, a public stage, public seating and green space.
  • No violation: Coun. Ross Eadie will be returning to work at the Winnipeg police board. The board released a statement late Monday afternoon stating its internal investigation found that Eadie had not breached the police board’s code of ethical conduct when he spent the night in the drunk tank back in November.
  • Waverley woes: Councillors on a civic committee criticized senior administration Monday for failing to keep them up to date with the Waverley underpass project and refused to rubber stamp an administrative report that they were told had to be approved.

Today in history

  • January 19, 1960: Today in 1960, AECL announced it will build Canada's second Nuclear Research Establishment at Whiteshell on the Winnipeg River, 100 km from Winnipeg.

The Free Press Politics: 204 is published weekday afternoons.

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