September 23, 2019

Winnipeg
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Politics 204 for September 30


Quote of the Day

  • Rita Chahal at Welcome Place (Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council), the only agency in Manitoba that helps people file refugee claims. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

    Rita Chahal at Welcome Place (Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council), the only agency in Manitoba that helps people file refugee claims.

    “We don’t want paperwork to be the reason why people can’t get safe haven.” — Premier Greg Selinger announcing that the government will step up and assist a local non-profit group keep open a service that helps refugees fill out their refugee claim forms within the narrow 15-day window.

Checking in

  • Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Dewar  (JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES)

    Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Dewar

    The province checks in: The Selinger government is releasing two financial reports today — one on infrastructure spending, and the second on the state of the province’s finances after the first three months of the fiscal year. According to a news release, the province spent a record $1.032 billion on infrastructure in 2014-2015, 22 per cent more than in the previous year. Premier Greg Selinger credits a one percentage point increase in the PST two years ago for the province’s increased spending on roads, bridges and flood protection.
  • The province checks in, quietly: NDP quietly changes its policy on building schools in new subdivisions. Nick Martin is blogging about it.
  • The Conservatives check in: While Conservative candidates such as Gordon Giesbrecht and Lawrence Toet have come under fire for skipping debates, that’s not the case tonight. Two — that’s right, two — Conservative candidates will be at all-candidate debates this evening. Winnipeg South Centre MP Joyce Bateman will at a debate tonight at the Asper Jewish Centre, and Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman MP James Bezan will be at a debate in Pinawa. Free Press reporter Kristin Annable will be attending the Winnipeg South Centre debate, so keep an eye on the winnipegfreepress.com for updates.

City hall

  • Winnipeg City Hall  (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files)

    Winnipeg City Hall

    What’s the buzz?: Two Winnipeg city councillors want zoning regulations in place that will restrict where marijuana and related products can be sold once the drug is legalized or decriminalized. Couns. Ross Eadie and Matt Allard brought a motion to city council Wednesday that instructs the administration to examine how other Canadian municipalities are regulating marijuana and what can work here.
  • Hotel room tax: City council has approved a plan to dip into a fund financed through a hotel room tax to cover a $33-million loan guarantee for the RBC Convention Centre. The move this morning came despite opposition from the Manitoba Hotel Association and Leo Ledohowski, owner of the city’s largest independent hotel chain, Canad Inns.
  • Reviewing tax refunds: The success of the NHL Jets should prompt city hall to review its financial arrangements with True North Sports & Entertainment and the city’s other professional sport franchises. Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) said the Jets will receive an estimated $6.632 million in refunds of the entertainment and business taxes this year, adding he questions whether the team really needs that money any longer.

In case you missed it

  • Liquor & Lotteries plans to spend $74 million on its new headquarters. (Handout)

    Liquor & Lotteries plans to spend $74 million on its new headquarters.

    A new location: Tuesday, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries announced where it is locating its headquarters. And the choice was a bit of a surprise.
  • Good news: Our editorial sees the location as win-win, for the city and for the downtown.
  • Going home: Isaac Newton Junior High students were thrilled to be told they would meet a chief Tuesday — but they were surprised to get two impressive chiefs together. Both Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis and Minister of Jobs and the Economy Kevin Chief were on hand to talk about their lives.

Today in history

  • In 1960, the first all-Canadian sounding rocket Black Brant was launched from Churchill. These were Canadian-designed rockets built by Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg.

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