Quote of the day
- "Rookie mistake and I acknowledge it and next time around I assure you that I will be doing that concession speech," - Rana Bokhari, admitting it was a mistake she did not give a concession speech on April 19
- Recounts in Elmwood, The Maples: Looks like a historic 40-seat majority isn't enough for the Progressive Conservatives. Two close races in Winnipeg that went NDP are going to recount after requests were made by Tory candidates. Sarah Langvein lost in Elmwood to Jim Maloway by 101 votes. Meanwhile, Kaur Sidhu, a pharmacist who 10 years ago pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, has been granted a recount in The Maples after losing to NDP MLA Mohinder Saran.
- Departments axed: Premier Brian Pallister is cleaning house. The Pallister government has scrapped five major departments as he moves forward with a lean 12-member cabinet. This comes on the heels of yesterday's reshuffling of the province's deputy ministers, saying goodbye to four top bureaucrats. Not to mention the naming of a new 10-member Manitoba Hydro Board.
- A brisk budget: Dan Lett will be sitting down to talk to the province's new finance minister, Cameron Friesen, to talk about the upcoming budget. The Tories say they are going to put one out in the few weeks, a lofty task for a government whose cabinet was just sworn in on Tuesday. Friesen will explain how it is going to be done, stay tuned.
The fire rages on
- Editorial: The devastating blaze at Fort McMurray should be a wake up call for communities that are vulnerable to outbreaks of wildfires. Actually, the lessons should have been learned following the B.C. firestorms in 2003 and the fire at Slave Lake in 2011. For some reason, however, emergency management officials have a hard time learning from the mistakes of the past, or accepting that extreme weather is the new normal.
- Three communities evacuated: Aging wildfires in the Canadian province of Alberta have moved south, forcing three more communities to evacuate and an emergency operations centre to move again — taking it far from the devastated oil sands city of Fort McMurray.
- Debate shut down: The federal Liberals shut down debate on the assisted suicide legislation Wednesday, and as expected Winnipeg Liberal MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette voted against it. Ouellette was the sole Liberal to vote no. Quebec NDP MP Christine Moore appears to be the only New Democrat to vote against it although the NDP disagreed with the motion to end debate on second reading. The bill passed second reading by a vote of 235 to 75. Among Manitoba MPs, all the Conservatives voted against the bill, while both NDP MPs and the other six Liberals voted in favour of it. The bill still has to pass through committee stage and third reading before it goes to the Senate for debate and votes there.
In case you missed it
- Searching for a new chief: Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis will be off the job July 9, meaning the hunt has begun for a new chief.
- Hydro appointments: It is out with the old, in with the new at the Manitoba Hydro board. Earlier Wednesday, the NDP-appointed board was shown the door through a phone call from a senior bureaucrat and a letter from Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler.
- New deputy ministers: It was sayonara to four deputy ministers on Wednesday after the Pallister government announced new appointments and the reshuffling of the province's deputy ministers.
Today in history
- NDP sweeps Alberta: In a historic election following a severe economic downturn in Alberta, Rachel Notley and the NDP swept into victory, ousting Jim Prentice and the PCs after almost 44 years in power. The victory gave Manitoba NDPers, caught up in a caucus rebellion last year, a soft landing as they fled to Alberta to work with the team.