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Showing posts from November, 2006

Spirited Energy, Legislature style: NDP selling Hydro, Tories surge in QP

NDP mommies and daddies throughout Manitoba were telling their kiddies a scary bedtime story Tuesday night. In bedrooms bathed by the eerie glow of LED-lit cellphones, they told the tale of the day THE TORY DEVILS SOLD THE MANITOBA TELEPHONE SYSTEM TO THE RAPACIOUS CAPITALISTS. EEEEEEEK! Nov. 28 is the anniversary of the day the Filmon Conservative government used closure in 1996 to end the debate on the sale of MTS. It's a day that lives in the NDP annals of infamy, right next to the fall of Allende's socialist paradise in Chile. The sale of MTS is used as a club to beat the Hugh McFadyen-led Tories every time the lacklustre Opposition demands a public inquiry into the Crocus Fund scandal, yesterday, for example. It's immediately followed by a chant of "We won't let you sell Manitoba Hydro." And they're right. The PC's won't get a chance. The NDP is already selling Hydro assets, and the Tories are quietly letting them do it.At least when the C

NDP mega-projects handicap private builders

Winnipeg Free Press reporter Martin Cash tripped across a good story last Friday, even if he didn't recognize it. It seems that the Manitoba government has ordered twice as many concrete girders as they need for the Winnipeg Floodway expansion project. The girders were going to be used to build six highway bridges. But the government scrapped four of the bridges to try and keep the expansion costs within budget. More than half the ordered girders aren't needed anymore. Luckily they haven't been built yet, but Lafarge Canada, which had the contract, was counting on the order to guarantee more than 20 jobs and create another 30 at their plant. They may be looking at some compensation. But this is not the first boondoggle involving the bridges under the NDP's watch. Manitoba's engineers and architects have been grumbling for some time how the bridge building projects have driven up construction costs in the province. One of Winnipeg's busiest architects, involved

The Public has right to know what the Winnipeg Free Press is hiding

The Winnipeg Free Press dove headfirst into the gutter this week, but that's not why something smells at 1355 Mountain Avenue. In a continuation of its smear campaign against Mayor Sam Katz, the FP published a story on Thursday designed to malign Katz by manufacturing a controversy where one doesn't exist. It was a story published purely to create the impression there's something suspicious about Katz's ongoing divorce proceedings. Oh, bleated a pious editor Bob Cox, the Winnipeg Free Press would never, ever, publish details of a divorce that could harm the mayor's children. Not the chiiildrennnn ! But, in this case, there had to be an exception. The Mayor is hiding something and the newspaper (uh, scrap that) the public, uh, has a right to know. And what's he hiding? Well, no one knows, but one lawyer says its something. Yep. There it is. One lawyer. One. Count 'em. Says it's something. Or rather "we would have to assume" it's some

Grinnin' Gary sweeping the scorecards as Spanky can't land a punch

If this was a prizefight, the crowd would be screaming at the referee to stop it. We never thought we'd use the words 'Muhammed Ali' and 'Gary Doer' in the same sentence. But then we never thought we'd see "Hugh McFadyen" and "Manitoba Tory leader" juxtaposed either. Since McFadyen stepped into Stuart Murray's shoes, NDP Premier Gary Doer has out-jabbed, out-danced, out-flanked, and out-smarted him at every step. The Throne Speech and the current mini-session of the Legislature has brought nothing but humiliation to the new Tory leader, who was elected because of his supposed smarts as a backroom politico. McFadyen has become the palooka hoping to land a lucky punch, while Gary Doer gives him a lesson in ring generalship. Doer has boxed his ears, tripped him, and, spanked his heinie for good measure. Spanky McFadyen talked a good fight, but after each day in the Legislature, his face is as red as his backside when Doer gets through with h

NDP's Throne Speech deaf to dead hero's story

Among the almost 2000 mourners at the funeral of Rev. Harry Lehotsky was Premier Gary Doer. Lehotsky was the American-born Baptist minister who dedicated his life in Winnipeg to cleaning up his tough, crime-ridden West-End neighbourhood and building a community with hands-on projects ranging from renovating dilapidated homes to opening a restaurant staffed by locals. Doer was the politician who disagreed with almost everything Lehotsky believed about the system -- that it was dysfunctional, that it favoured the politically correct over the competent, that it threw roadblocks in the path of anyone trying to solve community problems. Lehotsky took shots at the NDP's sacred social causes and made the Socialists squirm. On the Social Planning Council and do-gooder agencies: Many people have commented on the fact that it’s always the same people who are first to hear about funding even before it’s announced publicly... It seems the same empowered people keep showing up to control every

Crow---tastes like chicken

Winnipeg Free Press editor Bob Cox had his fill at supper last night. For the first course he ate his words. Then ... he had a dish of crow. After slagging the work of citizen journalists as "no better than graffitti under a bridge", Cox had the paper scrambling to match our scoop on CBC's new hire, CTV's Janet Stewart.The Free Press said Stewart was unavailable for comment. But the Winnipeg Sun interviewed her. And the Sun noted she was planning to stay at CTV local for another couple of weeks until "word got out" of her hiring. The Sun also got around to the wave of car vandalism outside the Winnipeg Art Gallery last Sunday. Did you notice that reporter Ross Romaniuk said he knew of it on Tuesday when he spoke with one of the victims? But it obviously didn't become newsworthy until after the Mayor's phones began ringing off the hook when people read about the Colony Avenue crimewave in The Black Rod on Thursday. ********* It took a lot of prodding

CBC's new anchor; We're called names; MSM blind to WAG crimewave

CBC has a new host. PC youth leader calls us names. Crime engulfs downtown Wpg. but MSM is blind. Don't touch that dial. We're proud to announce the new host of CBC Television's supperhour news show is... Janet Stewart. Yes, that Janet. She of CTV's supperhour news show. CBC's motto for the new millenium is obviously "if you can't beat 'em, hire 'em." Janet didn't have to audition through CBC's host-for-the-week process. She's a known quantity, though recent focus groups said they weren't thrilled with what they knew. With her contract running out, and management playing coy, the jump was easy, even if it is a jump down to the lowest rated news show in town. CBC is hoping that channel surfers, spotting a familiary face, will stick around---at least until they realize they don't recognize any of the reporters and begin wondering if they've enterered a parallel dimension. If Krista Erickson left any of her leather outfits

McFadyen has loyal Tories chugging Pepto

It takes a strong stomach to belong to the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba these days. The annual convention last weekend did nothing to settle the butterflies. In the six months since electing a new leader, the members have learned: * Tory turncoats who jumped ship to back the discredited federal Liberals, and who still belong to the Liberal Party, are valued members of the new team, more-so than some of the current sitting MLA's who stuck by the P.C.'s through thick and thin . * The party will be campaigning on a pledge to use millions of dollars of taxpayers money to reimburse people who got huge tax breaks to invest in a private labour-sponsored venture capital fund. * Tory fundraisers will soon be knocking on doors to raise for money to get more Liberals in the provincial Legislature through changes to electoral laws. ( Tory leader leans toward green , Winnipeg Free Press, Nov. 5, 2006 ). Policy-by-poll has otherwise replaced the sloppy process of inviting ide

FP's tangled web catches editor Bob Cox

It comes as no surprise that the Winnipeg Free Press has had some serious problems with credibility recently. * One day the newspaper is literally making up quotes it claims were spoken at the public inquiry into the conviction of James Driskel for murder. The quotes proudly appear on Page One, but not in the transcript of the hearing. * Another day the publisher is blaming his own reporter for screwing up direct quotes taken from a tape recorded interview. The paper claims Lloyd Axworthy said "diasporas", not "the Aspers" when he criticized the political influence of, ahem, people with dual loyalties. No transcript of the interview is provided. * And who can forget the editor's "clarification" during the civic election campaign for all the blatant misquotes and false headlines attacking Mayor Sam Katz. Clarification is the word you use when you refuse to apologize to the person you smeared in the first place. And then this week, as they say in radio,

Manitoba Tories Jump the Shark

Pity the poor Manitoba Tory caucus. They woke up Wednesday morning to find they're on a white-knuckle ride to Hell. They thought they had already weathered the worst hangover of their lives when they realized six months ago they elected Hugh McFadyen, the John Kerry of Manitoba, as party leader. His first order of business was to scrub the weeks-long Legislature bell-ringing campaign designed to force the NDP to announce a public inquiry into the demise of the Crocus Fund. In its place, McFadyen announced a Crocus task force to root out hidden information on the Crocus scandal. The media promptly went back to ignoring anything the Tories did in the House and have yet to write a single story about the findings of the Don Orchard-led, John Loewen-assisted team of sleuths. It's so secret, nobody has heard from or about the Crocus task force since. The Black Rod hacked into Tory computers to find out what's going on, and the best we could do is uncover that Super Spy Don Orchar