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Showing posts from September, 2007

Memo to MLA's: Car Thieves Don't Take Holidays

Manitoba's lawmakers went back to work Tuesday. They were as giddy as schoolchildren on their first day back from summer holidays. Maybe it was because the first order of business was a new holiday for Manitoba, one less day for Legislators to work. The Black Rod couldn't make it to the Legislature. There was a backlog of newspapers to read, and by the time we finished, we couldn't share the bonhommie under the Dome. Monday, Sept. 24, 2007 Winnipeg Sun RUDE AWAKENING "A St. Norbert widow was in shock after a car tore through a backyard fence and shed before striking the rear of her townhouse early yesterday morning...Nearly four hours after the newer model Dodge Neon tore through the shed...a young man showed up and tried to drive it away." "...the young man claimed his "friends" had stolen and crashed his family car.""Police expected the driver would face a charge of joyriding..." Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007 Winnipeg Sun Cop Nearly R

O'Learygate: As Simple as One-Two-Three

O'Learygate--- the scandal that keeps on giving . A brief recap: - The Seven Oaks School Division wanted a new high school to replace West Kildonan Collegiate. - But the province refused to approve new schools anywhere when students could still be accomodated in existing schools. - Undaunted, the Seven Oaks School Division launched a scheme to get a new high school. - They found some land they could buy cheap, so they bought twice as much as they needed for a school, with a plan to build a subdivision with the extra land, and use the profits to cover the cost of the school site. - They ran into two problems: They lost their shirts on the subdivision, and their scheme was exposed by a taxpayer who began asking questions about the legality of a school division using tax money to become a land developer. To disguise their humiliating financial loss, they come up with a quick explanation: The land they bought for a school was an asset. When they sell it, they will cover their losses an

O'Learygate: The Provincial Auditor's selective, misleading timeline exposed

Last time, we showed you how the architects of O'Learygate misled the public, the press and the Legislature by slipping an IOU they wrote to themselves into the books to hide a $307,000 loss on a land development they secretly backed with taxpayers' money. In her special audit of the O'Learygate land development, Manitoba auditor general Carol Bellringer said such a deception was perfectly okay according to generally accepted accounting principles. Also perfectly okay is how an IOU that may never be cashed can be considered an asset, while debts that will have to be paid are not considered as liabilities. As part of the land agreement the Seven Oaks School Division signed with the City of Winnipeg the school board is obligated to pay another $265,000 once a new school is constructed on the land the SOSD bought and developed in Swinford Park. In addition, they must pay $58,000 for drainage . That's $323,000 in future expenses that are written into the development deal

Auditor approves Enron math to mask O'Learygate loss

Once upon a time there was a company called Enron . Nobody really knew what they did. Or how they made money. But every year they would announce large profits, and their auditors would swear it was all on the up-and-up according to generally accepted accounting principles. Fast forward to Winnipeg, 2007. Manitoba's Auditor General Carol Bellringer released her report on a shady land development undertaken by the Seven Oaks School Division, known colloquially as O'Learygate, after Brian O'Leary, Superintendent of the Seven Oaks School Division (and, by coincidence, former NDP campaign chairman). * In 2001, anticipating the need for a new high school, the school division bought land in the Riverbend area of West Kildonan. * They bought twice as much as they needed for a school. * Instead of simply selling the surplus, they decided to become land developers-- with taxpayers' money. * They eventually sold 71 finished lots in what is known as Swinford Park--- and lost t

A new police chief: Put the 'can' in candidate

What leadership skills and characteristics do you feel are important in a Chief of Police for the City of Winnipeg? Winnipeg is looking for a new police chief and the final choice will be made by Anita Stenning, the city's Chief Administrative Officer. Part of the process is, of course, the obligatory "consultation" with the public. The question above was the basis of a couple of public meetings this week to gauge what Joe Citizen sees as important in a chief. But Anita Stenning already knows the answer. The people have been shouting it for months. They want an anti-Ewatski. Someone the direct opposite of the bumbler that's held the post for nine long years. Someone who will make crimefighting and crime prevention his only priority. The people don't want a politically correct hire. They know such a person will make decisions based on political correctness that serves to justify his -- or her -- hiring. They don't want "hope". They don't want &q