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Showing posts from May, 2011

Meet the saddest man in Manitoba

He's the saddest man in Manitoba today. Unelected premier Greg Selinger has just felt the earth collapse under his feet and his future slip away into the swollen flood waters that still cover much of the province. The Jets are coming back. That's shorthand for 'Winnipeg is about to get an NHL hockey team, again.' And it's exactly what Greg Selinger was praying would never happen. Selinger has spent the last few weeks painting himself as The Man Who Saved Manitoba. He was supposed to stride into the fall election campaign as a hero, he who singlehandedly staved off the flood on the Red River, first, then the Assiniboine, and even the LaSalle. But the water just won't go down, and the scramble to build dikes and fill sandbags and evacuate cattle just keeps going on and on and on. And its getting worse, with the overflowing lakes threatening to engulf cottage country and precipitate a new wave of evacuations and property loss, as we undergo another

The big con: Manitoba Hydro-style, according to the Hydro Whistleblower

We know, at last, why Manitoba Hydro launched its balls-to-the-wall, take-no-prisoners assault on Miss Whistle, their former consultant who filed a Whistleblower complaint over Hydro mismanagement. The answer slipped out in the latest hearings of the Public Utilities Board into Hydro's risk management practices. It turns out the Hydro Whistleblower... * was standing up for the Manitoba ratepayer. * said Manitobans were being overcharged * said Hydro was deliberately overestimating the chance of a record drought in order to dupe the PUB into approving the higher-than-needed rates, and *said Hydro could make more money with less risk without embarking on a decade-long spending orgy on new dams to fulfill long-term contracts to sell power to the U.S. In short, she was saying everything Manitoba Hydro didn't want you to hear. The PUB counsel was questioning Dr. Atif Kuburski, one of two economists from McMaster Unversity hired to look at Hydro's oper

Is the North End spree killer back at work?

Coincidence? Or in-your-face? On Saturday last, the Winnipeg Free Press ran a full-page update on the police investigation into a spree killer's night of murder last October. Two men dead, one girl shot in the stomach, one teen with a hole through his clothes where a bullet passed millimetres from his body. No arrest. Hell, not even a viable suspect. But before the day was out, another man was in hospital with a gunshot wound suffered under eerily familiar circumstances. A knock on a door, a man answered and a stranger shot him in the head at point blank range. The location, the 500 block of Dufferin Avenue, literally a stone's throw away from the second shooting in October. The MO, identical to the third shooting that fall evening; only in that case the victim died. The target of Saturday's shooting was grazed by a bullet but lived to tell about it. He was, said a police spokesman, "cooperating with police." Did the newspaper story trigge

Election 2011: Blaikie bombs; Run, John Harvie, Run

If there is such a thing as an NDP hit squad, it's currently tracking down John Harvie, the Green Party candidate in Winnipeg North. Harvie didn't come anywhere close to winning the seat, but he came close enough to deny victory to the NDP's star candidate, Rebecca Blaikie, daughter of NDP heavyweight Bill Blaikie. Winnipeg North was considered a rock-solid safe seat as long as Judy Wasylycia-Leis was the incumbent, but after she retired from Parliament to run a Quixotic campaign for mayor of Winnipeg, the riding fell to Liberal Kevin Lamoureux in a byelection. Lamoureux instantly became Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's lucky charm, appearing at his side at every public appearance as a sign of the resurgence of the Grits. But the NDP were double-dog-determined to retake their Winnipeg fortress. They spared no resource, from a 'name' candidate, to money, to foot-soldiers. And for much of election night, it looked like the NDP was back in the sad