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Showing posts from January, 2012

Citizen journalists on a roll

Winnipeg bloggers have cracked big stories twice this month, teaching the mainstream media a painful lesson about citizen journalism. Perhaps the most oblivious to what was happening right under their collective noses were the "professional" journalists at the Winnipeg Free Press which has been patting itself on the back for becoming a partner with the Winnipeg Foundation in a project to "train and empower citizen journalists". Menno Zacharias blogs at Policing, Politics and Public Policy. (Can we have a contest to find him a better name for his blog. Please.) Naturally, as a retired deputy police chief, he still has an interest in what's going on with the Force. So when the WPD released its 2010 annual report in December, Menno pulled out his Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass. Now, Zacharias is Old School. That means he can add, subtract, multiply and divide. And he knows how to read. And while going over the numbers provided by the police servi

The Liberal Party plan for resurrection

The Liberal Party of Canada laid out its resurrection strategy in broad strokes this past weekend. But if you depended on the national news media to tell you what it was, you would be SOL. Like cats chasing every new tinkly ball, the "professional" reporters pounced on one debate after another (oh look, the monarchy; no, 'supporters'; no, over here, pot). But the big picture escaped them. Them, not us. The Liberals, in short, are planning to outflank the NDP, retake Quebec, and gain a foothold in the West through B.C. They're admitting they have no chance to win the next election, but clawing their way back to Official Opposition will be a win. Everything is geared to that goal. Michael Ignatieff, the former leader who led the team off the cliff, spelled out the master strategy, not that the MSM was paying attention. "We have to speak for the Canada we love, a Canada in which we think we want to stand for green energy rather than dirty oil,&q

Citizen journalists are chasing two explosive new angles to the CMHR debacle.

Like an avalanche, the controversy over the bankrupt Canadian Museum for Human Rights is growing exponentially, with the same ultimate conclusion. Somebody is going to be buried under the rubble. This week alone two new fronts have opened up, either of which can blow holes in the museum's remaining reservoir of public support. 1. The CMHR, the cost of which is rapidly approaching $400 million, didn't have a project manager? This made us sit up and take notice. Reported first and exclusively in the blog Anybody Want A Peanut?, this revelation should send shock waves throughout Manitoba and right to Ottawa. Blogger Cherenkov wrote on Sunday: "I'm not a project manager by trade, but I have worked on projects and taken project management training and I am confident in saying this: if you want your project to come in on time and on budget it needs to be properly manag

How Hugh McFadyen saved the Selinger NDP from sure defeat.

In politics, the only thing better than winning is winning so decisively you can rub your opponent's nose in it. Following the crash-and-burn campaign conducted by the Manitoba Conservatives in the last provincial election, Tory honkers are redder than Rudolph's from being rubbed in the dirt so much. One of the chief architects of the crushing defeat handed to the PC Party is the NDP's campaign director Michael Balagus. He was in Vancouver last month taking another victory lap at the expense of the hapless, helpless and hopeless Conservatives. The scene was the annual convention of the British Columbia NDP. Balagus was on a panel discussing tactics, strategies and innovation that he and two other campaign organizers across the country used to win elections. Balagus got to tell the story of how the NDP used their greatest asset---Conservative Party leader Hugh McFadyen---to turn almost sure defeat into their fourth victory in a row. We now know that for months b

From Shill to Saint. What a week on the CMHR front.

Winnipeg got a lesson in true philanthropy this past week. A retired pharmacist who quietly -- nay, secretly, to even his family --- saved up a million dollars, donated it this week, half to the Misericordia Health Centre Foundation and half to the Riverview Heath Centre Foundation. Laurie Johnston did it with humility and with little fanfare. He didn't ask for a towering statue to be erected in his name, a backlit plaque, or even a framed certificate from the Premier. He did it, he said, to repay a debt to a deceased family friend who generously gave him $200 to tide him over in the weeks before he took his final pharmacy exams so long ago. Passing it forward was payment enough for him. People couldn't help but contrast his donation with the spectacle of a family of millionaires demanding a blank cheque from the federal government to finish building a giant monument to their deceased father under the guise of a gift to the community --- a gift nobody ask