National Newswatch

Changes in funding to give more flexibility to social workers: Manitoba

Feb 11 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government announced Monday it is changing the way it funds child-welfare agencies and ending a federal subsidy clawback that has been the subject of a lawsuit. The Progressive Conservative government is doing away with a formula based largely on how many children are in the care of each agency. Critics have said it rewards agencies for seizing kids from their families. […]

Manitoba premier down south while his social media marvels at Winnipeg snow

Feb 10 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister appeared to marvel on social media in recent days at Winnipeg's wintry weather, but in reality he was at his vacation home in tropical Costa Rica, his office has confirmed. Pallister's Twitter and Instagram accounts put up a few pictures last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as daytime temperatures hovered around […]

Liberal backbencher apologizes for not including women in notable calendar

Feb 6 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — A Liberal member of Parliament has apologized for putting out a calendar that features a list of notable Canadians that does not include any women. "I was attempting to highlight notable people of Winnipeg. I am very sorry," read a comment posted on Robert-Falcon Ouellette's Facebook account Wednesday. "I will be getting another calendar ready […]

Frigid Winnipeg: Does 1 of the planet’s coldest big cities need warming centre?

Feb 3 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — In a city where winter can be almost guaranteed to bring temperatures below -30 C, saving homeless people and other vulnerable persons from severe frostbite or even death is a complex project. It relies on a lot of goodwill and elbow grease from Winnipeg's non-profit groups and, despite efforts, street people still often need to shuffle between spots to find somewhere warm […]

Winnipeg Crime Stoppers doubles reward for meth tips to fight ‘crisis’

Jan 29 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — Officials with Crime Stoppers in Winnipeg say methamphetamine has become such a crisis that the group is temporarily doubling its cash rewards for information solving crimes related to the street drug. "Crime Stoppers recognizes Winnipeg is currently experiencing a major crisis associated to crimes related to the use of meth on our streets," said Paul Johnson, […]

Manitoba government holding the line on school funding this year

Jan 24 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government signalled more spending restraint Thursday by boosting funding to public elementary and high schools by just half a percentage point and capping school property tax increases at two per cent. Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the Progressive Conservative government will also soon direct new reductions in school administrative costs on top […]

Education review to look at reducing, eliminating elected boards

Jan 23 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is looking at reducing or even eliminating elected school boards as part of a review of education in the province. The Progressive Conservative government announced a commission Wednesday that will examine all aspects of schooling from kindergarten to Grade 12 and report back by February of next year. Part of […]

Manitoba’s former justice minister seeks NDP nod to run in federal election

Jan 20 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — A former Manitoba justice minister is aiming to leave the provincial legislature for a seat in the House of Commons. Andrew Swan, who has been sitting on the opposition benches since the Manitoba New Democrats lost the last election, is seeking the federal NDP nomination in Winnipeg-Centre, a riding currently held by Liberal […]

Manitoba credit for film, TV touted as among most generous in Canada

Jan 15 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is making its tax credit for film and video productions permanent and hinting at more help for the industry despite a consultant's report that called for a reduction. The tax credit, touted by the province as one of the biggest in Canada, was to expire at the end of this year. But it has […]

‘Blindsided:’ Manitoba officials seize newborn from mother in hospital

Jan 11 2019 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — Two social media videos show a newborn baby girl being taken from the arms of her Indigenous mother by Manitoba social workers and police — an apprehension that First Nations leaders say is all too common in a child-welfare system biased against Aboriginals. The videos, broadcast live Thursday on Facebook by the woman's uncle, […]

Job cuts ahead: Layoff protection for Manitoba’s civil servants about to end

Dec 29 2018 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — More public-sector job cuts appear to be coming in Manitoba and a long-standing ban on civil service layoffs is about to expire. Premier Brian Pallister, in his third year of a promise to eliminate the deficit by 2024, says he is not planning any large-scale layoffs, but some trimming remains to be done — largely by not filling vacant […]

Flush with party funds, Manitoba Tories could call early election

Dec 27 2018 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — Flush with party fundraising cash and facing two opposition parties still in rebuilding mode, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is not ruling out a snap election call well in advance of the scheduled date of Oct. 6, 2020. In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Pallister would not commit to stick to the […]

Manitoba premier mulls expanded cannabis ban to include sprays and more

Dec 23 2018 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — "I've never seen this before." Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, sitting in his legislature office for a year-end interview, is looking at a 15-ml container of cannabis spray. It's one of the ways through which recreational cannabis can be consumed since legalization in October. It is discreet, quick, smokeless and — perhaps surprisingly under Manitoba law — legal […]

Manitoba premier says he will enforce fee on Indigenous cannabis retailers

Dec 19 2018 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government will enforce a cannabis retailers' fee on First Nations store owners in the new year, setting up another potential clash with Indigenous leaders. The Progressive Conservative government is requiring all cannabis retailers to pay what it calls a social responsibility fee. The levy amounts to six per cent of […]

Two Manitoba Party activists want judge to oust Steven Fletcher as leader

Dec 14 2018 — Steve Lambert — WINNIPEG — Two activists with the fledgling Manitoba Party are asking the Court of Queen's Bench to remove Steven Fletcher as leader, alleging the former federal cabinet minister was handed the leadership by someone who had no authority to do so. Wayne Sturby and Joe Chan, who have served as party board members, have filed court documents that accuse former […]