Archive for January, 2009
Friday, January 30th, 2009
A Liberal member of the Manitoba legislature has a long day, and night ahead of him. Kevin Lamoureux says starting late this morning, he’ll sit in the emergency room at 7 Oaks hospital for 24 straight hours, to protest the fact the hospital no longer has emergency services.
Yesterday we told things were pretty bad these days for Sony. Today, it’s Hitachi. That company is dropping the axe after predicting it’ll post a net loss in the current fiscal year. Hitachi says it’ll slash about 7 thousand jobs worldwide.
Amazing how the math works here. Despite a plunge in oil prices over the past 6 months, this country’s biggest gas company is reporting a bigger profit. Imperial Oil says it made 3.9 billion dollars in 08, up 23 per cent over 2007.
Don’t like this news. A new survey suggests, Freedom 55, or 65 for that matter, is only a dream for many working Canadians. The survey found that 48 per cent of employed Canadians believe they’ll work well past the customary retirement age of 65. One analyst says that result probably has a lot to do with pension plans taking a huge hit on the stock markets.
You can’t hide from Google Earth. Some marijuana growers in Switzerland found that out the hard way. While using Google Earth, Swiss police just happened to find a pot plantation inside a corn field. The cops were only looking for the address of a couple of farmers suspected in an alleged drug ring. Google gave them the unexpected evidence. They wound up busting 16 people and seizing more than a ton of dope.
Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Yesterday, we told you about the goodies in the federal budget, which included some wide ranging tax cuts. Well those savings may soon be eaten up. Winnipeg’s 10 plus years of a property tax freeze is now in question. Thanks to a big hit on the stock market to the city’s pension fund, an increase is now being looked at. Council will vote on the hike next month.
The stage is set for the federal budget to be passed next Monday. Yesterday, the Liberals agreed to support the government and the document, with some conditions attached. For instance they want quarterly reports and confidence votes on whether the budget is being implemented. So far, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that’s fine with him.
A working visit is how Prime Minister Harper describes Barack Obama’s first trip to our country as president. Harper says the economy will be at the top of the agenda when the two sit down on Thursday, February 19th.
It’s one of the biggest indications yet of this global recession. Sony says its net profit in the final quarter of last year plunged some 95 per cent over the same time in 2007. The struggling Japanese electronics giant blames it on poor sales for its t.v.’s, digital camera’s, and mobile phones.
Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
Well, the budget has been brought down. And, it looks like there’s a little something for everyone. There will be across the board tax cuts, money spent on infrastructure and job training. For those who’ve lost their job, E.I. payments will be extended. And, there will also be a credit for those doing any home improvements in the next 12 months.
Meantime, he’s slept on it, and now Michael Ignatieff must make a decision. The Liberal leader met with his caucus last night, and today, he’ll announce whether his party will support the budget. The Liberals could accept the document the way it is, press for changes to it, or flat out reject it. If that happens though? We’re back into talks of an election or coalition government.
Provincial bureaucrats in Manitoba are getting down to work, applying for loan programs announced in the budget. Manitoba Finance Minister, Greg Selinger says yesterday’s budget has got a little something for everyone, including money for Winnipeg’s new airport terminal and social housing. Selinger isn’t sure however just how much our province will get in the end. A provincial budget by the way, is expected towards the end of March.
Safety concerns has forced LG, to recall some 13 thousand of their cell phones sold in Manitoba. The model in question is the LG, 150. MTS sold the phones between February 2007, until just last week. Apparently, there are concerns about radio waves with those phones….although health officials say they don’t pose any immediate danger. If you’re one of the people affected by the recall, you can head to any MTS connect store to get a replacement.
And, right now, their names are the letters A through H. But doctors caring for those octuplets, that would be 8 babies, born Monday in California, are a feisty bunch and seem to be doing remarkably well. As we told you yesterday, the 8 ranged from just over a pound to 3 pounds when they were born.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
It’s federal budget day………but, much of what we’re going to hear in the House of Commons this afternoon, will be old news. The government has already spilled the beans on several of its spending plans, including money for job training and infrastructure. The one thing they haven’t said however, is, will there be any tax cuts and if so, how much? Guess we’ll know more by 2 o’clock Winnipeg time this afternoon.
The next big political question is, will the government survive this budget. Or, are we still looking at some sort of coalition government down the road? Well, the NDP and the Bloc have both said they’ll vote against whatever happens today. So, the future of Stephen Harper, lies with the Liberals, and so far, new leader Michael Ignatieff says, he’ll wait until tomorrow morning before he decides what to do.
2 people are dead after separate snowmobile accidents in Manitoba. One of the crashes happened early Sunday morning near Falcon Beach, but so far police have not released the victim’s name. The other fatality stemmed from an accident back on January 18th when a snowmobile hit some jagged rocks in Snow Lake, injuring a 16 year old boy. That teen died in a Winnipeg hospital on Saturday.
Locally, a vote is scheduled today on a merger that would create the biggest credit union in rural Manitoba. If approved by members, outlets in Winkler, Morden, Altona and Carman will combine to form a new regional credit union consisting of 11 branches. The merger, if approved, would take effect on July 1st.
And a win for some coffee jockey’s in Ontario. 60 year old Jorma Hogbacka is one of the 3 winner’s of last weekend’s 6/49 draw. Yesterday, the St. Catherine’s man went and picked up his almost 15 million dollar cheque. And, one of the first things on his to-do list, was to drop off 5-30 thousand dollar cheque’s to some Tim Horton employee’s….who he said…always got his order right.
Monday, January 26th, 2009
Manitoba has a new title. We’ve been dubbed the worst recyclers in the entire country. When most of the country is diverting about 25 per cent of its garbage away from landfills, our numbers are more like 13 per cent. Oh and we also lag behind every other province when it comes to composting, using those energy efficient light bulbs and conserving water.
Well the feds are giving Canadians a bit of looksie at what’ll be in tomorrow’s budget. Apparently, the document will contain 1.5 billion dollars for job training. And there’s also gonna be cash put towards infrastructure spending across the country.
A new study out of Italy adds assurance about a preservative once used in many childhood vaccines. It’s found that kids who got lower levels of the mercury based preservative called THIMEROSAL had essentially the same brain function of those who got higher leels. Critics have in the last several years linked that preservative to autism.
Fireworks lit up the sky over Beijing today, as China greeted the arrival of the Year of the Ox. Despite the gloomy economic forecast, stores said that fireworks sales were up almost 30 per cent from the year before.
And the big winner at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards was “Slumdog Milionaire,” taking home the prize for best overall cast. Lead acting honours went to Meryl Streep for “Doubt” and Sean Penn for “Milk.” On the t.v. side, “30 Rock,” took top comedy honours while “Mad Men” won for best t.v. drama.
Friday, January 23rd, 2009
A 3rd trial has been ordered for a Winnipeg woman accused of killing one of her infant triplets. 2 previous manslaughter trials for 28 year old Michelle Camire, resulted in hung juries. Camire tried to stop this new trial, saying she’s the victim of an abuse of process. But, the judge disagreed and ordered her back to court.
City police have a warning to parents and kids this morning. Apparently there’s a suspicious male prowling around the Point Douglas area these days. The man, has been spotted 4 times watching children, and, in some cases following kids in a vehicle. He’s apparently driving an full size older van. Anyone who has information about this man is asked to call Crime Stoppers.
The national consumers association says it’s getting flooded with complaints from people who registered on the national do not call list, but are still getting hassled. Apparently, scammers are going online, and buying part of the list from the CRTC for a minimal fee. But, anyone who misuses the list could be fined, and most scammers operate outside Canada, leaving them immune from Canadian law.
And, bet ya didn’t know this. What appeared to be a live performance at Tuesday’s inauguration of Barack Obama, was actually recorded. The 4 musicians, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, decided a recording should be used for the ceremonies. It was all because Tuesday’s weather in Washington was too cold for their instruments to stay tuned.
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
A 14 year old Winnipeg girl who threatened to blow up her school because she wanted a day off, has now been put on probation for a year. Court heard the girl, who was 13 at the time, came up with the idea after media reports about similar events at other city schools. Back in December of 07, she used a felt marker to write a bomb threat on a school bathroom wall. The school’s janitor found the threat and called police.
A Winnipeg woman has been given a one year conditional sentence for not reporting her common law husband to police, when she found naked pictures of her niece’s on the couple’s computer. The 32 year old woman claimed she was the prisoner of an abusive relationship and lived in fear of her partner, who is still by the way at large from the law.
U.S. President Barack Obama, will sign an executive order today to shut down the jail at Guantanamo Bay, within one year. Closing the controversial prison will fulfill a campaign promise. And, will also halt all military trials taking place there, including that of 22 year old Canadian Omar Khadr, a suspected terrorist.
Just to be on the safe side, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts, has administered the oath of office…again…to President Barack Obama. The unusual step followed Roberts flubbing of the oath a bit during Tuesday’s inauguration. Obama re-took the oath from Roberts last night in the White House Map Room.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is hinting again about voting against the Harper government’s new budget, which gets brought down on Tuesday. Yesterday, he warned the document could be rejected by the Liberals if, it doesn’t stabilize employment, create jobs and protect the poor. If all 3 opposition parties vote against the budget, the Tory minority government would fall, and, we would have to suffer through another election.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
U.S. President Obama has taken the oath of office, enjoyed a massive parade in his honour, and danced with his wife at 10 different inaugural balls. But today? It’s down to business. The president will attend a national prayer service and open the White House to the public, before sitting down for meetings with advisers about America’s economic and war troubles.
Meantime, hours into his new job, President Obama made good on a campaign promise regarding the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His administration has ordered prosecutors to take a 120 day hiatus in the war crimes cases currently underway, while the place gets reviewed. The 14 cases affected include, those of Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr, and 5 other alleged 9-11 conspirators.
Things are really heating up for Wpg. firefighters these days. The number of emergencies they’ve had to respond to are up 13 per cent in just the past 2 years. That works out to some 7,000 more calls than they had in 2006, or about 150 calls a day.
Wal-Mart will find itself in a showdown in this country’s highest court today. The U.S. based retail giant is heading to the Supreme Court to defend its decision to shut down a Quebec store, after employee’s decided to start a union.
And, I guess you could say justice was served. A B.C. man has been busted after his 11 month old baby accidentally dialed 9-1-1, and brought police to the home….only to find a marijuana grow op. Cops say a 9-1-1 call came from a home in White Rock, B.C., this past Friday, but nobody was on the line. Officers headed out anyways to make sure everything was okay, and that’s when they found a very startled Dad and some 500 marijuana plants.
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
Well to say this is a big day down in the U.S., might be a bit of an understatement. In just a few hours, Barack Obama will become America’s 44th president. Obama’s inauguration day will begin with his family in church, then coffee at the White House with President Bush, and then it’s the big swearing in ceremony at 11 o clock Winnipeg time.
Do you like traveling to the U.S., but, getting a little worried since you don’t have a passport yet? Well, help is on the way courtesy of the province. Manitobans without passports can soon start applying for new enhanced I.D. cards. The cards which will be available at any autopac insurance dealer, will be a lot cheaper running around 50 dollars. The only drawback is, they’re only good for land or sea travel.
A defence lawyer says media coverage of the case of 2 Winnipeg teens, accused of a murderous plot against schools, a university and a church, has created an uneasy climate at some city schools. Greg Brodsky says people are actually scared. Brodsky, who represents the 17 year old boy in the case, says he doesn’t plan to seek bail for his client. A 17 year old girl is also charged in the case.
And it seems that women have a much harder time saying no to their favourite foods than men do. Scientists say there’s a surprising difference between the sexes in brain response to controlling food intake. They say it may explain the higher obesity rate for women and girls.
Monday, January 19th, 2009
The 2 Winnipeg teens charged in a murder plot, will be in court today. The 2 are accused of planning to randomly gun down people at Lorette and Fort Richmond Collegiates, the U of M, and Church of the Rock.
An autopsy will be done on the body of a woman who died after being attacked at a Winnipeg rooming house where she lived. A witness says the woman, believed to be in her 20’s, was stabbed by a male companion. Police have arrested a suspect, but, no word yet on whether charges have been laid.
There could soon be a new bike ban on the floodway. The Province is looking at the issue of banning all ATV and dirt bike riding with the floodway. Officials say there is a place for these kinds of vehicles, but, they don’t think it’s in Duff’s Ditch.
Israel says if Gaza remains quiet, the Israeli army’s departure will be almost immediate. With a week long cease-fire in place, officials say troops will be out of Gaza by tomorrow morning, and, Hamas has also now declared a truce.
The pilot who crash landed that U.S. Airways flight in New York’s Hudson River last week, saving the lives of all 155 on board, has been invited to Barack Obama’s inauguration tomorrow. Meantime, the wreckage of the plane has been towed to a New Jersey pier where investigators will get a closer look at the damage. The plane’s black boxes have revealed that both engines, failed simultaneously, with the pilot reporting he’s hit a flock of birds.