Dauphin, Canada

A reduction in their budget is what Mountain View School Division is facing this year.

Despite the provincial government announcing an increase in funding for public schools, they also want administration costs in all school divisions cut back.

MVSD Superintendent CEO, Donna Davidson, notes what the division will be focused on maintaining:

“As we did last year, we realized a two percent reduction in our budget, and our focus was on maintaining classroom teachers and classroom support.  That is going to be our primary focus going forward.  What’s important is that we have quality instructors in our classrooms, with the required supports to meet the diverse learning needs of the students entrusted in our care.”

Details on MVSD’s budget are expected to be released early next week.

Dauphin’s Arts Fest 2018, starts on March 31 and runs for the week.

The festival has 23 events scheduled, so far, with more to come.

Co-Chair, Martijn van Luijn, talks about some of the changes this year:

“Well, just like last year, we have our pillar events, which are our adjudicated performances:  piano, speech and dance; and we are adding bands this year, to that, so we are very excited.  Plus, with the dance and the speech arts, we’re going to add new groups to that, as well.”

For a detailed list of events go to dauphinartsfest.com

The allegations of inappropriate tickling aren’t going away for former Dauphin MLA Stan Struthers.

Yesterday a senior civil servant came forward with her own experience.

The NDP party is working to address the matter with an investigation.

Michael Balagus, former Manitoba NDP chief of staff, has been placed on a leave of absence, in light of his failure to address the complaints back in 2010 and 2015.

Balagus denies any knowledge of formal complaints being made.

Yesterday Minister Rochelle Squires was in Gimli to meet with fishers, and to get a first-hand experience at commercial fishing in Manitoba.

She received feedback that the open market is working for fisheries to sell their catch.

Minister Squires talks about the feedback she is hearing:

“So the commercial fishers, that I spoke with, are telling me that they are seeing record high prices for whitefish, and whitefish certainly are more plentiful this year than, say, walleye.  For example, the nets that we pulled, there were two buckets full of whitefish, and we caught, in that duration, one walleye and one sauger.  The fishers are pleased because they have a really good market for those whitefish, and the price gap between walleye and whitefish is closing, and that is really good news.”

Minister Squires met with fishers after the recent news of four Interlake fisheries being out over $1 million, after trying to sell on the open market.

The Coldest Night of the Year event is getting set to take place.

On February 24th, a 2- or 5-kilometre walk, to raise money for Parkland Crossing, is happening.

Jamie Harvey, Director of Parkland Crossing, explains what will be taking place:

“From our location there will be a 2-kilometre and a 5-kilometre walk. They start and finish at the front doors to our gymnasium and dining hall area. The registration starts at 4 and the walk begins after a brief opening ceremony at 5 o’clock.”

They will be raising money for the development of their greenhouse project.

The Dauphin Rotary Club is getting ready for the Manitoba Snowshoe Run.

The event takes place on Louis Riel Day, and is held to promote physical activity.

Dr. Kevin Steinbachs, race organizer, explains the race route:

“It’s a 5- or 10-kilometer run or walk, whatever level people want to do.  Basically, it’s based in and around the Countryfest site.  It’s kind of a track trail, with signs, so people don’t get lost.  It’s a nice tour through the bush, where people don’t usually get to go.”

The entry fee is $35, and for more information, or to register, visit manitobasnowshoerun.com.

The movement of cattle in Manitoba is going to be thoroughly detailed.

Rick Wright, from the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association, presented at Manitoba Beef Producers AGM yesterday.

Wright says new rules are coming from the federal government.

“One of the biggest changes for Manitoba Producers is going to happen in the next 18 months, or so, is the mandatory use of manifests.  We’re going to have to use manifests to move cattle from one premise to another. That’s not from pasture to pasture. That’s from your home farm to the auction mart, to the buying station, to the abattoir - however you decide to market the cattle.”

In the coming months, the Manitoba Beef Producers will push the provincial government for mandatory livestock inspections in Manitoba.

With the start of a new year, comes discussion of financial budgets.

Minister of Finance, Cameron Friesen, talks about where the province is at with budgeting:

“Budget 2018 for the Province of Manitoba will take place on Monday, March 12. We are looking forward to it.  We are facing challenges together as a province, after years of overspending, and services that haven’t been kept up, but we made a pledge to Manitobans that we were going to build trust in government, deliver progress for all Manitobans, and keep our promises.  We’re looking forward to letting Manitobans know how we are doing.”

The two main sectors, where there has been overspending in the past, was health care and education.

Dauphin’s Safeway is facing a potential strike, as early as March 18.

Local store employees will be participating in a strike vote meeting in the last week of February.

Jeff Traeger, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 832, talks about the bargaining process so far:

“Originally, we started the bargaining process on December 7 and 8, and those dates were cancelled by the employer. We had four days scheduled for January 15 and the employer came in on the first day and tabled what I would only describe as massive concessions that would affect wages, the benefits plan, the dental plan, vacations, and premiums.  Pretty much anywhere there was any money in the agreement, the employer was looking to roll it back and make savings.”

The concessions will impact approximately 100 Dauphin Safeway store employees.

An Extreme Cold Warning has been issued for part of the Parkland.

Affected by the Warning are the Dauphin, Russell, Roblin, Winnipegosis, and surrounding areas.

Dauphin will see temperatures in the minus 40's this morning, along with winds gusting up to 70 km/hr.

The cold snap is expected to end on Sunday.

UPDATE: As of 10:31, the extreme cold warning has ended.

 

7 women have now spoken out against former Dauphin MLA Stan Struthers, for inappropriate tickling and harassment.

The incidents were reported to the NDP party back in 2010 and 2015, and nothing was done.

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew talks about the role of women in changing the culture:

“We also want to have more women run for our party in the future, and I think that’s really important, because in order to change the culture in politics and in the environment, we need more women in positions of leadership.”

Kinew has called on stronger party policies and an investigation into the incidents.