Local Briefs

Winnipeg looks to expand, first since 1972

The Winnipeg Free Press has reported that for the first time since 1972, there are plans to expand the city, a plan that has been met resistance from rural residents.

The plans would see the Rural Municipality of Rosser become part of Winnipeg, the first expansion for the city since it amalgamated with its 11 suburbs in 1972.

Residents in the area said they have not been included in negotiations.

“There’s no benefit to us. We’re being sold out to Winnipeg. The municipality may get some compensation, but we won’t see any of it,” said Wayne Oatway, a grain farmer whose family has worked on agricultural land inside the Perimeter Highway since 1909.

“The taxes on my house are going to what? Double? Triple? It’s all negative for me,” said Oatway.
A verbal agreement previously made between Winnipeg and Rosser was refused and a written agreement made by the city in 2008 has yet to see a response.

“It’s tough to negotiate when we’ve twice put an offer in but have yet to hear back,” said Glen Laubenstein, Winnipeg’s chief administrative officer.

No handshakes, No H1N1 Winnipeg churches say

CBC News recently reported that the Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg has banned handshaking amongst church-goers as a means to prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus.

Instead, church-goers are being asked to bow their heads.

The archdiocese said that holy-water fonts have been drained, hand-sanitizer dispensers have been installed and church spaces will be disinfected after each service

Archbishop James Weisgerber said the plans “were developed as a necessary precaution in response to current concerns about an increased risk of infection from the H1N1 virus.”
Spokesman James Buchok said the changes are not permanent.

“They’re just during times of risk. We wanted to put them in place at the beginning of cold and flu season,” Buchok said.

“It’s not as if we will never shake hands again.”
Dr. Joel Kettner, Manitoba’s chief officer of health, said the changes were not requested by the province.
“I haven’t given out any advice to change [ . . . ] usual practices. The decisions around personal contact are a matter of weighing benefits and risks,” Kettner said.

New Winnipeg office spaces requires tenants to be ‘green’

Allan Malbranck and his wife Anita have opened the first “green” lease retail and office space building reported the Winnipeg Sun.

The 12,800 square-foot building, located at 1735 Corydon, requires tenants to sign a “green” lease before they can move in.

“We looked at the concept from design to the end of consumer use, where they would be clients on our property and where I was initiating as much green into the building as possible,” Malbranck told the Sun. His family owns the Diamond Gallery in the building.

The new concept of “green” leases outlines sustainable development practices inorder to reduce environmental impact. Recycling all paper, plastic and glass materials is on the lease and includes requirements for high-efficient lighting systems and energy-smart office equipment.
Malbranck’s said construction of each space must also include environmentally friendly flooring and building materials.

Though some have looked at the lease and said “no thanks” to the green-first mantra — Lysa Porth, a tenant of the building, said the green lease attracted her to the space.
The owner of Lux For Sprouts, a children’s toy and clothing store scheduled to open in November wanted to join the Malbranck’s green initiative.

“A lot of our products are green to begin with; that’s a big concept to our store because we’re dealing with babies and children’s products,” said Porth.