Local briefs

Cell phone ban brings in $22K on first day in effect

The Manitoba government began enforcing its ban on cell-phone use while driving July 15 and is estimated to have brought in about $22,000 in revenue on the first day alone, reported CBC.ca.

Police confirmed that in total 109 tickets were given out by the end of the first day, with ticket fines starting at $199.80. Similar legislation has also been introduced in such provinces as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Alberta.

According to RCMP Insp. Mark LeMaistre of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police, various studies have shown the direct correlation between cell-phone use while driving and the increased likelihood of a collision serious enough to cause bodily harm.

The ban on smoking with children in the car was also enforced with only one motorist reported to have received a ticket. Other provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have also began enforcing the ban on cigarette use with children present in the vehicle.

Federal government announces increased funding to train new Manitoba immigrants

The federal government announced that they would be spending more than $2 million over the next two years in order to help Manitoba immigrants with training that will assist them with entering the workforce, as reported by The Winnipeg Free Press.

The program was announced on July 16 by Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for democratic reform and Diane McGifford, Manitoba’s advanced education minister.

Fletcher explained that the funds will be divided into two programs, the first including $1.2 million from the federal government as well as $950,000 from the province, to be spent in Manitoba colleges, helping update credentials for foreign-trained skilled professionals.

The second part of the funds will involve $942,000 being spent by the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) to help those already trained gain the credentials needed and to help them enter the workforce more quickly.

McGifford stated that the number of immigrants continues to increase, last year alone showed a jump of 263 per cent. Programs of this nature already exist at the University of Manitoba for foreign trained doctors, dentists, engineers, teachers and agrologists.

$210 million to boost Aboriginal employment

Ottawa recently announced that the federal government would be putting $210 million towards aboriginal job placement and training reported CBC.ca. The money will go towards projects being put forth by aboriginal organizations that work in new and emerging job fields.

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl was in Winnipeg on July 16 to announce the new skills and partnership fund that will supplement the aboriginal skills and employment training strategy.

“Employers are starting to once again talk about the need to find those skilled tradespeople. We can’t afford to lose or underutilize the skills and the abilities and the talents of every single person in Canada,” said Strahl.