New Briefs

Province can’t bury bodies: Health Minister

The province doesn’t have the legal authority to bury the human specimens in the Bodies exhibit, Heath Minister Theresa Oswald said Friday, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

However, Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas explained that the 1987 Anatomy Act requires the exhibit’s organizers to obtain Oswald’s written permission before it can remove the bodies from the province after it closes in the next two weeks.

Oswald said that act only applies to bodies of those who died in Manitoba, while the bodies displayed in the exhibit are leased from the Chinese government.

“As a result, it isn’t applicable to this exhibit and the bodies therein,” she said. “There isn’t a way to intervene.”

The exhibit’s organizers have said that they can’t corroborate the specimens’ origins, since they are dependent on information from the Chinese authorities.

Close to 1,000 signatures were collected by a student group from the University of Manitoba last fall to have the exhibit shut down.

Grow op busted

A marijuana growing operation of over 700 marijuana plants was shut down by Winnipeg police last Friday, reported the CBC.

No one was in the home at the time of the raid and no arrests have been made in
connection with the search, police said.

“RCMP found the entire home had been converted into a sophisticated marijuana grow operation,” said a news release issued by police last Friday. “In excess of 700 marijuana plants, in various stages of growth, was discovered.”

The street value of the drugs possessed was estimated at almost $700,000 by the RCMP.

Manitoba has lowest unemployment rate

Manitoba’s jobless rate closed at 5.2 per cent for December, making it the lowest in the country, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

Although up slightly from last month’s rate of 5.1 per cent, it is below the national unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent for December, while Winnipeg’s unemployment rate of 5.4 per cent was unchanged.

The province with the highest unemployment rate was Newfoundland at 13.7 per cent.

According to Statistics Canada, private sector employment rose by 53,000 jobs last month, full time employment rose by 38,000, and youth employment rose by 26,000.

However, construction industry jobs fell by 27,000, wholesale and retail jobs fell by 22,000, and health care and social assistance jobs fell by 24,000.