News Briefs

City of Winnipeg workers vote on new contract

A Winnipeg branch of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is prepared to cast their vote on a contract offered to it members. The exercise will begin March 25 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, according Mike Davidson, the union president.

CUPE Local 500, which represents 4,649 city workers, will take part in a contract ratification vote on Friday, March 25 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
Members are also being encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item to Winnipeg Harvest when the come to vote, Davidson told the Winnipeg Free Press.

CUPE members have been advised by union leadership to accept the contract. A special meeting of city council could be held within the week following the vote, though councilors could hold off until April 27, the next scheduled regular meeting day.

Details of the contract haven’t been made public yet.

Dairy Queen Store closed because of a drunk driver

The owner of a Winnipeg Dairy Queen restaurant, located on St. Anne’s Road, put up a large sign saying “Closed temporarily due to drunk driver,” after a vehicle crashed into his store.

A surveillance video of the incident, which took place on the morning of March 16, shows two men standing in the exact spot the vehicle hit, just minutes before the collision.

“Two minutes later there would have been two people killed by this person. And what penalties is he going to face? He’s going to have his vehicle impounded; he’ll lose his licence for a year and he’ll get a fine. What is that?” Bruce Buchel, owner of the Dairy Queen, told the CBC.

Buchel told the CBC that his employees are out of work right now and said his livelihood was shattered along with the front of his store.

“People are going to have to start realizing what the impact [of impaired driving] is,” he said.

Buchel said the sign had been a huge success with customers, however.
“A lot of people are happy someone’s actually doing something about it,” he said.

“Usually when they see something from a drunk driver it’s a cross on the side of the road. Someone died.”

Tories blast Selinger on cost of Bipole project

After releasing a leaked document that alleges Manitoba Hydro knew the cost of Bipole project had doubled in 2009, the Manitoba Tories are accusing Premier Greg Selinger of misleading Manitobans on the realities of the Bipole III project, reported the Winnipeg Sun.

The leaked document is an extension of a capital budget document that projects the revised budget for the project will stand at $3.95 billion. Tory leader Hugh McFadyen has said that the numbers are misleading the public because they were prepared in 2009.

“We’ve seen Hydro stick with their same $2.2 billion figure for five straight years even as they’re presenting adjusted costs for every other project they’re working on. It just doesn’t add up,” McFadyen told the Sun.

However, CEO of Manitoba Hydro Bob Brennan said that the document in question never made it to his desk. Last fall, he told the public that cost of the project could go up, though he did not specify by how much.

Since last fall, Manitoba Hydro has hired three outside experts to work on figuring out a revised estimate. The new estimate will be released to the public after Hydro’s board approves it, which Brennan said should occur “within the next couple of months.”

Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk, the cabinet minister in charge of Hydro, said that she had never seen the documents either.

“When the Hydro board has the new numbers they’ll present them to us and I’ll announce them,” she told the Winnipeg Sun.