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  #101  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2010, 3:18 PM
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Actually it was more about expanding the parking lot than expanding the store. CT wanted houses expropriated and demolished to facilitate that.
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  #102  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2010, 11:43 PM
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There is stuff you can get online that you just CAN'T get in Winnipeg. Period. Burbs or not.

FWIT, I'd wager at least 90% of my retail and entertainment and clothing dollars get spent downtown. Maybe 95%.

A couple orders to stores in the UK or New York doesn't make much of a dent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnipegger View Post
I would have to agree with Grumpy old man, regarding the fact that "getting whatever you want online" destroys the entire argument about supporting "local" businesses. If you are really trying to help those local business' downtown, you would purchase solely from them.
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  #103  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2010, 3:06 AM
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^ with u on that poot but my online buying has been prity much lego stuff
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  #104  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2010, 4:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ajs View Post
^ with u on that poot but my online buying has been prity much lego stuff
As a huge Lego fan myself, mad props 1ajs...
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  #105  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2010, 5:14 AM
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i got more then that for props hehehe
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  #106  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2010, 2:16 PM
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Anybody see this great piece in Maclean's a couple of weeks ago?
***

Manitoba can’t get any respect
In an age of western co-operation, one province is left out in the cold

by Nancy Macdonald on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 4:01pm

Recently in Vancouver, Canada’s three westernmost governments signed yet another co-operative declaration. The “Declaration on Open Skies” calls for the removal of “unnecessary barriers” to open up access to “the three western provinces,” offering “direct, unfettered” transportation links—part of a broader western strategy to create a more open, competitive and efficient regional market. In what almost seemed an afterthought, Manitoba, rather than being offered a seat at the table, was sent the paperwork for review. This came hard on the heels of another new agreement aiming, according to a Saskatchewan government news release, to create the “largest barrier-free trade and investment market in Canada.” Here again, Manitoba, the only left-leaning government in the West, did not sign on—highlighting Manitoba’s growing exclusion from the western club, a troubling trend.

It’s not the only headache facing Manitoba’s newly minted premier, Greg Selinger. He was sworn in just three days before being slammed by warnings of bankruptcy and blackouts at Manitoba Hydro, a Crown corporation owned by the province. This fall, a New York consultant-turned-whistle-blower also alleged that mismanagement has cost the public utility $1 billion. Selinger isn’t just the premier handed this mess; he was also, for years, the minister responsible for Hydro.

The province’s debt load, meanwhile, is higher than when the NDP took office a decade ago. The West’s once-in-a-lifetime boom seems to be over—before Manitoba ever had a chance to cash in. As billions churned through B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, it alone was unaffected—the province the boom forgot. And now, amid unprecedented regional co-operation, the province, scolded by economists for its competitive disadvantage and too-beefy regulatory burdens, is increasingly out of step with its western neighbours, who are aligning policies and political strategies, even hosting joint cabinet meetings to better act as a bloc. This creates “huge risks” for Manitoba, including being “completely isolated from major markets and population centres,” says Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen.


Even Saskatchewan, Canada’s “breadbasket basket case,” and for generations Manitoba’s pathetic sister province, has roared to life. The province has undertaken the country’s most substantive tax reform in two decades, making it competitive with B.C. and Alberta, and luring new business and investment to Regina and Saskatoon, says Niels Veldhuis, senior economist at the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute. Tax reform and belt-tightening came simultaneous to the first flow of natural resource revenue: Saskatchewan has since socked away well over $1 billion in oil and potash wealth.

Manitoba’s problem, critics say, is not a paucity of opportunity; it may not have uranium or natural gas, but it boasts a diverse economy with agriculture, manufacturing, hydroelectricity and mining. Boeing’s new fleet of 787 Dreamliner airplanes was built in the Peg, as were B.C.’s new fuel cell buses. A year ago, southeastern Manitoba boasted the country’s lowest unemployment rate. But, of late, its biggest business “by far,” says David MacKinnon, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Halifax, is “getting money out of other Canadians via the federal government.” Almost 40 cents of every dollar Manitoba spends is being mailed in from Ottawa—which, he adds, can lead to curious decision-making. Even as the economic crisis hit in 2008, Manitoba’s nurses were awarded a 10 per cent wage increase over the previous year, making them among the highest paid in the country. B.C., which does not receive equalization, announced a $3-billion deficit for 2009 and health care cuts totalling $360 million. Manitoba—economic “la-la land,” according to one Saskatchewan minister—was, meanwhile, one of two provinces to announce a surplus.

Whether Manitoba will continue to be showered with record levels of transfers is unclear: Ontario and Alberta, which contribute 60 per cent of this funding, have each announced record deficits for the year—$25 billion and $7 billion, respectively. Even before the recession, Ontario had begun campaigning for a new deal, arguing it makes no sense that “have-not” Manitoba can put more teachers, doctors and nurses per capita on the public payroll.

On the face of it, Winnipeg looks better than it has in years, with a new airport and the spectacular new Manitoba Hydro building downtown. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has broken ground at the Forks, and University of Winnipeg chancellor Lloyd Axworthy is almost single-handedly remodelling west Portage Avenue with a string of campus expansions. But look closer—it’s a boom funded by the public purse. At a certain point, economists warn, growing government will crowd out private investment entirely.
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  #107  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2010, 3:38 PM
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I suppose it's all doom and gloom as per usual.

But really - are we supposed to underpay our government employees so that we can never fill positions and always face labour shortages? This article conveniently left out comparisons of Nurses wages to see where Manitoba is competing with wages in that profession. I'll bet it's pretty close to our 3 "economic" powerhouse neighbours to the west. But really, Isn't this what equalization is for, to equalize basic services across the country? If provinces paying into the equalization program don't like the wages we are paying our nurses, then why don't they examine their own wages to see why Manitoba needs to pay more to compete.

Really though, this argument of increasing government excess and spending on the backs of equalization is sort of a tricky scenario.

Would the equalization contributing provinces be any more happy if Manitoba slashed it's taxes across the board (relying of course on being topped up by equalization payments from Ottawa), potentially luring companies, jobs, headquarters, etc. away from their own cities to ours? I very much doubt it.

And it's a little funny that all of a sudden after a couple years of getting fat off of "en vogue" resources that Sask. is now some sort of economic powerhouse. Please.

You can follow the economic performance of our two neighbours to the west simply by looking at a line graph showing the value of a half dozen basic resources. You don't need a degree to do that, and there is no one that can convince me that people out west are any "smarter" economically than in Manitoba. They just happen to sit on a larger volume of more valuable resources than Manitoba. It's a simple as that.
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  #108  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2010, 6:37 PM
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Maclean's

[QUOTE=rgalston;4678336]Anybody see this great piece in Maclean's a couple of weeks ago?
***

Manitoba can’t get any respect
In an age of western co-operation, one province is left out in the cold

by Nancy Macdonald on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 4:01pm


Manitoba's nurses are not the highest paid nurses in the country. Several provinces pay their nurses more.
I wonder what else Maclean's got wrong.
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  #109  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2010, 8:57 PM
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^ further to that:

link

and this link

show that in fact Manitoba nurses all make less than BC/AB/SK, even after the 10% increase. If someone wants to get pissy about how much our nurses make, they should take it up with Alberta, because they are really skewing up the averages.
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  #110  
Old Posted May 2, 2010, 3:46 PM
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Lessons from Vancouver

Sorry to drag this thread back up from the dead, but there is a great article on Vancouver in the recent issue of The Walrus that sheds light on Winnipeg's "World Class" obsession.

You can read the entire article here.


I've clipped the section on Vancouver's own self-congratulatory-ness in the hopes that perhaps some Winnipeggers will see some similarities. The best line is "World class city? Its the world, not the city that gets to decide."

Written by Gary Stephen Ross.


THE WORLD-CLASS THING

Attention, gourmands: heard about our restaurants? Bon Appétit spoke of Vancouver’s “thriving Asian restaurant culture, possibly the most vibrant in North America.” Beppi Crosariol suggested in the Globe and Mail that Toronto may have been overtaken as the country’s dining capital. Pointedly bypassing Toronto and Montreal, culinary titans Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened their first Canadian rooms here. The hell-bent Gordon Ramsay has described Araxi, up the road in Whistler, as “the best restaurant in Canada.” And did you know that Pino Posteraro, chef and proprietor of Cioppino’s in Yaletown, got invited to cook at James Beard House in New York? When you consider the concentration of options, is Vanhattan really such a stretch? We’re world class, right?

“The world-class thing reminds me of Toronto in the ’80s,” says Anthony Perl, the silver-haired head of urban studies at Simon Fraser University. A New Yorker, he came to Vancouver four years ago by way of Harvard and the University of Toronto. “When people start saying that, alarms should go off in city planning and governance minds. They thought they’d invented the answer; if something was done in Toronto, it must be successful. We risk that here — our megaproject mania for highways, SkyTrains to UBC, stuff like that.” UBC president Stephen Toope has announced his intention to create a world-class university.

The food scene is invoked as the pudding in which to find world-class proof, and diverse influences certainly add depth to a cuisine blessed with wonderful local produce and seafood. Vij’s, off Granville Street, was referred to by the New York Times as “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world,” and critics who know Japanese food rank Tojo’s, on Broadway, up there with the best of them. From the rough-and-tumble seafood shack Go Fish, to the elegant refinement of West and C and db Bistro Moderne, to the profusion of first-rate Asian spots, there’s no doubting the richness of the culinary landscape; but the microscopic attention paid to it suggests, frankly, a dearth of more substantial topics.

Restaurant criticism here, as in many a burgeoning city, sometimes resembles professional cheerleading (in which, as editor-in-chief of Vancouver magazine, I can fairly be accused of participating) or, on the web, endless amateur nitpicking. So many people spend so much time deconstructing and photographing and blogging about what they put in their mouths that you’d think they were preparing for an exam. Dining has as much to do with fashion as food, of course, each place outdoing the last in lavishness (the plushly expensive Coast) or thrift (the minimum-security Campagnolo), the daily ebb and flow recorded and amplified for distribution by a small army of “experts” — bloggers, reviewers, oenophiles, free-ride artists, all of them one click away from the next BC wine tasting, small plates sampler, or media preview. Dining out is indeed a treat — excellent, diverse, reasonable. But in what world-class city would a chef’s departure from a restaurant make front page headlines, as Rob Feenie’s from Lumière did a couple of years ago? Or would you have trouble hailing a cab at 10:30 at night? Or would Presbyterian liquor laws endure into the twenty-first century?

The professional sports scene also gives the lie to Vancouver’s longed-for status. Consider the anguish occasioned by the Canucks’ failure to go deep in the NHL playoffs each year — compost for untold column inches and endless hours of talk radio. The team’s long-ago brushes with glory (they lost to the Islanders in the 1982 Stanley Cup final and to the Rangers in 1994), and the local reflex of invoking these as moments of sporting significance, serve as inverse reminders that we’ve lacked an NBA franchise since the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis in 2001, and that the nearest Major League Baseball game is a couple of hours down the road in Seattle. The NFL Seahawks remind us that we have only the CFL Lions. The junior hockey Giants and professional soccer Whitecaps do well enough, but we’re talking WHL and MLS here, acronyms that even a sports fan may take a moment to unpack.

Besides a full roster of major-league franchises, Vancouver lacks more basic indicators of civic heft and maturity. Until last summer, when the Canada Line opened, there was no direct public transit route from downtown to the airport. YVR serves up to arriving visitors a brief parody of Northwest Coast culture — Bill Reid sculptures, fake waterfalls, canned bird noises — before depositing them in the midst of unending construction. Pacific Central Station, too, is a tacky interface between this supposedly world-class city and the world. “For lots of train travellers, their first view of Vancouver is seeing people passed out in Thornton Park,” says Anthony Perl. “We should be presenting them with the face of our city; instead, we present them with a very different part of the anatomy.”

He rhymes off a list of shortcomings you won’t find in great cities: no downtown university with an adjoining student neighbourhood; no broad pedestrian promenade; no major civic square. A great city is a world unto itself, defying attempts to break it into its constituent elements. Berlin, Rome, New York: these are urban confabulations, memory vying with amnesia, civic magma bubbling and hardening under the weight of history. World-class city? It’s the world, not the city, that gets to decide. Penelope Chester, the daughter of a French publisher, studied in Paris and New York and Boston and travelled the planet before spending a year and a half in Vancouver working for an international NGO. Now based in Liberia, she liked Vancouver but noted that locals “have an exalted sense of their city’s standing in the world, without much experience of the world to support it.” If the “world-class” discussion teaches us nothing else, it confirms that such assessments — like claims of genius or insanity — are most reliably left to others.
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