Tag Archives: Manitoba

Have the Liberals Passed the Point of No Return

Chantal Hebert asks some hard questions about the future of the Liberal Party

Moving from east to west the NDP has pushed back the frontiers of its territory in every region of the country over the past decade. More often than not it has done so at Liberal expense.

In the early 90s, the NDP had little presence in Atlantic Canada. But today the New Democrats are well on the way to become a force to contend with in every province of the region except P.E.I.

They make up the government in Nova Scotia. On Tuesday they came within one seat of beating the Liberals to the title of official opposition in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Quebec, the federal NDP has gone from one seat to 59 over the span of a single decade.

The Liberals under Jean Chrétien used to sweep Ontario throughout the ’90s. Last May, the NDP elected twice as many MPs as the Liberals in Canada’s largest province.

In the Prairies, the Liberal party is virtually extinct.

Out of 254 federal and provincial seats in the three provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Liberals currently hold 12.

Only two of those are federal seats and personal popularity has more to do with the survival of a lone federal Liberal flag-bearer in Saskatchewan and Manitoba last May than party brand.

The same is true in Quebec where most of the seven Liberal survivors of the federal election — MPs like Marc Garneau, Stéphane Dion, Denis Coderre, Irwin Cotler and Justin Trudeau — owe their survival to who they are (or who they have been).

Watching the receding Liberal tide, one can reasonably wonder whether the party as a major national presence has reached the point of no return.

The current Liberal establishment — rooted as it is in Ontario and somewhat blinded by its proximity to Queen’s Park — will swear that it is not so.

To shore up their faith in a brighter future for their party, diehard federal Liberals point to the leadership travails of the NDP and the resilience of their provincial cousins in Ontario.

There was a time not so long ago when the federal Tories drank the same bathwater.

They too clung to their party’s hold on provincial capitals such as Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto as proof positive of their own inevitable triumph over the Reform/Alliance.

Not to shine on Hebert’s rainy parade but the federal Tories changes, adapted, and merged and became… the federal Tories and the last time I checked, were in power nationally.  The Liberals may or may not do the same thing but they are not in the same boat as the Progressive Conservatives, even if they are in a rut right now.  Will they survive?  Not sure but did anyone see Peter McKay and Stephen Harper in power after the disastrous 1993 campaign? 

Atlanta to Winnipeg

Ever since Winnipeg decided to build the MTS Centre to only hold just over 15,000 people, I have questioned whether they would ever get a NHL team back.  Well it appears they will but the question remains, will it be sustainable in the smallest hockey arena in the league.  The Boston Globe doesn’t think so.

All of which is to say that Manitoba has the kind of open space and passing lanes that could turn even Dennis Wideman into a Norris Trophy candidate. If the NHL is going to land there again, the initial pop will be enthralling, intoxicating. Returning an NHL team to that bit of Canadian soil would be like bringing Paragon Park back to Hull. Initially, everyone and his cousin would rush to the rink.

Until the L’s piled up.

Until Winnipegers realized the sticker shock of $120 lower-bowl seats and $250 suite seats (extra for the handwarmers).

Until American TV interests made it clear that they would prefer to air senior women’s bocce tournaments out of Biloxi to anything happening in Winnipeg. Shortsighted, perhaps, but there is a reason TV is referred to as the small screen.

For all Winnipeg has to offer, in terms of city size and sheer love for everything connected to the vulcanized rubber and carbon stick industry, it remains a real stretch for big-time hockey.

As for stadium size, The MTS Centre (15,015) is smaller than Rexall Place (16,839) by over 1000 seats and is over 6000 seats smaller than many new arenas.  It’s even smaller than the old Winnipeg Arena (although it does have luxury boxes and other revenue streams that it does not).  There also is the question of corporate sponsorship.  While Winnipeg is home to an impressive amount of crown corporations, is there the corporate money to keep paying for the boxes and paying top dollar for sponsorship money?

I think it is going to be tight.  Winnipeg doesn’t have the wealth that Edmonton does and even the Oilers have struggled at times to fill Rexall Place (which is still a great place to watch hockey – not the Oilers but a good hockey team) and the Flames had a hard time filling the Saddledome this year.  I am not talking about the 2011 season but in 2017, things could be a lot tougher than people want to think about.  Oh well, they can always move to Kansas City. via

St. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg

St. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in WinnipegSt. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg

The shell of the old St. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In November 1, 1818, Father Joseph-Norbert Provencher built on this site a small log chapel which he dedicated to Saint Boniface, the English missionary monk and apostle, who spread the Catholic faith among the Germanic tribes in the 8th century. Saint Boniface, the first permanent mission west of the Great Lakes, became the heart of Roman Catholic missionary activity extending to the Pacific and Arctic coasts, as well as serving the growing population of the Red River Settlement.

Five cathedrals have stood on this beautiful location. In 1832, Bishop Provencher erected a cathedral surmounted by twin spires, and in 1862 a stone cathedral was built under the direction of Bishop Taché. On August 15, 1906, Archbishop Langevin blessed the cornerstone of what became one of the most imposing churches in Western Canada. It was designed by the Montreal architectural firm of Marchand and Haskell. This structure, the best example of French Romanesque architecture in Manitoba, was ravaged by fire on July 22, 1968.

Louis Riel, together with many of the West’s first Catholic settlers, key figures and missionaries, is buried here in Western Canada’s oldest Catholic cemetery.

The Lost Canadians

A border dispute with the United States means that there is a community of Manitobans that are now Minnesotans.  The good news is that they now have a home province state NHL franchise.

Dietzler, sixty-seven, is one of about a hundred year-round residents of the Northwest Angle and Islands, a 302-square-kilometre US exclave unwittingly created by the comically unwieldy Article II of the 1818 treaty. Some years later, when a survey team led by English Canadian explorer David Thompson eventually located Franklin’s northwesternmost point of the lake and surveyed the fix specified in the new document, it was found to intersect other bays of the lake, cutting off a Malta-sized chunk of US territory. The anomaly is easily found on a map: simply follow the forty-ninth parallel from west to east, and you’ll see a small upward jut, “the chimney of Minnesota,” just before the border begins to wobble off its 2,300-kilometre perpendicular course.

With Ontario to the north, Manitoba to the west, and open water to the south and east, the Angle enjoys the distinction of being the northernmost point of the contiguous forty-eight states, the only part of the continental US north of the forty-ninth parallel, and one of only four non-island locations in the lower forty-eight not directly connected by land within the country. But the Angle’s superb walleye fishing, rather than its curious location, is what sustains the local economy. It was an enduring threat to this livelihood from Ontario that spurred Dietzler and a small handful of others to explore the idea of seceding from the Union and joining Canada. The notion quickly grew beyond fanciful bar talk, and within a few months it was introduced as a bill in the US House of Representatives, supposedly prompting a miffed Bill Clinton to place an urgent call to Jean Chrétien.

Equating murder with breakfast

This ad is being run in Manitoba right now

PETA advertisement

Say what you want about PETA but this is not the way to change minds in Western Canada. Did they take a moment to think about the victim’s family and what they’re going through right now before running this ad?  For an organization that touts compassion for and sanctity of life they have surely abandoned all of that in how they have treated the family of this murder.

Of course this just gets sadder for the family with the Phelps family/"church" deciding to protest his funeral.  From the National Post.

Earlier this week, the Westboro Baptist Church – an organization branded as a hate group and infamous for protesting the funerals of slain U.S. soldiers – announced they would picket Mr. McLean’s funeral to let Canadians know that his decapitation was God’s response to Canadian policies enabling abortion, homosexuality and adultery.

Canada turned them away at the border.