Monday, September 28, 2009

Swan Fall and Down to Two

Free Press photo of Swan and his supporters and withdrawal from the race

Now that Andrew Swan has stepped aside and supported Greg Selinger, it has turned into a dog fight between the Selinger and Steve Ashton.

The Free Press has tracked delegate support and says Selinger has the most as well as momentum. Still, Ashton continues to close the gap with some of the large ridings selecting his people.

Some seem to think that no matter what happens, the NDP will depart from the direction that Doer took. It seems that the fear in some quarters of the NDP is that Ashton will be the biggest change the party can make.

The leadership will be decided October 17. The results of the Probe Research poll said the NDP remain at 45% in support but this might not last. The poll was speculative as was the musing about a snap election. I don't know that we will get a full grasp of the NDP's selection of leader for a while. If they do go for a snap election, it may backfire on them as it would be a rejection of their fixed election date legislation.

The NDP will have some serious thinking to do about what their strategy should be following the leadership race.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kapyong Barracks Part 2

Kapyong Barracks

Google Map of the Kapyong Barracks site alone Kenaston

The court case for the Kapyong Barracks continues.

Federal lawyers have argued that First Nations were offered a crack at bidding for the land but didn't and now want the land given to them. The First Nations say they tried to communicate with the Feds and they didn't respond. Perhaps the truth lies in between.

The court has asked the First Nations to argue why they have a claim to this land in particular. Under the Treaty Land Entitlement, First Nations can make a bid or ask to be given federal Surplus Lands. So far, it looks like the First Nations do not wish to bid on the land with money they have already received to do this but would rather be given this land free.

The court is likely to reject that outright as the TLE clearly states that a bid might be part of the process. There is no way that a court is going to unilaterally pick one option over the other without negotiation.

The federal government has said they have the want to designate Kapyong as Strategic Land. This would have automatically transferred the land to agency Canada Lands where companies could bid to develop it. Even at this time, First Nations have the opportunity to bid on the land to turn it into a reserve.

As long as the First Nations believe the land should simply be turned over to them with no offer on it, there will be a dispute. At some point, if the court decides that enough consultation has taken place, Kapyong will transfer to Canada Lands. However, this could very well be a very long time in court figuring it all out.

The land has fallen in value but remains an area many are interested in given that Ikea is going up just down the block.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NDP Leadership Race

The Manitoba NDP leadership race is on. The date for the convention is October 17.

The deadline for signing new members is September 17. The new legislative session starts September 14.

So far there are three viable candidates who have announced. They are Andrew Swan, Steve Ashton and Greg Selinger.

Of all the candidates, Selinger has probably the greatest advantage as one of the most senior ministers. After that, Swan with the generational change has strength. Ashton can say he is the most experienced of the candidates.

At the moment, it looks like Selinger has lined up the most supporters followed by Swan.

One sad note is the fact that no women have joined the race. I wonder why this is so.

So far we have not heard too much of the vision and policies the leadership candidates espouse. We'll see if anyone breaks away from the risk adverse policies of Gary Doer.

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