Friday, December 31, 2010

My Biggest Sources of Traffic: URLs



These were more biggest sources of traffic listed by URLs in 2010:

Referring URLs

http://endlessspin.blogspot.com/

2,399

http://anybody-want-a-peanut.blogspot.com/

609

http://www.winnipeglovehate.com/

560

http://slurpeesandmurder.blogspot.com/

439

http://onemancommittee.blogspot.com/

215

http://westenddumplings.blogspot.com/

215

http://progressivewinnipeg.blogspot.com/

214

http://www.endlessspin.blogspot.com/

211

http://waverleywest.blogspot.com/

70

http://www.google.ca/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=John+Dobbin&aq=f&aqi=g7g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

70

Even now, Endless Spin Cycle remains a huge source of traffic.

hit counter javascript

My Biggest Posts of 2010



It is sometimes amazing what ends up as being the most viewed posts on this blog:

Martha Stewart Gets Too Close To Polar Bear
Nov 6, 2010, 2 comments

1,066 Pageviews

Week after week and into its second month, this little parody of Martha Stewart's visit to Churchill, Manitoba gets the most visits.

Menards Coming To Winnipeg - Sort Of
Nov 24, 2010, 2 comments

745 Pageviews

The interest in Menard's store and Winnipeg is intense. The day they decide to open a store in Winnipeg will likely cause hysteria. Cats will fall out of trees and dogs will turn rabid in the mouth.

Black and White Police Cars
Jul 5, 2010, 1 comment

532 Pageviews

Thoughts on black and white police cars and the choice of the Winnipeg Police on the their new design drew world-wide attention. Who knew that black and white police cars were so popular?

Great Canadian Talk Show Ended... Shock
Nov 8, 2010, 2 comments

426 Pageviews

Think many people were a little stunned when The Great Canadian Talk Show was cancelled. Public affairs radio is a little bit lesser today for it.

Adrenaline Adventures To Open In Headingley
Nov 28, 2010, 2 comments

353 Pageviews

I think initially there was not a lot of recognition for how well this recreation venue would be regarded. It hasn't even been open a week and I get visits to hear more about it.

Fun Questions for the candidates for Charleswood-T...
Jul 16, 2010

232 Pageviews

Not sure why this post gets hit so many times even after the election. I think it may be how Google displays certain pages when someone looks for the blog. During the election though I tried to focus on Charleswood as much as possible. In the end, it was one of the closest ward races all night.

New York Times Manitoba Immigration Article
Nov 14, 2010

208 Pageviews

There was quite a bit of interest in this New York Time article when it came out on Manitoba immigration.

The Great Canadian Talk Show - National Post Story...
Nov 17, 2010

184 Pageviews

More interest in The Great Canadian Talk Show and the National Post article that revealed additional information.

Menards - Deliveries to Winnipeg
Dec 6, 2010

179 Pageviews

I received many questions about Menard's and their deliveries to Winnipeg. I actually called Grand Forks and got this information.

Corner Cars
Jul 15, 2010

176 Pageviews

There was some interest in this story from the States about corner cars and how people were giving up car ownership in exchange for car access in some cities.

It is hard to say what will be the most viewed posts for 2011. I suspect the provincial election might have a few posts. However, it is often the unexpected post that has the most interest.

hit counter javascript

Man in a Blizzard



See the short movie filmed in New York City on December 26 that Roger Ebert says should win the Oscar for best live short.

On his website, Ebert writes that Stuart's film deserves to win the Academy Awards for best live-action short subject. Why does he think it deserves to win? "(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage," he writes. "It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent classic, 'Man With a Movie Camera.' (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency."


hit counter javascript

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fab 94.3 On The Air



It started on December 26 with the switch from Christmas music to tunes from the 1960s and 1970s. Curve 94.3 became Fab 94 and in another switcheroo BOB FM and the new FAB 94.3 have traded morning DJs.

Beau, Tom and Frazier will return to their old haunts on the dial at 94.3. The former Curve 94.3 morning team of Jay and Andrea will take over the BOB show.

For people who like oldies, Fab 94.3 will probably be welcomed. Still, it seems a big risk to grow the audience with this format. As for Beau, Tom and Frazier, they must feel like yo-yos bouncing around. There is a lot riding on them turning the ship around. They were transferred to BOB to do the same thing in terms of growing their morning audience. However, this time it isn't quite clear that the oldies format will grow beyond what the previous station might have been getting.

Most can remember the various formats that 99 FM went through before settling on the homegrown BOB format. That original change was copied around North America.

I have listened to Fab 94.3 a few times. It isn't bad but it won't resonate with a lot of people looking for something new and different than Hot 103.

It will be interesting to see the next ratings period and how the changes rank.

hit counter javascript

More Spending on Human Rights Museum


I'm a bit surprised that this has gone by without notice by more people.

The NDP Premier Greg Selinger has indicated that the Human Rights Museum at The Forks may be in line for more provincial money. Well, of course it is. No one ever locked down the costs of this thing going up and it seems no matter what the cost, it will be covered.

Many in Manitoba have already been very generous in donating privately and everyone else in Manitoba has donated through their taxes. However, the costs always seem to be a moving target. Selinger has asked private donors to dig deeper but has acknowledged the government will have to pick up the slack.

There are so many of these critical spending projects that the NDP government has committed to, it is starting to look like they will never get a handle on the deficit.

The museum might one day be a very good place to visit but how long will it take Manitobans take to pay for this and other projects?

It seems something is lost in having a human rights museum of renown when the place that hosts it struggles to get a handle on the borrowing that took to build it.

The museum has faced a lot of criticism as of late but one of the biggest sticking points is that the costs seem to be in flux at all times. Ultimately, the museum is a federal institution but so much of the costs of the place are being borne by the Manitoba taxpayer.

hit counter javascript

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

List Time - Blogs



Here are the blogs that made a difference in Manitoba over the last year.

First, let me mention the two that have been discontinued: Endless Spin Cycle and Waverley West stopped publishing. More sadly, they pulled all their archives.

I have a few other blogs on my blogroll that have not had new entries for over a year. A few only published a handful of times this year. I will be switching those blogs to just a listing of Winnipeg blogs if they remain inactive.

So let's get down the blogs that have been great this year.

West End Dumplings

An always entertaining and informative blog on the west end and elsewhere in the city of Winnipeg. Be sure to check out the sister blogs of the original: This Was Manitoba, Winnipeg Downtown Places and Winnipeg General Strike.

Progressive Winnipeg

Great coverage of the civic election and the issues of active transportation. Good coverage in terms of international issues as well.

Policing, Politics and Public Policy

Former Deputy Chief of Winnipeg Police and a blog that sheds new light on civic and police issues in Winnipeg.

The View from Seven

Well researched and thought out discussions on a wide range of issues from a Winnipegger.

One Man Committee

A great way to find out about Winnipeg with a fair assessment of what is going on and some thoughts on urban issues in general. A great place to start and work your way out from for Winnipeg blogs.

State of the City

An insiders view of civic issues and the willingness to discuss, critique and sometimes shout to the heavens about policy issues for urbanites.

A Day In The Hood

And on the street perspective of the North End from a resident who shows things as they are.

Winnipeg... one great city (or so they tell me)

Thoughts from someone who takes the city and some of the people in it to task.


Anybody Want A Peanut


Some great work on numbers that the media should have looked at in recent reporting. Overall interesting blog.

The Black Rod

The opinionated and in your face blog with no opportunity to comment.

The Great Canadian Talk Show

The companion blog to The Great Canadian Talk Show and the place to look for their podcasts.

Blackberry Addicts

The return of an old blog. They don't seem to like the PCs and their leader.

Reed Solomon

Often finding the overlooked stories in Winnipeg sometimes from a tech perspective.

The Rise and Sprawl

One of the first blogs in town to comment on urban issues.

The Crime Scene

CBC's James Turner gives a peek at the crime scene in Winnipeg.

96° 48' 35" From the Centre

Hope to see more of this blog as the provincial election approaches.

Policy Frog

Veteran blogger that has been far too quiet as of late.

Things That Need To Be Said

A closer look at politics and other issues from this blog. More, please.

Slurpees and Murder

Always good to see a post from this blog.

Heart of the Continent

Been enjoying this blog on urban design, policy and the architecture.

+++

There have been a few partisan political blogs that I have listed in my blogroll. In recent months there has been a proliferation of NDP supporters writing in support for their party.

The above blogs are a great way to get to know Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg. I find them as important as any newspapers, TV or or radio broadcast as to insight on local affairs.

Some really great stuff.

hit counter javascript

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Open Season on Pedestrians



In the last number of days pedestrians are probably wondering if someone has not printed a target on their backs and declared open season on them.

I have no idea of the circumstances of all the car/pedestrians collisions in the last days. The police themselves have said that pedestrians need be mindful of cars but if we get right down to it, many drivers still drive too fast, are distracted and often display a lack of courtesy as well as a lack of knowledge when it comes to following the written and unwritten rules of the road.


Turn signals are not optional
.

Headlights when there are blustery conditions with flying snow is not just a good idea, it can possibly save your life or someone else's.

Let traffic merge one car at a time when someone is stalled in a lane. Don't act like a donkey and squeeze people out thinking it is a game of "win or lose."

Stop swerving from lane to lane. You just end up at the same traffic signal of the grandma you thought you left in the dust.

Know who has the right of way when pulling up to a stop sign, yield or on a street that has parked cars. Yield does not mean merge. If cars are parked on the same side you are driving on, don't try to hog the center line and cause oncoming traffic to have to scream to a halt.

And lastly:

Watch for pedestrians. In all likelihood, you will probably be one at some point if you walk from your car to work, home or grocery store. Imagine how much it would suck if someone ran you over.

As for pedestrians:

Assume that every car out there can end your life. Act accordingly.

hit counter javascript

Sunday, December 26, 2010

List Time - Sports and Recreation


Here are the top sports and recreation stories of 2010.

1. Adrenaline Adventures opens in December without one penny of government money and people enjoy snow tubing and in the future will enjoy wakeboarding.

2. The Chipman family with a large dollop of their own money and government money open their MTS Iceplex in Headlingley. Sports fans and moms and dads applaud.

3. Jonathan Toews wins a Stanley Cup in the NHL and then brings it home for a parade in July.

4. LPGA Golf played at the St. Charles Country Club. Best players in the world to watch right in the neighbourhood.

5. 2010 BDO Classic Canadian Open has curling giants of the world playing in January.

6. Winnipeg Goldeyes switch from Northern League to the American Association. They renew rivalries with some of old teams such as St. Paul who fled years earlier.

7. Mike Keane is finally retired as a pro player from the Manitoba Moose but becomes a key person in a high performance hockey training facility called The Rink.

8. The Phoenix Coyotes continue on with another owner in the desert of Arizona after a marathon Glendale council session. Winnipeg continues to wait in the wings as a potential owner with a ready rink and ownership group.

9. The Blue Bombers and the various levels of government minus David Asper announce the final stadium plans at the University of Manitoba.

10. The Under 17 World Hockey championships begin in Winnipeg December of this year and into January for the 2011 championship. They do it all over again next year in 2012. The first city ever to host it two years in a row.

hit counter javascript

Saturday, December 25, 2010

List Time - Arts, Culture and Entertainment



Here is a list of what I thought were major achievements in arts, culture and entertainment this year.

1. The Winnipeg Art Gallery announced a major expansion of their gallery. Not only is the art gallery an architectural treasure but it is the foremost exhibitors of Inuit art. It has been a good year for the gallery with an amazing painting donated, some great exhibits and now the expansion.

2. Le Cercle Molière’s new théâtre opened in October. Canada's oldest theatre on Provencher Boulevard gets the street presence that it richly deserves and the venue to continues presenting French plays and culture.

3. Plug-In Art Gallery and the University of Winnipeg get together for a major presence of a well know gallery onto Portage Avenue and and a continued expansion of the university eastward to downtown.

4. Astron 6, a moviemaking collective from Winnipeg markets itself in Toronto and lands a film deal for Father's Day, a horror film put together by famed studio Troma of Toxic Avenger fame. Look for these guys for more films over the years.

5. Manitoba Theatre Centre get a royal designation from Queen Elizabeth. The continued strong showing year after year for Canada's first regional theatre deserves a salute.

6. Manitoba Museum wins international award for Beneath the Seas and hosts a retrospective of Manitoba rock, country, folk and French language music in Alloway Hall.

7. The Great Canadian Talk Show is cancelled by Kick FM at the behest of Red River College. The timing after the civic election is suspect.

8. Oldies rock station is killed on CFRW and becomes 1290 Sports Radio, the second time in a number of years sports radio tries to make a go of it in Winnipeg. Not to be outdone, Curve 94 FM kills their alt-pop music format and goes oldies as Fab 94.

9. Bachman and Turner go back on the road. Randy Bachman and Fred Turner might not be in overdrive but they are back to making rock music on tour across Canada.

10. ITV Brandon goes off the air. After the death of CKX in Brandon, it looked like the only alternative to the print media was ITV Brandon. Now it too has gone off the air.

hit counter javascript

Adrenaline Adventures - Open December 26



Adrenaline Adventures is open Boxing Day for snow tubing. The hours are 10 am to 9 pm.

It looks like a great addition to the Winnipeg winter recreation for this winter.

hit counter javascript

Merry Christmas!



It has always been sort of a magical time. The fact that it gets dark so quickly and Christmas light are on everywhere add to that magic.

The warmer but still snowy weather saw more people outside and all over were people with gift bags tucked into the hands.

It has always been a family time for people in Manitoba marked by dinners and present openings and all manner of activity. While not everyone celebrates Christmas for its religious significance, many do share in its good cheer.

It really is the best time to live in Winnipeg and Manitoba.

hit counter javascript

Thursday, December 23, 2010

List Time - Top Manitoba Books



Here are the top books about Manitoba for 2010.

1. Coming of Age: 
A History of the Jewish People of Manitoba by Alan Levine. The definitive book on Jewish people in the province.

2. Winnipeg's Great War: A City Comes of Age by Jim Blanchard. Looking at explosive period from 1914 to 1919 in Winnipeg history.

3. Manitoba Politics And Government: Issues, Institutions, Traditions by Paul G. Thomas (Editor), Curtis Brown (Editor) Various contributions on political issues of Manitoba.

4. Winnipeg Love Hate by Bryan Scott The famous pictures of Bryan Scott in a book.

5. Manitoba Premiers of the 19th and 20th Centuries Barry Ferguson (Editor), Robert Wardhaugh (Editor) The story about the men who have served as premier of Manitoba.

6. Tales from the Back Room: Memoirs of a Political Insider by Michael Decter A high profile Winnipeg operative of the NDP reveals all.

7. Manitoba Wild by Bill Stilwell The story about some of Manitoba's unfamiliar or unknown charms in the wilderness.

8. Tales from the Underworld and Other Stories by Roland Penner & Norm Larsen Quirky stories about Manitoba.

9. Extraordinary Canadians Louis Riel And Gabriel Dumont by Joseph Boyden Riel and Dumont as seen by a Metis writer.

10. Just Common Sense: The Life and Times of George Taylor Richardson by Tim Higgins An inside look at one of the richest families in Winnipeg.

hit counter javascript

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

List Time - Top Manitoba Business Stories



It is list time again. In 2010, there were a few Manitoba business stories of note and a few business people and families of note.

Here they are in order of what I thought were the top business items.

1. Canwest Global, the TV and newspaper comes to an end. Izzy Asper might have found a way to survive but the company he founded went bankrupt and was sold to Shaw and Postmedia.

2. The Richardson family continues to build their business and the current president Hartley Richardson is ranked at number 13 on wealthiest Canadians by Canadian Business. Expect the family to survive to the next generation as well. They have shown an ability to successfully manage the family operation for much of Winnipeg's history.

3. Exchange Income Corporation buys Bearskin Airlines. In a few short years this company has amassed an airline industry with its hub in Winnipeg. A business to watch for sure.

4. 4 Play Sports Bar opens on Portage Avenue. This is now the largest sports bar in western Canada and is a huge improvement on the night club that was only open a few nights a week. Over $2 million has been spent on the facility and it is a good attraction across from the MTS Centre.

5. The MTS Exhibition Hall. Another amazing Portage Avenue addition from the Chipman family. Not content to just own the Moose and the MTS Centre, the family is bringing attractions such as Bodies and Titanic to the city.

6. Hecla Island Resort collapses. A huge amount of private and public money are sunk in to the hotel again. The private owner has an idea to sink more money into making it viable but the province resists and the failure is epic.

7. The housing boom in Manitoba continues to chug along. The low mortgage rates, better economy and growing population contribute to new and existing house sales records. Renovations of existing houses abound in a way not seen in recent city history.

8. Tribal Councils Investment Group of Manitoba Ltd. continues to grow into a First Nations business empire from Asian restaurants to beverage companies to trucking companies. The biggest contribution this business can do is help to create working opportunities and profits for its shareholders.

9. Manitoba government cuts small business tax to zero. Business now eyes payroll tax and school tax.

10. Manitoba Hydro's massive mega projects. It isn't just the west side diversion of bipole III but a host of endeavours that will cost a lot of money. The decisions made now will be paid for years to come. The lack of transparency and political interference could make it very expensive.

hit counter javascript

Santa Stops By



hit counter javascript

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Provincial Political Polls



A series of year end polls have shown the Progressive Conservatives continue to place first in polling. The NDP are in second and the the Liberals are in third.

The Liberal support has risen slightly. It is the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives numbers that have moved in different directions.

Women seem to be changing their vote. Much like how women gave the Progressive Conservatives the thumbs down on bringing back the Jets, women are not that enthusiastic about the big money bringing a stadium to the University of Manitoba. In short, it is not an issue that moves them. I have no idea how the NDP can sell the deal but it is hard to buy for those who place higher value on other issues. As for men who might like a stadium, it is the costs and lack of any private backers like was seen on the MTS Centre that is suspending the huge cheers and possible support that might come from the project.

Greg Selinger knows that he can't afford to reveals the number being paid to David Asper and Creswin Properties and won't. Not very transparent and not likely to earn kudos from people for open government.

The Blue Bombers are on the hook to pay for a lot of the stadium. To do that, they will have to raise prices on every item beyond what some NDP blue collar supporters will find comfortable. Even their beer will be a premium price. Moreover, as long as the Bombers owe money to the province, the team cannot be bought by anyone.

As for the hydro project of bipole III, the costs remain nebulous and the reasons for running down the west side of the province hard to rationalize when the province is thinking of running a road up the east side. Hard to say one is better than the other environmentally when you don't even have an independent assessment done.

This time the PC support isn't a sudden wellspring from having a new leader. It has been steady growth over months and from the public having a chance to see Greg Selinger. There are no coattails for the NDP that they can ride on like they did with Gary Doer.

Can the NDP turn things around? Sure. It would help to have an economy on fire and a deficit that was being pared down to nothing. However, even then people will judge on the future. If they don't feel that the government looks to get a handle on spending or its priorities, they will drift away. For want of something different, they will look to a party that represents "change."

Voter fatigue is a real event in Manitoba. Most parties are done after 10 years in favour of someone else.

The PCs could still blow the election and do something dumb. Liberal votes could collapse by half. This would benefit the NDP. However, the NDP will have to do more than run a negative campaign and unleash their unofficial attacks on forums and blogs.

People are looking for change and that will require some innovative thinking and offering some vision.

hit counter javascript

Sunday, December 19, 2010

3680 Roblin Boulevard - Kenaston Village Mall



3680 Roblin Boulevard, the old location of First Glance Aesthetic Clinic at Roblin



The small location of First Glance Aesthetic Clinic at Roblin



The old location of Giselle's is now First Glance Aesthetic Clinic

Giselle's at the Kenaston Village Mall closed over a year ago. The large space remained closed for some time. In the last year, they have seen the re-location of a plastic surgeon's clinic from 3680 Robin Boulevard.

The First Glance Aesthetic Clinic was grouped with a number medical and surgical practices in the old Charleswood area.

The old location in Charleswood was fairly small for three doctors and a host of other professional staff. The new location is a fairly posh.







The clinic has massage therapy as well although the vast majority of the services listed are cosmetic work done by specialists.

It is likely that this expansion and location on a major route close to wealthier neighbourhoods will do a lot of business. Unlike Giselle's, the clinic is probably going to have less problem with the rent increase than the day spa did.

hit counter javascript

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kildonan Place Flash Mob



Best video of it from ChrisD.ca

hit counter javascript

Champs Kentucky Fried Chicken, Grubee's and Mother Tucker's Food Experience



From the Winnipeg Tribune Collection

The date is either 1957 or 1958 depending on who you ask but Champs Food Systems came into existence with a drive-in in the North End. Oscar Grubert, a young lawyer at the time secured the franchise for a fast rising restaurant chain called Kentucky Fried Chicken.

For over two decades thereafter, Kentucky Fried Chicken was known locally as Champ's.

In the years after, Oscar Grubert established a few other restaurant chains. For a time in the 1970s a restaurant named Grubee's existed in a number of locations. It was a burger joint where you could put your own condiments on the burger. While Grubee's didn't last into the next decade, Grubert created a few other restaurants that did. Mother Tucker's Food Experience lasted for many years in the downtown and was a favourite for those celebrating a birthday. Today, Mother Tucker's continues to operate in Ontario.

In the 1980s, Grubert formed a partnership with sports legend Tommy Lasorda and created a rib and pasta restaurant named Tommy Lasorda Ribs.

At present, I am searching for another information and anecdotes about Champs, Oscar Grubert and the various restaurant entities.

hit counter javascript

Winter Driving Conditions - New Terms



The new colour coded map of winter road conditions and terminology

The Manitoba NDP government has now created a new standard for terms and colours pertaining to Manitoba winter road conditions.

To help figure things out, here is a tutorial.

Black: Manitobans like their roads black, like their Presidents.

Yellow: Manitobans know this to be roads partly covered by bathroom stops but mostly you have to run off to the side of the road to take a pee. Be careful. It can be slippery.

White: Manitobans know this to be covered. If you spit out the window, it will freeze before it hits the ground.

Red: Manitobans know this to be closed. But it also can mean you have been driving on the river.

Orange: Manitobans know this to be construction. However, it means that ten years of NDP government means a lot of broken down roads.

Pink: Manitobans know this mean caution. This can mean that there is either a cancer fundraiser or a gay pride festival ahead.

Black and Yellow: Manitobans know this means fair visibility. However, be aware of a swarm of bees affecting what you see.

White and Black: Manitobans know this to mean poor visibility. This is usually the result of rubber necking to look at police cars and hitting the car in front of you.

hit counter javascript

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Guys Burgers and Fries - Winnipeg



President Barack Obama's Favourite Burger Joint.

Back in November of 2009, the National Post reported that Canada was going to see a big opening of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant chain in Canada. Medicine Hat, Alberta was the first to get a location and in February of this year, Brandon, Manitoba got their first location. Grand Forks, North Dakota is shown to be next in terms of openings near Winnipeg.

Back in May of 2009, NBC News showed President Obama buying burgers for his staff. In various reviews, the burgers Five Guys Burgers have generally been outstanding.

In September of this year, the Foodforu website reported that Winnipeg was due to get two locations. I held off on mentioning it but once again, I see a report that Winnipeg is going to get a number of locations.

The first is said to be on Kenaston Boulevard near Rona, with another on Portage Avenue. A third location will likely come up in Kildonan Crossing, between Lagimodiere Boulevard and Panet Road.


The Foodforu website described the burgers as such:

It's a Burger place with a twist, you pay for the burger and the condiments such as mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, relish, onion, jalapeno peppers, green pepper, A-1 sauce, BBQ sauce, or hot sauce are all free so load your burger with some or all. Then you can order either regular fries, or cajun fries, the quantities are large so be prepared.


There is nothing on the Five Guys Burgers saying when the restaurants will open but reports are that it will be in February.

I suppose this is a case of where Brandon, Manitoba can say "we got it first."

The selection of condiments to add to the burger reminds me of Grubee's in Winnipeg in the 1970s. Anyone remember that chain?

As far as Five Guys Burgers go, you can say Obama sent you.

hit counter javascript

The Life of Former Premier Sterling Lyon



Former Premier Sterling Lyon died yesterday after a short illness. He had a long history of public service to Manitoba including 16 years on the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

Lyon came from the right contingent of the Progressive Conservative party and rose to leader in 1975. The jury is still out on Hugh McFayden but by most reckoning, Lyon was the last from the right to command the PCs. When he won in 1977, it was more about fatigue with the NDP government of Edward Schreyer than an endorsement of a return of a time that existed before Duff Roblin.

The free enterprise laissez-faire approach of Sterling Lyon ran smack into the reality of a recession that hit Manitoba particularly hard. Large manufacturers such as Swift's and Canada Packer went under during their watch. The Winnipeg Tribune also collapsed. Thousands of Manitobans were out of work and an exodus of people to the more recession proof energy provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta accelerated. Most embarrassing for the Progressive Conservatives was that their restraint program still produced a huge a deficit and didn't produce a big economic turn around.

To make matters worse, Sterling Lyon was engaged in important but distracting national meetings on the Constitution. While Lyon was able to get the "not withstanding" clause added to the document, he did so while away from his province at a critical time economically. The pugnacious attitude of Lyon during this time certainly had its critics. Still, in 1981, the PCs led in the polls that is until Lyon referred to women as "good breeders."

The "Don't Stop Us Now" campaign slogan for the PCs was in reference to some of the megaprojects they planned to build Manitoba but for many people, the slogan felt like further brutal cuts were pending. Liberal support in Manitoba collapsed and this proved to be the boost the NDP needed to push Howard Pawley's party into power.

Lyon was tossed from power after one term. It would be the last time a right of center faction member of the PCs would lead the party till this day.

There is no doubt that the Sterling Lyon was a committed Manitoban. His time spent on the Constitutional file helped assert that elected legislatures had a final authority over the Charter.

Lyon's departure and the return of the NDP emphasized an urban, rural and northern divide. Nowadays elections are fought over only a few key ridings.

The Progressive Conservatives, always strong in rural areas, realized that they needed to focus on Winnipeg. And to do that usually entailed looking for more progressive and urban members of the PCs.

The years that Lyon spent as a judge were certainly less controversial than those spent in elected office. By all accounts, he was a hard working and respected member of the judiciary.

The latter few years of his life were marked by the ill affects of a car accident suffered years earlier. When he passed away, he was surrounded by his large and extended family.

hit counter javascript

Hollister Open December 18



The Free Press seems mystified who announced that Hollister was opening December 16. A tourist site is blamed for many people showing up at Polo Park only to be greeted by Hollister greeters. However, it was the Free Press themselves that said it was open on December 16.

So, Dudes and Bettys, the actual day to see the best video of Huntington Beach surfers is Saturday, December 18. Expect the mall to be crazy for weeks at this store.

hit counter javascript

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Accident at Kenaston and Sterling Lyon



I just said on Tuesday that the chances of traffic accidents at Kenaston and Sterling Lyon were very high.

In the Free Press today:

Driving conditions in the city this morning are slippery and caution is advised.

Many roads are bare but there are icy spots in a number of junctions and one accident on Sterling Lyon Parkway at Kenaston Blvd. has already been reported this morning due to slick pavement.



The area remains dangerous. I expect more accidents here.

hit counter javascript

The Great Canadian Talk Show - Winnipeg Sun



Marty Gold's first column is in the Winnipeg Sun today. For the blogger world, it will be a review of Assiniboine Avenue fiasco but for many others it will be the first detailed look at what happened there and continues to happen.

The Winnipeg Sun appears to thinking about a weekly column. In one fell swoop this is helpful in covering civic issues and with luck, provincial issues.

Looking forward to seeing more columns in the weeks and months ahead.

hit counter javascript