TEDx Grand Forks chooses last two speakers

a j5mc report

Two more speakers were chosen to fill the bill at TEDx Grand Forks, following a vote of the audience at a pre-event spectacle at the Fire Hall Theatre in Grand Forks.  Barry Steigel will have a Cattle-inspired talk about life and entrepreneurship, and Tamara Galen will talk about challenging society’s views about what it means to be a successful woman.

Though billed as “Open Mic” night, the blizzard conditions up and down the Red River Valley kept two scheduled speakers away — and the event organizers provided neither a microphone, nor opened the opportunity to the near-100 attendees to stand up and make an extra pitch or two.  Still, the crowd seemed pleased by the event.

TEDx Grand Forks kicked off its ticket sales immediately after the event, with the line-up stretching the full length of the small venue.  The main event for TEDx Grand Forks will happen at the Empire Arts Centre on Friday, February 7, at 1pm.  Tickets are $100 for the general public, and $20 for students, while still available.

Tim Horton’s opens to crowds in Grand Forks

Grand Forks got a little more Canadian today, with Tim Horton’s opening up on 42nd Street directly across from the Canad Inns.  Now Forxites can buy coffee and donuts 24 hours a day without having to drive up to Winkler!

I stopped by for a quick double-double and a cruller earlier, and captured the oeuvre of opening day:  A long line-up, but a positive mood in the crowd!  Minor glitches cropped up under the heavy demand.  Canadian bankcards, which rely on the chip-and-PIN Interac Direct Payment system, aren’t yet being accepted properly.

Given everything that’s happening in the food industry across the United States, it’s worth noting where your Timmy’s staff is on the totem pole.  Although the prices for coffee and donuts are almost identical to the prices in Winnipeg, the wages Timmy’s pays its American workers aren’t.  Though every bit as friendly and hardworking as their counterparts across Manitoba, they earn 24% less.

Continue reading

Throne Speech sets tone for November sitting

The Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba delivered the Speech from the Throne to the Manitoba Legislature today, outlining the government’s objectives and recent successes.

The speech touted several positive steps for the environment, including hydroelectric development, and banning the use of coal for heating alone.  Also announced were additional protected areas for polar bears.

Cross-border issues were on display at several points.  Watershed issues were alluded to in the government’s plans to protect Lake Winnipeg; Manitoba opposes US country-of-origin requirements for Canadian meat products; and upgrades to Highways 10 and 75, key links with North Dakota, were highlighted.

The speech comes at a critical time for Manitoba’s NDP government, which recently raised the provincial sales tax without a required referendum.  The NDP intends to spend that money primarily on infrastructure.  The government reported progress in reducing the cost of government by amalgamating rural municipalities, and decreasing overhead in the civil service and health authorities.

The response so far is neutral to mixed, with municipal leaders in particular raising concerns about rural water and sewer needs, unaddressed in the speech.