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Single Syrian Men Not Shut Out of Refugee Stream to Canada, Top Official Says

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Deborah Tunis
Deborah Tunis, Special Coordinator for Syrian Refugee Settlement for the Canadian government speaks to reporters at the Canadian Council for Refugees national consultation in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, November 26, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett)

HAMILTON – The federal government has not slammed the refugee door shut on single men who might want to come to Canada as part of its large Syrian resettlement program, the bureaucrat in charge of the effort said Thursday.

Instead, the government has made its priority helping the most vulnerable Syrians and its primary aim is to help complete families make the move, Deborah Tunis said.

Tunis disputed reports that single men would be excluded, citing a technical briefing from David Manicom, the assistant deputy minister with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

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Police Urge People to Have Fun But Stay Safe During Grey Cup

By Dave Baxter (@davebbbaxter)

Sister MacNamara Students - Grey Cup
Students from Sister MacNamara school got to hang out with Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ mascots Buzz and Boomer at the MacDon Fan Experience & Family Zone on Thursday, November 26, 2015. (DAVE BAXTER / CHRISD.CA)
Jason Michalyshen
Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Jason Michalyshen speaks to reporters at the MacDon Fan Experience & Family Zone at the University of Winnipeg on Thursday. (DAVE BAXTER / CHRISD.CA)

Winnipeg police want people to go out and have a good time during Grey Cup festivities this week, but they will be out in full force to make sure people stay safe and behave themselves.

“The Winnipeg Police are expecting big crowds at a lot of events and festivals,” said police spokesperson Jason Michalyshen, who spoke to the media at the MacDon Fan Experience & Family Zone at the University of Winnipeg on Thursday.

“And we want members of the public to know that we are present, we’re aware of the different festivities taking place, and we want to provide that reassurance.

“If anyone is ever in need of an officer or a cadet and they come across one of us on-hand, please approach us.”

The amount of police and cadets out on the streets leading up to Sunday’s Grey Cup game will be ramped up from what people would see on a typical week, said Michalyshen.

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Competition Bureau Calls for Relaxing of Taxi Rules in Face of Uber Competition

By Peter Henderson, The Canadian Press

A taxi driver protests Uber in Toronto on June 1, 2015. The Competition Bureau says local regulations on the taxi industry need to be overhauled to deal with new competition from alternatives like the ride-hailing service Uber. New competitors have gained market share by undercutting the fixed prices of existing cabs and skirting regulations for the industry. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

TORONTO – The federal Competition Bureau wants to let taxi companies be more like Uber.

In a report released Thursday, competition commissioner John Pecman said local and provincial governments should remove restrictions on the number of taxi licences they grant to drivers, allow people anywhere to hail rides from the curb and offer surge pricing, which Uber now uses to charge more at times when there is greater demand.

Canadians spent almost $1.2 billion on taxis last year. A report prepared by Ottawa’s local authorities in October found Uber prices average around 36 per cent less than a comparable cab fare.

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Manitoba to Welcome Up to 2,000 Syrian Refugees

Manitoba will welcome between 1,500-2,000 Syrian refugees to the province before the end of the year.

The first refugees will initially call Winnipeg home due to the housing and services readily available.

Manitoba Labour and Immigration, the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and other partner organizations are coordinating the efforts.

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Home Depot Partners with Organization to Fight Youth Homelessness

Macdonald Youth ServicesMacdonald Youth Services (MYS) has joined forces with The Home Depot Canada Foundation to raise funds for homeless youth in Winnipeg.

All five Home Depot stores in the city will participate in The Orange Door Project by selling paper doors for $2 each between December 1-6.

“The work that Macdonald Youth Services provides to Winnipeg’s homeless youth is invaluable,” said Amanda Cornelisse, manager of The Home Depot Canada Foundation.

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The Forks Unveils Winning Warming Huts, Introduces New ‘Winter Wind Derby’

Ice Maze
Ice Maze, designed by Andreas Mede, from Woodside, California, is one of three winning warming hut designs for 2016 at The Forks. (HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — A group of architects are celebrating their winning designs in The Forks’ warming huts competition for the upcoming year.

The best entries in Warming Huts v.2016: An Art + Architecture Completion on Ice were announced Thursday, as chosen by a blind jury.

Three winning huts were chosen, including Temple, designed by Kirill Bair and Daria Lisitsyna from Russia; Ice Maze, designed by Andreas Mede, from Woodside, California; and Shelterbelt, designed by Robert B Trempe Jr., from Lincoln, Nebraska.

“This year we saw over 160 entries from all across the globe including Estonia, Iran, India and Bangladesh,” said Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks Renewal Corporation. “The competition attracted fantastic designs and narrowing it down to the top three was difficult for the jury.”

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Tractor Stolen from Compound in Winnipeg

Front End Loader
Police are looking for this stolen front-end loader, taken from a locked compound on Peguis Street between November 20-22, 2015. (WPS / HANDOUT)

Winnipeg police are not-so-hot on the trail of a stolen front-end loader.

The 2012 Caterpillar 938H tractor was stolen from a locked compound in the 200 block of Peguis Street between November 20-22.

Police say the suspects managed to start the vehicle and drive it away.

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Prairie Police Forces Drop the Mic in Hilarious Rap Battle on Social Media

By The Canadian Press

Social Media
(Social media image via Shutterstock)

What’s a police department to do when the roads get icy and the drivin’ gets dicey?

Why, they get down with their funky selves and launch a rap battle!

That’s what happened this week when staff at the Kindersley RCMP detachment posted a reworked version of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” to their Facebook page.

The witty ditty warned drivers to take extra caution on the slick highways with lyrics like: “I rock winter tires like a toboggan; Put your seatbelt on so you don’t hit your noggin’.”

Not to be outdone, the Edmonton police department posted its own take on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

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17 Wing Performing Security Exercise

17 Wing CrestSecurity will be ramped up at 17 Wing Winnipeg as Canadian Armed Forces member perform a security exercise today and Friday.

Armed security checks will be carried out at the base’s main gate on Wihuri Road (Whytewold Road north of Ness) as well as at the gate off of Air Force Way (Sharp Boulevard, north of Ness Avenue) as well as security patrols and inspections.

The exercise will not impact traffic routes, but visitors to the base will be required to show valid ID and may have their vehicle and belongings searched. Visitors and employees may also be randomly selected for observation, as part of the exercise, and are asked to follow the directions of security personnel.

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CP Holiday Train Visiting Winnipeg December 4

CP Holiday Train
CP Holiday Train (CPR.CA)

The CP Holiday Train and its brightly-lit locomotive are rolling back on the rails through Winnipeg next week.

The train will reach Molson Street on Friday, December 4 at 9 p.m. between Panet Road and Munroe Avenue. Performers Devin Cuddy and Kelly Prescott will accompany the train, which is making its way across Canada and into the United States.

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Operation Red Nose