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VIDEO: Sights and Sounds from Festival du Voyageur

The 47th edition of Festival du Voyageur is in full swing for another year. The party got started on Friday night with the traditional torch light walk from The Forks to St. Boniface. An opening ceremony with fireworks officially opened the largest winter festival in western Canada for the next 10 days.

Watch highlights below from Saturday afternoon at Voyageur Park:

Festival du Voyageur runs until February 21. Visit for more information. video

Extreme Cold Gripping Parts of Central, Eastern Canada This Weekend

By The Canadian Press

Steam rises from Lake Ontario in front of the skyline during extreme cold weather in Toronto on Saturday, February 13, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch)

A bitter cold is gripping parts of central and eastern Canada today as temperatures dip to -45 C with the wind chill in some areas.

Environment Canada has issued extreme cold warnings for provinces from Manitoba to New Brunswick.

The national weather forecaster says temperatures could fall to -45 C in Ottawa today with the wind chill, warming up to -35 C overnight.

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Maurice Praises Play of Jets Rookie Goalie, But Says Team is Happy to Get Pavelec Back

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

Ondrej Pavelec
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, right, makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs’ Leo Komarov during second period NHL hockey action, in Toronto, on Nov. 4, 2015. Jets coach Paul Maurice confirms goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will get into a game soon, but wouldn’t say if it would be Saturday night’s game against rookie phenom Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

WINNIPEG – Ondrej Pavelec has the green light to get back in net for the Winnipeg Jets, which means a demotion for rookie workhorse Connor Hellebuyck.

Head coach Paul Maurice announced after Friday’s practice that Pavelec was coming off the injured-reserve list and Hellebuyck, who has played the bulk of Winnipeg’s games since Pavelec went down, was being reassigned to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

Pavelec, who missed 33 games with a knee injury, will play during the first two or three games of Winnipeg’s upcoming four-game road trip, Maurice said, but he wouldn’t designate his starter for Saturday’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers.

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Over-Policing Canada’s Marijuana: Currie

By Roger Currie

Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference with Mayor Gregor Robertson at City Hall in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday December 17, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, marijuana clones are monitored inside the “Vegetative Room” at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Seth Perlman)

Justin Trudeau has been our Prime Minister for just over 100 days. He is still being given an amazing amount of slack by what’s left of the media when it comes to the promises he made last year, and what has and has not happened with them.

In the grand scheme of things, the promise he should worry about least was the pledge to legalize marijuana. It may have won him a surprisingly huge number of votes in October, but it should be way down his list of priorities. However, police forces across Canada seem to making it up as they go along when it comes to enforcing the old laws dealing with pot smoking.

When motorists are routinely stopped by the police, the last thing the officers seem to be worried about is the joint that might be in the ashtray, but if you try to grow weed and sell it, it’s a different story. This past week in Winnipeg, the cops shut down a grow operation. They seized 338 plants, with an estimated street value of $378,000. A man and a woman were arrested, and they were immediately released on a promise to appear.

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Canada Should Implement Prison-Based Needle and Syringe Programs: Researchers

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Proponents of prison-based needle and syringe programs say the Liberal government should implement measures to address rates of HIV and hepatitis C estimated to be 10 to 30 times higher than in the general population.

Emily van der Meulen of Ryerson University, lead author of a recent study, says she hopes the government will review evidence on the effectiveness of programs that have operated in Switzerland for more than 20 years.

She says the issue is about both health and human rights.

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Manitoba Political Ad Goes Under Microscope for Fact-Check

By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – In the lead-up to the April 19 Manitoba election, The Canadian Press is running a series of stories called Ad-Curracy, in which we look at the facts behind claims made in political advertisements. This instalment focuses on an advertisement by the NDP, hosted on the party’s YouTube channel:

The ad:

The 15-second video depicts text messages between two unidentified people who are discussing Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister. One asks the other: “Didn’t he call women whiny, bitchy, feeble-minded and fight against a women’s (sic) right to choose?” The other responds: “I thought they were the ‘progressive’ conservatives.”

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What’s Open and Closed on Louis Riel Day

Louis Riel Grave
Louis Riel’s grave site in St. Boniface (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA FILE)

With Monday, February 15 being a provincial holiday, here’s what open, closed or operating on a reduced schedule for Louis Riel Day.

Shopping Centres
Kildonan Place — Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
St. Vital Centre — Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cadillac Fairview — Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Manitoba Liquor Marts
All Liquor Marts in Winnipeg and Brandon will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for the cityplace Liquor Mart, which will be closed all day.
In addition to cityplace, Liquor Marts located in Roblin, Winkler, Churchill, Steinbach, Pine Falls and Carman will be closed on Louis Riel Day.

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Police Warn of Taxation Telephone Scam

Winnipeg Police CrestWinnipeg police want to warn the public about a taxation scam as Canadians prepare to file their 2015 taxes.

The telephone scam begins with the caller stating they are from Taxation Canada and a large sum of money is owed in taxes. Victims are asked to make payment in the form of gift cards to clear up the fictitious outstanding amount.

Police say the commercial crime unit has been notified and for the public to discuss the scam with their elderly family members.

The public is encouraged not to engage with the callers or send payment.

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North American Energy Ministers Sign Agreement to Share Data on Clean Energy

By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Jim Carr
Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG – Canada, the United States and Mexico have agreed to share information, maps and clean-energy innovations — a step toward a continental energy strategy that would include lower emissions and greater energy security.

Energy ministers from the three countries met for a day in Winnipeg and said they are making progress toward greater co-operation. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz cited the new Liberal government in Canada, along with energy reforms in Mexico, as being part of a “revived relationship.”

“The trilateral relationship certainly is not missing a beat. If anything, I think it is accelerating even more with the very strong Canadian commitment in the areas of energy, environment and innovation,” he said Friday.

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LA Metro Exercises Option with New Flyer for 350 Buses

New Flyer IndustriesLos Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority has exercised its contract options with Winnipeg-based New Flyer for another 350 buses.

The agreement for the heavy-duty 40-foot compressed natural gas buses is valued at approximately $180 million U.S. The option stems from an original contract with LA Metro in 2013.

New Flyer says it expects to deliver the buses by the end of the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016.

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