Category Archives: Columns

It’s Better to Give: Jackman-Atkinson

It’s Better to Give: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Volunteers

NEEPAWA, Man. — What would our communities be like without volunteers? It’s a timely question to ask, especially since last week was National Volunteer Week. How would our lives be worse off without the 12.7 million Canadians who give their time?

Working for a newspaper, I feel like I have a front row seat to just how much work volunteers are doing in our communities. On almost every page of the paper, there’s evidence of those giving their time. Many of the stories we cover are about vital work being undertaken by individual volunteers and volunteer-run boards. Many of our ads are for events and initiatives put on by volunteers. We print thank you messages from those whose family members were helped and those whose lives were made a little more comfortable because of people who went out of their way to give their time. I’m always happy when we can share these stories.

Continue Reading

Advertisements

Jackman-Atkinson: Too Much Power in Politics?

Jackman-Atkinson: Too Much Power in Politics?

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Parliament Hill
The Peace Tower is seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 5, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Every four years or so, Canadians go to the polls to pick the representative they’ll send to Ottawa. Once there, voters expect their MPs will represent the constituency as part of either government or opposition. We’re usually happiest when our representative is part of the government, hoping they’ll be even more effective at taking care of our needs. The problem is that’s not entirely how it works in practice.

We elect an MP to serve us, but in effect, they serve the party. That’s because our parties are whipped, meaning that except for on rare occasions, representatives must vote with the party. This means that policy is effectively decided by the party leader and their, usually small, group of advisors.

Continue Reading

Federal Tax Credit Does Little to Spur Local News: Jackman-Atkinson

Federal Tax Credit Does Little to Spur Local News: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Editor, myWestman.ca

Newspaper

Last month, the release of the federal budget meant that details about the government’s support for the news media industry were unveiled. Despite the assertion that it would be something else, it looks like a program designed to benefit the country’s largest corporate newspaper chains.

The biggest part of the five-year, $600 million program is a 25 percent refundable tax credit for salary or wages paid to eligible newsroom employees. To be eligible, the organization must be a Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (QCJO), and this is where things start to get a bit sticky.

Continue Reading

Trending Videos

Defining ‘Agriculture:’ Jackman-Atkinson

Defining ‘Agriculture:’ Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Editor, myWestman.ca

Agriculture - Grain

NEEPAWA, Man. — What constitutes agriculture? I wondered that last week when a press release came across my desk. In April 2018, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) was launched to support the country’s agriculture and agri-foods sectors. It’s a $3 billion program, with $1 billion coming from the federal government and $2 billion to be cost-shared by federal, provincial and territorial governments.

The announcement of CAP was met with strong support from the country’s agricultural sector, which was eager to see a new program to replace Growing Forward II. It comes at an important time for the industry — every sector is facing challenges, such as environmental conditions, tariffs, rising costs and the opening or closing of markets. The program has three main goals: growing trade and expanding markets; advancing science, innovation and sustainable growth; and better reflecting the diversity of communities and securing public trust.

Continue Reading

Fuelling Frustration with Impending Carbon Tax: Jackman-Atkinson

Fuelling Frustration with Impending Carbon Tax: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Editor, myWestman.ca

Air - Carbon - Chimney

NEEPAWA, Man. — Like most tax-saving opportunities, the details are specific, a bit convoluted and hard to find. But as the days roll closer to April 1, when the federal carbon tax will be implemented, information is finally starting to trickle out about just what exemptions farmers will have, and how they can go about accessing them.

While the carbon tax proposed by the Manitoba government would have exempted all farm fuel, last fall, the provincial government announced that they would not follow the federal government’s directive to force Manitobans to pay a carbon tax. Manitoba joined the Saskatchewan government’s legal case challenging the constitutionality of the federal government imposing the tax. The five judges hearing the case have yet to make their decision, so starting April 1, the federal carbon tax will hit Manitobans.

Continue Reading

Shopping for Rural Opportunities Online: Jackman-Atkinson

Shopping for Rural Opportunities Online: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Editor, myWestman.ca

Online Shopping

NEEPAWA, Man. — After dramatically transforming one industry after another, the online revolution has come for the retail sector. The number of Canadians shopping online has been rising, which has led to great handwringing about what this means for the retail sector. You can’t blame them, we’ve all seen the impact the internet had on buying things like air travel and movie rentals.

Retail e-commerce has been rising and in 2018, it accounted for $18 billion of sales, or 2.9 percent of total retail sales in Canada. Interestingly, about one-quarter of those sales took place in the holiday shopping season. Less than 10 years ago, in 2010, Statistics Canada figures showed that Canadians placed about 114 million online orders, totalling $15.3 billion. These trends aren’t expected to turn around; by 2021, Canadian retail e-commerce is expected to rise to $29 billion. In the U.S., online shopping accounts for almost 10 percent of all retail sales and is forecast to reach 20 percent by 2025.

Continue Reading

Health Care, Right Around the Corner: Jackman-Atkinson

Health Care, Right Around the Corner: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Doctor

In communities across the province, Manitobans don’t have easy access to health care. Physician shortages have left many without a family doctor and ER closures have moved health care that’s accessible on short notice further down the highway.

Necessity is the mother of invention and shortages when it comes to finding family physicians have forced the government to re-evaluate the ways in which some health services are provided. Manitobans need to see a doctor for many potentially life-threatening conditions, but also for a lot of routine ones. Across the province, waiting rooms are clogged with people who need medical exams for insurance purposes, vaccinations, or prescriptions to treat common, but not life-threatening, ailments.

Continue Reading

‘Move Fast, Break Things’ Mentality a Danger for Big Tech: Jackman-Atkinson

‘Move Fast, Break Things’ Mentality a Danger for Big Tech: Jackman-Atkinson

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press

Facebook Logo
In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Richard Drew)

In the dystopian stories of the last half-century, everyone assumed it would be the machines that rose up and destroyed life as we know it. I own a robotic vacuum, I know that the future is a long way off. But what if our downfall will come from tech companies, run by everyday humans? I’m no Luddite, but increasingly, I feel that we have been thinking of technology companies all wrong — they’re not like us.

The digital revolution was driven by the mantra, “move fast and break things.” It’s this thinking that revolutionized absolutely everything. The move fast and break things philosophy works really well when you’re a scrappy start-up; fighting tooth and nail for customers, funding and space in a rapidly changing environment. It works when you’re launching new ideas or radically different ways of doing things. The problem is that this isn’t the case anymore. According to Forbes, in 2018, America’s 25 largest companies by market valuation included Apple (1); Microsoft (9), Google’s parent company, Alphabet (11); Amazon (16) and Facebook (22).

Continue Reading

logo