Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Winnipeg city council approves $10,000 rebate for condo purchases in the Exchange District

City councillors in Winnipeg voted 13-3 in favour of a $10,000 rebate in the form a forgiveable loan for people buying condos in the historic Exchange District neighbourhood or along Waterfront Drive. The plan exists as part of the Exchange Waterfront Neighbourhood Development Program, which will see $7.8 million injected into the neighbourhood in city and provincial property-tax revenues for safety improvements, foot patrols, new patios and retail planning. Of the total investment, $2.3 million of city property taxes will be set aside for qualified condo purchasers who will receive $10,000 toward their down payment. [Winnipeg Free Press]

2. Alberta MLA caught in prostitution scandal resigns from PC caucus after Monday arrest

Alberta MLA Mike Allen from the Fort McMurray-Wood-Buffalo riding has resigned from the Progressive Conservative caucus after he was arrested Monday night in St. Paul, Minnesota after responding to an online prostitution ad. Police allege Allen agreed to meet up with two women who were undercover officers and was one of 13 men arrested in the sting. No charges have been formally laid yet and the MLA will continue to sit in the legislature as an independent. [CTV]

3. Canadian embassy strike costing Canada $280 million in tourism revenue

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada estimates that the 1,000 foreign service workers that process visitor visas who are striking will cost the country $280 million in lost tourism revenue. The strike has affected people who wish to come into Canada as well as foreign students wanting to visit home who must now wait indefinitely for their student visas to be renewed. The workers have been on strike for three months and are demanding wages equal to what people in similar jobs earn in Canada. [CBC]

4. 2013 Grey Cup in Regina sells out four months in advance 

The Grey Cup Festival committee has announced all tickets for the 101st Grey Cup championship game in Regina are officially sold out as of today. The game, scheduled for November 24 at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium, will accommodate approximately 45,000 seats and sold-out following a 101-hour lottery to distribute 5,000 remaining tickets. [Metro]

5. Informal committee meets in Saskatoon to brainstorm Joni Mitchell exhibit

A group of concerned citizens in Saskatoon, including former Saskatchewan premier Lorne Calvert, met today to discuss ways of exhibiting material from Joni Mitchell’s early career that her mother kept in the city. Family friends of Mitchell’s say the singer is getting frustrated at Saskatoon’s inaction regarding the memorabilia and is considering moving the artifacts to another city. Lorne Calvert noted the failure of the Shania Twain Centre in Timmons, Ontario as an example of why they want to avoid a traditional “bricks-and-mortar” approach to the exhibit and are considering different options such as keeping the collection in university archives. [CBC]