Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Western Premiers meet in Winnipeg today

The Premiers of Canada’s Western provinces are in Winnipeg today for their annual meeting to discuss the economy, immigration, disaster relief compensation and bullying. The meeting began informally last night and is hosted by Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger. The meeting will wrap the a news conference at noon today. [CBC]

2. New strategy eyed for chronic wasting disease in SK, AB deer and elk

The fatal infectious disease known as chronic wasting disease that affects deer and elk is now so pronounced in Saskatchewan and Alberta that the federal government and some provinces are now concentrating on stopping the disease from spreading, rather than focusing on trying to eradicate it entirely. Ottawa unveiled a national strategy in 2005 to control the disease in the hopes of discovering how to eradicate it but scientists now say the more pressing challenge is the growing number of infected wild deer and elk in Saskatchewan and Alberta. No cases have been found in Manitoba. [Huffington Post]

3. RCMP creates tip line for off-road vehicle theft

Someone make off with your ATV in the night? The RCMP will open a tip line in Manitoba to help curb the province’s growing off-road vehicle theft trend. The number of reported off-road vehicle thefts, especially in the Interlake region, has risen rapidly over the last few months, according to the RCMP. [Winnipeg Free Press]

4. $500,000 donation to Winnipeg Zoo expands tiger enclosure

A $500,000 donation to the Winnipeg Zoo from James Cohen and Linda McGarva-Cohen will give the Amur tigers a much larger home when work begins this summer on a 26,000-square-foot enclosure that will connect to the existing 2,900-square-foot space tiger space. The $350,000 renovation will include a pond will incorporate existing trees for shade. The expansion is expected to be complete in the fall. [Winnipeg Free Press]

Around Canada:

5. Mayor of Montreal arrested

Montreal Interim Mayor Michael Applebaum was arrested this morning by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit and faces 14 charges including fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust, and corruption in municipal affairs. The charges come from alleged crimes related to real estate projects that Applebaum led between 2006 and 2011 in the city’s west end. Applebaum is Montreal’s first anglophone mayor in 100 years. [Huffington Post]