Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Winnipeg reaches agreement with province on Phase 2 of rapid transit funding

After three years of negotiations, the City of Winnipeg and the province have agreed to a $600-million plan to fund the second phase of rapid transit in Winnipeg. The respective levels of government will contribute $225 million each to extend the city’s dedicated bus corridor from Jubilee Avenue to the University of Manitoba’s campus in Fort Garry, while the remaining $150 million will be funded by Ottawa. The Southwest Transitway is slated for completion by 2019 and will continue west over Pembina Highway, extend into an undeveloped track of land in Fort Garry and then jog back to Pembina to follow a CN line to the University of Manitoba. The city’s first phase of rapid transit was completed in 2012 at a cost of $138 million. [Winnipeg Free Press]

2. Regina installs 33 security cameras in preparation for Sunday’s Grey Cup

Organizers of the 101st Grey Cup in Regina have installed 33 cameras in and around party areas including Victoria Park,  Scarth Street and inside festival tents. The video feed will be monitored at three separate posts throughout the city. According to the head of IT and communications for the event, the video will only be used if it’s needed in prosecuting a crime. [CBC]

3. Plan for beautification fence along Winnipeg’s airport route shelved

A $7-million initiative by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to install a decorative fence along two blocks of Route 90, near the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, has been tabled by city council with no direction on how to move forward with the proposal. The plan includes a nine-foot high fence with lighting, landscaping and banners promoting Winnipeg that would be erected behind the back yards of residents of Queen Street. [Winnipeg Free Press]

4. $6 million libel suit against Mayor Nenshi would be unprecedented if awarded

A defamation lawsuit filed last week against Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi by Cal Wenzel would be unprecedented in Canadian defamation law if awarded. The suburban home builder who’s suing Nenshi seeks $6 million in damages to his reputation after Nenshi publicly uttered “malicious falsehoods” against Wenzel. Quoted in the Calgary Herald, lawyer Julian Porter, an authority on Canadian defamation matters, said that rulings over $250,000 for a single libel case are in the top 10 per cent in Canada. [Calgary Herald]

5. Researcher from University of Manitoba wins 2013 Prix Galien Canada Research Award

Dr. Frank Plummer will be presented with the Prix Galien Canada Research award today in Montreal for his renowned research regarding the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. According to officials at U of M, the Prix Galien is the most prestigious award in Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation. Plummer leads the Kenya AIDS Control Program, established by the Universities of Manitoba and Nairobi. [Winnipeg Free Press]

Palmer tweets occasionally at @palmerfritschy