Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

Brandon-Souris remains conservative

Conservative Larry Maguire beat out Liberal Rolf Dinsdale in the Brandon-Souris byelection Monday by a paltry 391 votes: 12,205 to 11,814. The close race is being seen as telling of what is normally a tory stronghold. The comment, perhaps, is how strong these Tory forts are. Maguire attended two of four candidate debates and unleashed arguably distasteful attack ads against Dinsdale, yet was still able to eke out a win. Political scientist Royce Koop told CBC News the Conservatives should be embarrassed by the tight-margin win. The Conservatives should be embarrassed about much more than that these days, it’s safe to say. [Source: CBC]

Ted Falk wins Provencher riding, and Kyle Penner writes him an open letter

And now we shift attention to eastern Manitoba where another Tory stronghold voted in another Tory. Ted Falk took 58 per cent of the vote in a Provencher riding byelection Monday edging out Liberal Terry Hayward. “I want to thank my heavenly father and Jesus Christ, my saviour, for giving me this opportunity,” Falk told supporters during victory speech. Falk has been making headlines recently over the passive-aggressive accusation that gay teen Evan Wiens possibly staged his own bullying scenario in order to gain support for the controversial Bill 18, which passed into law September. This, in an area that largely equates Conservative politics with Christian values. Falk’s comments to Wiens prompted Steinbach pastor Kyle Penner to draft an open letter. Below is an excerpt from that letter. Follow link at the end of brief for full version:

“Ted, you marginalized an already marginalized kid, part of a demographic that is not getting a lot of love these days in Steinbach.  This fall, the furor over Bill 18 had subsided for the most part, and we were all moving on with our lives.  The news cameras were gone, the petitions were over, and Evan was trying to live a normal life, finishing grade 12.

And then you went and threw him under the bus.  You, a 53 year old married man who takes his grandkids on the campaign trail promoting family values, threw a high school student under the bus.  Unprovoked and out of the blue, no less.” [Source: CBC, CBC, and open letter]

Fish species lose protections as changes to Fisheries Act take effect

Canada has 71 freshwater fish species at risk of extinction. And, as of Monday, 80 per cent of those have lost legal protection. Changes to the Candian Fisheries Act took effect Monday, removing a significant amount of protections to fish caught as part of a commercial, recreational, or Aboriginal fishery. “It’s pretty clear that, overall, our aquatic habitat protection has taken a big hit, and is now less protected than it would be in the US or Europe,” John Post, a fisheries biologist and author of a study published in the journal Fisheries, told [Source: Nature]

Ron Burgundy, curling, and crafty PR

I don’t know how to put this, but this is kind of a big deal.  Curling tournament Roar of the Rings begins Dec. 1 at the MTS Centre, and Ron Burgundy will be there. Will Ferrell, acting as alter ego Ron Burgundy, has teamed up with TSN to provide analyses and, no doubt, sardonic coverage of a sport that is popular enough to surface at an Anchorman 2 PR brainstorming session, and small enough to ensure Burgundy will stay in the headlines. And, this, in a city that is popular enough to surface at an Anchorman 2 PR brainstorming session, and small enough to ensure Burgundy will stay in the headlines. Curling is important to the fabric of the Prairies. And Ron Burgundy is hilarious.  But the success of this pairing may trade on unbecoming assumptions about Winnipeg and the sport of curling. The tournament runs until Dec. 8. The winners of the Roar of the Rings will represent Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Punditry aside, the coverage will draw laughs.

“Marked by the gods of broadcasting and placed into this shimmering green sphere like a golden egg in hay, chosen like an unclean jackal by Noah himself, I accept your hallowed task and sing out with a battle cry worthy of your love and your wisdom. And that song is, ‘Winnipeg, get ready to paint the town Burgundy!'”  [Source: Freep]

This winter to be unpredictable

Winter is generally an unpredictable season, similar to how every season in Canada is unpredictable.  But Canadians should prepare for a manic winter Weather Network meteorologist Chris Scott says will be full of “a lot of ups and downs.” This prediction is largely based on the absence of El Nino and La Nina, two ocean-atmospheric phenomenons responsible for driving North American weather patterns. Scott calls these limbo periods La Nada, translated to mean the nothing.  “That’s a big part of our reasoning why there’s going to be a lot of extremes and how each month of the winter may have a very distinct personality — because of a fight that’s going on between the milder air from the south and the classic cold arctic air from the north,” Scott told news sources. [Source: Calgary Herald]


Toban Dyck wrote this.

Follow @tobandyck and @spectatortrib