Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

School’s back on in B.C., tentatively

The B.C. Teachers Federation has reached a deal, albeit a tentative one, with the provincial government, according to the union’s Twitter feed Tuesday morning. No further details have been released. This deal, however it may look now, comes a few days after the both parties agreed to acquire the services of veteran mediator Vince Ready, who, by name alone, should star in Canadian-based TV show called The Mediator. The dispute hinged largely on issues of wages, benefits, etc. The task of reopening the province’s 60 school districts is the next hurdle, as some classrooms and schools were closed and haven’t been maintained since the strike began. [Source: Globe and Mail]

More food, increased access: things are still bad, but getting better

The world’s farmers produce 700 calories more per person than the 2,100 calories recommended by the World Food Programme. We’re sitting on enough plants and animals to more than feed each of the world’s 7.2-billion people. The challenge is access. And this has always been the case. But that, too, is improving, according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report released Tuesday. The trajectory may be in the right direction, but 805-million people are still without enough to eat. “The problem is getting smaller,” Josef Schmidhuber, an economist with the FAO who compiled part of the report, told National Geographic. “It’s good news, but we have always had a more ambitious target. Once you bring every region up to production, future advances really need to come from access. And access is more challenging to solve.” [Source: National Geographic]

Self-rule and amnesty under new law in Ukraine 

Regions of eastern Ukraine, currently controlled by rebels, have been granted self-rule, according to a new law adopted by parliament that is in keeping with the ceasefire agreement signed on Sept. 5 by President Petro Poroshenko. Fighters in the area have also been granted amnesty, according to the same law.  And parliaments in Ukraine and Europe have voted to ratify a “historic” EU-Ukraine agreement. This agreement lies at the centre of the conflict. When Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign it last November, he was eventually forced out of power by the protests that erupted. The conflict has displaced hundred of thousands of people and has taken over 3,000 lives since it began. [Source: BBC]

Harper addresses violence against Aboriginal women 

The Harper government says its newly-released plan to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls includes such measures as community safety, both on an off reserve, and campaigns to end intergenerational cycled of abuse and violence. Kellie Leitch, Labour Minister and Minister for the Status of Women, made the announcement. The federal government’s latest budget put aside $25-milion to address this issus, $8.6-million of which has been allocated to community safety. Though the money earmarked shows some commitment, MP Niki Ashton and many others want the government to setup a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. “The government has a responsibility to help end the violence against indigenous women,” she said. [Source: Globe and Mail]

Housing prices in Regina buck national trend

Housing prices in Regina are bucking the national trend in all the wrong ways. Prices are falling. Last month, the average home price fell 5.6 per cent. Nationally, the average home price increased by 5.3 per cent. “What’s really changed over the past year is on the supply side. (Listings) are at 20-year highs,” Gord Archibald, executive officer of the Association of Regina Realtors, told the Regina Leader-Post. “There’s more supply on the market, so that’s slowed down the velocity of the market.’’ Archibald said there were 1,433 listings at the end of August, and only 644 during the same period in 2012. Regina was one of six communities across Canada to log a decline. [Source: Regina Leader-Post]


Toban Dyck is not from Regina, but wants you to care about its housing prices. It’s the Prairies, and in some way we are all in this togeher, banjo bowl and labour day classic notwithstanding. Hey, I’m on Twitter @tobandyck

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