Prairie Post

Prairie Daily

New technology helps Calgary commuters, Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival gets Twilight werewolf, Soccer talent form Edmonton’s championship team, and Saskatchewan farm income grows.

New Bluetooth technology helps in a jam

Motorists with built-in Bluetooth systems, or those who own gadgets like smartphones, tablets, or GPS systems will find the Deerfoot Trail easier to bare thanks to the “Travel Time Information System” the city’s transportation department unveiled on Monday. It is being publicized as a tool to fight against gridlock and distracted driving.

Peter Jacoby, a spokesman for the transportation department explains that sensors measure how long it will take to get from point A to B. The system uses an algorithm to filter out the lead footers and snaillike drivers. There are seven message boards on the side of the freeway from Airport Trail N.E to Barlow Trail S.E. where estimated travel times between checkpoints are posted. The system has cost the city $400,000 so far and they hope to get more funding from the provincial and federal governments to go forward.


 Chaske Spencer big draw for Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival

The 11th annual Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF) is sure to be a howling success with Chaske Spencer as one of the draws. Spencer plays alpha-male werewolf  Sam Uley who Twilight fans were introduced to in  2009’s New Moon. Twilight’s fifth and final installment Breaking Dawn Part 2 celebrated an opening weekend worth $340 million.

This year’s festival will be at downtown’s Garrick Theatre starting on Wednesday and will be showing films right through to Sunday. Spencer will star opposite Gil Birmingham in Shouting Secrets, WAFF’s opening night film. Chaske has also been asked to be a keynote speaker at the festival and will be talking to kids as part of a pre-festival education day. He will be joined by actress Tantoo Cardinal,  who has been in movies such as Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves and Smoke Signals starring Manitoba actor Adam Beach.

Colleen Rajotte, artistic director for WAFF says, “ Having a Twilight star has boosted the hype for the fest on Social Media, this is also the first year we’ve been able to have all of WAFF in one venue, everything from our workshops to screenings,” she says. “It’s pricey, but after 10 years, we’re at the point where we can afford to have the entire festival there.”

Shouting Secrets Trailer:


 Lindsay Kitson of Edmonton

Some Edmontoninans, since deciding to kick it elsewhere, have been doing quite well. Tennessee’s Cumberland Bulldogs are going to the NAIA women’s championship this week ,and five women and their coach Gavin McKinney are Edmonton born and bred.

McKinney who was raised in Sherwood Park, left in 2001 to pursue a career in recreation/sports management. After playing four years with Lambuth University and receiving his master degree he decided to further his coaching career and was named Bulldog’s head coach in 2010.

“The USA is one of the best soccer countries in the world on the women’s side, but for us, in Tennessee alone, there are over 20 college women’s soccer programs and a lot of big ones at that. So for me to get the best kids, the reality is that I have to look outside of Tennessee,” head coach Gavin McKinney said when reached by phone by Edmonton Journal, just as the team was making its way to the Sunshine State.

McKinney, whose dad is still a coach in Sherwood Park and works in Alberta Soccer, was able to send great high school talents his way like Edmonton’s Lindsay Kitson (an all conference goalkeeper with 13 shutouts this season) and Kaitlin Phillips who is the starting centreman.

The NAIA championship will be held in Orange Beach, Florida, where the Edmonton girls will be making their coach, and family and friends back home proud as they take on Oregon’s Concordia Cavaliers on Tuesday.



Incomes grow for Saskatchewan farmers

Crops aren’t the only the on the rise this past year for Saskatchewan farmers. According to numbers released on Monday by Statistics Canada, the province’s farm incomes have seen a big boost.

In 2011, Canadian farmers reached a net income of $5.8 billion, which was a $3.3 billion gain from the numbers of 2010. Of that increase, $2.1 billion or roughly 64% came from Saskatchewan. Alberta and Ontario saw the second largest increases while the Maritimes and Manitoba saw declines.

Total net income adjusts realized net income Realized net farm is said to be the difference between operating expenses and cash receipts minus depreciation. Sask Trends Monitor, Doug Elliot says he realized net income is better because it takes depreciation into account.

Gail-Ann Breeze of Statistics Canada’s agriculture division in Winnipeg attributes Saskatchewan success to the increased marketing and prices of 2011 crops, particularly in wheat and barely.



Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

For more follow us at: @spectatortrib