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Winnipeg may get the Lowe-down, Calgarians want to lose bike lanes, Edmonton’s hip to hemp, and Regina family fights for foreign feline  


Lowe’s moves to Winnipeg

Lowe’s is looking to build a new home in Winnipeg west of the new IKEA that is set to open November 28. These two stores are to be part of the Seasons of Tuxedo development.  The city’s administration is recommending the project be approved.

With the possibility of a Lowe’s opening up in Manitoba, Economist Phil Cyrene says it could help drive prices down. Although he adds that consumers shouldn’t expect to pay the same low U.S. they are used to seeing advertised as it costs more to operate a business north of the border.

It’s been speculated that Lowe’s may have a hidden agenda as they failed in a bid to buy its Canadian competition Rona earlier this year. Setting up shop in Winnipeg and putting pressure on Rona may urge them to want to sell in certain markets. While the proposal still sits before city hall Canadian shopper Dan Garroni hopes that theory never sees fruition.

“I like the fact that Rona is a Canadian company and keeping the money in Canada,” he said.



Calgary’s confusing bike lanes

A cycling infrastructure along Crowchild Trail SW is driving some of the same Calgarians that advocated for it, crazy. Both the Lakeview Community Association and the North Glenmore Park Community Association are asking city hall to immediately restore a section that was recently converted to bike lanes.

The 500-metre stretch of roadway, between 66th Avenue S.W. and the entrance to North Glenmore Park, had four driving lanes until two of those were turned into cycling lanes this summer. This stretch was originally proposed to improve safety along the narrow recreational pathway, for cyclists, dog walkers and parents pushing strollers by giving them more space. But she said people aren’t happy with the final product.

It may look fine on paper, but it’s not very functional,” says Amy Lonsberry, president of Lakeview Community Association “The intersection, in particular, is really ugly. It used to be a grand entrance to a beautiful park, and now it’s a confusing, ugly mess.”

Edmonton’s hip to hemp

Despite the hurdles because of its bad boy cousin marijuana, Edmonton’s small hemp industry is blowing up. Groups of farmers, scientists, health food experts, retailers and fashion designers are meeting in Edmonton later this week to celebrate hemp and discuss how to help products derived from the plant to blossom in world markets.

The production of hemp in this country is forecasted to nearly double by the year 2015 says Kim Shukla, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. “That will translate to about $100 million to the Canadian economy,” she said from her farm near Steinbach, Man. “Saskatchewan is by far the leading province, followed by Manitoba and Alberta.”

Filling food bowls rather than bong bowls is the main interest of Canadian hemp growers. The nutritious Omega 3 and 6 used in making breakfast cereals, pretzels, protein powders, salad dressings, and lactose-free milk are found a plenty in hemp. The plant’s fibre is a source in building supplies, paper and clothes, while its oil can be part of the makeup for certain cosmetics.

With so many good uses, it seems a shame for the growth of the misunderstood plant to go up in smoke.



Regina family wants to keep African serval as pet

Neighborhood dogs may want to pick their battles as one Regina family fights the Saskatchewan government to keep their pet, an African serval cat. The government is deeming the Shaheen family’s feline a public safety threat.

While serval cats are native to Africa, Kim Shaheen said he adopted Jagger from a breeder in British Columbia. He says he will move out of Saskatchewan before having to part with their family pet his family has become attached to over the past eight months.

The Saskatchewan government sent the Shaheen family a letter last week, saying the cat is prohibited in the province because serval cats are considered to be wild animals, and they therefore pose a threat to public safety and the environment. Jagger has been neutered, declawed and is registered with the City of Regina.

Lyle Saigeon, executive director of resource management and compliance with Saskatchewan’s fish and wildlife branch says We really need to have assurances that any animals brought into the province are not a concern in terms of public safety.  Shahhen says if the cat goes, then so does his family, probably to B.C. where serval cats are welcome.



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

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