Prairie Post

Prairie Daily

Winnipeg’s Pistols for Pixels, Calgary’s unfair student fare, Downtown Edmonton getting artsy, and Saskatoon’s British adventurer


 Winnipeg police/Henry’s gun amnesty program

 Don’t take your guns to town, son. But if you must, The Winnipeg Police and Henry’s have teamed up for a 30-day amnesty program, where gun owners can point, shoot, and make it memorable by trading in their guns for a digital camera certificate valued at $240.

The idea for the firearm exchange originated in 2008 when a gun-toting man robbed a Henry’s store in Toronto.  Halifax adopted a similar exchange in 2009, and Winnipeg followed suit. Any Winnipeg resident who turns in a working firearm during the month of November will qualify for the Pistols for Pixels initiative.  Gift cards of a smaller value will also be given for inoperable firearms, ammunition and other ballistics considered worthy by police.

The Pixels for Pistols campaign have already recovered 258 firearms, police say, smashing the total recovered in a 30-day 2010 amnesty program.

“So far, it’s been a great success,” WPS spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said. “We’re getting a lot of guns off the street.



 Calgary students can’t afford fare

 Missing the bus can often be a worry but affording costly bus passes is even a bigger problem for some school kids. This is the message Saila Davis will be bringing to Calgary city hall on Wednesday. Davis, the Grade 12 student that attends Dr. EP Scarlett is appealing to politicians to reduce fare of bus passes for families that struggle with the cost.

“Each month, for a single adolescent to get around Calgary by transit to go to school, sports, work and other activities, it costs their family $57.50. This can be very costly, especially for low-income families and families with more than one youth,” Davis said.

Davis is planning to bring her A-game when she presents her case to the city’s community and protective services committee, with a speech and video at her back.  At just 17 she is wise enough to know that students don’t have the luxury of working full time and that pricey passes can get in the way of money needed for clothing and food. Students shouldn’t have to make the choice between going to school and eating.

Davis says she’d like to see decision-makers reduce the cost of youth bus passes to no more than $40.



Old Hudson Bay building to become space for Edmonton artists

The City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta are teaming up for the love of their local artists. They are proposing to use the empty gallery space in the Enterprise Square building on Jasper as an art destination to promote local talent.

The cost for the city would be about $720,000 over the next three years to kick-start Enterprise Square Galleries. It would be a visual-arts hub that would offer free admission and should become self-sustaining as other revenue sources develop, the community services committee heard. The University of Alberta would kick in $1.2 million other organizations have also expressed an interest in contributing to the project.

“We cannot forget Jasper Avenue is of paramount importance to our city. We really need to give our artists full measure of opportunity to show their goods, their heart, in a very creative way, and this is a very special way,” says Mayor Stephen Mandel who knows, though it’s a tough budget to embrace, it is also a rare opportunity.

The Art Gallery of Alberta has already been using the building as a temporary gallery space, so it is already equipped to act as jumping off point for this project that will surely bring the art community into the heart of downtown.



Morris (“Two-Gun”) Cohen

Morris Cohen has been a lot of things: a British adventurer, boxer, pickpocket; he even ran off to the circus. But soon his statue may be standing in the City of Saskatoon. Cohen’s family sent him to live on a farm in Saskatoon when he was 18 in hopes that it would tame his wild ways.

While he continued to be a card shark, and con man, one day on the way to a Chinese restaurant in Saskatoon he managed to stop a robbery in progress. This began a strong relationship with the Chinese community and led to him becoming the personal bodyguard to the founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen.

The City of Saskatoon is in the process of developing a policy to approve statues and monuments and hope to have that in place by 2013. The city would not provide the funding so the interested Saskatoon group led by Art Mark would have to raise the funds, which could be as much as $300,000.

Cohen’s great-nephew, Jeremy Cooper, said the family has been excited to hear the news about a possible statue.



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

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