Archive for the ‘Bullshit Winnipeg’ Category

No Virginia -part deux

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics, Stupid Losers on November 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

One of the more public disasters that occurred was an all candidates forum hosted by an NDP affiliated group called the Point Douglas Residents Committee.

First, let’s give you, the reader, a bit of background on this group. They have received some media attention over the past couple of years for their valiant attempts to wrest their neighbourhood from the grip of local criminal gangs. Including a very nice visit from the Governor General.

Point Douglas is known as one of the more neglected areas of Winnipeg. As such, lots of poverty and heartache up and down every street. I remember when I drove a school bus for Winnipeg 1, we had to bus all the kids to school regardless of the short walk due to all the available dangers.

In an effort to capitalize on the neverending drama of such a high crime neighbourhood, the NDP parachuted in agent provocateur, Sel Burrows. He started the Point Douglas Residents Committee and used it to set up a volunteer run anti-crime thingy called “Powerline”. The idea is that if you see a crime, or have a suspicious neighbour, you call one of the volunteers from the Powerline. Then that person calls the next person and so on and so forth until someone finally calls Sel Burrows. Then he makes a few calls of his own and eventually, the suspicious neighbour is evicted from their home and Point Douglas is saved.

We figured it would probably make sense for Jenny to at least meet this Sel Burrows. So she hopped in her shiny new Cadillac and went to pick Sel up at his house in Point Douglas. Sel, sporting a black eye (no doubt a result of some heroic Powerline activities) recommended a local restaurant and that’s where they went. As soon as they walked in, the owners smiled and said, “Jenny!”. During this coffee date, Sel told Jenny that he grew up in the affluent River Heights area and became heavily involved with the NDP during his University days and has been some kind of NDP operative ever since. Jenny told him that while it was very noble of him to be slumming in the Point, he should keep in mind that she had spent a good chunk of her childhood there and that she was not slumming because it was her hood. Anyway, at the end, Sel said “you’ll get no trouble from me”. And we didn’t.

By the time the civic election rolled around, the PDRC had an internal mutiny and Sel stepped down for whatever reason. As a result, the PDRC was under the control of several locals who all refer to themselves as chairs, co-chairs or directors of this organization. Messy.

In the summertime on one of the multitude of doorknocking adventures, Jenny happened to meet a woman Roanna Hepburn, who also claimed to be the chair of the PDRC. That day, Roanna was very friendly and said that she was so impressed with Jenny that she would do whatever it took to get her elected. Wow! Thanks! That’s so sweet!

After Jenny made her debut on live radio with Marty Gold, we ran into Roanna again at the Park Dedication ceremony at Norquay Community Centre. Roanna asked her about the comment Jenny had made on Marty’s show about Sam Katz winning her vote by default. Jenny and Roanna talked about this and shortly after, we received a written quote from Rowena to use along with a picture of the two of them together for our pink brochure. This doesn’t matter yet, but it will become important later on. (trust me)

The day that we sent the brochure to press, we received a panic phone call from Roanna. She apologized up and down, but said she was too scared to publicly endorse Jenny due the the NDP affiliation of her group, the PDRC. We assured her that we understood perfectly and stopped the presses. No hard feelings.

Back to our story.

Over the course of the summer of 2010, there were many rumours swirling around that the PDRC was planning a public debate of some kind. At one point a message was left at our office from someone named Chris at the PDRC. We mistakenly thought that it was a man named Chris DeSouza, who had been in to our office before and had told us that he had at one time been part of the PDRC. At any rate, I returned the call, but got a machine and left a message. I called back several times, but never did connect with anyone at that office, so around mid-September, we emailed them a request for an invitation to their event. When no one got back to us, we dropped it and made no further plans to attend.


On September 27th, there was an ad in the Winnipeg Free Press and we had gotten word that the event was to be some kind of staged attack on Jenny’s background and credibility. So quite naturally, we fired off an email to them expressing how insulted we were at not being invited to their so-called “All Candidate’s Forum”. (which I cc’d to all the press) Someone named Chris Mc Carville, director of the PDRC, then hit “reply all” and sent us back a nasty, all caps response assuring us and the media that they would inform the voters of Mynarski “exactly” why Jenny was “too scared” to be there.

We went and so did all the press.

A kind of hush fell over the room when we entered. Awkward.

Having not received an invitation to participate, Jenny sat in the audience with the team. Roanna came over and insisted that Jenny take a place at the head table next to Ross Eadie.

Since there were not enough microphones, everyone had to share. So when it was Ross’s turn, Jenny tried to assist him with showing him where the mic was. He is blind after all and Jenny is very nice. Ross pushed it away, and said he didn’t need it. Then he stood up and rather yelled instead. Much classier.

Ross carried on in this manner throughout the event, waving his arms about and spitting as he yelled passionately about voting for “JUDY WASYLYCIA_LEIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
and what have you. Even while he was quietly waiting to speak, Ross’s legs were going a mile a minute. Very fidgetey. He reminded me of “Crazy Legs” from SCTV.

Poor Jenny kept moving her chair further and further away from him so as not to get hit by Ross. All in all, this was a pretty hostile environment if you had to be Jenny. Luckily, the PDRC turned out to be a bunch of sissies and chickened out of discrediting or attacking for the most part.

Ms. Martin came over and introduced herself to me and my sister during this break. She said that she had just been assigned by her boss, Bartley Kives, to cover Mynarski Ward that very day and was not familiar with all the details and wondered if we would be free to meet with her in the next few days. Of course we agreed.

It got pretty boring, so most of the reporters went home at the intermission, leaving Melissa Martin of the Winnipeg Free Press as the lone reporter covering the second half of the forum. For awhile, it was so boring, that Jenny focused her efforts on trying to catch a tiny fly that kept buzzing around.

Eventually, it got exciting again. Ross Eadie, felt that it would be smart to stand up and interrupt another candidate very loudly. At that point, the moderator made several attempts to get Mr. Eadie to stop ‘talking’ and sit down. Mr.Eadie carried on at the top of his lungs about how difficult it was to find donors to mount his campaign and that he was receiving financial support from the NDP. At that point the moderator, mild mannered Rob Galston stormed out of the room. It was all too much.

I can tell you that I was not the only audience member who was both shocked and stunned. According to the election rules for the City of Winnipeg, receiving financial support from a political party is totally illegal. A public statement like that would surely spark an investigation with a lot of bad press and spell the demise of the Ross Eadie for Council campaign.

We raced home to tell the husbands all about our adventures and have a couple victory drinks. Cheers.

No Virginia; There Is No Santa Claus – part 1

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics, Stupid Losers, Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

As most of you already know, I was recently involved in running my sister Jenny’s campaign for public office. More specifically, for City Councillor of Mynarski Ward here in Winnipeg. For the most part it was a lot of fun. We were generously supported by so many people. We met local voters with interesting stories and we tried to be helpful whenever we could. We built a small but powerful team of volunteers and we can never do enough to thank them.

However, one or two things that happened may have changed my view of the Canadian political arena for good. For starters, I had been warned by Conservatives about something called “THE NDP MACHINE”. Oooh. Scary! They told us scandalous stories of their cheatey tactics and unscrupulous behaviour, but I took no heed. Everyone knows Conservatives are all liars anyway. I would never listen to what they had to say. So there.

My opinion of the NDP (up until now) had been based in part, on the epic story of Mr. Tommy Douglas and the good T.V news reputation of one Ed Broadbent. Besides, I have met some NDPers personally, and they were very nice to me. Polite and everything. Who in their right mind could accuse the sweet boyscout like NDP of anything other than being the good guys? Yeah sure, they are sometimes badly dressed and rarely seem to get decent haircuts, but some kind of evil “MACHINE”? Well, I guess there was that Svend Robinson incident. You know, the shoplifting. But, come on! That’s hardly a “MACHINE”. It’s only one guy!

This “NDP MACHINE” they speak of, perhaps it is not the actual “people”, but a mind control device operated by some nefarious super-villian who has infiltrated their ranks? Maybe. Seems likely. The Anti-Douglas?

Throughout the campaign we heard from voters who had felt they had been affected by the “NDP MACHINE” and voters who were being pressured by their unions to vote for the NDP. We met countless new immigrants who told us (some with tears in their eyes) that they had been forced to allow an NDP sign in their yard or there would be “trouble” from the government. (What? What kind of trouble?) Surely, this is pure speculation.

I know, that as a former union member myself, I received a few calls from unions and the Labour Council instructing me who to vote for, but who listens to what their union has to say in these modern times? Anyone?

One lady, who happens to be disabled, called us crying after a brick came flying through her living room window. Well, that is pretty mean. That could definitely be the work of a super-villian with a “MACHINE”. Sure. Like a potato gun, but for bricks.

When we got to her house, she was a puddley mess and she told us that the man who she saw throw the brick, had condemned her for having a “Jenny” sign in her front yard and yelled to her that he was a “personal friend” of Ross Eadie’s. Huh? Legbreaker tactics? No…that’s still only one guy. (well, we’re up to 2 at this point, possibly a few more, but still, doesn’t amount to a hill o’beans) Anyway, she wound up calling all the different candidates to ask for signs so that she couldn’t be accused of favouring any one over any other. Solved.

Let’s pretend that all of those people overreacted. Yes, let’s.

Also, unbelievable but true, was the situation we ran into with Canada Post. Since we had a limited number of bodies on our election team, we made the fateful decision to have our brochures delivered by Canada Post. Even though it was very expensive, we decided that it would be money well spent. We felt that this was the most efficient way to ensure that every household in the ward had an introduction to our candidate. Again, we were warned by certain members of the Conservative Party, that Canada Post was not to be trusted with political mail. They are part of the “MACHINE”!
Woooooo! The “NDP MACHINE”!

“Hogwash!” we said.

We mailed our leaflets and carried on with the business of electioneering, knocking on door after door in neighbourhood after neighbourhood.

We soon found that very few households had received our mailer. It seemed like entire areas had not had it delivered. Too many to ignore.

Odd. Geez. We mailed it…

On one such street, Redwood Avenue, we happened upon a mailman who we stopped. We showed him the bright pink mailer and asked him if he had seen it or remembered delivering it. He told us that he had seen it at the depot, but it had never made it to his mailbox and he had not delivered it. When we pressed him for more details, he told us that it was most likely delivered, but by another mailman “on a day when he was away sick”. Hmmm. Could it be that he was….(heee)….lying?

A while later, in another neighbourhood, Jenny asked another mailman if he had been the one to deliver the mail during the week that our mailer was scheduled to be delivered. He said that he had and in fact, had delivered the mail every single day that week. So, she showed him the pink brochure. The mailman abruptly changed his mind about having worked that week and decided that he had “been on holidays”.

Then a former Canada Post employee informed us that for the 25 years that she had been a sorter, it was always common practice to delay delivery of all non-NDP political mail. No! That can’t be true! Oh how naive we had been! Such blind faith!

She went on to describe to us how it was done. (I’ll save those details in case I am called to testify in court) She also told us that often, they would “accidentally” deliver political flyers to the wrong ridings. Or deliver them long after the election. Then she gently mocked us for thinking that our brochure would be delivered by Canada Post when we were running such an obviously non-NDP affiliated campaign. After all, Canada Post employees are all part of a very NDP friendly and powerful union.

“But it’s the Queen’s mail!

At that point we began to think that the evil Stephen Harper may have had good reason (for once) when he threatened to dismantle and privatize Canada Post. They do appear to be controlled by the “NDP MACHINE”. Perhaps Svend Robinson really is behind this so-called “MACHINE”, well, then you know, there’s no telling how far he’d go or what he’s really capable of. After all, he is a known shoplifter.

So, we thought about it for a bit, had a heated debate amongst the team and then we called the PMO to tell on them.

Surprisingly, we did get some action from that phone call. That action trickled right on down to the Canada Post outlet in Winnipeg on Mountain Avenue pretty quickly. Wow. Not bad.

When the post office did call us back, all they offered was a discount of $100.00 on our next mail out. Pfft. Lame.

Screw them, we sent Daddy. As expected, Daddy explained things to them very carefully and very loudly. He talked about the legalities and how much he wanted to call the RCMP and the probable loss of their jobs and possible jail time and everything else they could look forward to. Our next mailer was delivered to every single house in the whole ward and all on the same day. Nice.

Moral of the story, never send a Conservative Prime Minister to do the job of an angry father.

To be continued…

Your Tax Dollars At Work

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics on November 17, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Many kids (mostly in other parts of the more civilized world) wish for rich parents, then you can join whatever extra-curricular activities might strike your fancy. Yes we often see that on T.V.

Here in Manitoba, we have something called an NDP Government, so what you want to be is an “underpriviledged kid”. Then the Manitoba Government will pay for you to take part in whatever extra-curricuar activities might strike your fancy.
This includes all kinds of super fun and meaningless things funded by all of our extra tax dollars that are kicking around.

In fact, the NDP have recently started giving away my tax dollars to various church type organizations.
How nice of them to notice that thoughtless taxpayers like me have forgotten to donate any of our money to any crazy evangelists.

It was interesting that something called “Power Team” did a presentation at my son’s public school and attempted to lure him and his wee friends to join Church of the Rock by pretending to be a super cool club for smashing things and tearing phone books in half. Church of the Rock by the way, is one of the many churches I have neglected to send funds to. Mostly because of their “Star Trek” themed Easter celebration, but also because they have a store and a regular service called “Rock-O-Rama”. Ridiculous.

How could anyone possibly take them seriously as a religion? That’s crazier than the snake handling group at the Toronto Airport called Catch the Fire. (Incidentally, if you’re interested, these guys offer a workshop on dealing with “demonic oppression” for $1200.00 CDN/ person)

Inner City Racing; this looks like a good one.
This is set up to encourage troubled teens to take part in race car driving. How nice! They take “at-risk” kids to watch car races, show them how to work on these cars, fix them etc. etc. etc.
Don’t even let me get started…
Well, I tried, but it was too hard. I’m totally going there because it sounds like a training course for car thieves to me.

Here’s a question.
How many kids involved in this were later arrested for stealing a car?
Here’s another question.
How many kids who used to steal cars took part in this and stopped stealing cars?
Ooh, how about this question?
How many kids were taken to this program who were not in a gang, but wound up meeting a bunch of gang kids at this place? How many of those were already “at risk” and after attending this program graduated to more serious crime and are now going to jail for a violent offence? At least 1. I can tell you that much.

But, then again, it includes free snacks.

So nice to see that it’s joint NDP-New Agey religion partnership too. Just like the highly anticipated “Youth For Christ” “Centre for Youth Excellence” currently being built at the corner of Main & Higgins. You know, for the huge numbers of bored kids that hang out in and around there holding their skateboards with nowhere to go. God forbid the kids that live anywhere near there use any of the already existing, already paid for, already staffed community centres a stone’s throw away from that corner. You know, like Turtle Island, West Broadway Community Centre or Norquay. The big selling feature of this particular project is that it’s skateboard park! Woo Hoo!

What’s that you say?
What about the fancy skateboard park we built at The Forks? The one that Tony Hawk and Bam Margera called one of the best they’d seen? Well, that’s outside, and “Youth For Christ” will be inside.

Oh wait! Here’s one on Pacific Avenue called The Edge. Oh, and it’s indoor too!

Wait a minute…
This says that The Edge is operated by Youth For Christ.
That’s strange. We seem to already have a religious indoor skate park in the very neighbourhood where we are wasting my tax money to build a new one.

So we already have a “religious right” and now the NDP seem to be working on some kind of “religious left”. Should we be worried?

Or is it all O.K. as long as all the vulnerable street kids have a place to get religion, free pizza and get saved?

More Bunk Bike Lanes? Why?

In Bullshit Winnipeg on February 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Some yahoo at city hall thinks they are going to score points by spending a shitload of my tax dollars on more bike lanes. But this time they will be on Pembina Highway of all places.

Sakes anyways! We’ve been over this!

These crap Winnipeg style bike lanes are so dangerous. I am starting to think the goal is not to make for safer cycling, but to eradicate any and all cyclists within the City of Winnipeg.

It’s no secret that Winnipeggers have always hated cyclists. For those of you from more civilized places like Medicine Hat or Dauphin; Winnipeg has the most ridiculous bike ridership in all the land. I usually hesitate before I refer to any of them as “cyclists”.

All winter, you’ll see idiots on their bikes sliding on icy roads and trying to force their bikes through deep snow on all the main drags. It actually gets even better than that. We’ll have one bum pedaling a bike with another bum on the handlebars while balancing a two-four through the snow right down Main St. at rush hour. Hell, we get bums in stolen wheelchairs balancing other bums with a two-four down the middle of Main at rush hour! Last summer, I saw a bum being pushed across the street in a baby stroller with a two-four of beer!

Pembina has got to be one of the stupidest streets to have a bike lane other than say, Bishop Grandin or the Perimiter. We have too many accidents on Pembina as it is! It’s loaded with potholes that seem to get bigger all the time. What about the underpass? How can you expect some poor sap to make it down Pembina on a bike of all things?

Look at the ones they put in last year, they’re terrible! As I have already said, if you don’t have a helicopter to drop you and your bike onto the road, you can’t get to the bike lane! And then it just ends!

Wait a minute…… didn’t I hear on the news that the City is buying a new helicopter? That must be what its for! Of course.

OK then, it might be starting to make sense. If they use the new helicopter to transport the cyclists to the designated bike lanes, then fine. Go ahead I guess. Seems pretty expensive. How will we contact the chopper pilot when we wanna go for a bike ride? Do we just call 311?

I don’t see why we couldn’t have the bike lanes on the streets adjacent to the busy streets, but OK. Whatever, you guys at city hall are the ones who know about these things, not me.

Gross Howard Johnson Location Finally Gets Shut Down

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg on November 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm


This place is a complete and utter dump! If you have ever had the chance to enter this hellhole, you know that I am not exaggerating.

The Howard Johnson on Ellice Ave in Winnipeg is one of the hotels routinely used to house the people who are flown in to the city from northern reserves for medical treatment. The entire bill is covered by the Government and includes the cost of the room and 3 room service meals a day. The times that I have been in there, the place was fairly full. Not a bad deal for the hotel owner.

I have visited guests there several times and there is no way to ignore the filth, grime and complete lack of giving a shit that goes on in that place.

First, you will see the 5 – 10 dish bins in the middle of the floor in the front lobby catching drips from the ceiling. Next, you will see 3 or 4 black garbage bags (full of course) in every corner of every hallway. The elevator smells disgusting and is really, really grimy and greasy.

Upstairs, you will notice the piled up dirty dishes and trays of rotting food outside of virtually every door. Beautiful…

Inside the room of the guest that I visited, every surface was covered in old food, dirty dishes and garbage. Before you come down on the guest, you should know that this person was blind and in a wheelchair. That’s right, in town for medical treatment. Also, this person’s door did not lock properly either and other random “guests” were wandering in and out at odd times.

Super Creepy.

I asked this person why the room was in such a state and I was informed that the hotel only offers once a week housekeeping.

Yes of course, get a government contract and eliminate the majority of your staff. Ch-Ching!

Well, at least the Health Inspector had the good sense to shut it down.

A Rose By Any Other Name

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Uncategorized on October 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Yes it was a sad thing when the Metropolitan Theater closed in ’89. End of an era.

Since that time, there have been at least 8 different plans to revitalize it and use it for something exciting. Some ideas were good, others not so good.

Nashville North (meh)
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (interesting)
Performing Arts Center (made sense)
Currently the idea is to make it some kind of supper club. That of course, is completely silly.

The Met is a very nice building, of course. The interior was absolutely stunning. Red carpet, fancy chandelier and the whole bit. It even had some kind of crazy geo-thermal air conditioning. It has a really impressive history. It’s still a landmark, a Heritage Building and all the rest. It also totally REEKED!

If you’re old enough (like me) to have ever been inside it when it was a movie theater, then you know what I’m talking about. It had a weird stink that permeated everything. At first, you thought it must be your imagination and it would surely go away in a second, but no. You could smell it all the way up the stairs and to your seat, where you could still smell it. Your popcorn tasted like that smell. Your drink too. I think your clothes probably smelled that way after you left. I can smell it right now. That smell left a kind of smell memory imprint with you. In fact, when I even see a trailer for Moonraker, that smell comes flooding back to me. It’s horrible even now.

Nobody knows what it was. Nobody knows where it came from or what caused it. Everybody knows that it was always there.

I think that’s the real reason why Famous Players moved, they couldn’t stand it anymore. That’s probably why none of these plans work out. People get all excited about this original classic theater being available, they agree to buy it for cheap and then they get to work on it. After a few weeks or months it becomes apparent that the mystery smell is there to stay and they bail.

Center Venture is practically begging on its hands and knees for someone to do something with it. They can’t very well just rip the thing down, it’s too glittery and cool. I get it. It’s a bloody rare thing to have a turn of the century vaudeville theater like that in original condition. They promise giant tax breaks and even cash money, but the smell, who can battle it? It’s too overpowering.

Turning it into a supper club is the worst idea I’ve heard so far too. They’re going to serve food in there? To who? Us? How will anyone be able to eat?

Monkey’s Paw?

In Bullshit Winnipeg, Uncategorized on October 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

We got news yesterday and today that Canwest Global is entering into bankruptcy protection. The scheme will probably divy up ownership and control amongst the creditors. Which means……..that Global will no longer be a family run business. How did this tragedy occur?

Well, just because I have no insider knowledge of banking wizardry, doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. You know that I do, and here it comes.
According to Daddy; Izzy and Babs were/are very nice and very hardworking and deserving of all their lottery winnings. Daddy has alot of other interesting things to say too, but we’ll leave that out for now. We will say that Gail is a lovely girl who puts huge energy into all kinds of important philanthropy. We can also say that the 2 boys are well dressed with lovely wives and seem to take this empire running business very seriously.

So how do we answer the burning question?

Following this story and trying to make sense of this has been confusing, I know. Nerds all over the world are analyzing and speculating like crazy. It’s in every paper and on every news broadcast. If you pay too much attention to it, you will get dizzy and fall down.

Luckily, I have analyzed the analysis and I think I have the answer. Alliance Atlantis.

Right, the crumbling of Canwest Global is suspiciously linked to the downfall of another Canadian family run business with Winnipeg connections and that would be Seagrams. I suspect that Alliance Atlantis is an unlucky talisman just like in the story about the monkey’s paw.

When Edgar Bronfman Jr. took the helm, Seagrams branched out exponentially just like Global has done over that last few years under Leonard and David Asper. I’m not saying that growing the company was wrong or bad, not at all. Both Seagrams and Global benefitted from that growth at first and for a while it seemed like there was no stopping them.

And then…
Edgar Bronfman Jr. bought Alliance Atlantis which seemed like a fabulous and exciting idea at first. Shortly afterwards, Bronfman wound up with no more family empire and a reputation in tatters.

Last year, Canwest Global also aquired Alliance Atlantis and now it looks like they too are on the verge of collapse. Any good psychic should be able to tell you that this looks like more than mere coincidence. Hmmmmm.

Wah Wah Wah

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg on October 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm

WPG logo
So I guess everyone has forgotten how few fans were usually in attendance at the regular season Jets games. That’s really why they left town. The Jets felt unloved so they ran away. When I was growing up, in this very city, the common theme was how much the Jets sucked. You keep forgetting their record setting losing streak. They even lost their very last game! We didn’t buy tickets and that’s the bottom line. Yes, I know, you’re mad at me. “How can you say that?”

Just admit it, you “hardcore hockey fans” didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Jets until someone told you they were leaving. That’s when you all came out in droves with your pathetic whining and spare change.

Since the big move in 1996, Winnipeg has been begging for them to come back like a psycho ex-girlfriend. Well, here we go again with a new rumour about Toronto billionaire David Thomson possibly being involved in a scheme to buy the Atlanta Thrashers and move them to Winnipeg to be the new Jets.

Listen to me. Get ahold of yourselves. Try to maintain some semblance of dignity. This team won’t really be the Jets. At least not the Jets of your dreams. Remember “Pet Sematary”? Hawerchuk won’t be back and even if he is, he won’t really be the same.

Since Winnipeg is hell bent on raising the dead. Why don’t we bring Eaton’s back too? Or better yet, instead. Eaton’s was much more fun than the smelly old Jets anyway.

Where – Is – The – Bus Depot?

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Uncategorized on October 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Really, what the—–? Noticed it gone yesterday. It’s true. I had no idea. I was totally shocked. Had to do a bit of googling to find out what happened to it.

Turns out it is at the new airport now. Why? That’s a stupid place to put a bus depot. Why didn’t they put it in the half empty train station? At least then it would stay downtown and remain somewhat convenient.

Google also told me that there has been a bit of controversy about some 40 year lease and Greyhound extorting 15 million dollars from the Province. Whatever. I don’t actually care to look into that very much at all, although I’m sure it would be very interesting.
To me the bigger tragedy is the abandonment of Winnipeg’s downtown. Mayor Norrie started this craptacular idea of ruining our downtown, and for the last 30 years, everyone at the City just follows along. Portage Place was the beginning of the end.

When I first went downtown by myself as a kid, it was freakin’ awe inspiring. The streets were jammed with fancy career girls with their done-hair and their high heeled shoes, men in suits and everything all lit up. I walked into Eaton’s and on the main floor everything was displayed like it was worth a million bucks. I felt so small. All the ladies accessories were kept in those glass cases and a well heeled shop girl would take things out one at a time and show them to you and tell you all about it. In those magical days, the Eaton’s ladies treated everyone, even me, like a high roller. I bought a hair clip and a really beautiful scarf.

Then they built Portage Place, the independent shops all closed and Eaton’s went away. The haves moved out to the new developments taking their disposable income with them. Downtown has been left to the havenots and Manitoba Housing. The major players in this town have been forced underground and the scum has risen to the top. I don’t care what you want to think or what you say, that is the reality of our City.

Winnipeg was known for being home to the most beautiful prostitutes in the country for over a hundred years until they were all pushed out in the 1980’s. And now? Oh, we’re still famous in certain circles for our prostitutes, but we are the City with the best deals on child prostitutes. Feeling proud? I bet.

I am constantly hearing City officials whine about wanting to improve this dump of a city. But, when Mayor Murray tried to lure us back to downtown with his street festivals and beautifications, we rode him out of town on a rail. Lately, we try to copy the more popular places, like Vancouver and Toronto by adding dangerous bike lanes and the ridiculous riverwalk. Then they wonder how to attract big box stores to downtown. Are they daft? Are they new here? Winnipeggers are not about cycling or walking through dangerous neighborhoods to soak up the scenery. This is a place with deep snow and ice all winter and boiling, bloody hot summers.

We need to start admitting what kind of people we Winnipeggers are and embrace it. We can quit trying to follow L.A. fashion, it’s too cold here. Winnipeg is and always has been, a rock and roll town. We’re a prairie town and we act like one. We love to work our asses off so that our kids can have a fun childhood. We have kick ass house parties and we are not a quiet place. There’s a number of ways that we are different than the rest of the country.

We ride bikes; we don’t cycle.
We visit; we don’t network.
We bundle up in the wintertime and we go to the bar.
We love our bonfires, we smoke, we drink, we play with our kids, we toboggan and on the weekend, we take our 4 wheel drives to the floodway.

We should just roll with it and then we’ll have less confusion about how to plan our City. It’ll just happen naturally.

Neil Young said it best, “Come on baby, let’s go downtown.”

Bunk Bike Lane Continues!

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg on September 22, 2009 at 11:58 pm


Driving down King St. today, traffic was jammed so I turned off, and VOILA, the bike lane reappeared!

I put some thought into it and I think I figured out how it works. You must somehow materialize on your bike at Princess and Logan in the left hand lane. Ride merrily along for 3 blocks, then shimmy over to the right hand lane at Bannatyne and Princess so that you’ll be able to turn right on Bannatyne. Otherwise, you wind up trapped in the danger zone at Princess and McDermot. The best way I can think of to make this possible during rush hour, is to do it like that bike scene in E.T. where they all ride their bikes over the cars.

If you do make it to Bannatyne, the bike lane continues in the middle of the center driving lane and the right hand lane. When I went down there today at about 4 o’clock, there were quite a few cars either blocking the bike lane, driving in the bike lane or inching into the bike lane from their parking spots. So the message here is that you can get from Princess and Logan to Health Science Center on your bike, but be really, really careful.