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  #121  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Temple unbuilt, thousands in bills unpaid: Mystery man vanishes from Manitoba town
By: Bill Redekop | Winnipeg Free Press - Fbe. 23, 2009


A man who planned to build a Sikh temple in MacGregor, hundreds of kilometres away from other Sikhs, has suddenly left town owing an amount estimated at more than $20,000 to local contractors and merchants.

Harvinder Singh and people presumed to be his family--a woman and two youths, possibly in their early teens--arrived last September in MacGregor with grandiose plans.

Singh told the Free Press in an interview in mid-January that God had told him to leave his home in Florida and build a Sikh temple somewhere in the centre of Canada, which turned out to be MacGregor, midway between Winnipeg and Brandon just off the Trans-Canada Highway.

Construction of the temple was supposed to start in March.

The family was last seen in MacGregor on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Singhs' rented home was suddenly vacated, the family's two children pulled from school, and their phone disconnected.

One individual has hired a lawyer to try to track him down. One recognizable physical trait of the family is that Singh's wife's hand has been amputated and she has just a stub end.

However, there are also doubts the woman was his wife. One contractor said Singh told him the children weren't his. Cheques were written under the woman's name. Those cheques regularly bounced.

The two horses and seven cattle he kept on a farm that he was negotiating to buy are also gone.

A week after he departed, the Free Press managed to reach Singh on his cellphone. "I come back, I come back," he claimed at the time, speaking in heavily accented English.

He said he would be back Friday night, Feb. 13. When asked where he'd taken his livestock, he said he'd sold them. "I'll phone you," he said.

However, he has not come back and his cellphone number is no longer in service.

"He always had good stories to tell," said one individual, who is owed more than $10,000 and had cheques from Singh that bounced three times.

The community is rife with rumours. One is that Singh headed to Nova Scotia. Another is that he was having trouble getting his immigration approved.

Singh owes some contractors, as well as some local farmers for items like hay for his animals. "I think it's a few lessons learned and leave it at that," said Don Buhler, who is owed a very small amount for hay.

Singh also owes for some building materials purchased from local merchants.

In a Free Press interview in January, Singh was asked about some concerns in the community over unpaid bills. He denied it but did pay off at least one individual a few days later.

The interview was in his rented house in a prayer room decked out with velvet rugs embroidered with gold. Incense burned nearby and Indian prayer music played on a little boom box.

There were also two framed footprints made in powdery red dye, and two similar handprints, that Singh claimed were made by God.

He maintained these items facilitated several miracles at a Sikh temple in Florida. Presumably, he was hoping similar miracles would occur at the temple he planned for MacGregor to attract parishioners.

After that story appeared, Singh phoned the Free Press reporter to complain the story was "too personal." He said he still owned his 3,400-square-foot house in Clermont, Fla. and was renting it out.

His departure comes two-and-a-half weeks after the story was published. Efforts to locate Singh through directory searches in Florida, and phone calls to local Sikh organizations in the central Florida area, were unsuccessful.

The family arrived in MacGregor in September driving a gold Hummer. Singh, 47, claimed he owned five restaurants while living in Florida.

Several people from the Sikh community in Winnipeg were critical of Singh when the story appeared in the Free Press. One caller said that Singh's brand of religion, with miracles produced by footprints in red dye, was not representative of the Sikh faith.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca
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  #122  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 2:37 PM
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Moose Jaw says yes to multiplex


REGINA -- It may only cost the average Moose Jaw taxpayer the price of a daily cup of specialty coffee to help pay for a new multiplex, but the political fallout may be more costly.

That special levy will be in place for 25 years following Wednesday’s referendum in which Moose Javians voted “yes” to the multiplex — and that has opponents of Moose Jaw’s controversial $61 million multiplex projects seeing red.

Ultimately council may pay the price at the polls in October’s municipal elections, according to one Moose Jaw councillor.

In 2006 Moose Jaw residents voted in favour of the city contributing $15 million towards a smaller-scale $36 million multiplex skating arena and curling rink with the remainder coming from government grants and fundraising.

Two years later, council unveiled a more costly plan that would include an indoor soccer facility at a separate location.

Opponents raised concerns about the downtown location, the pricetag and the tax implications. They voiced their concerns in the public arena and in the courts where they challenged council’s authority to spend more than the amount approved in the 2006 referendum.

Councillor Regina Sagal-Hendry, who support the downtown arena, expressed her frustrations with the naysayers who she said focus on doom and gloom.

Emotions on both sides of the issue have run high, said councillor Dawn Luhning, who has been at odds with “yes” supporters.

“It is a divisive mess. Friends are fighting with friends and neighbours are fighting with neighbours. People don’t respect any more that people have differing opinions and are fighting with each other, even council is divided, and it is really sad,’’ Luhning said.

What took Sagal-Hendry by surprise, she said, were the personal attacks, death threats and the fear-mongering.

Ironically people on the “no’’ side actually support the project but feel council is ramming it through without an open, transparent process, Luhning said, adding if the project gets majority support she’ll respect the wishes of the citizens and move on.

The “yes” vote in Wednesday’s referendum now enables city council to commit $34.5 million towards construction of a downtown multiplex hockey and curling arena and a separate indoor soccer facility.

A “no” vote would have scuttled the deal to replace the aging 50-year-old Civic Centre and could have resulted in Moose Jaw losing its WHL franchise team the Moose Jaw Warriors and its government funding.

“There has been some controversy with respect to this and there has been a lot of misinformation and rhetoric out there,’’ said Mayor Dale McBain.

“But this is a great opportunity for Moose Jaw to build $61 million in projects with only a $34.5 million commitment by the city.’’


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  #123  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2009, 2:28 AM
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Provincial, federal governments share Highway 11 twinning costs
The StarPhoenix.com February 27, 2009 Comments (14)

SASKATOON — It’s a case of subtraction by addition that should equal a big plus for Saskatchewan. The twinning of Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Prince Albert is now slated to be completed in 2012 — four years earlier than originally scheduled — thanks to $62 million in federal funding announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper Friday that will be matched by the province, which had been carrying the full load of the project.

The province has long sought federal support for the twinning and Premier Brad Wall, whose once-strong relationship with Harper has appeared somewhat strained lately over issues such as the federal budget, offered a heartfelt thanks to the PM as they made the announcement at the provincial Highways Ministry repair depot in Saskatoon.

“Today’s announcement is not simply about twinning a highway or the jobs that go with it. It is about where we’re headed as a country. As the world struggles with the effects of the global recession, we as Canadians are looking ahead,” said Harper.

The project is seen as important to resource development in the north, with Wall, who has been on a full-court press boosting the prospects for nuclear industry development in Saskatchewan, citing northern uranium mines as a likely major beneficiary of the twinning.

But the premier said it’s also important for safety reasons, noting he has often driven that stretch of road himself to go camping with his family. Lakes in northern Saskatchewan are among the most popular in the province.

“I think I speak for a lot of people from Saskatchewan when I say your knuckles turn a particular shade of white sometimes when you’re on that highway,” said Wall.

From Saskatoon, the highway has been twinned to Hague, leaving 75 kilometres that need to be twinned. Between 2003 and 2007, there were 883 collisions, 308 persons injured and 17 people killed.

The infrastructure spending comes from the federal Building Canada fund and is part of stimulus efforts to kick start the recession-battered Canadian economy.

Said Harper: “Our government is seizing the opportunities that will help get us through tough times and ensures that Canada emerges stronger than ever.”

jwood@sp.canwest.com
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

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  #124  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 4:31 PM
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From the Western Investor:



Moose in motion

Moose Jaw now ranks as the most cost-competitive
municipality in the midwest


Downtown Moose Jaw: military payrolls, construction
and agriculture fuel the economy.

Moose Jaw is a southern Saskatchewan urban centre with historic charm that is experiencing record-setting construction and, perhaps, the strongest housing market in Canada.

"The future continues to be bright for Moose Jaw," said Mayor Dale McBain. "2008 was a good year for construction. Our population has risen to 34,156, our retail sales have been good, and we are ranked as one of the best cities in North America in which to do business."

The Moose Jaw mayor was referring to the 2008 KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study, which listed the city first for cost competitiveness in the North American Midwest, fourth in Canada and 12th overall among the 136 cities studied in 10 countries.

For the second consecutive year, Moose Jaw also set a construction record. The value of 366 building permits issued in 2008 was $54.3 million, surpassing the previous all-time record high for the city set in 2007 of $40.8 million.

"In the past year, we opened a new subdivision in South Hill called West Heath and have already sold 23 of the 35 lots," McBain said.

These lots were partially serviced in 2008 and will be completed by installing streetlights and paving this year. Lot prices ranged from $40,500 to $54,000. Moose Jaw received $3.6 million in interest-free loans from the Saskatchewan Infrastructure Growth Initiative to assist in developing the first two phases of the West Heath subdivision.

"We have also sold the land for a new 600-lot West Park subdivision to a Saskatoon developer, Moutney Homes," the mayor said.

Housing

The residential vacancy rate is 1.6 per cent, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Saskatchewan has no rent controls. Housing prices parallelled the rise across Saskatchewan over the past few years.

"The average house price in 2008 was $176,000, compared with $129,043 in 2007, which was up 28 per cent over 2006," said Amber Tangjerd, president of the Moose Jaw Real Estate Board (MJREB).

"The sale price for residential homes has increased dramatically over the last three years. Multifamily homes have also experienced a major increase in price and sales. Our condo market increased during the same period, but slowed down during late 2008."

She said there were several reasons for the strong real estate market.

Coming home

"People are returning 'home' from out of province," Tangjerd said. "Saskatchewan is seen as the place for investment right now, and Moose Jaw offers a stable market. We're a smaller city with a lower crime rate and good infrastructure."

Jim Millar, executive officer of MJREB, said people also find the city's location, 75 kilometres west of Regina, desirable.

The city, 175 kilometres from the U.S. border, is nestled in a picturesque valley where the Moose Jaw River and Thunder Creek River meet. Its location on the Trans-Canada Highway, between Calgary and Winnipeg, provides easy trucking access to Canadian markets and ports serving international markets.

The city is also the CP Rail Canadian terminus of the Soo Line to Minneapolis and Chicago and home to the largest main-line refuelling facility on CPR's North America Network.

Yara Belle Plaine Inc. (formerly Saskferco), Mosaic Company, Canadian Salt Company Ltd. and Terra Grain Fuels operate in the corridor, with many of their employees calling Moose Jaw home.

Costly projects

Work has begun on a new hotel and retail enterprise on River Street that will have a 1920s theme. Local entrepreneurs have assembled the property and have started demolition of existing buildings. But it is the new sports centre that is generating interest, not all of it positive.

The city is trying to replace its 40-year-old Civic Centre, affectionately known in hockey circles as the Crushed Can because of its inverted roof. Soaring costs, however, may crush the plans.

"The new multiplex is very important to the city. This is the largest project that the city has undertaken," said McBain.

The project has fractured rather than united the community, yet the mayor remains optimistic about the outcome.

City residents were to vote February 25 in another referendum on the project. This was the result of a petition calling for another referendum last fall. Local resident Larry Hunt submitted 4,280 petition signatures during an October 2008 city council meeting. He needed only 3,213 signatures to force a referendum. Under provincial law, Moose Jaw city council was required to submit a referendum question to voters.

Hunt had organized the second petition on the multiplex, with the aim of giving residents the vote on whether they want to spend an additional $19.5 million, on top of the $15 million already approved by citizens.

A 2006 referendum had asked voters if they wanted the city to commit to a $15 million multiplex, which the majority of voters approved. Hunt believes council violated that referendum result when voting for a $61.3 million project, of which the city was paying $34.5 million.

(Results of the Moose Jaw referendum will appear in the April edition of Western Investor.)

Meanwhile, city council has approved a $19.3 million expansion to the Moose Jaw Union Hospital. The province is completing a feasibility assessment of the hospital to determine where best to spend the money.

Primary industries in the Moose Jaw area include agriculture, including cereal and special crops, cattle and hogs; manufacturing and processing; mining; service; and retail.

Tourism is boosted by the popularity of attractions such as the soon-to-be-expanded Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, nearby Chaplin Nature Centre and Casino Moose Jaw. The city's unique historic tunnel system reflects illicit activities of the past as it continues to draw tourists keen to explore "The Chicago Connection." (Legend has it that gangster Al Capone once hid out here.)

Military link

The military has already discovered the advantages of conducting business in Moose Jaw.

The $2.85 billion 20-year NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program is based at the 15 Wing Moose Jaw airbase.

The NFTC is a joint venture between the federal government and Bombardier Military Aviation Training, providing basic and advanced pilot training and fighter pilot training to NATO and its allies, including European air crews. A significant employer, the base is also home to the famed Snowbirds aerial acrobatic team.
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  #125  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 9:44 PM
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rrskylar...thx for posting that

Our population has risen to 34,156 (Moose Jaw)

thats great news...i havent heard the latest numbers....we are creeping back to 35,000.

The Buzz around here is that the Military would like to gain 100% control of the base again and they have a sympathetic ear in Ottawa. This would be another positive development for the Jaw.
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  #126  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2009, 1:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpaul View Post
rrskylar...thx for posting that

Our population has risen to 34,156 (Moose Jaw)

thats great news...i havent heard the latest numbers....we are creeping back to 35,000.

The Buzz around here is that the Military would like to gain 100% control of the base again and they have a sympathetic ear in Ottawa. This would be another positive development for the Jaw.
Who controls it currently? And how would military control of the base be positive for Moose Jaw?
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  #127  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2009, 2:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
Who controls it currently? And how would military control of the base be positive for Moose Jaw?
currently Bombardier provides air support services....Some i have talked to want the base become 100% military again. The Military operates much differently then a civilian operation..there are compatibility issues.


with the current set up air training is backed up..

The base size has shrunk considerably over the years
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  #128  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2009, 4:11 PM
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Work set to begin on Duff Roblin Provincial Park

By Matt Powers
Canstar News

March 12, 2009



After nearly five years of discussion, work on the new Duff Roblin Provincial Park in St. Norbert is expected to begin later this year, according to officials involved.

Despite the long wait, people in the community are encouraged by the fact the province is moving forward with plans for the $3.2 million project, to be located south of of the Red River Floodway gates.

“We’re pumped. As we understand it they will be starting consultations with the community in St. Norbert starting this spring and building it this year,” said Janice Lukes, a member of Group’Action Saint Norbert.

The province hired the landscape architectural firm of Scatliff Miller Murray in June 2008 to prepare the concept plan for development of the park.

While details of the project have yet to be finalized, one key component that is expected to be included is an interpretive centre where visitors will be able to learn about the history of the floodway.

“We want an interpretive centre located close to the inlet structure so that people can learn how this engineering feat really came about, but also how it works,” said Manitoba Conservation Minister Stan Struthers.

“I think there is a really good opportunity here not just for Manitobans but also for those from far away to learn about how we cope with Mother Nature sometimes.”

Struthers said the interpretive centre would also provide visitors an opportunity to learn more about Duff Roblin, who served as Manitoba’s premier from 1958 to 1967 and was the driving force behind the floodway, also known as ‘Duff’s Ditch.’

Bob Roehle, president of Group’Action Saint Norbert, was among those who actively promoted the inclusion of an interpretive centre. He said it has the potential to lure more tourists to the area.

“St. Norbert is the gateway to Winnipeg and is on the main road leading to the States, so when tourists come in by car they stop and ask about the floodway, but there really isn’t that much to see,” Roehle said.

“We thought it would be great to have an interpretive centre and show people a virtual schematic of the Red River Valley and show them the 1997 flood and what would have happened without the floodway.”

Along with the educational components planned for the park, a number of recreational opportunities are also planned.

The new development will focus on infrastructure components such as picnic areas and shelters, walking and cycling trails, washrooms, drinking water, fishing facilities, bike racks, a toboggan run, parking lot and landscape improvements.

“There is certainly a lot of potential in this area. For years the land has just sat empty with nothing there so any new development we’re looking at as a positive thing,” Lukes said.

Kelly-Anne Richmond, a spokesperson with the province’s conservation office, said that architectural plans will be finalized during the next couple of months. There will then be public consultations with construction expected to begin this summer or fall, Richmond added.
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  #129  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2009, 7:58 PM
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Company investing $27.5M in First Nations agriculture
By Cassandra Kyle and Joanne Paulson, The StarPhoenix.com March 26, 2009 1:15 PM Be the first to post a comment

SASKATOON — A major Canadian investment firm is putting millions of dollars behind a new First Nations-based agricultural corporate entity.

Sprott Resource Corp. (SRC) will invest $27.5 million to form One Earth Farms Corp., with the money directed toward establishing operations, funding working capital and supporting initial growth.

One Earth Farms Corp. will be a large-scale, fully-integrated farming business, with operations on world class First Nations farmlands in Alberta and Saskatchewan. At least 15 First Nations will be involved, farming over one million acres of land. The company will employ more than 250 full-time and part-time employees.

One Earth Farms intends to be involved, at least initially, in grain farming and cattle ranching.

“We believe that the opportunities associated with this new venture are unprecedented in the agricultural industry,” said Kevin Bambrough, president and CEO of SRC.

“We intend to build a long-term, profitable agriculture business in partnership with the First Nations which will improve the management and environmental sustainability of First Nations farmland, as well as benefit their people through increased revenue and job opportunities.”

Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), said the agreement with SRC is ushering in a new era for Canadian aboriginals.

“We’re tired of being poor,” Fontaine said at the announcement.

“We know there is no good reason for that in a country that is (incredibly) rich. We need to look elsewhere for support, understanding and commitment.”

The deal between First Nations and SRC is based on mutual respect, Fontaine said. The deal will provide new opportunities for First Nations youth across the country, he added.

“People always complain about us, that we should get off our butts . . . and create our own future, create our own lives. But every time we’ve tried to do that people have resisted,” he said. “The difference this time is we’re doing it with interest — Bay Street interest.”

To help with First Nations training for the new jobs that will come with the expansion of the company, One Earth has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan and the First Nations Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan to work towards the development of both technical and academically-focused training programs.

SRC, based in Toronto, invests in natural resource businesses. It is one of the companies to emerge from the Sprott group started by Eric Sprott, who is also board chair of SRC. Sprott is well-known in financial circles for his many financial companies, and his 35 years of experience in the investment industry. He is president and CEO of Sprott Inc., and portfolio manager for several Sprott equity funds.

SRC says One Earth Farms will be the largest, most efficient farm in Canada when fully into production. It plans to begin farming operations in a hub and spoke system, planting crops and ranching lands in annual increments. The first year of operations will see 50,000 acres go into production, the company said.

Larry Ruud has been appointed president and CEO of One Earth Farms. Ruud has a long history in management and farming, as a management consultant and as director of Viterra Inc. He holds an M.Sc. in Agriculture Economics from the University of Alberta.

Blaine Favel, president and CEO of One Earth Resources Corp., has been appointed director of One Earth Farms and chairman of One Earth Farms GP Corp., the manager of the limited partnership through which First Nations’ land will be leased and farmed.

Favel is a former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN).

In a news release, SRC said it believes the timing for the venture is “opportune.”

“Global trends continue to impact food supplies, as arable land continues to decline, fresh water remains in short supply and various regions of the world are experiencing severe, recurring droughts,” said the company.

“In addition, the global credit crisis has impacted the financing available to farmers and will negatively impact crop production in the short term. These factors, combined with a global population that continues to rise, are creating food security issues and in turn fueling substantial farming investment demand globally.”

SRC trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SCP. Shares on the TSX rose more than 5.5 per cent to $2.85 in early trading Thursday.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

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  #130  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2009, 8:06 PM
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^^ good
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  #131  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2009, 10:04 PM
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This sounds awesome. I would love to be able to drive up to Churchill.

Plan for Nunavut-Manitoba road almost ready: Nunavut official

Last Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 4:39 PM CT
CBC News

The business plan for an all-weather road linking Nunavut and northern Manitoba is nearly complete, meaning construction could begin in the next five years.

Plans to build the 1,200-kilometre road are currently on track, Nunavut transportation officials told business leaders at the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce meeting this week in Rankin Inlet.

"We're working with Manitoba and the Kivalliq Inuit Association, and we're working to complete the business case study," Alan Johnson, the Nunavut government's manager of transportation planning, told CBC News on Wednesday.

"It's 80 per cent complete, it will be completed in a couple months. And with that study, then we're able to advance the program to the next stage."

Johnson said the next stage will be to conduct a detailed routing study for the Nunavut-Manitoba road.

Once built, the road is expected to start in Gillam, Man., connecting through Churchill and then up to the Nunavut communities of Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet.

Officials say the road is expected to cost about $1.2 billion.
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  #132  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2009, 11:33 PM
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How can we justify spending $1.2 billion on a road linking what , a few thousand people in communities spread across 1200 kms ? I can think of a few other roads that could use that cash (TCH anyone ?) Granted , I haven't seen the business plan but for 1.2 billion bucks this just seems like a collossal waste of our cash.
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  #133  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 1:05 AM
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^ A road to Churchill at least could have the potential of significant economic spinoff and perhaps enable the port to be utilized more effectively.

I tend to agree with you building the road much more north than that.
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  #134  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 4:30 AM
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^ can you say arctic sovereignty?
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  #135  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 4:52 AM
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any of u guys been on the roads up north that we have no nuff said
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  #136  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 4:27 PM
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Plan for Nunavut-Manitoba road almost ready: Nunavut official
Last Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 4:39 PM CT
CBC News

The business plan for an all-weather road linking Nunavut and northern Manitoba is nearly complete, meaning construction could begin in the next five years.

Plans to build the 1,200-kilometre road are currently on track, Nunavut transportation officials told business leaders at the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce meeting this week in Rankin Inlet.

"We're working with Manitoba and the Kivalliq Inuit Association, and we're working to complete the business case study," Alan Johnson, the Nunavut government's manager of transportation planning, told CBC News on Wednesday.

"It's 80 per cent complete, it will be completed in a couple months. And with that study, then we're able to advance the program to the next stage."

Johnson said the next stage will be to conduct a detailed routing study for the Nunavut-Manitoba road.

Once built, the road is expected to start in Gillam, Man., connecting through Churchill and then up to the Nunavut communities of Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet.

Officials say the road is expected to cost about $1.2 billion.
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  #137  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 4:28 PM
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^ you're 5 posts late...
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Old Posted Mar 27, 2009, 4:33 PM
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^ you're 5 posts late...
HA!HA! Sorry missed that. I was sure it wasn't there when I went through the recent posts. Must be friday, my mind is on 5 pm and some beer.
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  #139  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 7:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mjpaul View Post
rrskylar...thx for posting that

Our population has risen to 34,156 (Moose Jaw)

thats great news...i havent heard the latest numbers....we are creeping back to 35,000.
I remember back in the 80's when Brandon and Moose Jaw were the same population.
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  #140  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 8:40 PM
wags_in_the_peg wags_in_the_peg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newflyer View Post
I remember back in the 80's when Brandon and Moose Jaw were the same population.
aren't they still?
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