5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Another restaurant operator to leave Morris, MB 

Thea’s Diner is the second restaurant to leave Morris, Man., over bigoted comments from its patrons. Thea Morris, a black woman from Jamaica, told CBC News she received a racist message referencing the Klu Klux Klan. Morris posted the message to her the Diner’s Facebook page:

“You guys still chasing colors out of your towns out there? I believe the KKK has a chapter in south Dakota you should join!”

She plans on closing shop end of December.

Thea’s Diner opened where Pots N Hands used to be. Remember them? The gay couple that was forced to close their restaurant after suffering a debilitating, scary amount of homophobic slurs from Morris residents. They closed just four months after opening. [Source: CBC]

2. Nowhere to store grain after record harvest in Western Canada

This year’s record-setting grain harvest has brought the country’s storage elevator system to capacity, putting international grain sales at risk as companies and farmers have been forced to store grain outside. Quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press, Keystone Agricultural Producers president Doug Chorney said that using outdoor storage to this extent is unprecedented.

Canada’s national railway companies, CN Rail and CP Rail, typically send 5000 cars per week for shipping the crops to port position but have now been requested to provide 6000 cars in order to successfully move the grain before the crops deteriorate and prices go down. [Source: Winnipeg Free Press] 

3. Praying in S.E. Alberta public schools OK for now

The board of the Horizon School Division met this week and directed 10 schools to continue reciting the Lord’s Prayer as they seek public input to formulate a clear standards policy.

The decision comes after a complaint out of a school in Taber, about 50 kilometres east of Lethbridge, where a 10-year-old boy was disciplined after sitting out during a prayer recital.

Alberta is the only province in Canada that guarantees the right to say the prayer through legislation and traditionally, the school’s have had the right to choose whether to have students recite the prayer. [Source: CBC]

4. Calgary to unveil plans for new bicycle lanes downtown

The City of Calgary will release plans for an extensive downtown cycling network, offering separated lanes for cyclists stretching from the Bow to the Elbow Rivers, with service to Olympic Plaza, the Epcor Centre, Stampede Park and The Bow skyscraper.

The cycling infrastructure plan is also being welcomed by business groups who say it can help rejuvenate street-level business in some areas. [Source: Calgary Herald]

5. Rogers Communications signs 12-year, $5.2 billion broadcast agreement with the NHL

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has been given four more years of life before all editorial control shifts to Rogers Communications, who has just bought the Canadian rights to all NHL games across all platforms and languages for the next 12 years.

TSN will also give up all broadcast coverage though TSN Jets will continue providing regional coverage of Jets games on radio and pay-per-view television for another seven seasons, until 2021.

The Rogers/NHL deal takes effect at the start of the 2014-15 NHL season. [Source: Winnipeg Free Press]

Today’s 5 things were written by Toban Dyck and Palmer Fritschy. Follow Spectator Tribune at @SpectatorTib