Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

Winnipeg academy gets human rights award

Winnipeg’s Gray Academy of Jewish Education has won a 2013 Human Rights Award for the presence and success of its Gay Straight Alliance. Gray is one of only two religious high schools in Winnipeg to publically support the alliance. Readers may remember the controversies surrounding Bill 18 by some fundamentalists in the province. Gray’s has been operating longer than the Bill has been written into law, and one student told the Winnipeg Free Press homophobic comments have decreased dramatically since the alliance formed two years ago. Other award winners: Joan Durrant, a Manitoba family social sciences professor; chairwoman of the Women;s Legal Education and Action fund Betty Hopkins; the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities, and  UWSA president Megan Fulz. [Source: Winnipeg Free Press]


Buy local hits Saskatchewan

It’s a great idea, and it makes great use of mobile technology. And, of course, buying local is kind of a big deal. Localize Your Food partners with grocers and producers to create a record of where the store’s food comes from and how it got to the shelf, passing this information to customers by a tag on the item as well as a QR code that will call up a site dedicated to, say, the orange in question. The program is only 10-months old, and is already active in over 50 stores in Alberta, and now a few in Saskatchewan. “I think that it’s difficult for producers and smaller processors to get that story out there that they have this local story that they’re made nearby. So this is a really easy way for them to do that,” Meghan Dear, founder of Localize Your Food, told NewsTalk980. [Source: NewsTalk980]


Black Friday mayhem

Black Friday: Images of people buying 50-inch TVs at dawn with a rabid look on their faces is embarrassing, if only for the fact true empathy isn’t much of a leap. That could be me, if I could handle crowds and had more patience. Washington Post headline: “Black Friday dawns with gunshots, injuries, mayhem.” A Chicago-area police officer shot a shoplifting suspect outside Kohl’s. And, several fights over merchandise were reported in Southern Carolina, injuring the police officer attempting to break them up. I’m sure much more has been reported since this writing, but the last one in this brief happened in Las Vegas where a customer was shot in the leg shortly after purchasing a large-screen television. Canada’s version of Black Friday is staid. Consumers who remained in Canada enjoy the deals offered at home, but there’s little sign of frenzy. [Source: Washington Times]


Jealous of the judges

The Manitoba Pro/Am Beer Competition put on by the Winnipeg Brew Bombers kicked off Thursday, pitting about 410 beers against each other for the grand prize: The winning brewer will get the chance to mix up a large scale batch of his or her recipe at Winnipeg’s Half Pints Brewery. Beers have been entered from all over Canada, but about 150 of the submissions are local. The winning beer will be announced Sunday and chosen by a panel of 22 judges. [Source: CTV]


RCMP stripped of serge 

New Brunswick Cpl. Rob Francis was stripped of his uniform Thursday after video footage of him smoking a joint became known to Justice Minister Peter MacKay.  Francis was not breaking the law. He was smoking prescribed marijuana on camera to highlight deficiencies in the RCMP program regarding how it deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. MacKay made the call, claiming Francis’s public joint smoking “sets a bad example to Canadians.” A bad example like, say, getting a military helicopter to pick you up from a fishing trip? A bad example like, say, a bungled $25B F-35 project? Yes, Mr. MacKay, these are things you did. And Cpl. Francis has a 20 years of service medal. [Source: National Post]


What? A morning Jets game? Toban Dyck wrote this and hit “publish” mere minutes before puck drop. 

Follow @tobandyck and @spectatortrib