Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

More buses for Winnipeg

Winnipeg Transit has placed an order for 58, new, low-floor transit buses from the city’s own New Flyer Industries. They are 40 feet long, and will cost the city $27.3M, an amount earmarked for the fleet purchase in the 2013/2014 transit capital budgets, according to Winnipeg Free Press. The original tender was for 64 buses, but the city was blindsided by the high bids it received, forcing them to concede six in order to stay within their means. The dimensions of the buses are not yet known. Nor is it clear which routes will get them. It’s assumed they can handle cold winters and crumbling infrastructure, but that, too, has yet to be stated. [Source: Winnipeg Free Press]

Flooding strands hundreds of thousands in India, Pakistan 

About 400,000 people remain stranded in Kashmir, India, and evacuation warnings have been issued to many homes in neighbouring Pakistan, as the regions deals with some of the worst flooding it’s seen in decades. Officials say the death toll has already surpassed 450. Troops are currently providing rescue and relief in accessible areas. KhwajaMohammad Asif, Pakistan’s Minister for Water and Power told the Associated Press that about 700,000 people have been asked to leave their homes. On Tuesday, 24 people were killed after the roof of a mosque collapsed unable to withstand the long period of heavy rainfall. The rain has since subsided, but waterlogged areas are still dealing with flood-related devastation. [Source: BBC]

The emperor has no clothes

Megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll, a man who tells between 8,000 and 9,000 people how to live their lives each week, is being called out as a jerk by many former Mars Hill Church pastors. And many of Mars Hills’s churches are reportedly closing as a result of the negative attention Driscoll has brought. In one charge leveled against him, Driscoll said this of someone interested in a leadership role: “His fat ass is not the image we want for our church.”  And then this to a church elder: “I don’t give a shit what you think. I’m trying to be nice to you guys by asking your opinion. In reality, we don’t need your vote to make this decision. This is what we’re doing.” These are just two of 21 charges. He’s also a sexist, allegedly telling a female abuse victim in his congregation to apologize to her husband for, “Failing to bend to his will.” Driscoll is also homophobic, and has some less than inspired things to say about the penis. It’s at least consoling to know some who attend Mars Hill were able to see the light, exit the cave, and see him for what he is.  [Sources: Death and Taxes,Patheos]

Franklin expedition ship found 

It’s either the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror. Historians don’t yet know. But what is known is that one of the two ships used in the doomed Franklin expedition has been found 11 metres below the Arctic ocean’s surface. And by a Canadian search team, no less. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, allegedly having a difficult time containing his glee, told news sources the breakthrough was “great, historic. For more than a century, this has been a great Canadian story and mystery,” said Harper. “I’d say it’s been the subject of scientists and historians and writers and singers. So I think we have a really important day in mapping together the history of our country.”  The find is one piece of a larger puzzle. The other ship’s location remains unknown. Editor’s note: Harper’s comments smack of sovereignty-related sentiments unrelated to the historic search that has dogged Arctic teams for over a century. [Source: National Post]

Scotland to vote on independence

The people of Scotland will vote on whether or not they will remain a part of the United Kingdom. On Sept. 18, depending which way it tips, Scotland might become an independent state. If they vote in favour of the split, Scotland and the UK will begin the divorce process, divvying assets and mulling over things like currency and military matters. If it goes the other way, negotiations may still take place. Many UK party leaders have are pleading for no vote, apparently offering the country more autonomy. Alex Salmond, the leader of the majority-holding Scotting National Party, campaigned and won in 2011 on the promise of an independence vote. The nation has had its own parliament since 1999. And since then has been in control of its own health, justice, education, transportation sectors. [Source: Globe and Mail, BBC]


Toban Dyck is minutes away from cultivating a 200-plus acre field. And he apologizes profusely for not publishing a 5 things yesterday. If you like me, follow me at: @tobandyck

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