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Winnipeg’s vacant barracks could become urban reserve, Fort Saskatchewan gets first radio station, Calgary tech company works to fight human trafficking, and Edmonton’s anti-lockout song.

Vacant Kapyong Barracks could become urban reserve

Winnipeg’s Kapyong Barracks could soon be all that they can be. The 160-acre property that runs along Kenaston Boulevard and Grant Avenue has sat vacant since 2004, and could soon become an urban reserve for First Nations people.

Ottawa had plans to redevelop the property in 2005, but the First Nations people made a motion to the court, claiming ownership that goes back to an 1871 treaty. The court sided with the Aboriginal leaders and while Ottawa appealed the motion once, it now looks like Ottawa could be willing to settle with seven Aboriginal groups.

“It’s really been moving along fast in a positive direction. We’ve been talking about how to expedite this outside of the court process,” Chief Donovan Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation told CTV News.

Fontaine says it could be an urban and commercial zone and a real hub for traffic.  People in the area hope that this redevelopment could bring on a much needed green space with it as well as the beginning of the expansion of Kenaston. Sources told CTV that deal could be finalized as early as November 30th.



Fort Saskatchewan gets the party started

Fort Saskatchewan hits the airwaves with the launch of their very first radio station. They are a down-to-earth station far up on the dial. Mix 107.9 FM describes themselves as “Somewhat Contemporary Hits Radio.” Mix FM launched Tuesday morning with  Pink’s 2001 hit “Get the Party Started.”

With the station’s 20,000-watt transmitter, it will be heard all over Edmonton’s metropolitan area. The CRTC license lists the new station as a “classic rock” format, however there is a lot of leeway. In the first hour they played artists like Nickleback, Lady Gaga, and Matchbox 20.

Station Manager Mike LeBlanc says most of Mix’s announcers were hired locally in Fort Saskatchewan either out of the newspaper, or off the street. They welcomed anyone who wanted to be involved. Afternoon Drive host Tony Stacey previously worked at Staples.

“We hire locally and want people here that are connected to the community and that have a passion for that part of it, and not just out to get a radio job and head out in six months,” says Leblanc “We’re not here to compete with Edmonton, we’re here to be the first radio station in Fort Saskatchewan. It’s all about Fort Saskatchewan.”



Shelly Kuipers of Calgary-based Chaordix

Human trafficking is a tragedy that has been around since the beginning of time and it affects an estimated 20 million people around the world. Shelly Kuipers, founder of the tech company Chaordix, was moved by President Obama’s call for solutions in his 2012 Initiative speech. She is using crowd-sourcing technology as an effort to empower an online community.

Chaordix is using college and university campuses around the world to enable human rights activism though their contest. It also gives communities a platform to collaborate and discuss ideas as well as access to expert panel evaluation technologies.

“This promises to be truly world changing,” Kuipers described, noting how the partners are providing exactly the platform for capturing the smart technology ideas and student ingenuity that Obama called for to tackle human trafficking. “It’s an honour to be involved.”

There will be a call for forward thinking submissions and innovative technological solutions by the end of this month. Winners will be selected through a crowd-rating system and voted from an expert panel by February 2013.



Brett Kissel writes anti-lockout song

“Hockey, please come back!” is what lifelong Oiler fan Brett Kissel’s inside voice screamed as his wife controlled the remote. A playful nudge from her to put his plea into song created what just might be a hit single for the Edmonton Country singer.

Kissel recorded “Hockey, Please Come Back” in a Nashville studio and six days later the anti-lockout tune was hitting the airwaves across Canada, while buzz about it surfaced in sports blogs. While some songs take days or weeks for an artist to write, Kissel knocked this one off in 15 minutes.

After playing the song acoustically to members of Grand Prairie’s Emerson Drive, he recorded it on November 22nd with their accompaniment. The next day, they had a basic video up on YouTube, which has already received over 5,000 hits.

This is the country singer’s second hockey song, the first was a impudent tune about the Vancouver Canucks, the inspiration was a back and forth Facebook fracas he had with former country singer and draft pick Chad Brownlee. After making amends, the two performed the song together at the Country Music Awards in Saskatoon.

No matter what happens with the lockout, the song is about fans dying to get hockey back, something he hopes happens sooner than later.

“Hockey, Please Come Back” link:



Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

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