Monthly Archives: September 2019

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Major road construction projects around Transcona leave some feeling boxed in – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Three construction projects in the Transcona area are leaving some with a commuter headache.

“Sometimes you do feel trapped, trying to get out, trying to cross this road,” Beth Ryan said Monday.

Dugald Road from Bates Avenue to Plessis Road is currently under construction, as is 200 metres of Plessis, part of the $77-million Plessis underpass project.

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Two lanes of the Nairn overpass will be of commission starting Friday, leaving only one lane in each direction open, with construction and rehabilitation work expected to last until November.

Lester Deane, the city’s manager of engineering, said the multiple projects won’t interfere with one another.

“I would suggest the distance between the Nairn project and the Plessis project are such that I don’t think they are going to affect each other in a big way.”

But motorists said they already are.

“It’s really creating a problem for us, that’s for sure. We have a business in Transcona and it’s affecting us greatly,” one driver told Global News.

“It takes forever to get out of Transcona,” said another.

The shutdowns are forcing people to take alternate routes. Some are taking major streets, like Regent Avenue, while others are taking back roads, near Bernie Wolfe School.

“I do have to take Regent, a different route home, instead of going straight south from here,” Carl Kennedy said.

In an effort to curb speeding in residential areas, the city placed speed bumps near the school, and marked the speed zone at 30 kilometres per hour.

Still, some residents aren’t convinced it’s the best solution.

“I have noticed that people slow down, speed up till they hit the next speed bump,”  Beth Ryan said.

Those who live in the area will be dealing with traffic for a while.  The Plessis underpass isn’t expected to open until September 2015.

Community mailboxes broken into in Langley: Residents’ identities stolen – BC

VANCOUVER – A quiet Langley neighbourhood is living through a nightmare that could happen to anyone with a community mailbox.

Thieves have broken into their mailbox, stealing people’s identities and racking up huge credit card charges.

Even a city councillor who took the issue to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been victimized.

The mailbox has been broken into more than six times in the last few months with the thieves stealing people’s identities and charging about $100,000 to credit cards.

Residents say their email accounts have also been hacked and some have had to change their phone numbers.

“I’ve had some mail theft,” said Langley Township councillor Steve Ferguson. “I’ve had to change my credit cards, I’ve had to watch, I’ve had to make sure I rush to the mail right away as many residents do to make sure that nobody’s going to rip me off from my mail.”

“And people throughout this country really really care about their mail system.”

– With files from John Daly.

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Related

  • Canada Post says 200 Kelowna mailboxes targeted by thieves

  • PHOTOS: More mailboxes broken into in Surrey B.C.

Calgary homeowners oppose controversial flood zone bylaw – Calgary

CALGARY- City council spent much of Monday debating a bylaw change that would have required some homeowners to move electrical panels, furnaces and hot water tanks out of their basements.

In the end, councillors approved a watered-down version of the bylaw.

The rule change will apply to homes in the city’s floodway and flood fringe.

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Scott Laird and his family are waiting for the end of this year’s flood season before rebuilding the basement of their Rideau Park home. Laird says it would cost $11,000 to move the electrical panel to the main floor.

He adds the home’s two furnaces have already been replaced and says moving them would be extremely expensive.

“I can’t even visualize a way that this can be done.”

Many councillors agree – they decided moving the furnace will only be necessary if a renovation or addition accounts for more than 75 per cent of the size of a home.

The majority of councillors support moving the electrical panels.

However, that wouldn’t be required if basements are being repaired to their pre-flood condition.

“How do we make our city more resilient? How do we make communities more resilient in the future and not destroy people’s property values?” asks Councillor Druh Farrell. “So it’s a matter of the timing of the measures and how aggressive we want to be.”

As Laird keeps a close eye on the rivers, he’s confident he won’t need to make any changes since he’s not enlarging his basement.

“I think the timing is bad. We’re still recovering, everyone that was affected, and you don’t need another issue thrown at you at this point.”

Promises of shorter commutes with $116M in bridge funding – Saskatoon

Watch above: the city of bridges could soon be adding another span

SASKATOON – Be prepared for shorter commute times after a major multimillion dollar funding announcement Monday in the Bridge City.

The federal and provincial governments pledged $116 million in funding towards a new bridge in Saskatoon’s north end and the replacement of the 107-year-old Traffic Bridge.

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Related

  • Saskatoon city council approves P3 funding for bridge project

  • North commuter parkway bridge depends on federal money

  • North commuter bridge funding in dispute

“It came through the P3 system as a paired offering, I think it was very important as the mayor rightly points to the other bridges downtown are going to need some work over time, that means there’s going to be restrictions so by reinventing the Victoria Bridge first that gives them that safety valve to do the repairs on the other bridges,” said Gerry Ritz, federal minister of agriculture and Agri-Food.

This will mark the fourth P3 Canada Fund Project in the province, with the federal government committing up to $66 million to the project and the provincial government contributing $50 million for the North Commuter Parkway Bridge.

“It’s a quarter of a billion dollar project here and if we were going to try to finance it conventionally without a P3 we wouldn’t be announcing this, governments don’t have those kind of resources, these are huge long-term infrastructure projects and we need to finances them over the long-term but we’ll do that with our share, our share will be financed with $50 million dollars,” said Premier Brad Wall.

Forty thousand commuters are projected to use the North Commuter Parkway Bridge every day, with  12,000 on the Traffic Bridge. Once open, traffic congestion will be reduced and travel times shortened.

Wall said it’s a challenge, but a welcomed one, citing that 9,000 newcomers have moved to Saskatchewan in a short period of time at rates nine times the average prior to the province’s growth period.

“Mayor Atch, he’s formidable. Don’t get between this man and bridge, he’s been pressing us on the issue and together with our MLA’s from the area, we also understand that these are the challenges of growth,” said Wall.

The total estimated price tag of the projects is $250 million dollars and at this time, there are few details as to where the additional monies will come from.

“The city will in fact be dealing with the proponents of that, that will come forward in the future and we’ll work that all out under the P3 scenario,” said Mayor Don Atchison.

One contractor will be awarded the work for both bridges and although press documents indicated the bridges will be built over three construction seasons, Atchinson wouldn’t commit to an exact time frame.

“Ideally as soon as possible, I can’t give you a date on that because the RFQ, RFP’s all have to go out yet but as soon as we can get them open that will be wonderful,” said the mayor.

The North Commuter Parkway Bridge will link the Marquis industrial area with the University Heights area by extending Marquis Drive across the river and connecting to McOrmond Drive at Fedoruk Drive.

According to the mayor, once the bridges are complete, the North Commuter Parkway Bridge will be six lanes across. The Traffic Bridge will be two modern lanes that will be able to handle both transit and emergency crews.

Muslim cab driver ticketed for religious garb fights U.S. city’s wardrobe rules – National

ST. LOUIS – An Islamic cab driver in St. Louis is challenging the regional taxi commission’s wardrobe rules in court after receiving dozens of tickets for wearing traditional religious clothing.

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Raja Naeem, 50, is a native of Pakistan who immigrated to the United States two decades ago and now lives in the St. Louis suburb of Manchester. He says his religious beliefs require him to wear a traditional head covering known as a kufi, a billowy shirt called a kurta and loose-fitting pants rather than the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission’s mandated uniform of black slacks and a white, button-down shirt.

He sued the taxi commission in St. Louis Circuit Court, alleging harassment and retaliation based on his religious views – including an arrest at Lambert-St Louis International Airport. On Monday, the two sides squared off in a case Circuit Judge Robert Dierker Jr. took under advisement without issuing a ruling.

“I want to practice my religion as well as provide for my family,” Naeem, a father of four daughters, said in an interview after the hearing.

Attorney Neil Bruntrager, who represents the taxi commission, said the regulatory agency has tried to accommodate Naeem’s ideology while still enforcing its wardrobe rules, which he said were created to help passengers clearly identify approved taxi drivers.

Bruntrager noted that the commission offered a compromise that would have allowed Naeem to wear a kurta as long as it was white and didn’t extend below thigh length. The commission agreed that he could wear the kufi on his head but said his pants must be black rather than the white leg coverings Naeem favours in tribute to the prophet Muhammad.

“All the tickets had nothing to do with him wearing (religious) clothing,” Bruntrager said in court. “It was the colour requirements … Inherent in all this is the idea of easy recognition.”

Drew Baebler, Naeem’s attorney, said the taxi commission overstepped its authority when it interviewed Naeem’s imam about his religious views in an effort to resolve the dispute. He also noted that the commission allows drivers to wear sports jerseys when teams such as the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues make the playoffs.

©2014The Canadian Press