Spring Gardening

The first day of spring officially past back on March 20th, and with it came warmer weather and melting snow. Soon enough the ground will be fully thawed and the planting season will begin, both in rural and urban circles. So, if you were looking for a hobby to take up this summer as you hopefully get somewhat of a breather from studies, growing your own garden might be in your cards. 

pc: creative commons

There are various benefits associated directly or indirectly with growing your own produce. The source of the food is well known as any pesticides, fertilizers, or any other details are left up to your own discretion. In the same breath, if you’re concerned about buying organic products for whatever reason this is a potentially cheaper way to eat organic without paying grocery store prices. Organic seeds can be purchased at stores like Canadian Tire or The Green Spot. Additionally, when growing your own vegetables you’ll have easier access to them and they’ll end up on your plate more often than not, plus some leftovers you may have can be cut up and frozen to have ready. It can help out with any definitely-not-abandoned New Years resolutions that were made to amp up your health. 

Assuming like most university students there’s no large garden readily at your disposal, it is possible to grow some vegetables and herbs indoors. Things to consider first are the amount of sunlight and the types of containers you’d be working with. Some produce, like certain types of carrots, require deep soil in order to grow so any containers that are used have to be able to provide the necessary room. Vegetables in general need a lot of sunlight and warmth, so figure out what window is going to provide the best of each- if they’re too high up consider finding a stool or small table that can be propped underneath them in order to reach the height. Vine tomatoes that can be purchased in pots with cages to grow up would work well depending on your space. Looking for something that takes up a little less space? Spinach can be easily grown in pots and some can withstand a little bit of shade. Really, any vegetables (maybe not full sized corn) can be grown indoors, simply type it into your internet browser and there will be plenty of different instructions available to guide you on your indoor gardening adventure. There’s even specific potting soil that can be bought. 

Another option if you’re low on space would be growing some herbs. Generally, they require smaller containers to grown, and anything from mint, parsley, to chives can be grown in small little containers. Pro tip though, don’t use old soup or bean containers. They’ve got a really nice aesthetic, but rust is unfortunately a factor. Apparently, among their many uses mason jars can also be used to grow a herb garden, stones simply need to be placed at the bottom to make up for any drainage issues. 

Happy Spring!

Annual Fundraiser For Local Museum

The Daly House Museum is having their annual fundraiser on March 9th, 2019 beginning at 6pm. The event is being held at the Ukrainian Reading Association Hall and features wonderful dinner of roast beef, perogies, mashed potatoes, salads and wine. There will also be door prizes, a 50/50 draw, trivia and a play put on by the Assiniboine Theater company, called “HERstory.” The play highlights challenges and accomplishments of historic female figures such as Viola Desmond, Kaye Rowe, Emily Carr and Agnes Macphail. The play is being directed by Kenneth Jackson and will be set up like an episode of “The National.” This event which is themed for International Women’s Day (March 8th) helps the Daly House with funding. Proceeds go to the curation of exhibits, management of the archives, program development and upkeep of the museum. Tickets are $60 for people who are not members of the Daly House, and $55 for those who are. Call 204-727-1722 for tickets! After the event guests are invited to stay for the Annual Meeting of the Daly House. 

The Daly House Museum is located at 122 18th street (right down the street from the university). Their hours for September-June are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, and from July-August their hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-12pm and 1pm-5pm, and Sundays 1pm-4pm. To visit the museum the cost is $6 for adults, and seniors/youth/children/students are $5. The second and third floors of the museum are not wheelchair accessible. The Museum is a historical home, and was previously the home of Thomas Mayne Daly who was Brandon’s first mayor, Manitoba’s first federal cabinet minister, and Canada’s first juvenile court judge. He lived in the house from 1882-1896.

Information from this article came from the Daly House Facebook page, and the Brandon Sun article “Daly House fundraiser will make ‘Her Story,’” and the Daly House website.

ACC Days In Portage

Assiniboine Community College will be hosting a day of activities and events out in Portage La Prairie on February 27th as par of ACC Day series. ACC has always had a proud history of serving the region and surrounding area with quality courses and training opportunities. Assiniboine sees a lot of growth opportunities and unique areas of development for Portage. 

The event itself kicks off from 7:00-9:00 a.m. at the McDonald’s on the highway. There will be a draw and a chance to meet with he mayor of Portage. at 11:00 a.m. the continuing studies at Assiniboine are offering a free Lunch & Learn on the topic of Global Citizenship in a Changing Community. People who attend will be able to reflect on cultures and develop their own intercultural skills. The lunch at this two hour workshop will be held at Season’s Family Restaurant. For the lunch pre-registration is required.

Students from PCI will have a chance to get involved with certain programs and sessions offered by ACC. An afternoon of hands-on bell-ringer sessions will give students a chance to experience what certain programs have to offer. These sessions are a fun and fast-paced way to explore the college programs offered at ACC. The students often have specific questions that want to ask about certain programs and job opportunities available after graduation.

At 6:00 p.m. ACC invites alumni and friends to gather in the Portage Daily Graphic Room at Stride Place before attending the Portage Terriers’ game at 7:30 p.m. More details about the day’s activities can be found at assiniboine.net/accday.

ACC has been involved around the region throughout Portage for decades. There is the  Enhanced Aboriginal Practical Nursing program based in Southport. Assiniboine has offered the program in the Southport location nine times since 2000, and they also have partnership with Long Plain First Nation. This relationship results in offering community-based training in the areas of Applied Counselling, Office Management, Medical Administration, and construction safety programming. There is also the Heavy Duty Truck & Transport Mechanic training for 11 Hutterite colonies, resulting in Red Seal certification for many of the participants.

Week Of Action In Ontario

Students across Ontario are hard at work in order to demand an immediate reversal of Premier Ford’s disastrous plan for post-secondary education. The students launched the “We The Students,” campaign which calls on several changes to be made from the provincial government.

The campaign demands the government to: Provide more grants, not loans; eliminate tuition for all students; increase public funding for public education; protect students’ independent voices; and, defend the right to organize. The PC government is up against Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-O). The claims here are that the government is attacking ideologies on campuses.

As part of the “We The Students” campaign, the CFS-O are not alone, They are supported by the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), the United Steel Workers (USW) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

These cuts that the Ford government is implementing slash at students associations funding and RM Kennedy of OPSEU claims that this will greatly affect the students supports and chances of success in and out of the classroom. The OCUFA stands in solidarity with students against the government to reverse the changes in place meant to undermine the post-secondary education system. Rights and representations are in danger on campus and it is feared that both the accessibility and quality of post secondary education in Ontario will suffer. 

Sam Hammond of Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario says it best “No student should have to pay for government cuts.” For more information on last weeks Week of Action you can check out the Facebook event “We The Students: Week of Action.” 

Diversity Is Our Strength: A Taste Of The Multiculturalism Of Wheat City

This past weekend marked the 16th Annual Westman Multicultural Festival, formerly known as the Lieutenant Governor`s Winter Festival, which ran from the 31st to the 2nd. This year nine pavilions were dispersed across the city: Honduran, English, Scottish, Indian, Métis, Mexican, Mauritian, Jamaican and Ukrainian.  All the pavilions were free to attend.

pc:raelee fehr,mexican and english pavilions

On the Thursday I checked out the Métis, English and Mexican Pavilion. Those working the Métis pavilion, which was located here on campus at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, are always hospitable to attendees. Dancers and musicians entertained guests in the auditorium while downstairs there was a screen to watch the entertainment for those who were grabbing a bite to eat.

Next, I went over to the Mexican pavilion, where the dancers were flown in from Mexico for the event. As shown here, one of the dancers grabbed a lady from the audience to dance with and entertained a full house at the Shrine Club. There was also a variety of food, merchandise and beverages available for purchase.

The last stop for me that evening was the English pavilion, located at the Victoria Inn. The entertainment was great and included a band in which one of our students plays in, the Chris Ghidoni Band. I consider myself pretty lucky to have gotten in, even though Thursdays aren`t that busy, as for the previous two years I couldn’t get in on the weekend. As the English and Scottish pavilions tend to run later and are licensed to sell alcohol, usually they’re full houses.

The Multicultural Festival is one of the few fun and free events that entice me to leave the house in the dead of winter, but it also shows how diverse Brandon is becoming. Major sponsors for the event included the City of Brandon, the Government of Manitoba, Canadian Heritage grant from the Government of Canada, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries and Manitoba Hydro. 

pc:raelee fehr,mexican and english pavilions

Chinese New Year

     The pig is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. This year the Chinese New Year falls on February 5th. The Chinese New Year celebration is a traditional activity in Brandon which is organized by BUCSSA (Brandon University Chinese Students and Scholars Association). 

     Usually there will be a dinner before the celebration and lots of great performances and several lucky draws during the events. We will invite the mayor, the president of BU and some sponsorships who support the activities during the Chinese New Year celebration. There will be lots of citizens from around the Westman region and members from the BU community who come to this event. 

     The dinner being offered for the celebration will be served from several different Chinese restaurants which will include their delicious traditional Chinese foods. The tickets being sold will include several different meal options for attendees. You could also buy more food separately. The performances will be prepared by some Chinese performers and maybe some Canadians who are interested in Chinese culture. The lucky draws are the most exciting part for the audience because we will play some games during every section of the celebration and contestants could win different gifts! 

     Last year, we threw lots of “Hong Bao” which we called ‘Red Bag’ or ‘Red envelope ’ at the end of the performances to the audiences. It is a traditional monetary gift that is given during holidays to send luck to others. Usually in China it’s a tradition for the elder to send money as a gift to the younger generation in the new year.  

     This year, the Chinese New Year celebration will be on March 2nd in the WMCA (Westman Manitoba Centennial Auditorium), which is a little bit late due to booking complications but it still will be a great celebration. BUCSSA invites everyone to come to our celebration, we would love to see you there to enjoy our foods and performances. We will send the best luck to you and wish you can get the gifts during the lucky draws. We will selling tickets in Living Delight, Sushi Hut, Neo Tea Shop and Princess Grocery. The advance tickets will be $10, $12 at door. 

Canadian Democratic System

Canada is faced with an upcoming election in the fall and it’s important for citizens to understand what that means for Canadian society. I’m not here to talk opinions on parties, there will be more than enough of that in your life, I am here to talk about the voting system in Canada and just how the election system works. For people to be able to understand how the election system works I want to look at a few of the changes Canada has been going through as well as some of its institutions which have shaped our democracy. Now due to the reason I doubt many of you remember much about politics from your high school classes, I will give a brief overview of the Canadian democracy then get into the concept of voting.

Canada is formally run by a constitutional monarchy and has what is called parliamentary democracy. Canada’s parliament consists of three parts: the Queen (as represented through the governor general); the Senate; and the House of Commons. Each part of the government has it’s own specific roles and responsibilities. Some of these seats in parliament are elected, while others are hand picked. Canada also has three divisions of powers and governments including: the federal; territorial or provincial; and municipal. Canada has many different parties at each level and several options for different types of leaders of who they want to run their country, province or city. Some popular parties include the Conservatives, Liberals, New Democratic Party, the Green Party and the Quebecois. Elections occur every four years.

The main focus for this article though is the idea of our voting system. First things first, there are 338 ridings in Canada. These are based on geography and population size and each riding has one Member of Parliament (MP). As a Canadian, voting is voluntary and you vote only for your local candidate. You do not vote for a party, but for an individual. The candidate who gets the most votes in your electoral district wins. The winning candidate represents you in the House of Commons and this is called the First Past the Post system (FPTP). You do not vote directly for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the leader of the political party which has the most seats in the House of Commons.

Some people have an issue with this FPTP system and are pushing for a proportional representation system, where the numbers aren’t based so much on individuals and ridings but focus more on total votes. The Liberal party currently with a majority government had actually promised to get rid of this system and move to a system which is a little more fair. However it is unknown in the coming months how much not getting rid of the FPTP system will affect the Liberal chances at getting elected again or if it will have any affect at all. Maybe the FPTP system isn’t seen as bad enough yet by Canadians? Maybe it will be pushed out of the way shortly? The most recent change to the election system came to us just last week on a supreme court ruling about Canadians living abroad. In the decision made it was decided that a Canadian Elector, living abroad, who has previously resided in Canada, is entitled to vote by special ballot in federal elections, regardless of how long they have been living abroad.

OP On Why APA Is The Worst And What Everyone Should Know

Other styles might have their own tiny, obtrusive rules that you need to be mindful of, but the one I need to use most is APA and so I’m going to write (whine) about it. APA is the Arguably Poor and Awful formatting style used in many of the social sciences and liberal arts classes when writing papers. 

I was going to introduce this in a more responsible/well-mannered way, but to hell with it. Fuck APA formatting. Did you know there are three different hyphens and rules on how and when to use them? I didn’t and let me tell you, you can definitely lose marks on using the wrong hyphen. One hyphen is the regular hyphen, the second is an N hyphen (because it’s as long as the letter N) and the last is the M hyphen (for the same reason). Each one has its use and if you mix them up… you’re fucked. And tough luck if the URL you’ve copied has the wrong one in it. 

Or how about page numbers? I bet you haven’t checked what automatic typeface you are using on your page numbers, because it might not be Times New Roman, and if you forget something like that… Yep, you’ll lose some marks. 

Double spacing after periods that are before another sentence is just plain stupid. Where do you get off APA?

There’s a way in APA to cite the back of a Cracker Jack box. If you are citing information from a candy box, perhaps academia is not for you. 

You can use ampersands (&) when sourcing more than one author but in almost no other place is this acceptable. Fuck you APA. It’s my ampersand and I will sprinkle it liberally through the entirety of my paper, including titles, page numbers, and use it instead of quotation marks if I damn well want. I will change my legal name to & if I have to. 

The alleged purpose of APA is to standardize writing papers while also making them easier to read. Instead what happens is I fly into an apoplectic rage when I lose marks in the Running Head and how it is not all capitalized except for the words ‘Running head’, but not the ‘h’, for… reasons? Confused? Too bad. APA doesn’t care about your feelings.

Fuck you APA. You’re the worst. 

PSA Grey Owl

There is some exciting news happening over at Assiniboine Community College. The Grey Owl restaurant will soon be back up and running. Every year the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts hosts a four week long dining restaurant in which culinary arts students test their skills by preparing dishes for attendees. Students in the Hotel and Restaurant Management diploma also get to display what they have learned. They have the opportunity to practice and develop their hospitality and service skills. Grey Owl is seen as one of the most anticipated events at Assiniboine Community College each year and does an exemplary job in highlighting their slogan, "Learn by Doing."

This year, Grey Owl will run from January 21st till February 15th. The restaurant will only be open in the evenings throughout the week. Reservations must be made in order to attend the event. The restaurant is located at Assiniboine Community College's North Hill campus. The grand and historic dining room is inside the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts, where students study for two years to get their Culinary Arts diploma.

Each year, the students at Assiniboine Community College prepare a vast variety of tasty and savoury dishes for attendees to enjoy. What's on the menu this year? A better question is, what isn't? At Grey Owl the students and staff will be serving up full course meals with plenty of options available for anyone fortunate enough to attend. Even better, Grey Owl has vegetarian and gluten free menu options. Attendees can dig into appetizers like the Pan Seared Scallop and Tiger Prawn or head over to the Chilled Seafood Bar. If you’re looking for something a little lighter to start off the meal there are a variety of soups and salads such as the Mediterranean Salad. The menu gets even better heading into the entrees. There, you can have everything from Brome Lake Duck to Southern Fried Cornish Game Herd. All entrees come with a choice of soup and salad as well as a vegetable, Harvard beet and freshly baked bread. To finish things off, Grey Owl also has a desserts menu. Here attendees can enjoy a Turtle Cheesecake or a Classic Creme Brûlée. In celebration of Grey Owl's 30th birthday, you can also order a slice of Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake. There are some higher end items on the menu and due to that, the prices at Grey Owl are more expensive than your average restaurant. However, not only is the food delicious but attendees can take part assisting in the education of new chef's.

This tasty and enriching event sells out quickly! Reservations can be made as of Thursday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m. There is no charge to make a reservation, however there is maximum of one reservation per caller. Reservations are available for tables of two, four and even six. To make a reservation at Grey Owl you can call 1-204-725-8738. For more information regarding Grey you can visit www.assiniboine.net/calendar/manitoba-of-culinary-arts-events/grey-owl<http://www.assiniboine.net/calendar/manitoba-of-culinary-arts-events/grey-owl> or by phoning 1-204-725-8741.

photo credit: ACC Website

Positive Economic Impact On Manitoba's Economy

January 10th 2019 something incredible happened. A comprehensive report was created regarding Manitoban finances. What’s even more mind blowing? It is centred around Indigenous people in Manitoba and shows the strong contributions that were made to the provincial economy. Some of you (racists or bigots, take your pick) are going to want to take a seat, this news might seem ludicrous to you, I mean, Indigenous people… being a positive factor on the economy??? Well better believe it because this report is local, comprehensive and was based on research only within the past few years.

One of the major findings of the paper includes the fact that Indigenous spending in Manitoba totalled $9.3 billion in the year of 2016, equivalent to 3.9% of the provincial GDP. That spending and putting back into the economy is greater than the contributions made from oil and gas, food and accommodations or manufacturing.

This is a huge number that shows the scale of ongoing Indigenous impact in Manitoba. Who did this report though? Why should it be considered credible? Because it comes from local organizations and community members like those people at Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute (RDI). Together with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Inc. (SCO) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) the team produced the report as just a single year snapchat of Indigenous contributions. It is reports like these which can be used to unlock even further potential in the future, through study and research. 

The director of RDI, Bill Ashton, said “Indigenous economic impact has enormous growth potential,” and this is due to the fast growing Indigenous populations as well as the opportunities for economic development. Ashton notes that the economic development is increasing “both on-reserve and off-reserve, but also by expanding the opportunities provided by urban reserves.”

This report is the first one of its kind, being foundational in terms of research and analysis which was in accordance with the First Nations principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession.

Truly an incredible feat, congratulations goes out to those people at RDI and the people in surrounding communities who helped create this groundbreaking research. For those interested in reading the report you can check it out on Brandon University’s webpage at https://www.brandonu.ca/rdi/projects/indigenous-economy/

photo credit: BU Website

Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium

Though November is quickly drawing to a close, the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium has a packed lineup of holiday performances going on for the Month of December. 

On November 29th , November 30th, and December 1st the WMCA will be hosting a Vincent Massey High School production of the popular “High School Musical”. All three showings will take place at 7:30pm. Tickets for Adults are $20, Senior and Students pay $15, and Children’s tickets are $10. 

Monday December 3rd will feature a performance by The Barra MacNeils in An East Coast Christmas. The Barra MacNeils are a family group renown for their Christmas performances. Songs performed include ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Ave Marie’. The group consists of Kyle, Lucy, Sheumas, Stewart, and Boyd. Their talents range from instrumental performance to dancing. Tickets will be $40 and can be purchased online. 

Saturday December 8th at 7:00pm has Tom Jackson and guests performing “The Huron Carol”. The guests performing with him consist of Tom McKillip, Carly McKillip, Darren Savard, and Craig Bignell & Suzanne Levesque. Tickets are $35 and attendees are encourages to bring contributions for the Brandon University Food Bank. 

Sunday December 9th at 7:30 will have Don Amero three time Juno nominee and Canadian country music icon performing “Amero Little Christmas” alongside guests. The performance promises to make the audience laugh, provide heartfelt music, and enchanting tales with a goal of bringing the meaning of the season back to relaxing and being grateful for the things in your life. Tickets are $35.

Wednesday December 12th features a performance by George Fitton School in “A Pirate Christmas,” all tickets for this performance will be $4. 

Saturday December 15th at 7:00 has Tre Twitty and Tayla Lynn performing “A Salute to Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.” Grandson of Conway Twitty, Tre Twitty is teaming up with Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter Tayla Lynn as they cover various songs by the duo. Tickets are $52.80. 

And finally to end off their December showings, The WMCA will have a performance by École Harrison as they perform “Le Réveillon de Noël” on Wednesday December 19th. Tickets are $6.50 with children under eighteen being $1.50. 

All tickets for performances can be purchased online or through the WMCA Box Office. 

Speech From The Throne

On Tuesday November 20th, 2018 the Pallister Government made its Speech from the Throne. The Speech from the Throne highlights the ruling governments plans for the upcoming legislative session, in this instance the current government is entering its fourth session. The Speech was delivered by Lt. Gov. Janice Filmon. 

A wide range of goals and directions for the government in the upcoming sessions were discussed. Among them were familiar declarations of balanced budgets, tax relief for families and small business. There was mention of a new Referendum Act to allow “Manitobans to vote on major tax increases”. 

A brief list of some of the issues: 

-A goal of strengthening the current healthcare system by reducing wait times in the St. Boniface Hospital and Health Science Centre. Specifically, they want to direct their attention to wait times for “procedures such as joint replacement, cataracts, and diagnostic imaging”. They explained how ambulance fees have been reduced by 35% and will be cut in half by 2020. They declared that the healthcare system they inherited was top heavy and that they would continue to remove administrative layers. 

- In order to respond to recommendations for changing to the child protections programs they plan on bringing forward legislative amendments in both The Child and Family Services Act as well as The Child and Family Services Authority Act. 

-A renewed framework for the provision and finer aspects of sustainable housing was mentioned. They acknowledged that some feedback they have heard is the implementation of access to skills training in order to aid people in becoming economically secure and independent. 

-A new approach to transitioning individuals from welfare into the workforce promises “more timely and holistic assessments, based on more accurate data to individual need”, with a goal of getting people back into the workforce sooner. 

-Investments in new school and child care spaces, and the new Child Care Centre Development Tax Credit is targeted to increasing “access to affordable, licensed early learning and child care spaces”. 

-The government declared that they were committed to making communities safer. Previously in 2016 they explained that a review revealed the areas requiring the most amount of adjustment to the criminal justice system. The ‘Criminal Justice System Modernisation Strategy’ has four key components such as “crime prevention, targeted resources for serious criminal cases, more effective use of restorative justice and responsible reintegration of offenders”, these changes have been seeing a positive response. Starting in 2019 Manitoba Justice will receive reforms in order to further improve the current justice system. 

- Future testing of autonomous vehicles is predicted for the future, and as a result they plan on introducing legislative amendments to allow safer testing of such vehicles. 

-Two new pilot programs are planned in order to support victims of domestic violence. 

-Improvements to the system for those who are separating, divorcing, dealing with child custody issues, and spousal/child support were purposed for the upcoming session. 

-Improvements to the elementary and secondary schools are a focus, as well as providing “higher quality vocational and professional education” in regards to colleges in Manitoba. 

These are only a few summaries of the topics address in the Throne Speech. The full PDF copy of the speech can be read on the Manitoba Government website at www.gov.mb.ca/thronespeech/ along with the full video of the speech along with the following press conference that Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister spoke at. 

Canada's Most Dangerous Cities Report

Just in time to ruin your holiday spirit, MacLean’s has released their annual “Canada’s most dangerous places” report. Considering there’s 229 Canadian cities considered, Brandon falls fairly close to the top of the list. 

The data used for the calculation is taken from Stats Canada’s crime severity index that annually analyzes police-reported crime rates across the country. The way in which the rates are calculated has been modified to better reflect the state of nation-wide criminal activity, and the data shows that the severity of crimes committed in Canada is rising. 

The index seeks to understand if crime gaining police attention has increased in severity, and if the reported crime in a given city or province is more or less serious compared to all of Canada. The traditional crime rate measured the number of police reported incidents occurring for a given population without taking into the consideration the seriousness of the crime – every offense carried the same weight in the overall calculation. Without this consideration, the rates were heavily influenced by any fluctuation in less serious offenses, as 40% of police reported crime in Canada comes from thefts under $5,000 and mischief.  Further, because of their relatively low volume, serious crimes have very little impact on changes to the overall crime rate. The revised system assigns each offense a seriousness weight based on court sentencing including the incarceration rate and the average length of the prison sentence for each type of offence. The overall crime ranking of each city takes into consideration the change in volume of a particular crime, and the relative seriousness of the crime in comparison to other crimes. 

The change in calculations has not rectified all biases, as less serious crimes (which dominate the crime rate) are much less likely to be reported to police, and consequently less likely to be factored into the calculation. 

Of 229 cities total, Brandon is #4 for youth crime. The youth criminal justice act offenses rate is 255.6 per 100,000 people, while the Canada average is 16.7. Brandon is #11 for firearms offenses, with 19.8 per 100,000 people, the Canada average being 6.8. With 114.9 sexual assaults reported per 100,000 people, Brandon scores #21 in Canada, with the national average being 56.6. While 703.4 incidents per 100,000 people put Brandon at #38 for general assault, with the national average at 430.7.

Brandon had rates very similar to the national average for robbery, breaking and entering, fraud, and impaired driving. The numbers for drug offenses including cannabis, cocaine, and other controlled drugs trafficking and production was well below the Canadian average. Fortunately, Brandon ranked extremely low for homicide. As a more general indicator of ‘danger’, Brandon is 33 of 229 on the violent crime severity index, and 52 for crime severity index. On a positive note, Brandon’s rates for every category has decreased since the 2017 report. 

Recipe: Christmas Cakes 

With every passing day the joyous and glorious holiday of Christmas comes ever closer. However, we certainly don’t need to wait until December 25th to start Christmas baking! Although people bake quite heavily in during times of the year, such as Thanksgiving and Easter, Christmas always takes the top spot. Christmas baking can include an abundance of delicious and delicate treats with everything from cookies and muffins to pies and bars. While all these snacks are certainly savory it is the Christmas cakes that we all look forward to each and every holiday season. I have had the pleasure of enjoying two magnificent and delicious types of cakes for a number of Christmas seasons. Today I will share with you all the recipes of both the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and the Chocolate Lava Cake. Before i dive into each recipe I must address the issue of...fruit cake. This despicable and incredibly disgusting excuse for a Christmas cake is truly not worthy of the holiday season. I pity any of you that have had the unfortunate displeasure of tasting such a dish. Not only does fruit cake taste and look absolutely awful it is incredibly unhealthy. Just take a look at the fat or sugar content. Anyhow, these two Christmas cake recipes are far better than any fruit cake and will leave you wanting more Christmas magic.

The White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake is as good as the name suggests. While it does take a while to prepare the end result is astounding. White chocolate is good, paired with raspberry is even better but combined in a cheesecake truly takes the top prize. This cheesecake will leave you wondering why Christmas isn’t celebrated all year long.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake


1 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs

3 tablespoons of white sugar 

¼ cup of melted butter

1 package or 10 ounces of frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons of white sugar

2 teaspoons of corn starch

½ cup of water

2 cups of white chocolate chips

½ cup of half-and-half cream

3 packages of cream cheese, softened

½ cup of white sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


In a medium to large bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons of white sugar and melted butter. Then proceed to press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inh springform pan.

In a large pot combine the raspberries, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, corn starch and water. Bring the sauce to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.

Strain the sauce through a strainer to remove raspberry seeds.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water combine the white chocolate chips and half-and-half cream. Stir until melted and smooth.

In a large bowl mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then blend in the melted chocolate mixture and the vanilla. 

Pour half the batter onto the crust in the springform pan and then proceed to spoon 3 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce over the batter.

Pour the remaining cheesecake batter into the pan and then again spoon 3 tablespoons of raspberry sauce on top.

Bake for 60 minutes. Cool then proceed to cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Serve with remaining raspberry sauce and enjoy.

One of the greatest things about Christmas baking is the amount of chocolate that is used. It truly is a chocolate lovers paradise during the holiday season. The Chocolate Lava Cake recipe proves itself to be the pinnacle of chocolate desserts, perfect for any Christmas gathering.

Chocolate Lava Cake


2 egg yolks

2 eggs

3 teaspoons of white sugar 

3 ½ ounces of chopped dark chocolate 

5 tablespoons of butter

4 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons of flour

1 pinch of salt 

1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract 


Grease the inside of 4 ramekins with butter and place them inside a casserole dish.

Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs and white sugar in a large bowl until mixture is light yellow.

Melt dark chocolate and butter in microwave for 30 second intervals. Continue this for approximately 3 minutes. Then proceed to stir in the chocolate mixture with the egg mixture.

Sift cocoa powder then the flour and salt into the batter. 

Stir the vanilla into the batter 

Transfer batter into a tightly sealable plastic bag and snip one corner of the plastic bag to form a tip. 

Divide the batter evenly into the 4 ramekins and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F. 

Arrange the ramekins in a casserole dish then proceed to pour hot water into the casserole dish until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool for 18 minutes

Loosen the edges of the ramekin with a knife and place the cake inverted on a plate.

Dust with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy.

These two Christmas cake recipes highlight the joyous atmosphere that surrounds the holiday. Whether you’re a cheesecake fan, a chocolate fan or both you’ll find these recipes are well worth the extra preparation time as the end result is truly magnificent.

Introduction To The Canadian Armed Forces

Alright I know there are quite a few words and ideas that most people may not be super familiar with that you hear over and over in the news or because of Remembrance Day regarding the Canadian Armed Forces. What I want to do with this article is try and give a little guide or context for some of the information you might be hearing about. I will not be sharing much personal information just what I find online, but I will try and give some clarification and break it down for you.

Lets start with some basic ideas:

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) consists of several unified institutions specifically focused on the air, land and sea elements, which have their own specific branches, the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Navy, respectively. 

Personnel belong to either the Regular Force or the Reserve Force which has four sub components including the Primary Reserve, Supplementary Reserve, Cadet Organizations and the Canadian Rangers.

Roughly there are 126,500 members currently serving with the CAF, split into 71,500 Reg Force members, 30,000 Reserve Force members and 25,000 civilian employees. 

The Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces is the Reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. 

The CAF is a separate entity from the Department of National Defence (DND).

Now this is a whole lot of info and I will start breaking some of it down. Lets begin with the military. When you say you know someone in the military you can refer to any person in any one of the branches of the CAF. Air Force, Navy, Army. They can be stationed anywhere in Canada, from the coasts to the prairies to the far north.

In the military you can work as either an Officer or a Non-Commissioned Member (NCM). This deviation will decide what kind of job you will take upon in the career path you want to take. For example you can be an Infantry Officer or you can be an Infantry NCM. The jobs, duties and responsibilities are much different whether you’re an Officer or a NCM. 

There is a ranking system in the military, which everyone follows. This basically means you can give orders or assign duties to those below you and have to follow what comes from above you. Yes you do have to follow orders, yes there are consequences if you do not follow through with what you have been told to do. Officers out rank NCM’s and can give orders to the NCM’s. (It is a relationship and needs to be highly valued and respected by all to create a high functioning team.) Higher ranking NCM’s (or NCO’s, dependent on rank) pass along orders to lower ranking NCM’s. The whole thing is a hierarchy. You follow what the guy above you told you to do. It is efficient and gets tasks done quickly when carried through correctly and planned out well.

Ok so now we’ve gone over the different branches which exist, the relationship between Officer’s and NCM’s and the idea of a ranking system.

There are many different trades and jobs you can do in the CAF. Not everyone is a sailor, infantryman or pilot. Within each branch you have specific trades and within the whole military you have general trades. For example:

  1. Infantry Officer/NCM are both part of the Army.

  2. Logistics Officer/NCM can be part of the Army, Navy or Airforce. (Everyone needs food and fuel.)

There are specialties you can work on within each of these trades. It is dependent what you want to do/what is needed at the time. Do you want to go on the reconnaissance patrols, drive a big truck or become sniper? All those require specific courses to be qualified in.

There are members of the Regular Forces or the Reserve Forces in Canada. Regular Forces work full time with the military, likely living on base. Reserve Forces work part time with the military. The Reserves are split into 4 subcomponents: the Primary Reserves, Supplementary Reserves, Cadet Organizations and Canadian Rangers. Primary Reservists train regularly a few times a month or on whatever contracts they can get. Supplementary Reserves are military members who are retired who can still serve and wish to work within the military. Cadets Organizations Administration and Training Service include youth training courses. For example, without getting in the thick of it, you can have Navy, Army or Air Force Cadets. The Canadian Rangers are individuals who work in Canada’s northern, coastal and isolated areas providing surveillance for the army and support for search and rescue.

Alright so lets just try to get this straight when you’re talking about your friend who is in the military. They belong to a branch (land, sea, air), a position and a rank (Officer i.e. Lieutenant or NCM i.e. Sergeant), a trade (Infantry, Artillery, Logistics) and they can get special courses, taskings or duties. Some people work full time, others work part time. 

Sometimes the work we do is administrative in garrison. Sometimes we work in our field with our branch. Sometimes we do ceremonies. Sometimes people go on courses. Sometimes people go on tours. There are variations and exceptions. There are people who know significantly more than I and can help explain it in different ways. Please feel free to ask your friends about what they do. 

I hope this has helped. If you would like some more information please check out the CAF website at www.Canada.ca or literally just type Canadian Armed Forces in a search engine. There is lots of good information out there if you are curious. None of us expect you to know it if all you’ve ever known is civilian life. It takes some of us several years and courses to understand it. 

There are Regular Force units out in Shilo, these include First Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1RCHA) (Gunners) and Second Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI) (Infantryman). There is also a Primary Reserve unit in Brandon, 26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA. Headquarters and logistics along with civilian employees are included as those working for/with the military.

The Best Places To Eat In Brandon 

Although I hail from Portage la Prairie, which is an hour and a half east of Brandon and is by far one of the greatest cities on Earth, I have visited Brandon on a regular basis throughout my life. Throughout the many, most likely thousands, of times I've been to Brandon I've had countless opportunities to dine at some of the city's finest restaurants. Today I will share some of Brandon's best places to eat. With the City hosting a population of almost 50,000 people there are countless pizza joints, fast food places and eat-in restaurants. Therefore, I have narrowed it down to five incredible options, trying to keep it as diverse as possible.

First off it is important to understand that although Portage is an amazing and inspirational city it does not have every single restaurant imaginable. I have always said that everything I could possibly need is in Portage while everything I could possibly want is in Brandon. Therefore, there would be no need to go forth and tread in that terrible collection of riff raff known as Winnipeg. Anyway, one such delicious restaurant that Brandon possess’s while Portage does not is a Wendy's. Yes, indeed that same Wendy's that has the fresh never frozen beef and cheap, frosty ice cream. Wendy's is also home to the Baconator which by all accounts imaginable beats every single fast food menu item out there. There are, of course, other menu items included at Wendy's, though I'm not sure why that would matter with the Baconator on the menu. Nonetheless this restaurant also serves up salads, kid's meals and chicken nuggets. Wendy's is located at 905 18th street on the corner of 18th street and Park Avenue, only minutes away from campus.

Sometimes fast food is great, other times you're in the mood for something more whole and fulfilling. I recently had the opportunity to dine in at one of Brandon's newest restaurants located in the the southern reaches of the city. East Side Mario's is a modern Italian restaurant that recently set up shop in Brandon. Although certainly more expensive than Wendy’s, you will find a far wider selection of meals here than any fast food place. Being an Italian based restaurant there are many items on the menu that make it feel like you're in Italy. You could dive into a dish of chicken parmesan or chow down on some signature pasta dishes. Of course, an Italian restaurant couldn't be complete without pizza! East Side Mario's delivers on this statement. There are countless pizza selections available. To top it all off there is a lounge set up right inside the restaurant in case you have free time on your weekends. East Side Mario's is located at1570 18th street inside the Shoppers Mall parking lot. Next time you're in the area stop by for a little taste of Italy. 

One major difference between the restaurants in Portage la Prairie and Brandon is that there is a large amount of ethnic dining options in Brandon. You could experience food from all over the world without ever having to leave this corner of the world. One of these ethnic restaurants that every newcomer to Brandon must try, especially if you're a fan of Eastern European cuisine, is Ukrainian Cuisine. Ukrainian Cuisine is a hidden gem within the city of Brandon and requires some background knowledge of the city in order to find. Located in the old Town Centre mall, which is at 800 Rosser Avenue, Ukrainian Cuisine offers customers delicious homemade, ethnic food. With everything from Borscht to chicken Kiev, the dishes here will make you feel like your journeying throughout the Ukrainian countryside. One of my favourite menu items is the garlic fries. These aren't your ordinary fast food fries, these are homemade, freshly seasoned french fries. Best of all they come with two dipping sauces that are literally to die for. Unlike some restaurants Ukrainian Cuisine won't break your bank account either, with prices staying fairly reasonable. Next time you want a taste of Eastern Europe but don't have hundreds of dollars to actually travel there, head down to the Town Centre and hit up Ukrainian Cuisine.

Eastern European food isn't the only ethnic food you will find in the City of Brandon. If you are a major seafood fan you have a variety of options only minutes away from the University campus. One of these options is the Japanese restaurant called Sushi Hut. Sushi Hut serves, as I'm sure you've guessed, sushi. This isn't the kind of sushi that you pick up from one of those deli coolers at the supermarket, no this is hand wrapped, quality seafood. Having first ate there only one year ago I was amazed at all the incredible options and varieties available. Best of all I went there during lunch. You see from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sushi Hut has their all you can eat sushi feature. I've seen all you can eat chicken, all you can eat ribs and even all you can eat steak, but all you can eat sushi takes the cake. If you're a major fan of sushi or have yet to try this amazing heavenly treat head down the street to Sushi Hut and enjoy every kind of sushi imaginable. Sushi Hut is located at 2728 Victoria Avenue and is a short drive, or even walk away, from Brandon University.

Up until know I have covered singular restaurants, one dining option at a time. However, there is one location in the city of Brandon that has multiple dining options and simply must be mentioned. That is the Shoppers Mall food court. I imagine that well over the majority of students know where Shoppers Mall is and what is included within its walls. After all it is one of Brandon's most popular destinations to get together and hang with friends. At the south end of the mall you will find the food court. Although almost every mall would no doubt possess a food court, the one at Shoppers Mall is a rarity in my opinion. For the size of the mall, and the size of the city for that matter, the dining options at the food court are quite impressive. Fast food options such as A and W, Subway and Dairy Queen are included in case you wanted something quick and on the go. Tim Hortons also has an outlet here providing an excellent location to get together with friends for coffee. However, there are also places like Thai Express, Sizzling Wok and Vanelli's which provide that taste of ethnic food while you continue shopping. The food court at Shoppers Mall also includes the only outlet of New York Fries in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg. Next time your heading down to Shoppers Mall don't forget to stop by the food court and see all the dining options for yourself.

Now that I have gifted you all with this knowledge get out there and experience all the dining options that Brandon has to offer. Whether you’re a newcomer to the city or, like me, have been here many times before, you too will be astounded with all the unique and diverse restaurants Brandon possesses.

Element 120 And The Islands Of Stability

Since the early 2000s a team of chemists/nuclear physicists have been synthesizing new elements using a particle accelerator. With the latest element being created being element 118, Organesson, named after the discoverer of the element, Yuri Organesson. Even just creating these elements is a big deal. Think of it this way, one of the most powerful things in the universe, stars, which literally are the gods of the universe, are they not capable of creating any of these elements. What an achievement that mere 6ft life-forms have completed, putting the stars to shame. 

In Dubna, Russia, a new particle accelerator known as the “Super Heavy Element Factory” has finished being built. The first trials, or experiments are set to begin this year. The accelerator will be trying to create elements 120 and 119, and thus starting the eighth row on Mendeleev’s periodic table. 

The main problem of creating elements 120 and 119, is that they require different target atoms and beam atoms. The target area has gotten drastically smaller, thus requiring new technology to be developed to prevent overheating from the stream of beam atoms. The probability of creating elements 120 and 119 have also gotten significantly lower than before and scientists are not entirely sure if these elements can be synthesized. 

However, element 120 may have an intriguing property. The main problem with a lot of these super heavy elements is that they decay in milliseconds, which makes it hard to measure, or determine the chemical properties of the elements. Element 120 might be the start of the next “Island of Stability.” This is where super heavy elements may decay in days or maybe even millions of years. 

The “Island of Stability” is prediction of when a set of heavy nuclei have a magic number of protons and neutrons that temporary reverse the trend of decreasing half-life for elements larger than Uranium. Currently, it is hypothetical whether there is an island of stability around or starting at element 120. Even still, starting a new row on the periodic table will be a phenomenal, and if the island of stability exists then this will be a major breakthrough in chemistry and nuclear physics. 

Review Of The Week: The Musical Genius Of Nujabes

Often when browsing on YouTube, people will come across a mellow, or anime gif with “Lo-Fi hip hop” next to it. Perhaps to most of us the familiar jazz hip hop beats are quite common, and relaxing. However for the genre of lo-fi hip hop or jazz hip hop, it would not be what it is today without the rumoured founder, Jun Seba, Nujabes.

Notorious for using samples from jazz and hip hop, Nujabes would create atmospheric music instrumentals unlike most people had ever heard before. Nujabes’ s music started to become more well known, because of the critically acclaimed anime Samurai Champloo, which he was the prominent artist of the soundtrack. Nujabes was also the founder of a record label known as Hydeout Productions which featured some music artists such as Uyama Hiroto and Cise Starr.

On top of creating atmospheric and soulful beats that reach the hearts of listeners, Nujabes collaborated with many Japanese artists and rappers. One of Nujabes’ s popular albums Luv (sic) parts 1-6, features rappers like Shing02 and Cise Starr as the main contributors. One of Nujabes’s most popular songs, Feather, has reached about 13 million views on YouTube, despite not being as well known as Mozart, or Biggie Smalls. To put that number in perspective, the Michigan Stadium has about 100,000 seats, so this would mean, you would need 130 stadiums to fit 13 million people. 

To this day, Nujabes still continues to influence todays lo-fi hip hop artists like DJ Okawari, Uyama, etc. Even though he died in a tragic traffic accident in 2010. Many tributes are still being done for Nujabes, as well as other popular songs now being done in “Nujabes style” or “Nujabes blend”. Some examples are, Book of Rhymes by Nas (Nujabes Blend), and I Got A Story to Tell by Notorious B.I.G. (Nujabes style). Some will even go so far to say that he has influenced new emerging hip hop artists like Joji, and Elijah Who. 

If you would like to discover the beats of Nujabes, I recommend, Voice of Autumn, Feather, or my personal favourite, Another Reflection. 

“Nujabes isn’t dead, you just need to click play.”

Reimann Hypothesis Solved?

Recently, a well-known mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah, claims to have solved a 159-year-old mathematics problem. Atiyah, is an 89-year-old mathematician, who won the Fields Medal in 1966, and the Abel Prize in 2004. Both awards are the top mathematics accolades one can receive. As for the mathematics problem itself, the Riemann Hypothesis is the current most famous unsolved problem in mathematics, as well as one of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s seven millennium problems. Each millennium problem has a reward worth one million dollars. So far, only one millennium problem has been solved. (Poincaré Conjecture)

The Riemann Hypothesis was first proposed by Bernhard Riemann in 1859. The problem is related to how prime numbers, such as 3, 5, 7, or 104527, are distributed. The distribution of such prime numbers is said to not follow any regular patterns. Riemann however, stated that the distribution of prime numbers is closely related to the following equation known as the Riemann Zeta Function.

The hypothesis states that, for s, other than the values of -2, -4, and -6… such that all lie on a critical line R[s] = 1/2, where R[s] is the real part of s. 

Many famous mathematicians such as the man who knew infinity, Srinivasa Ramanujan, or the beautiful mind mathematician, John Nash Jr.  have claimed in the past to have solved the Riemann Hypothesis, but flaws in their proofs say otherwise. 

Many mathematicians, and scientists, as well as my self, are skeptical of the proof. Mainly because it is so short. Atiyah claims to have solved it in a simple way. The “proof” is short enough to fit onto 12 pages. Rarely ever does a hypothesis like this one ever fit onto less than a couple hundred papers. For example, the proof of the Ramanujan Conjecture is estimated to be over 2000 pages. Atiyah claims that his proof uses a weakly analytical function known as Todd’s Function and the work of Neuman and Hirzebruch to prove the R.H. by contradiction. Currently, the paper is being peer reviewed to check if the claim is true. Only with time we will know if the Riemann Hypothesis is solved. 

Who’s Your Mayor?

Brandon’s municipal elections are just a couple of weeks away! Every four years the citizens of Brandon elect ten City Councilors, one for each of the ten wards, and a Mayor. This year the election date is set for October 24th. Except, this time around, the Mayor has already been chosen. Incumbent Rick Chrest has been acclaimed as Mayor for the City of Brandon in the 2018 municipal election. This is the first time in over 25 years that a Mayor has won their seat through acclamation in the City of Brandon. 

Although acclamation is rare, especially in larger cities, mayoral candidates that get acclaimed were generally the incumbent Mayor in the first place. The general public usually sees two reasons as to why this happens. The first is that the majority of the citizens of the city are satisfied with what their Mayor has done for them, over the past four years. Therefore, no one wants to run against them in the municipal election. Another reason as to why acclamation happens is that citizens aren't that engaged in the democratic process, meaning that no one really cares enough to step up and run for office. Either way, come October 24th citizens of Brandon already know who will occupy the Office of the Mayor.

Rick Chrest was born and raised right here in the City of Brandon. Although Chrest is now the Mayor for the next four years, he isn’t new to the political scene. He served as the City Councilor for the University Ward from 1995 to 2006. During his tenure on City Council, Chrest served as Deputy Mayor for eight years. In 2014, Chrest came back into the political spotlight and ran for the Mayor. On October 22nd, 2014 he was elected the new Mayor for the City of Brandon. Chrest possesses a background in business and community engagement. Prior to his election as Mayor in 2014 he was the General Manager of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the General Manager for the Keystone Centre. Currently, Chrest owns the local franchised Leon's furniture store. He also sits on a number of boards and committees across the community. These include the Brandon Police Board, the Brandon and Area Planning District and the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium Corporation Board of Governors. 

So, what does the Mayor have planned for the next four years? One of Chrest’s top priorities has to do with the city’s finances. He says he plans on keeping a tight control on tax payer’s money and keep tax increases to a minimum. He also wants there to be a prime focus on economic development within the City of Brandon. Finally, Chrest realizes that crime in Brandon, especially crime relating to crystal meth, is a problem. He wants to put more resources towards policing and addictions treatment within the city in order to better combat the issue. Chrest also would like to see the youth of the community getting involved. He plans on working closely with the Brandon School Division to initiate a youth forum on drug addiction. Like the majority of community projects, Chrest realizes that combating crime in the city isn’t a job that one organization can accomplish alone. Overall Chrest will tackle the next four years as Mayor through a sustainable and co-operative approach.