Jobs, jobs, jobs (and all at the bargain price of $5.5 billion)

Is all that spending really being put to its best use? And how much are we going to have to cut in order to pay for it?
Is all that spending really being put to its best use? And how much are we going to have to cut in order to pay for it?
Dorothy Dobbie  Bold Ideas
Dorothy Dobbie
Bold Ideas

There were 5,089 jobs available in Winnipeg the other day when I checked the Internet.
They ranged from hourly paid jobs to executive careers – all out there, waiting for the right person to make a match with.
There were 104 jobs at the University of Manitoba; 29 waiting at Nygard International; and at least a dozen waiting at Red River College.
There were calls for office assistants, including one by a local member of parliament; retail store clerks; project managers and granite counter top installers. The City of Winnipeg was even looking for someone to take tree inventory!
Management jobs abounded and there were lots of calls for health industry workers. The Winnipeg Football Club was looking for an events coordinator and a graphic designer. Even Canada Post was looking for someone. The list was endless and filled with exciting opportunity.
There are also lots of websites offering information about vacant jobs, many of them posted ages ago and many more of them viewed by hundreds of people. Certain websites will filter the search by salary if that’s your primary concern.
Not all of these jobs are highly skilled or technical. A “loss prevention lead” at Sears only requires a couple of years at community college; Boeing was looking for a human resources generalist with only three years’ experience and a bachelor’s degree; CIBC was looking for someone with experience in handling cash – no educational requirements listed; and Manitoba Public Insurance wanted a scheduling clerk, with only a high school diploma required.
Billions for more jobs?
So here we are with a government spending billions and promising jobs, jobs, jobs. The last time I checked the unemployment rate for Manitoba, it was 5.5 per cent, or virtually full employment in this province. And the industry crying out for the most employees was (you guessed it) the construction industry, the very industry that is supposed to fill 59,000 jobs to facilitate this massive infrastructure deficit over the next five years.
I’m all for fixing the infrastructure – that’s what government is supposed to do: make sure our roads and sewers and water mains are working. But this past year, the government was squeezing pennies so tightly that you could hear them squeak, so it stretches the credulity to hear that suddenly spending $5.5 billion over five years will allow them to present a balanced budget a year-and-a-half from now.
There are other clues that trigger doubt. The much-touted “relief” for seniors from education tax burden has been put back a year because there isn’t enough money to pay for that.
You either have the money or you don’t.
Secondly, who will fill all these construction jobs? If we don’t have enough workers to fill the ranks now, they can only come from somewhere else – some other province, some other country – and so where does the benefit go? Not to Manitoba, but to back home where the wife and kids live (these are temporary jobs, remember), be it somewhere else in Canada or somewhere else in the world.
Running with scissors
This budget reminds me of a story told to me by a former NDP minister from back in the Howard Pawley days in the ‘80s. The pantry was bare, the government was in debt, and Pawley came out with a magnificently generous budget promising all kinds of spending right where the voters’ hearts lived.
Allan Blakeney, the newly minted NDP premier of Saskatchewan at the time, came for a visit and he asked Pawley, “How can you bring down a budget like this with the terrific deficit you have? How will you ever pay down your debt?”
“Ah, don’t worry,” Pawley apparently said. “We’re on shaky ground and the Tories will be in soon. They can fix it then.”
That’s exactly what happened.
It was a bit before Brian Pallister’s time – the cutting had to start immediately (remember Filmon Fridays?). And it is exactly what will have to happen this time. Brian Pallister will have to have scissors. The only issue on the table is where the cuts will have to be made.
La même chose. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

The art of “superconnecting”

Connecting with others grows your network, but helping others connect can be even more rewarding.
Connecting with others grows your network, but helping others connect can be even more rewarding.

By Siobhan Carnegie

A growing number of nurses in Manitoba are taking their education further and getting master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing.
With these credentials, nurses can take on “advanced practice” roles, which often involve educational and leadership roles within the nursing community.
A 2012 summary stated that, in Canada, “The number of NPs (nurse practitioners) employed in nursing almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, from 1,626 to 3,157” (Regulated Nurses, 2012 – Summary Report).
These roles are visibly becoming more important to the healthcare system, and the support is welcomed by patients as well as fellow nurses who use the advanced practitioners as resources.
The growth of NP positions is in part due to legislation in the provinces and territories that emphasizes these advanced practice roles.
Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is the other distinguished advanced practice nursing role in Canada. These specialists generally provide their expertise in consultation with nurses as well as help institute change in guidelines and protocols.
NPs spend more time on direct care, and are equipped to diagnose or order and interpret diagnostic tests, as well as prescribe medications or perform some procedures.
Kathleen Klaasen, clinical nurse specialist in home care, says the biggest distinction between clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners is the time they spend on direct care or behind the scenes.
She says as a CNS, she spends about “twenty to thirty per cent” of her time on direct client consultation, and “seventy to eighty per cent” on research, education, and policy development. For NPs, the opposite is true.
While Klaasen says she believes all clinical nurse specialists would agree that the best part of their jobs is the client involvement, the role requires someone passionate about pursuing leads and capable of instigating changes behind the scenes.
“They tend to be that high-energy person. That kind of inquisitive, ‘how do I make this better?’ person,” says Klaasen.
“It’s solution-focused – a lot of quality improvement. It’s identifying the issue and it’s trying to fix the issue… ‘How are we going to mesh reality and theory?’”
Because of the additional education requirements of the role, the advanced practice nurses tend to be really comfortable with conducting research, and writing and publishing their findings.
However, just as important is their clinical background.
“You have to have that clinical credibility,” says Klaasen.
Generally, she says, CNSs will bring about three to five years of expertise in a certain area of nursing to their roles, and often a specialty certification.
Once they’ve assumed the CNS role, they also do shadow shifts with nurses to make sure they maintain a clinical relevance and know “what it’s like to walk in their shoes,” says Klaasen.
Of course, CNSs in home care still do circulate the city to provide clinical consultation.
“We’re always on the road – we put in a lot of kilometres,” says Klaasen.
In home care, specifically, Klaasen and her colleague, Michelle Todoruk-Orchard, are the CNSs that tend to home care clients and provide support to their nurses and case coordinators.
“We cover the entire city,” says Klaasen. The two must extend their expertise to the approximately 400 home care nurses and their clients that operate in the city. “We’re a resource to nurses and we’ll make our assessments,” says Klaasen.
Klaasen is also currently involved in three studies, and teaches courses to university students. In addition, she is available as a mentor to students who take an interest in her position. She has approximately 21 years of experience in various areas of nursing, and has a specialty in gerontological (older-age) nursing.
When it comes to their role in supporting nurses, the CNSs do a lot of their own research as well as interpreting research that is out there. They’ll respond to nurses’ con

Advanced practice nursing opportunities doubled in Canada

Kathleen Klaasen and Michelle Todoruk-Orchard are the clinical nurse specialists in home care in Winnipeg.
Kathleen Klaasen and Michelle Todoruk-Orchard are the clinical nurse specialists in home care in Winnipeg.

By Brenlee Coates

A growing number of nurses in Manitoba are taking their education further and getting master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing.
With these credentials, nurses can take on “advanced practice” roles, which often involve educational and leadership roles within the nursing community.
A 2012 summary stated that, in Canada, “The number of NPs (nurse practitioners) employed in nursing almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, from 1,626 to 3,157” (Regulated Nurses, 2012 – Summary Report).
These roles are visibly becoming more important to the healthcare system, and the support is welcomed by patients as well as fellow nurses who use the advanced practitioners as resources.
The growth of NP positions is in part due to legislation in the provinces and territories that emphasizes these advanced practice roles.
Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is the other distinguished advanced practice nursing role in Canada. These specialists generally provide their expertise in consultation with nurses as well as help institute change in guidelines and protocols.
NPs spend more time on direct care, and are equipped to diagnose or order and interpret diagnostic tests, as well as prescribe medications or perform some procedures.
Kathleen Klaasen, clinical nurse specialist in home care, says the biggest distinction between clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners is the time they spend on direct care or behind the scenes.
She says as a CNS, she spends about “twenty to thirty per cent” of her time on direct client consultation, and “seventy to eighty per cent” on research, education, and policy development. For NPs, the opposite is true.
While Klaasen says she believes all clinical nurse specialists would agree that the best part of their jobs is the client involvement, the role requires someone passionate about pursuing leads and capable of instigating changes behind the scenes.
“They tend to be that high-energy person. That kind of inquisitive, ‘how do I make this better?’ person,” says Klaasen.
“It’s solution-focused – a lot of quality improvement. It’s identifying the issue and it’s trying to fix the issue… ‘How are we going to mesh reality and theory?’”
Because of the additional education requirements of the role, the advanced practice nurses tend to be really comfortable with conducting research, and writing and publishing their findings.
However, just as important is their clinical background.
“You have to have that clinical credibility,” says Klaasen.
Generally, she says, CNSs will bring about three to five years of expertise in a certain area of nursing to their roles, and often a specialty certification.
Once they’ve assumed the CNS role, they also do shadow shifts with nurses to make sure they maintain a clinical relevance and know “what it’s like to walk in their shoes,” says Klaasen.
Of course, CNSs in home care still do circulate the city to provide clinical consultation.
“We’re always on the road – we put in a lot of kilometres,” says Klaasen.
In home care, specifically, Klaasen and her colleague, Michelle Todoruk-Orchard, are the CNSs that tend to home care clients and provide support to their nurses and case coordinators.
“We cover the entire city,” says Klaasen. The two must extend their expertise to the approximately 400 home care nurses and their clients that operate in the city. “We’re a resource to nurses and we’ll make our assessments,” says Klaasen.
Klaasen is also currently involved in three studies, and teaches courses to university students. In addition, she is available as a mentor to students who take an interest in her position. She has approximately 21 years of experience in various areas of nursing, and has a specialty in gerontological (older-age) nursing.
When it comes to their role in supporting nurses, the CNSs do a lot of their own research as well as interpreting research that is out there. They’ll respond to nurses’ concerns and suggestions for change by looking into what solutions may be available.
“There’s an expectation to be involved with a lot of leadership and local, regional, and national committees,” says Klaasen. “A lot of what we do is networking,” she says, adding they will use their contacts in other provinces to see what the results of their research was to determine best practices.
“You’re expected to be sort of a generalist and know about a lot of things. Sometimes you feel like a jack of all trades but a master of none,” jokes Klaasen.
A huge part of Klaasen and Todoruk-Orchard’s focus is on keeping people living in the community for as long as possible.
They work with pediatric and young adult clients, as well, though the majority of their clients are a mature age.
Recent changes have included providing more complex interventions at home so that the clients may remain in their homes longer.
Nurses that have a flair for research and enjoy teaching or affecting change may be inclined to this type of nursing.
“Every day is a different day,” says Klaasen. “It’s a fun job because we get to work alongside clients and families. We’re also then working with staff and working with leaders and changing policies.”

Bricklaying: lay the foundation to your future

Nina Widmer has become the first female bricklayer in Manitoba.
Nina Widmer has become the first female bricklayer in Manitoba.

When Nina Widmer decided to go into masonry – also known as bricklaying – she didn’t realize she would become a role model for females across the province.
But between her talent and the fact that she is the first female bricklayer apprentice in Manitoba, Widmer is hard to miss.
After completing her compulsory high school credits, Widmer began the High School Apprenticeship Program in Grade 12, earning her remaining high school credits while working as a bricklayer apprentice at Alpha Masonry. Now a certified journeyperson, Widmer completed her apprenticeship at the top of her class.
“It was really great for me to be able to get a head start,” she says. “I liked the idea that unlike going to school for a degree, you’re making money right away, and then you finish and get your ticket and you don’t have to worry about: ‘Okay, now who’s going to hire me?’”
Bricklaying basics
“It’s the trades that grow cities. Without the trades, you wouldn’t have the building, the plumbing, the heating, the electrical. You wouldn’t have a place to live or to go to work,” Widmer says.
“With bricklaying, you know that your work is going to be there for 100 years.”
Bricklayers work on commercial and residential projects where they lay bricks, block stone, glass block or terra cotta to build interior and exterior walls, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, smokestacks and other structures.
“It is dirty work, but hey, we all loved to play in the mud when we were kids, why should that change?” Widmer says. “I love the fact that I’m able to work with my hands and be creative. It’s an incredible feeling to take a step back and physically see what I did with my day and see what I accomplished.”
A bricklayer apprenticeship consists of three levels, and generally takes about three years to complete. Bricklayer apprentices learn skills on-the-job with an employer while getting paid and earning hours toward their apprenticeship. They also attend technical in-school training for six to nine weeks per level.
Building opportunity
“When I was a kid, I wasn’t dreaming about my wedding or having babies. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but I was just too busy building little houses for my guinea pigs!” she laughs.
But Widmer says she isn’t looking for any special treatment in a male-dominated trade. “I just want to be treated like every other worker and help the job get done,” she says. “I love the fact that I can get up every day, grab my coffee, put my hair in a ponytail and start my day. No one is judging my work based on my outfit or how I look, they’re judging it based on my skills, my knowledge and my abilities.”
That said, Widmer hopes to encourage other women to consider the trades. “I didn’t get into the trades because I wanted to do something different as a female; I got into it because I love it. But if I have the opportunity to inspire someone to do the same, then why not?” she says.
“I truly believe that everybody has the potential to learn a skill. You shouldn’t let what anyone says or thinks or feels hold you back. Everyone should have the same opportunities to do what they want to do, and to be self-sufficient,” she says.
“If you’re not so sure about being a suit-and-tie person, there are lots of options out there. People need to start understanding that the trades are a great career.”
-Apprenticeship Manitoba

Dream come true for best friends on Marion

Marion Street EateryBy Brenlee Coates

The first things I hear when meeting the owners of the new Marion Street Eatery are from a pair of customers jostling into their coats after a set of Caesars and a late lunch.
“Oh, we’ll be regulars,” the woman says to the wait staff. “We’ve got to come here for breakfast. Eggs benny,” adds her lunch date.
Since opening in mid-February, the charming eatery has found its footing in loyal St. Boniface, located at 393 Marion St. in the Marion Hotel. The restaurant serves up comfort foods prepared with haute cuisine precision and a little imagination, while remaining totally accessible to most clientele.
The restaurant is the product of a plan two best friends made while “rambling on” in a kayak on Lake of the Woods, says co-owner Laneil Smith.
The pair grew a working relationship first while staffing Bergmann’s on Lombard, which fostered a lifelong friendship.
“We knew we worked together well. We worked together before we were friends,” says Smith, who feels it’s an important distinction to make when going into business with a friend.
Chef and co-owner, Melissa Hryb, adds: “We have similar work ethics.”
Besides creating an approachable, mouth-watering menu, the duo designed the space together, which is as beautiful and thoughtful as their dishes.
“Between me and Melissa, it’s both of our styles,” says Smith. “You walk into this place and it just screams our names.”
Smith says the neat and tidy, crisp black, white, and grey touches, are Hryb’s taste, while her own influence is in the antique furniture and eclectic details.
For instance, Smith collected all the stunning tall-backed wooden chairs for the restaurant from flea markets and antique stores.Local art on walls
The space is well-balanced with intermittent antique items, modern white walls and gleaming new booth coverings. Plus, a local artist’s paintings that depict Canadian iconography like bison and prairie wheat decorate the walls with pockets of colour.
Perhaps the most recognizable insignia is the large ‘M’ lighting the backdrop to the bar, which sits underneath a big chalkboard canvas with the iconic quote from Julia Child: “People who love to eat are always the best people.”Marion decor
The restaurant space was formerly occupied by a Polish restaurant for the past 18 years, and renovations hadn’t been done in about 32 years. Massive renovations were undergone to create the current Marion Street Eatery.
Smith had dibs on the spacious property; she helps run her family’s business, the Marion Hotel.
She continues to contribute there, though her sister has assumed her former position with the hotel.
Now, she flies back and forth throughout the day depending on peak hours, and sometimes locks herself in the office at the hotel to get caught up on paperwork.
Smith feels she was fortunate in the way her parents approached her involvement with the hotel.
It was regarded as an opportunity that she could either take or leave.
But the hospitality industry was in her blood.
Smith completed her hospitality and tourism management diploma at Red River College in 2007 before taking on her role at the Marion. She just missed Hryb, who graduated in 2005 from culinary arts at RRC.
Opening a restaurant “was a dream of ours, and that definitely was what we were rambling on about” on that fateful day in the kayak, says Smith.
Smith and Hryb knew they wanted to open a restaurant that was “smaller, comfortable, and really relatable,” says Hryb. So far, the vibe seems to be right on point for the area.
“The first two weeks were crazy,” says Hryb. “Now we can breathe a little bit.”
The restaurant formally opened its doors days before the Festival du Voyageur swept St. Boniface, so they caught some of the traffic that it generated to the area.
The mania has since tapered off, but many customers are coming back for more.
Smith says of the St. Boniface patrons, “They find a place that they like and feel comfortable, and they will come back.”
The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. everyday, closing at 8 p.m. from Monday-Thursday. They stay open until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and close at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
There is a generous variety of breakfast options on the menu including create-your-own skillets or omelettes, a Mexican breakfast and a maple sugar ham eggs benny served on a croissant.Marion Street Food
Their hearty comfort fare includes a bison chili served with baked bannock; stuffed meatloaf; chicken pot pie; and a mac and cheese dish made with Bothwell aged cheddar sauce, broccoli, bacon, and a pretzel topping.
A prosciutto grilled cheese and Cuban sandwich stand out on the lunch menu, as well as a popular Sriracha chicken wrap with roasted garlic aioli and chili lime peanuts.
Various kinds of poutine are available, in keeping with the restaurant’s French locale, and include perogy and pulled pork options.
Bar fare includes crunchy deep-fried pickles with dipping sauce and spicy peanuts best paired with their noteworthy Caesar served with a pickle, spicy pepperoni stick and picked olive.
The menu is served up by Hryb, who is the former executive chef at Bridges Golf Course. “It’s the first time I’m really putting myself out there and not hiding behind a name,” she says.
Visit http://www.marionstreeteatery.com to view the full menu.