Lime shows promise for controlling clubroot in canola crops

Spot-treating soil with lime could give farmers another option to stem the costly disease and improve soil health

Lime shows promise for controlling clubroot in canola cropsLime is showing promise as an additional way to help manage clubroot, a deadly disease in canola crops, University of Alberta research shows. Spot-treating soil with the mineral reduced the overall occurrence and severity of the disease by 35 to 91 per cent, growth experiments showed. The finding, published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology,…

Farming is losing to misguided urban politics

Interest groups are weaponizing science to support a narrative that fits their biased view of what farmers should and shouldn’t do

Farming is losing to misguided urban politicsMost Canadians have never been on a farm, let alone lived on one, which makes more than 98 per cent of our population agriculturally illiterate. For many Canadians, crop production is an unknown concept. Because of this, it’s relatively easy to use fear to influence public opinion on any food-related issue involving agriculture. Activists know…

Moving aboriginal services closer to people a good idea

But the temptation to allow old-school First Nation politics into the system must be avoided

Moving aboriginal services closer to people a good ideaManitobans should be cautiously optimistic about a deal that will transfer health care for Indigenous communities in the province to a regional Indigenous authority. If done properly and not politicized, a deal between the federal government, the Manitoba government and First Nations in southern Manitoba could really improve health care for Indigenous communities in the…

When is the right time to mow hay fields to protect birds?

Knowing birds' behaviour and nesting habits allows nesting and mowing to coexist

When is the right time to mow hay fields to protect birds?Every year about his time I feel sadness for the many birds and small mammals killed by haying. I know there are many and varied reasons why fields are cut, and I respect that, so please don’t think I am criticizing farmers. Mowing hay fields is a necessary and important part of agriculture. We forget…

Can beavers catch chronic wasting disease?

New research suggests beavers may be susceptible to the fatal illness – increasing spread between species

Can beavers catch chronic wasting disease?Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an infectious disease that affects the central nervous systems of animals, typically affecting cervids such as deer, elk and moose. “CWD is always fatal. There’s no cure; there are no treatments,” says Debbie McKenzie, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. CWD is increasing its geographic range as well…

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storing

Findings could help beef producers manage grasslands for economic and environmental benefits

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storingA sweeping project co-led by University of Alberta researchers will provide the most comprehensive mapping ever of how much carbon is being stored in perennial grasslands across Saskatchewan. The resulting data from the $3.2-million initiative will help cattle farmers there – and eventually all across Canada’s prairies – manage their land to keep as much…

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canola

Researchers and agriculture company battle the crop-damaging disease and train new scientists

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canolaA $1.25-million research project is tackling clubroot resistance in canola to help battle new strains of the crop-damaging pathogen. Funded by agriculture company BASF, University of Alberta plant scientists Stephen Strelkov and Sheau-Fang Hwang will work to identify new sources of pathogen resistance that can be bred into canola seeds. New strains of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that attacks the…

Ditching pesticide ban good for environment

Manitoba must follow the science and re-introduce the bill to lift the ban on cosmetic pesticides

Ditching pesticide ban good for environmentManitoba needs to follow the science and not give into ideological environmentalists who value kneejerk emotionalism over positive outcomes. A case in point is the province’s sensible decision to lift a ban at least partially on cosmetic pesticides passed by the previous NDP government back in 2014. Cosmetic pesticides are pesticides used to control weeds…

One Indigenous inquiry after another proves fruitless

All the social and justice indicators show that things have only worsened among Indigenous peoples

One Indigenous inquiry after another proves fruitlessThe March 9, 1988, police shooting of J.J. Harper on the streets of Winnipeg and the much earlier murder of Helen Betty Osborne in The Pas in 1971 led Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley’s government to commission the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (AJI) on April 13, 1988. This occurred in the middle of the election campaign that…

Western Canada continues to get shafted by Trudeau

Oil tankers off West coast are bad but drilling for oil off Newfoundland's coast is OK

Western Canada continues to get shafted by TrudeauWe all know politics is the art of the possible. Perfection isn’t for the real world. We aren’t surprised when tradeoffs and the occasional compromise creep into government policies. Nor do we require elected members of government, even at the ministerial level, to be experts in their portfolio areas, although we expect them to avail…

Why an old idea could breathe new life into rural economies

Reinvesting in local co-operatives could help attract people to rural communities and keep them there

Why an old idea could breathe new life into rural economiesShould we be looking to the past to help boost the future of the province’s rural economy? A hundred years ago, local co-operatives were a fairly common way of doing business in rural areas. Now the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities is researching ways to make this old model work in a modern economy. “It’s a…

Grazing mirroring natural patterns protects grasslands from drought

Research could help ranchers adapt to climate change and preserve vital ecosystems

Grazing mirroring natural patterns protects grasslands from droughtRanchers who frequently rotate cattle between fields – resembling how bison once moved across Canada’s prairie – build drought resistance into Western Canada’s grasslands, according to a series of University of Alberta studies designed to find ways to improve the net carbon balance of grazed grasslands and nurture more resilient landscapes. “The way we manage…

The case for selling Manitoba Crown corporations

Crowns are a huge hidden burden on taxpayers

The case for selling Manitoba Crown corporationsThis is far from the best time for most Manitobans. Covid-19 has poisoned the prairie province’s economy, the finances of the government, education, healthcare, small businesses and more. The reigning party is on the ropes in a difficult environment that favours an even bigger spending opposition to win the next election. That, though, would exacerbate…

Groundbreaking research could help ranchers optimize free-range grazing

Research identifies genetic traits that could lead to breeding more efficient livestock

Groundbreaking research could help ranchers optimize free-range grazingA new research project could help ranchers customize their cattle to the type of pastures they have, creating economic and environmental benefits along the way. The research, launched this past summer, involves tracking the movements and feeding habits of grazing cattle to identify genetic traits that could lead to breeding more efficient livestock. The project…

CFL goes from near extinction to remarkable recovery in one season

Fans returned in droves and the league’s economic engine is now moving in the right direction

CFL goes from near extinction to remarkable recovery in one seasonThe Canadian Football League had much to celebrate on Sunday. For one thing, this year’s Grey Cup was an exciting and memorable contest. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-25 in overtime to win the 108th Grey Cup at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. (These teams played in the previous Grey Cup in…

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floods

Supply chains in Western Canada have always been vulnerable and that’s not going to change anytime soon

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floodsImages from British Columbia over the past week have been heartbreaking: human casualties, dairy cows barely breathing above water before being pulled to safety, the loss of livestock across the Fraser Valley. Just devastating. And the flow of goods on rail and roads is severely compromised. Many now claim that flash floods and atmospheric rivers…

Murray Sinclair to receive honorary degree from U of A

Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair will give a virtual address during fall convocation

Murray Sinclair to receive honorary degree from U of AThe Honourable Murray Sinclair, the first Indigenous judge in Manitoba and the driving force behind the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, will deliver the commencement address virtually to graduands as part of the University of Alberta’s fall convocation ceremony to be held Nov. 19. Sinclair is Anishinaabe and a member of the Peguis First Nation. “On…

How to put an end to bad government decisions

Bad government decisions have one thing in common: lack of independent oversight

How to put an end to bad government decisionsA litany of disastrous government decisions in Canada have sometimes cost lives and definitely many billions of dollars. The list is long: effectively cancelling the Global Public Health Intelligence Network; the failure to implement the pandemic preparedness protocols developed by the federal government’s public health officer; the Alberta government’s disastrous ‘investments’ in the Keystone XL…

Manitoba’s economic growth depends on U.S. trade

But U.S. protectionism is still a threat

Manitoba’s economic growth depends on U.S. tradeTrade is essential for Manitoba’s economy. International exports and imports represented 46.4 per cent of its gross domestic product in 2018. With a significant goods-related industry estimated at 26.9 per cent of GDP in 2019, Manitoba needs strong trading partners to help develop its economy. In 2019, 30.6 per cent of its exports were resource-based…

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?

More of the same

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?What does another Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians? After all, the actual composition of the House of Commons changed little, and once again, the Liberals will need the support of either the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois to pass legislation. So, for the most part, we can expect a continuation of some programs, including…

Manitoba must do more to encourage mining

Simply possessing the mineral and metal deposits isn’t enough

Manitoba must do more to encourage miningThe Manitoba mining industry received some good news recently, but the province still needs to reform its mining policies for the sector to thrive. Despite some progress over the years, the province continues to have a hostile climate for investment: this needs to change. Vale Ltd. recently announced a $150-million investment to extend nickel mining…

Massive ancient lake emptied quickly enough to set off an ice age

U of A-led international team estimates the flood from Glacial Lake Agassiz may be largest known in Earth’s history

Massive ancient lake emptied quickly enough to set off an ice ageA flood of epic proportions drained at a rate of more than 800 Olympic swimming pools a second from a glacial lake that spanned the Prairie provinces more than 12,000 years ago, according to a University of Alberta-led study. The finding bolsters a theory that the event may have propelled the warming Earth back into…

ConnecTour Chronicles: A bicycle clinic that started with a bang

Winnipeg has taken a shine to urban cycling

ConnecTour Chronicles: A bicycle clinic that started with a bangTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

Can Pallister pull a miracle out of his hat?

Or is his time as premier of Manitoba coming to an end?

Can Pallister pull a miracle out of his hat?Brian Pallister likely knows that his time as premier of Manitoba is coming to an end, even though he leads a solid majority government. Fortunately for Pallister, his party and Manitoba, if he retires soon to open the door for a new Progressive Conservative leader, he could be remembered for making Crown corporations and the…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Warmshowers hosts have equally warm spirits

Members offer a place for touring cyclists to pitch their tents and grab a shower. In exchange: an evening of conversation

ConnecTour Chronicles: Warmshowers hosts have equally warm spiritsTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

Manitoba unprepared for coming fiscal, political storms

Manitoba’s provincial government depends on long-calcified federal transfer programs to fund 37% of its budget

Manitoba unprepared for coming fiscal, political stormsAround 1915, Winnipeg was frequently described as a second Chicago, a serious transportation hub with a bustling private economy. In 1921, it was the third-largest city in Canada. In the 1960s, Winnipeg was Western Canada’s corporate headquarters city. Today, Winnipeg is Canada’s ninth-largest city, known more in the United States, if not by most Canadians,…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Out of the blue, an army on the prowl

The bees came at us like a fleet of enemy fighter planes

ConnecTour Chronicles: Out of the blue, an army on the prowlTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

Manitoba politics are invasive and expensive

The province isn't in much better financial shape than Newfoundland and Labrador

Manitoba politics are invasive and expensiveThe scourge of COVID-19 is slowly being beaten back but Manitoba’s economy was in trouble before COVID-19 and the last 15 months have weakened it even more. Before COVID-19, the province’s economic weakness could be attributed to its big-spending governments. The Liberal federal government, the Progressive Conservative provincial government and Winnipeg’s municipal government continue to…

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bomb

An economic burden for future generations

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bombThe debt in Canada’s Prairie provinces has grown colossally during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as debt has in the rest of Canada and around the world. At the end of 2020, Alberta’s debt was estimated at $98 billion, Manitoba’s was $28.6 billion and Saskatchewan’s was $15 billion. These debts are an economic burden for the taxpayers…

Why private operation of public parks makes sense

Partnerships with private operators bring significant efficiencies and revenue sources for the public

Why private operation of public parks makes senseManitobans shouldn’t be afraid of the government partnering with the private sector to run public services such as provincial parks. Research shows these partnership agreements with private operators are quite common, are often well run, and bring significant efficiencies and revenue sources for the public. In 2020, the provincial government passed a law allowing companies…
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