Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 25, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
June 25 2002
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Bombers back in West SBION PAGE A2
COUNCIL PUTS BIG BOX STORES ON HOLD
Pet horse finds new home near Melita
By Shelley Vivian
Ranger, the pet miniature horse that caused a stir in Souris earlier this month, has found greener pastures further west.
Town council in Souris voted unanimously June 3 to give Vem Millar 30 days to get rid of his horse from his yard.
Millar said die tiny horse was more like a dog and deserved to stay, but council would not budge.
Melita-area resident Eva Brown had always wanted one of the diminutive equines so when she heard about Millar’s batde with council over keeping of the horse, she jumped in to offer it a home on her farm.
For Ranger, the move means not only new digs but some new romantic prospects.
“I’m going to get him a mate,’’ Brown says.
“I’m looking for a friend for him now.”
The longtime Souris resident’s argument that the horse, which is 35 inches tall at the highest point of his back, should be considered a pet rather than livestock, didn’t wash with councillors.
While there were few complaints from residents about the horse, Souns mayor Jack Denbow said the rules couldn’t be bent for one person.
Souris has no bylaw that deals specifically with what kinds of animals are allowed inside town limits and based its decision on a zoning bylaw that addresses location of livestock.
SEE INCIDENT’ — PAGE A2
at casino decision
By Rod Nickel
The city signalled it wants to negotiate Brandon’s first urban reserve with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, a move Mayor Reg Atkinson called “the biggest mistake we could ever make.”
“We’re asking for nothing but trouble,” he said. “It’s a lifetime decision and not only our lifetime. It will be 200 years and someone will be cursing us.”
Council voted to express to the province its interest in starting negotiations with Sioux Valley.
Council voted 7-4 in favour of the resolution. Councillors Doug Paterson, Rick Chrest, Dave Burgess, Todd Lumbard, Ken Fitzpatrick, Marion Robinsong and Errol Black voted yes, while Atkinson and councillors Margo Campbell, Don Jessiman and Beth Smale voted no.
In a bizarre turn of events, council was then set to vote on a motion to hold a fall plebiscite to decide the issue. Instead, councillors voted — again over Atkinson’s protests — to withdraw the motion.
“This will signal to the rest of Manitoba that Brandon is aggressive and is moving
ahead,” said Black.
Robinsong said agreeing to negotiate will improve relations with aboriginal people.
Council’s resolution falls well short of endorsing the project. It is carefully worded and intended to satisfy a Sept. I provincial deadlme for the band to find municipal support but keep the city from making a commitment.
“It’s not our fault we’re at the lith hour,” said Chrest, who compared the band’s recent request for support to completing a school assignment the day before it’s due.
Sioux Valley received provincial authority to build a casino two years ago.
SEE CITY’ — PAGE A2
COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Sioux Valley band councillor Ken McKay (rear) watches the Brandon city council meeting with city economic development officer Marlow Kirton yesterday evening at City Hall.ClassifiedFOR SALE: Opal oak captain's bed
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Airline has licence reinstatedStory on Page A2
Farmers behind after dry spring
By Kyla Duncan
Dry soils have been replenished with recent rains but Brandon-area farmers say they are still playing a game of catch-up with crop developments.
Farmers in southwestern Manitoba have seen anywhere from six to eight inches of rain in the past two weeks, but the wet didn’t come soon enough to reverse the effects of a dry, cool spring.
Most cereal and specialty crops are behind anywhere from IO days to two weeks because of almost drought-like soil conditions in the past few months.
If soil moisture levels do not ’•remain consistent throughout the summer, producers fear it could translate into crop loss and feed shortages.
“We were quite critical on hay and pasture a couple of weeks ago ... we had very little spring growth. The rains over the last couple of weeks have helped green those up and get them going,” says Stephanie Lischka, Brandon-area agriculture representative.
Lischka says there was a concern farmers wouldn’t see a hay crop at all before soil mois
ture conditions improved.
Hugh Jameson, a cattle and beef operator east of Brandon, says dry soil conditions have stalled feed growth by at least IO days.
“I think we’ll have enough (hay) until we get some new crop coming in. It’s going to be close though,” says Jameson.
Melita-area farmers turned cattle out two weeks ago, before the pasture was ready.
“The cattle were out whether it was too early or not, (producers) had no choice. We were basically out of feed,” says Shane Dobson, Melita-area agriculture representative.
Dobson said most farmers have anticipated the shortage by planting back-up feed — millet, oats and barley.
“People are preparing themselves for less of a first cut hay crop. Our yields are going to be down — people are looking at other options for feed,” says Dobson.
“People were changing their plans at the last minute making sure they looked after their feed situation first."
The rain didn’t come soon enough for farmers near Boissevain.
Also facing a feed shortage, farmers are looking at poor canola crops this year.
COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Hugh Jameson stands in a field of alfalfa at his farm outside Brandon yesterday afternoon. Crops are approximately IO days to two weeks behind because of a cool, dry spring.
“We’re not sure how far this moisture will go. We’re fairly certain we will need continually rain throughout the summer to sustain crop growth,” says Day.
“We’re still delaying with the legacy of the cold, dry soil with many of the oil seeds crops, canola in particular, having late emergence.
“The rain has come too late to correct that problem.”
Day says many farmers replanted canola seeds, but the season is too far advanced to see any bountiful yields.
Jameson did not have to replant any of his crops, but says he will rely on some backup feed crops like oats and bar
ley to cover the hay shortage he expects this winter.
Jameson says he is hoping Mother Nature co-operates this summer.
“I guess if we knew what kind of fall we were going to have we wouldn’t have to worry. An early frost is going to catch a lot (of crops),’’ says Jameson, adding he would like to see a steady shower every week for the rest of the summer.
Agriculture representatives report soil moisture conditions in southwestern Manitoba are now good to excellent dugouts and dams are replenished and some farmers’ fields have some pooling.
Amphibious tour boats halted following tragedy
By Stephen Thorne
OTTAWA — Transport Canada temporarily shut down amphibious tour operations across the country yesterday while it inspected their vessels following a fatal accident on the Ottawa River.
The urgent inspections were to be completed today and, providing they met standards, operators would be allowed to resume tours, said department spokesman Peter Coyles.
The measure was taken as contract divers investigated the site where four people died when the converted Ford F-350 truck in which they were ndmg sank within spitting distance of a dock on Sunday.
Transportation Safety Board investigators expected to pull the vessel, called the Lady Duck, out of 12 metres of water by next week.
They were just starting their probe, but already some issues were evident:
• The same vessel was involved rn a similar flooding incident last summer, without injuries; the final accident report has yet to be issued but officials say the company made recommended modifications and met Transport Canada requirements. The vessel was last inspected May 6.
• Gatineau emergency ser-
“The water was coming over the windshield and once it did the boat plummeted pretty much to the bottom. It happened very quickly. As soon as the water got over the windshield, it was seconds.”
BOAT OWNER MARIO DEMERS
vices didn’t have the equipment to conduct a rescue in water that deep and dark; an Ottawa dive crew was called for but it was 90 minutes after the incident occurred before it arrived and more than two and a half hours before it recovered the bodies.
“There are not many police or fire departments in Canada of our size that are equipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week with scuba divers (able to be) on site right away,” said police Lieut. Yves Martel.
“In most cases, you’ve got to call them. Sometimes they’re home; sometimes they’re not. So you’ve got to build your team before sending the team in the water.”
SEE COMPANY’ — PAGE A2