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Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 30, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba cun *,.« JU RI "sx No paper Monday Sun publishes again July 2 WINDSOR WEATHER 60% Chance of Showers low 14 high 29 Windsor Plywood 1840 - 18th St. IN. Dealing with divided loyalties Athlete of the Week Mitch Olson /Page Hnatiuk leads by four strokes Story on Page BlHiring freeze strains resources Province’s vacancy management policy leaves 74 Conservation jobs unfilled By Rod Nickel Brandon Sun The Doer government’s strategy to balance budgets by leaving jobs unfilled is stressing civil servants and reducing key services, some say. When the NDP swept into power three years ago, it implemented a hiring policy it calls “vacancy management” for all departments. In the Conservation Department alone, there were 74 unfilled jobs as of this month, including natural resource and environment officers. The department released details of its vacancies to comply with a Brandon Sun request under the Freedom of Information law. McCreary mayor Dean Allan, whose village is at the edge of Riding Mountain National Park, has been waiting two years for the province to fill a vacant resource officer position. “Top priority is managing natural resources in this area,” he says. “There’s no enforcement.” Allan says he frequently hears gun shots from the park when he golfs nearby. Recently, residents found an elk carcass with only the hind quarters removed. Without active enforcement, there’s little deterrent to hunters not to use lights at night or poach, Allan says. Conrad McClure, a member of the Brandon Wildlife Association, has similar fears. “The (wildlife) population is going to dip down and there will be less for people to make use of in their sporting activities.” Resource officers in Neepawa, about a half hour’s drive away, are responsible for enforcing the area but are rarely seen, Allan says. SEE PREMIER’ — PAGE A2 Documents show casino financing options limited By Rod Nickel Brandon Sun Sioux Valley Dakota Nation has limited options to finance construction of a $20-million casino resort, according to band documents. Fact sheets the band circulated among members last month reveal that 17 of 23 banks, investment firms and government agencies told Sioux Valley they aren’t interested in financing a casino regardless of where it’s built. The list of institutions rejecting the casino includes Scotiabank, CIBC, Royal and Bank of Montreal. TD Bank/First Nations Bank of Canada, two investment firms, York Factory First Nation, a development company and Brandon-based Wheatbelt Community    Futures Development Corp. have offered to help. But TD, York Factory and one investment firm told the band it would only finance a casino in Brandon, not near Oak Lake. Wheatbelt has offered $ 150,000 in seed money. Responses from potential investors confirm what the band has been saying for months — a casino is only feasible in Brandon. It also suggests that financ ing a city casino isn’t without risk either. One capital firm offered to raise equity of $5 million but demanded an eight per cent return plus nearly half of profits. “We are confident,” says band councillor Ken McKay. “... We don’t ever have to worry about finances.” McKay says part of his optimism comes from the band’s pending partnership with Casinos Austna, which operates casinos around the world. The European company will directly invest capital into the casino, McKay says. It’s unclear how large a share of profits Casinos Austria will command in exchange. Economic development officer Marlow Kirton, the city official who has worked most closely with the band, says he’s “very confident” Sioux Valley will raise the money it needs. Sioux Valley, which expects to begin negotiations soon with the city on an urban reserve to house the casino, has already tabled offers on at least one site along the Trans-Canada Highway between First and 18th Streets, McKay says. Where the casino ultimately opens will be part of talks with the city, he says. SEE KIRTON’ — PAGE A2 LOOK WHAT I DID! BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN Brad Dick looks back at the large wake created by his Seadoo while out for an afternoon ride on the Assiniboine River yesterday. 75C tax includedClassified FOB SALE: 1988 Plymouth Voyager Details under HG 16 LOCAL ........... . .A2-3 CANADA/WORLD . . . . .A5 EDITORIAL PAGE .. . . . .A4 FOOD............ . . . .A8 SPORT'S .......... . .Bl-3 SENIORS ......... . . . .B4 WHAT’S ON!...... . . . -B5 COMICS.......... . . . ,A6 CLASSI! IIT)....... ..B6-8 OBITUARIES...... ....BB Storm knocks out power Story on A2 Four people walk away from plane crash in wilderness BISSETT, Man. — The skill of a bush pilot and divine intervention are being credited with helping two adults and two teenaged Venturers survive a wilderness crash after the plane’s lone engine failed. “It was just like God took the plane and dropped us right there,” survivor Doug Englot of Lorette, Man., said yesterday, a day after he and the three others walked away from the crash. “It’s a miracle. We’re just happy and grateful the way it turned out. The pilot was excellent. If we’d gone another IO or 15 feet farther we would have been right in the thick of the forest, and who knows what would have happened to us.” The single-engine De Haviland DHC-2 Beaver float plane, owned by Blue Water Aviation of St. Georges, crashed Friday about 9:30 a.m. in a remote wooded area north of Bissett. One of the plane’s wings was torn off by a nearby rock outcropping, but the rest of the plane remained intact and relatively undamaged. Englot, his 14-year-old son Bryce and 15-year-old James McLaren, as well as the pilot, weren’t injured in the crash. It was not the first time members of the Manitoba scouting movement have been involved in an air crash. Three Girl Guide leaders were killed rn 1999 when a four-seater plane crashed near St. Andrews when the pilot couldn’t control it after losing power. Ed Gaffiray, Blue Water co-owner, said the plane that crashed, which is more than 40 years old, had just been taken out of service and inspected last week. “It was just like God took the plane and dropped us right there. It's a miracle. We're just happy and grateful the way it turned out. The pilot was excellent. If we'd gone another IO or 15 feet farther we would have been right in the thick of the forest, and who knows what would have happened to us." PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR DOUG ENGLOT “It’s a puzzle,” Gaffiray said. “(The pilot) lost fuel pressure, and it’s not because he didn’t have enough gas. He couldn’t start it again ... we’ll have to check some of the components.” Gaffray said he has spoken to the pilot, who has more than 1,200 flying hours and flies for his airline during the summer months, and it appears all of the correct preflight checks were completed. The Venturers and their supervisors, split between two planes, had been on their way to a long-planned, week-long wilderness canoeing trip.    —    Canadian    Press Organizers fired up for Canada Day festivities By Rod Nickel Brandon Sun A larger site for Canada Day celebrations have organizers hoping for Brandon’s biggest July I crowd ever. Celebrations take place at Riverbank Discovery Centre instead of Princess Park this year. “Whether it’s a record-breaker or not, we’ll have a great time,” says Lois Crawley, manager of Brandon Riverbank Inc. “There’s more room, so we can spread out.” It’s estimated that 5,000 people took part in official Brandon celebrations last year. Events get underway at 12:30 p.m. with a Canada Day choir. The afternoon features hayrides, origami, crafts, magic shows, trail tours, music, and dancing. A barbecue starts at 4 p.m. Brandon Friendship Centre organizes children’s activities from 4-6 p.m. In the evening, entertainment includes bands, a gymnastic demonstration and clown. Fireworks take place at 10:30 p.m. between Kirkcaldy and Braecrest drives. The best vantage poult is the Discovery Centre, Crawley says. SEE WESTMAN — PAGE A2 FOR HOME DELIVERY, CALL 727-0527 BRUCE BUMST EAD/ BRANDON SUN A pair of rollerbladers make their way back to the Riverbank Discovery Centre, which has been decorated which many Canadian flags, yesterday afternoon. The city will be hosting their Canada Day activities at the centre. A, ;