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In Brief… – for Apr. 8, 2010

Parks open for bookings:

Manitoba’s Parks Reservation Service will take campsite bookings starting April 5 at or at 1-888-482-2267. During the first five weeks of the booking period, Birds Hill, Camp Morton, Grand Beach, Stephenfield, Big Whiteshell, Caddy Lake, Falcon Beach, Falcon Lakeshore, Hecla/Gull Harbour, Kiche Manitou, Nutimik, Otter Falls, St. Malo, West Hawk, Bakers Narrows, Campers Cove, Paint Lake and Asessippi offer select sites that require a seven-night minimum reservation including a Sunday-to-Sunday stay. A record 62,044 reservations were booked in 2009. East Side Road plan moves forward: The province has budgeted $72.5 million in 2010 for its East Side Road project, to provide communities up the east side of Lake Winnipeg with a permanent all-season road, pending environmental approvals by the end of this year. The plan includes a 160-km road from Highway 304 near Manigotagan to Bloodvein First Nation through to Berens River First Nation. It also includes a study on potential transportation infrastructure improvements for the rest of the region. Talks on federal support are also underway, the province said. Haitian mango growers get support: Technical support to about 25,000 mango growers in Haiti is to flow through a $7.5-million, five-year Haiti Hope Project, aiming to double the farmers’ income and “raise their standard of living.” The project, backed by the Inter-American Development Bank and Coca-Cola, is to provide consultants to help farmers develop efficiencies, grow additional crops to boost incomes and create businesses to “allow them to access markets.” Juice company Odwalla has pledged 100 per cent of profits from an Odwalla Haiti Hope beverage line, to launch in Canada this summer. Feds fund food banks for food safety: The national body representing Canada’s food banks has picked up over $850,000 in federal Growing Forward funding for programming to help improve food safety at food bank facilities. Food Banks Canada plans to use the funding to develop training materials and workshops and “better equip” regional trainers to work with food banks in their communities to ensure local-level volunteers follow “strong food safety practices.” The national organization has had a Safe Food Handling program in place since 2006.

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