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In Brief… – for May. 7, 2009

Climate effect: Drier, warmer weather may help curb the swine flu outbreak as the Northern Hemisphere moves into summer and the human flu season nears its end, the World Meteorological Organization says. The United Nations agency said that weather can affect the course of viral epidemics but it was only one piece of the swine flu puzzle. “The transmission patterns of this particular influenza and its possible seasonality are as yet not adequately understood and are the subject of ongoing investigations,” WMO spokeswoman Gaelle Sevenier said. – Reuters

Be prepared: It’s Emergency Preparedness Week this week, and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Ashton is urging Manitobans to take steps to ensure they have a plan in place. “Knowing the risks, making emergency plans and getting emergency kits can help Manitobans prepare for emergency situations,” said Ashton. Emergency Preparedness Week is a national campaign co-ordinated by Public Safety Canada together with all provinces and territories. Cubs and Scouts can now train for emergencies by earning badges in Emergency Preparedness.

More enforcement: The Manitoba government is hiring eight new environment officers to work in water protection, and those workers will be granted expanded powers of intervention under new amendments to the Environment Act, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers says. The province will also acquire a $200,000 emergency-response trailer stocked with equipment, monitoring instruments and supplies that can be deployed to a variety of critical environmental incidents.

Correction: Canada exported 19,726 tonnes of lentils, 2,065 tonnes of peas and 50 tonnes of chickpeas to Morocco last year, according to statistics from Pulse Canada. Incorrect information appeared in the April 23 edition of the Manitoba Co-operator in a story about the Canadian government’s efforts to start free trade talks with Morocco.

Exports of those three crops from Canada to Morocco averaged 19,936, 3,562 and 10 tonnes between 2004 and 2008, Pulse Canada said.

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