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Natural gas pipeline explodes in Manitoba

Near Otterburne, Manitoba a natural gas pipeline exploded just 50 km south of Winnipeg, Jan. 25. Thousands have been left without heat, and the temperatures continue to drop into the -30s with wind chill. 

After burning for over 12 hours following the explosions, over 4,000 people in neighbouring communities have been affected. 

A state of local emergency was announced by the Rural Municipality of Hanover on Saturday. The press release stated that the outage was expected to last from 24 to 72 hours. 

A witness who lived near by Paul Rawluklives stated:

 “As we got closer, we could see these massive 200 to 300 metre high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” he said. “And that’s the thing that really got us, was the sound of it.” Rawluklives also commented that “it was hard to describe the scale.” 

Resident living in the evacuation zone were forced from their homes when power was lost in the area according to CBC News. Police said the fumes were non-toxic. 

Minimum wage retroactively raised in Ontario

For the first time in four years, Ontario’s lowest paid workers will get a raise as the $10.25 minimum wage is hiked up according to government sources on Monday, reported The Record. 

To look at ways of adjusting the minimum wage, a special advisory panel was set up and will recommend it be tied to inflation rates. 

While government officials will not tell what the new rate should be, they did comment that an announcement would be coming soon based on the rate of inflation since 2010. The rate of inflation in 2012 was 1.52 per cent, and in 2013 0.91 per cent according to Statistics Canada, a decrease from 2011’s 2.9 per cent.  

Large jumps in the minimum wage hurt the very people they are supposed to help — low-skilled and low-income workers — because they force small firms to absorb the cost through “reduced hours, reduced training or even job cuts,” commented the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said on Monday that it was smart to base all future changes in the wage on the inflation rate and “it takes the decision out of the realm of political whim and puts it into the realm of some kind of relationship with the way the economy is growing.”

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