Newspaper article The Canadian Press

--Prairie Update-

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

--Prairie Update-

Article excerpt

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(Cda-Space-Astronauts) (Alta Note)

Canada's newest astronauts -- both from Alberta -- say one of the most important tasks in their new jobs will be to inspire the next generation.

Thirty-five-year-old Joshua Kutryk of Fort Saskatchewan and 28-year-old Jennifer Sidey of Calgary were named by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa.

The pair -- who will head to Houston for training next month -- toured the Canadian Space Agency today and took questions from children.

Sidey says her dream began in 1992 when Roberta Bondar went into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, while Kutryk recalled the thrill of seeing a Canadarm exhibit when he was six years old. (The Canadian Press)

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(Mba-Wage-Freeze)

The president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour says while the province's wage freeze legislation has yet to officially become law, it's already having an impact on contract talks.

Kevin Rebeck says employers in recent months have refused to discuss any wage increases, thanks to the Public Services Sustainability Act passed by the legislature in the spring.

More than a dozen unions representing 110-thousand government workers, nurses, teachers and others have launched a court challenge against the government's plan, saying it undermines collective bargaining rights and is unconstitutional.

Premier Brian Pallister has said the restraint is needed and has urged public-sector workers to join his "all hands on deck" approach to balance the budget by 2024. (The Canadian Press)

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(Alta-Ombudsman)

Alberta has a new ombudsman and public interest commissioner.

The province says Marianne Ryan -- a former commanding officer of the R-C-M-P in Alberta -- is the first woman to serve in either of those positions.

Ryan, who was also R-C-M-P deputy commissioner, announced her retirement from the force in January.

The public interest commissioner investigates reports of wrongdoing or reprisals involving public service workers, while the ombudsman probes complaints of unfair treatment by Alberta government bodies or certain organizations. …

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