Saturday, December 22, 2012

Two more pages.. updated newsletter

Our Winter Newsletter had two additional pages added onto it from our previous post. Check out this link for our most up to date newsletter, which is the one delivered to mailboxes!

Need help getting groceries?

Check out this awesome program!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter Programs at St. John's Library

Looking to stay out of the cold this Winter? Head on down to St. John's Library where there is some great information and skill building programs going on. 

Starting January 21, running until February 11, join the Money Management every Monday night from 6-8 p.m. Visit the branch or call 204-986-4689 to register!

Homework Club will recommence sometime in January.  Students can enjoy an after-school snack with fun games &activities once homework is done! For school-age up to Grade 9. This program runs on Tuesdays from 4 - 5:30 p.m. Again, you can either visit the branch or call 204-986-4689 to register. The date is to be determined for the January start  up.

Two great computer skill building courses are being held this February.

The first, Computer Basics 2, is a great opportunity for someone to expand on their understanding and use of computers. You will learn more about using a mouse, expanding your typing skills, and how to navigate in Windows. This course is on February 21st at 6 p.m. Visit or call 204-986-4689 to register.

Then there is Computer Basics 3. This course will teach you the basics of organizing files on a Windows computer. You will learn about using external storage devices (and what the terminology means), some tips for keeping things organized, and other useful info.  This course is on February 28th at 6 p.m.  Visit or call 204-986-4689 to register.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Service Canada: 1-800-O-CANADA

Service Canada is a one-stop access and information service for the services of the Federal Government. They are the first point of contact for many Federal programs, benefits, services and initiatives. They are open 8 am - 8 pm local time. Online at they offer information in several different languages, other than English or French. You can also speak with a real person when you call! They also have in person locations.

A quick overview of some services offered by our Canadian Government through Service Canada are:

Passport Services
- accept and review applications
- collect the fee & citizenship documents
- Forward to Passport Canada

Social Insurance Number
- This is required for employment, taxes and to receive some benefits or services. You can apply at a centre

Common Experience Payment
- A component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
- Recognizes the experience of residing at an Indian Residential School
- Delivered by Service Canada in partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Skills Employment and Education Programs
- Aboriginal skills and Employment training
- skills and partnership fund, skills link program, summer work experience program, post-secondary student support program and university and college entrance preparation program

Employment Insurance Programs (for owners)
- Discuss the various terms and conditions that could affect your employees eligibility for EI
- provide support in preparing Records of Employment (ROE)
- Work sharing: adjustment program to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a reduction in business needs beyond the control of the employer

Canada Education Savings Program
- Canada Learning bond is a $500 bond for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) for families in receipt of the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Canada Education Savings Grant is an RESP contribution provided until the beneficiaries reach the age of 17

Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
- UCCB is a taxable $100 taxable payment for families for each child under the age of 6
- CCTB is a tax free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of children under 18

Canada Pension Plan Benefits for Children and Families
- Survivors pension is a monthly pension to the surviving spouse or common law partner
- Children's benefit is a monthly benefit payable to dependent children of disabled or deceased contributors
- Death benefit is a one time payment to the estate of a deceased contributor

Canada Disability Savings Program
- Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) helps Canadians with disabilities and their families save for long term financial security
- The Government of Canada contributes to the RDSP through the Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- The CPP Retirement Pension provides a monthly taxable benefit to retired contributors and the amount depends on how much and for how long you contribute and when you choose to start receiving your pension

Old Age Security Benefits
- The OAS pension is a monthly payment available to most Canadians over 65
- The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly non-taxable benefit to low-income OAS recipients living in Canada

Apprenticeship Grants
- Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is a taxable cash grant of $1000 per year for registered apprentices with a maximum of $2000 per eligible apprentice
- Apprenticeship Completion Grant is an additional $2000 taxable cash grant to registered apprentices upon program completion and receipt of journey-person certificate

Working Income Tax Benefit
- A refundable tax credit for eligible low income working individuals and families

This is just SOME of the programs run through the Canadian Government. Check out their contact us section for how to call, where to go in person and other ways to get a hold of them. A great section of their website is the Benefits Finder (found here) that you can see what you could be eligible for.

North End Business Development Centre

Through consultations the North End Community Renewal Corporation (NECRC) identified business development as one of the key areas to direct its programming resources. From this the Business Development program was born. The Board Development position was filled in August 2012 with Richard Halliday as the Business Development Coordinator.

He is guiding though a steering committee comprised of businesses and community representatives. Through Community Consultations fixing up Selkirk Avenue and Main Street to be appealing and regain their status as one of Winnipeg's vibrant areas was made a priority.

Some of the action plans in process or planning stages are the Merchants Corner development program, meetings with business owners and operators, business community networking and development training sessions and business community marketing tools, alliances with stakeholder agencies, the Business Development Centre facility, a new business welcome package, prospective entrepreneur/business owner engagement and Youth entrepreneur program/summer employment.

The Business Development Centre is located at 607 Selkirk Avenue (Selkirk Avenue at McGregor Street). Richard works out of this location and encourages businesses, business people and entrepreneurs to come down and check out the building. He has a lot of resources and materials and is looking for feedback. Go check it out or give Richard a call at 204-927-2344.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lighting up the Avenue

Join in the fun by coming down to 'Light up the Avenue' on Thursday December 6 at Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre, located at 472 Selkirk Avenue, from 5-7:30pm.

For the full details on the 9th annual event, click here!

Friday, November 23, 2012

December 2012 Newsletter

Our December, or Winter edition, newsletter is complete. You can view it by clicking here. If you have any questions on anything in the newsletter or about the St. John's Residents Association, let us know!

What's up at Ralph Brown?!

Check out whats going on in December at Ralph Brown Community Centre!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winter events at St. Johns Library

There are two very exciting events running at St. John's Library in the next few weeks plus the winter session of family story time is coming up!

The events are:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas -
Come to St. John's Library for a holiday celebration of seasonal stories and festive games. You will get to make a Christmas ornament to keep or to give as a gift. This evening is designed for families. It will be held at St. John's Library on Tuesday, December 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Call 204-986-4689 to register.

Experiments in Sound -
Scott Senior and Amber Epp join forces to present "Experiments in Sound." Weaving melodic vocals and exotic rhythms from around the world, this unique duo was formed to excite and inspire the children of Winnipeg on the Library Travlin' Tour. St. John's Library Friday, January 4 at 2 p.m. Call 204-986-4689 to register.

Registration for Family Story time winter session runs from December 7th onwards. It is held on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. from January 8 to February 26.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Preview Assessment Letters - What is this?

Like many of you, I received my assessment for the 2014 year in my mail today. This is the assessment of your home for the 2014 and 2015 year. It is based on the market value of the property as of April 1, 2012.

These are general assessments, meaning just that. The City has not gone to every home and taken into consideration all individual circumstances for that home. They may not be aware that your basement foundation is cracked, that your home is shifted, that your roof has caved, etc. Not everything may be wrong in a negative way with your home; if you did repairs and you feel that your home is worth more than this assessment, you can also let them know that!

Assessments can affect your taxes, but not always. There is a general assessment that the entire neighbourhood or City will go up by. If your assessment increased by under the general assessment of the area (explained below) then you can see a decrease or no change in your property taxes. If your property increases more than the general assessment, then you can see an increase in your property taxes. 

Some information from the City's website regarding the average market value change is:

The change in the overall assessment due to the 2014 General Assessment cannot be calculated as this time as non-residential properties have not yet been valued. However, the assessment value increase in residential properties only resulting from the 2014 General Assessment ranges between 9% and 18% depending on the market region. Again, this relates only to residential properties and not the overall assessment roll increase for all properties.

Until information is provided regarding the overall general assessment it can be difficult to determine if you want to proceed with any changes to the proposed market value. At this time, the City is meeting with people at Burton Cummings Community Centre (960 Arlington). Call 311 and they will book an appointment for you to discuss your property with an assessor. The appointments are in 15 minute blocks and can be booked between Noon and 8 pm on Nov. 19, between 9 am and 8 pm on Nov. 20 - 22 and between 9 am - 4 pm on Nov. 23. 

You will need your preview letter and any documentation/photographs that you would like to bring to show your concerns. These amounts will not be finalized until June 2013 though once the assessments come out, the next step is an appeal, which is $50 (unless your property is assessed at $600,000 or more!)

Do you want to know about homes selling in the 'Inner City' area? Check out

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Contest Entries!

The amount of decorations up and around within the neighbourhood was wonderful! We have selected 30 addresses to vote on for prizes.

Voting will be on November 21 at Ralph Brown Community Centre at 460 Andrews at 7pm. Our meeting is afterwards and you can feel free to stay if you would like!

Everyone who was nomiated will receive a card in their mailbox with the details. Voting day will have pictures of all the homes entered and everyone will get three votes to stick next to the homes they like (one vote per house). Even if you did not decorate or get nominated, come on down to vote for your neighbours and friends.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Howl is less than a week away!

Looking for something to do this Saturday, October 27? Halloween Howl is a Halloween celebration geared to children ages 6 - 12.

There will be spooky stories, ghoulish games and a creepy craft. It will be held from 2 - 3 p.m. at St. John's Library. Grab your best costume, call 204-986-4689 to register, and have an awesome time at your local library!

North End Writers Club - St. John's Library

St. John's Library is holding the North End Writers Club over the next few weeks.

Rosanna Deerchild, author, journalist and member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba, lead 6 weeks of free, youth-focused workshops for new and emerging writers.

Always wanted to write? Don't know where to start? Come join in and learn all you've wanted to know. From poetry to novels, storytelling to non-fiction, Rosanna will provide instruction and inspiration (along with a surprise guest or two from the Aboriginal Writers Collective!).

All participants will be given notebooks and other writers’ tools to help get started. Expect some book  give-aways and great times with fellow writers! Snacks and refreshments provided.

It will be held on Saturdays from 1 - 4 pm on November 10, 17 and 24 and December 1, 8 and 15 at St. John's Library, 500 Salter Street. It is for youth ages 15 to 29. Attendance at all dates is expected. The program is free, but registration is required. To register, please call 204-986-4689.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pollocks Hardware

Pollocks Hardware recently sent out their newsletter. Some neat tidbits in it were:

They are holding their Paderno Sale from November 14 - 18. More information on the sale can be found at

Pollocks is also updating their website frequently. Check it out at They post it with photos, news, products for sale and with information about the Social Enterprise Center at 765 Main Street's Warehouse). Plus they also have Community News! 

You can also check out their Facebook at 

Don't yet have a Pollocks membership? Ask about one next time you're in. With it you will get 10% off at The Tallest Poppy (631 Main Street), 10% off parts at Minute Muffler (1011 Main Street) and 10% off sales and services at St Paul Small Engine (2985 Henderson Highway).. in addition to the awesome deals with member sales!

Halloween Decorating Contest

A few weeks ago I posted about us holding a Halloween Decorating Contest this year. This will be our second annual Halloween Decorating Contest held in St. John's.

If you've decorated your yard, your neighbours decorated theirs or someone down your block has, let us know! We will be delivering nomination cards before the end of next week. It will have the date and time of voting!

I've seen some really awesome houses and cute displays so far. Great work everyone.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Community Spotlight - Pendragon

Every three months we include a Community Spotlight article in our newsletter. This last issue included an interview with Pendragon. The interview, in its entirety, is posted below.

"We sell fun!" that's how John explained his business to me when I recently visited him in his store, Pendragon Games and Hobbies. John and his wife Linda have been in the business of selling board games for almost 40 years. He opened his first store in Ottawa in the 1970's, and his wife ran the store while he was off on military duty. In 1982, he opened a store in downtown Winnipeg, and for the past 8 years, he has been at his current location at 1354 Main Street, on the corner of Main and Cathedral.

John sells all kinds of games - farming, action, family oriented, decision based and role playing ones. They come from all over the world, China, India, Germany, Switzerland, and they are all English editions. Were you aware that the earliest version of a board game was found in Ancient Egypt? 

Aside from carrying the traditional board games that most of us grew up with such as Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, and Cribbage, John also carries such popular ones as Dungeons and Dragons, Ticket to Ride, a cross country train adventure game which outsells Monopoly in Europe, and the Settlers of Catan, an award winning game of Discovery Settlement and Trade. 

He also sells games that have been made out of a TV series such as Pillars of the Earth, pocket books based on the games, t-shirts, and Dungeon and Dragon figurines. The figurines come in a steel gray color and can be painted. He carries a good selection of paint colors, as well as a booklet on how to paint them. Prices for the board games range anywhere from $20.00 to $80.00. He doesn't sell computer games, but he does buy and sell used board games.

John pulled out one of the display games to show me and I couldn't help but be impressed by what I saw - exceptional graphics, nice visual representation, and detailed figurines. If you would like to try one out before you buy, he would be more than happy to demonstrate one for you.

There is no major board gaming convention held in Canada, so John has to travel to the US or Europe to see the latest board games in the industry. 

John shared with me as we talked that he would like to put on a game demonstration evening at the local high school or library, but, for now, in the lower level meeting space of his building, he holds game nights. Wednesday evenings is 4E D&D Encounters at 6:00 pm, followed by Casual Games Play at 7:00 pm. Thursday at 6:30 pm is the Pathfinder Society RPG play, and Fridays at 6:30 pm, Magic the Gathering Card Game Play. Pendragon Games and Hobbies meeting space is also available to rent for your meetings. 

If you have fond memories of a particular board game from your past, drop by and talk to John, maybe he can help you find it. Pendragon opens at 10:00 am Monday to Saturday, and closes at 6:00 pm, Fridays at 9:00pm. The store is closed on Sundays. If you would like more information please contact John at 772-5415. There is no website but they have a Facebook page.

Their Facebook page can be found at

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Constitution Changes

At our recent Annual General Meeting, we had our Constitution available with changes that we have made Our new Constitution is below with the changes at the bottom/highlighted in red within the new Constitution.   

St. John’s Residents Association, Inc
Constitution and By Laws
Effective July 2012

1.        The Organization shall be called the “St. John’s Residents Association, Inc.”, hereafter referred to as “the Association”
2.        The boundaries for the Association will be Atlantic Avenue (Northern boundary) to Redwood Avenue (Southern boundary) to Main Street (Eastern boundary) to McGregor Street (Western boundary)
3.        The purpose of the Association is to assist residents in preserving and enhancing the physical, social and the economic environment of the community by sponsoring and promoting community initiatives, providing a forum for cooperation and mutual support among community groups, supporting residents to find and implement solutions and foster community between community partners
4.        The Association is comprised of two types of membership
1.        The Association shall not assess any membership fees
2.        All individuals who reside within the boundaries, as defined by section 2.0 are automatically members; classified as holding a Resident membership
3.        Individuals who reside outside the boundaries may apply in writing to hold a Community membership. This can include individuals who work or operate a business within the boundaries, landowners within the boundaries, individuals who volunteer within the boundaries and individuals whose immediate family attends school, recreation activities or other ongoing activity within the boundaries
4.        The Board will notify applications within 90 days as to their acceptance
5.        All memberships hold the same rights and privileges. These include the right to vote, hold office and participate in the affairs of the Association. The Association reserves the rights to remove membership privileges from members of the Association
5.        There shall be an Annual General Meeting once every September
1.        There must be thirty (30) days’ notice of an Annual General Meeting by both public postings and social media services
2.        Notice of intention to consider proposed constitution amendments must be publicized as per section 8.2
3.        The quorum of an Annual General Meeting shall be no less than twenty (20) members.
4.        No voting by proxy shall be allowed at any meeting; however, nomination by proxy is allowed
6.0 The Association shall be governed between Annual General Meetings by a Board of Directors nominated and elected by members of the Association who attend the Annual General Meeting. A police record check may be conducted for all Officers of the Board (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer)
7.        The Board of Directors shall be comprised of an “Executive Committee” made up of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Members at Large and delegates or representatives from any sub-committees put in place by the Association who are non-voting members
1.        The President shall be responsible for:
1.                    liaison with other organizations or, if unable to attend, may delegate someone in their place
2.                    be official spokesperson for the Association
3.                    preside at all meetings, executive and general or delegate to the Vice-President
4.                    supervise the affairs of the Association;
5.                    prepare the agenda for meetings of the Directors and at the Annual General Meeting
6.                    not vote at any meeting of the Association except in the case of a tie, where they will cast the deciding vote
7.                    be a singing officer with the bank/credit union
8.                    other duties assigned by the Board of Directors
2.        The Vice-President shall be responsible for:
1.                    assisting the President in the performance of his/her duties
2.                    performing the duties of the President in his/her absence
3.                    being a signing officer with the bank/credit union
4.            other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors
3.        The Secretary shall be responsible for:
1.                    taking, transcribing and distributing the minutes for all meetings
2.                    collecting and presenting all correspondence for all meetings
3.                    typing of correspondence, reports, etc. as approved by the Board of Directors
4.                    maintenance of complete set of records of the Association
5.                    being a signing officer with the bank/credit union
6.                    other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors
4.        The Treasurer shall be responsible for:
1.                    General bookkeeper for the Association including receipt of all monies and deposit of same, subject to the order of the Executive
2.                    paying all bills in the name of the Association along with another signing officer as ordered by the Executive
3.                    safekeeping of cheques and all financial records for the Association
4.                    providing financial reports for every meeting of the Board of Directors
5.                    providing a complete statement of assets, liabilities, income and expenses at the Annual General Meeting
6.                    being a singing officer with the bank/credit union
7.                    other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors
8.        All members of the Board of Directors, both Executive Members and Members at Large, shall be elected for two (2) year terms. The President and Secretary will be elected on odd years and Treasurer and Vice President will be elected on even years. Members at large will be elected annually.
1.        A person elected as President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer may serve in that specific position for a maximum of two consecutive two (2) year terms
9.        General meetings of the Association shall be open to the public. The Board shall have the right to hold closed meetings
1.        Quorum for the transaction of business at any board meeting shall be 50% plus one member and no less than thirty (30) members/community members at the AGM
10.     At all meetings of the Association, motions shall be decided by a consensus wherever possible or by a majority vote by a show of hands of by secret ballot.
11.     The Board of Directors shall authorize expenditures and all payments of the Association shall be
made by cheque
1.        All cheques authorized by the Board of Directors will require two signatures
12.     The Association shall act without financial gain to its members, any profits or other accretions to
the Association shall be used in furthering its undertakings
1.        In this section “Conflict of Interest” shall mean a decision of the Board of Directors,
this may provide a personal or financial benefit to a Director
2.        Should a conflict of interest issue arise, the affect Director shall declare the possibility
and that director shall not participate in discussions and voting on the matter in question
13.     The Board of Directors shall appoint and/or approve the establishment of Committees as
1.        The Board of Directors must approve all proposed actions by any Committee of the Association prior to implementation
2.        One member of each committee shall provide the Board of Directors with regular
Committee reports at Board meetings, in person or in writing
14.     Written notice of a proposed amendment to the constitution shall be given to the Secretary atleast fifteen (15) calendar days before the Annual General Meeting
1.        Amendments to the constitution shall be made at an Annual General Meeting by a two-thirds (2/3rd) majority of the members in attendance
15.     The Association must be registered as a non-profit corporation and conduct itself in accordancewith regulations.
16.     In the event that the Association is dissolved and after payments of all debts and liabilities of theAssociation, the Board of Directors shall authorize and distribute all remaining assets of the Association to another non-profit organization having similar objectives to the Association to thebenefit the community

The changes that we made were:

- The North boundary was changed from Carruthers Avenue to Atlantic Avenue and the West boundary was changed from McKenzie Street to McGregor Street (to reflect where we have been providing services)

- this section was removed. It stated: The Association is based on the rationale that: Residents have a right to be and feel an active part of the community; Residents have responsibilities as members of the community; A community is only as strong as its residents; Strong communities help ensure a strong city and province.

- changed "hold office and participate in the affairs of the Association.  The Association reserves the right to remove membership privileges from members of the Association creating problems within the membership i.e.: known and/or active drug dealers, dangerous criminals, etc." to current wording

- this section was removed. It stated: The Association may seek alliances both formally and informally with other area organizations to strengthen communication and networking in the interest of the community.

- This section was removed as its own section and added under Membership. It read the same as it states under Membership.

Annual General Meeting
- We changed this section from: "There shall be an Annual General Meeting once every calendar year; There must be thirty (30) days notice of an Annual General Meeting by both public postings and at least two (2) notices in the local community newspaper; The quorum of an Annual General Meeting shall be no less than thirty (30) resident members; No proxy shall be allowed at any meeting of the Association." to what it currently reads

Board of Directors
- We added in "who are non-voting members" to point 7.

Board Attendance and Vacancies
- We removed this section. It stated: For Board of Directors’ meetings to be conducted efficiently to ensure fair work distribution between all Board members, it is crucial all Board members attend meetings as regularly as possible.  In order to encourage attendance at Board meetings and to maintain a full Board: A Board member who misses three consecutive meetings without an excuse acceptable to the Board may lose their position.  The Board of Directors may declare the position vacant and may appoint a member of the Association, preference given to members of the current board, to fill the position vacated until the next Annual General Meeting.  Normal election procedures would follow; Should there not be enough members at large, the board may appoint a member of the community in good standing to the vacant position.

- We changed this section from: "At all meetings of the Association motions shall be decided by a majority vote by a show of hands or by secret ballot.  In the case of a tie the President shall cast the deciding vote." to read what it currently states." 
- We changed: "All cheques authorized by the Board of Directors will require two signatures signed by any two (2) of the four (4) Executive positions (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer)." to "All cheques authorized by the Board of Directors will require two signatures

Constitutional Amendments
- We removed "Notice of intention to consider proposed amendments must be publicized as per section 8.2." 

Sections highlighted in red are additions/changes to a sentence which remains, though changed from how previously stated.