Category Archives: highway signs

02 Nov

Deacon’s Corner Sign-Gate

On the Trans-Canada Highway east of Winnipeg, there is a sign just past Deacon’s Corner that gives the distance in kilometers to Falcon Lake and Kenora. In many respects, it is a sign not unlike many others in the province that gives motorists an idea how far it is to their destination.

This one, however, has a sordid tale behind it.

After the Metric system was imposed upon the Canadian people during Pierre Trudeau’s autocratic reign as the country’s heavy-handed, supreme ruler, many of these signs around the province were changed to reflect the distances in kilometers instead of miles.


This particular sign, likely an original of the Metric era, had served motorists well for many years. Though the posts and perhaps the brackets that were holding it up had seen better days, despite its age, the metal sign itself looked no worse for the wear. However, someone at Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation still decided that it needed to be replaced. The reasons for this decision escape me.



Two years ago, as part of the much-needed resurfacing of this stretch of highway, this new sign made its unceremonious debut. Not only had Kenora apparently moved two kilometers closer, the first letter of Kenora had been spelled with a small “k” and the “k” in Falcon Lake had been capitalized.

These glaring errors on this three or four-foot high sign could not possibly be any more obvious, yet no one with Signal Industries in Dauphin, where these signs are made, or Infrastructure and Transportation caught them.

This sign clearly should never have left the factory, let alone been put up on the side of a highway. I can’t even hazard a guess as to how many people saw this sign on its way here and failed to notice the mistakes.

Worse still, this sign stood there for over a year until it was finally corrected this summer.

Today, as part of a 41-mile bike ride out that way, I visited the location and got a picture of the corrected sign.

Rather than putting a sticker or a metal plate over each letter, which is commonly done on these signs, they repainted it completely. It is akin to repainting an entire wall of a room in your house to cover up a mark the size of a closed fist.

I can just hear a good friend of mine saying, “Thank you government!”™

Your tax dollars at work.

12 Oct

A Government With Too Much Money

Some of you who live in Winnipeg may have noticed in recent weeks and months that virtually every route marker and speed zone sign in the city is in the process of being replaced, if it has not already been replaced.


Three of the many new markers on Winnipeg streets. There are many more where they came from.

These new city route markers feature the new Clearview font, which, I am told, is easier to read at high speeds. In addition, the markers also feature a reflective backing so that they can be read easier at night.

That said, these new features hardly justify a city-wide search-and-destroy mission to replace every marker that city workers can get their hands on.

An argument can be made for this wholesale sign replacement on rural highways, where lighting is poor or non-existent and motorists are travelling at higher speeds.

Within Winnipeg, it is a different story. Speeds are much lower than they are on highways and Winnipeg streets are, by and large, very well lit. There are many reasons for the plethora of motor vehicle accidents within Winnipeg, but I doubt that an inability to read a road sign would be one of them.

By all means, if a sign otherwise needs replacement, then these new markers should be used. To hunt down and replace every single marker in the city, however, is simply ludicrous.

To make matters worse, I spotted one of these search-and-destroy sign replacement crews on a recent Sunday morning. No doubt, they were rubbing their hands with glee while fingering the extra cash that they’ll be raking in as they bill taxpayers double time for this unnecessary job.

This is yet another indication that this municipal government has too much money on its hands. When your councillor or Mayor Sammy starts talking about snow clearing surcharges and cutting fire services because there’s not enough money, you can be rest assured that it’s pure bovine excrement.

There’s plenty of money. They just choose to blow it elsewhere. Greg Selinger Disease has infected City Hall.