Breakfast & Brainstorms

The University of Manitoba's Government Relations Office, in partnership with the Council on Post-Secondary Education, presents the Breakfast & Brainstorms Speaker Series at the Manitoba Legislative Building.  The Series is designed to bring public policy decision makers and influencers together with University of Manitoba researchers.

The most recent session, Mother Nature’s Fury: Severe Prairie Thunderstorms, was held on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008.  Dr. John Hanesiak, a professor in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba, was the speaker. 

The Canadian Prairies are already home to some of Mother Nature’s most extreme summer weather, including damaging winds, hail, lightning and tornadoes.  With climatologists predicting that global warming will cause even more destructive storms, it is imperative that early warning systems be developed and installed for the safety of communities.  As one of Canada’s leading researchers in severe weather and tornados, Dr. Hanesiak, leads Canada’s only storm chasing course.  The team is based out of the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Hanesiak shed new light on the mechanisms that contribute to severe summer weather, and how it will be affected by future climate change.  He also discussed the importance of effective and timely dissemination of weather warnings to the public.

Individuals who attended the session include: Minister Diane McGifford, Manitoba's Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy; Mr. Ralph Eichler, MLA (Lakeside); Mr. David Faurschou, MLA (Portage la Prairie); Dr. Jon Gerrard, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and MLA (River Heights); Ms Linda McFadyen, Deputy Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs; Mr. Blaine Pedersen, MLA (Carman); and Ms Heather Reichert, Deputy Minister for Advanced Education and Literacy.


Lt. to Rt.: Mr. David Faurschou, MLA (Portage la Prairie); Ms Heather Reichert, Deputy Minister for Advanced Education and Literacy; Dr. John Hanesiak, speaker; Mr. John Alho, Associate Vice-President (External) at the University of Manitoba


Lt. to Rt.: Ms Reichert; Dr. Hanesiak; Mr. Ralph Eichler, MLA (Lakeside); Mr. Blaine Pedersen, MLA (Carman)


Dr. Hanesiak discusses the occurrences of lightning across Canada


Ms Linda McFadyen, Deputy Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs in conversation with Mr. Alho