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Boating, fishing or swimming this summer? Know the deadly risks around dams

Near a generating station the water may seem calm. But below the surface are powerful currents that can drag you to the bottom. And that’s just one of the dangers around a generating station.

Hydroelectric stations can be remotely controlled by operators many kilometers away. Throughout the day and night, as demand for electricity rises and falls, operators open and close gates at the dams and start and stop generating units. This causes frequent and rapid changes in water levels and flows around generating stations which can affect the safety of those who venture too close.

There are many areas upstream and downstream of hydro generating stations where the water is flowing quickly and can change completely within a few seconds when a turbine starts or a spillway opens. Water rushes out and the water level rises in a flash. It’s very easy to be caught off guard. A change in water flow can swamp your boat or pull you into an undertow.

Be alert to danger and obey all warning signs, fences, buoys and barriers that are there to prevent access to dangerous areas. Always stay clear of hydroelectric dams and station structures unless you are at a clearly indicated walkway or observation point.

When you are near a hydro dam:

• Stay away from the water’s edge. Rocks are frequently slippery and falling could be fatal.

• Keep your watercraft away from either side of the dam or spillway. A sudden change in the water can swamp your boat and pull you into an undertow, or cause it to overturn and sink.

Explain the dangers to children and always keep them close when you’re anywhere near a hydroelectric facility. Find places well away from any hydroelectric facility to enjoy your summer activities safely.

Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc Public Safety & Education Coordinator, Manitoba Hydro.

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MAHE Board Member Interview: Anthony Ngayan

We’re back for another instalment of our MAHE Board Member Interview series. Today we’re talking with, Anthony Ngayan, Director of Member Relations (Winnipeg).


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Professional Home Economist currently doing a second Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Family Social Sciences. My ultimate goal in life is to become an MD with a PhD in Community and Family Nutrition. In my free time, I love to do volunteer work and currently I volunteer as the Marketing Coordinator for the United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Group at the University of Manitoba. I am also the current Young Professionals Network Contact for Canada for the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE).

How long have you been a MAHE member?

I have been a member of MAHE since 2012 and officially became a PHEc last year! I became the Director of Member Relations (Winnipeg) of the association since the MAHE Annual General Meeting in October 2015.

What do you enjoy most about being a MAHE member?

I am really passionate about Human Ecology and Home Economics. What I really enjoy most about being a MAHE member is that, through the collective effort of the association’s members, we were able to (and continuously do so) advance the profile of PHEcs and advocate the importance of Home Economics/Human Ecology education. I also enjoy the countless opportunities that MAHE has continuously provided to its members to collaborate with amazing groups and individuals from all walks of life!

What piece of advice could you offer to new PHEc’s or IPHE’s?

Be an active practising member and get involved with MAHE’s events! Being a PHEc is a very rewarding career with multiple avenues you can take as you go through the different stages of your life! Being an active practising member of our association will not only help you develop your knowledge and skills, but it will also help you help others and build long-lasting relationships!

For more, please see our recent interview with Diana Mager.

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Nutrition Tips For Travelers

Updated in July 2015 by the Manitoba Association of Home Economists

Whether you are flying, driving, taking a bus, boat or plane, it is likely that you will be eating out on your vacation. It is important to continue eating a healthy diet so that you have the energy you need to enjoy your vacation. The occasional treats of high calorie, high fat foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle, but for most days of your vacation, keep healthy eating as a focus.

Being on vacation does not mean you must eat in restaurants the entire time you are away from home. If you are driving, pack a cooler with ice packs and healthy choices: sandwiches on whole wheat bread with lean meats, raw vegetables and fruit, yogurt, low fat granola bars and water. These foods are good for your health and easier on the budget than eating at restaurants. When traveling in areas where the water may not be safe, it is best to drink bottled water.

When staying at a hotel, bring along your own snacks instead of eating higher fat, expensive foods from the mini bar or vending machine. If there is a fridge in your room, stock it with perishable foods so you can have some meals and snacks in your room. This can save calories, time and money. If there is a Continental breakfast at your hotel, steer clear of Danishes, donuts and high fat muffins. Instead, choose fruit, whole grain cereal or toast.

For the times you want to eat out, remember to make healthy choices: salad with dressing on the side, steamed vegetables, lean grilled meats and avoid battered and deep fried foods. Condiments and sauces like mayonnaise, butter and cream sauces should be limited. For dessert, choose fresh fruit. If you want to have a rich dessert, split it with someone else. Most restaurants give very large servings, so share an entree with a friend and do not feel you have to clean your plate. You can also order an appetizer as a main dish. Aim to limit treats to one a day. Limiting alcohol intake is wise because these calories can add up quickly.

Plan for some physical activity while on vacation to boost your energy levels and help you feel great. It may take a bit of planning to eat well and be physically active on your next vacation, but you’ll be glad you did.


Originator: Carla Bodnarus, RD, Keewatin Yatthe Health

Editing Buddy: Catherine Abrametz, Mamawetan Churchill River


Carla Bodnarus, “Eating on Vacation”, Newspaper column, June 23, 2006.

Travel Sense, “Eating Healthy on Vacation”,


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