Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Our mayor isn't Rob Ford: nuff said

Finding reasons why we love Winnipeg

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I know you are a little bummed out, Winnipeg.

You're suffering post-Olympic depression because whenever you turn on CBC in the morning, instead of watching cool extreme sports such as cross-country ski jumping, you're forced to watch a kids' program wherein overly cute cartoon animals teach you about achieving world peace through interpretive dance.

What's worse, the polar vortex has returned with a vengeance and it's so (bad word) cold that whatever idiot expression is on your face when you go out to start your car gets frozen there for the rest of the week.

Still, these are not legitimate reasons to complain, Winnipeg. The point I am trying to make is you should be rejoicing, because you live in the greatest city in the greatest country in the world. But you don't have to take my word for it. Take it from the upbeat kids in Bonnie Slobodian's Grade 6 class at St. Alphonsus School in East Kildonan.

I spent a morning with these pint-sized philosophers this week to cap off I Love to Read Month. In exchange, the kids agreed to scribble down all the reasons they believe it's better to live in Winnipeg than anywhere else, including:


-- Reason No. 1 -- "My first reason is our mayor is not Rob Ford, otherwise it would be political chaos. Number 2: We have amazing snowmobel, hockey and scateing, way better than Hawaii that's for sure. We also have the worst football team! It brings us all toegether to watch our team epicly loose (what fun!) We also have a new airport, the human rights museum, Tim Hortions... Even though we have floods and snow hills the size of Mount Everest, it's better to live in Winnipeg." -- Emerson, 11


-- Reason No. 2 -- "Our mayor isn't Rob Ford; we drink the most coffee; we're not stuck with Justin Beiber; we play the most hockey; we love Slurpees; we have a nickname -- Winterpeg." -- Bela, 11 (Yes, Doug did make a wisecrack about Rob Ford.)


-- Reason No. 3 -- "So you might not want to come to Winnipeg because it's like Antarctica here, but there are valid reasons to come here, and even live here! So for starters WE DON'T HAVE ROB FORD AS MAYOR! We have an amazing hockey team, the Winnipeg Jets. We have good schools, like the amazing St. Alphonsus." -- Chris Matthew, 12


-- Reason No. 4 -- "We make the biggest snow forts and Jonathan Toews was born in Winnipeg!" -- Cole, 11


-- Reason No. 5 -- "We have a lot of snow and I guess it's staying for a while so let's enjoy it by tobogganing, skating and snowmobiling. It could be worse -- we don't have winter all year." -- Jordan


-- Reason No. 6 -- "Don't have very much natural disasters; and Doug Speirs." -- Eric, 12


-- Reason No. 7 -- "Good to live here because it is freezing cold. The Bombers are awesome because they bomb it." -- Kyle, 12


-- Reason No. 8 -- "Winnipeg has unique restaurants, has great celebrations (Festival du Voyageur) and houses the Golden Boy." -- Nicoletta, 11


-- Reason No. 9 -- "(Twenty reasons, including...) In Winnipeg, we have four seasons in the year; we allow all religions in Winnipeg; we have many options of fashion and grocery stores; we have hundreds of radio stations; You can never run out of books in Winnipeg; people respect you for who you are." -- Callie, 11


-- Reason No. 10 -- "We have all seasons; Rob Ford is not our mayor; we have the Winnipeg Free Press; we have churches." -- Grayson (news reporter) Grade 6


-- Reason No. 11 -- "We are immune to the cold (Hey, it's only - 40 today!); our city won't be a target for anything because we're unknown." -- Liam, Grade 6


-- Reason No. 12 -- "Because my friends are here and because of the Winnipeg Jets and because it snows here and we can go sledding and in the summer you can go bike riding with your friends." -- Kash, 11


-- Reason No. 13 -- "(Ten reasons, including...) Our mayor is not Rob Ford! We have the loudest sports fans; we have a lot of famous hockey players; It does not rain as much as Vancouver; It is flat and has no mountains." -- Max, 11


-- Reason No. 14 -- "It's better to live in Winnepeg because we are nice people." -- Ethan, 11


-- Reason No. 15 -- "For starters, we have an NHL team, a CFL team and we're also home to a baseball team. Even though it gets extremely cold in the winter, there are plenty of things to do. You can go skating on the Red River Trail and you can also go to The Forks. In February, you can go to Festival du Voyageur. In the summer, I would suggest going to the Half Moon in Lockport. They have the best hotdogs and their ice-cream is to die for. Now I know people say Winnipeg isn't that great, but hopefully you'll change your mind now that you've read this." -- Ashley, 11


You heard the kids, Winnipeg. You live in the best city around, a city of brotherly love, a city that opens its arms to everyone. Except Rob Ford, of course.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 26, 2014 A2

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