Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Taxi Trouble

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The most recent attention over Winnipeg's taxi situation has summoned some interesting memories._MG_0845.jpg In 1986, the Free Press captured a moment at the Manitoba Legislature that I have framed and hung in my house.Then Workplace and Safety Minister Gerard Lecuyer is standing at the top of the grand staircase in the Legislature, surrounded by a ring of TV cameras, who are in turn surrounded by several hundred cab drivers. (As noted by a reader, the protest was in response to concerns about a murdered cab driver, and whether the province was doing enough to ensure the safety of other hacks. It was not about expanding licences.) It is a fantastic photo, one that captures the raw power of democracy (whether you agree with the protest or not) and the burden faced by all politicians.I have to wonder whether we'll see another such protest if the Taxi Board decides to consider expanding the number of licences, as it has said it is considering in this story. Winnipeg remains, for those of us lucky enough to visit other cities, the only city of its size or larger where you can't walk out on to a downtown street to hail a cab. Quite frankly, that's just not civilized.Stay tuned.*****A contest? Why not.I've compiled a decent pile of political books over the last year. You'll get your pick of the litter if you can identify the person in the above photo who in the years gollowing went on to find some fame and some fortune by penning a screenplay for a Hollywood movie.
  • Hint 1: Clicking on the photo will give you a much larger image. Click it again and it will get even larger.
  • Hint 2: He has a really bad late-80s stache going.
Best of luck.

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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