Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

I just flew into Calgary and boy my arms are tired...

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Here's a travel tip for all those of you who occasionally have to take business trips. Don't book flights that leave before 7:30 AM. Just do the math.If you leave at, say, 5:30 AM (which I did this morning flying from Regina to Calgary) then you have to be at the airport at 4:30 AM and that means getting up at 3:30 AM (shower, shave, dress, put gas in the rental car, drop off the rental car, scarf a roast beef sandwhich instead of real breakfast). So, why go to bed? That's the question I have been asking myself.Anyway, I'm in Calgary. I thought it would be delightfully contrarian of me to go to Alberta when none of the national media spends anytime in Alberta. That is because it isn't much of a race in Alberta. Too bad, cause it's very interesting here. (But more on that in later days when I file my full dispatch).On to the debates. Didn't catch the French language debate, but early reports indicate that it was a real piling on affair, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the bottom of the pile. Harper held his own, or so the reports indicate, but his decision to allow an extra bit of time to debate the economy could be a bad one.He is an articulate economist, of that there is no doubt. But driving around in Calgary today I heard about a mild wave of bank foreclosures of overpriced Calgary real estate. The report, on CBC radio, noted that banks are quite busy foreclosing on those properties where people have had trouble making payments, rather than renegotiating, because of the creeping fear of the US credit crisis.I don't know about you, but Harper should be careful about singing the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" song too many times on the campaign trail. People are going to start noticing that we're not all that happy.-30-

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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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