Dan Lett

  • Flood swamps ability to be fierce deficit-slayer

    Between a rock and a hard place is bad enough. Add rising river waters, and you have an idea where Manitoba Finance Minister Jennifer Howard is stuck these days. Howard entered this summer with reason to believe the 2014-15 fiscal year would be a good one. Spring flooding was nearly non-existent, the economy was expected to grow steadily, if modestly, and the stubborn budget deficit her government has carried for five years would start to shrink.
  • Fringe candidates get attention they deserve

    In May, Idaho Republican Gov. Butch Otter stunned political observers when he demanded all candidates in the GOP primary race be allowed to participate in a televised debate. It was a stunner because in addition to Russ Fulcher, a veteran state senator, the primary campaign included two, shall we say, fringe candidates.
  • Hockey Manitoba still doesn't get the message

    Call it trial by YouTube. RCMP announced Wednesday that criminal charges had been laid against two teenage hockey players involved in a bantam playoff game held in Stonewall on March 30.
  • PC leader keeps far from flood fight's crucial front lines

    It is the biggest story in Manitoba, and yet not big enough to draw the presence of Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister. Over the past three weeks, the province has suffered floods rivalling the surges experienced in 2011, one of the worst flood years ever.
  • Katz's masterful manipulation

    A train wreck. When discussing the performance of government on a matter of public policy, the metaphor implies the sudden and violent cessation of progress, a derailing of priorities and destruction of process and order.
  • How to win: Meet voters face-to-face

    That sound you're hearing is the collision of two great Canadian traditions. Summer and election campaigns.
  • Feds' stance on CMHR ridiculous and insulting

    For anyone looking for the ultimate definition of nonsense, we humbly submit the following. A dispute panel, created by the federal government, decided the federal government owes the City of Winnipeg more money in lieu of property taxes for a federally owned museum.
  • Rapid-transit referendum bad idea

    Just think of all the things we wouldn't have if we got our way. No Manitoba Legislative Building. No Red River Floodway -- neither the original Duff's Ditch nor the deeper, wider version from the recent expansion would have come to fruition.
  • Pallister must expand his universe

    Has incumbency become the ultimate political trump card? It's hard not to consider that question in the wake of Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne's remarkable majority victory June 12.
  • As a businessman, he inspired; as a politician, he let us down

    At a time when this city desperately needed some concrete dust in its nose, Sam Katz delivered. It was the spring of 1999 and Katz was almost giddy as he strolled through the nearly completed confines of his tiny, perfect ballpark.
  • Event not exactly a revelation

    The first lesson from the very first mayoral forum? When all is said and done, you cannot say or do much in an hour-long forum with seven -- count 'em seven -- mayoral candidates.
  • Signs bode poorly for Tories

    To find truth in politics, it's often instructive to focus more on the battle and less on the result. Another case in point: On Monday night, former Manitoba Business Council head Jim Carr won a first-ballot victory to become the Liberal candidate in the federal riding of Winnipeg South Centre.
  • Poker face hangs over race

    MAYOR Sam Katz plays many different characters at city hall. There is the angry mayor (the one reporters get to see quite often), the giddy mayor (usually when in the company of a celebrity), the sad mayor (saved for Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce speeches) and the ‘what-me-worry?’ mayor (which surfaces whenever he’s being confronted by allegations of impropriety). However, these pale in comparison with his most accomplished, most effective persona: Katz the poker player.
  • Wasylycia-Leis stresses clarity

    History will show Judy Wasylycia-Leis' 2010 bid to become Winnipeg's mayor was a tale of two campaigns. There was early promise and momentum that brought with it the excitement that something really unique -- the defeat of an incumbent mayor -- might actually be possible.
  • Operating MDC may bring legal woes for province

    For years, advocates for the mentally and physically disabled have demanded the province close the Manitoba Developmental Centre and relocate its residents to group homes to provide better care. For just as many years, the province has resisted those demands -- despite no longer admitting new patients to the Portage la Prairie facility and placing many others in group homes -- allowing MDC to live on indefinitely.
  • Public invited to let CMHR speak to them

    Antoine Predock is a vibrating mass of creative energy. Dressed in a grey sports coat, black T-shirt with scull graphics, black Ducati cap and black motorcycle riding pants, Predock is making a slow, meandering path through the very nearly completed Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the steel, stone and concrete building he designed.
  • City hall has dropped the ball on transit deal

    The city has demonstrated, yet again, its propensity for making tough problems impossible to solve. The most recent case involves a failure to reach an agreement with the Winnipeg Football Club, owners of the Blue Bombers and the new Investors Group Field, on subsidized transit costs.
  • Glover a very busy non-career politician

    Nearing the end of her first year as a federal cabinet minister, Shelly Glover would like you to know a few things. First, she is loving her dual roles as federal heritage minister and MP for Saint Boniface, even if the learning curve has been steep.
  • Tax phobia drives Browaty's crazy rapid-transit 180

    How many Winnipeg city councillors does it take to screw in a light bulb? Sixteen -- one to actually screw in the bulb and 15 others to sit around and debate whether we need light at all.
  • Ross gets his day in Court of Appeal

    Deveryn Ross has always wanted another chance to go to court and prove his innocence. Now he'll get that chance in the highest court in the province. Sources confirmed federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay will refer Ross's case back to the Manitoba Court of Appeal to review new evidence. It is the first time a Manitoban claiming innocence has had his case referred back to the appellate court.
  • No big surprise dam's licence approved

    What does Manitoba Hydro have to do to be refused an environmental licence for its new generating station? This is the overarching question left hanging in the air after reviewing a decision by Manitoba's Clean Environment Commission -- obtained by the Free Press -- to issue a licence to Hydro for the Keeyask generating station in northern Manitoba.
  • Shaking up city hall harder than promising it

    This morning, lawyer Brian Bowman will officially enter the race to become Winnipeg's next mayor with a promise to bring a younger, more innovative approach to governing. Can Bowman, a man with no political resumé, ride this pledge to victory?
  • Nonsense reigns on Main Street

    Do our elected officials have an obligation to make sense? That may seem like a nonsensical question itself. But after watching events unfold at Winnipeg City Hall this past week, it seems fair to ask whether making sense is a core competency for our municipal politicians.
  • War on science seems a reality

    The federal Conservative government spends a lot of time these days denying it is waging a war on science and scientists in Canada. If that's true, one has to wonder why so much of what it does seems to be either an insult or an injury to the nation's top scientific minds. Case in point: The Canadian Press reported Dr. Frank Plummer has left his post as scientific director of the Public Health Agency of Canada and director of the Winnipeg-based National Microbiology Laboratory (NML).
  • Dalnavert-Candace House partnership sound

    Think of it as a slow death by heritage preservation. Earlier in April, the Manitoba Historical Society voted to partner with Candace House to repurpose Dalnavert Museum in downtown Winnipeg as a resource centre for crime victims. At first blush, it seemed like a perfect fit.


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