Dan Lett

  • Selinger had a better option for a tax increase

    What if? What if Premier Greg Selinger had not shocked the public, and his own party, by introducing a PST increase to fund infrastructure in 2013?
  • Cleaning up the culture of sport

    If you went on the basis of the headlines alone, you might be led to believe youth sport is in crisis. Allegations of sexual misconduct by players of the University of Ottawa hockey team. On-ice brawls between players and officials in Manitoba. Rampant concussion concerns in a variety of sports. Public disputes over transparency and accountability in Winnipeg youth soccer.
  • Anyone-but-Ashton camp has its work cut out for it

    Who will win the NDP leadership vote in March? For those following Manitoba politics, that is the burning question that seems to be on everyone’s lips. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to answer.
  • Let's stop the revolving door that is the CAO's office

    In the private sector, if a multibillion-dollar company tried to function for any extended period of time without a chief executive officer, you can bet investors and analysts would howl in disbelief, concerned the foundation of the organization was at risk of collapsing in a thunderous, dusty heap. Ah, but that's the private sector, where leadership is a key element in organizational success.
  • NDP flip-flop on voting very good news for Ashton

    And the rules have changed, again. The NDP's provincial council voted narrowly on Sunday to allow some form of remote voting from five northern ridings: Thompson, Flin Flon, The Pas, Kewatinook and Swan River.
  • Selinger's foes suck and blow

    The leadership crisis now engulfing the Manitoba New Democratic Party could be dismissed as a playground skirmish between petulant, ambitious politicians if it weren't for one significant, underlying narrative. The dissidents who have publicly demanded Premier Greg Selinger step down have alleged he violated the trust of Manitobans by raising the PST in the 2013 budget, a few months after promising he would not. Having lost the trust of voters, the dissidents believe the NDP needs new leadership.
  • Glimpse of a great motivator

    Imagine the possibilities. If Hillary Clinton goes on to become president of the United States in 2016 -- a race that begins, remarkably, in just a couple of months -- then at least 2,000 Winnipeggers will be able to say that they sampled a bit of political history.
  • Ashton in scrap over leadership-vote rules

    It is not clear whether Steve Ashton will succeed in his second bid to win the NDP leadership. However, if he does go down again, he'll go down swinging. Ashton attempted over the weekend to convince the NDP executive to change the rules for the March leadership vote.
  • Budget delay screams time to panic

    Despite a slowing economy, massive layoffs, declining oil prices and general volatility, Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver would like Canadians to know that it is definitely not time to panic. Unfortunately, even though that’s what he’s saying, almost everything Oliver is doing suggests panic has already taken root in Ottawa.
  • Browaty uses loophole to keep city hall job

    Politics is an unforgiving profession. Job security is scarce given the fact you must throw yourself on the mercy of fickle voters every few years to renew your contract.
  • Weather a tad too cold? Blame the politicians

    ACCORDING to Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister, a recent decision by Cabela’s to move its distribution centre from Winnipeg to Calgary was a failure of the provincial NDP government. Cabela’s — a utopian retail paradise for the hunting-and-fishing crowd — did not explain its decision to close its Winnipeg operation, putting 50 people here out of work. Pallister, however, was available for the local media to fill in the blanks.
  • The odd world of Greg Selinger

    All things considered, it's hard not to feel a pang of sympathy for Premier Greg Selinger. Selinger is a full-time premier who is being forced to fight part-time for his job against two full-time challengers.
  • For NDP, March 8 a day of bad luck

    As harbingers go, this is not a good one for the future prospects of the Manitoba New Democratic Party. As most Manitobans now know, the NDP has decided to use its March annual convention to settle the leadership crisis that has seen Premier Greg Selinger battling dissidents bent on forcing him to yield the reins of the party.
  • Ashton's ambition a divisive force

    No one knows for sure what will happen between now and March 8, when the New Democratic Party decides who will lead it into the next election. Now that Steve Ashton is in the race, we know it won't be dull. The ubiquitous Ashton is to NDP politics what gum is to the sole of a shoe. He is a relentless, indefatigable political force of nature. Although it is too early to speculate on whether he can win the current race, it is almost certain he will decide who does.
  • Oswald not looking like formidable force

    It had all of the trappings of a big-time campaign launch. There was some cheesy Fleetwood Mac rock music, assorted journalists and cameras, a throng of chanting supporters and an oppressive heat produced when you put too many people into too small a room.
  • The measure of the man

    Who is Greg Selinger? Is he the brilliant policy wonk and selfless public servant who governed through one of the most difficult economic eras in the province's history and who is now defending himself against power-hungry assassins?
  • Exit a body blow for Selinger

    It's hard to imagine a loss more devastating. Anna Rothney, Premier Greg Selinger's closest and most powerful political staffer, this week served notice she would be taking an extended leave from her duties. In part, this will free her to work on the campaign of former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald, who is expected soon to formally enter the race to unseat Selinger as leader of the NDP.
  • It's all about helping good people

    I was still a young and quite inexperienced reporter when, on a frigid December night in 1989, I got to play Santa on Stella Avenue. I had arrived at the Free Press offices that afternoon for a night shift when my editor suggested I head out with photographer Phil Hossack to deliver hampers for the Christmas Cheer Board. I was game but also a bit concerned: Would those folks receiving Christmas charity want to talk about their circumstances?
  • Did he die in vain?

    Brian Sinclair did not have to die. You can search through the entirety of provincial court Judge Timothy Preston's remarkable, 190-page inquest report on Sinclair's 2008 death at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre, but you will find no greater truth than that.
  • Hard times ahead for Bellegarde

    Could Perry Bellegarde be the last national chief of the Assembly of First Nations? Notwithstanding the quiet elegance of the blanket ceremony, the stirring celebratory songs and drumming and the dignified, triumphant procession by the grand chief through the convention centre hall Wednesday afternoon, there was no escaping the fact Bellegarde has inherited an organization on the brink.
  • Vote must mark new era of self-determination

    Walking through the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, it doesn't take long to realize the gathering of the Assembly of First Nations -- in town this week to elect a new national chief -- is less like a national political convention and more like a session of the UN General Assembly. It involves more than 1,700 delegates, including more than 400 chiefs or proxies from First Nations across the country. The convention hall and adjoining meeting rooms were abuzz with people speaking English, French and many tribal languages.
  • Teachable mayoral moments

    There is no evidence Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman was under any illusion leading this city would be easy. And yet, after the events of this week, you wonder if he ever thought it would be this tough. On Wednesday, one of Bowman's high-profile campaign pledges -- a plan to end all severance payments to councillors who either lose an election or retire -- was strongly rebuffed by executive policy committee (EPC).
  • Triumph of democracy marred by foul odour

    Following a meeting of the Manitoba NDP's 140-member provincial council Saturday -- at which rules were set for a leadership race and Premier Greg Selinger was allowed to remain in his post and fight for his job -- cabinet minister Ron Lemieux was overheard to say "democracy worked." Perhaps, but it's hard to argue that it worked well. The purpose of the meeting was to level the playing field between Selinger and his challengers. The result of the meeting was to more completely reveal the cracks that threaten to collapse the foundation of the once mighty NDP.
  • Selinger faced media glare but shed little light

    Politicians can try to hide from controversy. But sooner or later, events will conspire against reclusive elected officials, forcing them out into the harsh glare of public and media scrutiny. Such was the case Thursday when Premier Greg Selinger -- in the midst of a very public fight for his political life -- found himself standing all alone in front of 800 people at the annual state-of-the-province address organized by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
  • Leadership gong show focus of NDP confab

    This weekend, there is a very good chance the Manitoba NDP could finally take a step toward resolving the simmering leadership crisis that is threatening to consume the party. This Saturday in Winnipeg, there will be a meeting of the NDP's provincial council, a broad collection of party opinion leaders that includes two representatives from all 57 riding associations, the executive and other officials.


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