Dan Lett

  • A place for crime victims to go

    This is what real support for the victims of crime looks like -- a safe and welcoming place for them to go, near to the machinations of the criminal-justice system, but far enough away it provides respite. Support from victims of crime to victims and their families. No judgment about how they became entangled in the system. Counselling, education and trouble-shooting.
  • Time to get on the road to healthy infrastructure

    You don't have to spend much time reading or watching the news to know we have an infrastructure crisis in Canada right now. You can hear the problem. The rattle, hum and screech of grinding metal are proof enough our roads are in pretty bad shape.
  • The game plan: Don't take blame for anything

    You can tell a lot about people by the way they respond to a crisis. For example, when water from melting snow flooded luxury suites at the new Investors Group Field, home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, there were a variety of noteworthy responses.
  • Flagging NDP have no margin for error now

    Education Minister James Allum had just risen from his seat in the legislature on Wednesday when question period, once again, started to go sideways. Allum was supposed to congratulate local student organizers of Pink Shirt Day, a national anti-bullying campaign that was hosted in numerous Winnipeg schools. However, Allum couldn't resist getting in a shot at the opposition.
  • A decision that reaffirms the rule of law

    It was a historic victory for a Manitoba man who has fought for nearly 20 years to prove his innocence. This week, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley delivered a stern rebuke to former justice minister Rob Nicholson for ignoring facts and the rule of law in turning down a bid by former Brandon lawyer Deveryn Ross for a review of his 1995 fraud conviction.
  • Windfall could heal hockey

    It would be easy to conclude our beloved national game is broken. Throughout the season, we've heard nothing but stories of violence, abuse and dysfunction.
  • Events will force politicians to weigh in

    Will lawmakers ever get on the same page as the majority of citizens who support assisted suicide for the terminally ill? To date, euthanasia is a sequestered issue, a debate that has found very little audience in legislatures across this country. It's divisive, visceral and exactly the kind of issue most politicians with an interest in getting re-elected stay away from with relish.
  • Hockey Winnipeg's strong message

    It would be hard to overstate the significance of Hockey Winnipeg's decision to ban a Winnipeg couple from attending any game, practice, tournament or other official hockey activity for the next three years. In two important ways, it is a history-making decision.
  • Open nomination process just a pipe dream

    Can we finally admit the whole idea of open nominations to determine candidates for federal political parties is a fantasy? In the lead up to the next election -- now expected in the fall of 2015 -- all parties are nominating candidates in ridings across the country. Or, they are not nominating candidates for reasons that are not entirely clear. Or they are promising they will nominate candidates, but not saying how or when.
  • MP fights for assisted suicide

    It's the question that will follow Steven Fletcher through what is the most personal cause he has ever undertaken. In 1996, Fletcher was driving to a job in northern Manitoba when his car struck a moose. He was paralyzed from the neck down, and since then, by his own admission, he has lived a life of struggle, pain and, sometimes, suffering.
  • It's not really about encouraging voting

    It's not like we haven't tried. We've used celebrities, social media and mass media. Young people have told young people to vote. Old people have told young people to vote. Nothing seems to work.
  • Where's the smoking gun?

    In her last annual report, outgoing auditor general Carol Bellringer demonstrated how important this office is to good government. And how bothersome a good AG can be to the politicians who oversee that government. The report was a fascinating mix of the sensational and the mundane. However, an important common thread courses through her report that, we should all hope, resonates for this and any future government.
  • First Nation needs help from within

    No one has to tell Grand Chief David Harper about the political uncertainty gripping his home of Garden Hill. The leader of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), an umbrella organization representing northern First Nations, was chief of Garden Hill for nearly a decade. On and off, that is.
  • Various municipal-campaign rules can be silly

    Last week, Olivia Chow confirmed the worst-kept secret in Toronto when she launched a campaign to become the next mayor of Canada's largest city. Illuminated by blasts of camera flashes, Chow stood at a lectern festooned with a vivid blue-and-gold campaign slogan: New Mayor. Better City.
  • Sovereignty: the bogeyman in the closet

    Quebec elections have nothing to do with sovereignty. Or, they have everything to do with sovereignty. This has been the dynamic tension in Quebec politics for generations, and it's playing out again as Quebecers prepare to vote in early April to choose a new government.
  • Museum's good intentions undone by battle over blog

    If recent events are any indication, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights could be the best thing to happen to journalism in this town since the Winnipeg Jets returned. Yet another scandal has enveloped the museum, scheduled to open in September. This time involving allegations museum staff censored a historian by refusing to post a blog she wrote for International Women's Day.
  • Maybe we need an iBank

    Last week, while announcing a new five-year, $1.5-billion core infrastructure spending plan, two of the more articulate NDP cabinet ministers -- Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton and Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald -- found themselves unable to answer a simple but essential question. Ashton and Oswald had just confirmed the province failed to spend about $71 million that had been budgeted for core projects, funded in part by a one-point hike to the PST. When asked where that money had gone, neither could summon an answer.
  • Toews gets his medal as a loyal Tory soldier

    Good things come to those who wait. And sometimes after a pretty brief wait. After years of speculation he wanted a gig as a sitting judge, we learned Friday that Vic Toews, a former Conservative MP and cabinet minister, has been appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench's general division.
  • Keep luck out of it: Manitoba needs a solid fiscal strategy

    Is no news always good news? On Thursday, Manitoba Finance Minister Jennifer Howard delivered a budget completely absent of the shock and awe of last year, when the NDP government hiked a lot of user fees and bumped the provincial sales tax by one per cent to pay for infrastructure.
  • Manitoba needs a solid fiscal strategy to balance its budget

    Is no news always good news? On Thursday, Manitoba Finance Minister Jennifer Howard delivered a budget completely absent of the shock and awe of last year, when the NDP government hiked a lot of user fees and bumped the provincial sales tax by one per cent to pay for infrastructure.
  • NDP messaging on PST hike finally on track

    It came very late in the game. Could it also be too little? The NDP government delivered a significant message re-boot to its infrastructure program on Wednesday, the eve of the 2014-15 provincial budget.
  • Manitoba's million-dollar numbers game

    What's in a number? Well, if it's Manitoba's population, quite a bit. In fact, tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years in federal transfer payments.
  • Making sense of NCR

    Earlier this week, the provincial review board agreed to loosen restrictions on Vince Li, a man found not criminally responsible for a grisly slaying in 2008. In the wake of the developments, readers have inundated me with questions about mental illness, the Criminal Code and the system by which accused persons such as Vincent Li are reintegrated into society. In order to get the straight facts, I turned to Ken Mackenzie, manager of the forensic mental-health program at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. His unit oversees the treatment and supervision of all persons found not criminally responsible (NCR) in a court.
  • Preaching vengeance wrong

    It is simply impossible to believe Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney believes what he is saying about the Vincent Li case. This week, the Criminal Code Review Board agreed to grant Li -- who killed Tim McLean, a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus, in 2008 -- additional liberties in his ongoing treatment for schizophrenia. Li is now allowed unescorted trips into Selkirk and is being moved into a wing of Selkirk Mental Health Centre that is not lock-secure.
  • Li improving, maybe society can do same

    Vincent Li walked into a Winnipeg courtroom Monday afternoon in shackles, solemn and silent and trying everything he could to be small. Unfortunately for Li -- the man who gained infamy in 2008 by beheading a passenger on a bus between Winnipeg and Edmonton -- there is nowhere for a man with a story like that to hide.

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Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

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