Dan Lett

  • Ashton a shoo-in for shuffled cabinet, but rebels' fate in question

    Damned if he does. Damned if he doesn't. Those are the two scenarios facing Premier Greg Selinger as he contemplates changes to his cabinet in advance of the provincial budget.
  • Uhhh... about that deficit

    No one should be surprised Finance Minister Greg Dewar confirmed on Friday the NDP government would not be able to balance its budget by 2016-17, as previously promised. This was something we could see coming a long way off. Over the past year, the language used by the province went from “will,” to “still on track,” to “our goal remains,” to the admission it is no longer realistic.
  • Extraordinary measures used to create surplus add risk

    When you look at it, the budget delivered by Finance Minister Joe Oliver is nothing short of remarkable. A remarkable bit of fiction, but remarkable nonetheless.
  • Liberals' optimism belies harsh realities

    It was a great weekend to be a Grit. At a joint meeting of federal and provincial Liberals in Winnipeg, there were lots of high fives, standing Os and belly laughs. Provincial Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari delivered a competent luncheon speech; Nova Scotia Grit MP Scott Brison, a favoured orator on the Liberal speaker's circuit, reportedly knocked them dead at a Saturday keynote address.
  • Selinger playing favourites?

    The worst thing any politician can do in the midst of a controversy is leave obvious questions unanswered. Take Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman for example. The mayor continues to leave folks within and outside city hall wondering why he picked a very public fight with Mark Chipman and True North over a city-owned lot near the RBC Convention Centre.
  • Police chief needs to release report on cancelled 911 call if he wants public's trust

    Nearly one year ago, a man was gunned down outside a Winnipeg nightclub, 17 minutes after a 911 call was made asking police to break up a fight. During the past year, many questions have been raised about what happened that night. Chief among them, why the 911 dispatcher cancelled the original call for help. On Wednesday, Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis released a brief statement that concluded the "cancellation of the call had no bearing on the shooting."
  • Tories pursue an unbalanced strategy

    It appears federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver has all his ducks in a row, just a few weeks before delivering a pre-election budget. Thanks to an economic statement Oliver delivered last fall, we know the Conservative government will be offering significant tax cuts through its income-splitting scheme and enhanced tax credits for youth sports activities. The tax-cut pie was further sweetened last week when Oliver strongly hinted his government would double the tax-free savings limit to $11,000 per year.
  • The NDP caucus might be going to a retreat north of Winnipeg to try to heal

    Rumour has it on April 9, the Manitoba NDP caucus will attend a retreat at St. Benedict's Monastery north of Winnipeg where it is believed warring MLAs will attempt to finally bury the hatchet once and for all. It's just a rumour, of course, because officially, all matters relating to the NDP caucus are now highly confidential. In fact, it is currently easier to find Islamic State bunkers in Syria than it is to get an official comment on the exact time and place where MLAs will gather for some group hand-wringing and a couple of heartfelt choruses of Kumbaya.
  • Pulling rails possible - but one certainty is feds would need to pony up

    Over the weekend, the Free Press published details of an ambitious, $1-billion plan to relocate rail yards and lines dividing Winnipeg, drafted by Winnipeg businessman and self-admitted railway junkie Art DeFehr. In DeFehr's plan, both the CP Rail lines through the north part of Winnipeg and CN's main line through the south would be rerouted on a single right-of-way to the south of the Perimeter Highway. The $1-billion cost would be offset by the sale of railway land and the bridges and underpasses that would no longer have to be built, repaired or replaced.
  • Interpretation of law yields comic results

    On April 16, Premier Greg Selinger will deliver a speech at the Manitoba legislature as part of a service marking Yom HaShoah, international Holocaust Remembrance Day. It's hardly unusual; political leaders are often asked to lend their gravitas to services during Yom HaShoah. If there is anything surprising about the premier's decision to attend and deliver a speech, it is that in doing so, he may be violating provincial law.
  • Interpretation of law yields comic results

    On April 16, Premier Greg Selinger will deliver a speech at the Manitoba legislature as part of a service marking Yom HaShoah, international Holocaust Remembrance Day. It's hardly unusual; political leaders are often asked to lend their gravitas to services during Yom HaShoah. If there is anything surprising about the premier's decision to attend and deliver a speech, it is that in doing so, he may be violating provincial law.
  • A penchant to self-destruct in full view

    You can say a lot of things about Court of Queen's Bench Justice Vic Toews. You could certainly say Toews was a successful politician, serving as a cabinet minister at both the federal and provincial levels.
  • City's rail lines the real problem

    This week, Winnipeg city council identified a $175-million underpass on Waverley Street -- needed to move commuters under a rail line south of Taylor Avenue -- as its most pressing infrastructure need. Think about that. Of all the infrastructure so desperately needed in Winnipeg, this grade separation is ranked as the No. 1 project when Winnipeg applies for federal support under the Building Canada Fund.
  • A handshake I'll never forget

    I couldn't tell you exactly where it was, or exactly when, that Janice Filmon shook my hand. I only know that I remember the handshake. It was a short time after Gary Filmon left politics, having lost the 1999 provincial election. I was at a reception prior to a charity dinner at a downtown hotel (all those ballrooms look alike) with my wife when I saw Gary and Janice across the room.
  • Brief encounter with Filmon left long-lasting impression

    I couldn’t tell you exactly where it was, or exactly when, that Janice Filmon shook my hand. I only know that I remember the handshake. It was a short time after Gary Filmon left politics, having lost the 1999 provincial election. I was at a reception prior to a charity dinner at a downtown hotel (all those ballrooms look alike) with my wife when I saw Gary and Janice across the room.
  • Courting seniors too expensive

    It would be nice if voters did not offer to sell their votes to politicians. But human nature being what it is, we all have our price. Consider senior citizens. They remain the most potent political constituency in this country for the simple reason that, having been raised in an era when civic responsibility was considered a big deal, they vote. Consistently. In large numbers. Therefore, any party that aspires to form government needs to court the senior vote.
  • Bowman's utopian vision of Winnipeg

    It would be wrong to doubt Mayor Brian Bowman's sincerity. From the moment last fall when he was sworn in as Winnipeg's mayor, Bowman has been a consistently uplifting force of nature. He has accepted the mantle of this city's symbol of hope, a civic leader who can take Winnipeg from its frequently moribund state and transform it into a new and dynamic urban centre of excellence.
  • Bowman's Utopian vision of Winnipeg

    It would be wrong to doubt Mayor Brian Bowman’s sincerity. From the moment last fall when he was sworn in as Winnipeg’s mayor, Bowman has been a consistently uplifting force of nature. He has accepted the mantle of this city’s symbol of hope, a civic leader who can take Winnipeg from its frequently moribund state and transform it into a new and dynamic urban centre of excellence.
  • Paramedic self-regulation won't help the public

    Paramedics are one important step closer to becoming a self-regulated profession. The question now is, what’s in it for the public?
  • Firefighter-paramedic rift harmful

    What if firefighters union boss Alex Forrest has put the cart before the horse? Recent headlines reported Forrest pledged the support of two dozen firefighter delegates to Premier Greg Selinger at the NDP leadership convention last weekend. And that Forrest's decision played a key role in allowing Selinger to retain his post.
  • Can the NDP kiss and make up?

    The Manitoba NDP has turned to some of its most accomplished parliamentarians to pave the way to a possible reconciliation between Premier Greg Selinger and his leadership rivals and their supporters. NDP sources confirmed former MLA and MP Bill Blaikie, former provincial cabinet minister Jean Friesen and party president Ovide Mercredi have been asked to form the core of a reconciliation committee. Their job would be to repatriate eight MLAs currently excluded from caucus and manage lingering resentment from the leadership campaign.
  • NDP election machine sputters to a halt

    Premier Greg Selinger has a lot on his mind these days. There are lingering wounds from a bitter leadership battle. The need to draft and deliver a budget in mere weeks amid economic uncertainty. And then there is the election.
  • Deal with firefighters will keep the heat on

    The messy civil war that has ravaged the NDP during the last five months was supposed to be over the moment a winner was declared in last weekend's leadership vote. That winner, Premier Greg Selinger, addressed the delegates and talked about how he wanted to get past the internal discord that saw him forced to fight for his job against two of his former cabinet ministers. He spoke of unity among the NDP "family."
  • Premier Pallister? It's really up to him

    There are no greater expectations in politics than those that accompany a can't-lose election. Just ask Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister. Now heavily into planning for the 2016 election, Pallister is fast approaching those can't-lose expectations.
  • Lesson in law of improbability

    There is no way to get around the fact Premier Greg Selinger's victory in Sunday afternoon's NDP leadership vote was, in its essence, improbable. Consider that just two hours before he was declared the winner, as New Democrats mustered for a second ballot, it seemed the stars were not aligning for Selinger.

Poll

Do you think zipper-merging will help clear up Winnipeg's traffic woes?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google