Sid Green

  • PST court challenge was risky political ruse

    It is one thing to beat a horse to death. It is quite another thing to beat a dead horse. The people of Manitoba have been left in no doubt that the Progressive Conservative Opposition strongly opposed the NDP increase of one percentage point in the provincial sales tax. This increase in taxation Premier Greg Selinger during the election campaign had solemnly denied would take place has received more than its share of media attention. The Tories, as was expected, strongly opposed the tax increase in the legislature, using every procedural device available to voice that opposition -- and then some. The legislature was kept in session for a prolonged period and the legislative committee was swamped with Progressive Conservative supporters. The PCs legitimately used their legislative presence to quite rightfully attack the government in an area where it was genuinely and properly vulnerable. We know the Tories opposed the tax hike and the Opposition may be compared to killing the horse, particularly if they promise to kill the tax if they are elected in the next provincial election. I am not certain they have made such a promise, but I assume from their vigorous opposition they would not keep the tax increase if they form the next provincial government.
  • Attack ads' negative aims producing positive gains

    Who is Justin Trudeau? Very few Canadians who pay even the slightest attention to politics ask this question. Everyone knows Justin Trudeau is the leader of the Liberal party. He has easily passed the first test of a successful politician. When I was in politics, the comment we dreaded most was "Who is Sid Green?" Name recognition is paramount for anyone seeking political office. It is even possible more Canadians would recognize the Trudeau name than would recognize the name of Tom Mulcair who happens to be the leader of the Opposition.
  • Parties should earn support at the doorstep

    Brian Pallister is right when he objects to the legislation which permits taxpayers' money to be used to finance political parties. With respect, Pallister is wrong to turn down his party's share of the entitlement, while the NDP and other parties take their share. Pallister is cutting off his nose to spite his face. When the other parties dip their hands into the trough, and the Conservatives do not, the result is conservative-thinking people are financially supporting the NDP, without similar and equivalent requirements on NDP supporters.
  • Nationalist obituary premature

    "Je ne suis pas séparatiste, mais."  
  • And now the envelope, please

    Back from a winter vacation, I settled back on Sunday afternoon to watch the Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament on Television. I tuned in to Channel 6, which is an American channel. On at least three occasions, the tournament was interrupted by a Manitoba government advertisement that extolled the value of living in Manitoba because doing so entitled you to some sort of tax credit on tuition fees. The advertisement concluded with a generic slogan to do with "steady growth" and some other positive economic description. Although I saw the ad at least three times, its efficacy may be measured by how little of it I remembered. Although much of the substance escaped me, I have no doubt about the footnote that stated the ad was a message from the Government of Manitoba.
  • Focusing on language will not solve the problems

    IS it demeaning, degrading or insulting to insinuate someone is gay? From a politically correct position the answer is "no." But in the real world and apparently in the Manitoba Legislature, the answer is a resounding "yes." For the last 20 years and more, the enlightened have been convincing us that a same-sex orientation is a normal feature of human society and any negative connotations which were previously associated with this characteristic should be negated. This development has been embodied in anti-discrimination laws, the acceptance of same-sex marriages, the adoption by same-sex couples, gay-pride demonstrations and the characterization of gay people as normal citizens of our society with no negative baggage to bear. We have come a long way from the days when homosexual acts were defined as criminal conduct and were punishable by imprisonment.
  • Pallister incites political correctness

    In the 1980s, then prime minister Pierre Trudeau created a minor scandal in Parliament when he muttered an almost inaudible phrase in angry response to opposition attacks. Expert lip readers would almost certainly have attested to the fact Trudeau had let loose with a common expletive regularly used in hockey team dressing rooms. Challenged by the opposition, Trudeau, with feigned innocence, responded he had merely said "fuddle duddle." Virtually the entire public did not accept the explanation. Neither did the majority condemn Trudeau for the remark nor for his mendacious disclaimer. The incident did, however, attract significant media attention.
  • Political opportunity knocks to abolish Senate

    "For every thing there is a season" Ecclesiastes 3:1  
  • NDP's spending chickens coming home to roost

    Brian Pallister and his provincial Tories are half-right. They are making a legitimate case against the NDP government move to increase the sales tax by one percentage point, an increase that is required simply because government spending has spun out of control. They are wrong to oppose the government doing so without a referendum or plebiscite, thus requiring a repeal of the balanced-budget legislation, which the Conservatives enacted by in the 1990s. The requirement of a referendum to increase taxes was ill-conceived in the first place and I publicly stated so at the time.
  • Bill 18 is perfect example of bad law

    Like virtually 100 per cent of Manitobans, I despise bullying. Ironically, if you asked a bully whether he or she considered it an acceptable practice, they would say "no." Despite a general abhorrence of the practice, there is no doubt it will take place. Children, like adults, can be mean. There are many ways of being mean besides bullying. Although society has tried throughout the years to encourage people to be good and to respect one another, we have never met with ultimate success. Just because we cannot finish the job doesn't mean we should stop trying. Any efforts to decrease bullying and other forms of human disrespect for others should ordinarily be supported.
  • Face-saving window opens for NDP on Hydro

    It's not too late. We can still bail out. The project has not yet begun and there is no urgency to get it started. There has never been a clearer issue and one that the public will have no difficulty understanding. Our publicly owned hydroelectric company apparently needs another transmission line from the northern part of the province, where the power is generated, to our southern border, where the customers are.
  • NDP's backdoor taxation hard to justify

    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" -- Shakespeare "A tax by any other name would bite as deep" -- Green
  • The people protect their rights

    I am sure many readers will have heard the story of the farmer who had to hit a stubborn mule in the head with a baseball bat in order to get its attention. Canadians have now been given a comparable wake-up call as to the consequences of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by a judge in Ontario. The Canadian Parliament, which consists of the duly elected representatives of the people, enacted a section of the Criminal Code commonly referred to as the "three strikes you're out" law. This law was intended to deal with incorrigible violent offenders.
  • Lougheed helped save Canada's democracy

    I knew the late Peter Lougheed. As a matter of fact I can truthfully name-drop and say I had something more than a remote relationship with the late distinguished former premier of Alberta. The last time I saw Lougheed was in the early 2000s at the Butchart Gardens Restaurant on Vancouver Island. I was being hosted at a birthday dinner by my daughter and son-in-law. By sheer coincidence, Lougheed and his party were at an adjacent table and my hosts were visibly impressed when he recognized me and gave me a warm greeting.
  • Let the accused, convicted run for office

    There is some consternation about the fact a man charged with sexually related offences is permitted to run for a seat in the Manitoba legislature. Darrell Ackman has filed legal nomination papers contesting the coming Fort Whyte byelection. Ackman is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The fact he has been charged with a criminal offence will be prominently known to the voters in the constituency. It is surprising the publicity given to his situation has not deterred him from running. But if he maintains his innocence, why does being charged disqualify him? He will have great difficulty convincing the voters to elect him but he does have, and should have, the legal right to do so.
  • OMG! Political politics!

    Brian Pallister, Manitoba Progresive Conservative Party leader and candidate in the Fort Whyte byelection, was off base when he made his first official statement attacking the NDP for engaging in politics. Pallister criticized the government for announcing additional daycare spaces at the Whyte Ridge daycare centre. He complained that the announcement coincided with the NDP nomination meeting in that constituency. He did it again when the byelection date was announced. Rather than welcoming the news, he complained about the timing.
  • The value of public spending

    For the second time in as many weeks, major news stories have featured relatively small budgetary cuts made by the Harper government. First we were told a famous freshwater research facility in northwestern Ontario would be closed as part of a $79-million saving in the Fisheries Department. Scientists have deplored the government decision and have praised the facility as being unique. Closer to home is the news of cuts to Parks Canada and the resultant decrease in services that will take place at Riel House. The horror story of this cut is that some historical artifacts will have to be stored in, of all places, the province of Quebec.
  • Capone should have had it so good

    Former crime boss Al Capone would shout a hearty "Bravo." The one-time king of American mobsters, convicted only of income tax evasion, would fully understand and endorse the provincial government announcement of its intention to consolidate and unify the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation and the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission. In Capone's heyday in the U.S., the main activities and the sources of revenue of the mob were the sale of prohibited liquor and the numbers racket.
  • Selkirk Avenue can have a future

    Having come home from vacation, I was bemused to notice a sudden interest in Selkirk Avenue in the columns of the Free Press. This interest struck home, as I am more than close to the subject matter. I was born at 716 Selkirk Ave. and lived there for 23 years until my second year in law school. At the time, I didn't think of the area as a particularly exotic place. It was simply home. Now, with the newly generated interest in the area, I agree that outsiders find much more to regard as noteworthy about the area than those who live there and take its unique atmosphere for granted.
  • Civil service to serve, not dominate, the public

    Some time ago I wrote a column about a parking ticket I thought was so outrageous that I decided to plead not guilty. Many hours were spent on the preliminaries and preparing evidence, which included numerous photographs. Finally, I appeared in court and waited my turn, only to be advised by the Crown prosecutor that the charges were dropped.
  • Judge should not play politics

    THE Federal Court of Canada has exhibited a tendency to make judgments that have no practical effect and could lead to political mischief. In 2006, a judge of the Federal Court made a decision that purported to overrule the Gomery Inquiry, which found former prime minister Jean Chrétien should bear some responsibility for what occurred in what has become known as the sponsorship scandal.
  • Labour chicken comes home to roost in Brandon

    The CHICKENS are coming home to roost. The Manitoba labour movement has expressed outrage because Labour Minister Jennifer Howard has used statutory authority to order that the union representing professors on strike at Brandon University conduct a vote to accept or reject the university's last settlement offer. This is clearly an interference with the internal affairs of a union. An employer is prohibited from making such a demand under the Labour Act. It is also a blatant interference with the principle of free collective bargaining. This should come as no surprise to Manitoba labour. Free collective bargaining does not exist in Manitoba. What is ironic is that free collective bargaining was created by New Democratic Party governments at the instigation of the Manitoba labour movement.
  • CWB plebiscite less than it seems

    When I was a student at the University of Manitoba, most us got to the Fort Garry campus by public transit. At the time the transit company was privately owned by the Winnipeg Electric Company and there was an ongoing battle between the students and the company related to the level of services. The student newspaper, The Manitoban, published a sarcastic article wherein it was stated the transit company was complaining of vandalism by students who damaged the seats of the vehicles.
  • Dedicating NDP campaign to Layton a disservice

    "WIN one for the Gipper.” With these immortal words, legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne successfully inspired his football team to dramatically turn around a half-time deficit and score a second-half upset. The incident is dramatized in a Hollywood movie, Knute Rockne All American, with Pat O'Brien playing the title role. His star halfback, George Gipp, played by Ronald Reagan, on his deathbed had urged his coach to use these words as inspiration if ever his team were in a rough spot and needed an extra emotional lift.
  • Election rules are just quackery

    THINGS are not always what they seem. There is an old saying, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck". Not so, insofar as Manitoba elections are concerned. Last week I found a one-page colourful piece of literature in my mailbox. It had a picture of the Manitoba premier, prominently displayed, and a less flattering and less prominent picture of his opponent, the leader of the Opposition.

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