Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/12/2010 (2388 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Befuddled by Bipole
How can you print the drivel sent by Rosann Wowchuk (Dear editor, Dec. 13)? One engineer thinks that possibly some aboriginal bands might fight the east route for Bipole III, which in turn might lead to international environmental groups getting involved. So let's spend $1 billion more and upset thousands of Manitobans, rather than possibly upsetting a handful of Europeans in Tilleys.
In the meantime, a gaggle of engineers have told the NDP why the west side is wrong, but still the emperor charges on. Wowchuk's own letter has so many inaccuracies and misleading statements that you wonder whether she's being disingenuous or is really just clueless?
Normally, when an inane political decision is made, I ask one question: What's in it for them? In this case, I can't answer that question regarding the bullheadedness on the part of the NDP. Monetarily, it makes no sense. Politically, it makes no sense. Anyone out there see a reason for the NDP's intransigence? I'm missing it.
I read Minister Wowchuk's letter to the editor. What a load of bunk. She provides two reasons that stem from one engineer's perspective, those are: "other considerations" (thanks for the detailed insight!), and the admission that if there are negotiation difficulties, the NDP does not have the capability or competency to deal with the aboriginal communities -- "decision-making and licensing processes will become onerous and lengthy."
Once again this government has not presented any substantive facts to win the argument for the west side and they are going on the report of one engineer, versus numerous counter-arguments from professionals and professional groups.
I have read many opinions backing the routing of Bipole III down the east side of Lake Winnipeg and against the routing down the west side of the Manitoba lakes. The most recent opinions were of 19 senior professional engineers, most of whom used to work for Hydro (Engineers united on the east side, Dec. 8).
I do not feel that, as a citizen of Manitoba, I have been properly informed by the government on why they insist on their position of the west side routing. They could place a full- page information letter in the paper, just as the engineers have to make their case.
The huge additional costs of the west side routing will be borne by all of us Manitobans, so unless the government can demonstrate the logic of their choice to me, they can count on losing my vote in the next election.
Re: Engineers united on the east side and 'All or nothing' wrong approach on east side (Dec. 8). It should be noted it was some of these very same engineers, as well as Jim Collinson, who were involved in the Churchill/Nelson River diversion megaproject, which still has enormous social, economic and environmental impact to this day.
On the other hand, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, one of the advisory bodies that are mandated by the United Nations World Heritage Convention to review and evaluate all nominations for the World Heritage Committee prior to approval, noted in a 2004 workshop report that the proposed world heritage site on the east side of Lake Winnipeg "was remarkable because of the existence of diverse and significant boreal forest values, including woodland caribou and migratory bird populations, in an ecologically intact cultural landscape... and the continuation of traditional land uses and cultural landscapes makes this site internationally significant."
It behooves me to wonder why we would jeopardize this obviously significant area of Manitoba for the sake of erecting hundreds of mammoth cold steel towers through the heart of an internationally recognized, ecologically intact cultural landscape because it is the cheapest route.
It would appear that in this case, the cheapest route is not necessarily the best decision.
The Bipole III transmission line route, soon to be chosen, will profoundly affect all Manitobans. The preponderance of articles to the Free Press have favoured the east-side transmission line. However, Rosann Wowchuk in her letter to the editor Monday presents a reasonable defence of the government's choice of the west side route. She points out the extremely high costs of litigation likely to come from various native bands and environmentalists regarding an east-side route. Hydro can no longer just do what it wants, as was the case in the past.
Inept and indebted?
Is the Canadian public service sector so completely inept that a person of Christiane Ouimet's flawed character could remain employed for 25 years and be given full pension amid overwhelming incompetence? The Canadian taxpayers deserve their money back -- at least for the three years she was paid as integrity commissioner! Deduct it from her pension or take her to court for gross misconduct, abuse of public service position, etc.
Expand the scope
Re: Province invests $1.25M for Lake Winnipeg fix (Dec. 9). Perhaps with the grant money a more valued body of experts should be included. Procuring data from one mind is sometimes misleading -- Dr. Eva Pipp and Prof. David Schindler should be included. Why is this only a one-person study? As well, some attention must be given to the polluters of the lake. That includes the contributors from the U.S., Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and also agricultural contributors. Technology is there to curtail these mega polluters, but they say it's the money.
Well, what is more costly: the studies, trials and errors, policing, or the technology to prevent this carnage initially?
Our First Nations people should have a big say in this matter, if not be a part of the studies.
Keep vigil over elderly
Re: Centre removes senior's photos (Dec. 10) by Aldo Santin. In the three years of WRHA personal care since my dad's stroke, he has cut his head and broken a shoulder in two falls, received visits by other residents to his room in the middle of the night, found a woman sleeping in his bed, received burns from overly warmed-up milk, and the list goes on. I've seen residents fall while unattended, and left naked in a chair for periods of time while waiting for a shower in what they often refer to as the "car wash." My dad receives visits every day and we advocate for him. We feel for those who are not as fortunate and cannot speak for themselves -- and there are many.
The Mackinders' complaint may seem petty, but often pictures and the memories they represent are all those in personal care have left. It would have made common sense to leave a note with family that the policy would be enforced in January. God bless Mr. Mackinder for advocating for his mom, and the many who might also benefit from his attention to this matter.
Policing at a distance
Years ago, when our stalwart Winnipeg police walked the beat in buffalo coats, the crime rate was kept at a minimum. Then they decided to ride in cars and on motorcycles. What happened? The crime rate increased considerably. Now that they will be riding the helicopter and further removed from the action, will the crime rate take another jump? I wonder!