Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/8/2011 (2133 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In response to Bob Brennan's letter Lake levels constant (Aug. 11): I grew up on Lake Winnipeg, even though I have not continuously lived near the lake, I did so this past year. I observed on a daily basis the water levels rising at least 1.5 to two feet from late May to my departure from Poplar River on June 28 and the water levels had still not subsided. However, you state, "The fact is Lake Winnipeg has remained at essentially its pre-regulation level." Not true, Bob Brennan.
Further, you know that Manitoba Hydro projects have affected water levels, which has caused much upheaval and damage to people's lives and livelihoods. Don't get me started on how the water levels in Lake Winnipeg were caused (man-made and political). History demonstrates Manitoba Hydro does not care about Mother Earth and the environment.
Re: Board rejects Hydro's request for rate hike, (July 30). Manitoba Hydro is jeopardizing an opportunity to follow a more economical construction plan.
In Order 99/11 issued July 29, the Public Utilities Board repeated a call for a thorough review that could result in the construction of Conawapa first and the delay of Keeyask. The order states the review "should address these (capital development) issues far in advance of Hydro making final commitments to enter into its proposed export contracts, and as soon as possible to avoid further massive new investments in Hydro's preferred development plan."
Building Conawapa first reduces the enormous capital requirements, during what has been characterized as the "decade of investment," from $13.4 billion for the two plants to $7.8 billion for Conawapa alone. Keeyask could be delayed beyond 2027 because Conawapa could service export sales and the Manitoba load resulting in a lower cost than the announced plan that requires both plants be in service by 2023/24.
The hurried Wisconsin power sale was reduced from 500 MW to 100 MW and delayed two years. The Minnesota power sale was advanced three years. Economic means exist, such as delaying the retirement of a Brandon unit to make time to get Conawapa built.
Hydro and the NDP have been driven by the perceived need to save face, having spent $500 million without approval to build, and so that a sale could be announced before the October election. Customers of Manitoba Hydro will pay higher rates than necessary to promote the NDP's election prospects. It's still not too late!
Al Myska, P. Eng.
Ban protects future
As business owners in the Whiteshell park for over 32 years, we are in support of the backcountry ban. We have gone for six weeks with virtually no rain. The forest is very dry. We have been expecting that measure would be taken and are pleased that only the ban is in place and not a closure of the park.
As a resort owner, I don't want to take the chance of any of our people being in the backcountry if a fire started. Our guests have been very respectful regarding the restrictions and are enjoying the water sports and hiking and biking on the block roads. They understand that the ban protects them and the forest.
Just the other night a fire broke out in the north part of the park. The fire crews moved in with air support and had the fire out in a few hours. No one but those in the immediate area even knew there was a fire.
Although the ban is affecting all of the businesses in the park, protecting the forest means protecting the future!
Inverness Falls Resort
Bartley Kives (Munch on this, Aug. 21) is correct regarding legalization of cannabis. As a retired police officer, I can say that most police officers will tell you that the actual use of this product causes few problems for a few people. I always felt safer on the job if I knew people were smoking pot instead of drinking.
The only difference between alcohol prohibition in the early 20th century and cannabis prohibition is that the U.S. government declared the war on drugs for racist reasons solely and placed cannabis in the same category as heroin. Nixon's White House counsel John Ehrlichman admitted this in an interview in 1995. The most telling point of Kives' article is that drugs are simply too easy for organized crime. We must compete and then educate. It is an unrestrained sale of drugs in every city in the streets and bars with organized crime in control that is causing most of the violence. Law enforcement around the world has been unable to stop it or even adequately suppress it. The government's new proposals governing cannabis, particularly medical marijuana, are simply going to increase the problems and make it more dangerous for all of us.
In Mia Rabson's and Alexandra Paul's article Aboriginals will suffer: experts (Aug. 19), many new decisions by the Conservative government concerning minimum sentences are seen as unfair, especially to aboriginals. But no one seems to state the obvious. The current revolving-door sentencing in our justice system allows violent criminals to walk the streets when they should be locked up. And this is grossly unfair to the population of non-criminals. It is even more unfair to the passerby who gets shot by a gang member or the woman who is sexually assaulted by some vicious reoffender out on the street because of the same revolving-door justice policy.
Lawyer Josh Weinstein makes the statement "if it could be demonstrated that Canada is safer because of mandatory minimums then they might be appropriate, but that has never been demonstrated." But I'm afraid it has never been given a chance to be demonstrated.
It has never been demonstrated because of 50-odd years of a wishy-washy system which can best be described as the criminal's justice system instead of the criminal justice system. And it is a system which treats violent criminals with kid gloves at the expense of the population at large.
I remember adults around me 60 or 70 years ago talking about the residential schools, and clearly they believed that the aboriginal children should be taught to be like us. Was it stupidity, thoughtlessness, ignorance? I don't know. But the democratically elected government of the day was doing what the voters of the day thought was best, misguided though it was, as we now know.
Now our democratically elected government is almost certainly going to impose laws that will increase the already scandalous and unconscionable incarceration rate for aboriginals. Ignorance may or may not have been an excuse before. It isn't now. We have the data and we have the stats. We should be ashamed.