Eleven councillors from other areas in Winnipeg chose to ignore the facts of this issue and vote for condos to be erected on the abandoned rail line between Centennial and Lockwood streets. Council rejected the decision of the area councillor, the planning committee, whose job it is to assess proposals, and the advice of globally respected city planner Ken Klassen.
This decision was made in spite of the wishes of 94 per cent of the residents who attended meetings, signed petitions and spoke out in a futile attempt to stop developers from putting them into a dangerous situation. Half the petition signers were from other areas of Winnipeg. It also ignores the advice of a long-term plan for the city.
When did this city stop being a democracy and become government by the council dictating to the people? What became of government for the people by the people?
So, the River Heights condo project on the rail right-of-way was voted in. One would think that the decision on the route of Kenaston would have been announced first. Or has that option for its routing been eliminated? If not, I'm concerned about potential waste if the railway line route is chosen and the condos have to be pulled down. It will invoke huge compensation payments, not to mention disruption of owners' lives.
City hall party politics
Re: the editorial Party ties at city hall don't work (Dec. 17). The Free Press seems to have forgotten that party politics (CCF/NDP and ICEC) existed at city hall until the creation of Unicity in 1971. It was the amalgamation of suburbia with the inner city that destroyed party politics at city hall, because suburbia did not have party politics while the inner city did. What we have today is suburban right-wing ideology controlling the inner-city left-wing ideology.
Dog club hijacking
I have to concur to a degree with Patricia Bucholz (Leash your dog, Dec. 12). Four to five weeks ago, after two hours walking over Kilcona Park we saw not one dog on a leash. Arriving back at the parking lot, on the windshield was a note from the Kilcona dog club asking for suggestions. Reading the signage at the entrance would be a start; it's big enough.
Kilcona Park is basically a grassed-over garbage dump of 450 acres. It comprises some paved paths and bridges in the southwest corner, grass and some trees along Springfield Road, and the eastern side is home to the golf course, tennis courts, lawn bowling, miniature golf, a restaurant and a harbour.
In the early '80s, when the park was conceived, the plan for what is now the other 70 per cent of the park included baseball, football and soccer fields, an outdoor theatre, cycle paths and barbecue sites, etc.
Over 20 years later, the whole concept appears to have been shelved. Why?
The new housing development in the northeast of the city and its tax base warrant this park and its completion. The city has basically allowed this park to be hijacked by a dog club.
In Canada, the Afghan detainees issue has everything to do with opposition politics. The Liberal and NDP opposition, assisted by the CBC, will go to any lengths to embarrass the government.
They toss around the word torture as though everyone understands what this means. Is this organized and deliberate nail-pulling, bone-breaking, red-hot pokers kind of torture? Or is it a few solid blows with a rifle butt in the heat of conflict? I would not condone or excuse any sort of physical abuse of a helpless prisoner, but there must be degrees of guilt here.
The Afghan police are the ones who have had acid thrown in the faces of their daughters on the way to school, have had their wives flogged or threatened with stoning for showing an ankle in public, who are a primary target of the Taliban and are being killed every day.
We have politicians who have never spent time in a Third World country, have no cultural awareness and who only criticize. Instead of posing in their self-serving righteousness for TV or in question period, they should be supporting our troops on the ground who are dealing with the difficult stuff.
With the bloodiest summer in Afghanistan in eight years just behind us, it is comforting to know that the NDP and the Liberals are ever vigilant and are on the front lines to defend the rights of the criminals and murderers, real or imaginary. If there even was an issue, there no longer is one today, but let's waste taxpayers' money on a public inquiry anyway. The NDP and the Liberals are holding up the everyday legitimate business of the government, so that they can make a point, whatever that is. The NDP would like to portray the victims as the criminals while bending over backwards to protect the rights of murderers and thieves.
They are vilifying our soldiers who are daily putting their lives on the line to defend our freedom and that of the Afghan people. Shame on them. Have they no compassion for their fellow men?
Re: David Curtis's letter A novel way to kindle readers (Dec. 15). I am more than familiar with the Kindle and its formats because, as an independent, Winnipeg-based publisher (Coscom Entertainment), Kindle sales have proven healthy for our bottom line.
I agree with Amazon that other publishers are to blame for the lack of titles available in Canada because they are the ones who buy certain rights from authors at the point of a manuscript's sale. Why any publisher would forgo the market the Kindle allows is beyond me.
There's a war going on right now. The traditionalist book publishers typically stick to the old system of distribution, whereas those of us who enter the publishing arena on our own terms sometimes need to create our own rules or lead the charge in terms of innovative ways to market our titles.
ADAM P. Fuchs
Toward pension reform
Re: David Dodge's remarks in Cut standard of living now for comfortable pension later (Dec. 17). Phasing in a doubling of CPP benefits, based on current projections, will eventually yield average benefits of $1,004 per month (pre-tax) for Canadian seniors. If Dodge thinks this amounts to a "nanny state," he should try living on that income.
The case for CPP expansion is clear. The CPP covers almost all workers, is portable across jobs, offers benefits indexed to inflation and is financially sound until 2085. It runs on tiny management fees that make mutual-fund managers blush, and provides flexibility to those raising children. No disinformation campaign can ignore this pillar of Canadian public policy.
Canadian Labour Congress
To have and have not
Let me get hypothetical for a minute here. The oilsands are straddling the Ontario and Quebec borders, and Saskatchewan and Alberta are screaming bloody murder over the pollution that they are causing. I believe that the haves (in my hypothetical situation, Ontario and Quebec) would be recklessly forging ahead with production.
On top of this, Quebec would be hostile over the transferring out of money to the have-not provinces. I'm not making a case for the oilsands, nor am I agreeing with their production. I'm just saying!