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Defending the virtues of sunny Winterpeg Have your say

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I have to laugh at Dan Banov's letter about why anyone would want to live in Winnipeg (But it's a dry cold, Feb. 25). The answer is right in his letter. The fact that we say things like "it's a good day of only -7 C" clearly indicates it doesn't take much for us positive, always-looking-at-the-bright-side kind of people to be happy.

We may have our mosquitoes and cold winters, but at least we do it with smiles on our faces and warmth in our hearts.




What Winnipeg has that Whonnock, B.C., does not have is a lack of smug, condescending and arrogant citizens who imply they are somehow better than people who live in other cities.




Unable to locate Whonnock, B.C., in my atlas, I had to resort to Google to see if it really exists. Apparently it does.

This is what I discovered. It is in School District 42 of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. Whonnock boasts one elementary school, one post office, a volunteer fire department, three small businesses and several nearby farms, "many of which sell eggs."

I must visit Whonnock on my next trip to B.C. After all, a city with an NHL hockey team, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and many other amenities can hardly compete with a hamlet surrounded by several farms, many of which sell eggs.




British Columbia: overpriced, overrated... and stay over there, Mr. Banov!




Life in B.C. must be extremely exciting for Dan Banov if he has nothing better to occupy his time than monitoring the weather of beautiful Winnipeg.

Just a second. I forgot that from November through to January Whonnock receives close to 800 millimetres of rain, and it's impossible to enjoy his beautiful B.C. without a raincoat or the fear of being swept away by a mudslide.

I guess he is, therefore, confined to the indoors. When one equates quality of life with the temperature and a few mosquitoes, then maybe it's time he got up and observed the sun peeking over the horizon. Too bad those mountains are blocking his view.

Well, then, he surely can go out at night and enjoy the panorama of a sky full of stars and catch a glimpse of the northern lights. Oh, the mountains again.

While I can get into my car or on public transit and within 15 to 20 minutes be watching a hockey game, a concert, the symphony, ballet or theatre, Banov is stuck in the wasteland of suburbia miles away from any entertainment.

Enjoy mowing your lawn, Mr. Banov. I have better things to do.




Dan Banov can come clean. We here all know he is jealous of us here in Manitoba, in the centre of things, you might say.

He alludes to our climate. Yes, we have seasons here; we do not have to rely on the rain getting warmer to know summer is here. As for our scenery, we have stunning views here. British Columbians would have some pretty views, too, if those mountains didn't keep getting in the way.

We in Manitoba have a capital city that is distinctly Canadian and not, like Victoria, trying to emulate London, England.

We may not have to get out lawn mowers yet (this is a plus), but our cities do not grind to a halt when we have one centimetre of wet snow (another plus).

Mr. Banov, not only are your trees showing green, but we can also see the green of your envy. We can forgive. Come and live with us and find out what Canada is all about.




So Dan Banov would not like to live in Winnipeg. Let me tell him that we have 2,372 hours of sunshine for 318 days of the year compared to Vancouver's 1,928 hours for 289 days, and even Victoria has only 2,193 hours of sunshine for 317 days.

Doesn't that tell you how great it is here? The winters are cold but sunny and dry. Today the sky is clear and blue, the sun is bright and it is wonderful to be outside.

As for the mosquitoes, they have not been annoying for years, because of the city's anti-mosquito program. There is nowhere else I would rather be. Instead of criticizing Winnipeg, Banov should come and visit. I would be glad to show him around our beautiful clean city.




According to Statistics Canada, the number of rainy days in B.C. between November and April is 113. In comparison, Manitoba has 146 days of sunshine in the same time period.

Which would you prefer -- 64 per cent of your days to be grey, cloudy and wet, or 81 per cent of them to be bright and sunny?

Also, the last time I checked, the mosquito population migrated to Edmonton. Nothing beats a Manitoba summer!




Is there some way to make sure that Dan Banov and people like him stay in B.C.?




Manitobans enjoy and appreciate the specific seasons here on the glorious Prairies.

Manitobans are extremely diverse and of strong character. The people of the Prairies are a resilient lot (unlike some others) with neighbourly, caring values for one another.

No, we don't have the mountains or an ocean view, but is that really important in the big scheme of life? More important in life is your family, including all the quality people you live among.

So, please, keep your mountains, ocean views and budding flowers. We have our own extreme beauty right here in Manitoba.

As for mosquitoes, they are simply another form of pest we also ignore.




If Manitoba were an area where frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis occurred, I wouldn't consider writing one sentence to explain why I love living here.

If the "big sky" landscape of my beloved province didn't fulfil my desire to live in a place where I could see for miles in every direction, I wouldn't wish to live here.

If I felt unsafe and continually had to guard against the worst criminals, rioting, genocide or political unrest, Manitoba would be my first choice of a place to call home.

If we hadn't lived in and visited many places in the world, I might not appreciate how wonderful Manitoba is. If there hadn't been the assurance we would return to Manitoba, we would have had more difficulty living through some of the rough times, including coups, substandard living conditions, lack of confidence in the support of police and authorities and in the health care.

If the standard of living here didn't include abundant food supplies, unpolluted air, clean water and affordable housing, not to mention free health care and education, I might be able to fault Manitoba as a wonderful place to live, but I can't.

If I wasn't appreciative of the cleanliness, the civic pride and the humanitarianism of my fellow Manitobans, I wouldn't find the same enjoyment in living here.

If my roots weren't here, if my friends and family weren't here, if all things familiar and comfortable weren't here, I might consider living elsewhere. But not likely.




When the Big One strikes the West Coast, and Whonnock, B.C., falls into the Pacific Ocean, maybe Dan Banov will understand the virtues of living in a place where the temperature falls below zero.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 27, 2013 A10

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