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Policies must share blame

Re: Threats to social workers cited (April 9). I find it sad and ironic that the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union is able to argue for the safety of its members and past members while no one was willing to monitor the safety of little Phoenix.

This, after she was "repatriated" with her family following her removal from care and protection of a foster home to a life of torture and ultimate death.

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It's hard to rationalize. Provincial policies of putting the family's wishes ahead of the care and safety of children are as much to blame as the total abandonment of kids in these situations.




Katz deserves tickets

Re: Katz takes low road (Letters, April 9). As the civic leader in Winnipeg, our mayor should be afforded every opportunity to attend in an official capacity any major civic function in the city.

This would apply to all sporting events, including games with the Bombers, the Goldeyes and the Jets. Especially the Bombers, as they are a community-owned team and will soon be playing in a stadium that is partially funded by the city.

And if that still isn't good enough for the cheapskates in the city, then he deserves the tickets as a job perk, like many other CEOs enjoy. He is the city mayor, our CEO, for crying out loud. Cut him some slack.




Keep your gas tax

Re: Katz eyes gas tax to fund rapid transit (April 7). I'm concerned Sam Katz doesn't understand what adding more tax to already outrageous gas prices will do to our economy.

Does Katz not know that transportation is the biggest industry in Manitoba? If the NDP allows the city to add more tax to gas in Winnipeg, a lot of jobs will be lost in our community. People who use the roads already pay a terrible amount of gas taxes.

How about having people who use rapid transit pay for rapid transit? It seems like an epidemic of people wanting someone else to pay for everything they want in this society.

Katz should consider how many people in this city drive for a living before instituting another tax.




Benson's record stands

Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Lorne "Boom Boom" Benson passed on, at 81, as noted in the April 5 obituaries. He was a truly remarkable man who set a record of six running touchdowns in a game against Saskatchewan in 1953.

It is a record that has not been equalled in CFL history. Even Bud Grant's five interceptions that day were eclipsed by Boom Boom's achievement. Lorne's career was cut short by injury.

He was a prodigious athlete, great in many sports, a personality filled with strength, determination, vigour and confidence, one who could inspire or terrify. I came to know him by accident when I got a job at the University of Manitoba Student Union print shop in 1969.

He was setting it up and I was a student needing part-time work. His work ethic was amazing, his determination and intensity remarkable. It seemed he just believed he could do whatever he wanted to do, and usually did.

Never once in the months I worked for him did he talk of his playing or his remarkable achievement. Nonetheless one thing does remain true: In almost 60 years, no one has equalled his record.




Deck remains stacked

In response to the April 3 editorial Race card, I would like to know who actually owns the deck of cards and who is doling out the cards in society?

There is a big difference between holding a wild card and a three of diamonds, and we all know who holds which in Canada. And one wonders why First Nations have to establish our own institutions in Canada in order to participate in society.


Sagkeeng First Nation


To the nearer nickel

Re: Pennies don't make sense, people agree (April 7). If pennies don't make sense, perhaps a little lesson in grammar might help. If prices are going to be rounded off, the writer of the article and Todd Hirsch should be aware that the correct term is rounding off to the "nearer" nickel, since there are only two choices -- up or down. Nearest is only used if you have three or more choices.

Hirsch believes that retailers will not gouge when rounding off but will fairly round up or down as required. My belief is that there will be more rounding up than down in order to increase profits. Just think back to when the GST was introduced and retail prices were supposed to fall. What really happened in that case?

If Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper were truly interested in saving money, they easily could have reformed pensions paid out to senators and MPs. A nice cut of 10 per cent as well as upping the eligibility age to 67 to collect would reduce the budget and pay for minting coins for years to come.




Electrical consequences

Kelly Graham's April 5 article, Myths about plugging in unplugged, singing the praises of the electric car worries me for two reasons. First, Winnipeg's car culture largely rejects the environmental concerns that come with our compulsive driving habits, and discussions about fuel reduction only seem to arise with major spikes in the price of gas.

Second, while the electric car is heralded as a way to save money on gas, as well as reduce the impact of driving on the environment, this fails to take into account other environmental and even human rights consequences of electric cars.

Hydroelectric power comes with its own costs -- the disruption of natural water flows, habitat destruction and flooding of aboriginal land. Adding tens or hundreds of thousands of cars to the power grid, which cannot sustain them as it is, will only exacerbate these problems.

We can't get something for nothing. The next time you get punished at the pumps, think about how you can change your habits and your means of transportation rather than thinking about how you can change your car.




Intentional antagonizing

Re: PM's policies renew fears of unity crisis (April 7). Of course Stephen Harper is trying his hardest to antagonize Quebec. He wants to make sure frustrated voters there are driven away from the NDP in the next federal election.

Canadians are more divided than ever under this government, and that's exactly what they want. The ends always seem to justify the means as long as Harper holds on to power.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 10, 2012 A11

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