Valuing health care
In his Aug. 24 column, No deals in American health care, Bruce Clark says he pays $20,288 in income tax in California. His accountant estimates his income tax in Canada would be $28,400.
In Canada, there is a GST to pay for health care. If he spends $50,000 a year, he would pay another $2,500. Since we have provincial matching funds that are raised by the PST (seven per cent in Manitoba), this would be another $3,500.
The extra that he pays for health-care insurance premiums in the U.S. is therefore only about $200 a month for both him and his wife.
He says, "The idea of forking out this kind of dough for insurance is rather disturbing -- even if the investment could literally save my life."
I think he undervalues his life and the life of his spouse.
HENRY P. KRAHN
I wish to thank Bruce Clark for his excellent column reporting the costs of the American health-care system from personal experience. He confirmed three issues I've always believed.
First, Canada's health-care system is excellent value. Even if wait times are longer for diagnosis, every Canadian receives health care and without risk of poverty due to illness.
Second, Americans pay higher taxes than Canadians, when U.S. health-insurance premiums are factored in. Whether it be a tax or a fee, a cost is a cost.
And finally, Clark's search for reasonable post-employment health insurance proves that the belief that free enterprise ensures low prices is a fantasy. Corporations ignore competition to ensure that all profit. I think it's time to ban corporate unions, sorry, associations.
Appeal to higher power
In his Aug. 22 letter, An expensive reminder, Miguel Tierhs writes about getting a ticket for his vehicle's light infraction. The officer's ticket is not the final word. Everyone has the right to his day in court.
He can plead not guilty or guilty with an explanation. Given that his the daytime running lights were indeed not working, the second option may be the better and more successful route to go.
He will have to convince the magistrate he was unaware of the problem and it was unintentional. My grandson recently found himself in a similar predicament and I suggested the same. I accompanied him to 363 Broadway and all was settled favourably to all in less than half an hour.
Still, it is our responsibility to ensure our vehicle's equipment is in proper working order. We all know Sam Katz needs the cash, but he should work as hard for it as we have to.
St. Francois Xavier
Re: An end to the perpetual welfare trap? (Aug. 22). There is no doubt that the research project in Dauphin offers many exciting opportunities to explore. Yet, for it to work as well in Winnipeg as described in the article, you would hope for a better comparative than a city of 8,000 people.
While there is no doubt this could improve the situation with some of the working poor in Winnipeg, I do doubt that the widespread effects seen in Dauphin would manifest themselves in such a diverse city centre.
Top draft pick
The recent story of an Oklahoma high schoolstudent, Kaitlin Nootbaar, who was refused her graduation diploma because she used the word "hell" in her valedictorian address, has grabbed the attention of Blue Bomber management.
The school principal, who refused to grant the top student her diploma unless she apologizes, is rumoured to being actively sought by Bomber management to help lead them through their recently created public relations nightmare. By all accounts it sounds like he would be a perfect fit.
Your Aug. 25 coverage of the people in our community of Italian heritage was very informative and interesting.
I appreciate that you cannot include all prominent members of that community. However, I feel that Frank (Francesco) Mancini, for over 50 years one of the proprietors of Metro Motors of Winnipeg, through his outstanding automotive skills has made a significant contribution to our community and deserves to be recognized among his peers.
GEORGE E. CHAPMAN
In his Aug. 25 article, A language of romance and business, Mario Audino neglects to mention that the University of Manitoba has the largest Italian studies program in Manitoba with courses in language, literature, film and translation.
In addition to a minor in Italian, the U of M also offers a cross-disciplinary major in Italian studies instituted in 2006.
We are also quite proud of the literary accomplishments of our sessional instructor in Italian, Carmine Coppola, who is in the department of French, Spanish and Italian, not French, Spanish and English as erroneously stated in the Faces of the Community section.
Department of French, Spanish and Italian
University of Manitoba
A Winnipeg developer apparently advertised a property before the city declared it "surplus" (Developer lists property before city agrees to sale, Aug. 24).
The article also states the same developer advertised the Winnipeg Square parkade before it was declared surplus. Someone discovered that developer has a keen salesman, and that apparently is newsworthy.
Totally forgotten is the fact that city council sold the profitable Winnipeg Square parkade and then increased street-parking fees, automatically increasing the value of the parkade.
Had they increased street-parking fees before selling the parkade, it would have commanded a higher price, or alternatively, it would have been even more profitable for the city.
Oh well, Mayor Katz (who promised during the last election to not increase property taxes) can always demand the province increase taxes and give it to the city to blow.
Taking too long
I want to express my frustration at the length of time the construction of the apartment on Westwood Drive is taking. The northbound lanes of Westwood Drive have been blocked off for approximately one year already.
The cranes lifting the concrete walls were removed in mid-March. However, the street continues to be blocked off as delivery of other construction material continues to take up the actual building site and the street as well. Not only is it an inconvenience to traffic, it is a safety issue.
Pedestrians walk on the narrow strip of grass right by the chain-link fence next to cars driving there. Also, the whole construction site is a huge eyesore. The residents adjacent to Westwood Drive have been inconvenienced long enough.