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Garbage handicaps

I couldn't agree more with Tony Swidinsky's Sept. 22 letter, A confusing and smelly situation, concerning the new automated garbage bins. I have elderly parents and have worked with the disabled for a number of years, but it appears the city has not taken these two sectors of the population into account.

Yes, I'm sure the new system saves money. However, no one can dispute that seniors and the disabled do not need more "handicaps" in their lives. The City of Winnipeg needs to be reminded that these people are taxpayers, too.

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If Tony Swidinsky has only one small bag of garbage per week, why doesn't he wait 20 weeks to fill up his bin or, better yet, just drop his one bag into his neighbour's bin?

I, too, am a senior citizen. But I have figured out that I don't have to drag my old garbage can to the front unless it is full.




Winnipeggers should cut out Tony Swidinsky's letter and hang on to it so we know what we can look forward to with our new garbage bins.

He's right on!




I was jumping for joy as I saw the delivery of my new garbage containers as though it were Christmas morning. I, with much anticipation, placed the carts in the garage and opened them up to see what wondrous gift I had received from the city.

To my amazed eyes, I saw a reusable bag containing instructions for usage along with two recyclable bags for yard waste. I quickly removed the instructions and read them from start to finish with the zeal of a five-year-old getting his first bicycle.

But, wait, it was nothing but a lump of coal. As I read on, I found out I was paying 14 cents per day for the privilege of these new cans. I also noted that if someone stole or damaged the cart, I was on the hook for another one, along with any repairs required.

Now for that extra special present from the city. The note went on the inform me that the cart is owned by the city. So, as usual, I am responsible for all and additional costs, but they own the product. Again, wanting to have it both ways are Santa Sam Katz and his 15 incompetent elves.




Opening hearts

I do appreciate Mia Rabson's Sept. 24 article, Goodness isn't always popular. It is very encouraging to find my own beliefs and opinions so clearly expressed.

It reassures me that not all "openness of the mind and heart" is being sluiced down the drain.




The usual rhetoric

Patrick Grady's Sept. 22 column, Is Manitoba's immigration 'success' worth crowing over?, offers the usual rhetoric delivered by economic advisers of the Conservative Party of Canada and affiliates of the Fraser Institute.

Patrick relies singularly on a research report utilizing census data from the longitudinal immigrant database and the labour force survey. He argues the success of immigration to Manitoba should be demonstrated solely by the average employment income for all immigrants (including family members) being the same or better than that of all Canadians.

Patrick fails to note some important caveats when comparing immigrant entry earnings to the Canadian average. For instance, the average age of recent immigrants, 31, is significantly lower than the Canadian-born population, 36. This plays a role in the differences in employment earnings between recent immigrants and all Canadians.

When compared with the Canadian average, Manitoba's entry and median earnings (not just those of new immigrants) are at the lower end of spectrum; so are Manitoba's unemployment rate and cost of living. Perhaps this is why 76 per cent of Manitoba's provincial nominees are homeowners within three to five years of arrival.




God is in us all

The story of Kris Doubledee's act of kindness is heartwarming and of interest to all who want to know that there are people in the world compelled to make a difference.

But it's Doubledee's comment on his daily rituals, the first of which is to ask the Lord to help ease the pain of others, that most interests me.

Seeing the shoeless man inspired him to ask God to help him out. The next day, seeing the man again, still shoeless, he took matters into his own hands and gave him his own shoes.

This reminds me of the farmer whose friend congratulated him on the beauty of his fields and how grateful he must be for this blessing from God. Oh, said the farmer skeptically, you should have seen it when he worked it alone.

The god-spirit rests within us all, believers and non, and we realize our humanity in its fullness when we help those in need.


Saint John, N.B.


Salary perspectives

I see in the Sept. 22 sports section (NHL lockout, Day 7) that San Jose Sharks defenceman Dan Boyle tries to justify the outrageous NHL salaries by arguing "it's just kind of the way it works" and we shouldn't compare their salaries to ours.

Boyle says he doesn't compare his salary to Tom Cruise's $20 million per picture. Let me put this into a perspective that evades people like Boyle. I and my wife as seniors, can, and often do, go to the multiplex and for $5.50 each watch the likes of Cruise and all supporting actresses and actors, while listening to some great soundtracks.

All this in incredibly comfortable, reclining seats. But there I go comparing hockey to movies again.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 26, 2012 A10


Updated on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM CDT: adds link

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