Already a danger
Re: 'Painful' limits reviewed (Nov. 20). As a former resident of Fort Garry and student at the University of Manitoba, I cannot believe the proposal to raise the speed limit to 60 km/h along University Crescent. It is already a dangerous area to drive, bike or walk, for a variety of reasons.
Students cross the street on a red and don't look to see if a car is coming. Cyclists ride on the wrong side of the road, sometimes not knowing where they are going. Novice drivers and others who are distracted already go 60 when they should be driving 50.
In addition, the university runs daycare programs and summer activities for children. Now throw into the mix the new stadium.
This area should be considered a school zone. Drop the speed to 40, so drivers stay closer to 50 and not 60.
The picture and caption accompanying your Nov. 20 story 'Painful' limits reviewed are prime examples of poor journalism at best and prevarication at worst. This particular traffic-speed indicator is one of two on Grant Avenue which have been in place for two years but not in operation.
The read-out portion of the signs show "88" at all times and not the actual speed of the passing traffic. Since the photo and the caption were supposed to illustrate a point, they should both have been accurate for the article.
The current speed limit on Grant from Stafford to Kenaston is appropriate for the density of population, the number of schools and the way the traffic, both motorized and pedestrian, moves in this area.
Of course the speed limits should be raised where appropriate. For example, the current limits on Corydon and Grant (major divided thoroughfares and truck routes) are exactly the same as the limits on residential side streets that feed into them. I have heard a number of people from outside of Winnipeg (not used to this level of confusion) comment on this being a "weird Winnipeg thing."
Lower carbon footprint
Re: Glass, can or plastic (Nov. 20). Bisphenol A is not used in the production of single-use, PET plastic beverage containers. This fact was confirmed in 2009 by Health Canada.
Numerous independent scientific studies have concluded that PET beverage containers have a far lower carbon footprint than aluminum, glass or steel containers. These containers can be recycled and re-made into new containers over and over again, as long as they are not contaminated.
Single-use, PET-based plastic containers are a safe, convenient and 100 per cent recyclable solution for beverage consumption away from home.
JOHN CHALLINOR II
Nestlé Waters Canada
Affront to Canadians
Brava, Sandra McEwing, for speaking out about apparent attempts to interfere with the voting process in the last federal election (Robocall challengers stay firm, Nov. 22). I applaud and share her indignation: this is a real affront to Canadians.
She really gets to the heart of the matter when she asks: "Who sits around and comes up with ideas to trick me out of my vote?" Or mine. That's such a good question. Please don't stop until you find the answer.
A narrow definition
Re: No intent to destroy (Letters, Nov. 17). Michael Melanson suggests the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was written with the narrow definition of genocide in mind.
As adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, the CPPCG concept of genocide is indeed defined as the intentional physical destruction of a group. At the same time, recent studies have shown the CPPCG was the outcome of a series of complex negotiations.
Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish legal scholar who drafted the resolution for the UN in 1946-1947, argued that genocide also included the deliberate cultural destruction of a group. However, during negotiations among the UN member-nations, the "settler-states" of Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, most Latin American countries and apartheid-ruled South Africa all voted against Lemkin's idea, precisely because they were afraid of being taken to court for having committed (cultural) genocide against their indigenous peoples.
Residential schools likely played a role in the decision of the Canadian government to reject Lemkin's broader concept of genocide. Thus, the negotiated nature of the CPPCG shows the limitation of exclusively relying on it when discussing genocides in history.
As all historians know, primary sources need to be approached critically and in the context of the time in which they were written. Andrew Woolford and his colleagues convincingly argue that this basic premise holds true for the CPPCG as much as for any other source.
University of Winnipeg
No more corrosive
The Nov. 20 editorial We need strong pipeline regulation, reprinted from the Waterloo Region Record, suggests Alberta oil sands diluted bitumen is more corrosive than conventional crude. Based on numerous studies, including one completed last year by Alberta Innovates Technology Future (AITF), there is no increased risk to transporting diluted bitumen versus conventional crude. The AITF engages scientists and other experts who are world-renowned in their areas of study.
In addition, at the most recent NACE International conference, 16 studies dating back more than 20 years were cited, which compared corrosion rates between conventional crude and diluted bitumen. None found evidence that diluted bitumen was more corrosive than conventional crude. NACE International is the most recognized, global organization dealing with corrosion matters.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences is conducting a study that considers all possibilities of increased risk of pipeline releases as a result of transporting diluted bitumen. This study is expected to be concluded by mid-2013, and we look forward to its results.
Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
Cummings kind, caring
Re: Kale is a class act (Letters, Nov. 20). Let's get it straight. The Guess Who is Burton Cummings and will never be anything else.
Jim Kale might be a nice guy, but I've met Cummings walking down Portage Avenue, and he stopped and listened to me forever. Never too busy, Burton struck me as a kind, caring and compassionate human being, and I thank him immensely for that and for his unselfish contributions to this great city.
While I have no reason to doubt that Jim Kale is a "class act," the accompanying photo of him appearing to raise his middle finger to the camera may make others wonder.