The socialist agenda
I am surprised that a sharp political commentator like Shannon Martin would wonder why Manitobans keep tuning in and voting in an NDP government that has done nothing but increase taxes and debt over the past 12 years (Today's NDP sitcom jumped the shark long ago, Nov. 22).
This is because the socialist agenda is simply to get a majority of voters to become dependent on government largesse. This is accomplished through direct government employment, through government contracts, Crown corporations, through government grants to special interest groups and through easy access to social assistance.
This strategy plays perfectly with the unionists (civic, provincial and federal) and special-interest groups who are the main NDP supporters. When you get a majority of voters feeding at the NDP trough, it makes their re-election a fait accompli. For these guys it's all about "me now," with no thought given to what the future holds for later generations.
As a Free Press subscriber, I need to ask why must we be subjected to Shannon Martin's blatant lack of objectivity in his remarks?
It is time to remove his partisan opinions that bring nothing to our Manitoba political dialogue and to add someone who can add a modern view, rather than Martin's outdated, economically biased jabbering.
Cat comment naive
Gordon Sinclair's opinion that a cental freestanding spay-neuter clinic is the way to cut down cat overpopulation is absolutely correct (What this town needs is a spay-and-neuter program, Nov. 22). Those of us involved in animal welfare have been suggesting it for years. However, his comment that cat licensing is not the route that will take us there is naive. Where is the money coming from? Does he know something the rest of us don't? Until such a clinic is built, the problem will continue to get worse, and more cats and kittens will die needlessly.
Breaking the cycle
While reading Jon Gerrard's Nov. 19 column, Invest in families, not CFS apprehensions, I was struck and saddened by the number of children currently in care. England has similar problems, but it is experimenting with doing things differently to break the cycle of poverty, provide services to families and ensure the protection of children. Some English child and family workers, instead of having large case loads, will only be assigned a few families. The working day will often begin at 7 a.m. when they arrive at a family's home. They will get the children out of bed and pack them off to school. The workers, much like a nanny, must be tough, because some parents will not appreciate them.
They will also video-tape the goings on in the home and replay what transpired to the parents in order to find better actions to different circumstances, such as when kids are screaming and parents are having trouble coping. We need a grandmother program here in Manitoba, something to demonstrate good parenting and help keep people on track at home and looking for working and education.
Aboriginal Focus programs
University of Manitoba
Re: Critics fear road to IKEA paved with traffic gridlock (Nov. 21). If there is anything to be learned from the existing so-called improvements to Kenaston, it is that the now half-century-old understanding of serious urban planners is exactly correct. Building more roads and highways does nothing to solve the transportation problems of a city. The only solutions are in changing from car-oriented to mass transit solutions and overall better city planning.
Every citizen who frequents the southwest part of this city is well aware that driving conditions have deteriorated massively while Kenaston was widened and the train underpass was built. And yet despite all the evidence from across the continent, and with their eyes tightly shut, our political leaders still spout rubbish. Until we elect competent politicians, we will continue to hear how wonderful it is to have IKEA locating its new store in the part of the city where politicians have, with their myopia, doomed to repeating mistakes other cities made back in the middle of the last century.
While the International Energy Agency's most recent World Energy Report presents opportunities for energy-efficient technologies as exhibited by Manitoba Hydro's new downtown building (Nov. 15), it's sobering news for environmentalists.
They claim that if the world is to prevent global warning exceeding the perceived danger point of more than 2 C, no more than one-third of all proven fossil fuel reserves can be burned by 2050; otherwise, an increasingly destabilized climate is likely to produce more extreme weather events.
The IEA report, however, emphasizes that not only are these reserves much larger than previously thought, but also coal, oil and gas receive subsidies six times larger than alternate energies. So unless a tough global climate treaty can be agreed upon, reduction in fossil fuel use is unlikely.
Since global warming was strictly a minor issue in the recent U.S. election, and since Obama was criticized more over high gasoline prices and for subsidizing failed green corporations than for a lack of any carbon taxes, the Americans are more likely to prioritize cheap and abundant domestic fossil fuel development than power from wind, solar and biomass.
Surprised by omission
Re: Bring your pennies -- the need keeps growing (Nov. 17). Kevin Rollason gives credit to former editor Mike Ward for the birth of the annual Pennies from Heaven fundraising campaign.
My surprise is that Lindor Reynolds, the face and the champion for years of Pennies from Heaven, is not acknowledged. Not cool. Give credit where credit is due.