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Unfair and unbalanced

Re: PC leader defends $2-M home (Dec 7.) Your front page contains a photo of Tory Leader Brian Pallister beside the headline Living large. On Page 2 there is an article that has Pallister defending himself for working hard and taking risks, which has given him the ability to purchase a luxury home in River Heights.

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Reporter Bruce Owen goes as far as to obtain an opinion from an associate university professor who criticizes Pallister for being disingenuous in his explanation for his success.

In the same edition, on Page 7, a much smaller article reports on Premier Greg Selinger's being listed as the worst fiscal manager among all the premiers in Canada. There is neither a front-page photo of Selinger nor a reference to the Page 7 article.

It would appear that the only thing disingenuous about these two articles is their unfair and unbalanced placement.




Manitoba PC Leader Brian Pallister is correct when he says he shouldn't have to apologize for the way he invests his and his family's capital, even in a $2-million home in River Heights.

However, he may want to apologize to the poor people whose interests he says he can defend. This is the same person who, the last time he was an MLA (in the government of Gary Filmon), said food banks are not an indication of poverty.

He may also want to clarify whether or not he is drawing a pension for his few years as a federal MP -- the same fat pension he once railed against -- which, if I understand correctly, is enough to pay his $38,378 property taxes.


Portage la Prairie


It is not what Brian Pallister paid for his house or that he is a successful businessman that is at issue. It is that the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba could not anticipate how this would appear.

By failing to see how the purchase of one of the most expensive homes in the city right after he became party leader would disconnect him from many working people, I think Pallister has manage to out-Romney Mitt Romney right out of the starting blocks. As a conservative, I am more concerned than ever for the future of the party.




How typical of some of our narrow-minded brethren to criticize a man's success. Brian Pallister earned the money to buy that house. He didn't do it with government handouts or employment insurance or welfare. He worked, and worked hard. It's nobody's business how he spends his own money.

Does University of Winnipeg professor Shannon Sampert really think it's more about who one knows, and hobnobbing, than good old-fashioned hard work? Get real. And does Sampert think she is insulting everyone who lives in a less expensive house than she does?

Printing Sampert's opinion was an insult to hard-working people everywhere.



Creating uncertainty

Re: Selinger worst fiscal manager: think-tank (Dec. 7). It is interesting but not surprising to read that Premier Greg Selinger is ranked last by the Fraser Institute. The recent legislative session created more uncertainty among Manitobans than ever before, particularly over concerns about how our finances are being managed.

As I see it, our province is going in a direction of no return, no fiscal improvement, no vision for the future and a complete standstill of economic growth. The government is spending wildly out of control, creating record debt and implementing a burden on Manitobans.

There appears to be no end in sight to the skyrocketing debt-load for future generations of Manitobans. As I see it, less spending and borrowing beyond what the provincial government can afford is the only solution.



Course here to stay

Your reference to the "former" Crescent Park Golf Course as the site of the new Nordik spa (Yes, Winnipeg, 1,208 jobs have been created, Nov. 30) is incorrect.

Thanks to the efforts of Crescent Park Rescue, a community group formed in response to the city's unilateral call for development proposals for a number of golf courses, parks and green spaces, both Crescent Park Golf course and the park itself were saved when the whole development proposal was shelved.

True, the spa development, which was initiated without any community notice, has resulted in the demolition of the clubhouse and its replacement with a trailer and portable toilet.

But the course itself, and adjoining Crescent Park, are far from "former," and the CPR group is determined to keep it that way.



Outdated propaganda

Your Dec. 3 article IKEA's neighbour to be a geothermal leader contains a misleading statement about geothermal systems. The claim that "while such heating systems are more expensive to install, they pay for themselves through energy savings in about eight years" is not a fact today nor is it ever likely to be one.

This claim can only true if your only option is electric resistance heating. Your reporter neglects to mention that most of Winnipeg is heated with natural gas, which costs less than geothermal heat and doesn't need taxpayer subsidies and false advertising to sell it.

This is a classic example of how a partial truth can morph into a fact when a reporter quotes outdated marketing propaganda as though it were factual. The Manitoba government and Manitoba Hydro love geothermal energy because it is a huge consumer of hydro power and they promote it only for that reason.

An honest geothermal engineer will admit it no longer makes economic sense, because there are no savings when compared to natural gas.



Pinnacle of ugliness

The aerial photo of IKEA's parking lot accompanying your Nov. 29 story IKEA puts it together for city demonstrates ugliness at its pinnacle. How an enormous sweep of black bituminous by-product comes to be celebrated with nary a lament is beyond intelligent comprehension.

Have elected officials ever noticed that these flat monuments to grotesqueness infect our city like germs in a petri dish? Oh, that some ingenious city planner with a penchant for beauty could come up with a bylaw that would force multimillion-dollar box stores to beautify those parking-lot wastelands. Trees would be a start.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2012 A16

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