Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
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Jets offer compensation
Re: Jets' website posting doesn't cut it with fans (Jan. 8). The season-ticket holder in your story is mistaken when he states that no monetary compensation was offered to season ticket holders to make amends for missed games.
In fact, two different options where advanced by management. Those ticket holders who kept their balance with True North were offered a three per cent annual rate (simple interest) on the total account value from the date of the first cancelled pre-season game.
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Fans who chose to have their money refunded on a game-by-game basis received one per cent (again, simple interest) on the total remaining account balance from the date of the first cancellation.
A quick scan of current government and corporate bond yields shows that the True North offers are smack in line with returns offered by the market.
Of course, this return is in addition to the application of the value of missed games to next year's ticket costs and the savings on concessions and parking resulting from those missed games.
Why do Chris Shinnimin and others feel entitled to "an apology" or "monetary remuneration" from True North for the "frustration" caused by the lockout?
NHL hockey is a commodity like all others. If your preferred entertainment product is not available, spend your time and money on some other form of diversion.
Now that hockey is back, I plan on cheering the Jets from my seat whether or not True North gives me anything at all, and I won't resent them for it.
I can't for the life of me understand why Jets management should apologize for the NHL lockout or somehow provide compensation to negate the bitterness of some fans.
This is a sterling management that puts character and community contribution up there with winning, and don't forget it's also the management that retained all regular staff during the dispute.
And whom did the NHL call on when it wanted an owner of integrity to negotiate with the players? Owner Mark Chipman. And who apologized publicly (something he didn't have to do) when he and a few like-minded others failed? Same guy.
Maybe fans who need to get rid of their bile should find another way. What about two eight-by-10s of Don Fehr and Gary Bettman and a dartboard?
Thank you, Gary Lawless and Troy Westwood, for providing the minority voices of sanity during the lockout.
This was simply a business negotiation. There is no partnership between owners and players. Billionaires versus millionaires may be true, but it is totally irrelevant -- unless you are naive enough to believe that a wealthy owner will keep pouring that wealth down a bottomless hole of hockey-team losses.
With a low cap and a higher revenue share for owners, teams like the Jets can compete on a more equal footing for higher-calibre players. We can now hope for a highly competitive team rather than one with virtually no chance to challenge for the Stanley Cup.
The last version of the Jets left because of the uncontrolled player-salary situation that existed at the time. No matter how much money potential owners could have come up with, it could never overcome projections of continuing losses driven by rampantly escalating player compensation. Hopefully that time is past. In the real world, the best deal for owners was always going to be the best deal for fans.
I'm slightly bewildered at the flurry of letters filling these pages wherein some fans of NHL hockey complain endlessly about the nasty owners and players and how retribution is in order. The reality is that neither of these two groups owe you anything. They organize and package entertainment product, and people pay money to watch.
If you feel the need to boycott or refrain from cheering, there are plenty of others who'll fill your seat or break the silence. The fact that dedicated fans stood by waiting for any glimmer of hope is testimony to the quality of the product and the size of the media machine used to promote the sport.
A necessary pursuit
Re: Two laws, but one resource to hunt (Jan. 7). For the most part, treaty Indians harvest animals and fish for subsistence or to supplement their diet. In most remote First Nations reserves, supermarket chains don't exist, and so reliance on ancient pursuits are essential for daily caloric requirements.
The idea of killing animals for sport is repulsive to many indigenous peoples throughout the world. Sport hunting is symptomatic of western man's world view of the Earth as a "resource" for exploitation.
Paul Turenne is right to encourage the conservation of Manitoba's animal and fish population for future use. In my opinion, the real threats to sustainable animal population numbers are the mountain pine beetle and the algae blooms in Manitoba waters due to modern industry. Another potential threat are invasive species such as the Asian carp and zebra mussel in Manitoba waters.
If we don't tackle these real threats to the ecosystem instead of scoring cheap political points by using outmoded ideas such as "race" and "blood," then the question of harvesting rights will be moot.
Sagkeeng First Nation
The value of a life
Your Jan. 5 article Right-to-die ruling dated, plaintiffs say points out that the Harper government takes the position that "any form of suicide would demean the value of life."
Would an individual who is forced to live in excruciating physical and psychological agony place a high value or a low value on such a life? I would guess that the "value" of such an existence would depend on the level of torture as well as the individual's ability to tolerate such torture on a 24/7 basis. And there are times when the level of such torture may reach a breaking point, a point when that person's valuation of his or her life approaches zero.
An individual's choice to end such a life does not in any way demean the high value that person placed on his or her life prior to the life of torture. Rather, it elevates that portion of that individual's life that had true meaning, and acknowledges that it no longer exists.
It would seem that the Harper government has it backwards; that is, a law allowing the right to die would elevate the value of life and place the value of death where it belongs, at zero. It's the torture that demeans life, not the ending of it.
Closure length shocking
Re: Sanitary issues shut eateries (Jan. 9). Even more shocking than the incidence of mice or rodent infestation and the absence of sanitary conditions -- described by provincial inspectors as filthy -- is the brevity of the closures that presumably were ordered to remedy and largely eliminate the public health hazard.
Can a restaurant really solve the problem of a rodent or mouse infestation, or address the issue of preparing and serving food to unsuspecting customers, in one to three days? Would the inspectors risk a meal there for themselves and their loved ones after this brief period?
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 12, 2013 A15
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