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Politically correct bistros

Re: There's a new chef on Esplanade Riel (March 1). Coun. Dan Vandal says the proprietors of Chez Sophie "will build partnerships that Sals simply couldn't."

The partnership is our tax dollars and public sector bureaucrats picking favourites from a bilingual menu.

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Whether it is thousands of schoolchildren ferried to the Festival du Voyageur to pump up attendance figures and gate receipts or bureaucrats waiting for their table at politically correct flavour-of-the-day bistros, it will be the taxpayer who will ultimately assure success.

I hope the Free Press will monitor expense accounts for a Hu's who of patrons.




Chez Sophie on the Esplanade, great. It will finally smell good on the bridge.




Facing the consequences

Re: Ex-adviser sorry for child-porn remark (March 1). Tom Flanagan, who has had far more access to media than most Canadians get, was exercising his right to free speech. But his right to free speech doesn't include immunity from the consequences.

When organizations and institutions cut their ties with Flanagan, they aren't denying him the right to say what he wishes (he's had and will have plenty of opportunity for that). They're simply limiting his ability to say it from their platforms.




Pesticides offer safe control

On the same day that Bruce Owen reports that most Manitobans want a pesticide ban (Planned pesticide ban backed by majority, Feb. 27), the Free Press's own online poll shows just the opposite.

I guess it's no surprise that an environmental activist group would produce results that support its own agenda.

Manitobans need to know that no Prairie province has banned cosmetic weed control. Since agriculture plays an important economic role on the Prairies, the Noxious Weeds Act was created to protect farm fields from weed invasions. The act states that dandelions, thistles and other common weeds found in lawns and ditches need to be controlled before they go to seed and create problems for agriculture.

Current weed-control products approved by Health Canada offer effective, economical and safe control. If we trust the scientists at Health Canada for the foods we eat and the medicine we take, why wouldn't we trust them for the pesticides that we use?


East St. Paul


Re: Planned pesticide ban backed by majority (Feb. 27). So let me get this straight. We are going to ban pesticides on lawns that we walk on but not on agricultural crops that we eat.

It makes no sense to me, but I guess we can't have our government alienating big business.




China taking steps

As a frequent traveller to China, I've often seen the environmental challenges that confront that country. But it is not always correct to assume that China's environmental regulations are far less stringent than those on this continent (Protesters are myopic, Letters, Feb. 26). The transportation sector is a good example.

On a global basis, the largest use of oil is to refine it to provide gasoline and diesel fuel for motor vehicles. If the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. fails to win approval, Alberta oil that may instead be exported to China will not necessarily result in higher emissions.

Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has adopted an increasing number of measures and policies to reduce vehicle emissions. These include implementing a series of advanced European emission standards for new light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, enhancing annual inspection and maintenance programs, improving fuel quality and scrapping high-emitting older vehicles.

Many large metropolitan areas in China have gone even further by adopting more stringent regulations. For example, diesel-powered buses have been banned in many urban areas and replaced with cleaner compressed natural gas buses.

Restrictions on vehicle ownership are spreading. Beijing now limits the number of new vehicles that can be sold by requiring potential owners to enter a monthly lottery. In Shanghai, an auction system used to control the supply of licence plates has seen the average bid for a plate rise to a record high last month of more than 75,000 yuan (about $12,400).




Rebalancing priorities

I couldn't agree more with your Feb. 23 editorial Police balance priorities. I have no problem with red-light cameras, but if the police would do their job with regards to traffic, we may not need them.

I've witnessed drivers run red lights on five occasions with police stopped at the same red light. No consequences. On one occasion, I called the duty officer while the police car sat at the red light on Portage. His response was that they must be going somewhere.

We have more than enough police and we have cameras. Overtime shouldn't be required. All police officers should be doing their job. The drivers who love to complain even as they drive dangerously will have to accept responsibilty for their own incompetence.




Undercutting the story

In his Feb. 23 column, Gimli Glider would fly at aviation museum -- or downtown, Don Marks does an excellent job of describing the many and varied circumstances that led to the 1983 incident and its successful outcome. He makes a good argument for the Western Canada Aviation Museum to acquire the aircraft.

I enjoyed the article immensely, except for the last two lines, which did nothing but undercut the story with a statement that has no bearing on the event.

If the comment was intended to inject some humour, it was ill-timed and speaks more to Marks's personal views.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 2, 2013 A17

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