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A voice of reason

I would like to congratulate you on your March 21 editorial Keep ELA open as talks go on. You have provided a voice of reason in showing the absurdity of our federal government shutting out the scientists from the Experimental Lakes Area in Ontario under the guise of saving taxpayers $2 million.

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This government seems oblivious to the loss of this world-renowned research centre. All the government would need to do to come up with the $2 million to fund the ELA in the interim until another owner can be found would be to cut a dozen TV ads touting Canada's Economic Action Plan. This plan revolves mostly around the oil industry in Alberta. There is more Canada has to offer the world than oil.




One must question the mentality of our current Conservative government. Shutting down the Experimental Lakes Area is equivalent to shutting down Banff National Park. Both areas are known and respected worldwide.



Same short shrift

Congratulations and good luck to David Barber and the top-flight staff of learned researchers at the Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Centre at the University of Manitoba for bringing into focus the very important science needed to understand and deal with our changing Arctic climate (U of M scientists take Arctic's pulse, March 19).

Alas, however, I fear their research may receive the same shrift as that received generally by scientists at the hands of the Harper government and that received by competent electrical engineers at the hands of the Selinger government.

Political expediency and ideological dogma have always trumped science, and it has been ever thus. Galileo and Copernicus would have agreed wholeheartedly.



Odd political choices

Re: Feds force Manulife to raise its rates (March 20). So let's get this straight. The free-market, capitalist-loving Conservative government -- the same government that said about its change to how child-allowance payments are handed out, "The only people who should be making these choices are parents, not politicians, not the government" -- is now telling banks to up their mortgage rates because Canadians are too stupid to manage their own payments. Now that is rich.




Manulife obviously has been urged to make more money than it needs. Maybe the company could fund the Experimental Lakes project and rename it the Manulife Experimental Lakes Area. Winners all round.



Cypriots have it easy

Cyprus, in the middle of a banking and debt crisis, has a population of 1.1 million. Manitoba's is 1.2 million. They have total debt of $20 billion. Manitoba has a debt of $15 billion, and our portion of the federal debt is about $18 billion -- for a total of $33 billion.

Let's hope both the federal and provincial governments start to find ways of paying off our debt before anyone notices.



Serving whole community

Re: Exchange brew pub might make Irish eyes smile (March 16). I can't help but feel a strong sense of déj-vu. This constant debate about the fate of the James Avenue Pumping Station has come full circle -- yet again.

There is no better time than now to renew our commitment to this historic building, and to reaffirm our pledge to the city and to Winnipeggers who are passionate about heritage buildings and working and living in a vibrant downtown neighbourhood.

While a brew pub is fine and dandy to satisfy the apparent need for a trendy drinking hole, one cannot lose sight of the bigger picture. That is to serve the surrounding community of residents, arts patrons and businesses that more amenities to survive and thrive in the East Exchange.

The James Avenue Pumping Station soon will be completely engulfed in urban renewal and eventually demolished. The pumping equipment must be saved -- of that there is no doubt. We owe it to the visionaries of the past to preserve this gem for the future. If we do not, then who will speak for us when we, too, are past our prime and gone?



Werier always enjoyable

Re: What's in a name, you might ask (March 20). I so enjoy Val Werier's writing and the subjects he picks out to write about.

May he have many more years of fine writing.



Quick, order the F-35s!

Your March 21 story Snow over levels in '97 flood reports that the "cold weather is due to... an airstream... from Russian Siberia."

Apparently the Cold War is not over. And just when we are cutting defence spending.



Finding efficiencies

Re: Already-lean military braces for budget axe (March 19). Oh, the irony of it all. Canada's chief of defence staff, Gen. Thomas Lawson, had to testify to a Senate committee about how the Canadian Armed Forces are going to deal with significant cuts to the budget.

Following guidance from the government, the military must find efficiencies through drastic spending cuts on services that are no-value-added. Wait a minute. No-value-added? Is that not the job description of the Senate?

Where else do you find a collection of 105 people who get confused over questions such as "where do you live?" and make in excess of $132,000 a year? And now our leader of the Armed Forces has to explain to them about cutbacks? Should it not be the other way around?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 22, 2013 0

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