Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
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Having it both ways
Can Sidney Green have it both ways? In his March 26 column, Bill 18 is perfect example of bad law, the former NDP cabinet minister says that "Bill 18 is an attempt by the legislature to impose morality and particular beliefs, an endeavour that has no place in a law-making body."
Yet, on the other hand, he believes that an inherent right already exists or, as he puts it, "there is nothing to prevent a group of students from now organizing a gay-straight alliance."
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So, if Green is right, why is it that such clubs don't already exist? Perhaps it's because students and their teachers don't know where they stand and also fear political bullying should they dare form GSAs.
If they don't face legal impediments, as Green suggests, what can be so wrong in Bill 18 making explicit what might be implicit in the law? It is hardly the first time a legislative bill has been moved to work over ground already covered elsewhere in the legal landscape.
With all of the bluster surrounding Bill 18, leave it to Sidney Green to exhibit the wisdom and insight to expose the fallacy of this legislation. It is impossible to legislate morality.
Even God's attempt to legalize the behaviour of the Jewish people by communicating the law (the Ten Commandments) through Moses did not accomplish his purpose. No one was able to keep the whole law (the old covenant).
As a result, God had to establish a new and better covenant by sending his son, not to overturn the law, but to fulfil it. In other words, Jesus paid the price and bridged the gap for mankind's shortcomings. To quote Romans 8:2: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
This is the message of Easter and perhaps a better remedy for the ills of mankind than is Bill 18.
Cycle tariff absurd
What nonsense to be raising import tariffs on bikes from 8.5 to 13 per cent just in time for Earth Day (Feds' changes to tariffs 'a bit of a shell game,' March 23).
Cycle commuting cuts obesity, heart disease and health costs, as well as fuel and carbon emissions. According to Statistics Canada, active commuters "were overwhelmingly more satisfied with their daily commute than those who drove or took public transit." How does making it more expensive to be a healthy, happy, carbon-free commuter make sense?
Contest fails epically
Re: Random acts of kindness (March 23). I don't doubt shilling for Tim Hortons brings in much-needed advertising dollars, but turning people's instinctively good-hearted actions into a competition for coffee is an epic failure on so many levels.
Yes, there was the Tim's drive-through "pay it forward" chain a while back -- but celebrate new things now! Just because Tim's wants to cash in on it forever doesn't mean you need to transform the newspaper's small oasis of kindness and good feeling into a gaudy commercial.
Pointing cold fingers
Re: Quick, order the F-35s (Letters, March 22). Further to the cold weather blame-game observed by David Hagborg, I find it interesting weather reports on U.S. television chronically blame a frosty surge of "cold Canadian air" for their winter woes.
Canadians, on the other hand, blame a large blast of "Arctic air." People in the Arctic blame a "polar air mass." North Pole inhabitants blame the "Siberian express," while the Siberians (assuming anyone's left alive there) don't really know who to blame, except possibly the frigid state of American-Israeli relations.
A smart approach
The March 22 opinion piece Doctor prescribes tax returns to low-income patient is a delight to read, especially coming from a family physician. Instead of prescribing medication to his patients, Dr. Gary Bloch wants to fill out their tax returns. This is a smart approach.
As I see it, many people who have suffered a debilitating illness for an extended period have missed out on one or more of the disability tax credits available to them.
Health and money are two of life's most valued assets. Each of these gives us the ability to do wonderful things, yet one without the other can cause significant challenges.
It worked in the 1300s
Banks are deposit-taking and transaction-making players in the economy. Banks are enablers for the rest of the value-adding economy.
The banking system is not supposed to produce record profits. If it is making profits out of proportion to its value to the rest of the economy, it is taking too much out of the productive economy, with a resulting drag on the economy.
There is a natural limit to how much any part of an economic system can extract from the overall economy before a re-balancing occurs.
The most memorable time this happened was in 1312, when the bankers of the world, the Knights Templar, held so much of Philip of France's taxable assets, that they had a stranglehold on his revenue-raising capabilities and limited his ability to wage war.
Bankers of today who take too much out of the economy need to pay heed to Philip's solution: he rounded up the Templars, had them tried for heresy and burned them at the stake.
A form of wealth tax
In his comments about the funding of education (Postal code wrong way to levy tax, March 19), Lorne Weiss makes some very good points. However, he neglects to mention that taxation based on property value, unlike that based on income or consumption, is a form of wealth tax.
Moreover, it is in large measure a tax on unrealized capital gains. Even the federal government doesn't use such unfair measures.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2013 A8
Updated on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 9:28 AM CDT: adds links
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