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Paying for the flood

Re: Hefty price tag for protection (April 11). When will Minister Steve Ashton realize that his mathematical skills are inadequate? We the people of Manitoba have been paying and are still on the hook for all the displaced aboriginals from the flood of 2011 and 2012.

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With all the money spent on accommodations, meals and snacks, we could have purchased the hotels, motels and lodges in which the evacuees are housed and realized a profit.

Instead, Ashton is being ridiculed by the same people he is trying to help. What a pity he cannot see further than his seat in the provincial cabinet. He needs to be ousted before he runs this province into financial oblivion.

ROY PAUL

Winnipeg

***

I empathize with the First Nations people evacuated from their homes in 2011 due to flooding of Lake Manitoba unable to return home.

It is shocking the costs are so high for hotels and other accommodations, especially with the Kapyong barracks and homes all standing empty. The government is already spending millions maintaining empty buildings.

This would have been the best place to house the evacuees and would have saved the taxpayers millions of dollars.

JOYCE PANCHKOWSKY

Winnipeg

Genocidal distortion

Anahid Helewa's April 10 letter (Seeking tolerance, compassion) is a distortion of the Armenian genocide, when it is made parallel to the ongoing Middle East dispute concerning Israel. It is revisionist in its ignoring of the actual history.

It must be rightly reported here that the UN's original partition plan included what the Palestinian Authority and other key players in the dispute now call for.

A two-state solution is nothing new; this was the original intent of the 1947 UN Partition plan. It was the surrounding Arab nations and those living in the land who refused to accept the original plan.

The lives lost are regrettable. Lives have been lost on both sides in this conflict. Southern Israel lives in an almost daily barrage of rocket fire.

The people in refugee camps are still there because of recalcitrant attitudes for decades that absolutely refused to recognize the State of Israel.

Helewa's parallel point is not only revisionist, but worse than that, it dishonours the Armenian victims of the 1915 genocide when paired with disputable information.

REV. RON GROSSMAN

Israel's Hope Ministries

Ottawa

Finding a new model

Your April 9 editorial WCB report lacks crucial information, on the recently released external review of Manitoba's Workers Compensation Board, states that the Manitoba Federation of Labour is unsatisfied with the review because it did not recommend replacing the current experience rating model with a "simple flat-rate model." The MFL does not in fact support a flat-rate model.

The external review examined the method by which the WCB determines the rates it charges to employers. The current "experience rating" model was established with the stated objective of creating incentives for safer workplaces by imposing higher rates on employers with more reported injuries and claims costs. The MFL rejects this model because, as the review confirmed, there is no evidence that it has played a role in encouraging employers to invest in safer workplaces, and there is evidence that it has encouraged many employers to illegally hide injuries and force injured workers back to work before their doctors say they are ready.

To address this problem, the MFL recommended to the review that the experience-rating incentive be replaced with a new model that rewards employers for real investments in safer workplaces. The MFL also supports continuing the practice of charging higher rates to employers in higher-risk sectors.

A rate model that rewards investments in safer workplaces and accounts for variable risk among sectors would do much more to promote injury and illness prevention than a simple flat-rate model.

While labour believes the review's recommendations could have gone further in reducing the incentives for employers to hide injuries and suppress compensation claims, we do not reject the recommendations. We accept the review's prescription for change as a compromise that takes baby steps toward restoring balance to our workers compensation system.

KEVIN REBECK

Manitoba Federation of Labour

Winnipeg

Concerned about jobs

I sincerely appreciate Wayne Anderson's April 10 column, Jockey Club raises its own money. For many years, our family has enjoyed spending time at Assiniboia Downs. Several of the farmers from our area have horses that they race. Their friends and family work at the track.

I am very concerned with all of the jobs that will be lost. It is a place of interest to take friends who come in from out of town. The economic impact of Assiniboia Downs on the Manitoba economy is significant. It is good to have the facts set straight.

NORMA JONES

Winnipeg

Widowers vs. bachelors

Re: The reluctant bachelor (April 9). My wife died in 1985, and since then I have often been called a bachelor. I have quickly reminded the other person I am not a bachelor, but a widower.

To call me a bachelor is to discount and ignore the precious years of marriage I had with my wife. In my books, a bachelor is one who has never married; a widower is one who had the privilege of having been once married.

CHRIS KENNEDY

Winnipeg

Delusionals need their day

It is true -- some anti-government litigants may simply be delusional (Defending the indefensible, March 30). Their expressions of dissent may be irritating. But lawyer Douglas Johnston is so distressed by this that he is considering doing his best to deny them access to the courts.

His exasperation may be warranted, but he should be cautious. The government is crawling all over our increasingly restricted lives. Motives of defiance are not always as clear as he may think. Protest can take many forms; delusion can be subjective and tactics misunderstood.

FRANCIS TRUEMAN

Winnipeg

Signs of spring

Hooray for Ian Thomson's April 11 letter, Trusting the geese, about the gaggles of geese that have blessed us with their return. I agree. Also, while sitting and reading the paper the other morning, I heard the gulls that are back along the Red River here in Selkirk.

Spring is here -- just not the green grass. Have you not felt the warmth of the stronger spring sunshine on your face yet?

LYNDA MILLER

Selkirk

***

I saw the same gaggle of geese. They were heading south.

MICHAEL HYDUK

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 13, 2013 0

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