Robbing the province
Re: Taking taxation to the limit (Letters, April 18). I am appalled by the parade of self interest and self-serving opposition politicians lining up to criticize a government facing a huge deficit for raising taxes.
Get real. It's one cent on a dollar spent.
Remember the penny? It's the coin we left on the counter or threw in a jar.
If people don't want to pay taxes, they just have to tell government which services they no longer want.
If Rene Vincent can spend $40,000 a year on PST charged items, he earns too much money to whine.
On his four trips to Grand Forks, Gary Wylie will spend well over $1,000 on gasoline, food and hotel rooms, robbing Manitoba of economic stimulus, which actually keeps taxes down, and bolster North Dakota's economy, just to save some tax money.
Interesting how a government can be chastised for asking its citizens to pay for services they demand, like education, health care, infrastructure and safety. Yet private industry can increase the cost of vehicles, food, electronics (foreign made entertainment toys) and gasoline (reporting huge profits), and there is no public outcry.
Worse is that people will charge PST related purchases on their credit card at 20 per cent interest, and that too is OK.
I think the Manitoba government should spend the added revenue on adult education in common sense economics. Enrolment by Conservative politicians is mandatory.
I commend the government for having the courage to raise taxes when it is clear that we have serious issues facing our province. Those issues, ranging from flood protection to reducing poverty, need to be paid for and unless our province wins a lottery, I think all of us need to contribute somehow. The most important point, to me, is that we make sure that we're being as smart as we can in how we spend that money.
I have recently learned that engineers at Oregon State University have developed a system to create networks of small wetlands in Midwest farmlands, which could help the region prevent massive spring floods and also retain water and mitigate droughts in a warming climate.
I hope Manitoba will use some of our flood protection funds to invest in this type of natural infrastructure. It is a wise and efficient use of our tax dollars.
With all the erroneous reports on the floods in the last three years, the province is now predicting very high levels of water for this year's flood. To instill fear is the NDP's ways of saying we are protecting you.
To me, protection is letting the water levels rise on their own, so high as a matter of fact that they could seep in to the city of Winnipeg and clean out all the crap that lies at the corner of Broadway and Osborne.
In response to Brian Fraser's comment that to erase a deficit, the government's only choices are to reduce expenses or increase income, my rebuttal would be this: If the government cannot afford to pay for "services" when times are good how can they ever afford to pay for them when times are bad? It is common sense that in those situations you do not provide the service. The only guarantee we will get from the current government is that our largest expense will be servicing the accumulated debt.
I say "hear, hear" to Larry Napora. We should make this a loud and clear message to the government and Manitoba Hydro.
I, for one, do not think any UNESCO designation is or ever will be worth $1 billion. It's high time some common sense was used when administering government money.
Listening to the oath
I agree with Pat Martin (First penny, now Queen for Martin, April 18). Canadians should not swear allegiance to the Queen of England -- and they do not. They swear allegiance to the Queen of Canada. If Martin had even a rudimentary knowledge of Canada's constitution, he would know that.
If he truly listened to the oath at all these citizenship ceremonies he claims to have attended he would have heard our new Canadians swearing allegiance to Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors.
The Queen as head of state embodies all Canada and all Canadians. She protects and exemplifies the things Canadians agree about, and remain constant: community, tolerance, nationhood, the rule of law, even for the right of the likes of Pat Martin to stand up in Parliament and make a motion like this.
JOHN A. ROBINS
I find Tory MP Steven Fletcher's response to Pat Martin's suggestion rather amusing. Fletcher's government spent more than $6 million promoting the memory of a war fought 200 years ago by the British.
Does Fletcher think that was a priority for anyone? At least Martin's campaign against the penny saved taxpayers money, and his suggestions we dump the queen wouldn't cost a penny.
I strongly suggest that Pat Martin move to the United States and acquire American citizenship in order to continue his political career with even more conspicuous success.
I have no doubt that the U.S. Congress would welcome an infusion of such much-needed comic relief.