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Amazing coincidence

Re: Attack on Via train thwarted (April 23). These terror suspects had been under surveillance for about a year, and nobody was in any danger, according to the RCMP. What an amazing coincidence that the conclusion of their investigation coincides with the rushed re-introduction of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act in Parliament and Harper's criticism of Justin Trudeau's response to the Boston bomb attacks.

This whole situation stinks of political opportunism on the part of Vic Toews and the Conservatives.

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Terrorists and those supporting them have no place in any society. In fact, Islam specifically preaches love and respect towards all, especially non-Muslims.

Killing thousands of innocent people in the name of Islam is the greatest disservice. Islam does not stand for terrorism, does not condone terrorism and does not preach violence.




Questioning the government

I'd like to say the following to the NDP government regarding its decision to raise the provincial sales tax: if we can't break the law, why can you? What law is going to be broken next? How about quit spending so much money?

If I can't afford something, I don't buy it. Voters in Manitoba had better wake up soon.




Manitobans who oppose the one per cent increase in the provincial sales tax need a reality check. And it is truly rich for the Progressive Conservative party to be opposing this increase in the face of a major flood danger.

This is the same PC party that gave Manitoba its first provincial sales tax and the same PC party that, under Brian Mulroney, gave us the GST. Travel to Ontario or any province east of it and you will pay a sales tax of eight per cent or more.

Not only that, but you will pay a harmonized sales tax that collects taxes on all sorts of items not taxed by Manitoba's PST. This is because the Harper government paid the Liberals in Ontario hundreds of millions of dollars to impose an HST.

One of the dumbest things the Conservative government in Ottawa did was to cut the GST by two percentage points. All it, and the corporate tax cuts Harper pushed through, did was give the feds a huge deficit they can't pay off. Manitoba doesn't need that sort of fiscal irresponsibility.


Ajax, Ont.


I fully support a legal challenge to this no-referendum tax hike. Not only is the premier subverting his legal obligation to the people, his budget may very well be invalid, since it is based on an illegal act.

He cannot claim to be representing the people and then shamelessly use his legislative majority to deny us our voice. Greg Selinger claims to have consulted people that had drafted the legislation on what is the appropriate way to go. What about the electorate he is legally bound to consult by referendum?

If he is secure in his conviction that the tax hike is necessary, sell this to the people instead to cooking up some backroom consultation.




Grieving her decision

Re: Killing her softly (April 13). It has been difficult following the story of Susan Griffiths and her decision to seek assisted suicide in Switzerland. I have extensive physical limitations, so I can relate to her situation as most people cannot, because I already live with many of the disabilities she fears.

I grieve her decision to commit suicide and my heart goes out to her family. I do not, however, agree with her advocacy for a change in Canada's laws prohibiting assisted suicide. Her personal tragedy does not mean that laws designed to protect people from abuse should be thrown out the window.

Regardless of what assisted-suicide advocates claim, allowing it in Canada would inevitably result in some people choosing it after being subtly coaxed by a sometimes uncaring society that often does not provide adequate support. I also know some will rush toward assisted suicide, because of fear and depression about various grim medical diagnoses.

Why would we as Canadians want to risk the lives of people in fragile emotional states by providing them with help to kill themselves? I favour erring on the side of life.




Cutting the ties that bind

Re: Swearing to the possibility (Letters, April 22). I would not be surprised if Pat Martin's next move is to remove any and all mention of the monarchy from our constitution. His campaign to get rid of the penny was successful. I hope he is not successful in this latest campaign.

The penny was functional; the Queen is traditional and embedded in our constitution. Removing the penny was no great deal, when all is said and done, but the Queen being part our tradition is not so easy to remove.

We need tradition; every society does. To remove traditions is to cut the ties that bind us to our past and present. Start with the Queen and what next do we remove? Our national or religious holidays? Our flag? I would not be surprised if Martin has a lot of little "traditions" in his life which he consciously or unconsciously holds dear.

As my simple, daily and private routines mean much to me, I would not want to live in a traditionless society.




I totally agree with Pat Martin that new Canadians should not pledge allegiance to the Queen of England or, as John A. Rollins purports, the Queen of Canada. I believe Martin should have gone further and proposed that all mention of the monarchy as the head of state in the Canadian Constitution be eradicated, including the positions of governor general and lieutenant governor.

The monarchy is an archaic institution, which has become little more than a tourist attraction for England. What it represents is empire building and imperialism.




To change our country, MP Pat Martin provides Australia as an example to follow, and our prime minister looks to the United States. But why must Canada always be like somebody else? True patriot love?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2013 A8

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