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Katz politics 'self-serving'

How can anyone take Sam Katz's newfound concern (Transitway plan hits roadblock, April 24) over Winnipeg's infrastructure seriously? He bragged through three elections about not raising property taxes.

The people of Winnipeg, and visitors like me, who travel its streets are the beneficiaries of his self-serving, shortsighted style of politics.

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Now he is busy trying to blame the province for the lack of progress on public transit. How pathetic.




Our mayor is against the raising of the PST unless the proceeds flow to the municipalities. So if I understand correctly, the mayor is not against raising taxes, he just doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to do it himself.




Most of our city streets were built over 70 years ago. It's time to stop placing a bandage over the older streets and rebuild them from the ground up.




Mayor Sam Katz can pretend to be as angry as he likes at the province for not giving the City of Winnipeg its share of the new PST. The truth still stands that he did not raise city taxes until last year.

Had he raised taxes gradually, the city roads would not be in the deplorable state they are. But Katz used the old "I'm not raising taxes" ploy to get re-elected.




One person isn't to blame

What gives Lindor Reynolds the right to select one person in this entire tragedy and point the finger of blame directly at her, thereby excusing everybody else (Alison, you let fear rule instincts, April 19)?

If Alison Kakewash had stayed away as she had been taught or warned, the Phoenix Sinclair tragedy would have happened regardless. Could it have been prevented if she had spoken up? Who knows? Many others, more trained and experienced than she, were involved in the case and did nothing to protect the child.

Can Reynolds say with absolute certainty, that in the same situation, being 19, a mother and growing up on a reserve, she would have done the "right" thing and prevented the terrible tragedy?

One should not throw stones at someone already bruised and bleeding.




How disappointing to read such a cruel and judgmental column from Lindor Reynolds attacking Alison Kakewash.

It serves no purpose except perhaps to cause the family additional grief and pain. I am shocked the editor allowed it to go to print.




Splitting tax hairs

In her April 19 letter, RRSPs are tax deferrals, Joanne McDowall seems quite upset with the terminology Michelle Gallant uses in her April 16 column, A little bit of 'haven' in each of us.

RRSP contributions are a legal means to both defer taxes and avoid taxes. When someone invests in an RRSP, they defer the inevitable tax obligation to a later time, such as during retirement. If planning properly, the individual would withdraw funds from her RRSP at a lower tax rate than she would have paid while working. The difference between the taxes they would have paid while working, compared to what they actually pay during retirement, would be the tax-avoidance portion, while the remainder would be the deferred portion.

Avoiding paying taxes on income you do not declare would be an example of tax evasion and is thus against the law.




Province has dithered

I am loath to support anything Mayor Sam Katz says or does, but Gavin Wiens is blowing smoke in his April 20 letter, Satellite dwellers must pay day, and Free Press editorial staff should know better, too.

Indeed, the sprawl encircling Winnipeg is a huge problem, but Wiens, in his myopic support of the provincial government, does not seem to understand that the present government has dithered and delayed passing new capital-region legislation that would address the tax problem and disparities between inside and outside the Perimeter Highway.

It is the irresponsibility of the present 12-yearlong NDP provincial government that has perpetuated and exacerbated this situation.

Furthermore, except for property taxes and business taxes, the finances of the city are completely dominated by the whims of the province.

Instead of dedicating one per cent of the current seven per cent PST to Winnipeg's infrastructure, Selinger has opted to raise the PST by one per cent. This demonstrates that when it comes to irresponsibility, it is the provincial government that leads the way.




No evidence for registry

Don Halligan (Par for the course, Letters, April 23) believes that having long-gun serial numbers and barrel-length measurements entered into a database in New Brunswick is an effective means of reducing crime and violence. Nothing is further from the truth.

The vast majority of front-line police officers do not believe it is effective, and many individual chiefs have the same view. We have never been presented with evidence that the registry has saved even one life.

How was it supposed to work when the overwhelming majority of guns used by criminals are handguns, which are still required to be registered (and have been ever since 1934)?

How was it supposed to work when the handful of long guns used in crimes are either stolen or smuggled, or possessed by unlicensed individuals? How was it supposed to work in preventing robberies and murders when the criminal is still breaking the laws against robbery and murder?

The registry was an experiment that failed miserably. Many people knew it beforehand, and it's unfortunate that many still can't see it even in hindsight.




Too much information

I am disgusted by the amount of intimate detail in the April 16 story Scout leader groomed teens for sex assaults. These males were strong to come out and seek help. They do not need to be further humiliated and reminded of the horrible things that occurred to them over the past few years.

I think it is inappropriate for the Free Press to be publishing explicit details at the expense of another person to sell papers.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 26, 2013 A10

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