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Making neighbours happy

I would like to advise the Island Lakes homeowner who considers himself a slave because he has to cut a few feet of boulevard to move out of his fancy house ('Why can't you plant potatoes?', June 8). I am sure his neighbours would probably be happy. He obviously doesn't share any pride in his property.

I have been living in my home since 1957. We moved into a new district and prepared our yards and boulevards by putting in sod and have looked after our grass ever since.

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He should really come to Garden City in West Kildonan and see how we all look after our property. In addition, when we get too old to do it ourselves, we pay someone to do it. I wish this homeowner would grow up, get some grass seed and buy a lawn mower.




I agree with Richard Hykawy that he should not have to cut the city's property. If anything, what's the matter with prison inmates doing it and getting penalized if they refused?

There would be a public outcry of human rights being violated.

What about the people who are assigned community service instead of prison? If that were to happen, the unions would scream government jobs were being stolen.

What happened to the human rights of the lowly homeowner?

Let's get behind Richard Hykawy and leave our boulevard grass for the city to maintain.




Airports bear costs

Canada's airports appreciate interest in our sector (Airports belong to the Canadian taxpayer, May 25). Mary Jane Bennett, however, is making a rather simple subject more complicated than it is.

She states valuations of Canada's airports were not done prior to their transfer to not-for-profit corporations. This is not correct. Winnipeg was valued at $80 million and, nationally, airports were valued at $1.5 billion.

Meanwhile, since 1992, Canada's airports have paid more than $4 billion in "rent" to the federal government -- several times greater than the airports' combined historical value at the time. At the same time, airports -- not the feds -- have been responsible for all of the operational and capital costs.

Winnipeg's airport is a good example of an airport that is unrecognizable from its condition before transfer. The terminal building and the runways have been replaced, all of it without federal money. Nationwide, more than $14 billion has been invested by airports since transfer. This arrangement has paid dividends for the federal taxpayer.

Our airports are financially self-sufficient and nobody suggests this should change. While it would be poor public policy for the taxpayer to subsidize Canadians' trips to the Caribbean, with some $270 million a year paid in rent to the federal government, it's actually the other way around: Canadian travellers are subsidizing the feds.

It is no wonder Canadians are voting with their feet by flying out of places like Grand Forks.


Canadian Airports Council



EPC salary a 'bribe'

In his June 4 column, Signs of Havixbeck being a real contender, Gordon Sinclair Jr. mentions the bribe members of city council get paid for their compliance with the mayor's wishes in executive policy committee without the slightest concern.

EPC meets secretively behind closed doors, negotiates its backroom deals among its members and arrives at council with a virtual majority. Not only do EPC councillors get access to the backroom dealing membership provides, but they also get a $22,000 salary increase (bribe?) if they kowtow to the mayor's whims.

Mayor Sam Katz has often suggested city council is where democratic decisions are made in this town, but while the media and public ignore the reality of this $22,000 coercive allowance for EPC membership, there is no semblance of democracy at city hall.

The 1919 General Strike changed nothing. Winnipeg is still run by an undemocratically selected back room old-boys' club. Where is the outrage?




Reasons for caring

Re: Animal-cruelty story causes loss of perspective (June 6). When someone's argument defaults to "why worry about animal cruelty in the face of so much human suffering?", or they somehow equate a win for animals with being a loss for humans (who are, after all, animals themselves), I can't help but conclude they don't particularly care about animals.

But just as in the case of those who are of a different gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, we don't have to necessarily "like" another species to acknowledge they deserve fair treatment.

Do not forget many murderers performed heinous crimes on animals before "graduating" to people, so it is in society's best interest to have tough animal-cruelty laws and punish people like Brian Whitlock to the their fullest extent.

The struggle for animal rights is not some sort of a slippery slope, but rather an uphill battle.




A cheaper solution

A Free Press headline on June 8 reads, HSC hires nurses to help speed up patient drop-offs. May I suggest that if they are placed near the edge of the gurney, they will soon drop off?




Confusing income with profit

I refer to the June 7 headline Oil more lucrative than mining. "Lucrative" refers to profits. The story does not mention profits but talks about gross income.

These are two very different things.




Labelling GMO products

In reference to the genetically modified organism debate, let's come up with a comprehensive labelling system for GM foods and ingredients (or borrow it from the Europeans).

Let everyone decide for themselves. If they are so wonderful, producers should be proud to say their foods contain GMO ingredients.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 11, 2013 A6

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