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Meaningless ideologies

It seems political parties and their traditional ideologies have become meaningless, especially in Manitoba. As a life-long leftie, I am dismayed that the NDP, through its regressive sales tax increase, has stepped up its campaign to aggressively attack the poor and disenfranchised.

These are strange days indeed when the Conservative party assumes the role of the socially conscious by threatening to challenge Bill 20 in court (Tories to fight increase in court (July 3). Does anyone really know their left from their right anymore?

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I have received no direction or correspondence that the Manitoba Finance Department has gone through the correct channels that make it legal for me to collect the increased sales tax.

What do I do when a customer refuses to pay the extra tax? If we throw all the business owners and all the citizens in jail, who is left in Manitoba?




No responsible government charged with looking after the social and economic welfare of its electors can provide the services required for health, education, housing and social assistance without an adequate source of revenue. It must not bury itself or any future government in debt to be paid by future taxpayers.

When the late highly respected former premier Duff Roblin introduced the sales tax to Manitoba, he was vilified. Roblin forced the amalgamation of rural school districts -- a very controversial move.

Roblin also believed the government's investment in developing the Red River Floodway was the right thing to do.

How I now wish that Roblin had won the Progressive Conservative leadership race. He was a truly progressive conservative who believed government should not only provide leadership but it must tax to provide the monies required to fulfil its responsibilities.




Marking a departure

It is sad but true that human behaviour changes only when we experience consequences. Sunburns, hangovers and fines are all examples. The conclusion by one judge that travelling 112 kilometres per hour in a 60 km/h zone, even one marked for construction, and even when it leads to death, does "not represent a marked departure from the normal standard of care" sets a new standard for Manitobans.

Randy Turner's report on the many drivers who text while driving (Red flag raised on roadwork, July 3) is no surprise to anyone. Is there a reason why police could not deploy cadets or commissionaires to construction sites to enforce existing but widely ignored laws?

Then those who need to text someone that "I'm in my car" can pay $200 for the treat while the money raised can make our roads safer for all.




I am absolutely appalled by Justice Doug Abra's not guilty verdict in the death of flag woman Brittany Murray. To suggest her actions had any involvement in this tragedy physically sickens me. To also suggest Mitchell Blostein's speeding and carelessness didn't deviate from the norm or, as Abra puts it, wasn't a "marked departure" from other drivers, is not only ludicrous but sends a dangerous message.

But I guess we shouldn't be surprised by the outcome of this trial, since Abra displays no marked departure from his peers.




United the solitudes

What an inspired and inspiring piece by Margo Goodhand (Tour de force of community achieved en français, June 29).

Inspired because it encapsulates in such a delicate way the "two solitudes" reality that still lingers. Inspiring because it somehow reveals the strong ray of light that can dissipate the historical shadows when people of goodwill bring those two solitudes together.

A unique event such as the 100th anniversary celebration of the French weekly La Libert© opens the minds and hearts of our two founding communities as to how our French-English heritage is one of Canada's most treasured riches.

It is most refreshing to see what Sophie Gaulin, editor of La Libert©, originally from faraway France, has accomplished. She has shown us in a very real way how it is possible to dissipate the suspicions that have for so long separated us.




Removing choice

Re: Province weeds out synthetic pesticides (June 29). Once again our freedom of choice is being removed by the Selinger government. Minister Gord Mackintosh states that "the medical evidence has never been clearer" regarding the risks of synthetic pesticides. If this is the case, why are these products approved by Health Canada?

I would suggest the proposed legislation is simply hyperbole to accommodate a small number of anti-pesticide activists. A number of weeks ago my wife and I attended the Royal Canadian Legion convention in Thunder Bay, Ont., where the pesticide ban has been in place for some time.

This scenic port city is now a blanket of dandelions. Is this what Manitobans really want -- our villages, towns and cities covered with obnoxious weeds?




Unsubstantiated assumption

Terry Calof's July 2 letter, City traffic signage confusing, discusses the confusing variation in traffic lights and signals in Winnipeg.

However, he jumps to an unsubstantiated assumption. What evidence is there that Winnipeg has a "traffic engineer"?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 4, 2013 A12

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