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Discounting city business

Re: Core-living incentives approved (July 18). Mayor Sam Katz fails to understand that while the free market does exist, the city is not in the business of providing discounts on housing for select few, regardless of timing or socio-economic status.

Additionally, the city should not be in the business of encouraging only condo development downtown. In order to achieve a vibrant neighbourhood, we need all forms of development, including large segments of affordable housing.

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Successful neighbourhoods have condos, mixed-use developments and affordable housing. Osborne Village is a prime (but fading) example.

While knocking $10,000 off the price of a condo may encourage an upper-middle-class citizen from the suburbs to move downtown, it fundamentally fails to help those who desperately need a home, especially in an area they already frequent.




I would be more than happy to receive a cheque from the city as "incentive" to stay in my home of 45 years, which needs repairs, but is situated in an established neighbourhood with access to grocery stores and other amenities.

I, for one, am tired of the efforts to prop up the downtown by artificial means. If developers have erred by producing too much inventory, they will have to absorb the loss or reduce their prices, as would any other business person.




Winnipeggers are rightly outraged at such a deal for condos selling at prices out of reach of the vast majority of middle-income earners, never mind the poor.

The part I support, however, is the five-year residency requirement. That is an excellent idea and should be encouraged for other condo developments across the city to promote sustainable communities surrounding the buildings' tenants.

Kudos for thinking outside the box.




Showing obvious bias

You have displayed obvious bias in your July 17 edition. Shelly Glover, the new Conservative heritage minister, receives more space and more prominence (No-nonsense MP dedicates life to her job) than your mention of the exposure of experiments on helpless aboriginal children held captive in residential schools (Feds used native kids as guinea pigs).

People in our own province were apparently subjects of this horrible undertaking by our own government. Are people like Shelly Glover somehow more worthy?




It is interesting to note that there was no mention of the party that was in power during this atrocity.

If it had been a Conservative government in power instead of a Liberal government led by Mackenzie King, I am sure the paper would have made mention of this fact.




Reading between the lines

Re: Justice has been denied (Letters, July 16). What is William J. Hutton saying when he divisively writes, "How could five white women on a jury panel of six find a white man guilty of killing a black teenager in the gun-crazy state of Florida?"

Is he saying that white people are incompetent to serve on juries in cases involving black people, especially "gun-crazy" white women?

And what is he saying when he writes, "The whole U.S. justice system is skewed in favour of white people. The laws were written by white people and enforced by white people"?

Is he saying that white people are incompetent to write and enforce laws, or that, somehow, laws against second-degree murder never apply to white or Hispanic people murdering black people?

Is he ultimately saying there are too many white people in America -- that justice is an as-if-genetic function of colour?

Finally, are these unspoken words the real reason George (Hispanic but white enough) Zimmerman has a date with the lynch mob?




The State of Florida would have more of a leg to stand on if the stand-your-ground law was applied fairly across the board. Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old African-American mother of three, is serving a 20-year sentence for discharging her firearm into the air to scare off her life-threatening husband. No one was hurt or killed in this incident.

The judge concluded the stand-your-ground law did not apply and no immunity was granted. A jury took a whopping 12 minutes to find Alexander guilty, and down came the mandatory minimum.

I previously thought that if Trayvon Martin had lived, he may have been able to use the stand-your-ground law in his favour because Zimmerman was the aggressor. But upon reading Alexander's case, I realized I was naive and racism is the corona of the Sunshine State.




I support William Hutton's right to express his opinion, grossly prejudiced as it is, but I'm puzzled as to how he thinks he knows better than the six people 3,200 kilometres away in a foreign country who sat through the whole trial in person and decided that George Zimmerman was not guilty.

If Hutton is right, then our Canadian legal system can save a fortune on judges and juries. We'll just get him a gavel and let him decide.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2013 A10

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