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Living in dreamland

Anyone who believes the $10,000 subsidy being offered by the city to purchasers of downtown condos will make a significant positive difference in attracting buyers is living in dreamland.

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It will simply be a tool for the enrichment of developers. If there is a glut of condos on the market the developers should drop their prices.

The conditions existing in the downtown that make it an undesirable place to live for many people will still be there.

JOHN FAST

Winnipeg

ñº

There is a better way for the city to support housing than writing a $10,000 cheque to select purchasers in one corner of downtown.

Right now, condo owners pay the same property tax rate as detached homeowners, even though condos save the city money in the long run.

A 50-unit condo building saves the city 49 garbage and recycling pickups each week, compared with servicing 50 houses. With less frontage, the condo building also saves the city thousands on sewer lines, roads, sidewalks and snow removal.

Why not pass some of those savings back to condo owners? It is time to return to the model that saw condos pay a lower property tax portion than more costly single detached homes.

PAUL HESSE

Winnipeg

ñº

I cannot believe in my home province of Manitoba I am reading about the appalling conditions for the poor in rooming houses on the same day there is a proposal to subsidize the rich. This is not the kind of country nor the kind of government I want.

A subsidy of $10,000 would triple the housing allowance currently in place and even perhaps allow for some upgrading of current facilities.

Rather than bailing out businesses that build luxury condominiums on speculation, we can actually do something with that money to address a problem that has been festering for years.

I do not want my tax dollars helping to pay for middle-class people living in luxury condominiums. I want to spend my tax dollars offering the poverty-stricken among us an opportunity to live in dignity.

Until that happens, none of us will be able to walk the streets of Winnipeg in safety.

LINDA EPP

Winnipeg

A costly mistake

Re: Native firefighters evicted from hotel (July 19). How is it the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters gets away with this dishonest and disrespectful behaviour?

Misty Lake Lodge made one mistake. It provided unfailing acceptance and accommodation of people who were evacuated from their homes by a flood.

They are still paying for it and they seem to be the only ones who are. In contrast, the MANFF co-ordinators involved are showing themselves to be selfish, childish, irresponsible, unprofessional, abusive of their positions and capable of using and damaging another's resources with no appreciation or recompense.

BARB EASTVELD

Winnipeg

ñº

I find it odd the owners of Misty Lake Lodge are unable to collect on debts owed them while employees of Indian and Northern Affairs are presumably being accommodated in other facilities, including resorts, throughout the province as they go about their business.

I'm hardly surprised at the double standard being applied here. It appears once again those who manage on behalf of the federal government are entitled to five-star treatment, while the owners of facilities contracted out by the same are reduced to bankruptcy because of the dysfunctional capacity to administer programs with transparency, let alone efficiency.

DAN DONAHUE

Winnipeg

A meaningless number

There are several gaps in your July 18 story Probing long-term effects of spanking that make it difficult to assess and understand just how valid the research may or may not be.

The group of individuals that experienced more punitive backgrounds demonstrated a 1.3 per cent increase in health risks compared to the group that didn't report physical punishment. Without a brief statistical description, this number appears insignificant, lacks context and is essentially meaningless.

The research is based on individuals self-reporting their personal childhood histories. Without an explanation of the research controls put into place to remedy the shortcomings of this style of research, the validity of the findings should be questioned.

There is scant mention of many of the intervening variables that may be having an impact on the research question, variables such as poverty, the age and maturity at which point one has become a parent, family and community cohesiveness and the lack of creative problem-solving skills.

While I certainly share the researcher's values about the topic, and can also appreciate how difficult it is to translate academic research into something that is understandable to the newspaper readership, a few statements addressing these issues (from the researcher or the reporter) would enhance clarity amid the ongoing debate about this critical issue.

RANDY KROEKER

Faculty of education

University of Winnipeg

ñº

As one who "endured" spanking, I can say that it had a very beneficial effect on me and my siblings.

Since our mother, a single parent and businesswoman, had to be absent from the home for long periods of time, we were raised by our nanny, an understanding and gentle woman.

We were not saints. But we knew her word was the law. And if we misbehaved, we had to face the consequences when our mother returned, which was a spanking.

Did it teach us anything? Absolutely. We are responsible for our actions and have to bear the consequences.

All of us grew up to be responsible and successful members of society.

JERZY BIBIK

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2013 A16

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