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A shrewd victory

Hotelier Michael Bruneau is to be congratulated for successfully concluding his negotiations with the provincial and federal governments of Manitoba and Canada, in which he was guaranteed significant financial compensation for costs incurred while accommodating flood evacuees at Gimli's Misty Lake Lodge (Misty Lake Lodge's future clears up, July 22).

More than 2,000 years ago, a high-ranking Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, developed a military treatise devoted to 13 aspects of war and designed to always ensure victory in battle. This treatise, The Art of War, is still used to this day by war-rooms and boardrooms alike.

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Chapter 6 in this treatise advises, "Know your enemies' weaknesses, know your own strengths."

Bruneau, possibly, has read The Art of War, since he employed Chapter 6 of this treatise in his negotiation strategy. By knowing his enemies' weaknesses of excessive government hubris and the fear of embarrassing government officials on high, and by using his own strengths of media coverage and public sympathy for his cause, Bruneau only had to ask himself, "Will my action (of going public with his position) embarrass the government to my advantage?" and his battle was won.




This sorry simple saga is the bureaucratic gong show of the year. It is hard to understand how any agency, responsible or otherwise, could allow hotel bills to accumulate to $2.6 million over two years.

Assuming invoices were submitted on a regular bases, the paper trail would be enormous and difficult to ignore. Hopefully, the ongoing review into the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters will identify the problem and rebuke the managers responsible. It is interesting to note MANFF is currently dealing with evacuees from the forest fires in the north.




Highlighting a contrast

In her intelligent and insightful column Death rituals and the circus animal (July 20), Melissa Martin highlights very well the vast contrast between the natural lives of free-living elephants and the disgusting conditions they are forced to endure in circuses.

And she correctly notes that, while wild animal "shows" became a sort of tradition in our society, we can and should consign them to the dustbin of history.

We are better than this, and phasing animal cruelty out of our amusements is a positive step.


Oxford, England


Content 'once over lightly'

I wonder if Free Press editors notice the irony of publishing the July 20 column U.S. news networks are 'lost' in the editorial pages while the new section 49.8 has become the in-depth news coverage part of the newspaper. At least that's what I think it is supposed to be.

I assume that the old Detour section was combined with the Feed Your Intellect section to produce a new, trendy, more relevant section. In my opinion this hybrid in the very kind of so-called news reporting that column writer Peter Dykstra is decrying.

Instead of in-depth articles, we now have lots of pictures, big typefaces and once-over-lightly content. Once again the strategy at the Free Press seems to be to reduce real content in favour of colour and flash, with the hopes these changes will somehow increase newspaper readership.

Those of us who are looking for real news and more comprehensive reporting will now have to look elsewhere.




Polson labelled wrongly

In the "Homes sold" feature of the July 20 Homes Section, you again incorrectly label Polson Avenue as being in West Kildonan when it is in fact in the North End.

Any expert who has lived on Mountain, Lansdowne, Cathedral and Scotia knows that after Polson comes Inkster, then Lansdowne, then Matheson, then McAdam, and then into West Kildonan.




Picture says it all

I thought it quite appropriate that the July 20 headline Report shows anti-bullying bill needed appears below the picture of a steer having his neck wrenched by a cowboy at the Manitoba Stampede. I'll say.




Check out your adviser

Thank you for the informative article respecting hidden fees (Know what your adviser earns? If not, you will soon enough, July 19).

I assumed it was the roll of the dice whether or not a financial adviser has an ethical duty to disclose those hidden fees.

I believe the same goes for whether an investor has taken the time to research the adviser and sponsoring firm.

First, prior to investing in mutual funds through an adviser, I suggest the investor go to the Canadian Securities Administrators website and do a national registration search of their adviser and sponsoring firm to see if any red flags should be raised prior. A very important link on this website is the "disciplinary history."

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) also has a very informative search called an "adviser report."

Second, let us not forget about an important document called a "know your client" form. I suggest all who are ready to invest research rules and regulations for the industry with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada and IIROC.

Perhaps it is time to take the investment industry one step further and have one federal regulatory body.




Leading to lewdness

Re: Graphic play will continue at fringe (July 22). What is the difference between this graphic display and pornography?

Desensitization will only lead to more lewd displays.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 24, 2013 A8

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