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Excellent civic strategy

It is now becoming clear as to how the downtown development strategy fits together with the other city programs.

  • Build 3.5 kilometres of rapid transit -- so people can't get too far away from the city centre.
  • Give condo developers a subsidy to build something when the marketplace has limited demand.
  • When the marketplace does not rise to the occasion, subsidize it rather than have builders reduce the prices.
  • Allow streets to become pothole obstacle courses to discourage people from venturing too far away from the city centre.
  • Allow recreation centres, hockey rinks and swimming pools to deteriorate to the point of being condemned, thus encouraging people to venture downtown for activities.

This is an excellent, well-thought-out strategy. I would, however, like to suggest one small addition.

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When the new owners take possession, maybe Mayor Sam Katz could take them out to dinner at a restaurant where he has an interest, give them some baseball tickets and then charge it to his hospitality budget.

While they are having dinner they can all talk about what legal mechanism will be used to recover money if someone does not stay five years and what happens if someone passes away within that time.




Re: Condo cash on shaky ground (July 23). Ideally, Winnipeg city councillors would be able to utilize their research staff to help them make sound decisions without reconsidering them when the heat gets turned up.

I implore our councillors to vote according to their own ideals, rather then simply following the herd on a variety of issues. It is the reason, after all, that we continue to return them to office.




I have been out of touch with things lately, but I just heard something at a coffee shop which seems ludicrous. The City of Winnipeg is about to give $10,000 to people who buy condoms?

They are totally in league with big pharma. The rhythm method or abstinence advertising would be much more cost-effective.




On July 23, I was driving down Provencher Boulevard, where the lanes are not distinguishable. We are well into summer and no painted lines yet. Notre Dame Avenue in St. Boniface is no better.

However, as long as city councillors have their ward allowances increased by $40,000 a year and try to push through a $10,000 grant to people who can afford condos in the waterfront area of downtown, I guess all is well in Winnipeg.




A stinging rebuttal

In reference to the nearly 1,000 people who have requested mosquito-spraying buffer zones around their properties ('Peggers not scared of catching West Nile, July 15), I would hope that each and every one of them becomes infected by the West Nile virus.

I have said for the past 38 years that I would never wish upon anyone what I and 11 other Winnipeggers in 1975 endured when we were infected with mosquito-borne western equine encephalitis.

But I have since decided it would be best for all Winnipeggers if every one of these misinformed people endured what we have. If they spent more time getting educated, and less time protesting, maybe a few of them would realize the greater good that is attained through our spraying program than in having to deal with the permanent after-effects of being infected.




Confounding gun control

In his July 22 letter, Gun culture is the problem, Eric Durham makes reference to the Newtown, Aurora and Columbine mass shootings in denouncing U.S. gun culture as being responsible for "the rocky road it's chosen to go" regarding firearms control.

But what about the equally deadly shootings in Britain, Germany and Norway during the same period? Were they also due to poor resolve in controlling guns, or were they further proof that determined killers will get their way regardless of whether they have access to licenced or illegal weapons?

And while he was at it, he should have mentioned that South Africa, with far stricter gun laws than the U.S. or Canada, has a homicide rate more than four times greater than America largely because, as in almost all countries, no one can stop the flow of smuggled firearms.




Revealing a mindset

Re: G20 unveils plan to close tax loopholes (July 20). The idea that letting you keep your own money is somehow a "loophole" reveals the mindset in which the Keynesian redistributionists are mired. The implication is our money belongs to those who form governments rather than to those who earned it.

So far as advocating for the poor, where does former UN secretary general Kofi Annan think corporations get the money to pay taxes with? It is the poor citizens who pay when they act as consumers.

During the 18th century, poverty was reduced from 95 per cent of the population to 15 per cent in a capitalist America that had hard money and no income tax. Since the Keynesians gained influence with New Deal fiat currency and horrendous taxes, poverty has not been reduced one iota.

Creating more "loopholes" that allow the wealth creators to keep their own money is the economic answer to reducing poverty. It is the entrepreneur who drives the engine of poverty reduction, not the charismatic politician who manages to get himself elected, telling the even more ignorant he knows best how to spend other people's money.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 2013 A12

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