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Disputing percentages

Re: Have we turned Canada into a nation of freeloaders? (July 29). My perusal of recent Manitoba income tax return data suggests a much different perspective than Roslyn Kunin's conclusion that "58 per cent of us pay only five per cent of taxes."

Recent statistics indicate that in Manitoba non-taxable returns constitute only 32 per cent of all submitted returns, while on average those who submitted taxable returns pay out roughly 25 per cent of their incomes in taxes.

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In other words, nearly 70 per cent of Manitoba taxpayers add money to the national and provincial pots. Furthermore, virtually all citizens pay the PST, GST and (directly or indirectly) property taxes.

How do these data square with Kunin's assertion that "more than the bottom half of the population... contribute virtually nothing"?

EDWIN BUETTNER

Winnipeg

 

Regulating marijuana

Regarding your July 27 editorial Trudeau scores, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is to be commended for coming out strongly against marijuana prohibition. There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting children from drugs.

Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and frees users from the stigma of criminal records. What's really needed is a regulated market with age controls.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. This gateway is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Marijuana is less harmful than legal alcohol. The plant has never been shown to cause an overdose death. It makes no sense to waste tax dollars on failed marijuana policies that finance organized crime and facilitate the use of hard drugs. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children are more important than the message.

ROBERT SHARPE

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.

 

Shameful track record

Useless Braille in MP's flyer (SundayExtra, July 28). As a disability advocate, and constituent of Shelly Glover, I am very upset over the distribution of a flyer promoting the Harper government's record of removing barriers for Canadians with disabilities.

The federal government's track record on disability issues has been shameful. For example, it has recently cut funding to national disability organizations, like the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

What jobs have been created? I see little evidence of jobs being created for persons with disabilities by the federal government.

The back-slapping needs to stop. Glover's flyer is not only insulting, it's a misrepresentation of the facts. For a government that prides itself on being fiscally responsible, it's also a waste of taxpayers' money.

HARRY WOLBERT

Winnipeg

 

All creatures born free

To those animal lovers who take a stand against animals used in circuses (Misconceptions abound, Letters, July 26), good for you and bad for you.

I hope you have and never will go horseback riding or own one of God's beautiful creatures. They too were born free and not to be used by man. So, too, were your pet cats and dogs.

All animals were born free. But it is up to us humans to put right the mishandling of all animals. Many circuses treat their animals very well. Many do not.

Some horse owners (as I am) treat their equine friends better than their human contacts. And some horses are treated horribly. Do not use the same brush to tar all circuses. Judge yourselves first, before casting your stones.

JAMES TEMPLE

Cooks Creek

 

Transported to purgatory

Congratulation to the organizers of Transit to and from the July 26 Bomber game. It was an enjoyable experience.

Now if the coaches and upper management could do the same with what is happening on the field it would be a perfect season. I live in hope.

MARGO MIDDLETON

Winnipeg

 

This is how the demise of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is accomplished:

  • Being a stingy and cheap organization that won't spend money to acquire top athletes and trades away promising football players.
  • Constantly trying to convince the fans that they have discovered great talent in players that don't make the cut.
  • Having a history of continued failure to put on the field a truly competitive team.
  • Having a revolving door of head coaches.
  • Building a stadium on a site that hinders fans from getting to and from the game.
  • Going into massive debt with a new stadium and put a poor product on the field.
  • Being an organization that honestly believes that Winnipeg football fans are foolish enough to spend good money supporting a team that constantly causes disappointment and frustration.

KENNETH MILLER

East St. Paul

 

Servicing the public

I am shocked to learn that the public service tried to keep the 2008 Altus Clayton study hidden (Downtown 'quick fix' panned, July 26).

Who in the public service tried to keep this hidden and why? I always thought the public service was answerable to elected officials. Obviously not. Our councillors just voted themselves $40,000 to assist them running their offices, so they have no excuse to not know what is happening at city hall.

Quit waiting for Bartley Kives to do part of your job. Get on the job or you will be looking for new work.

JEAN DAVIDSON

Winnipeg

 

New trial welcomed

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Manitoba Justice officials for seeking a new trial against Michael Blostein (Crown seeks new trial in flag woman's death, July 27).

Now get Justice Doug Abra into some type of common-sense course, please.

LAWRIE GOALEN

Beausejour

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 30, 2013 A8

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