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Posted: 08/20/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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Restructuring the Bombers

As a 40-year Blue Bomber season-ticket holder, I thank you for your Aug. 17 editorial, Give fans a stake in Bombers, and for Bartley Kives' Aug. 18 Sunday Xtra column (Community-owned? Punt that idea). It is refreshing to read your insightful comments.

The problems plaguing the club have been patently obvious for some time. The ongoing changes of coaches and players have resulted in little success and nothing sustainable. The revolving door has to end. It is time to stop expecting better outcomes by repeating the same pattern. It is time to finally evaluate the off-field aspects of the organization.

The situation requires restructuring, starting with the board of directors in particular. It is time to put the underpinnings of board governance in place. Clear requirements and a transparent process leading to the appointment or election of board members are crucial, as are ongoing board training and defined limits on serving as a board member.

Finally, it is time to clarify role responsibilities. There can be only one CEO, not several.




Your Aug. 17 editorial provides an enlightened view to the future of a vibrant Winnipeg Football Club. Every Manitoban has a stake in the future of the Bombers.

It should start with an initiative to redefine the structure of the board, drawing on the various models your editorial provides. The current model does not fit today's context.

The board should be prepared to dedicate resources to governance and make a long-term investment that will result in a more accountable and engaged stakeholders who can direct their efforts in support of an institution that is an important part of our social fabric. Good teams start with effective governance.




I think that the Saskatchewan model is certainly one that should be examined.

As with Red River Co-op or any credit union, the Bombers should offer memberships that bring with it both responsibility and reward. Those who choose to be members will elect their representatives on the board.

Because of the financial commitment made to the club by the city and province, they could continue to appoint a representative. The elected board members would be accountable to the membership of the club. This would certainly be a more democratic version of this community-owned club than the current crew piloting this foundering ship.




How many quarterbacks does it take to lose a CFL game? One? Nope. Two? Nope. Three? Yep.

Maybe the Bombers should adopt a major-league baseball strategy and have a dozen replacements in the bullpen in case the guy on the field bombs.




The bad news is that the Bombers lost again. The good news is that Booster Juice sales are up 20 per cent.




Look who's dangerous

It seems our prime minister has made time this summer to call NDP and Liberal ideas "dangerous." (Partisan speech from PM in North, Aug. 19). I wish he had time to explain the senators' misspending, which has caused so much trouble and cost to taxpayers.

Let's put hype where it belongs and start a new summer pastime of accountability.




Unconscionable decision

Re: Rent hikes loom for thousands (Aug. 16). With so many families in critical housing need, it is unconscionable and economically short-sighted that funding is being cut for housing programs. If anything, federal investment in social housing should increase.

Ottawa needs to step up and do its share rather than offload its responsibilities to other levels of government.




Keep traffic flowing

I disagree with Steve LaFleur's Aug. 12 column, Barriers to more than feet. We do not have high-speed traffic arteries through the city as other large cities do.

In the 1970s, 40 per cent of traffic going from one end of the city to the other moved through Portage and Main. It is my guess this is the same today. I believe it is better to have pedestrians cross the street underground than to slow traffic even more.




Eye exams pay off

I greatly appreciate Dr. Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones' Aug. 15 column, A vision for eye tests.

As a certified reading clinician, I frequently have schools and parents refer their child to me for academic difficulties when the problem has been with the child's vision.

When I began teaching, there was standard routine vision testing or eye-exam programs for school-age children and youth. Now many students, both young and older, as well as new Canadians are falling through the cracks.

Not only do vision problems make it difficult to learn to read, they can also contribute to academic, social, behaviour and motor difficulties. Comprehensive eye testing needs to be part of our school system. Those few minutes to check can make a huge difference.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2013 A8

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