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Getting to the playoffs

Re: 'Win' back in Winnipeg (Sept. 9). It was three hours of magnificent Blue defence, dismal Blue offence and far too many penalties that turned the Banjo Bowl into our first win at Investors Group Field.

Now let's celebrate by asking our elementary school students to write lines on the blackboard: "The Blue Bombers won a game." Perhaps such an initiative will catapult them into the playoffs.

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It's high time the Winnipeg Blue Bombers grew up as an organization. Conventional wisdom in sports says you never give the opposition something to put up on their locker-room bulletin board.

It was one thing for Troy Westwood to call the Saskatchewan Roughrider fans "banjo-pickin' inbreds" 10 years ago. It is quite another to perpetuate this classless insult year after year by calling the Winnipeg end of the home-and-home series the "Banjo Bowl."

As a season ticket holder (but not for much longer), I am disgusted with the lack of class this organization shows.




Why was your Sept. 6 piece Bombers pray for a win, and more in the front news section? It contains no top news.

The Blue Bombers themselves would be quite right to be insulted by this article, which implies their group of human beings is unable to defeat other groups of human beings in a football match without supernatural support.

The piece could happily find its place in a faith or sports section, or beside the very useful horoscopes. One can only hope this mishap will serve as a warning about the depths of journalistic mediocrity to which a newspaper can sink.




Tax oversight fixed

Your Sept. 9 editorial Credit unions struck suggests the government has been "mum" on a technical tax issue related to credit unions. This is incorrect.

To clarify, this drafting oversight was identified by tax professionals earlier this summer and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had quickly committed to fixing the problem as soon as possible. Specifically, this technical issue will be addressed in legislation this fall. This will apply retroactively, meaning no credit union will be disadvantaged.

This has been communicated to both to tax professionals and national organizations representing credit unions. Finally, I should note this was also publicly communicated in late August -- as reported in an article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press online.


Office of the Minister of Finance



Misinformed activism

Gordon Sinclair ends his Sept. 5 column with the update on his earlier column, At U of W, the end justifies the means. As a responsible and ethical company, we take seriously our dedication to the well-being of the communities in which we live and work.

It is unfortunate the University of Winnipeg has chosen to refuse Enbridge funding of the Eco-Kids on Campus program based on the misinformed and misplaced activism of a very few university students. This funding would have benefited 130 inner-city children this year, and without it, six student instructor jobs may also be lost.

Eco-Kids is an empowering and proven program that provides inner-city Grade 6 students, the majority aboriginal, with enriched science instruction at the U of W. It also introduces them to a post-secondary institution with a view to removing psychological barriers that may prevent them from considering university as a real possibility in their futures.

Over the four years of Enbridge's sponsorship, we proudly contributed $100,000 and, according to the university, some 500 inner-city students have benefited from the program.

Sadly, the program may not continue unless another funding sponsor can be found. The result is real harm to underprivileged children for the sake of a small minority of university students fortunate to be in post-secondary studies who are misrepresenting Enbridge, our brand, our safety record, and our serious dedication to the environment.


Enbridge Pipelines



Corruption flourishes

Gwynne Dyer's Sept. 5 column, Putin's last decade, contains nothing new. There was always corruption in Russia during the Communist era. This type of conduct will continue to flourish.

The G20 Summit is an ideal platform for the autocratic President Vladimir Putin to show the world everything is perfect in Russia. Another showcase for Putin will be the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.




Speaking the truth

In your Sept. 7 story, Leak on ER death raises fears, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority president Arlene Wilgosh says nurses won't come forward to tell us doctors are killing babies because they think they might get fired.

Her answer is we need a "critical-incident process," whereby the public can't find out what's going on. I disagree.

If we live in a society where nurses won't speak out to save babies from incompetent doctors because their paycheques come first, that's a problem no rules or regulations can fix. Either that, or it's a sign their salaries and benefits are so grossly out of whack compared to what they could earn in the private sector they will do literally anything to hang onto their jobs.

And, by the way, what does it say about hospital management if nurses think they have reason to fear retaliation for telling the truth? Either way, hiding the facts from the public is not the answer.




So, acting health minister Dave Chomiak thinks it's "unfortunate" a critical incident report was leaked in the midst of an inquiry into the death of Brian Sinclair at the Health Sciences Centre in 2008 (Leak on ER death, Sept 6).

An inquiry must review all the evidence. The new evidence is certainly not "unfortunate" for Sinclair, his family, his friends, the public or the inquiry. Maybe the leak is "unfortunate" for the provincial government, the Health Department and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Or maybe Chomiak just made an "unfortunate" choice of words? You decide.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2013 A8


Updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM CDT: adds links

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