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Mind-boggling traffic

I support Coun. Dan Vandal's motion to examine truck traffic on Provencher Boulevard (Truckers slam bid to ban rigs, Sept. 13). I am a person with mobility issues who lives on Provencher. The semi traffic on this street is mind-boggling. Also of great concern is their speeds.

While the roadbed might be built for heavy trucks, the neighbourhood is not. The racket and vibration disrupt life 24/7. I have had several close calls crossing the road as well.

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Maybe if we switched all the traffic over to Manitoba Truckers Association president Terry Shaw's street, he would see the problem.




Coun. Dan Vandal would do well to acknowledge the role of bike and bus-only lanes in increasing downtown traffic congestion, not to mention the costs and mere transfer of traffic burdens that would result from his proposal.




Speaking for a vision

Your Sept. 13 editorial PQ plan must be stopped rightly asks premiers and mayors to speak up about Quebec's misguided plan of "identity politics."

In my opinion, Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney's wait-and-see response is timid. It does not denounce the proposed law as discriminatory and prejudiced against a small minority.

Why is our vision of a tolerant and open-minded Canada left more and more up to the media? Where is the leadership in Ottawa to present us with the vision we want for our children and grandchildren as a land of good citizens?

Canadians must not allow elected officials to speak solely for us. We must speak up in our communities and not allow fear or narrow-mindedness to threaten what our ancestors brought from many lands and struggled so hard to make a better world.




Now that religious minorities in Quebec are facing the real possibility of violation by their government of their human right to practise their religion, it is time that other provinces welcome these refugees into our provinces and ensure their full rights as Canadian citizens.

As Pierre Elliott Trudeau said, "Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them."




We have to take a moment to consider the true motives behind Pauline Marois' plans. Is she truly interested in creating a secular public sphere in the tradition of the theory of certain liberal thinkers?

Rather, I would argue that Marois seems inclined to think that the current realities for a referendum regarding independence are not likely favourable for her cause. Additionally, it has been noted that various ethnic communities don't support the PQ in the same way the traditionally francophone communities have.

I'm of the opinion that Marois is simply putting forward this legislation to make the province less hospitable to those who might object to her eventual goal of Quebec independence. It is through this charter that Marois hopes to shift the demographics and ideas in her favour, not to work to create a secular public sphere.




Barring likely opposition from the Bloc Québécois, the federal government under the authority of an otherwise all-party resolution, should proceed with a Supreme Court reference on Quebec's proposed charter of parochial values legislation.

If and when the court determines its unconstitutionality, and should the province nevertheless then impose the notwithstanding clause to legally deny the guaranteed religious and multicultural rights of its citizens, it would then be up to the majority of the Quebec electorate to confirm or deny their support for the unveiled ethnic nationalism and overt discrimination that has long fuelled the province's separation movement.

As one of the founders of the UN's Responsibility to Protect doctrine, the Canadian government should take the horrid spectre of provincial intolerance out of the shadows and apply the responsibility-to-protect policy at home. The world is watching.




Fletcher's approach important

Re: Send Manitoba's power west (Sept. 9). I think that Steven Fletcher, as a geological engineer and member of Parliament, has advanced an important new approach to developing electric power generation in our North. It needs to be fully discussed and explored from engineering, environmental and economic perspectives.

He deserves thanks for having the wisdom and courage to advance a new solution to our current dilemma about power generation in Manitoba's North. Let the studies and discussions begin.




A true gentleman

Re: The buck stops with Pierce (Sept. 11). It has been my great pleasure to meet Buck Pierce several times, with the help of my daughter in the media, and all I can say is he is a real gent in the old-fashioned meaning of the word.

He is approachable and friendly, ready with a smile and helpful. There is nothing aloof about him, which is to be seen in his involvement in community events.

He says he has been truly blessed, and so have we by his presence and sportsmanship! The Bombers and the city will miss him, and I am glad to read he is making Winnipeg his permanent home.




A complete picture

Allan Levine's Sept. 11 column, UN impotent; R2P a hollow promise, gives a complete picture of the impotent position the United Nations is in now. Originally, the UN was defined as a "global association of governments facilitating co-operation in international law, security, economic development and social equity." Yet when Syria's President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons on his own population, the UN, with a membership of over 140 nations, could not totally agree to condemn Syria for this atrocity. World leaders should take strong measures to prevent this dangerous direction by Syria.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 14, 2013 A14

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