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Save the neigh-bourhood

Re: Horse owners say nay to RM plan, Free Press, Sept. 18.

Horse owners are not the only ones vehemently opposed to the RM of Springfield proposal to rezone the area around Birds Hill Park. Even the current pace of rural development and Oakbank subdivision-building has placed a tremendous amount of stress on the park, surrounding area and wildlife. According to MPI, this area has the highest incidence of deer collisions in the province. This will increase significantly if habitat is further reduced and traffic increases.

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There would also be a significant rise in commuter traffic into the city on roads like Garven and Dugald that can barely handle the current usage.

I moved to this area more than 15 years ago for the quiet rural lifestyle that will be destroyed by the short-sighted RM proposal. Public outcry has prevented council from its development plans in 2000. Hopefully history will repeat itself.




In Horse owners say nay to RM plan, the author states that "RM officials say there has been little opposition to the plan except by the horse community around Birds Hill." To my knowledge, no poll was taken at the meetings opposing the development plan that indicates how many horse people versus dog people vs. country home owners were in attendance.

Certainly at the last meeting, no RM official introduced his or her self as being in attendance to take a poll regarding what type of Springfield residents were in attendance.

Without much thought, I can list more than one dozen kennels or multi-dog facilities in Springfield. We, like the horse owners, moved to an animal-friendly rural setting to enjoy our animals in a peaceful country setting, while being far enough from our neighbours to decrease the likelihood of conflicts over barking or odours.

We are afraid for our peace and quiet. We are afraid of noisy and dangerous traffic. We are afraid of contaminated water. We are afraid of overcrowding. We are afraid of being forced out by smaller lots and urban development. We moved here to live in a rural setting while more and more urban development is being forced on us, and we do not own horses.

We are told that until the plan goes to third reading, at which time we can appeal to the province, our only recourse is to go to our councilors. That is like hiring the big bad wolf to take care of Red Riding Hood. They are the ones pushing for the new development plan.


Cooks Creek


Try chapter on snowmobiles

Re: Province stomps down on First Nations moose derby (Sept. 18). I have just finished perusing some history books and am unable to determine how bullets and gasoline, let alone a derby, constitute traditional hunting practices.




The over-hasty editorial Pesticide ban skews evidence (Sept. 18) suggests the Free Press editorial board may be at risk of being considered a cheap date. The well-financed industry dog-and-pony show blows into town, gets a quick meeting with your editorial mavens and, voila, an editorial supportive of the pesticide industry appears.

Interesting too that CropLife Canada (Orwell would be proud) is relying so heavily on "science." It's well known that Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency relies on industry-supplied data and studies necessary for determining safety and usefulness.

And given that the current federal government holds science in such high esteem and adequately funds its science-based regulatory agencies, one might be forgiven for not taking industry assurances, with their obvious vested interests, at face value.

Whatever else it might say, Health Canada acknowledges the risk to vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and children, and recommends minimizing unnecessary exposure to and reliance on pesticides.




From the mouths of babes

I often take my grandson, who is 21/2, to a nearby park play structure. He is just learning to talk and is very curious about what things are called.

Every time we arrive at the park I go around and pick up the litter that has been left on the ground and place it in the always-nearby trash can. I told him the proper word to describe the people that leave this garbage on the ground.

Now when we go the park and as I'm cleaning up the garbage, I say to him, "Oh oh, who do you think has been here, Jake?"

He says "sobs." He can't make his "L" sounds yet.




Registry makes sense

Your Sept. 17 story RCMP long aware of cost of killing long-gun registry reports on how the government is working to end a firearm registry that under Canadian law is essentially constitutional as well as sensible. On the previous page is the story 13 die in shooting in U.S. capital, which reveals the consequences of not having such a registry.

In the U.S., the insanity of unlimited firearm ownership up to and including semi-automatic weapons is based on a basic misinterpretation of the constitution's second amendment, which was meant to allow the individual states the ability to form a state guard or militia.

Background checks and registry make sense for law enforcement purposes. Law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear. In fact, if the firearm is stolen, there is a record clearing the owner when the theft is reported.

I am an owner of several firearms and have been for years. But unlike some, I do not sleep with them.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 23, 2013 A8

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