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Impassable in winter

Your Oct. 10 editorial, Clearing the snow, states that the current policy for snow clearance on residential streets is "down to the bare pavement and curb to curb."

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I question the accuracy of this statement. I live in the St. James area, and Bruce Avenue was not once cleared curb to curb. By the end of last winter, two cars could barely pass in certain sections, and heaven forbid you encountered anything larger.

It scares me to think that plowing on residential streets could be decreased even further this winter. If the city does adopt this so-called new policy, perhaps streets will need to be designated one-way only. I am sure that parents taking their children to one of the four schools located on Bruce Avenue will be thrilled with this.



A close look is needed

It is unfortunate that Graham Lane (No skin in the game, Oct. 9), instead of focusing on Hydro's expansion plan, elects to go political. There is only a short time available for a serious review of the plan, while one can go on politicking forever. Besides, can the latter do anything but cloud, confuse and confound the former?

So unless you have evidence of NDP government hanky-panky in the matter (wouldn't that be risking "skin in the game?"), I'd think it better to direct all attention toward a meaningful examination of the plan itself.

To do that, I maintain it will be necessary to look deeply into Hydro's latest two projects, Wuskwatim and Pointe du Bois.

The Wuskwatim situation is far worse than anybody seems able to catch on to: a full quadrupling of the costs from what the estimate was just a few years before commitment, by which time it had swelled to $900 million.

At Pointe du Bois, all the indicators and evidence I have seen point to a total fiasco of a $560-million upper-management decision. Maybe the question should be: What skin in the game has this upper management?

I cannot see how anybody can hope to be able to evaluate the expansion plan without first getting to the bottom of what went wrong with Hydro's latest two projects.




Well done, Graham Lane. At some point, Manitobans have to get the picture that the NDP is spending our money, not theirs, and it is the future costs that will really hurt.



Parsing anthem's origins

In their Oct. 8 letters, Singing for religious neutrality, I can appreciate the comments of John Paskievich and Dan Stepko on Ed Feuer's view of the words used for O Canada (O Canada lyrics -- ignorance can be bliss, Oct. 5).

We need be reminded that the original French wording is from a poem by poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. In 1880, the lieutenant-governor of Quebec commissioned Calixa Lavallée, a musician, to write music to the poem for the St. Jean Baptiste Society's upcoming celebration. Lavallée was a French-Canadian-American who served in the U.S. Civil War with the Union Army.

The music was written to the poem, not words to the music. The English version of our national anthem was translated from the French in 1906 and has been reworded many times since.

The French wording has never changed, and rewording a poem seems odd, if not questionable. The score has not changed. It is a beautifully written patriotic poem.

Many today consider the song Mon Pays by Gilles Vigneault as being as precious, and I doubt the wording would alienate anyone except those who abhor the cold of winter. It is unlikely that either Mon Pays or The Maple Leaf Forever would survive a translation in either of Canada's official languages suitable for the politically correct.




The young lady who sings the national anthem before each Blue Bomber game does a nice job of it, in my opinion. Nice voice and good tempo.

Some singers in the past sing it like a dirge.

It is a sad statement about the Bombers' year when the best thing about it is the lady who sings our national anthem.



Others have managed it

Re: RCMP put brakes on annual bedpush (Oct. 8). I find it ridiculous that this worthwhile fundraising event had its highway permit pulled due to the obvious inattention of a few drivers.

It is amazing how fundraising events such as the Registered Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa (RABRAI) has attracted over 10,000 cyclists yearly for 41 years with no major accidents.

This is all thanks to local law enforcement and drivers co-operating with event participants and organizers.

I hope the bedpush organizers don't abandon the current format but instead present the RCMP with a better road-safety plan, such as digital signage warning drivers of the event ahead.

RABRAI's exemplary safety record shows it is possible to have such events on the road when the stakeholders involved co-operate.



Inspiration to girls

Despite her not winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai, at the tender age of 16, has already demonstrated what many human-rights crusaders can only dream of. Malala is an inspiration to millions of girls all over the globe.

Her battle for girls' education began when she was barely 11, at a time when the extremists threatened to blow up schools that taught girls. She single-handedly stood her ground against the Taliban threat.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 12, 2013 A16

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