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Repeating the big lie

Once again you refer to the "NDP's spending addiction" (Voters need more than a shuffle, Editorials, Oct. 19). This continues to be a mantra of the Conservative party and of the Free Press. It is also a manifestation of the "big lie."

The NDP is as cost-conscious as any government. Both my wife and I worked in occupations funded by the public purse that saw significant belt-tightening under the NDP. Reducing budgets and holding salary increases to a minimum have existed under both governments, but were particularly harsh and unnecessary in health care under the Filmon conservatives in the 1990s.

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The whole purpose of government is to tax and spend. That is its primary mandate; it's a good thing. The sooner we understand this and stop criticizing the government for a spending addiction, the sooner we can get on with building a better Manitoba.




I fully agree that the premier needs more than a cabinet shuffle to reset the political mood in Manitoba. However, it seems Greg Selinger is reluctant to deal forthrightly with the problems now facing his government and has opted for what is really window dressing.

It is unrealistic to expect tangible benefits from this exercise. It amounts to pouring old wine into other bottles. It will taste the same.

Instead of steamrolling ahead with his questionable programs and legislation, the premier is well-advised to seek a new mandate from the voters. Using the same measure he used to negate the need for a referendum to raise the PST, he can always undo the fixed-election-date requirement and call an election.




Regarding the new cabinet, except for one, they all look like do-good white people. I hope they are not ignorant as well.




Reprehensible decision

It is beyond reprehensible that beleaguered judge Lori Douglas must now have her medical expenses reviewed by the judiciary inquiry (New turn in Douglas case, Oct. 17). What is wrong with the wheels of justice, and who exactly is behind this public skewering?

I cannot believe how cold-hearted the legal administration is to the circumstances of one of our finest legal minds. That Douglas must now endure even further disrespect from her administration and the legal community is beyond despicable.

How sad that our legal community cannot see beyond its own embarrassment to grant this woman even the dignity of medical expense reimbursement. We grant those accused of the most heinous crimes more leeway than this.




Attitudes equally racist

Ralph Paul's Oct. 15 letter, Treaties are forever, in response to a previous letter from Cal Paul, begins with reasonable assertions about the unfair treatment he and his ancestors have received at the hands of the Canadian government over the past 100-plus years. But his comment that immigrants to Canada between 1896 and 1921 were "the deadbeats of Europe" suggests not only that his facts are skewed but also that his attitudes are as racist as the ones he complains about.

My ancestors, who came to Canada during the period he mentioned, were not wealthy but they were hard-working, honest, decent people, like the majority, I would suggest of those who came to Canada to build a better life for their children and grandchildren. They, and tens of thousands of other families like them, helped build many of the fundamentally good things about Canada in those years. They also suffered prejudice and hardship and unfair conditions.

As the saying goes, "We are all treaty people." I believe Paul has rights that have been trampled, and justice is due. He won't find his justice by unjustly lashing out at me and mine.




Len Flett believes my Oct. 11 letter is uneducated vitriol, yet I notice he did not bother to argue with the comments I made regarding tax dollars and mismanagement of funds.

As a Canadian citizen, I have the right to speak my mind on any subject I please. That my opinions do not match those of Flett is just too bad.




Knight image colonial

Murray McNeill's Oct. 18 story about the Mennonite Central Committee thrift store, Furniture thrift store just a front to help poor, is good. But there is one part of it that strikes a wrong chord.

As a Mennonite, I find it offensive that he likens the work of the store to a "white knight" riding in. From my understanding, this image is overtly colonial and completely undermines the work that MCC does -- namely working with those on the margins to make resources available to them and empower them, not saving the day or coming to the rescue.

I would not want MCC to be portrayed as a white knight. I would not want others to take that image of MCC with them.


East St. Paul


Analogy cuts both ways

Pamela Wallin's lawyer, Terrence O'Sullivan (Wallin poised to fight suspension, Oct. 19), suggests that in suspending some of its members without hearings, Canada's Senate is "the equivalent of a Third World dictatorship sending its political irritants into exile."

Since our prime ministers appoint senators without hearings or democratic elections, would O'Sullivan also suggest the very formation of the Senate is the equivalent of a Third World dictatorship elevating its political favourites into privilege?

The dictatorship analogy cuts both ways. An appointed cadre of political sycophants has no place in a democratic legislature. Abolish the Senate.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 22, 2013 A8

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