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Contesting the fire hall

I would like to thank Bartley Kives for his clear and honest synopsis of the current "mismanagement" of the fire hall replacement program (Where are the politicians?, Nov. 12). It is obvious the politicians are feeling a little sheepish about their recent activities, so to ensure the perpetrators and the public never forget the backroom wheeling and dealing that obviously went on, I think the Free Press should organize a fire-hall naming contest.

I believe the collective creativity of incensed citizens of Winnipeg could come up with some very interesting names that would immortalize all concerned with this fiasco.




Why is Bartley Kives the lone, brave voice raising the alarm? By my calculations, from what I read, close to $250 million have been wasted. Think of how our infrastructure could be seriously upgraded with that kind of money.

My two questions are: into whose pockets did that money go, and will anyone ever be brought to account or will they be allowed to retire quietly? We have no right in Winnipeg to laugh at Toronto.



Jets practice inappropriate

Re: Jets take time to reflect (Nov. 12). The Jets made a big thing about their relationship with the military yet they do not recognize the importance of Remembrance Day.

Most businesses are closed between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., but the Jets are having a practice.

Are they breaking the law? Are they exempt from the legislation?

I do not think it is right for them to be practising at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.




In order to honour our soldiers past and present appropriately, I feel compelled to pass on proper etiquette for wearing a poppy.

A poppy should be worn on the left side and only until sunset on Nov. 11. I have encountered many wearing their poppies weeks after in past years.


East St. Paul

Get ready for onslaught

I bet there were some recent Free Press letter writers who were blubbering in their porridge on Nov. 9 after reading the article by Mary Agnes Welch and Carol Sanders, Band-Aid solution, which states that "nearly 40 per cent of all Manitoba First Nations have lost control of their finances due to mismanagement."

I suggest your editorial staff prepare to be inundated with letters in the coming week claiming Welch's and Sanders' article is "patently false."



One small step

The government has taken a small but correct step toward addressing the sorry state of graduate education in the province (Grant opens door for Brandon U to offer post-graduate science degree, Nov. 9).

Manitoba has always contributed far less to graduate education than expected, given we have 3.7 per cent of Canada's population. Specifically, our universities enrol and graduate only two per cent of Canada's doctorate students, a number that has stayed relatively constant over recent years.

And this lack of graduate students contributes to our poor performance with national granting agencies. Over the last five years, for example, Manitoba researchers received only 2.57 per cent of grants from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The shortfall of one per cent represents about $20 million in additional funding.

A major factor in our under-performance is the failure to permit and properly fund graduate programs at all institutions with qualified faculty. If the announced support for graduate studies at Brandon University reflects a change in policy, then perhaps Manitoba universities will finally be able to contribute more fully to Canadian research and the education of graduate students.


University of Winnipeg

Impressive memory

I was heartened to read the testimony of Winnipeg Police Service Const. Jean-Paul Landry offered during the trial of Casandra Knott (Wife said husband 'deserved' stabbing, cop testifies, Nov. 6).

His memory of even the most minute detail of events almost three years previous was impressive.

The Winnipeg Police Service should have him conduct professional development courses on ways to develop and improve long-term memory.

The first of his colleagues to attend should be those who were with Derek Harvey-Zenk the evening before he crashed into Crystal Taman.

For all of those officers seemingly have profound difficulty with exercising the memory process as witnessed by their appalling testimony during the Taman inquiry.



Discomfort with spending

Re: Cost of police HQ rises again (Nov. 6). Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis cannot be happy with city priorities that can allow a Public Safety Building cost to reach $211 million while community building efforts are far down the list of initiatives to be given proper attention.

Nor should most of the rest of us be comfortable with the money being spent on this edifice. At $99 million, it was already a hugely expensive makeover. Now it is costing much, much more. We should be demanding an inquiry to discover who benefited.

The final cost will represent almost six years of city street construction and repairs, at the current level of expenditures in that category.




What do the new airport terminal, the new museum, the new police headquarters, the new football stadium and the new rail underpass at Plessis Road all have in common?

Never on time. Never on budget. No one ever accountable.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 14, 2013 A12

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