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Dining out in Morris

Morris is half an hour outside Winnipeg, and you make us sound like we are all from the cast of the movie Deliverance.

I have eaten at Thea's Diner and gotten burnt chicken, like the person in your Nov. 28 story Stigma of hate surrounds town. My boyfriend ordered a Swiss mushroom melt that had spoiled mushrooms in it. Our server never returned to our table to ask how our food was, so we were left to go up to pay for meals we couldn't even eat.

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The prices are also extremely high for Morris. In order to be competitive out here, you can't offer things like oxtail or lobster dinners for $18-$28 a plate and expect people to return to your restaurant frequently.

This has nothing to do with discrimination because she happens to be black. There are other black people leading normal lives out here. Why, because she has a failing restaurant, does this have to mean that Morris is a horrible backwoods place to live?




The part of this story is most disconcerting is that RM of Morris Reeve Ralph Groening and Coun. Mike Hinchey would describe the incidents of racism as "imagined" or something they "don't honestly believe."

In my opinion, they both need to enrol in a discrimination-awareness workshop. No elected official should even think racism doesn't exist.

Perception is everything, and until stronger leadership is shown, Morris will suffer from the same stereotyping victims of discrimination feel.




I do hope that minorities don't give up trying to do business in Morris. I encourage Thea Morris and the two gay business owners to stay the course, keep their chins up and always spread love and tolerance. Only by love can hate be conquered.




How long will it be before Morris's new MP, Ted Falk, accuses Thea Morris of faking her harassment?




Governments do co-operate

To justify his position in his Nov. 26 column, Get feds out of local infrastructure, your contributor Steve Lafleur cites ineligible costs and construction deadlines related to the Plessis Road underpass project and concludes that federal, provincial and municipal governments are unable to put aside their differences to fix our nation's infrastructure woes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only does the federal government have an important role to play in the delivery of infrastructure funding across Canada, it consistently works in very effective partnership with other levels of government, both here in Manitoba and across the country.

Municipal leaders have asked for increased flexibility to address local infrastructure priorities, and our government has responded.

Earlier this month, our government made the second instalment of the annual gas tax fund available to municipalities, bringing Manitoba's allocation for this year to $66 million. This pot provides predictable, up-front, long-term funding to help communities across Canada meet their local infrastructure needs. Projects are chosen by local governments according to their priorities within a newly expanded list of eligible categories that include culture, tourism, sport and recreation projects, disaster mitigation and local and regional airports, to name a few. Municipalities can also pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility. It is a model that works.


Minister Responsible for Manitoba



Mining jobs on their way

As the former CEO of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, I found Steven Fletcher's Nov. 23 column, NW Ontario market prime for Manitoba power, most insightful. Coincidentally, just last week Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (the lead developer of the chromite deposit in northern Ontario's Ring of Fire) announced that it was suspending operations, a decision made after the company has expended in excess of $500 million on the project since 2010.

While much of the attention in this region has been focused on the long-term economic benefits of the chromite deposit, this area is getting 13 new mines, which are expected to come into production by 2017. This will yield in excess of 18,000 direct and indirect jobs.

These mining opportunities are not going away. These are world-class resources. In spite of the current economic downturn in the global mining sector, the future holds much promise for the wealth generation that these mineral resources will yield not only for northern Ontario but also for Manitoba and for Canada.




We're No. 1... in apathy

New Member of Parliament Larry Maguire, in his victory speech in Brandon-Souris, told his supporters the government they were supporting has made Canada No. 1 in the world.

I have been racking my brain and cannot, for the life of me, think of one thing at which we are recognized as being No. 1. Voter apathy, perhaps, or exporting the most resources with no value added?

We export thousands of tons of iron ore and coal to Japan and Korea and buy it back in the form of automobiles. The government is desperately trying to get pipelines built so we can send our bitumen down to Texas and buy it back as gasoline. We even export logs to Japan and buy them back as plywood.

I would be more supportive of this government if it were creating real, worthwhile jobs so the people on welfare could get some money and retain their dignity.




Driving comments irresponsible

Re: Jumbo SUV a capable car pooler (Nov. 22). It is time to get rid of Alan Sidorov and his self-aggrandizing Twists and Turns column in the Friday Autos section. We are getting tired of reading how he always skilfully drives the Sea to Sky highway, and his last column just reached the limit of insensitivity.

Considering a highway worker was struck and killed by a speeding car in a construction zone on Highway 207 in Manitoba in 2010, I found his comments on wilfully speeding through construction zones outside Vancouver to be offensive and irresponsible.




And Jets can miss playoffs

It is interesting to note the Liberal party loss in Brandon was considered a "moral victory."

By the same token Hamilton Tiger-Cats had a moral victory at the Grey Cup and the Toronto Argonauts had a moral victory in the eastern final.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2013 A12

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