Diligence was missing
Re: No room for racism (Nov. 30). It is extremely difficult for an entrepreneur to admit that he or she has made a mistake. It's far easier, as Morris Mayor Gavin van der Linde said, to garner the sympathy vote by playing the race card than admit to anyone you failed to do your own due diligence prior to opening your doors.
Gordon Sinclair Jr. needs to dig deeper and find the true facts before publishing his opinions. Where was he when people lined up for tables at the Pots N' Hands restaurant to show their support? Where was the homophobia the Free Press reported? Not here in Morris.
Before he writes about the people's lack of support for ethnic business owners, he needs to talk to the four other immigrant restaurant owners in Morris. Ask them if they've experienced any racial slurs while they established and are operating successful businesses.
Before he demands the mayor, councillors or the people of Morris hold a rally to denounce racism, he should do his due diligence. He would realize 99 per cent of people in Morris are not, never have been, and never will be racist or homophobic.
Gordon Sinclair states that racism is not always obvious as black and white. That is precisely why a complaint of this nature should be thoroughly and impartially investigated before locally and nationally embarrassing and lecturing the whole town of Morris.
In light of this, Mayor Gavin van der Linde has an obligation to defend his town's reputation. Also blanket statements such as "white people abruptly cross the street when they see a black person coming" just stoke the ugly fire of racism. It is hard to imagine a person of any race doing this. Unfortunately, there are a few misfit crackpots in all races.
It's OK for the media to occasionally admit when they did not do their homework and then get played like a violin.
Gordon Sinclair is an otherwise skilled writer, and I've appreciated his perspectives in the past. But this piece misses the mark.
As a spiritual person, I find Brian Pallister's Christmas greeting to be offensive (Pallister defends word choice, Dec. 3). Aside from his provocative use of the term "infidel," it is his sanctimonious and derisive attitude to all of those who do not believe in the metaphysics of a supernatural birth that is most disturbing.
The derision in Pallister's comments can be seen in his blessing to the rest of us to get together with friends to "celebrate nothing." Over the past 60 years, I have celebrated Christmas by gathering with my friends and family (believers and non-believers alike) to celebrate the gifts of love, friendship and belonging.
It is deeply offensive to me, and I'm sure to many others, that Pallister considers this a celebration of "nothing."
If Brian Pallister had truly wanted to send an inclusive message to Manitobans, he would have extended his greeting to godless heathens, zealots, idolaters, agnostics, fundamentalists, creationists, and those who place their faith in the flying spaghetti monster.
Or perhaps he could simply have wished everyone a season full of peace and joy, with goodwill to all.
Since 9/11, scornful declamations by unbridled Middle Eastern clerics have given the word "infidel" a bad rap.
In this seasonal dustup, the worst lexicological slip Pallister can be accused of making is his tautological gaffe in doubling up on the phrase "infidel atheists." As he is undoubtedly aware, this is an unnecessary repetition.
I wonder what's next for the politically correct language police? Perhaps a crackdown on unsuspecting carollers who sing "don we now our gay apparel." Surely someone out there will take offence.
Getting to the heart
Re: Public Utilities Board needs an overhaul (Nov. 27). Graham Lane's recommendation that "appointments to the PUB should follow a public competition, one based on the independence and qualifications of the applicants" goes to the heart of the problem. And it applies to the Clean Environment Commission, too.
Manitobans deserve true watchdogs, not politically pampered lapdogs. Members of Parliament giving their caucuses power to oust their leader (MP's bill would give caucuses power to out leader) would help, too, if applied provincially.
I believe the role of the Public Utilities Board is primarily to ensure private monopolies that benefit from protection from unfair or harmful competition operate in a fair and reasonable manner.
Graham Lane seeks a much more aggressive role, one that would erode the duty and responsibility of government to protect publicly owned investments deemed essential for the common good.
Competing for spots
Like Linda Leblanc (Paying for city amenities, Letters, Dec. 2), I am a recently relocated city dweller, but I take the opposite opinion.
I had always thought that during my 60 years in the city I only had to compete with other city folk for limited recreational spaces. I was gobsmacked to find out I could have been behind out-of-towners for these spots.
People usually claim they have moved out of the city to avoid what they feel are high taxes and poor services. Why, then, while avoiding these taxes, would one feel one is deserving of these services?
St. Pierre Jolys