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Heartless comments

Re: Street scraping begins tonight (Dec. 10). Coun. Russ Wyatt should resign and he should take Coun. Grant Nordman with him. They both display a shocking disregard for the safety and well-being of the people of this city. I can only call their comments cold and heartless.

More than 1,000 people put in claims to Autopac on Dec. 9, the Free Press reported. Each one of those people probably had, at the very least, a scary experience and some probably had serious accidents or narrowly escaped life-threatening injuries.

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But I guess it is all about the budget. After all, the province pays for claims, so why should the city worry? And anyway, it's the driver's fault, right? Or so says Wyatt.

As for me, I wish someone would run for mayor promising to raise my taxes and deliver more services -- like roads and sidewalks that are cleared as soon as there is snow, and maybe some beautifying thrown in.

And let the mean-spirited find other jobs since they are so disappointed with the people they represent here. Maybe in Waco, Texas. I hear taxes there are very low.




I don't pay taxes to luge down my rut-filled streets, fearful that regardless of the speed I travel or what tires are on my vehicle, I might easily spin out of control, to the detriment of anything or anyone within proximity of my car.

To suggest we adjust our driving behaviour to suit the road conditions is a no-brainer. But, then again, it helps when what we're travelling along resembles a street to begin with. It's a bit like advising more people to take public transit while cutting back on the number of options available to them.




In 2011, the city extended the end of the snow-route parking ban from 6 a.m to 7 a.m. Many hard-working taxpayers start their day between 6 and 7. Their first hour is often spent dropping other family members off at work or stopping for a morning coffee.

These people should not have to worry about getting a ticket if they briefly leave their vehicle. If city council wants to lessen the anger about increasing property taxes, they can end this parking ban at 6 a.m.




Neil needs cold shower

Neil Young is giving concerts to raise funds to slow the development of the oilsands under the eco-veil of treaty rights (Alberta First Nation believes in Neil Young's Heart of Gold, Dec. 10).

We need these resources to survive. How are we supposed to stay warm in the winter -- with a wind turbine and a solar panel?

It is dark from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. The wind is calm and the temperature is -33 C. Do the math. Go back to California, Neil.




Distorting the truth

Ken Reddig apparently couldn't resist the opportunity to chant the Conservative mantra of the superiority of private enterprise over public service (Suspicious of efficiency, Letters, Dec. 9). Unfortunately, in this case, he had to seriously distort the truth to make his case.

The STARS system was not suspended because Premier Selinger dislikes private enterprise but because two people died, unnecessarily, due to their poor service. These people apparently should have been given oxygen, but were not, because it was either not available or wrongly deemed unnecessary.

As to the hundreds of lives that have been saved due to the extra speed, this is a gross exaggeration. When I was a volunteer firefighter and first responder, I learned that speed was very rarely an important aspect of transporting patients. In the case of a heart attack, once the patient is made comfortable and encouraged to relax, there is no urgency.

There will not be a team of surgeons waiting in the emergency room to tear open his chest and massage his heart. He will be assigned a bed and, in due course, a cardiologist will examine him and schedule him for surgery at the next reasonable opportunity.

Similarly with broken legs and even broken backs, once the patient is stabilized, there is no rush. Severe internal bleeding is the only case in which speed is really essential.




Important dialogue

The conversations regarding resource extraction in the North and relationships with First Nations communities are of critical importance, especially given the Idle No More movement and news stories regarding mineral exploration (Mega agreement signed for northern Manitoba gold mine, Dec. 6).

The conflicts between First Nations, governments and resource-exploration companies are rooted in deep and complex relationships spanning generations. Talks often break down because of profound disagreements and misunderstandings that often stem from complex historical dynamics.

It is usually ineffective for stakeholders to engage in negotiations or problem-solving without also exploring and engaging in dialogue about the relationships and how history affects the present. When the roots of the conflict are attended to, stakeholder negotiations will always bear more fruit.




Birds of a feather

Re: Ford insinuates writer a pedophile (Dec. 11). It is paradoxically bizarre to witness, on Vision TV's Zoomer program, disgraced media baron Conrad Black interviewing disgraced Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

I can only conclude this is a weird example of the crackpot calling the jailbird black.



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

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