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Sharing frustration

As past president of Save Our Seine, I share Brian St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes' frustration with the Free Press for not recognizing his accomplishment in securing city council funding for us to acquire a part-time executive director (A failure to report, Letters, Dec. 20). It is particularly galling that the Free Press was quick to report on the controversy when Mayes was criticized for his bold initiative. Now it appears that this positive outcome doesn't merit so much as a paragraph.

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During this season of goodwill, would it be asking too much of the Free Press to turn its attention from hectoring the NDP and devote just a little space to this worthy achievement?



Position lacks humility

In the Dec. 14 article A tale of two premiers, Premier Selinger contends he will not apologize for raising the PST. It is my view that his position lacks the humility one would expect from a premier who betrayed an election promise and subverted his legal obligation to seek public support, by a referendum for this action.

It is clear he is taking the public for granted and is assuming this as his right. It is now a matter of public record that this tax increase was ill-conceived, and in spite of a strident campaign to convince us of the good use of the new revenue, he still comes across as one trying to buy insurance after the house burned down.

If the premier was secure in his conviction of the good this tax increase would do, he would not have been afraid of the voice of the people. One can only assume that confidence was not there as he could not defend his tax-and-spend policy in a referendum.



Response off the mark

As a retired Winnipeg Transit bus operator and a part-time taxi driver of 42 years, I find Karen Zurba's response to Doug Belcher's letter to be totally off the mark (Bus suggestion simplistic, Dec. 21). Belcher does not "lack insight" but rather gives a very good solution to the problem of parking for staff at the new police headquarters.

Zurba's statement about "shift work, unexpected overtime, call-ins, etc." may be accurate, but these do not prevent police officers from taking Winnipeg Transit to and from work. Many years ago, a police officer, who lived at the end of Salter Street, was a regular passenger on my bus. He worked days, evening and overnight shifts. Whatever shift he was on, he walked to and from the Public Safety Building, and from and to William and Isabel, in full uniform.

There is a law in place where employers are responsible for providing transportation to employees (to or from work) between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Banks, hotels and casinos, among hundreds of businesses, have accounts with taxi companies to provide their staff with transportation. If some police choose to live outside Winnipeg, then charge them appropriately for parking.

Zurba ends her letter with the old chestnut "Officers put their lives on the line for us every day." I appreciate and thank them for the services they provide. However, the men and women of our police service voluntarily chose this profession knowing full well the dangers involved. They are compensated very well for the services they provide.



The road to wealth

Bill Rolls has a capital(ist) idea in suggesting that the Conservative government privatize our armed forces.

And while we are on the Adam Smith trail, why do not governments of all stripes sell the streets to homeowners? Each could then maintain their portion and exact a toll for passage through their 50 feet.



Admirable coverage

The Free Press is to be commended for its admirable coverage of the passing of Nelson Mandela, most particularly its Dec. 6 story Icon admired Canadian values.

Canadians, however, should be aware of the embarrassment that is Winnipeg-born Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders, who in 2001 was the sole parliamentarian to vote against the federal government's decision to give Mandela honorary Canadian citizenship as an "international symbol of peace and forgiveness."

Anders instead called Mandela "a communist and a terrorist" and described the Nobel Peace Prize winner as "the politically correct left-lib poster boy of today."

Sadly, Anders and his ilk are the people who govern Canada today.



Theory holds no water

Letter writer Dan Cecchini (Disproving the adage, Dec. 16) fails to consider that labour would be doing something other than working for a wage if it were a more profitable use of time.

Fishing or hunting for survival would be the order of the day if there were no entrepreneurs to create enough wealth that creates the labour opportunities.

Adam Smith was a big believer in the labour theory of value, which turns out to hold no water. That all values, including labour, are subjective is an insight Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian school of economics bequeathed humanity.

Funny how the so-called robber barons of the 19th century who paid no taxes and had a very small government to feed created so much wealth that America needed to import millions of immigrants to do the work. And since the government started to grow with taxation and intervention into everything in the 20th century, we now have record unemployment and poverty.

The moral of the story is the government that governs least governs best.



Better than Facebook

I watch every Jets game on TV and am amazed at the number of spectators who sit behind the bench and spend all their time on their smartphones.

I would give anything to be at a game and certainly would not be wasting my time or money on my phone.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 27, 2013 A12

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