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Citizens too critical

I grew up in Manitoba, living there for 31 years, but have since lived in Quebec and B.C. for 41 years. I read the Free Press daily and return to this part of country whenever possible.

Unfortunately, I have found people to be very critical of your provincial and civic leaders. Winnipeg is doing quite well, although there is misunderstanding about what the province is trying to do with its assets and place in future.

The city used to be a proud place, and now all I hear are complaints, usually from people who have never lived anywhere else. Manitoba is no different than any place else I've lived. We all want new schools, hospitals, bridges and better roads. But there is only so much money.

Governments aren't miracle workers. They are just like you and I with budgets and available funds to work with. Be happy, Manitobans, You're doing better than you think.

JOHN CRERAR

Peachland, B.C.

Detonating his temper

A note to Free Press reporters: my first prize for the most over-used word by the media in 2013 goes to "bombshell."

Canada Post reduces services? Bombshell! (Even though everyone knew it was coming.) Another PMO email? Bombshell! Another Rob Ford revelation? Bombshell! Another city project cost overrun? Bombshell! Mike Duffy says .... Bombshell!

Reporters, op-ed writers and also TV anchorpeople, please try to come up with words to better describe events that surprise no one.

And by the way, second prize goes to "Third World" conditions. Letter writer Brad Thompson (You haven't got mail, Dec. 13) sees cutting door-to-door mail delivery as Canada "heading toward Third World status." I have travelled on work assignments to remote rural villages in West Africa and South Asia.

Mail delivery? There is no electricity, clean water, phone service, TV, medicare, unemployment benefits, welfare, crop insurance or food bank. Free Press reporters, letter writers and local social activists thoughtlessly use this phrase over and over without having a clue what Third World conditions are.

ROBERT FOSTER

Winnipeg

Trading mayors

As a followup to Bartley Kives' Dec. 26 story, The city that never learns, I would like to suggest we trade mayors with the city of Toronto.

Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack, impaired driving, etc. However I haven't seen anything about him mismanaging funds or that kind of thing.

Mayor Sam Katz, of course, doesn't have any drinking or drug problems, but under his watch our finances are a mess with close to a $100 million on the police headquarters and fire-hall projects.

A trade would allow everyone to start off with a clean slate and a fresh start.

OK, just like with a sports trade, we would probably have to sweeten the deal with some cash, but we always seem to be able to find that.

LINFORD SMITH

Winnipeg

Progressively maddening

Is anyone else sick of having left-wing socialist political candidates referred to as "progressive" (Wasylycia-Leis strong in survey, Dec. 26)?

If Judy Wasylycia-Leis or any other left-wing "progressive" is elected Winnipeg's mayor next October, the only things we can be sure to see progressing in Winnipeg will be our rate of taxation, runaway spending and debt and the number of people working in public service jobs.

One only needs to look as far our provincial NDP "progressive" overlords or our "progressive" school boards to verify those facts.

I will give Wasylycia-Leis credit for having run on a platform of higher taxation during our last mayoral race.

This was much more courageous than running on a platform of no tax hikes and then sneaking $500 million in tax hikes through once power has been gained, as her cohorts on Broadway did.

Sam Katz obviously has too many skeletons in his closet and should not even consider a run at re-election next October. But surely we can find a replacement that isn't a firmly entrenched "progressive" socialist to take his place.

CAL PAUL

Winnipeg

ñº

Many Winnipeggers are hoping our next civic election will be about the competence, vision and future of this city under a new mayor and council. The recent Probe Research poll, which the Free Press reports as almost anointing Judy Wasylycia-Leis as the next mayor, is nothing but a shallow reiteration of the dissatisfaction with Sam Katz, and name recognition of the runner-up in the last election.

Hopefully, the Free Press will provide its readers with more than trite "left-right" labels, some substance on the candidates' vision and positions on various issues, and perhaps even more hopefully refrain from this long-standing tradition of bringing provincial party politics to the forefront of civic elections.

After all, the provincial party in power is and always will be in clear conflict of interest, as it clings to control of taxation, while the majority of Manitobans are represented by a civic government that will demand more of those powers.

Furthermore, continually bringing up Wasylicia-Leis's connections with the NDP provincial government is entirely unfair to her if she genuinely wishes to represent the city and its inhabitants.

SHANE NESTRUCK

Winnipeg

Give me a break

Re: Older women are sedentary for most of the day: study (Dec. 23). So after spending a lifetime of raising families while managing a career, probably still preparing the main meals for their retired spouse, still cleaning and doing the majority of housework and shopping and babysitting for the grandchildren, older women are being vilified for sitting and reading books, catching up on watching movies and generally enjoying life.

When did I stop being a person and become the focus of someone's science project?

Please get out of my life and let me get back to watching all the old seasons of Mad Men.

MARION MEARON

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 30, 2013 A8

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