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Windy winter affecting trails

Kenneth Miller's letter Ski trails need grooming (Jan. 29) laments poor cross-country ski trails at Birds Hill Provincial Park.

Our understanding is that provincial park ski trails are groomed by park staff during the work week, as well as usually later in the week to prepare for the weekend. Since there isn't budget or staff to re-groom on the weekends, if it snows heavily after the weekly grooming date it may appear trails have not been groomed at all.

Most of Manitoba has experienced major snow/wind events at the end of the week or during the weekend this season; as a result, this has been a particularly challenging season for maintaining ski trails for weekend users.

Skiers can use the Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba (CCSAM) website (www.ccsam.ca) to read the latest trail conditions throughout the province, including a provincial parks trail report. The website also lists many locations in Manitoba maintained by private citizens and volunteer-based ski clubs. Most of these locations are groomed after every snowfall, even on weekends.

KARIN McSHERRY

Executive Director, CCSAM

Winnipeg

Little care in home care

Re: Care has gone out of home care, (Jan. 27).

The Selinger government continues to show its disdain for needy people in this province -- first with the victims of the 2011 flood, many of whom are still living in hotels, and now with the elderly.

If it's not hospitals forcing ill seniors into cabs to die at home, then it's the disabled depending on home care to survive. The only trouble? Not only are our hospitals disorganized, but home care is a mess as well, and has been for some time.

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority COO Réal Cloutier has got at least one thing right: few patients complain. That's because home-care clients are scared to say anything that would jeopardize what little care they get.

It's commendable that a worker has stepped forward to say they are not given enough time to properly do their appointed tasks. Unfortunately, raising any concerns that affect our health and welfare tends to fall on deaf ears.

AL YAKIMCHUK

Winnipeg

Trivializing Senate reform

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has trivialized Senate reform to the extent one wonders what the purpose of his announcement really was (Trudeau dumps Liberal senators, Jan. 30). The summary dismissal of his Senate colleagues from the Liberal caucus is a clear indication he does not take his responsibilities as party leader seriously.

With this action he is saying the Liberal Party of Canada no longer recognizes the Senate. As such, how can he expect to participate in any discussion on the future of the upper chamber?

It seems highly irregular that a party leader can unilaterally disengage its members from the party caucus on a whim. He speaks of Senate reform but has presented no plan for such reform.

If Trudeau was really committed to Senate reform he would not have made this knee-jerk action to toss out his Senate caucus. This is hardly the action one would expect from someone with designs on the prime minister's chair.

DON PALMER

Winnipeg

Horseplay anticipated

As we ring in the Chinese calendar's Year of The Horse, some predictions:

-- The Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl.

-- Rough horseplay (on ice) will be a Sochi demonstration event.

-- --

For one year only, Assiniboia Downs will give horses the option to watch jockeys run around the track.

-- Members of the legislature will vote more "nays" than "yeas."

-- The busiest intersection in Winnipeg will be known as "Portage and Mane."

-- In October, Mayor Katz will be defeated by a man named "Ed".

DON WARKENTIN

Winnipeg

New chapter for books editor

It would appear there was a recent retirement at the Free Press. After over 20 years of service, many as books and letters editor, Morley Walker has retired.

I have waited in vain for some sort of recognition to appear from the leaders of the Free Press thanking him for his superb service to the paper and its readers over the last few decades.

Morley will be missed by those who have benefited from his wise literary leadership for all these years. I congratulate him and publicly wish him a long and healthy retirement.

BOB DARLING

Winnipeg

Call a spade a spade

Re: Black tests tax treaties, (Jan. 30).

Why does Vern Krishna call Conrad Black "Lord"?

He is Conrad Black, ex-con.

MERVIN POLLOCK

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2014 A14

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