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Population stats accurate

Statistics Canada would like to correct the statement by Manitoba's chief statistician that there were errors in its processes and methods underlying the new population estimate for the province of Manitoba (Statistics Canada underestimated Manitoba's population, Feb. 7).

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Prior to publishing the population estimates in September 2013, Statistics Canada carefully assessed and reviewed the methods, processes and findings leading to the population estimates for all provinces and territories. Statistics Canada found no evidence of any error in its processes and confirmed the new population estimates.

The population estimates for Canada, the provinces and territories are based on a common, consistent, transparent and robust statistical methodology.



Director General, Social and Demographic Statistics

Statistics Canada

Ottawa, Ont.


STARS not needed

Re: Review delaying STARS service, Feb. 6.

Helicopter evacuations make sense in two scenarios: when there are no roads or ambulances to get to patients, or when there is such a density of surface traffic that ambulances are unable to manoeuvre. Southern Manitoba fits neither description.

Now we discover that during the hiatus, surface evacuations by ambulance have been comparable time-wise to those that would have been undertaken by STARS. Manitoba Health stopped contending a long time ago that the helicopter was faster; they only offer that it provides an advanced level of care.

The money spent on STARS would be better spent cleaning hospitals, but there really isn't a photo-op in that, is there? It's time for the government to admit its mistake -- unlikely to happen in the context of our election cycle.

Perhaps the auditor general's report later this spring will help steer us back on the road to sanity and make patient safety a true priority in planning.





Trucks should skirt city

Terry Shaw is correct in stating that delisting Provencher Boulevard as a truck route would only put more pressure on Marion and Goulet streets (Vandal playing politics with Provencher truck route issue, Feb. 6).

Coun. Dan Vandal should, therefore, go even further and demand the delisting of all three as truck routes.

The Perimeter Highway was constructed not only as a way for people to avoid travelling through a metropolitan area, but also as a solution to alleviate unnecessary truck traffic through residential areas, prolonging the life of city streets from the constant pounding of heavy semis.

Whether it be a shorter route or not should have no merit; most semis using Provencher Boulevard or other Winnipeg truck routes should be spending more time on the Perimeter Highway. Dan Vandal may be playing politics, but he should be applauded.





Lawsuit draws attention

The problem with suing a person or organization is that it brings public attention to a dispute (Mayor seeks apology from U of W student newspaper, Feb. 6).

I hadn't read the Uniter editorial on Mayor Sam Katz, but now I'll be sure to make a point of seeking out and reading the article.





Time for elected Senate

Re: Senate salvageable (Letters, Jan. 31).

Yes, it is time for change in the Senate, but not its abolition. Rather, it needs to return to the reason for its implementation in the first place -- to protect Canadians.

At one time, the Senate was the government's inner conscience and a refuge for sober second thought. Of late, those principles have been abandoned. The integrity of what was once a respected and moral component of Parliament has all but disappeared.

The present system of appointing individuals -- selected by the prime minister -- has resulted in a stacking of the political deck. The authoritative tentacles are intertwined, and commands are directed from the majority government in the lower house.

The Red Chamber has fallen from grace. There needs to be procedures put in place to implement an elected Senate.

Members should have no political affiliation to adulterate their wisdom and decisions. Politics only complicates and undermines the obligations and true purpose of the Senate's existence.

Bold changes are needed to the Senate -- an institution that once served to protect Canadians but which now serves the interests of those in power in the lower house.





The state of the game

Re: Take a lesson on being a good hockey parent, Feb. 1.

Hockey Winnipeg indicates there are "lots of questions to ask about getting (the Respect in Sport program) implemented." Why don't they contact some of those associations in Canada that have already implemented the course?

In the meantime, parents should read Chapter 11, State of the Game, in Bobby Orr's book, Orr: My Story. The legendary defenceman ruminates on the responsibilities of parents, coaches, administrators and player agents.

Unfortunately, politics plays a huge part within many sports organizations, and hockey is no exception. It's unfortunate that kids have to suffer as a result.





Fab four's tunes timeless

Leonard Pitts' article Long, winding road downhill (Feb. 5) is spot on.

I have longed for the music from years gone by to return. Today, there's plenty of noise and flash, but not much in the way of musicality and melodies.

The excitement and downright craze brought by the Beatles happened primarily due to the tunes they played.

I attended the Fab: Beatles and Strings performance by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra on Feb. 4. You could feel the electricity in the air, and the responses to those tunes were as exciting as they were in the past.

Their tunes stand the test of time; they will always have something that connects with the listeners.




Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 8, 2014 A14

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