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Conventional wisdom

Do the NDP faithful who attended the convention not realize that running a government is like running a household (NDP out to define Pallister, Feb. 9)? When you spend more than you make, the money eventually has to be repaid, and the interest on that debt begins to accrue.

Yes, Brian Pallister was part of the Filmon government that had to bring in severe austerity measures to cut government spending, but that was to rein in massive deficits and out-of-control spending habits of the previous NDP government run by Howard Pawley.

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Gary Filmon and his Conservative government turned out to be the bad guy for being responsible, paying down our deficit and reducing taxes. Unfortunately, history is going to have to repeat itself to get us out of the mess Premier Greg Selinger has created for his successor, whether it is Brian Pallister or someone else.




Dan Lett's recap of the NDP weekend convention has helped me decide on how to vote in the next provincial election (Selinger dusts off, carries on, Feb. 10).

If the best the NDP can come up with is an attack ad on Opposition leader Brian Pallister, Premier Greg Selinger and his group have run their course. Not only is the ad devoid of facts, it underscores that the NDP have nothing substantive to offer.

I want two things out of politicians: to hear why they are the better choice, and to display believable integrity. Selinger and his gang don't appear to be capable of delivering on either.




Re: On the path to re-election, Feb. 10.

Manitobans ought to bear in mind the observation and insight of H.L. Mencken, a magazine editor from the 1900s, provided with his statement: "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods."




Population politics

In Statistics Canada underestimated Manitoba's population (Feb. 7), Manitoba's chief statistician asserts Statistics Canada under-counted Manitoba's 2011 population by 18,000 individuals, noting the concerns lie with "the samples of Manitobans selected by Statistics Canada to determine the number of individuals missed by the 2011 census."

Without any documented evidence, he asserts samples were not representative of Manitobans, arguing Manitoba's population is under-counted because of "statistical errors."

Statistics Canada advised they "found no evidence of any error in its processes and confirmed the new population estimates" (Population stats accurate, Letters, Feb. 8).

Manitoba's chief statistician states the under-counting "has significant negative impact on fiscal transfers, resulting in the province not receiving its rightful share," around $100 million by his count.

Faced with an ongoing exodus of Manitobans to other provinces, the provincial NDP "manages" the population by pumping immigrants into Manitoba via the federally mandated Provincial Nominee Program.

Politics underlies this whole matter. There's an attitude of entitlement and an utter lack of shame in NDP circles for planning an economy that lives off of the backs of other Canadians.




Education tax has benefits

Re: Don't lift school taxes from elderly (Editorial, Feb. 11).

The elderly have a responsibility in our society to support the educational system. As a grandparent, I want to see my grandchildren receive the best education possible in our province.

If we start manipulating and phasing in educational tax credits for aging Manitobans, our educational system will be forced into a cookie-cutter school system run by a provincial bureaucracy. The province is gradually moving toward a centralized system, vetoing local school closures, capping taxes, forcing the amalgamation of school divisions as well as reviewing and approving local budgets.

Aging Manitobans share an interest and responsibility in well-financed, quality schools. The government should become more prudent in managing finances, particularly for education.




Ideology versus philosophy

Roger Gibbins is confused (Trudeau's Senate worst of all options, Feb. 11) -- party politics is ideological, whereas liberal and conservative are philosophical positions. Only the former is irreverent of good reasoning.

It is in the national interest that only Canadian political philosophy be present in the red chamber. Justin Trudeau's reform targets the infusion of ideology.




Stories worth telling

Thanks to Gordon Sinclair Jr. for shining a light on the world of self-publishing (Sharing our stories in selfies, Feb. 11). With the advent of computers we ordinary folk can no longer be silenced by publishers' commercial evaluations -- we circumvent them.

Once printed, however, the barriers remain. The Free Press and radio stations do not review self-published books. Kudos to McNally Robinson for welcoming so many self-published authors and giving their books shelf space.




Cops need cameras

It's interesting that while violent crime is decreasing, even in the tougher parts of our city, there was a 15 per cent increase in assaults on police officers (Crime stats create optimism, Feb. 8).

Isn't it time for Winnipeg police officers to don personal video cameras? Several cities comparable to Winnipeg have seen assaults decrease significantly with this type of program.




Windrow woes

I live on a street where one side of the street is back lanes and the other is front drives (City to mull over back lane windrows, Feb. 5). The windrows from the front drives are cleared, while on the other side of the street (where I live) the windrows from behind our garages are not.

My husband and I are handicapped seniors and cannot shovel. We have to hire someone to shovel for us, and are sometimes house-bound for a week until we can get shovelled out. If we required an ambulance it would be impossible for them to get to our door because of the three-foot windrow across our walkway.

We all pay taxes, yet the houses with front drives get their driveway cleared without having to hire someone to do it.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 12, 2014 A10

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