Bring all parties on Kyiv trip
So Conservative Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Manitoba Conservative MP James Bezan, along with other Conservative supporters, will undertake a fact-finding mission to Kyiv, Ukraine (Baird's Kyiv trip exclusive, Feb. 27).
The trip purposely excludes MPs or senators representing the NDP, Liberal, and Green parties. It harkens back to Stephen Harper's trip to Israel with some 180 members and supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Recall that on that trip, Conservative MP Marc Adler referred to the opportunity of the "million-dollar photo op" standing next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Will there be a similar "million-dollar photo op" in Kyiv?
PST-hike referendum needed
I applaud Brian Pallister and Manitoba's Progressive Conservative party for their continued challenge to the Selinger government for the manner in which they raised the provincial sales tax without proceeding in the appropriate legal manner, as required by Manitoba legislation (Pallister's PST court challenge no stunt, Feb. 27).
The premier is depriving Manitobans of the ability to vote on this increase in a referendum, when such a matter would certainly be strongly challenged by many citizens.
Avoid for-profit hospital
I was disturbed to read in the sidebar to Alexandra Paul's urban reserve article We will create millionaires (Feb. 27) that a B.C. reserve could create the first for-profit hospital.
Aboriginals in Canada are among the greatest beneficiaries of our universal health-care system. As recently reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, a witness at the Sinclair inquiry stated that aboriginals make up 60 per cent of patients in some programs (Brian Sinclair a victim of stereotyping?, Feb. 26).
I trust that thoughtful politicians and aboriginal leaders will recognize the dangers of privatization of health care for all Canadians and will act to block any movement in that direction.
Crowns padding coffers
It's great to see this year's Manitoba deficit is going to be reduced from earlier estimates and nice to see that reduced government spending is taking place in some departments (Crowns, tighter spending reduce Man. deficit, Feb. 21).
On the other hand, we're told that Manitoba Crown corporations are responsible for helping put an extra $215 million into this year's NDP's general revenue account.
As these Crown corporations are monopolies, this should be of some concern to Manitobans. If we are seeing huge profits, we are likely paying too much for the services.
In their present form, Manitoba Crown corporations are just another government scheme to add spending money to general revenues.
Li needs supervision
Mike McIntyre's article Li granted enhanced freedoms (Feb. 28), along with the letters to the editor from the same day, are doing the minuet around the gopher hole.
The point that is not being addressed: Is Vince Li taking medication now to treat his illness and therefore put him in the category of being a low risk to reoffend?
Even if the answer is yes, he needs 24-7 supervision and is still a risk, because he will be at risk of not taking his medication, which is the major cause of relapses in the mentally ill.
Frozen pipes aren't hard to fathom -- it's the cold response from our city's leaders that is unbelievable.
When the power goes out, you know Manitoba Hydro is coming. Even non-essential home service providers such as television companies are sure to respond to issues within reasonable time frames.
If the city isn't prepared for emergencies that affect a few hundred houses, how are they going to react on a larger scale?
All the frozen pipes in Winnipeg this winter remind me of living in Flin Flon. My dad started out as a plumber before he got work at the mine.
Because the ground in Flin Flon is rock, you build pipelines above the rocks; to keep them from freezing, you build a box around the pipe and insulate it well.
My dad said they had to drill a tiny hole in the tap at the end of each line to keep the water flowing so it wouldn't freeze.
"Why the hole?" I asked. To which Dad replied, "If you just left the tap open a wee bit, someone would come along and close it."
Trudeau 'gaffe' overblown
I don't see what the fuss is about regarding Justin Trudeau's comment on Radio-Canada (Will gaffes start to hurt Trudeau?, Feb. 26). Trudeau took a sarcastic poke at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, not at Ukraine's troubles, and suddenly it's an international incident.