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Swandel not in the wrong

Re: Councillor airs his secret Shindico talks, Feb. 27.

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While the reaction to the intimation of impropriety by Coun. Justin Swandel is understandable, he is being unfairly treated. Swandel has crossed no ethical boundaries, nor has he acted outside of his duties as a councillor.

Swandel volunteered that he engaged Shindico in exploratory discussions directed at an amicable, cost-saving resolution to a deal gone awry.

An experienced city employee and politician, Swandel has the added qualification of a formal education in appraisal.

He is qualified to have had the conversation, and he acted properly in disclosing his actions before others may have attempted to misrepresent them. His continuing a dialogue without surrendering to the desperation of expropriation is to be applauded.



Li still a danger

Re: Li in line for more liberties, Feb. 25.

Anyone who needs to self-medicate in order to keep from killing someone should not be unsupervised -- at any time.

Let medication be the guide -- when it is no longer required at all, only then should the lifting of restrictions even be considered.




Re: Recovery is possible, Letters, Feb. 27.

When Ken Reddig was unstable from his illness, he notes that he threatened people -- a far cry from the horrific actions taken by Vince Li.

Li wouldn't be released into Reddig's community -- he would be released into mine. If Reddig is OK with Li being released into his community, he should advise the authorities to do so.



Olympics pose moral dilemma

Re: Games close with a flourish, Feb. 24.

The Olympics made me a little uncomfortable. On the one hand, I got cable just to watch, and I watched voraciously.

But I also listened. I listened to behind-the-scenes accounts of what appeared to be a unified world competition.

Thousands of people were displaced from Sochi to make room for the parks. Billions of dollars were spent by a country with so many poor citizens. Basic human rights were violated left, right and centre.

A part of me feels guilty for watching. I've always loved the Olympics, but the more I learn about the realities of the Games' negative effects, the more I hope they cease to exist.


Toronto, Ont.

Poor service delivery

Re: City councillors concerned about community mailboxes, Feb. 28.

About a week ago, I received an online survey from a firm on behalf of Canada Post. Always keen to express my views on the corporation, I set to answering the questions. When it came to checking boxes, it appeared nothing was being recorded. So I called the research firm -- a voice mail said they'd get back to me.

The next day I got a second invitation to do the same survey and encountered the same problem. This time I sent an email to the firm; over a week later, I've still had no response.

One has to wonder how Canada Post is going to deliver its reimagined corporation when it can't deliver on a simple survey.



Mailout no tax guide

I recently received a 16-page booklet in the mail titled Tax Guide. When I opened it, I found it to be Conservative party propaganda from the local Tory representative -- paid for by the taxpayers, naturally.

While I realize that all MPs have a mailing allowance, why do the Tories have to disguise the booklet as a tax guide?

No wonder people have lost faith in the political process.


Portage la Prairie

Pick up pooch's poop

I was dog-sitting for my parents and took the dog for a walk one night. I was mortified at the amount of dog poop all over the sidewalk in just the first block of our street.

It's a disgusting, lazy habit to not clean up after your dog. If I catch you, be assured that I will deliver it to your front doorstep.



Animals can't make choices

In her letter All dogs deserve kindness (Feb. 27), Karen Zoppa misrepresents my original letter (Shelter dogs on death row, Feb. 22) and perpetuates the myth that only "mutts" end up in shelters. The proliferation of breed-specific rescues attests otherwise.

It is morally wrong that people purposely breed animals, most often for profit, while millions of healthy ones are put to death simply because there are not enough homes.

Further, pity the poor purebreds prone to so many congenital and heritable disorders. Some breeds are further subjected to surgical mutilations such as ear-cropping and tail-docking that have nothing to do with their health and everything to do with their owner's vanity.

Zoppa is correct that we all can make choices. Unfortunately, it is too often to the detriment of the animals... who have none.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 3, 2014 A8

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