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A disastrous situation

I'm glad the mayor and EPC have reconsidered their stance on reimbursing homeowners for the cost of thawing frozen waterlines (City considers declaring disaster, March 26).

The city has always taken the position they are not responsible for damage/repairs to private property unless the city is found to be negligent. While the city can't be held responsible for extreme winter conditions, they're certainly responsible for the engineering decisions made regarding the depth of placement of waterlines.

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It appears these decisions were made with no consideration to a margin of error for frost depth, but rather with the additional cost of excavation to bury the waterlines deeper in mind.




In his consideration of elevating the city to disaster status, maybe Mayor Sam Katz should include our pothole-riddled streets (making it dangerous to drive), our dirty drinking water, our street lights that are half burnt out, our garbage pickup, our dangerous icy sidewalks, the piles of snow on street corners and the dirty cigarette butts at bus stops -- never mind the bad dog owners who don't pick up doggy doo.




Aquatic hall back home

Re: City admits mistake in evicting aquatic hall from Pan Am Pool, March 26.

Credit for righting this wrong should go to Vaughan Baird, who brought us the Aquatic Hall of Fame in 1967 and fought city hall tirelessly for evicting the collection in 2006.

Although Baird passed away last summer and did not live to savour his victory, it's not too late to recognize his pioneering work in making Winnipeg the home of Canada's Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as securing the money to build the Pan Am Pool in the first place.




When the Aquatic Hall of Fame was evicted from the Pan Am Pool, all the cabinets and displays were in place. All the city had to do to keep this wonderful historical display was insure it.

Now, it's costing us $850,000 to get it back. I'm still shaking my head over this issue.



Gas plants not best option

Contrary to what Graham Lane writes in Best option for Hydro in future (March 26), there's no evidence the Manitoba government is pushing Manitoba Hydro in any direction.

Manitoba Hydro's plans are based on ongoing studies to assess the requirements for electric power usage in the future and how to provide that need.

Lane suggests scrapping Conawapa, Keeyask and Bipole III in favour of gas plants to "save billions while providing needed diversity of supply, reducing drought risk."

It's fantasy to think that a gas plant could replace all these projects. It would take many gas plants to produce the power generated by Conawapa and Keeyask.



Easy to point fingers

It's unfortunate pet-shop owner Tanya Morgan's store was without water because of frozen pipes (Besieged pet-shop owner quits, March 26).

Now, adding insult to injury, she's being investigated for animal cruelty and negligence, and people are criticizing her for not buying more water or not moving her store.

It's easy to say "move to another location" or "buy more water," but we're not in her shoes. I'm sure it's not easy to find a new location for her store in a month's time, or to find the money to afford to move.

Bartley Kives is right (Dead pets sad, but let's get real, March 26) -- there are much worse things to get angry about.




Bartley Kives' brilliant article Dead pets sad, but let's get real (March 26) was sobering and exposed the haphazard way our moral lines are drawn wherever we please, without consistency.




Bartley Kives makes some excellent points in his article Dead pets sad, but let's get real (March 26). However, I take issue with his implied assumption that media articles on animal welfare somehow take away attention from human tragedies.

By this logic, it's even more dismaying the Free Press allocates so much attention to, for example, sports. Shouldn't the coverage given to the Winnipeg Jets be transferred to matters of graver importance? Should the Free Press publish restaurant reviews while people are starving? Movie reviews while the world self-destructs?

We can feel moral outrage over what's happening around the world, but there's little immediate action that we can take. An animal in need in our community can be helped immediately. It doesn't follow that people who help animals don't care about people, or that taking coverage away from animal welfare will bring about a renaissance in humans caring for each other.




NDP priorities misguided

Re: Where's the smoking gun?, March 24.

It's obvious the NDP is more concerned with staying in office than with fiscal diligence -- the party is so busy campaigning for a yet-to-be-called election that it doesn't realize it's failing the people.

A few days ago they were busy stuffing mailboxes with flyers about supposed cuts to health care if a PC government is elected -- entirely consistent with this government's approach of blaming others for its own incompetence and neglect.

The auditor general's report was an indictment of the failures of Premier Selinger's government. The time will come when he will have to face accountability instead of blaming others.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2014 A14


Updated on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 8:32 AM CDT: adds links

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