December 1, 2015


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Education funding outdated

Nick Martin's article Class warfare (March 17) and the editorial "School taxes outdated" (March 18) succinctly point out inequities in funding education using the current model of education mill rates set by the province's school divisions.

This model has resulted in Manitobans facing property tax increases on the education portion of their bill ranging from 1.54 to 6.84 per cent for the coming year, depending on where they live. Even then, Manitoba students will not have access to the same quality of education throughout the province, with spending per child ranging from $9,400 to $14,000.

There needs to be a single mill rate established for the entire province as an interim measure while moving forward to phase out school taxes and funding education through general revenue.

In their March 24 opinion piece School taxes critical to local control, Jon Young and Brian O'Leary ignore the changes in demographics, community structure and technology that have taken place in the 55 years since the Macfarlane Report. They continue to use it to substantiate their argument in favour of maintaining the controls the school divisions have long enjoyed.

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.


Education Financing Coalition



Huge hike irks park cottagers

As a cottage owner in a provincial park, I wholeheartedly agree with letter writer Kim Trethart (Cottage fee fair, March 29) and Minister Gord Makintosh that "park cottagers should pay their way like every other Manitoban."

Currently, park cottagers do pay fees to cover their expenses. On average, 6,162 park cottagers paid over $800 each, meaning cottagers currently pay over $4.9 million in fees.

I also want tax fairness and am more than willing to pay the cost of services for my cottage.

But it's not fair taxation to start demanding an extra $3,000-$4,000 annually from each park cottager.

There has been a lot of screaming over an additional one per cent sales tax that costs the average taxpayer a couple hundred dollars a year.

This pales in comparison to this demand of extra thousands from park cottagers.




Right to die still contentious

Re: The fictions we die by, March 30.

Politicians seldom lead. Therefore, MPs Steven Fletcher and Manon Perreault are to be congratulated for having the courage to propose legislation that offers people in unbearable circumstances a legal and ethical way to end their life with dignity.

Hopefully our political party leaders will show some courage and compassion and join the majority in supporting this legislation.




Follow the rules with pups

Re: Pick up after dogs, Letters, March 29.

I walk my dog on the Assiniboine Forest paths almost every day. Although the individual pickup bags are no longer provided, there at plenty of waste bins for we dog walkers to use.

I'm embarrassed by the number of dog walkers who choose not to pick up after their dogs. I'm also annoyed by the numerous dog owners who run their dogs off-leash in the forest despite it being very clearly posted as an on-leash area and despite an off-leash park being located nearby.

The forest first belonged to the wildlife who call it home -- we should appreciate its beauty and respect the rules posted if we wish to continue to have the privilege of sharing it.




Rapid-transit saga continues

Re: Rapid transit raises concerns, March 29.

Is this an attempt by Russ Wyatt and other city councillors to upstage the Winnipeg Comedy Festival?

I remember Wyatt at the rapid-transit workshops enthusiastically selling this boondoggle without even the slightest concern about calling a bus road "rapid transit."

Now he's politically distancing himself from this failing waste of taxpayers' money.

He and every councillor who supported this incredible monument to incompetence and waste should have concerns about their re-election.




Re: Fielding rallies anew against bus rapid transit, March 28.

If transit was subsidized to the extent roads were, perhaps we wouldn't need all that cash to fix potholes, as we'd have fewer cars on the roads.

For some reason, politicians think nothing of pouring hundreds of millions into roads and getting very little in return, yet seem to want public transit to be fully self-sufficient.


Vernon, B.C.


Omnibus bill quite a mouthful

Re: Critics cry foul on 'monster' bill, March 29.

Being that the latest omnibus bill being pushed through Parliament is named "the Harper Government Creating Jobs & Growth While Returning to Balanced Budgets With Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No.1," I'm puzzled as to where they'll fit the picture of Stephen Harper's inflated head on the report cover.


St. Adolphe


Hydro strangles innovation

The article Lights out on solar power (March 29) highlights this province's power monopoly and a government literally stuck in the dark ages.

Manitoba Hydro continues to strangle innovation, doing everything it can to discourage self-sufficiency.

It's time to sell off the morally bankrupt Manitoba Hydro; it only hinders the people it was supposed to serve.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 1, 2014 A8


Updated on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:02 AM CDT: adds links

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