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Encourage hydro conservation

When it comes to expanding infrastructure, history shows reducing the demand that drives the need for new infrastructure can be a far more sensible alternative (Dams require forward thinking, March 31).

Winnipeg's water supply provides a good example of this principle that can be applied to the perceived need for new hydroelectric dams.

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For many years, the City of Winnipeg claimed the Shoal Lake aqueduct would not have sufficient capacity to supply projected growth in Winnipeg's water use. Critics argued rather than twin the aqueduct or pursue expensive alternatives, it made more economic sense to encourage water conservation.

Fortunately, the critics won, and by 2012, per-capita water use in Winnipeg had declined by 32 per cent from its peak in 1990. The majority of this decrease is attributed to water-conservation programs, improvements in technology and regulations such as changes to the Manitoba Plumbing Code.

This same approach can be applied to the need for electricity. There's a growing list of jurisdictions where most of the increase in demand for electricity is being met by utilities and governments helping households, businesses and institutions use electricity more wisely instead of expanding the supply of electricity. Manitoba needs to join this list.




City mum on windrow woes

I, too, have been trapped by windrows, back and front, all winter (Trapped by windrows, woman says, March 31).

The article says the city will help if a special application and a doctor's note are sent to them. I sent my application to the city at the beginning of December, and was told at that time I would get a call from the street patrol as soon as my application was reviewed.

Nearly four months later, I haven't heard a word from anyone. I'm disabled and need Handi-Transit to get to doctor appointments. Meanwhile, I have dipped into my food budget four times to get a little path to the road shovelled, only for the city to fill it in again.




Judicial system fair

Re: Let inquiry search for the truth (Editorials, April 1).

As attorney general in the early 1970s, one of the many reforms we carried out was to establish provincial courts, presided over by provincial court judges.

The previous system had been based on a magistrates court. Magistrates had no security from early dismissal should any conduct on their part offend the government.

The provincial court system protected judges from political influence -- they were given security of tenure.

We also adopted the judicial council model to deal with matters regarding the conduct of provincial court judges.

Since judicial councils are composed of a number of judges, the assumption of fair adjudication should be assumed. Why any court in Canada would even entertain a motion questioning the integrity of a judicial council boggles the mind.




Jets' glass half full

Many Winnipeg Jets seem to have become the Statlers and Waldorfs of the hockey community. I find myself defending our team more and more.

To use a boxing analogy, Monday night's third-period collapse against the Anaheim Ducks was akin to a fighter battling out of their weight class; we went three rounds with a contender and got knocked out in the third.

I'm proud of the team. They've gone toe-to-toe with the best in the league, and aren't afraid to battle on the ropes with anyone.

We bought a lemon from Atlanta three short years ago. The Jets are in the toughest division, and have drafted well since landing in Winnipeg.

We have a collection of overachieving second- and third-liners, and one of the best goalies in the league (top 26 anyways).

So what if the franchise hasn't made the playoffs in seven seasons (only Edmonton beats us here)? We have great fans, solid ownership and a seasoned coach.

Follow our team as fans and stop undermining them from the balcony. There's more than enough to whine about in Winnipeg, if that's your shtick.




Cottage hike overdue

Re: Huge hike irks park cottagers (Letters, April 1).

I sympathize with provincial park cottage owners being asked to pay a maximum of up to $3,000 year more in fees, to be phased in over 10 years, but the mood appears to be they pay enough already.

While the increase is exorbitant, their fees have basically been frozen for 10 years, while cabins outside of provincial parks have seen their taxes go up every year.

At least some sort of increase is more than fair. I realize the land is leased, not owned, therefore fees and taxation become complicated. But a 10-year moratorium on any increase is better than what anyone else has experienced.




Putin's promise worth little

Re: Crimea will be trilingual (Letters, March 31).

Is Robert Milan insinuating living in a trilingual Crimea, after its illegal annexation by Vladimir Putin, will be preferable to living in a unilingual, if somewhat imperfect, Ukrainian democracy?

Of course, that's providing you believe Putin's promises for the future of Crimea. Just look at the history of promises made by previous megalomaniacs.




Grain needs marketing money

Re: Tories help 'marketing freedom' along, March 29.

I wish our current Conservative government would spend as much time marketing and moving grain in Canada as it does marketing and moving oil in Alberta.




Embracing city's potholes

Much like the "Adopt-a-Highway" program, I think it's time Winnipeg initiates the "Adopt-a-Pothole" program.

I would personally put up $100 to have my name on a sign planted in the middle of St. James Street.

Remember, there's no such thing as bad publicity.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 2, 2014 A8


Updated on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 5:59 AM CDT: adds links

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