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Keep oil away from Churchill

Re: Omnitrax plans oil trains to Churchill (March 28).

The recent tragedies in Quebec and New Brunswick, along with the delaying by railroad companies to update rail cars, is reason enough to nix Omnitrax's plan to transport oil through Churchill on the notoriously unstable Hudson Bay railway, and should be vigorously resisted.

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With today's technology, pipelines are the only viable solution for the transportation of oil, but only after rigid environmental assessments.

With the instability of the tundra on the Churchill route, however, the pipeline alternative should also be rejected.

Considering the recent failures involving the transportation of oil by both rail and pipeline, hopefully this very vulnerable northern ecosystem never passes safety regulations.

Churchill doesn't need to become a major shipping port of oil; unless there are major advancements in oil-transportation technology, an environmental disaster would most likely occur.

The Port of Churchill should be further utilized, but not to ship oil.




Poll, PST not related

Re: Selinger still among least popular premiers, April 4.

Neither the subheadline "Poll shows sales job on PST hike went over poorly," nor the introduction of this article, is supported by evidence in the story.

No poll findings reported in this story link Manitobans' opinions on the PST hike to our premier's approval rating.




IGF could have been more

Paul Wiecek's column Stadium a sweet deal (April 3) glosses over the many issues with Investors Group Field by basically claiming that the ends justify the means, and that cheaper is better.

I don't mind public dollars being used for projects. I do, however, mind settling.

Imagine what the Blue Bombers' stadium could have been like from the start if there had been better planning: a better location, a wider concourse, pipes already winterized, an enclosed press box, etc.

Instead of writing what amounts to a PR column for the Blue Bombers and the people responsible for this stadium, why not expose who is responsible for conceiving and designing a stadium that was so clearly lacking?

Investors Group Field is impressive -- but it could have been so much more.




Noah film a cash grab

Re: Biblical story a flood of fantasy and action (March 28).

I recently went to see the movie Noah -- what a disappointment.

Should one wish to know the real story of the flood and Noah, I would suggest reading the first 11 chapters of the Bible (book of Genesis).

This movie can't compare to Bible-based movies of the past such as The Ten Commandments or the more recent Son of God in terms of presenting those biblical, historical people and events.

Noah is just a grandiose production slated to make its producers a great deal of money, with a disregard for the real story.




Kane can be a hero

So is Evander Kane the new Justin Bieber (Jets star slapped with B.C. suit, April 3)? With plenty of off-ice antics since the Jets landed in Winnipeg, he seems to be working on it.

Kane may have gotten away with this kind of behaviour in Atlanta, but most people there had likely never heard of the Atlanta Thrashers, never mind Kane.

Here in a smaller-sized market filled with hockey-crazy Manitobans, Kane could be a hero, but so far hasn't lived up to his potential.

His hockey performance has dwindled, while his barroom antics and flashing of the cash are becoming all too familiar.

I'll still take Kane over Bieber any day; after all, Kane has the potential to become a hero. The Jets didn't let him wear the number 9 for nothing.




Make tracks with grain

Re: CN making progress moving grain; still not fast enough for elevators (April 1).

Don't farmers realize that, as private companies, CN and CP's first obligation is to maximize profits for their shareholders, even if that means moving crude oil, potash, or whatever else before grain?

Having recently achieved marketing freedom with the dismantlement of the Canadian Wheat Board, I suggest they start trucking their grain across the border, into the huge U.S. market.


La Broquerie


Election help needed here

It's ironic that our officials are going to Ukraine to help with elections, while at home we have the Quebec premier selling her charter of values, which discriminates against minorities, as a good reason to vote for her in today's election (Axworthy among delegates on pre-election mission, April 3).

We sure could use Lloyd Axworthy in Ottawa to tell our Conservative government that the proposed Fair Elections Act has many changes that will be unfair to all Canadians voters and will give an unfair advantage to the Conservative party in the October 2015 election.




Fix transparency, 311

Bartley Kives suggests the City of Winnipeg could use more "communications consultants" -- more accurately referred to as "spin doctors" (City hall's got a PR problem, April 3).

You can only put so much lipstick on a pig.

Perhaps what the city needs is a serious improvement in transparency, and improvement to the abomination that is 311 -- a virtually impenetrable barrier to citizens trying to get reasonable service from the city.

Perhaps if the "city fathers" (a term used most loosely) stopped flowing more and more taxpayer money into often-questionable projects, we wouldn't be discussing how "lipstick" might change the image of this city's governance.




Embrace Canadian diversity

From coast to coast to coast, we're all Canadians, regardless of our country of origin (Quebec culture shouldn't exclude, Letters, March 31).

But unlike the Quebec government, we don't trample the rights of others to achieve uniqueness.

Our family has members whose backgrounds include French, German, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian and Colombian (as well as the obvious Scottish/Irish of my surname).

My wife's grandmother never spoke English (only Ukrainian) and her daughter married a French-Canadian (as did my sister).

Quebecers should celebrate diversity and not try to exclude those who are "different."



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2014 A8

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