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Reeve's writing reckless

Lac du Bonnet Reeve Gus Wruck, having applied a punitive and asymmetric tax policy in his own nest, now urges the same unfair taxation for the rest of the province (Cottagers must pay their share, April 15).

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The reeve ignores serious process issues at the heart of cottagers' dissatisfaction with the government's efforts to add to their tax coffers. For example, if the reeve were to announce, without prior consultation, he was about to jack up all of his constituents' taxes by 500 to 750 per cent, he wouldn't remain reeve for long.

Nor would constituents simply roll over if he refused to open the municipal books to demonstrate how he calculated those tax increases.

Cottagers take no issue with paying their fair share of park costs. But we find it objectionable to be accused of free-loading by the government when their own figures show the opposite. We object to being confronted with a take-it-or-leave-it proposition from a government that has failed to live up to the obligations of the Parks Act to share information and consult with provincial park stakeholders.

 

DANIEL KLASS

West Hawk Lake

 

Elections act alienates voters

I have serious reservations about the Fair Elections Act before Parliament (Chief electoral officer under fire, April 14).

The assumption behind the act is people are inherently fraudulent and will stop at nothing to cast multiple votes. As a scrutineer in federal and provincial elections for more than 30 years, I have not seen any hint of illegal behaviour.

To strengthen our democracy, we should not find ways to further alienate our already disenfranchised citizens; instead, we need to encourage people to engage in our system.

The act, as proposed, doesn't do that.

 

BERT SIEMENS

Winnipeg

 

Plowing, frozen pipes connected

After the frozen water-service connections had been thawed out in 1979, most if not all of those services were lowered to the minimum depth of seven feet, six inches (We've experienced this before, March 13).

While the below-normal temperatures have undoubtedly led to the current spate of frozen connections, the problem has been exacerbated by an ill-advised change in the city's snow-clearing policy on residential streets, whereby such streets are now plowed down to bare pavement.

Removal of the former insulating layer of compacted snow has allowed the frost to penetrate that much farther down into the soil. Talk about the consequences of an unexpected outcome.

 

ROGER MILLS

Winnipeg

 

Fair party funding needed

I share some small measure of agreement with Sidney Green's argument respecting public funding of political parties (Support at the doorstep, April 16).

However, given that we live in a capitalist, market-driven, for-profit society where wealth is power, how do we provide for some degree of fairness in the political process?

In the United States, where there is no restriction on corporate political funding, the wealthy effectively dictate national policy.

Given the structure of a capitalist society, some program of public funding for legitimate political participation is vital to allow democratic participation in government.

The extent of public funding for political parties is certainly debatable, but I believe Green is saying he's opposed to any form of public funding.

 

AL MACKLING

Winnipeg

No debating global warming

In his article, Government should sock it away, in case (April 16), Graham Lane suggests "the climate-warming debate clatters on."

Given recent, alarming reports from the International Panel on Climate Change, the debate on global warming is over. The dialogue must now be about solutions and survival.

In past articles, Lane has called for a gas-fired plant to meet future electrical needs. Any call for a process that will put more carbon into the atmosphere is a dire threat to us all.

We need to move quickly to eliminate fossil-fuel use.

 

KELLY CHARTRAND

Winnipeg

 

Seal-hunt critics hypocritical

Re: Seal hunt starts today (April 14). The world's largest seal hunt in the world occurs in Europe, where the killing of seals is considered a cull with the purpose of protecting valuable fish stocks.

In Australia, the largest animal cull in the world takes place, as kangaroos die for their skin and meat.

In Newfoundland and Nunavut, the annual seal hunt is called a slaughter, by barbarians worthy of condemnation and a boycott of all seal products.

This is hypocrisy at its worse. The harp seal is not endangered, and baby seals are not clubbed -- they are humanely harvested to provide a meagre income to easterners to augment the loss of the Canadian cod fishery.

I suggest other countries examine their own practices before judging others.

 

KIM TRETHART

Winnipeg

 

Another apology needed

Rajinder Goyal, in her letter regarding Health Minister Erin Selby's apology, urges us all to "move on" because "nothing more can be asked of her" (Selby sorry, time to move on, Letters, April 16).

Selby said sorry to the families of the dead babies she accused the Conservatives of killing while in power in Manitoba.

That's all well and good, but it wasn't those families she vilified by her hateful and malicious claims. It was the Filmon Conservatives.

It won't be time to move on until she apologizes to them for her outrageous calumnies.

 

SYLVIA PHELAN

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2014 A16

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