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Fair electoral financing key

Re: Even electoral playing field (Letters, April 23) The issue of partial public financing of our electoral process has received a good airing over the last week.

While one aspect has gone unmentioned, letter writer Wayne Ashley nudges up against it, quoting Al Capone: "The wealthy get the best government their money can buy."

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The point isn't only a matter of whether I should be "paying" to support a particular political party, but that my support be more broadly directed to an open, level and democratic political process.

The danger in only directing support individually to parties is that these parties might then feel themselves beholden to the donors that financed their campaign.

We need only look to the federal government to see what governing largely for the narrow interests of its so-called base looks like.

Most Manitobans and Canadians prefer governments that govern for all the people, and which make difficult choices beyond what their specific funders might prefer.

Public support of a level playing field makes the courage and statesmanship we want from our leaders more likely.




So Dan Cecchini doesn't want his tax dollars going toward elections (PCs past, present and future, Letters, April 25).

I could say the same about an endless list of tax breaks in our tax code; it could be debated ad nauseam.

I prefer Wayne Ashley's logic: even the electoral playing field, and don't object to a portion of tax dollars being used in our electoral system (Even electoral playing field, Letters, April 23).

Brian Pallister's stance is no more than grandstanding unless fair rules exist for us all.

Should we count on a pre-campaign promise as an indication of the future?




City lacks integrity

Re: Industries oppose development (April 25). On Friday, a group of businesses in Transcona raised the level of integrity of our city's government -- or perhaps their integrity and concern for the public has underlined the abysmal level of integrity at city hall that continues to afflict this city.

It seems the existing industries and the people involved in them have more concerns for the residents of that area than either the city councillors sitting on the Transcona north precinct planning committee or the developers.

Thanks to those industries, Aldo Santin and the Winnipeg Free Press for exposing the public to the underbelly of this developer-friendly regime.




Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Re: Taking on this foe was a bad bet (April 24). It's unclear in Bruce Owen's article whether the bridge funding from this deal is from the revenue generated through gambling and allocated to the province, as outlined in annual reports from Manitoba Lotteries, or from a separate taxpayer pool.

If the latter is the case, I fail to understand why taxpayer dollars were spent on entertainment connected with gambling.

There's a rather large pool of funds already generated from the gaming industry that could have provided the bridge funding more appropriately than diverting taxpayer money -- namely, Manitoba Lotteries' $297.5 million in profits allocated to the province out of its $604.3-million revenue (based on their 2012-13 annual report).

Surely the required $22.65 million to sustain horse racing over the next 12 years should have come from these profits and left taxpayer dollars for improvements and programs that benefit the general public.




One must wonder whether Premier Selinger will partially subsidize the Manitoba Jockey Club by using the millions more he will take from cottagers in provincial parks.

There are many cottagers, particularly in Whiteshell Provincial Park, who will be forced out because they can't afford the unreasonably excessive hikes in lease fees, which are going into general revenues.

It's becoming clear where the NDP's priorities are -- not for hospitals and certainly not for the many cottagers who will see fees skyrocket.

The lack of services provided in the Whiteshell area for cottagers proves we are not the scapegoats the NDP has made us out to be.

The NDP is robbing Peter to pay Paul, and has lost my vote.




Re: Tear up open-gov't memo (April 15). Graham Lane cites examples of government agencies providing "cover" to the government for contentious actions.

The reoccurring absence of an annual estimate of the costs that will be incurred for the next fiscal year for each provincial park district -- as required by Section 18(3) of the Provincial Parks Act -- could be added to that list.




Don't overstuff bins

I wish your photo showing the snowman being thrown out in the April 23 Winnipeg Free Press had included in the caption: "This represents how you should not fill a garbage cart. The cart should not be filled to the point that the lid will not close."

No wonder Emterra has trouble making all the pickups in a timely fashion.




Include golf courses in ban

Re: Pesticides to be legal, restricted (April 23). I can't understand why golf courses are exempt from the pesticide ban. People of all ages, as well as four-legged animals, are often on or around the grounds.

While it's nice to see the "green" of golf courses, there's a odour of hypocrisy here that sends a mixed message to the public.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 28, 2014 A8

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