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PM should meet with Putin

I'm encouraged by the fact other G7 leaders are going to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the trouble in Ukraine -- it shows courage and statesmanship (Harper, Obama urge leaders not to meet with Putin, June 6).

I expect my prime minister to have the wisdom and courage to engage in dialogue with those holding opposing views, not simply isolate or demonize them.

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Has isolating Iran or North Korea led to anything constructive?




Improve traffic flow

Rather than view our streets as a source of revenue, the city should maximize the efficiency of traffic flow to facilitate commerce (Ticket masters, June 4).

Instead we get mobile photo radar, 30 km/h speed limits in school zones, speed bumps, ruts, potholes, pedestrian crossings that can grind semis to a halt, surprise construction zones that force last-minute lane changes and unsynchronized traffic lights.

The article implicates photo radar as a major contributor to slowing traffic down, thereby reducing fatalities, and thus it is justified in the name of safety (and not a cash grab after all), thus we really need it. In Winnipeg, slower is safer.

While I'm less likely to die and I feel much safer when I'm only creeping along in traffic, my foot on the brake at every light along Portage Avenue, I'd be thankful if I could putter along for at least five kilometres in a row at a uniform speed of 60 km/h.

Winnipeg won't become a thriving economic engine unless we can get our traffic flowing efficiently. "A City That Moves" would be a campaign slogan that would get my attention.




Stalingrad key to Nazi defeat

We read plenty about the invasion of Normandy by the western Allies in 1944 as the start of the liberation of Europe from the Third Reich (Hard truths of D-Day, June 6).

While that event was an outstanding accomplishment for the Allies, with great sacrifice and loss of life, the bulk of the Germans' mighty, well-equipped army was trying to stop the advance of the Soviet Union troops to the East.

It seems to me that the fall of the Nazi domination started after they were defeated by the Russians in Stalingrad. Had the German army been free from the Soviet attack, the Normandy operation would not have been successful, and the next chapter of history might have been very different.




Grandstanding at IGF

The article Caught in a funding crunch (June 6) bemoans the state of finances at the Winnipeg Police Service. As an entity that is there for all of our protection, maybe they would benefit from an infusion of $625,000 -- the amount the city was set to give the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (City hall has dropped the ball on transit deal, May 29).

Bombers president Wade Miller knows very well his only option should have been to increase ticket prices to cover the club's transit costs. He more than understands that if someone is willing to grossly overpay for a beer and a hotdog, they can well afford an additional three bucks to get in. Less traffic congestion would easily justify the increase.

I guess grandstanding isn't just for pro athletes and politicians.




Tracking guns tough for RCMP

Re: Three N.B. Mounties shot dead (June 5). Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney joined the prime minister in expressing "shock" about this latest gun tragedy, without realizing or acknowledging Bill C-19, the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, virtually guarantees more of the same.

The RCMP no longer has the ability to track the whereabouts of semi-automatic rifles. These weapons must be prohibited to civilian sale, or at the very least, reclassified as restricted so they can be properly monitored.


Toronto, Ont.


Plenty of heat for Grit leader

The notion that the Canadian media has for the most part given Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau a free pass is totally ridiculous (Free pass for Trudeau, Letters, June 5). There has been a great deal of media coverage critical of Trudeau's decision to make it mandatory that Liberal candidates commit to being pro-choice, for example.

While Trudeau has been available to the media, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been controlling of and hostile to the media, all the while silencing freedom of speech within his own party.




Give street cleaning heads-up

Winnipeggers are familiar with having to move vehicles off the streets after a snowstorm so plows can do a good job of clearing the roadways.

Could we not have a similar awareness campaign in effect while streets are being cleaned in the spring? With no prior knowledge of when streets will be cleaned of grit, gravel and sand, Winnipeggers unknowingly obstruct street-cleaning equipment, resulting in stretches of streets and bays left with sand and gravel.

Winnipeg can look great in the summer, but not if our thoroughfares are a mess.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 9, 2014 A8

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