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Bill C-24 protects Canadians

The editorial Weakening Canadian citizenship (June 13) criticizes our new measure to revoke citizenship from those who commit crimes against Canada.

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Our government is committed to upholding the integrity of our citizenship and immigration program and protecting Canadians from dangerous criminals, including spies, terrorists and those who take up arms against Canada, who threaten our safety and security.

Critics of the bill argue C-24 is not compliant with the Canadian Charter of Rights, but Immigration Minister Chris Alexander stated before the standing committee on citizenship and immigration "... we believe that this bill is in full agreement with the requirements in our Constitution."

In cases where a dual national commits a gross act of disloyalty such as treason or terrorism, or takes up arms against our Armed Forces, that individual will lose the privilege of Canadian citizenship. This is already practised in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, among many other countries.

 

Costas Menegakis

Parliamentary secretary to Canada's citizenship and immigration minister

Ottawa

 

Apathy over energy

Kelly Chartrand is engaged in wishful thinking if he believes Canada is likely to switch to large-scale non-carbon energy anywhere in the near future; there's simply inadequate current urgency for it, from consumers to industry to government (New, cleaner economy, Letters, June 13).

Ironically, those most vehemently opposed to the hydro dams Chartrand recommends are environmentalists, who feel they are too detrimental to surrounding ecosystems. They prefer to nurture the delusion that wind and solar can make up for any power shortfalls.

As for electric cars, despite large subsidies and steadily rising gas prices, consumers aren't exactly lining up to buy them, largely because they are considered overpriced.

Meanwhile, few citizens are calling for major government action on energy sources. Have any federal leaders for the 2015 election proposed a carbon tax or a new climate treaty?

 

Edward Katz

Winnipeg

 

Free market running on empty

There's an underlying message in the price at the pumps: Free-market competition is a myth (Gas pump ripoff, Letters, June 17).

When business heads speak of the free market, they are talking about their freedom to control the market.

Government regulation is the only vehicle common people have to combat corporate unionization, force competition and maintain a free market for the consumer.

The difficulty is when the government is in the back pocket of corporations, such as the fossil fuel industry.

 

DAN CECCHINI

Winnipeg

 

New b-ball hall a slam dunk

Re: A place for the people (June 14). The Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum has been housed on the second floor of the Duckworth Centre since 2001. Due to the construction of the new United Health and RecPlex, the university now needs the space we have been occupying.

Instead of just asking us to leave or relocating us to a much less desirable spot, they have created a new space for us in a location closer to the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium that will give us a higher profile in the building.

On behalf of our Hall of Fame and Museum committee, Basketball Manitoba and the entire basketball community in Manitoba, we would like to publicly recognize the commitment the University of Winnipeg has to its community, of which we are proud to be a member.

 

Ross Wedlake

Winnipeg

 

Pesticide ban not contentious

In the overview of bills passed in the spring sitting in Province, Statistics Canada in stalemate (June 13), it says "few were contentious."

Manitoba's new lawn pesticide ban should be included in this group. Despite some heated debate, in the end lawn-pesticide bans are not very controversial.

Case in point: Ontario has had one for five years, and in the last provincial election it was hardly mentioned.

Why? Because Canadians are largely in agreement now: Kids and pesticides don't mix. Congratulations to the province for bringing in this common-sense legislation.

 

Gideon Forman

Executive director, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Toronto, Ont.

 

Bring snow removal in-house

Winnipeggers have endured one of the most challenging winters in a century, and we're about to pay for it (Snow-removal budget blown, June 14).

In September 2013, finance chairman Russ Wyatt acknowledged there could be significant cost savings found in bringing snow clearing back in-house as a public service. Currently, about 80 per cent of our snow clearing is provided by private contractors, whose primary interest is to make a profit.

There is nothing wrong with a business making a profit -- unless, of course, that profit is being made on the backs of taxpayers.

How much of the $40.6 million spent on snow clearing could have been saved by having our own city crews provide the service? How much of it went directly to profit instead of clearing snow? When will Winnipeg bring this service back in-house?

These are questions we should be asking when candidates for the upcoming civic election come knocking at our doors.

 

Mike Davidson

President, CUPE Local 500

Winnipeg


Uncle's tale resonates

Marie Sharpe Schnerch's article in this past Saturday's Free Press was beautiful -- full of love, respect and tenderness for a man who showed the same attitudes toward those who needed it most at a truly poignant time of their lives (Another kind of father, June 14).

This prized article will be sent to another significant man far away in the hopes it will move his heart, as it did mine, to reflect on, write about and perhaps return to the meaningful and wondrous place of his birth more often.

 

Laurel Anderson-McCallum

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2014 A8

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