Scaring the establishment
Bartley Kives sounds almost surprised Mark Chipman should host a fundraiser for Brian Bowman, but then clarifies that "Winnipeg's establishment has moved on from the Sam Katz era" (Bowman's got a big Chipman on his side, June 20).
Kives's column is astute and expresses openly what many in both the establishment and the rest of us have been trying to get across for some time.
Where I disagree is in Kives's evaluation of the situation as being "far too simplistic to view the race in purely ideological terms."
Clearly a difference of ideology is the main issue in the coming municipal election. The populist regime of the Katz era is not satisfactory for the establishment; more and more Winnipeggers are fed up with his undermining the professionalism of city staff, handing off their work to private, profit-oriented companies.
There are more homeless, the cost of living keeps going up and even the middle-class can hardly afford to buy homes or pay sky-rocketing rents. The citizens are ready to put their own people into power and that scares the establishment all to heck.
Bill 63 questions persist
Lloyd Axworthy contends the province amended Bill 63 in good faith after listening to students, faculty and administrators, claiming the amendment corrected the imbalance between government and institutional authorities (Chipping away at our universities, June 11).
I'm puzzled by his position, as a clause in this bill requires institutions to seek permission from the minister to make modifications or to stop providing a program of study.
This seems like an unwarranted intrusion by government in the internal affairs of the university -- especially when taken along with the elimination of the Council on Post-Secondary Education, who contend the amendments are window dressing.
Axworthy's claim runs counter to that of Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director Jim Turk, who calls this a terrible bill.
Bill 63 is a regressive, unnecessary assault on the independence of an institution that is supposed to be a beacon to society.
Lloyd Axworthy's view of the now-amended Bill 63 indicates he attaches significance to "consultation" with Manitoba's universities and colleges on matters of mandate and control over program direction.
In our view, as former presidents of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations, consultation can mean anything from government edicts to serious discussion of issues important to post-secondary education, depending upon the political needs of the government.
We still await the real reasons for this very hurried and without-consultation demolition of the Council on Post-Secondary Education. COPSE, as required by its charter, has been reviewed two times. The first very comprehensive and consultative review was carried out by former Brandon University president John Mallea. The second non-consultative review did report, like Mallea, that COPSE was not adhering to its mandate. Education Minister James Allum was chair of COPSE for several years, and had the opportunity to address all of the issues he is apparently now eager to address.
We would join Axworthy, and call for a comprehensive review of post-secondary education in this province and, in the light of that, review a re-draft of this legislation to address the major identified issues.
Dick Henley and Bill Paton
I'm disgusted at the slap on the wrist given to Robert Green for his part in the abduction of Emily Cablek's children (One-year sentence angers mom, June 20).
The 10-year maximum for abduction is woefully inadequate, as is the sentence Green received. The legal system is confusing enough to the average person; it becomes even more so when major crimes are not punished adequately.
This family has a lifetime of issues to deal with yet Green, who willfully and with malice abetted their abduction, gets 365 days -- less when one subtracts his parole date.
What would make Judge Dale Schille think this serves as an appropriate sentence? Time and again our legal system returns criminals to society when the majority view is they should be kept behind bars for much longer.
LRT a route to nowhere
After the rapid-transit fiasco is over, we taxpayers will have probably spent more than $1 billion for what will essentially be a bus route through some fields to nowhere, seeing as it won't end at the University of Manitoba (Rapid-transit proposal rolls on, June 19).
City council should have gone with an elevated LRT system down the middle of Pembina Highway, on land that is already there and free, and ending at Investors Group Field.
Despite the increase in capital costs, LRT's operating costs are about 50 per cent less than typical transit costs.
The cost of snow clearing
Re: Bring snow-removal in-house (Letters, June 19). Who does Mike Davidson think he's kidding? Davidson should be looking in-house to see how he can cut costs and make the employees he represents more efficient, rather than increasing the workforce.
Who will pay city workers cleaning snow at double and triple time? Are Davidson and CUPE 500 going to shell out the millions it would cost to buy the new equipment for snow removal, or does he expect the taxpayer to fund the new equipment?
If Davidson says his union can do it cheaper, then why doesn't he tender a bid on snow removal to prove his union is more efficient?