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BRT a dated concept

Zach Fleisher's letter BRT's path forward (June 27) is meaningless blather.

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Fleisher says, "This city no longer exists in a bubble of the 1950s -- the time for action is now." BRT, a diesel-powered, rubber-tired bus road running on extremely expensive-to-maintain roads is exactly that -- a 1950s concept.

Until politicians can demonstrate clearly that this project is beneficial to the public, and they have the public interest foremost in their actions and decisions, then the perception our city hall and provincial legislature are completely under the control of construction-industry profiteers will continue to grow.





Political motivations revealed

Re: Appeal to feds for scrutiny of Hydro projects (June 27). In his too-clever-by-half piece, Deveryn Ross tears away the veil hiding the political manoeuvering behind much of the opposition to ongoing Hydro development.

Opinions about Manitoba Hydro's projects will of course vary, but whereas most Manitobans will rely on their Public Utilities Board and Clean Environment Commission for a public airing and balanced oversight of Hydro's plans, Ross calls in the heavy artillery of the federal Conservatives and their Manitoba MPs to help scuttle further northern hydro development.

Differing visions are at play in this debate. One view looks to developing Manitoba's existing resources in partnership with northern First Nations, laying the foundation for a national clean energy grid servicing Saskatchewan and Alberta to the west, Ontario's Ring of Fire projects to the east, Nunavut to the north, and supported energy sales to the south. All of this requires long-term planning extending decades into the future.

The other view is now revealed as significantly politically motivated. In the run-up to the next federal election, we'll see how Ross's siren call is received.





Fowl finger-pointing

Re: Plotting plover's plight, (Letters, June 27). Wow -- Ian Wishart has really cleared things up for me.

Let's see: the NDP is responsible for destroying Manitoba's bird life and also all the flooding of the past 10 years.

And silly me for thinking the flooding was caused by high rainfall, wind and climatic instability.

Of course, with the Conservatives in power, the birds will fly again, and rivers and lakes will never overflow their banks.





Bomber coverage fab

While I was ecstatic about Thursday night's Winnipeg Blue Bombers win over the Toronto Argonauts, I was also amazed Winnipeg Free Press staff produced complete coverage of the game to appear on my doorstep before 6 a.m. Friday.





CBC cuts, spin shameful

How dumb do CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix and Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover think Canadians are (CBC to cut in-house productions in shift to digital platforms, June 27)?

These two spin while Canada's public broadcaster is dismantled. Meanwhile, the Harper government has money to burn for its own image-making, and an endless supply of self-righteous indignation to cast aspersions on its critics.

Lacroix and Glover should resign in shame over the latest cuts to what remains of the CBC. It's time to get rid of these messengers rather than gut the public broadcaster that gets and tells the stories Canadians want to hear and see.





A bumpy road ahead

Re: Bus path to U of M cleared (June 26). Ten years ago, Facebook first launched, the Friends series finale aired and gas was $0.76 per litre in Winnipeg. There was no MTS Centre, Investors Group Field, Winnipeg Jets or Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

But at least two things have remained constant -- Winnipeg city council's lack of action on rapid transit and our atrocious roads.

If city council still can't get the rapid-transit plan going after more than a decade, I know thousands of potholes and crumbling streets right now that would appreciate the money.



President and CEO, CAA Manitoba

Bridge renaming short-sighted

Surely there is a better way to honour a city councillor for doing the job he chose than stripping the Redwood Bridge of its historical name after 106 years (Redwood Bridge to be renamed after Lazarenko, June 26).

I hope this doesn't mean that some day I will be crossing the Jeff Browaty Bridge in North Kildonan.





Re: Redwood's rich history (Letters, June 27). Mary Steinhoff is right. The City of Winnipeg should do their homework and stop making historical name changes without following a specific protocol.

It's one thing for an individual to donate funds and demand a name on a public building; but wiping away the Redwood Bridge with the stroke of a pen, is on the wrong side of history.





With no intended disrespect to anyone, but I think for the majority of us citizens the Redwood Bridge will always be the Redwood Bridge, Water Street will always be Water Street, and so forth.

I think if I directed someone I know to go over the Queen Elizabeth Way Bridge to enter the North End, they would look at me as nuttier than usual.




HQ cost hike unacceptable

Re: Police-HQ cost hike kept quiet (June 24). Cost overruns are unfortunately an inherent problem with capital projects at all levels of government. The reasons are varied and include unforeseen problems, loss of continuity and inflation -- all of which hit the deep pockets of the Canadian taxpayer.

This project reflects an increase of $75 million -- 55 per cent -- over four years, which by any standard is simply unacceptable and smacks of gross mismanagement at city hall.

Perhaps the October municipal election will bring better stewards to the ruling table.





Had I, as an academic teacher, researcher and editor, behaved the way city officials did in hiding the cost-hike of the new police headquarters, the university would have been in its right to discipline me -- or even revoke my tenured appointment altogether.



Senior scholar, department of economics

University of Manitoba


Let teachers decide

As a former teacher, I'm not surprised by Manitoba's poor showing in the recent Conference Board of Canada release -- we are reaping the results of the "continuous promotion" policy (Manitoba scores low in education, June 27).

I had students who should have failed, but were promoted to the next grade by the principal. Until the power of promotion is delegated to teachers, this trend will continue.




Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2014 A16

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