Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
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In over their heads
The July 2 article Virden bracing for more flooding states "flood watches have been issued for Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg," and "construction will begin on the Lake St. Martin emergency outlet channel today, and will start taking water soon after." This implies the situation is under control, and the Lake Manitoba flooding will soon be over.
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If only it were so easy. Opening the outlet channel on Lake St. Martin will help lower the water level on Lake St. Martin -- it will have no impact on Lake Manitoba. The amount of water leaving Lake Manitoba is determined by the flow at Fairford, which is at maximum capacity. In order to reduce Lake Manitoba's water level, a second emergency channel needs to be built connecting it to Lake St. Martin. Until this is done, Lake Manitoba water levels will remain dangerously high.
With all the flooding currently happening in western Manitoba, I anticipate the situation on Lake Manitoba will become worse before things get better. The Assiniboine River Diversion will once again be full, adding to a lake that's already at flood levels.
I can see a repeat of the summer of 2011 happening, when property owners were forced out of their homes due to flooding. Until a second outlet channel is built from Lake Manitoba, property owners around the lake will be flooded out again and again.
Let's not allow the province to spin the imminent flooding of Lake Manitoba (It's 2011 all over again, July 3).
The spring forecast was wrong; the Assiniboine River flows were reported low, as was the amount of water diverted into Lake Manitoba. At the same time, the capability of the Fairford water control system was exaggerated. Now we're the beneficiaries of another flood.
Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton's mantra of doing all he can to minimize the flood is not truthful. RMs have been trying to strategize and have sought information and commitments from the province that have largely been ignored. The trickle-down effect for residents is that there is no plan for proactive measures beyond moving lawn furniture to higher ground.
When inquiries are made to our local office, empty sandbags are made available -- a reminder of the empty words of our illustrious provincial leaders.
Sheegl 'earned' little
Why does it seem strange that the concept of "earned" and Phil Sheegl can be considered in the same article (Sheegl tops compensation list despite Oct. exit, July 2)?
There is no doubt he was paid the most, but it's hard to understand how he "earned" it.
Perhaps my understanding of the concept of "earning" a salary is wrong, but I thought it should be, at least, based on some level of satisfactory performance.
Reputations at stake
Does anybody in their right mind think Phil Sheegl and Sandy Shindleman would have agreed to talk to EY representatives (Central figures call report a big waste, July 3)?
I'm certain had they been approached, they would have declined such an interview on the premise they are private individuals and as such not subject to any audits or reviews conducted by or on behalf of the City of Winnipeg.
Now they can appear to take the high ground and condemn this report as "a waste of time and money" or "a joke."
What they, along with Mayor Sam Katz and several councillors, do not seem to acknowledge is the fact that such audits are a common service provided by companies such as EY. They employ professionals to perform the audit/review activities, staking their reputation on the final report -- unlike some at city hall.
Maybe it's worth paying EY an additional fee to follow up and interview Sheegl and Shindleman, then produce an addendum to the report outlining their participation in some of these questionable real estate transactions.
Tests benefit students
Teachers and students should be held accountable for their performance via testing (Teaching to tests fails to give students real education, July 3).
If not, should it follow that other professions -- doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, police, and airline pilots -- operate without any accountability?
Classroom grades are a direct reflection of a teacher's ability; a good teacher can raise a student's performance.
I challenge Neil Dempsey to find another profession that doesn't require accountability.
Criminal investigation needed
Call it an audit; call it a review -- the time for semantic niceties has long passed (Gloves off over city hall audit, July 3).
What is necessary in determining the extent of malfeasance in the handling of the City of Winnipeg's real estate transactions over the past decade is a comprehensive criminal investigation.
Upon assuming office in October, any mayoralty candidate, irrespective of political stripe, willing to immediately request a criminal investigation gets my vote -- and those of the majority of Winnipeggers too, I'd wager.
Backyard power lines
Re: Hydro gets green light for Keeyask dam (July 3). Next time you're driving by the huge transmission lines along Bishop Grandin or along the east Perimeter Highway, imagine that tower in your backyard.
That is what the "opposition in southeastern Manitoba to the proposed route" of the new transmission line is about.
There are alternative routes through bush and swamp in Crown lands further east -- don't use our backyards.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 4, 2014 A10
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