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Water, frustration rising
I got indignant after reading Sandi Knight's article about farmers sacrificing their lands and livelihoods for the greater good of us living in comfort and safety downstream from the flood, and the response they received from Premier Greg Selinger ('Selfish' farmers again sacrificing their livelihoods for greater good, July 11).
The premier, it is said, "told the press there are no other programs." The premier needs to find or devise a program so farmers are fully compensated, with no nitpicking on the dollars. And let's not forget the back payments for previous years of flood compensation not yet paid to these farmers.
That should be the first step -- the next would be to get the engineers working immediately, and not some vague tomorrow, on a sensible program to see flooding is mitigated to the best possible extent.
The province built "Duff's Ditch" to save the city -- is it not in the realm of practicality to do something equally efficient to save the farmers? If land has to be expropriated, do it -- we can call the finished product "Selinger's Salvation."
Engineers should be planning not for the 300-year or 100-year flood, but for a 10-year flood.
It's all gloom and doom in the Selinger war room these days. The good news is the potential flood crest on the Assiniboine River was less severe than forecast. Tragically, many people are severely affected, but it could have been so much worse.
The bad news for the NDP is they've lost their entire 2015 re-election strategy, which was to blame everything from the recent PST hike to failing infrastructure on this year's flood.
The premier got his gratuitous photo op, but his spin doctors will now have to work overtime to create a new "monster" they can hold accountable for their incompetence.
Year after year, we in Manitoba face potential flooding. Yet year after year, people still, for whatever reason, build their homes as close as they can get to rivers.
Sure, rivers are beautiful -- until they do what comes naturally: flood.
If you absolutely have to see the rivers or lakes, buy a boat. There is no lack of available property in Manitoba where you can build a nice home without the fear of flooding.
Exploring 'Trudeau effect'
Frank Dabbs' article Summer no silly season for Trudeau (July 9) shows the numbers don't lie when talking about the federal Liberals under Justin Trudeau.
I've met the young Trudeau; I found him approachable, respectful, and articulate in sharing his vision for our country. He was down-to-earth, in an old-fashioned Canadian kind of way -- trusting, I would say.
Does that explain the "Trudeau effect?" What do we want from our leader in Ottawa?
I think he's telling us our country and people are more than hardline policies and issues.
Shoal Lake issue shameful
I'm appalled the Shoal Lake band is so isolated, and doesn't have access to clean drinking water (Living in isolation, July 10).
They were moved off their original land so we in Winnipeg could enjoy plenty of clean, fresh water. There's something wrong with that picture.
Why can't a decent road be built so they can have their water treatment plant constructed, and have access to health care, especially during the winter?
The Shoal Lake band shouldn't have to suffer for our convenience. Thank you to Mary Agnes Welch for this article -- maybe the issue will now be on the radar of politicians.
Prostitution here to stay
Re: Proposed prostitution law likely to fail charter challenge, says expert (July 10). I'm certain Justice Minister Peter MacKay has heard the saying "There are only two things you can be sure about in this world: death and taxes."
There are two other things to add to the list: the inability to achieve peace in the Middle East, and the inability to abolish prostitution.
The sooner MacKay understands that, the sooner he can stop wasting his time and our taxpayer dollars.
Prospects of peace
The opinion piece Resumption of talks needed to avoid risk of third intifada (July 10) is not only simplistic in its perspective, but rife with errors.
One of these is the suggestion Operation Protective Edge is a revengeful response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli children. Kidnapping of Israelis is not a new strategy, but is a key element of Hamas's efforts to terrorize Israel, and has been for decades.
There can only be genuine peace talks if Hamas, which has been classified as terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, the European Union, Jordan, Egypt and Japan, recognizes the legitimacy of Israel and does not call for its destruction.
There can only be peace when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israel and its children.
Eritrean petition contentious
Re: Refugees told to back regime (July 9). The Coalition of Eritrean Canadian Communities and Organizations (CECCO) and the Eritrean Community In Winnipeg Inc. reiterate those individuals who are opposed to receiving the services of the consulate should not sign the petition in question.
Furthermore, we encourage anyone who has experienced any incidents of threats or intimidation to report these incidents to the police.
CECCO and the Eritrean Community in Winnipeg Inc. will continue to petition for the continuation of services of the Eritrean consulate in Toronto, and make sure the continuation of services will benefit all Eritrean-Canadians, whether they petition for it or not.
We stay committed to our mission, values of inclusiveness and the successful integration into our newly adopted country of Canada.
Acting chairman, CECCO
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 14, 2014 A6
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