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Brewing up pub plans

While he makes some valid points on streamlining and advancing Manitoba's "archaic" liquor laws, Steve LaFleur completely misses the point on breweries and brew pubs (Time to brew up Manitoba craft beer biz, July 29).

For the last two years, I have been working on possible locations for a brew pub, an idea I have had since I was a regular at River City Brewing back in 1999 (yes, there has been a brew pub in Manitoba before). Brew pubs were not in fact "illegal" up until a few years ago; Manitoba had the very first brew pub in Canada in 1984 at the Niakwa Hotel, aptly named Fridays. It suffered, as have many innovative businesses before it, of being "too early" and in a tough market. Then River City tried it again in 1999, but operations and management proved to be their downfall, not the market or MLCC.

I have dealt with the MLCC, now Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, for more than two years now, and they have been more than helpful in their dealings with me. I feel they are providing what is needed, and until we as Manitobans give them a reason to drastically change the rules with justification beyond "other provinces do it" criticism should be checked at the door.

Darren Wanless

Winnipeg

Don't rename civic holiday

Re: Terry Fox elevates holiday (Editorial, Aug. 1). No matter how well-earned or how deserving, the purpose of a civic holiday is not to honour the life and accomplishments of a single individual.

In recognition of our national heroes, charitable trusts are established, coins are struck, stamps are issued, statues are erected, schools are named, races are run, highways are re-dedicated and daily gratitude is expressed. Over the years, Terry Fox has been the deserving recipient of each of these tributes.

With the greatest respect to Canada's heroes, civic holidays are meant as time set aside to contemplate the benefits and rewards of our on-going communal spirit, to celebrate the aggregated efforts and accomplishments of those who made our home the envy of the world.

There is no question Fox is one of this country's most inspiring heroes. His courage and determination in promoting cancer awareness, prevention and research are celebrated and memorialized internationally.

Fox was born in Manitoba and is unquestionably worthy of all the accolades he has received. While renaming the provincial August civic holiday after him is a noble gesture, I believe this humble young man would consider the monumental evolution of his personal efforts toward improving the health of others as tribute and thanks enough.

Arthur Ellis

Winnipeg

Sounding off on Mideast

While Bill Toews and the other holier-than-thou commentators from the West continue to decry Israel's actions, has anyone noticed the absence of criticism from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and so on (Mideast conflict polarizing, Letters, Aug 1)?

These Arab countries, with secular governments, are not friends of Israel. Yet, despite their feelings toward Israel, it's apparent their feelings toward Hamas are stronger.

Perhaps, rather than jumping on the bandwagon to support a terrorist organization, said commentators should look at the non-reaction by other Arab countries. They may then realize these countries may know more than we do.

Those countries clearly believe Hamas is a larger threat than Israel to stability in the Middle East.

Dave Ferguson

Winnipeg

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Re: Israel guilty of war crimes? (Aug. 1). Does Hamas aim its rockets so as to prevent civilian deaths? Does Hamas warn Israelis as to their rocket targets?

If Israeli deaths numbered 1,400, would Hamas be threatened with war-crimes charges?

Gloria Johnston

Winnipeg

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What steps have the UN taken to ensure the safety in its Gaza facilities (Strike was shameful: UN chief, July 31)?

Pierre Kraehenbuehl claims outrage at Israel, but not one word is directed at Hamas, which put the school and refugees at risk by shelling Israeli troops from the school yard. If Kraehenbuehl is unable to keep Hamas away from UN refugee locations, his outrage is contrived. It is not up to Israel to remedy UN ineptitude.

The UN pretence it has power and prestige on the world stage while it stumbles from disaster to disaster has grown tiresome.

John Feldsted

Winnipeg

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The UN chief is correct in calling this Israeli attack on a school outrageous and shameful. If any other nation had carried out such attack, there would be a call for condemnation and sanctions by the UN, and Israel should be no exception.

There has been much talk in the UN about the responsibility to protect (R2P) civilians caught in war-torn countries. When Syria was accused of using chemical weapons on civilians, the Obama administration was poised for military action against the Assad government.

Now there is a decided lack of action from Washington on the latest attack on civilians. In keeping with R2P, it is incumbent on the UN and others to live up to this commitment and take steps to rein in the military excesses of the Israeli army in this Gaza campaign.

To have any meaning, the responsibility to protect cannot be selective.

Don Palmer

Winnipeg

Lake-drain details needed

Re: Three years to build lake drains: Pallister (July 30). Aboriginal interests were largely ignored when existing flood-fighting infrastructure such as the Portage Diversion and the Fairford Control Structure were constructed; the laws of our country have evolved such that it is unlikely this would happen again.

Conservative Leader Brian Pallister has apparently been assured "environmental approvals for the outlets could be done in as little as 30 to 90 days," which seems suspect. No details are given regarding the approach which he plans to take in consulting aboriginal peoples in the area.

There are more than 10,000 people of aboriginal descent living on seven reserves bordering Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. A number of decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada have established a duty to consult with First Nations by federal and provincial governments before undertaking actions which may affect aboriginal rights.

It would be helpful if Pallister could be more forthcoming on how he realistically expects to achieve his goal of constructing $300 million in flood-proofing infrastructure in as little as three years. In particular, how is he planning to consult with the 10,500 First Nations people who will be most affected?

Harry Finnigan

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 5, 2014 A8

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