Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letters, Aug. 20

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Balanced books unlikely

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger has another option: present Manitobans with a budget in March 2015 and go to the polls in June (Law poses dilemma for NDP, Aug. 18).

But that would show integrity by Selinger, as he knows the chances of the NDP balancing the books by 2016 is like saying Halley's comet is going to change course -- it just isn't going to happen.

All Selinger and his caucus care about is staying in power, something the voters will punish them for when the NDP is forced to face the electoral music in April 2016.

Keith Poulson



Navigating downtown roundabout

The idea of a traffic circle at Portage and Main is absurd (Roundabout the right fit for Portage and Main, Aug. 17).

These configurations facilitate traffic flow, but how can one possibly help when each of the feeder streets has five to seven traffic lights within one kilometre?

Drivers must also know how to merge into traffic lanes for any large circle to work. Many Winnipeg drivers don't have this driving skill.

This proposal deserves to be shelved immediately.

Ed Labossiere



I've always been a big fan of roundabouts as an intersection solution.

As a young civil engineer in England in 1957, I designed a major roundabout at a four-road intersection. The dominant design concept was to keep the turning circle as large as possible to facilitate traffic merging. There were two lanes around the island, and some traffic had to cross these lanes during merging.

We did not have the potentially large pedestrian volume that Portage and Main will have, but we were able to accommodate four-way double-decker trolley buses with all their related electric wires and junctions.

I have been surprised at how well the Kenora roundabout works and keeps traffic flowing compared to the previous traffic lights.

At the very least, I believe a study of Portage and Main by competent traffic engineers could be very worthwhile.

Keith Marriott



Review Statistics Canada command

Re: $100 million census dispute between Manitoba and Ottawa is back (Aug. 16). It appears the problem here is not so much that Statistics Canada made an error in analysis, but that the error was communicated to the public without due diligence.

The job-creation number initially reported was so disparate that it should have been thoroughly scrutinized and verified before it was made public.

Statistics Canada is understandably embarrassed by this report and in order to restore confidence in the agency, it needs to take a close look at the chain of command responsible for communicating with the public.

Don Palmer



Reynolds' profound impact

Re: Thanks for letting me into your lives (Aug. 16). We have all known someone who has been faced with cancer; some of us are even the ones who wiped the drool from a loved one's face and laughed at the jokes. My heart goes out to Lindor Reynolds' family and all the people who care for her and about her.

Reynolds deserves thanks for all the time she spent investigating what happened to Phoenix Sinclair. Without her dedication, I sincerely believe we wouldn't have had the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry and the hopefully subsequent changes to Child and Family Services.

For that, Lindor, I thank you and wish you peace.

Ruth Brown



Lindor Reynolds describes her fundraising activities over the last year as "an act of selfishness," but wonders to some degree if this is insightful, considering her challenges.

In a 2011 speech for the Women's Foundation of Canada in Toronto, Gloria Steinem said: "When we are working together, we are not looking for thanks or gratitude; we are doing it for ourselves. It is an intrinsic part of our own welfare and our own motivation."

Steinem describes all efforts towards equality as interactively connected, affecting ourselves as well as others in a quest for fairness.

According to this, Reynolds' words and actions holds a great deal of insight.

Shirley Kowalchuk



Stoking anti-tax sentiment

The August 19 editorial cartoon emphasizing the tax burden seems to be a reaction to the recent report by the Fraser Institute that states Canadians pay more money on taxes, 42 per cent, than they pay for essentials such as food, clothing and shelter (at 36 per cent).

As usual, the right-wing think tank is stoking the anti-tax sentiment by failing to admit that health care, education, infrastructure, the justice system and the military -- all services that taxes pay for and that citizens demand -- are also essentials.

Dan Cecchini


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2014 A6

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