Poll support clarified
I read Gordon Sinclair Jr.'s column Firefighters, real estate board pay for poll (Aug. 21) with some bemusement. Sinclair mentions that a group called Manitoba Forward also partially funded the poll, quoting an unnamed web source who describes Manitoba Forward as "rogue Tories."
The headline on Sinclair's article misstates the sources of support; Manitoba Forward is the lead sponsor of the poll, having contributed contributed $4,000 toward the poll.
Contrary to what Sinclair reports, we are not a bunch of "rogue Tories"; rather, as our website says, we are an unaligned group of citizens who are deeply concerned about Manitoba's direction. We draw our support from most of the political spectrum.
Our chairman, Graham Lane, is the former chairman of the Public Utilities Board; until recently, he contributed weekly Free Press columns on matters of provincial concern. He is a member of no political party.
So why is a group that is primarily concerned about provincial politics funding a poll about Winnipeg's mayoralty race? The answer is in Aldo Santin's article Moody's lowers city's financial outlook to negative (Aug. 21), in which he describes how the financial status of the city and province are intertwined.
Manitoba Forward, Winnipeg
Shift priorities, open inquiry
The Aug. 21 Free Press Think Tank page was rightly devoted to the untimely deaths of two aboriginal Winnipeggers, and the related concerns and hopes for our city and our country.
Meanwhile, the news section led off with our federal government once again harassing aboriginal organizations with unproven allegations (Vegas trip, payouts questioned, Aug. 21).
How much of our tax money has gone to pay for these audits? When will the federal government shift its priorities to working with and for indigenous people?
Responding to the ever-growing calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women would be a step in that direction.
Justin Jaron Lewis
Why is it that as soon as the aboriginal leaders are accused of misspending, it hits the papers?
Compared to what our governments waste, $261,587 is a drop in the bucket. And while I don't condone either, it seems one side of the story has plenty of rug to sweep it all under.
Pressure Putin, or else
It seems that after the downing of the Malaysian plane over eastern Ukraine, the West and the European Union are ready to abandon Ukraine (Ukrainian love story comes to an end, Aug. 20).
Even if there are no concrete guarantees for strict intervention to defend Ukraine's territorial integrity, there is a definite moral obligation to stand up for Ukraine.
To date, this has consisted mostly of strongly worded statements, but little in the form of action. There have been a few token sanctions, but nothing of any significance or serious actions have yet to be imposed.
Is the West willing to abandon Ukraine to Russian President Vladmir Putin, just as it abandoned Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler in 1938 and 1939?
Why are we tolerating this aggression? Putin's Russia has been building up its troops along Ukraine's border, and staging provocations intended to create justification for the invasion. If we tolerate this, the consequences may prove to be catastrophic.
The Winnipeg Free Press is to be commended for printing articles by conscientious individuals such as Oksana Bashuk Hepburn (Ukrainian love story coems to an end, Aug. 20) and at the same time letters to the editor by ill-informed people such as Sig Laser, whose ignorance is well-illustrated in both paragraphs of his letter (No unity on Ukraine tragedy, letters, Aug. 21).
If the world had reacted earlier to the aggression of individuals such as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, there would be less need for a human rights museum to recall our shortcomings. Putin is an egomaniac, and must be stopped as soon as possible. Who could believe Putin is a humanitarian providing aid to eastern Ukraine while his Russian rebels shoot at aid trucks from Kyiv headed to that region?