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Research begets good policy

Judy Wasylycia-Leis has done something no other candidate has -- committed to supporting stronger research when it comes to crime (Wasylycia-Leis unveils strategy, Aug. 26).

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Research might not be a "sexy" election issue, but if we are to truly understand crime patterns and how to address them, then we need a strong research team to figure it out.

Wasylycia-Leis' commitment to hiring new crime analysts for the Winnipeg Police Service will go a long way to helping us understand the most pressing issues facing families in Winnipeg, and how to help those in need.

Matt McLean

Winnipeg

Changing minds, changing routes

Why do we dump on politicians and political candidates who change their minds (Bus rapid transit 'flip-flop,' Aug. 23)?

I am more worried about those who never do, no matter what information they receive or reasoned arguments they hear.

At a fraction of the cost, bus rapid transit to the University of Manitoba and to St. Norbert could achieve the same times, or possibly better, by making use of diamond lanes instead of taking a dogleg route.

At their open houses, Winnipeg Transit admitted that at non-peak hours, buses on the dogleg and buses making only express stops on Pembina Highway would take about the same time in getting to the university. Diamond lanes would remove some or all of the time differential at peak hours.

Extending diamond lanes to other routes where there are three or more lanes in each direction would improve transit service for many more transit users all over the city at very little cost.

Carolyn Garlich

Winnipeg

No help for healing

My thanks go out to Premier Greg Selinger for his response to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's dismissal of Tina Fontaine's murder (Premier seethes over PM's comment, Aug. 23).

Harper views this as an isolated crime; he doesn't think an isolated teenage girl, filled with despair, ending up murdered and thrown into a river is a sociological phenomenon.

Nor does he think that her inability to find help to deal with her grief over her father's murder is an indication of how little assistance is available to our country's vulnerable.

How can the prime minister see the lack of mental and emotional support available in this country as anything other than a reflection upon our society?

Thelma Favel, Tina's aunt, tried to get help and was denied. People want and need help, and they are being denied that basic human right.

There is more than one person responsible for this terrible crime.

Cassidy Dutchak

Winnipegosis

Context on campaign cash

In Developers' cash wanted like sore thumb (Aug. 22), Dan Lett shares three misleading ideas.

First off, Lett states that "Developers... have always played a prominent role in funding municipal campaigns." The same could be said about organized labour and other companies. While contributions are not accepted from unions, corporations or any other organizations, members are not precluded from making individual donations.

Secondly, a $1,500 donation is hardly a "prominent role." According to election rules, an individual can make a maximum contribution of $1,500. This equates to the mayoral candidate being able to buy one billboard for advertising.

Finally, Lett details which candidates are submitting their donor list before the election. Whether or not a candidate shares their donor list before the election or not is inconsequential.

One can donate to a candidate until March 31, 2015. The campaign period extends beyond election day to allow candidates to cover campaign expenses.

Norma Jones

Winnipeg

PUB just doing its job

The Public Utilities Board's main job is to be the public watchdog, and to scrutinize Manitoba's Crown corporations when it comes to their finances and requests for rate increases (MPI says PUB should butt out, Aug. 22).

That Manitoba Public Insurance management should now be telling us that we do not need the PUB to scrutinize their financial information is ludicrous.

The Selinger government should be stepping up to put MPI in their place, but don't hold your breath waiting -- there is nothing the NDP likes more than rate increases in government tax and Crown corporation.

Cal Paul

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2014 A8

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