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NDP talks good game

Re: Make real waves on Lake Winnipeg rescue (May 3).

On Feb. 18, 2003, Manitoba's Conservation Minister Steve Ashton announced a commitment to reduce the contribution of nitrogen and phosphorus to Lake Winnipeg and to restore nutrient conditions to those that existed prior to the 1970s. That was his pledge.

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Now, a decade later, has there been any improvement to the lake's condition?

I would say no. In fact, I believe the conditions are much worse and have steadily escalated.

There has to be action with a determined will of the people and all governments to save our waters.

The continual rhetorical propaganda that we read and hear has the effect of a placebo.

Lake Winnipeg has literally been studied to death. Why are we waiting for the coroner's report and a public inquiry that follows?

It will not be possible for Lake Winnipeg or any of our waters to survive as long as politics keeps playing its role of constipating the needed efforts of recovery.

John Fefchak



A European feel

Whomever is responsible for placing the Van Gogh and the Rembrandt paintings on the first and last pages of Section G of the Saturday Free Press (May 4) should be congratulated and promoted.

It was brilliant and made me feel like I was reading a European paper, not our local missive.

It really connects with the reader when they see famous things like those two masterpieces on the pages of the local paper.

Very classy and very savvy to draw in your well-educated, well-travelled and well-read readers. I'm sending the section G cover and back to my friend in Montreal, who won't believe it when I tell her.

Alan Blanchette



Explain the fine

Barry Craig's piece about the speeding ticket price (Speeding fine only half of it, May 6) is right on the money, and the Manitoba government is wrong on the money.

I hadn't received a speeding ticket for a number of years, but I got one (63 in a 50 km-zone), about a year ago. The last ticket I got for speeding was four years ago in the $90-$100 range.

The ticket I got last summer was $216. Needless to say, I didn't know how the price of the ticket soared up like that. I didn't bother to investigate. Craig did and I am very grateful he did, because from what I read in his article, we are being cheated and something should be done.

And why is Kenaston between Grant and Academy a 50 km/h zone?

Gary Marantz



Stop the Bipole charade

Re: Heritage bid for site once again on hold (May 4). Now is the time for the NDP to acknowledge their mistake. Abandon the ill-founded UNESCO initiative and move the Bipole III transmission line back to the east side of Lake Winnipeg.

The overall environmental damage will be reduced and the gross provincial product will be enhanced. The only damage will be bruised egos and exposure to daylight of the flawed mindset that a UNESCO designation will bring great commercial benefit to the area. And perhaps the five First Nations involved in the application could even benefit from the $1 billion that will be saved.

Dave Ennis



It's about the truth

Re: Endless atheist chain (May 4). I am sorry that John Beckham finds the position of atheism to be one that offers nothing. For myself, it is not a case of searching for the worldview that is most appealing or that has the most enticing prize. When I started to explore the question of whether or not a god exists, I was simply searching for the truth. I found that none of the arguments for the existence of any god held up to scrutiny and therefore I am an atheist. I am no more of an intellectual than anyone else, just an ordinary person who cares that what I believe aligns with reality.

Sometimes we just have to grow up and accept that the answers to our questions do not align with what we want to be true. The idea that there is some kind of all-powerful being to watch over us, give us instructions on how to live and to provide us with a reward of an eternal afterlife is indeed comforting, but that doesn't make them true.

As far as I can tell, this is the only life I get to experience and that makes it more precious. I think it was Douglas Adams that said "If you want your life to have meaning, do something meaningful." Far from being dreary or depressing, I find those words inspiring.

Diana Goods



Mr. Fuhrer doesn't work

David O'Brien's The German Question -- be it unresolved (May 4) discussed anti-German sentiment in Europe today.

Last year my friend was elected president of the German Civil Service Federation, the national trade union centre. I congratulated him, but suggested that the use of the term "führer," which is still in use because it literally means "leader," has negative connotations for Canadians, who remember the "Führer" of the previous century.

Many have long memories.

Alf Brooks



Rosser had a chance

Re: Water issue bungled to dire effect (May 4). The irony in the case of CentrePort is that the Rural Municipality of Rosser was in on the original deal to establish the Greater Winnipeg Water District, the entity that built the aqueduct, but backed out in the end because of cost considerations. See the Manitoba Free Press of Feb. 11, 1913.

Dave Ennis


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 7, 2013 A8

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