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Misleading comparison

Gordon Sinclair's Aug. 15 column, No justice when it comes to addicts, is inaccurate and misleading. Faron Hall is in jail because he intentionally hurt a woman putting her child into her car after she wouldn't give him money.

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He is not in jail because of his addiction. He is in jail because he is a violent offender. You don't go to jail because of drunkenness; you go to the Main Street Project or the drunk tank.

I would rather Dr. Stephen Coyle be free on the streets than Hall.





Thank you to Gordon Sinclair Jr. for one of his wisest and most insightful columns ever. He has pointed out the glaring discrepancy between the way our society responds to its "valuable" members with addictions versus those deemed useless and expendable.

His article represents journalism at its best. He has vividly raised our awareness of the sad double standard that exists in the way we respond to those who need our understanding and support.




Working for respect

I might have more sympathy for the complaints of MLAs that they're losing "family time" this summer because the legislature is sitting if they hadn't taken 18 weeks off this winter (All talk, no time off at legislature, Aug. 15).

The Manitoba legislature is near the bottom of the Canadian list in terms of sitting days. Debating legislation is their job. People might have more respect for politicians if they didn't treat sitting days like a chore.




Unhappy with Omnitrax

Re: Bumpy ride for Omnitrax plan? (Aug. 14). I was one of approximately 70 people who attended the public meeting the Hudson Bay Port Company and Hudson Bay Railway held in Churchill's complex.

After we sat through a coma-inducing presentation on "diversification," "growth" and "opportunity," the floor was opened to questions, where the town's concerns with environmental impact immediately were voiced. The question-and-answer period became quite emotional and at times got out of order.

Omnitrax was asked if it would proceed with plans to ship petroleum products from the port, despite not having the support of the local community. The answer received, rather smugly I might add, is that Omnitrax has already obtained all the necessary permits.

At this point, it became painfully clear the meeting was nothing more than a formality, a forum for locals to receive a false sense of involvement.

Please continue to cover this story as the Omnitrax plan has the potential to endanger our environment, devastate our tourism industry and destroy one of the most unique places in the world.




Change confusing signs

I agree with the Manitoba Federation of Labour that speeding in a construction zone needs to be addressed (MFL seeks crackdown in construction zones, Aug 16).

The first thing that should be done is to change the confusing signs that say "Maximum speed 60 km/h when passing workers." This leaves the decision of what speed to travel at up to the individual motorist after considering if workers are too close or far enough away.

How far away must the workers be in order to be safe from passing traffic? The section in the Highway Traffic Act leaves no room for doubt -- if workers are present on the site, the speed is 60 km/h. These confusing signs should be changed immediately to read "Workers present. Maximum speed 60 km/h." This removes all doubt as to what speed motorists should be travelling, therefore helping to ensure worker safety.

I also agree a "construction ends" sign needs to be posted as well. Communication is vital. Let there be no room for doubt.




Carbon-tax misinformation

Elizabeth Nickson's Aug. 14 column, Carbon taxes wasteful burden on poor, is full of misinformation and out-of-context statistics.

The purpose of a carbon tax is to provide incentives to help people shift away from dependence on fossil fuels. The report B.C.'s Carbon Tax Shift After Five Years: Results -- which was published in an issue of Canadian Public Policy, a peer-reviewed research journal -- concludes the "B.C. carbon tax has contributed to a significant reduction in fossil fuel use per capita, with no evidence of overall adverse economic impacts, and has enabled B.C. to have Canada's lowest income tax rates."

According to a recent article in the British magazine The Economist, B.C.'s carbon tax is not only feasible, but has become politically popular and effective in reducing greenhouse gases. A recent poll of British Columbians found carbon taxes ranked as their second-favourite way to raise revenue (behind taxes on corporations).

In B.C., the carbon tax generated $727 million in revenue in 2010. This revenue funded tax cuts of $384 million to individuals and $412 million to businesses.





It is clear Elizabeth Nickson sees any tax as a catastrophic waste of public money. It is also clear she is a shill for an elite that will fight to the death to keep its privileges, no matter the damage caused to the vulnerable, including the planet we all live on.

She should, however, have the common sense to read the reports she is condemning before putting her vitriol to print. The report she refers to was authored by two members of the University of Ottawa's law faculty, not exactly your hotbed of carbon-tax proponents.

According to the report, the fiscal impacts of the carbon tax have reduced corporate income taxes such that B.C. is now tied with Alberta and New Brunswick for the lowest corporate income tax rate in the country.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2013 A16

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