Votes for Paula
I want Coun. Paula Havixbeck to run for mayor, and I will support her in that effort. We need politicians who aren't afraid to do the right thing and Havixbeck obviously has the courage of her convictions.
While Paula Havixbeck may no longer hold a position in the mayor's "inner-circle", the reality is that Havixbeck has done a better job at looking out for the best interests of Winnipeggers than any other member of council. Havixbeck was elected by the people of Charleswood-Tuxedo to pursue advancement and change in Winnipeg. That is exactly what she has done.
Havixbeck was strongly opposed to the budget and rightly so. Havixbeck's proposals would have resulted in significant savings and reduced the property-tax burden on residents, that is if the EPC wouldn't have shot them down.
Havixbeck has made significant efforts in holding others to account and trying to find answers to questions such as the unexplained $2.3 million of taxpayer money that went towards a fire hall.
Not only is there a lack of fiscal responsibility at city hall, there is also a lack of accountability. The only thing Mayor Sam Katz is capable of is avoiding answering questions and avoiding being held accountable. City hall may still be dominated by the "good ol' boys", but Havixbeck is a true leader who exudes strength and intelligence and it's clear that Katz is intimidated by that.
Once again, Mayor Sam Katz shows us our non-partisan city hall is all about Sam's Party of Puppets! Paula Havixbeck is off EPC for doing the right thing, which was trying to keep everyone accountable.
Sam says: "She was too hard to deal with." Sam's "Yes Men" get the nod and the extra pay for being on EPC. We need to drive Katz out of city hall and take back our city.
Give Scheifele a chance
Mark Scheifele deserves a lot better chance to make the team than he is being given by the Winnipeg Jets. A jump to the National Hockey League is a big one, and in order to be successful a player must be given the opportunity to actually play.
I can remember watching Larry Robinson, the famed defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens, when he first came into the league. He needed time to grow and to adjust to the NHL's speed and talent, but Montreal gave him that time and we all know what a great player he became.
Scheifele deserves that same chance. He is not going to benefit in any way from playing three games and then being benched for the next three. Sign him to a contract and let him grow into a bona fide NHL player. The Jets need to show some faith in a rookie with obvious talent and give him a chance to play at the level he deserves.
Who can you trust?
Regarding the Red River Exhibition Association's proposal to the minister of finance to take over the Manitoba Jockey Club's assets, namely Assiniboia Downs. Those assets include 130 acres of land, the track and grandstands, paddocks and stables, dining and parimutuel facilities, a large hall under the grandstand, and parking lots. Operating as a non-profit corporation under an agreement with the provincial government, the jockey club receives considerations similar to the Jets and Goldeyes (both for-profit organizations) to operate and receive profits from VLTs, as well as a rebate on directly related tax revenues.
The Ex estimates the value of those "contributions" at $10 million annually. Jockey club president Harvey Warner indicated that those combined revenues total $7.85 million in 2012. Since the Ex hasn't even consulted with the jockey club, whose figures would you trust?
It should also be noted that part of club's mandate is to support the horse breeding industry in Manitoba. Apparently, the club has been able to operate for the past 15 or 20 years, fulfilling its mandate without further subsidy.
Has either party thought about what they would have to pay for the assets in question, and who is entitled to the proceeds from the sale of such assets? What moral right could either party claim to meddle in the affairs of what is a self-sufficient non-profit, when it is meeting all of its obligations?
We should expect much better from both our political leaders and the trustees of our public institutions.
J. Hugh McMorrow
Re: Idle No More protests won't work, but voting might (Jan. 10).
Let's face it, with our governments of today, it seems the only time "the true principles of democracy" come into play is at the voting polls. After that, democracy goes out the back door and into the dumpster. From then on the prime minister and his PMO literally take over.
There is no more representation by those who are elected to serve on behalf of the electorate. There is no discussion, or very little, permitted in the omnibus bills that have been rammed down the throats of Canadians. Is it any wonder that the First Nations people are upset? Is it any wonder the Canadian people are upset?
Most MPs in government have not read enough to understand the complexities that are incorporated in such bills, yet when their names are called, they respectfully stand and nod their acceptance to the House, in ignorant bliss.
It is fine and honourable to get out and vote, for this is a very important role to make your mark in the name of democracy.
Voting might work and be the answer, as Deveryn Ross suggests, but it will only be successful if the true principles and process of democracy are allowed to function in all matters of government.
Still a hero
Re: Armstrong admits doping to win Tour de France 7 times: 'I'm a flawed character' (Jan. 18). Lance Armstrong is a cheater and a liar but I think people are forgetting the bigger picture here. This is an individual who founded the Livestrong Foundation, which has raised, according to livestrong.org, over $470 million for cancer. That should be Armstrong's legacy.
This whole situation reminds me of the Tiger Woods saga. I heard someone say "He cheated on his wife and people will forgive him for that, but if he would have cheated on his scorecard he would never be forgiven." This rings true in Armstrong's case -- he cheated on the track so he is no longer a hero.
If your foundation raises almost $500 million for cancer and you're not a hero, then there is something seriously wrong with this world.