May 23, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Vote on subsidies
So let me get this straight, the Jets get $11 million in tax and VLT concessions, the race track gets about $8 million in subsidies. Is everybody on the take? We the taxpayers support many businesses that should be supporting themselves.
Maybe it's time all levels of government told us who they support with our money so we can actually decide instead of our representatives who have chosen so unwisely.
Trails still open
Re: Loss of cross-country ski trails sends message -- be sedentary (Jan. 30). As part of Parks Canada's efforts to help reduce the federal deficit, we have aligned our seasons, hours of operation and visitor services to better reflect current patterns of visitation and visitor needs.
Riding Mountain National Park remains open year-round. Many roads continue to be cleared and maintained and washrooms are available this winter. We invite visitors to enjoy wildlife viewing and activities such as ski touring, walking and snowshoeing and to access townsite information services and the Friends of Riding Mountain's Nature Centre.
Groomed cross-country trails continue to be available, thanks to the assistance of the Riding Mountain Trail Stewards Association and the Friends of Riding Mountain National Park who submitted an unsolicited proposal to provide the service this year on a volunteer basis. In addition, Parks Canada staff update the Riding Mountain trail report on its website (www.parkscanada.gc.ca/riding) to keep people informed on skiing opportunities and trail conditions.
Parks Canada continues to be Canada's largest provider of natural and cultural tourism products and is recognized as a world leader in conservation.
Field Unit Superintendent
Riding Mountain National Park
EPC needs women
It is incredible that our mayor's executive policy committee does not have any female members. When the mayor decided that he could no longer work with the Charleswood councillor, he should have immediately appointed one of the other female councillors. This omission hurts the city's imagine.
Vouching for Hughes
I have known Lesley Hughes for many years and consider her a wise and pleasant person. The accusations against her of being anti-Semitic were absolute nonsense (Settlement clears journalist of anti-Semitism accusation, Jan. 31).
I happen to be very Jewish -- in appearance, demeanor and of moral convictions. Always regretted that she is not my sister. Her accusers should be ashamed of themselves. A church confessional or an extra thought next Yom Kippur would be welcome as their wholehearted apology.
Handout is a handout
Re: Union attack on companies laughable (Jan. 30). I'm surprised the Canadian Taxpayers Federation doesn't like Corporate Tax Freedom Day. I thought they were against government handouts? I guess they're only against these things when they apply to us, and not to their corporate supporters.
And while I could take issue with many of the cherry-picked statistics the CTF spokesman raises, let me just pick one: The hoard of cash that both the Bank of Canada and the finance minister have labelled as a problem doesn't come from borrowed cash. It comes from corporate tax cuts that have been paid for by ordinary Canadian taxpayers that this group purports to represent.
Hold the propaganda
I find it both enlightening and disturbing that the mayor appears to have started his 2014 election campaign. I do not appreciate getting bombarded with election campaign messages on the radio under the guise of a public service announcement. Spending tax dollars to inform the public that the city is merely doing its job is not my idea of fiscal prudence or organizational effectiveness. Bragging that my tax increase is going towards repairing our decrepit infrastructure, as if it is breaking news, is very upsetting.
We moved to the city in 1998. It was common knowledge then that our city streets were in desperate need of reactive and proactive repair. After nine years in office, Sam Katz's only claim to fame appears to be setting the record for conflict-of-interest cases. Gone are the days of threatening robo-calls to Granny that a tax increase will mean she will lose her home. Now we have the announcement that this wonderful tax increase will save us all because it is dedicated to doing what they should have been doing more than a decade ago.
P3s a viable option
Re: Study calls for $300-billion federal infrastructure investment (Jan. 25). The recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study, which pinpoints Canada's infrastructure deficit at $145 billion, recommends that governments resist the tendency to use infrastructure funding as a lever to promote, among other things, public-private partnerships.
The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships appreciates the focus on the serious issue of Canada's infrastructure deficit, but disagree with the conclusions. Effectively addressing our infrastructure deficit, particularly given current fiscal challenges, requires governments to look at innovative approaches to infrastructure development and service delivery, such as those offered by the P3 model.
Canada is considered to be a leader in its approach to P3s. The Conference Board of Canada has pointed to the numerous benefits of P3s in addressing critical infrastructure issues.
We acknowledge that P3s are not always the right answer -- decision makers have to look at all of the procurement options available to them and make the right decision. We need more dialogue around the benefits of P3s as a viable approach and a solution to overcoming mounting challenges, such as the infrastructure deficit, that threaten both the Canadian economy and quality of life.
Solutions to those challenges are made ever more complex by misperceptions and myths surrounding the P3 model, including those put forward recently by the CCPA.
CEO of CCPPP
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2013 A10