Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/7/2015 (697 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Olympics too costly for Toronto
Before Toronto gets too enthusiastic about bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics, proponents need to consider the report by Oxford University that examined the 17 most recent pre-Sochi Games (Timing may be right for Toronto, July 25).
The report found there was a 100 per cent guarantee costs would exceed budgets, and those costs surpassed them by an average of 179 per cent of original estimates. Had Sochi been included, the number would have been even higher.
In addition, the report concluded the alleged associated economic benefits of the Games have been "marginal at best and disastrous at worst."
So if Toronto's expenses for the Pan Ams, hardly even a second-tier event, are triple those of Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011 and, inflation-adjusted, 14 times Winnipeg's in 1999, can anyone envision the bill it would run up for the Olympics? Would Canadian taxpayers be expected to help pay down the debt?
Key federal coalition overlooked
While the July 27 editorial Coalition governments coming soon? is thoughtful and accurate, the statement "Coalition governments have been considered un-Canadian -- except for the one that was formed in the First World War" is incorrect.
In 1972, Pierre Trudeau's Liberals and David Lewis's NDP formed a coalition that lasted for two years; in the 1972 election, the Liberals ended up with a plurality of two seats over Robert Stanfield's Conservatives, with the NDP having 31 seats.
During the short life of this coalition, several major pieces of important, progressive legislation were passed.
In 1974, Pierre Trudeau dissolved the coalition and called an election, convinced he could return with a majority -- which, in fact, is just what happened.
Hydro's two-tiered customer service
In a recent order, the Public Utilities Board has requested Hydro file its plan for a bill-assistance program -- a major departure from Hydro's long-standing bill-collection policy (PUB clears way for Hydro rate hike, July 25).
Having spent part of my career as vice-president of customer service, I can tell you Hydro treated all customers equally. If a customer had difficulty paying a bill, he or she would be referred to a social-assistance department run by the government.
The recent order creates a two-tiered customer class system, shifting responsibility for funding Hydro from one group of customers to others. It also inappropriately burdens Hydro with a social-assistance responsibility.
NDP's child-benefit stance chided
Ralph Goodale is correct in contending the NDP seeks to turn a social program into a political milch cow (NDP makes pitch for child benefit in fundraising email to supporters, July 25).
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair intends to keep the universal child care benefit program if elected, meaning he's comfortable with the public treasury enriching party coffers -- not what one should expect from an aspiring prime minister.
The contention that this program goes equally to the wealthy whether or not they need it is moot. This is a universal program using taxpayers dollars and should be open to all; it's a soup-kitchen mentality to argue otherwise.
It's the Opposition lambasting a program while trying to find ways to exploit it.
No accountability at WPS
After one city screw-up after another with little in the way of accountability for those responsible, it comes as no surprise Winnipeg Police Service officers guilty of the X-rated broadcast from Air One got off scot-free (No punishment for helicopter broadcast, July 25).
The only remedial action being taken appears to be a technical fix that will supposedly prevent future X-rated Air One conversations from being broadcast. I guess it's too much to expect a modicum of decency and professionalism from our highly paid WPS members these days.
Rana Bokhari MIA?
Re: Trudeau dismisses notion of Liberal-NDP alliance to topple Tories (July 23). In videos and pictures of Justin Trudeau's recent visit to Winnipeg, none of them included provincial Liberal leader Rana Bokhari -- or did I blink and miss it?