Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The chief has the vision

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Re: What will it take to make this city safer for all of us? (Sept. 7). Police Chief Devon Clunis is the only key public leader in Winnipeg to take a stand on the problems of our city with a vision that goes beyond the Blue Bombers and the Jets, development projects to benefit the rich and law-and-order policies to control the marginalized for the protection and convenience of the same rich.

The growing cleavage between the poor and the rich in our city, as reflected in the inequity of living conditions, creates "a fertile environment for crime," Clunis rightly states in his column.

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Decent rental housing at decent prices is almost unavailable in Winnipeg. Many parts of the city are real slums. Housing allowances for people on social assistance are way under the average rent of even the worst apartments.

But the priorities of the city seem to encourage housing developments in the outskirts of the city for upper-middle-class families and luxurious condo projects in the city core for the wealthiest, like the highrise projects at Portage and Main and Graham Avenue.

The latter one, with its 9,000-square-foot suites at more than $2 million and "dramatic LED lighting within the crown that will make the building visible from anywhere in the city" (Down tower, Sept. 7), if ever built, will be a symbol of the apathy of this city for its lower-income residents and the poor.

PIERRE MEUNIER

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 11, 2013 A8

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