Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/3/2011 (4134 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In Getting off the bottle (Feb. 26), reporter Lindsey Wiebe quotes information provided by a number of individuals about bottled water that has long been confirmed as false mythology one typically finds on anti-bottled water activists' websites on the Internet. Health Canada regulations for bottled water must be as strong and protective of public health as provincial regulations for tap water.
Over the last three years, 106 local jurisdictions (including Winnipeg) have rejected proposed bottled water bans. Just 25 municipalities (including Altona), three school boards and eight colleges and universities (including Brandon and Winnipeg) have banned the sale of bottled water on their premises over the last six years. Of note is the fact that several thousand local governments across Canada have chosen not to consider the matter at all, deciding instead to focus on repairing aging water and sewer infrastructure, delivering higher quality services to their communities and keeping taxes low.
Bottled water doesn't compete with tap water. It competes with other bottled beverages. According to Winnipeg market research firm Probe Research, 70 per cent of Canadians drink both tap water and bottled water.
While anti-bottled water activists concern themselves with plastic beverage containers, which represent less than one-eighth of one per cent of the waste stream, many recyclable materials found in industrial, commercial and institutional entities (which together represent 60 per cent of the waste stream) are being land-filled -- except in Manitoba.
Here, working with Minister of Conservation Bill Blaikie, the Canadian beverage industry has launched North America's first public spaces recycling program, which includes collection of recyclables from these facilities.
JOHN B. CHALLINOR II
Nestlé Waters Canada
Re: Pub shut after rodent feces found on food counters (March 2). I was surprised that the Free Press would publish a story and go so far as to include a picture of the establishment over a minor two-day shut down. Granted, having mice and being tardy about cleaning up is what bylaw enforcement does, but it's obvious the owners quickly took care of the matter.
Tarnishing their reputation this way seems irresponsible to me. Surely there are greater wrongs being committed in the world that deserve this style of treatment.
Air of availability
I for one applaud Judge Robert Dewar in looking at the big picture of what transpired during this situation. Women feel they can dress as provocatively and sexually as they want without encountering the consequences of what might come from that.
Go to the clubs and you will see females grinding each other on the dance floor, checking guys up and down, heavily drinking and partying and basically putting on the air that they are available.
I do not condone rape. This, however, was not a case of rape but of a female placing herself in a situation she couldn't handle in the end. I feel for the majority of guys today, with all the mixed signals girls send out.
Safe from vigilantism
Over the last few months, there has been a debate about the new more flexible legislation meant to protect citizens who are victims of assault or theft and who try to protect themselves.
No one expects to have a police officer close to every business or individual, so it is necessary for the law to allow us to defend ourselves from criminals. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is worried this could encourage vigilantism.
I can tell Canadians not to be worried about that. The Criminal Code of Chile, approved in the 19th century, very explicitly grants citizens the right to protect their property and life or to help others being attacked by delinquents.
During my long years in the Chilean police force, including my time as chief of investigation in Santiago, I never witnessed vigilantism or abuse of this law. Better to have in Canada the right to self defence and less protection for the criminals.
Re: Warmth beneath winter's chill, Feb. 26. Before Tom Oleson writes his next column estimating Fahrenheit and Celsius equivalents, he would benefit by consulting a metric conversion calculator. Then he'd find that -30 C equals -22 F, which Winnipeg experiences almost every winter, and even lower readings aren't uncommon.
In fact, the coldest it's ever been here was -45 C or -49 F on Feb. 18, 1966. By contrast, 111 F or 44 C may be common in Death Valley, the Sahara or India prior to the monsoon season but has never been officially recorded here. For -111 F or -79 C, one would have to travel to the South Pole in July to come close to such temperatures.
Craig makes sense
I read with great interest the March 1 column We don't need higher taxes to fix potholes in Manitoba. Colin Craig from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation writes that there is no reason to raise taxes and that all three levels of government need to be more accountable to us average taxpayers (who are already paying more than 40 per cent, in one form or another, of our income).
By the way, he is not just talking about potholes but also all infrastructure. He says the government needs to say no to businesses and special interest groups asking for funding, and no to union bosses and employees asking for more when they already have generous salaries and benefits.
Why is it that Craig makes so much sense yet our politicians (provincial, especially) seem to believe that they can always go to the well if they need more money?
Note what is happening in Wisconsin with Gov. Scott Walker, who refuses to go to the well. Other states will surely follow. I for one, am taxed out. I can't pay any more. This well is dry.
Wise and timely
Re: Inequality -- they name is revolution (March 2). I commend Frances Russell on her wise and timely column linking Canada's growing infant mortality rate to rapidly expanding income disparity.
First Nation leadership has been warning of this destructive relationship for decades, noting that the UN Index of Quality of Life would rank First Nations in Canada 68th in the world, while Canada was in the top 10. It came as no surprise when Canada's overall rank dropped last year from four to eight.
Indeed, our poverty is becoming this nation's poverty, a fact most glaringly obvious here in Manitoba. The recent H1N1 crisis revealed that appalling living conditions in First Nations -- embodied by lack of access to running water (as highlighted in a recent Free Press series) and basic medical care -- can quickly affect everyone in this province.
Grand Chief Ron Evans
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Frances Russell states that inequality has suddenly emerged as a major social and economic issue, not just in Canada but internationally. This may be an epiphany for Russell, but it has been an issue of concern for many world citizens even from classical times.
But, more important, when she further states that "no longer is it a sole concern of the left," Russell has left the confines of journalism and entered into the realm of partisan propaganda.
Any intelligent person realizes gross inequality is an issue we all must wrestle with. But the general assumption of a government forcing industries and especially multinationals to pay more and more tax is a recipe for a country's ruination.