Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/9/2011 (3926 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The cost of soccer
Re: NDP vows big soccer complex, fields (Sept. 27). While I applaud the NDP's commitment to build a massive soccer complex in north Winnipeg, as well as nine more outdoor artificial turf fields throughout the city, I question Greg Selinger's statement that when it comes to soccer, "Everybody can play from all levels of society and all income backgrounds."
While it is true that the cost of soccer equipment is significantly lower than that of other sports, particularly hockey, community-club soccer is becoming increasingly expensive. Gateway Community Club in North Kildonan, for example, requires players to be outfitted with soccer shoes, shin pads and shorts at their own expense. The club also charges a registration fee of $300 for a season of outdoor soccer and $330 per indoor season.
Games are played against teams as far away as Stonewall, Selkirk, Charleswood and Headingley. By the time you factor in travel expenses, as well as the occasional tournament entry fee, the cost of a season of soccer can be upwards of $500 to $600 per child. This can put a significant dent in any family's budget, especially low-income families.
In her Sept. 23 review of the restaurant Lao Thai, Spicy star returns to its former pad (Thai), Marion Warhaft writes about her delight in finding "one of the city's best shrimp bargains -- 10 shrimp for a "mere" $9.
As a restaurant owner, I know first-hand the challenges of trying to find fresh, delicious products that are produced ethically and sustainably and then selling them at a price my customers will pay. My issue here is that the shrimp Warhaft touts are most certainly farmed and harvested in an extremely unsustainable manner, as is evident from their low price.
There are very few varieties that are certified as sustainable choices through the Ocean Wise Conservation Program. If Lao Thai were serving a sustainable species, they most certainly would not be able to buy them, prepare them and sell 10 of them for $9 without losing money.
Warhaft needs to stop her never-ending hunt for a bargain and overhaul her criteria for what makes a great restaurant besides its ability to buy an unsustainable product and sell her a large portion cheaply. She should acknowledge the power she has and educate her readers about the importance of purchasing sustainable seafood.
The possibility is real that if I choose to have children, there may not be seafood for them to eat in their lifetime. It sickens me to imagine having to explain myself to them about how my generation destroyed this important ecosystem.
Re: Banana, slur get lots of minutes (Sept. 28). Professional sports-league leaders have expressed outrage at the recent racial incident in London, Ont., involving Philadelphia Flyers player Wayne Simmonds.
They further profess that they do not tolerate such behaviour and are, in fact, proactive in combating it. However, they lose all credibility by continuing to allow racist nicknames, such as the Blackhawks, Braves, Indians and Redskins, for their sports teams.
Letter writer Will Tishinski (Hydro deception, Sept. 26) is off the mark if he believes that "Hydro cannot be privatized without a referendum." But when he states that he "feels that this kind of baseless propaganda is the height of dishonesty," he is correct -- but about the wrong political party.
The federal Tories believe they have a "mandate" to dismantle the CWB without a democratic vote of the farmers. I believe this could be construed as a "height of dishonesty."
Will Tishinski rightly notes that a referendum would have to be held successfully before Manitoba Hydro could be privatized. He also rightly notes that the need to put the question to a referendum exists because the Manitoba Hydro Act was changed in 2001 to protect it from privatization.
But the act was changed in response to the privatization of MTS, seen by many Manitobans as a treacherous sell-off of a successful publicly owned corporation without consulting the shareholders, Manitoba taxpayers. If the legislation can be changed once to necessitate a referendum, it can be changed again to remove that proviso.
Privatization can take various forms. It does not have to be outright, as with MTS. One need only study the case of BC Hydro, which has been dramatically altered while the powers that be claim that it is not being privatized.
Re: Wild goose chase (Sept. 27). The Free Press should be fair and objective in its reporting. When you use pejorative terms such as "nuisance birds," you are slanting the news.
There are mixed feelings about Canada geese. Although some people hate them, many people love them. Visit the St. Vital Park duck pond on any given day and you'll see many people feeding the geese and enjoying their presence. Many people admire the geese for their strong family bonds and are enamoured of the awesome spectacle of their flights in the fall.
Disturbing the peace
The other night I was happily running through Assiniboine Park with our bijon frise, enjoying a harmonious state of mind, when I heard a thunderous sound approaching that seemed comparable to 10,000 lawn mowers roaring at once.
Expecting aliens, I looked upward to the starry skies and eventually an ominous, brilliantly lit helicopter ship appeared. I couldn't help but wonder if my dog and I were jogging illegally.
The following night my daughter wondered what on Earth the heavily obnoxious sound was in the skies above Whyte Ridge. I informed her that it was likely the newly acquired "tough on crime" Winnipeg police helicopter.
My wife observed that the house was shaking at the foundation, and in sympathy I further suggested that perhaps the "tough on crime" helicopter (in terms of noise pollution, not to mention expenditure of tax dollars) was tougher on law-abiding residents than on delinquent citizens.
Levelling the field
Re: Reasons to tax the rich (Sept. 24). The Economist is worried that more taxation will decrease economic productivity. So how about a sharp tax on inheritances over $5 million?
This would force those seeking super fortunes to actually earn it on their own, and to let each generation of entrepreneurs begin competing on a more level playing field.