Letters and comments, May 17

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Get buildings up to snuff Re: Bylaw fines out of the blue; owners call it ‘cash grab’ (May 15)

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Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/05/2017 (1913 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Get buildings up to snuff

Re: Bylaw fines out of the blue; owners call it ‘cash grab’ (May 15)

When I hear the howls from local property managers regarding enforcement of 30-year-old bylaws, I ask would they like a little cheese with their whine?

The fact is that after all this time as non-compliant buildings, how did they ever get insurance?

If and when one burns down, possibly with loss of life, who will pay out the claim?

As my underwriter from Reed Stenhouse pointed out in 1984, the premiums he was charging would be far less if my apartments were not occupied!

No doubt, but we made the changes anyway.

Get ‘er done and stop the mock concern. Or empty out your buildings.

 

Tom Hardern

Winnipeg

As members of the Professional Property Managers Association, these building owners certainly aren’t acting like professional property managers.

New owners of buildings with outstanding non-compliance orders should have done their due diligence, and building-owners who knew about non-compliance orders, but chose to ignore them because the city didn’t approach them, don’t get any sympathy from me.

 

— Giblets n’ Gravy

 

Any of the above

Re: Editorial cartoon (May 15)

Having looked at the qualifications of the candidates for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), I am left with a much different opinion than that of your editorial cartoon. Instead of “none of the above,” I think the CPC suffers from an “embarrassment of riches.”

No matter who wins the leadership later this month, most of the other 12 candidates would form an excellent basis of the cabinet in 2019.

 

Tjalle T. Vandergraaf

Pinawa

 

Bad news for east Winnipeg

It’s been a good decade since the Gary Doer government attempted to slam a two-million-pigs-a-year slaughter and rendering factory into east Winnipeg, that we in the area have felt the kick in the teeth by a provincial government and its premier.

But about four weeks ago, the government leaked the news that the residents of Concordia constituency were going to be punished for voting NDP with the closure of the Concordia Hospital emergency rooms. Concordia Hospital serves a big area, such as the constituencies and communities of River East, Rossmere, Radisson and Transcona, not to mention East St. Paul and Springfield, all of whom have Tory MLAs.

Why do I say a kick in the teeth? Because not only is Concordia losing its emergency ward, but as well, while we watch the Victoria General Hospital and the Seven Oaks Hospital see their emergency wards converted over to urgent-care facilities, Concordia is just turning its lights out and going dark! In fact all of growing east Winnipeg, from the booming communities in Transcona and North Kildonan down to the ever-growing south St. Boniface and south St. Vital, will be jammed into one hospital — no matter whether urgent care or emergency care — and that is St. Boniface.

Never before has all of east Winnipeg been relegated to the status of second-class citizen in such a short time under such a new government as has now been accomplished by Premier Brian Pallister and his reckless hospital announcement.

Reckless, because there are no new expansions of existing emergency rooms before this massive change. No consultation with the community in any way, shape or form. And the defence of the decision? The minister of health cites an NDP report and study from the last failed government. I’m sorry, Premier Pallister, I thought Manitobans voted overwhelming for you because they thought you were going to be a breath of fresh air. Instead, you are now just enacting policies of the last failed government and in less than one year? With all due respect, that’s just plain dumb!

The NDP took much of east Winnipeg, especially northeast Winnipeg, for granted, and treated us at times like a doormat. Premier Pallister, if you repeat the same mistake, it will ultimately be to your political detriment.

The families of east Winnipeg, who will feel this cut head-on, won’t forget it. For, unlike Gary Doer, who more than a decade ago played politics with pigs, Brian Pallister is now playing politics with people. And that’s a lot different.

 

Russ Wyatt

City Councillor, Transcona Ward

 

Losing the green

Re: Where it’s Earth Day, every day (April 17)

I enjoyed Jen Zoratti’s article on Earth Day and Assiniboine Park, but I kept stopping at the term “sustainability” or “sustainable.”

Assiniboine Park, in my view, is being anything but sustainable when it comes to the park’s trees. Particularly the mature, irreplaceable ones.

A recent development project, The Diversity Gardens, is looking at removing 150 “mature trees” to accommodate this new attraction.

Add to this these recent development projects — I don’t have exact numbers, but I’m sure Assiniboine Park can provide them:

• a parking lot development for the zoo: hundreds of old elms, some irreplaceable, were removed, many of them original to the park;

• recent zoo development: I can’t even guesstimate this one;

• Qualico Centre: many mature original bur oaks removed;

• The Hummocks development and children’s adventure park playground: again, I don’t know how many, but a significant number of mature trees were removed for development. In the Hummocks, very large bur oaks that remained were damaged by construction (root loss, compaction) and were buried by new soil and sod. They are all clearly dying, and the resulting drainage has made a swamp that is killing neighbouring trees.

Not only were these irreplaceable trees removed, but the footprint from development continues to kill trees for many years. Add to this the irregular drainage patterns being created by all this development that is also killing trees year after year.

Anyone who thinks this is sustainable is looking at a park in the wrong sense. I wonder if the park keeps records of this and could tell us just how many big trees they’ve removed since the recent “development” of the park. Individually, perhaps, this may seem justified, but looked at collectively this should be alarming to everyone.

No other city park in Winnipeg removes its mature trees on such a regular basis to make way for development. This practice is certainly not sustainable. Although the park may plant trees to replace them, mature 100-year-plus elms and oaks are irreplaceable; removing them on such a regular basis is criminal. Recycling the trees into furniture also does not make this sustainable. Parks are supposed to be stewards and protecting their trees, not removing them to make way for “attractions.”

Can’t a park be a park? Does it need all these “attractions” to convince people to come? I don’t think so. Perhaps the attractions are valuable, but do they have to be at the cost of something irreplaceable? I think in the very least, Assiniboine Park should be accountable for all the trees its removed, instead of being championed as the model of sustainability.

The citizens of Winnipeg should be made aware of this slow erosion of the mature canopy there, and should perhaps have a say in any future “development.” I think if more people were aware, development could slow or stop.

Matt Vinet

Winnipeg

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