Letters, Feb. 18


Advertise with us

Covering costs

Read this article for free:


Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe:

Monthly Digital Subscription

$4.75 per week*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles

*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.


Covering costs

Re: Manitoba to get $194M more for health from feds (Feb. 15)

With this jackpot in hand, Premier Heather Stefanson will almost have enough money to fulfil her promise of sending Manitobans cheques, amounting to $200 million, labelled as the “Carbon Tax Relief Fund,” despite the fact a majority of Manitobans disagree with her vote-buying gesture.

With all the announcements our provincial government has made during the past year regarding improvements to health care, we should become the envy of the world when all those promises are implemented. I, for one, will not be expecting those promised improvements and suggest other Manitobans also temper their expectations.

Our current government, along with others before, keep playing a shell game with our taxpayer money that just keeps plunging our province into further debt.

Elmer Pawliuk


Vacancies should be filled

Further to Scott Blyth’s Feb. 15 letter (“Priority on housing”) that “Housing First” should be a priority, I’d suggest that Manitoba Housing is uniquely positioned to substantially address this.

Recently I raised my concern with the minister of families that numerous Manitoba Housing properties in the Arlington/Dufferin (Point Douglas) neighbourhood had remained boarded up for months and months.

As part of the response, I was advised that, of Manitoba Housing’s 11,500 public housing units, the 10-year average vacancy rate was 14 per cent. That’s over 1,600 units! They are primarily properties requiring renovation or located in low-demand communities, such as Point Douglas.

Ironically, hundreds of unsheltered people are living in bus shelters, parks, riverbanks and the like within walking distance of this “low-demand” Point Douglas.

Winnipeg Housing: part of the solution or part of the problem? I’d suggest the latter.

Rowena Fisher


Unfair taxation

In his op-ed, “Inequality fuels frustration in far-right movement” (Feb. 16), Jim Silver suggests the far right and the rest of us feel abandoned by our governments. I feel that same frustration, but I disagree with his root causes.

Beginning in the mid-’60s, a concerted effort has been raised by the super-rich to distance themselves from having to pay to support social programs. From super PACs in the U.S. to supporting their employees to go around Election Canada’s political-contribution limits in Canada, they have swung political leaders to their way of thinking.

At no point in his time as our premier did Brian Pallister ever consider the way out of our deficit was to raise taxes on the top bracket of taxpayers as an alternative.

Not the extreme 70 per cent imposed during the postwar period, but an equal and fair level.

I pay at an approximate 30 per cent rate of taxation. Why should the wealthy pay at a lower rate, with our gerrymandered tax code?

Thomas Tierney


Ticket process had no appeal

Re: “On the radar” (Letters, Feb. 16)

I also received a radar issued ticket during the Christmas school break: driving 43 km/h in a 30 km/h school zone, $221. On the the ticket, I noted Option 2: “Admit the offence but seek a reduction in the fine or time to pay. You may go to a provincial court during the response period if you admit the offence but want to appear before a justice to explain why your fine should be reduced or why you need more time to pay.”

In good faith, I complied with Option 2, within the time frame outlined in the ticket. On arrvial at the office as outlined in the ticket, I was told there was no justice in attendance.

Clearly there is no viability in the Option 2, so tickets ought to be revised to reflect the reality (no justice available). I will insist that the fine be waived, owing to the time I spent to drive downtown, to plead guilty with an explanation (namely, I was not aware that school zone speed limits were being enforced during Christmas school closings). I have a perfect driving record, and the fines are excessive.

I note that Larry Robert’s ticket was also for driving 43 km/h. I would like to know how many such tickets are issued at the same speed.

In any event, I am not opposed to the cost-effectiveness of the radar ticket system to reduce the speed of the motoring public.

I do not like a bureaucracy that does not allow for a viable appeal process to their bylaws and the unbridled use of the bylaws for the benefit of the treasury, and not focused safety.

Robert K. Froese


Downtown dwellers

I have lived within one block of the University of Winnipeg for the last 29 years. It seems unlikely that anything short of greatly increasing long-term living downtown will revitalize the area.

A healthy, safe, vibrant core needs lots of permanent residents to attract balanced retail and service providers. One attracts the other.

Short-term rentals provide short-term gain for the city and the province — but no healthy solution to what chronically ails our downtown.

Holly Bertram


No ghost hotels

Re: Short-term rental rules blueprint revised ahead of final vote (Feb. 14)

Mayor Scott Gillingham’s proposal to allow existing short-term rental (STR) (vacation rental by owner, AirBnB) operators to grandfather up to three existing “ghost hotels” in addition to their existing residence because some people have made a significant investment is unacceptable.

What about the millions of dollars of investment that we residents have made? We chose to buy our homes in R1 single-family residential areas. We did not choose to buy our homes next to a daily rental accomodation which is not dissimilar to a hotel or boarding house given the daily rental nature of operation. What about our livability, what about our security, what about our long-term investments in our homes?

I doubt Mayor Gillingham or any city counsellor would feel their livability, security or investment was protected or enhanced by having a STR ghost hotel open next door to their home.

Mayor Gillingham’s capitulation to the STR operators says to me that he values the opportunistic real estate investor over the longtime residential home owner. Many ghost-hotel operators located in residential R1-zoned areas previously operated traditional monthly or annual home rentals, as the owners of the house across the street from me had done for several years prior to turning to the ghost-hotel model. They can simply return to traditional landlord status.

It is not too late for city council to return to the original proposal submitted by the City of Winnipeg staff charged with arriving at the most equitable solution for Winnipeg taxpayers.

Laurie Foster


Demonstrators not to blame

Re: Blockade at landfill cost city nearly $1 million (Feb. 13)

Perhaps the headline-writer concentrated too hard on coming up with a double-whammy headline. If so, they forgot that truth is a more important component of journalism than an attention-grabbing headline.

The demonstration/blockade is not what cost the city nearly $1 million. A serial killer allegedly murdered women and may have disposed of them in landfills. There is no mention of him in the headline. Instead, the headline uses words that could drum up resentments and mean-spirited judgments against Indigenous demonstrators. In this case, I hope I am wrong in my assessment, but remember: if someone had not killed these women, there would be no costs.

I hope readers look beyond such headlines and call on their sense of compassion and understanding. Give the families and their supporters respect, and allow them their dignity. Perhaps you could imagine that the victims are your loved ones.

Beatrice Mosionier

Enderby, B.C.

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us