Letters, Feb. 28


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Practical solutions on emissions I was disappointed by the unfortunately naive suggestions from the Climate Action Team regarding how to reduce emissions in Manitoba (“Tackle ‘fossilflation’ with local clean energy,” Feb. 24). Quickly reviewing their plan, I found mostly a collection of aspirational ideals, but short on realistic actions.

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Practical solutions on emissions

I was disappointed by the unfortunately naive suggestions from the Climate Action Team regarding how to reduce emissions in Manitoba (“Tackle ‘fossilflation’ with local clean energy,” Feb. 24). Quickly reviewing their plan, I found mostly a collection of aspirational ideals, but short on realistic actions.

Ground-source heat pumps are certainly useful options, but often very expensive, especially for retrofits. For my older house, for example, initial cost review exceeds $30,000.

Further, compared to high-efficiency furnaces, Manitoba Hydro currently shows annual savings of only around $200, meaning impractical paybacks exceeding 100 years in many cases. To make electrical heating options attractive, excessively-high carbon taxes of $200 to $300 per tonne are required. But these entail associated economic damages and huge inflationary impacts.

Carbon taxation continues to demonstrate itself as a very poor policy option for trying to actually reduce emissions. Low- or no-interest loans for electric vehicles sound great. Yet, as we have already shown (“Electrified transit is part of the solution,” Jan. 30), this option is brutally expensive for society, with a cruel twist of saddling low-income families with extra costs for overly expensive vehicles they cannot afford.

In short, to reduce emissions, we need more practicality and less idealism.

Robert Parsons


Social programs afford real freedom

Re: Many Canadians don’t understand that freedom has limits (Feb. 22)

Tom Brodbeck, courtesy of Justice Paul Rouleau, has hit the nail on the head: “While order constrains freedom — laws, for example, limit the range of permissible actions — without order’s constraints, freedom cannot exist.” Very true, but I want to extend further the idea of freedom.

Central to the convoyists’ protest was (is) the idea that government and its laws, codes, pronouncements and programs somehow take away people’s freedom… vaccines, lockdowns, etc. But in actuality, it is the exact opposite.

Government programs, not just laws, create more freedom. They are the bedrock of our nation, for, without them, our nation as we know it would surely perish.

Our universal health-care system keeps people healthy so they can work and enjoy life, as will the dental care program.

Pharmacare (not universal yet) will free a huge number of families of financial burdens of drug costs.

Universal daycare (almost there) would free individuals, men and women, to work and achieve their employment/career goals and reach their full potential.

A universal government-run elderly care system (not there yet) would provide for responsible care and dignity in old age. It will free families from the financial and emotional burdens concerning the care of their elderly loved ones.

Just about every government program, in place, pending, or proposed, sometimes not perfect, is designed to provide security, opportunity, and give more freedom to our citizens to be healthy, to work, to play, and to achieve their life goals both for their families and themselves.

All our social programs are designed to free people from the constraints imposed on them through inequality and provide opportunities for a rich and fulfilling life. Yes, that’s real freedom.

Robert Milan

Victoria, B.C.

Project a risk to aquifers

Sio Silica, formerly CanWhite Sands, has no history to show success of the process they’re providing, yet, if it fails, there are seven municipalities that could be affected with contaminated drinking water.

Sio Sands plans on drilling 450 wells per year through the carbonate and sandstone aquifers. With sustained drilling, the limestone layer between the aquifers has the potential to collapse, because the layer does not meet the minimum thickness required for stability.

There will be 32 million gallons of water lost annually from mining 1.36 million tonnes of silica sand. A citizen group financed an independent report done by experts. It found flaws in the proposal.

Commerce is important to every municipality, but not when it impacts the surrounding area. This project has a potential to affect seven large municipalities.

Water is vital for life. Commerce should never come first. We can live without solar panels but not water. The implications of this project going forward could kill the economies.

There are other companies in Manitoba producing silica but not going through aquifers to attain it. Instead of thinking of profit, the focus should be on the environment which encompasses clean drinking water.

Karen Lalonde


Politics, policing should not mix

Re: Province adds to prosecutions budget to target illegal guns, organized crime (Feb. 21)

We need to get the minister of justice and his staff a new calculator, please. The article above has mathematical and political errors in it.

First, the current number of Crown prosecutors in Manitoba is already understaffed. Positions are vacant as Crowns leave for other provinces.

And, we did not “add” 10 additional positions as if we had a full complement, we created 10 new “roles” and filled them with internal Crown transfers from other already understaffed Crown positions as reported by the president of the Manitoba Association of Crown Attorneys. So the math does not add up, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen!

On the political errors, it is plain and simple. There is a looming election and our PCs are doing anything to build up support. So let’s tell citizens this will make us all safer, when, in fact, we are battling the wrong end of the problem and tasking the Crown prosecutors to do it all.

Additionally, why drag Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth and RCMP Superintendent Scott McMurchy away from their important and real jobs to be politicized when they could be out and on the job? Our prime minister and federal minister of public safety dragged former RCMP leader Lucki into the political arena bringing her career into scrutiny and ultimately her retirement.

Want Manitoba safer? Then fully resource our Crown prosecutors’ staff complement, add a net new, true 10 positions on illegal gun possession and usage in criminal acts, retain our valued Crowns by solidifying a new contract and competing with other provinces that offer better pay and working environments, and deal with the real issue… Don’t possess an illegal firearm, and if you do, you are going to do the time!

What happened to our premier’s rhetoric on “tough on crime”? Oh, did I mention, it is an election year?

To this date, I have penned dozens of helpful ideas on the topic of good gun control and have sent them time and time again to Heather Stefanson’s and Kelvin Goertzen’s offices. I only get a response from someone named “auto-response”.

Shameful when politics and policing mix.

Robert C. Murdoch


Grim anniversary

Re: A year of war, a weekend of prayer (Feb.24)

I was struck by the comments of a Ukrainian newcomer to Winnipeg at the conclusion of the article : “In our church in Ukraine and here (in Winnipeg) we pray for our enemies. Because God is love. We pray for Russian soldiers because they’re somebody’s husband, somebody’s son.”

What a powerful statement recognizing that war is painful and destructive for both sides. What if this kind of “reaching out to the other” mentality could form the basis for diplomacy and peace talks to end this war, and all wars?

Ernie Wiens

La Salle


Updated on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 7:57 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

Updated on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 2:26 PM CST: Adds punctuation

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