Letters, April 27
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Kudos to doctor for speaking out
Re: “Hope for better meeting next time” (Letters, April 25)
What a shame to read the letter from Dr. Dan Roberts. After reading about the challenges his team has faced dealing with the Task Force it makes one wonder how much longer Dr. Roberts will be continuing to practise medicine in this province.
Kudos to you Dr. Roberts for being brave enough to stand up for your patients and your team and for being brave enough to put your name on your letter no matter the consequences.
Thoughts on Portage and Main
Re: New vision for Portage and Main coming next week (April 22)
I would not have voted for Brian Bowman if I knew that he was going to do a silly plebiscite on whether to open Portage and Main to the general public.
I voted for him because he was going to open up that iconic intersection. It’s a no-brainer that this intersection needs to be opened up.
I remember going underground with my daughter and feeling like a ground squirrel popping up to see where we were, instead of just crossing the street in broad daylight like most humans can do in other great cities of the world.
Put in crossing lights that just let pedestrians cross in all direction at one time in the traffic cycle. These work so well in other places. Come on Winnipeg… let’s make our city a people-friendly place again.
Re: ‘Sky garden’ among ideas floated for Portage and Main (April 26)
With the warm weather approaching, we are once again subjected to more speculation about what to do with the intersection of Portage and Main.
It is probably a foregone conclusion that something has to be done, whether it is repairing the pedestrian underpass or building a public space above the intersection.
Millennium Park in Chicago provides a good example of what can be accomplished if one has the will. This beautiful space, which includes displays of art and architecture, was constructed over the Illinois Central rail yards and parking lots. It took seven years and a generous budget to complete. It is a popular tourism draw, with a spectacular outdoor concert venue. Winnipeg would do well to emulate its “sister city.”
So far, discussions have focused on allowing pedestrian crossings across this cold, windswept (at least for much of the year) intersection.
There are currently little in the way of attractions for people visiting the area. Perhaps it is the vehicular traffic that needs to be rerouted underground with the space above ground repurposed for people.
Of course, to allow the new space to thrive will require changes to civic regulations allowing cafés and sidewalk culture to thrive. The economic challenges that our city faces, both with the increasing presence of homeless people and our deteriorating infrastructure, are severe and demand attention.
These are realities that temper our enthusiasm. However, if we are going to do something with Portage and Main, let us dream big and build something for the ages. It worked for the Forks, how about a “Millennium Park” for Winnipeg?
Kumar S. Sharma
Re: “Portage and Main not so important” (Letters, April 26) and ‘Sky garden’ walkway among ideas floated for reimagined Portage & Main (April 25)
Kim Trethart ends his letter about the future of Portage and Main with this: “It is no longer a horse and buggy intersection. Scrap the proposal and get on with more important problems plaguing this city like homelessness, crime, addiction, and poverty.”
Kim Trethart’s concern for the less fortunate is commendable, but he got it wrong about the intersection at the centre of our city. The intersection at Portage and Main is iconic. It’s famous for being the windiest (and coldest) corner in Canada.
In 2014, former mayor Susan Thompson suggested the city would benefit from adding a laser beam visible from space, massive amounts of evergreen trees with white lights and, temporarily, hot tubs at Portage Avenue and Main Street. She said that this would turn our image around.
Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome was the most spectacular pavilion at Expo ’67. Let’s cover Portage and Main with a similar dome. With a garden walkway and a good light show, this dome would make Portage and Main the most spectacular intersection in Canada.
I will always support the city in finding new ways to bring green space and beauty into the downtown. However, I do not want to cross P&M six levels above the street any more than I want to go below ground into the concourse. I want to cross at street level. Period.
I regularly walk from my home in Osborne Village to the Forks. To get to the Exchange district from the Forks then requires a circuitous route to avoid P&M, which adds a good 15 minutes to the route for someone on foot. The city has committed to lowering green house gases and improving the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, and to decreasing our dependence on cars.
Mayor Gillingham and city council please show some leadership and get rid of the barriers. Then you can build a beautiful garden six levels above the street at this iconic corner.
Re: Tucker Carlson, Fox News have parted ways (April 25)
In 2028 the Republicans will be looking for someone to replace Donald Trump. His MAGA crowd wants someone who isn’t afraid to stir the pot and Tucker Carlson will be a prime candidate.
My prediction is that he will take over where Trump leaves off.
Tom P. Scott
No tears for downtown Ottawa
I know that people think all of Canada revolves around our capital, but, please do not tell me that the government is worried about Ottawa’s downtown when they are negotiating a contract with their employees.
This is the perfect time to put into the contracts the right to work from home for these people. The businesses that survived COVID are still there, and the ones that were marginal have closed. Before these open again, if they want to open, let it be under the new way of life and not having all these extra workers in the downtown area.
Why did the government spend all this money to make work remote during the pandemic and make it safer for the average worker? Now to just go back to what I see as an antiquated system. The government could lease out the office space and or sell it off, to facilitate the new normal.
And I believe that if the unionized employees get this concession that they will be willing to take less of an increase, knowing that their costs of working will be less from home.
It seems to me, to be a win-win situation for both parties.
Updated on Thursday, April 27, 2023 8:06 AM CDT: Adds links, adds tile photo