Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/2/2011 (2375 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Cost of flying
Re: Catching a flight... out of Fargo (Feb. 17). Barry Rempel of the Winnipeg Airports Authority may be quite correct to say that by diverting the 60,000 passengers who fly out of North Dakota each year to his airport, he could create an extra two flights a day and generate 150 jobs here in the city.
But this does nothing to lower the price of flying for me or my family. Having flown out of Winnipeg, Grand Forks and Fargo, I can tell you the cost of flying from south of the border is far lower than flying from here in Winnipeg, even when factoring in drive time, fuel and airport parking fees.
Rempel should concentrate on lobbying for lower airfares (and less tax) instead of trying to make people feel guilty for saving money by using foreign airports to help stretch their vacation dollars.
Barry Rempel says that while an extra 60,000 passengers would be a fraction of the 3.5 million air travellers the Winnipeg airport sees each year, it would be enough to add two extra flights a day and create 150 extra airport jobs.
Simple math demonstrates this is one position for every 400 passengers. It would follow that for 3.5 million passengers, the airport is employing 8,750 persons. This compares to the job numbers of organizations such as the city and the province. No wonder air travel is expensive.
Either Rempel is pandering to the "we need jobs" crowd, which should make airport staff feel secure in their jobs, he was misquoted, or reporter Murray McNeill was so happy for a quote he neglected even a rudimentary thought as to whether or not the statement is reasonable.
If none of these is the case and the airport actually employs 8,750 people, then a lot of other Winnipeg institutions must be grossly understaffed.
Re: Public sector unions not exactly in a heyday (Feb. 18). Dan Lett asserts, "It's possible the eight-hour workday, 40-hour work week, premium pay, paid holidays, maternity leave and vacation pay would have become staples in the life of the western worker without the dogged lobbying of labour unions."
In reality, nothing he mentioned would have been possible without the dogged lobbying of workers and their unions. There exists no historical evidence employers or the government established these norms without pressure from workers. Labour history in every western nation evidences this. Egypt is the most current and glaring example. Unions are at the forefront of the struggle for democracy on the Nile.
The other problem with Lett's argument is not what is said, but what is left unsaid. He forgets unions are at the forefront of the struggle for workplace safety and health. Many thousands of workers would not be going home safe and sound to their families every day had it not been (and continues to be) for the dogged lobbying of workers and their unions.
Winnipeg Labour Council
Leave the CBC alone
Jason Kenney of the Conservative party tells us the CBC does nothing but lie (Immigration Minister Jason Kenney accuses French CBC of lying 'all the time', Breaking News, Feb. 16). Is this his paranoia talking? The CBC is considered by many in the world of broadcasting to be among the best news outlets in the English-speaking world. Kenney wants to dissolve the CBC? Is he mad?
The Tories want a network that repeats the Conservative party line and doesn't ask any probing questions. With most newspapers decidedly right wing, the CBC at least gives the public some centre of the road, truthful coverage of events. We, the public, would be in a real fix if we had to depend on private radio and TV for the news.
Recently, I started the day by turning on CBC TV to get news of Egypt. Then I went to CTV and got Ben Mulroney covering some fluff about a teenage heartthrob. On another Toronto-based station, I got a cooking show. I rest my case, Mr. Kenney.
The last two weekends, I have taken my small dog to the off-leash dog park at Kilcona Park in North Kildonan. I was appalled at the amount of feces left behind by owners of obviously big dogs.
There are signs posted and garbage bins every so often, but people simply ignore them. It isn't very pleasant when you have to watch where you step and I can't imagine the smell when spring comes. Come on, people, be responsible. Maybe tickets should be handed out.
Re: A school-room menace (Feb. 18). Don't blame the technology of Facebook, as bullying has been around for a very long time. You should use the recording as evidence of what actually happened and hand out punishments accordingly.
When my children were in public school, there was supposedly a zero-tolerance policy toward bullying. My oldest daughter was bullied endlessly in elementary school, and nothing ever came of it. She would come home crying on a daily basis until I reacted by dragging the perpetrators down to the office and demanding the principal do something about their behaviour.
The principal told me that with no proof to back up my accusations, it was I who could be charged with assault by forcing them to come with me. Glad to see the status quo is still in place.
Some things should be noted about Manitoba Hydro CEO Bob Brennan's Feb. 14 letter, Location not the issue. First, Brennan may be accurate in suggesting most of the increase in Hydro's estimate for the Bipole III project is due to converter stations, not the placement of the new line.
However, as the project's total cost estimate skyrockets, it only exacerbates the need for the government to trim non-essential aspects of the project; in particular, the costly decision to run the line an extra 500 kilometres down the west side of the province.
Further, we hope Brennan will respond with the same urgency to the other matter raised by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation disclosure. We hope he will indicate if he or his staff informed the government Hydro estimated the project could increase from $2.2 billion to $4.1 billion? If not, why not?
Canadian Taxpayers Federation