Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/6/2011 (2253 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Protect young workers
It is with shock and sadness I read of yet another young person's death in a construction related accident. With many years' experience in the commercial construction field, I have attended dozens of safety-orientations, each course identifying general safety concerns and also specific areas of concern for each job site.
But why is this implemented mainly for the commercial and bigger job sites?
What about residential construction, especially small home repair, roofing, fencing, landscaping businesses, etc. There is little to no safety training for these employees. Yet they tend to employ young, inexperienced workers. What job and safety training do they receive? Little to none at all!
Manitoba Health and Safety has completely ignored this sector and the safety of all these employees.
We need an organization to do safety training for every person before seeking employment in the construction industry.
A card could be issued to each attendee as proof of course completion. This would also eliminate the safety orientations now repeated at every job site at the commercial level.
This organization also needs to ensure employers provide proper job training. A periodic inspection of every job site, big or small, is a must.
The safety regulation as it stand now in Manitoba is insufficient. How many employees in Manitoba are not covered by the Workers Compensation Board?
Whose son or daughter is next?
Modernize the post
Postal employees can retire at full pension at the age of 55. Canada Post wants to change this so that new employees will have to work to 60 before they can retire at full pension. CUPW rejects this. In the private sector, most people cannot retire until age 65.
With the reduction in mail due to the Internet, it may be time to reduce mail delivery to three times a week. Privatize package delivery and have more community mailboxes, as in the new areas. I understand that these community mailboxes are serviced by independent contractors. Junk mail should also be turned over to private contractors.
Greece and the automakers bowed down to outrageous union demands that put them in financial difficulty. Greece is getting help from the EU to bail them out and the automakers had to go to the government for help. The Tory government is invoking back-to-work legislation to curb these demands by unions to avoid what has been occurring in other countries.
William D. Pooles
I expect there will be a great deal of fuss made for a few hours in the Parliament. However, in the final analysis, the timing of this back-to-work legislation for the postal workers will prove to be as important as the fact that it is the union-busting Conservative priority being applied.
The House of Commons will empty for the summer as fast as a toilet flushes. Heaven forbid that the House continues to sit and wait for what is supposed to be a dispute between a collective of workers and a so-called independent employer to come to a conclusion on its own.
I suspect Canada Post locked them out to get in under the wire so the Conservatives could table this before the House rises. This legislation is heavy-handed and premature.
Jesus and the socialists
Re: Layton at the gates (June 21). Your editorial states that the NDP must confront "its shameful secret -- it is... a socialist party." This is an "embarrassment for many," and "socialism doesn't have a great record worldwide." This is another example of how the North American media, controlled by millionaires and corporate interests, has demonized the word in the minds of most people. In Western Europe and Scandinavia, socialist governments have produced societies that are the envy of most of the world!
In Canada, the old CCF and its successor, the NDP, have been instrumental in trying to better the welfare of society's most disadvantaged and vulnerable people. J.S. Woodsworth, a Methodist minister, inspired by the social gospel, worked in the slums of Winnipeg to establish the "kingdom Of God, here and now." Tommy Douglas, a Baptist minister and Canada's most admired Canadian, was elected premier of Saskatchewan in 1944 and introduced medicare against ferocious opposition. The efforts of these socialists led to national old-age pensions, family allowances and medicare.
The NDP is a party of peace. No Canadians would have been killed or injured in Afghanistan if the NDP had been in power.
There is no need for any NDP member to be "embarrassed" about their party. They have every right to be proud of its many achievements!
In his 1897 novel, In His Steps, the social gospel minister, Charles Sheldon, asked, "What would Jesus do?" He'd vote NDP!
Looking after youth
I read Gordon Sinclair's column, The fatherless boy and the gift of five fathers (June 18), with great interest. It is terrific to read a story of a young new Canadian who has successfully evaded the clutches of the ever-present gangs in our community who offer newcomer children a sense of belonging with evil consequences.
The sad and untold part of this story is that the gang prevention program at Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre overseen by Jamil Mahmoud, the first of the "fathers," is once again hanging on the edge, wondering if their federal government funding will be renewed at the end of June.
This is the second time this year that they have been kept in suspense. Earlier this year, they were advised that their funding, along with that of other gang-prevention programs in Winnipeg, would come to an end on March 31. Plans to wind down the MERC program were already in progress when federal Justice Minister Vic Toews played the white knight and "rescued" the funding -- at least until the election was safely in the past. Now the program faces the same funding crisis at the end of June.
It is incomprehensible to me why a proven success like the youth program at MERC would be denied funding while more jails, more police and a new helicopter are given priority. Youth programming is a much less expensive and more successful alternative to denying gangs access to new members. It is time for the federal government to make these programs sustainable by granting long-term funding.
$1 billion flush
It is comforting to note that the 2011 flood costs within Manitoba will be a "drop in the bucket" to our NDP government. The costs of flooding in the western part of the province and Lake Manitoba could top $280 million. Even when combined with the 1997 Flood of the Century in the Red River Valley and Winnipeg, also $280 million, the costs do not come close to adding up to $1 billion.
For a government that can flush an extra $1 billion on the ill-conceived western Bipole III route as compared to the shorter, less costly and more reliable east-side route that is more compatible with Manitoba Hydro's existing system, our non-elected premier has a lot of nerve to ask Ottawa for flood assistance. Won't it be nice to see our provincial and now our federal taxes at work?
KENNETH M. ADAM
Running on superlatives
Congratulations to all associated with this past Sunday's Manitoba Marathon! This was my first time participating and it was a truly exceptional experience. Superb organization, supportive fans, amazing volunteers and inspiring participants. I can't wait for next year. Way to go everyone!