Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/10/2009 (3868 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Robert Galston's assertion (Union tower a beacon for downtown, Oct. 25) that the Union tower's revival will be a beacon for downtown renewal is absolutely correct. Red River College deserves praise for its inspiring plans to transform this historic skyscraper into a dynamic student residence, educational and retail centre, as well as for the current Princess Street Campus.
However, Galston's suggestion that the University of Winnipeg has not had a "good effect" on the local community is not only dead wrong; it completely ignores the facts. If Galston actually took the time to walk south of Ellice Avenue today, he would see community renewal in action: a vibrant, pedestrian mall on Spence Street and a front lawn teeming with students, faculty and local residents alike; a basketball court regularly used by children and youth from the local neighbourhood; a brand new building called McFeetors Hall, home not only to nearly 200 students, but dozens of families from the local community, and a new day care centre -- one of the largest in Manitoba -- serving children not only of students, but from the community as well. On the north side of Ellice, he would see the Helen Betty Osborne building, home to the Wii Chi Waakanak learning centre (a community computer lab) and the Global Welcome Centre for immigrants and refugees, many of whom live in the neighbourhood.
Galston says that "only by understanding the nature of urban environments and how people use them can renewal projects lend themselves to their surroundings." I could not agree more. That is why I invite Galston to come to the U of W campus to actually see with his own eyes this notion in action.
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
The University of Winnipeg
I saw on the Free Press website a photo of Brian Postl, the big cheese of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, getting the H1N1 vaccine. I can understand this if he is in the vulnerable categories, but if he by-passed the people who really need it first because he is the head of the WRHA, this would make the who-needs-it-first list meaningless. Is he on the priority list of the vulnerable or did he get it because of his position? Someone should ask the WRHA this question.
Focus on criminals
Darcy Brooks wrote (Bad math on guns, Oct. 23) "one cannot help but conclude that in terms of lives potentially lost, the cost of scrapping the long-gun registry would be much too high."
Why do the words "pre-crime" and "thought-crime" immediately come to mind? The problem with people like Brooks is that they've forgotten that laws are meant to punish the people who actually do commit a crime, not the ones who might commit one.
What Brooks is telling us is that focusing on a potential crime that may or may not ever happen sometime in the foggy future is more important than dealing with the crimes that are actually being committed every day.
How about instead of fighting to maintain a useless database that keeps lists of the law-abiding, Brooks turns some of that energy towards lobbying for laws that actually focus on the criminals?
White Rock, B.C.
It is very upsetting to see the Free Press publish articles by the Frontier Centre which always contain incorrect and misleading information to push a wacko far-right agenda. A few weeks ago the centre stated that Alberta pays out twice as much money for automobile insurance claims as Manitoba. What wasn't stated was that Alberta has nearly three times the population of Manitoba.
Recently they stated that the spread between public servants' and private sector employees' wages in Manitoba is the highest in Canada. What the centre fails to state is that private sector wages in Manitoba are among the lowest in Canada and that public sector wages are well below many provinces. For example, the average Manitoba teacher's wage is 15 to 20 per cent below the average Ontario teacher's.
Although I disagree with the Frontier Centre on most issues, in a free society they have the right to express their views but I wish they would stop twisting the truth to make their points.
Consider the unborn
Funding for all Canadians?
I was happy to read that another focus for the Canadian Human Rights Museum was on children. The museum's latest newsletter reads "Each region of the country will be consulted to ensure that the development of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is representative of all Canadians." Bravo! I take from this that they will also be speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, primarily the thousands of Canadian unborn human beings that are losing their lives every day from abortion. If the museum can confirm this fact with me I would be very pleased to help in its funding.
Not so friendly
Friendly Manitoba! Since a few days ago, there is no more free parking on Saturday around our building. This is a seniors' residence and many people have visitors on weekends. Now there are new payboxes and you have to pay on Saturday along Assiniboine, Fort, Garry and Navy -- is that friendly? Is it good for downtown business?
Re: Transit due for a cleaning (Oct. 26). Let me congratulate Michael Thompson on his one day excursion on a bus. On his trip he noticed the filth on the bus, empty sign boards, and floors that looked like they hadn't been washed for weeks. If Thompson had taken the bus more than once, he might also have noticed drunks on buses, abusive behaviour ignored by the bus driver, and low floor bus ramps not in working order while bus drivers refused to lift them down manually.
Yet, on the other hand, the fare collection system is being updated and "smart cards" are being implemented by the end of 2009!
So, while spending millions of dollars on transit improvements may be important and necessary, it won't make any difference if the buses aren't kept clean and safe for those using them.