Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/9/2011 (2148 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I know that during elections, things are often said in the passion of the debate which are not always fair or accurate, and that some leeway needs to be granted. But sometimes people go too far.
I have to say that, in my opinion, Gary Filmon did a great job during his many years as premier. The current condition of Manitoba's economy is, in large measure, a result of his prudent leadership and willingness to confront difficult challenges head on.
The efforts to which some people have gone during this campaign to recast his record and to denigrate his contributions are simply not fair nor are they accurate.
The worst example of this is the Sept. 28 commentary from Frances Russell, 'No plans' to privatize, then and now. I don't agree with much, if anything, that Russell writes but I do respect her right to voice her opinions.
But in the last paragraph of her column, she crossed the line from fair comment to defamation. The innuendo in her comments was obvious -- and despicable. The Free Press and its editors should be ashamed for having allowed themselves to get so deeply into the gutter. We deserve better from you.
There continue to be letter writers who wish to cast doubt on the possibility or indeed probability that a Conservative government in Manitoba could or would privatize Manitoba Hydro.
We ought to remember that a Conservative government privatized the Manitoba Telephone System despite promising earlier not to do so.
We ought to remember that a Conservative government in Ontario privatized a part of Ontario Hydro.
We ought to remember that Hugh McFadyen was one of a Manitoba Conservative government's key personnel in the privatization process.
We ought to realize that present-day Conservative strategists are dedicated to greater privatization of Crown corporations under the mistaken belief that only private enterprise can fuel economic success.
We ought to realize that under private ownership, managers receiving huge salaries would endeavour, through higher energy pricing, to earn greater profit for shareholders.
Our Manitoba manufacturers should be speaking up -- defending a public system that provides them with an economic advantage in the lower cost of energy.
Our public system, dedicated to providing low-cost energy is something to be cherished and protected, not privatized to satisfy the greed system's most vocal and dangerous proponents.
Thanks to Gerald Flood for his comprehensive article Strung out on bipole line (Sept. 17), and to Will Tishinski for his letter to the editor Hydro deception (Sept. 25).
Bipole III West is about one thing only: the huge egos of Gary Doer and Greg Selinger. There is no thought whatsoever to what's best for the people of Manitoba.
How many letters to the editor and how many articles by competent engineers warned about the negative effects of building the line on the west side of the province?
All we hear in reply is that the decision has been made, and if the NDP again forms the government we will be saddled with an extra $1 billion of debt. Hopefully, we will be spared that crushing load.
The "pristine boreal forest" must be preserved is environmental rhetoric. What about our pristine Prairie landscape? How many park-like farmyards, lovingly built over many years, will be destroyed? Hydro lines are no "thing of beauty" to be enjoyed during a trip across our province.
Only when the NDP has been in power has the government interfered with Hydro operations. Douglas Campbell, Duff Roblin, Sterling Lyon and Gary Filmon all minded their own business and let Hydro management manage the business.
For Selinger to constantly repeat the untruth that Hugh McFadyen is going to sell Hydro is ludicrous and shameful. Do we want a premier who will resort to telling whatever untruth he deems necessary to get elected?
We in Manitoba currently have a government that has suspended payments on the provincial debt, cancelled balanced-budget legislation and has, over the last 12 years, ballooned the provincial debt almost out of sight.
Their promises during the present election will add to this debt. You cannot add charges to the credit card, pay $10 a month and say you are being good financial managers. The party will soon have to change its name to the New Debt-ocratic Party. It's time for a change.
GEORGE E. POULTER
I'd like to take this opportunity to inform your readers of what they can expect if they elect Hugh McFadyen and his Conservative party who undoubtedly will be under immense pressure from private interests to sell Manitoba Hydro.
A Manitoban of 31 years, I now live in Nova Scotia where a previous Conservative government, after denying during an election campaign that they would, went ahead and privatized our hydro utility, Nova Scotia Power. Folks, it's been a nightmare for customers ever since.
We suffer through many power outages, especially during winter, as well as increase after increase in rates. It seems that every time we turn around the utility is appearing before our public utilities board seeking yet another increase, while paying astronomical salaries and bonuses to their CEO and board.
In a recent TV interview, one of the top officials defended the increases as being necessary so they could be in a position to better reward the loyalty of their investors. Manitoba, don't let this happen to you.
Greg Selinger promises, if he is elected, to spend $4 million on a pedestrian-cyclist overpass on the north Perimeter Highway. Is this for real? Has he forgotten about the southwest Perimeter Highway?
Every intersection from Brady Road to Oakland Road in Oakbluff is a death trap and not built for the volume of traffic that the Perimeter Highway carries. And this is even before CentrePort is a factor.
These intersections have been under review for the last 15 years, but there is never enough money to do anything about them.
No pedestrian or cyclist has ever been killed crossing the north Perimeter Highway, but there have been many deaths and injuries on the southwest part.
I am a cyclist myself and enjoy all the bike trails that have been built. But let's get realistic about our highways before we spend this kind of money on bike trails.
Progressive Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen's promise of an $8-million recreational facility for south Winnipeg is nothing more than a last-minute panic vote bribe. It also proves that he and his candidates do not understand the needs of south Winnipeg, nor the basic principles of community development.
First, as part of the Blue Bombers stadium complex is a jointly funded federal-provincial $25-million community and amateur athletic facility at a central location convenient to all -- the University of Manitoba. Second, if the Progressive Conservative candidates in south Winnipeg were hearing the voices of the people on the doorsteps, they would know that the local facilities -- Kings Community Club, Waverley Heights Community Centre, St. Norbert Community Club and others -- are all in need of significant repairs and upgrades.
It appears that Premier Greg Selinger's campaign promises are a wee bit hollow. By claiming he will provide all those new services now, he is openly admitting they have always been needed and his government has certainly been lacking the will to provide them.
If, as finance minister, he could not raise the funds to provide them all along, where will he find them if he is re-elected? They sound like more promises that will go unfulfilled.
Re: Making votes count (Letters, Sept. 28). This collective sentiment is exactly the problem. Almost 40 per cent of people do not vote. So let's say that in a riding with 1,000 eligible voters, 60 per cent cast a ballot. That means 600 votes. Party A wins with 300 votes (50 per cent), B gets 150 (25 per cent), C gets 90 (15 per cent), D gets 60 (10 per cent).
If the 40 per cent of non-voters cast their 400 ballots, giving just some of those votes to any of parties B, C, or D, one of these parties could win. If non-voters realized the power of their vote, we could have an entirely different political landscape. We are incredibly privileged to have the right to vote. So take full advantage.
This election campaign has covered the waterfront with regard to the issues raised. Everything from floods to hydro lines to the future of hog barns has been debated and discussed. Also included was a debate about food issues hosted by Food Matters Manitoba.
Not very many elections have had debates or discussion about agricultural issues and this is welcomed by the Winnipeg Humane Society, of which I am the CEO.
Sadly, what we have not seen is any discussion about farm-animal welfare. There has been no discussion at all about keeping pigs in crates. The Manitoba Pork Council continues to challenge the province's moratorium on hog barn expansion with full-page ads, but not a word about ending the misery of pigs living in a space the size of a telephone booth.
Why won't any of the political parties take a stand, like those in a number of countries and states, and ban sow crates? We at the Humane Society know the public does not like these intensive confinement systems, yet the political parties are not talking about farm animal welfare in this election.
When the next politician knocks at your door, ask them their position on sow crates. You will likely be surprised at what they don't know.
It is wonderful that our politicians are paying homage to protecting Lake Winnipeg. However, as usual, beleaguered Lake Manitoba doesn't even factor into government studies or political announcements.
The eutrofication of Lake Manitoba is happening as I write this. Who is going to champion the cause of cleaning up the lake? This spring Lake Manitoba became a dumping ground and outlet for the Portage Diversion, flushing this clean body of water with a level of nutrients unseen in recent history. There is no baseline study or data on what this will do to the lake.
Shame on us for ignoring the smaller lake and its aboriginal communities for the sake of the popular vote.
The party that dismantles the Winnipeg and all the other regional health authorities is the one that will get my vote.
Why is there such deafening silence on this? As a registered nurse, I'm not afraid of their retribution.