Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/9/2014 (1055 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Getting Hydro's house in order
I was taken aback by your description of my opinion of Hydro (Hydro critic hired to take job from utility, Sept. 29).
To be clear, I do not consider myself a "fierce critic" of Hydro's energy-efficiency programs. In fact, I am on the record as supporting many of Hydro's efficiency efforts, some of which I point to as success stories when helping other North American utilities improve their own programs. I also think highly of the very capable PowerSmart staff, who devote their time and careers to helping Manitobans reduce their energy bills.
That said, my assessments of PowerSmart, conducted over several years on behalf of all parties (including Hydro, consumer and environmental non-profits, and government), have consistently found that more can be done to help consumers reduce their bills.
My task now is to advise the government on building a model that expands on the foundation Hydro has laid, while yielding still more savings and benefits for Manitobans.
No matter what model the province chooses to adopt, I am certain of one thing: the know-how and expertise that Hydro has developed over the years will be needed more than ever.
Which is why I expect Hydro to continue to play an important role helping consumers save energy far into the future.
Better rules for kids' care
What may have been a well-intentioned plan by our provincial government is unfortunately backfiring (Broken net for city's at-risk kids, Sept. 30).
Once again, due to lack of total commitment and oversight by those who started the program, the children have become mere commodities for profit-oriented companies. Staff with only minimum babysitting skills are hired at low wages, and professional-level monitoring and intervention skills are lacking.
The arms-length involvement of social workers provides these private groups the leeway to run the businesses their way.
So where are the rules? If I want to tear down a wall in my home and change a structure, the city gives me permission to do so through a permit and dictates how I do it. If the province hands children over to external companies, why does it not also dictate the rules and monitor compliance?
Why does it not supervise the day-to-day performance?
Bring wages up, not down
Letter-writer Larry Roberts' solution to Winnipeg's financial problems is to "scrap the whole sorry mess and start fresh, with wages, benefits and pensions that are comparable to the private sector, and apply the resulting windfall to fix our infrastructure" (Fixing city's cash crunch, Letters, Sept. 30).
Translation: Let's make sure that when our employees retire we make sure they do not get a pension enabling them to retire in dignity. Also, let's make sure we do not pay them enough salary during their working life to save something for their retirement.
Roberts wants the city to pay firefighters, police and emergency responders the same wages and benefits that McDonald's pays its workers.
Shame on you, Mr. Roberts. The people who work hard to protect us and keep us safe deserve better. It is the private sector that needs to change its policy of giving its employees the minimum they can get away with.
Mosasaur's miserable manor
Re: Morden mosasaur world's largest (Sept. 18). The world's largest mosasaur fossil sits in one of the saddest museums in North America.
I moved to Morden last summer and found the museum, located in the basement of the event centre, to be deserving of more funding for a more presentable space. It's depressing.
Instead of pouring millions into the new human-rights museum, we should take pride in the museums we have. It's the typical North American attitude: build and invest in the new and forget about the old.
Dumbing down democracy
The editorial Democracy's face-palm moment (Sept. 27) is a frightening indictment of a democratically elected government making a mockery of question period in the House of Commons, and of the right of free speech.
Cabinet members and Conservative MPs are automatons for the PMO, with no freedom to speak for themselves, only mouthing carefully prepared politically correct platitudes.
If, as the editorial states, this is a government run by "frat boys," it should be tossed out unceremoniously, and a government which believes in and observes the fundamental principles of democracy and free speech should be elected.