Take down the barriers
Re: Open intersection needs open process (May 8)
Perhaps the world’s busiest intersection — in Tokyo — involves as many as 2,500 people on five major crosswalks traversing 10 lanes of rush-hour traffic at one time. Stop worrying about the studies, for heaven’s sake, although I’m sure they’ll assist with the signals configuration.
With all the adjacent property owners finally in support, let’s just get on with removing the barriers for Winnipeg’s sake! Pedestrians and drivers — and the signals — will make it work.
John D. Perrin
As I have said before — I could give a tinker’s cuss whether it is re-opened or not. But I cannot understand what would make a civil servant believe they can limit access to the information developed at the taxpayers’ cost. Mayor Brian Bowman needs to get this report out so there can be informed discussion. Same is true of Premier Brian Pallister and the audit.
Both campaigned on transparency — both have shown themselves to be dense and opaque.
The new outlet shopping mall in Winnipeg is no doubt a wonderful thing — if one can get to it. There are too many retail centres that are almost inaccessible to anyone who does not drive and in this case there is absolutely no bus service available.
In fact, Navigo tells me that I can have either a 28-minute or 32-minute walk when I get to the nearest bus stop!
The same may be said for many areas of "big box" shops in shopping areas, which are widely-spaced — usually by parking lots — and are often difficult to negotiate, especially in winter, when a long, exposed walk in -25 temperatures is not very pleasant.
An example would be the Superstore on Bison Drive.
When will developers understand that there are many people out there, often older people, who do not drive? Far too many concessions are made to automobiles in this city; urban planners, if they exist at all, have obviously never heard of Jane Jacobs or have never had to walk for 15 minutes in freezing temperatures just to buy groceries.
Canada built by immigrants
Re: I’m not a threat: asylum seeker (May 6)
I cannot imagine the horrible conditions this man grew up enduring, and the emotional scars he has been left with.
He has now come to Canada illegally and our laws prevent us from sending him back to the country that initially gave him asylum.
He has lived in the U.S. for 18 years with family to support him and it seems that he did not get the help he needed for his addictions and mental health issues.
If this man had applied legally to come to Canada I wonder if he would have been denied. I wonder what else we don’t know. We will now cover the costs for his successful rehabilitation, hopefully.
Canada is a country built by immigrants and we should continue to help bring new people of all races and religions to our beautiful country, but we need to stop people just walking across our border from the U.S.
Fumbling on Hydro
We are now facing rate increases that will total approximately 35 to 40 per cent in five years. Former premier Greg Selinger and his gang refused to listen to former Hydro executives and engineers who stated that the location of Bipole III was wrong. But what do they know? Typical NDP! Manitoba used to promote our economical hydro to lure businesses to locate here. Now a thing of the past.
I would also thank Selinger and his pals for mortgaging the future of my children and grandchildren through their overspending.
William D. Pooles
This morning I informed my wife that I awoke at 3 a.m. and couldn’t get to sleep again. I told her that I was thinking of Brian Pallister. Her comment was "Well, that’s a nightmare."
As I am nearing 80 years of age, I have seen a lot of changes to our province with many different premiers.
I think we are a very capable population who rises to the challenges at hand. However, there are others whose opinion is our Manitoba Hydro has been mismanaged without reference to government interference (wrong location of transmission lines) which greatly increased the cost. Others say the civil servants, professors/teachers and nurses are overpaid for the work they do daily. I cannot imagine life without them.
Well, our premier would like to be in charge of every aspect of our daily living by ignoring the needs of the north: rail and air transportation, the Port of Churchill and the business at The Pas — and now adding huge hydro-rate increases to the heating/lighting of very vulnerable citizens. What a shame that is. Also, Premier Pallister has decided that the highways in Manitoba "will have to do" and no further commitment will be made during the next decade or more.
The seniors at Lac du Bonnet will have to look elsewhere for "assisted living" and CancerCare is really out of luck. Our aboriginal friends can be accused and abused by the premier in a variety of ways.
After one year in power, I wonder what has been accomplished other than the discouragement of everyone. Has anyone tried to sell more power to Saskatchewan, Montana, the Dakotas, Wisconsin or Wyoming? I think Ontario residents are paying huge monthly amounts for their hydro, so why not investigate that market? If pipelines can be built for natural gas and petroleum products, surely transmission lines are not impossible. There are markets for our electricity and we must be more aggressive. We must have hope in the future.
I would caution our auditor general to keep an eye on the developments of the management mindset regarding Manitoba Hydro and those who have taken over the reins (government appointees) and the Public Utilities Board (government regulators) to caution against "privatizing" this utility, as many "insiders" would stand to make a great deal of personal wealth.
I say this as the younger son of one of our former auditor generals of Manitoba. Always be vigilant.
Harry F. McFee
Downtown life not senior-friendly
Re: A shock to the system and Free Press’s Martin named Canada’s best columnist (May 5)
Congratulations to Melissa Martin for winning the best columnist in Canada award! I agree totally with her excellent article on the downtown walkway and Portage Place.
There are hundreds of people living downtown who are old, disabled or both. A lot of us moved here to take advantage of the covered walkways, of a supermarket and other shops and businesses accessible from the walkway. Since I moved here an average of one establishment a year has left Portage Place — some key businesses such as Zeller’s supermarket, McNally Robinsons bookstore and restaurant, two cinemas and many others.
Benches have been removed, we understand, to discourage "loitering." Portage Place has some benches left, but as Melissa Martin discovered, there are few in the walkways. This can be a hardship on people with walking issues.
The shops and businesses left in Portage Place cater to the poor and very young and are not a patch on those in Winnipeg Square, which appears to be flourishing — and not just at lunch hour. I understand Portage Place belongs to someone in Vancouver. How did this happen? It should belong to our city.
It seems Winnipeg is still favouring development in the surrounding suburbs before downtown.