Consultants take job seriously
Re: Manitoba has spent $16M on private consultants since Tories took power (Nov. 7)
As a practising certified management consultant (CMC) for more than 30 years and a past president of the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Manitoba, I want to take exception to the speculative assertion that outside consultants tend to "do the bidding of the political masters," attributed to Paul Thomas. Such alleged behaviour constitutes a blatant conflict of interest.
On Oct. 6, 1986, the Manitoba legislature enacted provincial statute, Chapter 47, The Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Manitoba Act, to protect the public from such behaviour by authorizing the institute as the regulatory body mandated with establishing and enforcing compliance with strict professional standards regarding CMCs’ independence and objectivity related to accepting and undertaking management consulting engagements. Any breaches or perceived breaches of these standards are subject to legislatively authorized sanctions, including censures, fines, suspensions and expulsion as approved by council.
Thomas’s generalization is inaccurate and misleading. CMCs are prohibited by law from entering into, or undertaking, any management-consulting engagement where their independence or objectivity would be, or could be, perceived as being compromised.
J.J. (Sean) Sweeney, FCMC
Make audits transparent
Re: Where’s the ‘value’ in value-for-money audits? (Nov. 13)
Dan Lett’s column has hit the nail on the head — $16 million is an awful lot of taxpayer money paying outside consultants for these audits. Their reports should be transparent; taxpayers have a right to know where the money is going and the results of these audits. Most of these audits seem to be leading to a decrease of service. That $16 million could have been spent on improving health care, infrastructure or for poverty reduction. If they are so interested in reducing the deficit, then why spend all this money on reports Manitobans can’t even see?
Military decorations ranked
Re: Brave hearts (Nov. 10)
The Nov. 10 column states that Sgt. Tommy Prince is the "most decorated First Nations soldier." This is incorrect. When the Canadian military refers to a decorated soldier, sailor, airman or airwomen, it is with regard to valour medals only. This means that campaign, long service, Queen’s Jubilee and other medals are not included.
Also taken into account is the order of precedence of the medals. The Military Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Flying Medal and Distinguished Service Cross are all lower-ranking valour medals. So, for example, if a soldier was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, it would outrank the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The Canadian military also looks at the number of valour medals awarded. In the case of Sgt. Prince, he was awarded the Military Medal and the American Silver Star. Foreign medals are not taken into account because the criteria for awarding them differs from the British system (which was in place during both the First and Second World Wars for Canadian servicemen and women).
Sgt. Prince’s Military Medal comes in behind Cpl. Francis Pegahmagabow’s Military Medal and two bars (he was awarded the medal three times). Cpl. Pegahmagabow, a top sniper during the First World War, is recognized by the Canadian War Museum as the most decorated First Nations soldier.
Sgt. (retired) Patricia McNorgan
Heed California blazes
Re: California wildfires should warn Manitoba (Nov. 13)
This article is a timely wake-up call to Manitoba that the risk of devastating fires in our province is real and the warning should be heeded with all seriousness.
Climate change has produced a new paradigm and Manitoba appears slow to understand and respond to the potentially fatal impact and come up with strategies to proactively deal with the potential for massive fires that affect our communities and the ability to offer tourism in our pristine forests and lake areas. The potential cost to industry is something to be considered and calculated as well.
I was one of many who watched helplessly as fires came perilously close to cottages in the Whiteshell. The more significant fire was in 2016 and again to a lesser degree in 2018. This is not our primary residence, and I can only imagine the terror for those whose homes are at risk. There are many issues to consider such as prolonged droughts; lightning strikes from erratic and unpredictable weather; trains that pass through forests and produce fires, as was the case in 2016 in eastern Manitoba; and forests that are not managed. Flooding is also an issue, as we saw in 2016 at Caddy Lake.
Manitoba needs a strategy to deal with these phenomena. They are not going to go away. The days of "normal" precipitation and temperatures are behind us until countries like Canada and the U.S. are able to slow global warming. While we highly value the competent services of water bombers and firefighters, I want to know that the provincial leadership is alert to the trends and planning ahead to stop this from getting out of control.
On each visit to the West Hawk Lake area, I see the fire rating sign, with Smokey the Bear telling me, daily, the fire risk. Smokey’s theme is "only you can prevent forest fires."
This has to take on a new meaning and result in a provincial plan that assures Manitobans we won’t only rely on putting fires out, but seek ways to reduce risk from fires starting in the first place.
Is it sexism?
Re: Manitoba Tory backbencher holds another fundraiser at men-only squash club (Nov. 15)
Why is this such a big deal? There are women-only gyms (of which I am a member). Oh, the problems of the First World. There are many more important issues to concern yourselves with than this. Grow up.
Total non-story... sorry folks, nothing to see here... move on. I’ve been to events at the Squash Club and every time I’ve seen women there as full participants. This story is a fishing expedition on a slow news day. The club is small and restricted by building size so I get why it is men only. You think that club wouldn’t want the extra income that women members could bring in?
It does not send a good message. Women are not allowed to be members or to go downstairs because, God forbid, members have to put their clothes on to eat dinner. Even female servers can’t go to the lower level. There are two issues here: 1) Scott Johnston doesn’t think his own constituency has a venue for his high-end fundraiser. 2) He chose a venue in which women are not permitted to become members, one of the only clubs in the province with this antiquated business model. It reeks of sexism.