Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/10/2017 (1426 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Keep Portage and Main closed
Re: Time to love Portage and Main (Oct. 23)
I am struggling with the idea of opening Portage and Main to pedestrian traffic. The idea is definitely novel, but I see it as a logistical nightmare.
In today’s world of considering the needs of disabled individuals, at the absolute least the stop light would have to allow the time required for someone with a walker to safely make the longer-than-typical crossing at the intersection. I have a hard time accepting that this would not disrupt traffic flow in a major way.
We also live in a city where we potentially have winter six months of the year. The novelty of crossing Winnipeg’s windiest corner in -10 C loses its appeal for me. I do not believe the benefits outweigh the cost and the negatives. The disruptions in traffic will cause major frustration for Winnipeggers who work downtown on a daily basis.
I believe the money could be better spent adding to the indoor pedestrian walkways. It has been Winnipeg’s goal to breathe life and function into downtown. Additional indoor pedestrian walkways will make the downtown area even more mobile and diverse 12 months of the year. In my mind, this plan would be a better long-term investment for the citizens of Winnipeg.
I voted for Brian Bowman. I did not vote for him because he said he was going to open Portage and Main, which is a stupid idea. I voted for him because he promised to be honest and transparent and to have integrity.
Why not just admit you are wrong, instead of cutting your nose off to spite your face? We the people will appreciate your honesty.
The amount of cash required for this project could be used to repair our roads, which are in terrible condition.
So I’m hoping the people who get to decide this issue think about asking the taxpayers first.
Call referendum on price fixing
Re: Supply management targeted in NAFTA talks (Oct. 17)
Canadians do not want government or anybody else fixing prices for poultry, eggs or dairy. Fixed prices produce only one thing: high prices for consumers and the tens of thousands of businesses that use these ingredients.
Alexander Panetta’s article notes it costs each Canadian family $368 per year (about $5 billion annually in total). We pay $5 billion for what, so that producers have stability? Private insurance is used in every industry to provide stability at a fraction of what subsidies cost. Are the reasons ideology? Absurd — remember the Wheat Board. Farm land value is continually rising and producers are experiencing record crops.
Consolidation of these agribusinesses is about 50 years overdue. Jobs that have not been created, owing to high prices, are the same as jobs destroyed. We pay $5 billion per year to destroy jobs and prop up completely inefficient operations. All three political parties are frightened to death of these agribusinesses. There are legions of lawyers, accountants and more whose jobs depend on price fixing. But the producers, on the other hand, will be compensated. How much is not clear, but we know it is insanely cheaper than $5 billion per year forever.
The only way out for our spineless political leaders is a referendum.
Quebec right on ban
I applaud the Quebec government for taking a secular stand against people seeking to wear face coverings while "providing or seeking public services" by passing Bill 62. It’s the only province that has realized that western culture, built on secular liberal democracy, is being slowly eroded by misplaced tolerance for archaic symbols promoting misogyny and subservience by males and by "progressives" anxious to avoid offending immigrants and refugees.
Banning the niqab is not impairing anyone’s religious freedom, as the wearing of the veil is a recent interpretation starting with the 1978-79 Iranian Revolution, dictating what women must and must not wear, and not derived from the Qur’an. Bill 62 will not further fuel the existing problem of Islamophobia, as creating societies within societies — better known as multiculturalism, has for years been resulting in an ever-increasing hostility toward immigrants, refugees and Muslims.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms not only grants freedom of religion but also freedom of speech and thought, but placing certain subjects off-limits and making it taboo to talk about or against it for fear of being called racist and xenophobic in order to halt discussion is what is threatening western "cultural practices or beliefs," not Bill 62.
All immigrants and refugees of different ethnicities and religions must be prepared to assimilate, or tension, conflict, antagonism and Islamophobia will only escalate.
Declaration was basis for Israel
Re: Negotiated in bad faith (Letters, Oct. 24)
Contrary to Harold Shuster’s assertions, the Balfour Declaration represented a national commitment by the British government for Zionist aspirations in Palestine, which ultimately laid the groundwork for Israel’s founding, without which, the Jewish state may never have been created. At its core, the Declaration affirmed the Jewish legal rights to Israel. Shuster’s claims to the contrary have no validity, and make no mistake, from birth to present day, Israel has always sought peace with its Arab brethren, but since time immemorial, the greatest impediment to Mideast peace is the broader Arab world’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist.
According to Richard Bass, a Middle East historian, educator, and author of the book Israel in World Relations, the Jewish legal right to a national home in Palestine was derived from the fact that the Mandate for Palestine incorporated the Balfour Declaration. The Mandate specifically referred to "the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine" and to the moral validity of "reconstituting their National Home in that country." The Mandate’s use of the term "reconstituting" shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews’ home (a de facto Jewish national home existed at the time the Balfour Declaration was issued, as 90,000 Jews resided in the area of Palestine that was to be Israel). Furthermore, the British were to "use their best endeavors to facilitate" Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to "secure" the Jewish National Home. The Mandate itself, and its incorporation of the Balfour Declaration, affirmed the 4,000-year connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and their right to self-determination. (While the Jews received their rights to self-determination in Palestine, Arabs received those rights in all the remaining territories of the Middle East — millions of square miles compared to Palestine’s 10,000 square miles.)
Shuster cites an unverified quote that anti-Israel activists attribute to former Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion in which he is said to have claimed that Israel "stole their country," in referring to Palestinian Arabs. Importantly, there’s no evidence that Ben-Gurion ever made this statement. To repeat it, Shuster engaged in "bad faith."