Put lights at 30 km/h zones
Re: City speed pilot project lifts off (July 12)
I notice the speed-reduction plan reducing the limit to 30 km/h from 50 km/h on sections of four local streets was pushed through city hall at blazing speed. It is clear it will increase photo-radar revenues.
I also noticed the yellow flashing lights in school zones took years to get approved. Even though these lights are intended for safety, they will also decrease revenues from photo-radar enforcement.
Perhaps the city is panicking about losing revenue from school zones so it is trying this desperate plan to reduce limits to 30 km/h to increase photo radar revenues.
The city knows there will be no yellow flashing lights to alert motorists in the new slower-speed zones. If they put up lights to warn drivers about the reduced-speed zones, then it is fair, even if it is an ill-conceived plan. If they don’t, then it is nothing more than a revenue grab and not about safety at all.
David Peter, Winnipeg
Freedom fighters selective
Re: Organization that spied on Manitoba judge during court challenge took in $2.6M in donations last year (July 14)
The seven churches challenging government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions have violated my constitutional right to life, liberty, and security of the person. Many epidemiologists have said their unmasked group gatherings promote the spread of a life-threatening virus.
Would the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms fund a court challenge to this breach of my constitutional freedoms? Somehow I doubt it, as it chooses to limit its assistance to anti-government or libertarian causes.
And yet, all Canadian taxpayers are forced to fund the JCCF due to its status as a registered charity. I fervently hope that its recent illegal activities will put an end to this travesty.
Ron Menec, Winnipeg
John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, is apparently willing to sidestep or break rules on behalf of clients and potential victories.
Since Carpay has been with the organization since 2011, and since the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom says its won more than 30 court victories and out-of-court settlements, perhaps those cases should be examined with an eye to laws that may have been broken to gain the victories and settlements.
Lynn Silver, Winnipeg
Burial conclusions premature
Re: A season of historical reckoning (Opinion, July 12)
Op-ed authors Karine Duhamel and Adele Perry mention the "confirmation of 725 unmarked graves on the site of the Merivale residential school in Cowessess."
They fail to mention local residents have long known that the area was a burial site. The well-ordered rows of flags currently on the site appear to suggest that, at some point, there were markings to indicate where the graves were located.
A recent news report said Indigenous community members do not know exactly who is buried there. Cowessess First Nation leadership believe "some" of the unmarked graves belong to residential school students, while Carol Lavallee, an Indigenous elder, believes the area is the resting place for generations of people from the community, including three of her brothers, one of whom died from an illness at 18 months.
So, in reality, we do not yet know who is buried there, when they were buried and who did the burying. Using hindsight, no one can deny that residential schools were a bad idea, but there is no need to make incomplete statements just to fit the current narrative.
J. D. Marion, Winnipeg
Education reform overdue
Re: School-tax rebate is classic bait and switch (Opinion, July 13)
Tim Sale, a research associate for the left-centred Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, asserts that the rich will benefit more than poorer residents of Manitoba. I disagree.
Education reform is sorely needed in Manitoba, where we are near the top in per-student spending and near the bottom in outcomes. On average, our students don’t do as well as those of other provinces even though we spend more.
We need change. Reforming how we fund education is a good start.
Sale’s opinion that people with large houses will save more is erroneous. The current taxes are based on the assessed value of the property and some large mansions on Church Avenue or Scotia Street pay low taxes and some small houses in River Heights or Tuxedo pay high taxes. It is not a fair system. Because it is not fair, there are dozens of lawyers and land appraisers constantly working in the tax-appeals process.
The money that is necessary to fund our education system will come from income tax, sales tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, marijuana tax and voluntary tax (VLTs). I am sure I left some out. Those who earn more or spend more will pay more. If you drink, smoke and gamble, you can be self-satisfied you are contributing to the education of our children.
Obviously, educators don’t like change and the NDP prefers the present high-cost, low-outcome system, although the needs of students are not being adequately met.
Continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a better outcome does not seem to be working.
Peter Kaufmann, Winnipeg
Genocide reasoning faulty
Re: Genocide? Prove it (Letter, July 13)
Letter writer Jim Temple claims it’s wrong to apply the word "genocide" to the treatment our forefathers afforded Indigenous people. If the former wanted to eliminate Indigenous children, he writes, all the Indigenous children would have died.
It’s an argument that would certainly appeal to Holocaust deniers. Nazi Germany didn’t want to eliminate the Jews. If it had, all the Jews would have died.
Ross McLennan, Winnipeg
Value of Treaty 1 unclear
Re: Hidden agenda, broken promises behind Treaty 1 signing (Opinion, July 12)
Chief Deborah Smith of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation writes (and I have no reason to doubt her): "People should put little emphasis on the written agreement which was circulated after the negotiations."
Are we not now in a situation where all bets are off? If so, what value is there in the text of Treaty 1? Are we then only left with an "interpretation" of that treaty?
T. T. Vandergraaf, Pinawa
Fines mar soccer parties
Re: Soccer fans revel in jubilation of long-overdue win (July 11)
On Sunday, two of the most storied soccer nations faced off in the prestigious Euro Cup. It was England versus Italy in the most popular game played around the world.
Considering Winnipeg is home to thousands of Italian and English immigrants of the first, second and third generations, along with thousands of soccer-crazed immigrants from around the world, why did Winnipeg’s COVID-19 "police" not have the foresight to forewarn the establishments along Corydon Avenue and Sargent Avenue that breaking COVID-19 rules would not be tolerated?
It appears they waited until the bars and restaurants were packed and then moved in and proceeded to issue fines. It was a slam-dunk the bars would be hopping on a hot Sunday afternoon with Italy facing England. Could not the government have handled the situation a little better?
Kim Trethart, Winnipeg