Barack off, man
Re: Obama weighs in on federal election, urges Canadians to vote Trudeau (Oct. 16)
I have always been a staunch supporter of Barack Obama.
I am so utterly disappointed that he would step into a Canadian election and actively endorse anyone who is running.
This is not his prerogative or privilege, and by doing so, he will have swayed and possibly used his influence to many of his Canadian admirers to vote for Justin Trudeau. He should not have meddled in our election.
This is our business, not his.
Caring for our trees
Much has been written in recent months about ambitious plans to plant a million trees in Winnipeg. This is an exciting and necessary goal, but it needs to be modified to say "let’s plant and care for a million trees."
For decades, the city has been planting trees and then neglecting to provide long-term care. New tree plantings need to be pruned regularly to build a tree canopy that works for our city streets. And great care must be taken to choose trees that won’t be problematic in the future.
I read the suggestion of Amur maples, a poor choice because these trees are not native to our Winnipeg soil and need constant soil augmentation and pruning in order to thrive. Another article suggested planting orchard trees on city property. The fruit from trees like these quickly becomes a problem as it falls and creates a big mess that requires cleanup. Other suggestions like the Ohio buckeye produce large seed pods that would be a real hazard on sidewalks and roadway.
The tree apocalypse that happened in Winnipeg this past weekend makes the goal of new tree planting more urgent than ever. Let’s move forward on this goal with intelligent and informed decisions and a solid commitment to provide all the care that will be needed in the future.
Re: Why Thunberg infuriates conservatives (Oct. 16)
Simon Dalby in his op-ed (and others on the subject as well) raises interesting concerns on how climate change is affecting the environment. Right here in Winnipeg, we have an obvious understanding of how climate change is affecting the environment around us.
More than 45 years ago, we planted a Manitoba maple sapling in our yard. Thirty to 35 years ago, the leaves would have totally fallen by the end of the first full week of September. Had one not raked those leaves by early October, they would have been so dried and shrivelled that they would have disappeared into the grass so one could never find them.
In recent years, at an accelerating rate, the leaves have remained on the tree longer and longer into the fall. This year, there are still leaves on the tree in the middle of October. It will be interesting to observe how much longer the leaves will remain on into future years.
Re: Province’s money-losing marijuana numbers don’t add up, opposition leaders say (Oct. 16)
I join with Wab Kinew and Dougald Lamont in their criticisms of the Pallister government’s report on profits from the sale of cannabis.
The alleged one-time costs are vaguely described and the forecast of future and previously predicted massive profits ignored.
The costs that drive current net profits into the red also ignore the savings in policing and court administration expenses. Hundreds of people aren’t being investigated, arrested, held in custody and tried each month. Police aren’t wasting their time testifying; correction officers aren’t shuffling as many prisoners back and forth for court appearances; judges and their courtrooms are available for more pressing issues. These savings are significant and Pallister’s government should be tracking them to report to the public.
But I doubt it will, and the recent tone of the government’s report suggests this information will be very difficult to come by in the future as it serves the current government’s attitude that legalization was wrong and should not get any good press.
Another point should be made about the small amount of profit generated since legalization. This disappointing result is entirely the fault of both the provincial and federal governments’ greed and over-regulation. Their insistence on over-taxing cannabis and requiring, among other regulations, ridiculously expensive packaging, have kept sale prices much higher than the black market.
Wasn’t the major purpose of legalization to decimate the black market? How do you do that with prices that are 30 to 40 per cent higher? If legal cannabis was the same price as black market, I’m confident there would have been higher volumes of safe product sold and by now a far smaller black market.
But the governments couldn’t be happy in the present with far less police and court costs, nor patient enough to wait for the black market’s demise before raising prices.
Getting the jobs job done
Re: Getting a good government (Letters, Oct. 15)
I am a little confused. On the one hand, Peter Kaufmann states that because of Justin Trudeau, people can’t afford beer or cigarettes, and that these items, plus VLTs, internet gaming and taxes (part are provincial) mean they can’t afford to put food on their tables.
So if people are living in poverty, why is Kaufmann cheering the fact that Brian Pallister fired 2,000 civil servants, and suggesting that using Pallister’s attrition model, 40,000 more federal employees should be fired? Can these 42,000 people afford beer, cigarettes and gambling if they are unemployed? It seems to me that they would only add to the poverty level in this country. Not exactly an example of good government.
Last week on the CBC, Canada’s chief economist said Canada’s debt was one per cent of GDP, whereas the United States’ debt is five per cent of GDP. Also that the Trudeau government has created close to 900,000 jobs. The CBC had him there to straighten out Conservative false advertising. Those are examples of good government.
Pallister has said he will create 40,000 jobs over the next four years, which is the opposite of what Kaufmann wants done.
Of course, while Pallister would love to take credit for job creation, it is the business community that does. At any rate, he had better get on his horse, if he believes he can get to 40,000 new jobs.