Letters, Jan. 12 – Winnipeg Free Press – Winnipeg Free Press

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Opinion

Fuelling debate

The government’s latest trumpeted foray into the realm of green sustainability demonstrates nothing but utter disregard toward addressing critical factors facing Canada and the world: Ottawa’s ostracism of Alberta’s energy-driven economy, the continued European dependence on Russian energy and the limits of the electric vehicles (EVs) currently available.

Alberta is on the verge of imploding, taking our Confederation with it, because Ottawa and our fellow provinces can’t see the necessity of getting full value for our oil. We’re being robbed every day of US$15- 20 on average per barrel, then shelling out for world price at our own pumps. Talk about losing both ways.

The war in Ukraine? I commend our government’s support for Ukraine’s war effort; Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be appeased with just one territorial acquisition. Why, though, are we nullifying NATO allies’ contribution towards supporting this fight? We’re not helping Ukraine; we’re deliberately sabotaging their victory. By not replacing Russian oil and natural gas flowing into Europe and Asia with our own, we’re essentially funding the very bullets and bombs that are raining down on Ukraine. Every cubic metre of natural gas that’s bought ultimately pays for Putin’s war. The only way to avert this escalating into a worse catastrophe is to get our oil and gas to tidewater.

Regarding EVs, they’re long overdue and it’s about time their efficiencies are utilized, but their limits must be recognized. For those whose lifestyle can comfortably facilitate an EV’s range and recharging layovers, that’s dandy; but take a good, hard look at the distances and the climate for a great majority of Canadians. And our transport trucks, railroads, ships and planes are all moving essentials that are time-sensitive. Every bit of it relies on fossil fuel.

As much as our very future demands we reduce our carbon emissions, we are a long way removed from achieving that capability without imperilling our society in the short term. Until we perfect a green alternative, effectively replacing the combustion engine, we desperately need attainable environmental regulations plus incentives that will get us to a greener world.

Tory Phinn

Winnipeg

Needs of others not a priority

Re: Paid sick leave long overdue, labour federation says (Jan. 9)

Longtime NDP operative Anna Rothney, who went from secretary to NDP premier Greg Selinger’s cabinet for priorities and planning, then straight to “special projects” for the Manitoba Federation of Labour in the months before the NDP’s delayed election defeat in April 2016, and is now its director, wants us all to believe paid sick leave for its union members should be the government of Manitoba’s top priority.

“Making sure that people have paid ill leave, so they don’t have to make the choice between getting a paycheque and being able to pay their bills, or protecting public health, is really important, ” she says.

Clearly, the needs of the non-unionized, the disabled and other vulnerable groups were never a priority of the Manitoba NDP. They blithely burdened Manitobans with Canada’s highest paramedic health-care fees, plus created an amalgamated paramedic and firefighting service model that was not working elsewhere, and clearly is untenable here 20 years later.

Rothney is paid to talk, but come the election this year, we must remind ourselves the priority of the Manitoba NDP has always been itself, and its union-member supporters. The rest of us will remain in the cold, and footing the bill.

Karmel Schreyer

Winnipeg

Traffic patterns changing

In “Speed limit just window-dressing” ( Characters , Jan. 9), the writer complains the city is wasting money and effort on initiating pilot projects aimed at reducing the flow and speed of traffic through some city residential areas. To the author, 50 km/h is an acceptable speed in residential neighbourhoods.

While 50 km/h may be an acceptable speed limit for residential streets that may experience only a couple of automobiles a day, it becomes something altogether different on residential streets experiencing hundreds and hundreds of vehicles a day.

Unlike 50 km/h on wide, double-lane two-direction avenues, home streets were never intended to handle high volumes associated with traffic at this speed, and when they do, they become unsafe and hazardous.

Changing traffic patterns requires appropriate management, and the city is correct in exploring ways and means to ameliorate its impact through pilot tasks in affected neighbourhoods.

Keith Addison

Winnipeg

Running on whose record?

In reading Peter Kaufman’s letter (“Socialism bad for Manitoba, ” Jan. 10), it is easy to get confused about which political party has been in control here in Manitoba in recent years.

In his diatribe against the NDP government of years ago, he conveniently omits the fact the Manitoba Progressive Conservative party has held power since May 2016 and he offers no proof things have gotten better in Manitoba during that time period.

According to his reasoning, we should have seen the resurgence in regional head-office corporate activity here in Manitoba during those past seven years. Of course , none of that has occurred.

He seems to think cities such as Calgary and Edmonton have vastly outgrown Winnipeg because Alberta was managed by Conservative governmentsm while completely ignoring the fact Alberta will be blessed with billions of dollars of economic activity as a result of the vast oil and gas reserves in that province.

And the value of the essential oil and the royalties that are produced for the Alberta government is the direct result of the world oil supply-and-demand situation, not the result of decisions made by an Alberta government.

His defence of the Manitoba PC party in managing the health-care system is laughable, given the particular crisis the system now faces owing, in large part, to choices made by that same PC party over the past seven years. He ignores the reality that the PCs’ war on the public sector, such as nurses plus teachers, has only exacerbated the problems Manitoba faces in delivering essential public services, and has reduced the quality of life here in the province.

At the end of the day, he provides no evidence the PERSONAL COMPUTER party has done anything positive for the province.

Irwin Corobow

Winnipeg

Pets a long-term commitment

The recent discovery of 10 puppies left on the side of a highway is very disturbing. People who truly want a pet should do their research before they become pet owners.

I know first-hand that a pet can be expensive. Food, vet visits, licensing and grooming fees can add up.

In many cases, people will just get tired of their pet and get rid of it. Very sad. I think these people either got caught off-guard with the expense or likely should not have had a pet in the first place.

How many individuals got a pet during the pandemic? Shelters are seeing many “pandemic pets” at their own doors.

Families need to think carefully before getting a family pet. Ask the question: “Who will take care of the pet? ”

Someone knows who dropped those puppies, and should come forward. The person responsible should be charged. What was done was inhumane. Who are the animals here, anyway?

If you can’t commit for the long term or be responsible, please do not get an animal.

Jim Thompson

Winnipeg

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