Letters, Jan. 10 – Winnipeg Free Press


Should they stay or should they go?

Re: Silence from the bridge belies trouble brewing aboard the S.S. Stefanson (Jan. 4)

Dan Lett is right in his assertion that many NDP MLAs retired after 17 (long) years in office rather than run again.

What he didn’t point out is that many of the MLAs who left were in marginal ridings such as Seine River, Southdale and Dawson Trail. They left because they feared they would not win again.

Also noteworthy is that politics is not actually supposed to be a career. Its supposed to be something someone does for a while and then moves on to give others a chance to serve. Look at the service records of the Tories not running again — it’s more than 100 years, combined, in the legislature !

I worked on Myra Dreidger’s byelection in Charleswood in 1997; that was 26 years ago. Her leaving is not an indication she is fearful of a Tory loss (nor is anyone worried about the Tories not being re-elected — with new candidates — in such strongholds as Lakeside or Midland or Agassiz)!

Bottom line: don’t read too much into people not running again — it happens all the time (and we should be happy it does).

Derek Rolstone


Socialism bad for Manitoba

Re: Tories will transform, but they’ll do it on opposition benches (Jan. 5)

If Tom Brodbeck is right, and I sincerely hope he is not, that the NDP will take over the reins of government for the next eight years, then Manitoba will be in for the next wave of private capital and private-sector jobs leaving this province.

Many of our largest corporations have moved to Calgary and Edmonton during the last forays of the NDP into power at the legislature. The major banks, which were all here, are now centred in Alberta. Many loans for Manitoba businesses need to be approved in Alberta. The CN Rail western head office is in Edmonton and CP Rail is now located in Calgary. Canada Safeway (Sobeys) and Westfair Foods (Superstore, Loblaws) are both in Calgary. These companies were all here.

Calgary and Edmonton have grown to almost twice the size of Winnipeg over the last 50 years.

To be sure, part of that growth was resource-driven, but some of their growth was at our expense. Our dabbling with socialism has not gone unnoticed by the business community.

The Free Press has done an admirable job in criticizing our premier, Heather Stefanson, on the health-care file, and I think she and her government are doing as much as any province in difficult circumstances. Nurses and doctors retired during the pandemic and some were lured away or simply moved on. Procedures and operations were postponed because of COVID-19 and now the system is behind.

A big headline in the Free Press decrying 400,000 hours of overtime is sensationalizing an average of five to 10 hours of overtime per week for 12,000 nurses. They are doing their part to get caught up, and the province is doing what it can with hip and knee replacement and heart procedures by moving some out of province when they can, with the patient’s consent.

The province of Saskatchewan has grown tremendously without the NDP, and if we dabble again with another NDP government, Saskatchewan will surpass us and move into fifth place behind Ontario, Quebec, B.C. and Alberta.

Heather Stefanson is a new leader and and deserves our support to build a new team and lead this province.

Socialism in Manitoba has done us harm in the past and would be devastating to our future.

Peter Kaufmann


Eyre’s art worth celebrating

Re: You had us at “free” (Jan. 5)

Downtown Winnipeg is filled with architectural beauty. Walking tours sponsored by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation provide an array of explanations about the early buildings and their architectural significance.

Assiniboine Park seems to be the place for all things to be built. But I beg to differ. An Ivan Eyre sculpture garden at Marketlands would complement the Red River College downtown campus architectural facade and Indigenous art, and the Chinese garden area with a beautiful green space of trees, gardens and Ivan Eyre sculptures.

If we believe in revitalizing our downtown, we want art, flower gardens and green space, as well as folks living, working and enjoying the amenities of what is around us, within walking distance.

Ivan Eyre’s genius of art should be front and centre in this beautification of our downtown. The WAG and the Richardson Gardens at the corner of Portage and Main have already embraced Ivan Eyre with monumental sculptures. Now, we need to embrace this great Canadian artist at the landscaped gardens of this newly minted space. Marketlands could then be named “Ivan Eyre Square.”

Wilma Sotas


A class of their own?

Re: Five “eco-types” who focus on the environment (Jan. 4)

This was an interesting op-ed by UBC sociologist Emily Kennedy about what she calls the environmental “eco-types” and how they distribute across the political spectrum. Briefly listed, they are: the Eco-Engaged, the Self-Effacing, the Optimists, the Fatalists, and the Indifferent. Kennedy helpfully disaggregates what we often treat as an homogenous category, the Environmentalist.

But let’s take that category in the other direction and weave together the various eco-types and see if they might constitute a new global “class.” In his book, The Emergence of an Ecological Class, the late French philosopher of science Bruno Latour suggests we may be witnessing a new path forward against the disaster of climate change and toward the possibility of greater environmental and social justice. Latour proposes a new “ecological class” holds promise of becoming a form of struggle that could join with the working classes and labour in providing an energizing dynamic to social and environmental activism.

Sounds like a plan! In terms of type, as an engaged optimist, my hope for 2023 is that some such good sense might even prevail in Manitoba, and that we can move past the ignorance and incompetence that has marked government in this province. My hope for 2023!

Sig Laser


A taste of Winnipeg

Re: They used to club, now they’ll KUB (Jan. 4)

Tears of joy? Tears of sorrow? Neither!

Scientists have yet to characterize the force that draws Winnipeggers back to their roots. The rediscovery by the Foster brothers, Chip and Pepper, of the true value of this old-fashioned Winnipeg culinary enterprise is an example of that strange force in action. The repurposing of Ross Einfeld’s KUB bakery brought to light how deep these roots can go.

My father, a successful surgeon and failed salami manufacturer, used to regale us with his memories of Selkirk Avenue after the First World War.

The sighting of Mr. Elman (or could it have been Finkelman?) walking down Selkirk Avenue with tears flowing down his cheeks was a key indicator that a fresh batch of horseradish was ready for sale at Grosney’s delicatessen. The kind of horseradish with a kick that could last a century. All in a day’s work.

Elman’s pickles, herring and horseradish are still on the shelves in Winnipeg. Still bringing tears to my eyes.

Daniel Klass


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