Letters, Jan. 11 – Winnipeg Free Press


City needs composting program

I have lived in Winnipeg for more than 10 years. When I moved here and learned that there was no municipal compost program, neighbours reassured me that a program was on its way and that, in the meantime, I could use a private service: Samborski Environmental.

I did not then know about Samborski’s long conflict with the RM of Macdonald over its composting activities in the area; I was just happy not to have my organic waste go to the landfill.

Ten years later, very little has changed. Compost Winnipeg has stepped in to try to fill the void, but is unable to service the whole city and it can take four to six weeks to review a request for service.

I cannot believe this is our system! Winnipeg is a major city and it is 2023! I am frustrated and upset that, particularly given our current environmental crisis, our city has not moved faster on this issue.

We do not need pilot programs. We do not need more time. We need to implement city-wide organic waste collection.

Jocelyn Thorpe


Troops committing war crimes

I am writing to express my total agreement with the recent letter from Peter Manastyrsky (“The West and Russia,” Jan. 5). Let me add my own thoughts…

My view of the terrible acts committed by Russian troops is that they amount to war crimes, and ought to be prosecuted as such. The parallel with Nazi Germany after the Second World War is striking. The Russian leadership (President Vladimir Putin and his generals) are, to my mind, the guilty ones who have created the situation and allowed the troops to act in this evil way.

Unfortunately, no war-crimes prosecution is likely unless NATO enters and wins the war, a most unlikely scenario. This means that a prosecution for war crimes, a consummation devoutly to be wished, is most unlikely to occur. It is only wishful thinking on my part.

Roger Kingsley


Missing the train

Re: Is it time for Winnipeg to get aboard LRT? (Jan. 3)

First off, I am a proponent of light-rail transit (LRT) systems, having utilized them in numerous municipalities. However, Winnipeg’s LRT is far in the future, if at all. There are three major issues: funding, routing and operational safety.

First, funding for the system is not restricted merely for its construction; it’s the planning, engineering and maintenance of the system initially and over time. And I can’t see, currently, where the city is going to find the money to even begin a project of that magnitude.

Second: routing. Even the strongest supporter of such a system is going to balk at having an LRT run near their properties. Complaints about noise and vibration, not to mention placement of stations, parking lots and the associated traffic, will be the most vocal opposition to any proposed routing. On the other side, the city is going to have to acquire properties and that means buying people out, and that will raise hackles, if not outright anger.

Third: operational safety. You think you have safety issues now? Wait till you build an LRT. Without robust security, fare evasion will be rampant, stations will be subject to the same occupation as the bus shelters, only worse. If you have a fully automated system (no operators), every type if criminal activity will present itself in a very short time.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at what goes on in operational LRTs across North America. And forget security guards. Police with arrest powers are the only answer. Google PATCO in southern New Jersey for a better insight into smaller LRT operations.

In any case, the citizens of Winnipeg looking for an LRT shouldn’t hold their breath. As my wife, born and bred in Winnipeg, observed: that ship sailed 25 years ago. Except it didn’t sail; it sank at the dock.

Don Reed


Work for a better future

Re: Young people can save democracy (Dec. 31)

Evelyn Namakula Mayanja writes, “Democracy has long been regarded as the political system that transformed the world.” Something to think about! When democracy has no meaning, then we, the people, no longer have representative democracy.

I spent a full career of 31 years in the Canadian military, and when I think back to the wars that were battled and the suffering and loss of our Canadian service personnel, the loss of democracy hurts the very being of their sacrifices.

I am afraid of what is taking place in Manitoba, regarding our government and its political action that subverts democracy.

People must speak out and breathe life back into the flickering embers of democracy to restore the flame, or in years to come, dictatorship, such as we have seen and read about in other countries, will become a reality in Canada. Is that what we want? It sure is not something that I want to look forward to for my family and grandchildren.

John Fefchak


Program should be expanded

Re: Cutting BUILD’s funding is the wrong call (Jan. 5)

Jonah Pearce appears to make credible arguments against the Progressive Conservative government’s move to cancel the BUILD program. Prior to this hitting the headlines, I had never heard of such a program, but since then all I’ve heard are protests that support has been terminated.

Why pull the plug on such a beneficial program? The only reason would be that there is an even better plan to replace it. Where is the government’s reasoning?

When the need is so great, services like this should be expanded, not dissolved. If there are other similar programs already operating, great! Can we have too much of a good thing?

As a taxpayer, I want my money going to worthwhile endeavours that enrich the lives of fellow Manitobans who can then go on to contribute to society at large.

Moves like this will not favour the PC party to this voter come next election.

Joyce Loftson


No sport hunting of wolves

Re: Wolf death reveals long-distance travels (Jan. 2)

Any potential inspiration from this story about the long-distance travels of a lone grey wolf was quickly extinguished by the revelation that, after making an epic journey from Michigan, the wolf died in Manitoba, apparently at the hands of a trophy hunter.

The article took pains to emphasize the hunter was licensed and the killing of the wolf was legal because the wolf population in Manitoba is not considered to be threatened or endangered. Unfortunately, this explanation does not dispose of the real issue, but rather illuminates it. Why does the government even issue such licences in the first place? Wolves have historically been persecuted, and sport killing simply repeats the historical pattern. As the story acknowledges, wolves are apex predators and essential components of the ecosystem. Killing them for sport is totally incongruous with the values of a supposedly enlightened society.

Ironically, the details of this wolf’s journey, as captured on a GPS tracker, dramatically illustrate how much we lose by allowing trophy hunters to take these animals down.

Doreen Penneys

Eugene Szach


A word about an award

Re: Narrative threads (Jan. 5)

I very much enjoyed the article about the costume designer for the film Women Talking, a soon-to-be-released adaptation of a book by Manitoba author Miriam Toews.

I did notice that among the many awards and accolades Miriam has received for her work, there was no mention that in 2004 her book A Complicated Kindness received the Governor General’s Award for fiction, which I felt was worth mentioning.

Heather Quinn


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