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Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 28, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba A6 Friday, June 28, 2002Opinion 121st Year — No. 158OUR VIEW Bidding process should be open It doesn’t take a degree in public administration to know that an open tendering process is the best way to spend significant amounts of public funds. Contractors in the city are protesting, with good cause, the fact Brandon University would agree to a management contract worth nearly SI OO,OOO without an open tender. We must also remember that the management contract was for a $5-mil-lion building project. “What we’re concerned about are publicly funded projects,” says Jack Cumming, general manager of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba. “It should be an open, transparent process.” He is right. He is absolutely right. The university, like any other tax-supported institution, has an obligation to guard the public interest at all times. The best way to do that is to operate in an open and competitive environment. We need a business-like approach here, not a hiring-hall approach. There must be a clear policy to follow in these matters. Direction must come from the top. Property taxpayers in Brandon have already been bitten by the province’s offloading bug that unfairly penalizes them for having a university in this city. They especially need to see the money being spent with care in institutions like Brandon University. An open tendering process creates checks and balances in a system and encourages bidders to keep their pencils sharp. Common sense alone should make that point clear in the halls of campus administration. And, if anyone wants to suggest that we need not worry because this is being built with provincial dollars from Winnipeg, they should forget that notion right away. Provincial dollars are taxpayer dollars. We are all taxpayers in one way or another. Scott Lamont, university vice-president, also notes the optics will be a problem in this community- The university raises $1 million annually here. The optics are not going to help fundraisers in Brandon. “I know they’re going to suffer in their fundraising,” says Cumming. Economic development consultants have already noted that there is a problem with perceived secrecy and favouritism in the awarding of public contracts here. They too have recommended a more transparent process. But this is more about doing things the right way than it is about optics. An open tendering process creates checks and balances in a system and encourages bidders to keep their pencils sharp. Common sense alone should make that point clear in the halls of campus administration. It is time for all government departments and public institutions in this city to get with the program. Commit to a competitive and transparent bidding process. LOOKING BACK Brandon adds to pot for Garrison project SIXTY YEARS AGO The United States navy, in final assessment of the Midway victory early this month, recorded the sinking of IO Japanese ships. Fearing an uprising in the event of an allied invasion of the continent, the German government has been attempting to set up new and stable governments in the Netherlands and Belgium, but has been rebuffed by King Leopold of the Belgians and by Netherlands leaders. FIFTY YEARS AGO The constituency of Souris in the federal nding will be amalgamated with Brandon riding. The president, directors and management of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba are pleased to extend a most cordial welcome to the First Manitoba Trade Fair, one of the principal attractions at the Provincial Exhibition. In more than 80 showrooms you can see what the Keystone province has to offer Canada and the world. FORTY YEARS AGO The Highway Traffic and Co-ordination Board recently recommended that the speed limit on the Trans-Canada Highway near Brandon be raised from 30 to 45 miles per hour. Lincoln Clipper, a fancy four-year-old that has never lost on a Manitoba track and never finished out of the money m its history, was the highlight in Virden today as Virden opened its two-day meet on the Manitoba Harness Racing circuit. THIRTY YEARS AGO United States planes hit North Vietnam’s biggest hospital yesterday causing serious damage. They also bombed or dropped rockets on populated suburbs. President Richard Nixon announced today plans for a two-month withdrawal of 10,000 United States troops from South Vietnam and directed that only drafted men who volunteer be sent there m the future. Brandon’s newest motor hotel, the $1.8 million 100-room Red Oak Inn on Victoria Avenue, was officially inaugurated today. Former Manitoba premier Duff Roblin, president of Canadian Pacific Investments Ltd., the parent company of CP Hotels which will operate the inn on a long-term lease, called the occasion an historic event. Currently playing in Brandon: at the Strand, Swedish Fly Girls; at Green Acres Drive-In, Summer of ‘42 and The Wild Bunch; at the Lucky Star Drive-in, Midnight Cowboy and The Christine Jorgensen Story. TWENTY YEARS AGO Prince Charles and his wife Diana have named their infant son William Arthur Philip Louis, Buckingham Palace announced today. The child, second in line to the throne behind his father, will be known as Prince William of Wales. Brandon will pitch in $ 1,000 toward a committee’s efforts to help the Garrison Water Diversion Project. TEN YEARS AGO A helicopter owned by Edgeworth helicopters from B.C. dropped in at Barney’s Motel in Brandon and stayed for a few days to wait out the weather conditions on its intended route in the East. The machine was to be used in fighting forest fires and rescue work. Hundreds of people lined the banks of the Souns River in Souris’ Victoria Park to watch men and women of all ages make their way upstream on homemade rafts at the Souris River Raft Races. The undisputed champion was the Prairie Gold team. From the files of The Brandon Sun. AIWM/ubs tm ffcsscw ss NATIONAL VIEWPOINT Our history has a lesson for leaders at G-8 meeting By CHANTAL HEBERT For The Sun CALGARY — Steering G-8 colleagues through a discussion on their collective role in the future of Africa, Prime Minister Jean Chretien could do worse than walk them through a few pages of Canadian history. He could tell his fellow leaders about Quebec’s annual June 24 celebrations. On Monday night, 250,000 Montrealers gathered in a city park to celebrate the Quebec version of Canada Day. Not a fist or a flag was raised in anger. Despite the huge crowds for both the concert and Sunday’s parade, the number of incidents requiring police intervention ended up being counted on less than the fingers of two hands. It was not always so. A few decades ago, Canada might have been hard-pressed to host an international summit in late June without treating the world media to the spectacle of violent riots. From one Samt-Jean-Baptiste Day to the next, politically inspired bombings were regular occurrences. The violence culminated in 1970 with the kidnapping of a British diplomat, the assassination of Quebec minister Pierre Laporte and the dispatching to Montreal of armed troops and tanks. These days, such memories seem to belong to a Canada that is almost hard to imagine for those who were not around at the time. And yet, Canada’s brush with internal terrorism took place over the course of the current prime minister’s political cycle. Canada’s status as a success-story on the front of domestic terrorism has never been more relevant than in the post-Sept. ll era. On a small scale, it goes some way to show that when it comes to rooting out terrorism, investing in social justice and allowing local democracy to take its course will achieve longer-lasting results than state repression and pre-imposed election outcomes. If the culture of terrorism was nipped in the bud in Quebec, it was not because of the performance of security forces or the dictates of the federal government. Without policies designed to ensure that being bom a francophone in Canada was no longer an economic handicap and a source of alienation from the mainstream of national affairs, without democratic institutions resilient enough to channel the energy for change, even radical ones, unto the political arena, chances are Quebec’s June 24 celebration would still stand as a signpost of ever-growing violent unrest. By promoting an Africa action plan as aggressively as he is this week, Chretien is very much offering a contribution based on values that have served this country well at some of the darker moments of its history. In so doing, Canada is also attempting to branch out of the so-called war on terrorism in ways that go beyond those encompassed since Sept. 11 by what has become known as the Bush doctrine. The Africa plan, for one, involves choosing to invest massively in democratic progress rather than in rewarding law-and-order efforts. It implies that, given a choice between prodding African nations to keep terrorists out or helping them craft societies within which the very notion of terrorism is unlikely to thrive, the latter should be the clear preference of the industrialized world. Part of the rationale of the Africa action plan is that it would primarily be geared to countries that are striving to achieve democracy. From an anti-terronsm standpoint, that may not even be the straightest line from point A to point B. Bluntly speaking, it is just as easy, if not easier, to exact repressive action against any activity that even remotely smacks of terrorism from authoritarian regimes that have little time for the niceties of civil liberties than from democracies. In the media fish bowl that is the Calgary G-8 media centre, there has emerged a yardstick according to which Chretien’s performance here is to be measured by his capacity to prevent issues such as the Middle East from looming large over his Africa agenda. That is like saying one should choose between extinguishing an existing blaze and taking steps to prevent an imminent one. Chretien does need to push the G-8 foot into the African door while there is still a modest opening. In Europe as well as in America, there is plenty of evidence of a strong post-Sept. 11 self-protective streak that would have industrialized democracies wall themselves in. But without decisive action on the front of economic and democratic progress in Africa and elsewhere, those walls, in time, will only have to be built higher at rising cost to the prosperous societies that live within them and at the expense of their own social fabric. In any event, no wall will ever be high enough to keep out terrorism. The Canadian experience is that weeding out terrorism by seeding its breeding ground with good strong grass rather than with by spraying it with pesticides makes for a healthier political environment. That is a message well worth conveying. Chamal Hebert is a national affairs writer LETTERS TO THE EDITOR •- Community improves park Congratulations to all the community members who helped turn some unsightly lots into a beautiful memorial to those who have died. Many, many hours of hard work have gone into the Foxwarren Memory Garden, which has gravel paths lined with cement stones inscribed with the names of departed loved ones; special plots for the War Vets and service groups and a red, white and blue garden in memory of the tragedy of Sept. ll, 2001 made by the Foxwarren School students. The flower beds along the paths have more than 80 dozen petunias as well as perennials donated by those wishing to remember their loved ones. Along the walk are benches, bird houses, a bridge, lighted trees and a guest book. Thanks again to those involved for your hard work in turning an eyesore into a thing of beauty — a beautiful addition to our small community. BEV WOTTON Foxwarren Glenn Johnson: Editor and Director of Readership Development Gordon Wright: City Editor Jim Lewthwaite: News Editor The Sun welcomes your signed letters. Please send them to 501 Rosser Avenue, Brandon, MB, R7A 0K4, send us a fax at 727-0385 or an e-mail message at [email protected] Include a phone number for confirmation. We reserve the right to edit for length, libel, spelling and good taste.BRANDON O SUN Serving Western Manitoba Since 1882. Published Daily except holidays. The Brandon Sun is a Division of FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership, 501 Rosser Ave. Brandon, MB, R7A OKA. Member of The Canadian Press, Audit Bureau of Circulations, The Canadian Newspaper Publishers Association, Manitoba Press Council. Canadian Publishers Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40638055. Bill Chester: General Manager and Interim Advertising Director Colleen Gabrielle: Business Manager Rudy Redekop: President and Publisher The Brandon Sun is a member of the Manitoba Press Council. If you have a complaint about this or any other member newspaper, please forward it to the Press Council, 103-2015 Portage Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3J 0K3. f ;