Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 29, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Saturday, June 29, 2002Opinion
121st Year — No. 159
Leaders could learn from past conflicts
The juxtaposition of two issues at the Group of Eight conference in Kananaskis this week gives us cause to think about one important matter in world politics.
In the long run, it is better to invest in assisting neighbours and friendship on a world scale than it is to sponsor power struggles and domination.
History reminds us it costs a lot more to struggle to the top of the heap and remain there by making enemies.
We must consider this when examining the positions of our Prime Minister Jean Chretien and American President George W. Bush at Kananaskis.
Chretien was determined to win support for his aid-for-Africa package in the group — and he did so with some moderate success, still the subject of debate.
The G-8 Africa Action Plan offers aid, economic and other types of support to African nations demonstrating good governance, rule of law and prudent economic packages. It also .involves initiatives to fight a flourishing AIDS epidemic that can easily spread throughout the world.
In the long term it will be a wise investment.
Bush was pushing a more aggressive ^Mideast package and interested in •keeping reluctant allies together on matters in Israel and Palestine as well as -Iraq. Attempts by Bush to “hijack” the summit were the subject of controversy early in the week.
But Canadians wanted to make the
point that a few dollars invested on the African continent will eventually mean savings for First World nations.
We are just starting to learn the price of terrorism inspired by religious fundamentalism and radicalism.
The costs of a justifiable campaign in Afghanistan still threaten to destabilize economies of the wealthiest of nations.
But we must also remember roots of terrorism also lie in Third World nations plagued by poverty and disease.
People with nothing to lose but feelings of hopelessness are easy marks for political and religious zealots.
We would hope that Canada’s African campaign will pay dividends in the long run.
Ventures like ones Bush has considered in the Mideast can easily turn into additional military campaigns.
And military campaigns can last for decades without positive results.
Indeed, one only has to look at the makeup of this group to see the irony of former campaigns of aggression for world dominance.
We have Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and France. And we have Germany, Japan, Italy and now Russia.
How much was invested in the 20th century in wars — hot and cold — dividing these nations at various times?
After countless losses of lives and capital and time, they sit together today as friends and trading partners.
It is always best to be neighbourly — even on a world scale.
Elkhorn Creamery No. I in butter at the exhibition
SIXTY YEARS AGO
The German high command claimed today the British “Fortress of Matruh,” an anchor of the defenses of Alexandria and the Suez, was taken by storm despite stubborn enemy resistance.
Scoring a total of 97.3 points, the Elkhorn Creamery earned off premier honours in the creamery butter section at the provincial exhibition over the weekend.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Currently playing at the Strand Theatre is Singing in the Rain, starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor; at the Oak is Stars rn My Crown stamng Joel McCrea and Dean Stockwell and also Our Relations starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy; at the Green Acres Drive-In is Only the Valiant stamng Gregory Peck and King of the Carnival. Also tonight at the Green Acres Dnve-In it is Foto Night with a cash offer of $260 plus $100 diamond from Green’s Jewelry Store and a $100 cash credit against a new or used car from Breen Motors Ltd.
FORTY YEARS AGO
Joyful bands of Muslims flocked into central Oran today, marking the apparent collapse of European terrorist resistance.
Arthur Dilley, a member of the staff of The Brandon Sun for 44 years, was honoured by fellow employees this week prior to his departure to the west coast, where he will reside.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 that the death penalty cannot be carried out in the United States.
Martin Joseph Bohn, a former
Worcester, Mass., taxicab dnver, today began serving his first full day in prison after receiving a six-month sentence on charges of fraud in Court of Queen’s Bench. The charges involved some $23,000, including $10,000 he received from Brandon University towards his $16,000-a-year salary as associate professor of psychology.
A revamped Clean Environment Act setting out stiffer penalties for polluters and giving the government power to revise any previous licence to pollute, has been introduced in the Manitoba legislatures. Corporations violating any provisions of the act would be subject to fines of up to $5,000, while individuals could be fined up to $500.
TWENTY YEARS AGO
Brandon resident Alex Matheson has been appointed a member of the Order of Canada.
Cal Szakacs, a Brandon businessman, has been appointed the Rotary governor of 41 clubs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario.
TEN YEARS AGO
Two powerful earthquakes hit California last night. The quakes, one of them California’s strongest in 40 years, opened a 70-kilometre fissure in the desert, buckled highways, caused fires and heavily damaged dozens of homes. Another quake shook the Las Vegas area early today.
Eric Lindros, who vowed he would never play for Quebec, is now the property of the Philadelphia Flyers, an NHL arbitrator ruled today. Both the Flyers and the New York Rangers claimed to have struck a deal with the Quebec Nordiques at the NHL entry draft for the highly-touted teenager.
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Manley could run paper too but it would cost more time
With the recent firing of former Ottawa Citizen publisher Russell Mills, some folks in Ottawa wondered whether John Manley, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of, well, almost everything, would become the new publisher of the paper.
Why not? He’s received other promotions on recent Sundays.
Amidst this chaos, the deputy prime minister donned his finance minister’s cap and appeared before the Commons finance committee to provide parliamentarians and Canadians with an economic infomercial.
The only things missing were a I -800 order line and paid studio audience. In fairness to Minister Manley, he’s only been on the job for a few weeks.
And between acting as the PM’s apologist in during question period, chief political minister for Ontario, federal infrastructure guru, border crossing point-man with the Yanks, Tim Horton’s drive-thru guy, MP, husband, father and a marathon runner, at best he’s spent all of 28 minutes at the finance department... with four minutes lost to elevator rides.
His remarks were textbook “our economy grew at a robust rate”... “core inflation remains well within the target range”... “opportunities for Canadians and their families,” blah, blah, blah.
His testimony was calmly reassuring, but hardly enlightening. However, we did learn a few things. First, Mr. Manley confirmed that the federal surplus for 2001/2002 is about $6 billion. By law, this amount will go toward the national debt, now pegged at $547.4 billion.
What this really means is Ottawa raked in almost $10 billion in over-taxation last year. Take $6 billion and add $500 million for the Africa fund and $2 billion for the Strategic Infrastructure Foundation, both funded out of last year’s taxes — courtesy of last December’s budget — and voila, an $8.5 billion surplus.
Add some corporate tax rebates and year-end adjustments and the surplus easily climbs close to $10 billion.
Let's talk taxes
The minister also told the committee that Canada’s economy expenenced real growth of 2.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2001 and an annualized rate of six per cent in the first quarter of 2002. With the OECD and IMF both predicting that Canada will lead the G-8 in growth for 2002 and 2003, it’s safe to assume surpluses in both years will likely top $15 billion.
And the minster promised a full update this fall, which foretells a February 2003 budget. Of course, John Manley’s testimony was problematic in what he said and what he did not say.
With respect to further tax relief, he promised tax cuts when “fiscal resources permit.” Translation: don’t hold your breath. Sadly, he continued the fic-— hon — no, let’s be clear, the blatant falsehood — that the feds cuts taxes by $100 billion in 2000. Not true!
When bracket creep is factored out, CPP premium increases are factored in and the Canada Tax Child Benefit is measured as a spending program (that’s what it is) instead of a tax cut, this figure becomes $47.4 billion over five years.
Still impressive, but not a $100 billion as advertised. The finance minister also skirted the issue of any plans to pump needed dollars into defence or to engage other levels of government on the cities agenda as his predecessor promised.
Mr. Manley also failed to reveal the tab for anticipated farm subsidies and softwood lumber bailout packages.
Place your money on the details of these initiatives floating out dunng the dog days of summer when Parliament is in recess and no one is around to point out that the reason for both packages is a direct result of Ottawa’s policy failures at the international trade table.
Overall, Minister Manley’s first committee appearance warrants a C grade. As our teachers used to write, “there’s plenty of room for improvement, especially when it comes to simple mathematics.”
Victor Vrsnik is Provincial Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Traffic point about safety
This letter is in response to the comment in “Sound Off” (June 18) and to the reaction of some residents of Brandon today regarding the traffic situation on Aberdeen Avenue. We happen to be part of the group of people referred to as trying to impede progress and we believe it is time to set the matter straight.
This is not a “not-in-my-backyard” type of reaction. We believe that Brandon must attract commerce in order to prosper, and we have no objection to the location chosen. Our primary concern is one of safety. There has been a huge increase in traffic since Aberdeen Avenue was opened through to 18th Street. The extra three-way stop sign at Sixth and Aberdeen has helped to slow the traffic but has done nothing to reduce the volume.
This is a residential neighbourhood and the roads are totally inadequate for use as alternatives to Richmond Avenue. Aberdeen Avenue, in particular, is far too narrow for this purpose and the traffic is a constant threat to the large number of residents — both adults and children — who regularly walk, exercise their dogs and cycle in the neighbourhood. We would ask any of you who live on a nice, quiet residential street how you would feel if you suddenly found that street had turned into a major thoroughfare, with the inevitable noise, danger and garbage that are inherent on such streets.
We claim no experience in urban development but, surely, those with such expertise could find a solution which would be acceptable to all. A few suggestions to consider: a traffic
count; reverse speed bumps (as on other streets); three-way stop signs at Third Street (to also help children who must cross there) and at 14th Street.; a reduced speed limit and a much needed bicycle path/sidewalk from First Street to 18th Street. Our goal is to make Aberdeen Avenue less appealing to those who use it as an alternative to Richmond and anything that can be done to attain that end would be welcomed. The traffic pattern for Canadian Tire and the new stores should revolve around 18th Street, Richmond Avenue, 14th Street — Aberdeen to Richmond and Aberdeen from 14th to 18th streets. We certainly hope that the city will use the two-week delay in approving this project to devise a workable solution.
While on the subject of traffic control, the very thought of a traffic circle where Ninth Street joins with Maryland Avenue is quite ludicrous. The one at 34th Street and Willowdale is functional and attractive, but can we taxpayers really afford circles when simple three- or four-way stop signs work well? Please use that money to improve our streets, sidewalks and bicycle paths.
We appreciate the leadership role that IGA and Staples have taken in offering financial assistance for the development of a walking/bicycle path. Now the city must do its part to work out the problem.
JACK and PAM STACY
Glenn Johnson: Editor and Director of Readership Development Gordon Wright: City Editor Jim Lewthwaite: News Editor
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