Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Aug 5 2015, Page 6

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - August 5, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A6 Steven and Chris star dead So sad. Chris Hyndman was such a wonderful energy and presence on Canadian TV. Sending love to the @ stevenandchris family. @ annaedelaney Chris Hyndman, my days won’t be the same without you on my TV. You will be missed by so many. @ pinkjennybean Go through Twitter mentions of Chris Hyndman. That was a man who was beloved. @ CashOnAir Such a tragic loss. Chris Hyndman was a beautiful, kind, funny, vivacious soul. The world is dimmer without his light. @ taliadel Shocked and sad to hear about Chris Hyndman. Mom and her friend used to talk about him and Steven like they were close pals. Always on our TV. @ reblize So sad to hear of Chris Hyndman’s passing. Attended many shows with my mom at CBC. Thinking of his friends, family and co- workers. @ suzycoolen OUR VIEW œ YOUR SAY WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2015 Freedom of Trade Liberty of Religion Equality of Civil Rights A 6 PERSPECTIVES AND POLITICS EDITOR: Shannon Sampert 204- 697- 7269 shannon. sampert@ freepress. mb. ca winnipegfreepress. com EDITORIAL LETTERS FP COMMENTS TWITTER VOL 143 NO 262 Winnipeg Free Press est 1872 / Winnipeg Tribune est 1890 2015 Winnipeg Free Press, a division of FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership. Published seven days a week at 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 3B6, PH: 204- 697- 7000 Publisher / BOB COX Editor / PAUL SAMYN Associate Editor Enterprise / SCOTT GIBBONS Associate Editor Operations and Engagements / SARAH LILLEYMAN Associate Editor Digital News / WENDY SAWATZKY Night Editor / STACEY THIDRICKSON Director Photo and Multimedia / MIKE APORIUS W What’s your take? The Free Press wants to hear from you. Email: letters@ freepress. mb. ca Post: Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6 Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Follow us on Twitter @ WFPEditorials For a how- to video on writing letters, visit winnipegfreepress. com Election call’s many costs Stephen Harper’s early 2015 election call will gouge Canadian taxpayers in more ways than one ( Unprecedented campaign set to start , Aug. 2). An MP’s mandate ends on the day of early dissolution; however, he or she remains in office for the purposes of salary until the day of the election. MPs serve their constituents during the electoral period while simultaneously running an election campaign and working to secure a win for their political party. Isn’t this a conflict of interest? Mike Duffy’s on trial for expensing travel costs to the Senate while on Conservative fundraising tours. Why shouldn’t time spent serving a political party during an election be viewed in the same light? During this election, 21 per cent of each MP’s annual salary will be paid out to them while they are out working on behalf of their political party to win a majority in the House of Commons. This is on top of the per- vote subsidy of 37.6 per cent paid for by Canadian taxpayers — which will be grossly inflated by the early election call that more than doubles the length of a typical election campaign. When Stephen Harper promised he’ll work to keep money in the pockets of hard- working Canadians, he must have been referring to MPs running in the election. HANS WIEBE Winnipeg ¥ If we added up what all three major parties will spend campaigning for the upcoming election, plus what it will cost to run Elections Canada for an extended period of time, just think of the good that could be done for people in need here in Canada, and in the world at large. JAMIE OLIVIERO Lorette ¥ Dan Lett’s article Ignoring media requests a winning strategy ( Aug. 4) should be mandatory reading for every voter. Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair aren’t interested in answering questions from the electorate. We should all be afraid — very afraid. JOSEPH POLLOCK Winnipeg Overpass money well spent? I’m annoyed by letter writer Robert Bradley’s response to the recently announced Waverley underpass ( Overkill on Waverley underpass , Letters, Aug. 1). Bradley bemoans the project as a $ 155- million waste and proceeds to call drivers lazy for wanting to save five minutes. How then do we refer to transit users who use the new bus rapid transit corridor? By my count, we’ll have spent in excess of $ 750 million on that project upon completion. For what — to save five minutes over a corresponding ride on conventional bus routes along Pembina Highway? It would appear drivers who will benefit from the Waverley underpass are getting short- changed when compared to BRT users. BOB NICHOLS Winnipeg ¥ Last month, the Harper government didn’t have $ 10 million to help the people of Shoal Lake build a road so they could have clean water, yet they have $ 45.9 million to build an underpass ( Seems like money can buy political love , Aug. 1). The people using Waverley Street have options — the people of Shoal Lake don’t. Waverley users can wait five minutes for a train to pass, or they can take an alternative route; the people of Shoal Lake have waited more than 17 years for clean water. JIM KIEZIK Winnipeg Local Ebola team deserves kudos Re: City- made Ebola vaccine made effective ( Aug. 1). As Canadians, we have many reasons to be proud of this important achievement and to recognize the contributions of local researchers at the National Microbiology Laboratory. Since the Harper government didn’t make members of Canada’s team available for interviews, we’d like to extend our congratulations to all of the unnamed scientists who contributed and/ or are still contributing to this important project. HÉLÈNE PERREAULT Winnipeg Hydro’s disregard disheartening It’s disheartening to witness the utter disregard for the taxpayers of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro customers ( Big pay hikes for Hydro execs , July 31). As we move forward, we’ll be saddled with rate increases at three or four times the rate of inflation — and it doesn’t end there. The gamble on Bipole III and new power dams will effectively double our provincial debt. I hope the young people who choose to stay here will be able to manage better than our generation — we’re leaving them a disastrous mess. PETER KAUFMANN Winnipeg BRT dogleg disastrous Re: Rapid transit corridor will be scrutinized at public inquiry beginning Tuesday ( Aug. 3). If George Ulyatt’s job is to determine whether the expropriations are “ fair and reasonably necessary,” I highly doubt he’s going to comment on David Sanders’ claim that “ the studies the city has done don’t show ( the dogleg) is the better route.” Putting a dogleg through a future residential area defeats the claim of it being “ rapid.” — Stu Danatch ¥ Apparently saving face is far more important to our mayor and council than using our tax dollars wisely and efficiently. We have so many other “ projects” to pay for thanks to our previous administration. Millions of dollars must be paid because of shady backroom deals. The city is broke and Brian Bowman will join Greg Selinger playing the fiddle while Winnipeg burns. I hope common sense will prevail and this foolishness stops. Whether we need it or not, we can’t afford it. The cost is prohibitive and can’t be justified. — emcee51 ¥ It seems I’m in the minority who believes this city does need rapid transit. However, the dogleg route has scandal written all over it. The reason Pembina Highway isn’t being chosen is for developers and developers only. Wait and see how quickly new condos, apartments, and “ transitfocused family living” developments spring up along the route when it goes through. This will be a private gain by the developers for a massive public expense. — 43594581 ¥ This is a boondoggle, without a doubt. — J Haier Campaign crawls forward Re: A slow start to campaign season in Winnipeg ( Aug. 3). Steven Fletcher is vulnerable to the Liberals in his Charleswood- St. James riding, and the NDP could take Kildonan- St. Paul away from the Tories. Canadians are not responding well to Harper’s wasteful, self- serving attempt to rig the election in his favour. — Spence Furby ¥ @ Spence Furby: From the article: “ Fletcher, whose riding isn’t being targeted by the NDP or the Liberals...” — OBSERVER6 ¥ I was driving through the Kildonan- St. Paul riding; the Liberals there have been busy. — 23729977 ¥ I saw some Fletcher signs out already. — Nana2 T HERE was some work involved in ferreting out the extraordinary salary hikes given to Manitoba Hydro executives and senior managers in the last two years. The information was not in the Public Utility Board’s hands when it gave Hydro the 3.95 per cent rate hike requested for this year. It should have been. There is lots to question about the performance of the Crown utility’s leadership. Every time it appears before the PUB, the provincial regulator, Hydro’s financial forecasts and estimates change dramatically. The costs of the capital projects in its $ 20- billion development plans rise, its estimates of future demand for power fall and the expected revenue from exports of electricity are ratcheted back. When Hydro was questioned by the lawyer for one intervenor at the recent rate- review hearing about an average seven per cent pay hike to the CEO’s “ business unit” — given the big miss on projected costs of the now $ 4.6- billion Bipole III ( its cost rose 44 per cent in one year) — Hydro president Scott Thomson said the executive in charge of that project retired and so would not see the benefit of the salary increase. While Hydro asserts that salary hikes are tied to performance, it is clear its hikes are geared to the results of a consultant’s report that found Manitoba’s Crown utility’s compensation levels to be at the bottom when compared with 80 other companies. That report was not filed with the PUB, either. Further, the salary- hike information that was presented, upon intervenor request it should be noted, was categorized by “ business unit.” That is why, for example, the $ 130,486 average salary Hydro reported in the president’s unit sheds little light on the pay hikes granted to Mr. Thomson in the last couple of years. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers pulled the salaries of individual executives from recent disclosures of publicly paid compensation rates. Mr. Thomson saw his basic salary rise by $ 63,000 in 2014 to $ 463,426, not including benefits and bonuses. That was after it rose by $ 55,000 in 2013. The IBEW calculated that other senior executive pay rose from 16.5 per cent to 23.7 per cent, and 22 per cent for division managers. The union had to leaf through public compensation reports filed with the province, a hard copy of which is shelved at the library at the legislature — the Internet age has yet to dawn on some of the crevices of provincial government. The PUB has expressed concern about the cost of operations, including hirings and administrative costs. Yet, there was no good examination of the rationale for the extraordinary raises. Hydro gave the board details that showed pay hikes across 10 business units, ranging from averages of three to seven per cent annually, while talking about the need to pay more, to attract and retain staff. Hydro’s multibillion- dollar capital plans over the next two decades have already been approved, despite real misgivings of industry experts that warn a shifting energy landscape puts up real challenges to the future demand and export market for hydroelectricity. So successive rate hikes for Manitoba consumers — expected to hit 42 per cent total by 2024 — are all but a slam dunk now. Hydro should have to explain all of its costs, and executive salaries are especially relevant in the examination. The PUB needs to demand specifics, and keep Hydro on the hot seat by justifying the double- digit salary hikes that get loaded onto the backs of ratepayers. Keep Hydro on hot seat over pay hikes WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Hydro president Scott Thomson A_ 06_ Aug- 05- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A6 8/ 4/ 15 6: 21: 11 PM

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