Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Sep 12 2015, Page 13

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - September 12, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A14 Commuting conundrum Reading all week about Edmonton and Winnipeg transit troubles. Montreal and Toronto’s well- documented. Does anybody get this right? @ perreaux Not sure if this has to do with the @ winnipegtransit problem, but my 66 just didn’t show up at all this morning. @ chrisronson The inopportune timing is no coincidence. Winnipeg Transit is stealth striking. @ MBlondal So if @ winnipegtransit is short mechanics just hire more... fools, we suffer yet again. @ WpgSportsNerd Apparently there’s a bus shortage, but four “ not in service” buses just drove past me in a row. Winnipeg Transit fails. @ chernob0i Reward for trying to live more ecofriendly in Winnipeg: closed bikeways + bus backlogs. Expectations duly lowered. @ CandidaRifkind OUR VIEW œ YOUR SAY WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 Freedom of Trade Liberty of Religion Equality of Civil Rights A 14 PERSPECTIVES AND POLITICS EDITOR: Shannon Sampert 204- 697- 7269 shannon. sampert@ freepress. mb. ca winnipegfreepress. com EDITORIAL LETTERS FP COMMENTS TWITTER VOL 143 NO 299 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 Five- star performance from Prokosh Bravo, Kevin Prokosh, for your five- star performance covering the theatre beat for the Winnipeg Free Press . We, the artistic directors of Dry Cold Productions, Le Cercle Molière, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Rainbow Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Sarasvàti, Shakespeare in the Ruins, Tara Players, Theatre by the River, Theatre Projects Manitoba, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Winnipeg Studio Theatre and zone41 theatre, are grateful for the extraordinary enthusiasm and diligent interest Prokosh showed in the theatre artists and companies in our city. His constructive and insightful contributions as a cultural journalist have made Winnipeg a great theatre town. STEVEN SCHIPPER Artistic director, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Fix existing transit fleet Mayor Bowman, it’s time to cut the ties to rapid transit ( When the wheels came off the bus , Editorial, Sept. 11). Rapid- transit funds would be better spent on bringing our present fleet of buses up to proper conditions and in purchasing new buses to replace our current aging fleet. The rapid- transit system is presently designed to service one route only. Imagine how many routes money from rapid transit could be used on to upgrade our current transit system. And there are hopes of finding sufficient money to extend rapid transit to a few other routes? Good luck with that. RON JOHNSON Winnipeg ¥ It’s clear the word “ green” in conjunction with Mayor Brian Bowman means the pejorative — naive, inexperienced and incompetent ( Bowman backs emissions coordinator, public reports , Sept. 10). What credibility on the green footprint issue does Bowman have when the climate change co- ordinator position has lapsed and is under review, and when transit service is being cut? His election campaign was all about building Winnipeg out of the huge mess it is in — that “ build” was focused on the proliferation of concrete busways — concrete being one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases. Continuing the former policy of hiding reports and controlling information on this topic reveals that Bowman’s promises, and specifically the promise for more transparency, were nothing more than political hot air. SHANE NESTRUCK Winnipeg ¥ If the mechanics are asking for more money, why don’t they just come out and say so instead of taking some buses off the road ( Repairs hold up city fleet , Sept. 11)? Do we really need rapid transit when our existing buses as you say are in need of extensive repairs? Mayor Bowman, we need happy people getting to work on time — not angry people waiting for the bus. JEAN KRYSKO Winnipeg High salaries school boards’ fault It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Manitoba teachers are overpaid ( Teacher salaries don’t match results , Editorial, Sept. 4). When retired educators make up the bulk of the school boards that negotiate teacher wages and fringe benefits, the outcome is pretty much assured — these board members then reap the same benefits that they negotiate with the teachers’ union. Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop. We need one provincial government body to negotiate contracts with all of the teachers in all divisions at one time. That will never happen — no matter what party is in power, they all cater to the teachers’ union. CAL PAUL Winnipeg Pay attention to surroundings Once again Gordon Sinclair Jr. has blown something completely out of proportion ( Love- hate relationship , Sept. 10). You will never make the world safe for people who aren’t aware of, or don’t pay attention to, their surroundings. Once on the way to a Bombers game, my friend wasn’t paying attention and walked into a railroad sign. Do railroad signs pose a danger? Should they be taken down? DAVE FERGUSON Winnipeg Reroute oil away from Shoal Lake Hopefully Winnipeg’s water bills won’t be affected when, in 2020, oil starts flowing through that old pipeline that has transported natural gas for all these years too close to Shoal Lake. What’s wrong with rerouting a new pipeline between the North Whiteshell and the South Whiteshell? GARRY PARKER Falcon Lake Lowering expectations Re: When it comes to basic civic functions, Winnipeggers must simply lower expectations ( Sept. 10). We shouldn’t lower our expectations. The city has whittled away at services for years while adding user fees. I’m okay with increasing costs and user fees; I’m not okay just accepting poor management and shrugging my shoulders saying “ Oh well.” The city must find ways to improve productivity and keep a handle on costs. Playing hardball with the unions is one approach. Not accepting continuously decreasing standards is not. — anonymity_ personified ¥ @ anonymity_ personified: Unlike the private sector, there is absolutely no incentive for anyone within bureaucracy. When public- sector departments approach the end of their fiscal periods they rush around to spend every last dime in their budgets, thinking that if they don’t their next budget will be cut. Either way, management and staff doing this receive the same pay increases regardless of what happens. Something needs to change. People should be rewarded for spending wisely and coming in under budget. — Gordo ¥ I personally think it’s time to get back to basics. When I’m in a tough financial situation I certainly don’t attempt a major house renovation. Instead I focus on necessary/ proactive repairs and maintenance. The city might be wise to do the same. — Rusulda ¥ @ Rusulda: The culture at city hall does not promote your kind of thinking. They need a reset. — patsy1 ¥ How about this headline: When it comes to basic civic management, openness and efficiencies, Winnipeggers already have low expectations. — Nairb ¥ Pay more, expect less. That’s the Winnipeg way. — LuckyBucky Eco- warrior in town Re: Jane Goodall remains a road warrior for the planet ( Sept. 11). Jane Goodall is an extraordinary woman. Her tireless crusade against the apathy and self- serving agendas of governments is inspiring. Her remarkable dedication and passion have brought the plight of animals on this planet into the limelight and created a much needed awareness of what is really going on. I love that she tells it like it is. — verve ¥ What an honour it must have been to interview this legendary woman. — Intangible T HIS has not been a banner week for Mayor Brian Bowman. One day, he is assuring Winnipeggers he is committed to environmental stewardship, despite the fact the city lost its climate change co- ordinator with no immediate plans to replace him. The next day, hundreds and maybe thousands of Winnipeggers are told they are facing longer waits at bus stops, for months. Indefinitely, maybe. So Winnipeg Transit’s poor planning — too many buses off for routine maintenance that can’t happen fast enough — will push some people back into their cars, pumping out greenhouse- gas emissions, fouling the air. And who is going to help the mayor navigate through the consequences of, and solutions to, all of this? The city is now without a climate change coordinator, its environmental co- ordinator is about to go on leave and Mr. Bowman himself has disbanded his environmental advisory committee — he is reworking it to give it a stronger mandate and the members were “ encouraged to reapply once the new revised committee was in place.” Broadly, the city’s commitment to going greener, to making Winnipeg a healthier place is outlined in two documents, Our Winnipeg and A Sustainable Winnipeg. The city has committed not just to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, corporately, but to getting Winnipeggers to adopt practices to do the same — daily vehicle traffic is a GHG heavyweight. The city’s efforts to whack back its CO2 load were derailed because of poor planning from the outset. It got its estimates wrong, and the initial goal was too easy, given it sold Winnipeg Hydro, effectively hitting the high- water mark in one fell swoop. It was a paper victory. There’s hard work to be done, by the whole community. But it can’t start until Winnipeggers know what city hall is thinking. And for some reason that’s being treated like a closely guarded secret. Reports by former climate change co- ordinator Steve Madden, one of which laid out the fact the city was not on track to meet its GHG cuts target, were never given to council. On top of that, the mayor’s advisory committee itself has not publicly posted quarterly updates on its work — discussions for the development of policy on transit, walkable communities, waste reduction, alternative forms of energy — since early 2011. All of this flies in the face of the repeated references in A Sustainable Winnipeg to the need for tracking and reporting targets. This is not all Mr. Bowman’s doing of course. It goes back to the Katz administration. And it’s not all doom and gloom. The administration is preparing an update on emissions targets and the mayor has said he’ll see to it that another climate change co- ordinator is hired. As well, there has been considerable work done to move Winnipeg into the 21st century of environmental consciousness. Council’s approval of rapid transit’s second phase and the 20- year bike/ pedestrian strategy are examples of this. But these things need a leader to champion the cause. That is pertinent now, as the city cries poverty, as the mayor and others on council talk of having to pick and choose priorities. There are some councillors who would toss rapid transit and the plan to lay down dedicated bike lanes that encourage people to protect their own health, while naturally cutting GHG emissions. Winnipeggers could get behind a push for a greener community. Surveys have shown, for example, a lot of them would take up cycling, if only they could feel safer doing so. But Winnipeggers need to know what the leader is thinking. Release the reports, Mr. Bowman and get council talking again about making the city a healthier place to live. Getting to a greener Winnipeg Sherbrook Street cycling lane A_ 14_ Sep- 12- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A14 9/ 11/ 15 7: 26: 31 PM

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