Removing the barriers from Winnipeg’s most famous corner would remove the psychological barriers that have seen us shrink from being Canada’s fourth largest city to its eighth.
Mayor Brian Bowman has vowed to reintroduce Winnipeg foot traffic to Portage and Main, a pledge that I heartily support. This iconic intersection represents the heart of our city and the barriers that were erected in 1979 represent more than three decades of decline.
Are the two related? I have no empirical evidence to back this up, but the heartbeat of our city seemed to slow around the same time. We entered a period of very sluggish, almost non-existent, growth as government manipulation tried to asset the path forward: the very expensive deal with Trizec being the first (it is estimated that the enticement offered by the city equalled the investment by the company), then the white elephant that is Portage Place coming on in 1987, killing three blocks of local free enterprisers who had made shopping downtown a pleasure for a hundred and more years. During that period we fell from being the fourth largest city in Canada to its eighth, just ahead of Hamilton! Continue reading Opening up Portage and Main→
The National Pensioners Federation just released a response to the latest federal budget, citing the fact that Canadian seniors, now more numerous than kids under 15, were mentioned only 20 times in the budget as opposed to “women (276 mentions), children (79 mentions) and First Nations (181 mentions)”. Even veterans out-distanced seniors with 90 mentions.
While the Pensioners Federation went on to outline a number of deficiencies in dealing with the needs of low income seniors, the above statistics sharply illuminate a systemic attitude against elders by the youth-first approach of the Trudeau government. Continue reading Ageism creeping into Canadian dialogue→
Cost cutting is only half the story, but a critical half
It has been 9 months since Brian Pallister and his Tories gathered up the reins of government and so far, so good.
Their first task has been a careful operational assessment as, inch-by-inch, the new government tries to find the path to sustainable management. They have begun dismantling the overload and overlap in government departments that were bloated by 17 years of New Democrat management. Boards of crown corporations are being replaced by purposeful and competent members who don’t park their brains at the door before each meeting and who are ready and able to rescind previous self-indulgent decisions. Continue reading The next step for the Pallister government→
The world of manipulated energy and the way we think about it is changing at warp speed. Yet only a few people are looking at what this means to the way we live now and, more importantly, how we will live in the future. For Manitoba, this is a critical issue as we have mortgaged the future for our kids on 20th century approaches to delivering hydro-electric energy to our citizens and in pursuit of export dreams. Continue reading The future of energy: Is Manitoba Hydro ready?→
If you want to make your head hurt, start examining the many possibilities and permutations of the voting systems that could be proposed to replace our 150-year-old method of electing our governments. Everyone who favours reform has a different twist and a new label to mark their brilliance in band-aiding proposed alternatives when one of them is shown to be just as defective, in its own way, as First Past the Post, known hereafter as FPTP for simplicity. Continue reading Changing the way we vote→