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Posts Tagged ‘gary doer’

Assuming that the Free Press is correct, Swan will be dropping out today.

I don’t have time today for one of my long-winded posts, so I’ll just put out a few thoughts because I don’t want my latest word on this to be my prediction that Swan could win.  🙂

I don’t think anyone truly expected Ashton to be doing as well as he is, but it looks like his delegate count is within range of winning.  I imagine that, like me, Ashton and his campaign team expected a much stronger showing from Swan to take delegates away from Selinger.  Of course, a political strategist (i.e., not me) would most likely have foreseen that the chances were high that either Swan or Selinger could drop out before Oct 17th, which could still ruin the chance of a first ballot win.  And with only Selinger as his big opponent, that means a Selinger win (there will only be one ballet).

I like what I’m seeing in the NDP; for too long, it has been the Gary Doer party, relying solely on the abilities and attentions of one person.  This led to serious holes in NDP governance, with little to no improvement in health care or justice.  Hopefully an NDP government that relies more on its members for ideas and support will be a government that is a little less focused on the legacy and survival of the premier and more on the needs of Manitobans.

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MP Jim Maloway is taking a page from Pat Martin’s playbook and prematurely announcing that the provincial government will be contributing at least $50 million to the city for a new four lane Disraeli to be built alongside the existing bridge.  The plan is to keep the current bridge open until the new bridge has been completed, which would eliminate most of the construction gridlock.

Mayor Sam Katz has responded to Maloway’s announcement, saying that it will cost $200 million to create the bridge that Maloway describes including Active Transportation.  (it’s unclear if the $200 million would include a separate Active Transportation bridge, or Active Transportation lanes on a new Disraeli span.

Quite a few people are upset that the plan is for only four lanes, and not six.  There are traffic delays along Henderson just north of the Disraeli bridge, so many residents would like to see a six lane bridge to ease congestion.  Unfortunately, a six lane bridge won’t ease that congestion, because the bottleneck happens at Hespeler Avenue and will continue to happen no matter how many bridge lanes are added.

One of the things about traffic flow is that limited-access expressways are different from regular thoroughfares.  Generally, a regular thoroughfare requires one extra lane both ways compared to an expressway, because it needs a lane for turning, bus stops, and cyclists.   Henderson is a thoroughfare, and that third lane greatly increases the efficiency of the road, because it usually means two unobstructed lanes available to traffic.  This gives Henderson as many unobstructed lanes as Disraeli has, since Disraeli has ramps for turning and for bus stops.

Disraeli Freeway is a true freeway for most of its length; of course, it’s an older freeway, so its on and off ramps are shorter than most.  It also has the issue of a pedestrian crossing on its Sutherland Avenue ramps, which slow traffic slightly.  Even with these shortcomings, the Disraeli does not have any major bottlenecks.  In truth, while traffic often slows during rush hours, particularly heading away from Downtown in the evening, traffic rarely comes to a stop on Disraeli.  When traffic is stopped, it is normally due to traffic backups from the lights at Hespeler Avenue, and in particular the light for turning onto Hespeler.

The addition of a third lane will not eliminate traffic backups at Hespeler, as it will not lower the amount of time spent at the Hespeler traffic lights.  There are only two ways to improve traffic flow on Henderson:

1.    Widen Henderson Hwy from three lanes to four, forcing business and residents to relocate: This is not considered a realistic or practical solution.
2.    Lessen the amount of traffic on Henderson Hwy or on Hespeler/Talbot/Midwinter: moving traffic to another route would reduce the bottleneck.

Other options do not result in better flow.  Removing access to Hespeler from Northbound Henderson would cause as much or more traffic problems as commuters attempt to use Johnson or a side street to reach the Redwood Bridge.  Building an interchange for Henderson, Hespeler, Talbot and Disraeli is even less practical than widening Henderson itself due to space limitations.

Assuming that population growth in North Kildonan, Transcona, and outlying municipalities will continue, it is reasonable to assume that traffic volume on Henderson will continue to increase.  Unless alternatives to even more cars on Henderson Hwy can be found, no amount of investment on Disraeli will prepare the Northeast for more traffic.

There are three major road projects occurring in Northeast Winnipeg over the next decade:

1.    Disraeli Bridge reconstruction
2.    Chief Peguis Trail extension from Henderson Hwy to Lagimodiere Blvd
3.    Louise Bridge relocation and reconstruction

All three projects are ambitious and will change the way traffic flows in the Northeast.  However, these three projects are missing one very important piece: connections between them.  Chief Peguis will function well for commuters who live at the North edge of Winnipeg, but will not alleviate traffic issues closer to downtown.  Commuters travelling to and from downtown will still need to take Henderson Hwy, and many will continue to take the smaller East-West routes to get to Lagimodiere and beyond.  The best route to take commuters from downtown to Lagimodiere is currently underused: the twin routes, Gateway Rd and Raleigh Street.

Gateway and Raleigh have the potential to become part of an efficient thoroughfare that runs directly from The Forks to Lagimodiere and the Perimeter.  This route does not need to become a high-speed freeway (or neighbourhood annihilation road); it can have speeds ranging from 50-70 kph as it runs diagonally to the Northeast corner of Winnipeg.  This route comes with room for a transitway and with an Active Transportation corridor that is mostly developed already.

Here is one possible path for the Gateway / Raleigh route (tongue-in-cheek suggestion: we could call it Gary Doer Blvd if that brings in some provincial money):

1.    The south end of Gary Doer Blvd is where Higgins Avenue meets Waterfront Drive.  The new road runs north to the CPR tracks and follows them to the Red River at the eastern tip of Point Douglas, where it crosses the river and Archibald Street via the new four-lane Louise Bridge.
2.    Once over Archibald, Gary Doer Blvd heads under the Nairn Overpass.  This portion is the most complex of the entire plan, because there are three rail lines to negotiate to arrive under Nairn Avenue.  Part of the new Louise Bridge is the offshoot that leads to the upcoming Russ Wyatt Parkway, which leads to Transcona.  This portion won’t of course be started until after Russ is crowned king of Winnipeg in 2020 (my timeline could be a little off).
3.    From under Nairn, Gary Doer Blvd crosses Talbot and heads along Raleigh and Gateway.  The boulevard has three lanes each way, but the right lane is a diamond lane.  It’s not a diamond lane for buses, which actually use the center lane to access their bus turnouts along the Northeast Pioneers Greenway, but for turning on and off the boulevard from the various side streets that pour into the road.
4.    North of the new intersection with Concordia and Kimberley, Gary Doer Blvd’s southbound lanes run alongside the northbound lanes, completely East of the Greenway.  The five residential streets from Helmsdale to Roberta Avenues see the once busy Raleigh Street replaced with a one-way and single-lane road to connect the streets to their back lanes and to each other, with outgoing traffic using Golspie St to access Kimberley.  This allows Centennial and Anderson parks to connect directly to the Greenway without any roads in between.  This arrangement continues, with only minor adjustments, all the way to Springfield Rd.
5.    Chief Peguis Trail and Gary Doer Blvd meet with an interchange, the only one that Gary Doer Blvd has between the Louise Bridge and the Perimeter.
6.    After Chief Peguis, Gary Doer Blvd continues to Knowles Avenue.  At Knowles, the route turns almost due east, where it connects to Lagimodiere and the Perimeter as part of a turbo roundabout.

Has the time come for a serious study of Gary Doer Blvd?  I think it has.  It seems silly to spend over half a billion dollars over the next decade on transportation in Northeast Winnipeg without having a complete solution in mind.

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It wouldn’t be fair to expect any replacement for Gary Doer to be as well-versed in political strategy as the outgoing premier; it takes time to learn to play the leader game, and even high-ranking cabinet ministers need some time to develop their skills.  However, some of the strategies currently employed by leadership hopefuls are unexpected and unconventional.

Odd Strategy #1: Ashton – we’ve got this thing in the bag

Ashton decided to have an announcement about his 1,100 new members, saying that he thinks he’ll win on the first ballot.  If this is a strategy meant to demoralize his competition, I think he’s underestimating the sheer organizational power of both Swan and Selinger.  Both of his opponents have strong teams, and matching 1,100 new members is nowhere near an impossible task for a campaign machine, as long as they aren’t just starting now with two days left.  I know from firsthand experience that a campaign team can seem dormant for weeks, until it comes out all of the sudden and surpasses all competitors.  The NDP machine didn’t move as quickly as we expected in Elmwood, but on the final day of advance polling, the NDP machine swung into action.  By the time election day came around, the NDP had hundreds of workers in Elmwood, and even the Conservatives had brought dozens of staffers and MLAs to get out the vote.

It could simply be a strategy to make sure that Ashton isn’t seen as an “also-ran” by the media.  Already, it seems that there is strong interest in Swan and Selinger, with Ashton sometimes being left to a small mention at the end of the story.

Odd Strategy #2: Swan – pick me, I’m young!

I understand the benefits of being a younger candidate, and I understand the drawbacks.  By placing emphasis on his age, is Swan bringing in votes or accentuating his inexperience compared to his competitors?  Some have likened the situation to the days when Doer took over from Pawley, and that because Doer was young then, it makes sense that his successor should be young now.  There is a strong difference, however, between the end of the Pawley days with the end of the Doer days: a majority of people still like Gary Doer’s leadership, and are sorry to see him go.  When Pawley was finished, it was clear that the voters were looking for a big change; I doubt that most of the NDP members who will be voting at the leadership convention are looking for a big change, and of those who do want to shake things up, they’re probably not wanting another Doer.

In a situation where a popular leader is stepping down, it’s a good idea to paint yourself as that leader’s preferred successor.  But by reminding NDP members of just how young he is, and by extension how short his public service has been, Swan is not quite framing himself as a stable continuation of Doer; instead, he looks like an untested option, with little track record to show.

Odd Strategy #3: Selinger – endorsements are the tops

I don’t doubt that Selinger’s people are working hard to bring members on board; however, his outward-facing campaign is underwhelming considering how powerful a contender he is.  His entry was late, and his announcements so far have been rather uninspiring.  He has received some good endorsements, and while endorsements are more important in member votes than in general elections, they’re still not enough when another candidate is working hard to be the man of the people.  Unless Selinger is connecting to NDP members en masse, his private lobbying may not be enough.

Predictions

I believe that Swan’s campaign team has the edge right now, because they have backing from many powerful figures in the Manitoba NDP.  As long as the NDP delegates aren’t made up primarily of left-wing activists, I feel that Swan has wide enough appeal to win, as long as his campaign team does a good job.  However, if any mud-slinging begins between Swan and Selinger, the advantage may shift to Ashton, who has strong “good guy” appeal along with his popularity among long-time NDP members.  I think that if Selinger’s campaign doesn’t start picking up, he may end up being too late to win.

If I were to place a bet today, it would be on Swan… but I wouldn’t bet very much.

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Things are moving quickly in the NDP leadership race (as they must, as candidates have only until Sept 17th to sign up new members who can serve as delegates).  As the field narrows, we are starting to see what kind of race will take place.

Likely candidates:

Greg Selinger: Selinger has the aura of someone who has always expected to be leader someday, and it looks like the media will be ready to consider him the front-runner.  The Selinger scandals, including Crocus and his self-serving role in the election financing fiasco (where he knew it was wrong, but didn’t bother to speak out), probably won’t hurt his chances of becoming Premier.

Steve Ashton: Ashton has a pretty good reputation, and has been an MLA since 1981.  His biggest challenge will be the delegate system, which gives more weight to Winnipeg and to union delegates.  Ashton is no stranger to unions, but if he doesn’t win their endorsement, his campaign may founder.

Andrew Swan: Swan is pretty popular in pundit and media circles, but I’m not sure that translates to the NDP as a whole.  Due to his shorter career as a cabinet minister (two years), there’s a strong chance that his run will be viewed more as a way to raise his profile for another leadership run in the future.

There are some other possible candidates, particularly Peter Bjornson and Stan Struthers, but my expectation is that the top three candidates will be Selinger, Ashton, and Swan.

While Selinger may be considered the front-runner now, that can definitely shift during the lead-up to the convention or even on the convention floor.

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Not surprisingly, Bill Blaikie said today that he never had any intention of running for the leadership.  I didn’t think that he would want the job, and unless there is a significant “Draft Blaikie” campaign, Bill Blaikie is out of the race.

Greg Selinger seems to be hinting that he is going to run, which should make him the leadership candidate to beat.  However, it sounds like Gord Mackintosh is also considering a run, and he is also rumoured to have a strong team of supporters.

Rumours are circulating about Peter Bjornson also considering, while it’s still assumed that Steve Ashton is leaning towards running.  Theresa Oswald and Pat Martin are possibilities, but I believe it’s unlikely that either will run.  Nancy Allan is definitely out.

Doer has said that caucus will expect any leadership candidates to remove themselves as ministers, and that the legislative session from Sept 14th to Oct 8th will go forward.  The new leader will be chosen Oct 17th, but it’s not yet clear if Doer will remain as Premier until that date.

References:
Fall Session to go Ahead, Tom Brodbeck, Winnipeg Sun
New premier arrives Oct. 17, Bruce Owen and Larry Kusch, Winnipeg Free Press

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The other day, a resident of Elmwood was saying that he was so disappointed in my candidacy that he chose to cancel his Liberal membership.  When I asked this resident about why he was so disappointed with me, he gave me several reasons.  I’d like to respond to his remarks, in case there are other people who are thinking the same things:

  1. You were bashing Elmwood while trying to save Kelvin Community Centre: I’m not sure what I said or did that could be classified as bashing, but I imagine it might be drawing attention to the issues in Elmwood that led me to believe that a local community centre is a necessity for the neighbourhood.  While I understand that some residents don’t want to talk about the negative things that are happening in Elmwood, it doesn’t change the fact that Elmwood has problems with crime, gangs, and at-risk youth.  When I talk about crime and gangs, and about children who do not have enough positive role modeling, I’m not criticizing the thousands of Elmwood residents who make a positive contribution to their community.  All I am doing is responding to problems that are very real, and saying that we require action on the part of residents and government to find positive solutions.
  2. Kelvin Community Centre should have been shut down years ago: I am well aware that there are significant numbers of Elmwood residents who believe that Kelvin was a lost cause and that our community is no worse off without it.  Some residents tell me that they have no problem driving to Bronx Park or Gateway for recreation, while others say that the people of Elmwood don’t deserve a club if they can’t be bothered to volunteer to run it.  The problem with both of these arguments is that they are leaving out the fact that the children who won’t make it out to Bronx Park or Gateway and whose parents are unable or uninterested in volunteering are the ones who are in danger of turning to crime and gangs.  Our personal feelings towards these children or their parents don’t change the fact that without alternatives to petty crime and bad influences, these children will take the wrong path in life.  And these are the children who live in our neighbourhood, so the decisions they make affect all of us.
  3. You had nothing good to say about Bronx Park before, and now you’re grabbing all the attention for it: there were a few occasions when reporters would ask me about the Bronx Park expansion, seeing if I had any criticisms for the project.  It certainly would have made a good story for there to be a dispute between Elmwood and East Kildonan about community centres, but it never did happen.  During the campaign to save Kelvin, we were in regular contact with representatives of Bronx Park and other community centres in Northeast Winnipeg.  The Bronx Park expansion project was not related to Kelvin Community Centre in any way when it was originally promised; it was only after the decision was made to close Kelvin CC that the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres (GCWCC) started to mention Kelvin square footage being “allocated” to Bronx Park.  So there never has been a conflict between Bronx Park and Kelvin, just as there was no conflict between Kelvin and Chalmers CC.  My current duties as Vice President of Bronx Park do involve some work with the Bronx Park campus, but most of my focus is still on the Kelvin site and on programming in general.  The volunteers at Bronx Park and Good Neighbours who worked for years on the expansion project are the ones who deserve our gratitude and applause, and I am pleased to see that there was positive coverage of those volunteers in the media rather than any preoccupation with myself and Kelvin.
  4. You didn’t have a chance against Bill Blaikie, who has done far more than you ever will: when we started our campaign, there were two or three names that had been floated for the NDP candidate, all of whom we felt would be strong challengers.  When the news came in late November that Bill Blaikie was considering the position, we were definitely surprised.  However, the reputation of Bill Blaikie is no reason for me to suspend what I feel are legitimate criticisms of both the NDP government and Mr. Blaikie himself.  I won’t repost those criticisms now (I have mentioned these criticisms on this blog before), but I stand by my belief that the NDP government of Manitoba is not serving the interests of its citizens, and Mr. Blaikie’s willingness to join a government that acts counter to what he espouses to be his ideals opens him up for criticism.  His acceptance of nomination as a MLA in the NDP government means that he is now accountable for the failings of this government.  As far as the argument that Mr. Blaikie has done far more than I ever will, obviously there is no way to prove or disprove this statement as I can’t say what I’ll accomplish in my lifetime as I’ve yet to read my obituary.
  5. Continually spamming our mailboxes: there were definitely some problems with our flyer campaign, and if I could do it again I’d certainly do it quite a bit differently.  The materials and process used in printing were less environmentally friendly than they should have been, and the content of the flyers was specific in its criticisms but not specific enough in communicating my personal ideas and goals.  However, I do stand by my criticisms of the NDP and Mr. Blaikie, and I believe that the record of the NDP is evidence on its own that they do not deserve re-election.
  6. Going on and on about the Disraeli Bridge: my platform was well-rounded in my opinion, but obviously the attention was placed on the upcoming closure of the Disraeli Bridge.  Unfortunately, most voters still aren’t aware of my position on Disraeli, as it was printed in the media and stated by other candidates that all candidates support keeping the bridge open during construction.  It is not feasible to keep the bridge open for the entire construction period as a single-span bridge, as there will need to be some periods of closure.  That is why I have recommended that construction of a temporary span to twin the Louise Bridge before Disraeli construction begins.   This, along with some traffic routing changes, would relieve congestion during the periods of closure which are necessary to do the job properly.
  7. Too many phone calls: to this day, I am still not sure how many phone calls went out.  I personally recommended against the recorded messages, but because a by-election campaign is not a one-person show, I deferred to other opinions.  We chose to have one initial phone blast informing voters that the by-election had been called and a phone blast for Election Day.  A Disraeli-themed phone blast allegedly occurred during the middle of the campaign which some voters attributed to me, but which did not come from my campaign.  We also employed a professional phone bank to poll voters and to remind voters on Election Day, but there were some technical issues that resulted in multiple calls to voters even after they had voted.  In my opinion, the phoning was excessive and the errors were unacceptable.  I do know that the NDP and PC parties also conducted extensive phone campaigns, but if I could do it all over again, I would consider not using the phone at all.
  8. You went to the NDP first for the nomination and they turned you down: this rumour is not only untrue, it’s actually a reversal of the truth.  I was approached by members of two other political parties, one of which was the NDP.  Several NDP members asked me to seek the nomination, but I was never approached by any official representatives of the Doer government or the NDP constituency association in Elmwood.  I chose the Manitoba Liberal Party because I felt that it was the party which best shared my beliefs, and because Dr. Gerrard is a respected and honourable person who has always worked for all Manitobans.  I did not choose the NDP, and that is because I feel that the NDP has been irresponsible and negligent in its governance, and that Premier Doer and his cabinet should be held accountable for many wrongs over the past decade.  In hindsight, I do not know if I could have won the NDP nomination, because I don’t know when Bill Blaikie decided to run.  He didn’t contact NDP members about the possibility until long after I was already the Liberal candidate, and while I don’t know if things would have gone differently had I been seeking the NDP nomination, to presume that it would have affected his decision would be foolhardy on my part.

There were definitely things I could have done better as a Liberal candidate, and there were things that I could have done better in my work with Kelvin and Bronx Park.  We all make mistakes, and what distinguishes success from failure is whether we learn from those mistakes.  Was I the best candidate for the Liberal party in the Elmwood By-Election?  Probably not.  I’m sure there’s someone out there who is more qualified, who has campaign experience, and who has a stronger record for results.  It’s important for Liberal members to work to find that better candidate, and if that person is not available, to work with the candidate you do have to compensate for the weaknesses and amplify their good qualities.

The only way to provide an alternative to the corruption of the NDP government is to win campaigns on the ground, and that can only happen if we all work together.

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I’m not surprised that many people aren’t big on mandatory bike helmets; it’s a big inconvenience to wear a helmet when it’s 35 degrees outside.  In fact, it’s so uncomfortable that I sometimes consider shaving my head in summer to get some kind of relief.

But here’s the issue: bike helmets can prevent brain injury and death.  Unfortunately, we just had a death of a child in this province that probably could have been avoided if a helmet had been worn.  The problem with the argument of “common sense” is that common sense doesn’t actually include knowing just how powerful an impact a fall from a bicycle can bring.  It’s the same situation with booster seats; we aren’t all born with an inherent sense that seat belts aren’t designed for young children.

So in my mind, the best way to ensure that children are wearing bike helmets as often as possible is to make bike helmets mandatory for children.  If expansion of the project to provide children from lower income families with free helmets is necessary, it should take place as well.  Adults could be left to decide on their own, although it’s a bad idea for a parent to demonstrate to their children that helmets are only for kids.

The strangest thing about the NDP government in Manitoba is that with bike helmets and booster seats, it is felt that an education program is the right course, while a bill has been drawn up for consideration that fines people who interfere with service animals in any way.

Offence — person interfering with service animal
2(1)        No person shall touch, feed, impede or interfere with a service animal, without lawful excuse or authority.
Offence — person allowing animal to interfere with service animal
2(2)        No person who owns an animal or has possession or control of an animal shall allow that animal to touch, impede or interfere with a service animal, without lawful excuse or authority.
Penalty
3           A person who contravenes section 2 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $5,000; and
(b) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $10,000.

http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/39-3/pdf/b238.pdf

This is different than laws such as that in the state of Wisconsin:

Act 353, Casey’s Law, creates new crimes related to the harassment of service dogs and requires a person convicted of harassing a service dog to pay restitution for any pecuniary loss, as defined in the act, suffered as a result of the crime. The act defines a “service dog” as a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting a person with a sensory, mental, or physical disability or accommodating such a disability (Section 951.01 (5), Wisconsin Statutes).
The new law allows any person to provide notice to another person that his or her behavior is interfering with the use of a service dog and to request that the behavior stop.  The notice may be given in any manner. After receiving that notice and request, a person may not recklessly or intentionally interfere with the use of the service dog by obstructing or intimidating the dog or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the dog or its user. In addition, the act prohibits recklessly or intentionally allowing one’s dog to interfere with the use of a service dog. Recklessly interfering is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for 90 days or both. Intentionally interfering is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for 9 months or both. If a person recklessly injures a service dog or recklessly allows his or her dog to injure a service dog, he or she is also guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Under the act, a person who intentionally injures a service dog or intentionally allows his or her dog to injure a service dog is guilty of a Class I felony, which is punishable by a fine of $10,000 or a sentence of imprisonment and extended supervision for 3.5 years or both. Recklessly causing the death of a service dog is also a Class I felony.

http://www.legis.state.wi.us/LRB/pubs/Lb/06Lb8.pdf

The difference here is not just the wording but also the spirit of the Manitoba bill vs. the Wisconsin law.  The Manitoba bill means that if my daughter runs over and pets a service dog she’s guilty of the same offense as a person who kicks a police dog.  If my daughter pets a service dog and the handler of that service dog asks that she stop, and I allow my daughter to continue, that in my mind constitutes willful interference.  But that’s not how the Manitoba bill reads.

In theory, the legislative process is supposed to allow for improvements in the text of bills such as this before they can be passed into law and given royal assent.  We’ll have to wait and see if this law is improved upon before the Premier decides to pass it.

Meanwhile, Liberal bills for mandatory booster seats and mandatory bike helmets were not even considered by the NDP government.  There was no discussion of improving the bills, or of compromise… that’s not how Mr. Doer runs his province.

I think the best way to demonstrate the odd approach of the NDP is to quote a comment writer on the Free Press website:

Posted by:ErikW
June 10, 2009 at 7:04 AM
“Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said during Tuesday’s debate the province wants to opt for an education campaign to encourage all cyclists to wear a helmet. The province also hands out free helmets to many low-income children.”

And yet the NDP has no problem introducing a bill to make a first time offender pay up to $5,000 for interfering with a service animal?

Let me get this straight: an education campaign aimed at getting kids to wear helmets would work, but an education campaign aimed at informing people about the dangers of interfering with a service animal would not work? I admit I don’t have the statistics, but I suspect there are fewer injuries incurred when a service animals is interfered with than there are from children being hurt while riding bicycles.

It would seem that injured children need a better lobby group within the NDP.

from Winnipeg Free Press

I’m not opposed to the passage of an appropriate and properly-written bill for the protection of service animals, and if proper amendments were made such a bill could be a good thing.  But it is ridiculous that for service animals legislation was chosen without education even being considered, while for child safety education alone is considered the only reasonable solution by the NDP.

What’s next?  Perhaps the NDP should tell MP Joy Smith that she ought to change her federal human trafficking bill: rather than a five year minimum sentence, people who buy and sell children should just be forced to attend a weekend seminar, complete with instructional videos and a framed certificate of completion.  That should stem the tide.

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