Sunday, October 19, 2014

Who am I going to vote for?

I was all ready to go vote at the advanced polls. I'm away on election day, so I took my voter card to see where I could go tomorrow.

No where. There are no more advanced polls.

I can't blame anyone but myself. The card was there, the info clearly on the City website... my fault, save for maybe the inability to understand why there wouldn't be an advanced poll right up to election day. So there, you have it... I messed up and missed my first election in 30 years. I'm disappointed in myself, so all I can do is tell you who I would have voted for if I had.

I live in the West End, and my good OLD friend and current councilor recently sent me "The Harvey Report". Good thing we have an election so I can read about all the great things he's done. My favourite was the anecdotes from supporters, especially the one from Joe Chan, " If Harvey hadn't gotten me the information, I couldn't have sued the Mayor" (paraphrased... I tossed the literature).

Umm, Joe? Didn't you lose? Plus costs? Maybe you shouldn't be thanking Harvey for his "help".

Bellamy is Pat Martin's stooge, and the federal/provincial NDP stooge. Anyone seen or heard from Pat? No? Maybe let's call him at home on Salt Spring Island, BC. Pat hasn't been here in a while.

So we have to vote for Cindy Gilroy. I e-mailed Cindy a few months back. I had a tough time finding her website and after I did find it, mentioned that they needed to tune up their key words so people could find the site easier and asked how I could get her a donation to help her campaign. I never heard back. I sure hope this isn't an indication of things to come, because I already receive that kind of responses from the guy I cc on matters pertaining to my encounters with the City... and I don't hear back from Harvey either.

Thus ends the councilor advice, On to bigger and better things.

Go Judy Go! Away! Go Away! This career politician who has never been responsible for anything, and had to move to Manitoba to get elected because her first few attempts to get a seat in Ontario failed should just take her two pensions and open a hot dog stand that she could promptly run into the ground. Please, for the love of all things good and true, DON'T vote for Judy.

Gord Steeves. Sorry Gord, but the idea that you have fresh ideas about how to run the City can't be taken seriously. How much "change" did you vote for when you were a councilor? NOW you have fresh ideas? Puuuhleeeese. You were there when Sheegal was hired!

Bowman. I liked this guy right up to the point when he started talking.  If this was a three horse race (I'm going to stay away from any "old nag" jokes to avoid being called sexist), I'd hold my nose and vote for him, but only because I don't think he can do as much as he thinks he can, and might just be able to deliver on a few of the transparency issues he's running on. We could use a little less corruption in how our City operates. BRT....... really? Are you serious? What's next? More bicycle paths?

Since it's not a three horse race, I'll go on.

Ouellette. I just can't take a guy seriously when he thinks it's a good idea to lower the voting age to 16 years old. Listen up Rob. You're biggest tax payer is a property owner, and if you think I'm going to elect a guy who thinks that kids should be able to vote for a clown who will decide where, and how much money to take from me, and then determine where to redistribute that wealth, you've got another thing coming.

Paula. I liked you as a councilor, but for Mayor, I just don't think you have it. Sorry.

Who's the guy with the strippers wearing his T shirts again?  I haven't quite figured out his angle. Last time around, when that goof Realtor whose face adorns a number of buildings he has listed ran, I understood that he was after name recognition. The "talent agency" guy... dunno. In a word, "NOT".

David Sanders. Alas, I e-mailed him a few months ago too. Same as Cindy... nothing back. Offering money and a lawn to plant a sign on isn't as enticing as it used to be I guess. Regardless... have you read his resume?  Have you followed any of his speeches when her appeared at council meetings to make presentations? This guy has actually BEEN to a council meeting, which is more than we cold say for Bowman before the last one (which he showed up at, just to take a look inside I guess)
David is CLEARLY the most qualified person to be the Mayor out of the names on the ballot.

Forget the polls. Forget strategic voting... It won't work as Steeves or Bowman would had to have dropped out, and Steeves' ego got in the way. Judy may slip through the middle... all that after saying little, and when pressed, couldn't answer questions and had some old egg head economist "price out" her agenda, but still had no idea as to how to pay for things other than telling us that she'd find the money to cover the interest on the money she was going to borrow.

That's a plan? All you can do to stop her is vote for a strong, sensible council... and David Sanders.

We'll talk some more after the big day, and remember, "People get the leaders they deserve", especially those that don't vote. I'm just sick over it.

If you were waffling, if you had no intention of voting, would you please go and vote on my behalf?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Opinions are like...

never mind. Too easy.

I was trying to come up with a witty title. I bounce a few around, including "death", "stupidiotic", and "the definition of insanity is..." but decided instead to concentrate on the meat and potatoes of it all. (Potatoes... foreshadowing. Is it still foreshadowing if you give it away?)

I write this entry from my "perch" on the shore of the east side of Lake Manitoba. For days now I've been seething at an article/blog/opinion (remember what opinions are like?) piece titled Crying Wolf   http/www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/blogs/under-the-dome/Under_the_Dome.html

I assume Bruce Owen penned this piece, as his email address is recorded below it. According to the staff biographies, Mr. Owens "takes up space" at the Legislature. Hmm... that's a  telling way to describe his work. This would be good empty space I assume.

Unfortunately, his piece also takes up good empty space in the FreeP.

Mr. Owen plays apologist for the NDP, suggesting that the people who have property on Lake Manitoba are somehow unfairly "blaming" Mr. Selinger for all things evil. We are currently enjoying our second bout of fish flies this year... but I don't hear any of my neighbours blaming our esteemed social worker turned  leader for the flying pests. What I do hear is a group of very disgruntled people placing blame squarely where it belongs for the current woes felt on the lakes shores... at the feet of the Ministers and the Leader who are responsible for the decisions being made to again fill the lake to well over it's capacity.

Mr. Owen suggests that we residents of the lake area are creating much ado about nothing. He goes on to tell us about how the lake isn't as high as it was in 2011, the situation won't be as bad, the NDP isn't to blame for the rain, people aren't taking you seriously... .

Hey Bruce. Did you know that you're not allowed to drain your eaves trough onto your neighbours yard? Honest! It's against the law. The water from your roof is supposed to drain over your yard to the street or lane. Anything else isn't permitted. Look it up...

Let's think about the Assiniboine River watershed. It does not NATURALLY drain into Lake Manitoba. It is DIVERTED. (Hence the name, the Portage Diversion... it is NOT a floodway). You are taking water from one watershed, and diverting it to another entirely different watershed. You're sending it to a lake where the natural inflows through the Water Hen River, are about equal to the outflows at the Fairford Control Structure.( Fairford was built at the end of the 1800's, well before the Diversion, and it's never been increased in size to accommodate the water being dumped into the lake by the Diversion. )

Guess what Bruce? When you fill up your bathtub using the tub filler spout, everything is OK! If you leave, pass out, go for a smoke... the tub won't over fill because there is a mechanism that is designed to let the water out if it gets too high. This is the like lake was before the Portage Diversion operating at 25% over design capacity. Back to your tub Bruce... now go get a fire hose and put it in there.

What? You see a catastrophic event ahead? OK. Maybe a fire hose is extreme. How about another garden hose?(or two ?) It stands to reason that there will only be twice  as much water (as opposed to three times as much as we are seeing flow through the Diversion. I see Bruce hesitant to try the fire hose. Coward...

What's that Bruce? You don't want to? You'll ruin your floor?

Oh. Ok. Well, fortunately for you, You are in control here Bruce. No worries... just don't do it! The residents of Lake Manitoba are not in control.

Bruce likely wrote his opine from the City somewhere. I didn't bother to delve into his domiciles actual location, but let's just guess at Charleswood, since picking on someone from Transcona isn't really "sporting". Bruce, I'm sure that as the guy who is "taking up space" at the Leg is keeping you busy. Have you noticed a lull in the action around there? Pssst (no, that's not a PST joke) they are all on summer break.

Summer... what a great time to have a cottage at the lake. Unless you have super sandbags on your beach.
And the lake has uncovered all the spent sand bags from the last flood... they litter the beaches for miles here, green, white, and the ever elusive gold bags!

The trees that grew here are all but gone, destroyed in 2011 by the water. Miles and miles of death on the shore of the lake. Great big ash, maples, poplar... (all the elm died due to Dutch Elm disease years before). Death stretches for miles. Trees that someone needs to remove, yet no one seems to feel the need, or have the energy... remember, the residents of the lake were told that clean up help would come... remember what our social worker turned leader promised... the Green team would be available to aid in clean up!

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Some pimple faced yoot ((see Joe Pesci, My Cousin Vinny) Fred Gwynn... was this his last movie?)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVjbf-dHjW0  felling standing dead trees 10" in diameter with a Husquavarna that would rather tear his leg off than cut through the brutally hard wood of a dead Ash. Now insert a senior citizen since the green team never came...

You were thinking that I would take Ash and draw it to the "opinions are like..." but I'll resist. (The temptation is great though)

Bruce, maybe you should come out for a weekend! Really... this is my invitation to you. Leave a comment, and I'll be in touch. You and your significant other can come out for a few days, all expenses paid except the fuel to get here, unless you'd like me to pick you up. (no kids... we hate kids) We have a guest room, flush toilets, hot water, shower... we'll put on clean sheets, and you just have to sit on the beach, stare at the lake, and go for a walk. Let me know what you drink and I'll supply a bottle (but just one, as I've heard about reporters and their drinking).

See death. Miles of death. Super sand bags are covering a vast area of the beach, already covering a mile or more... and there are more to come. It's quite a sight. I'll take you out in a boat, canoe, kayak, or you can walk the beach, but the sand is all gone... the lake has pounded in lots and lots of rocks. We used to have sand... not anymore.

What's that Bruce? Doesn't sound appealing? C'mon! I'm offering to let you come for FREE! I have to pay over $2K a year taxes to have this kind of fun...I have to come here and mow the lawn, maintain the place, and know that the unnatural rise in the lake level is a DECISION that was made, both in the spring, to prevent ice jams on the Assiniboine, and now again, because Shell Mouth was kept too high to allow for the rains.

Wanna know why Shell mouth was kept high? See Bruce, I'm not a reporter... but I was there three weeks ago when the community had it's road washed out. I asked them (with no influence regarding my own interests) ,"Have thye kept the levels too high?"

"For years now... they keep it high for the potato farmers in the Portage area. If the river runs dry they cant irrigate their crops, and McCain's can't be makin' fries without potatoes!"

I see... things I didn't know. Here I was naive and believed Shellmouth was a control structure designed to act as a reservoir DURING a high water event... not to cause one.

Say what you want Bruce, the water coming to Lake Manitoba was NEVER  supposed to come here. Ignorant commentators in the FreeP I can handle... you know, the unwashed masses who believe whatever Flood Bulletin #33 tells them, full of more political propaganda than actual flood information, regurgitated through the Freep by some "journalist" who thinks St. Francis Xavier is a road trip. "You shouldn't build where it floods, you shouldn't build on a flood plain... stupid people who don't realize Winnipeg is on a flood plain at the junction (not the fork) of two rivers... (stupidiotic)

After you come visit me here, go see Shellmouth (or I can show you a video). Go see the diversion, and the increased capacity that was packed on by more equipment than I could count (Or I can show you the photos), and then go through the archives to see when the last time was that this lake came close to this level NATURALLY. (Hint, 1950, and it took 4 years to get to that level) Please also check the last drought levels... ahh forget about it... you won't bother, how about I just give you the info?  http://www.lakemanitobalakestmartinregulationreview.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Lake-Manitoba-Levels-Steep-Rock.jpg

Bruce... did you notice that when the lake was "natural" it fluctuated, and never saw as much water as it did during the time it was "regulated" as it did naturally.

Do you understand Bruce? The lake levels are CONTROLLED... The Fairford CONTROL structure, the Portage DIVERSION... Control means we GET to blame the people CONTROLLING the levels. You don't get to claim that all is good because of the controls, when all is good, and not be responsible for taking the wrath when things all go to shit. It's called accountability.

Anyways Bruce... my offer stands. I'll be very cordial, there are no strings. Come visit.

WOLF!




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Who was at Folk Fest?

Well opening night at the Folk Fest was a good time. It seemed that the VIP tent was packed with political hacks who continue to have influence behind the scenes, and some who are elected, with no influence at all.
While I understand Ron Lemieux opening the meal and giving thanks for the volunteers (as well as encouraging us to drink up as Minister of Liquor and Lotteries) , I can't quite figure out why guys like Eugene Kostyra, Bill Blakie, and of all things, Thomas Mulcair show up for a free meal, and a few photos.
While I looked around for any of them during the acts, I didn't see them.
Notably absent was pretty much anything that would be considered "blue", unless it was related to a music genre.
It was a beautiful night, and I assume a malathion bomb had been dropped earlier when none of the folks from Wolsely were looking as mosquitoes were few. Bonnie Rait joked about how she never knew that bug spray was such an aphrodisiac.
We got to enjoy some slide guitar performed by her, honed over the past four decades of performing. She sounds great, and I reluctantly caught the 10:30 bus back to the city. I'm thinking that the organizers need to have the bus leave after the last song...unless you're Thomas Mulcair and you're there for photos and glad handing.
Notable was Amy Helm, who (sorry Amy) I'd never heard before. Great voice, good tunes... I couldn't help but think that she needs a more powerful male back up singer though...especially during an à capella piece "Friends ", where a decent bass was missing. with all due respect to her talent as a stand alone rite, her dad was Leavon Helm, best known as the lead singer in "the Band". While they didn't do "Cripple Creek ", they did cover "the night they drove old Dixie down", however there was either terrible feedback, or they used a defective Melodica wind piano as there was a consistent shrill noise that detracted from the performance.
All in all, opening night was good, I just hope all the political hacks had as good a time as we did.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The politicization of grad

I write this from my seat at the U of W grad ceremony. These things have a habit of being long, but that length is exacerbated when graduates are forced to listen to the self aggrandising of former politicians that are never really former politicians, rather they are unelected mouth pieces.
Today, former Minister of Foreign Affairs presented his former boss ( the former Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Indian Affairs...) Jean Cretien, an honourary doctorate of law.
Now my first thought was the obvious patronage between these two old Liberal stalwarts. We endured a walk through their political achievements brought to us through the clear memory of the men responsible. The charter of rights, billinguillism, gay marriage, abortion, gun control... The list went on, couched in, "Look what I did. Change the world".
I won't bother offering my opines of the Liberal government, rather I'll simply say that old Jean has little connection to today's graduates who are unlikely to bother considering that the Clarity Act was not anything to be proud of since it came as a result of almost losing the county. Jean didn't keep the county together. It was as a result of a former PC MP who moved to Quebec provincial politics that pulled it off.
My best memory of that event is how Jean had his speech planned just moments after a different Jean (Charest)  began his, causing all the televised coverage to go to his speech, ensuring the nation didn't hear what the real hero had to say. Nice touch.

The other thing that struck me was that no one graduates from the U of W with a law degree.

I guess the degree isn't worth much.

Congratulations to all the grads. And while you go out and change the world, try not to emulate the two old boys you had to listen to today. Be true to yourselves.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Well look what we have! Zebra Mussels!

Now isn't this great. The dreaded Zebra Mussel has finally invaded Lake Winnipeg and is infesting Gimli, Winnipeg Beach, and some other harbors.

For years Conservation and Water Stewardship have been posting billboards with the, "Don't let Zebra Mussels hitch a ride" slogan on them.

GOOD JOB!

What else did they do to prevent this? I dunno. Do you know?

They did have this on their web page http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/stopais/zebra_mussel.html ,
and they did get some pressure washers that they used, albeit intermittently and without any real consistency
http://cottagelife.com/70413/blogs/manitobas-new-weapons-to-fight-invasive-aquatic-species , http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/22/war-in-the-water-manitob_n_3320993.html

So how seriously did they take this "threat" ? They waited until last year to buy some pressure washers?

Sure... I know, "You slam everything the government pin heads do. What do you think they should have done?"

Well, it's like this. We are a fairly land locked place. Sure,there are  a lot of ways in and out of the province, yet... not really. Saskatchewan was/is a non issue as they do not yet have the zebra mussels, so what's left? There is only one way in from Ontario, and the rest are US/Canada border crossings.

Now the last time I drove down the #1 Trail over to Kenora I noticed that there is a truck weigh scale there, and a visitor centre. On the way back I noticed a "tobacco tax" declaration station. I did not see a pressure washer.

On my last trip home from visiting the US, I was charged GST and PST by our Canadian Border Services Agents, they have washrooms, vehicle inspection sheds... but no pressure washers.

In Belize, when you cross into Guatemala, (and back) you pay a fee for decontamination. They spray your vehicle with something that will kill the parasites that threaten their crops. Same thing when driving through Mexico and you cross from Sinaloa to Chihuahua within Mexico. What do these developing countries know that we don't know?

Maybe it's just that they put a little effort in.

Every vehicle gets sprayed. How difficult would it be to put up signs insisting that every boat gets sprayed? Surely there isn't really a risk during ice fishing season... would this really have been that tough?

But a tobacco tax declaration booth! NOW we're talkin' !

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Calling BS on the new guy's first news conference

So that guy who oozes confidence, Steve Ashton, introduces our "new" flood forecaster to the oohs and aahs of the MSM who report on the exciting event.

Missed in all that is the first line of BS we are given by him. He offered up that he's here because of a Google search. "What is the best place for water and flood fighting" http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/new-flood-forecaster-came-to-the-right-place-247010001.html

Lemme try that... just a sec... hmmmmmm

Aside from current stories about him having said that... nothing. Maybe I need to remove the quotes? I'll give you that the Wikipedia page lists the flood way in it's "Americas" section. Even Winnipeg is mentioned, but he didn't mention Wikipedia, he mentioned Google which seems to have most of it's references to some other place... in Europe. You likely guessed some country where they speak Dutch, that we call Holland, and is known as The Netherlands. China seems to come up quite often too, as does (believe it or not) New Orleans.

Perhaps I should rephrase the search? You see the problem with doing such a search from here is that we're not currently searching from Africa, so we actually come up with a few references to Manitoba in our search... and almost none for Africa where the alleged search occurred. I think there must be some way to alter my search to suit this... how about if I use a different search site, like https://www.google.com.et/ ? There appears to be a language barrier here, but we'll try the original search. Ummm...no.

The only hits are related directly to this story, and again, our Dutch friends, some references to a few other things, but nothing for Manitoba. How do you translate "What is the best place for water and flood fighting" into Ethiopian? (Oh wait... that is Amharic, not Ethiopian)

የጎርፍ መቀልበሻ ቦይ ? Is that it? best I could get... flood protection canal. Hey! We got the best one of those! Should get a hit!

Nope. Maybe if I try adding "best" to that? 
ምርጥ

Still nothing.

OK... so perhaps I'll stop chasing that particular idea. Where has this guy been the past five years?

RIGHT HERE!!!

"For the past five years Unduche was the senior water control systems planning engineer for the province where he got first-hand experience with flooding in 2009 and 2011." (WFP)

He was in charge of the water control structures for MIT... like the SHELL MOUTH DAM! You know, the one that was kept too full! And Fairford! The one that was keeping the level of Lake Manitoba artificially high, causing the lake to flood when the other structure he was responsible for, the Portage Diversion, was set to "full on"  dumping all the water he kept in Shellmouth into Lake Manitoba!

Excellent resume!

Remember, these are the guys soundly thrashed in a report for using old excel spreadsheets to do their best "guestimates" of how much flooding we'd get... and this was the place he claimed was his answer to "What is the best place for water and flood fighting" .

"Wow" is all I can say. The general public, as well as the MSM who seem to just blindly regurgitate this stuff must really be fools. A guy who was involved in the unmitigated disaster of flood forecasting gets promoted to "boss" to much fanfare and accolades... and he was the cream that rose to the top. Staying with that analogy, I've been down to the river after a serious high water event... and that isn't cream I see floating.

Let's see if he can read a map better than his old boss could, and recognize that the only watershed that's bigger than the Red River is that of the Assiniboine. We'll see if he mentions that river at all, as old Philip seemed to forget all about it a few years ago.

"What is the best place for water and flood fighting"

You can't make this shit up.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sure the water is brown, but now we know WHY!

I let this steep for a while... you know, like tea.

Did you know that you get more manganese from a cup of tea than from drinking brown water? It's true!

Manganese? What is that?

Apparently it is a naturally occurring thing in the water we get from Shoal Lake. Oh ya... the fine folks at the new fancy very expensive Water treatment plant actually ADD the stuff as a "coagulant".  Now we know why it's brown! The City pours the shit in that hangs to the walls of the pipes, and when the brown shit comes off the pipe it flows into your home! (like a "slug")

You can't make up ineptitude like this. It is only available from something as sick as our City's bureaucracy.

As I watched the news conference, I Googled "brown water manganese" and guess what I found? A whole FLURRY of hits linking brown water and manganese, and the clowns have been ADDING it to the water!

Is that a problem for you? It's not for me, because I was told to just run the water until it runs clear. Imagine... the guy who spent YEARS training three kids  NOT to run the water while they brushed their teeth, suddenly watching the metered water run down the drain, knowing that water is cheap, it's the SEWER charge that kills you.

Credit? Not likely... "We're indemnified" "we're not responsible" "it's safe to drink" "If you don't pay your bill we'll just add it to your taxes"

When will it stop? "In a few years"." We will set up a pilot project to test a new coagulant".  Seriously? Who is running this gong show? Are you REALLY trying to tell me that no other water utility in the world has already fixed this? They KNOW the problem exists! It's on their web site... phone them!!!

From Ireland to New Zealand, utilities know that manganese levels cause brown water, but here in Winnipeg, where we underpay and over work our mandarins, they had no idea, and hired ACOM and CH2N to figure it all out for them.

Diane Sacher was able to tell us that there is no health standard for manganese in water in Canada but the World Health Organization has some levels they recommend... and we're well below that.

Swandel continues to tell us that it's an aesthetic issue... "I got more manganese in my tea today"

Yuck it up funny man.

I can't believe I am agreeing with Russ Wyatt and his assertion that an inept CAO hired inept Department heads, but I am hard pressed to disagree with him.

I honestly can't get my head around how someone with a Masters in Professional Engineering had to hire outside consultants to figure this out when HER STAFF were adding the stuff to the water to begin with.

Wanna guess at what she takes home? That kind of public service is worth $163,336 a year. That's better than the Director of Public Works took home. You know...  the guy who had his Department sign a contract with Mulder Construction and paid the $800,000 for a whack of sand bags the City never received?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-paid-for-sandbags-that-never-materialized-1.1029740

Name sound familiar?  It's a family thing. (engineering, ineptitude, you pick) Wyatt  is picking on him too.

Poor guy only makes $155,371 to screw up that big... and I'm sure old Sam will defend them both.

Strange that I'm liking Russ more. At least his latest rant against Public Works is honest, and what a lot of us actually think.

We elected Sam because we mistakenly believed he'd say those kinds of things, and clean house, but all he's learned to do it toe the line, and tell us what a great job these clowns are doing.

We really do need a Mayor and Council that have a pair. If Russ is the only guy there with a set... we're in more trouble than even I think we're in (and I think we're in a lot of trouble).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kives and Butthead... both don't seem to get it

Wow... 2 months without a post. Miss me?

I've been away. Far away, and the best part about being away is how easy it is to completely forget Winnipeg.
Then, the stark reality of life comes back, you return, and know, deep down, that all is lost.
First order of business will be Butthead aka  the newly minted Health Minister Erin Selby. The one time teleprompter reader decided to come down hard on cabbies for not ensuring people made it to their door ok. Too stupid to know that a heart attack might just as well have occurred just INSIDE the door, and that the patients were clearly released too early, she doesn't initially comment on the early release of patients, rather spouts off about the cabbies.
Easy fix... listen in.
"Unicity Taxi, how can I help you? Pick up at the hospital? Sorry, no... can't help you."

Replay that and insert the name "Duffy's" where it fits.

Honestly, these people are in power for how many years and still can't get a handle on it all, despite the lies and dirty tricks they played on the past Health Ministers. (Toast from Ontario... firing 1000 nurses) I remember Dave Chomiak hammering on the Tory Health Minister daily, yet the current Minister of Everything was able to accomplish nothing insofar as reducing wait times. Same for Oswald, and now we have this former new anchor in charge.

Things are looking up.

On to Kives.

Typically I find his stuff pretty good, but his recent musings regarding snow clearing fail to see the bigger picture. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/plow-talk-is-pandering-240434501.html  
I got the distinct impression that he was trying to tell us all this isn't a "real" issue for politicians to be talking about... that there are "more important" things they should be focused on.

Au contraire Mr. K, this is exactly what politicians should be talking about, because it is indicative of greater problems that need to be solved. Is there anything that gets done well in Winnipeg?
Our Mayor is on the BBC telling people how we manage to clear our roads in a "winter city", yet the roads are (as told to me by other Pegger's) left so bad that when changing lanes, the front wheels get over the hump to align themselves in the "other" tire ruts, and the tail end remains, unable to get over the ice. Suddenly, you're sideways, and one of our more insolent Councillors actually berates drivers on his Twitter feed.

The fact that we have issues delivering the basic services that we pay taxes for is troubling. Snow clearing, garbage pick up, recycling... did I mention the brown water? Honestly, brown water? The developing country I was visiting didn't have brown water. Their roads were atrocious, but they pay about $200 a year in property taxes AND get their garbage picked up. Our roads are "better", but not if you consider the disparity in tax burden.

The City bureaucrats, those unelected people who recently said, "we followed procedure in the fire hall fiasco so don't blame us", those who are almost never reprimanded, dismissed, or called on the carpet for their blunders are the real issue with Winnipeg's woes, and snow clearing is just one of the issues Winnipeg faces.

An over paid, under worked, under achieving workforce that receives raises in pay without requiring any merit, and promotions based on years of service, not ability, needs to be tackled head on by a Mayor and Council that have some balls. I thought Sam was cut out for the job, but he's turned out to be the guy who says, "I can't beat them, so I'll have to work within the confines that they set up for me and the elected buffoons who are able to change nothing unless the department heads feel like it.

Winnipeg's biggest problem isn't snow clearing, but the problems with snow clearing are related to Winnipeg's biggest problem.

CUPE. Forget the public relations ads on the radio. Just have your members do their jobs and earn their pay. That will endear them to us without the need to tell us how hard they work.

But then, that's not CUPEs job...is it?