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?