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Letters, March 14, 2013

We welcome readers’ comments on issues that have been covered in the Manitoba Co-operator. In most cases we cannot accept “open” letters or copies of letters which have been sent to several publications. Letters are subject to editing for length or taste. We suggest a maximum of about 300 words.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

Anti-amalgamation movement belongs in horse-and-buggy days

It’s rather coincidental, but Blaine Pedersen’s over-the-top letter about destroying small communities came out at the same time as this headline: “Canada getting closer to a free trade agreement with the European Union.”

The same day a headline in a Dutch paper read: “European Union has been advocating amalgamating smaller communities to entities of at least 100,000.”

Why? Because of duplication of services and cost.

Blaine, your comments would have been in their place when we where still in the horse-and-buggy era.

I am a Progressive Conservative supporter, but comments such as these make me, and I am sure others, shake their heads.

Are we still living with towns, every eight miles, a distance the horse could travel? Are not most people from small towns, villages shopping often in large centres for choice and because of easy mobility?

It’s childish for Pedersen to say “NDP embarrassed because small towns are able to balance books and NDP government cannot” or to call it “amalgamation bullying.”

Blaine, have you ever considered the duplication of services and the cost thereof for all those small communities remaining on their own? Wouldn’t we be better served with less cost if we would become larger entities?

Does it make sense in my case that a 439-inhabitant-community (Statistics Canada 2011) with a government cost of close to $175,000 should not become part of the larger municipality? With an ever-decreasing working population, leaving small towns, villages and municipalities with retirees, does it make sense to hang on to independence, never mind the cost?

There are 51 towns in Manitoba, one as small as 239 (Grand Rapids). There are 19 villages, one as small as 183 ( Waskada). There are 117 rural municipalities, one as small as 311 (Lakeview).

According to Blaine and the PC Party they all, 187 of them, should continue to exist independently no matter the cost and duplication of services. Is this an attempt to make the PC Party relevant?

Bert Nieuwenhuis

Somerset, Man.

Labelling rules confusing

I am confused about what a label should record. I see a problem if the label says beef when in fact it is horsemeat, but I see the same problems if the label omits the fact that ingredients are genetically modified when in reality the seeds have been changed.

Recently, California defeated a bill demanding that genetically modification be listed. I understand pressure from the genetic modifiers caused the bill to be defeated. Perhaps similar pressure in Europe and other places could keep horsemeat off the labels.

I do see a difference between corn seed that has been modified and beef that has been modified, but as your cartoon suggests a beef-horse may not be so unusual. When such modification happens, hopefully the labels will be truthful.

Barry Hammond

Winnipeg, Man.

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