Incompetence in Manitoba
We just returned from a vacation in the deep south, and in doing so crossed a 22-mile long bridge across Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. Once we got home, we researched the bridge online and discovered construction started May 23, 1955, and the bridge was complete ahead of schedule Aug. 30, 1956. It seems this is not an uncommon feat throughout most of the U.S. One really has to wonder why then back in good old Manitoba it took almost two full years of construction time to build a few hundred feet of bridge across the mighty Assiniboine creek. Why is it that every project in this province takes so long from start to finish and then is plagued with problems right afterwards. I think we need to start looking at how our money is being wasted and who is allowing it to be wasted?
A quick note to older drivers about being safe. You really need to keep up with the speed of the traffic on major roadways. Driving slower — like 30 km/h — on avenues such as Victoria West or 18th Street North only places you and others in more danger as people continually swerve around you to pass. If you don’t feel capable of driving at speeds necessary, then either stay off major roads or stay home, please.
So much for a hog shortage?
I was crossing back into Canada at the Peace Garden on Monday and there were five trucks fully loaded with hogs heading south. We are being made to believe there is a hog shortage in this province causing Maple Leaf to cancel shifts and cut hours. Why then are hogs being shipped south of the border? I’m certain farmers and the trucking companies are not doing this just for fun — they must be making more money selling away from home or they wouldn’t be doing it. I would suggest the issue must be the low prices being offered by Maple Leaf for the hogs. When you factor in the equipment costs, wages and fuel, it should not be feasible to do this, yet it appears to be. Is the problem more related to corporate greed than the reported shortage?
Downtown demographics don’t suit
While it’s very good to see the historic fire hall in downtown Brandon being safeguarded with new owners, I do wish them well in luring a restaurant of some sort into the large main floor. I hear speculation of what type of national or regional hospitality chain might be an appropriate tenant. But my experience is that no existing chain would make a multimillion-dollar investment into a location that is not demographically suitable. What chain would risk trying to establish itself as the destination location in an area that has little existing draw?
Locals just not interested
So the Harper government is trying to make it more difficult for businesses facing a lack of local workers to seek remedy by hiring from abroad. And unions are either appalled by the lack of protection the rules still have for their card-carrying immigrant workers, or exuberant over the fact that red tape will, to their mind, now open up jobs for local — Canadian — workers. The elephant in the room is that many potential pools of unemployed Canadians simply don’t want many of the menial, tough or lower-paying jobs that these immigrant workers are eager to take.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 26, 2014