Politically targeting retail employers is a mistake

Today, nearly 17,000 Manitobanese work in supermarkets across the province. Those stores are the cornerstones of their communities and a growing and vibrant part of Manitoba’s economy.

In recent days, some Manitoba politicians have unfairly denounced that specific businesses improperly benefit from a rebate program, in which they receive a small fraction of the millions of dollars they pay annually in provincial taxes. This is not how serious economic decisions should be made, and political theater and insults are not in the interest of Manitobanese.

Statements critical of these companies and their ownership deliberately overlook the many vital ways in which they contribute to the province. This includes important commitments they make to help local Manitoba growers and growers prosper, work that Manitoba’s construction industry benefits from as profits are reinvested in upgrading and expanding store access, and the millions contributed to local charities, including the important role they play in supporting the province’s food bank system.

In Manitoba, retailers, including grocery stores, pay millions of dollars in taxes each year, through property taxes, Manitoba health and education (payroll) tax, corporate tax, and a variety of levies and operating fees. The system works because all companies are treated equally. Deciding which businesses are “deserving” of government programs and which are not is like picking favorites with your children.

The Retail Council of Canada will always support opportunities to reduce the tax burden on Manitobans and their businesses, including the current government’s policy of reimbursing a portion of the education property tax paid to all taxpayers.

In the same way that Manitoba property owners will have many demands for the 50 percent school tax refund they will receive this year, the 10 percent refund on what commercial property owners have typically paid would be reinvested in the price reduction, job creation or improvements. to their businesses.

Ultimately, we would hope that no current or future Manitoba government uses its power to arbitrarily tamper with the tax fairness and level playing field expected by business. It might be a good political campaign, but designing policies based on the size of your business interests is bad for all Manitobanese.

john graham

Director of Government Relations (based in Winnipeg)

Retail Council of Canada

A poem to celebrate diversity.

Dear child of our beautiful planet:

Be nice.

maybe you feel anxious

maybe you have two moms

maybe you talk with your hands

maybe you are wiccan

Maybe there’s more tension than laughter

in your house

you may be wondering

you may feel judged

Maybe your family doesn’t eat meat

Maybe you hide to take your daily meds

Maybe your skin is darker than your friend’s

Maybe your grandmother is a residential

school survivor

Maybe your dad speaks with a thick accent.

Books that celebrate you, your identity, your community

You will always be welcome in my library. Always.

I choose kindness.

Have hope.

Be nice.

With love from your friend,

sinthia wright


Questioning the official history of the pig

Re: The growth of the Manitoba pork industry is no cause for pride (Ideas Tank, May 11)

I would like to congratulate Jessica Scott-Reid on her excellent opinion piece. Her disclosures of her facts regarding the expansion of the Manitoba pork industry are illuminating and stand in stark contrast to the “claims” Manitoba Pork made in its recent advertorial “Pork Sector Takes Action on Sustainability.” Among the many claims Manitoba Pork has made is that hog barns use less land than they did 50 years ago.

As Scott-Reid points out, hog barns produce eight million pigs each year. While the number of pigs has increased sevenfold since 1970, the number of farms has declined dramatically. He adds that the average number of hogs per warehouse in Manitoba is nearly 6,000.

Pigs are confined in enclosures that leave little room for movement; sows spend most of their lives in gestation crates that are so small they cannot turn around. So if the pig sector is using less land, that would certainly be the reason. Also, there is not enough land to absorb the waste produced by eight million pigs each year. “Liquid gold” (a term Manitoba Pork uses to describe waste), which is scattered on fields, finds its way into rivers and lakes even though Manitoba Pork says they are working to prevent it.

In its advertorial, Manitoba Pork proudly notes that the pork industry produces protein. Calling pigs protein deviates from the fact that pig farms practice industrialized animal cruelty. Pigs may be protein, but they are also animals that are being inhumanely raised and slaughtered by the millions. Also, using a term like pig farmers to describe industrialized barns diminishes what actual farmers do when raising pigs in a natural environment.

Manitoba Pork can do whatever it wants, but if you ask people who live near industrialized hog farms, they’ll tell you a different story. Just like Jessica Scott-Reid has.

Donna Minkus


Nuclear concerns in Ukraine

Re: Concern grows over Ukraine nuclear plant amid evacuations (May 8)

I haven’t written about the war in Ukraine for a long time, but reading the article on the front page of the Free Press It made me think and question whether a civilian evacuation in a volatile area of ​​southeastern Ukraine is going to happen any time soon. Is there a good chance of another nuclear accident in Ukraine? Is Europe heading towards a second global nuclear incident? It was 37 years ago in the city of Chernobyl, Ukraine, that a nuclear disaster occurred that affected millions of lives.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said the evacuation of civilians from the Ukrainian province of Zaporizhzhia is vital because there is a good chance of a radiation leak due to heavy fighting, a potentially dangerous point.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Russia has controlled the facility for about two weeks after invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The surrounding nuclear plant has six Soviet-designed reactors; only two have remained operational amidst the fighting. This region is very worrying and there are fears of a Chernobyl-style disaster that could spread radioactivity everywhere like on April 26, 1986.

If Western leaders want stability, not a repeat of a Chernobyl-like disastrous incident, they must overcome their fear of Russian escalation. This means putting aside concerns about provoking Putin and demonstrating the kind of determination that will force the Russian dictator to listen. This war is not only the fate of Ukraine and the surrounding democratic countries. The leaders of free societies now have a unique opportunity to defeat Putin in the Ukraine without sacrificing troops of their own.

Ukrainians have proven to be resilient, resilient and determined. Ukraine is fighting for the survival of its country, for the freedom of Europe and for a safe world in which to live. Westerners who are wondering if Ukraine is worth supporting need to realize that the war is not just about Ukraine, global nuclear catastrophes.

Peter John Manastyrski



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