Letters to the editor – March 22, 2018

Guns offer protection

I commend Sgt. Colin Sawrenko and Staff Sgt. Greg Abbott for a fine job speaking to the crowd that gathered at the town hall meeting on March 5. It was very informative with charts, graphs, stories and advice proving what we knew anyway — that RCMP are an amazing team doing a fine job, in spite of having to play that time consuming game of catch and release.

Because they can’t be everywhere at once, they advised us to avoid confrontation if possible. My take was that we’re not to even shoot in the air unless we’ve been shot at first.

I would have got a failing grade for my action last August 2016. I came home just before dark and the dog was telling me something was in the trees. I saw a man dressed in a black-hooded balaclava and carrying a rifle. I ran to the house and called the cops.

I smelled marijuana outside the kitchen window, which told me he planned to get a clear shot through that window later that night. I got out my Winchester and headed out to find him in the trees.

It was dark, but I could hear him. I was determined to hold him until the police arrived, which they did, five hours later. But they didn’t even arrest him. They just did a report, walked towards the trees, then left. I asked to borrow a vest but they didn’t have one. I didn’t feel safe in the house and my wife wasn’t home at the time, so I spent the night out in the trees, rifle aimed where I thought he was. I was waiting for him to shoot first, then I’d know exactly where to shoot, but fortunately no shots were fired, the sun was breaking and I went home.

Not so long ago, it was a legal and a moral obligation for a man to keep a gun handy to protect his home, family and village. Horse thieves would hang at high noon. But thieves are the least of our worries. Many, knowing history repeats itself, know there is a much darker and sinister reason coming, that we may need to be armed. I liked the bumper-sticker that says, “God, guns and guts made America free. We need them again!”

There is an old saying, “For evil to prevail, good men need do nothing.”

Perhaps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was right: “We can and must do better.”

Ross J. Hingston
Landis, Sask.

Pipeline politics

Canada has a huge volume of undeveloped northern natural resources, including oil, natural gas, uranium and coal. Canada can match the energy resources of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Canadian northern wealth is not available as a result of pipeline transportation, neglect and poor management. A prime example relates to the Kinder Morgan-Trans Mountain Pipeline construction delay. (It’s intended to triple capacity.) These commodities are land locked by provincial boundaries and many regulations. If Pacific and European markets are expected to continue, Canada must amend its constitution whereby provincial boundaries do not obstruct sea port access and diminish foreign trade.

With the failure by the City of Burnaby to approve sea port infrastructure to meet international standards, Canada will experience a downward spiral in world trade. The Port of Burnaby and Canada will suffer incalculable financial loss in consideration of a 34-ship docking facility proposed by Kinder Morgan. In addition to transportation failure, an international sales loss of 800,000 barrels of oil daily is intolerable. Further energy transportation rejection will experience catastrophic results related to exploration, employment, housing, health, tax revenue and Canadian economic growth.

Canada’s lack off responsibility in the transportation industry will place a blemished image on foreign trade.

We must never forget the errors of the past. In 1974, the federal government rejected the Northern Gateway corridor and the McKenzie Valley pipeline projects. Now, 44 years later, energy profits would have generated a balanced budget for Canada.

Canada is one of the wealthiest countries of the world. However, according to the Fraser Institute, Canada currently carries a debt load that totals $4.1 trillion. It takes responsible people to properly manage financial and industrial affairs of a country like Canada.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that energy production and pipeline construction decisions should be made in Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Victoria — only where there is complete understanding of the energy industry, where Ottawa should render no western decision on energy development rights.

John Seierstad
Tisdale, Sask.

Grain transport

For a considerable period of time this winter the railroads have taken a great portion of the blame regarding grain movement, particularly to the ports.

They are 100 percent responsible for that grain movement. However there are other factors everyone should take into consideration when laying blame for the port movement of grain. Let us take a look. During winter and spring, weather conditions have a major voice in grain movement. This is not only from elevator to port, but also from farm to elevator.

Another avenue in this scenario is the type of grain in the elevator and the corresponding type of grain required at port to fill the present ships. Oh, this is leading towards a central authority to make certain the correct grain is present or in transport to the port at the correct time schedule. If memory serves me right, the Canadian Wheat Board had a division looking after that.

Some politician promised a producer vote regarding the CWB existence. I did not see a vote. Politicians get a portion of (the responsibility for) the poor port grain movement. Particularly because a transport authority was not in place after the CWB. To some degree everyone has a portion of responsibility for the reduced grain flow.

This happens to all things. A certain segment bears responsibility but there are always smaller avenues.

Delwyn J. J. Jansen
Humboldt, Sask.

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