Winnipeg Free Press

Re: New NDP leader will need the patience of Doer (April 11)

Friday’s editorial used the wrong preposition in its headline. It ought to have read: "patience with Doer." Never did I think I would be defending former premier Greg Selinger after his disastrous eight years of rule. However, it was Gary Doer who captained the ship named Manitoba towards the bottom; Selinger was merely unable to correct course.

Selinger’s biggest error as an economist was having no idea what another $20 billion of debt would look like, even with low interest rates. Unfortunately, unlike sunken gold lying on the bottom of the ocean, there is no hope of recovery of the $20 billion of Manitoban taxpayers’ money. Oh, well, it’s nothing double-digit hydro rate increases can’t fix!

Manitoba’s former poster-boy premier, Doer, must be held accountable to Manitobans and in Manitoba’s history. Doer might have had a lot of patience, but not a great deal of common sense.

Nor did his patience during his 11-year apprenticeship appear to teach him much about governing, especially keeping his hands off Crown corporations. To force Bipole III routing from the east side and then to build a highway in its place through important woodland caribou range (even more so, Doer’s ill-conceived legacy project of a possible World Heritage Site designation) did not make any sense. While caribou adjust to pipelines and other transmission lines after construction, highways kill them in two ways: collisions, but more importantly by giving access to hunters.

However, for your editorial to put the blame of the NDP’s transgressions solely on Selinger, while again attempting to praise Doer, is extremely unfair. It is important for even the ugliest parts of Manitoba history to be recorded factually.