Don’t stifle SOS
Letter writer Pat Brooks argues that Councillor Brian Mayes should not provide a grant to Save Our Seine River Environment Inc. Save Our Seine is well known as an organization that cleans and looks after the city-owned lands and parks along the 26 km Seine River in Winnipeg. That is 52 kms of shoreline and hundreds of acres of public land. SOS’s efforts replace hundreds of hours of unionized city staff — which can be applied elsewhere in Winnipeg.
For each $1 granted to SOS, it is multiplied by several more dollars in value from federal, provincial, foundation and private funding sources and thousands of hours of volunteer time. To list a few results, SOS who was responsible for; reporting contamination and having 70,000 tons of toxic soil removed in St. Boniface, ensuring the river can cross the floodway, preserving a forest in St. Vital as a new city park, kilometres of popular new trails, and constantly clearing garbage and shopping carts from the scenic river. It is accepted that SOS’s results since 1990, have increased land values, making the lands highly desirable and greatly increasing the property tax revenues. Ask developers, realtors, and the families moving near the Seine River Greenway.
Whether funding for SOS comes from the city’s operating budget or a councillor’s budget; “it is all taxpayers money” and money very well spent on city assets for the benefit of all citizens.
David J. Danyluk
As printed in the June 11th Winnipeg Sun