Saturday, January 06, 2007
FOUND TREASURES WE SHOULDN'T LOSE:
The Winnipeg Free Press has recently (Friday, Jan 5th) reported on the latest plans for the City of Winnipeg to divest itself of the railroad that it owns under the Water and Waste Department. The railroad was originally built to provide access to Shoal lake from which Winnipeg draws its water supply in 1914. In its early years the line named 'The Greater Winnipeg Water District railway' offered not just access to the construction site and the aqueduct but also access to Winnipeg for rural communities, a supply line for products of the Shield and an opportunity for Winnipeg residents to go on excursions to the Lake. When present Mayor Sam Katz came to power he was reportedly "shocked" to discover that Winnipeg actually owned its own railroad, and, like the bell ringing in front of Pavlov's dogs, the reflex action of "sell it" came to mind. to this date the city tries to concoct a different way of maintaining the aqueduct without a railroad. Sounds sort of hopeless to me. The line runs through country inaccessible by any other route, but the effort persists in trying to find a way to do the impossible- let alone do it cheaper than what exists. Seems that some "conservatives" have forgotten the meaning of the word "conserve", let alone common sense prescriptions such as "don't fix what isn't broke".
Now Molly was "surprised" herself to find that the City has its own private choo choo, but even as an anarchist it doesn't offend her moral sensibilities--so she is not "shocked". As a matter of fact she sees it as an opportunity rather than a liability for the people of this city. Something that should NOT be torn up in favour of some crackpot scheme devised by a porkbarrel consultant. Something that should NOT be sold off for the ideological illusion-contrary to simple economic principles- that a private profit making firm will ALWAYS provide a cheaper service.
But much more on this later. It's still new to our good cat, and there is much to be explored. Unlike the bureaucrats that Sam demands to produce some way to fulfill his dream I'll charge nothing for my services as the study goes on. I haven't formed a full opinion yet.
Molly on the cheap.