Providing the city with information about preventative maintenance issues falls on deaf ears, Ron Niekamp writes.

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My wife reported a frozen catch basin at a nearby intersection and described that a “lake” had formed in the intersection and that it existed for a week without any corrective action by city maintenance.

Instead of accepting the notification for immediate maintenance, city hall’s Customer Care Service provided her with a questionnaire to be completed first before any service would be provided. The city asked: “Is there ponding currently?

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“Is the water causing property damage? (ie: basement flooding, garage flooding, electrical infrastructure flooding). Is the water in the parking lane? Driving lane? Hindering traffic? Is the water obstructing a crosswalk? Is water ponding around a catch basin?

“Once we receive your reply, we will generate a work request or call you directly to determine the necessary course of action.”

In the summer of 2023, I reported tree limbs weighing down on power lines. I contacted Customer Care Service to let them know that this could become a hazard for both power availability and safety.

The city told me that no action would be taken unless I first ask the neighbour if it’s okay for the city to remove the tree limbs from the tree located on his property. I told them that it’s their job, not mine, to inspect and deal with it. Weeks later, the city dealt with the tree limbs.

Providing the city with information about preventative maintenance issues falls on deaf ears. The department should be renamed to Customer Care Un-Service.

Ron Niekamp, Saskatoon

NATO a deterrent

It is regrettable some see NATO as a tool of American aggression.

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NATO, in fact, remains an important deterrent to aggressive states seeking to destroy western democratic values and nation states.

As is evident after two years of war in Ukraine in what can only be described as genocide by Russia, without a NATO deterrent the expansion of the Russian empire would likely go unchecked.

Canada should be wary of an expansionist Russia at its northern boundaries with the disinformation and propaganda that the Kremlin uses to promote instability.

Canada would be better served by withdrawing from the United Nations — a body that has sadly become a forum for aggressive states like Russia, which threatens nuclear war against the west and proclaims a non-existent existential threat to its existence.

Peaceniks would be well advised that Ukrainians, having been subjected to the errors of the Soviet Union, are fighting for freedoms and NATO membership for good reason.

Perhaps it is time for those who see NATO as evil to go and live in Russia to fully understand that authoritarianism is far worse than living in a nation that is part of the NATO alliance.

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Grant Dorosh, Stony Plain, Alta.

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