A Pothole through Winnipeg’s Heart by Charles Adler


Good Morning Manitoba

As you know by now The Heart of Winnipeg has a pothole in it.

Let me begin with this email from Yves the Trucker
Charles I drive a tractor trailer for a living in and around Wpg. My butt is higher
than the average SUV, that puts my head another 3 feet up. Imagine how rough
that is. A good analogy is when holding a broomstick straight up, look up at
the tip and try to hold it still. You can’t. Now shake the stick a few
centimeters. The tip moves MANY centimeters more than your hands. That’s
what our trucks deal with day in day out. The plastic dashes in here are
falling apart after 3 years!
Pathetic.
Yves
Sent by me while parked

From Richard
Good morning Charles. I drive for a living so I see a lot of this. But I just drove through a section of pembina that the pothole crew was out on last week and you cant tell they were there at all. I don’t know much about street repair but it should last longer than a week

Dennis
Chuck please let your listeners know

that MPI views hitting a pothole with a vehicle a single vehicle accident and are on the hook for the deductible plus 5 demerits on their license. If you disagree you can appeal and possibly get the points reduced but not unless you address it. Not right!

From Dave
Chuck: When the Bomber stadium site was sold, $20 million was dedicated to fixing the roads around polo park. What happened to the money or the fix up around polo park, especially St James Street. My guess is the city has already pissed away the money on something else.

Wrote a note to Content producer Livy Billson late Tuesday –Said “I’ll never forget the look on Brian’s face today. He was incredibly emotional about the state of the roads because it’s clearly about so much more than the roads for him. I need to get up early tomorrow, and write some things down. You will say i wrote too much and then of course I am going to say many things that I did not write down, as I react spontaneously to my own thoughts. That’s what I do and have always doneand you’ll say I talked to much. But some things to be said here and if I don’t say them who will? I’ll be damned if I go on the air and criticize the boss of this province and the boss of this city for not doing their jobs while I sit here and take it up the wazoo and have people telling me that the person that they thing of the Boss of talk isn’t doing his job. I’m going to do my job and I will not let Brian down. Nor will I let down any other heart and soul Manitoban who are well beyond embarrassed by what their democratically elected political leadership provincial and city to trash our province. You know how much Democracy means to me and You know how ticked I get when Democracy is turned into a weapon against the people instead of for the people by the jackasses in charge.”

That’s what I wrote last night. And so this morning ( Wednesday March 12) it’s my duty to fulfill my promise.

Let’s begin with what drives me to do this today. It isn’t just I drive the same roads you do and feel the same thing when my front end hits feels like it’s cliff diving every couple of minutes especially night when I can’t see the hazards which is what they are. We can call ‘em pot holes all day long. They’re road hazardous, hazardous to your car and your neck and back, your spinal chord. Your spinal chord is attacked by the constant road hazards and what to the political masters of the universe do when when you complain that your chord and kid’s chord and your grandma’s chord are being jerked? They add insult to injury by jerking your chain. Our community that is filled with pot holes is being governed by arse holes. My name is not Brian Barkley. He can’t say what I just did. He believes it. Just as much as you do. But he can’t bring himself to say it. Because he’s a nice guy. Brian’s makes people see sunshine on a cloudy day. But who’s making Brian see sunshine when it’s cloudy and bumpy and he’s driving in it all day long? CJOB traffic and weather together on the ones traffic and weather together. Who’s the voice of traffic in Winnipeg? Brian Barkley is He’s on the road at five in the morning. And do you know where he is at 5 in afternoon. He’s still on the road. Traffic and Weather together Traffic and Weather together. Know how many bumps and bruises his spinal chord is taking? You don’t know and I don’t know. But I can guarantee you that Brian is not just the best traffic reporter in Winnipeg. He’s the in North America. How do I know? Because I’m the Hank Snow of Radio. I’ve been everywhere.

Yes I’ve been everywhere and Brian’s the best at what he does not just because he has a strong work ethic and just a vault of information on every street avenue and boulevard in community and every highway, and every rural route and every dirt road within six hours of where this microphone sitting. Beyond all that, Brian keeps our morning crews smiling. It’s not easy being a up beat morning team. Whether your Hal Anderson or Jeff Braun or Bob Irving or Kelly Moore or Mike Grosvenor. You wake up in the dark drive to work in the dark and our brand is called News Talk and so much of the news is dark. How do you stay alive and vital happy with a sense of humour because there jobs aren’t to darken the lives our customers. They’re here to brighten up your morning. But who brightens up the morning team’s morning? Brian does. God Bless your Christian heart Brian. Did I just break another politically correct dish? Stay tuned amigos because before I’m through, I’m gonna break ‘em all. Brian Barkley is smilin’ Brian. He learned to appreciate the value of life by growing up around independent people in the country. In the country you don;t have crosswalks with flashing lights telling the traffic to stop. You have look both ways or you die. In the country when your combine or tractor breaks down in the middle of the field you have to be resourceful and find ways of doing whatever it takes to fix it. You can’t call 311. In the country you grow up in a hurry because very often you’re on your own. And so many of the nuisances and inconveniences that bother city folk are just water off a duck’s back. Brian lives in the city. But his pure as rainwater personality. His capacity to light up a room like a Manitoba sunrise come from the country. Brian helps you navigate the city. But his moral compass was born in the country.

So yesterday our country boy who is a ray of sunshine for our customers and for our crew was not looking very chipper, didn’t have the piss and vinegar, his tractor was pulled and pushed and pulled and pushed by the potholes. They were just grinding him down and for the first time since I’d know Brian I saw him just less then two feet from nose and I smelled frustration on his breath and I saw sadness in his eye, and I knew that this wasn’t just about potholes any more. This was about his Manitoba roots and his Winnipeg Responsibilities and always trying his level best to give the government devil his due but yesterday the devil just seemed so greedy and Brian couldn’t do a bargain that would leave his morale intact and when we talked to the city manager responsible for the crews and it was clear as a bell that it was business as usual over there. They had the same amount of crews eight to ten of them, working the same amount of hours and so it was going to take forever and a day to patch these holes and you just knew that the patches were temporary because the pot hole season hasn’t even really started. There is still lots of frost in the pumpkins we call roads and when the frost defrosts those pumpkins are going to burst all over the place. It will be a lot worse before it gets better. We just had a bruiser of winter and it looks like the holes in Winnipeg earth are going to make it one tough spring and the political masters that work on Broadway and Main street are going to keep blowing the same smoke up our ice holes- a) they’re doing their best b) there’s not enough honey in the jar to give us better roads or c) they’ll make announcements about great roads to be built here and there and and everywhere to create jobs for Manitobans to keep the kids in Manitoba blah blah blah blah.

And I’m looking Country Brian as hears this political messaging about they care about the roads and they’ll fix the roads some day and build new roads some day and Brian’s spirits are looking like road kill.

He’s looking like he’s just had a great big pothole opening up in his Winnipeg heart.

Now I could call out the mayor again and the premier again and say Guys Quit lyin’ to Brian. His heart just can’t take it any more. He’s got three generations of Barkley depending him and at the office he’s got everyone depending on him and out there in customerville PotholeVille he’s got hundreds depending on him. Please quit lyin to Brian Dennis and Yves and Suzie and Lucie and Livy and yours truly. Quit lyin’ about everything you’re doing for us. Your great borrowing millions to spend office towers for the government, for crown corporations. Hello Hydro for the WRHA—Hello Hallway Medicine. Why is granny in hallway? Because the money they need for a room is paying for thousands of square feet for bureaucrats who keep telling us Granny needs them. Granny needs them like a pothole in the head. Granny needs a doctor and a nurse and room. – And the money that isn’t borrowed for the football stadiums and the government office towers and the police headquarters is borrowed for museum. The Museum of Human Rights is another pothole the size of Jupiter. Maybe we ought to encourage the Premier and the Mayor to build a Museum of Human Waste. Oh wait a minute it’s already been built. We’re driving on it or as is these case these days in it.

As you know I was raised in a Tailor Shop. Adler’s Tailor Shop Queen Mary Road in Montreal. It looked a lot like Selkirk Avenue in the days when that street had the positive energy of mom and pop stores run by good families with the support of all those hard working families who were the customers. In that tailor shop I was raised in we repaired a lot of pants. Cloth was made of natural fibres back then, like wool and there was one particular place on those on the pants that got worn down and eventually wore out. It’s where people who wear pants tend to sweat the most and I know you know where that is. Well people didn’t want to throw their pants out, couldn’t afford just because that part had a hole in it. It was my dad’s job to patch that hole. I did some of the patching myself. But the patches wore out eventually and the holes got larger and fabric more frayed and it would get to the point where we’d have to tell the customer we couldn’t do any more. They’d have to buy another pair of pants. Pop do you want me to tell them I’d ask and he would always, No it’s ok son. I better be the one to tell him and so did honestly and bluntly. Joe, Mary, John , Lucy I have to tell you there is no more we do to patch it. The Crotch is gone. You’re going to have to buy a new pair of pants. And so it’s time for this son of a tailor to tell the people who run our governments provincial and city. The Crotch is gone. We’re going to need some new roads. And if you don’t find a way to do it, Brian’s grand dads are going to want to live here any more. And that will make Brian even sadder and madder than he’s ever been. There’s a pot hole in his heart that new stadiums and office towers and museums just won’t fix it. The Crotch is gone. We need new pants on Broadway New Pants on Main Street. Whose going to wear the pants? I don’t know. I just know the Crotch is gone and for the love of Brian Folks, please consider voting for a new pair of pants.

The Power of a Mother’s Love – Charles Adler

Ladies and Gentlemen

I want to you talk to you today about some intensely personal things. I owe it to you tell you these things because you trust me with your heads and your hearts every day, and some of you have been trusting me for more than 30 years. I first came to Winnipeg in the summer of 1983. That’s more than 30 years ago. Yes there is a nine year gap there. Just before Christmas of 1989 I left Winnipeg for Calgary and Tampa and Boston and Toronto and back here to Winnipeg in 1998. In those nine years I picked up some lint, came back a bit scruffier, a bit more aggressive for some of you, and yesterday not aggressive enough for some others.

Yesterday I gave an hour of our time, your time, to the mother of a murder victim named Chad Davis. And some of you feel disappointed with me because I didn’t and don’t refer to her as the mother of cocaine dealer, and I didn’t dwell on what cocaine dealing is all about and it’s consequences, and I didn’t scold her for not being tougher on her young son earlier in his development, and that I didn’t tell her that her son got what he deserved when two of the the men who were his clients and owed him decided instead to murder him and make him disappear for a while at the bottom of the Lee River. But these men weren’t professional killers, and professional cover up artists and so the barrel surfaced six months later, and and six years later last week in a Winnipeg court, those two men were convicted of first degree murder and so they will after sentencing be spending the next twenty five years in a barrel called the penitentiary.

It’s clear to me that I disappointed some of you because you wanted me to do to this mother what the defence lawyers tried to do to her and her dead son in court. Because they had no grounds for the defence of their killer clients, they went on offence and tried to convict the dead man of his own murder and they try to convict the dead man’s mother for not doing more to to try to prevent him from becoming a dealer. If it wasn’t for the way the cocaine dealer was parented and it wasn’t for the cocaine dealer’s chosen occupation, there would have been no trial. Some of you are disappointed in me because you wanted me to do on radio what the lawyers were not successful in doing in a Winnipeg court. You wanted me to convict Chad Davis and his mother. And some of you feel that instead of convicting her I was coddling her.

Folks I didn’t bring Lori Davis on the air to break her already broken heart. Yes I could have done that. She trusted me to spend an hour with me on Live Radio. I could have taken advantage of that opportunity to tell her what I think of cocaine dealers, what I think of people who enable their kids to continue to do drugs or even sell drugs by hiring expensive lawyers who out gun the cops and the crown by attacking the search warrant, attacking the police report, attacking the witnesses, and in the end attacking justice itself by creating just enough reasonable doubt to make the guilty innocent, giving the guilty a chance to continue to practise his drug trade. I could have brought all my thoughts and feelings about this and thrown everything I know and feel about this wretched business called the drug trade at my guest. It would have been easier than shooting fish in a barrel. And I am sure that those of you who are disappointed in what you think of as a coddle would have wanted to swaddle me in your blanket of affection for a host who knows how to be tougher than a sledge hammer when he chooses to be.

But yesterday I had a choice. I could break her heart or hear her heart. And I chose the latter. And I want to make this promise to the disappointed ones. I will never choose to re-break the broken heart of the mother of a murder victim. No matter what that murder victim did before becoming a victim. And if you want to convict me of cowardice because I choose not to do what defence lawyers do on a regular basis, go ahead and convict me. There is something I believe in very deeply, something I cherish more than anything else and it is the awesome power of a mother’s love. I don’t convict mothers for loving their children. And I don’t convict their dead children. Not because I don’t know how to do it. But because I have contempt for those who do it and if I do what I find contemptible, I will have contempt for myself and that could very well turn me into some other cocaine dealer’s customer. There was a time in my life where I did things which I am not proud of which I could call contemptible. And I self-medicated in order to deal with the self loathing that is the product of having a conscience and doing the unconscionable.

I believe in the power of a mother’s love and Lori Davis if you’re listening, I want you to know that you are welcome in my studio any time and you can come without fear of being judged unworthy. I said at the beginning of this visit with you that I want to reveal some intensely personal things, and so it’s time for me to keep my promise. For many years I have been telling you about how I got to this country I love so much, this country that has been so good to me. And I never feel that I can do enough to give back to the Canadian people who have given me so much. I came here as a refugee from a country where human rights meant nothing, a police state which is what Communist Hungary was at the time. In the popular uprising that took place in 1956 there was a narrow window of opportunity for people to leave the country to run for their lives before the country’s borders got sealed again by some puppet regime installed by Vladimir Putin’s Soviet Union. I’m never going to put the boots to the mother of a murder victim. But I won’t lie to you. I would love to have fifteen minutes with Vladimir KGB Putin.

In 1956 during that tight window of opportunity as I told you in the past, my father carried me, his two year old son out of Communist occupied Hungary in a back pack. What I never told you before is who put me in that back pack and who motivated my father and perhaps even threatened my father into taking a risk for freedom. That person was my mother. She loathed the Communists. She loathed everything about them. It won’t surprise you that in the fight between Ukraine and Putin, I root for Ukraine every minutes of every day every day every day. My mother wanted her baby son to have a chance to live as a free man in a free country. My mother did not want me to grow up under the boot of a regime where I would be forced to suck up to authority, to lie about my heritage, to rat out my friends, to offer my allegiance to a regime that shut down my grandmother’s little store because they didn’t believe that individual human beings were worthy of owning private property, owning their own homes or their own stores. My father was not happy to be living under Communist rule but like more than 9 out of 10 Hungarians who stayed in Hungary, he preferred the devil he knew to whatever risks were out there in a different part of the world where the language would be foreign, where he might have a tough time finding work, and he was afraid that he and my mother and the baby in the back pack might be captured and executed by the Putin People. My mother told my father that if he chose not take a risk to make a run for it, that she would do it on her own, that she would strap me to her back and take me to a new world. My father knew that my mother played for keeps. He knew that when she had her mind made up, there was no point in offering resistance. And so in the fall of 1956, we made our way to the Austrian border, made our way to Vienna where we were given temporary sanctuary where we waited and waited and waited for a country to give us a chance at a free life. The country that said Yes to my family is this one. Thank you Canada. I love you Canada, and I love you mom for giving Pop the encouragement and strength to join us on the greatest adventure of our lives.

The next time any of you expects me to trash a mother for loving her son, please remember this story. And for every mother in our audience today, thank you for being a mom.

My name is Charles. I am the son of Rose Adler.