Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba magistrate swaps her robes for schoolbook

  • Print
ELIZABETH Treidler swapped a career in the justice system in an attempt to find social justice for Winnipeg's growing immigrant community.

"I used to be a magistrate in the court and really came to see there's not a lot of justice in the justice system," said the 44-year-old.

"We have a lot of rights on paper but they're really based on socio-economics," she said. "If you're rich you have a lot of rights, if you're poor you don't have a lot. I got tired of that feeling that I was fighting a losing battle."

She saw newcomers struggling with the language and the culture and poverty. If they were going to have equal justice, they needed to learn English to make a decent living and be able to assert their rights. On her own time, Treidler trained to become an English as an Additional Language instructor.

"Now I can be proactive rather than reactive.

"As a magistrate, you have to be impartial. Now I can throw myself into it."

Her new work is rewarding and it's also a challenge.

"Last year, there was a fight," she said.

Two women had issues with each other that erupted into a physical confrontation, she said. For the adversaries, a scrap was how they were used to resolving their issues.

"If you have to live in a refugee camp, you have to fight for everything." Treidler broke it up and set them straight.

"They had to learn if you have a problem, you don't duke out -- especially not in a school."

It was the first and last fight in the program.

"A lot of women have never been to school or have had limited experience with the education system," said Treidler.

Ideally, the program would welcome anyone in the neighbourhood needing to work on their literacy, she said. Newcomers from First Nations who want to improve their English and get to know their new community would attend.

"We talk about the right to education in theory," said Treidler, "but what if people can't access it because of child care, their health or whatever?"

-- Carol Sanders

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weekend springtime weather with Doug Speirs - Apr 19

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google