Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/4/2011 (2275 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Explanation fell short
Re: Probe death, family says (March 30). As someone whose father had his life drastically changed due to a violent act by a fellow Alzheimer's patient in a care facility, I can empathize with the Alexanders.
Several days after his admittance to a St. Boniface care home, my father was struck by a violent patient, and this gentle man had his life changed forever. This incident sent him to hospital, where he underwent surgery, subsequently advancing his disease and rendering him unable to use his legs for the remainder of his life.
While I don't blame the care home directly, I certainly felt that the shrug of the shoulders and the "accidents happen" explanation we received fell short. And months later, when he "accidentally" fell out of his wheelchair while under their care, we were given a similar explanation. This second accident was the end of him. His last few days should have been peaceful; instead they were filled with yet another surgery and lots of pain.
It just feels like there is no protection for our aging population. We are forgetting about them. If this were a child, it would be unacceptable. Why are we expected to let this go when it is an elderly individual? Something is not right, and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority needs to reassess its practices.
Lindor Reynolds has unwittingly expressed the essence of the misguided Conservative approach to crime in her March 30 article, Great example of the reason prisons exist. Reynolds rightly asserts that the public should be protected from the likes of Brent Atatise, a known serial rapist. She goes on to write, "In an ideal world, he won't ever be free again."
Her ideal world, it appears, includes serial rapists and an ever-expanding system of prisons in which to house them. If we are going to imagine ideal worlds, perhaps it would be more productive to imagine one in which society's resources are allocated toward programs designed to prevent crime rather than to punish criminals after the fact.
More than money
There are two assertions in Christopher Lepa's March 29 letter, Simplistic hydro view, that are factually wrong.
One, the "intact forest," as he calls it, on the east side of Lake Winnipeg is not intact. It contains rock and water, roads, mines, First Nations communities, fishing lodges and power lines. Only about 30 per cent is densely forested. Much-needed all-weather roads, which are currently being planned and constructed, will have much more significant effects on the boreal forest than the Bipole III line.
Two, the case for the east-side route for Bipole III is about much more than simply saving money. Reliability of transmission of power from existing northern generating stations in the event of wind and ice storms is initially more important than delivering power from stations that are still being planned.
The east side route is 50 per cent more efficient at providing reliability than the west side. It is also shorter, cheaper, produces greater earnings from generated power, and offers significant opportunities for improving the economies of First Nations communities.
Important precedents in Alberta and New Brunswick show that the Pimachiowin Aki application for UNESCO recognition will not be affected by constructing Bipole III in the utility corridor that is not included in the application.
I find it extremely disturbing that during our current federal election campaign, no mention is being made about the past political interference by Conservative Minister Gary Lunn's ordered restart of the Chalk River reactor in 2008.
Granted, there was a worldwide medical isotope shortage to deal with at the time. But the danger of allowing the reactor to restart after confirming it had been operating without a backup emergency power system for its cooling pumps was reckless indeed.
To fire and demote Linda Keen, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, because she refused to toe the Conservative Party line, was inexcusable. Chalk River was kept operating despite significant heavy water leaks until 2009, when it finally had to be shut down again by Conservative Minister Lisa Raitt, who thought it was a sexy idea at the time.
Given the horrific Fukushima disaster in Japan, can we afford any further political interference of this nature? Can any of our five political parties running guarantee this kind of dangerous meddling will never happen again?
Re: Dave Taylor's March 25, column, Manitoba's forgotten nuclear accident; the times have changed. Taylor is correct that there was a spill at Manitoba's WR-1 reactor at Pinawa in 1978, and, yes, it was not released to the public for much too long afterwards.
Nuclear responsibility has changed, however, in the past 30 years. An incident like this left unreported would certainly force the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to consider removing a nuclear site's licensing.
A current example of reporting of any nuclear spills would be the March 14 demineralized water spill at Ontario's Pickering nuclear power generation site. Reports took two days to be released to the public, and the findings were that there was little to no harm caused to the environment or people in the surrounding areas.
This was a timely response to this incident and was reported to the CNSC earlier than to the public. CNSC would have immediately assessed the severity and chose when to inform the public.
It would no longer be in the interest of the nuclear industry to try to hide any type of incident. With many countries, including Canada, interested in building new nuclear power generation stations open dialogue between public and industry is essential, and part of any nuclear site's licence.
I don't often read Tom Oleson, one of the reasons why being illustrated by his March 26 article Unlike here in Canada, U.S. believers tolerated. Advancing such a hypothesis without considering the facts doesn't make an article that's worth reading.
Fact: The 1960 election of John F. Kennedy was problematic for many Americans, because he was the first (and only, so far) Roman Catholic to be elected in U.S. history. He won that election by only 0.1 per cent of the popular vote, with religion definitely a factor.
Does this support Oleson's point about "which nation most devoutly practises the separation of church and state"?
Fact: On this side of the border, both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former Manitoba MP Jake Epp (elected six times) are, or have been, members of evangelical churches. Does this demonstrate that "no believers need apply?"