Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/1/2012 (1994 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Pulling the reins
The interview with the new Manitoba Hydro CEO, Scott Thomson, (The new powerhouse, Jan. 7) is very interesting until you read how he sidesteps the question about the Bipole III hydro transmission line.
You can sure read between the lines that Thomson was not hired by Hydro. He says he had a great introduction to the Hydro team, from whom? The political team on Broadway.
Why can't Thomson be upfront and say, "I'm my own man and I will make the necessary decisions in the best interest of the economy of Manitoba and review the Bipole III situation"? Saying the decision has already been made is a big cop-out, especially for someone who was educated and trained as a chartered accountant.
We know who pulled the reins for Bob Brennan, and now we know who pulls those same reins for Scott Thomson.
It was quite the article reporter Larry Kusch wrote introducing readers to the newly appointed Manitoba Hydro CEO.
Scott Thomson is compared to outgoing president Bob Brennan in a good light and brings to our attention that Thomson has done well for his previous employer, Fortis Inc. One important fact the reporter omitted, whether intentionally or not, is Thomson has worked in an executive position for the past 12 years for a private utility. What this means for the future of our publicly owned Manitoba Hydro remains to be seen.
A broader role
In the Jan. 3 article Special-needs spending soars in Manitoba school divisions, Manitoba School Board Association president Robert Rivard correctly observes that support for educational assistants "has been underfunded for years." But he misses the mark when he implies an educational assistant's role is to simply provide supervision to students with special needs.
It is also their responsibility to keep all the students safe and protect them from hurting themselves and to provide support for students with a wide range of medical issues.
The work EAs do enables teachers to give every student the best possible chance to succeed. It also gives parents peace of mind to know their child is learning in a safe and caring environment. Yes, spending on education for students with special needs has increased, but parents and special-needs students deserve equal opportunities in education. So this increased investment by the province is well worthwhile.
You gotta love this town. The philistines and visionaries, the dreamers and pooh-poohers, the schemers and no-can-doers, they all get to have their say about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in the good old Free Press.
In a collection of letters (Castles in the air, Jan. 7) one writer sees it as a place to do little more than "wallow in human misery," while another envisions the structure as nothing more than "a white elephant sitting on its rear." The writer goes on to add that, "It does not take much imagination" to see it as such.
Between the two of them, they do manage to get one thing right, at least: not much imagination, indeed.
Protecting the land
Re: Peat mine proposed for Manitoba park (Jan. 6). Like many Manitobans, I believe provincial parks are no place for industrial activities, including peat mining. Parks are special places that should be fully protected for future generations of people and wildlife. In fact, experts are telling us we need significantly more protected lands to maintain Earth's life-support systems and peatlands are important criteria to consider in selecting areas to conserve.
Peatlands -- many of us know them as bogs or muskeg -- filter our water. Locally, they are a huge component in saving Lake Winnipeg by purifying the incoming flow. Globally, the trees and soils of peatlands also greatly help in the fight against climate change by keeping the carbon they hold on the ground and away from the atmosphere.
Next month, the Manitoba government is hosting a meeting to present its draft vision of a precedent-setting boreal-peatlands stewardship strategy. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is asking the province to announce a commitment to work with First Nations and all Manitobans to safeguard more than half of our boreal region from industrial developments along with best practices on the remaining landscape
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society -- Manitoba
Re: Empty ambition (Editorials, Jan. 9). Stephen Harper is wrong. American imperialism is the most serious threat to international peace and security and has been ever since America started on the road to empire with the Spanish-American War in 1898.
The Iranians have a pretty good track record of having never started a war with anybody. Can the Americans say the same?
It turned out all the sinister ambitions Saddam Hussein had with his weapons of mass destruction were all lies.
When you look out the window to see what America does to countries like Libya, Iraq and Grenada, which don't have nuclear weapons, it doesn't take much thinking to understand why Iran would want them. America leaves North Korea alone.
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have stated nothing is off the table when it comes to dealing with Iran. It is America that is making all the threats to use nuclear weapons on Iran, not the other way around.
Re: Hunter-gatherers doomed to fail marshmallow test (Dec. 29). As one of three research projects Jamie Wilson says helped shape his view that "there's a lot aboriginals and non-aboriginals can learn from each other," he mentions the Draw-a-Person test (DAP). Being familiar with DAP only in the context of clinical psychology, I was surprised to read how that test had been utilized outside of its intended purpose.
DAP was intended to help make psychological assessments of individuals, not for indicating collective traits. Was a clinician involved in administering these tests who was aware of the pitfalls of self-projection? The fact the subject groups were selected on the basis of race and geography (and arguably class) tells me the researchers expected to find distinctions between the subject groups.
The totality of the test results ought to give any researcher pause to doubt their methodology. Wilson says all the aboriginal students included environmental objects in their drawings, while all the non-aboriginal students only drew a person. Were instructions identical for each group?
Presented with a page of other objects when the assigned task was to draw a person, a clinical psychologist would probably make other inferences than supposing a cultural trait was being expressed collectively.