Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

letters Oct. 6

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Re-think solutions

The judge made the right legal decision in the Kapyong case. However, we continue to allow antiquated agreements with Canada's First Nations to stymie our county's forward progress. This hurts all Canadian citizens, First Nations or otherwise. The urgency of our First Nation's social problems can no longer be ignored. Canadians must take a stand and argue that we will not tolerate agreements that keep a segment of our population mired in poverty and squalor. Free flowing reparations are not the answer.

DUSTIN BOURKE

Winnipeg

What the fans want

Bombers board chairman Ken Hildahl is quoted as saying fans are refusing to attend Blue Bomber games due to the ballpark's 56-year-old age. Mr. Hildahl, do the club a favour and resign your position. If you have yet to figure out why fans are not attending, the Big Blue will never have a chance of fielding a winning team.

Build it and they will come: "It" is not a new stadium, Mr. Hildahl. It means a winning ball club.

LES WIENS

Winnipeg

Cyclical changes

Cam Chabot accuses the Free Press of printing misleading material (Hot on climate change, Oct. 2). He cannot substantiate a single detail. He states that "summer ice may be holding steady." In fact, summer ice has increased 25 per cent since 2007. He and NASA use 1979 as a starting point. Sorry, but I was in the Arctic before then. Satellite measurements started in 1979, which was a high point in the ice cycle. In 1957, Popular Mechanics quoted a leading scientist, Dr. Sverre Peterssen, as saying "already the North Pole ice has decreased 40 per cent in volume." So the cycles are nothing new. Cam accuses "non-believers" of cherry-picking. With the lack of facts, Cam has resorted to attacking the messenger, an all too common occurrence.

GERALD MACHNEE

Lockport

Beyond the body bags

I am flabbergasted that the Winnipeg Free Press continues to publish stories about too many body bags being sent to northern reserves in preparation for H1N1. I think I speak for a large majority of people when I say let it go already. I think that the people of these reserves are reading way too much into what may very well have been a shipping order mistake. With all the improvement that needs to occur in the northern reserves (like securing proper running water) this is what they choose to focus their efforts on?

SARA WARREN

Winnipeg

In the beginning

Katherine Bonness states that atheists do not believe godless chance accounts for the origins of life, then she goes on to describe just how the principles of entropy (basically blind chance) account for the origins of life. Interestingly she invokes the "laws of physics," holding on pure faith the singular existence of a "law" with no law giver. She insists that atheists don't think people of faith are stupid or insane, but goes on to describe our position as accepting a radical dogma based on no evidence -- by definition stupid or insane.

As to her music, I'm sure it is very beautiful. However, I use my phrase "tone deaf" metaphorically.

Ms. Goods' letter is perfect. She describes exactly what I'm saying as to the limits of science, which has no power to explore the metaphysical and must remain agnostic in itself.

JOHN PAUL CORTENS

Winnipeg

Learning all day

Re: The costs of "full-day learning" (Sept. 30). I am writing in response to Rebecca Walberg's commentary on full-day learning, as I feel it misrepresents the benefits of child care in several areas. The High Scope/Perry Preschool Study conducted in the States was a longitudinal study of the effects on high-quality preschool that spanned over 40 years. It has shown the overwhelmingly positive effect on many aspects of these children's (now 40-year-olds) lives. Numerous other studies have had similar findings.

Walberg also states that Quebec's $7-per-day child care program has not produced the higher revenues they anticipated. What she doesn't mention is that the poverty rate in Quebec has dropped 40 per cent over the last decade, and families with single mothers have seen a 30 per cent increase in wages. Accessible, full-time day care has been one of the driving forces in changing these statistics.

For more evidence of the economic gains to be had as a result of extended, high quality day care, look to recent reports such as UNICEF's The Childcare Transition, or Lynn Karoly's study on the economics of preschools in California. Overall, the studies are adding up in overwhelming favor of the benefits of quality child care. We can't afford to get left behind.

LYRA HOWELL

Toronto, Ont.

Original theft

Yeah, stealing is a crime, Dave Lysyk (Poverty not the cause, Sept. 30). Our land was stolen so that you can eat.

Allan Crow

Winnipeg

Tower on time

The editorial An icon for Portage (Sept. 30) stated that the terms of the purchase of Winnipeg Hydro by Manitoba Hydro have been fulfilled "albeit later than promised" and that we "promised to build a new building on Portage within five years of the signing of the deal." A condition of the purchase signed in 2002 required Manitoba Hydro to commence construction on a new downtown office tower (no downtown location specified) on or before the fifth anniversary of the agreement. This required us to begin construction by 2007.

Robert B. Brennan

Manitoba Hydro

Drop the registry

Re: MPs shoot holes in bill to dump gun registry (Sept. 29). The Conservatives want to drop the gun registry because more than half the gun crimes committed are by unregistered guns. It's just another fee that does not prevent anything; criminals do not register their guns! I think the gun registry should be dumped and the money that is saved should go towards security measures, which could help prevent these crimes. As a hunter it would be a bonus not to have to pay the annual fee.

DYLAN SIMARD

St. Malo

Polygamy reality

Re: No business in polygamists' bedrooms (Sept. 26). The fundamental problem with the polygamist community in Bountiful British Columbia is not the polygamy itself; it is the oppression of the young girls who are the victims of these polygamous unions. What is the fate of the adolescent girls of Bountiful? To marry a man old enough to be her grandfather and to bear a dozen or so of his children. These young girls are brainwashed into believing that the only way into heaven is to be invited by a man from the community. Failure to conform to their community's patriarchal demands will only end in eternal damnation. Only the boys are allowed to pursue an education; the girls do not normally attend after they are married, which can be as young as 14.

Tom Oleson not only missed the boat on this topic, he seems to be missing the boat entirely. Last time I checked, many, if not most, Canadian families are running off two incomes. Women are supporting themselves and their families. Gone are the days, or should I say "your" days, when a man was the only person bringing home the bacon. If you are going to endeavour to write about current social topics, then please bring yourself up to speed; this is 2009, not 1950.

Charlene Cleary

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 6, 2009 A11

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