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Convenient excuse

Re: I don't hear voices anymore (May 22). How wonderful that Chris Summerville feels that meeting with Vincent Li "once every two months" makes him feel confident enough to state that Li has made "remarkable progress."

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Really? How can Summerville know this with such conviction after such a short time? It took this man many years to develop this mental illness. Common sense dictates that it would take a much longer period of time than "once every two months for four years" to show such progress.

Many people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder, as well as other less intense forms of mental illness, are in deep, intensive therapy for decades before this kind of "remarkable progress" is made. I find this very suspect as well as very convenient.

In his interview, Li seems to lean heavily on his schizophrenia to explain away his evil deed. What an easy and convenient out. Oh, if only it were so simple and quick as this to fix all the other problems in life.




Perhaps Sharon Evans and others (Appalling portrayal, Letters, May 16) who characterize Vincent Li as a criminal should consider the meaning of the phrase "not criminally responsible." Li is a victim of his condition and I applaud his progress and hope that he continues to have more success in the future.




Give the country a break. Vincent Li is mentally ill and always will be. Medicines are only masking the problem.

Li is sick and always will be for the rest of his life. He should stay in an institution for the rest of his life.




Last year, a youth standing at a bus stop was stabbed to death for no apparent reason other than the person who killed him thought it would be fun. Recently, a gentleman on west Notre Dame Avenue got stabbed to death for a case of beer.

Now I ask you? Who is more dangerous? Vince Li, or the folks lacking any sense of morality in their conscience?

I would rather ride the bus with Li under treatment than with some unknown person who might randomly not like the look of me and decide to use a knife.



International respect

Re: Feds sink key science program (May 18). The Experimental Lakes Area's research resulted in the first Nobel Prize equivalent for freshwater research, the Stockholm Water Prize, awarded to Dr. David Schindler.

This indicates just how much respect the rest of the world has for Canada's ELA research. It is sad that the Conservative government can't see what a treasure it is.

The ELA is unique in that it has 56 lakes to conduct whole-lake research on such threats as acid rain, eutrophication, mercury levels, hormone disruptors and hydro flooding. The ELA has produced thousands of research papers and has lake data going back 40 years.

To lose ELA and its researchers would be a travesty, not just for Canada but the world.




The closing of the Experimental Lakes project should qualify our federal government for a shortsightedness award, equal to the Diefenbaker debacle of 50 years ago when the Avro Arrow project was cancelled.

This would indicate that Canadians remain hewers of wood and drawers of water, not to be ranked as leaders in a world badly in need of environmental innovation.


Kenora, Ont.

Questionable figure

Re: Bear-baiting, spring hunt will produce orphans (May 17). I have to question how Leslie Yeoman comes up with the figure that 50 bear cubs will be orphaned this spring due to the hunt. She gives no reference. As a hunter, I take issue with the fact that she puts us all into one large group of lawbreakers.

She says a number of Canadian provinces and American states have banned the hunt, which is simply not true. These provinces and states never had the spring hunts to begin with.

For the sake of argument, however, let's take the Ontario spring bear hunt, which was cancelled a number of years ago. It was not cancelled due to any great number of bear cubs being orphaned or even for any biological or ecological reason. Instead, a special-interest group from Toronto looked down from their ivory towers, using propaganda and misinformation to manipulate public opinion.

I challenge Yeoman to visit some of the towns in northwestern Ontario and see first-hand the effects the banning has had both on the town and on the bears themselves.



Feeling for animals

I wonder if Manitoba Pork Council animal-care specialist Mark Fynn (Humane treatment, Letters, May 17) had been at the site of the May 8 rollover of the slaughter hog transport truck and had witnessed pigs suffering first-hand, his response to Leslie Yeoman's concerns would be different.

Industrial pork producers can "feel for the animals and people involved in the truck rollover." As a farmer who raises healthy and happy pigs on grass -- not in buildings with concrete floors -- I and humane people do, too.

But when we "feel for the animals," the industry accuses us of being irrational and emotional. Perhaps the difference is that our feelings translate into action that is actually humane and not motivated by profit at the expense of animal suffering.



Empathy missing

As I read comments from your correspondent (Ownership comes with cost, May 18) to the effect that the poor should not own pets if they cannot afford to deal with their emergency health needs, and that they could get their satisfaction by volunteering at the humane society, I was reminded of the ghost in Dickens's A Christmas Carol throwing Scrooge's own words back at him (when earlier he had turned down collectors for the poor), "Are there no workhouses?"



Whose name mud now?

In his May 19 letter, Scott Insch writes: "The Asper name is mud." Izzy Asper and his family and their foundation have donated well over $100 million to a variety of charitable causes, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Asper School of Business, the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Asper Chair in International Business and Trade Law and the Asper Clinical Research Institute.

These are just a few of institutions and agencies that enjoy the generous support of the family whose name Insch dares to describe as "mud."



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 23, 2012 A11

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