Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Have your say

  • Print

Shrouded in secrecy

In his June 11 column (Children's advocate off base), Dan Lett states that the biggest threat to the child welfare system is the public's lack of interest in child welfare. I disagree strongly with this statement.

My heart breaks every time I hear or read of another death or injury to a child in the system. The death of Phoenix Sinclair was not a one-time event that we can brush off with a "well, it happens." She was a little girl who deserved something much better, as did Gage Guimond and Nathaniel Meeches -- the list goes on.

Send a Letter to the Editor

  • The Free Press welcomes letters from readers

    To send a letter for consideration on our Letters page: Fill out our online form at the link above, or Email, or Fax (204) 697-7412, or Mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.

For the general public, it's simply impossible to find out what's going on until a tragedy occurs, and that is thanks only to the media. The system is shrouded in secrecy. Of course, this is designed to protect the children, and even the parents, to some extent, who may have severe difficulties themselves, but it's also designed to protect the anonymity of the workers, whose jobs never seem to be on the line for disastrous errors in judgment.

MacDonald had stated that the social workers didn't kill Phoenix, but as a ward of the system, she was taken from a foster family where she was safe and loved, then disappeared from sight for nine months, only to re-emerge as a corpse.

We need to know if someone was criminally negligent in making (or not making) decisions that led to her death. Bring on that inquiry, because we want to know, so that it never happens again.




Kudos to Dan Lett for the insightful critique on Darlene MacDonald's "personal" comments regarding the Phoenix inquiry.

I disagree, however, that MacDonald has no right to a personal opinion regarding this issue. What seems amiss is that if the Free Press deemed the advocate's comments personal and inappropriate, it went ahead and published them anyway.

A question-and-answer session at the News Café would have provided both Lett and the public the opportunity to question MacDonald on her reason for the stance. We are now left to read between the lines.




Children's advocate Darlene MacDonald believes that the caregivers and not the Child and Family Services social workers killed Phoenix Sinclair. MacDonald fails to recognize a fundamental truth: were it not for the actions of the social workers, Phoenix would not have been placed in a perilous and ultimately fatal situation.

There are two tragedies here: the preventable death of little Phoenix and the inability of MacDonald to see the forest for the trees.




Higher in Regina

In his June 7 letter, Gas price mystery, Frank Stroppa writes, "Prices in Regina have also come down several cents per litre in the past week."

This is totally incorrect. The gas price in Regina is currently $125.9 cents per litre, which is .01 cents per litre cheaper than it was April 1. Only two independent stations are lower than Winnipeg's lowest price.

The last time Winnipeg gas prices were higher than Regina was approximately February 2010.




A divided nation

My family and all who we have told about the plight of Makoon the orphaned bear cub in Manitoba are outraged that in this day and age he could possibly be released to his doom before he is able to have a good chance of survival.

There are thousands of Australians watching this case. Many, like us, are from Animals Australia, a popular animal welfare group.

Our impression of Canadians to date is that you are a deeply divided nation. On the one hand, you are forward-thinking and culturally diverse, but on the other you allow such barbarically cruel acts as the seal pups cull and now bear-cub killing.

Many countries including Australia have a less than proud record in their treatment of animals, but you are at risk of destroying your reputation as a good tourist destination with backward thinking actions like this when there are far better options available.


Brisbane, Australia


Ignoring the facts

Dianne Baker's one-sided letter blaming Israel for the lack of water in the West Bank (Pawns in their game, June 6) ignores both history and the facts behind the drought. All of Israel, along with Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, has suffered a steadily worsening drought situation since 1999, with 2010-2011 being the hottest seasons in recorded history -- which in that part of the world, is saying a lot. To portray Israel as "stealing" Palestinian water so Israeli farms can be lush is ludicrous and prejudicial.

If the Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza want to improve their water situation, they should drop their preconditions, recognize Israel's right to exist, and come back to the negotiating table. Jordan did this 18 years ago, and since then has peacefully shared the water table with Israel. (Israel actually exports water to Jordan in some years).

Israel has been recognized by the United Nations as the world leader in water reclamation and recycling (over 70 per cent) and Israel shares that expertise with water authorities as far away as Manitoba. Israel's new seawater desalinization plant will begin producing 600 million cubic metres a year of fresh water when it opens in 2013. A bit of compromise could see residents of the West Bank and Gaza share in this 50 per cent increase in available water, none of which comes from "their" aquifers.

Finally, I hope Baker is working hard to reverse the trend she mentions in her letter, that of boycotting Israel and its partners. I can think of a second country whose immigrant majority has a problem providing water to its aboriginal minority. If the world chooses to boycott countries on that basis, Canada, as the residents of Island Lakes can attest, is doomed.




While Dianne Baker's letter merits some comment in its own right, even the most casual reader must be appalled at the choice of the headline, Pawns in their game.

This calls to mind the inane and ultimately murderous libel propagated by the Third Reich (and others who ought to have known better) that the world is controlled by a secret conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons.

Out of charity, let us simply assume ineptitude and not ill intent.




But who's the dummy?

Re: Oil spills into Alberta river system (June 9). The caption below the photo of Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen and Premier Alison Redford says it all.

The minister and the premier are looking downward with closed mouths, although the caption reads, "McQueen and Redford discuss the oil spill at nearby Dickson Dam."

Ventriloquism, perhaps?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2012 A11


Updated on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM CDT: adds links

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


  • 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 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 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.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Trouba talks about injury and potential for Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google