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Unfortunate conclusions

I fully agree with Lindor Reynolds (Inquiry already has pounds of Douglas's flesh, Aug. 29) that the spectacle related to the Lori Douglas inquiry has to end. Reynolds has iterated what many of us deem to be a very unfair exposé of a professional individual.

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The media frenzy, the bedroom intrusions and the privacy invasions have resulted in building up sensationalism for people to enjoy. This has also compromised the professional level and calibre of the inquiry itself.

Some unfortunate conclusions have emerged. When a non-white individual is put on the stand, he is ripped apart. When a female is the subject of the inquiry, her professional status and competency are ignored and "holier than thou" attitudes emerge.

Indiscretions at all levels, intentionally or non-intentionally, have already occurred. The inquiry panel should focus its energy and attention on the professional skills and competency of Lori Douglas, just as any formal performance appraisal should, and base its decisions solely on these criteria. Anything different would also raise the credibility issue of the panel members themselves. Have their personal lives and bedroom habits been investigated to deem them morally suitable to judge someone else's private, in this instance, manipulated past?




Remember the teachers who simulated lap-dancing when supervising students after school? Teachers are rarely given a break for a lapse in judgment.

Now if a teacher put his naked wife's photos online and asked a parent to have sex with her, what do you think would have happened to that teacher?

Lawyers and judges should be held, at the very least, to a standard of respectability within their profession.




Lindor Reynolds urges the inquiry be dropped as the judge has been punished. Justice Lori Douglas could have resigned but has not.

The inquiry must determine if she is fit to sit on the bench and adjudicate family matters. I have judged the judge and find her judgment in personal conduct unbecoming.



Funding alternatives

Re: End of road for lodge (Aug. 30). Funding has been withdrawn for Red Road Lodge, which provides housing for the city's most vulnerable, some of whom are homeless and mentally unstable.

Perhaps the city, which has allocated about $500,000 to search for the remains of a murdered woman, to provide closure to her family, can find $110,000 to restore funding to the homeless of Red Road Lodge.




Maybe get some of that leftover money from the defunct water park or funnel some from the human rights museum, so that all humans here have the right to safety and a place to get help when they need it.



Exciting development

Re: Core homes go green for free (Aug. 29). Thanks to Mary Agnes Welch for covering this exciting and innovative development. With social enterprises creating jobs for inner-city residents while reducing utility bills through increased energy efficiency in older homes, the ripples of great outcomes spread in all directions.

This improves the quality of our housing stock, reduces energy and water waste and creates real pathways out of poverty and into the labour market. It does all of this through a mechanism that pays for itself.

And with social enterprises doing the work, we are also assured the business is not only delivering on price and quality, but is also fully focused on these social outcomes. I hope the anticipated volume mentioned in the article materializes, as there is an opportunity to think big and create significant outcomes with this idea.



Compounding problem

Your Aug. 27 story Home, decrepit home accurately describes the plight of thousands of city and rural residents who have great difficulty if finding a safe and affordable home. It you add to the equation that many of these people also live with various forms of mental illness, the problem is compounded.

If memory serves me correctly, an article on Siloam Mission some time ago reported that approximately 60 per cent of its daily residents live with some form of mental illness.

I would like to call for a biannual conference to address this issue. Attending would be both developers and government agencies, as well as private organizations dedicated to improving the number of safe affordable housing units in Manitoba. Just as Winnipeg has a huge problem addressing this issue, so do most small cities and towns across Manitoba.



Expensive fuss

Re: Awareness of War of 1812 weak among Canadians (Aug. 29). The Harper government is becoming rather outré in spending $28 million for the commemoration of this war.

It occurred at the same time as the Napoleonic wars, yet, to my knowledge, Europe and Russia make no current fuss about the latter or even greater conflicts, such as the Hundred Years War. Even the profligate Greece does not glorify the Trojan War.

The amount spent on this would fund 14 years of Experimental Lakes Area research.



Berliners make time

Re: Choosing when to rest (Aug. 25). We recently returned from Germany and were in Berlin on a Sunday. You would be hard-pressed to go shopping there on a Sunday, since the malls and most of the little shops were all closed. Only a few street cafés remained open.

And where were the people? Spending time with their families, going for walks, riding their bikes and going to one of their many parks.

It seems like the most financially secure country in Europe knows the value of having a day when most everyone can rejuvenate their spirit, connect with family and mentally regroup for another week of business. We have a lot to learn.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 4, 2012 A11

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