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Compassion misplaced

Re: Touching portrayal (Letters, Sept. 5). Since Lloyd Axworthy is associated with a university, one would assume he's well educated, so he should really know better.

Having watched my mother go from an independent lady three years ago to struggling with daily life, I certainly wouldn't want her making government decisions. It is idiotic for Axworthy to say it would be "no hardship" for Joyce Fairbairn to keep her job for a year or so in the Senate.

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I agree there should be compassion for people suffering with dementia, a horrible disease. But instead of fighting to keep Fairbairn on as a senator just so she can end up with a pension of more than $130,000, the government should be looking at improving long-term care for all dementia patients.




Accommodating cyclists

I would like to thank Bartley Kives for his article Two wheels good, four wheels also good (SundayXtra, Sept. 2), highlighting both perspectives of the cyclist-motorist dynamic. As Kives mentions, Winnipeg's cycling community is currently at a peak despite a lack of accommodating infrastructure, and for the safety of both motorists and cyclist, this needs to be corrected.

Travelling through Europe the past two months has allowed me the privilege of experiencing a variety of different bike cultures and models for accommodating motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Examples include the shared roadways and bike lanes of London, adjoined bike/walking paths of Munich, and even Amsterdam, where I cannot recall seeing a single roadway without a bike lane.

All of these are larger cities than Winnipeg and effective models to be emulated in order for a reasonable accommodation to be made to satisfy and protect all groups.

Many cities even encourage the use of cycling as a mode of transportation through permitting the use of bike-sharing systems such as Paris's Vélib' or Montreal and Toronto's Bixi systems. These alleviate the barriers to use and allow citizens to engage in active transportation.

Although I self-identify as a motorist, I have recently also become a recreational cyclist, allowing me, like Kives, to see both perspectives of the debate. I believe that an increased emphasis on cycling-related investments by the City of Winnipeg will allow for the benefits of less congested roadways, greater accessibility to motor-operated transportation and a decreased carbon footprint.




Common misdiagnosis

In her Sept. 4 column, Smart athletes ride the bench when injured, Dr. Maureen Kennedy writes that most of us, when participating in sports, sustain mild injuries such as ankle sprains which can result in more pain if we continue to play with them.

All true, but what she fails to make very clear is that more pain afterwards can actually mean Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, aka Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a poorly diagnosed and incurable chronic-pain disease that can set in after something as mild as a sprained ankle.

CRPS, if recognized and treated properly within two or three months of the initial injury, can sometimes be contained. Far too often, though, the pain is ignored or dismissed by health-care providers, or is misdiagnosed.

Once set in, CRPS is crippling for life and is one of the most painful disabilities there is. More doctors need to understand that pain is a medical condition in itself, and needs to be treated immediately and properly.




MPI decrease in effect

Within the rates table accompanying your Aug. 30 story Hydro bills on the rise, it was reported that in Manitoba Public Insurance's 2012 general rate application, the corporation had requested a 6.8 per cent rate decrease, pending the approval of the Public Utilities Board. Your readers should know that decrease was approved in December 2011, and took effect March 1, 2012.

Within the rebate table, it was reported that in 2011 the corporation would issue a rebate of $336 million, which included an additional $16 million, pending PUB approval. For the record, this $336 million rebate was approved in June 2011 with cheques mailed Oct. 5, 2011.


Manitoba Public Insurance



Quebecers should be proud

Why shouldn't Quebecers' first love be their province? There is no reason why Quebecers cannot remain proud of their past. They are, after all, a big piece of the Canadian mosaic that is presently comprised of people of many cultures from all over the world.

I was born in Quebec City and am proud and of my heritage. I have moved extensively ever since and, for every province I put down stakes in, I felt a love, pride of belonging, as I do today for Manitoba.

The French population in St. Boniface doesn't feel threatened by the anglophones of Winnipeg and they still proudly celebrate their French heritage.

I believe that Quebecers will rue the day they placed the Parti Quebecois on a pedestal. I can only hope that Quebecers, like myself, will continue to say "Vive le Canada" and feel and hear the reverberations of their fighting ancestors and understand they were French and English alike.




Volunteer conundrum

Terry Meindl's Sept. 6 letter, Shirking obligations, points to an obvious problem with the U.S. having an "all-volunteer military force." If it is truly all volunteer, why can't someone leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want? Anyone in the private sector can be hired by an employer and put through a year of training and then leave for whatever reason they want.

The second point that's always baffled me is why the military wants to hang on to someone who doesn't want to be there? I recognize the importance of a competent military (having several family members who currently serve or who have served). However, no one should be forced to stay in a job they don't want to do.

Furthermore, if that person is a law-abiding citizen and is being persecuted by a "safe democracy," for exercising what should be their right, I'm fine with them staying here.




EK is OK

On Sept. 6, letter writer Kerry Ward said that East Kildonan is one of the "poorest areas" of the city.

Really? That's news to the people of East Kildonan.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2012 A11


Updated on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM CDT: adds links

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