A proactive step
Gordon Sinclair Jr.'s Nov. 6 column, Taking a stand against frisking, recounts the experience of a Bomber fan that led him to state he would stop attending games if the practice of a pat-down at the gate persists. While I can see a place for feisty behaviour, my support is for a practice that I do not view as an "indignity" but as a proactive step toward ensuring a good game-day experience.
To discontinue frisking would be a step backwards. As a season-ticket holder myself, I was certainly not proud of a situation that allowed a number of individuals (not fans) the opportunity to get blitzed during a game. I once witnessed such a person urinate on the wheel of a car after a game, while his boisterous friends hooted in delight.
Nor was it uncommon, upon leaving a game, to see several empty whiskey bottles in the aisles -- the sort that are slightly curved to avoid visual detection when carried in the inside pocket of a jacket.
So a strong argument for frisking is it reduces the amount of alcohol that is consumed in the stands and the number of public spectacles that occur when security are called upon during the game, at which time those nearby may suffer the indignity of hearing offensive language.
Perhaps it will become a case of two for the price of one: For every one person who doesn't renew, there may eventually be two who decide to subscribe.
We subject fans to a pat-down. We take away bottles of water. This is not the airport; it's a football game. At this last game, my son had picked up a package of licorice to take into the game. He stopped and put it back into the car saying it could be taken away from him. He was right: he was patted down and would have lost it -- a $1 package of licorice!
The present board does not seem to answer to anyone. The fans will continue to come because of the excitement of a new stadium. This will stop over time if the present practices continue because they are taking away the fun and excitement of going to a game.
Maybe what is needed is a private owner. Then the board would have to answer to him for their decisions.
As one who has lived in a country where security is of primary importance, reading this article truly shocked me. I am all too often worried and ashamed at the lack of security in public spaces in this city.
I wish my bags were checked, I wish I had to walk through a metal detector, and I wish I were patted down before going into any mall, theatre, stadium or other public place.
We Canadians need to wake up and realize that this lack of security makes us vulnerable. For example, in 1966 there was Paul Joseph Chartier's attempt to bomb the House of Commons. In 1984, Montreal's central station was bombed, killing three people. Don't forget the 2006 Ontario terrorism plot, a foiled plan to bomb, storm and open fire in crowded areas and government buildings.
Gordon Sinclair Jr. does not get the big picture. Tom Goodhand should never have been allowed into the Bomber stadium un-frisked, I don't care who he is. What if the next person who refuses a pat-down and is let in happens to be someone who wants to harm us?
Soft on criminals
Re: Murder suspect rearrested (Nov. 7). Every day, I read of or hear a politician stating "we must get tough on crime" or "mandatory sentencing will keep our streets safer."
Then one reads that a man was out on bail on a first-degree murder charge when he was arrested and charged with other offences.
Nobody who is charged with first-degree murder should be out on bail. This is a good example of governments leaning in one direction on crime and criminals and judges sitting in opposition.
Re: Girl's sex assault case tossed (Nov. 8). "A Winnipeg man accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a young girl will never go to trial because of a technicality -- police took too long bringing his case to court."
Of all the unbelievable things! Congratulations, cops! Kudos, courts! You have just figuratively raped that girl. Be proud of yourselves, because nobody else will.
A man of principle
Wade Kojo Williams was one of the finest and principled people I ever met (Advocate fought for basic rights, Nov. 6). Several decades ago we worked together on the erstwhile Manitoba Intercultural Council, a contact, advisory and service agency set up by the NDP government of the day.
Kojo and I often disagreed but respected each other's opinion. I can still feel his bear hugs. We are all the poorer for his untimely passing.
In his Nov. 3 letter, Bill Rolls claims that Manitoba has the lowest automobile-insurance rates in North America.
But a 2011 report by the Fraser Institute, The personal cost and affordability of automobile insurance in Canada, shows this isn't so. In 2009, according to the report, Ontario ranked the highest in Canada with an average premium of $1,201. British Columbia was next at $1,113, followed by in Saskatchewan with $1,049 and Manitoba at $1,027.
The study concluded that government-run insurance monopolies in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba continue to charge some of the highest auto-insurance rates in Canada.
Quebec has the lowest average premium at $642. Of the remaining provinces, Prince Edward Island had the second-lowest at $695, followed by New Brunswick with $720 and then Nova Scotia with $736. Newfoundland and Alberta each had an average premium of $749 a year.
Re: To sleep, perchance... to live (Nov. 5). The fact that we need adequate sleep is common sense, yet researcher Dr. Meir Kryger describes crude experiments that do not reflect the human condition, where animals are killed by sleep deprivation, as being "brilliant."
Shamona Harnett should not be legitimizing such cruelty by writing about it and the Free Press should not be printing it. Let's hope this serves as a wake-up call to those who donate to medical research.