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Refreshing departure

I was moved as I read my daughters the words of Kelvin High School's football coach, Jon Romu, about the importance of this year's playoff games ('Playing with heavy hearts,' Nov. 8).

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His succinct description of his role as a coach is a refreshing departure from the competitive model. On the eve of the biggest game of the year, his focus is not on winning the big one, but on coaching future husbands, fathers and role models. To see the brass ring as producing leaders in society and good citizens as opposed to winning a high school sports championship is rare.

Kudos to Coach Romu. No need to wish him luck. The Clippers are already winners.



Showing duplicity

Re: Bipole III: $4-billion political chicanery (Nov. 7). Will Tishinski shows the duplicity of the provincial government in its decisions regarding the Bipole III routing, and some of the actions taken to limit meaningful, knowledgeable and essential criticism of its flawed policy on this extremely important issue for all Manitobans.

The future impacts of the western routing will be severe, not only economically, but also environmentally, and Tishinski's extensive experience with Hydro, along with his professional qualifications, gives credence to the assertions made in this article.

It is almost unheard of for a politician to admit error, but in this case, it would be wonderful if Greg Selinger would see the obvious and change course. Otherwise, the legacy he leaves will be very unflattering when the chickens finally come home to roost in the not-too-distant future.


Pine Falls


I'm just reading your reporter Bill Redekop's recent book about the Rafferty-Alameda dam project, Dams of Contention. I know how it ends, but it's tough to put it down.

Then I read Will Tishinski's piece on Bipole III. It looks like Redekop could have a sequel coming, this time about an economic disaster.




If the forest is to remain pristine then the provincial government has already failed the test. How do they justify building an all-weather road up the east side of Lake Winnipeg to service residents as far as the Bloodvein River and then propose the extension of this road to Norway House?

The road takes up about the same space as the hydro right of way but is far more dangerous to the environment. How long will it take for hunters, explorers, hikers and fishermen to infiltrate the forest with ATVs, four-wheel-drive vehicles and snowmobiles? None of these will have access to the right of way since it will be isolated in the forest.

I don't think UNESCO will consider a road through the forest as ecological any more than the people of Manitoba think the west-side bipole is economical or logical.




Will Tishinski's article makes it clear that this NDP "chicanery" is going to dramatically increase Manitobans' hydro rates in the years to come.

My regret is that Tishinski had not been able to make this presentation prior to our last provincial election.



Reckless reporting

Your Oct. 15 editorial Justice system clogged suggests that a source of certain problems with the judicial system and reported backlog is that the judiciary is largely composed of former prosecutors who may be more inclined to deny bail to people facing serious charges. It attributes the comments to certain unnamed defence attorneys and then proceeds to acknowledge that the theory cannot be validated without a case-by-case analysis.

The failure to acknowledge the source coupled with the subsequent, almost off-hand, acknowledgment that it cannot be validated amounts to little more than a lazy attempt to appear to be providing balanced reporting. If the unsubstantiated comment cannot be validated without further investigation, why make it at all?

The qualifier that follows does nothing to reduce the seriousness of the allegation. The result is reckless reporting, a pandering to sound-bite journalism and an erosion of responsible and ethical journalistic standards, the only lasting effect of which is to unjustifiably erode public confidence in the judicial system.

Judges are professionals who have high ethical standards, take their roles very seriously and, unlike your editorial, actually consider cases on a case-by-case basis.

Let us hope that this editorial was merely an inadvertent and temporary deviation from the normally high quality and professional standards for which your paper has traditionally been known.


Manitoba Bar Association


Dispiriting discussion

The discussion generated online by your Nov. 7 story Long road to reconciliation: youth worker demonstrates there is still a long way to go in terms of eliminating casual racism toward First Nations people.

The residential school system and its stated goal, of "kill(ing) the Indian in the child," was a form of systemic genocide, pure and simple. Yet, clearly, there are still many Manitobans who casually dismiss this dark mark on our history, saying, "it's not as bad as they (the victims) claim," or spurn the survivors by proposing they "just get over it."

I wonder if these same people would make these thoughtless and naive statements if it were their grandparents or parents who attended the residential schools, and their families who were still dealing with the fallout to this day?



A threat to pets

As a pet store owner, I have a number of concerns with your Nov. 6 article Do your research to find best food for your pet, not the least of which is where three brands are identified as containing "nutritionally sound ingredients." Ironically, all three of these brands were involved in the major recall of 2007 that the author, Kathy Antoniotti, refers to as a "melamine scare."

In fact, literally thousands of pets died from this "scare," due to the inclusion of tainted ingredients from China in these, and other, major brands. Admittedly, Antoniotti does not say she feeds her pets these brands, but sadly her article seems to endorse them. The apparent support of these mass-market brands stands in stark contrast to the sage advice of buying pet food only from reliable sources, such as pet specialty stores and avoiding products made in China. Both best practices Antoniotti claims to follow herself.

Many of us in the pet specialty industry work very hard to dispel the massive amounts of misleading information targeted at consumers. Poorly informed articles such as this one only make it more difficult for pet parents to make the best decisions.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 10, 2012 A15

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