Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Have your say

  • Print

Addressing many wrongs

Re: Pivot point for Idle No More (Jan. 3). "We're here. We're unclear. Get used to it." This had to have been one of my favourite signs from the Occupy movement. It both acknowledged a truth but also spoke to their detractors. How could a mass movement coalesce around one or two issues when in the midst of a global economic meltdown caused by a wide variety of special interest groups?

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.

It is my understanding that Idle No More largely began in response to the second of two of the largest omnibus budget bills ever to have been muscled through Parliament. That the movement is trying to address the many wrongs they see in this legislation should be put down to the Harper Conservative government's insistence on cramming as much into it as possible, no doubt in the hopes of completely overwhelming any opposition.

Perhaps this movement is not as well organized as, say, the Conservative Party of Canada's election machine. But if they were to get more organized, become more formal and perhaps even get a registered charity number so they could accept donations to continue their work in a more structured way, they would quickly lose that status under the above legislation for spending more than 10 per cent of their resources on political advocacy.

Now that is a neat little package with a bow on it, isn't it?




I appreciate Bartley Kives' Jan. 3 column article, Pivot point for Idle No More, and also the other articles and letters on this movement.

But, to my mind, it is the usual stupidity when protest is disruptive to the general populace. These ticked off people will not be asking officials to tackle the aboriginal problems, but to do something about the problem aboriginals. Protest should focus on the actual people with the power to solve the problems.

Focus should be on members of Parliament and especially the useless chiefs. Protest where they work and where they live.




Re: New demonstration shuts down part of Portage Avenue (Jan. 4). How do you go about getting permission to shut down Portage Avenue? I've been involved in peaceful protests, and if you stand in the road, the police will give you a ticket for obstructing traffic.

Since the police kept their distance, I have to guess that they had instruction from their political masters to stand down. Who is responsible? The mayor? The premier? I'd like to know so I can vote for someone else next time around.




Re: Fasting chief urged to meet minister (Dec. 29) Health Minister Leona Aglukkag is wrong to urge Chief Theresa Spence to meet with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan. Spence is an elected chief. She is at the same level as the elected chief of Canada, the prime minister.

A councillor or a bureaucrat would be the appropriate person to meet with Duncan, who does not have the authority to speak on behalf of Canada. The Governor General of Canada is the other person who must also be present as he represents the Crown in Canada. The treaties were signed with the Crown.

Each side has responsibilities. The governor-general and the British monarch have an interest in ensuring that the treaties are being upheld. First Nations across Canada are only asking that the treaties be respected and the promises kept.

The prime minister, as well as a number of his ministers, are disrespecting the Constitution of Canada by ignoring treaties. By ignoring Chief Spence's request for a meeting, the prime minister and the Governor General demonstrate their lack of understanding of treaties and the treaty process.


North Bay, Ont.


While I recognize and commend reporters for the coverage of aboriginal news, I believe the amount of attention this subject receives is unbalanced. Perhaps I have missed something but I have yet to see an article about how wrong these tactics are. The hunger strikes are dangerous.

While all Canadians have the right to peaceable protest, why aren't the protests kept off the roadways? At some point someone is going to get hurt.

Another point I would like to draw to your attention is zero printed interviews by people who oppose these actions.




Having broth and tea a few times a day is not a real hunger strike. Just ask Nelson Mandela, for example.

In addition, the Idle No More protest seems more about making us regular working-class citizens sit in our cars and "idle" when we should be working. Instead, we are watching the protesters wander around on sometimes-major infrastructure that taxpayers have paid for.

Both protests appear to be a waste of time and energy. It must be nice to have so much time on your hands as to be able to waste everyone else's time.



Try another playbook

If the NHL players want to attract and increase the support for their cause, I suggest that they go on a hunger strike.



Reflecting wider society

Re: Refugee family member 'too black' (Dec. 29). So the superintendent of the Pembina Trails School Division is convinced George Hambira was not kicked but "nudged" by a student who wanted to see if "he was all right."

I guess the superintendent was there at the time.

Of course, there is no bullying or abuse in the school and the laudable efforts of the teachers and administration have completely cured all students of racism. But in a country where the prime minister, among many others, demonstrates arrogance toward other races and cultures (e.g. his refusal to meet with Chief Theresa Spence), it is reasonable to expect our children will from time to time reflect the society around them.

Obviously, from the reaction of the other families in the school, the community is aware there exist elements that need to be balanced with special attention to Hambira and his family's need to feel accepted.

But one can only wonder at bureaucracies that would rather deny wrongdoing than acknowledge the great progress our society has yet to make.



Astrological rubbish

To my utter disgust, the Free Press, at the expense, no doubt, of its publishing integrity, devoted a full Detour section (Dec. 29) to the printing of absolute astrological rubbish. I am eagerly awaiting next week's sizzling exposé of the mating habits of unicorns.



Reason for the season

How wonderful to see a picture of the Christmas nativity on the front page of your Dec. 24 edition.

After all, the birth of Jesus Christ is the reason for the holiday season.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 4, 2013 A11

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


Jets players discuss outcome of Game 3 and hopes for Game 4

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


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

View Results

Ads by Google