Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
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Make informed reform
In your editorial Overseeing mentally ill patients (Feb. 13) you state that the way Not Criminally Responsible cases are managed has not been evaluated by government for decades. How in the world did you come to that conclusion?
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The forensic program has been thoroughly and exhaustively designed and is monitored regularly. The professionals and lay people involve in doing this important work deserve the commendation and support of our elected officials.
I am pleased to see our politicians interested in mental health issues, but if they truly want to make our world safer, they must become informed. There are many steps that they can initiate that will, effectively, prevent mental illness and promote mental health, thereby making our world both a better and a safer place.
It is my hope that the Not Criminally Responsible law does not pass. It offers an artificial sense of control over mental illness to a scared and mostly ignorant public. It doesn't protect them.
The law that declares you NCR says you haven't committed a crime voluntarily, but were under the influence of an unusual illness. The family, the person hurt and you were all victims. Once you are stabilized why keep you in a locked facility? You didn't choose to be mentally ill!
Having lived through a psychic break years ago I can speak from within such a terrifying experience. Fortunately, I harmed neither myself nor others but I was institutionalized briefly until stable. But to have been forced to stay in that institution after I was stabilized and back to my normal peaceful self would have seemed cruel.
You can't punish a mental illness any more than you can punish any other disease. This law isn't about helping the public or the mental patient.
Re: Kane claims some criticism racist (Feb. 14). Silly me. All along I thought the criticisms were due to immature, inappropriate, comments and behaviour.
The MGEU believes that the public wants services not tax cuts. What a load of nonsense. All that has to be done is get rid of at least a third of MGEU members. As for the other two-thirds, cut the wages and benefits to private sector levels.
Then get rid of 90 per cent of the redundant school boards and their overpaid staff. Then cut at least 30 per cent of the non-frontline workers of the regional health authorities. Then get rid of most of the overpaid middle management. And most of all, get rid of the gold-plated pensions for all of the above. Then start on the politicians and their ridiculous pensions.
There is no way that taxpayers should be paying for all that nonsense.
Last of these caribou
From 1977-79, I was part of the team of researchers who followed this caribou herd in the Grass River Provincial Park. I worked for what is now the department of conservation. You can find our reports on this herd in the Manitoba government archives.
The Reed Lake Mine site is located on one of the key migration routes to the nearby caribou calving grounds. Caribou in this area have lost significant habitat from logging. There are only a few travel routes available to get to the calving grounds on the islands of Reed Lake. The mine risks the existence of this endangered herd because it will block the spring migration of the mother caribou to the islands where their calves can be born, safe from wolves.
Provincial parks were created to protect wilderness areas for the people and the animals of Manitoba. The Reed Lake mine in Grass River Provincial Park is a shameful example that money is valued more than wildlife.
Please, stop the Reed Lake mine and prevent the loss of one of our last beautiful herds of woodland caribou.
Major health fixes
I could only read the headline of the recent incident that occurred to a patient when she was discharged from an emergency department at the Seven Oaks hospital to know and recognize the scenario that occurred.
I am a nurse who has worked in a variety of capacities in the health care system. I had the opportunity to be in positions that at times enabled me to prevent the situation that has occurred at Seven Oaks.
The doctors and nurses who are working hard on the front line are not to blamed. The health care system is extremely complex and requires some major revisions to prevent the type of event that occurred to this patient and family.
Primarily, what is required is a reflexive, humanistic approach to care. This needs to be consistent and it needs to come from the top down.
Four suspected "Islamists" were arrested recently in France. My question is: what exactly identifies these individuals as Islamists? What are the conditions required for being an Islamist?
Apparently, it is killing, bombing, and wreaking havoc in society. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I can tell you that this is totally alien to Islam's true teachings.
Terrorists like these are not Islamists. If anyone deserves to be called an Islamist, it's someone who lives every step of life trying to better humanity.
When I think about Judaism, I don't think about Mossad, I think about Moses. When I see a Christian, I don't think about the actions of Blackwater, I think about Jesus. I think it's only fair that when we think of Islam, we acknowledge Muhammad, and not these so-called Islamists.
Jihad really means the struggle within one's self for moral and spiritual advancement. Islam is a religion of conscience, not coercion, and my jihad is to make the world understand this.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2013 A14
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