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Respecting psychologists

Thank you for pointing out that historical deference to medical professionals causes court backlogs (Archaic court rules cause delays, Editorials, Feb. 28).

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Clinical psychologists like myself have long been able to testify to the competence or mental health disability of those charged with crimes for the purpose of pre-trial assessments. It is time that the skills, expertise and knowledge of clinical psychologists be recognized for their true worth instead of being thought less valuable than those of psychiatrists.

However, your editorial contains two errors. First, psychologists have been in the forensic unit at Health Sciences Centre for decades to diagnose, treat and monitor people with mental illness who come into conflict with the law, so it is uncertain how you conclude that the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is now planning to include them.

Second, you erroneously state that psychologists can write prescriptions for medication. Although this is the case in two or three American states, it is not so in Canada. Canada is not "catching up."

DR. BRUCE HUTCHISON

Winnipeg

Expanding the red trough

What claptrap Deveryn Ross writes when he suggests that Harper should appoint candidates from western Manitoba to the Senate when Sen. Terry Stratton's term in the red trough -- sorry, chamber -- expires.

The appointment of well-known Conservatives, many of whom already have perfectly comfortable pensions from the legislature or Parliament, has to stop. Unless, that is, they agree to take a Senate salary that is reduced by the amount of their current public pension.

If the dinosaur Senate still needs appointees in spite of Harper's long-ago promised elimination of it, why not select some hard-working individuals from maybe the volunteer or philanthropic sector? Politicians past their sell-by date are not the only people who can offer the valid second sober thoughts Canadians deserve -- if we still need a Senate, that is.

BOB SALES

Winnipeg

Explosion of loyalty

What a superb explosion of love, pride and loyalty, as well as considerable wit in your Feb. 27 letters package, Defending the virtues of sunny Winterpeg, Feb. 27. These people and others like them are among the many reasons to love Manitoba.

Just a couple of points to do with the headline: Our province needs no defence. "Extolling" would be a more positive and accurate word.

As well, the tired term "Winterpeg" has its own negative connotations. Finally, the entire issue revolved around Manitoba, not Winnipeg.

That said, I love the page and in particular Leone Newton's lovely prose poem.

DAWN MACFARLANE

Selkirk

ñü

What could be so special about Dan Banov's obtuse letter (But it's a dry cold, Feb. 25) that would encourage you to publish 12 letters in response to his insults and not leave any room in your popular Have Your Say section for reaction to other issues that surely must have been among the hundreds of letters you receive?

ISSIE OIRING

Winnipeg

ñü

My wife and I moved to Winnipeg from B.C. last summer. We love it here. We both grew up in the Vancouver area and moved from there to northern B.C. five years ago.

The weather in the north is similar to Manitoba's so when we moved here, there was no weather shock. The number of things to do in Winnipeg is amazing. The theatres and festivals, etc., are great.

Dan Banov is from Whonnock, B.C. Whonnock is part of Maple Ridge and is about 50 kilometres from Vancouver. The Maple Ridge area actually gets more rain than Vancouver city does, as hard as that is to believe, because it is right up against the mountains.

There is nothing to do in Whonnock except go fishing. When it does snow there, the snow is wet and heavy. You break your back shovelling it. Mosquitoes? Lots of them, due to the rain and low-lying areas in the region.

Every time I phone family in the Vancouver area, it seems to be raining. Sorry, Mr. Banov, but you can keep the rain and grey skies. We love it here and have no qualms about our move.

JIM BROWN

Winnipeg

Infallibility gap

Re: Emotional Pope bids farewell in final address (Feb. 28). With the resignation of the leader of the state religion of the long-defunct Roman Empire, we will have at least a couple weeks during which no mammal, save the supreme leader of North Korea, will claim to be infallible.

PAUL PETERS

Winnipeg

Nationwide neutering

Your Feb. 26 story Clinic snips stray dogs, highlighted by a photo taking half of the front page, is very touching.

However, tucked away on Page 8 is another touching story about nationwide neutering, if I can put it that way, which should have received equal front-page space.

In Takeover completed, your readers are informed that Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC Ltd. has completed its $15.1-billion takeover of Calgary oil and gas producer Nexen Inc. Once again it seems Canadians have been neutered by greedy business interests, with government looking the other way.

I can't imagine we would sell the control of our precious and prized resources to foreigners, particularly Communist China, thus making us vulnerable to their interests, and that our government would allow this. To make a buck, it seems, we would sell our soul to the devil.

BRIAN SIDORCHUK

Winnipeg

Blind to common sense

Good for Earls for feeling bad about offending people with albinism. But talk about nitpicking.

Next thing we know, the Fatboy burger will have to be removed from menus; then a "short" coffee at Starbucks is gone. No more "double blind" studies at universities. Wait! Are we offending people who are blind in two eyes or families that have two blind people in them?

In this case, if people identify with a beer, I feel sorry for them.

DAVID SHERWOOD

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2013 A10

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