Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
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Ternette ahead of his time
Re: 'Provocateur' was name-calling that Nick liked (March 5). I was a fellow student with Nick Ternette at United College in the mid-1960s. It was he who organized the Social Action Movement club.
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Part of the club's mandate was, among many other subjects, to understand problems of Indian-Métis urbanization. He was a man very much ahead of his time, for that problem is still with us.
The club was formed "to stir up at least some students of U.C. in order to realize the social problems facing Manitoba."
Ternette was a true provocateur to the end of his days. He was a man true to his principles. The city has lost a good and principled citizen.
Over the years I came to know Nick Ternette in passing, as we attended many of the same events. The last time I saw him was this past June at the annual peace march, where he and I both volunteered as parade marshals.
He led us in a rousing chant: "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!"
Even though he admitted to being tired that day, he still had the ability to electrify a crowd and motivate people to work for change and social justice. He was unforgettable.
Giving cats a chance
In the March 5 story Policy on pre-euthanasia calls brings out claws, the Winnipeg Humane Society once again defends its euthanasia policy as a means to address the thousands of cats turned in to the shelter.
Rather, they should be focusing their attention on finding a solution to the cat overpopulation crisis by adopting a proven, successful, self-funding program such as the Ontario SPCA has implemented, the "humane alliance" model.
They offer high-volume, high standard, low-cost spay and neutering. Just like the Calgary model, it works and saves thousands of lives.
Seven or eight years ago, my husband's cousin, who was mentally and physically challenged, was forced to give up his cat. He and his mother lived in a Manitoba Housing unit, and when his mother passed away, he was told that he didn't qualify for the size of place in which they had been living and he was given his notice to leave.
After calling all of the other animal shelters (and being told they were all full), he took his cat to the Winnipeg Humane Society. A week later he took a bus out to the shelter hoping to see his cat. He was told it had been put down two days after it was brought in, due to behavioural problems.
Let us not forget that the homeless-cat crisis is due largely to irresponsible people who allow their pets to breed.
It is compounded by both the Selinger government having voted down "Fluffy's Law," which would have allowed loving owners to keep their companions in their apartments, and the city's decision to rent out the lower level of Animal Services to a bicycle shop instead of setting up a low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic.
Giving dogs a chance
Re: Dog politics can be vicious (March 2). As long as dogs are dying on the streets and in shelters for lack of homes, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will continue to remind everyone that Westminster -- and the breeding industry it props up -- directly contribute to the animal homelessness crisis and the suffering that results from it.
Unlike many "no-kill" shelters, PETA never turns away sick and suffering animals, nor does it hoard dogs and cats in cages for the sake of good-looking statistics. When adoptable animals come our way, we send them to high-traffic, open-admission shelters, where they will have the best chance of being adopted.
We focus our efforts on stopping animal homelessness at its source. Since 2001, PETA has spayed and neutered nearly 88,000 animals at little to no cost to their guardians. Our field workers are on the road every day and on call 24/7 to help abused and neglected animals. We've called on governors across the U.S. and even the White House to promote spay-and-neuter legislation, and more.
Cheap Communist tricks
In his March 5 letter, Cuban socialism beats 'democracy,' Bill Rolls tells us that he's never seen an "obese Cuban or a poorly dressed one." But he neglects to say that he has also never laid eyes on a free citizen of that state.
The benefits Rolls gushes over are those of a tangible, material nature, a cheap trick perpetrated by all Communist regimes to keep the masses happy.
But human beings also require some intangible aspects in their lives to be able to thrive and become fully human, one being the right to express one's opinions.
I find it very ironic that Rolls disparages a country that grants him the right to speak his mind in order to extol a country that doesn't.
Questioning the increase
The recent massive increase in gasoline prices needs to be looked at in a different perspective. First, the price of gas has risen 19 cents per litre over the past six weeks. Second, the price of oil has remained relatively stable over this same time span.
Repairs to refineries cannot be the only excuse for this massive increase. I call it greed.
Re: MTYP fires beloved artistic director (March 6). I would like to thank the Free Press for its responsible and respectful reporting of Leslee Silverman's departure from Manitoba Theatre for Young People.
Leslee Silverman took a small, semi-amateur theatre group and turned it into one of the premier children's theatres in Canada. Literally tens of thousands of people of all ages have benefitted from her commitment to excellence, her artistic integrity and her ever-vigilant social consciousness. This should never be ignored or forgotten.
Ignoring the problems
Your March 5 editorial, Logic of corruption universal, makes a very good point. Though Quebec gets singled out, corruption has been uncovered there because of an active investigative media and a willingness to call inquiries.
In provinces with little whistle-blower protection and virtual one-party rule, problems get swept under the carpet. It took years in Manitoba to call the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry, and a Crocus inquiry has never been called.
Your March 5 editorial states: "In Manitoba, the provincial legislative building stands as a monument to political corruption on a grand scale."
True. But we did also get out of it one magnificent monument to political corruption. Say what you will, those crooks back then had great esthetics.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 7, 2013 A15
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