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Posted: 05/3/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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A Winnipeg treasure

You miss the more incredible details of my mother-in-law Helen Granger Young's life in your May 2 story about this year's Women of Distinction Award winners, Kudos for outstanding work.

She is the creator of four monuments in the city of Winnipeg alone -- as well as the Nellie McClung monument recently erected on the grounds of the legislature. She is known internationally for her North American Indian series, which can be found in private collections as well as such places as the Vatican, Buckingham Palace and the White House.

A prolific artist over her 90 years, Helen is well-known around the world and has lived quietly right here in Winnipeg while creating her incredible works of art.




Helen Granger Young is the sculptor responsible for important works of public art in our city, especially two of my favourite monuments on Memorial Boulevard: the statue of a young airman scanning the sky, titled First Flight, and the circle of three uniformed women, the Women's Tri-Service monument.




Living or dying

In his attempt to argue against the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (Slippery slope of assisted suicide undeniable, April 30), Harold Jantz rhetorically asks who would deem the lives of the disabled not worth living.

Yet again, opponents of the right-to-die position get it wrong. I have no right to tell you or anyone else whether you should live or die. It's none of my business. But -- and just as important -- I have the agency to determine whether or not I choose to live or die. Nobody else gets to decide that.

By asking for the right to decide whether I live or die, I am not infringing on your life (or values) at all. You do not have to make the same choice. Live and suffer all you wish. But get out of the way when I'm deciding whether I want to go through that.

The slippery slope of assisted suicide is very much deniable. It's just that some people refuse to acknowledge the absolute lack of evidence to support it.




I strongly implore our governing bodies to not legalize assisted suicide. My background is in critical-care nursing and I am fully aware of difficult ethical dilemmas.

I support compassionate care for both the patient and their families, which at times includes administering medication that may hasten death. There are situations where it is appropriate to discontinue active life support and death quickly follows.

The defining and distinguishing principle is always to "do no wrong" while providing palliative support in end-of-life care, where the medical situation is futile and irreversible. The health-care provider should never be intentionally causing someone's death.




A quote from Harold Jantz's column arguing against assisted suicide says it all: "Nothing can diminish the dignity of such a choice."

At the moment, such dignity is legally denied. You can commit suicide if you are able. If not, someone else will decide when you are suffering too much or keep you in a vegetative state if necessary. Not too much dignity of choice there.




Harold Jantz has it right. Humans have very gradually emerged from a brutish and violent past. The veneer of civilization that we humans have created is fragile, as Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China and Rwanda have demonstrated.

The sanctity of life is one of the most fundamental pillars of a decent society, and we erode or damage that society at our peril. My professors used to say, "Hard cases make bad law."


La Salle


Performing useful service

Re: Upping amount high-income earners pay too unwieldy: prof (April 19). University of British Columbia economics professor Kevin Milligan has performed a useful service in modelling the requirements for realizing the $300 million in the Manitoba budget resulting from the one per cent provincial sales tax increase through raising income taxes on high-income earners.

While a combined marginal tax rate of 58.4 per cent seems high, it should be remembered that would only be levied on the portion of income above $150,000 and not on total income. In addition, tax rates well in excess of this are levied on income from earnings by welfare recipients when income taxes and benefit reductions are taken into account.

Nevertheless, the targeted amount of funds could have been raised by a combination of increased corporate taxes (already compensated by reductions in federal corporate taxes) and more gradual, progressive increases for high-income earners. This would have been fairer than the provincial sales tax increase.




Two sides to every story

Ashley Prest's May 1 story Grocery chains abandon suppliers over pig crates was one-sided. The article seems to be written from her personal point of view, and in so doing, she aligns the entire newspaper with her naive thinking.

Who is she to make the claim, in what is suppose to be responsible news reporting, that sow crates are "inhumane"?

Not once does she quote someone from the pork industry for a point of view from the people responsible for raising the animals.




So gestational crates will be phased out by the end of 2022. Wow!

Nine years to change this abhorrent practice. Why?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 A8

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