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New era in governance

Re: Councillors rip golf-course ads (May 17). I have worked with my neighbours in St. Vital to organize and oppose a recommendation to sell city-owned golf courses which are viewed by many as valuable green spaces.

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It's a new era in governance when our elected officials believe it's appropriate to use tax dollars levied to deliver services to counter the public lobby on issues before votes have occurred.

Information campaigns regarding what the city is doing are one thing, but the city actively engaging in politics to counter the public lobby ahead of a vote is simply inappropriate.

As a concerned resident, I am offended my tax dollars were used to counter the efforts of my community. As a taxpayer, I am offended my tax dollars were used in an attempt to influence the vote of my city councillor.




I am disgusted with the continued ignorance and behaviour at city hall. Once again, the decisions of our civic leadership transcend actual politics and ideology. We are living in an age where we fail to even respect the public debate. The city is using public money to advance a partisan opinion, while not providing an opportunity for critical dialogue or debate.




Seems every time I turn around, a new story about the misuse of $90,000 pops up.

Here's a suggestion. Let's get a meeting between Sen. Mike Duffy and Mayor Sam Katz so they can finally figure out the meaning of conflict of interest and ethical political behaviour.

But, please, no one suggest it be over dinner.



Driving us to drink

Re: Get a hair cut, drink a glass of wine (May 16). Considering that one out of 25 deaths in the world is alcohol-related, why is the provincial government, which is supposed to be concerned about the well-being of Manitobans, doing everything in its power to encourage its citizens to drink, drink, drink on every occasion, including a trip to the barbershop?

What kind of absurd cultural message is the adult world creating for children? Is it that adults need to self-medicate with mind-numbing alcohol in order to make life tolerable?



Cancer attacks the poor

Gordon Sinclair Jr. does a good job of showing us that "lung cancer could happen to anyone" in his May 16 column, Cancer doesn't care who it may kill. But that does not mean that its occurrence is completely random.

In fact, epidemiological research has demonstrated there are social disparities in the occurrence of lung cancer, and that the poor are significantly more likely to develop this disease. For example, in a 2001 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that, after controlling for age, province, smoking, second-hand smoke and diet, low income men were 1.7 times as likely to develop lung cancer than high income men.

Similarly, low-income women were 11/2 times more likely to develop lung cancer than high-income women. This means that effective poverty reduction policies are an important part of any lung cancer control strategy.


Department of social work

University of Manitoba


Gordon Sinclair's column touches on a serious illness for Manitobans: lung cancer for those who have never smoked.

The tragedy of lung cancer as Canada's top cancer killer raises the issue of radon exposure for Manitobans. Health Canada has identified Manitoban homes as those in Canada most likely to have radon levels above the Canadian radon guideline. The conference of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, earlier this month in Winnipeg, demonstrated that radon testing and radon remedies are affordable and available and underscored the checklist provided in Sinclair's article.

Radon is linked to lung cancer as the leading cause of this disease, next to direct smoking. For those of us who have never smoked, that means radon exposure is the largest lung cancer risk we face. By testing and fixing radon entry in our homes we can institute an important lung cancer prevention measure. Thanks to Sinclair for his timely identification of the need for us to seek this preventive action.



Still hidden and buried

It has been said politics is show business for ugly people, but what is certain is that leadership should have everything to do with communicating about what we care about. In Prime Minister Stephen Harper's case, bring on the hook and pull this guy off stage.

Harper's silence for the discovery of Myrna Letendre in a Point Douglas rooming house after seven silent years (Harper sends wrong message about missing person tragedy, May 16) shows just how truly hidden and buried our missing and murdered women continue to be, despite highly promoted concerns regarding such invisibility in the aftermath of the Pickton inquiry.

With not a word uttered by Harper while in town on the day of discovery of yet another missing and murdered woman (especially as he chose to highlight another tragedy), well, that just goes to show -- who cares?



Your May 16 editorial Mayor Selinger underscores the main purpose of our NDP government, which is to keep itself in office. This is not a responsible government, because it is always in election-campaign mode.

Having betrayed public trust by increasing taxes, which he vowed not to do in the election campaign, Premier Greg Selinger is now making announcements of projects made possible by this increase. I quite agree that the government should cease this abuse.



Dancing to the memory

I just wanted to say thanks to Bill Redekop for his article about Bob Williamson who teaches students old-tyme dance in Glenboro. (Ask, don't grab, your partner in old-tyme dance, May 11).

The article brought back memories of dance components in my phys-ed classes at Yellowquill School in Portage la Prairie. Hopefully, more schools can adopt this component into their phys-ed curriculum so more kids can learn to dance. And in the case of Williamson, he teaches them gentlemanly and lady-like manners.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 18, 2013 A16

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