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Alleviating poverty

Your June 6 stories Public housing's health alarm and She would've become a mom like her own are important in identifying poverty as the cause of great human misery and large financial costs in Manitoba.

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Investment in the prevention of poverty is desperately needed, and produces exceptionally positive returns -- $16,000 for every $1 invested in low-income children, according to one of these articles.

It follows that in the article on public housing, more emphasis might have been placed on the significant public investments made in recent years in Winnipeg's large public housing complexes.

In Lord Selkirk Park, for example, an adult learning centre has been established and is producing significant numbers of Grade 12 graduates. A new literacy program is full to capacity. A family resource centre has recently been evaluated as doing exceptional work, and is also full to capacity.

A new childcare centre is producing excellent results with youngsters. And in addition to these investments, the province has renovated every single unit, using local labour for much of the work and thus creating jobs.

The improvements in the lives of residents in Lord Selkirk Park have been substantial and will only get better with time.




Let us hope the inquiry into the tragic death of Phoenix Sinclair will end with some good policy being made that will help prevent such incidents happening in the future. Your article quotes "experts" as saying prevention is the best solution to the problem. That makes sense if you can actually put it into practice.

We know Phoenix was born to high school dropouts who were on welfare. We know the mother also had two other children while having no visible means to support them. Might I be so bold as to offer another solution to the so-called experts?

How about we take away the welfare money incentive for people to have babies? Bottom line, and I know it will sound harsh to the liberal do-gooders, is drug abusers and alcoholics who are on welfare should not be having children.



No need for firearms

Re: Fatal gun mishaps legally thorny (June 5). The tragic death of Jacob Wright is heartbreaking, to say the least. But his death was so easily preventable.

I have been on the Bloodvein River at least 30 times guiding extended trips down this magnificent river. I have seen exactly three bears in all those trips.

Never, ever, have I had a bear anywhere near my campsite. All three of my sightings occurred while paddling down the river and observing the bear on the shoreline.

In other words, there is absolutely no need for a firearm on this river to protect oneself. The wildlife is more afraid of you than you are of it. RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish is correct in stating there is great responsibility with handling a firearm, but she is out to lunch when she states bears, cougars and other types of wildlife "may pose a threat." Yes, the area is remote, but the need for a firearm in most of these areas is absolutely unnecessary.

A ban on firearms on this river, except during hunting season and only if you carry a licence to hunt, is a sure way to stop this from happening again.



Succinct and chilling

Re: History makes it clear (Letters, June 1). Rarely have I seen such a succinct and chilling list of the evils perpetrated by our forbears on our indigenous population. I support Diana Frantz in her comments on Bradley Walker's May 30 letter, Separate system unacceptable.

I might add that Walker seems not to recognize the Supreme Court of Canada made the aboriginal court decision based on the judges' learned interpretation of the spirit and letter of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Perhaps Walker does not share my faith the justices understand their business.

We need to adopt this change in administering justice for aboriginals and other disadvantaged citizens. I remind us all of the famous Albert Einstein quote: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."




In arguing for an aboriginal justice, Diana Frantz is arguing for more of the same history that has afflicted aboriginal people in Canada: different treatment.

Is there a point in time when the courts will cease considering historic disadvantage as a mitigating factor or are the detrimental social effects of history indefinite?

Should law be so subjective and arbitrary? Is any people's "unique history" worth contravening the universality of equal justice?



Food humour off target

It is time for Doug Speirs to learn the difference between funny and not funny (I'm going to die(t), June 5). With one of the most authoritative studies in the world, Global Burden of Disease, concluding the leading risk factor for diseases of Canadians is dietary, Speirs' description of healthy food as "wood chips" is not funny.

If he has any sympathy for the unnecessary death and disability resulting from poor dietary choices, he would direct his talents at making fun of processed food culture, rather than contributing it.

The federal government's total failure to make any progress on reducing sodium in our foods and its great success in making pizzas cheaper by deregulating mozzarella cheese while fretting about the cost of health care, has tragicomic potential.



NHL sees the light

Re: Visors will change the look of the NHL -- and fighting, too (June 6). On behalf of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, I would like to applaud the NHL competition committee for their decision to make hockey visors mandatory. By doing so, the NHL demonstrates a commitment to the safety of their athletes and champions the importance of proper eye protection in sports.

A recent study conducted by the CNIB shows an estimated 62,000 Canadians incur a sports eye-injury every year. Ninety per cent of sports eye-injuries can be prevented by the wearing of proper eye protection.

This message from the NHL will go a long way to reduce the potential loss of vision due to sports eye injuries.




Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 8, 2013 A16

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