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The value of Buck naked

Good Page 1 frontal attack, Free Press. When all else fails with the Bombers, give us quarterback Buck Pierce in the buff (Buck's back, June 27). It works.

If Pierce plans to pose half-dressed and holding a football during games at Investors Group Field this season, I'm there. Ooh la la!

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Unnecessary confrontation

All residents of Canada's aboriginal reserves, now commonly known as First Nations, deserve the same high quality standards and guaranteed protections governing the provision and availability of clean drinking water as those which benefit non-reserve residents and visitors to this country.

That was surely the reason the new Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act was recently passed in the House (First Nations water act doomed?, June 26). It seems unnecessarily confrontational for Prof. Karen Busby to suggest the real purpose behind this legislation was to derogate authority from self-governing tribal bands or to encroach on constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights.

It is as conspiratorially unsound to assert this protective health-care legislation was enacted to deprive aboriginal communities of their powers as it is to suggest the reason the act was necessary was to counter the negligence of governing band councils in not ensuring federal and provincial standards had been properly attended.

The first duty of care required of any political leadership is to ensure the safety of the people it represents. Responsible First Nations leadership realizes that having clearly defined and well-regulated standards is the opening economic argument toward securing the funds necessary to upgrade on-reserve, water-related infrastructure and operations monitoring.

Rather than being a bald federal government power grab, the act sets safety goals and insures that elected native officials maintain local control through targeted priority budgeting. Having clean water is nothing more than what is deserved and nothing less than what is owed.




Staggered by CFS

Words can hardly describe the sorrow in my heart as I read your story 'There's an awful lot of grief' after Mennonite children seized (June 22).

But while my heart goes out to the parents and children, I find the actions of the Child Family Services deplorable. Did the CFS really steal 40 children from their homes? Does anyone at the CFS consider the psychological trauma a child must go through to be suddenly snatched from their parents and sent to live with strangers?

Surely, if we in this society care for the well-being of children, we would first try every means possible to rectify the situation. Let the CFS take drastic action when a child's life is in danger, or when sexual abuse is involved. But it is certain that no child in that Mennonite community was in any such situation.

I am staggered an organization whose stated mission is to "provide a range of services focused on the well-being of children and families" should have the power and policy to both shatter families and cause untold mental and emotional trauma to children for no other cause than because a community of Mennonites is only a few years behind the times.

Let it be remembered almost everyone now alive and over 50 grew up with the possibility of being strapped at home and school. And let it be remembered the Canadian Criminal Code, Sec. 43 states, "Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances."




What is Child and Family Services thinking? Why on earth would they remove all the children from the Old Order Mennonite community when about 13 youths aged seven to 14 were the targets of assault? Why the babies? If the original punishment of those 13 was excessive, removing all but one of the children has to be way over the top of excess.

Who is in physical danger here? Let them be removed to safety. The long-term effect of this displacement and disruption may be much more severe. Have we learned nothing from our residential schools history?




Top noggin unprotected

I was bicycling to work on June 26 at 8:30 a.m., over the Esplanade Bridge, when I was happy, and impressed, to observe Premier Greg Selinger cycling over the bridge (on the other side).

He looked very fit and healthy biking, and handsome in his business clothes. The only thing missing was a bike helmet.

As a registered nurse and active cyclist, I respectfully encourage the premier to wear a helmet -- for his own safety and to be a positive role model for cyclists of all ages.




Wind a clean backup

Manitoba Hydro has quit its policy of attaining one gigawatt of wind power. This would have been a clean backup to hydro during low-water years, and wind farms are paid for by private companies.

I guess Hydro wants to add to its substantial debt by building more dams at double their estimates, instead of taking a more prudent course of action.




Agreeing with grammarian

The headline of Barbara Bowes' June 22 story is Nobody's perfect and the sub-headline reads "making mistakes are part of life."

The headline should read, "Making mistakes is part of life." Nobody's perfect, indeed.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2013 A12

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