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'Baiz' built consensus

Along with countless others, I am deeply saddened by the passing of Don Baizley (His Scandinavian connection paid off, June 28). I was fortunate to do some labour-arbitration work with Don, before the hockey business became his full-time practice. He was a person of great compassion and fairness.

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During our deliberations on a particular case, where an employee had been dismissed, he related a story about how, while in law school, he and some of his buddies had gotten into some trouble with "the fuzz." He said his career flashed before his eyes, but he received a break from the judge. He said, "I believe in giving people a second chance."

Don proposed giving the employee involved in the arbitration a second chance and was able to achieve unanimity among the members of the arbitration board, which does not often occur in such cases. Don will be remembered as a voice of reason, a consensus-builder, and a person of humility and self-effacing humour.



Families getting larger

In his June 27 column, African population growth frightening, I feel Gwynne Dyer missed a major trend in North America, and that is a return to families of three to seven children.

I had my son nearly 30 years ago, and among my friends we were all very committed to replacement, no more. But people having children today do not seem to have that compunction.

Whether it is two original parents, or a combination of past and new families, families in North America are on their way to being larger.

Combine that with the much greater footprint of North American families, both in terms of use of our resources and in the use of overseas resources, including human labour, which diminishes conditions, including health, for people living in other countries.

This then keeps the larger-family cycle going, since the surviving children are the families' only legacies and perhaps the only way they can continue.



Doubtful of track record

Re: Teacher objects to museum donation. I, like Matthew Stacey, have serious reservations about the approved donation by my union to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, but for different reasons.

I simply don't think the organization's track record of management warrants our confidence to the tune of $1.5 million.

My opinion on the MTS process also differs from Stacey's. My local association did consult with members and took a split vote to the annual general meeting. While the final decision was contrary to my opinion, I feel due process was exercised at the local level.



Assaulting a child

How does one "properly administer" a good hiding on a child, someone who is not only much smaller than you but less powerful than you in all ways (A place for hiding, Letters, June 26)?

That is to say, how does one properly physically assault a child? Someone you love and have created?

If one were to physically assault anybody else, in the exact same manner, in most any environment, one would be arrested and charged.

As a longtime school counsellor, I have seen the results of Jack Thiessen's opinion and choices, and none of them are good. This brings to mind the current legislation being introduced on bullying.




A "good hiding behind the woodshed" is never a reasonable way to discipline a child.

Reasonable parents talk reason to their children. Physical discipline is a precursor to abuse and violence. It is illegal in reasonable countries like Sweden and should be everywhere.



Bateman is complicit

MP Joyce Bateman is complicit in seeking damages for a court case in which the judge criticized her for delaying and obstructing the process, and thus adding to the cost (Robocall MPs try to recover legal costs, June 25).

That she had no knowledge of what was being done in the last election campaign on her behalf speaks volumes about the Conservative brand of "accountability." However, there are, I am sure, mitigating circumstances. Her role as a Conservative MP seems to be to obey the apparatchiks in the Prime Minister's Office and never to reason why.

The fault, of course, is ours that we elected her and the devious government we now suffer.



Access to basic health care

The June 22 letter An ancient theology spreads misinformation not only about what fantastic health care refugees get but also the living allowances they receive.

First of all, seniors and everyone else should get basic health care, including dental and glasses. That's all privately sponsored refugees used to get from 1957 to 2012. They got it for their first year only in Canada and they were on their own after that.

Many refugees come to Canada directly out of refugee camps where they have never had any dental or eye care. The Interfaith House program was to ensure they could get that basic, first-time-ever care, if needed.



A summer tradition

Isn't this about the time of year some visitors from out of town get their car broken into and have all their possessions stolen, including irreplaceable photos and keepsakes?

Then the tourism associations from Winnipeg and Manitoba decide -- with much fanfare -- to give the victims free hotels and meals if they come back to prove we're really a great place after all.

Meanwhile, we locals drive around with garbage bags whipping in the wind covering our windows held on by duct tape.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 2, 2013 A8

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