Too cool for Lett
In his Aug. 23 column, He could smoke the opposition or see dreams go up in smoke, Dan Lett writes: "Older Canadians, who are more likely to vote, are vehemently opposed to any liberalization of pot laws."
I was born in 1943 (you do the math) and I would NOT vote for a politician who never smoked pot. What a nerd.
After Justin Trudeau admits smoking marijuana as an MP, Peter MacKay quickly and publicly denounces him. This is interesting coming from a minister who used a military helicopter as his personal taxi at a cost of $32,000 to taxpayers.
This is the same minister who, while working on the F-35 project, put the decimal in the wrong place at a cost of $10 billion.
Trudeau's judgment may have been clouded by smoking pot. What's MacKay's excuse?
A good leader is also a good listener, and by disregarding the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs' suggestions to soften penalties on simple marijuana possession, presented with excellent, rational reasons, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Prime Minister Stephen Harper prove they are neither.
Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay states his government has no intention of decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana "because of the harmful effects they have on users -- and on society for that matter."
Perhaps MacKay could explain why alcohol and tobacco products are sold legally across our country. I guess they're not harmful to users or society.
A stern-looking Peter MacKay accusing anyone else of a "lack of judgment"? 'Tis to laugh.
A public champion
It is with great sadness we at the Canadian Cancer Society learn of the passing of Robert Taylor, a truly gifted Manitoban (Photographer captured wildlife in images, Aug. 20).
Most will recognize this world-renowned photographer for his talent of capturing this wonderful province -- frolicking polar bears and the lichen-covered cliffs of Steep Rock to the silky waters of Mystic Creek and the majesty of a summer storm on the prairie. We want Manitobans to know Robert was also a courageous fighter.
While Robert waged his personal battle with cancer, he was also a public champion -- raising awareness about the importance of screening programs, identifying the early warning signs of the disease and helping raise funds for more research.
Last year Robert told his story on the condition that we focus our efforts on encouraging Manitobans to utilize provincial screening programs and educating them about warning signs that might suggest cancer. Robert's goal was simple: he did not want others to wait, as he had, before discovering cancer.
We are grateful for his help and we admire his courage in the face of cancer. This year 6,400 Manitoba families will face a cancer diagnosis. Because of people like Robert and others who bravely tell their stories, some Manitobans will discover cancer earlier -- improving their odds of beating it.
Robert touched many Manitobans with his art but for some, his greatest legacy will be his work that helped them discover this disease early. What I will remember about Robert was how he was able to be a cancer-fighting champion and not allow the disease define him. He was a man of nature and he lived his life that way to the end.
MARK A. McDONALD
Canadian Cancer Society, Manitoba
Preaching to converted
Liberal warns of fraud ahead of byelections (Aug. 22). Reviewing the last 25 federal byelections held in Canada, the average voter turnout has been a dismal 34.4 per cent. Telling people not to vote in a federal byelection is preaching to the already converted.
Liberal MP Ralph Goodale is full of sound and fury and devoid of common sense and substance. His rant may give Election Canada the opportunity to spend countless hours and public funds chasing down complaints without substance that produce no results. But it will not explain the lack of Liberal support here. Manitobans have more ethics and sense than trying to win elections through cheating.
Chiefs deserve praise
Re: Police praised for stand on mentally ill (August 22, 2013). Chief Devon Clunis and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police should be congratulated for recognizing the abysmal lack of adequate mental health services is one of the factors associated with higher levels of crime, in addition to poverty and ill health.
By working together, communities, government, health care professionals and law enforcement agencies have the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all Canadians and, in turn, make city streets safer. It is time to make appropriate mental health services a priority and accessible to all.
Dr. ANDREA PIOTROWSKI
Manitoba Psychological Society
Causing extra grief
I cannot believe you would publish John Longhurst's Aug. 17 column, The caring congregation.
The family of the late Lisa Gibson has been through enough grief and sadness without your paper implying if they went to church this tragedy might not have happened. This is journalism at its worst.