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Paper is so 20th century

Re: Inquest focuses on missing paper (Aug. 27). Why on Earth is the Health Sciences Centre emergency room still using paper?

In this digital age, why wouldn't the aide have a tablet, netbook or a dedicated smartphone that would link to the ER's main computer? She enters the name of the person waiting to be triaged, and the information joins the queue at the triage desk along with that person's medical information for that hospital.

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Come to think of it, why doesn't Manitoba Health issue new health cards (ours are horribly outdated anyway) that include a QR code? Then, if you have a speech impediment or can't communicate for some reason, your card gets scanned and your information is readily available.

These ideas are pretty basic, cost-effective alternatives to a notepad when lives may be on the line.




Paying it forward not OK

Re: Remark not racist: Robinson (Aug. 27). So since Eric Robinson feels he was a victim of racism as a child, it's OK for him to give some racism back today? This kind of comment is atrocious coming from any human being, let alone a deputy premier.

And maybe those "white do-gooders" should take their money and spend it on a different charity.




If Eric Robinson thought a burlesque fundraiser was a bad idea for Osborne House, he shouldn't have been questioning Barbara Judt's judgment. He should have been asking what's wrong with the funding model when Osborne House is left in a position where they can't pick and choose when someone offers to help them raise funds to provide services.

I'm not questioning the decision or the fundraiser. I'm just constantly surprised by how the "haves" always question what the "have-nots" need to do to get by, instead of actually doing anything to help them get by.




In her Aug. 27 letter, Monique Woroniak says that "people who are white in Canada... don't and can't experience racism." This is completely untrue.

I grew up in Toronto from 1965 to 1985. I suffered through an abusive public school and welfare system.

I have experienced racism against me dozens of times.




Emulating France

In Quebec emperors have no clothes (Aug. 23), three letter-writers harshly criticize the government of Quebec's decision to restrict the presence of religious symbols in the workplace.

Quebec appears to be emulating France in adopting the concept of "laïcité," which separates church and state, including banning public display of religious symbols. In France, there is a separation between private life (where religion is to be practised) and public life as an equal citizen (free of religious or other individualities).

If Quebec is to be criticized for this practice, so is France. The French Revolution provides a backdrop for understanding the evolution of the concept of laïcité. The French people have learned important lessons from abuses by those in religious or monarchical authority.

Major contributions to the development of human rights, including the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and the Napoleonic Code, have been launched on French soil.

The letters seem to represent an ethnocentric (dare I say English?) position, which can only reduce co-operation between English and French Canadians. The clothes to be removed would seem to be those of misunderstanding of, and intolerance for, the practices of others. Perhaps we all could benefit from being reminded of the principles behind the French Revolution: liberté, égalité, fraternité.




Question answers itself

In answer to the question posed in the headline over Mary Agnes Welch's Aug. 24 story, Are we power dumb?, it seems that we are.

With the pie chart indicating that 30 per cent of our electrical consumption goes to heating and 25 per cent to appliances, it might be an idea to look at the oversized homes we live in.

If Manitobans bought reasonably sized homes, which are more manageable financially and require far less cost for heating and cooling, then we might be able to say we are power smart rather than power dumb.




As accurate and helpful as Mary Agnes Welch's article is, it is equally lamentable that the leadership on the conservation issue is coming from the media and not the government.

There are so many opportunities to save electricity that would make building more dams up north unnecessary. Remembering, of course, that a Hydro dam is not about conservation but about choosing a renewable resource instead of a carbon source, often at considerable cost to the local environment near and downstream of the dam.




Rifles out of date

Re: Harper drops in for some northern exposure (Aug. 22). When I was in the British Royal Air Force in 1951, we used for target practice the Enfield rifle. (I never did hit the bull's-eye.) That is over 60 years ago, and we are still using the old Enfield .303 in Northern Canada. God, and more, help us.

This is just another example of the second-class-citizen status in which we regard our aboriginal people. Are they not worthy of something better and more up-to-date, if only to save their own lives?

Imagine giving those rifles to the army in the south. What is good for one is surely good for the other. I have no idea of the number of aboriginal reservists up north, but if there are 1,000, multiply that for the cost of modern-day rifles and we would have a more cost-effective and efficient northern defence.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2013 A8


Updated on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM CDT: adds links

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