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Relying on PC press releases

It's been a subject of derision that the Free Press editorial pages constitute the major source of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative party's research capacity. That the Free Press should now be relying on Conservative press releases for editorial content is disappointing (PST hike all grip and grim, Aug. 30).

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Our slightly higher inflation rate can be attributed to a healthier economy, and Manitobans prepared to look out their windows know the PST increase for infrastructure has barely caused a ripple. I must confess, though, my family will be deferring the purchase of that $20,000 boat because of the additional $200 tax.



Cut copter, not people

Re: Review puts police under knife (Aug. 29). How typical of this city's way of thinking. "Major cuts" means laying off police officers. But is it really necessary?

When cities south of the border had a "cash crunch," the first thing to go was their expensive police helicopters. Preserving police officers' jobs was paramount in their eyes. Back here in Winnipeg, there is no talk of dumping Sam Katz's prized chopper -- the one that flies barely a few hours a day at a yearly cost of millions.

Instead, a city infamous for its murder and arson rates would rather dump its police officers.



Dietary habits change

In her Aug. 28 letter, Eating well counts, too, Elisabeth Harms exaggerates the importance of what we eat. Human beings have subsisted on a wide variety of diets, none of which would be called healthy by today's dietitians.

For instance, if, 100 years ago, you had shown an Inuit a carrot or a cabbage and suggested he eat it he would have thought you were joking. A Masai warrior from East Africa would take a cow, stick a knife in its jugular vein and add a pint of blood to its milk and consider that a very satisfying meal.

In 1695, the warden of the Eastern Marches wrote to his superiors in London requesting more money for rations for his troops. "Because of inflation and the poor harvest I have had to put the men on short rations," he wrote. "I can only give them 11/2 pounds of beef, a 12-ounce loaf of bread, four ounces of butter, four ounces of cheese and three pints of beer per day." Those men were not obese, by any measure.

This would seem to indicate that taking in only as many calories as you can burn is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.




Your Aug. 24 feature In the shadow of the bulge article focuses on obesity. But the biggest risk to overall health is sedentary behaviour. Studies show an obese person who is physically active uses fewer health-care dollars than a person of average size who is inactive.

More needs to be done to help people understand the health risks associated with being sedentary and find ways to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives.


Reh-Fit Centre


Feeding the troops

The responsibility to protect advocated by Lloyd Axworthy (There is a role for Canada in action against Assad, Aug. 28) is a policy that would have Canadians getting involved in wars in which we have no business. Who benefits from such a policy besides the military industrial complex?

Axworthy ignores the fact Canada is deeply in debt and can't afford to fight everybody else's battles. However, nothing is stopping Axworthy from making his way to Syria and personally fighting for what he believes in.

If he is too old to carry a gun, he can always peel potatoes.

Canadians would be better served by a policy of honest friendship with all nations, and entangling alliances with none, as advocated by classic liberals like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.



Dismayed by smackdown

As an indigenous woman, I am dismayed by the comments by the verbal smackdown reported in your Aug. 28 story Trading accusations. Eric Robinson and Barbara Judt need to calm down and come to an understanding to diffuse this situation, which both have a hand in creating.

Yes, Robinson wrote and later apologized for his "do-good white people" remark. I hope the Manitoba Human Rights Commission reads closely Dan Lett's Aug. 28 column, Robinson denies anger driving him, which reports Robinson's experience as a residential school survivor. As many Canadians know, this system was set up and administered by the then-majority culture, which was Anglo-European or "white." They saw fit to "do good" and fix the problems of First Nations peoples. Robinson has lived the effects of do-good white people.

That Judt cannot and will not accept Robinson's apology speaks volumes about how rigid her world view is.

Bottom line, there is no place for any racist remarks directed at any people or group for any reason. However, Judt and her organization need to be sensitive to the fact that assimilationist history in Canada may make some aboriginal people particularly wary of "white people" who want to "do good."



An obvious equation

I agree 100 per cent with Wilma Sotas's Aug. 27 letter, Question answers itself. Oversized homes equal more consumption of energy.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2013 A16

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