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It doesn't add up

I can fully understand why Cal Paul (Teachers have it OK, Letters, Sept. 13) would take issue with teachers' workloads and compensation. After all, he was obviously greatly cheated out of a good education, given his math skills.

Sixteen weeks of vacation? Balderdash. And if the work of an educator is so easy, stress-free, and overpaid, why isn't he doing it? Right, those math skills again.

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There was a survey conducted by the Manitoba Teachers' Society, and the results of it were as reported.

As it goes, Cal Paul has shown total disregard for the voice of people describing the demands of their profession. No wonder teachers feel stressed out.




Here is a math question for Cal Paul. A teacher has an average of 32 students in each of five classes. It takes 15 minutes to mark each student essay (to read, to mark for content, style, structure and to add constructive comments). How many hours will it take the teacher to mark all the essays?

Here's another one. The same teacher coaches the varsity girls basketball team. Each week, he has three practices of 90 minutes, plus two hours' preparation and two hours for a game. The season lasts 13 weeks. How many hours does the teacher spend coaching?

Bonus questions: When does the teacher find the time? How much is he paid for coaching?




Other route more costly

Re: Mind-boggling traffic (Letters, Sept. 14). Provencher Boulevard has been a truck route for more than 31 years that I personally know of, and I can only imagine it has been a lot longer than that.

The trucking industry won't take it personally if trucks are restricted; they will have to find some other way to make their deliveries. They will pass the added cost on to their customers, who in turn will pass it on to the consumer.

So don't whine when your $2 coffee starts costing $3 or more. If sitting at an outdoor patio appeals to you, remember that one semi with a 53-foot trailer takes up the same room as about three cars, so do you really want to inhale the added exhaust.

Maybe the people who are choosing to live along truck routes should have thought about that before making the offer to purchase.





New approach is old

It is difficult to determine whether James Teller, in his Sept. 14 letter, Fletcher's approach important, is being serious or ironic about MP Steven Fletcher's new approach to developing electric power generation in the North.

Does anyone really think this is a new solution to power generation? The upgrade of interconnections with our western neighbours for power sales has long been promoted by the utility and is not a new solution. It is simply a good old solution.




Give kids sex info

Re: Let's tap about sex (Sept. 10). I couldn't agree more with Dr. Jennifer Theule and her critique of Dr. Jillian Roberts' sexual-education app. The description reminded me of my experience with sex education in a Catholic school more than 30 years ago. We must have come further than that by now.

Information, especially with regard to sex and young people learning to protect themselves, should not be stagnating. It should be moving forward and progressing.

If Roberts really wants to keep children safe, she should be advocating that they learn the real names of their body parts, for starters. The storybook ending just doesn't cut it anymore.




Safeguarding wildlife

In his otherwise fine article, Ottawa, province join to protect bears (Sept 10), Larry Kusch neglects to mention the value of establishing areas protected from industrial developments to help safeguard polar bears and the many other species, such as caribou and beluga whales, in this boreal wilderness region.

The largely undisturbed Seal River watershed, which lies adjacent to the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, provides a sanctuary.

Covering 50,000 square kilometres (nearly eight per cent of our province), the Seal River landscape encompasses a realm of unimaginable natural beauty and a richness of geography and ecology unparalleled in our province. Manitoba would be wise to launch a process through its upcoming protected-areas strategy to work with all involved to consider large-scale conservation of the Seal River and its watershed.


Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society -- Manitoba



An essential first step

Politicians who steal from taxpayers do not deserve a taxpayer-funded retirement. The proposed private member's Bill C-158 addresses this issue. As a result, I support the passage of Bill C-158, as a first but essential step in either reforming or abolishing the Senate.

The budget approved for the operation of the Senate would be better spent on providing human and financial resources to the various parliamentary committees of Parliament. I would prefer to see MPs (both government and opposition) being placed in a better position to serve Parliament in the operation of these committees, rather than allocating resources to individual senators, who are not accountable for their performance to Canadians.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 17, 2013 A8

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