Doctor 'glut' nothing new
Re: Doctor glut in pipeline (Oct. 15). The so-called glut of physician manpower is nothing new. When I ceased practising in Manitoba in 2002, I was never replaced, even though candidates were readily available.
Morris Barer and Robert Evans admit that waiting lists for patients in Canada are "far longer here than in most of the comparator countries." There is a disconnect between the "glut" of medical manpower and the self-evident shortage, as evidenced by the long waiting lists. This is a direct result of a government-mismanaged health-care system.
A fixed annual budget for the hospital results in every service rendered to the public having to be regarded as a cost. To stay within budget, the volume of service has to be curtailed. No matter how long the waiting list, the institution simply cannot afford more doctors.
DR. HENRY KRAHN
Jeopardizing a semester
Re: One week for profs, U of M to make deal (Oct. 16). I am a first-year student at the University of Manitoba and have never experienced a strike at an educational institution, but I can only imagine the problems that the U of M Faculty Association will put us through if a strike does happen.
Our current semester could be in jeopardy. I know what kinds of problems occurred at Brandon University when those students were out of class for a whopping 47 days. BU students fell behind considerably in their education, and their grades were put at risk.
This week, all I ask is that the U of M and UMFA come to an agreement so that at least we students will not be affected by terrible ramifications in the event of a strike.
Bigger fines the ticket
Re: How many people have to die? (Oct. 15). No one is paying attention to the new penalties imposed for distracted driving, and most people don't care enough to even try to conceal use of cellphones. Unless the penalties are harsh, this will continue and many more will die.
Make the first offence $500 and four demerits. Make a repeat offence double that and seize the vehicle. Not paying attention while driving and killing people is no different than driving drunk and killing people. Heck, the fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $300 and four demerits, and that driver is paying attention to driving and can only hurt himself, no one else, unlike drunk or distracted driving.
People would think twice if they knew that it could cost them $1,000 if they got caught using their cellphones when driving.
The media could also help by reporting how often cellphone drivers are caught and fined. Another option might be to take away perpetrators' driver's licences for a month.
Todd went through a lot
Re: Measures to curb bullying now law (Oct. 11). It is great that Bill 18 was passed, and it's wonderful that everyone is on board with the new anti-bullying bill. Bullying has been a huge problem for decades, and it's about time that we had something like this in place to help those who are on both ends of bullying.
However, to say that Amanda Todd's death was the result of only cyber-bullying is a huge under-representation of what she went through before she died. When she was 12, she was convinced by an adult male she met online to flash him. For the next three years, this full grown man then harassed her. She moved from school to school and he followed her, making this picture available to the students in all of her new schools.
She did not feel comfortable in any of these spaces and did not have the freedom to even move to another school without this man finding her there.
Todd did not kill herself simply because of cyber-bullying. Her mental health was so impacted by a man who saw fit to sexually harass her that she saw no other way out. This anti-bullying bill is a great start, but when are legislators going to do something about the constant sexual harassment and oppression that women and girls face, both online and in their day-to-day lives?
Navy acting spoiled
Re: Bottleneck means country's new supply ships delayed (Oct. 12). It seems the Royal Canadian Navy is playing the spoiled child at the expense of the coast guard.
The Harper government's choice of whose ship to build first was certainly made easier when the navy breaks theirs (HMCS Protecteur) and takes her out of service.
A secretive division
Your Oct. 15 headline You might need a map if trustees redraw wards (Oct. 15) suggests a refreshing change if taxpayers were finally able to find out anything of the Winnipeg School Division's actions.
Go to the division website and look at the board minutes. There is such a paucity of information and no revelation of what is decided in camera. Such secrecy befits comparison with Chairman Mao.
Take a look at rural divisions such as Prairie Spirit. Their board minutes are published in the local newspaper and include financial and personnel matters.
The WSD secrecy is shocking and unsupportable, and its current board members are not fit for the purpose. Any move that would make trustees more accountable to their electors would be an improvement.
L. DALE GUY
Printing press releases
I am deeply concerned the Free Press allowed the president of Omnitrax to submit what amounts to a press release (Omnitrax committed to safety, environment, Oct. 15) to your editorial pages.
In the future, please ensure that you use reporters, since you are a newspaper and doing actual fact-finding is part of your mandate.