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Bullying message unheeded

I find it ironic with all the bullying information and anti-bullying campaigns that our politicians have failed to heed their own message.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford is a classic case of a bully who continues his campaign of harassment and intimidation. Then there's Peter MacKay and the PMO harassing and targeting Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. The Conservative attack ads are just another form of bullying and harassment.

It's time our politicians set the example of appropriate behaviour and get on with the task of running the country. But perhaps this is asking too much.

STEPHEN PAYNE

Winnipeg

Harper must know more

Re: PMO meddling 'disturbing,' (Nov. 22). When someone becomes prime minister, Canadians rightfully expect such a person to possess a certain level of intelligence. So why then is Stephen Harper still refusing to provide straight answers to questions about the Senate scandal. In my opinion, that can only mean that he knows more than he wants us to believe and that he hopes all of that will eventually fade away.

Wrong. He thinks this phase is painful? Just wait and see how much more painful it's going to be for him and his party.

ANDY CHIASSON

Selkirk

Sad and cruel treatment

Re: Northern exposure (Nov. 21). Movie critic Randall King says the documentary The Last Dogs of Winter is "ostensibly" about the "endangered Eskimo dogs and the efforts of doggedly determined Churchill resident Brian Ladoon to save the beautiful animal from extinction."

"Ostensibly" is correct. Since when in the 21st century did chaining dogs 24/7 in harsh Arctic conditions with no shelter and open exposure to polar bears and other wildlife qualify as humane treatment? This is a sad and cruel situation and should be considered a violation of the Animal Care Act.

As much as Ladoon and these filmmakers would like Canadians and international tourists to buy into a romanticized view of polar bears "hugging" dogs, there have been reports that these dogs are also periodically mauled by polar bears and other wildlife.

It would be unreasonable to assume that these dogs are not possible targets for mauling given that they are chained, isolated and unable to run from predators. Further, polar bears have in recent years been under extreme food pressure due to regression of ice, making them all the more interested in alternate food sources.

If this documentary is "an excellent portrait of Churchill," then we have a long way to go to improving the conditions of these supposedly endangered dogs.

NANCY C. BROWN

Winnipeg

Appalled by restrictions

Re: Bylaw to enforce closures (Nov. 20). I am appalled at the proposed further restrictions for vehicular traffic on Lyndale Drive.

My wife and I have lived on this street for 35 years and in that time we have seen drastic changes. What was once a nice drive along a winding road with scenic river views for most of its length has now turned into a free parking lot for the cheapskates from the St. Boniface Hospital who do not want to pay parking fees around the hospital area.

Furthermore, the section of Lyndale that I live on is considered a Third World street as far as snow clearing is concerned. We are lucky if it gets done twice a winter.

PAUL NAJDA

Winnipeg

Respect peoples' choices

Bill Rolls (Echoes of America, Letters, Nov. 21) is convinced that authentic democracy is inherently dysfunctional. He seems to believe that our senators "merely need to be people of probity and integrity" to fix all problems with our federal government.

However ethically righteous an official may be, there is also something to be said for the peoples' choice. Rolls appears desirous of a society that writes off what the majority wants based on a cherry-picked selection of popular ideas. Canada isn't a nation consisting solely of professional political analysts, but civilians' input should be valued.

Additionally, the "argument from America" gets old with risible ease. Just because the Americans have tried it and it doesn't live up to their own hype is not a good reason to discard it altogether. We have learned from mistakes made in the U.S. in other arenas, and we can do so here by remodelling our Senate into one whose members truly owe allegiance to the people who chose them -- the voters.

MICHAEL BAGAMERY

Winnipeg

Exploiting weakness

In his defense of pacifism (Who makes war call?, Letters Nov. 19), Jack Thiessen asks, "Even if wars are a necessity, who makes that call?"

In the case of the Second World War, it was Germany, Japan, Italy and the Soviet Union that made such a call, not because they felt war was a necessity, but because they had an opportunity to seize territory, along with human and natural resources.

As a result, war became a necessity for those countries resisting their aggression.

Pacifism might work well when all sides involved share the ideal. But if there are entities that view the principle as a sign of weakness to be easily exploited, it becomes a liability because, as France learned in 1940, often only a thin line separates pacifism and defeatism.

EDWARD KATZ

Winnipeg

Agreeing with the socialists

Heather Jones may be surprised to find that I agree wholeheartedly with her statement that there is plenty of waste of tax dollars at all levels of government (Statements not equivalent, Letters, Nov. 18).

Wouldn't it be nice if a political party would evolve in Canada that would run on a platform of moving toward a smaller, less invasive government and which would guarantee to bring down nothing but balanced budgets? I'll go out on a limb and speculate that Jones would be among the first one at the polls to vote for that party.

Yeah, right, and the Titanic is going to rise from the Atlantic and sail to Bristol.

CAL PAUL

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 25, 2013 A8

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