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Addressing the human cost

Steve Ducharme's Dec. 10 article, Fighting for a fishery, speaks of the loss of the fishers' ability to earn a livelihood on South Indian Lake. But there was a human cost of the flooding still waiting to be addressed.

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When South Indian Lake was flooded, about 400 people were residents there. The Northern Flood Agreement set up a process for their claims for personal loss to be considered through an arbitration process.

Claims were filed and the process began but ground to a halt when the arbitrator's term expired and she retired. No successor was appointed and the claims have languished for more than 11/2 years, unheard and not yet considered. Being promised a way to claim compensation is valueless if the claims can not move forward.

It has been the province's responsibility to fill the vacant northern flood arbitrator's position. No one has yet been appointed. Without one, 400 people whose lives were forever changed still wait.

SAM MALAMUD

Winnipeg

ñº

When are the namby-pamby editors at the Free Press going to stand up to the silliness of the neutral genderists who have foisted upon our beautiful English language the word "fishers."

If they are men, the word is "fishermen."

They call themselves fishermen, their wives call them fishermen, their mothers call them fishermen, their friends call them fishermen, the public calls them fishermen. This not just in Canada but throughout the entire English-speaking world.

If women who fish don't wish to be called fishermen, they can call themselves fisherwomen or, if they are so intent on changing the Queen's English, fishers. But call a man who fishes a fisherman. It's not complicated.

MURRAY WILSON

Winnipeg

Stewardship a priority

Re: Shelterbelts go by the wayside (Dec. 7). Our government has gone the extra mile over the past 18 months to keep the nursery at Indian Head functional through the end of 2013. We have made it clear from the beginning that any short-term lease could not involve the use of government funds.

I must take issue with the negative portrayal of farmers and the environment. Environmental stewardship has always been a top priority for Canadian farmers, whatever the market conditions. Careful management of soil and water resources is understood to be essential for production and for preserving the land for future generations.

Economic and environmental sustainability aren't either-or; they go hand in hand. That's why our government has a strong record of solid environmental programming and research that helps farmers safeguard our resources while strengthening the farm gate.

GERRY RITZ

Minister of Agriculture

Ottawa

Significant contribution

Re: Hot on the recruitment trail (Dec. 9). There are currently about 6,000 international students in Manitoba, contributing more than $154 million to our economy each year.

Students are studying in secondary, post-secondary and language programs throughout Manitoba. They study in smaller communities like Dauphin and Otterburne, and in the bigger centres of Brandon and Winnipeg.

International students contribute significantly to the diversity of our schools. Many live with homestay families, each sharing their culture, developing life-long relationships. This goes hand in hand with improved political partnerships and increased trade opportunities. Many students choose to immigrate to Manitoba after their studies are complete and we, as a province, are better for this industry.

The 25 institutional members of the Manitoba Council for International Education (MCIE) are passionate about what they do. We recruit students from all four corners of the globe and we have a heavy presence in China. While there is always room to grow, our industry is out there, promoting the first-rate opportunities that exist in Manitoba's educational institutions.

KAREN STROBEL

Manitoba Council for International Education

Winnipeg

Illustrating a bias

The vast majority of resolutions against Israel to which Walter Wiebe refers in his Dec. 10 letter, Two different Israels, are illustrative of the systematic bias perpetrated against the Jewish state and are in violation of the UN Charter's guarantee of equal treatment to all nations large and small.

By the end of the year, 21 resolutions will be adopted against Israel and only four against other countries. There are no UN General Assembly resolutions on gross and systematic abuses committed by China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Zimbabwe, nor many other major perpetrators of grave violations of human rights.

The Israel that Harper believes has a right to exist was one of the first countries on the scene in the Philippines, establishing a field hospital staffed by about 200 Israelis and then leaving its medical equipment behind for the use and benefit of the population. It is the same Israel where 30 per cent of pediatric patients at the renowned Hadassah Hospital are Palestinian, cared for at Israel's expense. That hospital is training 60 Palestinian medical interns and specialist physicians who will be returning to the Palestinian Authority areas to carry out their work.

It is the same Israel that admitted the granddaughter of Gaza's Hamas prime minister for treatment to Schneider Children's Medical Center for Israel, even as Hamas, whose charter openly calls for Israel's destruction, continues to threaten the Jewish state with genocide.

It is the same Israel that is treating Syrian wounded and refugees on humanitarian grounds, despite being officially at war with that country. It is the same Israel that on Dec. 9 signed a co-operative accord dealing with water development with Jordan and, wait for it, Mr. Wiebe, the Palestinians.

LEIGH HALPRIN

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 14, 2013 A16

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