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Thompson's legacy cloudy

I'm not particularly interested in politicians, but found myself being addressed by one at a luncheon last Friday (Is that Winnipeg under a laser beam?, Jan. 18). Bartley Kives has already dissected former Winnipeg mayor Susan Thompson's speech, but that's easy pickings.

Someone said Thompson meant well in delivering her "innovative vision" speech regarding Winnipeg's future. What interests me is Kives' context for that trashing: that Susan Thompson wrestled power from an old boys' club into the hands of elected officials.

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That sounds laudible, and maybe every future Winnipeg mayor does have Thompson to thank for that. But citizens of Winnipeg don't. A process of checks and balances between elected officials and appointed bureaucrats keeps politicians accountable, and in one instance, apparently saved us from hot tubs and laser beams at Portage and Main.

Perhaps the Free Press was dabbling in irony by placing Susan Thompson's photo opposite Phil Sheegl's. Slow but steady progress might seem a nuisance to Thompson; eliminating accountability is the legacy she has left. Meaning well is not the same as doing good.




Coming out no small feat

As a parent of a gay son, I was happy to read how Chris Voth has come to accept who he is in the article Spiking down stereotypes (Jan. 18). The fact he had to go through a transition period and fear the "macho, boys-will-be-boys" sport mentality is a sad commentary on society.

I look forward to the day when parents don't have to go through a difficult time of understanding, or being uncomfortable with, their children who are LGBTQ. We all have a responsibility to raise awareness and question stereotypes. It is critical we understand our biases if we are to better ourselves and our world.

Chris is a very courageous young man and I commend him for beginning his own volleyball tournament called Pride Without Prejudice and donating all proceeds to Pride Winnipeg.




Euthanasia fear unfounded

Sally Young's letter Euthanasia raises fear (Jan. 18) is a good example of fear-mongering and misinformation. The intent of euthanasia, which is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and a handful of U.S. states, is to end a life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering, and is done at the explicit request of the person who wishes to die.

Research has failed to find evidence of increased harm to vulnerable patients or disabled persons due to the legalization of euthanasia. Belgium regularly is high in rankings of the world's best palliative-care systems, and palliative care must be offered by that country's health practitioners to individuals considering euthanasia.

Most who oppose euthanasia appear to do so on the basis of religious philosophy. Let's have the debate without knee-jerk fear and misinformation.




Minister should have known

Once again we learn that Heritage Minister Shelly Glover "misinterpreted" rules and regulations (Glover fundraiser blurred lines: critics, Jan. 19). The first time was with Elections Canada, when she "misinterpreted" the spending regulations. She quickly decided to co-operate with Elections Canada just before her appointment to the heritage portfolio.

Now we learn she may have "misinterpreted" the federal conflict-of-interest guidelines regarding a meet-and-greet event where attendees, mostly from the arts community, were to pay $50 for such a privilege.

It sounds like a fundraising event to me, as it should have to Glover, but she attended anyway. And, like many of her cohorts, she threw her misinformed riding association people under the bus alongside Nigel Wright.




Waiting-room doctors needed

In Saturday's article No universal standards of care for Canadian emergency rooms (Jan. 18), Dr. Alan Drummond says, "Without a bed, you can't examine other patients -- unless we want to start examining patients in the waiting room."

To which I reply: "Yes, please."

I have spent time in these rooms of misery and have witnessed people in great pain waiting for hours for relief. I would love to have a doctor come out and walk among us, talk with us, bring painkillers when needed and monitor our ongoing decline.

This would provide reassurance that there is even a doctor on the premises.




Celebrate Nellie McClung

I am baffled as to why Brian Pallister continues to whine about the timing of the Nellie McClung celebration (McClung event focus of complaint, Jan. 18). The celebration was organized by the Manitoba Women's Advisory Council in mid-December, before the announcement of the two byelections.

The celebration is a totally separate issue that should be marked on the actual anniversary regardless of any type of political activity.


St. Adolphe


Getting groceries downtown

This has been a terrible winter. Lots of people here at Fred Douglas Place and all the people connected to the downtown skywalk are finding it very difficult getting groceries.

We feel nobody cares about us. We thought living downtown would be great, but we are having second thoughts.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2014 A7

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