Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
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Shelter dogs not always best
Re: Magnificent mutts, Feb. 18.
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I adore rescue dogs, and volunteered at the Winnipeg Humane Society every week for nine years -- and I own a purebred dog.
It never would have occurred to me to get anything but a rescue dog for my first dog. By the time I was able to get a dog, however, I had a seven-year-old daughter who was very sensitive around dogs -- large dogs and barking caused her great anxiety, no matter how much I tried to acclimate her.
I looked at many shelters for a small, gentle dog that didn't bark much, even taking one home with high hopes -- only to have those hopes dashed.
Reluctantly, I began researching breeds and discovered a good fit for my daughter was a whippet. They're gentle, and bark so rarely that they're almost mute. I found a reputable, registered breeder and we now give our dog a loving, permanent home. If all dog owners were this responsible in their research and care, there would be no need for shelters.
I will continue to support and advocate for shelters, but now understand rescue dogs aren't always the perfect fit for every situation.
Fix child-welfare system first
Re: Before we shelve the report, Feb. 18.
Clark Brownlee isn't the first lobbyist to exploit the murder of Phoenix Sinclair, but he may be the first to be so brutally candid about it:
"Before the findings of the Hughes commission report on the death of Phoenix Sinclair have been lost and forgotten and before the next child dies needlessly, we must all be reminded there are more issues at play than the effectiveness of the child-welfare system."
If the child-welfare system isn't effective enough to prevent another child's needless death, there is no other issue more pressing.
As vital as social-housing initiatives are, there is no indication housing was an issue in Phoenix's case. But it's not just the poor taste of lobbying over a child's grave; Brownlee is disturbingly casual with expecting general dismissiveness of the inquiry commission's report and the inevitability of further needless deaths.
Prefacing an argument with cynicism is a poor choice, but to predict more deaths and still think the issue of affordable housing matters more than the effectiveness of the child-welfare system is to have made a moral calculation.
Stop digging graves before you start digging basements.
Patient release inappropriate
The Winnipeg Free Press article Discharge measures appropriate (Feb. 14) smacks of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's finger-pointing elsewhere.
After an internal investigation, the WRHA CEO stated "medical assessments were deemed appropriate" and "these gentlemen were deemed competent and discharges were deemed appropriate," indicating the health care system met the needs of these patients.
Are we truly to believe such ludicrous statements after these patients' nearly immediate deaths after discharge?
The discharged individuals felt sufficiently ill enough to get themselves to a hospital, unaccompanied, and obviously concerned about their well-being. I would expect that if these patients had remained in hospital for a longer period of time, their immediate medical outcomes would have surfaced within the hospital setting, which is why they were there in the first place.
Where the appropriate care should have been given in the first place is still not being recognized and dealt with by the WRHA.
The NDP government and the WHRA have washed their hands of any responsibility for the deaths of two people shortly after being released from hospital.
We now are officially in the era of taxicab medicine in Manitoba.
Olympics ignore reality
Thanks to Will Braun for his courageous article Olympism? Then call me an atheist (Feb. 18). By pointing out the all-too-easily ignored global realities of poverty and justice, he unmasks the sense of entitlement that underlies slogans such as "owning the podium."
Wake-up calls by truth-tellers such as Mr. Braun are sorely needed to hasten the fulfillment of the noble and worthy ideals espoused by the Games.
Libraries, archives at risk
In Glover touts infrastructure funding (Feb. 15), Ashley Prest describes the Shelly Glover's promotion of the new Building Canada Fund, although details about access to this fund have not been finalized.
More disappointing, however, was the absence of any mention of Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC), and the ongoing search for a new director willing to work under federal constraints. As heritage minister, this should be a priority for Glover. The fate of the major repository for our heritage and history appears muddled.
Considering the recent dismemberment of federal institutes where key resources in fisheries, diagnostic imaging, as well as cereal research were discarded, I'm not surprised librarians and other scholars are worried about the low priority apparently given to LAC.
MPI not a business
Contrary to what the soon-to-be-retired CAO of the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation said in a recent speech to a business audience, MPI isn't a business -- it's an administrative process (MPI here to stay: exiting CEO, Feb. 15).
It was suggested in the Free Press article that those in Manitoba who still do not see the wisdom and benefit of this bureaucratic, impersonal set of regulations and edicts are "haters." It seems that MPI holds the view that reasonable people can't make a thoughtful argument that a private auto-insurance business model would be better.
When MPI faces the sustained and battering winds of competition and a free market, it will have earned the right to call itself an enterprise or business.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 20, 2014 A10
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