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Posted: 02/25/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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Reflections on Sochi

At my high school, the men's semifinal hockey game against the U.S. on Friday was broadcast for all to watch in the cafeteria, and the outcome was announced over the intercom. I was disappointed that neither of those were done for the women's game the day before.

It's time we start changing the way we look at women's team sports, because something doesn't feel right about the way we currently distinguish between the two.






While the picture on the wrap of Monday's Winnipeg Free Press was beautiful, I believe Jonathan Toews should have been the paper's choice.

Toews is a Winnipegger, and scored the game's first goal, which turned out to be the game-winner.

I know Toews appeared on the front page of Monday's sports section to go along with Gary Lawless' story Worth his weight in gold (Feb. 24), but the hard work throughout the tournament by this Manitoba talent also deserved front-page coverage in Winnipeg.






I was surprised by Zach Bogosian's comments about the Olympic men's gold medal hockey game: "I was having a coffee, but I didn't watch the game" (Ellerby, Jets tune in Canada's golden game, Feb. 24).

Zach, you can drink coffee and watch hockey at the same time -- it's like walking and chewing gum.

You would think a pro hockey player would watch a gold-medal game, but I guess Bogosian figured there was nothing to learn or enjoy because he's an American.






In reading Olympism? Then call me an atheist (Feb. 19), I was reminded of the African runner who won the marathon many Olympics ago. When asked how he learned how to run so well, he said that chasing cows had prepared him. Unfortunately the cows did not receive the salaries some coaches now receive.

Canada has spent millions to "own the podium" -- the article notes that in the 2012 Summer Games in London, Canada took home twice as many medals as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria combined.

Linking a country's Olympic investment with the number of medals won gives a better measure of that nation's wealth than of Olympic talent.

The tens of billions spent to produce the Winter Olympics could have made poverty history in many places. And while many Canadians enjoy immersing themselves in the Games, it's worth remembering some of that money might have been better spent elsewhere.





Frustrating Festival

Re: Bigger not better for many at Festival, Feb. 19.

My friends and I, along with several hundred other Winnipeggers, arrived at Festival du Voyageur several hours before local band Royal Canoe was to play Saturday night.

We paid to enter and immediately joined a long, snaking line of over 200 people, all waiting for the same show. We waited over two hours in freezing cold weather, each taking turns warming up in the festival's information tent. We never got in, nor did we get to see anything else at the festival.

Is there no cap on ticket sales? There has to be a better system if so many paying customers are there to see such a popular band.

Until Festival du Voyageur addresses this issue my friends and I will not be returning.





Wrong on Ridgewood

Donavan Toews of Landmark Planning is wrong in his assertion that only the Van Roon family was opposed to the Ridgewood area plans (Fighting for his land, Feb. 22).

The Charleswood Historical Society (CHS) did not support the application, and registered (and spoke) in opposition to the presented plans, and a substantively different new amendment was put forward at the Feb. 4 public hearing.

CHS passed a motion at their January general membership meeting that opposed the Ridgewood area plan. This motion was submitted in writing to the city clerk, and is on record for all city councillors to verify and review before casting their vote this coming Wednesday. Electronic Hansard is also available on the city's website that clearly documents this opposition.

I received an email the night before the hearing that showed the new plan containing major amendments to proposed road locations. As president of CHS, I did not have time to consult properly with the other community group leaders on this matter or to consult with my executive or members.

The Charleswood Historical Society asked for one additional month to review new studies and plans, and to consult further before final decisions were made.

Is it not within council's power to provide a small amount of additional time to do the job right?




Disabilities changes overdue

Community Living Manitoba is very concerned with the opinion expressed by Judge Pollack that, in many cases, it is impossible for people with developmental disabilities to live in the community due to complex medical and behavioural support needs (Can't shut MDC despite death: judge who headed inquest, Feb. 21).

Many people with developmental disabilities who live in community homes and have the same or more complex medical needs than Anne Hickey. Agencies work with Family Services to develop coordinated health care plans with regional health authorities, doctors, and the supporting agency to ensure the safety.

Other provinces in Canada have developed plans to close large institutions such as the Manitoba Developmental Centre, recognizing people can and should live in the community with proper supports.

In 2005, Community Living Manitoba filed a human rights complaint to stand up for the right of people with developmental disabilities to live in the community. The 2010 settlement required Family Services to transition 49 people to the community from MDC, and others have transitioned since.

As a province, we are overdue when it comes to reframing our expectations of what life can and will be like for people with intellectual disabilities. Processes have been developed to help people move into the community, and there are many people in Manitoba with the expertise needed to make it a reality.



President, Community Living Manitoba


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2014 A8

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