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Pesticide defence dated

Over the last few decades, there has been a growing awareness of the dangers of using synthetic chemicals in our everyday environment -- witness the growing movement for organic food.

To call such concerns "baseless" only muddies the water of rational debate. These chemicals are dangerous and have become a part of the food chain.

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The pride of an immaculate lawn must be balanced in favour of the health of future generations.




Is Ken Wiebe, owner of the ironically named Eco Green lawn-care company, aware there is a non-product alternative to maintaining beautiful lawns and gardens without compromising the health of children, seniors, pets, bees and waterways?

It's called organic lawn care and involves aeration, over-seeding, mowing high and the application of compost.

A healthy lawn will out-compete weeds and provide a safe, healthy place for everyone to play and relax.

Wiebe can continue to tout the line of the world's largest chemical manufacturers, or he can join the rest of Canada in promoting and practising some actual "green" lawn care.




Refugee board out of touch

In the opinion of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the rape victim depicted in the article Rape victim fights to stay (April 21) does not qualify for consideration because she did not provide the necessary documentation of the incident.

In order to overcome such a total dissociation from reality, present and future members of the board should be sent to areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and be required to live there for a number of years.

That would help them to base their decision on knowledge of local conditions rather than their total ignorance of reality.




Destroying Dalnavert

Re: A place for crime victims to go (April 17). The establishment of Candace House may have, as Dan Lett writes, "an elegant simplicity," but there is nothing "elegant" about the Manitoba Historical Society's decision to convert Dalnavert for this purpose. It is a travesty and a betrayal.

The restored interior will be destroyed by modernization, the collection housed within sold and dispersed.

Forty years of work and a century of history at 61 Carlton St. are gone.

The present board of the Manitoba Historical Society should be ashamed.


Dalnavert Museum volunteer



Voting changes hurt poor

Re: Election act not all bad (Letters, April 16). The day before Don Hermiston's letter extolling the virtues of the so-called Fair Elections Act was published, I was talking to a disabled person on social assistance. He had long since given up a great many things he could not afford, including his vehicle and driver's licence.

When the Elections Act came up, he just said, "Yeah, there goes my vote. The only ID I have is my medical card, and they aren't likely to accept that. It costs money to have ID."

There are many more out there like him. I myself have only a few "acceptable" forms of ID, and renewing any of them would take a good bite out of a social assistance payment.

As a senior, I may someday have to give them up -- for health, financial, or other reasons -- and then there goes my vote, as well.

If current trends continue, by that time we might not have elections at all.




The insanity of war

As we all know, there is much trouble in Ukraine.

It is my hope and prayer that decision-makers think of the words of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Linus Pauling, from his book No More War: "The time has now come for man's intellect to win out over the brutality, the insanity of war."




Time to relocate city rails

Re: Accusations fly over rail line (April 19).

Driving between here and the Rockies, every town has Black Diamond signs that forbid trucks from transporting hazardous chemicals through their main streets. Those trucks often carry hundreds of tonnes of chemicals.

In Winnipeg, however, the rail lines that cut through our city transport millions of tonnes of hazardous chemicals.

When will the so-called debates at city hall include a genuine concern for citizens' health? When will there emerge a council candidate who has the integrity to demand rail relocation?

Rail relocation offers huge savings in the development of a modern transit system, is essential to public safety and health and has been done in many cities all over the continent.




No split in climate studies

When someone like Robert Alison argues against climate science, it would help his case greatly if (at most) one in 581 actual climatologists agreed with him (Think the past winter was bad? Get ready for mini-ice age (April 11).

For the period from 1991-2012, 13,950 peer-reviewed articles about climate change appeared in scientific journals, of which all but 24 agreed carbon gases were altering our climate.

If there was an "accepted ideology of global warming," as William Ehlers puts it in his letter (Split in ice-age debate, April 21), it would not have begun among the scientific community.

Politicians such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- not climate scientists -- seek to give climate science an ideological edge it does not require.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 22, 2014 A6


Updated on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:15 AM CDT: adds links

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