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Mudslinging irresponsible

Re: Terrorists in our midst (May 12). Perhaps I'm naive, but I expected ethical and responsible journalism from the Winnipeg Free Press.

The baseless mudslinging against so many Canadian Muslim organizations all sewn into one tapestry of innuendos and fear-mongering is a thinly veiled anti-Muslim agenda held by writers Danny Eisen and Tom Quiggin. If any other community was attacked in such a manner, there would be an uproar.

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In one sweeping stroke, the writers casually indict the Canadian Muslim leadership as "terrorists," deliberately conflate us with foreign extremism and terror and despicably suggest we exist to destroy Canada from within.

Eisen and Quiggin are clearly no friends of truth or objectivity; however, the fact that the Free Press editorial board considered and published this slanderous piece is deplorable.

I don't know how you can undo the damage this vitriolic piece has caused to the reputation of so many Canadians, but the Free Press has the responsibility to correct this injustice.




NYC ears crowded out

Re: It's a Winnipeg thing (May 10). Our Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is world-class, as many Manitobans can attest. New Yorkers recently had the privilege of hearing just how talented the WSO is.

It would be wonderful to have all of New York buzzing about our city and our musical talents. But since Winnipeg's music lovers, 900 or so of them, filled so many seats, there may not have been room.

If the WSO's goal is to share their music with the world, perhaps we needed to let the world fill the seats in Carnegie Hall.




Breastfeeding beautiful

Re: Upset over breastfeeding photo? Don't be a boob (May 14). There's nothing more beautiful than seeing a mother breastfeeding her baby. To see the product of a marvellous, mysterious and miraculous nine-month pregnancy finally alive and suckling at the breast is a sight to behold.

And yet, call me old-fashioned, I do believe it's a private matter to be kept within the family. I don't object to the photo -- I'm just registering my personal observation.

Heather Bays no doubt wanted to share this joyous event with as many of her relatives and friends as possible. Good for her.




Once bitten, twice shy

Re: Who really wants to privatize Manitoba Hydro? (May 12). Do Brian Pallister and the Manitoba Tories really want to privatize Hydro?

They may indeed at this time have no plans to privatize Hydro, just as I at this time have no plan to vote Tory.

I reckon it's once bitten, twice shy, and though I've little use left for the NDP (hint: be the best choice, not the least worst), by selling MTS, the Tories made it clear they can't be trusted.




Parks for more than pooches

Re: Dogged pursuit of dog parks (May 13). I'm frustrated by Coun. Brian Mayes's comment, "I would want to serve the interest of the kids of the city before I turned my interests to dog owners of the city."

Increasing the number of dog parks serves the interest of kids, families and the whole community. Dog parks are destinations; they're places I can take my whole family for a free morning or afternoon outing, outside and in nature, where everybody gets fresh air and exercise.

My kids enjoy walking through the forested area of Maple Grove dog park. They climb trees, collect leaves, listen to birds, and more. By the end of our adventure, they're smiling and exhausted.

Dog parks aren't only for dogs and their owners; they provide opportunities we could all use a bit more of: nature, fresh air and a mental-health break.




Canada failing history

Re: Teaching history, thinking critically (May 13). History is the backstory of how a thing comes to be, a way of understanding the forces, both human and environmental, that have brought us to where we are.

To touch only on key milestones, as it would appear the Canada History Fund is proposing to do, is to gloss over the drama that inspires legends and starves the roots that bind us to our past.




The next generation of historians, if there are any left, will marvel at the ingenuity and audacity of the Harper government in transforming this country.

Since critical thinking about history could lead to critical thinking about the present, patriotic cheerleading for selected heroes of the past is much safer and more likely to produce Conservative-voting citizens.

Meanwhile, opposition parties seem to have forgotten the history of vote-splitting in Canadian elections. If the Liberals and NDP can't work together to oust Harper, the sad history of the last eight years will repeat itself ad infinitum.




Lazarenko deserves better

Re: Machray Park name change put off (May 13). My concern about changing the name of Machray Park isn't with honouring Harry Lazarenko, it's with the alternate suggestion Lazarenko be honoured by dedicating a flower garden to him in Kildonan Park.

Kildonan Park serves as a reminder of the friendship between Chief Peguis and the Selkirk Settlers, but this historical legacy has been ignored for some time and its amenities continue to decline.

The park has no proper washrooms and visitors must make do with portable toilets. We haven't been able to buy a cup of coffee or ice cream in the park for a very long time. The park is home to the only city splash pad that has paid admission, and the pool is often inaccessible due to staffing issues and frequent shutdowns due to fouling.

Why not name a small, nameless, stand-alone park after him? A similar park at Kingsbury Avenue and Salter Street was named in honour of Helen Promislow, and as I pass by, I often think of her contributions as I admire the handsome sign.

Lazarenko worked hard for the ward, and any honouring of him shouldn't be controversial.




Calling a spade a spade

The western press is falling straight into the Kremlin's propaganda trap by calling the rebels in eastern Ukraine "pro-Russian insurgents," or "Russian-speaking separatists."

These people are nothing more than terrorists financed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is trying to break up Ukraine's territorial integrity. No other democratic western country would permit this.

The recent referendum in eastern Ukraine was a sham -- no one wants to join Russia.


Toronto, Ont.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 15, 2014 A12


Updated on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:56 AM CDT: adds links

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