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Accessible education crucial

Re: Canadian chiefs reject education changes (May 28). Now is not the time to shelve the federal plan for education funding for First Nations. The urgency of making modern educational resources available to every child must be made clear to both government and First Nations negotiators.

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A good educator wants to help children develop their talents in constructive ways. To offer every willing student credible sources of knowledge, both by direct teaching and web-based enrichment, need not threaten cultural sovereignty.

The high numbers of missing and murdered young women could be partly explained by too many community administrators ignoring the importance of education. The self-respect that comes from learning how to be healthy and productive should be available to girls equally with boys -- all students deserve access to opportunities for a hopeful life.

When everyone has this chance to learn self-reliance and to build social bonds, perhaps we will have fewer victimized women and children. That change can't happen soon enough.

JEAN PATERSON

Winnipeg

Tough questions for Trudeau

Re: Trudeau's abortion stance helps Tories (May 29). Justin Trudeau's latest bout of foot-in-mouth disease is only the latest in his long list of ridiculous statements.

I suspect there's much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the high foreheads at Liberal central. But they brought this upon themselves, relying on Trudeau's name alone and now trying to cover up the man's inefficiencies.

And along with the Liberal Party brain trust, a great swath of Canadian media outlets are guilty of giving Trudeau a pass instead of asking tough questions.

DON HERMISTON

Winnipeg

Stronger import tariffs needed

Re: Eyeglass giant shuts city plant (May 28). We have another company, Luxottica, closing its plant in Canada in favour of going to a country offering cheaper labour, putting Canadians out of work.

When will our government start protecting our workers by putting stronger tariffs on imports to make it an equal playing field for companies in Canada?

JERRY MASKIEW

Starbuck

Leave city parks alone

With the growing obesity problems among children and adults, any talk of converting parks within city limits should be opposed (Residents growl at councillor's plan, May 30).

It's a win-win situation -- children get their exercise in the park, and dog owners are forced to walk their dogs on a leash instead of sitting on a bench and allowing them to run free.

KIM TRETHART

Winnipeg

Remove man-made lakes

There's a simple fix for the geese infestation -- fill in the so-called "lakes" that have become ubiquitous with suburban development (Saving eggs a wild goose chase, May 29).

The geese are doing what comes naturally to them while we continue to manipulate the landscape in ways that suit our preferences but which nature never intended.

These holding ponds are also a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, which require extensive treatment when the hue and cry erupts from residents they're being eaten alive each summer.

If you want to live along the shores of ponds that are predominantly stagnant bodies of water, expect the inevitable inconveniences against which we are for the most part defenceless.

DAN DONAHUE

Winnipeg

Islam leaders must speak up

I believe the typical Islamic believer lives, like believers of the other faiths, the life of "live and let live" (Extremists pervert genuine Islam, May 29).

The major leaders of Islam, however, need to speak out loudly and soundly against the likes of Boko Haram and al-Qaida. Until then, suspicion that they do not care or, possibly, support these terrorist groups will continue to reign.

CHRIS KENNEDY

Winnipeg

Parish, bishop wield power

Diocese turns to its parishioners (May 24) outlines the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface's proposed five-year plan of restructuring parish operations by involving parishioners/volunteers not only in the tasks but in the decision-making process.

What is happening at present -- and what I don't see changing without extreme resistance on the part of the bishop, the priests and their associated staff -- is the "clericalized top-down leadership" that has existed for centuries.

Archbishop Albert LeGatt states: "The next span in the bridge is about giving greater authority to the lay people and authority given in a consultative and service manner."

From my personal experience, this has been happening for years and always with the inherent veto authority of the priest and the bishop. LeGatt doesn't expound on the authority given to lay people, and fails to note this authority is under the scrutiny of the whims of the parish priest and the bishop.

PATRICIA GENDREAU

Ste. Anne

Hog warning not heeded

As I read Deveryn Ross' May 23 article Brandon illustrates good, bad and ugly in worker program, I couldn't help but think back to 14 years ago, when citizens voiced similar concerns to those being expressed today.

It's evident little attention was paid to the initial warnings that were offered. The commissioner's 1999 report on the Citizens Hearing on Hog Production and the Environment was, for the most part, ignored and shelved.

JOHN FEFCHAK

Virden

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 2, 2014 A8

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