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Unhealthy attitudes

Re: Aboriginals face racism in ER, doctor says (June 11). I totally agree with Dr. Janet Smylie. There is racism in the ER for aboriginals.

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On the day this article appeared, my son, who is aboriginal, had a severe infection on his foot. A doctor at the Norwood Medical Clinic referred him to an ER to get immediate attention. The doctor included a note stating gangrene was present in his severely infected foot.

My son went into the ER in a wheelchair. He was triaged. He presented the triage nurse with the referring doctor's note stating that immediate attention was required for an acute medical problem. Four hours went past, my son waiting in a wheelchair for medical attention.

No one came to check on him. He was falling in and out of consciousness; because of the severe infection, gangrene was setting in. Other patients who appeared not to be as seriously ill or injured were being sent to see medical specialists.

I was forced to intervene on my son's behalf. I advised the ER staff that my son would probably lose his severely infected foot because of their negligence. What my son is enduring now and perhaps in the future is a result of receiving second-class treatment. Racism in the ER and elsewhere is alive and flourishing in Canada!



Onigaming First Nation

Nestor Falls, Ont.


Having various people in my life who are direct front-line workers at hospitals (specifically HSC), paramedics, etc., I felt this article to be offensive. Doctors and nurses take to heart the level of care that they administer to their patients. It takes a very heavy emotional toll giving so much of themselves to another person, a stranger no less.

The implication that they are racist without knowing it is absolute hogwash. Putting the terrible tragedy that took place solely on the backs of these people without any regard for the certain failure of the system itself is incredibly wrong. I can assure you that every life lost is felt very deeply no matter what the case is that is presented.

I am sure that after her statements, the nurses at HSC would love to know how long Dr. Janet Smylie spent observing the goings-on in the ER to determine that it was racism that caused Brian Sinclair's death. How can she be so sure that it wasn't the fact that this person frequented the ER waiting room to warm up, regardless of cultural background?

My heart goes out to the Sinclair family, a loss of life in this manner is certainly heartbreaking and unnecessary. But there are too many outside factors playing a hand in the Sinclair case for her to pin it on racism.


Jennifer Shepherd



Driving us down

So a Winnipeg Capital Region planning effort has taken place for transportation needs for Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. This could take 30 years to take place.

Most other progressive capital regions together with the major city within had done this 30 years ago. Well, as it goes in both Winnipeg and Manitoba, 60 years behind other more progressive cities.

We used to be the fifth-largest city in this country, the Chicago of the North so to speak. If we keep this pace up, we should be competing for 15th or 16th place in the next 30 years.





Target protections

Deveryn Ross misses the point in his opinion piece (Sex-trade law protects young girls, June 13). Prostitution bans are not needed to protect the young girl in the example he provides. The men who drugged her and forced her into prostitution could have been charged with administering a noxious substance, assault, aggravated assault, as a party to sexual assault, sexual interference, kidnapping, forcible confinement, or myriad other offences.

If the sexual offences are committed for the benefit of a criminal organization, the minimum punishment is five years. The laws needed to prosecute these individuals are already on the books.

The government's proposed law makes little sense. Selling sex is legal, buying it is not. This will still force prostitution into the shadows, continuing unsafe conditions for sex-trade workers. Experiments with legalization in countries like Australia and the Netherlands have proven successful.

Some people are forced into prostitution by unsavoury individuals, and some people willingly do it. Regulation would protect the girl he cites, since there would be government oversight, licensing and inspections, and would remove the profit motive for organized crime. It is late, but not too late to do the right thing.


Scott Newman



Bring on the trees

Bravo, Wilma Sotas (Letters, June 11)!

Thank you for expressing so eloquently your thoughts on the use of the Parcel 4 and rail-side spaces at The Forks. You got it exactly right. A living green forest is exactly the "finishing touch" needed, not only for the historic Forks, but also to frame our beautiful new museum.


Marion Korn



I totally agree with Wilma Sotas that a forest is absolutely the right choice for Parcel 4 and rail-side spaces. A green place of quiet and reflection is so essential for peace of mind and body. Also, the brain loves the colour green and especially the movement of leaves pixelating in the breeze.

Let there be room for trees as well because the vapour they give off into the air, when breathed, calms the brain, giving peace of mind.





Cinema nostalgia

The Globe in Portage Place is (was) a great repertory theatre, not a mainstream theatre, so I can see why the people interviewed in the article Curtain drops on the Globe (June 12) aren't discouraged by its closure about the overall revitalization plan of downtown Winnipeg.

I see in the snapshot of 1975 marquee signs the Eve at Colony and Portage. As well, though it opened later than 1975, the Eaton Place cinema deserves a mention as another wonderful downtown repertory theatre in the 1980s that also closed down.

Speaking of the World Cup, I remember seeing Brazil there. The theatre at Ellice and Sherbrook, Cinema 3 I believe, showed wonderful foreign films with rickety seats on a hardwood floor but has gone the way of the dodo.


Christina Lòpez



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2014 A16

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