Processing trauma crucial
Kevin Rollason's article about post-traumatic stress disorder was disturbing and concerning for a number of reasons (His answer to pain: suicide, July 17).
There is no doubt as many professionals in the field have long advocated, we need to use a variety of strategies to address the problem of PTSD. These strategies need to include the creation of more resources, research and identification of best practices in the field, the use of peer-support people and programs and the clear identification of policies and practices aimed at reducing and ameliorating PTSD.
Most importantly, however, we need to get better at identifying, reaching out and following up with those individuals and families most at risk. We need to help them cope and ultimately to identify some meaning or learning, arising out of the horror they witnessed, that can help them move forward and that gives them some hope for the future.
Chiefs need protection plan
It has been more than two months since the RCMP report on missing/slain aboriginal women has been made public. Before the report was released, some aboriginal chiefs and leaders suggested it was a serial killer. The inquest quashed that theory -- there were no data to prove it.
Will the chiefs/leaders release their plan as to how they are going to reduce these numbers? The duty as chief of a band is to protect the people of their band; it appears they were not and are not doing their job.
Time to move someone in with a plan, and not an unproven theory.
Blood-alcohol levels wrong
In Raptor beats drunk-driving charge (July 16), the story reads 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
It should read 80 micrograms per 100 millilitres of blood -- 1,000 times less than quoted.
Right to say 'no'
Re: Northern band says 'no' to nuclear waste (July 17). The only underground nuclear waste storage facility in the U.S., the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), was shut down in February when the isolation technology failed. Since then the site, near Carlsbad, N.M., has been releasing potentially lethal levels of plutonium, americium and other radioactive elements into the environment. Radiation levels in the underground storage area, 655 metres below the surface, vary from near-normal to potentially lethal. More than 20 WIPP workers suffered low-level radioactive contamination, even though none of them was underground. The site, designed to safely store waste for 10,000 years, lasted barely 15 years before failing. Despite assurances from industry and government, there is no known safe way to store nuclear waste.
Jim de Graff
Don't be soft on Duffy
Re: Duffy accused of fraud, bribery (July 18). Most Canadians will be pleased, if not ecstatic, that finally after months of silence 31 charges have been laid against suspended Sen. Mike Duffy. It is alleged he stole more than $200,000 of taxpayers' money, we can only hope justice will be swift and, if found guilty, he will be sentenced to significant prison time. Unfortunately, this will probably not happen as his defence will use every tactic in the law books to impede the process, including appeals, and precedents tell us our courts have always been soft on white-collar crime.
Genocide issue complex
Andrew Woolford makes excellent points in his letter of July 18 concerning Michael Melanson's comparison of the Holocaust to First Nations history in Canada (Canadian policies don't meet 'genocide test' (July 16).
While reference is made to the United Nations Genocide Convention, Canada instituted the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act effective Oct. 23, 2000. The act was based on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference on July 17, 1998, to which Canada was a signatory (but the United States was not).
Article 5 of the Rome Statute defined genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
As Mr. Woolford points out, the issue is complex and proving Canadian policies intended to destroy Canada's First Nations people as a national, ethnical, racial or religious group would be almost impossible to prove in a court of law.
Canada should urge restraint
Re: Gazans fleeing bombs have nowhere to go (July 17). Most troubling is our government's unequivocal support of Israel, without apparent recognition there is no proportionality in the damage either side is causing. Israel has vastly the upper hand. The fact groups in Gaza keep on shelling Israel should tell us how desperate the people crowded into that little strip of land must feel.
We visited Israel last fall and gained a great appreciation for the nation's resourcefulness and strength. I'm a longtime supporter of the state of Israel. As a Christian, I embrace the special role the Jews have played in the biblical story. But I've also followed what is happening in Gaza.
They deserve the right to a freedom that, to a great extent, Israel denies them. Very little healthy economic activity can happen there because of the barriers to trade Israel mainly creates.
If there is to be an initiative that can help open doors for the people of Gaza and the West Bank, it will have to begin with the stronger party, and that is Israel. It has to work to overcome support for the terrorists among the Palestinians, and what it is doing now is merely creating more of them.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has clearly heard the strong support our government is giving him. We need to use our relationship with the Israelis to urge restraint and to encourage finding a way of easing the pressures on the Palestinian people. They are in a pressure-cooker that can't help but explode from time to time. This need not, and should not, continue.