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Hockey headline misleading

I am writing to express Hockey Manitoba's concern with the headline that accompanied the article written by Dan Lett in the July 24 Winnipeg Free Press (Hockey Manitoba still doesn't get the message).

Although Lett was able to effectively present and provide a balanced report on a disturbing topic, the headline was not reflective of the article and unfairly portrayed Hockey Manitoba as an organization that is out of touch and not concerned with the safety of our members.

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This was a very unwarranted, negative and undeserved introduction to the article. Being familiar with Lett's work and his commitment to presenting all aspects of an issue as a sincere, honest and candid journalist, I would be surprised if such a headline was his recommendation.

Hockey Manitoba is not advocating any special treatment in the reporting of issues that are applicable to our sport, nor have we ever avoided any contact or failed to co-operate with Free Press reporters, regardless of the circumstance. We do, however, believe it is reasonable to expect more balance and less sensationalism.

Peter Woods

Executive director, Hockey Manitoba


Corrections quote corrected

While I appreciate the coverage given to the report on bail practices in Canada recently released by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, I would like to correct a statement attributed to me in the article ("Onerous bail practices rapped", July 24).

I was quoted as saying that "40 per cent of people held without bail go on to commit another crime after they are released."

I used the figure of 40 per cent to refer to the recidivism rate of those convicted of a crime, not those being held in custody awaiting trial. To the best of my knowledge there are no statistics kept that track subsequent re-involvement with the justice system of people who have been held without bail -- but there should be.

In Manitoba, we are now spending two-thirds of our correctional budget to incarcerate those who have not been found guilty of any crime, and should know the impact this is having in terms of encouraging criminal behaviour.

Jails are called crime schools for a reason, and are a prime location for gangs looking to recruit new members. Holding people who have not been convicted of a crime together with those who have makes our communities less safe in future.

Instead, we need to look at alternatives that allow people to remain safely in the community, where they can continue to work and access family and other supports.

John Hutton

Executive director, John Howard Society of Manitoba


Wasting money all relative

It appears "wasting" $150,000 is letter-writer Don Halligan's benchmark for serious consequences (Not fit to be premier, Letters, July 25).

Halligan feels Brian Pallister fails to qualify as Manitoba's premier because of the money associated with Pallister's failed attempt to hold the NDP accountable on last year's egregious PST hike.

I sit in anxious anticipation for Halligan's next letter, which will certainly address the consequences for Greg Selinger for flushing more than $1 billion down the toilet with the Bipole III folly.

If $150,000 recuses you from running for premier, what are the consequences of wasting $1 billion? Having to move to Saskatchewan?

Gary Hook


Not NATO's responsibility

NATO has no role to play in the aftermath of the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (NATO credibility hurt in response to MH17 downing, July 25).

In this situation, Article 5 does not apply; the armed attack was not an attack against "one or more of them (member states) in Europe or North America," but was an attack against an aircraft belonging to a non-NATO state carrying some citizens of NATO member states.

Widening its mandate and suggesting NATO impose a "no-fly zone over eastern Ukraine" is insane. NATO spent the Cold War trying to not go to war with Russia/the U.S.S.R.

NATO's eastward drift already makes Russia nervous -- acting in eastern Ukraine would almost certainly invite a Russian armed response, something writer Richard Parker himself has said is not in anyone's best interest.

Is NATO a relevant organization? Possibly not, but initiating military action against eastern Ukraine is not how it should start that debate.

Ian Toal



CD-burning issue overblown

Letter-writer Garfield McRae thinks he is defending freedom by opposing the burning of Justin Bieber CDs, when he is doing the exact opposite (Destroying CDs dangerous, Letters, July 24).

There is no pogrom-like attack by the American government burning copies of the works of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus; there are only free citizens doing with their private property what they please.

Gregory Unger


Delay municipality merge

There is something terribly wrong with the Manitoba communities being forced to amalgamate in flooded areas while still dealing with the current flood and the aftermath and devastation caused by a similar natural disaster three years ago.

The flood of 2011, coupled with the current flooding, is a prime reason to extend the deadline for many municipalities in need and grant these municipalities the necessary four-year extension as promised within Bill 33.

These municipalities are once again dealing with widespread devastation to homes, businesses and infrastructure caused by the NDP's inability to manage the watershed, which has resulted in flooding.

The NDP is making decisions now that will have lasting effects on municipalities during the next four years, and will limit their ability to manage municipalities in a time of crisis.

Ralph Eichler

Conservative MLA for Lakeside, municipal government critic


Bad name for a birdhouse

Under the photo of the cat with a bird feeder stuck on its head in Friday's Winnipeg Free Press, the caption read "A cat with its head stuck in a small bird feeder, nicknamed Butterscotch, is seen in Brandon Wednesday morning" (Curiosity traps the cat, July 25).

My question: Was the bird feeder really nicknamed "Butterscotch?"

Arnold Reimer


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2014 A16

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