Sports body needed
Re: Time right for indigenous sporting body (July 31). Having been part of the Winnipeg host committee for the 2002 North American Indigenous Games, I saw first-hand both the personal and cultural benefits these games instilled in athletes and teams, as well as the pride they took in representing their home provinces and states.
I also had the opportunity, in the mid-'90s, to sit in on the brainstorming meeting that led to the formation of the Manitoba Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Council.
It was determined a provincial organization should be status-blind and include First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations, communities and athletes; it should concentrate its efforts mainly at the community level; and it should hold special events and competitions for aboriginal athletes, teams and coaches until they were ready to successfully enter into the mainstream sport-delivery systems.
I agree with Waneek Miller's idea to build and support community-based centres of excellence to lead and foster development and growth of athletes and coaches within suitably outfitted and equipped facilities.
Don't make police scapegoats
Re: Death incites anger (Aug. 1). According to the story, "family members of Andrew Baryluk lashed out at police" after the armed standoff.
The police were called because the sheriff's officers were called, a result of a bitter legal family dispute to evict their own brother.
If the family members wanted to do something to avoid the situation, they had plenty of time to do it. Their dispute was the cause, and they shouldn't scapegoat the police.
A tale of two leaders
Re: Harper's sitting pretty despite talk about exit (Aug. 1). Despite political speculation about Harper's premature exit, Deveryn Ross' article sums it up boldly in the very last lines: "Don't believe the hype. Harper isn't going anywhere."
Young Justin Trudeau appears to have the ability and skills to unleash come election time, with the potential to derail the electoral wagon train thus far successfully steamrolled by the politically savvy, rather bold Stephen Harper.
To outsmart Harper, Trudeau desperately needs the abundant charisma and charm his illustrious father so very effectively yielded, to the amazement of the entire spectrum of Canadian voters, who were weary of the then-Conservative government.
By all accounts, it is going to be a precariously close election outcome -- at this moment, a 50/50 scenario.
Deterring dangerous drivers
I've had my fill of reports about the carnage on our streets and highways, and about the complaints from speeding drivers who are responsible for much of it (Two sides to photo-radar flap, Letters, Aug. 1).
Speeding drivers just don't get it; they whine about the financial penalties for putting at risk the lives of construction workers, pedestrians and those of us who drive sensibly. They rant it is just a cash grab.
Let's take a different approach: for those who drive 10 km/h or more over the speed limit, impose an automatic penalty of jail time -- perhaps one day behind bars for every 10 km/h over the limit. Maybe then speeders will realize it is not a cash grab, but rather a consequence for inappropriate, dangerous behaviour.
And while the photo-radar system is unable to identify the driver, the deterrent effect of jail time for the registered owner would still resonate. Let's show scofflaws it isn't a "cash grab" -- the default penalty for speeding should be jail time. It is time to stop those who feel they are above the law when they are in a rush to get somewhere.
There has been so much flap about speeding in construction zones, namely on Kenaston Boulevard south. I use that route on a regular basis, and have never found a problem with slowing down.
Whether zones are posted or not, common sense is to slow down as soon as construction or cones are spotted. As to the complaints about the amount of fines, how much is the life of a worker worth?
These people are trying to do their job, and rely on drivers to pay attention and slow down.
Mideast bloodshed must stop
Letter-writer Issie Oiring protested against Gwynne Dyer's article, saying "Israel has a right to defend itself."
Since Israel is a Jewish nation, I would have thought they'd have some regard for Jewish scripture, which says "an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth," meaning the retribution must be proportionate to the injury.
At the time of this letter, the current ratio is around 1,440 Palestinian deaths to 58 Israeli deaths.
A certain Jewish rabbi went further, saying "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
Re: Death toll higher than 2009 (Aug. 1) This brutal war in the Middle East has killed far too many people, most of them innocent civilians, including many children. A number of proposed ceasefires have failed for various reasons, mostly attributed to the wanton activities of Hamas.
It seems the solution to ending this bloody violence is simple, albeit perhaps too late: Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israeli cities. Only then will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be in a position to enter into negotiations to end this needless war.