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Steeves on the hot seat

Re: Steeveses skip Sunday handout (Aug. 11). Lorrie Steeves is the one who made the obnoxious, racist remarks, and therefore, she should be the one to step forward and make whatever explanatory remarks, excuses and apologies she deems necessary. She is a woman in her own right, not an appendage to her husband.

Should Gord Steeves misspeak himself in some future statement, we would not expect his wife to step forward and make explanations, excuses and apologies for him.

Each must take responsibility for what they say and do.

Chris Kennedy

Winnipeg

 

Looked like Lorrie Steeves bumped into the elephant in the room when it comes to Winnipeg politics.

The aboriginal community is a rapidly growing demographic in Winnipeg, with disproportionately high socio-political issues that are having an increasingly major impact on the city. And yet leaders past and present are averse to discuss this come election time.

The controversial remark from Lori Steeves should prompt a mayoral candidates' debate on aboriginal issues so Winnipeggers can find out to what degree candidates understand aboriginal issues and realities.

We would also learn whether or not candidates have strategies or innovative ideas for addressing issues so aboriginals who choose to live in Winnipeg can live meaningful, productive lives.

James Hutchings

Winnipeg

 

I cannot believe that the front-page headline as well as an article by Dan Lett on page A2 and an article on most of A3 would be devoted to mayoral candidate's Gord Steeves' reaction and attitude to his wife's sorry remarks and apologies to the aboriginal communities.

Meanwhile, major news that concerns many nations in the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Gaza don't appear until much later in the section.

I look forward to this paper's priorities being corrected in future issues.

Issie Oiring

Winnipeg

 

Nixon legacy not all bad

Re: The Nixon resignation (Aug. 9). My generation well remembers the 1972 Watergate break-in, the resulting coverup, Nixon's 1974 resignation and Gerald Ford's 1975 pardon.

Richard Nixon no doubt had his flaws, but I sometimes wonder why his many strengths and accomplishments are seldom mentioned when an article like Levine's is printed.

Nixon, a brilliant strategist, worked tirelessly for over four years to end the war in Vietnam that his predecessors, presidents Kennedy and Johnson, had started. He made peace with the Soviet Union, opened diplomatic relations with China, strongly supported Golda Meir in Israel and, by instilling a little fear, kept North Korea's aggression in check.

Domestically, he greatly increased funding for cancer research, ended Lyndon Johnson's costly Great Society programs, and did effective work on the civil rights file.

Nixon may have been flawed, but when reflecting on his shortcomings, should we not occasionally also mention his strengths?

Larry Wiebe

MacGregor

 

Allan Levine incorrectly states that U.S. President Andrew Jackson had impeachment proceedings brought against him, while Richard Nixon escaped impeachment only by resigning.

It was Abraham Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, who was impeached by the House of Representatives.

Andrew Jackson, still celebrated by Democrats in the United States as one of the great heroes of their party, was not impeached.

Virginia Platt

Winnipeg

 

Developing drugs takes time

Re: Big Pharma in no rush for Ebola vaccine (Aug. 8). Further to Gwynne Dyer's column on the heartbreaking stories coming from Ebola-afflicted regions in West Africa, we felt it was important to set the facts straight about the pharmaceutical industry's commitment to improving the health of those living in developing nations.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unlike anything we have seen since the virus was discovered in the mid-1970s. Canada's innovative pharmaceutical companies are playing a pivotal role in the developing world, and actively contribute to more than 140 programs that benefit African nations.

It takes more than a decade of research, development and testing to bring a new medication to market. With treatments and vaccines for the Ebola virus, we are close. Several experimental drugs have been developed, but these are not ready for mass use in humans. The process of developing new medicines takes time and ensures those molecules or compounds that make it to market are safe and effective.

Ultimately, we are truly committed to being a part of the solution as we collectively strive to provide sustainable health care to developing nations.

Russell Williams

President, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 12, 2014 A8

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