Better animal protection needed
Re: Cat found in trash is foster family’s new treasure (April 11)
The RCMP is unable to confirm there is an investigation because, likely, there is none. Even if the perpetrator were to be identified, they would get little to nothing in terms of meaningful punishment due to Canada’s abysmal animal-protection laws. It is shameful that they rank as some of the poorest in the developed world.
Different take on higher education
Re: Nordic educational model is better (Letters, April 10)
Having lived in a country where federal universities have no tuition fees, it is hard not to agree that this no-tuition factor makes entry very competitive. However, equating "those with the educational ability to pass" such university-entrance exams with being the brightest leads to much discourse.
Growing up in a country where passing the "Vestibular," the national standardized yearly university-entrance exam, is the ultimate dream of every child entering high school, it was understood that to succeed, hard work had to begin in middle school. However, unless you were among those with means to go to the best preparatory schools, your chances of passing the exam would diminish exponentially.
To contemplate "the ingenuity of... human resources" in Canada, instead of using exams, we could consider an open campus of education where everyone would be treated with fairness, equality and equity. I have seen first-hand the progress of college instructors (with no undergraduate degree), who enrol in an open campus program, and receive a graduate degree in order to maintain their current managerial positions.
As a result, entrance exams may no longer be the only way to ensure proper selection of candidates. The open campus system is one example, where students make a case (based on experience and prior education) to have a special exemption to enrol in a graduate degree program.
Moreover, unlike what has recently been written about higher education, universities should not undergo the "unbundling" process of fragmentation, and they should, instead, search for adequate ways to "rebundle" education, thus making higher education more affordable and accessible for everyone.
Rita Zuba Prokopetz
Ominous parallels for Syria
We need an independent investigation into the chemical weapons issue in Syria. Back in 2013, a UN inspector said that it was the Syrian rebels who used chemical weapons, not Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Remember Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction? That turned out to be a lie. President Assad had absolutely nothing to gain by using chemical weapons because he was already gaining ground over the armed rebel groups, which include al-Nusra and al-Qaida. There is no moderate opposition in Syria. These are the same terrorists that the U.S. and its allies support.
The Syrian government has said repeatedly that they do not use chemical weapons. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh concluded the chemical attack in Ghouta on Aug. 21, 2013 was most likely carried out by the militants with support from Turkey. Again, as in Iraq, we have faulty intelligence which could have led to an unjustified U.S. military action in Syria in 2013.
Both the Russians and al-Assad have been fighting terrorists in Syria and here they are being blamed for a chemical weapons attack with absolutely not a shred of evidence. The cruel lessons from Iraq have obviously not been learned and we have all the western leaders going along with the U.S. carrying out an illegal attack on a sovereign country without any independent international investigation. This conflict could lead to a much wider war and this should concern us all.
This is a very dangerous situation and I’m alarmed that Canada is also calling for al-Assad to go. Who will replace him? Do we want extremist jihadists running the country? Just like Libya and Iraq, this will be another disaster. This is not about democracy or human rights. It is far more likely about geopolitical western interests, namely oil and gas pipelines, in the region. We do not need more sanctions against Russia or Syria. The Syrian people have suffered enough.
I have heard that peace negotiations on the situation in Syria have been progressing well. We need international cooperation and peace with Russia and Syria so that we can fight international terrorism together.
Reward on ER closures doubtful
Re: Tories under fire over ER closures, other health moves (April 10)
We really have to take into account whether or not the ends justify the means here, as the current plans that have promised better health care (in terms of shorter waiting times and better service) may prove beneficial to all Manitobans in the long run.
However, this does not take into consideration the immediate outcome of having fewer emergency rooms across the city/province. How soon can this new health strategy be implemented? What can guarantee that the number of ER cases within that timespan of transitioning into the new system will suddenly drop? Can we really risk the wellness of everyone, for a set amount of time, for the sake of long-term beneficence?
Doer shares the blame
Re: New NDP leader will need the patience of Doer (April 11)
Friday’s editorial used the wrong preposition in its headline. It ought to have read: "patience with Doer." Never did I think I would be defending former premier Greg Selinger after his disastrous eight years of rule. However, it was Gary Doer who captained the ship named Manitoba towards the bottom; Selinger was merely unable to correct course.
Selinger’s biggest error as an economist was having no idea what another $20 billion of debt would look like, even with low interest rates. Unfortunately, unlike sunken gold lying on the bottom of the ocean, there is no hope of recovery of the $20 billion of Manitoban taxpayers’ money. Oh, well, it’s nothing double-digit hydro rate increases can’t fix!
Manitoba’s former poster-boy premier, Doer, must be held accountable to Manitobans and in Manitoba’s history. Doer might have had a lot of patience, but not a great deal of common sense.
Nor did his patience during his 11-year apprenticeship appear to teach him much about governing, especially keeping his hands off Crown corporations. To force Bipole III routing from the east side and then to build a highway in its place through important woodland caribou range (even more so, Doer’s ill-conceived legacy project of a possible World Heritage Site designation) did not make any sense. While caribou adjust to pipelines and other transmission lines after construction, highways kill them in two ways: collisions, but more importantly by giving access to hunters.
However, for your editorial to put the blame of the NDP’s transgressions solely on Selinger, while again attempting to praise Doer, is extremely unfair. It is important for even the ugliest parts of Manitoba history to be recorded factually.
Kenneth M. Adam