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Letters Feb. 6

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Outrageous assertion

So the Free Press has finally come clean as to what it thinks the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry is all about. Haven't seen that big a headline since JFK was shot (No blame laid, Feb. 5).

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Let's find persons to blame other than the perpetrators of the crime. There is no guarantee Phoenix would have been apprehended had she been seen before the file was closed. Any action short of that would still have left her so-called caregivers free to take her to the rez and kill her. Phoenix was out of the reach of Winnipeg CFS when she was murdered.

It may be politically incorrect, however, to point the finger of blame someplace else. For Lindor Reynolds (What about criminal charges?, Feb. 5) to suggest that the mistakes made amounted to criminal activity is outrageous.




Well, as I suspected, Lindor Reynolds is looking to make the Sinclair inquiry a witch hunt. Everybody knows that mistakes were made. Everybody would do things differently if given a second chance. Reynolds is a perfect Monday-morning quarterback.

She's come to loathe the word "prioritize." Yet, that's a fact of life for CFS. Reynolds hasn't spent a day doing what she's criticizing. She doesn't understand the understaffing issues. She doesn't understand the political (in the big sense, not in the governmental sense) meddling, the conflicting messages that happen when aboriginal children are in care.

We're right back to where we started from. Millions of tax dollars spent that will never bring back a little girl and won't make any significant changes to the CFS system.

As long as people who shouldn't have children continue to have them and expect the public sector to look after their kids, all while CFS is trying to do the dance with special-interest groups, nothing will change. Let's see if we're still having this conversation in 10 years.



In the beholder's ear

In her review of the performance of Steve Reich's Desert Music at the final concert of the Winnipeg Symphony's New Music Festival, Gwenda Nemerofsky claims that "the overall effect was of a work whose ideas reached us before the end, and while the composer had more to say, the audience, and perhaps the musicians, had had enough."

While I can't speak for the musicians, I can assure her that not everyone in the audience was so entirely dismissive of this rich, complex work. For me and for others I talked to, Desert Music was the highlight of the festival.

There's something rather astonishingly egocentric about the assumption here that if Nemerofsky is having a certain response to something, then of course, everyone else around her must be thinking and feeling exactly the same things.

In the same review, she described the complex scenario she read into Vincent Ho's percussion concerto, and her admiration for it; I, meanwhile, sitting in the same hall, heard a lot of what sounded like undigested Wagner and Richard Strauss, interrupted by the anguished shrieks of livestock in the stockyards.



Acting like animals

Re: Park camera gives peek into wolf-pack life (Feb. 5). At first glance, the picture of an entire wolf pack gathered together is both fascinating and endearing. Closer inspection of the scene, however, removes the charm and shows instead the vicious side of wolf-pack life.

There is a wolf lying on its side with the obvious leader of the pack snarling viciously at the downed wolf. The downed wolf is either being reprimanded by the pack for some wrong, sick and being killed or is from another pack and is being killed. A dark trail leading away from the downed wolf may be blood. Such is life, and death, in wolf packs.



Noticeably different

In his glancing review of the Liberal leadership "debate," Bruce Owen seems surprised that the candidates are "singing from the same songbook." But they are, after all, members of the same party. That is what a party is -- a group of people who share the same vision of how the country should be run.

I realized that Owen hadn't been paying attention when he said that the only differences had been on the marijuana issue. The biggest difference -- and it did come up in the discussion -- is Martha Hall Findlay's position on supply management in dairy and poultry. She has clearly and publicly presented her position that the supply-management system needlessly keeps prices high while decreasing export opportunities. This, to many, will be as big an issue as the demise of the wheat board. Most candidates made a reference to this issue and to Ms. Hall Findlay's position. None supported her.

The dismantling of a system where consumers pay artificially high prices on milk, eggs and poultry in order to subsidize a wealthy industry is an issue to be debated.



Open urban reserves

I agree that the conflict over the Kapyong Barracks properties in Winnipeg must be settled and that the Government of Canada must give First Nations the chance to strive for economic independence. Filing another court injunction proves once again that this government wants the status quo to continue where aboriginal people continue to be the poorest ethnic group in Canada.

There has been a great increase in aboriginals completing education programs and university. However, they now need a place to put these skills to good use and become part of this country's flourishing resource development. An urban reserve is the place.

If this government is serious about positive change, it will support the development of these lands by First Nations. Failure to do this will prove their promises of equality and social justice were meaningless.



Correcting the record

Re: Back door to abortion debate closed (Jan. 31). The Canadian Press falsely reported that three MPs asked the RCMP to investigate any abortions after 19 weeks as homicides. In fact, MPs Maurice Vellacott, Leon Benoit and Wladyslaw Lizon called on federal police to investigate 491 abortions, of 20 weeks gestation and greater, that resulted in live births.

These MPs were not trying to get through the "back door of the abortion debate," but rather asking for justice for the 491 babies born alive who could have had a second chance in life but instead were hidden in soiled utility rooms, struggling to survive without a blanket or loving arms to rock them until they died, some surviving as briefly as a few minutes, others as long as an eight-hour shift. That is called murder.



Campaign Life Coalition MB


Java for the everyman

Re: That's no ordinary joe (Feb. 1). While the increase of independent coffee shops in Winnipeg is great in many ways, these new modern shops tailored to the middle class are slowly but surely pushing the "lower class" out of downtown.

Like the homeless being given one-way tickets out of Vancouver during the Olympics, this gradual gentrification avoids issues of wealth disparity in our city instead of addressing them.

Yes, new chic shops downtown are nice for those who can afford it. But why can't we invest in places that cater to various demographics? As a former employee of Ellice Café, it's not impossible for me to imagine a business that doesn't discriminate against what's in your pocket, or what you look like, but instead, brings people together around everybody's favourite pastime -- food.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 6, 2013 A7

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