Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/1/2015 (875 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Racism's roots run deep
Winnipeggers should take a pause to not critique, analyze or dissect the Maclean's article on racism in Winnipeg for its inaccuracies, but rather to listen to the stories of real people (Racist label provokes mayor, Jan. 23).
This should be an opportunity for creating a more united Winnipeg, yet has turned into a forum that questions why we were labelled as the most racist city, diverting discourse away from the listening that is so crucial to change.
When I listened to Dave Wheeler's interview with Maclean's writer Nancy Macdonald on 92 CITI FM, I felt a pain for my own generation. The sentiments raised show how our educational system failed to properly educate us about colonization and the treaties signed.
Future generations will judge us for our actions (or, rather, inactions) to make our city a better place and free of institutionalized racism. I feel sad that so many don't truly see a connection of how stories from residential schools are linked to pain and suffering today, and how systemic racism is just as much a part of our society as overt racism.
If anything, I hope the Maclean's article has inspired others to educate themselves on indigenous perspectives and question stereotypes. Our stance can't be us vs. them, but rather one rooted in unity and equity.
Water, water everywhere
The walkway at The Forks now floods multiple times a year for extended periods of time. The new stadium sprung a leak last spring. A transformer at the new cop shop was disabled because of rain. Flooding is worse than ever, we have a continuous brown-water problem, frozen pipes, and now the recent boil-water advisory.
Do you get the feeling that the quality of life in Manitoba, and Winnipeg in particular, is going down the drain?
NDP's green smoke and mirrors
Premier Selinger, while promoting Hydro's grand plans and his views on the "advantage" of Manitoba hydroelectricity, says "natural gas prices go up and down -- there is a great deal of volatility" (Hydro seeks big rate hikes to cover costs, Jan. 27).
Perhaps Premier Selinger could explain to us why his purportedly "green" Manitoba Hydro is spending money promoting the economic advantages of heating with natural gas to Manitobans. It would appear Manitoba Hydro has not received his message, given its marketing strategy to have Manitobans, in making a long-term purchase decision, choose a natural gas-powered furnace over an option that would use Manitoba-generated electricity.
The green record of the Manitoba NDP is largely one of smoke and mirrors -- lots of spin. There is good reason that Sapotaweyak Cree Nation and Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation are peacefully protesting the Bipole III transmission line.
A way forward for Ukraine
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn writes that her father "hoped Ukraine would 'one day be more like Canada' " -- a worthy goal (Ukrainians forgotten heroes of Auschwitz, Jan. 28).
By referendum and continuing opposition to direct rule by Kyiv, the citizens of Eastern Ukraine have demonstrated that another model of affiliation is needed if there is to be an end the ongoing humanitarian disaster. The Canadian federal-state model could be a useful basis for negotiation and peace talks.
And if concern for women and children and the destruction of homes is genuine, a good first step might be to have the Ukrainian military and volunteer battalions cease the shelling of Eastern Ukrainian cities, towns and neighbourhoods.
Encourage mental-health dialogue
It is encouraging that more and more people are speaking openly about their personal challenges with mental health (A Happy Light just isn't enough, Jan. 29).
In her column, Jen Zoratti discusses her struggles with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Talking about one's mental health to family and friends often results in a response of "me too" or "my mother/brother/cousin/neighbour experiences something similar." This leads to people feeling less alone and more connected with the one in five Canadians who experience a mental illness every year.
There are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for mental-health conditions. Seeking help is not a sign a weakness, but an opportunity to take control to ease distress and improve one's quality of life.
To quote Dr. Frasier Crane, "I'm listening."
Dr. Andrea Piotrowski
President, Manitoba Psychological Society