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Poor education decision

I read with great interest that the Winnipeg School Division chose to ban reporters from Justin Trudeau's visit to Sisler High School. The ostensible reason was they did not want the event to seem partisan.

It is OK for Education Minister Nancy Allan to get a photo op watching a token carpentry demonstration in Elmwood High School. And it is OK for Premier Greg Selinger to get a front page gratuitous photo op at a daycare centre, a story linked to plans for news schools in Waverley West and Sage Creek.

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But to have the leader of a national political party, who is an actual school teacher, shunned from being captured by the media for the rest of us to learn about. What a shame.

During election time, a main storyline is the poor voter turnout and lack of interest from today's youth. Is it any surprise, especially when we get such poor decisions and lack of leadership out of our school divisions?




America's useful idiots

The federal NDP should know the difference between taking some partisan shots at the ruling Conservatives and being destructive to Canadian interests. But do they?

Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions from all sources are a little less than two per cent of all emissions in the world. The Alberta oil sands global greenhouse gas emissions are a little less than 0.1 per cent. Total emissions from coal alone in the United States dwarfs Canada's emissions.

When Americans play politics with our oil patch, it is about eventually getting our oil for a cheaper price. The so-called controversy about oil sands' projected greenhouse gas emissions takes heat off their mega-use of coal-generated electricity, which is a greenhouse emissions nightmare.

When a Canadian political party plays politics in the same manner using the same material, they are not just attacking the Conservative party. Actually they are being useful idiots for American interests to the detriment of Canadian interests.

Don Hermiston



Try slowing down

Re: Speeding fine only half of it (May 6) by Barry Craig. Pretty much everything he had to say made sense. Except the part where he starts by saying: "There's a simple solution to all this." The real simple solution is don't speed. Couldn't be much simpler than that. Then you wouldn't have to complain about the costs. That's what I do -- works for me. More people should try it.

Brent Peterson



Expand the CPP

I commend Robert Brown for his concern over declining and inadequate pension coverage (Longevity pensions a promising idea, May 3), but the plan he promotes would have serious flaws. The proposed Quebec pension kicks in at age 75, which is unfair to people doing hard physical work and also to lower-income workers, who have lower average life expectancy.

We advocate expanding the existing Canada and Quebec pension plans as the best way to guarantee retirement security. Brown does not deal with that, other than to say the Quebec proposal he likes wouldn't require support from other provinces.

The required two-thirds of provinces already support CPP expansion -- but Ottawa is standing in the way. A new pension benefit starting at age 75 would add yet another layer of complexity to our public pension system. Expanding the CPP would be a far better approach. It would be much simpler and fair for all.

Chris Roberts

Canadian Labour Congress



Lifeflight also a star

I was reading my Saturday Free Press, which included 12 pages of information for National Nursing Week. It was encouraging to read about all the programs and support provided by our many nurses throughout the province.

I am dismayed, however, that although the STARS program received a full-page layout with the heading The Care Up There, nowhere within that article nor on any of your 12 pages could I find any reference whatsoever to those nurses who have provided an extremely and equally important service to our province -- that being our provincial Lifeflight program.

I understand a helicopter may be more glamorous, but the Lifeflight program and staff have been providing service by air to this province for more than 25 years. I am aware you may have limited space and may be trying to capture as many highlights within the province and profession as possible, but I believe it would have been appropriate to give these individuals their small piece of appreciation within that same caption.

Wendy Whelan



African lives on the line

On May 3, a special event took place on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building. Premier Greg Selinger paid tribute to a delegation from Africa sponsored by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Joe Cressy from the foundation introduced the two African representatives, who gave moving accounts of the problems they are facing. They are visiting Canada in order to get financial support for the 12-million orphans whose parents were victims of the AIDS epidemic. What surprised me was I did not read anything about this in the Free Press the next day and CBC only showed a brief clip of the presentation.

My wife and I are part of the local group Grands n' More that provides some support, but our commitment is not enough. Why is the media not doing more to inform the Canadian public about this important human catastrophe? It is urgent to expand the campaign and save more lives in Africa.

Francisco Valenzuela



Listen to your heart

Re: Two sides to every story (Letters, May 3).

For decades we've listened to the pork industry defend the use of sow crates. Now we're listening to common sense and following the lead of other countries that are banning them.

If that's not convincing enough, look into the face of a sow who spends most of her miserable existence going crazy imprisoned in one and listen to your heart.

Debbie Wall



Evolution of crime

Re: Study shows young crooks use social media to brag of criminal exploits (May 6).

It's evolution in action. The young and the stupid will take themselves out of the criminal pool, the smart and the silent will go on to bigger and bigger crimes. The quantity of crime will decrease, but the quality will rise. Less street, more money.

Tim Sayeau


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 8, 2013 A9

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