Letters and comments, Nov. 22


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Newspaper shows relevancy Re: Investigating the investigators (Nov. 17 through 21)

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/11/2018 (1359 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Newspaper shows relevancy

Re: Investigating the investigators (Nov. 17 through 21)

Ryan Thorpe’s four-part investigative series on the Independent Investigation Unit illustrates why daily newspapers are still relevant during a time when the average person is becoming more cynical and indifferent to news outlets.

We need newspapers to challenge the status quo and ask difficult questions. The picture painted by this series of how the Winnipeg Police Service and the IIU are unable to work together should concern all Manitobans.

The articles in this series portray a police culture that protects it own. Many people will be sympathetic to this “blue wall” culture, recognizing police have a difficult job to do. Others will say that while it is important to understand the police experience, it is more important not to make excuses for them.

Ultimately, the question becomes, “What do you do about a culture that seems to be built into the DNA of the police force?”

In keeping with the U.S. civil rights experience, people will say, as they did 50 years ago, that “you can’t legislate morality.” The reality is that you can legislate morality. The U.S. civil rights movement proved that.

Enact the legislation necessary to hold the police service accountable, just like everyone else is accountable for their behaviour.

Mac Horsburgh


Blue bombs again

Re: Maybe next year, Bombers fans (Nov. 19)

So, what’s the cause of the local heroes slinking off the field every fall with their tails between their legs? Their lockers are certainly packed up back in Winnipeg, and tee times are arranged wherever they call home.

The Calgary Stampeders are constantly in the forefront of the fray. In their short history, the Ottawa Redblacks have always been contenders, and the Bombers have jock straps older than that team.

Are other teams’ players that much more skilled? Do they scout that much more effectively? Are they better coached? Do they have superior organizations? Are they more highly motivated? Are they better paid? Do they have better stadiums? Do the fans find “almost good enough” a reasonable standard? If you accept mediocrity, you will continue to get mediocrity.

How many coaches do the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have? It must be at least a dozen. Offensive and defensive co-ordinators, line coaches, quarterback coach, running back coach, special teams coach, receiver coach, defensive back coach, celebratory dance after a touchdown coach (now there’s a part-time job).

They need to make one more addition to their coaching staff. How about they hire a coach to teach the ancient art of tackling? Not that the Bombers have an exclusive on this inability. It seems to be an issue with every team. Did I miss a memo? When did the CFL become a touch-football league? Come on guys, hit ’em in the legs and knock ’em down.

I fondly remember when football was a body contact sport. If you want to save your manicure, wear gloves.

Bob Dawson



Remembering Izzy’s vision

Re: New $10 bill makes history at human rights museum (Nov. 19)

When Steve Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada, unveiled the new $10 bill featuring a portrait of Viola Desmond, the first Canadian woman on a Bank of Canada note, along with other imagery promoting equality and human rights at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, he gave a very interesting overview highlighting the intricate process that goes into creating and ultimately distributing a new bank note throughout Canada.

That highlight was only eclipsed by the passionate, humorous and enlightened comments by Viola’s sister, Wanda Robson. As she was reminding us of the human rights lessons learned from the Viola Desmond story, I reflected on the significance of Israel Asper’s vision of building a home for human rights. It was a vision to think big, challenging the process by reaching for the stars. And we did.

Gail Asper’s superb and tireless efforts engaged tens of thousands of individual donors, corporations and unions from across Canada to validate their belief in this once-in-a-lifetime project by making a financial contribution to architect Antoine Predock’s awe-inspiring architecture. The vision was supported by hundreds of construction workers, engineers and trades people, the human rights advisory committee, the CMHR staff who attempted to engage every community across Canada so that their human rights stories of challenge and triumph could be told meaningfully in their own voice and the diverse assembly of the incredible CMHR volunteers.

The new $10 bank note will always be a legacy for all those who started this human rights journey believing as Izzy challenged us: reach for the stars.

Stuart Murray



Put names to opinions

Re: Anonymous complaints unjust (Letters, Nov. 19)

Harold Jantz is right on about the way the Free Press treats reader submissions. Letters to the editor, which are often thoughtful, knowledgeable and sometimes controversial, must be signed. Comments, on the other hand, which are often cheap shots, ill-informed or just dumb, are presented anonymously.

As Jantz says: the Free Press provides unknown individuals the opportunity to vent without taking responsibility for what they say and this is not the way healthy discourse happens. Come on, Free Press — how about showing a little more class?

Robert Foster


Not all could enlist

Re: Lest we forget; how we remember (Nov. 20)

It would appear that letter writer Suzanne Gillies regards bravery and cowardice as something black and white (white feather). But from what I understand of periods of war, there were a number of reasons for not being in uniform serving Canada. Those reasons might include being medically unfit, involved in essential service, or being a contentious objector, farmer, student, etc.

These individuals contributed to the war effort in their own ways: some were making weapons, growing food, transporting troops and commodities and building airfields and army barracks. Our Merchant Navy members were not considered military, however, their duties were among the most dangerous.

Yes, some families gave every effort. Consider Canada’s first Silver Cross Mother, Charlotte Susan Wood, who had 11 sons who all volunteered in the First World War. Five sons were killed and another two were wounded. She was presented with this medal in 1936 and she died in 1939, being buried in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

Neither my own father nor my father-in-law could serve the military during the Second World War due to existing medical conditions which prevented enlistment. Each had attempted enlistment twice.

My two uncles, however, had front-line service. One was a Spitfire pilot in England for three and a half years; decorated and rose to the rank of Wing Commander. He was deemed a “hero,” but his life was destroyed by this experience. He died in 1956 at age 42 (alcohol).

I have known former prisoners of war, burned air force members, concentration camp internees and a variety of civilians with survival experiences. None of this is good. Please recognize that all who faced the enemy were there to restore freedom in the world.

Harry McFee


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