Letters, April 14
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/04/2022 (345 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Tsunami of elderly has arrived
Re: Flush with cash, Tories decide to skimp out on hospitals — again (Opinion, April 12)
Although much attention right now is on COVID-19, and rightly so, columnist Tom Brodbeck is absolutely correct in noting the implications of our “aging population” for health-care resources. The tsunami of older Manitobans has arrived, along with associated health-care needs.
Since 2000, the number of Canadians 65 and older has increased by about 80 per cent, and there are more just behind. The number of very old, 90-plus, has increased even more dramatically, more than doubling.
In addition to the normal diseases of aging, older adults are at increased risk of falls, which often result in extended hospitalizations and demands for surgery, treatment and rehabilitation. Ideally, investment in prevention would also be a priority.
The proper time to invest in preparation for our changing demographics was years ago, but now is definitely not the time to put it off yet again. Capacity, in terms of physical and human health-care resources, needs to be dramatically increased no matter what the cost financially and in political popularity.
Hysteria before the storm
Re: Panicked shoppers storm grocery stores (April 13)
I was driving around Winnipeg on Tuesday and noting the stupidity of panic-buying at the grocery stores. This is likely a three-day storm, and people are buying food as if Vladimir Putin is going to invade Winnipeg. I would hate to see what would happen if we ever had a natural disaster.
On my way home on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., I dropped into my local supermarket and encountered a parking lot so full that I had to wait until someone pulled out to find a parking spot. I entered to find the shelves cleaned out of bread, and almost empty of cheese and milk. Even though I was not there for toilet paper, it was obvious when passing that aisle that the shelves were almost bare.
They’re saying this storm could be historical. You say historical, I say hysterical; let’s call the whole thing off.
Making Conservatives relevant
Re: Only ‘true’ conservatives need apply (Opinion, April 13)
David McLaughlin’s column provides interesting insights into the conundrum facing the Conservative Party. The problem can be expressed more directly than McLaughlin has chosen to follow. The party either becomes part of a worldwide phenomenon of right-wing populism or it becomes irrelevant.
The Liberal Party has done an excellent job of branding the Conservatives as a semi-anarchic band of libertarians wedded to individual liberty. The party, as so portrayed, has little or no social conscience.
Jean Charest is running to resurrect progressive conservatism, which even at the best of times was an uneasy coalition of fiscal conservatism and a reasonable respect for federal initiatives labeled “Red Toryism.”
The problem is that the attempt to move the party to the centre will cause it to become virtually indistinguishable from the other four federal parties that have staked out every inch of the centre-left ideology. All Charest offers is a change of style and mood, but the crucial question is whether Canada needs yet another “me too” Liberal Party.
There is no clear answer. The Conservative party runs the risk of being labeled Trumpist or simply a watered-down version of anodyne liberalism.
Manitobans can’t get Novovax
As of Monday, Saskatchewan residents had access to the Novovax COVID-19 vaccine.
Manitobans had been earlier informed that we would have access to Novovax around March 15. When an inquiry was made to the appropriate officials as to shipment date confirmation, the reply dated March 25 informed me they hadn’t heard anything from Manitoba yet.
The government is stressing boosters so adamantly, but is not making it easy for those who prefer an alternative option.
Sanctions don’t deter Putin
Re: Canada is fighting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with sanctions. But are they actually working? (April 13)
Are the sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin effective? I think not.
How can NATO countries sit back while Ukraine loses thousands of its innocent citizens and others must flee their homeland, not knowing if they will ever be able to return or see their relatives again?
And yet our prime minister, the president of the United States and other powerful leaders continue to meet at conferences with their photo opps and talk about placing further sanctions on Putin, his oligarchs and even on Putin’s daughters.
None of this has deterred Putin from this horrific savagery. To me, something is wrong with this picture. The savagery of Putin’s military cannot be allowed to continue.
High nurses’ pay an exception
Re: Manitoba nurses well paid (Letters, April 13)
Letter writer David O’Connor suggests Manitoba nurses are paid too much, with a top salary of $65 per hour, but he seems to have cherry-picked specific individuals. A quick look at Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s compensation disclosure shows that of the WRHA’s 14,000 employees, 20 nurses received compensation of $65 per hour or more. A quick look at Statistics Canada information shows the high prevailing wage for nurses in Manitoba to be $47 per hour, which is below the Canadian average and below all provinces west of Quebec.
Therapy waits long-standing
Re: Recent double amputee frustrated with long wait for therapy (April 12)
The article notes Jeff Carpenter would have to wait 21 weeks to receive his needed therapy services from Community Therapy Services (CTS), a private non-profit community agency. I served as the executive director of CTS for a number of years and no longer am affiliated with it.
The services provided by CTS are a critical component of the WRHA Home Care Program and essential in helping people to live safely in their own homes and avoid institutionalization. I am choosing to write about Carpenter’s situation because the representative from Shared Health who commented on it was disingenuous in blaming his 21-week wait time for service on COVID-19 and the province’s need to reallocate services as a result.
The truth of the matter is that the WRHA has chronically underfunded services in the community such as those provided by CTS. There have always been wait times for service. Shared Health alludes to a return to “normal” once the pandemic is over. Unfortunately this so-called “normal” is a far cry from adequately meeting the needs of people who require therapy services to continue to live safely in their own homes.
Too risky to explode ice jams
Re: Floodway springs into action (Letters, April 13)
The letter writer suggesting explosives be used on the ice jam has not thought the problem through. The ice jam extends for a considerable distance and would require hundreds of explosive charges to unblock. Even then, there is no guarantee the ice upriver will not jam when it gets to the same area.
But most importantly, the writer should ask himself if he would be the one to venture out on a field of unstable ice chunks to place the explosives.
Updated on Thursday, April 14, 2022 9:21 AM CDT: Adds links