Letters, May 13


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Change needed for Peguis Peguis First Nation is in the national news yet again for the wrong reasons: we are experiencing another major flood with thousands of our people evacuated and left homeless, not knowing when we can return back.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/05/2022 (203 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Change needed for Peguis

Peguis First Nation is in the national news yet again for the wrong reasons: we are experiencing another major flood with thousands of our people evacuated and left homeless, not knowing when we can return back.

We have been experiencing floods since the 1974-75 one that completely inundated the land and forced everyone to move; that flood was so bad the army, with trucks and helicopters, was brought in to help. As an elder who experienced these floods, I look back at all the flooding, hear that something will be done, and see that nothing has changed.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba have promised to do something about the problem; to date, nothing has been done, and here we are back to the same scene. As a residential school survivor, I lived under the life of colonialism, the Indian Act, with all its systemic racism, the stereotypes, controls and people being political footballs. I have the same feeling about the realities we continue to face and wonder if change will happen.

Justice, truth and reconciliation, and the power of our Creator, must bring about positive change for our people. Meegwitch.

Carl McCorrister

Peguis First Nation

Officials stay silent

Re: Waiting for answers on waiting surgeries, tests (Opinion, May 10)

I agree with Tom Brodbeck’s opinion on Health Minister Audrey Gordon’s “disappearing act,” and that under Premier Heather Stefanson that “no response at all” is commonplace.

I have written to our premier and our current minister of justice/attorney general many times in the last year on an important issue related to gun control in Canada. Our two previous ministers of justice had the courtesy to respond in writing (Cullen in February 2020, Friesen in May 2021) and made commitments regarding the interests I had expressed.

In our current “hide and seek” government, both the premier and the current minister of justice’s offices must have a new assistant named “automated-response.” This new resource acknowledges receipt of your correspondence, makes you sense it will be addressed and then … silence, nothing, zero.

Since when have elected public officials been granted the right to simply ignore the public that elected them? Shameful, really, an election couldn’t come sooner.

Robert C. Murdoch


Ridings should include diversity

Re: Commission asked to push boundaries as it redraws map (May 5)

Politicians and political staffers — current or former — are the last group of people from whom the federal commission on electoral boundaries should take advice. The only thing these people are trying to do is to bake perceived advantages for their “teams” into the electoral system, whilst simultaneously diluting the value of any votes that might be expected to go to their opponents.

Electoral boundaries should be drawn based on geography, but also based on equity: each riding should contain, as nearly as possible, an equal numbers of voters so that each person’s vote has, as nearly as possible, the same weight as everyone else’s vote.

However, rather than clumping groups of people into electoral ridings based on their levels of income and presumed similarities of outlook (which looks like stereotyping and ghettoization to me), it seems to me that each riding should, ideally, contain as diverse a cross-section of voters as possible. This would — I believe — help force prospective politicians out of their partisan echo chambers and let engage with people who might not support them, but who (if elected) they will also be required to represent.

Alexandra Venema


Peat an efficient carbon sink

Re: Hog deaths cruel (Letters, May 7)

I read, with interest, the letter submitted by Barry Hammond. He refers to the need to limit clear-cutting of our forests.

Another issue is how the province continues to support the peat industry. These companies not only clear-cut and strip- mine the forest but completely drain the soil. The result is the degradation of the forest, forcing out all wildlife as well as the complete destruction of vitally needed wetlands.

In the recent budget the province extended support to this industry by making fuel used in harvesting equipment exempt from Manitoba’s Fuel Tax. This does nothing to enhance the battle against carbon, but rather, helps to create more greenhouse gases.

Peat that is left in its natural state is considered an efficient carbon sink. Like Hammond states, we must “encourage nature to reduce global warming.” It is sad that the current government is not listening.

Barry Henry


Take a gander at hunting regulations

Re: What’s good for the goose is no longer the question (Opinion, May 7)

Carl DeGurse accurately notes that Canada geese no longer need special legal protection, and in fact have become a nuisance that should be controlled.

There is a group of people who would happily contribute more to controlling the Canada goose population: hunters. However, there are antiquated rules that prevent them from being as helpful as they could otherwise be. License fees of $50 for residents or $150 for non-residents, in addition to the other costs of hunting, must be doled out to multiple levels of government. Rules are cumbersome on how harvested geese must be transported back to your home. It’s difficult to contribute harvested meat to those in need.

Hunting brings revenue to rural communities, provides a healthy source of food for those who enjoy wild meat, and generates a love of the outdoors for those who participate. It also has the notable side benefit of controlling the population of a bird that has become a pest.

Safety-based rules for hunting should remain, but most other rules can be significantly eased. Daily-bag and total-possession limits could easily be doubled or tripled. It would be a win-win situation.

Steve Teller


Supporting monarch butterflies

Re: Monarch butterflies are free ( May 11)

The article states several times that “swamp” milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies. Yes, it is, but so are all the members of the Asclepiadaceae family.

There are seven varieties of milkweed native to Manitoba. Swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata) is a popular garden center plant. Although all seven species can be found growing in undisturbed areas, some are more specific to certain regions of the province, and a couple are quite rare.

More varieties are usually available at our native plant suppliers. Wherever folks get their milkweed, it is critical to ascertain the plants have not been sprayed with pesticides as even lingering residue will kill the caterpillars.

Yvonne Sharples


Remembering Queen Vic

Victoria Day, the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, which was declared a holiday in 1845, will be observed once more in celebration across the Commonwealth. As we celebrate this holiday and gaze at the fireworks in the sky, let us cast a thought or two to this great queen who died before most of us were even born.

To some, a picture of her as a young girl in a white wrapper with her golden hair upon her shoulders may come to mind. In this picture, she is giving her hand to two venerable statesmen who have brought her the news, that the crown of England is awaiting her acceptance. She was only 18 when she began to reign — a reign of 63 years — longer than any other monarch aside from Queen Elizabeth II.

Diane R. Unger

Cooks Creek


Updated on Friday, May 13, 2022 7:26 AM CDT: Adds links

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