Letters, May 17
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Your call is important to us
Re: Bell MTS in hot seat over landline complaints (May 13)
Andrew Parkinson of Bell MTS encourages customers with service issues to call them so they can help.If the customers’ land lines are down, how are they supposed to do this?
Bell MTS is playing some kind of sick joke on their elderly and vulnerable customers who rely on their land lines for emergency and medical services.
For peat’s sake
Re: Peat an efficient carbon sink (Letters, May 13)
I wish to thank Barry Henry for bringing attention to Manitoba’s peatlands, the unsung hero in the fight against global climate change.
Peatlands, often referred to as muskeg or bogs, are a type of wetland. They serve us well by slowing the accelerator pedal on climate change, providing habitat for a wide array of wildlife, diminishing flood risk, and ensuring clean drinking water.
Peatlands punch way above their weight. They store close to a third of the total carbon found in global soils but cover only three per cent of the world’s land base. A fundamental part of the climate solution is keeping carbon in the ground and away from the atmosphere. As Canada holds 25 per cent of the Earth’s peatlands, we have a huge opportunity to be a leader in combating global climate change.
Despite their value, the vast majority of peatlands in Canada are unprotected and many are being harvested or drained. Safeguarding these wetlands in their natural state should be an urgent priority for governments. This includes Manitoba as we are carbon-rich with many expansive peatland networks.
Most of the peatlands in Canada are within the ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples. Commendably, many Indigenous nations in Manitoba are working to establish protected and conserved areas within their traditional lands, which cover tens of thousands of square kilometres.
I strongly encourage our provincial government to embrace the leadership of these Indigenous nations by providing the support they request and by working with them to determine shared responsibilities.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Manitoba chapter
Re: Tories on defensive over rebates to wealthy (May 13)
NDP Leader Wab Kinew has it wrong — yet again. Under the terms of commercial leases, the tenants pay all of the property taxes, and any rebate must be provided to the tenant. While Cadillac Fairview, or any other commercial landlord may receive the (large) property tax rebate cheque, they do not get to keep that money, as it given back to the tenants under the terms of their leases.
Many of these tenants are not the wealthy multi-national corporations that Kinew would like you to believe. Many tenants that will benefit from the property tax reduction are the locally owned flower shop, the mom-and-pop restaurant, and the local hair salon; all small businesses that are a vibrant part of the local community. Yes, some tenants are large national chains, but many of these businesses are owned by local franchisees, who have been especially hit hard over the past two years.
These local small business owners and local franchisees employ people from our community and buy goods and services from other local firms. Lowering taxes for tenants who are local small businesses benefits the local economy.
Stuttering has consequences
Re: Kinew sorry after accusations he mocked minister (May 13)
I read the account of Wab Kinew’s “stuttering” performance during question period with sadness and dismay. Unknown to most people, stuttering is real and has real consequences for those who suffer from it.
I stuttered from an early age and it’s still here. My younger years were tough, particularly as a teenager. My speech impediment was viewed by some, including my teachers, as an intellectual deficit since I avoided answering questions in class to avoid the embarrassment of stuttering in front of my classmates.
Since speech therapy was not an option that my parents could afford, I developed coping mechanisms, such as avoiding words that would trip me up, controlled breathing and a speaking cadence that allowed for unplanned pauses. Most people around me didn’t know I had a speech impediment … until they did.
Just when I thought I was safe, my ability to speak would betray me, such as during a toast to the bride at a niece’s wedding or during a eulogy at a friend’s funeral.
I have revealed something very personal in this letter. I would hope that Wab Kinew could demonstrate the same fortitude and issue a sincere apology for his insensitive and hurtful words, instead of a politically expedient excuse.
Harper a successful leader
Re: Rash pledge shreds Poilievre’s credibility (May 13)
I object to a statement in your editorial. In the final paragraph you note that Pierre Poilievre is an unsuitable candidate and “ought to be shuffled off to the Conservative scrap heap where the party’s last three leaders reside.”
The last three leaders are Erin O’Toole, Andrew Scheer and Stephen Harper. While it is arguable that O’Toole and Scheer were thrown on the scrap heap by the party, Harper was prime minister from 2006 to 2015. This is hardly to be conceived as being placed on a scrap heap. By that logic, John Turner, former Liberal prime minister also was thrown on the scrap heap when he was defeated by Brian Mulroney.
The Free Press has made anti-Conservative diatribes its stock in trade. I can read your editorial board like a book.
Health care more important
Re: Labour shortage top issue, premier says (May 13)
It may very well be true that Premier Heather Stefanson has been told repeatedly that the “top issue” for Manitobans is the labour shortage.
However, this just raises the question of who she has been listening to and whether her conclusion is the result of the selective hearing and biased perception of a business-minded Conservative politician. Or worse, an insidious attempt to change the channel about what really concerns Manitobans.
With all due respect to struggling business owners, the labour shortage is not my number one issue. My greatest concern is the dire straits of our health care system — a crisis that was created by this Conservative government.
Re: Remembering Queen Vic (Letters, May 13)
As I sit and have a cuppa, I had to have a little chuckle about Diane R. Unger’s recollection of Queen Victoria “let us cast a thought or two to this great queen.”
Victoria was nothing remotely close to a “great” anything but perhaps as a tyrant mum who on more than one occasion referenced her nine children as “ugly,” “nasty” and “frog-like.” She also liked to beat her young son Prince Leopold, who was a hemophiliac.
So as the fireworks shoot to the heavens, let us blast away this notion that the previous and current version of the royals are something to celebrate. They are a nasty bit of humanity, then and now and should be blasted to the moon.
East St. Paul
Updated on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 7:29 AM CDT: Adds links