Letters, Dec. 19


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Acknowledge, respect mental health Re: A wonderful human being with an immense heart (Dec. 13)

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Acknowledge, respect mental health

Re: A wonderful human being with an immense heart (Dec. 13)

It was devastating to learn of the brutal killing of 28-year old Tyree Cayer, stabbed to death at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library on Dec. 11. By all accounts, Cayer had a stellar record as a running back in high school football, but owing to injuries, losing his beloved aunt, mental-health issues and homelessness, he was struggling among us. All of us.

It is important to realize that injury, loss and grief can be psychologically excruciating. Some can withstand, heal and move forward; some have difficulty in doing so.

This is why mental health, its precarity and delicate life, needs to be acknowledged, respected, aided when need arises and supported by our health-care system. Sadly, this is not the case in Manitoba.

As a university educator, I have come to learn that all students have their own specific narratives and life stories, and that some face particular challenges, including mental health. Others might face physical health challenges.

There should be no distinction between the two. Health is health.

I extend my profound condolences to Tyree’s mother, Tania, his uncle, Jayse, and his family and community.

May Tyree’s memory be forever with you, his radiant smile, love and life.

Kenneth Meadwell


Follow Australian example

Further to Will Jones’ letter (Tories need to broaden appeal, Letters, Dec. 8), although unsaid, the theme of his letter summarizes the permanent roadblock for the Conservative Party toward forming a national conservative consensus.

If they go “small C,” the western wing of the party either rebels against the leader (Erin O’Toole) and forces him out, or splits off (Reform Party). If they go hard right, Ontario and Quebec look for other options.

Alberta is the heartland of the conservative movement. Given the direction of the United Conservatives there, if anything they are moving further right, approaching “loony right.”

Perhaps the Tories should go the way of the Australian right wing. There, there is the right-wing “Liberal” party, and the farther right “National Country Party.” They have separate platforms, but when the opportunity strikes, work as a team to form government.

That, at least, would allow each wing to speak to priorities on its own terms, rather than having half of the party at any time giving lip-service to policies they really don’t support.

Ray Kohanik


Empathy, science before doctrine

Re: Guillemard misled Manitobans on supervised drug sites, critics say (Dec. 12)

Ignorance and the fear of the unknown are often what drives poor choices, sometimes resulting in dire consequences. When Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard decided not to embrace information from qualified persons in Vancouver and in Winnipeg, she stepped into the void where her only tether to reality was the doctrine ingrained by the current version of the Progressive Conservative government.

Ms. Guillemard did not need to leave Manitoba to see the tragic reality on our streets for people with addictions and complex mental-health concerns. What she couldn’t see are the people who live behind closed doors with addictions made known only when its too late for help. It is apparent this minister has no knowledge of mental health and addictions, either lived or learned. When you don’t have a vested interest, such as a loved one with this type of health concern, it is easy to be cavalier about what can be done to help them.

Preaching abstinence, adopting police tactics or saying new resources will be made available to stop addictions can only be effective when used in conjunction with supervised consumption sites condoned and recommended by the psychiatric community all over the world.

I don’t know how Ms. Guillemard qualified to take on this portfolio, but I do know that three of the recent health ministers, while not having a background in the health realm, listened when I asked to help them. My son did not suffer with addictions, but I still know enough to listen to medical health professionals when they endorse supervised consumption sites as a proven method to help. Will supervised consumption sites save everyone? Not likely, but they definitely offer a better chance to make a difference. The minister needs to meet with families who have lost loved ones, to hear what needed to happen to help them, and to see the depth of pain created by this senseless loss. If I were her, I would turn to every source of qualified information, so educated and well-informed choices could be embraced.

Bonnie Bricker


Paved with good intentions

Letter writer Tim Brandt (Safer streets, Letters, Dec. 13) and many other people in Winnipeg think reducing speed limits “across the board” will make Winnipeg streets safer. Maybe, but I don’t think the public would accept a 30 km/h speed limit across the city.

Who is going to drive 30 km/h down Portage Avenue, Lagimodiere Boulevard and other major routes? But this would save lives. Put that to a referendum and see how well voters like it. Life is not risk-free, and we all must assume some risk when we leave our homes.

Or perhaps Brandt only meant residential streets. That is not where most accidents happen. Intersections on busy corridors are where most accidents and fatalities happen. MPI statistics confirm this. FYI, there are three schools on Wolseley Avenue and the school-zone reduced speed limit has made no statistical difference to accidents there (according to MPI statistics).

Brandt also worries about sand causing extra wear to his bike gears. Too bad. Sand (and salt) also cause damage to cars. We accept that risk when we take to the road. Salt reduces accidents. It is common knowledge there are many more accidents during and after snowstorms, owing to slippery conditions. The city of Winnipeg also uses sand on sidewalks to make them safer for citizens. Sand and salt are necessary for our city to function properly in winter.

Brandt says “Cars and trucks have ruled the roads long enough.” Really? Let’s outlaw them all. We’ll go back to horse and carriage for transport. We’ll mandate all goods will be delivered to stores by bicycles with trailers. Ditto for garbage collection, ambulance service, and so on. Let’s see how well that works.

Brandt, and others like him, should first research facts and think about other possible side effects of actions before suggesting they have simple solutions to complex problems.

Ray Hignell


Protect children

Dolores Belot (Children’s welfare still overlooked, Letters, Dec. 12) is right in pointing out that even though Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991, making it legally binding, nothing has changed.

Likely our pro-abortion government does not want people to know about the UNCRC, inasmuch as it states in its preamble that children deserve legal protection, before as well as after birth. It then goes on to state in Article 6 that every child has the inherent right to life.

Robert Schwenk


Tax dollars at work

My apologies for adding to the bad news for letter writer Diane Poulin’s complaint about the admission prices for the Leaf (Unbe-leaf-able prices, Letters, Dec. 13). Our tax dollars also helped build Canada Life Centre and IG Field. Ticket prices for the Leaf seem like a bargain compared to the price of NHL, CFL or concert tickets.

On a more positive note, none of these places serves up evangelism and judgment like the taxpayer-supported Youth For Christ.

We can save the discussion regarding user fees and lower taxes versus lower user fees and higher taxes for another time.

Michelle Burdz



Updated on Monday, December 19, 2022 9:00 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

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