Letters, Dec. 27


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Empty words Re: Province cuts funding for BUILD program (Dec. 22)

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Empty words

Re: Province cuts funding for BUILD program (Dec. 22)

The provincial government’s refusal to fund the BUILD program leaves me speechless and shaking my head. The commitment to help those who are homeless and unemployed are, as usual, just empty words.

With a proven program right under their Pinocchio noses, elected officials turn their backs on those in need once again. It seems the money flows only after determining the potential votes it would bring in.

The Manitoba government is an embarrassment to the people it has vowed to serve.

Marian Young


Artist missed the mark

Re: Editorial cartoon, Dec. 23

I generally appreciate the cartoons on the editorial page of the Free Press, as they bring important issues of the day to the attention of those of us who still rely on an important delivery of the news via traditional, well-researched mainstream media.

It seems that the artist was correct in identifying the tip of the plastic iceberg that represents only a small percentage of the actual problem.

By placing a caricature of our prime minister on top of the heap of plastic, it gives the appearance that this first step to eliminate this massive issue is nothing more than political grandstanding. As in all aspects of pollution facing our planet, it is important that these issues are brought to the forefront by responsible governments around the world, and, at least in some small way, dealt with regardless of the naysayers who would deny they exist.

The cartoon missed the mark with this reader, and hopefully we can see more positive representation of pollution issues in future cartoons.

Brian Dyck


Shocking revelation

Re: Wing and a prayer: Hard-working Jets hanging tough (Dec. 19)

I had to chuckle at former NHLer Marc Methot’s criticism of Winnipeg’s Fairmont Hotel, with the sheets “that zap you upon entry.” I guess the poor fellow has never heard of static electricity.

My sister’s grandchildren, who live in Victoria, used to take turns visiting us during Festival du Voyageur. They loved the winter weather, skating, tobogganing and the festival, but one of their favourite things to do was to shuffle across the carpets in our home and zap everything in sight! One of them shorted out our computer!

Life is all a matter of perspective.

Elizabeth Ash


Stuck in a rut

Re: Terminal diagnosis: Surgery strategy a bust (Dec. 23)

The article points out that Manitoba Orthopaedic Society president Dr. Jason Crosby says the government’s plan to send people out of province for hip and knee procedures is like applying a bandage on a hemorrhaging artery.

A Nov. 7, 2022, editorial in this paper called for a new approach to health-care financing. A Dec. 20, 2022, editorial in this paper said that blaming Ottawa won’t fix Manitoba’s health care. On Dec. 11, 2021, more than a year ago, I took out an advertisement in this paper announcing the death of Manitoba’s health-care system.

But nothing has happened. We started the year and ended it with a poorly functioning health-care system. We started the year and ended it with a Progress Conservative government. What’s the problem?

I see it this way: we have a government that has reached the stage in its life where it is feeding off its own ideas. Those stale ideas that haven’t worked in the past won’t work in the future. It is stuck in a rut.

And the only thing that can get us out of the rut are fresh political and administrative faces who will bring with them fresh ideas. To put it mildly, when you don’t wash off the old stale ideas, you begin to smell.

No matter what your political leaning is — the right, the left or the centre — a healthy and well-educated population makes us all better off.

Barry Elkin


Word to the wise

Re: Words, words, words (Letters, Dec. 23)

Letter-writer Michael Kirkpatrick questions why the media does not give “equal time and space” to whose opposed to the use of various terms such as diversity, racism, genocide, anti-vaxxers, climate catastrophe, etc. I have an answer for him.

Good journalism does not involve reporting the truth as everyone sees it. The media has an obligation to uphold standards that shout down values that promote the idea that the truth does not exist and that right and wrong are merely arbitrary preferences.

All too often, we are being asked to believe things are not what they so patently are, and that beliefs represent truths. I am thankful good journalists analyze issues in order to present the truth, and not what a less-objective person wants us to believe.

Mac Horsburgh


Misreading the text

Re: Protect children (Letters, Dec. 19)

Robert Schwenk seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) gives states the right to deny pregnant people abortions.

I would invite Schwenk, and others who believe the UNCRC strips people of their reproductive rights, to reread the preamble to the UNCRC. Nowhere in it does it state, as Schwenk claims, that unborn fetuses have the same legal protections as children. When Schwenk references Article 6, he similarly misreads “States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life” as “States Parties recognize that every unborn fetus has the inherent right to life.”

In fact, Article 1 of the Convention deliberately avoids specifying whether childhood begins at birth, conception or some mid-point, pre-empting attempts (such as this one) to misread the Convention as a “Charter of Rights for the Unborn.” The language used in the convention purposefully allows states to determine where they stand on the issue.

To the anti-choice crowd: if you oppose reproductive health care, that’s your business. Don’t try and drag the UN into it.

Rory Ellis


Narrowing streets holds risks

Re: A chance to reimagine road safety (Dec. 19)

Of course it is important that no one is involved in road accidents, be they in a vehicle, on foot, or on some other method of transportation.

Osborne Street is a good example of high-density traffic, both as a destination and as a through-street to other areas of Winnipeg. The suggestion of lowering traffic accidents by raising speed bumps, raising crosswalks and narrowing streets will serve as more barriers to those with medical conditions and disabilities that require better access to city destinations and activities.

Narrowing streets makes cycling more dangerous, as a number of cyclists weave in and out of traffic, and it eliminates any possibility of handicapped parking spots on streets.

Having things such as curbed bike lanes, as on some streets downtown, also creates barriers for wheelchair and other mobility-aid users.

Narrowing streets also adds to dangerous driving conditions, as the white lane markers are often very difficult to see in winter conditions. There is also the issue of the need for emergency vehicles to get through streets quickly. I have seen car drivers trying to get up onto boulevards to allow an ambulance to get through on a street where the curbed bicycle lane made pulling over to the right lane impossible. This was a street leading directly from the Health Sciences Centre.

The City of Winnipeg and a number of lobbyist spokespeople seem to have little concern for those residents who have to live with disabilities and medical conditions. Please do not create even more barriers.

Judy Herscovitch

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