Letters, Jan. 3


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Firearms debate Re: Trudeau’s gun-ban campaign for Canada (Dec. 27)

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Firearms debate

Re: Trudeau’s gun-ban campaign for Canada (Dec. 27)

I was disappointed in your use of a Washington Post article to pan our government’s gun-control discussions. Americans have nothing to teach us about how to legislate guns based on their experience. Even a progressive paper such as the Washington Post seems to be far out of sync with Canadian values.

The writer goes way back to 1977 and talks about sawed-off shotguns and automatics being classes to be banned. Who uses sawed-off shotguns for game hunting? What game hunter wants his shotgun pellets to spread out instead of being concentrated at the bird? And the implied criticism of of military-style rifles ban following the massacre at École Polytechnique just emphasizes the difference between ourselves and our American neighbours.

We are prepared to to take action on our problems to hopefully prevent a recurrence and the Americans do little or nothing, owing to an archaic constitutional amendment from before any modern firearms had been invented.

The article also tries to set up the American-style division to create an us-against-them, similar to the polarization in the United States. No one in Canada says ranchers and farmers and outdoorsmen should not have their legitimate and legal hunting rifles or shotguns. Hunters are marksmen; an AK-47 is not needed in the the hunt for a moose. Where’s the sport in that?

As for this article listing oilfield workers and truckers among those needing these guns, I wonder if the reason the writer is suggesting this is to deter protesters from blocking their way or setting up protests regarding land use.

I think the Free Press could contribute to the gun-control debate far better than by importing this nonsense.

Scott Malabar


Some months ago, I had the privilege of accompanying an Inuit hunter, travelling in a small boat in Hudson Bay. I was in awe as he shot and killed a seal, whose snout I could barely see, at a distance of perhaps 100 yards. Here was food for his small family for a week or two.

Shortly afterwards, we encountered a polar bear on the shore heading in the direction of the hamlet. My Inuk friend skillfully aimed several shots near enough to frighten the bear away from the townsite, without risk of actually harming the animal.

It is my understanding that the rifle this hunter used that day is on the list of soon-to-be-banned “assault rifles.”

In the hands of a hunter, or any number of rural dwellers, a rifle is a tool, not a weapon. While it is prudent to ensure guns do not fall into the hands of criminals, it is equally important not to deprive law-abiding citizens of their safety and livelihood.

Additions to the list of illegal firearms must be made in consultation with those actually use these tools, and not just in a bureaucratic vacuum.

Francis Newman


Consider 24-hour daycare

As the third pandemic year draws to a close, it’s important to remind ourselves of the level of commitment all essential service workers have demonstrated through these most trying and difficult times.

The majority of essential service providers are shift workers who do not have the luxury to work a “hybrid” work from home/office model. As a result, recruiting into essential service professions is going to become increasingly difficult.

It’s going to take some creative thinking on the part of our leaders to entice essential service workers into (or back into) the workplace. One of the greatest challenges for shift workers is finding child care.

Perhaps as a recruitment strategy offering 24/7 daycare sites for any essential shift workers could be considered.

Bev McIntyre


Clearing windrows heavy work

Re: Snow woes (Letters, Dec. 26)

I strongly empathize with the concern of LeeAnn Knutson and the city re-depositing “mountains of icy hard snow” as described in her letter.

I am able to commiserate with her and thousands of other Winnipeggers, since I am also one of the victims of the city’s snow-plowing un-service department. The good parts of that department are to be commended and indeed are appreciated, but the ghastly aspects are terrible!

For the second time this early winter, I also hired help to free us from the prison of frozen windrows that require a jackhammer to penetrate and then to shovel away. I am 85 years old and on a restricted budget, but I was happy to find an unemployed man and paid him generously for his exhausting labour.

But the very next day, for the third time in a row, along comes the Grim Snow Reaper to break up the smoothly packed-down snow in our back lane that was still easily passable, only to again block in the neighbours for several blocks down the lane.

I couldn’t bear to call my helper again so soon. But since the snow ridges were not yet fully frozen, I forced myself to undertake the harrowing job for a solid shivering hour. Do you know how much money the city pays per hour, and how much it could save by avoiding needless snow clearing, and kindly sparing the suffering of its overburdened citizens and taxpayers?

Lorne D. Glowicki


Convoy participants selfish

Re: Convoy people desperate to regain celebrity status and Convoy reunion set for Winnipeg raises concern (Dec. 28)

On Jan. 19, 2022, my mom tested positive for COVID-19. She told me not to worry. She said she felt fine.

On Jan. 23, she took a downturn. We had meetings with doctors, nurses and far-away family. Before my sisters could arrive, I sat by Mom’s bedside. She told me she didn’t want to die. Later in the day, she said she wanted to die.

I tried to be a comfort by sitting with her, listening and holding her hand. But I finally had to take a break from her small, quiet room to get some supper.

It was Jan. 29. It was bitterly cold outside. I drove to a nearby drive-through, shivering all the way. Exhaustion, hunger and grief made me shake. My food arrived and I turned out onto the main drag.

It was then that I saw two huge semis barrelling towards me — horns blasting, flags waving stupidly. They roared up beside my little Chevy; as they straddled both lanes, I had to swerve into a turning lane and get off of Main Street before they shoved me off.

I made it home down side streets, then ate my burger and fries as I cried. I screamed out, “How dare you? How dare you? How dare you?

Sisters flew home on Jan. 31 and we took turns being with Mom. She died on Feb. 11, 2022.

Convoy people, don’t talk to me about “freedom” and “beautiful journeys” to Winnipeg. How dare you?

Conni Cartlidge


Let patients travel for procedures

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

Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Rather than waiting 18 to 24 months for a hip or knee replacement, the government is offering patients on Manitoba’s surgical wait list the opportunity to have their surgery done now in another medical facility out of province. Many of these facilities are within a few hours’ driving time and most, if not all, expenses are paid. Patients can be relieved of their painful disability very quickly and get on their life. This is a gift to stop the suffering. Why not take it?

Other provinces, especially Ontario, have referred patients to Manitoba for years to have medical procedures done. It was common practice. Now northwestern Ontario is in a position to reciprocate by accepting referrals from Manitoba to do hip and knee surgeries. I hope more people will accept their offer and get the timely surgery they need. Will this fix our broken medical system? No. Will it help individuals living in pain and languishing on our long surgical wait list? Yes.

For the record, I support this initiative because I have benefited from four joint replacements and I know how good freedom from severe arthritic pain feels.

Susan Kerr



Updated on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 8:09 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

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