Letters, Jan. 20


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Smaller classes better

Re: One teacher for 35 students: parents give school failing grade (Jan. 11)

Thanks to the concerned parents for raising the issue of class size — an issue that has been ignored by the Progressive Conservative government since 2017, when it abandoned the K-3 class-size cap. It is an issue that has been raised by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society repeatedly. It is certainly an issue that persists across the city, not only in the Winnipeg School Division. I have also heard from parents in Pembina Trails School Division, including my own son’s school, which continues to see increased enrolment.

Research in education shows smaller classes provide improved learning outcomes for children when compared to large classes. The PC government dismissed evidence-based research and ignored educators’ first-hand experience.

Experts tell us underfunding of education results in fewer teachers, not enough school buses, less support for students with learning challenges, cuts to libraries, and the list goes on.

Parents and educators spoke out against Bill 64 loud and clear that well-funded education should be the government’s priority. Unfortunately, this government hasn’t listened.

Jennifer Chen

Former school trustee, Winnipeg School Division


Investigation warranted

The recent finding of ground anomalies, including the apparent bone fragment of a child, raises the following question: Why has the federal government not yet ordered a full forensic investigation of the many ground anomalies associated with residential schools and religious institutions?

After all, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated what is outlined in the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission amounts to genocide. If this is so, surely Indigenous people in Canada, indeed, all citizens, are entitled to have a full investigation of this potentially grave crime committed on our soil.

The continuing air of uncertainty that clouds this national issue should be cleared once and for all.

Michael Kirkpatrick


Media, and bias

I’m extremely upset with letter-writer Brian Spencler (“Who’s getting coverage?” Letters, Jan. 17). I was quietly enjoying my morning joe and reading the Free Press’s letters to the editor when I came across this gem in Spencler’s missive: “Most mainstream media outlets are centrist at best,” Spencler opines, “but a majority tend to lean right.” Reading this caused me to double-take and spray my mouthful of coffee all over the kitchen table.

However, once I reflected, I thought maybe I’m living in an alternate reality. Maybe the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the CBC, CTV, Global, CNN and so on, are actually writhing nests of conservative vipers intent on unearthing and attacking the progressive agenda.

Maybe our own Free Press is actually so chock-full of folks clamouring to vote PC provincially and coronate Pierre Poilievre federally, that their big three columnists, Dan Lett, Niigaan Sinclair and Tom Brodbeck, haven’t been constantly ragging on conservatives of all stripes.

Maybe… but, still, there is a huge mess on the kitchen table, which I once considered my safe space, and for that I can never forgive Mr. Spencler.

Phil McBurney


Rollins can run

I have a different perspective than letter writer Campbell Alexander, who feels City Coun. Sherri Rollins should not attempt to become the Liberal candidate in the federal seat in Winnipeg South Centre (“Councillor should stay,” Letters, Jan. 16).

Coun. Rollins has proven (in my view) to be a competent and hard-working individual since her election to council. She has collaborated with like-minded elected officials such as MP Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre), Cindy Gilroy (councillor for Daniel McIntyre) and MLA Lisa Naylor (Wolseley) and others in the downtown, West End, core and Exchange District areas. These politicians have brought millions of dollars in federal funds to those in need and to the disenfranchised in these areas of our city.

She has been a strong voice for the constituents of Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry. She is not afraid to speak up. She spoke on behalf of the residents who suffered during the truck convoy on Broadway. She had the courage to criticize the police’s handling of the convoy.

As well, she is a female. It is unacceptable that we have such a low number of female representatives when we make up 50 per cent of Canada’s population. How are we supposed to increase the number of female leaders when we insist on throwing roadblocks in our path?

Coun. Rollins has every right to toss her hat into the ring to become a member of Parliament. How was she to know MP Jim Carr would pass away? Sometimes one must grab an opportunity when it appears, even in the face of criticism.

I do agree with Alexander that, should she win the nomination, it will cost the taxpayers money to have a byelection to fill her council seat. Democracy is expensive, but the alternative is worse.

Liz Cronk


Faith and others’ freedom

Re: Flyers’ Provorov cites religion for boycott on Pride night (Jan. 17)

Ivan Provorov has every right in this part of the world to take any stance he wishes; here, he has freedom.

In his home country, Russia, many people, government leaders and religious leaders are in the process of eliminating the lives and freedoms of Ukrainian men, women and children.

Does he support this? Maybe he should take a stand against these atrocities. His religion is against homosexuality — is it in favour of murder?

Ed Bachewich

St. Andrew

Millennium Library security

Not too long ago, I had the benefit of going to the New York Public Library in downtown Manhattan.

A beautiful building, more than 100 years old. I don’t know how many people come and go out of this place, but it sure looked busy to me. It has all the features of a modern library (computers, etc.) and, of course, reading areas. Artistically and architecturally beautiful.

When you walk in, there is security very similar to what one would see in an airport, plus all bags are examined by armed security officers. No fuss, no muss. Nobody complains.

If that system is good enough for the New York Public Library in downtown Manhattan, then it ought to be good enough for us. No further expensive studies need to be done.

Victor Lysenko


Showing support

Re: Store owner seeks social media assist to snap break-in string (Jan. 17)

First if all, thank you to Andrew Parkes for not packing up his shop and moving out of the downtown after three break-ins in one month.

I have a suggestion how we can all help Eph Apparel and other businesses with boarded-up windows and glass doors. Take a picture of the store and post it on your social media with a description of where it is located and ask people to shop at those businesses to help support them financially.

Let’s use the sight of boarded-up windows as a call to come in and shop. Let them know you care and, if you can, purchase something. These break-ins can be very expensive for these businesses and, more than that, they are discouraging.

Thank you to the Free Press for telling Andrew’s story. I hope he gets a spike in business. When you see a pizza place or any other business that was broken into, let’s do our best to support them.

It may seem like a small thing, but if we all start making the effort, we can make a difference.

Tom P. Scott


Digital watch

It’s a great cartoon by Greg Perry (Jan. 18). The only complaint I have is he’s using the wrong finger.

Paul Forest



Updated on Friday, January 20, 2023 8:20 AM CST: Adds tile photo, adds links

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