Letters, Feb. 21


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College failing its mandate

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College failing its mandate

Re: Protecting patients needs to be priority (Feb. 17)

Tom Brodbeck accurately points out in this article that there is “one thing Manitoba’s physician watchdog could do to immediately protect patients,” which is to require these physicians to be more transparent about their practice restrictions.

There is another thing the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba could do to better protect patients. They could do a more thorough job of assessing whether or not a physician is capable of returning to work even with restrictions in place.

Whatever system the college is now using to evaluate these physicians appears to be inadequate. Typically threats to public safety are evaluated taking into account individual, family and community considerations. Information gleaned through a comprehensive assessment is power and puts the evaluator in a better position to make an informed decision about safety issues.

Clearly the college is failing in its mandate to protect the public interest. That needs to change.

Mac Horsburgh


Not a good-news day

While reading the paper on Feb. 14, I became further upset with our province. Perhaps it was the order in which I read the articles. The first one (“‘It’s not a good picture’: Manitoba performing poorly in economic indicators”) talked about how high taxes are driving people out of Manitoba. The article said we should be lowering them to keep people from leaving — like that is the only reason why people leave Manitoba — yet from what I understand, the net influx of those arriving in our province surpasses those leaving.

The second article was how Manitoba has extreme rates of child poverty (“Child poverty in Manitoba worst among provinces; Tory cheques, tax breaks miss mark, report says”). According to the article, one in five children on average live in poverty here; in some areas it’s much more. That is unacceptable while the government boasts about cutting $1.3 billion in spending. Priorities, Heather, priorities.

The third article was about the provincial Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont taking our premier, Heather Stefanson, to court over her admitting to breaking provincial conflict-of-interest legislation (“Lawyers for Stefanson, Lamont square off in court over conflict-of-interest allegation”). Our premier, a member of the legislature for over 20 years, forgot to declare she made more money in one day then most readers of the Free Press will make in numerous lifetimes and wants to be let off. A precedent needs to be set, especially with new legislation coming to the fore after the next election where politicians govern themselves.

The last article was about the PC government not taking notes on possible conversations they had about last year’s so-called freedom convoy (“Lack of paper trail a puzzler for some”). Officially, while our Manitoba Legislative Building grounds were occupied by a mob, our MLAs said nothing. That is the record. Our PC MLAs officially didn’t discuss the occupation internally. At all. Officially.

Jamie Bonner


Concept for convoy

Re: Duelling opinions of freedom (Feb. 17)

“Freedom” may have two meanings depending on whether the freedom is focused on oneself alone, sometimes called individualism, or on concern for others, too. This duality may be avoided if the word “liberty” is distinguished from freedom.

True freedom includes concern for others. I seek the freedom to write this letter, assuming it will not harm others.

Freedom ought to be used in situations where its use can be reserved for concern for others. Freedom pertaining only to me might be called liberty. Hence the so-called freedom convoy was really a “liberty convoy.”

Barry Hammond


Strengthen social safety net

Reading “Canadians favour pumping brakes on MAiD” (Feb. 17), I find it curious how the focus is on reducing access to medical assistance in dying rather than addressing these issues that lead to people wanting to end their lives. I do think it is a tragedy that these people have found themselves to have no option other than to end their life, but reducing access to MAiD doesn’t fix that; it only gives them fewer options.

What is needed is a focus on expanding these people’s options, creating a stronger social safety net, and stopping individuals from reaching the point where they want to end their lives in the first place.

Christian Le Breton


Spend money on health care

The funds Manitoba is receiving from the Canada Health Transfer program are to be used to fix our ailing health-care system, and nothing else.

Not to pad any provincial deficits and then brag about how well they are doing. Not to contribute to programs with the hope of buying votes in an election year. And to those with their hands out, put them back in your pockets.

For years, our money has been transferred from Ottawa to our provincial government to be used specifically towards health care, and now that it comes with a caveat of having to show accountability, all the premier can do is complain how unfair it is. What is truly unfair is that the medical needs of Manitobans have been pushed aside in order that Premier Heather Stefanson can fuel her own agenda.

It would be refreshing for a provincial leader — not just ours, but any of them — to admit their mistakes, and instead of laying blame at the federal level, work towards a solution. Without a solid plan in place, you may as well be tossing money into the wind.

I hope, when it’s time for Manitobans to go to the polls, someone will come to the table with a viable solution to fix the system, support our health-care workers and honour the trust of the people who elected them.

Marian Young


Ban machetes

Re: Kenora man arrested in bus stop machete attack (Feb. 16)

Another attack with a machete. How many assaults will it take for the powers that be to ban the sale of machetes and large knifes that are continually used to terrorize, slash, cut, sever, stab or kill people? We have been waiting long enough.

Louise Hedman


Regulate building improvements

Re: Accessibility law to undergo review (Feb. 17)

I am hopeful the public consultations will result in what I think every person living in an apartment complex knows should already have been done.

Owners of buildings or complexes are hiding behind the grandfather clause when putting in automated doors to assist people in wheelchairs and walkers. They come up with all kinds of excuses, so the building owners are not going to do it themselves.

Let’s put in regulations so these building owners cannot hide anymore, and give the people who need assistance the dignity of pushing a button to have a door open.

Will Franklin


Rethink property taxes

Winnipeg has a huge and growing problem with urban sprawl and attracting residents to our downtown area.

One main issue is levying property taxes based on assessed property values, which is a substantial disincentive for households to purchase high-rise condominiums over more land-intensive single-home dwellings.

The frontage tax introduced some years ago is a modest start, but it is time to rethink how we levy property taxes. Maybe start with some discounts for high-rise condominium owners in the downtown area.

Bill Speers


Saskatchewan ahead of us

Scott Insch asks Manitoba to be the leader in dropping daylight time (“Blame the Kaiser?Letters, Feb. 15). Great idea, which should have been implemented years ago.

But taking the lead on this issue? Saskatchewan did it in 1966.

Marie Lawrence


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