Letters, Feb. 22
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Systemic racism alive and well
Re: Blockade at landfill cost $1 million (Feb. 13)
How inhumane, insensitive and unfeeling to the people who’ve lost a family member not knowing where she lies. What a mockery, after all the hype of truth and reconciliation. Our people deserve better; we have shared the land its resources with you, and still that is not enough — dogs are treated better than we are. In this day and age, white privilege and racism exist within this society that is party to welcoming immigrants, with no never-mind to the original people of this land. No asking, no consultation. Nada!
I have lived on reserve, born and bred in this country now known as Canada, all my life. I raised five children who are educated and working — yet the racism goes on, the attitude towards our people hasn’t changed in my lifetime. Maybe it never will; who knows? The treatment of our people from Canada’s’s overall population and the racism we get is so ingrained. It’s unbelievable!
I haven’t, in 68 years of my life, ever seen my neighbours from the nearby town try to reconcile with us. It wasn’t too long ago that our people were segregated at the town hospital and theatre, and we were required to get permission from the Indian agent to leave the reserve (this was in 1960).
The systemic racism and profiling of our people is alive and well in this day and age. What a shame!
People in general take pride in being Canadian, yet our people live and breathe poverty. What gives? Every day, we struggle to make ends meet; there is no economic base in our community other than the existing organizations and little businesses that employ our people. The numbers for unemployment do not reflect or include our population, yet we are here and one of the biggest bands in Manitoba.
We’ve survived all the hardships thrown at us by outside influences and government interference to our way of life, so when you talk millions of dollars owing to the closure of a landfill site, really, the almighty dollar reigns.
Our women and girls are the future who will bring forth the next generation; no amount of money can replace their lives. The families cannot have closure; their children have no mother, no daughter, no sister, no friend.
Think on that awhile and see how you would feel if it were your daughter, mother, child, sister or friend. If she were white you would see how fast the powers that be would move to find them and get answers. Why? Because her life matters — find her at all costs!
Evidence needed on infill
Re: Wellington Crescent condos get green light (Feb. 15)
The long-term success of infill development will depend on the suitability of new developments and public acceptance of those developments.
The Economist called infill “catnip for planners” because planners have so much faith that infill will reduce sprawl and increase travel by transit, cycling and walking. Accordingly, planners push city councillors to push back against neighbourhood residents – voters — who say some of these developments are undesirable. Planners call them “NIMBY”s — those who are saying “not in my backyard.”
Winnipeg councillors and decision makers need a better understanding of how various infill projects built in the last 10 years in mature neighbourhoods are affecting urban development. An independent research firm should be contracted to measure which types of development: result in less use of personal cars; provide a substitute for a suburban home; provide affordable housing; and enhance the neighbourhood
This would provide a more solid basis for deciding when and how to let developers knock down houses to build condos in mature neighbourhoods.
Look at moving tracks
Bring back the railroad relocation feasibility study! The recent environmental disaster in New Palestine, Ohio, should function as an urgent warning and reminder (how did we not learn from Lac-Mégantic?) that it is only a matter of time until Manitobans are affected by a similar, entirely avoidable disaster.
Relocating Winnipeg’s rail yards and lines has long been considered the right move by city planners and community advocates — it is a safety issue (preventing hazardous cargo from exploding in densely populated areas resulting in mass fatality and ecological devastation) as well as a social one (urban renewal and a unified city).
Winnipeg should lead by example, relocating the rail lines outside of city limits, turning existing lines into safe, year-round, active transport corridors (which we are in dire need of, especially when taking into account the devastating number of pedestrian fatalities we saw this year), and transforming the CPR yards into a green space that would greatly benefit North End residents.
Last year, Regina hired Stantec to move their Ring Road rail relocation project forward, with a $107-million budget. The estimated cost for the Chief Peguis Trail expansion project, according to an executive project summary found on the City of Winnipeg website, is $449 million… what exactly are we waiting for?
Increase foreign aid
We are in February 2023 and millions around the world continue to grapple with misery and ill health. The recent catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and already-ravaged Syria was another shocker. As we recuperate from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and conflict in several countries, progress in global health, poverty alleviation and education is constantly pushed back.
As Canadians, we represent almost every bit of this world, transcending language, cultural and religious barriers. We are privileged to work and live in our beautiful country and our lives are interconnected in the world’s global village. Events in one part of the world have a ripple effect across regions — be it war, inflation or climate change.
Heart-wrenching statistics, stories and pictures on the internet beckon us to act for the deprived — young children missing out on school, life-saving vaccinations; families struggling to gather two square meals owing to poverty and food insecurity; livelihoods challenged due to disastrous effects of climate change — the list is endless.
These developmental shortfalls need our assistance, not just empathy and compassion, for our action will speak louder than our words. Canadian dollars have saved lives and do so each day. Canada must increase its International Assistance Envelope (IAE) by $1.9 billion over the next three years to reach a minimum of $10 billion in the 2025-26 budget, keeping up with government’s commitment to increase IAE every year toward 2030 to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The world needs you Canada – go, put those smiles back!
Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 8:11 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo