Letters, Feb. 23


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Police need to communicate

Re: Unannounced police drill leads to St. Boniface school lockdown (Feb. 17)

I am writing to express my concern and disappointment over the recent incident involving the Winnipeg police and École Taché elementary school. The unannounced police drill near the school caused alarm, resulting in a lockdown of the facility. This is unacceptable, and has caused panic among staff and students.

The police department’s failure to notify the school of the exercise beforehand, as they normally do, is concerning. Our children already have to endure frequent drills, and it is even more distressing when staff are not aware of the situation, making it real.

Given their responsibility, this communication breakdown warrants serious consequences, and we should expect more from our police department. It does not provide much confidence if they cannot do the drill correctly.

I would like the police department to take immediate action to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. They must learn from their mistakes, improve communication with schools and the community, and ensure such situations do not occur again.

Justin Beaudry


We’re in this together

Re: “Systemic racism is alive and well” (Letters, Feb. 22)

Thank you and miigwech to Cynthia Bunn for having the courage to speak out regarding the search of landfills, reminding us about the ongoing occupation of lands by settler descendants and the perpetuation of racism within our ways of life.

Many Manitobans, including myself, live protected lives — protected by the colour of our skin and the systems that produce economic advantage and entitlement, all based on the colonizing of this place now called Manitoba, the theft of land that includes what we now use to dump the waste from our consumer-based ways of life.

Many of us don’t consider any of this because we’ve simply grown up thinking all is well, that we’ve earned our privilege and that colonization was a good thing. If Free Press readers hear you, Ms. Bunn, think on what you’ve said and begin to listen more, we may eventually find voice to advocate for equity and justice.

This would make space for Indigenous peoples to lead us all in another way, to share with us how we might live in a good way so that when something terrible like a lost or murdered loved one happens, mutual respect, love and caring actions emerge; “we are in this together.”

Peter Krahn


Fostering better learning

In response to Edwin Buettner’s letter (“Focus on students’ needs,” Feb. 17), I noticed he poses the question: “Who really failed my test?” Many good teachers like Buettner know the answer to that question.

Personally, I experienced the same feelings of dismay while teaching. I think we can all see who the failure is, but at the time we were following orders. We were teaching the curriculum while testing the students. If we had acted on our instincts we would have thrown out the curriculum and concentrated on finding what each individual child knew and proceeded from there.

Children cannot be measured and put into a box. They all have personal strengths and weaknesses, as do their teachers. The “system” cannot accept that no matter how hard they try to pretend to do so.

We should acknowledge the expertise and forthrightness of good teachers like Buettner, forget trying to paint all the students the same colour, take a good look at many European and Scandinavian models, and work together with our students to bring their strengths to the forefront.

While we are at it, we should remember also to instruct those who think curriculum and standardized tests are the answer to get out of the way so we can get the job done.

William Helgason


Nursing shortage

Re: Province puts $123M of health-care employees plan into retaining, recruiting nurses (Feb. 9)

While we would welcome nurses from the Philippines, I hope there is an abundance of nurses in that country and that we are not pillaging their health-care system to fix ours. Just wondering.

Gladys Bellamy


I want to extend my best wishes to the Manitoba delegates headed to the Philippines with the hope of hiring 150 nurses to help address the shortages of health-care providers in our province.

It seems unusual, however, that the Philippines, with a per capita GDP of about US$3,500 has seemingly found the resources to educate and train a surplus of nurses, while our country, with a per capita GDP of about US$52,000, finds itself unable to train and retain health professionals sufficient to our needs.

I wonder how Manitobans would react if California, the U.K., or Russia came calling to our province, hoping to recruit from our abundance of doctors, nurses, IT professionals or lawyers. Indignation would rule the day, I suspect.

Well, maybe we could offer up just a few lawyers.

Cliff Greenhalgh


Convoy denied others’ freedom

Re: Liberals’ decision to invoke Emergencies Act justified, but ‘regrettable’ and Irresponsible protest leaders to blame for safety threat, Ottawa’s action (Feb. 17)

I am glad the Emergencies Act was ruled as justified. The events in Ottawa were not a protest but an illegal occupation of a city. The protesters were complaining about their “loss of freedom” while they were taking away the residents’ and businesses’ freedom. I agree with Tom Brodbeck: the main people responsible are the irresponsible leaders.

It’s very telling that Conservative leaders Candice Bergen and Pierre Poilievre did not attend the inquiry. Bergen sent an email saying “Let’s make it Trudeau’s problem” and Poilievre and other Conservative politicians supported this illegal occupation while ignoring residents and businesses that were affected. There were even “Poilievre for PM” flags that were being flown.

It’s also very telling that Ontario Premier Doug Ford did not attend the inquiry. He was absent when this happened, once again ignoring Ottawa residents. Very irresponsible on their part.

Also: why would you meet with people with “Trudeau for Treason” signs and nooses, who are also wanting to overthrow a government? You don’t.

Leanne Hanuschuk


Roll the tape

Kevin Cheveldayoff promised a seismic change following the signing of coach Rick Bowness and indeed, this happened, initially. The Jets displayed a drastic change in their style of play, in the form of an upbeat tempo, increased focus on puck possession, more defensive-mindedness and a strong work ethic. Mark Scheifele was rejoicing, Blake Wheeler was sweating and the whole team prospered happily.

Then came the day when Nikolaj Ehlers, a gifted, offensive-minded skater, returned from injury. He immediately thrilled the crowd with his speedy dashes, and at his second game back, the Jets flooded the net with goals. It all seemed wonderful, but it appears as if, unintentionally, Ehlers triggered a relapse into old ways, when defence was secondary. Bowness’s newly introduced play structure vanished and the Jets have regressed into their pre-Bowness, lazy hockey form.

In a recent game against the New Jersey Devils, Bowness changed his lineup and the team seemed to rebound, but only for two periods, before slipping into old ways in the last period. Ehlers’ return indicated how easily the Jets can be triggered.

Perhaps the Jets should be forced to watch a video of an earlier well-played game after each period to snap them into a desired level of performance.

Ivan Bilash



Updated on Thursday, February 23, 2023 7:54 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

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