Letters, Feb. 24
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Everyone a learner
In many recent articles about our education system, the term “learner” seems to be gaining popularity as a replacement for the term “student.” It is not.
In a classroom, the terms “teacher” and “student” articulate certain roles. Being a learner is not exclusive to the latter.
In his insightful letter on Feb. 17 (“Focus on students’ needs”), Edwin Buettner describes one of many wake-up calls in his teaching career. It was, and likely the others as well, an occasion when he, the teacher, was a learner.
As I reflect on the teachers I have always perceived to be my best and worst, I would offer this advice to all students: if your teacher is not one of the learners in your classroom, change classes.
City needs to change course
Re: The choice is easy: trees (Jan. 27)
The city and community-led groups will hopefully be planting 71,000 trees in the next three years through the Home Grown grant program. That will go some way to replacing some of the tree canopy lost.
But consider this: according to Winnipeg’s Urban Forest Strategy, 58 per cent of our public tree inventory is ash and elm — targets of disease and pests. We need all our dead trees replaced and many more new trees added to mitigate the extreme effects of climate change.
Erna Buffie was told by the city’s forestry department that there is too much concrete and asphalt and too little good land to sustain more trees. Planting new trees downtown will be a challenge; the Urban Forest report states only 26,000 spaces for new trees city-wide.
The solutions are clear: we have to preserve as much green space within the city as we can, create new public greenspaces, and we should be considering preservation of senior trees on private property.
And everyone in the city needs to get involved with planting more trees. The city needs to change course if we are going to weather climate change in the 21st century.
Government should be ashamed
Re: Spouse of dying woman angry he had to go to media to get home care (Feb. 17)
It is beyond shameful that this poor dying lady and her partner had to share their misery with the public to obtain anything close to adequate care.
How can a system discharge a patient from palliative care to home when the appropriate services are obviously not available? The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority administration should be embarrassed beyond belief.
The government, and in particular the minister of health and the premier, should be forced to spend a day in such circumstances to feel exactly how their inability to manage affects people.
To treat a dying person like this is utterly callous and grossly negligent. This government should be ashamed.
Not true dough?
Re: Manitoba’s “carbon relief” cheques being printed (Feb. 16)
Like people around the world, Manitobans are suffering from inflation, largely brought on by macroeconomic events such as Putin’s war and pandemic supply-chain issues. With an election looming and their party’s fortunes flagging, the provincial government has used inflation as a pretext to try to curry favour with voters using their own money.
They have also used their government’s largesse as a means to attack Justin Trudeau, calling their spending spree the Carbon Tax Relief Fund. Some other names would be more apt: “Heather’s Hail Mary Handout,” the “Buy Your Vote Bonus,” or “Heath care sucks, have a few Stefanbucks!”
On the radar
Re: There’s a simple solution to speeding tickets (Feb. 17)
I agree with the editorial — if you get caught speeding, you should face the consequences. It’s a simple solution: drive within the speed limit. If you don’t like it, get ready to face the music and pay. We should keep in mind the province and city have actually tried to make things easier for lead-footed citizens (myself included). What better way to plead guilty to your vehicular transgression than to go to a website at any time of day or night and pay your fine? Innovation.
In the case of drivers on south St. Mary’s Road, I agree with them. The location of the speed limit signage and speed traps might not make sense from their perspective. You don’t have to like it; just drive within the speed limit and save yourself some hard-earned cash.
However, I have a strong objection to the management of one aspect of the photo radar program.
The fact that the mobile photo radar units are operating in school zones on days when a statutory holiday falls on a weekday — and schools are closed — is reprehensible. The deployment of these vehicles (and their snoozing operators) on, for instance, Christmas Day, if it falls on a Tuesday, merits condemnation.
Aside from generating revenue, what purpose is there to have a photo radar unit in a school zone when the school is closed? The presence of these vehicles in front of a school on Thanksgiving Day is despicable. How is this ensuring public safety? How many children are being saved from being hit by vehicles when they aren’t even in the schools? If these units weren’t in school zones on statutory holidays, the body count of our children would undoubtedly be staggering.
It would be interesting to see whether the ticket revenue generated on Louis Riel Day in school zones surpassed the cost of deploying the vehicles and their sleep-deprived operators.
I disagree with your editorial and I agree with Robert K. Froese’s letter (“Ticket process had no appeal,” Feb. 18). I can empathize with Froese as well as a previous letter writer Larry Robert (“On the radar,” Feb. 16) as I, too, was ticketed for going over 40 km/h last year on the first day of spring break. Very unfair, and an obvious cash grab!
Construction zones are another lucrative source of revenue for cash-starved governments. You mention in your editorial that “the Highway Traffic Act stipulates the lowered speed limit applies: ‘whether or not workers are present in the designated construction zone.’” Why? Where is the safety issue if there are no workers present?
In Toronto, there are prominently posted signs indicating that “Speed fines double when workers present.” When workers are not present, you follow the regular speed limit. In other words, the way it’s done in Toronto, unlike in Winnipeg, is for bona fide safety reasons and not an excuse for a cash grab. This is fair and garners respect for the law.
As well, whenever a construction project is approved in Toronto, whether by a private company or a public agency, blockades of any kind (ie: barricades, pylons, etc.) are only permitted two weeks prior to construction starting and must be taken down no later than two weeks after the project has been completed. Again, this is done for safety reasons and makes sense.
Baby, it’s Winnipeg outside
Re: Winnipeg finally embracing “winter city” tag
Yes, this winter, as is true most winters, Winnipeg is definitely more of a winter city than Ottawa.
This is especially so since, this year, it has the longest skating rink in Canada, if not the world, because Ottawa has not yet even opened the Rideau Canal for its traditional winter skating festivities, owing to a fairly warm winter.
Updated on Friday, February 24, 2023 8:21 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo