Letters, March 3


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Province must do better Re: “My condo is my prison now” (Feb. 25)

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Province must do better

Re: “My condo is my prison now” (Feb. 25)

The story of an 89-year-old woman with congestive heart failure who was declared a palliative case, her husband, also 89, and their health-care-aide daughter trying to take care of their loved one in their home makes me sad, but also very angry that this is the best our provincial health-care system can do.

The WRHA is promoting self-managed care, presumably to solve the issues of limited home-care staff, but they are passing on much of the cost to their clients to pay out of pocket.

As husband Raymond says, they are lucky to be able to afford that; many can’t. All deserve better home care and palliative care than this.

Part of the problem seems to be that so many health-care aides, like Tannis’s daughter Michelle, have quit working in the hospital due to poor working conditions. In addition, those working in the community as health-care aides are working for poor wages and very stressful working conditions, such as requirements for only very short visits, 20-25 calls per day, no mileage payments and quickly changing schedules!

Most people go into caregiving professions like this because they want to help their clients, but who would want to work under these conditions when they know that the needs of their clients will not be met?

I am ashamed to be a Manitoban when our health care has degenerated so much in the last 61/2 years. The provincial government needs to do much better!

Marlene Beaty


Strong and free?

Robert Milan’s letter (“Social programs afford real freedom,” Letters, Feb. 28) states that universal government-run programs provide Canadians with real freedom.

By this logic, Milan should favour compulsory military service for all able-bodied Canadians. This would increase the strength of our armed forces and better enable Canada to ward off aggression by such powers as Russia, particularly in our Arctic region.

To protect Canada from foreign domination is the very essence of freedom. So, how many Manitobans are in favour of compulsory military service?

Kurt Clyde


Don’t waive requirements

Re: Ukrainians welcomed in workplace, but still finding jobs below their qualifications (Feb. 26)

Full disclosure: I am a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba and I served for six years on the Canadian engineering accreditation board, which accredits engineering degree programs at Canadian universities and also evaluates “equivalency” of academic qualifications from some other countries.

The article references the experience of a recent immigrant engineer who “would need at least two years of (Canadian) experience to work as a professional engineer in Canada.” I do not think this an onerous requirement. There is nothing to prevent an immigrant engineer from obtaining employment in the engineering sector and working under the supervision of a registered professional engineer, while completing the Canadian experience requirement.

In fact, in the case presented in the article, this is exactly what the Ukrainian engineer is doing. Readers should note that an engineering graduate from the University of Manitoba requires not two but four years of experience supervised by a registered professional engineer in order to become registered in Manitoba.

The article states that “two decades of work experience in the (engineering) field wouldn’t be relevant in Canada.” This is not the case. Many employers would be glad to hire an immigrant engineer with 20 years of relevant experience. The Ukrainian engineer quoted in the article says it wasn’t hard finding a job in his preferred industry. Engineering basics are the same everywhere. It’s just that it takes time to check out and confirm credentials, ensure a degree of familiarity with Canadian standards and practices, and perhaps give the candidate some time to gain technical fluency in English, before being fully licensed.

No doubt there are some excellent engineering schools abroad but there are also some that are not up to our standards. This is where professional registration or licensing comes in. Employers know what “P.Eng.” means.

Engineering in Canada is regulated by acts of the provincial legislatures, to ensure the protection of the public. The provincial engineering associations are not “gatekeepers” trying to keep qualified people out. These associations, governed by provincial legislation, ensure that the engineers who design our safe drinking water supplies, safe bridges to drive on, safe and reliable energy supplies and safe buildings, are indeed qualified to do so.

Can the professional registration process for experienced immigrant engineers be sped up or streamlined? Possibly. But to suggest this process should simply be set aside or circumvented is irresponsible to say the least.

Robert Foster


Seeking info on relative

Good morning from Scotland! I’m looking for assistance in tracing any living relative of James Duncan Smith. He and his family moved to Winnipeg in 1908 and lived at 563 Bannerman Ave., Winnipeg.

James had two sisters, Isabel and Mabel. Their parents were William and Alexandrina.

James moved back to the U.K. in 1937 when he joined the Royal Air Force (he was also in the RCAF). He fought in the Battle of Britain and also at Dunkirk during the Allied evacuation.

Tragically he was killed in action on April 14, 1941, when he was shot down over Tobruk in Libya.

My wife and I have been fascinated by two letters received by her mother, which were sent to her and addressed to Auntie Jeannie. As far as we are aware she did not have a nephew by the name of Jim, which is how the letters are signed.

It is only in the last two weeks we found out his surname and managed to find details of him online. We think possibly his mother was a cousin of my wife’s mother.

I would be grateful for any help your newspaper can provide. We would dearly love to return these letters to the family, if possible.

Brian Findlay

Aberdeen, Scotland, U.K.

Let’s make a deal

OK, so Dilbert is out of the funny pages, or perhaps the “unfunny pages,” so what do we replace it with? Free Press editor Paul Samyn has promised a new strip, but I want an old strip back: Monty!

A Free Press staple for many years, Jim Meddick’s strip brought my late father and me so much joy to see the continuing bumbling adventures of Monty, Moondog and Fleshy.

Originally known as Robotman, the strip refocused on Monty. That’s a kind of storytelling progression that is rare in a daily strip, so let’s go back to that, please.

Will Jones


Sparks a true gentleman

We just read a feel-good story on Winnipeg’s best boxer, Al Sparks (“Boxer had spark in and out of ring,” Feb. 28).

We saw three of his fights in Winnipeg, and followed his career closely. Famed American trainer Angelo Dundee once said Al might have been world champion, had he had access to world-class U.S. training.

I had the pleasure of having coffee with Al several times at Sals on Main Street and Matheson Avenue. A true gentleman he was. A very humble, kind and caring family man. Some of our athletes today would do well to follow his example.

Larry Wiebe



Updated on Friday, March 3, 2023 8:10 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

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