Letters, March 4


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Up and at ’em

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Up and at ’em

Re: Early school start time irks parents in Pembina Trails (Feb. 25)

Both my children attended West St. Paul school in Seven Oaks School division, which has had an 8 a.m. start for well over 25 years. The school start time was changed from 8:30 to 8 a.m. for similar reasons to Pembina Trails’ proposal: busing.

For my family it worked out very well. Appointments, lessons, etc. could be made after school hours instead of pulling kids from class. Homework could be done so children and families had evenings together.

Yes, like everything, there were some challenges and changes that had to be made on our family’s part but, had we to do it over again, I would still prefer the early start.

Cheryl Rajfur

West St. Paul

The wheels of justice

Your editorial (‘Milgaard’s Law’ a step in the right direction, Feb. 27) was especially well presented. Almost everyone agrees with you that wrongful convictions are a dreadful blight on the Canadian criminal justice system. They do happen, regrettably.

Justice Minister David Lametti has to be congratulated for initiating a wrongful convictions commission and providing funds so the body can actually function. These steps are long overdue and much is yet to be done in order to ensure this reform functions successfully. What is often missed from these types of stories is wrongful convictions on the other side of the coin, when cases are ignored by the Crown.

Recognizing the importance played by provincial prosecution services in the editorial helps readers focus on a key element in the Canadian justice system.

My own experience with the prosecution services in Manitoba has left me baffled as to why, after presenting the Crown representative (in front of a judge) with a large volume of material concerning a major crime, it still took authorities 42 months to render a decision.

They claimed there was insufficient evidence to gain a conviction, but they never looked for or asked for additional evidence. To make my point that there was merit in my submission, I filed and won a wrongful death case when the prosecution service would not pursue a criminal case.

Jim Garwood


Address roots of crime

Fighting crime. Every day we can open up the newspaper, watch the news or listen to the radio and see and hear about violent incidents throughout Winnipeg and the rest of the province. People are seeing this and are sharing their concerns and fears. Granted, we do not see the same numbers that we too frequently hear of from the United States or other parts of the world, but it is a major concern for many Manitobans.

Consequently, the Stefanson government has committed a substantial amount of money to fight this problem and get the perpetrators off the streets. Possibly, for many Manitobans, the belief (hope) is that the people who are incarcerated will all see the error of their ways and on their release will move on to become good, contributing members of society. However, if incarcerating people was the road to rehabilitating people, the U.S.A. would have the lowest rate of violent crime in the world. Why isn’t that happening?

Unfortunately, for every adult criminal put behind bars, there are many more taking their place. Now, I am not for one second suggesting we shouldn’t be getting violent offenders off the streets (hopefully with the proper supports in place). However, there is a real need to make sure we don’t have other younger people taking their place.

For help, we might turn to the words of a former slave and later social activist, Frederick Douglass, who stated many years ago, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

As long as we have children in our society who are living in poverty without nourishing food, without a safe place to live and sleep, without warm comfortable clothing for our winters, and without access to the educational aids to help with their learning at school, we will continue trying “to repair broken men.”

Premier Heather Stefanson, I challenge you to add, at the least, the same amount of money going to “fight crime” to building strong children. If we do that, we may find, down the road, we won’t have to spend as much money trying, without much success, to repair the broken in society.

Tim Proskurnik


Trees more valuable

The city wants population density by deforestation of its century-old tree canopy. I’m disgusted with how the city hands out building permits to builders with no regard to location, type or character of new build in relation to century-old neighbourhoods.

River Heights has an established, beautiful tree canopy that is “harvested” when a new build goes up. These million-dollar builds do not create population density if only 10 per cent of people can afford them.

The city wants to help the tree canopy, but signs off on clear-cutting healthy 100-year-old oaks and elms without penalty to the builders. There should be a mandatory assessment for builds on small lots without cutting down what makes them beautiful. Establish a bylaw with implementation of tree replacements and a penalty for clear-cutting healthy centenarian trees.

Valerie Martinuson


Jets need to turn around

The players, coaches and GM all share the responsibility for where the Jets now find themselves. Kevin Cheveldayoff has failed to get enough (any?) character players in the past few years. Dustin Byfuglien, Mathieu Perrault and Chris Thorburn are all distant memories.

Pierre-Luc Dubois was a “maybe” when he came to town, but has disappointed. He’s a big, talented player but is playing below his potential. Cole Perfetti is too small; Ville Heinola the same.

In the past two games, maybe more, none of the top six forwards have cracked the “three star” post-game lineup. Being outscored 9-1 in those two games certainly doesn’t help. Losing to the cellar-dwelling Blue Jackets recently was an embarrassment and should have been a wake-up call. It wasn’t.

And coach Rick Bowness has taken the wrong page out of former coach Paul Maurice’s cookbook in using his line-blender way too much. Before the All-Star Break, there were some set lines that related well with each other and were scoring and playing both ends. As noted in the Free Press (Punchless Jets continue fall, Feb. 27), Bowness juggled all four lines Sunday. Not sure why he doesn’t see what everyone else sees: the players need certainty and need to work together. Constantly looking for a line mate who, this shift, is on the bench, simply doesn’t work. It didn’t work for Maurice; it doesn’t work for Bowness.

Finally, when six or seven regulars were injured and the Jets were playing with guys who had drive and who wanted to show their stuff, the Jets were winning. Sadly, with the high-priced talent back in the lineup, that fire and drive have left the team.

Being outshot 12-1 in a period is simply unacceptable. Hopefully Nino Niederreiter brings some with him. All we can do now is hope for a better showing in the last third of the season.

Laurie Etkin


Urban-rural divide

Re: Palliative a painful process: Man’s pleas for home care for dying spouse went unanswered (Feb. 18)

This was a sad story about our health-care system in Manitoba, as it reminded me of my dying spouse in February 2020 and attempts to have home care during her suffering and pain of untreatable cancer.

I noticed on the weekend there was another article about a family’s problem with home care (Care home apologizes for filthy conditions, Feb. 27).

These two instances were in an urban area, so had access to private home care. In the country, there is no access to such service, so people are stuck with whatever the province supplies — or doesn’t supply.

John Fefchak


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