Letters, March 6


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Boost nursing seats

Re: Nurse-recruitment trip to Philippines a success, Manitoba’s health minister says (March 1)

It’s nice that the government was able to recruit health-care workers from Philippines. My question would be: how about increasing seats in nursing schools? The number of seats was cut back during Gary Filmon’s government.

The PCs have increased the seats, but not to former levels. We are so short of health-care workers that increasing the number of seats is a no-brainer. It wouldn’t help immediately, but would help in the future.

Leanne Hanuschuk


Security not onerous

The writer of Aggressive library security the wrong approach (Feb. 25) fails to admit that the withdrawal of security at the Millennium Library was followed by a murder, not just “violence,” as the writer is quoted as saying.

The absence of former security measures was attributed to the intervention of the Millennium for All and the Millennium Library Community Group. Instead of taking the easy road, these social justice warriors need to halt their efforts into converting the library into a “Community Connections Space” or drop-in centre and concentrate on establishing a standalone centre focused on providing community resources and leave the library to carry out its original purpose: to provide a safe source of learning and education to the public.

The training of librarians in self-defence and trauma counselling is not what a library is intended for. The writer is fixated on the “gate count” of how many people do not attend the library when security is enforced, but these people are, by the writer’s own admission, not attending it to use as a library, but seeking a community resource centre.

How security screening discriminates against the groups listed by the author would lead one to believe that none of these groups are able to fly in Canada because of airport security screening, which would preclude a large percentage of the population.

Gary Pryce


We are the villains

Has the world gone insane?

It is difficult to read about dramatic weather changes across this country — floods in British Columbia, droughts on the Prairies, hurricanes in the Maritimes, unprecedented snowfall in Ontario, loss of ice in the Arctic — and then come upon an article merely entitled Oil and gas investment in Canada to hit $40B in 2023 (March 2). Why not name it truthfully and entitle the article Oil and gas sector hoping to profit from the destruction of the planet?

We have been warned by scientists that we are closing in on a climate tipping point of no return. The United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, has declared to the world, “We are in the fight of our lives, and we are losing…. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”

What are these oil and gas tycoons thinking? And why is no one stopping them? Why do our banks continue to fund this travesty?

When I was young we used to watch cartoons about evil villains who wanted to destroy the Earth. Everyone would be living in fear, but then a superhero would arrive to save the day. I fear that cartoon scenario is coming true. And we ourselves are the villains. More of us need to step into the superhero role and save this planet for future generations.

Lynda Trono


Put patients’ dignity first

What is the common thread amongst the examples of the glaring deficiencies in our health-care system depicted in the Free Press in recent weeks?

We have learned that the Winnipeg Home Care Program failed to provide services to a woman who was discharged from hospital to die at home only to send those services to her home after she had already passed away. Ironically the services were only initiated after the woman’s husband approached the media with this story (Spouse of dying woman angry he had to go to media to get home care, Feb. 17).

Now we learn that a government-funded personal care home (the Maples) in Winnipeg has to apologize to one of its residents and his family for leaving him in filthy and unhealthy conditions for extended periods of time (Care home apologizes for filthy conditions, Feb. 27). Again, another family had to approach the media to solicit an apology from the care home operator.

In both of the situations the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority — essentially a government agency — is mandated to provide services such as home care or to fund services in personal care homes and, just as importantly, ensure that care standards are met in those homes. The WRHA failed miserably.

What is the takeaway from this? Regardless of how much money is thrown at health care, what has to happen is a real change in who is managing the system, with a new culture that puts the dignity of patients, clients and residents first.

Irwin Corobow


Pinsent a pleasure to work with

It was fascinating to read how connected the late actor Gordon Pinsent was to Winnipeg. Ben Waldman and Alan Small’s article First step on the Pinsent path (Feb. 27) details how he began his career here and played roles in many early Manitoba Theatre Centre productions.

I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Gordon when he was in Winnipeg for another project, way back in 1979.

It was a frigid Thanksgiving weekend and Universal Studios was shooting scenes in the Exchange District for the movie Silence of the North. It was an autobiographical film based on the book of the same name by author Olive Frederickson. Gordon Pinsent, Ellen Burstyn and Tom Skerritt played the main characters. It took place during the Depression of the 1930s.

Lucky for me, the scene I was part of was being shot indoors. Others weren’t so lucky and spent hours shooting very cold outdoor scenes.

During a break in filming to rearrange lighting, Gordon and Ellen Burstyn returned to their trailers. Food and hot coffee was delivered for background people like me and we had our lunch on the flat deck of the truck Gordon had been driving in the movie.

During that time, Gordon came out of his warm, comfortable trailer and climbed up on the truck to join us. It really was an amazing time. He told stories of his life in Newfoundland and about his career. One story about his time hitchhiking across New Brunswick was hilarious. He listened to what we had to say and was interested in our lives.

I think about Gordon and that day every time I drive by the building in the Exchange District.

Gordon Pinsent was an outstanding Canadian and very a talented man. We will miss you and your work, Gordon.

Eric Holland


Recurring theme

It must almost be spring. Once again, our community is debating speed-limit reductions, potential “greenways” and pedestrian deaths.

While doing some research in one of the 1880s Winnipeg newspapers the Free Press has outlasted, I found nothing new.

In March 1882, after the death of a pedestrian, the Winnipeg Daily Sun lamented the “furious and reckless driving” on Winnipeg streets. The article concluded: “We have no hesitation in saying that the way in which our streets are prostituted to the uses of every would-be swell who can buy, borrow or hire a horse and cutter, is simply disgraceful.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Greg Petzold



Updated on Monday, March 6, 2023 8:05 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

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