Letters, March 7


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Outraged at care

Re: Hospital threatened to release elderly former nurse to shelter, daughter says (March. 2)

I consider myself a fairly tolerant person, but I was outraged by the item regarding the miserable and heartless mistreatment of Philomina Zachariah in our medical “care” system.

While this was bad enough, a government spokesperson wrote to her family, and I quote: “Every patient in Manitoba is entitled to quality care, which is something we expect and charge service delivery organizations with delivering. Medical decisions, including panelling, are made by clinical experts,” according to the article.

Such a template statement in response to a real, obvious case of mistreatment is an insult, and indicative of an uncaring and callous attitude.

Whoever penned this insult should apologize to the patient and family, and immediately undertake a remedial course in communication skills, at their own expense.

Michael Kirkpatrick

Ste. Anne

Fund home care

Re: “My condo is my prison” (Feb. 24)

So many of the challenges facing long-term care could be resolved with adequate funding and robust regulatory oversight.

The lack of regulatory oversight, mismanagement, and under funding of long-term care and specifically family-managed care is not new. Under both the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives, funding for this program has not been increased for over a decade.

As someone who has accessed family-managed care I can attest to the fact that in theory the program is a viable option. In practice it is nothing more than the health-care system shifting cost to the patient as a result of unacceptable options being presented to long-term care candidates.

How could anyone place their loved ones in facilities that are known within the long-term-care community as providing totally inadequate care? There are basically only two options available: provide the care yourself, or access the emerging private facilities that are only accessible to the wealthy.

It is time for the government to fund the long-term-care system properly and to then hold long-term-care facilities to an adequate standard of care. If the facilities don’t meet the standard through regulatory oversight, then the facility needs to be closed.

Time and time again the private sector has failed to provide acceptable care while being funded by the public purse. These corporations have a responsibility to their shareholders and have little accountability to the clients they are supposed to serve. It is time to recognize this reality and begin to fund the public capital projects required to provide appropriate facilities for the elderly.

The previous NDP government has contributed to the mess we are currently in, and it is now time for them to provide a strategic plan that looks at creative solutions to address underfunding, regulatory oversight and management incompetence.

Brian Peto


No room for error on water

I wish to add to the comment made by Karen Lalonde (“Project a risk to aquifers,” Letters, Feb. 28) that “there are other companies in Manitoba producing silica sand but not going through aquifers to attain it.” While this is true, this statement implies that drinking water is not affected by traditional silica sand mining methods.

In the case of the Wanipigow Sand Mine, Canadian Premium Sand will use massive amounts of groundwater to wash their sand before exporting it. That groundwater presently drains to Lake Winnipeg, the Manigotogan and the Wanipigow rivers via fish-bearing creeks and underground springs. Four communities obtain their drinking water from the Wanipigow and Manigotogan rivers, and many cottagers along Lake Winnipeg use wells. In fact, the whole ecosystem well past the mine’s boundaries will likely be affected.

A mine can’t take millions of gallons of water out of a watershed without affecting life.

Four years after Canadian Premium Sand received its licence, the public has yet to see the hydrogeological report that would confirm the effects of this project on the ecosystem, the wells and the water people drink. Why hasn’t the government demanded clear, transparent reporting to the citizens most affected?

Let us agree on one thing — the problem is a shoddy environmental-review process and enforcement of the 98 conditions attached to the Wanipigow Sand Licence issued four years ago. This government is failing to protect the water of all of its citizens.

We agree: there is no room for error when it comes to water. The invasive process being proposed for the Sio Silica mine threatens drinking water on a massive scale. Camp Morning Star stands with citizens opposing the Sio Silica Mine. We all deserve thorough research and answers regarding these projects before they license the processing plants. Show us the science! Water is life!

M.J. McCarron

Camp Morning Star


Purchase diagnostic equipment

Regarding MRI wait times up 70 per cent since August (March 3), this is just another example of our broken health-care system. It is reprehensible that Winnipeg dentist Dr. Jeff Bresler, along with many others, has to wait numerous months, waiting in anxiety, for tests.

Diagnostic tests, such as MRIs, are a precursor to therapeutic interventions. Delays in testing only cause backups in the system and delay necessary treatments.

Shared Health has been sending patients out of province for surgical procedures. Consideration should be given for doing the same for diagnostic procedures such as MRIs.

Better yet, the Province of Manitoba should be purchasing the necessary diagnostic equipment, to meet the needs of all Manitobans.

Brian E. Lecker D.C., C.A.F.C.I. (Ret.)


Words hurt

Re: Canada’s corridors of power no place for toxic, racist behaviour (March 4)

I have long wondered why Canadians put up with name-calling, and other forms of toxic “heckling” in our Parliament and legislatures. At the very least, it sets a terrible example.

In any other setting, schools, workplaces and others, this behaviour would not be tolerated and in fact would be punished. It is hurtful, harmful and, in the end, I suspect, may do the very opposite of what the heckler intended, by strengthening the resolve of the person targeted.

I have never understood why this behaviour would be allowed to continue unchecked.

For those who cry “freedom of speech,” at any attempt to rein in those at fault, I would quote the old maxim that states that the freedom of your fist ends where my nose begins, and apply that to verbal as well as physical abuse. We all know full well that words hurt.

This toxic form of speech should be rewarded by ejection from the various chambers. Perhaps that would finally put an end to it!

A reasoned and well-thought-out argument with real facts stated would be more likely to win the day and general respect than inexcusable insults.

Margaret Mills


Worth trying?

Further to the search for a comic strip to replace Dilbert, this would bring a touch of levity. I suggest the dreadful Mary Worth comic strip — if one reads it aloud, imitating the voice of Catherine O’Hara’s Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek, her bizarre cadence perfectly matches the random words in bold font. Great fun!

Bradley J. Curran



Updated on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 7:27 AM CST: Adds links, adds tile photo

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