Letters, March 14
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Embrace Indigenous cultures
Re: Council to vote on replacing streets honouring Bishop Grandin with Indigenous names (March 6)
Replacing Bishop Grandin-related street names with Indigenous names is a small step toward reconciliation, and is certainly reason enough for the city’s executive policy committee to approve it.
However, using more Indigenous names in the future is an opportunity for the city to embrace and celebrate indigenous cultures and languages, grow civic pride and create unique tourism opportunities.
We recently travelled to New Zealand, and were amazed and delighted by the extent to which that country promotes and celebrates the Maori language and culture.
Air New Zealand uses Maori culture as a means to explain air safety protocols. Every tour guide gave us a spoken Maori welcome. Maori place and road names abound, and the universal greeting is “Kia Ora.” We need to think beyond perceived pronunciation difficulties and embrace the opportunity.
Free Press editors: it would be helpful to provide the phonetic spelling (pronunciation is not really that hard!), as well as the English translation in future stories. Learning that Abinojii Mikanah is translated as “Children’s Roadway” is profoundly moving.
Changing liquor laws risky
Re: Provincial government pitches retail alcohol sales pilot project (March 9)
We have seen what the approach to cannabis sales has resulted in our city. Drive down Portage Avenue and play a game of count-the-dispensaries. I haven’t seen any market this saturated since the bagel craze of the early ’90s where everyone rushed to get in on the bagel-bucks and make their fortunes.
But what I do see happening is businesses taking the profits and the taxpayer being on the hook for regulation, enforcement and fallout from making alcohol more accessible. I see the “Walmart” effect, as larger players, such as Costco, will be able to use Kirkland vodka as a loss leader to get people in through their doors instead of the doors of smaller retailers. Oh, and Walmart will likely be doing the same.
I don’t see the smaller grocery stores and wine stores being able to compete once the floodgates are open. I don’t think the cost of renovations, if additional security is required, will be worth it. I don’t see these existing locations having the physical shelf space or storage space to carry enough product to make it worthwhile to get into the business. But they will lose business to the places that open to compete with them.
I see the current wine stores losing customers who currently take the time and travel the distance to come to their specialty shops. If I owned a wine store, I wouldn’t be seeing this as good for my business.
I think this move will actually kill existing shops, result in the physical injuries, and possibly deaths, of employees who work at these less-regulated locations, and drive crime and addiction.
And all of this for what? Votes, come October?
As a woman and mother, I will not shop in a grocery store that offers liquor on its shelves. Alcohol is not a necessity on any nutritional meal plan. Family shopping often includes explaining purchases on the shelf to children.
Alcohol sales are now offered in Superstore in a secure location, perfectly available to those adults who wish to purchase on the way out. City liquor stores with upgraded security are conveniently located on many major roadways
Those with alcoholism have enough problems avoiding exposure to alcohol now. Why add to this difficulty, not to mention the problem of potential theft or violence at the checkout? Checkout staff should not be responsible for refusing service to inebriated customers.
If profit and/or sales is the answer, it is not worth the havoc and problems to come. This decision will be reflected in the loss of customers who chose not take the risks.
Change for the better
Re: What time is it? Time to end Daylight Saving: docs (March 10)
First, I would ask all the doctors recommending not shifting time — and anyone else who advocates this — how many times per year they travel outside our time zone (often numerous hours)? I don’t hear semi-annual discussion about the dangers of east-west travel to our circadian rhythms and overall health, even though this is going on every day, for millions of people, all over the globe.
And people who do shift work, especially night shifts, experience far greater upset to circadian rhythms, with all the attendant consequences. Why is a one-hour move twice a year (one of which adds an hour of rest time for most people) such a big deal?
Second, if we really want to have the sunlight at the best time of day, then we would need to revert to the era before time zones, and each town 15 minutes from the next would set their exact noon time. Those who currently live at either end of a time zone experience a disturbance in light distribution. Saskatchewan, at the western end of the time zone, stays on standard time year-round for this reason.
Third, the current time changes help put the light in the most active time of day for the most people for our particular latitude, certainly in Winnipeg. This is practical and safer (especially for children). Standard time in Winnipeg in June would mean the sun rose on average at 4:20 a.m. and set at 8:40 p.m. Losing the long evening light of our short summers — one of the benefits of living at this latitude — would indeed cause damage to my health, mental especially!
Sara Jane Schmidt
War never a solution
Peter Denton, in his opinion piece Sustainable future calls for peace (March 9), has presented the true narrative plainly and accurately. Why don’t our elected officials and all of us want to hear and see the truth? As Denton says: “We must talk about sustainability and war together… wishing for peace and wishing for a sustainable future doesn’t make that happen. We need clear, concrete and specific steps to solve both problems, together.”
That means speaking out against greedy extraction industries that harm local inhabitants and the environment, as well as greedy arms manufacturers who see war as a profitable business. That means challenging our political leaders and ever-increasing military expenditures. That means recognizing that in our global village, any war is a threat to all of us and increases the likelihood of nuclear escalation.
If we want to survive on this planet, we must stand up by the thousands and say: “Enough of this insanity.”
Please print Denton’s article on the front page to counter the March 10 front-page headline Ottawa fast-tracks weapons purchases, because, as Denton says, “War is never a solution…. it makes things worse.”
How’s that again?
Re: Girding for battle (March 11)
When MLA Ron Schuler, Progressive Conservative caucus chairman, responded to the Manitoba Nurses Union’s non-partisan slogan “Vote like your life depends on it,” I would have expected him to claim voting PC would be the right vote to match that slogan, but instead he was quoted as saying, “public union bosses are acting as mouthpieces for the NDP.”
I think he just let slip which party he thinks can fix the health-care system’s problems.
Updated on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 8:28 AM CDT: Adds links, adds tile photo