Letters, March 17


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Safety slip-up

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Safety slip-up

Upon entry to a hospital today, I was advised that I should “help myself to a mask” because the screeners were being eliminated. In what universe does this sound like a good idea?

Any of the hundreds of other visitors who preceded me into the hospital could have a cold, the flu, COVID, tuberculosis, or any number of other highly infectious diseases. As they stand in front of an unattended dispenser, they may cough or sneeze directly on the dispenser and masks. Or, if they accidentally take out too many, they would likely try to stuff the extra masks back into the dispenser.

Even if none of the above occurred, it is impossible to take a mask out without touching the ear-loops of other masks in the unit.

So essentially, I am being forced to remove either my N95 or ATSM level 3 mask, and replace it with one that has potentially been contaminated.

Either the pandemic is over, or it is not. If it’s over, we no longer have need for masks in medical settings. If it’s not over, we need to keep the screeners in place to minimize the risk and to ensure the item that is intended to help reduce the spread of disease is as clean a possible, not exposed to whatever pathogens are on the hands of the general public.

Premier Heather Stefanson and Health Minister Audrey Gordon need to stop endangering public health by their inability to think farther ahead than one step.

Bev Masters


Boost health training spots

Re: “Questioning rebates,” Letters (March 11)

I just want to point out is that yes, $200 million would have bought a few MRI machines. The issue here is you can buy as many machines as you want, but you need professionals to operate these machines.

The government needs to increase training spots for many allied health professionals.

Off-loading to private clinics is not the answer. With shortages in professionals, you will be robbing the public system of staff who will work for private clinics (no shift work) and make waiting lists on the public side even longer.

Also, in the private clinic setting, to make money, in many jurisdictions across Canada those who are on WCB MPI (as examples) come first, as they are paying customers The public system patients still wait.

Time to increase training spaces and create a recruitment and retention plan. Settle an agreement with the MAHCP union. Six years without a contract is criminal. New grads are leaving for greener pastures.

Lois Wales


By the numbers

So Premier Heather Stefanson failed to disclose the sale of some personal assets (Premier not penalized for breaking conflict of interest act, March 14) due to “inattention.” No lives were lost, no one was hurt.

However, how many of us have “inadvertently” exceeded the speed limit? Due to inattention, maybe we forgot the school zone or didn’t see the change in speed limit and suffered the financial consequences? If we forget to file our tax on time, we get more than a slap on the wrist. And so it goes…

We didn’t make these laws, but they apply to us whether we remember them or not. How would our premier not remember a protocol that her own department was proposing in order to close loopholes in earlier conflict-of-interest rules? How is there no consequence for this oversight?

On the other hand, a fine of $5,000 would be of little significance to someone whose government thinks $175,000 a year is some kind of poverty line.

Laurel Sarginson


Repurpose pods

Re: Manitoba’s former pandemic visitation pods face varied, uncertain future (March 6)

Why would our government even consider just scrapping over a hundred of these units? From what I’ve heard, these have heat and air conditioning. How many of the homeless population in Winnipeg might be able to use one of these pods? I’m sure this would beat a bus shelter, especially when it’s -30 C.

This Manitoba government has to find a solution for people who are homeless and it’s staring them in the face. Find land to park these pods and put them to good use, instead of having ministers not telling anyone when or where this will happen.

Better hurry, there’s an election coming in the near future.

Claude Ruest


No silver bullet on addictions

Re: Addictions treatment part of continuum of care (March 14)

Literally no one who has recommended the creation or provision of supervised drug-consumption sites as part of an overall addictions treatment strategy has ever suggested that these programs are a “quick and simple solution” or “silver bullet” to solve a problem.

The embarrassing series of bad-faith accusations Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness Janice Morley-Lecomte has made (absolutely none based on any evidence but her own government’s ideology) in this opinion piece is proof of nothing more than an utter lack of respect for addictions research, treatment specialists, community resources providers or individuals and families dealing directly with this crisis.

Shame on you, Minister Morley-Lecomte, for calling well-researched, hard-working, helpful and trusted services “fly-by-night operations” — that’s a new low!

Considering this government’s many cuts to mental and physical health services, one must conclude that when people spend oodles of time and money creating or worsening problems, the very last thing they will accept is any suggestion for improvement.

Dr. Sowmya Dakshinamurti


The honourable minister provides nary a word about the actual establishment of safe consumption sites, apart from a short comment that “new measures” (whatever they might be) “could open a new future in supervised , licensed and regulated supervised consumption sites.”

This, after years of present government inaction and refusal to release current statistics on overdose deaths, leaving it to stricken mothers to demand the information.

Norman Rosenbaum


It’s (not) in the mail

Re: Woman paid Canada Post for year of mail forwarding from old address, but got just three months of it (March 13)

My husband and I have been spending winters in Arizona for more than 10 years, and have always paid Canada Post to forward our mail. However, every year we have multiple pieces of mail that are not forwarded.

This, despite paying an increasing amount each year for the service ($212.63 this season) and placing a physical barrier and written notice in our mailbox to remind the letter carrier not to place mail in our box.

Each year we contact Canada Post about the deficiency in service (including photocopies of important items not delivered) and get many excuses, but never a refund.

We have resigned ourselves to having a friend or relative check our mail delivery every couple of weeks while we are away to ensure nothing important has been delivered to our Winnipeg address, instead of being forwarded as per the service that Canada Post says it is offering.

Melanie Voechting


See you in the funny pages

Thank you, Free Press, for the addition of the delightful Crabgrass comic.

Since you might be inclined at the moment to ponder more change on the comics page, I wanted to suggest that on March 14, the aged and long-irrelevant Family Circus has finally, definitely jumped the shark. Billy asking his long-suffering mother if she “used to be sexy” was the depth of “yuck.”

Maybe time to refresh the bottom left centre of the page?

Pat Jackson


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