Letters for May 5


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Gambling ads poor bet Re: Want to bet on what happens? (Editorial, May 1)

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Gambling ads poor bet

Re: Want to bet on what happens? (Editorial, May 1)

Thank you Free Press for the excellent editorial in the May 1 edition.

Years ago, tobacco companies had to stop advertising cigarettes because smoking was identified as highly addictive, habit forming and a serious threat to health.

Now we are besieged with advertising for online betting which targets young viewers as well as older adults. Gambling can be as obsessive and addictive as drugs and alcohol.

Sports are promoted as activities that contribute to health and well-being, starting in early childhood.

We have seven grandchildren involved in many sports, primarily hockey and baseball. They love sports! We hate to see a huge focus on betting in almost every venue on television.

It is sad to see highly regarded sports heroes involved in promoting online betting during every hockey game. It does nothing for the enjoyment of watching the sport.

Bill and Dawna Clow


Just now while watching the first Las Vegas-Edmonton hockey match, there popped up in the lower right-hand quarter of my screen an ad for Betway, Bet River, Bet365. It was during actual playing time, not even on a commercial break. And besides this they have their full-time, full-size ads running during regular commercial breaks, and running around the boards at ice level as well.

These are making me more and more angry. These are companies that don’t even produce a product. Nil. Nada. Nothing. Who owns them? Who is lobbying to make it possible for them to absolutely drench our digital airwaves with this mentally traumatizing tripe?

And, who on earth owns these companies? Could it be Mssrs. McDavid, Gretzky, Bettman, et al? Or the media moguls? Who?

It’s addictive. It’s available to young people who may find it exciting. It’s being played by husbands and wives and dads and moms who may be having trouble putting food on their family tables. Who cares?

Why is this now not only legal but encouraged and facilitated, and maybe even subsidized?

LeeAnn Knutson


Siragusa in tough spot

Re: Shared Health CEO holds two high-powered jobs (May 3); Tories fumble even positive Shared Health news (May 4); Time to slay five-headed health-care hydra (May 3)

I’m very concerned that Lanette Siragusa is being set up for failure when the train wreck of Shared Health in Manitoba finally occurs. I fear she will be thrown under the bus in order to deflect blame from a health minister and a premier who, collectively, could not manage a yard sale if their lives depended on it.

In spite of Ms. Siragusa’s best efforts, I’m betting the concerns of front-line health care professionals will continue to be deliberately ignored by her political masters and no changes to the unwieldy bureaucracy will be entertained.

As columnists Tom Broadbeck and Dan Lett have so ably pointed out, the real issues of staffing will be obfuscated by election grand-standing announcements of capital commitments with no human resources to accompany them. Ms. Siragusa will be obliged to put on the smiling, brave face and rally the troops for what will be a suicide mission. When the dust settles, the system completely collapses and more big-dollar consultants are called in, you can bet the spin will be, “failure of leadership in Shared Health.”

Sadly, we’ll see the ruination of the career of an incredibly intelligent and competent executive, while utterly incompetent politicians get to carry on with their plans for destruction of decent, public health care in Manitoba.

Of course, Health Minister Audrey Gordon will be unavailable for comment… hopefully because after Oct. 3 she’s unemployed!

Stewart Fay


Something needs to be done

Re: Woman seeks ID of groping suspect using social media (May 3)

I am a retired police officer who has not hesitated to write a letter to the editor when I’ve felt that Winnipeg Police officers have been unfairly criticized. The incident described in this article has caused me to pause.

The article pointed out that the police did not respond as the suspect sat in a nearby restaurant for an hour — I don’t think that it went far enough.

This is a travesty and an indicator of a failed system. Don’t think for a second that any officer on the street would not have immediately dropped what they were doing and attended this call if they were dispatched.

Don’t think for a moment that the dispatchers, the majority of whom are female, would not have immediately sent a unit if one was available. Even a casual reader on the subject knows that men who sexually assault women tend to escalate the violence of their assaults over time and carrying out this assault in broad daylight at a busy intersection without challenge will only embolden this individual.

Come on people, complain, react, march, do something to make the system accountable.

Stan Tataryn


Book ban attempt a wake-up call

Re: Book challenge campaign ‘shocking’ (May 2)

I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow librarians including those in southern Manitoba who are sticking to their challenged books policies and pushing back on those who want to remove books from libraries based primarily on ideological beliefs.

To promote critical thinking skills, when I was a teacher-librarian in a junior high school, the school library technician and myself would go into the stacks and pull out at least 30 picture, fiction and non-fiction books (one being the Bible, which is the most challenged books in history) and ask the students to figure out, other than the obvious book characteristics, what all the books had in common.

Rarely did they guess that all the books had been challenged at one point in history but by the end of the unit, I was always amazed that every class came to the same two conclusions:

1) When certain books are challenged, it causes people to want to read them more not less; and

2) There wouldn’t be any books left in the library since every book contains a potential reason for it to be banned.

This attack on freedom to read is certainly a wake-up call for all public, private and school libraries to have a challenged book policy or to review their existing ones. It’s not a matter of if, but when, it will occur in their library.

As my students learned, the right to challenge books is a part of our democratic process; what is not part of the process is to remove books from any library without due process. Parents have the right to decide what their child reads but they do not have the right to decide what children in other families read!

Jo-Anne Gibson


EV technology working out fine

Re: EV solutions (Letters, May 3)

Robert Moskal’s letter about EV batteries is a prime example of how people use misinformation and hyperbole to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about EVs.

A small charger trailer behind an EV is ridiculous.

There is plenty of range in the cars now and there would be no advantage. Virtually all EVs come with regenerative braking in the engineering. Every time you take your foot off the accelerator you can send power back to the battery. It takes just a while to learn to optimize and allows for one-foot driving. You can go for hours in town without touching your brakes. The wear on discs is minimal as a result.

There are already solar panel kits in use for people with EVs, but they aren’t designed for regular charging, rather they are used for outback camping.

I have driven my 2017 Chevy Bolt for nearly two years. I plugged it in outside all winter the first year just to prove a point. The car never had less than 200-km range at any time at that low temperature level and I was never in danger of running out of energy. In summer when I go on the road, the car can charge to over 500-km range. I can charge at home virtually all the time and the car has range for all my needs in and around Winnipeg without ever having to use a supercharger. It is notable that the number of fast-chargers in our area grows continually.

I would guess that Mr. Moskal really does not have any experience or knowledge of EVs.

Brian Marks



Updated on Friday, May 5, 2023 8:36 AM CDT: Adds links, adds tile photo, adds preview text

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