Letters, May 12


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Lightfoot’s foresight

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Lightfoot’s foresight

Re: Tears, joy and tributes as fans pay respects to Lightfoot in his hometown (May 7)

In the article, Myeengun Henry from the Chippewas on the Thames First Nation said of Gordon Lightfoot, “He could see things other people couldn’t and the eagle feather is perfect for thinking about Gord”.

In the 1970s Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song which never received airplay and is unknown to most of his fans, but exemplified his ability to see what others couldn’t. The song is Redwood Hill.

On a trip to northern California, Lightfoot came upon the giant redwoods which were dying from the air pollution created by the southern cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the song, he climbs to the top of Redwood Hill to talk with Mother Nature. She cries tears of sorrow at what humankind is doing to her.

The song is prophetic, because 50 years after it was written we can see that what started with the redwoods of California is everywhere today. While Redwood Hill is not done in Lightfoot’s typical musical style, the words are timeless and demonstrate his ability to see what others couldn’t see… things we should all see.

Wally Barton


Tough to trust health minister

Re: Health minister says doctors beating path to Manitoba (May 11)

I find it difficult to put any trust in Health Minister Audrey Gordon’s comments that she is more aware of the physician shortage issues plaguing Manitobas health-care system.

Or should I say less aware of the physician shortage in Manitoba.

On one hand, Dr. Dan Roberts is a physician who is fully aware of the frontline physician shortage throughout Manitoba as he is a member of active practising physicians in Manitoba.

His long-term dedicated involvement in health care certainly carries more credibility.

Audrey Gordon on the other hand, who has zero hands-on experience nor working knowledge of health care, has repeatedly proven her sorry lack of understanding and knowledge of health care, since taking over the portfolio.

If Manitoba offers such a choice destination for doctors, what are we experiencing such a shortage that has been ongoing for many years?

Why are so many specialists in various fields of medicine and surgery seek employment elsewhere?

Stating “we have filled every family medicine residency seat” does not guarantee more family doctors, as once they actually do graduate from the program in the next few years, will they stay?

Karen Zurba


System has docs going in circles

Re: Doctor vows to crusade against ‘endless buck-passing’ and Manager quits beleaguered HSC program (May 10)

The article points out that a doctor who works within the health-care system doesn’t know where to go when funding is needed for something. Let that sink in.

The system has doctors running around in circles! The article also quotes Health Minister Audrey Gordon. She met on Tuesday morning with Shared Health’s CEO and laid out her government’s priorities. Think about that — on Tuesday morning Shared Health found out about the government’s priorities. Better late than never!

And Minister Gordon goes on to point out that there is a process in place to do this and do that. Processes don’t examine patients. Processes don’t perform surgeries.

Then we find out that the sex assult nurse examiner program director at Health Science Centre resigned. Surprisingly, Ms. Gordon doesn’t see that as a setback. But no worries, she assured us that the program will be fully staffed this summer. Day in and day out we read about the serious deficiencies in our health-care system. It is clear that our government cannot deliver health care to Manitobans.

Barry Elkin


Bernier run raises many questions

Re: PPC’s Bernier eyes Manitoba byelection seat (May 11)

The prospect of Maxime Bernier running in the Portage-Lisgar byelection raises some interesting questions.

The Liberals and NDPers will be hoping that Bernier can drain enough votes from the Conservatives to give them a shot. Their problem, however, is that both parties already are splitting a sparse left of centre vote in that riding. It is difficult to imagine that either party could drain enough Conservative votes to win the riding.

The biggest danger for the Conservatives is that the voters may feel very independent. They know that the result will not change the power dynamic in Ottawa. The real Trudeau haters might be salivating at the prospect of unleashing Bernier on Trudeau.

The byelection also may be an early referendum on Poilievre. If voters are reasonably satisfied with him, the Conservatives should be fine. If, however, they are dissatisfied ( likely for not being right wing enough), they have a perfect opportunity to send a warning shot across the bow of HMS Conservative.

The voters have a unique opportunity to create as much havoc as they desire.

Kurt Clyde


City needs real infrastructure change

Re: Breaking the bottleneck (May 6); Get ready for the effects of climate change, Winnipeg (May 10); Focus on climate, not more roads (May 8)

I’m heartened to see the Free Press offering consistent coverage on the interconnected issues of climate change, active transportation, and absurd infrastructure proposals.

Our elected officials seem ready and willing to endorse the most complex, expensive, and frankly embarrassing proposals for problems that have incredibly simple solutions (seemingly to avoid ruffling the feathers of Coun. Jeff Browaty’s fictional friend Joe Lunchbox), and I’m glad people are paying attention. Pedestrians and cyclists won’t be killed or injured if they have safe corridors to use.

People who use walkers, wheelchairs, canes, or other mobility assists should be able to move freely about the city regardless of what season it is.

People shouldn’t have to drive a car to cross a major downtown intersection. The city needs greenspace, but not suspended six storeys above a four-lane highway. Better active and public transportation options will reduce the strain on our city’s overabundance of poorly maintained roadways.

Having fewer vehicles on the road is better for everyone, including (especially!) motorists, who would face less congestion and shorter commute times. The city should stop spending our collective tax dollars on infrastructure projects that primarily benefit suburban residents, while letting the rest of the city fall into Gotham-esque shambles. It rightfully infuriates those of us who live in high-density neighbourhoods that provide two or three times more tax revenue than suburban neighbourhoods, and creates an ugly and unnecessary dynamic between inner and outer city residents.

This could all be shifted if the city started making decisions that created real change and benefited the majority of Winnipeggers, rather than perpetuating unwieldy sprawl and giving in to a few vocal detractors who are stuck in the last century.

Beth Schellenberg


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