Letters for May 13


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Good to see some attention paid to core

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Good to see some attention paid to core

Re: Vision for downtown with ‘people’ (May 12)

I am very pleased that the city, with our newly minted Mayor Scott Gillingham at the helm, is now focusing on our downtown. Vision is exactly what is needed.

Premier Heather Stefanson speaks during an annoucement outlining development plans for the future of Winnipeg’s Portage Place mall. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

The City of Winnipeg has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes from the city centre over the years and now it is time to re-invest and I am sorry to say, in my humble opinion we don’t have 30 years to make a new plan come to fruition.

A few years ago there were 70,000 downtown employees and now 50-60,000 work downtown but half the offices are empty and the new normal is two to three days at the office and the balance of the week, working from home.

File cabinets no longer are used, the files are in the Cloud. So no one needs to be next to their paper files. The millions of square feet of office space downtown that is not being used needs to be repurposed as residential, and not over the next 30 years. The transformation needs to happen sooner than later or downtown will be a disaster zone.

It will take private and public investment. Innovative ideas to make our downtown a place to live, work, be entertained and raise a family.

Yes, we will need families and schools to transform our downtown into walkable livable neighbourhoods. When we reach 50,000 to 60,000 residents, the needed amenities will come.

Our city government, with help from the province and the federal government, will have to think outside the box and emulate the successes in many European, Asian and North American Cities. Plazas and walking streets, parks, playgrounds and outside exercise facilities. Imagine Portage Avenue as a bus and pedestrian mall from The Bay to Portage and Main.

We talk about a $7-billion infrastructure deficit. I suggest it is more like $9 billion or $10 billion if you consider what we have taken from our downtown in taxes over the last 100 years and not re-invested. The chickens have come home to roost and now it’s time to pay the piper.

The centre of the city defines our city and we don’t have 30 years to turn it around.

Peter Kaufmann


Infrastructure situation embarrassing

Re: Outdated thinking fuels proposed Route 90 expansion (May 11)

After reading Dan Lett’s column I tend to agree with him on some points.

He is right that widening will do nothing to alleviate congestion because the new plan is basically what we have now with two extra lanes.

He also mentions that larger progressive cities would discourage car use and promote transit use instead.

If you take Calgary or Edmonton as examples of this, Kenaston would be designed as four lanes with diamond interchanges — something called a freeway — instead of the abundant at-grade signalled intersections we are inundated with now.

These cities would also have running along side this roadway a light rail transit line and active transportation corridor all separated and safe.

This is how progressive cities rebuild and grow, not sacrificing one mode of transportation for the other and all coexisting together.

When you look at the transportation infrastructure of other Canadian cities large and small you wonder what is wrong here.

It is embarrassing to say the least!

Kevin Ford


Celebrating good nurses

I’m writing a short message to our readers about the great nursing care I received two weeks ago while a patient in the Women’s Centre.

What was supposed to be a one-day event turned into a three-day sojourn. I was under for several hours. This change meant that I had six shifts of health-care workers.

In today’s world, health care is frequently on page one and not usually good news. Today, I would like to celebrate the care that I received.

I woke up about six hours post-op and found myself in a beautiful private room, (private bathroom too!). Communicating with my nurse was but a pushbutton away. Some wonderful bit of tech enabled her to respond from wherever she was. Within 10-15 minutes, my needs were met and I wasn’t left wondering if my call for assistance went unnoticed.

While performing the required post-op tasks, such as taking vital signs or doing wound assessment, she always took a moment to find out about me. She seemed genuinely interested in my nursing career and my life experiences. She was, in fact, providing me with not only physical care but also emotional and spiritual support. Their care showed me that, even though I am a senior, I still matter.

As an aside, my cousin spent the day at St. Boniface Hospital yesterday for heart valve repair. His comments were exactly in sync with my experience. He is another very grateful post-op patient.

We are both celebrating the great care we received even though our healthcare system is in turmoil at this time.

Claudia Kuryk-Serray


Many thanks for doctor’s efforts

(Editor’s note: The following letter was previously published under an incorrect name. We’re reprinting it here.)

Thank you Dr. Dan Roberts for your op-ed article, Health-care system mired in red tape. I am one of the people who relies on our current neuro-opthalmologist for support and have been increasingly concerned about the huge gap in care that will be left when she retires.

Your efforts to find a candidate to take over for her are commendable and greatly appreciated. My hope is that the person you’ve identified will be able to work here in Manitoba after all, and that their office and equipment requirements will be properly met.

It must be endlessly frustrating for you and your colleagues to have to face this kind of uphill climb every time you attempt to meet the health-care needs of Manitobans. And it is beyond frustrating — even frightening — to those of us who need these important health services.

Joanne Craig


Enquiring minds want to know

Re: Manitoba government refuses to say how many health workers have quit (May 11)

So Audrey Gordon thinks the public only wants to know how many health-care jobs have been added just recently and that we are not interested in how many health care workers have left their jobs in the same period of time.

Hello. Member of the public here. I want to know both.

Now will you tell us?

Sharon Tod


Not-so-lucky lotto

Re: Doctor vows to crusade against endless buck-passing; Trauma surgery delay highlights health-care woes (May 10)

Kudos to Dr. Dan Roberts for exposing the PC health-care system for the bloated bureaucratic mess that it is, and best of luck to him on his crusade to end the buck-passing and responsibility-avoiding behaviours endemic to bureaucracies more focused on themselves than those they were expected to serve. On health care, for our premier and her party what’s important “is that Manitobans get the surgeries they need when they need them.”

Yet, in a story next to this quote we read of a patient who continues daily fasting between midnight and 4 p.m. in the off chance of being lucky enough to being selected to receive the surgery he requires.

When did receiving the surgery needed become like winning a lottery?

To bring an end to our health-care buck-passing will Dr. Roberts need to include the minister of lotteries?

Keith Addison


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