Letters, May 23


Advertise with us

Prom provokes a smile

Read this article for free:


Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe:

Monthly Digital Subscription

$4.75 per week*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles

*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.


Prom provokes a smile

Re: Dry Cold bringing heartfelt teen love story to stage (May 10)

With the numerous news stories in Manitoba this week about the theft of LGBTTQ+ books from a classroom, bricks with pride flags attached being pried from school walls, and potential queer-inclusive book bannings, I have been feeling particularly down this week.

But do you know what really lifted my spirits? The Prom.

Dry Cold’s production is fabulous, and also timely. I know they struggled to secure the funding needed to bring this Canadian premiere to life, and I am so thankful to everyone who made it possible.

The Prom’s youthful message is needed, now just as much as ever. We can counter vandalism and hate with music and love, and zazz!

So if you feel like you could use a theatrically-assisted boost this week, you’ve still got a few days left to go check out The Prom.

Joel Lebois


Unwind from fossil fuels

Re: Federal budget fails on energy, climate (Think Tank, May 14)

Robert Parsons’ critique of the 2023 federal budget, and how it relates to Manitoba, makes some good points. Canada is not meeting its carbon emission reduction targets, and a key to changing that would be inter-provincial cooperation and an east-west grid with Manitoba contributing its low-carbon electricity to our Canadian neighbours.

But what about the “contracts for difference” part of the budget which lowers the risk of private sector investment, including for the oil and gas industry? As it is now, this industry creates the most carbon pollution yet pays the least carbon fees.

What Canada needs to do is: stop pushing finances toward these polluting companies, reform our tax system, offer a national energy efficiency program, improve public transportation options, and keep leading the way in pricing greenhouse gas pollution — where carbon fees are returned to us every three months in Climate Action Incentive payments.

Let’s unwind our economy from fossil fuel energy: continue to price carbon, and share Manitoba’s clean electricity.

Virginia Cail


Crack down on illegal weed to encourage legal source

Re: Tories about to throw $10-M lifeline to pot stores (May 16)

Until the risk to buyers is increased if they are caught purchasing, or are caught with, illicit pot, there isn’t going to be the significant shift to legal products that legalizing was supposed to result in.

The whole idea was to collect the tax revenue and push out the dealers. But the laws never changed enough to make that happen. The legal vendors are suffering because of it and dealers benefit from it.

As long as the cost is relatively the same or higher for legal pot, no one is going to ditch their dealer. That is, unless the penalties and fines for sticking with them are so high people don’t want to risk it.

It has been the missing piece since 2018. And until that changes it will be low risk and “high” reward for buyers staying in the black market while legitimate vendors stay stuck in the red.

Brian Spencler


Let common sense rule

Re: Closure needed (Letters, May 19)

Will Franklin and others who think as he does might want to consider the precedent that government would set by going ahead with the huge, costly business of digging up the Brady Landfill site in search of bodies of people we believe may be buried there.

When considering how to move forward on this issue raw emotion needs to be trumped by common sense!

Cal Paul


Book-banning rationale groundless

The recent movement to ban sexuality education materials from school libraries in the Brandon School Division is cause for concern. This is not a movement that is confined to Brandon. Similar movements have made noise elsewhere in Manitoba, across Canada and globally.

The groups behind these movements customarily assert that there is a link between youth sexuality education (including and especially education about gay, lesbian and transgendered identities) with pedophilia (which is a sexual attraction to prepubescent children). These groups also commonly assert that sexuality education is being used to “groom” young people for sexual abuse by child predators.

These assertions, although repeated often, have no basis in fact. There is, simply, no correlation between LGBTTQ+ gender identities and pedophilia. Furthermore, research is clear in indicating that comprehensive, universal sexuality education —that is, sexuality education that is delivered in all schools in a developmentally sensitive way for different age groups from K-12, that is inclusive of a range of gender identities, and that teaches youth about consent and healthy relationship skills, safer sex practices, physiology, and how to recognize and intervene with respect to harmful behaviour — actually protects children and adolescents from a range of negative health outcomes.

This kind of sexual education has a proven, positive impact on teenage sexual risk-taking including prevention of disease and teenage pregnancy, youth suicide prevention, and prevention of both child sexual victimization and sexual aggression.

Our provincial government and the citizens of Manitoba need to act quickly and decisively to ensure that groups such as the ones seeking to ban sexuality education materials from school libraries are not successful. Contrary to what these groups would have you believe, the truth is that restricting access to comprehensive, inclusive sexuality education will harm children.

Dr. Daniel Rothman, C. Psych.

Registered Psychologist


Resist appeals to fear

Re: Poilievre isn’t interested in public safety; it’s all about stoking fear (May 18)

Tom Brodbeck has correctly analyzed the use of fear in politics, a practice that appears to have increased in recent decades. But are some politicians more likely to use fear and other negative emotions?

To answer this question, researchers in the Netherlands examined almost 200 candidates from 40 national elections around the world. Their platforms were analyzed for how much emphasis was put on arousing negative emotions, not only fear, but also hatred of opponents.

Fear and loathing were more common for populist candidates, defined as politicians who claim to speak for “the people” and to be “anti-establishment.” Such populist appeals that pit citizens, Canadians in our case, against one another seem more common today than in the past.

Negativity was also more prevalent among parties at the extremes, with a somewhat greater use by candidates classified as right-wing, but not solely by them. The extreme left also promotes fear and hatred. Polarization of politics does not augur well for civility in elections.

Media also played a role, with negative appeals being more common when media paid more attention to negative campaigns, sensational events, and the character of individual candidates. Sadly, this is difficult to control, given the widespread use of hyper-partisan social media by political parties and their supporters.

If we believe that negativity is not healthy for the nation, individual Canadians must resist appeals to fear and hate, no matter what our politics, and let parties across the spectrum and their candidates know that we disapprove. As observed by Tom Brodbeck, such tactics are used for “political gain.” They certainly aren’t concerned for the well-being of the country.

Jim Clark


Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us