Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/4/2012 (3670 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Heads in the sand
Bravo to MP Stephen Woodworth for raising the issue in Parliament of the legal definition of when human life begins, and thanks to Tom Oleson for alerting the readers to this in his April 28 column, Abortion should be debated continuously.
Sixteen months ago, we had the opportunity to observe a video ultrasound of our grandson, now age 13 months. He was moving about in the womb and with his eyes open, looking about and responding to external stimulations. To even think of aborting this small child was grossly abhorrent, and to pursue this would clearly have been an act of murder.
In your same edition, your poll question of the day, "Should Ottawa examine the legal definition of when human life begins?" had a negative response of 82 per cent. It is an embarrassment for us Canadians to be equated with the proverbial ostrich.
Tom Oleson's column contains a historical error. He writes that "the Liberal government of the day declined" to address the Supreme Court's 1988 ruling on abortion. He is mistaken, since the government of the day was Brian Mulroney's majority PC government.
In 1990, under Justice Minister Kim Campbell, Parliament passed a new law criminalizing abortions that were not "medically necessary." Doctors convicted under the law would face up to two years in jail.
The bill failed in the Senate when it received a tie vote, not the majority required to pass. The Senate had a PC majority at the time, because Mulroney had appointed eight extra senators to ensure the passage of the GST. The deciding vote against the bill was cast by PC Senator Pat Carney, who defied her party on the issue.
If we are going to debate abortion endlessly, we are off to a bad start.
Jury was victimized
Re: Clouded perceptions (Letters, April 25). I followed coverage of the Stobbe trial; I find it troubling (on many fronts) that the Crown proceeded to trial 12 years after the fact without one shred of new evidence from that gathered at the original investigation. If, in fact, a guilty man was acquitted by a jury of his peers, don't blame the jury or the judge or bemoan the fact that the victims have not been given the justice they sought.
If you feel that justice was denied, blame the police for an investigation that yielded no evidence, or blame the prosecution for initiating a trial without the evidence needed to address the burden of proof in this instance.
If an innocent man was put on trial for a crime he didn't commit, then in that event he has been horribly abused. There is another party that's been abused, and that is the jury. We the people lecture them on their civic duty, consign them to the hell of a trial, present them with nothing but a prosecutor's harassment of the plaintiff and expect a conviction on the basis of a stage show.
ROBERT K. FROESE
Re: Dumb and Dumber can't see how to fix crime (April 27). Sel Burrows would have loved living behind the Iron Curtain, where the crime-prevention tactics he advocates were put into practice in the war against capitalism.
He has been warring on the drug-dealing scapegoats of our age for years and he tells us there are still low-level dealers visibly setting up in his neighbourhood? Looks like all he is doing is chasing them from house to house. What makes him think any other neighbourhood will have better success when the demand for drugs is still in that very same neighbourhood?
How exactly does turning the community against scapegoats prevent crime? How do you prevent someone with ill intent from knifing or shooting anyone?
There is a good reason most police TV shows start with a body being discovered. Police show up after a crime has been committed and are rarely in a position to prevent anything, including shoplifting.
Re: Local Sierra Leoneans celebrate (April 28). I want to express my views on the matter of the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands finding Charles Taylor guilty of crimes he committed in the republic of Sierra Leone.
Not only does the guilty verdict bring closure to me and the people of Sierra Leone, it also serves as a deterrent to other African leaders who think they can commit crimes against humanity and walk away with impunity.
I was only eight years old when Taylor invaded Liberia in a deadly civil war that killed thousands of Liberians, including my very own dad, who I didn't get to know.
This is justice! I am glad it has come to this.
Re: Respecting the pedestrian (Letters, April 25). When in Havana, Cuba, several years ago I noticed that the traffic signals at important intersections were in the form of an electronic billboard. When the light was red, a red number, 90 or 60, appeared and began to count down. When it reached zero, the light turned green and a new green countdown commenced.
Dartmouth, N.S., also employs this system at some intersections. The advantages are enormous. Motorists and pedestrians are able to make informed decisions as to whether they can make it through an intersection or across a crosswalk.
If Mayor Sam Katz is serious about improving safety and expediency for Winnipeg's motorists and pedestrians, he should give careful consideration to this system of traffic control.
Kudos to Frances Russell, Mia Rabson, Dan Lett and Laura Rance for their insightful columns on the Harper government's campaign to silence those who don't share their ideology. Canadian women, environmentalists, scientists, the Canadian Wheat Board, the CBC and Harper Conservative MPs (with the exception of Stephen Woodworth) have all been muzzled.
Many others live in great uncertainty as the cuts in the 2012 federal economic action plan (newspeak for the 2012 federal budget) gradually become known. Spin and repeated talking points are not news.
Canadian voters should be asking for and deserve straight answers from their elected representatives. In the meantime, democracy in Canada is being dismantled. All this from a party that promised transparency and accountability.
It takes people to raise a Village (April 27). As a resident of Osborne Village for almost 35 years, I am at a loss to understand how you could publish an article celebrating the Village without speaking to, or at the very least mentioning, its founders, Basil and Donna Lagopolous.
It was their hard work and dedication to the Village that started it and has kept it alive. This is especially highlighted by Basil's recent reopening of his historic restaurant after it suffered catastrophic damage several years ago.
The Lagopolouses should have received the positive recognition they deserve.
L. DALE GUY