Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/10/2010 (2673 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Many people forget to acknowledge that someone has made a positive effect on their lives. That was my realization when I read Elva Motheral's obituary (Oct. 27).
With her open-mindedness, understanding and guidance, I became an educator. I worked in that career for 31 years until I retired two years ago. Throughout that time, I thought of her occasionally, using some of her strategies that she taught me.
Most important, Miss Motheral taught me to be unbiased and to listen to my students before making a judgment, an evaluation or a reaction.
She was a very dedicated instructor. On blistery January mornings, many of us standing outside her classroom door assumed that the wind would carry off her slight body far from the University of Manitoba and we could head to the cafeteria for coffee and idle conversations. We were wrong. What a collective sigh, albeit quiet, would occur when we would see her walking towards us carrying a load of books and smiling.
She had a strong force of will. We faculty students created a myth about her. We imagined that when some student athlete twice her size informed her that an assignment was not completed, she would stand her ground and demand to know the reason until the miscreant caved in and told her the real excuse. Then she would inform the guilty party exactly what was to be done and the time frame it would be completed in. Oh, yes, the consequences would be very clear but fair.
When I graduated from the faculty, I told her proudly that I was now a teacher. She replied that I was learning to become a teacher. Thanks, Miss Motheral. You were definitely correct. Teaching is a life-long process.
Democracy in action
My wife and I, along with over a hundred other farmers and landowners, had a crash course on how democracy works within the walls of the Legislative Building under the NDP regime.
We attended a legislative committee meeting regarding Manitoba Hydro projects on Oct. 25. Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk and other NDP committee members argued for close to an hour so they would not have to hear a 10-minute presentation from former Hydro chairman and CEO Len Bateman regarding the Bipole III project, as well as a five-minute presentation from a local farmer representing the voices of all farmers who will be affected. They also refused an invitation to have a public meeting regarding the $1.75-billion option of going the west route and affecting 1,350 landowners unnecessarily. Next time you cast your vote in favour of the NDP, you will be endorsing this type of undemocratic behaviour as well as the $7,000 per household cost which invariably will be shared by all Manitobans.
At the same time, in the same building, Premier Greg Selinger was receiving an award from environmental groups. I question if they are aware that this decision to choose the west route will cause hundreds of farmers to spend extra fertilizer, chemicals and fuel as they circle around each tower on their fields for generations to come. And were they informed that the extra 479-kilometre stretch of wire will cost power losses of $80,000 per day?
Shopping cart solution
Re: Disabled parking (Letters, Oct. 28). While I appreciate Alice Hopko's comments that Walmart should start charging for carts at its stores, I don't think that this would solve the abandoned-cart situation.
I take my disabled mother-in-law out shopping on a weekly basis and I also see carts in the handicap stalls. I have also witnessed disabled drivers or passengers themselves emptying their cart and pushing it to the front of the stall that they are parked in. This also happens at Safeway, where you do pay for the cart.
Perhaps a better solution would be to have a cart return immediately beside the handicap stalls (Superstore does this), making it easy for the disabled to also put their carts back rather than having to walk halfway across a parking lot to the cart returns.
Thank you to Frances Russell for her comprehensive review of the dangerous myths of medicare (Health-care myths debunked, Oct. 27). The debate, in my mind, is almost laughable, because the tactics used by those who support the erosion of publicly funded services are, without exception, not supported by research and fact.
It is clear to me that the wild accusations on the sustainability of health care (or perceived lack thereof) are meant to appeal to the "grass is greener" section of the population. Ergo, privatization is marketed as a cure-all remedy for every inconvenience of medicare that can be dreamt up.
The reality is that research has proven time and time again, in countries all over the world, the whenever the private sector coexists with the public sector, it is always at the expense of the public. Fact, pure and simple.
As a registered nurse, I move that we reframe this debate and begin an adult discussion on how to reinvest in modern medicare to ensure that its sustainability continues, especially in consideration of our aging population and well-defined predictions on future burdens.
Junking junk mail
Re: Legalized junk mail (Letters, Oct, 22). In the Netherlands, all mailboxes have one of three stickers. Each refers to one of the following: all mail accepted; commercial mail not accepted; community information accepted; neither commercial mail nor community information accepted.
The stickers are uniform across the country and have distinct bright colours; thus they can be recognized by the letter carrier from quite a distance.
Canada is not a unitary state (such as the Netherlands) and has different and overlapping areas of jurisdiction. Our post office operates as a national agency but many environmental matters are dealt with provincially (and sometimes even by the municipality). This creates problems in cases such as junk mail.
I have a notice on my mailbox with four lines in 24-point lettering: "The Lance: Yes. Political: Yes. Advertising: No. Junk Mail: No."
This cuts down on most unsolicited mail. The only problem I face is one of not receiving community news (such as rezoning and construction messages from the adjoining properties). It is up to the originator of such messages to ensure that delivery takes place.
The letter by Shahina Siddiqui (Sins of the father, Oct. 28) requires an answer. The Khadrs came to Canada but did not accept Canadian values and way of life. They were jihadists fighting for their cause under the protection of the Canadian flag.
The only time they seemed to like Canadian values was when one of them got hurt overseas and they rushed home to get free Canadian medicare. It is time we should say to those like the Khadrs, "Love the country you live in or live in the country you love."
WILLIAM D. POOLES
Dan for mayor
Re: Now he's re-elected, Katz should get a plan, Oct. 28. Dan Lett is bang on. This is why Lett is my favourite Free Press columnist.
His writing, always articulate and clear, comes from a place of deep understanding and insight of the context and issues. I agree with Dan wholeheartedly, and could not have said it better myself.