Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/4/2011 (2509 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I could not be more angered or hurt by Gordon Sinclair's Saturday column, Frazier on her family's ordeal with Alzheimer's. I buried my father recently after a decade-long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. My heart goes out to the family documented in his column, but to portray one family's tragic experience in Alberta as the norm does a great disservice to the dedicated professionals and volunteers who were so much a part of my father and mother's life over the last decade.
From the time my father was diagnosed, his doctor was professional, compassionate and supportive. The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba has been a great source of information, support and counselling for my mother.
There were many home-care workers who visited my father. They helped him with the daily activities he could no longer perform, played cards or watched television with him and provided my mother with the respite she so desperately needed.
When it became too dangerous for him to stay in his own home, he moved to a nursing home where the staff cared for him with great compassion and supported my mother and the rest of our family.
Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. Sinclair owes an apology to all those that work so hard to help families trying to cope with it. Providing real information, rather than fear-mongering, would be the greatest service your paper could provide to families beginning that most difficult journey.
When people like Frazier are willing to speak out and share their personal stories, it helps reduce stigma and allows families to seek help. We wish to thank Frazier for coming on board with the Alzheimer Society as an ambassador for dementia and for sharing her emotional story.
We appreciate the attention that is being brought to dementia and the struggles families face. What was missing from the article is that there is some help available. We want families to realize that the Alzheimer Society is here to support them and to help them navigate the system and access community resources.
With the upcoming federal election, the candidates need to address the lack of resources available and make dementia a national health priority. Visit canadadementiacrisis.ca for more information.
Alzheimer Society of Manitoba
Who knew they sing, too?
Congratulations to World Men's Curling champions, Jeff Stoughton and his rink. What a class act.
Last Saturday night my wife and I were dining with family and friends at a Regina restaurant celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Stoughton and his rink were in the adjacent lounge watching the game between Norway and Scotland.
Just as we finished our meal, our waiter ushered them into our room where they sang happy anniversary to us and shook everyone's hand with big hugs for my wife. It was a memorable moment to cap off a great evening.
In a bootlicking column, Rethinking the American Civil War (April 12), Gwynne Dyer lionizes that "impeccable" historian Harry Turtledove and his fantasy revisions of world history. Mr. Impeccable and Mr. Dyer have Robert E. Lee freeing the slaves "in the 1880s." This might have proved difficult inasmuch as Lee died in 1870.
The facile bashing of the antebellum South continues unabated to this day. In fact, had the Tenth Amendment been respected, there would likely be no Federal Reserve and no American empire. And the world would not today be slouching toward financial and social Armageddon.
Profits to be lost
In the story Fiery Selinger exhorts troops (April 9), Premier Greg Selinger states that the higher Bipole III costs "would be borne by export customers, not by Manitobans."
Most important, what he doesn't say is that we could make $1 billion more profit if Bipole III were built on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, as Manitoba Hydro originally recommended.
As a retired vice-president of Manitoba Hydro, I led the negotiations on a number of export contracts. Hydro was never told where to build the generating stations nor where to route the transmission lines. Nor would we suggest to the purchasers how to use their purchased power.
The NDP government's decision to move the line to the west side of Manitoba was a Manitoba decision. The additional cost of $1 billion for the west line translates to reduced profits. This means higher cost of power for Manitobans. Selinger continues to be deceptive with Manitobans on Bipole III.
Premier Greg Selinger claims the higher price tag for the west-side Bipole III transmission line would be paid for by the export customers. This is true, but Manitobans will still lose out. The electricity export market will be priced at whatever it can get, and a cheaper east-side line will mean higher return on investment compared with the more costly west-side line.
Some of the dollars received for export energy sales will have to go to paying off the higher cost of the west-side line and not into Hydro's coffers. In the long run Manitoba Hydro will not be as profitable, which eventually will adversely impact our electricity rates in Manitoba.
Additional energy losses incurred because of the longer west-side line are not available to be sold into the export market. This means the folks buying our renewable hydroelectricity will have to make up the lost energy themselves, and most likely with coal-fired generation. This is a dirty alternative.
Tom Oleson's April 9 Tombit The Health Puritans are cruel to the core is a bold piece of writing I certainly support. We have seen a prohibitionist doctor who announced he would not accept patients who smoked.
An 80-something friend of mine is in a municipal hospital with cancer. We warned him over the decades that smoking would kill him, and so now we deny him his simple pleasure because prohibitionist doctors don't like it, not for any valid reasons concerning second-hand smoke or medication problems.
I do acknowledge second-hand smoke is obnoxious to many people and must be controlled. Most people I know who smoke are very mindful of non-smokers and do not want to infringe on the rights and freedoms of other persons. We have dramatically reduced smoking through education and regulations.
We did it without having to lock up a single person. But prohibitionists, health puritans if you like, continue to make this country a more dangerous place with tax law on tobacco that is pushing it under the control of organized crime who can and do turn profits into more dangerous things, with even more profit.
I commend you on a timely, informative article, Report blasts HIV red tape (April 11). Most of us can't follow up on flashy news items of new initiatives. It's encouraging, therefore, to see the Free Press follow up on this significant four-year-old non-event for all of us.
Too many grand photo opportunities are never followed up, and we assume all went well. Thank you for setting the record straight on this one. Such reporting might also encourage greater responsibility with less fanfare.
Layton's pension fantasy
Re: NDP pushes platform, in power or no (April 12). It doesn't surprise me that one of Jack Layton's five platform points is to strengthen public pensions. What planet does Layton actually live on? Surely he is aware that several states in the U.S. are revisiting the ridiculous pensions and benefits paid to public employees because they are drowning in the debt these benefits create.
If Layton were to get out of his cushy Ottawa digs and actually try to get in touch with Canadians I think he'd find that public employees, including all civil servants at the city, provincial and federal levels, as well as firefighters, policemen and teachers, already enjoy pensions that start at an earlier age, are guaranteed and in general are much more lucrative than those available in the private sector.
Direct surplus to roads
The Manitoba Public Insurance surplus should not be returned to Manitobans. Instead it should be used to repair roads.
The funds could be pro-rated, with Zone 1 funds going to the City of Winnipeg, and Zone 2 funds to the rest of the province. I cannot think of a more fair tax than having those who drive cars in the province pay for the roads.
A picture accompanying the April 8 story 1,000 times better of a new immigrant family in a crowded kitchen made me shudder. Three of the children were allowed to sit in a precarious and unsafe location for the photo shoot.
A stove and a countertop are anything but ideal, and this instils in them unsafe values in the days ahead in their new life here in Canada.