Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/7/2011 (3768 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Freedom from religion
Re: Schools ignore prayer rules (June 24). I cannot believe that in the year 2011 there are still adults with fairy-tale beliefs who impose their cult-like behaviour on the rest of us. I was disappointed to learn that 20 Manitoba school divisions are violating the province's guidelines on religious exercises by allowing prayer in school.
Chris Tait expresses his position with eloquence in questioning the province of Manitoba and its "vague" school prayer policy. Not adhering to the Court of Queen's Bench ruling when it struck down mandatory school prayer flies in the face of our rights to secular education.
Can you imagine what would happen if a number of Manitoba students wished to pray to Allah via the school intercom? Would they be encroaching upon our school's policy on prayer? Or would they be allowed to pray the same way Christian students do?
You can rest assured Manitoba's school prayer policy would be enforced immediately. Under no circumstances should praying be allowed in our schools.
Education Minister Nancy Allan is not doing her job and is therefore unqualified to hold such a responsible office. She is not a role model for young Manitobans; ignoring a court ruling and not complying with the laws of the land is not setting a good example for our youth.
Thank you for encouraging us with several examples of how one boy's beliefs have turned into a lifelong fight against oppression in the Manitoba school system.
Legal victories in both the provincial and federal courts have elevated this man's young and energetic faith above those held since the inception of the institutions he fights. And his ongoing religious zeal still drives him and his followers to this day to ensure those court rulings are followed to the letter in each and every school division.
Just imagine what could happen if the province and country's religious majority would take the same stand as Chris Tait has taken for enforcing the beliefs and practices of atheism in our schools.
Scott Forbes needs to do more research (Pulling the plug on Lake Manitoba, June 28) rather than wishful thinking. He suggests there is an option of draining the water through Birch Bay into Lake St. Martin. Birch Bay and Lake St. Martin are already overflowing; there are carp swimming in farmers' fields.
Once water does get into Lake St. Martin, he has no advice as to what is to then happen to the water. It does not just evaporate. It then needs to make its way into Lake Winnipeg.
Lake St. Martin is only a fraction of the size of Lake Manitoba, and current outflow doesn't keep up with inflow. Forbes's opinion and suggestions are coloured, since he owns property on Lake Manitoba and just wants the water to disappear.
Scott Forbes advocates diverting flow from the Assiniboine River into the La Salle River as a solution to future flooding in Lake Manitoba. This difficult problem requires a better solution, one that considers how our river systems really are connected and how changes to their flow patterns affect residents.
The La Salle River does not enter the Red River upstream of the floodway as Forbes has stated. It enters the Red River downstream of the floodway. Consequently, water diverted into the La Salle River would not be routed around Winnipeg via the floodway as he stated, but would flow through the city from one end to the other.
Raising the floodway gates could be used to offset these flows, but this would flood families living in the Red River basin upstream, and it would not protect the suburb of St. Norbert from inundation if flows were increased by 5,000 to 10,000 cfs when the La Salle River is already in flood.
DAVID B. STEWART
Column rings true
Bartley Kives' June 19 column, City's food rules make me gag, describing the impact of Sam Katz's governance on Winnipeg's quality of life really rings true this summer 2011. Kives' statement that "the public service has been waging war... on the little things that make day-to-day life enjoyable for ordinary people" is reflected in the neglect of basic spring cleaning of the streets of our city.
Just take a walk down Stradbrook, River Avenue or Wellington Crescent heading for Osborne Village. Obviously the street cleaner never made the second run this spring.
In her June 28 column, Why private-sector workers didn't rally to posties, Barbara Yaffe says, in effect, "the private sector is suffering, and so should the public sector." She should actually be saying the opposite: "The public sector has great benefits, and so should the private sector."
The money is there for private workers to get the same benefits as public workers. Try a Google search for "Canada GDP." You'll see that gross domestic product has doubled since 1999.
Then do a Wikipedia search for "GDP." You'll learn that GDP is the combined total of everyone's paycheque. Some simple arithmetic will show that everyone's income should have doubled since 1999. If you were pulling in $30,000 back then, you should be making $60,000 today. Alas, few people have seen such growth in their wages.
Yet the money is there. That's something unions have always understood. Over the decades, they have fought for their share and, by and large, have got it.
Rather than castigating unions, private sector workers should look to unions as an example of what's possible and demand higher wages and more benefits. They could even go all the way and get their workplaces unionized.
Letter writer Ryan Gibson (Going postal, June 29) says I have "a great-paying, secure job." That may be true for now, but if in the future the collusion continues between Canada Post and the current government in collective bargaining, our jobs will begin to look a lot like the ones Gibson says he finds in the classified ads.
This is what Canadians need to realize is going on right now with the current government. Fortunately for me, before this happens, I will be retired. But I know that younger workers will not retire with the pension and benefits I enjoy if this does continue.
I must respond to the historical inaccuracies in Herb Bjarnason's June 24 letter, Jesus and the socialists. Contrary to his suggestions, it was the Liberals who first introduced national old-age pensions and later the CPP. The Liberals also expanded medicare from its inspiration in Saskatchewan to the whole country.