Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/9/2011 (2359 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Re: Harper says 'Islamicism' biggest threat to Canada (Sept. 8). As a Muslim, I feel offended and disappointed by my prime minister singling out and linking Islam to terrorism and extremism.
It makes all Muslims living in Canada feel like targets, since there is no visible way to distinguish between law-abiding Muslims and extremists.
Comments like that may have encouraged Florida pastor Terry Jones's insane act of burning the Muslim Qur'an. Like Stephen Harper, he linked Islam to terrorism.
I am extremely disappointed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would tarnish the entire faith of Islam, a faith of 800,000 Canadians and 1.6 billion people around the world, as the greatest threat to Canadian security.
I wonder if his choice of words was a deliberate attempt to create an enemy and raise the level of fear, where Canadians would willingly accept the reintroduction of anti-terrorism laws.
We know that this politics of fear worked well for former president George W. Bush and the Tea Party south of the border. However, here in Canada, we cherish our civil liberties and human rights, which our forefathers gave their lives to uphold.
Harper must learn from the tragedy in Norway and not play divisive politics or promote an environment in Canada where hate is sanctioned and fear and suspicions are nurtured. The security of Canada cannot be achieved by demonizing Canadian Muslims. It will be achieved through mutual respect, care and upholding the Canadian values of rule of law and equality of all citizens.
Islamic Social Services Association
This is fuel for the left, who seem to love demonizing Stephen Harper. They may think he is the second coming of Attila the Hun, but I think he is Canada's best prime minister since Louis St. Laurent.
It's time for many Canadians on the left and right to adjust their thinking. It's also time for some to grow a backbone. These are not events to be used for partisan games and political brinkmanship. We are all Canadians, and there is a recognizable danger out there. And that danger is radical Islam.
It is time to stop being tolerant to the intolerant. By offering the other cheek, you will not elicit a feeling of shame or some self-enlightenment from your abuser. You will only be perceived as weak.
Hydro Act clear
Re: Selinger pledges to keep Hydro, Autopac cheapest (Sept. 8). Does the government understand the legislation that governs the operation of Manitoba Hydro? It appears from its statements about privatizing Manitoba Hydro that Premier Greg Selinger is making that it does not.
The Act Section 15.3 (1) clearly states: "The government shall not present to the Legislative Assembly a bill to authorize or effect a privatization of the corporation unless the government first puts the question of the advisability of the privatization to the voters of Manitoba in a referendum and the privatization is approved by a majority of the votes in the referendum."
This should quash one of the fear-mongering attacks by government on the opposition parties.
LEONARD A. BATEMAN
Former chairman and CEO Manitoba Hydro
Look beyond teachers
Re: Let's hear it for coaches (Letters, Sept. 2). Ross Wedlake clearly doesn't spend a great deal of time in the community. Had he ventured out earlier in the summer, he might have noticed the thousands of boys and girls that have been practising football since late July.
These young people participate on community-based teams in the Manitoba Minor Football Association. The teams are coached entirely by volunteers, the majority of whom also work full time jobs — just like teachers.
And had Wedlake dug a little deeper, he may also have discovered that the Winnipeg High School Football League would be hard pressed to field many teams without the high number of non-teacher volunteers on their coaching staffs.
Your headline writer should have checked the definition of the word "perk" before using it to bash teachers (Pay, perks and particulars, Sept. 3). The "extra cash galore tucked into teachers' contracts" is just that — in contracts, which are duly negotiated with the trustees whom he and the rest of us elect.
The story grabs readers by promising to show how teachers are secretly gorging on perks from the public trough. But reporter Nick Martin needs to look at the broader picture.
When a teacher is called upon to be "teacher in charge," for example, they, by contract, make an additional $30 or so for the day. What Martin fails to point out is that for this "extravagant" amount, teachers are obliged to deal with irate parents, dangerous students, medical emergencies, evacuations, child custody crises, intruders, or whatever unforeseen calamities might occur, while still having to teach their own class.
Martin needs to know that this summer some of those same teachers have given up holidays to attend school division courses (unpaid), to return to university (unpaid), to prep for new courses (unpaid), to coach school teams (unpaid), to prepare their classrooms (unpaid), to shop for school supplies for the students in their classes (unpaid) and to buy classroom books at their own expense.
All these unpaid services, according to BBC News education reporter Hannah Richardson, are provided by the profession that England's Health and Safety Executive deems "the most stressful occupation there is." Perhaps Martin's next article could be about the unnegotiated realities of teaching. The headline could be "Demands, details and dedication."
Re: Cellular crimes (Editorials, Sept. 9): Having read that Winnipeg police have handed out more than 1,900 tickets for texting or phoning while driving, I would like to say that it is apparent that in Steinbach the possibility of getting a ticket does not seem to worry anybody.
I think that maybe we are too important to respect this simple law. Everywhere you look, drivers are not even trying to hide the fact that they are on the phone or texting while driving.
So come on down if you want to. It seems that we are above the law.
I am troubled by the language that Gary Lawless used in reference to the three recently deceased NHL hockey players (Far too many NHL funerals, Sept. 2).
He stated that they were fighters "under the guise of being professional hockey players." This demeans the talent, skill and hard work of these young men. Watching the fast and physical NHL in recent years, it is clear that nobody makes it to the modern NHL simply by being a thug.
In future coverage of these tragedies and of hockey overall, I hope that Lawless will show more respect for the NHL game and its players, not to mention the dead.