Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/4/2012 (3412 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
City has duty to women
In Shelter review overdue (Editorials, March 28), you argue that Osborne House's request for the City of Winnipeg to fund their program due to lagging private donations is nonsensical. Osborne House argued for funding based on the fact that 78 per cent of the women who access their services are dropped off by police.
Your editorial said this was "a bizarre and inappropriate argument because women's shelters are no more a civic responsibility than hospitals." But women's shelters are a municipal responsibility. Municipal governments are responsible for emergency services, including the protection of persons and property. The fact is that women in Winnipeg are in need of protection.
In recent studies conducted by the solicitor general, one in five Canadian men living with a woman admit to using violence against her. The police are called only about 25 per cent of the time. In Canada, one or two women are murdered by a current or former partner every week, and every year up to 360,000 children are exposed to domestic violence in this country.
This year's civic budget contains public safety as a key priority. If public safety really was a priority, then investing in safe spaces for women and children escaping violence would have been at least discussed.
This city saw fit to bring in a helicopter to protect citizens. For a fraction of the purchase price, Winnipeg could have funded Osborne House's request seven times over, or funded the entire shelter budget for close to two years. So it seems that public safety is a priority when it comes with a sleek paint job or gives new toys to the good ol' boys, but when it comes to the 9,000 women that sought safety at Osborne House last year, well, that's just not as sexy is it?
Manitoba due for cuts
Re: Selinger blasts Tories for failing to boost health, education (March 30). How can Premier Greg Selinger be critical of a budget that attempts to address fiscal responsibility? It seems like he is trying to distract from his own embarrassing financial disaster. Who complains even after getting a raise every year? Manitobans want responsible cutbacks to our bloated government, too.
If six per cent a year in additional funding for health, more than double inflation for the next several years (then increases tied to inflation thereafter), on top of your own revenue isn't enough, the problem is your own spending habits. Stop blaming the feds and take responsibility for NDP overspending in almost every department. Please stop deflecting blame and get your act together before our upcoming budget.
East St. Paul
Weak thinking on guns
Re: Guns are still a problem (Letters, March 29) If Ron Charach is implying that since firearms make it easier to take multiple lives, the long-gun registry shouldn't have been scrapped, he seems oblivious to events in France and Norway during the past eight months.
Both countries have more stringent gun laws than Canada; yet they didn't stop the mass murders of seven in Toulouse and 77 in Norway. In the former, even though police were well aware of Mohamed Merak's past record of extremist sympathies and activities that precluded his getting any firearms permits, he had little difficulty procuring a deadly arsenal. Similarly, Anders Breivik possessed several legally acquired weapons and enough ammunition to supply a battalion. So what difference did it make that he was within the law in owning them?
Somebody should tell Ron Charach that the murder-suicide involving a firearm occurred on the gun registry's watch. The registry is still here and did absolutely nothing to prevent it or the many others to which he alludes.
Yet, he inexplicably wants us to share in his irrational belief that registration and slips of paper will prevent these tragedies.
His views on the matter are of no more substance than unicorns and rainbows.
Respect for patients
Re: The right to kill (Letters, March 27). Assisted suicide is fine with me. As an RN working in long-term care, my duty is to respect my patients' autonomy and be an advocate to support their choices, whatever those may be.
I believe we all have a right to live our lives on our own terms, and that should include the freedom to die on our own terms. I fully support initiatives to improve end-of-life care and measures to help people manage their symptoms and maximize their quality of life. But in the end, if someone decided the best choice for them is to end their life with the assistance of legal medical intervention, I would respect that choice as well.
Thinking for ourselves
Re: Religion and faith (Letters, March 27). All we know about Jesus Christ is what can be garnered from the New Testament as there are no contemporaneous accounts he even existed outside the Bible.
A little Internet research shows that the good things Jesus taught can be found in many religions that predate Christianity. Some teachings are confusing, even immoral by today's standards. He tells his disciples to turn the other cheek, but he also tells them to slay his enemies before him (Luke 19:27).
The last 50 years have seen a boom in the free exchange of ideas and information and since the arrival of the Internet, this information is at our fingertips. We no longer have to take our authority figures' word as true -- we can seek our own answers and our own understanding.
This can spell the end of any dogma, religious or political.
People stop going to church for many reasons. Often it's just because their rational mind won't let them believe it anymore.
Harp seals are protected
I would like to set the record straight regarding the 2012 quota for harp seals in Atlantic Canada.
The quota for 2012 is at or slightly above the levels of the total allowable catch that has been set for much of the past decade when the harp seal herd has seen unprecedented growth. Current harvest levels do not pose a risk to the health of the harp seal population in Atlantic Canada.
Canadian fisheries policy for major fisheries dictates that quotas or total allowable catches be set in accordance with the internationally recognized precautionary approach. This approach sets various reference points to guide management decisions: a healthy zone, a cautious zone where stricter measures need to be in place to ensure long-term sustainability, and a critical zone where any harvesting levels must not impede steady rebuilding.
The Canadian harp seal harvest has such a precautionary framework in place and it is clear that the population is currently in the healthy zone, where a well-managed harvest can -- and should -- be allowed to take place. In fact, the Northwest Atlantic harp seal population, with close to eight million animals, is at near-historic high levels.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada