Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/9/2012 (3300 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Hope for Phoenix inquiry
Re: Baby's photo begins inquiry (Sept. 6). I hope for two things from the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry:
-- The processes that allowed this to happen are identified and corrected.
-- Whoever is listed as responsible for the failure is compelled to install a suitable grave marker for this poor child.
If you want to remember Phoenix Sinclair, do not say a word. Grab your kids and tell them they are loved.
Toews doesn't get it
In his Sept. 5 letter, Necessary guidance Vic Toews accuses Harold Jantz of missing the point about Canada's directive to accept information obtained by torture in his Sept. 1 column, Toews and a history of torture. What Toews' letter reveals is that Vic Toews doesn't get it.
Jantz wrote that "once we find some reason to accept its results, we have lost any ethical basis to argue against its use." With the Harper government's change in policy, Canada now contravenes its long-held position as a signatory to the International Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or threat of war, internal political stability, or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." That is the point, Mr. Toews.
There seems to be a basic flaw in the logic governing Vic Toews' position regarding the use of information obtained by torture.
If there is general agreement that such information is unreliable to the point of being useless, how can it be of any help in safeguarding Canada?
Offensive and illogical
Colin Craig's misleading column Public servants' costly pay-packet hat trick (Sept. 1) is offensive, illogical and blatantly untrue.
Federal employees are the main contributors to their pension plan -- not taxpayers. Employees contribute more than 10 cents of each dollar earned to both the Federal Public Service Pension Plan and the Canada-Quebec Pension Plan.
Their contributions are factored into the cost of the compensation package and are by no means a gift. Also, employees pay taxes toward the government's contribution.
These sustainable plans pose no undue risk to Canadians. In fact, the chief actuary of Canada reports that the FPSP plan is adequately funded and viable. The funds are managed according to actuarial projections that spread the risk across generations. Pensions are not paid out all at once but over decades as more money comes into the plan.
In the end, the average annual pension received by federal public-sector workers is around $24,500 (2009 figures).
Craig, on the other hand, would prefer individuals to fend for themselves and rely on the market to accumulate savings for retirement. But the effect this would have on communities and the Canadian economy would be devastating.
Public Service Alliance of Canada -- Prairie Region
Why would Colin Craig try to pull down all the benefits unions have acquired? The private sector is only interested in its bottom line.
They'll fight tooth and nail to keep unions out so they can pay their employees low wages, even if it means laying off countless people.
I was a civil servant and I know I worked the required number of hours, as did my co-workers. I'm retired now and am very grateful for the benefits the union negotiated.
Don't our wages benefit the private sector when we spend them? We don't hoard our pensions and we're not all rich.
I take offence at Colin Craig's jab at government and union wages and benefits. As a government-union worker in health care, I earn wages that are far below the wages he states for the private sector.
My job directly affects people's lives. Dietary and housekeeping are the two lowest-paid departments in health care, yet if you do not feed the people and clean and disinfect their rooms, what do you think will happen?
We went through 11 years of Gary Filmon's cuts and freezes so he could balance the books. Our wages are below where they should be. If you factor in two per cent inflation for those 11 years, our wages should be 22 per cent higher. Then maybe we would come close to the $807 per week those in the private sector make.
The Sept. 5 headline Organic food no better than non-organic, study suggests does not fully or accurately represent the article below it. The article notes the following: Pesticide residue was found in seven per cent of organic produce and 38 per cent of conventional produce; organic farming is sustainable and benefits the environment and farmers; and it's "healthier to have less pesticides in your body, especially if you're a kid."
These are three good reasons to choose organic food over non-organic. Your headline is incomplete to the point of being irresponsible.
A clearer understanding
Re: City officials insist land swap above board (Aug. 30). City property director Barry Thorgrimson says "Shindico has taken all the risk by allowing the city to build a fire hall on its own land." Thorgrimson is either being disingenuous, or is utterly incompetent.
Coun. Brian Mayes seems to have a clearer understanding when he says, "Don't move your stuff in before you have the title."
If you build a structure on someone else's property, you have zero rights. Our administration has just spent millions of dollars building a structure on someone else's property. This is utterly inexcusable. At a minimum, one or more people need to be fired.
Attention, city council. If there is a fire sale of city properties, I will gladly exchange my home for a parcel of city property worth three times as much.
Meet me in the alley and we can work out the details away from curious taxpayers. They wouldn't understand, anyway.
Give peace a chance
In his Sept. 4 column, 9/11 memorial out of place at Peace Garden, James Skakoon says, "What 9/11 has to do with peace is beyond me."
It was a day on which people opened their wallets, doors and hearts to others suffering a great tragedy to help provide them with something they lost that day -- peace.
It is ironic that Ardythe McMaster's letter Sept. 6 letter, Cats kill in numbers, is followed by John D. Scott's, Earning some credit. McMaster is understandably concerned, as I am, by the number of birds killed by cats, in spite of the fact that feral cats need to kill in order to survive.
Cats don't kill birds for the sake of killing, as in the case of humans in North America who killed carrier pigeons ruthlessly until these beautiful birds were extinct.
Scott, on the other hand, refers to a study that "clearly shows" that "songbirds disperse Lyme disease vector ticks nationwide." Life on this planet is full of contradictions.