Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/10/2012 (3309 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Paying for ELA
Every time I see the War of 1812 commercials -- and they appear frequently on television -- I cannot but escape the conclusion that the cost of their production and airtime would easily pay for a few years of the Experimental Lakes Area operation (23,000 petition Tories to save ELA).
That makes me think that the federal government is more concerned about glorifying our military past than protecting the environment and securing the future of our children and grandchildren.
Change takes too long
Re: U of W seeks new name for its sports teams (Sept. 27). Names that end in "men" are starting to disappear, but they sure are taking their time.
At Providence University College in Otterburne, the name of the men's teams for the past few decades has been "Freemen," while the women's teams are stuck with "Lady Freemen."
While no one around campus really knows what the name actually means, rumours have it that change is on the way. But as it is at the University of Winnipeg, change is slow.
Let's be honest. Male athletes are the privileged. I have never heard of any male team wanting to play on a team called the Lady Bugs. The time to change is now.
Obligation to act
I appreciate your focus on homelessness and was especially moved by your Sept. 25 story How to solve homelessness.
It made me wonder (again) how we, living in such an abundant country, can justify inaction.
Canada has ratified a number of international human rights documents that not only recognize the right to housing, but also create an obligation on government to take necessary action.
At one time, Canada had a national housing plan that was envied around the world. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, billions of dollars were cut from affordable housing programs. All federal spending for construction of new social housing was terminated, and responsibility for most existing federal social housing was transferred to the provinces. Canada is not living up to its stated values; we do not have a national housing strategy.
And yet, it is abundantly clear that providing housing for the homeless is incredibly cost-effective; the expenses incurred providing emergency help to the homeless could instead be used to provide a home. At the same time, it provides some of our most needy with their basic human right and a measure of dignity and security. How much better would that be?
Huge kudos to Gerald Flood for his very informative articles on Nunavut. This series, Frozen Assets, is a great learning experience for us as well as him. Thank you so much.
Re: PM, Netanyahu discuss Iran nukes (Sept. 29). I was very happy to hear our prime minister express Canada's strong opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, especially in such an unstable area. However, I would like to have seen some other topics on the agenda and some very pointed questions put to Benjamin Netanyahu:
-- How can he justify the occupation of Palestinian lands to which Israel has no legal claim and where one people is subjugating another by force and denying them any democratic freedom?
-- Why is the Israeli military presence in this area supporting this deliberate occupation, which makes a Palestinian state nearly impossible by vandalizing mosques, destroying olive groves and attacking Palestinian civilians?
-- Why do many western countries feel the need to have "observers" in the area in an attempt to prevent increasing injustices against Palestinian civilians?
-- Why does anyone who questions the actions of Israel in the Mideast immediately get labelled an anti-Semite when he or she is merely speaking out against injustice in our world as we all should?
While Iran's program to develop a nuclear bomb is proceeding at full speed, threatening the security of the Gulf nations, no nation can be more concerned or threatened than Israel, considering the many threats made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel should be wiped off the map.
Although U.S. President Barack Obama doesn't believe that military action against Iran is imminent, it is Israel that could become the victim of a madman's ambitions. And while a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is a serious decision to make, it is important that the U.S. and other nations accept Israel's position.