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Re: Greer a tough talker (Letters, May 7). In her May 3 piece Greer stomps on my fragile freedoms, Athena Thiessen challenged the decision of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the CBC, and the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba to give a platform to Germaine Greer as part of the Fragile Freedoms speaker series.
Arthur Schafer, the centre's director, purported to respond to Thiessen in his May 7 letter.
Schafer's words don't respond to Thiessen's objections so much as attempt to minimize them into non-existence, characterizing Greer's bigotry and oppressive behaviour as the justifiable "tough talk" of a public thinker — even if she sometimes holds "views some people find troubling."
Such rhetoric obscures the fact that when Greer attacks trans people's rights, she's not acting as a bold iconoclast challenging the sexist status quo. For many years she has denigrated transsexual women, characterizing us as both frauds and predators and attacking our personhood and our rights. She wields her considerable social capital to reinforce toxic, damaging and already-entrenched biases against a sexual minority community.
By featuring Greer in the Fragile Freedoms series, the CHMR, the CBC, and the U of M's Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics are endorsing and enabling Greer's attacks.
Trish Salah, Winnipeg
Re: Readers lean toward leniency (May 13). While driving cancer patients to the hospital is a valuable service, it's not an emergency. Someone who does it all the time surely knows how long it takes; there should be no need to drive in the transit lane.
Ed Macyk, the driver, states he would like to see transit lanes used for carpooling.
This statement is so frustrating. We need to encourage more people to take public transit, and we need to build more bus lanes.
All great cities have one thing in common: good public transit. We need to get away from the car mentality and promote public transit, not try to undermine it.
Louise Flood, Winnipeg
Re: Two takes on traffic tickets (Letters, May 13). As attorney general, one of the strategies I introduced was to establish a caution notice that police officers could issue for minor traffic offences. If a motorist repeated the minor offence then a traffic offence ticket would be issued.
While I believed this program worked well and re-established the vital goodwill between police officers and Manitoba citizens, the program was abandoned.
I have urged successive attorneys general to re-establish the caution program but to no avail.
Al Mackling, Winnipeg
Re: Dogged pursuit of dog parks (May 13). Couns. Brian Mayes and Scott Fielding should take a harder look at just how important off-leash parks are, both from a human and an ecological perspective.
Last weekend, on a particularly nice day, St. Vital Park was crowded with people enjoying the fine weather; in the middle of the winter, or on a rainy day, not so much.
The Brenda Leipsic off-leash dog park at the Parker Wetlands, meanwhile, is another story. In mid-winter, in cool weather, in the rain, it's always in use.
People are outside having a good time socializing, being active and exercising, not driving around the park in cars blaring music. They're experiencing a rich little ecosystem — a wild space that serves as a haven for urban wildlife — and are respectful of it and each other.
The dog park is better-used than many formal parks in the city, and the cost to the city is minimal — unlike St. Vital Park, it requires almost no maintenance.
Ian Toal, Winnipeg
I'm embarrassed dog parks are even a potential issue for the upcoming election. The city has many more serious issues to deal with: crumbling roads, insufficient public transit, integrity in city council and more.
While I agree the Winnipeg Humane Society and WINDOG should have been consulted during the reporting process, I disagree that dog parks are a "core service" in the city.
To my knowledge, prior to Winnipeg's first dog park in 1998, the city was not plagued with fat, unhealthy dogs. Dog owners simply found a way to give their pets the exercise needed — as any responsible pet owner should.
Stephen Kurz, Winnipeg
Dog owners are demanding city hall provide many more off-leash dog parks and want taxpayers, most of whom don't have a dog, to pay for them.
This comes right after Winnipeg Blue Bombers CEO Wade Miller wants me, and all taxpayers, to subsidize bus rides for his fans. These fans can afford expensive tickets, $6 hotdogs and $8 beer, but he doesn't want to add a couple of dollars to the cost of their tickets to pay for their transportation.
When does this sense of entitlement in our society end? Our roads are a nightmare and our infrastructure is crumbling, but somehow we can find money to subsidize dog parks and stadium transportation, mostly for people who can afford to pay their own way. Why?
Richard Feist, Winnipeg
Re: New fees cancel out Frontier's fare reductions (May 10). In my recent experience, Frontier Airlines' fees didn't cancel out the savings.
With gas, airport parking and baggage fees, we spent just over $500 return to drive to Fargo, N.D. and fly to Denver compared with the best fare from Winnipeg to Denver, which was more than $1,000.
There were no surprises. Our electronic ticket provided links to all of Frontier's baggage policies.
It was made very clear during the online check-in that it was cheaper to check our bags than to carry them on, that large briefcases could be carried on at no charge, and that we had the option to select and pay for specific seating or additional leg room.
The only negative was how long it took to disembark due to the many passengers who still carried on bulky luggage at a higher price. Many of these passengers had to rely on others to lift large, heavy carry-ons in and out of the overhead bins. Our bags were already on the carousel when we got off the flight.
I'm all for the fees, as long as they're transparent and can be selected at the customer's discretion.
Leanne Fournier, Winnipeg
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