Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/6/2017 (802 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Re: Every day should be Environment Day (June 5)
I must congratulate Peter Denton for his article about World Environment Day. On that very day, I was having a conversation with a provincial MLA about climate change and as we did not agree on many points I had to flat-out ask: "Do you or don’t you agree that climate change is man-made?" The answer was that it was not man-made.
Since MLAs are supposed to represent all of our interests in the legislature, might it be a good time to ask each and every one of those elected officials that simple question about climate change and publicly post the results?
Denton suggests a shaming for people who would rob us and future generations of healthy places to live, and also speaks about possible arrests in the future.
Can Denton’s Green Action Centre take on such "shaming" action before it is too late and before Premier Brian Pallister gets back from Costa Rica to put together some sort of environmental plan?
It figures that Peter Denton would turn this piece into a criticism of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement (not a treaty, remember), but he needs to examine things a little further. Then he’d find that the United States had contributed a billion dollars to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, designed to help developing nations adopt clean technologies. How much have the three other leading greenhouse-gas emitters donated combined? How about precisely zero. So, if the rest of the world is so concerned about the environment, let’s see how well they’ll step up to make up the shortfall left by the U.S. Judging by the combined Chinese, Indian and Russian efforts, and considering how previous climate deals were failures, it won’t even come close to being enough. In other words, protecting the environment is fine as long as most of it is bankrolled by the U.S.
@Rigel: In fairness, though, the Climate Fund is actually aimed at ensuring that, after the West used the world as an unlimited garbage can during its development, other parts of the world cannot do the same thing. It also requires that Western energy companies play the leading role in the development of those countries’ economies. I think, like most foreign aid, that fund is designed to perpetuate Western corporate domination.
"And where people can’t be persuaded or shamed into change, perhaps they should be arrested."
Who gets to decide what constitutes "extreme environmental crimes"? It could be a single-use water bottle, or it could be a book printed on paper from a tree that was cut down. Think about all the CO2 that could have been captured by the trees used to make the paper to publish books.
Be careful what you wish for, Denton, you could get caught up in your own net.
Costs of privatization
Re: Jobs to be privatized, union charges (June 31) and More options needed as cop costs soar (June 1)
As a British visitor to Winnipeg, several Free Press articles caught my attention, including the threat of privatizing home-care services by the Pallister government and the suggestion that privatization of some police services was beneficial.
Privatization of public services is widespread in Britain, often with dire results.
The once city-employed care workers have lost all benefits, including pensions, are often on casual contracts and receive minimum wage.
Experienced staff have left and untrained people attempt to deal with complex issues such as dementia. I know, as I supported a relative with dementia.
Christian Paradis, senior vice-president of Garda World, makes a case for privatizing aspects of policing. He quotes improvements in crime figures in Lincolnshire, U.K., since some privatization occurred. Not a good choice of police service for comparisons!
Lincolnshire covers 6,000 square kilometres. It has a similar population to Winnipeg. It’s primarily rural and almost crime-free.
The 14 per cent reduction in crime figures, quoted in the article, are just as likely to come from normal variations in crime, or a decision to caution people for offences rather than prosecute.
Again, the substitutes for qualified police staff will be poorly paid and without pensions.
Employees such as these are so poor that they receive state benefits to pay their rent and property taxes. In other words, state benefits supplement low wages. The taxpayer subsidizes bad employers.
Premier Brian Pallister, as an experienced investor on his own behalf, will be well aware of the benefits of privatization... to other investors.
Security, freedom linked
Re: Free speech carries obligations for Canadians (May 27)
For Canada to be secure it must be free, and to be free it must be secure. Thus, freedom to voice one’s opinions has nothing to do with rights, but with state security.
The liberty to engage in civil disobedience, including the use of non-violence to break the law, is not the surrender to the tyranny of whiner squads, as Dennis Hiebert prefers. Free speech is an agency of legitimate authority that, in Canada, is not "granted by some social consensus," but is that which decides the means and the challenge of the exception, namely our supra-legal sovereign.
In other words, regardless of any claims of trauma, the excluded are needed to speak, publish, organize, exclude — that is, to exist! Any and all hindrance of that is a flight from freedom, and is a threat to the state.
The eyes have it
Re: Closing Misericordia urgent care short-sighted, eye doctors tell province, WRHA (June 5)
It seems like the doctors are making the point that all "urgent care" is not equal; part of consolidation is to ensure that the same level of urgent care is available at all facilities and that you don’t get better care based on the luck of the draw (i.e. which one you go or are taken to).
@dfen3: True. However if the Misericordia is known to be centre of excellence for eye care, then perhaps people tend to go that urgent care for what appears to be minor eye problems.
@rob_adair: And if there is no urgent-care centre anymore, it doesn’t matter how good it was. The Misericordia is known for its eye care; if you didn’t go there in the first place, you would probably be told that was your best choice.
I wish I had any confidence that the sweeping changes announced had been thoroughly thought out before the announcement was made. I’m sure a lot of people with good vision have no idea how badly impaired vision can change a person’s life. Many people can no longer live independent lives; things we take for granted such as driving, cooking, cleaning and mobility are suddenly impossible.
Please leave this facility in place so we don’t have many more Manitobans dependent on the public for special housing, transportation and home care.