Doer in the news again
Re: Doer concerned new president might implement border tax (May 8)
Based on the front-page headline, I might have anticipated former ambassador Gary Doer would spend much of his speech bashing U.S. President Donald Trump, but having attended his talk, that certainly was not the case.
What he did focus on was international relations with Israel, his time as premier here and his insights into some dealings as the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., which included more on former president Barack Obama than on Trump. Gary Doer is an accomplished diplomat, which is the main reason former prime minister Stephen Harper chose him as the ambassador to the U.S.
While your reporter perhaps was disappointed in his non-throwdown of Trump, the speech he gave was well received.
Re: Former Manitoba premier to swing axe for Alberta’s softwood lumber industry (May 8)
My congratulations to Gary Doer for landing this important job, and I am sure he will do admirable work for the government of Alberta.
Perhaps, though, he should have been hired by Manitoba to peddle some of the power generated by the dams that were initiated in his governing days in Manitoba. Ideally, he would sell it at the market rate the consumer in Manitoba pays, and not the current cut rate for exported electricity.
Keep Portage and Main closed
Re: Open intersection needs open process (May 8)
Are pedestrian crossings restricted or discouraged at other Winnipeg intersections?
As we move along Portage Avenue, pedestrians crossings are prohibited at Broadway Boulevard, Wall Street, Erin Street, Woodhaven Boulevard, Sturgeon Road, Country Club Boulevard, Cavalier Drive, in front of Unicity and at St. Charles Street. There is an obvious concern, even with a boulevard of crossing six to eight lanes of traffic.
Also, there are no longer any overhead pedestrian crosswalks along Portage Avenue. Along Main Street, pedestrian crossing is forbidden at Stradbrook Avenue, Water Avenue, James Avenue, Disraeli Freeway, Sutherland Avenue, Smithfield Avenue and in front of Kildonan Park. In Transcona, there is a pedestrian ban at Starlight Drive and Regent Avenue West. This is a particularly dangerous part of Regent. Along Pembina Highway, pedestrian access is banned at Stafford Street, McGillivray Boulevard and Bishop Grandin Boulevard.
There are many intersections where pedestrian access is not allowed because of a sometimes-continuous flow of traffic from two different main streets. Provencher Boulevard at Archibald Street, Nairn Avenue at Stadacona Street, Notre Dame Avenue at McPhillips Street, Tuxedo Avenue and Corydon Avenue, Henderson Highway at Hespeler Avenue, and Raleigh Street and McLeod Avenue are examples.
A second concern is the difficulty in predicting costs. The elimination of any pedestrian bans involves more than removing the signs. As an example, if the pedestrian ban at Kenaston Boulevard at Tuxedo were removed, a new sidewalk on the north side of Tuxedo east of Kenaston would have to be constructed. Opening Portage and Main would likely necessitate a much larger number of infrastructure adjustments. Can our city accurately project the cost?
We should ask what is wrong with providing pedestrians with alternatives to crossing traffic. Many buildings are connected with overhead structures. We can move around much of downtown Winnipeg without going outside.
The restrictions for pedestrians exist primarily because of safety concerns. It is unlikely any of these restrictions will be removed. It is more likely that more new restrictions will be implemented. This could happen along Kenaston, Highway 59 or at Henderson and Chief Peguis Trail.
Portage and Main is the only Winnipeg intersection where some are encouraging removing pedestrian restrictions. There are 17 lanes of traffic in the intersection. Accident records are often used to justify traffic adjustments. With Portage and Main, we would have to project the effect of this opening. Because of the obvious need to restrict and discourage pedestrian crossings in all other parts of the city, the probability of safely opening up the complex Portage and Main intersection is remote.
Re: Rising stars, shining bright (May 8) and Program helps reunite families with kids (May 9)
The Free Press recently carried two encouraging and exciting stories. In a May 8 story, we were impressed by the large number of indigenous graduates from the University of Manitoba. Congratulations to every one of you as you graduate and move on into your chosen field.
Regarding the Sagkeeng foster care project, it is infinitely better for everyone when kids and families can be together. This program, with its solid expectations, has made impressive progress. All the best to the families who have participated in the pilot project "Circle of Care."
Be proud. Be strong. Help one another.
Randy and Pat Neuman
Re: Bringing the right tools to bear (May 10)
On behalf of parents everywhere, I would like to thank the psychologists who developed the "Worry Bear" tent at the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. This simple concept validates the parents’ concerns and provides a safe place for the children to share their feelings.
As director of the Family Navigation Program at the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, I hear from hundreds of parents, children and educators regarding the need for expanded services and expedient access to those services. The stories are hauntingly similar, and the concerns are heartbreaking. Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman and the team of psychologists participating in this event are emphasizing the need to recognize the symptoms our children are having in the early years, to give both the child and parent the tools to cope and thus live a quality life.
Trying to deal with anxiety and depression as a teen is a rocky, frustrating road, often leading to many years of struggle, but by addressing the issues in early childhood with patient-centred recovery programs, the outcome can lead to a much better life for all members of the family.
Imagine if we could have the "Worry Bear" or the "What if?" clinic as an open service, with minimal costs, providing cognitive tools and safe places to share? We would change the face of our next generation and reduce the impending billions of dollars spent on mental health.
Thank you also to Carol Sanders for writing an illuminating article.
Director of Family Navigation, MDAM
Value for money?
Re: Higher taxes, worse services (Letters, April 29)
Growing up during the twilight days of the City of West Kildonan, I recall city crews collecting the broken curbs every spring. About a week later, street cleaners arrived, and by the end of May the broken curbs had been repaired. Unlike today, I doubt anybody had to phone to get any of it done.
I learned later that the crews were comprised of West Kildonan residents and that the city’s finances were always in the black.
Unicity was supposed to help the poorest part of the City of Winnipeg; a measure, I remember someone explaining, against it from a decrepit ghetto. Instead, Unicity favours, by way of services, appointments and everything else, only those from Winnipeg’s self-styled VIP ghetto.