Stronger measures needed
Re: ‘This is on all Manitobans. We could prevent the surge’ (April 16)
Has Premier Brian Pallister not seen the success of Australia, New Zealand and various Asian countries that cracked down hard enough to control COVID-19, and then enjoyed long periods of easing? Has he not seen the failures of those countries that denied COVID-19’s impact? Has he forgotten Manitoba’s early success that he squandered last fall with his delays on masking regulations?
Does he not see the chaos enveloping our provincial neighbours owing to the rise of the more virulent variants that attack younger people? Does he not realize that cracking down now may give us time to catch up with vaccinations before ICUs are overwhelmed? Didn’t his grandmother explain that a stitch in time saves nine?
Another week has gone by without any action.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford ignored warnings that the variants required a stronger response, and look what happened. Act now!
Gary Gouriluk, Winnipeg
In spite of the efforts of most Manitobans, we are into a third wave. COVID-19 variants are being brought into our province through travel, both air and land. Yes, restrictions are in place, but it appears they are not being enforced, and restrictions and laws of any sort are meaningless if not enforced. To prevent what is currently happening in Ontario from happening here, could we:
- Establish border checkpoints to ensure that only essential cross-border travel is happening, and quarantine plans are in place. Followup needs to happen, with fines given if necessary. Air travel from hot spots needs to be halted.
- Urge Manitobans through ad campaigns and promotions, to remain in Manitoba and spend their money here, rather than travelling east or west. This is especially important as summer approaches.
- Extend vaccination hours until all vaccine supply on hand is depleted.
The only countries or provinces that have been successful in dealing with COVID-19 are the ones that established "bubbles." Manitoba may still have an opportunity to establish its own, right now. Let’s do it.
Bonnie Zimmer, Winnipeg
Canada must help other countries
Even in the midst of the third wave of COVID-19 in most parts of the Canada, we must ensure the poorest countries of the world get access to the vaccines as fast as we do. We will not be able to open up the world again until all people everywhere are protected.
One barrier to global economic recovery and vaccine equity is the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) facility. TRIPS laudably protects intellectual property in normal times; however, it fails in times of global emergency.
Canada must support efforts to temporarily waive the rights of large pharmaceutical companies — which have been supported by hundreds of millions of public dollars — to prevent manufacture of vaccines to supply poorer countries.
This can’t wait until we all get our jabs. Canada must act with integrity now.
Randy Rudolph, Calgary
Re: Done with fear and shame, and silent no more (April 17)
Thank you, Michelle Melanson, for your opinion piece. It made me uncomfortable, and very sad and ashamed.
I will keep an eye out for your mother as I walk around the streets of Beausejour. I would be very honoured to greet her. She sounds like a wonderful, hilarious and kind person.
Thank you for breaking your silence.
Carolyn Quinton, Beausejour
Take it to the streets
Re: Provincial law blocks city’s open streets encore (April 17)
I bicycle year-round from the corner of Main Street and Inkster Boulevard, along Scotia Street, and around Kildonan Park for exercise. I’ve seen first-hand the activity during Open Streets, and I have a message for Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler: pedestrians on the streets is a feature, not a bug.
At any given time, there were hundreds of people "in the road": parents walking alongside their small kids riding bikes with training wheels; parents biking with older kids talking and laughing; parents pushing strollers while older kids skate around them, teens walking and chatting — and everybody wearing masks. Moving between them were bicyclists, runners, walkers and roller bladers of all ages. All of these activities would be impossible if only bicyclists had access to the road.
Everybody was on the lookout for one another, and I never saw a collision. Not even a close call. When the occasional car strayed onto Scotia, the driver immediately recognized they were driving on a pedestrian mall and turned off at the next intersection.
Since provincial highway rules on Scotia are enforced by the Winnipeg Police Service, perhaps the mayor could simply order our police not to arrest any pedestrians.
David Selch, Winnipeg
Those who can’t teach ... govern
Re: No lessons learned when it comes to teachers (April 18)
Premier Brian Pallister frequently regales us with the depth of his understanding of the teaching profession. It’s because he was a classroom teacher, he says.
He so clearly, repeatedly and thoroughly misses the point about the value of teachers to everyone in our province, that I’m very eager to know the length of time for which Pallister actually was a teacher.
Lynn Silver, Winnipeg
Out of this world
Re: Room with a view (of Earth) (April 17)
In times of stress, a bit of daydreaming and fantasizing can be a soothing escape, but let’s not overdo it.
Is there really a need or a demand for space hotels? What purpose would they serve, other than to provide fleeting, not-so-cheap thrills? What about the environmental costs of just putting them up, never mind of the regular space traffic to keep them occupied, supplied and maintained? It’s not rocket science.
Dream a little if it makes you feel better, but then wake up and give your head a shake. It is not just a bad dream, but a reality, that our future is much grimmer now than ever before in human history. If the money being spent on getting away from it all was instead spent on fixing it all, we might have some hope for a sustainable future.
Mark Popkevich, Beausejour
A mentor to international students
Re: Lifelong volunteer has sights set on new centre (Jan. 16, 2013)
Thank you for this wonderful article on Barry Hammond, who I met while I was a student at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s.
He had an enormous influence on my life, and did many things for us "international students" at the U of M. He was our mentor, showed us how to navigate life’s challenges, how to convert adversity into opportunity and how to be an ideal citizen. I benefited so much, and wish to express my deep appreciation.
Also, I would be delighted to reconnect today, as in, to pay tribute to Barry Hammond’s impact on my life.
Winston Dookeran, Professor of Practice, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago