In his letter Parsing province's poverty, health (Feb. 19), Chris Buors misinterprets the point of my letter Poverty, poor health linked (Feb. 17).
All Aboard, Manitoba's poverty-reduction strategy, is not ineffective because public policy cannot reduce poverty and inequality; rather, it is ineffective because the policy is not goal-directed, not comprehensive enough and has not been backed with enough financial investment to make a difference.
As for Buors' suggestion that unencumbered wealth generation will trickle down and reduce poverty, the evidence is to the contrary. The fruits of economic growth have been received by the most affluent Canadians, with the incomes of the middle class and poor remaining stagnant.
Suicide bill could fizzle out
The media coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on assisted death is, for the most part, incomplete (No time to pass suicide bill: MP, Feb. 19).
The SCC made it clear that prohibitions on assisting the vulnerable and those who could or did not provide informed, express consent must remain. While we may allow some adults facing debilitating, incurable diseases a dignified end to their lives, our duty to care for and protect the most vulnerable members of our society remains.
Until the law is changed, someone meeting the criteria set out by the SCC can apply to the courts for an order granting permission to seek end-of-life assistance.
Parliament needs to deal with this issue quickly. We can't leave the matter adrift — too many are depending on us to get it right.
No love lost for Baird
Scott Taylor's Baird sees only white hats and black hats (Feb. 18) is essential reading for any Canadian who wishes to be informed about the Harper government's simple-minded foreign policy.
Taylor details the tragic role former foreign minister John Baird has played in the demise of Canada's foreign policy and international reputation as an intelligent, peace-loving country.
Unfortunately, Taylor neglects to make a strong connection between the government's irresponsible, simple-minded policies and the equally simple-minded policies on the environment, social policy, justice for aboriginal women and the economy, which Stephen Harper sees only in myopic oil-industry simplicity.
Thank you for publishing Scott Taylor's harsh yet nuanced assessment of John Baird's legacy in federal politics. It was needed.
Bridging divide takes tough talks
Teaching and practising kindness, respect and tolerance of others will go a long way to opening honest, truthful conversations between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in this city (Religious groups can help heal city's racial divide, Feb. 14).
It will be difficult, but something positive always happens within the tension of an honest conversation between people who respect each other.
Non-aboriginals must enter the conversation with a deep desire to first listen and learn.
The stories will be hard to hear, but need to be heard and acknowledged without the non-aboriginal person becoming defensive or attempting to offer solutions.
Healing the divide can only come out of a position of mutual trust and respect, which takes time to develop. Winnipeg Inner City Missions has developed a model where there is equal validity given to aboriginal and Christian spiritual teachings and practices. The journey to that place has not been easy and continues to evolve.
Solutions can be reached in an atmosphere of mutual respect, which enables honest, sometimes difficult conversations.
Rev. Dr. Margaret Mullin
Winnipeg Inner City Missions
Failing grade for groundhogs
I'm disappointed that our groundhogs, Manitoba Merv and Winnipeg Willow, failed to forecast at least six weeks without Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, who is now on the injured reserve (Perreault's long-term injury has ripple effect, Feb. 19).
Ditto for the frosty atmosphere between Mayor Brian Bowman and True North's Mark Chipman.
What is astonishing, however, is that the rodent prognosticators completely missed predicting the likelihood of another five years of Selinger, Ashton and Oswald.
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