Investigate premier’s use of PI
Re: Pallister directed staff to hire PI on Kinew (July 30)
Two weeks ago, Manitoba Justice Minister Cameron Friesen requested an investigation into the conduct of lawyers affiliated with a non-profit organization whose president admitted hiring private investigators to spy on a judge.
I agree with Cameron. There should be an investigation into people who hire private investigators to spy on public servants.
Brian Spencler, Winnipeg
Report vax status of new cases
Re: Unvaccinated pockets weigh down struggle to reach herd immunity (July 29)
It might encourage the unvaccinated who are not legitimately waiting on the sidelines to become vaccinated if the media reports on a daily basis how the unvaccinated make up the large majority of new COVID-19 positives. For example, the message would be like: "30 new positive cases today, 29 were unvaccinated." Why can’t we have that statistic?
Larry Lee, Lac du Bonnet
Archbishop’s comments profound
Re: Archbishop asks for forgiveness after priest accuses residential school survivors of lying (July 29)
While disavowing comments from a priest, Archbishop Albert LeGatt said: "It’s not just an isolated case. It’s a mindset, you could even call it structural racism, a way of approaching Indigenous people in society that can be in all of us as non-Indigenous people."
His comments are profound. The statement emphasizes just how big a task it is to eliminate racism in Canada.
I’ve always found it strange that Indigenous people and culture are celebrated in many places I’ve visited, such as New Zealand and Hawaii, but quite the opposite in Canada, where the culture is just starting to be celebrated. Married to a Métis person, I continue to be shocked and disappointed at racist statements made in his presence by friends and family.
Eileen Kirton, Winnipeg
Premier need not apologize
Re: Apology is essential to reconciliation process (Editorial, July 28)
The Free Press editorial says Premier Brian Pallister made a "false statement" about the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people, but that is emphatically not true. Pallister’s muddled delivery aside, what he said warrants no apology.
He said the "people" who came to Canada came to build a better life, not to destroy. This is demonstrably true. The Métis nation, for example, was created out of the joint efforts of the local Indigenous people and the immigrant settlers. The early European traders generally worked with, not against, the first Canadians. The settlers who came later did so assuming that the land they were allotted was legitimately theirs to inhabit.
The fact the treaties were one-sided and short-sighted, and never fully honoured by the British and Canadian governments, says nothing whatsoever about the intentions of the individuals who immigrated to this country.
By way of full disclosure, I am an immigrant.
Francis Newman, Winnipeg
Raise restaurant pay
Re: Restaurants owners struggle to hire staff, compete with pandemic benefits (July 27)
I appreciate how restaurant owners must be frustrated with struggling to find employees because of wage subsidies. However, I’m not sure why any employee would jump at the opportunity to take up employment that doesn’t pay a liveable wage.
Daniel Mitchell, Winnipeg
Portage Avenue speedway
Re: Time to put a damper on cruise-night noise (Editorial, July 27)
I just don’t get it. Cars are speeding down Portage Avenue and, apparently, it’s not against the law as we have spectators enjoying the entertainment. It used to be only on weekends, but now it’s whenever they like. We have rules, but no one enforces them.
Carolyn Visca, Winnipeg
Ticket only unsafe cyclists
Re: Sidewalk cyclists face ticketing surge (July 28)
What are the conditions under which sidewalk cyclists are being ticketed? If those ticketed were creating a safety hazard for pedestrians, then I say throw the book at them. If they’re only trying to stay safe and they defer to pedestrians they encounter on a sidewalk, then I’d suggest the police leave them alone.
I’ve cycled to work for several years, and the reality is that cycling on many Winnipeg streets is simply unsafe. I’ve known several cyclists who tried to do it by the book and got injured by a careless or hostile motorist.
To those who want us to ride on Winnipeg roadways rather than a sidewalk, why don’t you try it in downtown Winnipeg? And be careful what you wish for: if every sidewalk cyclist takes to the roads instead, there will be gridlock as traffic slows to accommodate us.
Wayne Dyck, Winnipeg
Re: Sidewalk cyclists lack respect (Letter, July 29)
Kudos to Harry Finnigan for his excellent letter to the editor. I have had similar experiences when using the sidewalk along the south Osborne Street underpass and while walking the footpath paralleling Churchill Drive. It is no small irony that the same cyclists who have caused the closure of Churchill Drive to car traffic for "safety" reasons prefer to use the footpath and pass pedestrians at high speed with little or no warning. Meanwhile, sighting a cyclist on Churchill Drive is about as likely as spotting a golden eagle.
Tom Pearson, Winnipeg
Consultants don’t make decisions
Re: Concrete trumps trees (Letter, July 29)
It is disappointing to see that letter writer Paul Moist, as a long-time president of a major union, would claim that a consultant from St. Albert, Alta., made a decision to eliminate the former Winnipeg parks and recreation department so the city forester had to compete for budget dollars with the street renewal budget as part of the public works department. It is my understanding that consultants make recommendations to city council, and it is the council’s decision to reject or implement a consultant’s recommendation.
Walter Harder, Winnipeg
Wild night at Fort Garry
Re: The Fort Garry Hotel hearkens back to a more glamorous time (July 20)
As an addendum to Alison Gillmor’s well-crafted article about the storied history of Winnipeg’s Fort Garry Hotel, Free Press readers might be amused to know of an incident, perhaps not previously well publicized, that occurred during the 1940s, at a time when my father worked in the hotel’s concierge service.
One fateful evening, comedians and film stars Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who were known for their wild parties, grabbed a luxury armchair and tossed it out of their suite’s window, smashing it to pieces. Now, I won’t speculate as to what caused the guest fracas, but I know from my Dad, who was on shift that night, that large quantities of booze were involved.
In the end, the hotel management was rightly furious with the comedic legends for the room damage and, as far as I know, the dynamic duo was not welcome to ever again ring "the belle of Broadway."
Don Warkentin, Winnipeg