March 30, 2020

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Letters, March 13

COVID-19 concerns

It’s very nice that our province’s chief provincial public health officer is telling Manitobans that the best defence is to wash our hands "frequently." Unfortunately, as reported in the Winnipeg Free Press last summer, about one home out of 15 on Manitoba reserves has no running water, and on some reserves, there are no homes with clean water. None. Does Health Minister Cameron Friesen have any suggestions for their residents?

David Selch



Like Victorian-era upper classes, perhaps we should all wear gloves when shaking hands, touching public doorknobs, handrails, currency, debit machines, etc., to keep our hands inside gloves clean of the viruses possibly on public surfaces. We would learn to never touch our faces with the dirty outside of our gloves, and thus prevent that route of infection.

Any gloves — detergent washable, microwave sterilizable, or disposable — might aid us in preventing a local epidemic.

Grant Rigby



I would like the Free Press to do an article regarding coronavirus and the disgusting dirty transit buses.

Everywhere else, precautions and extra cleaning are being done because of this virus, yet you ride transit and the inside of the buses are never cleaned and who knows what germs are being spread. It looks like the cloth seats have not been washed in 20 years and are stained with who knows what.

The buses should be cleaned every night, not just because of this current virus, but because of viruses in general.

Christine Jacques



Pallister’s memory short

Re: NDP blocks budget; Premier calls Opposition tactics ‘fear on display’ (March 12)

Wasn’t Premier Brian Pallister a member of Parliament under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and didn’t Pallister support Harper in his proroguing of government in 2008 to avoid a coalition government that would have brought down the Conservative minority? Isn’t he guilty of everything he is accusing the Opposition of doing?

Brian Spencler



Ljungberg a good man

Re: Judge calls former TV host a con artist, sentences him to six months' house arrest (March 11)

I’m a member of the media myself. I work in radio. I feel your story about Jon Ljungberg was only partially informed, and does not tell the whole story.

Mr. Ljungberg is painted as a common criminal. I know Jon personally and have worked with him. He is a decent person with struggles, like many around us. He’s a good man trying to rebuild his life.

Jerry Flett



Non-profits crucial

Re: City budget planning cuts non-profits deep (March 11)

Those who have prepared the 2020 City of Winnipeg budget have demonstrated that they do not understand or value the health, social and economic role of the non-profit sector. The budget contains substantial cuts to organizations which provide social, recreational, educational, cultural and environmental services which are essential to the promotion of the health and well-being of all citizens of Winnipeg, and especially vulnerable groups.

Non-profits are also significant employers and purchasers of goods and services in the local economy.

These cuts must be understood in the context that these organizations have received either no increases or increases below inflation over the last number of years and that governments are the largest source of non-profit funds.

Non-profit organizations express the will and meet the needs of community because they are governed by community boards. Research has demonstrated that non-profit organizations are, on average, highly efficient, effective and innovative in service delivery. Because they are lodged in community they are the "canaries in the mine" in detecting changes in community needs, and allow our governments to get ahead of the game on crucial issues.

Sid Frankel

Faculty of Social Work

University of Manitoba


The city government seems to be taking direct aim at the citizens of Winnipeg in its attempts to balance the budget. Perhaps the solution is not in social services, the arts, transportation and other services essential to Winnipeggers. The politicians could look at the revenue side and determine where funds could be accessed.

The most direct route would be to renegotiate the sweetheart deals regarding assessments and taxes with True North. I am certain that the principals of True North, being of significant wealth and significant civic pride and commitment to Winnipeg, would be open to fair and just settlements that would see the burden of the financial situation shift from those who cannot afford it and require essential services to those who can afford it and can survive without the support of the city and citizens of Winnipeg.

Gordon Crook



Proposing a better budget

Re: Alternative budget offers integrated model for change (March 9)

It always surprises me that more attention is not given to the alternative budgets presented by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Lynne Fernandez’s article clearly outlines a budget that is doable and makes a lot more sense for the average family in Manitoba.

Our provincial government seems to think, time and time again, that austerity and eliminating debt are high priorities for Manitobans. This is not so. Education, health and equality are.

CCPA proposes tax increases for high income earners to pay for affordable housing, child welfare, increased funding for education and income equality.

Why is it that our elected officials can’t seriously consider a more equitable and humane budget? Next time an election rolls around, ask your candidates if they would run on fiscal policies that are based on the CCPA’s recommendations.

Rob Jacks



Weapon too dangerous

Re: Needful things (Letters, March 10)

The author of this letter suggests that speculation of harm by a new rifle offered by Wolverine Supplies is "not needed." It’s my belief that the fear of their WK180c Rapid Fire Rifle being used in violent acts should dominate the conversation.

The writer had responded to another letter from a writer in Indian Wells, Calif., who suggests "farmers and ranchers can get by without them." That gent is correct. This type of recreational rifle is not needed by hunters nor in competitive rifle range shooting. It is too dangerous for it to be available for legal use and we citizens should not be apathetic in this conversation.

Ron Berthelette



Bring back U-Pass

Re: Transit to cut U-Pass, reduce service on 14 routes (March 6)

Please restore the bus U-Pass. To save the planet, public transport must be the future.

Where better to prepare than to get university students accustomed to taking public transport? Start with the young.

I took the bus many years after my university days and did not buy a car till I was in my 30s. I learned early to take the bus and saved myself many thousands of dollars by doing so. I was also lowering my carbon footprint by not having a car. I am a senior now and do drive, but I still take the bus at times.

Encourage youth to take the bus. Restore the U-Pass.

Blake Taylor



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Updated on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 2:40 PM CDT: Adds headline

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