U.S. affects Canada on COVID-19
The U.S. is ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19. It has no national, integrated, interconnected public health service. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is at best a data-gathering operation, with no capability of delivery services. By its own admission, it is currently ill-equipped to gather the intelligence needed today.
The U.S. health system is a business, not a service. Unless there is a business that appeals to health insurance providers, very little will be done to combat COVID-19 and the uninsured will suffer, as always.
U.S. President Donald Trump has no policy levers in this matter, so he has closed U.S. borders to many travellers from Europe, a move best described as locking the door after the murderer has entered the house. Canada will become the route of choice for travel to Europe, as Vancouver has become a way station for travellers between China and the U.S.
Currently, 300,000 people cross the Canada-U.S. border daily. As the pool of COVID-19 carriers in the U.S. rises, those crossing the border present a rising risk to the health and well-being of Canadians that will burden our health-care system.
We cannot afford that scenario. It is time to close the U.S. border.
This is to all the stock market investors: you people are flat-out crazy. All you are doing is giving the extremely wealthy an excellent buying opportunity while pensioners and working people (that would be many of you) are losing their savings.
All financial institutions must be barred from taking advantage of people losing income. Interest paid and earned, mortgage payments, loans must be held in abeyance. People should not lose their homes and businesses through no fault of their own.
The virus is a relatively short-term situation. Everybody still needs to live. All the same services that were required four weeks ago are still needed. Only discretionary spending is affected. There is no logical reason to sell off.
The public has been warned not to attend large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a city such as Winnipeg, with an approximate population of 800,000, avoiding crowds can be difficult. Ask anyone who rides Winnipeg Transit at rush hour.
My only advice for those who wish to avoid crowds is that you attend meetings of the Manitoba Liberal Party.
Blocking Pallister omnibus needed
Re: NDP obstructionism cheap political theatre (March 11)
In his previous employment, columnist Tom Brodbeck was allowed to freely express his political leanings. However, as he’s now an employee of the fair-minded Free Press, I assumed the editor would make certain his comments would encompass both sides of the argument.
To call NDP leader Wab Kinew’s attempt to block the mass introduction of bills before Premier Brian Pallister’s budget "obstructionism" is misleading.
In a time of world crisis, Pallister should have presented the budget on its own, and saved his bundle of unrelated bills for a later date for consideration. However Pallister walks, or stumbles, to his own beat.
Keep U-Pass, it works well
Cancelling U-Pass a dead-end decision (March 11)
Thanks for your excellent editorial on the U-Pass issue.
Student ridership is up. The rapid-transit path is about to open all the way to the University of Manitoba. And the city proposes to cut the U-Pass? Does it hate success?
I’m dumbfounded, yet again, by the "left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing" mentality these days on Winnipeg city council. The latest decision, to consider cancelling the U-Pass for U of M students instead of making it more widely accessible to students of other colleges and universities, comes four months after the city completed its Southwest Rapid Transit corridor for half a billion dollars — yes, $500,000,000 — to where; oh yeah, the University of Manitoba.
Mayor Brian Bowman and his council built the rapid-transit line to the U of M to increase ridership, which is up 25 per cent on that route, and now city council may cancel the program that resulted in that increased ridership. It makes no sense.
This ill-advised decision comes at the same time as council considers allowing development of high-rise residences around the airport that could potentially result in our international airport losing business when it is forced to cease its 24/7 operation due to residents who complain about night noise from the airport, something that provides Winnipeg with an operating advantage not enjoyed by other cities.
Come on, councillors. Consider all facts and take into account the wider consequences of your decisions.
Petroleum industry important
Re: "Recovering" Albertan feels the need to apologize (March 11)
I consider Peter Denton to be a hypocrite.
First, he works in a industry that uses resource-based materials to print his articles.
Second, he writes in most of his articles about his dislike of oil pipelines, but a huge number of products consumed by protesters such as Denton are made with the help of petroleum products.
He claims oil and gas are warming the planet. Hate to break it to you, Pete, but planet Earth has been warming and cooling off and on for about a billion years.
I guess it is OK for protesters such as Denton to feel that by blocking rail lines and transportation hubs in this country, they are doing their part to control climate change. But they are taking away Canadian citizens’ rights to make a living, without offering suggestions for alternative ways the governments in this country can provide such services as health care, jobs and housing for all.
E-learning can aid rural students
Re: E-learning not a cost-cutting tool (March 11)
As a clinical reading and learning specialist and lifetime educator, I strongly support the province’s plans to steer our education system toward increased e-learning. For decades, rural and northern schools have had insufficient certified teachers, particularly in specialist areas such as math and science. High-speed internet and computer access would make it possible for students to access a more well-rounded education.
E-learning courses can be highly effective. Although scores may be lower than in the regular classroom, with appropriate educator support, e-learning allows students to get a basic knowledge of a subject area so they could pursue it as desired. Students are not required to be in a typical classroom, saving hours of daily travel and transportation costs. There is flexibility of location and time for studying. When requested, an educator is available for live online communication support.
Academic success requires a variety of educational interventions and it is time for a change.