Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/5/2020 (341 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Advocates for the common good
Re: Providers key to bridging digital divide (May 11)
It is inspiring to see Tom Simms maintaining a family tradition of advocating worthwhile matters for the common good.
When I went to a one-room public school (Rob Roy) in the 1940s north of Portage la Prairie, Alden Simms was an inspector of schools in that region. A visit to a school by a school inspector during those days always was a significant event. I very well recall one visit by inspector Simms when he told us that he thought the time had come when all Manitoba schools should be provided with indoor plumbing that replaced the outdoor facilities.
It is nice to see the grandson, Tom Simms, now making another case for improving the common good. The tradition of advocating for the common good is still wonderfully maintained. Thank you!
Peter H. Peters
Those in need
Re: Welfare doesn’t cover basic needs (Letters, May 11)
A big thank-you to Renée LeNeveu for her assessment of the provincial Employment and Income Assistance Program that provides inadequate financial help to Manitobans who have no other way to support themselves or their families.
It’s no wonder we see panhandlers risking their lives at so many downtown intersections (and not-so-downtown intersections). These guys and girls are in survival mode.
Soviet Union's sacrifices overlooked
Every year at springtime, the newspapers and TV pay tribute to the liberators of Europe from the Nazi Third Reich, focusing on the sacrifice of the Canadian and U.S. soldiers, but mentioning little or nothing about the enormous losses of the Soviet Union. It is time to show readers the official data from military historians.
The United Kingdom lost 400,000 civilians; the United States lost 425,000 military; Canada lost 40,000 military; the Soviet Union lost 14 million soldiers and 10 million civilians. In 1941 the Red Army confronted the most formidable military force in history: four million German soldiers, 1,500 tanks, 1,600 airplanes and thousands of heavy cannons.
The figures speak for themselves. Without the Soviet Union’s sacrifice, it is possible that the Nazis would have been the victorious despots of the world.
Use mental health terms with care
Re: Story of schizophrenic boys brilliantly told (May 9)
The book reviewer, writing about Robert Kolker’s Hidden Valley Road, uses terminology commonly seen and heard in the media when referencing schizophrenia. In my experience this is almost always unintentional; however, this does provide an opportunity to reflect on certain words, their meaning and the message they send.
"Madness" used as a descriptor of schizophrenia appears several times. This word is not and has not been used in the mental health community for many years. It is emotionally laden and carries with it a sense of chaos, fear and hopelessness. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder, like many other brain disorders that have been identified (but are much less likely to be stigmatized).
Individuals with this illness are not "schizophrenics," they are people with schizophrenia. This is a dehumanizing term, and the first step toward "othering." While this might seem to some to be an exercise in political correctness, I would say this: words have meaning. Language is important.
Eyes on the finish line
Re: Manitobans are hitting the pandemic "wall" (May 11)
For many of us, navigating this pandemic is, increasingly, mentally and physically exhausting. We are now at that point in the marathon where participants are often limping, spinning or falling to the side.
As a health-oriented individual, these are a few of my thoughts as I continue to stay relatively positive, "putting one foot in front of the other." A structured daily routine, including adequate rest, physical activity and good nutrition, has been helpful. At this time, we have had a number of our Winnipeg streets designated for "active living," cycling and walking. Would this be something that we could continue in the future, simply by making these streets, along with those with schools and community centres, 30 km/h zones?
On a final note, health, education and socio-economic status are all strongly correlated. School closures have heightened awareness of the challenges with internet access in our province. Unfortunately, far too many of our households are not connected. Going forward with our provincial education review, this needs to be a high priority for all Manitobans. In conclusion, I wish all of you the very best as we move toward the finish line.
Government spending without scrutiny
Parliament is not sitting. Debate has been basically cancelled. Scrutiny and accountability that exist in a democracy are not present during this period.
The spending to pay cash to owners of assault-style firearms was included in a stimulus bill without Parliament being aware or debating it. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is granting $200 million for this program, but stats show there are 250,000 rifles, costing approximately $1,500 each. It is also known that many come in from U.S. illegally. This expenditure is not part of fighting COVID-19.
Trudeau’s news briefings give information on spending, but there has not been a financial report on where Canada’s debt stands. In January, the Financial Post stated that weak economic growth and high debt load make Canada vulnerable to a global downturn. The total credit as a percentage of GDP was more than 300 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, long before this virus hit. More funds have been borrowed each year to service the debt. Trudeau’s reign, like his father’s, has been marked by spending with no thought given to growing our economy to offset spending.
It’s imperative for Parliament to resume and demand a financial report of where Canada stands. It’s time for the economy to open up. There may be a second wave of this virus, but nations can’t shut down indefinitely waiting for a vaccine or we won’t have a country. We won’t be able to dig ourselves out of the deep hole.
Thank you, seniors
I want to shout out and applaud all the residents of seniors homes, and all older people. Through these weeks of solitude and discipline, these wonderful people have had to agree with the stricter measures that have been asked of them. There is only so much of colouring and sudoku that anyone can do.
They are great. Some of them have known bad or worrying news, for themselves, or their family, and have diligently accepted their own self-isolation.
I offer them my gratitude and thanks.