Stella’s should rethink union
Re: Stella’s Sherbrook staff go on strike after negotiations break down (Sept. 22)
I find it hard to sympathize when the union is holding out for a salary increase and says the issue is "working conditions." Living nearby and going there often before the pandemic, I failed to notice oppressive working conditions for staff. They did not wear sexist uniforms and the staff acted happy and congenial.
These young people may not realize the important role that location has played in anchoring a business revival on Sherbrook. I have lived here for 30 years and seen the businesses pull out over the years. Now they are returning.
This restaurant and bakery are open late and attract customers from other parts of the city. I love the original menu and I don’t think this business deserves to be harassed by labour unions.
My two daughters both worked as servers at various places around Winnipeg, so we know how bad things can be. It was a mistake to unionize this location and I hope the staff will rethink their support for the union.
Ruth Swan, Winnipeg
My first thought is that businesses are having a hard enough time during COVID-19 to get customers to come back, especially when they must close some tables for social distancing.
I hate to see employers who have worked hard to establish their business, and who have thrown all their time and finances into it, be dictated to by unions. Staff should not be dictating to the owners, as long as the employees are being paid what they signed up for, with shifts fairly distributed and employees treated with respect.
Canada needs businesses to succeed, not shut down.
Colleen Watkins, Winnipeg
Mental-health insights valued
Re: Call of despair to Suicide Help Line saved my life (Sept. 10)
Shannon Sampert is such a courageous woman. She was open and honest about her mental-health issue and has shared with the world her pain and suffering. She did not have to do this.
As a well-known media person, she has shown that mental-health issues can affect anyone, regardless of their station in life. I think her article was a tremendous effort to decrease the stigma of mental health, which unfortunately still exists.
Ms. Sampert, we are living in tough times. Continue to see the "Shannon-whisperer." Be well and stay safe.
Liz Cronk, Winnipeg
Terry Fox museum warranted
Re: A strange reluctance to honour a hero (Sept. 19)
Carl DeGurse’s article is spot-on. Winnipeg doesn’t celebrate its native son and Canadian hero, Terry Fox, the way it should. But neither does Canada.
There’s no permanent Terry Fox museum in the country, and there should be. And, why shouldn’t that museum be built right here in Winnipeg, where Terry was born and spent the first eight years of his life?
This is something I’ve been thinking about for years. Before Assiniboine Park was managed by the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, I sat on the board of the Zoological Society of Manitoba, an organization that sought to improve our zoo. Our meetings were always at the zoo. Afterwards, I’d often walk around the park and I always thought it would be the perfect place to build the Terry Fox museum.
As I envision it, the museum would tell Terry’s inspiring story through a series of interactive elements and the display of artifacts from the 1980 Marathon of Hope. Of course, it would also explore Terry’s legacy, including the annual run that now takes place around the world.
It’s long past time to recognize this milestone in Canadian history by building a place to honour and remember this incredibly courageous and determined Canadian.
Sean Petty, Winnipeg
Thanks to Carl DeGurse for the piece on a true Canadian, if not international, hero. I am one of two current trustees who were on the board then; I made the motion to rename Wayoata School after Terry Fox, where he was a student for three years, and the late Mary Andree seconded my motion.
Funny (not): more than a dozen schools in Canada are named after Terry Fox, and yet he never attended most of them.
I emailed with Darrell Fox afterwards. I was devastated a majority voted against the name change. Even today it hurts.
Peter Kotyk, trustee, River East Transcona School Division
Invitation for health minister
I attempted to visit three Dynacare locations, only to find two closed and no posted notices to direct patients elsewhere. When I got to the last one, standing in line was a 90-year-old walking with two canes, and another with a walker, waiting outside with me and eight others in a cold September wind.
Seniors and people with health conditions have been badly overlooked when decisions were made to close labs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not acceptable for anyone whose health or physical condition is frail. In winter, will seniors be forced to stand out in the cold?
The government knows how to close all the labs, but not how to take care of the public. Dynacare should be fired and replaced, as they’ve had lots to time to make humane corrections.
I would like Minister of Health Cameron Friesen to join me in the outside lineup when I go back in two weeks.
Jan Wold, Winnipeg
Rental units abound
Re: Pandemic puts brakes on new construction (Sept. 22)
It is true that condo developments have slowed and apartment (multi-family) developments have increased.
In my estimation, there are more than 10,000 vacant rental units in Winnipeg. There are well over 1,000 new rentals being constructed every year in our city, and I wonder why.
These new apartments are expensive and, with the glut of vacant units and little immigration into Winnipeg, they are offering incentives such as one month free as well as a $500 gift card.
What are these developers trying to prove when the demand is not there? Vacancy rate in Winnipeg was 0.8 per cent in 2010 and 3.0 per cent in 2019, according to CMHC.
The only saving grace is the low commercial lending rate.
Michael J. Mark, Winnipeg
Time for mandatory masks
Re: Winnipeg heading in ‘wrong direction’: top doc (Sept. 22)
I am at a loss to understand why the province, while recognizing the positive-test numbers are going up in Winnipeg, is not implementing measures to protect its citizens. I am specifically referring to mandating mask use.
This isn’t a complicated issue. When we wear masks, we protect other people. Why would we wait to impose restrictions until such time as our health-care system becomes overwhelmed? Why would we risk the lives of Manitobans?
Lara London, Winnipeg
Re: Jets captain fires back at his Twitter critics (Sept. 21)
Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler, as a concerned citizen of Winnipeg, has made it known that he favours mandatory wearing of masks in light of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases.
Wheeler has demonstrated commendable leadership for his teammates but today, I commend him as a thoughtful and principled person off the ice.
In reality, mandatory masks are a small sacrifice to make for keeping each other safe and, in so doing, prevent the further crippling of our economy. Thank you, Blake, for taking the risk and expressing what many of us are feeling.
James Penner, Ste. Anne