Letters, May 17 – Winnipeg Free Press

Your call is important to us

Regarding: Bell MTS in the hot seat over landline complaints (May 13)

Andrew Parkinson of Bell MTS encourages customers with service issues to call them so they can help. If customers’ land lines are down, how are they supposed to do this?

Bell MTS is playing a kind of sick joke to its elderly and vulnerable customers who rely on their landlines for emergency and medical services.

Natalie Fondren-Gasc


For the love of peat

Re: Peat an efficient carbon sink (LettersMay 13)

I would like to thank Barry Henry for bringing attention to Manitoba’s peatlands, the unsung hero in the fight against global climate change.

Bogs, often called bogs or bogs, are a type of wetland. They serve us well by slowing the gas pedal on climate change, providing habitat for a wide range of wildlife, decreasing the risk of flooding and ensuring clean drinking water.

Bogs weigh way above their weight. They store nearly a third of the total carbon present in the world’s soils, but cover only 3% of the planet’s land surface. A fundamental part of the climate solution is to keep carbon in the ground and out of the atmosphere. As Canada owns 25% of the world’s peatlands, we have a huge opportunity to be a leader in the fight against global climate change.

Despite their value, the vast majority of peatlands in Canada are unprotected and many are logged or drained. Safeguarding these wetlands in their natural state should be an urgent priority for governments. This includes Manitoba, as we are carbon rich with many extensive networks of peatlands.

Most of Canada’s peatlands are on the ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples. Commendably, many Aboriginal nations in Manitoba are working to establish protected and conserved areas on their traditional lands, which cover tens of thousands of square kilometres.

I strongly encourage our provincial government to embrace the leadership of these Indigenous nations by providing the support they request and working with them to identify shared responsibilities.

Ron Thiessen

Executive director

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Manitoba Chapter

Reimbursement debate

Regarding: Conservatives on the defensive over rebates to the rich (May 13)

NDP Leader Wab Kinew is wrong again. Under commercial leases, tenants pay all property taxes and any refunds must be provided to the tenant. While Cadillac Fairview or any other commercial landlord may receive the (large) property tax refund check, they cannot keep that money, as it is returned to tenants under their leases.

Many of these tenants are not the wealthy multinationals Kinew would have you believe. Many tenants who will benefit from the property tax reduction are the local florist, family restaurant and local hair salon; all small businesses that are an integral part of the local community. Yes, some tenants are large national chains, but many of these businesses are owned by local franchisees, which have been particularly hard hit over the past two years.

These local small business owners and local franchisees employ people from our community and purchase goods and services from other local businesses. Reducing taxes for tenants who are local small businesses benefits the local economy.

Nelson Karpa


Stuttering has consequences

Regarding: Kinew sorry after accusations, he mocked minister (May 13)

I read with sadness and dismay the account of Wab Kinew’s “stuttering” performance during Question Period. Unknown to most people, stuttering is real and has real consequences for those who suffer from it.

I stuttered from an early age and it’s still there. My early years were tough, especially as a teenager. My speech impediment was perceived by some, including my teachers, as an intellectual deficit since I avoided answering questions in class to avoid the embarrassment of stuttering in front of my classmates.

Since speech therapy was not an option my parents could afford, I developed coping mechanisms, such as avoiding words that would trip me up, controlled breathing, and speaking cadence that allowed for unplanned pauses. Most people around me didn’t know I had a speech impediment…until they did.

Just when I thought I was safe, my ability to speak gave me away, like during a toast to the bride at a niece’s wedding or during a eulogy at a friend’s funeral.

I revealed something very personal in this letter. I hope Wab Kinew can show the same courage and offer a sincere apology for his callous and hurtful words, instead of a politically expedient apology.

Wally Barton


Harper a successful leader

Regarding: Thoughtless promise undermines Poilievre’s credibility (May 13)

I object to a statement in your editorial. In the last paragraph, you note that Pierre Poilievre is not a good candidate and that he “must be sent to the Conservative junkyard where the last three leaders of the party reside”.

The last three leaders are Erin O’Toole, Andrew Scheer and Stephen Harper. While arguably O’Toole and Scheer were scrapped by the party, Harper served as prime minister from 2006 to 2015. This should not be construed as scrapping. By this logic, John Turner, former Liberal Prime Minister, was also scrapped when he was defeated by Brian Mulroney.

the Free press has made anti-conservative diatribes his business. I can read your editorial board like a book.

Kurt Clyde


Health care more important

Regarding: Labor shortage is main problem, says Prime Minister (May 13)

Premier Heather Stefanson may well have been told time and time again that the “biggest problem” for Manitobans is the labor shortage.

However, that only begs the question of who she listened to and whether her conclusion is the result of the selective listening and skewed perception of a business-minded Conservative politician. Or worse, an insidious attempt to switch channels on what Manitobans really care about.

With all due respect to struggling business owners, labor shortages are not my number one problem. My biggest concern is the dire state of our health care system — a crisis that was created by this Conservative government.

Linda Mlodzinski


not amused

Re: Remembering Queen Vic (LettersMay 13)

As I sat down and had a cup of tea, I had to laugh a little at Diane R. Unger’s recollection of Queen Victoria’s “let’s leave a thought or two to this great queen”.

Victoria was in no way close to a “big” anything, but perhaps as a tyrant mother who on more than one occasion called her nine children “ugly”, “mean” and ” resembling frogs”. She also enjoyed beating her young son, Prince Leopold, who had hemophilia.

As the fireworks shoot towards the skies, let’s blast this idea that the previous and current version of the royal family is something to celebrate. They are an ugly piece of humanity, then and now, and should be sent to the moon.

Chris Beaudry

East of St. Paul

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