Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Mar 19 2015, Page 10

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - March 19, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A12 OUR VIEW œ YOUR SAY WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2015 Freedom of Trade Liberty of Religion Equality of Civil Rights A 10 PERSPECTIVES AND POLITICS EDITOR: Shannon Sampert 204- 697- 7269 shannon. sampert@ freepress. mb. ca winnipegfreepress. com EDITORIAL LETTERS FP COMMENTS TWITTER VOL 143 NO 127 Winnipeg Free Press est 1872 / Winnipeg Tribune est 1890 2015 Winnipeg Free Press, a division of FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership. Published seven days a week at 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 3B6, PH: 204- 697- 7000 Publisher / BOB COX Editor / PAUL SAMYN Associate Editor Engagement / JULIE CARL Associate Editor Enterprise / SCOTT GIBBONS Associate Editor Production / STEVE PONA Associate Editor Digital News / WENDY SAWATZKY Night Editor / STACEY THIDRICKSON Director Photo and Multimedia / MICHAEL APORIUS W What’s your take? The Free Press wants to hear from you. Email: letters@ freepress. mb. ca Post: Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6 Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Follow us on Twitter @ WFPEditorials For a how- to video on writing letters, visit winnipegfreepress. com Funeral coverage disrespectful The service that was held to celebrate Kelsey Brewster’s life on March 14 was a public event, intended for people who wished to gather together to show their support and love for the Brewster family ( Re: Young Kelsey mourned, buried , March 15). The service was, as all funerals are, a place for a family and a community to come together, ease the pain of their grief through the sharing of memories, and to say goodbye to someone they love. Your staff was not in attendance for any of those reasons — they attended solely to get a story. And the story they got was not theirs to tell. The family’s wishes for the interment service at Greenwood Cemetery to be private were clearly expressed in Kelsey’s obituary, published in the Winnipeg Free Press on March 13. For a photographer to intrude on such an intimate family moment is distasteful — and for you to include that photo in a publication is reprehensible. It is our hope that the next time a similar situation arises, you will consider the consequences before increasing the immeasurable pain a grieving family is already suffering. KAREN LETTS Member and public affairs, Manitoba Funeral Service Association New NDP delegates disappointed As a first- time delegate at the NDP convention, I received a huge education in party politics ( NDP looks backwards with Selinger win , March 17). I went with hope for a vision of real change; I left disappointed with what can only be described as bully politics. In Selinger had to step on toes ( March 17), Kelly Gorkoff got one thing right — both sides made their point. And the “ steel- toed boots” sure taught their punitive lesson. The only reason Greg Selinger faced this test was not about stepping on toes, it was about choosing to use boots instead of ears. KAREN TOOLE Winnipeg ¥ As a first- time NDP convention delegate and someone new to politics, maybe I’m missing something. I believed Premier Selinger would focus on reconciliation and bringing everyone back together after the convention — a convention where two- thirds of members voted against him. Instead, we’ve seen vindictive, bitter actions from him that are making things worse, not uniting us: Oswald supporters fired= and MLAs excluded from caucus. Where is the olive branch Selinger promised? JENNIFER FRIESEN Winnipeg Details on Dalnavert deal Contrary to Bill Redekop’s article, the agreement between the Manitoba Historical Society ( MHS) and the Friends of Dalnavert Museum was not “ tough to swallow” for the MHS ( Mothballed museum saved , March 18). The MHS always wanted to do as much as we could to get the Friends off to a good start, so we decided to sell the house and property to them for $ 1. There is also a trust fund, set up in the 1990s by donors, as an endowment for Dalnavert. We realized that like the house itself, the MHS held these funds in trust, and that the money was part of the package. So we agreed to transfer most of the trust fund to the Friends as well. We will keep about 10 per cent of the fund, which will help pay off our remaining Dalnavert bills. It will also allow us to start new heritage projects that have been on hold while the Dalnavert House issue was being settled. The MHS is proud of Dalnavert House — we feel privileged to have had the responsibility for this heritage jewel for over 40 years and are happy to contribute substantial resources toward its future. There were no dissenting votes when the agreement was voted on at our council meeting Tuesday night. HARRY DUCKWORTH President, Manitoba Historical Society Selinger buying seniors’ votes Doubling the tax credit for seniors should only be seen as yet another ploy by the Selinger government to buy votes ( NDP has budget goody for seniors , March 18). After ruthlessly taxing everything and everyone with a vengeance, as well as borrowing on future generations, they now start to create an illusion they will give tax breaks to groups who have supported them in the past. It’s as transparent as it gets. JACK SCOTT Winnipeg ¥ As a senior, I appreciate the $ 235 school tax rebate. Now, if they would just reduce the lease fee on my Whiteshell cottage, which has nearly doubled in two years. Any answers for that, Premier Selinger? TOM JOHNSTONE Winnipeg Tory MP Larry Miller sorry Larry Miller and the more outrageous CPC MPs are the political rodeo clowns. Their job is to distract the bull and entertain the kids. @ stephenlautens The one good thing to come out of this Larry Miller scandal is I now know who my racist Facebook friends are. @ pippinpatinkin Good on MP Larry Miller for speaking out against wearing the niqab during citizenship tests. I actually agree with a Conservative for once. @ aaron_ smail Starting to feel bad for Larry Miller — I figured Liberal elites could milk an entire week of “ outrage” from him... not just one 24- hour news cycle. @ Polkameister For more on the declining support for Bill C- 51, let’s turn to Larry Miller again, please. @ mjblair Stephen Harper has not condemned Larry Miller’s comments — his silence is deafening. This is how the CPC think; Miller just said it out loud. @ PatOndabak Potholes aplenty Re: Bumps in the road popping up daily ( March 18). We need to come up with a new term. Pothole doesn’t adequately describe the disintegrating pavement dotted with echoing chasms that threatens my vehicle’s life every single day. — LuckyBucky ¥ It’s a war zone out there. Crumbling, buckling pavement everywhere. Every year I keep saying I’ve never seen it this bad. But hey, the province is nice enough to build a $ 150- million bypass near Headingley, while spending next to nothing in Winnipeg. — Gordo ¥ @ Gordo: The province has other obligations than just Winnipeg. — 46444601 ¥ The crews should be out 24/ 7 fixing any pothole they see. And maybe find a different solution to fixing them, as what they are doing now does not seem to work. — 23615082 ¥ All of St. James Street in the Polo Park area needs to be fixed. — 1.21gigawatts?! ¥ How about fixing Roblin Boulevard in front of the new Assiniboine Park Zoo entrance? It’s horrific and an embarrassment. — 43894271 ¥ Spring in Winnipeg... hang on to your water bottles. — no sense City picks new CAO Re: 30- year bureaucrat recommended as Winnipeg’s new CAO ( March 18). This is an absolutely fabulous choice. Congratulations to all those involved in making the selection. Good luck to Doug with the challenges he will be facing. — perogy1 ¥ Just what we need — another politician. We need someone who has business sense and not the NDP kind of spend, spend, spend. Look at what McNeil has been doing, or not doing, lately regarding the 2011 flood, and what a fiasco that was and continues to be. — 23708282 ¥ @ 23708282: Deputy ministers are public servants, not politicians. — Tamaro ¥ He is also an engineer by training. Pretty sensible people, in my experience. — Maudoug ¥ “ McNeil has a tough task ahead of him. Officially, he succeeds Phil Sheegl... ” Tough task? I don’t think so. This might be the easiest gig on the planet right now. Improving on the job Sheegl did? How can he not be better than Sheegl? — Larry Bud Melman T HERE’S no easier way to start a fist fight than to insult your neighbour’s religion. Thus it has always been and forever shall. A relatively new conflict, however, pits organized religion against secular values, particularly as it affects schools. It may never be resolved, but in Manitoba, a compromise was achieved when the public school system was declared non- sectarian, with provisions that allowed for religious education under certain circumstances. The Lord’s Prayer was removed from the morning announcement and moved to a separate room in schools if enough parents signed a petition for prayers or religious instruction. It was a reasonable approach that seemed to satisfy all sides in the debate. It recognizes religious education in a diverse, multicultural society belongs in the home or church, while accommodating parents who want religion to be part of their children’s daily school life. Now, a Winnipeg school trustee wants the province to amend the Public Schools Act so school boards have the final say on whether religious groups should be allowed to offer their wares in the school system, even if enough parents are demanding it. Trustee Lisa Naylor says she is concerned “ the act has the potential to put children and parents in a position to be coerced into religious instruction they may not really want or even fully understand.” Ms. Naylor said local boards are in the best position to judge whether a religious program is appropriate. The spark for her uproar was a petition by the Child Evangelism Foundation ( CEF) to offer prayers and religious instruction in one Winnipeg school outside regular hours, either in the morning or at lunchtime. The request has been held up because the petition may not have been properly documented, which at least one other trustee has alleged is just a stalling tactic and a denial of religious freedom. Ms. Naylor is concerned the CEF has supported anti- homosexual causes in the past. In fact, the group says it has never preached on this subject, nor provided support to anyone who does. About one- third of the students in the Hanover School Division, which has a large Mennonite population, take religious instruction in school from the CEF. A spokesman said there have been no conflicts or complaints about the nature of the instruction. Ms. Naylor is correct in opposing any organization that might preach doctrines that are in direct conflict with human rights law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and provincial anti- bullying legislation. In such cases, secular values and their legal foundations outweigh freedom of religion. Provincial legislation should make this clearer. The rookie trustee, however, has condemned the CEF without conducting enough research or even hearing from the group. That is hardly due process, and might itself be a form of bullying. Her rush to judgment is also an example of why elected officials should not be allowed to play Solomon on questions of provincial law as it affects the rights of parents to petition for religious instruction. Ms. Naylor says she opposes any religious role in schools, but most parents have already decided against religious education for their kids in public schools. If not, schools would be full of religion. Even mainstream churches have generally abandoned public schools, leaving the field open to evangelical groups that believe it is their duty to spread the gospel. Some parents, however, want their children to say the Lord’s Prayer or listen to a Bible story at school. There’s no harm in that, providing it doesn’t intrude on other rights, or lead to fist fights in the schoolyard. The debate over the role of religion in public schools is as old as Manitoba, but the current legislation strikes a delicate balance that respects the diversity of values in the province. Leave well enough alone. Is religion in the schools unholy? A_ 12_ Mar- 19- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A12 3/ 18/ 15 8: 17: 59 PM

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