Right in the centre - Obvious solutions often ignored


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

number of events this past week have prompted a reaction in my mind. It seems strange to me that, as a society and with the governments we have in place, we can’t solve our problems much faster.

Let’s start with some simple problems. The City of Winnipeg has a Canada goose problem. People are being warned to stay away from the geese, especially when they are in super-protective mode, around the nesting and fledgling stages. Good advice. It is obvious that there are thousands more geese than there used to be. Geese love the relative peace, quiet and great food sources provided by city parks and the nearby grain farms provide even better food supplies.

Our food banks could use more good meat supplies, so it is obvious that a fall goose harvest would be a good idea. Maybe a spring egg harvest would be a good idea too, in the way the northern Indigenous people have done for centuries. Now those ideas are going to go over like a lead balloon with many folks, but reality has to set in at some point when real problems and logical solutions converge.

Another simple problem is the raging debate over plastics, especially one-time use plastics. The real problem isn’t one-time use plastics and it isn’t that Prime Minister Trudeau gets totally tongue tied when he has to answer any unscripted question. Mind you, his answer about plastic drinking bottles was pretty funny and shows how inept the man is without a script.

The problem is that coastal cities are dumping their crap in the ocean. You and I are not the problem. We don’t dump our picnic plates and plastic cutlery in the ocean. You and I didn’t send container loads of plastic bags and garbage to the Philippines. We did not! Somebody did and because there is no way of tracing where it all came from, you and I are going to pay for it. The irony of the container garbage debacle is they are going to incinerate it in a clean burn energy facility at Vancouver. Well d’uhh? Isn’t that what many of us have been advocating towards for years? Isn’t that what Evergreen Environmental, the jointly owned municipal waste facility at Minnedosa has been trying to get done?

Turning to more serious matters, my wife and I were out for dinner in Winnipeg last Friday to celebrate her birthday with family. On our way back to our hotel room, we passed a spot on Sherbrook Street where there was huge police presence. It was the scene of Winnipeg’s 22nd murder in 2019. Turns out that the accused had pleaded guilty to manslaughter about 10 years ago and reportedly served 18 months in jail. My question is, considering we don’t have capital punishment in Canada, why do people who kill other people ever get out of jail? If someone is found guilty of killing a person in a non-accidental fashion, they can stay in a prison forever in my view. Prison farms, prison factories, whatever, but in prison. Period.

I have the same view for sex offenders, especially repeat offenders. Why should we be subjected to news releases that openly state that such-and-such a person is being released from prison and is likely to re-offend? If they are likely to re-offend, they should be still in prison.

We have a wide range of problems, but we ignore the simplest of solutions.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer president of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.