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Letters – for Jul. 7, 2011

Manitoba should be proud

Manitobans have a big reason to celebrate. On June 16, we became the first province in Canada to pass a life-saving law requiring public access to AEDs (automated external defibrillators).

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba (HSFM) congratulates the provincial government and all the parties involved for passing Bill 20, the Defibrillator Public Access Act, which allows for early access to defibrillation in a sudden cardiac arrest situation.

The foundation has been in full support of this act, which requires AEDs be installed and maintained in high-traffic public places such as schools, recreation centres, malls, airports and other places where people gather in large numbers.

Thanks to this new legislation, Manitobans will have a better chance of surviving a cardiac arrest. Currently, the chance of surviving cardiac arrest outside of hospital is a dismal five per cent, but CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival by as much as 75 per cent. For every minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by seven to 10 per cent. Every minute counts, which is why public access to AEDs is so necessary.

HSFM commends the government for its insightfulness when putting the new legislation together, requiring all devices be registered, maintained and display visible signage to ensure they are easily accessible in an emergency situation.

I cannot stress enough what wonderful news this is for Manitobans. The passing of this law is a huge milestone for Manitobans and Canadians alike, and something we should be very proud of as a province. Our success will pave the way for other provinces across Canada to introduce this lifesaving law.

Debbie Brown President and CEO Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba

Ritz is afraid

Everybody knows the Conservatives hate the wheat board. It starts with Stephen Harper and goes all of the way down the line to every Prairie MP who was elected in May. So it’s no surprise to hear they want to get rid of the single desk, and that they want to do it as soon as their friends in the grain industry will let them.

Still, it’s hard to stomach some of the comments that come out of Gerry Ritz’s mouth when he responds to those who won’t just stand by while the government steamrolls the board out of existence. All this added investment and innovation that he’s talking about when the single desk is gone – where’s it going to come from and who’s it going to benefit? I know buyers won’t be paying any more for our grain when there are 50,000 of us selling wheat and barley on our own instead of through the board.

And since when is it “excessive fear mongering” to want producers to have our say? Ritz is the one who’s afraid, afraid of the way grain producers would vote if we were asked a clear question on how we want our grain to be sold: on the open market or through the single desk. Any delays caused by a producer vote would do a lot less to damage the board’s “competitiveness” (as if Ritz really cared about that), than the Harper government’s pigheaded determination to have its way.

Gerald Nedjelski Kelvington, Sask.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)



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