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Letters, Jan. 10, 2013


We welcome readers’ comments on issues that have been covered in the Manitoba Co-operator. In most cases we cannot accept “open” letters or copies of letters which have been sent to several publications. Letters are subject to editing for length or taste. We suggest a maximum of about 300 words.

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)

Suzuki sees the ugly face of reality

Laura Rance uses her modest bully pulpit to rake David Suzuki over the coals for his supposed inflammatory speech at the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association (MCDA) convention (Manitoba Co-operator Dec. 20). She particularly condemned his attack on pesticides and the Harper government.

But Rance has a dog in this fight, particularly as regards to pesticides. Her livelihood depends, at least in part, on the advertising dollars of the companies that make these pesticides. She goes into a minor rhapsody over what the MCDA is doing to improve the environment, never admitting that their efforts are strictly palliative, not curative.

On my own farm, wild fruit — saskatoons, pin cherries, chokecherries — which, when I was a boy, could be picked by the multiple gallon, are for the most part, no more. Why? I suspect Roundup, but nobody is looking into it, so I don’t know.

With zero-till farming came even more pesticide use, to the point that poison-laced water from sprayers almost needs to be factored into annual rainfall figures.

From his vantage point as an old man, Suzuki is looking into the ugly face of reality and he is both scared and angry by what he sees.

The fact of the matter is, mankind is a greedy, inventively curious and aggressive race. Space, the moon, and now even the planets are becoming recipients of our propensity to produce garbage and pollution. In light of that, her closing sentence in the same week of Newtown, Connecticut, is nothing short of pious nonsense. If we must wait to make peace with the land until we make peace with each other, God help the land.

John Beckham


Editorial cartoon distasteful

Shame on you for allowing that very distasteful cartoon to pass over your desk to be published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator. Where is the humour?

On the same page, after reading your editorial, I felt like I had been lectured. You finish by saying, “we must first make peace with each other.” Sweep your own doorstep first.

By indulging in “Suzuki bashing” in the manner which you framed your opinion, you broke the peace with me. I was not there to hear Suzuki’s presentation, but you say he was an invited guest speaker, and as such had been given the mandate to call it the way he sees it. Yet you take issue with his statement that pesticides were “the dumbest thing ever invented.” In context, I presume he was referring to the environmental footprint. If so, I’m inclined to agree with him.

Consider the common denominator with pesticide, fungicide, insecticide, homicide, genocide. “Cide” is just a different way to spell “killer.”

Consider our Conservative prime minister’s opinion. Our wonder boy believes the economy is the only thing to focus on, certainly not the ecosystem. He just keeps on harping on the economy. What good will the perfect economy be to anyone after the environment has been destroyed?

May I sign off by borrowing your own expression? “Sigh.”

Robert Bryce

Austin, Man.



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