Hours before the memorial for those lost on flight PS752 was set to begin, an extreme cold warning was issued in Edmonton. I knew the centre would be at capacity anyway. A -35 wind chill cannot stop the warmest people on earth from showing up to stand together.
Thousands of us packed the auditorium to hear stories of people any one of us could have been sharing. Friends who loved each other so much, they wondered about moving into homes together. Trying to share in a Canadian Thanksgiving by making turkey — miscalculating the cooking time and having dinner at 1 a.m., an experience shared at my own home. Finding family in strangers who would become both your professors and your home away from home. So many stories filled with love and life. So much heartbreak.
As I sat there wondering how many people does it take before we pay attention to the kind of world we are creating, Don Iveson found the words I was reaching for — “each life matters.”
Huddle together and stay warm, Edmonton; it’s going to be cold for a little while.
Aman Chahal, Edmonton
Ottawa residents perished too
I commend the mayor on his beautifully worded address to the country regarding the tragic air crash in Tehran. He acknowledged many from far-flung places who lost family but omitted those from Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
Irene Diamond, Ottawa
Insensitive to hike seniors’ ETS passes
It is insensitive and ill-advised on the part of the city to increase the cost of a senior monthly pass from $15.50 to $34 during the cold winter months, effective Feb. 1.
Nowhere in Canada is senior transit fare this high. It is excessive and will surely be counterproductive. Most seniors will probably quit on ETS and just decide to drive. ETS ridership and revenue will go down with it. More cars on icy roads and poor visibility will result in more accidents, fatalities, stalled cars, pollution, et cetera.
Public transit is an essential service. The social benefits of lower transit fares are compelling. Fares should instead be lowered for everybody. I hope the city heeds the warning signs and stops this hasty increase to senior fares.
Nic Narayanan, Edmonton
Rethink transit-pass increases
The recent increase in monthly and annual seniors’ bus passes is most unfair and thoughtless. Monthly passes are more than doubled, while the senior annual rate goes from $136.50 to $374, an increase of a ridiculous 274 per cent. That is completely unheard of in any increase for anything. Not only that, but the cut-off income is $28,513. Those under that income get free transit, which is fine, but it doesn’t help those with slightly more income that that.
Many seniors are barely above that cut-off figure, including myself. Maybe an increase is needed, but not 274 per cent. In addition, for those seniors over the cut-off income, perhaps a staggered increase, depending on one’s income would make more sense, so that everyone over $28,513 is not paying the same rate. In other words, those at $30,000 are not paying the same rate as seniors over $50,000.
Think it over and make the change. Otherwise, civic politicians cannot count on my support during the next civic election, or that of most seniors.
Robert Price, Edmonton
Refs bungled Oilers-Flames game
Matthew Tkachuk got what he deserved from Kassian. Any hockey player who charges an opponent who is playing the puck and hits him with a shoulder to the head deserves the thrashing that the Flames’ No. 19 received.
The refs blew the call. Tkachuk should have received a penalty for a “head-shot” hit and an intent to injure. Zack Kassian should have received a five-minute major for fighting.
Al Barnhill, Lethbridge
Future doctors plan to leave Alberta
Have you ever been sick? When you feel sick, you hope for a good doctor. I am now hearing many residents (future doctors) say they will not set up practice in Alberta.
This is because Mr. Kenney plans to throw out deals that have already been negotiated. Even Captain Jack Sparrow knows to honour a contract. Mr. Kenney plans to pay rural doctors half as much. Yet he expects them to continue on with debt from school, overhead, and no benefits or pension.
Of course, they will leave to work somewhere else!
Landon Berger, MD, Edmonton
Update training for assisted death
End of life is a consideration, about which, many human beings are in a continual state of denial.
It is inevitable, and one should be permitted to leave this earthly plane in a peaceful and non-suffering process.
There are unfortunately many in opposition to this option. Numbered among these are some regular people, politicians, physicians and the clergy.
Everyone, of course, is entitled to their opinion for one reason or another. However, politicians and physicians have tremendous power and influence in our society and should apply these wisely.
At last report, 69 per cent of Canadians support Dying with Dignity and would like to have more lenient access enabled. Is the will of the people being ignored?
Politicians, especially leaders, should not let their personal opinions override the will of the people. Similarly, medical training should be updated to include Dying with Dignity procedures and included as a part of upgrading refresher courses. Physicians like the saying, “do no harm.” However, is it not more harmful to permit ongoing patient suffering than to grant their wish of a dignified and peaceful exit?
Edward S. Redshaw, Edmonton
Trump acted rashly again
Yet again, Trump has stirred up a bee’s nest. Not only has he almost started World War Three, but he has no idea about all the ramifications these rash, idiotic urges of his depleting manhood are causing.
By taking out a top Iranian general, and not alerting his own congress, never mind giving his own troops and those of America’s allies fair notice, he acted like a true dictator.
Using only his immediate cronies close to his power base, he unleashed what he may have thought of as a super strike for America, but doesn’t he yet realize, that as the world’s No. 1 power, Americans must use this awesome power with the greatest of care, and as judiciously as possible in this world of high tensions and equally high nuclear power.
I’m not afraid of Putin, Kim or Xi; I am afraid of my petulant, pouting, and proverbial power-seeking neighbour to the south. When will Americans realize that a ticking time bomb lives in their White House? Do they need a child to tell them that their president is not wearing any clothes?
G.A. Teske, Sherwood Park
Keep nuclear weapons out of Iran
In light of the recent admittance of the Iranian government that flight 752 was indeed shot down, albeit accidentally, let’s make sure that this regime doesn’t get the capability of nuclear weapons.
God only knows what blunders they may inflict upon the globe if they have the capability with weapons of mass destruction.
Alex Ree, Edmonton
Article captured tragic losses
Often I will start reading an article and pass on to something else. While reading this article, I was transported by each comment he made regarding death and loss of a loved one. His words touched my heart and soul from beginning to end.
Other articles will say how many died and end there. He managed to put into words the loss of a person and how it affected so many in different ways. I want to thank Mr. Warnica for the words he put on paper which made one feel the loss of each and every person lost in this horrific plane crash.
Suzanne Brown, Edmonton
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