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I have been reading the recent letters complaining about Robert Tarry with utter disbelief! I can't believe how uptight some of your readers are. I moved to Calgary in September and began reading your publication shortly thereafter. I found Tarry's movie reviews to be witty and insightful. In fact, I don't even really consider myself a movie enthusiast, but I read his reviews faithfully every week because more often than not they make me laugh out loud. I knew something was suspicious when I had not heard anything negative about Evita - when I read Tarry's review of it, my suspicions were confirmed. If people are getting so bent out of shape about Tarry's reviews, perhaps they should refrain from reading them. I, on the other hand, look forward to them.
P.S. I have never met Tarry, I am not Tarry, and I couldn't pick him out in a police lineup.
(Editor's note: FFWD would like to confirm that a previous letter from reader Chris Stewart in defence of Tarry was written by Chris Stewart, not Tarry as suggested by a subsequent letter. As far as we know, Stewart has never met Tarry and couldn't pick him out in a police lineup either.)
The reason I moved to this city was because of the soul - perhaps hidden and awkward - but present. Your article, Mr. Cook, surprised me at the subject matter. I am sorry, but I feel sorry for you if you feel a city's soul is judged by the amount of dogs. Sure, other cities, the greats as you mentioned, have people with dogs, little ones, big ones, (usually in little booties and pink ribbons being carried by ladies' bundled in fur coats). Cities are not a place for animals.
Animals by nature need space: to run, to shit, to defend. That is their mission. When a place is too crowded, for instance, a city - any city - the dog barks because a million things are intruding that animal's space.
I am not against dogs - except the ones that come running up to me on the sidewalks or, when I am strolling peacefully in the park, bark and sniff and tie up their legs in mine and then take off. The owners remark, "Oh, how cute." Regardless, I like dogs and a few dogs are okay, but more dogs will not lend soul to a city. Perhaps a few more public poetry readings, a good whole-food restaurant and a smoke-free dance pub and even a few more sculptures and art exhibits - now that would add some soul!
One more note. I'm sure the landlords have good cause to prevent pets in their places. They add wear and tear - perhaps a few have really given dog owners a bad name - but it is understandable in this day to save our pennies. Save our pennies for our dreams and not for people to be able to have dogs in their flats. Come on! Get real! Is that what is really bothering you?
By allowing video lottery terminals into the province, the Alberta government is being negligent. Negligence is doing or not doing something that one who is reasonable would do or not do under the circumstances and failing to exercise a duty of care towards others where this reasonable one could foresee that one would harm anyone who is so closely and directly affected by the act that one ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when directing one's mind to the acts or omissions which are called into question. The legitimizing of VLTs may even constitute criminal negligence, wherein there is "wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons."
The foreseeability test does not require that the one who is responsible know the exact probable outcome of what is done or not done, but it requires that this one could have reasonably foreseen injury to someone had this one cared enough to think about it. On VLTs, the Alberta government fails this test.
A duty of care recognized by law - the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - exists that governs the Alberta government's conduct for the protection of the people. This duty of care implies that the Alberta government has assumed a control from which its actions or failure to act could cause injury to someone else.
By allowing VLT use in Alberta, especially without prior consent by the electorate, the conduct of that government falls below the required standard of care that a reasonable party would provide under the circumstances.
It is easy to establish a reasonable relationship between the government legitimizing VLT use and the economic ruin, physical abuse, suicide or such effects that have befallen many Albertans as a result of VLT use by themselves or others. This is proximate cause. The Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission and any number of psychologists would confirm this proximate cause.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms forces legislatures and governments to function in accordance with the Charter - anyone whose Charter rights or freedoms are infringed or denied may apply to a competent court to obtain the remedy that the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances; and everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. The victims of VLTs may have had their Charter rights infringed. They may apply to a court for remedy. The Alberta government must answer for its negligence.
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