Vicki Burns

Episode 3

 

Vicki Burns is well-known in environmental and animal health circles. For more than 14 years she was the executive director of the Winnipeg Humane Society. Now she is director of the Save Lake Winnipeg Project where she increases public awareness of the crisis facing the Lake Winnipeg Watershed. She is also associated with Hogwatch Manitoba, campaigners for major changes to the hog industry in the province, commonly thought to be a contributor to lake pollution.

Burns was my first interview for this project. She offers an overview of some of the problems affecting the lake and proposes ways to make changes that might improve lake health.

This is an edited interview which removes some of the non-essential chatter and most of my questions (since I wasn’t mic’d I wasn’t especially audible). Apologies for the background noise; when we started the interview in Marpeck Commons at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg we were largely alone. But the area around us soon filled with boisterous students.

 

Human Misery

Hollow eyes. In an impossibly remote village in Nicaragua an 18-year-old widower was explaining how his pregnant wife was swept to her death when Hurricane Mitch parked its fury overhead. His hurt literally stole his voice away.

Dead eyes. Together a mother and I watched the last breaths of her 4-year-old daughter in the decrepit Nazran hospital. The terrible burns caused by rocket fire on their home in Chechnya might not have killed the child, but the one week wait at the border to scrape up enough bribe money for the Russian guards to let them through to medical help was what closed the curtain.

-- continued

Bramwell Ryan

Journalist

Boho by the Horn

Istanbul

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