MAILBAG

Who was belled? / Frontiersmanship

April 1 1967
MAILBAG

Who was belled? / Frontiersmanship

April 1 1967

Who was belled? / Frontiersmanship

MAILBAG

Re Dalton Camp: The Man Who Finally Helled The Cat: He may have tied it on himself.

WINIFRED MCCREADY, EDMONTON

Author Alexander Ross says: "Ottawa seems to he run by spinsters." Since spinsters have never had a chance to run Ottawa, is it fair or sporting to apply this term to the ineptitude of the politicians who do run Ottawa? Ross also says: "Ottawa, a city of old women."

Is it necessary or courteous to demean spinsters and old women in this manner? MRS. C. E. MOORHOUSE. HAMILTON, ONT.

Alexander Ross replies: “I guess / do owe an apology to the elderly women and spinsters of Canada for comparing them, even metaphorically, to federal politicians. Sorry, girls."

T Most disturbing thing in the article is the suggestion that the kind of leader the young Conservatives arc looking for is someone like the late President Kennedy. Kennedy was a conservative all right, but a study of his career shows that his only consistent political principle was how to attain power and to keep it. We have trouble enough getting rid of our present leader, whose appeal, like Kennedy’s, is not to reason but to the emotions. - R. E. ELDON, VANCOUVER

Praise be, we’re different!

In Fresón s Canada, photographer Robert Fresón sums up what I have discovered about Canada by coming to the U.S.: “There’s a feeling about Can-

ada that I don't get in the States. You are a little slower, a little kinder, more polite. And that’s the most delightful thing of all.” My wish for Canada is that though the population grows, she not lose that slower pace, that feeling of having time for people: that she recognizes herself as a smaller power than America, that she doesn't have to compete, that she is different.

VALERIE GARSTIN, FERNDALE, MICHIGAN

That new frontier

As a Barbadian living in Regina. I congratulate Maclean's on Nicholas Steed's very well written The Caribbean: Onr Sunny New Frontier. I was particularly pleased at this comment: “[Barbados] is a placid island of 250,000 highly educated people; it claims its literacy rate is 99 percent, which would make it more literate than Canada." Why then does not the education department here recognize our high-school standards? Why does it insist that we take senior matriculation before we can enter first-year UNIVERSITY?-BETTY WELCOME, REGINA

* I’ll welcome the day when we will

have reciprocal rights and West Indians can truly say, “Canada: Our New

FRONTIER."-F. DEBIDIN. TORONTO

* West Indians want to emigrate to Canada because their population is too high and is rising at an excessive rate. Proper birth control would be a better solution, and Canada should channel its help in this direction, coupled with aid in education and trade.

MARK R. LAVOIE, MONTREAL

* Congratulations on the suggestion that I Canada should do much more to help

the islands. Instead of spreading our largesse so thinly throughout the needy parts of the world as to be meaningless, why not concentrate on doing a really worthwhile job in the Caribbean, where we are admired and loved much more than we deserve?

ARCHIBALD NEWMAN, OTTAWA

T Canada’s immigration laws are open to criticism, but do not discriminate on grounds of race, color, or national origin. To drain off highly skilled people badly needed at home, or to encourage largescale immigration of unskilled workers for whom few jobs are available in Canada, would scarcely benefit the West Indies. The Jamaican People's National Party, described by Steed as Marxistoriented. is about as Marxist as the British Labor Party. Equally wide of the mark is his prophecy that Jamaica is apt to “go completely Red" and his suggestion that Communism is rampant in Trinidad. The definitive answer to such views was given by the Jamaican Minister of Trade and Industry to a naive American lady who inquired whether the island was likely to follow in Cuba's footsteps. “Madam," he replied with commendable restraint, “we are not Cubans. We are members of the British Commonwealth, and we play cricket.”

ELISABETH WALLACE, DEPT. OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Nicholas Steed replies: “Color discrimination may not be explicitly written into Canada’s immigration laws, but this has not stopped the laws being used as a barrier to colored people wishing to enter Canada. I suggest Miss Wallace talk to any working-class West Indian who has tried to gain entrance to Cemada. As to the PNP, in theory it may still be a moderate left-wing party, similar to the Hritish Labor Party. In practice, the powerful men within the party waiting to take over when Norman Manley steps down are almost to a man extreme leftwingers. Not the least of these, incidentally, is Manley’s son, Michael.”

“Parents are stupid”

Your Reports article. Why Canadian Kids Cet A Rotten Deal In Dental Care. implies that the majority of North American parents are stupid—and you are right. Intelligent people prevent tooth decay, instead of looking for the dentists when the damage is done. Don’t tell me poor people reading Maclean's can't afford not to buy candies, z. GÓRECKI. Ml). CORNWALL. ONT.

Listen, Stranger

‘‘A Stranger In My Own Land," by Solange Chaput Rolland, will certainly do nothing to make the rest of the country feel more kindly or sympathetic toward Quebec. She cannot expect the other provinces to change their attitude toward Quebec, unless Quebec changes its attitude toward the rest of Canada.

I. M. GRAHAM. PONOKA. ALTA.

>k Methinks she crossed the border of Quebec with a sizable chip upon her shoulder — a chip from the knotty block that long since should have been ground to pulp to blend with the all-Canada brand.

CRAIG M. HENDI RSON. TRURO. NS

contilined on page 106

MAILBAG continued from page 14

“I talk Cree —am I

less a Canadian?” /

Charlie: a hero

* The Indian in me might say. What are all these English and French doing in my land? They have imposed their laws on us. But I know, as Quebec fails to know, that this is an ever-changing world. For 87 years I have watched it change, and I am very happy to be Canadian. Am I less a man, because I talk Cree, than my neighbor who talks French or English, Dutch or German? I

feel sorry for those people whose only horizon is Quebec.

W. ROBERTS, BARRHEAD, Al.TA.

* A masterfully developed insight into the conflict between English and French Canada. It only neglects to mention the fact that the French attitude toward English Canada is identical to the attitude which the author claims to be the

English attitude toward the French. There is a ferment in Quebec caused by the desire of French Canadians to be understood as a unique people. They have consistently rejected historical evidence which conflicts with the self-image they have created.

JOHN KENT, MONTREAL

* Here we have an attractive, articu-

late. intelligent woman whose thinking processes are firmly rooted in the medieval world at the time of the morality plays. Heaven above, hell below, good is good and bad is bad. One either loves or hates. Within this framework of thinking Canada is bound to be either lovable or hateful to Quebeckers, depending on what they happen to be looking at; it will be practically impossible for them to appreciate or even tolerate the unfamiliar.

A. A. LOMAN, CALGARY

* The more 1 think of the bilingualism preached by Mme Chaput Rolland and David Lewis (“We Are An Echo Of Washington”), the more convinced I become that they are all wet. Lewis says. "Not only the fact but the value of bilingualism in Canada” should be appreciated. It is not a “fact.” and I hope never will be, here in the west. There can be no real peace between two ethnic groups where one is outnumbered two to one yet insists on being granted equal status. The best that can be expected is a reasonable amount of tolerance.

G. (). CHAMBERS, LLOYDMINSTER. SASK.

* Does David Lewis, who has a mortal fear of the use of American capital in our economy, not realize it would be impossible for us alone to provide the necessary equity to substantially expand our industries and increase our production? Does he not realize that Canadians are reluctant to provide the risk capital?

JOHN !.. SUMMERS, PEMBROKE. ONT.

What “crumbs”?

Carl Erickson, of North Burnaby, BC. writes to Mailbag: “At a time when profits are at their peak, should not those who produce it get a little more than the crumbs?” The facts: Profits, as a percentage of Gross National Product, have been on the downward trend in the last 10 years or so. For every dollar paid out in dividends, 10 or more go into pay envelopes. Since the new government Cost of Living Index was established in 1949, wages and the extra value of fringe benefits have gone up almost three times as much as the advance in prices —about 125 percent against around 45 percent.

S. J. VANCE, TORONTO

Why did Charlie die?

The Lonely Death Of Charlie Wenjack. by lan Adams, reads like a horror tale of the Dark Ages. How many more crimes are to be perpetrated in 1967 against Indian people under the guise of Christianity and education?

MRS. JOYCE STEWART, CALGARY

I’m angry, and 1 pray that every woman who reads this story will be angry enough to want to ask. What can 1 do? How can 1 help?

MRS. E. WYATT, KINGSTON, ONT.

Author lan Adams replies: “See below — Mrs. Gallagher has an answer.”

* As a family who have had six teenage Indian girls boarding in our home over the past three years, I would urge people not to blame the powers-that-be — they face superhuman tasks. Instead, make room for one or two of these young people to board in your home for the school term. Do not partake in this plan if you are a professional do-gooder: you would tire within the first month and your patronizing attitude would just add one more person to that already long list. There are frustrating problems, but we would not trade the companionship. conversations, remarkable sense of

MAILBAG continued

Not funny, Expo /

In Labrador: the first

shall be last?

humor and lasting friendships for anything.— MRS. L. L. GALLAGHER. MOOSE JAW. SASK.

T Why did Charlie Wenjack die? He died because the social system under which we live cannot possibly allow the Indians or other dispossessed Canadians an equal or even any chance at the good life as most of us know it. He died because we. the people, don't really care about suffering, hunger, misery, or fear, as long as it is someone else’s. He died because we. the fortunate people, are so blinded by pride and a damnable lust for power that we dismiss him and those like him as inferiors and incompetents and then try to expunge our guilt by hypocritical charity — meanly given. But at least Charlie Wenjack died an Indian — not a slavish, obsequious, pandering, "good" Indian. He ran away — the only thing he could do. In my book Charlie Wenjack is a real Canadian hero, a fitting hero for Canada’s Centennial.

ANN HENRY. WINNIPEG

Insulting

Re Outstanding Canadians Of 1966: The members of Branch No. 8. CanadianPolish Women’s Federation, were surprised to read the remark printed in the section These Too Were, Oh, Winners. under the heading Ethnic Understanding Award: "To Expo 67’s publicity department. some of whose members refer to a new sewage-treatment plant on the Expo site as ‘the Polish pavilion.’ ” This sort of attitude on the part of the officials of the Expo publicity department can promote only discomfort and illfeeling. If taken seriously, the remark is insulting: if it was meant as a joke, it was not amusing but tasteless.—MRS. M.

W. MORAWIECKA, SECRETARY, OTTAWA

Anthem? What anthem?

Re the Editorial, We've Got An Anthem: Don't Make An Anathema: Bless your heart — je suis complètement d'accord avec vous. Let’s keep the national anthem as it is. The words are not important. but oh! the music. A big orchestra, a large band, drums rolling, trumpets blaring — what else could rouse a people to such patriotic heights?

MRS. W. A. STUMPF, WALKERTON. ONT. .

T As far as I know, our national anthem is still God Save The Queen. O Canada is just a patriotic song with a memorable tune.

MRS. GEORGE NEAL. AMELIASBURG, ONT.

The losers of Labrador

In Mailbag, the Reverend F. W. Peacock of the Mo:avian Mission in Labrador takes exception to Hal Tennant’s attitude toward the Happy Valley people (Are They Going To Throw This Town Away?). My years in Happy Valley lead me to agree fervently with Mr. Peacock when he says there are no better people in Canada. Yet. Tennant showed remarkable restraint when he told of the living conditions of these Labrador people. I wonder if Mr. Peacock would suggest some reasons why so many splendid Labrador families of his town are living in substandard dwellings despite their eagerness to work and their good incomes? Would he stand with me when I say that they are charged too much for essential building materials and food? Would he agree that they arc overtaxed? Would he support me when I say that the newcomers to Labrador

in Wabush and Labrador City have schools and services which make those of the original Labrador people of Happy Valley look primitive by comparison? While Newfoundland propaganda tells the world of the industrial awakening in Labrador, it is hardly right that the people who have settled the country and stayed with it during its lean years should have to depend on snail-slow

evolution to better their LOT.-REV. \V. c.

SELLARS. EMMANUEL UNITED CHURCH. TORONTO

Quebec first with “buffer”

Quebec gets an idea and Ontario puts it into practice. 7 he II ay to Matriculate In Maturity (Reports) says. "The idea of

a buffer matriculation-year college was first mooted two years ago by Ontario’s Grade 1? Study Committee." Actually, the idea came out in the Quebec Parent Commission Report on Education in the fall of 1964. The report advocated the establishment of "institutes." a posthigh-school-pre-university level of education of two years' duration. This level was intended to allow for a "buffer” period, while at the same time give students the opportunity of choosing and preparing for professional training.

L. I. MASSON. CALGARY *