Letters

October 17 1977

Letters

October 17 1977

Letters

Thanks for the memory—but not for the cheap parting shot

The Long Good-Bye (September 5) concerning the unfortunate demise of Elvis Presley, the man who became a myth, had its moments of poignancy but regrettably

was undercut by the closing rhetoric. To many of us, young, old. or in-between, like him or not, Elvis was someone special. Controversy as to whether he was a product of those times, a talent supreme, a galactic phenomenon, or a combination of each, is probably academic two decades later. Most disappointing was your editorial epitaph describing his untimely depar-

In A Minor Rebellion, To Be Sure... (September 19) you reported that JacquesYvan Morin said that “French children were ousted from French schools by police in Ontario in 1917.” 1 suspect that you are the unwitting victims of a master propagandist when you print Morin’s comments without researching whether what he said was true.

ture as little more than a “filler” for editors short of more interesting news during a lazy August afternoon.

JOHN McCONVILLE, PENHOLD, ALTA.

If nothing else, a technical knockout

Martin O’Malley certainly cannot be an enthusiastic softball fan! His sports column on softball in Canada (September 19) was a disappointment because he says that the Richmond Hill Dynes are the defending world champions—even though they haven’t made it to the Ontario Provincial Championships in the past three years. At the World Softball Championships in New Zealand last year, the final games were rained out and a three-way tie was declared between Canada (represented by Victoria Bate), the United States and New Zealand.

ELIZABETH I. WOODBURY, OTTAWA

It’s what Morin didn’t say that counts

You will have difficulty finding any history book confirming such an incident in 1917. It is true that the Circular of Instruction, known as Regulation 17, was a clumsy one, but its intent was good. It was issued in an attempt to improve the quality of teaching in the French-language schools of Ontario. Many teachers in the French language schools at that time either had no

certificate to teach or only a temporary certificate. For example, only 48 of 538 such teachers had minimum teaching qualifications to teach in Ontario. In World War I, nationalists in Quebec claimed Regulation 17 persecuted French-speaking teachers in Ontario, many of whom were from Quebec. It became an added point of tension during the conscription issue and was debated in our federal parliament for two days in May of 1916.

Now, Morin makes a brownie point for the Parti Québécois in the English news media by giving his version of an incident that few English-speaking Canadians have ever heard about. Morin is too brilliant a man not to have known the complete story of Regulation 17.

J. G. TYRRELL. MISSISSAUGA. ONT.

Missing the point, uh, ‘ ‘la pointe’ ’

You have managed to delay reviewing Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow for almost six months—even though it isvone of the fastest selling books published in Canada in the past year. Then in To Arms, To Arms, The Frenchies Are Coming! (September 19) you avoided any reference to the book’s main theme: that “bilingual” means nothing more than “French Canadian.” You also ignored the author’s contention that 60,000-plusjobs in the fonction publique are designated “bilingual,” which means that nobody who is not French Canadian can qualify to fill them, except in the case of the odd token anglophone.

Now that the Official Fanguages Act has been amended to exclude as applicants anyone who is not bilingual at the time of application, that rules out anyone, particularly anglophone applicants, from any

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hope of qualifying. It is now not enough to be fluent in French to qualify for a job in la fonction publique as bilingual. You must have been brought up in the back lots of Quebec to obtain a license to draw a federal pay cheque.

HARRY MOFFAT, NANAIMO, BC

By their deeds should we know them

\nMean Streets (September 5) you seem to have great trouble distinguishing the gay rights movement from prostitution, pornography and even murder. Most gay leaders are only trying to ensure for homosexuals the same rights that heterosexuals have. These rights do not include murder, child prostitution or the solicitation of husbands in front of their wives. Gays who are guilty of these crimes ought to be punished as severely as straights.

DOUGLAS KOSCHIK. BAY CITY, MICHIGAN

Not necessarily the views of the editor

Included in Wasted On The Young (September 19) was the following reference:“One small Ontario paper, the Owen Sound Sun-Times, in a scathing editorial, calls Katimavik ‘Danson’s plan for modern-day slavery’ and ‘the greatest thing since chain gangs and coolie labor.’ ” These quotes were not from a Sun-Times editorial but from a “Twin County Forum” written by one of our copy editors, Randy Denley. The first quote was the headline placed on the article, while the second was from the text. “Twin County

Forum,” on the editorial page, is open to opinions from the staff and the public.

ROBERT HULL. EDITOR. THE SUN TIMES, OWEN SOUND. ONT.

Together again for the second time

The introduction to your Cleo Laine and John Dankworth Interview (September 5) focuses on what it alleges was “the night Cleo Laine was introduced to Canadian audiences.” You say that this event took place on October 23, 1974, at Convocation Hall on the University of Toronto campus. But as the producer of Cleo Laine’s and John Dankworth’s Canadian concert debut, which was sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as part of its then annual CBC Radio Festival of Music, I can state categorically that the debut took place on September 18, 1973, in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

JOHN MERRITT. PRODUCER—RADIO ARTS, CBC, VANCOUVER

An idea whose time will never come

Professor Abraham Rotstein in What’s More Important . . . (September 19) says that “economic association” between Canada and an independent Quebec “should be regarded as an area where we can, perhaps, stake out and secure some results that are mutually beneficial.” The manifesto of the Committee for a New Constitution, of which he is a member, says economic association means “shared jurisdiction over central banking and currency,

a common tariff, a common commercial and foreign investment policy.” “Shared jurisdiction” is no harder than squaring the circle. Perhaps they were trying to say a “common monetary policy,” “common tariff,” and so forth.

But if you have a common tariff, Quebec will certainly want it raised on textiles, boots and shoes and Canada will want it lowered. If, under the terms of the “association,” Quebec and Canada have equal voices, each will be able to impose an absolute veto on something the other considers essential. The same holds for a common monetary policy, a “common commercial policy” and a “common foreign investment policy.” Of course Canada could make a tariff agreement with an independent Quebec, but, like any tariff agreement with any other foreign country, it would be worked out by hard-nosed bargaining based on national self-interest and nothing else; and it would not, because it could not, provide for a common tariff.

EUGENE FORSEY, THE SENATE, OTTAWA

Professor Rotstein replies: Dr. Forsey seems to mistake the BN A Act for the Ten Commandments. For every issue there are close working examples: common tariff—the European Common Market; common monetary policy—regional interest rates in the U.S. Federal Reserve System; common foreign investment policy—the Andean Pact in Latin America. They’ve all had—and all resolved—their disagreements.

No translation is necessary

S. J. Carr’s letter (September 19) left me seething. I respect his right to consider Spanish as the most beautiful language in the world, as it is indeed one of the nicest to hear (and, by the way, is derived from Latin and Greek, the same as French), but when he calls the native tongue of French Canadians a patois, he’s putting both his feet in his mouth. The continental Europeans he mentions can be dismissed as a bunch of snobs who don’t even know what Quebec and Canada are. French Canadians who go to France, Switzerland or Belgium (witness the success achieved by Charlebois, Yvon Deschamps and many others) are as easily understood as a resident of Kenora or Windsor who goes to England, Australia or New Zealand. The accent may be different but the meaning is the same.

DENIS FOURNIER, POINTE-GATINEAU, QUE.

Illogical conclusions

The authors of That Day Of Reckoning Is Closer At Hand (September 5) have confused the basic right of French and English Canadians to preserve and develop their culture with ethnocentrism. To say that “Montreal’s English-speaking minority has lived in self-imposed cultural segregation for 11 generations” is to imply that Canada’s French-speaking minority has lived in self-imposed cultural segregation for 15 generations. If Maclean’s is suggesting that the Montreal English-speaking community has no right to preserve its culture and must assimilate into the culture of the Quebec French majority then, by the same logic, you are saying that all French Canadians should have assimilated into the culture of the majority.

The prescription for Canada’s survival is simple: a French Canadian must be able to go anywhere in Canada and feel at home. This means that he must be able to work, study, communicate with his provincial government and be allowed to contribute to the future of Canada in his language. Likewise, an English Canadian must enjoy the same rights in Quebec. That is what we of the Montreal English community have been doing for the past 11 generations.

GORDON ROBACK, MONTREAL

Bodies and soul

I read Urjo Kareda’s review of Pumping Iron (September 5) with amusement and dismay. I was entertained by the writer’s obvious bias against body building. “Those bodies in repose are comic enough, graceless and unbalanced,” says Kareda, and I was dismayed that Arnold Schwarzenegger should be condemned for daring to speak as though he retained a normal level of intelligence after all those years of developing “melons.” Body building is called foolish and its exponents were referred to as hulks or carnival clowns. But it is a sport requiring many years to produce a championship physique. An advanced body builder may easily put in six hours of train-

ing daily for six days a week with constant attention to diet and rest. Considering the general condition of the average Canadian, I question the intelligence of putting down any form of fitness.

R. FRY, REGINA

A francophone by any other name...

I take exception to David Lewis’ statement in English Canada Must Be Prepared To Give. . . (August 22) to the effect that the identity of francophone Québécois is more homogeneous than that of other Canadians. How does he account for names like Burns, O’Neill and Johnson in the Lévesque cabinet? Surely all their ancestors

were not French! In addition, students of Canadian history are aware of the liberal intermingling of French and Indian blood in early colonial days when few French women had migrated to Canada.

GEORGE MACDOUGALL, LENNOXVILLE,

QUE.

Weighting for the word

When the Dutch converted to metric they reevaluated the pound to 500 grams and the ounce to 100 grams and so retained these two valuable words with renewed meaning. Now that we are going metric (August 22) it would be a boon to the English language if the same could be done

here. Two pounds to a kilo, 10 ounces to a kilo or five to a pound would facilitate shopping, advertising and even thinking. An ounce of prevention would still be worth a pound of cure.

C. FUYKSCHOT, GANANOQUE. ONT.

A long drive, but worth it

Y our otherwise fine article on Michel Guérard and his cuisine minceur (September 19) incorrectly states that the restaurant of the brothers Troisgros is in Rouen. It is in Roanne, just 500 kilometres to the south. GEORGE G. BOUKYDIS, PRESIDENT, DIANA SWEETS RESTAURANTS, TORONTO

Always leave ’em laughing

Oh ho ho ho! Thanks a million for All The Rage In Paris (August 8). Not much to

laugh at these days. Don’t tell me we women really want to look like this? Do it again soon!

H. A. DAVIES, VICTORIA

All of the above? None of the above?

To complete Allan Fotheringham’s Alright, Kiddies, IPs Time Again To Play . . . (September 5): when Jesus Christ returns, will Fotheringham (a) Suggest His timing is inappropriate; (b) Criticize His spectacular descent as an ego trip; (c) Suggest He needs a good tailor and a barber?

WILLIAM I. HUGHES. PORT MELLON, BC

Defenders of the faith

A Loss Of Faith (September 5) makes one wonder if the Catholic Church is “willfully ignoring the wishes” of its growing, supportive membership of more than 650 million, or of the fallen away. Are faith and truth to be based on the wishes of people? Those church dropouts, often bitterly disillusioned, who are waiting to see “empty pews and ears of stone,” are in for more disappointment. What they should be hopingforare personal reaffirmations of faith.

H. R. CARVALHO, RICHMOND, BC

I suspect that Hubert de Santana never really knew the Church at all; the horrors and the terrors he describes are more reminiscent of the tales of Torquemada and Maria Monk than anything that applied in our times. I write as one who knew his Churchandhis churchmen and, apart from childhood and youth, I knew many of them in my years as a Canadian journalist who for a time specialized in coverage of ecclesiastici events.

The beauties of the old liturgy, the magnificent music and the great traditions of centuries were one side of things, but there was also the solace—not the horror—of confessing to good men. There was the love of fellowman, the depth of Christian charity and the sense of being one with our brothers in all the world, regardless of race, color or creed.

J. E. BELLIVEAU, SHEDIAC, NB

It’s true the Catholic Church is in a period of childbirth gestation, but it is fully pregnant with the Church of tomorrow. It’s true there have been a few inconveniences in carrying the child in the uterus of the Church, but the doctors haven’t diagnosed any serious hemorrhaging or extraordinary problems and they do not foresee that the baby will be malformed or abnormal. Yes, it promises to be a natural childbirth of a healthy beautiful child— the Church of tomorrow.

FATHER MAURICE A. LEGER, PASTOR, OUR LADY OF MERCY PARISH, POINTE DU CHÊNE,

NB

It is patently apparent that Hubert de Santana never made a soul-felt commitment to the Church which he now attacks so cruelly and viciously. Nowhere in all that diatribe does there appear love, honor, fidelity, selflessness, loyalty, charity and generosity of spirit. All and more of these virtues produced the likes of Mother Theresa, Jean Vanier and Cardinal Leger. Surely a church that spawned giants of self-sacrificing nobility such as these cannot be the evil institution de Santana would have us believe it is.

AILEEN SIVELL, DOWNSVIEW, ONT.

Things aren’t as bleak as they seem

East Of Eden (September 19) on the effects of Quebec’s separation on the Atlantic provinces seems unduly pessimistic. Let’s agree that no one will benefit economically from having two countries rather than one, but the Atlantic provinces in a Canada without Quebec would enjoy the balance of power between Ontario and the West. Also Quebec is the principal beneficiary of transfer payments from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Separation would make the load of transfer payments to the Atlantic provinces seem light. Alberta and Ontario, at least, seem quite willing to build equalization into our Constitution. Ontario will need the Atlantic area as a market for its goods and the West will need it to ensure that tariff's and freight rates are

not arranged for the sole benefit of Ontario. All this gloom and doom about how we cannot survive without Quebec is all grist to René Lévesque’s mill. We can’t live without Quebec, he claims, but Quebec can live very nicely without us.

MARK HOLMES, PORT CREDIT, ONT.

One of our aircraft is missing

I would certainly agree with your statement in Making The World Even Safer For Democracy (September 19) that standing on guard for Canada is not cheap as far as

fighter aircraft are concerned. However, I cannot give you passing marks on your aircraft recognition. The American navy for one would be upset to learn that you have labeled their premier fighter aircraft as the Tornado, the swing-wing fighter in production in Great Britain, Germany and Italy. While there is a passing similarity, the plane you have depicted is the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which is also swingwinged but has a twin tail to the Tornado’s one.

LT. R. R. CANON, RC(AIR)C, LONDON, ONT.

He deserves a break today

Countless Canadians, especially Liberals, who presently overwhelmingly support Prime Minister Trudeau, will disagree with your cover page caption Big Mac's Big Mess (September 19). Likewise, your reasoning that Big Mac has left things worse than he found them, as if he was chiefly to blame, is a false simplification. Many of the forces that affect Canada’s economy cannot be controlled by any single man in government. Even the whole government is helpless sometimes to a certain extent in fully controlling the economy. The international trade situation, foreign economies, the most disruptive oil cartel, big business, big and powerful labor unions and various selfish interests in Canada do their share in upsetting the Canadian economy.

B. VINCENT, ROBLIN, MAN.