Frontlines

The making of a senator

November 26 1979
Frontlines

The making of a senator

November 26 1979

The making of a senator

Frontlines

LETTERS

It is to be regretted that Canada’s weekly newsmagazine continues to deal in stereotypes when reporting Canadian politics (The Pork-Barrel Polka Plays On, Sept. 24). The Senate is an excellent case in point, as is the snide treatment of Joe Clark’s first appointees to the Senate. For example, I think Lowell Murray is a great Canadian who has much to contribute to Canada. Perhaps the best measure of this kind of reporting is the totally inaccurate assertion that I was appointed to the Senate by Pierre Trudeau, rather than Lester Pearson.

SENATOR KEITH DAVEY, OTTAWA

In your article you seem to imply that it was Pierre Trudeau who appointed Liberal campaign chief Keith Davey to the Senate. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Canadian Parliamentary Guide, Senator Davey was appointed to the Senate on Feb. 24, 1966, when the late Lester Pearson was prime minister. Trudeau wasn’t even a cabinet minister but rather an obscure back-bencher at the time of Senator Davey’s appointment.

IAN B. MINTY, SARNIA, ONT.

Mistaken identity

In your article concerning comedians Cheech and Chong, Livin ’ on a Cloud— of Smoke (Oct. 22), Tommy Chong is quoted as saying “being Canadian is a lot like being Polish.” He also says that he would never work in Canada. Considering the many fine performers

who have made themselves known throughout the world as Canadian, I find it unbelievable that Chong feels it necessary to forgo his image as a Canadian to “make it in the big time.” Canadian fans are as appreciative as any, and Chong should stop treating his nationality as a liability and start realizing its assets.

GREG COLEMAN, VANCOUVER

Onward, Jewish soldiers

In your recent article on Norman Jewison, Jewison Shoots for the Truth (Oct. 29), you state that he was the target of anti-Semitic taunts because of his “Jewish-sounding” name. I happened to be living in Israel when he was filming Jesus Christ Superstar and you may be interested to note that the Israelis I met were also flabbergasted to think that a man named Jewison should be a Christian. “Why not,” they asked him, “change your name to Christianson and become a Jew?”

RAE HARDY, OTTAWA

Sense and sensibility

I was appalled to read the following statement made by Maureen O’Neil, coordinator of the government’s Status of Women office: “I want to establish that we are not some special interest group lumped in with the lame, the halt and the blind. I want our concerns part of social and economic policy at the highest levels” {The Women's Work Is Getting Done, Oct. 29). O’Neil shows an incredible insensitivity to physically disabled people. They are making efforts—not to be a ‘special group’—but citizens with equal rights and access. She also shows a lack of awareness of the root of many problems faced by

women, disabled people or any minority group. One of the worst things that can happen with any social change issue is for one group to gain ground at the expense of another group. O’Neil’s statement is an outrageous example of this. She should not, in my opinion, be involved in any equal opportunity campaigns because she has missed the basis of all of them.

ALDERMAN ANNE JOHNSTON, CHAIRMAN, MAYOR’S TASK FORCE ON THE DISABLED AND ELDERLY, TORONTO

As a physically disabled person I was appalled at the insensitivity displayed by a senior federal civil servant who purports to be primarily concerned with human rights issues. The archaic turn of phrase employed by Ms. O’Neil is matched by the archaic attitude toward the disabled it implies. The disabled seek not rights as a “special interest group”; only the same rights enjoyed freely by able-bodied Canadians. If O’Neil truly meant what she said and what it implies she should resign; if she did not she should, at least, apologize publicly to the disabled community she has so gravely insulted.

L. H. THEODOR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, YORK UNIVERSITY, DOWNSVIEW, ONT.

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A different tune

In regard to Allan Fotheringham’s enlightening column In Which the Scribe Huddles on the Floor, Watches a Master and Thinks of a Mister (Oct. 29) on the Trudeau-Sinatra show, we should remember that Frank also croons the tune Let Me Try Again.

BARRY ADAMSON, OAKVILLE, ONT.

Secret agonies

I read with great interest your excellent cover story The Fall Kill (Oct. 29). I hope you will follow this soon with The Winter Kill, complete with a cover photograph of a raccoon or lynx in a leghold trap. Most Canadians are unaware of the terrible animal suffering that supports our fur industry. Winter trapping brings in more than 10 million animals to lingering, agonizing deaths in steel leg-hold traps. There has been no public outcry because these animals die singly on lonely traplines, their agony a secret between them and the trapper.

ELIZABETH ZECHEL, OTTAWA

Our wildlife population doesn’t require the services of hunters to regulate its numbers. Nature is quite capable of maintaining equilibrium, and in a much more just manner than that of these “sportsmen,” who, it appears, all too often misjudge their targets, thus condemning thousands of undeserving animals to a slow, painful death.

CONNIE SHEPPARD-CONRAD, COW BAY, N.S.

Fully expecting to read another typical media “knock the hunter/hunting” article, it was a pleasant surprise to find the piece otherwise.

G.J. CONNOLLY, WILLOWDALE, ONT.

Disconnection

I was delighted to see Terry Poulton’s excellent article Winning the Battle of Independents (Oct. 29), on NielsenFerns. This pioneer company in Canadian independent television production was overdue for recognition, having done so much to bring quality programming to Canadian and world audiences. I must, however, point out that while we enjoyed the great advantage of having Dick Nielsen working with us on Connections, the series on organized crime, the program was a co-production between the CBC and Norfolk Communications, not Nielsen-Ferns.

WILLIAM MACADAM, PRESIDENT, NORFOLK COMMUNICATIONS, TORONTO