Letters

May 26 1980

Letters

May 26 1980

Letters

Exit, pursued by a bear

It is horrifying that, via television and news reports, the world watches the gradual massacre of the brave and fiercely independent Afghan people by the Soviet army—and does nothing to help (Inside Afghanistan, Cover, April 21). Some actions have been taken against the U.S.S.R. but this does not directly help the Afghans, who have desperately little food and are fighting with a few antiquated weapons. The Afghans will not submit to the Soviets—they will die fighting for their freedom. They need food and modern, light weapons. It’s so little to ask. Aren’t we going to help?

CLAIRE BUDGEN, WINFIELD, B.C.

Your recent cover story was one of the most revealing reports I have read about Afghanistan since the Soviet rape. The writer successfully exposed the barbarities of the Communist colonialists and their slavish and servile henchmen. It must be hard for the people of Afghanistan to fathom the nonchalance of the West, while the great 20th-century colonialist—the U.S.S.R. —gobbles up one more central Asian nation. Is the free world ready to submit to the new czars? They better give it some good deep thought. The wine of superpower can be pretty heady without the constraints of a democratic system, and the inebriated bear can strike in any direction.

H. MASSAKHEL, NEPEAN, ONT.

Equal bucks for does

Your article Underpaid Women, Undervalued Jobs (Justice, April 7) mentioned recent actions of the Ontario government, the intent of which I would like to clarify. After careful consideration, the government of Ontario concluded that the concept of “equal value” could not readily be translated into workable legislation. There are great technical difficulties in devising fair, accurate and effective methods of comparing dissimilar jobs. Because of these difficulties I have opted for strengthened enforcement of our existing equalpay laws, and to that end have allocated increased resources to those remedies that are likely to be effective. To expand enforcement of our present equal-pay legislation, we have, as you noted, added

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staff. This will enable us to initiate equal-pay audits as well as respond to complaints. A major media campaign will remind employers and women of their obligations and rights. It is wellrecognized that the over-all wage gap will be reduced when women participate in all sectors and at all levels of the workplace.

DR. ROBERT G. ELGIE, ONTARIO MINISTER OF LABOR, TORONTO

Your coverage on equal pay for women gives much needed exposure to the new concept of equal value which, although in effect since the enactment of the Ca-

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nadian Human Rights Act in 1977, is yet to make any impact on wages in the national labor market. The problems of measuring relative value of jobs is not merely one of using a job evaluation instrument but also of finding agreement among various interested parties on which instrument to use. Researchers elsewhere and at our university have shown that sex bias is often built into the job evaluation procedure itself, in which case the solution is to redesign the instrument rather than the rigorous application of the biased evaluation procedure. Also, in a democratic structure every new proposition needs persuasive, forceful and determined advocacy. The advocates can not rely upon the inherent merits of their proposition. Although the law was enacted three years ago, our collective expertise in dealing with both of the above problems has lagged behind.

ANIL VERMA, LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN, SASKATOON

Back to basics

A great amount of good will should stem from the Olympic Games, but this will not likely be so again until the ugly spectre of politics can be removed from the playing fields {A ‘Dirty Intrigue' Heats Up, Sports, May 5). In the interim, at least some of the problems could be erased by holding the Olympics permanently in Greece on the original site of the Games.

CHARLES D. SURTEES, OTTAWA

A watched pot boils

Congratulations on the excellent article on multiculturalism (Mulling Over Multiculturalism, Podium, April 14). I believe that multiculturalism is divisive and I am thankful that my grandfather, who was German, did not have to be classed as a German Canadian.

SCOTT FENNELL, MP, OTTAWA

I feel compelled to respond to the article on multiculturalism. While there are problems associated with our diversity, I do not agree with Larry Zolf that the policy itself divides, segregates and ghettoizes. It is rather a constant reminder that Canadian identity has not been shaped by only two cultures, English and French. On the contrary, Canadian culture is the constant merging and mingling of an infinite number of different cultures, creating a unique and distinctive identity. In the search for unity, Zolf opts for uniformity. I would suggest that uniformity is too high a price to pay.

CAROL TATOR, PRESIDENT, URBAN ALLIANCE ON RACE RELATIONS, TORONTO

Contrary to Larry Zolf’s article, Pierre Trudeau did not invent multiculturalism; he simply recognized a situation that already existed. Whether Zolf likes it or not, ethnic groups that have come to Canada recently are not going to melt into something he calls “Canadianism”—whatever that is. In my opinion, the basic thrust of multicultu-

ralism is to develop a sense of unity from the diversity of cultures now existing in Canadian society. Multiculturalism is not going to go away and the fact is that scores of ethnic groups are happy indeed to obtain some government funding for projects. We in the black community are taxpayers too, and like others we are more than happy to get our share. And we certainly do not feel that the acceptance of federal, provincial or municipal funds makes us lesser Canadians than if we were totally dependent upon private dollars.

WILSON A. HEAD, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BLACK COALITION OF CANADA, TORONTO

In his apparent zeal to espouse the creation of a self-dissipating cultural melting (disintegration) pot, Larry Zolf overlooked the immeasurable sinew and vitality Canada obtains through her diversity.

GEORGE DOLHAI, HAMILTON

Bravissimo Larry Zolf! The sooner Canada’s ethnic groups realize that this is not the Ukraine, not Poland, not Italy, ad nauseam, the sooner this country will start to pull together to solve the pressing problems facing us all—energy, the economy, our future within Can-

ada. It’s all very well to cook cabbage rolls or speak Italian at home, but speaking Swahili is not an integral part of Canadian culture. We unhyphenated Canadians are sick of watching ethnic festivals on TV and being told that this is an expression of our Canadian identity. Rot.

NANCY J. HOUGHTON-LARUE, STE-FOY, QUE.

Larry Zolf and his naïve cry for Canadian “one-ism” is just plain wrong in my opinion. Multiculturalism is not an issue of government dollars supporting ethnicity but an issue of self-esteem and human rights to do your thing unmolested, without the great pressure for “one-ism.”

DAVID MCLEAN, AREA DIRECTOR HAMILTON OFFICE, SECRETARY OF STATE

As a Canadian of ethnic descent, I want to applaud the views of Larry Zolf. It’s about time everyone recognizes that this whole concept of multiculturalism is a farce. For myself, as a 19-year-old university student, and for most of my generation, we have no problem with “dual loyalties”; we know our one and only country is Canada, and that our one and only nationality is Canadian.

RUSS HANSON, WINNIPEG