Letters

June 30 1980

Letters

June 30 1980

Letters

How green was their valley

Urban sprawl and ever-increasing non-resident ownership are indeed threats to Canadian and, in particular, Saskatchewan farmland. As a young Canadian who was brought up on a farm, I sincerely hope that Roy MacGregor’s article will encourage federal and, particularly, provincial politicians to take immediate and concrete steps to protect existing farmland.

I would like to express my thanks for the article The Vanishing Land (Environment, May 12). As with the rest of your magazine it was excellent in that it dealt with an issue pressing not only just to Canada but to the whole world. It

is sad that most politicians ignore the problem of our disappearing farmland and the impossibility of young, aspiring farmers getting a start. Thanks Maclean's—keep up the great work.

JAMES T. REARDON, WATERLOO, ONT.

Roy MacGregor’s article drawing attention to the true value of land is not before its time—other nations have sacrificed their precious land on the altar of immediate gains only to regret it when it is too late. As most nations “progress” from a state of primary producers to one of city dwellers, so the farmer is made to take second place. One day those city slickers will wake up hungry, but then it will be too late.

A. KENNETH CHIPPINDALE, PEACHLAND, B.C.

A womb with a view

In your recent story Rebiï'th of the Abortion Furore (Health, June 2) you identified a pro-choice poster as an anti-abortion poster. The slogan “Every mother a willing mother, every child a wanted child” explains clearly the position of freedom of choice for abortion as well as parenthood. You have done your readers a disservice by confusing the prochoice and anti-choice positions in an article that seeks to clarify the abortion issue in Canada. It is only through education, counselling and the dissemination of contraceptive devices that we can control and lower the abortion rate. Access to safe, legal abortion must continue to be made available to Canadian women who have to deal with the imperfect realities of the present.

KAREN HAMMOND, PRESIDENT, CANADIAN ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE, TORONTO

No fuel like an old fuel

Patrick L. McGeer does indeed make it all sound so incredibly easy (Put a Vapor in Your Tank, Podium, May 26) and, admittedly, his article enabled me to transcend the incessant gloominess generated by the many hypotheses on Canada’s supposed limited energy resources. What boggles the mind is why we continue to use gasoline in our automobiles and not compressed natural gas. For such an obviously necessary improvement, no extraneous incentives need to be offered to motorists, service stations and/or manufacturers to stimulate a conversion. If $1,500 is the total cost for a car conversion kit, put my name on the list—I’ll recoup that amount within a 12-month period.

BRUCE D. BURNET, TORONTO

Hyper-hyphenation

Allan Fotheringham’s column 0 Canada! All Too Quiet on the Western Front (April 21) referred to Lethbridge, Alta., as a “quasi-Yankee town.” Although semi-amusing, the reference was only hemi-accurate and demi-tolerant. In fact, the overriding impression left is that the comment was supracondescending.

TED ALLEN, TABER, ALTA.

The late, last resort

After reading your article Gnashing at ‘The National' (Canada, April 14), we were shocked to learn that Ombudsman (CBC TV) has been cancelled. This was an

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excellent program which not only pointed out the injustices in our present society but also attempted to resolve the problems. Ombudsman helped hundreds of people satisfactorily resolve their problems. It was a last resort when individuals had been confronted by dead ends everywhere and had tried every possible means of resolving their problems. In my opinion the cancellation of Ombudsman is a step away from democracy and human rights.

PENNY MCKINLAY, CHAIRPERSON, HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE, VOICE OF THE HANDICAPPED, SASK.

A little travelling music

There is a curious inconsistency to the comment by Gerry McAuliffe in his article Drivel by the Page-Full (Podium, May 12). While berating publishers and decrying the lack of appreciation for journalists by “newspaper readers and those we report on,” he insults the program to upgrade tourism reporting about Canada provided by the participation of American Express Canada, Inc. in the annual awards program of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. As an “investigative reporter”

he has the facts as well as our name wrong. The Explore Canada Awards by American Express are given for outstanding contributions by journalists to Canadian tourism. The program encourages original, sensitive and welldocumented articles. These awards are presented to the writer in person at the TIAC annual national conference. The entries indicate that readers worldwide are being informed about Canada through an increasing number of excellent articles.

F. G. BRANDER, PRESIDENT, TOURISM INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA, OTTAWA

I appreciate Gerry McAuliffe’s concerns about our industry and its credibility and I agree with most of his criticisms. I’d like to add, however, that it is a shame McAuliffe must spend so much time in self-criticism of the media when he could be devoting his time to developing those stories for which he was well known in the past. Such stories add as much to our industry’s credibility as does self-criticism, which appears to be the “in” thing with most folks today.

BOB KENNEDY, NEWS DIRECTOR, CHUM RADIO, TORONTO

The numbers game

Your article entitled MacEachen Puts Over a Bootleg Budget (Canada, May 5) contains a sentence referring to the Ontario budget that, I feel, is unfair and misleading. It says, “Conservative hoots about the federal deficit rang hollow against the seemingly stupendous 44per-cent deficit increase in the Tory budget brought down by Ontario Treasurer Frank Miller last week.”By taking one percentage figure out of context, that sentence seeks to imply that Ontario’s deficit management record is not better than that of the federal government. The facts show that this is not so. What is Ontario’s deficit record compared to the federal government? This year our deficit will be less than six per cent of provincial expenditures. By contrast, according to MacEachen’s figures, the federal deficit will be more than 19 per cent of federal spending.

FRANK S. MILLER, TREASURER OF ONTARIO, TORONTO

Spreading wings

I read your article Quebec Means Business (Cover, April 14) with great interest as my company has recently gone “outside” through acquisition in Ontario and in the New England states. Many thanks for showing Canada that Quebec has something to contribute to Canada apart from hockey players. ANDRE MAHEUX, EXECUTIVE VICEPRESIDENT, SICO INC., BEAUPORT, QUE.