In his article The 10,000 Commandments (Canada, Aug. 18), Robert Lewis seems preoccupied with the quantity of government regulation in our lives— “virtually no avenue of human endeavor is left to our fate”—rather than considerations of quality. We should make clear distinctions between regulations that aim to protect the health and safety of people living in Canada with those imposed more for political or moral reasons. I’m inclined to agree that the price of eggs, the amount of Canadian content on the airwaves and the sexual details of films ought to be arrived at unfettered by government intervention. But I’m quite happy, thank you, that we have regulations restricting toxic pesticide residues in our food and “poop-and-scoop” bylaws to protect youngsters from dog-dirt infections.
LINDA REAN PIM, THORNHILL, ONT.
Paying the price
I wish someone would explain to me why this country is so determined to change laws to make things easier for law-breakers. I am referring to the Christopher Welch case ( The Low Cost of Dying, Canada, Aug. 11). If we are going to worry about anyone in these high-speed chases, let us worry about the policemen who are risking their lives to capture a law-breaker who might otherwise never be caught.
GLORIA ROBINS, WINNIPEG
Every day it seems an article appears screaming about police brutality or accusing the police of not doing enough to protect the public. We want to muzzle and bind them in shackles while expecting them to protect life and property under a constant barrage of criticism. Your recent article was a prime example of where the police, in the performance of their duty, were blamed for the death of a young man. It appears that the 19-year-old was asking for everything that he received. By virtue of the fact that he did not pay for his gas and tried to outrun the police, avoiding several roadblocks, he instantly became a criminal and deserved to be treated as such.
EGON S. FRANK, VANCOUVER
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A metric high
I enjoy reading Maclean's and was thrilled by the article on the Beaver aircraft, Requiem for a Tough Old Bird (Canada, Aug. 11). I had not realized that this vintage aircraft was such a record-breaker. To have achieved an altitude of 8,000 km (5,000 miles) in air “rough as a corncob” is a fantastic achievement. Even at 8,000 metres (25,000 feet) the pilot was probably hallucinating all that corn. If you are going to play with metric, please do it right. .I’m confused enough as it is.
DALE BLUE, PROVOST, ALTA.
Followers of fashion
In his column Imitation and Vibration: Europe on $10 a Minute (Column, July 14), Allan Fotheringham gives unfounded credit to Americans in saying: “. . . the youth doing their imitation of what they think American teen-agers look like.” I do feel that Fotheringham is misguided in dubbing the fashions “imitations” as, contrary to American belief, Europeans do not look to the U.S. for fashion guidance. Nor do I think that Europeans en masse can be said to be possessed of a “cultural envy” toward those same Americans. Financial envy perhaps, cultural definitely not.
INGRID MILLS, GWENT, SOUTH WALES
A rolling stone
I am writing in response to your article A Window in a Bright Corner (Theatre, July 21), in which you reported on the Festival Lennoxville. People associated with the festival are very pleased with this complimentary article. However, I must report one inaccuracy in the comments on The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon: “. . . with accomplished curlers from a local club sliding their rocks from offstage.” Even though some assistance was provided by local curlers in rehearsal sessions, it is the actors themselves who deliver the stones. It is a credit to the professional keenness and ability of this group of actors (and especially Brian Paul), and their sessions of practice on this novel surface, that has ensured a brilliant and funny show. I have enjoyed the show several times—and Wullie has won every game.
BILL ROURKE, PRESIDENT, LENNOXVILLE CURLING CLUB, QUE.
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Divide and conquer
I would like to compliment Maurice F. Strong for his article But It Can Happen Here (Podium, July 21). I think the piece should be compulsory reading—or should I say “required” reading—in a free country. I am terribly saddened at the state of affairs in our country at the present time, and I cannot imagine what our provinces are thinking about. Have they any idea what they could do to Canada? Do they not know that “a nation divided against itself shall fall”?
BETTY BEIRNE, COQUITLAM, B.C.
Aiding or abetting?
It was disappointing to read your article The North and South of It (Canada, Aug. 18) on the demands for a greatly increased Canadian foreign aid budget. The only conclusion that so-called experts on development have drawn from the utter failure of the billions of aid dollars that the industrialized West has transferred to the infelicitously named developing nations since the Second World War to alleviate Third World poverty is that more billions are needed. The proper conclusion is that contemporary foreign aid policies don’t work.
Food aid has not filled empty bellies so much as it has lifted the lid on population and increased the number of empty bellies while wrecking indigenous agriculture. Bankrolling unsuccessful socialist experiments has promoted not development but an international welfare mentality.
JAMES P. HULL, VICE-PRESIDENT, CITIZENS FOR FOREIGN AID REFORM INC.,
David Silcox’s article Let's Not Misunderstand Each Other (Podium, Aug. 11) came across to this reader as a welltaken and sincere appeal for the culture that is rightfully ours as Canadians. We have too long assumed an altruistic and apologetic attitude toward expressing ourselves creatively in relation to our country. I would like to suggest that it would be a timely gesture for the powers that be to establish a Western Canadian Canada Council office. This would make realistic sense. National unity could be served and it would be one of a number of politically wise overtures that Ottawa must inevitably make to the West. Even a token office would be better than nothing—at least it would show some willingness on the
part of the federal government to service adequately the large and growing artistic energy of this equally vital part of Canada.
LUTHER POKRANT, WINNIPEG
Bravo to David P. Silcox for his acuity in pointing out the true dimensions of our new constitution—addressing the “purpose of government to the minds, hearts and spirit of a people.” Civilizations down through the ages have indeed been remembered not so much for their policies as for their arts. To say that our government encourages cultural malnutrition with its token recognition of the arts is to admit that our politicians are more attuned to the demands of those people whose myopic vision begins and ends with health, pensions and gasoline taxes. Are we doomed to be pitied as a nation polarized by economic squabbling, held together by the Plasticine of regional appeasement? Or will we be emulated as a nation by the enduring fibres of a unique cultural spirit mirrored through our artists?
MARY GARDINER, PRESIDENT, ALLIANCE FOR CANADIAN NEW MUSIC PROJECTS, ISLINGTON, ONT.
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