While reading your article on our [Swift Current] Broncos (“Of tragedy and triumph,” Sports, March 30), I could not help but relive many of the emotions I felt on the night of Dec. 30, and for many days afterwards. What our Broncos accomplished is nothing short of outstanding, remarkable, amazing and even miraculous. Graham James, their coach and general manager, said during the memorial service, “I don’t know that tragic events such as this build character, but it sure does reveal it.” Those of us who watched them, game in and game out for the entire season, can attest to the fact that these young men have great character. The Swift Current Bronco hockey club, whatever the criteria used to measure such an honor, is highly deserving of the title “Canadian Team of the Year.”
— R. J. L’HEUREUX, Swift Current, Sask.
I was pleased to read “Trouble in Paradise” (Recreation, April 6) concerning the annual appearance of skateboarding kids on the streets of Vancouver. In their Day-Glo baggies, atop customized boards, these exuberant sidewalk surfers have raised protests from the more somnambulant residents of Lotusland. City councils are busily fussing over bylaw amendments designed to stem the rising tide of kamikaze kids while ignoring the positive aspects of the sport. Skateboarding is a demanding activity that teaches youngsters balance and coordination while helping to steer them away from drugs. It seems that making
OR COMPLETE THIS FORM AND MAIL AT LEAST 8 WEEKS BEFORE YOU MOVE
the streets safe for pedestrians is a more serious problem than I had thought.
-GEOFFREY PRESCOTT, Burnaby, B. C.
Those low-flying storks
I found it ironic that federal Fisheries Minister Thomas Siddon approved a seal hunt on the condition that only adult seals could be hunted and the white-coated baby seals be pardoned (“Back to the killing field,” Canada, April 6). Where does he think baby seals come from and, once born, how do they get nourishment and care? Has Siddon been seeing those low-flying storks again?
—C.G. WARRINGTON, Toronto
Granny’s fair weather bedbug
Your reference to TV forecasters as “weather clowns” (“Clever weather clowns,” Weather, March 16) was quite appropriate. Like some of the weather they predict, they are quite balmy. Despite the latest scientific equipment, about all they know is that the wind is probably coming from the window and that if they hold a wet finger up in the air and it stays wet it is raining. I will stick with my old Granny for best results. She keeps a bedbug in a matchbox and checks on it each morning. She knows that if the bug is lying on its side, it is going to rain; if it is standing up, it will be fine and if on its back, it’s asleep. From the point of view of accuracy, Granny says TV weathercasters spend most of their time on their backs.
-ED GOULD, Victoria
From tbe heart
What a great job Fotheringham did on his column “There was no penalty on the play” (March 16). It’s nice to see him writing from the heart and not the hip.
-RICK DESROCHER, Val Thérèse, Ont.
Life or death
I am among those Canadians who favor capital punishment (“The death vote,” Cover, March 16). The murder rate in Canada may not have gone up since the last execution, but the savagery, randomness and frivolity of motive of first degree murders have increased alarmingly. Opponents say that capital punishment has no deterrent effect. Curiously, there is no argument about the deterrent effect of prison sentences. Losing one’s liberty is a deterrent, but losing one’s life is not?
—JOSEPH Z. BAKO,
It was intriguing to note that both opponents and proponents of the death penalty are stymied by the same issuedeath. Must capital punishment and death be synonymous? The term “penal colony” may sound disgusting to some, perhaps because we recall stories of Devil’s Island and Siberia. Yet I seem to recall that those places are associated with two civilized countries. Why not select Ellesmere Island as the site for a similar penal colony. And who would need guards? Let us hear some intelligent debate—not about death but about permanent removal from society and paying one’s just dues.
— BERNARD E. POIRIER, Ottawa, Ont.
All of the 124 members of parliament who want the death penalty restored should automatically become candidates for the position of executioner. That job should be held in conjunction with their other parliamentary duties. Anyone who expects someone else to carry out murder to satisfy their idea of vengeance should be prepared to carry out the loathsome deed themselves.
Campbell River, B.C.
People in this country who oppose capital punishment keep stating that capital punishment is not a deterrent. I challenge them to show a case where a murderer who has been executed has committed murder again.
—DARYL R. FOXCROFT,
In defence of Lamer
I was shocked to read the comment suggesting that Mr. Justice Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada was not a likely candidate for Chief Justice in future because of “criticism in the legal community of his performance on the top court” (“Judging the contenders,” Canada, March 9). Mr Justice Lamer is a learned, dedicated and hardworking jurist, who has proven his ability as a trial judge, as a provincial appellate court
judge and as President of the Law Reform Commission of Canada for many years. Your comment, in my view, was totally unwarranted and does not reflect the view of the legal community.
— BRYAN WILLIAMS, Q.C, President, The Canadian Bar Association, Vancouver, B.C.
As a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and Director of the Criminal Lawyer’s Association, if there were criticism in the legal community of Justice Lamer I would have heard of it. There is none.
— CLAYTON C. RUBY, Toronto, Ont.
A cool breeze from Thunder Bay
Thank you for the long-awaited article on the man responsible for more Canadian content on American network television than any other, Paul Shaffer (“The apostle of hip from Thunder Bay,” Show Business, March 16).
—JOAN MURPHY, Gloucester, Ont.
In one eye and out the other
Normally the ditherings of Fotheringham have an innate capacity to go in one eye and out the other without any noticeable impression. However, he struck a chord when he wrote about hockey violence (“There was no penalty on the play,” Column, March 16). The majority of Canadians love the game of hockey and deplore the tactics that some of the NHL players get away with. It is ruining the game.
— CHARLES LE ROYER, Beaconsfield, Que.
Allan Fotheringham has identified one of the major reasons for the large increase in hockey-related incidents of spinal cord injuries that we have documented during the past few years. There is no doubt the amateurs are trying to emulate the rough play of the professionals. One of the most common mechanisms of injury has been the check from behind with the unsuspecting victim being thrown into the boards head first. The hockey leagues, including professionals, must come to grips with that major problem.
—CHARLES H. TATOR, Director of Canadian Sports Spine and Head Injuries Research
Toronto Western Hospital Toronto, Ont.
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