LETTERS

October 16 1989

LETTERS

October 16 1989

LETTERS

EXODUS OF FANS

It certainly was a magical moment for those in attendance when Nelson Liriano hit a twoout, game-winning hit in the bottom of the 13th (“The myths of autumn,” Cover, Oct. 2). But was the writer really paying attention to the exodus of fans earlier, when the Blue Jays were in a hopeless two-out situation in the bottom of the 10th inning? By the time the game-winning hit was stroked, more than half of the 49,352 fans were sulking in downtown bars. In contrast to what the author states, Toronto lacks a major ingredient of baseball: intelligent and dedicated fans. Indeed, those 49,352 screaming Blue Jays fans were simply a “myth of autumn.”

David J. Kloppenburg, Puslinch, Ont.

You state in “The myths of autumn”: “Never has the game, which some baseball historians say was first played on the grassy fields of sedate gentlemen’s clubs in New York state and Massachusetts more than 150 years ago, been so popular.” A little bit of research would have found that the first recorded baseball game was played in Beachville, Upper Canada, on June 4, 1838. That occurred more than a year earlier than the American game at Cooperstown, N.Y. Caught you reading Yankee information books, eh?

Dale White, Mississauga, Ont.

Larry Grossman’s heckling of Lloyd Moseby struck me as cruel and insensitive (“The view from Section 117,” Cover, Oct. 2). From the man who put the final nails in the coffin of the Ontario Tory dynasty, I would have expected more empathy towards an individual struggling to do a job.

Rick Durst, Toronto

I relished greatly your Oct. 2 baseball issue, but the writer who made special mention of only two Class AAA leagues—the American Association and the International League, both U.S.based—should be benched or placed on waivers. His essay ignored completely the Class AAA Pacific Coast League—the only Triple A league in North America with three flourishing Canadian franchises. Supporters of the Edmonton Trappers, the Calgary Cannons and the Vancouver Canadians are not amused by this glaring omission. Please remind your sports •writers that there actually is life west of Toronto.

Senator Ray Perrault, Honorary Chairman, Vancouver Canadians Baseball, Vancouver

‘FUTILE PROJECT’

In response to the article about Hilary Weston and Nicole Eaton, who conspired to write a critical book about gardens in Canada and England (“Backyard pride,” People, Oct. 2): So what? Does it really matter? I do not understand how “frustration” and “anger”

could have prompted these two prominent socialites to write a book about the gardens across Canada and to make a comparison with the celebrated backyards of England. What a useless and futile project. How about writing about the more pressing and urgent matters of the day?

Pearl Taylor, West Hill, Ont.

CONDOM SENSE

Things will not change until the sexologists, the teachers, the manufacturers and the advertisers modify the current emphasis on the use of condoms to prevent disease. They should take a lesson from the purveyors of cigarettes, who developed the approach to a fine art. Young people do not expect to get pregnant or to develop a life-threatening sexually transmitted disease. That happens to one’s acquaintances, not to oneself. I’m old-fashioned enough to recommend abstinence as a first choice, but practicalities must be faced, and one of these is that times are changing.

Donald I. Shade, Petawawa, Ont.

Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply name, address and telephone number. Mail correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7.

LETTERS

HIGH TUITIONS NO ANSWER

Your article on Canadian universities was telling (“The rising crisis,” Special Report, Sept. 18). Public universities should not have to rely on private donations and exorbitant tuition fees to operate—that is the business of the private university. If the present funding trend is not turned around, Canada will find more and more of its brightest minds leaving for the United States, where academic achievement is rewarded by high funding, updated facilities, and high-quality teaching and research. As an alumna of the University of Saskatchewan presently doing graduate work at Columbia University, I have chosen to stay in the United States to receive a good education.

Heather Selin, New York City

Your report depicted horrendously low Canadian tuition fees when compared with American fees. But comparing private U.S. institutions with public Canadian institutions is useless, as the funding structures are completely different. A comparison between Canadian and U.S. public institutions should have been used. In 1984-1985, tuition and other fees at the University of Toronto were $2,042, while tuition at the publicly funded University of California in Los Angeles was $3,891—not so large a difference as that passed off as the norm in your report. The problem in Canada is a lack of adequate government support. In 1984-1985, U of T received $7,740 in government grants per full-time student while UCLA received $15,382 per student. To blame the underfunding crisis on low tuition fees is ridiculous.

Bryan Leblanc, Researcher,

McMaster University Students Union Inc.,

Hamilton

DISCRIMINATORY MEDIA

I must protest the bias of your reporting on the hostage crisis in the Middle East (“Hostages to terror,” Cover, Aug. 14). While playing down Israel’s kidnapping of Sheik Abdel Kareem Obeid, you go all out to depict the Arabs as gun-toting terrorists, with photos to prove it. But we should be much more upset by a nation resorting to terrorism than by the terrorism of fundamentalist hotheads like the Hizbollah. The despair of the Palestinian people produces Arab terrorism, and that despair comes from the fact that they are a people we would like to forget. Concern for human rights is credible only when it speaks out equally for all individuals, all people. Discrimination such as you and most of the Western media practise makes all your moral protests suspect and sham.

Henry Beissel, Alexandria, Ont.

TO TELL THE TRUTH

I felt sad when I started reading your article about Ben Johnson (“Starting over,” Sports, Sept. 18) but was happy when I read in the last paragraph that Johnson would run again—without drugs. Many Canadians will be even more interested in watching his next race and wishing him good luck.

Margaret Mastín, Montreal

Tell the truth and we will strip you of your medals and cancel your records. What an intelligent decision. The International Amateur Athletic Association could not have made a more calculated decision to promote dishonesty in sport. What about the dozens of medals and records acquired by other countries? For a certainty, Canada was not the only winner of drug-assisted medals at the Olympics.

L. Elmer Hansen,

Tsawwassen, B.C.

BILINGUAL DILEMMA

In your article “Linguistic backlash” (Canada, Aug. 28), you have once again labelled the New Brunswick Confederation of Regions party anti-bilingual. Not so. The COR is not opposed to bilingualism where numbers and circumstances so warrant. The broad-brush application of official bilingualism is at issue in this province. Should another province—Ontario, for example—adopt official bilingualism, Ontarians would be aware of what is actually involved in legislated language discrimination. Its effect on employment, advancement and other aspects of restricted economic activity would be a rude awakening to all.

Cyril J. Farrell, Riverview, N.B.

While Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa restricts the use of English, New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna promotes the use of both of Canada’s official languages. Pity that neither our Prime Minister nor his Quebec lieutenant will follow McKenna’s leadership on this issue.

Bruce MacMillan, West Hill, Ont.

INEFFECTIVE STRATEGY

If the United States is serious about the problem of cocaine (“Andean strategy,” World, Sept. 18), why do they not look at how people have turned away from tobacco? The use of that drug is on the decline, and not a single shot has been fired. Stiffer penalties and government meddling only increase drug use. Maybe next we will see a picture of Bush holding a bag of “the deadly AIDS virus” as he explains his plans to send troops to San Francisco to stop the spread of that disease.

Dan Morin, Calgary

SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE?

Thanks for a making a success of my day substituting for a junior-high-school science and computer teacher. “A day in the year 2060” (Cover, Sept. 11) sparked student interest, and their responsiveness was gratifying. The single flaw in the cover package was your choice of Marilyn Monroe’s holographic image in “Fantastic hardware.” I’ll reserve the paradox of technological complexity and overly simplified life implied by that choice for future classroom reference.

Catherine Whitney, Bridgetown, N.S.

DEBATING THE GST

It boggles the mind that this country is seriously considering the imposition of a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax when there is so little to commend such a measure (“A looming tax revolt,” Canada, Aug. 21). Spending excesses at all levels of government need to be pruned, and part of the millions earmarked for the introduction of the GST should be directed instead to eliminating loopholes in the income-tax system. The government has indicated that it will spend millions of dollars to “educate” the public on the wisdom of introducing the GST. It is about time that the public educates the government on the folly of doing so.

G. Ronald Knight, Victoria

We have brought on the GST with years of irresponsible spending. We have supported expensive institutions like the Governor General, the Senate and the CBC, and they have returned little value. We have placated hundreds of special-interest groups with no regard for the taxpayer and have wasted millions on ineffective programs. There should be no GST exemptions until we learn our lesson and cut spending.

Keith Shanahan, Calgary

INDEPENDENT PROTEST

In “Risky business” (Canada, Sept. 11), you refer to my remarks on federal Environment Minister Lucien Bouchard’s decision concerning the Rafferty Dam project in Saskatchewan. You stated that I am affiliated with the New Democratic Party. I am not. Nor is the group I speak for, Stop Construction on the Rafferty-Alameda Project. The incorrect political connection might detract from the strength of my statement condemning Bouchard.

Roderick E. MacDonald, Radville, Sask.