LETTERS

LETTERS

November 27 1989
LETTERS

LETTERS

November 27 1989

LETTERS

MISGUIDED CRUSADER?

Your article “A crusader’s challenge” (Canada, Nov. 6) overlooks the fact that Henry Morgentaler chose a blunt way of breaking the law in order to impose his view. In most countries, such a person would be regarded as a criminal and not a national hero. Why did Morgentaler not choose a normal way of proving his point instead of exploiting loopholes in the existing law? I do not think much of a justice system in which you must break the law to make your point.

Dr. Stanislaw Skonieczny, Toronto

The residents of McCully Street in Halifax, where Morgentaler’s clinic is located, should be worried. Anti-abortionists have a history of aggressive behavior. Pro-choice groups may be noisy, but they don’t bomb clinics or throw rocks. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? You can be absolutely sure of one thing: women who do not want to be pregnant will find a way to get an abortion. It is up to the voters to make it legal and safe.

Barbara Otty Yacos, Hanover, N.H.

A DIMINISHING VOICE

As an anglophone living in Quebec, I feel compelled to point out that the French language in and outside of Quebec is in grave danger (“The return to two solitudes,” Cover, Nov. 6). No one has ever pretended that the same was true of the English language in Quebec. Rather than piously speaking of “rights,” I wish some English-Canadians would admit to what is happening in French-speaking Canada’s fight against assimilation and offer solutions.

Bruce Sack, Gatineau, Que.

The attitude of the members of CUPE Local 813 towards Saint John Regional Hospital’s bilingual policy is truly appalling. To limit the language issue to saying “Let them learn English” shows true lack of compassion. Are nurses and doctors expected to let their French-speaking patients suffer because those patients cannot express their pains? Is the provincially funded new cardiac unit to serve only half the province? French-speaking New Brunswickers pay taxes too.

Rachel Doucet, Ottawa

MIDDLE-CLASS HEDONISM

Your article “Destroying the middle class” (Business/Special Report, Nov. 6) compares family spending today with that in 1969,

Morgentaler: ‘breaking the law’

but fails to mention that, in 1969, our lives somehow went on without $100 running shoes, two $30,000 cars in the garage, or blowing hundreds on parties for every school grad and thousands on their weddings. Is our problem too little income and too-high taxes, or is it confused priorities and distorted values? Could we not all try for a less hedonistic Canada?

D. Barry Anderson Langley, B.C.

DISPUTING FOTH

I must dispute Allan Fotheringham’s remarks about me quoted in the Nov. 20 review of his book (“ ‘Picky, picky, picky,’ ” Books). Fotheringham reports that I had good sources—which “ ‘may or may not have something to do with the fact she has been a friend of, and is now married to, Bay Street millionaire Tom Kierans.’ ” I have been a journalist for 18 years, including 10 years on Parliament Hill. I first spoke to Kierans in 1986.1 deeply regret that, in 1989, a woman still has to prove that her sources did not, and do not, speak to her because of her relationship with a man.

Mary Janigan, Toronto

TRAGIC FOOTNOTE

The article “A pain-filled mystery” (World, Oct. 30) draws renewed attention to the abject failure of the Allies to constrain the inhumane activities of the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Unfortunately, the unexplained disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg, while tragic, is only a footnote to the disappearance of the freedom of so many Eastern European nations.

Geoffrey Wasteneys, Ottawa

LETTERS

FREE TRADE PREDICTIONS

If there is any consolation to be gained from the de-industrialization of Canada under the Free Trade Agreement with the United States (“Opting out of the 21st century,” Business Watch, Oct. 23), it is that warehouses pollute far less than factories do. Furthermore, as more and more Canadians lose their jobs, we will have far fewer automobiles on the roads spewing their fumes into the air. I suppose we should all be grateful to the Mulroney government for its renewed commitment to the environment.

Christopher J. Carss, North Bay, Ont.

Congratulations to Peter C. Newman for saying it like it is. Far from admitting that free trade is bad for Canada, our Prime Minister is about to drop the other shoe: the Goods and Services Tax due to kick in on Jan. 1,1991. In my opinion, this additional blow will accelerate unemployment, cause double-digit inflation and bring Canada to its knees within one year of its implementation.

Joseph Carrière, Garson, Ont.

NG APPEAL

Federal Justice Minister Doug Lewis has done the right thing by ordering the extradition to California of Charles Ng (“Ng’s extradition ordered,” National Notes, Nov. 6). Unfortunately, the lawyer for the accused mass murderer plans to appeal that order, which could tie up the case for years and allow Ng to stay in Canada, where he does not belong.

Dan Nyznik, Shady Nook, Ont.

LIFESTYLE, NOT DIETING

Congratulations on your recent article on the dangers of dieting (“The dangers of dieting,” Cover, Oct. 9). The problems of dieting causing feelings of deprivation and dropping one’s metabolic rate were well portrayed. However, the use of body-mass index may confuse the reader, because it is another way of relating overall condition to weight. Waist/hip ratio and body composition may be measurements more in tune with issues of today. In fact, adopting a healthier lifestyle may result in increased weight but a slimmer body. The focus in the 1990s will be on improved self-esteem, which will result in individuals making positive lifestyle changes that will allow them to be the best they can be.

Linda Omichinski, Portage la Prairie, Man.

LETTERS

VIGILANCE IN THE BANK

Your Oct. 23 cover story (“Hiding the drug money”) implies that Canadian moneylaundering legislation is insufficient because, unlike U.S. banks, banks in Canada are not forced by law to report cash transactions of $10,000 or more. What you fail to point out, however, is that current and former officials are among those now raising doubts about the effectiveness of the U.S. reporting procedures. Canada’s major banks have joined the battle against money laundering. Staff are constantly being trained to recognize laundering techniques. Suspicious transactions are reported or turned away. These procedures—coupled with Canada’s Bill C-61—offer a much more effective solution than the simplistic and bureaucratic U.S. reporting methods. The Royal Bank alone reported 70 cases of suspected money laundering to the RCMP in the first nine months of this year. We suspect that, under the clogged U.S. system, many of these cases would have simply been lost in a sea of paper.

John E. Cleghorn, President, Royal Bank of Canada, Montreal

HOAX OF THE DECADE

Albertans deserve the hoax of the decade award for participating in a Senate nomination election (“A battle joined,” Cover, Nov. 6). But who is going to tell the victims, the Reform Party in general and Stanley Waters in particular, that, in reality, no one—I mean no one—gives a hoot about the Senate.

Gordon M. Booth, Blainville, Que.

At the rate we are going under the Conservative government in Ottawa, if we are not careful we will end up with a Triple E Senate whether we like it or not. That will be when Canada has two senators in Washington.

MOVING PLATES

The earthquake, it seems, has shaken up more than just San Francisco (“The origins of killer quakes,” Cover, Oct. 30). You got a bit mixed up and have the Pacific and North American plates moving in your illustration opposite to how they actually move.

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.