While your review of the Toronto production of Les Miserables (“Kaleidoscope of passions,” Cover, March 27) provides the deserved credit for a passionate, thoroughly enjoyable production, the criticism of the recurrence of melody and verse of many of the play’s songs is somewhat naïve. After seeing Les Miz, one of the compliments I had for it was that a familiar song or melody would recur at various stages. As the conflict between Jean Valjean and Insp. Javert wages on throughout the years, so does the memory that all the characters are products of their past and are much more dimensional for it.
Douglas A. Manners, London, Ont.
I read most of your magazine without fail every issue. The articles are well written and informative and give a variety of newsworthy items. “The magic musicals” (Cover, March 27), was probably one of my favorites. It is about time entertainment here in Canada got the recognition it deserves. Keep up the great articles in this field, and let us see more on musicians and others in entertainment.
Irene Heath, Brantford, Ont.
OPTING FOR CONVENIENCE
I take issue with your description of Percy Wickman as “wheelchair-bound” and “confined to a wheelchair” (“A quarterback sack,” Canada, April 3). You might as well describe everyone else as “car-bound” or “confined to shoes.” I am confident that, rather than being a prisoner, Wickman has chosen to use a wheelchair because it’s a convenient way of getting around.
Jane McEwan, Victoria
Working women, quite rightly, may deduct child care expenses from their taxable incomes (“The new debt crisis,” Business, April 10). But the families that try to keep the home fires burning not only sacrifice a second income but are also penalized at tax time. So much for the politicians’ platitudes about the virtues of traditional family values. Falling birthrates are now accompanied by more divorce, single parents, runaways, prostitution, drug use and crime. Perhaps it is time we recognized the considerable social contribution made by homemaking parents—not with more platitudes but with realistic amendments to the Income Tax Act.
Alan Herscovici, Outremont, Que.
As a native of Newfoundland, I am particularly interested in the question of whether Newfoundlanders are better off since Confederation (“Anniversary on the Rock,” Special Report, April 3). Having a small population base, their power in international matters concerning them is practically nonexistent. The
recently announced Canada-France cod deal only confirms that reality. With the total allowable catch for Canadian companies being reduced this year, how can one justify the Mulroney government’s plan to allow France to increase its quota? Is Newfoundland really better off under a government that makes its decisions with little or no consultation with the people it will affect most?
Bruce Hickey, Winnipeg
Joey Smallwood dragged us from serfdom to the 20th century and offered dignity, the prior reserve of church and gentry. A Bayman is premier, and his (my) people are not pawns of an entrenched elite. Thanks.
Peter C. Hatch, Hantsport, N.S.
Yes, it is true our mayor, Jean Doré, will take home a whopping $103,000 this year (“High salaries at city hall,” Opening Notes, March 27), but, in all fairness, the sum is not strictly for his duties as mayor. Doré is paid $80,695 as mayor, including a $9,215 tax-free benefit. He also earns extra money as a mem-
ber of the Montreal Urban Community executive for sitting on the MUC council and for being MUC council vice-chairman. If making comparisons to other elected officials, one should include their associated tasks, as well.
Mark Kelley, Montreal
Dan McKenzie is certainly high profile, possibly disgruntled and a western Tory (“Upset in the West,” Canada, March 27). However, since he retired from the House of Commons with the calling of the last federal election, he is no longer an MP. I also wonder, given McKenzie’s well-known opinions on certain sensitive national issues, how attractive a candidate he would be to the Reform party.
Peter H. Studer, Nepean, Ont.
Regarding “Feuding over fission” (Energy, March 27), an outrageously contrived consumer attitude about a continued need for increasing volumes of electrical power in a proportion far exceeding the growth of the population is just one of the problems you do not address when reopening the nuclear question. The overconsumption of energy is what needs to be addressed, not the solicited perception of increased need. As well, the use of byproducts to reduce or delay the unsolved problems associated with nuclear waste disposal has caused the sprouting of other controversial enterprises, such as arms production and the irradiation of food. I think responsible journalism requires exposing the related issues when discussing the costs and benefits.
‘STRAIGHT OFF THE BOAT’
Judging from his letter (“Blatant Quebecbashing,” March 27), Ronald Conrad, sitting comfortably in his Thornhill, Ont., home, obviously has no idea of the political climate in Quebec. After years of trying to redress the real and imagined wrongs of the past, we anglophones are still being regarded as English “straight off the boat.” Perhaps Mr. Conrad should come here to live. Then, perhaps after 20 or 30 years, he may have the firsthand information to express an opinion.
Babette Cochand, Ste-Marguerite Station, Que.
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.
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