Doug Small of Global Television has done a great disservice to our country by going public with the budget document he received (“The tax squeeze,” Canada/Cover, May 8). The greater valor would have been to sit on it. Knowingly releasing a document that would cause international damage to Canada speaks volumes about his feelings for Canada. Ed Broadbent and John Turner’s self-righteous posturing on the issue of the budget leak is prima facie evidence that politicians often lack integrity, for, were the shoe on the other foot, their song would be different. It is a sad day for our country when personal, corporate or party gain is of more importance than the country.
Eric Pedersen, Calgary
Fifty-one weeks of the year, Maclean ’s offers fulsome coverage of the world’s tragedies and on the 52nd, it relaxes in the green and pleasant land of golf (“The hottest game,” Cover, April 10), only to have someone berate the editors for covering a “decadent” pastiihe (“Remembering a golfer,” Letters, May 1). Come on. What about golf’s gift to the preservation of grass and trees and fresh air, in contrast with the concrete stadia dedicated to rock concerts and football bashers?
Donald A. McGill, New York City
LIVING IN DARKNESS
When discussing racism (“Assault on racism,” Canada, April 24), the focus of discussion should not be the poor ignoramus whose hostile knee-jerk response to anyone or anything different is the inevitable reaction of anyone living in darkness. Such people are easily influenced and inflamed by the rumors heard on the streets and fanned by the media. These people are a club in the hands of the soulless members of the business world who seek to beat down any possible competition from the “foreigners.” The fear many business people have of competition is as strong as the xenophobia of the Archie Bunkers.
Ed Durocher, St. Catharines, Ont.
CLEARLY, A MESSAGE
Regarding your April 24 issue (and many others): Clearly, the word “clearly” is overworked. Have you counted the times it is used? Your writers may wish to consider some other variant such as limpidly, unarguably, obviously or lucidly. Or to just drop it.
Maxwell Bennett, Agincourt, Ont.
George Bain’s column “Entertainment disguised as news” (Media Watch, April 24) accused CBC’s The Journal of providing entertainment instead of news. Is The Journal neglecting its assignment of news in depth by using music and dramatic camera work while presenting headline stories? The Journal maintains its standards of accuracy while attempting to draw viewers who require a few distrac-
tions during an hour of oil spills, tax increases and scandal. If devices such as background music can lead to increased public awareness, The Journal has covered the news in depth, as promised.
Darlene T. Weiler, Trout Creek, Ont.
Regarding “Life-and-death issues” (Medicine, May 1), it might be interesting to know that family members usually turn to the most accessible personnel in the intensive care unit to help them resolve ethical conflicts— notably, the bedside nurse. An experienced ICU nurse will often have accurate gut feelings about the outcome of the treatment. And we can afford to be more candid and objective than the physicians, who have litigation concerns. But the painful and emotional nature of the questions with which we are confronted is sometimes too much for us to bear.
Dianne Murray-Rodrigues, icu nurse, Windsor, 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.
I was heartened to read that psychiatrists in Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, with the help of an ethics committee, took such a responsible position on the release of a schizophrenic patient (“Life-and-death issues,” Medicine, May 1). Believing the patient would be at risk if she were discharged without follow-up, the psychiatrists devised an innovative discharge plan to prevent her condition from deteriorating when she left hospital. Their actions showed understanding, compassion and respect for their patient. They demonstrated a recognition of their responsibility to ensure she was not abandoned when she walked out the hospital door.
June Conway Beeby, Executive Director, Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics, Toronto
SHADOW OF A GIANT
The new Europe—“Fortress Europe,” as Peter C. Newman calls it in “The birth of a new continental power” (Business Watch, May 1)—has some ominous aspects. The shadow of this colossal giant prompts even Newman to urge Canadians that “unless we hurry, Canada
will not be part of it.” One must regard such a figure emerging out of the morass of languages, races, nations, divided loyalties and assorted political persuasions with an uneasy and skeptical optimism at best. Here is a “new continent” so formidable that we must hasten to gain its stamp of approval or find ourselves unable to buy or sell internationally.
David Mills, Toronto
Newman decries the chaos occasioned by lack of standardization among European specifications. Yet he refers to “two pounds of previous documentation.” One of the prerequisites for Canada’s participation in the European trading scene will be our ability to use metric. Perhaps Maclean ’s should accept the metric challenge more seriously—if they would rather be associated with the solution than the problem.
Duncan T. Bath, Peterborough, Ont.
Your review of Benazir Bhutto’s Daughter of Destiny (“Bom to rule,” Books, April 24) rightly points out the formidable obstacles in the way of a liberal and modernizing ruler of Pakistan, female or male. But Bhutto is not “the first woman to head an Islamic country.” Jalalat-ad-din Raziya ruled the kingdom of Delhi from AD 1236 to 1240. Unlike Bhutto, Raziya
had three brothers who also ruled—but she was the ablest and the preferred heir of her father, the great Sultan Iltutmish. We speak of Bhutto with a touch of condescension, but Moslem Pakistan does have a woman running its government. When will enlightened Canada be able to say the same?
Dr. Fritz Lehmann, Department of history, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
PURSUING PREDICTABLE LINES
Every thinking man must agree with Diane Francis that the national debt must be dealt with now (“Back to a chilling financial future,” Column, April 17). How disappointing it is to find the leaders of the opposition parties pursuing their predictable line of chastising the government for doing what must be done, instead of supporting the initiatives to keep Canada from becoming another Brazil.
Donald Ross, Winnipeg
Diane Francis’ column on the alarming state of our national debt worries me. If we were at war, people would be willing to give their lives for our country, but they don’t seem to be able to do without their extras for a time in order to help Canada. We have benefited from a high standard of living for the last 30 years. Why
can’t we stop bellyaching and bite the bullet? It makes me angry that so many people are proud of beating the tax structure, not realizing how much harm they are doing our country.
Elinor Guthrie, Peterborough, Ont.
CULTURE OF MONEY
Unfortunately, British Columbia’s present government believes that the culture of money should reign supreme over the culture of Canada (“Assault on racism,” Canada, April 24). If it wants to eliminate racism, it should put Canadian culture ahead of foreign money and limit immigration and foreign investment. If a white condominium owner refused to sell a unit to an Asian, he or she would be crucified for being a racist. It was all right, however, for Hong Kong developer Li Ka-shing to build condominiums in Vancouver and sell every unit in Hong Kong without allowing Canadians to live in this condominium in their own country.
Bruce Young, Quesnel, B.C.
Allan Fotheringham has once again hit the nail on the head and he has proved that he is one of the few “world-class” commentators that we have (“World-class civic mean-mindedness,” Column, April 17). His exhortations to cease and desist to those who would elevate Toronto using advertisement copy similar to that of a health club or condo salesperson are, I hope, a signal to call a halt to it. Even to compare Toronto—nice city though it is—to London or Paris is patently ridiculous. When Toronto has 700 miles of subway, several airports that work and 10 or more million people to support the cultural and public facilities of such cities, it will have no need to resort to the huckster’s appeal.
Brian J. Gooding, Mississauga, Ont.
Shame on you, Maclean ’s. Two world champion curlers who should have been on the cover, relegated to a three-by-four-inch box (“Happy again,” People, April 24). Even worse were the comments accompanying the picture: I doubt if Heather Houston or Pat Ryan needed their “bruised egos” healed, though I’m sure they were both disappointed at coming second in 1988. I and many other Canadians feel coming second in any world competition is something to be proud of. But no wonder athletes are under such pressure they turn to other ways to win than their own abilities.
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