OPENNING NOTES

August 30 1993

OPENNING NOTES

August 30 1993

OPENNING NOTES

BANNED PARENTHOOD?

A strange battle of sexual and racial politics is brewing at Canada’s largest university. On Sept. 2, the board of directors of the University of Toronto’s student council will decide whether to forbid the family-planning advocacy group Planned Parenthood from passing out pamphlets on birth control, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in freshman-orientation packages. By calling for the ban, student council women’s issues officer Rheba Estante, who says that she is pro-choice on abortion and “not anti-safe sex,” is taking on the pro-choice, pro-safe sex Planned Parenthood organization. Estante argues that Margaret Sanger, who founded the Planned Parenthood Federation in 1921, supported racist population-control policies. “Sanger said people should get licences to be parents and thought that certain races should be restricted from having children,” says fourth-year arts student Estante. For her part, Sandra Margerrison, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Toronto, is lobbying to get the ban voted down. “Ideas and values change,” says Margerrison, who usually distributes about 4,000 pamphlets during orientation each fall. “We just want to help students make choices around sexuality and reproductive health.” Safe-sex information, it seems, is OK—but be careful where you pick it up.

WORD FOR WORD

The forgotten people

The attempted suicides of Innu children in a Davis Inlet island community in Labrador focused attention earlier this year on a people plagued by poverty and poor living conditions. Innu leaders trace those problems to Ottawa’s decision in 1967 to move the community to the island. Now, the 500 residents want to move to the mainland. Last week, in a report for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, University of Ottawa dean of common law Donald McRae condemned the federal government for its inaction. Excerpts:

“Although the Innu were not opposed to the move to Iluikoyak Island [in 1967], they had been led to believe that they would have houses

built for them at the new site with running water and sewage disposal. In fact, houses were built with bathrooms and flush toilets that presupposed the existence of running water and sewage disposal, but these amenities were never provided. The intolerable conditions under which the Innu live in Davis Inlet have been an important contributor to the poor standard of health in the community and widespread social dysfunction.”

“Since 1949, the federal government has had a specific ‘fiduciary’ obligation [to] the Innu—it has had both the opportunity and the obligation to act. Regrettably, it has not done so. This inaction ... is a failure to live up to the standards that most Canadians would expect of their government, and it is a failure to meet the standards required by the international community of states in respect of the protection of basic human rights.”

Across enemy lines

In his 25 years in publishing, the president of Douglas and McIntyre says that he has never seen anything like it. “Never has a European nation been this interested in a work of nonfiction,” says Scott McIntyre of Peacekeeper, the memoirs of retired Canadian major-general Lewis MacKenzie, who became an international celebrity during his tenure last year with UN forces in war-splintered Yugoslavia. McIntyre’s assessment might be a case of publisher’s licence, but no matter how great the demand, readers in the European state he is speaking of—Serbia, which kept the name Yugoslavia—will not get a legal look at the general’s book. McIntyre can’t sell the rights to Peacekeeper, which will be released in Canada on Sept. 18, to publishers in Yugoslavia because of the UN embargo prohibiting trade with the Serb-dominated country. Such are the spoils of war.

BESTSELLERS

FICTION

1. The Bridges of Madison County, Robert Waller (1)

2. Without Remorse, Tom Clancy (7)

3. The Night Manager, John Le Carré (2)

4. Virtual Light, William Gibson

5. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

6. Honor Among Thieves, Jeffrey Archer (4)

7. Vanished, Danielle Steel (3)

8. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle (5)

9. Pleading Guilty, Scott Turow (8)

10. Gai-Jin, James Clavell (9)

NONFICTION

1. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra (1)

2. Women Who Run with the Wolves,

Clarissa Pinkola Estés (2)

3. Unfinished Conversation, Chris Gudgeon (4)

4. Post-Capitalist Society, Peter Drucker (3)

5. Food for Life, Neil Barnard

6. Culture of Complaint, Robert Hughes (6)

7. Days of Grace, Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad

8. The Great Reckoning, James Dale Davidson and Lord Rees-Mogg (5)

9. A Short History of Financial Euphoria,

John Kenneth Galbraith (10)

10. Love & Friendship, Allan Bloom (7)

( ) Position last week Compiled by Brian Bethune

THE LEADERS’ NEW CLOTHES

With a fall election looming, Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien and Audrey McLaughlin are sprucing themselves up to seem younger, more dignified, more electable. But is it working? To find out, Maclean’s consulted movers and shakers in the image industry: Shelley M. Black, editor of Flare magazine; fashion consultant Montgomery Brown; designer Marilyn Brooks; retailer Harry Rosen; Jeanne Beker host of Fashion Television; and communications consultant Gabor Apor, widely credited with the transformation of Ontario’s David Peterson in 1984from frump to dashing premier.

Prime Minister Kim Campbell

Black: “Power suits.

Power colors.

Power failure.” I Beker: “She looks smart when she dresses up. But if she wants to appear down-to-earth, she’s got some work to do.”

Brooks: “Kim has chosen a real Chanel look. The no-collar look really helps to focus on her light hair and, although it is very businesslike, it’s not too structured.

I would caution Kim not to be too gimmicky. Brown: “The barbe cue circuit has put weight on her. It’s not a crime to be overweight, but it’s unfortunate if your clothes don’t fit you well. Also, I understand she was courting conservatism at the leadership convention, because she’s twice-divorced. That was two months ago and she needs to move on.” Rosen: “She is good-looking and has a sense of style. But she often dresses in a way that diminishes her sensuousness. When she square dances in denim jeans that fit her across the buttocks, that is nice to see.” Apor: “One needs time to explain what’s different about oneself. Kim Campbell is slowly convincing the world, or at least hying to, that being different is not a sign of being unprofessional.”

Audrey McLaughlin, NDP leader

Black: “An original thinker, but her fashion style seems borrowed.” Beker: “A very tasteful dresser.”

Brooks: “Her style is there, but not there—Audrey needs to emphasize herself.” Brown: “It’s clear that somebody puts a lot of thought into her wardrobe. But she doesn’t smile very much, and she looks like she doesn’t enjoy her job any more. She still needs to spend time putting the whole look together.” Rosen: “She dresses like a high-school teacher. No chances, no risks—dull. She needs to stop looking like she has been cast in the thoroughly righteous role of the NDP and demonstrate a little hedonism in her style.” Apor: “It seems that she has tried a variety of styles, from tailored suits to dresses. In the process, perhaps, she has never managed to establish a clear image.”

Jean Chrétien,

Liberal leader

Black: “Rumpled-stiltskin. Quebecers usually have a better sense of style. ” Beker: “While there is nothing really wrong with how he dresses, there is nothing really right either.” Brooks: “He has the rolledup-sleeve look that I think we associate with the NDP. He could achieve a casual look that wouldn’t be too closely associated with the workers—some nice handknit sweaters from Quebec or Newfoundland.”

Brown: “Yesterday’s man is wearing yesterday’s fashion, but he’s making a step in the right direction. It’s clear that his handlers are concerned about his image, trying to give him a more youthful, lighter look. The denim shirts really work well for him.”

Rosen: “He has a hard act to follow in Trudeau, who could wear anything with great panache. We want to see our politicians as people, and his style should reflect this.”

LEFT TO RIGHT: MAKE PINDRE, KOHNEANNAPRESS, JP DUIMAS/PONOPRESS

Apor: “Jean has been in politics for 30 years—he has an image. And if you accept the fact that people don’t want to deal with a politician they already know, how do you convince the world that you have changed? To say, ‘I am going to start wearing brown suits tomorrow and the world is going to change,’ is not the solution.”