The Mail

The Mail

July 29 1996
The Mail

The Mail

July 29 1996

The Mail

Research funding

According to your July 15 cover story (“Beating AIDS”), AIDS has “claimed the lives of 10,000 Canadians” since 1981 and is the leading cause of death among men 25 to 44 in Canada’s three major cities. In 1994-1995 alone, breast cancer claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Canadians. It is the leading cause of death in women ages 35 to 54 throughout Canada. In spite of the fact that breast cancer claims more than five times as many lives each year as AIDS, the amount of federal research funding allocated to AIDS is more than four times greater than for breast cancer. Whereas we know what causes AIDS and it is now almost entirely preventable, we still don’t know what causes 90 per cent of breast cancer cases. I’d like to add that lesbians are at greater risk of acquiring breast cancer than are heterosexual women. When are Canadians going to value women’s health and women’s lives as much as they have valued men’s?

Susan R. Harris, Vancouver 13

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

should be addressed to:

Maclean’s Magazine Letters

777 Bay St.,Toronto, Ont. M5W IA7

Fax: (416) 596-7730

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For most Canadians, AIDS has already been beaten. Now that the blood supply is safe, only gay men and drug addicts are going to get it. The reason AIDS is still a problem is that gay men still get infected (which is stupid) and then infect other people (which is evil).

Ian Coleman, Edmonton

MacEachen's ! legacy

o T was pleased to see your feature ! J.on Senator Allan MacEachen’s £ retirement (“Memories of powE5 er,” Canada, July 15). Another ï side of his dedication was his participation on the board of trustees of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Until his retirement from our board most recently, he was not only a valued member and participant, but, indeed, our social conscience. Two quotes from your article express it very well: he was “always asking questions that matter,” and “he believes that society is much more than a market.”

J. Richard Bertrand, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, Ottawa 13

Allan MacEachen was probably the person most responsible for establishing Canada as a modern welfare state. Unfortunately, we can’t afford what he has wrought and never could. Under people like MacEachen, the Atlantic provinces have become so dependent on government handouts that about 40 per cent of all their government expenditures and one-third of all resident income come from federal transfer payments. Some legacy, Allan, but we’re all the better for your leaving.

George W. Bailey, Bolton, Ont.

False pride

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his advisers still really do not get it. In your article “A case for the Copps,” (Canada, July 15), it is pointed out that one of the ways that Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps’s new agency for the promotion of federalism in Quebec will attempt to achieve its goals is through “upbeat advertising campaigns encouraging an increased sense of pride in Canada.” Pride does not come

'A Canadian hero'

I was dismayed to see the photograph of Father Mark Sargent standing behind a group of Somali detainees in your July 15 article “Bad memories,” (Canada Notes, July 15). In the article was the question from Scott Taylor, editor of Esprit de Corps magazine, “If you’ve got the padre out posing for pictures, where are the guidelines?” Having witnessed Capt. Sargent’s countless acts of kindness and courage, and knowing that he was awarded a Chief of Defence Staff Commendation for meritorious service in Somalia and recognized by CBC TV’s Man Alive for his heroic humanitarian actions in the Balkans, I find it alarming that Maclean's promotes insinuations against a man of this character. From my standpoint, it is just as easy to interpret this as a picture of a priest protecting the welfare of some children who were caught stealing, and talking to someone who is partially obscured by the sign. Father Mark Sargent is a true Canadian hero. His documented actions speak louder than Scott Taylor’s unreliable interpretations of this occurrence.

Capt. James Carver, Canadian Armed Forces Reserve, London, Ont.

through advertising, but is developed from honorable actions, wise decisions and accomplishments. Unfortunately, our leaders don’t understand these concepts. No matter what kind of advertising campaign they come up with, the lack of integrity surrounding Copps’s resignation, re-election and immediate return to the cabinet will ensure that our sense of pride in Canada will not increase.

L. C. Friesen, Nepean, Ont.

Cross-Canada tours

I enjoyed Charles Gordon’s column “Canadian scenery: the great unifier,” (July 8). Most of us don’t know our own province, let alone all the other provinces, but we love the Canada familiar to us. Charles Gordon is the grandson of the famous Prairie novelist Ralph Connor, and probably knows the Prairies fairly well. As a Saskatchewan homesteader’s daughter, I have frequently been disgusted by eastern writers who complain about the flat prairies on their cross-Canada tours. I suggest that they detour off Highway 1 down to Estevan and take Highway 18 to Coronach. The trip should be educational.

Mary Marchak Payne, Winnipeg

'Without prejudice'

Peter C. Newman’s comparison of British Columbia Premier Glen Clark and former Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells (“Glen Clark: the Clyde Wells of the 1990s?” The Nation’s Business,

July 8) is preposterous. To say that Newfoundland, representing less than three per cent of the population, set the national agenda is false. Although I’m not a Newfoundlander, Wells represented my viewpoint and that of probably over 60 per cent of Canadians. He wanted a referendum and when the people finally got one on the Charlottetown accord the majority of Canadians turned it down. During the Meech Lake affair, Wells expressed himself clearly, without malice or prejudice, and refused to descend to the level of invective and personal attacks of many of his opponents, who tried to make him the scapegoat for the failure of Meech Lake. This is precisely what Newman is doing.

William S. Rick, Unionville, Ont.

Peter C. Newman casts Clyde Wells as a pariah bent on disrupting national unity.

That’s a crock. I can tell Newman that in the late 1940s Newfoundlanders, whose experience with democracy was tenuous at best, were told repeatedly that if they joined Canada they would be part of a nation where all people were equal and nobody was more equal, more special or more distinct than another. Release from

the serfdom of rule by commission appealed to the working class, but had they envisioned the comic opera that would follow, perhaps people like Wells’s parents and mine might have been more circumspect at the ballot box. When the Lévesques, Parizeaus and Bouchards et al are rewarded in the blast furnace reserved for

traitors, Wells will be remembered as a person of great integrity who believed in the equality of all people and had the courage to stand by his convictions.

Peter Hatch, Hantsport, N.S.

A bigger picture

The Stanley Cup has ceased to exist (“Lucien, Bob Dole and the gift of the Mighty Ducks,” Column, June 17)? How could Allan Fotheringham say that? The fact that two American teams were the finalists for the coveted cup is irrelevant. The only fact of importance is that two hardworking teams competed for Lord Stanley and that both teams were deserving of the honor. I personally look forward to the day when the NHL spans across the sea to cities like London, Sydney and Moscow. Then we would truly have an international hockey league.

Jason Brown, St. Albert, Alta.

Boomer reflections

I could not help feeling that Jane O’Hara lost the thread of her argument on the effect of funeral home advertising on baby boomers (“Baby boomers confront mortality,” Guest Column, July 1). Perhaps she

swallowed the bait in the ads, though it was surely wasted on an attractive young boomer, for don’t they all believe life is forever? So much fuss has been made of this group in the past 50 years, so much spent on its pleasure, amusement and education. Death is a foreign word to them. I happen to be from the lost generation, the old contemptibles from the swarm of current grandparents who survived the Depression and the Second World War and who are now an economic “problem.” It is that generation the funeral homes are after, the long-retired pensioners with the cash, the bonds and the real estate. But the funeral homes will first have to contend with the baby boomers for they already control the purse strings, and they don’t intend to ever leave this planet—life has been too good.

C. F Ranson, Delta, B. C.

It’s good to see baby boomers considering the spiritual reality of death beyond a bumper sticker that reads: he who dies with the most toys wins. Jane O’Hara writes: “It’s amazing how little thought we have given to two questions: how we got here and why we have to leave so soon.” I would like to know, however, where I am going, and so I would suggest two other questions: do heaven and hell exist and where will we go when we die?

Patrick O’Connor,

London, Ont.

Congratulations to Stewart MacLeod on his article “The curse of the baby boomer generation” (Guest Column, June 24). I have never read an article that so aptly describes this strange generation, both pro and con. Boomerography has certainly become big business.

Frank E. Heard, St. Catharines, Ont.

Would you please, please, please, cease, desist from and stop printing any more articles about baby boomers. I am a boomer myself, but I am so tired of all the whining about turning 50, getting old, preparing for retirement, not to mention dying. Listen up, boomers: everybody turns 50—it’s not a big deal. Everybody gets old—that’s not a big deal either—and in case you are just discovering this fact, everybody dies!

Rev. Robert Skelding, Southampton, Ont. HI

Law and the Internet

As a lawyer who specializes in privacy and legal issues involving the Internet, I must correct comments in your world note “Free speech on-line” (June 24). You stated the U.S. Communications Decency Act “sought to limit pornography and seditious material on the information highway.” The CDA sought to outlaw “indecent” and “patently offensive” material on the Inter-

net. Neither word was defined in the act and was so vague as to have covered discussions on such subjects as abortion and AIDS prevention. The media have consistently misreported this story as involving a fight against obscenity and child pornography, which are already illegal in the United States and Canada, in print or on the Internet. The fight against the CDA involves a struggle to keep the religious right, the driving force behind the law, from imposing its standards on the rest of us.

Laurence Kearley, Ottawa

On being a parent

I have a hard time understanding when the responsibility of parents for their children’s future ends. We are not an affluent family. My wife and I, however, were able to pay for our two daughters’ combined eight years of university education away from home, causing very little pain to our own lifestyle—at a time when my wife and I relocated to one of the more expensive areas in Canada. More parents have to assume the responsibilities that are rightfully theirs, to ensure that their children have every opportunity of starting out life as young adults without the worries of a heavy student-loan debt (“Borrowing to learn,” Education, June 24).

Victor McLeod, Yellowknife

Smoke-free bars

I find it passing strange that, while the federal and provincial governments are both trying to outdo each other in removing themselves from our daily lives, the municipal government is gleefully getting in our face (‘Toronto butts out,” Canada, July 15).

Sandy Birch, Ottawa HI

Prevailing attitudes

I was utterly dismayed by the two letters in your July 15 issue about your interview with Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. CEO J. P. Bryan (“Speaking out”). The first letter criticizes Mr. Bryan for speaking out because: 1) he’s an American (no comments allowed, thank you very much); 2) he represents a western Canadian attitude (while they are Canadians, again no comments, thank you very much); 3) he spoke in English (no debating in English allowed); and 4) he antagonized the separatists (good heavens, we mustn’t let that happen, must we?). Then, the writer bemoans the fact that we, through our federal government, don’t have the guts to do something. And, in the next letter, we have that small-minded response: “Yankee, go home.” I have a response for these two. We will not have a real country for long if these types of attitudes prevail in this Canada of ours.

Ted Bjerkelund, Ottawa

Old-growth response

Canadian novelist Katherine Govier’s guest column, “Experiencing eternity in Clayoquot Sound” Quly 8) is hardly the first example of a layperson pronouncing on the appropriateness of B.C. forest practices after a two-hour walk in the woods. British Columbians have been grappling with the complex issues surrounding forest management for several years now. The upshot has been millions of hectares

of old-growth forests preserved in new parks; the introduction of one of the world’s most stringent forestry laws; a program to invest $2 billion in the health of our forests and a significant reduction in the rate of harvest. I’d like to extend the same invitation to Ms. Govier that we’ve offered the Hollywood crowd. That is, before you condemn British Columbia, come and tour our forests with those charged with managing logging operations. Thus far, none of the 36 Hollywood actors, directors and producers who signed a recent ad in

The New York Times has even bothered to respond to this invitation. If Canada’s literary community is going to take an active role in this debate, I do hope they take a more responsible approach.

Jack Munro,

Chairman, Forest Alliance of British Columbia,

Vancouver

Thank you, Katherine Govier. Let’s hope the pen is mightier than the saw.

Elisabeth Mclver,

Saskatoon HI