The Mail

The Mail

August 11 1997
The Mail

The Mail

August 11 1997

The Mail

Paying for the RCMP

Some important points in your fine report on the RCMP seem to have been overlooked (‘Why the Mounties can’t get their man,” Cover, July 28). Regarding education, most FBI applicants possess two college degrees and come with a proven record of expertise in a specialized field. The RCMP standard calls for Grade 12. Over the years, such a disparity tended to have a collective “dumbing-down” effect on the Mounties, which they remedy with military-like bravado. Because eight provinces and two territories use the RCMP as their police force, there must be concern on the part of Ontario and Quebec taxpayers for the hidden amounts they may be paying to subsidize that portion of RCMP work. The federal government must give notice to the lazy eight provinces that they form their own police departments. It is abysmal that, except in Ontario and Quebec, small-town Canadian youth are unable to become police officers in their own areas.

D. Grant DeMan, Royston, B. C. HI

Your article about our underpaid national police force, the RCMP, and its lack of resources to even attempt to combat fraud and other white-collar crime is a great concern. We cannot expect to get firstrate policing for fourth-rate remuneration. It is a sad commentary that our politicians allow this, while at the same time are busy committing $85 million or more to put in place the white elephant of universal gun registration. Their unbalanced judgment saddens me.

„ Hamilton May,

Colborne, Ont.

I Dishonorable end

g harles Gordon has clearly artic° V^ulated one of the profound reasons why there seems to be a lack

of public outrage being expressed about the findings of the Somalia report (“Why the Somalia report failed to shock,” Another View, July 28). In short, Canadians understand that the report found what they experience as business as usual among the political and military elite in our country. The Somalia report—and your report on the RCMP—reveal a system that seems to have a vested interest in not prosecuting crime. I believe that Canadians do know the truth and that we are realistic, not cynical. My suggestion for an addition to Gordon’s column would be that Canadians desperately desire ethical leaders with a vision.

Allan Baker, Toronto El

I would like to say that not only was I shocked at what was in the Somalia report, I was also shocked at what was not in the report. It seêms to me that this dishonorable act could have an honorable end if only we were brave enough to get to the bottom of it. What is it we are afraid of?

Judy Easley, Sarnia, Ont. El

Unlocked gates

One of the points I thought I conveyed when I was interviewed by Maclean's was that many residents of Sandstone are very involved in community activities (“Safe and sound behind the gate,” Cover, July 21). Our residents give many volunteer hours to the hospital and nursing homes and many are very prominent in service clubs. Recently, Canadian Adult Community residents and the developers raised $67,440 for our new cancer clinic. I really object to RCMP Const. Garth Letcher’s quote that “some people think that people who live behind gates aren’t very community-minded.” He also said “all hell could be breaking loose in there and we would never know it.” Does he think we would not call the RCMP if it was needed? In fact, police, fire and ambulance have a key for a lock box that allows all emergency services ready entrance.

Colleen Vance, Kelowna, B.C.

the process works, and it is a sham: matters of Donnelly’s guilt or innocence should be left to the courts. This is not a classroom, with Donnelly as fodder for moral or ethical philosophical debate. SFU has dealt with Donnelly’s academic future and his professional and personal reputation in a reprehensible manner.

Paul Mansz, Markham, Ont. El

Versace verbiage

Six pages in Canada’s weekly newsmagazine devoted to the death of an Italian dress designer in Miami (“Murder in Miami,” Crime, July 28)?

Jack Linard, St-Bruno, Que. El

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Academic harassment

Simon Fraser University Prof. Mark Wexler’s comments about the firing of swim coach Liam Donnelly over allegations of sexual harassment (“A campus divided,” Education, July 28) are extraordinary. He bristles at “the outsourcing of a profound moral dilemma,” and laments that reliance on outside professional mediators would prevent people on campus from grappling “with the whole idea of sexual harassment and how it affects people.” We’ve seen how

Looking for heroes

Jane O’Hara tried valiantly to sound like she knew what she was talking about (‘Why ‘the boys’ turned on Mike Tyson,” Column, July 21), yet sadly (again) the puzzle of the boxing hero eluded her as it had many who had come before. Boxing runs on heroes. We justify the carnage by viewing it as the height of ability of “the warrior.” Tyson raped and the American justice system made him answer for it; he paid his debt. Boxing welcomed him back, albeit with a wary eye. Tyson got his shot at the title and horror struck when we saw him reveal to us that he was indeed a ghetto thug: classless, a loser. In one stroke, we saw the hero fall forever. O’Hara missed that—she gave us rationalization. She made me think about my own feelings, however. Tyson embarrassed us all who are fans of boxing. He’s finished, he hurt the sport deeply, and now I look for heroes elsewhere.

Patrick Wells, Vancouver ill

Jane O’Hara, you are one funny lady. But not to worry, “the boys” have only half turned on Mike. They will be back when the dollars are big enough. Mike will bite (sorry, fight) again.

Shirley Hashell, Kentville, N.S.

Foolish flattery

UTTThy Canada needs Terry Matthews VV as PM” (The Nation’s Business, July 28) was just a flattering, laudatory portrayal of the accomplishments of Newbridge Networks CEO Matthews. To suggest that he should run the country is ludicrous and foolish. His accomplishments as a businessman are noteworthy, but open the newspaper any day and you can read success stories of every kind. And the success of his company cannot all rest on the shoulders of Matthews; its thousands of employees deserve credit as well. Peter C. Newman should think twice about writing another fluffy piece such as this.

Jerome Watkins, Toronto

Color blindness

Your correction after misidentifying a portrait of a white horse as Northern Dancer compounded the error by saying Northern Dancer was “brown” (“Before his time,” The Mail, July 28). It should have said “bay.”

P D. MacLennan, Cobble Hill, B.C.

The Road Ahead

Maturity and separation

I believe we have become too hung up on the concept of national unity. While it has great sentimental and historic value, a united Canada will take on less and less significance in the increasingly globalized ways of dealing with our neighbors. There is nothing sacrosanct about the way Canada is now constituted. It has evolved dramatically in size and structure since 1867, and perhaps it is time to evolve further. Just as families start small, grow, mature and eventually disperse as the kids move out, perhaps it is time for Quebec to pursue its own future.

After 30-plus years of appeasement and conciliation, angst and aggravation, there is little tolerance for more of the same. I believe it is time for the rest of Canada to encourage Quebec to go it alone. No threats, no ultimatum, no acrimony or bitterness; just a polite invitation to move on. I believe this will, in time, be seen to be a positive, enlightened approach to a very tiresome impasse, and the emotional peace it will bring will outweigh any initial

disruptions. I see Quebec separation not as a divorce but as evolutional maturity. A sovereign Quebec would no longer feel the need to pursue repressive and discriminatory policies against its minorities. Perhaps when Quebec separates, we will all like each other much better.

As much as I have disliked Lucien Bouchard and Jacques Parizeau, I have come to applaud their goal. One nation’s rebel or traitor is another’s founding father. We, in 1997, are too close to the situation to evaluate Quebec’s separation objectively, but the next generation will see this not so much as revolution but rather as natural evolution. Jean Charest's pledge to hand over a united Canada to his children is more sentimental than pragmatic.

The concept of national unity, insisting on an intact but static Canada, is an anachronism whose time has passed. Quebec separation will be bitter and divisive only if we make it so. Time for a change in attitude.

Dr. Morton Doran,

Cran brook, B.C.

The Road Ahead invites readers to advance specific solutions to Canada's political, social and economic problems. Unpublished submissions may run condensed as regular letters or appear on an electronic bulletin board.

Clearing the record

I never said that Justice Louise Arbour, in her opinion on the Imre Finta case before the Ontario Court of Appeal, “took a narrow, procedural view that showed no sensitivity to war crimes justice,” as you have quoted me (“Prosecuting evil,” World, Feb. 24). My critique of the judgment in the Finta case is of the Supreme Court judgment. That is not to say I was uncritical of the majority decision in the Ontario Court of Appeal [which limited the jurisdiction of Canadian courts regarding war crimes allegedly

committed by Finta]. Regrettably, however, the Supreme Court not only did not overrule it, but affirmed it with a set of reasons that are indeed disquieting. Justice Arbour’s appointment to head the UN war crimes prosecution unit in The Hague did not encounter hostility with me, as you implied, though it may not have generated enthusiasm. And to impute that I was talking to Maclean’s as a spokesman for the Jewish community is false and misleading, and as unfair to her as it is to me.

Irwin Cotier, Montreal