The Mail

The Mail

September 27 1999
The Mail

The Mail

September 27 1999

The Mail

‘Celebrating jazz’

Diana Krall’s success is based on tremendous vocal talent, her choice of material, a warm, winning personality and, in part, her striking appearance (“Sweet seduction,” Cover, Sept. 13). But what about her much underestimated piano skill? I dont know whether her vocal career will one day surpass that of the legendary Nat Cole, but she plays better than almost anyone

alive. If someone put together a tournament of every jazz pianist around, I swear Krall would be somewhere in the top 20 in the world. She just cooks! Garry Gaudet, Lantzville, B.C.

Many thanks for the articles celebrating Canadian jazz. Diana Krall brings fresh air to the music, which makes me

Letters to the Editor

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happier all day long, especially after listening to her magnificent last album on the way to work. She is going to be a huge stimulus for many talented players, who are modestly waiting for applause in the sea of presently popular musical cacophony. So let’s fall in love —with jazz again.

Joseph Hrncirik, Miramichi, N.B.

In June, 1998, Diana Krall put on a dazzling performance in Regina and wowed the audience. She has all of the attributes of a true Canadian superstar. Bill Bolstad, Regina

Roads and speeding

I am amazed at the number of people who blame the condition of the roads for serious accidents (“Disaster on an § Ontario highway,” Canada Notes, Sept. 13). In my opinion, it is excessive speed and careless driving that are largely to blame. Despite the incredible loss of life and destruction of 60 vehicles in the recent carnage on Highway 401 near Windsor, Ont., drivers are still speeding on that same stretch of highway. Several cars have, since that accident, been ticketed at speeds in excess of 130 km/h. I would like to suggest that excessive speeders lose the use of their cars and the right to drive for a period of time.

Denis Ewer, London, Ont.

Credit where it’s due

Peter C. Newman’s column of Sept. 13 about Onex Corp.’s bid for Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International Ltd. (“Gerry Schwartz has the right stuff”) was welcome reading, with one glaring exception. It reads: “Schwartz trumped [Vancouver businessman Jimmy] Pattison in a bid for

Taxes and musicians

The proposed levy on blank CDs and cassettes may be a good thing for well-known recording artists and their record companies (“A small price to pay,” Charles Gordon, Sept. 13), but it comes as a kick in the teeth to the many unsigned, independent bands who comprise the majority of Canadian musicians. It is extremely difficult to make a profit selling your own albums. Increasing the price of materials will make it even harder. Do we really need to take money from struggling artists to give it to those who are already successful?

Ken Goudsward, Prince George, B.C.

the lucrative B.C. Sugar holdings.” In fact, Pattison held all the cards and we were only successful in our bid because of his support and acquiescence.

Gerald W. Schwartz, President and CEO, Onex Corp., Toronto

As a Canadian musician studying at Indiana University, I have had the opportunity to fly abroad many times, not to mention taken dozens of domestic flights that have carried my violin and me to Churchill, Man., Prince Edward Island, Victoria et al. I fly Air Canada or its partners, which are, in my mind, the best airlines in the world. I disagree with the proposed merger between Air Canada and Canadian (“Capital solution,” Canada, Sept. 13). Canada needs two national airlines, to keep fares from skyrocketing and provide its citizens with a choice. However, I would like to see Canadian get back on its feet. What it needs is a CEO with vision, drive, fiscal responsibility and a very deep pocket. Perhaps Onex would consider leaving AC out of their dealings?

David Gillham, Bloomington, Ind.

Gerry Schwartz would not be throwing his hat into the ring just to bring better service and lower airfares to Canadian travellers. There must be another motive—like profits. Hey, if I’m wrong here, then Schwartz is one hell of a nice guy. Mergers leave a stronger corporate bottom line and that’s healthy. However, the consumers never seem to get their bang for their buck.

Mike Murray, Sarnia, Ont.

Pain relief

Your cover story “Coping with pain” (Aug. 16) paints far too rosy a picture of what is happening in the field of pain medicine. Those professionals interviewed are attempting to change how pain is dealt with, but their numbers are too few. Our investigations indicate that none of the major training hospitals in Canada has an organized curriculum designed to teach new medical students about pain. Other research indicates that students may receive from zero to seven hours of training depending on the school they attended. Chronic pain is a huge public-health-care problem in this country and will continue to be as our population ages. It may be ironic, but efforts to provide pain relief may be overshadowed by a much more visible and vocal movement that offers only death as an answer. The result is we are closer to having a national policy on euthanasia than to having one on pain relief.

Barry D. Ulmer, Executive Director, Chronic Pain Association of Canada, Edmonton

The article on infant pain management raises an unintentional ethical concern regarding the practice of abortion. You inform us that various medical studies reveal that not only infants but premature babies are capable of experiencing pain. Due to this recognition that the bodies of fetuses release hormones in response to pain just as children and adults do, researchers from

the Centre for Fetal Care in London, England, recommend that doctors give painkillers to the unborn before aborting them.

Brian Norton, Pitt Meadows, B.C.

Kidney donation

I can relate to Philip Worrall’s job of visiting the hospital three times a week to sit on a machine for four hours each time to clean out all the poisons in his body that his kidneys should have done for him (“The looming dialysis crisis,” Health, Aug. 30). I, however, was blessed to have to go through this for only 2 V2 years. On July 7 this year, I received my first kidney transplant at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., but, unlike Worrall, I did not

have to carry a beeper with me while awaiting the call. My wife was my perfect match and she did not hesitate to give me one of her kidneys so I could lead a normal life with her. We would just like people to be aware that you can lead a normal life with only one healthy kidney so that maybe more people will donate to help cut the costs.

Jean Fex, Sudbury, Ont.

Supporting the court

As a 17-year-old Canadian, I am once again dismayed and disgusted by critics who slam the Supreme Court of Canada for doing its job (“Activists in black robes,” Canada, Sept. 6). University of Calgary political scientist Ted Morton, in accusing the court of “advancing the interests of feminists, gays and lesbians, and aboriginals” implies two deeply offensive untruths. First, that working towards the equality of all Canadians is somehow wrong, and second, that the nine judges are doing so to the detriment of other Canadians.

These notions are limiting and archaic in this day and age. Justice Beverley McLachlin is absolutely correct in pointing out that she and her colleagues only pass judgment on cases that are brought before them, as opposed to seeking causes out. The only shame here is that such intervention is necessary by the court to goad along a government that is woefully behind public opinion on these issues.

Stewart Mawdsley, Fort Smith, N.W.T.

Eternity from a pew

It was enlightening and comforting to read that U.S. researchers at Duke University “calculated that nonchurchgoers were 46-per-cent more likely to die than those who attended services” (“Living right,” Fiealth Monitor, Aug. 23). Can we conclude from

the wording in the report that those who attended religious services regularly had attained eternal life?

Ralph Samuels, Winnipeg

The star of Oz

While I wholeheartedly agree with Macleans that Oz is the best dramatic show on television by far, I disagree it has “no established stars among its ensemble cast” (“Master of a grim universe,” Television, Aug. 30). Surely as a performer in numerous movies including such classics as West Side Story, The King and I and Singin in the Rain, Rita Moreno deserves some mention. Her character on Oz provides one of the few counterpoints to the cruel but realistic world Tom Fontana has captured so brilliantly.

Michael Whatling, Lery, Que.

‘No new ventures’

It would be better if Canada Post would clean tip its traditional act before it starts out on new ventures (“Going epostal,” Business, Sept. 13). I have lived and worked in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Indonesia, Japan and the United States, and everywhere the postal system (even in Indonesia) worked better and more reliably than in this country. You send out Macleans on a fixed day in the week, but I cannot guess when it will arrive. Overseas magazines are even worse; sometimes I receive a later issue before the earlier one in weeklies from Holland. I would gladly pay 25-per-cent more postage if the system would be really reliable.

Dirk J. van Wijk, Victoria

Every week when I read your magazine, I become increasingly uneasy at the number of articles devoted to advances with computers. Recent stories have focused on how companies are trying to put billing and ordering online. Even Canada Post Corp. is jumping in. Whatever happened to people getting out of their houses and walking down the street to do some grocery shopping? Eventually, we will all become mindless zombies sitting in front of our computer screens, never breathing the outside air. Doesn’t anyone else realize this? I’m a second-year student at York University and I enjoy using the computer, but for me, it is just for homework, e-mail and occasional surfing for research. Our world, instead of being knit by ties of true interaction—like face-to-face conversations, etc.—is being held together by wires and cables. Why can’t some things just stay the way they were? Veronica Tuzi, Toronto

Treatment of Indians

In quintessential 1990s politically correct style, D’Arcy Jenish spins a wonderfully Indian-sympathetic rendition, complete with distracting melodramatic detail of the building and, indeed, measurements of the gallows used to hang

Wandering Spirit and seven other Plains Cree Indians in 1885 (“A grim end to defiance,” The Macleans Excerpt, Sept. 13). However, Jenish evades the reason why these men were sentenced to death—they murdered in cold blood my great-great uncle John Gowanlock and eight other men: T. Quinn, J. Delaney, T. Dill, W. Gilchrist, J. Willis, C. Gouin, Father Fafard and another Roman Catholic priest at Frog Lake on April 2, 1885. Plains Cree Chief Big Bear receives equal sympathy in yet another rewrite of Canadian history. The Macleans reader receives only a minimal amount of information about his crime. His charge of felony treason included the kidnapping of my great-great aunt Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delany, who were plucked from their dying husbands’ arms and dragged about for two months until their eventual rescue by the North West Mounted Police. Their book, Two Months in the Camp of Big Bear, speaks only in Victorian innuendo of what atrocities were done to the women, the melodrama of which, I suppose, Jenish would have relished—if they hadn’t been white settlers, lain MacMillan, Toronto

In the introduction to the book excerpt, you say that “polls show that a majority of Canadians support” the Liberal bill to “pardon Louis Riel for his role in the Northwest Rebellion” and declare him “a Father of Confederation.” In the excerpt, you quote a newspaper report of a statement by war chief Wandering Spirit as saying that Riel “gave us liquor and said he would make war on this country,” “asked us to join him in wiping out the Canadians,” and that if the government, which Riel claimed had treated him badly, would not give him money, he “would spill blood, plenty of Canadian blood.” Later, Riel sent word that “the half-breeds would rise and kill all the whites.” The Americans would come and “buy the land” from the Indians for plenty of money, and afterward “help rid the land of Canadians.” Now tell me, really, why we should pardon Riel.

Charles Hooker, Orangeville, Ont.