THE MAIL

THE MAIL

‘Kyoto is such a minimal response to a well-proven threat of climate change that it is hard to credit predictions of industrial doom.'

R. MIKE EATON October 28 2002
THE MAIL

THE MAIL

‘Kyoto is such a minimal response to a well-proven threat of climate change that it is hard to credit predictions of industrial doom.'

R. MIKE EATON October 28 2002

THE MAIL

‘Kyoto is such a minimal response to a well-proven threat of climate change that it is hard to credit predictions of industrial doom.'

R. MIKE EATON

A worthy idol

Managing to pry your magazine from the clutches of my 10-year-old son, Matthew, I read with pleasure another Canadian success story (“Dreaming big,” Cover, Oct. 14). Matthew has elected himself Jarome Iginla’s greatest fan, consistently drawing parallels between himself and Jarome: both in St. Albert Minor Hockey, both wear No. 12, both with a black father and white mother, both had their first 50-goal seasons last year, and on and on. A few weeks ago, Matthew finally met his idol in the lobby of a hockey arena. Like the kids in your story, he stood there, frozen in awe as Jarome spoke in a quiet, confident and comforting voice to all the kids clamoring for an autograph. Matthew nervously pulled his cherished 50th-goal puck from his pocket. In the 10 seconds it took for Jarome to sign it, Matthew reeled out every possible comparison he could draw between himself and his idol and Jarome listened intently, giving this kid his time and his attention. Kevin MacPhee, St. Albert, Alta.

As a hockey mom, I enjoyed reading about a superstar who does not forget about the people who keep his star shining and the kids who look up to him. What a great example he is, especially when compared to many other superstars whose ethics are questionable.

Ann Culleton, Summerside, P.E.I.

Familiar figure

Mario Dumont (“A sea change in Quebec,” Politics, Oct. 14). Haven’t we seen it all before? The new Brian Mulroney!

Wayne Russell, Brandon, Man.

Hitchhiking for care

As a resident of Castlegar, B.C., which is located between the towns of Trail and Nelson and has also lost most of its hospital service, I found “Illness in the system” (Health Care, Oct. 14) of great interest. Numerous people have been hitchhiking to Trail for medical services. When I called

the office of the Interior Health Authority, I was told, “We are in the business of providing health care, not transportation.” In this region, there is no access to health care without access to transportation. The response, at best, was disingenuous, at worst, criminally negligent.

Laurel Walton, Castlegar, B.C.

Drug control

Missing in your article on Colombia is recognition that the paramilitaries owe their existence to Colombia’s most lucrative export, illicit drugs (“Confronting the past,” Colombia, Oct. 14). These vio-

TO RATIFY OR NOT TO RATIFY? THAT’S THE QUESTION VEXING OUR READERS WHEN IT COMES to the Kyoto Protocol on reducing the production of greenhouse gases. “I am sick of people whining about how Kyoto would cause job losses and harm the economy,” wrote ex-Saskatooner Lyle McRae from North Bend, Wash. ‘‘It is time for Canadians to stop their sobbing and get on the bandwagon.” Not so, wrote Brad Smid of St. Albert, Alta. “Canada,” he said, “must step back from the ill-conceived Kyoto scheme, and move forward with a plan that works for Canadians.”

lent groups can exist only if the dominant model in dealing with our drug problem is prohibition. A shift to viewing it as a public-health concern, where the market is regulated, would result in saving both lives and money and more effectively managing this currently outof-control situation.

Mark Haden, Vancouver

Lap of luxury

As a mother of two children under five, I’m tired of being told that I have a choice when it comes to a two-income family (“Choices and consequences,” The Mail, Oct. 7). Unfortunately, I live neither in a small town nor 50 years ago. I live outside Vancouver where the average house price is just under $400,000. We live in a modest house and my mother lives in the basement suite. My husband makes a good living, but with only that we would be left with just $345 for the month after paying our base expensesgas, hydro, phone, bus pass, mortgage, property taxes and house insurance. Perhaps your readers could advise me on which “luxury” I should discontinue in order to pay for food and clothing.

Lynne Chapman, North Vancouver

Compassionate care My father recently required a biopsy, which was performed by neurosurgeon Dr. Mark Bernstein, whose article “Yes, it is brain surgery” (Health) appeared in the Oct. 14 issue. While having to deal with an extremely emotional wife, son, daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Bernstein delivered his prognosis (terminal) in a very dignified and professional fashion. He had the utmost respect for my father, his dignity and his right to know exactly what was happening to him. There is no way to thank a man as wonderful as Dr. Bernstein.

Marci Kalinsky, Thornhill, Ont.

All over the world

I thought “Life as as ‘astronaut’ ” (Over to You, Oct. 14) would give me some new insight to what some international students must go through. I was wrong. This was the most self-indulgent piece I have come across in a long time. So Lena Sin has to fly all over the world to see her parents during breaks and holidays. At least

she has the time and money to do that. Sin and her family want the best of both worlds—living in Hong Kong and being educated in Canada. That’s fine, just don’t complain about how hard it is.

Amy Wong, Edmonton

It pleases me to know that someone else is actually going through the same thing as me. Like Lena Sin, I can be called an “astronaut.” My parents are of Chinese descent, but I was born and raised in Manila. We moved to Coquitlam, B.C., at the start of Grade 9. Now, I’m studying at the University of Toronto. I’m one of only two Asians in our political science class. In English, I was the only Asian. When I tell my Asian acquaintances I’m taking English, they look at me as if I’m from Mars. Well, excuse me for not taking business courses as most of them are. I travel back and forth to Vancouver, Manila, Hong Kong, Taiwan (where we have relatives) and London (where my brother is studying). I take those long trips to be with those I love, my family and friends. Carrie Catherine Lee, Toronto

Kyoto discord

The Kyoto accord is another example of bad political leadership in Ottawa and why separation is a growing alternative in Alberta and other provinces. Canada’s small percentage of emissions is not the issue (“A gathering storm over Kyoto,” Environment, Oct. 14). What is the issue is the example Ottawa feels it must set so that Russia and other countries will sign on. The anti-Kyoto position of the U.S. is completely ignored by Ottawa since we are eager to impress our European and United Nations friends with our standup-to-the-U.S. image. What Ottawa has missed is the concept that you can’t help the weak by weakening the strong. Working with the United States, we must use our economic muscle to become a super-economic power, set tough environmental standards for ourselves and assist the less economically advantaged in coming up with a strategy for making this a better planet to live on.

Ace Cetinski, Sherwood Park, Alta.

Suggesting that we should reconsider our commitment to Kyoto in light of its impact on our economy (“An Ugly Climate,”

Donald Coxe, Oct. 14) is like being concerned about the outcome of a poker game on the Titanic.

Tim Wake, Whistler, B.C.

Donald Coxe’s column on Chrétien and Kyoto makes me wonder if the guy has actually stepped outside his perfectly climate-controlled office in the past few years to encounter the weather catastrophes affecting much of the world. I hope his grandchildren can breathe money!

Meg Thorburn, Associate Professor, Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont.

Donald Coxe should be required to read Allan R. Gregg’s essay (“You call this progress?”) in the same issue. Financial experts only look at the world through the lens of the stock market, with an emphasis on oil, GDP and automobile production. They make no attempt to factor in the costs of health issues due to excess pollution. Our nation should begin to support research on alternative energy sources, an inevitable requirement over the next few decades.

Ken MacKay, Rockwood, Ont.

Cannabis conundrum

Luke Fisher makes some excellent points about the failures of the Health Canada regulations to make cannabis available to those who need it (“Marijuana as medicine,” The Back Page, Oct. 14). Unfortu-

nately, he uses me as an example of special treatment because I am an American who has won an exemption to grow and possess a lot of pot. I had to take Health Canada to the B.C. Supreme Court three times to win my exemption. Two top cancer specialists have written to support my high level of cannabis use.

Steve Kubby, Sechelt, B.C.

In defence of human insulin

I am disappointed in the misinformation presented on the safety of human insulin in the article by Stephen Leahy titled “Biotech hope and hype” (Science, Sept. 30). Human insulin has not produced “biotech’s first human casualties.” The safety of human insulin has been proven for almost 20 years, with numerous medical studies demonstrating that patients who transfer from animal source to biosynthetic human insulin experience improved glycémie control and reduced immunogenic responses. While it may be that “more than 400 people” have complained of difficulty in switching from animal to human insulin, when this is considered in the context of approximately 310,000 Canadians using human insulin, this percentage is extremely small. The Canadian and American Diabetes Associations recommend human insulin as the first choice for newly diagnosed patients with diabetes.

Dr. Loren D. Grossman, Associate Vice-President, Clinical Research, Eli Lilly Canada, Toronto