MAIL BAG

‘Oil and gas reserves off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland belong to all Canadians’

July 23 2007
MAIL BAG

‘Oil and gas reserves off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland belong to all Canadians’

July 23 2007

‘Oil and gas reserves off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland belong to all Canadians’

MAIL BAG

MOTHERS FOR HIRE

HAVING A BABY for a stranger in a distant land for a mere $5,000 may be branded as the “ultimate in cheap labour,” but in absolute reality it is also an ultimate act of compassion (“Wombs for rent,” Society, July 2). It fulfills the maternal desires of infertile or otherwise incapable women to enjoy the bliss of motherhood and a family of their own. What’s so wrong with that? This is not condemnable by any stretch of the imagination. Let the process be systematically formalized and legalized for all the childless families to cherish the fruits of parenthood, which is otherwise forbidden to them. “Outsourcing pregnancy” is the divine answer for the millions of aspiring parents denied the joys of parenthood on account of either medical or physical shortcomings. Let the sport of procreating and providing the childless with a child of their own be a dignified, safe and legally secure game.

Rev. Kris Sahay, Winnipeg

WE ARE A SELFISH SOCIETY, and there will be backlash. Not once do I see mention of the rights of children born in a technological age! It is all about the rights of parents and the poor in India. Is $5,000 enough to bear a child? Is any amount ever enough? There will be a backlash for us in that we will be a society of confused families. The baby does not just become a person on the day it is born—it is developing from the time inside the surrogate mother to the day of birth to when the baby is handed to the new parents. We need to ensure that the surrogate mother can be traced for the child to meet in years following change of parents. If we’re doing international work then we need to offer international protection for children, above all, from age zero.

Brenda Berry, Victoria

OH DANNY BOY

PREMIER DANNY WILLIAMS is adept at playing the ubiquitous victim card, whining about the villainous Prime Minister, but he knows that it is beyond question that the oil and gas reserves off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia shores legally belong to the people of Canada and not to individual provinces, and that all Canadians should share the benefits (Interview, July 2). It’s not surprising that Mr. Williams apparently found no fault with Mr.

Martin’s desperate election ploy in signing the accord. Harper was wrong to have voiced his support in the midst of his own campaign, but he at least has had the good sense to recognize his mistake.

Louis Quigley, Riverview, N.B.

IT WAS INSPIRING to read the conversation between Danny Williams and Kate Fillion and his outstanding answers. Newfoundland is lucky to have such a strong, wise statesman. Ottawa must pay heed to his challenges in a positive way.

Olga Walker, Smithers, B.C.

GREEN DIESEL

IN SUPPORT OF diesel powered cars, I would like to emphasize that they have now lost their smell, noise and sluggish performance (“Diesel cars: greenest on the road?” Business, July 2). They offer good fuel efficiency and compared to hybrids are not packing around extra electric motors or heavy battery packs. And battery packs are a major flaw of hybrids that your article missed. What will be the environmental impact when large numbers of these batteries reach the end of their lifespan? Probably horrendous.

Bill Shuttleworth, Revelstoke, B.C.

THE TRUTH ABOUT TAMIFLU

I AM VERY CONCERNED about misleading information in “Your complete user’s guide to better medical care” (Health, June ll). The section entitled “A diet designed for your genes” made reference to Tamiflu, stat-

ing that “84 Canadians had become ill after taking the medication; 10 had died.” In fact, Health Canada has clearly stated that a causal relationship has not been confirmed in these cases.

While no causal relationship can be established between Tamiflu and these reports of adverse events, and with the understanding that neuropsychiatrie events can occur as a result of influenza disease in the absence of the drug, Roche believes it is beneficial to provide this information to the health care community. As such, Roche Canada worked with Health Canada to revise the Canadian Tamiflu product monograph to ensure the product label accurately reflects adverse event reporting, so medical professionals, as well as parents and guardians, can closely monitor flu patients for any adverse events.

Tamiflu was demonstrated in clinical trials to be a safe and effective medication for influenza prevention and treatment and has been used by more than 50 million people in over 80 countries worldwide since 1999.

The well-being of patients and the safe and effective use of our medications is an unwavering priority for Roche. As with all of our medications, Roche continues to monitor the safety of Tamiflu through established reporting mechanisms and notify regulatory authorities of any adverse events, which is in line with regulatory requirements. Ronnie Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., Mississauga, Ont.

TAME TATTOOS

I WOULDN’T HAVE a tattoo even over my dead body (“Good luck getting an appointment,” Bazaar, July 2). Still, a small tattoo or face piercing (for example, a delicate nose pin) on others is acceptable. But for extensive tattooing as on the body of Adam Sky, or the nose and lip piercings of some people, I say: all human beings have the birthright to mutilate their bodies—but that’s not for me!

Lochan Bakshi, Edmonton

PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

MICHAEL PETROU does a good job of summarizing the current situation in the Palestinian occupied territories, but he’s a bit weak on the facts in his history of the region (“Palestine’s death spiral,” World, July 2). Jews have lived continuously in that region for 3,700 years. Since the 19th century, the Jews were the majority of the population in Jerusalem. In fact, Israel has as much legitimacy as a Jewish state as any of the artificially created Arab states such as Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, which were formed after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. There seems to be no mention of the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were forced out of Araboccupied lands following the creation of Israel. When talking about “occupiers” and “refugees” in the Middle East, it helps to get the facts straight.

‘You cannot attack a state and expect to get territory back once you lose the war you began. This logic doesn’t make sense. It rewards the loser.’

Steven Stein, Toronto

THE UN PARTITION in 1948 gave Jews sovereignty over areas of Israel that were Jewish, such as Tel Aviv. Those Jews who immigrated to Israel prior to its modern creation did so into Jewish areas owned legally by Jews who purchased the land from Arab owners. Those Arabs who fled or were forcibly driven from their homes did so because the armies of Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon attacked the newly created Israel in an effort to destroy it. Arabs left after being told by their respective armies that they could return once Israel was destroyed. Well, the Arabs lost the war and a lot of territory. You cannot attack a state and expect to get territory back once you lose the very war you began. This logic does not make any sense because it rewards the loser. Also note that Israel has approximately 1.5 million Israeli Arabs. Where did they come from? These were the people who stayed in Israel and did not get forcibly

removed from their homes. They are full citizens of Israel and get the social benefits and government representation, although not completely proportional. Lastly, I think it should be stated that a Palestinian is someone from the region of Palestine, who is actually a Jordanian.

Mark Benaroia, Toronto

CLARIFICATION

Hoffinan-La Roche does have a patient assistance program but does not provide cancer drugs for free or on compassionate grounds. Incorrect information appeared in an article in ourJune 11 issue.

IN PASSING

William Hutt, 87, actor. Considered one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, he spent 39 seasons at the Stratford Festival, including its inaugural 1953 season. As recently as 2005 he appeared there in the demanding role of Prospero in The Tempest. He is also remembered for playing Sir John A. Macdonald in the 1970s TV series The National Dream.

Liz Claiborne, 78, fashion designer. Starting in 1976 with a US$250,000 investment, she built a global brand that concentrates on fashions for busy working women. Her ubiquitous clothes are a fusion of sportswear and smart working clothes. By the time she retired in 1989, she had built a US$l-billion empire.