At Minatitlán airport the packed Boeing 727 touches down, then brakes so hard the passengers are thrown forward against their safety belts. “The runway is too short,” explains a nervous man from Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state-run oil conglomerate.By David North13 min
High in the sky, above the small speedboat gaining ground upon the beach, were five airplanes hanging in the sultry air of Cannes. The planes, their banners celebrating the completion of Superman II and the imminence of III, kept circling and circling as they had done dutifully for days.By Lawrence O’Toole10 min
Abandoned by her live-in lover, turfed out of her fire-escape flat and faced with the death of her closest relative while celebrating an impoverished 30th birthday, Cheryl Cashman nevertheless developed a knack for turning the accumulated negatives of her life into positives—she created Turning Thirty.By Maureen Piercy6 min
The trouble with using a cliché like “blue-eyed sheiks of the North,” even when it refers jointly to Albertans and Norwegians, is that it’s so often inaccurate. Gunnar Braten, 35 and ruddy-bearded, has green eyes. He represents Mobil, one of the major producers of North Sea oil, but he does not behave or talk like a sheik.By Gerald Clark6 min
Maclean’s: Could you tell me about the creative aspects of your latest venture, PiL? Lydon: I can’t be bothered to answer any questions. I’m tired of the past and even the future’s beginning to be repetitive. I really don’t know what to say. I talk crap all of the time.
Despite the apparent roughness of their work—often the machine or model or room or videotape they’ve dreamed up gets no farther than the blueprint stage—the 16 artists whose work appears in the current Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) show, Yesterday & After, are much more ambitious than their forefathers.By Philip Monk5 min
Vancouver Alderman Bernice Gerard calls herself a feminist. But she’s also an evangelical minister and a founding member of the Pro Life Society of British Columbia, which opposes abortion on any grounds. So when the Vancouver Status of Women, which among its other feminist activities supports a woman’s right to decide for herself whether to have an abortion, asked city council in late April for a $19,840 grant, Gerard had to weigh her feminism against her anti-abortion “right-toAnti-abortion posters (above) and Gerard (left): ‘Some people defend seals. Some people defend whales.I defend the unborn’ life” beliefs. “Some people defend the seals. Some people defend the whales. I defend the unborn,” she told council. Led by Gerard, a majority of aldermen turned down the Status of Women request. “My conscience,” Gerard says, “doesn’t allow me to vote government funds to an organization that is putting time and energy behind pro-choice.” It was an unexpected success for right-to-life supporters in B.C., where the abortion rate (33.6 per 100 live births) is the highest in the country. Their usual and increasingly effective technique—one that’s being echoed across the country—has been to put pressure directly on abortion-granting hospitals. So far, however, the result, which has caught pro-choice supporters napping, has not been so much to reduce the total number of abortions being performed as to leave some hospital boards in turmoil over how to deal with their newly conservative abortion committees. At the same time, other hospitals have been left wondering how to cope with the sudden increase in the demand for abortions from women who have been turned down elsewhere. Earlier this year in Victoria, right-tolifers had another, although brief, victory. A three-doctor therapeutic abortion committee at the Victoria General Hospital—where anti-abortionists had given lectures to the medical staff—had approved only five applications for abortion by the first week of February instead of the usual 70 to 100 a month. With its normal abortion procedures stalled, the hospital board was caught between supporting the committee and continuing to burden the city’s Royal Jubilee Hospital where abortions had quickly increased by 300 per cent. Finally, in late April, the medical staff voted to draw up a new roster of physicians from which the hospital board could select a rotating committee. The crisis at the Victoria General followed intensive campaigns by two B.C. right-to-life organizations, the Pro Life Society and the 100-member Physicians for Life—campaigns that left prochoice groups as shaken as the hospital boards. “I think people were complacent,” says Jennifer Lowen, Victoria president of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, “because it has been relatively easy to get an abortion in Victoria since 1969.” That was the year the Criminal Code was amended to permit hospital boards to appoint a medical committee that may approve an abortion if the mother’s life or health is threatened by continuation of the pregnancy. In 1971, two years after the liberalization of the law, the national abortion rate was 8.6 for every 100 live births. By 1978, when the ratio had risen to 17.4, 69 per cent of Canadians polled by Gallup favored abortions in certain circumstances. The rest were of extreme opposite opinions, with 16 per cent for abortion in all cases and only 14 per cent totally opposed. Although they represent a minority opinion, the pro-lifers are extremely well-organized. Birthright, with 65 offices across the country, counsels and helps pregnant women to have their babies. The Coalition for the Protection of Human Life, the political arm, lobbies politicians and supports right-to-life candidates in federal and provincial elections. Last month, in Ottawa, it presented a brief to MPs urging Criminal Code amendments to protect unborn children. Physicians for Life holds workshops at the annual Canadian Medical Association convention. By far the most public activities of the rightto-life movement have been organized by the 130 self-styled educational groups that come under the umbrella of the 60,000-member national Alliance for Life. In Prince Edward Island, right-tolifers and some church groups have been urging—so far unsuccessfully—a boycott of the new-equipment fund of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to pressure the board to institute an anti-abortion policy.In Ontario, two years ago, right-to-life members won four seats on the board of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital. Their attempts to influence the therapeutic abortion committee led to the near resignation of the hospital’s medical director. Aroused by this threat to the regular health care of the community, a grassroots citizens’ movement prevented the election last June of another group of anti-abortion candidates—at considerable cost to the hospital, which had rented a sports arena and set up tents to accommodate the 4,000 people who had paid for memberships in the hospital and were eligible to vote for board members. In B.C., Pro Life Society members sit in minorities on the boards of at least a half-dozen hospitals. Dr. Robin Percival-Smith, a spokesman for the Richmond pro-choice group, has warned that the public will lose the right to therapeutic abortions if three more Pro Life members win seats at the June 19 annual general meeting at the Richmond General Hospital. As other hospitals approach annual meetings, administrators watch nervously for a flood of last-minute applications like the one that brought 2,500 cheering, jeering, applauding people to the North Surrey Recreation Centre last June to vote for three candidates for the board of Surrey Memorial Hospital. After a second recount had declared the winners—two pro-choice and one pro-life—a hospital governor said, “I think now that we can get back to running the hospital.” The opposition to right-to-life has fewer members and seems less wellorganized. “The climate of opinion here is very much pro-choice,” says Jennifer Lowen of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League. “However, those people who are pro-choice are not getting out there, writing letters to editors. They are not harassing politicians and are not necessarily vocal about their views, which the anti-choice people certainly are.” In Vancouver, a collective called Concerned Citizens for Choice on Abortion has managed to parry many of the Pro Life thrusts. Lawyer Ruth Busch, a spokesperson for the group, says that usually when the organization has been aware of Pro Life plans to elect members to hospital boards, it has managed to muster popular support to defeat them. “The problem you face with the abortion issue is that people don’t remember that it is an issue. You have to keep reminding them.By Audrey Grescoe5 min
Baseball, they say, is a funny game, its long history enlivened by a legendary cast of madcap characters from Dizzy Dean to Yogi Berra, Casey Stengel to Jim Bouton. Not without reason is it called the national pastime south of the border. In 1980, they still don’t play at night in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and across the nation, and in the last little while in Montreal and Toronto, afternoons and balmy evenings are whiled away by millions of fans watching men play a boys’ game.By Hal Quinn5 min
I say the hell with foreign investors and their investments. Let’s make the 1980s the decade in which Canada does for itself what has to be done to bring our country to maturity. For 30 years the imperative need to attract foreign investment to Canada has been an idée fixe of establishment economists, chartered bankers, deputy finance ministers and such a diverse coterie of politicos as Pierre Trudeau, Robert Stanfield, René Lévesque, William Davis, Sterling Lyon and Peter Lougheed.By James H. Gray4 min
Across the Prairies it is a common dilemma, growing more critical every day that passes without rain for the parched earth of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While urbanites greeted the May holiday weekend by simply turning off lawn-sprinklers and piling into their campers to escape the oppressive heat at the nearest park, the farm population stayed put.By Dale Eisler4 min
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