MAILBAG

The RCMP’s priceless service / Racial prejudice in Canada

June 1 1963

MAILBAG

The RCMP’s priceless service / Racial prejudice in Canada

June 1 1963

MAILBAG

The RCMP’s priceless service / Racial prejudice in Canada

How about an article delving into the Socialist Manifesto? With your writers' talents you could acquaint people with the devious methods communists and their pink cohorts employ to undermine our heritage of individual freedom. The people, and only the people can preserve their liberties for their children. To this end the Special Branch of the RCMP (Inside Canada's sweet police, April 20) is performing a priceless service on behalf of all patriotic Canadians. Only those with designs on our liberty and freedom — who seek to undermine and destroy our democracy and justice — need really fear them. — s. A. WARD,

MOOSE JAW. SASK.

White Canada looks at a black man

In regard to A black man looks at racial prejudice in white ( añada (April 20): Many West Indians who were contemporaries of the author at the University of Toronto are now employed in Canada in professional capacities. I can think of several highschool teachers, a university professor, a research economist, a lecturer at the university who received a scholarship so he could do postgraduate work commensurate with his abilities, a professional social worker who has now transferred to a better-paying position at the same professional level — 1 could go on, but are these not jobs suitable for university graduates? Ol course, there is racial prejudice in Canada, and it is the indirect, unadmitted. even unrecognized kind that is often hardest to bear. I truly sympathize with the exasperation and discouragement so evident in this article, but let other Canadians take heart. We are not quite so "white" as he

paints US.--GENEVIEVE C. HOLDEN,

MARRIE, ONT.

^ The article implies racial discrimination on the part of the Canadian Press in the comparative conditions under which two teletype operators were hired. The implication is based on the statement that a Negro operator was told he must have a minimum speed of sixty words a minute, whereas a white man was taken on when he had reached a speed of fifty-five words. The assumption made by the writer of the article is that speed is the only qualification. This is not so. Accuracy is at least equally important. An applicant whose speed is, say. fifty-five words a minute with no errors may well be a better operator than one who punches sixty words a minute with four or five errors. Both the Negro operator and the white man referred to proved to be topnotch operators. Any suggestion that racial discrimination is practised at CP is

false. - M. W. BRADBURY. GENERAL

TRAFFIC CHIEF', TORONTO

^ Why should applicants for positions be turned down only because of their

race if they possess the qualifications and ambitions to become responsible citizens, businessmen and neighbors? Why not give them the chance they deserve? Certainly there are many white Canadians who are of little benefit at all to our business and social worlds, yet because they possess a white skin are accepted by our society. Is ('añada not a land of opportunity — for everyone? — RUTHMARIE

GREEN, BARRIE. ONT.

* We have had on our teaching staffs in the past few years a rich mixture of races, nationalities, and religions. We've had teachers with white, yellow’. brown and black skins and teachers who were Jewish, Hindu, Protestant. Roman Catholic and agnostic. Some have been excellent, some have not. The point is that no one has ever thought about any “difference” — no student, no parents of any student, no teacher — except that now and again we reflect on how fine it is to have this wealth of difference among US.-LOIS DALI AMORE. FRINGE

GEORGE, B.G.

Madison Avenue on the Nile

Mr. Berton states (Confessions of a Hotel Fancier, March 9) that the murals at the Nile Hilton are "far too

perfect to be Egyptian: they are pure Madison Avenue." But the murals he maligns arc actually castings trom the Valley of the Kings and were made for the Nile Hilton by the Egyptian government museum. — A. E. DI TUL-

I IO, VICE-PRESIDENT, HILTON HOTELS INTERNATIONAL

Coiifulingualisni vs. I'renglish

Bravissimo pour le M. Watson d Ottawa (Mailbag, April 6) Il est parfaitemcntly true that Frenglish would be difficulté to comprendre pour le stranger du our neighboring pays, but pour all the autre strangers it would be so much easier! However, to become ein single peuple we will have to gehen un step further, to conlulingualism: embracer tutti i languages spoken inside Canada today, and about grammar no bother no more. Nous will be ein peuple magnifique et sans doubt unique too. — GITTA

SAG MEISTER, DOWNSVIEW, ONT.

continued on page 11

Continued from page 9

Bannerrnan declares (We're running undemocratic elections, April 6) “that western farmers get relatively much more federal money than farmers in the rest of Canada,” and points out that in 1959 freight assistance on western feed grains amounted to $19,999,094. By what weird process of reasoning did James decide that this sum went to western farmers? Is it possible he doesn't know that this is a bone of contention with western stock growers? Eastern growers get freight assistance on feed, but western farmers don't get freight assistance on the cattle and hogs they ship east. Eastern farm prices are all higher than in the west, and we bear the full brunt of the freight rates on what we sell and what we buy. - MRS. R. S. MCRAIN. KINDERSLEY, SASK.

A layman’s error

What young French-Canadians have on their Minds (April 6) claims that Miss Gobeil “teaches literature at the only collège classique in Quebec that is not entirely staffed by the clergy.” This statement is so grossly false that I cannot understand how a responsible reporter could write it. The great majority of classical colleges in Quebec do have lay teachers on their staff. The Seminary of Quebec (city), in which 1 studied twenty years ago was beginning to hire lay teachers at that time. - REV. GUY GODIN, LAVAL UNI-

VERSITY, QUEBEC

/ should have said: “that is entirely staffed by lay men and women.” — Peter Gzowski.

^ The French Canadians’ greatest effort towards sophistication seemed to be in stating their anti-Catholic stand. A fine point of reasoning was the remark that “the church has been able to dominate French Canadian life — even to the point in some towns where a merchant might be nearly boycotted ii he became a militant nonbeliever.” In my town we don't ask our grocer about his beliefs, but if he became militant in his unbelief and scotfcd at our belief, we might boycott him. I have belonged to several nonsectarian groups which were predominantly Protestant and I've yet to hear any anti-church sentiments from them. Your group is evidently of superior intelligence but, I think, a little immature. However, I'll respect their rights by not praying for them. — ERNEST BROI’HY, MONTREAL

Solutions to the Confederation crisis

When Maclean’s attempts to put the bite on English-speaking Canadians by intimating that we will now have to go hat-in-hand and with an apologetic air to Quebec (Editorial: Do we pul Confederation back together? April 6); the answer by many thousands might be, “We're loyal Canadians and there are lots of things

A plea for western farmers / No prayers for young Quebeckers

about Uncle Sam we don't like but we have listened to those bilingualists bellyache for a century now and a union with the U.S.A. would bring a welcome relief. If Quebec could wrangle itself out of the deal and form a Little France, O.K. If we could carry Quebec with us they would soon be swallowed up by over two hundred millions and learn to talk North American like everybody else.” In British Columbia, where we have had

considerable experience with separatists — the Sons of Freedom — we are not particularly impressed by demands about what we must do to preserve Confederation. — WALDRON GREENE, VICTORIA, B.C.

** The federal government is, by treaty, bilingually constituted and therefore, technically, if French Canadians as the only effective bilingual population insist on their legal rights, they can literally run the entire nation as soon as they complete training of sufficient personnel to take over the civil service and key government posts. In future, only bilingual employees need be hired for federal occupations, including the armed services, national transportation, post offices, national employment offices, RC'MP and the northern territories. It's high time we sat up and did some serious thinking about the revolution in Quebec. — H. E. WINGFIELD,

ESPAÑOLA, ONT.

^ A solution of problems of biculturalism is our most urgent task; at least, something must be done to reduce French-Canadian causes for complaint. I am shocked to hear some deny them the right to speak their language in their own area where it has been established for over three hundred and fifty years and where their right to it was confirmed and pledged in 1774. Solutions must be sought and I think that a permanent national commission of citizens of good-will is essential. A great deal can be done by farsighted Canadians along the lines of the exchanges between the universities of Lava! and Western Ontario. — F. n. A. COLLINS,

GANGES, B.C.

continued on page 48

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Undoing the “mistakes of half a century’’ in our national parks

continued from page 11

I am disappointed and very much disturbed by Beauty and the huck (Mar. 23) which, in my judgment, misrepresents the present status and condition of the national parks to the point that Canadians and their visitors from other countries may be discouraged from visiting these priceless national sanctuaries. It is almost as though, from his wide knowledge of the parks, your author has carefully selected and pruned every item that could possibly show the government, the department, anti the parks themselves, in an unfavorable light. One example will illustrate what I mean. The article makes a great play of a project in Cape Breton Highlands Park which involved “painting tree trunks green.” As your author could readily have discovered, if he had bothered to inquire, what really happened was that the lower branches of some trees were lopped off in an area used by many park visitors. The stubs were covered with a preservative to prevent damage to the trees. Not unreasonably, the preservative was colored green. So much for that particular story. 1 recite it here only as a typical example of the bias of the article. As minister responsible for the national parks, I consistently put forward the view that new policies are required if the parks are to maintain their traditional role in modern conditions. Some of the situations your author described do exist as a result of Canada’s neglect and abuse of her rich heritage of renewable resources. It is only in recent years that a concerted effort has been made to overcome the errors of the past. The problem has been aggravated because of the vastly increased use of the parks reflecting the mobility and leisure which Canadians now have at their disposal. At the beginning of the war, the parks catered to about a million visitors. It was in the prewar era that townsites and cottages developed under the regulations which were in effect well into the postwar period. Today, the total number of visitors has grown until last year it approached seven million. One cannot undo overnight the mistakes of over half a century, but we have been moving on a broad front to ensure the wise management and multiple use of this important part of our natural resource heritage. Many far-reaching programs and policies have been launched that should have been obvious to your author. Perhaps the most important of these was the establishment of a planning division in the National Parks Branch some three years ago. Out of this has come the new zoning plan for the parks which will provide, as far as possible, for all those who want to enjoy the unique satisfactions which the parks provide. The planning division is mapping out a master plan for each of the parks. Banff, because of its great popularity has been given priority. The townsite plan for

Banff, prepared by an outstanding consultant, is now ready and some parts of it will be implemented this year. Land use for parks must be related to the broader question of the best management of our renewable natural resources. Thus parks were an important area of consideration at the Resources for Tomorrow Conference held in 1961. This conference, called for by Prime Minister Diefenbaker in 1958, has opened up a whole new concept in resource management. One of the by-products of the conference is the Resource Ministers Council, made up of representatives from each of the eleven senior governments in Canada and designed to co-ordinate activities in the renewable resource field. Already the council has recommended joint federal-provincial action in meeting the expanding needs for recreational parks, and last fall I accordingly took the initiative in convening the first federal-provincial parks conference as a forum for cooperative consideration of parks problems. Parks problems are not easy ones. Different groups of people quite properly have different interests and different ideas of what they think a national park should be. It is unfortunate that your author did not make a more constructive contribution towards the resolution of these questions in the forum provided by Canada’s national magazine. — WALTER DINS-

DALE, OTTAWA.

/ do not agree that “a concerted effort" is being made to overcome the errors of the past in Canada’s national parks, but it is heartening to learn that Mr. Dinsdale accepts the fact that errors and abuses exist. I claim that at the present time those errors and abuses are being magnified and repeated on most fronts, not corrected. 1 acknowledge without blushing the chortles over Cape Breton’s green tree trunks. The reference was twenty-six words in an article of six thousand and drew the only specific criticism of fact that has been brought to my attention. The objection is sustained and I am willing to let my case rest on the other 5,974 words. — FRED

BODS WORTH.

^ I am a Canadian who for the past two years has been living in Japan and the United States. I've heard many fine comments about Canada abroad, and usually they allude to our wonderful natural resources of forest and stream. And it has been with pride that I accepted this view of Canada until today when I read Mr. Bodsworth's article. I am sure there are many Canadians who like myself, take our national parks for granted. I hope they read Mr. Bodsworth s tine article and will attempt to do something about the present conditions in our national park system. — LAWRENCE MOSS. BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA. ★