That new Canadian nationalism
THANK YOU for The Heartening Surge Of A New Canadian Nationalism (Canada Report, February). Perhaps the fact that our uniqueness has been more a feeling than anything else, more a sense of difference than a style of difference, more a cherished knowledge, unspoken, unheralded, and untried, that we are special and blessed . . . perhaps it is this that has made other nations and, shamefully enough, some of our own countrymen conclude that we have no identity. Up with the House of Anansi, Pierre Juneau, Steele and Mathews, the NFB, the Canadian Arctic, the maple leaf, Walter Gordon, O Canada, John Moore . . . and Maclean’s. MRS. JUDY FRASER, COCHRANE, ONT.
* Let’s go easy on this nationalism, shall we? I don’t want to watch a TV program because it’s Canadian; I want to watch it because it’s good and I can enjoy it. What’s wrong with American capital? It’s all money, isn’t it? I like Canada the way it is, and it didn’t get that way by being nationalistic. Let’s be citizens of the world, and build a better world. - MRS. H. WRIGHT, CALGARY
* It was with much pleasure that I read Canada Report. For these many years I have held these views, all the while feeling like a subversive or some kind of anarchist. If and when a truly made-in Canada nation emerges from this loose association of 10 provinces, I would put forward the name of Walter Gordon as prime minister. He is one of the few men of our recent political past to have the courage to tell it like it is.
W. D. STURGEON, DOWLING, ONT.
*Maclean’s has made me ashamed I was born in Canada. Now I am more thankful than ever to God for having gotten out of your jealous, hate-filled country when I did. The Canadian neurosis over your inferiority complex has reached an all-time low with the Communist-inspired issue of what I used to consider a fine magazine. Your hate for the United States and things American seem to be so profound, I believe it must stem from a deep feeling of envy and jealousy — because we are everything you lack but wish you were. In one, breath you berate and decry everything connected with our culture, forgetting we did not export it to you; you gobbled it up and asked for more. If you got your wish and got rid of everything American, what exactly would you have left in Canada? You would have one vast wasteland. You plead for more Canadian nationalism, put the U.S. down in every breath and cry about “foreign take-over.” But if you had waited on Canadian money and getup-and-go to get those factories started, you’d still be waiting. You were mighty glad to get them at one time. How nice it must be to be so self-righteous, sanctimonious and smug, hiding behind our skirts, letting our youth die on foreign battlefields to try and contain Communists away from our shores and yours! As for the U.S. being imperialistic—what a joke. We know we are not perfect but we are trying to help the have-not nations and keep the Communists from taking over any more of the world; we figure they have two thirds of it and that’s enough. What are you doing to help? How long do you think Canada would exist without U.S. beside her to protect her if the Russians decided to invade you? - KAREN DOUGLAS, HOUSTON, TEXAS
*How refreshing and heartening it was to read that there are dedicated, full blooded Canadians living in our beautiful, historic country, such as Walter Lockhart Gordon, Robert Parker and John Moore. They set a fine example for the youth of the future to walk in their footsteps, to strive for that goal for which they have built the foundation.
MARGERY HUGHES, LONDON, ONT.
* l read your article with great interest and disgust. The first paragraph states in part: “Either you’re out to kick the U.S., or you just don’t want to bother.” Must the fires of pro-Canadianism continually be stoked with damnations of our southern neighbors? One begins to wonder if the only way we can show national pride is to point out the negative aspect of America because there are very few positive aspects of Canada. Nationalism can only be achieved by promoting Canadian institutions, not by making anti Americanism our national pastime.
TOM MCFARLEN, TORONTO
*Maclean’s deserves some special sort of commendation for providing documentation of the swelling chorus of complaint directed against the U.S. corporate exploitation of the Canadian economy. Between 1959 and 1968, the payment of interest and dividends by Canadians to foreign investors soared from $676 million to $1,310 million, an increase of almost 100 percent. In the four-year period 1964-1968 the payments of management fees and dividends by U.S. subsidiaries in Canada to their U.S. head offices soared from $162 million to $268 million, an increase of 100 percent. These costs are irksome enough, but what chills the marrow is to project them into the future. If present trends continue, Canada will be spending three billion dollars on the wasteful purpose of servicing our foreign debts well before 1980. The large scale U.S. ownership of our industry results in the fragmentation of the Canadian industrial structure, thus adding to costs and inhibiting the attainment of optimum efficiency. U.S.-owned firms import the bulk of their machinery needs, with the result that in 1966, Canada imported $1.9 billion in capital goods, the world’s highest total, while the U.S. imported only $1.57 billion and West Germany only $1.2 billion. U.S.-owned firms import components to a greater extent than Canadian firms, usually from their parent firms, thus earning the parent firms double profits: on their sales to their Canadian affiliates and on the ultimate sales by the Canadian subsidiaries. Our balance-of-payments position is aggravated and jobs are denied to Canadians. U.S.-owned corporations in Canadian secondary industry are inhibited in their exports, especially to the U.S. They are obliged to sign licensing agreements with their parent firms forbidding them to export to the U.S., and often to third markets, when such exports conflict with the sales of parent firms. Thus, again our payments balances suffer and Canadians are deprived of jobs. U.S.-owned firms do little in the way of research, preferring to import their designs, engineering and technology from their head offices. Thus Canada has the most dismal record of all Western nations in the percentage of its national income devoted to research. Canada must recognize its essential choices. It is going to pay for foreign ownership and its only choice is to pay indefinitely to keep it, or to pay to rid itself of it. Canada is going to pay for its own economic development and its only choice is between paying for it through foreign ownership whereby foreign firms finance their expansion through retained earnings, or paying for it through nationally owned firms. Canada has the potential to become one of the five greatest nations in the world, with one of the highest living standards, if not the highest living standard, in the world. But first it must clear the deck by ridding itself of foreign ownership.
EDWARD CARRIGAN, TORONTO
*Your February One-Liner-Of - The -Month, “A majority of Canadians define the thin line between sanity and insanity as the 49th parallel,” from Mrs. S. Ives, of Vancouver, is called a “cheap shot” in sports. You should be ashamed of printing it. If this is an example of how Maclean’s intends to “fan the flames of a heartening surge of new Canadian nationalism,” you don’t have my support nor, I think, the support of the majority of Canadians.
J. D. MaCGREGOR, THORNHILL, ONT.
*Presumably, Mrs. Ives will spend her five dollars for the One-Liner-Of-The Month insanely.
JOE BYRNES, SYRACUSE, NEW YORK
*I was extremely disappointed to find that you take an editorial stand supporting Canadian nationalism. Not all nationalist movements are to be condemned, but the type you are trying to create is the worst kind: it serves no real purpose but to create In-group and Out-group distinctions. What will you do with Canadian nationalism once you have it? Wave your flag and proclaim yourselves God’s chosen people? This is not bad in itself because the antics of foolish people are always gently amusing. But such behavior is also harmful, especially to individual freedom and to the search for correct causal relations. In a general way, strong nationalism inhibits the personal freedom of those who do not wish to indulge in fantasies of moral superiority. As soon as the state is seen by a concensus of the people to embody a sort of moral destiny, one may expect the pleas of people who want to be left alone to be crushed. The nationalism you are supporting seems to be largely aimed at resisting United States influence. Yet I can dimly recognize that by attempting to 1 be so vigorously un-American we will eventually come to resemble America even more: it is very difficult to express genuine individualism in America without being subjected to social ostracism. Will the same fate await the individual in the Great Age of Canadian Nationalism?
JAMES ROBERT, MONTREAL
*If Canada’s radio and television stations are governed by the amount of American ownership (not to exceed 25 percent), why not the rest of the major Canadian companies? I fully support the opinions and actions of Walter Gordon, Robert Parker and John Moore. Companies will continue to sell out to American interests, until Canadians rally to the cause. And we’d better hurry.
C. BENSON,SECRETARY, CJYR, EDSON, ALTA.
*The majority of Canadians live south of the 49th parallel. As for the book referred to in Canada Report, Close The 49th Parallel, which “would turf the Americans out of influence in economics, foreign policy, sport and the arts”: surely it is a strange idea. I live in Canada and I have to travel south to the 45th parallel to cross the border. Torontonians live below the 44th. Would the writer give the U.S. most of Newfoundland, all of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, as well as most of the populated areas of Quebec and Ontario, including much of their wild northern areas? Give them Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, our national capital, Ottawa, all the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway? Please, encourage your readers, and staff, to learn the elementary facts of Canadian history and geography.
ESTHER M. ENGLAND, SUTTON, QUE.
If that is the way cartoonist Aislin sees Queen Elizabeth (Aislin’s Perspective, In Our View — And Yours, February), how does he see his mother and/or his wife? In graciousness there is beauty, and whatever else one may choose to say about our Queen, she is not and never has been ungracious. It would seem there is a moral here. It would also seem that as an artist or a caricaturist Aislin is pathetically distorted.
MARJORIE P. FERRIS, ROUGEMONT, QUE.
*Even if Elizabeth II were not our Queen, she is a charming lady who in no way has influenced our lives for anything other than good. So why publish insinuations to fall somewhere on fertile soil?
- MRS. R. G. COLE, TORONTO
*I feel I must try to impress upon you the complete disgust I have for the cartoon. Aislin has a great deal to learn, and might start by realizing that it is very poor taste and sportsmanship to strike at the symbol of our democracy, who cannot, in her responsible position, even defend herself.
WINIFRED COLLS, WEST VANCOUVER
*How Aislin could contrive such a short-legged, dumpy frump out of our slim and charming Queen is an outrageous disgrace. Surely it is not necessary to be insulting to put across a point — no matter how obnoxious it might be. The Maple Leaf will certainly fall if we have a republic. What’s more, the more I travel abroad, the more sickening this petty and vindictive nationalism becomes. At a time when the world is struggling for mutual understanding between countries, for internationalism, nationalism becomes quite irrelevant. Let us keep the spirit of the Commonwealth.
JOHN CONNELL, VANCOUVER
*An insult to a gracious lady, and poor taste on your part for publishing it. You are helping Benson, Trudeau and Kierans in denigrating our association with Great Britain.
MRS. H. B. SMITH, NEEPAWA, MAN.
*This apparition is presumably a caricature of the good-looking woman who is our Queen. This is supposed to be funny? — W. A. HORNE, OTTAWA
*Shame be upon you and begone, Maclean’s.
— EMILY B. MaCLEAN, NELSON, BC
*I know who our Queen is — but who is Aislin?
-H. FORMAN, WOODSTOCK, ONT.
Béliveau, the king
My sincere congratulations to Maclean’s for the excellent article, The High Art Of Playing Hockey, taken from Hugh Hood’s book on Jean Béliveau. It’s simply amazing how two knowledgeable men can talk about the same game yet hold such opposing views: Béliveau considers the handling of a stick an art, while Derek Sanderson claims its use is relegated to that of carving (and this after the Green incident!). Somehow, despite Sanderson’s “broad” lure, I think most parents will invest their hard earned money in Béliveau’s book, as opposed to any of the two Sanderson is having written.
SISTER MARY BLAISE, WELLAND. ONT.
* I think William Shakespeare had Béliveau in mind when he wrote: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them ... He jests at scars that never felt a wound . . . Ay, every inch a king! . . . Age cannot wither [him] nor custom stale [his] infinite variety.” And with a little alteration, my favorite quote: “His life is gentle and the elements so mix’d in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, This is a man.’ ” ROSEMARY BLUMENTHAL, CHOMEDEY, QUE.
An ‘orange’ you say, Bossin?
Re ‘Stop That Man! He’s Smuggling An Orange,’ by Bob Bossin (In Our View —and Yours): It is insufferable that Customs and Immigration officers of Canada and the U.S., whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers, should be baited, ridiculed and delayed in processing travelers by youths, who, with no visible means of support, shuttle back and forth between the two countries. If we are to believe the news media, some of this junketing is a cover-up for smuggling pot and other illegal drugs. As for propaganda treks by radicals working for the overthrow of our present form of government and institutions either by stealth or force, who needs the aggravation?
JOHN SMITH, MONTREAL
San Andrés: it’s yours by air
How To Make It To 1979 incorrectly states (quoting Richard Joseph, Esquire travel editor) that escape to Colombia will find you “the beautiful offshore island of San Andrés, which as yet has no airport.” San Andrés has had an airport for several years. Jet service came into operation a year ago.
PATRICIA HURDLE, WINNIPEG
Just keep talking, Canada
About those winning entries in your essay contest, which you published under the heading ‘Why I’m Wildly Enthusiastic About Canada’s Future’-, if those essays were examples of wild enthusiasm about Canada’s future, then “wild” and “enthusiasm” must have been redefined. They read like most Canadian history books — authoritative, sober and dull, dull, dull. Describing enthusiasm for Canada’s future is difficult because while some of it is based on fact, much stems from an emotional feeling for our country — a feeling we are different from any other nation in the world, that we are unique. Why? For one thing, we were the first country in the modern world to achieve independence over a conference table, and this bloodless evolution of self-government gave us something much stronger and more stable than guns and glory: a tradition of discussion and compromise. If it is true history repeats itself, then, hopefully, we will discuss problems now facing our country and, in the give-and take of compromise, work out satisfactory solutions without resorting to violence. In the long run, when violence is used, it sets a pattern that regularly recurs. We are always talking about those things that will split the country. What about those things that bind us? I don’t mean just our government or national emblems such as the maple leaf, but such other things as the railroads, winter, hockey, CBC and CTV, Diefenbaker’s hair. John A. Macdonald’s nose and Laura Secord’s cow. Wedged between the British and American traditions, we’ve managed to produce a reticent, cautious national character all our own. We’re quiet swingers. We are not gamblers, but take the safe, sure way. When we do something, it’s done well; Expo was our showplace for that, but so are our diplomats, and so, I’m told, are our newsmen. We have our faults, we’re inclined to be smug, we don’t take enough interest in our country and we treat Indians shamefully. But we’re working on these. There’s a new generation coming up, bubbling with new ideas and enthusiasm for this country. As long as federal and provincial officials keep discussing their differences, we’ll avoid violence. It’s when people stop talking that trouble usually begins. I’m betting our national penchant for talk will be our salvation.
MRS. SHIRLEYAN ENGLISH, LAMBETH, ONT.
* Regarding the 13 percent of the Map Contest entrants who favor our being translated into Americans (This Is The Canada That Won Our Contest), I am puzzled by the assumption that the United States wants us. It’s been a long, long time since pan Americanism was seriously argued in their political circles. The traditional loose connection between Canada and the U.S. benefits everyone, and I am sure that Washington would view a drastic change with the utmost disquiet — the administration has far too many headaches to want another.
N. T. GRIDGEMAN, OTTAWA
How could a magazine as estimable and useful as yours professes to be, suffer the puffed-up, pedantic, fallacious Lionel Tiger to emit such verbose nonsense as he did in ‘But I Never Said Women Are Inferior’? His prolix article surely must have given many an inferiority complex as well as convincing many just who indeed has a superiority complex.
JOANN NOLAN, OTTAWA
Who needs robots?
Your article on the outlook of a group of outstanding Canadian high-school students (These Shall Inherit The Earth) is a tremendous salute to the Americanized greyness of an educational system cranking out robots, albeit very intelligent ones. As a prairie university student, I became aware of the fact that Canada is neither a second United States nor a moldering Britain. Canada is a nation with a frontier, the greatest in history. This frontier needs intelligent, capable pioneers, people eager to find a great land where security is not a cheque and a suburban home, but something carved from an eager land. PATRICK DUKE, 70 MILE, BC
Uh, back to you, Cambodia
In The Offbeat Road To Expo 70: Paved With Offbeat Pleasures, at the head of a column extolling the delights of Malaysia. there is a photograph of a very venerable and very interesting building that has absolutely no connection with Malaysia, the subject it was presumably illustrating. In actual fact, the photograph shows the Khmer temple at Angkor Wat, which has been located for the past 800 years in Cambodia. Having tried to redraw the map of Canada, is Maclean’s now trying to redraw the map of the world? - RANDALL WITHELL, TORONTO
‘Give me, give me’
Re Canada Report on poverty, I Canadian In 5 Is Poor, Mad — And Getting Madder: No matter what government the people vote in, it will not be able to do any better than governments are doing now. The people themselves don’t want laws, they don’t want to work. They just sit on their ever-widening butts and yell. “Give me, give me.”
J. SHAREIN, PENTICTON, BC
* I was particularly interested as we had just had a social-welfare conference in Victoria at which delegates from Ottawa interviewed welfare recipients. During their free time delegates were provided with luxury 41-seat passenger buses to take them on sight-seeing tours — at taxpayers’ expense -—and on at least one occasion only five delegates took the tour. As a taxpayer, I would far rather see my taxes going directly on to the tables of some of the deprived families than to provide recreation for high-paid civil servants.
CYNTHIA BLAIR, VICTORIA
*The Victoria segment is indeed good journalism. “Advocate” Susan Talbot supports the cause of the poor with dedication and amazing vitality. However, she and her colleagues are not alone in their concern. Intelligent and able social workers are among the first of our citizens to point out the distressful situation of the poor in Canada. Perhaps there is a place for sensationalism in order to enlist the concern of Canadians, but in fairness it should be made clear that the isolated cases mentioned in the report do not provide an unbiased point of view. - MRS. DOROTHY TAYLOR, VICTORIA
Hey — how about Quebec TV?
Re Douglas Marshall’s TV column, Ottawa’s Policy Of Punishing Have-Not Views Is Absurd (Reviews, February): The English-language press seems to be so concerned about northern Canadian viewers not being able to receive cable supplied, superior (?) U.S. television that it forgets how many southern Canadian viewers, west and east of the Quebec border, are unable to pick up the really superior programs of the CBC French network.
- ROBERT FISHER, LAVAL, QUE.
*What gutless wonders we Canadians have become when we allow meatheads like CRTC President Pierre Juneau, and Vice-Chairman Harry Boyle to select our television viewing, and to decide what is best for the peasantry. If the slop produced by the CBC is the best we can expect, God help our free (?) society.
GEORGE P. HERRON, SUDBURY, ONT.
What’s External Affairs for?
Your article, Should We Haul Down The Flag In Addis Ababa?, seems to me contradictory and even nonsensical in some parts. My late husband was with the Department of External Affairs from 1928 to 1959, when he retired, and during that time he represented Canada as High Commissioner in Pakistan and New Zealand and as Ambassador to Egypt. Policy formation, like negotiations, have always been a matter of government concern, and the Department of External Affairs has been always more or less just an intermediary in this regard. Nothing new about this. Diplomatic dispatches and reports have been always of a confidential nature — for government use only — and not available to the public; I doubt very much if journalists ever had access to these files so that they could judge whether or not “the same information” can be found in the press. Any diplomat of good calibre has much more to do than simply wear formal dress and give or attend cocktail parties, no matter how useful for business reasons these may be. However, it happens sometimes that a diplomat is not up to the level of his assignment and, especially the political appointees, who lack professional training and experience, may give from time to time reasons for criticism and mockery, if they prove more interested in the “glory” of their position than in its responsibilities. But one cannot judge the whole diplomatic service by a few exceptions and failures.It would seem obvious also that in this rapidly changing modern world adaptations to the new scene are becoming more and more necessary. But what is sometimes most disturbing to public opinion, in this and in some other fields of life, is the apparent lack of consistency in government policies and reforms under present difficult circumstances and problems. For instance, while some reductions regarding the diplomatic missions and diplomats themselves are expected, at the same time a political appointee from outside the Department of External Affairs, a man beyond the retirement age, is being designated to open our new diplomatic post at the Vatican. The author of your article, Walter Stewart, after asking the big question — “The Distinguished Ambassador From Canada . . . Who Needs Him?” — makes reference to the “world that needed us to straighten out the mess of Suez in 1956.” So do we want to play an international role, or don’t we? And if so, how can we achieve this without a Department of External Affairs? But speaking of the Suez Canal crisis 13 years ago, how can we be sure that the world needed our intervention there? Some saw in this action great merit and glory, while others considered it as a political monœuvre, drawing the world into further troubles in this area. History will give its verdict some day, and in the meantime Mr. Pearson now is collecting, for a change, awards and prizes from Israel and from some Zionist organizations of America, and he declared recently in New York that he would not send United Nations forces into the Middle East again.
In view of all this, I’m inclined to believe that Canada should concentrate on her own domestic problems, instead of fishing for publicity abroad, and just try to keep good relations with other countries — without intruding in their affairs. This has been always the main task of the Department of External Affairs. - MRS. c. KIRKWOOD. OTTAWA
Bramalea — the wrong way?
Walter Stewart’s article on Bramalea, The Wrong Way To Solve The Housing Crisis, should have been an opportunity for analytic, constructive ideas on how to solve the housing problem for the lower-middle-income families and how to avoid making the same mistakes elsewhere. Instead, he simply carps about money made by private enterprise. The company involved is not a charitable institution; it’s a company in business to make money. It manages to combine this with providing a commodity that is urgently needed and not freely available elsewhere. Bramalea is not a cultural centre, simply the very best of a bad bargain. Until and unless the government comes up with a realistic housing policy that everyone (developer, builder, buyer) can live with, until and unless a solution is found to the mortgage-financing situation, Bramalea — warts and all — will remain just about the only hope for thousands of would-be home owners.
V. A. RIDER, MISSISSAUGA, ONT.
* As long as land speculators are allowed to reap such terribly excessive profits, the housing problem will never diminish. Why, oh why, can’t we get a government with guts? The thought of living in a place that will have 18 houses to the acre would give me the screaming meemies.
SHARON PATERSON, KAMLOOPS, BC
* We believe you are doing a service to society by publishing such articles. It shows how we have been betrayed by our provincial government, which pretends to be interested in housing.
MR. AND MRS. R. HANSEN, NORVAL, ONT.
Thanks, Mike, for Busher
Pearson’s All-Time All-Star Hockey Team, by former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, was tremendous. It is obvious that Pearson is as knowledgeable about Canada’s national game as he is about her national affairs. What a game it would be if his stars could go at it for 60 minutes! I was particularly pleased to see his selection of Harvey (Busher) Jackson. Who could pick an All-Time All-Star Hockey Team and leave him off? (Sorry about that, Conn Smythe.) Maybe some day, if enough people can think like “Mike,” we will be able to have a true World Championship tournament in which the best play the best.
DONALD K. MCCUAIG, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT
Pollution: ‘Fight for our lives!’
Courtney Tower did a very fine job on the pollution special (The People VA. Pollution, Canada Report, January). He brought together what must have been a confusing mass of information into an accurate and hard-hitting article that is one of the best I have seen in any Canadian publication. - D. A. CHANT, PROFESSOR AND CHAIRMAN, DEPARTMENT OF ZOOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
* I enjoyed reading your discussion and I would like to commend you for your efforts in bringing what I feel is the greatest problem facing Canadians today to the attention of your readers. There were, however, a number of points in your article that seem to me to be misleading. In particular, your writer, Courtney Tower, appears to underestimate the role being played by the federal government in pollution control. For example, as your article was being written, the Canada Water Bill was being debated by the House of Commons. It provides for the comprehensive management of our water resources and, in co-operation with the provinces, for a vigorous attack on the problem of water pollution in Canada. It provides fines of up to $5,000 per day for polluters, and gives us all the necessary resources to carry out a full-scale cleanup of our polluted waters in the next decade. Federal - provincial co-operation in this area is increasing daily as all governments become increasingly concerned with the problems of our environment. In view of the very considerable activity at present going on, I think that your description of the situation as “the people VA. the politicians” is highly misleading. I know of no politicians who have “dug in their heels” in favor of polluters. In this day and age that would be politically suicidal and morally reprehensible. - J. J. GREENE, MINISTER OF ENERGY, MINES AND RESOURCES, OTTAWA
Pollution reporter Courtney Tower replies: “Admittedly, I may have not stressed the federal government’s role sufficiently, but l dispute that this rendered my report ‘misleading.’ In any case, there are some who question how ‘vigorous■’ is the attack on water pollution provided by the Canada Water Bill. It was CBC-TV producer Larry Gosnell, not I, who spoke of politicians who have ‘dug in their heels’ against anti-pollution measures. But I would ask: have there been no politicians in Quebec, in BC and in Ontario until recently who have dug in their heels? No friends of the pulp-mill companies and fish plants?”
* A masterful job. However, I would like to point out that the scientific body in Canada that has been active in this field for more than 70 years was not mentioned. I refer to the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. In the days when the problem of pollution was not considered fashionable, the FRB petitioned the federal and provincial governments to act on the matter before it reached monumental proportions. The Board still carries the same banner and is still the body of government with more expertise, scientific history and detailed research on the subject. - RON GADSBY, PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD OF CANADA, OTTAWA
* We wish to thank you on behalf of all conservation-minded citizens for your Canada Report. It is such information that will help conservation organizations arouse the public to insist on action by our elected representatives. There are two slight errors in your report. The first: “More than a quarter of the shellfish in beds along New Brunswick are made inedible by the offal of fish-processing plants.” Little contamination is caused by fish plants; the contamination is caused by human waste. The other factor is a toxicity, which is a natural phenomenon similar to the “Red Tide” of other regions, which causes severe illness when eaten by humans. Second: “Young salmon die within minutes of being placed in the St. Croix River below a New Brunswick pulp mill.” The statement about the salmon dying is true, but the pulp mill is not in New Brunswick, but at Woodland, Maine. A primary treatment plant is supposed to go into operation there early this year and we will watch closely its effect. We have other major sources of pollution that are in the State of Maine and are presenting difficulties in clearing up the pollution in the Saint John River as well as the St. Croix.-KENNETH K. LANGMAID, PRESIDENT, CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF NEW BRUNSWICK, BOX 541, FREDERICTON
Courtney Tower replies: “Mr. Langmaid’s Conservation Council of New Brunswick (formed last October) is a new instance of people banding together to fight pollution. and it has already been commendably active. As for his points: The Canadian Society of Zoologists reports that in New Brunswick coastal pollution is serious and that fish-processing plants are among the major offenders. It adds: ‘As a result of coastal pollution, over 25 percent of the shellfish beds along the maritime shores are estimated to be contaminated and the shellfish unfit for human consumption.’ I wrongly placed the sulphide mill in New Brunswick rather than just across the border, although the company concerned has timber limits in New Brunswick. Of course, as Mr. Langmaid agrees, pulp mills within New Brunswick are just as guilty of polluting the rivers as those without.”
The man in the picture
On page 34 of the January issue, in the feature titled The Return Of Modesty, you published a picture of Vance Davis, the actor (above), but incorrectly identified it as being a picture of “footballer Vance Davies.” — VANCE DAVIS, OTTAWA
Maclean’s apologizes to Mr. Davis for the incorrect identification.