YOUR VIEW

YOUR VIEW

December 1 1972
YOUR VIEW

YOUR VIEW

December 1 1972

YOUR VIEW

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Canada again. A stormy Sunday in Antigonish was enhanced by the reading of my first copy of Maclean’s (September), a most informative, and interesting publication. The character sketches of Pauline Julien and Adrienne Clarkson were fascinating; the article on OFY, enlightening with its (satirical?) behavioral renderings of official motives and the deeds of Canada’s youth. Most enlightening were Bill Davis’ views by Barrie Zwicker and the article by Walter Gordon Last Chance for Canada.

CANADA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE

PETER C. NEWMAN

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Canada must never be “taken over” by the United States! Canada has her own history, her own heritage, her own identity which she must not lose. Canadians must stand against economic domination and possible assimilation by the USA. I am in accord with Walter Gordon on the necessity of preserving Canada as an independent nation in friendly and equal status with her huge neighbor. Our common border is unique in its character; it is a shining example to the rest of the world as a division between two great and friendly nations.

ARTHUR H. RUNYON, ROCKAWAY, NEW JERSEY

Off words and wishes

I have just read Walter Gordon — Last Chance For Canada (September) — with approval of his sentiments, but with some doubt as to the effectiveness of his plan for buying back our resources from foreign ownership. I fear Mr. Gordon is over-optimistic in his assumption that Shylock will settle for less than his full pound of flesh. I agree that Trudeau has “sold us down the river,” but we are now caught in the current’s grip, and it will take much moré than wishful thinking to regain what We have surrendered.

I know that Mexico was faced some years ago with a similar situation and that they did take over majority control of a considerable number of extraction industries, principally mining and oil. How they raised the huge sums required for this has not, so far as I know, been revealed. We do know they did not have any large cash surplus to draw on, and so must have issued bonds in large quantities; but whether these were accepted by the corporations concerned, or marketed in the usual way I do not know. We should be well advised to look into these transactions, and perhaps adopt their methods, if necessary. GILBERT KING, SASKATOON, SASK.

Having recently been granted the right to participate in Canada’s political system I was tremendously pleased when I read Walter Gordon’s article — Last Chance For Canada (September). It is encouraging that a man of his political prominence should express such for-

ward-looking views on the problems that I feel are the most important issues that Canada faces. I only hope that the politicians in Ottawa soon take some definite action in the direction that Mr. Gordon has been advocating for over a decade. I would like to inherit a Canada which is truly ours to control.

R. B. PRITCHARD, ONT.

But she’s freezing

At last someone has brought public attention to a serious problem in Canadian painting — Nudes In A Cold Climate (October). The article explains in part why the nude has never been fully developed by Canadian artists and depicted successfully in a northern climate.

One artist who has attempted this marriage between a hostile northern climate and the nude is Edwin Holgate. However, his traditional treatment of the nude depicted in a northern landscape reminiscent of the Group of Seven is psychologically contradictory.

Graham Coughtry, through the illusiveness of his images and by creating an environmental background where light is indigenous, has shown us another way. Often he is able to lift one’s thoughts beyond the erotic.

Prudery may very well have restrained the artist from painting the nude, but the artist’s lack of concern for qualities indigenous to a nordic people may be more to the point. Northern man’s life is full of movement, vitality and intense sensation. He must generate energy because repose is difficult for him in a cold hostile environment. KENNETH FINCH, MONTREAL

Internal combustion?

At this moment I am a seething mass of indignation, sorrow and downright anger — Voices From The Country by William Cameron (October). Nobody asked me what it’s like in the West or the East either. I’m from Toronto and have lived in Calgary for eight long months. What absolutely stunned me in the first few weeks was the absolute hatred for anyone from the East. I had never before considered myself an Easterner, simply a Canadian.

I object to that student from the university, of all places, who claims he is “an Albertan first, a Canadian second.” What rot. There are very few natural Albertans here in the first place, and it may come as a very big surprise to him to discover the majority are Americans!

Trudeau hasn’t failed; the people have failed their country. It’s disheartening and slightly frightening to discover how very few and far between we Canadians really are. If I were a Texan, for instance, how far could I get, continued on page 16

Your View continued or my country get, if I proclaimed stupidly that I was “a Texan first, and an American second?”

I despair for a country as beautiful as this and with so much potential. If real Canadians would get off their seats and talk about the facts, we would have what we want.

SANDRA BOWERS, CALGARY

OFY slicks

Undoubtedly politics makes the administration of OFY a sticky wicket — Are There Really Any Opportunities For Youth? by Erna Paris (September). However, your article does suggest improvements which would support the program. Rather than accept proposals for anything at all why not define government objectives, then award projects which satisfy those objectives? That is, relate more of the projects to problem areas.

The four-month period is criticized as too short, yet task force studies are typically short-lived. They should investigate problems and propose solutions. One objective of OFY is employment. Socially relevant studies relate students to the real world and provide employers with a screening of talent as well. Why not extend some project grants on an annual basis to increase benefits and get to the meaningful implementation phase? JOHN DOBBIE, SANTA MONICA, CALIF.

Purge poison pens

Your recent article on the distinguished Horner family is a sample of poison-pen writing, unworthy of your magazine — Nobody’s Laughing At Diefenbaker’s Cowboys Anymore by Heather Robertson (October).

Your unjustified attack on Jack Horner in particular is discreditable and false. To accuse him of spitting tobacco juice at the Speaker of the House of

Commons is yellow journalism at its worst.

Heather Robertson’s normally excellent writing has been marred by vicious inserts obviously introduced by other hands.

I extend my sympathy to Mrs. Horner, Senior, whose honorable family name and whose very fine sons and daughters have been smeared by your cheap, disgraceful, scurrilous, partisan article. HON. GORDON M. CHURCHILL, Q.C. WINNIPEG

Heather Robertson replies: I regret that Mr. Churchill has apparently misinterpreted parts of my article. In the passage he mentions, I was describing Mr. Horner’s image in the press, not his actual behavior in the House, which is always correct. No inserts were added to the article; certainly none of it was written by anyone other than myself.

She wants more

Melinda McCracken’s article on Adrienne Clarkson (September) gave me quite a shock. By allowing us to share her own feelings of ambivalence about her subject, Miss McCracken turned a potentially dull piece into a fascinating, dramatic study. Mrs. Clarkson's success and achievement take on more meaning when contrasted with the authoress’ painful flight from these same Establishment indicators of approval.

Thank you for providing us with an interesting reading experience; let’s have more, much more of the same. LISA SAMUEL, VANCOUVER

The Dream Of Adrienne Clarkson by Melinda McCracken (September) is one of the most distasteful pieces of writing I have ever read. It is ironic that Mrs. Clarkson, most sensitive of interviewers, should be subjected to such erroneous and sloppy coverage. It is doubtful that many of your readers are interested in

reading about the life of Melinda McCracken.

I have also become increasingly dissatisfied over the past few months with the pro-Canadian slant of your magazine, but hesitate to relinquish it as it is one of the few Canadian publications. MRS. SYLVIA SCOTT. WINNIPEG

Who’s loony?

The subtitle of The View From Ottawa (September) by John Gray implies that the New Democratic Party is in need of a doctor to heal its divisions, depressions, obsessions, schizophrenia and other assorted ills.

May I suggest that the one in need of medical treatment is Mr. Gray; the only point on which I would “waffle” is whether to recommend an oculist or a psychiatrist. Perhaps a view of the NDP from some other vantage point than Ottawa would be beneficial. How about British Columbia? Or Nova Scotia? (Not Quebec; except for Réal Caouette, we all have our difficulties there.)

At our NDP executive meetings, nominating conventions, policy conferences and informal debates we don’t even mention waffles. To us, a waffle is a pancake.

If “a substantial increase in NDP votes” is “just a vigorous way of standing still,” I’m completely convinced that “schizophrenic splits” are not enjoyed only by New Democrats!

DALE A. YOUNG, DEEP BROOK, NS

Anyone care to join?

Thank you for Bruce Hutchison’s frightening and truthful article — The Storming Of The World (September).

I used to think that I was very concerned about the present world situation, but I now see that I was only mildly interested. The article affected my thinking profoundly and gave birth to new feelings and thoughts I have never before experienced.

I know that by changing my own way of thinking and feeling, my own style of life, I alone cannot hope to change the predicament we have gotten ourselves into, but it’s a start. Anyone care to join me?

Thanks again for the truth.

DEBBIE THIESSEN, BURNABY. BC

Bruce Hutchison’s uncritical espousal of Forrester’s World’s Dynamics — The Storming Of The World (September) — prophesying an early demise of humanity from uncontrolled population growth and depletion of resources, stands in sharp contrast to the critical reviews of the work by social scientists. M. Shubik wrote in volume 174, of Science, in 1971 that “the behavioral-scientific continued on page 19

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Your View continued content (of the book) is virtually zero.” R. Boyd observes in the August 11, 1972 issue of Science that Forrester’s model is based entirely on the pessimistic Malthusian view of human ecology which is built into Forrester’s mathematical equations. The dire predictions of doom generated by the computer correspond, as expected, to the familiar prophesies of latter-day Malthusians.

A differing view of world dynamics, which Boyd calls the technological-optimist view, holds instead that humans can create new technology which will produce substitutes for scarce goods, which will increase labor productivity as well. Thus technology can support a higher world standard of living together with increasing population. This view holds further that the higher living standard will lead to a reduced birth rate as well as reduced death rate.

Of course, the technological-optimist world view can hardly become a reality while the most advanced technology is steadily diverted, as soon as it is developed, into wars and armaments buildup and extravagant adventures into space. P. N. DAYKIN, PHD. LETHBRIDGE. ALTA.

Not lost at all

On behalf of the people of Battleford I wish to take strong exception to the false picture of the town conveyed to your readers across Canada by the article Lost Towns (September). You imply that Battleford, once the capital of the North West Territories, was a large town and has declined to fewer than 2,000 persons. Population figures are not available but the village when chosen capital was comprised of only 30 buildings and was the second largest community in the Territories.

It is true that Battleford was deprived of its hoped-for destiny as the capital when the CPR chose the southern route across the Prairies, and was again cheated of its position of being the main town in the area when the Canadian Northern Railway chose to construct its line on the north shore of the Saskatchewan River. This route was chosen, not because of stiff land prices in Battleford, but rather because construction was easier and cheaper on the north bank and because the railway company had acquired land on the north shore opposite Battleford and was interested in its own real estate dealings.

Battleford with a present population of 1,800 was one of the few towns in Saskatchewan to show a population increase in the last census. Building permits to September 1st total $1.3 million which includes 84 new residential housing units. Surely an indication that the town is not dying.

Your photographer chose to picture

an old pump, which we doubt is even in Battleford, and to feature the station which is rather shabby now as it is to be abandoned next year along with many others across the West. He could have shown some of the lovely new homes or the sophisticated dining lounge constructed this year, or the beautifullymaintained stately old homes constructed before the turn of the century.

As your article says it is indeed true that towns, like people, prosper and decline. Battleford has survived its hard times, its population has not declined and its residents know that Battleford is growing and is a pleasant place in which to live. They are justifiably proud of their town.

GEORGE LEIBEL. MAYOR. BATTLEFORD. SASK.

Hogwash, is it?

The recent drop in university attendance has been caused by the realization that the student receives little in exchange for four years of his life — The Vanishing Graduate by James Park (October). Socalled “education” is worthless and now a degree doesn’t even get you first crack at the job market.

Universities have many possible courses of action. They could make material more entertaining (a very superficial solution); they could try to give the student something of value like a degree or status (these worked in the past, didn’t they?) or they could try to become involved with the student, helping him adjust to the world. This last alternative would be immensely hard, but I feel it’s the only satisfactory one. Instead, universities are concentrating on a harder sell of the same poor product. I hope students aren’t taken in.

Why do educators think it’s important to keep feeding students hogwash called knowledge? PETER BISH, KITCHENER.ONT.

Retraction

Maclean’s and its publishers, MacleanHunter Limited, regret any embarrassment caused to Brigadier General Edward M. D. Leslie, D.S.O.,C.D., as a result of an article carried in Maclean’s October issue by Marian Engel entitled “Fighting Boredom in Cyprus.” Maclean’s and the author retract descriptive remarks regarding General Leslie contained in the article and further retract any interpretations of his views as set out in the article. It is recognized, by Maclean’s and the author, that General Leslie served both Canada and the United Nations with particular distinction while with the United Nations Forces in Cyprus from 1968 to 1972 and we extend our sincere apologies to him for any embarrassment caused by certain statements in the article. ■