A battle royal

August 8 1977

A battle royal

August 8 1977

A battle royal


If I had a ton of bricks, I could think of no better use for them than to drop them on the head of Allan Fotheringham for his remarks on the monarchy in She’s A Good Queen... (June 27).

ALEX HYDE, COURTENAY, BC Wherever a loyalist heart beats, the monarchy lives.


Fotheringham’s statement that the monarchy is a “foreign” institution as far as Canada is concerned and that our Queen is a “foreign” sovereign is curious. In a sense, of course, this is perfectly true, exactly as it

is true to say that our (English) system of common law is foreign, our parliamentary system of government is foreign, and, for that matter, the English language itself is foreign.


Fotheringham seems to forget that we Canadians opted for the constitutional form of government in force in our country today. We were not pushed by anyone to adopt this measure which our elected representatives in parliament approved with hardly a negative vote. In my view it is hitting below the belt to attack members of the Royal Family when, for obvious reasons, they cannot and will not retaliate.


The Queen of England, nice as she may be, is, after all, a foreigner. Her position is becoming as irrelevant to English Canadians as it long has been to French Canadians. GORDON J. STEWART, WHITE ROCK, BC

If the monarchy is to be abolished, then at least give a reason for doing so. Anti-monarchical statements are themselves archaic. DUNCAN J. PETERSON, SECRETARY, LOWER MAINLAND MONARCHIST SOCIETY,


Whether we approve of the monarchy or not, it does serve a purpose. It is our shield until such a time as we are wise and mature enough to manage on our own.


The only people I know who regard the monarchy as important are recently arrived refugees from the British Isles and

certain antediluvian Canadians who subscribe to the ludicrous notion that by displaying a monarch on stamps and currency, we stave off eventual absorption by the United States.


Canada is the only nation, large or small, in the Western world that cannot amend its own Constitution within its own boundaries and that continues to acknowledge someone else’s monarch. It’s time for us to end both anachronisms.


The direction of attention to the British monarchy has served in this country as a distraction from Canadian identity and Canadian pride in our own achievements. The “royals” serve to unite the British. They do not serve Canada.


Since our tribe needs fantasy, I’d rather have an ikon than a kid-bride with a Nikon any day.


For years we have had our front lawn and sidewalks fouled by dogs. Now we have Allan Fotheringham on the back page of Maclean’s.


She is not a good queen so much as she is a stumbling block to progressive thought and action. The quicker she is got rid of, the quicker we can get on with developing our own identity in the light of a less encumbered democracy.


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When you know the deck is stacked, fold

In Robert Lewis’ The Parliament Hill Mob (July 11) it is stated that the reason I withdrew an appeal to the Federal Court seeking a review of my dismissal from the RCMP was that “the public release of justice department documents would have been incriminating to the two dismissed Mounties and to Bronfman ..This is inaccurate.

My appeal to the Appellate Division of the Federal Court was based upon section 28 of the Federal Court Act which provides that “the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine an application to review and set aside a decision or order... (in this instance of the Commissioner of the RCMP) that the said Commissioner ‘failed to observe a principle of natural j ustice...’ ” It was my contention then and is now, that the manner in which I was dismissed from the RCMP without ever having been afforded the opportunity of a hearing, constituted a denial of natural justice. To this extent, the documents that were filed by the justice department with the Federal Court were irrelevant to the question of law which had been raised. In fact, the Federal Court could not have reversed the Commissioner’s decision to dismiss me or, in effect, replace the Commissioner’s decision by its own: all the Federal Court could have done would have been to order that the Commissioner convene an Orderly Room where I would have been afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the signatories of the various documents which had been produced. Unfortunately, Orderly Room proceedings are held behind closed doors and I would therefore have found myself in a situation where allegations (and I stress the wórd allegations) of misconduct on my part would have been given wide prominence in the media whereas my cross-examination of those who had made these allegations and my réfutai of same would remain behind closed doors.

It is not because, as your article stated, these documents “incriminated” nie, or anyone else for that matter, but rather because I realized that I would never be afforded an opportunity to publicly confront my accusers under oath, that the appeal was withdrawn. I maintain to this day that the allegations upon which the Commissioner based his decision to dismiss me are unfounded, replete with innuendo, and false. I can only hope that the day will come when I shall be afforded the fundamental right of every Canadian citizen to “his day in Court” or a public hearing before impartial parties.


A few things Parizeau forgot to mention

Congratulations to Jacques Parizeau for managing to twist, with a single string of spurious arguments, both logic and history (interview, June 27). He says: “The fact that the Czechs decided to become independent didn’t mean that Austria collapsed. The minorities were set up as inde-

pendent countries and what was left of Austria kept together and separate from Germany.” Has he not heard of the following: the great famine in Austria that immediately followed her “independence”; the subsequent collapse of her monetary system—the notorious “Kreditanstalt” bankruptcy which, in turn, was one of the events that triggered the Great Depression; the plebiscite when Austrians wanted to join a democratic Germany but were forced to remain a separate state by decree of the World War I allies; the invasion of Austria by Hitler in 1938 which was one of the key causes of World War II; the mass exodus from Austria between 1933 and 1939? Read history, Parizeau, before you so glibly talk it. Read it and weep.


Critical acclaim

Beautiful! Finally Canada has found a theatre critic who understands what he’s talking about. Ronald Bryden’s A Former Light Restored (July 11) on Stratford, was delicious—good enough to make me hungry for more. If I had never been to Stratford I would immediately set out, spurred by the evocative nature of his prose. He knows how to write with imagery and best of all he appears to be above the kind of pettiness that plagues most of the critics across the country.


As pure as the driven snow!

After reading Dissatisfaction Guaranteed (July 11) I want to set the record straight regarding the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ relationship with the Post Office Department, and our position concerning the institutional and structural changes which we feel are necessary to resolve the problems that confront the Post Office as a department of government. It is not the “hostile relationship” that is the cause of the current problems but rather the department’s refusal to honor our collective agreement, to negotiate in good faith, and to address and resolve the institutional and structural problems that confront the Post Office as a department of government. The “hostility” is a result of the employer’s repeated violations of our collective agreement, a result of its continuous attempts to bypass our national union and to negotiate directly with the membership, and a result of its failure to implement the changes which have been recommended by every independent report since 1965.

The CUPW believes that it is management’s job to manage and that it is the union’s job to ensure that this is done in conformity with the collective agreement. Members of the CUPW have rights that are clearly defined in our collective agreement. The CUPW, as a democratic union, which is responsive to the needs of its membership, will continue to direct its energies and effort in representing its

members in defense of their rights—that is the purpose of a union.


Please madam, this is a family magazine!

I found it extremely offensive to find personal remarks about Claude Morin’s secretary’s breasts in Quebeckers Let Lévesque Dupe Them Once ... (June 27)—an article which I subsequently found to be interesting. Suffice to say that no mention was made of Claude Morin’s penis! Men also have rights to equal coverage.


Just as simple as that

When Meyer Nurenberger stressed in What Does The French Quebecker Want? (June 13) that Quebeckers want to be as much at ease in their language in Quebec as Canadians in the other provinces are in English, he points out the real concern of people in Quebec today.


Nurenberger’s insight into Quebec realities and his perception of conditions for a viable future for this country have signaled him as one of very few Canadians capable, because of personal situation and background, of an impassioned approach to the present crisis.


What the hell, it creates job openings

In Sellout Inc. (July 11) Ian Urquhart quotes the influential U.S. financial weekly, Barron’s, as stating that “the only U.S. business which wouldn’t be cordially welcomed to Canada is Murder Inc.” Unfortunately for Canadians, Barron’s is incorrect. Connections, the CBC special on organized crime, has documented that Murder Inc. has long been welcomed and accommodated in this country.


Fugue for tinhorns

John Robertson’s column, Seattle Slew Is Not Just Another Pretty Face (June 27), was priceless. In an issue devoted to Rene Lévesque, Jacques Parizeau and Camille Laurin, it was refreshing to read about a whole horse.


Getting the wagons into a circle

Robert Lewis devoted a good portion of The Hidden Persuaders (June 13) to “special interest pushers” who supposedly are continuously lobbying in either the provincial or federal capitals of this country. Has he ever asked himself why such action is necessary and why have free-thinking Canadians found it necessary to form countless associations such as Firearms And Responsible Ownership Inc. (FARO) in order to protect each and all of our best interests from the dictatorial whims of an

ever expanding bureaucracy, which is second to none when compared to any country in the Western hemisphere?When public sentiment toward a problem must be appeased, something must be offered as a sacrificial token. Knives, hockey sticks, baseball bats, etc. cannot be denied— everyone uses them on a daily basis either for vocational or recreational use. Firearms have been associated with wars and crime since their origin 600years ago and, although the root of the problem is not being attacked, possibly an adequate smoke screen can be deployed to camouflage the real issue, knowing the media will perform its part with perfection—sensationalism does sell. It is unfortunate but true that the media are playing a major role in promoting today’s world problems and the recent attack on the private ownership of guns has fallen into the same abyss; despite the fact that the majority of responsible firearm owners today recognize that some form of control must be placed on gun ownership as a result of the problems within society.


Yes, but Mom and apple pie escaped

What a wonderful way for our national newsmagazine to celebrate Canada Week! First, historian Donald Creighton prematurely dismembers the country and sells us out to the United States, then you take still another swing at CANDU, undeniably

Canada’s greatest scientific and technological achievement, then a crack at the RCMP, the world’s greatest police force and top it all off with Allan Fotheringham disowning the Queen!


Waxing prosaic

Having seen your Barbara Amiel shed tears over a passage in T. S. Eliot—a feat which I certainly couldn’t duplicate— makes me believe that, in spite of her recent piece, When The WellVersed Gather (June 13), on the Collingwood Poetry Festival, she does have some feeling for poetry. Perhaps it’s just that her aesthetic sense, this finely tuned instrument, was crudely interfered with by the bodily presence of 20 actual poets. Poets, selected at random and without any attention to sartorial aptitude, muscle tone or table manners, can admittedly short-circuit the necessary distance our more sheltered critics require for the enjoyment of poetry. In this respect one can sympathize with Amiel as much as with Orwell’s goat which, attracted to the piece of bread held out by Orwell but not attracted to Orwell himself, tried butting the late author in the stomach after each bite hoping, no doubt, that if it could drive him away the bread would somehow remain suspended in mid-air.

GEORGE JONAS, TORONTO Poet George Jonas is the husband of Barbara A miel.