Not exactly one of a kind

January 9 1978


Not exactly one of a kind

January 9 1978


Not exactly one of a kind

The Next Canadian Hero (October 31) was very interesting and showed that Canadians do have the potential to excel in world competition. However, Gilles Ville-

neuve is not the first Canadian to drive on the Formula I circuit. George Eaton drove for BRM in 1970 and Bill Brack and Eppie Wietzes have driven Formula I cars at the Canadian Grand Prix.


Making the crime fit the punishment

Punishment Without Tears (November 14) stated that “Canadian prisons are grossly overcrowded; no one will-argue with that,” and “ . . . the government plans to reduce inmate overcrowding by spending $347 million on nine new penitentiaries ...” We would argue with the claim of overcrowding. As of November 1, 1977, the federal prison population totaled 9,413, while the available bed space (including sick bay, dissociation, segregation) totaled 11,280. Overcrowding is clearly not a simple issue. One of the official reasons for Canada’s massive prison construction program is the urgent need to replace several

older institutions. We have yet to learn, however, of any concrete plans for the phasing out of these institutions and, if past history repeats itself, they will continue to be used, only serving to expand facilities for incarceration.

The public does not appear to be disturbed by Canada’s massive expenditure on prisons. We suggest that this lack of protest is based on the misinformed assumption that our prisons are protecting us from vast .numbers of violent criminals. The Law Reform Commission has made it clear that fewer than 20% of inmates have committed violent offenses. Taxpayers, however, are supporting these persons at a yearly cost which far exceeds the average Canadian family income. Estimates of the cost per inmate fall in the range of $25,000.



So fair a Fowles

Thank you so much for the interview with John Fowles (November 14). 1 think he’s one of the most mysterious and intelligent authors around. I read The Collector at least twice a year and it never fails to chill. He created a cult with The Magus that leaves Tolkien behind in the dust.


When there’s nobody to blame

In A Touch of Gallic J ustice {December 12) you state that André Gariepy was charged with manslaughter in the crib death of his five-month-old son. Since crib death is a term that is used synonymously with SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome, the Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant

Deaths is very anxious to have a clarification of this charge. At one time crib death, cot death or SUD (Sudden Unexplained Death) may have included additional deaths in which the cause could be explained or in which the lack of careful autopsy failed to establish that the cause was unexplainable but this is no longer the case. SIDS is now considered to be a recognizable pattern of symptoms or circumstances produced by one or more causes which may or may not be identified. It cannot be prevented. The fault does not rest with parents or those caring for the child.




A majority-of-a-minority report

Mary Peate’s contribution to The Referendum Debate (November 28) truly represents the possible 1% of the “Anglais” population in Quebec who live in Westmount and who can afford the options of private schools, recreational facilities and trips to Las Vegas. Having lived in Quebec for 30 years until recently, I too know all about teeth clenching and selling a house at half the price of an equal one in Toronto. Peate does a serious disservice to the 99% of the “Anglais” population, which includes all residents of Quebec whose mother tongue is not French. No amount of language training is likely ever to make them acceptable Québécois. Yes, Mary Peate, you have described the problem but you have left out dozens of districts and nearly a million individuals who feel, think and grind teeth!


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‘Definitive’ is how you define it

I read Our Lady Of The Causes (November 14) on Simma Holt with some interest. Reference is made to Holt’s book, Terror In The Name Of God, which Judith Timson erroneously calls “the definitive work on the Doukhobors.” I feel that Holt’s book is an example of some of the worst pieces of hate propaganda against one of Canada’s minority groups.

To the uninformed reader, the book isdeceiving. It pretends to tell the story of a, small zealot faction within the Doukhobors. In reality, Holt makes little differentiation between the whole and the part. With her one-stop hypothesis, Holt seeks to do several things: to destroy the Doukhobor social movement and to show how dangerous people of Russian background can be to Canada. Behind the facade of every Russian Canadian, she argues, there lurks the Communist threat of discontent and subversion. In brief, she writes for money at the expense of one of Canada’s multicultural groups. I am the author of The Pictorial History Of The Doukhobors (1969) and of Folkways OJ The Doukhobors which will be coming out this fall. I am one of those Doukhobors Holt tried to defame.


None so blind as he who will not see

I suggest to Ken Harrison (Putting The Blame Where It Belongs, Letters, November 14) that he take the necessary time to inform himself properly about the 200year withdrawal from the world from which Quebec has only recently emerged—only 17 years ago in fact. Such a study might inform him where the blame really lies and remove much of the confusion in which he appears to be floundering when he assumes that “most of the hostility seems to be coming from Ontario” and which he later describes as “arrogance and self-centredness.” I wonder if he is aware that there are more than one million English-speaking Canadians living in Quebec and that they might be able to tell him about the arrogance and self-centredness by which they are surrounded. No doubt he will lump us with the mythical exploiters of which we have heard so much. In effect he will brush off anything that might be said to disperse, once and for all, the myths and plain distortions of the truth that is believed to be Canadian history.


A woman’s place is in the corners

I read She Shoots, She Scores... (November 28) on girls’ hockey and I find that some things are different in British Columbia. We have a league that has 400 girls making up 28 teams in junior, intermediate and senior divisions. We play in 19 rinks around Vancouver and the officials have to be 18 and older to referee the senior girls’ games. We follow the CAHA rules and everyone’s very strict about behavior on the ice.