When will they ever learn?

May 15 1978

When will they ever learn?

May 15 1978

When will they ever learn?


Congratulations on your fine issue of April 3—The Trudeau Decade. I thought the pieces by Peter Newman, Robert Lewis and Ian Urquhart as well as the report

cards by John F. Helliwell and J. C. Weldon were especially thoughtful and well done. How is it that our government, their advisers and Canadians in general have made so many mistakes, and keep on making them? I’m afraid we are a very naïve people.


Except that ‘muckraker’ is a compliment

Your article about bugging, Nobody Listens Any More (April 17) includes a cheap

shot at Elmer MacKaÿ. He is a creditable politician who has worked diligently to bring some sense of honesty and accountability to Ottawa. Does a person become a “muckraker” simply by being honest and by focusing the public’s attention on scandalous situations?



Parliamentary muckraking you call Elmer MacKay’s efforts and say nobody listens any more. Canada would be much better governed if there were a dozen MacKays in Parliament. Down here in Central Nova we’re listening, grateful he’s willing to go back working for us and the rest of Canada.



Less a revision, more a revolution

In her article about the breakaway Anglican Church of North America, The Uncomfortable Pew (March 20), Carolyn Purden speaks of the new church’s objections to the ordination of women and to prayer book changes. The clergy and laity object to ordaining women to the sacramental priesthood because of a lack of scriptural or other evidence for or against the issue, and because it represents a total break with historical tradition and practice since the founding of the Christian church. One editorial change in the prayer book is not a mere revision. It involves a subtle combining of baptism and confirmation, which effectively wipes the latter out as a separate sacrament and paves the way for admission of non-episcopally confirmed persons to take communion. This change will make

absorption of the Anglican Church of Canada by the United Church of Canada a fairly simple process as soon as the new prayer book is adopted.






Credit where credit is more than due

Your article, A Death Not All in Vain (April 17), concerning Betty Garbutt’s fight to change the law to require employers and employees to act with dispatch when faced with threats of violence from former employees or others is inaccurate in one respect. You say no MPs helped Garbutt. However, I raised the question with the labor committee, encouraged her, met with her lawyer, discussed the matter personally with the Hon. John Munro, drafted the amendments personally, presented them at committee, negotiated their acceptance at report stage and presented the amendments in the House of Commons. All of this is a matter of record. In addition, Art Lee (Liberal-Vancouver East) gave assistance. I was very impressed with Garbutt and her cause, as were other members. JOHN A. FRASER. MP (VANCOUVER SOUTH).


Bombing out

In the article. How Jimmy Carter Learned Not to Love the Bomb (April 17), you illustrate the effect of a “1,000-ton neutron bomb.” To be more precise, it is a 1KT neutron bomb—a kiloton being a measure of an explosive force equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT, rather than a measure of

Subscribers’ Moving Notice Send to: Maclean’s, Box 9100, Station A, Toronto, Ontario M5W 1V5 I'm moving. My moving date is_____ ________ My old address label is attached. My new address Name is on this coupon. (Allow 6 weeks for processing) _ I I I would like to subscribe to Maclean's. Send New Address me 26 issues for $9.75 ($14.75 outside Canada) - I I Pleasebillme I I lenclose$___:_____ City Prov. Postal Code Please remember that your ATTACH OLD ADDRESS LABEL HERE postal code and apartment AND MAIL IMMEDIATELY! number (if applicable) are essential parts of your I also subscribe to ( ) Chatelaine and/or ( ) Miss Chatelaine address. and enclose old address labels from those magazines as well. J99

How to read your Expiry Date

the top code line of the address label on the cover. 2. The first two digits indicate the year of expiry. i.e. 78 means 1978. 3. The next two digits indicate the issue of expiry. i.e. 26 is the 26th issue. (The fifth digit is not used) Thus, this sample subscription expires with the 26th issue of 1978.

weight. Furthermore, Canada’s defence estimates for 1978-79 total $4,127,885,000, which is considerably more than is mentioned in the article: “Such an arsenal would cost well over a billion dollars— more than Canada’s entire defence budget.”


The ban that never was

In Roy MacGregor’s sports column, And Now Here's the Sports News ... (April 17), he mentions that Scott Young was once banned from even setting foot in Maple Leaf Gardens for something he had written. This is not true. Scott was never banned from coming to the Gardens.



Hearts of stone

I was extremely annoyed at Allan Fotheringham’s column, If These People Must Get Their Rocks Off... (April 3). Curling is a game of strategy, as golf and many other sports are. Anybody can curl, but it takes talent and experience to become proficient.


I strongly resent Fotheringham’s putdown of curling and of the wonderful men who choose to play a nice, decent, nonviolent sport. I love it!


As well as being a game of judgment and finesse, curling is cheaper to play than almost any other sport. I can teach anyone the fundamentals with $15 of equipment, which is more than you can say for hockey, football and skiing. Both curling and golf have one thing in common: a beginner can have modest success as soon as he takes up the sport. But at the competitive level, topgrade coordination and intelligence are required for success. The more you learn, the more you find left to learn. There is no reason at all why those of us who know enough to appreciate the subtler sports should be subjected to nothing but the violent ones on TV.


With a few rule changes, curling could be made more palatable to those of us who regard it with the same disdain as Allan Fotheringham. First of all, let’s open the game up to physical contact. This could pave the way for a few healthy fist fights and relieve us of the boredom of watching a dull spectacle on TV. Then we should place a referee on the ice to keep order. This will give curlers a healthy outlet for their pent-up hostility as they shout abuse at the helpless official. Add traditional cries of “kill that sonofabitch” and we will have elevated this activity to something we can proudly refer to as sport in the true North American sense.


Allan Fotheringham, do you know what you’ve done?/ You’ve criticized the only game that’s really any fun./In hockey games there’s lots of fights, with no heed to referee,/And football’s nought but scrimmages, or so it seems to me./In soccer men just kick a ball or bounce it off their heads,/And baseball’s not much better but they use a bat instead./And bowling takes one’s anger out on five poor helpless pins./The one who scatters them about, it seems, is he who wins./But no bar of age or class or sex will plague the one who curls./It’s a game for prince

or pauper, men or women, boys or girls./The battle here is one of skill and not of fist or stick,/Or tackling one’s opponent, or giving him a kick./It’s just good fun and sportsmanship, and may the best rink win./Each game you play gives more delight than when you first began./1 challenge Fotheringham to throw away his pen,/And get down to the curling rink among the active men. / There he should try his hand at just one game, or maybe two or three./In no time flat, I’m sure a real enthusiast he’ll be!


Long ago it was preached to me that the best summer and winter games for any young man to take up are golf and curling, for two reasons. First of all, you play these games—you don’t simply buy season’s tickets to watch a game you have never played, as so many football and hockey fans do. Secondly, you can keep playing as long as you have your health. This is not true in sports such as track, hockey and soccer.


As an “earnest youth,” I disagree with Allan Fotheringham’s comments on curling in the article, If These People Must Get Their Rocks Off... (April 3). I took up the sport because it was a good way to make the winter a little shorter. After spending 10 years on the ice I can say it has helped me to meet new people, both young and old. It is true that curling is not as continually strenuous as tennis but it does require strength and stamina for sweeping. It is all in the way you approach any game physically and psychologically.


Wasted youth

I was disturbed by your article on juvenile delinquency, Unfortunately There Is Such 5 a Thing as a Bad Boy (April 3). The experts i all seem to be treating the patients and not

studying how to avoid the disease.We seem to be a society satisfied to sacrifice our youth,or their difficulties would be a major political issue and people would be studying how to eradicate the problem, instead of applying Band-Aids.


Reach for the sky

Fusion, as described in your article, Is Fusion the Answer?... (April 3), is indeed “the last best hope.” But why waste millions discovering it in a lab when a marvelous fusion reactor, whose limitless energy can be tapped through today’s technology, is

shining down on us already from a safe distance of 150 million kilometres? Successful commercial development of terrestrial fusion could well spark another sort of energy crisis. It is doubtful mankind could keep such a powerful source from upsetting the global heat balance and from destroying the climate. Solar energy does not have this potential.


1 am surprised that an article on fusion in Canada could be written without credit being given to the Fusion Energy Foundation. The FEF has been campaigning actively in Canada for a crash program in fusion energy for the past three years.


Expediency conquers all

I was disappointed to note in your Preview section (March 6) that the Boy Scouts are “quite willing to forgive the indiscretions of the Shah of Iran” (3.000 political prisoners in his dungeons) and hold their world jamboree in his country next year. If we, as Canadians, take a stand against repression and torture we should be consistent.


Adding to the perils

I read the article, A Blessing and a Curse (April 17), on the pill, with interest. However, like most articles and literature on the subject no mention was made that the pill

upsets vitamins B, C and E in the body of a pill user. Many of its side effects are exact symptoms of a lack of the above vitamins. This situation is complicated by the fact that many people are deficient in these vitamins, especially B-complex, due to their diets of refined and enriched foods, before they even begin to take the pill.


I would like to congratulate you for the truths found in your article on the pill. It is frightening to realize how women are the slaves of today’s society.


1 feel your article on the pill is your first

feature which is of interest to women. In the past you’ve catered solely to men's tastes and business interests.


To somebody’s liking

Contrary to Barbara Amiel’s column, If We Didn’t Like It, We Wouldn’t Watch It, Right?. . . (April 3), I feel the Enjoyment Index is one of the more successful techniques of audience research that the CBC has pioneered. Qualitative analysis, provided by the index, is the very factor which gives us worthwhile programming instead of the endless succession of football games and sitcoms which comprise the wasteland of TV south of the border. There is certainly a place for pure entertainment. But if quantitative analysis—the numbers

game—is the sole determinant of broadcast content, much of the excellent programming now available to us simply would not survive.


Star qualities

Let me express my congratulations to Tom Hopkins on his article on Craig Russell, AII About Craig (April 17). Hopkins not only portrayed Russell as a fine performer but also as a sensitive entertainer concerned with what we, the public, think about him and his performances. I was inspired to read that, like all Canadians, he is concerned about national unity—“Let’s keep

it together, eh?” I saw Outrageous when it came to York University and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Russell is extremely talented and refreshing.


Self-fulfilling prophecy

As the Referendum Debate goes on, the vision of a unified Canada seems farther removed. Lévesque and crew seem to be winning by outrightly convincing all concerned, including English-speaking Canadians, that the independence of Quebec has already been achieved. It seems to work.


For some time now a great deal has been written about separatism and Canadian unity. With an election coming up, I think it is time we had a close look at our affairs. Anyone who thinks they have a solution to our problems should speak up. Canada has the means to show the rest of the world that we can come up with a sensible solution to a very serious problem. Let’s forget all our minor disagreements and unite as one country. Everything here may be far from perfect, but I wouldn’t want to live in any other country.


Green power

I must take exception to Robert Lewis’ statement in his article, Getting Here From There (April 3), that “the ecology movement is dead.” The ecology movement is actually alive and flourishing. Lewis’ comment is probably prompted by the observation that it is rare today to see people marching, protesting or holding sit-ins on environmental issues. This is not, however, a result of the death of the ecology movement. Rather, the movement has matured and its emphasis has shifted from protesting publicly about problems to working toward practical solutions. Sit-ins have given way to research, public education, political lobbying and policy formulation, all of which are less dramatic but more useful than the radical demonstrations that characterized the early movement.


The fall of the ivory tower

After reading Morrie Ruvinsky’s piece on education, The Palls of Academe (April 3). I would like to add a few comments from a student’s viewpoint. I attended a community college during the day for two years, then I finished the course at night. I am now taking courses at night at another institution. It is small wonder that enrolments at universities are declining. It may be that some students are departing a system that not only teaches irrelevant material but also seeks to perpetuate a paternalistic system. Many are discovering a form of learning where people learn from others’ life and work experience and where the role of the teacher deals mainly with facilitating communication between students, rather than with correcting essays.