With regards to Peter C. Newman’s editorial A Great and Beautiful Land Without What Matters Most (Jan. 21), about his trip to the U.S.S.R., I must express my surprise at finding the statements that “any government that bans punk rock can’t be all bad” and “freedom means everything” in the same article. I believe that Mr. Newman has missed the very point he was attempting to make. If he has a distaste for punk rock, which is perhaps understandable, he should express it. I feel, however, it is irresponsible to condone a government for taking such a typically fascist act as banning an art form.
NORMAN GUNTENSPERGER, TORONTO
No more hard-core
I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Suzuki’s argument for more emphasis on a scientific education for our would-be politicians. However, I would take issue with him on one point in his article Science Should Start With An R (Jan. 21). Doesn’t he know that in our schools, in Ontario at least, the three Rs themselves are no longer core subjects?
M.J.S. EDWARDS, SAULT STE MARIE, ONT.
David Suzuki’s article clearly defines the failure of our educational system to keep up with scientific/technological advances. The system’s teaching is 50 years behind the progress of the world in which we live and the effect that the scientific/technological changes have had on our lifestyle and social system. No longer can politicians, lawyers, econ-
omists, businessmen, educators or the average citizen be functionally capable without some understanding of the impact of science and technology on the social system. Our educational institutes from secondary school through the first two years of university should have mandatory familiarization courses in science and technology for all students.
J.J. GIBSON, VICTORIA, B.C.
Congratulations on one of the most forceful statements on the disadvantaged situation of women that I have seen, and certainly the cleverest (The 51-Per-Cent Minority, Jan. 28). I have a suggestion: Doris Anderson should start a women’s party and run candidates for office at all three levels of government. Whether or not she got anyone elected, she’d get an impressive vol-
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ume of publicity and focus attention on the injustices she wants to correct. The utter novelty of the strategy would guarantee front-page coverage across the country. And it might well be that the idea would be taken up in other countries. Ms. Anderson may have some thought that, since the suggestion comes from a man, the tongue is in the cheek. I assure you that I am completely serious.
NORMAN HOUGHTON, TORONTO
The small victories in the cancer war are indeed small. Billions have been and will be spent on orthodox research projects like those mentioned in your article Small Victories in the War on Cancer (Jan. 14). Is this money being put to the best use? It has been proved in many studies that some patients who have had no treatment whatsoever do better than the patients who have the best therapy medical science has to offer. Of the many billions spent on cancer research, there has been literally nothing spent on researching nutrition in cancer therapy. By eliminating “dead” foods like meat, milk and tinned foods, by increasing live foods like fresh vegetables and fruits, cancer patients can and do feel better and even get better. Mother Nature heals if the tools are available. All we have to do is help the patient help himself. Chemotherapy, radiation and excessive surgery would seem to have the opposite effect. These types of therapies receive the bulk of all research funds. This is a call for a more balanced approach to cancer. Let’s investigate diets, vitamins and enzymes. Research projects like this are frowned upon by the funding authorities and the cancer societies. Donors should insist that part of the money given by them should be spent on the nutritional approach to cancer.
DR. R. GLEN GREEN, PRINCE ALBERT, SASK.
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Doug Fetherling’s article Reclaiming the Rank and File (Jan. 14) contains more distortions than insights into the Canadianization of the labor movement of our country. Fetherling’s basic error is that he is unable to distinguish between independence and autonomy. If he were, he would have questioned Neil Reimer as to what good autonomy is, when the strike fund is kept in the U.S. or when the Canadian section of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers is constitutionally relegated to a subservient position whenever the American and Canadian sections of the union do business. Fetherling is, in my opinion, dead wrong when he asserts that the most significant aspect of the recent moves toward Canadianization of our labor movement has been decisions by the American unions to freely relinquish their stranglehold over Canadian workers. The most significant aspect, to my mind, has been the open revolt and breakaways from the American unions by their Canadian counterparts. Reimer, the so-called “grand old man of energy unionization,” is right when he says that Canadians want their own unions. That is why they are unlikely to be satisfied with the window-dressing autonomy that the OCAW is offering. Until we have trade unions that are independent, Canada will not have a labor movement that is free.
JOHN B. LANG, SECRETARY-TREASURER,
CONFEDERATION OF CANADIAN UNIONS,
A textbook case
I feel that one of the areas unexplored in your article on Canadian book publishers, Black and White and Red All Over (Dec. 31), is the market for Canadian textbooks. Except for Ontario, no province has an unequivocal policy that requires its approved textbooks to be Canadian-authored and -produced. Implementation of this policy would increase the market size for Canadian texts by millions of dollars annually. The result would be a financial boost to Canadian publishing and the replacement of Canadian adaptations and imported texts in our classrooms. The provinces always respond to this by stating that their highest priority is the quality of learning materials, not national origin. However, no province has a systematic way of proving the superiority, or lack of it, of programs by nationality that are submitted for approval. The irony at present is that Ontario’s policy is less than beneficial because it spends less per pupil on textbooks than any other province.
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