The crunch

November 16 1981

The crunch

November 16 1981

The crunch


Before reading your article The Spring Market and How It Fell (Business, Nov. 2) I was sympathetic with the 40,000 Canadians who may lose their homes. However, if the families in the article are representative of those in trouble, I will not shed one tear! First I read of the poor family making only $48,000 a year and looking for a larger home. Then there was the unfortunate fellow in Vancouver who had to reduce the selling price of his house (apparently purchased only for investment) from $389,000 to a paltry $244,000. You forgot to mention how much he still made on the deal. To hell with the trials and tribulations of real estate speculators. —J. DUEWEL,

Arm dale, N.S.

Too hot in the kitchen

I suppose that we should be grateful that when the Péquistes had the numbers and perhaps the inclination to solve the Anglo problem by legalizing the gas oven, they chose instead the equally unconstitutional, if more humane, Bill 101 and other racist laws to get rid of or shut up those they did not like (Canada, Nov. 2). Their treatment of nursing assistant Joanne Curran is yet one more despicable demonstration of their suspicion of and hatred for all non-francophones. —JOHN S. SPENCE, Jon quiere, Que.

A throne befitting a king

While it may be fashionable to take potshots at corporate success figures, Allan Fotheringham (Column, Nov. 2) suggests work is exclusively serious stuff and disparages McDonald’s of Canada President George Cohon for abandoning the ivory tower and intro-

In a story on copyright law (Am Epic Battle Over the Rights of Culture, Law, Oct. 12), charges were mentioned against the publisher of Hotwacks Quarterly. Maclean’s has no information to suggest that he has any involvement with the distribution of bootleg records. Maclean’s apologizes for the mistaken inference.

ducing a sense of humor and a human touch to big business. When Cohon dressed in the gorilla costume, it was not at a board meeting but at a staff party. He is now a Canadian citizen who, in a short period of time, has accomplished a great deal (he founded Ronald McDonald House, is a director of the Canadian Opera Company and is a member of 14 other charitable organizations). As for his bun-shaped toilet seat—all executives take their work load home. —DAVID E. GARRICK,


Pepin's riposte

The article on Via Rail (Cover, Nov. 4) is inaccurate and unfair. The article states: “During his years in the political wilderness, Pepin was a board member of Power Corp. when it owned Voyageur bus lines. And in February the minister returned the favor by appointing as his director of rail passenger administration former Voyageur vice-president Robert Tittley.” I had never met Tittley before March, 1981. Voyageur never talked to me about Tittley. I did not appoint Tittley. He was selected totally without my knowledge by a group of senior public servants following a competition governed by the rules and procedures of the Public Service Commission. Among the many factors taken into account, I am told, was Tittley’s experience between 1974 and 1977 as an employee of the Canadian Transport Commission in the area of rail passenger service. —JEAN-LUC PEPIN

Minister, Transport Canada

A smooth ride to hell

Oh, what a centrefold (Cover, Oct. 26)! Such magnificent cynicism. An article/advertisement collage that challenges our sense of irony. As sensuous, as self-indulgent, as all-American as Playboy is the car that was advertised in the middle of your opening spread. It’s a car that says, I’m all right Jack and to hell with you. I hope the poor blacks pictured on the facing page got the message. -CHRIS PATTERSON, Gananoque, Ont.

Was it the Ford organization or you who ironically separated the pictures of the Cancún conference site and the Somalian children with the car advertisement? Some of us will drive to hell in luxury. —M.J. BREARLEY,

White Lake, Ont.

How utterly appropriate to place an advertisement for a luxury car in the middle of your cover story that was headed Rich Versus Poor: One Last Chance. It illustrates perfectly the “growing credibility gap between the North’s past promises and the desperate reality of life in the South.” Given the choice between a car and charity in the North, what chance do the poor have?

— HENRY PAETKAU, Harrow, Ont.

In search of ammunition

It is quite apparent that Barbara Amiel chose not to read the judgment of the Canadian human rights tribunal in the Bhinder case (Column, Oct. 26). Not


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only does she misinterpret the legal basis of the decision, but she speculates on hypothetical situations that were, in fact, contemplated by the tribunal. Amiel will have to look elsewhere for ammunition for her “defence of liberty.” So far her “peace and dignity” has only been imposed upon by seat-belt and saccharin legislation. Mr. Bhinder, on the other hand, lost his job.


While agreeing in general with Barbara Amiel’s comments, I also became intrigued with her seeming obsession with our seat-belt law. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Maybe she sees the seat-belt as a new form of the chastity belt being forced upon her person by Big Brother?

— SANDRA Y. FROST, Mississauga, Ont.

A death camp called home

Congratulations to Joy Fielding on her excellent article Suffer the Innocent Children (Podium, Oct. 26). If more people, especially the lawmakers, felt like her, perhaps there would be fewer abused children.

— LAUREEN A. MILLMAN, Weston, Ont.

Joy Fielding parrots, “today’s abused child is tomorrow’s child abuser,” and totally misses the obvious point that today’s child abusers were probably abused children. She dismisses any possibility that such people can be helped. She lumps frightened and intimidated

parents together with cold-blooded murderers and monsters deserving broken bones and sterilization. Fortunately, Parents Anonymous has a different view. —B.J. FIERLING,

Kitchener, Ont.

I extend a heartfelt plea for more articles such as Joy Fielding’s. A public outcry for changes in our laws is an urgent need. It’s time that people in all walks of life changed their attitude of not getting involved and reached out to free abused children from the death camps they must call home.


Sensible, but wrong

In your cover story (Oct. 12) you state that Alan Gold, a prominent Toronto defence counsel “. . . sensibly recalls that the U.S. Bill of Rights was 100 years old before the U.S. Supreme Court found racial segregation to be unconstitutional.” Sensibly, perhaps, but inaccurate nonetheless. The U.S. Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791, and it was not until 163 years later that racial segregation was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. One hundred and five years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the court was not only upholding segregation, but was, in fact, strengthening it with its “separate but equal” ruling.


I have seen the enemy, he is ...?

I enjoyed Earle Gray’s Podium article (Oct. 19) until I read “laissez-faire, laissez-passer” as his solution to the problem of government interference in all things business. Surely we are not to leave the measure of all things in the hands of our price-fixed marketplace or conglomerates that abound and thrive in our country? By all means let market forces have a freer hand, but let’s make sure that a central government remains to protect our citizens. —PHILIP DAVIS,


The long and the short of it

Pray tell me, is Sandra O’Neill in the Guinness Book of World Records (People, Oct. 19)? She should be, for any girl who is 70 inches tall with 47-inch legs must be unique in that she manages to squeeze hips, waist, chest, neck and head into 23 inches. —TED HAGARTY,

Sooke, B.C.

Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply name, address and telephone number. Mail correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, J+81 University Ave., Toronto, Ont., M5W1A7.