Common foe

June 15 1981

Common foe

June 15 1981

Common foe


The time has come when Canadians must realize that we are all as one (Rumbles From the North, Cover, June 1). We send millions of dollars to other countries while our own future rots before our eyes. It is sad that little children die of diseases that shouldn’t exist in this country. Every human being has a right to a space of his own. Surely there is enough room in this great country of ours for every one of us to live and grow. If the northern Indians think the government is their opponent, then everyone in this country thinks the same. At least we have one thing in common. —WENDY SWANSON,

Sarnia, Ont.

The long tail of the law?

The law of Alberta is an ass, you seem to say (Death Comes at Bargain Prices, Canada, June 1), because a statute sets the value of a life rather than judges and juries. It is, however, less asinine than the Alberta statute it replaced, under which courts found themselves obliged to make arbitrary awards of money to dead people. By your standard it must also be less asinine than the law of the provinces which do not provide any award at all. At least the Alberta statute recognizes that it is the living to whom money has significance.

—W.H. HURLBURT, Director, The Institute of Law Research and Reform, Edmonton

Railway philanthropy

Allan Fotheringham’s criticism of Canadian Pacific for its failure to provide philanthropic contributions to Canada is ill-founded (Goddam the CPR!, Column, June 1). Andrew Carnegie set up the libraries and Henry Ford II created the Ford Foundation but they did it with their own money. True, that money came from their businesses, but the gifts were personal. It is typically the wealthy individual rather than the corporation who supports the arts, museums and galleries. Of course, whether that justifies a system that permits the amassing of great personal wealth is another matter. —EDWARD D. MAHER, Fredericton, N.B.

The Goddam CPR and the people of Canada should be reminded that the Goddam CPR was given an empire of our most precious resource, land, to ensure that the Goddam CPR would hold in perpetuity a constantly appreciating asset to pay the cost of transporting grain to market. This gigantic corporation needs to be told daily that if the Goddam CPR wants to abandon the Crow rate, the Goddam CPR should return to the people of Canada the land, just for starters. —W.G. SCOTT,


Hard-baked truth

Your review of the new George Orwell biography (Some Writers Are More Equal Than Others, Books, May 18) compared him to “France’s Albert Camus.” I realize I’m merely an illiterate, transplanted Yankee, but I thought Camus hailed from the hardbaked Algeria that he so magnificently captured in his novels.

— ROBERT J. PUSH AW JR, Prince George, B.C.

The long and winding road

Surely the profile on Lenny Breau (Return From a Season in Hell, Profile, June 1) has to be the greatest example of cheap sensationalism written in a long time. Did anyone stop to consider the effect this might have on Lenny (and his family)? Certainly he has had problems, but to those of us in the business it’s his music that counts. It’s a pity that you didn’t concentrate more on explaining Breau’s fantastic accomplishments on guitar. —MONA COXSON, Islington, Ont.

Advice au Bourguignon

Ever since the election of François Mitterrand as president of France (Now the Trouble Begins in Earnest, World, May 25) the media has been full of tales of doom and gloom at the Paris stock exchange and pictures of poor, depressed businessmen. There is only one solution to their heart-wrenching plight: let them eat escargots! —BRUCE BAIN,


A blast from nuclear families

Amid the confusion engendered by both conservative and liberal cultural views, many people are prepared to devote themselves to developing personal relationships that might give some meaning to their lives. It is especially galling then when Maclean's wastes a page on the shallow likes of Gale Garnett (Not for Better, but for Worse, Podium, May 25). If Garnett wishes to wallow in selfindulgence that is her business, but most people are probably tired of hearing about such egocentric lifestyles. It would better serve to devote the space to help the many who are trying to make a relationship work than to the childish, selfish excuses of one who can’t appreciate the value of tolerance and understanding. —LARRY SIMMONS,


Garnett’s column is a shallow reflection of a person who “can barely ascertain who she is at any given moment.” Perhaps she just hasn’t met the right man yet to make her a complete woman. With her hedonistic attitude she does in fact belong in a world where she can “sing in the sunshine, laugh every day and ... be on her way.” How does she make it through New York and Toronto winters? —BARBARA MCDOUGALL, Toronto

Does Gale Garnett really believe what she wrote? If so, it only identifies her with the Me generation and demonstrates her ignorance of what the marital commitment is all about. Those of us who have raised legitimate children in our bumbling parental way, and whose children do us the honor of looking upon their family as an island of stability in a turbulent society, reject her flip philosophy as cheap sensationalism.


Victoria, B.C.

Terror of all shades

Peter Newman’s elaborations on “elements of lawlessness that have even permeated the top levels of some Third World governments” (He May Have No Divisions but His Name Is Legion, Editorial, May 25) seem disappointingly lopsided in their disregard for the complexities of international terrorism. It is true that the international community did not particularly chastise or outlaw Col. Khadafy. However, has “legalalized” terrorism, committed by dictatorships of all shades around the world on their own citizens, been chastised and outlawed? Some readers would appreciate a more sophisticated way of analysing complex international matters. —DOROTHEA VINCENT,


Captan and the IRA

Shame on you. Being a subscriber for longer than I care to remember, I was very disappointed that in the May 18 issue you chose to give second billing to the pesticide scandal (The Spread of Silent Springs, Canada, May 18), which affects the lives of all Canadians, and

featured a cover story about an idiot who decided to starve himself to death. We need more investigative journalism and coverage of real Canadian events, not dramatic, shallow, international events. —JOHN C. WELLON,

Deer Lake, Nfld.

Hoist the anchor

Your article Bouey at Anchor (Business, May 18) misses a point and repeats an all too common misconception. The Bank of Canada is not pursuing a “tight money policy.” It is following a high interest rate policy, hoping against hope that this will discourage borrowing and hence reduce money supply growth. It is not working so far, apparently because governments, corporations and individuals are not deterred by the high price and are continuing to borrow at a hectic pace. This borrowing is being “accommodated” by money supply growth. If Bouey is serious about inflation he should reduce money supply growth regardless of borrowing demands. He doesn’t have to crunch the system, but it borders on the irresponsible to leave it as it is. —D.P. THOMAS,


Feeding the fat

In Less Dollars and More Sense (Podium, May 18) Carlo Testa failed to examine the reason for the ineffectiveness of foreign aid: the social structure of the Third World communities. Due to the unequal distribution of land and productive capital there exists a power structure which allows the few rural and urban potentates to be the main beneficiaries of foreign aid.

—MARIO IACOBACCI, St. Leonard, Que.

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, 1+81 University Ave., Toronto, Ont., M5 W1A7.