Despite the volley of assassins’ bullets fired at U.S. President Reagan this year by John Hinckley Jr., the Democrats and left-wing media people, he’s come shining through (Reagan's New America, Cover, Jan. 25). I only wish I could be as optimistic about my native Canada and our “president-for-life,” Trudeau. I wish Ronnie had a clone to be our PM!
—JACKIE BENNETT, Vancouver
Congratulations for bringing Mr. Lewis Lapham to us (Reagan's New America). Let’s hope he will become a regular contributor. —GEORGE H. KENDAL,
Maggie’s search can cease
If, as Margaret Trudeau states, “newspapers are just good for wrapping garbage” (People, Jan. 25), then I think it should be abundantly clear to her that her “piece of literature” has found its own level. Her “search for my own truth” can now cease. Why does your magazine continue to give space to this twit? —B. ESTHER COUGHLIN,
Religious truth or fiction
Your recent article Of Jesus and the Holy Grail (Religion, Jan. 18) demonstrated that there is nothing new under the sun. Its apparently shocking allegations have in fact appeared throughout the history of the church only to be
rejected, as they initially were, on the basis of careful historical investigation and examination. To state that “the fathers of the early church censored interests of ecclesiastical consistency and power” is to cast an indefensible, unhistorical and ultimately hysterical slant on what was a serious attempt to differentiate between truth and fiction.
— IAN VICTOR,
Beyond Quebec City
For a magazine that considers itself a national one, Maclean's certainly manages to leave a sizable portion of the country off the map. I’m speaking of the Maritimes, of course. Being a “havenot” region does not make us “are-not”
provinces. You referred to Calgary Mayor Ralph Klein’s comments concerning “Eastern bums” etc. as if they were only directed at Quebec (People, Jan. 18). “Eastern” includes more than that province. And, when you wrote about the cold winter the continent is experiencing, you said Ontario was the worst-hit province, with blizzards and temperatures as low as —27 C. (World, Jan 25). The Maritimes have also endured record-low temperatures, some below -30 C. Wake up and realize that Canada does not end at Quebec City.
— MARY ANNE VAN OOSTWAARD, Fredericton
The rewards of legal aid
I take exception to criminal lawyer Brian Iler’s opinion of the rewards of legal aid in Ontario (Public Defenders Negotiate a New Brand of Justice, Jan. 25). I suppose I should be grateful that his “penalty” of $300 for one day (equal to more than $75,000 per year) is more than twice as big as mine as a civil service geoscience professional?
— HUGH M. ELLIOT, Ottawa
No price on heroism
Regarding your story Death Watch on the Potomac (World, Jan. 25): it irks me if you quote people’s salaries when they have absolutely no bearing on the story itself, such as Mr. Skutnik’s “$14,000-ayear messenger.” The man jumped into an icy river to save a woman’s life, plain and simple. What in the name of good journalism does his salary have to do with that? —F.I. BECKER,
Fuel to the metric fire
I will not buy the “grin and bear it”platitude of Metric Canada’s public relations man Peter McCullough (Exacting the Last Kilo of Flesh, Canada, Jan. 18). This is something on which we should have had a national referendum. Instead, the metric system was sneakily smuggled through the parliamentary side door by an order-in-council. Now, the cost of at least $100 million in retail and grocery store conversion will be borne by the consumer and taxpayer. Stop metric now, or at least postpone it until the bigger nations adopt it.
— BOB MARTIN, Vancouver
Your article about metric conversion was just what we needed—more negativism and confusion. By introducing such “metric” terms as tesla, weber and joule (terms probably unused except by physicists or chemists), all you have done is to add unnecessary fuel to the fire. —ROSS A. FLEISCHHAUER,
Foreign students in Canada
Your story on foreign students (Education, Jan. 11) helps perpetuate an unfortunate one-sided myth about the costs of university education. At no point do you mention the thousands of Canadians still obtaining university education outside Canada. What does the current balance sheet look like? More important, you ignore our historic debt to other countries during the first century of Canada’s existence. Until the 1960s
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we did not have the high-quality institutions and expertise needed to educate and train Canadians. We sent our young people in droves to other countries, and in particular to Britain and the United States. Many, if not most, received handsome financial help from the host universities or from foundations and trusts in the host countries.
— D.A. SOBERMAN, Kingston, Ont.
Regarding your story on foreign students, the main point at issue is the absence of any coherent rational policy toward these students in Canada. Aside from Quebec, no other governmentprovincial or federal—has tried to make sense of how foreign students are treated here. None of this is made clear in your article. —JAMES R. McBRlDE, Executive Director, Canadian Bureau for International Education, Ottawa
A special award of appreciation
I have talked to people in the know in Virden, Man., and both of us agree that Allan Fotheringham’s suggestion that John Turner made a wise decision not to settle in Virden is deserving of a special award of appreciation (Column, Jan. 11). First prize is a weekend for two in Virden. Second prize is two weekends for two. —G. TROWELL,
The thirst for freedom
In your Jan. 4 issue, the editorial about Andrei Sakharov’s triumph states that “the thirst for freedom is unquenchable.” Yet Canada’s repeated flouting of the UN Human Rights Commission did not merit editorial comment in your story about Larry Pinkney (One Man's Fight Not to Go Home, Canada). Pink-
ney, a black militant, has been buried in the Canadian penitentiary system for five years. He has been denied the usual deportation rights in a country where the solicitor general is empowered by an order-in-council to “establish, administer and operate civilian internment camps” and encourage the renewed “recruitment of high school students as informers.” Where are you when we really need you? -CLAIRE CULHANE, North Burnaby, B.C.
Banning, cutting in Ontario
Thank you for your film review on Beau Père (Films, Jan. 11). It is sad that we in Ontario will not have a chance to view the film, but at least we are being informed about what is being kept from our fragile eyes. With the banning of Beau Père and Pretty Baby and the cutting of The Tin Drum, it appears that the Ontario Censor Board has taken its power past scenes of sex and violence and is now censoring subjects!
-VANCE SHIPLEY, Kitchener, Ont.
I was angered by Lawrence O’Toole’s review of the movie Beau Père in which he states that the rest of Canada will be “sniggering” at Ontario for banning what is essentially a movie about a “May-December romance.” He writes that, although the young woman in the film is only 14, this portrayal “isn’t really shocking since many of our grandmothers were married at 14.” While May-December romances exist, this relationship between a man and his totally dependent orphaned 14-year-old stepdaughter is incest. Furthermore, if some of our grandmothers may have been married at 14, they certainly could not, at least in Canada, have married their stepfathers. -RITA M. CRAIG
As a former Albertan, I am appalled and outraged at the comments made by Mayor Ralph Klein in reference to the influx of easterners to Calgary (People, Jan. 18). Xenophobia is not unusual, but Calgarians would do well at this time to be reminded of a particularly notorious example of xenophobic hysteria found in the form of the Ku Klux Klan. The same type of simplistic and volatile sentiments spewing forth from the mouth of Calgary’s highest civic official is incomprehensible.
— MARGIE RUTLEDGE, Toronto
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., M5W1A7.
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