Valuing survival

December 26 1983

Valuing survival

December 26 1983

Valuing survival


It is most alarming to hear so many people now talking about the probability of a nuclear war before the year 2000—a short 16 years off (Trudeau's peace crusade, Cover, Dec. 5). If the world powers continue on the present course of arms deployment and uncompromising negotiations, the unthinkable does indeed appear possible. One thing is certain: we shall not achieve world peace by discussing the inevitability of war. Partisan politics aside, Prime Minister Trudeau’s peace initiative deserves the support of all who value survival. It is imperative for more of us to speak out, letting our political leaders know that the present situation is intolerable. We cannot sit back silently and allow the nuclear powers to bully each other into developing more numerous and efficient weapons for destroying our world.


A statement attributed to one of our politicians was that he hopes Prime Minister Trudeau’s efforts will be successful but he is not going to hold his breath. It is not our breath that we should be holding but rather our malicious and sometimes vituperative tongues. We should all be doing all we can to assist one of the world’s greatest statesmen, and a Canadian, to get on with the job. We have within our sights the opportunity to become known not as the mouse that roared but as the beaver that barked a warning to the world’s humanity, which seems intent on relentlessly marching to the edge of a


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precipice over which can be clearly seen the devastation of a nuclear holocaust. Even to mention partisan politics in connection with this mission should be construed by caring people everywhere as blasphemous and unacceptable.

—LEN BELANGER, Welland, Ont.

When the world leaders look at Prime Minister Trudeau’s track record in uniting Canada and giving its inhabitants a “Just Society,” how could they do anything but fall all over him? Many of the leaders who have been listening to his scheme are acting like many of his own back-benchers, waiting for him to leave the scene. They are too polite to tell him that his dismal efforts at unifying 25 million people in one nation is no prerequisite for tackling a larger scale.


Kings County, N.S.

The father of Canadian radio

It was Prime Minister Trudeau, I believe, who called Graham Spry “the father of broadcasting in Canada.” Since then The Globe and Mail has supported that view in an editorial, and now Maclean ’s has followed suit (Passages, Dec. 5 ). We need someone like Spry today to take the lead in protecting the principle of nationally owned broadcasting in Canada. But I cannot agree that he deserves the title of father of broadcasting. My father, Charles A. Bowman, editor of the Ottawa Citizen, realized in the 1920s that the Americans would control broadcasting in Canada unless it were nationalized here. His editorials led Spry, Alan Plaunt and Margaret Southam to organize the Canadian Radio League, supporting his editorials.

Then my father was appointed to the royal commission that recommended nationally owned broadcasting for Canada. If anyone deserves that title, he does. — ROBERT T. BOWMAN,


An innocent’s inestimable loss

The injustice done to Donald Marshall Jr. (The cost of a bad verdict, Justice, Dec. 5) is sad, but I am wondering at the new injustice that has been done. Roy Ebsary was sentenced to five years, while Marshall was found innocent after serving 11 years of his sentence. Does the fact that you are 71 mean that your sentence for the same crime should be less than if you are 19?


In my opinion, it would be unconscionable if some level of the Canadian judicial system does not attempt to help Donald Marshall Jr., who languished in prison for 11 years for a murder he did not commit. Admittedly, he can never get back those lost years. There is no compensation on earth for that.


Mulroney and his promises

Please stop using the phrase “ethnic Canadians” (Mulroney unites his factions, Canada, Dec. 5). It is redundant. Nonetheless, I guess I know what was meant when the article stated that Brian Mulroney “pledged financial aid and top-level government jobs to ethnic Canadians.” For those who really do think the word “ethnic,” and hyphenated descriptions of ourselves, contribute to national unity, I must say that I am an Anglo-Scotian-Canadian. That makes me “ethnic” and in line for financial aid and a top-level government job from Mulroney. —JACK STRUTHERS, Nepean, Ont.

Scientology’s numbers

In the Dec. 12 issue a Follow-up article entitled Scientology's legal woes mentioned that the worldwide membership of the Church of Scientology is 100,000. The correct number of members across the world is seven million.

—NICOLE CRELLIN, Church of Scientology, Toronto

A sense of disembodiment

Prof. Frank Zingrone and Eric McLuhan should rethink their theory regarding the problems associated with VDTs ( VDTs and the brain, Health, Nov. 21). Zingrone and McLuhan attribute the problems arising from the use of VDTs to the fact that the video screen stimulates the right side of the brain while the language appeals to the left side. It

would seem to me that if this were true, we would all experience a sense of disembodiment after reading Maclean's magazine or any other printed material for the same reasons. —ROBERT BYRNE, Vedder Crossing, B.C.

The quality of life

Barbara Amiel, in her Nov. 21 column, Freedom of choice is immoral, suggests that by allowing abortion we are eroding our morals and ignoring the quality of life. Whose “quality of life” is Amiel referring to? Does banning abortion improve the quality of an unwanted child’s life? Does it improve the quality of a 14-

year-old mother’s life? Abortion is not right. It is not moral. But it is not abortion that is causing the disintegration of the quality of life. Banning abortion will improve the quality of life only if we are prepared to support the unwanted children and unfortunate parents of unwanted pregnancies with love and practical care. —ROBIN ENDSIN,


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