LETTERS

Unemployable?

February 21 1983
LETTERS

Unemployable?

February 21 1983

Unemployable?

LETTERS

In an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (Lead Us or Leave, Prime Minister, Column, Jan. 24), Dian Cohen makes certain accusations that do not bear up under scrutiny. She points out that the prime minister remarked that the unemployed are in the “front ranks of a new leisure class.” In the same issue, your cover story, Creating a New Economy, contains a statement by Arthur Cordell, economic adviser with the Science Council of Canada, in which he says that he foresees at least one million permanently unemployed Canadians as an inevitability. Will Cohen now take Cordell to task?

— EVELYN L. WOOD, Rivers, Man.

Regarding the quotation Cohen cites in her Jan. 24 column: it was “Where’s Biafra?” that Trudeau asked, not “Where’s Bangladesh?” I recall he was replying to a silly question. Who has tried as hard as Trudeau to make us aware of the problems of the Third World? And regarding the muchquoted, out-of-context question to do with the farmers’ wheat: why do his critics never give his very thoughtful answers?

—W.H. HAMMETT, Victoria

Out of the minds of babes

Your article about sex programs at the flick of a switch (A Hard Choice for Viewers, Canada, Jan. 31) failed to mention what I consider should have been the greatest concern of all in the

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article—the impact on our youth. Was there not one adult group that said children should not have to be their own censor boards? If we adults allow Playboy on our family television screens, then we are giving children that responsibility. We adults will go to ridiculous extremes—for instance, the “stoop and scoop” law and its $1,000 fine—to keep our parks clean for our children. Are we showing the same enthusiasm for keeping the garbage off our television screens? Too bad we parents today do not realize that it is a lot easier to get the dirt off our children’s shoes than out of their heads.

—NANCY WEATHERALL,

Brampton, Ont.

Don MacPherson’s statement that nobody considers Playboy pornographic anymore is erroneous. This particular nobody still recognizes exploitation, degradation and abuse, even if it is marketed on glossy pages with slick photography and interspersed with articles designed to blur the consciences of pseudointellectual, would-be swingers.

—GILBERTA VAN HOUTVEN, Guelph, Ont.

Bill Davis’ position

The report that my colleague, Norman Atkins, and I advised the premier of Ontario to seek the national leadership of the national party pursuant to the vote in Winnipeg is without basis and fact (After Joe, What?, Cover, Feb. 7). Atkins was in Bermuda at the time, and I participated in no discussions of that nature. You may be aware that William Davis expressed support for Joe Clark on the morning pursuant to the vote in Winnipeg, and I am unaware of that position having been changed one iota since that time. —HUGH D. SEGAL,

Toronto

Philosopher’s stone unturned

Further to Allan Fotheringham’s New Year’s predictions about Marc Lalonde ( The Unfolding Universe in '83, Column, Jan. 3), I think that Canadians should feel proud of Lalonde. As energy minister, he accomplished what centuries of alchemists have attempted (sort of): the turning of gold into lead. One wonders what magic he will concoct as finance minister. —MARC A. SCHINDLER,

Pierrefonds, Que.

Fez remembered

Thank you for letting me remember what a wonderful place Fez is (Dateline, Jan. 17). Six years have passed since my visit, and I am greatly relieved to know that something is being done to preserve the “vibrant, working entity.” Hopefully, my children will some day be able to see that for themselves.

—JAN HOLLAND, Scarborough, Ont.

Bushy pine trees?

In his review of OKanada (Entertainment, Dec. 27), Berlin’s most influential art commentator is said to have given a rather sour verdict following the opening of the exhibit. Why? He expressed in the Tagesspiegel that he was

disappointed because he was looking forward “to a lovely, fresh and bushy pine tree from Canada.” Others lamented the fact that Indian and Inuit art were conspicuously absent from the exhibit. It is rather interesting to note what preconceived images these gentlemen have of Canada!

— WALTER RIEDEL,

Victoria

He also ran

In your Jan. 3 issue I read with considerable interest your article Images of '82, Deaths. I was really shocked to notice that you included Harry Jerome as Canada’s medal-winning sprinter and yet neglected to include Percy Williams. Percy also died in 1982.1 believe Harry Jerome deserves mention, but if only one Canadian sprinter is to be named, the proper choice would be Percy Williams. Percy was a Canadian doublegold-medallist sprinter with the 1928 Olympics. Surely someone must have neglected to do his homework.

—CLIVE CAMPBELL, Vancouver

Acknowledging the wrong

Your article Seeking Redress for the Wrong (Canada, Jan. 17) was revealing. Germany liquidated the Jews in the

Second World War. Our treatment of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia was very similar. As a veteran, I feel compelled to hang my head in shame when I think of comrades like George Yasuzo Shoji who were classified as enemy aliens after fighting for Canada, the land of their birth, in the First World War. If a royal commission will acknowledge this terrible wrong, let us get on with it immediately.

— DON GANDIER, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Transforming tough times

It is indeed heartening to read the declaration by the Catholic bishops on the applications of social justice to our economic system (The Bishops Start a Row, Religion, Jan. 17). All of us are asked to participate by becoming involved in our communities, to change the situation ourselves, instead of waiting for the government or business to change it for us. As times get tougher, Canadians need such encouragement to understand and transform our society into a more caring one. — AIDEEN LYDON,

Victoria

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, 181 University Ave., Toronto, Ont., M5W1A7.