LETTERS

Bambi’s kin

April 18 1983
LETTERS

Bambi’s kin

April 18 1983

Bambi’s kin

LETTERS

Concerning your article One Last Fling on the Floes? (Canada, March 14), I must strenuously object to the word conservationist being used to describe the groups aligned against the seal hunt. Conservationists know the value of trapping and hunting as tools in the management of a renewable natural resource—wildlife. These people are more properly labelled as preservationists. Their limited knowledge of wildlife is founded in the myths created by Bambi and other fairy tales. One happy result of the end of the hunt: the major source of revenue for these pseudonaturalist fanatics is also gone. —DEAN PURCELL, North Bay, Ont.

A special sense of outrage

The March 28 letter to the editor entitled Assam vs. Sabra and Shatila cannot be left unanswered. The writer goes far afield in his attempt to minimize the massacre of innocent civilians during and after the invasion of Lebanon. The number of civilian dead, according to the most reliable source, stands at more than 14,000. There is a profound difference between the massacres by a crazed local populace in India and those of a calculating government. — J. J. ARMIN,

Toronto

In a letter published in Maclean’s (March 28) a writer bemoans the fact that there was less outrage expressed in the West over the massacres in Assam than over the massacres at Shatila and Sabra. He accuses people of applying a double standard to Israel but fails to recognize that the West has a special

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responsibility for Israel that it does not have, say, in the case of India. Israel is an artificial creation that was imposed on Palestine (and the Palestinians) by a Western-dominated UN after the Second World War. Precisely because of that fact, it could never have survived over the years without the billions of dollars in aid that it has been given by Western governments, notably that of the United States. Additional billions of dollars have also been raised in North America by various Zionist groups. I, for one, think it quite appropriate that the Western public should feel a special sense of outrage when their creation runs amok. —MICHAEL P. CARROLL,

London, Ont.

The brutality of the pen

Your Feb. 7 allegations about my behavior at the Progressive Conservative convention in Winnipeg are not only improbable but impossible (Living up to the Tory Syndrome, Cover). I have spent 30 years as a professional working with people and have never, and I will never, threaten young people, or old people, with physical violence. Perhaps someday someone in your organization might have enough journalistic pride left to phone your sources and ask some specific questions: was the Maclean’s version of their comments reported accurately? Did anyone feel threatened by me at any time? Did these alleged threats in any way relate to voting for Mr. Clark in Winnipeg? Quite frankly, I believe that you do Joe Clark, our next prime minister, a tremendous injustice when you use your pen incorrectly to suggest that he surrounds himself with parliamentarians who act like thugs. The only brutality is in your pen, not in his behavior or in mine. —JIM HAWKES, MP, Calgary West, Ottawa

□ Maclean’s stands by its report.

Métis’ case buried in Ontario

Regarding A Confrontation on the White Man's Turf (Native Peoples, March 21): Ontario Premier William Davis is being touted as “sympathetic to native rights” at the recent First Ministers’ Conference. The Métis people of Moose Factory might be a little more cynical about the province’s so-called respect. In 1905 about 50 Métis, employees of the Hudson’s Bay Co. or its rival, Revillon Frères, were arbitrarily excluded from Treaty 9 on the grounds that they were “not living the Indian mode of life.” They immediately petitioned the government to reconsider. Seventy-eight years later Métis in Moose Factory are still waiting for a reply from the Ontario government. I would hardly characterize this as sympathetic to native rights.

—JOHN S. LONG,

Moosonee, Ont.

No Bluenosers in P.E.I.

Peter C. Newman may be the definitive authority on Canadian blue bloods, but your Business Watch headline writer (A Blue Blood and the Bluenosers, March 21) does not know much about P.E. Islanders. P.E. Islanders have been called many things, but Bluenosers is simply not accurate. Bluenosers are their neighbors, the Nova Scotians.

— LARRY MCINNIS, Montreal

Mulroney: proven track record?

Despite your buildup of Brian Mulroney in Mulroney Beats the Bell (Canada, March 21) and his obvious good looks, Hollywood actor’s voice and personality, when Canadians hire a man for a job, they want to see a record of his performance. If all Mulroney has to offer is the debacle at the Iron Ore Co. of Canada and the shutdown of the entire town of Schefferville, Que., then I for one do not want to see a repeat performance with my country. — E. J. MILLER,

Cavendish, P.E.I.

Paving the way for Marxism

As a Catholic, I was not surprised when Barbara Amiel wrote The Dangers of Blind Flirtation (March 14) to explain her column about How Churches Go Astray (Feb. 14). I am afraid that it will take more than her second article, though, to convince the naïve and the uninformed that certain Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders have become enemies of our democratic way of life to the extent that they are attempting to make smooth the path of Marxist communism into Canada.

There was nothing new in the Catholic church’s concern for the poor in the bishops’ paper on economic conditions in Canada. What was new was the blatant promotion of Latin America’s Marxist bankruptcies, poverty and upheaval as models for Canada. Amiel is one of the most honest, knowledgeable journalists in Canada. She speaks for all those who love this free country.

— MARGARET E. MACKINNON, Port Rowan, Ont.

Divorce: a social revolution

It is surprising that your writers on divorce (Coming to Terms With Divorce, Cover, March 21) managed to cover six pages on the subject without once mentioning the feminist movement. Rising divorce rates are only one symptom of the social revolution currently under way. Others might include the falling birth rate, more single-parent families headed by men, fewer marriages and growing political activism by women. —JANICE J. TAIT,

Ottawa

Reinforcing the positive

Your Advertising article A Soft Pitch Against Pot (March 14) misses the point of the “stay real” television campaign that we did for the federal government. It is not directed against users or “street tough” kids. If it were, it would have been called “get real.” The stayreal campaign offers an attractive, positive image of reinforcement to teens who are subject to peer pressure involving drugs. It does not try to sell them off drugs as much as make it okay for them not to have to use them. There are many articles in the literature demonstrating the inefficacy of the tombstone and body-on-the-road approach to substance abuse. In the case of cigarette advertising, for example, advertisements showing diseased lungs actually increased smoking among heavy users through stress. Television advertising can reinforce the positive feelings teens have about themselves. And if the images strike a responsive note, they are hardly soft in their sell. The “ingressive” approach has worked admirably for long distance and milk advertising. There is no reason why it cannot provide positive reinforcement for teens subject to peer pressure. —GRAHAM WATT,

President,

Watt Burt Advertising Inc., Montreal

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, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5 W1A 7.