June 18 1984


June 18 1984


Misery abroad

In the article A bittersweet victory (Justice, May 21), it is unfortunate that in the desire to arouse sympathy for the U.S. servicemen and their families who will manage to benefit handsomely ($250 million before 1990) from their sufferings from Agent Orange, you did not also speculate on the misery of the Vietnamese people and their families who have to endure the residual effects of Agent Orange without the generous compensation that their U.S. invaders received. We are supposed to feel compassion for the Americans, despite their despicable use of military force.

—PAUL FILTEAU, Kirkland Lake, Ont.

Suffer the little children

Regarding the May 21 Justice article Bringing the children home: children come permanently into the care of child welfare agencies only through the courts and the laws of the land and only on the basis of the most serious matters of parental incapacity, neglect and abuse. To suggest otherwise represents a level of reporting that does a grievous disservice to Canada’s weekly newsmagazine, -JAMES D. CAMPBELL,

The matter of mercury

G.H. Stanford is correct when he claims that the deleterious effects of mercury have long been known (The information gap, Letters, May 21). However, he is poorly informed when he states that the dental profession had no previous knowledge of this hazard. Being a chemistry student, Stanford should be aware


that an amalgam does not have free mercury. It is alloyed with tin, zinc, copper and other trace elements. The fact that billions of amalgam fillings have been placed over the years should be sufficient proof that the population has not been poisoned.


The other side of the coin

In the past whenever I, as a Canadian, heard the phrases “foreign investment” or “foreign ownership” I immediately expected the following discussion to involve U.S. investment in Canadian resources. Yet this apparently is not always the case (Canada's ventures into U.S. markets, Follow-up, May 7). Before the past recession, Canadians, it seems, were investing large amounts of money in the United States, and as the Canadian economy continues its recovery those investments are growing once more. While many may argue that any increases in investments made by Canadian corporations should be directed toward the Canadian sector, people fail to see the advantages that result from an increase in the dollars being invested south of the border.

—MONICA KIRCHMAYR, Georgetown, Ont.

The Oilers’ era

In reference to the May 28 Sports article, The beginning of the Oilers' era: any hockey fan knows that the Oilers met the Winnipeg Jets in the preliminary round and not the Vancouver Canucks, as you wrote.

— GEORGE VARGHESE, Camrose, Alta.

ATTACH OLD ADDRESS LABEL HERE AND MAIL IMMEDIATELY! I also subscribe to Chatelaine and/or FLARE and enclose old address labels from those magazines as well. Name Om(b New Address 0 Apt. City Prov. Postal code LL I I I I I I

Attending to the issues

In the article The ‘unstrike’in Vancouver (Canada, May 14) you describe the struggle and the tactics used by the union in its fight for survival against a Crown corporation under the control of the Social Credit government. It is very disappointing to see that Maclean ’s considers only the tactics employed by the union to be newsworthy, rather than focusing attention on the issues at stake. This union is caught in the political attack against organized labor and the nonunion working man by the present government. You would do well to inform your readers about the issues in this dispute. —MICHAEL KAVANAGH, Community Issues Committee, I.C.T.U. Locals, Victoria

Integration vs. assimilation

Barbara Amiel’s May 14 column, Canada and the issue of racism, is the most knowledgeable article on racism in a long time. The only situation in which two races or cultures can live in peace is when there is complete integration, including marriage. The most obvious example is the United Kingdom, where Norsemen, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Normans and Britons integrated to form the English race. In Canada, British

and French were slowly integrating up to the time that the bilingual-bicultural policy sought to keep us separate. Bilingualism and biculturism have put us back 200 years. —FRANK SOUTHERN, Sudbury, Ont.

Barbara Amiel’s views are an apologia for this country’s anti-Semitic immigration policies in the 1930s. She hopes that Canada will reverse its present liberal immigration policy, albeit advocating that “the more distant a culture is from our own Canadian culture, the more gradual the number of people you let in at one time.” Does Amiel really support “gradualness and assimilation” as guides in admission of immigrant groups? Are policies encouraging multiculturalism and outlawing racism “designed or at least destined to create explosive cultural tensions in this country?” How specious can her reasoning get? —EZRA SCHABAS,


Barbara Amiel’s interpretation of multiculturalism and her prescription for Canadian immigration policy should be anathema to all Canadians sincerely interested in promoting racial harmony. She claims that “cultural self-definition is an important part of human identity.” But by advocating an immigration policy based on a strange notion

of gradualness she would deny this opportunity to new Canadians. She would have them condemned to cultural isolation and ensure their ultimate assimilation to the culture of the “founding Anglo-Celtic-French groups.” The very concept of a Canadian identity distinct from multiculturalism betrays a profound lack of understanding of Canadian historical reality. In the final analysis the mosaic has become a firmly entrenched feature of Canadian political life, and such disparaging remarks as Amiel’s belong only to the era of Frederick Blair for which she seems to long. —JON WHEATCROFT,


Walking for peace

It is disappointing to find no coverage in Maclean’s of the peace walks that took place in major Canadian cities on April 28. Surely, this public proclamation against the escalating arms race is more important to Canadians than the murder charge to a former provincial cabinet minister and a sensational new book. —LYNN BROCKINGTON,


A clear definition

In the May 14 Follow-up article Gaspé’s fight for survival, you refer to “Quebec City” as the cause of the problems of Grande-Vallée. Quebec City is a municipal administration that has nothing whatsoever to do with the problems of Grande-Vallée. You should have used “Quebec government” to identify the provincial authorities and not “Quebec City,” which implies that the municipal authorities have something to do with the predicament of Grande-Vallée.

—JEAN HUBERT, Executive assistant, Office of the mayor, City Hall, Quebec

Telling it like it is

Allan Fotheringham’s May 28 column, Japan enters the Liberal race, was a delight, and he tells it like it is. The majority of Canadians are fed up with Pierre Trudeau’s lofty imperial rule and his insensitivity toward Canadians. Let’s face it. We really have a ludicrous choice, and most Canadians think that the entire selection is about as likely to solve Canada’s problems as a newborn baby. -PATRICIA DYER,

London, Ont.

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. M5W1A7.