January 28 1985


January 28 1985

The nation’s pulse


Peggy Steacy believes that feminists and working women are threatening the sanctity of the traditional family (“The way women see themselves,” The Maclean’s Poll, Jan. 7). But her alternative would harness women to a narrow path between kitchen and bedroom with the strict admonition that no “Real Women” should be tempted to veer off course. Her complaint that feminists consider homemakers “second-class citizens who have to look like hags” can simply be attributed to a sensitive internal defence mechanism. Feminists just want choices, a point that Steacy is obviously not willing to concede.

—ANNE BOKMA, Dundas, Ont.

Thank you for The Maclean’s Poll. I notice it strongly disagrees with Pierre Berton’s verdict that “1984 saw the beginning of the end of Canadian nationalism” (“Looking for a simpler time,” Essay, Dec. 31). Maybe Berton was out when Decima was in touch.



Your interesting study by Decima Research left me, for one, very uneasy. In your profile of Vern Gilbertson (“At work with Vern Gilbertson”) you quoted his concern at the budget cuts on the CBC inflicted by our new government. You quoted Randy Allen of St. Catharines, Ont., as saying: “I live 20 minutes from the United States border and I see how powerful their influence is over Canada.

We should be less tied to them, not more” (“Young and not so restless,” Youth). Apart from this there was almost no inclusion, in 33 pages, of the feeling held by so many Canadians for our own identity. I have to assume that the questions asked by Decima were predicated on a premise that everything our new government has done is nationally acceptable. We all accepted the enormous mandate given to Brian Mulroney and his government in September. It would be unfair to leap toward a final judgment so early in his term of office. But many of us are becoming very uneasy. Maclean’s is Canada’s “national” magazine. Thus, to read in Maclean’s what cannot be regarded as a completely objective study of our feelings has been most disheartening.


Sunderland, Ont.

A matter for apology

When I agreed to speak on the phone to Toronto members of your staff (People, Jan. 14), it was on the clear understanding that the primary subject matter would be a discussion of my book, The Complete Good Dining Guide to Greater Vancouver Restaurants. The result was a painfully erroneous story and inappropriate sensationalism. The following is a correction of the two most important errors: 1) the prosecutor in the case did not accuse me of premeditated murder—he specifically excluded premeditation from his theory; 2) my wife’s body was not dismembered. On the first point you owe an unqualified published apology to me; on the second, a similar apology to all those who with me cherish Betty’s memory. -CYRIL BELSHAW,


• Maclean’s regrets its errors and apologizes for them.


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Just another love letter

Peter C. Newman’s Dec. 24 Business Watch, “A dazzling debut in New York,” was profoundly distressing for several reasons. In his wide-eyed, uncritical fawning over Brian Mulroney’s speech to the Economic Club of New York, Newman fails to touch upon any of the real issues surrounding the subject of foreign investment in Canada. Is Canadian economic nationalism dead? Will we be destined to serve as a branch plant forever? Instead of addressing these questions, we get yet another love letter to the powerful. -TIM ALLAN,


Postscript, 1984

In “Images of ’84” (Cover, Dec. 31), the demise of William Powell was not mentioned. As someone who has obtained such pleasure from The Thin Man series, My Man Godfrey and Mr. Roberts, I would like to extend a thankful farewell.

—D.R. HILLER, Kitchener, Ont.

It takes the lucid brilliance of Pierre Berton (“Longing for a simpler time,” Essay, Dec. 31) to display the current sorry state of the Earth’s predominant species: a quarrelsome biped—territorially obsessed, technologically inspired and socially retarded. —TOM POWELL,


Rethinking employment

Regarding “Fear and hope in the workplace” (The Maclean's Poll, Employment, Jan. 7): you report accurately that the CMHA study calls for “a new social contract.” It is misleading, however, to suggest that the CMHA study “called upon [Canadians] to share their jobs and incomes with the unemployed.” Rather, our study proposed acceptance of a wider range of work-life choices which would allow Canadians more flexibility in how they fit employment into their overall pattern of life without threatening their job or income security. Job sharing is just one form of such a work-life choice. It is not a solution in the absence of a national incomes policy that would offer adequate protection to those who choose to work less for a temporary or extended period of time in order to pursue other socially productive activities.

—PETER CLUTTERBUCK, Associate Program Director, Canadian Mental Health Association, 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, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7.