Day care under fire

December 8 1986

Day care under fire

December 8 1986

Day care under fire


As a licensed family day care provider for the past 14 years, I resent the biased, distorted view that you give of day care in your Nov. 10 cover story, “Parents, jobs and children.” For every horror story you tell about day care, I can tell one about irresponsible parents who have tried to exploit me. While I am not denying that there needs to be improvement in day care—especially in government support of this service—the next time you report on day care please present a more balanced view, so that those of us who are committed to the next generation can feel good about the service we provide for poor pay and worse recognition. -KATHLEEN TORHJELM, Nanaimo, B.C.

I think that “Parents, jobs and children” should also have focused on those whose career of preference, despite financial hardship, is in fact to raise their own kids. This is their “job.” If the government helps any moms at all, it should help all moms. Helping only day care moms is biased; they deserve no more sympathy than moms raising the kids at home with no personal salary.


Just the facts

In her Nov. 10 column, “Through rosecolored glasses,” Barbara Amiel has painted a picture every bit as unfair as the one created by the Toronto Globe and Mail in its coverage of recent events in Mozambique. Contrary to her offhand statement—“Mozambique is a Sovietbacked Communist dictatorship”—most

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of the people of Mozambique would call themselves nationalists first and Marxists last. Since 1983, under Samora Machel, Mozambique has been encouraging private enterprise at home and aid or investment from the West. Machel recognized the use of torture and repression as early as November, 1981, when he delivered a speech condemning such practices and inaugurating a campaign to eradicate them. What is sticking in Amiel’s craw is not the misinformation of the press, as she would have us believe, but rather sour grapes over her regrettable arrest when she was visiting that country because she was mistakenly not issued correct visas.

-JAMES GUNN, Vancouver

As I followed the coverage of the death of Mozambique’s Samora Machel, I was struck by the one-sidedness of the reports. In light of this, I was considerably relieved to read Barbara Amiel’s column. As Amiel contends, there does indeed seem to be a dual standard of reporting in much of the national news media, based largely on whichever side of the political spectrum individuals or countries align themselves with. It is up to the journalists of our country to provide objective coverage of such matters, not to present news reports based on any political ideology. —ROSS J. MACKENZIE,


In recent times it has seemed that Amiel’s comments were merely of the extreme right, and although provocative were not necessarily thought-provoking. Not so, however, her column on the late president of Mozambique, for here she has raised the question of why the Canadian media (including Maclean's) neglected to give us all the information. —ROSS BINNIE,

Kearney, Ont.

Patriotic media links

It was particularly disturbing to read about the CBC’s impending doom (“The CBC: fifty and fighting,” Cover, Nov. 3). As a Canadian raised before American cable television, I was weaned on CBC broadcasting (with a hearty dose of CTV). Now, studying in the heart of the American Midwest, I cling patriotically to my media links with Canada: Maclean’s and CBC Radio Canada International. I believe we owe a great debt to the CBC for helping to cultivate and preserve our culture. Pierre Berton’s warning—that the CBC is being bludgeoned and will be killed if the present government’s course of budget cuts is maintained—is one that Canadians should heed. We cannot allow our culture to become assimilated into that of our giant and neglectful neighbor. I, for one, will do my part to protest publicly about the demise of one of the most recognizable and unique Canadian institutions. —JAMES OGLOFF,

Lincoln, Neb.

Embassy embarrassment

In “Storm over the capital” (Follow-up, Oct. 20), National Capital Commission chairman Jean Pigott has once again brought the Mile Circle issue down to a “walking the dog” level. Joan Frommer and her Save the Circle committee are fighting to maintain the area for precisely the same reasons that you quote Pigott as giving: “I am building a capital for all Canadians. I am not building a capital for the locals.” However, is building a U.S. Embassy and other embassies—which are office buildings and not residences— on NCC parkland really part of “building a capital for all Canadians”? It is not.



Older than imagined

“Boarding up the long border,” by Peter C. Newman (Business Watch, Oct. 27), is well-written, but one part is not factual. He credits Abraham Gesner of Halifax for the famous phrase “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” Actually, it is found in the Bible. Read Joshua 9:27.


St. John ’s, Nfld.

Stone-age approach to war

The real “hard lessons of Reykjavik” in Henry Kissinger’s column (Essay, Oct. 27) are that world leaders are still using stone-age thinking about war. Far from being “right and courageous” in refusing to negotiate on the Strategic Defence Initiative, Ronald Reagan missed an opportunity to take a reasonable step toward meaningful arms control. Kissinger’s slippery sophistry basically presents the view that the nasty Russians are still planning for nuclear

blackmail, for a first strike and for retaining military superiority—all tribal platitudes. Granted that the Russians are powerful, paranoid and dangerous, that does not excuse us for exhibiting the containment-by-force state of mind that has the world on the brink of extinction. — EMLEN LITTELL,


Akin to mortal sin

On reading your article “Ottawa strikes a deal” (Canada, Nov. 10), I am reminded how, during the Liberals’ National Energy Program period, the Western oil

and gas producers wrapped themselves in the tattered banner of free enterprise and denounced government intervention in their affairs as something akin to mortal sin. In the present climate of collapsed world petroleum prices and deregulation, their major threat is being trampled as they rush bleating to the public trough. -KEN SHINDLER,


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.