The essay by Ingrid Botting, a young graduate of Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, was refreshing (“Most of us are scared,” Cover, Sept. 7). She is obviously a thoughtful and mature person. Young people like Ingrid give us a sense of excitement about our country and a feeling of hope for its future. It is encouraging that more and more of them are going overseas for a period of study. That experience will add a precious global dimension to the education they receive in Canada and will equip them better to face the challenges of the future. -LEWIS PERINBAM,
Skirmishes in the language war
Since you have decided to print letters from readers in favor of a bilingual Ontario (“Ontario’s language battle,” Sept. 14), I hope you will grant a forum to the opposite opinion. No one evei seems to question the strong desire of Quebec francophones to maintain and expand their language in their own province, and it is quite right that we should not pass judgment. The French of Quebec are a proud people who have no plans to promote the English language in the name of bilingualism. This is fine. So why is it so awful for the English-speaking people of Ontario— the majority—to speak out against bilingualism? -RODMcCUAlG,
St. Andrews West, Ont.
To suggest that the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada (APEC) is opposed to French-speaking
people or the use of the French language is a complete misconception of the aims of the organization. We applaud those who can speak more than one language. What we oppose is official bilingualism, whereby the government creates an artificial need for the use of the French language. Because Ontario has become a multicultural society, it is essential that we have a common denominator—communication. Surely no one can dispute the logic of having the language of the vast majority—English—as that common denominator. Ontario has always accommodated all of its citizens to the best of its ability, through the use of translators where necessary. The watchword must be equality for all, special status for none.—PAULINE D. LEITCH, Director, Ontario Region, Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada, Thornhill, Ont,
In her Aug. 31 letter to the editor (“An open mind and two tongues”), Debbie Moyer exhorts “these United Empire Loyalists to please leave the country.” Moyer should realize that because of “these United Empire Loyalists,” she now resides in Ontario and not the United States. -BEATRICE KINAHAN,
Kudos for independent criticism
I was pleased to see that you had the editorial courage and integrity to run Lawrence O’Toole’s somewhat negative review of Eve Heard the Mermaids Singing alongside the profile of the film’s screenwriter and director, Patricia Rozema (“Murmurs of the heart,” Cover, Sept. 28). I’m sure you would have preferred a glowing review, and it is to your credit that you did not commission another more favorable review.
-STEPHEN FAWCETT, Golden, B.C.
From wave to ripple
“The big red wave” (Cover, Sept. 21) leaves no doubt that re-elected Ontario Premier David Peterson made quite a splash. However, Diefenbaker rode the crest in 1958 after successfully cultivating support during a minority stint, as Trudeau also did in 1974, and yet both saw the momentum spin out a short way down the road.
This could seem to suggest that the “big wave” may soon be but a mere ripple.
One might be so brave as to predict that Peterson can look forward to about two years of glory followed by another three to ponder what went wrong—something that I am sure our Prime Minister is currently doing.
The real power
“The Minister of Everything” (Canada,
Sept. 14), and Jean Charest, “A young and rising star”
(Close-up, Sept. 21), have a lot in common.
Both have been given increasing responsibility in the Tory cabinet, and while both men have obviously won the confidence of Brian Mulroney, only one has received the real power—money. I do not have to mention which province received the $12-million windfall and the 100 permanent government jobs that went with the cabinet promotion of Charest. While Mazankowski bemoans the fact that his inability to speak French may be his greatest handicap in Ottawa, he should wake up to the fact that being an MP from Quebec and not necessarily a cabinet minister is the only credential needed to bring jobs and millions of dollars into a region where the votes really count. -JOAN PROCUIK,
Drayton Valley, Alta.
A little potash between friends
I read “Firing up a new potash war” (Canada, Sept. 7) with great interest. It indicated that Ross Thatcher, then premier of Saskatchewan, had angered Americans when his province imposed a
quota system in 1969. Maybe he did, but I was governor of New Mexico at the time and consulted with him on many occasions about this problem. I thought the arrangement worked extremely well. I regret that Canada and the United States are now engaging themselves in trade warfare. This is most shortsighted. Thatcher and I discovered that the potash problem was not being solved / either in Washington | or in Ottawa. We settled it between ourselves and it worked rather well.
-DAVID F. CARGO, Albuquerque, N.M. ,
Mobs and molls
In your review of our book King of the Mob (“Molls of a mobster,” Books, Oct. 5), there are several inaccuracies. First and most importantly, the two common-law wives of Rocco Perri were not mob molls but rather full partners in crime with Perri. It is sexist to refer to them as molls when, as even your reviewer states, they were the brains behind Perri’s criminal success. And we must address the reviewer’s accusation that Perri was essentially a “small timer” who was not as glamorous as his American counterparts. This conclusion can only be the result of a bad case of the Canadian inferiority complex. In his day Perri was a media star throughout Canada. Unlike mobsters of today who avoid the press, Perri used the press to create an acceptable, benign public image. For a “small timer,” Perri was pretty successful. He controlled the organized crime rackets in southern Ontario for over a decade and in many ways was a far more successful mobster than AÍ Capone. In fact, Perri, who was as charismatic and ruthless as his Chicago equivalent, helped supply AÍ Capone with his quality booze during Prohibition. —JAMES R. DUBRO, -ROBIN F. ROWLAND, 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. M5 W 1A 7.
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