March 9 1987


March 9 1987


Nicaragua’s agony

Your coverage of the Nicaraguan situation (“In the shadow of war,” Cover, Feb. 23) has presented to Canadians a much-needed perspective for which I am most grateful. I felt proud and happy that a Canadian magazine had the guts to tell the story as it is. It would be heartening if that message could be conveyed to Americans. Now it is up to the Canadian people and our government to make our voices felt for an ending of U.S. intervention in Central America.

-W. EDWARD MANN, Willowdale, Ont.

Your excellent articles about the U.S.sponsored contra war against the Nicaraguan people failed to describe the great harm being inflicted on Central America’s fragile remaining rain forests, which contain unique flora and fauna facing extinction. Escalation of the war could result in ecocide, as took place in Vietnam, where napalm and herbicides destroyed a large part of the natural environment. The war against Nicaragua must be ended, not only to save human lives and the towns and farms of a poor country but to preserve the rain-forest ecosystem which is of great importance to the whole world.

-MARTIN R. HAASE, Chester, N.S.

A Middle East success story

Your article “Middle East oasis of hope” (Dateline: Neve Shalom, Feb. 16), raised my spirits enough to believe that there is still hope for this tired old beleaguered world. Blessings on Neve Shalom, where Jewish and Arabic Moslem

students learn to live together and hear “the other side of the story.” I would like to see such a wonderful idea spread to other war-torn countries.

-WILMA MOATS, Kelowna, B.C.

Amid all the full-page illustrated articles was your unillustrated story on Neve Shalom—I almost missed it. Surely this success story of people from hostile cultures living, learning and sharing together deserves more space in Maclean's. It would be fascinating to read testimonies of some of the teachers and students of Neve Shalom. I wonder how many schools or universities are benefiting from the experience of Neve Shalom, as the Northern Ireland peace-activists are.

-EDITH MILLER, Sackville, N.B.

Setting a management example

Congratulations to Michelin Tires (Canada) Ltd. for managing in such a way that its Nova Scotia staff said no to the Canadian Auto Workers union (“A setback for labor,” Canada, Jan. 26). The fragile condition of the Canadian economy is in no small way related to the behavior of many of the unions in Canada over this past decade. I hope the Michelin example will be the lead for other corporations to take a similar stand. It is high time that CAW leader Bob White and his union cronies got the message that the Canadian people have had enough of the union influence.

-THOMAS B. SANDILANDS, Brockville, Ont.

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Two faces of progress

What foolish optimism places Brazil on the brink of greatness (“Brazil’s new beat,” Cover, Jan. 19)? A country with twice as many poor as not, a $103billion foreign debt, a terrifying crime situation and a rain forest whose ongoing destruction will affect global ecology is not “poised at last to fulfil its enormous promise.” A wealth of natural resources and a fast-growing economy are no panacea for poverty, racism, fear of crime or environmental mismanagement. It is time we stopped

measuring progress by the size of the economy and looked instead at a country’s ability to meet the needs of its people. Anyone who sees greatness in today’s Brazil is a bigger dreamer than the Brazilian people.


Margaret Laurence’s legacy

Thank you, Timothy Findley, for your tribute to Margaret Laurence (“A life of eloquence and radicalism,” Obituary, Jan. 19). Her vision as a Christian,

a woman and a Canadian have been and will continue to be an inspiration to those who have known her personally or who have identified with her vision. Margaret embraced life and gave us courage to confront ourselves and to emerge as stronger human beings. Let us celebrate her time with us and the legacy she has left in our memories.

-ANDREA JOURNEAUX, Willowdale, Ont.

Winter, West Coast style

Sorry, but Charles Gordon’s journalistic palaver about the joys of the Canadian winter (“How we earn our place in the sun,” Column, Feb. 9) didn’t tug any of my heartstrings. I guess I’m guilty of a gross want of patriotic feeling in preferring to enjoy the green grass and budding daffodils of Vancouver in February to the uniquely “Canadian” privilege of starting the car engine every hour to prevent it from freezing. I happen to believe that the West Coast version of the Canadian winter is also world-class—sans snow.

-J. KAREN DYLLA, Vancouver

No grounds for ridicule

I object to Allan Fotheringham’s snide reference to Prince Charles as Bat-Ears in his Feb. 16 column (“Canadians on the beat in London”). It is reprehensible to ridicule someone’s physical appearance. We are not responsible for the bodies we are born with; we are accountable for the personality and character that we develop later. As Fotheringham said in the same column, “We don’t choose our genes.”


Taking pride in the Forces

As a Canadian and an army wife, I was disgusted by the lack of respect and sarcasm expressed toward our Canadian Armed Forces in Peter C. Newman’s Jan. 12 column (“About-face in defence strategy,” Business Watch). True, we may be no match for the Russians or the Americans, but the training standards and efforts of our Armed Forces are among the best in the world. Our navy, Mr. Newman, is hardly a joke. It is a group of hard-working, well-trained men and women whom we should be proud of, not making fun of.


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. M5W 1A7.