I do not expect the Prime Minister and his wife to take a vow of poverty (“The tastes of the Mulroney family,” Canada, April 27). I do not care what money was used to redecorate 24 Sussex Drive. However, I do expect the Prime Minister of Canada and his wife to show more empathy and understanding for the working men and women in this country, many of whom are losing jobs, looking for work or trying to find day care for their children because it takes two working people to support the family. The farming community is in severe trouble, and this is the backbone of our economy. How can people who live such an opulent lifestyle relate to the rest of US? -BILLIE FOLK,
Hudson Bay, Sask.
As a fellow Winnipegger, I feel compelled to debunk the obsequious letter from Winnipeg-Assiniboine MP Dan McKenzie (April 27). He states categorically that our well-shod Prime Minister has “eliminated regional disparity in Canada.” His overwhelming evidence of this is the awarding of the CF-5 maintenance contract to Winnipeg’s Bristol Aerospace. He conveniently neglects to mention that this noble gesture was done to appease western indignation over the Prime Minister’s pork-barrelling of the CF-18 contract to his home province. Regional disparity has reached a critical level in Canada today, as evidenced by the collapse of the western economy during a period of renewed economic prosperity and growth in Central Canada. If Dan McKenzie is so certain of the Prime
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Minister’s total success at eliminating regional disparity in Canada, then let the government call a snap election and face the electorate on its record.
-DENNIS A. LANG, Winnipeg
Doing justice to a justice
There are some untruths and many blatant inaccuracies in your article on the appointment of Claire L’Heureux-Dubé to the Supreme Court of Canada (“A new face on the bench,” Canada, April 27). I have had the privilege of knowing Madame Justice Dubé for many years, both socially and professionally. In my view, Madame Justice Dubé is an exceptionally talented jurist with a remarkable and refreshing personality. She will be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of Canada. These views are shared by all Canadian lawyers and judges who know Madame Justice Dubé well. It is unfortunate and unfair that they were not reflected in your article.
-L. YVES FORTIER, OC, QC, Montreal
Dissidents and glasnost
I am writing to commend you on your recent interview with the Jewish Soviet refusenik Josef Begun (“Freedom for a refusenik,” Q&A, April 27). The plight of Soviet Jews demonstrates that glasnost—openness—is a nice-sounding catchword, but the realities are quite different in the Soviet Union. Please devote more time and space to the issues confronting 400,000 Jews who want to leave the Soviet Union to live in dignity as Jews. Six million of us perished because of our Jewishness. Let us not perish culturally and spiritually as Jews now in the Soviet Union.
I want to register my dismay over the inclusion of Rev. Billy Graham with the likes of Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart in Allan Fotheringham’s column “Heaven in 15 minutes or less” (April 20). As a clergyman, I find very little appeal for money in Graham’s message. His style is low-key and not guilt-oriented. Graham does not denounce mainstream Christianity and he does not broadcast on Sunday mornings. Even though I have many reservations about the effectiveness and stewardship of the television ministries, I think it unjust to stick Billy Graham with the label “salesman of the telegenic church” or “charlatan” so rightfully applied to the rest. -REV. PETER LISINSKI,
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Deep River, Ont.
Much of what Allan Fotheringham said in the April 20 issue is true. But I am disappointed that he is just as prone to gross generalizations as your average self-appointed messiah. Lumping all Christians in with this shameful affair is hardly objective thinkingin particular assuming that Billy Graham is of the same stripe!
-ANN DURAND, Vanderhoof, B.C.
We are not Americans
Barbara Amiel contends that there is no difference between Canadians and Americans (“The survival of Canadian culture,” April 20). Our differences are, in fact, profound and obvious. Amiel somehow forgets that Canada has two official languages and all that that means to our culture. Also, our northern climate has a great effect on our culture. And our histories, forms of government and legal systems are entirely different.
I believe that all thoughtful Canadians are well aware of their differences from Americans. -WILLIAM MOTT STEWART,
Amiel has gone too far by stating that Canadians and Americans share a virtually indistinguishable language. She -should familiarize herself with the work of Mark Orkin, who finds Canadian English so distinguishable from the language south of the 49th parallel that he’s filled a couple of books on the subject. Thus armed, she should tear herself away from Dallas and Dynasty long enough to listen to some Canadian dialects, found easily enough on CBC and CTV. -LESLIE ANN DOREY,
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