In your article about The Qitdlarssuaq Expedition (“An epic arctic journey,” Special Report, May 11), the final statement, “... mastery of the Arctic is a prize well worth winning,” shows a great lack of understanding of the philosophy of this expedition and that of the Inuit toward their environment. They believe we are an integral part of our environment and never masters. Unfortunately, if mankind continues to try to master the Arctic or any other aspect of our environment, we are going to see the continuing destruction of our planet.
-NICHOLAS CRISTOVEANU, MD, Kingston, Ont.
Humor over people’s heads
It’s possible to find humor in just about everything. Indeed, good humor is essential to good health. But I wonder, when Allan Fotheringham wrote “Do not use the pay phone in any area of the city with a high AIDS count,” in his May 11 column (“The humiliating cost of health”), whether he realized that he would be going over some people’s heads. The line played directly into a dangerous misconception that many people still hold about AIDS. The virus cannot be transmitted in typical everyday contact between people, whether it involves a telephone, a handshake or even a sneeze. The virus can only be transmitted from infected body fluids, such as blood and semen, and is primarily sexually transmitted. People need and appreciate constant
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reassurance on the facts about AIDS. They may not appreciate Fotheringham’s jokes.
-PHIL SHAW, AIDS Committee of Toronto, Toronto
I have always understood that the main thrust of advertising is to increase sales. However, in “Ottawa’s message to smokers: butt out,” (Health, May 4), Jean-Louis Mercier, chairman of the Montreal-based Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council, says, “Advertising never made anyone smoke.” That being the case, perhaps he could explain why his industry found it necessary to spend $70 million on newspaper and magazine advertisements alone last year. Undoubtedly, shareholders of the companies involved must be wondering why so much money was spent on such advertising if the objective was not to increase product sales.
-IAN CROCK ATT, Toronto
Preferring national support
I wish to comment on the excerpt of Walter Stewart’s new book, Uneasy Lies the Head: The Truth About Canada's Crown Corporations (“A case against the Crown,” Publishing, May 11), and his belief that our government should privatize Petro-Canada and that “we no longer need a government airline.” There are those of us who appreciate the opportunity to put our money back into the nation rather than into the coffers of private business. -ALEXANDER BALDWIN,
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