With his illegal interference in Nicaragua, Lt.-Col. Oliver North bypasses the very democratic process he claims to be fighting for (“Hero or outlaw?” Cover, July 20). It is shameful that confidence, aggression, personal style and articulate speech can be mistaken for integrity and wisdom. This worship of a “hero” who makes his own rules is very frightening indeed. —J. DIEBEL,
The reason for Oliver North’s popularity, and the reason his popularity causes angst among politicians and the liberal media, is simple: here is a man who, upon seeing a need for action, follows up on it because he believes in it.
— KANE ROGERS, Vancouver
It is difficult to understand why, when presented with an event as important as the Iran-contra hearings, Maclean's chooses to concern itself with prurient rumors. “The women in North’s life” (Cover, July 20) blatantly panders to an audience that prefers titillation to substance. This kind of tripe undermines your credibility as a political commentator. I consider a responsible Canadian perspective on international political affairs important and find this approach to the issue disappointing.
— MICHAEL KYNE, North Bay, Ont.
Building blocks for a park
Regarding the article on negotiations for a national park at South Moresby
(“Agreeing to a new park,” Environment, July 20), may I offer a clarification. The agreement calls for Ottawa to spend $106 million over eight years— not $211 million—broken down as follows: $32 million for park development and operation; $23 million in compensation for forestry interests (logging contractors, holders of timber rights and loggers); $1 million for nonforestry compensation (mineral rights, for example); and $50 million for a Queen Charlotte Islands regional development fund. Some $12 million from the development fund, coupled with a matching amount from the province, will be earmarked for enhanced silviculture in British Columbia. The province is also contributing $8 million toward compensation of forestry interests. Finally, Canada has agreed to open a parks office in British Columbia and to share any additional expenses incurred by the B.C. ferry system resulting from the Moresby park establishment. —TERRY COLLINS,
Communications Adviser, Office of Tom McMillan, Minister of the Environment, Ottawa
The right to smoke
I read with interest Dolly Foran’s letter in the July 20 issue on the subject of bill C-51 (“Freedom for all”). She asks where the advertising and media people were when the antitobacco advertising ban was being contemplated. The fact is that we were working our butts off (pardon the pun) in lobbying and discussions with the appropriate people. The government has chosen not to listen. Incidentally, ours is a nonsmoking office, and I personally dislike smoke-filled rooms, but I will defend the rights of people to smoke if they wish and be informed about the various brands through advertising. —STUART CHAPMAN,
I am disappointed that Canada’s national newsmagazine, in reporting on this nation’s “Celebrations of summer” (Recreation, July 13), chose to ignore the province of Saskatchewan. The largest outdoor country music festival in Canada is now held annually in Craven, Sask. And to feature the Canadian Armed Forces’ Snowbirds performing in British Columbia, when the Snowbirds are based in Moose Jaw, Sask., and perform as the featured artists in the Saskatchewan Air Show held there each summer, says to me that it is time you visited Saskatchewan. If you knew our winters, you would know why we in Saskatchewan truly celebrate summer.
-LORNE CALVERT, MLA Moose Jaw South,
Moose Jaw, Sask.
Depicting a quartet of two
In “An up-tempo quartet” (Music, July 13), you call the Orford Quartet a superquartet, a statement with which I, and thousands of classical music lovers, agree. But surely you realize that a quartet means four, so why did only half of the quartet appear in the accompanying photograph? Andrew Dawes and Kenneth Perkins are the only remaining original members, and the heavy hand that cut them out of the photograph was insensitive. -RENA COULTER,
A tactic of violence for survival
As a Canadian citizen, I was saddened to read about the settlement awarded the postal carriers under the terms negotiated by the mediator, William Kelly (“Labor’s fight to survive,” Cover, July 13). It seems as if Kelly acted as an agent of the postal carriers and, as such, unwittingly condoned the tactic of violence applied by the strikers. When can average citizens expect to receive reasonable and just solutions to labor disputes instead of being held hostage by the unions? It is time a strong government put these militants out of business.
-GERALD E. MORRISON, Ottawa
Your article on Robert White of the Canadian Auto Workers (“White knight on a crusade,’’Cover, July 13) contained an interesting revelation of union attitudes, which may be one reason for what you call “the new aggressiveness by management.” Union spokesmen talk endlessly of their right to free collective bargaining when it has become increasingly obvious that coercive blackmail would be a far more accurate description of the process. The letter carriers’ strike was a good example. White says it all in his remark, “Collective bargaining
is meant for the progress of workers, not management.” So much for bargaining, in the commonly accepted meaning of the word. - JOHN F. LAURENCE,
North Vancouver, B.C.
“Union-free workplace” (Cover, July 13) should be required reading and thoughtfully studied by all Canadian labor groups and politicians. In addition to Dofasco Inc., Magna International Inc. and McCain Foods Ltd., I believe that you should have included Trans Mountain Pipe Line Co. Ltd., which has a record of more than 30 years of fair dealing and teamwork with its employees. It is a philosophy of joint industrial effort worthy of copying by not only companies but also governments.
-JOHN COWLING, Vancouver
In “Violence on the lines” (Canada, July 6), you used the term “replacement worker” seven times, “casuals” four times and even “outside worker” and “newly hired worker.” But not once was the term “strikebreaker” used. By choosing to use the more innocuous terms of the Canada Post news releases and avoiding the more frequently used “strikebreaker,” you are, in fact, giving your magazine a bias toward one side of the issue. -D. RIDER,
Music for glamorized war
I was interested to read that Bryan Adams refused to let his music be used in the movie Top Gun because he felt that it was a glamorization of war (“The Superstar,” Cover, July 6). I found it highly ironic when that very evening I switched on Miami Vice, with Adams’s music rocking to scenes of thugs loading up their guns to have another drug war. I fail to see how the term “glamorization of war” does not apply to the violence on Miami Vice. -JANINE BEAULNE,
A hero passes unheralded
It is interesting that you reported the death of American athlete Richard Howser (Passages, June 29) but not the passing of a hero in the Canadian Football League who died on the same day. Jim Coode played for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1974 to 1980 and died at 35 after a courageous five-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and their six-year-old son, Jamie.
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.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.