September 14 1987


September 14 1987


Judging the NDP

Diane Francis’s column about Ed Broadbent and the NDP (“The message in the NDP’S book,” Aug. 24) demonstrates that Francis is a journalist who knows how to observe essentials and what questions to ask. When the citizens of our country are to make a responsible decision on which party to choose, they can benefit from Francis’s detectivelike analysis. In a democracy such as ours, we naturally guard ourselves against power-hungry rulers. However, the real danger to our freedom and economic prosperity is men who are wellmeaning but without rational vision.


Regarding Diane Francis’s scorn for NDP policy resolutions since 1961, and the party’s antinuclear policy in particular, Francis should know that many people of many political persuasions have counselled caution on placing so much dependence on nuclear energy. Those warnings, many from nonsocialists, were heard long before 1961. In the wake of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, perhaps we should heed those warnings more carefully and start making better use of solar, wind and water energy. -K.W. LEW,

Lanark, Ont.

Ontario’s language battle

As an anglophone Canadian, I have to take exception to the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada (APEC) and its efforts to stamp out French in Canada (“Backlash over lan-

guage,” Canada, Aug. 17). Are its members so blind as to deny a part of Canadian identity? French is in our history and throughout our culture. It is part of what makes us very different from the United States. It is Canada’s bilingual setting that makes us more cosmopolitan than our neighbors to the south.


I had to look twice at the date on your Aug. 17 issue to make sure it wasn’t a 1950 issue I was reading. We are in the 1980s, aren’t we? The APEC doesn’t seem to know that English is universally spoken, is a better business language than any other, is flexible, adaptable, etc. What else can one say to these poor people to assure them that English will never be threatened in this country, or in the world, for that matter?

-EVELYN HUBBARD, Parry Sound, Ont.

Peter Pan’s patrimony

In your Aug. 31 issue, you refer to “Englishman J.M. Barrie” (“The Peter Pan principle,” Theatre). Being of Scottish descent, it was irritating for me to find Sir James Matthew Barrie, born at Kirriemuir, Scotland, and educated at Edinburgh University, referred to as an Englishman. Granted, he lived in London for many years, where a great deal of his inimitable writings were done, but as my Glaswegian father often quoted, “If a cat had kittens in the oven, you wouldn’t call them buns.”


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Telling the migrants’ story

Reading “A harrowing story” (Canada, Aug. 17) calls to mind how before the Second World War a boatload of German Jews went from port to port in hopes of being accepted as refugees. Because of paranoia whipped up by the media and each of the countries’ governments, the Jews were forced to return to Germany and the death camps. How can we be absolutely sure that we are not repeating history unless we allow the truth to be told? I would like to hear the migrants’ stories whole and uncensored. Since the government has not been forthcoming with details, our only other source is the media.



Immigration Minister Benoît Bouchard does not deserve the harsh criticism he received for the Walvis search (“Drawing a harder line on migrants,” Canada,

Aug. 10). Critics denounced the search from the beginning because, if the ship were discovered offshore, Canada could do little. However, Bouchard accomplished his aim and prevented a repeat appearance. His dramatic deployment stands as a stern warning that will prevent this disagreeable form of mass exodus.


Rochester, Minn.

I wonder what our collective reaction would have been if, instead of the 174 Sikhs, the Amelie had discharged the combined Czechoslovakian and Soviet national hockey teams on Nova Scotia’s shores. Would we have expected the Soviet-Canadian and Czechoslovakian-Canadian communities to post bonds for them and to pay for their transportation to Toronto and Vancouver?


I was alarmed to read that Sikh leader Harbhajan Singh Pandori welcomed 92 illegal migrants to his Toronto temple with the words, “Ninety-five per cent of Canadians are happy to have refugees because we need more people in this country.” Overpopulation—and its accompanying pollution, shortages, poverty and strife—is something Canada does not need. It has already created enough problems for India. We need more conservation and consideration

of the environment, and this is incompatible with the growth of human populations. Canada needs controlled immigration and a tighter definition of “refugee.” Also, the onus of identification should lie with the refugee applicant—no more false names, shredded passports and concocted stories of the route taken to Canada.


Delta, B.C.

On the issue of Sikh migrants, in an increasingly dangerous world, to err on the side of naïve humanity can be extremely costly. A fine line must be walked between the heart and some good sense. One wonders if our government has much of either. -DAISY DE BELLEFEUILLE, Montreal

We can take it

For whom are you publishing Maclean’s? As a mature, literate Canadian, I had always assumed that your magazine was for the adult portion of the population. It is degrading to me to think that you must delete the “uck” from Phillip Borsos’s quote in “Making a legend” (Cover, Aug. 10). If you felt the quote was worthy of inclusion, the least you could have done was allow it to stand as said.


The new art of plastic

Regarding artist Iain Baxter’s Bagged Place, his recreation of a four-room apartment in which every object and piece of furniture is wrapped in plastic (“An official guide to the periphery,” Art, Aug. 3), my husband, Jerry, and I did not realize that when we covered our living room and dining room in plastic, it could be considered art. We thought that we were painting and renovating. After viewing the “art” in this issue, I think that it should have been submitted for the April Fool’s edition. Actually, when we bought new furniture, I think that it must have been considered art too, because it came wrapped in plastic. -NANCI LYE STOKES,

Pickering, Ont.

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.