This letter is to congratulate you for the superb April 11 cover package, “Engineers of the mind.” For our ill relatives and for us, their families, ongoing research is vital as we live with the constant hope that technology such as PET and MRI will provide answers we are confident exist. They would allow, if not a cure, at least improved, less toxic medications for better control of schizophrenia. Not incidentally, I also write as a mother of 23-year-old identical twin sons who became ill at age 17, within months of each other. This fact, in the opinion of many, clearly reflects the genetic aspect of psychosis and is offered for those who continue to question a physical cause.
-LINDA THIBODEAU, Executive Committee Member, B.C. Friends of Schizophrenics, Vancouver
Your recent cover story “Engineers of the mind” provided the Canadian public with grounds for another misconception concerning epilepsy. The reference to epilepsy would lead anyone unfamiliar with the disease to conclude that “the brains of epilepsy victims” have “damaged temporal lobes.” This would then lead to the false generalization that brain damage is the cause of epilepsy. The researchers referred to are dealing with cases where a cause for seizures can be identified. Not only can damage occur in other areas of the brain, but brain damage is only one cause of epilepsy. Fifty per
cent of cases are classified as idiopathic—the cause is unknown. Hippocrates knew more about epilepsy than most people know today. Epilepsy is the oldest disease known to man and is still the least understood. Public education is difficult enough for Canada’s underfunded epilepsy associations. Providing fuel for a misconception in a national magazine such as Maclean's is unfair competition.
In the March 21 issue, Peter C. Newman suggests that the bankruptcy of Massey Combines Corp. adds weight to anti-free trade sentiments as it was not restricted by duties since the late 1930s (“Requiem for a heavyweight,” Business Watch). In my view, Newman illustrates the need to put into effect the free trade agreement. First, the agricultural implements industry is only one of the many unprotected industries that comprise over 75 per cent of Canada-U.S. trade that already moves across the border duty free. And if Japanese industries are out-competing many of their North American counterparts (“North America at bargain prices,” Stewart Guest Column, March 21), should we not be looking toward increased rationalization of industries and therefore greater efficiency? With the rising threat of U.S. protectionism, Canada must not adopt inward-looking trade policies. Instead, Canada must secure its access to the world’s most lucrative market, a market that has made the Canadian economy one of the strongest in the world.
-PETER CLEARY, Ottawa
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A more fashionable label
As a representative of Ontario apparel manufacturers, I am always pleased by any positive media attention drawn to our industry (“New relief for the rag trade,” Business/Economy, April 4). My only source of displeasure is your choice of the inappropriate and dated term “rag trade.” Surely, after all these years, a more suitable term could be found to describe our dynamic and progressive fashion industry.
-CHRIS S. KUZIK, Toronto Dress & Sportswear Manufacturers' Guild Inc., Toronto
Defending our Achilles heel
I have just read of the efforts of U.S. Admiral Kinnaird McKee to prevent Canada’s acquisition of British nuclearpowered submarines, which use U.S. propulsion technology (“Keeping Canada out of the sub club,” Canada, April 11). While normally I would decry interference from south of the border, in this case I am overjoyed. The military is embarking this country on a buying binge, which we cannot afford financially or morally. It is my own personal feeling that we must cut back on our misguided armament programs, remove our country from military entanglements and proceed to build a small
coastguard/sovereignty patrol force using sensibly sized surface ships. The money saved could then be used to increase our efforts to help the hurt and starving around the world. Of that I would be truly proud. I will support with my vote the politician who is willing and able to follow this road.
-HUGH F. MOWAT, Montreal
It was shocking to read in “Keeping Canada out of the sub club” that Admiral Kinnaird McKee of the U.S. navy is such an adamant critic of our country’s initiative to purchase a small fleet of nuclear submarines. Their part-time intended use for patrol in the Canadian Arctic, thereby greatly strengthening our ability to protect our sovereignty in a region of the country that has traditionally been our defensive Achilles heel, as well as fortifying our participation in Norad, and by extension NATO, has obviously hit a raw nerve in McKee and others of his ilk.
-RAYMOND J. L. BRISEBOIS, Cap Pelé, N.B.
Timing the end of the world
Doesn’t poor old Newfoundland suffer enough from jokes about it without the help from Double Daylight Saving Time (“Time out on the rock,” Canada, March 28). One can almost picture the guy with the doomsday sign pacing the street, “The world ends at noon, 3:15 in Newfoundland.” -EDWIN GOULD,
Congratulations on paying more attention to the environmental concerns (“Cheap conservation at $25 an acre,” Environment, April 4). Yet you do not mention the role played by people and organizations in developed countries that encourage rain forest destruction. For your next article, you should consider the actions of the World Bank or fast-food chains that destroy rain forest to raise cattle. The problem is not totally within the Third World countries, but here in North America as well. It is as close as your nearest hamburger outlet. —BRENT FREDERICK, Pembroke, Ont.
Tuning out Turner
With reference to Ted Turner’s claim of half a million subscribers to CNN north of the border (“Adventurer in cable TV,” Q&A: Ted Turner, April 11), may I point out that there are thousands of unwilling subscribers like myself who must include CNN as a way of receiving Arts and Entertainment and First Choice. Due to the special packages offered by our local companies, there is no other way to receive the channels we wish without including those we don’t. If I had my choice, I would not receive CNN. I do not watch it, do not want it and would prefer not to have access to it.
-ROGER WEBBER-TAYLOR, Ottawa
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.
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