LETTERS

October 23 1989

LETTERS

October 23 1989

LETTERS

SPECIAL TREATMENT

Your article “A down-home hero: Bombardier is taking Quebec to the world” (Business, Sept. 11) should have been titled “Bombardier is taking Canada to the cleaners.” When Ottawa pays them $150 million more for 2,700 army trucks than it would have paid a U.S. firm and then gives them the CF-18 jet fighter maintenance contract at a much higher price than a Winnipeg firm bid, I don’t think Mulroney’s nine-per-cent Goods and Services Tax will be enough to pay for the ever-increasing amount of money (our money) that is being poured into Quebec.

Robert F. Saunders, Cobble Hill, B.C.

LACK OF VISION

Francis Fukuyama’s lack of vision (“Stopping time,” Ideas, Oct. 2) is breathtaking. How can a political scientist mistake the biases of his own time and place—consumerist America—for the final achievement of history? More likely, it will go the way of the empires of the past. And how can he claim the United States, with all its gross inequalities of wealth, is a “classless” society? Fukuyama’s pretensions will amuse the world beyond Washington and will ultimately—to use his words—be “unmasked by history.”

Anne Emery, Halifax

FROM A ‘HIGH HORSE’

In her Oct. 2 column “Marching bravely towards recession,” Diane Francis states that a high-priced Canadian dollar pushing exports down “is singularly good news” and that those who work for steel mills are “misguided.” Obviously, she does not have to con-

CORRECTIONS

In “The tax battle” (Canada, Oct. 2), Maclean’s incorrectly quoted Delta, B.C., liquor store clerk Benjamin Wolfe, who was collecting signatures for a petition against the government’s proposed Goods and Services Tax, as saying: “We are starting a rebellion.” In fact, Wolfe said that he was “not starting a rebellion.” Maclean’s regrets the error.

In the Oct. 16 issue, Maclean’s reported that Gordon Ashworth, former aide to Ontario Premier David Peterson, “admitted that he had received a free refrigerator and paint job.” In fact, Ashworth said that he was not aware until the day that he resigned last June that he had not received invoices for, and had not paid for, those items.

cern herself with working for a company that relies on exporting its products. She seems quite content to sit on the neoconservative high horse and preach about her debt-free home and stash of treasury bills.

Mark Lewans, Saskatoon

ON SOLID GROUND

In your review of A Vision of Britain-. A Personal View of Architecture, by the Prince of Wales (“Royal disdain,” Books, Oct. 2), I think you have missed the point. While I agree with Prince Charles when he says that it is dangerous to lose sight of the past, I do not agree that, by holding such a view, he is turning away from the future. Having seen Sir Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, I am not convinced that such modem examples as the Place de Ville in Ottawa or the CN Tower in Toronto will hold the same value for the future.

J. Gregory Keane, Charlottetown

Prince Charles’s suggestion that architect Cesar Pelli’s buildings might be too vast netted the reply from a Pelli flunky: “With all due respect, Sir, medieval cathedrals would never have been built if people had taken that line.” Your reviewer describes the reply as “incisive.” On the contrary: it was idiotic. To compare the monstrous carbuncles of Canary Wharf with the majesty of St. Paul’s is grotesquely inept.

David Cobb, Toronto

LETTERS

OFF THE GUEST LIST?

This reader is puzzled by Peter C. Newman’s gleeful tone in “The spectacular fall of a titan” (Business Watch, Sept. 25). His taking delight in the challenges facing Robert Campeau leads me to surmise that Newman was overlooked on the guest list for the “mansion-warming. ’ ’

Paul A. Kenny, Toronto

DELUSIONARY SELF-DELUSION

I found Barbara Amiel’s contention—that only leftists engage in self-delusion—delusionary at best and stupid at worst (“Double standards on Canada’s left,” Column, Sept. 25). A more realistic observation is that extremists at both ends of the spectrum tend to support and propagate ideas and actions with which they agree. One need go no further for proof than to analyse Amiel’s right-wing approach to every issue she comments on.

Gary Levine, Winnipeg

TALENT AND BEAUTY

In “Cinema of rage” (Films, Sept. 25), the reviewer helps to further the prejudicial and ludicrous notion that director Euzhan Palcy’s good looks should diminish her apparent capacity to something less than the intelligent, strongminded and obviously capable director that she is (“Petite, with exquisite features, she looks more like an actress than a director capable of corailing such strong talents as Brando and Sutherland”). Would the reviewer state that Robert Redford looks more like a brainless model than a talented director? I think not.

Monique Maisonneuve, Ottawa

ONLY IN THEIR DREAMS

Your article “The return of the West” (Business, Sept. 18) is news to those of us in rural Manitoba. The “bumper” crops exist only in our dreams. Our economy may be getting more diversified, but the diversification must be located in urban areas because it certainly is not in southwestern Manitoba. We do have oil to augment agriculture in our corner, but it is an old, low-producing field, and the larger companies prefer to invest their dollars in more profitable ventures in Alberta, especially since the latest budget cancelled all drilling incentives, and the price of crude is volatile.

Sarah Roberts, President,

Virden Chamber of Commerce, Virden, Man.

LETTERS

VALUABLE WARNING

Has no media person a kind word for Erik Nielsen (“Ottawa unbuttoned,” Opening Notes, July 31)? Has it not occurred to anyone that he never denied being a hypocrite or said that he was superior, ethically or otherwise, to the Tory cabinet ministers whom he raped in his book? I have not read, heard or seen any media reference to what I regard as The House Is Not a Homds great value as a warning to cabinet ministers to “keep their noses clean.”

K. Emerson Eaton,

Chester Basin, N.S.

BEHIND THE TIMES

You have misspelled the name of the Chicago Cubs shortstop in your Oct. 2 issue (“The myths of autumn,” Cover). The photo caption on page 46 should read “Shawon Dunston,” not “Shawn Dunstan.” The photo is also misleading in that the action it depicts did not take place this season. Dan Driessen, the sliding St. Louis Cardinal in the photo, has not played for that team for two years.

JeffHale, London, Ont.

COMPARING TAXES

In regards to “The tax in effect” (Canada, Oct. 2), it would be interesting to learn if those nations with taxes similar to our proposed Goods and Services Tax also are subjected to high income-tax rates, provincial sales taxes, municipal taxes, and tax on tax.

Gloria Johnston, Thornhill, Ont.

GIN-INDUCED WORDINESS?

Allan Fotheringham’s column “Sorry, it must have been the gin” (Sept. 18) contains three one-sentence paragraphs of 103,72 and 77 words, respectively. By the time the reader reaches the end of one of the paragraphs, he has forgotten how it began. It must have been the gin.

Gareth Maybee, Mississauga, Ont.

REPEATING MISINFORMATION

I am surprised that in “Road show for reform” (Canada, Sept. 18), Maclean’s should still repeat the misinformation, circulated before the “Report of the Forget Commission on Unemployment Insurance” was published, that the commission advised Ottawa to “cancel special benefits in regions of high unemployment as part of a plan to save

LETTERS

$3 billion.” The Forget Commission made no such recommendation and gave no such advice. Rather, it assumed that there would be no reduction in federal expenditure nor in the amount of funds going to each province, but that the regional extended benefits be used for programs, like income supplementation, better designed to meet the needs of the people and communities in these regions. It also stipulated that there be no reduction in these regional benefits until the new programs were ready for implementation. I suggest that your writers read at least the supplementary statement to the report written by Mr. Forget and me.

Mose 0. Morgan, St. John ’s, Nfld.

LONG-STANDING RESENTMENT

Thank you Robert Shepherd (“Wooing the English?” Letters, Sept. 25). You have expressed clearly what I have long resented— being referred to as “English” by politicians and journalists who should know better.

Harry N. Harris, Newcastle, N.B.

DECLARATION OF WAR

I would like to point out a distortion of historical fact in your article “Moves to trim the U.S. role” (Cover, Sept. 4). The article states, “Only after Japanese bombers obliterated the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, did Congress declare war on Japan and join the struggle against the other Axis powers.” This is not totally true. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt could still not convince Congress to declare war on Germany. It was Germany’s declaration of war on the United States that brought the two countries into a state of war.

Jonathan Macfarland, Edmonton

SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS

Your cover on “Tomorrow’s world” (Sept.

11) shows the extraordinary respect we have for base 10 numbers and a calendar derived therefrom. Does Jan. 1,2000, have any more significance than the odometer on my car reaching 100,000 km? The Buddhists are beyond 2500, the Ethiopians lag a few years, and the Moslems also differ. The Chinese probably laugh. How narrow-minded we are to lock our vision into such counting.

Neil Thomas, Mallorytown, 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. M5W1A7.