November 6 1989


November 6 1989



In Charles Lynch’s hilarious review of my book, he repeatedly accuses me of pro-Grit bias (“Hostess supreme,” Oct. 30), but try telling that to John Turner. And, as a former colleague at Southam News, Mr. Lynch should remember advising me on my story about Pierre Trudeau’s final patronage fling in June, 1984, a story that helped the Tories win a massive majority in the September election. Oddly enough, long before I became a reporter, I did work for a political party, the Conservatives. Now, I am just your run-of-the-mill equalopportunity offender; not anti-Tory, just antisleaze.

Stevie Cameron, Toronto


Allan Fotheringham, in his Oct. 9 column (“North Hatley’s Old World charm”), has hit the nail on the head—apparently without even realizing it. The reason the United Empire Loyalists left the United States was the same reason the British were invited to leave so many of their former colonies: their insufferable, condescending, colonial attitude. The people of Quebec have simply endured them longer than most.

Elise Amiot, Baie DVrfé, Que.


This is, indeed, a true modern odyssey, to place Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in Kenya (“A modem odyssey,” Business, Oct. 16).

Alves Almeida, Mississauga, Ont.


Barbara Amiel’s column of Oct. 23, “In defence of the freedom to spend,” about the spending habits of the rich, should have been titled, “In defence of the freedom to be blind to the system of domination, which I help to perpetuate because it serves me well.”

Mary Anne Moser, Calgary


I was gratified to read “The dangers of dieting” (Cover, Oct. 9). You commendably presented the facts about “diet-induced obesity,” the value of exercising over dieting and the exaggeration of “risk factors” associated with fatness. Yet the article’s conclusion still promotes the myth that we should be “at war”

with our bodies. Why present the facts and then hold out false “reassurances” that then can be ignored? Chronic, “yo-yo” dieters increase their cardiovascular risks, lose the ability to sense their bodies’ hunger and satiety signals and, in 95 per cent of cases, regain all their lost weight. To suggest that there is a war to be won defeats the purpose of the article.

Douglas J. Zimmer, Woodinville, Wash.


The dream of the nation was based upon a strong east-west alliance. This unity was to be maintained through east-west trade and facilitated by the national railroad, which would cross the country (“Cutting back Via,” Canada, Oct. 16). It scares me that Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government, through its freetrade policy and its decision to cut back on Via service, is eroding the foundation upon which Canada became a country.

Barbara J. Windfeld, Goderich, Ont.


Bravo! “Gorbachev’s ‘coup’” (World, Oct.

2) raised my opinion of Mikhail Gorbachev. This man has changed the future for his country and the world. For once, there is a person in power who is operating for the good of his country, not for the good of himself and his political cohorts. Today’s society must have room for new ideas and change. Gorbachev has taken one giant step closer to a new Soviet Union. The Western world should not criticize the man; it should applaud for an encore.

Charlie Hume, Victoria


Your article on “The return of the West” (Business, Sept. 18) is misleading—especially the photo showing combines bringing in “a bumper crop on the resurging Prairies.” There is no bumper crop. The rains during harvest have done a lot of damage to the quality of some grains. My own wheat has been reduced from top quality No. 1 to No. 3. All grain and oilseed prices are down from last year. In the past five years, 2xh million acres have been transferred from ownership to rental status. Your article makes no mention of the hardship and distress being experienced by farm families and their communities.

Leo G. Kurtenbach, Cudworth, Sask.

After years of uncertainty and economic hardship, the imminent return of a prosperous West is encouraging. However, not so encouraging is Alberta and British Columbia’s approach to rejuvenation. Their efforts to strengthen the pulp-and-paper sector reflect an approach of short-term gain for long-term pain. Spin-off jobs, profits and an influx of capital should not preclude the consideration of the environmental problems that will last for generations.

Greg Enright, Hamilton

You must have viewed the bumper grain crop on the resurging Prairies through rose-tinted glasses. It is to be hoped that the predictions of economic renewal in the West were made with these same glasses removed.

Casse A. Jones, Willow dale, Ont.,

B.C. Finance Minister Melville Couvelier’s statement that “We might well create a greater economic independence from Canada” sent me scrambling for the latest atlas edition. Gosh, could our geopolitical boundaries have been drawn incorrectly all these years?

Wayne Liebau, Fenwick, Ont.


Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has announced the appointment of Ramon Hnatyshyn as the next Governor General of Canada (“The Queen’s man,” Canada, Oct. 16). Hnatyshyn is unilingual—in English, of course. Can we imagine a unilingual francophone being appointed Governor General? As we say in French, as usual, it is a case of deux poids, deux mesures—two weights, two measures.

Georges Lessard, Hull, Que.


Even after three years out of politics, Jean Chrétien is still No. 1 in the hearts of many Canadians (“Chrétien tests the pool,” Canada, Oct. 9). The same sort of mania 21 years ago propelled Pierre Trudeau to the pinnacle of his political career. Let us hope that, before Chrétien dives into the leadership race, “Chrétienmania” does not alter his perception of himself as it did that of his former boss. Chrétien wants to test the water, Trudeau thought he could walk on it.

Rik Gates, Quebec City


In “The new helmsmen” (Broadcasting, Oct. 9), you state that the directors of the CBC’s 10 regions have been fighting with network chiefs and the board of directors over how to accommodate government-ordered cutbacks of $140 million. That is wrong. No fight took place. No fight is taking place. In fact, regional directors have been working closely with network chiefs to try to deal with the cutbacks. We hope that, together, we can find solutions, just as, together, our commitment is to a world-class broadcasting service for all Canadians.

Ron Smith,

CBC Regional Director for Saskatchewan,



Your article “Turbulent era” (Cover, Sept. 4) states that the first Canadian troops arrived in Britain on Dec. 23, 1939. That is inaccurate. My brother arrived in Glasgow on Dec. 17,1939, aboard the Duchess of Bedford with the Saskatoon Light Infantry, and an advance party was there even earlier.

Norman Arscott, Sidney, B.C.

Canada’s part in the Second World War has been retouched not only by time, but also by writers, journalists, historians and even veterans who have been brainwashed by the U.S. media (“The ties of blood,” Cover, Sept. 4). Royal Canadian Air Force bomber crews went on “trips,” “sorties” or, more commonly, “operations,” but never, never on “missions.” That was strictly an American term. We would have had trouble thinking of ourselves as missionaries.

Lome Gardiner, Stanley Bridge, P.E.I.

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.


I am returning the eight-odd pages from the issue that deals with baseball (“The myths of autumn,” Cover, Oct. 2). I do not want to have them in my possession. This one shrill voice in the wilderness is my protest against the media-driven craze over baseball. Are Canadians really so enamored with a sport that scant few of our native sons play professionally? Are our national issues less gripping than Oil Can Boyd, Mark Langston, Mookie Wilson or Tommy Lasorda? I can’t get worked up over a sport that drags on interminably as sportscasters fill dead air with esoteric drivel and stats. Am I the only Canadian not addicted? Let this letter serve as a rallying cry: Canadians, just say no to baseball.

Terry Warner, St-Hubert, Que.

Who would ever have guessed that we have an ex-politician’s motivational methods to thank for the Blue Jays’ recent accomplishments (“The view from Section 117,” Cover, Oct. 2)? Heaping abuse on members of the home team—what a cunning ploy. Surely, Larry Grossman’s shrewdness should have been rewarded at the ballot box. But perhaps it’s an application of the old Japanese axiom: “Better a baseball has-been than a political never-was.”

Bob Beazley, Uxbridge, Ont.


Elvio Del Zotto has been working on the committee to sell tickets for the federal Liberal party’s annual Confederation Dinner from Day 1 (“Dinner for 2,000,” Opening Notes, Oct. 9). He was not, as you reported, just recruited last week. Your reference to the loss of a list of 80 names is also erroneous. We always had the hard-copy list. For one day, the list was locked in the computer awaiting the proper password. Did it ever occur to you to check with the source before printing such an erroneous report?

William H. Somerville, Toronto


In a world permeated with starvation, homelessness, violence and apathy, it is disturbing that two people in a position to make a difference find “frustration” and “anger” in the status of Canadian gardens (“Backyard pride,” People, Oct. 2). I suggest to Hilary Weston and Nicole Eaton that they find a better vantage point than the inside of their gardens from which to view the world.

Andrew P. Davis, Ottawa