LETTERS

August 7 1989

LETTERS

August 7 1989

LETTERS

FOCUS ON RESPONSIBILITY

The article entitled “An inflamed debate” (Health, July 17) discussed every aspect of abortion, but there was no mention of preventive methods, sex education, or family planning—all of which would help to eliminate the need for abortion. Surely women must have the responsibility and control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. There are certain cases where an abortion is unfortunately necessary, but many abortions can be prevented. If Dr. Henry Morgentaler used some of his energies and medical knowledge in the direction of prevention instead of cure, his clinics would perhaps be acceptable and worthwhile.

Enfys Moorhouse, Castlegar, B.C.

REVIEWING COMPENSATION

Diane Francis’s column “Costly help for the wounded” Quly 10) focuses on the cost of workplace injuries to employers and the limited number of abuse cases. Yet no amount of tinkering with the present Workers’ Compensation Board system will erase the problems of those who have already suffered the effects of workplace hazards. Only immediate attention to prevention by government, employers and workers can reduce the future cost of workers’ compensation. Employers’ demands for cuts in workers’ compensation costs and their resistance to preventive occupational health and safety measures are incompatible and unacceptable.

James Robillard, President, Local 503, Canadian Union of Public Employees,

Ottawa

Please allow me to show Diane Francis through some of Toronto’s factories and construction sites where hard hats and safety shoes are not used, safety eyewash units are not provided, and rickety stairs and hazardous clutter are the norm. If she slips and injures a knee because of puddles of oil and grease, perhaps our benevolent system will consider an exception on her behalf.

Donald A. Fraser, Brampton, Ont.

MAGAZINE CRISIS

While your article “A golden age for magazines” (Cover, July 17) was mostly accurate, I question the theory and the strained attempt to prove it. In Canada, the industry is facing some of its biggest crises in years. The federal government will cut the postal subsidy by $45 million, more than the entire annual

profits of the magazine publishing industry. And for the first time in history, readers may have to pay tax on their magazine purchases, thanks to Finance Minister Michael Wilson’s goods and services tax. Not even Margaret Thatcher taxes reading. While Maclean ’s was trumpeting the arrival of a few U.S. magazines, Canadian magazines were folding. A golden age, indeed.

Doug Bennet, Mississauga, Ont.

BELEAGUERED CO-OPERATIVES

It is ironic that Maclean ’s chooses to educate Canadians about the democratic nature of the worker co-operative movement through the Soviet example (“Soviet profits,” Business, July 17), when Canadian workers have for years been struggling for control of their workplace. While the co-operative movement is attempting to become a more influential player in the Canadian economy, many government and private-sector policies impede this development. In many ways, Canadian worker co-operatives, like their Soviet counterparts, must face an economic system based on hierarchical and centralized control that is loath to give real economic power to workers.

Franz Hartmann, Toronto

LALONDE'S BRAVERY

Cheers to Donny Lalonde (“Giving up the fight,” People, June 12) for telling the world why he is retiring—as a victim of child abuse, he can no longer justify fighting. That’s braver than stepping into the ring.

Kristine Love, Nassau, Bahamas

LETTERS

THE MELTING POT

As with most of your cover themes, your article on Canada’s “ethnic mosaic” (“An angry racial backlash,” July 10) seems to be well-researched and well-written. One aspect of the problem, however, has been overlooked. In Canada, we live next door to what is probably the contemporary world’s outstanding experiment with that ethnic mosaic problem— the United States’ “melting pot.” It has now been “melting” for several generations. Unfortunately, the results have not been encouraging. Measurement may be made in terms of crime statistics, family breakdown and moral

corruption. A study of Canada’s current troubles with its “ethnic mosaic” is badly needed.

Harold A. Wills, Toronto

I read with both concern and hope “An angry racial backlash.” My concern and deep regret originate from the views of a vocal minority of white Canadians espousing racial prejudice and intolerance. It is my view that this regrettable reaction is the result of fossilized values and ignorance of the modern imperative of globalization in human co-operation and coexistence for our survival and well-being. We are a nation of immigrants who adopted Canada for a better life at different times in our history. We are richer for our acceptance of those who sought economic well-being and personal liberty in our land endowed with relative affluence and democratic tradition. These immigrants have played and continue to play a major role in Canadian social, cultural and economic development despite hardships including racial prejudice, abuse of human rights

and social dislocation. Racial intolerance is the result of stereotyping others about whom we know little and assume a lot. I am encouraged by the Canadian government’s efforts in promoting multiculturalism and racial harmony.

Tarsem Singh Purewal, Ottawa

“An angry racial backlash”? Hardly. Contrary to the assertion of Kevin Doyle in his editorial (“A faded national dream,” July 10), Canada’s ability to maintain harmony with minority groups has never been “one of the nation’s great successes.” In fact, Canada has a long and consistent record of racism. The initial and continued treatment of our native peoples, the

pre-Confederation black slave trade, the exploitation of Chinese railway builders, the wartime internment of Japanese-Canadians and, more recently, the government’s warning to premiers to avoid contacts with some Canadian Sikh organizations are a few of the more wellknown examples. The real news is that the media and the government are long overdue in recognizing the profoundly racist nature of Canadian society and giving the problem the attention and priority it demands.

Susan O’Donnell, Montreal

When I immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1949, I found that all newcomers were lumped together under the derogatory title of “DP” and that the only jobs we could have, regardless of training or education, were the ones no one else wanted and that some of the housing made available to us was inferior to the worst accommodations of today. Aside from religious or ethnic organizations, no established Canadians wanted to bother with

us—except those considered to be from the wrong side of the track. One had to be careful not to accept their mores as the normal standards of the country as a whole. From my experience, the problem was not the color of our skin (we are white) but the fact that we were newcomers. Even after 40 years, and after having contributed to this society like everyone else, I find that the redneck attitude still persists, and it takes but a minor disagreement to be reminded that you are not a WASP. The Canadian mosaic is not a creation of the government but a natural consequence of the way society acts.

John W. Zandbergen, Wallaceburg, Ont.

HYPOCRISY AND GREED

Patricia Starr (“A flurry of scandals,” Canada, July 10) is not the real culprit in this latest of many scandals, which continue to plague our great country. She is merely a symptom of a growing malaise, which can be diagnosed as hypocrisy and greed and which seems to infect an increasing number of our politicians, business leaders and, yes, even athletes. I put mergers, leveraged buy-outs, and doping in sports in the same category as that of politicians and their advisers/hacks “on the take.” When can we make ethics a compulsory subject in our education system?

John Grimshaw, Campbellville, Ont.

CANADA IN BRIEF

After perusing “Portrait of two nations” (Special Report, July 3), I feel compelled to respond. While Canadians seem to have an ongoing interest in the United States, it is sad to say that Americans do not return the favor. However, it is not completely the citizens’ fault. News coverage of Canadian matters is practically nil; the Free Trade Agreement— the subject of so much controversy for Canadians—received approximately six lines in a “World in Brief” section of the Wichita EagleBeacon when it was signed. Please don’t judge this country by its cover, however. There are people like me in the United States who care about what happens in Canada.

Lesley A. Carter, Augusta, Kan.

LEADING BROKER

In your article on Hong Kong in your June 19 issue (“Fear in the colony,” Business) you refer to Martin Atkins as a “leading Toronto real estate developer.” May I point out that Mr. Atkins is a leading Toronto real estate broker.

Candace Williams, Martin Atkins Ltd., _Toronto

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., 777Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7.