LETTERS

LETTERS

September 11 1989
LETTERS

LETTERS

September 11 1989

LETTERS

TRAGEDY IN LEBANON

Your Aug. 14 editorial, “The Shame of the West,” blames the victim and excuses the criminal. The shame of the West? You must be kidding. It’s the shame of the East. Kidnapping and murder are the crimes, not of the United States, but of Lebanon. If we were able to free all the hostages, there would still be thousands more to be captured and held for ransom. The hostages are innocent people.

Ellie Carr, Regina

The execution of U.S. marine Lt.-Col. William Higgins and the death threats to the remaining hostages have stirred emotion throughout the world (“Hostages to terror,” Cover, Aug. 14). But the world seems unconcerned with the destruction and misery that Lebanese civilians have suffered for 15 years. The Lebanese are not fighting a civil war—it is a war for sovereignty and human rights.

Joseph Waked, Cleveland, Ohio

CANADIANIZING ENERGY

Your revisionist history of Canada’s energy policy (“Controlling energy,” Special Report, Aug. 28) suggests that I led the federal government away from nationalistic policies when I was energy minister. In fact, Canadian ownership of energy resources—contributed to by the policies I brought forward—reached its peak during my ministry. As minister responsible for Canada-U.S. free trade negotiations, I ensured that Canadiamzation policies were grandfathered in the agreement. Foreigners cannot acquire healthy Canadian firms with gross assets of $5 million or more, and frontier developments must be 50-per-cent Canadian-owned before a production licence is issued. These policies hardly represent a “shift away from a nationalistic stance,” as your article states. You sanctimoniously confuse Canadian ownership with my actions in replacing the National Energy Program with a market-price system that has served Canadians well. Your suggestion that the NEP, which robbed western producers to subsidize eastern consumers, was more “nationalistic” is deeply disturbing in a country where unity is still to be achieved.

Pat Carney, Vancouver

DESERVES MORE CREDIT

Engrossed with “embarrassing incidents” during the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of York (“Discordant notes,” Royalty, July 31), you failed to mention the reception held in Ottawa for patients with amyotrophic

lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). As the patron of the United Kingdom’s Motor Neuron Disease Association, the duchess had requested this opportunity to meet ALS patients. Through more thoughtful reporting, you could have made more people aware of this devastating disease and given deserved credit to the Duchess of York for her role in the MNDA.

Marion Armstrong, Ottawa

A TREASURE IN PERIL

During a recent transcontinental trip on Via Rail, I learned of the impending cuts to be made in service (“Derailing Via,” Cover, Aug. 21). Nothing is more telling of the Canadian experience than a rail journey between Montreal and Vancouver. Nor is there a better goodwill ambassador for Canada than the Via employee. Were my nation to possess such a treasure, I would be very loath to part with it.

Representative Jim Elliott, Montana House of Representatives, Trout Creek, Mont.

When I recently crossed Canada by train, I was very disappointed. On the return trip from Vancouver, our train arrived in Toronto five hours late. Only one car was devoted to nonsmokers, the bathrooms were appalling, and the air conditioning broke down. Some crew members displayed tardiness and a lack of concern for the passengers. I would not like to see the trains discontinued and I would travel by train again—if the service were upgraded.

Rita Carrier, Waterloo, 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.

REALISTIC MAJORITY

The most encouraging thing I have seen during the abortion debate has been your “Letters” page of Aug. 14. While basically prochoice, I too am disturbed by the extreme nature of the recently publicized cases. If your collection of letters truly reflects Canadian thought, I have great hope that a rational and fair compromise can be reached. It won’t satisfy everyone, but it will reflect a concerned and realistic majority.

Jill Horning, Dawson Creek, B.C.

In response to “Abortion on trial” (Cover, July 31), the medical community now has the technology and skill to transplant essential organs such as the heart, liver and lungs. We should be able to use those skills to develop a third option for women. If abortion is not acceptable to a woman’s conscience, why should she not have the choice of transplanting the fetus from her uterus to one that is more receptive? The decision to have or not to have an abortion must remain a personal one with the woman having the final say, if indeed she requested another’s opinion. Once the right of decision is removed from her, society has revoked her autonomy.

Ricki Leighton, North Vancouver

Shame on you Maclean ’s, for putting Barbara Dodd on your cover (July 31). She has it made now—TV offers, books, modelling jobs, thanks to Maclean’s. All those women who want abortions should be forced to have these unwanted babies, and all those anti-abortionists should be forced to raise them. That would give these people more to do with their time and solve everyone’s problem.

H. Johnson, Peace River, Alta.

I am disappointed to see pro-choice people referred to as “pro-abortion” in Maclean’s (“Abortion in the courts,” Canada, Aug. 7). I know of nobody who enjoys abortion. Rather, pro-choicers believe in abortion as one of many options, along with better education, adoption and the like. Pro-abortion must have been dreamed up by anti-abortionists trying to instil the same emotions as the often-used phrase “unborn child.”

Rex Dayton, Moose Jaw, Sask.

Until recently, I never knew what the words “immorality” and “contempt of court” meant. Now I do. The immorality of this matter is not the abortion procedure itself but placing a legal sanction on an activity which is clearly not

illegal in Canada. A recent court decision in Ontario and the appellate decision in Quebec are nothing less than sheer contempt for the Supreme Court of Canada—our country’s shrine to enlightenment and individual liberty.

Michael Higgins, London, Ont.

SIDE TRIP JUSTIFIED

A number of the 18,000 Mennonites Energy Minister Jake Epp visited in Bolivia hold or claim Canadian citizenship (“Summertime side trip,” Opening Notes, Aug. 21). In addition, some may trace back to the postSecond World War emigration from Manitoba’s Niverville-Steinbach area, which Epp calls home. To these people, Epp would be a credible representative of Canada’s government, especially since he can speak Low German. A shared religious heritage does not preclude political or official relationships.

Victor Dirks, Kingsville, Ont.

UNCHARITABLE CRITICISM

It was disappointing to read Allan Fotheringham’s column in which he stated that Canadian Pacific Ltd. has never provided support for charitable organizations (“A confused agenda for selling the country,” Aug. 14). Canadian Pacific is one of the largest corporate charitable donors in Canada. In 1988, we donated almost $3 million to approximately 400 organizations. In 1989, we will make donations at an increased level. Canadian Pacific’s charitable-donations program endeavors, largely without publicity, to enhance the quality of life for all Canadians. Please be assured that Canadian Pacific is, and will continue to be, a good Canadian corporate citizen.

Kenneth S. Benson, Vice-President, Personnel and Administration, CP Ltd., Montreal

I was outraged to read Allan Fotheringham’s column. Both Canadian Pacific and the royals are a part of Canada’s history. In a day and age when newspapers are full of tragedy, the royals make reading the newspapers something to look forward to. Fergie is a trim, fit young woman. Who does Fotheringham think he is to judge somebody on the basis of their weight?

Michaela Rodrigue, Negean, Ont.

DISPELLING PESKY MYTHS

Just when you thought it was safe to make vacation plans, New Brunswick hires a pricey New York ad agency to dispel the pesky myth “that there is not much here” (“On the road to success,” Opening Notes, July 17). A big job just waiting to be done, but will it mean

heavy stateside advertising of Moncton’s Magnetic Hill and Saint John’s Reversing Falls, two of the great tourist robberies of all time? If so, as a transplanted Maritimer, I must live in constant danger of being held personally accountable by disillusioned California tourists. And if these naive souls press on to savor the aptly named tidal bore or perhaps an Elvis revival show in (historic) Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre of the Arts, then I’m really in for it.

Rick Butler, Venice, Calif.

UKRAINIAN DISCONTENT

The spread of strikes to the heartland of the Ukraine has unleashed a long-suppressed dissatisfaction among Ukrainian coal miners (“Summer of discontent,” World, July 31). But the mass insurgences that left hundreds dead in 1962 and 1972 are reminders that labor discontent in the Ukraine has a long and bloody history. In 1977, Volodymyr Klebanov, a Ukrainian coal miner, began a free trade union to improve the conditions in which miners and their families were living and working. Barely two months later, he was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital. A similar fate befell other labor union activists. Present-day unrest in the Ukraine’s mines is the result of decades of Soviet neglect of workers’ rights. The Ukrainian miners have sent a signal of nonconfidence to the Communist party hacks who have made their lives full of anguish.

Andrew Hluchowecky, Ottawa

ADMISSION FEES NEEDED

Your item “A price tag on history” (Opening Notes, July 31) did not accurately present the attitude of the Canadian War Museum to the question of admission fees. The museum fully supports the admission fee policy and has implemented it. Canada deserves a national military heritage institution at least equal to those of Australia, New Zealand and Britain. That is a goal to which the museum is committed, and the admission fees will help us reach it.

Victor Suthren, Director, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

CASH COWS

In “A Prairie deadlock” (Canada, Aug. 7) you state that the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan “became a valuable source of revenue for the government, earning as much as $167 million in 1980.” You clearly leave the reader with the impression that the provincial treasury was the recipient of these “profits.” Nothing is further from the truth. Over the 13 years the Sas-

katchewan government held investment in the potash industry, total dividends received by the province have amounted to $228 million—an average of $17.5 million per year. You also failed to address the cost to support the investment. How can anyone present an accurate financial picture if you fail to consider the cost of funds? Since the government made this investment 13 years ago, the cost of funds to support the project has been $563 million. You suggest that these potash mines have been cash cows for the province of Saskatchewan. Nothing is further from the truth.

Kevin Avram, Regina

‘BUNCH OF YAHOOS’

In reference to “An emerging male backlash” (The sexes, Aug. 14), I would like to point out that men who oppose feminist causes are not a “bunch of yahoos” as alluded to by Martin Dufresne. From what I have seen, in fact, the opposite seems to be true. As the yahoos sit back with their beer and TV sports, confident in their male supremacy stereotype, the clear-headed and hard-working men who are against extreme feminism have woken up to the realities of the 1980s.

David J. Koivisto, Hamilton