At last, a star on the Canadian horizon (“The new face of the NDP,” Cover, Dec. 11). Audrey McLaughlin, I hope, will give Canada the kick it needs. Thatcherism may be bad, but nothing compared with Canada’s sellout to U.S. multinationals. With McLaughlin as prime minister, your expatriate talent might return home.
Michael Fisher, London, England
Audrey McLaughlin says that “Social democrats in Canada and Europe have run governments with balanced budgets.” I laugh. Hasn’t McLaughlin heard of what the NDP left behind once they had finished with British Columbia?
Marguerite Ravn, Vancouver
Your coverage of the NDP convention reached a new level of hypocrisy. The fact that Howard McCurdy is black was a major handicap in his attempt at the nomination. By neglecting to mention the race element, you did a good job of hiding your head in the sand. Racism is a problem in Canada; to make believe it does not exist is irresponsible.
Carlo Testa, Georgetown, Ont.
DRUGS CROSS RACIAL LINES
Your article “Battle fatigue” (Canada, Dec. 11), which described the inadequacies of courtroom facilities in the war on drugs, is an eloquent example of the need for action. I wonder, however, why your article described the four drug pedlars in one incident by their color (black) while failing to mention the color of the customer. Customers keep the business going. The war on drugs has to be fought on all fronts, from supply to demand, regardless of race or color.
HemantR. Canaran, St. Thomas, Ont.
‘A WELCOME TREAT’
As a student in Canada, and as an American, I was impressed by Fred Bruning’s “Forgive us if we feel like gloating” (Column, Dec. 4). An occasional comment on the American government’s affinity for self-adulation and general aversion for common sense is a welcome treat. It is refreshing to have one’s own sentiments expressed so well.
Christine Zeller, Toronto
Your article “Dangerous waters” (Environment, Dec. 4) reports that officials have not yet decided whether to compensate British Columbia’s shellfish fishermen for their loss of income due to closures of polluted waters close to a number of pulp-and-paper mills. Because taxpayers are generally re-
luctant to compensate industries whose income is stopped due to deliberate actions on the part of other industries, would it not be far more equitable to have the pulp-andpaper industry pick up the tab for compensation? It would be a small price to pay for past sins. What’s more, once the principle of offence-related compensation has been established, it will work in many other such cases, much to the relief of the battered taxpayer.
Rudy Loeser, Kelowna, B.C.
THE TOLL IN NICARAGUA
I am appalled by the statement in the article “The fight for Nicaragua” (World, Nov. 13) concerning recent contra activities: “Many observers said that those operations appeared to be at a tolerable level.” My god, 750 people have been murdered in the past IV2 years. What country would tolerate that level of killing? The United States? Canada?
Carl Hills, Alliston, 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.
THE OTHER SIDE OF ABUSE
As both a family lawyer and a volunteer with several children’s organizations, I have encountered false allegations of child sexual abuse, an area not addressed in “The abuse of children” (Cover, Nov. 27). Such accusations are used to blacken one party (usually the father) in custody disputes over the children. One parent (often the mother) will convince young children that normal actions of affection, discipline or hygiene have sexual intention. False accusations also come from older children who know that the accusations will have a devastating effect on the adult. The lives of the people at whom the finger is pointed will never be the same: their names are permanently suspect, they may lose their jobs or be forced to move away from a community, and they may never see their children again.
Louise P. Campbell, Calgary
LACK OF HEALTHY SKEPTICISM
My problem with “Prague’s autumn revolt” (Cover, Dec. 4), as with most journalistic appraisals of current Eastern European affairs, is its unquestioning utopian outlook. Gone is the constructive cynicism that for decades has been the hallmark of the Western press. Has the natural desire for peace and stability clouded the objectivity of the press?
Ian D. D. Livermore, Calgary
EXCESSIVE DRINKING IS NO JOKE
I found it incredible that you gave so much space to the drinking habits of hockey players (“Pass plays but no score,” Opening Notes, Dec. 7). Your article implied that excessive drinking is just a lark. Try to tell that to families who have lost loved ones in drunk-driver accidents or to diseases related to alcoholic excess.
Rev. James P. Void, Etobicoke, Ont.
MISSING OUT ON THE GREY CUP
Your coverage of the Saskatchewan-Hamilton Grey Cup game was sadly inadequate (“A heart-stopping victory,” People, Dec. 11). This year’s game was one of the best ever played, and the Grey Cup remains one of the few institutions that bring us together as Canadians. You missed a tremendous opportunity to report on this aspect of Canadian culture.
David Yeo, Winnipeg
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.
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