LETTERS

October 1 1990

LETTERS

October 1 1990

LETTERS

SUMMERTIME BLUES

Once again, the people of Ontario were railroaded into something they did not want, only this time they called Premier David Peterson’s bluff (“Shock waves,” Canada/Cover, Sept. 17). Why he thought a summer election would be beneficial to him is beyond me. Not only did Peterson ignore the voters, but he also insulted their intelligence. Peterson refused to listen to the people who elected him, and now he is out of a job.

Elisabeth Engelen-Irwin, St. Catharines, Ont.

Why the fixation on Bay Street’s opinion about the election of the NDP in Ontario (“Bay Street tremors”)? The paper-shuffling community and other Toronto greed-heads who do not like socialism are free to leave Ontario. I am sure that overcrowded Pearson International Airport could take care of them before the Red Hordes take the shine off their Gucci loafers.

Stan Jagodic, Brampton, Ont.

If, as we are told, the NDP will not destroy Ontario’s industrial base, it has a duty to explain how costs will not escalate due to its promised $7.20-an-hour minimum wage. Many workers are now unemployed because thencapabilities cannot support even the present $5.40 minimum wage. Premier-elect Robert Rae made his incredibly long list of promises secure in the confidence that he would never have to execute any of them.

J. A. MacRae, Downsview, Ont.

A HERO TAINTED BY HISTORY

Surely one does not have to be a wild-eyed anti-Communist to find something distasteful about Bethune-. The Making of a Hero, a film devoted to the life of a man who died assisting the party that gave China the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square massacre (“Of myths and men,” Special Report/ Entertainment, Sept. 10). Does anyone suppose that the uncounted millions of Chinese who have suffered death, starvation and persecution since the Communists came to power would have regarded Norman Bethune as a hero?

Kennedy Wells, Alberton, P.E.I.

TRASHING THE BEACH

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. But in “Summer’s dark side” (Environment, Aug. 27), your choice of photograph told the wrong story. One photo shows a lifeguard at Queensland Beach, on the

south shore of Nova Scotia. This beach has not been closed. In fact, in Nova Scotia only two ocean beaches have needed to be closed this summer. The seven beaches that have been closed because of high bacteria counts are inland beaches on lakes mainly in the HalifaxDartmouth area, which are susceptible to the same stresses—rain runoff and urban pollu-

tion—that have affected inland beaches throughout Canada. Oceanfront beaches are more adversely affected by marine debris and beach-goers’ trash than they are by bacteria.

Martin Janowitz, Executive Director, The Clean Nova Scotia Foundation, Halifax

THE GUN-BARREL SOLUTION

As a Mohawk from Kahnawake, I am extremely disappointed that Maclean’s printed such an uninformed commentary as Barbara Amiel’s “The gun barrel created this land” (Column, Sept. 10). Amiel begins by equating our problems with her “fighting city hall.” Is she so ignorant of the depth of our problems? We are talking about issues that will determine the future of Canada and its relationship to Indian peoples. I would love to be convinced that Amiel does not really want the gun to determine her country’s future. But if she seriously considers violence an acceptable means of preserving Canada’s political boundaries, and if a magazine like Maclean ’s tacitly supports her views by publishing them, then we Indians have overestimated the sensibility and humanity of the Canadian people.

Gerald Alfred, Ithaca, N. Y.

LETTERS

GENETIC INITIATIVE

CRUDE BLACKMAIL

If we analyse the issues, the conclusion must be that the Iraq crisis is really due to our dependence on Middle East crude oil (“A dictator’s grim defiance,” World, Sept. 3). E our cars ran on nitrogen or batteries, Saddam Hussein and his neighbors could keep their crude in the ground and would not be able to blackmail us with it. Let us get on with a diplomatic solution to the Middle East crisis and proceed with developing alternate fuels at top speed. It is the only way to a lasting peace in the region.

Eva Lyman-Vacek, Vancouver

FORGETTING KOREA

Ido not wish to belittle the seriousness of the current crisis in the Middle East, but I feel that the statement by Liberal defence critic William Rompkey that “this is the most serious situation we’ve faced since the Second World War” (“Going to war?” World, Sept. 3) does an injustice to those who served in the Korean War. A war that arguably risked a world war surely warrants mention on a par with Canada’s commitment to the blockade in the Persian Gulf.

RossAllan McKenna, Vancouver

BUSINESSLIKE SNUB?

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s snub of the Dalai Lama is probably based on fear of jeopardizing Canadian business interests in China (“No room at the Commons,” Opening Notes, Sept. 10). E so, Mulroney has (once again) sadly misread the sentiments of most Canadians. E the Dalai Lama’s message of wisdom, patience and compassion could be heard in our Parliament, perhaps we could rise above the politics of brinkmanship and confrontation that gave us Meech Lake and Oka—and threatens the future of our country.

Alan Herscovici, Outremont, Que.

ACADEMIC OBJECTIVITY

Your article “A hair-raising puzzle” (Health, Sept. 3) highlighted a worrying problem in our universities: how can an independent academic professor maintain his objective integrity when he has a financial interest in the company he is impartially evaluating? In the future, I encourage Maclean ’s to refrain from uncritical reporting of preliminary findings that only serve to wrongly mislead the general public.

On reading your article on genomic mapping and sequencing (“Breaking the code,” Science, Aug. 27), I was disappointed to see that you focused solely on the human genome project and Canada’s lack of participation in it. Efforts are also being mounted to analyse the genomes of other organisms. Currently, members of the Evolutionary Biology Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research are involved in mapping and/ or sequencing genes and genomes from a number of diverse species, ranging from simple, single-celled fife-forms to higher organisms. This program, carried on by a network of scientists, constitutes an effort to maintain Canada’s involvement in this area of research, despite the lack of a national genome initiative.

Carol Miemicki Steeg, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research,

Toronto

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Reading the “Voyage of the overcrowded” (Opening Notes, Aug. 6) made me smile. The crew should visit one of the corvettes we sailed on during the Second World War: over 25 men cramped into the fo’c’sle did not leave much room. They should take them lumps and not complain.

R. V. Rawson, Ozone Park, N. Y.

WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY

The discussion of the Goods and Services Tax (“Getting the GST of it,” Business, Sept. 10) failed to mention the unbelievably inefficient method devised to collect it. The seven-per-cent tax applies throughout any production process and is then reclaimed from the government. Only the final consumer pays the tax, but all businesses involved in production bear the cost of administering it. Savings resulting from the elimination of the old tax will be spent on endless calculations of GST paid and credits to be claimed. Why is a government supposedly committed to an efficient and competitive economy imposing this waste of time and energy on its business sector? And why is the allegedly sharp and aggressive business sector going along with it?

Susan Girvan, Toronto

MURAL ATTRACTIONS

Thank you for the beautifully illustrated article “Going to the wall” (Art, Sept. 3). We in the village of Athens in eastern Ontario also have 11 historical murals. Our mural project began in 1986, and has attracted hordes of visitors each year to our beautiful village.

Cris Woodburn, Vancouver

Kathryn Hudson, Athens, Ont.

LETTERS

LIPSTICK DOES NOT COUNT

When you encounter an unusual woman who has a PhD in economics and a highpowered career, what do you say about her? That her lipstick matches her nail polish (“Having it all,” Cover, Sept. 3)! That sort of fatuous commentary may have been cute in 1960, but in 1990 it is just plain demeaning. Too bad Maclean’s chooses to trivialize successful women, instead of taking us seriously.

Jane McEwan, Victoria

The topic of women in management is all too often ignored in the business publications. Your feature article was timely and enlightening. However, the feature was negligent in ignoring the middle-management squeeze expected as as a result of the aging of the baby boomers. This trend will raise the competitiveness for promotional opportunités, compounding even further the struggles described in your feature. Also, while the text clearly describes the discrepancies at the executive level, the lone graphic misrepresents women as having made it. This is an illusion women cannot yet afford.

Roberta L Kemp, New Westminster, B.C.

The cover stories spend a lot of time on the career aspects and very little on the family. If you wanted to show women having it all, why are two of the three women profiled childless? If the point of the articles was to show that there is a successful balance between career and family, why wasn’t this shown?

Jane Bydevaate, Taber, Alta.

‘FORFEITED THE RIGHT’

I am appalled and outraged by the article “A lock on the ballot” (Canada, Sept. 3). The prospect of allowing individuals who, through their own actions, are behind bars access to ballot boxes boggles my mind. I chose to obey our laws—they chose not to do so. I have retained my right to vote—they forfeited that right.

M.L. Turner, Calgary

If all human beings would stop and think of the consequences before committing rape, robbery, drug transactions or assaults, then they would not have to worry about something as simple as losing their right to vote.

Joanne Chartrand, Sudbury, 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., 777Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7.