Much has been made of Quebec’s supposed rush towards independence, including your Nov. 25 cover package, “What if Quebec separates?” What many people ignore, however, is how Parti Québécois Leader Jacques Parizeau has been defining independence. Some examples: Quebec would retain Canadian criminal law for at least a year, as well as Canadian currency indefinitely; it would model itself on Canadian multiculturalism; Quebecers would be allowed to retain their Canadian citizenship; Quebec would press for full economic union with Canada and attempt to eliminate the interprovincial trade barriers now in place; and Quebec would remain part of the British Commonwealth, long seen by nationalists as a sign of English domination. To make independence more palatable, the PQ has made it appear similar to the dreaded status quo.
Richard V Palangiewicz, Pointe-Claire, Que.
Your excellent article “A turbulent past haunts Quebec” brought into question the potential land claims in the event that Quebec decides to separate from Canada. If certain Canadians believe that Canada could break away pieces of Quebec, then I suppose that the international courts could give Quebec back some of its original land, which included parts of Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, New York and Vermont.
Gaétan Lefebvre, Montreal
It is good that Brian Mulroney told off Jacques Parizeau and company, pointing out that if they wanted to separate from Canada, they will have to give up Canadian passports and currency. He is perfectly correct in saying that Canada is not a cafeteria where separatists can pick and choose whatever suits them. Now, will the Prime Minister also have the courage to stand up to Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa and his so-called federalists and tell them equally unequivocally that they cannot expect the federal government to spend millions of dollars on bilingualism in English-speaking Canada while English is being suppressed in Quebec?
/. J. Kasanda, Egbert, Ont.
I applaud Maclean’s for its Nov. 18 special report on modem Japan, specifically “Legacy of shame.” It is about time that this country saw exactly what happened to the many Japanese-Canadians who were wrongfully persecuted during the Second World War. It is good that this nation will read about my ancestors and the grief they encountered for being bom
Japanese. As a direct descendant of one of the men mentioned in the article, I feel better knowing that these wrongs were redressed by the government. Hopefully, no other group will suffer wrongful persecution in the future.
Todd L. Miki, Regina
In “The 17-day war,” which describes the fall of Hong Kong, one is informed that “after the surrender, Japanese troops bayonetted many of the wounded in hospital, and raped and killed nurses.” But “Legacy of shame,” which describes a Canadian populace that was justifiably nervous about the potential for a Japanese invasion, purports that the internment of Japanese-Canadians was “perhaps the darkest chapter in the history of race relations in Canada.” What gives?
Greg Horan, Victoria
As a person living with AIDS, I was shocked by basketball star Earvin (Magic) Johnson’s announcement that he is infected with the human immunodeficiency vims, which eventually causes AIDS, and that he has consented to be a spokesman for safe sex (“Tragic Magic,” Health, Nov. 18). What will it take in Canada to elucidate this growing epidemic to the public? We need strong government action now to help provide the means to find new treatments. Unfortunately, it may take a prominent Canadian to announce that they are infected for this to occur.
David Pruss, London, Ont.
Charles Gordon’s commentary on the men’s movement was a cheap shot (“What is it that men really want?” Column, Nov. 18). Like him, I found Robert Bly’s book Iron John impenetrable. But I refuse to condemn an emerging philosophy just because it is tagged a movement. Gordon finds movements dangerous. They are—especially to our sense of complacency. The civil rights movement and the peace movement still poke and prod us into reluctant self-appraisals. If the men’s movement can get half the human race to take a good look at itself, what is the problem?
Kevin Harkness, Victoria
A ‘MISLEADING’ PORTRAIT
When Peter C. Newman says that he found Michael Marrus’s book Mr. Sam: The Life and Times of Samuel Bronfman “disappointing,” no one can argue with him—that is simply a report on Newman’s own feelings (“Five characters who found their authors,” Business Watch, Nov. 18). But when he goes on to tell his readers that Marrus “doesn’t even attempt to capture the zest of [Bronfman’s] personality,” Newman is dead wrong. The
book contains many, many pages dealing with Bronfman’s friendships and enmities, his almost unbelievable bursts of anger, his sometimes tortured relationships with his siblings and children, his ambitions, his kindnesses, his chronic insecurity—all demonstrations of Bronfman’s personality. Marrus, in fact, makes an extremely ambitious attempt to capture Bronfman on paper. How could Newman, if he read the book, make so radically misleading a statement about another author’s work?
Robert Fulford, Toronto
A BATTLE ROYAL
One wonders what complex of psychological wounds turned poor Allan Fotheringham into such an inveterate snob, ever looking down upon the people above him. Witness his latest tantrum of verbal petulance towards the Prince and Princess of Wales (“Going to the dogs with the royals,” Column, Nov. 4). Perhaps it would be unfair to suggest that Fotheringham try, for a change, to defame people his own size.
Donald Maclean, Halifax
When Charles de Gaulle stuck his nose into our affairs, Canada was up in arms. Now, on his recent visit to Ontario, we have a foreign royal, Charles, the Prince of Wales, doing the same
thing when he publicly endorsed a unified Canada—and nary a whisper was heard (“A royal Canadian sweep,” Royalty, Nov. 11). Would it not be better to take the millions of dollars it cost to bring Charles and Diana here and help our poor and homeless? The sooner we get rid of all the royal-this and royal-that in our country, the sooner we will become truly Canadian.
John Presseau, Saskatoon
WRIGLEY’S STICKY DILEMMA
As a former Halifax resident, I was shocked to read about that city’s public transit system’s cancellation of Wrigley’s gum ads (“A controversy over color,” Opening Notes, Nov. 11). If the student who made the complaint about a black child being singled out in one ad had taken the time to review the other Wrigley ads, she would have realized that their purpose is to distinguish the gum, not a race. In another ad, one person is distinguished by wearing earrings of Wrigley’s gum—she is a white female. I applaud Wrigley for making an effort to portray Canada’s ethnic diversity in its advertising.
Glenda MacCallum, Willowdale, Ont.
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