October 18 1993


October 18 1993


Political economist

I agree with Peter C. Newman (“It’s time to bounce Crow out on his ear,” Business Watch, Oct. 4): Canada’s economy has been devastated by the policies of the governor of the Bank of Canada. It was John Crow’s artificial boosting of the dollar, not the Free Trade Agreement, that damaged Ontario’s manufacturing industries. The recent devaluation of the dollar attests to the fact that Crow must have learned his lesson, albeit far too late for us.

Martin Britt, Burlington, Ont.

John Crow’s record may not be perfect, but he cannot be blamed for global recession or for the fact that not even the low interest rates prevailing in the United States have shielded that country from recession. Leading forecasters predict that Canada will have the highest rate of economic growth among the leading industrialized nations in both 1993 and 1994. This outlook is attributable in no small part to the confidence that foreign investors now place in the conduct of Canadian monetary policy. The forecaster and investors that give our monetary policy such high marks would hardly support firing the person responsible.

Profs. Joel Fried, Peter Howitt, David Laidler, Neil Quiqley, Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.

It is unfair to cite John Crow’s “shoddy record” and “lunatic economics” without at least giving him credit for Canada’s remarkable performance on inflation and the current low interest rates that the country enjoys. In Newman’s economically illiterate view of the world, the Bank of Canada is imbued with all sorts of power to control the economy. In the long run, the only thing the bank can do is protect the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar. And all the wishing in the world won’t change that.

Paul K. Melhus, Burnaby, B. C.

Why just bounce John Crow out of office? Has there ever been a more undemocratic institution than that of the governor of the Bank of Canada? Appointed by the politically unelected board of directors of Canada’s central bank, the governor has practically unlimited power in his capacity to control our country’s financial fortunes. If this position is

really necessary, then let it be in the form of a deputy minister who is fully subordinate to the decision-making processes of the elected government in power.

Herman Haller, Brampton, Ont.

Dialogue on debt

If your group (“Touch choices,” Cover, Sept. 27) had not been so interested in protecting their vested interests, they might have seen the opportunities to eliminate so many expenditures that we can easily live without: subsidies to the film industry, Canada Council grants, millions spent on multiculturalism, just to name a few. Brutal as some cuts may seem, all that’s required is imagination and backbone—two attributes Ottawa lacks.

George C. Norrie, Hamilton

If we’re running out of funds, we’ve either got to buy less or earn more. Why did the Maclean’s panel neglect the latter? Did no


In the Sept. 27 edition (“Sauce for the Goose,” Opening Notes), Maclean’s reported that Conrad Black’s autobiography, A Life in Progress, contained an incorrect allegation that Toronto writer Linda McQuaig had received a Canada Council grant. The report was based on the use of uncorrected advance galleys. In fact, the book, to be published on Nov. 1, makes no such reference.

one tell them that corporate tax contributions as a percentage of gross domestic product have dropped substantially over the past 25 years? Let’s not be fooled into cutting our social programs. A healthy, well-educated nation is a productive nation. Is it really a tough choice to decide that this is the kind of country we want?

Geoffrey and Colleen Dean, Surrey, B. C.

I’d like to congratulate you on the articles entitled “Tough choices” and “A debt handbook” (Cover, Sept. 27). As a result of the excellent presentation of a very complex subject, I now have a much better understanding of one of the major problems facing our country: a standard of living we can’t afford. There is a certain amount of truth to the saying “ignorance is bliss.”

B. K. Loxton, Huntsville, Ont.

Tourist trap

Fred Bruning’s column “Overreacting to random killings” (An American View, Oct. 4) misses the point. He says 40 million tourists toured Florida and “only” one tenth of one per cent were victimized by crime. That means 40,000 tourists were robbed, mugged or shot. Come on, Fred, get to the real problem—help the U.S. government address the fascination with violence permeating U.S. culture.

Bob Delaney, Mississauga, Ont.

Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please supply name, address and daytime telephone. Write: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7. Or fax: (416) 596-7730.

‘We also care’

As a fellow airline worker, I read with sympathy of the efforts of the employees at Canadian Airlines (“A new way of saving jobs,” Cover, Sept. 20). But I hope you do not give the impression that we at Air Canada do not care about our jobs. Air Canada employees, most of whom are shareholders, are fighting for the survival of our company. We are not in the spotlight much, but we have proudly served Canadians for 56 years and are continuing to do so as an all-Canadian company in the future.

Marc LeMoyne, Rosemere, Que.

While co-operation between management and union/employees is not unknown, for it to take place with such a large company as Canadian Airlines is an important development. In terms of our future well-being and ability to compete in a new world order, it is more important that we sustain and encourage this ideal than forsake it in favor of a mere reservation system. Let’s get behind a great “Canadian” initiative.

Alex Rose, Lacombe, Alta.

Praying for peace

Having long been an admirer of Barbara Amiel for her capacity to always see all sides, her column on the Arab-Israeli peace accord (“How being broke fuelled the peace,” Column, Sept. 20) was a great disappointment. Did I detect in her an “ingrained hatred”? Does she really believe that Palestinians, of their own volition, left their

homes and fled in 1948? What “moral niceties” constrained the Jews who took over those homes and lands? With regard to the Palestinians rejecting the Peel Plan in 1937 and the UN partition of Palestine in 1947, does Amiel not know that Jews also rejected both? This peace plan is fuelled by more than any Palestinian lack of funds. Terrible acts have been committed by both sides and as the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, stated in Washington:

“Enough is enough.” I am neither Arab nor Jew—just an ordinary Canadian who prays fervently for this peace to succeed.

Anne Finan, Oshawa, Ont.

I have never been a member of Barbara Amiel’s fan club. But there is no denying the power of her intellect; her single-page analysis of the Israeli-Arab peace accord is both brilliant and inspiring. With grudging admiration, I salute you, Barbara.

Charles Bruce, Weyburn, Sask.

‘Wake up, Canada’

Your statement that “No party wants to appear soft on crime” (“Fighting back,” Canada, Sept. 20) is a travesty. How can that be when young offenders are sentenced to just a few years for murder and other serious crimes, when our MPs vote by conscience regarding capital punishment instead of what their constituents desire, and when violent criminals are sentenced to minimum and concurrent terms? Come on, Canada, wake up. We should streamline our court procedures, return corporal and capital punishment, mete out relevant periods of incarceration commensurate with the crime and, most importantly, punish the criminal, not the victims.

S. F. Mayer, Trout Creek, Ont.

Your focus on predators and victims in your articles “Fighting back” and “A sister’s lament” (Canada, Sept. 20) needs to be emphasized again and again. Our politicians all agree that it is time to get tough with murderers and rapists. But why haven’t they then done something? The agony of one family as described by Rosemary Morris, whose sister’s killer has gone unpunished, is heartrending and cries out for justice reform. Morris sums up her sensitive and compelling article with a plea that I believe a vast majority of Canadians agree with: “It is time to bring back the death penalty. It is time the victims had a voice.” Wake up, politicians. Do something about it, don’t just talk about it.

L. C. Friesen,

Nepean, Ont.

Major mistake

The general malaise of CBC television (“Prime time wars,” Cover, Aug. 30) is not due to minor decisions like the time of the national news. It is due to the fundamen-

tal policy mistake of funding the CBC partly through advertising. The only justification for the CBC is the production of programs meeting cultural and national objectives that private enterprise cannot provide. Commercial advertising and ratings pressures hopelessly compromise these objectives. The larger the cost recovery through advertising, the smaller the justification for the CBC. If the CBC had only public funding, its airtime would no doubt be reduced, but the resulting increase in Canadian private enterprise programming, paid for by former CBC advertisers, might more than make up the difference.

Henry M. Bradford, Marion Bridge, N.S.

Elucidate, please

I believe that most of your readers, like myself, from time to time might yearn for a little more substantiation for some of Diane Francis’s more outlandish references (“The perils of electing a new government,” Column, Sept. 27). She states that the only real job creation that ever works is in countries where taxes are low and where wealth creation is rewarded and encouraged. Surely Diane would be happy to elucidate, with examples, for the benefit of all parties. This might be the answer to your issue “Who will save your job?” (Cover, Sept. 20).

Jim Macken, Richmond, B. C.

The chambers of commerce across Canada would agree with Diane Francis’s column on debt reduction. We are overgovemed, wasting too much time and money and not getting the quality of government that we are paying for. It is time for business, labor and governments to get down to the job of rebuilding this wonderful country so we leave a legacy of promise, not debt.

Vincent Gatt, President, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Peterborough, Ont.

Family feuds

Your article “Divided dynasties” (Cover, Sept. 6) about the McCain family in New Brunswick, and fighting over family fortunes certainly hit home. My siblings and I no longer speak to each other due to decisions made about our father’s business. Although this company is minute in comparison to the family examples given, the strained relations and conflict can be just as painful.

Diane Stang, Bolton, Ont.