Here we go again! It is “Trudeaumania time-part two” with journalists across the country (your magazine included) singing the praises of our former prime minister (“Trudeau on Trudeau,” Cover, Nov. 22). Unfortunately, his alleged qualities did not benefit Canadians, for it was Trudeau who became the chief architect of the mess that our country is in today. His bilingual policies were costly, unrealistic, and failed to solve the Quebec problem. His free-spending policies created (with help from Brian § Mulroney in later years) a monster of national debt that today threatens the financial survival of Canada and will continue to do so for years to come.
Eugene Nikitin, Winnipeg
Trudeau was admired for his stand against terrorists, and for his contempt for pushy media. Nobody was going to push him around—he was the one who was going to do all the pushing. He pushed and he shoved and he beat us over the head until, at last, we fell exhausted (or our provincial leaders did), and gave him his charter (of frightful freedoms). Since then, it has been nothing but a downhill slide all the way. Our morals, our ethics, our family life, our lawmaking, our personal safety, our finances, our military strength, our self-confidence, our hopes and dreams, our very future—all have been sacrificed on the altar of “rights and freedoms.” Is there anyone who can put the genie back in the bottle?
A. Giffard Le Blond, Ladysmith, B.C.
Have or have not
In ‘Trying to survive in an unequal nation,” (Column, Nov. 22), Diane Francis affirms that “Quebec again won the sweepstakes when it came to transfers to businesses. Ontario got $2.5 billion in business help, but Quebec with a considerably smaller population, got a whopping $1.8 billion; Alberta, $1.2 billion. . . .” As usual, she enjoys provoking anti-Quebec reactions, but it is important to look at the facts more closely. On a per capita basis, the financial assistance goes like this: Ontario ($250), Quebec ($260), Alberta ($470) and Saskatchewan ($1,415). Diane Francis seems cute, but is she fair?
Jean Grandmaison, Charlesbourg, Que.
It may interest Diane Francis to know that the Maritimes were very prosperous prior to Confederation. Guess what happened then? This region was forced, through tariffs and issues of supposed national interest, to tear down its natural links with New England and trade with good old Upper Canada. Maritimers got to buy poorer-quality goods at higher prices, but Upper Canadians forgot to buy any of our products in return. Maybe Francis and her Bay Street friends should count their blessings instead of moaning about transfer payments. I’m sure that if you balanced profits made from the captive market against the transfer payments paid, you would find that Ontario has done veiy well indeed from its association with the Maritimes. There’s more to Canada than Bay Street.
Tom White, Halifax
I think the “gals” are making a mistake by making the definition of family violence so loose (“A new measure of violence,” Canada, Nov. 29). Recently, I informally polled 50 male acquaintances. All but a handful had been pushed, shoved, grabbed, threatened, slapped, thrown at, kicked, bit, hit with something and/or beaten up at some time by their female partners. I would suggest that if someone would do a serious study of female-instigated family violence using these standards, females collectively would come tumbling down from their self-centred pedestal with a resounding thump.
Charles Remington, Smithers, B.C.
Your interview with Bloc Québécois Leader Lucien Bouchard tells me something (“Sovereigntists pay taxes, too,” Canada, Nov. 29). His frequent adulatory comments about the United States such as “What I love about Americans is their sense of liberty,” his new wife wanting her children to be Americans, and the fact that his former friend Brian Mulroney doted on Washington’s last two Republican presidents, suggests that Bouchard should pull up stakes and head for the border.
Bert Snelgrove, Barrie, Ont.
What does Quebec want? Quebec’s reigning political superstar and savior Lucien Bouchard explained it—an American wife and American passports for the kids.
James J. Atkinson, Dorval, Que.
In embracing NAFTA, our federal government seems to be accepting the notion that if everybody in a global economy could work for everybody else, we would all be better off (“Reaching out,” Cover, Nov. 29). Perhaps the government has so much trouble selling the idea of free trade at home because the folks still subscribe to the old adage that to be prosperous you have to work for yourself.
]. Z. Bako, Vancouver
Letters may be condensed. Please supply name, address and daytime telephone. Write: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7. Or fax: (416) 596-7730.
I enjoy your annual report on universities (“A measure of excellence,” Cover/Special Report, Nov. 15), although my educational institution is never mentioned. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration through correspondence courses at the Open University, a fully accredited, degree-granting university. I hope that your next annual report will include this leaming-at-home alternative.
Debbie Godley, Surrey, B.C.
While reading your Nov. 15 issue, I came across an error that has really struck a nerve. In your description of Memorial University, you say that it is “home to Atlantic Canada’s only school of pharmacy.” Located in Halifax is Dalhousie University’s college of pharmacy. We are, in fact, the original school of pharmacy in the Atlantic provinces, tracing back to 1908, when we were known as the Maritime College of Pharmacy.
You state that the average tuition fee at Canadian universities is around $2,000, and then go on to compare it to British tuition, which is quoted at $4,500. This is a gross misrepresentation. You fail to mention that, unlike in Canada, students generally receive funding for tuition and a maintenance grant for living expenses through their local education authority, the amount being determined
by a means test. The British system tries to ensure that every eligible student has the funds to attend university. Canadian students must obtain funding from their parents, or by working out of school hours or by securing a scholarship, which rarely cover all costs. Not surprisingly, this severely disadvantages students from low-income backgrounds.
C. J. Bray, Scarborough, Ont.
I would like to nominate Raffi Armenian for your annual year-end Honor Roll of 12 accomplished Canadians. In May of this year, Raffi Armenian completed 22 years as music
director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. In that time, he elevated the orchestra to professional status and it has become one of Canada’s finest ensembles. Raffi has moved on to pursue other interests such as composing, but I’m sure that whatever he does, Canadians will benefit from his enthusiasm and creativity.
Barbara Hankins, Kitchener, Ont.
Ternius Nate of Eabematoong First Nations, a senior mental health counsellor based in Sioux Lookout, Ont., deserves to be included in your Honor Roll. He has been the leading force in attempting to deal with an epidemic of teenage and young adult suicides in the isolated First Nations communities of northwestern Ontario. His organization of crisis teams, counselling services and above all his wit and humor have saved countless lives and helped to encourage those of us who work with this terrible problem.
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