Stirring excitement

Paul Salvatore June 28 1993

Stirring excitement

Paul Salvatore June 28 1993

Stirring excitement


Paul Salvatore

Your decision to run a cover story on dinosaurs deserves tremendous applause (“Dino-might,” June 14). Not only can we consider dinosaurs hot copy, but Canadian. As a resident of Drumheller, home of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, I am fortunate enough to live in a city that will not die, thanks to the dinosaurs. I hope that you cover other topics of this type in future editions of Maclean’s.

Drumheller, Alta.

Seat sale

Regarding your article “Air turbulence” (Business, June 14), of course Air Canada would oppose the proposed PWAAMR deal because it has the most to gain. Air Canada currently has a partnership with Continental Airlines and United Airlines, so why is Air Canada chairman Hollis Harris trying to stop Canadian from having a similar partnership with AMR? American Airlines will have only a 25-per-cent share in Canadian. This means that Canadian will not be American controlled and owned. It’s about time that Harris and Air Canada stop meddling in Canadian’s affairs.

Darrell Lam, Vancouver

American violence

In the third paragraph of his column “Life in the land of the smoking guns” (June 7), Geoffrey Stevens states: “I am not suggesting that Americans are by nature a more violent people than Canadians, or that they embrace violence as a preferred means of settling disputes. They aren’t and they don’t.” Nonsense. They are and they do. How else to explain the rest of Stevens’s column, a sampling of recent gratuitous violence, summarized by: “The fact remains that handguns kill 155 times as many people in the United States as in Canada. More Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 are shot to death than die from all natural causes combined.”

Paul T. Heron, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Give us a break

Charles Gordon’s annoying column about the annoying practice of Canadian beer makers annoying the Canadian consumer with their annoying new-product introductions and the annoying marketing blitzes that accompany such launches has had the desired effect (“Hey, get your ice-hot beer here,” June 14). I am severely annoyed! Pass me another Hamm’s Light, please.

Jerry Burdenie, Calgary, Alta.

Charles Gordon’s column is perhaps the most pedantic, mind-numbing and excruciatingly unfunny mess of words that I have ever had the misfortune of wasting a couple of minutes reading.

Charlene Thomas, Carleton Place, Ont.

Dramatizing debt

Peter C. Newman’s columns “If we don’t crush it, debt will destroy us” (April 26) and “An inept budget that corrodes the process” (May 10) clearly overstep the bounds of objective journalism by dramatizing the extent of Canada’s fiscal situation. Both the major international credit rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, have maintained Canada’s high credit rating. In fact, Moody’s June, 1993, report noted that “several published reports have grossly exaggerated Canada’s fiscal debt position.” The International Monetary Fund’s view on Canada’s fiscal position also appears to be quite different than Newman implies. Michel Camdessus, managing director of the IMF stated in a recent interview that “there is a

very significant effort to take care of the public debt in Canada.” The sensationalism generated by Newman is clearly irresponsible and unhelpful in addressing a serious problem that is being tackled vigorously by Canadian governments.

Donald Mazankowski, Minister of Finance, Ottawa

Traditional values

In his portrayal of the “loony right,” it is my contention that Fred Bruning has demonstrated the typical unrestrained liberal thinking that is leading to the rapid degeneration of American, not to mention Canadian society (“A one-man industry of the loony right,” An American View, June 7). It seems that in his shallow analysis, Bruning has failed to comprehend the crux of Patrick Buchanan’s efforts. Buchanan is not attempting to homogenize American culture. Rather, he is aspiring to promote the conservative values of tradition, social order and community that could maintain a certain degree of moral and ethical restraint in our otherwise limitless society.

Marco Pietrangelo, Toronto

Beginning again

It was of considerable interest to see our student Melanie Wilson’s picture featured so prominently in the article concerning national school dropout rates (“A measure of hope,” Education, June 14). We at the Selfreliant Learning Program offer adults of all ages the opportunity to return to school and pursue their diplomas in a supportive set-

ting offering flexible hours and individual attention. Students such as Melanie who have made the effort to return to school are to be congratulated for their courage and determination.

Michael J. Bassett, Lois Tessier, The Halton Board of Education, Burlington, Ont.

Your article about the decrease of highschool dropouts was most interesting. In the Maritimes and in Quebec, the dropout rate seems to be about 30 per cent higher than in Ontario and the West. It is obvious that in provinces with high unemployment the education system should focus on programs that encourage incentive and self-confidence. Adding a year of paid apprenticeship as a prerequisite to graduation would be a healthy innovation in these areas.

Erika Maria Sadro, North Vancouver, B. C.

Speaking freely

Diane Francis’s shortsighted column criticizing the recent federal government’s election reform legislation (“A new attack on freedom of speech,” May 31) neglects two very important questions. First, if the notion that elections can be greatly influenced by political advertising is, as she writes, “rubbish,” why is the National Citizens’ Coalition spending vast amounts of money to secure its right to continue wasting its donors’ money? Second, if thirdparty advertising during elections is truly a useful medium for the “free and open exchange of ideas before the public,” then why is it that only the wealthy can afford to be heard?

Nick Velluso, St. Catharines, Ont.

I can hardly be accused of agreeing with the National Citizens’ Coalition on many things, but I must heartily applaud their opposition to Bill C-114. The dispatch with which the parties in the House of Commons united to pass this bill shows that prime minister-designate Kim Campbell’s negative attitude to-

wards Canadians who don’t participate in the political process represents the view of most Canadian politicians. It is just that they are too clever to express it bluntly. Politics do not only take place within the confines of legitimate political parties. A careful examination of the way in which issues are debated, or rather not debated, inside these groups should show that real political debate is the exception rather than the rule. The politics of political parties is a spectator sport, not a forum for anything remotely resembling democracy.

Pat Murtagh, Winnipeg

solescence and general insecurity among a myriad of other changes. How long can a society last that wishes Ozzie and Harriet were real, instead of dealing with reality? We need comprehensive day care, because that goes part and parcel with the new world order.

Richard Weatherill, Victoria

According to your day care cover story, Robert Glossop, sociologist at the Ottawabased Vanier Institute of the Family, says that “the care and nurturance of the next generation is a shared responsibility,” and

‘New world order’

The cover story on day care (‘Who cares?” May 31) amply demonstrates that our national purpose is rapidly degenerating into mere self-aggrandizement. We rally to our own puerile interests under the banner of “no money,” though we have plenty to spare in the name of consumerism. Why do we duck our heads in embarrassment and anger over the simple fact that some people need help coping with a “new world order” of single parents, the necessity of dual incomes, of job ob-

“parents are forced to jury-rig a whole variety of different kinds of arrangements.” Glossop’s specious argument that all taxpayers have an obligation to fund other people’s child-minding expenses ignores the fact that if Canadians weren’t already taxed to death they might be able to afford to support their own children.

David Townson, Milton, Ont.

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.