With regard to executive pay (“Are they worth it?” Cover, May 9) , something is very wrong in a world where we cheer wildly for someone winning a lottery, yet deride a person who achieves wealth through hard work and attention to detail. In a recession, more than ever, courage, vision and risk-taking need to be rewarded.
Hans Herchen, Edmonton
Your articles on executive pay overlooked the potential conflict of interest when the chairman of the board, like the Bank of Montreal’s Matthew Barrett, is also the CEO. The chairman and his or her board are responsible directly and only to the shareholders; the CEO, who is selected by the board, is responsible to the board. The board of a public company is more capable of functioning as the custodian of the shareholders’ interests, including establishing guidelines for reasonable compensation for top executives, if it is not unduly influenced by a powerful CEO. Public companies should insist on the separation of the two functions.
Andrew L. Wood, Victoria
If you want to do a really impressive job of investigative reporting, find out what proportion of their incomes these fellows pay in income taxes.
John Mainwaring, Ottawa
In response to the article “Altered states” (Life, April 4), I am with you. I have autism and I am nonverbal. I am now using facilitated communication very fluently. I am able to talk about just everything to people. We are special people with talents. I have to type my feelings. Reading my words in print should be no different than reading yours.
Elsie Gatopoulos, Hamilton
I fail to understand the recurring popular disappointment when a politician is exposed as morally besmirched. Your snipe at former president Richard Nixon and former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger was very wide of the mark (“The private and the public,” Opening Notes, May 9). In an attempt to demonstrate that Kissinger’s eulogy was merely an instance of “mass revisionism,” you juxtapose it with a private remark in which he spoke of the late president as odd, unpleasant, artificial, unspontaneous and misanthropic. But just where is the contradiction? Finding an uncommonly virtuous man in politics seems to me akin to finding a virgin in a whorehouse: possible certainly, but hardly to be expected.
Bill King, Toronto
It is interesting to note that B.C. MLA Judi Tyabji had three children in six years (“Passion and politics,” Canada, May 2). I wonder when she decided that she and her husband had “nothing in common.” Please, we don’t need to read more about these people who can’t seem to control their libidinous behavior long enough to behave with some consideration and dignity.
Charlotte Miller, Sydney, N.S.
With respect to my thoughts on how British Columbia feels about national unity, may I suggest that Allan Fotheringham come down from his pompous perch in Central Canada and revisit British Columbia where, I understand, he spends some time (“Open-mouth radio,” Column, May 16). He would better serve his diminishing readership by researching rather than launching ad
hominem attacks, something at which he has always been nothing short of brilliant. With respect to his crack about my late mother and “society,” might I remind him that at least I didn’t get a jump start to my career by marrying the boss’s daughter.
Rafe Mair, CKNW, Vancouver
The piece on South Africa by Barbara Amiel is either the silliest or the most intentionally misleading article I’ve read in some time (“South Africa’s joy may be shortlived,” Column, May 9). At a time of great celebration in South Africa—a celebration for all South Africans— Amiel pulls out of the closet all of the tired skeletons and bogeymen of an
increasingly distant past. To once again wave the red flag of communism at the African National Congress is to deny a host of conciliatory gestures by President Nelson Mandela, including quite open discussions with the World Bank and all sectors of the business community. Mandela has worked tirelessly to allay the fears of white South Africans. What South Africa needs most from us right now is patience and encouragement—not an excuse to withhold our foreign aid or to continue our support of those who won’t easily let go of apartheid.
Rev. Greg White, Welland Avenue United Church, St. Catharines, Ont.
Barbara Amiel has just written her best article ever. She has written the truth about the South Africa to come. She has written what the euphoric journalists know, but very few will admit.
Wim Blom, Saltspring Island, B. C.
In his column of May 2 (“A problem even more troubling than crime”), Charles Gordon, in support of maintaining deficit financing, states that “perfectly respectable households have mortgages.” Gordon should realize that respectable households do not borrow money to make the monthly mortgage payment.
Rennie Watson, Spruce Grove, Alta.
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