December 11 1995


December 11 1995


‘Proudly Canadian’

Regarding your cover story on Baywatch star Pamela Lee (“The most famous Canadian?” Cover, Nov. 27), why do you even ask? Pamela is seen in 140 countries on a weekly basis. She is proudly Canadian and never hesitates to let anyone know that fact. She is the woman of the moment and an obvious goodwill ambassador for Canada.

Ross Castell, Vancouver

You truly must be joking. There are only two reasons why Pamela Lee is famous, and neither of them is her sparkling intellect or dazzling acting abilities.

Elizabeth MacDonald-Pratt, Kingston, Ont. HI

Who on earth is Pamela Lee? We have a Canadian astronaut who just helped accomplish a marvellous feat in space, and you put her on the cover?

Ruth Walker, Collingwood, Ont.

I am sure there are some people who have said that Pamela Lee does not deserve a spot on the cover of Maclean’s. I am pleased to see average Canadians who have made it to the big time grace your cover, as opposed to our elected officials who, when they finally do something, usually mess it up. Please keep giving the spotlight to those who deserve it, such as artists, actors, sports figures and other innovative Canadians.

JeffP. Holloway, Calgary HI

Real estate news

I enjoyed Stevie Cameron’s article on Jack Rabinovitch (“Minding the books,” Business, Nov. 6). I would, however, like to correct a comment made concerning Trizec Corp. Ltd., with whom Mr. Rabinovitch was employed for many years. The company did not “crash into bankruptcy” as mentioned in the article. Trizec has continuously operated for 35 years and successfully completed a recapitalization in July, 1994. It remains the largest publicly held Canadian real estate company and one of the largest in North America.

David Quan, Director, corporate communications, Trizec Corp. Ltd., Toronto

Highway safety

I was very surprised with your misleading article on the much-publicized and sensationalized problems in the trucking industry (“Highway horror show,” Transport, Nov. 13). The media have chosen to ignore the fact that trucks are involved in only five per cent of all fatal collisions. And of that five per cent, truckers have been found blameless 73 per cent of the time. I don’t deny that trucking requires a high level of safety, but the solution is mandatory driver education and retesting for all drivers, annual safety checks for all vehicles and stronger penalties for all violators.

Kevin B. Jennings, Brampton, Ont.

You offer three reasons for trucking accidents: mechanical defects, truck drivers and their mechanics. I suggest that a fourth significant factor is the pressure put on drivers and mechanics by employers who demand lowcost performance. Drivers would not be pushing fatigue limits if their employers enforced federal regulations limiting driving time to 13 out of every 24 hours. If a truck is found to be unsafe by authorities, the driver is fined, not the owner. Perhaps a matching fine for the owner would bring the message home.

Rod Paynter, Kamloops, B. C. HI

Troubled island

Blood cannot be washed by blood. That is the tragic story of the Sri Lankan civil war (“The Canadian connection,” World, Nov. 27). Canada has been kind to the Tamil community. It has enabled them to give generous humanitarian aid to their brethren in Sri Lanka. Any form of aid to purchase arms, however, prolongs the war. The 125,000strong Tamil community in Canada can do much to pressure the Sri Lankan govern-

ment and Tamil Tigers to seek UN mediation. The goal should be to implement an immediate ceasefire and initiate negotiations for a permanent political settlement.

James Nicholas, International secretary, World Council for Global Co-operation, Toronto

You portray the Sri Lankan government as moderate and sincere in solving the ethnic issue. If one looks at the past behavior of Sri Lankan governments, all their sincerity was shown a few months after an international meeting in the spring that agreed to provide the country with more than $1 billion in loans. After it received the aid, the government pursued the war with vigor. The West should not get angry with just the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for prolonging the war.

Suthakar Thambithrurai, Vancouver

Reader’s choice

As a Canadian who recently moved to the United States, I was intrigued by Peter C. Newman’s argument that only Canadian booksellers would promote Canadian authors (“The book trade— keeping it Canadian,” The Nation’s Business, Nov. 20). My local Barnes & Noble has extensive selections of many prominent and less well-known Canadian and international authors. Most of these are affordably priced (no, not on the remainder table) and without tax. In contrast, my previous Canadian bookseller seemed to promote nothing but popular American best-sellers. Perhaps the issue is what the buyer is interested in reading, not the citizenship of the author or bookseller. Kate Kluge, Allentown, Penn.

Welfare wars

Your article “Going to war for the poor” (Opening Notes, Nov. 6) is greatly appreciated by us at Welfare’s Unionized Recipients (WUR). We don’t want welfare, we want jobs. We also want the Ralph Kleins and Mike Harrises to treat the poor as people, not as animals.

Gordon Walker, Director, WUR, Calgary

Hear my roar, Gordon Walker. Welfare is not a God-given right, and welfare money is not created, it is taken away from people like me. I work hard, and unlike you, I share my apartment with a roommate to reduce my cost of living, and I don’t own a car. Maybe your years of owning a Cadillac distorted your vision of the real world and made you forget us, the middle-class taxpayers. I think it’s you, not Mein or Harris, who should get a wake-up notice.

Christine Le Jeune, Montreal

Merci, beaucoup

As a Franco-Manitoban who travels coast to coast, I would like to say merci to Quebecers for choosing in the referendum to remain part of this great country (“A house divided,” Cover, Nov. 6). In coming months, I will remember you as I drive my Montreal-built Kenworth truck, as I ride my Bombardier Ski-Doo Mach Z snowmobile and as I watch the Montreal Canadiens. Let’s work on making Canada the best country in the world.

Fernand Gagnon, St. Pierre, Man.

Reading Jean-Claude Salman’s emotional and passionate letter about the referendum in your Nov. 13 issue brought tears to my eyes when he referred to himself as a coward for voting No. I did not envy the people of Quebec in the serious and difficult vote they faced on Oct. 30.1 would not be surprised to hear that Salman considered not voting in the referendum, or perhaps spoiling his ballot. Therefore, I conclude that he showed courage in the mere fact that he voted.

Peter Stephens, Barrie, Ont.

I am replying to Jean-Claude Salman’s letter. I feel very sad that he thinks that 80 per cent of English-Canadians hate the fact that bilingualism was forced on them because of

Quebec. I have lived in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and now Saskatchewan, and I have never encountered any significant number of people who hate bilingualism or the people of Quebec. I think Salman’s comments just underline the need for anglophones and francophones to try to make more effort to communicate with each other.

Jacquelene Baron, Regina

Jean-Claude Salman may be a coward, but how dare he say that he represents a majority? And how dare he say that bilingualism does not work? As a French-Canadian teaching in Alberta, I can see firsthand that the rest of Canada does not hate or mistreat Quebecers and that they are willing to learn about the French language and culture. What the rest of Canada resents is that Quebec politicians are not willing to sit down to try to reach a compromise. Had I been eligible, I would have voted No because I love this great country of mine. Certainly not because I am a coward.

Céline Martin, Medicine Hat, Alta.

Jobless recovery

These days, I read many articles such as “Hopes on the rise” (Business, Nov. 13) that rejoice in Canada’s thriving economy. Yet there is something wrong with this picture. If we are one of the richest countries in the world, why is it that about one in 10 Canadians cannot find work? We are told that with our technology, the global economy, free trade and downsizing, this is inevitable. Perhaps it is, but this shows that by adopting these devices we have failed as a nation. Surely the intelligence that has created the marvels of technology could have devised a better way, one that did not result in young people roaming the streets without a hope of a job.

G. V. Eckenfelder, Sidney, B. C.

Over the Moon

I am a miner in the gold mines of Northern Ontario, and I am also a member of the Unification Church. As a husband and father of three, I have found that the teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the divine principle set a very high standard by which I should strive to live. Concerning your article (“Ed Schreyer and the Moonies,” Cover, Oct. 23), I know that anyone who sincerely re-

searches the teachings of the divine principle will see the half-truths you have printed for what they are.

Robert Tailleur, South Porcupine, Ont.

My brother and his Korean wife have been Moonies for more than 20 years. It is heartbreaking to see them struggling to get through each day because of their dependencies on someone else to make decisions for them. Sun Myung Moon and his wife are a curse on civilization. When will North Americans wake up and realize we have lost thousands of valued family members to dysfunctional cults?

Connie Badour, Chatham, Ont.

I enjoyed reading “Toasting the prize,” (Dateline: Pugwash, N.S., Oct. 23) on Pugwash and its association with the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize. There is, however, an error. The salt mine is not its “main employer.” While much of Canada’s table salt comes from Pugwash, all of the world’s Seagull Pewter products are designed, crafted in, and marketed from Cumberland County.

Morris J. Haugg, Amherst, N.S.

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

Ill E-mail: letters@macleans.ca or: 76702.2247@compuserve.com

Seeing things

So, many people saw the face of Jesus in the Eagle Nebula photo (“Newborn stars,” World Notes, Nov. 13). The ability of the human mind to take ambiguous data and force it into patterns, which exist only in that mind, is truly amazing. Does this mean the churches will fund space research so that people can make pilgrimages to the Eagle Nebula?

Greg Erwin, Aylmer, Que. SI

Brass tacks

You castigate Frank Sinatra biographer Will Friedwald for “his apparent inability to appreciate any music composed after 1955,” but you refer to trumpeter Harry James as a trombonist (“He did it his way,” Books, Nov. 20). What did John Lennon play, bassoon?

Terry Goldie, North York, Ont. a

Facing the music

Your excellent editorial “Men in suits, beware” (Nov 13) is right on the mark in suggesting that the future of the country is too important to be left solely in the hands of the politicians. But the people of Canada must mobilize quickly. Quebecers, hearing the old rhetoric from politicians, newspapers columnists and letters to the editor, are already saying that the violins they heard before the vote are now playing out of tune.

Clara Leask, Barrie, Ont.

Honorable mention

Inominate Mr. J. N. Roger Cyr of Ottawa to be included in the Honor Roll of Canadians. Currently the national president of the Hong Kong’s Veterans Association, Cyr is an ex-Japanese prisoner of war, having been captured with hundreds of his fellow Canadians in December, 1941. He has worked untiringly and unstintingly in the service of his fellow veterans to raise the consciousness of all Canadians of a long-neglected chapter in Canadian military history, namely the Battle of/for Hong Kong. Most recently, he was a key player in the many celebrations in Canada of the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Rev. Terrence Cyr, Leavenworth, Kan.