LETTERS

March 6 1995

LETTERS

March 6 1995

LETTERS

The dating game

As a single, never-married individual of 40 who is looking for a partner, I found

your articles accurately described the current dating scene. (“Is dating dead?” Cover, Feb. 20). Meeting people through a common interest or cause provides the opportunity to get to know them first before deciding whether to go further. Just over five years ago, I started a Sunday brunch group in Ottawa. Many who met there have dated, and there have been a few marriages. The more activities that single people are aware of, the more choices they have and the better chance of meeting someone. Dating in the 1990s is about being aware, creative, proactive and careful.

Mark Hiltz, Gloucester, Ont.

What irony that Fred Bruning should admonish the media to “lose those useless service ‘features’ about how to caulk your sink and find Mr. Right at the espresso bar”

(“The real problem with today’s journalism,” An American View) when writing in a newsmagazine whose cover story is entitled “Is dating dead?”

Donna Spanu, Winnipeg a

Canadian pride

Reading about some of the problems getting parliamentary approval for Canada’s new flag 30 years ago (“The flag debate,” Opening Notes, Feb. 20) reminded me of our difficulties in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., putting up the flag on Feb. 15, 1965. Maclean’s published my article on our efforts in your April 17 issue that year. What strikes me now is how much pride we had putting up our flag. In spite of the difficulties with the -30° C of the High Arctic in February, along with all the technical problems of climbing an old unused flagpole, a cheer went up from the enthusiastic, albeit small, crowd when the banner was finally waving over us. I’d like to think there is still a lot of that Canadian pride among us now in spite of our regional differences.

David Flynn, London, Ont. El

Sometimes, we are lucky to have the presence of such a person as author George Woodcock (“Eloquent anarchist,” Obituary, Feb. 13). As you pointed out, Woodcock saw immeasurable value in free individuals leading useful lives if not thwarted by authority. When reading his works, one can feel the same reverence for the written and spoken word that he felt. That he is revered and considered a Great Canadian is unquestionable; that he touched many of us is a measure of the man’s dignity, compelling character and unassuming integrity. He will not be forgotten.

Bob Nucich, Revelstoke, B. C.

Not forgotten

‘Old news’

Thank you for your review of Brad Fraser’s Poor Super Man (“A triangle with a twist,” Theatre, Feb. 13). I was wondering, however, why, since the play opened in January in Winnipeg, Maclean’s only chose to review the play once it hit Toronto? Frankly, we in Western Canada find your review very old news. This is an extremely troubling practice, for it makes it appear as if the world begins and ends in Toronto, and all cultural events take place there and nowhere else.

Gail Asper, Winnipeg

The love of power

My heart was happy for the native people of Doornkop, South Africa, who were able to return home after 20 years of forced exile (“Coming home,” World, Feb. 20). I was also very sad, disturbed and ashamed at what people in power can do to other humans. Imagine the terror these people felt when the police destroyed their existence and herded them into trucks like cattle to be taken to “tribal homelands.” Access to power must be confined to people who are not in love with it.

Sharon Veley, Timmins, Ont.

Dawson what?

The article on the Canada Games was a nice backgrounder to the opening of the events and the boom town that is Grande Prairie, Alta. (“The Grande Games,” Sports, Feb. 20). It is unlikely, however, that an alternate housing spot for athletes is, as you say, in Dawson City, B.C. For one thing, Dawson City is in the Yukon, and just a touch farther than the one-hour drive to Dawson Creek, B.C.

Jane Anne Nagel, Edmonton

In the line of duty

On Feb. 14,1986, as a police officer I pursued and stopped a stolen car. In the rear seat, I found a seven-year-old boy who had been kidnapped by a convicted homosexual pedophile (“Sex offenders: Is there a cure?” Justice, Feb. 13). He was given five years in prison, but released after serving only two years. Shortly after his release, he was caught again trying to kidnap another child. On Jan. 7, 1990, I stopped a pickup truck and found a four-year-old boy who had been kidnapped. At that kidnapper’s trial, he convinced the judge that he was not going to hurt the boy, and was given a month in jail. I have now caught two kidnappers red-handed, and the courts treated them with kid gloves. How do the children and parents deal with the trauma and nightmares knowing the courts are not sensitive to their feelings?

Const. John Kennedy (OPP), Vermilion Bay, Ont.

Justice for all

The recent tragedy that struck Melanie Carpenter’s family in British Columbia seems to be a recurrent theme in Canadian jurisprudence (“The prime suspect,” Canada, Jan. 30). The failure to stop incorrigible sexual predators from being released into unsupervised situations before they serve their full sentence borders on negligence. Why is the minister of justice campaigning against duck hunters and other innocuous social groups, instead of addressing glaring deficiencies in our system of law enforcement?

Edna Osvar, South Porcupine, Ont.

When are the politicians going to get it? Now that Melanie Carpenter’s body has been found, another tragedy will be shrugged off as, “Sorry, the system failed her.” When will the minister of justice stop kidding and really get to work for innocent Canadians and put criminals behind bars for good?

Michael Bassyouni, Brentwood Bay, B. C.

Paying the bills

In his Feb. 6 column, Peter C. Newman quotes Ralph Klein saying: “My style is to run the government the same way I run my house” (“The fiscal gospel according to Klein,” The Nation’s Business). If he applied his ideas for getting rid of the deficit to paying off his mortgage, he would say to his wife: “No more cars, clothes, entertainment, and cut down on food,” like he is asking the people of Alberta to do. Colleen Klein says her husband’s ideology is “tough love.” Tough for the ordinary people.

Bob Douglas, Edmonton

Raising standards

Ultimately, universities should be open institutions (which has been Carleton’s philosophy for many years), with a mandate to attract a cross-section of students (“Failing grades for an open-door policy,” Education, Feb. 13). If we permit universities to arbitrarily raise admission standards to the point that they exclude the borderline student, then we must reassess postsecondary training and develop alternatives for those students who don’t make the grade. Carleton and other universities must seriously contemplate the consequences of pushing their academic entrance requirements beyond the

reach of those students who may be struggling in high school, but could be successful in university.

David Lynch, Nepean, Ont.

As a past department chairman and professor at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ont., I found your article on Carleton University had a very special interest for me. For years, St. Lawrence fought opponents to its open-door policy, maintaining the need for equal opportunity for all. An admirable thought, but one that was designed more to increase revenues than it was to meet the needs touted. The low-end students do control academic levels and program focus.

Robert G. Blair, Cornwall, Ont.

Tender care

In your informative article on schizophrenia (“Schizophrenia: hidden torment,” Life and Science, Jan. 30), you didn’t give enough credit to the fantastic teamwork by the psychiatrists, therapists and everyone at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre in Toronto. I work there as a volunteer and every day I see the tremendous care and understanding given to the schizophrenic patients at this great institution.

Craig Turrall, Toronto

Honorable mention

Bravo for Deirdre McMurdy’s satirical look at The Wall Street Journal's opinion of Canada as an “honorary Third World country” (‘The third option,” The Bottom Line, Jan. 23). I think that similar status should be applied to countries that do not provide proper health care and other necessary social programs to their citizens, such as the United States.

Sandy Kemsley, Toronto a

Only a Third World country would have a national journal that gives space to the sophomoric views of Deirdre McMurdy satirizing The Wall Street Journal's assessment of Canada as a Third World prospect, and in the same issue presents Allan Fotheringham who sees NAFTA as a disaster (“Situation normal: nothing makes sense”).

R. M. Macintosh, Toronto

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. E-mail 111 letters@macleans.ca □