February 12 1996


February 12 1996


Geeks and nerds

I salute your efforts to bring your magazine into the Information Age, but your reporting of high-tech issues belies your sincerity. I dare you to publish an article on personal computing that isn’t introduced with words like “geekdom” and “techno-nerds” (“Plugging into the future,” Cover, Jan. 29). The media must share the blame for our schools’ inability to steer enough young people towards science and technology careers.

Ross Brown, Kanata, Ont. JH

As an unemployed job seeker who used the Internet frequently to supplement my job search, I was pleased to read that there are entrepreneurs who are doing something about improving the current disarray of jobsearch options. In particular, it was refreshing to see more Canadian content being offered to the jobless community.

Floyd Harriott, Windsor, Ont. H.

The very variety and random trivia you claim makes the World Wide Web less than useful has made it a gold mine of information for me. I am a sculptor, and thanks to the Web I am able to see every kind and aspect of animal I need for my work. This has saved me hours of time and money. I am not a young computer nerd but an old techno idiot.

Lenore Atwood, Toronto

Hope and despair

Someone once called experts “people who come from away and bring slides.” Your experts quoted in the story on teen suicide (“Killing the pain,” Special Report, Jan. 29) have no answers and not once did anyone consider the possibility that the God is Dead theory might have something to do with young people choosing death over life. The majority of teenagers today have no faith in adults, authority, systems or the future, and when they ask, “What else is there?” the answer is too often, “Nothing.” If we do not bring God back from the dead—at least for purposes of discussion—we are going to see a hell of a lot more teenage exits.

Judy S. MacDonald, London, Ont. JM

If the positive aspects of teen behavior could receive as much attention as the splashier

negative aspects—such as our preoccupation with young offenders—a teenager might feel more a true member of our society. At an age when the average human is undergoing a chemical storm, torn between childhood and adulthood, making academic choices that could affect his or her entire life, teenagers need the support of the larger society, not to be alienated from it.

Sharon Tansey,

St. Albert, Alta.

Charges stayed

I am the former director of public prosecutions for Nova Scotia, and contrary to your statement in “Dissecting a tragedy” (Canada, Jan. 29), the workplace safety charges arising from the Westray mine disaster were not withdrawn to clear the way for the public inquiry. They were stayed only after a judge refused the Crown’s request for an adjournment of the trial until after the RCMP had completed its criminal investigation. Proceeding to trial on the workplace safety charges would have doomed the more serious criminal charges subsequently laid by the police, since the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibits double jeopardy.

John Pearson, Oakville, Ont.

No partition

Diane Francis does not help at all with her column “Let Bouchard eat half a separatist cake” Qan. 29). All these arguments about subdividing Quebec are provocative and useless in trying to rebuild confidence, dialogue and openness among all groups of our society. As a French Quebecer who voted No on Oct 30,1 would be against Quebec

partition, even if Quebec decided one day to separate. I’m sure that many Quebecers who wish to have a new deal within a genuine Confederation are also against any kind of partition of Quebec. What do Canadians prefer: recognizing the French people of Quebec as a true nation, or another Northern Ireland in North America?

Pierre Fournier, Laval, Que.

For Diane Francis to compare the Quebec separatists with the Palestinians and their plight is an insult to all Canadians and completely devalues any other valid points she makes on this subject.

Gerry Richardson, Pender Island, B.C.

Diane Francis makes more sense than anything we have heard from any politician, of any political stripe, for a long while. To follow any course of action other than partitioning Quebec is equivalent to feeding a cancer patient nothing but very expensive painkillers when a trip to the operating room could cure the problem. Time is of the essence, and we should get on with it.

Michael Simpson, Victoria JH

The right glue

It was with dismay that I read “Operation Co-operation” (From the Editor, Jan. 15). Robert Lewis says that “Canadian politics, like the monarch, was in hibernation last week, but mercifully it did not spring back to life. How blissful it was.” I disagree. Politicians of all stripes make personal and financial sacrifices to serve. They have their flaws, but if a sufficient number of people do not agree with their policies, they can be replaced. Rather than insult politicians, these people deserve our respect if for no other reason than to encourage people with ability to run for office. I did not see any “strutting senators” when two members of the red chamber, Pierre Claude Nolin and Consiglio DiNino, came recently to talk to students in Hamilton. What I saw were two concerned Canadians who volunteered their time to help with others in finding a glue to bond us together as Canadians.

John Farrugia, Cambridge, Ont.

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, 777Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7. Fax: (416) 596-7730.

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