The Mail

The Mail

March 11 1996
The Mail

The Mail

March 11 1996

The Mail

Laughing at ourselves

Bravo for finally putting someone with an abundance of brains and guts on your cover—Mary Walsh (“22 minutes for high schticking,” Feb. 26). Satiric comedy is a field in which Canadians truly excel. The cast of This Hour Has 22 Minutes makes us laugh and feel proud to be Canadian. I did feel your article overlooked that show’s brightest star, though. Certainly, the rest of the cast is caustically brilliant, but Cathy Jones, with her bull’s-eye caricatures, is a wacky genius and national treasure. More stories like this, please.

André Touchburn, Shediac, N.B.

I think these days we, as Canadians, all need a laugh or two every so often. Each week, I look forward to 22 Minutes and Royal Canadian Air Farce. With the current problems at the CBC, I hope these shows will be around for a while. They give us all a different look at the news and current events—and a reason to laugh.

Andrew Peat, London, Ont.

Thank goodness for the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Double Exposure and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. They keep us laughing at ourselves, they keep us sane. And now, Marg Delahunty for prime minister, eh?

Pamela Hiensch, Richmond, B. C.

A while back, Double Exposure ran a skit in which the president of the United States insisted on calling our Prime Minister “Gene Cretin.” I was more than a little bothered by this at the time, but recent

events in Hull, Que., have shown that I was wrong and, as usual, Linda Cullen and Bob Robertson were right.

Garth Young, Dowling, Ont.

Taking sides?

ii /^hrétien: grip loss?” on your cover v^and your article headline “Did he lose it?” (Canada, Feb. 26) are both unduly sensational, and the article itself is unbalanced. How could Prime Minister Jean Chrétien possibly know whether or not he was about to be knifed? Your article might also have referred to the self-serving state-

ment of the RCMP and its obvious lack of professionalism in not being in front of the Prime Minister on this occasion and previously in not detecting the intruder in the Prime Minister’s residence.

Philip G. Haley, North York, Ont. JU

In response to your question, “Did he lose it?”: what is wrong with us Canadians? Every newscast I saw, every story I read, regarding the incident involving demonstrator Bill Clennett, disgusted me. The media right away took the side of the protester. This man was verbally harassing our Prime Minister, a

man in authority, who should be treated with respect. Sure, Chrétien is under stress, but I don’t blame him one bit for his actions.

Gary Neven, Dundas, Ont.

In the preamble to your article, you ask if the strain of the national unity question is taking its toll on Prime Minister Chrétien. Strain? Him? He virtually slept his way through the October referendum while ordinary Canadians worked to save the country. If Chrétien strains to do anything, he should find the strength to resign.

Jae Eadie, Winnipeg

A new slant

So that’s what The Honeymooners was about: housewife stands up to verbally abusive husband (Passages, Feb. 19). Sheesh, aren’t we correct all of a sudden?

Alan R. Bushell, Victoria

New world leaders

Maybe it’s just me, but has the world overlooked individuals such as Garry Kasparov who can beat high-tech computers designed to play chess mercilessly (“A master sinks Deep Blue,” Technology, Feb. 26)? Why aren't these people in government? They could do a lot for society if they were to use their brain power to work out solutions for the problems of today. I am not saying that Kasparov could bring peace to the world, but aren’t we living one big chess game anyway? Everything depends on the moves you and your opponents make. We should encourage people like Kasparov to use their gifts to better society. As for now, Bishop to Pawn 4. . . .

Hoi-Men Wong, Toronto ffl

Fact checking

I would like to point out minor errors in the Canada section in your Feb. 19 edition. In “In the hot seat,” about House of Commons Speaker Gilbert Parent, I noticed Question Period got extended to two hours instead of its 45-minute time slot beginning at 2:15 four days out of five. In the very next article, “Backbench rumbles,” I see MP Dan McTeague being from Scarborough/Rouge River, instead of the Ontario riding of Ontario.

T. N. Sullivan, Ottawa

Broadcast strategies

Your article confirms that Izzy Asper’s success as a broadcaster stems from CanWest Global’s dominance of the Toronto-Hamilton market (“Izzy’s dream,” Cover, Feb. 19). A scan of the shows that lead to this dominance reveals the traditional strategy of Global’s operations: show all the top American shows. How do they get around Canadian-content regulations? I do not regard the expansion of CanWest’s empire at the expense of stations that broadcast Canadian content as positive.

Tim Pope, Quebec City 111

Homegrown trash

Regarding your article on television talk shows, the quotes from Canadian newcomer Camilla Scott made me laugh out loud (‘Taking in the trash,” Life, Feb. 19). Scott suggests that her show is somehow different from the shows produced by our American neighbors. She’s right, it’s worse. Scott claims that her show upholds Canadian values and doesn’t resort to American trash. Instead, what the Camilla show demonstrates is a complete lack of values altogether, and that Canadians are quite capable of delivering their own brand of trash TV to their viewers.


Tara Jackson, Kingston, Ont. HI

Many questions

If the phrase uti possidetis juris, meaning “that which you possess, you shall continue to possess,” is used to define Quebec’s borders (“Battle over borders,” Canada/Special Report, Feb. 12), can it not also be used to define the borders of Canada? If Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard rejects this logic because he believes that Canada is two nations, is Quebec not also two nations (at least), the other one being the Cree nation that has inhabited the northern third of the province for thousands of years?

Millie Hubbert, Markdale, Ont.

Sylvain Simard, Quebec international affairs minister, asked the question: “For how many years are you ready to occupy Quebec to impose this partition that the majority does not want?” (“Raising the unity stakes,” Canada/Special Report). I ask a similar question: “How many referendums will you hold to impose a separation that the majority of Quebecers do not want?” We voiced our intention twice in the past 15 years. The majority said No.

Martine Reumont-Carver, Pointe Claire, Que.

Government grants

Why would you lessen the credibility of your excellent article “Previewing the budget” (Canada, Feb. 26) by not chal-

lenging Finance Minister Paul Martin to explain why he does not cut unnecessary and often ludicrous grants and subsidies in his next budget? Had you looked at the 80page federal public accounts report on these, you would have seen, for example, $20,000 to examine the ecclesiastic courts in 19th-century England; a 1995 Canada Council grant of $4,000 to sponsor the queer film and video festival, an event showing pornographic films; $500,000 to build a canoe hall of fame in the Prime Minister’s riding. As Martin said: “Govern-

ment spending of great gobs of money before an election has gone the way of the dodo bird”—now they do it throughout their mandate.

J. G. Boulet, Orleans, Ont.

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