Thank you for the mini-portraits of some of the most outstanding and accomplished athletes who are doing us proud in Atlanta (“Ready to rip,” Cover, July 22). While I am not a sports enthusiast, I take great pride in those young Canadians who endure pain and hardship to represent us in competitions worldwide. It is sad that many of the Canadian athletes competing
in Atlanta this summer are not well known in their own country. Could it be due to the fact that the media tend to dwell endlessly on the multimillion-dollar contracts in sports such as baseball and hockey? Meanwhile, the athletes who work tirelessly and silently to represent their country internationally receive scant coverage.
Jeanette Parsons, Kitchener, Ont. Ml
After reading your article on “The drug detectives,” regarding the cost of detecting telltale traces of banned drugs used by
Olympic athletes, I feel very sad and disillusioned about the meaning of the Games. As you mentioned, athletes eyeing the hundreds of thousands of dollars that commercial sponsors will bring often forget who gave them the opportunity to train—the taxpayer. Maybe we, the taxpayers, have to insist that any proceeds derived from an athlete’s commercial endorsements will be shared equally with the government for five years. Perhaps
the incentive for rampant drug use would be checked.
Eurydice Nours, Victoria
A positive spin
During my most recent visit home to Grand Bank, Nfld., a number of family members and friends expressed their disappointment with the “Local heroes” cover Quly 1). That a story as positive as that of the Main Street Youth Centre would need to portray the community in such a negative fashion (pre-Youth Centre) was very disheartening. Grand Bank, a town of 3,500, boasts an Olympic-size indoor pool, two soccer fields, a softball pitch, five playground/parks, five
tennis courts, an active Scouts movement, a widely recognized cadet troop and numerous other extracurricular youth organizations. The youth centre is yet another example of the enthusiasm the people of Grand Bank have towards their youth. Despite its proximity to St-Pierre et Miquelon, the problem of teenage drinking in Grand Bank is no different than the problem of teen drinking in Halifax or Sackville, N.B., where I have been employed as a school counsellor. Such sensationalism is disappointing.
Jeanne Buffett-Lacroix, Dieppe, N.B. Ml
Congratulations on your inspiring feature. It is worth noting that thousands of Canadians also volunteer their time and expertise each year to Canadian organizations working to promote international co-operation. Some organizations manage emergency operations, such as refugee camps. Others work with overseas partners to rebuild villages after earthquakes. Some send volunteers abroad to provide specialized technical assistance in finance, agriculture or human rights laws to governments or citizens groups. Others work with local
I was stirred by Katharine Allen’s call for a national show of unity, pride and love for country during the 1996 celebration of Canada Day (“Let the songs of Canada be heard,” The Road Ahead, June 24). In 1987, I had the pleasure of attending the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Toronto. An event that will live with me for the rest of my days was the equestrian show performed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The pageantry, pride and respect for tradition were ever-present as the riders guided their steeds through their routines. Coming away from the arena that night, I offered the comment: “Too bad many Americans don’t have the same regard for tradition as do the Canadians.” In support for Katherine’s call for unity, never take for granted that which has become the foundation of your fine country. Revere, always, those who have given of themselves to help forge the nation whose emblem occupies a position of prominence amongst all in the free world. Be on guard against apathy and ignorance from within. Respect is and should be contagious. It’s a good thing to catch.
Thomas F. Weber, Retired commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Chesterfield, Mo.
village associations to provide micro-loans to would-be entrepreneurs or to improve citizen access to health services, education, sanitation, literacy, nutrition or food security. Let’s not forget to salute them, too.
Betty Plewes, President and CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation,
While reading the July 22 issue of Maclean’s, it occurred to me that somehow the Canadian system has got its priorities totally confused. First, I read Diane Francis’s account of Bloc Québécois MP Jean-Marc Jacob’s treasonous statement regarding the Quebec military and the thwarted efforts of Montreal lawyer Brent Tyler and Reform party defence critic Jim Hart to have him investigated. Does common sense not dictate that a person who strongly believes in violent action against the elected government of his country should not be on a committee dealing with that same country’s military secrets? When will our government begin to treat Quebec as the province that it is and not as the country/state that it as-
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pires to be? Preaching armed sedition is treason and should be treated as such. Second, I read about the report on the Bernardo investigation, which ends with a description of the procedures being followed for Bernardo’s safety in prison (“Bungling the case,” Canada, July 22). Are we crazy? A seditious traitor is allowed to continue his rhetoric and given access to military secrets, while the most despicable rapistmurderer of our time is being carefully protected against his fellow inmates, sometimes involving their being locked up out of his way.
Claire Tarrant, Mississauga, Ont.
Diane Francis in “Political correctness and the Jacob affair,” (Column, July 22) is bang on in her comments. What she has shown Canadians is that the Quebec rump of the Liberal party is in bed with the Bloc Québécois. She has also revealed that the Prime Minister and his cabinet are toothless, gutless and out of touch with reality. But what else can the country expect when the Liberals are led by a socialist whose only thoughts are how to screw Canada while benefiting Quebec? It started with former prime ministers Mike Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau and lives today in Jean Chrétien.
Bob Orrick, Richmond, B.C.
It seems to me that if we applied the logic of the march of Orangemen through Catholic areas of Northern Ireland such as Portadown to this country (“Back to the barricades,” World, July 22), it would mean an annual Plains of Abraham victory march through Quebec City.
Cy Steele, Petawawa, Ont.
Surely it is time Orangemen realized that it is long past time to forgo commemoration of the 17th-century victories of William of Orange over King James II. Who knows, peace might then actually happen.
G. E. Andrews, Calgary
Witty old chestnut
For the second time in the past few years, Allan Fotheringham has trotted out that old chestnut about a supposed Bismarck/Queen Victoria tête-à-tête regarding Her Majesty’s “Irish problem,” (“If the Irish and Italians swapped countries,” Column, July 15). It’s extremely unlikely that the Famine Queen, as she is known in Ireland, needed any tips from Hitler’s precursor on that subject: the mass graves on Grosse Ile and along the banks of the St. Lawrence would seem to support the view
that her government had its own solution in place. Give it a rest, Foth. To quote the grand old lady: “We are not amused.”
Frank Conroy, Mississauga, Ont.
I once heard Allan Fotheringham say that if he could write like novelist John Irving, that would be to die for, or something like that. Not to take anything away from Irving, I would prefer to read a column by Foth, particularly one as witty and succinct as “If the Irish and Italians swapped countries.”
Marjorie Robertson, Ottawa
Nuking the cukes
I read with interest your article on contaminated berries (“Microscopic mystery,” Health, July 15). Surely we can live through an uncomfortable bout of cramps and diarrhea from bacteria on fruit rather than live in constant fear of eating food that has been irradiated and not knowing what the longterm consequences would be. Please, let us not live in a sterile world.
Rubina Sidi, Montreal
Gateway to Canada
Peter C. Newman’s July 22 column “Pier 21: the place where we became Canadians,” (The Nation’s Business) brought back memories of 1945 when my regiment was the first to be returned to Canada. It was on the Ile-de-France that we came back to Canada and to Pier 21, in June, 1945. To our great surprise, we were welcomed by city officials and arrangements were made for us to parade to City Hall where the mayor presented the keys to the city to our colonel commanding. I have revisited Halifax many times, but that 1945 event sticks in my mind.
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