What passions, I wonder, is Bre-X senior vice-president John Felderhof referring to when he states: “Business is business. You do away with your passions” (“Greed, graft, gold,” Cover, March 3). Could he be referring to a passion for greed? Other kinds of passions get the rest of us out of bed in the morning. They are the passions that gave rise to civil rights, equal opportunity, and responsibility in sharing in the wealth and well-being of the world. In places like Indonesia, natural resources and entire cultures are stripped to the core with no hope for anything better at the hands of the Felderhofs, Bre-Xs and President Suhartos of the world. It is a fallacy to believe that the people of Indonesia will profit in any way from their own natural resources in this venture, and a disgrace that a Canadian company will.
Michelle Neil, Wolfville, N.S. HI
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If a government murders at will, why on earth would a corporation think that that same government would act honorably or legally in a business situation?
Katherine Palmer, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. El
You manage to make a business event of some importance read like a cheap thriller. One can almost hear the sound track rise in the background, see the camera swoop in for a close-up of that “grey-pale” skin. The simple, jerky sentences capture the scene, while skilfully evading basic rules of grammar and style.
Geoffrey McVey, Syracuse, N. Y. HI
Keeping in touch
In light of recent threats to the Canadian periodical industry, I feel that Maclean’s is a valuable means for Canadian expatriates to keep up with the issues. It is a shame that information from a distinctly Canadian perspective may be threatened. Mail from Canada can take anywhere from three weeks to months to reach me, and I have little access to English-speaking news sources other than American options. As a Canadian working in Turkey, I feel in touch with my nationality, thanks to this magazine.
Laurie Hayden, Tarsus, TurkeyHsl
While addressing the House of Commons about the federal budget, Finance Minister Paul Martin said: “The era of cuts is ending” (“Martin’s message,” Canada, March 3). I find this a very interesting statement. Every level of government has borrowed large amounts of money and this money is still owed. Logically speaking, the federal government has to run a surplus of $30 billion for each of the next 20 years to wrestle our debt to the ground. To run this surplus, taxes either have to be raised or governments have to continue to cut. Knowing the former is political suicide, the worst of the cuts is yet to come.
Brian Gray, Hamilton HI
I find Paul Martin’s comment that “what we started to do in 1993, [previous governments] should have started much, much earlier, and it would have been a hell of a lot easier” (“Some
A little flag waving
I was moved to tears by your story on the three men who have been defiantly flying the Canadian flag for a year (“They stand on guard,” Opening Notes, March 3). They are certainly my heroes. As a musician in the Canadian Forces for 35 years, I stood on the beaches of Normandy for dedication ceremonies, and our flag was there. I played songs of glory for our fal len comrades at cemeteries in Holland and Belgium, and our flag was there. I walked on the beach at Dieppe with veterans and spoke in whispers of their sacrifice, and our flag was there. I stood at the war memorial in Ottawa and celebrated our victories and lamented the passing of great Canadians who gave their lives for our country, and our flag was there.
I am indebted to those patriotic Canadians in Quebec City who do “stand on guard” for our values and our heritage.
Chief warrant officer Jack Kopstein (ret.), Chilliwack, B. C.E1
‘Recovery’!” Cover, Feb. 17) to be extremely hypocritical. Was it not a Liberal government that introduced Canada to deficit financing? Was it not the Liberals’ nonconfidence motion over John Crosbie’s budget that brought down Joe Clark’s Conservative government? It was Crosbie’s budget, in the early ’80s, that was going to deal with and eliminate a much smaller federal deficit. Then, it would have been “a hell of a lot easier.” I applaud Martin’s effort to reduce the federal deficit, and I hope he stays the course. But I believe he suffers from selective memory.
Philip Zerr, Burlington, Ont.
A word about debt
UT iving on borrowed money” (The Road i-/Ahead, March 3), about the country’s debt-load of $1 trillion, should be compulsory reading for every high-school and university student in Canada from now to eternity.
G. Edward Hall, Ottawa
May letter writer Albert Dubord (“Forgetful giant,” March 3) realize that at least one county in rural New York state is very much aware of sacrifices Canadians have made for the ultimate benefit of our two countries. Canada’s flag was proudly dis-
played during ceremonies dedicating our veterans’ memorial park, and Canadian citizens who enlisted in the U.S. military forces and are among personnel missing in action are also remembered and honored during our annual prisoner of war/missing in action ceremonies.
Warren S. Eddy, Cortland, N. Y.
With all of the problems faced by Canada’s military recently, Defence Minister Doug Young could have tried to set an example by behaving as a gentleman (“The fat hits the fire in Ottawa,” Opening Notes, March 3). Unfortunately, he has taken all of the media coverage about how tough he is too much to heart, and has forgotten this important skill in his gratuitous insult to Reform party MP Deborah Grey, compounding the error by refusing to apologize to her. There is a big difference between being tough and determined and being just plain rude and having no class. Notwithstanding the Somali and Bosnian incidents, I hope that our military can maintain its usual high standard of conduct, and maybe some of that officer-and-gentleman stuff will rub off on Young.
Peter R. Frise, Kanata, Ont. Ml
I submit herewith my nominee for “Canadian churl of the year”—Defence Minister Doug Young.
Bruce Owen, Saltspring Island, B. C. Ml
Like all Calgarians, I was impressed by your flattering cover story on Calgary (“On top of the world,” Feb. 24). Indeed, we pride ourselves on becoming a great international business centre. But we shouldn’t for-
get that, in spite of its enormous corporate wealth, Calgary is still the one city that couldn’t come up with a single corporate sponsor who would write a cheque for a paltry $50,000 to support Part 1 and 2 of Angels in America, a play that has been selling out theatres across Middle America and has had no problems with sponsors in Edmonton. The prizewinning play was eventually produced amid a furor in the local media, where one promi-
nent commentator described it as pornographic filth. Calgary is a nice, comfortable middle-class city in which to live. But until we can stop projecting an image of fundamentalist attitudes and intolerance to the rest of the country, you really can’t compare the place with Toronto or Vancouver or any other world-class city worthy of the name.
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