The Mail

The Mail

September 8 1997
The Mail

The Mail

September 8 1997

The Mail

Radio daze

As a retired broadcaster who worked behind and around the microphone for 52 years, I was astonished—and as a taxpayer enraged—when I read about the new CBC Radio program This Morning (“Radio renovation,” Media, Sept. 1). I cannot imagine how any radio program could use a staff of 32 to produce one show six or even seven days a week. That is considerably larger than the entire staff of many radio stations in this country, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A staff of 10 or 12 would be extravagant, 32 is insulting. I for one have suddenly changed my mind about the “damaging” cuts made to CBC financing.

Dwayne Johns, Kitchener, Ont. HI


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Cottage life

Charles Gordon’s musings on big-city traffic and cottage life (“Big-city traffic talk on the cottage wharf,” Another View, Aug. 25) struck a resounding chord in my family. We experienced the worst of Toronto-area traffic on a rainy afternoon in July—tedious and scary! At our cottage in August, we were subjected to bigcity mentality brought to the countryside in the form of noisy people, ski boats, pets, Sea-Doos and the like. Does city life now breed open contempt for others? Is voluntary consideration of others an archival concept? Summer’s gone again, but at least spring and fall remain peaceful and sane.

Martin MacLeod, Beaconsfield, Que. HI

Western balance

I always enjoy reading Dr. Foth whether I agree with him or not. There is one point, though,

that is a bit of a red herring. He notes that the loyal Opposition was put in place by “only” four provinces (“A rating of premiers-bythe-sea,” Allan Fotheringham, Aug. 18). For the past few decades, we have had a government (mostly Liberal) that has represented only three or four provinces. In fact, right now the ruling dictators in Ottawa are only representing Ontario and a bit of New Brunswick. Balancing that with a strong voice from the West can only be good. Too bad if Toronto doesn’t like it.

Michael Coyston, Kelowna, B.C. HI

Rich and poor

It was refreshing to read the column by Dalton Camp (“A proposal for the premiers: think small,” Sept. 1). We need this type of input in our public debate about what kind of Canada we desire for ourselves, and our children. He has outlined one of the major injustices in our affluent country, and challenged our political leaders to exercise the power that they have to deal with homelessness. I hope the members of Parliament will act upon the modest proposal made by Camp.

Allan Baker, Toronto HI

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Nuclear option

Not long ago, I flew from Dhaka, Bangladesh, back to Canada, departing in the evening one day and arriving in the evening of the following day. As the plane left Dhaka, I saw only a few lights in the dark city of five million. When the plane approached North America, the East Coast was a blaze of light, literally from Maine to Miami. It occurred to me to wonder what if the whole world used energy the way we do in North America? Conventional energy sources will be depleted in the next century. Wind and solar power are unreliable Band-Aid solutions. As France has concluded, nuclear power is the only realistic option. Despite the anti-nukes’ hysterical lobby and Ontario Hydro’s blunders (“Meltdown,” Canada, Aug. 25), we must continue to use and perfect the use of atomic energy, even if it costs more than other attractive sources at this time. Shutting down nuclear reactors indefinitely will prevent the development of safe equipment and proper operating procedures. Moreover, concern about air pollution and global warming ought to be incentive enough to stay the nuclear course.

Edward LaFontaine, Windsor, Ont.

Having it both ways

Wrong, Peter C. Newman (“Earning the right to ruin the country,” The Nation’s Business, Aug. 25). Quebec can and does have it both ways: “French only” in Quebec, and bilingualism, by law, in other provinces.

Roy Parrett, Victoria HI

Privacy protection

Whenever a provincial government proposes a single, multipurpose identification card, public concerns over privacy are aroused (“The keyless society,” Technology, Aug. 25). Canadians object to so much personal information being centralized on a single card. Can a court challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms restrict the use of biometric identification? Our privacy commissioners keep a good watch over new developments, but they cannot bring in legislation. The onus rests on politicians to protect the public with new privacy laws, and Ottawa should take the lead.

Paul Bobier, Kitchener, Ont.


Progesterone use

I read with interest your recent article on anti-aging hormones (“Forever young,” Cover, July 14). I’m one of those turncoat Canadian doctors who made the move to the United States last year. One of the unforeseen side benefits of this move has been the ready availability of the hormones you discussed in your article. Like Dr. Barbara Fischer, I believe that the natural hormone approach to anti-aging and overall well-being is a new frontier in medicine. I use DHEA and melatonin to a limited extent in my family medicine practice, but far and away the most significant hormone in your article is progesterone. I urge any women reading this letter to get the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause by Dr. John Lee. You will come away with an entirely different view of hormone replacement and the solutions available for other hormonally related problems such as PMS, fibroids and irregular menses. After you’ve read the book, take it to your doctors and threaten to beat them severely about the face and neck unless they read it, too! And if they tell you progesterone is unsafe or ineffective or that you make enough of your own, get yourself a new doctor, preferably a woman (preferably a woman who’s unhappy with the weight gain, fluid retention, breast tenderness, gallstones, migraines, and risk of stroke and breast cancer concomitant with the use of synthetic or otherwise inappropriate estrogens).

Dr. George Gillson, Ontario, Ore.

'Best and brightest'

Charles Gordon rightly laments the poor reputation of the Canadian public service (“Why the Somalia report failed to shock,” Another View, July 28), yet misses a root cause of the problem. I applaud his call for “an infusion of young people with idealism to rescue our politics and our institutions.” Unfortunately, I fear few of Canada’s best and brightest will heed his call as long as private-sector compensation dwarfs public-sector pay by factors as high as 10:1. One need only point to the high-visibility migration of Canadian doctors to the United States to understand the perhaps less visible—but equally disturbing—migration of potential public servants to the private sector. Reformers frequently follow up attacks on government ineptitude with calls for an end to politicians’ and bureaucrats’ “perks.” But does it make sense to expect more from public servants, just as governments slash their salaries?

Paul Sedra, Toronto


Olson and rights

How can our justice system allow Clifford Olson to call the shots while he is in prison (“A killer’s plea,” Cover, Aug. 18)? He freely contacts the media, makes videos and sends obscene letters to the relatives of his victims. For those who are snivelling about his rights being abused, perhaps it is time to focus on another “r” word—responsibility.

Marilyn Mackenzie, Brockville, Ont. ®

When I first saw Olson on your cover, I thought: “Not more publicity for him!” But then I saw the faces of his 11 victims and quelled my impulse to toss the magazine. I want to thank you for keeping their memory alive. I forced myself to sit and study each innocent, beautiful face, read their names and cry once again over their loss.

Cheryl L. Sim. Rosetown, Sask. ®

Do Olson’s victims have a “faint hope” of walking the streets again? If they don’t, then neither should he—ever.

Vera Gottlieb, North Shuswap, B. C.

I have to write and express my family’s disgust at your decision to put Olson’s face on the cover. Apparently, you just don’t get it. Olson is constantly seeking attention, but we don’t care what he thinks or what he wants. With this tragic error of judgment, Maclean’s has become Olson’s ally.

Ken Derby, West Vancouver ®

I realize it is your duty and responsibility to report the news. I want to support you for your coverage of the latest events in the Olson case. We as a public need to know what is going on because it is the unknown that causes fear and paranoia. Exposure also helps to keep the justice system honest.

David Shantz, Blainville, Que.