The Mail

The Mail

January 19 1998
The Mail

The Mail

January 19 1998

The Mail

Regarding Newfoundlanders championship in the bedroom (“Private pleasures,” Maclean’s/CBC News Poll, Dec. 29/Jan. 5), the explanation for this was exposed some years ago by Nancy White on the CBC’s Sunday Morning program. She explained that every night Canadians watch The National at the same time before going to bed—except in Newfoundland where it is one half-hour later. Therefore, Newfoundlanders had to find an agreeable way to fill the time while waiting. Perhaps Newfoundland men’s stamina and performance could be used to address Canada’s problems. Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard has already complained about the falling birth rate in his province. So I propose the federal government fund winter “holidays” in Quebec for Newfoundlanders. Such a program would not only solve Quebec’s birth-rate problem, but also would point out to both Quebecers and Newfoundlanders the advantages of interprovincial free trade and of being united.

Polling Canada

John Lennox,

As essential as the stereotype is to the print media, was it really necessary to picture libidinous Newfoundlanders as people who wear oilskins and rubber boots? How long do we have to suffer these indignities? Please come to Corner Brook or Labrador City or Marystown for an enlightened glimpse of life in this part of Canada.

George Coffin, Marystown, Nfld. HI

I do not understand why The z Strategic Counsel’s pollster Allan § Gregg is so surprised that most 6 Canadians identify themselves as 2 liberal, yet also have a deep suspi| cion of the government (“A confi> dent nation”). Clearly, this country, I like all Western democracies, has I become captive to the libertarian = ideology. People no more want the - government in their bedrooms than they do in their boardrooms. This is a great challenge to Reform and the NDP, for both want government intervention in opposite spheres of the public domain. The real sadness for people like me, who want government intervention in both economic and social issues, is that not only do we have no party to turn to, we also have no constituency in this country any more.

Rev. Kevin C. Little, Halifax HI


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We’re delighted that your 14th year-end poll included questions about alternative healthcare treatments (“Healthy options”). It’s important to point out, however, once again, that your use of the term “alternative” does not adequately, accurately or appropriately capture what it is that motivates an astounding 25 per cent to “say they would trust a herbal remedy more than a prescription from a medical doctor.” That naturopathic doctors choose the term “holistic” over “alternative” or “complementary” is an indicator of how they understand and practise natural medicine in Canada.

Victoria HI David John Schleich,

President, The Canadian College ................... of Naturopathic Medicine,

Toronto HI

Holocaust gallery

In 1945, as a 14-year-old Jewish boy, I was liberated by Canadian soldiers in Holland, and therefore owe them boundless gratitude. Unfortunately, I cannot extend these

Welcome words

í í \ A /eston speaks out" has the tone V V of exposing political undercurrents around Ontario’s Lt.-Gov. Hilary Weston (Opening Notes, Dec. 22). Although I originally questioned her appointment, I applaud the remarks she has made to a traditionally exclusive, male-dominated and elitist organization: the Canadian Club of Toronto. Why is the mention of women’s issues by a woman and an establishment Ontario lieutenant-governor worthy of the indictment “embroiled in politics” when the issues are in fact societal in nature and only incidentally political? I am surprised that Maclean’s would find her words to be “strong” considering that they merely scratch at the surface of what many Canadians feel are their most prominent concerns. Further, her words barely touch the difficulties confronted by working women at the lower strata of Canadian society. I congratulate Weston, but wait anxiously for genuine leaders who are brave enough to redefine those roads to social change— and for a society and news media who welcome it.

Brydie Bethell, Regina

sentiments this time. Barbara Amiel’s column “Controversy over a delicate matter” (Dec. 29/Jan. 5) is an ideological diatribe wrapped in the flag to explain away another “delicate matter” the veterans seem so prone to bang up against. I am in agreement that the Canadian War Museum is not the place for a Holocaust gallery. My reasons, though, are different. In September, 1939, Canada joined the Allies to defeat Germany’s renewed bid for world hegemony. Given Canada’s almost systematic refusal to help Jewish refugees to escape persecution and extermination, to claim a war against racism is misleading. In conclusion, let me suggest a suitable place for a Holocaust gallery: a Canadian museum of history, not of civilization.

Max Vlessing, Vancouver

Barbara Amiel is, and should be considered, a national Canadian treasure, because of all columnists writing today, she thinks most clearly, analyzes most incisively and writes most fearlessly. In her article on the dispute over the Holocaust gallery, she has articulated the views of Canadian war veterans with a simplicity and clarity that no veteran could improve upon.

Bill Robertson, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.


Into the fire

The EH-101 helicopter fiasco is just one more example of several major and very costly blunders made by the Chrétien government since its election (“Chopper trouble,” Canada, Dec. 22). Happy to see the end of the Brian Mulroney era in 1993, I was looking forward to a period of sound, honest and effective government under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Instead, we have seen a string of broken promises and excuses on the GST, drug patents, Pearson airport and the helicopter deal, the ill-conceived Airbus affair and the shameful closure of the Somalia inquiry. It troubles me greatly, and I find it worrisome that there was so little public indignation. Where indeed is the outrage?

Andrew Bosman, Calgary

Profit sharing

Two items stand juxtaposed on the Business Notes page in the Dec. 15 issue of Maclean’s, yet nobody seems to have made the connection. First, I read that Imperial Tobacco threatened to cancel about $50 million in sponsorship of sporting and cultural events (“Imperial’s threat”). Then, I read that profits for Canada’s Big Six banks soared by an unprecedented $7.4 billion in 1997 (“Unprecedented profits”). Any thinking person must sincerely wish there were some way to do away with tobacco company funding and the same people have watched with considerable hostility as banks profits went from outrageous to obscene. Well, I can think of one way for the banks to engage in some serious public relations. After all, what’s a piddling $50 million in $7.4 billion?

Alan C, Whatcott, HI Abbotsford, B.C.

Nuclear reaction

It is all very well for Jean Chrétien to hammer home his government’s (alleged) commitment to combating global warming (“A new mantra,” Canada, Nov. 17), but it will certainly not establish him or his Liberals as environmentalists. After all, in order to sell the last two reactors, he had to lend China millions of dollars taken from Canadian taxpayers. At a time when several of Ontario’s reactors have had to be decommissioned for safety reasons, it would be more appropriate to look to today’s new sources of energy and cancel sales of reactors. Let’s get our house in order first by enforcing government inspection of our reactors and by reinstating the laws passed to protect Canadians and others from nuclear accidents.

C. F. Ranson, Delta, B. C.

THE MAIL^ Greed and the North

I found it very ironic that you ended the article about the diamond mines soon to open in the Barren Lands of the Northwest Territories with the words: “But the adventure of seeking them has made the Barren Lands a realm of bounty and mythic fascination” (“Diamonds in the rough,” Business, Dec. 29/Jan. 5). As someone who has spent the past 27 summers canoeing across large areas of that vast, pristine wilderness; and as someone who also understands the plans of the mining industry and governments to build hugely expensive all-weather roads across the Barren Lands to dozens of new mines, let me assure you that this marks the beginning of the end of the Barren Lands as a “realm of bounty and mythic fascination.”

Alex Hall, Fort Smith, N.W.T.

Your sub-headline states: “Adventure and greed marked the search for precious gems in Canada’s North.” Would you explain, please, at what point ambition ends and greed begins? Or do you consider any individual’s striving for success greedy?

John de Visser, Cobourg, Ont.

Senatorial waste

I am outraged by “The deadbeat senator and the Silver Fox” (Allan Fotheringham, Dec. 22). I fail to see the humor in the wanton waste of the Senate. Let Andy Thompson be the catalyst for the abolition of the Senate.

Keith Heikkinen, Haliburton, Ont.

Senators Andy Thompson and Finlay MacDonald may, as Allan Fotheringham claims, represent opposite ends of the “Senate spectrum.” But let’s be quite clear: they are both at the same trough.

E. D. Boldt, St. Norbert, Man. JH