Those Were the Days (Cover, July 24) was one of my father’s favourite songs—and he loved to boast that he was born the same year as the Queen Mum. How he would have loved to be here to share this important date. When I was a teenager in London during the Blitz, it was a very bright day when we could catch up with the King and Queen on a walkabout. They would clamber over the ruins of bomb damage from the night before and, as writer Gregory Clark so succinctly described their visit to Canada, “a melancholy seemed to lift from us.”
Rosemary Jackson, Nanaimo, B.C.
Does anybody care that the Archbishop of Canterbury grabbed the Queen Mum’s drink by mistake? Royalty is irrelevant in Canada.
Rex Dayton, Moose Jaw, Sask.
Well, the Queen Mother did admit “I am not really very nice,” but her statement that Diana, Princess of Wales, was proving to be “as tedious in death as she had been in life” depicts a jealousy that is beneath her. A breath of fresh air, Diana propelled the House of Windsor into the 20th century (just in time for the 21st) by public demonstrations of affection, caring and compassion. She taught her children what it was like to carry money and pay for things, a lesson the Queen Mum could have used. Clearly, envy and jealousy pervade all classes and age-groups.
Ellen Flannery Lanthier, Ottawa
www. macleans. ca
for more letters and a Forum debate on “When water kills” (Cover, June 12)
An excerpt from the book Cashing In written by Aaron Freeman, to be published by McClelland & Stewart, appeared in the April 10 issue of Macleans (“When money meets politics”). The excerpt falsely identified Bruce Murdock as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry. Mr. Murdock has advised us that at no time has he ever represented the tobacco industry in any way, shape or form. We apologize to Mr. Murdock for this attack on his personal reputation and professional integrity and for any damage he has suffered.
Aaron Freeman, Ottawa, and
Douglas M. Gibson, President and Publisher,
McClelland & Stewart, Toronto
I’m at a loss to understand why there has been so much in the media about how un-mainstream Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day’s views are on abortion (“Day comes to Ottawa,”
Art of lasting value’
While taking one of my frequent breaks from practising the piano, I read with much interest Charles Gordon’s essay on jazz pianist Oscar Peterson (“The importance of Oscar,” July 24). It would, in feet, be almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Peterson’s contributions and achievements, and I applaud Gordon for bringing this so firmly to the fore. At least as important, to my way of thinking, is the acknowledgment of the kind of long-term dedication and perseverance required to produce art of lasting value. We would all do well to remember this in our current social climate.
Phil Dwyer, Toronto
Canada, July 24). One has only to look at Gallup poll results from last December to know that Day’s views on abortion (that is, that there should be restrictions on it) are much more mainstream than is the current abortion situation in Canada. Only 28 per cent of Canadians believe that abortion should be legal under all circumstances, while 55 per cent believe it should only be legal in certain circumstances.
Barbara McAdorey, Kemptville, Ont.
I suppose it isn’t surprising that you would receive some mail howling about the treatment you gave Stockwell Day (“Scare tactics,” July 24). However, I felt you were relatively gentle on him. Certainly, there is plenty of information available on the Internet that details the new Opposition leader’s support of questionable social and racial causes in the relatively recent past. What troubled me most was the implication that because Macleans and other publications are influential with the electorate, they should be curbed. I appreciate your assertion
Letters to the Editor
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that you do not “take sides in party politics” (“The people always decide,” From the Editor, July 17). A Canada where no one can expose the frailties and foibles of leaders, or potential leaders, is a Canada I could not cherish.
James Strachan, Banff, Alta.
Taking the brunt
Supporting Ontario Premier Mike Harris’s cuts to education, letter-writer Brian Mahoney stated that teachers don’t have the money for classroom basics because they are already receiving that money in their pockets (“Political interference,” The Mail, July 10). I don’t believe that he, and others like him, truly understand what teachers are getting paid in relation to the tremendous responsibilities they have. No person in the private sector would accept such low pay for the hours and work required for this demanding and important position in our society. As always, teachers, being in the front lines, take the brunt of education criticism.
Karen Zoree Morrison, Oakville, Ont.
Let’s face it, after provincial and federal politicians, a teacher has the best job in Canada. Whether you break it down to minutes, hours, days or weeks, teachers are the second-best-paid civil servants in the land. At an average highschool salary of $65,000 after 12 years, for 38 weeks’ work a year, teachers make very good pay for any job. Who in the private sector can get 70 per cent of their wages as a pension for an investment of six per cent and retire at age 55 if they have put in 30 years on the job? Art Wilkins, Guelph, Ont.
A federal role
Perhaps Peter C. Newman’s cynicism is blinding him to real issues meaningful to young Canadians (“Stockwell Day’s revolution” July 24). His tax rhetoric is tiresome, his anti-government sentiments are dull and his U.S. comparisons too simplistic. His most
recent outburst of support for Stockwell Day was most offensive to a young, educated and proud Canadian who has resided in both British Columbia and Alberta. Day’s platform of eliminating national standards on fundamental issues like health care, by giving the provinces more power to rule, is both naïve and scary. Clearly, there is a strong role for the federal government to temper the provinces if we want to maintain a strong, united and civilized country. Why do we think we have to radically change everything to the regressive fundamentalist vision of the “fly-by-night concoction” of Stockwell Day?
Cheryl M. Link, Calgary
Tuning in to VR
I expect that if Anthony WilsonSmith watches our news show it will dispel his impression of it being “unintentionally goofy” (“When Moses speaks, listen,” June 5). As we continue to refine our newscasts, more and more people are tuning in. In fact, our audience has grown 67 per cent in the last year alone. Local news is alive and flourishing in VRLand.
Doug Slack, Creative Services Director,
The New VR, Barrie, Ont.
The peoples fiddler
To my horror, the gendeman fiddler who has led the wave of troubadours that salvaged from ruin the art of Celtic music in this country is not noted in among those named to the Order of Canada this year (Passages, July 17). Hugh (Buddy) MacMaster of Judique, N.S., is at once the most humble and most deserving of this list of Canadians. Born in 1924, he fiddled the sounds of a displaced and yet triumphant people as he rode the trains along the western shores of Cape Breton. He was instrumental in rallying a respect for, and interest in, the fiddle and, by way of its strains, the Celtic people of Canada. Suzanne M. O’Callaghan,
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