The Mail

The Mail

Final responsibility

March 5 2001
The Mail

The Mail

Final responsibility

March 5 2001

The Mail

Final responsibility

It is absolutely incredible that Linda Leigh Hunt has won financial support after drinking and driving and getting into an accident that left her with brain damage (“ ‘Our neighbour’s keeper,’ ” Justice, Feb. 19). While I am sympathetic to her current health status, I cannot help feeling utter contempt for her gall in filing this lawsuit against her employer. Our justice system has been lax with the Young Offenders Act, and now we can add the Drink Your Way to Financial Rewards Act. Let the appeals begin.

Diane Elliott, Barrie, Ont.

Linda Hunt has been heartily vilified in the press, in coffee shops and at kitchen tables across the country. Many have taken the attitude that she is somehow a winner because of her award. Nobody who lives with the effects of a traumatic brain injury could even remotely be called a winner. Hunt has lost a half a lifetime of potential, something that money cannot begin to replace. Certainly, at first glance, the $312,174 award seems generous, but legal fees are high, and should the insurer appeal the sentence, even if Hunt wins again, she will be fortunate to have little more than pocket change. And should the employer bear some responsibility? Of course. It is only by caring for our fellow human beings that we will truly begin to make our communities safer.

Linda Bruce, Victoria Harbour, Ont.

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It’s sad that Linda Hunt has suffered brain damage, but it is the result of her choices, not her employer’s, not the bar’s. I find it appalling that a judge would rule that Hunt is not totally responsible for a situation that arose solely from the choices she made.

Tom Lewis, London, Ont.

There is no excuse for drunk driving. None. Her employer tried to get her to take a ride; she refused. That should be the end of it.

L. G. Clark, Dieppe, N.B.

Maybe Linda Hunt should sue the government of Ontario because it made alcohol legal. I was the victim of a hitand-run by a drunk driver in 1978 and spent 12 months with a cast on my leg.

Home fires burning

I read with interest “The price of peacekeeping” (Canada, Feb. 12). But articles on the subject never mention the ones left behind in Canada for six months. To be the lone parent and/or without a spouse for so long is very hard.

The Internet helps with keeping in touch. But trust me, the separation is difficult, and no amount of money can make up for their absence.

Sylvie Delwaide, Ottawa

During the litigation, I was made to feel like the one who was wrong. I felt that the legal system let me down then. Seeing another drunk driver get away with more than $300,000 leaves me with even less respect for the system.

Murray Reist, Edson, Alta.

Mixed acceptance

My experience as the mother of two mixed-race children is very different from Anne Marie Aikins’s (“My son’s black heritage,” Over to You, Feb. 19). My kids have a healthy outlook. They


A Canada Note in the Feb. 26 issue stated incorrectly that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien lobbied Michel Vennat, president of the Business Development Bank of Canada, for a loan for a friend,

Yvon Duhaime. In fact, Chrétiens representations were made to Vennat’s predecessor, François Beaudoin.

The Mail

see, in their own extended family, two distinct cultures that bring the best from each to the table. There’s no emphasis of one culture over another, and neither my husband nor I is militant about preaching where we came from. Maybe that attitude of forcing upon your child an aspect of their heritage (as well as forcing it upon others) is what draws the negative attitude from others. Marion Wynter, Toronto

One can only hope that Anne Marie Aikins’s son, Haille, will not be seriously injured one day by the rather large chip falling from his mother’s shoulder.

Jack Churchill, Oshawa, Ont.

Yfotes from the West

While the prospect of Alberta separation is less than remote, the feeling is real, and as an Albertan, I was overjoyed at the fact that a national newsmagazine was reporting on the lack of attention that Alberta gets nationally (“Alberta bound,” Cover, Feb. 12). That was until I picked up your next issue and read the editorial from Managing Editor Geoffrey Stevens (“They don’t want to be poor again,” Feb. 19). In the closing comments, the article states that we should not put all of our eggs in the nohope Canadian Alliance basket. You had done so well to hide your eastern ignorance and/or envy, but it finally came through. The East will never realize that our only chance for a government that will hear all the country, coast to coast, is with the Alliance because it is a grassroots party.

Jason Thomas Maynes, Edmonton

Love him, hate him

Congratulations to Allan Fotheringham for his aggressive exploration of minimalist journalism. His Feb. 12 column (“Basking in readers’ love”) elevates him to being undisputed master of the genre. When one subtracts the

letters and quotes written by other people and removes his simple intros to each, his net contribution to the back page consists of just 48 words of sarcastic thumbing of the nose at those who have read his columns and dared to take exception to them. Alas, he has pushed his avant-garde, journalistic sparseness to the point where I feel the only way he can further improve himself is to present the reader with a completely blank page. The readers will no doubt find it an improvement also. How much are you paying this guy?

Roy Collver, Calgary

I laugh and congratulate Allan Fotheringham on a job well-done. With all the angry letters he appears to receive, it seems that he has done exactly what a writer of a column is supposed to do: provoke discussion and thought. Chances are that if you find yourselves upset at what he writes, he has a valid point.

Andrea Loken, Ottawa

Gun-control follies

Finally, you are waking up to the follies of having government try to control something as fundamental as a hunting rifle/shotgun (“Armed, angry and defiant,” Canada, Feb. 19). These tools may have little use in downtown Toronto, and like a fishing rod or chainsaw, they may not get much use, but it is comforting to know they are there and you know how to use them. I purchased a Lee-Enfield rifle at Simpsons-Sears in Ottawa in 1971 for $19.95. With only a driver’s licence to prove I was 16,1 simply plunked down the cash and left the store with it under my arm. Woodchucks became scarce at the Nepean, Ont., farms where I was welcomed. There are at least a million of these old Enfield workhorses out there. Does anyone really believe that more than a handful will ever be registered with the government?

Bert van Ingen, Ottawa

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