The Mail

The Mail

June 25 2001
The Mail

The Mail

June 25 2001

The Mail

Questionable care

As mayor of Osoyoos, B.C., part of the Kelowna region of the Okanagan that you say has the second-best health-care service in Canada, I ask: “According to whom?”(“Where we get the best health care,” Cover, June 11). The Penticton hospital is telling pregnant women to go elsewhere. Recently, four doctors from the hospital met with the mayors in the South

Okanagan and pleaded for help. The Princeton hospital cannot get nurses or doctors.

And the South Okanagan General hospital in Oliver could close its emergency department because of a lack of support staff. In the summer, we are a tourist area. What do you think the headlines will be if someone visits us from Vancouver, has an acci-

dent and then discovers they could be going back to Vancouver by ambulance for treatment? If we have the second-best area in Canada for the delivery of health care, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to see the worst area.

Tom Shields, Osoyoos, B.C.

After waiting with my dangerously ill husband seven hours in the emergency department of one Mississauga hospital and

10 hours in another, only to be told there weren’t enough nurses or doctors to admit him, I’m wondering how Mississauga came to be rated so high on your list. I hate to think how bad it is in those hospitals with lesser ratings.

Antoinette Spurr-Baggs, Mississauga, Ont.

I found it interesting that your article on health care rated North/West Vancouver as tops in Canada, and then was starded

by the report on novelistsculptor Douglas Coupland that states in that same area in 1999 there were 30 newborns with malformed limbs, but it was decided that “the rise in limb abnormalities was not statistically significant enough to justify further investigation” (“Coupland’s art of chemical war-

fare,” Entertainment Notes, June 11). The irony is striking, and underlines a belief I have held for a long time: hospitals and associated staff and equipment are not health care, they are sick care—essential and important, but different. Health care should mean caring for health and should precede the need for medical intervention. Walter Schoen, Dawson Creek, B.C.

Tit for tat

Our commitment to supply U.S. oil and gas needs (“Energized,” Canada, June 11) will, I trust, be accompanied by their contractual commitment to never again impede or allow to be impeded the sale of our forestry and agricultural products into their country.

Paul Irvine, Tobermory, Ont.


Thank you for publishing an article that so frankly explains what lies ahead if the B.C. Liberals go ahead with their meanspirited referendum legislation on land

claims (“Back to the land,” Canada, May 28). Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell and his cronies are looking an awful lot like the boneheaded politicians who first drafted the now-infamous Indian Act more than 100 years ago. They, too, did not want to acknowledge any legal or fiscal obligations towards First Nations people, and as a consequence, created the legislation that barred any First Nations person from seeking redress through the courts or political arena. The legislation stood for over 60 years and is the cause of the confrontations we see today. Campbell would do well to read the Supreme Court decisions on land claims before going on a petty, arrogant tangent. William Clegg, Nanaimo, B.C.

Charity has its limits

Shame on the Baptist community of the Vancouver area for stopping their funds simply because Jean Buchan, the Baptist missionary who runs a clinic ministering to the poor in a remote Indian village and is now 91, would not retire (“Angel of mercy,” Canada and the World, June 11). Instead, it would seem that they retired their charity.

J. Cormac McGettigan, Saskatoon

A worthy artist

As a Canadian living in the United States, I was disappointed by the June 11 article on Emily Carr in which you confuse the quality of work done with the degree of American familiarity with that work—or

‘I am Canadian—not

I can understand Peter C. Newman’s fascination with his lordship Conrad Black (“Lord of his realm,” June 4). However, as a son of one of his ex-employees (my father worked in one of his mines), my image of Black is a bit darker (pun intended). He may be able to list every ship in Sir Francis Drake’s flotilla, name every king and queen of his newfound country, but ultimately, there are three words that Black cannot pronounce:

“I am Canadian!”

André 0. Fournier, Windsor, Ont.

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the quantity of money paid for it (“Wild woman of the West,” Art). You state the forthcoming show at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection puts Carr in “lofiy company” because she is to be shown with Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo.

This equation of American fame with quality suggests a self-denigrating criterion in which Canadian culture isn’t validated unless it makes a hit south of the border. Carr is a better artist than either of her show-mates—in the case of Kahlo, much better. I am reminded of an incident in which an American feminist friend was bemoaning the fact that Carr isn’t well known in the States, assigning this lack of fame to her being a woman. “And have you ever heard of the Group of Seven?” I asked.

“What’s that?” said she. Americans may not yet have made an icon of Carr, but that shouldn’t lessen our appreciation of her worth as an artist.

Carlis Nixon, Eugene, Ore.

For more letters

Family matters

Maclean’s, in its article dated May 3, 1999, tided “Knocking on the door,” alleged that the Karic brothers were involved in dirty business with former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Relationships between state and business exist in every country, but Macleans sinned in ascribing guilt by association by not distinguishing the nature of those relationships in this instance. In 1997,1 confronted Milosevic openly, criticizing him in public and announcing my candidacy as his direct chal-

lenger in the presidential elections. The regime retaliated swiftly, severely and with longterm adverse economic conse-

quences for the family. Can we then say that the Karic brothers and other Serbian businessmen like them voluntarily accepted Milosevic’s regime? To exist and preserve one’s self and life’s work under the dominance of a dictator does not entail active participation in his repressive ends and it was wrong of Macleans to implicate the Karic family in this way. When Milosevic’s

actions brought war to the region, I provided shelter to my Albanian neighbours and initiated a dialogue with the West by proposing a political solution through interviews in the foreign press. In lobbying Milosevic through intermediaries

to bring an end to the war and release the three captured American servicemen, I became the unwitting target of the scandalous innuendo printed by Maclean’s, having “proved” in that way my “closeness” to Milosevic. Immediately after Milosevic was toppled and a democratic government elected, the Karic family accelerated their effort to develop the Serbian economy by attracting foreign investment. Indeed, the European Union removed the Karic family members from its travel ban list

within one month of the elections, demonstrating its view of the place of the Karic family in Serbian society. The Karic family has welcomed the new government’s attempts to curb organized crime and its ties to the state. The recently concluded investigations of its special commission have excluded the Karic family members and their companies from the lists of suspects involved in dirty business under the Milosevic regime. Five years ago, I established the Social-Democratic Party, in opposition to Milosevic, which is now a member of the ruling democratic coalition. Thirty-two employees of my company are actively participating in the work of the new democratic establishment and its efforts to democratize our society. The Karic family legacy to the country is in their contribution to the ouster of Milosevic, the introduction of

modern technology into Serbia, the integration of Serbia with the rest of the world through their own business ties and the

education of young people at our private university. This is how we will be judged and not by articles such as that published by Macleans containing unsubstantiated allegations.

Bogoljub Karic, Belgrade,Yugoslavia Maclean’s has no valid information of financial impropriety on the part of the Karic family.