The Mail

The Mail

July 23 2001
The Mail

The Mail

July 23 2001

The Mail

Aging gracelessly

We can’t cheat time. But here we go again, expecting somebody else to do it for

us (“Cheating time,” Cover,

July 9). Over time, we change: some do it well, others disastrously, then we die. Is it ugliness we fear, or death itself?

We welcome the purveyors of tobacco, soft drinks, fast food, the entertainment industries. People who have always popped a pill to cure an ill appear unwilling to embrace a healthy lifestyle. If we

pursue this approach while continuing our lazy, greedy, selfish lifestyle, were in for some very rude shocks.

James Cass, Stirling, Ont.

“Cheating time” reminded me of what the old turtle said to the frog: “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

Bill Bolstad, Regina

An excellent piece of journalism. It is high time that health-care professionals are challenged by the media to look beyond the box. However, one thing that needs to be corrected is that there is still cleanup to be done. Yes, the ugly fluoridation scam needs to be taken on so we really can have

clean water. When our so-called health professionals and governments stop pushing toxic waste into our drinking water, communities and foods, we can say we are

on the way to longevity and good health.

Fay Ash, Calgary

Since when was aging something to be cured? Will death be the next thing our generation tries to eliminate? Aging is a natural developmental process that none of us can avoid. The real conversation has to be

about the daily things we can do to prevent disease and enhance well-being, so that all of us can postpone disability and enjoy a good quality of life for as long as possible. Peggy Edwards, Judy Turner and Miroslava Lhotsky,

authors of The Healthy Boomer, Ottawa

‘Best and brightest’

In addition to keeping our best and brightest at home, we also need to attract and retain the top graduates from other countries (“The brain gain,” Cover, July 1). But this is almost impossible when significant barriers prevent foreign-trained professionals from practising in Canada, and universities are forced by Immigration Canada to give preference to Canadians in hiring. I know scores of highly trained young people who would love to “choose Canada,” but cant because they or their partner were educated abroad. In fact, many of the accomplished people profiled in “50 who chose Canada” would find it difficult to do so today.

Brett House, Washington

How ironic it is that the last Father of Confederation did not qualify for the list. Not only did former Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood choose Canada, but he was motivated to make all of his people citizens of this country at the same time. Peter Hatch, Hantsport, N.S.

You neglected one very important person who has influenced many generations of people: Ernie Coombs, aka Mr. Dressup. We all love him and miss him in his retirement.

Jeanette Sawatzky, Hamilton

The country continues to feign indifference as some of its brightest and most dynamic progeny flee to the welcoming embrace provided by American corporations and universities. And, as your article points out, expatriates who attempt to remrn are often rebuffed by a gauntlet of bureaucratic regulations or a frank lack of opportunity (“The magnetic north,” Cover, July 1). Nonetheless, in true Canadian fashion, the report ends with an eclectic jumble of idealism and essentially ignores the fundamental issue: in many instances Canada does not value, or vigorously pursue, success. Until there is a cultural upheaval in Canada’s academic, governmental and corporate institutions, many individuals who wish to excel in their field will continue to be lured to the United States.

Dr. Gordon Morewood, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia

Transfer payments

In “Penalizing success” (July 9), Mary Janigan contends that Ottawa is penalizing the recent economic success of the Maritimes by proportionately reducing equalization payments. Ironically, she fails to recognize that Ottawa has been “penalizing the success” of other provinces for decades. Despite acknowledging the fail-

Lose some, win some

Isn’t it obvious by now that for every Canadian who exercises his or her free choice in seeking opportunity elsewhere (“The brain gain,” Cover, July 1), there is one non-Canadian making the choice to come to Canada? Perhaps it is time to quit moaning about the brain drain, celebrate the brain gain and rejoice in the freedom to integrate ourselves as productive humans on a global scale. In the best of Canadian traditions, it is called making the world a better place.

Madelaine Wessel, Barrhead, Alta.

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ure of the equalization program, she advocates pumping even more money eastward. Just as thousands of Canadians are moving to Alberta to bask in its laissez-faire success, thousands of Maritimers will move out of their region to find employment where employment naturally exists. Craig Smith, Lucan, Ont.

Mary Janigan offers interesting insight into the politics of how resources are transferred within Canada. Voisey s Bay is a particularly apt example. Inco announced in 1996 that as part of its Voisey s Bay development, it would build a smelter at Argen tia. It was welcome news for that region of Newfoundland, although negotiations went off the tracks in the late ’90s. But Argentia, the putative site of the 800-job refinery, is on the south coast of Newfoundland. It is nowhere “near the site” of the nickel resource itself, which is over 1,000 km to the north on the Labrador coast. I look forward to future elaboration in the pages of Macleans on this form of “vertical” transfer payment between northern and southern regions of Canada. Wallace McLean, Ottawa

Mary Janigan’s “Penalizing success” shall forever be used by English teachers to describe irony in writing. The article is premised on the idea that the provincial transfer-payment formula is a disincentive to develop nonrenewable resources in Atlantic Canada. So “penalizing success,” the usual cry coming from those getting heavily taxed, is instead being used by those

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who receive those redistributed loonies. We are further told that these payments create only short-

term jobs, rather than the long-term growth that would come from nonrenewableresource development. If the fisheries were considered “renewable,” I wonder how long “nonrenewable” lasts. Finally, this article considers the pillaging of Atlantic Canadas environment as “success.” If we truly want success in the East, policymakers have to abandon, once and for all, the lure of resource extraction and come up with sustainable economic programs. Matthew Beatty, Ajax, Ont.

Border crossing

It’s great to have Kevin Newman back in Canada where his talents are sure to be appreciated (“Love it and leave it,” July 1). He’s

a first-class newsman and our gain is definitely a loss for our neighbours to the south. However, his reasons for admiring Americans seem odd, to say the least. Americans volunteer more because they have to, not necessarily because they want to: look for the volunteer gap between the United States and Canada to close over the next decade. As for the “noble” causes the United States has espoused, what’s so noble about the Vietnam War, the invasion of Grenada, the Bay of Pigs? It’s hard to feel great respect for a nation that can’t even elect its president without five weeks of ridiculous post-election controversy and whose leader, once finally confirmed, decides to go on a massive defence-spending spree and won’t support the world’s latest and best chance, the Kyoto Protocol, to clean itself up. Yes, Kevin, there’s much to admire: any culture that can produce Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin Roosevelt deserves our praise. But there’s much we can criticize too.

Tim Kelly, Oshawa, Ont.

I do want to take issue with some parts of Kevin Newman’s article, but only to give a literal southern perspective. Newman speaks of the American South, racism and isolationism. Does he mean to relate racism only to the American South when it was practised all over the United States? In fact, real integration did not occur in the Boston public school system until the 1970s. And America does have an isolationist streak—can you blame us? We had to fight two wars with the British to finally

set our own course, and then fight each other in a civil war (The War of Northern Aggres-

sion, as it is known down here). Through it all, our governmental systems and society have remained relatively intact. Not bad for a country started by a bunch of malcontents who refused to pay a tea tax. Michael S. McCreedy, Montgomery, Ala.

Born and bred in Canada, married to an American, having lived many years on both sides of the border, I think Kevin Newman has got it right. Our three adult children currently live in Vancouver, New Jersey and Uganda. All five of us have dual Canadian-American citizenship. We see the strengths and weaknesses in both countries and we are very grateful for both, but we wish Canadian nationalism was not so often tied to anti-American feelings. Nelson Annan, Richmond Hill, Ont.