‘One of your “top employers,” Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, pays 84 per cent of salary for 26 weeks of maternity leave? And our health system needs a huge input of dollars? No wonder!’

Dr. Philip F. Hall November 11 2002


‘One of your “top employers,” Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, pays 84 per cent of salary for 26 weeks of maternity leave? And our health system needs a huge input of dollars? No wonder!’

Dr. Philip F. Hall November 11 2002


‘One of your “top employers,” Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, pays 84 per cent of salary for 26 weeks of maternity leave? And our health system needs a huge input of dollars? No wonder!’

The best bosses

As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for the past 19 years, I find it disappointing that the Department of National Defence did not crack your list of the “Top 100 employers” (Cover, Oct. 28). My employer has given me the opportunity to travel the globe, providing housing when needed, a medical facility, a place to eat (when I was single) and top-notch fitness facilities, which include an ice rink, curling rink and even a golf course. The pension plan is not bad either.

Master Cpl. Jean Arseneau, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, N.B.

I noticed that Thrifty Foods was not mentioned among your top 100 employers. I’m an 81-year-old resident of the Victoria area who shops at the Admirals Walk Thrifty Foods, a local company owned by Alex A. Campbell and his sons. That company performs well according to your survey criteria. It has many opportunities for employee advancement, it is completely involved in our community and, yes, most of all its employees are polite, cheerful and happy in their workplace.

Marcelle J. Delesalle, Esquimait, B.c.

Spousal choices

So these mail-order weddings come with some peril (“The mail-order bride business,” Society, Oct. 28). And the more usual Canadian method of finding your own husband doesn’t? Ironically, the Filipina, Jan, in marrying someone from Sudbury, landed in the midst of an area of very high wife abuse, most of the victims definitely not Filipina. Sad but true.

Rochelle Hatton, Sudbury, Ont.

My wife of almost three years is from Manila, Philippines. We did meet via e-mail and written correspondence, but not through a pay service. We used an Internet discussion service that provides advice and support to those who are married or engaged to someone from the Philippines. Before we married, I made two trips to the Philippines. Dur-

ing the first trip, we found that we wanted to be together for life. My second trip, four months later, was for our wedding. Luckily, Canadian officials allowed my wife, Julie, to return with me, rather than having to wait in the Philippines for several months for a visa. What makes us any different from a Canadian who corresponds with a U.S. citizen and then decides to marry?

Ken McDonald, Fredericton

TWO WEEKS AFTER PETER DONOLO’S ESSAY QUESTIONING THE NEED FOR A MONARCHY IN CANADA, our mailbag continues to fill up with responses. Along with passionate letters in support of the Queen’s role are increasing numbers concluding that the time has come for a fundamental change. “Let’s persuade our governments to take immediate steps to empower Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to be Canada’s head of state right now,” wrote Peter Drosdowech of Winnipeg. “ ‘Queen’s Representative in Canada’ should be deleted from her job description.” From Victoria, Joanna Wilkinson wrote: “Bravo to Peter Donolo.

I too, am not against the Windsors. However, I do think it’s time for Canada to grow up and cut the knot."

The article on Japanese picture brides of the early 20th century omitted one vital aspect of this custom (“From Japan, to meet a new husband,” Society, Oct. 28). In that period, marriages were considered to be between families, and the decisions were made after careful consideration of each family’s social and economic status and health records. The only difference was that when the groom was overseas, and the principals were unable to meet in person, decisions were made by viewing photos— which did lead to some shocking disappointments.

Midge Ayukawa, Victoria

When regulation works

Donald Coxe, in his Oct. 21 column (“A global hang-up”), implied that the current turmoil in the stock markets is largely due to the disarray in the telecommunications industry since deregulation. In the same issue of Maclean’s, a survey of quality performance by service industries put telecom companies at the bottom of the list, a drastic drop since the last survey was done—before deregulation. Just goes to show that regulation is necessary in some sectors, such as public utilities, which are so important in our lives.

Doreen Machum, Winnipeg

Pity the ‘astronaut’

My heart went out to poor Carrie Catherine Lee (“All over the world,” The Mail, Oct. 28). I can’t imagine what it would be like to be only one of two Asians in a political science class or the only Asian in an English class at the University of Toronto! Even worse is her need to “travel back and forth to Vancouver, Manila, Hong Kong, Taiwan and London” to visit friends and relatives. I’m trying to find people to form a support group for her.

Charles B. Chapman, London, Ont.

What strategy?

According to your article “Between Iraq and a hard place” (Terrorism, Oct. 28), “The Bali aftermath complicates Bush’s Saddam strategy.” A strategy suggests an end goal that one is attempting to achieve, but President Bush’s actions suggest no goal in mind. He claims to want to root out terrorist networks, but instead led a delayed, mild offensive against the Taliban, which Osama bin Laden and key operatives were easily

able to escape; he damned Israel for resisting terrorists’ aggression; he made friends with terrorist-grooming Saudi Arabia; and instead of attempting to root out militant Islamic networks, he chose a quasi-dangerous country to bore to death with his talk of war.

Dalia Tubis, Toronto

In Her Majesty’s defence

It seems that Peter Donolo the spin master is spinning again (“A natural evolution,” Cover Essay, Oct. 21). He has revealed what members of Parliament have been subjected to for years, that is, the whims of the mighty Prime Minister’s Office. Mr. Donolo wishes to give the Queen, who is intimately bound to Canada, the boot. This he wishes in the name of pluralism, multiculturalism and democracy because she is, in his words, a “bored Brit born into the job.” Thankfully, most Canadians can easily see through these transparent musings of whim, particularly those which seek to persuade that such monumental and radical constitutional change could easily be executed. The Queen is the heart of the constitutional system, standing as she does above politics and partisanship, buttressed by longevity, stability and certainty. Most Canadians believe in God, Queen and country. Our soldiers most certainly did, lest we forget. That is good enough for me. Long live the Queen! Senator Anne C. Cools, Ottawa

God save the Queen, and while you are at it, save us from people without vision, people who have no sense of past or future, but only the fleeting present; from people who want to tear down old buildings and structures because they are old; from people who fear hanging on to a colonial past while running after an American future.

Charles St. John, Toronto

Wow, does the Queen ever look terrific on the cover of Maclean’s. I hereby take back all my unflattering thoughts over the years about her looking rather severe, grim and dowdy. She and I are about the same age but, oh, how I would like to have the style, stamina and smiles she exhibited on all her many stops in Canada.

Audrey Scott-McKee, Nelson, B.C.

Though I am not among “the normally mildmannered grannies in Penticton, Lunen-

berg or Prince Edward County,” nor do I count myself among those “who will always oppose change,” I guess I must be counted with Peter Donolo’s “few or marginal,” for I did resent his sneering, adolescent attitude in his attack on the monarchy.

G. Alan Taylor, Ottawa

My ancestors were British but I am Canadian. I have no personal animosity against the Queen and support our continued participation in the Commonwealth, but agree it is time to move on. A foreign monarch as head of state for Canada is an embarrassment. The situation is divisive and presents us as not quite “independent” or mature as a nation. I have been hoping for implementation of more Canadian symbols for more than 50 years, such as placing only Canadians on all our money and an oath of loyalty to defend and serve Canada and Canadians by the military, MPs, and civil servants— not loyalty to a family in another country. We need an all-Canadian head of state and symbols to inspire all of Canada’s youth. John Marriott, Wolfe Island, Ont.

I agree with Peter Donolo that “we’re not the same country we were 40 years ago. We’ve moved on.” I’m one of those of British lineage who well remembers the sacred tie to Britain and the monarchy felt by my grandparents. But I’m married to ajamaican, and I live in a Cree community in Northern Quebec. However, what Donolo calls our “successful national experiment” is still very young by world standards, and has yet to

stand the test of time. Our political parties reflect disquieting linguistic and regional divides. Our country is lacking in leadership. Under such circumstances is it wise to dump one more tradition?

Christopher Davis, Wemindji, Que.

In times when self-centredness is on the rise, it is good to be reminded that I am not the centre of things. That is true for nations as well as for individuals. For me the Queen and the monarchy are not mere symbols, they are important reminders of a world view that is in danger of slipping away.

Rudiger Krause, Okanagan Centre, B.C.

Peter Donolo has it right; I couldn’t have said it better! It’s more than time for us to get rid of this outdated, useless and, to myself and others, offensive institution. We don’t need a foreign monarch, no matter how sweet a lady, or how well she does her job.

Emanuel Läufer, Halifax

Rich athletes

So what if NHL star Jerome Iginla is a great guy who loves his family and gives time and money to Calgary charities (“Dreaming big time,” Cover, Oct. 14)? Thousands of people in this country do more good work for their communities while earning millions of dollars less and dealing with much more responsible and stressful jobs.

Murray Allan, Vibank, Sask.

The ‘real’ Nobels

You made a common mistake with respect to the so-called Nobel Prize in economics (“Praising Jimmy to prod George,” Nobel Prizes, Oct. 21). There is no Nobel Prize in “the dismal science.” Economists convinced the Bank of Sweden in 1969 to establish and fund an annual economics prize “in Nobel’s memory,” cleverly timed to be announced and celebrated at the same time as the real Nobel Prizes. Directions in the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel established the prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace in 1901, to be funded by his huge estate. Literature was a passion of this man, who held over 350 patents but also collected, read and quoted from the works of writers such as H. C. Andersen, Goethe, Hugo, Schiller, Shakespeare, Scott, Tolstoy, Turgenev and others, and who wrote poetry and drama.

Dr. Philip F. Hall, Winnipeg