The Mail

The Mail

Gold robbery

February 25 2002
The Mail

The Mail

Gold robbery

February 25 2002

The Mail

Gold robbery

I wish to thank the judges of Olympic pairs figure skating for reminding us of the disease that festers in their event and in competitive figure skating in general. The saddest outcome of this fiasco is that parents like me will discourage their children from pursuing competitive figure skating because efforts deserving of the top honour will not always be rewarded.

Allen Dong, Calgary

Rags in moderation

As a U.S. citizen, I want to express my heartfelt outrage. Jamie Salé and David

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Pelletier clearly out-skated the Russian pair and won the competition. I was sickened as I watched the judges steal the gold medal that the Canadians deserved.

Lisa Reach Hawker, Portage, Mich.

Shouts of joy echoed throughout our residence at the University of Western Ontario during Salé and Pelletier’s program. It was a golden performance that will be remembered for years to come. Janet Browne, Jennifer McArthur and Danielle Lazzarin, London, Ont.

I’m simply not going to watch any more judged events—any type, anywhere, any time—until I’m convinced I will see sport, not politics. If the TV networks were to declare they won’t pay the IOC (or any other sports organization) to cover judged events until satisfactory measures are in place to ensure that outcomes reflect achievement, I bet things would change, and quickly. Patrick Conroy, Richmond, B.C.

The most heartbreaking moment was the medal ceremony. Instead of being joyous, it was strangely solemn. My heart goes out to both the Russian and Canadian teams. Neither deserved to win under such controversy.

Julie Sobowale, Windsor, Ont.

Wasn’t this whole rigged judging matter supposed to be resolved by now? I guess not.

Alexandra Paxton-Beesley, Toronto

Every cloud has a silver lining. David and Jamie are more famous now than if they had won the gold medal. If they turn professional and join a figure skating tour company, their fans will fill every ice palace in North America over the next five years. Lionel F. Conrod, Dartmouth, N.S.

Olympic standards

Your level-headed and fair overview of Utah, Salt Lake, the state of the Olympics and the impact of and on the Mormon Church (“Church and state,” Cover,

I wholeheartedly agree with your two correspondents in support of wearing the flag (“Waving the flag,” The Mail, Feb. 11). I have the flag on my vehicle as well as my luggage, even though I rarely go out of the country these days. However, these things can be overdone: witness Roy Romanow giving his interim report on health care on TV backed by I don’t know how many flags—maybe two dozen or more. One more reason why there is a shortage of money for health care: use one flag for show and spend the rest of the money where it might do some good.

Albert J. Biley, Courtenay, B.C.

Feb. 11) is appreciated. Equally reputable periodicals have succumbed to lesserquality journalism. You’re welcome over to our place for Jell-O salad anytime. Michael Clifton, Stake Mission President,The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Toronto

Although somewhat balanced in its content, “Church and state” was severely skewed in tone. It strongly implied an imbalance between church and state, suggesting an almost clandestine attempt on the part of the church to be in control. Disparaging remarks such as “wholesome image that blesses, or afflicts,” and “a stateful of sour prudes” unkindly suggest that there is a stupidity in any people who hold on to old-fashioned principles.

Les and Faye Smith, London, Ont.

Power and the premier

Allan Fotheringham’s column titled “Behind the B.C. throne” (Feb. 11) is very offensive as it implies incorrectly that I have some influence in the decision making of the B.C. Liberal party headed by Premier Gordon Campbell. This absurd speculation has no foundation in fact. It is true that the business community in B.C., including myself, supported Campbell in the last election, as did most people in the province. This resulted in a victory of record proportions, following a decade of mismanagement by perhaps the most reckless government in Canada’s history. British Columbians saw Campbell, with 20 years of experience in public life,

The Mail

as the answer to a very serious dilemma. Fotheringhams suggestion that I am anything other than an admirer of the premier tells me he has been out of touch with his home province for a long time and has done little or no research into the experience and character of the man who leads our province. Yellow is too moderate a colour for this reckless trash.

Peter M. Brown, Vancouver

People generally get what they deserve and the supremely wooden Gordon (Charlie McCarthy) Campbell was voted in by damn near everyone; although, lately, it has become harder to find anyone willing to admit they committed such an aberrant act. Dr. Foth reminds me of the whimsical character Edward G. Robinson played in the movie Soylent Green. Fotheringham, too, knows things—important things—but also understands that people don’t want truth when illusions are so much more comforting.

Jan Michael Sherman, Halfmoon Bay, B.C.

What welfare state?

Michael Ignatieff’s views are somewhat conventional and not very accurate (“We must wake up,” Canada and the World, Feb. 4). The old left-wingers of Canada, who Ignatieff says built this country, actually destroyed it with their failed attempt at the welfare state. Their experiment racked up $600 billion in debt. The present Canada is a welfare state in name only, with token payments. I am sure Ignatieff is smart enough to know these things. Fie is just presenting what he wants us to believe.

Bruce Furnival, Calgary

Dollars to loonies

In his article opposing adoption of a common currency with the U.S. (“Don’t dollarize Canada,” Feb. 11), Donald Coxe offers arguments that are almost entirely political rather than economic. This is surprising coming from an investment banker. Another approach to the situation would be to recognize that our small population size makes it difficult, perhaps impossible, for Canada to have a strengthening national currency. If we must ultimately assimilate into a larger monetary grouping (presumably with the U.S.), it

would seem prudent to make the change sooner, while we can do so at least somewhat on our own terms. We need to ask if a currency ought to ensure or even enhance our standard of living and productivity, as well as the value of our individual and collective assets. The loonie clearly isn’t meeting these goals.

Daniel Johnson, Ancaster, Ont.

I would say Donald Coxe has been expatriated from Canada a bit too long if he thinks the “Old Left” still exists, and that it holds any influence in political circles except in purely rhetorical discussions at various country clubs near Ottawa. The real danger is that heavy-handed social cutbacks, such as those slated by the B.C. “liberals,” will reinstigate a highly visible “New Left.” The subsequent pullout of U.S. investment could very well lead to a real Argentina North catastrophe.

Charles Leduc, Vancouver

Roadblock to innovation

The Canadian government’s innovation agenda is the usual bureaucratic response—make-work and totally unrelated to the real issue (“Lost at the startup gate,” Mary Janigan, Feb. 4). The real issue is our ridiculous taxation levels, especially on capital gains. Why should entrepreneurs risk funding a novel project if the government automatically becomes the biggest shareholder if there are any profits? True innovation is a high-risk business, and the potential rewards must be commensurate. That is why the U.S. will continue to absorb our best and brightest.

Dieter Hundrieser, Gananoque, Ont.

U.S. on the loose

If there ever was an example of a rogue state on the loose, U.S. President George W. Bush’s State of the Union message personified it (“State of terrorism,” The Week That Was, Feb. 11). The world is in a very dangerous space at the moment, not so much because of terrorism, but mainly because of the macho actions of the President and the unprecedented support he is receiving from his people. If it were not so serious, his latest allegations of an “axis of evil” would be laughable.

Ian Colterjohn, Agassiz, B.C.