BEN VICCARI July 15 2002


BEN VICCARI July 15 2002


‘Congratulations on the new Maclean's, Design, typography and content are fine evolutionary steps in the life of Canada’s own magazine.’ —ben viccari,Toronto


Appraising the new format

I was relieved to see the new look of Maclean’s. I was on the verge of cancelling my subscription because the stately old design made reading articles feel like a chore. But no longer! It’s a fresh, vibrant look that reflects the growing sophistication of Canadians everywhere. Consider my subscription secure.

Robert Ballantyne, Toronto

Well, I love the new format and layout but I must say your print seems to get smaller and fainter over the years.

Ron Kreitzer, North Bay, Ont.

I guess clean open roomy articles are going to be replaced with crowded cramped tedious pages of text. I found the issue to be too much like reading a thick, daunting computer magazine.

Leslie Baines, Lindsay, Ont.

It was only a few months ago I wrote complaining about how hard it was to read your fine print. Thanks for listening. Your new “renovated” issue is so much easier to read. And I do like the new layout.

Cora Barwell, Kitchener, Ont.

What Africa needs As stated in “A new deal for Africa,” (Canada and the World, June 24), “Africa’s need is desperate—and it is now.” However, it appears that advocates of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development have confused the continent’s need for economic stability with their own longing for corporate growth.

It is questionable how market capitalism, Western laws and a trickle of foreign investment will bring about the anticipated economic transformation, especially when similar “fix-Africa” programs have yielded less-than-desirable results. What Africa needs is a shift from the global to the local. Before contact with the West, the African people led a comfortable existence. Goods that could not be produced in the home were made through small-

scale industries that utilized native resources and aboriginal skills.

Katy Peplinskie, Sudbury, Ont.

‘Wickedly suggestive’

Though Barbara Amiel’s column, a wickedly suggestive self-portrait that described her recent “feet-in-the-air” Concorde flight, was amusing enough, her verbal foreplay about “ethnic profiling” wiped the smile right off my face (“Zero tolerance is silly,” June 24). Amiel was too clever and too congenial to mention the words “Muslim” or “Arab” or “coloured,” but she successfully squeezed in the word “turban,” just to make sure

MANY READERS WELCOMED THE RENOVATED MA CLEAN’S THAT MADE ITS DEBÜT IN THE ISSUE OF JULY 1. Typically, they deemed it a livelier magazine, calling it fresh, refreshing and vibrant. “I like the new interior features,” wrote Craig Gilbert of Sudbury, Ont. “The typeface change especially plays up the retro feel.” But Gilbert was less impressed by the “loud, abrasive type” used for our name on the cover. He, like some others, felt the orange logo and portrait of singer Diana Krall had the look of a women's magazine.

readers understand what kind of people she is referring to. Amiel presented no compelling reason why the strip searches and anal inspections should stop with Muslim, Arab or Sikh men. The world will become a far safer place when bigots like Amiel decide to cover their most promiscuous prejudices in the more modest and charitable garments of one of her justly admired “87-year-old arthritic nuns.”

David Colterjohn, Vancouver

I used to feel that Barbara Amiel, over time and due to her distant locale, had suffered a decreasing relevancy. In her latest submission, she has rediscovered her mark and hit it dead centre. Most of the new measures introduced since 9/11 are security placebos that hardly enhance the safety of an everyday flight to Saskatoon. What they do accomplish, as Amiel points out, is to impede our freedom of movement and add an economic burden that provides scant returns.

John Hill, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Who’s stepping down?

As a strong grassroots supporter of Conservative party Leader Joe Clark,

I don’t think I am acquainted with any of these anonymous Tory insiders who suggests he will step down (“Departure time?” Canada, June 24). The reality is that our leader won his seat in a national election, and that under his leadership our party won a recent by-election in Newfoundland. He is rated nationally as the most trustworthy leader in Canada. Surely this gives his leadership credibility when viewed against the scandal-ridden and corrupt Liberal government.

Peggy Merritt, Toronto

“Departure time?” contains a slight rewrite of history. Although Hugh Segal finished second behind Joe Clark in the first ballot of the 1998 leadership race, he dropped out and David Orchard, organic farmer, author and candidate of record for the Prince Albert riding in the 2000 election, was the final runner-up. Antoinette Martens, Saskatoon

Stuck in the middle

Being a member of the Canadian

Alliance, I am excited to see the battle


between former finance minister Paul Martin and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien “Show me the money,” The Week That Was, June 24). However, practically speaking, with the lack of opposition being provided by all parties, it likely won’t make a difference on the political landscape. No matter how much this party is torn apart internally, the rightwing split will essentially kill any hope of tearing down the Liberals.

Jordan Enns, St. Thomas, Ont.

Health care with heart

I read with great interest the letter written by David L. King of Burke, Va., (“Education saw-off,” June 24) who suggests our health-care system suffers from Soviet-style central planning. As a Canadian family practitioner, I have never experienced difficulty accessing appropriate as well as excellent health care in partnership with my patients, for my patients. Canadian health care, like health care worldwide, is in need of fine tuning, but I believe we have an excellent system. What I consider a disgrace is the lack of a health-care system in the U.S., the most powerful and one of the wealthiest countries of the world. Canada is a Western country with an element of compassion. Soviet model indeed.

Dr. Brooke Noftle, London, Ont.

The measure of Mordecai

I was flying home recently from more than five weeks in Spain, where I had seen no Canadian papers or magazines. While passing through the first-class cabin of the Air Canada jet, I was perhaps overly happy to see the current issue of Maclean’s, with Mordecai Richler on the cover (“Mordecai remembered,” June 24). I grabbed it surreptitiously. After reading the many tributes and reminiscences of family and friends, I wanted to add my own, in the belief that he would have appreciated it as much as any I saw in your magazine: I liked him enough to buy his books. In hardcover.

Phil Palter, Toronto

You never gave the late Queen Mother this much ink when she died. Other Canadian authors have passed on and received a short note in Passages. Mordecai Richler was a writer—maybe

great to some, but not to all. He was a cynic and a pouter, a my-way-or-the-highway type of person.

Frank McKerry, Vernon, B.C.

I cried when I read Emma Richler’s article about her father (“Two or three things I know about grief”). Daniel Richler’s words (“Such a great laugh and moral compass”) rang true as well—I felt as if I knew his father personally. Thank you for producing such a moving tribute to a gifted writer and a truly remarkable Canadian who was never afraid to speak his mind. My son is 13, entering high school. It’s time he met Duddy Kravitz and got to know Mordecai Richler, too. Michael Tansey, Hammond, Ont.

The human face of Iraq I was deeply touched by the human dimension so eloquently expressed by Lois J. Peterson, in “Iraq, loved and lost” (Over to You, June 17). It is unfortunate that the country that was once the cradle of civilization has been so effectively dehumanized by the U.S. administration and media machine. Iraq is portrayed as if the country has no flesh-and-blood inhabitants. Iraqis who survive the hardship of the U.S./UN sanctions risk being targeted in the frequent air attacks in so-called routine patrolling of a sovereign country’s skies. The irony is that the very policies adopted by the U.S. since the end of the Gulf War, knowingly or otherwise, end up strengthening Saddam Hussein, presumably the intended target.

Abdulla N. Hamoodi, Abu Dhabi,

United Arab Emirates

What a beautifully written and touching piece by Lois Peterson on her childhood in Iraq. It reinforces our belief that not all Iraqis are terrorists or followers of Saddam Hussein, and that they are people just like us only, sadly, not as lucky.

Isabella MacArthur, Baie d’Urfé, Que.

Donors’ rights

The response to your article on assisted conception has been predictable (“Anonymous fathers,” The Mail, June 24; “Assisted conception,” The Mail, June 10). Everyone seems to want to talk about the rights of the child and the difficulties for the infertile parent(s). None of those concerns would exist were it not for the donation of the sperm and/or egg. Whether the donation was free or paid for, it was voluntary and need not have been given at all. Children’s desire to know their histories can never be construed as a right. The donor should be allowed anonymity and no legislation after the fact, or demand by a child, should be permitted to redefine the terms of that donation. The parents and children should just say an anonymous thank you and carry on.

Glen C. Bodie, Toronto

Funding for universities Ann Dowsett Johnston’s “The crisis in quality” (Education, June 10) and her other recent essays on university education are a wake-up call to Canadians.

They should be on the list of required reading for parents, employers and governments. The fact is that doors are closing for our children. While health is in the headlines, quality and access are quietly draining out of undergraduate education in our universities. We urgently need to open a national dialogue on education. Patricia Clements, President, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ottawa

A tale well told

My father, Jack Friday, one of the crew members flying with Warrant Officer Andrew Mynarski on that fateful flight ofjune 13,1944, is extremely pleased with the manner in which the story was presented in Maclean’s (“Keeping alive a hero’s death, History, June 10). Over the years this epic tale has resurfaced in various forms, not always completely accurate. It truly is a spectacular story—“The things movies are made of,” remarked a friend of mine. It is important to keep the stories of all our brave veterans alive and fresh in our minds. Thanks for telling the world about my Dad!

Barb Friday, Thunder Bay, Ont.