‘Paul Martin No. 1 on the watch list? It’s a joke, right? We should indeed watch this man who likes to collect money, but gets no joy in spending.’

J. E. GREEN February 3 2003


‘Paul Martin No. 1 on the watch list? It’s a joke, right? We should indeed watch this man who likes to collect money, but gets no joy in spending.’

J. E. GREEN February 3 2003


‘Paul Martin No. 1 on the watch list? It’s a joke, right? We should indeed watch this man who likes to collect money, but gets no joy in spending.’


ifty and counting

I commend the inclusion of Chief Clarence Louie in the list of “50 Canadians to watch in 2003” (Cover Jan. 20). Your recognition of the progress that is being realized through business development—whether by individual Aboriginal entrepreneurs or by leaders like Chief Louie—reflects the emergence of a new generation of First Nation, Inuit and Metis players in the Canadian economy. Roy Whitney, Chairperson, National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, Calgary

Wow, I was just noticing that there are six, or maybe even seven women in your list of 50 Canadians to watch this year. Are you sure you’re not overdoing it?

Katherine Reed, Fisherman’s Harbour, N.S.

I’m very proud to be in a country that produces so many outstanding politicians, performers and athletes. I am also very proud to be in a country that produces so many remarkable researchers like Dr. Tom Hudson, Dr. Marco Marra, Dr. Timothy Caulfield, Dr. BarthaM. Knoppers, Dr. Rob Holt, Dr. Stephen Sherer, Dr. Christoph Sensen, Dr. Peter Singer and Dr. Jayne Danska. Some of these researchers are making discoveries and working in fields, such as genomics and proteomics, that are changing the world we live in, so I must say I was a little disappointed that none of these names, or researchers in general, appeared on the list. Anie Perrault, Vice-President, Communications, Genome Canada, Ottawa

As a student of the French language, I was pleased to see the name of Marie Laberge in the article. In my French-language group, I have read many excellent novels written by Quebec authors and regret that they are not available in English. I am delighted that the Laberge trilogy, The Taste of Happiness, will be translated.

Gordon M. Fleming, Richmond Hill, Ont.

Steve Nash was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is not, in fact, a “legit Canadian-born NBA superstar,” as you put

it. The official NBA site says he is, but it’s wrong, too.

Paul Wu, Vancouver

I won’t claim, as do Winnipeg’s civic boosters, that Winnipeg is Canada’s cultural capital—yet! But I find it galling that Maclean’s, in finding that “Winnipeg (quelle surprise) is something of a cultural incubator,” perpetuates the notion of smaller centres as cultural backwaters. The city has long been acknowledged for the talent of its artistic community, domestic and export.

Danny Schur, Winnipeg

Church and state

Barbara Amiel says that Islam needs to reconcile with modernism (“Echoes of the ’80s,” Column, Jan. 20). But many Muslims, and many of other faiths, see modernism as a problem. It produced a false dichotomy of science and religion, medicine and health, and served to compartmentalize our lives. It lacked harmony in its separation of faith and the rest of life. I am thankful that we now live in a postmodern world, in some respects. Amiel, like many of us, still lives in a modern world that doesn’t want integration.

Neil Bergman, Bedford, N.S.

Barbara Amiel says “The separation of state and church is entirely alien to Islam” and suggests that Christendom has made that leap. I reject that thesis. The city in which I live has an Islamic population that represents about 10 per cent of the total population, a large minority by today’s standards. Never have I heard a whisper of suggestion that those persons expect to have a right to have a voice in local government based on their religion. On the other hand, we have England, where the Church of England is the established church, Vatican City, where the Roman Catholic Church is the secular authority, and Israel, where the Jewish religion has perquisites not known in other nations.

Charles Chapman, London, Ont.

The roots of conflict

Wow! Warren Kinsella (the Dick Morris/ James Carville of Canadian politics) finally has something worthwhile to say regarding the left’s affinity for anti-Semitism (“The new anti-Semitism,” The Back Page, Jan. 20). He’s way off the mark, though, in asserting that this love affair is something new. Leftist anti-Semitism has existed from the beginning of socialism: Stalinism, German National Socialism, the anti-Semitism of the French Communist Party, the antiSemitic character of the post-war purge trials in Eastern Europe, etc. None of that even factors in the radical Arab world’s attitude toward “Zionism.” So let’s not be even remotely surprised by its progression into the 21st century.

Del Ford, Seosan, South Korea

Warren Kinsella’s column contains a number of half-truths and outright lies. First, his

contention that those killed in Israel by suicide bombers were targeted “for being Jews.” In fact, many of the most recent victims of these bombers were migrant workers, most from Christian Romania. The current intifada, like the one that preceded it, wasn’t born out of anti-Semitism, rather it is the struggle of an entire people to be free of oppression. The fact that the oppressors are Jewish matters not at all. Secondly, while Martin Luther King was undoubtedly a great man, his statement that “anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic” is just plain wrong. King’s statement is akin to saying that all who dislike Maoism dislike the entire Chinese people. Finally, the protest against former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance at Concordia was not an example of anti-Semitism at work. Would Kinsella presume to declare a similar protest against, say, Robert Mugabe an example of racism against Africans? Of course not. But obviously, many in Canadian society consider both men to be criminals.

Patrick Page, Kingston, Ont.

Thank you for this article that acknowledges the fear living in the hearts of every person in Israel. One who has not been in Israel simply cannot fathom how scary it is to board a bus, enter a mall or restaurant or even be in a car that stops next to a bus. We need to understand how the Palestinians are shattering the lives of the Israeli people.

Frank L. Tiess, Toronto

Assault in a small town

Having lived in Marathon, Ont., for 10 years and nearby Manitouwadge for 25,1 know how close-knit a community can be (“Sordid secrets,” Justice, Jan. 20). I’m certain some people suspected, but I don’t think (especially 20 years ago) that they felt this tragedy could really happen. We believed then that molesters were weirdos, not teachers or mayors. Does that make the town of Marathon and the school board responsible? I’m glad I’m not the judge or jury on this one.

Suzanne Bronkhorst, Saskatoon

It is sad and horrifying to think of so many young men being subjected to abuse in Marathon, Ont., by a trusted teacher. I applaud Paul Parent and others for coming forward and seeking retribution, as it will help in the healing process. When we see juve-

nile delinquents who are angry and commit crimes against others, we are more than likely looking at someone who was abused gravely as a child. They enter society with a huge problem with authority and a very muddied view of the rules that we need to play by to get along in this world.

Melora Sturkenboom, Fort McMurray, Alta.

Missionary zeal

Prof. Willard Oxtoby makes his own moral judgment when stating that “No one has the moral right to tell someone they can’t find salvation without Christianity” (“Dangerous mission,” Terrorism, Jan. 20). Why not, if that is their belief? Muslims believe that all non-believers are infidels. This is a common tenet in many religions. Oxtoby, however, makes no moral judgment on the fact that defection from Islam is punishable by death. He assesses blame for the attacks on missionary workers on a mix of religion and politics. Why do we keep finding reasons to blame ourselves for the acts of Muslim terrorists?

Pamela Dawson, Burnaby, B.C.

How would the Southern Baptists like it if some of the 25 million Muslims living peaceably in North America came around knocking on doors, telling Baptists they believed in the wrong things? Since when did it become a “duty” to tell others they are wrong? Dick Meyer, Montreal


I don’t know whether to be amused or insulted by the juxtaposition of your Joe Strummer eulogy (“Clashing unto death,” Appreciation, Jan. 13) with the cover story on

Avril Lavigne (“Avril’s edge,” Cover, Jan. 13) and the accompanying piece featuring Sum 41 (“Abrasive in Ajax”). The music created by Strummer and his contemporaries was an introductory call to political action for a generation of young people, and in many cases provided the basis for an ideology we still take to the voting booth 20 years later. The music of Lavigne and Sum 41 is the soundtrack for junior-high sock hops. If this is punk, then Strummer literally is the embodiment of the music—punk is dead. Brent Sedo, Hubbards, N.S.

The roots of Ajax, Ont., being the punkrock capital of Canada reach back to the mid1960s when the town’s recreation department sponsored weekly Saturday afternoon concerts, attracting on average 300 kids per show (admission: 50 cents) and featuring local garage bands with such strange names as the Condor Fesants and the Warlocks. If Ajax punk rockers stand tall today, it is because of those town councillors and adult volunteers who generously gave up their Saturday afternoons so that teenagers could develop music their own way.

Gary O’Brien, Ottawa

The wrong Bee Gee

You were mistaken in stating that the bandmates and brothers of Maurice Gibb were Andy and Barry (Passages, Jan. 27). Andy, although a brother, was never a Bee Gee, and he has been dead since 1988. Robin Gibb is the bandmate and twin brother of Maurice. Meg Ellsworth, St. Catharines, Ont.

Death of a child

Gosh I am saddened by what happened to 12-year-old Claire Lewis (“She didn’t have to die,” Health, Dec. 30). Sad that Claire left this earth too soon, as a result of the not-too-gende push of what appears to have been institutional incompetence, indifference at all levels and inadequate patientcare policies. But angry, too, that no one specific physician seemed to be responsible for her treatment. The lack of nursing professionalism was unconscionable. An often-recurring theme when errors happen is of heavy patient workload and insufficient staff resources. Then do us a favour please, hospitals. Close down all of those beds where you can’t properly manage a patient’s care.

Nancy McEwen, Toronto