November 29 2004


November 29 2004



Letters to the Editor: letters@macleans.ca

‘A university education should be considered a national resource to be invested in. Ability should be the prime entrance criteria, not the ability to pay.’ -John HARPER,SURREY,B.C.

Ranking tips

As a high-school student who entered university in 1994, I remember your first published university rankings. I applauded Maclean’s then as I do now for its thoroughness in providing such a useful tool (“University rankings ’04,” Cover, Nov. 15). However, as with any evaluation, the best measure of success is often a measure of outcomes. How do graduates fair in the Canadian workforce and society at large after receiving their educational foundation? I am very pleased to see that this year Maclean’s has taken an initial step to answering that question with your survey of graduate satisfaction with their alma maters. Neil Maharaj, Ottawa

Why not add along with your university review a list of most demanded careers and which program and/or university would best prepare one for that profession? This could help young Canadians make a job decision and choose which path to take in order to achieve it.

Eric Lachapelle, Sudbury, Ont.

While I find it a great tool for prospective university students to have a national newsmagazine rank potential schools, I find it ironic that Ontario community colleges have to pay for a 32-page advertising supplement in the same issue to sell themselves. Do colleges not deserve equal recognition since they have a similar impact on our society and economy as universities?

Ekk Pfenning, Baden, Ont.

Statistics are fine, but I would like more articles on the subject of university life. Andrew Lin, Mississauga, Ont.

Tm a chemical engineering student at the University of Waterloo, which just bagged first place in the comprehensive section of your 2004 rankings. Although prices are increasing, I feel that if I can get through university I will be well-equipped to find a job soon after graduation (“University Rankings/Finances,” Cover). My co-op program

will help me build a network of professional contacts and provides necessary job search skills. Hopefully, my university’s reputation will also influence prospective employers. Faraz Syed, Mississauga, Ont.


It is time to renew my subscription to Maclean’s after reading Lianne George’s “Pit bull, bum rap?” (Essay, Nov. 15) George may own a Staffordshire bull terrier, but she has also done solid research. If we can just get our elected members of the provincial legislature to look at the dog problem in an intelligent, objective way, we may produce a good bill that does not discriminate

against tens of thousands of responsible dog owners.

Kerry King, Belleville, Ont.

Okay, there are no bad dogs, only incompetent owners. But these owners will not disappear tomorrow, and I would prefer them to have more placid breeds, preferably with a small maw. For me, a bad dog to have is any dog that makes me feel I should change sidewalks when I stroll with my granddaughters.

Jean Paré, Montreal

No pity

Having read Peter C. Newman’s articles on Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel (“Travels with Conrad,” The Maclean’s Excerpt, Nov. 15 and “Barbara’s world,” Cover, Nov. 8), I was surprised to find him summing up by saying “we pity them.” I don’t think too many people who read about their conduct will find an ounce of pity for either of them. Disgust and contempt is the best I can come up with. Based on the articles, I can only conclude that these two represent everything that is wrong with today’s business leaders. Though Black was undoubtedly brilliant at the beginning of his career, his companies eventually appeared to be operated with the singular goal of supporting a lifestyle—to the detriment of the shareholders, employees and other stakeholders. Now that they have come crashing down, I doubt the people these two stepped on during their ascent, or anyone else for that matter, are feeling pity for them.

Michael Stuart, Markham, Ont.

Peter C. Newman’s tell-all about Barbara Amiel is telling all right, but just about his treacherous betrayal of a former colleague while he promotes the legend he is in his own mind. His touching proclamations of selfrestraint aside, Newman’s familiarity with Amiel’s conspicuous consumption and sexuality reveal more about his envy and less about the dignity of the person’s privacy he has invaded.

Ralph Clarke, Procter, B.C.

The people have spoken

Bob Levin’s column lamenting George W. Bush’s re-election clearly demonstrates that Canadians just don’t get it (“Bush won. The world lost,” Nov. 15). In the U.S., we don’t like the way the country is going. We don’t

A Bush brouhaha I If we write about him, your letters come—in waves

Bob Levin’s column lamenting the reelection of George W. Bush touched off a torrent of email. Many readers applauded the piece; others-mostly Americansblasted it. Jim Herrin of Acme, Wash., argued that Democrats-and others-had moved dangerously to the left: “I am suggesting you critically examine the liberal ideas that have led to the decline of Canada and European democracies.”

want gay marriage, abortion, the same old lies and obfuscation from our politicians, the same old, same old that John Kerry was offering. Fact is, the candidate who was offering change was the incumbent. Fie was proclaiming loudly that he would work on addressing and updating the social security system, name Supreme Court justices who would honour and defend the Constitution and try to change the tax code. Virginia Harlow, Reston, Va.

I hope many Americans get to read Bob Levin’s column. This is not the U.S. I knew as a boy in England after the war. For me it was a sad day when Bush won. I am now a Canadian living in Canada and I hope our government will not follow his lead. I cannot understand how after Sept. 11 Bush screwed things up—any other president would have been impeached for the lies and scheming he and his gang have done to the detriment of the rest of the world.

Bryan Searle, Vancouver

We cannot ignore the significance of the recent U.S. federal election. With their illadvised choice for leadership, Americans have set themselves down a road toward isolation and eventual irrelevance within the international community. Another four years of brash international policies and poor economic management will make this outcome almost irreversible. Though they remain an important trading partner to Canada, we must strengthen our ties with Europe and Asia so that we are not dragged down with the U.S. Marc Adams, Calgary

It wasn’t just Bush that won. It was democracy in action, the will of the majority. While we look down our Canadian nose and pontificate on Bush, we are arrogantly judging the decision of millions of Americans. There were far more voters backing Bush than we have in our entire population.

Gladys Krueger, Okotoks, Alta.

The problem with combining religion with the state is that people have the tendency to pray with their eyes closed.

Yvonne Naherny, Vancouver

Remembering too well

As memories fade and Canadians’ knowledge of our accomplishments in the Great War

diminishes, Brian Bethune’s piece is a timely reminder of Canada’s part in that tragic war (“It haunts us still,” History, Nov. 8). However, he errs in writing that Canadian troops “missed the slaughterhouse of the Somme.” While the Canadian Corps did not participate at the beginning of that campaign from July 1,1916, but from September 1916 to its end, in November, the Canadians were very much a part. Many Canadian regiments carry the Somme as a battle honour reflecting such engagements as Courcelette, Thiepval, Ancre Heights and Regina Trench. Three Canadians won the Victoria Cross there. In total, Canada suffered 24,000 casualties in the Somme, including 8,000 killed, 5,000 of whom have no known grave. Michael Paré, Ottawa

I would like to correct a statement in your Remembrance Day tribute that reads: “The

First Newfoundland Regiment was annihilated at the Beaumont Hamel sector, and simply ceased to exist.” Our regiment did suffer tremendous casualties that day and, in fact, had the highest percentage of casualties of any unit that participated. However, the Regiment didn’t “simply cease to exist.”

With the 10 per cent of the Regiment that didn’t go into battle that day and the recruits that later arrived, the Regiment was back in battle again in early October 1916 at Gueudecourt, only some 60-plus days after July 1. The Regiment participated in the remaining major battles of the First World War, and in recognition of our contribution King George V bestowed the title “Royal” on the Regiment, the only one to receive such an honour during hostilities. Our Regiment lives on today, carrying on the traditions of our ancestors, serving side-by-side with other full-time and reservist soldiers in the many peacekeeping missions in which our country has participated.

Lt. Col. (H.) Kevin Hutchings, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, St. John’s

Top 10 cooler talk

Shanda Deziel’s “Great Canadian exercise in futility” completely missed the most important thing about CBC’s The Greatest Canadian (Back Talk, Nov. l). It’s not about the Top 10 mania or who ends up as No. 1. It has been a wonderful exercise because it has so many of us talking about who these people were, what they accomplished, who should have been on the list and what greatness is. It has become a common subject of lunchtime discussion at my office, and we are finding out new things about Canada and the people who have contributed to it. Nothing futile about that.

Glen Bodie, Toronto

A bad dog is one that makes me feel I should change sidewalks when I stroll with my granddaughter