THE MAIL

May 24 2004

THE MAIL

May 24 2004

THE MAIL

‘In the rising real estate market, the reality check won’t happen as long as interest rates remain low. Can buyers handle a doubling in the next five years?’ -charlesLeduc,vancouver

Bubble trouble

It’s quite frightening to see what’s happening in our urban real estate market (“What bubble?” Cover, May 10). The upward spiral, of course, cannot continue forever. For the average Canadian, the prices seem unreasonable and out of reach now. Your article offered excellent, though sobering, information.

Faye Kiss, Saskatoon

What bubble? It is exactly this type of reporting that fuels the bubble. The examples given are just what those people sitting on the fence need to jump into the market. Then, the bubble bursts.

Peter Fedirchuk, Almonte, Ont.

Our children will learn that freedom is a lie and that reality is carrying debt to the grave in order to put a roof over your head. Terry Burke, St. Catharines, Ont.

Letters to the Editor: letters@macleans.ca

Oh Canada! I The regions will howl when they are omitted from the story

The first angry e-mail from Saskatchewan arrived shortly after we published our real estate cover. “I could not find one mention of our province,” wrote Connie Lynch of Saskatoon. Added Edna Dubray, also of Saskatoon: “When doing a cross-Canada comparison, please include all the provinces. I’m sure P.E.I. and New Brunswick would also have appreciated being mentioned.”

Rolling out the unwelcome mat

If Canada wants to attract and maintain quality immigrants, it is important to share stories emphasizing the need for change in professional accreditation policies (“Bound by red tape,” Mary Janigan, May 10). My husband and I arrived from Argentina and gained permanent resident status in September 2002. He used to be an electrical engineer, and I say “used to be” because he still cannot find a job. I work as a dental administrator, but used to be a dentist. To become a dentist again I have to take a twoyear, full-time qualifying program that costs $80,000. Sometimes I think we made a mistake in moving here. Who wants a country full of people that “used to be” something else, instead of being what they really want to be? Carolina Blanco, Toronto

I am a high school student whose parents immigrated to Canada less than three years ago from Greece. Having worked as a geological/geophysical engineer for more than 20 years, my father believed it was reasonable to have hopes of getting a job here in the same field. He was wrong. He has constantly been rejected because he does not possess “Canadian experience.” But at school I am taught that globalization is a major trend. I also have learned that Canada is one of the protagonists of this trend. Therefore, I wonder: since when does a country that promotes globalization ask for “domestic experience”?

Meisen Babe, Hamilton

I am a professional in the aviation industry. I am certified and licensed to operate in Canada. When I applied to be licensed in the United States, I had to write exams and prove my ability to do the work according to their standards, not Canada’s. Your article shows that some immigrants think Canada is a free ride. If they cannot qualify according to Canadian standards because of language or other skill deficiency reasons, why should Canada lower its standards to meet their requirements. It’s up to the person involved to get qualified.

Gerard Patry, Ottawa

Freeing immigrants to use their skills to earn a living is a no-brainer. It will increase tax revenues to fund health care; ease skill shortages; reduce pressure on income-supplement programs and maybe even broaden the income tax base sufficiently to support a tax-rate cut. Yes, there are challenges in speeding integration—professional skills must still be assessed; fluency in French or English must still be shown. But the payoff remains substantial.

G. Bruce Friesen, Burnaby, B.C.

Gotta getta gun

I can feel the awkwardness that Jonathon Gatehouse must have felt being a Canadian at an NRA meeting (“Happiness is a warm gun,” Letter from Pittsburgh, May 10). What disturbs me is that people are paranoid enough to necessitate the purchase of an assault rifle, or even a sniper rifle, to protect their loved ones from harm. Guns cause more harm than good behind the guise of protection. Ariel Levy, Montreal

Jonathon Gatehouse works hard to propagate the myth of the redneck survivalist as a typical firearm owner. The truth is much different. Professionals, housewives and homeowners make up the majority of hunters and target shooters, and, for the most part, are people who you would be pleased to have as neighbours. In fact, you probably do have a number of firearm owners as neighbours. Oddly enough, they pose no risk to you whatsoever.

Robert Sciuk, Oshawa, Ont.

Condemnation

I have heard it said that the U. S. soldiers are not doing anything that Saddam has not done (“Fresh horrors,” UpFront, May 10). But I must ask: If we use evil to fight evil, does not evil win?

Angela Miles, innisfil, Ont.

One of the least attractive aspects of success, be it that of an individual or a country, is arrogance. This is fully apparent in the conduct of our neighbours to the south. Kirk Everett, Smiths Falls, Ont.

A soldier who carries out such unacceptable actions as we have seen in the Iraqi prison photos is a victim of poor leadership. President Bush is head of the U.S. government and commander-in-chief—he is ultimately responsible and, if he had any integrity, he would resign.

Carolina de la Cajiga, Vancouver

Alexandre Trudeau is a contributor to a more harmonious life for Canadians. He’s a chip off the old block.

Wage cut free-for-all

In Newfoundland, we’ve again witnessed a typical Canadian labour pattern: governments solve budget problems by cutting salaries of civil servants (“Hi ho, it’s back to work they go,” Newfoundland, May 10). After a few weeks of strike, workers are legislated back to work by their employers— with imposed settlements rather than arbitration. Where’s the equality when an employer can arbitrarily cut wages? What is the use of association rights if the bargaining units can’t bargain? How is this unfairness justified in a free and democratic society? The courts have supported Parliament’s right to end strikes. They might also limit the ability of employers to dictate labour agreements.

Ron Macnaughton, Bolton, Ont.

Trudeau’s Israel

I would like to thank Alexandre Trudeau for his insightful article written while living and working in Israel (“This place is a salad,” Israel, May 10). Having visited Israel twice and having had interaction with many of the people who live in that wonderful country, I can honestly say that no one will truly understand the complexity of that nation. Trudeau’s last paragraph, commenting on two sides and two peoples who are forever stuck together, is timely. They are intricately intertwined in history, family, work and culture.

Wilma Vahrmeyer, Ridgeville, Ont.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Alexandre Trudeau’s coverage of Israel. It is refreshing to read an article about the Middle East without portrayals of violence and bloodshed. Eren Bilgin, Ajax, Ont.

Alexandre Trudeau is not just a contributing editor for Maclean’s. As well, he is a dedicated contributor to a more harmonious life for Canadians and for the whole human race. He’s a chip off the old block.

Cy Poissant, Blairmore, Alta.

Speak no evil

Your portrayal of Canada as “The know-itall neighbour” is a gross oversimplification (Cover, May 3). You seem to imply that Canadian people should not form an opinion about current events if those events involve the powerful country to the south. It sounds like a call to inaction and a retort to those with convictions to voice a negative opinion about the way the United States deals with its “special status” as global warlords.

Kyle Elder, Furukawa, Japan

It bothers me when I hear that Canadians have been rude or disrespectful. Not only is it impolite, but it is un-Canadian. However, I do think we are being unfairly condemned by the Americans interviewed in your article. When it mattered on Sept. 11, we opened our airports and our homes. Our rescue workers went to New York City to help, and our troops went to Afghanistan to fight with our allies. But those interviewed chose not to remember our contributions and support. Instead, Fred Edwards is angry because we did not join in his bar fight to bring about regime change in Iraq, and Steven Schlein no longer considers Canada his ally. How can we appease these few men with selective memory?

Karen Csoli, Hamilton

A superpower such as the U.S. has no friends; only compliant sycophants.

John Tagg, Toronto

Defending Joe Clark

I am writing to condemn the recent comments by John Reynolds, my member of Parliament. He characterized Joe Clark as a “traitor” after Clark said he would prefer Paul Martin over Stephen Harper in the next federal election (“Blue Tories, Up Front, May 10). Reynolds’s comments were beyond belief. Clark was first elected as a Progressive Conservative MP in 1972 and never once joined another political party. This is in stark contrast to Reynolds, who has belonged to five separate political parties since entering public life. Clark has remained true to his view of progressive public policy, which the mainstream of Canadians cherish. Elbert K. Paul, Bowen Island, B.C.

True picture

Year after year during the seal hunt we hear the same outraged lament about the brutal man raising his hooked cudgel to batter to death a very small and terrified animal. (The Mail, May 17). Has any one of these readers ever had the guts to go to the local abattoir to find out where their Saturday steaks for the barbecue come from? What about their spare ribs? Their chicken tenders? Their veal scaloppine? It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s out of the public eye, and that’s where the seal hunt differs—it’s in the public eye, photographed by every journalist trying to make a name for him/herself at the expense of our neighbours to the east. Nancy Watt-Durant, Bracebridge, Ont.