July 26 2004


July 26 2004


‘Heck, wrestling champ Eddie Guerrero has more credibility than most politicians, and his motto is

“lie, Cheat and Steal to win.” ’-Owen Thornton, London, Ont.

A campaign to end all campaigns

Not only was the campaign nasty, as your cover states, it also resulted in the lowest voter turnout in recent memory (“The inside story of Canada’s nastiest campaign,” Election 2004, July 12). I am 67 years old and always believed that unless I voted, I didn’t have reason to complain. My children and friends would say, “What difference does it make? The politicians only care about you at election time and once elected they do as they please.” I have replied that our forefathers sacrificed their lives for democracy, and we have not only the right to vote, but also the duty. Unfortunately, in this election I began to have my doubts. Scandal after scandal, government waste of taxpayers’ money and documented corruption had me very annoyed. Mr. Martin, Canadians have sent you a clear message: restore our confidence in government. Show us true leadership and keep your promises.

Paul Murphy, Grimsby, Ont.

The 2004 election may have been nasty, but it certainly wasn’t the nastiest. That distinction belongs to the 1917 conscription election, in which the Toronto Star referred to Quebec as “The Foul Blot on Canada” and ran a map of Canada with Quebec blacked out. Headline writers at Maclean’s may well want to head back to their history books. J.D.M. Stewart, Toronto

I am one of those people who were delighted with the perplexed expressions on journalists’ faces when the election results failed to match their prognostications. How could this happen? Probably because they listened more to each other than to the population in general.

Brigitta Schmid, St. John’s, Nfld.

In your July 19 issue, letter writer Andrew Daglish of Chula Vista, Calif., wrote: “I really have only one comment about the Fiberal victory—what in the world do these people have to do to get themselves thrown out of power?” (“Voter reaction, The Mail) Answer: easy, do what Mike Harris’s Conservatives

did in Ontario. Cancel school programs, starve public transportation, save money on health inspectors and let people die from contaminated water. Then leave the province with a $6 billion deficit.

Wojciech Descours, Toronto

Olympic humbug

It seems it has become mandatory for Olympic hopefuls to beg for money to aid their pursuit of glory (“Fast gasp for glory,” Olympics, July 12). Where, oh where, are those halcyon days when competitors funded their own exercise? Now, because of tax money and generous (mostly tax deductible) funding by businesses, dozens of no-hopers travel to the Olympics as though it were an

Time for a change? I

Contemplating a new system of government

During the campaign, voters heard a lot about the potential merits of proportional representation. Reader Glenn Morison of Winnipeg is convinced: “Could we have minority governments in perpetuity? Yes, we can. Proportional representation could create a situation where politicians would work for the common good-and give voters a sense that every vote counts.”

Letters to the Editor:

old-fashioned church outing. Why not send only those who have a reasonable chance— not those who have barely managed to equal the last Olympic standards? It was a far, far, better competition in the days when most of the competitors were pure amateurs.

Roy Anderson, Mount Brydges, Ont.

Slobs are people too

I was horrified to read your Marlon Brando obituary (“The smouldering presence of Marlon Brando,” Obit, July 12) with the shocking reference to the unique Brando, one of the most charismatic, accomplished, archetypal actors of modern times, as a “slob.” Brando, who brought dramatic dignity to human pain, deserves better.

Brian MacKinnon, Winnipeg

Our global hero

Not only in Canada does the name of Terry Fox unite people and promote goodwill (“Canada’s true hero,” Tribute, July 1). Earlier this year in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, we ran our 10th annual Terry Fox Run. Most of the 7,500 participants and volunteers were not Canadian but drawn from the 150 or more nationalities that reside in this desert state. We are part of a network of international Terry Fox runs that take place each year at more than 3,000 sites in 50 countries. Terry’s mother once asked him why he couldn’t just do his run in British Columbia. Terry’s answer was, “Because not only people in B.C. get cancer.” The story of Terry Fox and the ongoing work of the Terry Fox Foundation continues to inspire people around the world. Terry Fox was a true hero, but not just Canada’s. Judy Rickatson, Dubai, UAE

Even though Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope halted midway along Canada’s enormous expanse, his hope for miracles from cancer research lives on in personal and shared battles with this nefarious disease. Whenever I tell the Terry Fox story to someone who is either fighting cancer or deeply concerned for a loved one so stricken, I can sense their hope growing. The fact that Terry Fox died 14 months after he started his run utterly fails to dampen the spirit-lifting impression of what he did during those 14 months. Preston MacDougall, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Credit where credit’s due

Please give the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., more credit. It is, quite simply, an insult

to the intellectual capacity of our citizens to pass off the interviews and quotes in “A steel city’s blues” as that of typical Saultites (Ten lost years, June 21). Have we faced serious economic challenges over the past decade, and do we still have significant challenges ahead of us? You bet your booties. However, after losing about 9,000 jobs at Algo ma Steel in the past 10 to 12 years, we have fought back with the support of both the provincial and federal governments by attracting new and vibrant businesses. These initiatives have added 5,000 new jobs in the past decade. I would not want to live anywhere else and I know I feel the same as tens of thousands of others in our community. What Sault Ste. Marie may lack in size, it makes up for in pure spirit.

Don Mitchell, president,

Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce

Thanks for your article about Sault Ste. Marie’s “steeltown blues.” Despite the angry howls of protest you might receive from Saultites who continue to live in a state of denial about this community’s future prospects, I want you to know that your article was bang on in its representation of the Soo’s economic decline. That decline is truly unfortunate, because the city really does have so much potential. But that potential will, in my view, only be unleashed once the failing marriage between Algoma Steel and this community is permanently ended.

Elena Pezzutto, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Warriors wear clothes

I just read Brian Bethune’s article on director Jerry Bruckheimer’s new King Arthur movie (“A king for all seasons,” Legends, July 12) and I have only one question. Does Mr. Bethune (or Mr. Bruckheimer for that matter) really believe that female empowerment and “scantily clad warrior babe” go together? I don’t know about the rest of the female population, but personally I’m rather insulted.

Alice Hietala, Toronto

Readers vs. readers

Letter-writer Ian Stewart asks us to “Please identify a situation in which an army has been successful in enforcing values on others”

(“War stories,” The Mail, June 21).


I was horrified to read your shocking reference to the unique Marlon Brando as a ‘slob*

Here goes. After the Second World War, the Western Allied forces (and that included Canada) occupied defeated Germany, strung up its more egregious leaders and imposed social democracy on West Germany. The United States military did the same in japan. Stanley Sandler, Spring Lake, N.C.

Donna Horan may know something about Tampa Bay hockey, but her letter saying Calgary Flames fans are sore losers merely underscores the notion that few Americans will ever understand the mentality of the Canadian hockey fan (“Rags to riches,” The Mail, July 12). Most of us don’t have

time to dwell on the current whereabouts of the Stanley Cup. Nor do we have time to even think about the hockey team that earned it. Rather we’re still too busy basking in the afterglow bestowed upon us by the Calgary Flames: a hard-working, dedicated team that gave us the excitement of a playoff run like no other in recent NHL history, and brought together a city of one million in a way that no other event ever has or ever will. Sour

grapes? Hardly. Only heartfelt gratitude at having had the opportunity to be a part of it.

Cathy Tanner, Calgary

Return of the Samaritan

Donna Cooper’s story about “The kindness of strangers” brought to mind a similar experience I had recently in England (Over to You, July 12). My wife and I travelled by train from London to Purley in Surrey. Upon arriving, I went to the telephone booth outside the station to call my friend for directions to his house. I had placed my address book on the counter inside and, forgetfully, left it behind. The next day I realized what I had done and rushed back to the booth. My address book was not there, nor had it been handed over to the railway authorities. Disappointed, I resigned myself to my loss. Imagine

my surprise when, two days later, I found it in my friend’s mailbox. Someone had found it, must have seen that it was opened to the page containing my friend’s address and taken the trouble to bring it eight kilometres to his home. We have not been able to trace this good Samaritan to thank him or her, but it has greatly restored my faith in what a kind and thoughtful human being can do for another.

Doyne Perera, Calgary

Home is where the coast starts

Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed your Canada Day issue and its various articles on Canada by Canadians. However, in the “Home Sweet Home” section, the essay by astronaut Julie Payette was a bit unenjoyable (Canadiana, July 1). I realize that Julie Payette is a very intelligent woman with many degrees to her credit. However, I would like to point out that when one crosses the country from coast to coast in “about nine minutes” from space, the path would take the traveller from St. John’s, Nfld., to Vancouver and not from Halifax to Vancouver. Canada does not begin at Halifax as some people on the mainland would like to believe. And this in the same section with an essay by Newfoundlander Mary Walsh.

Paul Jackman, St. John’s, Nfld.