The headline “Norman Bethune sex shocker” (Oct. 24) was more befitting a gossip rag. Still, there is no question that the material was interesting.’

Paul Coleman November 7 2005


The headline “Norman Bethune sex shocker” (Oct. 24) was more befitting a gossip rag. Still, there is no question that the material was interesting.’

Paul Coleman November 7 2005


The headline “Norman Bethune sex shocker” (Oct. 24) was more befitting a gossip rag. Still, there is no question that the material was interesting.’

Paul Coleman

Power and profit

I am amazed that IBM Canada Ltd. makes your list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (“Showing the love,” Cover, Oct. 24) year after year. I don’t know if you are working with old information or if your standards are just low, but please ask the hundreds, if not thousands, of hard-working and long-serving IBM Canada employees like me who found themselves suddenly unemployed over the past few years what they think. Big Blue has deep pockets and expensive lawyers, so you take what you are offered and you leave quietly. After 24 years of service, my boss flew into town, told me that I no longer worked there, stood over my shoulder while I was given a few minutes to clean out my desk, and then walked me to the door while my co-workers looked on. That indignity will be my image of IBM for the rest of my life. The company is powerful and profitable, but do not call it a good employer.

Ross Fox, Bedford, N.S.

Could you explain to me how the dealings of one fraction of an entire company (Cascades Inc.’s Kingsey Falls, Que., operation) can make the whole corporation a top employer, especially if the practice is not consistent throughout its entire organization? Cascades puts a Top 100 logo on all its publications and recruiting literature for all its Canadian properties. This seems very misleading since the same philosophy is not practised at other Cascades sites.

Ian Johnstone, Thunder Bay, Ont.

As a private psychologist I have seen a steady increase in the number of clients in my practice who are in need of treatment due to untenable workplace situations. While I was very heartened to hear of some of the wonderful things that certain companies are doing for their employees, my experience tells me that such companies are still very much in the minority. In my opinion, there are a large number of organizations that still don’t get that an employee’s emotional/psychological health is directly tied to the bottom line. Maybe people should start writing in

and talking about the horror stories they are facing in their own workplaces. Maybe then these companies will get it.

L Craig Turner, Winnipeg

After reading about great workplaces in Canada and discovering that my employer was among the Top 100,1 read with pride the article on Canada’s former UN ambassador and humanitarian Stephen Lewis (“Lewis unleashed,” Aid, Oct. 24). And then I came upon the story about girls pursuing careers in technology and science and the interview with Princeton’s dean of engineering, Maria Klawe (“Bring on the geekettes,” Education). In 1999, when my daughter was in Grade 9, she attended one of Klawe’s workshops. My daughter is now completing a B.Sc. at the University of Victoria and there’s no doubt she was influenced by Maria’s wisdom and enthusiasm. Thanks for these articles and the excellent read!

Peggy Grant, New Westminster, B.C.

Championing Stephen Lewis

The average term of the UN secretary general seems to be about 8.25 years. Kofi Annan took office in 1997, which would mean his second five-year term expires in 2006. What better candidate for Canada to champion than Stephen Lewis? His understanding of the issues, his vision of what needs to be

done, and his passion and compassion make him the ideal person.

Jim Robertson, Calgary

You give two measly pages to Stephen Lewis, who is screaming about AIDS, the biggest plague to affect the human race, and the social collapse of the entire continent of Africa because of it, and six pages to the dead history of Norman Bethune and some tart (“Sex, spies and Bethune’s secret,” Investigation, Oct. 24). Why? Because the Bethune story wasn’t much work, just boiling down a doctoral student’s thesis? Instead of making vapid comments about Lewis’s oratory style, why don’t you do some real investigative journalism to inform Canada what Lewis is screaming about? Virtually every paragraph of your Lewis story is worthy of an in-depth explanation. How about giving us a distillation of what you call the “wealth of studies, surveys and reports available on the cause and extent of the problems” and why Lewis says the “lack of progress is inexcusable?”

Linda J. How,

Georgetown, Ont.

Nearly every story in your Oct. 24 issue is tied together by Charlie Gillis’s article on Stephen Lewis and humanitarian aid. As individuals, corporations, countries, and unions, we have an obligation to care for, encourage, educate, and equip people regardless of language, race, and ethnic background. The emphasis of our jobs, businesses, donations, election campaigns, even the food we eat, have one common thread; we are all reliant on other people for it to work. I hope Lewis gets the response he wants. We all need a lesson on how to treat each other better. Paul Damsma, Orangeville, Ont.

Made in Canada. Sure.

I am writing in regard to Peter Mansbridge’s column about his search for made-in-Canada labels and what he calls “the reality of the massive China invasion,” including Chinesemade, sold-in-Canada hockey equipment like shoulder and knee pads (“A made-inChina world,” Mansbridge on the Record,

Oct. 24). Nothing is more Canadian than our beloved RCMP. However, I recendy searched for an official RCMP moose soft toy for a new niece and every one I found was made in China. Just what do we make in Canada? Sue Price, Parksville, B.C.

For over 20 years I have worked hard in the manufacturing industry. The one common element used to be a close working relationship with manufacturers in many different parts of society. Mansbridge mentioned that it was remarkable that China has become a major manufacturer. Well, it is getting far more pervasive. If the product you’re holding in your hand actually says made in Canada, think again. The tooling that produces the part was definitely made in China, and this is the huge problem that I can only see getting worse. What’s going to happen in 10 more years when literally everything is made on some other soil? No one wants to know. Robin Kratz, Toronto

Politics and the Pope

In the story about Catholic MPs who support gay marriage and the possibility that the sacrament could be withdrawn from them, you describe Communion as “the taking of bread and wine symbolizing Christ’s body and blood” (“ ‘Exile’ for same-sex support,” Politics, Oct. 17). Catholics do not believe that the bread and wine are symbolic, as many Protestant churches do. We believe that Christ’s body and blood, soul and divinity, are truly present under the appearance of bread and wine. It is because of this belief that such importance is attached to receiving the sacrament and why worshippers must be in a state of grace to do so.

Gene Mason, La Habra Heights, Calif.

Marriage does not belong in the realm of Liberal politics and hypocrite politicians do not belong in any Christian church, let alone the Catholic Church. Under whose authority does a political party have the right to change our moral values? Why don’t they stick to what they do best, like robbing us for more taxes to pay for their infamous scandals. Nie Veri, Toronto

Funny, my Jesus was a barefoot rabbi who preached tolerance and love. What’s next, another Inquisition?

Thomas R. Dunne, Powell River, B.C.


My Jesus was a barefoot rabbi who preached tolerance and love. What’s next? Another Inquisition?


It’s Tim’s world

I just read your story on the Tim Hortons coffee cup litter issue (“The cups runneth over,” Environment, Oct. 24) and I not only agree with the idea of taxing takeout coffee cups but would go a step farther and ban all fastfood drive-throughs. Talk about global warming! Just look at the lineups. Surely they must be contributing to the pollution problem. Roy Cotton, Oshawa, Ont.

I am surprised that you did not mention the rebate Tim Hortons has had in effect for many years. All you need is a Tim Mug, or other brand of non-disposable cup, and you get five cents off the cost of your coffee. The mugs keep coffee warm longer and do away with waste. You even get a free fill-up when you purchase the mug in Tim Hortons and at many of their competitors. The cup pays for itself in no time. People are too lazy to use such a thoughtful approach.

The only way to deal with the boorish behaviour of many may be to mandate the use of reusable containers such as these.

Colton Roberts, Burlington, Ont.

For many years, during my morning walks, I have been picking up litter, including Tim Hortons cups. If the Tim Hortons organization really wants to help the environment, it should abolish its Roll Up the Rim to Win promotions. In these campaigns, the number of empty coffee cups in my area quadruples.

Anne Wingfield, Burlington, Ont.

He’ll be back

We Californians support Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s policies and initiatives (“One-term terminator?” United States, Oct. 3). He wants California to live within its means, and spend responsibly, thereby reversing years of leftist, union-backed, irresponsible spending and policies that make California the 45th worst state in which to invest, live and do business. He believes that parents should be notified if their 13-year-old daughter is having an abortion, which makes sense in a state where

the same girl cannot get an Aspirin from the school nurse without a parent’s permission. He believes that union members should have the right to approve how their dues are spent on political matters. I believe that Schwarzenegger will surprise everyone (some very unpleasantly and deservedly so) in the same way that President George W. Bush surprised everyone by trouncing John Kerry.

Ron Dunn, Elk Grove, Calif.

Schoolboy criticisms

What Scott Feschuk was coming up against as he entered the Museum of Modern Art was not the limits of his intelligence but rather the limits of his sensitivity (“Stripes, dribbles, hairy balls,” Column, Oct. 24). The article was amusing and entertaining and could be easily dismissed had it appeared in a tabloid, but why does a respectable publication feel compelled to perpetuate these schoolboy criticisms? Some people don’t appreciate modern art—why take cheap shots at those who do?

Michael Burtch, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Give peace a chance

In her zeal to dismiss the peace movement and buttress the amoral advice of Democratic consultants on how the Democrats can win elections by avoiding opposing the war in Iraq, Luiza Ch. Savage totally missed the point (“So much for the peaceniks,” United States, Oct. 24). Democrat Hillary Clinton would not have been on stage at the huge Sept. 24 anti-war rally in Washington because she supports the war. Debating the legacy of the anti-Vietnam war movement is a waste of time. Get over it. As for the self-loathing of the Democrats on national security issues, that should be easy to solve. Democrats should say point-blank that they want the troops home in the warm embrace of their families as soon as possible. They should say plainly that George W. Bush’s policies are making America, the Middle East and the world much less secure. And they should pose an alternative foreign policy that the overwhelming majority of Americans would support. Ultimately though, the peace movement’s job is not to solve the Democratic party’s problems. Our job is to end the war, and begin to dismantle the war machine. Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund, Silver Spring, Md.

Democrats should say point-blank that they want the troops home in the warm embrace of their families