VOICES

THE MAIL

April 4 2005
VOICES

THE MAIL

April 4 2005

THE MAIL

VOICES

‘Every time I passed the March 21 issue of Maclean's in our home, I turned it over to avoid seeing that evil face.

I noticed my husband did the same thing.’-Mamaskory,Boiton,ont.

A needle in a pie

Regarding the question you raised in your March 21 Cover story, “Karla Homolka: Girl next door," about trailing her after her release from prison this July, of course she should be monitored. The chick is more dangerous than a needle in a pie.

Manuel Meneses, London, Ont.

In terms of any reintegration, I think Homolka should make herself as scarce as possible; perhaps move to a nice Arctic island where her sunbathing may be curtailed and her audience reduced to a few seals and geese.

Maggie Negodaeff, Ottawa

The article is superb and the accompanying photos are most interesting, but putting Karla Homolka on your cover made you look like a tabloid. We are very tired of that particular photo portraying her as a naive young woman.

Eleanor and Steve Pyke, Willowdale, Ont.

Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo are the most convincing reasons for the reinstatement of the death penalty I know.

Jennifer Dickson, Ottawa

So, Karla is getting out of Joliette—Club Fed—after 12 years. Anyone volunteering to change places with her? As Canadians, we ought to thank our lucky stars that she is coming out of the federal system and not a brutal, bloody and concrete hell of some provincial jails. If she was leaving Ontario’s Vanier Centre in Milton, for example, we would likely have an even more dangerous offender to deal with. I think we need to be sensible. After all, it is in everyone’s best interest that Karla find stability for her future. Her time is up. Give her every assistance at finding a stable home and pray to God that corrections officials did their best to prepare her to reintegrate.

Victoria Sears, St. Creek, Ont.

One thing in your story made me stop— the quote from former RCMP commissioner

and Interpol head Norman Inkster. “She [Homolka] might get into some of the banana republics on a vacation visa or something like that, but she wouldn’t get into countries that you and I might visit.” What exactly is he saying? That Honduras or Ecuador or Guatemala have no merit in his eyes? That citizens of the world where technology is not up to North American standards have no need for protection from the likes of Karla Homolka? Why didn’t he just come out and say, “There is nothing we can do to protect the people in the developing world from the products of an inadequate justice system”?

Coral and Ovidio Gomez, Fort St. John, B.C.

Karla Homolka should be allowed to carry on with her life, no matter how much we may dislike that thought.

Roy West, Penticton, B.C.

APOLOGY TO CONRAD BLACK

Maclean’s published an article in the Feb. 14, 2005 edition entitled “Anger’s short shelf life: Vigilance against corporate fraud is already fading away in the U.S.” by Steve Maich, which referred to Conrad Black.

Maclean’s retracts any imputation of criminal wrongdoing on the part of Conrad Black. Maclean’s apologizes to Mr. Black for any damage this article has caused him.

Showdown with Dodge

In my view, Katherine Macklem missed one important question in her Interview with Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge (“People will tell us if they think we are crazy”, March 21): “How does it feel to be public enemy No. 1 in the hearts and minds of Canada’s seniors?” His low interest rates may be a stimulus for the economy but the result is devastating for anyone on a fixed income of pensions and RRIFs. Currently, the interest rate on GICs, the safest RRIF option, is so low it does not even cover off inflation. Jim Gibson, Kelowna, B.C.

Young bloods

Lianne George’s article concerning youthtargeting free daily papers (“Light, bright and free,” Media, March 21) failed to explore the root causes of declining youth readership-social apathy. I have been a first-hand witness to this trend at my high school as the co-president of its RESPECT committee aimed at addressing human rights and animal abuse issues. The student body does consist of some globally aware individuals. However, many students fail to be involved in activities that don’t benefit them directly. If the youth of today prefer to receive information in a watered down format, it is the result of the self-indulgence that has consumed my generation. I just hope that Dose doesn’t spoon-feed this demographic in an attempt to boost profits.

Danielle Hammond, Kingston, Ont.

You got some facts wrong about Metro Toronto. Our circulation is quoted as 380,000. This is our readership number. Also, you quote our publisher, Bill French, but identify him as the editor. I’m disappointed to see these basic facts printed incorrectly in such a reputable magazine.

Jodi Isenberg, editor-in-chief, Metro Toronto, Toronto

I must take issue with Shanda Deziel’s suggestion that playing video games and reading comics are somehow attempts to avoid growing up (“Unartful dodgers of adulthood,” On Pop Culture, March 14). I wonder what form of entertainment is more age-appropriate for me at nearly 30: reality TV, perhaps? Now there is the pastime of choice for the mature adult. But maybe Deziel is merely referring to the inherent purpose

of all entertainment, which is to provide an ephemeral escape from everyday adult life. Or maybe I’m meant to pick up such fun adult pastimes as gossiping about the neighbours and, my all-time favourite, mowing the lawn. Tim Boudreau, Toronto

Justice for all

In Louise Arbour’s contribution to the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium (“Freedom from want,” March 14) on the need to ensure that Canada is able to feed and educate its least fortunate, what resonates is her question as to whether “we have done everything within our power to give our values and our international legal commitments effect in our day-to-day life as a nation.” Recognizing that there are power structures within our society and that these power structures transcend the personal, I believe that the question should be addressed to those who wield genuine power. I refer to government and business leaders worldwide. I believe that now, more than ever, it is fair to ask our leaders: what about your responsibility to us? Humanity has the ability to conquer imbalance. But it must be done

Maybe we should send the top brass of the RCMP back to ground zero and give them proper training

together. And in balance will be found justice, for justice is freedom from want.

John Anderson, Windsor, Ont.

Louise Arbour’s logic is based on two dangerous assumptions about the health of our democracy and our economy. Arguing that it is the role of Canada’s unelected judiciary to set this kind of public policy is just wrong. It is not for unelected judges to tell elected politicians how to govern the country. And economically, Arbour’s statement that it is “the entrenched expectation of Canadians that equitable access to the riches generated by our collective harvesting of this generous land is no longer a matter of charitable disposition” is just scary. Canada’s riches are and always will be generated by hardworking entrepreneurs who, backed by risk-taking investors, create the wealth all Canadians enjoy. An assumption that wealth is somehow created magically by a “generous land” and by “collective harvest” is naive, and sounds oddly Marxist.

Bob Young, Raleigh, N.C.

The distinction between avoidance of discrimination and the creation of rights is getting blurred. The elimination of discrimination does not imply the creation of economic rights. Whereas people should be free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender and so on, this in no way implies that they have a right to a certain

standard of living (or economic right). Every individual’s economic status is something that is earned by the efforts of that individual. We also must not confuse discrimination with misfortune. Life is not guaranteed to be fair, and it is a fallacy to expect to be able to make it so by legislation or taxation.

Laszlo Jamniczky, Calgary

Causing more grief

James Roszko was, at best, a tortured soul and, at worst, a nutcase (“We are left numb,” Tragedy, March 21). He committed all sorts of crimes including sexual assault, theft, and, yes, growing marijuana. But any hysterical effort to tighten marijuana laws based on the tenuous connection between marijuana and this crime will only expose our neighbours, our friends and our families to disproportionate penalties which may, in the end, prove as illogical and unenforceable as the prohibition against alcohol. It is my observation as a small-town lawyer who has practised for over 30 years that laws passed in response to unusual situations cause more grief to society than foreseen or intended. Robert Garcia, Hanover, Ont.

Why were four trained officers guarding a bunch of marijuana plants and a pile of stolen car parts in such a casual manner that one man could kill all of them? I was a sniper in an airborne unit during the Second World War, and I never heard of anything like that. Instead of increasing the penalties of growing marijuana, maybe we should send the top brass of the RCMP back to ground zero and give them proper training, so they, in turn, could train their constables to protect themselves. Yes, the Mounties wear pretty uniforms, appear on Parliament Hill, and carry the Stanley Cup when someone is competing for it, but I wonder if they are being reduced from a real force to one of our national symbols. Dick Meyer, Westmount, Que.

Four police officers are killed, and then, the next week, a man throws his five-year-old daughter off an overpass onto the 401, then jumps to his death, and another man sets himself on fire in front of the Ontario legislature (“Rage week,” Up Front, March 21). These tragedies are horrific, but could they have been prevented or minimized if these unstable individuals had been treated? We have been complaining about health care, hospital

MACLEAN’S® FROM OUR PAGES

The energetic, exacting man who gave his name to Maclean’s

IN OCTOBER 2005, MACLEAN’S WILL BE 100 YEARS OLD. Starting now and each week leading up to this anniversary, the magazine will look back at some aspect of its history. The natural starting point is the man shown here in one of his all-time favourite outfits: Lt.-Col. John Bayne Maclean, in the full-dress uniform of the 17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars in Montreal. The title was largely honorary.

Born in Crieff, Ont., in 1862, where his Scottish immigrant father was a Presbyterian minister, Maclean launched his first periodical, Canadian Grocer, in Toronto in 1887. Known to his employees as The Colonel, he was energetic, exacting and selectively cheap-in his later years, when his publishing empire included the Financial Post and Chatelaine, he rode to work in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce, but would end his day at the

office by switching off lights and capping inkwells.

He was generous, too: he gave cash and 250 acres of land near his birthplace to the Presbyterian Church.

It is now a Christian retreat and conference centre.

Maclean was fearlessly and verbosely opinionated. During a series of First World War articles for Maclean’s, he harped on the theme that government leaders in Canada and Britain weren’t sufficiently businesslike to defeat the Germans. (“Our soldiers are doing their share for Canada and the empire gloriously. Our leaders at home are doing their work damnably.”) People who didn’t see things his way were “non-thinking, small-visioned, jealous pinheads.” Maclean died in 1950, one day before his The Colonel in full regalia 88th birthday. His name-and magazine-live on.

closures, waiting lists and doctor shortages, and now we see the fruit of neglecting our mental health system. It’s time for our political leaders to make decisions that will affect real change for a safer society.

Doug Williams, Brantford, Ont.

Come back to Earth

We were shocked and dismayed to read Charles Chan’s letter in The Mail (March 14) saying that the Kyoto accord “is a waste of time” and “we may as well enjoy ourselves.” It is difficult to believe that there is such a myopic view of our planet. We have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and we would like to leave them something more than a dirty, festering Earth. We have to try, dammit!

Andy and Bev Fraser, Chilliwack, B.C.

Out on a limb

Usually Mansbridge on the Record is the first thing I read in Maclean’s. But when I saw

the headline “Maybe Bush was right” (March 14), I was suspicious. Comparing the fall of the Berlin Wall to the “relatively” free election in Iraq is wrong. The Wall coming down in 1989 was the result of a peace movement. There were no deaths, no violence, and no military interference. This does not compare with the thousands of people who died to achieve the election in Iraq.

Reinie Heydemann, Edmonton

Bush was not right and there are no maybes about it.

Marjorie Robertson, Ottawa

Thanks to Peter Mansbridge for stating what many are starting to realize. Bush is not a demon but a president who has a deep belief in democracy and America’s core values. He has the guts to go out on a limb to make a real change in a world still beset by terrorist societies.

Stephen Vineberg, Montreal