THE MAIL

THE MAIL

‘Why did you have to use such an inappropriate heading? If you could not use the Queen’s full name, why not “Lilibet”? But Betty? Never! Never!’ -Elizabeth scott,Belleville,ont.

June 6 2005
THE MAIL

THE MAIL

‘Why did you have to use such an inappropriate heading? If you could not use the Queen’s full name, why not “Lilibet”? But Betty? Never! Never!’ -Elizabeth scott,Belleville,ont.

June 6 2005

THE MAIL

‘Why did you have to use such an inappropriate heading? If you could not use the Queen’s full name, why not “Lilibet”? But Betty? Never! Never!’ -Elizabeth scott,Belleville,ont.

Letters to the Editor: letters@macleans.ca

A royal response

What a timely and refreshing cover package about Canada’s Queen (“Betty rules,” May 23). It was a much-appreciated break at a time when political fighting, treachery and greed have become our daily fare. It is good to remember that Canada’s head of state is, indeed, beyond and above such things and that we can all be proud of her, whatever our political allegiance. At a time when duty and loyalty are forgotten words between the covers of dusty dictionaries, it is good to remember that such are the qualities, now embodied in Queen Elizabeth II, that have built our country.

John Thévenot, Deux-Montagnes, Que.

It’s a shame that you ruined an otherwise excellent article by your unkind remarks about Prince Philip. I am sure the Queen would be the first to say Philip has always been most supportive. And if you had ever met him, as I have, you could never say he was dim. You should look into all the things he has done for Great Britain, the Commonwealth, world wildlife, sporting associations and young people.

Dorothy Forsyth, Ottawa

I take great exception to the author referring to Prince Charles as a “milquetoast.” I think he is quite the opposite. It requires backbone to speak up on topics such as the environment and modem architecture. It takes a very strong person to be in the vanguard of such movements as organic farming and holistic medicine while being laughed at by unthinking journalists. It takes an exceptional person to use his position to urge businesses to hire the disadvantaged. And it most definitely takes a strong person to defy all convention and the palace to marry the person he loves. Charles a milquetoast? Hardly!

Judith Yaworsky, Ottawa

I was in Grade 3 when they brought to class a big canister full of film to show us the magic and wonder of the coronation of a young woman known as Princess Elizabeth.

I have since avidly followed her career, and Rosalind Miles deserves applause for her skilful portrait of our Queen who, even when snubbed or mocked by some of our politicos, has shown herself to be truly of royal blood.

Rev. George Gilliland, Charlottetown

How dare you call Queen Elizabeth “the last great monarch”? What gives you the right to determine the potential greatness of future monarchs such as Prince Charles or Prince William?

Stephanie Rudolph, Burlington, Ont.

And the beat goes on

Comments by Paul Wells in the May 16 story (“Almost a way of life,” The Gomery Inquiry) about Adscam being business as usual gave me the incentive to tell my own story. If nothing else, it should reinforce his assumption that the shenanigans of the sponsorship program are merely the tip of a very large, Liberal iceberg that dates back many years. In the mid-80s, while I managed a Montreal-based advertising agency, we were chosen by then Crown-owned Canadair Inc. to handle advertising for their Challenger business jet. The decision followed our investment of huge amounts of time and money in the preparation of the winning submission in a fairly conducted competition. Then, when Canadair senior management advised the government of their decision, they were instructed to instead award the business to second-place contender J. Walter Thompson Advertising in Montreal. This instruction surprised both Canadair and ourselves as we had won the business on merit and in compliance with the Liberal government’s published policy requiring all Canadian government advertising to be handled only by 100 per cent Canadian-owned agencies. At that time, J. Walter Thomson was U.S. majority owned.

Phil Cunliffe, Vancouver

Ice the ice men

Well, Sidney Crosby may be the best player to come to professional hockey in a long time (“Can Sidney Crosby save the NHL?” Hockey, May 9). However, there could be a whole league of his stature and it wouldn’t change my opinion of the league or the players. Both groups are selfish and stubborn egocentrics who can obviously afford to give up their livelihood for a very extended period of time—unlike the thousands of people whose related jobs depend on the game. So, even when they do decide that they need to resolve the issue, I think hockey fans will have found that life can go on without the NHL.

Bob Weaver, London, Ont.

A place without pity

As a mother of three daughters ages 12,14 and 17,1 was upset to read of the conditions that young women are faced with in Pakistan’s Sindh province (“Murdered for love,” Human Rights, May 23). I feel such anguish when I think of 16-year-old Shazia Mungi and fear that she and her 18-year-old husband will be caught and killed, all for the sin of running away from her father and refusing to be sold to an older man. But for the fortune of being born in Canada, this could have happened to my daughters. I will be sharing this story with my older daughter who has just completed a high school project on human rights. As for my younger two, I think it would be too disturbing for them to read.

Karen Welch, Pickering, Ont.

More on Nancy Olivieri

In your May 9 article “The Olivieri Case Revisited,” you quote author Miriam Shuchman as follows: “I think there are people

who would be alive if LÍ had continued to be available in North America and had they stayed on it.” You go on to suggest that thalassemia sufferers in Toronto have been dying in greater numbers than those in Britain and other parts of Europe where “the drug is still available and widely prescribed.” Thus, by intimation, you suggest that Dr. Olivieri is responsible for the fall in clinical standards in the management of hemoglobin disorders in North America, and thereby question her clinical integrity. The mortality data quoted by Shuchman is anecdotal; it will require many years of properly controlled observations before the true role of LÍ is determined. If there has been a decline in the standard of clinical care for patients in Toronto, other causes must be sought. Having travelled as a doctor to many countries to observe facilities for treating patients with thalassemia on behalf of the World Health Organization, I was astonished at the lack of support for these patients in Toronto; more staff are devoted to their care in some of the poorer developed countries. Shuchman and the patients of Toronto should look to their hospital administrations and governments for the basis for their concerns about patient care and not, by innuendo, blame Dr. Olivieri, without whose efforts there would be no service at all.

Sir David Weatherall, Regius Professor of Medicine Emeritus, University of Oxford, England

We are two thalassemia patients who find your article about Dr. Nancy Olivieri unfair and misleading. It is unfair because Dr. Olivieri has always been responsive and helpful to our needs even while she was under harassment from Sick Kids for many years. It is misleading because we have never seen her act unprofessionally and your article makes her seem like a psychopath whom we don’t recognize, after 20 years under her care. Sandro and John Principato, Stoney Creek, Ont.

Miriam Shuchman’s book is cheap tabloid fiction. I was head of the blood research program at Sick Kids Hospital when Dr. Nancy Olivieri stood up for the rights of children who volunteer for clinical trials. Shuchman’s description of the ensuing firestorm might be comical if it was not so viciously harmful. For example, Drs. Olivieri, Manuel Carcao, two other doctors and I concluded definitively that the ordinary rules of authorship did not qualify Carcao for authorship of a project he had started with Olivieri, but failed to finish or pass to the next students. Shuchman misreports my role and reverses the conclusion to bring pity for Carcao. Could Shuchman be jealous of Olivieri’s top clinical expertise, global leadership and courageous honesty?

Dr. Brenda Gallie, director, Retinoblastoma Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Embedded in a Caddy ad

Maclean’s has given new meaning to the term “embedded journalists” by embedding Peter C. Newman in a Cadillac ad, and styling his article a “special report” (“The newCanadian establishment, May 23). Whatever happened to the separation of editorial and advertising? As a former managing editor of Maclean’s, I know things are tough financially in magazines these days, but surely you are not so desperate that you must abandon the ethical standards that have been honoured at Maclean’s in its first 100 years.

Geoffrey Stevens, Cambridge, Ont.

To our good health

It is remarkable that your article on Alberta’s Symposium on Health (“The European fix,” May 16), with professor of health policy and management Richard Saltman’s support of public health care with some private sector involvement, should coincide

with a series of columns in the New York Times which clearly describe a U.S. health care system as the costliest in the world and probably its most useless and most financially troubled. Saltman’s brief explanation that U.S. health care is a “commodity” clearly defines why the legislated universality of Canada’s health care services give the system a fundamental life-giving character. Still, as Saltman suggests, while the fundamentals of the Canadian system must be maintained, there surely can be a method to reward productive innovations and superior results, particularly in primary care.

Dr. J.S.W. Aldis, Port Hope Ont.

Congratulations to the organizers of the Alberta Symposium on Health. What we need is more discussion like this. With our population aging, life expectancies increasing and the cost of medical services rising, we need all stakeholders in health care to come to the table and leave their biases at the door.

Does anyone really care whether our system is universal, two-tier, hybrid or some other description? We just want a system that works. Rick Goldring, Burlington, Ont.

Safety and the sex trade

Thank you for covering the story of the sex trade workers in Edmonton (“Lost luckless girls,” Crime, May 23) who are either missing or who have been found murdered. This phenomenon of killing prostitutes, “a targeted group of individuals who are taken from the street, murdered and then dumped off,” is far from modern, but can no longer be swept under the carpet. I’m glad Edmonton police are taking steps toward chasing down leads, rather than persecuting the women who are forced into prostitution. The key to preventing more women from going missing is legalization and ensuring the safety of the sex trade and its workers.

Cayce Laviolette, Vancouver