THE MAIL

THE MAIL

‘Throwing money at security is no guarantee of safety, but it does guarantee more aggravation and longer lines at airports and border crossings.’

Peter McCann August 1 2005
THE MAIL

THE MAIL

‘Throwing money at security is no guarantee of safety, but it does guarantee more aggravation and longer lines at airports and border crossings.’

Peter McCann August 1 2005

THE MAIL

‘Throwing money at security is no guarantee of safety, but it does guarantee more aggravation and longer lines at airports and border crossings.’

Peter McCann

Fallout from the London bombing

The July 18 cover photo is amazing! It so completely expresses the quiet, indomitable courage of the British in the face of the terrorist attacks. Congratulations to the photographer Edmond Terakopian of AP for capturing it so eloquently.

Patricia MacDonald, Maple Hill, P.E.l.

Your story (“I have just seen hell,” Cover, July 18) is right: the terrorists did pick the wrong city, and the wrong people. Londoners endured bombing for months during the Blitz, and England continued to be bombed intermittently throughout World War II. The British generally do employ a sardonic sense of humour, which is sometimes misunderstood, but it helps them to face this kind of hardship. The extraordinary efforts of the police, the doctors, and volunteers in coping with this tragedy are to be applauded. Rosalind Jones, London, Ont.

I am writing in response to the story “How Safe Are We?” about Canada being unprepared for a possible terrorist attack to correct the record on some key points. The article states that the U.S. has passed legislation allowing the two governments’ customs booths to “switch ends” to protect the Ambassador Bridge infrastructure on the border between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit, but that Canada is not moving ahead. In fact, Canada has worked with the U.S. on a framework for land pre-clearance, which was agreed to and signed in Detroit in December 2004 by myself and former U.S. homeland security secretary Tom Ridge. This framework commits to the arrangements for the relocation of land border inspection staff of one country into the other. A formal agreement between Canada and the U.S. and legislative instruments in both countries are necessary to allow for implementation. The two governments are actively negotiating this agreement. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Windsor-Detroit crossing remains secure and efficient. The Windsor region is home to an RCMP-led Integrated Border Enforcement Team and the

Government of Canada’s most recent budget increased funding to enhance the joint presence of the Canadian Coast Guard and the RCMP on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Canada’s National Security Policy, introduced last year by our government, sets out an “all hazards” approach to protect Canadians from a range of potential threats, no matter where they live.

The Honourable Anne McLellan,

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ottawa

Anne McLellan said, “We need to spend more time looking at the psychological preparedness of our people because an emergency or a disaster can strike at any time.” It sounds like McLellan is getting her speeches written by the White House! To me, her words translate into: “Be afraid! Be very afraid!” Where does McLellan suggest Canadians acquire the “psychological preparedness” for terror attacks? Should we go see a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a GP to deal with “preparedness deficiency”? How many months would we have to wait for an appointment?

Russell Barth, Ottawa

I found “The unending horror,” your timeline on terrorist acts since 9/11, offensively biased. Conveniently omitted are atrocities

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involving the death of innocent Muslims. If I wanted such American bias, I would subscribe to Time.

Terri chu, Toronto

Kudos to your magazine for publishing the timeline on terrorism. You should know that since the establishment of the State of Israel, there have been about 70,000 terrorist attacks with the death of thousands and the maiming of countless others. Israel is the place where the so-called militants perfect their evil skills, and then export them to the rest of the world.

Noel Hershfield, Calgary

Canadians will never be prepared for a terrorist attack until Canada is attacked, and even then it will take repeated occurrences for Canadians’ collective mindset to adopt an emergency preparedness mentality. Experience is the only teacher.

Douglas Cornish, Ottawa

Maclean’s treatment of the story of Canada’s safety is little more than fear-mongering. We do not need you, or our government, employing the tactics of intellectual terrorism by fanning the flames of fear and suspicion that accompany such alarms. Reasonable preparations for all manner of potential national emergencies make good sense but we don’t need an exploitation of the disaster in England, a country which operates under internal politics and foreign policy that differ from our own.

Linda Watson, Winnipeg

You end your cover stories by saying, “Canadians have no such history [referring to the IRA bombing of Harrods in London] to learn from.” I vividly recall the War Measures Act invoked by our federal government in 1970 to deal with FLQ terrorists in Quebec. I recall a cabinet minister being murdered by them and a British Trade Commissioner being kidnapped. Was this not terrorism? Is this not our history?

Richard McCleary, Creemore, Ont.

Of smoking and smoking guns

Steve Maich’s column is one of the first regular features of Maclean’s that I turn to each week. But he has lost his usual insightful perspective in his article about the unfairness of lawsuits against the tobacco corn-

thousands of our citizens every single year? Because we need the tax revenue. Get a grip Maich!

A. Randall Symons,

West Vancouver, B.C.

panies (“Pity poor big tobacco,” All Business, July 18). To suggest that the tobacco companies are punished at all, let alone enough, by the taxes levied against their products is absolute nonsense. Beyond the possible impact of increases in taxes on the volumes of cigarettes sold, they get their costs and significant profits regardless. Considering the damage they have wrought upon millions of people, it is reasonable that they be called upon to make reparations out of their money, and the efforts of B.C. and the other provincial governments deserve to be successful. Maich’s comment about the floodgates being opened against other big business interests that knowingly imperil their customers is a sobering thought, but it does not follow that efforts to remedy this situation should cease. John Mitchell, Scarborough, Ont.

Canadians permit the sale of a product known to kill thousands each year. Why? Tax revenue.

Why do we Canadians permit the manufacture and distribution of a product known to destroy health or kill

Steve Maich’s column “What’s a whistle-blower?” All Business, June 27) should have been an interesting piece. But when he equated the recently fired Health Canada employees Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon and Gerard Lambert with the efforts of “every crank with an axe to grind,” the logic died. Maich may or may not know that the Health Canada scientists’ problems date back at least to the early 1990s, and were far more serious than a disagreement with other scientists. They were concerned that, as Maich says, “certain drugs and additives should be banned.” Only after they had exhausted all of their

_ options within the system did they

go public with those concerns for the safety of Canadians. Did Health Canada try to get to the bottom of the situation so that solid, independent science would be rewarded? No, it fired the scientists who spoke out about health risks to the food and feed supply in Canada in relation to animals possibly infected with BSE. Two years later, some of their recommendations have been accepted by the Canadian government as it scrambles to protect Canadians.

Stewart Wells, President, National Farmers Union of Canada, Swift Current, Sask.

Tanned and fit

In response to the critical letters you printed about the actress Polly Shannon on your June 27 cover “Killer tans,” I see nothing wrong with your use of her photo tied in with your tanning story. She is a good fit. But the reaction of your readers shows that no matter what you publish, someone is always offended. Keep up the good work, jan P. Loos, Vernon, B.C.

Thanks for the pictures and article about Polly Shannon. I met her once at her mom’s Christmas party and I can tell you that, aside from being easy on the eyes, she is unspoiled, lacks pretension, and is very

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caring, so she contrasts sharply with the public images of J.Lo., Britney and Angelina. I wish her every success.

Rick Lorenz, Kanata, Ont.

Unbiased journalism?

Peter Mansbridge is letting the CBC’s penchant for supporting the underdog go to his head. When he discusses the launching of an English-language al-Jazeera network (“The world’s a stage,” Mansbridge on the Record, July 18), he quotes their managing director’s claim that the channel will present an “unbiased view of world events.” Mansbridge should be well aware of the fact that there is no such thing in journalism. As I understand it, al-Jazeera already has a host of detractors within the Arab world who disagree with the slant and choice of the network’s stories; I would expect this trend to continue whether it broadcasts in English, Arabic, or Mandarin. Adam J. Green, Ottawa

Well-loved children

How could the University of Western Ontario honour Dr. Henry Morgentaler with a doctorate (“The good doctor,” Up Front, June 27)? This was not a morally neutral statement on the part of the university and it is an affront to the most helpless of our society, the unborn. It is also the most bitter of ironies because these children, had they been allowed to live, would be filling our universities today.

James Klaas, Guelph, Ont.

I am appalled by Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s statement, “Well-loved children grow into adults who do not build concentration camps.” Morgentaler’s justification for abortion being based on the case of an isolated monster is a poor reason to determine the fate of an innocent fetus who will never have the chance to be loved by anyone.

Hanne Simoes, Mississauga, Ont.