MAIL BAG

MAIL BAG

February 13 2006
MAIL BAG

MAIL BAG

February 13 2006

MAIL BAG

'When you have the gall to glorify violence and promote a bully's behaviour so that we can win in the Olympics, then we have indeed lost our way'

A goon is a goon

I was glad to see your coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics (“Give us the gold...or else,” Cover, Jan. 30), but I think writer Jonathon Gatehouse missed a crucial distinction in his analysis of Todd Bertuzzi’s role on our Olympic hockey team. Toughness isn’t the issue; it’s the kind of violent action that Bertuzzi chose to administer to Steve Moore. A “sucker punch” is intended solely to injure its recipient, and it does so—with appalling results in Moore’s case—precisely because the recipient is unable to protect himself against it. So how can Bertuzzi’s actions be defended? You might have made a stronger case for supporting his inclusion on the team by reminding your readers that he paid a fine equal to more than seven years of an average worker’s gross salary, and that he’s obviously a chastened and more thoughtful player this season. You might also have noted that, if he plays with his zeal, strength and skill inside the framework of the rules, he’ll be a valuable player for Team Canada. I think that’s precisely the basis for his selection by Wayne Gretzky. But when you state that “most Canadians really don’t care what the hulking Canuck has done in the past,” I think you’re profoundly wrong. It’s great for Bertuzzi that the team organizers have faith in his ability to play with maturity, but it’s not right to forget the damage he inflicted on Moore, or to presume that such behaviour in hockey deserves any defence. Ian Malcolm, Kingston, Ont.

I was disgusted and insulted by your cover. Why must you glorify violence and bullying to sell your magazine? When you have the gall to promote a bully’s behaviour so that we can win in the Olympics, then we have indeed lost our way.

Else Groves, Ottawa

There is a lot more to Bertuzzi than your writer suggests, and maybe his history of genuine care in his community, especially toward sick children, should have been added. One mistake does not a man make.

Jonathan Wright, Vancouver

Why would you put the face of Bertuzzi on the Olympics 2006 cover? Your emphasis on him being mean misses the point; in hockey, the Olympic spirit is all about the team, not the individual. A goon is a goon is a goon. I wonder what the rest of the team thinks about being represented this way.

Jim Kimmel, Calgary

A fitting ‘End’

Thank you for sharing the obituary (“The end,” Jan. 23) ofjenilee and Jillian Evans, the moving story of twin girls who were so close in life as well as at their untimely deaths. As a mom to triplets, my heart goes out to the Evans family for their loss. I hope they find some comfort that wherever Jennilee and Jillian are, they are together. I will pray for the family to find healing and peace, and ways to continue to remember and honour their beloved twins.

Sheila Catto, Saskatoon

As a 21-year-old female I never thought I would identify with most of the content in Maclean’s. Deciding to broaden my literary horizons, however, I subscribed four years ago. While I do enjoy most issues, it has been the recent freshening up that has caught and held my attention. On that note, I just read the Jan. 23 edition and found myself overcome with emotion at “The end,” written by Cathy Gulli. The story of the life and death of the 21-year-old Evans twins moved me in ways I didn’t think a magazine like yours could. I’m humbled and sad and angry and admit I’m closing the issue with a heavy heart, but I want to thank you for those feelings. Jennifer Sears, Victoria

Please ignore criticism of the new back page. It is interesting and I think the critics just don’t get it. Yet.

Bill Burns, Peterborough, Ont.

Help for the Horsemen

With reference to Charlie Gillis’s article about the performance of the RCMP (“The Mounties give up,” National, Jan. 30), tax dollars intended to fight serious crime and terrorism should not be diverted to put more speed traps on western highways. Wouldn’t the simple solution be to divide the force into two departments, one responsible for community policing and the other for major investigations into fraud, drug trafficking, whitecollar crime and terrorism? If each of the two

departments had its own budget, then it would no longer be possible for the brass to rob Peter to pay Paul by the questionable device of depleting the drug enforcement unit in order to meet contract obligations in Western Canada. Certainly, more than this needs to be done, including changes to the law to streamline excessive judicial evidentiary demands that are benefiting criminals and putting the public at risk by tying up the Mounties and other police services with unnecessary paperwork.

Andrew Walls, Guelph, Ont.

If the RCMP is incapable of providing the requisite manpower to local forces across Canada, then it should most definitely say so and very strongly advise that provinces like B.C. and Alberta look to set up their own provincial and/or municipal police services, and thus enable the RCMP to concentrate on major federal crimes such as drug trafficking and terrorism. Hopefully, the new federal Conservative government will bring political sanity to Canada’s ongoing major problems in regard to the law and order agenda, and institute policies that are essential to the needs of not only the RCMP but the country.

Bob Tarplett, West Vancouver

Leave the leaf

I wonder if letter writer Stan Rióme (“The maple leaf forever,” Mail Bag, Jan 30) is also upset in the autumn when real maple leaves turn brown and flutter down from the trees? Maclean’s using the image of a maple leaf as an apostrophe on its cover and behind the date on its pages is not the same as using the stylized Maple Leaf symbol of Canada, nor the actual Canadian flag itself. If this were the case, no one would be able to use an image of a maple leaf for logos or artwork.

DavidJ. Root, SaultSte. Marie, Ont.

Middle-aged libido

One can take two views of Gail Sheehy’s comments concerning her book Sex and the Seasoned Woman (Interview, Jan. 23). One could take her standpoint that these emancipated women in their 50s are reaching out to fulfill their lives after having given up some vigour and excitement earlier on in favour of dependence. Sheehy claims these women who have been supported by a man and now are feeling pretty feisty want to forge ahead with another life after leaving their husbands. The other viewpoint is that these women had the

Tf the RCMP is incapable of providing the requisite manpower to local forces across Canada, then it should most definitely say so and advise that provinces like B.C. and Alberta look to set up their own police services'

benefit of relying on husbands to provide for them and the family, and now they’ve discovered that they are bored and choose to leave their husbands in their prime earning years, thereby benefiting once again from their men’s hard-earned work. Whatever happened to accountability and responsibility to others?

M. Helena Myllykoski, Calgary

Stealing home

There is a simple solution to mortgage fraud (“Sold from under us,” Crime, Jan. 16). The homeowner files a password with the land titles office. The vendor of the property must produce the password or the sale does not go through. Banks, lawyers and government agencies rely on false documents produced by the culprit. No password—no sale.

J. R. Kenny, Calgary

Lament for a nation

I just finished the story titled “Nobody Loves Canada” (National, Jan. 23), and I think it is very insightful. When someone asks me where I’m from, I never say “Canada,” I always say “Newfoundland.” Benoit Aubin quotes Jacques Frémont as saying that Quebecers “don’t recognize themselves in our institutions anymore.” He should try being from Newfoundland. There has never been a judge on the Supreme Court of Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador, the federal service that monitors ice conditions off the East Coast is based in Ottawa, and Environment Canada provides our weathercasts from Halifax. Newfoundland may as well not be in Canada, considering how little we are included. And to prove my point, in the very next story, “Ministry of branding” (National, Jan. 23), Andrew Potter writes that when Canada won gold in Salt Lake City in men’s hockey, “the country was indeed cheering, from Digby to Clayoquot Sound.” There was a whole other province cheering, too, but I don’t know what for. Duane Collins, St.John’s

In this age of the corporate agenda, in which both our citizens and our politicians are beholden in one way or another to corporate interests, your article on Canadians’ apparent waning patriotism was conspicuous for its lack of mention of corporate patriotism. How do the corporations that figure so prominently in our country’s economy stack up in exercising “good corporate citizenship”? Richard Weatherill, Victoria

After reading your article on why nobody loves Canada, it made me think about my own loss of patriotism. As a teenager, I lived through the FLQ crisis and the rise of the Parti Québécois in Montreal. My strong patriotism at that time inspired me and a friend to start a small mail-order business selling pro-Canadian, anti-separatist T-shirts in Quebec. These days though, I can hardly blame Quebec, or Alberta, for wanting to separate.

Sharon Moore, Toronto