MAIL BAG

June 25 2007

MAIL BAG

June 25 2007

MAIL BAG

‘Wearing the Beach or the Cayman models puts people at risk for falling sharp objects’

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

WE CAN ALL LEARN a lesson from England: people who take responsibility for their own actions make a nation wealthier, healthier and happier (“Why England is rotting,” World, June ll). What the British need to do is quit blaming schools and other social agencies for the lack of civility among their citizens. People make choices, and when they make poor ones, it’s not the government’s place to rescue them. Maybe a lesson of “you made your bed, now lie in it” would be more appropriate than throwing more money at people who clearly have no desire to change.

T. K O’Shea, Edmonton

I WAS SHOCKED by your use of the Queen’s picture on your cover. While England certainly has a multitude of woes, linking the Queen to them is a disgrace.

Jackie Jurgens, Ottawa

THE ILLS MARTIN NEWLAND described in this article apply not only to the U.K., but to most Western countries if one cares to depict certain strata of society. Perhaps Newland has not visited the dismal Toronto suburbs on a Saturday night or the sordid back alleys of Vancouver’s downtown. Canadian First Nation reserves lack basic sanitation. Great Britain is still a place where decent people live in peace, work hard, raise families and care for each other. I suggest that Newland look in his own backyard and try to remedy the problems before sinking into sensationalism.

Andrew Mulkani, Vancouver

THE PHOTOS you use depict the disabled, the homeless, rough-looking teens, the obese, those who are angry at politicians and a young single mom. In other words, they could have showed just another day in Victoria.

Ryan Ogilvie, Victoria

WHEN I’M ASKED my reasons for leaving the

U. K., it’s often easiest to say that I’m an asylum-seeker from Tony Blair. There has been much recent criticism of the Canadian education system, but I see investment in education and a desire to both learn and teach. This whole ethic is lost on the youth of Britain and it’s far from unusual to see three generations of the same family living off social security benefits having never sought an education

or a job. Who foots the bill? The ordinary working man previously championed by the Labour movement. As the article shows, Canada’s future looks a lot rosier than that of the U.K. I urge readers to show this story to their kids when they complain about life here. Mark Venables, Grimsby, Ont.

ALTHOUGH NEWLAND does know that Scotland has its own parliament, he does not recognize that its educational system has always been different from, and far superior to, that of England. The peoples of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England are very dis-

similar in their ways of life. But, in the matters of illiteracy, illegitimacy, child poverty, national health care and a general lack of real culture, I think Canada would do well to look at the mote in its own eye.

Margaret A Kennedy, Oakville, Ont.

THE FACT THAT England is rotting should not be a surprise to anyone who has studied history. This decline parallels the decline in Christian teachings and practices, and since England is no longer a Christian country, what other direction is there but downward? Sadly, Canada is following the same path. Claude Winger, Ridgeway, Ont.

CROCS IN THE HOSPITAL

WHAT I FOUND SHOCKING was the misinformation about HIV and hepatitis transmission contained in the article about hospital footwear by Cathy Gulli (“The shocking truth

about Crocs,” Health, June 4). The statement by Dr. James Keegan of Rapid City Regional Hospital implied that proper footwear is required to protect oneself from infection by these viruses. Being splashed or even covered with blood infected by either of these agents will not result in infection unless there is a break in the skin or prolonged exposure. But, wearing either the Beach or Cayman models with their holes on top puts the wearer at risk from falling contaminated sharp objects, such as needles or surgical instruments, which could pierce the skin of the foot.

Michael Connidis, Vancouver

TOOTHPASTE AND TOYS

SO THE GOVERNMENT of China’s own investigation found that 20 per cent of Chinesemade toys and baby clothes had failed safety tests, while certain baby milk powders contained potentially harmful chemicals (“Consumer beware if it’s made in China,” World, June ll), never mind tainted pet food, antibiotics and toothpaste. That is appalling. It also seems unfair that we hold Canadian manufacturers to Canadian Standards Association standards, but that possibly dangerous items can be imported and sold here. This is the downside of globalization.

Margo Lamont Catamo, Vancouver

WHO’S CHEATING WHOM?

WHAT A STRANGE juxtaposition in the June 11 issue, when, first, I read the article about a lawsuit against the company that catches students who cheat on essays (“How not to catch a thief,” Education), and then six pages later, about the case of alleged plagiarism involving Canadian writer Rebecca Eckler and her book Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-be being made into a Hollywood movie with not one penny going to her (“Is that my baby on the screen?” Film). If Rebecca decides to form a syndicate to raise capital to fund the litigation, I am interested in investing.

Mel Walters, Salmon Arm, B.C.

I APPLAUD Eckler in her fight over the film Knocked Up. I feel that we should support our authors and give them the credit they deserve. With the lack of original entertainment material coming from the U.S., I’m not surprised that movie producers and directors would be suspected of plagiarism. Knocked

T always open the magazine to The End first. You should have more stories about ordinary people. It makes for a special connection.’

Up is not a film I will be viewing and I hope that other Canadians follow suit in boycotting it.

Cheryl Tucker, Guelph, Ont.

ORDINARY PEOPLE

I JUST WANTED to convey how much I appreciate the last page of Maclean’s. I always open the magazine to The End first and read the story of some ordinary person who has bit the dust. You should have more stories about ordinary people. It makes for a special connection-something we readers can relate to. Oh, by the way, the rest of the magazine is okay too.

Nancy Bannister-Char, Wayne, Pa

CSI AND HISTORY

IN AN ARTICLE on Canada’s cable channel History TV, Jaime J. Weinman writes, “When specialty channels violate the terms under which they were licensed, the regulators are supposed to be able to step in and fix it” (“It’s so unhistorical it’s hysterical,” TV, June ll). This statement suggests that Alliance Atlantis is violating the conditions of its licence for History Television in airing CSI: NY. The History Television condition of licence requires the channel to air programs which “embrace both current events and past history,” including factual and fictional approaches. We believe that CSI: NY fits within that definition. As such, we believe History Television is within its licence conditions in airing the show. As

is appropriate, we are addressing the issue with the CRTC. On May 31, we filed a formal letter with the CRTC clearly outlining why we believe that CSI: NY does fit History Television’s nature of service. We have requested reconsideration by CRTC staff of its determination that CSI: NY wasn’t historical in light of the additional information that we provided.

John Gill, Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Content, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Toronto

IN PASSING

Edwin Traisman, 91, food scientist. He helped create Cheez Whiz, and had a second career at McDonald’s, where he discovered that french fries could be better frozen if they were partially cooked first. He bought several franchises in 1957 but risked losing them by taking the unprecedented step of hiring women, which was forbidden by McDonald’s.

Sam Garrison, 65, lawyer. He defended Richard Nixon during the 1974 U.S. presidential impeachment hearings, serving as deputy minority counsel on the House judiciary committee and later as chief Republican counsel. He returned to Virginia but was disbarred and served four months in prison for embezzlement.