NHL regime change
I’ve been having trouble lately trying to figure out if professional hockey is a sporting game or a soap opera (NHL Lockout: ‘It Doesn’t Look Good’ – Oct. 19). Wake me up if and/or when the season ever starts.
Sebastian Grunstra, Ottawa
It’s time for hockey fans – who are the source of NHL revenue – to assert what we want.
First, remove the Stanley Cup from the NHL’s control and grant a licence for its use to a league that will enhance the game. A league that will ban fighting. A league that will encourage speed and skill by expanding the rink to international dimensions. A league that will expand to more Canadian cities and perhaps make tickets more affordable. Maybe even a league with a premier and second division, with a relegation process like soccer’s.
For the love of the game, we need to take this opportunity, initiate a regime change and dump the NHL.
Dave Nonen, Victoria
The NHL is an owners’ league. The players should organize themselves into the Players Hockey League and hire the administrative services provided by the owners. It would be cheaper for the players than the current arrangement.
Lennea Oseen, Edmonton
For Canadians who remain unsure about where to place their allegiance in the dispute between the commissioner, the owners and the players, I suggest they ask themselves three questions:
How many hockey-playing kids dream of growing up to become Gary Bettman?
How many hockey fans pay $100 or more to sit in an arena and watch Eugene Melnyk, Mike Ilitch and their ilk?
And what proportion of the game’s soul can be found in locations such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and Tampa Bay?
John Lawrence Reynolds, Burlington, Ont.
Advice from 1858
Unlike some, I have no problem with the idea that Canadians should be more familiar with our history, including our British heritage. Suppressing this heritage makes no more sense in 2012 than uncritically glorifying it did 50 years ago.
That heritage, however, includes much more than battles and wars. As one example, and one that our federal government might do well to reflect upon, I suggest the following clause in the instructions that the British government provided in 1858 to James Douglas upon appointing him governor of British Columbia:
“You are, as much as possible, to observe, in the passing of all laws, that each different matter be provided for by a different law, without intermixing in one and the same law such things as have no proper relation to each other; and you are more especially to take care that no clause or clauses be inserted in or annexed to any law which shall be foreign to what the title of such law imports …”
In other words, omnibus legislation is a bad idea (Conservatives Unveil A Few Surprises; Parliamentary Experts Cry Foul – Oct. 19). This clause, or a version of it, was standard in all instructions to colonial governors.
Hamar Foster, professor of law, University of Victoria
Kudos to the CRTC
In 1999, the CRTC allowed private broadcasters to lessen Canadian content rules after the broadcasters told them how passionately they wanted to produce Cancon – as soon as they had enough money in their coffers buying and transmitting foreign product with Canadian commercials (CRTC spikes BCE-Astral deal – Oct. 19).
The broadcasters were right about one thing: They made a lot of money with the new rule. Using that money to actually produce more Canadian content? Not so much.
Hooray to chairman Jean-Pierre Blais and the CRTC for standing up for the Canadian consumer, our culture and our entertainment industry.
Peter Keleghan, Toronto
Re Be Afraid (Film – Oct. 19): I was looking forward to a nice round number, “The best 50 horror flicks of all time,” and what did we get? The top 10 of five different critics which, with surprisingly few overlaps, became only 43 different films! The horror!
Mark Levine, Toronto
What fun. And who knew? I would have bet Psycho would have been in every panelist’s list. Three of your reviewers went for Let The Right One In, which made it the most mentioned. Never seen it, but I intend to now.
Jill Adams, Calgary
It may be true that doctors and nurses have extracted higher wages because they are “motivated and mobilized” groups, but Baumol’s cost disease, invoked by Jeffrey Simpson (Tight Money Kills Ontario’s ‘Buy Change’ Illusion – Oct. 19) is independent of the level of organization in a profession. In fact, Baumol’s original example was classical musicians – and I do not believe they are primarily known for their organization or political cunning.
As long as productivity rises in the economy as a whole, the cost of health care and education will increase, regardless of the political influence of public-sector workers.
Stephen Bank, Toronto
Portraits are us
The history of Canada is the history of its people (The Right Emphasis – editorial, Oct. 19). A national gallery devoted to portraits is the best way to learn about the lives of the people who have lived in this country and, indirectly, about the country itself.
A Museum of History will inevitably include some portraits of a few prominent and distinguished citizens, but in a very different context from a portrait gallery that shows the whole range of people, from those who have lived ordinary lives to the extraordinary leaders in every field of activity. A national portrait gallery will still be needed.
Julian and Kaaren Brown, founders of the Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture, Kingston
Think on the move
I was heartened by André Picard’s article Get Up And Get Moving (Life, Oct. 16), which made an important, but little-known point – that activity is beneficial for several chronic disorders, including brain disorders. We know that regular, brisk walking, for example, can reduce one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s, depression, and stroke. But simple activity can also serve as an important treatment for other brain disorders. For example, research studies have shown exercise to be as effective as Prozac for depression.
Many people understand the importance of exercise and activity. The trick is, how do we move from “knowing” to “doing”? The Ontario Brain Institute has made this question one of our top priorities. We are consulting some of the world’s experts in finding the answer to this question, which is every bit as important as finding the cure to a specific disease.
Donald T. Stuss, scientific director, Ontario Brain Institute
How could I have been so suspicious and mean-spirited? Obviously Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal MPPs simply read the same health advice I did and took the news to heart. Sitting is indeed the new smoking, and so they stopped (Prorogation An Abuse Of Power – editorial, Oct. 18).
Lorraine McFarland, Toronto