The mornings after
The winner of the Quebec election, no matter who that is, and the federal government have got to appreciate that they are inseparable bedfellows (Turmoil In Quebec To Persist Regardless of Who’s In Charge – Sept. 4).
As a Brit with a deep, long-standing attachment to Canada, with 90 per cent of my family stretched between Dartmouth, N.S., and Gibsons, B.C., I was greatly troubled by To Quebec, Canada Barely Exists (Aug. 31).
Any further weakening of the links between Quebec and the rest of Canada would prove to be gravely damaging to both parties and to Canada’s reputation in the world. The federal government, for its part, must keep its priorities straight and not lose sight of the need to foster domestic harmony by focusing unduly on attracting foreign investment, including from countries not renowned for their democratic governments; Quebec, for its part, must appreciate in a timely manner that draconian language requirements will inhibit expansion – indeed, cause the withdrawal – of multinationals from the province.
O Canada, cherish your heritage!
Martin E. Simons, London, U.K.
Federalists have been missing the boat by not stressing the fact that the French-language services of the CBC, commonly referred to as Radio-Canada, are highly popular in Quebec.
One of the arguments advanced by the sovereigntists is that only an independent Quebec can ensure the survival of the French language and culture. It is relatively easy to challenge such a notion by pointing out the key role played by Radio-Canada over the past 60 years or so in fostering the use of French and in the development of Québécois culture.
Radio-Canada is a federal institution, funded more generously than its English-language counterpart (on a per-capita basis), managed by a federally appointed board of directors and president.
Tony Manera, Ottawa
In Canada’s interest
As the Democratic convention opens, Americans are worse off than they were four years ago, especially minorities. The United States’ debt has hit the $16-trillion mark; Barack Obama’s economic record is poor (Obama Forced To Justify His Record – Sept. 4).
It is time for a proven business leader, who knows how to create jobs, to lead the country. If the U.S. economy does well, so will Canada’s. It is in Canada’s best interest to support a Romney/Ryan ticket.
Lucy Di Nunzio, Niagara Falls, Ont.
New York’s “Latch On” campaign follows best practices accepted by maternal and child health organizations around the world. By refusing to distribute free samples and promotional material on behalf of wealthy formula companies, hospitals are not restricting the fundamental right of women to choose how to use their bodies. They are protecting the fundamental right of women to breastfeed (Freedom To Choose Breastfeeding – editorial, Sept. 4).
The great majority of women can make enough milk for their babies and want to do so. However, many women find their milk supply inadequate and their breastfeeding goals thwarted as a result of poor breastfeeding support in the first few days in hospital. Free formula is part of the problem.
Eva Rebecca Bild, doula and breastfeeding educator, Victoria
My father was a student of John G. Althouse at the Ontario College of Education during the 1930s. He liked to quote Althouse, who said that childhood is the only time in life when you can try something and fail without consequences, and that we do a major disservice to kids if we remove this privilege (Crash, Burn, Achieve? Why Kids Need To Fail – Focus, Sept. 1). During my own teaching career, I had many occasions to confirm Althouse’s wisdom.
Carman Miller, Calgary
Joanne Sanford (Leisure Class – letters, Sept. 4) has an interesting take on what she perceives as “cloistered and cosseted” academics.
My husband is a professor at the University of Toronto. He obtained this position after four years as an undergraduate, six years in graduate school and six years postdoctoral training. Each phase involved the hassles and expenses of moving to a new city and/or country, with plenty of distraction provided by the “mundane pursuits” of housing payments and the costs of our children’s schooling.
Tenure was earned following years of peer-reviewed publications, research and teaching evaluations. When he isn’t writing grants, he is, among other things, running a cancer-research laboratory, reviewing peers’ grant proposals and teaching.
On average, he works at least 60 hours a week, although he, like most of us in this country, did just enjoy a three-day weekend. He spent it on a plane, preparing a lecture he delivered in Vancouver on Tuesday. Leisure indeed.
Victoria Brown, Toronto
Re RCMP Tells Plane Carrying Anti-Harper Banner Over Parliament Hill To Land (Sept. 3): The Public Service Alliance of Canada is trying to put a political spin on a security issue. Airspace is restricted around Parliament Hill for obvious reasons; in these days of heightened terrorism, the RCMP was fully justified in telling the pilot to land. This would have been done irrespective of any banner the plane carried.
Larry Comeau, Ottawa
I, like most Canadians, was filled with patriotic fervour when Paul Henderson scored “the goal” (The Psychic Blow And The Recovery – editorial, Sept. 3).
However, none of us should forget that the seminal play of the series was the cheap shot delivered in Game 6 by Bobby Clarke on Valeri Kharlamov (arguably the world’s best player at the time). I could have done that – and I can barely skate.
“Grit and skill” indeed! Perhaps we should dial back the national pride a bit in light of what contributed to the win.
Keith Rose, St. John’s
I was attending George Brown College in Toronto in 1972 and we had an electronics instructor who refused to reschedule our midterm test. I remember walking through the halls to the exam room – the school was absolutely empty except for our class. We sat through the test with one student at the back of the room with headphones on. When the student announced that the score was tied, we erupted … and returned to writing our tests.
When the student started yelling, “He scored! Henderson scored!” we all started jumping around.
Our instructor, befuddled by the events, started whacking the pointer on a desk, yelling: “Boys! Boys! Quiet! Sit down!” – all to no avail. We hated him forever.
John Barker, Sarnia, Ont.