The Horner of a dilemma

November 14 1977


The Horner of a dilemma

November 14 1977


The Horner of a dilemma

Congratulations on your article on Jack Horner (A Renegade In Power October 17). If the country had more leaders like Horner it wouldn’t be in the state it is in today. Now maybe more people will un-

derstand the real man he is—honest, open, and sincere.


Robert Lewis states in the story on Jack Horner that “Homer’s biggest problem, given the heavy burden of his new portfolio, likely will be maintaining his links with the land and the people, and thus his reality.” I suggest that it will be his credibility; he comes across not as an honest and direct man, but as an ambitious politician who is doing what is expedient—for himself.


Score one for The Chief

Walter Stewart, while reviewing John Diefenbaker’s One Canada: The Tumultuous Years (October 17) dismisses an assertion of Diefenbaker’s as “claptrap.” Dealing with the Bomarc missile controversy, the then prime minister said that “leading Canadians” were flown to Colorado to be “brainwashed” and that the debate was determined in part by secret lecture courses conducted in the U.S. Embassy. I took an active part in the missile debate and L submit that in this matter Diefenbaker is right on target. In 1961, with an election coming up, I wrote to the Department of National Defense requesting information on the explosive power, the cost, etc. of the missile; they suggested that I write the U.S. Air Force in Washington. And leading Canadians were flown to Colorado, NORAD headquarters, at the expense of the defense department. In retrospect, people who lost out in the struggle to prohibit the Bomarc realize that an unfortunate chain of circumstances was at work. Douglas Harkness, Minister of Defense, represented Calgary, the Texas of Canada. Elliot Lake, whose prosperity depended on

the sale of uranium, lay in Pearson’s constituency.


For many years we have been afflicted with weak liberal comments about the Diefenbaker years. Now we have Walter Stewart’s review of One Canada: The Tumultuous Years (October 17). John Diefenbaker is a great Canadian; he is of far greater worth than a subjective, liberalthinking critic. With Diefenbaker were some of the best men the Canadian parliament has seen. That the liberal media wish to downgrade a conservative is one thing; the truth is another. In Diefenbaker’s cabinet were men that make the present cabinet look like a bunch of stunned bagmen at an unholy wake. A sensible comment on a former prime minister’s book should at least attempt to waive the present public relations view and get at the truth. When John Diefenbaker claims that President Kennedy used his extensive power, church connections and worldwide esteem to aid Lester Pearson, I believe him. When Diefenbaker refused to bend the knee to Harold Macmillan and what that establishment stood for, I admired him above all leaders of that time. When a critic can pass off all this as the whimsy of a revered politician, it is too much. I suggest Stewart assess some sense of truth, some sense of humanity, and a hell of a lot less of his own personal opinion.


A few bugs in another system

The credit for the cartoon accompanying Still A Few Bugs In The System (October 3) should have gone to Doug Scott who works for the Dartmouth Free Press. You credited the cartoon to the Halifax Cronicle-Herald which does not even have a cartoonist, let alone a Doug Scott whose work, we believe, ranks with the best in Canada.

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Those were the days

I read Lest We Forget (August 8) on the Dumbells and I thought you might be interested in a few lines from one of “the few people in Canada who know who the Dumbells were.” 1 was there. Our regiment, the 43rd Camerons, moved into Mons about 10 a.m. on the morning of November 11,1918.1 can still see the little old lady who darted in and kissed me and the throngs dancing in the streets as we marched in with band playing. I believe it was on the fourteenth that the Dumbells came and put on HMS Pinafore in the Mons theatre. Officers were billeted in private homes and we were allowed to take our hosts to the performance. They were thrilled with it but would not believe that Marjorie was one of our soldiers until the last curtain call when he took off his wig. Enough said.


Putting the blame where it belongs

Like most Canadians I seldom talk about my feelings for Canada, and I have been listening to and reading about the “great unity debate” without comment. For the first time, in East Of Eden (September 19),

I have found someone putting reflections of my feelings into print: “it’s a Quebeclem.” The fact that Ontario and Quebec have not been able to get along since 1841, according to the article, is of little concern to those of us living outside those two provinces—except that the friction may tear our country asunder. Most of the hostility in this debate seems to be coming from Ontario, and it will be a shame if that arrogance and self-centredness forces Quebec to secede in order to get a fair deal. Ontario has done very well by Confederation and perhaps feels piqued and threatened that Quebec doesn't want to play the game by its rules any longer. More power to Quebec. There are other provinces that don’t like Ontario’s rules and the sooner Ontario realizes it the better. Ontario may have created the problem but it’s not theirs—it’s Canada’s, and we have to solve it.


The compleat receiver

The caption with my picture in Lion! Lion! Burning Bright (October 17) stated that I dropped a pass while “doing a headstand.” Wrong! In this particular game with Calgary my pass receptions were five for five. It is an easy enough matter to become an “overnight bum” in my profession without the benefit of this kind of inaccurate reporting.


Her Majesty’s subject is not amused

Unfaded Glory (October 3) says that the Monarchist League believes that the Crown is our best guarantee of freedom, parliamentary democracy and minority rights. What on earth has the Crown ever done for minority rights in Canada? Has it helped in the struggle of native peoples? Did it prevent Canadian citizens of Japanese origin from losing their civil rights in World War II or the present loss of traditional civil liberties of Canadian citizens under the education provisions of Bill 101? I am sure the Queen is a great lady but to state that she can protect minority rights in this country is just sentimental hogwash.


David Cobb may have meant to propose “a toast to .. . the monarchy” but the tone of his article certainly seems to be void of any such intent. I was stunned to read continuously shallow statements, some quite insulting, about the Crown in Canada. Typical of the many debasing statements is Cobb’s gem: “. . . the more boring Christmas messages filled with stilted uplift.” Although 1 rather like the traditional political aspect of the Crown and 1 admire Queen Elizabeth, I can live without a sovereign. But I’ll be damned if I will tolerate the trashy statements and gossip about an office that reflects the highest standards of dignity and respect.


What’s the point? We’re already over-governed and overwhelmed with unnecessary vestiges of the Middle Ages. Unlike some European countries, Canadians have matured by adopting a less frilly style of living, and reminders and interference by visits of such institutions and decorative-type symbols as the face of the monarchy just serve to project us back to the years of the innocent swearers of allegiance. She is not part of Canada, she understands little of our present problems, she shows little or no concern and she knows better than to interfere. She just reigns—on what and for whom?


Unfaded Glory cites the now well-known public opinion poll that suggests “that 85% of Canadians realized that Canada is a parliamentary democracy, but that only 29% know that it is a monarchy; that 68% think the head of state is the Prime Minister. 15% know it to be the Queen.” The monarchy cannot claim significant popular support in Canada, the writer concludes: “. . . the Crown is hardly the uniting force it is meant to be.”

What the polls call into doubt is not the validity of the monarchy, but the wisdom of taking polls at all. Is it the Queen’s fault that her subjects don’t understand the crucial role the monarchy plays in our democracy? Of course not. A public that can’t identify its head of state is an ignorant and foolish public. It should not be asked questions about such a complex matter as the structure of our government.


Invidious non-comparisons

Allan Fotheringham’s recent column on southern Africa, Blessed Are The Bwanas (September 19), contains some interesting items, but it is far less accurate than usual. Fotheringham describes Soweto. South Africa, as being “in truth, quite the most depressing sight on the globe.” Actually, by comparison with slum areas in many parts of Africa, it is a fine residental area.

He rightly states that South African and Rhodesian whites have a very high standard of living, but completely ignores the fact that the blacks also have a far higher standard of living than their counterparts in Zambia, Zaire, Mozambique, etc. Fotheringham refers to Ian Smith as “that refugee from common sense.” Yet if Smith had followed Fotheringham’s ideas and given in to the guerrillas, by now the white population would have had all their possessions seized and been thrown out of the country.


My congratulations to Allan Fotheringham on his African column. With his usual humor, Fotheringham captures the essence of turmoil in southern Africa today. The anachronistic “Bwana mentality” with its perpetuation of the master-servant economic status quo is indeed what the whole conflict is about.


Allan Fotheringham claims he has been to Africa four times—one might ask how long he stayed there. He says a serious case can be made for South Africa and Rhodesia having the highest standard of living, even higher than California. What does it matter? Fotheringham notes that “businessmen wear shorts and open-necked safari shirts to work.” Didn’t he? Then he quotes Colin Legum: “the businessmen move about in dark heavy suits stubbornly refusing to acknowledge their habitat.” Who are we to believe?


Freeing the prisoners of sex

I applaud Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger’s comments on his book, Sexual Behavior In Canada (Interview, September 19), because for once someone is suggesting that sex is a personal matter and that abstinence from premarital sex is a possibility. As a public health nurse and birth control counselor, I have felt uneasy about referring single young women to doctors for birth control pills as their requests often seem rather casual and a matter of little choice. Let us provide all our young people in the home, school, church or synagogue with an understanding of their interpersonal and sexual needs according to their ages. For too long now, some of us have held up our hands in despair and said, “We had better provide the kids with birth control because they are going to have sex anyway.” I believe young people will do what they see is best for themselves and others if they are presented with various alternatives.


Yankee, don’t go home!

The opening paragraphs of Tim Naumetz’s The Wild West Show (October 3) riled me enough to write and demand equal time. For instance, my reaction to “The flags stay up, fluttering symbols of cultural defeat” (referring to small Ameri-

can flags fluttering around the rodeo arena in Bengough, Saskatchewan) was that the only fluttering symbol of cultural defeat around the rodeo arena that day was Tim Naumetz. Attempting to ridicule Western Canada for treating Americans as neighbors instead of green-skinned invaders from another planet is the best example of cultural defeat Naumetz could have produced.


Having a Big Mac attack

Your Preview item on patty-stacking (October 3) makes me realize that journalists are conditioned to playing up the clichés of the moment for all—and more than—they are worth. But to extend the coverage of that generally stupid term “junk food” to the hamburger is the acme of media irresponsibility. For beefs sake Maclean’s !



Anybody Who Believes In Astrology . . . (August 22) criticized The Humanist magazine for having issued a statement in 1975, signed by 186 distinguished scientists, objecting to astrology. The statement said that there was insufficient evidence for traditional astrology and, indeed, evidence to the contrary. We question H. J. Eysenck’s claim that there is now sufficient evidence confirming traditional astrology. The new tests he refers to, which he himself has conducted, are not without flaw, especially since many of those who participated in the sample had contact with astrologers and were not unbiased. Reference to the work of Michel and Françoise Gauquelin in the article is also questionable: first because they themselves are critics of traditional astrology and. second, because the Zelen test, which was specifically set up to examine their claims, has not, in the opinion of the scientific committee, completely confirmed their findings. It hardly serves the public who are taken in by horoscopes to say that there is now scientific evidence for astrology, when Eysenck’s and the Gauquelins’ claims are disputed.


But not in Canada

ln Just One More “Unknown” Canadian Hero (Letters, October 3) a reader has given Canada an undeserved hero. Captain Joshua Slocum was indeed the first man to sail alone around the world; accomplishing this feat in a 37-foot yawl from 1895 to 1898. Slocum was born in Nova Scotia in 1844, but left the colony 18 years later for a life of deep-sea sailing— including fishing on the West Coast. He was never a Canadian since Nova Scotia did not enter Confederation until 1867. In fact, he became an American citizen, and it was the American flag that sailed around the world with him.


Not only good, but good for you

As a resident on one of Katimavik’s first project sites, 1 must comment on Wasted On The Young (September 19). Participants in the Katimavik program are volunteers. Our day begins at seven-thirty with breakfast which is followed by eight hours of physical labor and a six-thirty dinner. Evenings and weekends centre on community volunteer services, second language courses, group discussions and projects. The important thing that your article failed to bring out is that the “chain gang” activities are done willingly with the participant/volunteers having an open-ended amount of input into the type, time and length of their activities. The participants not only learn self-management, effects of planning and budgeting, and interpersonal skills but the benefits of their labor and concern are directly bestowed on the people and area in which they are active. I find it a ray of hope that our government is spending its time and our money to set up a vehicle through which the youth of Canada may voluntarily use their time and energy in a way that directly benefits all.


You are what you don’t eat

Dr. Leon Rubin’s remark that your interview with Dr. Gerry Green (Interview, August 22) should be used as toilet paper (Letters, September 19) typifies the reaction of the majority of the orthodox profession to what has been termed “orthomolecular medicine” and “megavitamin therapy.” The suggestion that malnutrition in Canada is responsible for disease was made in the publication of Nutrition Canada—the national health survey of 31,000 Canadians published in 1970. This survey indicated that drastic levels of dietary deficiency existed in all age groups. In a 10-19-year-old-female group in 1969, 38% were deficient in vitamin B-l, 32% were deficient in vitamin B-2, 48.6% were deficient in vitamin A, 62.2% were deficient in calcium and 78.2% were deficient in iron.

Contrary to this report, and the evidence produced by those few physicians interested in the prevention of disease through nutrition and in treatment of disease with megavitamin therapy, the orthodox physician remains firm in the belief that disease does not arise for reason of malnutrition, but arises for reason of “natural causes,” such as the physical stress of life, the aging process, etc. In this pursuit the orthodox physician waits for diseases to develop to the degree that a diagnosis can be made and then institutes therapy with drugs. Linus Pauling has termed this “crisis medicine” as opposed to the preventive aspects of orthomolecular medicine.


The school of hard knocks

Cheryl Hawkes makes some serious errors in Are Ontario’s Universities Becoming, Once More, Haunts Of The Very Rich? (October 3). 1 ) “Students who wish to continue thir studies will be forced to borrow all the necessary funds—many thousands of dollars, often on top of the $4,000 debt incurred in the undergraduate program.” Not so! Under the new scheme, needy undergraduate students will not have to borrow $1,000 in Canadian Student Loans each year. They will get a non-repayable grant instead. Therefore, when these students begin graduate studies, they will have less debt, not more. 2) “. . . Ontario has consistently underspent its budget for student grants.” Again, not so! In 1974-75, $32,872,500 was budgeted and we spent $39,445,128. In 1975-76, we budgeted $46,550,000 and spent $49,117,077. In other years we have underspent. However, this is not surprising when you consider the host of incalculable variables: enrollment patterns, numbers of students living away from home, economic changes, etc. 3) “If, as it appears, student aid is now a low-priority item ...” How does a program double in expenditure in just four years, from $23 million in 1972-73 to $49 million in 197576, if it has low priority? 4) U of T botany student Pam Cairns, as quoted by Cheryl Hawkes, says that separate applications by herself and her husband “showed me how arbitrary the whole thing is—and sexist.” Our OSAP assessment computer is objective—and sexless. Because Peter’s declared income was considerably higher than Pam’s, he, logically, was expected to contribute more to the cost of Pam’s education.


Hardly a stranger In a strange land

I was pleased and gratified to see the People item on myself (October 3). But, there are a couple of amendments. All my immigration troubles were with Immigration offices in New York City or at the border. Immigration officials in Nova Scotia were invariably friendly, courteous and helpful. The preferred contraction of “science fiction” is “sf.” There is no such word as “sci-fi,” and if the writers and fans of the world have anything to say about it, there never will be. This may seem a trivial matter, but it points up just what you were talking about in the story: the amount of work I have cut out for me in bringing awareness of my chosen genre to my chosen country (I figure I was supposed to be born here, but my stork got mugged on the way through the Bronx).


Sexual preferences

While many of the members of the Canadian Sex Research Forum (CSRF) could identify with and support many of Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger’s comments (Interview, September 19), we would like to express some of our own perceptions. Though still meagre, CSRF members and others have done, and are doing, considerably more in this area than is indicated by Schlesinger. Many of us wish we could believe, as Schlesinger states, that Canadians don’t “focus as much as the Americans do on the actual sexual intercourse,” but we’re afraid that much of our experience belies this. There may also be a real danger in equating a desire for “some sort of secrecy left in sexual behavior” with the idea that we need the unknown to titillate us. There would seem to be a vast difference between personal discretion and implying that certain aspects of sexuality are best left untalked about and unexplored. We might also wish to quarrel with the suggestion that in talking with teen-agers regarding their relationships that one engages in a contest which you win or lose. It is possible to do this on a basis of mutual respect and sharing, providing one does not have a predetermined conclusion that is seen as the only place for the discussion to end and which excludes validating the other’s point of view. We commend the effort to deal with a difficult but very important topic. LEE HANDY, PhD, SECRETARY-ELECT, JOHN LAMONT, MD, PRESIDENT, CSRF, CALGARY

Make way for a younger man

You say inv4 Gentleman Of The Old School (October 17) that Dr. John Godfrey at 34 is the youngest president of King’s College in Halifax. The second president of the university was the Reverend Charles Porter who arrived in Halifax, from England, in July, 1807. Since he had matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, on April 13, 1799, at the age of 19, he would have been about 27 years old at the time of his assumption of the office of president.