Much ado about status quo
Your article “How Obama won” (International, Nov. 19) could have been summed up simply with: “Democrats: ‘Keep Romney out!’ Republicans: ‘Throw Obama out!’ ” Six billion dollars was spent on a grudge match. The tragedy? Americans got the status quo, with the European financial crisis and the financial cliff on the horizon.
G. Douglas Vaisey, Halifax
The most significant point made by Graham Fraser, commissioner of official languages, (Interview, Nov. 12) was that “it is really important that our tourism industry be able to welcome francophone Canadians across the country.” How about welcoming English-speaking tourists and Canadians in the province of Quebec? During my most recent trip through Quebec I was disappointed that at each stop, including an overnight stay, not one person would or could speak English with me. Not only that, all their road signs are French-only. Imagine driving through a construction zone and you have no idea what is written. On all my future travels to the East Coast, I’m going through the United States and giving them my travel dollars. I’ve always felt welcome there.
Liz Bay McCrae, Caesarea, Ont.
Graham Fraser seems to think all the problems with Quebec and Canada can be solved if we as a country are more bilingual. But I even question the need for a language commissioner in this country when the number of people who speak French is declining. Fraser runs around the countryside testing the availability of a language that is spoken by less than 25 per cent of the population. The cost to maintain two languages is exorbitant, unnecessary and could be better spent on health or schools.
Bryan Olson, Halifax
You can’t be sick when you’re dead
Emma Teitel’s point about the correlation between fast food, obesity and health care costs (“Why it’s time to stick a fork in fast food,” Opinion, Nov. 12) doesn’t take into consideration one somewhat grim reality: obese people, like smokers, tend not to live as long, which actually saves health care money during the most expensive years of a person’s life. Vice sometimes has morbid virtue.
Brad Hodge, Squamish, B.C.
Ontario is next
So glad you have been exonerated for your prescient 2010 story about Quebec corruption (“Does being in politics mean never having to say you’re sorry?” From the editors, Nov. 19). I can only hope you are now doing investigative journalism on the politics of corruption in Ontario. Thank you for fulfilling the legitimate role of media in our democracy, to present the unbridled facts and let the chips fall where they may.
Diane Ikonen, Sudbury, Ont.
Kudos to Maclean’s, shame on the politicians. It has taken two years for your magazine to be vindicated for revealing the “deep-seated record of corruption running through levels of governance in Quebec.” Your Quebec bureau chief, Martin Patriquin, demonstrated courage while politicians attempted to censure. Who among them now has the moral courage to reverse the motion of censure against Maclean’s? As the Charboneau commission peels back layers of the onion, taxpayers are learning the extent to which they have been used by a system of corruption that, in the words of one witness, “everybody knew existed.”
Ron Devion, Brentwood Bay, B.C.
In previous years, having no grandchildren ready for university, I have skipped through your rankings section (“This year’s best,” University Rankings, Nov. 19). However, I must say that this year is an exception. Your articles on real-life college experiences of familiar people not only makes great reading, but I am sure they are of just as much, if not more, help to future students. As a bonus, some of the advice offered relates to all stages of life, not just getting ready for university. Thanks.
Agnes Jackson, Delta, B.C.
In your article about textbooks in your university issue (“Going by the book,” University Life, Nov. 19), I find it hard to believe you did not mention piracy or legitimate electronic sources like Google Books or Amazon book previews. I spent about $1,200 on books during my degree; I still own all those and didn’t even need half of them. Don’t be gullible when an instructor says a book is required. Based on my recent bachelor of science experience, you won’t have time for textbook reading, and if a textbook is used for assignments, you have other options.
Dan Sandbeck, Regina
Back on the table
I have to congratulate Maclean’s magazine for “The right words” (National, Nov. 19) about the rebirth of the pro-life movement. I was very pleasantly surprised about the story and the picture from the massive, almost 20,000-strong rally on Parliament Hill last May. We can no longer say the issue has been settled. Even the courts have trouble saying that the woman is pregnant with child! We have been for much too long left in a vacuum.
Alida van der Vegt, Peterborough, Ont.