Too big to fail
As a student politician at York University, Jian Ghomeshi “wanted to be the champion of women’s issues” (“Why no one stopped him,” National, Nov. 17). How ironic that he has now become a true force for change in the workplace, and perhaps more broadly: not as a result of his advocacy but as a result of his own alleged highly inappropriate behaviour. It’s time to learn, and shift from the Ghomeshi issue to what is needed to create safe work environments for women and any other at-risk groups. No one should be too big to fail.
Stella Deacon, Ottawa
I recognize our nation is rightfully wrathful about the Jian Ghomeshi revelations, but Colby Cosh’s column “The other problem with Q” (Nov. 17) is an embittered rant that misrepresents a fine show, its audience and its host. It’s not all about Billy Bob Thornton. Q regularly gave us fine and memorable moments. Whatever anxiety grew behind the scenes, guests of all kinds thrived in its intelligent and welcoming atmosphere. Ghomeshi, alleged dark sins notwithstanding, was consistently excellent in the host’s chair. To rewrite that history in a fury and to spew fear and loathing toward what the writer sees as a Canadian arts community of “tight-knit Anglo creatives” tells us nothing about Q, though it reveals serious issues of anger and envy on the writer’s part.
Peter Feniak, Toronto
I cried when I read “Women like me” (National, Nov. 17), the article about the potentially violent perils of dating faced by all women. I asked my daughter to read this so that maybe, just maybe, she will not have to deal with this in her life. So that maybe she will not have to feel brave to go forward to the police, as they will welcome her instead of saying, “You put yourself there.” The anonymous author should never feel like an idiot. It’s society that should be ashamed for not letting a woman just like you feel like she can step forward any time she feels uncomfortable.
Kudos and thanks to Maclean’s for three original, thoughtful and well-written cover stories in a row: one about Islamic State, one on the shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, and the latest on Jian Ghomeshi. The connecting thread is the contrast between when violence becomes normal, with toxic results, and when violence is not normal, and is faced head-on. The lesson I take from this is: We need to abnormalize violence everywhere, in the workplace as much as in the “troubled” parts of the world.
Heather Menzies, Ottawa
It is endearing to see the glowing tribute to a fallen soldier in the Nov. 10 edition of Maclean’s. However, your statement that “The most positive aspect of the Ottawa shootings was the manner in which everyone responded” (The Editorial, Nov. 10) is an affront to Cpl. Cirillo’s memory. Our valiant Prime Minister Stephen Harper ran and hid inside a closet, unlike Margaret Lehre, Barabra Winters and the others who ran to help when they heard shots fired. In your letters section, we see a smiling Harper, thumbs up in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Stephen Harper wants us to believe that he is a brave, fighting man when it comes to war, but when faced with an imminent threat, he leaves others to brave the storm. And in response to the letter-writer thanking you for not running a picture of Justin Trudeau (“About that picture we didn’t run,” Letters, Nov. 10), unlike him, I am still waiting for an issue of Maclean’s where we will not be subjected to a picture of Harper.
André Fournier, Orford, Que.
Frozen food section
Your article about bringing cheap groceries to some Northern communities (“Ultimate food truck,” National, Nov. 17) was very interesting. However, I would refute your statement that this was the first mobile grocery store in the N.W.T. I travelled there in the fall of 1996, and remember a trailer selling fresh food. The operator told us he drove this big tractor-trailer up from Vancouver every three weeks (except during spring and fall ice breakup) and stayed until everything was sold. Most items were much more expensive than in the south, except for fresh apricots, which were actually cheaper than we had seen them at A&P at home.
Ann Serdula, Deep River, Ont.
The inventive generosity of northerners Mike Sharpe and his wife Joyce Paes deserves the Order of Canada. This couple represents the true spirit and tenacity of the North, and deserves all Canadians’ heartfelt praise.
Doug Nason, Seguin, Ont.
‘We need to abnormalize violence everywhere, in the workplace as much as in the “troubled” parts of the world’
Heather Menzies, Ottawa