Letters: ‘Dig into the legitimate fears of Wallonia’

Maclean’s readers write letters to the editor

''Gilles'' in traditional costumes stand during the carnival in Binche, one of the most ancient and representative tradition of Wallonia (Eric Lalmand/AGP/Getty Images)

”Gilles” in traditional costumes stand during the carnival in Binche, one of the most ancient and representative tradition of Wallonia (Eric Lalmand/AGP/Getty Images)

Rough trade

Maclean’s and the rest of the mainstream media assume those who oppose the current trade agreements do not understand the positives of freer trade between nations (“What’s the deal?” Bad News, Nov. 7). What Wallonia (and many of us on the outside) saw was the right of corporations, many of whom were consultants in the writing of the agreements, to sue our governments for making laws that cost them money. For example, a law on environmental protection or labour standards could trigger a court case by corporations worried about the bottom line and nothing else. Why don’t investigative journalists dig into the legitimate fears of Wallonia and activists everywhere?

Paul Dekker, Listowel, Ont.

Trump talk

Reading Jonathon Gatehouse’s “Could this get any worse?” (International, Oct. 31) I came to a screeching halt when I came to the phrase “class resentment over trade deals,” as an ingredient in Donald Trump’s poisonous “campaign stew.” Class resentment?!? Tens of thousands of good, permanent jobs on both sides of the border have been lost thanks to free trade; one can no longer buy decent, domestic products but instead must try to work with cheap, shoddy, toxic junk from China which only squanders natural resources since it ends up in the landfill. Ginger from China is by and large inedible; tastes like it was dragged over a dirty sidewalk, even when peeled. Don’t get me started on tools: I bought a chain hoist manufactured in China. Despite never being out of the barn, it rusted up in no time and is unusable. One can’t even buy a decent, hinged wooden clothespin any more! A regular fly-swatter is now strictly ornamental; don’t try to actually use it. Only the rich seem to have benefited from these stupid trade deals; ever more wealth is in the hands of fewer and fewer people. And Gatehouse dismisses this as “class resentment”? He needs to get out of his ivory tower and have a look at Canada outside of Toronto.

Willi Boepple, Saanich Peninsula, B.C.

I have to comment on your delirious, hysterically awful hatchet job on Donald Trump. I well understand that you’re deeply in love with the mass corruption and apparent treason of Hillary and Obama and I really do believe that you’re frantically desperate to work overtime to destroy North America. But to treat Trump as an anathema when all that he wants to do is to run America as a business and to get America working again–well, I cannot even pretend to understand your sick, demented minds. Here’s a man who could sit down and do business with Vladimir Putin, when all that warmongers Hillary and Obama want to do is start yet another catastrophic war. Well, keep on hoping and wishing for more destruction. You may very well get your wish.

Daryl Moad, Winnipeg

Really, Maclean’s! You’ve sunk lower than the man you’re trying to disparage on your Oct. 31 cover. If you don’t like the person, at least respect the official nominee of the Republican Party. The American media has gone into a feeding frenzy as to who can bite harder and more viciously, but Canadians should be slightly above that. And frankly, patting a few bums is nothing compared to what went on in the Oval Office when Bill Clinton was there. Let’s have some perspective!

E.L. Martens, Toronto

I am not a Donald Trump fan, actually far from it, but I found the cover of your Oct. 31 issue quite distasteful and not worthy of Maclean’s. Trump has an obnoxious and offensive manner and undoubtedly would be one of the worst presidents the American electorate has ever chosen. That should not give you the right to put such an outright biased and distasteful image of him on the front page of your magazine read by people of all manner of colour, religion or political leanings. Shame on you!

Eileen McMurchy, Qualicum Beach, B.C.

Thanks for putting the Donald Drumpf, the ugliest American, on the cover. I was so disgusted, I ripped the cover off and ran it through the shredder. An unexpected thrill!

DD Bauer, Red Deer, Alta.

Vote ‘none of the above’

Scott Gilmore raises the notion of many Americans being dissuaded from exercising their right to vote because of lack of choice that they could support (“The morning after Donald Trump,” International, Oct. 31). Perhaps these Americans might not “sit out” in exercising their franchise in this election if there was to be included on the ballot a recognized proviso for their alternate opinion. In Ukraine, their law allows the person voting to indicate the equivalent of “none of the above.” As the U.S. election has shown, North Americans deserve the same.

Peter Goldring, former MP for Edmonton East, Edmonton

Wherefore art thou, Roméo?

Roméo Dallaire is a man of principle who loved his men, his country and his duty, and was denied the assistance of other armies who might have quelled a bloodbath (“The other hell,” National, Oct. 31). If Shakespeare were alive today, he would certainly write a tragedy about all of this. Our country owes him praise, admiration and commendation for his extraordinary bravery. Thank you, Roméo!

Claire T. Coakeley, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Aside from the very personal battles Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire has been fighting, I also feel he has been let down badly by government and commanding officers, those who had the authority to understand and change as opposed to ignore. The atrocities he witnessed nearly cost him his life as a civilian and definitely his family relationships. Is this the best we can offer our veterans?

Del Hancock, Fillmore, Sask.

Roméo Dallaire has been dealing with a personal hell that is all too familiar to our forces and first responders. PTSD is an awful mental disorder that no one should face alone. Because he has spoken out, all Canadians struggling with the disorder should feel encouraged that there is still hope and that they are never alone. Mental health is never something that affects just one person, but all who care for and love the victim.

Emma Anstey, Innisfil, Ont.

Get (your signs) off my lawn!

Do we really need political lawn signs at all (The Editorial, Oct. 24)? My elderly neighbour used to accept signs from all political parties but then would throw away the plastic part and keep the wooden stakes for his garden. I began to think he was on to something. The visual clutter has outlived its usefulness. Maybe all the political parties could compromise to display their signs at a number of public locations. Property owners would be spared residential eyesores. Nonsensical disputes, real or invented, over who stole whose sign would be greatly reduced. Having designated or agreed on locations would be an advantage to first-time candidates, especially to those with less finance. Anyway, young people are online and I suspect their view of signs is the same as their view of political parties: anachronisms! Save our landfills from wasteful plastic garbage. I welcome all politicians to come to my door and explain their platforms. But please, only leave a brochure. It can be recycled.

Paul Filteau, Thunder Bay, Ont.

All hail petroleum

I have fished the B.C. coast for 40 years and have two sons who skipper fishing vessels for a living. We power our boats with diesel fuel. I think petroleum needs someone to speak up for it since most of what makes the news is negative (“The hammer drops on carbon,” National, Oct. 24). With one barrel of diesel an excavator can do more work in eight hours than 100 men with shovels could do in a month. It is easily portable, readily stored and available. At present it is the only option for most equipment that must operate continuously as opposed to battery-powered cars. Trucks, farm tractors and most heavy equipment on land and sea cannot run on batteries and would soon grind to a halt without oil. Pipelines move oil and gas in the safest manner possible all over the world. There are thousands of them. Life is not without risks. Tankers leave the terminals under tug escort and take the shortest route to sea. They do not travel the inside passage. Canada has abundant oil and gas, enough to meet our needs for many decades. We need to sell more of it while we can. If we don’t, other countries happily will, and we will all be poorer for it.

Mike Cullen, Courtenay, B.C.

Incredible that the emissions caps that severely limit and penalize Canadian producers, who could once again be the engines of Canadian growth, do virtually nothing to restrict global greenhouse gas emissions—since all blocked Canadian production will be replaced with massive foreign imports, subject to no such constraints. Even worse, imports from the U.S. come from the very country that arbitrarily blocked the Keystone XL pipeline, all the while massively building its own pipelines and promoting its position as the world’s top oil producer. To ensure that the pain from this misconstrued policy is spread among all Canadians a 100 per cent tariff should be imposed on all foreign oil imports. Surely no one can object to universal fairness.

Alexander McKay, Calgary

National shame

Thank you, Maclean’s, for “The other runaways” (National, Oct. 31) and every other story you have done, and continue to do, on Canada’s Native community. As a Canadian, and a human being, I am ashamed.

Jill Keenleyside, La Peche, Que.

Super rich kids

It was a great pleasure to read an article that addresses issues that are often dismissed, such as the fact that children in very wealthy neighbourhoods may face challenges on the path to optimal developmental health due to language and social isolation (“Money can’t buy happy kids,” National, Nov. 7). It was, however a disappointment to see the name of the instrument reporting on children’s vulnerabilities misrepresented: the EDI, used in most of Canada and internationally, is the Early Development Instrument (not Educational Index), as it reflects holistic understanding of child development.

Magdalena Janus, Associate Professor, Offord Centre for Child Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience, McMaster University, Hamilton

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