Global villains in our midst
Your article on plans by vancouver-based Manhattan Minerals to turn the Peruvian town of Tambogrande into an open-pit mine (NOW, April 19-25) is a concrete example of why we need the anti-globalization movement.
The president of Manhattan Minerals has repeatedly assured investors that opposition to the mine is "the opinion of a small group of activists." He has even gone so far as to say, "If the people of Tambogrande don't want to move, there obviously won't be a mine. Nobody is going to make anybody move here. That's not in the cards."
The problem seems to be that the executives of Manhattan Minerals are too busy drinking coffee on Robson Street to hear the thousands of Peruvian farmers screaming No! to Manhattan's plans. That's why activists in Victoria and Vancouver launched a campaign against Manhattan Minerals on April 21.
Even though Manhattan Minerals refuses to listen to what they refer to as "a small group of activists," investors may start listening when we make the links between small groups of activists in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto and Tambogrande. As activists working for global justice, we must first stop the injustices of the ugly Canadian companies in our hometowns.
- Bruce Wallace
Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group
Victoria, British Columbia
Where Sikhism came from
As chair of the ontario federation of Sikhs, I would like to thank you for the well-written article entitled Kindness 24/7: Sikh Temple Feeds The Hungry Around The Clock, by Nicholas Garrison (NOW, April 5-12). I was also impressed by Garrison's ability to respect the gurdwara's traditions.
I would like to correct a common misunderstanding where Garrison wrote, "Suresh explains that the Sikh faith is an offshoot of Hinduism...." As someone who was raised in the Sikh faith and has read the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book) repeatedly, I disagree with Suresh's comment. Sikhism is not an offshoot of Hinduism or any other religion. The Sikh religion has its own scripture, theology and prophets, and should not be described as an offshoot of another religious tradition.
With Sikhs being approximately 2 per cent of the Canadian population, I feel it important to ensure that Sikhism be explained properly. If you have any further questions about Sikhism or Sikhs, visit your local gurdwara.
Kuldip Singh Sodhi
Chair, Ontario Federation of Sikhs
No need for religious envy
I was interested to read mark Harding's letter (NOW, April 19-25), which is the second objecting to your sympathetic article about that Sikh centre on the grounds that it is unfair to Christianity (or, as Harding puts it, places Sikhs above Christianity).
Even though that article did mention that a nearby church appeared to be closed at the time when people were still being welcomed by the Sikhs, this doesn't amount to a claim that Sikhism is superior to Christianity. The article simply makes readers aware of some good works being done by Sikhs.
It's useful as well, since there may well be some hungry and impecunious readers in search of free Indian cuisine (which you can't get at the Scott Mission, for example).
Since the existence of Sikh terrorists has been very well publicized in our news media, it is well to be reminded that there are also Sikh philanthropists.
It turns out, in the end, that the Sikh and the Christian religions have similar moral qualities, because either of these religions can inspire either beneficial or destructive actions, depending upon the interpretation that the individual practitioner chooses to make.
- David Palter
Weeding out exaggeration
The article entitled the killing Fields (NOW, March 22-28) contained a gross error (your estimate of weed control usage), which has unfortunately given all readers a derogatory and very misleading opinion of Nutri-Lawn Ecology Friendly Lawn Care.
The story's author overestimated our weed-control usage in Toronto by 95 per cent! It's no wonder the public often gets the wrong opinion of our industry with this irresponsible journalism.
- Larry Maydonik
She proves workfare right
hooray for mike! from the sound of V.M. Wilson's article (NOW, April 19-25), it would seem that the Ontario Works program, aka workfare, is a greater success than has been publicly reported.
Wilson, by her own account, is providing a valuable service to her community by writing for a neighbourhood services agency newsletter. In exchange, she is being provided with transportation, free childcare, work experience, opportunities for further training and financial support in the form of welfare.
I think it's wonderful that she can single-handedly raise her children, fulfill her workfare duties and still find the time to contribute to NOW.
Many of us have things in our lives that we feel are more important than making money -- family, art, self-development, helping others. But responsible citizens owe it to society to find a balance between being productive and our duties to self, family and others.
I hope Wilson's children appreciate and inherit her obvious intelligence, capabilities and strong family values. I hope, also, that, like their mother, they will find an outlet for their talents that benefits both themselves and the society in which they have chosen to live.
Better still if they don't have to be led to that end by society, in the persona of government.
- Duncan Read
Pay rent or get new outfit?
why it is that every person profiled in My Style has usually spent over $500 on whatever outfit they happen to be wearing? Could you please show us some folks who aren't so obsessed with conspicuous consumption?
I mean, I'd look great, too, if I could afford to drop my rent money on a pair of shoes.
- Stacey L. Stratton