The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on May 17, 2010 · 9
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 9

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Monday, May 17, 2010
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9
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OTTAVVACITIZEN.COMOPINION MONDAY, MAY 17. 2010 A9 Casting a spell The Museum of Nature's dioramas are magical to a child. They can take you to the wild places of prehistoric Canada. Phil Jenkins, All A province not so equal Canada's fiscal arrangement has turned Quebec into a province of freeloaders. LiciaCorbella.AlO I IE OTTAWA CITIZKN --.V . J ' I! h 1 '. '! 1 , i Vt JL.JJLJ X JL JiJJL KJ ;f1 - A. if i K' i'' it- WfA Y ...,.K ittflW. I PHOTO BY ROBIN CHERNICK The cast of performers for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat gave genuine entertainment value as well as the communication of grace, humility and humanity, writes Cynthia Bates. Tamir's production an exquisite experience When I travel to the Big Apple in a couple of weeks to indulge my passion for perfection in musical theatre, it wUl be with the unforgettable images of Tamir's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, etched in my mind. Talented performers actors, singers and dancers such as those you might expect to see in a quality community theatre production, were paired with members of the Tamir community to perform their roles. Tamir is an agency that supports adults with developmental disabilities to live in a Jewish environment in the Ottawa area. Last Thursday's production of Joseph at the Centrepointe Theatre was extraordinary and forced me to think of perfection in a new context. For perfect it was. There were sounds throughout that weren't necessarily meant to be heard, while you couldn't always hear what was meant to be heard. There were performers wandering at times where they probably weren't supposed to be and there were musical notes that weren't always hit. But, more importantly, there was love radiating between the performers and their performer-partners, and between everyone on the stage and the audience. The impact of the performance was powerful and not in a "Oh, isn't that sweet" kind of way. Rather, the genuine entertainment value was more than present, while the communication of grace, humility and humanity was overwhelming. Congratulations to Tamir and to all the production crew and performers for providing the audience and this musical theatre lover with an exquisite experience. I wouldn't have traded it for a free ticket to a perfect Broadway musical. CYNTHIA BATES, Ottawa See breastfeeding as a natural thing Re: Use a nursing blanket, May 14. As a mother in her 20s who is still openly breastfeeding one of my two children, I disagree with letter-writer Verla Edwards. She is correct that breastfeeding is natural; however, modesty is not. All over the world there are people who wear little to no clothing; the idea that we should cover our entire bodies is a relatively new idea. A woman exposing part of, or even her whole, breast while nursing her child is as natural as can be. To say that it is embarrassing is another matter. If the nursing mother is not embarrassed, why should anyone else be? It is not their breasts being exposed so if they don't want to see, they are able to look away. To make a not-so-abstract comparison, think of an obese man at the beach. First, an obese person of any gender is not natural, human beings are not meant to carry a lot of extra weight. Second, would you be embarrassed by this man and his exposed breasts? I hope you see how ridiculous it jsounds to be embarrassed by either an obese man or a nursing mother. I'm tired of people making any kind of fuss over something that is just natural. Our babies often need to be fed on their schedules, not ours, and at odd times. The young mother who was breastfeeding her baby at ar) Ottawa swimming pool ("City apologizes to breast feeding mom," May 12) probably knew full well that some people would judge her. Yet she did it anyway because she is doing what is best and most natural for herself and her child. ANNELISE OATTES, Deep River ' Dogs distract drivers I've too often seen dogs sitting at the steering wheel! Last week, a driver in the car behind me had a small dog sitting on her lap and a large dog sitting in the passenger seat, constantly approaching and kissing her on the cheek. The new Ontario traffic law against traffic distractions was passed mainly for using a cellphone while driving. Why not change the law so that dogs should be in the back seat, either in a cage, or separated with a net of some kind, or even in a pet-specific car seat as required for childrea I am very concerned for road safety as I see this happening more on the roads. GINETTE DESJARDINS, Orleans Mumbling middle part Re: True patriot what? May 13. I was quite relieved to see that I am not the only one who is a bit fuzzy on the lyrics for our national anthem. Considering that I have been a proud Canadian for many more years than the 275 high school choir students from six provinces, this has been a bit embarrassing. The first bit of confusion came when the official lyrics were changed in 1980. It was a small change and an improvement certainly but it was not the same anthem that had been imprinted on my brain in childhood. Thirty years after the change, I'm sure I could have re-imprinted it by now except that much of the time I hear the anthem, it is the bilingual version. Because the national anthem is not something that is heard frequently by many people, it is tough to keep on top of the different versions. So, I'm good for the first two lines and the last two lines but in the middle I sometimes stumble and mumble a bit. CATHY LANE, Ottawa War prof iteering Re: DND lets staff take trade-show f reebies, May 12. Peace and human rights activists are doing more than just raising eyebrows about the bending of the rules for Canada's largest war-industry trade show. We are working hard to expose and oppose the promotion of arms sales. However, our opposition to CANSEC goes far beyond quibbling over the "free lunches" dished out there. These handouts are trivial compared to the literally billions of dollars in federal government largesse donated to Canadian military exporters. The real problem is that CANSEC facilitates the arms trade and helps fuel wars raging around the world. Many CANSEC exhibitors profit from the sale of hightech components assembled into the world's deadliest weapons systems. These weapons have killed scores of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This is why we will again be gathering outside Ottawa's fair grounds to protest Canada's most blatant symbol of war profiteering. RICHARD SANDERS, Ottawa coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade Where's his backbone? Re: Mayor flips on Falun Dafa Day, May 13. I am surprised that Mayor Larry O'Brien could so easily compromise Canadian values by pandering to the wishes of the Chinese government. His refusal to sign the Falun Dafa Day proclamation in Ottawa tells me that he is siding with the persecutors of good people the Falun Gong practitioners. Where is his humanity? Where is his dignity? Where is his backbone? There are few times for our leaders to demonstrate higher principles to those who would drag them down. It is not too late to sign the proclamation as May is World Falun Dafa month. O'Brien has an opportunity to show that Canada is still a democracy. If he can't find it in his heart to do the right thing, then perhaps it is just as well that his term is almost over. Let's make way for someone with principles who won't be so easily fooled by the royal treatment the mayor undoubtedly received during his recent trip to China. PAM MCLENNAN, Ottawa We are silent as Tories steal democratic will Re: Parliament seeks to reclaim powers, May 3. I was astounded to read that "Parliament unwittingly gave away its power to approve the billions of dollars the government borrows." Since this news appeared on May 3, 1 have diligently perused editorials and letters waiting for an explosive response from fellow citizens. All I have heard is silence. Did perhaps television news pursue the topic and I wasn't watching? Did radio news analysts discuss it and I wasn't listening? I'm sure the Citizen would have reported if MPs had raised the matter in question period of the House of Commons. We are informed that the government now has the unconstrained authority to borrow whatever, whenever, at whatever rate, from whomever and for whatever purpose. The amendment that Parliament passed in 2007 to the Financial Administration Act gave the government authority to fund Canada's debt without going to Parliament for approval. According to Sen. Lowell Murray, it is "a parliamentary prerogative that had existed in this country for more than a century was consigned to the ash can." Where was the opposition, both in the House of Commons and the Senate, when this little gem slipped in? Where were their research assistants and legal advisers? Where are the Canadian taxpayers when it is brought to their attention? Step by silent step, democracy is being stolen away from us by a government that is bound one way or another to achieve its ideological aims and by an opposition that can't see the trees for the forest. Now Sen. Murray is "appealing to the Harper government to restore Parliament's borrowing authority out of its professed commitment to accountability." One tree at a time the forest of democratic checks and balances is disappearing. We will be left with a barren land devoid of democratic will. Have we not, in this lifetime, seen what happens to countries that lose their way? Have we not seen the immense power to do evil that exists in countries that give away democracy? Wake up Canadians before it is too late! MOLLY BROOKE, Ottawa It's wrong to be killing our own children Re: Anti-abortion rally draws thousands, May 14. As I watched the TV news Thursday night, I was happy to see the large turnout at the March for Life rally on Parliament Hill. I had wanted to be there myself but was already committed. Next year! I watched the spokespersons from the pro-choice movement which are quite frankly becoming old and tired "we have the right to our own bodies or we are the ones who take all the risks, etc." I am left feeling cold at the shallowness of these arguments. There is something so wrong with killing our own childrea You don't have to be religious to sense and know that. But we have become a throw-away society. We get rid of whatever gets in our way or is not convenient for us. This type of mindset erodes society into a cold, selfish and self-serving world. I don't want to live in a world like that nor do the many on Parliament Hill who are fighting to make the world more just for the unborn. Then I read Susan Riley's column ("Organized religion," May 14) on the Ottawa rally and and her comments on the religious right. If you are a Christian absolutist, according to her, you threaten social peace. You should be a Christian like Jean Chretien or Paul Martin. That is almost laughable! Either you are a Christian and follow the beliefs or you are not. You cannot water down your beliefs to suit your own purposes or do what is currently popular. Are we not absolutists in our beliefs whether it is unborn rights or gay rights etc.? According to Riley's assessment, Christians are pious, rigid and punishing. I would like to think we are a work in progress seeking to become more loving and just. That we stand for something that is good. Yes, we come across wrong sometimes but we are human just like you. MAUREEN AYOTTE, Carleton Place WRITETO US lettersthecitizen.canwest.com We welcome Letters to the Editor, which must be exclusive to The Ottawa Citizen. For purposes of verification, please include your home address and home and business telephone numbers. Due to space limitations, letters of 300 words or less are preferred. We reserve the right to edit, condense or reject submissions. Although we are unable to acknowledge letters we cannot publish, we value the views of all readers who take the time to send us their comments. Mail: Letters to the Editor, Ottawa Citizen, 1101 Baxter Rd., Ottawa, Ont. K2C 3M4 Fax: 613-726-5858 Citizen Online: ottawacitizen.com Letters Editor: Kurt Johnson, 613-596-3785 Copyright in letters and other materials sent to the publisher and accepted for publication remains with the author, but the publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic and other forms. m mm m m m m m m m mm am- earskinrJUrlines & Let the Bear take you there! Call 1-800-465-2327 or your travel agent Book online at www.bearskinairlines.com EACH WAY FROM OTTAWA AS LOW AS... Get out of town this May Long Weekend! Every destination is on sale now for travel ending September 12, 2010, but our best fares are for travel each Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, August Civic Holiday and Labour Day! Purchase your ticket by May 23rd for maximum savings! Earn Double Aeroplan Miles to Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Kitchener-Waterloo between May 17th and June 18th, 2010! Region of Whrerioo INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IT'S ABOUT TIME! 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