Background Check; Driving Debate; Arctic Academy; Blunt Opinion; Tasteless; Return Fire


Illustration by Jenn Liv

Illustration by Jenn Liv
Background Check

The Canadian Medical Association exists primarily to protect doctors, but it needs to protect the public, too (“Dr. Shock,” September). To avoid abuses such as those psychiatrist Aubrey Levin inflicted in Calgary—including psychological manipulation and sexual assault—the CMA should apprise prospective patients of its members’ backgrounds. Patients already take emotional risks when they disclose their innermost thoughts to people they don’t know. They should not be expected to take any greater risks than that.

Doris Wrench Eisler
St. Albert, AB

This essay reads like a dystopian novel. Hard to believe it was real. Great job, @walrusmagazine.—@Lauchlin

Driving debate

Uber’s profits don’t go to California, as one disgruntled taxi driver tells Jonathan Kay (“Uber v. Taxi,” September). Rather, the company sends its earnings overseas to various tax havens. At least revenues from traditional taxis—whether reported or kept off the books—stay within the local economy.

Martin Ramirez
Long Beach, California

Usually puzzled when I see people using taxis these days. Got to admit @jonkay’s great piece has given me some pause.—@MattLesch

@JonKay’s piece on @Uber’s shortcomings with elderly or disabled riders put me back on the fence in Uber v. taxi.—@istevens

Arctic Academy

If an Arctic university is to serve Aboriginal students well, it must include culturally relevant coursework that “complements peer-reviewed research,” as Kyle Carsten Wyatt argues (“Nunavut U,” September). But such a university should also adopt a culturally appropriate communal model of learning. Otherwise, it’s just another symbol of colonization.

Kevin Kvas
Edmonton, AB

Ideology determines how we pursue arctic sovereignty . . . consider a diff way: Nunavut U.—@ThibaultBen

Blunt Opinion

According to Laura Trethewey, it took three minutes and thirteen seconds for one Vancouver patient to obtain medical marijuana from his local dispensary (“Green-Light District,” September). That’s more time than any physician has spent with me at my neighbourhood walk-in clinic—and doctors there can prescribe drugs far more harmful than weed.

Lindsay Pare
Vancouver, BC


Jonathan Kay has no palate, and therefore no one else does either (“Lies My Waiter Told Me,” September). Is that reason enough to disparage foodie culture? Well, no. In fact, there are good reasons to celebrate it, none of which Kay considers. Foodie enterprises challenge destructive farming practices; they contribute to our cultural, environmental, and physical health; and they divert consumer dollars from planet-trashing, human rights–denying mega-corporations and funnel them to locally owned businesses. Chew on that.

Allison Outhit
Toronto, ON

I get it: foodie culture can be pretentious and expensive. But to conflate it with organic farming is unfair. I may not be able to taste the difference between organic grapes and their “Walmart cousins,” but I must say that I prefer my fruit without a coating of munitions-grade pesticide.

Jen Mactaggart
Toronto, ON

Return Fire

Walrus reader Connor Deveaux suggests that anyone who dares question Canadian involvement in foreign conflicts should be shot (Letters, July/August). Such over-the-top sentiments are common among those who mistakenly believe that supporting the military means supporting any war their government tells it to fight. But there are other ways to stand behind our troops. One is to demand that their leaders not send them into conflicts from which they will return either dead or having made no appreciable difference.

Pam Chamberlain
Edmonton, AB

This appeared in the November 2015 issue.

“The time has come,” The Walrus said, “to talk of many things.” Send us a letter, an email (letters@thewalrus.ca), or a tweet, or post on this website. Comments may be published in any medium and edited for length, clarity, and accuracy. Mail correspondence to: 411 Richmond St. E., Suite B15, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  M5A 3S5

Jenn Liv (jennliv.com) contributed art to Nautilus, the Literary Review of Canada, and Quill & Quire.

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