University Affairs; Local Bzzness; Foreign Bubbles; Faith Healing

Illustration by Jason Logan
Illustration by Jason Logan
University Affairs

Kerry Gold concludes that the University of British Columbia committed mistakes in its handling of Professor Steven Galloway’s suspension and dismissal (“L’Affaire Galloway,” November). However, the primary evidence she offers is hearsay and opinion. It serves only to undercut the seriousness of the complaints brought against Galloway in the first place.

Many people quoted in the piece believe that Galloway behaved inappropriately—it’s just what exactly he did, and the severity of his actions, that seem to be in question. Yet somehow, the main issue for Gold is that the university mishandled the case. When she writes that “Galloway may have seemed like a good test case for UBC’s zero-tolerance [sexual harassment] policy,” Gold suggests that he was a political scapegoat. But a scapegoat for what, exactly? Isn’t a zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy both appropriate and necessary? It is possible that the university mishandled the case. But if they did, how exactly they did so remains unclear.

Michelle Deines
Vancouver, BC

Kerry Gold suggests that there is another side to the story concerning the attempted destruction of Steven Galloway—teacher, mentor, writer, father, husband, and friend. I met Galloway at a book fair fourteen years ago and have since acquired and edited two of his novels. He is a little nerdy, yes; he’s also sweet, funny, warm, generous, and—heaven help him—human. Those who read and write fiction are supposed to have more empathy than those unfortunates who do not. Something here does not compute.

Diane Martin
Woody Point, NL

When news of Galloway’s suspension (and then of his subsequent dismissal) broke, I felt I had none of the knowledge that would be necessary for drawing any firm conclusion, never mind taking a side. I found Gold’s article interesting and valuable, but I still feel much the same way. I can state with certainty that this article does not make me jump to support Galloway.

James Pickersgill
Cobourg, ON

Local Bzzness

Jay Smith (“Buzz Feud,” November) points to the “eat local” movement to explain the increase in the number of urban hobby beekeepers (who produce honey mainly for their own use), and entirely ignores industrial honey’s actual competition: small producers who make enough to have a regional brand. Smith might have interviewed one of them. The exaggeration of the Chinese adulteration threat has driven consumers to their local farmers—a positive outcome, and might explain the price drop better than competition from low-cost Chinese products. We happily pay about $16 a kilogram at the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market for Crooked Hills pure, raw wildflower honey.

Lynn Shwadchuck
Sharbot Lake, ON

Foreign Bubbles

As an immigrant from India via England, Libya, and the United States, I read Jonathan Tepperman’s article on the success story of Canadian immigration (“Eye for Talent,” November) with great interest. I generally agree with Tepperman—except when it comes to one serious issue, which he does not mention. In spite of all the talk about multiculturalism, immigrants from different cultures tend to live in their own communities. In most big cities, there are ethnic enclaves that overlap only a little with the broader society. This self-imposed isolation does not promote integration and could create animus toward other communities, particularly if economic disparity between those communities becomes substantial.

Sudhir Jain
Calgary, AB

Faith Healing

“As I glanced around the packed auditorium, I saw no hate. I saw love. I saw frustration. I saw fear,” writes Josiah Neufeld (“Mennonite Pride,” November). Well said! Like the author, I grew up in a Mennonite community on the prairies and have since left the faith of my childhood, but I’ve never experienced hate from those who stayed. Change can be hard, but for Mennonites, love is far stronger than hate.

CJ Dyck
Hong Kong, China

“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