Letters to the Editor: September/October 2022

On credit scores, the myth of diversity in Canadian TV, and why we should revere peacocks

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Due Credit
Emily Baron Cadloff’s article “Discredited” (June 2022) illustrates how credit scores are an imperfect solution to a problem that is difficult to resolve. Allowing creditors a simple method of determining the reliability of borrowers creates efficiency while making the system incredibly impersonal. Pushing for a holistic approach to judge loan applicants based on employment and education would humanize the experience and allow borrowers with poor credit some pathways to improve their scores. Additionally, increasing transparency in how the scores are calculated and creating more room to dispute inaccuracies would help raise confidence in the system. At the moment, credit agencies are functionally an oligopoly, but if credit scores become more of a political issue and policy makers push for the creation of a government agency devoted to credit scores, they might be more willing to reform further.

Declan Embury
Burnaby, BC


Big Change on the Small Screen
In “The Superficial Diversity of Canadian TV” (June 2022), Soraya Roberts examines the lack of diversity that so consistently plagues Canadian television. It’s about having the country’s diversity not just represented on the screen but also at every level of production, writing, and casting. If Canadian TV is ever going to move at a nonglacial pace when it comes to diversity being accurately represented, then generalities of “we’re looking for more diversity” can’t be the norm without real action. That means a commitment to amplifying diverse voices in every department of TV. There’s mountains of work to be done, but it’s certainly doable.

Dawn Kagan-Fleming
Montreal, QC


The American Dream
In “Dead or Canadian” (July/August 2022), Tajja Isen considers, through the lens of her own experience, why Canadian writers are so often compelled to move to the United States to seek success. Isen is not the first to take up this question. However, her essay relies more on anecdotes than on the significant scholarly work that has been done to examine the so-called brain drain, such as When Canadian Literature Moved to New York by Nick Mount. Since its inception, America has been singularly fixated on the fantasy that it is a country of endless possibility, a fiction that lies at the heart of American exceptionalism. For most, the fantasy of American limitlessness of which Isen speaks will remain just that: a fantasy.

Alexander Eastwood
Toronto, ON


Proud as a Peacock
In “Ruffled Feathers” (July/August 2022), Lyndsie Bourgon recounts how the mysterious arrival of peacocks divided the town of Naramata, BC. This is not the first instance in which I have seen them so vilified, and it is true that, in North America and Europe, peacocks are known mostly for their extraordinary beauty and are often seen as ornamental at best and useless pests at worst. However, in their native environment, they are revered birds. Their Sanskrit name is mayura, and in Hindu scripture, they are known as snake killers. Depending on context, peafowl are valuable and respected members of their natural ecosystem.

Cynthia Chauhan
Wichita, KS


Readers
“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 our Facebook page. 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

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Dear Readers,

For years, experts have raised the alarm about political polarization. It’s been said the left and right can’t talk to each other. Blame the political climate. Blame the rise of tech platforms and social media algorithms. But we don’t talk enough about the difference in the quality of the information that we receive and share.

As more and more media outlets die and as parts of Canada become “news deserts,” there are two types of citizens emerging: those with access to high-quality, fact-based journalism, like the kind you’ll find in The Walrus, and those without it.

One thing all reliable media outlets have in common: it takes time and adequate funding to produce good journalism.

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Jessica Johnson
Sincerely,
Jessica Johnson
Editor-in-Chief