Letter for November 22, 2002

Sens contribute to city

I cannot sit idly by without commenting on your front-page article about the Ottawa Senators. (Oct. 25)

If you cannot afford to buy Sens tickets, fine. I get that. I’m not a season’s ticket holder either, although I would like to be. I just can’t afford it. Though I will be going to some games through the odd initiative, as in the bus from the bar, or the soccer team outing, I wish I was doing more. I love the Sens, and it would really disgust me if we lost them.

That said, I would like to clarify a piece of misinformation in the aforementioned article.

A Mr. Giacobbi is quoted as saying, “ . . .The City of Ottawa has already pumped millions of dollars into the team. I’m not getting any funding, why should I start paying for them?”

Please. Funding? What funding is Mr. Giacobbi talking about? He should know that the City of Ottawa has never given any money to the Ottawa Senators. Quite simply, it is the other way around.

The Ottawa Senators organization pays millions of dollars yearly in municipal taxes to the City of Ottawa. In addition, the Sens organization contributes something like over $600,000 to charities around the area, which is a conservative estimate. None of this includes the fact that the Sens organization raises Ottawa’s stature around the world and has positive effects on local businesses as well as tourism.

I can only imagine that Mr. Giacobbi comes from Toronto, where the hockey team does in fact receive largesse from government. This would explain his ignorance. Thank you for the article and for letting me know which businesses to avoid in the future.

James Brunton

Percy Street

On being Canadian

I agree 100 per cent with Pamela Eadie (Page 13, Oct. 8) — what a pleasure to read someone who has the courage to call a spade a spade.

I hope she will guide us to the next step. In her last paragraph she states, “Canadian identity often rests on being different from Americans.” I really know the feeling,but it is also worrisome. Those who complain about nationalists often whine that we should be promoting positive things about Canada rather than just being anti-American. So, what should we do?

Doesn’t seem much point if “Canadians may not care . . .” I want to do something,but we need to speak out as a whole, not just individuals. It’s a sad state of affairs that I feel more and more like a foreigner in my own country. It’s worse when I know that we have a great country and that so many people want to come to Canada from all over the world. If we cannot speak as a nation, then give me a tip on where to emigrate to.

Because we have been convinced that there is only one option for us — to promote north-south trade and investment — we are tied to what goes on south of the border. To decide to pursue any sort of policy that diverged from the U.S. would cause an American backlash that could show us just how much we are in thrall to their economy, culture and politics.

It was just a few weeks ago that, surprisingly, the CBC had a story about a “Canadian” subsidiary being blocked from exporting ambulances to Iraq — sounds like they are going to need them. Taking an independent stand would require us to put up with a lower standard of living while our economy to becomes more independent and diversified.

I do not wish for suffering and want, but maybe, that’s our problem. We have not experienced hardship for a long time, hardship that we avoid by promoting the free ride from our neighbour to the south.

Would this alert us to what we are really losing when we are blinded by the flag waving and smoke screens? What an awful choice to have to make: between our fake prosperity and a Canadian prosperity. As Ms. Eadie said, it comes down to the ability for Canadians “ . . .to be able to make that choice.” I would add, the willingness to make it , too.

Lawrence Wardroper,

Waverley Street

Non-contact in hockey

Despite the competitive minor hockey leagues lowering the body checking age, the Ottawa Centre Minor Hockey Association continues to be a non-contact house league association.

Our goal is to provide a safe environment for our community’s children to improve their hockey skills, be on teams with their friends and enjoy a sport that doesn’t have to be of the Don Cherry style.

OCMHA has more than 300 players ranging from four-to-20 year olds and forming a total of 21 teams that play teams from other house league associations such as Vanier, Sandy Hill, and St. Laurent. We’re based at Brewer and McNabb arenas and draw our players from Ottawa Centre, the Glebe and Old Ottawa South.

Unfortunately, there is also a trend for house leagues to allow body checking but we have avoided this because we want players to join regardless of their relative size and hockey talents. Perhaps one of your reporters would be interested in checking this out some winter weekend.

John Dance,

Secretary, OCMHA

Ottawa Centre

Minor Hockey Association