The 1999 Juno Award Ceremony in Hamilton. Featuring Terry Cooke, Sheila Copps, Dominic Agostino, Toni Skarica, Bob Morrow, Geddy Lee, RUSH, Tragically Hip, Lillian Ross, Rita McNeil, Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Mike Bullard, Sloan, Larry Flynt,
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday February 25, 1999
No food or drink in pool, breastfeeding mom told
A mother breastfeeding while swimming at a city recreation centre was ordered to leave because “no food or drink is allowed in the pool.”Shannon Wray, 25, was enjoying family swim time Friday morning at Huntington Park Recreation Centre on the East Mountain when her nine-month-old daughter Chyenne got hungry.
“I was sitting in the hot pool with my daughter in front of me and I pulled down my bathing suit strap, ” Wray said. “And I took my breast out and put her on it.”
A moment later, Wray was approached by the pool’s aquatic director, who advised the mother she would have to go into the change room to feed her child. Wray said she was told that it’s the culture and recreation department’s policy that there is no breastfeeding in the pool area.
“I’m very sorry you’re offended, ” Wray told the woman. “But that’s your problem. I’m nursing my baby and I’m not moving. You’re going to have to deal with it.”
Wray believes other swimmers complained.
When Wray refused to leave, she was told by the aquatic director that she couldn’t stay in the pool because of the state of “her attire.” Then, she said, a male lifeguard told her she had to stop breastfeeding “because no food or drink is allowed in the pool.”
Wray said she has breastfed her baby in public many times — including at the Huntington Park pool — but never had any complaints before now.
“It’s unfortunate that a natural act had to become some political brouhaha, ” said Wray. “This was very inappropriate and very humiliating.”
Alderman Mary Kiss, vice-chairperson of the city’s parks and recreation committee, said she was “appalled” that breastfeeding in public was still an issue for some people.
“It’s great to have mothers breastfeeding their children. I’ll definitely look into this.”
The lifeguard and aquatic director were just plain wrong, said Gary Makins, manager of the city’s east recreation district.
As far as the culture and recreation department goes, said Makins, mothers can nurse “at the pool, in the pool or on the side of the pool.
“I think our lifeguard or aquatic supervisor shouldn’t have asked her to leave, ” he said. Makins will send a copy of the city’s breastfeeding policy to each of the pools he supervises and he will write Wray a letter of apology.
As for no food or drink in the pool? “That doesn’t apply here, ” he said. “But if she was eating a sandwich in the pool, that would be a problem.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday January 12, 1999
Time for a new look at Cuba
It has taken almost 40 years, but the United States is finally beginning to realize that its hard line toward Cuba has failed. President Bill Clinton, better late than never, is recognizing that the trade embargo against Cuba is an ineffective way to promote democracy and human rights in Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. Sadly, however, prospects for a rapid thaw in the costly deep freeze between Cuba and the U.S. remain elusive.
Two obstacles — Clinton’s reluctance to take bold action to ease the embargo, and Castro’s hostility to even limited American overtures toward Cuba — keep Washington and Havana in a no-win stand-off. It doesn’t make sense. An end to American economic sanctions on Cuba can’t come a moment too soon. Lifting the embargo has the most potential to force Castro’s repressive regime to change.
Clinton took a helpful, if modest, step to break the ice last week. He announced a further loosening of sanctions against Cuba, such as expanding direct charter flights to the island, allowing direct mail service, and encouraging exchanges of athletes, scientists and other professionals. Building on an easing of the embargo last March, Clinton is making a tacit admission that American policy toward Cuba is failing. The Americans are heading down the road of dialogue and engagement toward Cuba, as Canada has done for decades. But Clinton is moving too slowly, evidently for fear of upsetting the anti-Castro lobby in Florida and hardline Republican congressmen.
A growing number of influential political and business voices want Clinton to take more dramatic action. A non-partisan commission, including Republican heavyweights such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, volunteered to study alternative policies toward Cuba. Clinton should take that opportunity. If the U.S. were to end the embargo, Castro would be deprived of his most potent propaganda weapon, his litany of complaints about the U.S.
Castro is as much to blame for the paralysis as unsuccessful American policy. Apart from occasional public relations gestures, s uch as Pope John Paul’s visit last year, Castro shows little interest in easing the harsh realities of his regime. He has long insisted that Cuba will not allow democratic elections. True to form, Castro’s government denounced Clinton’s latest overtures. Castro would have reciprocated if he was truly interested in helping ordinary Cubans to survive the hardships of the embargo. The sanctions cost Cuba an estimated $800-million (U.S.) every year.
The aging dictator’s refusal to co-operate with the U.S. dampens hopes for an early transition to democracy. Perhaps he’ll listen to Canada, a big supplier of foreign investment and tourists. Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy last week urged Castro to release more political dissidents. Cuba freed several political prisoners after Prime Minister Jean Chretien visited last year. There was no immediate sign that Castro would budge this time.
Few leaders are as intractable and short-sighted as Castro. However, that doesn’t excuse the mistakes made by the U.S. in Cuban policy. As long as the American embargo remains, Castro will continue a propaganda war that helps him — but doesn’t do anything for long-suffering Cubans. (Source: Hamilton Spectator editorial)
Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – November 4, 1998
Editorial Cartoon, #hamont, HSR, transit, bus, Hamilton
The Hamilton Spectator — Saturday, September 6, 1997
“Great drawings — and he’s local.” That was our first reaction when freelance artist Graeme MacKay, then of Ancaster, started sending his caricatures to The Spectator in early 1995. Their use became more frequent until this summer, MacKay was brought on staff as editorial cartoonist to brighten our Opinion Page with his fine, funny, often biting cartoons.
It’s been a long apprenticeship. Born in 1968, MacKay grew up in Dundas, he was always something of a “news geek” and he was the kid who never stopped doodling. He would draw his teachers and classmates, a sure way to win a chuckle or two. In Grade 4, he drew the whole class, and ran off photocopies for them all, on demand. He also attended junior art classes at the Dundas Valley School of Art in the late 1970s.
Perhaps fitting for a future editorial cartoonist, Graeme went to work as a butcher, at the University Plaza Miracle Mart. But he was cut out for a different future.
At the University of Ottawa from 1987 to 1991, he submitted cartoons to the student newspaper, The Fulcrum, and went on to become the graphics editor. In 1992 he went to Europe with sketchbook in hand and honed his skills. But he also put in time as a bacon butcher at luxurious Harrod’s department store in London.
After returning to Canada in 1994, he worked for the Ancaster News and began submitting cartoons to other newspapers, with growing success. A close call with a sawblade in 1996 convinced him to abandon butchery and devote all his time to cartooning, moving to Toronto to do it. He has since been published in major daily newspapers across Canada plus the Chicago Tribune and Denver Post.
As The Spectator’s full-time editorial cartoonist, MacKay hopes “Hamilton is mature enough to laugh at itself.” He intends to provoke and make a point, but mainly, he hopes to be funny.
He’s also convinced that if he’s done his job well as a cartoonist, he won’t ever have to explain his work.
“I prefer to keep my mouth shut and let my pen do the talking.”