Monthly Archive: August 2007

Tory, Tory, Tory

Far be it from me to tell John Tory what to do. On the other hand, as my former boss Robert Stanfield used to say, why offer a target when you don’t need to? The leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party may have fallen into the same trap as Stanfield did in the run-up to the 1974 federal election when Stanfield campaigned on price and income controls. Voters thought his policy was a great idea as long as it didn’t affect their wages, which, of course, it did. Pierre Trudeau made hay with his scoffing line, “Zap, you’re frozen,”...

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Another one bites the dust

Is there any reason to be cheerful about the sale of Stelco to U.S. Steel? Some would argue shareholder value has been enhanced and jobs saved. But 1,000 jobs have already been lost in the past year as the turnaround team whipped the place into sufficient shape for an auction. That makes all four major Canadian steel companies sold off in the last 18 months to foreign buyers. Dofasco, IPSCO, Algoma and Stelco are all gone taking with them millions in government tax write offs over the years and, in the case of Algoma, two time-consuming court-ordered runs at salvation....

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Banker with a social conscience

When I was researching the first book I ever wrote, The Moneyspinners published in 1983, some of the CEOs of the Big Five Banks didn’t know quite what to make of me. Russell Harrison of CIBC declined my interview requests with utter disdain. Others gave me hours of their time, and revealed their innermost thoughts. Rowland Cardwell Frazee, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, was among the latter group. Frazee died on July 29. He was 86. Frazee was the first of the chairmen I wrote about to invite me on his plane, a Lockheed Jetstar. I...

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