Monthly Archive: March 2011

Betting the house

With the federal election under way, it’s time to predict the outcome. I think Stephen Harper will gain a few seats, but not enough for a majority. Here are my numbers: Conservatives up seven seats to 150, Liberals down three to 74, Bloc up three to 50, NDP down three to 33, and one Independent. Michael Ignatieff resigns and the next Liberal leader is Dominic LeBlanc, the MP for the New Brunswick riding of Beausejour. Jack Layton steps down and the next leader of the NDP is Olivia Chow, Layton’s wife and the MP for the Ontario riding of Trinity-Spadina.

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The phony warriors

Research In Motion’s financial results reported yesterday were excellent by any measure. In the fiscal year ended February 26, the company shipped 52 million smartphones, up 43 per cent from the previous year, revenue rose 33 per cent and earnings per share jumped 47 per cent. But the devil’s in the details, say the all-powerful analysts who follow RIM. Earnings per share in the fourth quarter were $1.78, better than the consensus of analysts at $1.76. But revenues were $5.56 billion, slightly less than consensus of $5.64 billion. The company’s guidance for the next quarter was lower than consensus but...

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Farewell to all that

Of all the sectors where you might expect to see foreign ownership rules relaxed, I’d put Canadian book publishers last on the list. But apparently, Ottawa is considering ending the policy banning foreign firms in the business, according to John Barber in The Globe and Mail. There is even support from the likes of Lionel Koffler of Firefly Books. Of course, several major foreign houses – Penguin and Random House – are already here but they have to provide benefits to Canada. Nationalist though I am, I agree it’s time to open the borders to all comers. It’s clear that...

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A boy and a puck

I was fortunate to grow up in the glory days of hockey. Born and raised in Guelph, where the Biltmore Madhatters were the Junior A farm team for the New York Rangers, I cut my teeth watching Harry Howell, Dean Prentice, Andy Bathgate and Leapin’ Louie Fontinato. In high school, Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert were fellow students. Eddie Shack was doing his patented end-to-end rushes. As they moved through town, the players were part of the community. Brian Webber, who played on a line with Shack and Bill Sweeney, married an older sister of a friend. Between periods we’d...

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After London, there’s always Lourdes

Lost in the debate about the merger of the Toronto and London stock exchanges is exactly how a budding young company would be better off raising funds. Despite their claims, don’t forget, the stock exchanges don’t actually do the heavy lifting, they only provide the listing. Take Research In Motion as an example I know well. Founded in 1984, it wasn’t until 1995 when going public was even considered. RIM was tiny, only 25 employees working in 2,500 sq ft in Waterloo, Ont. Revenue was $4 million. RIM had made a huge sale, $8 million, but the customer was slow...

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The Ford in our future

Whatever happened to Rob Ford, fearsome campaigner who was going to clean up Toronto City Hall? Since his election, His Honour has acted like any other good old boy who finally gets to put his boots on the boardroom table. He revels in the being but does nothing. Oh, he’s cut out snacks at council and made noise about more subways, but the crusader who intended to stop the gravy train seems to have just sat down at the banquet table and continued to eat. Why he’s even asked the Province of Ontario for $350 million to fix potholes, just...

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