Monthly Archive: March 2012

Out of luck

The last episode has run in the wonderful HBO series, Luck, which has been cancelled. Alas, it was witty, intelligent, dramatic, and filled with wonderful characters – just the sort of television show that should succeed. They included: Dustin Hoffman as Ace Bernstein out of prison looking for revenge and redemption, Nick Nolte as the old trainer looking for a comeback, and the ragtag collection of misfits seeking a Pick Six. Every character was pitch perfect. When HBO cancelled the show after one season, they appeared to be caving to complaints by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Indeed,...

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Steal your heart

Nina, The Bandit Queen is Joey Slinger’s best book yet. As a previous winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, Slinger has another winner here. But first, let me declare a conflict. I am a friend of Slinger and was the titleist on two of his previous books: No Axe Too Small to Grind and If It’s a Jungle Out There, Why Do I Have to Mow the Lawn? But I had nothing to do with Nina. Maybe that’s why it’s so good. Nina Carson Dolgoy, the lead character, is the kind of person who would steal your...

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Where are the robo-cops?

My hometown of Guelph has been wracked by allegations over robo-calls made in the last election by Pierre Poutine. When the perpetrator is eventually found and charged, I hope the court will go easy on him or her for the deliciously ironic nom de plume. This is no ordinary scallywag! While I’m not that worked up about such electoral fraud, I am miffed at another form of robo-calls that promote goods and services in which I have no interest. Like a lot of other Canadians, I naively signed up for the “do not call list” in the hope that this...

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Fatherly pride

The past few months have been stellar times for my two offspring, Mark and Alison. Forgive a father for feeling such pride, but while they were both already very successful in their chosen fields, their recent accomplishments are particularly compelling. In addition to his day job as CEO of Wellington Financial, Mark is also chairman of the Toronto Port Authority. Among other roles, this federal agency oversees Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. In the last six years, the airport saw a fifty-fold passenger increase and this year will handle two million people. The short ferry trip works, but there is...

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The home front

Canada doesn’t have enough millwrights, manufacturing engineers and others with the right training required for highly skilled jobs. Time was when such workers were taught elsewhere: Germany, Austria, Hungary and England. Those easy sources dried up long ago. Our misdirected immigration system is focussed on family reunification, a noble cause, but not a policy that produces ready-to-go workers. Each spring another problem becomes apparent. Too many graduates head for jobs in the United States and never come back. According to a story in the March issue of ROB Magazine, there are 350,000 Canadians working for Google, Apple, Facebook and hundreds...

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