Yearly Archive: 2012

Road to redemption

Glad to see Stephen Harper reach out to Brian Mulroney by asking for his advice and counsel on Quebec. Mulroney’s been in the woodshed long enough. As you might guess, I’m a fan of Brian. I’ve known him for forty years. The former prime minister has admitted he was wrong and I think it’s high time Canadians forgave him for taking cash from Karlheinz Schreiber. What is it about Canadians that we are prepared to forgive Bill Clinton for his sins but not Brian Mulroney? Clinton was impeached by Congress and besmirched the White House with his antics but Canadians don’t care....

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iPhone in my future?

I’m sure there are a lot of BlackBerry users facing the same dilemma as I am. My BlackBerry is elderly; I’ve been patiently waiting for the new BlackBerry 10 that’s coming later this year. And happily so until yesterday when Research In Motion announced that the first models would not have physical keyboards. Those versions would come later, presumably sometime in 2013. As an author who wrote a book about the company and praised its former co-CEOs, and as a fan, this is deeply disappointing. I must be typical of many BlackBerry owners – I’m loyal. A physical keyboard is...

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Up with lower prices

The price of gas at the pump is down to almost $1.20 per litre, nearly a twenty-cent drop in just the last two months. And have you noticed how the posted prices of all the different brands have been dropping in lock-step. Doesn’t this kind of behaviour smack of a cartel? Ever notice how this always happens with the approach of summer? And have you also seen how much faster Big Oil shoves through price changes on the way down compared to when prices are headed up? Why, there should be a Parliamentary inquiry called into this unprecedented collapse. Or...

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Looking for leadership

Bob Rae made the right decision not to run for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. His announcement yesterday that he would continue as interim leader until the convention next April means he can then return to being an elder statesman who does helpful things for society in general. All eyes are now on Justin Trudeau who, so far, has been saying ‘no’ to running for leader. Now that there is an actual race, he will have to make up his mind. Media reports say that, boxing prowess aside, he is not a substantive politician. I hear differently. He...

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Faces of the future

Yesterday I was the afternoon convocation speaker at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. What a wonderful institution! I had a 90-minute tour in the morning and met many students, faculty and members of the board of governors. President Maureen Piercy and I were colleagues at Maclean’s so we were able to catch up on times past and exchange news about others we’d worked with. The 3,300 Loyalist students take one, two and three-year courses in a wide range of well-equipped facilities that include a bioscience lab, a spa for esthetics, engines for rebuilding, kitchens for culinary arts, radio and television...

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Signs of the times

Here are a few signs I’ve seen recently that speak volumes. 1. Apple Store opening soon. Just kidding. It’s a Jack Astor’s. 2. Please refrain from playing loud music or making loud noises. 3. PIGS. The Politically Incorrect Gas Station. 4. Please do not put trash in toilets. It is extremely difficult to remove. 5. And this, written on the rear window of a van piled high with personal belongings: Just divorced. Wahoo!

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Treasure chest

The Pirates of Penzance at Stratford is nonsensical, glorious and funny, all the elements you want from a Gilbert and Sullivan romp. My daughter Alison and I saw the comic opera (still in previews) this afternoon at the Avon Theatre. It officially opens June 1. I grew up listening to my father’s D’Oyly Carte versions on vinyl and this production ably captures all the frivolity and word play of that famous troupe. David Johnson does a wonderful rendition of the tongue-twister song, “I am the very model of a modern major-general.” Amy Wallis as Mabel has a voice so beautiful it could...

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Curly, Larry and 99Mo

I’m a newspaper publisher’s dream. I not only read news stories, I also read advertisements. The most spectacularly silly ad in recent days was one for Canadian Light Source. I was drawn to the prominently displayed and decently sized (5″x11″) ad because I was intrigued by the name of the organization. Hoping to find out more, I read the first paragraph. Turns out it’s a national synchrotron light facility located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon. OK, I now knew where, but I still didn’t know what. The next sentence told me the organzation “is engaged in the design,...

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