Monthly Archive: May 2013

Mandatory women

The trouble with this “comply or explain” strategy proposed by the Ontario government to increase the number of women on corporate boards is this: what exactly are you trying to comply with? The half-baked belief of some CEO? A board’s namby-pamby position? The unstated view of politicians or regulators? Catalyst statements? Which do you think will apply? The other trouble with “comply or explain” is that we went through this with corporate governance fifteen years ago. As I recall there were fourteen aspects that public companies were to strive for … or explain why they weren’t getting there. What occurred...

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Both sides now

I’ll begin this by declaring that I think Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug have too little talent for their respective roles. But as a former journalist and someone who continues to write books, I believe that the journalists who pursue the Fords are also at fault for not doing their jobs properly. The Toronto Star, the largest-circulation newspaper in Canada, has decided to bring down the Ford administration single-handedly. This is a worthy goal. Indeed, it should be the goal of any newspaper to ferret out facts that run afoul of what any government – municipal, provincial or federal...

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Do not go gentle

The man sitting opposite me on the subway yesterday was obviously in the wrong place. He was wearing a leather jacket and pants, gang colors and chains, a bandana on his head, and sported a beard and handle-bar moustache. Finally, curiousity got the better of me, and I asked him: “Where’s your bike?” “It’s sitting out in front of my house,” he said, with a note of sadness. “I’m only 50, but the weather’s been too cold.” He put his hands towards me as if he were clutching the grips and said, “After a few hours, they get arthritic.” He...

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Moose, mountains and Mounties

The Canadian Tourism Commission has decided, in its wisdom, to pull its money out of the American market. The reason? According to Delivering Value, the Commission’s 2012 report, the average American only spends $518 per trip while each Brazilian traveller spends $1,874. But look at the 2012 totals. There were 11.8 million U.S. tourists in Canada compared to 81,000 from Brazil. Total spending by American tourists in Canada was $6.4 billion compared to $3.7 billion from the next ten countries combined: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Why turn your back on...

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Worth the wait

I’ve been using the new BlackBerry Q10 for a week and so far I like it. Of course, my previous model, the 8700, was at least seven years old, so there’s lots new to learn and do. I like the keyboard. It’s crisp and responsive although the keys are much smaller than my previous model. Still, you hardly need to use the keys for emails. There’s excellent predictive software plus dictation to create your missives. The price at Rogers for the hardware starts at $249 but there’s a $50 mail-in coupon. If you grumble, the associate finds another $50 but...

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The Pose

It was around 2005 when I first saw The Pose. I was researching a book and looking at some family photos. In one of them, a daughter then in her late 20s, was standing on the right of a group with her left hand slung on her hip so her arm formed a 90-degree angle at the elbow. She lived in New York City so I put it down to some affected custom among Upper East Side socialites. In the years since, The Pose has grown in use all the way from the Red Carpet at the Oscars to local...

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