Monthly Archive: March 2016

Southern lights

Try as I might, I’ve never been able to figure out the purpose of the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF). Founded in 1996 with the stated purpose of building bridges for journalists with public and private organizations, the only reason for the connection seems to be funding for awards and dinner at the annual bunfeed. While Canadian journalists will be feted at this year’s event on June 16, they’re not the headline used to promote the program. The prime online attention is focussed on a special citation to be presented to the Pulitzer-prize-winning Spotlight team from the Boston Globe that exposed the child abuse scandal and cover-up by the Catholic Church. A...

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Cedric Ritchie 1927-2016

The citizens of Toronto have recently focused on the death of former Mayor Rob Ford, but there was another passing last week of a man who had a far more profound impact on Toronto and Canada: Ced Ritchie, chairman and chief executive officer of the Bank of Nova Scotia from 1974-1995. I worked for Ritchie for two years after I left Ottawa in 1976. I thought I had seen power in the nation’s capital but I quickly realized that was nothing compared to the raw power in the hands of a bank CEO. I don’t think in all my years I’ve known anyone who...

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In the depths

Ian Brown’s fascinating piece in Saturday’s Globe and Mail was both a bit of nice writing and the kind of reportage too often missing these days. Brown sought to find out why Stephen Harper has been invisible since he lost the October election to Justin Trudeau. But did Brown succeed? I think not. After travelling to Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton in search of the elusive Harper, Brown was finally standing a few feet away from his quarry but let a Harper aide dissuade him from approaching the man for a conversation. Normally, Brown is sufficiently vigorous to not let anyone stop him...

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Good fences make good neighbours

Read everything I could, talked to anyone who hoved into view, and try as I might, I’ve been unable to discover anything of substance actually accomplished during the recent visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Washington. No Keystone approval, no sharing of costs on the Gordie Howe Bridge, just some far-off-in-the-future nod to reducing cow herds in Oxford County to lower methane gas levels. The Canadian media was agog about the bromance between Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama. All that got us was a free dinner for Mike Myers who forgot his hair dye that day. Coverage in the Washington...

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Ex libris

I love books. I love reading them, I love writing them, I love what books do inside my head. The trouble is I’ve ended up with more than 1,000 volumes and that’s after donating about 300 (half a dozen at a time) to the used book store at the Toronto Research Library over the last few years. I’ve got some of the first books I ever read such as The Adventures of Danny Meadowmouse by Thorton W. Burgess and Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne. I’ve got the first book I ever bought, How The Great Religions Began by Joseph Gaer...

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