Monthly Archive: September 2017

A sorry state

There was a time when governments never apologized, neither for what they did, nor for past transgressions. Pierre Trudeau comes to mind. He always said he was looking forward, not back. But, as time has passed, other prime ministers have taken a different approach. Brian Mulroney, for example, apologized for the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. Stephen Harper apologized for what was done to young aboriginals at residential schools. No prime minister, however, has been such a profuse apologist as Justin Trudeau. Being Canadian has come to mean always having to say you’re sorry. His list already includes:...

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Sitting room only

All this foofara caused by President Donald Trump over a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors has gotten out of hand. LeBron James is now calling Trump a “bum,” some NFL players are kneeling during the national anthem, and other teams are avoiding controversy by staying in the locker room until the Star Spangled Banner is over. Trump’s strategy is obvious. His main talent is to be a divisive force who plays one group off against another. Even on Capitol Hill, he’s cosying up to Democrats on fiscal matters while whipping his own Republicans toward impossible goals on healthcare. I believe this presents...

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Bidding wars

Among the first stories I wrote for Maclean’s after joining the newsmagazine in 1978 was a behind-the-scenes account of how governments helped Windsor, Ont., beat out Lima, Ohio, for a $500 million engine plant Ford was planning to build. I was able to reveal all the negotiations that took place among Ontario Premier Bill Davis, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and Ford President Roy Bennett during the Calgary Stampede of all places. When I next saw the premier, he said the story read as if I’d been in the room, just the sort of comment a young magazine writer wants to hear. Looking back, that public support...

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Fun on Fogo

When you ask the locals living on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, about the weather, they don’t begin with sun, cloud or temperature. They talk first about the wind. A south-westerly is best and can signal several fine days to come. We had just such luck during our recent time at the Fogo Island Inn. The inn, which opened four years ago, dominates Joe Batt’s Arm, a community that’s a 10-minute walk away. The most wonderful aspect of a vacation on Fogo is that you encounter folks in ways you don’t usually while on holiday. One man called John that we happened to meet on a dock held...

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