Monthly Archive: November 2018

Donald J. Matthews 1926-2018

If ever there were a man in love with life and country, it was Don Matthews: entrepreneur, president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, and one of the very few who took on Ottawa and won. If he were in a room down the hall you could always hear his “har-har-har” laugh. If you were in that room, trying to avoid some contentious issue – and there were a few such issues in the PC Party – Matthews would declare: “Let’s put the codfish on the table and see how it smells.” Matthews signed up for the Air Force at...

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The fourth estate as third world

After spending five years in politics, I wanted to get back into journalism, but no one would have me. I was seen as potentially too partisan. I might taint my stories with party propaganda. So I joined the Bank of Nova Scotia as director of public affairs. After two years, I was dry-cleaned and became business editor at Maclean’s just as the newsmagazine was going weekly in 1978. Ottawa had passed Bill C-58 which meant that the cost of advertising in the Canadian edition of Time was no longer tax deductible. Suddenly, that ad revenue became available for Canadian publications, thereby making possible more journalism jobs in Canada and...

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When right is wrong

After two years in office, what do we know about Donald Trump? We know he cheats on his wife. We know he cheats at golf. We know he tells lies at a prodigious rate. We know he’s a bully, a narcissist, and a demagogue. We know he supports and prefers other demagogues in Russia, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia, all of whom think nothing of killing their own people. We know Trump’s impossible to work for as cabinet members and White House staffers get dumped almost daily. To date there has been no retribution for any of this. Yes, Trump lost the...

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War and peace

On this one hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War, the signs are everywhere that while the people might remember the horrors and heroics of the past, some leaders seem to be forgetting. How else to explain the actions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is fighting the Kurds, Russian President Vladimir Putin who overran Crimea and portions of Ukraine, and U.S. President Donald Trump who is at war with everyone. In Paris this weekend, only French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed any sign of good grace. Their meeting – in the same rail car used...

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