Loonie tunes

David Rosenberg, chief economist with Gluskin Sheff + Associates, parsed the recent pontifications of Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and noticed repeated use of the word “exports.” Three times in two sentences, in fact. And how Poloz seemed to want an even lower Canadian dollar when measured against the U.S. dollar. So much so that Poloz said the central bank considered lowering interest rates last week but kept them flat. Such an admission by a central banker is very unusual. Rarely do they say what they might have done. Maybe Poloz counted on such talk driving down the C$ even further. If...

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Strike out

Just when you thought Toronto couldn’t look any more foolish, what with a baseball fan throwing a beer can at an outfielder, someone goes to court to stop Cleveland from being called the Indians. Douglas Cardinal, a renowned architect and indigenous Canadian, argued he would be affronted to see the Indians play last night at Rogers Centre. Then Cardinal went to China where he probably couldn’t or didn’t watch the game anyway. I’d like first to declare my bona fides when it comes to such matters. I’ve helped raise money for the Native Canadian Centre so I think I can say, without...

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Tell me that it isn’t true

When I heard that Bob Dylan had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I felt like a member of the crowd at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 when the folksinger first went electric: I booed. Dylan might have been a wonderful musician in the 1960s, with or without electrical amplification, but hardly worth a Nobel Prize for Literature. How does “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind/ the answer is blowin’ in the wind” compare with the works of previous winners such as John Steinbeck, Alice Munro or Boris Pasternak. Was the Nobel Committee in some sort of time warp...

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Fish out of water

Clover Leaf Seafoods has a new website where you can look up information on the tuna in the can you bought. Go to cloverleaf.ca/trace-my-catch. Once on the site you enter the numbers and letters on the can. My can contains albacore tuna. No surprise there. Next, there’s a map showing that the tuna was caught in the South Pacific, east of the Solomon Islands, using longline fishing gear with baited hooks. That’s good, no net scraping the ocean floor. The vessel was the Sui Yuan Yu 30 from China and my tuna was caught sometime between August 9 and September 3, 2015. A year ago....

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Memories are made of this

Along with a lot of other Canadians, I was saddened to hear that BlackBerry will no longer make smartphones. To be sure, the company has been irrelevant for some time. In February 2012, I was in Arizona, thumbing away on my BlackBerry when someone said to me, “You must be the last man in America with a BlackBerry.” Only two years before, when my book on BlackBerry came out, Research In Motion was flying high with 50 percent of the U.S. smartphone market. I remained loyal, and bought the Q10 in 2014, but most didn’t. Market share is now barely measurable. I...

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A reader writes

I confess to being a little late learning about this bit of news but a National NewsMedia Press Council was established last year. Its two main purposes appear to be: respond to complaints and promote ethics in the media. Some good people are involved including John Fraser, former editor of Saturday Night; Joanne De Laurentiis, former CEO of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada; and Ken Whyte, my boss at National Post, now at Rogers. This national group replaces four press councils and represents most English-language media. This being Canada, Alberta and Québec are not aboard; they continue to have their own...

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They spill more than we drink

There were gawkers galore as I wandered through the new Nordstrom store in the Eaton Centre, part of the U.S. retailer’s push into Canada. This is the fourth location to open with two more to come. This latest is sizeable, 220,000 sq ft on three floors with a bar and lounge on the second floor called Habitant and a $14 signature drink called Dundas Streetcar. Those are two nice Canadian touches, except for the fact that the main ingredient in the drink is bourbon. I said gawkers because there were few shoppers. In Nordstrom’s signature department, ladies’ shoes, there must have...

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Lonely is the cloud

I fear the cloud. I agree totally with the dialogue from Sex Tape, the romp starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. They’ve made a sex tape that he was supposed to delete, but forgot. And somehow now it’s on the Internet. “It went up to the cloud,” Segel tells Diaz. “And you can’t get it down from the cloud?” she asks incredulously. “Nobody understands the cloud,” he says. “It’s  a mystery.” In an attempt to unravel the mystery, I went looking for an explanation. The first one I read made it all sound so sensible. You want to plant some tomatoes but...

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