Canadian idle

How would the Canadian election have turned out if the terrorist attacks in Paris had happened before the vote? My dentist put that question to me today when, fortunately, he had so many implements in my mouth that speech was impossible. I say “fortunately” because I could not have mustered a response even if my mouth was available. By the time his work was done, my lips were frozen and the moment had passed. I’ve been wrestling with the question ever since. Watching the televised clip of Justin Trudeau at the G20 summit in Turkey was like looking at a man who’d been...

Read More ....

The going down of the sun

Today’s Remembrance Day services in Ottawa offered a number of new sights. There was a new prime minister and his wife who wore a hat straight out of Downton Abbey, a new Sikh minister of defence who served in Afghanistan and a new minister of veterans affairs in a wheelchair. But it wasn’t the new I sought. It was the War Memorial itself, the silver cross mother, the twenty-one gun salute, the children’s choir and the aged faces of veterans. I never lost a loved one in any war. Oh, I had an uncle and and an aunt who served and...

Read More ....

Her only bad habit was us

A few of us were standing around the bar at the National Press Club in Ottawa on a Friday night in late 1975. Some couples were dancing in the next room. Mostly it was just the usual bar scene, boozing and boasting. Until Margaret Trudeau swept in with a certain devil-may-care attitude and a security detail officer a few steps behind. Such a drop-in was unheard of. A few MPs might come for lunch, a lobbyist or two might mingle, but not the prime minister’s wife. Margaret had recently been in the news so maybe she thought she should come hang out with...

Read More ....

Jaywalker

Baseball season is over. The Blue Jays pushed the World Series winners to six games in the American League finals, one game better than the Mets fared against the Royals. Jose Bautista showed the world that Toronto has style with his bat flip. Josh Donaldson won the Hank Aaron award and is in line for the Most Valuable Player award. We should be celebrating a successful season, the best in 22 years. But we’re not. We’re mired in a he said-he said-he said controversy about the unhappy departure of general manager Alex Anthopoulos, the man who made this year happen. He said...

Read More ....

Field of dreamers

The election night resignation by press release of Stephen Harper was cheesy. He offered no thank you, no list of accomplishments, no closure for supporters. It did, however, trigger a leadership race. Comebacks are always possible. The Progressive Conservative Party won only two seats in 1993, changed its name, and was returned to power a decade later. The Liberals, written off in 2011 by no less an observer than the indefatigable Peter C. Newman, rose from the dead: 34 seats to 184 in only four years. So here’s my list of Conservative leadership candidates: From Atlantic Canada, only Peter Mackay is likely...

Read More ....

Coyne toss

The longer-than-usual election campaign has been tough on the media. First the Globe and Mail endorsed the Conservative Party but not its leader, saying Stephen Harper should step down. The response to this risible position was both swift and satirical. “Hell but not Satan,” said one tweet. “Hilary’s pantsuit but not Hilary,” said another. “Duran, but not Duran,” went a third. Equally grabbing, but a different form of foolishness, came today when Andrew Coyne resigned as editor of editorials and comment at the National Post. Seems he didn’t like the edict from the owners that the paper would be supporting Stephen...

Read More ....

Barbarians within

Far be it from me to rain on the Blue Jays parade, but I’m about to. No one was more happy than I with last night’s come-from-behind win. It had to be the wildest game of all time. There have been other spectacular victories recently that also rank with the ages. And I speak as a fan who froze his butt off at Exhibition Stadium in the early years. For all this time I’ve been part of one group or another that share a pair of season’s tickets so I go to the ball park for maybe a dozen games every year....

Read More ....

Day of decision

I’ve been wavering about Justin Trudeau for prime minister. When I first heard him speak in March 2013, I was a fan and said so in a blog post. (Justin Time.) He was articulate, well-informed and worked the room well. When I next heard him in May 2015, his speech was lacking in passion and his performance was poor. I was less impressed and said that, too. (Flatlining on Front Street.) During the election campaign, his presentation has improved and his economic policies seem appropriate. The Nanos poll has the Liberals in the lead by six points while Ekos says the Conservatives are...

Read More ....