Constant craving

Now that all legal challenges have been abandoned, Doug Ford is officially leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. I can’t think of a worse outcome. When his brother Rob was mayor of Toronto, Doug was supposedly the brains of the pair, which wasn’t saying much. To my mind, Doug Ford doesn’t deserve to be leader. Should someone be allowed to become leader when previously he wasn’t even running to be a member of the legislature? Still, the election of Ford puts Ontario in lockstep with other jurisdictions where populism triumphs over ideas and ideals. That’s what’s sweeping the western world...

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The sun has set

John McNeil was one of the very few senior Canadian business executives with a world view. During the last few decades of the twentieth century, most of our big-league CEOs were born in small-town Canada. They’d find their way to Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal, and then slog their way to the top. Not McNeil, who died February 26, at eighty-four. The former chairman and CEO of the Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada had grown up and lived in England, Africa and Scotland before emigrating to Canada. For McNeil, that broadband heritage was both a strength and a weakness. Because he was so strong-willed,...

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Chaos: the sequel

So, let’s get this straight. Patrick Brown has been thrown out of the Progressive Conservative caucus, will sit as an independent, but run for leader of his former party. Except for fringe candidate Tanya Granic Allen, the rest of the candidates don’t like the idea of him applying for his old job. Little wonder. The Toronto Star’s vote-on-line survey had him leading all declared candidates with more than 35 percent of the vote on Friday night at 9 p.m. For the Tories, to quote Yogi Berra, it’s deja vu all over again. As regular readers of this blog know all too well, I...

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Verdict shrugged

On no other occasion that I can recall has a Prime Minister of Canada met with the family of a victim when the accused had recently been found not guilty by a jury. Yet there was Justin Trudeau in his Parliament Hill office today embracing and consoling members of the Colten Boushie family. Not only is this unheard of, it is unconscionable. It may even be unconstitutional. Stephen Harper got into an imbroglio with Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, but that was nothing compared to this latest intervention by an elected leader into the judicial system. To be sure, everyone knew what the trial...

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Seizing the moment

With a race on for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, where a few days ago there wasn’t even a track on which to run, I choose Caroline Mulroney. So do others who could have offered such as Lisa Raitt and Rod Phillips. Interesting that for all the sudden chaos in the party, there are so many thoughtful people stepping into the breach. That’s a good sign for any organization. Let me quickly declare my conflict in supporting Caroline. At one time, she worked for my son at Wellington Financial (now CIBC Innovation Banking) and my grandson is a friend...

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Men overboard

In a #metoo measurement where Harvey Weinstein is a 10, Patrick Brown is a 1. But no matter the level of their past proclivities, the number of Canadian politicians who have fallen from grace because of alleged sexual misconduct has risen to three in recent days. They include Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Brown, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leader Jaimie Baillie, and federal Liberal Sports Minister Kent Hehr. In addition to the immediate repercussions, such news will have a lasting impact beyond getting men to clean up their act. It’s already hard enough to get good men to run for office. The comparison of past politicians...

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The long goodbyes

Is it just my imagination, or is every singer you ever heard of out on a farewell tour? Ozzy Osborne begins his in May and continues to 2020. Elton John’s starts in September and will go for three years at which point he says he wants to spend more time with his family. We’ve heard that excuse before but not usually from a gay man. Some farewell tours are celebratory. The Tragically Hip, for example, even with Gord Downie’s brain cancer. Others are gut-wrenching, like Glen Campbell with Alzheimer’s, forever captured in the documentary, “I’ll be me.” Was the family really interested in...

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Put a lid on it

So the City of Toronto has dispatched snoopers to peer into our blue bins set out for pickup to see if we’ve included anything not able to be recycled. If they spot something, they tag the bin and leave an educational pamphlet. Second offence, the bin is not collected, the owner has to sort through and eliminate the wrongly deposited items. For repeat offenders, fines might be levied. The city says 26 percent of what’s in the bin shouldn’t be there. For every percentage point of garbage reduction, the city could save up to $1 million. On paper, recyclable of course, this makes eminent...

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