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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Fearless forecast

It’s time for my annual forecast of events, both political and economic, in the coming year. The S&P/TSX 60 Index will finish the year down 15 percent. The Canadian dollar, now sitting just over US80 cents, will rise two cents then edge back down again, ending the year at US78 cents. Patrick Brown will become the 26th premier of Ontario in the June election. Oil from Canada will continue to sell at a deep discount compared to strengthening world prices. The U.S., now a net exporter, no longer wants our product and all our ambitious proposals for new pipelines to the Atlantic or Pacific...

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The year that was

A lot has happened in 2017. Earlier this year, Barack Obama was president of the United States. Here’s my top ten list of memorable events. Best TV series: The Crown. The celebrity I miss the most: David Letterman. Worst thing that did not happen: Nuclear war with North Korea. Best thing that did happen: Recently learned about 75 boxes of files helpful for my current book project. Best day: Boat trip under sunny skies skippered by Aeneas to Little Fogo Island, Newfoundland, amid Northern Gannett, Atlantic Puffin and Razorbills along with cod hauled up from the deep. Best Book: Hero of the Empire,...

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