Monthly Archive: October 2017

Conflicts and character

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is exactly the sort of person who should be in Parliament. He’s a successful and well-educated business leader with an INSEAD MBA and a master’s from the London School of Economics. He’s worth millions and in his fifties could take the time to run for office. Morneau is also a member of the lucky sperm club. He joined the actuarial firm founded by his father and eventually became CEO of Morneau, Shepell. Until very recently, Morneau had made no mistakes and was a star in Ottawa. Last week, you could see how far he’d fallen when a reporter’s questions about Morneau’s financial affairs...

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Walking the line

During the 1950s and 60s in my hometown of Guelph, Ont., you made your own fun. There were no touring orchestras or theatrical groups, just the local light opera company doing The Gondoliers or the little theatre presenting The Importance of Being Earnest. The boffo offering was always the annual minstrel show by the Kiwanis Club with a row of ten men called names like Rastus and Bones who sat on the high school auditorium stage telling cornball jokes and singing. The highlight was “Old Man River” crooned by the owner of Kelly’s Music store. They all wore white gloves and blackface until the civil rights movement was launched in the...

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Things to give thanks for

Every day that dawns. The Harvest Moon this past week. The fact that Monarch butterflies, blue jays and crows are making a comeback in Toronto. Lots of laughter. Curiosity. A civil society with few guns. Yoga. Any book about LBJ or Winston Churchill. The lyricism of A Shropshire Lad by A. E. Housman. The authority of the New Yorker and the quirkiness of the London Review of Books. Reading The Great Gatsby or The World According to Garp every few years.  My daily giornata. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Church bells and familiar hymns. Crisp McIntosh apples. Cranberry sauce. Butter tarts from The Bakery in Flesherton....

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