Monthly Archive: November 2020

Death and indifference

Have we all become inured to deaths caused by Covid-19? Every day the front page of our newspapers and the top of the broadcast news highlight the number of new cases and the mounting death toll. Odious comparisons are made with other jurisdictions; pundits talk about deaths per one hundred thousand; words such circuit-breaker and lockdown take on new meanings. Obituaries cite Covid as the cause of death. But, the problem is that there is no means of grieving. Funeral services will be held at some future, unspecified, date. There’s havoc being wreaked in long-term care facilities where those who die in...

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Make haste slowly

The just-released memoir by former Bank of Montreal CEO Tony Comper is an unusual achievement. To the best of my knowledge, no other Big Five Bank CEO in the modern era has published a memoir. In “Personal Account,” Comper writes that he didn’t want to follow the usual “when I was three” chronological rendition. Instead, he picked out twenty-five incidents in his business life that demonstrate qualities of leadership or character. Among them is his explanation how he went into banking rather than join the priesthood or become a professor teaching Chaucer. With help from Calgary-based ghostwriter Bruce Dowbiggin, Comper...

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Ups and downs

My morning paper delivers good news and bad. Today’s edition contained a legal notice under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). CCAA is the last gasp of a firm that has become insolvent. Justice James Farley, who reigned from the insolvency bench and has now retired to arbitration work, delighted in pronouncing CCAA as “caw.” Farley had other jokes, too, that always made the lawyers who appeared before him laugh uproariously. He liked to hear their laughter; they hoped it would improve their cause. The legal notice was for Sears Canada Inc. and was aimed at unsecured creditors, the last in...

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