Yearly Archive: 2024

The dying of the light

The Globe and Mail has recently added a new feature, a half-page wanna-be-there story about some sunbaked resort, festive cruise, or guided tour so grand that it will turn you into one of those sought-after influencers. At the end of each massaged piece there’s always a reverent sentence, displayed in an italic font, that says something like: “The writer was a guest of Fantasy Farm but the Farm did not read or approve the story before publication.” Last Saturday there were two such articles in my morning paper, both on skiing in Japan, written by two different authors about two...

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Letter of the law

I took a guided tour of of the Ontario Legislature this week. I’d previously sat in the visitors gallery and once attended a reception on a lower floor, so decided it was time to see the full panoply.  Opened in 1893, the main floor, legislative chamber, and vast hallways are magnificent in oak. There are skylights, green and gold trim everywhere, and carvings above the doorways. The Mace, symbol of the Speaker, is displayed in a glass case for all to see up close because the legislature is not sitting. Crafted in 1867 it was regilded recently with two diamonds...

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Chapter and verse

Fall and Christmas are the seasons for new books. As an author myself, I admire and appreciate the effort that goes into researching and writing a book. Here are brief reviews of three recent books that I enjoyed. The Duel: Diefenbaker, Pearson and the Making of the Modern Canada. The thing that bothers me most about John Ibbitson’s book is that Pearson and Diefenbaker – warts and all – are far more interested in the welfare of Canadians than today’s leaders. Dief’s populism overshadows Pierre Poilievre’s poor attempts to align himself with voters. Pearson’s fertile brain makes Justin Trudeau look...

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Dance of the dialectic

After finishing second in the Iowa caucuses, Ron DeSantis decided he would depart the Republican presidential race, saying he was “suspending” his campaign. At first, I thought the verb he used was a weasel word that would allow him to reactivate his run. Then I realized that he was just going with the flow in public pronouncements by using a euphemism.  A similar subterfuge has infected the business world. When a chief executive officer leaves abruptly, he’s said to be “stepping aside.” Is he still on the executive floor and attending important meetings? I think not. But it’s better to...

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Cry, the beloved country

I read in my morning newspaper that both Bell and Rogers are thinking about increasing monthly charges for wireless and Internet customers. Funnily enough, both companies were considering hikes of a similar amount. I’m not suggesting collusion –  Heaven forbid – but it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to conclude we have too few big media companies in Canada competing for customers. By contrast, in the U.S., Verizon is giving away iPhones with any trade-in in any condition. Rog/Bell will never make such an offer. Why? Because Canadians are complacent and compliant, not demanding or desiring. At this time of...

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Fearless forecast

Here are my top ten predictions for 2024.  1. Justin Trudeau will remain leader of the Liberal Party. Pierre Poilievre’s 10-point lead will evaporate. No election will be caused or called. 2. A recession as defined by two quarters of slow or no growth will occur. Previously compassionate Canadians will turn mean and blame immigrants for both the housing crisis and hard times. 3. The S&P/TSX Composite Index will fall 18 percent. 4. Donald Trump will win the U.S. presidential election. All hell will break loose. 5. Israel will reject international pleas for peace and continue to pursue Hamas even...

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