Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R17

On the mark

Mark Medley's 5 favourite books of the year

All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews (Knopf Canada) A harrowing but ultimately uplifting examination of family, suffering, creativity and forgiveness, this beautiful and wise novel chronicles two middleage sisters, one of whom wants nothing more than to end her life. This is Toews best book to date, which is really saying something. A marvel.

Sweetland, by Michael Crummey (Doubleday Canada) A novel that seems rather simple on its surface - an elderly man refuses to leave the small Newfoundland island where he has lived the majority of his life - surprises in its depth. It is also wonderfully creepy.

This One Summer, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood) A thoughtful and touching graphic novel about a young girl growing up while her family breaks down during one fateful summer at the family cottage. A remarkable portrait of adolescence and friendship. There might not be a better partnership in all of Canadian literature than that of these two cousins.

Will Starling, by Ian Weir (Goose Lane Editions) This Frankenstein-inspired sophomore novel, narrated by a headstrong and haunted young surgeon's assistant, takes place in a gloomy 19th-century London where the dead have picked up the nasty habit of coming back to life. Few writers in Canada can spin a better yarn than Weir. Bonus: Will Starling features what is perhaps the best ending of the year.

For Tamara, by Sarah Lang (Anansi) A quiet, chilling prose poem in the form of a letter from a mother to her young daughter on how to survive in a post-apocalyptic America. The genre has been done to death, but, among the ruins, Lang finds something new.

The famous five

Lisan Jutras's 5 favourite books of the year

The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, by Meghan Daum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Daum's collection of personal essays kicks off with a devastatingly good piece about her fraught relationship with her mother - one of the hardest things a human can write about. Her authorial voice rings sharply true (and funny) throughout the entire book.

10:04, by Ben Lerner (McClelland & Stewart) A beautiful, complicated novel about possible futures in the time of global catastrophe. Like a poem, it courts us, asking to be read and re-read endlessly, admired and considered from multiple angles.

Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation, by Laura Kipnis (Metropolitan) No contemporary cultural critic is as self-questioning, incisive and hilarious as Kipnis, who has devoted a whole book to her fascination with scumballs. A riveting and provocative read that annoys and illuminates, equally.

Can't and Won't, by Lydia Davis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Davis is wholly unique. A vast selection of tiny stories, some no more than a few lines long, all of them performing the alchemy of turning the everyday into quietly arresting, often wry, art.

Every Day Is for the Thief, by Teju Cole (Random House) In deliberate, un-showy prose, Cole, a writer whose aperture is always wide open, gives us the story of a Nigerian ex-pat returning home. A subdued mapping of Lagos's contradictions and troubles.

Not so bland

Jared Bland's 5 favourite books of the year

My Life in Middlemarch, by Rebecca Mead (Bond Street Books) An ode to George Eliot's masterpiece, Mead's book is a profound, funny and moving blend of travelogue, memoir and literary criticism that stands as testament to and embodiment of the power of art to change our lives.

Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi (Hamish Hamilton Canada) Oyeyemi's unsettling contemporary fable about race and power in mid-century America features some of the year's most accomplished prose. The jagged and beautiful writing in the book's first section, in particular, is unforgettable.

The Southern Reach Trilogy, by Jeff Vandermeer (HarperCollins) Three books about a mysterious district known as Area X, where something terrible has happened, and we're not quite sure what. Almost impossible to describe, but worth your time: they're haunting, discomfiting and endlessly redeable.

Neverhome, by Laird Hunt (Little, Brown) The story of a woman who passes as a man to fight in the Civil War, Hunt's novel is a meditation on sacrifice, commitment and loss. The battle scenes are remarkable - somehow enormous and intimate at the same time.

The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (Knopf Canada) No writer alive seems to be having as much fun as Mitchell, who leaps between decades and points of view with seeming effortlessness in this, the story of one Holly Sykes, as told by her and those who know her.


Our 5 favourite debuts of the year

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection, by Michael Harris (HarperCollins) The winner of the Governor-General's Award for Non-Fiction, Harris grapples with the meaning of connection and the digital shift in our rapidly changing culture.

Us Conductors, by Sean Michaels (Random House Canada) And what a debut. Michaels took home the Scotiabank Giller Prize for this continent-spanning historical epic about the rise and fall of real-life Russian inventor Lev Termen and his one true love.

Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books) An old-fashioned collection of illustrated ghost stories that should appeal to both children and adults. Just don't read it alone, late at night.

Know The Night: A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours, by Maria Mutch (Knopf Canada) Mutch, the mother of an autistic boy whose language slowly leaves him, finds solace in the tales of Arctic explorers, whose deprivations mirror her own in ways personal and metaphorical.

A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy, by Sarah Lazarovic (Penguin) Lazarovic, known for pithy artwork that comments on contemporary culture, takes her own relationship with consumerism as a subject. Funny, clever and beautifully illustrated.

The perfect crimes

Margaret Cannon's 5 favourite crime novels of the year

A Siege of Bitterns, by Steve Burrows (Dundurn) The debut of a major new Canadian talent. His Inspector Jejeune would rather birdwatch than solve crimes in the UK.

After I'm Gone, by Laura Lippman (William Morrow) The genius of Baltimore does it again with a psychological study of a family and a crime over 50 years old.

The Fever, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown) Teenagers, sex, lust, and guilt. Abbott's examination of the shallow world or modern kids left me stunned.

The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny (Minotaur) Armand Gamache retains all his charm and wit as Penny's plots develop depth and darkness. This is the best of the series so far.

Missing You, by Harlan Coben (Dutton) A New York detective goes on a dating website and finds her exfiancé in a search. There's still a connection and that leads to conspiracy and murder.

Oh Canada

Our favourite Canadian fiction of the year

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (HarperCollins). Pivoting on a flu epidemic, this sometimes post-apocalyptic novel braids together two narratives into a masterfully deep and suspenseful read.

The Troop, by Nick Cutter (Gallery) A group of young boys camp on a remote island where the only other inhabitant is a disease-ravaged man who is very, very hungry. Scary and smart.

The Betrayers, by David Bezmozgis (HarperCollins) A taut, intelligent novel about a disgraced politician who unexpectedly comes face-to-face with the man who, decades prior, betrayed him to the KGB. Bezmozgis is for real.

Chez l'arabe, by Mireille Silcoff (Anansi) Silcoff's collection of closely observed stories describe circumscribed lives, perhaps an unintentional result of the author's state - immobilized by a medical condition, she wrote them while lying down, in teeny increments.

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, by Heather O'Neill (HarperCollins) A big-hearted and nostalgic love letter to 1990s Montreal told through the eyes of a teenage girl wise beyond her years and her troubled twin brother.

All Saints, by KD Miller (Biblioasis) A sharp, engaging interconnected collection of stories revolving around an Anglican church in danger of closing. Miller, once called "Canada's greatest unknown writer," deserves to be known by all.

Pastoral, by André Alexis (Coach House) A priest arrives in smalltown Ontario and is ensnared in gossip. The book is evocative of place without dipping into sentimentality.

Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart) Atwood celebrated her 75th birthday this past Tuesday. Stone Mattress, a sometimes bizarre, often mischievous, always riveting collection of short stories, makes a forceful argument she's only getting better with age.

Adult Onset, by Ann-Marie MacDonald (Knopf Canada) A woman tries to survive a week alone with her two children and the psychic effects of a lingering childhood trauma in this brave and perceptive rumination on parents and parenthood.

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, by Tom Rachman (Doubleday Canada) A time-shifting, continent-hopping, character-driven literary mystery about a bookseller's investigation into her peculiar childhood.

Reality bites

Our favourite Canadian non-fiction of the year

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, by Naomi Klein (Knopf Canada) One of Canada's biggest voices has done it again. The author of No Logo has brought us a new defining tome, this one tackling the issue of how capitalism drives environmental degradation.

Rise To Greatness: The History of Canada from the Vikings to the Present, by Conrad Black (McClelland & Stewart) This centuries-spanning, 1100-page chronicle of our nation doesn't get everything right, but a project this audacious cannot be ignored.

Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic, by James Raffan (HarperCollins) Raffan throws some light on latitude 66.5, the Arctic Circle, as he circumnavigates it over four years, reporting on the people who call it home - a home that is threatened by climate change and cultural imperialism.

The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement, edited by the Kino-nda-niimi Collective (Arbeiter Ring) More than 75 contributors offer poetry, essays and artwork that touches on the topic of Idle No More. Wide-ranging, and echoing the voices of a diverse population united in frustration.

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, by Astra Taylor (Random House Canada) When we use social media, we are often unwittingly making the rich richer, points out Taylor in her book, a wake-up call for the internet-hypnotized.

Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos, by Jonah Keri (Random House Canada) The definitive account of one of the most entertaining - and heartbreaking - sports teams to ever play in Canada. There will likely never be a better book about the Expos.

The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue, by David Sax (McClelland & Stewart) Sax investigates the forces behind food trends - from superfoods like açai to novelties like the cronut - in this entertaining, well-reported book.

Into the Slender Margin: The Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying, by Eve Joseph (HarperCollins) Joseph applies herself to studying how we die in this warm, honest, fluidly ranging and occasionally deadpan work that combines facts, poetry, history, mythology and memoir.

Into The Blizzard: Waking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead, by Michael Winter (Doubleday Canada) One of our best storytellers, Winter ruminates on the First World War, and his own life, as he retraces the steps of the Newfoundland Regiment.

Between Gods, by Alison Pick (Doubleday Canada) Pick writes about the confluence of her depression and her discovery of her family's Jewish heritage in a deeply felt and beautifully written memoir.

Small but mighty

Jade Colbert's 5 favourite small press books of the year

One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery, by Karyn L. Freedman (Freehand) Philosopher Freedman's forthright, deep analysis of her path to recovery after her harrowing rape at age 22. Vital reading for addressing the aftermath of sexual violence and challenging rape culture.

Polyamorous Love Song, by Jacob Wren (BookThug) An experimental novel with interests as multiple as its title suggests: art, anarchy, freedom, but most particularly, the power of dreams. Dark yet hopeful and unabashedly avant-garde.

The Pull of the Moon, by Julie Paul (Brindle & Glass) The characters in these stories are all pulled by some force outside their control. Subtle and funny, Paul shows a rare talent for quick characterization and making real the surreal.

The Search for Heinrich Schlögel, by Martha Baillie (Pedlar) A highly original novel in the form of biography. Pieced together from artifacts of (fictional) Heinrich Schlögel's life, one starts to wonder: how much is the archivist's own invention?

She of the Mountains, by Vivek Shraya (Arsenal Pulp Press) A bisexual love story weaves with Hindu mythology in this illustrated novel (illustrations by Raymond Biesinger) about learning to love one's true self regardless of categories placed from outside. A cathartic tale simply told.

Rhyme and reason

Our favourite poetry collections of the year

On Malice, by Ken Babstock (Coach House) The most accomplished book by Canada's most accomplished younger poet, On Malice is a collection for the age of surveillance and confusion, at times chilling, at times unknowable, but ultimately profound in its brittle beauty.

Faithful and Virtuous Night, by Louise Gluck (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) A career-highlight book from a poet whose career has been all highlights, this imagines a countryside space in which its action is set, allowing Gluck a consistent canvas on which to render her miraculous poems of precision and emotion.

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf) A book-length poem about race, racism and America, Citizen draws broadly on the culture - both literary tradition and pop moments - to create an argument about the nature of individuality in a collective society. One of the most important books of the year.

The Quiet, by Anne-Marie Turza (Anansi) The year's best Canadian debut, The Quiet is a book of wonders, packed with unforgettable images and moments of eerie stillness. It shows us a world that is terrifying and beautiful and somehow unknowable.

The Road to Emmaus, by Spencer Reece (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Reece, a priest by training and trade, offers a book that will be remembered for its several long poems, packed with moral complexity, vivid characters and scenes of deep contemplation. But its short lyrics are equally impressive.

Visual art

Sean Rogers's 5 favourite comics/ graphic novels of the year

How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics) Davis's brightly coloured, melancholic short stories catalogue different approaches to the form - here a science fiction tale, there a glimpse of suburban young love - all featuring lost souls desperate for happiness.

Ant Colony, by Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly) The Toronto cartoonist's first full-length graphic novel follows a clutch of misfit ants, trying to maintain some semblance of civilization in the shadow of war. Psychedelically gorgeous, uncomfortably funny.

The Love Bunglers, by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics) The culmination of an achingly long will-they/won't-they relationship between Hernandez's signature characters, Hopey and Ray, this is a perfectly drawn, decades-spanning masterpiece by comics' most unblinking and clear-eyed romantic.

Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, by Tove Jansson (Drawn & Quarterly) Sixty years after their original serialization - and to celebrate Jansson's centenary - the fanciful comic strip frolics of the hippo-like Moomins are collected together in one volume, handsome and big enough to hug.

Polina, by Bastien Vivès (Jonathan Cape) Tracking the progress of a Russian dancer from her youthful classical training to her mature artistic awakening, Vivès slashes brushwork across each page with determined, balletic grace.

Border crossings

Our favourite international fiction of the year

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, by Eimear McBride (Simon & Schuster Canada). It was nine years before a publisher took a chance on this fragmentary, powerful, Joycean novel of a girl and her dying brother - and it went on to win the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Bark, by Lorrie Moore (Bond Street Books) Moore has a way of crafting heartbreak out of dry wit and poised, intelligent turns of phrase. Bark's stories underscore the pathos of human relationships.

All Our Names, by Dinaw Mengestu (Bond Street Books) A love story told in alternating points-ofview, it's also a tale of the ravages of war in Uganda and the segregation of middle America. Complicated and intimate.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown) A novel that is at once invested in the absurd and the banal, the spiritual and the secular, positivity and nihilism. Involves a dentist with a mistrust of the internet and a mysterious quasi-religious group called the Ulms. You know.

Friendship, by Emily Gould (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) A very now, very New York story of what it means to be female friends in the age of the Internet. At once frothy and honest.

The Magician's Land, by Lev Grossman (Viking) A bravura conclusion to Grossman's trilogy about a gang of young magicians making their way in the world(s) and a fitting farewell to Fillory.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions). The third book in the Neapolitan series by a mysterious Italian author who can be likened to a more ascerbic, bloody Alice Munro telling the tale of a deeply ambivalent friendship.

Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin (McClelland & Stewart). A masterfully restrained story of a widow in small-town Ireland and her four children. It touches on The Troubles, but obliquely: mostly it's a humane portrait of someone learning to live.

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson (HarperCollins). In a deeply feeling novel that takes place in Gilead, where Robinson has set previous novels, the rough-raised Lila, is tested by her love of Ames, a preacher. What is stronger, the urge to flee or the love that instils the urge?

Boyhood Island, by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Harvill Secker) In the third volume of his epic sixpart life cycle, My Struggle, Knausgaard reflects on a childhood living in the south of Norway: school, first crushes, swimming practice. It might sound dull but, trust us, believe the hype.

Yes, please

Our favourite international non-fiction of the year

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking), by Christian Rudder (Random House Canada) After crunching data gleaned from OKCupid, Rudder presents us with a number of surprising facts about ourselves that are sometimes surprising, sometimes disturbing, sometimes funny.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt) Through utterly compelling reporting Kolbert, one of the world's finest writers on environmental issues both small and large, compels us to consider how we are contributing to a sixth extinction and total ecological collapse.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned," by Lena Dunham (Doubleday Canada) Dunham needs no introduction. In addition to her show, Girls, she has written essays for the New Yorker, and now this tome in which she speaks of her life with the usual candour and hilarity.

No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, by Glenn Greenwald (Signal) Through the story of whistleblower Snowden, Greenwald reveals the extent of the government's reach into our socalled private lives - and how we may be complying without even knowing we are.

Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay (Harper Perennial) Gay's beautiful, honest and often hilarious essays tell us we cannot proceed with change if we hold ourselves to a higher standard than anyone is capable of. Only by loosening up can we move forward.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande (Doubleday Canada) Gawande is not only a surgeon but a New Yorker writer whose important latest book looks at how we choose to live when we understand the ending is nigh.

What We See When We Read, by Peter Mendelsund (Vintage) The visually voracious book designer Mendelsund presents us with an art-studded, whimsical book that provokes us to think about how we see the characters we read about.

Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, by John Branch (HarperCollins) An exhaustively reported and skillfully written investigation into the life of a hocker fighter who made a living not by scoring goals, but fighting.

An important book.

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler (HarperCollins) Actress Poehler isn't just funny on camera - she proves here that her wit translates into print. She's frank and touching about fighting for success as a woman in Hollywood, while remaining thoroughly quotable throughout.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty (Belknap Press) Piketty, Piketty, Piketty! The French economist with the funnest name has written a surprising bestseller: A critique of our current model of capitalism. His more-taxes mantra, combined with the urgency felt from Occupy, makes it a timely, crucial read.

Kidding around

Frida, Phoenix and Andrew Kaufman's 5 favourite picture books of the year

The Mermaid and the Shoe, by K.G. Campbell (Kids Can Press) This is the story of a mermaid who finds a red shoe, then finds herself while trying to figure out what exactly a "shoe" is for. The writing and illustrations somehow manage to convey both an old-fashioned fairy-tale quality and a contemporary edge. Our favorite book of the year (and maybe for years to come).

A Pond Full of Ink, by Annie M.G. Schmidt, illustrated by Sieb Posthuma (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) Poetry receives so little attention these days that it's getting hard to find quality stuff even in the picture book world. But A Pond Full of Ink may be everything you need. These are poems about such glorious subjects as a naughty girl's plans for her day and everything that your furniture gets up to when you're not around. Fun with just a dash of sinister.

Any Questions, by Marie-Louise Gay (Groundwood) Gay is best known as the creator of Stella and Sam but her particular genius goes far beyond those two characters. The subject of this book is nothing less than how a story is created. Not nearly as post-modern as it sounds, Any Questions gave Phoenix and Frida not only the know-how to make up their own stories, their way, but the permission.

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Candlewick) Sam and Dave are like all of us - while searching for one thing, they accidentally find something else equally good, if not even a little better. The beauty of this story is that it articulates something kids seem to intuitively know, but can't really explain with language. The way that Klassen's illustrations tell as much of the story as Barnett's words is absolutely brilliant.

Superfab Saves the Day, by Jean Leroy and Bérengère Delaporte (Owlkids) This silly story about a superhero bunny whose love of fashion gets in the way of his desire to fight crime remains on our weekly reads pile. The (somewhat) moralistic message about self-identity never overpowers what is ultimately a fun, goofy tale. Can you tell it's from France?

Young love

Lauren Bride's 5 favourite middle grade/young adult books of the year

The ACB with Honora Lee, by Kate De Goldi (Tundra) Wholly unique in voice, and warmly hilarious, this story of a granddaughter making a book with her grandmother and her co-habitants in their long-term care home is a diamond.

No One Else Can Have You, by Kathleen Hale (HarperCollins) A book about a smart girl written by an even smarter one; weird, wonderful, and creepy. Like Twin Peaks if it made logical sense, and featured a teenage heroine, set in a small town that fills up a whole world.

Outside In, by Sarah Ellis (Groundwood) Ellis is a master; carefully crafted stories about the subtle hardships of growing up are her specialty. A mother-daughter relationship, and a peculiar friendship highlighted by a particularly peculiar family. A surprising dab of the apocalypse through the eyes of a young girl, Outside In is refreshing and warm.

The Boundless, Kenneth Oppel (Harper Trophy) Oppel makes a trip on the newly-lain Trans-Canada railway a terrific adventure with a travelling circus, real villains and disappearing acts, at a steam-engine's pace. Maybe one of the most thrilling books about historical Canada, period.

Awful Auntie, by David Walliams (HarperCollins) When Stella's parents are suddenly killed, she is shipped off to live with her Aunt Alberta, who is, surprise, awful.

Walliams has emerged to be more than the heir to Roald Dahl's delightfully demented world. Warm, humane books with massive doses of silliness and fun.

Our bad!

Our favourite books of the year that we didn't review

Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, by Robyn Doolittle (Viking Canada) The book hardly needs an introduction - as a country, we have been collectively held hostage by the antics of Toronto's mayor and his family. Muckraker Doolittle doing what she does best.

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, by Hector Tobar (HarperCollins) Meticulously researched and utterly gripping, this account takes us deep into the earth, where we live, breathe and sweat with the miners who almost didn't make it to the surface.

The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamison (Graywolf) Women essayists are killing it this year. "I'm tired of female pain, and tired of people who are tired of it," Jamison writes. Still, she goes amazing places in this wonderful, intimate book on the subject.

On Immunity: An Innoculation, by Eula Biss (Graywolf) Biss, a new mother, writes to find her way out of the thicket of contradictory and troubling information she hears on vaccines. A level-headed combination of memoir and cultural criticism.

Women In Clothes, edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton (Blue Rider) An exhaustive, wildly creative crowdsourced mix of interviews, poems, journal entries, sketches and more on what we mean by what we wear.

The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure, by Shawn Micallef (Coach House) Micallef, from Toronto by way of Windsor, uses the ritual of brunch as a jumping-off point for a sometimes surprising, always digestible discussion of class.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (Knopf) A Tasmanian writer won the Man Booker Prize for this story of Australian POWs during the Second World War. A visceral portrayal of the horrors of battle, it asks us tough questions about forgiveness.

Family Life, by Akhil Sharma (W.W. Norton) This semi-autobiographical novel explores a family dealing with the aftermath of a devastating accident. Beautiful and tragic.

The Bleaks, by Paul Illidge (ECW) An infuriating, funny, depressing, and moving memoir of one man's Kafka-esque journey through Canada's criminal justice system.

Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia, by Emmanuel Carrère (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) A complicated look at a complicated man who rose from punk Soviet dissident to socialite to running the National Bolshevik Party. Julian Barnes likens it to Paul Theroux's book on V.S Naipaul - a story of thwarted love more than anything else.

Associated Graphic

Michael DeForge's Ant Colony: Remarkable imagery and unsettling stories.

In Sam & Dave Dig A Hole, Jon Klassen's illustrations tell as much of the story as Mac Barnett's words.

Forgotten, but not gone
After decades of neglect, Canadian victims of the 'wonder' drug are seeking justice as they live with the fallout from one of the worst health scandals in history. Will anybody listen?
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F1

Johanne Hébert survives an ordinary day at home through a series of acrobatic acts. She opens drawers with her toes. She brushes her blond hair by leaning over and running it through a hairbrush screwed into the wall. To take off her dress, she grabs the front of it in her teeth, and jerks her head backward in a swift motion.

Ms. Hébert performs these everyday feats because she was born without arms. The hands that come out from just below her shoulders are gnarled and twisted, ending in three fingers on one, two fingers on the other. A quiet-spoken grandmother, she lives inside a disabled body that is in constant - and increasing - pain.

"It's very tough to be suffering," Ms. Hébert, 52, says in her Montreal apartment. "I try not to show it too much."

Ms. Hébert is a victim of the drug thalidomide. One day in 1962, her pregnant mother took a single pill because she felt nauseous. The doctor told her it was safe. The drug manufacturer said it was safe. The Canadian government okayed it as safe. Thalidomide was not safe.

The "miracle" drug for insomnia and morning sickness was a hidden time bomb that worked its devastation in the womb. Children entered the world with flipper-like hands coming out of their shoulders. Others were born deaf, without legs, or with damage to their spines and hearts. Many more died, or were rejected by their parents.

"When I was born, my mother thought I was the Devil," says Judith Pilote, who lives in Quebec's Saguenay region, and was born without arms and legs. "She said she wanted to throw me in the garbage."

The thalidomide scandal caused a furor in Canada in the early sixties, shocking a nation that trusted in the safety of medications and the federal gatekeepers who were supposed to screen them. The story has been largely forgotten, but its victims have never escaped it.

Now almost all in their early 50s, many are exhausted and in pain, unable to work, and struggling to get by.

They are turning to Ottawa for help, launching what is expected to be an uphill battle. A detailed proposal submitted by thalidomide victims to the Stephen Harper government seeks a federal "survivor fund" to cover their growing medical and care needs.

They argue that Ottawa sanctioned a drug that proved disastrous, failed to withdraw it for months after evidence of its dangers emerged, and still carries a moral responsibility to its victims. "They destroyed so many lives," says Mercédes Benegbi, who heads the Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada.

"They have to at least ensure that we can survive and age with dignity."

Ms. Benegbi's group submitted its proposal to Health Minister Rona Ambrose in September but received no response to it. Contacted by The Globe and Mail this week, the Minister's office declined to comment on Canada's thalidomide survivors or the association's funding request, instead extolling the country's record on drug-safety regulations.

Canada as a global outlier

The association says that Canada's 95 recognized victims face a health crisis. The number of survivors is shrinking - two have died this year alone; others have passed away silently over the years - and those who remain confront a future clouded by the drug's legacy. After a lifetime of perseverance to cope with their disabilities - typing with their toes, washing dishes with their feet, working to earn a living on stunted limbs - their bodies are giving out under the strain. "We had the fight in us," says Lianne Powell, a 52-year-old thalidomide survivor in London, Ont., born with one leg, one lung and one kidney. "But I am done fighting. I don't have an ounce of energy left."

Interviews with 19 thalidomide victims and family members from British Columbia to the Maritimes help shed a light on a group of people who quietly struggled to be independent through their adult years, often raising families and holding down jobs as they coped with their disabilities with determination and resolve.

But at middle age, many find that their pain is winning the battle over their resilience. "I always saw my handicap as a wall I could get around," says Quebecker Nelson Emond, who, despite missing most of both legs and relying on prosthetics, worked at jobs ranging from gas jockey to production-line employee at Bombardier. "Now I see it as a wall I can't get over."

His decline began slowly. A few years ago, Mr. Emond started losing his balance. Walking became a Herculean task. He swallowed his pride and started using a cane in winter. Then, last year, he had his groceries delivered for the first time because he could no longer muster the strength to walk up and down supermarket aisles; one more piece of his prized independence crumbled.

"What's going to happen when I'm not able to work any more?" he asks over the phone from his apartment in La Pocatière, northeast of Quebec City. "We have nothing to fall back on."

Canada is becoming a global outlier in its treatment of thalidomide victims like Mr. Emond. The drug was launched by German company Chemie Grünenthal in 1957 as a "safe" sedative that was ideal for expectant mothers. By the time thalidomide was yanked off the market, it had created an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 damaged babies worldwide.

Today, countries with significant numbers of thalidomide victims have stepped forward with long-term support. In Britain, nearly 470 people get annual payments from both the British government and the successor of the drug's distributor, totalling an average of more than $88,000 per victim per year. The German government gives its 2,700 survivors pensions that can reach more than $110,000 a year.

Ottawa gave Canadian victims one-time payouts ranging between $52,000 and $82,000 a person, depending on their degree of disability. The victims call it a pittance.

"Canada is the worst-off group of survivors that we have heard of, by far," says Martin Johnson, who retired in May after heading Britain's Thalidomide Trust for 14 years. Mr. Johnson tracks the status of thalidomide victims around the world, from Sweden to Japan, Brazil to Australia. "In Canada, it's a double whammy," he says, "because neither is there a company supporting a scheme, nor is the government."

'Take it or leave it'

In the decades following the scandal, some Canadian victims reached confidential out-of-court settlements with RichardsonMerrell Inc., the distributor of thalidomide in Canada. Some families fared better than others, but the sums pale compared with the multimillion-dollar damages awarded in lawsuits against drug companies today. Families like Mr. Emond's got as little as $10,000.

Meanwhile, the Canadian victims' health woes are well-documented, their suffering written in grim statistics.

Four in five have witnessed a spike in muscle pain, and threequarters say their health is declining, according to a survey by the association. Standing up for extended periods can cause extreme pain. Nearly one in four cannot care for their own hair. Just under half rely on friends and family for their needs.

The problems mirror those of thalidomide sufferers worldwide.

"People are losing the use of the deformed limbs that they've relied on their whole life," Mr. Johnson says, over the phone from England. "They're deteriorating badly. They're going down faster than people had anticipated, and they need more support. The cost of remaining independent is skyrocketing."

Finances contribute to their worries. In the survey by the Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada, one in five said they no longer get a penny in compensation from either the drug's distributor or the federal government. Among those who do, payouts are not enough to live on: Mean net income from compensation is under $14,000 a year. Most said they needed to work to get by, despite their infirmities.

Yet fewer and fewer are able to. Paul and Peter Settle, twins born in Hamilton 52 years ago, grew up living by the motto that they could do anything an ablebodied person could do. As 15year-olds in 1978, they were jointly chosen as Ontario's Easter Seal Timmy, named for the disabled child in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol who displays an "indomitable spirit."

The twins still display that spirit. It's their bodies that have ceased to co-operate. "My body's wearing out. It's taken such a beating," says Paul.

Born with shortened arms and legs, Paul had to stop working as a library clerk at a high school this year because the job became too physically taxing. He used to wrestle, play trumpet and do stand-up comedy. Now, his pain has become so intense that it's keeping him from sleeping. "I'm having more bad days than I'm having good days," says Mr. Settle. "It's finally taken a toll on me."

His brother, born with shortened arms, and missing his right leg, worked for years at the War Amps offices in Toronto, but his health forced him to - reluctantly - leave the job. For most of the past five years, his life has been consumed by the basics of coping with pain. "It's excruciating, but I deal with it," says Peter, who lives in Milton, west of Toronto.

The boys' parents received the grand sum of $20,000 from the drug company in 1967 for the damage caused to both twins. "At the time, it was 'Take it or leave it'," their 82-year-old mother, Maxene, says from Hamilton.

"Now I think it's a disgrace."

Neither of the brothers can afford small comforts to make their days more tolerable. Peter wishes he could see a chiropractor or get a housekeeper. For Paul, tasks such as shaving or changing a light bulb have become ordeals, and his legs start to ache after he stands for more than five minutes. He has grown more dependent on his 23-year-old daughter and 18-yearold son, who lives with him. "I don't want to be his burden," Paul says. He wants to get back to work, and worries about the years ahead.

"All I'd like is decent compensation from Ottawa so I can survive, and pay my bills," he says.

"I'm trying to make my life as productive as I can. Ottawa is still responsible for our futures, and our futures are looking pretty grim."

Canada approved thalidomide in late 1960, and the drug went on sale in April, 1961. Evidence had already begun circulating of its possible health risks, yet the Canadian Food and Drug Directorate did not remove it from pharmacies. It wasn't until March, 1962 - three months after thalidomide was pulled off the market in Germany and Britain - that it was withdrawn from Canada.

"By placing an inadequately tested drug on the market and then failing to remove it immediately once its horrific side effects became clear, the agency and the distributor forever marred the lives of hundreds of victims and their loved ones," the Thalidomide Victims Association says in its report to the Harper government.

Pain, and poverty

Canada's failings are all the more glaring when compared with what unfolded in the United States.

There, a medical officer named Frances Kelsey - Canadian-born and educated, but working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - faced down the drug manufacturer and refused to approve thalidomide, insisting that the company's testing was incomplete. Her vigilance kept the drug off the market and shielded untold numbers of families from danger. Ms. Kelsey, now 100, was awarded the United States' highest civilian honour by John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Canada, one of the last countries to completely remove thalidomide from the market, has not apologized to this day. After a campaign by the War Amps in the 1980s, Ottawa agreed to its one-time compensation package.

Victims of the drug, then mostly in their late 20s, were starting families and careers; the money was sunk into such pressing needs as electric wheelchairs and adapted cars. And then it was gone.

"At that point, people were starving and wanted to get on with it. We felt it was the best we were going to do," says Paul Murphy, a thalidomide victim who lives north of Winnipeg, and was then the vice-president of the Victims Association. "We had no choice but to accept it. It was presented basically as, 'This is what you're getting.' "

Even at the time, victims sought long-term support for their health needs. Brian Forbes, who helped to obtain the 1991 settlement as legal counsel at the War Amps, viewed Ottawa's deal as a "first stage" that left the door open to further payouts.

"We didn't see this as a one-time settlement. We saw it as an initial stage of government fulfilling a responsibility," Mr. Forbes, chairman of the War Amps executive committee, said from Ottawa. "We were very much mindful that these victims were dealing with an unpredictable life - and maybe a decade later, or 25 years later, they would face further complications that would require further government involvement."

But Ottawa took exceptional steps to shield itself from future demands. Each victim who accepted the compensation money in 1991 was forced to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue the government "in respect to your being malformed by thalidomide."

Ottawa's conduct remains a sore point. "We're all going to be dead, and the government is going to be rubbing its hands and saying, 'We got away with it.

We don't have to pay for the tragedy we created in our own country,' "says Ms. Powell, of London.

Ms. Powell can no longer work: She was forced to give up her job in a call centre because sitting for extended periods was too painful. She relies on long-term disability payments from her former employer that will end when she turns 65.

Ms. Powell says she cannot afford medication to soothe her back pain or alleviate her asthma. She used to be able to walk with the aid of a crutch. Now she cannot make it around the park.

"I feel like I'm living waiting to die. I just feel I'm holding onto anything I have, financially. You push and push and push yourself. You're so fed up with pushing yourself."

Montreal's Ms. Hébert, who grew up in rural Quebec, used to bicycle, play badminton and cross-country ski. Now she can no longer put on her own socks.

She spends hours each day lying on her couch, trying to alleviate the pain in her lower back and hips. Six times a day, she goes into the bathroom to inject a narcotic painkiller into one thigh, using her teeth to grip the syringe's plunger and push down. Ms. Hébert, who lives in a 31/2-room apartment, dreams about having a caregiver come in to help with meals and housekeeping. She cannot afford one.

"When I was young, I was able to get dressed myself. Not any more," she says.

A ministerial sidestep

Then there is the psychological toll of living with physical deformities that caused such public horror. ("Your dark/Amputations crawl and appall," wrote Sylvia Plath, in her 1962 poem Thalidomide.) Thalidomide victims in Canada are thinly strung out across the country, the vast majority concentrated in Quebec and Ontario. They remain rare enough in number that they still stand out.

"One important aspect that Thalidomiders are reluctant to talk about is their mental health," Gavin Bamber, a 51-yearold from North Vancouver, said in an e-mail that he typed with his toes. "While it is embarrassing to need physical help from others and to suffer from physical ailments, it can be excruciating to deal with the psychological devastation of being not only disabled, but disabled in a manner that is fairly unique ... we Thalidomiders have had to endure an extra level of being stared at." The "psychological stress" can be daunting, he says.

"People can be generous in their aid, but there is no quick fix for my thoughts, my emotional burden."

Nor is the impact of thalidomide confined to the deformed babies it produced. Parents shouldered the financial and emotional weight of caring for disabled children and were often relegated to lifetimes of guilt, even though they were blameless.

In 1968, a B.C. mother named Joan Niblock wrote a magazine article about her young daughter, Alexandra, born with truncated arms after Ms. Niblock took thalidomide as a sleeping pill. "It will always haunt me, that for a few hours of sleep I had bartered my baby's arms," she wrote. Never emerging from the shadow of guilt that dominated her life, Ms. Niblock died in 2005.

"My mother never forgave herself; she went to her grave feeling guilty," Alexandra Niblock said from her home in Chilliwack, B.C. Ms. Niblock, 52, says her mother had a nervous breakdown after giving birth to her.

Altering Alexandra's clothes by shortening the sleeves became a source of anguish. "She felt she was cutting my arms off each time," Alexandra says. "She never got over that."

The Thalidomide Association's funding proposal, which would start with a three-year pilot project, seeks a lump-sum payment plus annual support averaging $100,000 per person a year. The fund would be run by an independent board, and the size of payouts would depend on victims' level of disability.

So far, the funding request to the Conservative government has been met with silence. The Thalidomide Victims Association has been trying unsuccessfully to get a meeting with the health minister, Ms. Ambrose, since March.

Asked for comment by The Globe about the group's request, Ms. Ambrose's office did not address it. Instead, it vaunted Canada's record on drug oversight, even acknowledging it came thanks to the thalidomide tragedy. "The thalidomide experience caused Health Canada to overhaul the Canadian drug-regulatory framework," her office said in a statement. "As a result, Canada has one of the safest and most rigorous drug-approval systems in the world.

Yet there was no acknowledgment that the very children whose birth prompted the overhaul continue to pay for the fiasco, every day of their lives.

The victims' campaign revives a tragedy that has begun to fade from the collective memory.

Those who explain to strangers why they have fingers coming out of their shoulders are met with blank stares, or nods of vague recognition from those old enough to remember the scandal.

The neverending fallout

The person identified in media reports as the first thalidomide baby born in Canada was Kim Beeston, delivered in hospital in Toronto on Jan. 20, 1962. When she was six months old, The Globe and Mail featured a photo of her and her parents, Anne and Carl, holding their big-eyed, smiling girl.

For years, the media followed Kim's exploits as she defied her disability. As a child, she was an avid swimmer and competed in wheelchair basketball. In 1979, she hitchhiked across Canada with her dog, Sam. In 1984, she camped in front of Toronto City Hall to press for wheelchairadapted housing.

Then, Ms. Beeston retreated. Her body was spent. She became confined to a wheelchair and dependent on potent drugs to soothe her chronic pain. Finally, on June 27, 2003, alone in her one-bedroom public housing unit in Toronto, Kim Beeston died.

The coroner's autopsy noted Ms. Beeston's multiple surgical scars, spread across her body like a roadmap of thalidomide's devastating march. It noted her four fingers on each hand, her shortened forearms, her "almost nonexistent" legs and her "markedly deformed" feet and toes. Ms. Beeston was born with the damage of thalidomide, and its shadow trailed her to her death.

Then, the day after she died, her father took his life. Carl Beeston, 65, left a note addressed to his daughter.

"He was apologizing to her," says Kim's younger sister, Elizabeth Beeston. "He felt responsible that he couldn't be there 24/7 to care for her. Ultimately, he was blaming himself."

For Elizabeth, her family's story is a lesson about the forgotten fallout of thalidomide, and the need to relieve victims' suffering.

The Beeston family's tragedy began when Kim's late mother swallowed a pill with her doctor's blessing. The ripples of that single act never stopped.

"It's just been forgotten here, almost swept under the carpet," Elizabeth says of the tragedy.

"But thalidomide destroyed a lot of families. I don't think anybody should forget."

Ingrid Peritz is a reporter in The Globe and Mail's Montreal bureau


1957 German drug company Chemie Grunenthal introduces a new "wonder" drug, thalidomide, advertised as a sleeping pill with no side effects, effective for treating insomnia and morning sickness in pregnant women.

1959 The William S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati starts production of thalidomide under the brand name Kevadon.

September, 1960 Merrell submits data on Kevadon to the Canadian Food and Drug Directorate in Ottawa. Four days later, it submits the same data to the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.

November, 1960 Merrell gets approval from Ottawa to sell thalidomide in Canada on a prescription basis.

December, 1960 Articles appear in a British medical journal warning that thalidomide is a possible cause of a severe form of nerve damage.

April, 1961 Canada puts thalidomide on the market.

November, 1961 German newspaper Welt am Sonntag publishes an article revealing suspicions in the medical community that thalidomide causes malformations in babies. That same year, an Australian obstetrician notes that a number of babies whose mothers took thalidomide are born with limb deformities.

November, 1961 Faced with accumulating evidence, Chemie Grunenthal takes thalidomide off the market in Germany.

December, 1961 Distillers Company (Biochemicals) Ltd. takes thalidomide off the market in Britain.

February, 1962 The head of the Canadian Food and Drug Directorate says thalidomide will not be taken off the market in Canada because evidence against the drug is "only statistical."

March, 1962 The Canadian Food and Drug Directorate advises that thalidomide should be removed from the market. It remains available in some Canadian pharmacies until mid-May.

Associated Graphic

Photography by Michelle Siu

Johanne Hébert, now 52, in a childhood photo: Her pregnant mother took a single thalidomide pill because she felt nauseous.

Paul Settle of Hamilton and his twin brother, Peter, grew up living by the motto that they could do anything an able-bodied person could do.

In 1967, the parents of Peter (left) and Paul Settle received just $20,000 from the drug company that made thalidomide.

Six times a day, Johanne Hébert injects a narcotic painkiller into one thigh.

Bernadette Bainbridge of Whitby, Ont., goes to bed praying that she will die before her mother and father do. 'She doesn't want to be left behind, alone,' says her mother, Anne Marie.

Aline Vachon, right, of Montreal, who was born with deformed arms and feet, routinely confronts the choice between paying bills and putting food on the table.

Johanne Hébert lies down with her granddaughter, who regularly sleeps beside her.

'My body's wearing out. It's taken such a beating,' says Paul Settle, who had to stop working at a library this year because the job became too physically taxing.

Johanne Hébert used to wear these prosthetic arms. Nearly all Thalidomide victims eventually refused to wear their prosthetics, which didn't work well.

(Above) Johanne Hébert's daughter Kate helps her mother out in Ms. Hébert's Montreal home. (Left) Ms. Hébert gets help bathing from social-service workers.

Bernadette Bainbridge holds tools that she uses to help her get dressed.

Parents Carl and Anne Beeston holding their six-month-old daughter Kim, in 1962. The day after Kim died, in 2003, Carl took his own life.

For years No Means No has been the benchmark for negotiating sex on campus. It hasn't worked. Erin Anderssen looks at the confusion students face when it comes to consent, and a new twist on an old strategy
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F1

The two university students, close friends, had hooked up before. They lost their virginity to each other early in first year, not long after meeting at a residence mixer during frosh week. The sex always happened under the same circumstances: They were out partying, drunk, and stumbled home together, a friend-withbenefits scenario. They didn't talk about it the next day, except to say, "Are we good?" and "Yes, we're good," and they didn't really tell anyone to avoid the assumption they were in a relationship.

But after a while, the female student (who has asked not to be identified in this story) began to feel uncertain about the assumptions underlying their hookups. During a week of alcohol-centred activities at McGill that winter - "a shit-show for consent," as she puts it - her friend convinced her to do the annual Mountain Run, in which teams race to the top of Mount Royal while chugging beer and slamming vodka shots. "I was puking the whole way," the female student, now in third year, recalls. But back in his room, they were snuggling, and things started to progress. She didn't really want to have sex, she says, and she was pretty drunk. "We'll do it fast," she recalls him saying. "And I said, 'Well, okay.' " Looking back, she says, "We should have talked more. I should have been more willing to assert myself."

Was it consensual? Was it assault? Her story highlights how fraught and complicated those questions are, especially in the early weeks and months of university, a period known as the Red Zone, when the risk of sexual assault is highest, especially for first-year students. Two decades after No Means No began to gain traction in the debate over what constitutes consent, a new wave of students and educators are flipping that message around - and insisting coeds (i.e. mainly men) take responsibility by asking for a "Yes." It's a deceptively simple tweak, one that the State of California passed into law in September, to great controversy.

Ratcheting up the public conversation about the definition of enthusiastic consent, it energized campaigns oriented around the Yes Means Yes message on campuses across North America. They included an October #getconsent social-media blitz at Dalhousie University in Halifax; an "Ask, Listen, Respect" campaign at McGill; a September university-wide panel on sexual communication at Concordia in Montreal; and ongoing "Consent is Sexy" messaging at a number of universities.

Students' first term on campus is not only a time of lectures and learning, but also a time when crowds of relatively inexperienced teenagers are set loose in a party culture saturated with alcohol and expectations of easy hookups. It's a perennial problem on campuses: The orientation-week chants that caused controversies at several Canadian universities last year for promoting sex without consent aren't new - a collection of misogynistic ballads has floated online for years. Among them: a little gem called The Gang Bang Song. (Sample lyric: "I love a gang bang. Oh, yes, I do.")

A U.S. study in 2007 found that 50 per cent of sexual assaults happen between August and November. There aren't good Canadian Red Zone stats, because universities aren't required to publicly report sexual-assault complaints. But we do know this: At least one in five women say they have experienced sexual assault that includes penetration by the time they graduate, according to University of Windsor researcher Charlene Senn, who studies rape prevention; if you include unwanted touching or being "coerced" into sex, she says, the rate rises to more than 50 per cent. The vast majority of victims never go to the police, and cases that do get reported rarely result in convictions.

Two decades of No Means No didn't solve the thorny problems surrounding consent. The slogan, first coined by the Canadian Federation of Students, was stamped on campus posters and nightclub coasters, and chanted at rallies across North America. But it never worked as well as educators and feminists hoped. The words were fierce and memorable, but criticized for keeping the onus on women to halt unwanted sex - even as Canada's Criminal Code and Supreme Court established affirmative consent as the legal standard.

Yes Means Yes, by contrast, takes the focus off of listening for a "No," and tells coeds to ensure they have an explicit "Yes." California's law was the first of its kind in North America, requiring state universities investigating sexual-assault complaints to define consent as an overt, clear "yes." Critics quickly decried it as overkill, saying that the law criminalized an unsolicited kiss between couples - as if the jails would soon be crowded with loving, smooch-sneaking partners.

Advocates say that it frames sex more positively, shifting the focus from what a victim did (or didn't do, or couldn't do) to the steps a perpetrator failed to take to proactively ensure consent. An enthusiastic "yes" must become the new bar by which consent is measured, those advocates maintain, arguing that body language can be easily misinterpreted, especially when one or both parties are intoxicated, and cannot constitute consent.

Still, it's a tough sell: convincing young people to do the asking - not just once, but throughout their sexual encounters. And beyond the back seat and the bedroom, it has stirred broader questions: Will it help shift our collective conversation about sexuality? And will it make campuses safer?

'A weird, steep learning curve'

More than 90 per cent of sexual assaults are carried out by acquaintances, romantic partners and friends. The cute freshman living down the hall in residence, who, after a night of too much drinking and some mutual fumbling, pushes a little too hard, past an awkward "No." Or that sweet friend you've been hooking up with, who, one afternoon in a dorm room, forgets to make sure you're still on board. You give in. He thinks it's okay. "It was so grey," you say later. "It was so complicated."

It's not politically correct to say that consent is complicated, yet here we are, 50 years after the dawn of second-wave feminism, still struggling as a society to define it. Consent gets muddled up in gender roles; in the depressingly retro narrative that men chase, while women are coyly chaste; and in enduring misogynistic slang in which a one-night stand is called a "fuck it and chuck it" and guys tally their sexual partners by "kill counts." It's fogged up even more by alcohol in a world where binge drinking is practically a required first-year course in the minds of many coeds. We need to find a solution: for victims, of course - but also to empower both men and women, straight and gay, to make sex safer in a sexually permissive society. For that to happen, consent can no longer be something given up, or offered up, with one gender (i.e. mainly women) expected to guard chastity's gate.

"These are situations with huge consequences, and you're just trying to figure it out," says Garret LaValley, 22, a business student at UBC, recalling his own sudden immersion in the party culture on campus three years ago. "It's a weird, steep learning curve."

As a varsity athlete, Mr. LaValley says the pressure to score was heavy, especially as a freshman among older, more experienced teammates. He remembers getting drunk and making out with women on the dance floor, wondering what should come next. "Do you just immediately take them home? How will people react if I do or don't? What do people expect?"

That's a complex question, especially in an era of mobile apps like Tinder, and in the gay community, Grindr, which are elbowing old-fashioned date culture aside as they allow people to search out hookup options in their immediate geographic vicinity: Having a Tinder profile, in the words of one student, suggests consent has already been given. One attempt to clarify consent via technology was the Good2Go app, launched last spring, which asked both parties in a potential hookup to record their level of willingness to have sex, as well as how drunk they were; the results were then sent to their respective e-mail accounts. The app was roundly criticized for potentially providing a fabricated defence against sexual-assault allegations, and last month Apple yanked it from iTunes.

Believing that issues around consent can be solved by checking off a box on a mobile app - or even, frankly, by devising a snappy slogan - suggests that what's at issue is merely a problem of miscommunication. But human beings can read body language in the bedroom as easily as they can in other social interactions, argues Melanie Beres, a senior lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand, who has researched consent in Canada. "Women say 'No' to sex in the same way everyone declines all kinds of social interactions, and men are quite adept at hearing those refusals as refusals," says Dr. Beres. "[Sexual assault] is about someone making a decision to ignore the cues." (This appears to include the "cue" of being incapacitated: A forthcoming University of Windsor study conducted on three Canadian campuses found that 79 per cent of rape victims said they "were too drunk or out of it to stop what was happening.")

What's promising about Yes Means Yes is its potential to change the communication around sex. "Do we want to talk about just avoiding criminal activity?" asks Dr. Bere. "Consent is also about making a dividing line between okay and not-okay sex, and we don't want to aim for sex that is just over the line." Yes Means Yes, in other words, might be an important step toward creating healthier, more open conversations about sex - a worthy and overdue goal, to be sure. But it isn't necessarily a strategy for reducing assaults.

Law and ethics

In late October, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a student survey in which 15 per cent of women and 5 per cent of men reported experiencing sexual assault - with such assault defined as unwanted contact, from touching to penetration, that involved force or threats of incapacitation - while attending the school. Even more troubling was how students responded to and perceived those assaults. Of the victims, 72 per cent said they didn't think it was "serious enough to officially report," and 44 per cent said they felt "at least partly responsible" for what had happened. Overall, one-quarter of men and 15 per cent of women agreed that a drunk person who is assaulted is "at least somewhat responsible," and more than half of all students agreed that "rape and sexual assault can happen unintentionally, especially if alcohol is involved."

That's a disturbing finding: If rape can happen "accidentally" between drunk students, then who's to blame? Not the guy, it seems: Roughly one-third of the students surveyed agreed that rape happens "because men can get carried away in sexual situations once they've started." In other words, many of today's educated millennials - a generation idealized for its egalitarian values - still believe that men "can't help it," and that drunk women who cross their paths have themselves to blame. Changing those attitudes will doubtless take more than Yes Means Yes banners and campus bar coasters.

Consider that friends-with-benefits scenario at McGill. Did it constitute sexual assault? The woman says no, it did not: Yes, she was drunk, she acknowledges, but so was he. And she points out that they knew each other well, that they had done it before, and that she hadn't really protested - and if she had, she hastens to add, without doubt he would have stopped. Still, she concedes, the lines feel blurry. "I find it really hard to define sexual assault when it involved me." And then this, which seems hardly to clarify matters: "I should be able to define my experience as I choose."

This is an example, says Dr. Beres, where it is unproductive to focus on drawing a legal line without considering ethics. "Consent is too low a bar," she says. Even if what happened in that dorm room didn't meet the criminal definition of sexual assault, it was sex that the woman didn't want. It was sex that wasn't fun.

This focus on legality - on what constitutes crossing the line - was an ongoing theme in my interviews with students. They could easily define sexual assault in stereotypical situations: a surprise attack by a stranger; a man who threatens or physically forces a woman; a sober person who forces sex on someone who is stumbling drunk. And the men I spoke to unanimously agreed that responsibility to get consent fell more heavily on them: "Just by how we are made, the onus should be on the guy," says Mr. LaValley. "He is in a situation where he can take advantage of somebody."

In Canada, consent requires taking "reasonable steps" to ensure it exists. Being drunk is not a defence for failing to get consent, and neither is arguing that consent was given in advance. As one recent campus campaign put it: "If it's not loud and clear, it's not consent." A meek okay and half-hearted "Yes" doesn't count.

But the law doesn't clarify every question. Students also wonder, in the words of Mr. LaValley, "If you had sexual experiences with the same person, and it's common knowledge that you would hook up if you were drunk," is that still breaking the law? How drunk is too drunk? What if the woman - or as one female student pointed out, the guy - didn't really want to, but gave in? What if the initiator genuinely thought he or she had consent? This is where a discussion around the ethics of sex - rather than simply what counts as a crime - ay prove more productive in the long run.

Morning-after uncertainty

One of the problems with the new campus campaigns, whose champions have worked to convince students that "consent is sexy" (in an echo of the AIDSfighting promotion of condoms) is that the new consent instruction manual is about as sexy as a cold shower. Demanding an unequivocal verbal "yes" - not just once, but at every step along the way, from kissing to intercourse? Get real. Who's going to do that? Hot sex, as portrayed on television or in the movies - let alone in ubiquitous Internet porn - looks nothing like that. A recent poker-faced American sexual-assault campaign depicted what enthusiastic consent would look like with a cheesy YouTube video in which a male pizza deliver and the woman who answers the door have sex, all the time breathlessly murmuring to each other, "Is this okay?" It played like a skit on Saturday Night Live.

For many students, requiring verbal consent goes too far, says Daniel Smeenk, 22, recently graduated from the University of Toronto. While the initiator has to stop if consent isn't clear, Mr. Smeenk argues, "the person who doesn't want to consent should be very clear that they don't. Sexual encounters aren't like signing a contract. It's not like you simply lay down the conditions, ask them to sign here, and then go forward. There's a lot of romance. There's an almost inexplicable human intimacy involved. Some of it might be cultural, some it might be just simply how we're wired, but there's a large part of us [that] wants things to be spontaneous and free - and it enhances our experience."

When verbal consent is raised at workshops in residence at McGill, where they have been mandatory since 2005, student leaders say participants often argue that body language should be enough - that asking permission is "awkward," in that it suggests the guy, still usually expected to initiate sex, "doesn't have game." Peer facilitator Sarah Southey, for instance, says at one particularly vitriolic session in September a male student asked, "What happens if she is a virgin and doesn't know she wants it?" Says Ms. Southey, "That was very rattling. As if he was saying, 'She wouldn't actually know what she wants, and I know it better.' "

It's not only men who struggle with such boundary lines. "I think you consent when your hand goes down or your bra straps come off," says Alex, 19, a female second-year science student at the University of Toronto. "If you start talking, it almost breaks the moment, it takes away from the natural flow of it." She understands why guys would be reluctant to ask for consent out loud: "A verbal rejection is much harsher than moving away a hand."

A harsh rejection, however, is infinitely preferable to a sexual assault. While no one I spoke with admitted to forcing a partner intentionally, several male university students acknowledged feeling a morning-after uncertainty about whether their partner had been into it, and wondered if they had crossed the line. Setting the bar at verbal consent is meant to remove most of that doubt. And, suggests Dr. Bere, pivoting the discussion away from No Means No, and toward sexual education that focuses on ensuring both partners are willing and enthusiastic, is an important step forward.

Seen in that light, affirmative consent could be a powerful tool to make sex better, allowing individuals to define what they want - and to clarify what that looks like to their partners. Saying 'Yes' is empowering, explains Madeline Hancock, a University of Toronto student. "It's also a recognition of the idea that any sexual activity should not be a competition, but should be cooperative: for the mutual benefit of both partners."

Sex, in other words, shouldn't be about trying to make sure your partner doesn't say no. "The point of the game," says Ms. Hancock, "is that everyone involved really wants to be doing it."

Enduring double standards

All of which introduces another question: Why do we wait until teenagers have arrived at university, and are in the middle of the most exciting, jam-packed and sleep-deprived week of their lives, before we seriously educate them about consent? According to Scott Anderson, a UBC researcher who studies consent, it all goes back to how conflicted society is about granting young people - especially young women - the permission to have sex at all. "They have enough information to know that birth control is important," he says, "but other aspects are much less clearly explained, because there is still a hesitation to say, 'Sex is okay.' "

U of T student Alex puts it this way: "Parents influence this culture of casual sex [being] slutty for girls, but an achievement for guys. A lot of my guy friends are always encouraged to be sexually active by their father, but girls' fathers are so against them having sex. This leads to girls being very quiet about their sex lives." In Alex's case, her father's sex talk amounted to being handed the same book he'd been given as a youth in Sunday school, which was "basically all about abstinence."

Entwined with that is a message to young men that sex is a conquest that they are expected to win, says Joe Maguire, a sexual-assault educator who runs a program for men at the University of Calgary. "If you are being pressured to have sex a lot, then you are not really going to be looking for consent," he says.

"You're just trying to get laid."

Not, of course, that it's blackand-white. Alex admits to flirting aggressively with a young man at a club, even though she "could tell the guy wasn't into it." They kissed, and it stopped there, she says. "But afterward, I thought, 'How would I feel if a guy had done that to me?' "

That gender dynamic is also complicated in sexual encounters between LGBT women and men, even though their voices have often been missing from consent campaigns. "As a single gay male, the expectation is that [you're] always ready for it," says Mac Chapin, 20, a third-year international-relations student at the University of Toronto. "For men, there is never a question of 'yes means yes,' because 'yes' is always assumed to be the answer."

In the straight world, meanwhile, the cultural bias that woman should resist sex - that they don't have an equal responsibility to make the choice - is one the female students I spoke with summarily rejected. Last year, Alex says, she was making out with a guy she had just met when he asked if she wanted to go further. She said no, and, she recalls, "He was so respectful and okay with it, and I've never felt that empowerment before. Honestly, it was the first time, I was like, 'No, I don't want to do this,' and my decision was so respected." Usually, she says, men act like "No means try harder."

That's why Yes Means Yes is such a powerful idea, Alex says. It removes the "No-means-tryharder" that stems from traditional expectations. "I am quite explicit when I want to have sex, and I try to avoid playing games at all costs," she says. "If you are very clear about what you want, then if you do say 'No,' it resonates more."

Among those men interviewed for this story, it was the older ones who most fully backed the spirit of Yes Means Yes. That includes the male half of that unfortunate, liquor-infused incident at McGill. Months after that day in residence, when they finally discussed what had happened, and the female student shared her side, he had been horrified to learn she wasn't an enthusiastic participant. He told me that it's irrelevant to him whether what happened met the legal definition of assault. "I interpreted there to be more comfort than there was," he says. "I know it would have been a lot better to check in." Looking back on his early experiences with sex, "there are so many things I was doing wrong, so many poor decisions."

Now, he adds, he always asks for verbal consent - at every step of sex, from kissing to intercourse. "Consent is sexy," he says. "It shows you care. There's nothing better than when you know you have full permission."

When it comes to humanity's most intimate act, isn't that where the conversation should start?

With files from Iris Robin and Davide Mastracci.

Associated Graphic



How the surge of e-commerce is forcing an industry transformation. Marina Strauss reports
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B1

At first glance, the newest Future Shop looks much like any other. Flatscreen televisions, tablet computers and other electronics are on display for customers to see and try out.

But at only 8,000 square feet, the store in Cornwall, Ont., set to open next Friday, is tiny - less than a third the size of the chain's typical big-box format. Part of the store is a 4,000-square-foot warehouse stuffed with a much broader array of electronic goods that cater to online shoppers. It's about double the size of the storeroom of a typical Future Shop or its sister chain, Best Buy.

The new-concept Cornwall store marks a strategic shift for Best Buy Canada, which operates the two chains, as the company works to keep pace with the rapidly changing retail industry.

Best Buy Canada is increasingly counting on its buoyant Internet business and socalled "endless aisle" of items stocked only on its website to help bolster its business, as it continues to invest in smaller stores such as the one in Cornwall.

"That's a very different store," said Thierry Hay-Sabourin, vice-president of e-commerce at Best Buy Canada. "That transformation we're in right now is absolutely critical for our future growth."

The Future Shop store reinvention is part of a wider retail reboot sweeping through the industry as retailers and malls are being forced to adapt amid the relentless surge of e-commerce. Shopper traffic in stores is in decline. At the same time, e-commerce is soaring and has never been more competitive.

Meanwhile, consumers expect more for less, as retailers increasingly lure them with a variety of new ways to shop in person and online, with added bonuses such as free shipping.

It all adds up to intensifying competition ahead for an industry already at war as big new entrants in Canada battle with established players to win over fickle consumers.

"Retailers face a multifold increase in the complexity of their business," said Gerald Storch, chief executive officer of Storch Advisors and former CEO of retailer Toys "R" Us Inc. Retailers will need to invest in a number of digital and physical sales channels to remain competitive, he said. "The alternative is obsolescence, irrelevance, and extinction."

Changing stores

The trends for shopping in stores versus online are on two decidedly different trajectories. In the first nine months of this year, shopper traffic to stores fell 7 per cent from a year earlier, extending years of declines, according to retail analytics firm HeadCount in Edmonton.

So far it hasn't hurt retailers too much because sales have held up - a 4-per-cent gain in the nine-month period - the result of fewer browsers and more shoppers who research online before hitting the store to make targeted purchases. But declining traffic is a troubling sign for retailers. "Less traffic means fewer sales opportunities," said HeadCount founder Mark Ryski.

Online retail sales, meanwhile, are expected to jump to $39.9billion or 9.5 per cent of total sales by 2019 from $22.3-billion or 6.1 per cent this year, estimates Forrester Research.

Nobody is predicting a collapse of in-store shopping, but signs indicate the high-growth era is over. In the U.S., store count growth has slowed to less than 3 per cent from more than 12 per cent in the past three years among largest retailers, Moody's Investors Service calculated recently. The situation is probably similar in Canada, industry sources said.

With some store networks under pressure, retailers - and property companies - are being forced to find creative ways to keep stores relevant to consumers, and not become dwindling profit centres.

Retailers are increasingly encouraging shoppers to order online and pick up in the store - or, ironically, shop online inside the store. They're setting up e-commerce pickup points in stores and malls as a less costly do-it-yourself delivery option. In this way, they're trying to get customers who fetch their orders into their stores to buy more.

Wal-Mart Canada Corp. is testing pickup lockers at some stores, where shoppers can retrieve purchases ordered online and pop in the store for any other items.

Many of these new shopping methods are experimental, since nobody knows exactly where the balance between stores and e-commerce will settle.

"There are going to be winners and losers and the fallout is not going to be distributed evenly," said Michael Turner, senior vicepresident of real estate management at Oxford Properties, one of Canada's major mall landlords whose properties include Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Square One Shopping Centre. "There are more questions than answers."

The Amazon threat Inc., the 800pound gorilla of e-tailers, is expanding quickly in Canada. In the past 18 months, has doubled its offerings to 50 million products, including toys, beauty and health items, said country manager Alexandre Gagnon. And it's not stopping there.

"As a company we think Canada is very important to us," Mr. Gagnon said. "We just saw a need, which is a business opportunity," and "we just keep launching new programs."

Rivals are keeping a close eye on Amazon. "Absolutely they are on our radar screen," Kevin Macnab, president of Toys "R" Us Canada, told a conference recently. "We're doing all that we can do to compete against them."

Steve Matyas, president of Staples Canada, added: "What they've done has made me much more paranoid than I've ever been before." In the pre-digital era, Staples tracked prices once a month at rivals such as Grand & Toy, Wal-Mart and Costco, he said. In contrast, "we watch Amazon multiple times per day."

Amazon is forcing rivals to invest more than they normally would in their e-commerce without enough time to do it in a measured way, said Mitchell Goldhar, owner of mall landlord SmartCentres. But for e-commerce over all, "there's no clear path to profit."

Amazon, for its part, has a deliberate strategy to put up with losses in its quest to snatch business from rivals.

"There is a reason Amazon's profits are so paltry," said Mr.

Storch, the former Toys "R" Us Inc. head. "They keep saying they're 'investing' for the future but, in many ways, they are just pouring money into the sinkhole of free shipping, trying to cover the high logistics cost of shipping products to consumers' homes by giving it away."

The strategy has helped Amazon make gains in Canada. It already generates roughly $1-billion to $1.5-billion in sales in Canada, or 5 to 7 per cent of the Canadian retail e-commerce market, estimates retail analyst Peter Sklar at BMO Nesbitt Burns. If it were to achieve the same share of retail sales here as it has in the U.S. and Britain, Amazon's revenues could triple or quadruple over the next few years, he said.

Wal-Mart's challenge

Wal-Mart, for its part, isn't about to let invade the Canadian marketplace without fighting back. That means investing in both physical and digital stores, even as its samestore traffic is declining while the amount that each customer purchases rises.

The gap between the two e-tailing titans is telling: Amazon's websites here had 15.7 million "unique visits" in September, almost three times more than, according to While stocks 50 million items, carries just 150,000.

Wal-Mart Canada chief operating officer Gino DiGioacchino said he's ready for the challenge.

"Retail will evolve quickly in Canada," Mr. DiGioacchino said.

"I'm not going to be obsessed, nor should I be obsessed, with short-term profit against longterm success in serving our customer."

In the fight with Amazon, "our store network becomes a competitive advantage," Mr. DiGioacchino argues, helping provide customers with different "access points" or ways for them to receive their e-commerce orders, whether it be home delivery, store pickup, Canada Post depot or a pickup station in the mall.

Wal-Mart's new "Grab & Go" pickup service, which it started testing in 10 outlets a few months ago, allows customers to buy online and pick up at lockers in a store that is accessible with a code sent to them.

"Everyone always forgets an item on their shopping list," Mr. DiGioacchino said. "What we're seeing with the Grab & Go is that the store itself allows them to add that extra item."

Some customers prefer a store pickup over home delivery, even though Wal-Mart offers free shipping on almost all orders.

"Quite frankly, most customers are not at home during the day," he said. "Waiting for a package to arrive at home is actually not convenient."

But the discounter's investments in e-commerce take a toll.

Wal-Mart Canada cut 750 employees this spring, with an expected 200 more reductions coming soon, as the world's largest retailer looks for more efficiencies. The streamlining helped Wal-Mart increase its gross profit in its latest quarter, after it had slipped in three of the previous seven quarters. Its same-store sales, after a string of declines, also picked up 0.6 per cent, even as traffic fell 1.4 per cent, it reported this week.

The last mile

Across the retail industry, companies are working to figure out the right cyber business model for the so-called last mile - getting orders to customers.

The last mile can eat up 75 per cent of a non-food e-tailer's distribution costs. Retailers and malls are searching for ways to get customers to fetch their own orders rather than get caught up in the costly business of free shipping.

Mr. Goldhar of SmartCentres is preparing to launch soon a test of free drive-through pickup depots for e-commerce orders in three Toronto-area malls for its tenants and non-tenants. It's a way to keep consumers coming to his malls and, potentially, buying more when they get there, he said.

In the future, "we know that it can't be all home delivery," he said. "It's just not affordable.

We're all just working through it.

It's not an apocalypse in retail.

It's not like everybody is unhappy with going out shopping."

To put the cost of shipping e-commerce orders to customers in context, it's about three times more expensive than the traditional retail practice of stocking stores and having shoppers purchase products and take them home themselves, Mr. Storch estimates. What's more, merchants' costs can be 66 per cent more to ship online orders to customers than having them pick them up at stores or malls, he calculated.

To underline the complexity, he figures there are more than 80 different ways in the new "omni-channel" universe to meld online and physical store retailing. For instance, a shopper can order an item from home, from a store, from a mobile phone or desktop computer; the order can be fulfilled at a central warehouse, at a store stockroom, at another store, at a supplier; and the retailer can ship the product to the customer's home, office or elsewhere, to a store or to a different location.

It's "a challenge, yes, but I think most see this as an opportunity to be creatively competitive in more ways than in the past," said Eric Ziegele, a retail practice director at Torontobased T4G, which has helped major retailers such as J. Crew and Macy's with their e-commerce and store merchandising planning. "In many ways the presence of online shopping has been the catalyst to create a new normal for shopping behaviour."

Huw Thomas, CEO of Calloway REIT and a former executive at Canadian Tire, said many retailers in Europe, where e-commerce is more developed, have switched from home delivery to "click and collect" pickups.

"Most retailers are trying to figure out the e-commerce model," he said. "There are very few significant-size retailers that have profitable e-commerce businesses... The delivery component of the e-commerce equation is a very, very expensive piece of the puzzle because, in essence, you're matching the prices that you have in a physical store, but you're delivering for free sometimes very substantially-sized product to a consumer."

Smaller stores

Big-box chains such as Staples and Best Buy have started to shrink their stores as more business flows online, and each of them closed 15 stores, the former this fall and Best Buy last year. Staples expects to scale back its space by 20 per cent over all, Mr. Matyas said. At the same time, the chains are opening smaller stores.

Toys "R" Us Canada is shrinking the retail space in some of its stores and expanding the storage rooms for e-commerce pickups as it starts to ship online orders directly from its outlets.

Fashion chain Groupe Dynamite recently started to test reducing inventory by up to 10 per cent in five of its stores, providing salespeople with tablets to fulfill e-commerce orders for customers who want merchandise that isn't stocked in the stores. It has delayed investing in its physical stores as it focused on a new e-commerce platform, which cost the equivalent of building five new bricksand-mortar outlets, said president Anna Martini.

But even as sales shift to the Internet, retailers still need to invest strategically in their physical stores as well to showcase their brands, which can lead to duplicate costs in the short term. Canadian Tire's Sport Chek, for example, is building flagship stores that are much larger than its standard outlets with digital screens and other tech gadgets to keep its younger customers longer, and buying more.

A growing array of online-only retailers, such as, are beginning to recognize the value of running bricks-andmortar stores by launching them. Even Amazon plans to launch its first store this holiday season in New York, according to a media report.

"We're not seeing customers say the physical store is dead," said Clint Mahlman, chief operating officer of London Drugs, which is beginning to plan for stores that are about a third the size of their current mega-outlets. "What they are saying is that what they expect from a physical store is very different."

Mall overhaul

As the retail industry transforms, so do the commercial real estate companies that own the store properties.

Major mall landlords are moving upscale, focusing on the savviest retailers and dropping laggards. RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, one of the largest shopping centre owners, has been selling off weaker malls and shifting to more urban and non-retail uses of its space.

As a result, medical clinics, spas, fitness centres, restaurants, libraries and community centres are popping up in RioCan and other malls more frequently. In the U.S., data centres even rent space in former department stores.

Malls and retailers are investing in more technology: Oxford teamed recently with Cineplex to install new interactive digital services and screens. Cadillac Fairview named Jason Anderson, a former Microsoft Canada executive, as its new senior vice-president of marketing.

The rapid retail changes reduce the need for big-box stores as well as more power centres, which are the open-air suburban malls with big parking lots, and superstores such as Wal-Mart, Staples and Best Buy.

RioCan, known for its power centres, is building two in Calgary and "they'll be among the last of their kind," sais RioCan CEO Edward Sonshine.

"Even the existing power centres will have to be re-imagined a little bit," he said. "You have to look at different types of uses." Some retail categories, such as books and music, have been "devastated" by the digital rush, he notes.

Still, some retailers say landlords have to move faster to respond to consumers' digital needs and attract shoppers.

Marie-Andrée Boutin, vicepresident of real estate at shoe chain Aldo Group, said malls need to offer more dining, entertainment and other events and services that consumers can't get on the Internet. They need to borrow from the playbook of some U.S. malls that are adding e-commerce order pickup stations, reserved parking for those pickup customers and same-day delivery service, she said.

She said lower-ranked enclosed malls will feel the squeeze rather than top so-called "A" malls such as most of those owned by Oxford, Cadillac and Ivanhoé Cambridge.

But if sales among mall tenants decline as e-commerce picks up, the owners will no longer be able to command as high rents because they are often based on sales-per-square-foot performance in the centres, she said.

Already, Aldo is securing lower rents at some weaker malls because the sales-per-square-foot performance in the centres is falling as more business is going online, Ms. Boutin said.

"E-commerce will affect the whole bricks-and-mortar Canadian portfolio," she said.

Added London Drugs' Mr. Mahlman: "With the rapid change in e-commerce, a lot of the rule books are having to be renegotiated and rewritten."

Malls "seem quite slow to react to things - to how fast customer needs are changing."

Malls may also have to accommodate more trucks coming for e-commerce merchandise deliveries, Joe Megibow, chief digital officer at fashion chain American Eagle Outfitters, told a recent conference. He also pointed to tech snags. A promotion the chain ran in the fall "was kind of a mess" because it required customers to download a new version of the retailer's app and there often wasn't a WiFi connection in the mall stores.

Such stumbles are inevitable as retailers and property owners experiment while e-commerce forces change across the industry.

"The consumer is shopping both online as well as bricks and mortar and I think that line is getting very blurred," said Ron Wratschko, executive vice-president of operations at Cadillac Fairview.

It is doubling its marketing spending next year while bringing new restaurants and other entertainment to its malls.

Said RioCan's Mr. Sonshine: "Everybody is re-imagining their business."

Associated Graphic

The new Future Shop in Cornwall, Ont., is a small-concept store, with retail space in the front and a 4,000-square-foot warehouse in the back.


A Wal-Mart Grab and Go centre allows customers to shop online and pick up products at lockers.


Wal-Mart Canada Corp. chief operating officer Gino DiGioacchino.


Aldo employee Krista Kennell uses a tablet mounted on the wall to look for a shoe size.


Future Shop associate Joey Paquette works in the warehouse of the new small-concept store in Cornwall, Ont., which has a storre in the front and warehouse in the back.


An Aldo employee sends shoes up a conveyor belt after receiving an order placed via a tablet.


A Future Shop employee uses an app to scan a product's stock level at the new store in Cornwall.


Future Shop associate Jess Lyrette uses a lift to access products in the warehouse of the Cornwall store.


Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B8

SAN FRANCISCO -- In December of 2012, four days before Christmas, Twitter flew Jeff Seibert and Wayne Chang from Boston to the company's headquarters in downtown San Francisco. A year earlier, the two men had founded a startup called Crashlytics. The startup's namesake product is a bug-reporting tool, designed to help mobile software developers figure out when and why their applications crash.

The men had a hunch they were about to make a lot of money.

"We were just saying, if we get an offer, make sure you don't show any emotion," Mr. Chang said. "If it's a penny, if it's a trillion dollars ... always sound like you're a bit disappointed."

Their hunch proved correct. On Christmas day, Crashlytics became the most expensive acquisition in Twitter's history (the exact terms of the deal have not been made public, but the price tag is believed to be north of $100-million U.S.).

And yet, something about the deal didn't make sense. Twitter's core product is the world-famous microblogging service that today is used by a quarter billion people. It has little to do with a bugreporting service for mobile developers. Even the Crashlytics founders were skeptical as to why Twitter was interested in their startup.

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that Twitter finally made clear the overarching strategy behind the Crashlytics acquisition. At a developers' conference in San Francisco, the company unveiled an audacious new product called Fabric. It is, essentially, a kind of Swiss Army Knife for mobile software developers and includes tools that do everything from crash reporting to ad-based monetization to user login streamlining. In other words, it provides turnkey solutions for many of the most cumbersome parts of building mobile software.

"This is about something much broader than Twitter the consumer application," says Kevin Weil, Twitter's vice-president of revenue products. "This is about Twitter Inc. becoming a mobile services company."

Why? Twitter's core user growth is slowing and its advertising reach isn't expanding at the pace investors would like to see. If the company can woo developers into including its product in everything they build, from apps to websites, it can ultimately reach more users and win over more advertisers. Facilitating development directly also offers new lines of business for its ad service.

It's no easy feat. With the strategy, Twitter is aiming to join the tech industry's highest order, where Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple dominate in the race for big data. Their businesses allow them to gather detailed information about trillions of interactions - from e-mails sent, to pages searched, to posts liked.

Over the past decade, those massive stores of data - and the myriad algorithms designed to tease out the information from the noise - have become the corporate world's most valuable commodity. Not only do they hold the potential to solve all manner of business problems, they also help turn advertising from an art to a science. The data that tech giants glean from their users' habits and interactions allows advertisers to pinpoint exactly which people are most likely to buy certain products.

In order to collect that data, the biggest tech companies have all positioned themselves as middlemen of one kind or another, building the platforms that facilitate everything from web search to e-commerce to social media. It is exactly that sort of company - a provider of a platform, not a product - that Twitter is now trying to become. And the customer base it has in its sights isn't everyday users: It's the people who build mobile software, who Twitter hopes will ultimately give the company access to everyone who uses the Internet.

After eight years as a social media player - and facing an increasingly frustrated investor base - Twitter is setting its sights on scaling up to be one of the world's biggest technology companies. But to do so, it must become something more than the name behind a 140-character blogging service. It must become a platform provider, a data giant.

Reaching advertisers

Twitter's world headquarters occupy a few floors' worth of office space in a downtown San Francisco office building complex. It is, by tech industry standards, a modest corporate campus - outfitted with a few employee lounges and an inhouse cafeteria. The various food and drink stations are often labelled with hashtags (the sign atop the carvery reads: #meatzone). Posters and other visual mementos of tweets that became particularly popular over the years line the walls.

Although it has only a fraction of their market capitalization, Twitter does share key elements of its corporate strategy with its tech giant neighbours in Silicon Valley - chiefly, a focus on amassing users, even at the expense of short-term profit.

That focus partly explains why, almost as soon as it bought Crashlytics, Twitter started giving the product away. Prior to the acquisition, Crashlytics charged developers a fee for some of the bug-reporting functionality. But Twitter quickly began to offer the entire product at no cost - turning a profit was not an immediate priority. Two years later, the same strategy is visible in the Fabric toolkit (to which the Crashlytics software now belongs).

"We don't judge this by revenue," Mr. Weil says. "The way we judge success with Fabric is, are we solving developers' core needs?" While talking about putting the user first at all costs makes for good public relations, in reality, the user is where the profit ultimately is - even if that user pays nothing.

Every Twitter user is a data geyser. Not only does the company collect all manner of information on its users' location, usage rates and behavioural habits, it also mines the billions of tweets those users post for keywords. Send a lot of tweets from Toronto, and you might start to see ads for Toronto-based businesses. Send a lot of Tweets about yoga, and you might see ads for yoga pants.

And precisely because it allows for this sort of targeting, data are especially useful to advertisers.

Like many of its corporate peers, Twitter makes most of its revenue from advertising. Currently, Twitter allows advertisers to target specific audiences based on about eight different categories, including user gender and location.

However, that's not nearly as exhaustive (nor is Twitter's user base as large) as what's available on Facebook, for example, where there are more than a billion users and advertisers can hone in on everything from education level to their past or intended purchases.

"Big data advertising has the potential to be magical," says Neil Bearse, associate director of marketing at Queen's School of Business. "It has the potential to make people say, 'I had no idea I needed that, and you showed it to me at the very right time.' But for the marketer who knows their target, Facebook still offers a far more precise product."

Broadly, the value of social media advertising is based on two things - the overall size of the audience, and the specificity with which advertisers can target any specific demographic. As such, one of Twitter's challenges is fairly straightforward - it needs more users.

Twitter chief executive officer Dick Costolo likes to describe the company's user base as a series of circles. The smallest one, made up of about 280 million people, is the monthly active user base. Beyond that is the demographic that consumes Twitter's content, but doesn't contribute any tweets (Mr. Costolo estimates this number at another 250 million to 500 million). Until the Fabric announcement last month, the largest circle in the set comprised everyone who sees tweets embedded in news stories or other media across the Web.

Now, with its new set of developer tools, Twitter can add one more potentially much larger circle - an entire ecosystem of apps that aren't made by Twitter, don't necessarily run the company's core microblogging service, but still use Twitter-developed code.

Such an ecosystem could prove lucrative because developers who use Twitter tools are also much more likely to use Twitter's advertising service to monetize their apps.

"Advertising is obviously one of the big key drivers behind all of this," says Greg Gunn, vice-president of new product growth at Hootsuite, the Vancouver-based company whose namesake product lets users control their social media presence on 35 different services, including Twitter.

"The whole strategy is about going, hey, Twitter's got a really great app, but if we can help provide a network of apps that our advertisers can reach, that's a very large and potentially hugely profitable business goal for them."

Luring users

Building out a new circle of potential partners, customers and users is especially important for Twitter because the company's smallest circle - made up of users who actually tweet on a regular basis - isn't growing as fast as investors would like. The monthly average user growth rate at Twitter has declined or remained flat every quarter since the company went public a year ago.

For years, Twitter tried to keep user growth high by making its service a sort of global water cooler - a place for everyone to talk about the news and culture of the day. The company spent considerable time and effort building relationships with Hollywood studios, news organizations and celebrities. And for the most part, the strategy showed results.

"If you want to talk about your TV show, you do it on Twitter," says Alfred Hermida, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia School of Journalism and author of a new book on social media, Tell Everyone: Why We Share And Why It Matters. "If you want to talk about your favourite sports team, you do it on Twitter."

But Mr. Hermida notes that such successes do little to offset the central and growing problem Twitter now faces - the divergent preferences of its casual and hardcore users.

Twitter's user interface has always functioned as a stream of sorts - what you see is whatever is happening at the moment you check the site, and there's no easy way to browse content any way but chronologically.

Twitter's veteran users mostly love that setup, but new users can often find it confusing. The company has tried to make the initiation process a little simpler, in part by adding features such as automated recommendations for who to follow.

Twitter's new-found focus on building developer tools is aimed largely at keeping the company's user growth rate high by making a Twitter account an indispensable digital tool - even if the user doesn't spend much time on the microblogging service.

An apt analogy is Facebook Connect, a service offered by the social network that lets users sign in with their Facebook credentials on non-Facebook sites, like Netflix, Groupon or The Washington Post. Connect has quickly become one of the most popular ways of moderating the comments sections on myriad news sites, among other things. Even though Connect has only a tangential relationship with the core Facebook service, its widespread use has made Facebook an integral part of the wider Internet experience.

In effect, this is what Twitter is trying to do with its new developer tools - become an indispensable part of the wider web experience, and in the process encourage developers to embed other Twitter services - including Twitter-run advertising tools - into their apps.

"If they can become part of the fabric of everything people do on the Internet ... that's more reason for people to sign up for a Twitter account," Mr. Hermida says. "At the same time, that allows them to collect a lot more data on what people do and why they do it - and that's data they can sell to advertisers."

More data also allow Twitter to develop a range of new ways to customize (and derive revenue from) its core microblogging service. For example, Mr. Hermida suggests, the company could begin offering geographically tailored services - when a user visits a mall, Twitter could begin pushing daily deal tweets from the accounts of stores located in that mall - taking advantage of a recently announced Twitter "Buy Button" that lets users make a purchase by clicking on a link embedded in a tweet.

But that's all easier said than done. For now, Twitter has neither the user base nor the granular advertising ability of many of its large competitors - and virtually all those large competitors also have much deeper pockets.

Besides vast differences in market cap and profitability, Twitter only has about 60,000 advertising partners, compared with millions each for Facebook and Google.

Twitter's ad load - or the percentage of ads to overall content, is about 1.3 per cent, whereas ad load at Google and Facebook is between 5 and 7 per cent.

Twitter does have one advantage, however. Of all the biggest technology names that make up the industry's top tier, none were built from the ground up to focus on mobile computing the way Twitter was.

Courting developers

With the company's share price down more than 37 per cent so far this year, Twitter has been the subject of growing shareholder frustration in recent months - most notably, a number of bigname investors have publicly questioned whether the company's senior management has a clear plan for user and revenue growth.

But ever since it was conceived in early 2006, Twitter has always been an uncertain entity.

The idea behind Twitter was first proposed by Jack Dorsey, who was at the time an undergraduate student in New York and is now, since Twitter went public, a billionaire co-founder.

The service started as a side project at a company called Odeo, whose employees were predominantly focused on the startup's main mission: podcasting tools.

Designed initially for internal use by Odeo employees, Twitter was built as a "social utility" - a fancy way of saying it was a tool for posting short status updates.

Within a year, Apple's iTunes would effectively render Odeo's podcasting business irrelevant.

But Twitter, which had neither competitors nor even a welldefined business case, survived.

From the beginning, the central idea behind Twitter was to build a service that let users broadcast SMS messages from their phones to a wide group of people - but beyond that, there was no real mission statement. The only constant throughout the design process was that the service was intended to be used first and foremost on a phone, not a desktop.

"Twitter has been a mobile company since the beginning," Mr. Weil says. "The 140-character limit came from text messages."

The advantages of having focused on mobile devices from the very beginning are clear today - most notably, in many of Twitter's newest products, including its developer toolkit.

By far the most quickly adopted part of the Fabric toolkit so far has been something called Digits, a ready-to-use user sign-in service.

Instead of building a sign-in screen from scratch, a mobile developer simply uses Digits to let users sign-in by entering a phone number. The service then confirms a user's identity by sending a text message to that number.

Digits not only has the potential to save developers time and effort, it also saves users from having to remember countless different e-mail, user name and password combinations.

A number of big-name partners have already decided to use Digits. McDonald's, for example, is including the functionality in its daily deals app - not as a replacement of its existing account creation process, but as a sort of first step, designed to lure users into using the app and then eventually sidestepping Digits and signing up for a full McDonald's account.

"From our perspective, [Digits] is a really interesting way to bring new customers into our world in a way that's lightweight and really reduces friction," McDonald's chief digital officer Atif Rafiq said at a Twitter developer conference.

In return for giving companies such as McDonald's an easy signin service such as Digits, Twitter gets its product integrated into apps that run on millions of smartphones, while simultaneously making it more likely that the developers who use Digits will go on to use other Twitter services.

One of the main reasons Twitter was able to build Digits is the company's extensive working relationships with telecom carriers around the world. Indeed, "mobile-first" is at the core of Twitter's sales pitch for Fabric.

The company hopes to become a mobile software developer's best friend. It is, in some ways, a sharp turn for a company that once rewrote its terms of use to effectively kill many third-party Twitter clients. But it is also necessary if the company is to revive its user growth and expand its network to the size and scope of the giants with which it will soon compete.

"We want to build tools developers will love, because then they'll find it easy to integrate Twitter into their apps, and ultimately that will help benefit the Twitter network," says Mr. Seibert, one of the Crashlytics co-founders who now serves as Twitter's director of mobile platforms.

The success of Twitter's planned shift from social network proprietor to mobile-services company is far from certain. Many mobile developers have become accustomed to the tools already offered by Google and Apple - and it may take a long time to convince them to switch, or at least include, Twitter's new services in their development process.

In the meantime, Twitter still has to contend with an increasingly impatient investor base that has seen the stock price rise sharply in the first few months following its initial public offering and then drop right back to where it was a year ago.

Analysts are taking a wait-andsee approach.

In a note to clients following Twitter's recent investor day, JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote that, even though "expectations were extremely low going in," the company did not shy away from addressing its user growth problem. At the meeting, senior Twitter executives laid out a number of new initiatives to try to make the service more alluring to new users, including a feature called While You Were Away, which summarizes important Tweets posted since the last time a user logged in.

"To be fair, Twitter said a lot of the right things, but now they have to execute," Mr. Anmuth wrote.

But if the transformation works, Twitter might finally find itself occupying one of the most lucrative positions in the tech industry - that of middleman between creators and consumers, amassing users, data and advertising revenue in the process.

"If we are a key part of the development life cycle for every app [developers] build, there are going to be a lot of opportunities that spring from that," Mr. Weil says.

"This is the first step."

Associated Graphic

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo unveils its new software product called Fabric.


Software developers attend Twitter's Flight conference.


Jeff Seibert is co-founder of a startup called Crashlytics that was bought by Twitter.


Twitter's modest headquarters is in a San Francisco office building.


'We question Canada's silence'
Twenty years later, the families of two Canadian priests killed in the wake of Rwanda's genocide still wait for justice. A special report by Geoffrey York in Johannesburg and Judi Rever in Montreal
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F1

Rev. Claude Simard likely shared his last meal with his killers. He let the men into his home and gave them plates of papaya, investigators found. Then he was beaten to death with a carpenter's hammer and left in a pool of blood in the corner where he usually prayed.

Nobody has ever been brought to justice for the murder of the Canadian priest. But an internal United Nations report, prepared within weeks of the murder and obtained recently by The Globe and Mail, concludes that Father Simard was killed by soldiers loyal to Paul Kagame, the long-time Rwandan leader who remains in power today. A separate investigation by another UN officer found similar evidence of military involvement.

Father Simard led a humble and austere life in Rwanda, but he also had a dangerous habit: He made tape recordings documenting killings by the government that took power after the 1994 genocide. Those recordings were the likely reason for his slaying, the UN reports found.

Another Canadian priest, Rev. Guy Pinard, took a similar risk: He openly criticized Rwandan authorities for their attacks on civilians. He was gunned down in front of hundreds of parishioners by a man with ties to the Rwandan military, according to an eyewitness. Father Pinard's colleagues and family say they believe he was killed in retaliation for his criticism. Rwanda never charged anyone for Father Pinard's murder in 1997, three years after the Simard slaying. But a Spanish court, in a broader indictment of Rwandan senior officers in 2008 for international crimes, named a Rwandan lieutenant-general as the person ultimately responsible.

An investigation by The Globe and Mail raises questions about Canada's policy toward Rwanda in the 20 years since the genocide. The Globe's investigation into the murder of the two Canadian priests found new revelations - from a former Rwandan intelligence officer, from an eyewitness to one of the murders, and from reports by the Canadian-led UN peacekeeping force at the time - that implicate the security forces of the government of President Kagame, which Canada has supported for two decades.

A spokesman for the Foreign Affairs department said Canada "took note" of the reports of the UN investigation into the Simard killing. But Canadian officials have never publicly acknowledged the evidence in the UN reports. Had they done so, Ottawa might have been under pressure to reconsider its support for the Rwandan government.

Despite knowing that the UN reports had pointed to Rwandan soldiers as Father Simard's killers, Canada has given $500-million in aid to Rwanda over the past two decades, including $30million last year. In recent years most of the aid has been channelled through civil-society groups and independent agencies for projects in areas such as agriculture and rural development.

Departmental spokesmen did not respond directly when asked by The Globe and Mail via e-mail whether Canada took any action as a result of the UN reports, or if it did anything to bring the perpetrators to justice, aside from pressing Rwanda to investigate. Asked why Canada gave foreign aid to a country accused of killing Canadian citizens, Adam Hodge, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, said only that Canada would "continue to encourage" the development of democracy and accountability in Rwanda. "Since 1994, Canada has raised the issue of Canadians killed in Rwanda on numerous occasions with the Rwandan authorities, insisting on the importance of an in-depth investigation. Canada does not have the legal means to investigate without the full support of the Rwandan authorities," he said in an e-mail.

The Kagame government has been widely praised for its army's historical role in routing extremists who were responsible for the Rwandan genocide, and for its economic reforms since then. But there is growing global concern about its human-rights abuses, including the disappearance, killing or jailing of suspected critics at home.

The Globe and Mail has also reported evidence that the government has plotted the assassination of exiled opponents.

Vincent Karega, the Rwandan high commissioner to South Africa, said nobody in the Rwandan government will comment on the murder of the two Canadian priests because the cases are "an old story."

The killings could have been caused by "thugs" or stray bullets, he said. "Rwanda was quite unstable and insecure in some regions during that time," Mr. Karega said in an e-mail in response to questions from The Globe and Mail.

"What I know is that there was no conflict or war between Rwanda and Canada and I don't see any political interest in deliberately murdering these priests."

The most extensive of the reports on Father Simard's death, never before made public, was written by an investigator at the UN civilian police on Nov. 1, 1994, two weeks after Father Simard was killed. It said a Canadian officer in the UN peacekeeping force had been warned that Father Simard's life was in imminent danger because he was gathering evidence of crimes by government soldiers.

The warning came from a former local UN official who remained in regular contact with the priest. But the warning was never passed on, even though it could have saved Father Simard's life. The report said UN military observers may have stepped in and offered protection had they known of the grave danger Father Simard was in.

A separate report - written by Canadian investigator Tim Isberg, a UN military observer in the peacekeeping force at the time - said the killers did not take the priest's wallet or valuables when they left his house after bludgeoning him to death. Later investigations found that the killers did take the audio cassettes on which he had recorded information about Rwandan military crimes - cassettes that he planned to hand over to UN officials, according to people interviewed by the investigators.

A few days before his death, Father Simard met Rwandan interior minister Seth Sendashonga and asked him to tell the Rwandan military to stop its reprisal attacks on his parishioners. In 1996, in an interview with Quebec documentary filmmaker Yvan Patry, the former interior minister said he believed the priest was killed by the Rwandan military with the approval of higher-level Rwandan officials.

By then, Mr. Sendashonga had broken with the Kagame government and was living in exile in Kenya. He was assassinated in Nairobi two years later, in 1998, by unidentified gunmen. His family and supporters said the Rwandan government was responsible for his murder, although nobody was convicted.

Relatives and friends of the two Canadian priests say they are disappointed that Canada never properly investigated the murders of the priests.

Father Simard's sister, Gervaise Simard-Granger, who died this past August, said the department had promised a Canadian investigation in 1994. She wrote in June, 1995, to André Ouellet, the foreign-affairs minister at the time, to ask why the promised investigation had failed to materialize.

"When his death was first announced, officials from your ministry called me to say that Canada would undertake an investigation, that it would be done by November, 1994, and since that time we've received no news," she wrote.

"One can understand those Rwandans who know the murderers yet prefer to stay quiet in the face of this cruel act, out of fear for their lives. However, we question Canada's silence in this matter."

In Rwanda for 29 years

Father Simard, a Catholic priest from Quebec, had lived in Rwanda for 29 years, building schools and churches for the country's poor. Refusing to flee Rwanda during its 100 days of genocide, he helped to find shelter for Tutsis who might have otherwise been slaughtered. He also used a cassette recorder to make audio tapes of the machine guns and explosions in a nearby valley where Tutsis were being massacred.

After the genocide, with Mr. Kagame's Tutsi-based army now in control of the country, the Canadian priest was disturbed to see a new cycle of revenge killings against Hutus in the region around Ruyenzi, the village where he lived. He began to record his observations of the atrocities, the same technique he had used during the genocide.

On the morning of Oct. 18, 1994, his cook and gardener found Father Simard's dead body. His hands were tied behind him and he'd been gagged with a towel. Next to his body was the murder weapon - a carpenter's hammer. On the dining-room table were three plates with the remains of the papaya meal that he is believed to have shared with the killers that night.

Major Isberg was the first investigator to arrive at the murder scene, accompanied by two other UN officials. To his surprise, Rwandan soldiers blocked his way, refusing to allow him to enter the building until senior Rwandan military chiefs had arrived.

"It did make me kind of curious," said Major Isberg, who wrote two reports within days of the murder and a follow-up report in March, 1995. "Why was this such a big deal? Every other incident I'd gone to, I'd never really had an issue. This one was somehow different."

When he finally got access to the murder scene, Major Isberg found that Father Simard's valuables were still in the room, and his house key was still in his pocket, suggesting, because there was no sign of forced entry, that he had allowed the killers to enter. "Something was not right," he said in an interview with The Globe. "There was no robbery. My feeling was that he knew he was going to die from the moment they showed up."

His investigation found a range of evidence pointing to the likely involvement of Mr. Kagame's army, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). People interviewed for the investigation said they had seen three men arriving at Father Simard's house that evening in a dark blue car in which RPA soldiers had been seen previously. After the murder, the same car was seen leaving the house, around 8:30 p.m.

The separate UN civilian police report on Nov. 1, 1994, described how the RPA had put Father Simard under surveillance and interrogated him five times in the months before his murder. The report concluded that the army had probably learned of Father Simard's plans to give his audio recordings to a UN official, to document the army's crimes in the region.

"From all indications, Father Claude Simard was murdered by RPA," the report said. "The image of the RPA was at stake and they could not simply sit by. Father Claude Simard was about to expose them with a recorded cassette of their crimes."

Witnesses were afraid to give information about the murder because they risked being killed by the RPA, the report said.

A week before his death, Father Simard told a former UN official that he was "very afraid for his life because the RPA was out to eliminate him," the report said. The priest told him that RPA soldiers "were killing innocent people" in his parish, it said.

The former UN official immediately gave this information to a Canadian military officer, at the local headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force in a nearby Rwandan city, but the Canadian officer apparently stayed silent. "There is no evidence whatsoever that he passed on this information to someone," the report said.

If this officer had acted on the information, Father Simard's death might have been prevented, the report found.

Major Isberg's follow-up report in March, 1995, concluded that the murder may have been "organized from a relatively senior level" and that the facts were "deliberately hidden."

Many RPA officers had visited the village after the murder, warning villagers not to discuss the case with UN officials or journalists, Major Isberg wrote.

"Before his death, Simard appeared to be upset and scared," said his report, based on interviews with confidential sources. "It is known that he had written to a Canadian colleague about the problems ... and that he had documented some of the information. This letter and cassettes were taken the night of his death."

While the Canadian government said it did not have the right to investigate inside Rwanda without the Rwandan government's support, Major Isberg said he was never approached by investigators from the Canadian government for details of Father Simard's murder.

"It's more than disappointing," he said. "It's another part of the Father Simard tragedy, because it's a tragic situation if Canadian officials don't take interest. Canadian officials certainly had a responsibility from a Foreign Affairs perspective to investigate a murder of a Canadian citizen on foreign territory."

A former member of Mr. Kagame's military intelligence agency, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the potential threat to him if he is identified, told The Globe and Mail that the killing of Father Simard was a planned operation by the RPA's intelligence department to recover the priest's cassette recordings.

"They were scared of one thing: the information they suspected he had," said the former official, who broke with Mr. Kagame. "Simard was a witness willing to reveal what he saw. He was a key figure, among others."

Father Simard was far from the only foreigner to be targeted in Rwanda. Several other priests, aid volunteers and a school director - including Father Pinard, eight Spaniards, a Belgian and a Croatian - were killed by suspected RPA assailants between 1994 and 2000. "Foreigners who witnessed killings and were suspected of informing international opinion were targeted," University of Antwerp professor Filip Reyntjens writes in his recent book, Political Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda.

Father Pinard, a 61-year-old Catholic priest from Quebec who had worked in Rwanda for 35 years, was shot dead in his church on Feb. 2, 1997. He was giving communion to his parishioners on a Sunday morning when a man in a trench coat joined the line. He received communion from Father Pinard, then pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot the priest in the back.

"He fell to the floor and died immediately," said a Rwandan who witnessed the killing and spoke to The Globe on condition of anonymity.

"His blood flowed. It was horrible. Then panic ensued. The crowd began to scatter. People were falling over each other."

The witness said the gunman was a well-known local man who had close ties to Mr. Kagame's ruling political party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, and was the brother of an army lieutenant. Even though the killing was witnessed by hundreds of parishioners, the killer was not charged and was allowed to continue working as a local teacher, the witness said.

Letter identifies killer

The witness said he was interrogated and beaten by Rwandan soldiers after the murder because he was known to be close to Father Pinard and had witnessed the crime. He fled to Kenya and handed a detailed five-page account of the killing to the Canadian high commission in Nairobi, a copy of which has been obtained by The Globe. The letter includes the name of the man that the witness identified as carrying out the killing.

Colleagues of Father Pinard say the witness is credible and honest, and they agreed with his explanation that Father Pinard was killed because he was openly criticizing the Rwandan army and security forces for their attacks on Rwandan civilians.

"He was a serious, frank man," the witness said in an interview. "He defended the weak. He condemned the disappearances, assassinations and arbitrary arrests that were occurring. He would denounce crimes openly during his sermons. He spoke of everything, even in front of RPF members sitting in the church."

He said the Canadian high commission did not respond to his detailed report. "No one called me for an interview or even responded."

In 2008, a Spanish court invoked the doctrine of universal jurisdiction - which holds that crimes of genocide and torture are so serious that those accused of committing them can be tried anywhere. It indicted 40 senior RPA officers for crimes committed between 1994 and 2000, and named Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, head of military intelligence during that period, as the person ultimately responsible for the death of Father Pinard and other civilians.

By 2008, Lieutenant-General Karake had been deployed to a United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, where he was serving as deputy commander. The Canadian government publicly questioned his UN appointment and asked whether it was "convenient" to have him serving on a peacekeeping force when he faced the Spanish indictment.

Lt.-Gen. Karake currently heads Rwanda's National Intelligence and Security Services. So far, no senior Rwandan official has been arrested or extradited to face charges by the Spanish court.

Canada, too, has the authority to use universal jurisdiction, under its Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Two Rwandan nationals living in Canada - Hutus accused of committing crimes against Tutsis during the genocide - have already been tried.

Lloyd Axworthy, the Canadian foreign-affairs minister at the time of the Pinard murder, announced afterward that the Rwandan authorities had promised a "full investigation." He said Canada expected "an investigation that will lead to the prosecution of the guilty party."

Roger Tessier, a priest in the missionary society known as the White Fathers, to which Father Pinard belonged, said the RCMP came to see him in Nairobi after the murder, but he didn't have the impression that they were very interested in the case. Richard Dandenault, another priest and friend now living in Sherbrooke, Que., said there was no real follow-up by the Canadian authorities.

Louise Roy, sister-in-law of Father Pinard, said the priest knew that his life was in danger, but he refused to leave Rwanda. "He was very outspoken and the Rwandan government was afraid of him talking," she said in an interview.

"I don't recall the Canadian government ever calling us back to say that any investigation had been done, or that it had found out anything," she said. "The Canadian government never did much about this. I don't think it was that important to them."

Geoffrey York is The Globe and Mail's Africa correspondent and Judi Rever is a freelance writer based in Montreal.

Associated Graphic

From left: Canadian priests Guy Pinard and Claude Simard, and Paul Kagame, then leader of the rebel Rwanda Patriotic Front, just after the 1994 genocide began. Today his ambassador blames their death on 'thugs' and 'stray bullets.'


Leading the charge against content thieves
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B3

'Omigod, I'm going to have to get angry all over again." Ruth Vitale was introduced to me only a few minutes ago, and she's already in a state of spiky moral outrage. That's my fault, really: I probably shouldn't have greeted her by mentioning that some members of my extended family make a habit of illegally downloading movies.

"It's infuriating, and it's wrong." she says. "The thing is, [paying for content] supports your living, and they should know that!"

She's swearing now.

She does this a fair bit, it seems, and it's charming: Less abrasive than conspiratorial, a sort of corrective to an enduring girlish quality she has, even in her early 60s. For more than three decades now, Ms. Vitale has cultivated a reputation as a Hollywood executive who says what she's thinking, a creature of the independent film world who blithely wears jeans to meetings on Capitol Hill. In a town of inflatable phonies, she comes off as authentic, grounded.

And so here on a blue-sky Sunday afternoon during the recent Toronto International Film Festival, as the imported air-kissers swirl past the patio of O&B Canteen, the ground-floor restaurant in TIFF's King Street complex, Ms. Vitale wants to talk about a mortal danger.

About 18 months ago, she was recruited by CreativeFuture, a non-profit group funded by the major Hollywood studios and hundreds of other TV and film companies, which is hoping to shift the public's attitude about pirated entertainment content. In her brief time at the helm, the organization has pivoted from complaining about piracy to instead trying to emphasize the cultural importance of creativity and the hard work done by the thousands of people you don't see on screen.

"We're the victim of our own red-carpet celebrity," Ms. Vitale says, as a waiter places a shareable Ploughman's Plate of meat, cheese, pickles, fruit, and toast atop our tiny, high table. She forks into a small cube of cheese - she had a late breakfast, she explains - and sips some blueberry tea. "People think movie-making is magic."

"No one outside of our business understands how hard it is to do what we do. And none of us has bothered to speak up about it," she says. "While Google and Silicon Valley and everyone is saying copyright doesn't matter, we've been saying, 'You know, we're busy making those television shows and films that you're busy stealing. We really don't have time to talk about it.' And my job is to say: 'Time's up. Time to talk about it.' "

CreativeFuture's membership now comprises some of the most well-respected behind-the-scenes workers: the producers Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy), Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead), Dawn Prestwich (The Killing), Marshall Herskovitz (the films Traffic and Love & Other Drugs), and director Spike Lee, many of whom spend their spare time penning op-eds about piracy and spreading the word in other ways.

They want people to understand that those in the industry - the set designers and sound technicians, production managers and prop people, costumers and special effects whizzes - are noncelebrities simply trying to pay their rent or mortgage and put food on the table for their families. Ms. Vitale notes that almost 1,400 people worked on the 2013 film The Wolverine, none of whom, it would seem, was top-ofmind when people streamed the movie from Bit Torrent or other pirate sites.

"Here's the thing," says Ms. Vitale. "I want the 2016 Tesla, but I just can't go into their showroom and steal the plans and have it made. When did we raise a generation of kids that are, like, 'I want it when I [expletive deleted] want it?' I wanna strangle them."

Okay, so it may be that Ms. Vitale hasn't yet fully pivoted to promoting a broader appreciation of creativity: It's not easy, after all, to curb the instinct to fight when you're under siege. But CreativeFuture has a threepronged plan to change things.

The first is to encourage behind-the-scenes workers to step up. A few days after our meeting at TIFF, Ms. Vitale was in Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and others as part of an event called "Beyond the Red Carpet." Disney animators who worked on Frozen were there, as well as a special effects makeup artist, a costumer from the TV show Turn, producers, and filmmakers.

CreativeFuture is also behind a new initiative of the U.S. advertising industry to stop Fortune 500 companies from buying ad space on pirate sites. Many of these companies, says Ms. Vitale, might not even be aware of where their ads show up. "If you're BMW and you buy 30,000 impressions online, the Internet purposely hides where your ads go," she says. Her figures suggest about 20-25 per cent of the ads on streaming sites are for brands that likely do not want to be associated with piracy. Stopping that, she says, "will make those sites look not legitimate, because it will be [just] porn ads and Russian bride ads. So the people that don't look intentionally to steal, they will know it's not a site that's appropriate."

The third plank is youth outreach. "If I call it 'youth education,' the other side condemns me for saying I'm trying to brainwash," she explains. "And it really is about conveying respect for creativity." Her organization has struck a partnership with I Keep Safe, a non-profit that instructs children about online safety, to promote a curriculum about creativity, copyright, and fair-use. There are hopes to roll out the curriculum across schools in the United States. "It's a really longterm play," she admits.

The job as executive director of CreativeFuture is an unusual place for Ms. Vitale to be, considering that movies were not part of her upbringing. "I was only allowed to read books," she says.

Growing up for a time in Cali, Colombia, where her father, a PhD in biochemistry and a cancer researcher, set up the Department of Nutrition at the University of Valle, "we didn't have a television, because you couldn't get reception." Back in the U.S., she still wasn't allowed to watch TV.

She went to university with the intention of following her father's footsteps into medicine. "Six weeks in, I literally sat in chemistry class and thought: 'I'm never going to make it.' So I changed to literature, and a minor in dance, and my dad didn't speak to me for six months. He was furious."

She followed that degree with a masters in journalism, then was set to go to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy near Boston when a TV station, where she'd done part-time work during college, offered her a job.

Within a few years, she'd made the leap into film, first as programmer at The Movie Channel, where a friend was working. It was just something to do at the time. "I kind of believe this: that your fate is mapped out for you. I know there are people who believe you make your own. But I've never made a whole lot of choices. I've kind of come to a fork in the road and just, like, stuck my finger up in the wind: 'Okay, I'll go that way.' Every job has led to something more interesting, and each prior job has given me additional skill sets that help me on the next path, the next part of my journey, and I know that sounds like a fortune cookie. But it really is true."

The Movie Channel is where she really started watching films. Soon enough, she moved into filmmaking. In 1987, as president of production at Vestron Pictures, she green-lit a little indie film that became a monster hit: A 1960s coming-of-age tale about a young woman whose father, as it happens, is a doctor.

"It's the one thing my father was so proud of," says Ms. Vitale. In his final days, as he was ailing from heart disease, she says, "I'd come in from L.A. and I went to the nursing home and I said, 'My dad, Dr. Vitale is here, he's a patient, which room is he in?' and [a nurse said]: 'Are you his daughter who made Dirty Dancing?' He was on his deathbed, saying, 'My daughter made Dirty Dancing.' And I was like - " and here Ms. Vitale affects a kind of Valley Girl accent, with an uptick - " '... Yea, but you know, I've done a lot of other things since then?' But, for him, anywhere he went in the world, that was the icebreaker: 'My daughter made Dirty Dancing.'"

She didn't actually make it, of course, but she is listed as an executive producer on more than a dozen other films. Screen credits are funny things, though. People frequently receive them when they do no discernible work; just as often, they'll slave away and get no official credit. In 1988, when Ms. Vitale was head of production at United Artists, the studio found itself in a jam when the writers went out on strike while the horror film Child's Play was being made. So she worked weekends with the director to shape the script. (She got no credit.)

Then there was The Legend of 1900, the 1998 drama by the Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, known for the Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso.

"I got [the studio] Fine Line to green-light what was essentially a $45-million movie that Tornatore was going to direct in English.

That wouldn't have been unusual, except that Giuseppe didn't speak English. But I was assured that he was going to learn English, so I bought the 25-page treatment, or committed to it, in Cannes that year, and a moment later I'm whisked by [former Italian prime minister Silvio] Berlusconi on a private jet to Rome, to meet with Giuseppe. And at lunch we had a translator, because Giuseppe in fact did not speak English." She laughs ruefully at the memory.

"Um, that was a really difficult set for everybody involved. For Giuseppe himself, right? Because there he has a movie with Tim Roth and Pruitt Taylor Vince, and we have translators for everybody." She pauses to let that sink in. "Everybody! Okay? I wanted to shoot myself!"

She bailed before the end of production, to found Paramount Classics. Her official credit was "Thanks."

Ms. Vitale has to run off now to a TIFF panel discussion about the evolving world of film distribution. But there are still a few things to talk about, so a couple of weeks later she and I connect by phone. She's back in L.A., and I'm at home now. As it happens, my extended family is gathered downstairs for a big dinner. She tells me that, at the conclusion of that panel in Toronto, she was approached by a young filmmaker with a depressing and too-familiar tale. "He said, 'I spent two years making a movie, and it was pirated. Two years of my work, saving up money to make a movie, and I've lost everything.' How is that okay?

"Now, I know this isn't life or death. But it is an industry under siege that's contributed most of the cultural references in the last 100 years: music, movies, books, and TV. So, do I think I'm gonna make a difference? I'm sure as hell gonna try."

I explain that I need to go soon, that my family is waiting for me - including the relatives I mentioned when we first met, the ones who steal content.

And she says: "Put them on the phone for me!"



Member, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Paramount Classics, founder and co-president (1998-2005) Fine Line Features, president (1995-97) New Line Pictures, senior vicepresident of acquisitions and co-productions (1992-94)


Ms. Vitale, 62, has never been married - though she has been engaged four times. "I am the runaway bride," she says, laughing. "First was when I was 26, and the last was when I was 40. By the way, the last one? When he realized I wasn't going to marry him, it was so hard for me not to say, 'Weren't the first three a clue?' "


"These are the movies that, if you had to go to a desert island and never watch anything else, what would you bring? The problem with choosing five is, I flow over into six and seven."

No. 1: "The first one, I have the poster in my office, one of the originals. It's Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. For me, it was the first time that art and commerce met. It is truly an action film, but [director] George Miller, because of how adept he is at his craft, it's an extraordinary piece of film making."

No. 2: "If you can count two movies as one - The Godfather and The Godfather 2. You can see from my list, I'm all about the film making. Coppola is truly an artist."

No. 3: Blade Runner: "Ridley Scott's cut. Again, Ridley is a consummate artist. I think I love all of these directors because they took what are essentially arthouse topics and made them all commercial. That's why [No. 4 is]: David Fincher's Fight Club."

No. 5: "This one may raise hackles, but it is truly an extraordinary film: Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. Someone said to me, 'Do you have any comedies you like?' If I had to bring two comedies, it would be [No. 6] Babe - interestingly, produced by George Miller - and [No. 7] Parenthood. But see, that's cheating, because it's more than five."

Associated Graphic

Ruth Vitale, Hollywood executive and copyright crusader


They served different roles in the NHL and they came from different places, but these men all have one thing in common: They're joining an elite group in hockey's shrine. Eric Duhatschek, who is also a member of the Hall, looks at how they got there
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S5


From Montreal. Persuaded by Hull Olympiques owner Wayne Gretzky to leave his 17-year job as a police officer to become a junior hockey coach; began his NHL coaching career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1988; named the NHL's coach of the year in his first seasons with Montreal, Toronto and Boston; in 1993, he led the Maple Leafs on their longest Stanley Cup playoff run since 1967, losing in the third round to Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings; won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003; died Nov. 19, 2010, after a long battle with cancer.

Former Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour on Burns:

Pat was a unique man. The first time I really met him was when he signed to coach the Leafs and I was downtown and he said, 'Look, we're going to meet up.' So we drank some beer and told some stories and he told me what he expected - that for us to succeed, certain guys had to be our best players in practice and our best players in games. He said, 'That means I've got to push you and you've got to overachieve.' He had that police-officer mentality and he was almost like a dad-figure, too - he could scare the crap out of you. His look and demeanour were intimidating.

The biggest thing about Pat is how well he was respected. They say of certain coaches, he's a three-year guy or a four-year guy or whatever. But you know what? Every year, he developed as a coach. I know when he went to Boston and Dave Ellett was there with him, I said, 'How's Burnsy been?' and he said, 'Night and day compared to Toronto - not as hard on us.' From there, he went to Jersey and he wasn't as hard on the players there, either - but he still was a commanding figure who wanted the best out of his players and wanted to win. That's the most I can say about him - that he wanted to win. And he figured out, finally, after many, many years, how to win the Cup in Jersey. I was excited for him. We were friends. He did a lot for me in my development.


From Livonia, Mich. Chosen first over all by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988; played 21 of his 22 seasons with the North Stars/Dallas Stars club; an Olympic silver medalist, he also led the Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999; holds the NHL record for most goals (561) and points (1,374) by an American-born player.

Former North Stars captain Basil McRae on Modano:

After he finished playing his final year in Prince Albert, Mike joined us in the playoffs in St. Louis. He was coming off a broken wrist, so he had a cast on his hand and he had braces on his teeth. Skating around in practice, he was this tall skinny kid who looked about 14 and had this huge Al MacInnis-style left-handed curve on his stick blade. It was crazy. But even with a cast on his hand, he was saucering the puck and I thought, 'If he can do that now, how good is he going to be when he gets the cast off and the braces off.' You didn't have to be a Ron Caron or a Scotty Bowman or an Al Arbour to understand this kid had exceptional talent.

When they came to town to film the first Mighty Ducks movie, they wanted the two most popular North Stars players to be in it. They did a fan poll in the Minneapolis papers and there's no doubt who was No. 1 - Mike Modano. Whether I was No. 2 or not, I got included as the second guy.

The filming took place during the 1991 players' strike - not a lockout, but an actual strike - and Mike and I had to go to the Met Center, because Disney had leased the building and they referred to us as North Star 1 and North Star 2. North Star 1 - Mike - had three or four lines and North Star 2 - me - had one line. About 15 minutes into the filming, the director said, 'Whoa. Switch. North Star 1, you're now North Star 2 and North Star 2, you're now North Star 1.' I'm not a particularly articulate guy, but at the time, I could handle the lines better than Mike could. So many people have asked me since, 'How come you got all the lines and not Mike Modano?' But if you knew Mike then, he was a pretty quiet guy. His smile, his grin, how he rolled his eyes, that's how he communicated.

Mike was a guy - when the puck dropped - he could really turn it on, and then when the game was over, he had a smile on his face, and a lot of people took that the wrong way - that he wasn't competitive or he didn't care. Well, he did. He wasn't into the rah-rah or the 'I'm so pissed off so I'm going to kick over a garbage can.' He just did it on the ice.


From Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. Philadelphia's first choice in the 1991 entry draft, traded to Quebec in 1992 as part of the Eric Lindros saga; NHL rookie of the year in 1995 with Quebec and a two-time Stanley Cup champion in 1996 and 2001 with Colorado; His 1994 winning goal against Canada at the Winter Olympics was commemorated on a stamp issued by Swedish Post, an honour normally reserved for the monarchy.

Former Colorado Avalanche coach Bob Hartley on Forsberg:

My highlight of Peter Forsberg's career came when we were playing the Panthers in Florida right after we made the trade for Theo Fleury [in March, 1999]. We were down 5-1 after two and Pavel Bure did the Tiger Williams, riding his stick, in front of our bench, in the last minute of the second period. In the third period, it was the Peter Forsberg Show. He must have played 12 minutes in that third period and scored about five points.

He was a lion. That game, I could still draw up a few of his goals. Every time he had the puck, whoever was on the ice against him, they didn't touch the puck. I remember he went around their defencemen, it was not even fair.

Such a talented player, a franchise player. I still question myself over the years over how we handled him. I didn't get Peter as a kid. When I got him, the ankles were starting to be a problem. Then he had the [lost] spleen during our Stanley Cup run. You wonder, where's the balance? He played so hard that I'm sure it took lots of awards and points away from him and probably a few years off his career. Nashville and Philly at the end, they didn't have a chance to see the real Peter Forsberg - because he was not old when he retired.

I would see his ankle bones after games and they were as red as our jerseys. We were in that conference, we were playing against [Derian] Hatcher and [Richard] Matvichuk in Dallas and they were trying to take his head off every game. In St. Louis, there was [Al] MacInnis and [Chris] Pronger. In Detroit, they were not tough, but they had [Nicklas] Lidstrom and a lot of other good players.

He would love those challenges.

They wouldn't even have to go after him. He was always going after them. It seemed that was his way of doing things.

Talent-wise, when you blend in talent and competitiveness, he was probably the hardest competitor I've ever coached.


From Simcoe, Ont. A Hobey Baker finalist in his final season with Bowling Green State University before turning pro with the Los Angeles Kings; one of four players drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 draft (70th over all) to play more than 800 games in the NHL; he is a member of the IIHF's elite Triple Gold Club winning a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal and the IIHF World Championship.

Former Los Angeles Kings forward Luc Robitaille on Blake:

Rob was known for his hip check. He was the first big guy I would say that was quick. A lot of big guys, in those days, weren't quick at stopping and going in the other direction, so we weren't used to that as players. Sometimes, you'd see a forward coming up the ice and he'd take a peek and put his head down to control the puck, and the next thing you knew, Rob was there, on top of them and he would connect with those guys.

Rob was a lot like Scott Niedermayer - everywhere he went, he was a difference-maker in winning. He found a way to fit with the team he was playing for at the time, and be a leader on that team.

We went to the 1994 world championships, which Canada hadn't won in 32 years. We had Rob as our top defenceman and I clearly remember playing Sweden in the semi-finals. We needed a big bang at the start and so we said, 'Rob, if you get a chance to get a guy at centre ice, just do it, because they've never seen anything like that.' I can't remember who he hit, but he connected with a guy and laid him out in the first five minutes and we ended up winning, I think 5-0.

It was incredible, the impact that he had as a player. He was a special player, a game-breaker in his own way, because he could turn a game with a big hit.

Rob is our assistant GM and last year, in the series against Chicago, our Kings' plane only has 54 seats. In the playoffs, there isn't enough room for everybody to fly on the charter. So we needed three people to fly commercial.

We're in a meeting, with a couple of younger guys that work under me and didn't know Rob Blake, and he says, 'I've got to take three guys out, so it'll be me and he says two other names.' I said, 'You can't take yourself out,' and he says, 'No, if I'm going to take two guys out, I gotta take myself out too.' And the kids I work with on the business side, they were floored by that. He wasn't trying to make a statement, it was just a matter of fact. But that's why he was one of the greatest leaders ever - because he always put the team ahead of himself.


From Pardubice, Czechoslovakia. Drafted 199th over all in 1983 and did not make his NHL debut until nine years later; a six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's best goaltender, he also won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 1997 and 1998 - the first time since Jacques Plante in 1962; was named Czech hockey player of the 20th century in 1998.

Former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Hasek:

I always said this about Dom, he was ahead of the curve. He was inventing ways of stopping the puck that now are pretty common. He played deeper in the net and he read the game so well. He was one of the most incredible athletes I've ever been around.

He started dropping pucks and hitting them with his paddle. He would roll over and do that barrel-roll Dom save. Plays, saves, moves - they all come from somewhere, somebody invents them and Dom invented a different way to play the game. Goalies that came after him wanted to play like him. People couldn't wrap their arms around some of those things. They'd say, 'That's crazy, that's not how a goalie plays.' He was way ahead of the curve.

He'd be yelling at the defencemen, 'Must see, must see, get out of my way; I want to see the puck.' He could come back to the bench and tell me, 'He not have his man, he not have his man.' He was just so aware of where everybody was.

I can tell you this: Dom made me a better coach and he made all his teammates better players - because he helped clean up the mistakes.

We could hold on and give up two or three chances and then go the other way, and they didn't have what we had in goal when we got down to the other end.

These interviews have been edited and condensed.

For Kinross, it's 'situation normal' in Russia
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B3

LONDON -- When you buy a share in Canada's Kinross Gold Corp., you are not just betting on gold prices; you are betting on the outcome of the great geopolitical standoff between the West and Vladimir Putin's Russia, which may or many not evolve into a new Cold War.

So far, the bet has gone massively in Mr. Putin's favour - Kinross shares are so low that they seem to be awarding virtually no value to Kinross's two big, and profitable, gold mines in Russia's far east. In 2010, Kinross was a $20 stock. Today, it trades at about $3.20 and has been as low as $2.27.

But haven't all gold companies been slaughtered along with the gold price?

Yes, but Toronto-based Kinross is in a submarine class all of its own and when its executives and shareholders are in a masochistic mood, they call up a few Goldcorp charts. Vancouver's Goldcorp Inc. is of roughly equal size yet its market value is more than four times higher than Kinross's ($18.5-billion versus $3.6-billion).

Eldorado Gold Corp., whose production is less than a third of Kinross's, is worth $5-billion.

Ouch! Whip us again! Kinross's problem can be summed up in one wretched word: Russia.

"We're getting doubly hammered because of the gold price and the situation in Russia," says Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson, who was in London this week trying to convince investors and brokers that the economic sanctions against Russia were not endangering Kinross's mines.

The effort had at least partial success. In Toronto trading on Tuesday, after Mr. Rollinson finished his investor therapy sessions, Kinross shares rose more than 10 per cent, a far bigger gain than its rivals', reducing the one-year loss to 34 per cent.

Mr. Rollinson meets me at the St. James bar of the elegant Sofitel hotel, the former Cox & Co. bank building, from 1923, at Waterloo Place, near Piccadilly.

The bar is dark, buzzy, expensive - a glass of plonk costs £10 or about $17.50 - but uses some wit to distance itself from the building's dour past. The ceiling features a massive portrait of a rooster clad in a red coat military uniform.

Mr. Rollinson, 52, orders a glass of Chablis; it's late afternoon and too early to eat. He looks like a miner. He is stocky, with closecropped hair, and seems powerful enough to hurl a gold ingot over a truck. But his demeanour is anything but aggressive. He's rather soft spoken, swears only a bit and professes outright fear of journalists. He rarely gives interviews.

Wearing blue jeans and a black sweater - he has shed the blue suit he wore to the investor meetings - the boss of one of the world's biggest gold companies comes across as a charming rube who doesn't flaunt his wealth. In Toronto, he drives an old Dodge pickup truck to work.

But first appearances can be deceptive. Evidently, Mr. Rollinson has defused a potentially dire situation with Putin & Co. as the sanctions chew into the Russian economy and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper ramps up the anti-Putin rhetoric, as he did last week at Group of 20 meeting in Australia. At a private leaders' schmoozer, Mr. Harper, according his spokesman, met Mr. Putin and said, "You need to get out of Ukraine."

If Mr. Putin is mad at Canada in general and Mr. Harper in particular, he's not taking it out on Kinross, which is the biggest Canadian investor in Russia. "For us, it's situation normal in Russia," Mr. Rollinson says. "We continue to operate as we always have."

But the share price suggests investors fear that Mr. Putin might be tempted to retaliate against investors from countries, like Canada, that are enthusiastic cheerleaders of using sanctions as financial weapons.

The not-so-subtle threat exists.

In September, a draft law was submitted to the Duma, the Russian parliament, that would allow the seizure of foreign assets on Russian territory as compensation for a Russian whose property is seized in foreign states. The draft law came after Italian tax police seized about 30-billion ($41.8-billion) of assets belonging to Russian billionaire and Putin ally Arkady Rotenberg, who was targeted by U.S. and European Union sanctions.

The so-called Rotenberg law helped to knock 15 per cent off Kinross shares that month, a pace that more than doubled in October.

Mr. Rollinson, a mining geologist turned investment banker, had never been a CEO before Tye Burt was ousted as Kinross's boss in August, 2012. At the time, gold was trading at about $1,650 (U.S.) an ounce - it's now below $1,200 - and gold mining shares were still rather buoyant, with the notable exception of Kinross.

The company was getting slaughtered by billions of dollars of writedowns on Mr. Burt's showpiece, a $7-billion (Canadian) acquisition in 2010 of Red Back Mining, whose main asset was the potentially enormous Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania.

Talk about a baptism by fire. Mr. Rollinson had to figure out whether to develop Tasiast or put it into hot, dusty storage in the desert, a decision that will finally be made early next year. A few months later, gold prices began to slide, then plummet, sending Mr. Rollinson and his team on a cost-crunching campaign that has yet to end.

In mid-2013, another deal from the Tye Burt era, the $800-million (U.S.) all-share purchase of Aurelian Resources, turned sour when the Ecuadorean government insisted on a 70-per-cent windfall profits tax on Aurelian's Fruta del Nord project.

Exasperated, Kinross gave up trying to strike a non-punitive tax deal and unloaded the project on Lundin Group's Fortress Minerals for a mere $240-million.

Then came the Ukraine crisis, Russia's seizure of Crimea, the rising body count in eastern Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia. In an instant, Kinross's Russian mines, responsible for about a third of the company's expected gold production this year of 2.6 million to 2.7 million ounces, went from glittering asset to potential geopolitical target.

Since then, Kinross has been working hard to protect its Russian mines, an effort that has seen the company recruit lobbyists in Ottawa and meet with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev (Kinross is the only Canadian member of the 51-company Foreign Investment Advisory Council, whose chairman is Mr. Medvedev).

Life used to be simple for Mr. Rollinson, whose idea of a good time is fishing and walking his dog, not guessing whether the incoming Republican Congress in the United States will hit Russia with new sanctions.

Mr. Rollinson was born in Britain and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was five-years-old.

His father was an engineer who found work with the company that later became Cameco, the uranium miner. He earned geology and mining degrees from Laurentian and McGill universities and opted for a career in exploration geology, since he loved the wilds of Canada.

"My wife, Sally, is a geologist, too; we both worked in exploration and we met in northern Quebec," he says.

"There were no women in my undergrad, no women in my master's and the first woman I met in the bush I married ... Our first dates were in helicopters."

Exploration meant living in tents for most of the year, which can be awkward when you're about to get married and start a family. So Mr. Rollinson shifted to mining investment banking and loved it. Working for BMO Nesbitt Burns, Deutsche Bank and Scotia Capital, he travelled from Africa to the Andes to visit mining projects.

In 2008, Tye Burt, an investment banker himself, offered him a job at Kinross. They knew each other because Mr. Rollinson had advised Kinross on the acquisition of Bema Gold, which owned the Kupol gold project in eastern Russia. At Kinross, he was responsible for non-gold diversification and made the profitable investment in diamond company Harry Winston.

Moving up the ladder, he became corporate development boss and, when the hideous writedowns on the Red Back purchase (a deal that he had supported) killed Mr. Burt's career, he found himself running the show. That meant he had to manage a crisis that was getting worse by the day.

Mr. Rollinson had to make some hard decisions. The first was not to bet the company on expensive projects in a falling market. Instead, the focus would be on protecting the balance sheet and putting the company on a Greek-style austerity regime. Fruta del Nord was jettisoned and production at one mine in Chile was stopped.

Capital expenditures went from $2.2-billion in 2012 to a forecast $675-million or less this year. The dividend was suspended. Haunting management as gold prices fell was a debt covenant that, if breached, could see the company's lenders insist on loan repayment in full. The spending reductions have removed the covenant threat, ensuring that Kinross now has one of the healthiest balance sheets in an ailing industry.

Which brings us back to the Tasiast mine. Kinross will soon announce whether the mine will undergo a $1.5-billion-plus expansion that would allow production to rise to close to 850,000 ounces a year, from 200,000.

To get there, the mine would need a new mill, electricity supplies and a 160-kilometre water pipeline from the ocean.

Mr. Rollinson won't say whether he's set to ditch the Tasiast expansion, but I would guess from his body language and his stated goal of coddling Kinross's balance sheet like a newborn baby that it's a no go.

"If I am 20 months into a construction project and the gold price tanks and my EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] goes down, I don't want to put our balance sheet at risk, so we're thinking hard about this project," he says.

"The gold is in the ground, it's not going anywhere."

But if Tasiast is put into limbo, where will Kinross find growth?

And if there is no growth, why would anyone buy Kinross shares as opposed to a gold exchange traded fund ?

Apparently, I've asked the right question and Mr. Rollinson has the right answer: A strong balance sheet would allow Kinross to pounce on unloved gold companies or gold projects and - surprise! - any purchases would not be in Africa or Russia. "I'd look opportunistically," he says, adding that only 50 per cent of Kinross's production is in the Americas, and none in Canada.

"In an ideal world, we'd rebalance geographically. I would say the Americas would be a priority for us."

In the meantime, Russia is a problem because it's weighing down the share price. Can he find an elegant way out of Russia? Mr. Rollinson has been asked this question a million times by investors and analysts and has careful, measured answers: Not now, the timing isn't right and, besides, the Russian mines are profitable and we're getting our cash out without any problem.

"We have a good relationship with the government and they view us as a poster child example of how to do business in Russia," he says.

"Why would I throw it away? I would rather stay and have the political situation improve."

In reality, Kinross has a good insurance policy. The two Russian mines are wholly owned, have all their permits and employ 2,200 in a remote part of the world.

If the Kremlin were to make life difficult for Kinross, it's not just Kinross itself that would suffer; so would Russia's far east. He says his meeting in mid-October with Mr. Medvedev, the Russian president, gave him no reason to fear that Kinross's mines might emerge as collateral damage in the sanctions war. "They value foreign investors," he says.

"We talked about how business and politics don't mix."

And with that, Mr. Rollinson goes from reluctant interviewee to father. The eldest of his three daughters, Ailsa, lives in London, where she works in a boutique hotel. He is looking forward to a relaxing dinner with her as his gold world suffers anxiety spasms.

Kinross Gold (K) Close: $3.20, down 2¢


Favourite book: The Flashman series, by George MacDonald Fraser

Movie: Westerns, especially True Grit

Band: the Tragically Hip

Buys suits from: Holt Renfrew

Restaurant: Le Select Bistro, Toronto

Drives: 2008 Dodge Ram pickup, black

Sports: Fishing and skiing

Ski spot: Osler Bluff Ski Club, Blue Mountains, Ontario

Holiday destination: Costa Rica, Pacific side

Charity: Emily's House, Toronto's first pediatric palliative care hospice, supported by his wife Sally

Associated Graphic

Paul Rollinson, chief executive officer, Kinross Gold Corp.


The next chapter of an uncommon life
Jacqueline Park became a bestselling author at the age of 72. Now, at 89, she's published the follow-up to her acclaimed debut novel
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R3

Taking a break from writing one recent afternoon, Jacqueline Park eases herself into a recliner, tucked into a corner of her Yorkville apartment, to pose for a photograph.

"Tell me, which makes me look better?" she says, putting on and then removing a pair of hornrimmed glasses. Someone remarks she looks lovely either way. "Yeah, I know. But really?" The room - a reporter, a videographer, her publicist, her researcher and an assistant - erupts in laughter, but Park, 89, is unmoved. "Everyone wants to know how it feels to be this old. I want everybody to know that you don't necessarily lose your vanity. I think if you don't keep yourself up on the outside, you probably don't keep yourself up on the inside."

She decides to wear her glasses; Park sees better this way. About 21/2 years ago she was diagnosed with macular degeneration, leaving her blind in one eye and her vision impaired in the other. Her researcher and writing assistant, Alpesh Mistry, sits at a nearby table, parsing a section of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, possible material for a future novel. ("I started by fixing her computer, and then quickly she realized I can do research," says the 26year-old, who acts as Park's eyes and fingers. "One thing led to another.")

"I write longhand, which nobody can read, including me, and then we puzzle over it together to get some kind of draft on the computer," Park explains. "It's a really slow way to write a big book."

Park's latest big book, the 491page The Legacy of Grazia dei Rossi, was published earlier this week. It is a sequel to her debut novel, The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi, an international success published almost two decades ago. Yet writing is but a small part of Park's uncommon life, one that has spanned from Depression-era Winnipeg to Bonfire of the Vanities New York, from working at the nascent National Film Board as a teenager to becoming a bestselling author at the age of 72. Park is as unlikely a writer as you'll find in Canada and one who, despite being four months shy of the start of her tenth decade on this planet, is still going remarkably strong.

"My children think that I am too old to work," she says, then mimics one of her two daughters: "'What are you doing this for, Ma? Are you crazy? You don't have to do this. You're supposed to be enjoying your life. These are your golden years.' " Park looks decidedly unimpressed. "I said, 'How would I do it?' She said, 'Well, you could go on a cruise.' I thought, 'Oh my God, that's like a life in hell.' Can you imagine the rest of your life going on cruises?"

The only child of Russian-Jewish parents, she was born Jacqueline Rosen in 1925 in Winnipeg, a tough town soon made tougher by the Depression. When her father, a jeweller, went broke, the family moved into the city's Royal Alexander Hotel. "My father had a deal with the hotel," she recalls. "I subsequently discovered that the deal that my father had is that he was running a bookmaking establishment on the second floor." Yet Park reflects on those years almost wistfully, as if she enjoyed a Manitoban version of Eloise in the Plaza Hotel. "It certainly wasn't a hardship on me. They let me run the elevators. I would go downstairs and I would work the switchboard. It was a big playpen for me."

Park had been enrolled in singing and dancing lessons by her mother, and, by the time she was 5, she was performing at local beer halls on weekends, something she continued to do while studying economics at the University of Manitoba, where she enrolled when she was only 14. (One of her partners was Monty Hall, who later rose to fame as host of TV's Let's Make a Deal.) Then came the Second World War. RCAF Station Winnipeg was a key base in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, a home away from home for pilots and navigators from around the world. "You can imagine what the streets of Winnipeg were like on the weekends when they had their time off. All these beautiful young men in uniforms just cascaded into Winnipeg. It was one big party." Park auditioned for - and won - a job singing for the troops. "I sang at the servicemen's centre every Saturday night in Winnipeg, and we were broadcast on the CBC coast to coast."

There was a time Park figured she'd be an entertainer for the rest of her life, but her life changed gears during her last year of school. When John Grierson, a Scottish filmmaker who'd recently established the National Film Board of Canada, visited Winnipeg, Park wrote about him for the student newspaper. At the end of the interview, he offered Park a job.

She was still in her teens when she moved to Ottawa. (She's still surprised her parents let her go: "[My father] thought Grierson would take care of me. He didn't know that Grierson, after four in the afternoon, couldn't take care of himself.") Arriving at the NFB headquarters, she presented herself to Grierson, "who I think really didn't remember hiring me." She spent the next few years researching and helping to produce propaganda films in aid of the war effort then, after a short stint in Chicago, moved to Toronto, where her parents were now living, to pursue her MA in economic history at the University of Toronto. (The scholar Harold Innis was her mentor.) In 1960 she moved to New York to write a series of documentaries for the Rockefeller Foundation, where she met her husband, Ben Park, who worked at NBC. Eventually she was offered a job in the film department at New York University, which had established the Tisch School for the Arts in 1965. ("In my first graduate class, Oliver Stone was my student," she says.) A professor emeritus, she retired in 2006 and moved back to Toronto.

It wasn't until she was in her 50s that Park began to write fiction.

"I grew up in a world where novel-writing was a boy's club," she says. "To write for television [was] not audacious, because there's someone above you telling you what to change and what to do - you're not really responsible for the material. But to write something for which you alone are responsible and can be blamed for the whole thing? I wasn't prepared for that. But I thought, 'Oh, to hell with it. I'm old now, I have nothing to lose, I'm going to write a novel.' "

She spent three years researching and a decade writing the novel that became The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi, about the life and times of a Jewish scribe serving as private secretary to the real-life Isabella d'Este in Renaissance Italy, a novel that began after Park found letters between d'Este and her Jewish lover in the archives of the New York Public Library. Besides her husband, who died not long before the novel was published, Park "wrote 1,400 pages and never showed it to anybody," she says. "I didn't know if I could do it. Forget any hopes I might have had of success - I had never written anything longer than 125 pages!"

Her former agent, Molly Friedrich, recalls it took years of trimming before she sold it. "The main crisis with that book was getting anyone to commit to reading 1,400 pages," she says. "Every time Jackie showed up at my office the manuscript would be a couple of hundred pages shorter."

A lean 600 pages, the novel was published by Simon & Schuster in 1997. In Canada, it was Indigo's first-ever Heather's Pick. ("The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi so compelled me I can still remember where I was when I read it," recalls Indigo founder and chief executive officer Heather Reisman, describing it as "a love story that reminded me so much of Gone With the Wind, except set in the time of the Medicis.") Not long after the novel was published, Park says, "I realized there was more to the story that I wanted to tell. And then I realized that I couldn't because I'd killed her off." Years of reading how-towrite-fiction guides had convinced her that at the end of a novel an author has to either "bury or marry" the protagonist; she decided on the former. Still, she left herself an out. "I have these years in television and film, and, you know, one of the rules is always leave room for a sequel. So I left her son alive."

The Legacy of Grazia dei Rossi, which is dedicated to Reisman, leaves Italy behind for the Ottoman Empire, and follows the journey of Danilo, Grazia's son, as he makes his way from Istanbul to Baghdad and back again in the company of the legendary sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, with whose daughter, Saida, he falls in love. She finished the manuscript last year, though it was uncertain whether she'd see it published: Last fall, while visiting her daughter in New York, she blacked out. "I remember getting on an airplane," she says. "I remember waking up and I was in Toronto, in Mount Sinai Hospital. Then I found out two weeks had gone by." She's currently living in a retirement home, but has made a remarkable comeback, all things considered. She's already written four chapters of Son of Two Fathers, the trilogy's conclusion. Next to her recliner, under the window, are banker's boxes and file folders stuffed full of notes for the next books, with subjects ranging from "palm reading" to "amulets and talismans." (This, she cautions, is only about half her research material; the rest is at her old apartment, though, considering her health, she worries that "I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to go back.") She also hopes to write the story of her family, "if I ever get out of the 16th century," though she dismisses the idea of writing her own memoirs.

"It seems to me, and I'm not being disingenuous, that I've lived a very fortunate life. I've had a lot of happy accidents," she says. "I made my own choices and I'm living with them. I spent a lot of time with my family that I would have spent - when I look at the lives that other writers have that I know - working instead. I'm not sorry for that decision. ... I don't regret that." It's a clichéd question, but one I ask anyway: Any regrets, then? She smiles: "It's too soon for me to say that, because it's not quite the end."


Park's recollections

Novelist Jacqueline Park reflects on her curious childhood in Winnipeg, discusses working at the National Film Board of Canada, and recalls the moment she knew she didn't want to be a director.

Associated Graphic

Writer Jacqueline Park spent three years researching and a decade writing The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi, her first novel.


The sexiest place on Earth
Hot nights. Secluded islands. Shark encounters that will get your blood pumping. If your marriage is failing and a trip to Tahiti doesn't save it, just call the divorce lawyer already. Domini Clark explains
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page T1

TIKEHAU, FRENCH POLYNESIA -- Is it possible to feel sorry for a beach? The stretch of sand that welcomes guests to Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort is a beauty - a pale, shimmering strip in French Polynesia that glows pink in the right light. Calm, crystal-clear water flirts with its edge, morphing into ever darkening shades of turquoise as it extends toward the horizon. Curvy white loungers beg for naps, while lush palm trees stand ready to provide shade from the bright sun.

But they wait in vain. The beach is empty. And it will remain so all day - and the next. For as gorgeous as the natural setting is, it cannot compete with the manmade attractions: thatched huts nestled amid verdant jungle or perched over that azure ocean. Sometimes even the glory of Mother Nature is no match for the thrills that come with an outdoor shower and a king-size bed.

Tahiti is one of the world's top honeymoon destinations, and for good reason. But those who think it is just about the views - the craggy green peaks of Bora Bora, the rings of tiny islets - and the inherent romance of an over-thewater bungalow are mistaken.

After all, the South Pacific does not have exclusive rights to sunsets and seclusion. No, something else is going on here. This region - 118 islands in five archipelagos - oozes sensuality. The air is softer, fragrant with the scent of tiaré, the national flower. Nights are hot and sweaty. When rain falls it is warm and makes short work of T-shirts and cover-ups, rendering them transparent, leaving them clinging to skin. At midnight, as you watch sharks feast upon helpless fish caught in a current, you know that even this feeding frenzy is nowhere near as exciting as what's happening in room No. 7.

Think of it as geographical Viagra. Forget the newlyweds: It's couples who need a relationship pick-me-up who should be headed here.

The simmering heat of Tahiti - in every sense of the word - should be enough to rekindle any spark. I can think of no better way to put all those cheesy selfhelp, Oprah-approved, "how to rekindle your love life" tips into action.

'Make your relationship a priority'

In the middle of the South Pacific, on an inland so tiny it's simply called a motu, you'll have no choice but to focus on each other. Pass on Bora Bora and Tahiti (the actual island by that name) and head to one of the less popular islands, such as Taha'a, Tikehau or Rangiroa. Yes, Bora Bora is stunning - but its resorts are big, with upward of 100 rooms. Compare that to Tikehau, roughly 400 kilometres to the north-west. It's beautiful in a more rustic way, home to only two hotels (the largest has 37 bungalows) and just 500 or so people. Not surprisingly, the WiFi is spotty at best. So go ahead and get lost in one another.

'Try something new'

Next, dive right in - literally. The clear, shallow waters around many of the islands are perfect for first-time snorkellers: stingrays and neon wrasses are happy swimming in depths of just a few feet. Take a boat ride out into the ocean and you can expect to see schools of colourful triggerfish, reef sharks and, if you're lucky, a friendly giant moray eel that likes to be scratched under the chin like a dog. But if you want something more risky, "shoot the pass" at Rangiroa, the largest atoll in Polynesia with a lagoon so huge (77 kilometres long, 26 kilometres wide) it boasts its own horizon. Two major passes - Tiputa and Avatoru - connect the lagoon to the ocean. When the conditions are right, you can "drift snorkel," letting the current take you through the channel along with playful dolphins, manta rays, lemon sharks and more. What you do afterward - when your blood is pumping from the rush of adventure - is up to you.

'Enjoy some adult entertainment'

A fire dance might sound touristy, but it is extremely sexy, so just go with it. Gentlemen, this is how to rouse your other half - with a ripped young man wearing nothing but a tight loincloth twirling a giant flame stick between his legs. The show takes place at night, so the sparking, whirling circles glow to maximum effect against the black sky. This also means members of the audience have had ample time to down a few drinks, which may explain the slack-jaws and extra-wide smiles after a performance at Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa one night. (The fact that the dancer seemed to have won the manhood lottery and, um, was really enjoying his job, may have played a role as well.)

'Role play'

She'll be the vahine (va-hee-nay) and he can be the off-course explorer. The legend of the Tahitian beauty has been around for hundreds of years: Paul Gauguin, James Cook and the men of the Bounty all fell for the island "Aphrodites," as the French admiral Bougainville called them. It did not always end well for the women, but today this feminine ideal is still celebrated, particularly by the tourism industry (voluptuous girls in bikinis being an easy sell). To put this fantasy into action, grab a lei or crown of flowers (often a welcome gift at high-end resorts), a sarong and a skimpy top. Then take in an after-dinner performance at Hotel Kia Ora in Rangiroa, where modern-day vahine show off their tamure dance moves. Move your hips "like a bowl, like a bowl" the ladies instruct brave participants.

'Schedule a date night'

A little clichéd. How about a "date morning" instead? Rise early, work up an appetite and order in the ultimate breakfast - delivered to your over-the-water bungalow by outrigger canoe. At Le Taha'a resort, the feast includes chocolate croissants, fried eggs and a fruit platter, all set up on your private terrace on a table decorated with fresh flowers. Imagine the joys of a room-service breakfast - the simple pleasure of eating in a plush robe (or less), the frisson of naughtiness that comes with splurging - and multiply them by 100.

'Have your own interests'

Doing your own thing (or, in Oprah terms, nurturing your separate selves) is good for a couple, the experts tell us. Perhaps one of you is interested in, say, birdwatching and the other half would rather be fed to a barracuda. No problem. One books a massage while the other ventures to the "bird island" (Motu Puarua) of Tikehau, an oval-shaped atoll just 26 kilometres in diameter. On a guided hike, Mr. or Mrs. Birdlover can keep an eye out for white terns, lesser frigatebirds and boobies - so many boobies: red-footed, brown and masked. (See? Even the birds are in on it.) At the very least, it's a story good for some smiles over dinner. If you're lucky, perhaps it will lead to even more, well, you know.

'Actions speak louder than words'

When all else fails, few things say "I love you" like jewellery. In Tahiti, that means black pearls - precious orbs that take at least two years to grow (primarily in the waters around Rangiroa). Despite their name, these gems come in iridescent greens, blues and purples. A necklace of all these different colours is a timeless gift (and one that will set you back thousands of dollars). But the mystique of the pearl isn't just about looks. According to one myth, the god Oro bestowed a magical oyster to the Polynesian people; when it produced a black pearl, he gave it to the princess Bora Bora as a symbol of his love. Romance, oysters and a whole boatload of sexual innuendo. What more do you need?

The writer travelled courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Tourisme. Neither reviewed or approved this article.


Air Tahiti Nui flies direct between Los Angeles and Papeete (flying time: about eight hours), and between the major islands. The airline's fleet of Airbus A340-300 aircraft is undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade, including seat-back touch-screens and modern interior design.


Learn about some of Tahiti's most famous exports on a 3.5-hour tour of Taha'a, with stops at vanilla and pearl farms. The friendly guides of Poe-Rani Tours also explain local flora and fauna, including how to give yourself a temporary "tattoo" with a fern leaf. Excursions to bird island can be arranged for guests of Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.


Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa: This is where you make your over-the-waterbungalow fantasies come true, starting with a water arrival (it's a 35-minute boat ride from the Raiatea Airport) and a greeting of leis and flower crowns.

Stairs from each hut's private porch lead into clear, shallow waters; inside, infloor windows let you watch rays swim by. Activities and amenities include tennis courts, a spa, three restaurants, coral gardens and a pearl jewellery shop. Garden villas are also available. Overwater bungalows from $940;

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort: Still luxe, but simpler and more relaxed, Tikehau wins over even seasoned travellers. Bungalows - over-the-water or hidden among palm trees near the beach - are made of natural materials, including bamboo, teak and coconut. There isn't a lot to do - although snorkelling around the bungalow stilts is excellent - but that's the point. From $650;

Hotel Kia Ora Rangiroa: Located near the Blue Lagoon, this is an ideal resort for fans of big-game fishing and divers, with a PADI five-star centre on site and four dives scheduled each day. (Private trips are also available.) Most bungalows are located on land, but private pools and outdoor soaker tubs in some rooms will wow those who don't need to be over the water. Beach bungalows from $695;

Ninamu: This small ecoconscious escape is on a private motu in the Tikehau atoll. It's the perfect place to play Robinson Crusoe (without the cannibals). Six bungalows, set in the jungle and handmade with materials from the island, are one-of-kind. The owners grow organic fruits and vegetables on site, along with pigs and chickens. They even make their own salt. Families often take over the entire property - as do many A-list celebrity guests. From $450 a person a night, based on double occupancy;

Associated Graphic

The crystal-clear water and fantastic snorkelling at Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort is the perfect excuse to get wet with your partner.

If you like a little shade, book the beach bungalows nestled among the palm trees at Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.

At Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa, you can have a gorgeous breakfast platter delivered to your over-the-water bungalow by outrigger canoe (far left) or enjoy fine dining such as this Teahupo'o shrimp tartare at the resort restaurant.

Top: Vahine show off their tamure dance moves at Hotel Kia Ora in Rangiroa.

Centre, above: On tiny Tikehau you'll find only two resorts.


The rich are getting a lot richer in the U.S., where top earners claimed a historic high of 19.3 per cent of total income. In Canada it's a different story. The bottom 99 per cent of the population has fared better and members of the top 1 per cent saw their share fall to a six-year low of 10.3 per cent. Tavia Grant and Richard Blackwell report
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A10

The gap between the rich and the rest may have hit record levels in the United States, but new data for Canada show top earners have seen a shrinking share of total income.

The share held by Canadian top earners remains higher than in previous decades. But a first glimpse of 2012 data shows Canada has not followed the U.S. in recent income trends.

In fact, Canada's top 1 per cent of earners saw their share of total income fall to a six-year low in the same year that the top 1 per cent shot to centuryhigh levels in the United States. Canada's richest 1 per cent held 10.3 per cent of total income in 2012, down from 10.6 per cent a year earlier, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. Their share peaked in 2006 at 12.1 per cent.

That doesn't mean Canada has licked challenges around income inequality. The top-earner share remains higher than it was three decades ago, when it was 7.1 per cent, and it is unclear how lower commodity prices, stock market shifts and sluggish overall wage growth this year have affected incomes since 2012. Growing income inequality in most developed nations has sparked concern from the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development over the impact on long-term economic health and social cohesion.

When it comes to income concentration of the rich in Canada in this decade, "we're plateauing at a very high level, relative to anything we've seen since the 1930s," said Kevin Milligan, an associate professor of economics at the University of British Columbia who has studied income trends.

It's important to take a longer view, over decades, than focus on year-to-year changes, said Craig Alexander, chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. "The share going to the top 1 per cent declined a little [in 2012], but the first two digits haven't shifted. It's still 10 per cent of income." Still, the report highlights key differences in Canada, where the remaining 99 per cent of the population has fared better than the 99 per cent south of the border. One factor is that a construction and natural resources boom and their spinoffs have supported middle incomes in Canada, Mr. Alexander noted.

Another possible reason for the dip in 2012 top-earner shares may be linked to the stock market. Canada's benchmark stock index barely budged in 2012, which may have affected returns to the rich.

"The very highest income group [or the top 0.01 per cent of earners] seems to have taken a larger hit in 2012," said Brian Murphy, Statscan income analyst. Further research is needed to explain the drop, but "highend tax filers could be deciding not to declare their capital gains, delaying their stock dividends to later on when stocks are going to be higher, or it could be lower compensation or bankruptcies."

The recent drop stands in stark contrast to the United States, where the share held by top earners has been climbing. In the U.S., the income share of the top 1 per cent hit 19.3 per cent in 2012 - the largest share in a century of record-keeping and up from 18 per cent in 2006.

In the U.S., since hitting a low of 16.7 per cent in 2009, "the total income share for the top 1 per cent had grown by 2.6 percentage points by 2012, while, in Canada, it had declined by 0.4 percentage points during the same period," the government agency said.

The six years between 2006 and 2012 also marked, for the first time since 1982, "a prolonged period in which the total income shares of the bottom 90 per cent, 95 per cent and 99 per cent of Canadian tax filers rose or stabilized," Statscan noted.

Canada's top earners tend to live in Ontario and increasingly Alberta, with a median age of 52. They tend to get more of their incomes from their earnings - wages and salaries - than in the past. A 2012 UBC study on top earners shows they're not just bankers and executives; they're also professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers and accountants.

They are also, increasingly, women. The number and share of women in the top-earners group hit its highest level on record in 2012. More than one in five of top 1-per-cent earners in 2012 were women, almost twice the proportion in 1982. This may be due to growing numbers of women in boardrooms and management positions - but also more women graduating in medicine and other professions, Prof. Milligan noted.

The bar to qualify as a top 1-per-center is rising. The threshold rose to $215,700 in 2012, a $3,000 increase from a year earlier, expressed in constant dollars. That compares with a threshold of $154,100 in 1982.

And once people join the top earner group, they are more likely than in the past to stay there. The portion of top 1-per-centers who were in the same group a year earlier is 72.4 per cent, little changed in recent years and compared with 66.8 per cent in 1983.

"There is a good deal of stickiness in who is a top-1-per-center, at least between successive years and this has not changed much since the early 1990s," said Miles Corak, professor of economics at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

If people do fall out of this high-income group, they don't fall far, he added, noting that the portion of top 1-per-centers who stayed in the top 5 per cent in each of the past five years has been steadily increasing. That stickiness is even more prevalent for the very rich, or those in the top 0.1 per cent, who tend more now to stay on top.

"If there is a downward escalator from the top, it is pretty slow moving and doesn't go very far."

These data encompass income - not wealth - trends. Wealth is a broader measure that includes assets such as real estate. A separate Statscan report this year on wealth distribution showed the wealthiest 20 per cent of families in Canada possessed 67.4 per cent of the country's net worth in 2012.

Steve Letwin, chief executive officer of Canadian-based gold miner Iamgold Corp., says the key responsibility for those in the 1 per cent is to make sure that other people - especially the young - have the chance to work and advance themselves.

"I am not a big believer in giving money to people to create equality," Mr. Letwin said. "I am a big believer in helping create opportunity for people. So I think the wealthy would be much better off trying to help create opportunity, rather than being forced to redistribute their wealth, in a manner that doesn't improve the odds of people becoming self-sustaining over time."

Essentially, wealthy people need to reinvest their money in a way that will create jobs for young people, he said. "If we don't do that, we are going to have more and more challenges going forward as a society, because the number of [young] people without work is shocking.

I don't think there is anything worse on the face of the Earth than being young, wanting to work and not having the opportunity to work. That is horrific."

Mr. Letwin, 58, is firmly in the 1 per cent, having earned a base salary of $881,000 in 2013. His total compensation was $2.87million.

But he hasn't always been among the financial elite. He said he grew up in a family of six children on a farm in Southern Ontario, where "we didn't have two nickels to rub together."

However, "what we did have was the opportunity to go to school, get educated, and when we graduated we got good jobs."

Now, young people in Canada - particularly recent grads - don't have those same job opportunities, "and they deserve better," he said.

How the profile of Canada's 1 per cent has changed through the years


7% Share of total national income $149,414 Threshold in constant dollars 153,170 Number of tax filers 89.6% men 10.4 women 83.4% Married or common-law 49 Median age 13.2% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 69.7% Share in same quantile in previous year


8.1% Share of total national income $161,013 Threshold in constant dollars 171,615 Number of tax filers 87.6% men 12.4% women 82.8% Married or common-law 48 Median age 14.8% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 67.3% Share in same quantile in previous year


7.8% Share of total national income $153,139 Threshold in constant dollars 192,560 Number of tax filers 86.1% men 13.9% women 82.3% Married or common-law 49 Median age 15.2% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 71.6% Share in same quantile in previous year


8.9% Share of total national income $160,852 Threshold in constant dollars 207,620 Number of tax filers 85% men 15% women 82.9% Married or common-law 49 Median age 17.7% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 71% Share in same quantile in previous year


11.2% Share of total national income $186,505 Threshold in constant dollars 222,295 Number of tax filers 83.4% men 16.6% women 83% Married or common-law 48 Median age 21.5% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 71.1% Share in same quantile in previous year


11.1% Share of total national income $194,813 Threshold in constant dollars 236,100 Number of tax filers 81.5% men 18.5% women 82.8% Married or common-law 49 Median age 21.4% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 74.2% Share in same quantile in previous year


11.5% Share of total national income $216,095 Threshold in constant dollars 249,755 Number of tax filers 79.7% men 20.3% women 82.8% Married or common-law 51 Median age 22.3% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 72.1% Share in same quantile in previous year


10.3% Share of total national income $215,700 Threshold in constant dollars 261,365 Number of tax filers 78.7% men 21.3% women 82.3% Married or common-law 52 Median age 20.3% Share of federal and provincial or territorial income taxes paid 72.4% Share in same quantile in previous year

Associated Graphic

The bars highlight Canadian 1-per-centers' share of total national income.


Stylish Mark Cohon found unique popularity in the working-class CFL, emphasizing its tradition and character. As he prepares to hand out the Grey Cup for the last time, he can take satisfaction in having put the league on solid footing for his successor. He just wishes he could say the Argos have a long-term home, Rachel Brady writes
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- It came to Mark Cohon as he watched the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks run out into their sold-out new stadium this summer for the first time, the result of seven years of hard work to bring CFL football back to the nation's capital.

The league is in a good place, the commissioner thought at that moment. The time was ripe for him to move on.

Cohon, who succeeded Tom Wright in 2007, enters his final Grey Cup playoffs as commissioner this weekend after the 48-year-old recently announced he won't seek another term when his contract expires in April. He had mulled the decision over several months in conversations with his wife, Suzanne, and their eight-year-old daughter, Parker, who was just a baby when Cohon got that first call from a headhunter gauging his interest in the job.

The CFL has been able to tick off many boxes during his tenure as the 12th CFL commissioner: a ninth team, a few new stadiums, a new TV deal with TSN, the league's first drug-testing policy, implementing a salary cap, and labour peace with the players for the next four years.

Cohon, known for his smooth manner and stylish threads, found unique popularity in the working-class league, initiating fan tweet-ups and a yearly public State of the CFL, a new tradition of fans marching the Grey Cup to the stadium, and a "This is our league" ad campaign.

Cohon settles into the Rogers Centre media box for a lengthy, wide-ranging interview. A sparse crowd is slow to arrive in the cavernous dome before what will be his final Toronto Argonauts home game as commissioner. Cohon is prepared for the inevitable questions about this franchise, one glaring bit of unfinished business in his stint.

The club must vacate Rogers Centre by 2017.

However, Toronto's oldest sports franchise still has nowhere to go. While Cohon has taken part in discussions with owner David Braley and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment about moving the team to a refitted BMO Field, the matter has yet to be resolved. Even after winning the 100th Grey Cup at Rogers Centre just two years ago before a sold-out crowd of 53,208, the Argos haven't gained much popularity in Toronto's complex entertainment market.

"Maybe we should have done more drag-on investment coming out of the 100th Grey Cup," Cohon said. "But I know the TV numbers - we get 600,000700,000 watching every Argos game, equal to the Jays and better than the Raptors, so the interest is there. Moving to a small, social, intimate venue works, and I'm hopeful we can move into BMO Field - there are ongoing conversations about that. I would have liked to tie a bow on that before I left, and is there still a chance? Yes. I know the Argos owner wants to do the right thing and is trying to figure out what that is, so I'm confident that will happen."

Cohon's cellphone rings several times during the interview - family members on their way to meet him in the stands for the game. He makes his visits to corporate suites at games, but sitting among the fans is where he has done the most learning. The son of McDonald's Canada founder George Cohon soaked up the first lesson of business as a young boy.

"I can remember seeing him when I was a kid; he would walk his restaurants, pick up garbage in the parking lots, sit down and talk to customers, talk to employees in the back," Cohon said. "I learned from him to talk to customers and listen to them, so that's what I brought here."

His father insisted Cohon and his brother follow their own paths instead of working for McDonald's. So he looked after animals at the Toronto Zoo, and took youths on an expedition in the Arctic. He worked for Major League Baseball, the NBA and AudienceView Ticketing.

The previous CFL commissioner, Tom Wright, had a positive tenure as CFL commissioner from 2002 to 2006, but consensus-building among the teams was trying.

"The CFL commissioner's job is one of the most challenging around," said Wright, who is now director of operations for UFC Canada. "Co-operation and competition are often at odds - and managing the board of governors is like herding cats - only more difficult. I think Mark has done an excellent job."

In 2007, Cohon had insisted the board offer him the post only if all eight owners voted him as their choice. They did. During his first day on the job, he visited the CFL website and demanded they remove an ad that read "Our balls are bigger" - a campaign he felt showed an inferiority complex about the NFL.

"I said we're not going to be the league that tries to compare ourselves to a $9-billion-a-year juggernaut," Cohon said. "Then we came out with the campaign 'This is our league.' We're authentically Canadian, affordable and accessible, and I wanted to stick by those things."

It seems everyone in the league has an anecdote about the commissioner's relationship with fans.

There was his first game in Regina, when an eight-year-old boy seated next to Cohon asked how he got such good tickets, and when Cohon said he was the new commissioner, the kid answered, "Yeah okay, and I'm the head coach."

There was the time when a Riders fan heckled Cohon for wearing a pair of expensive, stylish leather boots while sitting in the stands, to which the commissioner answered, "What size are you, buddy? Oh 81/2? Sorry, they don't make them in ladies' sizes," to a roar of laughter from the Riders faithful.

Cohon was once out for latenight pizza while in Moncton for Touchdown Atlantic, when some drunken patrons tried to pick an argument with the commissioner. A couple of CFL fans came to his side and said, "We've got your back."

"I can definitely recall hearing some comments from fans when he first took the job, like, 'Oh, look at the rich boy coming in looking for the spotlight and a stepping stone to his next big venture,' but he discounted those thoughts right away," said Jason Allen, one of the Box J Boys, a group of long-time Hamilton Tiger-Cats fans who wear black and gold kilts at every game. Cohon regularly visits the group.

"He's always asking us whether the team is meeting the expectations of the fan experience. It's hard to imagine another commissioner - like Gary Bettman - sitting peacefully with his fans.

What the CFL was missing before Cohon was that level of marketing savvy, and he brought that."

The CFL's board had sometimes been fragmented in the past and aired their differences in the media. While disagreements within the board could be heated, Cohon insisted they be respectful and confidential.

"When he came in, it was a time of uncertainty - Ottawa had folded and our Grey Cups weren't as successful as they had been, but his years as commissioner have been full of upward movement," said Jim Hopson, president of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. "While he comes across as smooth, he has a lot of steel in his backbone - an iron fist in a velvet glove. He always looks like he just stepped off the cover of GQ, but he showed he could make connections with the average fan; he could sit down for a Pilsner with the Riders fans and be respected."

Cohon can recall a news conference early in his first year in Winnipeg's old stadium when the roof was leaking on him as he spoke. During his tenure, failing buildings were replaced in Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ottawa and Vancouver, with another on the way in Regina. Cohon surrounded himself with a good team. His work with corporate sponsors and on 100th Grey Cup celebrations polished the CFL's brand.

"It wasn't just about taking sponsors' money, but he got them to activate around jewel events," said Brian Cooper, president of S & E Sponsorship Group, a former president of the Argos and chair of the CFL's board.

"The six-month tour of the Grey Cup on the train before the 100th Grey Cup was a terrific idea. All of that brought a lot of shine to an old product."

The league had many scrutinized moments too. In his first season, Cohon had to install and strictly enforce the $4.05-million salary cap system initiated by the previous regime. There were the unconventional optics in 2010 of David Braley buying a second CFL team. There was tough political opposition to overcome while trying to get a team back in Ottawa. Criticisms abounded this season when scoring dropped throughout the league. Two sets of labour negotiations during Cohon's tenure provided tense times.

"The last labour negotiation was very hard on our fans and our relationship with the players, and I think we've learned some important lessons from that," Cohon said. "I'll share this with the next commissioner: I would be much more methodical on a quarterly basis or several times a year about bringing the players in and showing them the books and explaining to them how the business is working."

The board has assembled a search committee, headed by board chair Jim Lawson, to seek a new commissioner.

"We'll have lots of high-quality interest in this job, and yes, it's a hard act to follow because of Mark's popularity, but the mandate here isn't necessarily to go out and find someone who is popular," Lawson said. "The next person has the benefit of the firm business footing Mark has left, especially the new stadiums. He has put the next commissioner in a very good position to succeed."

Cohon says he doesn't know what's next for him. Some have wondered if he's being considered as the next CEO of MLSE when Tim Leweike leaves the post next spring. Cohon sidesteps questions about it. But he does say he wants a job that's fun, one where he can make a difference, perhaps entrepreneurial or with a piece of ownership. He's interested in health and fitness, and working where sports influence communities.

"The idea of handing out the Grey Cup for the last time, it's bittersweet for me, and I'll miss this job," Cohon said. "Sometimes leaders don't know when it's time to go, but for me personally and professionally, it was time."

Associated Graphic


CFL commissioner Mark Cohon mingles with fans before the Argos played the Ottawa RedBlacks in the season finale at Rogers Centre in Toronto last week.


Monday, November 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B1

Women make up just 7.8 per cent of seats on the boards of energy companies and 11 per cent in mining and forestry firms

Inthe financial services, utilities, health care, consumer staples and telecommunications sectors, women account for between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of corporate directors

The sector gap: Why are resource firms so far behind on gender?

When it comes to putting women on company boards, Canada has two solitudes: the resource sector and everyone else.

Despite years of high-profile pressure to bolster the representation of women on boards - including new diversity disclosure rules from regulators taking effect Dec. 31 - Canada's resource companies remain far behind the curve. Women fill just 7.8 per cent of seats on the boards of energy companies in Canada and 11 per cent in mining and forestry firms.

In most other sectors - including financial services, utilities, telecommunications, health care and consumer staples - women now account for between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of corporate directors, a proportion that has been growing rapidly as companies respond to calls from regulators, shareholders and advocacy groups for greater diversity in senior roles.

Calgary-based corporate director Stella Thompson, a retired Petro-Canada executive, says the slow pace of improvement on board diversity in the energy sector is becoming an embarrassment for women in Alberta's oil patch.

"There are lots of capable women to help with boards," she says. "You don't necessarily have to be the CEO of an oil company - you need a few of those, but you don't need all of them."

Not all resource companies are dragging their feet, and some of the largest firms have made major strides to add multiple women to the boards. But they remain a minority, and the slow pace of change means the sector is falling behind as other industries move more quickly to embrace diversity.

A review of Canada's largest 251 companies in the S&P/TSX composite index as of Oct. 21 shows 55 per cent of energy companies have no women on their boards, and 42 per cent of mining and forestry companies have no women, compared with just 16 per cent of all other firms in the index.

Ms. Thompson believes no men in Calgary's tight-knit energy community are against the idea of diversity, but it has not become a priority for many, either.

They are accustomed to filling boards with colleagues who previously worked together, were joint-venture partners or helped form startup companies, she says. They often belong to the city's top three private clubs and even live in the same exclusive neighbourhoods in Calgary.

"There's trust and friendship, and it has worked well," she says. "Many of them have made lots of money. It's very comfortable and it's also very efficient for them, and there's no hassle - they've done this before they all know each other, and they just get together and move through whatever you have to do ... So in their minds there's no need or desire to change."

Success stories in the resources sector, however, serve to highlight how much more can be done for those who make the effort.

Vancouver-based copper miner Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., for example, has both a female CEO - Kay Priestly - and a female incoming board chair, Jill Gardiner. The company, which is controlled by global mining giant Rio Tinto PLC, currently has three women on its eight-member board, but will have two after Ms. Priestly retires at the end of this month.

"The practical reality is that it often takes an individual to really get behind finding women for these roles," says Ms. Gardiner, who credits Ms. Priestly for pushing to have gender diversity on the board.

Ms. Gardiner said it can be a "self-fulfilling prophecy" for resource companies to argue they have few women directors because there are few senior women executives in the sector. Instead, she says boards should look for women with other needed skills, such as finance or legal backgrounds, to "fill the gap" until more mining women are available.

"An environment seen to be supportive of women at the top will be, on balance, more attractive to other women, including the talented young women entering the work force today," she argues.

Diversity advocates agree that adding women in top roles also sends a powerful signal to employees and customers that a company cares about equality and a modern work environment.

Bev Briscoe, chair of the board of heavy equipment dealer Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. and a member of the Goldcorp Inc. board, says many mining companies have had other priorities as they struggle to survive in a period of low commodity prices, but are now facing strong regulatory and social pressures to become more diverse.

"I think companies that don't have women on their boards, that's the biggest shame on them," she says. "It's going to be hard over the next three years for a board to maintain the fact they don't have a woman on their board. What kind of employer are you? How progressive a thinker are you?"

Ms. Briscoe says there are clearly fewer women working in the resources sector than in areas such as financial services, but this is not an excuse for inaction.

"I'm not sure there is a shortage of women. But it's not simple. I think you have to work a little harder in the resource sector - you have to go a little further."

She joined the Goldcorp board, for example, after spending her career in the transportation sector working with resource clients. She calls it a "dotted line" connection to the mining industry.

On Friday, Vancouver-based miner Teck Resources Ltd. announced the appointment of two women to its board, both with financial services backgrounds.

Canada's largest institutional investors have not played a major role in pressuring companies to hire more women for their boards and are typically not linking their investment decisions to diversity. But the powerful Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, which represents most of Canada's largest institutional investors, is asking companies with no women what they are planning to do about it, says executive director Stephen Erlichman.

He has little sympathy for giving resource companies more time than other sectors to become more diverse.

"They just need to go beyond their current comfort level of friends or whatever, and I believe they will find them," Mr. Erlichman said.

Calgary-based corporate director Kathy Sendall, a former executive at Petro-Canada, has seen how much progress can be made when companies make a concerted effort to search for women.

Ms. Sendall was the only woman on the board of Paris-based geoscience company CGG, which serves the energy industry, when she joined in 2010. But the company later added three more female directors after France adopted quotas requiring companies to have 40 per cent women on their boards by 2017.

"One of my board colleagues said, 'It's amazing how many qualified women are out there when you're forced to look for them,' " Ms. Sendall recalls.

She said the experience of quotas helped convince many skeptics in France that there was no need to compromise on quality when companies recruited women.

"When you get into these discussions with some of these guys, there's this presumption of a dilution of quality - they presume that if they have to bring women onto their boards then somehow the quality of the directors sitting around the board table is going to be diluted," she said.

"And in fact you get some of these wonderful candidates who bring so much to the table, and they were blissfully unaware of them before."

Director Sarah Raiss, a former executive at TransCanada Corp. who now sits on four major corporate boards including Vermilion Energy Inc. and Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., says effective strategies for boards include creating targets for women, or pledging to choose a woman for every second or third board vacancy.

Boards with no immediate vacancies have temporarily increased their size to add one woman, she says, then have shrunk back when the next man is scheduled to retire.

"A lot of people are starting to say, 'We can either be forced to do this, or we can take charge of it and do it the way we think is most effective for our company,' " she says. "Every single one of my Calgary boards - and they are all resource-based - are looking at diversity."

There are many signs of mounting progress in Canada's resources sector.

Data from director search firm Spencer Stuart show women accounted for 12 per cent of new board appointments at mining companies between 2009 and 2011, but that proportion climbed to 42 per cent from 2012 to 2014.

The energy sector has remained steady with women accounting for 23 per cent of all new directors appointed in both time periods, which is the slowest pace of new intake of a major industry sector.

Over all, women filled 43 per cent of new board appointments in 2014 among Canada's 100 largest companies, a jump from 28 per cent in 2013 and three times higher than the rate in 2009, Spencer Stuart said.

"In mining specifically, we've had more inquiries from that sector for diverse [board] candidates than ever before," says Spencer Stuart board recruiter Tanya van Biesen, who is responsible for overseeing searches for diversity candidates for boards.

The progress is especially rapid at Canada's 60 biggest companies, which have often been leaders in corporate governance practices. Only three companies in the S&P/TSX index had no women on their boards until recently, and two of them - Crescent Point Energy Corp. and Eldorado Gold Corp. - added a woman to their boards in the past two months.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is now the only company remaining in the S&P/TSX 60 index with no women on its nine-member board. Company spokesman Brian Cattell said First Quantum "recognizes the benefits and importance of diversity" on boards and has been "actively" seeking a female director through a global search.

"Our practice, for proven effectiveness reasons, is to have a relatively small board," Mr. Cattell said. "This means that with normal rotation we only look for a new director every few years."

First Quantum added a new independent director to its board in each of 2012 and in 2013, but both were men.


Associated Graphic


First Nations, NGOs make up the bulk of court battles
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- A flurry of court cases has tied up more than $25-billion worth of resource projects this year as First Nations, environmental groups and others battle pipelines, mines, a dam and a coal port - a situation that some observers fear will drive away investment.

"Well, it's not new, but arguably it's intensified," Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer for the Business Council of B.C., said of the legal roadblocks.

Mr. Finlayson said the province has a long history of court battles over resource developments, but he worries British Columbia's reputation could suffer if the wave of litigation continues.

"Even though it's not a new phenomenon . it is getting more complex and costly over time - so it does hurt us," he said.

First Nations that say they were not adequately consulted on developments, and non-governmental organizations challenging federal or provincial environmental permits, make up the bulk of the 38 cases, a review of court records by The Globe and Mail has shown. But municipal governments are also bringing cases, and resource companies are using the courts too, to get injunctions against protesters.

Mr. Finlayson said he is not critical of groups that take action to protect their legal rights, but too many projects could be entangled in court for too long.

"People outside the province, whether they are investors, institutional money managers or actual corporations . might look at B.C. and say it's too difficult to do business there," he said. "We're not there yet, because as I look at the amount of investment under way, clearly we're continuing to attract our share, but I do think there's some risk around it."

Ravina Bains, associate director of aboriginal policy at the Fraser Institute, said a recent survey of mining companies shows executives in that industry are already wary of B.C.

"The No. 1 reason why investors are reluctant to invest in B.C. is because of the First Nations landuncertainty question," she said.

"It's clearly having an impact because this is an issue that's top of mind for potential mining developers."

Ms. Bains said a Supreme Court of Canada decision this summer that confirmed the Tsilhqot'in First Nation have title over a sprawling territory in central B.C. has spurred more court action from others.

"I think that judgment was a real game-changer. It was historic . it provided an example for different First Nation communities to use the court system versus actually negotiating with different levels of government," she said.

Gwen Barlee, policy director of the environmental group, the Wilderness Committee, said one of the reasons for all the legal action is that the government is not doing enough to protect the environment.

"I think people are losing faith in the system and they don't think there's appropriate checks and balances with provincial environmental laws or federal environmental laws," she said.

"So when those [resource project] decisions come down, people are saying, 'We don't think that those were measured and appropriate decisions and we're going to go to court because of that.'"

Chris Tollefson, executive director of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria, said one way to restore public confidence and cut down on the litigation would be for the province to get out of the agreement that authorizes the National Energy Board, a federal agency, to approve projects such as the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipeline proposals.

Prior to 2010, B.C. held its own environmental hearings, but in seeking to streamline the process, the province handed off authority for environmental reviews to Ottawa on some big energy projects.

This limited the province's option to block projects it objected to.

Mr. Tollefson, who is representing the conservation group BC Nature in two Federal Court of Appeal cases related to the Northern Gateway proposal, said NGOs and First Nations think hard before deciding to go to court because it is so expensive.

"It depends on the number of days it is in court and how much work is involved in bringing the matter forward, but . I would say in the average case you are looking at a liability of between $25,000 and $100,000 easily," he said.

If the groups win, they can recover costs - but if they lose they can get stuck not only with their own legal bills, but a significant portion of the costs incurred by companies or governments to defend the suits.

"It's a very serious commitment," Mr. Tollefson said of the decision to go to court.



$7.9-billion: Estimated investment 18: Court cases so far

Six First Nations file 11 challenges; BC Nature files two; Forest Ethics and other environmental groups file three; Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, files two.

Quote: "The Northern Gateway pipeline brings sky-high risks to Canadians, but only foreign oil companies will benefit." - Unifor national president Jerry Dias .


$5.4-billion: Estimated investment 7: Court cases so far

Vancouver and Burnaby file three challenges, environmental groups file two, and one First Nation files a case. The company goes to court to get an injunction against protesters blocking crews on Burnaby Mountain. That led to 26 arrests for contempt of court, but those arrests are counted here as a continuation of the injunction, not as separate cases.

Quote: "There is no doubt that the plaintiff has the express lawful authority to access those parts of the land from which its representatives have been impeded and to conduct activities in respect of which its representatives have been prevented." - Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen ruling on the injunction .


$7.9-billion: Estimated investment 4: Court cases so far

The Peace Valley Landowner Association seeks a judicial review of the provincial environmental assessment certificate and also goes to court to quash the federal decision to approve the dam. Five First Nations covered by Treaty 8 initiate actions in both the Federal Court and B.C. Supreme Court.

Quote:"We do not see how the federal government could have concluded that the project could be justified given the massive infringement on our Treaty Rights." - Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nation .


Estimated investment: Not known, but B.C. oil and gas producer sales total $5-billion annually 1: Court cases so far

In March, the Wilderness Committee and Sierra Club of British Columbia Foundation took the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission to B.C. Supreme Court to challenge short-term approvals for the use of water in fracking. In October, the court rejected the petition. They lost.

Quote:"I conclude that the interpretation that successive or recurrent approvals may be granted is reasonable." - Madam Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick in her decision .


$100-million : Estimated investment 1: Court cases so far

Retired fisheries biologist Otto Langer and VAPOR (Vancouver Airport Fuel Project Opposition for Richmond) seek a judicial review of an environmental certificate issued by B.C. for a marine terminal and jet-fuel storage facility.

Quote: "The public consultation ... was seriously inadequate in many ways so that it did not meet the standards required by law." - VAPOR news release


$1.5-billion: Estimated investment 2: Court cases so far

Taseko Mines filed two applications with Federal Court for a judicial review of the federal government's decision to reject the proposed New Prosperity gold and copper mine near Fish Lake. The company argues the decision was unfair and compensation should be paid.

Quote: "Taseko has poured $130-million into this project and has a right to a fair process." - John Hunter, a lawyer for the company .


$1.36-billion: Estimated investment 1: Court cases so far

In May, the Supreme Court of B.C. rejected a petition by the West Moberly First Nations. The band argued the operation would harm endangered caribou populations and that the government had failed to consult.

Quote: "The consultation and accommodation have been adequate." - Justice George Macintosh in his judgment .


$500-million plus: Estimated investment 1: Court cases so far

In July, B.C. Supreme Court ruled the province erred in making an environmental assessment certificate permanent for Chieftain Metals' mine, and a new environmental assessment would have to be done.

Quote: "This is a major legal decision in favour of the Taku River Tlingit, and the court's decision could also halt the Tulsequah Chief mine." - Chris Zimmer, Alaska campaign director for Rivers Without Borders


$228-million: Estimated investment 1: Court cases so far

Imperial Metals Corp. was granted an injunction against individuals blocking an access road to the copper-gold mine. The company had agreements with both the Tahltan Central Council and Iskut First Nation, but a group called the Klabona Keepers blocked access anyway. The company is still seeking a long-term order against the protesters, and the TCC says it will apply to participate in the case.

Quote: "The TCC will oppose any arguments by the Klabona Keepers that try and deny collective Tahltan title and rights, and claim those rights on behalf of only a small sub-set of Tahltan members." - statement on TCC website


$768-million: Estimated investment to date 0: Court cases so far, but one threatened.

Protesters have disrupted field work by Fortune Minerals Ltd. and a court case appears to be looming. In June, the Tahltan Central Council announced it had retained a law firm to prepare an aboriginal rights-and-title case.

Quote: "We do not want to go to court, but so far the province and Fortune have refused to listen to us, and court may be our only option." - Annita McPhee, then TCC president .


$20-million: Estimated investment 2: Number of cases so far

Voters Taking Action on Climate Change and others challenge environment permit; Musqueam Indian Band seeks judicial review, saying the project threatens their right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

Quote: "Fishing remains a central and integral part of Musqueam life and tradition to this day, and the applicant is committed to preserving its fisheries for both current and future generations." - notice of application filed by the band

Associated Graphic

An RCMP police officer stands guard on Friday where the anti-pipeline protest camp was set up on Burnaby Mountain.


Arlene Boon and her husband, Ken, on their Peace River property in this 2013 photo. At right, Fraser Surrey Docks.

The use of Native motifs in furniture is more than just a visually striking trend. These thoroughly contemporary designs are freighted with meaning, too. Marsha Lederman reports on the intersection of high design and history
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

VANCOUVER -- Shawn Hunt's idea for a fireplace to serve as a centrepiece for a West Coast home was to create a place on fire with significant - and sacred - ideas. For the commission, the Vancouverbased Heiltsuk artist, who likes to play with reinterpretations of native stories and extend the mythology into the modern realm, drew upon a favourite tale: Raven steals the sun, which is concealed inside a box. In Hunt's installation, the fire (the sun) rises from the centre of this bentwood-type box in the centre of the room.

Box of Light is an aesthetic knock-out, but it transcends mere decoration or design; its story elevates it.

"When I create art ... I try to do things so you're initially struck by its beauty and then you're lured in and there's multilayers of meaning," says Hunt, 39. "That's quite easy to accomplish when you're using native art because so much of it comes from stories. And when you're dealing with native art, you've automatically introduced 10,000 plus years of culture."

Hunt's spectacular installation is part of a growing number of thoroughly modern home furnishings created by or with British Columbia native artists using aboriginal motifs - rich in tradition but contemporary in design. Stunners, such as Corrine Hunt's sleek, sculptural Salmon Swimming coffee table; Lance Goldy's illuminated and carved Spirit Series dining-room table; Shain Jackson's in-demand boardroom tables; Sabina Hill's envy-inspiring, native-inspired red and black Thunderbird Chair.

Like Hunt's fireplace, these pieces are freighted with meaning. But contemporary interpretations of aboriginal motifs can be loaded with potential issues too. Whose stories are these to tell?

The question of cultural misrepresentation and appropriation, a huge concern in the popular native-wares marketplace, also takes a seat among these exquisite light fixtures and luxurious chairs.

Sometimes a coffee table is just a coffee table. Sometimes it can represent thousands of years of history, and sometimes it can represent a minefield.

The practice of adorning everyday objects of everyday life in native culture has always existed, and there has been an intense outside interest in these works since contact.

A watershed moment for the commercial application of the art was Kwakwaka'wakw carver Ellen Neel's 1948 speech to the Conference of Native Indian Affairs at the University of British Columbia, when she called on her people to employ new technology and ancient ideas to fight cheap knock-offs and create authentic consumer-oriented work from which First Nations could benefit economically.

"I believe it can be used with stunning effect on tapestry, textiles, sportswear and in jewellery. Small pieces of furniture lend themselves admirably to the Indian designs," she said.

Over the next few decades, that idea was embraced by influential modernist intellectuals on the coast, including Haida artist Bill Reid, architect Arthur Erickson, anthropologist Wilson Duff, and Jack and Doris Shadbolt - artist and art curator/historian.

Today, you can find native motifs on everything from rain boots to oven mitts, as detailed in Solen Roth's new micro-exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver, Artware: Northwest Coast Designs & Everyday Objects. Neel was right on the money; there is a terrific appetite for First Nations-themed functional items in Canadian homes and lives.

Fuelling the furniture trend: economics. Patrons have more money to spend on big-ticket items; and the value we place on meaningful experiences, and possessions rich with interesting stories.

"I see this furniture, having stuff in your own environment as opposed to your knick-knack shelf, as characteristic of our moment - which [values] immersion in some experience or other," says Charlotte Townsend-Gault, an anthropologist and art-history professor at UBC who co-edited the book Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas.

Komoyue/Tlingit artist Corrine Hunt seems the very embodiment of Neel's vision. Growing up in Alert Bay in the 1960s, Hunt created her first designs on cloth diapers.

Today, in addition to her jewellery, Hunt's work can be found on a wide range of items - eyeglasses, serving platters, flipflops - and furniture. (A careerchanging commission saw her co-create the 2010 Olympic medals.)

"I've always been interested in not just making art that is for display," says Hunt, 54.

"What I've tried to do is bring the motifs of the culture out into the streets, so we don't just see tourist items but we see things that I would use."

For her Salmon Swimming coffee table, Hunt used reclaimed fir and steel, carving the sides so that the salmon appear to "swim" across the floor as the light moves across the room.

Now she's working on a new, more affordable line of furniture. "I don't want everything to be in just these grand houses," she says. "I want them to be in people's homes."

We were speaking at a Vancouver craft show, and when I asked how she feels about non-native artists using native symbols in their work, she pointed down the aisle to someone she said was doing just that. "It drives me crazy," she said.

"It's not just art," she explained.

"An eagle is so many different things to so many different people. And bringing the sort of vitality to the art, to its application, has always been very important to me. ... When I come out of my Big House I'm bringing that soul with me to what I do. What happens if there's no soul?"

I asked Roth, a Montreal-based cultural anthropologist who focuses on indigenous art markets, about collaborations between non-native designers and First Nations artists.

She said opinions within these communities range "from people saying we don't want this to be done at all; we just don't want our designs to be used by designers for their own purposes - even with the agreement of a specific artist; to, this is great, this promotes our work more widely." But the artist must be a full collaborator and remunerated properly - and maybe also have the blessing of community leaders.

Sabina Hill's home furnishings have a contemporary, abstracted First Nations feel and a high wow factor. But Hill, who has worked extensively with these motifs for more than a decade, is not, in fact, native.

A British Columbian, she has long been fascinated with native culture, she explained. When she began thinking about creating furniture with a strong sense of place, "I thought, how could I make my furniture pieces very much about here? Collaborate with the First Peoples," she says. "And have that as a true collaboration. The motif is very much integrated."

Hill, 54, has created several lines of what she calls functional art furniture - most recently, her limited edition Harvest Collection, where she applies tanned salmon skins to pieces such as the Prow coffee table, with a design suggesting a dug-out canoe; and drum-inspired side tables.

Hill, who was recently commissioned to create the signing table for the Canadian high commission in London, says she has not encountered concerns about cultural appropriation in her work.

"I think it's because I [work in] collaboration with the First Nations artists. It is not me designing these motifs and claiming them as my own. The cachet of my company and work is that it is a collaborative effort."

K'omoks and Kwakwaka'wakw artist Andy Everson, who works with Hill, says he supports a process that sees native artists create the native art elements.

"It's a chance to do something a little bit different; to have my work created in different materials."

Vancouver Island furnituremaker Lance Goldy, who is not native either, works with a local carver - Noel Brown, who is Coast Salish and Kwagiulth. Goldy handcrafts each piece, determines where the carving would look best, and Brown creates the carving guided by tradition and the client's desire - to exquisite effect.

According to Coast Salish artist and "recovering lawyer" Shain Jackson, this kind of collaboration works when the artist is a true partner and fairly compensated. This is a key component of the program he recently founded, Authentic Indigenous, which authenticates aboriginal artwork and other products - and is administered, incidentally, by artist Lou-ann Neel, Ellen Neel's granddaughter.

Roth says this kind of program tackles the problem of "tricky labels" such as the one she saw on an Inukshuk during the 2010 Olympics declaring that it was made by a "native Canadian."

Upon investigation, she learned that meant a person born in Canada.

Even when a native artist is involved, Jackson says it is essential in the collaboration that design does not trump cultural authenticity.

"A lot of people don't realize it, but our artwork - it's not like a written language; it is a written language. It's got some very sophisticated symbolism in it," says Jackson.

He offers this analogy: "If you look at old Shakespearean writing ... it's this beautiful calligraphic design. If you take that ... calligraphy and you mix up the words, it's still beautiful, but it doesn't mean shit. It loses all its meaning if you turn all the words around."

As with Shane Hunt's Box of Light, the visual effect is one thing. But it's the meaning behind the work - the ancient, the sacred, the ceremonial - that distinguishes it as exceptional.

"I love the collaborative process. I think it brings the way we live in our world, in Canada especially, with so many different cultures represented. To work with those cultures, to share different ideas, and see what comes out of it, see what we can represent together," Corrine Hunt says.

"Sometimes it doesn't work, because the heart isn't there. The person is not as interested in the culture and not interested in representing or sharing that culture in a way that is telling a story. And then it's not a shared story any more."

Associated Graphic

'What I've tried to do is bring the motifs of the culture out into the streets,' says Corrine Hunt.


Shawn Hunt's work on this Roberts Creek home, left, and fish-eye chair, above, illustrate the growing interest in furniture inspired by aboriginal art and culture.


Sabina Hill is not aboriginal but she has long been fascinated with native culture. Her furniture designs have a contemporary, abstracted First Nations feel. Her Harvest Collection includes these drum tables, right, and table, above.


Proponents of the body-worn devices say they will boost police accountability. But as John Lorinc writes, others fear they will compromise privacy - and potentially inhibit citizens from reporting crimes
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F3

Later this year, about 800 Calgary police officers will affix tiny video cameras to their vests and fan out on the city's icy streets, where they will usher in a new and somewhat uncertain era that could be described as pointof-view law enforcement.

These compact GoPro-like devices, known as "body-worn cameras" (BWCs), will record interactions between law-enforcement officials and civilians. Some battery-operated cameras can be attached to an officer's vest or helmet; others, which look like thick pens, can be connected to the arms of specially designed glasses. The technology is being used in a growing number of British and American cities, including London and New York, which both launched trials this year. Calgary is the first large Canadian police service to make the move, but several other cities, including Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax and Montreal, are looking at testing or adopting the equipment.

According to proponents of the technology, such cameras could have prevented tragedies such as the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot by a white Ferguson, Mo., officer, because law-enforcement officials would know there would be a visual record of their actions. Where incidents did still occur, a record would be available to provide a clear account of events. With no video of the police encounter with Brown, and sharply differing accounts of the shooting, the investigation into that incident has been proceeding slowly, and accompanied by great public protest.

Advocates for people with addictions and mental illnesses, as well as some civil-liberties organizations, feel body-worn cameras will boost transparency by forcing police officers to be more self-aware about using force against vulnerable individuals. Earlier this year, retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci recommended the deployment of body-worn cameras in a farreaching report on how Toronto's police force could improve the way it treats emotionally disturbed people.

Video, of course, has become a fixture of law enforcement. With the advent of the ubiquitous phone camera, cops regularly find themselves filmed during the dispatch of their duties, sometimes with enormous public impact, as was the case in Toronto in the summer of 2013 when a bystander filmed a police officer as he fired nine bullets into 18year-old Sammy Yatim. Some police officials argue that the cameras could level the digital playing field by capturing a closeup recording of what transpires during contentious clashes between cops and civilians. As Supt. Kevan Stuart, who leads the Calgary Police Service's body-worn camera project and oversaw a trial with 50 officers earlier this year, says. "This will give an unfettered version of what happened."

Not everyone is sanguine. While Calgary police have pressed ahead with the deployment, some police services question the presumed benefits, the cost and even the need for yet another layer of civilian accountability. Other law-enforcement experts, meanwhile, raise the prospect of mission creep. For example, Calgary will use facialrecognition software with the cameras as a means of identifying suspects. Deakin University lecturer Adam Molnar, a Canadian criminologist who specializes in law-enforcement technology, warns that a bodyworn camera deployed in combination with biometric technology becomes "an intelligence-collection device instead of a built-in mechanism to introduce transparency and accountability."

Indeed, privacy watchdogs are warning that there are thorny legal questions about how and where these cameras can be employed, their downstream uses, and what happens when a bystander is unwittingly captured on a video that may be made public in court or via the media. (A recent Forbes Magazine investigation found that numerous crime-scene videos had been posted to a YouTube channel created by Vievu, a firm that manufactures the devices.) Before adopting the technology, says Tobi Cohen, a spokesperson for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, "police departments should ask themselves: Are body-worn cameras necessary, are they effective, do the benefits outweigh the intrusion on privacy, and are there less privacy-invasive alternatives?"

Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton says she has urged police services in both Calgary and Edmonton to conduct a full impact assessment on the use of the cameras before adopting them, and to then be forthright about whether these systems will eventually include the use of facial-recognition software. "There's a challenge with these sorts of technologies," she says, "as they're not particularly transparent to the public."

Mark Pugash, the Toronto Police Service's director of corporate communications, says he has never seen a law-enforcement technology emerge quite so rapidly as body cams. Next year, the TPS will roll out a trial of these devices in two precincts, as well as its traffic division, and among officers assigned to the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), which polices areas with high rates of gang and drug activity. (Neither the project budget nor the number of officers involved has been made public yet.)

To date, there's a relatively small amount of empirical evidence to demonstrate that bodyworn cameras improve police-civilian interactions. A recent academic study in Rialto, Calif., found a 50-per-cent reduction in the number of use-of-force incidents among officers wearing the cameras. Civilian complaints against police officers also dropped sharply, but the Rialto police department generates only a handful of complaints in a typical year, so it's difficult to draw conclusions.

Rather, the race to adopt the technology can be traced to highly publicized violent incidents, including one that occurred in Britain in 2011, when police shot and killed Mark Duggan, a 29year-old north London man, triggering widespread rioting. London police began testing the cameras in response to criticism of the incident and ensuing protests, the BBC reported. In New York this past summer, Eric Garner died of a heart attack while struggling during an arrest for selling contraband cigarettes.

The resulting controversy prompted U.S. judge Shira Scheindlin - who also ruled that New York's "stop-and-frisk" policy was unconstitutional - to comment that Mr. Garner's death might have been avoided had the officers been wearing body cameras. While Pat Lynch, president of New York's police union, dismissed Ms. Scheindlin's comment as "absurd," the NYPD initiated a large-scale pilot project in September, focusing on parts of the city which were still seeing high rates of stop-andfrisk activity.

These trial runs are pushing police and privacy officials to look hard at how the technology will be implemented. At the end of an officer's shift, the video files that have been recorded must be uploaded to a secure server or a cloud-storage system. While the video isn't kept indefinitely, the cost of storage is hardly trivial, especially in a large force. Still, lawyer Lisa Silver, vice-chair of the Calgary Police Commission, says the budget for the devices and the back-end storage is "very modest" and has been built into the CPS's existing technology budget.

There may be other resource issues. Toronto lawyer Peter Brauti, who frequently represents officers who are under investigation, says the expense of sifting through countless hours of video footage for court cases will be daunting. "I don't see how we are even close to being in a situation of managing that," he says. In Hamilton, police officials recommended against body-worn cameras last week, citing estimates showing a five-year outlay of $14.8-million. "We've had very few police complaints," says Supt. Paul Morrison. "Is there a return on investment in this case? You have to ask that question."

But criminal lawyer Ari Goldkind, who recently ran for mayor in Toronto and pledged to bring in body-worn cameras, says the cost issue is merely a pretext, "an insult to the intelligence of anyone who cares about good policing." He points out that the Hamilton police may be reluctant because the service has faced tough questions about the shooting death of Steve Mesic, an emotionally distressed man, last year.

Developing official procedures to govern the use of cameras is also a work-in-progress in many jurisdictions, including Toronto, Mr. Pugash acknowledges. In Calgary, says Supt. Stuart, officers will be required to have their cameras running during encounters with civilians, but will be allowed to turn them off while they're in their squad cars or engaging with informants who don't want their identities revealed. "If he or she turns the camera off ... they will have to justify and articulate why."

Criminologist Molnar, however, wonders whether civilians who encounter an officer wearing a camera will enjoy any kind of right to ask that the device be turned off. "Are officers required to give clear notice to the public that they are recording during an encounter?" he asks. "Does the public have the right to tell the officer to disengage the camera? Are cameras going to be used during SWAT-type raids?"

"That's a tough one to answer," says Ms. Clayton, the Alberta privacy commissioner, who points out that police enjoy considerable latitude in collecting personal information in the course of their work. They both note that the massive quantities of video data will pose significant privacy and security challenges, as police must regularly deal with freedom-of-information requests by individuals who want to access their personal records.

Mr. Goldkind, who frequently represents defendants who have had rough run-ins with police, hopes that these concerns don't overshadow the promise of greater transparency. "All we're doing,' he says, "is giving an accurate record."

Still, as the international push to deploy body-worn devices accelerates, Mr. Molnar finds himself pondering the possibility of unintended consequences: "I'm curious, given our current climate of surveillance and a lack of trust between law enforcement and the community, whether these devices might also inhibit the public from calling the police when they need assistance."

Associated Graphic

A member of the Vancouver Police Department wears a chest-mounted camera as he oversees the dismantling of a tent city used by homeless people last month.


Orphaned bears Blizzard and Star are the latest additions to Journey to Churchill, an ambitious experiment taking place at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo. As Roy MacGregor writes, the aim is to get children to understand the plight of this 'Canadian flagship species'
Monday, November 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A8

WINNIPEG -- One-year-olds are not supposed to have breath that would peel paint.

Nor, on the other hand, are they supposed to stand eyeball to eyeball with you, close enough that you can hear the nostrils opening and closing, ready to tear you limb from limb and ... gulp ... happily eat you.

But meet Blizzard - just don't try to shake hands with him through the thick chain-link fence that is all that stands between you and the front page of this newspaper. Blizzard and his sister, Star, are one-year-old orphaned polar bears who are the latest additions to an ambitious experiment called Journey to Churchill at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo.

"Blizzard's ready to hold his own," says Brian Joseph, the zoo's new director. "He's not at all deterred by the presence of a stranger."

The stranger, on the other hand, is deterred, unnerved and twice frozen: once by the -15C temperature, a second time by the dark laser stare of a bear.

"There is nothing these bears are afraid of," Dr. Joseph continues. "They have no innate fear of humans because humans are merely another prey to them. There is no animal on Earth other than another polar bear - or a human with a rifle - that is a threat to them."

These bears may be confident and fear nothing, but a great many people are now fearing for them - and, sadly, are not so confident.

"The bears know nothing," Dr. Joseph says, "about climate change."

Five years ago, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy came up with an ambitious $200-million plan to rejuvenate the park, the old zoo and create something new that would be unique to the world, not just Winnipeg.

"There are lots of zoos in the world," conservancy president Margaret Redmond says, "and they tend to have animals from different parts of the world. The polar bear, however, is an iconic species for Manitobans."

Ms. Redmond and conservancy chair Hartley Richardson tapped into funding from the province, the city and private donors - "It's a Manitoba thing," she says - and the master plan is now two-thirds of the way there, with Journey to Churchill the signature piece.

Spread over 10 acres, the journey has three components: a transition area where the two new cubs are being kept; a sprawling tundra-like landscape where it is possible to view mature polar bears, Arctic foxes, snowy owls, muskox and wolves in what seems like a barrier-free setting; and a laboratory and interpretive centre where visitors can watch polar bears swim and react to ringed seals living and diving in a pool separated only by glass.

"We want to do this better than anybody can," Ms. Redmond says.

This year, they brought Dr. Joseph in from California, though he says he has spent enough time in the Far North not to be intimidated by Winnipeg's legendary winter. Last winter, in fact, was so bitterly cold that special heating had to be provided during construction - an unexpected expense that meant a cost overrun of $4.5-million.

The new director has 40 years' experience in animal care, having started as a keeper at the San Diego Zoo before heading off, at the age of 29, to veterinary school. Dr. Joseph is also a U.S. Army Reserve veterinarian with a specialty in the care of bomb-sniffing dogs, and has participated in humanitarian efforts around the world.

The plight of the polar bear, however, held special attraction to him. There are, he says, fewer than 25,000 such bears remaining on the planet. There are 19 subpopulations of the species, of which nine are known to be decreasing in numbers. And this country's North holds 60 per cent of the world's polar-bear population.

"They are a Canadian flagship species," Dr. Joseph says.

The alarms sound regularly. One scientific study predicts that by the year 2050 only 40 per cent of the polar-bear population will be left. Another study followed 80 polar bear cubs through their first year of life - and found only two survived.

Through a dramatic wraparound film at the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre and a series of interactive displays, visitors learn that the polar bear is entirely dependent on ice for survival.

"When sea ice shrinks," Dr. Joseph says, "it shrinks the length of time that the bears can feed. It gets shorter. During the off-season, the bear is denned up. It's trying to do as little as possible. It loses a huge amount of its body fat. And if that time between its next feed gets a month longer, it could increase mortality incredibly. One single horrific climate event could knock this polar bear population down to half in one year.

"This is something that could be very discouraging. But from my viewpoint, this is a chance for us to make a difference. This is a chance for us to connect with people, to connect with children and say, 'Let's look at how we live. Let's look at what we can do to make this a better world.' "

The centre is deliberately targeting children, fully aware that there is a magical connection between the cuddly, entertaining orphan cubs and young visitors. There is even a chance for children to get involved in "citizen science" where research scientists engage them in a Where's Waldo? search of aerial photographs for signs of bear activity.

"Children are the audience," Dr. Joseph says. "Adults are the audience, too, but if you think about who is going to change the world, they are the ones who have the open minds and open hearts. They are the ones who can make a true difference. So if you can reach that audience when they are little and you can start messaging 'Let's think about this,' 'Let's make good choices,' then when they get to be in decisionmaking capacities, they'll make good choices."

There are, of course, critiques. Some in Churchill fear that the centre will attract tourists who might otherwise come to their northern community where some 900 polar bears are a major summer attraction.

"This is not about breaching the trip to Churchill," Dr. Joseph counters. "This is about teaching the 750,000 people who live in Winnipeg, most of whom are never going to go to Churchill, as well as other Canadians. We would like those people to come here to see the polar bears and say, 'I want to know more. I want to go to Churchill and see what it's like there.' "

There are also the animal activists who believe no wild animals should be penned. "In a perfect world," Dr. Joseph says, "we wouldn't need zoos and aquariums. I'd rather have polar bears live in the world. I'd rather have them live safely in the wild. I'd rather the oceans were full of fish. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where we haven't taken good care of it. And we need to find ways to inspire one another to take better care of the world."

One critic suggested it would have been better to allow the wolves that had been tracking Blizzard and Star to kill and eat them - as wolves need to survive as well. "My response was twofold," Dr. Joseph says. "If I was able to give Star and Blizzard a choice between being eaten by the wolves or having an environment like this to live in, I think they'd probably vote for this. And two, if they were eaten by the wolves, how does that inspire people to live differently?"

Dr. Joseph is acutely aware that one cannot fake climate change. "But what you can do is you can tell a story," he says. "Most people learn by stories. And the story has to be compelling. If I tell you that the world's oceans are acidifying by a pH unit of .1 every 10 years, that's not very compelling. But if I tell you that polar bears are a threatened species because of climate change, I think that's a more compelling story. That's a reason to care.

"To me, it's not about teaching facts as much as it is about inspiring people to care and make good choices in their lives."

On a cold, sharp late November morning, there are few visitors to the Journey to Churchill. Workers scurry about. An elderly couple, bundled up to twice their bulk, move along slowly. A young family with a mesmerized toddler is at a window watching three polar bears comically roughhouse over which one owns a ragged rubber bucket.

"We have to 'repurpose' the zoo," Dr. Joseph says. Come in summer and people will see summer animals. While the wolves and muskox will be huddled in a corner in the shade, the polar bears will stick to the cool waters of the massive pool.

Come in winter, however, and it feels like you are yourself out on the tundra, with wolves and their thick winter coats staring down from a precipice, Arctic foxes dancing lightly through the snow and the polar bears seemingly close enough to touch - yet thankfully not close enough to touch you.

"The beauty of this exhibit is that the animals involved are incredibly active in cold weather," Ms. Redmond says. "Now that we've got Journey to Churchill open, we're excited about winter."

Associated Graphic

Far left: Blizzard the bear assesses his visitors through a chain-link fence at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg.

Above: A young visitor watches the bears tussle over a bucket.

Left: The bears roughhouse with each other. The polar bear is 'an iconic species for Manitobans,' Assiniboine Park Conservancy president Margaret Redmond says.


The book club at the big house
Volunteers at federal prisons across the country are helping inmates foster a love of reading and the art of respectful conversation
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R5

In a nondescript lounge with cafeteria-style tables and a few vending machines, eight men have gathered to discuss a historical novel about a plucky housemaid fighting the plague in 17th-century England. The men quickly point to the parallels with the Ebola crisis and gradually tease out one of the book's chief metaphors: Anger and betrayal spread through a quarantined village like a contagion.

"The first pages got me. It shows you how much despair - and hope - there is," one member remarks, describing a scene where the maid offers her stricken employer the thinnest slices of apple she can cut. After a thorough dissection of Year of Wonders, a 2001 bestseller by the American author Geraldine Brooks, they move on to lighter fare and a faster discussion of the popular Swedish novel The 100Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. There are two books on the evening's agenda because the previous month the club members were in lockdown and couldn't attend. They spent a week in their cells while guards searched the prison for contraband.

This is the book club at Warkworth Institution, a federal medium-security prison about two hours east of Toronto. Housing about 650 inmates including sex offenders, murderers and drug dealers, it's the largest federal penitentiary in Canada. At some point, perhaps recently, perhaps years in the past, the men gathered in the visitors lounge have done horrible things.

But nobody here is talking about why they are here. They are talking about books and why they read them.

"Reading a book, sure, there is adventure, there is escapism, lifting yourself out of this reality, which isn't always kind or welcoming," says one inmate, a tall man who looks to be in his 30s. "[But] it's in a purposeful and productive way. It's better than drugs. It's better than banging your head on the wall. It's safe and builds something, knowledge, empathy."

He makes it sound as though drugs and head-banging might be the real alternatives.

The book club at Warkworth is one of 17 in 14 federal prisons run by a Toronto organization called Book Clubs for Inmates. The group, a non-religious charity, sends volunteers into the institutions to lead monthly discussions and gets private donors to cover the cost of the books. The idea began in 2009 when executive director Carol Finlay, a retired Anglican priest and English teacher, began a club at the Collins Bay Institution, near Kingston.

"I went into Collins Bay. ... I thought I would do prayers with the guys in segregation," Finlay says, recalling how she discovered that nobody in prison needed any more religion. "I had to find something that was small 's' spiritual: They are overwhelmed with volunteers evangelizing them. ... I have always been interested in book clubs as a way of forming community. You may not like the book but you get together with people and discuss it."

Armed only with a template from a prison book club in Britain, Finlay found herself in front of 20 tough-looking, monosyllabic male prisoners who, at the most literary end, had read a bit of pulp fiction. Others had not read any kind of book in years. Nonetheless they agreed to give the club a try. It quickly took off - although at one early meeting, Finlay and a volunteer had to separate two men who got into a fist fight over the book.

"They didn't know how to listen respectfully," Finlay says of the Collins Bay inmates. "We realized we had something to give them; what they call 'pro-social skills.' "

Today, the clubs are operating across the country and now, with new additions in Fraser Valley, B.C., and Truro, N.S, in all the institutions for women. There's also a recently formed francophone group in the women's prison in Joliette, Que. The groups vary widely in their tastes and ambitions - at Fenbrook (now part of the Beaver Creek Institution in Ontario) the inmates have read The Odyssey - but Finlay figures whatever the inmates are reading the discussion is a more effective way of teaching social skills than mandatory anger management courses.

"All these guys are in prison because they thought only about themselves," she says, noting most inmates grew up in dysfunctional families. "Because of how they were raised, it was everyone for himself. They don't care if somebody's life is ruined by the drugs they sell or if someone is shot ... The book clubs teach them they belong to each other. It's a community value they need."

If the point of the project is teaching the art of respectful conversation, you could not ask for a better example than the book club at Warkworth where the inmates discuss whether Year of Wonders is a feminist novel and dispute the idea that the 100year-old man should necessarily be compared to Forrest Gump. The conversation is often indistinguishable from what you might hear at a book club gathering over glasses of white wine in a suburban home. The inmates provide the tea and cookies.

"I belong to two other book clubs and I often feel the conversation at the prison is just as stimulating," says Erin, one of three volunteers who goes into Warkworth every month to lead the group discussion. The only difference, laughs Judy, another volunteer, is that this club always discusses the book.

It's the volunteers' job to keep the discussion on track; they come prepared with various themes they want to raise if the inmates don't cover them. On the instruction of the Correctional Service of Canada, they don't share their last names with the club, while Finlay provides them with guidelines about respectful conversation that are to be read at the start of each meeting. At Warkworth, the volunteers don't see the need and have dropped the practice. Their club takes place without any guards in the room but under the watchful eye of Warkworth librarian Bob Fasching; he has a silent alarm on his belt, which, the volunteers say, he once pressed inadvertently - to the great amusement of the inmates when guards burst in on their literary discussion.

The inmates vote on what titles to read from a list compiled by the volunteers based on both their own reading and Finlay's suggestions from other clubs. The volunteers try to balance fiction and non-fiction and find the inmates are looking for substantial if not overly lengthy reads. Crime fiction is not popular; novels about unhappy families are. Warkworth has had animated discussions about Jeannette Walls's poverty memoir The Glass Castle and Lawrence Hill's slavery novel The Book of Negroes. This year their reading list includes a memoir by baseball pitcher R.A. Dickey (Wherever I Wind Up); a biography of Muhammad Ali (Ali) and a novel told from the perspective of an autistic boy (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.)

"I came here from another prison where we used to hoard magazines," says one inmate. "I had to go through several grievances to buy a dictionary. That's how hard it was to get any sort of book. You could get a basic cowboy novel, stuff like that. Here, it's books galore."

The books have to be purchased new and shipped directly to the prison; donated titles would create security problems, Finlay explains, because books are a perfect place to hide contraband. This makes the book clubs, which operate 12 months a year since the inmates don't take vacations, an expensive proposition. Finlay tries to secure a single sponsor for each club at the cost of $5,000 a year, seeking out philanthropists who grasp the concept of rehabilitation.

Erin, who never asks what crimes the book club members have committed, says she very occasionally meets someone on the outside who doesn't get it.

"I have people who say to me these inmates are not deserving of a book," she said, "People have to realize some day these inmates will get out and will be sitting beside you on a bus or chatting to your kid on the street. Everybody deserves a chance to get themselves back together."

The inmates themselves say they value the social aspect of books - the man who fought for a dictionary gets his wife to read the same books so that they have a common experience to discuss - but also they see books as a way of gaining access to themselves.

"I usually read non-fiction. The books we read in book club I wouldn't necessarily pick up," one older prisoner says. "But I am really glad I read them, and each and every one I have more insight into myself."

"Feelings aren't really popular around here," explains the inmate who prefers reading over drugs. "[Reading provides] a kind of freedom that we can't access at the point in our lives where we are and really taps into a bunch of emotions. Groups like this, little pockets of honesty, expression, are at a premium."

Others say they read books simply to stay sane inside.

"This is heaven for me," one enthusiastic newcomer to the group says. "It's a place where I feel like a human being."

Associated Graphic

Inmates at Warkworth Institution, a federal medium-security prison in Campbellford, Ont., meet to discuss books during a meeting last month.


Books used by the inmates need to be purchased new and shipped directly to the prison, since donated titles would create security problems.

Book club volunteer Erin.

Monday, November 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B6

Report on Business has examined the boards of directors of 247 companies and income trusts in the S&P/TSX composite index as of Sept. 1 to assess the quality of their governance practices. Marks from the prior year have been included in the chart, but the scoring system has been adjusted, so earlier marks are not directly comparable.



TOTAL 2014 (100)

TOTAL 2013(100)

1 Sun Life Financial Inc. 97 98

2 Bank of Montreal 96 90

2 Bank of Nova Scotia 96 95

2 Emera Inc. 96 91

2 Royal Bank of Canada 96 94

6 Manulife Financial Corp. 95 92

6 Potash Corp. of Sask. Inc. 95 96

8 Cameco Corp. 94 88

8 Finning Int'l Inc. 94 90

8 TransAlta Corp. 94 94

8 Intact Financial Corp. 94 94

8 Manitoba Telecom Svcs Inc. 94 90

13 Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 93 89

13 Canadian REIT 93 88

13 National Bank of Canada 93 88

13 Toronto-Dominion Bank 93 94

17 Pembina Pipeline Corp. 92 86

17 Suncor Energy Inc. 92 95

19 Canadian National Railway Co. 91 88

19 Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. 91 84

19 Chartwell Retirement Residences 91 90

19 Pengrowth Energy Corp. 91 89

19 TransCanada Corp. 91 93

19 Vermilion Energy Inc. 91 88

25 Boardwalk REIT 90 86

25 Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. 90 85

25 Gildan Activewear Inc. 90 91

25 Keyera Corp. 90 89

25 Precision Drilling Corp. 90 82

30 Agrium Inc. 89 84

30 Fortis Inc. 89 86

30 Industrial Alliance Insur. & Fin. Svcs. 89 90

30 Talisman Energy Inc. 89 81

30 Telus Corp. 89 85

30 Tim Hortons Inc. 89 79

36 Enbridge Inc. 88 86

36 Goldcorp Inc. 88 91

36 Riocan REIT 88 81

39 ARC Resources Ltd. 87 89

39 Canexus Corp. 87 83

39 Kinross Gold Corp. 87 87

39 Stantec Inc. 87 83

43 DH Corp. 86 88

43 Metro Inc. 86 85

43 TMX Group Ltd. 86 84

46 Barrick Gold Corp. 85 83

46 BCE Inc. 85 83

46 Methanex Corp. 85 84

46 Silver Wheaton Corp. 85 82

50 Capital Power Corp. 84 78

50 Toromont Industries Ltd. 84 82

52 Cenovus Energy Inc. 83 85

52 Franco-Nevada Corp. 83 86

52 Rona Inc. 83 89

52 Savanna Energy Svcs Corp. 83 77

52 SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. 83 84

57 Aimia Inc. 82 84

57 CAE Inc. 82 84

57 Home Capital Group Inc. 82 83

57 MacDonald Dettwiler & Assoc. Ltd. 82 81

57 Magna Int'l Inc. 82 86

62 Canadian Western Bank 81 81

62 New Gold Inc. 81 82

62 ShawCor Ltd. 81 79

62 Superior Plus Corp. 81 78

62 Wajax Corp. 81 81

67 Crescent Point Energy Corp. 80 76

67 First Capital Realty Inc. 80 82

69 Enerplus Corp. 79 71

69 Laurentian Bank of Canada 79 85

69 Maple Leaf Foods Inc. 79 82

69 North West Company Inc. 79 79

69 Northern Property REIT 79 59

69 WestJet Airlines Ltd. 79 74

75 Cogeco Cable Inc. 78 76

75 Encana Corp. 78 84

75 Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. 78 77

75 Trican Well Service Ltd. 78 67

79 Celestica Inc. 77 79

79 Sherritt Int'l Corp. 77 77

81 CI Financial Corp. 76 72

81 Cineplex Inc. 76 75

81 Enerflex Ltd. 76 72

81 Interfor Corp. 76 na

81 Russel Metals Inc. 76 73

81 Thomson Reuters Corp. 76 76

87 Allied Properties REIT 75 74

87 Baytex Energy Corp. 75 73

87 Canadian Apartment Properties REIT 75 79

87 Descartes Systems Group Inc. 75 na

87 Ensign Energy Services Inc. 75 64

87 Gibson Energy Inc. 75 69

87 Secure Energy Services Inc. 75 66

87 Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int'l Inc. 75 73

87 West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. 75 70

87 Yamana Gold Inc. 75 78

97 Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. 74 na

97 Linamar Corp. 74 73

97 Saputo Inc. 74 63

97 Veresen Inc. 74 80

97 Just Energy Group Inc. 74 68

102 Alamos Gold Inc. 73 70

102 AltaGas Ltd. 73 72

102 Crombie REIT 73 64

102 First Quantum Minerals Ltd. 73 68

102 Imperial Oil Ltd. 73 78

102 Penn West Petroleum Ltd. 73 70

108 Air Canada 72 na

108 Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. 72 57

108 AuRico Gold Inc. 72 72

108 Inter Pipeline Ltd. 72 58

112 Bombardier Inc. 71 72

112 Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund 71 na

112 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. 71 69

112 Silver Standard Resources Inc. 71 69

112 WSP Global Inc. 71 na

117 BlackBerry Ltd. 70 77

117 Brookfield Asset Management Inc. 70 75

117 Calfrac Well Services Ltd. 70 69

117 Dominion Diamond Corp. 70 74

117 Empire Company Ltd. 70 77

117 H&R REIT 70 75

117 Trinidad Drilling Ltd. 70 73

124 Artis REIT 69 38

124 Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. 69 71

124 HudBay Minerals Inc. 69 73

124 Newalta Corp. 69 na

124 OpenText Corp. 69 67

129 Cott Corp. 68 67

129 Eldorado Gold Corp. 68 66

129 Granite REIT 68 68

129 Horizon North Logistics Inc. 68 na

129 Jean Coutu Group Inc. 68 68

129 Parkland Fuel Corp. 68 69

129 Peyto Exploration & Devel. Corp. 68 71

129 Semafo Inc. 68 67

129 TransForce Inc. 68 68

138 Aecon Group Inc. 67 63

138 Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. 67 na

138 Detour Gold Corp. 67 61

138 Iamgold Corp. 67 74

142 Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. 66 70

142 Calloway REIT 66 70

142 CCL Industries Inc. 66 68

142 Element Financial Corp. 66 48

142 Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. 66 62

142 Freehold Royalties Ltd. 66 59

142 Major Drilling Group Int'l Inc. 66 72

142 Tahoe Resources Inc. 66 64

142 Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. 66 64

151 ATS Automation Tooling Sys. Inc. 65 na

151 AutoCanada Inc. 65 na

151 Catamaran Corp. 65 62

151 Dream Global REIT 65 54

151 Dream Office REIT 65 58

151 Extendicare Inc. 65 na

151 Genworth MI Canada Inc. 65 61

158 Alacer Gold Corp. 64 66

158 MEG Energy Corp. 64 65

158 Pan American Silver Corp. 64 57

158 Shaw Communications Inc. 64 57

162 Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. 63 62

162 Canadian Utilities Ltd. 63 59

162 Canfor Corp. 63 57

162 Capstone Mining Corp. 63 51

162 Dream Unlimited Corp. 63 na

162 Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. 63 56

162 Transcontinental Inc. 63 58

169 Hudson's Bay Co. 62 na

169 Husky Energy Inc. 62 62

169 Norbord Inc. 62 57

173 Paramount Resources Ltd. 62 57

173 Alaris Royalty Corp. 61 na

173 Badger Daylighting Inc. 61 na

173 Dollarama Inc. 61 63

173 George Weston Ltd. 61 59

173 Nevsun Resources Ltd. 61 52

178 Cominar REIT 60 64

178 Loblaw Cos. Ltd. 60 58

178 Rogers Communications Inc. 60 61

178 Northland Power Inc. 60 55

182 Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. 59 56

182 Pason Systems Inc. 59 58

182 Quebecor Inc. 59 74

185 Centerra Gold Inc. 58 62

185 FirstService Corp. 58 58

185 Intertape Polymer Group Inc. 58 na

185 Power Financial Corp. 58 53

185 Westport Innovations Inc. 58 56

185 Martinrea International Inc. 58 53

191 Argonaut Gold Inc. 57 60

191 Mullen Group Ltd. 57 55

193 Constellation Software Inc. 56 52

193 Crew Energy Inc. 56 54

193 Lundin Mining Corp. 56 52

193 Teck Resources Ltd. 56 56

197 Advantage Oil and Gas Ltd. 55 48

197 Atco Ltd. 55 54

197 Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. 55 na

197 Corus Entertainment Inc. 55 60

197 Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. 55 54

197 IGM Financial Inc. 55 53

197 Lightstream Resources Ltd. 55 57

197 TransGlobe Energy Corp. 55 50

205 AGF Management Ltd. 54 57

205 First Majestic Silver Corp. 54 56

207 BlackPearl Resources Inc. 53 53

207 Bonavista Energy Corp. 53 63

207 Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp. 53 50

207 NovaGold Resources Inc. 53 54

207 Whitecap Resources Inc. 53 43

212 Athabasca Oil Corp. 52 42

212 Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. 52 57

212 Onex Corp. 52 57

212 Torex Gold Resources Inc. 52 51

216 Bankers Petroleum Ltd. 51 45

216 Dorel Industries Inc. 51 50

216 Kelt Exploration Ltd. 51 na

216 TORC Oil & Gas Ltd. 51 na

220 Parex Resources Inc. 49 na

221 B2Gold Corp. 48 49

221 Canyon Services Group Inc. 48 na

221 China Gold Int'l Resources Corp. 48 44

221 NuVista Energy Ltd. 48 na

221 Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. 48 na

221 Pretium Resources Inc. 48 55

221 Primero Mining Corp. 48 na

221 Great-West Lifeco Inc. 48 42

229 Black Diamond Group Ltd. 47 49

229 Canadian Energy Svcs & Tech. Corp. 47 na

231 Dundee Corp. 46 44

231 Gran Tierra Energy Inc. 46 na

231 Surge Energy Inc. 46 na

234 CGI Group Inc. 45 39

234 Ithaca Energy Inc. 45 na

234 Trilogy Energy Corp. 45 42

237 Power Corp. of Canada 44 45

238 BRP Inc. 43 na

239 Birchcliff Energy Ltd. 42 42

239 RMP Energy Inc. 42 na

239 Tourmaline Oil Corp. 42 44

239 Westshore Terminals Invest. Corp. 42 40

243 OceanaGold Corp. 41 41

244 Avigilon Corp. 40 na

245 Bonterra Energy Corp. 39 40

245 Raging River Exploration Inc. 39 na

247 Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. 35 32

Source: Marking data prepared by the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness at the University of Toronto

n/a = not applicable because the company was not marked in 2013

Thursday, November 27, 2014


A Nov. 24 Report on Business feature on corporate governance, called Board Games, included an incorrect ranking for Bank of Montreal, showing a total score of 96 out of 100. In fact, Bank of Montreal received a mark of 98 out of 100, placing first in the ranking this year. Due to a marking error, Bank of Montreal was incorrectly reported to have finished second in the ranking.

Engineer was 'Pied Piper of productivity'
Executive who spent his entire career at mining company Inco understood how to create wealth as well as how to share it
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6

Walter Curlook's favourite film was the Danish drama Babette's Feast. Perhaps this story, of a Parisian chef who takes refuge in an austere religious community, then spends all her money to prepare a sumptuous meal that awakens her hosts' repressed senses, confirmed Mr. Curlook's belief in generosity - sharing wealth to enlarge people's horizons.

As a metallurgist, engineer and manager who spent his entire career as an executive at Inco when it was the world's largest nickel miner, he understood how to create wealth as well as share it. Mr. Curlook, who died on Oct. 3 in Toronto of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 85, held 14 patents for improvements to nickel refining and played a role in the establishment of a science centre, a college and a research facility for particle physics in Sudbury that has no equal in Canada.

Brilliant and tenacious, he never stopped working. After he retired from Inco, he became an adjunct professor in materials science and engineering (unpaid) at the University of Toronto and donated $1-million to set up two laboratories there for the study of minerals.

"He was one of those people able to use a larger percentage of his brain than most of us," his son Michael said. His daughter Christine Stinson recalled her father's ability to be so absorbed in some problem that he would not hear his children speak: "He would sort of zone out and my mother would tell us, 'Quiet - your father is thinking.' " In the 1970s, Sudbury's smelters belched thousands of tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere daily, killing vegetation and poisoning surrounding lakes.

Mr. Curlook's most important contribution might have been overseeing Inco's $650-million pollution-abatement program that ended with the air clean, new trees planted and northern grasses growing over slag heaps.

He was born with a nickel-plated spoon in his mouth on March 14, 1929, in Coniston, Ont., near Sudbury, one of five children. His father, William Curlook, was a Ukrainian-born nickel miner, working in feudal conditions; his mother, Stephanie (née Acker), was a disciplined woman of German/Ukrainian extraction.

Money was short, so Walter obtained part-time work at Inco from the age of 15 until his graduation. At 17, on full scholarship, he left for the University of Toronto, where he earned a clutch of degrees in science and engineering.

In 1953, PhD in hand, he took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Nuffield research lab of London's Imperial College of Science and Technology, an institution that had specialized in Earth sciences since the mid-19th century.

At 18, he met Jennifer Burak, then 15, at a Catholic youth dance in Toronto. He did not see her again until five years later, when sparks flew. Their wedding was postponed until the groom returned from London.

Hired at 25 by Inco as a metallurgist at the Copper Cliff mine, he returned with Jennifer to Ontario's mining country. Mr. Curlook's research and innovation skills led to rapid promotion, first to supervisor of the research station at Port Colborne, then back to Copper Cliff as research superintendent in 1964.

Nickel is the fifth most common element on Earth and is used in thousands of products; because it's non-corrosive, 65 per cent of what is mined goes into making stainless steel. Nickel naturally clings so stubbornly to other minerals - including cobalt, copper, sulfides and iron - that it takes powerful furnaces and heavy industrial equipment to crush, blast, pulverize, roast, melt and leach it into a state called nickel matte - still impure, but ready for sale.

The aim of the research teams Mr. Curlook headed was to find better ways to produce nickel matte and to find uses and markets for other minerals that were separated out.

In 1969, he went to Paris to negotiate with the French government enterprise COFIMPAC for the rights to exploit rich nickel deposits in New Caledonia, east of Australia. He and the family lived in Paris for three years, exploring France on weekends in their small Peugeot. "My father loved French culture," Ms. Stinson recalls.

In the end, though, Mr. Curlook was stymied by French bureaucracy and the contracts he sought went to other parties.

The Goro deposit, former colleague Sam Marcuson says, "was like a beautiful woman he wanted to marry. She turned him down but he never forgot about her, and kept after her."

Two decades later, after the other parties failed to deliver, Inco approached the French government again. Mr. Curlook moved with his wife to New Caledonia for three years and obtained the necessary permits for the startup of Goro Nickel, owned 85 per cent by Inco, 15 per cent by the French.

Nickel production at Goro finally started in 2010.

Following the Paris years and another stint at Copper Cliff, Mr. Curlook moved his family to New Jersey from where he took the train daily to work at Inco headquarters in Manhattan from 1974 to 1977 as a vice-president of the company.

When headquarters moved to Toronto, the family moved there.

Mr. Curlook became president and CEO of Inco Metals, a unit of Inco, and in 1984 set up Continuous Mining Systems Ltd. in Sudbury, a subsidiary manufacturing mining equipment. As well as chairman of Continuous Mining, he was president (later chairman) of Inco Gold, yet another Inco unit. In 1989, he was appointed a director of Inco and was also president commissioner of PT Inco in Indonesia.

The 1980s were difficult. While Inco was still recovering from the nine-month-long miners' strike of 1978, the worldwide price for nickel dropped from about $3 a pound to $1.41. (It now hovers around $7.) Inco closed its leastefficient refinery, at Port Colborne, Ont., and consolidated operations at Copper Cliff and and Thompson, Man.

Mr. Curlook's commitment to research paid off in increased productivity for a reduced work force. He introduced generous bonuses for anyone with a good idea to improve efficiency. The Globe hailed him as "the Pied Piper of productivity" in a 1985 article.

In the early 1980s he was part of a group of Inco executives who started Science North in Sudbury; Inco donated $5-million for capital costs. David Pearson, the facility's founding director, recalls that Mr. Curlook was "very supportive of what the science centre might do to encourage children along the path of innovation and achievement he had followed."

He also supported setting up Cambrian College and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), one of only a handful in the world, which he made sure was given space deep within Inco's Creighton Mine.

Neutrinos are neutral subatomic particles that cannot be found and studied above ground due to interference from cosmic rays.

George Ewan, professor at Queen's University, was among the physicists who visited various mines in 1983 to find a place for the proposed neutrino experiment. "Walter was very keen to see the experiment there - the decision on the Creighton mine had to go through him," recalls Prof. Ewan, who is now retired.

"He invited us to make a presentation to the directors of Inco. He also had to explain to the people in the village and the mine what we were doing. At all stages, he was a tremendous help. He tried to see the future."

That first experiment at the SNO solved a long-standing problem in neutrino physics and may yet win a Nobel rize.

Inco had attempted to reduce the pollution caused by its refineries as early at 1972, when it built its Superstack in Sudbury, which sent sulphur dioxide gases high up in the atmosphere. This had the effect of releasing fewer toxins over Sudbury but more throughout the region. Starting in 1988, government regulations and public opinion forced Inco to undertake a serious sulphur dioxide abatement and regreening program, under Mr. Curlook's management.

"Abatement work was a team effort," Mr. Marcuson explained.

"It was done by shutting down the old reverberatory furnaces, building two flash furnaces, building two acid plants and creating a new process for treating copper."

In 1985, Inco's plants released 685,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide annually. The emissions were down to 265,000 tonnes by 1994 - the year that Mr. Curlook retired, continuing as a consultant.

In his late seventies, he oversaw the construction of a nickel refinery for CVMR Corp., a Canadian mining company.

"He worked for us from 2005 to 2008, on the Jilin project [in China]," recalls Kamran Khozan, chairman and CEO of CVMR, in a phone interview. "We designed and engineered it in Canada, manufactured the parts and shipped it from here. It had to be assembled like Lego. Walter got the job done, under hostile conditions. His knowledge was not matched by anybody in the field."

Walter Curlook also played the violin and the piano, was a champion blueberry picker and collected the art of Jamie Wyeth and Alex Colville. "He was not just a left-brain kind of guy," his son Michael says.

Among his many honours were an Order of Canada, two honorary degrees and induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

He leaves his wife, Jennifer Curlook; sons, Michael and Paul; daughters, Christine and Andrea; sisters, Jenny and Mary; and five grandchildren.

Associated Graphic

Walter Curlook, seen in 1985, was a brilliant and tenacious man. Among his honours were an Order of Canada, two honorary degrees and induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.


A financial boot camp, 50 years on
Even in the digital age, the Canadian Securities Course stands out for the level of precision it brings to all market-related matters
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B11

The man seated next to me with his head in his hands is what I remember most about taking the Canadian Securities Course exam.

Time had just been called and we were asked to turn our exam sheet face down on the desk. When the guy to my left did this, he noticed a final page of questions that he never got to. Thus came a moment of agony that will be familiar to many of the more than 370,000 people who have enrolled in the CSC since it was launched 50 years ago.

"It seems to be a course that for some people has been their nemesis," said Marie Muldowney, managing director of the Canadian Securities Institute, which administers the CSC and many other investment industry courses and designations. "But for a lot of people, it has been a stepping stone. There's a whole history of people who have gone through the brokerage industry and qualified with this course."

The CSC is a foundational course for people who work in the investment industry. But it also functions as an intensive boot camp for people who want to master the basics of the financial markets. Individuals who work in banking, corporate finance and investor relations take it, and so do everyday investors.

In fact, the institute now offers a CSC Investor version that, at $495, costs half the $985 price tag for the full course. You get all the study materials with the investor version of the course, but you don't take the exam and you don't get a certificate. Interest in this CSC-lite has been modest, Ms. Muldowney said. "People want the real thing. They want to be able to put the CSC on their CV."

I put it on my CV back in 1993, when I was a business reporter trying to add to my career options. The guy next to me in the exam was an employee at one of the big banks who was looking to buff up his own credentials. Fumbling the exam is not unusual. The Institute doesn't disclose the success rate, but Ms. Muldowney said "quite a few people" don't get the minimum 60-per-cent grade needed for a pass.

"The exam is designed to be tough but fair," she said. "You have to have read the material, you have to integrate it, you have to understand it, you have to be able to apply it and you have to know what you're talking about."

The CSC curriculum back in my day was covered in a single volume of 454 pages. Today, the course material has expanded enough to generate two volumes that offer the same overview of stocks, bonds and the economy that I recall, plus new material on investment products and portfolio building. "It's a comprehensive course that really covers the waterfront of financial services from the investment side," Ms. Muldowney said.

Individuals who want to build up their knowledge of investing and the markets have infinite amounts of information available online at no cost. What makes the CSC stand out is the high level of precision and focus it brings to all market-related matters. The language of the course material is as flat as ever, but it's generally comprehensible and practical.

For example, the section on developing an asset mix tells you exactly what cash, fixed income and equities are, and how they work together in portfolios to balance risk and returns. Rebalancing is explained, and examples provided on how to bring a portfolio back to its target mix of stocks and bonds. Exchange-traded funds, segregated funds and guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits are among the products that are explained.

On the more technical side, the CSC covers all the various types of bonds (including how to calculate the yield of a bond) and stocks. There's also extensive coverage of the ratios used in analyzing stocks, and on reading corporate financial statements.

Is it worth spending almost $500 for the investor version of the course? For most people, no. A website such as Investopedia or (full disclosure: I do some paid blogging for this latter website) will offer more practical help, as will columns like this and others you'll find on But if you want a complete investing education, maybe because you plan to manage a large portfolio for yourself or relatives, it's worth considering.

One caveat is that the course offers a very traditional view of the investment industry, with little coverage of index investing. Mutual funds rate two chapters, while exchange-traded funds get a few pages. Behavioural investing, which attempts to reconcile human emotions with best investing practices, is not even mentioned in the index. The overall orientation is to address the needs of people selling investments, not buying them.

The CSC was launched in late 1964 as a training course for new hires in the brokerage business and attracted about 500 people in that inaugural year. Ms. Muldowney said between 12,000 and 15,000 now sign up for the course annually. Business is brisk enough that the CSC exam room in the Toronto headquarters on Wellington Street is constantly busy. Students in other cities can use local exam centres.

The course is offered on a selfstudy basis over one year, with online help available through webinars, discussion boards and practice questions. Where there was one exam and a few assignments when I took the CSC, today there are two two-hour exams of 100 multiple-choice questions each. A new addition to the CSC repertoire is the Refresh program, which is being marketed as a way for grads of previous years to demonstrate their commitment to keeping current on industry knowledge. The CSC Refresh includes a twohour exam and costs $75.

Ms. Muldowney herself does not have a brokerage background and has not taken the CSC. "So far," she quickly adds, "I've got the two books on my desk."

Follow me on Twitter:@rcarrick


Here are some sample exam questions from the Canadian Securities Course. Answers are at the bottom of the page.


What is an example of a lagging economic indicator?

A. Industrial production and retail sales.

B. Gross domestic product and personal income.

C. Average hours worked per week and the money supply.

D. Private sector plant and equipment spending and unemployment.


Determine the investment that will most increase the return on shareholders' equity.

A. Purchase a small competitor by issuing $20-million in bonds with an annual coupon of 5.5% and a projected increase in after-tax profit by $210,000.

B. Purchase new packaging equipment by issuing $3-million in bonds with an annual coupon of 5.5% and a projected increase in after-tax profit by $138,000.

C. Purchase new production equipment by issuing $10-million in bonds with an annual coupon of 6% and a projected increase in after-tax profit of $1.2 million.

D. Expand overseas production facilities by issuing $50-million in bonds with an annual coupon rate of 4.25% and a projected increase in after-tax profit of $800,000.


When would a company find it most advantageous to issue floating rate preferred shares?

A. The inflation rate is expected to rise.

B. The yield curve is expected to become steeper.

C. Interest rates are expected to rise.

D. Interest rates are expected to be relatively stable.


Define share capital.

A. Total of company's authorized shares times their current market price.

B. Total of company's outstanding issued shares times their current market price.

C. Total amount received by a company for its authorized shares at the time they were issued.

D. Total amount received by a company for its outstanding shares at the time they were issued.


Ignoring any other considerations, if an investor expects inflation to rise in the short-term, predict the effect this will have on the value of the investor's bond portfolio.

A. Portfolio value will fall because interest rates will rise.

B. Portfolio value will rise because interest rates will rise.

C. Portfolio value will fall because interest rates will fall.

D. Portfolio value will be volatile because interest rates will fall.


Which investment objective is considered to be a secondary objective?

A. Income.

B. Liquidity.

C. Growth of Capital.

D. Safety of Principal.


Identify the client that is most suitable for a segregated fund investment.

A. Joey and Linda, who are looking for a safe place to keep their emergency funds.

B. Jerry, age 55 and a self-employed entrepreneur, who is saving for his retirement at age 65.

C. Quinn, age 25 and a single undergraduate student who is investing a sizable inheritance that he may need for graduate school expenses.

D. Nabila, age 30 and an employed business manager, who is saving to buy a house within the next five years and wants to make sure she doesn't lose her investment.


What type of hedge fund attempts to generate returns that do not depend on the direction of the market?

A. Long-short market funds.

B. Fixed-income arbitrage.

C. Equity market neutral funds.

D. Distressed securities funds.

Associated Graphic

Marie Muldowney, managing director of the Canadian Securities Institute, says the CSC exam is 'tough but fair.'



Conrad Black's mammoth history of Canada is an ambitious, if flawed, chronicle of our country
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R17

The recorded history of Canada begins in medieval Icelandic sagas that recount Norse seafarers being blown off course and making landfall on a distant shore they named Vinland. The Norse were impressed by Vinland and its bounty, but were no match for its inhabitants. "Good land have we reached, and fat is it about the paunch," was the description of Thorvald Eriksson, who is also described being killed by an arrow shot by a "skraeling," as the Norse called the various aboriginal peoples they met.

Many tellings of Canadian history skip over its fascinating Norse prologue. The appeal of Rise to Greatness, by contrast, with its ambitious subtitle and stunning length, is completeness. Here at last, its heft silently suggests, will be the story of Canada in all its vastness and terror and glory, right down to the Vikings. If Conrad Black (my former employer) is its author, this is not immediately implausible. Black has written biographies of historical figures such as Maurice Duplessis and Franklin Roosevelt. Since Black's high-profile fraud conviction, his writing has shown concern for AfricanAmericans and other groups overrepresented in the U.S. justice system, demonstrating a capability for empathic identification that, if applied to the past, can be a powerful tool of understanding.

Rise to Greatness lives up to this foreshadowing in its early chapters on New France and colonial Canada. Black writes sympathetically about establishing a French Catholic society in North America and brings to life subjects such as explorer Samuel de Champlain, who converted to Catholicism, and Guy Carleton, who protected the rights of Catholics as Governor of Quebec. As Black's story unfolds, however, a second theme soon crowds out the minor interest in Catholicism.

This theme recalls a view in the international relations field known as realism, which sees international affairs as an amoral struggle for power among states. Realism downplays the influence of international law or moral norms on foreign affairs. Where the Catholic tradition looks to Thomas Aquinas and the New Testament, realism draws on Hobbes and Machiavelli. Black makes too many moral judgements to be a pure realist, but his approach to history shares with realism an intense preoccupation with the prerogatives of power, statecraft and foreign relations. Power is understood narrowly, as something concentrated in the hands of a small group of politicians. Hence the book's tight focus on elite decision makers, particularly prime ministers, to the exclusion of mass movements, moral reformers, ordinary Canadians - everything else.

Given this approach, when Black calls Quebec's Cardinal Villeneuve a "cunning and unsentimental observer," it is high praise. Conversely, when he characterizes Louis Riel as lacking "the tactical sense to try to entice the United States to do some of his bidding and frighten the British," it is a damning criticism, marking Riel as a feckless leader.

Black's approach has some high moments. The portraits of Macdonald and Laurier are gripping, even inspiring. Black shows us the morning of Canada, when bold leaders could indeed do great things, such as create a new confederation or people the Prairies through a daring plan of mass immigration. Black's recounting of Trudeau's battles with René Lévesque is also compelling. Whatever Trudeau's flaws, Black suggests, in his greatest hour he kept Canada together, and this outweighs all else.

But these moments are too rare in this long book. Black's view of national history as the history of the one percent, to paraphrase the Occupy movement, would be inadequate anywhere, but is especially ill-suited to the history of Canada.

Canada has achieved much of its influence through means other than force of will. In 1973 Australian immigration minister Al Grassby discovered official multiculturalism on a trip to Canada and brought the idea back to Australia. Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms has influenced laws in Eastern Europe, South Africa, Israel and Hong Kong. The Supreme Court of Canada now exerts a leading influence on courts around the world, surpassing its U.S. counterpart, because "Canada, unlike the United States, is seen as reflecting an emerging international consensus rather than existing as an outlier," in the words of U.S legal academic Frederick Schauer. Canadian experience as crystallized in the Clarity Act holds that secession requires democratic affirmation in response to a clear question, an idea recently endorsed in Scotland.

These examples highlight Canada's role as a generator of new norms that outside observers then embrace. This power-by-example cannot be reduced to a great personage pounding a negotiating table or calling in an air strike, and so is devalued on Black's approach, which fails to tell the full story of Canada's "greatness."

It also fails to explain Canada's leaders who, like leaders everywhere, are shaped by their society. Take William Lyon Mackenzie King, not only a wartime prime minister but the longest serving, and so someone Black's approach would presumably fit. In fact, Black struggles to make sense of King, who believed that he could communicate with dead relatives, historical figures, even his dead pets. This aspect of King was influenced by the spiritualism movement, which peaked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and acquired influence in part because it allowed women an influential role when this was often denied them. Black ignores King's historical context and labels him "complicated," "strange" and an "eccentric mystic." This misleadingly suggests King's spiritualism was just a personal quirk, when it was also a product of Canadian society.

King sometimes consulted Kingston fortune-teller Rachel Bleaney. Bleaney thus exerted a kind of power over King, but not the kind that wins many elections or wars, and so Black scants it. This typifies not only Black's take on spiritualism but the temperance and labour movements, feminism, the Quiet Revolution - every social trend that originated outside parliament. In their place, the book contains exhausting detail on European and American leaders out of proportion to their influence on Canada, often one senses because Black has written about them before (Roosevelt) or has a personal interest in them (Cardinal Richelieu). The result is an undisciplined narrative that spends more time describing the dimensions of British naval guns before the First World War than the Winnipeg General Strike.

On the rare occasions when disadvantaged groups are discussed, it is often in an obnoxious way. An early decision by Laurier concerned "a 'gentleman's agreement' limiting Japanese immigration to Canada of unskilled labour to four hundred people per year. It was a good but modest start on sovereignty." Japanese labourers are unlikely to have considered it good, but no matter. Black remarks of the 19thcentury U.S. that "there was only an economic reason for slavery in the South, where African and Caribbean workers were more productive in agriculture than Caucasians, being more adapted to tropical weather." Black fails to engage the complex debate on the economics of slavery and instead relies on a crass racial generalization. The Meech Lake Accord died in the legislatures of Manitoba, where Elijah Harper blocked it, and Newfoundland, where leaders of both major parties had promised a free vote it could not pass. "It was absurd that such a measure would be derailed by one legislator in Manitoba and parliamentary niceties among the Newfies." Important matters are decided in Quebec and Ontario. Mere "Newfies" should know their place.

Rise to Greatness is particularly disappointing in regard to Canada's native peoples. It was because the natives beat off the Norse that Columbus could later be credited for making contact with North America. "If it had not been for the Native Americans," U.S. author Jared Diamond has noted, "Vinland might have undergone a population explosion, the Norse might have spread over North America," and Icelandic would be the primary language of North America. The native defeat of the Norse was a military victory of the kind Black's approach purports to emphasize, but Black gives them no credit for their influence on world affairs. Their culture he characterizes as "Stone Age," ignoring how aboriginal tools, such as kayaks and snowshoes, gave them an edge over Europeans in adapting to Canada's environment.

Inevitably, there are factual errors. Riel did try to have the U.S. do his bidding. In a meeting with President Grant, he proposed that the U.S. fund an assault on Manitoba in exchange for which Riel would govern Manitoba in a manner beholden to U.S. interests.

Black endorses the libel that some of the 911 terrorists entered the U.S. through Canada. There is a full-page map that identifies a large island off the coast of Canada as Newfoundland. The exotic terrain in question is in fact Cape Breton. (Say what you want about Newfoundlanders, but they can usually identify the major landmasses of Atlantic Canada.)

Rise to Greatness ultimately dashes one's hope for empathy and completeness. It does however bring one historical lesson home. Our skraeling land is a graveyard not only of lost seafarers, but illprepared historians as well.

Andy Lamey teaches philosophy at the University of California, San Diego and is the author of Frontier Justice: The Global Refugee Crisis and What To Do About It.

Associated Graphic

Rise to Greatness: The History of Canada from the Vikings to the Present By Conrad Black McClelland & Stewart, 1106 pages, $50

Although his new book is more than one thousand pages long, Conrad Black fails to tell the full story of Canada's 'greatness.'


We've all been there, tossing and turning on a rapidly deflating air mattress next to the kitty litter. This year, give your guests the gift of a welcoming space
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, November 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

LONDON -- Living far from home, it's inevitable that my family and I host a lot of guests: parents, siblings, the family of six we met last year on vacation, who are "just passing through" for a week. We're reasonably equipped, with enormous bunk beds for the children to share, a double air bed and a convertible sofa in the den. Though my husband can't bear to sleep on it himself, we're often compelled to when a grandparent arrives with a bad back and a penchant for guilt.

This time of year, especially, I'd rather share my home with the entire Salvation Army band than leave my sofa to get on a plane. Having a house full of people at the holidays is the whole point of said holidays - a treat to look forward to, laundry aside.

My experiences on the other side, conversely, have not always been a treat. We've been lured to "come stay" with central locations, keys to the car, even offers to babysit. But a guest room? Not so much. "Follow us," our hosts urge, hauling our bags downstairs (surely as disappointing a direction as turning right on an airplane). "Just push aside that stroller. Watch out for stray Lego. And don't mind the kitty-litter smell."

I've slept in more children's beds than is proper, on blow-up mattresses that deflate through the night, been bitten by bedbugs, licked by puppies and tackled by toddlers. But at least it was behind closed doors.

Last year I spent a week on a camp mattress in a hallway outside the bathroom of a colossal, just-renovated house. The hostess was so delighted with the set-up, I hadn't the nerve to tell her I could hear her shaving in the shower.

If you have grown kids, inlaws, siblings abroad ... even if your door is darkened but once a year by a backpacking nephew: You've got to make space for them - say, enough to swing a kitty without stepping in its litter.

Of course, not all of us have a spare room to fill. It's a luxury even to have a combination home office, den and children's play room to work with. "It's a rare occurrence when someone has enough room to devote to a guest," says Karen Cole of ColeDesign Studio in Toronto.

"But it's great to at least have a space that's away from things."

The ideal, Cole says, would be the illusion of B&B-style accommodation: high-thread-count linens, L'Occitane toiletries in the ensuite bathroom, window shades, slippers and, yes, a door.

The reality is more often a repurposed cupboard with fluorescent lighting and a bathroom shared by two toddlers and a potty.

Cole offers some tips for wedging in extra bodies, however. In her own home she's equipped a small room at the top of the stairs, like a glorified landing, with wide pocket doors, a small desk, wall storage, a reading chair and an armoire with a mirror - "a key ingredient for a guest room."

When she's alone in the house, it's a place to sit, work or watch TV. Twin beds against the wall can be pushed together. "I use a featherbed [mattress topper] to put on top to join the divide," she says. "Together, the two beds become a king."

For clients, Cole has an ace up her sleeve: banquettes. If you've got just a foot of depth on the edge of a room, you could have space for one ... or more. "I usually make them extra deep and will often do a pull-out beneath. It looks like drawer, but it's a surface that you can top with a matching cushion."

If the hallway is all the space you've got, though, there are ways to get around it. "Cordon it off for people," says Cole.

"Install a track in the ceiling and keep a thick curtain in storage to hang on the track when someone's there."

Cole says she's kept every curtain ever removed from a window in her house. "When they're closed, it creates the sense of a private space." Behind the curtain, you could mount a Murphy bed so it folds down from the side. "Think of it like being on a boat. On a 29-foot boat you can create a piece of space that's completely yours."

"Almost every room can incorporate a small ottoman that unfolds into a single bed," says Deb Nelson, a Halifax-based decorator and stylist. "Or a foam mattress you can push under a bed and pull out for guests."

She recommends keeping a stash of mattresses from defunct cribs, banquettes or window seats. "If you're expecting children, they're not too concerned with quality."

Nelson's guest-bed pin-up is from a magazine that featured one bedroom split into two. A wall comes halfway into the room to conceal a single bed on one side and a queen on the other. Both areas have built-in shelving and side tables. It's something that could easily be built from one side of a chimney breast, or mocked-up with a folding screen or a bookcase on casters.

Sound like fun? It should, because a guest space gives you licence to let loose, design-wise, even at the expense of your guests. Cole proposes wallpapering everything, "even the ceiling," or painting the walls a colour you wouldn't dream of elsewhere.

You could take all those old family photographs that have come off the living-room walls and group them together in a shrine to ... yourself. "In a guest room you have a captive audience," Cole reminds me.

It's not all "cabinet of curiosities," though. Cole says, "A spare room is also a fun place to experiment with bedside lighting, or pendants that hang on either side of the bed, something more romantic."

I'm on board. My husband, I have to say, has gone overboard. Visions of Cole's B&B are dancing in his head and our family den is at stake. "Stop!" I say, my superstitions taking over. "If we're too prepared, we may scare off the guests entirely."

But what I really mean is the opposite. If you build it, they will come. And they may not ever leave.



A place to sleep. For inspiration, Deb Nelson checks out the New York company Sit Down NY and the Danish manufacturer Innovation Living. They have dozens of convertible sofas, love seats and ottomans "that look like something you'd get at ABC Carpet & Home." Karen Cole's go-to is the Comfort Sleeper collection by American Leather, which you can get through the Chesterfield Shop in Toronto. I like the Richmond, B.C., company Mobler for chairs that unroll into single beds.

A comfortable place to sleep. A featherbed or an extra duvet under the fitted sheet go a long way toward making a surface tolerable.

Technology. Charging cords, docking stations and easy access to WiFi passwords. The world is changing. These things are as important to guests as a hot shower. Set it all up beforehand so you aren't scrambling at midnight.

Local guide books and maps.

Repurposed furniture. A guest space should have a bedside table and a lamp, even a side chair for draping clothes in the absence of a closet. Give those tired old pieces a coat of paint and put them to work.


Trundle beds. "Families should expect to all pile in together," Cole says, "but if the host has kids, too, the ideal scenario would be to have trundle beds - if it's not imposing on their kids." If the host children have double beds and can handle sharing for a few nights, that will free up a bed for another body.

Extra pillows and blankets. Best to offer a choice.

Blinds on the windows. They make a big difference for visitors with jet lag.

Magazines and books. Keep reading material, with a local theme, stacked on the bedside table.


Fine linens. These go a long way toward making a guest forget that the mattress belongs in an army tent. Ditto plush towels fluffed up in the dryer.

Snacks. A pitcher of water and a tea kettle with glasses and mugs, plus a packet of cookies or nuts. Do you want guests banging cupboards when they're up in the middle of the night with jet lag? Thought not.

A basket of luxury toiletries. Pull out that basket where mini-bottles of Molton Brown moisturizer go to die.

An ensuite bathroom. You're not building one just so your backpacking nephew can do his business in private; you're building one because it's a good investment in your home.

Associated Graphic


Designer Karen Cole has turned a small room in her house into a guest room with wide pocket doors, a small desk, wall storage, a reading chair and an armoire with a mirror. Twin beds against the wall can be pushed together and topped with a featherbed for added comfort.


For those tight on space, consider chairs and couches that unroll or convert into beds, such as the Sway Sleeper Chair, top, and the Wing sofa bed in black leather, above.

And the winners are...
From 'phantom' brains to an anxiety-meter app, these neuroscience-related inventions get a shot at commercialization
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L5

Research labs across Ontario are full of ingenious - and even life-saving - inventions. Unfortunately, many of them never make it to market.

"What we often find is the person who invents it - the principal investigator or the researcher - they have a full-time job and that's to do more research. So sometimes these things don't get commercialized or made into a product anyone can use," says Alison Fenney of the Ontario Brain Institute.

To rescue great ideas from eternally gathering dust, the institute started an annual competition in 2012, similar to CBC's Dragons' Den, in which young scientists pitch their neuroscience-related inventions before a panel of judges. The successful candidates each receive up to $60,000 and mentoring to help them commercialize their ideas. Each year, the OBI funds a maximum of 10 individuals, but picks only the most entrepreneurial candidates who present the most impressive ideas and who are compatible with their chosen peer group.

To date, 21 selected participants have gone through the OBI Entrepreneurs Program. Some have gone on to partner with hospitals to clinically validate their treatments or devices, while others have attracted further funding to continue developing their products and hire staff for their startup companies.

The program, co-funded by the Ontario Centres for Excellence, addresses a couple of key issues, Fenney says. First, she points out, there aren't enough jobs in academia for postgraduate researchers in Ontario.

"So in one way, it helps provide alternate career options for graduate-trained researchers," she says. And second, "it actually makes sure that the really great idea, the cool treatment or device, gets out of the lab and into a product that can be accessed by the public."

From the 30 to 50 applications it receives each year, about 15 people are selected to make their pitches before the judging panel. In June, six individuals managed to win over the OBI judges to make it into this year's program.

We asked the chosen participants to explain their ideas: .

Who: Ron Gonzalez, president of the startup Avertus Epilepsy Technologies Inc.

What: A "Holter monitor" for the brain

When diagnosing heart problems, doctors sometimes require patients to wear a Holter monitor, a portable device that continuously tracks heart rhythms and records any abnormalities.

Avertus has created a similarly easy-to-use, wearable device that monitors a brain's vital signs to track epileptic seizures.

Currently, getting an epilepsy diagnosis is highly inconvenient, Gonzalez explains. Patients must go to an epilepsy monitoring unit at one of the few neurology centres in Canada, where the waiting list can be as long as 18 months.

The Avertus headset, which is a far less expensive and less cumbersome version of heavy-duty hospital electroencephalograms, allows doctors to triage their patients and determine who requires further assessment. (Compared with the hospital electroencephalograms, which are glued to a patient's scalp and cost up to $40,000, Avertus's device is expected to cost roughly $2,500.)

"There's no preparation. You just flip it on top of your head," Gonzalez explains, and the headset monitors brain activity, oxygenation and blood flow. Those measures are streamed to a physician's tablet, from which the physician can track multiple patients at a time.

Besides hospitals and clinicians, Gonzalez believes families with children who have epilepsy may also benefit from the device.

"Many parents with children with epilepsy report that they hardly ever or never feel wellrested because they're up all night, they're using baby monitors to monitor their children.

You know, it's horrible," he says, noting the device may offer a better way of alerting them when their children experience seizures.

Who: Asim Siddiqi, founder of the startup Dymaxia Inc.

What: An anxiety-meter app for children with autism .

As much as 80 per cent of children with autism suffer from anxiety, but they often have trouble recognizing and communicating their anxiety states, Siddiqi explains. "Just like we sometimes have difficulty ourselves recognizing when we're kind of stress-eating and things like that, they have it a little worse than we do."

Using sensors on the body, Dymaxia's anxiety meter picks up physiological signals, such as heart rate and skin conductance - or the amount of electric current that passes through sensors on the skin, which increases with stress and body temperature. It then processes those signals and provides feedback of the child's anxiety state in real time on a mobile phone or tablet.

Ideally used when children are away from their caregivers, the app would alert them when they become agitated, reminding them to employ the coping techniques they learn through behavioural therapy.

"It's providing them self-awareness," Siddiqi says. "They need that prompt, that reminder of 'Okay, you need to implement your therapy training.' " .

Who: Salam Gabran, chief executive of the startup Novela Inc.

What: Advanced implantable medical electrodes

These are tiny devices as thin as a strand of human hair that can be implanted inside the brain, and used primarily for brain research and to develop new therapies for brain disorders. Novela's research collaborators at the University of Toronto, for instance, have successfully used the electrodes to treat epilepsy in rats and are planning to test them on bigger animals and, eventually, humans. Epilepsy, however, is only one potential target.

"It can be used for a range of disorders," Gabran says, explaining the electrodes can also be customized for chronic pain, tumours, Parkinson's disease and depression.

Here's how it works: Since these brain disorders involve the misfiring of electrical impulses between neurons, Novela's electrodes - which are essentially "nothing but a set of wires, very tiny little wires" - send electrical signals to targeted clusters of neurons to override or cancel malfunctioning messages, Gabran explains.

Although Novela's devices have so far been used only in animal research, Gabran is currently working on a prototype for humans.

Who: Ruslan Dorfman, chief executive of GeneYouIn .

What: Predictive testing to optimize pain management and the treatment of mental conditions .

If you've ever wondered why some medications don't work for you, the answer may be in your genes. Individuals metabolize medications in different ways, Dorfman explains. For example, for people who lack the specific enzymes necessary to convert codeine into morphine in their livers, Tylenol No. 3 with codeine would offer no more relief than regular Tylenol.

To ensure patients get the most effective medications, GeneYouIn uses software to link their genetic test results to drug-label recommendations for about 60 common medications, including 24 anti-depressants.

"It provides personalized dosage recommendations for each client based on [their] genetic profile," Dorfman says, noting the system is ideally used by patients, together with their doctors and pharmacists. So for those who are poor metabolizers of codeine, GeneYouIn's program would warn against using Tylenol No. 3 and similar pain medications, and recommend alternative drugs that would work better. And for those who metabolize certain psychiatric medications more quickly, it would notify them that standard doses would be ineffective.

Who: Adrian Wydra, chief technical officer of the startup True Phantom Solutions Inc.

What: "Phantom" brains and skulls for use in research and neurosurgery skills practice and testing .

Researchers and neurosurgeons need brains on which to experiment. The trouble is obtaining them. The solution? Phantoms.

Phantoms are artificial body parts made from synthetic materials. At True Phantom Solutions, Wydra has created phantom brains and skulls using polymer-based materials that behave the same as real tissues in response to ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging.

"Basically, you can do the same thing as on the real body, but you don't hurt anyone," he says.

Plus, he adds, since they're totally synthetic, the phantoms don't degrade like real tissue. "They don't need to be kept in the fridge. You can just stock them on the shelves."

Who: Marc Fiume, chief executive of the startup DNAstack .

What: A searchable genetic database .

When an individual has a genetic disorder, there is usually at least one position (and sometimes a few) within the three billion places in the genome that is flawed or mutated. DNAstack creates a database or library of all the various mutations within a group of patients. An autism sequencing project, for instance, may involve collecting the genomes of 1,000 different autism patients.

"The issue is that that's a lot of data," Fiume says. So to navigate such a vast library of genetic information, he explains, DNAstack has created a search engine that would allow researchers or clinicians to pinpoint the one or two or few mutations responsible for a particular disease or disorder.

Call it the Google of genetic information. Users would enter search conditions (using terms such as "male patients," "autistic characteristics" to find potentially harmful mutations), Fiume explains, and the search engine would provide the top five lists meeting those criteria.

"Much like Google is approachable to every human who can type," he says, "we want to make a system that's extremely userfriendly so that you get results really quickly and you can specify the search with natural language."

Associated Graphic

Clockwise from top: Adrian Wydra's 'phantom' or artificial skulls and brains; Ron Gonzalez's 'Holter monitor' for the brain; Salam Gabran's advanced implantable medical electrodes; Asim Siddiqi's anxiety-meter app for children with autism; Ruslan Dorfman's predictive testing to optimize pain management and mental treatment.

Media man focused on fairness, intellect
Frustrated at the CBC, he left to produce documentaries and dramas such as the 1983 adaptation of Timothy Findley's The Wars
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6

In the late 1960s, stepping off the elevator into Richard Nielsen's Public Eye office space was like stepping into a Canada that did not yet exist.

Known to his friends simply as Dick, he put together a CBC current affairs TV show, based in Toronto, that was staffed by people with a rainbow of nationalities, temperaments, religions and sexual preferences. The human kaleidoscope that he assembled included a Jamaican academic, a Japanese intellectual, a proudly gay anglophile (this in the days when the closet was packed), a literature professor, a Jewish political comic and a Mississauga widow in her 60s.

But if someone had applied the terms "multicultural," "diversity" or "rainbow," to his hiring practices, Mr. Nielsen would have been mystified. He hired simply on the basis of a person's intellect and imagination. And no one had more of these qualities than Mr. Nielsen himself. The Public Eye took on issues normally best served by print and made them into riveting television - a rare accomplishment. Whether it was the bombing of Dresden, Walter Lippmann's theories on the Cold War or the riots engulfing American cities, the programs of The Public Eye reflected Mr. Nielsen's ability to synthesize news and history with a unique perspective rooted in his working-class Danish-immigrant upbringing in the Maritimes.

He died in Toronto on Oct. 25, leaving his wife, Donna, (née Dunseith); two of his daughters, Camilla Brockhouse and Petrea McConvey; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was predeceased by a third daughter, Marta Nielsen, a filmmaker. Right up to the end, at the age of 86, he was still producing shows about the First World War and dictating instructions to his assistants from his bed at Toronto General Hospital even as pneumonia overtook him.

Mr. Nielsen was born Feb. 21, 1928, to Hans and Camilla (née Mikkelsen) in the logging town of Plaster Rock, N.B. He had a passion for reading throughout his life, but none of his immense erudition came from the ivy halls of academia. His real-world education began at the age of 16, when he took a job at a factory and continued on through stints at a meat-packing plant, steel mills and in the Northern Ontario bush. With this background, Mr. Nielsen was not impressed by degrees, résumés and reputations; the main attraction for him was the quality of a person's mind and the moral compass behind it. He was an intellectual, but one with no interest in being thought of as an intellectual. He also appreciated a good sense of humour; no one loved to laugh more than he did. Once airborne, his cackling, wheezing guffaw joyously infected all those within earshot.

Mr. Nielsen cared less for material goods or signs of status than anyone this side of a saint. Never owning or even driving a car, or caring about financial security, he was almost Buddhist in his ability to lessen his worldly wants. But the one desire that never decreased was his drive to stimulate people's minds. This showed up even in the smallest ways, like his sentences so frequently prefaced by: "Yes, but you see ... ." With little or no interest in personal wealth, he willed scores of award-winning productions (some expensive) into life.

Mr. Nielsen reserved his fury for those who disguised sloth or timidity with prestige or entitlement. Passionately Canadian, he directed his most withering scorn at the succession of CBC presidents who passed through what he deemed a turnstile of mediocrity, on their way to a purgatory of pensioned comfort untroubled by legacies of innovation or daring. For Mr. Nielsen, the CBC was a national treasure that had fallen into the hands of those who knew little of its vital purpose. And if he ever had an enemy, they were it.


From his difficult days as a worker in the factories, forest and rail yards, Mr. Nielsen forged a concept of social justice, a concern for the underclasses of society that remained with him for the rest of his life. Yet he embraced contradictions, his own and others. His concept of a functioning and decent society would sometimes lead him to fight against those he had formerly championed. The abuse of power drew his wrath - whether by unions, management, government or any group seeking power at the expense of others. In many ways, his independent cast of mind made him the outsider that no one group could claim as its own.

Loving the CBC but frustrated by its bureaucracy, Mr. Nielsen made the decision to move to private enterprise, creating film companies that would produce documentaries and such major dramas as the 1983 adaptation of Timothy Findley's celebrated novel The Wars.

It was probably no accident that The Wars won Genies for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, for Martha Henry and Jackie Burroughs, who were among the most celebrated Canadian actresses of that era. In the very best sense of the word, Mr. Nielsen loved women. He was surrounded by them. He and his wife, Donna, to whom he was devoted for six decades, raised three daughters, Camilla, Petrea and Marta. At the CBC, he brought in female hosts at a time when there were no women in major prime-time interviewing roles.

Beginning with Jeanne Sauvé, the future governor-general, whom he brought in as a co-host on The Public Eye in 1967, Mr. Nielsen sought women for on-camera roles in what had been exclusively a male domain. The following year, as executive producer of the CBC's new flagship current affairs show Weekend, he found Kay Sigurjonsson, then working in relative obscurity as an executive assistant at the Federation of Women Teachers' Association of Ontario. Within weeks of calling her in for trial on-camera interviews, he made her co-host of Weekend with Lloyd Robertson. Before the year was out, Ms. Sigurjonsson was interviewing then prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

Major figures impressed him only if he found their reputations to be justified once he had worked with them. He and was fascinated by Glenn Gould. But the legendary British journalist, essayist and thinker Malcolm Muggeridge was another story. Mr. Muggeridge had been one of Mr. Nielsen's heroes for his courageous reporting from Moscow in the 1930s, when he was one of the few journalists bearing witness to the Stalinist atrocities that other Western journalists glossed over. Mr. Nielsen was also enthralled by his later foray into religion and philosophy. But meeting him while working on one of his many acclaimed TV productions after The Public Eye, Mr. Nielsen saw Mr. Muggeridge as a man living on his own legend. He later wrote that Mr. Muggeridge, in his old age "... broke what is supposedly the fundamental rule of the trade: that facts are sacred. He had little or no care for the facts and made little effort to discover them."

That was never to be Mr. Nielsen's fate. At his funeral, one of his admiring granddaughters, Erin Nielsen-Burgess, wrote in a tribute to him: "With all this talk of staying healthy and being financially secure for when we are older, it is also important to be motivated and to use our minds."

Mr. Nielsen was always motivated and his mind never stopped. It was his body that began giving way, first to diabetes and then to ancillary afflictions. His visitors in the past few years would find him in a small Toronto townhouse robbed of normal eyesight, peering into a huge desk-mounted magnifying glass that allowed him the vital task of reading. He was the very personification of the Kipling lines: "If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew/To serve their turn long after they are gone." Yet even during his decline, that same spirit lived on as young assistants constantly came in, helping produce the various films that his company, Norflicks, was making. They were part of a long tradition - talented novices getting their start in the business because they were working with Dick Nielsen.

And yet for someone who incessantly sought out new horizons, Mr. Nielsen began to feel confined in the last year of his life. He had long been close to his youngest daughter, Marta, who had followed him into the film business and in the spring of 2014, at the age of 53, had been battling cancer for nearly a decade. After a visit, he wrote: "I expressed some discouragement with my life and she admonished me to concentrate on something for which I was grateful. I didn't have far to look. I was grateful for Marta; grateful that in my old age I had found a spiritual adviser and confidante in my youngest child."

Ms. Nielsen died a few weeks after this conversation. Mr. Nielsen died almost exactly six months later, honoured by both his family and by the legion of those he helped, mentored and inspired.

Martyn Burke is a Canadian director, screenwriter and novelist who worked for Dick Nielsen.

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Associated Graphic

Mr. Nielsen produced the CBC current affairs program The Public Eye among many other projects.


After the attack
Rinelle Harper's family sent her to Winnipeg so she would get a good education and experience more in life than at their remote Garden Hill First Nation. Now they are trying to figure out what to do next. 'If we go back up north, it will be like those two won,' her mother says of her daughter's accused attackers. Kathryn Blaze Carlson speaks to Rinelle and her family in Winnipeg
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A10

The Harpers had just finished a family supper when Rinelle, the soft-spoken middle child of three, told her parents she was going out to visit a friend. She swung the door open at their rented Winnipeg home, and in her native Oji-Cree language, she called out, "Mom, I'm leaving now."

When the 16-year-old did not return that Friday night, her parents, Caesar and Julie Harper, grew increasingly worried. A rap on the door came on Saturday, around 5 p.m., and they hoped it was their girl. Instead, it was the police.

"It's every parent's nightmare to have the detectives knock on your door," Julie says in an interview with the family at the hotel where the teen is recovering.

"They asked us if Rinelle was our daughter. [An officer] told us that she had been lying by the river, on the sidewalk, and that now she was on life support. She was an unknown female all day. I forget what they said next. I was in shock."

After nearly a week in hospital, Rinelle was discharged from the children's ward last Friday, but she is still in pain and has trouble breathing, due, in part, to the 45minutes of CPR she endured hours after the vicious attack. It hurts to bend down and tie her shoelaces. Her right eye is bloodshot, likely from whichever blow it was that fractured her cheekbone.

Asked how she is faring, Rinelle says plainly, "Good."

Is she feeling better and better each day? "Yeah."

Does she have nightmares?


As for what happened the night she was attacked - how did she get separated from her friends, how did she end up by the river with two men - she says, "I don't remember."

Rinelle might not recall the assault, but the fact that she is alive to say so is astounding. This girl, a child with a family who loves her, very nearly became one of Canada's more than 1,181 murdered or missing native women. Her case reverberated throughout this city, her Garden Hill First Nation community and far beyond. It led aboriginal leaders to issue a clarion call for Canadians to do more to protect this country's native children, who are all too often sent away from their reserves and into the nearest city in pursuit of opportunity. Instead, they sometimes find violence.

Rinelle's parents were originally reluctant to identify their daughter with the push for a national inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women because their girl, fortunately, survived the attack. But they spoke with The Globe and Mail because they know they almost had to bury their daughter - that while she has her own story, her own path to this moment, she is nonetheless the latest native woman to be beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead. On Thursday, she met one of the two construction workers who found her down by the Assiniboine River, barely breathing. To them, she is the hero.

Before speaking with The Globe, Rinelle had finally made it out for dinner with her parents and her older sister, Rayne, who looks nearly identical and has been her sister's shadow ever since the Nov. 8 assault. Tired from the outing, and with the TV sitcom Friends playing in the background, Rinelle Harper is now curled up in the hotel bed.

Her long black hair is strewn on the crisp white pillowcase, her badly bruised leg swung over the covers.

It is warm in the room, the family's home these days. There are teddy bears, pink carnations and white roses, muffins and a flat of Cream Soda, cards and drawings of dream catchers, sage sent from their northern community.

The girl is too tired to say much of anything, but about a week before she just plain could not. A tube down her throat was keeping her alive. To communicate, she wrote notes to her parents in black marker on the back of pink patient-report forms. The notes, which her parents kept, say things like, "I want dad here," and "I can barely breathe."

And then there is the most haunting one of all: "What happened to me?" Police say Rinelle was beaten by two men under a bridge near the Assiniboine River and ended up in the frigid waters. Wet, battered and barely clothed, she managed to crawl out of the river only to be attacked again by the same men. Then, in another dark twist, police say the co-accused left the girl for dead before allegedly going on to sexually assault a second woman.

The Harper family wants Canadians to know that Rinelle is not Tina Fontaine, despite comparisons made because of the similarities of their high-profile cases: both involved vicious attacks on native girls found in, or near, one of Winnipeg's rivers.

Rinelle did not die. She was not in the Child and Family Services system. In fact, she had moved to Winnipeg about a year ago to attend Southeast Collegiate, a native-run boarding school for aboriginal children. She had never run away. Still, her parents understand where their daughter fits into the startling trend of violence against aboriginal women and girls.

"It could happen to anyone," Julie Harper says, sitting beside her husband on the edge of their daughter's bed. In fact, just a few weeks ago, it happened to one of Mr. Harper's children from another relationship. He says his 25year-old daughter was raped not far from where Rinelle was assaulted.

"It really hurts when I think about it," says Mr. Harper, a thin and shy construction worker who is maintaining the family home in Garden Hill while his wife, a former physician's assistant at the reserve's nursing station, takes business courses in the city.

He adds that the latest attack has also been difficult for the couple's 11-year-old son, Brennon.

Mr. Harper and his wife are frustrated. They say they are trying to do everything right. They didn't worry about sending Rinelle to the city, in part because Julie Harper attended a residential school and, unlike many others, had a decent experience living and getting educated under one roof.

They sent their two girls to the collegiate because they figured they would experience more in life, like field trips - bowling, camping, going to the movies.

And since Rinelle wants some day to join the military or the RCMP (or maybe become a teacher, she is still not sure), they wanted her to get a good education.

Julie says the family is still trying to figure out what to do next, but she does not think they will move back to Garden Hill in light of the "incident," as she calls it.

"If we go back up north, it will be like those two won," she says, referring to the co-accused.

The couple says the decision to allow police to release Rinelle's name - a rare move for a sexual assault victim, and especially so in the case of a minor - was an easy one. They were told it might help solve the case; police say it did.

The couple says they do not have anything to say to their daughter's attackers at this point.

Actually, they offer their forgiveness.

"We want our hearts to be peaceful," Mr. Harper says, glancing at his wife of 14 years. She interjects: "I grew up in a Christian home ... My dad's dad taught us a lot from the Bible. It says to forgive others, or the Father up there won't forgive you."

The Harpers have not spoken with their daughter about forgiving her attackers, but they know she is not having flashbacks, at least not yet, her mother adds.

Nonetheless, they plan on finding her counselling services, and they have assurances from the principal of Southeast Collegiate that their daughter will have support at the dorm when she resumes her studies - which Rinelle intends to do as soon as possible. She has her sights set on trying out for the basketball and volleyball teams. She is looking forward to getting back to her classes, especially biology, her favourite.

Lying here in the hotel bed, Rinelle has come a long way from the suspenseful days not long ago when family, friends and local pastors gathered around her, praying for her to pull through.

She sits up for a bit now, her mother taking the girl's tangled hair into her hands to brush it, gently. Soon, it will be time for sleep. Each day, her mother says, Rinelle wakes up stronger.

Associated Graphic

Rinelle Harper is recovering in a Winnipeg hotel while her parents Caesar and Julie watch over her. The couple says they forgive her attackers: 'We want our hearts to be peaceful,' Mr. Harper says.


One of two construction workers who rescued Rinelle Harper, Sean Vincent, smiles after receiving a gift from her Thursday as her mother Julie looks on in Winnipeg.

Rinelle Harper communicated during her hospital stay by writing notes to her parents in black marker on the back of pink patient-report forms.

When Calgary plays Edmonton in the West Division final this weekend, it's another storied chapter in the lore of a deep-seated Alberta rivalry that takes no prisoners. There's a lot more at stake than the right to get to the Grey Cup
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

CALGARY -- It got to a point where Dan Kepley abhorred the colour red. One look and he was a mad bull snorting at el matador's cape.

Red, Kepley said, was "their colour," the Calgary Stampeders' primary shade. And being an Edmonton Eskimo meant hating everything to do with that team, its city, its fans, even its mascot, Ralph the Dog, whose flapping tongue matches the colour of his Calgary jersey.

"I don't have anything red at my place," said Kepley, the retired middle linebacker who still feels the burn whenever he watches the Stampeders on TV. "I see it, I throw it out."

They play one another three times during the regular season, every season. They go Labour Day in Calgary, with the rematch four days later in Edmonton. They've clashed repeatedly in the CFL's West Division semi-final.

But when Edmonton and Calgary meet in the West final - as they will Sunday at McMahon Stadium - it rekindles the fervour like few other games.

Not only does the winner get an invitation to the Grey Cup, it earns seven months of gloating over its vanquished foe. (The boasting comes even if the winning team loses a week later in the Grey Cup.)

That's the way it works in Alberta. The province's two main cities compete in the oiland-gas sector, in political clout, but the bragging rights are biggest on turf and ice. There's no such thing as a friendly game between Edmonton and Calgary, not for the fans, the players and even ex-players.

"Although both teams respected each other, it went from a dislike at the Labour Day games to a hate by playoff time," said Dave Sapunjis, who played for the Stampeders, was chosen the outstanding Canadian in three Grey Cups and is now a member of the club's executive ownership committee. "For me, those were my favourite games."

Both cities have kept count of their wins and losses against each other both in football and hockey. When Edmonton won five Grey Cups in a row (197882), and the NHL Oilers won five Stanley Cups in seven years, the provincial capital proclaimed itself City of Champions. Calgary, by comparison, won four Grey Cups dating to 1992 and has always been happy to recall how the Flames won a playoff series against Edmonton when Oilers' defenceman Steve Smith scored into his own net.

The Flames also captured the 1989 Stanley Cup. Edmonton fans scoffed at that accomplishment by joking, "How do they spell dynasty in Calgary? O-n-e."

One last set of numbers to stir the pot: To date, the two football teams have squared off eight times in the West final dating to 1990. That includes a fourin-a-row stretch from 1990 to 1993. Calgary won five finals, Edmonton three.

"We used to say whoever won the West final was going to win the Grey Cup," said Dwayne Mandrusiak, the Eskimos' equipment manager for 42 years. "The atmosphere, excitement, the intensity - it was all there when we played Calgary."

George Hopkins has been the Stampeders' equipment manager for 43 years. After the Eskimos defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders in last weekend's West semi-final, Hopkins texted his friend Mandrusiak to say congratulations, welcome to the West final. Mandrusiak texted back, "It's old-time football." "The way it's supposed to be," Hopkins wrote.

With all that experience between them, Hopkins and Mandrusiak were asked to pick their most memorable West final.

Hopkins talked about the 1991 game that saw Demetrius (Pee Wee) Smith score on a late catch-and-run play to give Calgary a win at Commonwealth Stadium. In quick order, Hopkins and Mandrusiak both mentioned the 1993 game - Hopkins for all the wrong reasons, Mandrusiak for the good.

On that bitter afternoon in Calgary, the snow fell and temperatures plummeted. How cold was it? So cold that before the game started, the Eskimos decided they needed more winter clothing. Barb Ambrosie, the wife of Edmonton offensive lineman Randy Ambrosie, made an emergency run to a nearby sporting goods store where she bought balaclavas, gloves, anything she could get her hands on, and brought them back to the dressing room.

Suitably outfitted, Edmonton receiver Jim Sandusky scored on a lengthy touchdown run in the snow. He wobbled, slid, nearly fell, but managed to keep his footing all the way to the end zone.

Stampeders' head coach Wally Buono uttered one of the more memorable quotes after the disappointing loss. It had to do with a Calgary defensive back who was told not to jump out of position when Edmonton quarterback Damon Allen pumpfaked a pass, only to pull the ball back and then throw.

"We told Karl Anthony, 'Don't jump the pump,' " Buono said.

"And what does that goofy Karl Anthony do? He jumps the pump!"

That wasn't all. The industrial heaters on the Calgary sidelines froze at halftime and couldn't be relit. (Edmonton's worked fine.)

Calgary quarterback Doug Flutie's hands were so numb he couldn't hold the football and had to come out of the game.

Worse still for the Stampeders, winning the final put the Eskimos in the 1993 Grey Cup, which was scheduled for the following Sunday ... at McMahon Stadium.

That meant the Eskimos got to move into the Stampeders' dressing room for Grey Cup week. Think of the most annoying person you know moving into your house for a week and asking: "What's for dinner?" That's how the Stampeders described it.

"I felt for George," Mandrusiak said. "In 2010, we were saying we didn't want the Stampeders in our room."

"It's the ultimate indignity," Hopkins recalled.

If you dig to the core of this made-in-Alberta battle of oneupmanship, you find a sporting axiom that rings true: No great athlete, no great team makes it to the top - and stays there - without being pushed by a great rival. Bjorn Borg needed John McEnroe in tennis. Arnold Palmer had Jack Nicklaus in golf.

Nancy Kerrigan suffered Tonya Harding in figure skating.

Both the Stampeders and Flames needed their Edmonton counterparts to transform all those Calgary losses into something beneficial.

Buono remade his defence with players with the speed to keep up with Edmonton quarterback Tracy Ham. Flames' coach Bob Johnson came up with a seven-point plan designed solely for beating the Oilers. (First point: Do not fall behind on the scoreboard early in the game.)

Eventually, Calgary's football and hockey teams were able to convert their lessons into wins.

As time went on, the two cities and their pro teams reached out to one another in matters of business. The Flames and Oilers ran a ticket lottery to increase revenue. The Flames bought a majority share in the Stampeders, giving them sway on two sporting fronts. Edmonton and Calgary shared hosting the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Plus, the Oilers led the charge for a multimilliondollar arena while Calgary quietly took notes on how to get a new facility of its own.

Dan Mason, a University of Alberta professor in physical education and recreation who has followed the Edmonton-Calgary plot lines, believes the two cities can be formidable allies when it suits their needs.

"They are unique up-andcomers as cities," Mason said.

"They have advantages in their economies and the teams recognize there are certain things they can work on together. I think it's more strategic now.

When it suits the interest of the owners, they play off the rivalry.

They are starting to realize that the success of one team is good for the other."

Those who will be playing in Sunday's game are not the least bit interested in what happens in the boardroom. The Stampeders last reached the Grey Cup finale in 2012, and lost. Edmonton is looking to secure its first Cup berth since 2005. The leaders on both teams have told their newcomers that this is not just another game, not even another playoff game. This is a playoff game against "those other guys."

Of all the people with something to say about this storied rivalry, Randy Ambrosie experienced it like no one else.

Signed by Calgary, where he spent two seasons, Ambrosie later became an Eskimo. He won only one Grey Cup in his 10 years in the CFL. It was the 1993 Cup played in Calgary, where all week long he got to sit in the dressing room stall he had occupied as a Stampeder.

That November game was his last with Edmonton. He retired soon after, feeling blessed to have been a part of it all. North versus south. Edmonton against Calgary. A blue-collar crowd versus a more corporate vibe.

Naturally, Ambrosie was asked which team he'll be cheering for on Sunday and there was no hesitation in his answer: "Once an Eskimo, always an Eskimo."

Old-time football, the way it's supposed to be. Just don't jump the pump.

Associated Graphic

Edmonton's Shamawd Chambers, right, tries to elude Calgary's Maalik Bomar during their most recent Labour Day clash, won by the hometown Stampeders.


Master director mixed drama and laughs
Oscar-winning creator of The Graduate also won Tonys for his work on Broadway and a Grammy for an early comedy album
Associated Press
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6

Mike Nichols, the director of matchless versatility who brought fierce wit, caustic social commentary and wicked absurdity to such films, TV and stage hits as The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Angels in America and Monty Python's Spamalot, has died. He was 83.

The death was confirmed by ABC News president James Goldston on Thursday. Mr. Nichols died Wednesday evening.

The family will hold a private service this week; a memorial will be held at a later date, Mr. Goldston said.

During a career spanning more than 50 years, Mr. Nichols, who was married to ABC's Diane Sawyer, managed to be both an insider and outsider, an occasional White House guest and friend to countless celebrities who was as likely to satirize the elite as he was to mingle with them. A former stand-up performer who began his career in a groundbreaking comedy duo with Elaine May and whose work brought him an Academy Award, a Grammy and multiple Tony and Emmy honours, Mr. Nichols had a remarkable gift for mixing edgy humour and dusky drama.

"No one was more passionate than Mike," Mr. Goldston wrote in an e-mail announcing Mr. Nichols's death.

His 1966 film directing debut Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? unforgettably captured the vicious yet sparkling and sly dialogue of Edward Albee's play, as a couple (Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) torment each other over deep-seated guilt and resentment.

Angels in America, the 2003 TV miniseries adapted from the stage sensation, blended rich pathos and whimsy in its portrait of people coping with AIDS and looking to the heavens for compassion they found lacking in Ronald Reagan's 1980s America.

Similarly, Mr. Nichols's 2001 TV adaptation of the play Wit packed biting levity within the stark story of a college professor dying of ovarian cancer.

Mr. Nichols, who won directing Emmys for both Angels in America and Wit, said he liked stories about the real lives of real people and that humour inevitably pervades even the bleakest of such tales.

"I have never understood people dividing things into dramas and comedies," Mr. Nichols said in a 2004 interview with the Associated Press. "There are more laughs in Hamlet than many Broadway comedies."

He was a wealthy, educated man who often mocked those just like him, never more memorably than in The Graduate, which shot Dustin Hoffman to fame in the 1967 story of an earnest young man rebelling against his elders' expectations. Mr. Nichols himself would say that he identified with Mr. Hoffman's awkward, perpetually flustered Benjamin Braddock.

Mixing farce and Oedipal drama, Mr. Nichols managed to capture a generation's discontent without ever mentioning Vietnam, civil rights or any other issues of the time. But young people laughed hard when a family friend advised Benjamin that the road to success was paved with "plastics."

At the time, Mr. Nichols was "just trying to make a nice little movie," he recalled in 2005 at a retrospective screening of The Graduate. "It wasn't until when I saw it all put together that I realized this was something remarkable."

Mr. Nichols won the best-director Oscar for The Graduate, which co-starred Anne Bancroft as an aging temptress pursuing Mr. Hoffman, whose character responds with the celebrated line, "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me."

Divorced three times, Mr. Nichols married TV journalist Diane Sawyer in 1988. He had a daughter, Daisy, with his second wife, Margo Callas, as well as a son, Max, and a daughter, Jenny, from his marriage to Annabel Davis-Goff.

He admitted in 2013 that many of his film and stage projects explored a familiar, naughty theme.

"I keep coming back to it, over and over - adultery and cheating," he says. "It's the most interesting problem in the theatre.

How else do you get Oedipus?

That's the first cheating in the theatre."

Not just actors, but great actors, clamoured to work with Mr. Nichols, who studied acting with Lee Strasberg and had an empathy that helped bring out the best from the talent he put in front of the camera.

Mr. Nichols often collaborated with Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson. Other stars who worked with Mr. Nichols included Al Pacino (Angels in America), Gene Hackman and Robin Williams (The Birdcage), Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver (Working Girl) and Julia Roberts (Closer).

Just as he moved easily between stage, screen and television, Mr. Nichols fearlessly switched from genre to genre. Onstage, he tackled comedy (The Odd Couple), classics (Uncle Vanya) and musicals (The Apple Tree, Spamalot, the latter winning him his sixth Tony for directing). On Broadway, he won a total of nine Tonys.

Though known for films with a comic edge, Mr. Nichols branched into thrillers with Day of the Dolphin, horror with Wolf and reallife drama with Silkwood. Along with directing for television, he was an executive producer for the 1970s TV series Family.

Mr. Nichols's golden touch failed him on occasion with such duds as the anti-war satire Catch-22, with Alan Arkin in an adaptation of Joseph Heller's bestseller, and What Planet Are You From?, an unusually tame comedy for Mr. Nichols that starred Garry Shandling and Annette Bening.

Born Michael Igor Peschkowsky on Nov. 6, 1931, in Berlin, Mr. Nichols fled Nazi Germany for United States at the age of 7 with his family. He recalled to AP in 1996 that at the time, he could say only two things in English: "I don't speak English" and "Please don't kiss me."

He said he fell in love with the power of the stage at the age of 15, when the mother of his then-girlfriend gave them theatre tickets for A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando in 1947.

"We were poleaxed, stunned. We didn't speak to each other. We just sat like two half-unconscious people. It was so shocking. It was so alive. It was so real," he said. "I'm amazed about our bladders because we never went to the bathroom and it was about 31/2 or four hours long."

Mr. Nichols attended the University of Chicago but left to study acting in New York. He returned to Chicago, where he began working with Ms. May in the Compass Players, a comedy troupe that later became the Second City.

Ms. May and Mr. Nichols developed their great improvisational rapport into a saucy, sophisticated stage show that took on sex, marriage, family and other subjects in a frank manner that titillated and startled audiences of the late 1950s and early 60s.

"People always thought we were making fun of other people when we were in fact making fun of ourselves," Mr. Nichols told the AP in 1997. "We did teenagers in the back seat of the car and people committing adultery. Of course, you're making fun of yourself. You're making jokes about yourself. Who can you better observe?"

Their Broadway show, An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May, earned them a Grammy for best comedy recording in 1961.

The two split up soon after, though they reunited in the 1990s, with Ms. May writing screenplays for Mr. Nichols's Primary Colors and The Birdcage, adapted from the French farce La Cage aux Folles.

After the break with Ms. May, Mr. Nichols found his true calling as a director, his early stage work highlighted by Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite and The Prisoner of Second Avenue, each of which earned him Tonys.

Other honours included Oscar nominations for directing Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Silkwood and Working Girl, a best-picture nomination for producing The Remains of the Day and a lifetimeachievement award from the Directors Guild of America in 2004.

When he directed Mr. Burton and Ms. Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? they were the biggest stars in the world.

"A director's chief virtue should be to persuade you through a role; Mike's the only one I know who can do it," Mr. Burton said after filming was finished, a remarkable compliment from a renowned actor for a fledgling director. "He conspires with you to get your best. He'd make me throw away a line where I'd have hit it hard. I've seen the film with an audience and he's right every time. I didn't think I could learn anything about comedy - I'd done all of Shakespeare's. But from him I learned."

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Associated Graphic

Prolific director Mike Nichols, at a premiere for his 2004 movie, Closer, saw the importance of humour in all kinds of film and stage productions: 'There are more laughs in Hamlet than many Broadway comedies.'


Working together on Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? in 1966, actor Richard Burton, left, said Mr. Nichols, right, was unique in his ability to 'persuade you through a role.'


A woman who wore many artistic hats
Newfoundlander was a dance teacher, an author, a theatre directer, a casting agent and the founder of theatre groups
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6

In one capacity or another, Barbara Barrett was involved in more than 1,000 theatrical productions in Newfoundland and Labrador. She taught classes in various arts and managed a significant alternative theatre space, committed to keeping it accessible and affordable for enthusiastic amateurs and fledgling professionals.

She also wrote newspaper articles and columns, authored the memoir Theatre - My Other Love Affair (2007), and co-edited We Came From Over the Sea (1996), about the 800 or so (mainly) British women who married Newfoundland servicemen and moved to the then-independent country after the Second World War.

"She was a pillar of the war brides," said John Moyes, a fellow thespian and long-time friend. As a rule, the women were an independent-minded, outspoken group who brooked no nonsense and greatly influenced the churches and other institutions around them. "They lunched once a month and did a lot of collecting and commemoration," Mr. Moyes said. "Barbara knew [English singer] Vera Lynn personally and had brought her to the Arts and Culture Centre once or twice."

That was a way of linking the two homes, but Ms. Barrett was not homesick. She felt she had sailed into the right harbour. "Newfoundland has offered me lots of opportunities and a chance to experiment," she once said. "It is a great place to develop dreams."

Ms. Barrett, who died on Oct. 25 after a short illness, at the age of 91, was forthright, professional, something of a mother figure in the Newfoundland arts scene, and something of a celebrity. She possessed a regal posture and a backbone that got the job done.

Barbara Bettine Micklethwaite was born Nov. 3, 1922, in Huddersfield, England, to Irvin and Edith Micklethwaite; she had a younger brother, Barrie. She attended Greenhead High School and as a teenager was writing and directing school plays and performances with the Methodist Church. She took business and language courses at Huddersfield College, and studied drama at Bishop Otter College in Chichester .

But a professional career in theatre wasn't in the cards, she told The Newfoundland Herald.

"There was a war and things like that didn't happen."

During the war years, she was secretary to a mill manager by day, but at night volunteered as an air raid warden. She was issued a black box that sounded a warning bell at the approach of enemy aircraft, and helped disabled people to get to the shelters. She also gave up her holidays to serve with the Women's Land Army (known as "the Land Girls"), helping with agricultural work. While picking vegetables on a farm near an airfield, she met Flight-Lieutenant Arthur Barrett, a bomber pilot stationed at Tholthorpe with the 6th Group, Bomber Command, RCAF, at a local dance.

"It was crowded, but I spotted this young Yorkshire lass across the room," he recalled later. Her back was to him, "and I thought, if she looks that good from the back ... I tapped her on the shoulder and when she turned around, I wasn't disappointed. I asked her to dance and we've been dancing ever since." They married on Aug. 12, 1944.

After the war, Ms. Barrett and their 11-month-old daughter, Helena, sailed from Liverpool on the SS Drottningholm to join her husband at his home in Curling, just outside Corner Brook . Some of the war brides who arrived in Newfoundland took one look and fled back across the Atlantic. But Ms. Barrett felt welcome from the start. Her mother-in-law, Ena Barrett, had also been a war bride, from Scotland. Her husband, John Barrett, although too old to volunteer with the Newfoundland Regiment in the First World War, had served with the Forestry Unit. In addition to that shared experience, Ena was also interested in the arts, and was a published poet with several volumes to her credit.

To really feel at home, however, Ms. Barrett knew she would have to keep busy. "I missed terribly music and drama, and I had done an awful lot of ballet," she said in an interview with the local newspaper, the Express. "I hadn't been in Curling very long and I had to do something. I'm just not a sitdown person."

So she taught ballet and tap dance, and deportment, charging $3 a month. She formed a children's group called the Joystars, and contributed two columns to The Western Star newspaper, "Tots and Teens" (under a pseudonym) and "War Brides Corner."

Her husband worked with the Broadcasting Corp. of Newfoundland, and, after Confederation, with the CBC, first in radio and later in television management and programming. As his responsibilities increased, the Barretts were frequently moved. In 1948 they settled in Gander, where their second child, John, was born in 1955.

There, Ms. Barrett founded an amateur theatre group, the Avion Players. It was a cosmopolitan group - with members from South Africa, New Zealand, France - reflecting the fact that Gander was then a major global aviation hub. The group performed for radio and stage and took part in drama festivals. She also volunteered as a drama teacher at local high schools, kept up her writing with the Star and was a correspondent for the International News Service of New York and The Canadian Press.

In 1957, her husband was transferred to television and moved to Stephenville. There, Ms. Barrett moderated a public affairs program, worked part time with Memorial University's Extension Service, and started another drama group, the Stephenville Players.

In 1964, the family moved to Corner Brook, where she was director of the Playmakers Company, artistic director of the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre, and host of a weekly interview show called Face to Face, as well as continuing, even expanding, her freelance writing.

By 1973 they were in St. John's ("I pretty well covered the island," she told The Newfoundland Herald) and from then until 1991 she was artistic director of what was then called the Basement Theatre, on the bottom floor of the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre. In April, 2012, the theatre was renamed in her honour.

Ms. Barrett loved amateur theatre, done for fun and out of passion, and always encouraged young people: Jillian Keiley, now director of English theatre at the National Arts Centre, and the late comedian Tommy Sexton, of Codco, are examples of protégés who went on to successful professional careers.

The Basement Theatre "is a stepping-off point," she once told the Herald. "An awful lot of young people have gone off to do bigger things. If they don't become Hollywood stars I don't care. But I do care what it does to them - a fulfilment you get from doing it."

Ms. Barrett also organized seasonal festivals and celebrations, including cultural activities for the 1977 Canada Summer Games in St. John's. She also volunteered with the Girl Guides and the Association for New Canadians, a notfor-profit group helping newcomers settle in the community. As well, she gave extensively of her time to help develop a high school performing arts course, initiated in the 1980s. More recently, she worked as a director, playwright, adjudicator and casting agent for film and commercials.

"I asked her once if she ever made any money at it, and she said no, not really," Mr. Moyes said. "She volunteered, in that 'jolly hockey sticks' kind of way some British women have."

Ms. Barrett enjoyed the business side of theatre, and could be coaxed on stage, but her main love was directing, for which she won many awards. "There's always one more play I want to do," she once told the Herald.

She was awarded many honours, including the Defence of Britain Medal, the Order of Canada (1996) and the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador (2007); last year, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial University.

Ms. Barrett leaves her husband, Arthur, and children, Helena and John.

Mr. Moyes said the "great thing" about Ms. Barrett and her husband was that they were "so inclusive of all their wide circle of friends." Their 80th and 90th birthdays, and 70th wedding anniversary, were all big bashes. At their last party, the couple mentioned plans to travel to England for several events, including two West End musicals. "I thought that was quite brave to be doing that in their 90s, but they didn't seem to think much of it," Mr. Moyes said. Indefatigable as always, Ms. Barrett carried that off as well.

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Barbara Barrett moved to Newfoundland after the Second World War.


It took a few visits, but we found that old Jamie charm
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M2

Jamie Kennedy first came to the city's attention 34 years ago, freshly returned from a cooking stint in Switzerland. He was barely into his 20s, a hotel-trained chef with a progressive streak. He'd been put in charge at a promising new spot called Scaramouche.

"Scaramouche is already Toronto's most interesting French restaurant, thanks to Jamie Kennedy's cooking," Joanne Kates wrote. He served "daring" unthickened sauces flavoured with herbs, steamed his vegetables lightly so that they were fresh and natural-tasting and put saffron and orange zest on his leek and potato soup.

His work was as avant garde as high-end cooking got in Toronto in the early 1980s. "Simplicity hand in hand with brilliance," the headline pronounced. It was as if the boy wonder might single-handedly rescue all of Upper Canada from its flannel-knickered self.

These days, Mr. Kennedy runs a neighbourhood café and restaurant hidden midway down a blink-and-you-missed-it laneway near King and Parliament Streets; the building is also the seat of his catering firm. Gilead Wine Bar has stopped and started its evening service in recent years, at times awkwardly; you get the sense it's been a struggle.

The restaurant's latest iteration, a sort of J.K.'s greatest hits, opened in early December last year.

Has Mr. Kennedy still got it?

Gilead is excellent at times and maddeningly underwhelming at others. On good nights it's clear that the chef, who published his third cookbook this fall, with HarperCollins, still matters. On the bad nights it can feel like Mr.

Kennedy is paying penance still for his mistakes of the past few years.

At the end of the aughts he was one of the most influential and respected chefs in Canada, a founder of Ontario's local-food movement and the captain of a restaurant empire that looked as though it was making more money than any one business could ever spend. He'd been passing a lot of his time in Prince Edward County, though, away from his business. He was expanding too fast, not always wisely, and shirking his company's tax payments.

In 2009, on the verge of financial collape, Mr. Kennedy sold off J.K. Wine Bar, the jewel of his empire, and began a period of divestment. He never did declare bankruptcy; he wanted to do right by his suppliers, he said. That's an admirable choice, but restaurants go bankrupt all the time. It's a part of the business. In choosing not to, Mr. Kennedy denied himself a fresh start.

The Gilead space is a Jamie Kennedy restaurant, unmistakably. The walls are lined with jars of booze-soaked cherries and mustard pickles and there's a chalkboard just inside, jammed with wine specials and the dishes of the day. The music is soft and comfortable, Miles Davis doing Freddie Freeloader; the crowd is genteel and older for the most part but not exclusively; the light, from hanging pendants, glows warm and soft, so that even from the laneway, if anybody happened to be walking by (which nobody does) they couldn't help but want to step inside.

The menus will also be recognizable to the chef's fans: the braised short rib, the hot-smoked lakefish, the J.K. frites that fill the room with the smell of warming thyme and alchemized Yukon Golds.

Yet my first time in the reopened spot, last January, nearly all of what has always made Mr. Kennedy's food so appealing had vanished.

The frites were pure shell, dry and overcooked without even a whisper of the usual creamy-centredness. The soups - carrot soup and a chowder - were so underseasoned you could hardly taste them. These were basic cooking errors, the sort of thing that didn't happen at Mr. Kennedy's peak, when he was able to attract and retain the top cooking talent in the city.

The gnocchi were too heavy, the pork schnitzel nicely made but then served without the lemony acidity to bring it to life. It was a dinner in need of defibrillation: Kennedy, sort of, but dead from the shoulders down.

"Has J.K. changed or have we?" I wrote later that evening. Looking back through my notes I realize how desperately I wanted to give the chef the benefit of the doubt. He'd earned it. He was better than that single night. And January's a brutal month for any fresh-and-local-focused chef.

I went back seven months later, this past August, in what should have been prime time for the sort of bounty-driven cooking that's so integral to the Kennedy brand.

That dinner was worse. The crab and corn chowder tasted gritty.

The apple-fed pork - the sort of meat that gets a carnivore's pulse racing - had been overcooked into a dry slab that was reminiscent of supermarket commodity chops.

The $26 steak frites, a Tuesday special at Gilead, said the most of all. It was good meat, dry-aged for 60 days. But it was cut so thin that it was more grey on its outsides than Maillard brown - it's hard to sear a piece of beef this gaunt with any conviction. This steak looked like drought and hard times, like ruefulness costed out to the microgram.

Even the summer produce was conspicuously underwhelming - there just wasn't much of it.

There was a decent salad and a whole lot of root vegetables, as well as a very good peach tart.

But it all felt as though it had been doled out with an eye to modesty, instead of celebration.

The most notable vegetable we ate that night was a few tablespoons of fresh corn, a garnish with the pork.

Mr. Kennedy was there that evening, overseeing everything.

At 57 years old, he's in his restaurant most nights still, and not merely as a figurehead, but working. He was putting in the effort, working with the sort of integrity you rarely see in a chef who's been at it this long. It wasn't good enough.

I went back early this week, in all honesty dreading it. But everything was different.

It was as if the old Jamie Kennedy had showed up, and his kitchen was firing exactly right.

The parsnip soup was delicious - wholesome-tasting in the way of Mr. Kennedy's cooking, but luxurious also. The smoked mackerel was flaky, ivory flesh and fat sweetened over apple wood to candied. It was plated with potatoes that had been seared in duck fat. The frites were the old frites: perfect.

That famous short rib, braised to lustrous softness, was ringed with a beefy red wine reduction.

Even the steak frites was excellent, thin still but nicely seared somehow, and sauced with Bordelaise sauce made from stock, wine, butter and bone marrow. It was the sort of sauce that almost nobody knows how to make any more, that nobody knows they should.

There was pear and cardamom cake for dessert - a whole poached pear baked into a cake and then sliced through the middle, beautiful. It was timeless, gorgeous, lively cooking, rooted in technique and tradition, but somehow up-to-the-minute current, too.

And so I can't tell you with any certainty what to expect if you go there. After two lousy visits and one excellent one - and no identifiable reason for the difference; Mr. Kennedy said his kitchen staff hasn't changed - it's too tough a call to make.

But if you go and it's a good night, if Gilead is now on solid footing, you'll be glad you went and you'll be grateful that 34 years in Mr. Kennedy is still out there - all hard work and dedication. If you go there and you get that Gilead and that Jamie Kennedy, I bet you'll want to go back again and again.


4 Gilead Place (at King Street East), 647-288-0680,

Atmosphere: A cozy and hospitable neighbourhood hideaway run by a pioneering locavore.

Wine and drinks: An excellent, Ontario-heavy wine list with plenty by the glass and reasonable markups - and even a few gems for less than $40.

Best bets: Beet salad, poutine, hot-smoked fish, chicken liver mousse, short ribs, sorbet with sparkling wine; menu changes frequently.

Prices: Appetizers from $6 to $18; mains from $14 to $26; sharing encouraged.

Associated Graphic

Chef Jamie Kennedy's short ribs, braised to lustrous softness, are ringed with a beefy red wine reduction.


Doctor kept drug at bay by demanding more proof of safety while Canada granted approval
Monday, November 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A1

WASHINGTON -- Frances Kelsey has a credo that has served her well through the years, and those years have stretched now to 100. Her voice strong and her gaze firm, she offers advice to those who might face adversity: "Just stick to your guns."

A half century ago, the Canadian-born Dr. Kelsey stuck to her guns. An entire country - the United States - was grateful.

As a medical officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Washington in the early 1960s, Dr. Kelsey almost singlehandedly averted a publichealth disaster in the U.S. by refusing to give the sedative thalidomide her blessing.

Canada - by contrast - approved the drug, and more than 100 babies were born with missing limbs and other severe deformities. As the now-adult Canadian victims turn to Ottawa for funding to help cope with the enduring ravages of the drug, the actions of a lone scientist in the U.S. highlight one public servant's steadfastness as much as another country's failings.

Dr. Kelsey is a Canadian heroine. But her heroism belongs to another country.

"I just held my ground. I wouldn't approve it," Dr. Kelsey says in an interview in her home in suburban Washington, filled with a lifetime's recognitions as well as mementos of her well-loved childhood in British Columbia.

Dr. Kelsey's resistance to the relentless pressures of the drug's manufacturer likely spared thousands of American families from tragedy. It also elevated Dr. Kelsey to one of the most celebrated civil servants in that country.

To thalidomide survivors in Canada, her vigilance bolsters their argument that the Canadian government was negligent about thalidomide and, in the group's eyes, still carries a moral responsibility for its victims.

The Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada has launched a campaign seeking federal financial support for the 95 survivors in the country, who are coping with growing health and care needs as they age.

"She was an example of rigour. It's as if we were wimps in Canada," says Mercédes Benegbi, head of the association. "On the basis of the same data, we said everything was perfect, while it was unacceptable in the U.S. Someone here didn't do their job."

Despite her accomplishments, Dr. Kelsey's story and her roots in Canada are little-known.

The daughter of a retired British army officer father and a Scottish-born mother, Frances Oldham grew up exploring the fields and shorelines around her home in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. It fed her love of science. A high-school teacher at Saint Margaret's School in Victoria spotted her talent. "Her scientific ability should be encouraged in every way," the teacher wrote in the student's 1930 report card.

Young "Frankie" left B.C. to get her undergraduate and masters degrees in science at McGill University in Montreal. When an opening appeared as a research assistant at the University of Chicago, her McGill professor urged her to apply. She was accepted after the U.S. professor mistook Frances for a man and addressed her in a letter as "Mr."

"To this day," Dr. Kelsey later said, "I do not know if my name had been Elizabeth or Mary Jane, whether I would have gotten that first big step up."

She got a medical degree, married fellow faculty member J. Ellis Kelsey, worked at the American Medical Association Journal and moved to Washington to take a job at the FDA.

Dr. Kelsey had been at work only a month in 1960 when she was handed the thalidomide file. Approval for the new "wonder" drug was supposed to be routine: By that time, thalidomide had been for sale in Europe for years as a supposedly safe sedative, prescribed to pregnant women for insomnia or nausea. The U.S. drug-maker, William S. Merrell Co. of Cincinnati, was impatient to see it approved in that country's expansive market.

"They figured it was so popular in Europe," Dr. Kelsey says, "so I would be a pushover."

But gaps in the firm's application bothered her. "The information as presented was very sketchy," she says today. She requested further evidence of the drug's safety. All the while, the drug company representatives kept phoning and writing her.

"The company wasn't happy with me. They thought I was being pretty stubborn," Dr. Kelsey says. "They just wanted to sell their drug."

Dr. Kelsey was unfazed. "I just didn't like it from the start. It was just too overblown. And they didn't have any evidence to submit. They were so sure it was good because of its popularity in England. They couldn't understand what I was fussing about."

Yet while her "fussing" kept the drug at bay in the U.S., Canadian officials at the Food and Drug Directorate in Ottawa appeared to show no such qualms. Merrell submitted its application to Canada and the U.S. within days of one another, using the same research data. Canada signed off on the drug. There was nothing to raise concerns, C.A. Morrell, head of the agency, later said.

By early 1961, Dr. Kelsey's doubts appeared justified. A letter to the editor appeared in the British Medical Journal in which a doctor linked thalidomide to painful tingling of the arms and feet.

Dr. Kelsey asked the drug company for more information, including evidence that thalidomide was safe to take during pregnancy. Her own training was invaluable: While researching antimalarial drugs during the Second World War, she found that quinine was able to cross the placental barrier in rabbits, and could not be broken down by the embryo.

Merrell representatives continued to press her, growing impatient to get the drug on the market for Christmas, which they said was a busy period for sedatives. Then, in late 1961, reports arrived from Europe of horrendous birth defects linked to thalidomide. Babies were born with flipper-like arms or no limbs at all. In November, Germany announced it was pulling the drug from the market.

Britain followed.

Canada did not. The drug manufacturer did send a warning letter to doctors not to prescribe thalidomide to pregnant women, but Ottawa kept the drug on sale for three more months.

Dr. Kelsey, with modesty that would be familiar to Canadians, deflects the accolades about her contribution. "It was good luck and stubbornness," she says.

Others, however, recognize her deed. In 1962, she was invited to the White House south lawn to receive an award from President John F. Kennedy. It was a heady time in America. Astronauts John Glenn and Alan Shepard were there that day to get awards too.

Dr. Kelsey wore white gloves, and the President draped a medal around her neck. "It was a lovely day," she recalls, "and he was very handsome."

Her actions led to landmark new drug regulations in the U.S. In 2010, she was honoured by the FDA, which named a prize after her. President Barack Obama sent a message. "Our country relies on dedicated public servants like Dr. Kelsey to create a better, healthier future for our children and grandchildren," he wrote in a letter she keeps on a hallway table, near a 100th-birthday message from the Queen.

An object of admiration in her adopted home, Dr. Kelsey remains a virtual unknown in the country of her birth.

A high-school north of Victoria is named after her, and several Canadian universities have granted her honorary degrees. Yet she is mostly ignored.

Dr. Kelsey retains strong ties to Canada. She says she obtained dual citizenship in the mid-1950s only in order to practise medicine in the U.S. She has a sister in Victoria and one of her two daughters lives in London, Ont., where she visits regularly.

"I have the most happy memories of growing up in Canada," Dr. Kelsey says. She keeps a picture of her idyllic, broadporched childhood home in Cobble Hill displayed prominently on the wall of her living room.

The Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada calls Dr. Kelsey an idol, someone who stood firm while Canada's drug watchdogs failed. For Canadian victims of thalidomide, this clear-voiced centenarian is the guardian angel they never had.

Associated Graphic

Now 100, Frances Kelsey refused to approve thalidomide while working at the U.S. FDA.


Frances Kelsey gives Senate testimony on corporate pressure to approve the drug in 1962.


Frances Kelsey was featured extensively in publications for her work in preventing the sale of thalidomide in the U.S.


A real life rags-to-riches story
After studying law on a scholarship, he co-founded a multibillion-dollar trust company, which collapsed in the early 1990s
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S12

Reuben Cohen was a New Brunswick lawyer, financier, philanthropist and university chancellor. His life reads like an epic rags-to-riches tale - complete with the impoverished protagonist acquiring power, wealth and the love of his life, only to tragically lose it all before fighting his way back through strength of character.

Mr. Cohen, who died in Moncton on Oct. 24 at the age of 93, was a successful lawyer before establishing a financial empire that spread beyond New Brunswick. In 1974, he co-founded, with Leonard Ellen, the Central and Nova Scotia Trust Company, which later became Central Guaranty Trust Corp. For a brief time, the multibillion-dollar corporation was among the top five trust companies in Canada, before its collapse in the early 1990s.

"Reuben Cohen was an original. A one-of-a-kind character that could have been drawn directly from the pages of a rags-to-riches novel by Horatio Alger," said Frank McKenna, a friend and former premier of New Brunswick.

Born in 1921 in Moncton, Mr. Cohen was the son of immigrant parents. His mother, Molly, came from a village that became part of Poland after the First World War, he wrote in his memoir. He described her as a determined woman with "boundless ambition and tireless energy," which he inherited.

She lost her hearing early in life and learned to speak limited English by lip reading. His Russian-born father, David, travelled throughout the Maritimes selling draft horses before opening a small grocery store on Moncton's Main Street. The Yiddishspeaking family lived above the store in an apartment that had only cold water. With few Jewish families in the city at the time, Mr. Cohen developed strong connections with other immigrants and non-English speakers, such as Acadians. Later in life, he used his wealth to support the preservation of Acadian art and culture.

When Mr. Cohen was 14, his father died of cerebral thrombosis. An early entrepreneur, young Reuben started selling newspapers before renting a horse and wagon to peddle bananas for 10 cents a bundle.

After finishing at the top of his high school class, he went to Dalhousie University on a scholarship to study law.

He graduated from university in 1944 and returned home to Moncton to open his own law practice in a two-room office on Main Street. He soon built up an active practice in almost every type of law and before long branched into business, buying shares in local companies, such as the Central Trust Company of Canada, which was headquartered in Moncton.

"He was deceptive," Mr. McKenna said. "He used all kinds of ruses to be self-deprecating and modest."

A thin, small man, he spoke in a monotone, often with his eyes half closed, Mr. McKenna said. But when words came out of his mouth, you instantly knew he had a brilliant mind.

"He was extraordinarily bright and interested in everything under the sun," Mr. McKenna said, adding that his friend loved to recite poetry, often in Greek or Latin and could speak nine languages.

In the summer of 1950, a friend in Moncton introduced him to Louise Glustein. "She was 21 and the most vivacious young woman I had ever seen, with a smile that was magical and completely entrancing," Mr. Cohen wrote in his 1998 autobiography, A Time to Tell: The Public Life of a Private Man. On Feb. 10, 1951, they married and spent the next 37 years together. Unable to have children, they adopted two girls, Debra and Natalie.

"Louise became a sensation in Moncton and was sought after by all elements in the city for aid, advice, community work and socializing," Mr. Cohen wrote.

Largely crediting her for educating him about art and for supporting his philanthropic work, Mr. Cohen raised more than $250-million for various causes over the years, Mr. McKenna said.

In 1985, a $100,000 donation turned into the Louise and Reuben Cohen Endowment Fund at the University of Moncton, which allowed the gallery to acquire a large collection of Acadian art. The school renamed the facility Galerie d'art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen.

The YMCA of Greater Moncton was another institution to which he gave generously. Zane Korytko, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Moncton, recalls stories of Mr. Cohen spending hours in the Y's small library as a young boy. It was a place that didn't discriminate, so he felt comfortable there, Mr. Korytko said.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Cohen set up a foundation to put the Y on good financial footing and in the late 1990s he spearheaded a capital campaign to raise more than $10-million for the opening of a new centre in 2004. The centre's opening came at a time when the city was suffering economically, Mr. Korytko said. "The Y project became kind of like a lighthouse project for the community."

Mr. Korytko fondly remembers calls he received from Mr. Cohen. "It's the old man calling," he'd say. (Mr. Cohen started referring to himself that way in the 1960s). "I'm driving by and the parking lot is full. That makes me feel good."

With his "puckish sense of humour," Mr. Cohen loved to tease, especially women. He was an "outrageous flirt," Mr. McKenna said. But his wife remained the sole recipient of his love and devotion until her death in 1988. "It was a Hollywood type of love story," Mr. McKenna said.

In the summer of 1984, Ms. Cohen started complaining of abdominal pain. The following year she was diagnosed with a malignant ovarian tumour and went to Toronto for medical treatment. He kept vigil by her hospital bed during her long sickness and painful death, which took him away from his business at Central Guaranty.

Following her death, Mr. Cohen fell into a deep depression. His wife had not only been his soulmate, but he had relied on her to do everything from choosing his suits to caring for their daughters and charming his friends. "For weeks I was a zombie, not venturing out of my bedroom and scarcely out of bed," he wrote.

While he grieved, his company was burdened with a debt of millions of dollars worth of investments. The debt, combined with a global economic downturn, resulted in the company's demise. In 1992, a courtordered restructuring put the company's "... assets into the hands of lenders, who then entered into the disposition of some of the assets. The loss of the trust company, which ended up in the hands of the TorontoDominion Bank, meant the disappearance of an important player in the Maritime economy and was a bitter blow," Mr. Cohen wrote.

"He often said he would give every cent that he had earned for one more day in her [Louise's] embrace," Mr. McKenna said.

In his book, Mr. Cohen offered little other explanation of how the financial services company he helped build came to its ultimate demise. He wrote that he still could not understand how it happened so quickly that, "... the better part of a billion dollars in capital and reserves were wiped out practically overnight."

"When the corporate collapse became known, it was as if a Churchillian 'iron curtain' descended on my life almost overnight," Mr. Cohen wrote. "It is almost as if I had died and gone to my reward."

Mr. Cohen gradually pulled himself out of his depression and created a new life for himself. He was asked to serve as Dalhousie University's third chancellor and held that post from 1990 to 1994. He was instrumental in securing seed funding for the first Canadian chair in black studies and helped build the foundations for a more modern fundraising campaign.

He also found love again and at age 90 married Astrid Lundrigan, a woman he had known for years. He liked to tease that they weren't going to have children because they couldn't decide on a faith in which to raise them.

For his work, Mr. Cohen was named to the Order of Canada and received honorary degrees from several universities including the University of Moncton and Dalhousie University.

He leaves his wife, Astrid; daughters, Debra Moffatt and Natalie Smith, and five grandchildren.

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Reuben Cohen's philanthropy included supporting the YMCA of Greater Moncton.


Mr. Cohen served as chancellor of Dalhousie University from 1990 to 1994.


THE ESCAPE Few head to the highlands of Morocco for adventure, but that's beginning to change. Guided treks over ancient trade routes offer dramatic views of deep valleys and snowy peaks, not to mention a warm welcome in the homes of Berber families
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page T1


The plaintive wails of the day's first call to prayer sound far above us, up where the villages perched on the valley rim are already greeting the dawn. The muezzin stretches the vowels of the first chant - "Allaa-aaaa-aaa-hhuuuuuu Akbar" - across 10 haunting seconds. A voice from a tower in a closer village joins in, his song deeper, more mournful. Then another voice closer still, and soon all the mosques in the long valley hum to life. One verse layers over another, a round of prayers that echoes up and down the canyon, weaving around us in the dark. After a few minutes, we hear our guides stir next door, drawn out of bed and into the cold by the dutiful last commands of the call - "As-salatu Khayrun Minannawm" ("It is better to pray than to sleep"). We watch them touch their foreheads to their mats for a final time, then join them under a purple sky that's just beginning to reveal the great snow ridges to the south.

While Hassan the cook prepares a breakfast of crepes and jams and fresh-off-the-trees tangerines, Hassan the guide (they just happen to have the same name) saddles up the colourfully tasselled donkey. We eat, then head out onto the trail with frost still clawing the air. It will be a magnificent morning, full of long, winding climbs up to ridgelines on trails that have been walked for thousands of years, with views of snow far above us and desert far below. We will pass through cedars and juniper as winds whip off the high peaks, and every few hours we'll descend to medieval villages surrounded by walnut and olive groves before heading back up to trails linking summer goat pastures.

Though I've spent a lifetime climbing and exploring mountains around the world, Morocco's peaks had somehow stayed off my radar. They shouldn't have: This country is an adventurer's dream. Its summits - just a few hours drive from spectacular beaches on the Atlantic coast - rival the Rockies in height and beauty. You can kayak and mountain bike through red rock canyons on par with the American Southwest. If it's deserts you want, the edge of the boundless Sahara is just a day's drive from the exotic urban madness of Marrakech. This is a land of eternal beauty, I learned on a three-day, three-valley tour - but a striking transformation is under way.

The Hassans' people, the Berbers, have used the trails we followed over the shoulders of Jebel Toubkal - 4,167 metres high and the highest peak in North Africa - for more than 10,000 years. They gained a reputation as excellent guides, helping caravans navigate the North African trade route, moving salt east and gold west. Still, those millenniums of travellers made little difference to their rough lives. The Berbers made what they could of the bitter desert hills, irrigating pockets of fruit and nut trees that gave them something to trade, but they remained a subsistence culture, isolated in mud villages.

Mid-morning on our second day, deep down in the throat of a valley, our guide stopped us in the middle of a terraced alley of walnut trees to illustrate just how much, and how quickly, things have changed. He pointed to white numbers painted on trees.

Those numbered "17," he explained, had belonged to his family for generations. Only a decade ago, a few goats and an unreliable walnut crop from those trees - located far from the village - would have been the only source of income to feed his family. Now Hassan guides tourists, gets other men to watch his goats, and has a cellphone that lets him tell his children what to pick up at the weekend market one minute and talk to clients in Germany the next.

I've never seen mountains as well covered by cell and satellite service as the Atlas - one of the lasting effects of a 2003 trip by King Mohammed VI of Morocco to Imlil, the region's tourist hub. He fell in love with the area, and committed millions of dollars to infrastructure upgrades: roads, water systems, schools and electricity. These new comforts brought the fast-growing Moroccan middle class to the Atlas - along with European travellers lured by £35 ($62) round-trip airfares on discount carriers - and gave shepherds such as the Hassans a chance find jobs as guides and continue their ancestors' legacy.

Overhearing phone calls while weaving our way through centuries-old mud and straw villages was jarring, but it was impossible to begrudge how the changes have improved the Berbers' lives - and made our own travel so much easier.

In the end, nothing could take away from the region's natural drama. Our short journey was a perfect introduction to the heart of the Atlas, a grand circle of passes up to 2,700 metres, with villages that wouldn't look out of place in Tibet. Every day the scenery changed from snow and rock to sand and palms - the greatest range of ecosystems I've ever seen in such a short time.

At the foot of Jebel Toubkal we revelled in beautiful waterfalls, lush valley bottoms and rocky ridges. Though the trek is one of the country's most popular, we walked for hours without passing other Westerners, just a handful of shepherds tending their flocks.

While the December days started out cold, we were glad for the chill; the long climbs can be miserable in summer heat. We would start in down jackets and were in T-shirts by lunch, sprawled out on lush valley bottoms, soaking up the sun. The distances travelled weren't far: Each day we moved only 15 or so kilometres on the map - but we gained and lost as much as 3,000 metres of elevation.

Our reward came nightly, when we'd stop to bunk with Berbers who have opened up their homes as trekking huts. Ten thousand years of visitors have taught these people how to host. We would laugh with them, listen to their exotic stories, share their mint tea and apricots. Every night we'd be fed like kings, falling asleep under piles of blankets, until the prayers called us into the next day.


There are no direct flights between Canada and Morocco, but once in Europe, Ryan Air and EasyJet offer cheap fares to Marrakech, where you'll want to start your Atlas exploration.

Getting from Marrakech to Imlil is easily done via regularly scheduled buses, and taxis will be happy to get the $80 fare. Otherwise, your trekking company can arrange private transport.

You could trek the Atlas on your own, but not many of the hill people speak English, and finding accommodation and food in the mountains may not be simple. Going through a trekking agency might cost a bit more, but doors will open for you and you'll understand a lot more of what you're seeing.

We used TrekAtlas (, a company run by an Imlil local, Ahmed Zin. We received door-to-door service that ran like clockwork, and had seamless add-ons of trips to the Sahara and the ocean.

An all-inclusive 10-day package cost $750 a person.


Organized trekking lodges called gîtes are starting to show up, but most of your accommodation will be in local's houses during treks.

In Marrakech, your most interesting and least expensive bet is to stay in a riad right in the heart of the old city medina. These are boutique hotels that used to be large private residences, and can be hundreds of years old. Our riad, Jardins de Mouassine was a haven of quiet even though it was buried in the craziness of the souks. Basic rooms from 60 ($85) a night.

Associated Graphic

... The ochre buildings of Matat, a typical Berber village, blend into the red rocks of the High Atlas. The Berbers have lived in these valleys for millenniums, farming nut trees and raising goats.


December days started out cold, but we were glad for the chill; climbs can be miserable in summer heat.


The new comforts of extensive cell and satellite service across the region have brought the fast-growing Moroccan middle class to the Atlas and given shepherds a chance find jobs as guides.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014


A Saturday Travel story on Morocco incorrectly said there are no direct flights to Morocco from Canada. In fact, there are direct flights between Montreal and Casablanca, Morocco.

How to make an old house pay
Bylaws are in place to discourage demolition, but the financial side of preserving character homes can be a tough nut to crack
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6

Vancouver's remaining old character houses still have a lot working against them.

There are a lot of people who do care deeply about preserving the charming old houses. Author Caroline Adderson's Vancouver Vanishes Facebook page, which archives the ongoing demolitions, has 5,131 likes.

But there are people who think old houses can never be energy efficient, and are filled with mould and rot. There are those who don't find them aesthetically appealing, and there are others who simply don't care about them. And then, there is the biggest impact of all - the fact that the new market demands bigger, newer houses. The more square footage, the more money for everyone involved.

As we all know, the old houses are coming down to make way for big, new ones. As a result, Vancouver's west side, and pockets of the east side, have been completely transformed. The sale of an old house, particularly in Kerrisdale, Dunbar or Point Grey, most certainly marks the end of its existence. One Dunbar homeowner currently has an ad posted on Craigslist to sell their solid, well-built, 1,820-square-foot, fourbedroom character home for $1, if someone could relocate it before it's demolished. The chances are probably slim.

Where houses are concerned, we've been on a clear-cutting frenzy these last several years. Somewhere in the order of 1,000 demolition permits are issued annually in Vancouver. As a city, we have been big pushers for the big and new. It's not exactly the greenest of policies.

And so, in an attempt to abate the demolition of nearly 1,000 homes a year - a substantial number of them built prior to 1940 - the city approved a policy that restricts demolitions of pre-1940s houses deemed worthy as having character. The plan includes a requirement that 90 per cent of the materials from a pre-1940s character house that gets torn down must be recycled. As an incentive, if the house is retained, there's an added floor space allowance.

Not surprisingly, there was some outcry from builders, realtors and architects whose business is devoted to new builds on the west side. Houses will be devalued, they argued. Seniors who own them will suffer financial losses. But really, could a solid arts and crafts house that sits on a 50- or 60-foot lot on the city's west side really become so undesirable as to drop significantly in value? Is the only answer to Vancouver's real estate market the big, bulky and generic new house that too often replaces it?

Could the new rules hurt such a robust market?

David Peerless, owner of Dexter Associates Realty in Kerrisdale, specializes in west side homes. He says the answer is no.

"We've found that demand for properties that are affected by the policy has not dramatically changed," Mr. Peerless says. "The pre-1940 house has a slight stigma to it, but what we thought would have been a very big effect on the market, we haven't really experienced."

Instead, the value of a house, he says, is still based on many factors, not just the new restriction.

"I think people are trying to zero in on this one policy as [potentially] causing a really dramatic shift in prices in the city, but there are a lot of factors that make up the value of a house."

Contrary to reports, the old house can be a winning proposition. Adding value to a character home with infill might be harder, more time consuming and sometimes more costly in the short run, but there are other benefits.

The Beaddies increased the value of their 1938 house a couple of years ago by adding a laneway house. They are long-time Vancouverites who inherited an old, four-bedroom house at 1828 West 15th Ave., just off Burrard. They already had a principal residence elsewhere, and they didn't want to sell the house on West 15th and risk their tenants being evicted. So, they decided to build a laneway house on the lot in order to boost their income. They added a two-bedroom, 1,027square-foot house that is now home to a young family. In the main house are tenants who've lived there for 12 years.

Instead of selling off the property, the Beaddies discovered that they could increase its value for the community and make it work for their pocketbook as well. As a result, the house is not only saved, but the property now offers housing for two families.

"It's an income for us, now that we are retired," says Mrs. Beaddie, who prefers not to give her first name. "And it also does provide housing, and we try to maintain the houses and be good landlords. If you have property, you have to take care of it, and do the best you can. And you have to provide housing where you can."

It wasn't an easy process, mind you. Mrs. Beaddie says there were several headaches, including the fact that they couldn't install double-glazed windows on the main house, in keeping with the character. That meant expensive storm windows had to suffice.

But asked if she'd go to the bother again, she responds, "Oh yes. I would recommend it."

The city's attempt to protect character houses is commendable, albeit far from perfect. It doesn't make sense that only houses built prior to 1940 are protected, for example, when there are many great architectural designs from the 1950s, 1960s and yes, even the 1970s.

As well, the only way to protect what's left of the historical housing is to offer bigger incentives to boost their value. When square footage is at such an all-time premium, it's essential that the old houses become so valuable that the development community is motivated to work with them.

That's the only way they'll survive.

Laneway housing builder Jake Fry proposes zoning that would allow for laneway strata-titled homes that could be sold off. Such zoning has been used in Kitsilano in years past.

"Those houses are intact and more valuable because they are beautiful and old and had other value components. So it's in everyone's interest," he says.

"The city needs to be credited for taking a step in the right direction. [The new plan] hasn't been negative. It's been neutral.

But my personal feeling is it should be more rigorous in preserving what's left of the character stock, by using bigger enticements."

Rick Michaels, former assistant director in development services for the city, agrees that the current policy isn't incentive enough to boost the dollar value of character homes. He says the builders and architects are turned off by the many codes and requirements they have to fulfill in order to retain an old house in exchange for more floor space.

"We can do better than the laneway house," says Mr. Michaels, who is now a development consultant. "Put three units on the site, stratify them and look at different forms of home ownership. It may not impact the market. I don't know. But you need to go there. There's no choice in the matter. There has to be a reward there.

"It doesn't punish the existing neighbourhood by its form and massing and density. It does the exact opposite. It builds the community rather than making it a bunch of strangers or whatever."

As well, the added density will offer housing for retirees who want to stay in their community.

"That's a healthy attribute, and it's needed," Michaels says. "They've got their doctor in the neighbourhood, family and friends, shopping. They want to stay but want less of an entity.

"You could do that in all of the small density areas."

Associated Graphic

The Beaddies built a laneway house on the back lot of their 1938 heritage home at 1828 West 15th Ave. in Vancouver.


The two-bedroom, 1,027-square-foot laneway house at 1830 West 15th is now home to a young family.

As 'it' ingredients go, kale has hogged the spotlight for too long. Sarah Elton makes the case for a new national vegetable: the humble cabbage. It connects us to our past, speaks to our food future and holds poetry in every leaf
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

Kale's ascendance to vegetable royalty was confirmed when recent reports of a worldwide shortage turned out to be false and nothing more than exaggeration - when was the last time a vegetable received the paparazzi treatment, rumours and all? Shortage or not, kale is now in such high demand that, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, prices have risen by 25 per cent since 2011.

At the risk of gentrifying another vegetable, I'm going to suggest that kale fanatics turn their gaze to a different humble product of the earth: the cabbage. If hockey is our (unofficial) national sport, then cabbage should be our national vegetable. This vegetable represents the essence of our country; it connects us to our past, but also speaks to our future food culture. As the frost eliminates freshly grown greens from our local farmers' fields, it's time to rehabilitate the most practical of the brassicas.

Cabbage didn't arrive on this continent until Jacques Cartier brought some from France in 1541 - it had been grown long before in ancient Rome and Egypt as well as by the Greeks, who said the vegetable originally sprang from Zeus's sweat. But this Old World crop adapted easily to Canada: It stores well over winter, it's strong in the face of cool weather and it's incredibly versatile. You can eat it raw - chopped for coleslaw or a Thai-inspired salad with peanuts and fish-sauce dressing. Or simmer it in soup, stir-fry it, curry it, add it to stews, braise it, ferment it.

"Cabbage is something that really reveals the terroir," says Sang Kim, Toronto chef and owner of several restaurants including Windup Bird Café, who's had a life-long love for cabbage.

"A beet grows its hard shell around it and you're not really tasting where it came from," Kim says. "With cabbage, the juice you extract from it comes from that earth."

While in the United States kale is appreciated for its connection to traditional American foodways, cabbage can similarly remind us of our Canadian past.

It is one of the staples that fed early European settlers.

According to Dorothy Duncan, food historian and author of several books about Canadian food history including Nothing More Comforting: Canada's Heritage Foods, Europeans ate a lot of cabbage because it thrived in our soils and each group of immigrants used it in their own way.

The Pennsylvania Germans first brought sauerkraut to Canada, she said. Scottish settlers also pickled cabbage in barrels and made a dish called rumbledethumps that combined potatoes and cabbage with melted cheddar. Cabbagetown in Toronto was named after all the cabbages that its largely Irish population grew - or possibly the sulphurous smell of boiling cabbage that hung in the air.

According to Duncan, cabbage fell from popularity as long as 75 years ago.

"After the war, people came from all over the world, bringing with them their cooking habits and ingredients," she said.

"We saw all these vegetables and fruits we'd never seen before. I imagine that was when cabbage lost its favour."

There are hints that a cabbage renaissance has already begun.

Kim, for one, recently asked his chef to start to develop some cabbage recipes in light of the escalating price of kale. "I turned to my chef and said, 'Let's do something,' " he said.

"Kale has become ubiquitous.

You have to turn to the next big thing."

In Newfoundland, where a one-pot dish called Jiggs dinner - which combines split peas, salted meat and hardy vegetables such as turnip and cabbage - has long been a part of home cooking, chefs are experimenting with cabbage.

"There's a lot of chefs doing cabbage," said Adam Blanchard, chef and owner of Five Brothers Artisan Cheese, outside St.

John's. "Braising it. Baconwrapped cabbage rolls. It's an inexpensive ingredient that can be used in many dishes."

The cabbage's chances at being an "It" vegetable are heightened by the fact that its flavourful leaves lend themselves to pickling of all sorts: From Eastern European-style sauerkraut to the Salvadoran cabbage pickle called curtido to Korean kimchi, fermentation is cool.

Already kimchi has stolen the hearts of many North Americans who have no Korean roots, and has made its way into mainstream food culture. You can buy jars of it at supermarkets that don't cater in particular to Asian tastes. Chefs in trendier establishments ferment their own, in-house, a move that could be credited to celebrity chef David Chang. At Kim's other Toronto restaurant, Seoul Food Company, he offers kimchi poutine.

Technically, the long-leafed napa cabbage used for kimchi and the round cabbage used for sauerkraut aren't the same vegetable. Both are members of the brassica genus, but napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, is the same species as turnip and rapini, whereas the European cabbage used to make sauerkraut is the same species as broccoli.

Regardless of species, for the purposes of this argument, let's lump cabbage together with napa cabbage. They taste awfully similar, they are equally flexible in recipes and they've both been grown in Canada for generations.

As well, according to Dan Brisebois, one of the farmers at the Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, west of Montreal, both grow beautifully here. Brisebois is participating in a trial organized by the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, breeding biodiverse seeds.

For the project, he and other farmers are growing old seed lines from seed banks in the hope of finding the perfect napa cabbage. Because despite the fact that cabbage grows well in Canada, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, it's one of the leading crops we import from the United States.

"There's a value in a crop that is grown here," says Helen Jensen, who co-ordinates the Bauta seed program. "If we have varieties that can grow here, [consumers] have access to so much variety - rather than buying the variety that grows well in California, that can ship well and store well."

Which, Brisebois supposes, could explain why - okay, let's face it - not everyone loves the cabbage. "Farmers who directmarket to clients at farmers' markets are looking for taste and overall likeability. But I don't think flavour is the prime selection in the grocery store," he says.

Just one cabbage has so much potential. Not only can you can make many meals from one head, but there's poetry in a cabbage since it changes as you cut into it. "Cabbage itself has different textures throughout its whole shape," Kim says. "When you get into the core you find a greater degree of sweetness."


I love this recipe for its simplicity, and I also love the way the mustard seed lends the cabbage an almost smoky taste. My mother-in-law, Amtu Karimjee, learned to make it from her mother.

"This is a very Gujarati recipe," she says, demonstrating how the cabbage must have migrated east to India, along trade routes from where it was first domesticated. Eat this dry curry with chapati, rather than rice.

4 cups finely sliced fresh cabbage 2 tbsps vegetable oil 2 tsps mustard seed 1/4 tsp ground turmeric 1/4 tsp chili powder, optional Salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to start to pop.

Next, add the cabbage, stirring almost continuously until the vegetable browns and is as cooked as you like it. I like my cabbage quite soft and even a bit caramelized, but cook it less if you are in a rush.

Stir in the turmeric, chili powder if you want a bite to your curry and salt to taste.

Associated Graphic

'Cabbage is something that really reveals the terroir,' says Toronto chef Sang Kim.


Chef Sang Kim's kimchi-topped bibimbap at Toronto's Windup Bird Café. 'You have to turn to the next big thing,' he says.


The beauty of simplicity
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M5

I'm a live-fire grilling fanatic. It's not what you expect - I do not own a "Licenced to Grill" apron, or one of those "Every Butt Loves a Rub" T-shirts with the permastretched gut and the ochreous Frank's RedHot stains (or was it maple hickory sauce?) on the sleeves and collar. The more complicated cooking gets, the more I crave simplicity. No amount of cheffy futzing - and nothing that anybody will ever do with a boilin-the-bag sous-vide machine - can improve on the taste of great ingredients cooked with skill in the dry, crackling heat of a lowburning hardwood fire.

Which brings me, and happily, to Branca, a casually fashionable new Argentine-style grill house - a parilla, as South Americans would call it - on Dundas Street West at Lansdowne Avenue. The Argentines, bless them, are obsessed with old-school, live-fire grilling, the way the country's gauchos do it. Branca has gone to extraordinary lengths to replicate that respect for meat and fire.

The place is a project of firsttime restaurateur James Bateman, an engineer and former management consultant who's nursed along a love for food since university (he spent six months as a stagiaire cook at Eigensinn Farm), and Kanida Chey, a 31year-old chef who ran the kitchen at Weslodge and helped open both Patria and Byblos. Mr. Chey's work at Branca is so blunt-force simple, so uncomplicated, that you can forget at times it takes real expertise and specialized equipment to get this sort of cooking right.

In the restaurant's kitchen, they've installed a live-fire grill where Mr. Chey's crew sears thick halibut steaks and skirt steaks over a mix of charcoal and hardwood logs that they chop in the yard behind the kitchen every morning. They dry-fry provolone cheese rounds to gooey and crusted in tiny cast-iron pans, and flash-grill endive leaves so they're crisp and bitter-edged and crunchy still, but also nicely sweetened and smoky from the embers.

Out back, Mr. Bateman and Mr. Chey have installed the sort of get-up that would have all but the most jaded food-lovers panting: a purpose-built cinderblock cookhouse where the chef and his crew splay whole chickens and 25-pound pigs, thick legs of Ontario lamb and fatty, bone-in short rib racks onto tall metal crosses strung with meat hooks. It all looks like some sort of twisted, Iron Age jungle gym - a jungle gym that leans into a hardwood fire.

I loved a lot of Branca's cooking: the skirt steak in particular, which comes medium rare and sliced across the grain so it looks like a big, beefy, salt-flecked barcode, rendered in alternating fiery brown-blacks and iodine-flavoured pink. I loved the five different sauces the restaurant sells for $1 each: particularly the red pepper-based salsa criolla, the smoked eggplant and the deepgreen chimichurri that mixes parsley and oregano with oil, garlic and a torrent of white vinegar for kick and refreshingly highstrung lift.

The short ribs, if you've only ever had them braised into sticky, porridge-like softness, or done sweet and super-thin the way Miami folk and Koreans do them, are dazzling at Branca. Imagine one of the most flavourful, if not exactly filet mignon-tender beef cuts, cut thick on the bone, and then grilled slowly so that the smell of wood smoke has imbued their buttery, grassy fat - so that they're just soft enough, but you also have to use your teeth to tear and pull in a way that modern homo sapiens aren't entirely accustomed.

One of the glories of this sort of cooking is that there's nothing for the ingredients or the cook to hide behind. Mr. Chey uses good meat, most of it from Ontario and grass-fed, all of it antibiotic-free. The only seasoning of any note is salt, which Mr. Chey stirs together with water and then paints onto the meat at 30-minute intervals, using a bunch of rosemary sprigs as his basting brush.

The meat here tastes like really good meat. But that glorious simplicity is also Branca's handicap. The kitchen hasn't yet been able to nail down any level of consistency with its grilling, so that some nights the chicken is crispskinned and dripping with juiciness and other nights it's dry enough that you need half an order of that chimichurri to get it down. Though I haven't had the restaurant's suckling pig - it's available only on Fridays and Saturdays at the moment - I've heard credible reports that it, too, can be dry at times, which is the last thing you want from fireroasted suckling pig.

And I've had mixed experiences with those short ribs, also, melting one night, gristly in spots the next. They're a wickedly difficult cut to get right when your only tools are time and fire and a heavy steel crossbar. "Simple" and "easy" are entirely different things.

This is a problem, certainly - a problem that a kitchen with just one job should get to fixing, quickly. But I have to admit that in the moment, over good wine and well-made caipirinhas and excellent side dishes and big platters of fire-grilled meat in a room that smells just enough like maple smoke and sizzling flesh, the inconsistency didn't bother me so much.

It could be the warm, relaxed space itself, which Mr. Bateman converted from a former threestorey semi, with a tasteful modernist's touch. (He lives on the top floor.) That block of Dundas West in particular is empty most nights; there's a Money Mart nearby, and next to the restaurant, a parkette and an auto garage. When you walk in off the sidewalk, seemingly from nowhere, the room is filled with just about every sort of person, and they all seem happy and surprised to be eating pretty good and in some cases unbelievably delicious fire-grilled Argentine food in a converted house near the Lansdowne No Frills.

Mr. Bateman has hired well. His floor staff aren't cool. They're nice. Which is perhaps the greatest form of coolness. I'd like to encounter more un-cool nice servers. It's a steakhouse that feels like a backyard barbecue, but with really good music, too.

And inconsistency aside, the winners can be captivating: The super-mild veal sweetbreads one night, beloved in Argentina, done here so they're crisp-shelled on their outsides, butter-basted and sizzling, and nearly custard-creamy inside, hit hard with lemon juice. Or the lamb leg, the best piece of lamb I've had in the city in ages, rich-tasting and coursing with lamb juices and just subtly gamey, crunching with fire-hardened bits.

The Argentine desserts - dulce de leche panqueques, a light, glorious flan that's most mostly whipped mascarpone and raspberries - are excellent too.

A food writer friend of mine who's spent a lot of time in Argentina looked at me one night in the middle of dinner at Branca, and sighed, contentedly. "Screw sous-vide," he said. I nodded - hell, I might have grunted, even.

And then I dove back into that lamb leg.

Up with simple.



1727 Dundas St. W. (at Lansdowne Avenue), 416-519-8165,

Atmosphere: A spare, comfortable room on an underdeveloped block of Dundas West, with friendly service, woodsmoke in the air, and a fun, Fashion Week after-party soundtrack.

Wine and drinks: Good cocktails (including $7 fernet and Cokes) and a well-chosen wine list with good picks at any budget.

Best bets: Provoleta, salchicha parrillera, endives, sweetbreads, charred carrots, lamb, short ribs, skirt steak, flan.

Prices: Appetizers $6 to $15, mains $19 to $34.

Associated Graphic

The short ribs at Branca are grilled slowly so the smell of wood smoke imbues the fat.


What were the auto makers thinking? Globe Drive's esteemed Aesthetics Panel renders a fashion verdict on the ugliest cars ever built
Thursday, November 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page D1

The search for the ugliest car of all time can take you into realms you would never expect, including culture, engineering and art. There is mystery, too: what can explain the thinking of the designers who created an apparition like the Chevy Lumina van?

Never mind. Ugly as it may be, the Lumina didn't make the cut when Globe Drive's Aesthetics Panel sat down to create a list of the 10 ugliest cars of all time. There were dozens of potential candidates. I voted for the Bond Bug - a horrible English three-wheeler that resembled a cheap hot tub that had been fitted with a windshield and headlights.

Several others listed the Dodge PT Cruiser - it came close, but missed the top 10. We considered the Ford Edsel, Plymouth Prowler, and many more. In the end, there were 10 winners - or losers, depending on your perspective. These are the cars that will live in eternal infamy for their sheer hideousness. And yet many are loved by their owners - even the gruesome Pontiac Aztek, favoured by Breaking Bad's Walter White, everyone's favourite television criminal mastermind.

Like all art, automotive design is subjective. There are no hard and fast rules to categorically declare a car ugly. But as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in his ruling on obscenity: "I know it when I see it."


The Aztek's ugliness titles are both numerous and unfortunate. If you set out to build a car that violated every principle of aesthetics, you would find it hard to beat the Aztek: slab-sided, hunchbacked and perched on rollerskate-sized wheels, the Aztec looks like the spawn of an unholy union between a Transformers toy and a Dustbuster vacuum.


France may be renowned as centre of fashion, but it is also the birthplace of the regrettable Citroën Ami. The Ami came to market in 1961, and was noted for its reverse-rake rear window, a styling feature that has been employed by only a handful of manufacturers (not surprising, given the reverse-rake window's lose-lose combination of dubious aesthetics and hopeless aerodynamics). Although its mechanical underpinnings came from the humble yet classic 2CV, the Ami veered off into a strange territory - like the polyester leisure suit and the mullet, rectangular headlights were a style that should never have seen the light of day.


Like avocado-coloured appliances, the Pacer is an enduring symbol of 1970s bad taste. AMC executives hoped that the Pacer would be seen as the next wave of car design. Instead, it was mocked as a rolling fishbowl. The Pacer's odd design was heightened by its asymmetric doors - the right door was longer than the left, so passengers could climb into the back more easily. When the Pacer was converted into a station wagon, items stored in the back fell out when the right door was opened. And when it was converted to right-hand drive for some foreign markets, the long door was now on the wrong side.


The Gremlin may well be the most badly proportioned car ever built. Seen from the side, it can resemble, depending on the light and the precise angle, a door stop, a wedge of cheese, or a badlydesigned running shoe. Were AMC designers hoping that the Gremlin's slightly elongated hood would conjure up the free-spirited Ford Mustang? If so, they failed. Instead of a wild horse, the Gremlin's front end evokes a dog of questionable health and breeding. The Gremlin's rear end was even worse, ending with an abrupt, strangely calculated angle that made the car look as though AMC had simply given up.


Unique environments often produce bizarre creatures - like the sightless fish that live in deep caves. And Berlusconi-era Italy yielded the Fiat Multipla, a vehicle defined by a series of strange bulges, as if it had been constructed from soft plastic, then pumped up with air. The Multipla's designers mounted running lights at the base of the windshield in a bulged fascia panel, giving it the look of a rain-forest frog that had undergone an unfortunate genetic mutation. When talent-show host Simon Cowell was shown a picture of the Multipla on Top Gear, he said it had a disease.


Another vehicle from the mutant creature school of design, the Cube is notable for its multiple stylistic sins, which include an asymmetric rear window that wraps around the left side of the car, giving it the look of a halibut (a bottom-dwelling flatfish with an eye that migrates to the top of its body during development). Nissan designers went out of their way to make the Cube unique, and they succeeded: the Cube's slumping windows look as though they were inspired by a Tolkien movie set or a bad Salvador Dali painting.


Cutting-edge fashion is risky - the line between aesthetic brilliance and stylistic nightmare can be a fine one. And the Veneno crosses the line. When it was introduced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Veneno was immediately condemned by Edmund's John Pearley Huffman: "Every supercar cliché and every bad idea Lamborghini ever had, stuffed into one overpriced show car," he wrote. "It's the worst thing out of Italy since fascism." Agreed. Mercifully, the Veneno was a limitedproduction machine - only nine were built. The price was $4.1 million (U.S.), proving yet again that money doesn't buy taste.

8. SUZUKI X-90

Like an inbred family that has spent too many generations in a back hollow, producing children with close-set eyes and bad teeth, a car line can go down the wrong path. The X-90 is a case in point. Although related to the late, unlamented Suzuki Sidekick, the X-90 is uglier. The X-90 is a strange amalgam of disparate automotive forms - it has the front end of a Japanese economy car, while the rear resembles a miniaturized pickup with a wing bolted onto its tail. Not a pretty picture.


You may have hard the expression "hit by the ugly stick." The Juke took more than one hit.

10. TATRA 603

If you don't like Communist-era Czech streamliners that call to mind a Sputnik crossed with an Airstream trailer, the Tatra isn't for you.


11. Chrysler PT Cruiser

12. 1958-60 Ford Edsel

13. 1974-76 Bricklin SV

14. 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III

15. 1973 Ford Mustang 16. Smart fortwo

17. 1973 Ford Pinto

18. Subaru Brat

19. 1974 Datsun F10

20. Plymouth Fury


Brett Berk Globe Drive contributor Michael Bettencourt Globe Drive contributor Andrew Braithwaite Globe Style Advisor contributor Matt Bubbers Globe Drive contributor Jeremy Cato Globe Drive columnist Peter Cheney Globe Drive columnist Andrew Clark Globe Drive columnist George Cottrelle Lawyer, car enthusiast Joanne Elves Globe Drive contributor Matthew Finbow Automotive designer Doug Firby Globe Drive contributor Petrina Gentile contributor Eric Jurewich Artist Mark Hacking Globe Drive contributor Ted Laturnus Globe Drive contributor Darren McGee Globe Drive deputy editor Robert Mowat CBC Radio producer Dan Proudfoot Globe Drive contributor Amee Reehal editor Eric Reguly ROB European correspondent Richard Russell Globe Drive contributor Jeremy Sinek Globe Drive contributor Jeff Wearmouth Engineer, car collector


Last week: What is the ugliest car ever built?

AMC Gremlin 15%

Citroën Ami 19%

Fiat Multipla 5%

Pontiac Aztec 48%

AMC Pacer 13%

This week: For my next new car, I intend to:

Pay cash.

Lease for four years or less.

Finance for four years or less.

Finance for five years or more.

Associated Graphic











Divided houses are hot sellers these days
Properties that are split into apartments attract both those who want to rent out the other units and others who want one big house
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page G2

A house divided into apartments on a busy street used to be the kind of property that took time to sell in Toronto.

In the current fall market, it's the kind of property that attracts two bully bids and 11 offers overall.

The house at 1690 Gerrard St. E. attracted a particularly aggressive bully who made an offer soon after the three-unit dwelling landed on the market, says real estate agent Lance Van der Kolk of ReMax Hallmark Realty Ltd., who represented the seller. The bully ratcheted up the pressure by stating the bid would expire the following morning at 10 a.m.

Mr. Van der Kolk points out that the rules insist listing agents contact anyone who has seen the house or expressed interest. In this case, he hadn't even held the agents' open house yet. The sellers were out of town. He resisted the 10 a.m. deadline and pushed it off until 7 p.m., when the sellers agreed to review offers.

During that time, 10 other parties put their offers together, including two of Mr. Van der Kolk's clients. In cases like that Mr. Van der Kolk has his wife Brenda or another agent in his firm represent one of the parties.

Mr. Van der Kolk says the sellers were a husband and wife who were astonished to be getting so much action the second day on market. "They were absolutely shocked and overwhelmed."

The wife in particular felt sorry for agents and their clients sitting outside in their cars with the heaters on. At the end of the evening, the house had sold for $755,000, or 26 per cent above its asking price of $599,900.

This is the kind of action that pushed the average selling price in the Greater Toronto Area up 7.6 per cent in the first two weeks of November compared with the same period last year, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Sales rose 8.3 per cent and listings 2.2 per cent in the first half of the month compared with the same period in 2013, TREB says.

In October, the average selling price climbed 8.3 per cent compared with the same month last year. The Canadian Real Estate Association reported this week that the heat in Toronto and Vancouver has skewed the national average price increase.

The national average price for homes sold in October 2014 was 7.1 per cent higher when compared with the same month last year. But if the data from Toronto and Vancouver are stripped out, the national gain comes in at a more modest 5.4 per cent.

CREA president Beth Crosbie says low interest rates continue to support the sales action in Toronto and other hot markets such as Calgary and Edmonton. But she points out that sales did not increase in many local markets in Canada.

On Gerrard Street, the buyer was real estate agent Kevin Smith of ReMax Hallmark, who intends to keep the three apartments and rent them out. On offer night, he knew there were four offers registered when he left home. By the time he got to Gerrard Street, there were 11.

"It was exciting to win."

Mr. Smith was drawn to the property for its landscaped backyard on the edge of a ravine. Fairmount Park is right across the street and the upper windows look out over the park's trees.

"The beautiful backyard is really appealing and it's ready to go," he says.

He wasn't the bully but he could have been because he knew he was interested as soon as it hit the market. "In all honesty I was going to be one of the bullies but it was Remembrance Day so I couldn't talk to the bank."

Mr. Smith met the owners as he signed off on the deal. They have owned the house for about 10 years and had done extensive renovations. The house has great flow, he says, and the two-level upper suite would make a great owners' unit.

"They put some time and effort into it and I'm sure it paid off for them."

He says he plans to hold onto it for a while.

Mr. Van der Kolk says some of the prospective buyers were thinking about converting the house back to a single-family home, while others wanted to live in one unit and rent out the other two. He says lots of first-time buyers in particular are looking at a substantial mortgage with prices rising as quickly as they have in the past several years.

"If you're a young buyer trying to get into this insane and hectic market ... being able to get a unit and rent two out is very attractive."

It's also worth noting that not all Toronto houses sell with multiple offers.

Mr. Van der Kolk also represented a buyer recently who was the only bidder for a house in Riverdale. The buyer paid $860,000, or approximately $20,000 under the asking price of $880,000.

"On the buyers' side I like to win them in a single bid."

Buying and selling real estate requires lots of savvy in such a fast-moving market.

The Canadian Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Ontario are reminding house hunters that November has been declared "financial literacy month" in Canada. Both organizations are taking the opportunity to educate consumers about the ins and outs of buying a house.

They realize that lots of house hunters out there don't have the knowledge and resources of a business editor.

RECO recently commissioned a survey that found that 41 per cent of buyers wish they had done something differently when buying or selling their property.

The online survey of 1,043 Ontario-based homeowners was conducted by Angus Reid. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

RECO found that 52 per cent of respondents incorrectly believe that buyer and seller representation agreements - those contracts that agents ask for - are standardized.

Forty-three per cent of those surveyed admitted that there were parts of the real estate contract when they bought or sold a property that they did not fully understand.

And 55 per cent of the respondents incorrectly assume that if you place a conditional offer on a home and the deal doesn't go through, you automatically get your deposit back. In fact, a deposit - which is held in trust by a brokerage - can only be released if both buyer and seller agree, or by court order.

Only 42 per cent had the correct understanding that real estate agents are allowed to represent both sides in a deal - that is, both the seller and buyer on a property - if the parties agree to it in writing. That circumstance, known as "multiple representation," can be seen as a conflict of interest so buyers and sellers need to know what they're getting into.

The RECO survey found that 19 per cent of respondents wrongly believed the practice isn't allowed at all.

RECO registrar Joe Richer points out that buying and selling real estate is confusing and stressful for plenty of people; he hopes more potential buyers will take the time to do some research so that they have less chance of making a move they later regret.

RECO has posted an online interactive game and other information on its website.

CREA has joined with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to create videos for CREA's YouTube channel. They cover basic terms and concepts such as the definition of "amortization" and "mortgage prepayment."

Associated Graphic

The average selling price of homes in the GTA was up 7.6 per cent in the first two weeks of November compared with last year.


California droughts could leave B.C. high and dry on food
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Part seven of an eight-part series looking at how food-security concerns internationally are raising policy questions in subjects as diverse as resource development in British Columbia, advances in food science in Canada and restaurant choices internationally.

W hen California Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide emergency in January, there was hope water conservation and increased pumping from aquifers could blunt the impact of a withering drought.

Now, as the driest year in the state's history is coming to a close, the aquifers are so overdrawn there are concerns about long-term damage - and the U.S. National Weather Service is predicting a fourth year of drought.

The dry spell, which some studies blame on climate change, is raising concerns about future food price hikes across North America.

In B.C., which over the past 20 years has relied increasingly on crops from California, food security experts describe the situation as alarming.

If California's agricultural productivity collapses "we'd be in huge trouble," says Brent Mansfield, co-chair of the BC Food Systems Network.

"The urgency is ... as prices go up, will we be able to [afford to] put food on the table?" Mr. Mansfield asks. "First off, they are going to feed their own and then they are going to feed those who can pay the most. And that might not be us."

Mr. Mansfield recently wrote a report predicting produce prices in B.C. could jump by 25 per cent to 50 per cent over the next five years as California's productivity declines.

This year, rice production in California fell by 20 per cent, cotton was down 32 per cent and 170,000 hectares of farmland were fallowed, putting more than 6,000 farm labourers out of work. Revenue losses and the higher expenses of pumping water cost the state $2.2-billion (U.S.).

It could get worse next year. In a recent report, the Association of California Water Agencies warned "a dry 2015 would have disastrous consequences," which could include the complete failure of the state's $1-billion annual cotton crop; the death of 20,000 hectares of citrus trees and the exodus from the state of nonfarm businesses that rely heavily on water.

"Hundreds of thousands of acres of annual and permanent crops throughout the state would be idled," the report says. "For consumers it means loss of jobs and higher prices for food and other products. It also means less locally produced food, which affects food security and our carbon footprint."

Mr. Mansfield said while California's loss of productivity will be felt across North America, B.C. is particularly vulnerable because of a shift in the province to imported produce. B.C.'s vegetable production fell more than 20 per cent between 1991 and 2011.

Currently, more than 67 per cent of all B.C. vegetable imports come from the United States, with more than half that coming from California.

"We've seen a decline of [B.C.] staple crops in the past 20 years," he said. "We've more or less stopped growing the crops we are now reliant on California for. ... We are importing from California when we could be producing it ourselves."

Broccoli, lettuce, strawberries and other crops that used to be grown in B.C. for consumption there are now largely imported from south of the border.

At the same time, he said, B.C. growers have shifted increasingly to export crops, growing more cherries and blueberries, for example, because of overseas demand.

B.C., Mr. Mansfield said, needs a dramatic shift back to local supply, and that means getting more agricultural land into production.

"Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for us," he said.

Kent Mullinix, director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, said the drought dramatically underscores the need for B.C. to produce more food locally.

"We have messed up the climate. We have changed the climate, which is going to have profound effects on weather patterns and the incidence of severe weather events," he said. "So our dependence on food from anywhere is iffy, much less central and southern California or Mexico. And that's just all there is to it."

Dr. Mullinix is working on a project to figure out how B.C. can best maximize the agricultural productivity of its different bioregions. The goal is to provide a road map that will show how each environmentally distinct region can develop its own food system networks, where everything from genetic research, through production and processing, is done within that region.

He says this "re-regionalizing" of B.C.'s agriculture industry is urgent in the face of a changing climate.

"A sustainable food system has to be seen as the basis of a sustainable society in British Columbia, and elsewhere," said Dr. Mullinix. "We are blessed with natural resources to achieve what maybe other areas can't achieve as easily or as broadly. ... And what we need to do and what we can do and what I think we're in a better position to do than any other jurisdiction, is to figure out how to re-regionalize our food systems."

He is working with several municipal and regional governments interested in encouraging the development of local food systems, and hopes the California drought will spur action at the provincial level.

"The fact of the matter is we can't count on agriculture from any place, any more," said Dr.

Mullinix. "Even if California doesn't suffer a drought next year, it might very well suffer the most devastating drought that it's ever experienced the year after that - and we will be without fruit and vegetables."

Shifting to regional production, and moving away from imports from massive, industrial scale farms in distant jurisdictions, will be good environmentally, socially and economically, he said.

"The beauty of it is we will, through our food systems, start reconnecting with our environment and the environmental capacity of the place we live. I mean, connect our being with the place we live," said Dr. Mullinix. "I believe we can substantially enhance our regional economies.

I think we can create a huge number of jobs, and I think we can probably produce more nutritious, wholesome foods."


About 25 per cent of California's rice fields were fallowed this year, covering about 56,000 hectares.

State figures show 2,700 fewer agricultural jobs in California in 2014, but a University of California Davis study said the drought could eventually cause the loss of 17,000 jobs.

In the City of Farmersville (population 10,000), the number of families receiving aid at the food bank jumped to more than 200 in 2014 from 40 last year.

In the San Joaquin Valley, a 480-square-kilometre area went out of production because of the water shortage. Up to 20,000 hectares of citrus trees may have to be uprooted because they are dying in the same region.

In Fresno County, which produces the highest quality cotton in the world, 36,000 hectares were fallowed .

Pumping is accelerating depletion of groundwater basins, leading to concerns that recovery could take a long time even if rains return next year.

A study by Stanford University concluded extreme atmospheric conditions associated with the drought are "very likely" linked to human-caused climate change.

The U.S. National Weather Service forecasts the drought is likely to persist or worsen in 2015 from Santa Barbara northward.

In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $9.7million (U.S.) in emergency water assistance funding to 73,000 residents in 11 California counties, triple the amount promised .

Sources: Association of California Water Agencies; Stanford University; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Sacramento Bee

Associated Graphic

Dr. Kent Mullinix of Kwantlen Polytechnic says B.C. must produce more food locally.


The good old hockey game
Three new biographies show all the sides of the sport, from romantic to raw and troubling
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R20

The Crazy Game: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond

By Clint Malarchuk with Dan Robson HarperCollins, 260 pages, $32.99

Mr. Hockey: My Story

By Gordie Howe Viking, 242 pages, $32

All The Way: My Life on Ice

By Jordin Tootoo with Stephen Brunt Viking, 224 pages, $32.95

Canadian publishers hatch as many books about the national pastime as there are ponds from Sheet Harbour to Pickle Lake, at least - more than one could reasonably read and also hold down a steady job.

There are unassailable standard bearers in the canon of hockey literature, among them Searching for Bobby Orr (Stephen Brunt), The Game of Our Lives (Peter Gzowski), The Home Team (Roy MacGregor), The Game (Ken Dryden), that have made things difficult for those of us who've also tried, yet have given us something to aim at.

The natural assumption is that hockey is so popular, any book on the subject will succeed. That's why so many come out, and so many are awful. On all matters relating to hockey, Canadians are frenzied and educated. Something they feel is this Romantic and Epic and Part of Us can't easily be spun. Many hockey books are too narrow, the product of obsessive writers who cover the sport for a living and find Every. Little. Thing. So. Interesting. Or they reclaim familiar subjects long ago made threadbare by over-examination. (Surely, even for us, there is such a thing as too much hockey.)

There are several ways to tell a hockey story and all involve grabbing emotion, history, hope, disappointment or an icon by the throat, ideally all at once.

It helps if the story is fresh, topical, interpreted cinematically, says something about our nation and who we are, or is so beautifully composed that the joy comes simply from reading. Barring that, rugged confessional, well written, works nicely. In a world where so much in sport that happens away from the field of play is stage-managed artifice, rugged confessional can be as good it gets.

This season brings three player-focused books - each on three distinct athletes - that attempt to explain and explore either sprawling or emotionally complex subjects.

Mr. Hockey: My Story by Gordie Howe is out 68 years after his NHL debut and attempts to be the definitive account of the legend's career. All The Way by Jordin Tootoo with Stephen Brunt, and The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk with Dan Robson, are gut-churning stories that look back and lean forward.

Howe's story is well known. (He has written, with help from his wife and son, two previous books and is the subject of a number of others). His recently deteriorating health suggests that Mr. Hockey will be his final take on life and an immense sport-defining career. In examining his Depression-era upbringing and mining Howe's rich family life, the story is a satisfying trip through Canadiana and does a lovely job of explaining the ways Howe's life off the ice shaped his life on it.

Fans of the player or merely the history of the game (and if you respect one, you respect the other) won't be disappointed by this attempt to be epic, and tell the small stories in a big way.

The hockey lives of Jordin Tootoo and Clint Malarchuk aren't romantic in this way. They are muscular and disturbing, and this makes them, particularly as long narratives unspooled over years, quite satisfying.

Everyone knows Tootoo. From Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, he is the only Inuit to play in the NHL, making the Nashville Predators out of training camp in 2003. Shortly after he was drafted, when Jordin was 19, his older brother, a junior hockey player, committed suicide. The title of the book comes from a phrase Terrance used in his suicide note, urging Jordin to do all he could to make the NHL. But making the NHL did not make Jordin's life easy. He loved to party, and abused alcohol to cope with his brother's death, the impoverished, troubled environment he grew up in, and his newfound attention.

The narrative alternates between the voices of Tootoo and Brunt. Tootoo's is brutal and abrasive, but so is the subject matter. Brunt's gentler prose opens each chapter, softening the coarseness and offering important context in a refined way. The transitions are effective.

It's a tough book to read. Tootoo's childhood in Rankin Inlet, his alcoholic parents, his brother's suicide, that he partied much of his NHL career away, churns in an unburdened, uncomfortable gallop. The story is brawny and nothing is sugarcoated, but he's no dumb jock.

Tootoo says he's been sober since completing a league-mandated rehab program in December, 2010. Interesting are his thoughts on fighting and how he has evolved over the seasons, how removing alcohol from his life and dealing with his anger has changed - but not eliminated - his role as a tough guy.

The book is unusual. Most athletes wait until their careers are done and confessionals are rare. (See Mr. Hockey.) It's fair to say Tootoo, after eight seasons in Nashville and two diminishing ones in the Red Wings organization, is challenged to keep his current spot with the New Jersey Devils. He is much closer to the end of his hockey career than the middle.

The Crazy Game follows more the athlete pattern. Malarchuk's playing career ended 22 years ago, and he hits bedrock with this story. He worked the crease for 11 seasons for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres, a good-attimes, but never great, goalie. Then, on March 22, 1989, as he puts it, "I woke up famous. Not NHL-famous, but CNN-newscycle famous."

In what may be the most horrifying public sports injury ever suffered, an opponent's errant skate slashed Malarchuk's throat and he nearly died on the Sabres home ice. His recounting of the accident, only about two pages of the book, is almost impossible to read closely. It's obvious he's still shaken by what happened. But there's much more to his story.

Malarchuk has suffered from anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder since he was a child, and all were exacerbated by the accident. He drank too much and burned through three marriages. The book opens with him putting a gun to his chin and pulling the trigger in front of the woman who is still his fourth wife.

Robson, who writes for Sportsnet Magazine, has constructed a compelling narrative that is somber but never dips into selfpity. There's a lot of self-awareness among this raw and tortured subject matter.

Malarchuk is open about how difficult the process was, and it is a satisfying reveal. He was the Calgary Flames goaltending coach as he was working on the book, nearing the end. Reliving his past brought back his depression and he drank to selfmedicate. With help from Flames GM Brian Burke and the NHL substance abuse program, Malarchuk returned to rehab and has been sober since.

The Crazy Game leaves you feeling that nearly bleeding out on the ice in the middle of a hockey game is the least traumatizing thing that's happened in his life. Malarchuk's expansive confessions around mental health may have been terrible for him, but it will only be a good thing for the rest of us.

In the end, as with everything, the most reward comes with the deepest reveal, the one that leaves you a little breathless, a little shaken, and leaning forward, thanks to looking back.

Shawna Richer is Sports Editor of The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

This season's crop of hockey books tell the stories of lives gained through the sport, and of lives lost.


Misadventure in northern Saskatchewan
As one man tallies damage to his lodge, five teens who had been reported missing are lucky to be alive after a trip to Reindeer Lake
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A4

EDMONTON -- The Twin Otter's engines had struggled for three hours in the strong winds above Saskatchewan's Reindeer Lake before spotters onboard saw the first sign of what they hoped were five teenagers reported missing days earlier.

It was Saturday, four days after the teens had cast off from their home in Southend, Sask., in a small aluminum boat, supposedly to go moose hunting. Instead, the five had holed up at a sprawling fishing lodge, closed for the season, that catered to moneyed anglers.

There, at the Arctic Lodges, is where spotters saw two boats tied up by the docks and were certain the missing teens were below. But the crew of the Twin Otter had no way of contacting them. And Kelly Littlechilds, the lodge's owner, says the RCMP told him that a number of people on the ground below - far from waving to their rescuers - ran into the lodge buildings.

"Those people obviously didn't want to be found," Mr. Littlechilds said.

Two days later, after the youths had set out on stormy waters and were plainly in trouble, they were finally found and brought home, allegedly leaving the Arctic Lodges damaged and raising a host of unanswered questions about how a teenage adventure had gone so terribly wrong.

When the teens left home on Tuesday, they were expected back the following day. Clayton Morin, whose 13-year-old grandson Brayden was one of the group, says he wasn't worried: His grandson had been on many hunting trips and had reassured him that the party was headed to a nearby river, isolated from the strong winds and rough weather.

But when they didn't turn up by Thursday, Mr. Morin reported them missing to the RCMP. Then, because of his extensive knowledge of the area, he joined the Mounties in their search, ranging far from the stated destination, north over Reindeer Lake.

His heart was heavy as he looked out of the Twin Otter on the innumerable bays and islands of the sprawling lake in northern Saskatchewan. While large sheets of ice had built up on the waters below, the frigid winds whipped up whitecaps as far as he could see. On the second day of the search, spotters saw no tracks in the fresh snow below.

The incident at the fishing lodge, on the fourth day, only deepened the mystery. The lodge, 100 kilometres north of their isolated community, has more than 30 wood cabins and dozens of small support structures. The centre of the complex is a large wooden building with wide windows and is appointed with leather couches and other amenities for fishermen flown into the area.

The doors of all the cabins had been left unlocked with dried food for the winter - part of the code of the North.

The owner, Mr. Littlechilds, had already dispatched workers to go to the property to help with the search. Hours after the Twin Otter flew over the lodge, the first workers arrived to find the complex deserted. While officials initially reported that some survival gear was missing from the cabins, the full extent of the damage only became known later.

"This was beyond breaking a window for survival," Mr. Littlechilds said. All of the exterior doors of the buildings in the complex were kicked in, chainsaws and other equipment were missing, an aluminum boat and lodge clothes had been stolen, and a number of all-terrain vehicles had been removed from winter storage and tossed about.

As it turned out, after the flyover by the Twin Otter, the four boys and one girl tried to leave for home, despite high winds. According to Tanisha Cook, 17, they were out of food. With two boats - their own and one that belonged to the lodge - they set off onto the lake as the temperature sank below -15 C.

Soon afterward, ice began building up on the carburetor of the outboard motors. One of the boat's engines died and, almost immediately, the swells swamped it.

"The waves were eight feet high, maybe bigger," Brayden told his grandfather. "There were times we couldn't even see each other. The swells were so huge. Sometimes we couldn't even see land."

According to Ms. Cook, the boat filled with "icy water" immediately. "We all ran to the top of the boat while it was sinking, and my boyfriend's friend came just on time to save us," said Ms. Cook, who was on the boat with her boyfriend, 17-year-old Tyler Bear.

The remaining boat was barely able to make it to a nearby island before its motor began to ice up.

Soaked, the teens built a fire and dried out their parkas and snowmobile pants. "We were frozen, we couldn't even move because of how cold it was," Ms. Cook said. With a tarp they saved, the teenagers blocked the wind and huddled around the fire. Sparks burned holes in their clothes. The next morning, they found an old cabin with a working stove a few hundred metres away.

Search efforts on Sunday were hampered by poor visibility. "It was a total whiteout, we were navigating by GPS," Mr. Morin said.

On Monday morning, Mr. Morin took to the sky again in a small Cessna 182. The visibility was better and the aircraft headed north to a cluster of cabins around the Arctic Lodges. "We were zig-zagging around there, but there was no sign of them," he said.

The plane began to follow the east shore of Reindeer Lake back toward Southend. "We had passed over a few cabins and I told the pilot that there was one more."

As the airplane crossed over a frozen bay, Mr. Morin spotted the teenagers on the beach. "They were all waving," he said. "I counted all the heads and I saw five of them, I was positive it was them. That was a very happy moment." Within hours, the teenagers were back in Southend and healthy, except for one minor case of frostbite. In pictures of Brayden after his return, he is wearing an Arctic Lodges sweatshirt.

Speaking with a throng of reporters after he arrived in the remote Saskatchewan community, Mr. Bear said the experience was "something scary."

The RCMP confirm that they will be questioning the teens and their families about the extent of the reported damage at the Arctic Lodges. The owner of a neighbouring lodge reported its complex was broken into a few weeks earlier. "This isn't a romantic story," the owner said.

Mr. Littlechilds says he won't press charges until he gets a sense of the scale of the damage and what's missing. His greatest concern is about the impact on a lodge complex that has been operating for 60 years.

"There are a lot of locals around there who don't want to speak ill of their own people, but they've got issues with these kids," he said. "We have a nice lodge and it's taken a long time to build it up to that point. We're almost 90 miles up the lake so it's a lot of time and money to build that. If someone goes up there and starts to wreck your place, that's concerning, whether they are kids or not kids."

Three days after the teenagers returned, Mr. Littlechilds had not heard from any of the families and doesn't know whether his boat was the one that sank. Brayden's grandparents say the boy confirms the doors to the cabins were unlocked, but says he only took items for survival.

Associated Graphic

rctic Lodges on Reindeer Lake in Saskatchewan lures moneyed anglers in summer, and is left open for emergencies out of season.



Once-obscure bloggers developing their own shoe lines. Previously gonzo photographers shooting campaigns for Burberry. What was initially celebrated as unfiltered sartorial expression has become as contrived and commercial as anything manufactured by the fashion industry, Courtney Shea reports. Can a sense of authenticity ever be regained?
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L8

Can anyone become a streetstyle celeb these days? This was the question that Vice magazine writer Hannah Ewens set out to answer recently when she attended London Fashion Week wearing a series of outfits snagged from thrift stores, flea markets and even garbage heaps. Her goal: to attract the attention of the hundreds of street-style photographers who have, in recent years, become as essential to the fashion week ecosystems as pouting models and Kanye West. On day one, Ewens wrapped her tiny frame in a piece of fuzzy pink and purple fabric, cinched it with a soccer-mom-style fanny pack and yanked a single men's argyle sock halfway up her left thigh. She completed the look by perching a baby-blue toque on her head and tying a broken alarm clock around her neck. The ensemble was intentionally ridiculous, but that didn't stop the flashbulbs from popping. One observer said that he recognized her bag as vintage Vivienne Westwood (it was not), while multiple people simply had to know where she found her amaaaaay-zing statement necklace.

Inherent in Ewens's cheeky experiment is a sentiment that has been percolating through the fashion community: that street style, which took off as a legitimate antidote to contrived runway shows and super-polished magazine spreads, has jumped the proverbial shark, having morphed, like indie rock and other vestiges of coffee-house culture, from a once-subversive subset into a mainstream, parodyworthy universe in its own right. Attend any hot-ticket runway show and you are sure to witness "the circus," which is the industry's preferred term for the traffic jam of attention-hogs, swag-hags and wannabes who loiter outside the main event like moths around a flashbulb. The authenticity gap can also be seen in the back-scratchy relationships between brands and bloggers. Even the term "street style" has started to feel a bit off - contemporary street style is as truly of "the street" as current-day JLo identifies with "the block."

Stefania Yarhi, a Toronto-based photographer, first began documenting fashion-week street style five years ago in New York. "I think I was probably one of about 15 photographers waiting outside [the runway shows]," she recalls of the scene back then. This past February in Paris, by contrast, she could barely elbow her way into the fray, she notes. "I'd guess there were about 1,000 people - 200 of them photographers - outside of the Chanel show at 8:30 in the morning!" As the crowds have expanded, Yarhi says, the ethos has also changed. "Street style doesn't exist in the form it used to. It's no longer a social discussion - it's a red carpet. It's about self-promotion and dressing to get your picture taken."

The street-style phenomenon began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the New York Times photojournalist Bill Cunningham, an outsider who zipped around the Big Apple on his bicycle, began photographing fashion in its most authentic, unfiltered form. While some of his subjects were bona fide style mavens, most were just regular people expressing themselves through their clothes. "I don't decide anything," Cunningham says in the 2008 documentary about his career, Bill Cunningham New York. "I let the street speak to me."

Phase two of the phenomenon started in the mid-aughts, when Scott Schuman began shooting well-dressed men and women and posting the images to his blog, The Sartorialist. A couple of years in, Schuman realized that the finest specimens of street style weren't the big-name designers or recognizable Hollywood types who had long dominated coverage of fashion weeks, but the unheralded, behindthe-scenes tastemakers - the editors, buyers, assistants, students - who pulled together cutting-edge outfits with apparent ease. The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton's Jak & Jil and the many copy-cat blogs that followed them subsequently turned this herd of industry insiders - including Carine Roitfeld, Taylor Tomasi Hill, Caroline Issa and Kate Lanphear - into quasi-celebrities. Soon the sidewalk hosted the hot party everyone wanted to attend.

No one leveraged the new reality quite like Anna Dello Russo, Vogue Japan's editor-at-large and high priestess of the street-style peacocks. Dello Russo found fame by wearing dramatic, fresh-off-therunway looks and making outfit changes between shows, providing as many photo ops as possible. Her wardrobe - a hautecouture hybrid of Carmen Miranda, Rainbow Brite and Cruella De Vil - epitomizes the type of look-at-me excess that captivates photographers and draws sneers from more "serious" fashion types. By 2012, H&M asked Dello Russo to create a capsule collection, an honour that had previously been restricted to household names such as Madonna, Victoria Beckham and Karl Lagerfeld.

Since then, street-style stardom has become a dependable career launchpad. "A lot of people use their popularity in that realm as a starting point for other projects," Stephanie Mark, co-founder of The Coveteur website, explains, citing Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad blog (she recently launched her own shoe line) and Russian It girl Miroslava Duma (her lifestyle website Buro 24/7 is the GOOP of the East and she has almost double Gwyneth Paltrow's Instagram following). There are now talent agencies devoted to establishing partnerships between the top fashion influencers and major brands. Labels such as Burberry, Coach and Zegna have also hired street-style photographers to give their promotional material that totallynon-promotional look.

Cue the inevitable send-ups. The Sarcastialist, for instance, is a popular Twitter feed run by an anonymous Brit; it annotates street-style images with mundane descriptions about going to the shops, factory work and boiled-ham dinners. Over the summer, the online magazine The Bold Italic featured a funny shoot titled Real Street Style, which showcased a series of actual street objects (a fire hydrant, a traffic pylon, a cigarette butt) dressed up in hipster clothing. Meanwhile, a fresh army of photographers is trying to effectively take back the pavement, reverting to documentary-style shooting and to subjects who fall outside what has become the norm: tall, young, ultra-thin. (This latest effort, led by the French-American shutterbug David Luraschi, even has a new name: peep style.)

Recently, though, a different sort of backlash was on display during this fall's round of fashion weeks, where many former peacocks looked more like pigeons in various shades of grey, baggy jeans, baseball caps and Stan Smith running shoes. (Even Dello Russo wore sneakers, albeit bejewelled ones by Chanel.) The new style is partly a way for fashion editors and other insiders to distinguish themselves from the aforementioned circus folk. Viewing this pared-down aesthetic as a less studied approach to dressing, however, would be a mistake, says Connie Wang, style director of Refinery29, who notes that there's a certain amount of inner-circle snobbery to it. "It's just a little bit more nuanced now," she says. "The people who know about these things know that the plain grey sweater is from The Row and costs $1,000."

Wang, who helped select the images for Refinery29's new book Street Stalking, says that the idea of "purity" in the fashion world is a phony one in the first place. "If you're putting a lot of thought into what you're wearing, you're dressing for consumption," whether by the people at your dinner party, your 700,000 Instagram followers or the fashion-week paparazzi.

As for the whole issue of authenticity, Wang would rather focus on what looks great. "It's fashion," she says. "Everyone's copying something."

Associated Graphic

CIRCUS MAXIMUS A member of the so-called Russian Fashion Pack, Miroslava Duma (pictured here in Paris earlier this year) attracts crowds of photographers when she attends fashion shows.


Canadian-grown dry goods are next on locavore menu
Grains, seeds and pulses are in a vast category including all the high-protein, low-fat superfoods
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Last in an eight-part series looking at how food-security concerns internationally are raising policy questions in subjects as diverse as resource development in British Columbia, advances in food science in Canada and restaurant choices locally.

At Café Medina, a trendy brunch bistro in downtown Vancouver, chef Jonathan Chovancek is committed to serving fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible: Swiss chard and squash grown on UBC Farm, charcuterie cured by Oyama Sausage Co., pork belly from Two Rivers Specialty Meats and coffee roasted at 49th Parallel.

The chef's list of suppliers is fairly typical among conscientious restaurants in a city where the majority of diners are willing to pay more for local products, a trend that has been well documented by market research, including last year's BMO Food Survey.

What makes Café Medina stand out from the locavore pack is its rare selection of Canadian dry goods. The restaurant's golden quinoa, chickpeas and wheat berries - essential staples for a pan-Mediterranean menu that features hummus and tabouleh in several dishes - are grown by family farmers and co-operatives in Saskatchewan.

They're packaged and distributed by a new Vancouver company called GRAIN, which aims to give dry goods the same sustainable star treatment as local produce, fish and meat.

"The quality of these chickpeas are incredible," says Mr. Chovancek, raving over their big size and buttery texture when cooked.

"But it's more than just taste," he notes. "Everyone talks about the origins of their fish and looks for sustainable alternatives. It's time we started looking at other products, too."

It would be easy for the chef to find cheaper chickpeas. He chooses to buy Canadian because GRAIN offers agricultural crops that appeal to his social conscience. "We want to support Canadian farms and companies that are doing something to counteract the truly non-sustainable agricultural system that is happening in South America."

Grains, seeds and pulses are a vast dry-goods category that encompasses everything from lentils to amaranth and all the sexy, high-protein, low-fat superfoods. Thanks to health-conscious celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow, these previously musty vegan staples have been catapulted from the bulk bins of health stores to the front aisles of Whole Foods.

But where do they come from? This is an issue that has vexed ethical foodies. Take quinoa, for instance. The seed's increasing popularity has caused its price to triple in the past five years.

While bringing economic prosperity to growers in Bolivia and Peru, global demand has made the traditional staple unaffordable for peasants in the Andes. The conversation went viral last year when The Guardian published an article blaming first-world vegans for third-world hunger.

"We grow so many of these great products right here in Canada," says GRAIN co-founder Shira McDermott, who is betting her business on dry goods becoming the next foodie frontier. "Nobody knows about them."

A lifelong vegetarian, Ms. McDermott has eaten far more garbanzo beans than the average consumer. But a few years ago, when her friend Janna Bishop came back from her family's farm in Saskatchewan with a sack of dried chickpeas, Ms. McDermott, a former gourmet grocery merchandiser, was blown away.

"These are absolutely amazing," she said. "Why can't we buy them here?" Thus germinated GRAIN, a wholesale company that packages and distributes top-quality, nutrient-rich Canadian-grown pulses, seeds and grains to restaurants and retailers. In January, it will begin milling whole-grain flours. Co-founded by the two friends earlier this year, it seeks to address the missing link in the farm-to-table movement and close the last gap in supply-chain transparency.

"British Columbians know about Pemberton beef, Chilliwack corn, Abbotsford blueberries and Okanagan peaches, but few can say where their flour is milled or where their wheat is farmed," she explains.

"We're trying to bring romance to a critical area of our food supply that hasn't had its moment in the spotlight."

Their timing couldn't be better for both supply and demand.

On the demand side, the Business Development Bank of Canada predicts that "health mania" along with "made in Canada" are the two major "game-changing" consumer trends that will dominate the food scene for the foreseeable future.

On the supply side, historical barriers in the supply chain are finally easing up. The reason you don't see many wheat growers at the local farmers market is because most pulse and grain farmers aren't responsible for marketing, selling and transporting their crops. Because the crops need to be cleaned and sorted, they require centralized stocking locations. The food becomes a commodity and passes through the hands of multiple corporations before it reaches the market. Most of Canada's pulses and special crops - an estimated 70 per cent, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - are exported.

In addition, the Canadian Wheat Board was historically responsible for stockpiling wheat, oats and barley. It was illegal for Prairie farmers to sell their crops to anyone else. Farmers did have the option to buy it back from the Wheat Board if they wanted to sell to a specific customer, but few did. The dismantling of the Wheat Board has created a new opportunity for farm-to-table grains.

Bob Wallace, Ms. Bishop's stepfather, is a third-generation farmer from Tyner, Sask. He and his brother, Lorne, operate Aldor Farms, where they primarily grow red spring wheat, Laird lentils, durum and peas. About 90 per cent of their production is destined for export.

Five years ago, when the price for chickpeas was on the rise, they tried growing it as an experimental crop. Mr. Wallace remembers going to Nutters, a bulk-food store in nearby Swift Current. He and his father looked askance at the bulk bin of chickpeas. They were small, off-coloured and pocked with little black spots that indicate disease.

"The stuff we grow on the farm looks better," his father said to the store manager. "Why don't you sell them here?" The manager was indignant.

"All our stuff comes from a central warehouse in Vancouver," Mr. Wallace recalls him saying.

"These chickpeas are supposed to be the best. They come from Turkey."

He and his brother no longer grow chickpeas. The price bottomed out. And although most of their crops are still exported, a small amount of their red spring wheat and wheat berries is now distributed by his stepdaughter through GRAIN and served at Café Medina.

"I'm glad someone finally did it," Mr. Wallace says. "People want to know where their food comes from. This was a missing link in Canada."



Legumes are plants whose fruit is enclosed in a pod. It includes alfalfa, clover, fresh peas, lupins, mesquite, soy and peanuts. When growing, legumes fix nitrogen into the soil, which reduces the need for chemical fertilizer.


Part of the legume family, pulse refers to the dried seed.

Common varieties include dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas. They are rich in fibre and protein and contain virtually no fat.


Although usually considered a whole grain, quinoa is actually a seed that can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley.


In Canada, special crops include buckwheat, canary seed, forages, ginseng, herbs (medicinal plants), spices, industrial hemp, mustard seed, safflower seed, seeds (for sowing) and sunflower seeds.

Associated Graphic

Chef Jonathan Chovancek cooks with Canadian-produced chickpeas and lentils at Café Medina in Vancouver.


Chef Jonathan Chovancek dresses a dish with Canadian chickpea hummus at Café Medina in Vancouver on Monday. The café sources some of its dry goods from the wholesale company GRAIN.


Counterfeiting: When imitation isn't flattery
Companies doing business abroad are vulnerable to having their brands knocked off. Here are ways they can protect themselves
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B7

Bojana Sentaler Nikolic was visiting the Peru-based manufacturer she had hired to make her upscale alpaca coats when she saw something she wasn't supposed to see: a coat straight out of her product line, bearing another brand's label.

Ms. Sentaler Nikolic, creative director and owner of Sentaler Studio Ltd. - which sells its outerwear directly from its website and Toronto studio, as well through luxury retailer Holt Renfrew - reacted swiftly. She pulled her business from the manufacturer and, after intense due diligence, found another company to make her products.

"It was a really disturbing experience to see my coat, my design, with someone else's label on it," says Ms. Sentaler Nikolic. "If I hadn't come in when I did, I might never have discovered what was happening."

In the world of commerce, imitation isn't always flattery; it can be a counterfeit. From Louis Vuitton knockoffs to substandard baseboard heaters masquerading as a high-quality brand, the global marketplace is well-stocked with products that aren't quite what they appear to be.

The International Chamber of Commerce predicts the value of global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods will reach $1.77trillion (U.S.) by 2015. The International Trademark Association, a global organization based in New York, blames the Internet for raising counterfeiting to "heightened levels" by providing sellers with a platform where they can easily reach and dupe consumers around the world.

For consumers, counterfeits represent a rip-off at best and a safety hazard in worst-case scenarios. In 2012, about 30 per cent of counterfeit products seized by the RCMP - a haul with an estimated total worth of more than $38-million - were deemed to be potentially harmful and included fake medications, untested beauty products and perfumes, toys that may have contained lead and other contaminants, and electrical components and electronics.

"Even circuit breakers - those devices that protect your home from the power system - are frequently knocked off," says Wayne Edwards, past chair of the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network and vice-president, sustainability and electrical safety, at Electro-Federation Canada, an association representing electrical, electronics and telecommunications companies. "They may look exactly like the circuit breakers produced by the respected brands, but the internal guts are usually never right and they're highly defective."

For businesses, counterfeits are a threat to their brand and bottom line. Every knockoff bought equals one legitimate product unsold and can seriously erode a brand's reputation. Brian Isaac, a Toronto lawyer at Smart and Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh who specializes in intellectual property, trademarks and patents, says counterfeiting - also known as piracy - is big business that should concern any business.

"There are estimates that up to 7 per cent of international trade today is counterfeit, which can be defined as anything that knocks off a trademarked or copyrighted product or work," says Mr. Isaac, who is also a patent and trademark agent. "It's a concern for any company, whether or not they're manufacturing or selling abroad."

Anything and everything is being knocked off, says Mr. Isaac, including car parts and diesel engines. He recalls sitting on a plane and putting together an alphabetically ordered list of all the products he's seen counterfeited. He hit all the letters in the alphabet except for Q.

"Then someone told me later they'd seen quilts being counterfeited," says Mr. Isaac.

A big challenge with counterfeiting is its international nature and scope, with the latter appearing to grow in parallel with global commerce. Indeed the Office of the United States Trade Representative lists markets in close to 40 countries where counterfeiting and piracy occur at alarming levels. The Top 10 or "priority watch" list includes China, India, Russia and Thailand, while the second-tier "watch" list includes Brazil, Turkey, Finland and, yes, Canada.

Counterfeiting's global arena can be daunting for companies, especially small- to mid-sized businesses, looking to protect their products. Still, says Mr. Isaac, in most countries there are civil and criminal provisions against counterfeiting - Canada has a new legislation, Bill C8, currently in the Senate - and there are measures businesses can take to reduce their vulnerability to piracy and secure their legal position in case they fall victim to counterfeiting.

"You really have to take a fairly sophisticated approach and look at where you're likely to have problems," says Mr. Isaac. "If you're manufacturing or selling overseas, get trusted representatives on the ground in markets where you think you might be knocked off."

Ideally, these on-the-ground allies - who could be business partners, local lawyers or private investigators - will monitor the market for counterfeits and keep an eye on supply chain partners such as manufacturers, distributors or transport companies.

For businesses with deep pockets, Mr. Isaac also points to companies that specialize in counterfeit prevention services. An example of this is NetNames, whose anti-counterfeiting services include finding unauthorized brand use online, preventing traffic diversion to unauthorized websites, and takedown of counterfeit products sold online.

Other companies offer technology-based - and often costly - anti-counterfeit solutions, such as 3D holograms, digital encoding on product labels or packaging, and invisible barcodes.

Detailed contracts that address potentially risky areas are a must, says Mr. Isaac. For instance, a contract with a manufacturer should specify exactly how the factory will use any material or document being supplied by the business customer.

"Especially in the clothing industry where manufacturers overproduce and there are 'seconds' left over, you have to deal with that or that stuff might end up in the counterfeit market," says Mr. Isaac.

Whenever possible, patents, trademarks and copyrights should be registered in all the markets where a company does business. Even when a trademark or copyright is inherent because of a distinctive design, some countries require registration or you're out of luck if your product gets knocked off, Mr. Isaac says.

Ms. Sentaler Nikolic says any business venturing outside Canada should take the time to learn the intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting laws in their target foreign markets. She also suggests getting all contracts reviewed by lawyers in those markets to ensure the documents comply with local laws.


How can you protect your company from counterfeiters and pirates? Brian Isaac, intellectual property lawyer at Smart and Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh, and Bojana Sentaler Nikolic, creative director and owner of Sentaler Studio Ltd., offer suggestions: .

Secure your supply chain

Do your due diligence before welcoming vendors, manufacturers and other third-party companies to your supply chain.

Cover all the bases in your contracts

Lay out the terms of your third-party agreements in precise detail, including how manufacturers and other supply chain partners can use any material you give them.

Hire an anti-counterfeiting service

If counterfeiting presents a significant risk to your business, then consider retaining a company that will monitor physical and online markets for knockoffs and unauthorized sales of your product, and go after brand infringers.

Find a local lawyer

Hire legal experts who practice in your business markets to review all contracts to ensure they comply with each country's laws.

Have eyes, ears and feet on the ground

Find trustworthy representatives in your markets who can keep an eye on your suppliers and watch for any knockoffs of your brand.

Register IP rights in your markets

Even if your unique design inherently gives you trademark or copyright over your product, it's best to register your intellectual property rights in the countries where you do business.

Use technology as protection

Consider adding a high-tech product authenticator, such as a hologram, digital encoding or invisible barcode.

Marjo Johne

Associated Graphic

Toronto-based designer Bojana Sentaler Nikolic caught a manufacturer in Peru passing off one of her designs as another company's.


U of T Scarborough An education in community
Far from remaining institutionally aloof, the 50-year-old East campus has immersed itself in the neighbourhood - even offering courses that have local relevance
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M1

By someone's clever design, the picture of the first graduating class from the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus looks out at the picture of the last graduating class in the university's student centre. Three years after Scarborough opened, the women had flippy bobs, the men wore thick-framed glasses and there were 100 graduates.

Fifty years later, the campus has grown to 10,000 full-time undergraduate students, a measure of Scarborough's evolution from a sparsely populated suburban neighbourhood, industrial and bucolic in equal measure, to one of the key magnets for new immigrants to Canada. At its halfcentury mark, the campus is in a new wave of expansion with a master plan that projects decades and tens of thousands of students into the future.

Yet, at the same time, some values have not changed: The Scarborough campus was designed to draw students from the prospering working and middle classes of east Toronto, for whom sending their children to postsecondary education was a sign of how far they had come and how much further they hoped their children would go. The immigrants that are now settling in the GTA share those dreams.

U of T is well aware of the demographic trends. Several years ago, it decided that undergraduate expansion would happen primarily at its West (Mississauga) and East (Scarborough) campuses, as they are known in the university's shorthand, even as St. George holds the purse strings and hosts the research heft.

Scarborough, however, shows how an academic institution can stay close to the ground. It has found its identity in listening to, rather than leading, the community around it. The question for the university as a whole is how to take what Scarborough does well - connected experiential learning and co-op programs - and bring it to the globally oriented Ivory Tower downtown.

"The community outreach in Scarborough is a model," said U of T president Meric Gertler.

"It's something I've been trying to give greater prominence to when I talk about the city and university relationship. I think Scarborough and Mississauga have been far more successful in engaging their neighbours than St. George campus has been," said Dr. Gertler, a geographer and urbanist.

"The imperial centre has always learnt from the colonies," said Bruce Kidd, who, since this spring has served as interim principal after Dr. Gertler asked him to step in as a favour, following the departure of Franco Vaccarino for the presidency of the University of Guelph. "I think now he's done me the favour," Dr. Kidd said.

Dr. Kidd, a former Olympian with a decades-long career at U of T, is visibly moved when he talks about seeing and meeting the parents of this year's graduating class. "There are many ways to extend a welcome and offering an education is one of them."

Most students at Scarborough come from the nearby region, an area where City of Toronto statistics show that more residents are visible minorities; part-time jobs are much easier to come by than full-time employment and single-parent families are more prevalent.

The school has woven itself into this neighbourhood - not by geographical accident, but by design.

It had experiential learning courses before the word became academically trendy and those courses are designed in response to projects identified by residents.

"The key word here is reciprocity," said Ahmed Allahwala, who teaches a case-study course on urban communities and neighbourhoods and is the associate chair of the City Studies program. "We don't see the residents as in a position of need but as co-researchers and as partners in the creation of knowledge."

For the past three years, the two dozen or so students in one of Dr. Allahwala's third-year seminars have been mapping different aspects of the youth experience in Kingston-Galloway/ Orton Park community, part of a university-wide partnership with the East Scarborough Storefront community organization. This year, the class will finalize an 80page application for a "youthfriendly" provincial designation, a key step toward unlocking resources, but also in identifying and encouraging young volunteers to step up and advocate for themselves.

The class itself is held in a satellite office of the Storefront that also hosts free family Saturday breakfasts and prep classes for citizenship tests. On a bulletin board, someone has posted an article from the local Mirror newspaper about the stigma carried by the "priority neighbourhood" designation and the name change to neighbourhood improvement areas.

For some students, the course has been a revelation. "It's like peeling a fruit. When you are a tourist in a place, you don't see the poverty or the problems. Here you are looking inside," said Warren Mei.

"It's made me aware of youth at risk here, of other problems I didn't know about," said Aniqah Iqram, who lives about half hour away and hopes to work with the city after she graduates.

Dr. Allahwala's class is only one of many that are communitybased. A first-year course takes Scarborough's ethnic diversity as its main subject; a new international food studies project, Culinaria, will look at how ethnic histories are adapted and reflected by local chefs, and a health studies project led by professor Michelle Pannor Silver taught students research methods by working with seniors in assisted-living homes nearby. Last year, poet and professor Daniel Tysdal worked with a dozen local writers not enrolled at the campus for a community poetry seminar.

The university has been open to learning from the neighbourhood, advocates say. "We try to minimize the power dynamics that are present just because of the size of the institution. We work on making residents in this community equal players in these initiatives," said Ewa Cerda-Llanos, the manager of community-university initiatives at the Storefront.

Tensions in the town and gown relationship do exist. Unlicensed rooming houses that rent furnished rooms to students for $400 to $500 a month were part of the debate in this fall's election for Ward 44 councillor.

On transportation, the community and the university are in the same bind. There isn't enough of it. In 2010, students voted in favour of a levy toward the just-opened and spectacular aquatic and athletic centre for the 2015 Pan Am Games. That commitment was connected to plans for Transit City and the Scarborough LRT, its lines projected to loop around the expanded North campus. It was a fool's bet: The LRT was cancelled by Rob Ford.

Dr. Kidd said the administration will try to get the project reinstated; if York University can get a subway, he suggested, then surely Scarborough can get an LRT.

Even if it eventually grows as large as York - which has approximately four times the undergrad population - Scarborough is unlikely to make a bid for freedom.

Two years ago, it was given the keys to the second car in the family when a campus council was established that can make some academic and financial decisions. Now, when Scarborough wants to put in new parking spots, or food vendors or to spend up to $3-million on capital projects, it no longer has to phone home.

Dr. Gertler and the Scarborough administration agree that independence has limits.

"Clearly, they are on an evolutionary trajectory of becoming more autonomous over time," he said, "but the advantages of remaining connected for Scarborough - and for St. George - are so clear I don't see them separating."

Associated Graphic

Students Aniqah Iqram, left, and Barrah Faysal are the new faces of the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus.



A night of Dino Snores at the museum
Thursday, November 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

By 11 p.m., we're into insect pornography. Tick sex, in particular.

"And this is his penis," says Erica McAlister dismissively, jerking a thumb at a photograph projected behind her. She adopts the pose of a disappointed girlfriend - disbelief on face; hands on hips.

"Not very impressive," she harrumphs.

The audience of almost 50 people laughs.

"I've seen my share of penises," she states authoritatively. "Hundreds of pictures of different ones," she carries on brightly. "Some of them put mammals to shame." She allows a beat. "This job has hurt my dating life, I can tell you." The thirtysomething curator (@flygirlNHM) of diptera in the department of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London shakes her head in mock dismay.

We're deep in the interior of what was called the "Palace of Nature" when it was opened in 1881 at the height of Victorian confidence. The British Empire was expanding and with it came discoveries of new plant and animal species. The Natural History Museum was an early Disneyland, where people would go to be dazzled.

But now? It feels a little Miss Havisham-y. The grand hall with its high ceiling and intricately carved terracotta columns is a stunning setting. But who wants to see dried-up insects and dusty dinosaurs? With the Internet as our collective archive and museum of the weird and wonderful, many museums have lost their place in society.

Which is why they hold adult sleepover events - or Dino Snores, as they call it - such as this.

And it's why Fly Girl is entertaining us. "And do you know how he does the deed?" McAlister continues about Mr. Tick. "He transfers sperm into his head and then he sticks his head up her genitalia. Yup. He blows it up there. And just to make sure it's up there safely, he puts two appendages up her as well." She shrugs as if to say that insects out-kink humans in sexual practices. Cultural excursions take many forms, and I was curious to know what this one would hold. Adult sleepovers in museums are in vogue. London's Natural History Museum was the first to offer the event in 2012. Already, its 2015 adult sleepovers - five in all - have waiting lists. Last summer, the American Museum of Natural History in New York held its first adults-only sleepover. It sold out in three hours.

We like to be kids again, I guess. It's so much simpler. The infantilization of adulthood is a big trend. Adult-sized onesies - the cozy cotton one-piece outfits you likely wore every day when six months old - are popular. (My adult son recently wondered if I would like one for Christmas. I said, "Yes." Talk about inverting the parent/child dynamic.) And we've returned to porridge. Why not leave home for a night and sleep in some strange, cold place that feels like a Victorian orphanage?

The biggest surprise was that my friend and I were not the only fossils.

"It may be a case of dinosaurs sleeping with dinosaurs," I had warned her before we set off for our adventure.

"Good headline," she responded gamely. She is an erudite book editor, very British in her neat sweater, buttoned blouse, bobbed hair and glasses; a woman who tosses the word "phlegmatic" into a sentence like cucumber in a garden salad. Surely, we thought, only young bodies would be foolish enough to sleep on a marble floor. We would be issued mats. Thin mats. I am astounded. Is this the legendary keep-calm-and-carry-on attitude?

I even decide not to make a fuss about the mouse. When we placed our sleeping bags in a row next to others in a small alcove, I shrieked (demurely) when I spied a small mouse scurry under one of the display cases.

"Oh, don't worry," said a young woman, who was setting up camp with her boyfriend next to us. "All these humans will scare them off."

I stiffen my upper lip like the best of them, and head off to find a stiffer drink. Most of the 200 or so people at the event looked under 50, but there were other middle-aged people, and everyone is in a convivial mood for a pyjama party in a world-famous landmark, mice be damned. Some were dressed in dinosaur onesies, sipping wine beside the massive Diplodocus, which has stood in the grand entrance hall for more than 100 years.

To keep our minds on fun, the planners have us moving from one activity to the next. After dinner, we're given a choice of the Fly Girl's lecture on insect sex or a stand-up comedy show. (Not much difference, if you ask me.)

Then there's an option of a dinosaur-drawing instruction. My friend and I opted to tour the temporary Wildlife Photographer exhibition, which made us feel as though we had broken into an empty museum in the middle of the night to take in the beauty of otherworldly images in solitude - quite lovely.

At midnight, we were all back in the restaurant, sampling edible insects - sago worm larvae, caterpillars, mulled crickets and the bottoms of weaver ants.

McAlister is back behind a mike.

"Hugely important protein, and low cholesterol, " she announces to the skeptical audience. "We could reduce all of our greenhouse gases by going to insects for food."

"How are your ant bottoms?" my friend asks.

"Like dusty chocolate."

"This wouldn't happen in Russia," marvels a young Russian woman, new to London.

For those who want to regress to childhood sleepovers, there are horror movies being screened all night in an auditorium.

"Lights out at 2:30 a.m.," an organizer informs us.

We decide on tortured sleep.

"Good thing I brought my eye mask and ear plugs," says my friend. We return to our section in the hall, where she starts to wriggle out of her clothes.

"You're getting undressed?" "Of course," she says plainly.

She unpacks a nightie, throws it on and unhooks her bra from underneath; slides her feet into slippers. "Aren't you?" I have a sweatshirt to change into and figure I will take off my shoes. She looks at me as though I am the oddest species in the world.

We settle into our sleeping bags, having taken a second mat each.

"Have you seen Mr. Mouse?" I ask.

"Nowhere in sight," my friend reassures me. She lies on her back, arms folded neatly over her chest.

"You're hilarious," I tell her.

"One of those British women who make the Empire strong?" she asks from behind her eye mask.

We laugh. But for most of the night, I lie awake. A harpist plays next to Dippy, the dinosaur. I imagine mice, watching from the sidelines as we take over their palace. I look up at the carvings and at the ceiling panels way above us. Hand-painted and gilded, they show plant species introduced to the country in the age of exploration and empire: cocoa, tobacco, rhododendron, cotton. I think of Charles Darwin, a statue of whom presides over the scene from the top of a marble staircase.

This is a poignant museum now, not of exciting things we want to see, but of a lost era in which there was great optimism and wonder about the promise of the planet. And maybe that's why it's still worth visiting - next time, on my feet only.

Associated Graphic

Sleepover guests snooze in the London Natural History Museum's Central Hall.


Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making 'Internet odysseys' alongside TV and films. In the coming months, they'll take Globe readers on a journey about breaking out in a business that no longer plays by the rules
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R1

What if Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of $65-billion (U.S.) over 40 years hadn't been his idea - but originated with one of his secretaries?

Whatever, Linda - a dark but deliciously funny Canadian 10-part scripted series now previewing its first chapter at - explores just such a scenario. It's a 1970s-set, female-centric twist on the serialized stories about mendacious men who break bad that have dominated cable television in recent years.

The first season of the show will be available online in its entirety in six-minute chapters later this year, but Hannah Cheesman, co-creator of the series and its titular lead Linda; and Mackenzie Donaldson, co-executive producer of the project, would prefer if you not call it a "Web series."

"We prefer to call it an Internet odyssey," says Donaldson, over an early Sunday brunch at a restaurant on Toronto's Ossington strip.

"'Web series' can leave a bad taste in your mouth," adds Cheesman. "There's a joke around: If you're a struggling actor, you say, 'Oh, I'm working on my Web series.' "

Whatever you call Whatever, Linda, which also stars Superbad's Martha MacIsaac and Stratford star Cara Ricketts as Linda's co-conspirators, it may eventually be best known as the project where Cheesman, 30, and Donaldson, 26, became collaborators.

The two decided to join forces to form their own production company, Aberrant Pictures, after clicking creatively on the series.

As their Internet odyssey fully launches and goes viral (or doesn't), Cheesman and Donaldson, who also works on the hit Space show Orphan Black, will share their struggles and successes as young, female producers in the ever-shifting film/tv/digital landscape in regular columns for The Globe and Mail.

"Right now, it's the Wild West and people are figuring out what's working and what's not," says Cheesman.

How did the founders of Aberrant Pictures, which had its first official short, Cheese, screen at Cannes this past summer and has several features in development, find one another?

Cheesman's career as an actor/ writer/producer nearly ended with /lawyer. Raised in Mississauga, she bounced around in her postsecondary education - leaving Latin American studies at the University of Toronto to go to the National Theatre School, then returning to complete that degree afterward. Frustrated by her lack of agency as an actor, Cheesman began to explore a more hyphenated creative career with commercial director Kathi Prosser, but applied to, and was accepted by, Osgoode Hall law school before meeting Donaldson on Whatever, Linda.

Donaldson, on the other hand, has been involved in the business since before she was born. Daughter of actors Sheila McCarthy and the late Peter Donaldson, she went to the Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes in her pregnant mother's belly during the promotion of Patricia Rozema's 1987 film I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, in which McCarthy starred. (McCarthy has a small role in Whatever, Linda.)

Although Donaldson flirted with acting, she came out of McGill in 2010 with her eyes fixed on becoming a producer, working in various positions at Oscars Abrams Zimel & Associates talent agency before landing a job as assistant to John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, creators of a then in-development series about a group of clones, which would star Tatiana Maslany.

Taking that job on thenunknown Orphan Black required Donaldson to cancel a planned trip to Scotland with her boyfriend, but the aspiring producer only hesitated for a second. "Those first two years on Orphan Black, it was like getting a master's degree in how to make television," says Donaldson, who has been promoted to associate producer for the show's third season.

Whatever, Linda is the brainchild of Cheesman and actor/writer/ producer Julian DeZotti, and is directed by Matt Eastman. Donaldson, a friend of DeZotti, was brought on while the team was applying to the Independent Production Fund (IPF) of the Bell Fund with the help of Torontobased, Emmy-winning digital interactive agency Secret Location in 2013.

Although Cheesman and Donaldson immediately had creative chemistry, each was nervous about asking the other to work together on other projects. "I was waxing poetic about Mackenzie to someone, and they said maybe you should keep working with her," says Cheeseman. "It was like asking somebody out on a date."

Adds Donaldson, "We both wanted it; we were too nervous to ask."

The IPF - from which Whatever, Linda received the maximum of $150,000 - is a financing source that has made Canada a hotbed of independent Web series in recent years. Cheesman and Donaldson recommend Bill & Sons Towing (starring the Imponderables comedy troupe and Nicholas Campbell), Space Janitors (a sci-fi parody) and Just Passing Through (which The Globe's John Doyle has called "more original and funnier than most Canadian network comedies of the last decade"). Another inspiration is Ruby Skye PI, a show about a teen detective that was picked up by CBC for its third season, as well as U.S. online outings such as The Outs and Broad City.

Whatever, Linda's budget of $300,000 (the rest came from a grant from the Ontario Media Development Corp.) was enough to pay the actors and crew assembled by executive producers at Touchpoint Films - who, like Secret Location, are executive producers on the series. But no one gets rich off a Web series - and there's no clear return on investment in sight.

So why spend two years of time and creative energy on an Internet odyssey? Says Cheesman: "This project is two things: It's its own independent thing, but it's also a proof of concept for ..." "... hopefully, something bigger," finishes Donaldson.

As it happens, something bigger is already in the offing: Whatever, Linda was supposed to launch on YouTube and its own website on Nov. 17, but on Thursday, Cheesman e-mailed to say the launch was off as "we are in talks with a larger body to distribute and push the project onto a much larger platform."

What larger platform? The CBC? Netflix? Amazon Prime? Cheesman could not say, and can't before a final meeting with the potential distributor on Nov. 24 - a non-disclosure agreement has been signed. "Oh this tangled (world wide) web!" she said in her e-mail.

Whatever, Linda has already been shown at six festivals devoted to digital content and is a calling card for new projects for Cheesman and Donaldson, and thus for Aberrant Pictures. The series has earned the pair an upcoming pitch meeting (over Skype, naturally) with WIGS, the female-centric YouTube channel that features original content starring actresses like Julia Stiles.

In their series for The Globe, Cheesman and Mackenzie will deliver updates on their projects, explain how they balance them with day jobs on Orphan Black, and talk more broadly about what it's like to be young women in a changing-content film/TV/digital industry.

"At the ground level of the industry, I would say [women] are becoming more common, and a lot of heads of networks are women," Cheesman notes. But she also points to statistics: Women comprise only 7 per cent of members of the Directors Guild of Canada and 17 per cent of the Writers Guild of Canada; and about one-third of producers are women. "So, it's not super-common. It's still not common for women to feel like taking that space is expected."

Associated Graphic

Hannah Cheesman, left, and Mackenzie Donaldson on the set of Orphan Black in Toronto.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


A Saturday Arts story on a Canadian Web series incorrectly said women comprise 7 per cent of members of the Directors Guild of Canada and 17 per cent of the Writers Guild of Canada. In fact, the numbers are actually 35 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively.

Banff employers scramble to find staff before tourists arrive
The TFW program helped this Alberta town weather a hot economy and stiff competition from the booming oil-sands region, but now businesses say service could suffer this season if they are unable to find qualified workers
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A12

BANFF, ALTA. -- A cool stillness had settled in on the sidewalks of Banff. The crush of camera-carrying tourists was gone, in hibernation until ski season. In the shops, sales clerks hovered with time to chat, and a library-like serenity lingered in hotel lobbies - a welcome recess for staff after a flatout summer.

But for employers in one of Canada's premier tourist destinations, the annual autumn respite is tinged this year with frustration and anxiety over the federal government's new, unexpected restrictions on hiring foreigners to clean hotel rooms, press laundry, and serve coffee, sandwiches and fries.

The opening of the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program to low-skilled positions in 2002 brought labour stability to this world-renowned Alberta jewel, stitched into Canada's first national park. Despite its natural splendour, the Rocky Mountain town has long struggled to attract Canadians to live and work in Banff because housing options are minimal and the cost of living is high.

Now, many business owners are scrambling to figure out how to fill jobs before the horde of tourists returns. Few, if any, believe they'll be able to attract more Canadian workers - one impetus for Ottawa's reforms to the temporary foreign worker program.

While Banff business owners and municipal politicians are pressuring Ottawa to give resort communities more flexibility to hire overseas, an old reality is also slowly sinking in: Hotel service may soon suffer, lineups for fast food could grow, retail shop hours may be cut, and more jobs will likely go unfilled, placing pressure on existing staff to toil longer hours and extra days.

"The fear has been revived that there just won't be enough employees," says Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. "Prior to the temporary foreign worker program, we were in staff chaos, staff shortages all the time," Ms. Sorensen adds. "Our level of service here is fundamental to our success."

Banff is not the only tourismreliant community struggling with Ottawa's crackdown on foreign labour. In Whistler, B.C., the country's most popular ski resort, restaurants are having trouble finding sufficient staff for the busy winter season. Some tourists have warned they may turn to mountain resorts outside Canada if foreign ski instructors are not available, the local chamber of commerce cautioned in a written appeal to Employment Minister Jason Kenney.

But the federal government remains resolute on its changes to the TFW program, noting in an e-mail that 110,000 Albertans are looking for work and wage increases in the province's foodservices sector have not kept up with inflation.

"There are also still too many people capable of working who are not in the labour force," says Employment Department spokesman Simon Rivet.

Ottawa's newfound hardline on TFWs is affecting both businesses and foreign workers, many of whom moved to Canada with one goal: to provide a better life for themselves and their families. This was the case for Angel Santos and Vinus Belasse, colleagues at the Banff Aspen Lodge.

Ms. Santos arrived in the town a decade ago, one of the community's first employees hired through the TFW work program. Then 24 years old, the petite college graduate had few job opportunities in her home country, the Philippines, and no way to help her parents and siblings financially.

Her $8 an hour housekeeping job, which included subsidized housing, was a lifeline. About half her monthly income goes to the Philippines to support her family.

With the support of her employer, Ms. Santos became a Canadian citizen three years ago. Now she earns more than $20 an hour as the housekeeping manager at the lodge - on the front lines of grappling with the town's hiring challenges.

"I think we should give opportunities to [foreign] people," Ms. Santos says on a break, her long, dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. "It helps not just the country, but the Canadian people and the businesses themselves."

Although not originally intended to be a pathway to immigration, the TFW program has led to permanent status for tens of thousands of skilled and semiskilled foreigners in Alberta.

But waiting times in the province's immigrant nominee program are long, and temporary foreign worker Ms. Belasse is worried her permit will expire before her request for permanent residency is considered. A high-school graduate from St. Lucia, Ms. Belasse, 25, has been in Alberta since 2008, sending a large portion of her income to her siblings in the Caribbean.

"I want to stay because I want to create a better life for me and my family. I want to actually go to school and become better," Ms. Belasse says, noting her goal is to become a chef.

Employees such as Ms. Santos and Ms. Belasse have helped Banff weather a hot economy and stiff competition for workers from the booming oil-sands region. Of Banff's 9,386 residents, 10 per cent are temporary workers, according to a census prepared for the municipality this year. The region's unemployment rate is just 4 per cent.

Large hotels such as the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Rimrock Resort Hotel are reassessing their recruitment efforts. The government's reforms include limiting foreigners to 10 per cent of a company's work force in low-paying jobs and reducing the length of their permit to one year from two. The cost to request a foreign employee has also jumped, to $1,000 from $275.

The sweeping June reforms followed media reports of some businesses squeezing Canadians out of jobs in favour of foreigners.

"We think it was a knee-jerk reaction to what is largely a political problem," says Darren Reeder, executive director of the Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association. "We have no ability to recruit in our backyard. Being in a national park, where things are expensive and housing is expensive, it just makes this an incredibly difficult place to attract people and to keep them longterm."

Alberta Labour Minister Ric McIver recently met with Mr. Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander in Ottawa to raise concerns about the federal clampdown on foreign workers. Talks have shifted to exploring ways to boost immigration, provincial labour spokesman Barrie Harrison says.

Banff tourism operators got the chance to discuss the town's labour challenges with Mr. McIver on Friday. At Fairmont Banff Springs, managers aren't waiting for Ottawa to change its onesize-fits-all approach to temporary foreign workers.

The historic hotel has nearly 1,100 employees, of which 98 are TFWs. Another 87 foreigners are here through International Experience Canada, a "working holiday" program that offers short-term job opportunities to young adults from about 30 countries, including Mexico, Australia and Poland.

Banff Springs plans to tap the International Experience Canada pool more aggressively. The hotel would prefer to hire Canadians, but regional vice-president David Roberts says there aren't enough Canadians willing to move to Banff and take on seasonal hotel jobs. At the moment, the hotel has 100 unfilled positions.

"The zero-unemployment piece is real," Mr. Roberts says. "We, like others in this valley, will always have open positions. We'll never stop hiring."

Associated Graphic

Vinus Belasse, top, of St. Lucia, has been working in Alberta since 2008 and is now employed at the Banff Aspen Lodge. She is worried her permit will expire before her request for permanent residency is considered.

Christine Sandos, bottom, of the Philippines cleans windows at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Ten per cent of Banff's employees are temporary workers, according to a census prepared for the municipality.


Class A office towers meet bus terminal
Five years in the making, Ivanhoé-Metrolinx deal has much to offer - including a park elevated over Toronto's railway corridor
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B8

The recently announced deal between Ivanhoé Cambridge and Metrolinx to build an iconic new bus terminal and office complex in the heart of Toronto was more than five years in the making.

Its origins stretch back to the time when the financial crisis was gaining legs. That's when Ivanhoé Cambridge bought a parcel of land at 45 Bay St.

Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate arm of pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, is a property behemoth with more than $40-billion in assets. It wasn't quite sure what it wanted to do with the property it was acquiring at the foot of Bay Street. But it knew that Metrolinx was exploring options to create a new bus terminal in the southernmost part of the city.

Metrolinx is tasked with planning and improving transportation in the Toronto and Hamilton areas and runs GO Transit. At the time it was developing its megablueprint called "The Big Move," which outlined a new way of moving people around the region.

"When we looked around for the available [bus terminal] sites at that time, in about 2008-2009, there really was only one undeveloped site left that was in close proximity to Union Station and the Gardiner [Expressway] and Lakeshore Boulevard - 45 Bay was that site," says Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig.

That means the blockbuster deal that was announced in September for the $2-billion project that includes the bus terminal and two office towers was first kindled more than five years ago, when Metrolinx knew it wanted to be on that site. So what took so long?

When Ivanhoé first bought 45 Bay St., which is currently being used as a parking lot, it was certain about only one thing - whatever it built there would include office space.

"It's a premier office location and really it's the last opportunity to do a significant office development on Bay Street," says Paul Gleeson, Ivanhoé's executive vice-president of global development. "So to go to an alternative land use, in our view, wouldn't have been the best decision.

"What we had to do was finalize our deal with Metrolinx. It's complex figuring out how to successfully integrate an operating bus terminal into a Class A office building."

Before the talks even started, Ivanhoé set about securing air rights above the railway tracks that run east-west between 45 and 141 Bay, which is the site of the Union Station Bus Terminal . With those rights in place Ivanhoé could begin to conceive of a project that used its property at 45 Bay and the bus terminal property at 141 Bay, linking the two via space above the railway tracks.

The idea was that a new bus terminal would be built on the property that Ivanhoé owned, which is south of the railroad tracks, along with one office tower. Ivanhoé would buy the land under the existing bus terminal, which is north of the tracks, and that old terminal would make way for a second office tower.

Ivanhoé spent time debating whether to include a hotel, and eventually went through several design iterations that included retail or shopping before scrapping that concept - for now.

The team eventually came up with the idea of building an elevated park above the rail corridor.

"We were dealing with the issue of how do you connect the two projects over the railway so that the tracks don't become an obstacle, they become invisible," Mr. Gleeson says. "In other words, how do you turn the tracks into an amenity?" Video renderings show the park as an outdoor pavilion dotted with grass and trees that is accessible from each of the office towers. A spokesman for Ivanhoé said the detailed design of the park will be complete for the groundbreaking.

Overall, Mr. Gleeson's main concern about doing a deal with Metrolinx boiled down to design.

"The first thing you have to remember is the [office] tenants that you're going after," he says.

"You're building a Class A product and want to make sure that the office building exudes that impression, that it's very distinct.

When you go into it you shouldn't feel like you're going into a bus terminal and vice versa."

For its part, Metrolinx was trying to accomplish quite a few things by moving its bus terminal, Mr. McCuaig says. Most importantly it wanted an indoor facility for its 55,000 daily customers that connects directly to Union Station so that bus passengers could quickly get onto trains. It also wanted to be as far south as possible, ideally south of the Gardiner Expressway, which would make it easier for buses to avoid having to drive under certain bridges. Anne Marie Aikins, a spokeswoman for Metrolinx, said that while 45 Bay is just north of the Gardiner, buses will be able to exit from Lakeshore.

Once the talks between Ivanhoé and Metrolinx officially began, it took about three years. "Each of us had to mutually arrive at the same conclusion, that we could do it successfully and figure out the logistics," Mr. Gleeson says. The discussions were kept under wraps. "What you want to do is finalize your agreement between the two parties and not end up with a whole bunch of interference from the outside."

The final plan includes 250,000 square metres of premium office space, a larger bus terminal at the base of the tower at 45 Bay St., and a park above the rail corridor.

Ivanhoé and Metrolinx held an international design competition to choose an architect, eventually narrowing the field from 10 to four to one, London-based Wilkinson Eyre.

Ivanhoé is still going through the planning process with the City of Toronto, and is in discussions with potential tenants. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015, and the new bus terminal and first office tower could be finished in 2018.

The project is not without risk.

Ivanhoé is going full steam ahead before having secured lead tenants. This at a time when many observers argue that Toronto's downtown office space is already being overbuilt. Brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield forecasts that, as a result of a spurt in new construction, the vacancy rate for Class A space in the city's central business district will rise from 6.2 per cent this year to 9.1 per cent in 2016, while rents soften from $50.27 per square foot per year to $49.10.

Jonathan Pearce, senior vicepresident of office leasing in Toronto for Ivanhoé Cambridge, shrugs off concerns about overbuilding. Or, more accurately, he suggests they're not his problem. He believes that the new towers are attracting tenants such as banks that would have traditionally been in the older towers that have long defined "Bay Street" in the core. It's the landlords in those buildings who have got a problem, he says.

There is some phasing that's built into the project, or forced on it, because the new bus terminal (with the first office tower on top of it) needs to be up and running before the old bus terminal can make way for the second tower.

But Mr. Gleeson says he's confident tenants will be found in time. "Our team is proceeding full speed ahead right now on all fronts in terms of putting the shovel in the ground in the spring."

Associated Graphic

Blockbuster $2-billion deal includes bus terminal, two office towers on Bay Street, joined by a park that cantilevers over the railway corridor.


Long in the Gardiner's shadow, Fort York now has the public face it deserves with a new Visitor Centre. Its bold - if not yet finished - design brings the city's most important historic site into the 21st century
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M1

Railway lines, abattoirs, a parking lot, two homely bridges and an overhead highway that bears a sooty rush of traffic. This is a partial list of the indignities that have been inflicted on Fort York, the spot where the town of York was founded in 1793.

The 17-hectare site lies near the centre of downtown, and for 200 years has stood in the way of the city's smoke-belching, porkslaughtering growth. Now, it is at the heart of a newly emerging city - the western downtown, populated by car-less young office workers and their pugs.

And the fort finally has the public face it deserves, in the form of a 24,000-square-foot Visitor Centre. It's designed to educate tourists and Torontonians about the 1813 Battle of York, when British, local and First Nations combatants fought to repel a U.S. invasion, helping create a sense of Canada as a nation.

Unfortunately, it isn't quite finished. Like so much of Toronto's public realm in the post-Rob Ford era, the centre is well-conceived but underfunded. Its design, by Vancouver's Patkau Architects and Toronto's Kearns Mancini, has only been partly executed.

Still, this is a sensitive and powerful work of architecture. It speaks to the layers of history embedded here, adding an artful new layer of 21st-century city-building.

The centre is part building, part landscape. It is a long bar that runs east-west along the site's southern boundary, roughly where the shoreline of Lake Ontario lay when the fort was established in 1793. You approach from the old lake bed, now a neighbourhood of new condo towers, and walk between very tall columns that hold up the Gardiner Expressway.

The expressway imposes on the site, a clear symbol of how little 20th-century Toronto cared about its colonial history. Soon after the fort passed from military control to the city in 1903, the city allowed slaughterhouses to be built on both ends of the site and initially planned to run a streetcar line right through the middle of it, demolishing three buildings. In the 1950s, there were plans to route the Gardiner through the site, and Metro chairman Fred Gardiner suggested moving the entire fort as a way to "save" it from that imposition.

Coming to the fort today, you can sense the lost topography as well as the site's military and industrial past. The building appears as a long rampart of rectangular panels, made from steel that has acquired an even patina of rust. A few of the panels appear to be rotated upward, on massive (but non-functioning) hinges, to reveal glass doors, windows and a grand outdoor staircase.

This front façade has an infrastructural heft that stands up to the context. Its use of weathering steel, a material used most famously by American sculptor Richard Serra, is exactly right: Its rust-infused surface is, as detailed by the architects, both tough and dignified. It holds its own against the massive concrete columns that support the Gardiner and it's a bold counterpoint to the mediocre condos across the street.

The Visitor Centre is the first major Toronto project by Patkau Architects. The Vancouver firm, led by John and Patricia Patkau, has a well-earned reputation among Canada's leading designers. Here, they have made serious architecture from a tight budget and what Mr. Patkau described to me as "a very challenging design problem, because of the complexity of the site."

The centre eschews fine details and goes for a few urbanistic and symbolic moves, to powerful effect.

The building is long and linear; its west end houses offices for city and museum staff, and the east end holds galleries and a long foyer, lit by stripes of daylight cutting between the steel panels and thick slabs of interior wall.

The concrete-floored spaces, including a Class-A exhibit space, are elegantly proportioned and precisely detailed.

The foyer is designed to host public events, generating some revenue and also giving people a reason to explore the area.

The foyer connects to a café and a series of galleries, meant to set the scene for visitors before they approach the historic fort itself.

To get out to the historic site, you walk up along a 70-metrelong ramp that switches back on itself. Eventually, it will be be lined by an interactive installation about the 1813 Battle of York.

This is architecture as time machine. You begin in gangly 21st-century Toronto and move upward and back through the centuries. The top of the ramp deposits you on Garrison Common, a green space that abuts the fort. The top of the Visitor Centre emerges from the ground as a wedge-shaped mass of pale-blue cast glass, chiselled and otherworldly.

Here you can see clearly how much of the design is unfinished for lack of funds. At its eastern end, the steel façade peters out into dirt; Patkau Architects and Kearns Mancini imagined another 37 panels of steel here, to match the existing 54. This would make the building, as Mr. Patkau told me, better able to stand up to the mass of the Gardiner.

And its front yard, brilliantly imagined by landscape architect Janet Rosenberg as an "events dock," is similarly incomplete; the design will extend piers of wood into a bay of waving grasses. This outdoor space, under the canopy of the highway, will be spectacular.

Once the necessary money appears, that is.

The Fort York Foundation has raised about one-third of a planned $6-million toward the project's $25-million total. The Visitor Centre opened in September anyway, with financing from all three levels of government and from developers. Another $4-million in donations is needed to complete the building, the landscape and permanent installations within the centre.

It's time for more Torontonians to chip in. This is the city's most important historic site - and the return on investment for open space is obvious. The fort site is part of a planned network of parks linking the 19th-century street grid with the waterfront. The highrise neighbourhoods to the south (at Front and Bathurst Streets), east (CityPlace) and north (Liberty Village) house tens of thousands of people and badly need pedestrian connections and public spaces. (The city is building an excellent new park next door to the fort site.)

New development will add thousands more condo units within walking distance of the site. A new pedestrian bridge to Garrison Common from the north, over the rail tracks, should have been finished by now. Instead, Mayor Rob Ford and his allies on City Council tried to kill it. They succeeded only in delaying it and cutting its budget, so the bridge will open years late in diminished form.

The story of Fort York itself should have a happier ending, and I hope it comes soon.

Associated Graphic

The Fort York Visitor Centre's long façade of weathering steel holds its own against the concrete columns supporting the Gardiner Expressway.


The Visitor Centre building, a long bar running east-west, roughly marks the former shoreline of Lake Ontario when Fort York was established in 1793.


Top: The upper half of the building, clad in channel glass, sits on Garrison Common, a green space next to the fort. Middle: An outdoor staircase runs up one level from the front of the Visitor Centre. Bottom: The weathering steel's rust-infused surface provides a bold counterpoint to the condos across the street.

Admire the art, scorn the artist
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R6

Ariel Pink is an indie rock singer who is about as famous as you can get without being famous-famous. He writes solid, usually silly, sometimes great songs that sound like smudgier versions of the classic pop you're glad to hear at weddings or the supermarket, as a Facebook friend sort of put it. He looks and dresses like Kurt Cobain, except that Kurt Cobain died at 27, and Ariel Pink is currently 36. And he is as much a character as he is a musician, which is a big part of his fame, but also a problem.

In October, a Talk of the Town piece in The New Yorker called him "an indie darling for the better part of a decade," noting the positive attention he has received from Pitchfork, "the millennials' Rolling Stone" (Pitchfork gave his newest album - pom pom, released this week - an 8.8 out of 10). The same piece contained some characteristic quotes: "Everybody's a victim, except for small, white, nice guys who just want to make their moms proud and touch some boobies," he said, responding to accusations that remarks he'd made about Madonna were misogynistic. More recently, he called the Canadian musician Grimes "stupid and retarded" for saying so. He also referred to himself as the "male version of her," which I don't hear or see.

Pink's music is generally acclaimed, but he gets a lot of attention for talking like a bigot, or at least a total jackass. Partly it's because music writers need something to write about, and persona is at least relevant; partly it's because Pink can't seem to stop talking like a bigoted jackass. "I don't understand what all this gay-marriage stuff is about," he told an interviewer from Pitchfork in 2012. "... I love gays, by the way. And I love pedophiles, too. And I love necrophiliacs ... when do they get to talk about their sexual repression and how society doesn't accept them?" (In a recent Guardian article, he clarified that he loves pedophiles "like Jesus loved pedophiles.")

It's not wrong to like the art and scorn the artist. To disregard the good things that "bad people" do strikes me as a little medieval: It presumes that people who do or say bad things are wellsprings of badness rather than complex individuals who make choices every day. And while I have no sympathy whatsoever for Pink's stated views (whether they're sincere or not is too generous a consideration at this point), or for him in light of the backlash they've caused, I do have some general sympathy for the artist whose job is to make music, but who is still expected to answer thousands of questions a year in a sensible manner.

A better example than Pink - both because her work is, in my opinion, much more interesting, and because her career has suffered more for her public rambles - is Azealia Banks, who also released a new album this month, Broke with Expensive Taste. (It contains a collaboration with Ariel Pink, Nude Beach a Go-Go, a song that's featured on his record, too; the two are friends.)

Banks blew up in late 2011, when the video for her single 212 came seemingly out of nowhere to rack up millions of views on YouTube; within months, a deal with Interscope was announced. The following summer, she released a great mixtape called Fantasea, but pretty soon she was getting more attention for her Twitter feuds - sometimes funny, often obnoxious, and sometimes just not okay, as when she called blogger Perez Hilton a "faggot" (a word she's used elsewhere, and hasn't really apologized for - it's been pointed out that Banks is openly bisexual, but, obviously, that doesn't make it all right).

Her debut studio LP was originally slated for release in September, 2012, but the date was pushed back again and again; last January, Banks publicly pleaded with her label to drop her already, and by July, she was free.

She won back the rights to her songs, entered a new partnership with management and record company Prospect Park, and, on Nov. 6, released a distinctive, genre-skipping and lyrically gymnastic debut that was entirely worth the wait. The only impact her dickishness has had on her music is delaying it. (And really, let's put this in perspective: Banks was barely out of her teens when millions of people started caring what she had to say. She's a black woman, with her own vision, making her own way through the music industry - her patience has had to withstand a great deal more than, say, Ariel Pink's.)

I'd like to make a fine distinction here: You can love the art of an artist whose actions offend you. But I don't think you can - or at least, I can't - separate the art from the artist altogether. It's just that most people are multifaceted; a neat thing about art in general is that it comes from an iteration of self that is not always the same one giving interviews or making the tabloids. In the end, it's not a matter of whether you approve of an artist's words or actions, but whether you like them or not. We're drawn to artists the way we're drawn to friends, which is to say, for nebulous reasons that often have nothing to do with morals. (And I think even villains deserve friends, not that Banks or even Pink are villains.) This matters more in a climate in which many, many artists are vying for attention, but no amount of image management will change the impression someone gets from your work.

I like Banks. I don't know if I like Pink. Not just because he's a 36-year-old white guy ranting about feminists, gay people and his own sense of persecution, but because he has a lousy attitude. I'm less upset by his comments, which seem more idiotic than barbed, than by the fact that he trolls his audience. (At his most callous, he comes across like the walking genital wart Tim Heidecker plays in The Comedy, of which A. O. Scott wrote: "His racist, homophobic and misogynist rants are delivered not with any evident irony, but rather proceed from the sense that he is entitled never to be taken seriously.")

Furthermore, I hear it in the music. Considering his public persona, Pink's overall kookiness - his at times inflammatory lyrics, the thing where he slips into a silly falsetto right at a song's emotional peak - starts to piss me off. He seems to go out of his way to undermine his credibility as an emotionally endowed human being, which makes me feel like a sucker for responding to his work. It's like dancing with someone who insists on doing goofy, exaggerated moves because they'd rather seem like a "bad dancer" than a bad dancer.

An artist's flaws and missteps aren't always hurdles to their work. Next to her incredible talent, Banks's short fuse is sometimes relatable, even endearing, whereas Pink's defensive goofing makes me feel as though I'm wasting my time, no matter how good his records might be. There are plenty of great artists to pay attention to.

Associated Graphic

Ariel Pink is as much a character as he is a musician, which is both a part of his fame and a problem.


The father of candid glamour
Once upon a time, fashion photography was posed and confined to studios. That all changed with the arrival of Arthur Elgort, the subject of a new book and Toronto exhibition
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L4 @Jeanne_Beker

Until the early sixties and long before street style took off, fashion photography was largely confi ned to studio spaces with controlled lighting. Then along came Arthur Elgort, a Brooklynborn art student who pushed the perimeters of the fashion photography of the day by capturing his subjects on the move and in natural light. His snapshot approach revolutionized the art form and soon major magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, GQ and Rolling Stone couldn't get enough of Elgort's irreverent, emotionally charged work. Credited with liberating fashion photography, Elgort was an unwitting trailblazer - and consequently adored by the supermodels of his era. His work is currently being celebrated in a new book (The Big Picture, published by Steidl) and in an exhibition at the Izzy Gallery in Toronto's Yorkville district until the end of the month.

In his monumental photographs of fashion's great beauties - including Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Kate Moss - Elgort offers a unique brand of raw, spirited intimacy atypical of conventional fashion photography. His impromptu shots of a ladylike Turlington coyly taking a swig of champagne at a Paris restaurant or of a smoking Kate Moss posing on a tabletop in revealing militaristic ensemble at the legendary Brasserie Lipp speak volumes about Elgort's joie de vivre and his laid-back relationship with models. A lover of jazz and dance, Elgort continues to shoot at the age of 74 and is as cool and charming as he was when I fi rst met him almost 30 years ago. I caught up with the groundbreaking, impish photographer at the Izzy Gallery on the afternoon of his opening, where we talked about girls, iPhones and what makes a good model.

Why did you get into fashion photography in the fi rst place?

I was a painting major and I'd get my hands dirty all the time painting. I was also working in a restaurant and my hands made people feel like, "I don't want to deal with him!" So I decided to just be a photographer. Not only that, but I did it because I could meet some more girls, to tell you the truth.

I heard that it was also because you loved people so much and painting is a very solitary thing.

Very solitary, yes. I was alone all the time. I used to paint not-bad pictures. But I wasn't as good as [Willem] de Kooning or Franz Kline.

Where did you get your camera?

I was working as a waiter, so I made a lot of money. I used to have a tin box I'd save my money in and, when I had enough, I bought my fi rst camera, which was a Nikon.

And what was your subject matter?

I'd take photos of the girls at school, because there was a school full of girls: only 300 boys and a thousand girls! So I'd say, "Come over here ... I want to take your picture!" You know, stuff like that.

And they were willing?

Yes, and I always gave them prints. I learned how to print right away.

I look at your pictures now and all the models always seemed so relaxed around you. What makes a good model in your mind?

One that's relaxed.

So it's a personality thing?

Yes. But a good figure doesn't hurt, right? And long legs don't hurt either, if you think about it.

What comes across as really beautiful to you?

Well, Christy Turlington for one. She was defi nitely beautiful from the start and, if you've seen her lately, well, she hasn't changed at all and she doesn't have any faults.

Who first discovered you?

I had started with Mademoiselle, a magazine that doesn't exist anymore. They gave me a cover and 12 pages! That helped a lot.

And do you remember the editorial that you shot?

Yes, it was called "Hangouts" and I shot at the restaurant and the automat and all the places that I liked. The editors were very free at the time. If you had a good idea and you wanted to use a certain girl, they'd just say, "Use them!" But I don't think that happens anymore.

What gave you confi dence in yourself and your work from such an early stage?

I have no idea. I was just lucky.

I mean, is this just part of your personality? I think so. Remember, even my children are like that. Ansel [Elgort] is a famous actor, more famous than me now. He was in The Fault in Our Stars. He is the same way. He went to high school and then he dropped out and said, "I'm not going to college. I'm going to be a famous actor!" And guess what? He is.

How supportive were your parents when you said you were going to be a photographer?

They thought I was crazy, but then they went to the beauty parlour and saw my photograph on the cover of Mademoiselle and said, "You know what? You're right!" So they were proud also.

What do you think about everybody and their grandmother thinking they're a photographer these days ? Do you welcome that?

Well, the iPhone helped that, right or not. So you have to understand, I was lucky: There was no iPhone at the time. You wanted to call somebody, you went to a phone booth and you took nickels and dimes and put them in and you said, "Hello!" Right now, everybody is on the phone. In fact, they're on the phone all the time.

And do you welcome this accessibility?

It all changed and I got used to it. And I've learned how to work with digital and I don't mind it. And my daughter is a very good digital photographer and now she's learning fi lm from me. But the iPhone came along and everybody is a photographer now. And it's fi ne with me because I don't have anything to lose.

But there was such a level of artistry to what you did and what you still do. And now, everyone thinks he or she is an artist!

It's fine. They all know who's the real artist and who isn't. It doesn't matter. I don't worry about it.

You're not a snob.

Well, I don't know about that - maybe I am! Who knows?

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

SHOOTING OUTSIDE THE BOX Before New York photographer Arthur Elgort (above left) came along, fashion shoots were largely limited to studios. Elgort, though, preferred to capture his subjects in natural light and in motion; he also had a knack for making his models feel relaxed. Included in an exhibition of his work at Toronto's Izzy Gallery are a 1988 shot of Christy Turlington sipping champagne in Paris (top) and a candid snap of Turlington and Linda Evangelista smoking cigars in 1989 (above right).


NOT-SO-STILL LIFE Movement is an important element in Elgort's work, as demonstrated in this photograph of Iman taken for Vanity Fair magazine in 1986.


Call me foolish, but there's one Bordeaux I'd happily shell out that amount of cash for
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L10 @Beppi_Crosariol

How would you describe a person willing to spend $250 on a bottle of wine? "Stupidly rich" might be an accurate answer in most cases.

But I suspect the sanest among you would generally be more inclined simply to go with "stupid." I've been there (not the "rich" part), though rarely. And while I might agree that $250 would be better spent on, say, a year's worth of water or beer, the part that makes me feel most foolish is that I blew that crazy dough on wines other than the first one listed below.

Collectors of super-luxury Bordeaux will know the name Pontet-Canet. It ranks among the region's elite reds, one of 58 "classified growths" cited in the famous hierarchy set out in 1855 (at the request of Napoleon III) listing the region's priciest liquids. Yet that classification, in which Pontet-Canet squeaked in on the fifth and bottom tier, is sorely outdated and hardly tells the story of this particular wine.

It's a stunner from the hallowed 2010 growing season, a blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon and merlot in the league of such vaunted first growths as Mouton, Lafite and Latour. Powerful, dense and succulent, it would likely impress any wine lover. It's Vladimir Horowitz at the piano, Jimmy Page on guitar, Dr. Dre at the mic.

The great U.S. critic Robert Parker, whose numerical scores are wine-geek gospel, awarded it a perfect 100 points. To taste it, he wrote, is a "privilege."

It marks the culmination of a long and sometimes troubled history for Pontet-Canet. The property had already been in decline in 1855, when it was simply known as Canet, and by the early 1970s the château had sunk low enough, figuratively speaking, to become embroiled in a fraud scandal. Then-owners the Cruse family had taken to passing off cheap table wine at classified-growth prices by altering records. Lionel Cruse's cover-up and the resulting controversy pushed him to sell the property to Cognac merchant Guy Tesseron in 1975. Since then, quality has soared, notably under Guy's son, Alfred Tesseron, who took over in the mid-1990s.

The younger Tesseron, who also owns the excellent fourth growth Château Lafon-Rochet, adopted organic farming practices, complete with horses that shuffle through the vineyard to gently turn soil with their hooves (tractors tend to compact and degrade the dirt). He also hired famed French consultant Michel Rolland to work his magic.

If Pontet-Canet's 2010 seems outrageously expensive, consider it in the context of its famed Bordeaux neighbour, Château Mouton Rothschild, at about $700. Parker's score for Mouton's 2010 was "98-plus."

My math tells me that a fool and his money would be better off with Pontet-Canet.

Château Pontet-Canet 2010 (France) SCORE: 98 PRICE: $249.85

The nose-bleed price is enough to give most consumers pause, but this is glory juice. Pontet-Canet, an organic estate in the Pauillac commune within field-goal range of Château Mouton Rothschild, captured the essence of the great 2010 vintage. Ripe with concentrated blackcurrant-like fruit and notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and classic Pauillac minerality, it is simultaneously succulent and powerful, with a truckload of chewy-sticky tannins that bode well for long-term cellaring. Lay it down for 30 years if you possess the patience and expect to be in fit form to enjoy a roast-beef dinner in 2044. $312.50 in Manitoba, $237 in Quebec.

Billaud-Simon Montée de Tonnerre Chablis 1er Cru 2009 (France) SCORE: 94 PRICE: $47.95

Sublime chardonnay, this elegant and complex white glides along with notes of apricot, cooked apple and pastry dough, kept lively by fresh acidity and a pleasantly tangy oxidative quality owing to its five years of evolution. Drinking beautifully now, it should continue to improve for five years. It would be glorious with fish pie, chicken scallopini with mushrooms, poached salmon with mayonnaise or rabbit terrine with mustard. Available in Ontario.

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2011 (Australia) SCORE: 93 PRICE: $44.95

A fabulous blend of almost equal parts cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, Penfold's 2011 Bin 389 is smartly crafted, showing concentrated cherry-cassis fruit set against firm, chewy-dry tannins, carried to a long spicy finish. Grilled lamb or beef would be splendid, though it will evolve handsomely for at least 15 years. $69.99 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $69.99 in Manitoba, $44.79 in Nova Scotia.

Salomon Undhof Alte Reben Gruner Veltliner 2012 (Austria) SCORE: 93 PRICE: $21.95

A panoply of subtle flavours in this mid-weight yet substantial Austrian white. Silky and very dry, it suggests orchard fruit (including a pleasant note of slightly bruised apple), dried grain, flint and white pepper. Great gruner. Available in Ontario.

Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes-Hermitage 2012 (France) SCORE: 91 PRICE: $24.95

Here's a red that instantly telegraphs its grape and origin, namely syrah from the northern Rhône Valley. Medium-full-bodied, it sports a polished texture and supple tannins, with juicy dark fruit and classic Crozes-Hermitage notes of smoky game, white pepper and leather. This is marvellous with roast lamb. Available in Ontario.

Stefano Farina Le Brume Langhe Rosso 2009 (Italy) SCORE: 91 PRICE: $16.95

A red blend of crisp barbera with firm, tannic nebbiolo (of Barolo fame), this gem displays good concentration, with dried-cherry fruit, a wonderfully Piedmontese note of shoe polish, elegant tannins and excellent structure. It's a bargain for something that approaches the quality of, and flavours in, decent Barolo. Available in Ontario.

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Chile) SCORE: 90 PRICE: $17.95

Dry as a cat's tongue, this is expressive, sunny cabernet with Old World structure and elegance. Brimming with cassis, it comes with classic Chilean savouriness in the form of mint, cedar and tobacco. It's a perfect red for juicy steak. $22.99 in B.C., $23.86 in Manitoba, $24.99 in New Brunswick, $24.98 in Newfoundland.

Château Le Grand Verdus 2010 (France) SCORE: 90 PRICE: $15.95

Well, what have we here: good quality red Bordeaux at a moderate price? You bet. Full-bodied, ripe and polished, Grand Verdus offers up juicy berry fruit backed by integrated tannins, food-friendly acidity and a whisper of mineral. It's great for steak. Various prices in Alberta.

Zinfatuation Zinfandel 2012 (California) SCORE: 89 PRICE: $16.95

Puns on the word zinfandel are a big thing in California (Cardinal Zin, 7 Deadly Zins). I'd suggest looking beyond the potential cringe-factor here. It's made by Trinchero, better known for the bargain Sutter Home brand. Full-bodied and luscious, it comes across with velvety plum, chocolate and berries and a hint of raisin. Jammy yet balanced with acidity and spice, it would be a fine match for saucy-spicy red meats or a cheese course. $16.99 in B.C., $18.99 in Manitoba.

Zenato Valpolicella Superiore 2012 (Italy) SCORE: 89 PRICE: $17.95

Medium-bodied, juicy and succulent, this red is built around a cherry-like core, with supple tannins and lively acidity. Try is with saucy meats and cheeses. $17.85 in Quebec, $19.79 in New Brunswick, $17.97 in Newfoundland.

Gamble at age 9 paid off for Hutcherson
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R2

It amuses me when stars say that, as kids, they knew they wanted to act. Most children are natural actors: They are the centre of their universe; they love drama; and what is playing pretend if not nascent scene work? So it's not unusual that Josh Hutcherson, the baby-faced, 22year-old co-star of The Hunger Games series, announced his ambitions at age four.

(For those unfamiliar with the series, whose third instalment, Mockingjay - Part 1, opens today: Hutcherson plays Peeta, one of two rivals vying for Katniss, the archer-cum-revolutionary played by Jennifer Lawrence. Peeta is the sweet one, a baker. Gale, the moody one, a miner who's always attractively covered in coal dust, is played by Liam Hemsworth.)

What is unusual is this: At age nine, living in small-town Union, Ky., Hutcherson grabbed the yellow pages, looked up talent agencies, and phoned one in Cincinnati, Ohio, the nearest city. Their response was, "Talk to your parents," he recalled in a phone interview this week.

In the first real step that divides kids who like to act from kids who become actors, Hutcherson's parents took him seriously. They phoned the agency, set up a meeting. A few months later, his mother drove him across the country, checked into a motel on L.A.'s fringes - "a dingy little place," he says, laughing - and began ferrying him to auditions, often five a day.

He loved it (that's the second step). "It was fun. It was a dream come true. It meant I was an actor."

The third step: He was good at it. He landed TV pilots, telefilms, a guest spot on ER. He played a kid in a Robin costume in American Splendor. And then, jackpot: He won the lead in The Polar Express, opposite Tom Hanks. It made $183-million (U.S.).

Hutcherson's mother quit her job with Delta Airlines, and began home-schooling him, managing his career, and travelling with him - out to film sets, back to L.A. for auditions. His younger brother and his father, an analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, held down the fort in Kentucky. The family tried to go no more than two weeks without seeing each other, Hutcherson says, "whether that meant someone driving back across the country, or flying somewhere in the middle to meet up." And the work kept coming: Hutcherson played soccer opposite Will Ferrell in Kicking & Screaming; played Robin Williams' son in RV; played the son to Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right.

Hanks taught him the adage that "fame doesn't change you, it magnifies you," Hutcherson says. "If you're an asshole, you become a more evident asshole. If you're a good person, you become a good person in a bigger way." He decided to be the latter. In honour of two uncles who died of AIDS, he co-founded a gaystraight alliance called Straight But Not Narrow.

In our interview, which happened two hours late because his schedule was so loaded, he was energetically earnest - though his straight-from-the-playbook answers did remind me of the scene in Bull Durham where Kevin Costner teaches Tim Robbins how to talk without saying anything.

For example, Hutcherson says that filming Mockingjay - Part 1 was great, if a little lonely, because Peeta is separated from his pals: "It was sad knowing my best friends were making another movie and I wasn't there." Shooting a climactic scene in which Peeta becomes violent was great, though he did feel drained at the end of the day: "I was a bit of a zombie on the car ride home." And he has so many happy memories from the series that he can't name a particular one: "Every moment is so good. All the time, we're just being ourselves, having fun. Even just hanging out in our hotel rooms after wrap - talking, doing nothing, listening to music - is the best thing. It's such a genuine, pure love that it's there all the time."

His co-star Lawrence is also great, he continues, "the definition of outgoing. Always on, always funny. So caring and considerate of people around her. She speaks from her heart, in real life and as an actress. People crave authenticity, and she has that."

On the publicity circuit, the two are as goofy as puppies together, and have been since their first conversation, when Jen phoned Josh to congratulate him on being cast. The first thing she said to him - apropos of nothing - was, "Imagine getting a catheter - oh my god, right?" A few seconds later, she was on to the subject of demon possessions. "It was the craziest, weirdest conversation I'd ever had," Hutcherson says, "and our relationship has lived up to that - it's been weird and wonderful all along the way. Jen has no filter whatsoever."

While some actors balk at playing the second lead to a woman, worried they may look weak, Hutcherson "never felt that way," he says. "I just want to play the most interesting characters I can. So if I'm the damsel in distress in this at times, I don't have any problem with that." And when the fans scream his name, his initial reaction may be, "Whoa, that's weird," but he also realizes, "It's cool to be in a position where, just by saying hi to someone or taking a photo, they can get so excited and so happy that they're crying."

In the Hunger Games, children between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen by lottery to compete to the death, and various adults - played by Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci and Philip Seymour Hoffman - are on hand to coerce them. Similarly, in Hollywood, the children whose acting dreams come true support a multibilliondollar industry. The first two Hunger Games movies have grossed more than $1.5-billion worldwide. Generating that much and more are the kids from the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises. The leading players are still young: Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart are 24; Daniel Radcliffe is 25. They've succeeded beyond their childhood fantasies, but they've worked beyond their years to do it.

Hutcherson is glad he started as a child, "because I wasn't aware of that pressure," he says. "If I'd started at 15, I would have felt more pressure, because I knew my family was sacrificing so much. But I was so young, I didn't think about the economics or logistics. I just was like, 'I love this.' Once I became successful, I was able to take care of my family, I was able to afford to fly to see them.

"But it was a huge sacrifice on my family's part," he continues. "To break the mould of the traditional, perfect family - to allow me to split the family up to go for my dreams - was a huge risk. I'm really happy it paid off."

Associated Graphic

Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta in The Hunger Games series, says he has no problem playing the second lead to a woman: 'If I'm the damsel in distress in this at times, I don't have any problem with that.'


Brazil launches ambitious treatment-as-prevention plan to target HIV
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A1

NITEROI, BRAZIL -- They make several furtive passes of the front door of Pela Vidda before they duck inside and mumble a request at the front desk. They are whisked upstairs, where a calm counsellor speaks to them for a few minutes, then swabs the inside of their mouths and whips out a little plastic tray. A few more minutes and they get the news. Sometimes it's good, but remarkably often the test says HIV-positive.

The scene plays out every day in the gleaming offices of this AIDS organization. Anxious walk-ins, most of them gay or transgender youth, tug their hoodies over their heads and come seeking a rapid HIV test on a residential street. And with every cheek swabbed, this country takes another small step toward achieving a very big goal.

Brazil has a long history of innovation on HIV and is held up as the great developing country success story in fighting AIDS.

Brazil had national free public AIDS treatment before anywhere else, and it had huge success enlisting gay men, sex workers and drug users in the fight to stop the virus. But with a new plan launched late last year, Brazil is poised to go one step further. It wants to stop the spread of HIV by putting every single person who has the virus on treatment, whether they are sick or not.

The concept - known as "treatment as prevention" - has Canadian roots. It was pioneered by, among others, Julio Montaner, a leading AIDS physician in British Columbia and former president of the International AIDS Society who credits it with the fact that Vancouver closed its AIDS ward earlier this year. It's policy now in B.C. - and while Canada as a whole hasn't adopted it, China, Australia, France and the U.S. all want to use the model.

But Brazil has gone furthest, and with 720,000 people living with HIV, this country has taken the concept to a whole new scale, once again blazing an ambitious path in the response to AIDS.

Thirty years ago, Brazil's dedicated push on HIV helped rein in the epidemic, cutting new infections sharply. But those numbers started to creep up again because Brazil got complacent, its own officials agree, and for two other key reasons. First, the virus has spread into every nook and cranny of the country, including the vast swaths of the Amazon forest where the health system struggles to provide even basic care. And second, in Brazil like everywhere else, there is a generation of young people who don't recall the devastation AIDS wrought in the 1980s, who think of it as a treatable illness, and for whom safer-sex messages fall on deaf ears.

"Our strategies have been failing, and it's clear we need a new one," said Inacio Queiroz, president of the chapter of Pela Vidda (For Life) in this city across the bay from Rio de Janeiro.

That's where the new plan comes in. Putting people on antiretroviral therapy (ARVs) stops the spread of HIV because people on treatment have so little presence of the virus in their bodily fluids that it's called "undetectable"; they are 90 per cent less likely to infect partners with whom they have unprotected sex or share needles. (The virus is still present in genomic material in their cells and eventually starts to circulate again, when it grows resistant to the medication.)

Under the leadership of Fabio Mesquita, a hard-charging public health expert who took over the national AIDS program in mid-2013, Brazil resolved to get all 720,000 people with HIV on to treatment within a few years, including the 150,000 people who don't yet know they have the virus. And while it is hard enough to do in the heart of a major city like Sao Paulo, it's wildly difficult in the Amazon.

Brazil has posted remarkable results: In a normal year, the country was putting 34,000 new people on ARV treatment; by the end of this year, it will have started 85,000.

Key to the swift expansion is offering more tests - especially to the young gay men, crack addicts, sex workers, people with TB, the homeless and others considered vulnerable. Testing has been taken out of clinics and is now offered at community organizations such as Pela Vidda. Its staffers go into the streets on raucous Friday nights to encourage people to drop in for the quick mouth swab.

Until recently, Brazil followed the global guideline, starting patients on ARVs when their CD4 count - a crucial measure of the immune system that is eroded by HIV - hit 500 or below. But Dr. Montaner said a surprise finding from Vancouver was that people tolerate the drugs better, stay healthier longer and have an overall drop in mortality if they start treatment while they are still showing no signs of ill health.

But not everyone is convinced the new plan is a good one. "We support the universality of treatment, of course, but treatment is more than drugs and there isn't consensus universally that this is the best policy," said Ana Lucia Amarante, a researcher and psychologist who works with Pela Vidda.

She ticked off concerns: Offering testing is fine, but what if it becomes pressure or forcing people? Can Brazil's health system hold up to monitoring all these people? How would patients be supported to stay on their medication, which must be taken daily without interruption? What if they started to get slack about safer sex, when their viral load might be creeping up? And there isn't yet sufficient research on the health impact of taking the drugs long-term, she said, or how it might create new avenues for the spread of resistant strains of HIV.

Dr. Montaner noted that activists had identical concerns in Canada at the outset, but soon saw benefits and became supporters of the program.

"It's not really 'test and treat,' " said Sergio Aquino, who heads the AIDS program for the city of Rio de Janeiro, citing the slogan from the big United Nations push. "For us, it's 'test and talk.' Some people don't want to start right away, and they have that right ... some don't want to think of themselves as people with an illness.

"People say we're putting the national interest above the individual patient, but we're not really - the only form of prevention we have is condoms," Dr. Aquino added. "Collective prevention is all that we have left - that's true globally, not just for Brazil."

Simultaneously, Brazil is implementing a large-scale "pre-exposure prophylaxis" plan, in which people who are HIV-negative but believed to be at highest risk are offered ARVs to keep them from getting infected should they be exposed. It's by far the largest such initiative in the world.

"There's no precedent for doing this in an epidemic like ours," said Dr. Mesquita, the national AIDS program chief. "But we think we can do it."

Associated Graphic

Top: HIV testing is now offered at community organizations such as Pela Vidda, which aims to foster community among HIV-positive and HIV-negative Brazilians with regular art classes. Bottom: Pedestrians pass Pela Vidda headquarters in Niteroi, Brazil.


Does your toddler eat kale? How about oysters on the half shell? Zosia Bielski wades into the fraught world of parenting in a food-obsessed age
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

On any random day, Adam Mansbach's daughter will reject pancakes at breakfast, deciding she wants spaghetti instead. She'll ignore the contents of her lunchbox, then clamour for pancakes before bed, after dad has settled into a Scotch, neat.

Mansbach, author of the bestselling children's book for adults Go the Fuck to Sleep, has published a sequel, titled You Have to Fucking Eat. With his daughter Vivien now six years old and as obstinate as ever, Mansbach is turning his lens to picky eating, another universal parental struggle.

But unlike getting rowdy kids to go to bed, getting children to eat what you want them to is a more public battle. What parents manage to feed their kids does not go unnoticed, from their lunchboxes to the checkout aisle to a meal at a restaurant, where you get to watch other children eat everything set before them, or reject sustenance with a tantrum. Mansbach and others say that parents who have lost the battle - feeding picky eaters a steady diet of tater tots - feel increasingly judged by other adults.

"There's always this glancing and the shame and the comparing yourself or your kid to others, which to me reflects some of the worst of parenting culture," Mansbach said in an interview from New York.

Once a normal part of childhood, picky eating is now another knock in the game of competitive parenting. Aside from worrying that their kid may be malnourished and feeling like they've failed at something basic, parents also have to contend with evolving their children's palates, amid tacit judgment from other moms and dads. Getting a child to eat is a loaded public exercise, even as you grapple with your own personal issues with food as an adult.

It's an anxiety pronounced for this generation of self-professed foodies who see what's on the plate as a kind of currency that telegraphs their identity.

"There's a lot of pressure right now on parents to be feeding their families perfect food and there's a lot of worry about food. I think we need to take the lid off the pressure cooker," says Emma Waverman, a Toronto mother of three and co-author of Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters.

Waverman says that parents now treat all food as nutritional fuel, an approach that dials up the stress when kids reject the offerings: "Not everything that goes into their body has to have a nutritional impact. They can also eat for enjoyment and thrill," says the author, adding that Mansbach's expletive-ridden book "rings true because it is frustrating and it is emotional."

She believes that much of the comparing happening now between parents boils down to personal insecurity, not wanting to make others feel bad. Still, she can easily identify the braggarts whose kids walk around with kale chips, and food websites that "make parents feel worse if their kids aren't eating mini kale soufflés."

Other parents insist that just like potty training, extracurriculars and volunteer hours, food easily turns into another sport in the overly ambitious landscape of modern childrearing. A reflection of this: In October, The New York Times released Small Plates, an instantly viral video featuring second-graders from Brooklyn dining on a seven-course, $220 tasting menu at the acclaimed French restaurant Daniel. Part of the interest here was in a test of these young palates: Some children gobbled the crispy Japanese snapper, others balked at the cured Hamachi and one mostly stuck to the madeleines. Star chef Daniel Boulud oversaw the meal, explaining that the goal was "for the children to really discover a lot of flavour, a lot of layers, a lot of texture."

The pride of raising a mini gourmand - or "koodies" as Chicago magazine has dubbed them - is also evident in the rise of "locavore" camps that see urban kids sampling goat milk and grading fresh eggs, as well as cooking classes for children, such as the one hosted earlier this year at Toronto's hipstery Pizzeria Libretto for precocious pizza tossers.

Then there was 12-year-old restaurant critic David Pines, who had his elders take him on "food hunts" so he could scribble notes under the table about kimchee dumplings and Cuban sandwiches. Widening children's palates set aside, is it about the kids, or a new bragging right for the PTA parent?

Brandee Foster, a Fraser Valley, B.C., mom who blogs about parenting at, has felt the bristle of competitive foodie parenting. She says her athletic six-year-old son is resistant to vegetables and red meat, leaving her occasionally worried about his weight. On top of that, she's been repeatedly criticized by other moms at the grocery store for buying him yogurt drinks with added sugar. These women have helpfully suggested plain organic Greek yogurt with fruit or honey. "It's a veneer around somebody - they have to be this perfect Pinterest mom," Foster says.

Jennifer Pinarski, a Centreville, Ont., mom who blogs at Today's Parent, says she's gotten sidelong glances when she tosses Kraft Dinner on the conveyer belt at the grocery store: "You know you're being judged by what gets put into your cart."

She says her four-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son like spicy curry and Ethiopian, but they dig KD, too. Still, that gastro-judgment continues, Pinarski says, pointing to Pinterest boards, Instagram accounts and blogs devoted to artful school lunches teeming with decoratively carved cucumbers and whimsically arranged cold cuts (that would inevitably get pulverized in a kid's backpack). "They make me kind of feel guilty that my lunches aren't as beautiful," Pinarski says.

Even among parents who've won the lottery with gastronomically open-minded kids, there remains an inverse anxiety that your child's advanced palate (and attendant parental pride) reads as snobbery. Mansbach says that while his daughter is inconsistent, she is an adventurous eater who once ate an oyster on the halfshell when she was 2. "I was highfiving everybody," recalls Mansbach. Today, he says Vivien is into sushi: "That makes me sound like a jerk who's bragging about his kid being into sushi."

Ceri Marsh, co-author of How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook, says: "My kids are so those obnoxious kids. They both had a playdate and they were talking about food with their friends. My daughter turns to her friends and says, 'Have you had the octopus at Terroni? It is so good.' I was like, 'Oh Christ.' "

Parents like Foster think breaking down the competitiveness would help all parents - the kale and Kraft Dinner eating - in the long run.

"If we were less hard on each other it would be a lot easier to relate to people," says Foster. "If we could open it up and say, 'I'm doing the best I can and for me that means fruit snacks and for you that means hand-dried raisins,' that would be great."

Associated Graphic



And now for something completely John Cleese
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R12

John Cleese, the co-founder of Monty Python's Flying Circus, is one of the greatest and most prolific comic writers and actors in history. Since escaping England's ultra-middle-class Weston-superMare and joining the Footlights drama club at Cambridge, where he studied science and then switched to law, Cleese has produced a steady stream of sketches, one-man shows, TV appearances, movie roles, voiceovers for animated and videogame characters, commercials, training videos and TV specials. (His $20-million divorce from California psychotherapist Alice Faye Eichelberger in 2008 has forced him, by his own admission, to earn an additional $1-million a year until he turns 76 next year.)

The most recent addition to Cleese's ever-expanding oeuvre is his new memoir, So Anyway ..., a funny, briskly readable account of his life and the evolution of his sense of humour, from childhood to the early days of the Pythons. In addition to redefining comedy and television in the 1960s, Cleese created the legendary sitcom Fawlty Towers (with his first wife, Connie Booth), appeared in four Monty Python movies, and wrote and starred in A Fish Called Wanda, which was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay.

The master comedian has even voiced a set of directions for TomTom, the GPS in-car directional device - which happened to be the starting point for Cleese's onstage conversation in Toronto earlier this month with Globe and Mail feature writer Ian Brown. An excerpt:

Cleese: I have to tell you something funny [about the TomTom voice over]. My daughter downloaded it, started using it. She said it was impossible for her to actually do what I say.

Brown: There was a story in the newspapera year ago about an elderly English couple following the instructions of a GPS device who drove through the wall of an ancient church. I hope that had nothing to do with you.

Cleese: No. In the old days, we used to do things like look through the windscreen and see where we were going. And then there was this wheel in the middle and if you turned clockwise, the car went to the right? It's too much for people now.

Brown: Your father was a kind man. But your mother sounds like she was a paranoid lunatic.

Cleese: I think that's understated. For example, if she couldn't get her own way, then she would have a tantrum. It's like a lot of the women that I've dated. They rule through weakness. You say: "Well I don't mind so much." And they say: "Well if we don't have the Rolls-Royce, I won't be able to bear it." [Laughter] So you say: "All right, let's get a Rolls-Royce."

Brown: Did that difference make you creative?

Cleese: In my case, we moved a lot, and my parents disagreed. If your parents are constantly arguing, then you have two different points of view and you're trying to figure out how they could fit together or where they don't fit; and this business of trying to reconcile two frameworks seems to make people creative.

Brown: In your book you claim you were a virgin until age 25, which was surprising. You seem to be a very charming fellow.

Cleese: I am! But if your first contact with the female species is with a woman like my mother, you don't immediately feel tremendously at ease with them. And if you then spend 10 years in the British private-school system, where everyone is a fellow. ... Then I met a very nice girl in New Zealand, who just decided it was going to happen, and she followed me to Auckland. And in the Auckland hotel, in about August of 1965, I lost my virginity.

Brown: They'll probably put a plaque in that hotel room now.

Cleese: They should! They should. It would be very good, wouldn't it? They always say "He built the Tower of London." But if you had "The Duke of Marlborough lost his virginity here ..." Brown: In any event, you're on your fourth marriage.

Cleese: To an English girl. I married three Americans, and I thought, well, you know, that's the lesson there. I better try something else, and I met this extraordinarily beautiful woman [jewellery designer Jennifer Wade, who was 38 at the time].

It's quite nice to know that at the age of 69 you could meet the love of your life. Particularly when you've had as many expensive disappointments as I have. You see, I never made the sort of money that Americans made. I mean, for a season of Monty Python, I used to earn £4,000. The money for working for the BBC was like being a successful bank manager.

Brown: You say your aim, always, is to be "really funny." Not "pretty funny," not "witty," not "charming." How did you know, when you were writing, that you were being really funny?

Cleese: It was a nightmare. But my huge stroke of luck was to meet [Monty Python member] Graham Chapman at Cambridge.

What I discovered was if Graham laughed while we were writing something, it meant that the audience was going to laugh. And he was solid gold to me for that.

Brown: You were very surprised when he revealed he was gay.

Cleese: It didn't happen much in 1966. It was much more dramatic when somebody came out.

And when I met Graham, he used to wear these great, heavy broad shoes, and corduroy trousers, you know, and a rather hairy sports jacket with leather patches, and he smoked a pipe, and mountaineered, and drank a lot of beer, and was a medical student. In those days, those were not immediate signs that someone was gay.

[Laughter] Unless of course it was a woman. [Laughter]

Brown: Did his alcoholism wreck your partnership?

Cleese: It was not until the end of the second series [of Monty Python] that we realized how serious the problem was. And then it got harder and harder because we didn't do Python for a year and during that time he went rapidly downhill, and got to the point where he couldn't remember his lines. You'd spend all week polishing a piece of dialogue, and then he wouldn't be able to remember it right. It was one of the reasons I wanted to move on.

Brown: Why do you think people took to the Pythons so strongly?

Cleese: You always feel affection for people who make you laugh, even if it's just a good friend who makes you laugh. But it's more than that. Somebody once said to me that what they loved about Monty Python was that, after they'd finished watching it, they could not watch the news any more. It's pointing out that nobody knows what they're doing.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

ON THE WEB In his own voice

John Cleese dishing on his Monty Python troupe-mates and losing his virginity. Watch videos of the veteran comedian in conversation with Ian Brown at

The art of tanking, 76ers' style
The once-proud hoops franchise has entered the second year of an uneasy exercise in team-building that's testing the limits of fan loyalty, reports Philadelphia native Bob Levin
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

Imagine working every day on, say, an auto assembly line, intent on doing your best but knowing your bosses actually want you to fail, for the steering wheel to shake and the brakes to squeal and the bumper to fall off. They assure customers ("suckers" is the official term) they'll produce terrific cars a couple of years from now.

Welcome to the world of the Philadelphia 76ers, a once-proud hoops franchise in the second year of an uneasy exercise in team-building.

Philadelphia, where America began its experiment with democracy, is now testing the efficacy of tanking and the limits of fan loyalty - maybe not as momentous as that nation-forming thing, but intriguing nonetheless.

It goes like this: Dump your best players, draft highly touted youngsters (preferably injured or playing overseas, so as not to interfere with the prime enterprise of losing) and hope that one day, when the kiddie corps grows up and a few vets sign on to explain about winning, the future will turn Sixer red-white-and-blue. In the words of coach Brett Brown: "I see a big, bright light at the end of this."

Maybe; maybe not. But the present is dark and butt-ugly: an 0-14 record, heading into Wednesday's date with the Brooklyn Nets.

A roster comprised of a few promising kids and D-League fodder, cap space patently unused. Home attendance dropping near the bottom of the league, from the middle ranks in the team's last playoff season of 2012.

If the NBA were soccer's Premier League, the Sixers would be relegated to a lower division, and good riddance.

As it is, the immediate fascination is of the ghoulish sort: Will this singular assemblage of hardcourt spare parts snap the NBA record for most consecutive losses to start a year - 18, set by the 2010 Nets, then of New Jersey? Will it break the full-season mark for futility - nine wins, 73 losses - rung up by the 1973 Sixers? That team at least wasn't trying to be terrible; it earned its place in history.

At this point I should come clean: I am Philadelphiaborn and raised, a long-time Sixers fan. I remember when the franchise moved south from Syracuse in 1963, when Philly's own goliath Wilt Chamberlain returned to town, when his powerhouse squad captured the NBA crown in 1967. I remember Julius Erving, Moses Malone and company repeating the feat in 1983. I rejoiced.

Yes, I have now lived in Toronto for nearly three decades, and time and distance have done their work. I cheered on Vince Carter's Raptors against Allen Iverson's Sixers in the 2001 playoffs - but I retain some vestigial affinity for my hometown team. It hurts to see the Sixers this bad.

Last year they dropped 26 straight games, equalling the NBA's longest losing skid in any stretch of the schedule. They finished the season a sorry 1963. That roster looks like a juggernaut beside this one.

Of course, the real pain belongs to the players. Keep in mind: In the larger realm of run-of-the-mill humanity, they are superb athletes, every one.

They have scored bushels of points, racked up assists and rebounds, raised championship trophies in previous basketball lives. They just aren't good enough, in the current collective, to beat NBA teams actually designed to win. That's not for lack of effort on the players' part, and it burns them no end.

"Losing sucks," says Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams, venting on a website called the Players' Tribune. "I don't care how much money you make or what stats you put up. If you're competitive enough to make it to the NBA, losing is absolutely brutal."

Carter-Williams was one of the few bright spots for the Sixers last season, chosen the NBA's rookie of the year. How does he cope with losing? By tuning out hoops and turning on The Ellen Degeneres Show. (Seriously.)

What does he say to anyone who doubts his effort?

"You can question my shooting. You can question my ceiling. Just don't question if I'm giving my all every single night. Don't talk to me about tanking."

No, talk to owner Josh Harris and general manager Sam Hinkie, the tanking architect. Their rationale is simple: The most dreaded description in the NBA is "mediocre," a middle-of-thepack team slipping into the playoffs but exiting early, never securing the high draft picks - the potential Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, LeBron James - who beget championships.

Hinkie doesn't care how it looks. "I think it's pretty important that you learn how to keep your own scoreboard and how to be focused on what truly matters over the long term," he says.

Bloodless, steely-eyed, an analytics-wielding gunslinger, but fair enough. Hinkie didn't invent tanking, after all. Look at baseball's Florida Marlins, repeatedly stripping off assets and now, poised to win again, signing slugger Giancarlo Stanton to the fattest contract in American sports. Look at the sad-sack Buffalo Sabres, skating for the bottom and Connor McDavid.

But Hinkie has turned tanking into an extreme sport, gaming the NBA system. The problem is, it's rarely that simple. The league's last-place team must still rely on the bounce of PingPong balls, with only a one-infour chance of winning the lottery. And even No. 1 picks are no guarantee of anything - can you say Andrea Bargnani? How about Edmonton Oilers?

Nor is tanking the only path to success. Remember the Raptors dealing Rudy Gay last year and then potentially Kyle Lowry, the white flag starting up the pole, only to stun everyone by winning? Sport isn't all analytics; sometimes it's alchemy, sometimes it's magic.

Then there's the long-term toll on the Sixers' future core, on Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid. "At some point," says former NBA guard and coach Mark Jackson, "you've got to develop a culture of winning and winning habits and gaining some results so the guys can believe it."

Never mind the poor fans, asked to embrace patience, to pay now and forget later. My friend Tom, another member of the Philly diaspora, puts it this way: "I don't see them giving away free tickets while they tank."

As the Founding Fathers might have said, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that not all tanks are created equal - and the Sixers' is downright revolutionary. Is it within the rules? Yes. Could it work out wonderfully? Sure. Do I wish the Raptors had gone the same route?

No - no tanks. Because, my guess is, it will not work out wonderfully at all. My guess is that this undertaking, profoundly cynical, hideous to behold, is doomed to fail: producing a team of talented, damaged, confused kids not far removed from an NBA freak show - a team hell-bent for mediocrity.

Associated Graphic

Philadelphia's Hollis Thompson, Tony Wroten, Michael Carter-Williams and Henry Sims face the Boston Celtics last week. The 76ers have yet to win a game this season.


Footnotes in Del Mastro v. Democracy
Betsy McGregor, who ran against the fraudulent former MP, is concerned about the protracted process required to bring justice
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A23

It was Halloween in two small towns five time zones apart - and the talk was all about the consequences of being tricked.

Dean Del Mastro, then the Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Peterborough, stood outside a Lindsay, Ont., courthouse looking like a fiveyear-old who has just seen his puppy disappear under the wheels of a truck.

He had been found guilty of three counts of election fraud during the 2008 campaign. Justice Lisa Cameron had called his testimony "incredible" and riddled with "inconsistencies and improbabilities." Defiant, he countered, "That's her opinion.

My opinion is quite different."

Mr. Del Mastro vowed to continue sitting as an Independent, only to resign a few days later. He talked about appealing the conviction - which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a fine of up to $6,000, or both - but has not done so with sentencing scheduled for next Friday.

Far away, in the tiny village of Wisk, Wales, Betsy McGregor, who came second to Mr. Del Mastro in that race, had no knowledge that a conviction had been handed down. She had been hiking in the mountains and her drenched BlackBerry was no longer working. The bed-and-breakfast where she stayed had no Internet, no news from Canada.

She had just returned from a three-hour walk around the cliffs that form part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, and her hiking companion, Nicole Cooke, was talking about how one deals with opponents who do not play by the rules, who will do whatever it takes to win the race.

Whether for a gold medal or a seat in the legislature.

Ms. McGregor and Ms. Cooke, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and world champion in women's road race cycling, had developed a strong friendship in recent years. Ms. McGregor, a veterinarian with a résumé that includes work with the United Nations and a hobby that includes climbing some of the world's major mountains, moved on from politics to take up leadership instruction. She works with MBA students by taking them on difficult climbs - metaphor deliberate - combined with lectures. Ms. Cooke, who comes from the little Welsh village of Wisk, was not only in the class but became a good friend of Ms. McGregor's son, Mac Faulkner, a professional hockey player who wound up his career as captain of the Cardiff Devils and is now studying at Harvard University.

The two women finished the hike and repaired to one of Wisk's two pubs. "We were in front of the fire," Ms. McGregor says, "while Dean Del Mastro was before the court."

They talked about the book just released by Ms. Cooke to sensational reception in Britain - and Ms. McGregor found the parallels uncanny. "The themes," Ms. McGregor says, "parallel each other perfectly."

In The Breakaway, Ms. Cooke writes about what it was like to come from a small village and a simple way of life to compete in international cycling, a world infamous for its rule-breaking and cheating. Performanceenhancing drugs (PEDs) seemed as common as pedals in a sport where Lance Armstrong was king of the road in the years in which she was trying to reach the top by staying clean. The year Ms. Cooke won her Olympic gold was the same year of Mr. Armstrong's incredible fall from grace, banned for life for lying about his drug use and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Ms. Cooke was aghast at the amount of doping in her sport. She refused even to stay in the same team house as someone she suspected might be taking PEDs.

"I was clean," she wrote. "And if you lived in the house with me you had to be clean there as well."

It was difficult, Ms. Cooke says, but "I wasn't about to trade in my moral code and principles. If it was ever going to happen for me, it was to happen my way."

It outraged Ms. Cooke that the price paid by those who were caught was usually so small. "Our sport," she says, "came up with meaningless out-of-season penalties for that tiny minority who actually tested positive."

She persevered, stuck to her principles - and in the end she was victorious.

Ms. McGregor, of course, was not - at least not politically. She ran twice against Mr. Del Mastro and lost both times. In 2008, the election in which he has been found guilty of cheating, he received 47.4 per cent of the vote; she got 31.6 per cent. The spread was more than 9,000 votes - impossible to say how critical his transgressions might have been to the eventual win.

"I would be the last person to say that had this not happened I would today be sitting in the House of Commons," Ms. McGregor says.

She believes a candidate can influence, at most, 15 per cent of the vote; the rest depends on the party, slightly less on the leader - she suffered under Stéphane Dion - and on actual policy.

None of that, she says, is the point. What is the point, she argues, is the amount of time it has taken to see action. It took six years and two elections before the charges against Mr. Del Mastro got to court. She believes that Elections Canada, like Statistics Canada, has been crippled by budget and staff cuts. The longform census is a great loss to Canadian planning, she says, just as quick action and decision is a loss to Canadian democracy. In 2008 there was suspicion; it should never have taken to 2014 to have those suspicions confirmed or dispelled.

"Voters, donors, campaign workers and fellow candidates were all denied a fair election," she says. "With his resignation, Peterborough is left with no voice in Parliament. Election fraud is not a victimless crime. It damages democracy and hurts us all. Let us make sure our elected leaders, regardless of party, embody the values that we as a community hold close - ethics and integrity being at the core. Let us ensure that democracy is protected."

Her long talks with Nicole Cooke did give her another thought, though. Not one that would put her in the House of Commons, but one that could give her - and other candidates denied a fair chance - a little peace of mind.

"In cycling," she says, "the yellow jersey does get presented to the second-place competitor [as happened in the Tour de France championships taken away from Armstrong]. And the Canadian shot putter [Dylan Armstrong] who just got his bronze medal from the Beijing Olympics when the putter who took third place on the podium was confirmed to be on PEDs.

"I would love to have an asterisk appear beside my name in parliamentary history - along with those others who came in second behind candidates who committed fraud to win."

Associated Graphic

Betsy McGregor was the candidate who lost to Dean Del Mastro in 2008. She was in Wales hiking when she heard he'd been found guilty of election fraud: 'Voters, donors, campaign workers ... were all denied a fair election.'

No reason to bow to dividend 'aristocrats'
With dividend ETFs you can buy a basket of stocks with a single purchase - but don't dismiss their mutual fund counterparts
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B10

Dividend aristocrats? Please.

Nothing against Exchange Income Corp. and AGF Management Ltd., but the two top holdings in the S&P/TSX Canadian dividend aristocrats index are not premium dividend stocks. A dividend aristocrat raises its dividend every year, and can afford to do it because the underlying business spews cash.

AGF had a dividend yield of 10.8 per cent late this week, which tells you investors wonder whether the annualized cash payout of $1.08 a share is safe. Exchange - formerly an income trust - is in the aviation, manufacturing and infrastructure businesses that has just increased its monthly dividend for the first time since fall, 2012.

Enbridge Inc., Metro Inc., Telus Corp. and Toronto-Dominion Bank - those are true dividend aristocrats.

This distinction is important because it highlights a problem with exchange-traded funds that allow investors to buy a basket of dividend stocks with a single purchase. The indexes these ETFs track aren't all that attractive. In limited cases, dividend mutual funds are worth some thought as an alternative.

It's not just the iShares S&P/ TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index ETF (CDZ) that is based on a less-than-ideal index. The iShares Canadian Select Dividend Index ETF (XDV) tracks the Dow Jones Canada Select Dividend Index, which is about 55-per-cent weighted to financial stocks. The Vanguard FTSE Canadian High Dividend Yield Index ETF (VDY) has almost 58 per cent of its assets in financials and the PowerShares Canadian Dividend Index ETF (PDC) has almost a 59-per-cent financial weighting.

Dividend mutual funds also hold a lot of banks and insurance company stocks, but the largest of them have capped their exposure to this sector at 45 per cent or so. Also, these funds tend to go very lightly on the non-blue chip dividend stocks that figure prominently in the S&P/TSX Canadian dividend aristocrats index.

Judged by performance, dividend ETFs look good. CDZ and XDV returned an average 12.9 and 12.1 per cent annually, respectively, in the past five years on a total return basis (dividends plus changes in the share price), while the S&P/TSX composite total return index made 8 per cent.

Looking at past returns is an unreliable indicator of what the future will bring. Arguably, it's even less useful with dividend ETFs. Dividend stocks are one of the biggest success stories in investing in the past five years, so it's no surprise that dividend ETFs have done well. But what happens if the market trends that have sustained dividend stocks shift?

A more negative tone in the markets might work against the so-called aristocrats that are part of CDZ (to be fair, there are blue chip dividend stocks in it as well). Weakness in bank stocks could work against VDY, PDC and XDV. All of these ETFs are built on imperfect indexes, and this may have negative consequences in the future.

The appeal of index investing is that many actively managed funds can't match the returns from major indexes minus the small cost of owning an ETF. Some active funds will surely beat the index, but predicting which ones is a challenge that is beyond many investors and advisers. Billions of dollars sit in junk mutual funds that have proved inferior to long-term index investments.

But dismissing all mutual funds is foolish because some do good work. Dividend funds are an example. A list of big and notable dividend funds was assembled for this column and, while there are quite a few duds, several have done similarly to dividend ETFs over the past five years. More recent results from these funds beat ETFs in several cases.

Two of the best long-term performers have a common trait - comparatively low fees. The series D version of RBC Canadian Dividend has a management expense ratio of 1.21 per cent, while Beutel Goodman Canadian Dividend D is at 1.50 per cent. Two other lower-fee options would be the Series D versions of Trimark Canadian Plus Dividend Class and BMO Dividend, both of which are new and don't have a track record yet. Series D mutual funds are designed for do-ityourself investors who don't want to pay the advice fees built into the cost of owing most mutual funds.

Beutel Goodman Canadian Dividend is an example of how a dividend mutual fund can offer superior diversification to a dividend ETF. Its weighting in financials was 37 per cent as of Sept. 30, and energy, information technology, telecom services and health care were all at roughly 10 per cent.

However, this fund isn't an ideal example of what dividend funds can do because it had a weighting of almost 26 per cent in U.S. dividend stocks as of Sept. 30. U.S. dividend stocks, which have outperformed lately, are not in the indexes tracked by most Canadian dividend ETFs. So let's look at RBC Canadian Dividend D, which has only a trace level of U.S. content.

Financials were the top holding of this fund at 45 per cent as of the most recent portfolio update, followed by energy, industrials and consumer discretionary stocks. Top holdings are a who's who of blue chip Canada, including the Big Five banks, Suncor, Enbridge, Canadian National Railway and BCE.

RBC Canadian Dividend D's returns over the past five years lag the two dividend ETFs that have been around that long (CDZ and XDV). If we go beyond five years using the example of the older, higher-fee A series of RBC Canadian Dividend, we see returns that have beaten the S&P/TSX composite total return index over every time frame measured in the database. Funds like this will have their ups and downs, and the successful managers running them can leave at any time. Yet, in this case, there's clearly some institutional know-how when it comes to running a portfolio of dividend stocks.

A practical benefit of owning dividend mutual funds like this is that investors can buy and sell them with no commissions from most any online broker. This makes them ideal for automatic monthly or quarterly investment plans. Most brokers charge commissions of up to $10 to trade ETFs.

Another path for investors seeking a fund approach to dividend investing is the actively managed ETF, which is basically an exchange-traded fund that uses active management instead of passively following an index. A few of these ETFs in the dividend category are listed in the accompanying chart. These are new products; let's see more from them before passing judgment.

Follow me on Twitter:@rcarrick


How a selection of exchange-traded funds and mutual funds holding all or mainly Canadian dividend stocks have performed in the past five years.

Associated Graphic

Dividend mutual funds hold financial stocks, but the larger ones have capped their exposure.


Source:, ETF company websites

A leader who 'was always just hockey'
Among many other achievements, he led the Canadian men's team to a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6

With his cigar, florid Irish complexion and love of steaks and Scotch, Pat Quinn was at first glance as old-school as they come in an NHL that long resisted change.

But Mr. Quinn, who died Sunday night at the age of 71 at Vancouver General Hospital after a series of health problems, was a man who could not be judged by his surface.

The Hamilton native was a tough, slow-moving defenceman in the National Hockey League for nine years - his most famous accomplishment as a player was laying out Boston Bruins superstar Bobby Orr with a devastating body check in a 1969 playoff game between the Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs - who went on to become a head coach and general manager whose teams were known for their fast, creative offensive hockey, even in the NHL's obstruction era from the early 1990s through the mid-2000s.

An imposing presence at 6-foot-3 and well over 200 pounds, Mr. Quinn never hesitated to speak his mind. But one of the first things his friends, and even former players who once quaked in his presence, say about him is that he was a friendly giant with a love for telling stories.

Mr. Quinn had little use for many reporters and was known for limiting their access to his players. He was also famous, however, for his detailed and insightful answers to reporters' questions. It was as if he could see exactly what the framework of the story was and - if he agreed with the premise - he would quickly give a concise response that illuminated the issue.

"When he walks in, you know hockey's in the room," Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson, who worked with Mr. Quinn on Hockey Hall of Fame matters, told reporters on Monday.

"He was a wonderful, wonderful man," said Scotty Bowman, who has the most coaching wins in NHL history at 1,244 and was long admired by Mr. Quinn, who placed fifth at 684. "Pat was welleducated but he didn't push it on you. He was always just hockey, all the time."

That, too was one of Mr. Quinn's contradictions. In an era when NHL players with a high-school diploma stood out, he earned an undergraduate degree at Ontario's York University in the late 1960s and early 1970s when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and eventually earned a law degree from Widener University in Delaware (although he never practised).

At the time of his death, Mr. Quinn was the chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame and partowner of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. He leaves his wife, Sandra, daughters Kalli and Val, and three grandchildren.

"I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for Pat," Trevor Linden, the Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations, who played for Mr. Quinn in the 1990s, said in a statement. "He was a great leader and always a teacher. He taught me how to be a professional on and off the ice."

Mr. Quinn never won a Stanley Cup but in 15 full seasons as a head coach, his teams only missed the playoffs three times.

In the 1979-1980 season, he coached the Philadelphia Flyers, an ordinary team that had an extraordinary season including a 35-game undefeated streak, a record which is unlikely to be broken thanks to the demise of the tie in the NHL. He got them into the Stanley Cup final, where they lost in six games to the New York Islanders. Bob Nystrom scored the cup-winning goal in overtime for the Islanders on a play that Mr.

Quinn and many others thought was clearly offside. From that point on, the NHL's on-ice officials joined reporters and certain lazy players as those Mr. Quinn viewed with a jaundiced eye.

In 1994, Mr. Quinn took the Vancouver Canucks to the NHL final, losing in seven games to the New York Rangers.

He also coached the Maple Leafs, the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers and was general manager of the Canucks and Leafs. He was selected the NHL's coach of the year with the Flyers in the 1979-1980 season and in 1991-1992 with the Canucks.

Despite the lack of a Stanley Cup, Mr. Quinn had his triumphs.

He guided the Canadian men's team to the 2002 Winter Olympics gold medal in Salt Lake City - the first Olympic hockey title for Canada in 50 years. He also won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey with Canada and a world junior gold for Canada in 2009.

At the 2002 Olympics, the Canadian women won gold a couple of days before the men and their star player, Hayley Wickenheiser, never forgot seeing Mr. Quinn turn up at the team bench as the women won. "One of my [favourite] Pat Quinn moments was him in tears on our bench after winning gold in Salt Lake 02. He said women inspired the men," Ms. Wickenheiser said Monday on Twitter.

A few years before that historic double gold for Canada, Mr. Quinn was asked about the chances of a woman making it into the NHL. He said he wasn't sure women would ever play in the league but was unequivocal about coaching and managing: "Men have proven you don't have to play [in the NHL] to be good at your job. So why not a woman?" Mr. Quinn, who was born in Hamilton on Jan. 29, 1943, will be remembered as a teacher and an innovator. During his years with the Canucks from 1987 to 1997 as president, general manager and head coach, at least six future NHL head coaches and GMs learned their trade under him: Brian Burke, George McPhee, Marc Crawford, Ron Wilson, Mike Murphy and Rick Ley.

"His greatest strength is his ability to listen," Mr. Wilson once said of his time with Mr. Quinn.

"That's what makes him such a good coach. He gets a lot of input from the players and the coaches."

Mr. Quinn believed success comes only from working as a team, on the ice and in the front office.

"This is still a people business no matter which way you look at it," Mr. Quinn said. "It's not a oneman show. It never can be if it's to be successful. People are given the opportunity to do things and in doing so, they develop a skill level."

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

ON THE WEB Pat Quinn photo gallery For a look back at Pat Quinn's life in hockey, go to

Associated Graphic

Team Canada's head coach Pat Quinn oversees a team practice in preparation for the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa.


Pat Quinn skates as an Atlanta Flames defenceman during the 1976-1977 season.

Some of the modern world's most significant developments - good and bad - have roots in Serbia. A trip to Belgrade sheds light on stories that deserve more attention, and reveals a city that is a destination in its own right
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

BELGRADE -- Nikola Tesla has always been a backroom genius, a scientist's scientist, a nerd's nerd. But things are looking up for the Serbian inventor, who died in 1943. It started in 2006, when then upand-coming filmmaker Christopher Nolan wrote Tesla into The Prestige, and cast David Bowie to play the perfector of radio waves, alternating current, remote control and radar. In 2012, cartoonist Matthew Inman explained "why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived" in one of his popular The Oatmeal online comics. By July, 2014, when the entrepreneur behind the Tesla electric car, Elon Musk, announced he would donate a million dollars to help save Tesla's old lab in New Jersey, the little-known inventor was almost a houshold name, despite most people still not being clear on who the guy was.

Musk's money will help turn the building in Wardenclyffe, N.J., into a Nikola Tesla museum. But the Nikola Tesla Museum already exists, in Belgrade. It contains nearly everything he wrote or owned and, its curator told me, it has no intention of giving the new museum anything, even on extended loan. So if you want to know more about the man who inspired the next wave of automobiles, you'll have to visit the Serbian capital. What I discovered on my visit, however, is that Belgrade itself is the real revelation.

Tesla did not spend much time in Belgrade - one account says the small-town boy was there for a single afternoon - but according to his nephew, it was the scientist's last wish that his work and archives be returned there. Tesla lived most of his life in the United States, but he was always a proud Serbian.

The museum is small and cool, housed in a large 1930s neoclassical house originally built for a government minister. It holds 160,000 documents, including a number of translations into English by Tesla of Serbian authors. I saw one translation, a handwritten page of poetry by Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj, Tesla's favourite Serbian writer, and realized that I knew practically nothing about this place.

As on previous trips to other former Eastern Bloc countries, the lasting effects of the Cold War became apparent. It's as if, for decades, a blanket had been thrown over the whole area. As a result (along with some American culture-jamming) these places, rich with distinctive foods and wines, literature, art and music, continue to be a blank page to most people from the West.

I had never, for instance, heard of writer Ivo Andric, either. Just a couple of blocks from the Tesla museum, his apartment is now the Ivo Andric Museum. Also small, but perfect in a way that a curator with means would never have been able to achieve: It's practically untouched since his death in 1975, with only glass cases added to display things such as the Nobel Prize for literature he won in 1961.

The story of the gruesome May Coup was also new to me. Minutes from the Andric museum is the Old Palace; it was here in 1903, from a secondfloor balcony, that the shot, stabbed and disemboweled bodies of the Serbian king and queen were thrown onto a pile of manure, part of a military coup carried out by men who would later plan the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. These are the guys who also recruited the archduke's assassin, Gavrilo Princip, in the Golden Sturgeon Café, a 10-minute walk away. The palace is now the City Hall, with grand gardens on the lawn where the royal couple landed.

If Canada suffers from a surfeit of geography, Serbia has too much history, a great deal of it happening here before spreading out to the rest of the world.

In addition to Tesla's innovations, a month after Princip killed the archduke, the first shots of the First World War were fired here, and in 1961, it was here that the Non-Aligned States movement was born, already seeing past the Cold War to a time when the world would not be divided into U.S. and Soviet sectors.

But it's present-day Belgrade that I find most fascinating: The restaurants of the old-town neighbourhood of Skadarlija; St. Sava, the world's largest - and still incomplete - Orthodox church; Marshal Tito's tomb and the grand hilltop war memorial, its never-again message competing with its NATO bomb scars.

Novi Beograd, or New Belgrade, is where the city really shines. The Palace of Serbia, the former seat of the Yugoslav government, a mid-centurymodernist's dream in concrete and chrome, presides over the neighbourhood. A few blocks from there is the equally fantastic Hotel Jugoslavija, a seven-storey beauty where Winston Churchill stayed while visiting Yugoslav leader Tito. Elizabeth Taylor slept here, too, while visiting Richard Burton, who was filming a movie in which he played Tito.

Closed since the NATO bombings of 1999, the Jugoslavija reopened this summer. For $50 a night, you can stay in one of its unrenovated rooms, complete with defunct socialist radios and balconies overlooking the splendid bend where the Sava meets the Danube, and the Serbian pop from the 1990s known as turbo-folk wafts up from the shipboard dance clubs below.

Tesla died before the Second World War ended and Yugoslavia was born, but I like to think the Belgrade of today, with a dozen great futures in its past and scars of a clutch of wars on its façades, is just the sort of place he would have dreamed up: brilliant, broken, misunderstood, managing to be both ahead of its time, and behind it.

Part of the writer's trip was subsidized by the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia. It did not review or approve the story.


There are no direct flights from Canada to Belgrade. Lufthansa flies from Toronto and Montreal to Munich, where you can catch an Air Serbia flight.;

Belgrade is cheap: Taxi fares start at $2. I never had a ride cost more than $5. Pizza slices cost less than a dollar, and multicourse meals in fashionable restaurants can be had for around $15. A pint of domestic beer is about $1.75, and a half-litre can in a shop is about 55 cents.


The Hotel Jugoslavija is a true slice of history, with basic rooms overlooking the Sava and Danube rivers. From $50 a night.

The Argo is a lovely little boutique hotel right in the centre of things on Kralja Milana. $64 a night, including breakfast.

Bert Archer

Associated Graphic


Kalemegdan Park is at the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube.


Left: The Stari Dvor, meaning Old Palace, was the royal residence of the Obrenovic dynasty.


Above: A school pupil looks at a bust of Nikola Tesla at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


A Tuesday Travel story on Belgrade incorrectly said Yugoslavia was born after the Second World War ended. In fact, it was founded in 1918.

Only 3 per cent of Canadians study abroad, a figure that probably has to increase fivefold if we ever want to be serious players on the international stage, new study finds
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A12

Jayson Myers always knew he would leave the small town where he grew up outside of Guelph, Ont., but he couldn't have imagined he would spend nine years in England doing graduate work.

"We had students from all over Europe, Asia and Africa. It was much more cosmopolitan than anything in Canada at that time," said Dr. Myers, now the president and chief executive officer of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. He has kept up with the connections he made while at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Oxford, and believes that Canadian business needs young employees whose character has been shaped by global study experiences. Their personal networks are invaluable to capitalizing on trade deals negotiated between governments.

According to a report released Friday, that view needs to be urgently embraced by Canadian business, students, families and postsecondary institutions.

While the number of international students coming to Canada is rising, only 3 per cent of Canadian students are going abroad on international study programs or exchanges, one of the lowest numbers among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. The report, from the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), argues that percentage needs to increase fivefold if the country wants to successfully navigate global markets.

"Every career path in the future will be in the global sphere," said Karen McBride, the CBIE's president. "If we don't increase the number of students studying abroad, we won't be involved in the trade deals that Canada is putting into place now, or in meeting global challenges."

To meet the target of sending 15 per cent of postsecondary students abroad, however, the country will have to change a culture that values international education experience among its business students, but undervalues it in most other disciplines, many observers say.

Two years ago, the advisory panel on Canada's International Education Strategy recommended that the country double the number of international students coming here by 2022, something that is achievable if growth continues at the current pace. The panel's second proposal, to establish 50,000 scholarships for Canadians to study abroad by the same date has not progressed.

"When you look at what other countries have done, that figure is not only not unreasonable, it may be a little bit modest," said Amit Chakma, the president of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., who led the advisory panel.

Indeed, other countries have set much more ambitious targets. Australia is putting $100-million over five years behind its Colombo Plan, aimed at sending thousands of students to study and work in neighbouring Asia-Pacific economies. The United States is seeking to double the percentage of students studying abroad to 20 per cent, and Germany wants to increase the proportion of German students who take some courses abroad to 50 per cent from an already world-leading 30 per cent.

Canadians have enticed the world to come to us rather than going out to meet it, says Yuen Pau Woo, the former president and CEO of the Asia-Pacific Foundation. Schools in major Canadian cities, for example, are a microcosm of the world.

"That diversity has in some sense lulled Canadian educators and parents into a sense that students can get international experience just from going to school. That's a false sense of international education and cannot substitute for living in a foreign country and being forced to adapt to different ways of living," Mr. Woo said.

In his experience, Mr. Woo says, Canadian business does not place the same kind of premium on international education that employers in other global economies do.

"In many other jurisdictions, particularly in countries where global trade and investment are important, employers put a premium on international experience.

The first question they ask is, 'What international experience do you have?' ... In Canada, in many cases it's seen as a detriment," Mr. Woo said.

The most comprehensive global survey to date of employers' views about the importance of international experience for new hires suggests Mr. Woo is correct. About half of Canadian employers in the 2011 QS Global Employer Survey said they looked for graduates who had gone on an exchange. In Germany and Switzerland, that number was 80 per cent.

Dr. Myers, however, says that employers value the soft skills that study abroad fosters, from languages to flexibility, to the ability to navigate other cultures.

Aaron Joshua Pinto, who did two terms at European universities while getting an undergrad degree in international relations and French from the University of Western Ontario, said he needed to explain how the skills he acquired translate to the workplace.

"It is simply not enough to seek an international experience - the experience itself can have little value for an employer. [You] must be able to speak about transferable skills," he said.

For many students, however, studying abroad seems expensive. A paper by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance this spring reported that more than twothirds of students felt the cost of leaving Canada was prohibitive and emphasized that students who go are more likely to come from families with a household income over $80,000.

"If we think study abroad is worthwhile as a society, and that this should not just be for students who have a lot of money, or who are willing to go into debt, then we should value them as a society," said Lynne Mitchell, director of the University of Guelph's Centre for International Programs, who has been working on studyabroad initiatives for two decades.

Dr. Mitchell says the university is looking at offering short-term, six- to eightweek exchange programs that allow students to study abroad in May and June and "still come back and work as a camp counsellor in July and August."

The First in the Family program housed at Butler University in Indianapolis targets students who are the first in their families to attend university. For parents, materials about the benefits of study abroad are printed in English and Spanish.

"Students would apply, but end up not going because they said their parents don't understand the need to go and they never even went to college," she said.

When the program began two years ago, 2 per cent of applicants to study abroad were first-generation university students.

This spring that number will be 18 per cent, said Kathy Walden, the assistant director of communications at the Institute for Study Abroad at Butler.

Dr. Chakma says fear of the cost of going abroad is cultural too.

"Most people don't see study abroad as an investment. I encourage our students, even if it's another $5,000 that they have to be in debt, that it's worth it," he said.

Associated Graphic

Canada has long been a magnet for foreign students such as Aude Raffestin, right, from France, and Joanna Peterschmitt from England, who are at McGill University in Montreal. But a new report says more Canadians need to study overseas.


A show that goes pow! pow! pow!
Jack Bush retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada is a deeply satisfying exploration of his work's delights and audacities
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R3

OTTAWA -- Some time early in the last century, the ridiculously influential Marcel Duchamp coined the phrase "retinal pleasure" as his put-down of works of art that enchant primarily as visual entertainments. He thought they were facile.

Too bad he's not alive today and within travelling distance of Ottawa, because I think even his cold eye would be warmed, stimulated even, by the treasures and pleasures of the Jack Bush retrospective that has just opened here at the National Gallery of Canada. Featuring some 130 works, mostly big paintings culled from private and public collections in Canada and the United States, it's a celebration of colour as form, colour as a field, colour as lifeforce, colour as therapy, colour as exaltation, colour as colour. And it's a deeply satisfying exploration of delights and audacities that can occur when colour is applied to a flat surface via the miraculous medium we call paint.

In a 1968 entry in the daily diaries he kept for 25 years until his death (too soon) at 68 in 1977, Bush wrote of his desire to "come up with a show that goes pow! pow! pow!" This is that show.

And how lucky Ottawa is to have such a tonic of tonality for the next three months, as much of Canada girds itself for the blustery, grey, overcast and cold weather ahead. Would that there was a federally subsidized program to fly in the residents of snow-bound Saskatoon or rainy Victoria or fog-wreathed Halifax to bask in this show's glow for a day or an afternoon.

Co-curated with finesse and drama by Toronto-based Bush expert Sarah Stanners and Marc Mayer, NGC's director since 2009, this is the first Bush retrospective to occur in almost 40 years - "high time," in other words, "for a monographic, midcentury Canadian show of painting," as Stanners put it the other day.

The exhibition spans Bush's total career. Along with the expected highlights from his 1963-77 heyday, there are littleseen or never-before-seen gems - a generous sampling from his many years as a highly accomplished commercial illustrator in Toronto, some of his early forays into serious painting in the 1930s, inspired by the likes of the Group of Seven, Thomas Eakins and Thomas Hart Benton, and a suite of five brushy flower paintings from 1960.

You'll also find a vitrine containing the journals in which Bush meticulously recorded his painting activities, a process that produced more than 1,600 works by the time he died of a heart attack in a Toronto hospital. These journals have been the ur-document for the Bush catalogue raisonné Stanners has spent the last three-and-a-half years preparing, with the aim of publishing a four-volume boxed set by fall 2016.

One of the retrospective's great blessings is the lack of artworld cant in its didactics - an entirely intentional omission. Stanners remarked: "People have said, 'Oh, you have to have a theory, an idea, a curatorial nut throughout the whole show.' But what I actually want is for the paintings to be primary here. I want people to stand in front of the paintings and feel them, the visceral effect. We don't get an opportunity to stand in a body of an artist's work too much today. Often, the museum experience is encyclopedic - there's this masterwork from each period going along. But this exhibition allows you to immerse yourself in the particular periods of the artist."

Another blessing is its refusal to re-fight the culture war that dogged Bush for most of his mature career. Lest we forget, the Camels-smoking, jazz-loving, martini-drinking Bush was determined to "play in the major leagues" of world art, to "go out and try to beat Matisse," as he told The Globe and Mail in 1976. Back then, major-league painters, almost to a man (Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Jules Olitski, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, Robert Motherwell) and woman (Helen Frankenthaler), were based in New York. It was home, too, to the era's most influential critic, Clement Greenberg, who'd famously championed Jackson Pollock and the first wave of abstract expressionists.

Greenberg and Bush took a shine to each other pretty much from their first meeting in Toronto in the summer of 1957, and remained friends from thereon. Never averse to giving advice or opinions, Greenberg came to be seen by some Canadian curators, collectors and critics as "the art director of Jack Bush Studios," in Mayer's formulation, and more generally as the "doctrinaire imperialist dictating rigid and formalistic theories to Canadian artists" who, for all their "provincialism," might "otherwise have developed in a more independent way." (Robert Fulford, 1993.)

Greenberg is a presence in the retrospective - but more as "sounding-board" than Svengali, and just one of several individuals, including Bush's wife, Mabel, and his psychotherapist, J. Allan Walters, who, in Mayer's estimation, helped "Jack Bush become Jack Bush." Today, said Mayer, "we've kind of healed from those culture wars. Now it's like, 'Why weren't we supposed to like those paintings again?' " Or as a youngergeneration scholar such as Stanners puts it, "I don't care about the polemics; I care about the artwork."

Certainly there's much to care about and ponder here: The artist's equipoise of economy and sophistication; the unabashed virility of the canvases (all those thrusts and bars and totems and firm colours), but minus the tight-jeaned, proletarian machismo of Pollock or existential heaviness of Jean-Paul Riopelle.

Then there's the rightness and the surprises of his evolution - the way, for example, he would carry over a motif (an asteroidlike splotch, a swoosh, a portallike shape) from period to period; his refusal to settle on shtick; the Matissean lyricism of such late paintings as Basie Blues from 1975 and the 1977 acrylic Chopsticks; the Everyman nature of his life (dutiful dad to three sons, devoted husband, mortgage-paying suburbanite, well-groomed dresser); and the genius of the art.

Above all, there's the freshness of the work. Speaking at the NGC the other day, Stanners told of the pleasure and uplift a Bush painting has provided one long-time owner. "It's never let me down," was how the owner put it. Once you've seen the sumptuous show, you'll know just what she was talking about.

Jack Bush is at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa now through Feb. 22, 2015. It is next scheduled to appear May through August, 2015, at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton.

Associated Graphic

he Jack Bush retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada will feature some 130 works, including Down Sweep, 1958.


Left: Jack Bush's Big A, 1968.


Above: Jack Bush's Bonnet, 1961.


Winemakers squeezing every last drop out of doomed grapes
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

For all the international acclaim it enjoys today, Oregon's modern wine industry is shockingly young. The so-called first wave of vineyards was planted here beginning in the late 1960s. And for three decades, nearly everyone planted Vitis vinifera vines on their own roots.

This seemed like a smart business move, given that the painstaking process of grafting shoots of Vitis vinifera - the noble varietals of Europe, like pinot noir and chardonnay - onto the roots of American grape species quadrupled the startup cost of buying vines.

But it was also a curious longterm decision, because Vitis vinifera planted on its own roots had, over the past century, fallen victim in almost every corner of the world to an unstoppable root-killing louse called phylloxera. The bug had nearly wiped wine off the map in France and Germany, and Spain and Portugal, and Algeria and South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand and California (you get the picture).

Grafting vinifera onto American rootstock became the only reliable way to defend vineyards against phylloxera, even though a few romantic holdouts worried that some essential characteristic of wine was lost by giving up on vinifera's true biological roots. In 1990, phylloxera arrived in Oregon, and began its unstoppable, wrathful march.

"When I talk to people who drink our wine, they often tell me, 'Oh, it doesn't taste like the Seven Springs vineyard is under attack,' " a French-Canadian winemaker named Isabelle Meunier told me when I visited her during Oregon's bountiful harvest of 2012.

Evening Land Vineyards was founded in 2005 by a film producer named Mark Tarlov, who'd brought such strange comic works as Serial Mom and Pecker into the world.

The project's mission was to explore the potential of pinot noir and chardonnay grown in several varied winemaking regions linked by their cooler climates: Burgundy, Oregon, Sonoma and Santa Barbara.

In 2007, Evening Land agreed to lease a 70-acre vineyard established in the early 1980s on volcanic soil in Oregon's EolaAmity Hills. That vineyard, called Seven Springs, was planted to a mix of pinot noir and chardonnay. About half of the vines went into the ground prior to phylloxera's arrival in Oregon, and sat on their own Vitis vinifera roots. The other half had been planted after 1990, on American or hybrid rootstock.

And when Evening Land acquired it, there was already phylloxera at Seven Springs.

Gary Tarlov hired Isabelle Meunier to be the winemaker for Evening Land's Oregon wines. The Quebec-born Meunier had the precise mix of Old and New World experience that such a terroir-hopping project demanded: She'd studied viticulture and oenology at Dijon University of Agriculture (ENESAD) in Burgundy and had completed her postgrad work at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Before coming to Oregon, she worked at Le Clos Jordanne, the most prestigious pinot noir producer in Ontario's Niagara region. The woman knew her pinot.

I sat down to lunch with her harvest crew of bearded and flannelled young Oregonian men and a few out-of-state immigrants eager to assimilate to such a stereotype. The fruit that came in yesterday, I learned, was from a block of own-rooted Pommard clones at Seven Springs that was already infected with phylloxera.

The block had been mostly pulled from the ground in 2010. The ends of a few rows were spared because they were still productive. But, Meunier said, the fruit that came in yesterday from these row-ends would be the last they got from that particular block. "By next week," she said, "they'll be pulled. It's not because we want to. It's because they're not viable any more.

They're too sick."

Meunier led me into the barrel room to sample the fermented fruits of previous harvest crews' labours. She dipped her long glass pipette into barrels and dispensed ruby red liquid into our glasses. One of the wines we tasted was the 2011 vintage from Block 10, the phylloxera-infected section that would soon be pulled and, eventually, replanted with new grafted vines.

Meunier is a realist. With the vineyard that had been bequeathed to her at Seven Springs, she'd played the best hand available to her. She'd turned these rows of vines into a site that now commanded international name recognition and prestige - seven weeks after my visit, Evening Land's Seven Springs bottling would land on the cover of Wine Spectator.

We tasted the wine from a parcel that was not long for this world. In contrast to the other barrel samples, Block 10 had more punch. There was a lot of vitality in the wine. A nervier edge, I thought.

"I'm very attached to this wine because I know it's the last representation of this particular block," said Meunier. Block 10 was no longer producing at yields that made farming it worthwhile, no matter how highquality the fruit. "At the same time, when I walk the block and I see how sick these vines are, it's also a relief."

Forget for a moment the crushing economic cost of replanting a sick vineyard in Oregon with new grafted vines - between $10,000 and $25,000 an acre. What strikes me as the greater tragedy is the act of witnessing an own-rooted vineyard begin to mature, its wines growing more complex and interesting as the plants age, only to see its life cut short by phylloxera before the vines have a chance to enter their peak old age - what the French refer to with admiration as vieilles vignes.

"The work we're doing to shepherd this vineyard through phylloxera, to prepare it for the coming decades, it's a stepping stone," said Meunier. "Terroir is not only a place. It's about a place in time, touched by people. People are so goddamn important."

In February, 2014, the current ownership group of Evening Land Vineyards restructured its strategy and installed a new operational team. A few weeks after the reorganization, Meunier left Evening Land and her beloved Seven Springs winery.

But it wasn't long before she started her own label, with a focus on single-vineyard bottlings from across Oregon's Willamette Valley.

This fall, she took her first crop of pinot noir off a six-acre block of the Tualatin vineyard, which had been planted on its own roots in 1974.

"Those great old vines show so much complexity of aromas and flavours," Meunier told me when I got in touch to ask her about the vineyard. "Also, there's a little phylloxera starting to show."

Adapted from An Inconvenient Fruit: One winemaking family's pursuit of an intoxicating, doomed grape, by Andrew Braithwaite, published by Canadian Writers Group.

Associated Graphic

Winemakers in Oregon's Willamette Valley are being forced to pull vines infected with phylloxera from the ground and replant them.


The Ford circus is over. City hall will never be the same
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M1

Pity the poor souls who labour in the city hall press gallery. They are suffering from PRFS: post-Rob Ford syndrome.

For the past four years, they had the best seat in the house for the wildest story in Canadian politics. Even before Mr. Ford became famous around the world as Der Crack-Burgermeister (as one German newspaper put it), reporters could depend on him to supply a steady stream of headlines. Here was a guy who made news as naturally as most men draw breath.

He made news when he called the cops on a female comedian who showed up on his driveway in a plastic breast plate. He made news when he called the head of the TTC to order a bus to pick up the high-school football team he coached. He made news for showing up at a fried-chicken joint in the midst of a public dieting drive. He made news when he was caught reading behind the wheel on one of Toronto's busiest highways - and explained unapologetically that he was just trying to catch up on some work.

If the mayor was having an off day, reporters could rely on his brother Doug "the smart one" Ford to step up to the plate. It was Doug who proposed putting a monorail, a sail-in hotel and the world's biggest Ferris Wheel on the Port Lands east of Toronto harbour. It was Doug who said of literary legend Margaret Atwood that if she passed by him "I wouldn't have a clue who she is" after they clashed over the library budget. When he made that remark, one reporter turned to her colleagues and exclaimed: "I love that man."

Now it's all over. With Rob sidelined by cancer and Doug defeated in his bid to be mayor, the press gallery has lost its best material. The fishing will never be as good as it was in the Ford years, when the stories all but jumped into the boat.

When reporters asked him to reflect on his term in office recently, the mayor chuckled and said: "It will definitely be remembered, put it that way ... No one's going to forget it."

He could say that again.

The new mayor to be, John Tory, is an admirable person in many ways. Colourful he is not. He speaks in long, weaving sentences that often fail to yield a usable quote, much less an outrageous saying like those Mr. Ford used to spout like Old Faithful.

His only addiction seems to be to work. Unlike Mr. Ford, who sometimes rolled into the office at the crack of noon, Mr. Tory gets to City Hall around 6:30 a.m.

When he addressed journalists for the first time, in Nathan Phillips Square, he calmly answered all their questions without once calling them maggots.

As he turned to walk back to his office, muscle memory told reporters and photographers to give chase. Then it dawned: There was no need. The days of pursuing the mayor into parking garages are over. So are the days of dashing for the back door to grab a quote from the never-shy Doug when his big black Lincoln pulled into its spot behind City Hall.

Like demobilized soldiers back from the front, city hall reporters are wondering what to do now that the action has stopped. A veteran columnist packed his stuff in a cardboard box and left to write about business instead. One respected reporter headed off to Washington; another will follow soon. Things around the gallery have fallen so quiet that one reporter who once complained about the exhausting pace had time to flip through a stack of old front pages from the Ford era. "A mayor under siege," blared one. "Showdown, spectacle and 'war' at City Hall," said another. Ah, those were the days.

CP24, the breaking-news channel whose reporters were stationed more or less permanently outside the mayor's office, seems particularly bereft. One day last week, it resorted to airing video from a woman who saw cockroaches at a local McDonald's. On the same day, The tabloid Toronto Sun, whose office walls are papered with splashy front pages from the Ford days, found itself reporting the stunning news that Mr.

Tory "says he will speed up some of the work of a task force" to review the city's public-housing agency. Try getting readers to click on that.

Whatever his errors and sins, the mayor was always watchable.

Who can forget the day a couple of years ago when he visited the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, rolled up his sleeves and washed down a steer called Ronald?

"Those cattle, they're rock solid," he said. When Mr. Tory visited the fair this month, he combed a cow.

It was not the same.

Of course, what is bad for the press is great for the city. Peace, order and good government have moved back into City Hall. With Mr. Tory due to take over early next month, Toronto is well on its way to earning back its reputation as a pleasant, polite city where nothing much ever happens.

Even the press should think twice before getting too nostalgic about the Ford era. Chasing the mayor down stairwells got to be tiresome. The media only pursued him because he refused to answer legitimate questions that the whole city was asking.

Besides, there will be lots of other issues to cover, in the post-Ford years: the struggle to build better transit; the politicking around the transition to the new mayor; the challenge of integrating and employing tens of thousands of new immigrants.

There really are a million stories in the naked city, most of them more important than what Rob Ford did in his sister's basement. Remember, too, that Mr. Ford is not completely out of the picture. Although he withdrew from the race for mayor to get treatment for cancer, voters elected him to represent his old Etobicoke ward. If he is healthy enough, he might return to city council to keep things amusing.

Still, down at the gallery, it is proving hard to let go. When it was announced that Mr. Ford was coming down to City Hall on Friday to peddle Ford bobbleheads for charity, reporters and photographers massed outside his office for what some were calling the last stakeout, gathering behind the crowd-control tape as of old and pressing forward every time the elevator opened in case he appeared. When he finally came out of his office to take questions, there was a small rumpus as they surged around him.

They know it in their bones: As long as deadlines loom, as long as "uneasy calms" prevail, as long as newsroom fridges grow mouldy, they will never see another story quite like the Fords.

Hardcore 'social experiment' is an issue for Gen-XXX
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L3

When Gabe Deen was eight years old growing up in small-town Texas, he found a copy of a Playboy magazine and decided naked ladies were the best thing ever. Then, when he was 12, his family got high-speed Internet. Suddenly the naked ladies he craved weren't just intermittently available, they were infinite and on tap. And they were doing stuff he'd never even imagined. It was like he'd gone looking for his first sip of beer and found an unlimited stash of Jack Daniels and unfiltered Export A's.

Deen had hit the pornographic jackpot. All through his teens and into young adulthood, he, like most of his peers, looked at free hardcore porn whenever he felt the urge, which was pretty much every waking moment. They traded tips on the best free sites and how to hide their Web-surfing habits from their parents. Typical of his age, he masturbated. A lot.

But unlike most teenage boys before him, when the time came to have real sex with real girls, he found it difficult to perform. Deen knew his penis wasn't broken because it worked 24/7 with porn, but arousal without a screen was increasingly difficult to come by. By the time Deen was 23 and in a relationship with a girl he loved, he knew he had a porn problem.

"Ultimately it desensitized me and rewired my brain to my computer screen to the point where, in real life, I couldn't feel anything in an intimate situation," he said in an interview. "My generation was told growing up that porn was cool because it was 'sex positive.' But what can be more 'sex negative' than being unable to perform in bed?"

He Googled his symptoms and found a name for the condition: Porn-induced erectile dysfunction. He decided to get help.

Today Deen is a youth counsellor who this week addressed the Generation XXX symposium in Winnipeg, a day-long public conference on the "pornification of our children" organized by the children's rights advocacy group Beyond Borders. His organization, Reboot Nation, encourages teens to counteract the effects of porn addiction by "rebooting" - taking a break from porn to allow their neural pathways to become sensitized to real sex again.

The Winnipeg symposium, which organizer Rosalind Prober calls a "call to action" for all Canadians concerned about effects of hardcore porn exposure on children, came about after the literacy group Media Smarts released a study earlier this year that found 90 per cent of Canadians between the ages of eight and 16 have viewed porn online, usually while doing their homework. According to the study, 40 per cent of boys between Grades 7 and 11 seek it out regularly (the number is only seven per cent for girls). The study, which was released last spring, shows a seven-per-cent increase in the overall number of teens looking at porn from the year before, as well as a rise in frequency, particularly among teenage boys.

None of this is particularly surprising: We live in a country in which there are strict standards for what is broadcast on television and in movie theatres, yet Internet service providers currently bear zero responsibility for making hardcore porn freely available to any kid with a WiFi connection.

As Prober points out, the generation that came of age in the past decade is "the world's greatest social experiment" in terms of what unlimited access to pornography can do to the young brain. "Porn is fake and adults have the critical faculties to discern that," she explained to me. "But it's very damaging for children to encounter misogynistic and often violent images as their first experience of sex."

Not just damaging socially, but physiologically, too. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is now well documented by the mainstream medical community. Dr. Oz devoted a show to the topic last year, and just a few months ago, researchers at Cambridge University found that porn addicts' brains have similar responses to pleasure cues as the breains of alcoholics or drug addicts.

Teens being exposed to porn is nothing new (in my day there were Hustler centrefolds lurking in many high-school lockers) but it's the level of exposure and the nature of the content that's changed. While my generation learned to do sex by reading the dirty bits of Sweet Valley High novels and fumbling around sweatily in our parent's basements, this generation will have learned to do sex by watching semi-violent sixways involving hairy men and vajazzled strippers squealing on dirty linoleum floors.

Prober argues that the effect of online porn and children has actually become a public health issue. Taken in large doses, it affects the neuroplasticity and pleasure centres of the adolescent brain, to say nothing of the damaging messages it disseminates on gender roles, consent and intimacy - tricky and important topics for fertile young minds.

Big as the problem is, the solution is surprisingly simple: The Internet is public space and we need to police it. We built it. We own it. It's where we live and where our kids are growing up. We should be applying the same standards of decency to the Internet as we do anywhere else. When you think about it, this way it seems staggeringly obvious that the current Wild West model cannot and should not last.

In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron recently strongarmed the major Internet service providers into applying automatic porn filters to all mobile and broadband connections in the country. This means that people over 18 can choose to opt in or out of porn, and if they ignore the question, they will be automatically opted out. If children attempt to override these filters, they will be subject to identity verification to check that they are of age. The service providers resisted heavily at first, claiming such controls were a matter of parental responsibility and tantamount to censorship, but after the government made it clear it would legislate if necessary, the ISPs relented. Unsurprisingly, the move has proved hugely popular, particularly among parents.

But here in Canada, we are way behind. Currently the big ISPs - Bell, Telus, Rogers and Shaw - are doing worse than nothing. They are actively resisting requests by advocacy groups such as Beyond Borders to introduce universal "opt-out" filters for users. Why are they resisting? Because it's expensive and a hassle and because telecommunications giants are in the business of making money, not concerning themselves with the public good. Unlike David Cameron, Stephen Harper isn't demanding they change, so why should they bother?

So if you want to protect your public online space, contact your local MP. And if that doesn't work, hold Harper to account in 2015. It's our Internet. Let's take it back.

He says British Columbia: She says Ontario
Debating where to live the remainder of your lives is one of the most contentious retirement topics a couple can face
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B6

When Linda and Ken Flemington started talking about where they would retire, there was one thing upon which they could both agree.

"Both of us had visions of retiring somewhere where there were mountains and water," says Mr. Flemington, 73. At the time, the couple lived in Oakville, Ont., where she was the CEO for a credit union while he owned a sand and gravel pit.

To narrow their retirement choices, the couple travelled extensively to check out possible destinations - Kelowna and Kamloops in British Columbia and Prince Edward County in Ontario.

"I remember saying to Ken, 'This is one of the toughest decisions we've had to make,' " Ms. Flemington, 70, says. While her husband was leaning toward the West, she preferred to stay near their children and grandchildren, who also live in Oakville.

"You make these decisions because you want your family around," she says. "You don't want to be in their face, but you also want them close enough that you can spend time with them."

In the end, the Flemingtons decided in 2006 to move to a large bungalow with loft in a new development called Blue Shores in Collingwood, Ont., 150 kilometres north of Oakville on the shores of South Georgian Bay.

"We don't have a mountain, but we have a hill," Ms. Flemington says. "We can see the water from our porch. We're golfers, and there's lots of golf courses up here and the summer life is wonderful."

As for Mr. Flemington, "If I wanted to keep my spouse, I had to sort of hang around," he jokes. "No, the truth is, Collingwood offered just about all the things we were looking for."

Susan Eng, vice-president for advocacy at CARP, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, says the question of where a couple will live is a conversation worth having - well in advance of retirement.

"The reality today is people are having longer, healthier lives," she says. "Our average lifespan is hitting about 83, and medical science can keep us going [well past that]. So now you have another 20 to 40 years of life, a good third of your whole lifespan, that you haven't planned out."

The first step is to make sure couples are on the same page, says Evan Hickey, financial planner for the Royal Bank of Canada in Halifax. To start, Mr. Hickey asks couples to prioritize the top three areas of their lives, which can cause disagreements right in his office.

"For some people, the priorities might be, 'Family, legacy and home,' while the other person might say, 'Lifestyle is important, and legacy isn't,' because they don't care if they leave anything for their kids," Mr. Hickey says.

"And for each life area, there are financial implications."

If a couple is considering a move, it's important to get a full and formal financial plan, Mr. Hickey says, which will help them assess how a move will affect their financial future.

"We can model different scenarios - assuming debt reduction occurs at this pace and house value increases at this pace," Mr. Hickey says. "We plug everything in and have the discussion - if you sell and buy a place for this amount, this is what you will have left from a retirement perspective."

Vancouver-based financial planner Diane McCurdy, president of McCurdy Financial Planning Inc., says people should be wary of assuming that the sale of their home will be a financial windfall.

"People forget about the transaction costs, legal fees, moving costs," she says. "They may want new furniture because the existing furniture doesn't fit."

It's also important to consider how your new location will affect your lifestyle, Ms. McCurdy says.

"If you want to go somewhere more rural, you have to consider, 'Do you want to walk to your amenities? Is there a good hospital there? If you're moving to a cottage or cabin, are you isolated? Is it dark driving in the winter?' " If possible, before selling a long-held family home, Ms. McCurdy suggests that retired clients try renting in a new locale in all seasons to confirm that they like it as much in fall-winter as they do in spring-summer.

Another reality for many boomers, Mr. Hickey says, is that they may need to care for aging parents. "They don't want to move too far away from their parents, so for some clients, it's meant having to delay their own travel plans that they had in mind for retirement."

Hugh Kruzel and his wife Susan, both 53, thought they were purchasing a home they could retire in when they moved from Ottawa to Victoria in 2007.

Susan, as a member of Canada's armed forces, had been transferred to CFB Esquimalt.

"We bought a nice penthouse downtown, and thought the West Coast is where we're going to retire," Mr. Kruzel says. "But the reality is, for those of us in the sandwich generation, other things come up."

After the health of Mr. Kruzel's parents began failing, he started travelling back and forth from Victoria to his childhood home in Sudbury, Ont. As the bills for flights began adding up and his parents' health deteriorated, Mr. Kruzel decided he needed to move in with his parents while his wife would remain in Victoria. When he was offered a job as a project manager at the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) this past August, he took it.

"I am there to support their decision to stay in their own home," Mr. Kruzel says. Although he feels very positive about his choice, the challenges of living in two different cities that are about 4,000 kilometres apart has put a strain on his marriage and has put their retirement plans in limbo.

"I have come to the conclusion after watching my parents that for all our great plans, time and life still tend to shift things quite a bit," he says. "Surprises come our way."

Couples need to consider just these kinds of surprises when making plans, Ms. Eng of CARP advises.

"You may be super-healthy now, but you could fall, you could have a stroke, anything can happen and then all bets are off," she says.

The Flemingtons are already thinking about their next step.

Since their move, Ms. Flemington has had a hip replacement and they are considering moving to a smaller home or a condo in Collingwood.

"We're trying to think about the next five years, what's next for us?" she says. "We want to think ahead."

Associated Graphic

Linda and Ken Flemington left their large family home and professional lives in Oakville, Ont., and purchased a home in a waterfront community in Collingwood, Ont.


The good son
When a trickle of traumatic memories turned into a flood, actor Alan Cumming could no longer hide from the years of physical abuse he and his brother, Tom, endured at home. In an excerpt from his new memoir, he recounts the harrowing experience of confronting his father about the past, 'the scariest thing' he's ever done
Friday, November 14, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

We pulled up in front of the house and sat for a moment in the car just staring at the grey stone edifice before us. Sometimes when you come back to places from your childhood they seem smaller, less daunting. But this place seemed as bleak and gothic and unwelcoming as it had when we were little boys.

"You okay?" Tom asked.

"I think so," I whispered.

"Just try and stay calm and not let him get to you."

"I'm really scared," I said.

"Remember, he doesn't control us any more, Alan."

I loved my brother so much in that moment.

We got out of the car and rang the doorbell, but then moved back up the drive a bit, as though to protect ourselves from a looming explosion. After a moment our father appeared through the mottled glass of the porch, like a memory coming back into focus. We watched him, hanging back, gauging him. Then he opened the door.

"Aye," he said. "Are you coming in?" Tom and I had both decided that we couldn't enter the house. It would be too unnerving to discuss past incidents that may have occurred in the very room we were sitting in. And also we didn't want to do this in his territory, be trapped on his home turf.

"We'd actually like to go for a walk, if that's okay with you," said Tom.

"Oh aye," he murmured and disappeared into the house, returning moments later in a jacket, and with a large rough-hewn wooden stick in his hand. His little West Highland terrier scampered up to us, breaking the tension that was beginning to crackle all around.

"You're wanting to talk about something," he began, hitting his stick against the side of his work boot as we began to walk up the yard.

"Yes, we are." I was amazed to hear my voice, quite calm, quite strong. "We want to talk to you about stuff that happened when we were little."

He said nothing, but cleared his throat noisily and spat into a drain.

Undaunted, I continued. "I don't know if you know, but I've been having a bit of a bad time recently."

"I hear your marriage has broken up," he said suddenly and accusingly. ... Was he trying to shift the focus? That made sense. He was like an animal now, sizing me up, sniffing my fear.

"Eh, yes." I felt the weight of my words, their portent, their resignation.

"Part of the reason that happened is that I had a bit of a breakdown earlier in the year and it made it harder and harder for me to be able to function. And I remembered a lot of things that both Tom and I had suppressed for many, many years. Memories of things that had happened in our childhood, things you did that we don't think were right ... and we've come today to talk to you about them."

"Oh aye," he said again, and began walking up the yard away from us, whistling for his dog as he did so. ... My most vivid memory of our conversation is of my father's utter silence. I had said that I knew he must remember some of what we were speaking of, and his silence, aside from a whistle for the dog and the vicious thump to the inside of his boot with his stick, was proof that he did.

"What was your childhood like?" I asked him. "Did Granddad hit you?" I was both fascinated and scared about the prospect of my father not being able to break a circle of abuse because that might mean I would be unable to too. He ignored me.

"Did you never feel bad about hitting us?" Again he started off in front of us, desperate to avoid. But we were in the middle of the estate's most huge and sprawling drive. There were no cars coming, there was nobody around. There was nowhere to run. I scampered after him.

"D'you think you hit us because you were so unhappy in your marriage?" He turned to me, fury in his eyes.

"My marriage was over four years after Tommy was born," he spat.

I stopped in my tracks, shocked, and watched him as he walked away.

"Thanks," I called after him.

"That's two years before I was even born. That makes me feel great."

Tom was beside me, his hand on the small of my back, propelling me down the drive to catch up with him.

"Why didn't you leave then?" I demanded when we had caught up with him.

"I had kids to think of," he replied with a mixture of indignation and righteousness that was both galling and horribly predictable.

Of course he would be able to justify his presence in our lives, the very presence that allowed his sons to be repeatedly abused, with his fatherly duty to protect them. ... "Where were they?" I said to his retreating back. "Where were these kids you were thinking of?

Cos they sure as hell weren't Tom and me."

His only response was the usual litany of spitting, banging his boot with his stick, and whistling for the dog.

Finally we were back at the house and wrapping things up.

We had said everything we had wanted to. We had countered every trick and bullying technique he had tried to pull with solidarity and strength. I had thought he was actually going to hit me once, when I'd said that if he thought that his abusive behaviour was not connected to unhappiness or events in his own life, then he was basically admitting that he was psychotic.

But he backed down. "I am not a psychopath," he seethed and marched ahead once more.

"Thank you," I said, and I truly meant it. "Thank you for letting us come here today and get this off our chests. I hope you understand how much we needed to do this.

"And I hope you understand that we want to move on and put this behind us, and if you want to have a relationship with us, we are willing to have one with you. But you'll need to make an effort; you have to reach out ... So the ball's in your court." ...

I never heard from him again.

From the book Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming. Copyright © 2014 by Alan Cumming. Reprinted by permission of Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Associated Graphic


Alan Cumming, left, with his brother, Tom, in a photo from the book Not My Father's Son: A Memoir.


Kid who saved hockey as inscrutable as ever
Crosby remains whatever we want him to be and reporters hang on his every pronouncement, even as he says nothing
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S6


We tend to forget that Sidney Crosby saved hockey.

That was the narrative pinned to him as he was drafted nearly a decade ago. The NHL had just lost the 2004-05 season. People were throwing around words like "beleaguered" and "troubled" in connection with the sport.

Though it didn't turn out this way, everyone assumed hockey was going to take a post-lockout, baseball-style nosedive in popularity.

In the midst of all that angst and expectation, Crosby floated into our lives. He's been there 10 years. It feels like 30. Crosby has risen to the highest conceptual plane any pro can reach - he's become a means by which we measure time in our own lives.

He's still only 27. But as Crosby begins to take on the lean look of athletic middle age, we're reminded just how much older we've become since he arrived.

At that moment, hockey didn't need someone with personality.

It didn't need a leader. We were sick to death of the game's many leaders and all their coded, tonedeaf whining about money.

What it needed was an exemplar. Someone willing to quietly make the game look appealing again. Someone who did not stand out in any way - beyond his level of play.

Crosby has ticked all the Hall of Fame boxes, but that flat effect is his unique contribution to NHL history. When hockey was looking for someone to redefine what a player looked like off the ice, Crosby arrived fully formed.

He was only 17. But he was already the achingly well-mannered, sharp-but-never-clever, old-timey-values pitchman he remains. Crosby is from Nova Scotia, but he was born inside one of those Canadian Heritage Moment ads.

You'd think it was all a bit perfect, if he hadn't gone this long without ever once screwing it up. He really is this guy - this inscrutable, but unfailingly pleasant, cipher.

When a national newspaper chain got it badly wrong a few weeks ago and published a story claiming Crosby had been charged with a DUI, it didn't start the usual online schadenfreude. What just about everyone said was, 'Well, that must be wrong.' And it was.

It's hard to think of another athlete in any sport who would get that same benefit of the doubt. People know two things about Crosby - that he's good at hockey and that he's just plain good. It's an article of Canadian faith.

Beyond the dinged-up clothesdryer mythology, that's all we really know. The hockey world is so taken with the idea of Crosby, no one wants to ruin it by asking too many questions.

Right now, he's the best player in the NHL - not just in sum, but also on form. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle referred to him several times during his pregame talk, but never said his name. He's Voldemort with a shy smile.

It seems ridiculous that we used to wonder who'd be considered the best of this generation - Crosby or Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin was that other sort of player - one with a suspicious amount of personality. He's been fun, but he's badly out of step with the league's zeitgeist. This is the era of chillaxed throwbacks, not unruly bros from the Steppe.

On every level in this battle, Crosby has already won.

His past concussion issues lend him an air of fragility that makes him even more compelling. We want him to play like this for 10 more years, but there is a small part of us that knows it could all end today, or tomorrow, or the day after that. Just one awkward hit. One of those already cost him a season. Why couldn't another end his career?

As such, Crosby doesn't go on the road any more. He's on an indefinite farewell tour.

It was a quietly effective night.

Crosby had an assist. The Penguins held on for the 2-1 win over the Leafs.

He was in Toronto for a rare Friday night game. Barring the playoffs, he'll be in this country only a half-dozen more times this year.

As a rule, Crosby does his interviews while sitting. Like all genuinely strong people, he prefers the weaker position. It's hard to badger a guy from above.

We all cluster around his locker ready to be charmed by his presence. We know he won't say anything interesting. Crosby is an interesting guy, but he has excised that part of himself for public consumption.

There's no advantage for Crosby to be seen as edgy or slightly ahead of conventional thinking.

Few players have ever so ruthlessly exploited advantages like Crosby does.

He's asked about a couple of the day's Hall of Fame inductees - Dominik Hasek and Peter Forsberg. Crosby has learned the experienced interviewee's trick of repeating your question back to you as a statement. Hasek was "unbelievable." Forsberg "loved to compete." This doesn't mean anything, but everyone nods like Crosby's handing out stone tablets.

Someone brings up the slow fade of the enforcer - a topic with small potential for controversy.

Crosby says, "That's just the way the game's evolved. Everyone adjusts accordingly. There's definitely been some change. That's just one of the many things that, with time, you see changes."

You ask him about the disappearance of fighting, and Crosby tells you fighting is disappearing.

It's a hell of a trick.

So is he for it? Or against it? Does he care either way? No one has any idea. We all keep nodding.

You really do wonder how he's managed it - spending so long as the league's poster boy, and never having once been cast as its spokesperson. He has ideas about hockey and the wider world. He just has no interest in sharing them - which is a large part of why we love him so much. He's a blank canvas onto which we project all our backyard-rink fantasies.

Viewing his legacy from somewhere in the middle, Crosby wasn't only the kid hockey needed. He's allowed us to make him into the player we all wanted.

Follow me on Twitter:@cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby prepares to shoot in front of Dion Phaneuf of the Maple Leafs during first-period action at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Friday night. Pascal Dupuis scored twice for the Penguins and Cody Franson replied for the Leafs, who were 0-and-6 on the power play. The Pens won 2-1.


Not your traditional REITs
A slew of U.S. firms are turning tired operations into attractive vehicles, offering exposure to casinos, data centres - even prisons
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B12

Office buildings, shopping centres and apartments: This is the stuff REITs are made of.

Except, increasingly, the universe of U.S. real-estate investment trusts is populated by vehicles that own property of a slightly different kind. Cellphone towers and data centres. Self-storage centres. Casinos, prisons and roadside billboards.

Call them, perhaps, "non-traditional" REITs. A number of U.S. companies are engaging in an exercise that should be familiar to Canadians who have watched the changes in the retail industry at home: They're trying to strip out the value of real estate from old, tired operating companies that investors have grown bored with.

The product of their efforts provides Canadians with a few more options when seeking dividend-payers south of the border.

The U.S. created REITs, in which the trust pays no corporate income tax if it passes the vast majority of its earnings on to shareholders, in 1960, says Ron Kuykendall, a spokesman for NAREIT, the national REIT trade group. He says the definition of what a REIT may hold was left broad, at land and the improvements on it, because of the expectation the economy would evolve. So the expanding number of non-traditional REITs isn't due to any sort of policy change by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, he says, but because companies wanting to take advantage of investors' postrecession interest in income have approached the IRS for a "private letter ruling" that allows them to convert into a REIT.

Let's meet some of them.

One of the recent pioneers in REIT conversions is American Tower Corp., once a sexy growth story built on ever-increasing demands for cellphone service. (I recommended it in the pages of The Globe in March 2011, at about $50 [U.S.] It closed Friday at $102.10.)

American Tower converted to REIT status at the beginning of 2012. Competitor Crown Castle International Corp. followed at the beginning of this year. (Another competitor, SBA Communications, reports an adjusted earnings figure each quarter as if it were a REIT, suggesting either a desire to convert, or for an apples-to-apples comparison.)

But while Crown Castle is following the income playbook - its dividend yield currently sits at 4.1 per cent - someone forgot to tell American Tower it's no longer a growth stock. Its forward price-to-earnings ratio is close to 40, its dividend yield is a paltry 1.4 per cent and it increased its revenue by nearly 30 per cent, year-over-year, in the third quarter through acquisitions and organic growth.

And Wall Street loves it, with 20 of the 24 analysts providing coverage rating it a "buy," with an average target price of $110.

"American Tower, with its scale, conservative financial position and focus on profitability, has been the most stable tower company and offers an attractive risk/reward at this level," says J.P. Morgan analyst Philip Cusick, who has an "outperform" rating and $121 target price.

Iron Mountain Inc., a document storage and services company, performed one of the more dramatic REIT conversions earlier this year when it obtained an IRS ruling in June that the steel racks holding its customers' boxes qualified as real estate. Since the company is electing to make the conversion retroactive to Jan.

1, it needs to pay "catch-up" dividends in December - a total of 73 cents for shareholders who buy in by Nov. 28 and hold through Dec. 5.

Analyst Kevin McVeigh of Macquarie Securities says these payments underscore a "durable model," and the company trades at a sharp discount to the average industrial REIT. He doesn't see the company's multiple catching up in the next 12 months, however, and has a $40 target price (versus Friday's close of $37.66) to go with his "outperform" rating.

Publicly traded Penn National Gaming Inc. spun off its real estate into Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. in 2013. Right now, it's the only gambling game in REIT town, says analyst Cameron McKnight of Wells Fargo Securities, although two other companies, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and Boyd Gaming Corp., have said publicly that they're considering doing the same.

Mr. McKnight, who has an "outperform" rating for the stock, says it is cheaper than other "triple-net-lease" REITs (where the REIT's tenants take on the expenses of property taxes, insurance and maintenance), yet is likely to grow its dividend more quickly than those peers, even though it's an alreadyhealthy 6.5 per cent. (The shares are down 36.5 per cent this year, making it the only negative performer of the nontraditional REITs we looked at.)

CBS Corp. spun off its billboard operation as CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. in March and got the IRS's blessing to convert a few weeks later. Lamar Advertising Co. became a REIT Wednesday after getting shareholder approval. In both cases, advertising income from outdoor billboards was deemed rent on real property - but analysts such as Jason Bazinet of Citigroup Global Markets say outdoor REITs deserve the low end of the group's multiples "because they are ad-based and cyclical, own very little real estate and do not have market capitalizations that are large enough to be included in the REIT indices." His "buy" rating on CBS Outdoor is premised largely on what he expects to be a 6.9-per-cent dividend yield, up from about 5.4 per cent today.

Uncomfortable with profiting from incarceration? Skip Corrections Corp. of America and The GEO Group Inc., whose real estate is private prisons and whose rent is the money governments pay to keep criminals locked up. Corrections Corp.

actually converted to a REIT once before, abandoned the structure and re-adopted it in 2013.

The small number of analysts who follow the two companies are more positive than analysts for other non-traditional REITs.

All six analysts following GEO have a "buy" rating, including Tobey Sommer of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, who says "prospects for a substantial acceleration in growth [are] modest," but the dividend yields are attractive and risks to growth are "subdued."

Attractive dividend yields.

Growth risks subdued. Maybe many of these non-traditional REITs will fit in just fine with their old-style peers.

American Tower (AMT)

Close: $102.10 (U.S.), up $1.39

Crown Castle (CCI)

Close: $81.70 (U.S.), up 72¢

Iron Mountain (IRM)

Close: $37.66 (U.S.), down 1¢ .

Corrections Corp. of America (CXW)

Close: $36.02 (U.S.), up 30¢

Associated Graphic

Prisoners take a class at La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz. La Palma is operated by Corrections Corp. of America.


P/E on a forward basis. Source: S&P Capital IQ

These cult Cali reds and holiday sparklers are all high-scorers in my book and perfect for gift-giving season
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L15


It must be that time of year. The weather's crisp and I can smell rarefied air. My nose has been spending much time with new products, many of them quite expensive. Stores are laying out the pricey gift-giving fare and will soon cue up - barring a holiday miracle - Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby to lull us into comatose submission.

This will explain the preponderance of high scores below. (My keyboard was not stuck on 93; the ratings simply turned out that way.) The theme: big reds and bright bubbles. I lead off with three relatively new California cult labels that have been turning out superb wines. They're expensive, yes, but cheaper and better than a lot of other, higher-profi le California gold.

Jonata, which I've raved about before, is billionaire juice. Located in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, it's owned by Stan Kroenke, a property developer who also heads the company that owns the Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets and the St. Louis Rams. (He also owns about 30 per cent of England's Arsenal soccer team and is married to Ann Walton Kroenke, billionaire daughter of Walmart co-founder Bud Walton.) Jonata's wines are meaty and strong. If they wore "eye-black" grease paint and shoulder pads, they could play on the Rams's defensive line.

Adaptation was launched as a second brand of PlumpJack, the excellent winery co-owned by two prominent Californians. One is Gordon Getty, billionaire philanthropist, classical composer and son of iconic oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. The other is Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco and California's current lieutenant governor. Adaptation departs from PlumpJack's main offerings by relying on purchased fruit, which is blended from various California vineyards rather than sourced from a single site.

I love the spirit of L'Aventure as well as its wine. Exuberant owner and winemaker Stephan Asseo grew up in France, studied in Burgundy and acquired a fine reputation as a vigneron in Bordeaux before deciding in 1996 that French appellation laws - which, among other things, dictate grape varieties that can go into a bottle - were a thorn in the side of his creativity. The French cowboy pulled up stakes and moved to Paso Robles, where he now crafts sumptuous, unconventional blends of syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot, among other things. They are showstoppers and unapologetically high in alcohol, a natural product of the mountainous region's intense, grape-ripening sunshine - and of its rarefied air.

Jonata Todos Red 2010 (California)

SCORE: 95 PRICE: $67.95

"Todos" means everyone or everything, a Spanish reference to this Heinz 57-like blend. The 2010 is mostly syrah, with sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, viognier, grenache, cabernet franc, petit verdot, sauvignon blanc and semillon. It's a mouthful in more ways than one. Carrying 14.9-per-cent alcohol, it's dense and meaty, with dark plum and blackberry liqueur laced with suggestions of roast beef and cracked pepper, set against big, chewy-chalky tannins. It's like a northern Rhône red with a Gold's Gym membership. Try it with braised beef short ribs. Available in Ontario.

Adaptation Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (California)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $49.95

Smoother than Barry White's baritone and almost as rich as Bill Gates, this full-bodied red oozes cassis, vanilla and dark chocolate, wrapped in well-integrated tannins. It's just the thing for juicy grilled beef. Available in Ontario at the very fair price above (it sells for $46 U.S. at the California winery).

L'Aventure Optimus 2011 (California)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $63.95

Chunky and chewy, Stephan Asseo's blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot is intensely ripe, measuring 15.1-per-cent alcohol. But it's remarkably balanced, like a good Amarone, with succulent raisin and plummy fruit infused with aromatic tobacco. Try it with hearty stews or as an accompaniment to a cheese plate. It should cellar favourably for a dozen years at least. $61.25 in Quebec.

Le Pupille Poggio Valente Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2009 (Italy)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $29.95

The German connoisseur magazine Der Feinschmecker named Elisabetta Geppetti its winemaker of the year eight years ago, the first time the honour was bestowed on a woman. They chose well, judging by the marvellous wines coming out of Le Pupille on the Tuscan coast. Morellino is the local name for the sangiovese grape also responsible for Chianti. Here it unfolds with layered complexity, hinting at cherries and prunes along with earthy-woodsy notes and baking spices. The texture is dusty-dry and the structure elegant and extraordinary. Already five years old, it's evolving beautifully. If you can find a plate of wild-boar pappardelle, introduce it to this red. Various prices in Alberta.

Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2013 (Spain)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $25.95

It's an unconventional blend of carignan, grenache, cabernet sauvignon and syrah and the great Spanish producer Alvaro Palacios pulls it off suavely. Full-bodied but not heavy, this is strawberry jam and plums dusted with thyme and crumpled, dry leaves. Earthy! Match it with roast leg of lamb. $24.99 in Manitoba.

Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. 2007 (British Columbia)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $39.90

Bone-dry and razor-sharp with acidity, this all-chardonnay beauty displays great depth of flavour, hinting at lemon pastry, green apple, honey and classic champagne-style tangy-toasty autolytic character.

Bollinger Brut Rose Champagne (France)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $101.95

The colour is a pretty shade of light salmon and the palate very dry. Notes of tart raspberry, apple and crisp peach give way to toasty baguette and a chalky finish. $125 in B.C.

Megalomaniac Bubblehead 2011 (Ontario)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $28.95

A delicate hue of light coppery pink seems to say "drink me." And when you heed the imperative, it can seem not so much like drinking as biting - into a fresh apple. Bone-dry and juicy at the same time, it also reveals a nuance of bread dough.

Fantinel One and Only Single Vineyard Brut Prosecco 2012 (Italy)

SCORE: 89 PRICE: $19.95

Drier than most proseccos, this zippy, elegant Italian sparkler offers up green apple and pear flavours and a lively, floral finish. Available in Ontario. THE FLAVOUR PRINCIPLE, co-written by The Globe and Mail's Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol, recently took home top prize for best general English cookbook at the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards. Featuring delectable recipes, enticing beverage pairings and entertaining food lore, the book has garnered several distinctions this year.

The trend of health-care workers tuning in to patients' spiritual needs isn't about religion or shamanism or animal spirit guides. Research shows that treating the whole person, not just the disease, can improve outcomes and reduce costs. Adriana Barton reports
Monday, November 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

When you are diagnosed with cancer, or blindsided by a stroke, a health crisis can turn into a dark night of the soul.

Many patients torment themselves, asking, "What did I do to make my body turn against me?" And if months of agonizing treatments stretch ahead, with no guarantee of a complete recovery, the burning question may be, "What is the meaning of all this suffering?" In addition to prescribing medication to help with physical symptoms, health-care professionals are increasingly tuning in to their patients' spiritual needs.

For the past year at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, outpatients have been able to book a 20-minute session of non-denominational support from a spiritual-care provider before or after a chemo treatment. Occupational therapists in Canada have enshrined spiritual care in their guidelines, making it their job to help patients - who may be physically or cognitively impaired - tap into life-affirming sources of personal meaning, such as nature or the arts.

The new approach to spiritual care is not the same as religious counselling or the healing response associated with the placebo effect. Rather, it is based on the idea that everyone has the need for hope, meaning and purpose in life, and that connecting to one's spirit, the essence of the self, can be a powerful motivator in healing.

Researchers in the emerging field of spirituality in medicine argue that science alone cannot meet the needs of aging populations who increasingly suffer from depression, social isolation and chronic diseases such as diabetes and dementia, which tend to worsen over time.

Physicians and nurse practitioners should not only prescribe pills or recommend psychotherapy, researchers say, but also support patients through compassion and mindfulness.

"Patients want much more than a cold doctor," said Dr. Christina Puchalski, a palliativecare physician and founder of the GW Institute for Spirituality and Health at George Washington University in Washington.

In the past two decades, more than 75 per cent of U.S. medical schools have integrated spirituality-related topics into their training.

Puchalski noted that a growing number of health-care workers, including doctors, are participating in group discussions and reflective writing exercises designed to enhance their own self-awareness.

Nurses and physicians may not be qualified to be spiritual guides for patients facing serious illness, but "we are witnesses, we are spiritual companions," Puchalski said.

Some studies suggest that addressing patients' spiritual needs in health-care settings has the potential to improve patient outcomes, and may reduce health-care costs by uncovering some of the underlying causes of stress-related mental and physical illnesses.

Spirituality in hospitals may help reduce health-care workers' stress too, says Marc Doucet, president of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care. He noted that staff at Princess Margaret are starting to avail themselves of the spiritual-care sessions offered to patients.

Puchalski describes the alignment of health care with spirituality as a movement to reclaim medicine's spiritual roots, which date back to shaman healers and early hospitals founded by religious organizations to promote healing of mind, body and soul.

The difference is that today, belief in God, reincarnation or animal spirit guides isn't part of the prescription. The new approach is not mystical or esoteric - "it's intensely practical," said Melanie Rogers, a nurse practitioner who conducts research on spirituality in health care at the University of Huddersfield in Britain.

For a doctor or nurse, it may take only a few minutes to listen intently, convey a message of hope and ask about sources of meaning in a patient's life, she explained.

Rogers recalls working with a depressed patient who had given up her job to care for her elderly mother. When her mother died, the patient was socially isolated "and felt she didn't have any purpose any more," Rogers said.

She discovered that the patient had an interest in ceramics, and put her in touch with a local pottery group. Before long, the patient was volunteering in community arts projects and building relationships with other ceramicists. "She is just a completely different person," Rogers said.

But is the search for a worthwhile pursuit truly a "spiritual need?"

As "spirituality" becomes a catchphrase in health care, critics argue that the term is too nebulous to mean anything, and that the humanistic side of medicine is a better description of what doctors and nurses can offer - without the religious or new-age undertones.

Par Salander, a professor of social work at Umea University in Sweden, noted that in research papers, the term spirituality has referred to everything from religious beliefs to existential questions, relationships to people, animals or nature, and the abstract notion of "being at peace."

"Spirituality" is being used as a scientific concept, despite the term's lack of conceptual coherence, theoretical rationale and systemic meaning, Salander pointed out. The term "blurs more than clarifies," he wrote in an e-mail.

In health-care settings, however, patients and staff tend to respond favourably to concepts such as spirituality and mindfulness, which has been endorsed by neuroscientists, noted Mike Gartland, head of pastoral and spiritual care at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in Britain.

In general, "people are much happier with the language of spirituality rather than religion," he said.

In British Columbia, the provincial government has replaced the term chaplain with job titles such as spiritual health practitioner to reflect the evolving profession's academic and clinical training requirements, as well as the shift away from traditional faith-based models.

In spiritual care, "the commitment is to the health-care process as opposed to a religious or denominational base," said Philip Crowell, head of the department of spiritual care at the Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia.

The Vancouver-based centre has three spiritual-care professionals on staff to offer roundthe-clock services for patients and family members coping with events such as a life-threatening accident or death of a child.

Many are referred by doctors, nurses and social workers who have learned to flag patients in need of spiritual care, Crowell said.

"If this is a spiritual crisis, you don't address it with medical answers. You address what's happening - there may be fear, anxiety, distress, uncertainty, confusion," he explained.

"When we talk about spirituality, it's not so much about beliefs, but about fundamental values - and how you articulate these in times when you are beside yourself," Crowell said.

Associated Graphic

Philip Crowell of The Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia says spiritual care is about the health-care process and is not tied to religion.


All Shanahan can do is hide from this mess
While the Leafs team pops seams, the executive vacuum will encourage more angst and dissent
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S3


It's only a bunker mentality if everyone is allowed into the bunker.

What the Leafs are in the midst of right now would more correctly be called human sacrifice.

When things go wrong (i.e. always), someone gets pushed out of the bomb shelter to say something about it. Even if it's hallucenogenically optimistic or an obvious lie, people want to hear the excuse. It makes them feel less alone in the world.

Most nights, it's head coach Randy Carlyle. And what the hell is he supposed to say? Everyone knows he's as good as fired. Carlyle isn't coaching this season. He's professionally bleeding out. They ought to carry him to the bench every night on a stretcher.

Nonetheless, Carlyle must speak. Every time he does so, he seems a little more despondent. By February, he'll be doing the postgame in his bathrobe, smoking a cigarette.

Maybe "general manager" Dave Nonis should offer up some encouragement? It'd be a great idea, if anybody believed he had any say in what happens.

Imagine the Leafs are a bank. The bank defaults. They call an emergency meeting with the press. Flashes popping. People yelling. Then someone says, "... and to explain this unprecedented crisis, I'm going to have Ed from Accounting come up here and say a few words. Ed?"

Dave Nonis is Ed from Accounting. He isn't a GM any more. He's an Oswaldian patsy. He's there to take the blame.

I've always believed Phil Kessel could make sense of this mess, if only the brutes in the media would give him a chance to organize his thoughts into an epic poem: "The Ballad of Phil, A Lament in Monosyllables (feat.

Tyler Bozak on lute)."

What's Kessel supposed to say? "I am good ..." - waves arm around locker room - "... and they are not."

Kessel has reached the Zen understanding that usually comes only with age - it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt. He might be the only person who's going to escape this season with his dignity intact.

This isn't really about explanations. Here's the explanation - the Toronto Maple Leafs are not very good.

The trouble is the only person who matters any more does not want to talk about it. Or talk at all. To anyone. On the record. About hockey. And, specifically, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In an interview with The Toronto Star this week, resurgent minority owner of MLSE Larry Tanenbaum was busy getting his digs in on his outgoing rival. But he was also demarcating the power structure going forward.

"The bright lights should never be on the owners," Tanenbaum said, shuffling slightly to get just the right angle of bright light. "They shouldn't be on [soon-toleave CEO] Tim Leiweke or any CEO. They should rightfully be on Masai Ujiri, Brendan Shanahan and Tim Bezbatchenko."

One of those things is not like the other.

Shanahan is the Leafs president, but Tanenbaum is tacitly conceding that he's also the de facto GM. Tanenbaum knows it and we know it. And if he knows it and we know it, why are we all still pretending it isn't the case when things are going sideways?

When the Raptors were preparing for the tank at this time last year, we saw a lot of Ujiri. He only receded once things were put right.

When the season going off a cliff for Toronto FC last ... okay, always ... Bezbatchenko was on a podium absorbing the shots.

But Shanahan? He's the invisible man. While everyone else is down in the engine room pumping out bilge water, he's up on deck working on his tan. He went on local radio on Friday afternoon and said, well, nothing.

He's so absent that Brian Burke managed to sneak into his office this week and begin issuing fiats in the club's defence. That's how it seemed.

And, to be fair, someone had to do it.

Lacking any sort of cover from above, the team decided to solve their image problem on their own. Like grown-ups.

After Thursday's win, they didn't go back onto the ice and salute the fans, as has always been their custom.

"To be completely honest with you, it was something about ... just changing up our routine," Dion Phaneuf said Friday, after the city once again misplaced its mind.

Basic principle: any sentence that starts with "To be completely honest with you ..." is not being very honest with you.

Everyone here looks foolish. The team for doing it. The public for caring. Then the team again for trying to tidy up its transparently passive-aggressive shot at the ACC crowd with an obvious porky pie.

What this spiralling situation needs is the intercession of an actual adult. But the only one available doesn't want to get involved.

You can understand why Shanahan is keeping out of this. This season was always lost. All he wants to do is get to April. By then, he can torch Carlyle and maybe Nonis, and hire Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.

Babcock is his finish line. In the interim, he needs Carlyle and Nonis to wear this wretched season, but he also needs them to survive it.

Those two objectives only align if the team is mediocre, rather than embarrassingly awful. They're sliding from the former to the latter.

The pressure is mounting on Shanahan to do the thing he least wants - give in to public frustration and fire Carlyle now.

Then he'd have to hire an interim coach. What if that guy won? And the fans fell in love with him? That would screw everything up.

So Carlyle is left dangling, with no word at all from his bosses.

Shanahan can't be seen supporting or denying him. Any presser he holds right now is going to be perceived as a vote of confidence or a kiss of death. Probably both. It's an impossible bind.

In the end, all Shanahan can do is hide.

While he hides, the team continues popping seams.

While the team pops seams, the executive vacuum will encourage more angst and dissent.

Next year was always going to be a fresh start for the Leafs. We didn't realize until this past week just how scorched the earth would have to be first.

Follow me on Twitter:@cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

By keeping silent, Phil Kessel might be the only person who's going to escape this season with his dignity intact.


Take two parasites and call me in the morning
Intrepid researchers are downing tapeworms and hookworms in their bid to find cures for inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and arthritis
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F3

It was all in the name of medical science.

Almost two years ago, Julius Lukes sat down to a meal of raw fish riddled with tapeworm eggs. "I did not enjoy it," he recalls. Happily, it took just a second or two: "You put it on your spoon and shovel it down."

Today, his intestines are home to three tapeworms with a total length of about 20 metres - all because Mr. Lukes, a senior fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and a professor at the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic, belongs to a small but growing group of scientists who maintain that some parasites may actually be good for us. In other words, the dictionary isn't completely accurate when it says that a parasite "obtains nourishment" from its host, "which does not benefit from the association, and is often harmed by it."

The researchers are exploring whether parasites could be used to treat a raft of autoimmune disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and arthritis - chronic and often painful conditions in which the body's immune system produces antibodies that attack its own tissues. Studies have repeatedly shown that the incidence of such disorders is highest in the developed world, where people live in relatively sterile environments.

Inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - affects about a quartermillion Canadians. An estimated 100,000 in this country have multiple sclerosis, one of the highest rates in the world. And arthritis affects no fewer than 4.5 million of us. There is no cure for any of these illnesses - only treatments that provide inconsistent relief.

But what if there is a cure, and we've been too squeamish to take it seriously? Scientists are beginning to investigate a theory that parasites can prime the immune system so that, when faced with a minor insult such as gluten or cheese, for example, it does not overreact and cause a serious disorder.

In a recent review in Trends in Parasitology, Mr. Lukes and his colleagues go so far as to call some parasites "old friends" who have evolved along with us over millions of years. Today's overly hygienic lifestyle, however, has reduced our contact with these friends, perhaps sparking the rising rates of autoimmune disorders.

Not that every one gets a pass. "There is no good parasite in human blood or in the brain," says Mr. Lukes, who is also a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences. "The argument is for intestinal parasites only."

Experiments with rodents already suggest that infection with worm-like intestinal parasites called helminths can provide relief from autoimmune disorders. As well as his one-man study of tapeworms, Mr. Lukes plans to add to the helminth research with a rodent study of his own. He is collaborating with University of British Columbia microbial ecologist Laura Wegener Parfrey on a CIFAR-sponsored study of two parasites: a species of tapeworm called hymenolepis and a single-celled parasite called a blastocystis. Working with rats suffering from a form of inflammatory bowel disease, they will see what impact both parasites have on the illness, and hope to have results next fall.

Ms. Wegener Parfrey's previous research suggests parasites are a normal part of a healthy gut. In a study published in June in Frontiers in Microbiology, she found that a greater variety of parasites live in the guts of healthy people in remote areas of Malawi than in those of North Americans. "The ubiquity of parasites in healthy people in developing countries and high abundance even in westernized countries shaped my thinking that parasites are likely good, at least some of the time," she says.

According to Ms. Wegener Parfrey, the critical time for infection is probably in childhood, when our immune system is still developing. But small clinical trials in Europe and North America involving adults suggest that infection with worms in particular can reduce symptoms of some autoimmune diseases. Biopharmaceutical companies Ovamed GmbH in Germany and Coronado Biosciences in Massachusetts are conducting trials involving T. suis, a pig whipworm that sometimes infects humans and may be effective against inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

T. suis is a good candidate for therapeutic infection because it can't complete its life cycle in humans: To survive, it must find its way into a pig at some point, meaning it can't stick around in the human gut long enough to cause serious problems. Other good candidates include parasites that don't migrate to the blood or brain, and those that aren't infectious when excreted from the body.

Mr. Lukes's tapeworms - a species called Diphyllobothrium latum - fit the bill on all counts. He does not suffer from an autoimmune disorder; the point of his experiment is to see whether the worms can do him any harm. And so far, so good, he says - despite the fact that his tenants are not all that much shorter than the newly named Dreadnoughtus, the biggest dinosaur. He has experienced none of the diarrhea or vomiting typically considered symptoms of infestation.

Medical textbooks suggest he should be suffering a vitamin B12 deficiency by now, but tests show that he is healthy. "I feel wonderful," he says.

As a guinea pig, Mr. Lukes is not alone. Last year, James Logan, a parasitologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, infected himself with hookworms, providing detailed online video documentation of his body's reaction. Mr. Logan did not feel wonderful. He suffered stabbing abdominal pains that kept him up at night. On the other hand, he found relief from a long-standing allergy to bread products - an immune-system overreaction to something normally harmless. After two months, he swallowed a pill to get rid of his parasite along with his new-found ability to eat bread.

Mr. Lukes could do the same for his tapeworms, but says he won't. In fact, last month he tried to infect himself with giardia, a microscopic parasite known among North American backpackers as the cause of "beaver fever." It is most often transmitted through contaminated water and is widely believed to cause violent diarrhea, nausea and cramping that can last weeks without treatment. "Everybody freaks out about giardia," says Mr. Lukes, whose first dose didn't take - although he plans to down another one soon. "But in most cases, it doesn't do anything. So that's my testable hypothesis. That can be a follow-up story in a year."

Sharon Oosthoek is a Toronto-based writer who specializes in science.

Associated Graphic

Diphyllobothrium latum (or broad tapeworm) can grow up to 30 feet long

Doctor became a rock star of sorts
Dr. Robinson devoted much of his career to improving health care in Yemen, making 23 visits there and becoming a local celebrity
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S12

The first time Martin Robinson toured a hospital in the Middle Eastern country of Yemen he was shocked. As an obstetrician/ gynecologist accustomed to leading-edge facilities, it was as though he'd entered a time warp. Clinics were crowded and disorganized. Cats wandered freely around operating theatres. Sand blew in from outside. Adequate health care was impossible in cities, where there was one physician for every 9,000 patients. Rural areas, with sparsely scattered clinics, rudimentary equipment and insufficiently trained workers, suffered even more. Dr. Robinson set out to implement massive change. His efforts to improve medical care there were so far-reaching that he became a celebrity, akin to a rock star.

"He was recognized everywhere," said his friend Mohamed Basahi, a Yemeni geneticist who immigrated to Canada. "He left an imprint on my country that will never be forgotten," Dr. Basahi said. Dr. Robinson died of heart failure on Oct. 14 at his home in London, Ont. He was 88.

Education was not a high priority in the family home of Martin Lyle Robinson, but he possessed a natural curiosity. He was born on Aug. 31, 1926, in Thamesville, Ont. His father, Fraser, ran a gas station while his mother, Mary, cared for Martin and two younger sisters. Martin, however, was bright enough to win a high-school scholarship to Upper Canada College in Toronto. His small-town roots revealed themselves often enough at the elite school that he was bullied. He left before completing a year and, at the age of 17, lied about his age to enlist in the Canadian army. The Second World War ended shortly thereafter, but enlistment ensured access to a university education. Martin decided to pursue medicine. After attending McMaster University, he completed medical training at the University of Western Ontario. Once again he won a scholarship, this time to study under Sir John Stallworthy, a renowned obstetrician/gynecologist in Oxford, England. Dr. Robinson's wife, Pauline, a business student from university days, accompanied him. They'd married in 1953, and had four daughters. The couple lived briefly in Winnipeg, eventually settling in London, Ont., where Dr. Robinson established a busy private practice.

Fascinated by the Middle East, an interest he attributed to childhood reading of The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights, Dr. Robinson accepted an invitation from the Saudi government to visit the military hospital in Jeddah. Beginning in 1977, he travelled to Saudi Arabia many times as a visiting professor and external examiner for Saudi medical students. But it wasn't until 1986, during a chance meeting on a plane, that Dr. Robinson became fully aware of Yemen, a politically turbulent country of 21 million people, bordering the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

The passenger beside him was a Saudi pediatric surgeon who'd been making weekly visits to Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, where he operated on infants. During their conversation, the surgeon described deplorable medical facilities in Yemen, and the high incidence of maternal and newborn deaths. He encouraged Dr. Robinson to visit (he would be the first Western physician to do so), and subsequently arranged for him to spend time in the country's only teaching hospital as a visiting professor. A medical emergency intervened. In 1987, having suffered from angina, Dr. Robinson underwent heart bypass surgery. It forced him to retire from the demands of private practice, although he continued to teach at the University of Western Ontario. By this time, Dr. Robinson had divorced his wife of 25 years. His new partner was Ann Mackenzie, also divorced with four children. The two remained devoted, seeing each other daily but maintaining separate residences for 38 years. "We were the envy of our friends," she said.

In 1988, Dr. Robinson and Ms. Mackenzie took their first flight to Yemen. Upon landing she recalled the pilot saying, "Ladies and gentlemen. You can now set your watches back 500 years."

Dr. Robinson wrote, "Our first experience in Yemen was so profound, and the priorities so evident, that we realized that devoting our efforts to projects there could yield significant benefits to the Yemeni people."

Dr. Robinson visited Yemen a total of 23 times, frequently with his partner. He arranged for other volunteer doctors to accompany him and became team leader of the Canadian Medical Delegation (CMD). As the CMD introduced Yemeni doctors to the latest in surgical techniques, their motto became "Teach the teachers."

After Yemeni newspapers and television publicized that Canadian doctors would be holding clinics in various locations throughout the country, patients lined up for hours.

Dr. Robinson, who had the ability to attract co-operation from officials, persuaded the government of Yemen to set a high priority for the health care of women and children. Among other measures, legislation was passed to add folic acid to flour, a simple step to reduce the incidence of spina bifida in newborns.

With books donated from Canada, Dr. Robinson set up the first medical library in Yemen. He was instrumental in establishing the first oncology clinic, and visited a leper colony, where he saw 400 cases in one afternoon.

Knowing that leprosy is curable if detected early, Dr. Robinson instituted a widespread publicity campaign about warning signs of the disease. In 1994, both Dr. Robinson and Ms. Mackenzie were recognized by the Order of St. Lazarus for their contribution to Yemen's leprosy program.

Kristyan Robinson describes her father as a renaissance man who was particularly passionate about supporting music and art. His home in London, Ont., was a museum of modern art, oriental carpets and treasures collected on his travels. He called it his utopia. Work however remained a priority. Even as the end of his life approached he continued to teach medical students from his hospital bed.

Just days before he died, Dr. Robinson finished a book he'd been writing called Yemen Revealed. Kristyan Robinson said he wept when she gave it to him. The final chapter quotes one of Dr. Robinson's favourite sayings:

"Illegitimi non carborundum." The phrase, dating back to the Second World War, is humorously bad Latin for: "Don't let the bastards get you down."

Dr. Robinson leaves his daughters, Michele Robinson, Lisa D'Ariano, Megan Walker, Kristyan Robinson; partner, Ann Mackenzie; sister, Eileen; and numerous grandchildren.

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Associated Graphic

Dr. Robinson is surrounded by doctors and residents at Al-Thawra Modern General Hospital in Sana'a in 1988 during his first trip to Yemen.


A cruise ship is not just a way of getting from Point A to Point B. It's a world unto itself, where roles are assumed, new friendships are formed and, for one fleeting moment, you can be a star
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- I have always approached cruising with a healthy dose of ironic detachment. I don't fit in on cruises - I don't shuffleboard, I don't enjoy 10-course dinners, I can't stomach the choreographed nausea of the nightly musicals - which is exactly why I enjoy the experience. With so little to draw me out of my cabin, the voyage becomes a deeply relaxing form of escape - a solitary, Internetless rhythm of reading, sleeping and gazing at the waves.

This year, I took my longest ever cruise: a 29day trans-Pacific crossing to Vancouver from Sydney, Australia, on Holland America Line's MS Oosterdam. In my mind, the equation was simple: More days at sea meant more solitary relaxation. But I discovered that the detachment I'd enjoyed so much on previous sailings - which ranged from five days to two weeks - was impossible on a month-long journey.

What I didn't know was that, after a few weeks, a cruise ship is transformed from a place you're merely vacationing, into a miniature society of which you are inescapably a citizen.

Every ship is, to some degree, a little self-sustaining world. "Newspapers" lay out the day's events, and nightly entertainments draw the community together. Public spaces are divided into neighbourhoods, with districts for shopping, dining, dancing, gambling, exercise and sleeping - some shabby, some chic. A vertically arranged class system that puts the richest townsfolk in the highest-numbered decks and the working classes (the crew) below sea level.

The basic setup was the same on the Oosterdam - yet, immediately, things were noticeably different. You know that moment when an elevator gets stuck between floors, or a train breaks down, and everyone realizes they're stuck for a while and might as well be sociable?

That moment came as soon as the Oosterdam left Sydney Harbour. Faced with the prospect of a full month at sea together, the ship became not just a microcosm, but a village. In the first days of the cruise, I saw someone pasting a dollar-store Easter bunny decoration on their cabin door; soon, entire hallways became cluttered with miniature replicas of suburban front porches, each wishing passersby a Happy Easter. Within the first week, a fellow passenger caught a glimpse of my deliberately shaggy locks and - seeing I wasn't the sort to pay $100 for a haircut in the spa - offered to lend me his clippers.

As in any small town, it wasn't long before everyone knew everyone else's business. And as word spread, credentials became inflated. Once it was discovered that Allan, a tall and affable Texan, had campaigned for Obama and been invited to the Inauguration, he was known as the Politician, and passengers turned to him for assistance in conflict resolution and delicate negotiation.

When Mathew, an Australian musician bound for a North American radio tour, was spotted in the hallway with a guitar case, he became the Rock Star, subject to command performances.

I myself attained a doubly inflated celebrity. Because I was the only person onboard who had thought to pack a South Pacific Lonely Planet, I was the Independent Travel Expert. On the evenings before calls in port, lineups of the adventurous formed at my dinner table; the next night, happy travellers returned to recount their exploits. Far more important to my onboard prestige, however, were the rumours that I was working on a travel piece. Immediately, I was the Writer, and the dinner invitations began to pour in. One night, a retired four-star general summoned me to regale him with (sadly nonexistent) tales of exotic adventure and run-ins with literary celebrities; the next, I was the special guest of the hotel director, who shared his boundless enthusiasm for Holland America over filet mignon and sparkling wine.

Drawn out of my solitary orbit, I discovered a surprisingly diverse cast of characters. There was the usual complement of friendly, somewhat frightened retirees, and the "booze cruise" faction was well represented. But there were also cruiser demographics I had never suspected: those afraid of flying; those seeking to reduce their carbon footprints; committed world travellers looking for the slowest, weirdest, most scenic way of getting between continents; people moving to Canada from Australia who had figured out that cruise ships don't have baggage limits and had stuffed their staterooms to the rafters.

Before I knew it, I had my very own band of cruise-outsiders. We travelled together when in port, and sat around together when at sea. We staked out our own districts of the ship: During the daytime, the portside deck near the pool was our stomping ground; after midnight, the Piano Bar was our terrain; after that, we had the Atlantis nightclub to ourselves.

We wrote notes on Oosterdam stationery and slipped them under one another's doors. We played cards when it rained. One night, long after the ship had gone to sleep, we snuck onto an abandoned stage and played a noisy set on borrowed instruments. More than once, I woke up thinking I was back in my first-year university dorm.

The sad and beautiful part of the cruise-ship-as-microcosm, alas, is its precariousness. Circumstance had drawn a line around 1,500 people and, for 29 days, this became my society, my world. I was amazed and grateful that fate had provided me with such a sympathetic little band to spend it with - but as the end drew nearer, the pre-emptive nostalgia grew unbearable. I knew that, just as quickly as it had materialized, this fleeting society would vanish like a mirage. The cruise-village exists not in space, but in time; once its period has elapsed, there is no going home.

The day before the Oosterdam arrived in Vancouver, it stopped in Seattle, where more than half the passengers and crew disembarked - including all my dearest new friends. That night, the Piano Bar and the Atlantis nightclub were filled with the hollers of unfamiliar voices - drunken revellers on bachelor party benders. It was the same ship, but the society that I had inhabited was no more. Having embarked on the cruise in order to escape the world, I was instead brought face to face with its most melancholy truth. Sound the foghorn. All things must pass.

Associated Graphic


A cruise ship is transformed from a place you're merely vacationing, into a miniature society of which you are inescapably a citizen. Aboard the Holland America Line's MS Oosterdam, below, it wasn't long before everyone knew everyone else's business.



Media circus surrounds fallen star as Ghomeshi faces sex-assault charges
Former CBC radio host released on $100,000 bail after being charged with four counts of sex assault, one of overcoming resistance by choking - which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison
Thursday, November 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A1

After weeks of swirling allegations of sex crimes, Jian Ghomeshi finally appeared in public, sitting alone in a downtown Toronto courtroom as five charges were read against him.

The former CBC radio host faces four sexual-assault charges and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

As an army of reporters, photographers and video crews scrambled to record the scene after the bail hearing on Wednesday, defence lawyer Marie Henein told the chaotic scrum outside that her client would plead not guilty to all charges. He would not be commenting to the media, she said.

"We will address these allegations fully and directly in a courtroom," she said as Mr. Ghomeshi stood silently at her side. "It is not my practice to litigate my cases in the media. This one will be no different."

The 47-year-old, once one of Canada's most in-demand cultural icons, was released on $100,000 bail into the custody of his mother, Sara, after turning over his passport and agreeing to remain in Ontario. Mr. Ghomeshi is banned from possessing any weapons and must stay at least 500 metres away from his three accusers.

He surrendered to Toronto police early Wednesday morning, after a month-long investigation by the sex crimes unit. Around noon, he arrived at College Park court in the back of a police cruiser dressed in a dark suit and white shirt.

Sitting ashen-faced in the prisoner's box, Mr. Ghomeshi stole repeated glances at his former colleagues in the media, while Crown attorney Michael Callaghan read the allegations against him.

Those details are protected under a publication ban, as are the names of two of the alleged victims. The third accuser, actress Lucy DeCoutere, consented to be identified, although the specifics of her complaint cannot be revealed under the ban.

The CBC abruptly fired Mr. Ghomeshi on Oct. 26, after his own lawyers showed two of the company's executives incriminating photos, video, e-mails and text messages. Later, leaders at the public broadcaster said the "graphic evidence" they viewed left them convinced that "Jian Ghomeshi caused physical injury to a woman."

Mr. Ghomeshi had volunteered the footage to prove that his sexual encounters were consensual, albeit rough. It appears the meeting was prompted by growing concern among Mr. Ghomeshi and his advisers that allegations of abusive sexual encounters might soon be published in the press.

Since then, at least nine women have spoken to several media outlets, alleging that they were physically or sexually abused by Mr. Ghomeshi. All but two of the women - Ms. DeCoutere and Reva Seth, a lawyer and author - have spoken anonymously.

Last month, Ms. Decoutere, who plays Lucy on Trailer Park Boys, told the Toronto Star that in 2003 she met Mr. Ghomeshi at a festival barbeque in Banff, Alta.

Later, they had dinner in Toronto and ended up back at his home. She said they started kissing, but then he pushed her up against a wall and began and choking her to the point where she struggled to breathe. She alleged he slapped her three times hard on the head. She then left in a taxi.

The allegations have not been proven in court. After his firing, the former Q host posted a 1,586word statement on his Facebook page (which has since been removed), stating: "I've done nothing wrong." He also claimed that "everything I have done has been consensual," and that he had been dismissed "because of what I do in my private life."

He then filed a $55-million lawsuit against his former employer.

But on Tuesday, the CBC confirmed the two sides had reached an agreement that will see Mr. Ghomeshi withdraw his suit and pay the public broadcaster $18,000 in costs. He has decided to address his firing through a union grievance instead, "in binding arbitration in accordance with the collective agreement between them," according to Mr. Ghomeshi's civil lawyer, Jonathan Lisus.

Meanwhile, Ms. DeCoutere released a statement after Mr. Ghomeshi's court appearance: "The past month has seen a major shift in the conversation about violence against women. It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring.

I hope that victims' voices continue to be heard and that this is the start of a change that is so desperately needed."

At a downtown luncheon on Wednesday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair declined to add any details about the case, although he encouraged any victims of sex assault to come forward to police. "I want to offer them my assurance that they will be treated with dignity and respect, that my people are well trained in these investigations and in dealing with concerns that victims may have."

The CBC's head of public affairs, Chuck Thompson, said in an e-mail, "We understand that none of the charges involve employees or former employees of CBC, and we won't comment about charges that are now before the courts."

The dramatic fall of Mr. Ghomeshi has made headlines around the globe. On Wednesday, the media descended on the courthouse - located on the second floor of a busy residential and commercial building - to cover his appearance. Reporters lined up for an hour outside the courtroom. Many were forced to stand along the walls; dozens more were waiting in the first-level foyer.

After his release and the brief statement by his lawyer, Mr. Ghomeshi and Ms. Henein were encircled by half a dozen police officers, who pushed toward the street while journalists and curious bystanders were knocked over or pinned against the wall.

As a television network's helicopter hovered overhead, Mr. Ghomeshi was escorted to a waiting car and then tracked to his lawyer's King Street East office.

At around 4:15 p.m., a driver dropped him off at his mother's home. A few minutes later, a second car left two bags.

Mr. Ghomeshi's last public statement came in late October, when he wrote on his Facebook page that "I intend to meet these allegations directly."

He is due back in College Park court on Jan. 8, 2015.

With reports from Tristan Simpson and Ann Hui

Associated Graphic

Jian Ghomeshi did not comment after leaving court in Toronto. His lawyer, Marie Henein, said he will plead not guilty to the charges.


Jian Ghomeshi arrives at his mother's Thornhill, Ont., home on Wednesday. Earlier, Mr. Ghomeshi made a court appearance where he was released on $100,000 bail.


An educated risk
With the finish line closer than for retirement, RESP investors need to protect funds saved for their children's education. But that doesn't mean they should put all their contributions into bonds or other low-yield, low-risk investments
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B7

Investing for your child's education is more sprint than marathon. That's because, unlike retirement, the finish line comes a lot sooner.

"You know your child will need the money at about age 18 with RESPs, but with RRSPs, you may not need the money for several decades," says Sajjad Hussain, private wealth counsellor with Fiduciary Trust Canada, in Toronto.

Yet parents do not need to put all their contributions for a registered education savings plan into government bond funds or other low-yield, low-risk investments. Investing in equities is still important, as long as one starts saving early enough.

"For a newborn to the age of 5, you could actually go with 100 per cent equities," Mr. Hussain says. As a child moves closer to college, however, the portfolio should become increasingly conservative, investing in bonds, GICs and high-interest savings accounts.

Although the returns are low, even flat when factoring in inflation, capital preservation becomes increasingly important, says Robert Armstrong, the Toronto-based head of managed solutions with Bank of Montreal Global Asset Management.

"There's a point where you have to stop trying to grow those assets and protect the capital, because you will not have the time to make up any potential losses that the market may give you," Mr. Armstrong says.

Furthermore, RESP investors have less need to take on the higher risk and return offered by equity markets because their contributions already receive a de facto 20-per-cent return thanks to the Canada Education Savings Grant, he says.

"The No. 1 thing with your RESP strategy is to maximize the grant money," Mr. Armstrong says.

The grant is worth as much as $500 a year on contributions up to $2,500, though additional grants may apply for low-income families. With a lifetime grant maximum of $7,200 per child, it takes more than 14 years of contributions to earn the full benefit.

Although you can make up for missed years, doubling up payments annually to earn double the grant, what can't be made up is lost time. The sooner the contribution is made, the more time the money can grow tax-sheltered.

Yet because of the relatively small amount of money inside an RESP at the outset, Mr. Armstrong says investors likely are best served by investing in mutual funds, which offer relatively low-cost diversification, using an automatic preauthorized contributions strategy.

"This strategy allows for easy dollar-cost-averaging, so you don't have to pay attention to it on a regular basis," he says.

With mutual funds parents can also make small contributions, say $25 a week. Trading commissions can add up when making small purchases of individual stocks and even exchange traded funds (ETFs).

As investors accumulate money in their accounts, those who are concerned about the high management costs of mutual funds can consider purchasing low-fee ETFs and even individual securities, Mr. Armstrong says.

In the meantime, many fund companies offer low-cost options, including index funds that track the performance of a benchmark such as the TSX Composite Index, says Mike Holman, the Torontobased author of The RESP Book.

"Typically in Canada with actively managed equity mutual funds, you're looking at 2 per cent in management costs or higher per year, but an index product costs just a fraction of that amount," Mr. Holman says.

"Even if you believe in active management, it's hard to make up that difference in management cost over the long haul."

More sophisticated investors who want additional control over their portfolios can choose ETFs instead, which have costs that are even lower than index fund MERs.

Some discount brokerages also offer commission-free ETF trades, but investors who have to pay commissions can reduce their impact by allowing contributions to accumulate - to about $1,000, for example - before they make a trade.

The same advice holds true for investors who want to purchase individual stocks - a viable option for people who are willing to do the homework, Mr. Armstrong says. When buying stocks, however, he suggests sticking to large companies that pay a steady, rising dividend.

"If people are comfortable investing on their own, Canadian blue chip companies are a great alternative," he says. "You just have to remember to scale back the risk over time by adding fixed income securities."

Once investors start adding fixed income, however, they should not buy individual bonds because the relatively small amount of money in an RESP does not allow for large enough purchases of bonds to build a diversified and cost-efficient fixedincome allocation in the portfolio, Mr. Hussain says.

For this reason, bond mutual funds and ETFs are better options.

Typically, the bond component should be oriented toward Canadian and provincial government bonds. While low-yielding, they are also low-risk - and that's the point, Mr. Hussain says.

"You want bonds to appreciate and have some yield, but you want that bond exposure primarily to reduce volatility and preserve wealth," he says.

More sophisticated investors can go beyond Canada's borders for higher yields, but foreign bond investments also have currency risk, so a rising Canadian dollar could mute the additional yield, and even incur losses.

Over all, however, most RESP investors are better off avoiding complexity, Mr. Holman says.

"In a lot of cases, parents have got a new baby to look after so they just want to cross it off the 'to-do' list," he says. "For them, the main thing is to keep it simple and easy."


Target-date portfolios are a good option for investors putting money into registered education savings plans. These portfolios offer a little more return, risk and complexity than guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), without the concern of having to manage the investments.

An RESP target-date offering is a portfolio of mutual funds that automatically reduces market risk as a child moves closer to enrolling in postsecondary school.

Early on, the portfolio is invested in mostly equity mutual funds. Fixed-income holdings are added slowly over the years to reduce risk. By the time your child enters postsecondary school, the funds are largely invested in liquid money-market funds.

So far, only Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal offer RESP target funds. The RBC offering starts out with management costs of about 2 per cent, decreasing over time as the fixed-income holding increases.

Joel Schlesinger

Associated Graphic

As children near their postsecondary education, capital preservation becomes increasingly important, says Robert Armstrong of BMO Global Asset Management in Toronto.


Live to 100? More Canadians better plan for it
The past decades have shown that Canadian men and women are living longer, actuaries say. Here's how to make the money last
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B7

When Lisa Colalillo, a real estate agent in Toronto, helped her great-grandmother celebrate her 100th birthday on Oct. 14, she was thrilled to see her reach the centenarian milestone.

Yet mixed with Ms. Colalillo's joy that day was something else - a feeling of unease. After all, if someone in her family could live to such a ripe old age, she could, too. But would she be able to afford to? Would she someday outlive her retirement savings?

"You think, okay, I'll retire at 65 and then have 20 years left. But if we go by how long my greatgrandmother has lived, suddenly we're talking 40 years," she says.

"Apparently we have some good genes in my family. It hits home."

She is right to be concerned. Although no one can accurately predict when they'll die years before it happens - if they could, retirement planning would be a snap - statistics show Canadians are living longer than ever, says Ian Edelist, a consulting actuary with Eckler Ltd. in Toronto.

According to the actuarial firm's most recent analysis of the data in Canada, the United States and Britain, Canadians' average life expectancy for those who have already reached 65 has increased 1.5 months each year over the past 40 years to just under 84 years old for men and just over 86 years old for women. What's more, over the past 20 years, men's life expectancy has risen even more: two months for each year.

Or put it another way. If you grouped 100 Canadian couples together now, all 65 years old, at least 10 of them would expect to see one spouse live for more than a century. That's a 10-per-cent chance that one of the spouses will live until 100.

Is a longer life good news? Of course it is. Unless that longevity is combined with miniscule savings and ill health, thus becoming a curse.

Back in 2013, BlackRock Canada released survey results showing that while Canadians needed to wake up to the realization their retirement nest eggs should last at least 25 years, they weren't making plans to ensure they would actually have that money available.

"What does someone do if they think they're only going to live to 80? How do they bridge the gap if they end up living to 93 or 100?" asks Mr. Edelist.

Luckily, government programs are already accounting for longer life spans with the Canadian Pension Plan routinely updating projections and Old Age Security increasing the eligibility age from 65 to 67 effective in 2023 to accommodate longer lives. Still, Canadians also need to take matters into their own hands. Fortunately there are a few ways to do just that.

Get personal When Patrick Sager, a senior financial planner and elder planning counsellor with Investment Planning Counsel in Blairmore, Alta., sits down with new clients, he does his best to come up with a rough estimation of when that person will die. That information is vital for creating a financial plan that makes sense for the long haul.

How physically active are they?

How long did their parents and grandparents live? Any health issues to be aware of?

"We always plan to age 90 at a minimum unless someone says, 'Listen, I have really bad health.

I'm probably not going to live to 75.' We account for that," he says.

Even the best made plans can go awry, however. The marathon runner who gets hit by a bus. The two-pack-a-day smoker who wins the longevity jackpot. His own father, a diabetic who suffered a stroke and had quadruple bypass surgery, went on to live until he was 85.

"It's a crapshoot. No one can guarantee, even if you have longevity in your family, that you're going to have it too," he explains, while maintaining that knowing family history still usually helps.

Get familiar with annuities

Think of them as you would an employer's defined benefit pension - annuities give you guaranteed income for as long as you live. The theory is straightforward: You hand over a lump sum payment to an insurance provider and in turn you'll receive guaranteed income every month until you don't need it any more. (Read: once both you and your spouse are dead.)

While they're not for everyone - say, you're so wealthy there's little chance you'll run out of cash or if you're already on death's door - annuities are a good way to avoid the longevity trap. Many retirees use them, along with CPP and OAS, to create a steady income stream to pay for basics. Once that's taken care of, they can rest easily knowing any other investments held outside the annuity can cover trips to Italy or a new roof. Waiting to buy an annuity until you're at least 70 will help you reap the biggest rewards and land the largest payouts.

Mr. Edelist recently convinced his own parents to buy an annuity with some of the proceeds of their house sale.

"I said, 'You really don't want to be investing your money when you're 80 or 90 years old.' We have longevity in our genes. An annuity is a good plan for us," he says.

Get thinking about real estate

Meanwhile, some cash-strapped retirees turn to reverse mortgages to generate income in their golden years. Canadian homeowners who are at least 55 are eligible to get up to 50 per cent of their home's value and aren't required to make mortgage payments or pay interest or principal until the home is sold or the owner dies. It can be a pricey option though with mortgage rates above market.

Ms. Colalillo, 35, is planning on being even more creative with real estate: She's made a goal for herself to create $10,000 worth of monthly income through private lending, taking in student borders and investing that money in real estate. Once her properties are paid off, she'll use the rent as income.

"I've got to have cash flow because if I'm still alive at 100, there will still be money coming in," she says. "I won't be a huge burden to my family."

Associated Graphic

Lisa Colalillo, a Toronto real estate agent, with a photo of her 100-year-old great-grandmother and another relative. 'We have some good genes." Ms. Colalillo, 35, is preparing to finance a long life.


Beyond the usual fruit and vanilla, zestier culinary ingredients such as saffron, edamame, coffee and salt are making their way into fragrance bottles with mouthwatering frequency. Why such hunger games now? 'We all feel like we're living in end times,' one expert tells Kristen Vinakmens, 'and these scents are comforting'
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L8

Edamame, coffee, saffron, raw salt. Have a look at the ingredients in the latest crop of women's fragrances and you might think you were looking at a chef's shopping list, not the notes in a typical perfume. In a bid to stand out from the many fruity-floral scents dominating the market, brands are injecting unexpected foodie favourites into a host of unique fragrances, hoping to win the hearts of fickle fragrance customers in the process. Witness YSL's Black Opium (with its heady coffee note), B. Balenciaga (laced with edamame) and L'Occitane En Provence's Arlésienne (saffron-spiked).

Perhaps it's no wonder that perfumers are looking beyond the typical palette of florals and musks to tap the comforts of the kitchen: Overall fragrance sales in the United States are stagnant or on the decline, says Karen Grant, global beauty-industry analyst with NPD Group. But it's not for lack of consumer choice: With more than 100 new fragrances launched every year, options are virtually endless. According to Grant, "people are using sing fragrance more as a special-occasion item," which means they're replenishing their favourite juices - industry slang for perfumes - less often. "There has been a lot of newness pushed at them, but fi nding that 'What is so special about this for me?' [quality] may also be why these new or unique scents are appealing."

Foodie notes in fragrance are nothing new: In the 1920s, Guerlain's Shalimar, with its heady dose of vanilla, was released to an embracing public, while Calyx by Prescriptives (now under the Clinique brand) offered its b guava and grapefruit punch during the 1980s. In 1992, designer Thierry Mugler ushered in the sweet gourmand trend with Angel, a love-it-orhate-it concoction of chocolate, cotton candy and patchouli, which continues to be a best seller. "Gourmand accords became popular after the smashing success of Angel, but foodie notes have been in perfumes for some time, balanced with other notes," says Barbara Herman, the author of Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume. What is different this time, Herman goes on, is the degree to which perfumers are venturing into savoury, even bitter scent territory. "I think it's a way of playing with notes that have been popular since Thierry Mugler Angel led the gourmand pack - without straying too far," she says.

Black Opium, YSL's new scent, is a foodie's dream riff on the classic fragrance Opium, built around a strong blackcoffee- bean note that imparts a distinct bitterness at fi rst whiff before settling into a creamier base of vanilla and jasmine. "The fragrance plays on an overdose of coffee that runs through the fragrance from the very fi rst notes," perfumer Nathalie Lorson says, adding that "this is the fi rst time a women's fragrance has been built around a coffee note." Although coffee has been used to varying degrees in women's scents before, it has typically been paired with chocolate, lending it a robust quality, says fragrance expert Marian Bendeth. "Now [perfumers are] making it very dark and bitter," she says. "[With coffee] you can go sweet and you can go dark and bitter."

Driving such experimentation in commercial scent are the more daring concoctions of indie and artisanal fragrance brands such as Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and Byredo, which have distinguished themselves by using unusual ingredients such as saffron or oud (an expensive wood) in their blends. Increasingly, these irreverent, outsidethe- box scents have been resonating with fragrance lovers. (Tellingly, Le Labo and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle were both recently scooped up by megabeauty company Estée Lauder.) "Artisanal fragrance sales have more than doubled since 2009 - [the category] has consistently been the fastest-growing part of the fragrance market," says Grant. "These fragrances have helped usher in certain spice notes or elements that we haven't necessarily considered in fragrance or put them together in some unique twist."

Case in point: B. Balenciaga, a green woody fragrance with a singular freshness achieved by combining lily of the valley and violet green leaves with the unexpected note of edamame, the humble green soybean that's a perennial accompaniment to Japanese sushi and sashimi. "Edamame is still a hot trend in the food industry and here it's used to give more of a green accord - it also gives the fragrance a nice little Japanese twist," fragrance expert Bendeth says. "In order for the fragrance industry to be progressive, it can't keep repeating the same notes over and over again. So to give it a bit of a twist, [brands have] decided to get into more pronounced notes, such as salty."

Crisp salt notes have a starring role in two of this season's scents: Calvin Klein Reveal (with its raw-salt edge) and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt. In keeping with the fragrance's erotic undertones, Reveal's salt note is used to evoke the scent of skin (the perfume is rounded out by creamy sandalwood and musky cashmeran), while Jo Malone's take on salt evokes ocean waves on a windswept beach and is paired with another culinary note: fresh and earthy sage.

Another spice that's making a play for scent-ingredient-of-the-moment, Bendeth says, is saffron. Derived from the crocus fl ower, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, its precious red and yellow threads coveted by chefs for their pungent, aromatic quality. Its use in fragrance is still somewhat rare, though: Saffron fi rst began gaining steam with the 2012 and 2013 releases Black Saffron by Byredo and Jo Malone Saffron Intense. Saffron also spices up L'Occitane En Provence's new scent Arlésienne, in which it lends a peppery, exotic fl air to a fl oral rose and violet base. "It's about dialing up and expanding [the gourmand trend] to incorporate other world's scents and fl avours," Grant says.

Herman, the author, doesn't see the desire for foodie fragrances abating anytime soon. "We all feel like we're living in end times and these scents are comforting," she says. "I can see why a little dab of vanilla laced with coffee would be the way to go."


Calvin Klein Reveal


Jo Malone Wood, Sage & Sea Salt


B. Balenciaga


Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium


L'Occitane En Provence

Associated Graphic



Styling by Rodney Smith/Judy Inc.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

True giant of the game left an impression everywhere he went
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A1

Pat Quinn's first notable role in the game of hockey was as a villain. He was the guy who caught Bobby Orr with his head down in a playoff game in 1969, laying him out cold. Most everyone who was a fan of the Boston superstar at the time hated the big Toronto defenceman.

No one did that to Bobby Orr.

For many, it would be the thing Pat Quinn would be remembered for most as a player. But as it turned out, the big Irishman, as he would affectionately be known, would end up leaving a far greater impression on the game as a coach and manager .

Just how great an impact was evident seconds after news broke Monday morning that he had died overnight at age 71. Even though many knew he was not well, and was likely facing his final days, the family's announcement still hit with a blunt force across the hockey world, and particularly in Vancouver and Toronto where his stints as a coach and manager made him a muchbeloved figure.

Each city remains somewhat possessive of him. For people in Vancouver, Mr. Quinn arrived in 1987 to save a sorry, money-losing franchise from irrelevancy, leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. He bled Canucks colours and always would; in private he'd admit as much. That is why seeing him behind the bench of the hated Maple Leafs was so hard for so many on the West Coast. But in Toronto, the Hamilton native gave Leafs fans a reason to hope too. Under his watch, the team went to the playoffs six out of seven seasons. He became the second-winningest coach in franchise history.

What you'll hear most about Pat Quinn in the coming days will revolve around a few different themes, depending on the association you had with the man.

For those players who suited up for him, most will talk about the teacher and the father figure he could be. Sure, he could peel paint off a dressing-room wall with his language. But the players will say that it wasn't incurring his wrath that motivated them. Rather, they didn't want to disappoint someone they cared about so much.

One of those was Gino Odjick, the legendary Canucks tough guy who viewed Mr. Quinn as a second father. He could cry when talking about his old coach and the many ways he was guided by him. His loyalty ran deep.

One time, Mr. Odjick heard Canucks coach Mike Keenan make a disparaging comment about Mr. Quinn. Mr. Odjick stood up and walked across the dressing room toward his coach: "Mike, you can call me stupid. You can call me a stupid Indian. But don't ever talk like that about people I respect." Mr. Keenan didn't say another word.

Not everyone loved Mr. Quinn, of course. If he didn't like players' work habits, he would make their lives difficult. He had his view of the world, and if you didn't subscribe to it you would often get short-shrift from him. He had a profound disdain for certain members of the media. I found myself in his crosshairs when I was a sports columnist in Vancouver in the 1990s.

It was around the time that Seattle billionaire John McCaw had taken over the team from Arthur Griffiths. Mr. McCaw knew nothing about hockey. Neither did the people he installed to oversee the team.

At the time, the Canucks had a forward named Marty Gelinas, a popular player having a great season and playing for relative peanuts. I argued that the team should do the right thing and renegotiate Mr. Gelinas's contract, giving him what he deserved and locking him up for a longer term. As GM, Pat Quinn was adamantly against the idea. But Mr. McCaw's camp was sympathetic to the argument the player was getting a raw deal and insisted his contract be recast - over the GM's objections.

I was invited into Mr. Quinn's office for a talk. I don't remember if I actually saw the paint peeling off the wall, but I do remember thinking as he tore a strip off me for precipitating Mr. Gelinas's new deal that perhaps sports writing wasn't going to be a long-term occupation.

Eventually, we would put the matter behind us and forge an amiable relationship. I would be one of the first people to talk to him after he was fired by the Canucks in November, 1997; a more devastated (and angry) man I would not find. I was actually delighted when he took over the Leafs and had success there. But not as happy as I was for him when he coached the Canadian men's team to Olympic gold in Salt Lake City in 2002. That may have been the happiest I had ever seen Pat Quinn in all the time I'd known him.

"How about that eh?" he said, cigar in his mouth, as he showed his gold medal to me after the game.

After coaching the world juniors to gold in 2009, Mr. Quinn would get one more shot at the NHL, with the Edmonton Oilers. (He had also coached in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.) The Alberta stint did not end well. After one season he was fired. He waited for another call to coach but it never came.

People talk about giants of the game - well, he truly was one, in every way. My favourite story about Pat Quinn involves that infamous hit on Bobby Orr. After the game, being a rookie, he was sent out to get some beer for the bus ride home. He waded through the crowd at a Boston watering hole when someone in the crowd identified him, shouting out: "It's Quinn, it's Quinn."

The kid who has just knocked out Boston's favourite son looked for a quick exit but there was none. The crowd moved in around him. He imagined a beer glass flying in his direction, or a fist. But then someone stuck out a hand instead. "Nice hit, Patty boy, nice hit." The big Irishman had stumbled into a Boston establishment that appreciated the roots of his game. "On the house," the bartender said when he tried to pay for the beer.

Pat Quinn left an impression everywhere he went. The game of hockey will never forget the indelible mark he made.

Follow me on Twitter:@garymasonglobe

Associated Graphic

Pat Quinn

From 9/11 to smartphones, the knife and watch maker Victorinox has prevailed over many challenges to its core businesses over its 130-year history. Its latest survival tactic, the scion of company founder Karl Elsener tells Carley Fortune in Switzerland, includes resisting the temptation to venture into new categories by focusing on fundamentals: making its timepieces, luggage and other key products as dependable as its trademark blades
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L6

The CEO of Victorinox, Carl Elsener IV, carries two Swiss Army pocket knives with him at all times: the Traveller Lite (a clown car of a tool kit that comes in handy on mountaineering expeditions such as the one his family took to Mount Kilimanjaro last year; it has a barometer, thermometer and altimeter in addition to 19 other gadgets) and a small Signature Lite (which has a ballpoint pen that Elsener uses more than any other gizmo). "It's fun, when I need to sign an important contract, to do it with this," he says of his writing instrument during an interview at Victorinox's headquarters in Ibach, a small town in central Switzerland. Downstairs, caterers are laying out platters of raclette, sausages and potatoes for a feast marking the company's 130th anniversary. Victorinox is also celebrating 25 years of watchmaking this year with the launch of a new one, the I.N.O.X.

Not far from the factory floor, where 60,000 pocket knives are produced every day, is the building where, in 1884, Elsener's great-grandfather, Karl Elsener, set up a cutlery workshop that would become Victorinox. The word is a portmanteau of Victoria (the name of Karl's mother) and inox, taken from the French term for rustproof steel. The compact soldiers' knife that Karl invented in 1891 has become one of Switzerland's most famous icons and, while Victorinox makes everything from timepieces to fragrances to luggage, it's the Swiss Army Knife that Elsener is most enthusiastic about. He delights in explaining the various features of different models and discussing the ideas customers have for new tools. More importantly, the little red knife has become a symbol for what Elsener believes the company needs for continued success: Rather than grow into new categories, Elsener and his executives are focused on raising the quality of Victorinox's existing products so all its merchandise is as trustworthy as the Swiss Army Knife.

Although Victorinox is a global brand, it remains very much a family affair. Elsener has 10 younger siblings and all but three works for the company. "When you have a big company, and many brothers and sisters who work in the company, it is very important that you have mutual trust and respect," he says. If the roles and responsibilities of family members are clearly defined, "I think things can go very smoothly and the company can be very strong."

Elsener speaks of the 900 employees at the Ibach factory and headquarters as an extension of the clan, and the company's low turnover suggests that it's not just lip service. Forty-five workers have been with the company for more than 50 years and 100 have been there for more than 40 years. "This underlines that we're like a big family," he says, one that has "gone through very good times but also very difficult times." Elsener likes to point out that the business avoided layoffs after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, even though Swiss Army Knife sales dropped by 30 per cent almost overnight. Not only were pocket knives confiscated at airport security checkpoints, but all Swiss Army Knives were removed from duty-free stores. "Our people really learned that we do not just write words on paper - that if there is a very hard time we do everything possible to keep their jobs," says Elsener.

Of course, a business built on pocket knives post-9/11 and watches in the era of smartphones has to be clever - and a 130th anniversary, it turns out, is a good time to think about the future. Over the next five to 10 years, Elsener will concentrate his efforts on protecting and improving the company's reputation and offerings. "For us it is very important that we do not spread the brand too much," he says. "It is important that we can keep the values, that we can keep the quality of the brand." This means turning down tempting licensing deals to put its logo on office chairs, mineral water and Russian vodka, as they have recently. Victorinox also recently bought back its luggage licence and has created a team to oversee the development and distribution of its travel gear.

The new I.N.O.X. watch (it stands for Impact Neutralizing Object for the X-tremes) is a product executives believe shows Victorinox's renewed focus on functionality and quality. "With the Swiss Army Knife, you have it in the pocket, maybe you use it and maybe you don't," Alex Bennouna, the CEO of the company's watch division, says. "But if there comes a moment when you do need it, it will deliver on your expectations - and this is what we're trying to do with timepieces." The I.N.O.X., which took two years to develop, underwent 130 tests (yes, that's the whiff of anniversary marketing) to ensure its durability - it will withstand a 10-metre drop, being frozen in a block of ice or submersion in nitric acid. "A Victorinox timepiece will be used in very extreme conditions and [wearers] will still expect this timepiece to work," Bennouna explains. The company partnered with the Ibach fire department (Elsener is a volunteer firefighter) and the New York FD to get their seal of approval on its wear and tear. At the launch event in Ibach, local firefighters ran over the watch with a 15-tonne firetruck. While Elsener has taken to wearing an I.N.O.X. on his wrist, though, he also likes to use the digital clock on one of his pocket knives. "It's very helpful for travelling," he says. "I can keep my Swiss time here."

Associated Graphic

TOUGHER TIME Victorinox, maker of the Swiss Army Knife, recently launched the I.N.O.X. watch (three versions are pictured above). The timepiece, which costs $525, reflects the company's renewed efforts to make all of its products as reliable and functional as its signature red knives. The Swiss-made I.N.O.X. can withstand eight tonnes of compression under a hydraulic press, being run over by a 64-tonne tank and temperatures as cold as -57 C.

SWISS FAMILY Clockwise from left: Members of the local fire department in Ibach, Switzerland; Victorinox's global headquarters in Ibach; the home and original workshop of company founder Karl Elsener; Victorinox's current CEO, Carl Elsener IV; his greatgrandfather Karl, inventor of the Swiss Army Knife.


Missing Mockingjay: China's cinema crackdown
Bureaucracy and mysterious rules prevent international blockbusters - and even homemade fare - from making the big screen
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B5

BEIJING -- Mid-way through the theatrical trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the machine guns and exploding arrows give way to two words: This November.

But in China, the third instalment in the series of blockbusters won't be shown this month - or even this year, after authorities quietly stymied plans for a simultaneous worldwide release Nov. 21. In China, the film is now likely to open in early 2015, but authorities gave no reason for the cancellation of its scheduled date, as Mockingjay became the latest Hollywood entrant to face the Middle Kingdom's oftencapricious film bureaucracy.

The first two films in the Hunger Games series have been blockbusters for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., bringing in a combined box office of $1.5billion (U.S.); the Vancouverbased company had big hopes for the latest.

The entertainment company had planned a massive global launch of the movie, saying actor Jennifer Lawrence and director Francis Lawrence, among others, would begin a global promotional tour in Beijing. Chinese audiences had brought in $54-million for the previous two films. But the Beijing stop never happened, and Mockingjay was yanked from the theatrical schedule after some had already bought tickets.

Chinese media suggest Lions Gate failed to secure one of the coveted 34 annual spots for broad distribution of foreign movies in China. The Brad Pitt Second World War tank epic Fury, instead, "took the last of 2014's imported movies quota and will be played on Nov. 21," one report said, citing China's state broadcaster, CCTV.

"The Hunger Games' loss will be some other movie's gain," said Zhou Liming, a well-known film critic in Beijing, who said the jostling for year-end position commonly produces winners and losers.

This year, the winners may well not come from Hollywood. Chinese film authorities have long sought to ensure foreign films do not claim more than 50 per cent of box office receipts in a given year. In the first half of 2014, imported movies stood at 53 per cent of cinema revenue, meaning the country's film mandarins may be seeking to tamp down Hollywood's share in fall and early winter.

Chinese filmmakers, meanwhile, are preparing to release their own late-season blockbusters, such as the sequel to Let the Bullets Fly, which set a box office record when it was released in 2010.

A Lions Gate spokesman declined to comment on Mockingjay - there is little to gain for Hollywood in speaking out against China because, as frustrating as the country has proved for movie makers, it's also a gold mine.

This year, Transformers: Age of Extinction pulled in more than $300-million at the Chinese box office, beating the U.S. take by 22 per cent.

China is the world's secondlargest movie market, and is growing at an accelerating pace: 18 new screens per day, on average, in early 2014. Last year, its total box office haul hit $3.6-billion. It was up another 22 per cent in the first half of this year, and is expected to surpass the U.S. by 2020.

But Mockingjay joins a club of Hollywood road wrecks in China that grows bigger by the year. Censors take a toll on film content. Duelling bureaucrats make sudden decisions to pull films that might reflect badly on China, and therefore their careers. Government offices deliberately sabotage foreign film earnings to ensure the annual numbers show greater revenue to domestic productions. Imported movies are shut out of the most lucrative dates on the Chinese calendar.

Other imperatives enter the mix, too, such as a desire to hand out foreign policy favours: this year, "they are trying to have movies from France, for example, because this is the 50th anniversary of China and France's diplomatic relations," said Mr. Zhou, the critic. He expressed doubt, however, about rumours that Mockingjay was delayed over concerns that its content - a rebellion against iron-fisted authorities - was deemed too sensitive during democracy protests in Hong Kong.

"Just remember that V for Vendetta was actually aired on CCTV," he said.

Often, the real reasons for movie troubles remain shrouded in mystery. But the results are sometimes-baffling decisions, and money wasted on films that are either shoved into unappealing schedules, or not shown altogether. In 2012, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man and Prometheus all opened in the same week (in North America, they were released over a span of nearly two months). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the Bond movie Skyfall and Transformers: Dark of the Moon were all delayed as authorities sought to give preference to local fare.

Sometimes, the decisions are stunningly last-second. Last year, authorities reportedly halted the heavily promoted Chinese release of Django Unchained after it had played for a single minute in a Beijing theatre. Officially, "technical reasons," were blamed, but many believed it was related to scenes of fullfrontal nudity. The Quentin Tarantino film, his first to be released in China, eventually reappeared, but earned just $2.65million in China.

More recently, in the middle of the night on Sept. 25, producers for the Nicolas Cage film Outcast received an e-mail saying the film had been pulled. It was to open Sept. 26. It's still not clear why; it may be re-released in the new year.

It's not just foreign movies: Blind Massage, a domestic movie, is not scheduled to open in China until Nov. 28, more than eight months after it won a Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution at the Berlin International Film Festival - and was praised in Chinese state media for its achievement.

Delays can cause financial pain, both by muting the power of worldwide marketing, but also because China's vast piracy means theatre audiences are thinned by those who have already watched through illegal means.

That's just one part of the financial battle foreign studios have waged in China, where only in 2012 were they able to raise their maximum share of box office revenue from 17.5 to 25 per cent. (That's still less than half of places like the U.S., although the numbers aren't perfectly comparable.) Last year, studios banded together to fight a new tax imposed by China, refusing to accept hundreds of millions in dollars in payments unless Beijing relented, which it eventually did.

Associated Graphic

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence, got thumbs down from Chinese authorities for showings this year.


Making the feathers fly
Jonathan Franzen and Roger Kass have made an eye-opening documentary about the disappearance of European songbirds
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R9

VANCOUVER -- You didn't have to be a birder to be thoroughly distressed by American author Jonathan Franzen's eye-opening take on the disappearance of European songbirds. Migrating from Africa to Europe and western Asia in the spring and then back, fattened up, in the fall, the birds are cruelly trapped and poached for their meat. A traditional, if now illegal, delicacy in some countries, the songbirds are declining at an alarming rate.

In 2010, Franzen wrote a New Yorker magazine article about the disaster, bringing the littleknown issue to light and spurring calls to action. It also caught the attention of a well-known filmmaker.

"Roger Kass read the article and had the response I would hope a New Yorker reader would have, which was, 'Oh my God, I knew nothing about this. This is terrible,' " said Franzen, famous American bestselling novelist, infamous non-embracer of Oprah and dedicated celebrity birder.

Kass had an idea: make a documentary about the issue, based on the article, with Franzen on board as executive producer. Franzen was in. Emptying the Skies opened in some Canadian theatres on Friday.

Franzen first heard about the issue from German birder friends, while birdwatching in Spain. They directed him to the website for the German-based Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) so he could learn more.

"I saw these really horrifying pictures of skinned birds and birds covered in lime sticks [gluecovered sticks] ..." recalled Franzen, who was busy writing his novel Freedom at the time. He promised his friends that as soon as he was finished, he would look into the songbirds' plight and try to bring it to public attention. "I figured if I didn't know about it, then no one else in America did either."

He sent in revisions for Freedom in January, 2010, and launched into his research. By March he was on the ground in Italy. What he found was deeply upsetting: tiny songbirds, looking for a place to land during migration, were being poached - their feet or feathers stuck to gummy lime sticks inserted among branches by trappers; or lured into cages by live decoys; or their bones crushed in cruel bow traps.

Although the practice is banned, millions of songbirds are killed every year, the numbers caught using the traditional methods augmented significantly by large-scale netting operations. While certain species are targeted, many others are caught up, quite literally, in the trapping operations.

The migrating songbirds are a delicacy: In Cyprus, birds such as blackcap warblers are served grilled, pickled, boiled or fried in a dish called ambelopoulia; in France, the ortolan bunting, a sparrow, is captured and drowned in Armagnac, then roasted and eaten with a large napkin over the diner's head to capture the aromas and heighten the experience. Millions of songbirds are consumed every year, illegally served in restaurants.

The issue is hugely polarizing in Europe and has had nasty consequences - cars have been torched, people beaten or shot at. In Cyprus, Franzen and a CABS team, out on a rescue operation, were confronted and attacked by angry locals. "I had not had violence directed at me since junior high and certainly never in the form of large rocks flying my way," Franzen said.

In the name of reportage, Franzen forced himself to submit to a clandestine restaurant visit, where he choked down some fried song thrush and a small portion of ambelopoulia. "It was so weird because the same bird that was being served in the restaurant I'd seen flitting around in the bushes by the parking lot of the restaurant," he explained. "And there is such a gulf between the bird lover in the birdwatching sense, and the bird lover in the carnivorous sense that it was just weird. And of course what we were doing was illegal, so to be involved as a co-conspirator with the restaurant in this illegal act heightened the weirdness."

When the New Yorker article was published in July, 2010, it sparked widespread outrage, just as Franzen had hoped.

While his experiences formed the backbone of the magazine article, the documentary focuses more on the CABS rescue team, a ragtag group of dedicated "investigations officers" who take the law into their own hands - specifically the European Union's landmark 1979 Birds Directive, which bans activities that directly threaten birds. Franzen also appears in the film, interviewed extensively about the subject.

As described in his 2006 memoir, The Discomfort Zone, Franzen discovered birdwatching after the death of his mother in 1999. "My mother died, and I went out birdwatching for the first time in my life," he wrote in the book's final essay. On Hat Island, north of Seattle, he encountered eagles, kingfishers, Bonaparte's gulls, goldfinches, sparrows, a northern flicker, a veery. He was hooked.

He has written about it - in the memoir, the New Yorker article and with a central, bird-loving character in Freedom. He appeared in an HBO documentary, Birders: The Central Park Effect, and now has a central role in Emptying the Skies.

When asked about any pressures he might feel as a go-to celebrity birder, he recounted a conversation he had the previous evening with his "animal-loving spouse equivalent" about this very concern.

"I'm publishing a new novel ... that's going to push some people's buttons, I think; it's going to get even more people angry with me as a novelist," he explained (while declining to reveal details about the work, other than to say it's his job to go to "psychologically very hot places" - culturally and socially - that get under the reader's skin).

"And I honestly said to her, 'I don't really care about hostile reactions to my fiction except I don't want it to be so hostile that people stop listening to me on the subject of nature conservation and birds,' " he continued.

"In a way it's a weird pressure on me as a novelist. I feel like my job is to try to tell the truth as I see it, but also I want to be liked. I have been very strangely fortunate to get some prominence as a fiction writer and as a public figure. And the best thing I can think to do with that is to use it to try to help birds."

Associated Graphic

Author Jonathan Franzen wrote a 2010 New Yorker magazine article about the trapping and poaching of European songbirds.


Movin' on up
Couple hope to get a family-sized house, have more children - and keep their condo as an investment
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B12

After working out of the country for a year, Edgar and Abby are ready to set down roots. He's self-employed, bringing in anywhere from $120,000 to $200,000 a year. She works in communications, earning roughly $90,000 a year.

He is 41, she is 34. They have a toddler and hope to have another child or two before long. As a result, they want to move up from their condo to a familysized home in the Toronto area.

"How much can we afford to spend on a new home?" Edgar asks in an e-mail. "And is it possible to hang on to our existing home as a rental property?"

Neither has a company pension, so their long-term goals include "building a good financial foundation for our retirement," Edgar adds. "Should we be prioritizing retirement savings or paying down our mortgage?"

They wonder, too, how much money they will need when they retire and what effect their age gap will have on their plans.

"My wife will be in her working prime when I'm retirement age," Edgar says.

We asked Jason Pereira, a financial planner and investment adviser at Bennett March/ IPC Investment Corp. in Toronto, to look at Edgar and Abby's situation.

What the expert says

"Edgar and Abby have three immediate goals that unfortunately conflict and would take too much cash flow - have another child, upsize their home and keep their current property, all within the next two years," Mr. Pereira says. Even with their high income, they can't achieve them all at once, he says.

"The loss of income for a year due to maternity leave, and the high cost of having two children in daycare, are big issues," Mr. Pereira says.

In order to buy a larger home, Abby and Edgar would have to borrow as much as possible against the equity in their condo, the planner says. If they did, and then rented the condo out, it would likely lose money for the first few years after mortgage and condo fees, he says.

"Given that you want a bigger home, sell the condo." They do not want a starter home that they would have to move up from later, he notes.

"This can be a wise decision as it saves the costs associated with moving," he says. They plan to look for a house in the $950,000 plus range, which they could afford if they sell their condo and liquidate assets outside their RRSPs and RESP, Mr. Pereira says. "This size home, and its corresponding mortgage, will leave them without much wiggle room," he adds.

The planner offers a glimpse of their financial picture once the new house is bought and Abby is on parental leave. Their net income will drop to $167,400 (Edgar $144,200; Abby's employment insurance $20,800; childcare benefit $2,400). He then subtracts Edgar's RRSP contribution ($25,200) and income taxes ($46,960) for net cash flow of $95,240. He further subtracts registered education savings plan contributions for the children of $5,000, and lifestyle expenses of $87,067 for net cash flow before debt repayments of $3,173.

"Therefore, in the year the house is purchased, they will have to dip into their savings to pay the estimated $28,600 mortgage payment on their $491,720 mortgage," the planner says.

That assumes the condo is sold and the net proceeds, plus some of their savings, are used for a down payment.

The situation improves a bit when Abby goes back to work, although childcare expenses of $25,462 take a big chunk of their income. Their net cash flow before debt payments will rise to $35,366, leaving free cash flow of $6,766 a year after the mortgage payment ($28,600). "All free cash flow should be used to pay down the mortgage faster," Mr. Pereira says.

Indeed, Edgar and Abby asked what their priority should be, paying down the mortgage or saving for retirement.

"Both," Mr. Pereira says. Given Edgar's high income, contributing as much as possible to a registered retirement savings plan should be a priority, he says, providing tax relief of more than $10,000 a year. Once the children are in school and Abby is back at work full time, they should contribute $10,000 a year to her RRSP, with any additional funds going to pay down the mortgage. This way, they should be debt-free with enough money for them both to retire by the time Edgar turns 65, the planner says.

"Assuming a 7.5-per-cent rate of return from now until they retire, they will have about $3.7million saved at retirement," Mr. Pereira says. This money, plus their Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits, should be enough for them to maintain their lifestyle until Edgar is 96, after which they will still have their house to fall back on.

Want a free financial facelift? E-mail Some details may be changed to protect the privacy of the persons profiled.


The people: Abby, 34, Edgar, 41, and their two-year-old child.

The problem: Can they afford to buy a larger home while still hanging on to their condo as a rental?

The plan: Sell the condo, buy the larger home, then focus on both paying down the mortgage and saving for retirement.

The payoff: Financial security, both now and in future.

Monthly net income: $10,000 to $14,000.

Assets: Cash $30,000; non-registered investments $98,000; his TFSA $40,000; her TFSA $39,000; his RRSP $220,000; her RRSP $70,000; RESP for child $8,000; residence $483,000. Total: $988,000 .

Monthly disbursements: Mortgage $756; condo fees $405; property tax $130; other housing $152; transportation $800; grocery store $1,200; child care $1,500; clothing $500; line of credit $73; gifts, charitable $350; vacation, travel $1,100; other discretionary $150; dining, drinks, entertainment $970; grooming $235; sports, hobbies $170; other personal $100; life insurance $108, critical illness insurance $65; telecom, TV, Internet $160; RRSPs $1,460; RESP $250; TFSAs $915. Total: $11,549 .

Liabilities: Home mortgage $156,000 at 2.69 per cent; investment loan $25,000; loan from parents $20,000; his income tax owing $18,000. Total: $219,000

Associated Graphic


Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1


Times of crisis are always relatively simple to identify when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

All you need to do is count the members of management on hand, watching a mundane midweek practice from on high, and the number of media scrums given by those who rarely meet with the media.

It took a fair number of fingers on Wednesday.

Most notably, the Leafs' general manager, Dave Nonis, stepped in to receive some of the bullets intended for besieged head coach Randy Carlyle in the wake of Toronto's latest self-soiling on ice: a 9-2 loss to the Nashville Predators that followed a 6-2 loss to last-place Buffalo.

Nonis's message was predictable. We have, after all, been here in Crisis LandTM before with this team - although perhaps not as early as mid-November.

"Well, no one was here after the Boston game - we were 6-1-1 - asking about his job security," Nonis said defiantly to the assembled horde when asked about Carlyle potentially being gassed.

"We haven't done a good enough job the last two games as a group ... We've got some things to work on. But we just need to get back to where we were a week ago."

The unfortunate newsflash is where the Leafs were a week ago wasn't all that much different. As with all NHL teams, Toronto's season is going to be filled with ups and downs, but no truly good team is hammered like they have been in some of these losses.

That's made Carlyle an easy target right now. A deserving one, certainly, but an easy one. But he shouldn't be the only one taking heat for where the Leafs are at.

Just shy of six years into his tenure with the franchise, Nonis has managed to somehow stay relatively unscathed. But starting initially as Brian Burke's right hand man, then on his own, and now under Brendan Shanahan, he has been a key figure in Toronto's demise, making critical errors that continue to cost the organization dearly.

The seven-year, $36.75-million (U.S.) deal given to a one-dimensional third-line player in David Clarkson in the summer of 2013 should have been a fireable offence on its own, given the ramifications it will have on the Leafs' salary cap situation for years.

The contract is immense and probably unmovable, and the real kicker is Nonis tried to double down on Mimico-bred talent by giving a similar contract to Dave Bolland in the summer.

(Mercifully, Bolland landed in Florida, where he has spent the season sidelined with yet another injury.)

With two boat anchors like that, it's hard to imagine how Shanahan could ever plow his way out.

As it is, it won't be easy. The Leafs may be mediocre and in the no man's land that's between contention and the league basement, but they've also committed huge dollars to that mediocrity.

They have more than $54-million already on the books for 15 players next season, meaning simply retaining this lot will be difficult.

Adding talent? Good luck. Nonis has done a good job of preaching patience publicly since he took over for Burke, but if you look at some of the moves he has either made or intended to make, they're at odds with a patient, youth-oriented approach.

How on earth would dedicating 15 per cent of one's cap long-term to near-30-year-olds Clarkson and Bolland be considered patient?

Or giving a three-year deal to 37year-old free-agent defenceman Stéphane Robidas? Or trading 27 year-old Cody Franson for 30year-old Josh Gorges?

Or letting a cheaper, younger and better player than Clarkson - like Clarke MacArthur - walk to a rival?

On and on the list goes, if you go back far and deep enough.

"You can do a lot of damage to the long-term success of your team by overreacting," Nonis said at one point on Wednesday.

You can also do a lot of damage by trying to stay the course with a strategy that's clearly not working.

The reality is the Leafs don't so much need patience as they need vision. Turning some of the flotsam on this roster over and the team into a contender will take several seasons of careful restructuring and strategic manoeuvres, and Nonis has demonstrated several times over that's not his strength.

To get better - significantly better - they actually have to dynamite some of what he's done, pushing out the bad contracts (Clarkson, Tyler Bozak, Dion Phaneuf et al.) for what might be little return to free up salary and keep what there is of value.

Shanahan has his work cut out for him, and he may need a GM without ties to what's there.

Nonis escapes criticism for a lot of reasons these days. For one, he's a genuinely decent man, one with a lot of friends in hockey and the media. He networks well, and he networked his way somehow into a five-year contract extension mere weeks after the Clarkson abomination was signed.

Nonis is also now no longer in charge, having been bumped down by Shanahan's hiring in April, making him less of a threat.

But if we're ascribing blame for where the Leafs are, Nonis belongs there with Carlyle, especially given he backed his coach all the way - including in how he reformed the roster.

The other troubling part of all this is that if you take a long, hard look at Toronto's front office, it's pretty low on experience at the NHL level. Shanahan doesn't have it. Assistant GM Kyle Dubas and new director of player personnel Mark Hunter don't either.

In the days ahead, they could use someone with a strong grasp of how to rebuild a roster via the draft, trade and free agency, over the long haul and thinking outside the box.

And does it make any sense to have to lean on an executive who helped create this mess to get them out of it?

Not really.

Follow me on Twitter:@mirtle

Associated Graphic

Leaf coach Randy Carlyle: Besieged.


A home for forgotten fruits and vegetables
A growing movement reclaims those two-headed celery roots and eggplants with noses to stop landfill waste
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L3

For years, the ugly ducklings of the harvest gathered by Alberta's Red Hat Co-op - crooked cucumbers, scarred and mottled tomatoes and sunburnt peppers - were shipped to the dump or sold to Hutterite colonies at cost; hundreds of pounds of perfectly tasty produce bypassing the market, all because it wasn't pretty enough for retail shelves.

This fall, the growers decided the discard pile deserved a shot at the shelves: The co-op rebranded less-than-pretty produce as "The Misfits" and started selling them at a discounted price at 11 grocery stores for a monthlong trial that ends this week.

"When you're growing vegetables, you just hate to see stuff thrown out, especially stuff that you know there's nothing wrong with it," says Albert Cramer, a member of Red Hat.

The co-op is at the forefront of a movement that is saving ugly but tasty fruits and vegetables from the landfill. In Canada, where food waste costs $27-billion a year and pumps that decompose food emit excessive harmful greenhouse gases into the air, the trend is growing roots both up and down the food chain as growers, suppliers and chefs celebrate real, imperfect produce with the goal of building more sustainable, less wasteful food systems. Around 10 per cent of greenhouse crops are too ugly to meet regular retail standards, says Cramer. That amount climbs to as high as 20 per cent for fieldgrown produce.

After noticing the rising popularity of marketing ugly fruits and vegetables at food industry shows, the Sterling-Rise Group, an American ad agency that specializes in culinary communication , declared the movement a top culinary trend for 2015.

"There continues to be this cry from the culinary community of, hey, let us help you figure out how to use everything, to be resourceful so we're lighter on the Earth, to not waste," says Kara Nielsen, the Sterling-Rice Group's culinary director.

The movement sprouted in Europe a couple of years ago, but it was a viral marketing initiative from a French supermarket chain that captivated consumers globally this summer: Intermarché's campaign advertising so-called inglorious fruits and vegetables at a discount was wildly popular on social media, and the chain sold 1.2 tons of ugly produce in the town of Provins, France during the first two days of the promotion.

The Misfits have seen similar success in Alberta: all 11 stores have been selling out of the disfigured crop marked at a 30-percent discount - that's 5500 pounds of produce moving a week, says Mike Meinhardt, in charge of sales and marketing at Red Hat. They hope to work with growers outside the co-op next year to make more Misfits available. Safeway spokesperson Betty Kellsey agrees the customer response to the campaign has been positive, but adds they have not yet decided if they will repeat the initiative.

In Montreal, a new startup called Second Life is also jumping on the trend; Co-founders and university students Quentin Dumoulin and Thibaut Martelain, who are childhood friends from Lyon, France, have already rescued 1000 pounds of ugly produce from a dozen farms and are planning to launch an e-commerce website so that people can grocery shop for the outcasts online.

"Most of the stuff we get is either too small or too big for [retail standards] - it's not even really ugly," says Dumoulin, but they gladly accept too-tiny potatoes and giant radishes alongside two-headed celery root, hailmarked butternut squash and eggplants with noses.

Rachel Engler-Stringer, a community health professor at the University of Saskatchewan and president of the Canadian Association for Food Studies, says the popularity of processed food plays a role in promoting unrealistic standards for produce.

"The supermarket model that currently exists is one in which vegetables and fruit are expected to look perfect," says EnglerStringer. "The standards need to change, and part of the way they can change is us actually seeing what vegetables and fruit really look like."

Agri-industry expert Martin Gooch says we shouldn't shoulder supermarkets with all the blame. "Consumers expect retailers to meet those standards," says Gooch, who is CEO of Value Chain Management International, a consulting company that conducts research about food waste.

"The challenge to retailers is how do they offer ugly fruits and vegetables without undermining the value of their other [produce]," says Gooch. "It's great on paper, I fully support it in principle, but from a commercial perspective it poses challenges."

For Red Hat growers, finding a home for forgotten produce is more about reducing food waste than turning a profit.

"What we're trying to do as a co-op is trying to market this and put some value to it," says Cramer. "You move more of your product, it's money in your pocket.

But it's not even so much about the money, it's just then you don't have to throw stuff out."

Provender, a Montreal-based company that connects farmers and chefs, is doing its part to get retail-rejects into restaurants. Cofounder Caithrin Rintoul says that some chefs want ideal crop for plate presentation, but others like the challenge of conquering awkward produce, like the huge, overgrown stalks of mustard greens that Rintoul recently sold to restaurants.

"This is produce that is as unwieldy and unappealing as you can possibly imagine, but they have a pride in the way they can transform them," he says. "It just makes more interesting food - serving stuff that's not conventional is more exciting."

Other food industry players, like juice bars, soup shops and jam-makers, process fruits and vegetables extensively and have traditionally been a perfect match for produce that doesn't make Grade A; they know full well when you choose from the ugly pile, you are not sacrificing taste. "We love to have different vegetables," says Caroline Dumas, the chef behind a Montreal chain of restaurants called Soupesoup.

"I hate having the same size. It looks like it's not natural - to have the same size, to have the same colour - I'm afraid of that kind of vegetable actually," says Dumas.

Associated Graphic

A 'misfit' vegetable display at a Calgary grocery store: The product is selling out week to week.


New Delta embraces its neighbourhood
Toronto's first standalone hotel in 20 years makes sure it's a standout among the latest crop of south core towers
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B13

While construction workers, carpenters and sous chefs apply the finishing touches for the Delta Toronto's official opening on Nov. 27, the hotel's executives, managers and marketing team have been reaching out to make sure the franchise is fully integrated with its new neighbourhood.

The 46-storey Delta Toronto, built on the corner of Bremner Boulevard and Simcoe Street in the city's south core, will be the hotelier's flagship property and the first dedicated standalone hotel to open in Toronto in more than 20 years.

Currently in the midst of a full company revamp across its 40 properties in Canada, Delta Hotels Ltd. has left behind its three-star roots in making the transition into the four-star segment of the hospitality industry.

Other luxury hotels have opened in Toronto in the past five years - the Trump, the Shangri-La, the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton - but all of those have been mixed-use projects, with the hotel on the bottom floors and condominiums on the upper floors.

"The obvious benefit of being standalone is it does allow for us to have a singular focus on serving the guests," says Charles McKee, Delta's vice-president of marketing. "When you have a mixed-use condo-hotel, you're balancing the needs of the guests with the needs of the residents."

Like other newcomers to the growing area, Delta wasted little time getting involved in the recently formed South Core Innovation Hub, a group of trend-setting companies which congregate every six weeks to debate and discuss ways to improve working practices, across different disciplines.

As a result, Delta will now be able to share its expertise in the hospitality industry with the likes of Cisco Systems Canada Co., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Telus Corp. and Porter Airlines Inc.

"We've been talking a lot about brain circulation in this area, not even just in our own towers and not even just in our own south core," says Ted Graham, an innovation leader with PwC. "We love the fact that Porter brings people and many entrepreneurs into and out of the Island Airport.

"We had the [Metro Toronto Convention Centre] bring in a bunch of astronauts a couple of weeks ago. We see Delta complementing that brain circulation."

Delta was certainly welcomed to the area by some of the longterm residents; Steam Whistle Brewing at the old railway roundhouse offered its facilities free of charge when the hotel chain was conducting a job fair to hire its front-of-house and service staff.

Delta was quick to reciprocate, for example, offering PwC employees discount rates on some of its 567 rooms when they have their Christmas party at the convention centre.

Steam Whistle has joined with other south core tenants, such as Ripley's Aquarium of Canada and the CN Tower in forming official partnerships with the new hotel. Given that Ripley's is projected to draw about two million guests with its first year of operation just completed, alongside the tower's 1.5 million visitors annually and the convention centre's 200,000 overnight stays a year, the Delta's location on the doorstep of those three attractions, and halfway between two of the city's main sports-concert venues, the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre, is one to be envied.

Delta is particularly excited about the addition of the new Pearson Express link from Union Station to Toronto's main airport, expected to open in spring of 2015. It will deliver guests into the warmth and comfort of the city's enclosed PATH walkway system mere metres from the hotel. The hotel developer, bcIMC, paid for a new portion of the PATH system that runs above Simcoe Street.

"I don't want to underestimate the impact of the Pearson Express," says Ken Greene, CEO of Delta Hotels. "I think that's going to be a huge thing for the SoCo area and specifically for Delta.

"The fact that you can get on to the high-speed train at the airport without ever stepping outside and in 25 minutes get downtown and enter into the Delta hotel without ever walking outside is a huge driver."

From a local community standpoint, the most welcome addition of the Delta complex may well be the new SoCo Kitchen and Bar restaurant. Situated in the podium, the restaurant is deliberately thrust into the streetscape, while the hotel tower is set back.

The south core area is massively underserved when it comes to eatery choices, says a market research survey conducted by San Francisco's Puccini Group on Delta's behalf.

To counter the long-held perception of hotel restaurants being overpriced and somewhat stuffy, Delta purposely is placing the SoCo Kitchen and Bar at a price point below high-end restaurants nearby.

"We don't want to say that it's the restaurant at the Delta Toronto," says Valerie Brive, marketing manager for the Delta Toronto. "So we are really promoting it as a separate entity."

Delta anticipates that the demand for hotel rooms in downtown Toronto will be much higher than the 2.7-per-cent rise that PKF Consulting Canada predicted for this year, and though it's happy to break the maxim that building a standalone hotel in a major market these days is almost impossible, it admits that for many independent operators that may well be the case.

"It's not an easy thing to do," Mr. Greene says. "Delta's in a very unique position. We're the dominant player in the four-star, full-service segment in Canada, we own distribution, we're two and a half, three times larger than any of our competitors in the space in Canada and the fact that we own 30 per cent of the portfolio puts us in a very unique position.

"So we look at this property opening in downtown Toronto as being not only a great standalone property, but it's also a billboard for the Delta brand."

Associated Graphic

The Delta Toronto, with its protruding podium and 46-storey tower, will be the new flagship for Delta Hotels Ltd. For an online tour of the hotel's interior, including panoramic views from some of the hotel's ensuite bathrooms, go to


Parting the clouds on Canadian Solar
Disappointing guidance casts a pall now, but the stock could be an interesting buy if you believe the industry has a bright future
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B13

As in a late Ontario fall, the clouds have rolled in and the skies are grey for Canadian Solar Inc.

Some of this, one can say, is of the company's own making: Canadian Solar's blowout thirdquarter earnings report this week included what investors saw as disappointing guidance for sales and profit margins in the current three months.

Much is out of its control: As oil prices have tanked, most solar-energy stocks have followed, on the premise that cheaper fossil fuels make solar less necessary.

The end result: Guelph, Ont.based Canadian Solar has lost all the gains it posted since an August earnings surprise launched the shares on a path from $25 (U.S.) to more than $41 in early September. The shares lost 18 per cent of their value from Tuesday to Thursday before rebounding 4.7 per cent Friday to close at $26.93.

Even more striking for investors: The stock's decline, coupled with sharply increasing earnings, have created a remarkable reversal in its price-to-earnings ratio. Earlier this year, Canadian Solar traded as high as 62 times its trailing earnings, per Standard & Poor's Capital IQ, and spent much of the first half of the year above 40. Now, the stock trades at just under nine times trailing earnings - and has a forward P/E of less than six, when analysts' estimates are taken into account.

All told, it represents an opportunity for solar bulls who believe the sun will come out - perhaps not tomorrow, but in the long term.

"Canadian Solar is trading at ... a discount to growth, and a discount to its peer group ... unjustified, in our view," Paul Coster, an analyst for JPMorgan, wrote Wednesday after the company announced earnings. He has an "overweight" rating and a $38 target price. "The selloff in the stock seems unjustified, based on these solid 3Q results and the broader narrative."

The broader narrative, of course, is the future of the photovoltaic solar industry, and Canadian Solar's place in it. The company started primarily as a seller of solar modules, which has increasingly become a lower-margin business. Recognizing that, the company has begun offering higher-margin "total solutions" - i.e., building the solar-power generations systems or offering engineering and construction services to others. Canadian Solar is on track to book 50 per cent of its revenue in 2014 from "total solutions," versus just 11.5 per cent in 2012.

The focus on margins is at the heart of Wednesday's disappointment. Canadian Solar posted revenue of $914-million, versus analyst consensus of $803-million, and earnings per share of $1.73 versus $1.16, says analyst Josh Baribeau of Canaccord Genuity Inc. Gross margins of 23 per cent were well above the high-teens numbers of the second quarter.

The company's guidance for the fourth quarter, however, was for revenue in a range below the analyst consensus, and gross margins sliding back to the high teens of the second quarter.

Mr. Baribeau argues that the consensus was unduly inflated by one outlying estimate, and the gross margin pressure should not have come as a surprise. Five large, higher-margin Canadian project sales, totalling $300-million (Canadian), drove the third-quarter results, he says, and upcoming projects have lower margins.

"We do not view Canadian Solar as a margin-expansion story, but rather as more of a solid top-line grower with strong operating leverage and cash earnings," says Mr. Baribeau, who has a "buy" rating and $46 (U.S.) target price. While 72 per cent of the quarter's sales came in the Americas, versus 21 per cent in Asia and 7 per cent in Europe, "We believe that the company can increasingly lever its experience in large-scale project origination, underwriting and execution learned in Canada to deliver projects [in] other markets."

Chris Damas, an analyst and editor of BCMI Report, was buying Canadian Solar shares Wednesday as they fell below $30. "I cannot stress this enough - solar has come of age, and after over 12 years of following the sector, the number of players has been [winnowed] down to large, sophisticated and well-capitalized players of which Canadian Solar is one of the best, if not the best, name."

He also adds that Canadian Solar "is a volatile stock and is for risk-tolerant investors," which is certainly true, given the roller-coaster ride it has taken its shareholders on. Solar power still relies on government subsidies; policies can change as political power shifts and declining oil prices make alternative energy seem less urgent. (The outlook for U.S. solar power must be said to be less robust after that country's recent elections.)

One of Canadian Solar's chief challenges will be to build on its Ontario successes, even if the new projects are less lucrative; Axiom Capital Management Inc. analyst Gordon Johnson believes the company cannot come close to replacing the high-margin Ontario sales. Per an article in the investing newspaper Barron's, Mr. Johnson believes the company's "earnings are about to collapse," and he names it his top short-selling idea in the solar space.

Strong stuff, indeed, and a view worth considering. The sellside analysts like Mr. Baribeau of Canaccord would counter that Canadian Solar's overall project pipeline continues to grow despite all the Ontario-based revenue recognized in the third quarter. "While the new pipeline carries increased policy risk and in some cases lower margins compared to the Canadian projects that have been the company's mainstay thus far, we still have confidence that the company is among the best-positioned solar companies approaching these new markets and can complete this strategy given its solid track record of execution."

Any investor with a similarly sunny outlook for the solar industry is advised to look past Canadian Solar's current grey days.

Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

Close: $26.93 (U.S.), up $1.20


Canadian Solar has come a long way since the beginning of 2013, but its 2014 has been much more volatile. The manufacturer of solar systems gained on a second-quarter earnings surprise, but has since run into problems, some of its own making.

Associated Graphic


The heart-breaking story of teachers and the children they love
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

Just over a week ago, I wrote a story. Or rather, it was a dozen stories, all rolled into one.

It was a true story, drawn from my experience as a teacher and administrator, now at the Calgary French and International School, and the experiences of my teacher friends, all over the world.

It was a true representation of a situation I have been through many times: an encounter with a parent, worried about what she has heard about THAT child, the one who hits, kicks and disrupts her own child's class. It was the story of how that difficult conversation goes for me, in my school. It was also the story I can never tell, during that conversation: That THAT child's parents are in the middle of a horrendous divorce; That THAT child has witnessed domestic violence; That THAT child is on medication that makes him agitated. And then there are the good things that I also can't tell: that THAT child knows more about thunderstorms than most meteorologists; that I've been tracking THAT child's aggressive incidents for months, and she's dropped from five a day, to three a week; that THAT child strokes her best friend's hair at rest time; that she whispers "you are my sunshine" to her baby sister every morning before her mom pushes the stroller away.

It wasn't just MY story. It was THAT child's story, too. And, because THAT child is, or could be, ANY child, it was also EVERY child's story.

I wrote the story, thinking of all THOSE children I have known over the years; how much I have loved them, wept over them, worked and worried for them; how much I miss the ones who have moved on.

I knew it was a teacher's story. I hoped it was MOST teachers' story. As teachers, it is our sacred duty to love and value EVERY child, to treat them with dignity and compassion all the time. Even when he is pouring milk on the floor. Even when she drops the F-bomb in gym class.

That was the story I thought I wrote: the story of teachers, and of the children we love.

And then the comments started. And my blog stats started to climb. And the blogging platform crashed under the weight of hundreds of thousands of parents, teachers, people seeking out this story. And I realized that MY story was not just MY story.

I learned that teachers need a voice. They walk this line every day - the one between the needs of ONE child and the needs of ALL the children. They split themselves in a million directions, spread themselves thinner than ice on a puddle, to make sure every child is seen, heard, loved, valued.

I learned that there are so many more sizes and shapes and varieties of THAT child than I ever dreamed; that the parents of THAT child have suffered more than I ever imagined. Their stories broke my heart: dismissal, humiliation and recriminations from the communities that they had trusted to educate their child and support their families. I don't know why their child's dignity was not honoured. I don't know why their confidentiality was betrayed. I don't know how to make that right.

I learned that the other side of my story was the story of the children in THAT child's class. My knees weakened, at their anger and fear; at the horrors of children stabbed with pencils, choked with shoelaces, pushed down staircases, by THAT child. The responsibility of comforting them was suffocating. What do I know? What can I say to fix what has happened to them? It is not okay, it is never okay, for a child to come home with stitches. ... Their stories are just as real and sad and scary as THAT child's story.

The stories of gratitude, of love, of kindness and healing, were easy to carry - lightweight, even buoyant. But the stories of pain, of anger, loneliness were heavy. I didn't know how to carry them, where to put them, how to honour, comfort, reassure the parents and children and grown-up children who had trusted me with their stories.

And then ... I didn't have to.

They started helping each other, linking their stories together. Right there, in the comments, before my eyes, they wove their stories together, filling the gaps, healing the scars, one story at a time.

Grown-up versions of THOSE kids and THEIR parents, shared their stories: of happy, healthy, productive adulthoods.

Parents of children who had been hurt by a classmate started telling each other what had helped, at school and at home.

Teachers listened, shared factual information about rights to education, to specialist services, to family support.

Grown-up THAT kids thanked the teachers, neighbours, principals who had seen them, heard them, loved them.

And so, 1.5 million blog hits, 827 comments 12 different syndication posts later, what have I learned?

Perhaps, there is no THAT kid or THIS kid - only THESE kids, all of them. THESE kids are 3, 8, 15, 22 years old. They are shy and bossy, big and tiny, boys and girls, "victims" and "aggressors." They are average. They are gifted. They are loved by two parents, one parent, grandparents, foster parents, step-parents. They go to private, public, charter, home school. They have autism. They have ADHD. They have freckles.

To love THESE kids, to raise and educate and honour them, we have to live the clichés.

We have to be the village - the one that is required to raise THESE kids, to heal and help all of them. We have to walk the miles - the ones that can only happen in the shoes of THAT kid, THIS kid, their families, their teachers. We can never say "never," because the line between THAT kid and THIS kid is razor-thin, and either one of them can cross it in a heartbeat.

We have to tell our stories.

Associated Graphic

Amy Murray's attempt to discuss her experiences with 'THAT' kid led to 1.5 million blog hits and 827 comments.


Do one thing and do it well
A trader who instructs other traders, Mike Ser advocates a strategy in which one focuses on a single security. This method has paid off for his students, including one who cashed in to the tune of $1.7-million
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B4

There's only one good strategy for trading online, says Mike Ser.

For a decade and a half, Mr. Ser has been trading independently online. He has mentored others like him and started a business, Ser Man Traders, training traders in Richmond, B.C. He also has partnered with one of the people he coached and who made $1.7million in five months in gold and silver after years struggling to learn the markets.

The best general strategy for traders, Mr. Ser argues, is not to try to pick apart the minutiae of myriad financial securities and markets. Such a broad approach takes too much time and inevitably leads to frustration and potential losses, he insists.

Instead, traders need to specialize, particularly those who don't trade full time. "They need to be an expert in a specific area. They need to be really good at something, rather than be a handyman about everything in the financial market," he says.

"It could be a certain sector. It could be a certain strategy," Mr. Ser says. "Some of our students and traders only trade a certain stock every single day."

Following one security

It's a strategy used by traders at big investment banks, who are experts in such arcana as, say, commodity futures or the repurchase-agreement market. And even though Mr. Ser and some traders in his workshops may look like day traders, sitting at a gaggle of terminals, trying to make a buck on tiny, minute-byminute market movements, they are instead taking a different approach.

Call it swing trading or trend trading. It's about holding a security for a few days or months - and being expert enough in that security to set a goal indicating when to sell, such as when a big shift occurs in the market.

"They buy until the trend reverses, and then they switch their direction," Mr. Ser said.

Take the experience of Andy Man, who is Mr. Ser's business partner. Mr. Man started trading in 2006 in various markets such as tech stocks. It wasn't until he specialized in gold and silver that he hit it big, by taking short positions in the two commodities.

He bet that gold and silver prices would drop as the lure of these commodities as a safe haven would diminish when other markets improved. This was in 2011, but he had seen a similar situation pass by in 2008 without taking advantage of it.

As Mr. Ser described it, Mr. Man's strategy was to accumulate additional short positions rather than take shorter-term profits and exit the market. He was fortunate. His initial position of $1,600 turned into $1.7-million in less than half a year.

"Instead of exiting, he added more to his positions, and that's where his capital grew very, very quickly," Mr. Ser said, noting that this changed his outlook on how to train other traders.

Mr. Man "looked at this sector for five to six years before he had success. So, it takes time to develop the expertise.

"But once you develop [it], you have a greater advantage over other people."

The important thing is to establish a target price at which to exit the position, and then stick to it.

"When it reaches our target - and it doesn't matter how long it takes to get there - we will exit that position," he added.

Fit to a lifestyle

With a business degree from Simon Fraser University but no financial background, Mr. Ser began trading himself in 1999 during the dot-com boom, when online day-trading was relatively new. The aim then was to get in and out of a security quickly with a profit. Yet much of that allure disappeared during the subsequent dot-com crash, and then again in the rout of markets in 2008 to 2009.

Another benefit of becoming an expert in one sector or security is based in lifestyle. It enables one to tailor trading to fit a schedule. For instance, gold and silver are traded effectively around the clock and around the world, allowing more flexibility than smaller, specialized sectors such as technology or resource stocks.

"At the end of the day, what is that person's objectives? What's the person's lifestyle? Does he want to trade every day? Does he want to be sitting in front of a computer? Is he a morning person or an evening person? What are his goals?" Mr. Ser said.

"A lot of those types of things will help us decide whether a person should be trading only for a few minutes or a few hours a day, or only looks at a computer once a day and [should be] longer-term. We're kind of customizing everything to fit the trader, rather than having them emulating exactly what we do."

Don't bet your rent

Concentrating on one area allows some traders to glance at the market as seldom as once a day. If there is no buying or selling opportunity, they can check again tomorrow.

"If you only choose a certain area to focus on, then you're looking at the same thing every day," and that's a good thing, Mr. Ser insisted.

He is careful to warn that all trading like this should be done with discretionary money - money you don't need for living expenses. "Risk capital is the amount of money you don't need to pay your monthly bills," he said.

There are the obvious financial reasons not to bet one's mortgage on trading. There are also the less obvious, psychological ones.

"I've seen some traders trade with money they need to pay the rent with, so they're trading very scared and not making logical decisions," Mr. Ser said. "Everybody's different, but make sure you trade with risk capital that you can afford to lose."

Associated Graphic

'Some of our students and traders only trade a certain stock every single day,' says Mike Ser, left.


The method that Mike Ser teaches to his students in British Columbia is called swing trading or trend trading.


The road to opera boot camp
The Canadian Opera Company's sought-after apprenticeship program has a brutal elimination rate, but glitzy payoffs
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R2

In a rehearsal studio at the Canadian Opera Company, a young soprano is belting out one of the most famous arias in the repertoire, Quando m'en vo from Puccini's La bohème. The joyfully self-promotional waltz, sung by the character of Musetta to impress the men in a Paris café and win back a boyfriend, might seem like the perfect audition piece, but this interlude does not end in triumph.

"Thank you for coming in today," says COC music administrator Sandra Gavinchuk pleasantly. It's her standard non-committal response to the dozens of aspiring opera singers whom she and two colleagues will hear during several weeks of auditions for the Ensemble Studio, the company's sought-after apprenticeship program.

On that day, after hearing 14 singers, the three jurors quickly eliminated the would-be Musetta along with 11 others, leaving them with two maybes. The next day, a similar process netted them one yes and one maybe. In total, they listened to 150 candidates (all Canadians in their 20s) in auditions in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and New York, ranging from soon-to-graduate music students to young professionals in the first stages of their careers.

From the 150, the audition panel can pick only seven finalists to compete in the COC's Centre Stage gala at Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday. The elimination rate is brutal, but the payoff for the best singers could be careermaking. At the glitzy competition, the top three will win cash prizes and may even be invited to join the COC's ensemble for further training.

In the auditions, each singer is given about 10 minutes, and begins with a piece of his or her own choosing. The panel then hurriedly consults and picks a second piece from a list of five the candidate has provided. The jurors may be looking for something in a different tempo or style, or to hear a voice in what they suspect is its more natural range. Or they may just be looking for something short to get the candidate out of the room.

The singers are still in training and the panel knows right away if they don't cut it: The auditions take hours, but the process of elimination takes the panel only a few minutes of private consultation.

"It isn't gymnastics. They don't have to get it perfect," says Liz Upchurch, vocal coach and director of the Ensemble Studio. "Quite often they have the wrong arias. If you're 20 and you've chosen Madama Butterfly ..." She raises an eyebrow.

Young singers may chose arias that aren't suited to their vocal styles, she explains, or they may even have been slotted in the wrong category at school. The studio often redirects a high baritone who would be better off singing tenor roles, or a high mezzo who is really just a "lazy soprano."

Upchurch, Gavinchuk and COC artistic administrator Roberto Mauro must have heard Quando more times than they can remember, but it's actually easier if the candidates sing the standards: That way the jurors know exactly what to compare them to. They may not be looking for perfection, but, as those long odds suggest, they are looking for something pretty special. "Is this an incredible voice and is this an incredible artist in the making? You are looking for the extraordinary - [something] that you think you can help nurture," Upchurch says.

Many of the singers are already known to the panel and some will get a warm letter explaining why they didn't get chosen. Some will also be encouraged to come back the following year. "The point is to get them young and guide them," says Upchurch, who often makes friendly inquiries about their studies or teachers before the nervous candidates leave the audition room. "You want people to succeed. You don't want them to crash and burn [at auditions].

That would be awful."

For the seven lucky ones, the next step is the Centre Stage gala, where they are invited to sing at the 2,000-seat Four Seasons Centre and compete for $11,000 in prizes. The show will be hosted by tenor Ben Heppner, himself a high-profile graduate of the Ensemble Studio. Afterward, the winners may be invited to join the studio, a program that offers anywhere from one to three years of training and opportunities to understudy for the main company - but no one is guaranteed a spot. It depends a bit on where the winners are in their careers and whether there's space in the ensemble.

The big-ticket gala, now in its second year, is by no means the final say in recruitment; rather, it turns what was previously a private process into a showy public contest.

"There is a lot of young vocal talent in this country," COC general director Alexander Neef says, explaining why he launched the competition in 2011 and turned it into an increasingly public event. "By doing it behind closed doors, you don't really let the community participate and celebrate that talent."

Prior to the gala, the finalists are put through their paces by the COC team with a week of coaching.

"This is boot camp. It gives us an opportunity to see how they work," Upchurch says. "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a small army to raise an opera singer."

And then, seven of them step out onto that big stage.

"It's completely different singing for a few people sitting at a table with papers, taking notes and singing for a thousand people ... in these huge halls," says Nathan Keoughan, a bass baritone from PEI who is one of the seven finalists. "It's exhilarating. I hate comparing it to American Idol and those types of shows, but there is an 'it' factor, an indescribable thing."

On Tuesday, he'll discover if he has it.

Associated Graphic

A singer performs at the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio auditions in Toronto on Oct. 21. In total, the audition panel listened to 150 candidates (all Canadians in their 20s).


Takei has a voice - and he's going to use it
The Star Trek actor and his family's internment during the Second World War became a motivating factor in his life
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R7

VANCOUVER -- The motivation for George Takei's diverse and thrilling career has been fuelled by one horrific event. With his acting, including his star-making role on Star Trek; his later-in-life passion project, the musical Allegiance; and even his jokey social-media presence, Takei has been fired up, in one way or another, by the internment he and his family were forced into in 1942, a few weeks after his fifth birthday.

"My parents got my siblings and me up very early, dressed us hurriedly. My brother and I were in the living room looking out the front window and we saw two soldiers marching up our driveway, bayonets at the end of their rifles. [They] stomped up the front porch, banged on the door, and my father answered it, literally at gunpoint. We were ordered out of our home," Takei, in his unmistakeable mellifluous voice, explains during a lengthy interview this week in his hotel room. He was performing his one-man show in Vancouver - a city where many Japanese Canadians were also forced out of their homes during the Second World War and into internment camps.

"My father gave us small pieces of luggage, my brother and me, and we went out and stood in the driveway and waited for our mother to come out," he continues, sitting straight-backed on the suite's couch. "And when she finally came out, she had our baby sister, not even one yet, in one arm, a great big duffle bag in the other, and tears were rolling down her cheeks. A child never forgets a scene like that. I may have been five years old, but that's burned into my memory.

"What had we done? We were innocent, other than looking like the people that bombed Pearl Harbor."

Takei's parents told the kids that they were going for a long vacation to a place called Arkansas. Later, they were transferred to a dusty camp in Northern California.

"We started school every morning with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag," he recalls. "I could see the barbed-wire fence and the sentry tower right outside the schoolhouse window as I recited the words 'with liberty and justice for all.' Irony which I didn't understand."

Takei - named for King George VI - was nine when they were finally released. The years in the camps, the humiliation of the release, and the terrible pain his family suffered - his father in particular - became a motivating factor in Takei's life.

His father, who went into real estate, dreamed of starting a business with his son, so George enrolled at University of California, Berkeley, to study architecture. But after two years, he could no longer ignore his true passion: He told his dad he wanted to be an actor.

But there was something else behind this career choice.

"It was the stereotypes that had been sold to the general public by the media - movies, television, stage - that made it possible for that kind of [antiJapanese] hysteria to grow," says Takei, now 77. "We were either cruel villains or bumbling buffoons ... or the silent, inscrutable servant, sometimes a spy. And these were the images that many Asian Americans rented their faces out to ... to make the stereotypes credible. And it was that that made it possible for us to be imprisoned so easily. So I told my father, 'It's these stereotypes, and daddy, I'm going to go in and change it.' The arrogance of youth," he says, laughing. "But I was serious at that time."

His father agreed to subsidize his acting education, as long as he went to UCLA rather than The Actors Studio in New York. And it was at UCLA where Takei was first discovered by a casting director, which led to his first film role. And he ultimately did help challenge media stereotypes, with his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek - a series that demonstrated ahead-of-its-time thinking on diversity.

In 2009, chance meetings two nights in a row at two different theatres in New York led to the project that is truly the culmination of Takei's life and family experiences. On both nights, he and his husband, Brad, were seated close to composer Jay Kuo and producer Lorenzo Thione, whom they previously did not know. That second show was the musical In the Heights and Takei was "bawling" at the end of the first act. The song Inutil (Useless), sung by a father who is unable to pay for his daughter's education, reminded Takei of his own dad. When Kuo inquired about Takei's tears, out came the internment story. The next night they had dinner and discussed the possibility of Takei's experiences inspiring a musical. Two weeks later, Kuo sent Takei a song he called Allegiance.

"And there I was at my computer, bawling away again," says Takei.

Wanting to promote the musical as it was being developed, and raise awareness about the internment of Japanese Americans (and Japanese Canadians) during the Second World War, Takei took to social media. He grew his base of "sci-fi geeks and nerds" by sharing funny stuff. "Once it got to a certain size, I started talking about the internment," he says.

In 2012, Allegiance, written by Kuo (composer/lyricist) and Thione (who wrote the book and also produces), had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Next year, it's headed to Broadway. (The opening date is undetermined; they're waiting on a theatre.)

With this project, Takei takes on the role of a lifetime - not just the two parts he plays in the show, but as a voice for the people like his father (who died in 1979) who suffered such injustice. "I've been blessed - the success I've enjoyed with Star Trek. But together with that comes a responsibility. My voice now has a megaphone," he says. "And I have a responsibility to use it."

Associated Graphic

George Takei, seen in Vancouver on Tuesday, stars in the musical Allegiance, which deals with his personal experiences being interned during the Second World War.


'It's all I have,' and other lies
He was hungry so I bought him a meal. As I wondered if I could believe him, all I knew for sure was that I hadn't told the truth
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L10

It's a cold night and a young man stops me in the street, saying he hasn't eaten. Claiming I don't have any money on me, I pass him by - but then I go back. He's thin and pale, and his hands are cracked, the nails bitten to the quick.

I take him to a café, where he orders a hamburger and a Coke. He reaches across the table and says, "I'm Barry, by the way."

"I'm Tracey," I say, and shake his hand. Tracey is my real name. Barry is his, as far as I know. His hand feels like anybody else's hand.

We sit there in the café, and I wonder what to say: Are you on EI? Do you have friends you can go to? Do you have any work prospects? I notice I'm assuming he has a problem that I can help him solve. It's hard to let go of the fantasy that people on the street have earned it somehow, this blinding lie with its comfortable corollary: You and I are safe, protected.

My husband and I have an average-nice house with a ridiculous mortgage, but we're managing. We can even take an occasional holiday. Our worries about money are not on the same scale as the worries of this kid sitting in front of me. Barry's torn hands clench each other.

"Fallen on hard times?" I ask, kicking myself for the ridiculous phrase, like a 1950s slogan: Buck up, son! But there might be a key there, a puzzle piece that will answer my questions about poverty and sickness, misery and death. I want to find it so that I know what to do.

"Yeah," Barry says, swallowing and blinking twice. "My dad died, and my mom just fell apart. She's a mess, man. My brother and sisters, I don't know where they are." He curses quietly, for emphasis.

Cultural wisdom says that people are dangerous when they have nothing to lose. Even jail time, for some, just means a roof and a meal. Naturally, this thinking dates back to the days when there was room in our prisons for all of our displaced people.

I find this philosophy untenable in the face of the army of castoffs I run into: young adults living out of their rucksacks; Jerry, at the corner of Cassiar and Hastings, who turned yellow and disappeared; the lady on Boundary who made herself an elaborate fortress out of shopping carts and sheets of heavy plastic. I don't believe anybody who has a better option chooses this.

Barry spends most of our time together staring at the table with his head bent down to his chest. The crown of his head is covered with thick, dark hair.

Human contact is the key for most of us, I remind myself. It's not enough to throw money at him and walk away. I sit unblushing, still and watchful in my seat. I want to help. I want to understand.

"I'm so embarrassed," he says. "I can't believe this is happening to me."

He tosses his head away from me again, and sneaks a hand up to the corner of his eye. I don't see a tear. I don't know whether to be ashamed of myself, or proud. Am I insensitive or street smart? Is there a difference? At least he'll be eating.

Later, when I tell my mother about Barry, I'll be flooded by her concern - her concern for me, not for this boy who needs it so much more. My mother worries that people like Barry will somehow leap across the gap between us and do me harm.

"Do you have friends in the area?" I ask him. "Where are you from?" He waits, and so do I. I win.

"I have a friend in Kelowna. I'm kind of trying to get up to Kelowna. He might have some work for me." He pauses.

"I just can't believe it all happened! My dad was so young, he was only ..." I see him sizing me up, as he sniffs and runs his hand past his eyes again "... 39," he finishes.

He's off by several years. He must be new at this. The grief and the pain are real, but I can't decide about the story.

Barry excuses himself politely to go to the washroom, and I pay for his meal. I am embarrassed because I said that I had $10 but I really have $20.80. I don't want him to know that I told him a lie.

I leave the waitress her tip at the register, so Barry doesn't take it.

Then I leave the rest of the money I have, $5 and some silver, on the table, hoping he will take it when he leaves.

When he comes back, his hands are shiny bright. We sit in silence, with me debating how I can lend him bus fare to Kelowna without supporting his habit, if he has one. As if he were the liar instead of me. But I know that junkies will say whatever they need to, and I don't really know anything about this boy.

Barry stares out the window, dampness gathering in the corner of one eye. Now I'm worried that he'll think the money on the table is the tip. I indicate the small pile of change, hard and shiny in the shadow of the cola can.

"It's all I have with me," I say, telling the truth for the first time since I said my name. I smile, carefully. "Maybe it's enough for a phone call to Kelowna." I pause, not wanting to leave without offering some kind of promise for the future. "I hope things look up for you," I say.

It may not help, but it's all I have with me.

Tracey Martinsen lives in Burnaby, B.C.


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Associated Graphic


In Middle Kingdom, Wynne finds her way
Ontario Premier questions leadership on human rights issues, but also wins admirers for the way she makes business connections
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A18

NANJING, CHINA -- In the first speech of her weeklong trade mission to China last month, Kathleen Wynne wasted no time lauding her hosts.

At an upscale hotel in the heart of this eight-million-strong metropolis, the Ontario Premier praised the country's prowess at building infrastructure: the bullet train that whisked her the 350 kilometres from Shanghai in just 90 minutes; the local subway system, opened a decade ago but already more extensive than Toronto's.

"I must say how envious I am," she told hundreds of business people and politicians. "I am very happy to see all the progress."

Mere hours later, she pressed a high-ranking Communist official on China's human-rights record. In a private meeting with Luo Zhijun, the party secretary of Jiangsu, Ms. Wynne argued people must have the right to protest - a tough subject here in light of Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrations.

One side of Ms. Wynne's approach facilitated the other: complimenting a country in the morning makes it easier to criticize it in the afternoon. This nuance also reflected her determination not to fall into the simple, black-and-white thinking that often characterizes Westerners' approach to the Middle Kingdom.

"It's 'how do we learn from each other?' I said that in meetings and I really meant it. ... Neither society alone has got all the answers," she told The Globe and Mail in an interview. "Sometimes, it creeps into our narrative that, somehow, we are bringing enlightenment to China. And that's just not the case."

Whether Ms. Wynne's stand on human rights will have any effect is doubtful: other politicians have long lectured China on such matters to little more than polite silence. But she nonetheless went further than most provincial leaders, who stick exclusively to trade. "We have to take principled positions as we develop a relationship - that's the case with any country," she said. "But we also have to recognize that we're different societies, and find a way of working together despite our differences."

It didn't appear to hurt the business aspect of the trip. The province announced $966-million worth of deals, a decent return on investment for an $800,000 jaunt. More importantly, the visit helped lay the groundwork for future business ties: In a country where the government is involved in most aspects of life, it often takes political intervention to open doors for commerce.

Chinese telco ZTE, for instance, announced $17-million for an Ottawa research and development centre. Denson Xu, who runs the Canadian arm of the company, said direct contact between Ontario officials and his head office helps give them the confidence to invest.

"Communications between our headquarters and [Ontario] government representatives is very important," he said on the sidelines of a reception Ms. Wynne hosted in Shanghai. "Of course, I can help to communicate between them - but it's better for them to have a face-to-face meeting."

Making these connections is particularly urgent for Ontario, which must wean itself off its long-time dependence on the U.S. economy. Today, the province's pitch to China centres on high tech, as well as its large pool of well-educated workers.

For Frank Ye, business development manager at Huayu Automotive, Ontario's appeal is its innovation. He's looking to Canada for such auto technologies as more efficient engines and improved safety features. "We are looking for next-generation products - that means maybe we can invest in startup companies or license new technologies into China."

Ms. Wynne showed a deft ability to build rapport with her audiences. Meeting with six Chinese financial executives at a Beijing hotel, the Premier rattled off economic figures and extolled the benefits of a Toronto-based yuan trading hub. As the bankers spoke, she listened intently, making notes on a piece of foolscap, occasionally jumping in with a question or a joke.

When Annie Han, a vice-president at Dagong Global Credit Rating, said her company was scouting locations for a North American office, Ms. Wynne didn't miss a beat. "We have a suggestion for you," she said.

The performance went over well.

"She is like a businesswoman - she wants to sell your province here. She is very outgoing," enthused Xuehui Zhuang of the Bank of China. "I'm impressed."

Meeting with students at the University of Nanjing, some of whom had lived in Ontario on exchange, Ms. Wynne was equally engaged, asking questions about their experience in Canada.

"She was really nice, really mother-like. She cares about your life," commented aeronautics major Hui Ling Gong, 21.

And, of course, there was Ms. Wynne's interest in China's infrastructure. In a meeting with Shanghai vice-mayor Ai Baojun, she commended the city's wide bicycle lanes - on nearly every major street, they are separated from auto traffic with low fences. "I hope that that doesn't get lost in the development of your transportation," she said. "Developing in exactly the way the West has, that's not necessarily the right thing."

She was equally effusive when Mr. Ai informed her of his city's plan to expand its already extensive subway system to 700 kilometres in the next seven years: "You are moving very quickly. ... I am quite envious." Such compliments may sound like mere niceties meant to curry favour with a host. But in an unguarded moment a couple of hours later, Ms. Wynne showed it was more than that. About to board a high-speed train to Beijing, the Premier peeled away from her entourage and made a beeline for the front. There, she posed for a photo next to the locomotive, marvelling at one of the fastest vehicles on Earth.

"The scale of this society has been beyond what I have experienced," she later explained. "I was experiencing it viscerally on that platform - the platform was so massive, and there were 14 of them. That was the 'young backpacker in awe' moment."

Associated Graphic

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was a gracious visitor in China, and was impressed with the pace of transportation planning.


Friday, November 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R5

Mini-reviews rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars. Original reviews were published on the dates indicated.


Both a fictional drama about growing up and a wonder-rousing cinema experiment, Richard Linklater's new film deserves all the accolades it has been getting. Presented in 143 scenes shot in 39 days over a dozen years with the same cast, the film explores that permeable border between drama and documentary in a way that evokes recognition, melancholy and joy, while sticking to the mundane experiences of one boy's life. The subject of Boyhood is played by Texas actor Ellar Coltrane, and we see him travel from the age of six to 18. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette play his divorced parents. The place where design meets happy accident is one of the film's constant pleasures. The other is the beautifully observed social reality that the actors embody, as they thicken, mature and show the effects of gravity, both physical and emotional. 14A (July 18)


The documentary of the year may also be its most hair-raising thriller. Laura Poitras's Citizenfour. Part of the film's thrill is that it allows the viewer to experience history being made in a Hong Kong hotel room, as National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden unveils, to Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald, his bombshell revelations about the extent of the U.S. government's global surveillance practices. For those who think the Snowden revelations are old hat, the movie offers extensive fresh reasons for paranoia, including a final kicker that promises more revelations to come. PG (Nov. 7)


The pitch on Dear White People is that it's "Do the Right Thing for the Obama generation," which is both an oversell and a disservice to Justin Simien's witty, modest, exploratory satire about race relations on a fictional, contemporary Ivy League campus. The subject is less about "white people" (they're background noise) than four African-American students in the soon-to-be-integrated black student residence, struggling between the difference between their real selves and social personas in a mostly white world. The protagonist is activist Sam (Tessa Thompson), whose provocative campus radio show, Dear White People, is intended as a corrective to white people's fascinated ignorance about black experience. The others include Troy Fairbanks, an ambitious preppie; Lionel, a gay literary nerd; and Coco, who is all about popularity. While the story is more like a collection of dramatized arguments, Simien has some sharp insights about the double edge of humour - as a tool of reason or cudgel of ridicule. 14A (Nov. 7)


Denzel Washington earned an Oscar for his work in Antoine Fuqua's 2001 film Training Day, and the two join up again here in this adaptation of the eighties TV series. Washington plays Robert McCall, a hardware-store employee with a secret past as a black ops agent, who befriends a teen prostitute (Chloë Grace Moretz) at his local diner. When the girl is hurt, McCall launches a one-man war against a Russian criminal-political organization. The plot is preposterous but Washington offers a well-calibrated performance, and the downbeat Boston milieu provides some welcome flavour. 18A (Sept. 26)


David Fincher's acerbically witty take on modern marriage in the guise of a missing-wife thriller was adapted for the screen by Gillian Flynn from her own hit novel. Fans of either Fincher or the book should not be disappointed. Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is a laid-off New York movie-magazine writer while his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), loses her hobby job writing quizzes in a women's magazine. When their perfect Manhattan life becomes unsustainable, they move to Nick's hometown, a Missouri heartland community with a dwindling pulse. On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears and suspicion falls on Nick. An ingenious contraption of a movie, Gone Girl works more at the level of a simmer than a boil, but it's raised up by brilliant casting, starting with Affleck as the bland, shifty Nick and Pike as the dolllike wife with a churning inner life. 14A (Oct. 3)


Director Christopher Nolan's new space movie, Interstellar, is a film you really need to see to disbelieve: A 167-minute, time-travelling, planet-hopping, eyepopping father-daughter love story that takes wormhole journeys across the galaxies and all the way from awesome (the visual modelling) to awful (the expository dialogue). While ambitious and intricately structured, Interstellar struggles hard to communicate those things we human beings call "emotions," settling for a kind of freeze-dried space-food approximation of Steven Spielberg's sentimentality. PG (Nov. 7) - L.L.


Robert Downey Jr., best-known in recent years for his Sherlock and Iron Man blockbusters, aims for something more intimate with The Judge, a family courtroom melodrama that's undone by a long, unwieldy script. Downey plays cynical Chicago lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his Indiana hometown for his mother's funeral, and ends up staying to defend his judge father on a murder charge. Downey is provided with a succession of manoa-mano encounters with strong character actors - Robert Duvall as the irascible dad, Vincent D'Onofrio as a sadsack older brother, Vera Farmiga as a stillsmoking old flame and Billy Bob Thornton as a coxcomb rival lawyer. Though there's a frisson of pleasure in watching the irresistible force of Downey colliding with the immovable object of Duvall, it's too bad it couldn't have been in a better movie. 14A (Oct 10)


This apocalyptic thriller based on the novel by James Dashner has an intriguing plot about a group of boys trapped in a forest, where they are fated to eke out a subsistence existence unless they can escape through a treacherous maze. The film, however, bears many of the crude marks of young-adult fiction, including expository dialogue, characters lifted from The Boys' Own Annual, only one lone female character and an ending that sets us up for the sequel. PG (Sept. 19)

Art Metropole not having a midlife crisis
Artist-run centre set to celebrate its 40th anniversary looks back to its past with an eye on the future
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L2

Was the first location of Art Metropole over a body-rub parlour at 241 Yonge St. in Toronto, across from what is now Eaton Centre? Or was it above a souvlaki-and-feta joint?

You can find stories touting either business, so the other day I thought I'd ask Art Metropole's current director, Corinn Gerber, to clarify matters. The call was prompted by the 40th anniversary of AM's founding as one of Canada's pioneering not-for-profit artist-run centres, internationally renowned for its dedication to collecting, archiving, selling and lending artist's books, videos, audio recordings, postcards and T-shirts, catalogues, buttons, drawings, periodicals and much else, both multiple and singular, ephemeral and substantial.

AM is marking the anniversary Thursday evening with a bash expected to attract at least 300 members of Toronto's crème de l'avant-garde to the landmark Great Hall in historic Union Station.

Gerber didn't know the answer - "You'd have to ask people from the generation back then," she said - and there's no real reason why she should have. Just 38 and a native of Switzerland, she landed the directorship a little over three years ago, one of her first tasks being the chore, in June, 2012, of moving the organization's eclectic wares from the King Street West location it had occupied for close to a quartercentury into a former Portuguese travel agency in the city's gentrifying Bloordale neighbourhood.

Gerber did, however, know that Art Metropole's debut location was on the third floor of 241 Yonge St. and that its name was taken from the original moniker of the four-storey building in which it was housed. Built in 1911 (the building still stands, in fact) the structure had been, depending on your preferred source, "an artists' supply company," "one of Toronto's earliest galleries" running into the late 1940s, or some combination of the two.

What is fact is that AM was started by none other than Jorge Zontal, AA Bronson and Felix Partz, better known as General Idea, which after the Group of Seven is likely the country's most successful and influential art collective. In its grant application to the Canada Council, this trio of cheeky conceptualists announced AM's ambition to be nothing less than "a [commitment] to the documentation, archiving and distribution of all the images." Over the years this "all-ness" has entailed the donation, exchange and purchase of works by numerous Canadian artists as well as such international names as Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, Gavin Bryars, the Fugs and Buckminster Fuller, Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Sol LeWitt and hundreds of others. No wonder that when the collection was transferred to Library and Archives, National Gallery of Canada, in the late 1990s, it totalled 13,000-14,000 items.

As you might expect, the 40thanniversary party is a multifaceted, mixed-idiom affair, with arty cocktails, interesting food, groovy DJ'd music and quirky events. At least 25 artists have been enlisted to transform the historic early-20th-century hall into a 21stcentury kunsthaus. There's a show-and-tell component, too, during which six or seven "selected friends of AM" will speak for three minutes about a beloved or meaningful object or objects and the stories surrounding the object(s). Brooklyn-based artist David Horvitz, for instance, is presenting a variety of 10-by-15centimetre photographs, including one of him putting his head inside Marcel Duchamp's famous urinal readymade at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and another of an ex-girlfriend in the throes of an LSD trip. The 2013 Sobey Art Award-winner Duane Linklater will talk about the limited-edition vinyl recording of some nature walks he took in spring 2014 near Thunder Bay as he searched for "a specific bird with a specific song."

There's a Show & Tell & Sell Shop where revellers can buy art, plus an online benefit auction, concluding at 11 p.m ET Thursday, featuring more than 80 works by artists as varied as Micah Lexier, Stephen Shore, Shary Boyle and Fastwurms. And since Union Station is in the midst of a $1-billion renovation, "living way-finders" - men and women dressed in hardhats and red T-shirts with arrows on them - will be directing visitors to the party.

Gerber was quick to note the anniversary fête is "not only a look-back but a looking-forward." Jan. 16 to 23 next year will see Art Metropole partner with Warsaw's Galeria Raster to present a mixed-media celebration of contemporary art centred on Union Station. Called Villa Toronto, the event has enlisted not only more than a dozen local art institutions - they include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union and Diaz Contemporary - but also galleries and organizations from Milan, Reykjavik, Berlin, Barcelona and elsewhere. Further, AM is planning to open in June a "mobile kiosk" in Union Station "for distributing artists' works in multiple forms" and to organize site-specific programs. AM supporters in the meantime are being invited to buy one of seven brick designs by Toronto artist Lili Huston-Herterich; each brick will be monogrammed with the supporter's name and installed on the floor in Union Station. Earlier this year Art Metropole was given $15,000 by Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts toward the construction of "movable modules" for the train station and other venues.

The Art Metropole 40th-anniversary party runs from 8 p.m. to midnight Nov. 20 at the Great Hall, Union Station, Toronto. Tickets online at or at the door. Bidding for the online auction is at Library and Archives at the National Gallery in Ottawa is hosting Then Again, a survey exhibition of selected Art Metropole artifacts, through Dec. 19.

Associated Graphic

David Horvitz's photographs, including one of him putting his head inside Marcel Duchamp's famous urinal readymade, are part of the show-and-tell component to Art Metropole's 40th-anniversary party.

Items from the online benefit auction Art Metropole is having that features works by more than 80 artists.

New stadium serves as Ground Zero for the pride of Hamilton
The Tiger-Cats turned their season around when they moved to Tim Hortons Field. Can the new vibe carry the team over the Als?
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

HAMILTON -- Since arriving in 2011 to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, receiver Bakari Grant had heard the long-standing banter and seen the countless architects' renderings of what the team's new stadium might look like. But none of that did justice to Tim Hortons Field; nothing had prepared him for what it would feel like to finally set foot in a permanent home.

The Ticats played their emotional final game at Ivor Wynne Stadium in 2012, and then the building, which stood at the corner of Balsam and Beechwood Avenues since 1928, was levelled, and construction began on a modern new one in its spot. The Tiger-Cats played home games on the university campuses of Guelph and McMaster during the construction, which stretched well beyond the originally projected June, 2014, opening.

A struggling 1-6 Ticats team finally opened Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day, and Grant scored the team's first touchdown there, as a victory over the rival Toronto Argonauts marked the start of a shift for the Cats. Belief was sprouting in the power of this rollicking new homestead.

That first victory coincided with the return of their new starting quarterback, Zach Collaros, who had been out with a concussion, and the Ticats went on to win all six games this season played in its new $145.7-million house. Those home victories came against six different opponents en route to winning the CFL's East Division with a 9-9 overall record. Every available seat was sold on each occasion.

This Sunday, the team will play host to the East final for the first time since 1998. Since it opened, Hamilton's state-of-the-art new stadium, which had for so long been at the centre of political debates, logistical curveballs and construction delays, has become synonymous with winning and unity.

"I remember walking into that bowl for the first time, and it hit me how big it is, because it has a certain grandioso," Grant said.

"Not all of the sections were open for our first few games there, but it never felt incomplete. Right away, the fans made it feel like home, like they were loud and passionate about being a great 13th man, and giving us the ultimate home-field advantage."

While the robust vibe of Ivor Wynne has carried over, its crumbling infrastructure is long gone.

Ticats offensive linemen Mike Filer and Brian Simmons are among the few current players to have played in the old digs.

They recall walking under the stands, as water dripped from the ceilings, to the dingy and outdated weight room. Ivor Wynne's turf felt like thin old carpet. The locker room was small, and its shower room had unpredictable water temperatures and faulty taps. One exasperated lineman with some plumbing chops would often attempt repairs himself.

"It was breathtaking the first time we got to walk out on the new field," said Filer, a native of Brantford, Ont., who came to Ticats games as a kid and worked as a security guard at Ivor Wynne before he was drafted to the CFL in 2012.

"Coach Austin kept telling us how nice it would be and professional, and they really took care of us. The place is just beautiful."

Beyond its modern amenities, scenic views of the escarpment, great sightlines and social spaces, Tim Hortons Field has had a psychological effect on the team.

"We're really hard to beat at home - I think we play harder and people really want to see us play here, so the expectations on us are really high," Simmons said.

"That's the city of Hamilton, and the kind of people that live here.

They've waited a long time for this home."

For a long time, the majority of news about the venue was headlined by controversy or uncertainty. Fans, the team, the city, the province and Toronto 2015 Pan American Games organizers had varying opinions on where the stadium should go, how to fund it and whether to renovate the old or build from scratch. Then construction delays had the team anxiously awaiting an occupancy permit right up until the day before the Labour Day Classic.

"Some people weren't completely convinced about the location, but it feels like all of that has washed away now, and this new place is a unifying force," said Leo Ezerins, former Ticats linebacker and season-seat holder. "The team has showed the fans gratitude by winning every game in the building. I know several longtime season-ticket holders who weren't planning to renew their tickets, but they are now."

The new venue has provided good drama, like the Ticats' last game, an unlikely 15-point win over the Montreal Alouettes to not only escape elimination from the playoffs, but win the division.

The surrounding neighbourhoods, long affected by construction, are alive again with the usual game-day front porch parties, parking on lawns, and tailgating at nearby Scott Park.

"We would have lost so many of our familiar game-day experiences in that neighbourhood if we had moved," long-time Ticats fan David Cicci said. "The 13th man feels louder to me this year in the new stadium. We've had rain and cold this year, but the energy has still been amazing in there. There's rain in the forecast Sunday, but no one will mind."

Ongoing construction caused the late opening of some sections, but with the upper deck now operational, Sunday's game against Montreal will be the second in a row with a capacity crowd of over 24,000, as it sold out within days.

The team has also seen dramatic growth in merchandise sales, corporate sponsorships and digital metrics.

"From the moment we got into Tim Hortons Field, it's been sellout after sellout," Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell said. "The demand to get inside the stadium right now is incredible, probably the highest we've had in Hamilton in 30 years. Hamilton is a football city, and when you get a new stadium in place and the team is winning, it creates some magic in the community."

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