Goff, Woods help Rams trample depleted Texans
The Associated Press
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

LOS ANGELES -- Robert Woods caught two of Jared Goff's three touchdown passes during a dominant third quarter, and the surging Los Angeles Rams returned after a month away from home for their fourth straight victory, 33-7 over the depleted Houston Texans on Sunday.

After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL's highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards.

Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds apart late in the third quarter. The Rams defence shut out Houston in the second half and won at the Coliseum for just the third time in 11 games since returning to Los Angeles last season. Woods finished with eight catches for 171 yards, making the longest catch of his NFL career, before following it up with a 12-yard TD.

Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6).

NFL scoring leader Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals for the Rams.

49ers finally win

Santa Clara, Calif. - C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their first win of the season with a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants.

Beathard connected on an 83-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin and a 47yarder to Garrett Celek in the second quarter as the 49ers (1-9) took advantage of another listless effort by the Giants (1-8) to win for the first time under coach Kyle Shanahan. This was a historically bad matchup, marking the first time in 33 years that two teams with only one combined win met this late in a season.

Falcons romp over Cowboys

Atlanta - Adrian Clayborn set an Atlanta record with six sacks, Matt Ryan threw a pair of short touchdown passes and the Falcons romped to a 27-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, who looked anemic offensively in their first game without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott. Ryan hooked up with Justin Hardy on a three-yard pass for Atlanta's first offensive touchdown in the third quarter this season. Early in the fourth, Ryan put the game away for the Falcons (5-4) by tossing one to Austin Hooper for a one-yard score. The Cowboys fells to 5-4.

Vikings making some noise

Landover, Md. - Case Keenum threw touchdowns to four different receivers to build a big lead, and the NFC North-leading Vikings won their fifth in a row, 38-30 over Washington. With Teddy Bridgewater active for the first time since January, 2016, after a devastating knee injury, Keenum was 21-of-29 for 304 yards and TD passes to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, David Morgan and Jarius Wright. He was picked off on consecutive throws by D.J. Swearinger. Thielen had eight catches for a season-high 166 yards. Latavius Murray also ran for a score as five players got into the end zone for Minnesota (7-2), which was 8-of-12 on third downs.

Is the Pack back?

Chicago - Brett Hundley threw for 212 yards and a touchdown, Nick Perry had three sacks and the Packers snapped a three-game losing streak as Green Bay beat the Chicago Bears 23-16. Hundley, starting his third game for an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Davante Adams to make it 23-13 with 5:29 to play, and the Packers (5-4) hung on to beat the Bears (3-6) for the eighth time in nine games. It was the first victory for a Packers QB not named Rodgers or Brett Favre since 1989.

Titans off to strong start, too

Nashville - Marcus Mariota tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 36 seconds left, and the Tennessee Titans rallied for their fourth consecutive victory, beating the Cincinnati Bengals 24-20. It's the longest winning streak for the Titans (6-3) since taking five in a row in 2009, and it's their best start to a season since 2008 when the Titans last reached the playoffs as the AFC's No. 1 seed.

Jags win in OT

Jacksonville, Fla. - Josh Lambo kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:12 remaining in overtime, lifting the Jaguars in a wild game 20-17 over the Chargers. Lambo's kick got tipped at the line of scrimmage and still cleared the crossbar. The former soccer player and one-time Charger ran the other way and slid on both knees near midfield before getting mobbed by teammates. It gave Jacksonville (6-3) its first three-game winning streak since 2013.

Bucs back in win column

Tampa - Ryan Fitzpatrick led two long scoring drives and Tampa Bay limited the Jets to less than 200 yards of offence until late in the fourth quarter to snap a five-game losing streak as the Buccaneers (3-6) beat New York 15-10. The Buccaneers improved to 3-6; the Jets fell to 4-6.

Meanwhile, in the basement ...

Detroit - The Cleveland Browns were up 10-0 early in the game for their first double-digit lead of the season, and were up 24-17 in the third after DeShone Kizer led two consecutive touchdown drives, but, you know. Matthew Stafford lofted a 29-yard tiebreaking touchdown to Eric Ebron early in the fourth quarter and the Detroit Lions (5-4) went on to beat the Browns 38-24. Cleveland falls to 0-9. Detroit is the only franchise to have a 0-16 season, in 2008.

Anthem update

Three players took a knee during the national anthem before the New York Giants game at the San Francisco 49ers, as the rest of the league stood during Veterans Day weekend.

49ers Eric Reid and Marquise Goodwin, both of whom have been protesting for most of the season, knelt, as did Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon, who was just activated. Vernon had been protesting while he was injured. The NFL Players Association had asked all players to observe a two-minute moment of silence before games to honour veterans. Other players who have been protesting most of the season stood for the anthem this week, including the Seahawks Michael Bennett, who stood before Thursday night's game.

Titans receiver Rishard Matthews walked onto the field holding hands with soldiers and stood with teammates for the anthem for the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump criticized players for protesting.

Associated Graphic

Rams receiver Robert Woods scores during Los Angeles' matchup with the Houston Texans on Sunday. Woods had two touchdowns.


Penguins still a nemesis for Senators
Ottawa is smarting from dramatic playoff loss to Pittsburgh last spring - and after a fresh loss this week, that hasn't changed
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S5

OTTAWA -- It had been 175 days, yet time had done little to erase the memories or even remove the sting.

As Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel put it: "There's still a little bit of a chip on our shoulder."

It was way back on May 25 - traditionally a time of great celebration in the thawing north - that the Pittsburgh Penguins put an end to any dreams of the first Canadian Stanley Cup in nearly a quarter of a century. It happened at the 5:09 mark of the second overtime in Game 7, the perfect driveway scenario, when Penguins captain Sidney Crosby sent a pass to Chris Kunitz, who then sent a fluttering puck over the shoulder of goaltender Craig Anderson and into the Ottawa net for a 3-2 victory.

It could so easily have gone the other way. And considering the Penguins went on to claim their second successive Stanley Cup with a relatively easy six-game triumph over the Nashville Predators, there were those who believed the Cup might have been Ottawa's but for a single bounce.

There has never been any love lost between the Senators and Penguins.

There is past history in the playoffs.

The bad blood goes back to and well beyond Feb. 13, 2013, when former Penguins forward Matt Cooke stomped on the heel of Ottawa's best player Erik Karlsson, severing Karlsson's Achilles tendon.

When Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion pronounced that Thursday's match at the Canadian Tire Centre would be his team's "toughest game of the year," it seemed a most peculiar thing to say only 17 games into the season.

Yet he did have a point, to a degree. If the Ottawa Senators are ever to win a Stanley Cup rather than just come close, they must get over teams that come into town with swaggering names and reputations. As Dzingel put it: "They're the team we want to beat."

The question was: Are the Pittsburgh Penguins of today the Pittsburgh Penguins of 175 days back.

Before defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Tuesday and then the Senators 3-1 on Thursday, the Penguins had lost six of their previous eight games. They have allowed more goals (73) than any team in their conference. Crosby, who scored a goal against the Sabres, finally stopped his 11-game scoring drought, during which he had gone a dismal minus-9 in even-strength play. He picked up an assist on Thursday when Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary scored on the empty Ottawa net, the Senators desperately trying to tie the game to force overtime.

Twenty-one games into the season, the game's best player, having turned 30 during the summer, has only six goals. A year ago, he had 15 goals in his first 17 games, finishing the year with the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer, with 44.

Of course, Crosby's demise has been greatly exaggerated before. He began the 2015-16 season with only two goals in the opening 18 games, then went on to finish third in league scoring and lead the Penguins to the first of two straight Stanley Cups. One writes No. 87 off with trepidation.

"We really like where Sid's game is trending," Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters on Thursday. "He's controlling the controllables when he plays ... you can't always control when the puck goes in the net.

"He's too good a player not to turn in his favour."

It likely will, but it has not been a great year so far for the defending champions. They have been blown out of games (10-1 by Chicago Blackhawks, 7-1 by Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-1 by the Winnipeg Jets) but they have also played 14 games on the road. They will play 12 of their next 19 at home, where they have excelled, winning six of their past seven.

And what, then, of the Senators, who went much farther than most expected last year?

They just squeaked into the playoffs. They called themselves "underdogs" as they met and defeated the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. Their own coach told them they "had no chance" against the Penguins, and yet, came within that one lucky shot of defeating the Penguins and reaching the Stanley Cup final.

Ottawa returned earlier in the week from Stockholm, Sweden, where it had claimed two 4-3 victories over the Colorado Avalanche. A five-day layoff and jet lag partly could be blamed for a sluggish second period against the Penguins, where two tipped point shots were the difference in the game.

Even so, only 17 games into the season, the Senators already have 21 points. If they were better at overtimes and shootouts, they would be in even better shape.

They also have a strengthened lineup, with Matt Duchene, an elite 26-year-old centre, having arrived in a complicated trade that saw centre Kyle Turris end up in Nashville and two highly promising Nashville prospects go to the rebuilding Avalanche.

This match was Duchene's first in front of his new fans. The two games in Sweden against the team he had just left was, as new teammate Mark Stone put it, "awkward" for him. Duchene had looked out of place and out of sorts in the first game and had not scored a point in either game.

Playing in Ottawa against the Penguins, Duchene said, wasn't "going to be weird," as Stockholm had been.

Thursday in Ottawa, Duchene looked just fine. A slick passer who sees the ice well, he centred a line with Bobby Ryan and Dzingel on the wings. "I'd love it to work," Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher said as he set his lineup. "We have no clue if they fit."

There is no doubt Duchene will fit somewhere, with someone. Four times in the first period alone Duchene came close to scoring, only to be denied by Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray, who was splendid.

The Ottawa fans warmly cheered every shift he took.

"When they have a player like Duchene," Sullivan said of his opponents, "it makes the team that much better."

But still not as good as they need to be if they hope to see a Stanley Cup final within reach again next spring.

Associated Graphic

Sidney Crosby tries to tip the puck past Craig Anderson on Thursday. He later assisted on an empty-net goal for the win.


Edmonton seeks to extend Calgary's losing streak
The Canadian Press
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

The Calgary Stampeders have home-field advantage but it's the Edmonton Eskimos who'll have momentum on Sunday in the West Division final.

Calgary won the season series 2-1, but ended the regular season with three straight losses, including a 2920 decision to Edmonton on Oct. 28 at Commonwealth Stadium. The Stampeders' losing streak is their longest before a playoff game since 1957.

Edmonton ended its regular season with five straight wins, then beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 39-32 in the West Division semifinal on Sunday at Investors Group Field.

Quarterback Mike Reilly, the CFL passing leader, has been a pivotal figure in Edmonton's win streak, passing for 11 TDs while rushing for six more. Reilly also hasn't thrown an interception in four straight games.

Reilly, a finalist along with Toronto's Ricky Ray for the CFL's outstanding player award, has made 12 starts against Calgary and has more TDs against the Stampeders (21) than any other team. Reilly has just three career wins over the Stampeders, but did rush for a leaguebest 12 touchdowns this season.

Reilly and Calgary starter Bo Levi Mitchell had made two playoff starts against each other, having split the two previous games.

Mitchell boasts a 9-3 career regularseason record against Edmonton with 18 TD strikes.

The Stampeders boast a CFL-best 7-2 home record, but have dropped two straight at McMahon Stadium following 17 straight victories.

Edmonton was a stellar 6-3 on the road this season.

Reilly was 89-of-127 passing (70.1 per cent) for 1,065 yards this season against Calgary. He also had six TDs against three interceptions while being sacked nine times. Mitchell completed 64-of-98 pass attempts (65.3 per cent) for 856 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions while being sacked just three times.

A matchup worth watching will be Edmonton's offence (league-high 27.2 offensive points a game) facing Calgary's staunch defence (leaguelow 16.7 offensive points against).

The Stampeders also led the CFL in fewest TDs (35), passing TDs (17), yards (314.7 a game) and quarterback pressures (125).

Conversely, Edmonton led the CFL in offensive TDs (52), rushing TDs (20), net offence (406.8 a game), fewest sacks (29), pass efficiency (103.8) and passing yards (331.8) while finishing second over all in rushing (96.3).

Running back C.J. Gable, acquired from Hamilton during the season, has enhanced Edmonton's ground attack, rushing for 107 yards on 16 carries (6.7-yard average) and two TDs against Winnipeg. Gable did the bulk of his damage in the second half, running for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries while the Eskimos' defence forced three second-half turnovers.

Of course, Canadian Jerome Messam (1,016 yards, 4.7-yard average, nine TDs) anchors Calgary's rushing attack behind an offensive line that also allowed just 30 sacks this season. Calgary will be rested and have home-field advantage but Edmonton will counter with plenty of momentum.

Pick: Eskimos

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Toronto Argonauts (East final) The Riders look to do what's never been done before in the CFL: reach the Grey Cup as a crossover team.

After finishing fourth in the West, Saskatchewan dumped the Ottawa Redblacks 31-20 in the East semifinal Sunday at TD Place.

Saskatchewan swept the season series 2-0, rallying from 10- and 13point deficits en route to a 6-2 record against East Division rivals.

Marcus Thigpen was instrumental in Saskatchewan's win over Ottawa, rushing for 169 yards. That included a huge 75-yard TD run in the second half that cemented the victory.

But a key for Saskatchewan has been its ability to capitalize on turnovers. The Riders scored 130 points off 40 takeaways during the regular season, second only to Winnipeg (166 points off 42 takeaways).

Veteran Kevin Glenn starts for Saskatchewan, but it was Canadian Brandon Bridge who took centre stage the last time these teams met. Bridge, from Mississauga, replaced Glenn in the first half and finished 20-of-28 passing for 292 yards and two TDs in rallying the Riders to a 27-24 road win Oct. 7.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bridge effectively evaded Toronto's pass rush and kept plays alive with his feet. And that's big considering the Argos finished tied with Calgary with 50 sacks while Saskatchewan was ranked eighth with 27.

Toronto finished that game without running back James Wilder Jr. (concussion). The East Division's top rookie rushed for 72 yards on 13 carries and added seven catches for 90 yards before being forced out.

Linebacker Marcus Ball (foot) and Bear Woods (upper body) also didn't play for Toronto. Woods will definitely suit up Sunday with Ball expected to.

Ray threw for over 300 yards in both games versus Saskatchewan with five TDs and 74-per-cent completion average.

Toronto president Michael Copeland says more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the first-ever playoff game at BMO Field, which is definitely a positive development.

And while the Argos were 6-3 at home under head coach Marc Trestman, all three losses were to West Division teams.

Also worth noting is Saskatchewan is 6-4 on the road this season while Toronto is 3-7 against West Division competition.

Pick: Roughriders Last week: 2-0 Overall: 55-27-1 .

Associated Graphic

Argonauts QB Ricky Ray is a finalist for the CFL's outstanding player award.


Bombers' D will be key against Edmonton
And Winnipeg defensive end Okpalaugo has an extra reason to come up with a big performance for coach O'Shea on Sunday
The Canadian Press
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S15

WINNIPEG -- Tristan Okpalaugo wasn't yet playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers when head coach Mike O'Shea made a lasting impression on him. After all, it's not every day someone saves your mother from being hit by a car.

The first-year Bombers defensive end recounted a three-year-old tale of O'Shea's quick thinking after the team's Friday practice in preparation for Sunday's CFL West Division semifinal against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Okpalaugo played for the Toronto Argonauts back in 2014. He was the East Division's nominee for most outstanding rookie and was in Vancouver for the awards event during Grey Cup week.

His mother, MaryAnn, came up from California and they went out for dinner. O'Shea was at the same restaurant with other people and they happened to leave at the same time. "It was dark and we were walking out and my mom didn't see that the sidewalk was ending so she walked onto the street and there was a car driving by with no regard for pedestrians," Okpalaugo said.

"Coach O'Shea ended up just grabbing her and pulling her back onto the sidewalk."

Okpalaugo played one more season with the Argonauts before trying to stick with an NFL club last year.

That didn't pan out and he inked a deal with Winnipeg in February.

While he hasn't forgotten the close call, he said it wasn't a big factor in his decision to sign with the Bombers. His mother, on the other hand, is glad he chose to play for O'Shea.

"She's been to two games so far and every time she's like, 'How's your coach doing? Tell him I say hi,' " Okpalaugo, 28, said. "She brought him some chocolate last time."

O'Shea, a Hall of Fame linebacker, said his actions were a reflex. "I was aware of the situation; it was instinctive," O'Shea said. "The average person does that. There's somebody doing that every single day." But the coach did appreciate the chocolates.

"She's a very kind lady, very nice."

Okpalaugo's mom can't make it to Winnipeg for Sunday's game, the Bombers' first playoff match at home since 2011 and first since Investors Group Field opened in 2013.

Her son and his defensive counterparts will play a key role in the game, especially as the status of injured Bombers starting quarterback Matt Nichols remains a question mark.

Nichols (calf) didn't practise on Friday, but it was because he was with his wife, Ali, for the birth of their second daughter, Parker. He showed up on the field toward the end of practice and got congratulatory hugs and handshakes from his teammates.

Dan LeFevour led the first-team offence and O'Shea said Nichols's status remains the same. He'll play, but the coach is not saying who will start. Receiver/running back Timothy Flanders was hurt at the end of practice, and O'Shea had no update.

Winnipeg (12-6) won both regularseason games against the Eskimos (12-6), the first a 33-26 victory in August that snapped the injury-riddled Edmonton squad's seven-game win streak. The second was on Sept.

30, a 28-19 win that was Edmonton's sixth loss in a row.

But times have changed. The healthy Eskimos have won their past five games while the Bombers have only two victories in their past five.

Bombers cornerback Chris Randle had a memorable outing in that second victory. He took a late interception off Mike Reilly in for a touchdown, his only pick-six of the season.

He finished the 2017 campaign with five interceptions.

He described Reilly, the West nominee for most outstanding player, as "tough as nails" and confident in his receivers, who include Brandon Zylstra, the league leader with 1,687 yards on 100 catches, five for TDs.

"I believe if we can kind of corral him and contain him from running and creating more time [to throw], I think that gives us a better advantage defensively," Randle said.

The Eskimos know how to protect Reilly. They gave up a league-low 29 sacks while the Bombers and Hamilton were tied for fourth at 38 sacks.

Okpalaugo had three sacks in a 23-5 win over Calgary last week, plus six tackles and a fumble recovery he took 51 yards for his first CFL touchdown. He wants provide Reilly with a similar experience.

"I plan on being in his face and getting after him all game," Okpalaugo said. "That's my game plan - rushing the passer, get some hits, sacks. Be as disruptive as I can be and make it easy for my DBs and linebackers."

Associated Graphic

Winnipeg head coach Mike O'Shea plays down the fact that he saved the mother of defensive end Tristan Okpalaugo.


Battle of Alberta for West final will be a 'dog fight'
The Canadian Press
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

CALGARY -- Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson seems as curious as anyone to find out which team is going to be installed as the CFL Western final favourite.

Will it be Dickenson's crew, which finished with the best record in the CFL, but dropped its last three regular-season dates? Or will it be the Edmonton Eskimos, who toppled the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West semi-final on Sunday?

It's tricky business for odds makers.

"I'll be interested in seeing what the betting line is," Dickenson told reporters on Monday at McMahon Stadium. "I know a lot of people surveyed will be taking Edmonton.

And that's okay. I certainly don't feel like we're going to go in as heavy favourites, which could, in our minds, maybe help.

"It's going to be a dog fight. It's going to be one of those games that I feel either team could win."

The Battle of Alberta is slated for Sunday in Calgary, where local observers have been doing some serious hand-wringing. The Stamps' three-game losing streak is their longest since 2007.

Nevertheless, Dickenson has faith in his group.

"We have to play with confidence," he said. "You get confidence by executing and doing your job the right way. We had a little bit of a hiccup lately, but I'm certainly ready to play another game.

I have faith that we're going to play well and keep the things that were causing us pain out of the plan - penalties, turnovers."

In the coach's mind, the afternoon's outcome will be determined on three fronts - quarterback, defensive line and special teams.

The passers - Bo Levi Mitchell for Calgary and Mike Reilly for Edmonton - make this a marquee matchup.

No one threw for more yards (5,830) or touchdowns (30) this season than Reilly. Mitchell, as usual, finished among the CFL's leaders.

"The last few years, Mike and Bo have been battling to see who that top guy is," Dickenson said. "These two guys have been winning a ton of football games. Little bit different types of player, [but] both are winners. Both guys command respect. Also they are guys that seem to play best in big games."

For the Stamps to prevail and advance to the Grey Cup in Ottawa, Mitchell & Co. need to generate touchdowns.

"You can't settle for field goals," said Dickenson, whose team collected a league-high 27 three-pointers from inside the 30. "That's been one of our Achilles heels all year. We need touchdowns. If we get that, hopefully we win."

History, however, dictates that it'll be a coin toss.

In 23 playoff meetings, Edmonton has won 12, Calgary 11. They have split 12 Western final meetings.

"They've been one of the best teams, the last three, four years," said Dickenson, whose club won two of three get-togethers this season. "We've had back-and-forth games with them almost every time. I think our teams match up fairly evenly."

The Stamps' biggest draw so far was Labour Day's visit from the Eskimos, which was witnessed by a gathering of 33,731.

Dickenson would love to see McMahon Stadium crammed again.

"I think the fans are ready for a heavyweight tilt," Dickenson said.

"I know last year in the Western Final, that was as loud a crowd as we had all year - it helped our guys against B.C. [in a 42-15 win]. I felt like the energy was there.

"It would be nice to really fill the building - it'll keep everyone warm if it's shoulder to shoulder up there - and see what we can do."

Associated Graphic

Calgary Stampeders try to stop Edmonton's C.J. Gable during a game in October. In the mind of Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson, the outcome of the West final will be determined by the quarterbacks, defensive line and special teams.


Concussions occur more on passes than any other play
The Associated Press
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

NEW YORK -- A video review of 459 reported concussions sustained during the past two NFL seasons has found far more occurred on passing plays than any other plays.

Yet, quarterbacks ranked at the bottom of the list, ahead of only kickers, having suffered 5 per cent of those concussions.

Of course, only one quarterback is on the field at a time. Positions in which multiple players are in action at the same time, cornerback and wide receiver, led the list of frequency at 22 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

Nearly half of the 459 concussions (44 per cent) were on passes, while 30 per cent were on running plays, 21 per cent on punt or kickoff returns, 4 per cent on sacks and 1 per cent on field-goal attempts.

The side of the helmet was the most common impact location at more than 50 per cent, while 41 per cent of concussions were experienced by a player tackling an opponent rather than by the player being tackled or by someone who was blocking.

A higher percentage of helmet-tobody blows, 45 per cent, caused concussions. Also on the rise were helmet-to-ground impacts at 19 per cent. Helmet-to-helmet blows actually decreased to 36 per cent.

The review was overseen by Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of the NFL's engineering committee and director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia.

"We've seen a shift," Crandall said regarding helmet-to-helmet hits. "Fifteen to 20 years ago we would have found a much higher relative percentage of helmet to helmet, as much 70 per cent.

Through a number of changes in rules it has altered how the game is played and reduced helmet-tohelmet hits.

"We see that helmet to shoulder and ground are larger percentages."

The data will help in testing and evaluating helmets and other equipment. The numbers are shared with all concerned parties, from the players to coaches, doctors, trainers, equipment designers, researchers and manufacturers.

Crandall said the information will be available to other levels of football and to other sports.

The video review is one component in the NFL's $60-million (U.S.) engineering roadmap designed to improve the understanding of the biomechanics of head injuries in the sport. Crandall emphasizes the need to create incentives for innovators to develop new and improved protective equipment.

One portion of data that Crandall found particularly enlightening was the frequency of impacts to the back of the helmet (35 per cent).

He noted that many of those were to quarterbacks, who are most vulnerable to falling backward when hit or sacked.

"After you look at the impact source, you break it down by different locations of the helmet ... where would you be impacted on helmet," he said. "Quarterbacks in particular, it was 50 per cent and highest of any position, those hits coming from head-to-ground impacts. About 80 per cent of those are to the upper rear of the helmet.

"This is such a large concentration of what we are seeing from quarterback hits, which leads us to: Is there a design opportunity here?

Let's put this out to entrepreneurs and designers and manufacturers and see what they can come up with for counter measures."

As with many other physicians and scientists involved in concussion research, Crandall is eager to explore the worthiness of positionspecific helmets. That has become a hot topic in the industry.

"We think it is an opportunity we can draft forward," he said. "we're going to study later with sensors and reconstructions to determine the severity, the locations, the impact sources. If you can think of tailoring or customizing a helmet for those particular impacts and injuries, that's is an opportunity."

TFC awaits final ruling on tunnel melee
The Canadian Press
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- After its failed appeal of Jozy Altidore's red card, Toronto FC is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Major League Soccer confirmed on Thursday that its disciplinary committee is reviewing the halftime tunnel melee Nov. 5 at BMO Field that led to the ejection of Altidore and Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan.

A decision was expected later Thursday or Friday morning.

This comes after a separate independent panel upheld referee Chris Penso's decision to issue red cards to both players for violent conduct, rejecting appeals by both Toronto and the Red Bulls.

As a result, Altidore is suspended for the Nov. 21 start of the Eastern Conference final in Columbus.

Toronto will also be without striker Sebastian Giovinco, who got a one-game ban after picking up two yellow cards - for time wasting and dissent - over the two legs of the conference semifinal series win over the Red Bulls.

Both Altidore and Kljestan could face supplemental punishment from the league's disciplinary committee, which is comprised of three former MLS players, one former MLS coach and a former MLS referee.

That committee can add to the mandatory one-game suspension for the red card and/or issue a fine for "those offences the committee deems to be of an egregious nature, or where the committee believes it must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game."

A mass confrontation outside the locker-rooms would seem to fit like a glove into the "integrity of the game" category.

Any supplemental discipline would be a bitter pill to swallow for Toronto, which felt strongly that Altidore was not the aggressor. It submitted security camera footage of the incident which it felt backed up its contention but acknowledged on Wednesday the footage was incomplete because of the camera angle.

Altidore and Kljestan had had words late in the first half after Altidore went to the defence of Giovinco, who was facing up with Tyler Adams. Kljestan ended up shoving Altidore, who toppled - somewhat easily - backward.

Altidore was still steaming when the half ended, his ire heightened after the fourth official ran onto the field to steer him away from another perceived potential incident. He went into the tunnel with Kljestan behind him.

What happened inside depends on who you speak to.

Altidore said the Red Bulls star midfielder tried to grab him from behind, so he pushed him away.

Kljestan said Altidore was the aggressor, shoving him against the wall.

Fan video shows a scrum of players, coaches and security with the Red Bulls near the Toronto locker room. The visiting team is supposed to turn left after exiting the field to get to its own dressing room.

Altidore (16 goals) and Giovinco (15) accounted for 42 per cent of Toronto's league-leading 74 goals this season. That included nine game-winning goals.

Barring a ruling by the disciplinary committee, Altidore will join Giovinco on the field for the second leg against Columbus at BMO Field on Nov. 29.

Toronto will likely start Canadian international Tosaint Ricketts (seven goals) up front in Game 1 with Spanish playmaker Victor Vazquez (eight goals) playing further forward.

Associated Graphic

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore falls to the ground after being shoved by Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan during a semi-final match in Toronto on Nov. 5.


Kleeberger to lead development and conditioning at Rugby Canada Academy
The Canadian Press
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- Former Canadian international Adam Kleeberger, who won 38 caps for his country and drew worldwide attention as one of Canada's "beardos," is looking to help others follow in his rugby footsteps.

The 34-year-old former flanker from White Rock, B.C., has been appointed lead development strength and conditioning coach at the Rugby Canada Academy.

Based out of Belmont High School near the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence in Langford, B.C., Kleeberger will lead a high-performance program of 12 up-and-coming highschool athletes.

Nine girls and three boys were selected for the inaugural program through various talent identification sessions and provincial union recommendations. They will work with Kleeberger and other Rugby Canada high-performance staff.

"The main goal of the Rugby Canada Academy is to provide a high-performance daily training environment that gives young athletes the opportunity to become world-class athletes and compete for Canada on our national sevens and fifteens teams," Kleeberger said in a statement.

"Rugby players these days need to be bigger, stronger, faster and more well-rounded than ever before, and by giving these athletes rugby-specific training alongside Canada's Olympic centralized athletes at the home of Canadian rugby we believe they will be able to make the jump to the national team after high school."

The participating athletes will attend classes at Belmont.

Kleeberger retired from elite rugby in the summer of 2015. He played professionally for the Rotherham Titans and London Scottish in England and with Auckland in New Zealand.

Kleeberger, who has a degree in kinesiology, has most recently worked as strength and conditioning coach at the Canadian Sports Institute at the Pacific Institute of Sports Excellence in Victoria where he has assisted rowing and mountain biking teams.

He is contracted to Rugby Canada to run its academy.

Kleeberger made the most of his skills but paid a price for his physical approach to the game and willingness to sacrifice for the cause.

At the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, he memorably hurled his body at 262-pound All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock in a bid to prevent the behemoth from crossing the try-line.

The violent collision left both face down unconscious on the pitch.

They finally got up but had to leave the game.

During his career, he had two shoulder reconstructions and suffered continuing back pain from disc and nerve issues.

Kleeberger played in two Rugby World Cups and won notoriety as of Canada's "beardos" at the 2011 tournament. Kleeberger and fellow forwards Hubert Buydens and Jebb Sinclair went into the tournament with mountain men beards, drawing attention from around the globe.

Rick Mercer shaved off Kleeberger's beard after the tournament on TV to raise funds for cancer research and earthquake relief aid for Christchurch, New Zealand.

Kleeberger debuted for Canada in November, 2005, against France in Nantes. He also represented his country at the under-19 and under-21 levels and played sevens for Canada at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

Dublin -- Christian Eriksen scored a superb hat trick as Denmark qualified for next year's World Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Ireland in their playoff on Tuesday.

With last week's first leg having finished 0-0, Ireland made an ideal start to the return match by taking the lead in the sixth minute through defender Shane Duffy.

But Denmark's players gradually took control in midfield and were rewarded when Andreas Christensen's effort went into the net off Ireland's Cyrus Christie in the 29th minute.

Eriksen then stole the show, putting the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute, and scoring two more after the break.

Nicklas Bendtner turned a deserved victory into a rout when he converted a penalty in the 90th minute.

Next year's tournament in Russia will be Denmark's fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2010.

Yet, a raucous home crowd in Dublin had been treated to the perfect start when Robbie Brady's free kick from just beyond the halfway line was flicked on by Denmark's Nicolai Jorgensen. The ball rose into the path of centre back Duffy, who headed home.

Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney had said after the first leg that breaching the Ireland defence was like "opening a can of baked beans with your bare hands - it takes time."

Associated Graphic

Denmark's Thomas Delaney celebrates with teammate Christian Eriksen during Tuesday's matchup against Ireland.


Back in the black: The new era of prudent oil
The days of 'drill, baby, drill' are gone. Now, crude-pumping companies are bringing efficiency and savings to the forefront as they try to compete in a world where prices are on the rise, but stability is threatened by a shifting political landscape, Shawn McCarthy writes from Ottawa and Jeff Lewis from Calgary
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B6

In the glory days of $100 (U.S.) oil, Crescent Point Energy Corp. could do no wrong.

For years, the Calgary-based oil producer, known for hydraulic fracturing operations in neighbouring Saskatchewan, rushed to add production through a series of big deals financed with hefty share issues. By July, 2014, its stock price topped $47 (Canadian).

Then oil collapsed, savaging an industry that had grown fat on triple-digit prices. Crescent Point's earnings turned to big losses, and investors have punched the company's Toronto-listed shares down by roughly 80 per cent to under $10.

It's hardly unique: Over the same period, the TSX energy subindex declined 42 per cent. Today, Crescent Point is a humbled company in a battered industry.

But with global oil prices on the mend, Canadian oil producers are getting another chance to get it right. After years of slashing costs, executives are promising to not make the same mistakes of the past when they spent recklessly on lowreturn projects and let costs soar.

As Crescent Point looks toward its 2018 budget, chief executive Scott Saxberg insists the company won't outspend cash flow, as companies routinely did in years past. On the contrary, it has revisited nearly all aspects of its business in a bid to find cost savings wherever possible.

At its operations in Saskatchewan, the company is using video to monitor wells remotely, sparing crews from visiting each site individually in the field.

Such moves by Crescent Point and other producers are giving the industry better leverage to even small moves in oil prices. "Every dollar for us is, like, $65-million of cash flow," Mr. Saxberg said in an interview. "So if oil's up $5, it's well over [a] $300-million increase in cash flow."

In Calgary as in much of the global oil industry, the days of "drill, baby, drill" are gone. Increasingly, the focus is on productivity - using technology, digitization and data analytics to produce more oil and gas.

Companies are now far leaner, and executives are pledging to avoid risky, capital-intensive production growth at all costs while returning more cash to shareholders. To wit: Oil sands giant Suncor Energy Inc. this week chopped its 2018 budget by $750-million, but the company expects production to jump more than 10 per cent, freeing up cash for dividends and stock buybacks.

And for the first time in years, the global oil market is showing signs of lasting fundamental improvements.

Optimistic view Three years after the Saudi-led Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries stunned the world by refusing to cut production to tame a global glut, the world's leading oil exporter is once again defending prices. Saudi Arabia has fuelled a global crude rally with its production cuts and high-risk political manoeuvring. In recent weeks, its headline-grabbing political turmoil has reverberated through the global market in the form of higher prices.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shaken up the kingdom and its volatile, oil-rich neighborhood, simultaneously upending the decades-old power-sharing arrangement among the sprawling royal family and ratcheting up the conflict with the kingdom's regional arch-rival and OPEC partner, Iran.

His actions contributed to the growing perception of geopolitical risk among traders who, until recently, seemed impervious to such tumult. With the market already tightening after 10 months of OPEC production discipline, Prince Mohammed's aggressive moves helped propel crude prices to levels not seen in more than two years, albeit with a modest easing this week.

For Canadian producers, the autumn rally is being greeted with a sense of wariness. They've seen prices surge twice since the collapse of 2014, only to have them fall back under the weight of excessive inventories and strong American production growth.

This time, there are reasons to believe a floor has been established at $50 (U.S.) for West Texas intermediate and $55 for the international benchmark, Brent, at least for the next year. Since hitting a recent low of $42.53 in June, WTI rallied to 28month high of $57.20 last week, before giving up some gains to profit-taking this week to trade at around $56.62 on Friday. Brent was at $62.73.

It's too early to declare an end to the prolonged slump that has savaged Canada's leading export industry. The rebound is fragile, depending on Saudi discipline and strong global growth in demand.

Still, several factors support a more optimistic view on prices.

Saudi Arabia is again looking to calibrate its production levels in pursuit of a "Goldilocks" price - high enough to fuel its political requirements but not so high as to finance growth in the highest-cost sources such as the oil sands.

For the past several months, global demand has outpaced supply, drawing down the bloated inventories that depressed prices for three years. Some key OPEC members - Iraq, Venezuela, and Nigeria - face political challenges that are undermining their ability to maintain production.

The balance between supply and demand is tight enough that traders worry about the impact of significant disruptions among key producers, and so put a price on that risk.

"We have a tighter market and because of that, you are starting to see the classic political risk issues start to matter again," Rory Johnston, energy economist at the Bank of Nova Scotia, said in an interview.

"When the market was so glutted that you were building inventories every month, no one really cared if there was palace intrigue in Riyadh, or battles between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan. All those things that could be swatted away because we had too much oil now matter because oil supply is tight."

Markets will be tested later this month when OPEC and leading non-OPEC producers such as Russia decide whether to continue their production agreement - which pledges to keep 1.8 million barrels of crude a day off the market - past the current March deadline and through 2018. While crude stocks have declined over the past several months, inventories would climb again early in the first quarter of 2018 unless the Saudis and their allies in OPEC keep a tight rein on production. Russia, in particular, has yet to commit to extending the production agreement beyond March.

Certainly no one is going to place big bets on higher oil prices. For one thing, the recent rally was fuelled in part by speculators flooding into the futures market at record rates. This week's pullback suggests some of those investors were taking profits.

"You've got really all three things going on right now: You've got less inventory, you've got less spare capacity in the world as demand has increased, and it's clear you also have more geopolitical risk than you had before," Anthony Marino, CEO of Calgary-based Vermilion Energy Inc., said in an interview.

But growing optimism is mixed with a recognition that the upturn in markets could sour again if the Saudis' grip on oil markets proves weaker than expected. Vermilion, for example, is still keeping a lid on its capital budget. Meanwhile, Crescent Point and others are boosting financial hedges - taking advantage of highs in the cycle to lock in prices for future production.

Speaking from an investors conference in Toronto, Mr. Marino said major cost reductions and a focus on higher-return prospects means the company can spend less without sacrificing growth. "It doesn't take us as much capital to grow as it used to," he saids. "That's why you see the lower capital budgets for the last number of years."

"Biggest bang for the buck" The Canadian industry has endured a three-year reckoning, evidenced by the relatively high unemployment in Alberta; empty office floors in downtown Calgary, and modest spending plans for the year ahead.

Prior to the crash, the entire nonOPEC sector was built on the presumption of $80 crude prices or better. Today, cost structures have improved markedly, but the industry's return on capital employed remains weak, averaging less than 3 per cent, according to BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. analyst Randy Ollenberger.

Domestic producers are also grappling with structural challenges.

Among the biggest are looming pipeline shortages as a series of bigticket oil sands projects - begun prior to the crash - start up later this year.

Longer sterm, oil sands producers also face tighter fuel standards in the global shipping industry.

Changes set to take effect in 2020 aim to slash the sulphur in marine fuels from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent. Among impacts predicted by analysts at boutique energy bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. is a reduction in demand for heavy crude of at least 1.75 million barrels a day as ships switch to cleaner options, a shift that could offset price gains from new pipeline construction.

Despite those challenges, oil sands producers have not stood still on costs. Bitumen producers have chopped non-energy operating costs at existing steam-driven plants by 46 per cent since early 2014; at mining developments, total operating costs are down 39 per cent, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Nevertheless, executives are signalling restraint.

"Every dollar we have needs to be focused on creating the biggest bang for the buck," new Cenovus Energy Inc. CEO Alex Pourbaix said this week.

"This is an incredibly competitive industry. You're competing on the margin, at times it's pennies per barrel. And in this kind of a business with volatile commodity prices, you just have to be extraordinarily disciplined when it comes to your cost."

Much of the industry spending has already shifted away from the production complex surrounding Fort McMurray, Alta. This year, companies will have spent around $30billion (Canadian) developing prospects such as the Duvernay in Alberta and the Montney in British Columbia, according to ARC Financial Corp. That compares with around $13-billion in the oil sands, where new investment favours wringing more oil from existing assets.

The key variable: Saudi Arabia In the three years since prices tumbled, some of the world's biggest oil companies have fled the oil sands in pursuit of other priorities. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp. and Norway's Statoil ASA are focusing on shale-oil deposits that offer fatter returns more quickly, offshore fields that can be developed more cheaply, or even natural gas deposits that many believe will be the key fossil fuel as the world shifts to a lower-carbon energy economy.

Even companies that have bulked up in the oil sands are looking to diversify. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which bought Shell's oil sands business and has poured billions into its expanding Horizon complex, recently highlighted light-oil prospects with potential to generate healthy returns at U.S. oil prices of $30 (U.S.) a barrel.

To understand fully the new mantra, consider Encana Corp. Its longterm debt now stands around $4.2billion, down from $7.3-billion three years ago. Production is forecast to grow next year even as spending stays flat around $1.7-billion, reflecting productivity gains at its core holdings and a "relentless" focus on costs, CEO Doug Suttles told investors recently.

The company has shrunk its complement of employees by nearly half since Mr. Suttles took the CEO job in 2013. "But it performs at a higher level than it did before," he said. "We don't think [the number of employees] has to grow as we grow."

Over the next five years, Encana is basing its growth plan on an assumption of a flat WTI oil price of $50 and U.S. natural gas prices of $3 for every million British thermal units. "If we ramp up activity, if we believe prices are strong, we'd only do that if we believe it's going to generate quality returns and we're not going to see erosion through higher costs," Mr. Suttles said.

Such caution is warranted. The International Energy Agency warned this week that the global benchmark Brent crude - which has been trading above $60 a barrel since late October - could slip back under that threshold in early 2018 owing to slowing demand growth and rising production in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia is the key variable, both in terms of market risk and its willingness to adjust production according to its political interests.

The Saudis are again donning the mantle of price defender, at least for the short term. The kingdom is clearly no longer willing to flood the market and drive down prices in order to maintain its share of the global oil market as it did from 2014 through 2016.

Analysts suggest it is targeting a $60 price floor for Brent crude in order to support its planned share offering in state-owned Saudi Aramco and to lubricate Prince Mohammed's risky political gambits.

"The Saudis no longer have flexibility," said Amy Myers Jaffe, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

"They're committed to the [Aramco] IPO, which means they're committed to keeping prices up. They're probably committed to keeping them up anyway for their economy, particularly since they're taking other controversial political moves." King Salman and his chosen successor, Prince Mohammed, appear to have a firm grip on the Saudi state apparatus after jailing hundreds of members of the extended royal family on corruption charges.

However, Prince Mohammed's ascendancy may be threatened if his more aggressive foreign-policy stance puts the kingdom at risk.

Sunni-run Saudi Arabia is engaged in a fierce proxy war with Shiitedominated Iran, whose influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen is seen as a major threat.

Riyadh rattled nerves and threatened a new regional war when it apparently forced Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to announce his resignation during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

The resignation is the result of a continuing feud between the Saudis and Iran over the latter's support for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Last week, crude prices jumped when Saudi Arabia banged the war drum after a missile landed in Riyadh from Yemen, where the Saudis have intervened in a civil war that is devastating the civilian population.

Ms. Myers Jaffe said the risk to global oil supplies from escalating conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran cannot be overstated. The five leading producers huddled around the Persian Gulf account for the production of 24 million barrels a day of crude, fully 73 per cent of OPEC's total and 25 per cent of the world supply. The more likely scenario, however, is continued proxy battles in places such as Yemen and Bahrain, where a Saudi-backed government faces unrest from its Shiite majority.

At the same time, the Saudis' determination to defend a $60 Brent price will make it difficult for the OPEC leader to police the production agreement among producers countries such as Russia, Iraq and even Kuwait, said Greg Priddy, an OPEC-watcher at New York-based Eurasia Group.

Historically, the Saudis have enforced discipline within OPEC with the perception that they could withstand lower prices for longer than other cartel members. If OPEC members cheated on their agreedupon production limits, the Saudis would drive down prices until the recalcitrant members came onside.

Knowing the Saudis are committed to supporting prices at $60 could encourage cheating, even as OPEC and leading non-OPEC producers agree to extend their accord through 2018, Mr. Priddy said. King Salman and Prince Mohammed are clearly aware of the dilemma, but they need higher prices more than they need coherence or market share, for now.

"The Saudis have really shifted into a short-term mode of thinking, which we think is all about succession," Mr. Priddy said. "It's not that they don't understand they're stimulating competing supplies, it's just that high politics have overridden that on a one-year time frame.

Beyond that, it is going to make sense for them to start looking at market share again," he added.

Shale oil boom In addition to its Persian Gulf neighbours and friends such as Russia, the Saudis have to worry about the Americans. Already, tight-oil producers are adding drilling rigs and fracking crews into fields such as the Permian in West Texas, where production growth continued despite the downturn.

The increase in West Texas intermediate has lagged Brent as lack of transportation infrastructure created a glut in Cushing, Okla., where WTI is priced. But as new pipelines come into operation later this year and into 2018, landlocked American producers will see WTI prices close the gap with Brent.

Despite concerns about pipeline shortages and the lack of experienced crews, U.S. tight-oil supply is expected to grow by some one million barrels a day next year, said Jodi Quinnell, manager of crude oil analytics for Genscape Inc. in Denver. And that's with WTI averaging roughly $50 a barrel.

It remains to be seen whether a new-found focus among U.S. producers on shareholder returns, versus production gains at all costs, acts as a check on growth. Ms. Quinnell said the industry continues to drive costs down through productivity gains, even as majors like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. - who were absent in the pre-2016 shale boom - refocus on the resurgent tight-oil plays.

Scotiabank economists estimate the U.S. tight-oil production could grow by as much as 1.5 million barrels per day next year, if prices remain near $55 and infrastructure bottlenecks are solved. At some point, between a year and 18 months from now, the Saudis could find themselves having to refight the market-share battle that led to the industry's worst downturn in 20 years, Mr. Priddy said.

A new mindset For now, the combination of a higher price and operating discipline is beginning to draw investors back to the sector, albeit slowly.

This week, Whitecap Energy Inc. said it would sell $332.5-million (Canadian) worth of shares to fund its acquisition of a major Saskatchewan oil property. A source said the issue sold briskly, but it follows a long dry spell in energy financings.

In the third quarter, the industry raised $352-million in equity, a fraction of the $3.4-billion total during the same period a year ago, according to Sayer Energy Advisors. Debt financings were $809-million against the year-ago total of $1.1billion.

At Crescent Point, changes are taking root. Using video to monitor wells has allowed workers to tackle problems where they're needed. The company is also testing solar installations at two sites in partnership with SaskPower. New hires are as likely to be technologists as rig hands.

"We can put that manpower to work on more technical aspects of the business," CEO Mr. Saxberg said.

"There's a whole pile of technology that we are testing and moving on that is pretty exciting, and it's changing the mindset of how these fields are managed."

Crescent Point (CPG)

Close: $9.57, up 12¢

Associated Graphic

Pump jacks operate at an Alberta oil well owned by Encana, whose production is forecast to increase next year.


Escalating conflict between Saudi Arabia - which has oil fields outside of Riyadh, seen in 2008 - and Iran threatens the global supply of oil and cannot be overstated, one expert says.


Crescent Point Energy, which owns a drilling rig near Oungre, Sask., seen in 2012, aims to spend more conservatively in its 2018 budget, not wanting to outspend cash flow.


What to know about Lyft's move into Canada
The ride-hailing service expects to begin serving customers in Toronto by December, in direct competition with Uber
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B2

Toronto is the first international destination for the only ridehailing company to give Uber a run for its money in the United States.

Lyft Inc.'s Canadian office has been operating under the radar for six months with a small staff of about 10 people, but it has plans to quickly expand and expects to be offering rides in Toronto by December. Lyft executives speaking to Toronto media have been reluctant to even say the name "Uber," but the two companies share a tortured history and are inextricably linked in the minds of many consumers.

How does it work?

The Uber and Lyft apps are very similar once users sign up (according to Lyft, 50,000 Torontonians have already downloaded its app this year): You just tell it where you want to go and are offered an estimated time of arrival for when the car will pick you up and when you'll get to your destination, fare calculated ahead of time. Sites such as Ride.Guru lets users compare prices across services, and Lyft is typically very competitive with Uber on price for a single ride, and its carpooling service, Lyft-Line, is often the cheapest option. Both are almost always several dollars cheaper than a traditional taxi cab. Both services have so-called surge pricing; Lyft's version is called Prime Time and it expresses itself as a percentage increase in the regular fare, while Uber's is given as a multiple of the expected fare (3X, 10X etc.).

Which is more popular?

Uber, by a long way, but that may finally be changing. Neither Uber nor Lyft report much in the way of ridership statistics, but TXN Solutions makes use of credit-card transaction data to glean insight into consumer trends. It found that while Uber still dominates market share in the United States, Lyft has been the primary beneficiary of a raft of scandals that created momentum for #deleteuber campaigns.

From January to the end of February, 2017, TXN reported Uber dropped from 83 per cent of ridesharing spending to 78 per cent, while Lyft had risen from 16 per cent to 21 per cent. In June, TXN reported most of the defectors were coming from the largest U.S. cities, which averaged 3-per-cent drops in Uber spending, and even heavy Uber users had increased their spending on rival Lyft by 25 per cent. Lyft also has 40 per cent of the ride-hailing market in San Francisco, where both companies are headquartered.

How much money are these companies burning?

Lyft has raised $3.6-billion (U.S.) in venture and private-equity financing in 12 rounds; it raised $1-billion in October from the CapitalG venture fund of Google's parent, Alphabet Inc.; and in April, it raised $600-million from a group of investors including KKR and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (which manages the pensions for the federal public service, the RCMP and Canadian Forces).

Lyft's valuation stands at about $11billion. Uber has raised $11.5-billion in 18 rounds and its valuation is is estimated at $70-billion.

According to anonymous sources talking to Bloomberg News, Lyft lost as much as $600-million in 2016, and while its losses grew about 46 per cent, its revenue grew 250 per cent, which might just make the company profitable before Uber. For its part, in 2016 former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said .

Uber's U.S. operation was profitable, but the company has said it lost more than $2.8-billion that year thanks to its aggressive international expansion.

Lyft may be smaller than Uber, but it has been around longer The Lyft app launched in 2012 (Uber, originally called UberCab, in 2009), but Lyft started life as a side project for Zimrides, a carpooling service founded in 2007 that leveraged Facebook and students for long-distance ride-hailing, back when Uber was just a limousineshaped gleam in the eye of Canadian co-founder Garrett Camp. It was Lyft's team that provided the first regulatory window in San Francisco to test ride-hailing, a practice that most suspected would be illegal for drivers without a taxi licence (according to journalist Brad Stone's excellent book on Uber's founding, The Upstarts). Lyft has had tipping as a core part of its service and to date has distributed more than $350-million in tips to drivers. Uber only introduced tipping in the summer of 2017 (in its first two months, drivers earned $50-million). Lyft Line (a carpooling offering) was introduced in 2014, just as Uber launched the competing Uber Pool option. Lyft is in close to 400 cities, in all 50 states and says it is reachable by 95 per cent of the U.S. population. Uber is in more than 450 cities around the world.

Legal battles

Like Uber, Lyft lobbies against local governments that try to regulate it as a taxi company, and has engaged in contentious tussles in California, Washington, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, New York and more. In 2016, it shut down its service in Austin, Tex., but somehow avoids the hardball reputation Uber has garnered.

In March, it finalized a $27-million class-action suit settlement with its California drivers that ended a four-year-old court fight but avoided resolution on the question of whether drivers are contractors or employees (for now, Lyft, like Uber, treats all drivers as independent contractors and not employees).

What about that pink mustache on its cars?

That's no longer the easy way to identify a Lyft car. An Uber driver slaps a semi-transparent sticker on the car window so riders can identify them in a crush (they can be hard to spot, but handy if you're trying to avoid the attention of angry protesting taxi drivers). In 2016, Lyft replaced the gigantic dayglow pink plush mustaches that used to adorn the front of its cars with a bulky, glowing dashboard device called Amp that is not only hard to ignore, but will change colour to match with an icon in the app to help a user identify which Lyft ride is here for you.

For real though, do they have a policy against using the word "Uber" in interviews?

"Honestly there isn't, but I think it reflects the fact that we're really just focused on what we do best," says Tim Houghton, the general manager for the Toronto office, who typically just says "the competition" in reference to Uber in several interviews. He argues that culture is what sets Lyft apart, focusing on keeping drivers happy with such inducements as monthly events and access to its local "hubs" that are a combination of service centre and hangout.

Associated Graphic

Lyft may be smaller than Uber, but it has been around longer and has slowly been gaining traction across the United States.


Home Capital on a comeback, but it hasn't been easy
As mortgage lender revamps operations following near collapse, a return to profitability comes amid struggles in issuing new loans
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B2

Recovering mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. returned to profitability in the third quarter but struggled to issue enough new home loans as it undertakes a rapid overhaul of its business.

The company originated $385-million in mortgages during the third quarter, a dramatic dip from $2.54billion a year earlier. But it is showing signs of stability in its deposit base, which suffered from a run of withdrawals in April over allegations the company had misled investors.

Home Capital had a busy, tumultuous fall trying to reshape its fortunes after a brush with insolvency. The firm recalibrated its rates, cut 65 fulltime jobs as part of a wider cost-cutting plan, and turned over its executive ranks. The changes were deemed necessary, but the persistent drum beat of weekly upheaval left it unprepared to take on as many new loans as investors might have hoped it would.

As the lender revamps its systems and trains new staff to process mortgages, it has been turning away more than 70 per cent of potential borrowers - either because they're deemed too risky or because Home Capital couldn't respond fast enough to win the customer's business.

"We have the financial resources to be very competitive in our market," chief executive officer Yousry Bissada said in an interview. "Now, we're focused on getting mortgage business and, talking to a lot of mortgage brokers; they are very supportive and have all said they will send more business here when we think we're ready."

Home Capital is once again renewing 75 per cent to 80 per cent of existing mortgages, consistent with precrisis levels, which should help steady its asset base. And it has adequate deposits to fund new loans, with $2.66-billion in liquid assets, plus another $2-billion in undrawn capacity on a line of credit from Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Even so, executives predicted the total balance of single-family residential mortgages will dip to $10-billion at the end of 2017, from $10.4-billion at the end of the third quarter.

"[The] return to black ink is promising, but profitably growing the asset base is the key driver of the long-term turnaround," said National Bank Financial analyst Jaeme Gloyn, in a research note.

Home Capital has been working to reset its relations with mortgage brokers and respond to applications faster. The company also intends to build up its commercial mortgage business, while getting more aggressive in Quebec, B.C. and Alberta. The ultimate goal is to be the country's leading alternative mortgage lender.

"We were always No. 1," Mr. Bissada said. "We have a desire to get back there."

Yet, just as Home Capital looks to pick up speed, it faces new headwinds from federal regulations designed to cool housing markets.

Starting in January, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions will require applicants for uninsured mortgages to prove they could still make payments at a higher interest rate - the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada, or the negotiated rate plus two percentage points.

As a result, some potential Home Capital customers will see their borrowing power shrink, which could put a further dent in its originations.

But the company hopes to offset some of that drag by serving borrowers who fail to qualify with larger lenders under the new stress test, including new immigrants and selfemployed workers. And it expects more existing customers will choose to renew with Home Capital rather than risk facing a tougher standard if they switch lenders.

"We're still unsure of the full impact," Mr. Bissada said.

Home Capital reported profit of $30-million, or 37 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with $66.2-million, or $1.01, a year earlier. (In the second quarter of 2017, it lost $111-million.) Revenue for the third quarter was $95.4-million, down from $145.1-million a year earlier.

Mr. Bissada promised to unveil a more detailed strategy in the second quarter of 2018, but he has already reshaped the lender's leadership in little more than three months. He hired Brad Kotush, formerly of Canaccord Genuity, as chief financial officer, and Ed Karthaus, formerly of D+H and Filogix, as head of sales; the search is on for a chief information officer.

Meanwhile, three other key executives left the company: strategy chief Greg Parker, head of residential lending Pino Decina and chief operating officer Chris Whyte.

"The future is bright for us," he said. "And we know that one, two, maybe three quarters is what it will take to convince the world, but internally we're feeling very confident."

In spite of the weaker results, Home Capital shares closed up 3.3 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Home Capital (HCG)

Close: $14.85, up 48¢

Associated Graphic

Home Capital has had to turn away more than 70 per cent of potential borrowers - either because they're deemed too risky or because the firm couldn't respond fast enough to win the business.


Pace of housing starts slows in Toronto area
National total for October up 16 per cent, led by a big increase in Quebec
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

New housing starts tumbled in the Toronto region in October as builders slowed the pace of new project construction amid market uncertainty.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said 2,438 new housing units were launched in the Greater Toronto Area in October, a 42-percent drop from 4,204 units in the same month last year. Starts were also down 21 per cent over September on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The downturn affected all housing types, with single-family detached house starts down 44 per cent in the GTA in October from a year ago, while condominium starts declined 52 per cent as fewer new projects launched compared with last year.

New housing starts are notoriously uneven because they are swayed by launches of large new developments. But many other communities around the GTA also saw starts fall sharply in October compared with a year earlier, suggesting a broader regional trend.

Compared with the same month last year, for example, CMHC said October starts were down 47 per cent in Hamilton, 59 per cent in Guelph, 30 per cent in KitchenerWaterloo and Cambridge, 55 per cent in London and 28 per cent in Peterborough.

The declines helped drive new housing starts down 29 per cent in Ontario in October.

St. Catharines and Niagara bucked the regional trend, however, recording a 64-per-cent increase in housing starts, much of it attributed to a large jump in condo construction, with 156 units launched in October compared with just six a year earlier.

On a national basis, Ontario was the weakest province for new construction in October compared with a year ago, while Quebec led the country with a 67-per-cent increase in new starts compared with the same month last year. Across Canada, housing starts climbed 16 per cent in October.

Economists are now forecasting that growth in housing starts will remain weak in the Toronto region as it continues to face an uneven recovery in home sales demand following a market downturn through the spring and summer.

The volume of permits issued for new housing construction, which is a forerunner to housing starts, has decreased over the past three months, which will affect housing starts going forward, said Marc Pinsonneault, economist at National Bank of Canada.

"From now on, we see permits that are simply in line with the current level of starts, so that suggests to us that starts will simply stay at a more normal level," he said in an interview Wednesday.

Mr. Pinsonneault forecasts Ontario will see 70,000 housing starts in 2018, a decline from 79,000 starts estimated for 2017.

He said the drop in new construction activity is a reaction to an array of policy measures aimed at cooling demand in hot Ontario markets, but the result will be a moderation in construction growth, rather than a major market correction.

"It's a reaction, but the reaction will be such that we will return to more moderate levels, but I don't want to suggest that we will go to recession-like levels," Mr. Pinsonneault said.

But Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic said he believes Toronto is not facing a downturn in housing starts as a result of the variety of new policy measures introduced this year to cool the housing market, but is only experiencing a monthly swing because of the lumpiness of project launches.

"Underlying demand is still strong, driven by population flows from outside Canada and other provinces," he said.

After smoothing out the monthly swings over the year, Mr. Kavcic said new-home construction in Toronto is still likely to come in close to last year's level at almost 40,000 new units, "which is a very strong clip."

"We're down a bit from 2016 levels, but that was big year when builders were partly catching up from the lull through 2014 and early 2015," he said.

Associated Graphic

Framing is assembled for homes at the Brockton Trails housing development in Pickering, Ont., east of Toronto in June. CMHC said 2,438 new housing units were launched in the Toronto area in October.


NAFTA uncertainty weighs on auto-industry investment decisions
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

The Trump administration's proposals for new auto rules in the North American free-trade agreement appear to be influencing investment decisions even before a decision has been made on whether the agreement lives or dies.

Auto companies considering major long-term investments are "probably either waiting or they're going to be biased to invest more in the U.S. until there's an outcome here," Magna International Inc. chief executive officer Don Walker said Thursday.

Magna is awaiting the outcome of negotiations, which so far have included the United States insisting that vehicles made in the United States, Canada and Mexico contain 85 per cent North American content in order to be shipped duty-free within the three countries. A second key U.S. proposal is that vehicles imported to the United States from Canada and Mexico contain at least 50 per cent U.S. content.

Mr. Walker did not comment on those proposals when asked about NAFTA Thursday on the company's third-quarter financial results conference call, but Magna's position is that the end of NAFTA would be hugely disruptive to the North American auto sector and would increase costs of production.

The auto parts giant has rejected specific country of origin content requirements as "contrary to the objective of a free-trade agreement."

Mr. Walker said Magna has been "actively engaged" in the discussions the auto sector has had with various governments about NAFTA, but has not made any changes to its own investment plans.

The auto industry has stepped up its lobbying efforts in Washington after the fourth round of talks concluded in October with Canada and Mexico rejecting the U.S. auto demands, which also included a new clause requiring renegotiation of the deal every five years and a proposal to eliminate a chapter that provides for resolution of disputes.

The American Automotive Policy Council, which represents the Detroit Three auto makers, said on Thursday that the industry has the largest stake of any industrial sector in the outcome of the NAFTA negotiations, which resume in Mexico City next week.

The duty-free benefits of NAFTA save auto makers in the United States about $10-billion (U.S.) annually, the association's president, Matt Blunt, said in a presentation in Washington.

"If President Trump withdraws from the pact, it's basically a $10billion tax on the auto industry and consumers in America," Mr. Blunt's presentation said.

The group said the current rule of origin requiring that vehicles contain 62.5 per cent North American content is the highest of any trade agreement in the world. It added that vehicles assembled in Canada and Mexico and exported to the United States have a high level of U.S. content, although it did not specify how high.

"If the rule of origin is set too high, auto makers could decide to pay the 2.5 per cent U.S. import tariff on cars and SUVs, rather than try to meet the rule of origin," the presentation said.

Magna reported record third-quarter financial results. Sales hit $9.5billion, up from $8.8-billion a year earlier. Profit was steady at $503-million, while share profit rose to $1.36 from $1.29.

The company's shares fell in early trading Thursday amid some softness in the forecast for results from its Getrag transmission manufacturing unit.

Magna International (MG)

Close: $67.05, down 82¢

Associated Graphic

A Magna employee works at a plant in Markham, Ont., in 2013. Magna chief executive officer Don Walker says the company has not made any changes to its own investment plans during NAFTA negotiations.


NextBlock drops plans to go public after false marketing
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Alex Tapscott's blockchain fund has cancelled plans to go public, days after misrepresentations were uncovered in marketing materials sent to potential investors.

In a release on Sunday, NextBlock Global announced it is "no longer doing a go-public transaction," and said it was in the process of returning funds to investors who had already invested in the cryptocurrency investment vehicle.

The fund, which was planning to go public through a reverse takeover of a TSX Venture-listed shell company, was aiming to raise an additional $100-million to invest in public and private early-stage blockchain companies. The fund had already raised $20-million in an earlier financing round in the summer.

Last week, Forbes revealed that four people who had been named in marketing materials as advisers to the fund had not agreed to do so.

One of those named advisers, Vinny Lingham, chief executive of U.S.based blockchain startup Civic, told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Tapscott used his name falsely in materials sent to numerous investors. Two others also told The Globe they had not agreed to advise the company and that NextBlock Global also used their names without their consent.

The Globe also reported that Mr. Tapscott's fund incorrectly attributed a picture of Australian novelist Luke Carman in marketing materials to Dino Angaritis, one of the fund's named advisers. Mr. Carman said he'd never even heard of the blockchain fund, and was appalled his image was used without his knowledge. Meantime, Mr. Angaritis told The Globe that he had requested his image not be used at all in investor documents.

"We have stumbled in our efforts to take our company public and we will work hard to rebuild the trust of those we have disappointed," NextBlock Global said in the release on Sunday.

Mr. Tapscott, who is CEO of NextBlock Global, did not respond on Monday to a request for comment.

In an e-mail to The Globe, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) said, as a matter of general policy, it is "unable to confirm or comment, on the existence, status or nature of any complaint, review or investigation."

Two investment banks, CIBC World Markets Inc. and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. had been attached to the NextBlock Global financing as underwriters, but both withdrew their support after the misrepresentations came to light. On Monday, in an internal e-mail to employees, Pat Burke, president of capital markets Canada with Canaccord, wrote that the dealer's decision to walk away was because of "ongoing developments" around the transaction. CIBC did not provide an explanation for its withdrawal on Friday.

The news about the aborted public offering also added to the selling pressure on another big name in the blockchain sector. On Monday, shares in Vancouver-based HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. closed down more than 15 per cent on the TSX-Venture Exchange, having lost 12 per cent on Friday. HIVE, which is backed by well-known mining financier Frank Giustra, went public in a reverse takeover in September. Since its debut, HIVE's stock price had skyrocketed, advancing more than 1,600 per cent over a period of about six weeks, with its market capitalization recently peaking at $1.25-billion.

HIVE, which has not yet posted a quarterly earnings report, did not respond to a request for comment on Monday on whether the bad press over NextBlock Global was affecting trading in its stock.

Before transitioning to blockchain, Mr. Tapscott worked at Canaccord as an institutional salesperson between 2008 and 2015. After he left the independent investment bank, he coauthored a book on blockchain technology with his father.

Ivanhoé seeks to sell stakes in major Canadian malls
Partial sale comes as shopping centres scramble to find new tenants for unwanted retail space
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Ivanhoé Cambridge is trying to sell its stakes in three Canadian malls - a deal that could be worth more than $1-billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The real estate investment arm of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has put its 50-per-cent nonmanaging interest in the malls on the market for about a month, according to the sources.

Fairview Mall in Toronto, Market Mall in Calgary and Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., are each valued around $1-billion and passive stakes could be sold separately or as a bundle, according to the sources.

Whoever ends up buying Ivanhoé Cambridge's interest would partner with mall manager and property owner Cadillac Fairview, which owns the remaining half. Cadillac Fairview, the real estate unit of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, would retain control and continue operating the malls.

The sale has moved into the second round of bids, sources said.

Royal Bank of Canada and CBRE commercial real estate firm were hired to run the process, the sources said.

A spokesman for Ivanhoé Cambridge said: "We don't comment on rumours about our investment strategy." Spokesmen for RBC and CBRE both declined comment.

The shopping centre partial sale is occurring during a tumultuous time in the industry. Malls and other brick-and-mortar stores are facing increased competition from online retailers and are scrambling to find new tenants for unwanted retail space. Sears Canada Inc. is closing 131 stores across the country. Toys "R" Us Canada is operating under creditor protection and it is unclear whether its physical stores will remain open.

Meanwhile, property developers are trying to turn large retail spaces in prime locations into something more lucrative, such as high-end condominiums or office space.

Brookfield Property Partners is trying to gain complete control over GGP Inc.'s suite of top malls in the United States.

Hudson's Bay Co. announced a $1-billion deal to sell a top department-store building in Manhattan to office sharing company WeWork and will be leasing some of its Vancouver department store floors to the shared office space.

The three Cadillac Fairview-Ivanhoé Cambridge malls are among the top 20 most lucrative shopping centres in Canada. Richmond Centre, Fairview and Market Mall each generate around $900 in sales per square foot, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

"The top malls are in great locations and will always do well," said Alex Arifuzzaman, a retail real estate adviser with InterStratics Consultants.

Ivanhoé will be left with a higher share of malls under its control if it succeeds in divesting its passive stakes in the three Cadillac Fairview operated malls. Currently, Ivanhoé owns 29 malls in Canada and manages 22. The pension fund also owns shopping centres in Brazil, China and Germany, as well as office and residential property.

According to its most recent activity report, Ivanhoé said it is redeveloping and expanding three other shopping centres in Quebec and British Columbia. The company said it would continue to "increase the value" of its shopping centres and "capitalize on development opportunities."

Over all, Ivanhoé said it planned to "significantly increase the proportion of growth market investments in its overall portfolio, with the goal of diversifying its markets and asset base."

Other mall owners such as RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust are also retooling their portfolios.

Associated Graphic

Richmond Centre in Richmond, B.C., is one of three shopping-centre properties that Ivanhoé Cambridge is looking to sell its stakes in. The sale has moved into the second round of bids, sources say.


WestJet sets sights on Air Canada's business travel
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

WestJet Airlines Ltd. is taking its battle against Air Canada into the business traveller market, a segment long dominated by the Calgarybased airline's larger and older rival.

WestJet commands 37 per cent of the domestic market, but captures just 23 per cent of business travellers, Gregg Saretsky, the airline's chief executive officer, told a transportation conference Tuesday in Toronto.

"The gap, if you will, between our fair share at 37 and where we are at 23 represents a sizable revenue upside," Mr. Saretsky said.

The increased focus on business travellers includes WestJet building nine lounges during the next 18 months at airports in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto that will replace those now operated by third parties.

They will be managed by WestJet employees and carry the WestJet brand.

The airline's latest schedule offers 45 per cent more connecting opportunities at those three airports, which will make WestJet more attractive to business travellers, Mr. Saretsky said.

Starting on Wednesday, the carrier will upgrade its Plus service from premium economy to "something closer to business class, but priced at the premium economy price," he said.

"We're building a lot of capacity and taking WestJet slightly upmarket, which comes with some cost headwind to it, but there's a tremendous revenue upside," Mr. Saretsky said.

The growth of international services through the purchase of widebodied Boeing 787s will also play into the business-class strategy.

Frequent business travellers want to redeem the rewards they have earned flying around North America in international markets, Mr. Saretsky said.

He made his comments after Air Canada chief financial officer Michael Rousseau described Air Canada's lounges as one of the larger carrier's competitive advantages when it comes to attracting international and business travellers.

"We're not going to underestimate WestJet," Mr. Rousseau said, adding that Air Canada also gains from being part of the Star Alliance international network and by having premium slot times at international airports.

"People don't want to arrive in Beijing at 12 o'clock at night," he said.

WestJet's move to capture more well-heeled passengers comes at the same time as it tries to attract those seeking bargain fares with its Swoop ultralow-cost carrier (ULCC), which is scheduled to begin operating next year.

Mr. Saretsky said that when ULCC Flair Air announced service to Phoenix, WestJet followed suit, and did the same thing when Flair began offering flights between Winnipeg and Kelowna, B.C.

"We're not going to let somebody else come in and take a chunk of the market without having to fight us for it," he said.

The fight will ramp up in the middle of 2018 when Swoop starts service and Canada Jetlines Ltd., another ULCC, begins flights out of Abbotsford, B.C., and Hamilton.

Mr. Saretsky said that, historically, Canada has had room for 2.5 airlines. With one ULCC already operating and two seeking startup money, "that's about two and a half more than the country can support," he said.

Air Canada (AC)

Close: $23.02, up 48¢

WestJet (WJA)

Close: $25.72, down 4¢

Associated Graphic

WestJet is also targeting the bargain-fare segment with its new Swoop service scheduled to begin in the middle of 2018.


Strong loonie squeezes CPPIB results
Canada's biggest public pension plan reports return of 0.7 per cent on its investments in the latest quarter
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B2

Global currency changes dragged down investment returns during the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's second quarter, even as international equity markets and investments made gains.

CPPIB, the largest pension fund in the country and manager of the Canada Pension Plan's portfolio, posted a return of 0.7 per cent after factoring in all costs in its second fiscal quarter of 2018, which ended Sept. 30. During that period, total assets reached $328.2-billion, up from $300-billion at the same time last year.

The result of CPPIB's decision not to pursue a currency-hedging strategy can be seen in the fund's net income of $2.3-billion in the quarter.

This summer, the Canadian dollar was on a tear against the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen and other currencies, which became a drag on investment results. Without this impact, the fund would have posted $9-billion in net income, said Mark Machin, chief executive officer of CPPIB.

While Mr. Machin had forecast this impact earlier in the year, it didn't change the pension fund's long-held philosophy that the vagaries of currency changes will balance out over the life of the portfolio.

"It's the drag of currency that was the biggest impact - underlying investments were ... all on plan," Mr. Machin said of the quarter. "In the long term, that's all a wash and we don't really worry about it." He added that the fund is more focused on diversifying its investments across the world.

As of this recent quarter, the United States accounted for the largest portion of the overall portfolio at 35.1 per cent of assets. That was followed by Asia at 19.4 per cent, Canada at 18.1 per cent and Europe at 13.6 per cent.

"Equity markets were strong, so that helped around the world," Mr. Machin said, noting that the local markets of the United States, China, Germany and Canada had all climbed in the period.

Some economists and currency watchers are now predicting that the loonie may be set for a decline within the next year, which would again add volatility to the fund's results.

CPPIB prefers to focus on its longterm returns, rather than the quarterly snapshot. The fund reported a 10-year annualized return of 5.3 per cent after factoring in inflation, and a five-year return of 10.3 per cent.

Associated Graphic

CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin, photographed at the fund's Toronto offices in January, said the institutional investor is focused on diversifying its investments around the world.


Veteran QB is the Argos' Ray of hope
After two injury-riddled seasons, 38-year-old pivot is back on top of his game, earning the trust of his coach and teammates
The Canadian Press
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- The day he became the Toronto Argonauts head coach, Marc Trestman went out on a limb and endorsed Ricky Ray as his starter.

It was a bold move considering injuries had limited Ray to just 12 games combined the previous two seasons and Trestman was returning to Canada following four seasons in the NFL. But the 38-year-old has more than fulfilled Trestman's faith, making 17 regular-season starts in leading Toronto (9-9) to top spot in the East Division and to within a win of its first championship-game appearance since winning the 100th Grey Cup at Rogers Centre in 2012.

"I try to [repay Trestman's faith] every day and hopefully I've repaid it a little bit," Ray said. "You always want to know your situation and for me, going into last off-season, I really didn't know what mine was and to have Marc, who'd never coached me before, give me that vote of confidence was big for my confidence.

"It's much easier to play this game when you feel like the people around you believe in you and that's what it's been for me this year. He's done a great job of coaching me up and making me feel confident as a player out there."

On Sunday, Toronto plays host to Saskatchewan in the East final at BMO Field. The Riders swept the season series 2-0.

Trestman, 61, came to Toronto with a well-earned reputation as a quarterback guru. In 2002 as the Oakland Raiders offensive co-ordinator, he helped a 37-year-old Rich Gannon become the NFL's most valuable player. He also worked with San Francisco's Steve Young, Arizona's Jake Plummer and Detroit's Scott Mitchell.

Trestman also led the Montreal Alouettes, with veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo, to three Grey Cup appearances (two wins) from 2008 to 2012 before becoming head coach of the Chicago Bears.

Under Trestman, Ray registered personal highs in passes (668) and completions (474), while his passing yards (5,546) were the second-most of his 15-year career. (He passed for 5,663 yards with Edmonton in 2008.)

Despite being hit often, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Ray missed just one game to injury, which Toronto lost.

"When I elevated him to be a starter, I didn't elevate him [based] on the previous four years because I didn't see him play," Trestman said.

"I elevated him on the player that I knew when I was in the league and it was a leap of faith.

"But I'll take you back, I gave him that opportunity but said he and I would make that decision at the end of training camp. Well, it didn't take but a few practices to realize he was more than capable of taking on the responsibility."

Calvillo also thrived under Trestman. In addition to the Grey Cup titles, Calvillo was twice named the CFL's top player and three times had more than5,000 passing yards.

Trestman sees many similarities between Ray and Calvillo, now Montreal's offensive co-ordinator.

"They're such low-maintenance guys obsessed with detail preparation," Trestman said. "Every little thing matters to Ricky in terms of his preparation.

"He's even-keeled and emotionally intelligent - he never wavers. He leads the way just like Anthony's demeanour led the way in Montreal."

Ray became just the third player to surpass 5,000 yards in a season for a fourth time (Calvillo and Doug Flutie are the others). Last week, Ray and Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly were named finalists for the CFL's outstanding player award.

It's the third time Ray has been nominated for the honour, which he's never won. But with typical modesty, Ray credited Trestman's offence for his stellar campaign.

"What helps me is I'm an execution guy. I need a lot of help around me," Ray said. "I'm not a guy who can just carry a team by just sheer skill, arm strength and athletic ability.

"I need guys helping me out and [Trestman] does a great job of getting everybody on the same page, everybody executing at a high level.

When we've got that it definitely helps my game."

Ray's game hasn't needed much help. This year, he became just fourth player in league history to surpass 60,000 career passing yards after Hall of Famers Calvillo, Damon Allen and Henry Burris.

Ray's expected to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection upon retirement, regardless of whether he secures his first most-outstandingplayer award later this month.

He's unsure if being a finalist for a third time would be a defining moment in his career.

"That's up to you [media] guys," he said.

"There's always been great players in this league and I just haven't played well enough to win that award. Boo hoo, right? I just haven't done it."

Ray isn't an average superstar. The face of the Argos often takes public transit from his home in Mississauga to BMO Field so his wife and two daughters can drive in.

On the field, he's as stoic following a TD pass as he is after taking a hellacious hit. He has never been seen chewing out a teammate.

"That's what you love about him," said tackle Chris Van Zeyl, completing his ninth season with Toronto.

"It doesn't matter if he's on Cloud 9 or pissed off ... you're always going to get the same Ricky Ray.

"Yes, he's tough and resilient, but he's always been the toughest and most resilient in my book. I don't think I've ever played with a guy that's as unselfish and professional as Ricky Ray. You want to play your best for him."

Riders will have to face off against history
No crossover team has ever made it to the Grey Cup since the rule was adopted in 1996, but Saskatchewan is about to try
The Canadian Press
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

The Saskatchewan Roughriders won't have history on their side as they chase a fifth Grey Cup title.

Saskatchewan (11-7), in the CFL playoffs for the first time since 2014, visits the defending-champion Ottawa Redblacks (8-9-1) in the East Division semi-final Sunday. The Riders secured a postseason berth as the crossover squad by finishing fourth in the West Division but accumulating more points than the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-12).

So the Riders will have to beat both Ottawa and the Toronto Argonauts (9-9) on the road to advance to the Grey Cup game later this month at TD Place. Now, that's possible, given Saskatchewan defeated both teams this season and was not only 5-4 on the road but also a solid 6-2 versus East rivals. But the trouble is, no crossover team has ever made it to the Grey Cup since the rule was adopted in 1996. Saskatchewan becomes the 10th crossover team in league history, but the visiting squad has just three wins in 12 playoff games.

Saskatchewan last won the Grey Cup in 2013. Edmonton beat Hamilton 27-24 in last year's East semifinal before losing 35-23 to Ottawa in the conference final at snowy TD Place.

Ottawa and Saskatchewan last met in the CFL playoffs in 1976, when Tony Gabriel's late 24-yard TD grab earned the then-Rough Riders a thrilling 23-20 victory at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium.

The season series was 1-1 with each game decided by a point.

Punter Josh Bartel's 55-yard single with less than three minutes remaining earned Saskatchewan an 18-17 road win Sept. 29. Riders starter Kevin Glenn registered his 100th career regular-season victory after completing 20 of 32 passes for 252 yards and an interception.

But Christion Jones registered the big play for Saskatchewan with a 97yard punt return TD. The loss tarnished a stellar performance by Ottawa's William Powell, who ran for a club-record 187 yards as backup Ryan Lindley finished 17-of-31 passing for 164 yards with a TD and interception.

Two weeks later, Lindley's oneyard TD run on the game's final play gave Ottawa a 33-32 victory in Regina. Glenn threw for 387 yards with two TDs and two interceptions while Duron Carter registered 11 catches for 231 yards.

Trevor Harris, who threw for 262 yards and two TDs in the win, will make his first CFL playoff start for the Redblacks, who finished their regular season with three straight victories.

Glenn will make his 11th career playoff start for Saskatchewan, but Ottawa must be wary of Brandon Bridge, a Mississauga native, who has played well this season both coming off the bench and as a starter.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bridge is a multithreat who can run upfield or buy his receivers time downfield.

And with Carter (73 catches, 1,043 yards, eight TDs), Roosevelt Naaman (75 catches, 1,035 yards, eight TDs) and Bakari Grant (84 catches, 1,033 yards, five TDs), Saskatchewan has a solid receiving corps that also includes Chad Owens, Rob Bagg and Caleb Holley.

And there's also Carter's contributions on defence as a cornerback.

Saskatchewan kicker Tyler Crapigna made 36-of-42 field goal tries this year (85.7 per cent) and all 43 converts he attempted. He hit all seven field goals he tried in the two games against Ottawa.

Pick: Saskatchewan

Edmonton Eskimos versus Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg (12-6) hosts its first playoff game since 2011 and won the season series 2-0. But Edmonton (12-6) finished the regular season with five straight wins, including a 28-13 decision over the Riders to cement third in the West Division.

Edmonton's last loss was a 28-19 decision to Winnipeg on Sept. 30.

The Bombers were 2-3 down the stretch.

The Eskimos are the first 12-win team in CFL history to open the playoffs on the road.

Matt Nichols (628 yards passing, three TDs) and Andrew Harris (159 rushing yards, 17 catches, 201 yards) both figured prominently in the wins for Winnipeg. Both will play Sunday, but Nichols is nursing a reported calf injury, hardly ideal for a Bombers offence that averaged a CFL-best 27.6 offensive points a game.

Then again, Harris is the central figure in Winnipeg's offence, leading the CFL in rushing (1,035 yards) and catches (105). A Bombers defence minus lineman Jamaal Westerman and defensive back Maurice Leggett finished No. 7 in points allowed (27.9 a game), second-last in offensive TDs allowed (50) and tied for last in most TD passes (33) despite registering a league-leading 24 interceptions and 42 turnovers (second most).

Edmonton counters with CFL passing leader Mike Reilly (5,536 yards, tied for league lead with 30 TDs) who's also a threat to run (leaguebest 12 rushing TDs). Brandon Zylstra (100 catches, 1,687 yards, five TDs) but veterans Derel Walker, Adarius Bowman and Vidal Hazelton are all solid options.

Pick: Edmonton Last week: 2-2 Over all: 53-27-1

Associated Graphic

The Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated both the Redblacks and the Argonauts this season, and were not only 5-4 on the road but also a solid 6-2 versus East rivals.


Leafs save razzle-dazzle for OT
Without Matthews, Toronto returns to plodding days of old, but pulls rabbit out of a hat in overtime
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S11

TORONTO -- It is the second game of those NHL back-to-back, home-and-road miniseries that is supposed to be the slog.

But after almost 55 minutes of an eye-glazing game played at a walk, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins livened things up with a couple of goals that sent the game into overtime. And the Leafs won it 3-2 on the single prettiest play of the night.

Seconds after Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen robbed Bruins winger Brad Marchand with a glove save, Mitch Marner, Jake Gardiner and Patrick Marleau worked a great rush followed by a gorgeous three-way tic-tac-toe play that Marleau finished with the winning goal at 1:07 of overtime.

Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring for the Bruins late in the second period, with Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk tying the score in the dying seconds with his first goal.

David Pastrnak put the Bruins ahead with a third-period power play goal and van Riemsdyk tied the score with one minute left in the period.

There were double the pre-game ceremonies for this game, as it was the annual Hockey Hall of Fame game, in keeping with Monday's inductions, as well as a salute to Canada's veterans for Remembrance Day. Judging by the pedestrian pace through the first two periods, all that standing must have deadened the legs of players on both teams.

If the game were any slower, the entire Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2017 could have suited up and played, including Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. As the final five minutes in the third period approached, the only goal scored to that point was by one of the tykes in the betweenperiods Timbits scrimmage.

Since this was the first of back-toback, home-and-road games between these teams, Saturday's rematch in Boston should be a real beauty. It certainly wasn't what the Leafs were predicting a few hours before the game.

"We've always had good games with Boston and it should be a lot of fun," said Leafs head coach Mike Babcock. It turned out to be as much fun as watching the Leafs circa 2015-16.

"It's cool. I thought it was peculiar when I saw it on the schedule," Leafs defenceman Connor Carrick said. "But it's an opportunity to measure yourself against the same team both nights.

"I think it's going to be a battle of wills. Who can exert the way they want to play? It's very difficult to beat a team twice. You see that in the playoffs. So it's a little bit of a test, almost like a playoff."

The only resemblance to a playoff game shown Friday night might have been to one of those tripleovertime games in the June heat after both teams travelled across the continent the day before.

However, the game did show just how good a player Leafs centre Auston Matthews is turning out to be.

With their star No. 34 out for the second consecutive game with the dreaded upper-body soreness, the Leafs were turned back into the plodders they were a couple of years ago before Matthews was drafted.

Maybe it can be said Carrick saw what was coming.

"He's a huge player for us," Carrick said before the game. "If anything [his absence] reinforces our team concepts. We really have to establish the way we play early and more often throughout the game, just because 34 is not going to come up with the big one if you're not playing well to spark the team. It magnifies the consistency."

The Bruins were not eager to capitalize on Matthews's absence and make up the five points between them and the second-place Leafs in the Atlantic Division standing. They were just as laidback as the Leafs, although they did score first.

First, there were actually a few bursts of action, as Andersen made a nice save on Bruins forward Tim Schaller on the lip of the crease.

Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin matched that with consecutive saves on Nazem Kadri and van Riemsdyk, also on his doorstep.

Shortly after that, Bergeron scored a textbook goal on Andersen from the right faceoff circle. Bruins winger Brad Marchand set up the play by making a nifty curl in front of the right boards and feeding Bergeron.

The Bruin centre snapped the puck right where the scouting book says to on Andersen, high on either side, this one beating the Leafs goalie on the stick side while he was on his knees at 15:38.

The Leafs evened things up with a power-play goal as time was running out in the second period. Defenceman Morgan Rielly fired the puck at Khudobin and both Kadri and van Riemsdyk started jabbing at the rebound. Van Riemsdyk's poke was the one that went in, for his seventh goal of the season.

But when the Leafs coughed up a two-on-one rush to the Bruins just after failing to click on a late thirdperiod power play, the Bruins eventually capitalized.

Owens looks for victory, not vindication
The Roughrider will be facing off against the Argos, his former team, in the East Division final, but a win is top of mind
The Canadian Press
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

A return to the Grey Cup - not redemption - is fuelling receiver Chad Owens.

He will suit up for the Saskatchewan Roughriders when they visit Toronto in the East Division final this weekend. And Owens's focus will be helping the Roughriders advance to the Grey Cup and not proving the Argos were wrong to let him leave almost two years ago.

Owens spent six productive seasons in Toronto (2010-15) before being allowed to walk away in free agency and sign with the archrival Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Time has allowed the 35-year-old Honolulu native to get over that disappointment and now his focus is on getting Saskatchewan back to the Grey Cup for the first time since the Riders won the championship in 2013.

"I'm two years removed," Owens said from Ottawa on Thursday.

"Last year was a different story.

"They've got a totally different staff there, new management. This is another game and I'm focused on us. It's an opportunity to go out there and win a football game and have a chance to play in the Grey Cup."

Jim Barker and Scott Milanovich, who were Toronto's general manager and head coach, respectively, when Owens was allowed to leave town, are no longer with the organization. Barker was fired shortly after last season before Milanovich resigned to become the quarterback coach with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jim Popp and Marc Trestman, the former GM and head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, were hired in the same capacities with Toronto during the last off-season.

Owens, affectionately dubbed the Flyin' Hawaiian, helped Toronto win the 100th Grey Cup game in 2012, the same year he captured the CFL's outstanding player award after accumulating a record 3,863 all-purpose yards.

Owens was named a league allstar four times with the Argos and in 2010 received the John Agro Award, given annually to the league's top special-teams performer.

In January, 2015, Owens, a married father of three children, moved his family from Hawaii to live full-time in Mississauga. By that time he'd become the face of the franchise and a huge fan favourite for his onfield brilliance, engaging personality and tireless efforts in the community.

Owens admits he played with definite purpose in June, 2016, when Hamilton opened its season with a 42-20 road win over Toronto at BMO Field. Owens had six catches for 67 yards and a TD in that contest.

The 2016 season was shaping up quite nicely for Owens, who had 55 catches for 808 yards and five TDs with Hamilton before suffering a foot injury.

After signing with Saskatchewan, Owens began the season on the sixgame injury list with an apparent foot ailment. Owens finally cracked the lineup late in the regular season, registering 17 catches for 235 yards and a TD in three games.

On Sunday, he had a 16-yard reception and 19-yard run in Saskatchewan's 31-20 win over the Ottawa Redblacks in the East Division semi-final.

The Riders are trying to become the first crossover team to reach the Grey Cup since the rule was adopted in 1996. Saskatchewan (10-8) finished fourth in the West Division, but gained the third and final playoff seed in the East after amassing more points than third-place Hamilton (6-10).

Toronto (9-9) finished the regular season atop the East, earning homefield advantage for the division final.

"It's huge for us as a team to be in this position," Owens said. "We're one win away from having an opportunity to go for the ultimate goal.

"That in itself is very motivating."

So, too, will be playing before more than 20,000 spectators at BMO Field, where the Argos averaged roughly 14,000 fans a game this season.

"That will be exciting," Owens said. "I think every team in the CFL deserves to have a sellout in the playoffs."

Owens said the key to victory for Saskatchewan will be to play clean football offensively and take advantage of whatever chances they get.

The Riders were an opportunistic squad in 2017, scoring 130 points off 40 takeaways registered by the defence.

"It's always important to win the turnover battle," Owens said. "Our defence has been very good at doing that this year."

Owens is under contract with Saskatchewan through next season, but said he's not thinking past that at the moment.

"I don't know what [the future holds]," he said. "I'm just focused on winning a Grey Cup."

Associated Graphic

The Roughriders' Chad Owens spent six seasons in Toronto, from 2010-15, before being allowed to walk away in free agency and sign with the Tiger-Cats. He signed with the Riders in 2016.


Winnipeg kicker Medlock weighing his options amid looming free agency
The Canadian Press
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

WINNIPEG -- Kicker Justin Medlock says retirement is one option he'll consider now that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' season is over.

Another surprise as the players cleaned out their lockers on Monday was quarterback Matt Nichols revealing the injured ring finger on his throwing hand was actually broken.

Medlock, a pending free agent, made all three of his field-goal attempts in Sunday's 39-32 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL West Division semi-final.

"I want to take a second to kind of think about what I want to do, whether I want to play, whether I want to play somewhere else, whether I want to play here," Medlock, 34, said.

Moving on after seven CFL seasons and time in the NFL is one option for the Florida resident, who was a key free-agent signing by Winnipeg last year.

"[I've] been thinking about doing some other things in life, maybe, so we'll see," Medlock said. "But I'm also considering coming back, too. I love playing here."

He added he wasn't fully happy with his season, which included three game-winning field goals. He also had one outing where he missed all three tries and another when he was 2 of 4 and went wide on a 39-yard potential game-winner against Toronto.

Going into the season, Medlock was the most accurate kicker in CFL history. He finished with a league-high 226 points, but his 80per-cent field-goal rate (56 of 70) was last among eight qualifying kickers, and his punting average of 43.7 yards was tied for eighth with Calgary's Rob Maver.

Medlock is one of an estimated 17 or more pending free agents that include well-known players such as receiver Weston Dressler, defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman, offensive linemen Stanley Bryant and Travis Bond, and defensive stars Maurice Leggett and Chris Randle.

The good news is that list doesn't include Nichols, whose leadership and drive helped the team finish the regular season with a 12-6 record. It was the most wins since 2002 and Sunday's game was the first home playoff match since 2011.

Nichols said although his ring finger was broken in a game against Hamilton on Oct. 6, it was only painful and didn't affect his throws as a broken finger closer to his thumb might have.

He described an injury to his left leg as a strained calf from an Oct. 21 game against Toronto he initially thought was a lingering severe cramp.

It was injured earlier in an Oct. 28 loss to the BC Lions.

Nichols repeated his postgame comments that he didn't think the calf limited him against Edmonton because he wasn't flushed out of the pocket and forced to run.

His focus on Monday was talking to all of his teammates before the tight-knit group disbanded. He said he will be in touch with the free agents.

"I'll definitely be a salesman and try and keep everyone here," Nichols said.

"I feel like we have a really good thing going here. I felt like we took a big stride from last season."

Winnipeg finished 11-7 last year and lost to B.C. in the West semifinal when Medlock was sent out to attempt a late 61-yard field goal that fell short.

The team only won two of its final five games this season and was hit by late-season injuries to Westerman, Leggett and top receiver Darvin Adams.

It was suspected Dressler was playing with a hand injury, but he refused to discuss the topic. The 10-year veteran wants to continue his career, and hopes that's in Winnipeg with a group of players he says has a special bond.

Edmonton's victory included a pair of touchdowns after two of Winnipeg's three turnovers. The Bombers gave up the ball on downs following a failed fake punt and another after Dressler fumbled.

He won't forget that for a while.

"Those are just kind of the whatifs that tend to haunt you as a player after a loss," Dressler said.

Edmonton books trip to Calgary
Bowman, Gable lead Esks to sixth straight victory and bump up Winnipeg's Grey Cup drought to 27 seasons
The Canadian Press
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

WINNIPEG -- Adarius Bowman caught two touchdown passes and C.J. Gable added a pair on the ground as the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 39-32 in Sunday's CFL West Division semi-final.

It was Edmonton's sixth straight victory and earned them a trip to Calgary for next Sunday's division final against the Stampeders (134-1).

Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly completed 23 of 33 pass attempts for 334 yards with three TDs and no interceptions.

Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols, who didn't appear to be hampered by a calf injury, was 35of-48 for 371 yards with three TDs and no picks in front of an announced attendance of 27,244 at Investors Group Field.

The loss bumped up Winnipeg's Grey Cup drought to 27 seasons.

Edmonton played in last year's East Division final as the crossover team, losing to the eventual Grey Cup-champion Ottawa Redblacks.

Both clubs were 12-6 in the regular season, with Winnipeg winning the two previous matches. The Bombers had entered the game by wining only two of their last five games.

Edmonton had a 39-16 lead at 3:20 of the fourth quarter when the Bombers attempted a comeback.

Weston Dressler caught a 20-yard TD pass at 6:58 and a two-point convert pass to Matt Coates was successful.

Winnipeg got down to Edmonton's 26-yard line, but Chris Givens couldn't hang onto a pass and the Bombers turned the ball over on downs with just over four minutes left. It was their third turnover.

As time expired, Dressler caught a 13-yard TD pass and also grabbed the two-point convert throw.

Bowman caught TD passes of 17 and 42 yards. Gable's TD runs were both from 15 yards out. League-leading receiver Brandon Zylstra also scored on a 33-yard catch-and-run.

Sean Whyte connected on a 20yard field goal for the Eskimos and made all five of his converts. Punter Hugh O'Neill added a 65-yard single.

Winnipeg's other TD was a sevenyard catch from L'Damian Washington. Justin Medlock booted field goals from 20, 38 and 47 yards and was good on his one convert.

Edmonton led 7-3 after the first quarter, the game was tied 10-10 at halftime and the Eskimos were ahead 25-16 after three quarters.

The Eskimos' first possession of the game was a nine-play, 84-yard drive that ended with Bowman being wide open at the back of the end zone for a 17-yard TD reception at 6:06.

The Bombers responded with Medlock's 20-yard field at 10:48.

Nichols led Winnipeg on an eightplay, 90-yard drive capped off by Washington's seven-yard TD catch to give the home side the 10-7 lead, but Whyte's 28-yarder at 5:30 tied it up 10-10.

O'Neill scored a point on a 65-yard punt single for the 11-10 lead at 1:59 of the third quarter.

A direct snap to Winnipeg running back/receiver Timothy Flanders on a fake punt lost yards and the Bombers turned over the ball, leading to Gable's TD at 5:29 for the 18-10 lead.

Medlock was good on a 38-yard field goal to close the gap 18-13, but Edmonton answered back fast in a three-play, 75-yard TD drive. Zylstra, alone in the middle of the field, ran 33 yards straight into the end zone to stretch the lead 25-13 at 10:57.

Medlock ended the third-quarter scoring with a 47-yard field goal, but then Bowman hauled in his 42-yard TD pass just 1:21 into the final quarter to make it 32-16.

Gable's second TD came two minutes later after Dressler fumbled and a coach's challenge was unsuccessful so Winnipeg turned the ball over.

Associated Graphic

Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly gets hit by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Trent Corney in Winnipeg on Sunday.


Halladay flying low before fatal crash
Safety board investigator says preliminary report on 'high-energy impact' into Gulf of Mexico expected in seven to 10 days
The Associated Press
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Roy Halladay was flying his tiny sport plane low over the Gulf of Mexico shortly before it slammed into the water and killed the retired star pitcher, witnesses told federal investigators.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator Noreen Price said Wednesday that Halladay's ICON A5 experienced a "high-energy impact" with the water. She said both flight data recorders were recovered and the plane did not have a voice recorder.

She said Halladay had been a licensed pilot since 2013 and logged about 700 hours of flight time before Tuesday's crash near Tampa.

She said a preliminary report on the cause likely will be issued in seven to 10 days, but the full investigation could take up to two years.

Price said it was too early to say whether Halladay's crash was related to two earlier crashes this year of A5s, one of them that killed both the plane's chief designer and test pilot "Every accident is different. They are very complex. So, as we move forward in the factual finding phase, if we see anything that we believe might connect it to previous accidents, we will certainly look at that. And if we see anything that we think is unsafe, we will make recommendation immediately," Price said during a news conference in New Port Richey, Fla.

The 40-year-old former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had been the proud owner for less than a month of his ICON A5, and was among the first to fly the model. In one of many enthusiastic tweets about the plane, Halladay said it felt "like flying a fighter jet."

Rolled out in 2014, the A5 is an amphibious aircraft meant to be treated like an ATV, a piece of weekend recreational gear with folding wings that can easily be towed on a trailer to a lake where it can take off from the water.

"The way that a lot of people described it is a Jet Ski with wings," Stephen Pope, editor-in-chief of Flying magazine, told The Associated Press. "It's really a play thing."

The man who led the plane's design, 55-year-old John Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California's Lake Berryessa on May 8, a crash the NTSB attributed to pilot error.

In other tweets, Halladay said he had dreamed about owning one of the planes. He said in a video on the company's website that he had to talk his wife into letting him get one. The son of a corporate pilot, Halladay had been forbidden to take up aviation until the two-time Cy Young Award winner retired from baseball after the 2013 season.

Pope said "the plane itself is great." But he had concerns about Halladay, a relatively inexperienced pilot, taking the craft out over water at low altitude. The plane, however, was marketed as a craft that could do that.

"They still think that that's the way the airplane should be flown and there are people in aviation who completely disagree with that," Pope said. "They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That's a recipe for disaster."

Low flying was part of the problem when Karkow crashed, according to investigators. The plane designer was killed with passenger Cagri Sever, the company's newly hired director of engineering.

The NTSB blamed pilot error for the crash, saying Karkow mistakenly entered the wrong canyon while flying over the California lake and was unable to correct in time, striking the canyon wall.

Another A5 crashed in April, making a hard landing in the water off Key Largo, Fla., injuring the pilot and his passenger.

The pilot told investigators the plane descended faster than he expected.

Associated Graphic

Wreckage of Roy Halladay's ICON A5 sport plane is brought ashore at New Port Richey, Fla., on Wednesday.


Tottenham rises in the North (of London)
Exciting young Spurs have emerged from the shadow of rival Arsenal, but derby will determine if there truly has been a power shift
The Associated Press
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S4

It was a 24-hour period at the start of November that really drove home the reality that Tottenham, after decades of playing second fiddle to Arsenal, was the new dominant force in north London.

A day after Tottenham achieved a coming-of-age 3-1 win over European champion Real Madrid in the Champions League in front of more than 80,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium, Arsenal was labouring to a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade in the oft-maligned Europa League.

Spurs, with a coveted manager and young, exciting team, were suddenly the talk of European soccer. That used to be the case at Arsenal, but no more.

It's why the two rivals find themselves in an unusual position heading into the north London derby on Saturday. For what seems like the first time in decades, Tottenham is widely regarded as a clear favourite even though the match is taking place at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Tottenham finished above Arsenal in the English Premier League last season - the first time that had happened since Arsène Wenger took charge of Arsenal in 1996 - and is three places and four points ahead of Arsenal after 11 games of this season.

Throw in Tottenham's progress in the Champions League, and the shift in power is clear.

Wenger won't accept it, however.

"No, not at all," he said, when asked if he thought Arsenal will be the underdog on Saturday. "I think Tottenham are a good side but we have the quality to win this game and that's what we want to show.

"The conclusion of people will be the comparison of the two performances on Saturday. We have a good opportunity to show we are the strongest, so let's do it."

Moments earlier at the news conference Thursday, Wenger had interrupted a reporter who pointed out that Arsenal had dominated Tottenham for a "long time."

"For 20 years," Wenger said, before smiling.

It shouldn't be forgotten that it was Arsenal that ended last season with a trophy - the FA Cup - and Tottenham's critics argue that Mauricio Pochettino's team needs to win silverware as a form of validation of its progress. That might not happen this season.

Tottenham, which finished third and second in the past two seasons of the Premier League, is already eight points behind first-place Manchester City and is out of the English League Cup.

Pochettino, who hasn't been on the losing side in six meetings with Arsenal as Tottenham manager, accepted that history does count when assessing the relative merits of the sides.

"In the last 22, 23 years, we have only finished above Arsenal one time," Pochettino said Thursday. "So that does not mean today we are above Arsenal. We must respect them. They were great [in the] Arsène Wenger era, and I think for us it's a massive challenge to stay there and to be competitive against a team that, in the last 20 years, wins more trophies than us."

Pochettino had mixed news on the injury front, saying that Toby Alderweireld might be out until January because of a hamstring problem but that Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Hugo Lloris had returned to training after injury.

Kane has scored in his past five games against Arsenal.

Arsenal will be without injured striker Olivier Giroud, while Wenger has to decide whether to recall Alexandre Lacazette to the team after leaving the France international out of two big games this season already, at Liverpool and Man City.

Lacazette has only completed 90 minutes once since his summer arrival from Lyon.

Redblacks face tough off-season decisions
The Canadian Press
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

OTTAWA -- The disappointment of losing the East semi-final hadn't worn off as Ottawa Redblacks players and staff prepared to go their own ways Tuesday morning.

The defending Grey Cup champion's season came to an end Sunday afternoon in a 31-20 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and they were still struggling with how things finished.

"It's a little disappointing that our worst game of the year was played at the most important time," Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins said. "You've got to give the opposition some credit, but we made too many mistakes. We weren't on point enough and now it's up to us to correct this and get this going back in the right direction."

Figuring out what direction to take won't be an easy one for Desjardins.

A number of key players are looking for new contracts, most notably quarterback Trevor Harris.

Despite posting some impressive numbers this season, many questions remain regarding Harris.

The 30-year-old threw for 4,679 yards, fourth best in the league and just 21 yards behind Calgary's Bo Levi Mitchell who played two more games. Harris had 30 touchdowns, tying him for first with Edmonton's Mike Reilly, who played three more games. But he missed three games due to injury and was picked off five times over his past two games, including twice in the East semi-final.

"It's a tough one for me to swallow personally," Harris said. "As some of you guys know I'm a bit of a sore loser, but I've been told if you show me a good loser I'll show you a loser.

"It's disappointing, it's tough when you pour that much into a season and you come up short of your main goal."

Harris, coming off a two-year deal, said he wants to come back, but the question remains whether or not he fits into the Redblacks' plans.

Desjardins was non-committal when asked how he would rate Ottawa's quarterback position.

"I think it was good, it wasn't great," Desjardins said. "Stats are one thing. Trevor did a lot of great things for us and the stats certainly reflect that, but at the end of the day our record was what it was and we weren't able to obviously win the crucial game last weekend so it needs to be better. I think he's the first one to acknowledge that and know there's still room for improvement."

Desjardins did say the Redblacks would like to re-sign Harris, but "let's just hope that the numbers can work that way." A complete re-build isn't the cards for the Redblacks, but losing the semi-final has forced them to take a close look at what needs to improve most.

"I still think there's a ton of good here and a lot of good coaches and players," head coach Rick Campbell said. "Obviously we're going to need to improve to get where we want to go."

Associated Graphic

Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins, left, and head coach Rick Campbell look toward quarterback Trevor Harris, centre, prior to a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday.


How we can lead the world in transforming innovation
A new system must build cross-sector collaboration, lower barriers to working together, and create excitement and tangible know-how to attract investment
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B4

James McGill professor at McGill Law and Medicine and senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation

I t is no secret that Canada lags behind its innovation potential, leading firms to be less competitive and Canadians sending more of their money to innovators abroad.

More of the same - increasing intellectual property rights, asking universities to lead the way, tax credits that go nowhere - will not work. We need to do something radically different, building on our diversity, openness and belief in facts to turn our innovation aspirations into reality.

Not only Canada, but the world is reaching an inflection point: As successful as we have been at doing innovation - introducing new products and services - it is becoming more expensive to achieve less. The innovation system that sustained growth in the 20th century has reached what Geoffery West of the Sante Fe Institute calls a singularity: where our own success requires so many resources that the system implodes.

The evidence is everywhere. Biopharmaceutical firms are introducing fewer innovations, and those they do come at a higher price.

The Canadian information and communications technology sector is, according to the OECD, suffering negative and declining rates of productivity. According to the International Monetary Fund, total factor productivity - a measure of the impact of innovation on the economy - is approaching zero in advanced economies. Labour productivity is similarly falling.

The innovation system that has given us so much - new medicines, new machines and a better quality of life - needs to readjust to this decline. The world has done this before, with the first, craft-based industrial revolution of the 18th century giving way to 19th-century industrial research firms that morphed into the 20th century's publicly supported research and innovation system. It is time to transform the system again.

Ironically, the fact that Canada has been a laggard leaves the country with more flexibility to adopt a new way to do innovation.

The Economist recently noted, for example, that Canada "has made a virtue of limited resources, developing an alternative model of innovation based on openness to unorthodox ideas."

Canada has many of the basic ingredients to develop its own model of innovation and we know what is missing. We have a rare mixture of diversity and openness, a strong education and research base, a belief in sharing, and a strong feeling of connection to Canadian institutions, such as our universities and communities. What we lack is a deep and sustainable ecosystem to sustain innovation and a strategy to keep intellectual property in Canadian hands. Too many of our clean tech and artificial intelligence patents leave the country. We export more innovators than we attract. The interactions of our public, philanthropic and private sectors are too thin. We fail to develop capacity to think about scaling-up.

The good news is that governments are taking action. Canada took a bold move at negotiations leading to the recently renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership: it convinced other countries to drop intellectual property rules that would have stifled Canadian innovation. The federal supercluster program will deepen interconnection between sectors, despite the insufficient amounts of funding it provides. Ontario is considering a patent pool that will help keep intellectual property in Canadian hands and others may follow.

Beyond these policies, Canadians are experimenting with innovation models that build cross-sectoral collaboration, lower barriers to working together, and that create excitement and tangible know-how that attract firms and investments to Canada. The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (the "Neuro") is the world leader - in co-operation with Toronto Structural Genomics Consortium - in creating a new model of innovation called open science. This model builds on what worked in artificial intelligence: an open platform that creates community, lessens transaction costs and builds excitement.

The rest of the world is coming to Montreal to learn from the Neuro's experiment. Research institutions, governments and firms want to learn how we did it and want to take part. Students and researchers come to Montreal because of the Neuro's open science platform. And over the last year, the Institute gained the two largest philanthropic donations in its history.

Canada needs to be ambitious and creative in building its own models. The innovation we most need is to the innovation system itself. Canadians are as talented as anyone, are as willing to take risks and show a greater willingness than most to advance the global good. Our success in AI and at the Neuro show that we can be global leaders - with all the economic and social benefits this brings - in figuring out how to turn our knowledge into global firms and to draw on the talent of all Canadians of all genders and ethnicities to build a sustainable innovation system for the 21st century.

Associated Graphic

Guy Rouleau is director of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, a world leader in creating a new model of innovation called open science that creates community and lessens costs.


Stocks may be overvalued, but there's nowhere to run
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

This is the bull market nobody believes in, but everyone keeps investing in.

A survey this week underlines an odd fact - few people, including the folks who are making money from rising share prices, think Wall Street can keep defying gravity.

Yet, even fewer people appear willing to take the next step and duck away from a money-making machine that just might deliver one last burst of gains.

The result? An apparently calm market that is being driven, up or down, by wisps of news. Investors aren't complacent; they're merely waiting for signs of what is to come.

Widespread retreats by global stock markets on Wednesday reflected a number of concerns - signs that Chinese growth is fading, worries about whether U.S. tax reform will ever become reality and anxiety about stretched valuations.

The FTSE all-world index declined for the fifth straight day, while in Toronto the S&P/TSX composite slid for a sixth consecutive session.

But there were few signs of true anxiety, probably because there's no obvious catalyst for a broader sell-off. Corporate earnings have come in strong across the developed world, while unemployment continues to fall and most economic indicators are sending positive signals.

The co-ordinated upswing in global economic growth would ordinarily be a positive for stocks, but valuations are already so high that it's difficult to assume additional gains.

Merrill Lynch's latest Global Fund Manager Survey showed wariness among professional investors is at its highest level on record. The net proportion of respondents who said stocks were overvalued was larger than at any time since the monthly survey began in 1998.

Oddly, though, a record number of fund managers said they were responding by taking greater than normal levels of risk. Among other things, the pros had reduced their cash buffers to the lowest level in four years.

In short, money managers are skeptical of today's expensive stocks but are doubling down on the insanity in search for further gains. "This is a sign of irrational exuberance," Merrill's chief investment strategist, Michael Hartnett, wrote.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco appears to share some of the same worries. In an economic letter this week, it crunched numbers in an attempt to justify current stock market valuations, but came to a less than encouraging conclusion. "Investors who expect high stock returns in the coming years based on recent market experience may end up being disappointed," it cautioned.

Even optimists are sounding dubious. For instance, Oliver Jones of Capital Economics argues there's no need to worry about a large stock-market correction until the world encounters an economic slowdown, which will probably not happen until 2019. Still, his projection is for the S&P 500 to fall slightly by year end and barely budge in 2018 - all of which raises the question of why investors should stick around for what sounds to be an uninspiring patch of results.

The best answer is that there's no obvious place to run to. Many bonds are now priced to deliver negative returns after inflation.

As behavioural economists will tell you, humans confronted by the prospect of a likely loss show a surprising willingness to gamble in hopes of escaping the damage. The desire to avoid defeat is what drives many rogue traders to make wilder and wilder bets on the faint chance they can make back the money they've already lost. It's also what seems to be propelling many investors to evade modest but certain losses on bonds by raising their gambles on an already expensive stock market.

For now, this unhealthy dynamic is being disguised by low volatility.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange volatility index, known as VIX, is everyone's favourite measure of market fear. It has been inching up in recent days, but continues to hover at low levels, leading many analysts to conclude that investors have become united in complacency.

That interpretation could be dead wrong.

Chris Dillow, the resident economist at Investors Chronicle in Britain, says low market volatility is actually a sign that investors disagree. Share prices "are relatively stable because buyers can find sellers and vice versa without prices moving much," he says.

Prices begin to jump around when consensus grows and everyone wants to jump in or out at the same time. With few people willing to take the other end of the trade, prices have to move by large amounts to get a deal done.

If Mr. Dillow is right, today's steady-as-she-goes market could quickly spasm if attitudes shift. Any news, good or bad, could do it. Either way, the future course of the market is likely to be considerably choppier than its present.

Canadian equities storm back on bank, energy gains
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

You can certainly call it a comeback.

After spending most of the year sitting out a near-universal stock market extravaganza, Canadian equities have stormed back with a decent year's worth of index gains packed into the past two months.

The S&P/TSX composite index recently reached record territory for the first time since last February, largely the result of bank and energy sector gains. Keeping the drive alive, meanwhile, likely depends on beaten-down materials stocks conforming to the uptrend.

"The materials sector remains a sleeping giant within the TSX as it continues to broadly underperform the strengthening commodity price environment," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, said in a recent note to clients.

Unless mining stocks start to price in some of the recent gains in metals benchmarks, the Canadian equity malaise could quickly return.

The latest reversal in Canadian stocks, which pushed the index to a 7-per-cent gain over two months, was, as ever, a story of three sectors - financials, energy and materials, which together account for twothirds of the index's value.

All year, financials have formed the index's base, rarely wavering in its support. The oil and gas sector represented the swing vote, tilting the index back to the upside starting in early September. And materials have spent the year spoiling the ballot, so to speak.

Of the index's 10 worst laggards this year, which takes into account share price movement and relative market capitalization, nine are mining stocks. That has occurred despite a strong backdrop for base metals and precious metals alike. Copper prices have risen by 23 per cent since the end of 2016, in large part as a result of an improvement in Chinese import growth. Gold futures, meanwhile, have risen by 10 per cent so far this year. Canadian producers have been hurt by the surge in the value of the loonie against the U.S. dollar, but even in Canadian dollar terms, gold is up by 5 per cent.

The metals and mining industry, on the other hand, has posted equity gains within the index of just 2.4 per cent this year.

"As such, we believe the materials sector is set to outperform over the near term as stocks catch up to the improved global outlook," Mr. Belski said.

Up until a couple of months ago, the energy sector was in a similar pattern, with stocks diverging from energy prices.

As U.S. crude oil rose from about $42.50 (U.S.) in early June to higher than the $56 mark for the first time in 21/2 years, Canadian oil and gas stocks failed to keep pace. The sector was barely higher than 18-month lows up to early September.

But lately, energy stocks have narrowed that gap, even as the supply side of the global market for crude oil remains very much in flux.

The oil and gas sector within the S&P/TSX composite index has risen by 10 per cent over the past two months, matching the gain posted by Canadian financials. Canada's energy giants have provided much of the fuel for the domestic equity rally, with Suncor Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. all ranking among the top 10 index movers over that time.

The other big movers rounding out the top 10 include each of the Big Five banks, as well as two other financials stocks - Manulife Financial Corp. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

But without the mining sector pitching in, the banks can likely only sustain the index for so long.

"If investors are unwilling to embrace deep cyclicals, i.e. energy and materials, despite global growth synchronization and steadily rising commodity prices, the S&P/TSX may hit an air pocket sooner rather than later," Martin Roberge, Canaccord Genuity's head of North American portfolio strategy, said in a recent report.

The long run in Canadian banks has pushed up valuations to the extent that foreign financials stocks are now priced much more attractively, said Stephen Lingard, senior vice-president at Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions.

"If you're bullish on global growth and interest rates going up, I think you get more of a [re-evaluation of] financials in other markets," Mr. Lingard said. "Frankly, we can buy financials in Europe, the U.S., Japan and most emerging markets at half the price-to-book value."

Plus, the domestic economic forces that have driven bank earnings for years may soon be tested, said Craig Fehr, an investment strategist at Edward Jones.

"You combine high debt levels with very modest wage gains, it reduces the capacity for consumers to increase spending."

Franchisee spat hurting Tims sales, Ackman says
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Prominent shareholder activist and investor Bill Ackman has called out Tim Hortons' public spat with its franchisees as a factor in "softness" at the café chain's business, underlining the impact of a revolt by a growing number of restaurant owners.

Tim Hortons' battle with its franchisees has helped push down its sales over recent quarters along with a cool early response to its new espresso-based coffee and lunch offerings, says Mr. Ackman, founder of New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP and an investor in Restaurant Brands International Inc., which is the parent of Tim Hortons. "We believe sales in recent quarters have also been negatively impacted by the recent public dispute with a group of franchisees," Mr. Ackman says in a letter on Wednesday to shareholders.

Mr. Ackman's Pershing Square this week cut its share stake in RBI by 32.3 per cent to 26.5 million shares, according to a Reuters report, pointing to a U.S. Securities Exchange Commission filing. (The change in holdings was as of Sept. 30, 2017, and compared with the previous quarter ended as of June 30, 2017.)

On Thursday, RBI's stock rebounded to close up almost 3 per cent to $65.17 (U.S.) on the New York Stock Exchange after having fallen 2.16 per cent the previous day, when Mr. Ackman's letter was released.

RBI, controlled by the Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital, has been grappling with a growing wave of discontent among some Tim Hortons franchisees, who say the parent company is squeezing them by pushing up their costs, while the chain faces steeper minimum wages in Ontario and Alberta and possibly elsewhere.

In March, The Globe and Mail revealed that the franchisees had formed the Great White North Franchisee Association to fight RBI and what they consider its strong-arm tactics to slash costs at the expense of the restaurant owners.

RBI is also facing two attempts by Canadian Tim Hortons franchisees to seek class-action status to sue the company, alleging it is pinching their profits and interfering with their right to organize.

Mr. Ackman says in his letter that Tim Hortons management has tried to improve relationships with Tim Hortons franchisees by reducing the price the company charges its restaurant owners for their supplies, which has increased corporate costs.

"While these items depressed earnings in the current quarter, they represent an investment in improving relationships with Tim Hortons franchisees," Mr. Ackman says.

Despite softness at Tim Hortons, parent RBI, which also owns the Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen chains, last month posted a third-quarter profit that beat analysts' expectations, driven by higher sales at Burger King.

However at Tim Hortons, which RBI acquired in late 2014, sales at its restaurants open a year or more were relatively flat, rising just 0.3 per cent. Those sales are considered an important industry measure.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped 1 per cent at Tim Hortons while increasing 16 per cent at Burger King and 40 per cent at Popeyes, resulting in an overall 8-per-cent EBITDA gain.

"The slight decline at Tim Hortons was due primarily to a price reduction on supplies sold to its franchisees and an increase in costs," Mr. Ackman says. Those initiatives were aimed at appeasing franchisees but hurt the bottom line, he says.

Still, he says RBI's franchised business model is a "high-quality, capital-light, growing annuity that generates high-margin brand royalty fees from its three brands. ... The company has an extremely capable management team, is backed by an owner-oriented sponsor (3G), and has a large unit growth opportunity that requires virtually no incremental capital.

"The company's operating strategy is highly scalable and replicable, which should provide opportunities for additional value-creating acquisitions over time."

On a conference call this week, Pershing investors were told that the best part of the RBI business model is that "it requires almost no capital in order to grow because the franchisees are the ones who make the investments and ultimately run the restaurants."

Restaurant Brands Int'l (QSR-T)

Close: $83.14, up $2.21

Restaurant Brands Int'l (QSR-N)

Close: $65.17 (U.S.), up $1.76

Associated Graphic

Sales at Tim Hortons restaurants open a year or more were flat in the recent quarter.


Gold, cryptocurrencies and the five-year rule
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

There's an old rule in investing that insists whatever asset is red hot right now will be ice cold in five years. The latest evidence for that maxim comes from the gold sector.

Appetite for the precious metal hit a peak in 2012. It has since slumped to its lowest point since 2009, according to a World Gold Council report published on Thursday.

Demand for bullion slipped to 915 tonnes in the third quarter, which is 23-per-cent less than the frenzied level reached five years ago.

The most recent reasons for the sliding demand were the impact of Indian taxes and a decline in buying by exchange-traded funds during the past quarter. The more fundamental issue, though, is fashion. To many eyes, gold now looks like a fusty relic when matched up against the more contemporary glories of bitcoin.

Linking the two assets is no accident. Both appeal to the same group: folks who believe there's something rotten in the state of the global financial system and want a way to profit from what they believe will be the inevitable decline of paper currencies.

Since gold and bitcoin appeal to similar audiences, many of the same promoters and brokers who used to peddle shares of small gold miners to retail investors are now busily selling that same audience on the opportunities in cryptocurrencies.

Frank Giustra, the Vancouverbased promoter who made a fortune bringing junior miners to market, is now backing Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd., which uses data servers to mine for digital riches.

Meanwhile, Canaccord Genuity Corp., the Canadian investment bank with deep roots in mining, is leading a financing for a cryptocurrency startup with the beguiling name of Global Blockchain Technologies Corp. Even tiny players such as MX Gold Corp. are getting into the game. The Vancouver miner recently signed a letter of intent to buy a blockchain business in Manitoba.

There's a certain element of hilarity in watching mining executives and promoters rejig their usual narratives to suit the times. ("Did we say you had to own real assets? What we really meant to say was that you have to buy immaterial electronic tokens instead.") But it's hard to blame the promoters for giving the public what it wants. Google searches for "buy bitcoin" have now overtaken "buy gold," according to Bloomberg.

The shift in popular taste poses a big problem for the major gold miners and other issues don't help. One headwind is the prospect of higher interest rates ahead. Rising rates reduce the appeal of gold because the metal doesn't pay any dividend or produce any yield. As the payoff from other investments grows, the lure of gold diminishes.

To add to gold's challenges, recent events have underlined the sector's vulnerability to politics. Acacia Mining PLC, an African gold miner, was recently hit with a massive tax bill by Tanzanian authorities and will have to shell out $300-million (U.S.) in a settlement brokered by its controlling shareholder, Barrick Gold Corp.

Meanwhile, Eldorado Gold Corp. has announced that it's mothballing its Skouries project in Greece after years of frustrating permit delays.

Compared with prospecting for gold in remote locations and wrangling with local authorities for permission to mine it, peddling bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seems like a sweet deal indeed. But investors who are hearing the digital hype may want to remember how fickle the market can be.

Rising interest rates are going to challenge bitcoin just as much as they do gold since both are nonyielding assets. As for politics, bitcoin has yet to face a full-scale regulatory assault, but you can be sure one will be coming if cryptocurrencies continue to attract money and keep on being linked to tax evaders and other members of the dark economy.

Then there's the fundamental question of what makes any asset valuable. Gold at least has the force of tradition behind it. Bitcoin, at the moment, seems to be riding nothing more than a dim sense that blockchain technology may turn out to be useful.

Remember the five-year rule: My bet would be that investing in bitcoin in 2022 will seem just as unappealing as gambling on gold does now.

Pot-stock rally takes a breather as Canopy comes up short
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

The furious rally in cannabis stocks took a breather on Tuesday after the largest public company in the legal Canadian market posted another quarterly loss.

Canopy Growth Corp. more than doubled its second-quarter revenue to $17.6-million. But, for the fourth straight quarter, sales came in below the average estimates of analysts on Bay Street. Despite its growing revenue, Canopy reported a loss of $1.6million for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Shares of the Smiths Falls, Ont.based company fell 2.1 per cent to $19.96 on Tuesday, as investors took some money off the table. Canopy wasn't alone, as shares of many cannabis firms fell early in the day but pared some of those losses during the trading session.

MedReleaf Corp.'s stock was down as much as 13 per cent but closed down 9 per cent. CannTrust Holdings Inc. decreased 2 per cent, while Aphria Inc. erased most of its losses to fall 1 per cent.

The sector-wide slump on Tuesday came one day after Vahan Ajamian, an analyst at Beacon Securities Ltd., warned that he was "concerned about the potential for a 'profit taking-led' pullback in the event [Canopy] misses consensus again" and also downgraded Canopy's stock to "hold" from "buy."

Not every marijuana firm was caught in the sell-off. Aurora Cannabis Inc. jumped 7 per cent, Cronos Group Inc. rose 11 per cent and Newstrike Resources Ltd., backed by members of the Tragically Hip, increased 7 per cent.

The entire sector has been on a tear of late, as Canada moves to legalize the recreational use of marijuana within the next year.

Since September, the average pot stock has gained 54 per cent, Mr. Ajamian wrote in a report published on Monday.

Retail investors have been flooding the industry in a bid to cash in as the legal market for marijuana grows in Canada. But these stocks have been volatile bets.

Tuesday's pause follows a meteoric rise in Canopy's shares that has catapulted its market cap to $3.8billion.

During the Past two months, the stock more than doubled in value, pushing the price of Canopy's shares well beyond even the most aggressive targets on the Street. It's 52-week low, however, is below $7.

Companies have been jostling to gear up for when Canada allows the recreational use of the drug next summer, spending millions in marketing and adding to their growing space to beef up their inventory.

Canopy is getting ready for legalization by investing to bolster its brands of cannabis and expanding its production into new provinces. It also has its sights set on growing beyond Canada's borders and into markets that include Denmark and Jamaica.

Last month, Constellation Brands Inc. signed a deal to acquire a nearly 10 per cent stake in Canopy for $245-million.

"The company, I think, is doing what we usually do, which is driving ahead, looking out a year, 18 months and making sure we're doing the actions today that establish us as the continued leader," Bruce Linton, Canopy's chief executive officer, said in a conference call with analysts.

The company was selling marijuana for an average price of $7.99 a gram in the second quarter. This has grown from $7.01 a gram a year earlier and $7.96 per gram in this year's first quarter.

It sells 40 varieties of the drug to serve medical patients through brands including Tweed and Leafs by Snoop. It sells dried cannabis, oils and gel caps.

It had more than 63,000 patients registered as of Sept. 30. It had 24,000 clients a year ago and 59,000 as of June 30.

Canopy Growth (WEED)

Close: $19.96, down 42¢

After successful IPO, Stelco spends to win auto customers
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Capital spending undertaken by Stelco Inc. since its emergence from creditor protection earlier this year should start to bear fruit in the current quarter, chief executive officer Alan Kestenbaum says.

Stelco shares began trading earlier this month at $17 after an initial public offering that raised $230-million which will be spent upgrading various parts of the company's operations in Hamilton and Nanticoke, Ont.

Spending at the Lake Erie works in Nanticoke has increased output of liquid steel from the blast furnace and increased capacity utilization from a hot strip mill at that location, Mr. Kestenbaum said.

"What that does is it lowers your costs and raises your revenue, increasing profitability," he said in a telephone interview.

Financial results for the first quarter of operation since Stelco emerged from its second trip in 15 years through bankruptcy protection will be released in the next few weeks.

The goal of the capital expenditure program is to make full use of underused assets such as the Lake Erie hot mill and the Z-line galvanizing mill and other mills in Hamilton as Stelco seeks to win back automotive and other contract-based customers, reducing its reliance on the volatile spot market for steel.

"The other thing that's happening is we're migrating into more advanced steels - higher-valueadded steels - and that by its nature also results in more contract business," Mr. Kestenbaum said.

Stelco also plans to spend $10-million upgrading the dock that extends into Lake Erie from its Nanticoke operations.

"This is a company that typically shipped its product by rail and by road, but it's far cheaper to ship by water," Mr. Kestenbaum said, "Access to water reduces costs and also gives us exposure to markets all over the world that have not been reached before."

That upgrade is central to the company's plan to increase output from its Nanticoke hot strip mill because it will enable Stelco to bring in steel slabs from elsewhere to increase output at that mill to full capacity.

The blast furnace can produce 2.5 million tonnes of steel annually, but the hot strip mill has the capacity to process 3.7 million tonnes.

"Our dock has the capacity to process two vessels per day during the shipping season and, with modest investment, will provide us with the ability to cost-effectively receive third-party slab and ship hot-rolled coil to U.S. Midwestern markets," Stelco said in the final prospectus for the initial public offering.

Mr. Kestenbaum said, while proceeds from the IPO will be used for capital spending, going public also gives the company flexibility that will support further growth. In an interview earlier this year, he said Algoma Steel Inc. would be a natural fit and a possible acquisition target once it emerges from its third trip through the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. At the moment, its lenders are in the process of trying to bring it out of CCAA protection.

He did not answer directly in an interview on Friday when asked if Stelco planned to make a play for Algoma. "We're not going to identify specific targets," he said.

Stelco exited CCAA protection at the end of June after more than two years under court supervision and about 10 years after it was purchased by United States Steel Corp. in 2007.

U.S. Steel placed what was then known as United States Steel Canada in protection in September, 2014.

The CCAA process led to the elimination of $3-billion debt and $1.4billion pension and other postemployment benefit liabilities.

Thigpen helps power Saskatchewan in record-setting win over Ottawa
The Canadian Press
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

OTTAWA -- Marcus Thigpen still has plenty of juice left in his 31-year-old legs.

Thigpen ran for 169 yards and a key TD to lead Saskatchewan to a record-setting 31-20 East Division semi-final win over the Ottawa Redblacks on Sunday before a TD Stadium sellout of 24,107. Thigpen joined the Roughriders in September after being out of football for roughly two years and started with both Marshall Cameron and Trent Richardson on the injured list.

"I felt like I stopped playing too early and felt like I still had a lot left in the tank," Thigpen said, donning a T-shirt with the Superman logo. "I was still running track with my high-school coach and I knew I still had the speed.

"I stayed in the weight room; I knew I had the size and strength. I just felt like I missed it and wanted to come back."

So the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Thigpen, a Detroit native, reached out to Riders starter Kevin Glenn, who also hails from Detroit, via Instagram. Glenn relayed that message to Chris Jones, the Riders head coach/general manager, and the rest, as they say, is history.

"We're both from Detroit so we've always kept in touch," Glenn said.

"He mentioned he was trying to get back into the game and I went to coach Jones and he was like, 'Right now, get him on the phone.' I've got to get a percentage from [Thigpen] now since he's back."

But Thigpen has his own repayment in mind: Helping Glenn, a 15year CFL veteran, win his first Grey Cup championship. Saskatchewan will face the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday in the East Division final, with the winner advancing to the championship game.

However, history isn't on the Riders' side. They'll try to become the first crossover team to reach the Grey Cup since the rule was adopted in 1996.

"I know it's never been done before ... but anything is possible," Thigpen said. "I've never won a championship in football in my life and I want it as bad as [Glenn] does.

"That's one of our motivations ... he deserves it."

Jones was surprised when Glenn told him about Thigpen's desire to resume playing.

"Well, we didn't actually know he was interested," Jones said. "KG came in and said he'd reached out to him and I'm like, 'You've got to be kidding me.' So we brought him in and it wasn't long until we could say he still had some juice."

Saskatchewan and Ottawa combined for three touchdowns on the game's first three possessions. That set CFL playoff records for fastest two TDs (4 minutes 7 seconds); fastest three touchdowns (5:54); and first time the opening three possessions resulted in a touchdown.

Thigpen punched Saskatchewan's ticket to the East final with a 75yard TD run in the third quarter. It came immediately after Ottawa settled for Brett Maher's 22-yard field goal that cut Saskatchewan's lead to 21-11 following a fumble recovery at the Roughriders' 19-yard line.

"It was an inside zone play and I kind of just crossed the line to the left and saw there was nothing there," Thigpen said. "I bounced back and the hole was right there.

"I saw daylight and knew I still have a little juice in these legs left, so I just ran as fast as I could and got the score."

Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell wasn't surprised by Thigpen's performance.

"He's a real good player, explosive," he said. "The thing with that guy is if you give him space he's fast so he can turn that good play into a huge play as you saw in the game."

Glenn finished 18-of-28 passing for 252 yards and a TD in his 12th career playoff start. He also had a one-yard scoring run.

"The biggest thing was we did what we wanted to do, which was come out and start fast," Glenn said. "Just making it a game where we don't worry about Ottawa's defence or anything, just make sure we're doing what we're supposed to do.

"To be on the verge of doing that [reaching the Grey Cup as crossover team] and making history is exciting. We've got to enjoy this one and then put it to bed and get into our books and film on Toronto. We've got a tough task."

Ottawa's Trevor Harris, is his first career playoff start, was 37-of-60 passing for 457 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Diontae Spencer had eight catches for 142 yards (both game highs) and a touchdown.

But Ottawa killed itself with two key turnovers: Samuel Eguavoen's interception to halt a potential scoring drive at the Riders' 10-yard line in the first and Ryan Lindley losing a fumble in the second at the Redblacks' 37-yard line.

"We turned the ball over twice on their side of the field, which was killer," Campbell said. "But there was still a lot of opportunities to overcome that.

"We never found a way to make key plays in big moments of the game. They made plays today, we didn't. That's the bottom line."

Vernon Adams Jr. and Bakari Grant had Saskatchewan's other touchdowns. Tyler Crapigna added the converts and a field goal.

Juron Criner scored Ottawa's other touchdown while adding a twopoint convert. Maher booted two field goals.

Associated Graphic

The Roughriders' Kacy Rodgers II celebrates teammate Jovon Johnson's interception during the Riders-Redblacks East Division semi-final in Ottawa on Sunday.


Andersen keeps the Maple Leafs afloat
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- All that was missing was the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack: Where have you gone Auston Matthews? Leafs Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

The only encouraging thing about Wednesday's game was the result - a 4-2 win by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

If they had been playing one of the NHL's elite teams without Matthews in the lineup rather than the so-so Minnesota Wild, the evening at the Air Canada Centre would not have ended so happily for the 19,049 fans.

Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau, Matt Martin and Connor Brown scored for the Leafs, but the star of the game was goaltender Frederik Andersen. He allowed Jason Zucker two goals, one late in the first period and one five minutes to go in the third, and then held off the Wild for the last few minutes.

In the day leading up to the game, once it became probable Matthews would miss his first game as a Maple Leaf, there was a lot of talk about stepping up and the depth on the roster.

"Our depth is a proud point with this team," Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly said at the game-day skate. "We'll be okay."

"That's one thing we been talking about all year is the depth of the forward group," Kadri said. "That's one thing that does favour us. No matter who's in or out I think we've got guys that fill the void. Certain guys are going to have to step up."

Not so fast, fellas.

The only Leaf to step up for the longest time was Andersen, who was fighting to quell the doubters of late, as were his teammates. Thanks to his work, especially in the second period when the Leafs pretty much stood around and watched the Wild fire 14 shots at him, there is no way they could have taken a 2-1 lead into the third period.

All that forward depth the Leafs were talking about could not get the puck out of its own end. The Wild easily broke up the Leafs' breakout attempts time after time and if it had not been for a few big saves by Andersen, they would have entered the third period in a big hole.

The other discouraging part was that the Leafs' attack was not being smothered before it could start by one of the NHL's elite teams. The Wild, with a 5-6-2 record going into the game, was one of the league's better teams last season but merely a shadow of that this year.

All the Leafs did was prove head coach Mike Babcock's assertion at the morning skate about Matthews: "No one is moving into his spot.

Someone is going to play there."

If anyone wasn't sure Matthews, who had 19 points in 16 games before an undisclosed injury ("Upper body," Babcock said.) forced him out of the lineup on Wednesday, was not the Leafs' most valuable player, then the Wild game settled the issue. The group looked lost without him for the most part, aside from a few minutes of activity and some good work by Andersen.

Nevertheless, the Leafs managed the first goal of the game, although it was a stroke of good luck, or more properly, a stroke of really bad luck for Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Rielly fired a shot from the point that hit the end boards and bounced into the crease where it hit the back of Dubnyk's skate and bounced into the net at 12:56.

Dubnyk is in the same boat as Andersen - getting a healthy share of the blame for his team's struggles - and this was a cruel turn of events.

It was the second time in as many nights the goaltender had a puck bounce off his skate and into the net.

Late in the period, the Leafs' inability to get the puck out of their end allowed the Wild to tie the score. Rielly and his defence partner Ron Hainsey could not get the puck moving under the Wild's fore-checking. Then Leafs forward Zach Hyman lost his man, Wild winger Zucker, who pounced on a rebound from linemate Eric Staal to make it 1-1.

The evening's theme - bad hockey from two struggling teams trying not to mess things up rather than create something - continued in the second period.

But a big pad save by Andersen on Wild forward Matt Cullen from point-blank range started a decent sequence by the Leafs. Hyman carried the puck into the Wild zone, went down to the slot and froze the defence by spinning around and firing the puck to Marleau, who was in the high slot.

Marleau's shot through a crowd beat Dubnyk to give the Leafs the lead at 3:47. It was the 514th goal of Marleau's career, which moved him past Jeremy Roenick and into 39th place on the NHL's career scoring list.

The Leafs needed Andersen one more time in the second period, this time on a giveaway in their own zone near the halfway point. He robbed Tyler Ennis to keep the hosts in front. At that point, the Wild had an 18-9 edge in shots on goal.

Martin gave the Leafs some breathing room early in the third period when he scored his second of the season at 3:40 on a deflection.

Associated Graphic

Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs and Kyle Quincey of the Wild battle for position in Wednesday's matchup in Toronto.


The blue-collar hall of famers
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- The 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame players' class is an interesting one - two artists, two plumbers and perhaps one with a skate in both camps.

Plumber may be a term that is a bit harsh when it is applied to Dave Andreychuk and Mark Recchi, but compared to Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya, who could bring fans out of their seats during their NHL careers, they were definitely blue-collar. Danielle Goyette, on the other hand, was one of the best players over a long career in women's hockey but was never one of the most spectacular.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and legendary University of Alberta men's coach Clare Drake in the builders' category. All five former players were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night along with Boston.

In the days leading up to the induction, there was some grumbling that, once again, the selection committee made it the Hall of The Very Good as opposed to the very best by picking Andreychuk and Recchi. Their achievements - Andreychuk is 14th on the NHL's career scoring list with 640 goals and Recchi is 20th at 577 along with winning Stanley Cups with three different teams - are impressive, but were helped along by sheer longevity.

Recchi is fifth in the NHL in gamesplayed with 1,652 appearances over 22 seasons from 1988 to 2011 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.

Andreychuk played in 1,639 games over 23 seasons, finishing in 2006 to sit seventh on the NHL's career list with six teams, including the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Lightning.

Andreychuk scored most of those goals (his career high was 54 in 199293 with the Leafs and Sabres) by parking his large frame in front of the net and converting feeds and rebounds from centres such as Doug Gilmour. Recchi did not have Andreychuk's size but matched him in work ethic in order to pile up those goals.

However, there is something to be said for players who can last that long in such a physically demanding environment and be consistently productive.

That in itself puts Andreychuk and Recchi above the ordinary, and when it's combined with more than one placing the top 20 in history, it is worth recognition.

Considering Andreychuk's background - he grew up in Hamilton, the ultimate working-class city - his NHL career suited him just fine.

"Both my parents, both steelworkers, installed the values I continue to use," Andreychuk said during his induction speech. "They were with me day-in, day-out."

As for his lack of flash, Andreychuk said, "Kind of slow at times, really slow at times. But as my final coach John Tortorella said to me, 'Slow, but gets it done.' " That kind of durability kept both Recchi and Andreychuk in demand for almost their entire careers. Recchi is one of just 10 players to have won Stanley Cups with three different teams. His first came in 1991 with the Penguins, the second in 2006 with the Hurricanes and his third in his final season, in 2011 with the Bruins. It is also noteworthy that Recchi, who must have had his skates on when team statisticians measured him at 5-foot-10, managed to thrive in an era when coaches preferred big players.

"I thought I'd be lucky to play five or six years, let alone 22," said Recchi, who stands 12th on the NHL's career points list with 1,533.

Andreychuk finally won his lone Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Lightning after going 22 seasons without one, which is an NHL record he holds along with Ray Bourque. But he was not some old-timer holding on to get that Cup. Andreychuk was the captain of the Lightning that year and one of the team's most important players with 14 points in 23 playoff games.

Kariya's career was cut short by concussions, but he still managed to play for 15 seasons, from 1994 to 2019, and had 989 points in 989 games. His best years were with the Anaheim Ducks, where he and Selanne anchored the most potent line in the league for several years in the 1990s.

Selanne was a force for almost his entire career. He exploded on the NHL scene as a rookie with 76 goals in 1992-93 and scored 684 times in his 21-year career to rank 11th on the league's career list.

"Teemu, I wouldn't get the chance to stand here tonight if it hadn't been for you," Kariya said to Selanne during his induction speech. "We will always be brothers, in this life and the next."

Kariya also thanked the long-time centre on that line, Steve Rucchin, "for doing all the things I couldn't do, forecheck, backcheck and go in the corners."

Associated Graphic

Dave Andreychuk is honoured for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame at Air Canada Centre on Sunday.


Mark Recchi is honoured for his induction into the Hall of Fame prior to a game at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday.


Nylander a hero in Toronto's OT victory
Leafs survive penalty in overtime, heart-stopping final minute before forward scores with 2.2 seconds left
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- It took some time on the tightrope, but the Toronto Maple Leafs gained their revenge on the New Jersey Devils.

The Leafs survived a penalty in overtime and a heart-stopping final minute when both teams traded chances before William Nylander scored with 2.2 seconds left to give them a 1-0 win.

It was a spectacular finish and raised the Leafs' winning streak to five games, the past four without Auston Matthews. He practised with the Leafs on Wednesday but was held out of the Devils game.

The main reason the Leafs were much better this time is that one Leaf in particular was far better than last time. Goaltender Frederik Andersen took the win and the shutout by stopping 42 shots in a duel with Devils counterpart Cory Schneider, who faced 25 shots.

While the Maple Leafs did play better Thursday night than they did in their previous meeting with the Devils, a 6-3 loss at the Air Canada Centre on Oct. 11, it was in a relative sense. The Leafs fore-checked and skated hard in the first period only to be muzzled in the second, and were held to four shots and likewise in the third when they were outshot 14-7.

However, since the score remained 0-0 for three periods, it was a step up for the Leafs, albeit not a step up from their recent play, in which they took a four-game winning streak into the game. Then again, these are not last season's 30th-place Devils but a rebuilding, quick young team backed by a topflight veteran goaltender that brought an 11-4-2 record to the game, good enough for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Both Andersen and Schneider were the story over the first two periods as evidenced by the score.

Schneider pulled three pucks away from the goal line in the first period, when he faced 12 shots, while Andersen was especially sharp in the second when his teammates were on their heels. Andersen stopped 20 shots in the first 40 minutes, 10 in each period.

"They're a good team," Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said of the Devils. "They skate, they've got four good lines, six good D [defencemen], a real good goaltender, they skate fast, they get on the forecheck, they work hard, they compete hard.

"I like their team, they're fun to watch. They never give up."

While Schneider made the more spectacular saves - his backward dive in the first period to smother a puck with his glove that was just about to cross the blueline was the best one - Andersen was steady but equally effective. A few hours before the game, Andersen said his recent improvement was spurred by an uptick in his confidence, which came from knowing Babcock was not about to give him the hook when he was struggling.

"I think just being out there, being able to compete every night has allowed me to get a good feeling and kind of shake it off, the start [to the season]," said Andersen, who went into the game with more than 960 minutes played, the most among NHL goaltenders. "The more you're out there, the better you end up feeling.

"I think the confidence, the belief of the coaching staff and the organization has been good for me."

Andersen had to be sharp early when the Leafs gave up a partial breakaway to Miles Wood, who scored two goals in that Devils win in October. He was turned aside by Andersen, although the shot caught part of the post.

The Leafs faded after a strong start to the game but came on in the last half of the first period.

Schneider made a great arm save on James van Riemsdyk during a Leafs power play and then closed the period with another goal-line save, that back-dive with the glove 39 seconds left that stole a goal from Leafs winger Zach Hyman.

The Devils kept the pressure on Andersen and the Leafs in the third period. They held a 14-7 edge in shots but could not get anything behind Andersen and the game went to overtime.

There was one change in the Devils' lineup from the last game. Former Leaf centre Brian Boyle made his first visit to Toronto since signing with the Devils last summer.

Boyle missed the October game because he was dealing with chronic myeloid leukemia, a form of bonemarrow cancer.

Boyle, 32, was diagnosed with the disease in late September during training camp and missed the Devils' first 10 games of the season while he underwent treatment. It is the same form of cancer that struck Jason Blake in 2007 when he was in training camp with the Maple Leafs.

However, the cancer is treatable with medication and Blake went on to play four more seasons in the NHL after his diagnosis.

Associated Graphic

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen makes a save on New Jersey Devils centre Adam Henrique as Maple Leafs centre Patrick Marleau defends during the first period on Thursday.


Raptors come up big against Pelicans
Toronto overcomes towering New Orleans front line to notch its second victory in a row
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- It is almost unfair competition when you consider that DeMarcus Cousins is 6 foot 11 and 270 pounds while his front-court partner on the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis, is 6 foot 10 and a relatively svelte 253.

Not only are these two big and powerful basketball players but they can also run and shoot - even the three-ball from the outside, which makes trying to defend these resourceful giants a herculean task.

If they stand side by side and extend their arms, their pterodactyl-like wingspan roughly covers a combined 14 feet, which is a considerable barrier to have to try to penetrate for an opponent attacking the rim in an NBA game.

This was the mission facing the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Thursday night, how to best contain these two beasts.

The Raptors (7-4) did not do a bad job in that regard and the end result was a tense 122-118 victory to record their second game in a row.

The Pelicans fell to 6-6.

With the scored deadlocked 92-92 heading into the fourth quarter, the Raptors kept their nose in the mix, fighting back from a fourpoint disadvantage to take a 114109 lead on a corner three by Serge Ibaka with just more than two minutes left.

Jonas Valanciunas did a good job collecting his own rebound after a miss to feed the ball to Ibaka on the play.

With the lead cut to 116-114 on a basket by Jameer Nelson, Toronto iced the victory when DeMar DeRozan drained a 16-footer to restore the four-point bulge with just more than 32 seconds left.

DeRozan finished with 33 points and eight assists to lead Toronto.

Cousins had 20 points and 15 assists while Davis countered with 18 and seven.

But it was guard Jrue Holiday who was the most dangerous offensive weapon for New Orleans, finishing with a game-high 34 points and 11 helpers.

While the rest of the NBA is trying to emulate the Golden State Warriors and adopt a long-range attack instigated by eagle-eyed guards with a shoot-first, ask-questions-later mentality, the Pelicans are a bit of a throwback.

Not since the likes of Tim Duncan and David Robinson roamed the hardwood for the San Antonio Spurs has the NBA seen a team rely so heavily on its front end to carry an offence.

Offensively, Cousins and Davis are doing it all, leading the Pelicans in several key categories, accounting for 57 per cent of their team's rebounds a game along with 53.9 per cent of their points and 76.9 per cent of their blocks.

Not surprisingly for a team that features such a tall front line, the Pelicans entered Thursday's game ranked No. 2 in the NBA in pointsin-the-paint scoring a game with a 51.3 average down low.

And New Orleans seems to be adapting to life with the big top, having won four successive road games heading into the Toronto tilt, its best such run in six years.

"It's incredible when you think about your centre and power forward going out there, doing the things that they're capable of doing," DeRozan said heading into the game.

"It's going to be a collective thing ... to guard both of them, try to cut off a lot of the things that they do."

"That's the only way you can stop them," added Ibaka, the starting Toronto power forward who along with centre Valanciunas knew they would be in store for a tough, physical battle trying to contain Cousins and Davis.

Cousins displayed his skills early for the sold-out crowd at the ACC, stepping back behind the arch and then launching a successful three that cut an early Toronto first-quarter lead to 12-10.

Moments later, the big man nimbly attacked the Raptors' basket on the dribble, sweeping past Ibaka as though he were a pylon and then finishing with a layup that knotted the score 12-12.

After leading by as many as 10 the Raptors needed a 19-foot turnaround jumper by DeRozan with 1.1 seconds left on the clock to secure a 34-32 advantage.

Led by 11 points by Dante Cunningham, the Pelicans raced back in the third quarter to pull into a 92-92 tie.

The Raptors extended their lead to 66-60 by the half, a second quarter in which Cousins began to unravel somewhat from all the attention the Raptors were paying to him.

After absorbing his third foul of the frame and perched on the bench, Cousins was then tagged with a technical foul for yapping at one of the officials.

Associated Graphic

The Raptors' C.J. Miles goes over Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson while driving to the basket during their matchup on Thursday at Air Canada Centre.


Raptors cut Knicks down to size
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors' plan heading into the game against the Knicks was to harass, harangue and generally try to make life miserable for Kristaps Porzingis, New York's monster centre.

In the game's early moments, Toronto's Pascal Siakam set the tone, sticking to the Knicks' 7-foot-3 behemoth like flypaper and forcing him into a turnover.

Soon after, Siakam teamed with Jonas Valanciunas to hound New York's leading scorer into an awkward miss before Lucas Nogueira later added a nice block.

At the other end of the court, the Raptors up-tempo offence was purring like a luxury sports car and the Knicks could do little more than stand back and admire the ride.

The end result was a 107-84 Toronto cakewalk over a rather listless Knicks outfit before another appreciative crowd at the Air Canada Centre on Friday night.

The Raptors (10-5) won their third NBA game in a row and eighth in a row over the Knicks (8-7).

The plan to contain Porzingis worked exceeding well as the centre, who went into the game averaging a team-high 28.9 points, was kept off the scoreboard until there was just over five minutes left in the second quarter. After missing his first six shots he drained a three pointer. He finished with 13 points.

The Raptors were led by their dynamic duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, who both had 22 points.

Lowry, who appears to be hitting his offensive stride, added 10 helpers.

The Raptors were returning home following an uplifting three-game trip, which included impressive back-to-back wins against Houston and New Orleans.

The Raptors topped Houston 129113 and New Orleans 125-116, the first time in franchise history that Toronto has scored at least 125 points in consecutive games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. But while the offence is clicking, the team's defence is more of a concern for coach Dwane Casey. In seven of Toronto's previous eight games opponents have scored 100 points or more.

"The defence has slid a little bit," is how the coach phrased it.

The team is also distressed with the injury to Delon Wright, its 6-foot-5 guard who has excelled on the Raptors second unit this season, averaging 7.6 points while logging just under 21 minutes a game.

Wright dislocated his right shoulder against New Orleans on Wednesday and there is no timetable for his return. It's the same shoulder he had surgery on in August of 2016.

And Toronto's backcourt depth took another hit when Casey said before the game that guard Norman Powell, who has been bothered by a hip injury, would not be suiting up, along with starting power forward Serge Ibaka, who had a swollen knee.

Siakam replaced Ibaka in the starting lineup.

Toronto guard Fred VanVleet predicted earlier on Friday it would take a group effort to try to contain Porzingis. Even getting a hand up in the face of the mobile big man is a challenge. "I'd probably have to stand on a couple of chairs or something," said the six-foot VanVleet.

As promised, the Raptors threw everyone at New York's most dangerous offensive threat with Siakam, Valanciunas, Nogueira and C.J. Miles all taking runs at guarding him in the opening frame. And Porzingis was rendered practically mute by the hounding, going 0-for-6 from the floor as the Raptors raced in front 3018. Toronto played tenacious defence overall as the Knicks were held to a paltry 23.1 per cent (6-for-26) from the floor.

The rout continued into the second quarter where Lowry continued a strong offensive showing, knocking down a three to increase Toronto's lead to 42-23. The Knicks were horrid, unable to compete against Toronto's defence and were only able to connect on seven of their first 36 shots.

The Raptors romped to a 54-36 lead by the half.

The Knicks made a run in the third quarter, and a Lance Thomas three cut the Toronto lead to 72-60. The Raptors led 78-64 heading into the final frame.

In the fourth, a short jumper by the Knicks' Michael Beasley whittled the Toronto lead to 82-72 with just under nine to go. But with DeRozan and Lawrie back on the floor together, the universe once again righted itself and a three by C.J. Miles with just over five to go had moved Toronto back in front by a more palatable 19.

Associated Graphic

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam grabs a rebound against the Knicks at the Air Canada Centre Friday night.


Still unclear if Loney Bowl will be played
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S10

TORONTO -- After a day of legal skirmishes that unfolded in courtrooms in both Ontario and Nova Scotia, a decision on whether the Loney Bowl will be played this season remains in limbo.

About the only thing that is certain in this complicated and likely unprecedented affair is that the Atlantic university football championship will not be contested on Saturday, as originally scheduled.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax adjourned a hearing into the matter on Friday night and asked lawyers to reconvene on Saturday for further debate.

In a move on Thursday that stunned the Canadian university sports landscape, the championship game that was to be played between Saint Mary's and Acadia on the Acadia campus in Wolfville, N.S., was abruptly cancelled by Atlantic University Sport (AUS) over an unresolved eligibility issue involving Saint Mary's.

Instead, the AUS awarded the league title to Acadia outright.

AUS executive director Phil Currie said on Friday he could not comment on the latest developments as the matter was before the courts.

On Thursday, when the AUS made its decision to cancel the game, Currie told the Halifax Chronicle Herald that it was the only move it could make to maintain the integrity of the association, given St. Mary's eligibility issue.

The stakes are high, as the Loney Bowl was to be one of four conference championships across Canada this weekend in U Sports, leading up to the Vanier Cup national championship, in Hamilton on Nov. 25.

If the Nova Scotia court upholds the AUS decision, Acadia will be awarded a berth in next weekend's national semi-final bowl game against either the Western Mustangs or the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, who vie for the Ontario title on Saturday.

While the cancellation of the AUS championship has the tacit support of U Sports, the governing body of university sports in Canada, Saint Mary's is insisting that AUS acted "arbitrarily" and "rather unilaterally" in calling off the game. This prompted the Halifax institution to mount a legal challenge in Nova Scotia to get the ruling overturned so the game can be played.

"Really the way to decide these issues is on the playing field," Margaret Murphy, associate vice-president of external affairs for Saint Mary's, said in an interview. "And so there's certainly an opportunity this weekend to continue with the Loney Bowl.

"Our position is clear. Our team is ready, our coach is ready. Any other team in the conference would feel the same way. They would be practising, they would be ready as well."

Saint Mary's has not given up hope of a favourable court decision, which would allow the game to be played, although not on Saturday.

"There's plenty of time to play the game on the weekend, as we've said," Murphy said. "And for the university, that weekend extends into Monday. In fact, the signals and momentum of today, certainly out of the Ontario court system, would be in our favour."

On Friday morning in Toronto, the situation grew more muddled after Justice Todd Archibald of the Ontario Superior Court granted Saint Mary's a temporary injunction in its legal challenge against U Sports involving the player-eligibility issue raised against the school. The matter is to be back before the Ontario Superior Court next week. That case is being heard in Ontario because that is where U Sports is based.

Saint Mary's believes Archibald's decision supports the university's contention that it had an agreement in place with U Sports, both verbal and in writing, that the eligibility issue was a non-starter.

U Sports chief executive officer Graham Brown said he respected the AUS's decision to cancel the league's championship game. "The AUS made the decision it believes to be the best to protect the integrity and fairness of its football season," Brown said in a statement.

And he also had some harsh words for Saint Mary's for rushing into a legal challenge that he believes could have been handled inhouse much more expediently.

"If they think their player is eligible why not let our own panel hear it," Brown said in an interview.

Brown noted that the Saint Mary's football team has already been sanctioned once this season for using an ineligible player and that the program was fined and put on 18 months probation. U Sports also stripped the team of one regularseason win and one preseason win.

"This is serious stuff," Brown said.

"This is their [alleged] second violation in six weeks. Their football program could be suspended for multiple years. That's why I think they're fighting it so hard."

Changes ahead for Italian soccer
Veterans expected to retire and a new coach is likely, with a lot of youthful talent waiting in the wings
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

ROME -- Out with the old guard and in with the new.

Italy's national soccer team needs a serious injection of youth to recover from its failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi - the three holdovers from the squad that won the country's fourth World Cup in 2006 - announced they were retiring from the national team in the aftermath of a 1-0 aggregate loss to Sweden in a playoff.

Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini was also considering retirement.

"We all need to take a step back to reset the movement," Chiellini said.

"It's the lowest point in modern times for Italian soccer. We need to take advantage of this moment to redesign a new squad."

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura is sure to go, and there are also calls for soccer federation president Carlo Tavecchio to step down.

So who's left for the Azzurri?

The easiest answer to that question comes in goal, where 18-yearold AC Milan starter Gianluigi Donnarumma is set to replace Buffon.

In defence, Leonardo Bonucci could be the only holdover from the "BBC" trio with Barzagli and Chiellini. Younger defenders on the horizon include Daniele Rugani, Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara.

There is hope in midfield, too. Although Marco Verratti still hasn't put in a solid performance as he attempts to replace the retired Andrea Pirlo, a lot will be expected of the Paris Saint-Germain player in the coming years.

Then there is Brazilian-born Jorginho, who was given his first competitive action for Italy in the second leg against Sweden and showed that he can be a reliable option in midfield. Roberto Gagliardini, a physical 23-year-old midfielder for Inter Milan, should also gain more playing time.

Up front, talented wingers Lorenzo Insigne and Stephan El Shaarawy are approaching their primes and centre forwards Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti are also in their early to mid-20s. At 27, the long-excluded Mario Balotelli could still have plenty to contribute if he ever matures enough.

Other players to watch out for down the line are 20-year-old Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa - the son of former Italy striker Enrico Chiesa - and 23-year-old Sassuolo striker Domenico Berardi. AC Milan's 23-year-old right back Andrea Conti and 21-year-old Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini are also potential national team players.

The biggest question, though, is who will replace Ventura as coach.

Carlo Ancelotti, who was fired by Bayern Munich in September, is being mentioned as a possible replacement.

Ancelotti, who coached Juventus and AC Milan before going abroad to win titles with Chelsea, Paris SaintGermain, Real Madrid and Bayern, has the big-club résumé that Ventura lacked. But it remains to be seen if Ancelotti will be willing to coach the national team, or if he still prefers the daily activities of a club.

Other options include installing a caretaker and luring back previous coach Antonio Conte, who has expressed homesickness at Chelsea. Or perhaps Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri or Zenit St. Petersburg's Roberto Mancini once the club season ends.

Ventura is expected to resign or be fired. Even though his contract was recently extended to 2020, the deal included a stipulation that it could be voided in case of a failed qualification.

Tavecchio's status was also put into question by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago, who oversees all sports in the country.

"I spoke with Tavecchio and I asked him what his intentions were and he told me that tomorrow there will be this meeting in the federation," Malago said Tuesday. "As you know, it's up to the boss to take responsibility, but if I were him I would resign."

There is a precedent since both Giancarlo Abete, the previous federation president, and coach Cesare Prandelli each resigned immediately after Italy was eliminated in the first round of the 2014 World Cup.

Italy isn't scheduled to play again until high-profile friendlies against Argentina and England in March.

The Azzurri's next official match won't come until next September when the new Nations League begins, while qualifying for the 2020 European Championship starts in March, 2019.

"I don't know if I'll stay," Chiellini said when asked if he might take over as captain. "The next Euros are too far away. But we've got to aim for that in three years."

Toronto FC loses appeal of Altidore's red card
Panel upholds referee's decision to issue a red card to star striker for violent conduct in BMO Field tunnel
The Canadian Press
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- The news, while perhaps not unexpected, was not good for Toronto FC on Wednesday.

An independent panel upheld referee Chris Penso's decision to issue a red card to Jozy Altidore for violent conduct, rejecting Toronto's appeal.

The decision means both of Toronto's star strikers are suspended for the Nov. 21 start of the Eastern Conference final in Columbus.

Sebastian Giovinco got a one-game ban after picking up two yellow cards - for time wasting and dissent - over the two-leg conference semi-final win over the New York Red Bulls.

Altidore and Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan were ejected after the two teams clashed in the BMO Field tunnel at halftime of Game 2 of the semi-final Nov. 5.

Both teams appealed their red cards, with Toronto saying its security camera footage showed their man was not at fault.

"The burden of proof for us was to unequivocally prove that what we think and what we understand to have happened did happen," Toronto coach Greg Vanney said. "We weren't able to do that conclusively with the video because there's still little gaps in the video."

There was no immediate word on the Red Bulls' appeal of the incident.

The three-person independent panel is made up of representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Professional Referee Organization.

Each MLS club is entitled to two unsuccessful appeals a season, including the playoffs.

Altidore, who had expressed confidence that the video would vindicate him, did not speak to reporters on Wednesday. Vanney described him as frustrated.

The incident may not be over. Both Altidore and Kljestan could face supplemental punishment from the league's disciplinary committee, which is comprised of three former MLS players, one former MLS coach and a former MLS referee.

That committee can add to the mandatory one-game suspension for a red card and/or issue a fine for "those offences the committee deems to be of an egregious nature, or where the committee believes it must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game."

Altidore and Kljestan had words late in the first half after Altidore went to the defence of Giovinco, who was facing up with Tyler Adams.

Kljestan ended up shoving Altidore, who toppled - somewhat easily - backward.

Altidore was still steaming when the half ended, his ire heightened after the fourth official ran onto the field to steer him away from another perceived potential incident. He went into the tunnel with Kljestan behind him.

What happened inside depends on who you speak to.

Altidore said the Red Bulls star midfielder tried to grab him from behind, so he pushed him away.

Kljestan said Altidore was the aggressor, shoving him against the wall.

Fan video shows a scrum of players, coaches and security with the Red Bulls near the Toronto locker room. The visiting team is supposed to turn left after exiting the field to get to its own dressing room.

Vanney, who said the angle of the tunnel security camera did not catch everything, knew it would be tough to overturn a referee's decision "without real conclusive evidence."

"I knew that it was always going to be a challenge for us," he said. "The question was: Did we have enough information, did we have enough footage to be able to change not just the opinion but the facts of the situation? And we didn't."

"Disappointing, for sure," captain Michael Bradley, speaking in an interview with TSN radio, said of the failed appeal.

Altidore (16 goals) and Giovinco (15) accounted for 42 per cent of Toronto's league-leading 74 goals this season. That included nine game-winning goals.

They took 45 per cent of the team's shots (196 of 440) and 49 per cent (82 of 168) of the shots on target.

Barring a ruling by the disciplinary committee, both strikers will be back for the second leg against Columbus at BMO Field on Nov. 29.

Toronto will likely start Canadian international Tosaint Ricketts (seven goals) up front in Game 1 with Spanish playmaker Victor Vazquez (eight goals) playing further forward.

Associated Graphic

TFC striker Jozy Altidore receives a yellow card during the semi-final against the New York Red Bulls on Nov. 5. Altidore was ejected after he clashed with Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan at halftime.


Péladeau's Netflix war bigger than Quebecor
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

When Pierre Karl Péladeau left politics last year to return to the top job at Quebecor Inc. he had given up a few years earlier, it was only a matter of time before he began looking for a new cause to champion.

Judging by the energy he's been pouring into his bid to force Ottawa and Quebec to start taxing Netflix, he's found it.

Mr. Péladeau this week used his first major speech since returning to Quebecor to advocate for fiscal and regulatory equity between domestic and foreign content distributors, in the wake of Ottawa's refusal to apply the same rules to Netflix as its Canadian competitors.

"In the face of the stakes involved in the digital economy, planetary competition and a federal government that unduly favours foreign companies, it is high time for action and mobilization," Mr. Péladeau said in his speech to the Montreal Board of Trade. The speech followed weeks of similarly strident op-eds, Tweets and Facebook posts by Mr. Péladeau.

To be sure, Mr. Péladeau has selfish business reasons for wanting to ensure that Netflix faces the same tax and regulatory burdens as Quebecor. The latter's online content distributor, Illico, must charge sales taxes on its subscriptions. Its conventional and specialty television operations face domestic content requirements.

And its Videotron cable unit must contribute a portion of its revenues to the Canada Media Fund. Netflix operates free of such requirements.

But there is more to Mr. Péladeau's crusade than protecting Quebecor's bottom line. He is among several prominent Quebec business leaders who are seeking to force the federal and provincial governments to take on not just Netflix, but all foreign players in the digital economy that operate free of Canadian taxes. For Mr. Péladeau and Maison Simons chief executive Peter Simons, tax equity is an urgent moral imperative if Canadian governments are to sustain public services at current levels.

Judging from the public reaction to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly's decision to exempt Netflix subscriptions from Canadian taxes, the issue has more political resonance in Quebec than in the rest of Canada. Netflix's voluntary undertaking to instead spend $100-million a year over five years to produce content in Canada - or, as Mr. Péladeau points out, barely 1 per cent of the $8-billion (U.S.) Netflix plans to spend over all on content in 2018 - has been almost universally panned in Quebec as a capitulation by Ottawa in the face of foreign internet juggernauts.

Mr. Péladeau, who stepped down last year after a brief and bittersweet stint as leader of the sovereigntist Parti Québécois, stopped short of praising provincial Liberal Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, who has vowed that Quebec will act on its own to tax Netflix subscriptions. So far, Mr. Leitao's plan only amounts to a "statement of intention," Mr. Péladeau added.

Indeed, the Action Plan on Fiscal Equity that Mr. Leitao released last week conceded that taxing foreign internet companies remains easier said than done. "The context of the digital economy raises application difficulties linked to the collection of taxes for [companies] not having any or a significant physical presence in Quebec," the document notes.

They "have no obligation to register, collect or remit Quebec sales taxes, even when their products are taxable."

The Quebec finance ministry estimates the failure to collect sales taxes on foreign online sales will deprive the provincial treasury of $270-million (Canadian) in 2017.

That may not sound like a huge sum given that the 9.975-per-cent Quebec Sales Tax is expected to raise $17-billion this year. But with online sales rapidly increasing, the figure will only rise in coming years.

Alas, Mr. Péladeau has more reason to be optimistic than Mr. Simons. Mr. Leitao insists the next provincial budget will contain a mechanism to ensure the QST and the federal goods and services tax - which Quebec collects on Ottawa's behalf - are charged on Netflix subscriptions. But he says Quebec will leave it to Canada Border Services to ensure sales taxes and duties are collected on manufactured goods purchased from foreign online retailers.

The Quebec finance document concedes, however, that "postal administrations are facing a considerable increase in the number of parcels transiting through customs, and sales taxes are only charged on a fraction of imported goods."

Still, Mr. Simons is not giving up.

He is supporting a private member's bill introduced by the far-left Québec Solidaire that would force credit-card companies to charge sales taxes on foreign online purchases. The bill stands little chance of being adopted.

But it has ensured that the debate surrounding taxation and the digital economy remains high up on the political agenda in Quebec.

Not so for governments in the rest of Canada, where taxing Netflix still seems taboo.

Canada Post takes aim at discount on Chinese goods
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- Canada Post is promising relief for Canadian retailers who say the postal service is unfairly subsidizing their Chinese competitors.

The federal Crown corporation says it has been forced to provide discounts on certain types of mail from China under a long-standing international arrangement, but it has recently negotiated price hikes that will start next year.

The change is welcome news to Canadian retailers, who have questioned why they pay higher costs to mail products to Canadian customers than companies based in China.

International mail rates are set by a United Nations agency called the Universal Postal Union, which sets prices based on factors such as national income. The cost of sending mail from China to Canada was set at a low amount years ago, long before the advent of e-commerce and China's emergence as a major economic force.

The rapid shift toward online shopping is raising a wide range of policy issues for governments around the world, affecting decisions on shipping rates, duty-free limits and how to collect sales taxes.

Some of these issues are currently being discussed in the context of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement.

Members of Parliament currently studying e-commerce issues expressed surprise this week when a Canada Post executive outlined the Chinese mail situation for them at the House of Commons trade committee.

"I think the most important thing is we're not providing these [lower rates] willingly," Rod Hart, Canada Post's vice-president of parcels, told the House of Commons committee this week. "They're established rates within the Universal Postal Union and these rates were intended to be used more for letter-type services.

We also desperately want to see that changed as well, and we're very active on that front."

The issue is the rate charged on small mail items called untracked packets, which are not traceable during the shipment. Canadian customers who pick that option when shopping online can get a cheaper price, but often have to wait weeks for the item to arrive. A slightly more expensive option that includes tracking and allows for much shorter delivery times has recently surpassed the cheaper option in terms of volume from China to Canada.

A Canada Post spokesperson said on Wednesday that new rates, which are based on weight, will take effect in 2018 and will increase until 2021.

At that point, the rate on untracked packets will have increased by up to 100 per cent.

The current discounts on Chinese mail shipments is a deep source of frustration for Canadian retailers such as Olivier Mullié, who sells smartphone accessories online at and is the owner of Tibo Distribution Inc., in Saint-Hubert, Que. He said Canada Post, a federal Crown corporation, is effectively subsidizing his competition.

"Canada Post has to make up for these subsidies, so to speak, by charging us more," he said. "I just want a level playing field. If we have to pay X amount, then obviously, internationally, they should pay the same amount, if not more. And not the other way around. That doesn't make sense."

Mr. Mullié also referenced a study that found Canadian border officials are not imposing taxes and duties as thoroughly on foreign mail shipments when compared with courier parcels. He said policy makers need to take a closer look at the e-commerce sector and how Canadian firms can remain competitive.

Liberal MP Mark Eyking, who chairs the Commons trade committee, said he and his colleagues will issue a report on e-commerce issues. They are also planning a related study on Canada's de minimis - or duty free - threshold.

That limit is currently set at $20, but U.S.-based online retailers such as eBay are urging Canada to match the U.S. limit of $800 (U.S.) and want the change included as part of NAFTA discussions. Some Canadian retailers warn such a move would hurt Canadian firms and undermine the tax base.

Mr. Eyking said it is clear to him that Canadian legislation needs to be updated to reflect the rise of online commerce.

The Liberal MP said he was surprised by Canada Post's challenges with Chinese mail shipments and said there should be a level playing field.

"There's a sweetheart deal with these companies bringing in parcels," he said. "You wouldn't want the rest of the shippers, Canadian companies, subsidizing this. ... It's a real eye-opener."

Conservative MP Dean Allison, a vice-chair of the committee, said he was glad to hear that Canada Post is working to raise prices on goods mailed from China.

"It's not right," he said. "There's not a chance on Earth that we could ever send something to China for a dollar, or whatever the case may be."

Five-star troubles: Will prince keep his grip on Four Seasons?
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

One of the three owners of Four Seasons Hotels Inc. has been ensnared in a power struggle in Saudi Arabia, but the luxury brand is strong enough to withstand the fallout from the arrest of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, industry experts say.

The billionaire prince is being accused by Saudi officials of money laundering, bribery and extortion.

He is one of dozens of princes and government officials detained in a purported crackdown on corruption, which began with his arrest, among others, on Saturday.

Four Seasons said its business as usual and "this matter does not affect the day-to-day operations."

It's not clear anything will happen with Prince Alwaleed's stake, which he has owned since 2007 when his Kingdom Holding Co. joined forces with the investment firm of Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates to take a controlling interest for $3.8billion (U.S.), including debt. That was considered a lofty price tag at the time.

The two each hold 47. 5 per cent of the company; Four Seasons founder and chairman Isadore Sharp owns the remaining 5 per cent.

But if Prince Alwaleed's legal troubles cause him to sell, there would be a healthy number of interested buyers, said Curtis Gallagher, a vice-president and hotel expert with commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

"It would be a highly attractive investment for the current ownership group or any other investor who would be a potential suitor," Mr. Gallagher said.

"I don't think there is any potential for value loss in the company."

Since the weekend arrests, the Saudi government has questioned more than 200 individuals, frozen assets and shaken up the judiciary system. The upheaval is being described as a way for the heir to the throne to consolidate his power and thwart potential enemies.

The allegations against Prince Alwaleed have not been proven and it is unknown whether his assets have been frozen. But even if they were, experts said this would not affect the hotel's operations.

"There is no reason why the order that freezes somebody's shares in a company will interfere ... with the operation of the company," said George Benchetrit, partner with Chaitons LLP, who specializes in corporate restructurings and commercial litigation.

The Toronto-based hotel company, which manages the operations of about 100 hotels across dozens of countries, is expanding. It recently partnered with an airline to offer guests private flights to Four Sea.

sons resorts. Mr. Sharp predicted in a recent interview with Bloomberg News that the company could eventually double the number of properties. He could not be reached for comment.

Four Seasons is a hotel-management firm, with other investors typically owning the land and buildings.

This includes Prince Alwaleed, who owned the new Four Seasons in Toronto until selling it last year for $225-million (Canadian) to Florida billionaire Shahid Khan. A spokesman for Mr. Khan said the new owner had "no concerns related to the news."

The Prince is the highest-profile person to be swept up in the investigation. The 62-year-old is a wellknown investor in the West, with stakes in Citigroup Inc., Apple Inc., Twitter Inc. and Lyft. He owns his investments through his publicly traded company, Kingdom Holding Co., of which he is the majority shareholder.

His arrest occurred after King Salman ordered the creation of an anticorruption committee chaired by his 32-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia's Attorney-General said on Thursday that "at least $100billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades." The attorney-general did not provide names.

However, the allegations against Prince Alwaleed are not expected to hurt the Four Seasons brand.

"Who cares who owns it. I won't stop staying at the Four Seasons because he doesn't own it," said Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communication with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

"This is not going to bring the Four Seasons brand down, it's just not. It would have to be like there are bed bugs in every hotel in the world," he said.

Mr. Argenti said it takes a long time to "wear down a brand," and pointed to Uber, which continues to be used even though the company has been rocked by sexual harassment scandals and been pilloried for its unpopular pricing methods.

Associated Graphic

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, seen in the D-Bar of Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel in 2013, is being accused by Saudi officials of money laundering, bribery and extortion.


Brookfield aims to expand retail footprint with GGP bid
Property owner offers to buy remaining shares of U.S. real estate firm in $14.8-billion cash-and-stock deal
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Brookfield Property Partners is betting on shopping centres at a time when malls are under pressure from online retailers, and big departments stores are overhauling their businesses.

The Canadian property owner announced on Monday an unsolicited $14.8-billion (U.S.) cash-andstock bid to buy the rest of U.S. retail real estate company GGP Inc. it does not own - an acquisition that would give Brookfield "an ownership interest in almost $100billion of premier real estate assets globally," the company said.

The proposal comes amid a shakeout in the bricks-and-mortar retail industry, particularly in the United States, where malls have been hit by the rise of e-commerce.

Canada's retail scene is also changing rapidly; Sears Canada Inc. was recently forced into liquidation and fellow department-store chain Hudson's Bay Co. is working to reinvent itself.

The acquisition would give Brookfield control over what it called GGP's "irreplaceable assets" and a "high-quality retail asset base." The Chicago-based company owns malls in nearly every U.S. state, including several in New York, Florida, Texas, Georgia and California.

Brookfield, which owns 257 properties in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe, said the combination of its experience and access to capital would allow it to "maximize" the value of GGP's shopping centres by expanding or transforming the malls.

"While many retailers continue to face significant challenges in growing their businesses, those retailers that are focused on the intersection between bricks-and-mortar retail and online sales channels continue to expand and grow," Brookfield chief executive officer Brian Kingston said last week on a call to discuss quarterly results.

Brookfield is offering GGP stockholders the option of receiving either $23 cash for each share, or 0.9656 of a limited-partnership unit of the Canadian company.

Brookfield said its cash proposal represents a 21-per-cent premium over GGP's Nov. 6 closing price of $19.01, the day before news of the going-private transaction became public.

After Brookfield confirmed the bid on Monday, GGP stock climbed above the offer price and ended the day at $24.05 a share in New York, suggesting shareholders expected a higher offer to emerge. Brookfield units fell 5 per cent to $22.50 apiece.

Brookfield and its affiliates already control about 34 per cent of the outstanding stock.

If the proposal succeeds, GGP shareholders would own about onethird of the combined company.

Brookfield Property and its parent company currently hold three of the nine GGP board seats.

Brookfield presented the offer to GGP's board of directors over the weekend. GGP said on its website that its board would review and consider the proposal. Both companies separately said there were no assurances that a deal would be consummated.

This is the latest going-private transaction for Brookfield. Earlier this year, the company took Brookfield Canada Office Properties private in a deal that was achieved after Brookfield Property sweetened the offer.

Brookfield has been gobbling up stakes in malls as well as large spaces vacated by retailers such as Sears.

This is the company's first attempt to significantly expand beyond office towers and multifamily buildings into shopping centres.

"Well-located, high-quality retail real estate in the United States continues to perform well despite negative perception in the public markets," Brookfield's Mr. Kingston said on last week's conference call.

Many shopping centres are struggling to fill empty spaces as they compete with online retailer Amazon and discount stores.

In Canada, mall owners are bracing for a flood of empty retail space from Sears Canada's liquidation. Hudson's Bay recently brokered a deal to sell a prime Manhattan department store building to office-sharing company WeWork and plans to lease some of its space in key HBC locations in Toronto and Vancouver.

Brookfield has capped the cash offering at $7.4-billion and the number of Brookfield shares at 309 million, which it said was worth roughly the same amount.

Brookfield Property Partners (BPY)

Close: $22.50 (U.S.), down $1.18


Close: $24.05 (U.S.), up $1.85

Associated Graphic

Brookfield says acquiring Chicago-based real estate company GGP Inc.'s remaining shares would give it control over the U.S. firm's 'irreplaceable assets,' such as this retail space on Fifth Avenue in New York.


If Brookfield Property Partners' proposal succeeds, GGP shareholders would own about one-third of the combined company.


Trump's hidden message: Impeach me at your peril
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- U.S. presidents - and Canadian prime ministers, for that matter - love taking credit for job creation and a strong economy.

Donald Trump has upped the ante by claiming ownership of the stock market's recent surge to new highs.

"The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me," Mr. Trump bragged to reporters last week aboard Air Force One en route to Asia.

"I've always been great with money. I've always been great with jobs.

That's what I do."

Mr. Trump is partly right. There is a relationship, of sorts, between his presidency and the markets. The S&P 500 is up more than 20 per cent in the year since Mr. Trump was elected. It isn't the best first year in the markets for a first-term president.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and George Bush Sr. all presided over large gains. But it is far better than the 6.1 per cent average bounce for incoming presidents.

The mere existence of a link between two events doesn't mean it's a causal relationship. Analysts attrib.

ute part of the stock market's recent run to investor optimism that the President's push for big tax cuts and business deregulation will spur economic growth and boost corporate profits. The tilt of proposed personal tax breaks to the 1 per cent also bodes well for America's investor class.

But much of the market's gain has very little to do with Mr. Trump's economic policies, and more to do with Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Fed's cautious approach to hiking interest rates has pushed the dollar lower in the past year, making U.S. stocks cheaper for foreign investors to buy. And then there is the performance of the global economy. Much of the enthusiasm on Wall Street is because growth is picking up outside the United States.

Over the past 12 months, global stock-market indexes are up as much or more than U.S. stocks.

Taking credit for all this is a highrisk gambit for Mr. Trump. Stocks rise, but they can and will inevitably fall.

"It's crazy for a president to wrap himself in the stock market," former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers told online news site Politico last week. "The market goes up and the market goes down, and if you take credit when the market goes up, I don't see how you can avoid taking responsibility when the market goes down."

And a lot could make stocks tumble in the months ahead.

There is the risk that Congress fails to pass the tax-reform package. Given the length of the current economic expansion, the next recession could well come during Mr. Trump's first term - an event that would weigh heavily on equities. And there are events Mr.

Trump could bring on himself, including the collapse of the North American free-trade agreement, which could depress trade and focus investor attention on the dangers of rising U.S. protectionism.

On the one hand, claiming credit for the stock market is classic Trump bravado - greatly exaggerating his role in events.

But Mr. Summers and others may be underestimating Mr. Trump.

There is a possible darker motive for his repeated stock-market claims. They may be an implicit warning to his many adversaries - that investors will wreak havoc if his economic agenda is thwarted.

In a recent tweet, Mr. Trump pointed out that more than $5-trillion (U.S.) of stock-market value has been created since his election. The unspoken message is that defying him would put all that in jeopardy.

The threat may well extend to Mr. Trump's political future and the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Russian government.

In that sense, highlighting the trillions of dollars in stock-market wealth that has been created on his watch is a veiled threat to those who threaten his presidency. That includes special counsel Robert Mueller and anyone in Congress who might move to impeach him.

Mr. Trump has created a narrative in which his own political future is now tied to what happens on Wall Street.

Think of it as Mr. Trump's insurance policy: Don't get rid of me or the markets will tank.

Associated Graphic

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday while travelling to Hanoi.


The Canadian corporate brand is losing cachet in age of Trump
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- Imagine a $55-billion Canadian energy giant called Ventiv or Convergent.

As corporate names go, they suggest little about what business that company might be in, or where it's from. And that just might be the point for the venerable TransCanada Corp., which has filed these and other names as part of a batch of recent trademark applications that would erase "Canada" from its corporate moniker. The company declined to comment on "rumours and speculation" it might change the name it's had for more than six decades.

"TransCanada is the company's name," spokesman Mark Cooper said in an e-mail. "It is not uncommon for a company of our size to protect trademarks in order to keep future options open for various projects or entities." And yet a name-change and an image overhaul makes a lot of sense. TransCanada has already remade itself into a largely U.S. company in recent years. Nearly 60 per cent of its 2016 revenue came from U.S. operations thanks in large part to the $10-billion (U.S.) acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group, which has natural gas pipelines stretching from New York to the Gulf of Mexico.

The company's Canadian roots have proven to be a liability in its long battle to win U.S. approval of Keystone XL.

The nationality of Keystone XL, the pipeline which would carry Alberta crude through the U.S. Midwest to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, was apparently no advantage in getting the now-scrapped Energy East pipeline off the ground.

But there may be a broader theme here. The Canadian brand doesn't have the same cachet as it did in 2006, when then prime minister Stephen Harper hailed the country's emergence as "a new energy superpower." Canada, Mr. Harper boasted, was ready to play the foil to bad actors such as Russia and Venezuela.

It would be an energy do-gooder, selling its energy "based on competitive market principles, not self-serving monopolistic strategies."

Much has happened in the intervening years. Canada's production of oil has continued to rise, nearly doubling since 2000.

But the industry's future is now clouded by a host of setbacks, including the oil price collapse, the cancellation of billions of dollars' worth of oil patch investments and the continued failure to build pipeline capacity to get Canadian crude to markets in the United States and offshore.

Canada has likewise failed to counter the global image propagated by environmental groups that it is a producer of high-cost "dirty oil."

Meanwhile, Canada's status as a safe and reliable source of energy for the U.S. has been eroded by the dramatic increase in U.S. production of shale oil and gas. The United States is still a net importer, but it has begun exporting both oil and natural gas. That means Canada's No. 1 energy customer will likely need less of what we produce in the future.

Then there is the Trump administration's overtly protectionist "America First" stance on trade. Canadians are now lumped in with the cast of bad actors in U.S. President Donald Trump's view of the world.

Waving the Maple Leaf in front of Americans could be toxic in a postNAFTA world.

Surprisingly few large, export focused companies have iterations of "Canada" in their name. The holdouts include several of the big banks, Air Canada, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Tire, Canfor and Canadian Pacific Railway. In the energy sector, there is TransCanada, Encana and Canadian Natural Resources. And of course, there are federal Crown corporations and subsidiaries of foreign multinationals, such as Wal-Mart Canada and Ford Motor Co. of Canada.

TransCanada may be on to something by registering nebulous trademarks such as Ventiv, Convergent, Northbow and TCE. Air Canada could buy Porter and adopt its more generic handle. CIBC could drop the first "C" and call itself the Imperial Bank of Commerce. CN might opt for Gulf Coast Rail, obscuring its Canadian heritage and emphasizing the southern end of its vast rail network. Forest products company Canfor, which is caught up in the Canada-U.S. lumber dispute, could rename itself SouthFor to reflect the dozen mills it owns in the U.S. South.

Why not?

Canadians are accustomed to passing themselves off as stealth Americans when they travel in the United States.

Canadian companies might just as easily obscure their heritage, for the sake of the business.

Giving home buyers incentives risks creating a house of horrors
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- There was fresh evidence this week that Canada's once-sizzling housing market is cooling, particularly in the Toronto area.

Prices across the country fell 1 per cent in October, and nearly 3 per cent in Toronto, according to the Teranet-National Bank of Canada composite price index. The annual pace of price increases is also slowing - to 9.7 per cent in October from 10.5 per cent in September - based on a separate report from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Conditions vary across the country, but Royal Bank of Canada concluded that "cooler, balanced conditions dominate."

And that, one would think, is a welcome sign. Recent moves by Ottawa and the provinces to slow borrowing and halt runaway prices, coupled with higher interest rates from the Bank of Canada, may be delivering the elusive soft landing.

But some policy experts want Ottawa to abandon the cautious approach and throw gasoline on the smouldering market embers by making it easier and cheaper for Canadians to buy homes.

Sean Speer and Jane Londerville argue in a new report for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute that the federal government should adopt generous "pro-ownership" housing incentives. Mr. Speer, a former policy adviser to prime minister Stephen Harper, and Ms. Londerville, a real estate finance expert, say current federal policy lacks a clear set of objectives, creating "the equivalent of the Bride of Frankenstein."

Among their proposed fixes: drop the price of mortgage insurance, boost the existing home buyers' tax credit and match funds Canadians put into Tax-Free Savings Accounts to help home buyers put up larger down payments. They would also suspend plans by federal regulators to apply tougher "stress tests" on new uninsured mortgages in 2018.

Whoa. Are they serious?

Those kinds of incentives would be great for the lending business.

But they would put the financial system at risk by artificially boosting demand for homes, overheating markets that regulators have worked so hard to cool and encouraging heavily indebted Canadians to borrow even more.

The federal government may take a completely different tack when it releases, possibly as early as next week, details of a roughly $1-billion-a-year national housing strategy. It's expected to focus wisely on rental housing for low-income Canadians, rather than incentives for buyers.

The most dangerous idea floated in the Macdonald-Laurier Institute report is the proposal to turn the TFSA into a sort of home-buying ATM. The TFSA was originally created because experts worried that Canadians were not saving enough for their retirements. This expensive scheme would encourage people to drain their TFSAs and concentrate their assets in an already-overvalued housing market.

There is scant evidence that Canadians lack incentives to become homeowners. The continued willingness of buyers in Toronto and Vancouver to spend $1-million or more on pretty ordinary abodes suggests they are already amply motivated.

What Ottawa is doing now seems to be working just fine. The home ownership rate reached nearly 68 per cent in 2016, up from 60 per cent in the 1970. In the past decade, Canadian ownership has overtaken that of the United States, in spite of more generous incentives south of the border.

Ottawa already offers generous enticements to buy a home. For example, Canadians are exempt from capital gains on their primary residence, allowing owners to build up equity tax-free. First-time buyers can also borrow up to $25,000 from their registered retirement savings plans.

In the United States, buyers get to deduct mortgage interest from their taxes, even on a vacation property.

The result is that Americans generally have less equity in their homes than Canadians. And they are far more likely to be in arrears on their mortgages.

Canadian regulators have moved in recent years to discourage excessive and riskier borrowing by requiring larger down payments, shortening the maximum amortization period and making mortgage insurance more expensive - all measures that encourage Canadians to put more money down.

B.C. and Ontario have moved to discourage speculation in the housing market.

It's hard to characterize these mostly sensible policy measures as a horror movie, particularly when they appear to be working.

But beware: If Mr. Speer's and Ms. Londerville's ideas wind up in a future Conservative Party platform, Canada could be looking at a remake of the House of Frankenstein - a place where home buyers mortgage their retirement to join the housing frenzy.

Ottawa, Ontario move to make peace with small business
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- The Ontario and federal Liberals are discovering that, once lost, the love of small-business owners is tough to win back.

But they sure are trying.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced Tuesday in his fall fiscal update that the government will cut the small-business tax rate by a percentage point, to 3.5 per cent, on Jan. 1. It will also roll out $500-million in new programs for smaller companies.

It's no coincidence that this package of goodies comes as Ontario is poised to put in place the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148), highlighted by a hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour from $11.60, along with extensions to vacation, medical and parental leave. Business groups have warned that the legislation will put 185,000 jobs at risk.

Ontario's olive branch comes just weeks after the federal Liberals backtracked on efforts to close what they characterized as tax loopholes benefiting small-business owners. Last month, Finance Minister Bill Morneau abandoned or modified a series of planned tax changes after intense blowback from small-business groups. And as with Ontario, Ottawa recently announced it would lower the federal small-business tax rate to 9 per cent in 2019 from the current rate of 10.5 per cent.

British Columbia and Saskatchewan have also announced tax relief for small businesses in recent months.

Efforts to win back the support of a disgruntled constituency follow a surprising burst of activism in 2017 by shop owners, farmers, doctors and other small-business owners across Canada. The year will go down as the moment when smallbusiness owners stood up and collectively declared: "We're as mad as hell and we're not going to take this any more."

They have signed petitions, bombarded their elected officials with grievances, lobbied, tweeted and banded together in new groups, such as the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness and the Keep Ontario Working Coalition.

Their ire is not just about the minimum-wage hike and arcane federal tax changes. They complain about a litany of federal and provincial measures since the last recession that are driving up costs and making them less competitive. The common list of gripes includes new carbon taxes, rising electricity bills, looming hikes to Canada Pension Plan contributions and a top federal-provincial tax rate for individuals that now exceeds 50 per cent in many provinces.

Wage costs, taxes and regulations routinely top the list of grievances among business owners, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business's monthly business barometer survey.

CFIB president Dan Kelly says he's out to debunk the widely held notion that "owning your own business is a licence to print money."

The CFIB has likewise complained that the government "doesn't understand how a small business works."

Trying to mollify the discontent is partly about politics. In both cases, the Liberals are facing challenges on both the left from the NDP and on the right from the Conservatives as they look ahead to facing voters.

Their belated outreach to the business lobby suggests they may be feeling more intense pressure from that side of the political spectrum and are willing to spend money to win back their support.

It may also be an omen about the fate of the progressive economic policies championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Mr. Trudeau's and Ms. Wynne's rhetoric hasn't changed. But their recent attempts to appease the business community may be a tacit acknowledgment that they have moved as far as they dare on taxes, income inequality, climate change and labour rules.

Complicating their calculation is the uncertainty over where the United States is headed, under President Donald Trump, on taxes and climate policies.

The modest small-business tax rollbacks in Canada are a drop in the bucket compared with the massive corporate tax cuts being proposed by Republicans in Congress. It could leave Canada at a competitive disadvantage.

If the United States goes big on tax cuts, expect Canada's newly energized small-business lobby to dial up its outrage, again.

More than two years ago, a bench-clearing brawl sent minor-leaguers from Surrey and their coach into a downward spiral. Now, the team is dealing with an unprecedented 84-game losing streak and enduring a call to have its franchise disbanded
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

SURREY -- Zakery Babin is under attack. Ten minutes after puck drop, the Surrey Knights goalie has been pelted by 15 shots. His team has not yet registered a single attempt on goal.

The Knights, in last place in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, are mired in an unprecedented losing skid that today stands at 84 games.

On this October evening in the Vancouver suburbs, Babin's agile play holds the score at zero against the defending league champion Aldergrove Kodiaks.

Midway through the game, a Kodiaks forward catapults Knights defenceman Ethan Koskelainen into the end boards from behind. Blood stains the ice.

While a trainer works on Koskelainen - the gash above the 18-yearold's right eye needs stitches and his left wrist might be fractured - there's a roar from the small crowd.

The Knights score on the power play to go up 1-0.

Koskelainen's mom wants to drive him to the hospital. His nose is dolloped in blood, a hockey Rudolph.

Another smear reddens his blond hair. "I'm fine," he tells his mom and insists he's staying to watch the rest of the game. Don Cherry would lionize this kid.

It was more than two years ago, September, 2015, when it started to go backward for the Knights. The team was losing to the Mission City Outlaws when the Outlaws went after a younger Knights player. A bench-clearing brawl ensued. Even the coaches got involved. John Craighead, the Knights coach, coowner and former minor-league tough guy, went to the Mission bench, intending to quell the fighting.

As the coaches jostled, an Outlaws player, not in uniform, intervened.

Craighead is alleged to have hit the player. The RCMP investigated but no charges were laid. BC Hockey, however, levied a suspension of six years. Under a pall - an exiled coach who'd once played a few games for the Toronto Maple Leafs - the Knights roster suffered defections and new players were reluctant to join the team. The on-ice product suffered. The last game the Knights won was on Nov. 19, 2015.

Last season, the Knights lost all 44 games. This past spring, Hockey Canada reviewed Craighead's sixyear suspension. It questioned the quality of BC Hockey's investigation and slashed Craighead's punishment. The PJHL then sought to expel the Knights franchise because it felt it tarnished the league. A league-organized hearing was held in August, but a decision was put on hold, as Craighead and the Knights had filed a civil suit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia to fight back to remain in the league. A complaint at the BC Human Rights Tribunal was also filed.

In the BC Supreme Court and the Human Rights Tribunal, Craighead will face the PJHL and its president, Ray Stonehouse. In a filing to the province's Human Rights Tribunal, it is alleged the efforts to punish Craighead and eject the Knights is "motivated, at least in part, by racial discrimination." Craighead is black and co-owner Amar Gill is Indo-Canadian.

Stonehouse declined comment.

George Cadman, the PJHL's lawyer, said a settlement was unlikely.

"This will undoubtedly proceed to court."

BC Hockey defends its suspension.

"Our investigation was a good investigation," BC Hockey chief executive Barry Petrachenko says.

Back at the North Surrey Recreational Centre, there is the possibility the losing streak could end. The Knights score again after their power-play goal. But as the second period ticks down, the Kodiaks strike with 12.7 seconds left to cut the lead to 2-1.

In a small conference room above and behind the Knights net, Craighead and Gill watch the game unfold.

"We're good hockey people," says Craighead, who was reinstated by Hockey Canada as team co-owner.

"Hockey's my life. Things got derailed. The franchise has paid a hefty price." Alongside the two owners is Laurence Gilman, a former Vancouver Canucks assistant general manager.

Gilman and Lorne Henning, another former Canucks executive, signed on in August to help the Knights with everything from management advice to mentoring coaches and players. It was an unlikely boost for a woebegone team.

"That's the best stretch we've played," Gilman says of the action on the ice, as the Knights hold their lead.

Tonight, Craighead, Gill and Gilman are having fun, joking and laughing, talking hockey. These guys, like the young men on the ice, love the game. Hockey nerds. The prospect of a win stokes the atmosphere. "I'd be very happy for the boys," Craighead says. Gilman foresees a difficult third period, as the Kodiaks stare at the ignominy of losing to the Surrey Knights. "This is going to be an onslaught."

The play on the ice has been sloppy and does not improve. The Knights' coaches, 23-year-old identical twin brothers Spencer and Scott McHaffie, are visibly agitated. The Kodiaks attack and tie the game.

With seven minutes on the clock, the Kodiaks score again to go ahead.

The momentum has turned, and Knights end up losing 5-3, their 79th loss in a row.

"Just not good enough," a deflated Gill says.

"Welcome to our world," Craighead says. "Well, you can write it was a close game."

In a cramped Knights locker room, the coaches rally. "Stay positive," Spencer McHaffie urges. "The way you guys are working, the way you guys are battling, it's only a matter of time."

The funk of losing dissipates and jocular camaraderie returns. The teenagers are laughing and shouting.

Outside the room, Koskelainen is ready to head to the hospital. "I don't think there's any reason to stop grinding," he says. "We have nothing to lose now. That's motivation for every game."

"Tiring - and frustrating," says Babin, 20, when asked what it's like to face 50-plus shots a night. "It would be nice to get a win."

Babin has played third-tier junior hockey in small towns in the B.C.

Interior and in Atlanta. He was hurt in a car accident last year and missed the season. But he got a chance to play again when the Knights called this summer. He hopes his play propels him to college hockey.

"The ideal school is the University of [Nevada] Las Vegas. That'd be cool," Babin says. "Or, literally, anywhere."

Constant losing has not yet worn him down.

"It's nice to be playing again," Babin says. "I'm not going to stop until it's not an option. It's still hockey, right?"

Associated Graphic

Surrey Knights goalie Zakery Babin looks on as North Vancouver Wolf Pack players celebrate a goal in Surrey, B.C., on Oct. 26.


Ethan Koskelainen of the Surrey Knights holds a towel to his head as trainer John Chwyl checks on him after he was cut above the eye and injured his wrist in a game in Surrey, B.C., on Oct. 19.


MVP voters may not fully appreciate Votto's greatness, but Canadians should
The toughest out in all of baseball quietly goes about his business in a manner similar to the late great Roy Halladay
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- During this year's World Series, Joey Votto did something weird - he went on TV and talked each night.

It was difficult to reconcile the famously reticent player with his new job as a baseball analyst. He didn't seem to be enjoying himself - hands locked in a death grip, flat stare, his bulging figure poured so snugly into a suit that he looked in constant danger of bursting it at the seams, Incredible Hulk-style.

But like everything he does, Votto was good at it. Perceptive, succinct, occasionally acerbic.

After a dreary Game 7, his coanalyst Gregg Zaun tried to tee him up with a joke about people being obsessed with their phones.

Votto looked over sleepily and said, "I'm not on the internet, so I don't know."

Like, not on social media or not on the internet as a whole? Has Joey Votto heard of Google? Because there is some amazing stuff in there.

It would be very like Votto to be the last true Luddite in pro sports, someone untouched by the goingson in the outside world. He does occasionally wander down off the top of Mount Baseball - often to comedic effect when taking on hecklers - but you can see that it involves effort. This past year he set himself a new goal: talking to people.

"I'm making an intentional point to connect and listen to my teammates and build relationships," Votto told ESPN during spring training.

Given that pros spend 10 or 12 hours a day with the same group of guys, often doing nothing more than sitting blankly in front of a locker staring at the walls, you'd think "relationships" would be unavoidable in baseball. But Votto had apparently avoided them for a decade.

That uncanny detachment has allowed Votto to become the best Canadian player in the game, perhaps ever. He does everything very well, but one thing exceptionally well - getting on base.

Votto more predictably ends an atbat standing on a bag than all but nine players in history. You will recognize a few of the names ahead of him - Williams, Ruth, Bonds, Cobb.

Twenty-five years ago, it's possible few would have noticed. But since Sabermetrics issued its core commandment - "Thou Shalt Not Make An Easy Out" - Votto has been its key disciple. He's gone entire seasons without an infield pop-up.

Nothing about this is flashy. Some great players are jackhammers. Despite his imposing physicality, Votto is a chisel. He chips away at you until you crack.

Nobody in baseball knows a ball from a strike better than him, which may be why one of the few times he's ever floated to the top of the news cycle was an unhinged 2015 meltdown after a couple of bad calls at the plate.

At the time, Votto's team, the hapless Cincinnati Reds, were 20 games out of a playoff position. Nothing about that game mattered. But Votto erupted liked he'd been punched out in the World Series by a ball thrown into the visitor's dugout.

For just a moment there, you got the sense of how much this all means to Votto and how much it eats at him.

He has been open in the past about his emotional troubles, his occasional anxiety and all the other things that make baseball hard (and perhaps on some other level, easier) for him.

He is so rattled by the idea that he's missing the target that he once said he cannot look at the stats put up by his closest peers because that would be "far too stressful."

The best comparison is probably Roy Halladay. The two men were different stylistically, but philosophical twins. Both are laser beams focused on sport, often to the point of blocking out regular life.

As with Halladay, Votto has been the best player on a bad team for a long time.

(This is often used to discredit players - 'He isn't making the people around him better.' But it takes a very special person - forget athlete - to rise above a culture of mediocrity. You try being good at work if no one else in the office can figure out how to turn their computer on.)

Although observers recognize his elite qualities, Votto does not get nearly enough credit for steadiness.

People like the new thing, the most improved thing or the unlikely thing. They bore easily of the dependable thing.

That's why Votto probably will not win the award as the National League's most valuable player on Thursday, although he should.

At a guess, the MVP will be Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt. A few things will probably put Goldschmidt over the top - he's never won the award (Votto took it in 2010), his team made the playoffs (the Reds finished 26 games under .500) and he's a Gold Glove-calibre defender (as in most other things, Votto may be slightly underrated on this score).

The other contender is Giancarlo Stanton, a player whose big personality and statistical superlatives (he hits a lot of home runs) obscure his deficiencies (he strikes out so often that he is Florida's fourth-leading cause of wind chill).

In this race, Goldschmidt is the almost-Votto and Stanton is the anti-Votto. Only Votto is Votto. Were he on a better team, or made more of an impression, or was just a little louder, Votto would be spoken of in generational terms. Instead, he's largely perceived as a tragic waste of talent.

That's inevitable in the United States, but the general apathy shouldn't extend to Votto's native country. If we take hockey out of it, he may be the finest professional team athlete Canada has ever produced. He doesn't have Steve Nash's profile, or Ferguson Jenkins's struggles, or Larry Walker's homer bona fides, but that shouldn't count against him.

Votto is just a guy who does one thing incredibly well and doesn't like to talk about it very much.

So he may also be the most Canadian great Canadian athlete in history.

Associated Graphic

Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds hits one of his 36 home runs in the 2017 season. The Toronto native and 2010 National League MVP also batted .320 with 100 RBIs. His .454 on-base percentage was the best in Major League Baseball.


Would the Next Big Thing choose the Jays?
From the silence on Donaldson's future to the treatment of Halladay's passing, Toronto is failing to put its best foot forward
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- This week at Major League Baseball's general managers' meetings, the Toronto Blue Jays talked up their chances of hitting the offseason's biggest jackpot - Japan's Shohei Otani.

If you buy the hype, Otani is the most complete ballplayer to emerge in nearly a century. He both hits and pitches at an elite level. In the coming weeks, his current team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will sell him to an MLB club of Otani's choosing.

Right now, anything's possible.

Maybe Otani's the new Babe Ruth.

Maybe he's better than that. It's a mystery.

A much greater mystery is why he would choose to start that journey in Toronto, in the wrong country on a fourth-place team teetering on the edge of a full rebuild. Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins tried to clear it up.

"Our emphasis on recovery, our emphasis on preparation, our emphasis on what it takes to realize all of your potential and understanding what that means is at the forefront [of the Otani sales job]," Atkins told Sportsnet.

So, that's it - a well-equipped training room and someone yelling "Be the best you you can be!" while you're on the treadmill? It's the sort of pitch you might give for a highschool swim team, and it might not work then. But it's definitely not going to turn heads at the professional level.

"I can't imagine a better fit, quite frankly," Atkins said.

If I'm Otani's agent, I certainly can. I can imagine a whole bunch.

How about the New York Yankees? Or the L.A. Dodgers? Or any other team in a major U.S. media market that has a recognizable international brand and is also a winner?

All of those would be better choices for a young player who must secretly believe that his real competition is not other baseball players, but Lionel Messi and LeBron James.

Of course the Jays want Otani.

Every team does. Why they are talking out loud about Otani, as though they have a genuine shot at him, is another matter.

It speaks to what has become a serious problem for the Toronto Blue Jays - prioritizing.

While they moon in public about a kid who has never stepped onto a major-league mound, we haven't heard much lately about Josh Donaldson.

I know he can't pitch, but he has won an MVP award and also happens to be on the roster already.

This saves the Jays the trouble of having to convince Donaldson that Toronto's ice baths are colder and more spacious than anyone else's in baseball.

Would it not make sense to at least be seen trying to re-sign Donaldson, who can walk after this season? Because there isn't much point to getting the Next Big Thing if you're letting the Current Big Thing walk out the door at the same time. That's not a win. It's a wash.

There's been a lot of this muddled thinking since the season finished. The Jays are doing what few teams manage - continue their losing streak beyond 162 games.

They fired a bunch of long-serving back-office people for no particularly good reason other than that they could do it. Or maybe it's got something to do with "culture" - a word that gets thrown around so often in sports these days to explain away bad decisions that it's beginning to sound like a Bolshevik term.

Bullpen didn't nail it down?

Clutch hitting not what you'd hoped? Obviously, it's the culture.

Eliminate those wreckers in group sales.

The employees they sacked were largely business people and the Jays are, if nothing else, a thriving business. What was the point?

If it is to get better - if that's the main priority - it's hard to see how painting yourself as petty and capricious achieves it.

Then there's Roy Halladay's death. That was a blow, but also an opportunity for the organization to demonstrate the best part of sports - its ability to rally disparate communities together and give tragedies, both large and small, a greater meaning.

The Jays were wrong-footed on that one as well. They issued a boilerplate statement. No one came out to speak on the club's behalf. A few hours after Halladay's passing was announced, pitcher Marcus Stroman was on social media woohooing about winning a Gold Glove.

Try to imagine the Yankees handling it the same way if a peer of Halladay's stature on that team had died. Say, a Derek Jeter or a Mariano Rivera. It is not possible. Up in the Bronx, they'd have draped the stadium in black velvet. They'd be running people up to podiums day and night to accommodate all the tributes.

While it's true that every person handles tragedy differently, there is a clear playbook for organizations.

It is to be present and respectful and, above all, to say something genuine about the person. The Jays couldn't manage it.

When an emotional reaction was required, their response was to be very still and wait for more information.

It was the wrong decision, and one I suspect this management group will be quietly wearing for a long time.

Running a professional sports organization is a bigger job than simply winning and profit margins.

If it was only about the numbers, we'd all get together over beers on Friday afternoons to watch the stock market close.

It's also about projecting an aura of competence and decency. Despite the obvious to-and-fro of the marketplace, people want to believe that their team is a family. Because there can't be a Them without an Us.

That's why fans choose to invest themselves in people. For human reasons, as well as cynical business ones, people should be the top priority of any team.

Right now, the Jays are having trouble figuring out where those values fit on the corporate org chart.

Associated Graphic

The question of why Japan's Shohei Otani would choose to launch his MLB career in Canada, on a fourth-place team teetering on the edge of a rebuild, is one the Jays have failed to answer convincingly.


There's a calm in the new-era LeafLand, even if Matthews is ailing
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- The cone of silence that descends over LeafLand in-season is so impermeable that William Nylander, a Swede and presumptive sports enthusiast, had to be told that Sweden is in a playoff on Friday to qualify for next summer's World Cup.

"I'm not aware of that," Nylander said flatly.

Big game. It's against Italy and all.

"Hm. I'll have to look out for that," Nylander said, in a tone that suggested he would probably not be looking out for that.

Then he turned and walked to the back, one supposes to kneel down at a shrine to Auston Matthews's aching back (if that indeed is the "upper-body injury" aggravating him) and say a few prayers.

Despite uninspiring play of late, a couple of fortunate wins have kept things light. Even Matthews's absence is being treated more like an inconvenience than a crisis. The less said about it, the better.

When Mike Babcock was asked about Matthews's scratch from Thursday's practice, the sophomore centre's third day off in a row, the coach referred to it as a "maintenance day."

"I'm not going to give you an update every day," Babcock said.

"He's day-to-day."

If he's day-to-day, how will you avoid giving an up ... never mind.

Deploying his usual professional obscurantism, Babcock has been sending mixed messages on the severity of Matthews's injury.

After Wednesday's win over Minnesota, he didn't "have a clue" when Matthews might return.

Which sounds bad.

Twelve or so hours later, things had improved to, "It's not serious, but it's something we have to take care of."

Which sounds a lot better.

The truth is probably where it's usually to be found - somewhere in between. The Leafs play home-andaway against Boston on Friday and Saturday, followed by a four-day break. If Matthews hasn't returned in a week's time against New Jersey, that's when everyone can really start to worry.

Meanwhile, there is a hopeful sense of water being successfully trod and seats being kept warm.

The training staff laid a folded jersey on Matthews's chair on Thursday, as though he might change his mind at the last minute and get out on the ice.

When Patrick Marleau was asked about shifting to the top line to "take [Matthews's] spot" against Minnesota, his head rocked back a little.

"Oh, I don't know if I was taking his spot," Marleau said, vaguely alarmed. "All of the lines were jumbled."

Yes, they were. Because Marleau had to take Matthews's spot.

But semantics matter in hockey and no one, even someone with Marleau's pedigree, wants anyone to get confused about what's what in the pecking order.

(If he hadn't made the hierarchy clear enough, the 38-year-old Marleau said, "There's a lot of things I still need to get better at."

After two remarkable decades in the NHL, the only thing Marleau will still need to work on is figuring out how to fill out his NHLPA pension application when the time comes.)

All the messaging in this room is done internally, one man to the other under the cone. Nearly a quarter of the way into the season, with the team in fine, if occasionally erratic, form, those signals are strong and steady.

In years past, this week would have been the obvious time to have the first of two or three or 30 Leafsbased public freakouts. Matthews gone, defence lubberly, Frederik Andersen expected to play the role of goalie messiah.

It's not sustainable - not at the top level, anyway - but it is somehow working.

Of all the things that have changed about this club since the Great Fire of '15, the most important of them appears to be luck. Things that never used to go the Leafs' way suddenly do.

Whenever they are a bit off, their opponents are even more so. It's as though claiming the right to draft Matthews first over all - the franchise's most important win of the century - operated as an overarching karma repair job. That wheel is now stuck on "Enlightenment."

"It's going to be an interesting weekend for us," said Matt Martin, without the slightest hint of irony.

Not so long ago "interesting" would have been code for "profoundly depressing" or "almost certainly the beginning of the end." Not any more.

Who would blame the Leafs for believing they can sustain their advantage against the Bruins, a team more beaten up than they are?

And if they don't, let's guess what the message will be then: "Predictable dip; a game of ups and downs; had to happen some time; just wait until Matthews gets back."

At this point, there is no losing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. When was the last time they could say that?

It is amazing how good vibes beget good results. Maybe there really is something to that positivity stuff (though it also helps if you hit a draft jackpot three years in a row).

The only person who doesn't seem any more or less buoyant than usual is Babcock. He's still giving off that subtle hum, as though he's vibrating imperceptibly while standing completely still. Few people on Earth give off more of a sense of busyness.

Someone tried to draw him on the subject of improvements in the way injured players are treated these days, and how the healing process now seems hastened.

Babcock, in charismatic-avoidance mode, told a tall tale about how he remembered the days when the guy who drove the team bus was also the medic and that you avoided getting hurt because he was the one who was going to be looking after you. The implication was that things change, but not that much.

"There's sports science and Saskatchewan science," Babcock said.

"Sometimes I prefer Saskatchewan science."

He's probably right. Some things don't ever really change. But they have on his team.

With Matthews out, the Leafs learn how to step up (parts of) their game
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting pretty but it was an ugly climb.

After sweeping the Boston Bruins in their weekend series to make it four wins in a row, the Leafs began a four-day break Sunday. If Auston Matthews really is "day-to-day" with his undisclosed injury, then Thursday's game against the New Jersey Devils represents nine days of recovery. That should be enough to get him back in the lineup unless his injury actually goes beyond his announced status.

In the meantime, the Leafs can boast a 3-0 record in the absence of Matthews, who was proving with each NHL game he is the most important player on the team. But they have accomplished the feat in some unconventional ways.

Rather than cover for Matthews with the offensive game and go-go hockey they are known for, the Leafs managed to grind out those wins by making sudden improvements in the areas of the game that previously were dragging them down. Now they are looking like defensive masters, having allowed just five goals in their past three games while scoring 11, slogging out games that produce the right results despite lacking in artistry.

While the power play, wobbly all season, went into cardiac arrest in the absence of Matthews, with a 2-for-12 stretch in three games, the penalty killers tightened their game considerably. The unit went 10-for-12 in the same period, capping the performance by killing off all four Bruins power plays on Saturday night, including a five-onthree advantage that iced the 4-1 win.

"Our power play hasn't been too great, but we're getting better and our [penalty killing] has been unbelievable for us," Leafs forward Mitch Marner said.

"I think over all our game is getting better every day, and that's a thing we're trying to look forward to."

Marner himself is a big part of that improvement as he finally started producing points last week, shaking off the traditional NHL sophomore slump.

He started with two important assists last Friday night in the opening game of the Bruins series and then scored his first goal since opening night on Oct. 4 to get the Leafs offence moving. He also had an assist.

Part of Marner's revival was rejoining his original linemates, centre Tyler Bozak and left winger James van Riemsdyk after their lack of production resulted in a breakup. Van Riemsdyk has four goals and one assist in his past five games.

"I think we're starting to get some of that mojo and swagger back on our line and I think we're getting some bounces now, too, which doesn't hurt," van Riemsdyk said.

"Again, we want to continue playing this way and go from there."

But the real stars for now are the ones who don't usually show up on the offensive side of the game sheet.

When the Leafs had to kill a 67-second five-on-three Bruins power play to preserve a one-goal lead in the third period Saturday, Leo Komarov and the defence pair of Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev played brilliantly, with backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney providing solid support.

"You know, I don't really want to be killing too many penalties, but I honestly don't know if a shot got through," McElhinney said of the efforts of Komarov, Hainsey and Zaitsev.

The goaltenders can take a share of the credit as well, especially Frederik Andersen. His play was drawing increasing criticism until last week when he repeated his pattern from last season and made a big improvement in November after a slow start. Andersen has yet to match his brilliance from a year ago, but he is making big saves when they are needed.

The Leafs still tend to allow a lot of shots - more than 35 in each of their past three games - but head coach Mike Babcock doesn't mind as long as they are coming from a distance. It also helps the defensive game when the Leafs are playing with a lead, something that has also started recently.

"When you have the lead, it's a different kind of game," Babcock said.

"You just can be efficient and I thought we did a good job [Saturday] of clogging 'er up inside most of the time and limiting their shots more from the outside."

Aside from monitoring Matthews's health, the most important item of business for the Leafs in the next couple of days is the status of forward Nikita Soshnikov. He is playing for the Leafs' farm team after spending 56 games with the big club last season. The terms of his contract allow the Russian winger to return to the Continental Hockey League (KHL) if he is not on the Leafs' roster by Tuesday.

Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello has not said what he plans to do with the 24-year-old. If Soshnikov stays with the Leafs, he will be a restricted free agent in July, 2018.

Anti-doping body's scathing report bodes ill for Russia's Winter Olympic hopes
The Associated Press
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

SEOUL -- The World Anti-Doping Agency has placed Russia's fate for the coming Winter Olympics on thin ice, refusing to reinstate the country's suspended anti-doping operation while Moscow remains insistent the government is not to blame.

At its meeting Thursday in South Korea, WADA handed Russia the equivalent of a failing grade, saying two key requirements for reinstating the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) had not been fulfilled:

Russia must publicly accept results of an investigation by Canada's Richard McLaren that concluded the country ran a state-sponsored doping program;

Russia must allow access to urine samples collected during the time of the cheating.

"We can't walk away from the commitments," said Craig Reedie, the chairman of WADA and also a member of the International Olympic Committee, which will ultimately decide Russia's fate.

Reedie refused to be drawn in on what impact Thursday's decision might have on the IOC.

"We do not have the right to decide who takes part in international competition," he said. "I am quite certain that the IOC would prefer that RUSADA was compliant."

The IOC said its executive board, due to meet Dec. 5 to 7, "will take all the circumstances, including all the measures to ensure a level playing field at the Olympic Winter Games 2018, into consideration when it decides on the participation of the Russian athletes."

Among those circumstances will be Russia's continued denial that a state-sponsored program existed.

Leaders in the country have depicted the doping program that marred the 2014 Games in Sochi as the work of individuals, not the government. Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee and also a member of the IOC, doubled down on that Thursday, telling WADA members, "We absolutely deny the existence of a state-sponsored doping system."

"It is clear that an unconditional recognition of the McLaren Report is impossible," Zhukov said. "Such a requirement cannot, and should not serve as an obstacle to the full compliance of RUSADA."

The Kremlin also repeated the denial of any government backing for dopers.

"WADA's decision was unpleasant news. We disagree with this decision and consider it unfair," said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin. "We intend to continue contacts with the international sports community and organizations to defend Russia's positions. We are preparing for the Olympics."

Meanwhile, the honorary president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Leonid Tyagachev, told Govorit Moskva radio that the key whistle-blower on the Sochi scandal, former Moscow lab director Grigory Rodchenkov "simply needs to be shot for his untruths."

"If we are insulted undeservedly, then we don't [want] those kinds of Olympics and that kind of relationship," said Tyagachev, who no longer wields decision-making power in the Russian Olympic hierarchy. "We will not kneel."

USADA chief executive Travis Tygart described the latest development as "another sad moment in this entire sordid affair."

"There was really no other outcome, based on their unwillingness to admit what the flood of evidence proves," Tygart said. "Now, clean athletes are watching anxiously to see if the IOC similarly will take action to finally stand up for their rights or not."

Before last year's Summer Olympics in Rio, WADA recommended a complete ban of the Russian team but the IOC refused to go along, instead allowing individual sports federations to determine eligibility of the athletes.

In the case of the Winter Games, the IOC has already invalidated results of six Russian athletes from the Sochi Olympics and banned them from next year's Pyeongchang Games, with several more cases still to be decided.

In discussing Thursday's decision, WADA director-general Olivier Niggli said the conditions of reinstatement have been exchanged with RUSADA "over 25 times in the last 18 months," and were still not completely fulfilled. Although it's not fully reinstated, RUSADA has made improvements that allow it to collect samples from athletes, though there have been reports that the agency isn't testing the most relevant athletes.

In Moscow, RUSADA head Yuri Ganus said his agency had reformed to WADA standards and was now "completely independent," but that the key remaining demands were outside his authority.

Ganus wouldn't say if he personally accepts McLaren's findings or if the Russian government should do so, though he called the report "a very serious document."

Thursday's WADA ruling could mean Russia misses a second Paralympics after being excluded from Rio de Janeiro last year. The International Paralympic Committee board is to rule Dec. 19, spokesman Craig Spence told The Associated Press, adding that "clearly" RUSADA reinstatement remains a requirement for Russia to be admitted.

Within the Canada-U.S. women's soccer rivalry, 'friendly' remains a relative term
The Canadian Press
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- The feelings might not be as heated, the dislike not as intense, but there hasn't been a total thaw in the rivalry between the Canadian and U.S. women's national soccer teams.

Time and familiarity has dialled down the animosity that once prevailed between the two teams. But that doesn't mean all will be forgiven when Canada plays host to the United States on Thursday night at a sold-out BC Place Stadium in the first leg of a two-match international friendly series.

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair said playing for the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League has softened her attitude. She is teammates with some of the U.S. women and faces others on a regular basis.

"I've been asked so many times this week about the rivalry between the two countries," Sinclair said during a news conference in advance of the match. "For me personally it has taken a little bit of a different path.

"Player for player, things have changed. I'm friends with a bunch of them. Half of our national team plays in the NWSL with their players. It's changed in that sense."

Seeing the Canadian flags in the stands and hearing the national anthem does rekindle old fires.

"Once you put on the national team jersey, you're playing for Canada against the U.S.," Sinclair said.

"All those friendships are forgotten for 90 minutes."

Some of the U.S. players the Canadians love to hate won't be on the pitch Thursday. Abby Wambach has retired. Hope Solo isn't part of this team. That doesn't mean old grudges are forgotten.

"The rivalry is still there," said defender Becky Sauerbrunn, the U.S. co-captain. "Yes, we have a lot of new faces on both sides, but I think because of the history, that always stays within a team. It's always in the team's DNA."

One of the most famous games between the two teams was the 2012 Olympic semi-final in London, which the United States won in extra time despite a Sinclair hat trick. That match helped persuade young women on both sides of the border to take up the sport.

"A lot of the young ones [playing Thursday] watched games like the 2012 semi-final," Sauerbrunn said.

"They saw how heated that game was."

One reason the Canadians want to win so badly is because the Americans are very good - and have beaten Canada a lot. In 56 matches against the United States, Canada has a record of three wins, 47 losses and six draws. Canada's most recent win over the United States was March 11, 2001, at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

"I've been on the wrong end of a lot of results against the U.S.," said Sinclair, who grew up in nearby Burnaby, B.C. "I would love to be able to change that, especially here in Vancouver."

The U.S. women are ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA, soccer's world governing body. Canada is ranked No. 5.

The U.S. women have won three Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, seven CONCACAF Gold Cup wins and 10 Algarve Cups.

The Canadian women have been bronze medalists at back-to-back Olympics Games. In the nine matches since John Herdman became the Canadian head coach he has a record of 0-7-2 against the United States Herdman channelled his inner Rocky Balboa when talking about playing the Americans.

"In the past, it's been like a Rocky movie, but unfortunately Rocky never wins," he said. "They are a hell of battle, but there is never a happy ending for Canada."

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis understands the past between the two teams, but her focus is rebuilding after the United States was upset by Sweden in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics.

"Everything the past five or six days for us has been about our focus on ourselves," Ellis said. "Playing such a great opponent gives us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves.

"These are historically very competitive, very passionate games. For us in terms of where our team is, everything right now is about the future."

The second leg of the series will be played Nov. 12 in San Jose.

Associated Graphic

Christine Sinclair barges past German players at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Canada won a bronze. Sinclair has friends on the U.S. team, but all that will be forgotten for 90 minutes on Thursday.


Redblacks eager to go after a long layoff
The Canadian Press
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S6

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Redblacks hope rest, not rust, will be a factor Sunday afternoon against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Redblacks (8-9-1) will play host to the Roughriders (10-8-0) in the East Division semi-final and much has been made of the fact Ottawa has played just once in the past month because of a wonky schedule that saw them have two bye weeks in the final three weeks of the season.

One of their final games included a 33-32 win over the Roughriders Oct.

13. Saskatchewan won the first meeting 18-17.

While the end of the season schedule was far from ideal, the Redblacks can only hope the time off will be beneficial in the end.

"When you get to the playoffs all that outside stuff kind of goes away because everyone is so focused on winning and they know it's do-or-die football now," Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said. "I am hopeful that with the amount of rest our guys have had that our bodies are feeling good. It's pretty unique that we've only played one game in a month and hopefully we can use it to our advantage."

The rest was definitely an advantage as it allowed offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers and receiver Josh Stangby enough time to recover from injury and play on Sunday.

Rogers hasn't played since Sept. 22, but was determined not to miss a second postseason. Last year the veteran lineman missed the last two months of the season, including Ottawa's Grey Cup victory, because of an ankle injury.

"I didn't want to go through the same thing this year because it was so frustrating to watch from the sidelines last year," Rogers said. "I feel good and I'm ready to go."

The Redblacks will still be without all-star receiver Brad Sinopoli and defensive back Jerrell Gavins, with both suffering season-ending injuries. But, as the case has been much of the season, the Redblacks anticipate someone else stepping up to the challenge.

Sherrod Baltimore, who will play his first playoff game, is just one defensive back who has helped fill the void left by Gavins. The 25-yearold says he has every intention of playing his best game yet.

"Anything that happens we can handle it, coach Campbell he gives us confidence," Baltimore siad.

"Right now we're really peaking, we still can be better every game, but we're really getting confident."

Quarterback Trevor Harris would much prefer talking about the team's time off than the fact he will be making his first postseason start.

Harris seems almost annoyed when asked about taking his game to another level simply because it's the playoffs.

"It's another game, I'm not treating it any differently," Harris said. "I don't think the intensity is any different, like, oh, it's playoffs I'm going to try harder. If you're going to try harder in the playoffs are you trying hard to begin with?

"It's late in the season so the stakes are higher, I know that, but I'm just going to go out and play my game."

Too often this season the Redblacks have been their own worst enemies and can only hope to minimize mistakes against the Roughriders.

"We did shoot ourselves in the foot quite a bit and that's why we started 1-6," Harris conceded. "That's the door-die situation of the playoffs. If you shoot yourself in the foot now it's season over and you get to watch the playoffs instead of going and playing."

The Redblacks come into the playoffs as defending Grey Cup champions and strangely enough have the exact same record, 8-9-1, they had last year when they finished first in the East and had a bye to the division final, but few seem to give this year's team any chance of repeating.

Earlier in the week fullback Patrick Lavoie said no one was giving the Redblacks any respect or any chance of advancing.

"We didn't get any respect last year either," Lavoie said. "When we got to the Grey Cup no one gave us a chance to win and in the end we won."

Lavoie knows things won't be easy as they need to win the next two games to just to get to the Grey Cup, which will be held at TD Place, but he says he believes in this group.

"Anything can happen," Lavoie said.

Former teammates and managers join a thousand people at the spring training home of the Phillies to celebrate the life of pitching legend Roy Halladay
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

CLEARWATER, FLA. -- Toronto Blue Jays pitching great Roy Halladay was remembered on Tuesday as an amazing husband, father, friend and teammate who was one of the best pitchers of his generation but an even better man.

A 91-minute "Celebration of Life for Roy Halladay" attracted more than 1,000 people to Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies, one of two franchises the two-time Cy Young Award winner played for during a stellar 16-year career.

"The man made the ballplayer," Phillies owner John Middleton said, "not the other way around," Halladay died on Nov. 7 at the age of 40 when the private plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

The eight-time all-star who pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter, Halladay played for the Blue Jays from 1998-2009 and for the Phillies from 2009-13, going 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA.

The public memorial began with a video tribute and ended with Halladay's wife, Brandy, and sons, Braden and Ryan, standing on the mound and releasing butterflies from a container in a final "goodbye."

"All eyes are on me," the pitcher's wife, the last of nine speakers, said from a rostrum perched behind the mound, flanked by pictures of Halladay with the Phillies and Blue Jays, along with floral arrangements bearing the 34 and 32 jersey numbers he wore.

"I'm really fortunate that I've gotten used to that feeling. I've literally been standing next to a man for 21 years that people could not take their eyes off of," she said. "He was awe-striking. He was beautiful inside and out. Without saying a word, he seemed to always have just the right thing to say. When he did speak, people listened."

Other speakers included Halladay's dad, Roy Jr., former teammates Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Chris Carpenter, long-time baseball executive and former Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, ex-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and Blue Jays trainer George Poulis.

Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, Rays manager Kevin Cash, and one-time teammates Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jose Bautista, B.J. Ryan, A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ were among other guests.

"He didn't like to lose, so everything he did, he did to win. But there was a joy to it. I'll always remember that," Rollins said. "He made you better. That's what he did. Everywhere you went, he made everything better."

Carpenter grew up with Halladay in the Blue Jays organization; Hamels valued the 6-foot-6 right-hander as a friend, teammate and mentor; and Utley lauded the pitcher's relentless work ethic as a player.

"I saw everyday what it took to be a man among boys," Utley said.

Brandy Halladay cried throughout her 17-minute tribute, remembering her husband as a family man who loved his two sons.

Associated Graphic

Brandy Halladay, the wife of the late Roy Halladay, and her sons Braden Halladay, left, and Ryan Halladay, release 32 butterflies during a memorial tribute for Halladay in Clearwater, Fla., on Tuesday. Halladay's jersey number for the Toronto Blue Jays was 32.


EBay sizing up Toronto for AI centre
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

E Bay Inc. is eyeing Toronto as a potential hub for an artificial-intelligence "centre of excellence," as the company looks to gain an edge in an increasingly competitive digital commerce marketplace.

"There's really a booming beginning of an ecosystem around AI, and AI is incredibly important to our company," eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig told The Globe and Mail this week. "... Google's put some stakes down here, Facebook's put some stakes down here, so we're looking at whether that's something we would do as well."

The commerce website and its subsidiaries, ticketing-resale marketplace Stubhub and the classifieds website Kijiji, run their Canadian operations out of Toronto, with about 250 employees. Mr. Wenig declined to provide more details about his "stealth mission" in the city this week, except to say that the city's AI infrastructure - as well as its talent, capital and startup ecosystem - had caught his eye.

The company has numerous engineering-and-development "centres of excellence" outside of its San Jose, Calif., headquarters, including in New York, Portland, Ore., and Israel, Mr. Wenig said. "The real question is," he continued, "will a 22-year-old hotshot engineer want to work there? That is the world we live in."

On Thursday, the company also announced an expansion of its partnership with Ottawa's Shopify Inc. that will allow the latter's merchants to list and sell their products on eBay's Canadian website using their Shopify account.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr. Wenig discussed the company's strategy, its competition and its relationship with Canada.

Where is Canada in terms of growth in e-commerce versus the United States?

It's about half the e-commerce penetration. I do think it will change - it's changing everywhere in the world.

There's no particular reason. Technology is highly adopted here, broadband penetration is highly adopted. There's all the conditions for e-commerce. I don't think Canada's going to be immune to 30-, 40-, 50-per-cent e-commerce penetration rates eventually.

What's your relationship with Shopify?

What Shopify does is enable small merchants with tools and technology. What eBay does is build a global-scale marketplace. They're very complementary. That doesn't mean that in some areas we might not overlap, but in technology, there's nobody that's purely complementary; it's co-op-etition everywhere.

But with Shopify, I really see very little of it. Our job is to in many ways be a tech partner, to be a global marketplace and create demand.

How do you differentiate yourself from Amazon?

The world doesn't need an almostas-good Amazon; it needs a better eBay. For me, differentiation means three things. It means the inventory that people buy, the product experience that they buy it in, and the brand. In all three of those, we have pushed hard to be modern and inspiring and useful, but different.

Some people have a more historic view of what eBay does, but the majority of the time, you will find a better price on eBay than anywhere else. The product experience is a big evolution that we've been pushing, using structured data, building a catalogue. And the goal there is to make it simple, modern and inspiring.

You said people have a 'historic view' of the company. Why do you think that is?

I think we've allowed them to have that. We should look inside first; it's our job to make sure consumers know what we do. We've never really, until recently, been a brand advertiser. We've never, until recently, significantly changed the product experience. So I don't blame anybody other than ourselves. It's a great business and one of the great success stories in digital, but there's no doubt there's a brand gap. We're going to close that.

What are your thoughts on NAFTA and trade with Canada?

We are one of the world's largest facilitators of cross-border trade.

Whether it's rhetoric or policy, things that put friction in trade, we don't like. On NAFTA, I'm sure there are plenty of issues both ways. One of the things we would like to see is Canada relax its de minimis customs exemption of $20.

I don't think Canada understands the impact that that has on its small businesses. They say, 'It's low, therefore we're protecting our retail sector.' It also constrains exports of small businesses, because you're taxed on returns. Our merchant population in Canada, 99 per cent of them are exporters. They are selling half of what they could be because they will not sell something that might get returned.

Because if it's over $20, then it gets hit with a tariff. Canada should raise its de minimis customs exemption, and its small business sector will grow.

eBay's stock has risen more than 25 per cent since the end of July, 2015, the month you became CEO and PayPal was spun off - but PayPal's stock has almost doubled in price since then. How do you feel about the spinoff now?

I think focus is a good thing. PayPal is a payments business that is more and more like a financial service business, and they're doing a great job. But that isn't what we do. We allow merchants on eBay to pay and get paid. That's different from being in the payments business, where you are enabling payments outside your own ecosystem. At the point that that business got bigger than enabling business on PayPal, it started to become a very different company. And it's working for them, but it wasn't our company.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Associated Graphic

Devin Wenig, president and chief executive officer of eBay Inc. - seen in May at a conference in California - says the world doesn't need an Amazon clone; it needs a better eBay.


As protectionism rises, BMO places bet on trade
Bank's Singapore office set to continue trend of Canadian lenders opening gateway sites to boost brands
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Global trade winds may be blustery, but that hasn't stopped Bank of Montreal from dropping anchor in Singapore to pursue new business.

With its deep harbour and sophisticated port, Singapore is the gateway to a rich corridor for worldwide trade, and BMO has been mulling an investment to build out its capabilities in the Southeast Asian hub for at least four years. But it was only in the past year that the plan turned serious.

Offices such as the one BMO has been building in Singapore serve as a gateway to introduce new clients to the rest of the bank. Its global trade division already "supports" a dime of every dollar of revenue generated by its capital markets arm, and that contribution has increased in recent years, Jeffrey Shell, managing director and cohead of global trade and banking at BMO, said in an interview.

But financing trade has never been an easy way to make a buck.

Around the world, many banks have retrenched from trade finance, fretting about high costs, fraud risks and uncertainty surrounding key deals. The value of global trade has been in sharp decline for more than two years even as trade volumes keep rising - a historical rarity driven by sagging commodity prices and a changing Chinese economy. And difficult negotiations over the future of the North American freetrade agreement and Brexit have only increased tensions, hampering trade flows.

Even so, BMO is paddling against the protectionist tide. Having a full-scale office in Singapore gives the bank greater access to a cluster of nine Southeast Asian countries from Thailand to Indonesia that are collectively home to more than 600 million people.

"Canadian and U.S. companies care more about that market and are using that as a footprint for procurement, for assembly and producing goods that are consumed by other emerging and developed economies," Mr. Shell said.

"It's a really important part of the future world."

BMO's key locations outside North America are in Hong Kong and mainland China, London and now Singapore. About half of the bank's 100-plus customer-facing staff in global trade and banking are located outside Canada, and it has teams in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. BMO's new chief executive officer, Darryl White, declared in a recent interview that "we're the largest trade bank in Canada" - a claim that is neither easily verified nor obviously contested.

In Singapore, BMO bulked up its staff with credit specialists and compliance officers and added the ability to locally process the stacks of documents that still make trade work. New capabilities are now coming online, giving BMO the ability to finance imports and supply chains for companies doing business in emerging markets.

In theory, there's ample opportunity in trade. According to the Asian Development Bank, a $1.5trillion trade gap is keeping small and medium-sized businesses from getting the financing they need to trade and move into new markets, as many banks choose to lower their risks.

The mechanics of trade are antiquated, manual and mostly still paper-based: On average, HSBC processes $1-million (U.S.) of trade each minute, and burns through 100 million pieces of paper a year.

It's also difficult to screen goods and cash changing hands across jurisdictions - through trucks, ports and customs bureaus - for money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions violations. The cost of a major fraud slipping through a bank's controls can include hefty fines and severe reputational damage.

BMO copes with those risks by "overinvesting" to beef up compliance controls, Mr. Shell said. The bank hires staff with local expertise in offshore offices to forge close relationships with clients. And it has joined a pair of pilot projects experimenting with smart contracts that could execute trade faster and more safely using distributed ledger technology.

But BMO has also reviewed its trade relationships, cutting ties where the bank couldn't make an economic case for taking the risks.

"Being a 200-year-old bank, that isn't something we play games with," Mr. Shell said.

"Because we have people inmarket, they don't just know these people over the phone or just look at their data over Bloomberg; they know these people," he added. "Our compliance people know their compliance people."

Other Canadian banks have taken differing approaches to trade finance. TD Securities Inc., an arm of Toronto-Dominion Bank with a fifth of its global transaction banking staff in offshore offices reaching from London to Hong Kong and Singapore, has made a specialty of facilitating large, long-term trade finance transactions guaranteed by sovereign export agencies. For example, TD arranged and agreed to underwrite a series of 12-year, U.S.-backed loans that allowed Air Canada to buy its first seven Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

National Bank of Canada has a sales force of about 25 international trade managers spread across Canada who are tasked with supporting commercial clients wherever they do business, but its trade footprint outside the country is limited.

Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce declined to comment. Royal Bank of Canada executives were not available for an interview.

For BMO, trade is a calling card to connect with new clients and introduce them to other parts of the bank - starting with payments and foreign exchange, through to asset management and other business lines.

"The most international interface at BMO is global trade and banking," Mr. Shell said. "Trade is a conduit for us to do a whole lot more."

Associated Graphic

People commute during the evening rush hour in Singapore in 2015. Singapore is an entry point to a rich corridor for worldwide trade.


EU sides with Bombardier in trade fight against the United States
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL -- The European Union is backing Britain in its trade dispute with the United States over Bombardier Inc.'s C Series airliner, saying preliminary duties of 300 per cent levied by U.S. authorities on the high-tech plane have no basis in international law.

The EU fired a warning shot this week, saying in a Nov. 14 brief to the U.S. Department of Commerce that it considers the preliminary duties imposed on the C Series to be unwarranted. It also took issue with the Commerce probe itself.

"This investigation shows significant shortcomings, both regarding the findings as well as concerning the methodologies applied," the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said in the brief. The commission said it doubts that the procedures used to establish the duties are compatible with World Trade Organization rules.

The involvement by the EU widens the geographic scope of the trade battle and raises the stakes as the continent's 28 member states line up behind Britain and Canada, putting the United States on the defensive just as talks on renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement resume in Mexico City.

Boeing Co., whose complaint against Bombardier's marquee airplane triggered anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations by the Department of Commerce, has repeatedly tried to characterize the dispute as one pitting two companies against each other. But as Europe wades into the fray, it's clear this is now a multination battle with widening implications. Brazil is not directly involved but sides with Boeing, alleging state subsidies allowed Bombardier to survive and offer its aircraft below production costs to the detriment of its home-grown champion Embraer.

Boeing filed a trade complaint against Bombardier last April, alleging the Canadian plane maker used unfair government subsidies to clinch an important contract for 75 CS 100 planes to Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines at "absurdly low" sale prices. Commerce sided with Boeing in rulings in September and October and slapped preliminary import duties totalling 300 per cent on C Series planes. That legal process continues with final rulings expected by the U.S. International Trade Commission early next year.

Bombardier denies any wrongdoing and says Boeing cannot prove it was harmed by the Canadian company's actions because it did not offer Delta any planes of its own.

Canada, Britain and Quebec, which all provided support to Bombardier to get the C Series to market, say their investments adhere to international rules.

"Boeing is underestimating what they are tackling. It's not just the company but countries" that they're targeting, Bombardier chief executive officer Alain Bellemare said at an investors conference in Boston Tuesday. "Unfortunately, I think they're taking advantage of a [political] context that's favourable to them."

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he warned U.S. President Donald Trump that the trade dispute was blocking "any military procurements from Boeing." It has been the standard line in Ottawa for months that Boeing, having failed to act as a trusted or valued partner, has effectively been shut out of any new federal contracts.

The preliminary duties against Bombardier have also caused outrage in Britain, where the Montrealbased company is one of the biggest private-sector employers in Northern Ireland. About 4,000 Bombardier workers in East Belfast build wings for the C Series as well as other aerospace components.

Europe's backing is awkward for Britain, highlighting the potential advantages of belonging to a big trading bloc as the country negotiates an exit from the EU. An unnamed EU official told the Financial Times newspaper that Brussels intervened in the case to defend both the Belfast plant and aerospace suppliers across Europe that stood to be affected by the U.S. crackdown.

Europe's stance would pave the way for EU action at the WTO level if the United States presses ahead and finalizes import duties against the C Series, the Financial Times said. Canada would also examine various avenues of appeal.

Bombardier last month announced a deal to cede majority control of the C Series program to Europe's Airbus Group SE for no upfront financial consideration. The partners plan to build C Series planes for U.S. customers at Airbus's existing plant in Mobile, Ala., to bypass any duties.

The European Union, in its analysis of the Commerce Department's preliminary determination rulings, contested the findings on multiple grounds.

In the anti-dumping part of the case, the EU pointed out that no C Series airplane has been built for a U.S. customer yet, and none has been imported into the United States.

Therefore, there has been no dumping under WTO rules. Further, it said Commerce asked Bombardier to provide sales information when no U.S. sales have taken place.

"It is a flagrant violation of the basic rules of due process if an administration requires a party to submit data on something that does not exist and that, as a consequence, it is unable to provide," the EU said.

"Bombardier simply did not have production and sales data due to the absence of production and sales."

Bombardier (BBD.B)

Close: $3.07, down 4¢

Associated Graphic

The way in which the U.S. Commerce Department slapped 300 per cent in duties on the Bombardier C Series aircraft has been called 'a flagrant violation of the basic rules of due process' by the European Union.


Aphria defiant amid possible ban from TSX
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

The stalemate between Canada's largest stock exchange and its biggest publicly listed cannabis company with assets in the United States shows no signs of lifting any time soon.

A month ago, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) said it would ban shares of marijuana companies found to be in violation of U.S. federal drug law from its market. It plans to initiate a sector-wide review by the end of the year, but has yet to publicly lay out how it will enforce its policy.

Canadian grower Aphria Inc., whose stock is listed on the TSX with a $1.3-billion market cap, has assets in Arizona and Florida, two states that have permitted the use of the drug for medical purposes.

TSX parent TMX Group Ltd. could force Aphria to choose between its TSX listing or its stake in the fastgrowing cannabis industry south of the border. Selling off its U.S. positions isn't on the table, says Vic Neufeld, Aphria's chief executive officer, noting that the prospects are too promising.

In digging in its heels, Aphria remains in the crosshairs of the TSX's policy shift. But Mr. Neufeld is content to play the waiting game - at least for now.

"We don't know where this dialogue is heading," Mr. Neufeld said. "There is no urgency from them."

Hanging in the balance is the future of Aphria's stock listing on the TSX, Canada's main exchange, at a time when cannabis stocks have never been hotter. Mr. Neufeld said the uncertainty over Aphria's listing status could be having an effect on its shares. In 2017, Aphria shares have gained 38 per cent, while rival Canopy Growth Inc. stock has jumped 89 per cent.

Mr. Neufeld estimates that clarity on this issue could be at least a year away, including the appeals process if Aphria has to pursue that route.

"I think there are still investors on the sidelines because they just want clarity," he added. "It's going to be months before that's going to happen."

A spokesperson for TMX declined multiple requests for comment.

While based in Leamington, Ont., Aphria has many ties to the U.S. cannabis market. But the biggest - and most contentious in the eyes of the TSX - are a non-controlling stake in Arizona-based Copperstate Farms and a 37.6-per-cent stake in the common shares of publicly listed Liberty Health Sciences Inc., which operates a greenhouse to grow cannabis in Florida.

"We don't want to say goodbye to Copperstate. It has far too much value," said Mr. Neufeld, noting that Arizona's growing base of patients and its dry desert climate make the state a prime locale for cannabis.

"Somehow, directly or indirectly, Aphria will continue to be part of Copperstate."

One option would be to move its stake in Copperstate off its books and on to Liberty's. But this is more complicated than it might seem at first glance.

As part of the agreement with the other owners of Copperstate, any transaction involving ownership of the shares includes a 180-day waiting period for the company's other shareholders to review the deal. This could slow down how quickly Aphria might be able to respond to concerns raised by the TSX. These shareholders could also pull the trigger on a right of first refusal, which would allow them to scoop up Aphria's stake.

But this assumes that the TSX will permit Aphria's ownership in Liberty. That's far from certain.

The company met with exchange officials the week the TSX issued its new policy. The meeting was "amicable, cordial, engaging," but inconclusive, Mr. Neufeld says. He believes the TSX won't be willing to allow companies to keep ties to U.S. assets that are immaterial or indirectly owned. But nothing is set in stone.

Aphria isn't willing to budge on Liberty, whose shares are listed on another stock market called the Canadian Securities Exchange.

It says it is willing to defend its position by sharing its support from its U.S.-based law and government relations firms. In return, Aphria is also asking to see the information on which the TSX is basing its policy.

"The Liberty part is the fight we will fight," Mr. Neufeld said. "We do not control Liberty. Aphria does not.

Liberty is on the CSE. We have influence, yes. We own 37 per cent, yes.

But we don't control."

In the meantime, as the TSX embarks on its review, Aphria is moving ahead with its business plan.

The company is planning growth in Canada, spending at least $137million on a project to expand its facility in Leamington so it can produce more. It is looking for other ways to grow abroad, as it looks to export its low-cost method of growing cannabis. It made its first shipment of cannabis oil to an Australian medical life science company in October.

Still, if Aphria and the TSX can't come to terms, Aphria can always list its shares elsewhere.

"If push came to shove, if we were right against the wall, the option of re-listing somewhere else is always on the table," Mr. Neufeld said.

Aphria (APH) Close: $8.60, down 36¢

Fight with CRA could cost Loblaw $350-million
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

With Canadian-owned offshore companies facing increasing scrutiny, a Loblaw Cos. Ltd. affiliate is fighting the Canada Revenue Agency over taxes on the earnings of a Barbadian subsidiary, in a battle that could cost the grocer more than $350-million.

The case, which began with an appeal launched by Loblaw Financial Holdings Inc. at the Tax Court of Canada in 2015, is actively continuing: a teleconference among the parties took place just last week, and hearings are scheduled for April, 2018, according to court documents.

The story begins in the early 1990s, when Loblaw set up a company in Barbados using money generated outside of Canada, including from U.S. supermarkets. It was soon named Glenhuron Bank Ltd. and licensed as an offshore bank. It invested in U.S.-dollar debt and derivatives, managed assets for others in exchange for fees, and for several years managed a portfolio of loans provided to independent distributors of products sold by indirect units of Loblaw parent George Weston Ltd., Loblaw filings say. A Crown filing indicates that Loblaw transferred nearly half a billion U.S. dollars to the bank, largely from other international affiliate companies.

"Barbados was selected for a number of reasons, including that it had an established and trusted legal system, a well-educated local work force, an international tax treaty with Canada, and a favourable tax rate compared to other tax treaty countries," Loblaw spokesman Kevin Groh said.

Loblaw dissolved the bank in 2013, the company says in one document, in order to use the money to help fund its $12.4-billion takeover of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. But by then, the CRA had begun to ask hard questions about the taxes Loblaw was paying on the bank's earnings.

At the core of the case is a conflict over whether certain investment income from Glenhuron Bank was eligible for an Income Tax Act exception afforded to "foreign banks" that would exempt it from being taxed as income in Canada.

Loblaw believes the subsidiary should have been granted that exemption, claiming it fulfilled all qualifications of a foreign bank, including that it had more than five full-time active employees and primarily did business with arm'slength persons. But the Crown insists it shouldn't qualify, and that Loblaw should pay taxes on $473million of the bank's income.

"It's a typical struggle," said Art Cockfield, a tax-law professor at Queen's University who has worked at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. It was perfectly normal - and possibly competitively advantageous - for Loblaw to set up the offshore subsidiary, he said, adding that a dispute such as this does not suggest the CRA believes a company has done anything illegal.

Loblaw, Canada's largest grocery chain and retailer, said in its latest annual report that if CRA were to prevail, the result would have "a material adverse effect on the Company's reputation, operations or financial condition or performance."

Also under dispute have been whether CRA calculated the $473million correctly, and whether the Crown properly invoked "general anti-avoidance rules," which are designed to deny tax benefits in instances where it believes there is a misuse of Income Tax Act provisions.

In 2005, the CRA began to audit the company's 2001 taxation year, eventually expanding the audit's scope through to 2010. It found the company hadn't reported $473-million in "foreign accrual property income" - or FAPI, which encompasses certain passive income from investments, such as interest and royalties - from the taxation years 2001 through 2005, as well as 2008 and 2010.

Loblaw said in its 2016 annual report that its reassessment total was $351-million including interest and penalties, encompassing the taxation years 2001 through 2011.

The company believes the CRA could also issue similar reassessments for 2012 and 2013. "No amount for any reassessments has been provided for in the Company's consolidated financial statements," the report says.

Many Canadian companies operate international subsidiaries in Barbados, which Statistics Canada said in April was home to the thirdhighest amount of Canadian direct investment abroad - with an estimated $68.3-billion there at the end of 2016.

The Globe and Mail first reported on the Loblaw-CRA dispute regarding Glenhuron Bank income in 2016. As part of the Paradise Papers document leak this week, the Toronto Star and CBC reported that Loblaw had set up two companies in Barbados and Bermuda involved with insuring balances from President's Choice Financial MasterCards.

In a statement, Mr. Groh, the Loblaw spokesman, said a company called Glenhuron Holdings Ltd. - first established in Bermuda and separate from Glenhuron Bank and the CRA dispute - "had an interest in a reinsurer that provides a group creditor insurance program offered to PC Mastercard's customers."

Both companies, he said, "paid all applicable taxes, were known to the CRA and were dissolved in 2013 to fund our Canadian business."

A CRA spokesman said the agency was unable to discuss the case, citing confidentiality provisions in the Income Tax Act, but said that increased funding over the past two years have allowed it to "hire more auditors to review filings of large multinationals and improve its risk assessment tools," and can now risk-assess all large multinational companies annually.

Telus rides wireless wave, but costs rise
Wireless customer turnover far below rivals as company spends more to acquire, keep subscribers
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Telus Corp.'s third-quarter numbers fell just short of profit expectations as it spent more on handset subsidies and marketing to woo and keep wireless subscribers - a strategy it has said is an investment in the future as it leads the industry in hanging on to those customers.

The Vancouver-based telecommunications company said Thursday that it added 115,000 new mobile customers on contracts in the third quarter, well ahead of average analyst estimates closer to 90,000. It said its rate of wireless customer turnover, known as churn, came in at 0.86 per cent, which is far below its rivals in the industry.

While Telus said customers are spending more as they migrate to higher-use monthly plans and consume more data on their devices, the company also spent more on smartphone subsidies, advertising and promotion to acquire and keep subscribers.

Yet, Telus insists that its low rate of churn and ever-growing average revenue per user (ARPU) set it apart from its national rivals by combining to produce higher lifetime revenue from loyal customers who stick around with a company they like.

"Telus drove record lifetime revenue of more than $6,500 per subscriber. This represents an increase of 16 per cent as compared to a year ago," chief executive officer Darren Entwistle said on a call with investors on Thursday, adding that it is higher than both BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc., neither of which break out that figure in their reports.

Telus is the last of the Big Three national carriers to report and its wireless results follow its peers' steady growth in new contract customers, even though it came in third behind BCE with 117,000 and Rogers with 129,000 in the period.

Over all, Canada's Big Three added 361,000 new contract wireless subscribers in the busy third quarter, which includes the back-to-school season, compared with 308,000 in the same period last year.

BCE leads the pack in terms of ARPU, bringing in $69.78 per month on average from its wireless subscribers (that figure includes prepaid accounts as well as those on contracts). Telus reported ARPU of $68.67 for the third quarter while Rogers, which has the largest base of lower-paying prepaid customers, posted ARPU of $63.70.

Telus's profit in the third quarter increased by 4.2 per cent to $370million or 62 cents per share. On an adjusted basis it reported earnings of 66 cents per share, missing the consensus forecast of 69 cents.

Total revenue at the company was up 4 per cent to $3.37-billion and EBITDA grew by 4.4 per cent to $1.23-billion, both falling just short of estimates. (EBITDA is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

Telus also announced an increase in its quarterly dividend Thursday, raising it to 50.5 cents per share, up from 49.25 cents.

It's the second hike in the payout in 2017 and is in line with the company's focus on returning capital to shareholders even as it spends billions on a multiyear program to increase home internet speeds by bringing fibre-optic cable directly to customers' doors.

Telus says it will be halfway through that plan by early next year, which means its heavy spending will begin to ease up and it expects to return to having positive growth in free cash flow in 2018.

The company provided an early estimate of capital expenditures on Thursday, saying it expects to spend $2.85-billion in 2018, less than the $3-billion it has projected for this year and also less than some analysts had expected.

Telus shares were up 0.91 per cent or 43 cents, closing at $47.52 on Thursday as analysts lauded the anticipated decrease in spending.

"While the capex decline in 2018 may appear modest, we believe it sends a strong positive signal to the Street on free cash flow given capex has been increasing since 2011," Barclay's Capital analyst Phillip Huang said Thursday.

The company's fibre investments come as western rival Shaw Communications Inc. is aggressively marketing its own high-speed internet and an improved television product to compete with Telus's IPTV (internet protocol television) offering.

Telus added 19,000 new internet customers, which was up from 14,000 in the third quarter last year and about in line with Shaw's results for the period.

On the television front, Telus said on its earnings call that it added 12,000 new IPTV customers, which was more than analysts expected and ahead of the 5,000 new cable customers Shaw said it added.

Telus (T) Close: $47.52, up 43¢

Toronto, Vancouver house prices seen showing long-term rise
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

The housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver are poised for major longterm price growth as booming demand and inadequate supply overwhelm recent policy efforts to cool those markets, according to a new report from economist Benjamin Tal.

Mr. Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc., said home sales in Canada's two most expensive cities will flatten or even soften in the next year but the slowdown will be limited by strong demand.

"If you think those cities are unaffordable now, just wait," Mr. Tal said in an interview. "I think that from a long-term perspective, everything we are doing is temporary. The fundamentals are way too strong offsetting all of that."

Canada's banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), recently announced new mortgage stresstesting rules that make it harder to qualify for new mortgages, and the provincial governments of British Columbia and Ontario have introduced new measures to cool housing markets in and around Vancouver and Toronto. But none of those factors will do much over the long term to slow the forces pushing prices higher in both cities, Mr. Tal argues.

"Those fundamentals not only will prevent a dramatic decline, but will lead to a strong increase from a longterm perspective over the next five to 10 years," he said. "If you're an investor or if you think of housing from a long-term perspective, all the fundamentals point to even a tighter market."

Mr. Tal's report, scheduled to be released on Tuesday, says future demand for new housing is being underestimated by policy makers, while supply is growing more slowly than anticipated - particularly in the Toronto region.

The report predicts that the new mortgage stress-testing rules announced in October will prove to be just a speed bump in housingmarket demand in Vancouver and Toronto. That's because many people will find ways around the rule changes by extending the amortization period on their mortgage to reduce payments, by opting for variable-rate mortgages or by using exceptions allowed for people with significant assets, Mr. Tal said.

Others will turn to non-bank lenders because they are not covered by OSFI's banking regulations.

The report said a record-high 10 per cent of new mortgages in Ontario are now being provided by private lenders - primarily mortgage-investment corporations - according to Teranet mortgage data.

Mr. Tal predicts that percentage will grow in the next year as mainstream banks turn down more people because of the new rules.

While the report predicts that 10 per cent to 15 per cent of mortgage applications will be affected by the new rules, it forecasts a drop of just 5 per cent to 7 per cent in the value of new mortgages written next year because many applicants will find ways around the rules.

"In the past, borrowers have seen tremendous ability to adjust to new situations, and we doubt that things will be different this time," the report says.

Mr. Tal says Ontario's Places to Grow Act, which sets out land-use planning and development rules for the Toronto region up to 2031, is running seven to 10 years behind schedule in terms of the anticipated release of land for development, so supply cannot keep up with demand. He adds that the delays could increase as the province makes adjustments to the density rules in the plan, potentially delaying project approvals further.

Of the 338,000 hectares of land in the Toronto region covered by the plan, the report says 16,000 are vacant land where housing development could still occur and only 3,000 hectares, or 23 per cent of that land, are at the stage in which development applications are in process.

"The other 77 per cent is not remotely close to being designated or approved," the report says. "And at this rate, much of that land will take years to find its way to the market."

The report predicts the supply gap will widen further because the land first released for use was "lowhanging fruit" that was ready for development when the growth plan was implemented. Some of the land already had construction projects launched. The report also argues that policy makers are underestimating the long-term housing demand in Toronto and Vancouver from new immigrants and non-permanent residents, primarily students and foreign workers. Housing demand would also be higher if more young adults could afford to move out on their own.

The share of people 20 to 35 who live with their parents climbed to 35 per cent in 2016 from 33 per cent in 2011.

Bombardier 'in no rush' to land rail deal, Bellemare says
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL -- Bombardier Inc. faces no urgency in striking a rail deal of its own following Siemens AG's announcement in September that it chose France's Alstom SA as a merger partner, its chief executive officer says.

"This is a chess game," Alain Bellemare told an audience Tuesday at an investment conference in Boston organized by Goldman Sachs. "There's one move here, there's another move there but you need to keep your eye on the game. And the good news for me right now is we are in no rush to make a move. I mean, I would rather keep assessing all the options, all possibilities, see where things could go or what could happen."

Confirming publicly for the first time Bombardier was in talks with Siemens about a merger, Mr. Bellemare said he sees no change in the competitive landscape that would force Bombardier into a partnership in the short term. He said European rivals will take time to win regulatory approval for their merger and longer to combine their operations.

The CEO is leading a five-year turnaround effort that has seen his team slash costs and raise money to get the flagship C Series commercial airliner to market.

The company last month reached an agreement to partner with France's Airbus Group SA to help market and build the plane.

Profit margins for the company's train business, one of its two most important segments together with private aircraft, came in at 8.5 per cent in its latest quarter as management reduced the workforce and boosted sales. Bombardier is working to improve contract execution in the train business while booking more contracts that use existing designs.

Analysts have said the SiemensAlstom merger significantly narrows the strategic options for Bombardier Transportation, as Bombardier's rail division is called, as the Canadiancontrolled company tries to improve its global standing. The marriage of Germany's biggest train business with France's biggest creates what will be Europe's dominant rail manufacturer with combined annual sales of about 15.3-billion ($22.3-billion).

The new company would be the world's second-largest train company after China's CRRC Corp.

In a presentation to analysts on their tie-up, Siemens-Alstom said they expect to generate double-digit margins by fiscal 2020.

Bombardier was in the hunt to partner with Siemens as well and its proposal was under consideration by the German company's board until the end, high-level sources confirmed. But the politics of a FrancoGerman industrial champion proved too difficult to overcome as leaders from both countries articulated an ambition behind the scenes to create a pan-European rail champion. The French government, which controls 19.9 per cent of Alstom, threw its weight behind the merger.

Bombardier has other potential rail merger partners, including Stadler Rail of Switzerland and Spain's Grupo CAF, but they are not as big and could require more legwork.

Joining forces with a Japanese manufacturer is also possible.

Bombardier should look at all remaining options for its rail business, including partnering with stateowned CRRC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec CEO Michael Sabia said earlier this month. Mr. Sabia said Bombardier considers the rail unit to be a core long-term asset and would not sell it outright. The Caisse bought a 30-per-cent stake in the business in 2015 for $1.5-billion (U.S.).

Bruno Le Maire, France's Finance Minister, has suggested he would be open to Bombardier joining Siemens-Alstom at a later date. But Mr. Sabia said that arrangement would be tough to execute. "A three-party dance is a complicated dance," he told reporters in Toronto on Nov. 1.

"It's hard not to step on people's toes."

Mr. Bellemare's comments came as Bombardier announced it struck a deal to sell 12 C Series aircraft to African carrier EgyptAir in a deal worth roughly $1.1-billion before discounts.

It is the second C Series order clinched by Bombardier since its C Series partnership with Airbus announced Oct. 16.

Bombardier (BBD.B)

Close: $3.11, up 5¢

Eight seconds
The life and death of a cowboy Marty Klinkenberg spent the summer with Pozzobon's colleagues on the professional bull-riding tour to examine how a way of life in the West threatens the health of men who do it for love, and how the young cowboy from Merritt, B.C., could be the catalyst for change the sport desperately needs
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

Ty Pozzobon's suicide last January exposed bull riding's concussion crisis. Only 25, a son and brother, a newlywed, and a rising star, he would also become bull riding's first confirmed case of CTE.

Among the factors that led to his death: concussions too numerous to count, stubbornness to acknowledge the dangers of head trauma, and a lack of consistent and fitting medical oversight to protect bull riders from themselves and the near-tonne animals they compete against


In the six months before he killed himself, Ty Pozzobon was the best bull rider in Canada.

Over the summer of 2016, he won more events than he had in the previous five years. He was so good, he earned $100,000 at the world championships, the biggest prize of his career.

At the same time, he began pulling away from friends. His marriage, barely a year old, was in trouble. He had been knocked unconscious while riding bulls at least 13 times.

Though he didn't know it, he was afflicted with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative neurological disease that claims the lives of hockey tough guys and football players who suffer too many blows to the head.

He was having balance issues and could not eat. He could not sleep and had trouble remembering things. He talked about being sad and not knowing what he was going to do with his life. He was anxious and angry.

"In that last year, some of the things he was doing were uncharacteristic, and they brought out an uncharacteristic side in me, too," says Jayd Pozzobon, left a widow at 25 years old. "I was hurt and shocked and didn't understand what was going on.

"I think even he didn't know how bad it was."

She was training barrel-racing horses in Stephenville, Tex., in April, 2012, when they met.

They were introduced by one of his buddies, a fellow bull rider. Within two weeks, they were a couple.

"When I met Ty, it was the most whole I felt in my entire life," Jayd says, voice trembling. "I told him, 'I don't care where you take me or what we do, as long as I have you.' "There is not a single person that met him that didn't absolutely fall in love with him. He had the best heart, and most giving and positive soul."

Jayd's mom is a barrel racer and her dad is a former bull rider who raises bucking bulls. Her grandmother rode a bull, just once, to prove women could do it.

Her parents divorced when she was 17. She moved out of her mother's house in Gonzales, Tex., the day after she finished high school.

After Ty took his own life on Jan. 9, 2017, she moved back in.

Her Instagram feed shows pictures of the widow and her cowboy. In one, their hands are clasped as she shows off an engagement ring.

In another, Ty sleeps with his arms wrapped around the great Pyrenees puppy she received as a gift at her bridal shower.

They married on a friend's ranch near Gonzales on Oct. 11, 2015. He wore a light-beige cowboy hat and a bow tie. She wore a pretty white dress and carried wildflowers. Their first dance was to Stand By Me. He was still on the mend from a broken femur suffered riding a bull a month earlier.

After their wedding, Jayd moved from Texas to British Columbia. They lived outside Merritt, up a mountainside from Ty's parents. Soon, they began having problems.

"A lot of guilt runs through your mind and your heart, thinking, 'Did I cause this, or what could I have done different?' " Jayd says. "I would say, 'We are working on our marriage and you just had the best year of your career.

You have the best family in the world and everybody loves you so much. What's wrong?' "He couldn't explain it.

"It was not his fault," she says. "I think there was a reason for his behaviour. Brain injuries played a major role."


He suffered one concussion after another over the five years they were together. The worst occurred in Saskatoon on Nov. 14, 2014.

That night, Pozzobon was thrown off at the end of a ride aboard a hulking black bovine named Boot Strap Bill. The 5-foot-9, 135-pound cowboy was already unconscious as he flew through the air. When he landed, the bull, 12 times Ty's weight, stomped on his helmet and split it in two. Then, as he lay on his stomach with his face to one side in the dirt, Boot Strap Bill's hoof came down on the back of his skull.

He didn't regain consciousness for 24 minutes.

"I will never forget it," says Ted Stovin, a former bull rider. "It scared the hell out of all of us. I thought he was dead."

Ty's mother, Leanne, has never watched the video. His dad, Luke, watched once. Luke rode bulls professionally, but stopped when he and Leanne were married in March, 1990.

Father and son shared the same passion.

They raised bucking bulls together, and Ty would call his dad after every ride. That night, Ty did not call. Leanne learned he had been hurt when she saw it mentioned online.

"I was frantic," she says. "I kept phoning. He didn't pick up."

When Leanne finally reached him, he slurred words. He was taken to the hospital, but released after a few hours.

"He couldn't even talk properly," Leanne says.

In Texas, Jayd got a call that Ty had a serious concussion.

"As sad as it is, I was used to him being knocked out," she says. "I was ignorant to the facts of what I was dealing with. I thought if he was conscious, everything was fine."

The next morning, Ty called Jayd from a taxi. He could not remember where he was going. The driver told her Ty asked to be taken to the airport. Jayd told him not to board a plane. A family friend was dispatched to pick him up. Ty was taken to his best friend Tanner Byrne's home, in Prince Albert.

When she arrived that night, Jayd realized something was wrong. Ty fumbled with his words. At one point, he got lost between Tanner's house and his in-laws' place. They live 20 steps apart.

"He had good days and bad days, but he was never the same after that," she says. "I don't think you recover after a huge brain injury like he had."

Pozzobon took almost four months off. He saw a neurologist in Connecticut. He scored below average on every test. The doctor sent him home with a letter. It suggested that he find a new profession.

"Deep down, I think he knew he had to stop bull riding, but passion is irrational," Jayd says.

"He lived it, ate it and even dreamed about it."

Once, she found him taking a bull-riding pose in his sleep.

He resumed riding in February, 2015, on a limited basis. The 13 events in which he competed were the fewest in any year.

"After Saskatoon, I begged him to stop," Jayd says. "I told him, 'I will do anything you want if you quit.' " The first time he got on a bull after that, she threw up.

"I remember thinking, 'How can I be supportive and realistic at the same time?' " Pozzobon returned to the circuit full-time in 2016. He won more than $160,000 and had his best year as the PBR Canadian champion. He was the only participant to have four successful rides in a row in Las Vegas. Thrown off in his last two attempts on the final day, he finished fourth in the world standings.

He and Jayd spent Christmas with his family, and worked on their relationship. He killed himself in British Columbia several weeks later. He died from carbon-monoxide poisoning.

"The timing was odd," Jayd says. "He had no reason to do this if there was not something wrong internally. I definitely didn't see it coming."

Leanne took him to a doctor on Dec. 19. She was growing more and more concerned.

"I tried to get him help," she says. "I knew him better than anyone. He wasn't himself.

But I never thought he would do that."

She remembers him being joyful as a kid.

"He always loved to please everyone," she says.

On Jan. 9, he did not respond immediately, as always, when Leanne texted him. After five minutes, she knew something had happened.

He was unresponsive when she found him near his home. He died as paramedics tried to revive him. He was 25.

The last text message Jayd received from him said, "I love you baby. I can't wait to be in your arms again." THE SHOW GOES ON I t is a cold, snowy March night in Lethbridge, Alta. Bull riders file into a darkened arena. A fire is lit around them, illuminating the shape of a heart.

A crowd watches a tribute video to Ty Pozzobon. When it ends, a spotlight falls on Brett Gardiner. He sits alone on a stage.

"The bull-riding world has lost one of its very best," says Gardiner, an announcer on the Professional Bull Riders circuit. His voice cracks.

"He loved the way of life and embodied what it was. He was the true definition of a cowboy."

It is the first major event in Canada since Pozzobon's death. Riders wear Pozzy patches on their hats. Vendors sell T-shirts to raise money for the Ty Pozzobon Foundation.

Tanner Byrne and Chad Besplug started the organization to educate rodeo cowboys and bull riders about concussions a month after Ty died. They were his closest friends on the circuit.

"We want to break the stigma and start the conversation about mental health," says Besplug, a two-time Canadian champion. He announced his retirement after Ty killed himself.

In each of his final three rides, Besplug sustained concussions.

"Riding a bull while you have a head injury doesn't show how tough you are, it is just plain dumb," he says. "It doesn't heal like a broken bone. The damage sticks with you forever."

Pozzobon's reluctance to stop competing, even as his health deteriorated, is not uncommon. A cultural treasure in the Canadian and American West, bull riding has been forced to acknowledge its quiet concussion crisis.

Cowboys live for eight seconds aboard the 1,800-pound animals that sometimes want to kill them. Extreme danger is the allure.

"The guys that do this love it, despite the risks," Besplug says. "That's what makes it such a beautiful sport. If it wasn't like that, anyone could do it.

"If it was still in my heart, I would lie to my wife and family and every doctor so I could ride."

He felt for a long time that Ty would have problems caused by concussions.

"I didn't think it would happen so soon," he says. "I have guilt because of it, and I think a lot of people feel that way now.

"We realize this tragedy gives us a huge opportunity. Most people don't get this chance.

We can't fuck it up."


Bulls kick and spin and lunge as the seasonopener begins. Riders struggle to stay on for the required eight seconds.

One hand grips a rope lashed to a bull, the other whips through the air as the animal erupts. If the free hand touches the bull, the cowboy is disqualified.

A whirling beast named Darkness tosses Shay Marks in a heartbeat, then returns to its pen, hind legs kicking in the air. General Defence flings Tim Lipsett as easily as a cow chip, then nudges him with its nose as he lays on the dirt.

Some bulls take victory laps, dripping snot and drool. One chases Ty Prescott and hooks him in the butt with its horns. He is a bullfighter, one of the guys whose job is to keep the animals away from riders once they have been thrown off.

"Any bull fighter that tells you they aren't scared is either crazy or lying to you," Prescott says. "You never know when your ticket is going to get punched."

Cowboys have a reputation as tough athletes. Bull riders raise the bar. They separate shoulders, break ankles, fracture arms and tear muscles off the bone. They compete with jarring injuries, jamming broken feet into cowboy boots, bleeding openly. In a rodeo dressing room, ice packs and slings are as common as chaps and spurs.

"He was passionate about bull riding," Ty's father, Luke, says. "It was his way of life. He would tell me, 'I don't know how to do anything else.' " Concussions are frequent, hard to count and easier to hide. And riders do. They pay to enter, and prize money is hard to come by. They scrape out a living eight seconds at a time, and take unholy risks.

Getting past cowboys' reluctance to admit their vulnerability concerns Tanner Girletz, the son of a five-time national champion.

"All I know is that I didn't feel too fucking tough when I was carrying my friend in a casket," he says.

Professional Bull Riders was founded in 1992 by 20 cowboys who donated $1,000 each and broke away from rodeo to make it a standalone sport. The PBR has circuits in Canada and the United States, with its American Built Ford Tough Series being the most elite. Its final event, the PBR World Cup, is in Edmonton this week, with the finals on Saturday night. At the same time, the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association held its national championship at the Northlands Arena. For one week, Edmonton has been a bull-riding mecca. More than $2.5-million will be won.

When he was a rookie, Ty's friends played a trick on him. The day before the Canadian Finals Rodeo, they told him it was cancelled.

"It really got him going," says Scott Schiffner, bull riding's version of Sidney Crosby. The face of the sport in Canada, he gave a demonstration to Will and Kate during a royal visit, and accompanied Stephen Harper on a trade mission to China. "It was the first time I ever saw a guy cry about not being able to go to a rodeo."

When the show is over in Lethbridge, Tyler Thomson loads horses onto a trailer. His job is to rope bulls after a ride. Often, they are stubborn to return to their pens.

Ty Pozzobon stayed with Thomson's family last summer. Thomson remembers watching him walk beside his four-year-old, clutching her hand.

"My little girl loved him," the two-time Canadian bull-riding champion says. "I jokingly say he was Harlow's first boyfriend. She still sings songs about him every day."


In May, 2012, Ty Pozzobon got a concussion in Nampa, Idaho. Bucked off a bull named Chocolate Thunder, he landed on his head.

Less than a year later, he was knocked unconscious in Louisville, Ky. As he was thrown off Carolina Kicker, Pozzobon banged the back of his head against its horns.

Early in 2014, he was knocked out months apart. The second time was a vicious wreck in Fresno, Calif., on a long-horned bull named Coyote. The grandson of a bull that competed seven times at the PBR world championships, Coyote was known to chase riders down.

That night, Pozzobon ended up beneath him.

Coyote trampled his helmet, face mask, collarbone and chest.

The young cowboy was carried out of the arena on a backboard, but was soon sitting up and talking. He did not go to the hospital and the next day complained only that he was tired and had sore ribs.

"The head is the only thing I worry about," he told a communications officer on the PBR tour. "A broken arm or something like that will heal on its own."

Five months later, in Saskatoon, Boot Strap Bill cracked Pozzobon's helmet in half and kicked him in the back of the head.

"I think a lot of people were in denial about how many concussions he had, or maybe he just did a good job of convincing people he was okay," Jayd Pozzobon says. "You can see signs here and there, but you don't really know how bad it is unless you are that soul living in a body that has withstood trauma."

As a little boy on the family ranch in southcentral British Columbia, Ty rode a wooden horse around the house. At 5, he stared at steers through the fence and rubbed his hands together with excitement. After his parents taught him to rope cattle, he lassoed and rode them - facing backward - with his kid sister, Amy, taking video. His father worried their horns were sharp too so he covered them with tennis balls.

To hone his technique, Ty rigged up an apparatus that heaved and lurched like a bull. By the time he was 15, he was beating adults at amateur rodeos. He won a national highschool championship in 2009, and was the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association's top rookie the following year. He qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo three times, and competed at the Professional Bull Riders world championships in four of the past five years.

In 2016 in Las Vegas, he rode the whole week with a broken hand.

"He was a gritty sucker," Chad Besplug says.

"He would never quit."


Bull riders are independent contractors in Canada and the United States. In Canada, they compete on a handful of circuits. During the summer, some enter three or four rodeos a week to earn a living. Organizers expect riders to admit it if they have symptoms of a concussion.

"Have you ever played poker with a cowboy?" Dale Butterwick says. "They all have poker faces."

Butterwick was head athletic trainer at the University of Calgary in the early 1990s when he accompanied a friend to the Calgary Stampede and was alarmed by what he saw. He joined a group called the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team.

He and other members created a medical protocol for Canadian rodeos using their own information and by adopting guidelines from other sports. In Calgary in 2004, they presided over the first international rodeo-medicine conference.

Butterwick and 70 other health-care professionals and doctors from across North America created a plan to treat concussions. A bull rider should sit out a week when concussed and pass an exercise test before returning.

It was hoped the recommendations would be adopted by major rodeo groups. Thirteen years later, the standard has not been endorsed widely. In Canada, the Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team can suggest a cowboy is unfit to ride, but beyond that, it lacks authority.

"In other sports, a doctor can tell an athlete, 'You can't play' and they don't," says Butterwick, the chief athletic therapist for Canada's medical team at the 1988 and 1996 Olympics.

"In rodeo, there is no team physician.

"To be a skeptic, they just hope a guy is okay when he returns."

It is impossible to know how often Pozzobon competed when he should not have.

MRIs revealed that he had bleeding within his brain 20 times. After his death, Leanne discovered records that detailed concussions she never knew about, as early as when he was 17.

One time, he couldn't see out of his left eye for several hours.

"With Ty, every time he rode, there was so much effort, it caused maximum risk," Besplug says. "He pushed himself hard."

Bull riders suffer concussions when they fall, but can be injured during a successful ride.

Some black out from gravitational forces when pitched sideways and whipped back and forth.

In fractions of seconds, riders can experience a G-force as high as 26, more than fighter pilots and astronauts.

This year in Tucson, the PBR began testing technology to make scoring more precise. Sensors placed on bulls collected data on speed, spin, thrust, height and direction to measure the difficulty of a ride. One had a G-force of 18.

The average ride measured 12 Gs. The conclusions of a handful of studies over the past 25 years agree that bull riding is dangerous and the head and brain are especially vulnerable.

Through his work with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team, Butterwick helped conduct extensive research on bull riding. In 2007, the subsequent report identified it as the world's most dangerous organized sport.

The injury rate for bull riders was found to be 13 times greater than hockey players and 10 times higher than football players.

A 2011-14 study by the Justin Sportsmedicine Team, a program based in Texas, found bull riding accounted for 44 per cent of all injuries at major rodeos throughout the United States.

The head and brain suffered most, accounting for 22.7 per cent of injuries. Most are caused by contact with the animal.

An extensive study conducted between 1981 and 2005 by Mobile Sports Medicine Systems in Texas found head injuries occured most frequently and had increased since 2000, in part because bulls have been bred bigger.

In the United States, Professional Bull Riders has protocols for concussions on its Built Ford Tough Series. Only the top 35 riders in the world compete. Medical personnel see most of the same cowboys every week. Each is required to pass a concussion test at the start of the season, and is retested if one occurs.

"Bull riding is a sport where 160-pound guys and 1,600-pound bulls are adversaries," says Dr. Tandy Freeman, medical director of the tour and the Justin Sportsmedicine Team. He is an orthopedic surgeon, and for five years served as a team doctor for the Dallas Mavericks. "The guys are overmatched physically to a degree you don't see in other sports."

Freeman attends PBR events in the United States. He says no test diagnoses a concussion with 100-per-cent accuracy. The exams he and his team administer can only identify symptoms.

"As one would expect in other sports, some bull riders can be reluctant to take themselves out of competition," he says. "Those are the guys that come in and say they are not symptomatic when they are. The testing we do is designed to catch them."

In Canada, PBR riders compete on other tours, making it difficult to maintain a universal testing program.

"We have no control with what happens when riders are at events other than ours," Freeman says.

Butterwick wants all rodeo organizations to adopt strict guidelines. There are nearly 2,100 professional bull riders, almost as many athletes as in the NFL and NHL combined.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which stages more than 600 events in the United States, has no written protocol for concussions. On-site care is controlled by each individual rodeo committee. The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, which cosponsors events with the PRCA, relies on the expertise of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team.

"The whole industry needs to come together," Butterwick says. "It seems like the rodeo world is afraid somebody is going to get mad if they do something.

"The time for action is well past."


On a Saturday night in July, Brandon Thome and other members of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team arrive two hours before the start of the final round of the K-Days Rodeo in Edmonton. Thome is an athletic therapist. The team includes chiropractors, massage therapists and orthopedic surgeons. There is no doctor at events.

Cowboys with serious injuries are sent to a hospital.

The not-for-profit rodeo-medicine team is paid from the cowboys' annual dues and entrance fees. In the aftermath of Pozzobon's death, the team was booked at 60 rodeos and bull-riding events in Canada this year, up from 21 in 2016. The team has developed its own concussion protocol that follows the NHL's policy and is working with rodeo organizations in hope of implementing it.

Thome and his colleagues confer with cowboys before and after they perform. They help them stretch, apply tape and give them ice baths. They suggest exercises to soothe aches and pains, but rely on riders to tell them if they suspect they have been concussed.

Thome wants the power to pull them from competition and believes a doctor should always be on hand.

"Everybody agrees how important it is to have proper medical staff," he says. "It is how to get the proper people there and who pays for it that is the issue."

It is not certain if tighter scrutiny or stricter protocols would have prevented Pozzobon's death. He wore a helmet because he thought it would prolong his career.

Cowboys born on or after Oct. 15, 1994, must wear a helmet at PBR events.

Scott Schiffner, who was an usher at Ty Pozzobon's funeral, has ridden nearly 1,000 bulls since turning pro in 2003. He prefers a cowboy hat to a helmet.

"Some guys put them on and act bulletproof," Schiffner, 37, says. "They think they are invincible."

In 2015, Schiffner sat out the championship round of the Canadian Finals Rodeo because of a concussion. By failing to place, he did not qualify for the Calgary Stampede the following year.

He says some riders with concussions won't risk their earnings and points.

"Guys in the NHL make a million-plus a year whether they are injured or not," Schiffner says. "We don't. Until we are guaranteed money, there are guys who are not going to be 100per-cent truthful."

Even with helmets, Dr. Bennet Omalu says bull riding is unsafe. The forensic pathologist, who discovered CTE in former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster in 2002, says all contact sports are too dangerous, especially for children.

CTE is found in athletes and others with a history of repeated concussions and brain trauma. It can only be diagnosed through an autopsy. Symptoms include impulse-control problems, aggression, anxiety and depression.

Some sufferers are driven to suicide.

Not unlike other athletes, bull riders start when they are young.

"We need to look at this as a public-health issue," Omalu says. "We should not let parents expose children to harmful factors."

In January, Ty Pozzobon's funeral snarled traffic on the main street of his hometown in British Columbia.

Leanne and Luke wore Ty's PBR jackets as they led the procession into the civic centre.

The cowboys wore black hats.


The northernmost bull-riding event in North America occurs each June in Wanham, Alta. The hamlet of 125 people is an hour from the Alaskan Highway.

For 19 years, Professional Bull Riders has held an event along with Wanham's annual horse-plowing matches. Bull riding is staged in an 80-foot by 90-foot ring set up in a pasture. Ladies from a seniors centre sell pies.

"This is as grassroots as it gets," says Jason Davidson, the show's producer.

There are 1,600 people in Birch Hills County. On this night, all but about 100 turn out.

Before the show, bulls in pens stomp and throw clumps of dirt. Some roll in the mud.

One threatens to charge when a spectator tries to take a picture.

Riders arrive an hour early and congregate behind the grandstand. Most have driven nine hours from Calgary, the site of a PBR program two nights earlier. They drive to all but a handful of events. Dakota Buttar, a rider from Saskatchewan who competes in Canada and the United States, put 103,000 kilometres on a new truck last year.

More than competitors, the cowboys are a family.

"It was never just the four of us at home," Leanne says. "There were four boys sleeping in Ty's room for two years."

They root for one another, travel together, and at times sleep side by side.

Two nights before Ty died, Chad Besplug spent the night. They lay in bed together watching bull-riding videos.

Ty was so close to his mother that fellow bull riders poked fun, calling him a momma's boy.

"To shut us up, he would say, 'I'm sorry that my mother loves me so much,' " Besplug says.

In July, 2016, Ty Prescott made a confession to Pozzobon.

"We were sitting around my house drinking beer and talking about our lives," says Prescott, one of the best bull fighters in the business.

"I told him I had been using crystal meth for three years."

They had met in 2008 at a rodeo in Alberta.

They bought bulls and swapped them back and forth. They talked four or five times a day.

Pozzobon hounded him to quit. He had his back the same way Prescott had his in the arena.

Prescott promised him he would stop in the new year. In January, when he learned Pozzobon was dead, he fell apart.

In the ring, he wears a belt buckle that Pozzobon won one year at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. He has a Pozzy patch embroidered on his vest, and a Pozzy chain around his neck.

In March, he kept his promise and stopped using crystal meth.

"It was important to him that I got off that shit," Prescott says.


Brock Radford's grandmother, Isabella Miller Haraga, was a two-time national barrel-racing champion and was inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame. His mom, Bobbi June, is a barrel racer, as is his older sister, Skyler. His father, Max, was a saddle-bronc rider, steer wrestler and all-around rodeo champ.

At two weeks old, Brock travelled in a trailer on the tour.

"I learned respect, and to this day try to do things the old cowboy way," says Radford, 22 and in his fourth year as a bull rider. "I take my hat off at breakfast and hold a door open for people. There are just not enough manners these days."

Two weeks earlier, he won his first PBR event in Swift Current, Sask. Today, he hopes to put together two eight-second rides. It doesn't happen.

The bulls buck off 24 of 27 riders, Radford in under three seconds.

Jackson Scott smacks his head together with a bull named Marshall's Law. Judges give Scott the option of having a second ride, but before he can take it, the medical team steps in. Brandon Thome suspects he has a concussion. Scott isn't convinced, but retires for the rest of the night anyway.

The 19-year-old grew up in Kelowna, B.C., and was mentored by Ty Pozzobon. He and his family visited Leanne and Luke the day after Ty killed himself.

Scott rode steers as a kid but his parents were not keen on him riding bulls. Pozzobon talked them into it.

"Every day and every bull ride I think about him," he says.

Zane Lambert, named after the Western novelist Zane Grey, wins the Wanham Extravaganza and takes home $2,957. Tanner Byrne, making a comeback after breaking his shoulder blade, collarbone and ripping muscles off his right-thigh bone, finishes second and earns $2,275.

His mother was a barrel racer and his dad was a bullfighter for 25 years. His parents met on the rodeo circuit. Two of Tanner's brothers are also bull fighters.

Like so many of them, rodeo is in the blood.

He is 25 and among the best bull riders in the world. At 6 feet 4 and 160 pounds, Byrne is also the skinniest.

"The only passion I ever had was being a bull rider and world champion," he says. "It is a dream I had since I was 3."


Three weeks after performing in a makeshift ring in Wanham, bull riders compete for a $100,000 prize at the most glamorous rodeo in the world. Crowds of 20,000 fill the grandstand for 10 days at the Calgary Stampede.

Byrne grew up here. He won a junior steerriding title at the Stampede when he was 12.

This year, as a tribute, he is wearing the black and white cowboy boots Pozzobon used at the Stampede in 2015.

He says he recognized changes in Pozzobon's demeanour the past few years.

"Looking back, there were a lot of red flags," he says.

Byrne has a tattoo on his rib cage, words from a speech by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt: "His place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat."

He got the ink in memory of his best friend early in the year. Pozzobon had the first part of the quote tattooed on his left side in 2016: "It is not the critic who counts ... the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."

After Pozzobon's death, Radford had the words "Hippies and Cowboys" tattooed on his left arm, along with the dates of Ty's birth and death. It is the name of a country song that was Pozzobon's favourite. He had it tattooed on the same arm.

It is his first time to compete at the Stampede. He grew up 25 minutes from the grandstand.

"For a lot of us, winning here is more important than a Canadian championship," Radford says.

In the dressing room before the finals, riders tape their wrists and fiddle with flak jackets. One cowboy dozes in a chair. Another runs in place. A third does lunges down a hallway. Byrne sits in his jeans, one long leg jiggling nervously.

A few hours later, an American collects the $100,000 winner's cheque. Byrne is bucked off, but still pleased. He won a preliminary round. Radford is bucked off as well. Afterward, he has a hoof mark on the left side of his chin and an ice bag taped to his ribs.

Thome examines him and makes an appointment for Radford the next day. He is diagnosed with a concussion, and then pulls out of three rodeos in the coming week.

"It felt like somebody hit me in the head with a baseball bat," he says. "My vision was blurry for 90 minutes."

He rests because of Pozzobon's suicide.

"Before that happened, all of us bull riders were a bunch of little outlaws," Radford says.

"Now, we are really listening. You don't know if you are one hit away from being brain dead or dying."

The following weekend, Tim Lipsett, a 23year-old who grew up on a ranch north of Regina, wins one round at the K-Days Rodeo, a qualifier in Edmonton for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. At the Stampede, half of the cage on his helmet was crushed by a bull.

"My jaw was sore, but that was the only problem," Lipsett says. "I could not have been luckier."

Lipsett's father rode bulls. He has one brother who is a bull fighter and another who rides bucking horses.

He rode the night before in Morris, Man., and drove 131/2 hours to get to Edmonton. After a nap, he wins his round at the K-Days Rodeo.

"It is not just getting on the bulls that we like," he says. "It is the miles and dedication it takes, and the pain you endure.

"I love the sport more than anything in the world. You go broke to get rich."


The last stop of the summer on the Canadian PBR tour is the Glen Keeley Memorial Championship in Stavely, Alta. The event is named after a local champion who died in 2000 from internal injuries suffered in a riding accident.

More than 1,500 people bring seat cushions and pack the arena in the town of 400 an hour south of Calgary.

A year ago, Ty Pozzobon competed at a rodeo in Wyoming on a Saturday afternoon and then chartered a plane so he could ride in Stavely the same night. Justin Keeley, Glen's younger brother and a PBR judge, left a truck and keys beside an airstrip 10 kilometres away.

Pozzobon hopped out of the plane, into the truck and rushed to the arena.

In the six weeks between the Stampede and here, Radford has won an unprecedented four consecutive PBR events in Canada. He receives an invitation to ride on the Built Ford Tough Series the same weekend, and turns it down.

Bull riding, a weekend staple on CBS, gets higher TV ratings than NHL regular-season games in the United States. That doesn't matter to Radford. Pozzobon rode in Stavely last year en route to winning the Canadian championship, and he hopes to do the same.

"I want to take a page out of Ty's book," Radford says.

Radford rides well but finishes fourth. He has a better night than Lonnie West. West bangs his head on the ground after being thrown backward off I'm a Hellion. An assessment reveals a possible concussion so he benches himself for the rest of the evening. In the dressing room, his head pounding, he decides to sit out a few weeks.

Two weeks earlier, he suffered concussions days apart. The second time, in Jasper, he was knocked out.

"When I came to, I didn't know where I was and my left arm and left leg were tingling," West, 21, says.

After he was thrown in Stavely, he lost consciousness as his head hit the ground.

"Everything turned white," he says.

West grew up in Cadogan, a hamlet in southeastern Alberta with 100 residents. His dad was a bull rider. So was his brother. Lonnie rode sheep as a little boy, and started to ride steers at 8. The West family had its own bucking chute, the way some families build backyard rinks.

"I love the fact that every time I nod my head, it could be the last," West says. "In seconds, my entire life could be changed. It keeps you living for the moment.

"Anything that ain't worth dying over isn't worth living for."

The Glen Keeley Memorial ends with Zane Lambert and Jared Parsonage as co-champions. Parsonage then completes a ride on a bounty bull named Johnny Ringo and earns more than $12,000 for the night.

In three years, Johnny Ringo has only been ridden successfully three times. Ty Pozzobon had one of the other two eight-second rides three months before he died.

Leanne Pozzobon says she worried less about him being injured riding bulls than she did him getting hurt while driving long distances between rodeos.

"I had to trust that he was going to be okay," she says. "If I didn't do that, I would have gone nuts."


An endless carpet of canola unfurls beside the dusty back roads of east central Alberta. Corn rises from the black soil. Bales of hay hopscotch around fields.

Curtis Anderson sits on the deck behind his modest home in Minburn, the hamlet his great-grandfather helped settle a century ago.

There is a herd of beef cattle on Anderson's 100 acres. His mom and dad live past the creek where he contemplates life's incertitude and looks at the reflection of cattails shimmering off the water.

More than 15 years ago, he was knocked unconscious while riding Real Handy at one of the world's five biggest rodeos, Alberta's Ponoka Stampede. As the 1,500-pound animal whipped him around, they smacked heads twice. It caused a fracture at the base of Anderson's skull, bleeding around his brain stem and intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhaging.

Within hours, Anderson underwent a craniectomy to stop the bleeding. Then he was placed in a drug-induced coma to allow swelling in his brain to recede.

He was in the back of an ambulance on the way to a rehabilitation hospital when he awoke three weeks later.

"I couldn't walk, couldn't talk and couldn't move my left arm," Anderson says. "Pretty soon, you know what you are made of."

He wears boots, jeans and a white hat inscribed with "Pozzy" on one side. There is a leaflet from Ty Pozzobon's funeral on the kitchen counter.

They became friends at Anderson's speaking engagements on the rodeo circuit. He has spoken to 40,000 people in the past three years to raise awareness about brain injuries.

"I never saw a video of my wreck, and I don't want to," he says. He is 42, and drags his left leg when he walks. It took nine months before he was able to take his first steps. For months, he communicated by writing on a scribbling board.

Anderson hesitates when asked how many times he was concussed. He says two, then remembers a third. Later, he recalls two more.

And then another.

Two weeks before his accident in 2002, he was knocked unconscious at another rodeo.

Anderson underwent physical therapy for 51 weeks. Fourteen years later, he still works to regain his function. To demonstrate how far he has come, he places coins on the counter and picks up all but the smallest. He stickhandles a rubber puck around his deck. It took nine years, but he can tie his own skates and circle a rink without faltering.

In a few days, he would speak at another rodeo. He pulls riders aside and urges them to rest when they have a head injury.

"I talk to teenagers and young bull riders," he says. "Rather than reciting stats, I tell them my story. I am living proof of what can happen if you don't take time to heal."

When Anderson senses a wreck coming, he looks away.

"I can't bear to watch," he says.


Saddles and a bull rope sit in the front window of Beau and Alycia McArthur's house in Nightingale, a hamlet with 30 residents 50 kilometres east of Calgary.

As a 12-year-old in 1995, Beau McArthur rode steers at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. At 17, he won the national novice bull-riding championship. He began riding bulls professionally in 2003 and was Canada's top rookie.

In December, he turns 35. For the past decade, he has been stricken with frontal-lobe syndrome. Nerve endings in the front of his head were severed while riding bulls. He suffers from concussion-induced depression, memory loss, anxiety and mood swings. He feels exhausted.

"I think back and wonder if I would do anything different, and the answer is probably not," McArthur says. "I just wish I had known more about concussions back then."

He was 5-foot-5 and 120 pounds when he rode bulls, and did not wear a helmet. He was against it as a rider, but has changed his mind since.

He is unsure how many concussions he sustained.

There was a bad one in 2002 at a rodeo in Taber, Alta.

He lost control as the bull spun. As he fell, he was hit in the back of the head by its horns. It hooked him three times as he lay in the dirt, and then stomped on the back of his head.

"I knew something was wrong," McArthur says. "I was bleeding from both ears."

Aside from the concussion, he had a skull fracture and a broken eye socket.

He was hospitalized for a week, and took a year off. Then, in 2005, he had concussions a day apart. The first was at the Ponoka Stampede. As he jumped off a bull, he struck its flank with the back of his head.

The next night, his hand got snagged on a rope as he was thrown, and he ended up beneath a bull in Williams Lake, B.C. He got kicked in the back of the head and woke up in the hospital.

As soon as he was discharged the next morning, he and three other bull riders drove 10 hours back to Ponoka. He hoped to compete in the final round at the Stampede. The medical staff intervened.

"I put him on an exercise bike," Dale Butterwick says. "Within minutes, he was dizzy. He was smart enough to realize he couldn't ride."

McArthur returned to the circuit the following year with limited success. He retired in 2007. He sought medical help, but says the general practitioners he initially conferred with lacked knowledge about head injuries.

"I wondered, 'Why do I feel like this? Where is this coming from?' " he says. "I didn't have emotions anymore."

After years of brain scans, MRIs and appointments, he was diagnosed with frontal-lobe syndrome.

"It has been a struggle for us as a couple and a family," Alycia says.

Beau and Alycia were devastated when Pozzobon took his life. They didn't know him well, but they understood.

"For the first time, I started talking about this," Beau says. "It opened my eyes."

The Pozzobons want safety standards improved to protect bull riders. They want people to understand the risks associated with concussions and repeated head injuries.

"We are not trying to hurt the sport," Luke says. "If we did that, our son would be so mad he wouldn't talk to us."

"It felt like somebody hit me in the head with a baseball bat," he says. "My vision was blurry for 90 minutes."

He rests because of Pozzobon's suicide.

"Before that happened, all of us bull riders were a bunch of little outlaws," Radford says.

"Now, we are really listening. You don't know if you are one hit away from being brain dead or dying."

The following weekend, Tim Lipsett, a 23year-old who grew up on a ranch north of Regina, wins one round at the K-Days Rodeo, a qualifier in Edmonton for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. At the Stampede, half of the cage on his helmet was crushed by a bull.

"My jaw was sore, but that was the only problem," Lipsett says. "I could not have been luckier."

Lipsett's father rode bulls. He has one brother who is a bull fighter and another who rides bucking horses.

He rode the night before in Morris, Man., and drove 131/2 hours to get to Edmonton. After a nap, he wins his round at the K-Days Rodeo.

"It is not just getting on the bulls that we like," he says. "It is the miles and dedication it takes, and the pain you endure.

"I love the sport more than anything in the world. You go broke to get rich."


The last stop of the summer on the Canadian PBR tour is the Glen Keeley Memorial Championship in Stavely, Alta. The event is named after a local champion who died in 2000 from internal injuries suffered in a riding accident.

More than 1,500 people bring seat cushions and pack the arena in the town of 400 an hour south of Calgary.

A year ago, Ty Pozzobon competed at a rodeo in Wyoming on a Saturday afternoon and then chartered a plane so he could ride in Stavely the same night. Justin Keeley, Glen's younger brother and a PBR judge, left a truck and keys beside an airstrip 10 kilometres away.

Pozzobon hopped out of the plane, into the truck and rushed to the arena.

In the six weeks between the Stampede and here, Radford has won an unprecedented four consecutive PBR events in Canada. He receives an invitation to ride on the Built Ford Tough Series the same weekend, and turns it down.

Bull riding, a weekend staple on CBS, gets higher TV ratings than NHL regular-season games in the United States. That doesn't matter to Radford. Pozzobon rode in Stavely last year en route to winning the Canadian championship, and he hopes to do the same.

"I want to take a page out of Ty's book," Radford says.

Radford rides well but finishes fourth. He has a better night than Lonnie West. West bangs his head on the ground after being thrown backward off I'm a Hellion. An assessment reveals a possible concussion so he benches himself for the rest of the evening. In the dressing room, his head pounding, he decides to sit out a few weeks.

Two weeks earlier, he suffered concussions days apart. The second time, in Jasper, he was knocked out.

"When I came to, I didn't know where I was and my left arm and left leg were tingling," West, 21, says.

After he was thrown in Stavely, he lost consciousness as his head hit the ground.

"Everything turned white," he says.

West grew up in Cadogan, a hamlet in southeastern Alberta with 100 residents. His dad was a bull rider. So was his brother. Lonnie rode sheep as a little boy, and started to ride steers at 8. The West family had its own bucking chute, the way some families build backyard rinks.

"I love the fact that every time I nod my head, it could be the last," West says. "In seconds, my entire life could be changed. It keeps you living for the moment.

"Anything that ain't worth dying over isn't worth living for."

The Glen Keeley Memorial ends with Zane Lambert and Jared Parsonage as co-champions. Parsonage then completes a ride on a bounty bull named Johnny Ringo and earns more than $12,000 for the night.

In three years, Johnny Ringo has only been ridden successfully three times. Ty Pozzobon had one of the other two eight-second rides three months before he died.

Leanne Pozzobon says she worried less about him being injured riding bulls than she did him getting hurt while driving long distances between rodeos.

"I had to trust that he was going to be okay," she says. "If I didn't do that, I would have gone nuts."


An endless carpet of canola unfurls beside the dusty back roads of east central Alberta. Corn rises from the black soil. Bales of hay hopscotch around fields.

Curtis Anderson sits on the deck behind his modest home in Minburn, the hamlet his great-grandfather helped settle a century ago.

There is a herd of beef cattle on Anderson's 100 acres. His mom and dad live past the creek where he contemplates life's incertitude and looks at the reflection of cattails shimmering off the water.

More than 15 years ago, he was knocked unconscious while riding Real Handy at one of the world's five biggest rodeos, Alberta's Ponoka Stampede. As the 1,500-pound animal whipped him around, they smacked heads twice. It caused a fracture at the base of Anderson's skull, bleeding around his brain stem and intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhaging.

Within hours, Anderson underwent a craniectomy to stop the bleeding. Then he was placed in a drug-induced coma to allow swelling in his brain to recede.

He was in the back of an ambulance on the way to a rehabilitation hospital when he awoke three weeks later.

"I couldn't walk, couldn't talk and couldn't move my left arm," Anderson says. "Pretty soon, you know what you are made of."

He wears boots, jeans and a white hat inscribed with "Pozzy" on one side. There is a leaflet from Ty Pozzobon's funeral on the kitchen counter.

They became friends at Anderson's speaking engagements on the rodeo circuit. He has spoken to 40,000 people in the past three years to raise awareness about brain injuries.

"I never saw a video of my wreck, and I don't want to," he says. He is 42, and drags his left leg when he walks. It took nine months before he was able to take his first steps. For months, he communicated by writing on a scribbling board.

Anderson hesitates when asked how many times he was concussed. He says two, then remembers a third. Later, he recalls two more.

And then another.

Two weeks before his accident in 2002, he was knocked unconscious at another rodeo.

Anderson underwent physical therapy for 51 weeks. Fourteen years later, he still works to regain his function. To demonstrate how far he has come, he places coins on the counter and picks up all but the smallest. He stickhandles a rubber puck around his deck. It took nine years, but he can tie his own skates and circle a rink without faltering.

In a few days, he would speak at another rodeo. He pulls riders aside and urges them to rest when they have a head injury.

"I talk to teenagers and young bull riders," he says. "Rather than reciting stats, I tell them my story. I am living proof of what can happen if you don't take time to heal."

When Anderson senses a wreck coming, he looks away.

"I can't bear to watch," he says.


Saddles and a bull rope sit in the front window of Beau and Alycia McArthur's house in Nightingale, a hamlet with 30 residents 50 kilometres east of Calgary.

As a 12-year-old in 1995, Beau McArthur rode steers at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. At 17, he won the national novice bull-riding championship. He began riding bulls professionally in 2003 and was Canada's top rookie.

In December, he turns 35. For the past decade, he has been stricken with frontal-lobe syndrome. Nerve endings in the front of his head were severed while riding bulls. He suffers from concussion-induced depression, memory loss, anxiety and mood swings. He feels exhausted.

"I think back and wonder if I would do anything different, and the answer is probably not," McArthur says. "I just wish I had known more about concussions back then."

He was 5-foot-5 and 120 pounds when he rode bulls, and did not wear a helmet. He was against it as a rider, but has changed his mind since.

He is unsure how many concussions he sustained.

There was a bad one in 2002 at a rodeo in Taber, Alta.

He lost control as the bull spun. As he fell, he was hit in the back of the head by its horns. It hooked him three times as he lay in the dirt, and then stomped on the back of his head.

"I knew something was wrong," McArthur says. "I was bleeding from both ears."

Aside from the concussion, he had a skull fracture and a broken eye socket.

He was hospitalized for a week, and took a year off. Then, in 2005, he had concussions a day apart. The first was at the Ponoka Stampede. As he jumped off a bull, he struck its flank with the back of his head.

The next night, his hand got snagged on a rope as he was thrown, and he ended up beneath a bull in Williams Lake, B.C. He got kicked in the back of the head and woke up in the hospital.

As soon as he was discharged the next morning, he and three other bull riders drove 10 hours back to Ponoka. He hoped to compete in the final round at the Stampede. The medical staff intervened.

"I put him on an exercise bike," Dale Butterwick says. "Within minutes, he was dizzy. He was smart enough to realize he couldn't ride."

McArthur returned to the circuit the following year with limited success. He retired in 2007. He sought medical help, but says the general practitioners he initially conferred with lacked knowledge about head injuries.

"I wondered, 'Why do I feel like this? Where is this coming from?' " he says. "I didn't have emotions anymore."

After years of brain scans, MRIs and appointments, he was diagnosed with frontal-lobe syndrome.

"It has been a struggle for us as a couple and a family," Alycia says.

Beau and Alycia were devastated when Pozzobon took his life. They didn't know him well, but they understood.

"For the first time, I started talking about this," Beau says. "It opened my eyes."

The Pozzobons want safety standards improved to protect bull riders. They want people to understand the risks associated with concussions and repeated head injuries.

"We are not trying to hurt the sport," Luke says. "If we did that, our son would be so mad he wouldn't talk to us."


In August, 2016, Brock Radford completed one of his two successful rides in five tries aboard Minion Stuart. After spinning clockwise 13 times in eight seconds, the massive brahma mix catapulted Radford backward over a six-foot fence.

After landing on a spectator, Radford thrust his arms in the air. Judges awarded him 88 points - half for the technical merit of his ride and half for the bull's agility and intensity.

More important, he escaped a trampling.

"It was the best-case scenario," Radford says.

"I was out of the arena, so I didn't have to worry about his horns. When I get thrown off him, my legs are running when I am in the air."

Named after a character in the film Despicable Me, Minion Stuart has a sweet, mottled face and horns three feet across. He weighs 1,750 pounds and has a disagreeable disposition.

"Good bulls buck better in big places," says Lane Skori, who owns Minion Stuart, along with his father Ellie. "You can see their hair standing up."

In 2015, Minion Stuart was Canada's top bucking bull. He has appeared at the Calgary Stampede in each of the past four years, and at the PBR's Canadian championships three times. For the past three years, he has competed at the PBR worlds in Las Vegas.

He is 7, and has been ridden 70 times. More often than not, he spits riders out like hay seed.

At home on the Skoris's 10,000-acre ranch in Kinsella, Alta., Minion Stuart is suspicious of strangers. He retreats to the opposite side of his pen. He cannot be coaxed closer even with food.

Lane and his dad run Skori Bucking Bulls.

They have nearly 70, a dozen of which compete at Professional Bull Riders' events.

Among them all, Minion Stuart stands out.

"He is always ready," Lane says. "If we load the trailer with bulls and leave him at home, he hangs his head. Sometimes, he sees us getting ready and runs from two pastures over and waits beside the gate."

The best bucking bulls in Canada can bring in $100,000 on the livestock market in the United States. Breeders track bloodlines the same as they do with thoroughbred racehorses. Bucking bulls eat special food and receive better medical care than their riders. They compete at rodeos 10 to 12 times a year for eight seconds at the most, so they never get tired. They are remarkably graceful.

"To see an animal as big as they are, as athletic as they are, is phenomenal," Tanner Byrne says. "I am a fan, but not when one is on top of me."

Byrne has ridden Minion Stuart three times, twice successfully. The one time he was thrown off, Minion Stuart surprised him by immediately whirling to the left. It is one of only two times he has not spun to his right.

Most likely, it was a calculated move.

"He thinks faster than a rider can and adjusts accordingly," says Justin Keeley, the bull-riding judge. "If someone stays on him, he gets ornery. He knows when he wins or loses."

When they are two years old, Ellie Skori trains bulls to buck with a dummy on their backs. At 3, they are ridden by novices in a college rodeo program.

Bulls that show no ability are sold as beef.

"It is in their best interest to buck," Ellie says.

He rode bulls professionally and his dad was a bull rider.

"Injuries set me back, but I would do it again," he says. "Riders today have better protection than when I rode. The difference is that bulls are twice as good.

"When you watch them now and watch video from years ago, it is like watching the NHL classic. Everything seems so slow."

Minion Stuart is beloved by riders. The harder the ride, the higher they score.

"He is my favourite bull in Canada," Tim Lipsett says. He has ridden Minion Stuart three times. He was bucked off once and got scores of 89 and 87 on the others. "He is big, scary and intimidating and bucks really hard. You know he is going to do his job. If you do yours, you are likely to win."

In 1983, Cody Snyder earned a score of 95, the highest ever by a Canadian bull rider. Both Snyder and the bull he rode on that occasion at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Confusion, are in the Hall of Fame.

Snyder grew up in Medicine Hat and turned pro at 16. In 1983, he became the first Canadian to win a world bull-riding championship.

"Ty Pozzobon reminded me of myself," he says. "He lived every day of his life to be a bull rider."

At dinner in his teens, Ty would talk about it so much that his mother and sister would tease him.

"Bulls, bulls, bulls," Amy, a barrel racer, would protest.

Ty Prescott and his father bought a half-interest in a mottled bull that Pozzobon raised.

After he died, they changed its name to Live Like Ty.


In May, experts in brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy gathered in Dallas. Jayd Pozzobon went, too. She stood up and talked about Ty and what had happened.

"It was emotionally draining," she says. "I felt so much guilt over marriage issues. I was looking for answers."

After, she was approached by some of the neurosurgeons, pathologists and scientists.

"They knew that he must have had CTE," she says. "They said it sounded like a textbook."

Dr. Julian Bailes, a former NFL doctor who worked with Dr. Bennet Omalu to expose the risk of brain injuries, hugged her and made a promise.

"He told me, 'I will do everything I can to give you the answers you are looking for,' " Jayd says. "I was bawling and had full-body chills."

The Pozzobon family donated Ty's brain to researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

"It wasn't a hard decision for us," Leanne says. "We were scared. We wanted to know the scientific reason for what happened."

Last month, at a meeting in Seattle, the results were disclosed.

An examination carried out by Dr. Dirk Keene and Dr. Christine MacDonald confirmed neuropathological changes and evidence of traumatic brain injury.

With it, Pozzobon became the first confirmed case of CTE in a professional bull rider.

"It didn't surprise us," Leanne says.

Dr. MacDonald says MRIs Ty had before he died helped pinpoint areas in the frontal orbital lobe of his brain where CTE was found. It is the area of the brain responsible for emotions, judgment, impulse control and memory. Tissue samples confirmed he had suffered numerous microhemorrhages caused by repeated trauma.

"His sample will have long-lasting impact not just for rodeo cowboys but on cases at large," Dr. MacDonald says. "It will be used to help define the criteria of diagnosis.

"Devastations like this are awful for the family, and I applaud the Pozzobons and Jayd for wanting to understand what happened."

Professional Bull Riders plans to expand its medical support and protocols in Canada to include someone with authority to withhold a rider with concussive symptoms.

"We have an interest in protecting bull riders and are committed to being the group that defines safety parameters," says Sean Gleason, the organization's chief executive.

"We are going to become much more aggressive when it comes to allowing riders to compete in any event associated with our name."

Gleason says the PBR will control only cowboys competing at its events in Canada and the United States. He says the organization is working toward implementing more robust safety rules.

"To be effective, we have to have baseline information and be confident that the bull riders are being honest," Gleason says. "After that, we can control the environment in which they compete. They will have to be honest and willing for it to work."

That has already begun to happen in the aftermath of Pozzobon's death.

Brock Radford, Jackson Scott, Lonnie West and Tanner Girletz all sat down this year at the advice of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. Chad Besplug says the awareness created this year has possibly prevented riders from getting a hundred concussions.

"Ty's death was the worst and best thing that ever happened to bull riding," Justin Keeley says. Along with losing one brother to internal injuries, the PBR judge has another who sustained a traumatic brain injury. "The issue can't be hidden in the dark anymore."

Jayd Pozzobon shuddered at the word suicide in the months after Ty's death.

"It still hurts, but now I realize it is real life," she says. "It needs to be talked about more, and there needs to be more help."

She wants to educate people through the foundation that carries her late husband's name. She became a widow at 25. She had been married a little more than a year.

"I want the sporting world in general to be more aware of the severity of concussions and head injuries so guys like Ty don't have to suffer," she says. "I want to save families from what we went through."

Tanner Byrne misses his friend. He was cremated. His ashes are with Leanne and Luke.

This week the best bull riders in the world came to Edmonton, chasing titles and a million dollars. On Nov. 9, Ty Pozzobon would have celebrated his 26th birthday. Instead he remains 25, lost on a rising star.

His Facebook page calls him a former PBR rider. Jayd Pozzobon's Facebook relationship status still reads Married. Luke, Leanne and Amy remain swamped by grief.

"A year ago at this time, our life was perfect," Leanne says. "Now it has been torn apart."

On the wall in Luke and Leanne's home hangs a brown picture frame with two black and white photos tucked inside. On the left, young Luke Pozzobon on the back of a bucking bull, broken arm in a cast, punches the air. On the right, young Ty Pozzobon, on the back of a bucking bull, broken arm in a cast, punches the air. Below it, Ty wrote to his dad: "My father did not tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."

Leanne used to check to make sure Ty was safe after every ride. He told his mother she worried too much.

"I would call him and say, 'Ty are you okay?' " she says. He would always respond the same way: "I'm okay, okay?" After he died, she got those three words tattooed on her foot.

"He is not with us, but now I know he's okay," she says. "He is not in any pain anymore."


In August, 2016, Brock Radford completed one of his two successful rides in five tries aboard Minion Stuart. After spinning clockwise 13 times in eight seconds, the massive brahma mix catapulted Radford backward over a six-foot fence.

After landing on a spectator, Radford thrust his arms in the air. Judges awarded him 88 points - half for the technical merit of his ride and half for the bull's agility and intensity.

More important, he escaped a trampling.

"It was the best-case scenario," Radford says.

"I was out of the arena, so I didn't have to worry about his horns. When I get thrown off him, my legs are running when I am in the air."

Named after a character in the film Despicable Me, Minion Stuart has a sweet, mottled face and horns three feet across. He weighs 1,750 pounds and has a disagreeable disposition.

"Good bulls buck better in big places," says Lane Skori, who owns Minion Stuart, along with his father Ellie. "You can see their hair standing up."

In 2015, Minion Stuart was Canada's top bucking bull. He has appeared at the Calgary Stampede in each of the past four years, and at the PBR's Canadian championships three times. For the past three years, he has competed at the PBR worlds in Las Vegas.

He is 7, and has been ridden 70 times. More often than not, he spits riders out like hay seed.

At home on the Skoris's 10,000-acre ranch in Kinsella, Alta., Minion Stuart is suspicious of strangers. He retreats to the opposite side of his pen. He cannot be coaxed closer even with food.

Lane and his dad run Skori Bucking Bulls.

They have nearly 70, a dozen of which compete at Professional Bull Riders' events.

Among them all, Minion Stuart stands out.

"He is always ready," Lane says. "If we load the trailer with bulls and leave him at home, he hangs his head. Sometimes, he sees us getting ready and runs from two pastures over and waits beside the gate."

The best bucking bulls in Canada can bring in $100,000 on the livestock market in the United States. Breeders track bloodlines the same as they do with thoroughbred racehorses. Bucking bulls eat special food and receive better medical care than their riders. They compete at rodeos 10 to 12 times a year for eight seconds at the most, so they never get tired. They are remarkably graceful.

"To see an animal as big as they are, as athletic as they are, is phenomenal," Tanner Byrne says. "I am a fan, but not when one is on top of me."

Byrne has ridden Minion Stuart three times, twice successfully. The one time he was thrown off, Minion Stuart surprised him by immediately whirling to the left. It is one of only two times he has not spun to his right.

Most likely, it was a calculated move.

"He thinks faster than a rider can and adjusts accordingly," says Justin Keeley, the bull-riding judge. "If someone stays on him, he gets ornery. He knows when he wins or loses."

When they are two years old, Ellie Skori trains bulls to buck with a dummy on their backs. At 3, they are ridden by novices in a college rodeo program.

Bulls that show no ability are sold as beef.

"It is in their best interest to buck," Ellie says.

He rode bulls professionally and his dad was a bull rider.

"Injuries set me back, but I would do it again," he says. "Riders today have better protection than when I rode. The difference is that bulls are twice as good.

"When you watch them now and watch video from years ago, it is like watching the NHL classic. Everything seems so slow."

Minion Stuart is beloved by riders. The harder the ride, the higher they score.

"He is my favourite bull in Canada," Tim Lipsett says. He has ridden Minion Stuart three times. He was bucked off once and got scores of 89 and 87 on the others. "He is big, scary and intimidating and bucks really hard. You know he is going to do his job. If you do yours, you are likely to win."

In 1983, Cody Snyder earned a score of 95, the highest ever by a Canadian bull rider. Both Snyder and the bull he rode on that occasion at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Confusion, are in the Hall of Fame.

Snyder grew up in Medicine Hat and turned pro at 16. In 1983, he became the first Canadian to win a world bull-riding championship.

"Ty Pozzobon reminded me of myself," he says. "He lived every day of his life to be a bull rider."

At dinner in his teens, Ty would talk about it so much that his mother and sister would tease him.

"Bulls, bulls, bulls," Amy, a barrel racer, would protest.

Ty Prescott and his father bought a half-interest in a mottled bull that Pozzobon raised.

After he died, they changed its name to Live Like Ty.


In May, experts in brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy gathered in Dallas. Jayd Pozzobon went, too. She stood up and talked about Ty and what had happened.

"It was emotionally draining," she says. "I felt so much guilt over marriage issues. I was looking for answers."

After, she was approached by some of the neurosurgeons, pathologists and scientists.

"They knew that he must have had CTE," she says. "They said it sounded like a textbook."

Dr. Julian Bailes, a former NFL doctor who worked with Dr. Bennet Omalu to expose the risk of brain injuries, hugged her and made a promise.

"He told me, 'I will do everything I can to give you the answers you are looking for,' " Jayd says. "I was bawling and had full-body chills."

The Pozzobon family donated Ty's brain to researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

"It wasn't a hard decision for us," Leanne says. "We were scared. We wanted to know the scientific reason for what happened."

Last month, at a meeting in Seattle, the results were disclosed.

An examination carried out by Dr. Dirk Keene and Dr. Christine MacDonald confirmed neuropathological changes and evidence of traumatic brain injury.

With it, Pozzobon became the first confirmed case of CTE in a professional bull rider.

"It didn't surprise us," Leanne says.

Dr. MacDonald says MRIs Ty had before he died helped pinpoint areas in the frontal orbital lobe of his brain where CTE was found. It is the area of the brain responsible for emotions, judgment, impulse control and memory. Tissue samples confirmed he had suffered numerous microhemorrhages caused by repeated trauma.

"His sample will have long-lasting impact not just for rodeo cowboys but on cases at large," Dr. MacDonald says. "It will be used to help define the criteria of diagnosis.

"Devastations like this are awful for the family, and I applaud the Pozzobons and Jayd for wanting to understand what happened."

Professional Bull Riders plans to expand its medical support and protocols in Canada to include someone with authority to withhold a rider with concussive symptoms.

"We have an interest in protecting bull riders and are committed to being the group that defines safety parameters," says Sean Gleason, the organization's chief executive.

"We are going to become much more aggressive when it comes to allowing riders to compete in any event associated with our name."

Gleason says the PBR will control only cowboys competing at its events in Canada and the United States. He says the organization is working toward implementing more robust safety rules.

"To be effective, we have to have baseline information and be confident that the bull riders are being honest," Gleason says. "After that, we can control the environment in which they compete. They will have to be honest and willing for it to work."

That has already begun to happen in the aftermath of Pozzobon's death.

Brock Radford, Jackson Scott, Lonnie West and Tanner Girletz all sat down this year at the advice of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. Chad Besplug says the awareness created this year has possibly prevented riders from getting a hundred concussions.

"Ty's death was the worst and best thing that ever happened to bull riding," Justin Keeley says. Along with losing one brother to internal injuries, the PBR judge has another who sustained a traumatic brain injury. "The issue can't be hidden in the dark anymore."

Jayd Pozzobon shuddered at the word suicide in the months after Ty's death.

"It still hurts, but now I realize it is real life," she says. "It needs to be talked about more, and there needs to be more help."

She wants to educate people through the foundation that carries her late husband's name. She became a widow at 25. She had been married a little more than a year.

"I want the sporting world in general to be more aware of the severity of concussions and head injuries so guys like Ty don't have to suffer," she says. "I want to save families from what we went through."

Tanner Byrne misses his friend. He was cremated. His ashes are with Leanne and Luke.

This week the best bull riders in the world came to Edmonton, chasing titles and a million dollars. On Nov. 9, Ty Pozzobon would have celebrated his 26th birthday. Instead he remains 25, lost on a rising star.

His Facebook page calls him a former PBR rider. Jayd Pozzobon's Facebook relationship status still reads Married. Luke, Leanne and Amy remain swamped by grief.

"A year ago at this time, our life was perfect," Leanne says. "Now it has been torn apart."

On the wall in Luke and Leanne's home hangs a brown picture frame with two black and white photos tucked inside. On the left, young Luke Pozzobon on the back of a bucking bull, broken arm in a cast, punches the air. On the right, young Ty Pozzobon, on the back of a bucking bull, broken arm in a cast, punches the air. Below it, Ty wrote to his dad: "My father did not tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."

Leanne used to check to make sure Ty was safe after every ride. He told his mother she worried too much.

"I would call him and say, 'Ty are you okay?' " she says. He would always respond the same way: "I'm okay, okay?" After he died, she got those three words tattooed on her foot.

"He is not with us, but now I know he's okay," she says. "He is not in any pain anymore."

Associated Graphic


Luke and Leanne Pozzobon, at home on their ranch near Merritt, B.C., with their great Pyrenees, Brian, have been mourning their son for almost a year.


Ty and Jayd Pozzobon married in October, 2015. Fifteen months later, Ty was dead.


Only the best bull riders get to the Calgary Stampede. World champion Mike Lee was bucked off a bull during the finals of the Stampede rodeo in Calgary in July.


Left, Brock Radford has a beer to celebrate Jeff Parsonage's win at the Glen Keeley Memorial in Stavely, Alta. Right, Scott Schiffner, who has ridden nearly 1,000 bulls in his career, wears a cowboy hat during competition. He says some bull riders believe a helmet makes them invincible.


Brock Radford, 22, is in his fourth year as a bull rider and earned a career-high $32,000 this season.


Tanner Byrne was Ty Pozzobon's best friend. He wore Ty's boots this season as a way of honouring his memory. Top, at a PBR event in Calgary, Tanner gets worked on by a member of the Canadian Pro Sport Medicine Team. Above, a member of the medical staff talks to Tim Lipsett as he sits hurt against the fence during the Oyen Bull Riding event in Oyen, Alta. Below, the entire town of Elnora, Alta., comes out to celebrate western culture and a night of bull riding for the Elnora Brahma Rama in the town arena in August.


Tanner Byrne was Ty Pozzobon's best friend. He wore Ty's boots this season as a way of honouring his memory. Top, at a PBR event in Calgary, Tanner gets worked on by a member of the Canadian Pro Sport Medicine Team. Above, a member of the medical staff talks to Tim Lipsett as he sits hurt against the fence during the Oyen Bull Riding event in Oyen, Alta. Below, the entire town of Elnora, Alta., comes out to celebrate western culture and a night of bull riding for the Elnora Brahma Rama in the town arena in August.


The tough and mean Minion Stuart is beloved by riders. The harder the ride, the higher they score.


Jayd Pozzobon, at home in Gonzales, Tex., in October, wants to educate people on the dangers of concussions and head trauma.


The tough and mean Minion Stuart is beloved by riders. The harder the ride, the higher they score.


Jayd Pozzobon, at home in Gonzales, Tex., in October, wants to educate people on the dangers of concussions and head trauma.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Raptors in a full-court press to advance women
Among NBA teams - indeed, among most pro-sports leagues - the Toronto club stands out in the way it is actively diversifying its management ranks
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- Amanda Joaquim remembers eagerly reading through a job posting for a physiotherapist with the Toronto Raptors, mentally checking off each of the required qualifications.

Got that. Got that. Got that, too.

The posting seemed to describe her skills and clinical experience perfectly. Working with NBA players sounded like a dream job to the physiotherapist who had played sports all her life and built a career treating athletes of all ages. Confident in her qualifications, she didn't hesitate to apply. But she was curious how the team might feel about a woman doing this job.

"I didn't know what it was like inside the team, so I wondered what the culture might be and if gender might play a role in getting the job or not," Joaquim said. "I'm a small woman, and I would be working with very big guys."

Alex McKechnie, the Raptors director of sports science, conducted a lengthy search for a physiotherapist with specific expertise and was inundated with highquality candidates. Joaquim stood out. The Whitby, Ont., native, had treated a wide array of people, including many players from a junior football team, the Oshawa Hawkeyes. The Raptors needed someone who could add insights to the medical staff and interact with players on a daily basis, in Toronto and on the road.

"I had to find someone who would be comfortable working in our locker room and could earn the players' trust," McKechnie said. "Personality-wise, Amanda came in and filled the room. She was without question the best candidate."

While Joaquim is one of the most recently hired women, she's not the only one working for the Raptors. There are 11 women working for Toronto or its affiliate, Raptors 905. Others work in basketball operations, player development, coaching, analytics, team services, community relations, nutrition and communications. There's also a female radio play-byplay broadcaster calling 905 games.

Joaquim first joined the Raptors at Summer League in Las Vegas and was introduced to many staffers for the first time during a team dinner. She had assumed a critical role: to help prevent Raptors players from missing games because of injury.

"I knew I would be comfortable in the treatment room - I'm in my element working hands-on with athletes," said Joaquim on a game night at the Air Canada Centre, after putting several Raptors through pregame exercises. "But I was surprised at how welcoming everyone was.

There's a real emphasis here on respect and family and inclusion."

The Raptors advocate for hiring women and hope to see more of it in the world of professional sports.

Recently, the Raptors, along with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, held the first in what it hopes will be a series of speaking events hosted by the team's female leaders.

The event highlighted the careers of the women and encouraged more women to consider sports jobs, and more sport organizations to hire them. Informally dubbed "She the North," the event had hundreds in the audience.

Joaquim was one of several panelists that night. Raptors president Masai Ujiri spoke, too. He called it one of his proudest moments on the job and said he wished to see a female general manager in the NBA some day, hoping that women would come from within the Raptors organization.

It's hard to compare the number of women in Toronto's organization to those at other NBA teams since many different staff structures exist across the league, with some clubs sharing staff among various teams or venues, or hiring consultants. But the Raptors are one of the NBA's most progressive when it comes to hiring women.

However, every year the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida conducts a diversity study called the Lapchick Report on many pro-sports leagues. It shows that women are nowhere near being equally represented in jobs with the NBA or its teams - but the NBA leads other men's pro sports leagues.

According to the 2017 Lapchick Racial and Gender Report Card on the NBA, women held 24.2 per cent of team vice-president positions last season, 29.3 per cent of senior-administration jobs and 40 per cent of team professional-administration roles. Also, there were six women who served as team president or chief executive, the most in men's pro sports.

When the Raptors hired Ujiri in 2013, there was only one woman working day-to-day with the team staff, team-services manager Doreen Doyle.

That number has risen in the years since, especially this season. Several women were recently added, including Joaquim, Brittni Donaldson in basketball analytics, and Jennifer Quinn as the new director of communications, the head liaison connecting players and coaches with the media every day.

The club said it didn't specifically recruit women.

"Now we have 11 women here, and that's unique and I'm proud of that," Ujiri told The Globe and Mail in an interview at his office last week. "We didn't pick them because they are women; they all had exceptional stories and qualifications that brought them here. Yes, we are noticing that our candidate pool is diversifying, and that has a lot to do with Toronto, a great metropolitan city. I hope it translates into a great culture and a winning team on the court."

Several female employees sat for an interview with The Globe in the dining room of the Raps' practice facility, enjoying a lunch prepared by the team chef. Among them was the vice-president of basketball operations and player development, Teresa Resch, the first person Ujiri had called with a job offer after the Raptors hired him in 2013.

The native of Lakefield, Minn., played college volleyball, got an MBA and interned with Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Miami Heat and the Orange Bowl committee before working at the NBA office, and as senior operating manager for the popular Ultimate Hoops program across Life Time fitness clubs. Ujiri had worked with Resch on the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program.

Today, her role is essentially that of Ujiri's chief of staff, acting as the liaison between the Raptors and MLSE and ensuring everyone has the resources they need. She was key in bringing the new practice facility to life. "These days, almost anything our players, coaches or front-office staff are doing, they're almost always interacting with women, and there is a lot of diversity of thought here," Resch said. "We're trying to build a network of people supporting diversity and inclusion and create advocates for the advancement of women. To do that, you need to tell the stories of the impact those women are making."

Shelby Weaver was another woman around the lunch table. The Halifax native began as an administrative assistant at MLSE in 2011 and pitched in on big Raptors projects. Her natural communication with players was a big reason why Ujiri asked her to be the first manager of basketball operations for Raptors 905 in 2015, then promoted her to a player-development role with the Raptors this season.

"For some reason, it's often hard for us as women to actually say it, but I'd love to be a GM some day," Weaver said. "We see lots of women working on the business side in sports, but why aren't there more women working on the team side?

I'd like to learn why. I'd like to know if women realize they can engage more with the team side."

Donaldson, recently hired for the Raps' analytics team, said many are surprised when they hear about her job. The native of Sioux City, Iowa, studied actuarial science and played college basketball at the University of Northern Iowa before working with sports stats for data provider Stats LLC.

"I can remember one player at first actually saying, 'Analytics? But you're a girl?' and then quickly it was like, 'okay, that's different, but that's cool,' " Donaldson said. "Once I was able to establish that I have a foundation in this, that I can talk basketball, that I belong here, the players and coaches have been great with me. I've recently had some young women approach me and say, 'Wow I have an actuarial-science degree too, and I had no idea a job like this existed.' " Later that night, a number of Raptors staffers made the trip to Mississauga for the 905 home opener, where there were also women on the training and coaching staffs.

On the team bench, 905 assistant coach Nicki Gross sat directly to the left of head coach Jerry Stackhouse.

The multisport athlete from Emerson, N.J., played college soccer at Seton Hall, and managed the men's basketball team while getting her MBA at Monmouth University. She interned at NBA Summer League and worked for the G-League Iowa Energy before Stackhouse hired her last year. Aside from using a different dressing room to change from her warmup athletic clothing to her game-time business attire, she says her gender has no impact on her job.

"I want to coach in the NBA one day, but I'm in no rush because I love working for Stack and I'm learning so much because he's got me playing so many different roles here," said Gross in the back hallways of the Hershey Centre after the game. "I'm learning from an NBA all-star every day who is smart as hell with the Xs and Os."

On any given day at a Raptors or 905 practice or game, several women are watching from sidelines, stands or through the glass of their offices.

"It works for our team; it's refreshing to have women around and it's not weird; I don't really think of it as a thing at all," said Raptors guard Fred Van Vleet. "This is my first NBA team, so it's all I've ever known in the league. We're a very diverse organization - men, women, players from many different countries with different points of view. It makes for a special place."

Another She The North event is slated for January when the organization plays host to the G-League Showcase, a notable scouting event for NBA teams.

"It's a copycat league, and I hope everyone copies what we're doing with those events," Ujiri said. "I want our women to be exposed, for people to know the work they do. I hesitate to advertise them too much because I don't want people to come and take them away from us, but these women are tough, and I'm ready to go to war with them."

Associated Graphic

Raptors physiotherapist Amanda Joaquim admits that 'I'm a small woman, and I would be working with very big guys,' but felt she could help the team. Those are centre Lucas Nogueira's legs during a pregame warmup.


Coach Dwane Casey shares a lighter moment with Jennifer Quinn, the Raptors' director of communications.


Vice-president of basketball operations and player development Teresa Resch, left, says the Raptors are looking to build 'a network of people supporting diversity and inclusion.'

Basketball analytics expert Brittni Donaldson watches a Raptors practice. She is one of 11 women who have prominent roles with the team.

There should be no limits on the Jays' tribute to Halladay
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- If the criteria are titles or signature moments in October, you could have a long argument about the best Toronto Blue Jay ever.

If it is instead the harder thing - devoting yourself to a lost cause and doing the job you are paid to do at the highest level and without complaint - there is none. In that case, Roy Halladay, who died in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida on Tuesday, was the greatest competitor in Jays history.

It's not easy being a good player on a good team, but it is simple.

You do what you do and people fall in love with you for it. Winning creates a virtuous circle of contentment - everyone wants to come to work, and is anxious to do their bit, however small.

Many of the players who leap to mind in a 'best ever' conversation got that advantage through the 1980s and early 1990s.

Being a good player on a consistently mediocre team? Not as much fun.

The fans resent the club, the players resent the fans and eventually they begin to resent each other. If the alphas on the roster lose the plot, the room goes feral. Then it's a spiral into chaos.

For eight long and occasionally miserable seasons, as the good vibes of back-to-back titles became ancient history and Torontonians drifted from baseball, Halladay would not allow that to happen.

Decent years, so-so years, terrible years - Halladay was the constant spark.

If anyone was contemplating insurrection, they could look over at the most consistent starter in baseball and remind themselves that if that guy wasn't complaining, they did not have permission to, either. Those who tried it anyway found no takers in the room and did not last.

Halladay was not a talker. His style of leadership was more primal.

You'd occasionally be standing around a locker room before a game and players would be goofing off, playing cards, typical stuff. Then Halladay would come through, soaked through with sweat, and everyone would go quiet.

He'd head to the back to get treatment or crush bricks or whatever else was next in his endless workout regimen, and players would start getting out of their chairs. Roy Halladay, best player on a team eight or 11 or 14 games out of first, wasn't easing into his work day. So no one else could, either.

When things got bad, nothing about Halladay changed. Same approach, same routines, same calm.

I remember Halladay once turning to a reporter after a question he didn't like and saying with just a hint of edge, "What do you mean by that?"

I remember it so well because it was the single time I saw Halladay irritated by anything other than his own on-field mistakes.

People in the scrum - people who were used to being shrieked at by frustrated players every once in a while - rocked back on their heels.

It was that weird.

Halladay did not make waves, with anyone, ever. He didn't hold grudges, needle guys or make a show of himself.

He was there to work, and that's what he did. Once work was finished, he went home, slept, got up and worked again.

For eight years he did that without once caving to the urge to use the megaphone baseball stardom had given him for anything other than soothing words.

It is difficult to express how rare those qualities are in a top professional athlete. It's not once in a generation, but once in a lifetime.

He provided the emotional ballast for an entire franchise, as well as giving fans a one-man rationale to invest in watching in a loser.

It wasn't always smooth. There is no way to paper over the fact that a team isn't very good and isn't doing enough to get better. But because Halladay never pointed out that fact, it never got to the point of crisis.

As the Jays head toward what could be another period of extended mediocrity, there is no one on the current roster who occupies that space - supremely gifted, entirely devoted and allergic to drama.

Think about how he handled his contracts. Halladay never allowed them to become a story because he would quietly renegotiate extensions long before anyone had begun talking about them.

He never said anything about "seeing what's out there," never hinted that his co-operation was contingent on the team investing in this or that free agent. Despite having enormous leverage, he never once applied it in public because it would have embarrassed the organization and, to Halladay's unusual way of thinking, himself.

Baseball is a business - that's become the mantra of every star just as he leaves - but Halladay didn't treat it like one. For him, it was a vocation.

He may be the only athlete on the continent who truly did not pay any mind to the money. As long as the Jays allowed him the freedom to perfect his art, he was happy to do it in Toronto. The rest was details.

It was the team that first suggested a trade, not the other way around. The process took nearly a year. The pitcher didn't agitate or sulk in the interim and though the team was miserable that season, he continued putting up Cy Young-calibre stats. The result was a deal that, at the time, seemed like highway robbery for a want-away star.

Who does all that now? No one.

You can't expect everyone to carry themselves as well as Halladay.

Players are human and flawed. They have bad days and make impulsive decisions. It is a business and everyone likes attention.

But a very few special people rise above that. When they do, applauding it is not a slight on anyone else.

In a grasping, individualistic sporting age, no qualities are more rare or precious than loyalty and modesty.

Halladay's numbers are Hall-ofFame level, but they are paltry things beside those aspects of his remarkable professionalism. Those traits went beyond wins. They were the sort that make a player mythic.

He has been gone for only a few hours, but it is not too early to begin thinking about how to properly honour Halladay's contribution to Toronto baseball.

There should be no limit to the organization's aspiration.

Level of Excellence? Retire his number? Erect a statue? All of those things could and should be done. In his way, Halladay means as much to this organization as Ted Williams or Babe Ruth did to the Red Sox and the Yankees.

But those are gestures made - quite rightly - for fans.

Something else should be done to memorialize Halladay's legacy in the place it was most directly felt - the clubhouse.

Hang his jersey there for the entire coming season as a sort of mourning shawl. Then install a more permanent reminder. It needn't be grand - that wouldn't be very Halladay - but instead spare and utilitarian.

Done right, this shrine can be a daily reminder to every player who ever puts on the uniform again that there is a way to approach baseball that raises up the people around you and gives the job meaning beyond mere results.

Associated Graphic

Long-time Toronto ace Roy Halladay, shown in 2003, means as much to the Blue Jays as Ted Williams or Babe Ruth did to the Red Sox and the Yankees, and his legacy needs to be honoured.


The changing face of U Sports coaching
The Canadian Press
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- Charles Kissi has guided Brock's men's basketball team to an undefeated season so far, and his team holds down the No. 2 spot in this week's Canadian university rankings.

But Kissi still gets mistaken for anybody but the Badgers' head coach.

Chris Cheng assembled a Nipissing squad from scratch when he was hired as the program's inaugural head coach in 2013, and boasts a substantial background with both Canada and Ontario Basketball's youth programs. Yet, the Filipino coach consistently gets confused for the team manager or therapist.

"I'm Asian, and not very tall," Cheng said. "So they'll come up and say, 'Where's the head coach?' 'I am the head coach.' " Basketball is among the most ethnically diverse in Canadian university sport, yet the sideline hasn't reflected it. Still, more than half a century after the game made its U Sports debut, the coaching landscape is finally changing. And this season's nine minority men's head coaches are quietly applauding.

"In the end, the game doesn't have any colour, you just play because you love the sport," said Patrick Tatham, McMaster's new head coach. "But literally, I kid you not, at one point - no ifs, ands or maybes - literally all I knew was Roy Rana [Ryerson] and the coach at Brandon University [Gil Cheung]."

Kissi's hiring in 2013 made it three.

Six more minority head coaches have been hired in the past two years - including four this season - bringing the total to nine of U Sports' 47 men's head coaches. The others are Justin Serresse (Laurier), Darrell Glenn (UPEI), Nate Philippe (York) and Mario Joseph (UQAM).

"That's pretty cool, that's super high," said Tatham, who didn't believe the number was as high as nine - he requested the list be read aloud on a recent phone interview.

"The game is played on such a diverse level now, and there's no reason for our coaches not to reflect that," said Kissi, who's writing a paper on the subject as part of his master of education program.

Still, Kissi and his colleagues say there's a long way to go.

"Oh man, I get the 'Oh, you're the head coach?' like every week," Kissi said, laughing at the skepticism. "I get it all the time, that's the norm.

"I'm never going to say people come from a place of malice, but we carry our biases with us everywhere, all the time. We have to be aware of them, regardless of who we are. But yeah, I get that kind of stuff all the time. All the time."

Rana says he was an "out-of-thebox" hiring by Ryerson, when the school named him head coach in 2009. The Toronto native guided Canada's under-19 team to its history World Cup win last summer, and recently made history as the first visible minority and Indo-Canadian to be named head coach of Canada's senior squad. Rana will head up the Canadian team in its first two World Cup qualifying games next week.

The changing face of Canadian coaching was a long time coming.

"When you're in the business of coaching, you're in the business of trying to make young people's dreams come true, help them aspire to achieve. And it's important that they can see this potential to achieve in all areas in sport, not just as a player, that there are opportunities for them in coaching, that there are opportunities for them in sport administration," said Rana, whose Rams were runners-up to powerhouse Carleton in last season's national final. "And I think for a long time, many in our basketball community have not felt that way.

They haven't felt like that's a realistic option.

"So I think what we're seeing, this trend of increased diversity in our coaching ranks, is a great thing."

Tatham, who earned national coach of the year in 2016 (he was Ryerson's head coach while Rana took a year's sabbatical), played college basketball at Cleveland State University. He didn't think twice about the diversity of coaches in the NCAA.

But the percentage of minority coaches in NCAA basketball is on the decline, falling to about 21 per cent in Division 1 from a high of 25.2 per cent in 2005-06.

That's despite the fact almost 70 per cent of Division 1 players are non-white. U Sports doesn't keep statistics on ethnicity in athletes.

Coaching icon Steve Konchalski, who's had a first-hand view of the cultural landscape in his 43 seasons at the helm of St. Francis Xavier, applauds the improvement in U Sports.

"But at the same time, in the States it looked headed in the right direction, then started going the other way," the Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer said. "So I still think it's something that needs to be addressed."

The bump in U Sports, Konchalski said, was more organic than because of any organized effort, and in his role as a mentor coach and adviser to Canada's national team, he'd like to help develop a more formalized pathway to guide minority coaches.

The NCAA has the National Association for Coaching Equity and Development, and coaches have pressed for the adoption of the "Rooney Rule," an NFL policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.

"It's kind of the standard ... that at least there's some concerted effort, some recognition of the fact that you have a sport where minorities comprise a major percentage of the athletes, then there should be a somewhat similar proportion of coaches," Konchalski said.

Cheng, who's been coaching since he was 16, credits the birth of the NBA's Toronto Raptors for helping increase the diversity of the game.

"[Basketball] brings different types of cultures together, it brings a sense of community - that's the sport of basketball," Cheng said.

"It's very rare that Filipinos play basketball at the next level, so I hope I am [a role model] with my culture.

"But I have no control over that.

It's just doing the best I can at what I love doing. Obviously there are a lot of doubters and naysayers because of my ethnic background, people don't take me seriously. But all I've got to worry about is the people that I coach. As long as I get their respect, that's all that matters to me."

Associated Graphic

Roy Rana, the head coach for Ryerson's men's basketball squad, guided Canada's under-19 team to its history World Cup win last summer and recently made history as the first visible minority and Indo-Canadian to be named head coach of Canada's senior squad.


Pirlo retired the same way he played: quietly and aptly
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- Few athletes in any sport have ever seemed to expend less effort in order to be great than Andrea Pirlo.

Over the course of a two-decade career that ended in retirement this week, he redefined the role of soccer's deep-lying field marshal, quietly directing his troops toward the cutting thrust. Other people did the work. Pirlo made it possible, which is the harder part.

In his autobiography, the 38-yearold identified the part of the game he most disliked - the wasted energy of the prematch warm-up.

"I hate it with every fibre of my being. It actually disgusts me," the Italian wrote. "It's nothing but masturbation for conditioning coaches."

That was Pirlo in a nutshell. He resented taking even one unnecessary step. He wanted only to do things that mattered.

In some cultures, that might be mistaken for laziness, but not in Italy, where no finer thing may be said of an artist than that he has sprezzatura - a careless elegance. Pirlo emblemized the type. Italy's sports tabloids variously called him the Architect, the Professor and, after especially imperious performances, Mozart.

Italians have a tortured relationship with their soccer heroes. Many eventually fall into disrepute. Pirlo's former teammate, Roberto Baggio, went from the most admired player in the country to a human punchline after one penalty miss. Twentyodd years later, Baggio's reputation still hasn't recovered.

Pirlo was above that ruthless national calculus. He didn't make mistakes. When he came close - such as the risky choice to abandon AC Milan for its Turinese rivals, Juventus - they weren't recorded as such. He was the sort of person who, even as he stumbled, managed to do so gracefully.

A lot of this was down to presentation. Other players look bedraggled 60 minutes into a match. Not Pirlo.

He seemed to be perpetually throwing off a smock and leaping from a barber's chair.

The beard (adopted before such a thing was fashionable again - in fact, it may be Pirlo more than any other man who brought it back), the hair, the Roman nose, the look of ... well, it wasn't disdain. It was a mild.

ly bemused otherworldliness. On the field, he registered a single emotion - the complete lack of one.

"I don't feel pressure," Pirlo said.

"I spent the afternoon of Sunday, July 9, 2006, in Berlin sleeping and playing PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup."

Despite the slight remove from the workaday worries of his peers, Pirlo was not haughty. He didn't celebrate with anything more than a slight raise of his fist, or push teammates out of the way (they knew to move).

He didn't rub his ability in other people's faces, or react when they tried to do that to him. That was the secret.

Pirlo was an everyman, only better.

Eventually, he became the secondfavourite player of all fans (after whomever starred for your team) and an avatar of sophistication for those who don't follow the sport.

Here he was in his off-hours sitting in a vineyard dangling a glass of red, or lounging poolside, or swanning into training wearing a T-shirt reading, "No Pirlo, No Party."

He rarely spoke in public, and never in anything above a bored mumble.

In an era when we know every biographic detail about every athlete, and perhaps too many of their opinions, Pirlo's reticence felt revolutionary. The only part of himself he was willing to share was the little bit that happened on a pitch.

As a result, you could project anything you liked onto him. Most chose to imagine him as his best self, hungry for excellence but not thirsty for applause. There were (a very few) better players in the world, but none anywhere close to as cultured.

He won nearly every important trophy, but approached soccer as just one of many pastimes. His real talent was living well.

For a player who rarely roused himself above a jog, he was able to amass an impressive number of personal highlights. The most representative may be his penalty against England at Euro 2012.

While goalkeeper Joe Hart did hysterical jumping jacks in the net, Pirlo walked up to the ball and tapped it straight down the middle. Had Hart stood still, the ball would have hit him gently in the chest. Instead, he'd leaped uselessly out of its way.

It was Pirlo's professional creed in action - less vigour, more strategy.

The sound from the crowd as the ball floated in was not quite like anything I've ever heard in a stadium. It was a roar of neither celebration nor disappointment. It was instead a trill of pure delight, as though everyone had just seen an especially amusing magic trick and could not help but marvel at it.

While Hart flopped around on the ground in anguish - he already knew he'd never live this one down - the Italian turned and shuffled back up the field without celebrating.

A couple of years later, Pirlo released his memoir and added a new layer of fascination to his mystique. Apparently, he'd absorbed all of it, recorded every absurd detail of the footballer's life and occasionally seethed at its ridiculousness. At the end, Pirlo revealed a deep emotionalism he'd spent his professional life obscuring.

That was the right moment to leave, so he soon did. He took a bigmoney deal in the United States, but made little impact on Major League Soccer. His signal virtue had always been making those around him better, but what can you do when they aren't that great to begin with?

Last week, Pirlo slipped his retirement quietly into the middle of a longer message posted to social media. Once again, he chose not to say much.

Genetics and repetition made Andrea Pirlo a great soccer player, but that restraint is what made him the coolest athlete in the world.

Putting into past tense last week what he'd famously said years before, iconic Italy manager Marcello Lippi summed Pirlo up this way: "He spoke with his feet."

Associated Graphic

Andrea Pirlo's professional creed seemed to be less vigour and more strategy.


Maple Leafs remain on solid ground at the 20-game mark
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- As the traditional measuring stick for NHL general managers approaches, there is something unusual afoot in the land of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Even though the team has had its bumpy spots this season, there are no tire fires to keep the fans and media raging. This is not the normal state of affairs for Leafs Nation, as exLeafs GM and current Calgary Flames president Brian Burke reminded us

earlier this week when he gave a graphic description of how Flames youngster Sam Bennett, who remains a disappointment in his third NHL season, would have been eviscerated had he the misfortune to be employed by the Leafs.

Even with the Leafs' budding superstar, Auston Matthews, still on the mend from what is suspected to be a back injury, the Leafs remain on solid ground as they prepare to hit the 20-game mark of the season after a four-day break. Twenty games, or the U.S. Thanksgiving Day depending on the GM, is traditionally where those running NHL teams like to assess what they have and decide if urgent corrective action in the form of a trade is necessary.

It is also important for a team to be in playoff position by the 20-game mark, as history shows most of those in such a spot will remain there for the rest of the season. One year ago, even though the Leafs were still in the first real season of their rebuild, there were a few things to stir up the usual suspects even though they had taken a vow of patience.

Matthews, after blasting out of the gate in the first few games of his NHL career last season, hit a scoring slump in late October in which he went 13 games without a goal. Also, by the 20-game mark in 2016-17, the Leafs had an 8-8-4 record and were sixth in the Atlantic Division. They were three points out of the second wild-card playoff spot then, but did sneak in on the last weekend of the regular season.

Their defensive game was still a shambles, as the Leafs allowed 67 goals in 20 games, 27th in the league in that category, although they scored 62, tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for sixth.

This was a vast improvement on the previous season when the unstated intention was to finish as low as possible in order to have the best chance to draft Matthews. And this season is a big step up from the surprising surge of a year ago.

The Leafs will play their 20th game on Thursday at Air Canada Centre against the New Jersey Devils, playing much better than in 2016. Before Tuesday's games, the Leafs were a solid second in the Atlantic Division with a 12-7 record and 24 points. Their 72 goals-for was tops in the NHL and their 63 goalsagainst was 29th. However, in their past four games, all wins, the Leafs shored up their defence to allow just eight goals.

Another key difference from last year comes in overtime games. A year ago, the Leafs had four overtime or shootout losses, a symptom of their tendency to cough up leads in the third period, something that dogged them almost the entire season. The Leafs cut that number to zero this season and have three overtime wins plus a shootout win, proof that leads are now safe and it is the opposition leads that can be tenuous.

There is also encouraging news on the Matthews front. He skated on his own on Monday and the plan was to do the same Tuesday while the rest of the team had the day off.

Matthews is expected to join his teammates at practice on Wednesday and, if everything checks out, he should return to the lineup Thursday. In his absence, the Leafs won all three of their games.

When the Leafs reconvene Wednesday, there will be one new face in the lineup. Forward Nikita Soshnikov was recalled from the Toronto Marlies farm team on Tuesday with centre Frédérik Gauthier headed the other way. This was to prevent Soshnikov from exercising an option in his contract to return to the Kontinental Hockey League if he were not on the Leafs' roster by Nov. 14.

Soshnikov, 24, spent 56 games with the Leafs last season, earning nine points, until a concussion ended his season on March 20. This year, Soshnikov had 12 points in 14 games with the Marlies.

The game against the Devils represents more than just hitting the 20game mark. Even though the Leafs are already 4-0 in their latest fivegame segment - the way head coach Mike Babcock likes to break down the season with the goal being six points in each segment - there is much incentive to beat the Devils.

They made the Leafs look mistakeprone in a 6-3 win at Air Canada Centre on Oct. 11 and revenging that would send a message to everyone.

Associated Graphic

Auston Matthews, centre, is expected to practise on Wednesday and could return to the lineup Thursday, while Nikita Soshnikov, right, was recalled from the Toronto Marlies to prevent him from exercising an option in his contract to return to the Kontinental Hockey League.


. The Airbus CEO explains why he jumped at the chance to take over Bombardier's C Series project - and Canada's future role in it
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

MUNICH -- Tom Enders fixes a piercing stare and leans forward to explain what finally made him decide to agree to take control of Bombardier Inc.'s flagging C Series program.

The chief executive officer of Airbus SE had spent weeks last summer watching teams from Bombardier and Airbus try to hammer out a partnership deal, using the code name Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon, to keep everything secret. But, as the discussions dragged on, Mr. Enders knew something had to be done. So he arranged to meet Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare and a small group of senior executives at a law office in London during the last week of September. Over the next few days, and after a final face-to-face meeting in Munich, they reached an agreement that will see Airbus take majority control of the C Series and roll the $6-billion aircraft program into the French giant's global operation.

Two weeks later, the announcement sent shock waves through the aerospace world and left Canadian taxpayers wondering what they'd got for their $1-billion-plus investment in Bombardier. Why would Airbus take over an aircraft program the company's chief salesman mocked as doomed and that Mr. Enders once dismissed as, too risky? For Mr. Enders the answer was simple: gut instinct.

"Always in life, human interaction is so important," he said in an interview at Airbus's offices in Munich this week. "It can convince you to make the last step and say, 'Okay, now I'm really convinced. It can also work the other way around.' And you say, 'Somehow my gut feeling says I don't trust these people.' "

With Mr. Bellemare, there was immediate trust and "no bullshitting, no trying to manoeuvre around each other."

Instincts and a strong sense of fearlessness have driven Mr. Enders in business and in life. After all, he's a former paratrooper who holds the rank of major in the German Army reserve. He flies military helicopters for fun. And he still skydives regularly at the age of 58 and likes to recite the skydivers' code: "Once you leave an airplane, you are dead - until you do something about it."

During a lunch of salmon, steak and Bavarian beer at Airbus's defence and space centre, Mr. Enders talks at length about his high hopes for the C Series and his dream of building a closer relationship with Canada. But he's also blunt about the challenges facing the aircraft and his expectations from the Canadian government in return for his company's rescue of the C Series and 12,500 direct and indirect jobs in Canada.

Mr. Enders doesn't mince words or put on airs. Dressed in blue jeans, a green sports jacket and a casual shirt, he arrives only slightly late and apologized for cancelling an earlier telephone interview. The blunt talk, plain wardrobe and polite manners stem from his nononsense upbringing in rural Germany as the son of a shepherd. He also craves action. Without the challenge of running a company with 134,000 employees, $100-billion in annual revenue and thousands of aircraft flying in and out of almost every country, he says he just might get restless. "I've never been good at being bored," he says solemnly. He's slow to engage but after 45 minutes or so he begins to unload, offering thoughts on Munich architecture, bemoaning London house prices and quoting the Rolling Stones. But there's one theme he keeps coming back to: the C Series and its new-found importance to Airbus.

This partnership "is good for Canada, it's good for us, it's good for America because we will create additional jobs, and it's very good for airlines," he says. The two C Series models, the CS100, which has 100 seats, and the CS300 with up to 160 seats, fill a hole in the Airbus lineup of single-aisle aircraft and give the company an unparalleled breadth of offerings from small regional jets to 500-seat superjumbos. It also opens new opportunities for Bombardier, as it taps into Airbus's global supply chain, and the Canadian government as it seeks to modernize the military.

And then comes the cautious pragmatism.

"But we have considerable hurdles that we have to take before we can really take off," Mr. Enders says. "And I have no doubt that the bad guys will throw at us whatever they can think."

The "bad guys" are Boeing Co., Airbus's perennial rival and a bogeyman for Bombardier. The Chicago-based plane maker has been locked in a bitter trade dispute with Bombardier, alleging its government assistance has been unfair and that the Montreal manufacturer is selling the C Series in the United States at "absurdly low" prices. For now, the U.S. Department of Commerce has agreed, proposing slapping 300-per-cent tariffs on C Series imports, effectively shutting the Bombardier plane out of its largest market. The Airbus deal could solve all of that in one fell swoop and Mr. Enders is ready to help.

His plan is to open a C Series assembly line at an Airbus plant in Mobile, Ala., thereby doing an end run around the tariffs by ensuring the plane is American-made. It's a risky proposition. There's no guarantee U.S. officials will buy the idea and Boeing isn't letting up, arguing the Alabama assembly line is a ruse. Airbus has also hurt its cause with recent revelations that the company provided inaccurate information to the U.S. State Department about its arms sales practices. The company is already under investigation in Europe over allegations it used intermediaries to pay bribes and the U.S. misstep could lead to another probe, and hand ammunition to Boeing.

"It's not pretty. It's not going to help," Mr. Enders says. "But it's a different issue."

He's counting on political allies in Alabama to make the company's case and he's banking on the "America first" attitude of U.S.

President Donald Trump, who would be hard pressed to balk at job creation in a jurisdiction where he is still popular. "We're quite confident. Otherwise, we wouldn't have taken [the partnership]," he says. "But it's not like 95 per cent. I think that the probability is lower but we have a good chance to pull this off and we'll try hard."

Costs are another matter. Airbus has promised to keep Bombardier's C Series assembly facilities in Canada and protect jobs at its Northern Ireland location, where about 1,000 workers make wings for the aircraft. But cost overruns have already plagued the C Series program and adding another assembly line in Mobile, which could cost $300million (U.S.), would add to the expense. Mr. Enders acknowledges that costs have to come down "considerably," although he won't put a figure on it. The real key, he says, is boosting sales.

"It's an easy calculation. We're quite confident that we can sell the C Series much better than Bombardier was able to do so far because we do it under Airbus with our global sales network, our global supply chain network. So, if we sell many more of these aircraft, obviously, that's good news for the jobs wherever they are."

Maybe, but will he guarantee jobs won't be lost?

"We're not in the business of guaranteeing each and every job.

Obviously, sometimes you have also synergies and stuff like that but, [job cuts] aren't part of the plan," he says. "Part of the plan is to drive down the cost and to sell the C Series, hopefully by the thousands, and that will create a lot of value in Canada; that will keep the jobs in Northern Ireland."

He's less enthusiastic about the sales outlook for the C Series than Bombardier. The Canadian plane maker has predicted there will be sufficient demand for 6,000 similar-sized airplanes over the next 20 years, a figure some analysts say is too optimistic. Mr. Enders said his outlook is in the range of 4,000 to 6,000 planes, but he insisted that even 4,000 would be an enormous number and that there was no reason the C Series couldn't supply half the total.

This isn't the first time Airbus has considered taking on the C Series. There have been two other attempts, one in 2005 and the other in 2015. Mr. Enders wasn't involved the first time around, but as a senior manager at the company he knew discussions had taken place. By 2015, he was CEO and led the talks. He spent weeks poring over the C Series, but his gut wasn't convinced. The risks were too high. "Basically, the aircraft was not certified yet," he recalls. "So there was some uncertainty around the product and the further development."

He dropped the idea altogether and Airbus generally lost interest in the plane. So, when Mr. Bellemare came calling in early August, along with officials from the Canadian government, Mr. Enders was caught off guard. He didn't know at the time that Bombardier and Boeing had ended negotiations about a similar partnership as a way of resolving Boeing's trade complaint. And he didn't know that the Canadian government had steered Bombardier toward Airbus and away from a possible deal with Chinese plane makers. Nonetheless, the message from the Canadians to THE CV: TOM ENDERS .

Born: Dec. 21, 1958, in Neuschlade, Germany. He is the oldest of four children, whose father was a shepherd and mother a homemaker.

Education: Studied economics, history and politics at the University of Bonn and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Completed a doctorate in political science at Bonn by the age of 28.

Career: During his 20s, Mr. Enders worked as an assistant in the German parliament and served as a research assistant at various think tanks. From 1989 to 1991, he was a member of the planning staff at the defence ministry. He joined DaimlerChrysler Aerospace in 1991 and when DASA teamed up with aerospace companies in France and Spain to form the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), he became head of the defence division. In 2005, he was named co-CEO with France's Noël Forgeard.

In 2007, EADS scrapped the dualCEO jobs and Mr. Enders became head of the Airbus division, leaving Frenchman Louis Gallois as the only CEO. In 2012, he took over as CEO and renamed the company Airbus.

Personal: Mr. Enders is married and has four sons. He lives in Munich but travels frequently to Airbus's head office in Toulouse, France. He enjoys skydiving and flying helicopters.

Mr. Enders was clear: Would you mind taking another look?

"We said yeah, okay, let's look into that, let's look at our files from the last discussion and let's see what's new." Times had changed. The C Series was now in commercial use, albeit on a limited basis, and it was winning rave reviews from pilots who loved the technology and passengers who loved the spacious interior. "It was two years more advanced and that convinced us that it would make a lot of sense for us," Mr. Enders says.

The final deal has been controversial. Airbus isn't paying any cash for the majority position while Bombardier will see its stake fall to 31 per cent while the Quebec government will drop to 19 per cent ownership from 49-per-cent, despite sinking $1-billion (U.S.) into the airplane. There's a buyout clause that lets either side prompt a sale to Airbus at "fair market value" in seven years, but to many Canadian observers this smacked of Airbus pulling a fast one and taking advantage of Bombardier's desperation. Mr. Enders demurs and says Bombardier and Quebec weren't desperate. They were realistic.

"I think Bombardier and the Quebec government made a very smart decision by betting and assuming, and I think rightly assuming, that this activity will be worth far more once we have been able to really sell these aircrafts by the hundreds or more than today," he says. "It's one thing to develop a great aircraft. The engineering power at Bombardier is amazing.

The other thing is to sell it worldwide and to have sufficient leverage with all these suppliers. ... I think it speaks very much about the realism of the top management at Bombardier and also the second shareholder, the government of Quebec, they realized that weakness and said we need to compensate for that."

He won't commit to buying out the others in seven years, saying it's too early for that kind of discussion. But he wants it known that Airbus sees this deal as just the start of a lasting relationship with Canada. And that includes the Canadian government.

Airbus has made Canada its fifth home country, ranking it alongside Airbus co-founders France, Germany, Spain and Britain.

For Mr. Enders, that designation carries real meaning and expectation. "You expect your home country to at least take a very fair view of your own industry, and if that industry's competitive with what it's offering for your needs, that you favour your industry. That is what home country is about," he says.

It's a not-too-subtle message to Canadian politicians that Airbus expects to be considered whenever the government thinks about buying airplanes, jet fighters, military transport planes or even satellites.

Already, Airbus is preparing plans to submit a proposal for its Typhoon fighter jet now that the Canadian government has signalled it won't buy fighters from Boeing as long as the trade dispute continues. "There is a broad array of topics where I think we can engage," he says. "I'm sure we can do more if the will on both sides is there, and on the Airbus side, clearly that is the case."

Canadian and Quebec politicians would do well to heed Mr. Enders.

He's used to dealing with politicians and doesn't shy away from a fight. Lately, he's been the focus of rumours that French President Emmanuel Macron doesn't like him and wants him fired. When asked about the controversy, Mr.

Enders gives a wry smile. "Look, I've seen enough crisis and battles in my career," he says rhyming off his 26 years in the business, including 17 at Airbus. A fight with the President of France? Bring it on.

Mr. Enders is the one who pushed to overhaul Airbus's corporate structure, transforming it from a state-founded entity and eliminating government interference in the operations, which included having two CEOs, one from France and one from Germany. He also moved the head office to France from Germany, incurring the wrath of local politicians, and he took on angry unions in Europe when Airbus dared to open an assembly line in China.

He finds the current rumours amusing and chalks it up to the emotional nature of the industry.

"So that government X, Y, or Z likes me or dislikes me is one thing, but much more important is that I have the confidence of the board," he says. "I take it as a positive sign that governments are still interested in our well-being. But that's about it."

The bribery allegations do hurt and Mr. Enders has gone to great lengths to introduce sweeping changes at Airbus. He's launched an internal probe, brought in experts to train managers and made it clear that from the top down, ethical behaviour is mandatory. He also hopes to bring more diversity to the company, adding that, while most of Airbus's business is now in Asia, the company has no Asian managers or directors. It's also lacking women in senior roles and is failing to attract enough young people to replace the 55,000 staff who are expected to retire over the next five years. "If you have only white, middle-aged men who think more or less the same way, that's a much bigger risk than having a diverse set of people with different nationalities, different agendas, and different races looking at stuff from slightly different angles," he says.

The Bombardier deal is part of that effort and he sees Canadians helping add to Airbus's diversity.

With so much going on at Airbus, it's not hard to imagine that the C Series will get lost in the shuffle. Just this week, the company announced a massive $50billion deal for 430 jets with Indigo Partners, a U.S.-based firm that has interests in four airlines.

Where Bombardier fits in is a concern shared by some analysts, who say cost challenges and the U.S. trade dispute could result in the C Series partnership failing. Mr. Enders disagrees.

"It will not be lost. The singleaisle business is our bread-and-butter business and the C Series will be an important part at the lower end of our single-aisle business in the future, if we make this deal happen," he says. "I'm keen to develop a broad relationship with Canada and with, possibly, Bombardier when it comes to aeronautics in the future. ... We have products to offer, we have services to offer. Canada has a lot to offer in terms of a skilled work force, in terms of new technologies, in terms of aeronautics. That's clear and we'll see where this goes."

With that, he's up and out the door, striding briskly across a sidewalk in the maze of Airbus buildings in a Munich suburb. He smiles as the afternoon sun beats down.

He is comfortable here, amid the military hardware and in a part of Germany he adores. He has lived in Munich with his wife and four sons for more than 20 years, embracing the winter sports scene and spending summer days hiking in the nearby mountains. As he walks he checks his watch and asks about the time of sunset. About 4:30 p.m., he's told. Just enough time to take a spin in a helicopter.

Associated Graphic

Tom Enders, chief executive officer of Airbus SE, seen in France in 2014, says, 'The engineering power at Bombardier is amazing.'


The CEOs shake on it: Bombardier's Alain Bellemare, left, and Airbus's Tom Enders visit the Bombardier plant in Mirabel, Que., in October.


An Airbus A320neo and a Bombardier C Series were hauled out for the backdrop at the news conference near Toulouse, France, in October to announce the partnership.


The Shopify CEO's plan for taking Canada from 'startup' to centre stage
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

This has been a year of extremes for Shopify Inc. The stock of the retail merchant software provider more than doubled as the company continually exceeded forecasts and cemented its status as Canada's preeminent emerging technology company, with 500,000-plus merchant customers. But Shopify also faced its first external criticisms: It was targeted by protesters for hosting the online store of alt-right U.S. publication Breitbart News, and its stock sank 20 per cent in the days after short-seller Andrew Left of Citron Research attacked its business model and marketing practices, and said the company was overvalued, in early October. On Wednesday, chief executive Tobi Lutke was named chair of the federal government's economic strategy table on digital industries, a 15-member-group that will advise Ottawa on how to become a global innovation leader. He spoke with The Globe and Mail's Sean Silcoff about his new role and the company's recent challenges.

Tell me about why you accepted the invitation to chair the government's economic strategy table on digital industries.

I want Canada to win. To me, Canada is actually a startup. I think now is the right time to figure out what is the country's role in the world. A lot of the best technologists live and work in Canada, and every once in a while they are aggregated by a Canadian company and then suddenly they're not any more. But the people are still here, they're just working for American companies, to the benefit of American bottom lines.

You have a situation where Canada has built a very strong foundation for a technology ecosystem that only sometimes actually works to the benefit of the true Canadian economy. I think this is partly because there hasn't been the conversation about what Canada wants to become. The TSX is roughly 5 per cent tech companies in terms of value. [Information technology companies account for 2.3 per cent of the S&P/TSX 60 index, compared with 22 per cent of the U.S. S&P 500.] That's utterly anemic.

If you have a lot of the main ingredient and none of the outcome ... the forces acting on the space are slightly skewed in such a way that the outcomes aren't right. We need a massive pyramid of companies at all stages that are strong. At some point, most people in the tech industry in Canada should be employed by Canadian companies, because we need to own the things we bring to the world. That would create an enormous flywheel effect that's going to be really good for the country, having another real leg to stand on [besides] resources.

This has been a tough year for Shopify in some respects. You dealt with the Breitbart controversy, but now you have a shortseller calling you "dirtier than Herbalife." How are you managing this increased scrutiny and criticism?

A good friend who plays tennis and has fans tells me, "No matter what you do, you're going to have haters."

We were so in the background [as a business-to-business provider], so few people asked what we were doing, we ended up with fans and not haters. They came all at once.

Sometimes you're eased into your new reality over time and you can adjust. I entered this year and if someone said something egregious and wrong about me or the company I wanted to type out an essay deconstructing their argument. I had to learn that's probably not the right way. You learn a lot about yourself and every single stage requires you to become better as a person, more resilient and able to deal with more situations. I don't want to cherry-pick - only growing from good situations - because my most intense learning periods have been when things went not the way I wanted.

What key lessons have you learned about yourself and what do you want to improve?

One of the things I was a bit surprised by: I think we haven't done a really good job of actually really explaining Shopify. A part of what people are talking about and clearly what some people reacted to are just so far off the mark that anybody who actually understands the company shouldn't feel terribly affected by some of those claims.

[For example] I read about us being a multilevel marketing company.

But there's one level of marketing [whereby Shopify signs up merchants to operate stores using its software]. It's very easy to dispel this kind of idea that Shopify is engaged in something like this. I think we should just explain: Shopify is a business model that is built around a cause that, if it's successful, no one loses. I'm struggling to find another company you can say this about. People say Facebook connects the world. Facebook has 5,000 PhDs that think about how to make you click on ads you don't want to see. Their business model is about something that most people would not perceive as making the world better ... [It] is meant to be addictive and hold your attention. Shopify has so much more clear purity of intent. Every time we make it simpler for people to start businesses, more people start businesses. We are competing not against percentage points of market share, we are growing a market. When we grow a market, someone potentially has a completely different life for the rest of their lives, which is fundamentally good. This is the kind of thing I just want to help people understand.

Let's talk about Citron. Why was your initial response to the short-seller so muted?

I admit we were surprised by the reaction to it. To us, it seemed so preposterous. I just thought, "Okay, this isn't going to have much of an effect." The problem was then it had such media pickup [including commentary by TheStreet's Jim Cramer] and the effect it had became the story. The message became amplified and ran away from us, frankly.

But you also have to understand, [Citron] releases [its report] on Day 1 of our blackout period [following the quarter's end]. We're not allowed to talk about the company.

The playbook he's playing is ridiculously tuned.

Investor reaction has been cool since you addressed some of Citron's allegations during your earnings call last week. There's a number of ways to interpret investor response; Why do you think investors are hesitant?

We are at an enormously premium valuation, which means we are a massively trusted company that's performed really well. It was so easy to find [people who said] why the company is great, actually it was really quite difficult to find people to say what was wrong with the company, which was a void, which then got filled with a fairly extreme position. If you think about a company's value as this elastic band where [the fair market value] is somewhere in the middle, if everyone says "Yay," the elastic band gets stretched up high, and suddenly the first person shows up to say, "Hey, wait a second everybody." Shopify is a complex company. It's not designed to be easy for investors to understand. Even if there's no validity to the words, now you have a counterforce for the elastic band, and the elastic band probably goes to the middle point to where it should have been all along.

Do you think you went far enough with your commentary or do you think you might need to further address some of the concerns/criticisms raised?

We told people, "Hey, this is preposterous." Remember, the guy knows the companies he attacks really well and this is bad faith misrepresentation of a company. At a certain point, we can't really engage with that kind of thing, because it's a lot easier to make up things than trying to substantiate what's going on. [In an interview with The Globe last month, Citron's Mr. Left said Shopify "needs to get rid of the aggressive marketing (and) to be exactly what it is, a good SAAS (software-asa-service), e-commerce platform and let the valuation fall to where it is, and if it happens to be $4-billion, then it's a good $4-billion company."] We are trying to grow this market. Growing the market means picking up people who are trying this for the first time. That means the failure rates are significantly higher. ... He said, "Well, they're not disclosing unit churn [the amount of customers that stop using Shopify] because they're hiding something." No one in the software-asa-service industry would ever do as much as put unit churn on a screen, because it would lead to completely wrong behaviour ... the company itself doesn't look at the number.

It's well-known that the failure rate of small businesses is high.

What would be the harm in sharing that churn data point and explaining the number in a bigger context?

Subtlety has died on the Internet. If a number itself doesn't tell a story you can't disclose the number, because people take it out of context. More importantly, no one at Shopify looks at churn.

So it's not an important number for Shopify?

No, not at all. Retaining revenue is the thing. Shopify creates essentially a basket of sign-ups every month.

There's going to be Procter & Gamble in there and someone who wants to take their dad's leatherbelt business online. Over the next couple of months, they figure what will survive, what will retain. From our perspective, this is a balanced portfolio of people with different potential. They then start growing up on the platform. Some of them succeed, some of them churn. The ones who succeed end up consuming more of our services, and it's 100-per-cent retentive for revenue.

For us it's creating annuities that [generate] revenue.

Some analysts highlighted as a concern the fact that average gross merchandise value [GMV] per merchant went down last quarter. Could you provide more disclosure, cut those numbers up a bit more to address their concerns?

We could, but honestly - I have a dashboard with two numbers on it, [total] GMV and net customers.

That combines into a monthly recurring revenue number. That's the triangle, and that's the direction and growth of the company. What we disclose and tell people is the CEO dashboard. People are curious, but for the directional running of the company, those are the numbers that matter.

There were some concerns from analysts about operating margins last week. Your company has been talking for a long time about reaching operating profitability. You came in one quarter ahead of projections in the third quarter, with your first adjusted operating profit since going public. But your CFO, Russ Jones, said the company's focus going forward will be on revenue growth, not profit, suggesting the market will see a bumpier ride on the bottom line. What is the longer term view the Street should have about Shopify's intents with regard to achieving and sustaining profitability versus growing revenue?

We always said this is a growth company. We will periodically check in with profitability, while being on a growth journey. But we're not interested in building up a massive bank account right now and doing share buybacks. That would be a horrible way to invest money given the opportunities we have.

That's never been a concern for Amazon, either.

Exactly. We said from the beginning we're not going public to be public, we're going public because the most enduring companies are trusted public companies. So far, we've always done exactly what we said we'd do - in fact, slightly better.

We're not done building this trust yet. We just need people to hear us when we say this is an enormous opportunity.

This interview has been edited and condensed. Read more questions and answers from this interview at

Associated Graphic

Tobi Lutke, the CEO of retail-software-solutions provider Shopify and new chair of a federal advisory council on digital industry, says Canada needs to retain the tech ideas it brings into the world to become a leader in global innovation.


At National Bank, bullish analyst becomes a target for short-sellers
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Three guys walk into a bar and start talking about investing.

It sounds like the beginning of a joke. But when three men met at Earl's in Toronto's financial district one night this summer, one of the men was secretly recording what was being said. That conversation has now become a flashpoint in an intriguing battle between a Manitoba company and a band of critics who are trying to drive down its share price.

The party of three included Trevor Johnson, an analyst at National Bank Financial who has been a long-time booster of Exchange Income Corp., a Winnipeg-based industrial company with a market capitalization of $1-billion. The other two men were short-sellers who had bet against the stock in the belief that Mr. Johnson's investment case is wrong.

During the conversation, Mr. Johnson spent the bulk of the time explaining his bullish case for Exchange Income. But he also offered some unvarnished views of his employer - "greedy," he said, for the interest rates it was charging short-sellers - and of the potentially sharp downside to owning Exchange Income shares if the company were to lose the ability to raise new capital.

Exchange Income runs a number of aviation and manufacturing businesses in North America, including air services that serve Canada's north. A former income trust, the company has a following among many retail investors, thanks to a large and growing dividend that pays 17.5 cents a share every month.

It also has an aggressive strategy of deal-making, and has funded its expansion with frequent trips to the equity and debt markets. The company has raised more than $630-million from debt, finance leases and new shares since the beginning of 2015. Much of that money has been raised with the help of National Bank Financial, which was the lead underwriter on two big equity deals in the past three years, according to Bloomberg data.

Asked by the short-sellers what would happen if Exchange Income lost its access to the capital markets, Mr. Johnson responded: "It's 10 bucks." Exchange Income currently trades for $33.17, and the analyst's price target is $42.

In the conversation, Mr. Johnson also suggested that National Bank Financial, in an attempt to please Exchange Income and its chief executive Michael Pyle, was moving Exchange Income stock out of brokerage customers' margin accounts, where they could easily be lent to short-sellers, and into cash accounts. By doing this, a brokerage firm can squeeze the supply of shares available to short-sellers - and drive up their cost of borrowing stock.

Short-sellers borrow shares they don't own and sell them in order to profit if the price goes down. But as with any loan, they must pay interest, which varies widely depending on the security.

If there is not much stock available to be borrowed, the price can be high. The Globe and Mail has seen data from multiple short-sellers that show their borrowing costs on Exchange Income skyrocketed over the summer.

National Bank says its management didn't direct anyone to support Exchange Income in this way - but says two of its financial advisers participated in what might be a broader Bay Street effort to prop up the shares.

The firm and its analyst have now become the targets of Marc Cohodes, an aggressive short-seller from California who added Exchange Income to his hit list in July after a long-running campaign against mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc.

Mr. Cohodes took the squabble public when he featured Mr. Johnson at a New York City investment conference in October. He compared the National Bank analyst with former Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget, who was barred from the securities industry in 2003 after it emerged that he had privately expressed strongly negative opinions on stocks that, in public, he was telling investors to buy. (Mr. Johnson declined to comment for this story.)

"The people and firms involved in this manipulation are all underwriters or bankers of Exchange Income and have a vested interest," Mr. Cohodes said.

He said his cost of shorting Exchange Income has soared, with investment banks charging 2 per cent on the lent shares in June to 32 per cent in September. (Mr. Cohodes says he's currently paying 22 per cent interest to borrow the shares; his lawyer sent a letter to National Bank in October, claiming the bank may be violating U.S. securities laws that govern "market manipulation.") Another investment firm that is shorting the stock provided The Globe with data showing the interest rates it paid at each of two banks were around 1 per cent to 2 per cent as of the beginning of June.

That rate climbed to double digits at both by early August, and spiked to roughly 30 per cent in late August.

Brian Davis, co-CEO of National Bank Financial, said: "There is absolutely and has been absolutely no strategy on the part of National Bank's management to try and systematically transfer [Exchange Income] shares from margin accounts to cash accounts to somehow curtail availability of stock for short-sellers."

Mr. Davis said, however, that National Bank has determined that "a couple of advisers" moved "about 200,000 shares" of Exchange Income from margin accounts to cash accounts. The National Bank clients were longterm Exchange Income shareholders, and the moves were made in consultation with the clients, Mr. Davis said.

"If you are long-term holder of [Exchange Income], I can understand why an investment adviser would recommend this to his or her clients - because if you're a long-term holder, wouldn't you want to support the stock in some manner?

"There's nothing illegal or in my view inappropriate when an investment adviser in consultation with his or her clients do something like that."

National Bank never stopped lending Exchange Income shares to short-sellers, Mr. Davis said, and "we were not pressured to do so" by the company. "They might have preferred that we not participate [in stock lending], but we have an obligation to other clients who actually want us to do that activity for them and so we carried on."

However, he said, "we are aware that there were efforts by people outside the firm not under our oversight." Mr. Davis says the two National Bank investment advisers "responded to an initiative" driven by investment advisers at other retail brokerage firms to move shares out of margin accounts. He would not name the other firms.

A spokeswoman for Exchange Income declined to comment.

The company has been the target of short-sellers and other critics before. In the summer of 2014, Veritas Investment Research Corp.

published a report questioning the viability of the company's cellphone-tower business and suggested the company's dividend was at significant risk.

Exchange Income sold off the U.S. part of the tower business, used the proceeds to add to its aviation business and saw its shares post strong gains in 2015 and 2016. It is down 21 per cent so far this year.

Mr. Cohodes's attack, however, has raised the stakes. The shortseller argues the company's cash flow has never covered its dividend, pointing to operating cash flow minus all the company's capital expenditures. Exchange Income, in presenting its results, says the bulk of its capital expenditures are for growth initiatives, not the maintenance of its business, and therefore should not be considered in evaluating the viability of its dividend.

The difference is significant: Exchange Income said on Wednesday that its "free cash flow," defined by excluding all capital expenditures, was up 22 per cent to $55.8-million, and its dividend payout of 45 per cent of that was "the strongest level in a decade," Mr. Pyle said in an earnings call in which he also called this "the best third quarter in our history." Free cash flow minus "maintenance" capital expenditures was just less than $36-million.

Mr. Cohodes argues the company's free cash flow was actually negative, when $55.8-million in total capex is considered. While the company was able to net $15.3million against that total capex by selling assets, Mr. Cohodes notes that accounts payable swelled by $23.6-million in the quarter, as Exchange Income paid fewer bills.

"You could never find an accounting book or a professor who agrees with what they say free cash flow is," he says.

Mr. Cohodes has also seized on Mr. Johnson's comments about the shares being worth "ten bucks" if Exchange Income loses its ability to access the capital markets, and argues it directly conflicts with his published target price of $42.

"Trevor was responding to a hypothetical risk," Mr. Davis says. "If you assume that as the fact, then I think that people will broadly agree on the consequence. But Trevor does not regard this as the right hypothetical to apply to his recent analysis. And he said to us that it has not affected his views that had been published in his research and he stands by his research."

The "casual" nature of the bar conversation led to a "lack of precision" by Mr. Johnson, Mr. Davis says. Mr. Johnson is still employed by National Bank and continues to cover Exchange Income shares.

"There is, in our view, no reason to see any change in any of that."

Norway's wealth fund aims to divest billions in oil, gas stocks
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

OSLO -- Norway's trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund is proposing to drop oil and gas companies from its benchmark index, which would mean cutting its investments in those companies, the deputy central bank chief supervising the fund told Reuters, sending energy stocks lower.

If adopted by parliament, the Storting, the fund would over time divest billions of dollars from oil and gas stocks, which now represent 6 per cent - or around $37-billion (U.S.) - of the fund's benchmark equity index. The aim is to make the Norwegian government's wealth less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices, at a time when the fund is increasing its exposure to equities to 70 per cent of the fund's value from 60 per cent earlier.

Europe's index of oil and gas shares hit its lowest level since midOctober on the news and was trading down 0.39 per cent at 16.41 GMT.

Two Calgary companies, Suncor Energy Inc. and Enbridge Inc., are among the top 15 energy holdings in the Norwegian fund. Suncor fell 0.18 per cent while Enbridge slipped 0.11 per cent. An iShares exchange-traded fund that tracks a Canadian energy index dropped 0.74 per cent.

The proposal came in a letter sent by the central bank to the finance ministry and signed by its governor, Oeystein Olsen, and the chief executive of the fund, Yngve Slyngstad, deputy central bank governor Egil Matsen said in an interview.

"Our advice is to simply remove the oil and gas sector, as it is defined in the FTSE reference index, from the fund's reference index," Mr. Matsen said.

"That would mean all companies that the FTSE has classified with the sector, should be removed from our reference index."

The fund is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund and invests Norway's revenues from oil and gas production for future generations in stocks, bonds and real estate abroad.

It is among the largest investors in a wide range of oil companies, holding stakes at the end of 2016 of 2.3 per cent in Royal Dutch Shell PLC, 1.7 per cent of BP PLC, 0.9 per cent of Chevron Corp. and 0.8 per cent of Exxon Mobil Corp.

"The risk for the oil sector is how many investment funds will downsize their exposure to extractive industries," said Jason Kenney, oil analyst at bank Santander.

The fund also held 1.7 per cent of Italy's Eni SpA, 1.6 per cent of France's Total SA and 0.9 per cent of Sweden's Lundin Petroleum, among others. At the end of the third quarter, Royal Dutch Shell was the fund's third-biggest equity investment over all, worth $5.34-billion and exceeded only by its ownership in Apple Inc. and Nestlé SA.

"This news will be scrutinized very closely by funds around the world who are already looking closely at the climate risks in their portfolios and which sectors and companies will fare best in the low-carbon transition," said Stephanie Pfeifer, head of the Institutional Investors Group of Climate Change, which groups 140 investors representing assets of more than 20-trillion ($30-billion Canadian). "Investors will look even more carefully at which companies are aligning their business strategies to the transition to a low-carbon energy system and which ones are not.

Investors then have a range of options for managing the risks they perceive," she added Others were less sanguine.

"My guess is that after the initial market adjustment - which would have been difficult to anticipate - the move may not damage the sector's long-term performance significantly," said Kevin Gardiner, global investment strategist at Rothschild Wealth Management.

BP and Shell declined to comment.

The aim of the proposal is to make Norway's wealth less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices, especially when the fund is increasing the proportion of its portfolio it invests in equities to 70 per cent from 60 per cent previously.

The fund has grown so large that even though the Norwegian state is taking less than 3 per cent of the fund's value every year for its fiscal budget in recent years, oil spending now accounts for one in five crowns spent by the state.

In addition to its holdings via the fund, Norway has its own exposure to oil and gas through untapped offshore hydrocarbon reserves, as well as its 67-per-cent stake in the national oil company, Statoil ASA.

The fund could still invest in the sector if other parts of the fund's mandate are fulfilled by having some investments in some of the companies, he said. "But clearly the direction is that ... if the ministry and the politicians think it is good advice and they say yes to it, clearly the investments in the oil and gas sector will decrease over time," he added.

Initial reactions from Norwegian politicians were positive, with two key centrist opposition parties backing the proposal. Green campaigners also welcomed the news.

"Bravo Norway, and let's hope it gets through because the future of fossil-fuel investment is looking shaky," said Rachel Kennerley, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

"This is ... as astonishing as the moment when the Rockefellers divested the world's oldest oil fortune," said Bill McKibben, founder of the campaign group. "This is the biggest pile of money on the planet, most of it derived from oil, but that hasn't blinded its owners to the realities of the world we now inhabit."

Since 2015, the fund no longer invests in companies that derive more than 30 per cent of their revenues or activities from coal - one of an early group of investors to do so, which has made the coal sector less attractive to some investors.

Oil and gas stocks would be replaced by investments in other companies, Mr. Matsen said. "The straight answer is that all other sectors would be weighted up in proportion ... [under] our current mandate," he said.

At the end of 2016, the fund's equity investments were split between investments in the financial sector (23.3 per cent), industrial companies (14.1 per cent), consumer goods (13.7 per cent), consumer services (10.3 per cent), health care (10.2 per cent), technology (9.5 per cent), oil and gas (6.4 per cent), basic materials (5.6 per cent), telecoms (3.2 per cent) and utilities (3.1 per cent).

The proposal has to be reviewed by Norway's Finance Ministry, which in turn needs to decide whether to propose it to parliament. The ministry said it would conclude with its own view in the autumn of 2018.

If it backs the central bank's proposal, parliament could vote on it in June, 2019, at the earliest.

Loblaw launches home delivery, but braces for 'difficult year'
Grocery chain begins plan to compete in retail shift to e-commerce, and sees rising costs
Thursday, November 16, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is taking big steps to compete in an e-commerce world, and warning the changes will come at a cost.

The country's largest supermarket chain said on Wednesday it is launching home delivery of groceries in two major cities and shutting 22 unprofitable stores as it takes on rapidly shifting consumer preferences along with rising labour costs.

Loblaw is teaming up with the U.S. delivery technology startup Instacart to begin fresh food and other grocery shipments to customers beginning Dec. 6 in Toronto, and early next year in Vancouver before it rolls out more broadly. The service will come with premium prices and delivery and service fees.

The store closings and other efforts are aimed at helping Loblaw find ways to shave expenses and gear up for multiple financial pressures that retailers will feel in 2018, including rising consumer demand for e-commerce, higher minimum wages in Ontario and Alberta - and possibly elsewhere - and generic-drug reforms.

"Given all the headwinds, we expect 2018 will be a very difficult year," Loblaw chief executive Galen Weston told a quarterly analyst call, adding later the "headwinds" next year are potentially "more significant than anything that the organization has experienced before."

On the e-commerce front, grocers face Inc., which this year acquired organics grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7-billion (U.S.) and is expected to expand its online food-order deliveries, putting heat on incumbent retailers to offer that service.

Canadian grocers have been generally slow to offer extensive home deliveries because of the considerable cost of shipping perishable products, as well as many low-cost, sometimes bulky items to customers' homes.

Loblaw has led the way in the more economic e-commerce model of what it calls "click and collect," in which consumers choose their groceries online and pick up their orders at the stores.

Mr. Weston said Loblaw has had success with click and collect, which he said has been a convenient service for many Canadians and is being expanded in more of its stores, today reaching more than 30 per cent of the country's population.

Still, Kaan Yigit of Solutions Research Group said consumers prefer "no fuss" grocery deliveries over click-and-collect e-commerce.

"I am not sure that you can be a consumer-facing 2017 company and not offer a true mobile contact point and a delivery option, especially in the largest markets," he said.

But, he noted Loblaw and other grocers are still struggling with the economics of home delivery. He said Loblaw's home-delivery service with Instacart is relatively expensive, thus potentially discouraging many consumers from using it.

Even so, Mudit Rawat, founder of Canadian online delivery startup, said customers have to pick up some of the costs of home delivery in return for the added convenience.

His company failed to find a big enough grocer such as Loblaw to partner with to do deliveries, making the economics of the business unworkable, he said. He has now switched to doing online deliveries for consumer-product companies.

He said Loblaw's online delivery service is not for mainstream customers but rather for those ready to pay a premium. "Could it become a big enough business for Loblaw? Probably," he added.

The Instacart delivery fees will range from a low of $3.99 (Canadian) depending on the size of the order and deliver time, to as high as $9.99 for one-hour shipments of an order of less than $35. And there will be an added service fee of 7.5 per cent of the value of the order.

Home-delivered grocery prices will be higher than Loblaw's regular prices.

Loblaw hasn't disclosed its homedelivery pricing yet. "This is a financial tradeoff," Mr. Weston said.

"There's lots of room to modify the cost structure depending on the consumer appetite for the service.

So we will monitor it closely and we will make the necessary adjustments."

He said Loblaw has a road map to reaching profitability in its grocery e-commerce, but he would not disclose how long that would take.

In the debate over pickup-versusdelivery, consultancy McKinsey & Co. has found click-and-collect generates higher profit margins: After variable costs, such as marketing, margins are 13.8 per cent for pickups and just 10.7 per cent for home deliveries. That's in a "bestcase scenario" of densely populated areas in Europe, it says in the 2013 report. "The economics of pickup can be substantially more attractive."

Mr. Weston said Loblaw will try to refrain from raising prices to cover burgeoning costs of e-commerce, minimum wages and drug reforms.

Among other moves to rein in costs, Loblaw last month told its largest suppliers it was introducing a "supply-chain handling charge" of 0.79 per cent of the value of their orders starting in 2018, an initiative that has angered many vendors.

Michael Graydon, CEO of the suppliers group Food & Consumer Products of Canada, said Loblaw and the country's major grocers are pushing more costs onto their vendors than merchants in other major trading markets, "further hampering our already-lagging manufacturing competitiveness ... "It's time to simply call the increase what it is - a direct transfer of costs from retailer to supplier to ensure [or increase] retailer profitability," Mr. Graydon said.

Loblaw CFO Richard Dufresne said the new supplier fee is just one of many strategies to deal with overall headwinds.

Loblaw has made other recent moves to offset cost pressures, including laying off 500 employees from its office and store-support operations, along with finalizing plans to close 22 stores, most of them by the first quarter of 2018. It expects to record charges of about $135-million, most of which are expected in the fourth quarter, and generate $85-million in annual savings.

In Loblaw's Instacart program, shoppers will order from local Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore or T&T locations through the Instacart website or app; Instacart will pick, pack and deliver the orders.

Loblaw reported it more than doubled its third-quarter profit to $883million, or $2.24 a share, from $419million, or $1.03, a year earlier. Revenue climbed to $14.19-billion from $14.14-billion. The results included a $432-million gain on the sale of the company's gas-station business to Brookfield Business Partners.

Loblaw (L)

Close: $69.26, up 11¢

Associated Graphic

In addition to launching premium home-delivery service in two major cities, Loblaw will shutter 22 unprofitable stores in 2018.


A Loblaws store at the East Mall in Toronto is seen on Wednesday. The grocer has yet to disclose its home-delivery prices.


Omnitrax, Ottawa deal legal blows over Manitoba railway
After U.S. rail company issues NAFTA claim, federal government files suit over Hudson Bay Railway
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

The dispute over a broken-down railway in northern Manitoba escalated on Tuesday, as the federal government and a U.S. rail company exchanged legal blows.

Ottawa filed a lawsuit against Denver-based Omnitrax Inc., alleging the company's failure to repair and reopen the flood-damaged Hudson Bay Railway is a violation of an agreement reached in 2008.

Omnitrax, meanwhile, served Ottawa with a notice of intent to file a claim under the North American free-trade agreement, alleging Ottawa's move to dissolve the Canadian Wheat Board in 2012 made its purchase of the railway and the Port of Churchill a money loser.

Omnitrax says it bought the railway and port in 1997 with the expectation that grain shipments from the Canadian Wheat Board would continue. But the government's dismantling of the wheat board and its privatization in 2015 "pulled the rug out from under Omnitrax's investment" by diverting crop shipments to other railways, the company said in a notice of intent to seek arbitration, filed on Tuesday.

The government's actions have devalued Omnitrax's investments and stymied its efforts to sell the railway and port, Omnitrax alleges in its claim.

"Omnitrax would not have purchased the HBR or the Port of Churchill but for the expected continuation of the CWB business," Omnitrax said in its notice. Omnitrax said it is seeking a negotiated settlement that will repair the railway and port and transfer ownership to the government or a third party. Failing that, Omnitrax said it will sue Ottawa for $150-million.

In a statement, Omnitrax Canada president Merv Tweed called the action a "last resort" to "help facilitate an amicable resolution to the dispute."

"We remain open to the possibility of reaching an agreement with the federal government, should they demonstrate a willingness to come to the table and discuss a reasonable arrangement for repair and transfer of the HBR, Port of Churchill and related assets," said Mr. Tweed, a Conservative member of Parliament from 2004 to 2013, when he gave up his seat in the government of Stephen Harper to take the job with Omnitrax.

Ottawa's lawsuit against Omnitrax seeks the return of $19-million it contributed to the railway's upkeep, and unspecified damages.

Sections of the railway, Churchill's only land link, were heavily damaged in a May flood and remain closed. Residents and businesses are relying on air shipments for all their needs.

"As the private owner of the line, Omnitrax had the obligation to repair the rail line when it was damaged and it is irresponsible that they have not commenced repairs," said Mélany Gauvin, a spokeswoman for Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

Mr. Garneau was unavailable to comment on Tuesday, his office said.

Omnitrax is relying on NAFTA's Chapter 11, intended to settle disputes between investors of a NAFTA country and government. Omnitrax's notice of intent is the first step in a complaint process that has been undertaken by companies such as United Parcel Service of America Corp. and Resolute Forest Products Inc.

Under NAFTA, a government is not allowed to discriminate against or treat a NAFTA-country investor less favourably than a domestic party.

Mr. Harper in 2012 ended the wheat board's monopoly on buying and selling western wheat and barley for export to allow farmers to sell their crops in the open market.

The wheat board was bought in 2015 by a partnership between Bunge of the United States and Saudi Arabia's state-owned Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co.

Renamed CWB, the former wheat board now moves crops through its own network of terminals and ports on British Columbia's coast and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway.

Other grain companies have also stepped into the market, buying and selling western crops for export. Volumes sent on the HBR to Churchill plunged, a decline worsened by the loss of federal shipping subsidies, Omnitrax says.

"When Omnitrax acquired the HBR and the Port of Churchill, it was led by the government of Canada to expect that the railway would continue to carry historical levels of grain, as it had for the past several decades. This was to form the economic base for the viability of Omnitrax's investment, upon which Omnitrax could build by diversifying and expanding the range of goods that were transported through Churchill," Omnitrax said in its notice.

"By eliminating the [CWB's monopoly] and privatizing the CWB, the government of Canada set in motion a series of economic forces which, predictably and inevitably, wiped out the economic foundations on which the commercial viability of the HBR and the Port of Churchill rested."

Omnitrax bought the HBR from the recently privatized Canadian National Railway in 1997 for $11-million. At the same time, it took over the Port of Churchill from the federal government for $10. Ottawa contributed $28-million for dredging and other repairs. Other investments and subsidies made by Ottawa amounted to inducements for Omnitrax to keep spending on the system in the mistaken belief the government was committed to the shipment of grain through the route, the company says.

Since buying the port and railway, Omnitrax says it has invested more than $100-million but never made a profit.

Churchill is a deepwater port on Hudson Bay that can handle large ships and is favoured by shippers for its fast transit time to foreign markets. However, the port is iced in for much of the year and open only from July to October.

Climate change raises the possibility the port could become more viable. The same forces, however, render unstable and flood prone the frozen muskeg over which much of the railway travels.

Associated Graphic

Omnitrax alleges Ottawa's move to dissolve the Canadian Wheat Board made the railway in Churchill, Man., a money loser.


Damage along the Hudson Bay Railway after flooding is seen above. Omnitrax said in its notice of intent to file a claim that it expected to carry 'historical levels' of grain along the route.


C Series faces tough path - even under Airbus's wing
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL -- Analysts are beginning to challenge the view that Bombardier Inc.'s deal to hand control of its marquee C Series airliner to Airbus SE will give the airplane a new and long life.

Two reports published this week offer a more contrarian take on the future of an Airbus-controlled C Series than the generally positive narrative accepted by investors, who have pushed up Bombardier shares 29 per cent since the Airbus deal was announced Oct. 16. The latest reports argue that, even if the C Series is revived, it still faces a difficult path to profit.

"The starting point for the C Series is not good," Bernstein Research equity analyst Douglas Harned writes in a Nov. 6 report. "The fact that the Quebec government, after investing $1-billion in the C Series is willing to give Airbus a majority stake for free shows how far from profitability the program is."

The analyst said he spoke recently with airline officials and concluded that the C Series is a hard sell at any price above the low $20-million (U.S.) range. He said he does not think Airbus brings anything to the C Series partnership that would allow the company to boost the price of the aircraft significantly. As a result, that means substantial cost reductions will be necessary to make the C Series work.

History suggests it won't, the analyst says. Operating two final assembly lines as planned - one in Mirabel, Que., and one in Mobile, Ala., to serve the U.S. market - will only add to costs, he said. Bombardier said in a regulatory filing that setting up the Mobile site to build the C Series will cost $300-million and create more than 2,000 permanent jobs in the United States.

The idea that Airbus can use its market power to cut costs in the C Series supply chain sounds exactly like what Boeing Co. tried to do when it bought McDonnell Douglas and attempted to cut costs on the MD-95 plane program, Mr. Harned said. The problem that Boeing faced was that suppliers had no desire to invest to reduce costs in a low-volume aircraft program on which they were not making much profit in the first place, he said. Boeing was never able to sufficiently cut costs or raise the price for the plane, which was rebranded as the Boeing 717, and eventually shut the program down in 2006, roughly nine years after taking over McDonnell Douglas.

"The C Series, which we also see as a good airplane, faces the same challenges," Mr. Harned said, adding the agreement with Bombardier brings little to Airbus except removing Bombardier as a challenger to the Airbus-Boeing duopoly.

"Airbus will bring a stronger sales and support network to the C Series but we do not see that as sufficient to change the economics of this airplane."

A separate Nov. 7 report by analysts with Moody's Investors Service says the main challenge in the Airbus-Bombardier partnership will be questionable demand for the C Series in the years to come.

"If demand improves for commercial jets with 100 to 150 seats, bringing Airbus on as majority owner should be helpful to the C Series program as prospective customers may be more comfortable ordering the C Series given Airbus's strengths, including in marketing and support of its aircraft," the Moody's analysts write. "But since its introduction in 2008, the C Series has been unable to attract meaningful interest from more than a small number of airlines and leasing companies."

Bombardier's C Series order book stood at about 340 planes as of Sept. 30, with firm orders from 17 customers. The company believes there is a market for about 6,000 planes seating 100 to 150 seats over the next 20 years and that it can capture at least half of the orders.

That forecast might be ambitious, Moody's says.

"For us to consider the C Series a success, orders will likely need to reach about 1,000 aircraft," Moody's says. "Given the relative youth of the global narrowbody fleet and the airline industry's focus on maintaining an acceptable return on invested capital, we believe the C Series will not reach 1,000 in the next five years. At this level of demand, we would question whether the program would be profitable given its estimated development cost of more than $6-billion to date."

Bombardier is now working to finalize its agreement with Airbus.

"Airbus joining the C Series program is a strong endorsement of the aircraft, the market potential and the opportunity for long-term value creation," Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said on the company's Nov. 2 earnings call.

"The overwhelming customer interest and positive feedback we have received in the past few weeks give us great confidence that we have the right partner and that we are on the right path to unlocking the full potential of the C Series."

Bombardier (BBD.B)

Close: $3.04, down 6¢

Associated Graphic

A C Series aircraft sits on an airport's tarmac during a demo event in New Delhi on Oct. 5. Bombardier's C Series order book stood at about 340 planes as of Sept. 30, with firm orders from 17 customers.


Saputo's push Down Under shows how far the company has come
Friday, November 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

Lino Saputo Jr. is in Australia this week and next in an attempt to sell dairy farmers there on his company's $1.3-billion bid to buy the country's second-largest milk processor. The deal for the Murray Goulburn Co-operative would leave Saputo with fully a third of the Australian milk market it first entered in 2014 when it took control of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.

Earlier this year, Saputo bought out the minority shareholders of Warrnambool, Australia's fifth-biggest dairy producer. The deal it struck last week to buy Murray Goulburn would see Saputo battling for Down Under dairy supremacy with New Zealand's giant Fonterra co-op. Both dairy titans have been bulking up in Australia to supply the ever-thirsty Chinese market.

The 16,000 kilometres separating Saputo Inc.'s Montreal head office and its operations Down Under are but one indication of the distance the company has travelled since it went public 20 years ago this fall.

Back then, Saputo had already carved out a local niche for itself as Canada's biggest producer of mozzarella. But its modest $450-million in annual sales meant it remained but a curd among the truly big cheeses of the global dairy market, such as Nestlé or Danone.

By 2016, Saputo had become the world's ninth-biggest dairy processor, with sales of $11-billion. With little debt and a seemingly insatiable thirst for acquisitions, it may not be long before it climbs into the top five. Not bad for a cheese maker founded by Sicilian immigrants to Montreal's Little Italy in 1954 with a delivery fleet that then consisted of a single bicycle.

Led by patriarch Lino Saputo Sr., who stepped down as chairman this year at 80, the Saputo clan has amassed Quebec's biggest fortune, and Canada's fifth-biggest, with a net worth estimated in 2017 at $10.4-billion. And they've done it without relying on multiple-voting shares to insulate themselves and management from takeovers or pesky minority shareholders, providing a true lesson in survival of the fittest to the owners of Bombardier, Power Corp. or Quebecor.

The Saputos have also been outstanding corporate citizens and champions of Montreal. The family has a majority stake in the Montreal Impact Major League Soccer team, which had a horrendous 2017 season.

But president Joey Saputo is hoping the team can bend it like Beckham in 2018 with a new coach, this week hiring former Olympique Lyonnais coach Rémi Garde for the job.

Lino Saputo Jr., 51, who this year also became Saputo chairman (he's been CEO since 2004), has been working in the family business since he was 13. He started out mopping floors before learning the art and science of industrial cheese-making. He had risen to vice-president of production by the time Saputo went public in 1997, overseeing six factories in Canada and two in the United States. That portfolio has grown to 51 plants on three continents. Half of Saputo's business in now in the United States, a third in Canada and the rest in Australia and Argentina.

Since Saputo went public, its stock price has risen about twentyfold, controlling for splits, delivering a compound annual return of about 16 per cent. Of late, uncertainty over the fate of the North American free-trade agreement and the future of Canada's supply-managed milk market has been a drag on its share price, as has the deflationary environment afflicting the global dairy sector.

But if Saputo has demonstrated anything, it is its ability to succeed in any regulatory environment. It is undaunted by the prospect of an end to supply management, just as it is by the price swings it must deal with in the deregulated U.S. and Australian milk markets.

Murray Goulburn is itself a victim of Australian deregulation. Processors there bid fiercely for milk supply and MG, as its known, has lost half of its supply in the past couple of years to competitors such as Fonterra and Saputo's own Warrnambool unit.

Some of its processing plants are operating at barely 50-per-cent capacity. Where others see a hopeless case, Mr. Saputo sees a fixer-upper. But he must first persuade the farmers who own shares in MG to tender them, hence the roadshow he started this week in Mount Gambier (population 30,000) and will wrap up next week in Tasmania.

Saputo must also win the approval of Australian competition authorities, as well as the country's Foreign Investment Review Board. It will have an easier time clearing the first hurdle than Fonterra, whose bid was rejected by MG's board in favour of Saputo's. Saputo also beat out at least five Chinese or Chinese-backed bids for MG, all of which faced potential political opposition.

Not so for the Big Cheese from Canada.

Contrarian bet is par for the course
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

The real estate unit of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is spending big money on U.S. shopping malls at a time when bricksand-mortar retailing is being associated with tumbleweed.

If that concerns you, that's good: It reinforces Brookfield's reputation for making unpopular bets at low prices, which is a tactic that has made this stock a very profitable holding for long-term investors (full disclosure: I am one of them).

Over the past decade, Brookfield Asset Management's book value has nearly quadruped, to $23.50 a share in 2016 from $6.20 a share in 2006.

Although the share price has endured some turbulence, it has delivered an average annualized gain of nearly 16 per cent over the past 20 years.

Compare this long-term performance to an average annualized gain of 7.3 per cent for the S&P 500 and 6.9 per cent for the S&P/TSX composite index over the same twodecade stretch and you can see why investors recognize that Brookfield enjoys some competitive advantages.

Size is one them. The firm has a market capitalization of about $53billion, or bigger than any of the blue-chip U.S. asset-management firms, including Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group, KKR & Co. and Apollo Global Management.

And if you include its various publicly traded units - Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (more disclosure: I own it), Brookfield Business Partners LP (again: I own it), Brookfield Property Partners LP and Brookfield Renewable Partners LP - Brookfield's heft in the marketplace is even larger. At more than $112-billion, the total value of this Brookfield family brings significant financial advantages in making large deals.

But the company's good timing is arguably the more important reason to keep this stock locked in your portfolio.

Under chief executive officer Bruce Flatt, Brookfield has shown a remarkable ability to scoop up attractive long-term assets when they are being sold under distressed conditions - with the aim of generating returns over decades.

As Mr. Flatt told Forbes magazine earlier this year, "We'd rather earn a 12-per-cent to 15-per-cent net return over 20 years than a 25-per-cent return over three."

Among some of the more notable deals Brookfield has made over the past decade, there was the $1.1-billion (U.S.) deal to restructure Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, the Australian-based owner of a Queensland coal terminal and British port, among other assets.

Brookfield made the deal, which gave it a significant ownership stake, when the heavily indebted Australian company was desperate to unload assets during the global financial crisis - and years before infrastructure became the biggest buzzword among patient institutional investors.

When corruption scandals and weak economic performance ensnared Brazilian companies in recent years, Brookfield increased its exposure to Brazilian infrastructure as a long-term bet on what it saw as strong investment fundamentals.

In 2016, it announced a $5.2-billion deal to acquire a 90-per-cent stake in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste SA, a natural gas pipeline, from Petrobras. The same year, Brookfield also agreed to a buy a 70-per-cent stake in Odebrecht Ambiental, the Brazilian water-treatment and sewage company, and now may be in talks to buy seven Brazilian highways, according to Reuters.

Early this year, Brookfield acquired renewable energy assets from SunEdison Inc., the bankrupt U.S. solar company that had fallen on hard times following an unsuccessful acquisition strategy.

And then there's Brookfield's longheld stake in Manhattan West: lands that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg called the city's final frontier are blossoming into a massive office, residential and retail development anchored by Inc.

Which brings us to U.S. malls.

Investors may be a touch nervous about Brookfield Property Partners' $14.8-billion (U.S.) bid to buy 66 per cent of GGP Inc., giving Brookfield full control of the mall-owner.

Brookfield Property's share price fell 4.5 per cent on the news on Monday.

But Brookfield Property isn't exactly chasing a hot trend here. It announced the bid after GGP's share price had tumbled more than 30 per cent from its high in 2016, fitting with Brookfield's interest in distressed sales.

The bigger question is what Brookfield Asset Management, and its real estate unit, sees in malls. The deal might cause some headscratching today - but given the company's track record, it's reasonable to bet that it will pay off.

When you buy Brookfield shares, you're paying for savvy.

Brookfield Asset Management (BAM.A)

Close: $53.73, up 39¢

Brookfield Asset Management (BAM)

Close: $42.21 (U.S.), up 19¢

Decades before his death, Gary Mason's father divulged a long-hidden secret about his role in some of the most destructive moments of the Second World War. On a journey to retrace his wartime odyssey, the veteran's son uncovers breathtaking moments of humanity and perseverance - and an unexpected sense of personal redemption
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F1

It was cold and bleak in the early evening hours of Feb. 19, 1944, as the men of the 100 Squadron flying out of RAF Grimsby in Lincolnshire began readying for that night's assignment. With a stiff wind blowing off the North Sea, pilot George Sidebotham was preparing for a bumpy departure.

But then, good news: The mission had been scrubbed. He quickly relayed the update to the six members of his crew: five fellow Brits and a Canadian - all kids barely in their 20s. The unease and nausea that inevitably crept up on them ahead of an operation dissipated instantly. It was Saturday night. Now, drinks were being imagined. Maybe some women and dancing.

But an hour later came word that their sortie was back on - their 13th in the three months they'd been flying missions together.

Suddenly, that sickening feeling returned.

They all had too many friends who'd taken off and never come back. Airmen of the Second World War tried not to think about the death rates in their line of work, but the chances of being killed in action were nearly one in two.

Russian roulette offered better odds.

Soon, Lieutenant Sidebotham and his men were pulling on their woollen long johns and heavy roll-neck sweaters, fur-lined leather jackets and flying boots. It got cold aboard a Lancaster; frostbite was an occupational hazard.

The Allied bombing crews never knew where they were going until a few hours before takeoff. Lt. Sidebotham's crew was no stranger to tough assignments though. In only their third sortie, they were part of a disastrous raid on Berlin that became known as Black Thursday: A night Bomber Command lost 25 aircraft in heavy fighting, and another 28 in crashes at fog-enveloped airfields back home. The German capital was heavily fortified, and raids on it always came at a high cost. Lt. Sidebotham and his men had managed, however, to hit it on six other occasions and considered themselves lucky to return to base unscathed each time.

This night, however, there would be a different target: Leipzig, a city 200 kilometres south of Berlin that boasted not only Europe's largest railway station but also aircraft-parts factories crucial to the Luftwaffe. It would be the opening salvo in a sustained Allied aerial bombing campaign that would come to be known as Big Week. The six-day-long assault on the German aircraft industry would change the course of the war - but also come at a heavy cost.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Lt. Sidebotham fired up his machine, the Lanc's four Merlin engines making a terrific clatter. The crew's usual "kite" was in for repairs; this was a new plane.

The comfort that came with familiarity was now missing. Just after 11:40 p.m., Lancaster ND571 rumbled down the runway and was airborne.

The route to their target would take them nearly four hours, flying over the North Sea and the tip of the Netherlands before entering Germany's Altmark region and the city of Hanover. When they reached the small town of Stendal they were to proceed south to their mark. The Luftwaffe maintained a small but fearsome fleet of night fighters at Stendal, one that would be credited with numerous kills by war's end. Shortly before 3 a.m. on the 20th, Allied bombers en route to Leipzig began rounding the turn.

The Luftwaffe was ready. A team of Messerschmitts hit the sky and began picking Lancs and Halifax bombers off one by one.

After 20 minutes, seven were on the ground, destroyed.

Then, around 3:30 a.m., a straggler craned into view; it was Lt. Sidebotham's plane. An oil leak in an engine was creating black plumes of smoke. A small fire broke out, which one of the men had to battle with an extinguisher. Soon Lt. Sidebotham couldn't move the plane's flaps. In a stab at maintaining altitude, a decision was made to jettison the bombs.

It didn't help.

Once over Stendal airspace, the Lancaster was hit with search lights from below; Lt. Sidebotham and his men were sitting ducks. German fighter pilot Joachim Hanss soon had them in his sights and started firing, to devastating effect. The Lanc's rear guns froze. And the plane began losing altitude at a much faster clip. Any time Lt. Sidebotham tried to bring the nose up, the plane threatened to stall.

Then he lost an engine. The Lanc was now closing in on 10,000 feet, the point at which protocol insisted that the men evacuate.

"Chaps, we have to abandon the plane!" the lieutenant shouted.

Directly below him, the plane's bombardier, who was also Lt. Sidebotham's closest friend on the crew, wanted to make sure he had heard his pilot right.

"You mean that, George?" he asked.

Lt. Sidebotham was sure.

As the plane plunged through the darkness, the bombardier squeezed himself through a small escape hatch in the front of the plane, his heart racing, unsure of what lay ahead.

The first man out, he floated toward Earth, trying to discern the chutes of his mates in the darkness. He could see only two. Falling into a snow-covered field, he tumbled a few times before coming to a stop. He'd somehow lost one of his boots.

Soon, he could hear the unmistakable highpitched scream of a plane going down. Then, he heard a crash, and an explosion. A kilometre or so away, a great light filled the sky.

He knew it was his plane; he didn't know who'd made it off.

Next came the sound of footsteps trudging through the snow. Two men - one carrying a rifle - trained a flashlight on him: They were civilian police.

A week shy of his 22nd birthday, the wideeyed Canadian was now in the hands of the enemy. What he didn't know was that his life was about to intersect with some of the most iconic moments of the Second World War.

Unspooling a time of devastation and death Towering over a facade forged by the hands of Gothic bricklayers, the twin spires of St. Mary's Church slowly emerged before me in the distance. After flying into Berlin his past August, I had driven to Stendal to finish reporting a story that I had, in a sense, begun decades earlier as a young journalism student in Vancouver.

The Canadian bombardier who had tumbled into the field near this Saxon village 73 years earlier was my father: Flight Lieutenant Jack Maclean Mason, RCAF 100 Squadron 1 Group, Bomber Command.

For the first 25 years of my life, however, I had understood his role in the war to be something quite different: He'd told his family he was an air navigator. Like many veterans, he did not divulge much about that time in his life. His five children knew he was a prisoner of war, but we had no idea what that meant. We were too young to understand, and frankly, too young to care. Any notion of what time in a POW camp might have been like was gleaned from watching Hogan's Heroes on Sunday nights. Life under Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz looked like a laugh. We assumed it must have been the same for our father.

As I got older, however, I became more curious about his role in the war. Then, as part of a journalism-school assignment in 1981, I mailed him some questions. His letter back to me included a shocking revelation. "I know you think I was a navigator," he wrote.

"In truth, I was the one who dropped the bombs."

War asked young men to do unspeakable things. Sometimes it was easier to adopt another persona; the position of navigator had some cachet. And it was certainly less controversial than being the guy who dropped the bombs, sometimes on unsuspecting, innocent civilians.

"I don't know," my father would later tell me. "Maybe I was a bit ashamed of my role."

In the years before his death in 2011, Dad and I talked about his war adventures on occasion. So why then was I here, in Germany? I always felt that retracing his journey, at least that part of it that was the most life-changing, might get me closer to a truth about who he was. That it might allow me to better understand what it was like for this humble, ordinary kid to be thrust, like Forrest Gump, into this extraordinary time and some of its most mythologized moments. That it might get me a little closer to his truth.

"Regret to advise that your son flying officer Jack Mclean (sic) Mason ... is reported missing after air operations overseas February Twentieth," read the Canadian National Telegram sent to my grandparents in Chippawa, Ont., on Feb. 22, 1944, by the RCAF casualties office.

And that was it.

The worn piece of paper sat on the passenger seat of my rental car. It was a reminder of how cold and unsympathetic war could be - but also provided a powerful connection to where I was now, in Stendal, where my father's war adventures had taken a dramatic turn.

Was there anything I could learn about that night when his plane fell from the sky, anything that could help separate fact from fiction, something that might give the events of that day some broader meaning?

I did know a few details from a couple of those late-in-life chats with Dad. The civilian police that picked him up also grabbed Vic Mendelski, the crew's flight engineer. They were taken to the home of the local buergermeister, the town's mayor, who also served as chief of police. While cooling their heels there, a little girl no more than 6 appeared from around a corner with a book in English.

My dad put her on his knee and began to read from it. She cried when he had to leave. He and Vic were taken to the local aerodrome for an initial inquisition before being shipped off to Frankfurt for a fuller interrogation. From there, they would be shipped to their POW camps.

I had arranged to meet Simone Habendorf, chief curator at the Stendal archives, and Mareike Kunst, a German translator and researcher whose assistance would prove to be invaluable. Ms.

Habendorf had brought out binders of clippings from the local papers the week that my father's plane had been shot down. There were some general accounts of the raid on Leipzig, one of the most disastrous air missions of the war for the Allied forces. But there was nothing specific about the planes that went down in Stendal.

Then she brought out some other books, bound volumes with light-blue covers. They included research, in English, related to the Feb. 19-20 mission, with detailed information on the planes that were shot down in the area. Ms. Kunst and I split up the books and started going through them.

"Isn't this your father?" she asked a few minutes later. She was pointing to a page that had the code number of my father's plane - ND571 - but also the name, rank and position of every member of the crew and what had happened to them. It had similar facts on the other seven planes that were shot down over Stendal that night.

It was difficult to read.

Lancaster from the ninth squadron; all seven aboard killed.

Halifax from the 35th squadron; five killed in action (KIA), two captured.

Halifax from the 78th squadron; six KIA (three Canadians), two captured.

Halifax of the 427th squadron; eight killed (all Canadians).

Halifax from the 429th squadron; six killed (four Canadians), one captured.

Halifax from the 434th squadron; seven KIA (six Canadians).

Halifax from the 640th squadron; eight KIA (two Canadians).

The last one was my father's plane: Lancaster ND571. Seven crew. All survived.

Of the 59 men aboard the eight planes that were shot down over Stendal in the early hours of Feb. 20, only 12 lived. Of that number, more than half came from one plane: ND571. Twenty-three Canadians lost their lives in just that one little intersection of the war, in the space of 30 minutes.

The documents included eye-witness accounts of the crash of my father's plane. Local resident Ella Bodenstein remembered that it went down behind a water-treatment plant. Willi Radloff, who also lived in the area, had recounted how a fire that the plane created after hurtling to Earth destroyed a nearby shed.

The attack on Leipzig that night involved 823 Allied aircraft, 82 of which were lost. It cost the lives of 426 men; another 140 ended up as POWs. It was, by any measure, a catastrophe.

Beyond the details of what happened over Stendal on Feb. 20, the research documents that Ms. Kunst and I were handed included a grim and disturbing accounting of the horrible fate that often awaited those who chose to battle in the air: casualty reports filled out by U.S. airmen who fought in many of the same confrontations my father had.

The men were asked to document what had happened to a specific member of their crew who never returned from battle.

"He burnt to death in his seat before the plane went down," said one, about his pilot.

"Shot to death at his position," said another, about the tail gunner on his plane.

"He was not able to get out before our ship blew up," said another, referring to his engineer.

And on it went, page after page, a horrifying window on what it must have been like to be in the heat of war, aboard planes, many of which were fated to become twisted cans of death.

Ms. Kunst and I left the archive and drove to the small air base in town, in search of what remained of the buildings where Dad was taken for his initial interrogation. The main one hadn't been used in years, and now sat silent behind a rusty fence, a ghostly ivy covering most of its exterior. Somewhere in there, I thought, my father once sat on a chair refusing to answer questions from his Luftwaffe interrogator, unsure of what was going to happen to him.

We then drove over to the train station, which looked much as it did in 1944, its distinctive yellow and red-brick exterior having held up well over the decades. I imagined Dad being put on a train bound for Frankfurt, where he would undergo more cross-examination before being shipped to his prison camp, in what is now Zagan, Poland - then, Sagan, Germany.

I tried to imagine the thoughts that would have crossed his mind. Would he ever see his family again? Would he ever have the chance to get married and have kids? How long, if ever, would it be before he got another square meal?

There must have been a million things racing through his head.

An escape from the home front into the belly of a plane My father was born in Welland, Ont., on Feb. 28, 1923, the second of John and Marjorie Mason's five children. His mother gave birth to him in a neighbour's kitchen. He grew up in Chippawa, a small village just outside of Niagara Falls, enjoying a contented but simple life. He breezed through school, graduating from Stamford Collegiate at the age of 16.

While life at home was fine enough, he felt restless. Yearning to get out from underneath the firm hand of his father, he looked for a job that would liberate him from the constraints that naturally came with living at home. With few jobs available, however, and a war in Europe under way, he decided he would try to enlist, and convinced my grandfather to sign an affidavit saying he was 18 - a year older than he actually was. It would work, but Dad would spend the next year convinced his lie would be revealed.

He would join the Royal Canadian Air Force, spending time at a manning depot in Brandon, Man., before moving on to Vancouver and then Edmonton.

He wanted to be a pilot, but didn't make the grade. He would say later that it was the single greatest disappointment of his life. Deciding what to do instead, he realized there weren't many people lining up to be bombardiers - or bomb aimers as they were also known. So he signed up.

Eventually, he was sent to England to join the 100 Squadron, a unit whose flag depicted a skull and crossbones and whose motto was "Never stir up a hornet's nest." He eventually joined a crew with six Brits; their first mission together would be on Nov. 23, 1943, to Berlin.

There would be 11 more over the next three months before their ill-fated encounter over Stendal.

My Dad never really disclosed much about his time in England prior to being shot down. The most revealing insights into that period came in the form of a letter he sent to his younger brother Ken, just weeks before my dad became a POW. Also in the Air Force, Ken was about to be shipped over to Britain any day. In describing one mission in which he and his crew got a "little too brave and ventured over one of the most heavily defended areas" of Germany, my father wrote: "Man, if you could only have seen your big brother really praying that night."

He also filled his younger sibling in on life at the base. On nights they weren't flying, he said that he and his mates often rolled into the nearby town, drinking and dancing until 10:30 or so, and then returning to the mess where they usually had "a really good brawl until 2 a.m." He talked about a woman he had befriended who visited him on weekends. "Blonde, Scotch gal and not very expensive but a swell kid," he wrote, in what would be a latter-day eye-opener to his children. He also alluded to the nervousness he felt ahead of missions.

"Don't remember ever having prayed for bad weather in my life before," he said, in reference to the circumstances that often would scrub a sortie.

After the war, my father returned to the family home in Chippawa, Ont. His parents met him at the train station in Niagara Falls in a taxi. The driver refused to take any fare.

He eventually got a job working in a plant that made fertilizer, married and began a family that would grow to seven. He moved his brood to Sarnia in 1967, where he took a job with chemicals manufacturer C-I-L. None of his children remember our dad being troubled with any psychological issues associated with his time in the war.

Kindhearted and stoic might be the best words to describe my father, although he also possessed a refined, biting wit.

But there was a quiet side as well, one that only grew in his later years.

Dad never talked about the war, even when others of his age asked him. It seemed, in a sense, out of bounds. As I got older, and began to understand what he had been asked to do, I wondered if his particular role in the war had something to do with his silence. I once asked him whether he thought about the devastation wrought by the bombs he dropped. "I didn't have the luxury of thinking about what destruction the bombs were creating," he said, looking at me like I was a clueless naif.

"It was war. It was kill or be killed."

In his book On Killing, Dave Grossman, a retired lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. Army, says the anguish and trauma a soldier suffers from killing another person is often correlated with proximity to the victim. My father never saw the people he killed when he dropped his bombs. Col.

Grossman maintains that when soldiers can't see their victims, it's easier to remain in denial about the consequences of their actions.

Still, my father was certainly aware of the debate that surrounded the Allies' bombing program. In his book on the subject, Fire and Fury, University of Toronto historian Randall Hansen suggested that the bombing missions carried out by the RAF's Bomber Command amounted to "wanton destruction" - a war crime, as defined by the Nuremberg principles.

The Allied air forces dropped nearly two million tonnes of bombs on Germany, destroying nearly 60 cities and killing more than 500,000 German citizens. Other casualties included upward of 80,000 airmen, more than 10,000 of whom were Canadians. My dad was involved in some of the most devastating attacks, including on the city of Leipzig on Dec. 4, 1943 - when 442 bombers dropped almost 1,400 tonnes of explosives and firebombs.

More than 1,800 civilians were killed in that strike alone.

In some cases, the bombing created firestorms in the cities, melting streets and incinerating the people on them. Canals became boiling channels of death, cooking anyone who dove into them seeking sanctuary. Of the German civilian deaths caused by bombing, the RAF and its Commonwealth allies were alleged to have been responsible for 75 per cent of them; that compares to 25 per cent by American Air Force crews, which used a more finely targeted bombing approach that helped avoid killing innocent civilians.

I left Stendal and drove south to Leipzig, to talk with Dirk van Laak, a professor of history at the university there. We met in his office to talk about the reconstruction of the city that he lived in, and across Germany more generally. My father had never shown any interest in visiting the country in his later years. He displayed disdain when one of my sisters said she was planning to visit Dresden. "Why would you want to go there?" he asked.

There was some guilt surely lurking in the back of his mind. He may have been a tiny cog in the great war machine. But when he informed his pilot that the bombs had been dispatched - "Bombs gone" - he was lying prone in the glass-encased front belly of the plane. He could see cities on fire below him; he could see what his bombs were doing to Germany.

He would have been astonished at the job the country did of rebuilding, in many cases reclaiming vital elements of its urban uniqueness. It has also transformed remnants of the war, even as it has covered them up. Not far from where I met Prof.

van Laak, for instance, is a 150metre-high hill where the Prix de Tacot, an annual soapbox derby, is held. The rise is, in fact, made of rubble left over from the war. Schuttbergs, as such camouflaged piles are known, can be found throughout the country. "Overcoming the past, putting the conflict and politics behind them, that became the overarching, dominant theme that materialized in German cities after the war," Prof. van Laak told me. "The 1950s, sixties and seventies were all about building up."

And about coming to terms, as well, with Germany's role in the fate that had befallen it. There was obviously resentment that the bombing "took a high toll on innocent people," Prof. van Laak said.

"But there was also this almost unanimous feeling that Germany in some way deserved what happened."

Which is a view my father and most veterans would have almost certainly subscribed to.

In the thick of history and the claws of the Nazis After being interrogated in Frankfurt, my father was put on a train headed for Sagan and the purportedly escape-proof Stalag Luft III.

Designed as an officers-only POW camp run by the Luftwaffe, its prisoners were generally spared the hard labour, cruelty and deprivation of concentration camps and compounds housing non-commissioned officers. Still, it was no picnic.

"We have fun here," a fellow prisoner, Roger Bushell, told my father soon after his arrival there in late February. Within a month, the camp would be the scene of arguably the most notorious and determined prison break of the war, one that would be glamourized in the movie The Great Escape. For his role in leading that escape, Squadron Leader Bushell, nicknamed Big X, would be murdered by the Gestapo before March was through.

I always found my father's association with such a seminal event of the war exciting. He never did. So, after leaving Leipzig, I headed the next morning to Poland, to visit the site of Stalag Luft III. It is now part of a museum, underwritten largely by the town of Zagan. Its main building is actually on the site of what was Stalag Luft VIII-C, a camp that housed Polish and, later, French and Belgian POWs. But the museum's artifacts are mostly associated with the more famous Luft III, the remnants of which exist in an overgrown forest of pines and dense underbrush a kilometre away.

"It's an honour to have someone whose father was here," the museum's curator, Marek Lazarz, said to me when I arrived. In a reception area, a red-brick wall is adorned with framed photos of POWs, commemorative plaques and other camp memorabilia.

When my father himself arrived at the camp, he was greeted at its fenced gates by a reception committee of kriegies - the word the prisoners gave themselves. (It was short for Kriegsgefangene, the German word for POWs).

It wasn't long before Dad got wind of the historic escape plan, and of Squadron Leader Bushell's almost God-like stature among the men.

There were prisoners in my father's hut, No. 105, who had been working on various aspects of the tunnelbuilding operation over the previous year. Throughout the day of March 24, when the escape was scheduled to occur, an aura of excitement and apprehension permeated the camp. Like many, my father didn't sleep well that night. He knew what was under way in the barracks next door - in hut 104.

Around 5 a.m., he would later recall, the early-morning silence was pierced by the sound of a single gunshot.

"Then you could hear guards shouting and dogs barking," he would tell me, decades later. "It was a helluva racket, that's for sure.

Shocked the hell out of me."

It wouldn't take long for word to begin circulating about what had happened. Fewer than half of the 200 men who were supposed to escape made it out, owing to an array of unexpected problems. Still, the scope of the break was hugely embarrassing for the Germans and particularly for the camp commandant, Friedrich Lindeiner, who would later be court-martialled by the Gestapo for not preventing the audacious undertaking.

March 25 would be a long day.

Shortly after light broke, the commandant, now aware of the full dimension of the breakout, called the POWs out to be lined up and counted. "First of all, gentleman, good morning," my father remembered Lindeiner saying. They then nearly froze as they proceeded to stand out in the cold for hours.

Mr. Lazarz and I hopped into my car for the five-minute drive to the scene of the event itself. A stone memorial marks the spot where the men exited the tunnel - codenamed Harry - 18 metres beyond the camp's outside perimeter but a few metres short of the cover of the forest. It was when a tower guard saw one of the escapees urinating near the forest's edge that the escape would be discovered. A fellow prisoner was just about to exit the tunnel when another German officer arrived on the scene. Pandemonium ensued.

In all, 76 men escaped. Three would make it all the way back to Britain. The rest would be captured, including escape mastermind Squadron Leader Bushell. He had successfully boarded a train at Sagan railway station but would be caught the next day at Saarbrucken, while waiting for a train to Alsace. Three days later he would be shot by the Gestapo on orders from Hitler; 49 other escapees would meet the same fate.

A crushed stone pathway 20 inches wide - roughly the width of the tunnel itself - runs from the stone memorial back to where the tunnel began. Claustrophobically narrow, Harry was 102 metres long and 8.5 metres below ground. Mr. Lazarz and I then walked through the forest to find what remained of my dad's home during the last year of the war. "This is where your father stayed," the curator said, pointing to broken pieces of brick that were once part of the stanchions upon which the barracks had rested.

Pointing to the faded outlines of an.

other room a couple of metres away, he added, "This is where the kitchen was. Your dad probably cooked right here."

Without much effort, you could softly lob a horseshoe the distance from my father's hut to the tunnel's entry point. The break-out would be immortalized by the 1963 movie, which starred Steve McQueen, James Garner and Charles Bronson.

But while thoroughly entertaining, in many instances The Great Escape bore little resemblance to the actual event itself - a fact that had always irritated my father. The heart-stopping motorcycle chase involving Steve McQueen never happened.

More egregious, Hollywood portrayed many of the most important characters as being American airmen, even though their real-life counterparts were Canadians.

This has been well chronicled in the excellent book by Ted Barris: The Great Escape - A Canadian Story.

Six Canadians were among those who escaped and were later killed by the Nazis upon being captured.

No Americans ever got through the tunnel that night. Beyond Squadron Leader Bushell, much of the brain trust of the escape was Canadian.

Word of the death of 50 of their fellow prisoners shook my father and his fellow POWs. Everyone in the camp, he told me, became pretty "bloody-minded" after that. Almost immediately, work began on another tunnel, under the camp theatre.

This one was named George.

My father and his crewmate Lt.

Sidebotham would get involved as part of the security detail, warning tunnel workers when guards were approaching. For their work, they were rewarded with an opportunity to try out the underground trolley designed to take the men to the tunnel's exit. Ultimately, the plan was to have escapees make their way to the approaching Red Army and notify its soldiers of the camp's whereabouts. But with rumours growing stronger that liberation might be imminent, the plot was deemed too risky: The tunnel would sit dormant until the war's end.

Dad spent almost a year in Luft III.

He certainly didn't eat well, but nor did he starve. The biggest thing he had to fight was boredom - and a certain amount of loneliness, uncertain when he would get out. "It's really chilly around here these days," he wrote his mother in a letter dated the 12th of January, 1945.

"Just wondering whether we should start making preparation for next winter? If you think so, start sending skates and warm boots. Getting lots of skating in these days but clampons are pretty much impossible."

The POWs held hockey games on a patch of field they turned into a rink, taking angle irons from benches and affixing them to their boot bottoms to make crude skates. It was not the only sport they leaned on for distraction: Besides Lt. Sidebotham, the other crew member of my dad's plane to end up in Luft III was Dave (Jock) Parry, the midupper gunner. He staged boxing exhibitions in the camp to help prisoners pass the time (they also served as a diversion for the guards while George was being built).

In that letter home, my father also talked about how he'd been studying a lot, and how he'd made up his mind to pursue a career in marine engineering (something he didn't later do). "A pipe, an armchair, book and a beer will suit this boy from now on," he wrote, dreaming of the day he was free.

Mr. Lazarz and I strolled the grounds of the camp. He pointed out where the hospital once was. We walked over to where the theatre had been, and he showed me where the tunnel George began. Then we hopped in my car and drove over to a nearby cemetery built during the war to honour those who had died while staying in Luft III. A stone memorial, constructed by the prisoners in 1944, commemorated the 50 men who were shot following the escape.

Their remains had been cremated, and initially interred there but were later exhumed and reburied in a British military cemetery at Poznan, in west-central Poland.

We then headed over to the train station, where Dad first arrived. Mr. Lazarz said its dark brick walls and white-and-black tiled floors were the same as they'd been in 1944. The ticket booths were exactly the ones that Squadron Leader Bushell and others had walked up to the night of the escape, getting their vouchers to what they thought was freedom. We walked through the passageway, under the tracks, that connected the station to the camp. We strolled down the gravel road my father marched on the day he arrived. It was eerie and exhilarating at the same time.

"Your father had a front-row seat to history," Mr. Lazarz told me, before we parted ways.

By late 1944, reports had begun circulating that the Soviets were closing in and that the Nazis might evacuate Luft III (which by then accommodated more than 10,000 POWs). Many found the idea farfetched. By this point, life in the camp had taken a turn for the worse. Food was being rationed. The men were fed a lot of turnip soup in urns that often contained maggots.

Red Cross care packages weren't as frequent. And an exceptionally harsh winter was now upon them.

On the late evening of Jan. 27, 1945, the men in the North Compound, where my father and most Canadians were kept, were told by German guards to get ready to march. The order set off a frenzy of activity; the men began rifling through their lockers, stuffing everything they could into duffel bags.

Some made makeshift sleds out of bed boards to pull their belongings.

Around 4 a.m., thousands began to march out of the camp, heading down the same road they'd taken when they first arrived at the prison.

Before long, they were turning onto the main thoroughfare leading out of town.

A brutal march to freedom The day after visiting the camp, I decided to drive the same roads my father had walked during what would be known variously as The March, The Great March, even The Death March - which was, in fact, a series of forced marches initiated by the Germans in the late stages of the war. By some estimates, more than 80,000 POWs were subjected to these treks, often in the worst conditions imaginable.

The marches would ultimately be remembered as among the most brutal and harrowing events of the war. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 3,500 American and Commonwealth POWs died during them.

In the first stage of theirs, my father and his fellow airmen walked west from the camp in Sagan toward the town of Spremberg, where they would board cattle cars to head to another prison camp before being marched again.

The initial six-day journey took them into the same small towns through which I was now slowly passing: Ilowa (then known as Halbau) and Borowe, Leknica (then Lugknitz) and Bad Muskau (then simply Muskau) before eventually arriving in Spremberg. In all, 110 kilometres walking in subzero temperatures. While much of the roadway is now paved, stretches are still made of the cobblestones my father hiked along. Tall pines border the country roads, forming colonnades.

I imagined men propped up against them, hungry and exhausted, lighting up cigarettes if they had them.

Driving through such places as Gozdnica, a tidy, unassuming village in the province of Lower Silesia, I could picture small children leaning against parents who were standing outside their homes as the men walked by. Most were pleasant and respectful, my father would recall years later, with a few even giving the men food and cigarettes.

But some shouted angry words, and threw things at the men.

It was in houses and barns along this route that my father and his mates took refuge at night, huddled against one another for warmth.

They often did not take off their boots, fearing they might not get them back on, so blistered and swollen were their feet. Some men, unable to walk, had to be pulled on those makeshift sleds. The conditions on some of the other marches were even worse, with reports of soldiers eating dogs, cats and rats to survive.

Eventually I arrived in Bad Muskau, a spa town sitting on the Lusatian Neisse river, which, since the end of the war, has formed part of the border between Germany and Poland. It is here my father recalled getting the longest stretch of rest.

There was food and soup awaiting them. The people were generally hospitable. My father remembered a beautiful garden. That would have been Muskau Park - an English garden built in the area in the early 1800s and which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From Bad Muskau, I drove to Spremberg, which is where my father and the rest of the POWs were corralled into the rail cars awaiting their arrival. The central station remains just as it did more than seven decades ago. The brick is a dark and light red, the windows arched. A big round clock presides over the main entrance.

In many respects, the three-day journey that followed would be the worst part of the entire ordeal. My father and about 3,000 others were shipped to a prison camp near the Dutch border - Marlag und Milag Nord. About 30 kilometres northeast of Bremen, it had been a POW camp for men of the British Merchant Navy and Royal Navy, but had since been evacuated. My dad figured his car held 50 men, who had to take turns standing so that others could spread out to sleep.

The guards, meantime, would let the men out only every 12 hours to relieve themselves. Consequently, they had no choice but to urinate on the inside walls of the car. There was a box set up in a corner for those who had to defecate or vomit.

Yet my father considered his group lucky: at least no one had dysentery. Others weren't so lucky; several men died on this portion of the trip.

My father reached his new home around Feb. 5, and once again settled down to prison-camp life. Parsnips and turnips were usually dinner. Many men, by then, needed medical attention desperately. People had teeth that were rotting and aching horribly.

The only good news during their nearly two months there came from reports that the German army was about to fall; this war was not going to go on much longer.

At the beginning of April, German guards led a few thousand of the POWs, including my father, George Sidebotham and Jock Parry, northward, toward the town of Lubeck (then spelled Luebeck) on the Baltic Sea. It would be another gruelling trek of 120 kilometres - although temperatures weren't nearly as frigid as before. On May 1, they neared the coastal town and were met by the British 11th Armoured Division.

The German guards threw down their weapons and fled. In a May 2 letter home, Lt. Sidebotham wrote: "We were liberated at long last by an officer and private just after 1 p.m. and I'm writing to say we are all well and fairly comfortable here in barns after being on the road a month." He asked his mother and father to inform my father's parents that their son was safe and free.

Dad and his fellow POWs were hysterical with joy and relief. They bummed cigarettes off their liberators. They hugged and danced in the streets. Some spilled tears of happiness. Others looked vacantly to the horizon, incapacitated by the nightmare they'd endured.

Within days, Dad would be on another Lancaster, this time bound for England. After a few weeks, he'd be back in Canada.

Forging meaning from war, for both father and son The last few days of my trip were spent in Berlin, the German capital that rose from the ashes of the war to become one of the world's most compelling and beautiful cities.

There, I thought a lot about my dad and his war journey - and also about how this trip had signified a liberation, of sorts, for me. I was now freed of the many questions I had about my father's time as a POW and felt a quiet sense of redemption to have retraced his steps, to see for myself a bit of the reality he once lived.

The trip also represented a promise kept. In 1997, when he was 75, Dad and I had flown to London to attend an annual dinner hosted by the British Royal Air Force for POWs from Luft III. George Sidebotham, who lived in the English Midlands, had always wanted my father to attend; finally I was able to persuade him to go.

It was a wonderful evening - the first and only time Jack Mason ever donned a tux. The menu included steak-and-kidney pudding and mashed potatoes. Dessert was apple tart and cream. Afterward, my father and George retired to the bar, literally trading war stories. They looked incredibly pleased to be in each other's company, two guys who had cheated death and knew it. It was then I vowed to one day fly to Germany and reprise Dad's war journey best I could.

"You don't need to do that for me," he said, when I mentioned my plan to him. "No," I replied. "I need to do it for myself."

As I listened to Dad and George talk that evening, I realized that a person emerges from the other end of the kind of torment and distress they endured in one of two ways: Either the images and pain of war haunt you the rest of your life, or you realize how lucky you were to survive, and look back on it as nothing short of amazing.

"I had the best seat to watch the war's most exciting action that any coward ever had," my father wrote to me 10 years before his death. "But only because dying in the trenches or on the seas wasn't for me."

He would say of the war: "In some ways, I didn't want it to stop."

I think, ultimately, that that is how George and my father tended to view the war: as something few others would ever be able to relate to, because few others had ever sat where they sat, ever marched where they'd marched. That is also why the two would remain so close their entire lives. It was a friendship forged by a unique and highly emotional experience.

But I could now close my eyes and see my father walking in his uniform toward the gates of Stalag Luft III. I could look over the fields in Stendal and picture him parachuting to Earth under an ink-dark sky. I could almost feel his heart pounding. I could now see him in Spremberg station with his fellow POWs, being stuffed into a cattle car, wondering what fresh hell awaited them.

My father once gave me a poem written by Noel Coward called Lie in the Dark and Listen. A favourite of airmen, it talked about the bravery of those who took to the "icy, moonlight sky" to fly "high above villages, hills and streams, county churches and little graves."

Lie in the dark and listen, City magnates and steel contractors Factory workers and politicians Soft hysterical little actors, Ballet dancers, 'reserved' musicians, Safe in your warm civilian beds.

Count your profits and count your sheep Life is flying above your heads Just turn over and try to sleep.

Lie in the dark and let them go Theirs is a world you'll never know Lie in the dark and listen.

Over the years I had perused it many times. On the long flight home from Germany, I pulled it out of my pocket once again.

It was like reading it for the first time.

Gary Mason is a national affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver.

Associated Graphic

In the war's final months, the Germans forced prisoners to march west through the frozen countryside, away from the advancing Soviet army. Pictured here are some of the thousands of POWs from Stalag Luft III, where Jack Mason had been a prisoner, soon after they exited the camp.

Back from the war, Jack Mason relaxes outside the family home in Chippawa, Ont.


Jack Mason.

Jack Mason (centre) with his fellow crew members of the Lancaster bomber ND571: When the plane and several others were shot down by the German Luftwaffe on a February night in 1944, 23 Canadians lost their lives in the space of 30 minutes.

POWs are liberated by Allied forces near Lübeck, Germany, in May, 1945.

A telegram dated Feb. 22, 1944 (and misspelling Jack Mason's middle name me) informs his parents in Chippawa, Ont., that their son is missing in action.


In a wartime journal, a painting made by one of Jack Mason's fellow POWs in Stalag Luft III depicts the Lancaster bomber, affectionately known by its crew as 'our kite,' in which Mason and six other men were shot down in February, 1944.


Jack Mason (right) and George Sidebotham enjoy a drink at a 1997 dinner in London, hosted by the British Royal Air Force, for POWs from Stalag Luft III.

An obscure Canadian website that disseminates conspiracy theories and Kremlin-friendly points of view is an amplifier of global disinformation, according to NATO
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F2

MONTREAL, RIGA -- In an upscale condo in Old Montreal owned by a retired University of Ottawa professor sits the headquarters of a website that is now in NATO's sights, with the military alliance investigating, among other things, the online spread of pro-Russia propaganda and of disinformation that props up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The website,, is ostensibly the online arm of the Centre for Research on Globalization, which has the trappings of a think tank and styles some of its regular contributors as "senior fellows." But it is the media that matters: Its online content and its amplification on social media form the core of its activities.

The site has posted more than 40,000 of its own pieces since it was launched in 2001, according to one long-time contributor. But it does more: It picks up reports from other, often obscure websites, thus giving them a Global Research link. Those reports often get cross-posted on a series of other sites or aggressively spread across Facebook and Twitter by followers who actively share or retweet them, including a number of social botnets, or bots - automated accounts programmed to spread certain content.

The site has disseminated articles that claimed the Assad regime was not behind the April chemical weapon attack that drew a punitive U.S. missile strike, also suggesting it was a hoax and that the deadly nerve agent sarin was not used. It spread other false reports, such as a claim that NATO was preparing to deploy 3,600 tanks near the Russian border as part of a mission to Eastern Europe.

The site initially drew attention for claiming that the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States were a false-flag operation orchestrated by the CIA.

But what once appeared to be a relatively harmless online refuge for conspiracy theorists is now seen by NATO's information warfare specialists as a link in a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media - as well as the North American and European public's trust in government and public institutions.

The spread of online disinformation had become a heated political concern amid U.S. intelligence reports that Russia sought to use it to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In May, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland warned that such tactics could be used here. On Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of seeking to "weaponize information." In October, Facebook released a sampling of political ads bought by Russians that were aimed at U.S. audiences - many were not about candidates but sought to gin up divisions, including ads that supported and attacked the anti-racism movement Black Lives Matter.

Global Research is viewed by NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence - or StratCom - as playing a key accelerant role in helping popularize articles with little basis in fact that also happen to fit the narratives being pushed by the Kremlin, in particular, and the Assad regime.

At its headquarters in Riga, StratCom researchers consider to be a link in a network that reposts such stories. "That way, they increase the Google ranking of the story and create the illusion of multisource verification," said Donara Barojan, who does digital forensic research for the centre. But she said she did not yet have proof that Global Research is connected to any government.

The site's founder, Michel Chossudovsky, has long been an iconoclast, a leftist University of Ottawa economics professor who challenges mainstream capitalist economics.

Locally, he gained brief notoriety when his theories of Israeli cabals sparked allegations of anti-Semitism. His site,, tends to view the United States as a militaristic aggressor and NATO as its warmongering tool - views also promoted by Russia. It also asserts the United States is behind extremists such as the Islamic State and its allies, a view promoted by the Assad regime.

So is just an outlet for views that happen to align with those of the Kremlin and Damascus? Or is it affiliated?

Mr. Chossudovsky didn't want to discuss that. He has spoken occasionally to reporters over the years to expound his political theories, but when The Globe and Mail went to his waterfront home in L'Île Cadieux, Que., in May, he declined to speak about how functions and whether it is aligned with Moscow or any other government.

"Not on that topic," he said, insisting "it would not be appropriate," without explaining further. He then said he had an appointment and had to go.

This week, after The Globe made another attempt to ask questions about the website, Mr. Chossudovsky responded through a lawyer, Daniel Lévesque. In a letter, Mr. Lévesque said the Centre for Research on Globalization denies that it is part of a network of proRussia or pro-Assad sites or that it is "affiliated with governmental organizations or benefits from their support."

Global Research has from the beginning espoused conspiracy theories, including that the United States and its allies continue to support and fund Islamist extremists, including al-Qaeda and IS, and has taken the view that the U.S.-led NATO alliance is fomenting war around the world. But it took on those themes long before it was common to accuse Mr. Putin of mounting a disinformation war.

Global Research has developed unusual reach for a site that specializes in conspiracy-heavy anti-Western articles on international relations.

It uses that reach to push not only its own opinion pieces, but "news" reports from little-known websites that regularly carry dubious or false information. At times, the site's regular variety of international-affairs stories is replaced with a flurry of items that bolster dubious reportage with a series of opinion pieces, promoted on social media and retweeted and shared by active bots.

The Global Research site is prolific, and of course the editors don't necessarily agree with all the content that is posted.

In the case of the April 4 sarin-gas attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people - and which sparked U.S. President Donald Trump to order a cruise-missile strike on the Syrian air base from which the attack was launched - was among the first to carry a story that claimed the Syrian regime was innocent of the attack and that terrorists hoping to lure the United States into the war against Mr. al-Assad were to blame.

The article first appeared in alMasdar News, a pro-Assad website that appears to be run from Beirut.

It was written by Paul Antonopoulos, who now writes for the pro-Russia Fort Russ news portal. But after republished the same article word for word, it rippled out widely through the internet. Global Research's Facebook counter shows it was shared more than 6,000 times. On Twitter, it was mentioned hundreds of times. The article's assertions were soon quoted in or republished by a dozen other outlets identified by StratCom as either "pro-Kremlin or anti-Western."

Among them was the influential InfoWars website, which is widely read among the so-called "alt-right" movement - a loose confederation of U.S. white supremacists and nativists - that supported Mr. Trump's run for the White House. The hashtag #syriahoax began trending on Twitter.

The al-Masdar article repeated the Syrian government's claim that it has no chemical weapons. It suggested "terrorist forces have once again created a false flag scenario," asserting the casualties could not have been caused by sarin gas, as was believed, because photographs showed rescue workers without gloves near the bodies of the victims, and that "local sources" said the bodies were those of people kidnapped by al-Qaeda a week earlier.

Alternatively, it stated, the deaths might have been the result of the Syrian air force bombing a warehouse where the local al-Qaeda affiliate had been manufacturing chemical weapons.

The latter is the version of events the Kremlin has been advancing, although a reporter from Britain's The Guardian newspaper who visited Khan Sheikhoun two days after the attack found that the building Moscow identified as a chemical-weapons warehouse was only "half-destroyed silos reeking of leftover grain and animal manure."

The United States says it has satellite evidence showing the Syrian air force deliberately carried out the chemical attack on the town. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has charged that Russia either knew of or was willfully blind about the attack. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in The Hague, found that sarin was indeed used in the attack. In September, a UN commission of inquiry reported that Syria's military was responsible.

The Khan Sheikhoun story was an example of amplifying a story from an obscure source. Janis Sarts, the director of StratCom, said repeatedly played a role in disseminating "disinformation" by giving pro-Russia and pro-Assad stories a wider audience and a veneer of credibility by publishing them through an authoritative-sounding Canadian source.

He said it would be "very difficult" for larger news organizations such as Russian and Iranian state news agencies to pick up an article from an obscure source such as al-Masdar, but when it is circulated through Global Research, "then they say, 'Oh! In the West they're saying this!' " Unlike al-Masdar News, which Mr.

Sarts said had a limited reach, claims to have more than 2.7 million unique visitors a month.

Among the 25,000 accounts that follow the Centre for Research on Globalization on Twitter are Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian embassy in Canada and the Russian International Affairs Council, a Kremlin think tank.

It is not only a site that reposts articles from little-known sites for its wider readership. It pushes the narrative. In the case of the sarin attack, it quickly supplemented the al-Masdar hoax story with a series of articles and opinion pieces that took the false flag and mistaken-blame narrative for granted - both before and after the April 7 U.S. missile strikes.

In the week after Khan Sheikhoun, the 10 most-tweeted articles were about the gas attack, according to social-media analytics tools. In addition to the alMasdar story, they included a piece with the headline, Did Hillary approve sending sarin to rebels?, and several that argued the attack was a false flag to justify a regime change operation.

They were spread on Twitter by a mix of far-right, alt-left and anarchist groups - and bots. In fact, this is now a feature of's reach: It is being aggressively amplified by Twitter users pushing its content, including automated accounts. Because Twitter allows users anonymity, it's hard to say with certainty which accounts are bots, but some exhibit the hallmarks of automation, such as excessively heavy tweeting or a high percentage of retweets.

The now-suspended account @YOUNGFiREBRAND, which uses the name "God's Lion," appeared to take a fire-and-brimstone view of the world and mentioned more than 700 times the week after the Khan Sheikhoun attack. Another prolific retweeter, @Col_Connaughton, is a virulently anti-Israel, pro-Iran account that tweets more than a human can: Its 1.5 million tweets amount to 600 a day, every day, for seven years.

The account @elzi0n, whose Twitter bio claims he is Australian and, among other things, a truth-seeker, activist and hip-hop purist, is a heavy retweeter of stories. The account has 182,000 followers, but many, if not most, are automated corporate or PR accounts that makes @elzi0n look more influential than it is. Its tweets are rarely its own. Mostly it retweets posts and stories from other sources, especially RT - the statefunded TV and online service formerly called Russia Today - British conspiracy blogger David Icke and Global Research.

And then there is cross-posting.

Global Research frequently republishes articles that first appeared on RT or the Kremlin-run Sputnik news agency, which also frequently quotes Mr. Chossudovsky as a source. And it gives content from obscure sites exposure.

"There's this whole system of cross-posting articles, where you generate views for another website and you start doing favours," said Guillaume Kress, who worked as an editorial assistant at Global Research. "I don't know much about the system itself, but it's very, very interesting."

Mr. Chossudovsky is treated as an esteemed researcher when he appears on RT and its op-ed website, which carries a bio that calls him "an award-winning author, professor of economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization."

Other writers for the site are similarly lionized by RT. F. Willam Engdahl, whose writing includes reports that the CIA is behind pro-democracy movements in Hungary and that genetically modified organisms are part of a conspiracy designed just after the Second World War to control the world's food supply, has written for publications of the conspiracy-minded Lyndon LaRouche political movement, which sees Prince Charles as the leader of an evil international plot, and for Global Research. His RT bio calls him "an award-winning geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant" and a "Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal."

Among's listed "partner websites" is the Moscowbased Strategic Culture Foundation, known for promoting the Kremlin narrative that the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was a Western-backed coup d'état rather than a popular revolution. Its contributors include pro-Russian authors such as Andrew Korybko, a former journalist with Sputnik who now works for pro-Russian think tank Katehon, and Jerome Corsi, now the Washington bureau chief for the U.S. conspiracy site InfoWars.

It is clear that Global Research is in some sense now part of an online network. What's not clear is whether Mr. Chossudovsky's site is trying to amplify the views of the Kremlin and the Assad regime or whether his views are being amplified by proRussia, pro-Assad networks who favour's storylines.

Mr. Kress, who started working for Global Research as a kind of intern just after graduating from Concordia University, quickly became a paid employee who woke early every day, including weekends, to post stories.

He believes it is the latter - that Global Research's political leanings mean its content is "in line with Russian media in general.

"It shouldn't be surprising to anyone, given what the big themes are for Global Research. I mean, anti-U.S., NATO," he said. "That kind of sounds like Russia to me."

Tracing firm links is difficult.

Those Facebook ads were linked to Russian operatives, not a direct Kremlin purchase. Russian state news sites such as RT and Sputnik have overt links to Moscow. There are sites with less direct links, such as The Duran, whose founders include former RT pundits. But there are also a number of alternative sites that regularly post views in line with Moscow's but assert they are independent. Sites such as, which identify what they believe to be Russian propaganda sites - including - have led to counterallegations that there is a McCarthyist attempt to marginalize their politics.

Phil Taylor, a Sputnik International blogger, published a book called Putin's Praetorians: Confessions of the Top Kremlin Trolls, in which pro-Russia writers such as Global Research's Mr. Engdahl try to debunk the notion of Kremlin-backed propaganda, all the while "confessing" the reasons they admire Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Chossudovsky and his wife, retired CEGEP teacher Micheline Ladouceur, who edits the Frenchlanguage version of the site, appear to have begun with a handful of contributors. Some were other retired academics, often writing opinions on matters outside their fields - usually sympathizers with the anticapitalist or anti-war leanings of the site.

Mr. Kress, now a business student in France, said he was looking to do some form of writing or journalism after graduating from Concordia and answered a Global Research ad. He ended up working there for eight months, eventually finding the site's "heavy" content stressful. He became frustrated that it didn't really have, in his view, a consistent voice or a coherent theory, but he said he believes that Mr. Chossudovsky believes in what he's doing.

The site, according to Mr. Kress, is operated by a small support staff, with the articles chosen by Mr. Chossudovsky from other sites or contributors who submit articles in a "constant inflow" from around the world. Mr. Kress said it's a "small organization" but didn't want to say how many people work for Global Research or talk about them. He did not explain why. He said he worked from home, posting articles using the open source software WordPress, but did not say if others worked from Mr. Chossudovsky's L'Île-Cadieux home, a wooded property with an assessed value of $1.1million, or his Old Montreal condo.

The size of the organization is surprisingly hard to discern, especially since Mr. Chossudovsky did not want to discuss it. The website lists "research associates" and "correspondents," who are essentially its regular contributors, and a group of four or five editors and administrators. In addition to Mr. Chossudovsky and his wife, there is an office manager, Alex Vlaanderen, and typically one or two others. For a year, Mr. Kress was listed as a "consultant."

He said the site has revenue from ads and believed it may also benefit financially from cross-posting content from other sites, but he did not know. The site's web traffic helps it earn revenue from display ads through online ad resellers.

But it appears Global Research's traffic was hit by Google's efforts to reduce the "viral" impact of fake news and purveyors of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. The site touts itself as one of the 15,000 most-visited in the world, according to Alexa, a web-traffic analytics site; but by November, Alexa said it was not even in the top 24,000.

(Some sites have complained that Google's search-engine change has also hit the traffic of left-wing websites that aren't known for spreading false information. For instance, the World Socialist Web Site, a Trotskyite site, complained in July that its traffic had plummeted after Google's changes.)

In October, Mr. Chossudovsky made an online appeal for help.

Global Research, he said, "is facing financial difficulties.

"To reverse the Tide of Media Disinformation, we Need your Support."

Jules Dufour, a former university geography professor in Saguenay, Que., was one of Mr. Chossudovsky's longest-serving contributors. Before he died in August, he told The Globe and Mail in an interview that he was an anti-war activist who saw as having a mission to "denounce lies," notably about conflicts.

What about its conspiracy theories? "Well, there are certainly conspiracies. History demonstrates it," Mr. Dufour said. The justification for going to war with Saddam Hussein was false, he said, and so was the assertion that the Assad regime was behind the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun. Mr. Dufour didn't seem very worried that Global Research was spreading false information from obscure sources, either. "There may be things like that, but it's hard to control everything," he said.

The false information is not limited to topics that fit the site's purported international-relations mission. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, published a piece by a Florida anesthesiologist who claimed that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had Parkinson's disease - a claim that was circulated on far right and pro-Russia conspiracy sites and repeated by Trump supporters until it was mooted in mainstream tabloids and debunked by fact-checking site Snopes and physicians with knowledge of the disease.

StratCom first took note of in January, when it was the first website to republish an article - originally carried by the Donbass International News Agency, a pro-Kremlin news service that operates out of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine - alleging that the United States had 3,600 tanks ready to deploy near the Russian border as part of a NATO mission.

The real number of tanks deployed to Poland and the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia under Operation Atlantic Resolve was 87.

Despite the dubious nature of the source and the easily checked facts (the United States only has 8,848 tanks worldwide), carried the Donbass story verbatim, with Mr. Chossudovsky penning an introduction hypothesizing that the large military buildup could be departing U.S. president Barack Obama's retribution for Russia's alleged hacking attacks during the U.S. election.

The article then spread through some of the same websites that republished the Syria hoax story, before a toned-down version of the tale - mentioning 200 U.S. tanks - appeared on the RT website.

"What we found was that Global Research was essential in getting the '3,600 tanks' story more mainstream attention. Once it was picked up by them, it was picked up by their network of loyal allies," said StratCom's Ms. Barojan, who also does digital research for the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-government-affiliated think tank.

Mr. Kress said he thought Mr.

Chossudovsky believed in his site's mission, but he clearly liked it when Global Research content went viral.

"He asked me to clickbait," Mr. Kress said.

The young editorial assistant used the internet to put together a piece that claimed the Rockefeller Foundation had patented the Zika virus - when, in fact, researchers for the foundation had merely deposited a strain of the virus with an organization that preserves micro-organisms for research. But Mr. Kress's piece "blew up the internet," in his words, spreading around a series of sites, including InfoWars.

"It was just something I did, kind of like, in my room at 1 a.m., because I noticed something on some other - I checked the Zika virus website and just kind of copypasted what I saw there and put quotes and linked my article to it.

And basically, yeah, it worked. But he liked that. And I didn't really like it - deep down."

Campbell Clark is chief political writer with The Globe and Mail's Ottawa bureau Mark MacKinnon is The Globe and Mail's senior international correspondent

Associated Graphic

A man carries a child following a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April. In the week after the attack,'s 10-most-tweeted articles were about the attack, including some that spread conspiracy theories.


Michel Chossudovsky, founder of, is a retired leftist University of Ottawa economics professor who challenges mainstream capitalist economics, once gaining brief local notoriety for theories about Israeli cabals.


Blockchain technology may be for real - but the astonishing rise of bitcoin looks a lot like tech bubble 2.0
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B6

Clad in a baseball cap and a dark polo shirt, Anthony Di Iorio is a stark contrast against the sea of suits. He paces across the stage as he addresses a crowd of more than 400 portfolio managers, investment advisers and high-net-worth investors gathered in Toronto's financial district to learn about bitcoin.

"How many here are thinking that they want to invest in the space?" Mr. Di Iorio asks.

Most of the hands in the room shoot up.

"That's what I kind of figured."

The Design Exchange, located inside the historic building that once housed the Toronto Stock Exchange, is a suitable venue for Mr. Di Iorio's speech about how technology is poised to disrupt the world of finance. Many years ago, this place was home to a bustling trading floor and an army of stockbrokers.

Today, it serves as an old-world backdrop against which entrepreneurs such as Mr. Di Iorio - who briefly served as chief digital officer for the TSX - are pitching Bay Street on the new world of cyptocurrencies.

The dramatic run-up in the price of bitcoins in recent months has thrust cryptocurrencies - and the blockchain technology that underpins them - into the limelight. In the past six months alone, the price of one bitcoin has surged roughly 300 per cent, hitting more than $7,000 (U.S.) recently and bringing the total value of all bitcoins in circulation to more than $100-billion. (The price slipped back to $6,600 on Friday.)

That parabolic rise has caused a stir in financial circles, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon among those to declare bitcoins a fraud; he likened it to the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century.

Derivatives marketplace CME Group recently announced plans to launch bitcoin futures this year. Meanwhile, celebrities such as Paris Hilton and the Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah are jumping into the fray by promoting initial coin offerings, or ICOs, a new method of fundraising. Early-stage companies use ICOs to sell new cryptocurrency to finance their ventures - without any of the usual disclosure that securities regulators require to protect the investing public.

The cryptocurrency craze sweeping the world is capturing imaginations on Bay Street as well. Eager to make a quick buck, investors are piling into digital currencies because gains are dramatically outpacing the stock market.

Much as they did during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, some investors are tossing aside the traditional rules of investing to chase a risky, speculative asset that many of them barely understand.

The Oct. 25 event at which Mr. Di Iorio was speaking sold out in a mere 48 hours - a level of demand that surprised even its organizer.

"I've never seen a response like that before," said Genevieve Roch-Decter, CEO of Grit Capital, a Toronto-based advisory firm specializing in blockchain (a digital ledger of transactions that are encrypted and stored in blocks) and cryptocurrency. "Anything that moves that quickly, where millionaires are made overnight, will capture the greed part of Bay Street."

Money managers are racing to create publicly traded ETFs and crypto-investment funds and pouring cash into companies such as Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd. The "cryptocurrency mining" company, which recently went public via a reverse takeover on the TSX Venture Exchange, has quickly become Canada's first publicly traded billiondollar blockchain firm - despite the fact it was a junior gold company a couple of months ago and has yet to report a quarter of results under its new guise.

Over the past few years, bitcoin - a decentralized digital currency invented to subvert traditional finance in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis - has gone from a libertarian plaything used to buy drugs anonymously on the internet to an investment touted as the Next Big Thing. At financial conferences, bankers, lawyers and anti-fraud professionals discuss the possible implications of blockchain technology on every facet of society. In response to a surge in demand from prospective clients, a number of Canadian law firms, including Gowling WLG and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, have created working groups devoted to navigating the murky, largely unregulated world of cryptocurrency.

"It's almost like a shoe dropped six months ago and everybody wants to get into blockchain," said Troy Wong, CEO of Vancouverbased private-equity firm Neptune Group.

Speaking at a recent breakfast event hosted by Gowling, Mr. Wong added: "We're seeing companies increasing their share price by 30 per cent by adding blockchain to the end of their name."

It all bears a striking resemblance to the frenzy that gripped internet companies in the late 1990s - just prior to the crash.

"That's very reminiscent of the dot-com boom, where firms would put .com in their name and they'd instantly get a valuation bump," said Mark Kamstra, a professor of finance at York University's Schulich School of Business, who specializes in the study of financial bubbles.

If blockchain is the internet 2.0, as its proponents claim, then investors would be wise to heed the lessons from the rise of internet 1.0.

When the dot-com bubble burst, it wiped away more than $1.7-trillion of stock-market value.

Bitcoin is a classic bubble because its value is based on nothing more than the expectation that its price will continue to rise, Prof.

Kamstra said. There is nothing tangible - no bar of gold, no promise from a central bank, not even a tulip bulb - backing the currency.

"It will burst," Prof. Kamstra said. "I couldn't tell you when. That's the thing about bubbles - they're driven by this irrational exuberance over future price gains. And when does that stop? When do people stare at the naked man walking down the street and say the emperor has no clothes? I don't know."

One of the places where the bubble is most evident is in ICOs. Similar to crowdfunding, initial coin offerings help early-stage companies avoid venture capitalists and the highly regulated stock markets and raise money directly from investors by selling digital tokens or coins.

Some companies have managed to raise millions of dollars very quickly this way.

What's troubling, however, is that many of the ventures being financed this way have little more behind them than a brief white paper outlining their business plans. There have been more than 200 ICOs in 2017, raising a total of more than $3.26-billion, according to ICO tracker Coinschedule. But regulators are starting to get wise to the existence of a shadow market that flouts the normal practices and rules for raising capital. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has cautioned that many such coin offerings look like securities, suggesting the agency will start regulating ICOs.

Even early adopters and cryptocurrency proponents, such as Andreas Antonopoulos, are speaking out about the frothiness of the ICO market. Mr. Antonopoulos - a self-professed "digital nomad" and well-known figure in the bitcoin world - calls it an "absolute flood of scams and money grabs."

While issuing a digital token or coin may be a legitimate way to finance a project, many have cautioned that the sector is rife with fraud and pump-and-dump schemes - coins that offer little value besides the opportunity to make a quick buck by reselling them in the secondary market. Earlier this year, the SEC took regulatory action against two ICOs that were purportedly backed by real estate and diamonds; the regulator alleged the coins being peddled by REcoin Group Foundation and DRC World didn't really exist.

The tremendous amount of clutter in the ICO space has made it difficult to distinguish the projects that have value from those that don't, Mr. Di Iorio said.

"I think there's a bubble forming and we're seeing people jumping in," he said, speaking at another blockchain event on Bay Street, hosted by Gowling in early November. "It's the wild, Wild West out there, and there's going to be a lot of issues and it's going to blow up eventually. And I just hope the people here are not on the wrong side of it when it does."

The story of bitcoin begins in 2009 with a mysterious founder who calls himself Satoshi Nakamoto. To this day, no one has been able to find Mr. Nakamoto, whose only interac-

tions with the programmers who helped him create bitcoin were via online chat. (There is a man named Satoshi Nakamoto living in Japan but he denies having had anything to do with bitcoin.)

The founder's absence has prompted various theories about his whereabouts. Some hypothesize that Mr. Nakamoto has died, while others claim the moniker may be a pseudonym for a group of individuals.

According to a white paper posted to a cryptography mailing list in August, 2008, Mr. Nakamoto was aiming to build a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash - one that, because of its lack of a central authority, could not be manipulated by any one person or entity, including a central bank.

Every bitcoin transaction is recorded in a public ledger using cryptography - hence, the term cryptocurrency. But unlike a ledger operated by a bank, the bitcoin ledger is not stored in any one central place. Instead, it is distributed across a network of participating computers. Those computers - referred to as miners - contribute their computing power by recording bitcoin transactions and solving complex mathematical problems.

They are paid for those tasks in bitcoins, which can be sold for cash or used to purchase goods.

One of the features of bitcoin that has made it appealing to early adopters is its finite supply. While fiat currencies can become inflated by central banks printing more money, the algorithm that governs bitcoin caps the total supply at about 21 million. The website indicates that there are about 16.7 million bitcoins in existence today, up from 16 million last December.

As Ms. Roch-Decter, the Grit Capital CEO said, there is almost a "religious" quality to the bitcoin movement, whose believers tout it as the antidote to an era of monetary stimulus. The gospel of bitcoin is spreading beyond the currency as well, to the blockchain technology that underpins it.

Proponents of the blockchain call it the biggest game-changer since the invention of the internet and speak of its ability to revolutionize everything from cross-border payments to capital raising to health records and more. Even bitcoin skeptic Mr. Dimon of JPMorgan Chase said the technology is valid, and his bank is working on a blockchain-based global payment system.

But bitcoin's rise to mainstream prominence has been riddled with drama and controversy. Soon after its adoption, it gained a reputation for being a convenient method for laundering money, hiding from the taxman and purchasing all sorts of illicit goods - from drugs to weapons to child pornography - on the dark web. However, industry insiders say criminals have grown wary of bitcoin ever since the 2013 bust of an online black market called Silk Road proved that bitcoin transactions are traceable.

The currency's reputation took another hit the following year when Mt. Gox - then the world's largest bitcoin exchange - was hacked and lost hundreds of thousands of its users' bitcoins. The Tokyo-based exchange promptly filed for bankruptcy.

All the while, the price of bitcoins has fluctuated wildly. In late 2013, it climbed more than 400 per cent, from around $180, to almost $1,000 in just over a month. Its recent upward streak has created surprise windfalls for a number of early adopters, including Nathan Wosnack.

In the spring of 2010, Mr. Wosnack was hanging out at his Vancouver office when a friend offered to trade him 10 bitcoins for half a case of Rickard's Honeybrown ale. Bitcoins were trading roughly on par with the U.S. dollar at the time, so Mr.

Wosnack agreed. (By today's values, the bitcoins he received for that half-case are worth about $67,000 - surely the most lopsided trade yet.)

He forgot about the bitcoins until almost four years later when he was home sick with the flu and running low on cash. He ran the bitcoin wallet software on his old laptop. It took several hours for the code, which was out of date, to update. At 2 a.m., a pop-up window alerted him that the bitcoins were still there. They were trading at about $900 a pop.

Soon after, he unearthed another, much larger stockpile of bitcoins stashed away in another digital wallet. "But I don't kiss and tell on that on," said Mr. Wosnack, who is now involved with three blockchainrelated startups. "Let's just say I took two years off from work and returned to the crypto space forever."

With cryptocurrency prices rising at such an astronomical rate, it's fairly clear that this is a bubble.

What's less certain is what stage of that bubble it's in. After all, the dotcom bubble persisted for years before it finally burst in 2000.

"It feels more like 1995," said Avi Goldfarb, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

By 1999, people had a pretty good sense of what the internet could do and where the opportunities to make money might be, Prof. Goldfarb explains. It was still unclear which business models would win - a number of early bets didn't pan out, and many of the modern-day internet giants such as Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. either didn't exist or didn't go public until much later. But by 1999 there were a number of established internet companies.

"Blockchain feels earlier," Prof. Goldfarb said. "We don't even know who the big players could be."

That makes investment decisions tricky. It's hard to bank on this cryptocurrency or that blockchain startup when the future leaders of the sector may be companies that don't even exist yet, he said.

When Matt Lefebvre first started mining bitcoin in 2010, he had no clue what it was for. By the end of the year the Richmond Hill, Ont.

resident had amassed roughly 13,000 bitcoins - the modern-day equivalent of more than $90-million - on a USB stick.

But the following year, Mr. Lefebvre made a disastrous mistake.

He accidentally wrote over the data with Windows 8 - "arguably the worst possible operating system since Windows ME," he said.

It has taken him years to get over the loss, while the price of bitcoins has continued to climb.

"I tried literally everything to get the data back," said Mr. Lefebvre, who is now a professional YouTuber who creates videos about technology. He often daydreams about what he would have done with the money. Home ownership is at the top of his list.

"I had a winning lottery ticket, didn't know it was a winning lottery ticket and set it on fire," he said.

There is no recourse for people such as Mr. Lefebvre who lose access to their coins, which will likely sit dormant in cyberspace forever. And unfortunately, tales like his are not uncommon.

Perhaps the most famous of such stories is that of British resident James Howells, who in 2013 accidentally tossed away a hard drive containing roughly 8,000 bitcoins.

Today his virtual fortune - currently worth more than $50-million - sits in a landfill the size of several football fields.

Mr. Howells has visited the landfill but was unable to get permission from the local council to search the site - despite offering them a 10-per-cent cut and having numerous financial backers willing to finance the venture. But the Newport resident has not given up.

Bitcoin's rapidly accelerating price in recent months has buoyed his hopes.

"As the price continues to rise, I'm confident I will be given permission to search for the hard drive at some point in the future," he told The Globe and Mail via e-mail. "Even at current prices, the value of the drive is too high for the council to keep ignoring."

Lost coins are just one example of the myriad of things that can go awry. As with many of their global counterparts, Canadian regulators are failing to keep pace with the change brought on by these technological advancements. A staff notice issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators last August left some ambiguity as to whether new cryptocurrency offerings constitute securities or not.

Cryptocurrency transactions occur outside the mainstream financial system and the purview of regulators, making them vulnerable to money laundering and tax avoidance schemes. FinTRAC, the federal anti-money laundering agency, has introduced new rules governing cryptocurrency exchanges. But the rules, which would require the exchanges to register as moneyservices businesses, report suspicious transactions and identify their clients have not yet come into force.

Meanwhile, criminals have reportedly moved on to other cryptocurrencies, such as Monero and Zcash, which offer a higher level of anonymity.

The confusion swirling around the crypto bubble has even left some regulators pointing fingers at one another. Speaking to hundreds of anti-fraud professionals at a Toronto conference recently, the Ontario Securities Commission's director of enforcement, Jeff Kehoe, slammed the Bank of Canada for having its "head in the sand" with regards to cryptocurrencies. As he later explained it, Mr. Kehoe wants the central bank to provide some guidance as to whether bitcoin is a currency or some other type of entity. The bank fired back with a transcript of Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins' recent comments at the Sibos banking and financial conference, where she characterized bitcoin as more commodity than currency.

"We don't consider them to be money because they don't meet the fundamental qualities of that," Ms. Wilkins said at the time.

Although bitcoin was created to be a medium of exchange, there are a number of factors that make it illsuited for the job. First of all, most major retailers don't accept it. Secondly, its wildly fluctuating value makes spending it a gamble.

Just ask Ben Perrin, a Calgary resident who spent December of 2014 living exclusively off bitcoin as part of an online challenge. During that month, Mr. Perrin and his now-wife would frequent Starbucks and, using a gift card he had purchased with bitcoins, would spend the equivalent of $30 (Canadian) on coffee and food. Those turned out to be expensive meals - costing about $600 each, using today's value of bitcoins.

"All you can really do is just look at it and laugh," Mr. Perrin said.

"I'm a little bit more conservative any time I use bitcoin now. I hold on to it as a store of value, or more of an investment, as opposed to a spending tool."

Some people, such as Mr. Antonopoulos, are not too troubled by the parallels between bitcoin and the dot-com boom. What's more important, they say, is the technology behind the movement: the blockchain.

"The space as it is today is a mess, but this exact same technology is going to radically transform a trillion-dollar industry within the next 10 years, without any doubt in my mind," Mr. Antonopoulos said.

Sure, a lot of people will lose money along the way, just like in 2000 when the tech bubble burst.

There will be much "gnashing of teeth and rending of garments," Mr. Antonopoulos said. "It's exactly the same way we saw the internet develop - with a giant bubble that burned through a trillion [dollars] of investments."

But in the end, the internet went on to transform every facet of our lives.

"We had to go through that boom-and-bust cycle, and I think that's repeating now," Mr. Antonopoulos said.

The good news, he adds, is that the majority of the money pouring into ICOs is coming from extraordinary gains made on cryptocurrency investments - for instance, on the back of the soaring value of bitcoin. "Part of the reason they're making bad decisions is because this money was easily gotten. That lowers people's risk aversion."

But Prof. Goldfarb is not certain that blockchain will be a long-term, viable industry. "For every technology, like the internet, that does transform society, there's many others that seem that way in the early going that don't," he said, citing the Segway as one example. When it first came out, there was talk that the Segway could displace the automobile and prove to be a more significant invention than the personal computer. Today, the vehicle has practically faded into oblivion, relegated to warehouses and retirement communities. Blockchain could theoretically suffer a similar fate.

"It's a very interesting technology, but whether there's money to be made in the long run is still an open question," Prof. Goldfarb said.

Back at the Design Exchange, Mr. Di Iorio has wrapped up his speech, and Sean Clark has taken his place on stage.

"What we're actually here to do right now is to participate in the next inflection point of the digital age," said Mr. Clark, co-founder and CEO of bitcoin investment fund First Block Capital.

As with Mr. Di Iorio, he acknowledges the frothy nature of the ICO market. "There's a lot of junk out there that's going to get washed away in the next correction," he said. But those companies with sound business fundamentals will prevail, he added. "Like in 2000 after the bubble burst, the Googles and Facebooks and Amazons will emerge."

Associated Graphic

Anthony Di Iorio has become wary of the rise in the value of bitcoin. 'It's the wild, Wild West out there ... and it's going to blow up eventually.'


Ben Perrin, of Calgary, has been dabbling in bitcoin for two years. These days, however, 'I hold on to it as a store of value, or more of an investment, as opposed to a spending tool.'



Radio silence
How a high-school-based broadcast outlet gave the outport town of Wabana a bingo jackpot and a source of hope and joy for the community's youth, before infighting pulled it all apart. Jessica Leeder travels to Bell Island to investigate
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A12

It was not so long ago on Bell Island that the radio antenna that juts from the roof of the high school here, built atop the land's highest point, was a beacon to the community. It symbolized a newly optimistic orientation in this worn mining town, a shift toward pride of place and the thrill of citizen engagement.

For more than four years, the volunteer-run Radio Bell Island transmitted local voices, old and young, across the island and beyond.

"The radio has become a very bright spot in our community. Or I should say it had become a very bright spot in our community," Terasita McCarthy, a lifelong resident, volunteer and community organizer, said last week. "It is dark days now at the radio station."

Indeed, that eyesore of an antenna has come to symbolize deep divisions on Bell Island.

For several years, the station gave air time to a diverse array of local hosts whose interests ranged from history to hockey and whose ages spanned generations. Inside the St. Michael's Regional High School, which houses the station in the cafeteria, principal Tonya Kearley was amazed to see attendance, grades and even graduation rates rise in step with students' radio involvement. Some wrote their own music, and recorded and broadcast it.

They read news, weather and often stayed late into the evening, learning how to use the equipment, eating pizza and carving out their own space in this aging rural community.

Townspeople, too, had their spirits galvanized. Radio Bell Island seemed to give the community, long beleaguered by its deadened economy, not just a voice but a hungered-for cachet. The radio was something that everyone could take pride in. And the weekly bingo was a good bit of old-time fun - at its peak, more than half of the island was gathering around kitchen tables every Sunday night, daubing $5 cards they bought at local stores and hoping for the jackpot.

It helped that some of the proceeds went to the school, which was allotted one-third of the bingo profits under the station's original lottery licence. At one point, the school's cut of the cash surpassed $120,000 and paid for a slew of extras and upgrades. "It was a total game-changer for us," said Ms. Kearley.

But the game has ground to a halt. Radio Bell Island is now shuttered to students. Their voices have disappeared from the airwaves.

The school's regular cut of radio bingo proceeds has disappeared, too. Access was denied after infighting among radio board members reached a fever pitch, right around the same time the bingo's popularity was exploding.

The conflict has pitted Ms. Kearley, the principal, against radio board treasurer Henry Crane, a man who says he will "die fighting" to improve the island and has earned respect for his efforts to boost tourism. The conflict has polarized people on the island and off, including some as far away as Cambridge, Ont., where many islanders moved years ago in search of jobs.

Mr. Crane is determined to move the radio station out of the school. This week, town council, which includes both Mr. Crane and the chair of the radio board, agreed by narrow margin to postpone, temporarily, a vote to move the station to the town hall. The decision, council agreed, would be best made at a later date.

That a move might happen at all is baffling to many in the community. When the station was launched, not only were youth meant to be included, the school's elevation made it the perfect spot for a broadcast antenna.

The most likely explanation for pulling the station out of the school was raised earlier this year by a mediator hired to defuse the conflict.

"Bingo means money and money is a source of power," he wrote in his report. "This conflict is ... about money and power."

With so much at stake, from the future of Radio Bell Island to peace in their community, residents are calling for oversight and help.

"We need to shine a light on what is happening so that people in power will see," said Ms. McCarthy, who held a town council seat when it voted to hire the mediator. "People are shaking their heads and saying 'What in the name of God is going on?' We need to do something about this."

"Beyond our wildest expectations" The ferry ride across the tickle from Portugal Cove to Bell Island is full of visual drama. Bell Island, which is in Conception Bay, is a gorgeous slab of sandstone and shale and soaring, take-your-breath-away cliffs.

When Joe Donkers first set eyes on it, he knew Bell Island was home. "The place is magic. It was totally captivating," the Ontario transplant said. Although his passion is community development, Mr. Donkers took a job as the tax collector for the Town of Wabana, the largest of three communities on the island. It gave him a direct window into the economic and social struggles hobbling his new community.

Statistics confirmed what Mr. Donkers saw: A huge number of people were reliant on social assistance, and the lack of jobs on the island meant people were often forced to choose between unemployment or leaving home. A wellness report commissioned by the town in 2006 put the proportion at 44 per cent of island residents. It also highlighted an islandwide gambling problem, crumbling infrastructure, chronic boil-water advisories and a population at risk.

To locals, the report was just another black mark on their town. The darkest, of course, was the shutdown of the iron ore mines in 1966. That industry had transformed the island into a boom town with more than 13,000 residents at its peak. It also made the community unique - it is rare in Newfoundland for an outport town not to rely on fishing. When the mines closed, the population hollowed out as people left in search of jobs. More than half a century later, there is still no real industry on Bell Island, population 2,500, aside from tourism. Most jobs in tourism are fuelled by government grants.

Years ago, it fell to Mr. Donkers to build a sustainability plan for the town. He helped launch Tourism Bell Island, which was assumed by a local man passionate about the community's future. His name was Henry Crane.

Mr. Donkers also saw the need for more community dialogue. The idea of a community radio station was floated. It took off. The original group of volunteers included Mr. Crane, Ms. Kearley and her husband, renowned fiddler and Order of Canada recipient Kelly Russell.

Students, too, were eager to help.

Radio Bell Island went live in January, 2013. It was an immediate hit. "It was beyond our wildest expectations. There was a real polish to it," Mr. Donkers recalled. "For a period there, the community saw something new in itself."

Mr. Crane remembers the time as electric. "We had people in high school all the way up to our most senior citizens," he said. "It was so exciting."

Donovan Taplin, a former student at St. Michael's who is now a Master's candidate at Ryerson University, was the first voice on air.

He would go on to land a number of high-profile interviews, including one memorable spot with retired CBC broadcaster Peter Mansbridge.

"We transformed a school cafeteria into a place where intergenerational dialogue could happen. It filled a gap in the community," he said. "That had not existed before."

Mr. Taplin is now a member of the Prime Minister's Youth Council and a candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship. Having access to Radio Bell Island, he said, changed the course of his life.

"There's a saying that you can't be what you can't see. And on Bell Island, you can't see beyond the cliffs sometimes," he said. "Radio Bell Island gave young people from a small town in rural Newfoundland the opportunity to get on the air and play an instrument and have someone across the country hear it.

"That was transformative."

School became the place to be Inside the school, Ms. Kearley, the principal, could just about measure how much.

Attendance, marks and graduation rates were starting to climb along with spirits inside of the school, which has less than 150 students, many of whom come from proud but disadvantaged homes. Finding extra money for field trips off the island - to the university in St.

John's, for example - was often out of the question. The same went for new prom dresses, internet access, computers at home and sometimes even food.

"It's not a ghetto, not geographically. But it's socioeconomically inner-city," Ms. Kearley said. "Lots of children here have plenty in their lives. But they don't have the means that would allow them to participate fully," she said, adding: "Education should not cost a cent."

Once Radio Bell bingo took off, it didn't.

Launched to raise money for the station, the weekly games were held on Sunday evenings and run, at first, by Mr. Russell, the station manager, and Ms. Kearley. The work of getting bingo cards printed and distributed for sale was shared by Mr. Crane and his team of volunteers at Tourism Bell Island.

An agreement was struck that proceeds from the games would be split three ways, between Radio Bell Island, Tourism Bell Island and the high school, reflecting the causes closest to the stakeholders on the board.

The spoils quickly began to add up. Over one 22-month period, St. Michael's found itself with $122,000 in bingo money. It was as if the school had won the lottery.

The cash enabled Ms. Kearley to narrow gaps that neither the school board nor parents had the ability to. She improved students' access to technology by buying iPads and Smart Boards for the school. There were new uniforms for sports and the cheer squad, which had been using the same gear since the 1980s. She added band equipment, a motorized screen in the gym and built up a stock of personal items she knew many students were grateful for. Drawers in the school office were filled with deodorant, new clothing and even feminine products for female students, which they were free to take home.

The school was literally brightened, repainted in bright shades of blue that students chose.

Second-hand couches were purchased to give students comfortable lounging space in the library. Field trips to the university or the theatre were finally free for any student who wanted to go.

Ms. Kearley said she saw herself as "filling the school up with stuff students didn't have in their lives. We made it a place they need to come to."

Before long, though, a bizarre battle for control of the radio station would jeopardize students' access to their most prized asset.

It felt like "a coup" Despite the community's support of Radio Bell Island, only a small group of people volunteered their time to run it. Some years, the radio board, including Ms. Kearley and Mr. Crane, had its membership acclaimed because of the lack of community interest in holding the positions.

It was a surprise to many, then, when several hundred townspeople packed the radio board meeting in September of 2016. Ms. Kearley, who was serving a two-year term, watched in amazement as a slate of new members was elected. Mr. Crane knew all of them. Many already sat on or volunteered with his tourism board. Mr. Russell, the station manager, said it felt like "a coup." Mr. Crane denies that he attempted to stack the radio board with allies.

But there is no dispute over the fact that in the lead-up to the meeting, he had spent months locking horns with Ms. Kearley and Mr. Russell behind closed doors.

Mr. Crane, who has made clear his intention to have a hand in shaping Bell Island's future, likes to repeat a saying inspired by the Second World War general George S. Patton: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." At Tourism Bell Island, that approach often inspired people.

On the radio board, it only led to acrimony.

Disagreements amongst the strong personalities often spilled onto social-media feeds, spreading a sourness throughout the town.

Relations deteriorated to the point that the board was unable to reach consensus on any decision, big or small. Tension mounted between Ms. Kearley and Mr. Crane, who wanted move the radio station out of the school. His reasons include easier access for community members.

After the new radio board was elected, Mr. Russell, the station manager, resigned.

"I knew what was happening," he said in a recent interview. "I would have been told what to do, to be compliant as they decided to cut out the school. It was going against all I had worked towards, which was building an asset for the school and the community."

One month into their term, the new board members held a meeting that Ms. Kearley was not invited to. She was accused of disrespecting other members and a vote to suspend her from the board "for conduct unbecoming of a board member" was carried even though the radio's constitution does not appear to contain mechanism to allow it.

Around the same time, the school stopped receiving its share of radio bingo proceeds.

There was no written notice. Payments to the school simply halted. The school eventually received a letter from the radio board saying its status had dropped from that of a stakeholder: If the school wanted any more bingo money it could send a letter of application for the board for consideration.

Meanwhile, at the school district offices, a flood of complaints against Ms. Kearley, including allegations that she was unfit to continue serving as principal, had begun.

Mr. Crane, a retired parole officer and former college instructor, said he did not organize the flood of complaints. He did admit to making one against Ms. Kearley to the provincial Department of Education, though. It was related to a Facebook picture that shows the principal sticking her tongue out while laughing with three friends on an evening out. Mr. Crane said he found the picture "appalling."

Ms. Kearley's school district decided her conduct was just fine. An investigation into all of the complaints cleared her name. It also flagged the concern that she was being harassed via "an organized attack on [her] professional reputation," wrote Andrew Hickey, a senior education officer with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.

Ms. Kearley took her concerns to the local RCMP detachment but says she was brushed off. At least two more women on Bell Island have said they spoke to RCMP about harassment concerns related to radio board members' conduct to no avail. The RCMP did not respond to The Globe and Mail's request for comment.

Mr. Crane scoffs at the allegations. "I've been called a Nazi, a socialist, a sexist, you name it.

Well, yeah, yeah, yeah, sticks and stones," he said in an interview.

In February, the provincial department responsible for lottery licences audited the radio bingo payouts. It told the board to pay the school, which was listed as a fundraising recipient on the bingo licence, the money that had been withheld.

The board paid up and then found a way to deke around having to pay more. When the radio's bingo licence came up for renewal in May, St. Michael's was not named as an intended recipient of bingo proceeds. The board could decide where the money went in the community and was no longer compelled to pay anything to the school.

"A horrendous number of concerns" Desperate for a solution that might pull the community out of turmoil, the Town of Wabana hired a mediator. His decision would have no binding authority on the radio board, but the hope was that the move would inspire compromise.

It did not work. The mediator, retired provincial court Justice Robert Smith, titled his report Another Failed Mediation.

"I wouldn't have taken it on if I had known what it was going to turn into," Mr. Smith said in an interview last week. "I've never seen anything like this. It left me with a horrendous number of concerns," he said.

Mr. Smith is so troubled that he has taken the unusual step of contacting the RCMP himself, in both Newfoundland and Ottawa, hoping to jump-start an investigation. His complaints pertain to things outside the scope of the disagreement that required mediation, but that he discovered accidentally, he says, over the course of his work. They include allegations of improper spending of taxpayer dollars by the tourism board, led by Mr. Crane.

"As I understand it, there is no independent audit looking for possible fraud," Mr. Smith wrote in his report obtained by The Globe, adding: "There should be!" He goes on to level more troubling allegations against Mr. Crane, including alleging he is the architect of the campaign to discredit Ms. Kearley. "It is disgraceful and shows a level of unethical behaviour that should not be tolerated by the Town of Wabana."

The mayor, Gary Gosine, does not disagree.

But since September, his council has included Mr. Crane and another member of Radio Bell Island's board who do not perceive themselves to have a conflict of interest in being involved with radio, council and the tourism board. Mr. Gosine said he has no idea what can be done and the stress is affecting his health.

"I think it's going to get worse before anything gets better," he said.

Among residents, there is widespread concern over the amount of influence a small group has come to wield in their town. There is no doubt that Mr. Crane has a clear vision of the way forward - remember: "Lead, follow, get out of the way" - but his approach has been inconsistent with building consensus and inclusion.

Instead, it has driven people away. Ms. Kearley and Mr. Russell moved their family off the island in October; Ms. Kearley commutes back from St. John's each day. Mr. Smith called the development tragic. "They have so much to offer the island. To drive them away? It's astonishing," he said. "How you can get manipulated out of your share and have the radio station taken over by an outside group ..." he said, trailing off. "It's mind-boggling."

Asked in an interview whether he is motivated by power, Mr. Crane laughed. "I don't want to be king of the volunteers," he said. "I believe this island is a gold mine. It's a gem. When I got involved, I got involved for one reason: to make it better for everybody else. That's the reason I do it," he said. "That's the only reason I do it."

Still, he appears determined to leverage his new council seat to move the radio station into the town hall. The radio's founders are left shaking their heads.

"Taking it to the town hall strips the radio station of its capacity to be a tool for social change. It will be to the detriment of the community and the community's young people," former student Mr. Taplin said. "Young people on Bell Island already have a hard shake at things. This radio station was something that was finally changing that."

Associated Graphic

The one-room Bell Island Radio station, top and below, was set up inside the cafeteria at St. Michael's Regional High School, and it helped make school the place to be for students. Wabana Councillor Henry Crane, above, shown during a council meeting on Thursday, is the radio board treasurer and he says he will 'die fighting' to improve the island.

Wabana, top, has had a tough go economically since the iron ore mine closed in 1966, but the 2013 launch of a radio station at St. Michael's Regional High School provided some hope for the community's young people. Then, with radio bingo generating significant revenue, a dispute involving the adults erupted. It became so bitter that the radio station was shut down and Tonya Kearley, the high school's principal, felt the need to move off Bell Island and commute to work from St. John's.


Monday, November 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- Slumped deep in his chair, President Robert Mugabe nods off and dozes in meetings. His aides help him shuffle to the podium at a painfully slow pace. His pauses grow longer. He slurs his words. At one parliamentary session, he was so confused that he read the same speech he had given a few weeks earlier - word for word.

But the 93-year-old Zimbabwean autocrat roused himself with a roar at a rally last weekend. All trace of his physical frailty disappeared, and his strength suddenly returned. "I am annoyed," he announced to the crowd.

His voice grew thunderous as he denounced his vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had served alongside him for 40 years.

He accused the vice-president and his supporters of insulting him, and he ordered them to leave his party.

"Let them go!" he bellowed furiously to the crowd. "Let them go!"

Two days later, Mr. Mnangagwa was indeed gone: terminated from his post. The government's terse announcement gave no explanation except a few words about "disloyalty." It was a shockingly swift blow to the heir apparent. And it signalled that Mr. Mugabe remains in charge of the country that he has dominated for 37 years - even as his health worsens, the feuding in his ruling party intensifies and the economy crumbles.

Mr. Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, has been visibly energized by his sudden purge of his former comrade. At another rally last week, he swung his fists in time to the music, then launched another attack on Mr. Mnangagwa, calling him an undisciplined "deviant" who had sought a "short cut" to the leadership. Short cuts are dangerous, he told the rally. "The road has lions.

There is death."

It was a classic Mugabe manoeuvre, destroying a rival and tightening his grip on power. Although he won the country's first multiparty election in 1980 on a promise of building prosperity and creating a "true democracy based on equality," his energies were focused from the beginning on a relentless campaign against his adversaries - from his former liberation comrade Joshua Nkomo to the white farmers who resisted his land redistribution schemes. He won almost every battle. But today, he must confront one of the toughest tests of his life.

Over the next eight months, he aims to win one more election, propelling him into a fifth decade of rule. At the same time, he plans to engineer a political succession that will safeguard the power of his ambitious wife and big-spending children, who are widely resented in Zimbabwe for their luxury cars, jewellery and lavish lifestyles.

If he fails to win enough support to orchestrate all of this, the postMugabe transition could turn violent. In the vacuum after his departure, there could be street clashes, a military crackdown and bloodshed.

And even if his plan succeeds, the country could find itself in the hands of his unpopular wife, Grace, the new heir apparent. It would become a Mugabe family dynasty - but a fragile and dangerous one. Some analysts predict that Ms. Mugabe will be forced to flee the country after his death.

"We've never had a history of orderly succession," says Tendai Biti, a former finance minister who is now in opposition. "There's no tradition of peaceful transition. We're headed for an implosion. Will it be a coup, an armed insurrection or a war?" While his country slides into poverty and despair, Mr. Mugabe remains the same man he has been since the liberation wars of the colonial era. Bored by complex economic and technocratic issues, his attention is galvanized by power and politics. His obsessions are simple: controlling the forces around him, balancing the factions, weakening his rivals, protecting his family and strengthening his grip on all levers of power.

This laser-like focus might astonish those who have witnessed him in a somnolent state at international summits, or falling asleep at United Nations meetings. But it doesn't surprise Zimbabweans. "When he speaks of power issues, he becomes so alive and so alert," says Earnest Mudzengi, a political analyst in Harare. "Even though he's physically weak, he is still in control."

Temba Mliswa, an independent member of parliament and former senior member of the ruling ZANUPF party, is critical of Mr. Mugabe's decisions - but he has a grudging respect for his political skills. "He might struggle to get to the microphone, but when he gets there, he gets the job done," Mr. Mliswa told The Globe and Mail.

"He still remains eloquent. Mentally, he still has it. He loves power. And he'll do anything to stay in power."

On the surface, Zimbabwe is calm.

The sun shines brightly, and politicians chat cheerfully with a Globe journalist in beautiful book-lined libraries or gorgeous estates with green lawns, gardens and swimming pools. But as the economy deteriorates, this is a crumbling facade. You only notice the potholes and the hordes of impoverished street hawkers when you venture outside the main roads on which Mr. Mugabe's convoy rushes to the Harare airport for his many foreign jaunts.

The political succession battles are inflicting heavy damage on Zimbabwe's economy, Mr. Mliswa says. "Everything has been shelved because politics has taken over."

And he has little doubt of how the succession will unfold. After the elections next year, Mr. Mliswa predicts, Mr. Mugabe will anoint Grace as his successor. "It's pretty clear that that's where it's going. Nobody can say anything as long as he is alive. The President needs to ensure that his family is safe, no matter what."

The first stage of his strategy has, at first glance, gone remarkably smoothly. His presumptive successor, Mr. Mnangagwa, has fled the country after his sacking last week.

He was immediately expelled from the ruling party, along with many of his allies. Grace Mugabe is widely expected to ascend to the post of vice-president at a special conference of the ruling party next month.

(The move has already been endorsed by the party's provincial branches, along with its youth wing and its women's league.)

Mr. Mugabe's next logical step could be to install his wife as the acting president if his health becomes too weak. And then, some say, she would become president when he dies or quits.

Grace Mugabe eagerly welcomes that possibility. "I say to Mr. Mugabe, you should ... leave me to take over your post," she said at a church meeting in Harare last week. "Have no fear. If you want to give me the job, give it to me freely."

But nothing is truly predictable in Zimbabwe, where the President likes to keep his foes off-balance, to keep everyone guessing. He might yet decide that his 52-year-old wife is too unpopular to appoint as his successor. He could choose a more experienced politician to become the vice-president, perhaps someone with stronger support from the military. One theory suggests he could give the vice-presidential job to his Defence Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi, who would have a better chance of keeping the country together.

Mr. Mugabe's power, too, might be weaker than it appears from his furious purge of his rivals. He has created new enemies, potentially destabilizing the ruling party. Mr. Mnangagwa, nicknamed "The Crocodile" from his early days as a guerrilla fighter, has substantial support in several regions of the country, and in the senior ranks of the military.

He could still mobilize people to oppose the regime, perhaps in some kind of coalition with the opposition parties.

In a five-page statement issued by his supporters after his sacking, and apparently signed by him, Mr. Mnangagwa vowed that he would "return to Zimbabwe" to lead his followers.

Addressing the President directly, he said: "This party is not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please. ... This is now a party controlled by undisciplined, egotistical and self-serving minnows ..." But while the country awaits the potential challenge from the former vice-president, it is clear that Grace Mugabe is now the power behind the throne, more influential than anyone except Mr. Mugabe himself.

Over the past three years, she has feuded bitterly with two vice-presidents: Mr. Mnangagwa and his predecessor, Joice Mujuru. In both cases, Mr. Mugabe swiftly fired the vicepresidents - a sign of her enormous influence over him.

Ms. Mugabe is with her husband at every rally, urging him on, propping him up symbolically and sometimes literally. It was she who demanded that "the snake" - as she called Mr. Mnangagwa - "must be hit on the head." The next day, the vice-president was sacked.

As she climbs the political ladder, she is loathed by many Zimbabweans because of her brazen flaunting of her wealth and power. Known as "Gucci Grace," she wears expensive clothes and sunglasses at rallies and has spent huge sums in shopping sprees in Paris and Hong Kong.

She reportedly purchased a RollsRoyce in South Africa for more than $400,000 (U.S.). She spent $1.35-million to buy a 100-carat diamond ring to give to her husband - later suing the businessman who sold it, complaining that the quality was inferior.

Her sons often use Instagram photos to boast of their expensive jewellery and their Champagne-stoked lifestyle in South African nightclubs.

One son, Bellarmine, showed off his luxury watch and bracelet with the caption: "$60,000 on the wrist when your daddy run the whole country ya know!!!"

In perhaps the family's most notorious incident, Ms. Mugabe became embroiled in a nasty dispute with a young female friend of her sons, Chatunga and Robert Jr., in a Johannesburg hotel. She allegedly struck the woman with an extension cord, leaving her bleeding and scarred. But when the woman tried to press charges, the South African government invoked a diplomatic immunity rule to allow Ms. Mugabe to leave the country. It reinforced the Zimbabwean perception that she sees herself as above the law.

"She is almost oblivious to reality," says Ibbo Mandaza, a political analyst in Harare. "She and her husband are one and the same, but she is bolder and does things more quickly.

She does crazy things, and that has inadvertently catalyzed change."

Her unpopularity could damage Mr. Mugabe at the election next year.

"People have never liked her," says Mr. Mliswa, the independent MP.

"She can't trust anyone. She's a control freak. People won't support the President because of his wife."

Eddie Cross, a senior member of the biggest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, believes that Ms. Mugabe will drive voters into the opposition camp in the election next year. "She's the most hated woman in Zimbabwe," he says.

He compares her to Jiang Qing, the notorious "Madame Mao," wife of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who was arrested and jailed within weeks of Mao's death in 1976. Many analysts predict that Grace Mugabe will be forced to flee the country after her husband's death. "People here look placid, but you don't mess with them," Mr. Cross says.

He is convinced that the Mugabe era is rapidly coming to a close. "I've no doubt that Robert Mugabe is finished."

Even a faction of liberation war veterans, who fought a guerrilla campaign against white minority rule in the 1970s and had supported Mr. Mugabe for decades, have now finally become embittered by the President and his wife.

"We've been giving him a chance since 1980," says Douglas Mahiya, one of the leaders of an association of war veterans.

"He cheated us. Our people are still hungry, still poor, still lacking roads and health care. Our people are poorer than they were in the 1970s. It makes the war veterans feel cheated."

But most observers see Mr. Mugabe as still the strong favourite in the 2018 election. The opposition

is divided and weak. The long-time MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is seriously ill with colon cancer, yet he refuses to step down from the party's leadership. Because of his illness, he has been almost invisible in recent months, leaving the party rudderless. "They're in a very bad place," says Takura Zhangazha, a civil society activist and blogger in Harare.

Mr. Mugabe still controls the ruling party, and his party is likely to control the election, as it did in the 2013 election. Vote-rigging is widely expected. "Most analyses of the 2013 election acknowledge that extensive electoral fraud took place," says Derek Matyszak, a senior researcher in Zimbabwe for the Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.

He says there is "considerable evidence" of extensive multiple voting and fraudulent voting in the 2013 election. Without the rigging, he says, Mr. Mugabe would have won only about 53 per cent of the vote, compared to his official total of 61 per cent.

With the economy in decline, with his party racked by internal feuding, and with his wife so deeply unpopular, Mr. Mugabe could be in trouble in a fair election in 2018. But few people expect a fair election.

To make a fair outcome even less likely, Mr. Mugabe has announced that he will not allow any Western observer groups during the election.

"We are going to say no to the whites," Mr. Mugabe told Chinese media last month.

Mr. Mandaza, the analyst, is not even bothering to register for the election. "People here are regimented for elections like animals," he says. "It's not democratic. It would be a miracle for ZANU-PF to lose."

Mr. Mugabe suffered a humiliating blow last month when a wave of global outrage forced the World Health Organization to cancel his appointment as a "goodwill ambassador" - just days after his state-controlled media had boasted of the appointment as a "feather in his cap." For a president who has relished any international support that he receives, it was an embarrassing defeat.

But the Zimbabwean regime has rallied around Mr. Mugabe, heaping more awards on him. Harare's international airport was renamed in his honour last week. The government announced that his birthday, Feb. 21, will become an annual public holiday.

While glorifying its leader, the government continues to crush any opposition on the streets. Protests are routinely broken up by police crackdowns. Four Zimbabweans were hauled to court last week for daring to boo Ms. Mugabe at a rally.

The government's biggest new target, however, is social media - seen as a potential threat to the regime's power. Police have arrested several activists who were popular on social media, including a pastor, Evan Mawarire, who has gained a large following with his Facebook videos.

Last month, Mr. Mugabe created a new post, Minister of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation, and gave the post to a senior cabinet minister who has blamed social media for the panic buying that has led to shortages of commodities in shops. The minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has vowed to take "corrective measures" against social media.

Within weeks of his appointment, the police made it clear that this wasn't an empty threat. They arrested a 25-year-old U.S. citizen, Martha O'Donovan, and charged her with the crime of "undermining the authority of the president" - because of a tweet that she had allegedly posted.

Ms. O'Donovan was a producer and project officer at Magamba TV, a Zimbabwean outlet that creates popular satirical content for social media. Police accused her of tweeting that Mr. Mugabe was a "selfish and sick man." She denied the allegation. She was held in jail for a week, before finally being released on bail on Friday.

Almost 200 people have faced criminal charges for "insulting" Mr. Mugabe in recent years, according to a tally by human-rights lawyers. At the same time, attacks on Zimbabwean journalists have increased, with 51 journalists arrested or assaulted by police since the beginning of last year, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa.

With little prospect of fairness in rigged elections, with most street protests banned and social media under growing threat, some of the younger Zimbabwean opposition groups are switching to dangerous new tactics.

On the streets of Harare recently, two young activists talked to The Globe on condition of anonymity.

They talked of a secret new strategy for attacking the regime: infiltrating the ruling party, covertly attempting to stoke the divisions within ZANUPF, and pouring acid into mill engines to sabotage the farm machinery that the party uses as a source of revenue in rural areas.

"We are radicals," one of them says. "We don't play the victim card."

If this is the kind of extremism that begins to emerge from an increasingly angry population under a 93-year-old autocrat who refuses to leave, the country could be headed for a violent future.

Associated Graphic

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe, right, sits with her husband, President Robert Mugabe, at a rally in Gweru in September. Her unpopularity may drive voters to flock to opposition camps, a senior member of a rival party says, as she is 'the most hated woman in Zimbabwe.'


Supporters of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe travel the streets by party headquarters on Nov. 8 in a show of support for Grace Mugabe, the President's wife, to become the country's next vice-president - a notion that has spurred opposition from many.


Supporters of Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai rally in Harare in August. The long-time MDC Leader's illness - but refusal to step down - has left the party rudderless, and in 'a very bad place,' one activist says.


Tina's turning point
Tina Brown's book, The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992, chronicles her pivotal time at the iconic magazine
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R1

By the late 1980s, Britain-born Brown was reaching the pinnacle of her storied career. In London, she had already rejuvenated the moribund Tatler magazine, and at the age of 31 moved to New York to rescue the struggling Condé Nast title Vanity Fair, which she transformed into a must-buy chronicle of social excess and political depth. A mother of one and with another child on the way (and married to another publishing icon, Harold Evans), Brown was figuring out how to pivot her magazine - and her career - to the next decade.

Monday, July 2, 1990 Quogue, N.Y.

Have been closing Marie Brenner's terrific piece on Donald and Ivana Trump. We wanted to capture their fascinating repositioning now that they are divorcing and Ivana has been upgraded to superstar victim of a brutish, philandering husband, which she is playing to the hilt. Marie has been able to establish such a pattern of lying and loud-mouthing in Trump that it's incredible he still prospers and gets banks to loan him money. Great quote where his brother says Donald was the kid who threw cake at the birthday party. He's like some monstrous id creation of his father, a cartoon assemblage of all his worst characteristics mixed with the particular excesses of the new media age. The revelation that he has a collection of Hitler's speeches at the office is going to make a lot of news.

I feel more and more pregnant, which has been awkward as 60 Minutes has been filming in the office for a piece about us, a coup for VF. Will be incredible exposure that could drive up circulation exponentially. I am nervous about the footage they have got. I realize I called Sly Stallone's fiancée a bimbo in the art department when they were filming and am praying they don't use it (as I would for sure if I'd been the reporter!).

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 1990

So long between entries. Have had the whole family to stay at Quogue [on Long Island]. Heaven having the cousins here for [Brown's son] George.

When not with the kids have been glued to CNN, watching the developments in the crisis in the Gulf since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. He's such a preposterous figure, with the backward beret and huge chimneysweep mustache, but clearly much more dangerous than anyone gave him credit for. No one took Hitler seriously either. It seems to be the hallmark of the most dangerous dictators that no one considers them a threat until too late.

The September issue is a news storm with the Trump piece and the Hitler speeches revelation. Happily, Trump trashed us to Barbara Walters on her show, and that spun another column from Liz Smith.

Monday, Sept. 17, 1990 A lot of stuff happening as I wait for baby X, who we now know, to my wild joy, is a girl. G is getting excited, too. I find myself thinking about her all the time. Will we be as close as I have always been to my own mother? I never had rebellious years with Mum. All my rebellion was focused on school. It's a wonderfully soothing feeling, the notion of a best friend coming whom I haven't even met.

VF sales have been punished by Iraq and Desert Storm. There's an ad recession we didn't expect. The war is bad for a magazine with a title like Vanity Fair, just as the thirties were bad for it before. VF suggests glamour and levity and that's not the mood of the times. I am moving the editorial in a more serious direction by choice as much as need, but perception will lag behind the reality of what's now in our pages. The split identity we have evolved of the movie star on the cover and the grit inside has worked well for us until this moment, but it's hard to judge how much to change in the news direction without also alienating the huge audience who love that high-low balance that we do.

Meanwhile Harry's had an amazing offer that couldn't have come at a more difficult moment, just as I am about to give birth and want him more at my side.

He was asked to be the editorial boss of Random House, as president/publisher, which is a fantastic opportunity and restores him to the top of the tree, where he belongs. If Harry does Random House, that locks us into NYC for another five years. I will have to stop imagining there could still be an alternate reality in London. The decision was brought into nerve-racking relief when, on his way out to Quogue from the Hunterspoint Avenue train station, a menacing thug in a beanie leapt out of nowhere, pointed a gun at him, and demanded all his money. Took it and fled. It rattled us both. I kept thinking of how he could have become one of those news stories we devour in the Post.

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 1990

Waiting for baby D-day! My cesarean is scheduled for Oct. 22. Dr. Thornton thinks that with the prematurity of G and the miscarriage, I should not risk natural birth. Oddly, I have never felt more energized and focused, ballooning around the office and getting work cleared so I can soon disappear. [Cover of comedian] Roseanne [Barr] will be much reviled, but I think it is a great conversation starter and I love adding comedy and comedians to shake up movie-star blandery.

G is finally getting excited about the baby and decided to name her tonight. We had been thinking Daisy, but G was adamant. "Let's call her Isabel," he said. It felt unfamiliar until I said it aloud. Isabel Evans. I love the two together. And suddenly felt I knew who she is, serious and calm and clever and sweet.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 1990

Gail Sheehy came over to talk about a new piece she wants to write about menopause. Two women at opposite ends of the fertility spectrum confronting each other over a cup of tea.

It was nice to talk stories after six weeks of cotton-head. We sat in the living room while I nursed Izzy and she laid the piece out. I love the idea of tackling menopause. Women always feel they have to hide it, or treat it like some secret disease instead of part of a natural cycle.

And then when we're through it, we're made to feel discarded and reduced. Gail said, on the contrary, she wants to write about the incredible "postmenopausal rush" when women are at their most confident and productive. Yippee. I can't wait.

Must be so liberating to be done with the need to be attractive and focus instead on fulfilment and power. I can't wait to be a grand old trout making influential decisions. I told Gail, absolutely, do it. Let's call it "The Secret Passage," referencing back to her old bestseller, Passages, and amplifying the taboo angle.

Hollywood people are unbelievable. Jeffrey Katzenberg called me up a week ago and asked if I would do a screening for his new movie Green Card with Gérard Depardieu. I told him I just had a baby and was on leave. He totally ignored me and told me I must do this for him because I owed him. (For what?) It's a great movie, he insisted, that's what friends are for, etc. I should have told him to take a hike, then of course succumbed. But I really didn't feel ready for it, like a deepsea diver as I swam around the faces I didn't want to see, with baby-head making me forgetful and vague. I had forgotten how terrifyingly tough NYC is, what an hourly battering it is to stay on top. I was in such a sensitive mood that I felt I had gone out stark naked.

It was the first time I have faced people since I put Roseanne Barr on the mag's cover, which has, as expected, been universally reviled.

Nick Dunne said he has been aggressed about it everywhere he's been, with "Trust me, she's gone too far this time" as the most common response. Still, they are all still reading it. And our Tatler motto of "the magazine that bites the hand that reads you" is still my mantra.

Friday, March 22, 1991

Sonesta Spa, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

I am brooding how I can make a definitive editorial statement that will distance us from the eighties. A new adrenaline shot. Without explicitly saying so we need to make a turn that's decisive or we will be defined by the passé Reagan era of glitz and Park Avenue. The nineties is about divestment. About shedding old social structures and pretences.

There's a lust for a reckoning, too, after all the Wall Street malfeasance.

We need to get deeper, darker, more expansive while keeping the joy factor. I am looking for a cover that will do that and have talked about it a lot with Annie [Leibovitz].

Harry's Random House job has added a whole lot of turmoil to our domestic lives. (Turmoil he adores, I have to say.) I forgot it would mean there is a book launch every night that he has to go to, even if I refuse.

He did finally, after two more meetings, corral Brando's memoir. There was a brief crisis last week when Marlon connected that he was married to me and nearly pulled out.

"And now comes a large cloud of black crows," he wheezed down the phone to Harry from L.A. "Your wife, I learn, is Tina Brown." But Harry performed the feat of somehow distancing himself from his wife of 10 years and the deal was signed for a mighty $5-million.

Tuesday, July 23, 1991

When photographer Annie and I first discussed doing a Demi Moore cover for the August issue, I thought how great it would be to show her pregnant instead of doing the normal thing with stars who are over three months gone and cheat the cover with a head shot or some other disguise. But being Annie, she went one better. She did Demi in profile, yes, full body, yes, but also ... naked! She unveiled it after first showing me the shots of Demi in brief summer dress, explaining she had just done these others privately.

But as soon as I saw that warm, golden image of the utterly naked, enormously pregnant, totally glorious Demi, I knew this was the shot we had to have. I felt retrospectively liberated from a long 1990 trying to hide the expanding Izzy, the vicarious shout of joy of showing Demi's bump to the world. Women need this, dammit! Annie was the persuasive genius who got on the phone and got Demi to agree to make this private picture public. But kudos to Demi too for her bravery and willingness to go out on the edge.

We have wanted so much to do a story that moved Vanity Fair decisively on from the eighties, that made a statement of modernity, progressiveness, freshness, openness, after the heavy Trumpy glitz of that decade. I have been beating my brains out looking for the social commentary that would achieve it.

And now, in one simple, dazzling image, Annie has the home run.

This is it. This is what a celebrity looks like in the nineties. Not just natural but au naturel! And it's a wonderful feminist statement at the same time.

Now I was afraid I would be stopped from doing it by the circulation department, after Walmart went batshit with the Roseanne Barr cover. So I took the precaution of showing first Alex [legendary Condé Nast editorial director Alexander Liberman], then Si. Alex just looked quizzical and said, "Are you sure, my dear?" and shrugged. And Si [recently deceased S.I. Newhouse Jr., owner of Condé Nast Publications] did his pensive gerbil face and finally said, "Why not?" This cover has immediately gone into the stratosphere. I expected some buzz, but not what is unfolding - a media orgy that uses the cover on TV eight straight nights in a row - every network news show, Primetime Live, Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, plus Annie as Woman of the Week with Peter Jennings on ABC and umpteen references to it by Johnny Carson, Arsenio Hall, David Brinkley, and on and on. The shrink-wrap stunt makes it hotter. It seems we have broken the last visual taboo. And the perfection of it was that it was an unassailable platform for controversy. Who's ever managed to shock with family values before?

Friday, Aug. 16, 1991

We christened Izzy last weekend on one of the nicest days we could have dreamed of, at the Church of the Atonement, Quogue's little clapboard church, as we did for G. It was a glorious day. We had all the friends over for a buffet lunch on the porch and a local band playing at the entrance. Izzy looked so adorable in her frothy little dress, with those huge eyes in her china-doll face. She loved being swooped up and down by all the guests, grabbed the rector's cross from around his neck, and chomped on it happily. She has all Harry's power-packed energy and his equable temperament. Nothing fazes her as she moves from one passionate absorption to the next.

How lucky I am.

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1991 Si hasn't been in the Four Seasons for 10 days. When Si is not in the Four Seasons it means something is up. He's hiring someone big or buying something. But whom or what?

And will it affect me? In a moment of paranoia I thought he could be buying Rolling Stone as he has long wanted to do and making Jann Wenner editorial director as part of the package. So what's cooking in the hamster cage?

The reaction to Demi Moore doesn't stop. Letters pour in from ecstatic women every day. We've sold 548,058 copies on the newsstand (an 82 per cent increase on July newsstand sales), giving us a total sale of 1,127,521. It's phenomenal. I feel a moment coming. Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?

Someone is going to make a major play. But what is it to be?

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1991

Marie Brenner called to tell me an extraordinary incident that took place last night at the NYC Parks black-tie gala at Tavern on the Green after the opening of the Streisand movie The Prince of Tides. She was sitting demurely in her black dinner suit at the parks commissioner Betsy Gotbaum's table when she felt something cold and wet running down her back. Out of the corner of her eye she saw waiters with trays of wine moving around and assumed one of them had spilled the vino.

Unwilling to embarrass the waiter, she didn't turn around. Until the other guests at the table started pointing and yelping, "Oh my God! Look what he just did!" The "he" in question was Donald Trump! She saw his familiar Elvis coif making off across the Crystal Room. The sneaky, petulant infant was clearly still stewing about her takedown in VF over a year ago and had taken a glass of wine from the tray and emptied it down her back! What a coward! He couldn't even confront her to her face! Marie was as outraged as she was incredulous but chose to ignore it. Everyone knows he's going broke and he spent most of the evening canoodling with his pouty blow-up doll, Marla Maples.

Thursday Jan. 23, 1992

This morning Si called me upstairs and sat me down next to him in the chair near his desk. "How much do you read ... The New Yorker?" A long pause. "Not much lately," I said.

A longer pause. It felt endless. Had I just disqualified myself? He behaved as if I said the opposite. "How would you go about it?"

Brown became The New Yorker's editor-in-chief, which she ran for six years, and subsequently launched Talk and The Daily Beast. In 2007 she was inducted into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame.

Excerpted from The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 by Tina Brown, published this month by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright © 2017 by Tina Brown. All rights reserved.

Associated Graphic

Harold Evans and Tina Brown attend a fundraiser in September, 1989, at the Plaza Hotel in New York.


Tina Brown and S. I. Newhouse Jr. attend a party in New York in August, 1990. Newhouse, who died on Oct. 1, was the owner of Condé Nast Publications.


The August, 1991, cover of Vanity Fair, an Annie Leibovitz photo of pregnant Demi Moore, caused a 'media orgy,' Tina Brown writes.

A military intervention this week signaled the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule of Zimbabwe. Geoffrey York reports from the streets of Harare on why it happened and whether the change will usher in a new era of hope
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F1

In the end, it was the human weaknesses that proved the undoing of the world's oldest dictator. Arrogance, pride, stubbornness and obsessive family loyalty - a mundane collection of ordinary frailties, but they were enough to bring down a ruler who had dominated Zimbabwe for 37 years.

The signs of a looming military coup must have been obvious to Robert Mugabe. His top generals were against his plan to give a senior government post to his unpopular wife, Grace.

The once-petty feud between her and the commanders was growing increasingly bitter, and she was insulting and mocking the military men and their political allies.

Mr. Mugabe controlled a vast security apparatus, including a secret police agency that would have certainly told him of the warning signs from the army.

Yet he didn't even need an intelligence report. By early this week, the likelihood of a military intervention was a secret to nobody.

Senior military officers called a press conference, issued a public threat to the Mugabe regime, and announced that they might need to step in. The ruling party responded with nothing more than a haughty verbal reprimand.

Two days later, the army commanders launched their takeover. But even when the armoured vehicles were rolling into Harare, the President did nothing.

Why did the dictator fail to act? At the age of 93, while his health was declining and he needed help to walk to a podium, he was still alert and lucid. But he ignored the alarm bells from the Zimbabwean military and the Zimbabwean people. He was convinced of his popularity, believing in the results of rigged elections, without realizing that his authority was hollow and crumbling.

Zimbabweans who have watched him for decades have little doubt that it was Mr. Mugabe's own imperious egotism that led to his downfall. He saw the danger signs, yet his supreme confidence led him to assume that he could swat away the threats with yet another sacking or another arrest.

"Big people tend to over-reach, and he overreached himself," says Earnest Mudzengi, a political analyst in Harare.

"His system had collapsed around him. Surely he should have known. It's a sad end for him. He led a guerrilla warfare in the 1970s, the people looked up to him - and now they're chasing him away."

Tendai Biti, a former finance minister who worked with Mr. Mugabe in government from 2009 to 2013, says the autocrat was destroyed by his own pride. "Hubristic arrogance," he told The Globe and Mail. "He was in power so long. He became so comfortable, complacent and over-confident. He's stubborn, and he forgot the nature of the state around him. This is a military state, a state of securocrats. He for9 got that he was just a representative of a securocratic state, and it will always dump you if you don't serve it. So they fired him."

For decades, Mr. Mugabe had shrewdly balanced the factions around him. He kept his enemies close. He used selective repression to weaken any camp that became too strong. Nobody was allowed to become the heir apparent.

But in recent years this strategy became cruder, less cautious and more impulsive. He decided that Ms. Mugabe must have her future guaranteed, and the only way to safeguard her ambitions was to give her a powerful government post: vicepresident or perhaps even the coveted role of his official successor.

And to do that, he disrupted the delicate balance around him. After relying on military support for nearly four decades, he suddenly began to threaten the senior military officers, and they responded in a predictable way: by plotting against him.

For most of their marriage, Grace Mugabe had stayed out of politics.

More than 40 years younger than her husband, she was content to go on shopping sprees in Paris and Hong Kong, running several private businesses and enjoying the perks and wealth that flowed from her husband's power.

But everything changed after the 2013 election. It was blatantly rigged.

The main opposition party, which had held a number of cabinet posts in a coalition government for the previous four years, was thrown into the political wilderness. With the regime's power now assured, the biggest remaining political question was the post-Mugabe succession within the ruling party itself.

In 2014, as Mr. Mugabe's health deteriorated, the jostling and political tensions were becoming more visible. It became clear to Ms. Mugabe that she could lose everything if her husband died. She needed to secure her future. She felt the resentment of the older generation of politicians who gained their authority because they were veterans of the liberation war against white minority rule in the 1970s. If this veteran generation controlled the post-Mugabe succession, she could be stripped of her wealth and forced into exile.

Ms. Mugabe, leaping into the political arena, decided to ally herself with a younger generation of politicians, who became known as the G40 faction (Generation 40). Among them were several ambitious cabinet ministers who sought to bypass the war veterans and gain power after Mr. Mugabe's demise.

Grace Mugabe's first major move was to launch a nasty verbal campaign against Vice-President Joice Mujuru, a respected war veteran. Ms. Mugabe held a series of political rallies, whipping up hatred against Ms. Mujuru. It was a successful campaign: the Vice-President was fired at the end of 2014.

Ms. Mujuru was replaced by another war veteran, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been a crucial ally of Mr. Mugabe since the guerrilla war of the 1970s. As the security minister in the Mugabe cabinet, he led a bloody crackdown on dissidents in the Matabeleland region in the 1980s, and continued to play a key role in supporting Mr. Mugabe in other crises, including the 2008 election when the ruling party was on the verge of losing power.

It was obvious to Ms. Mugabe that Mr. Mnangagwa posed a serious threat to her ambitions. She turned against him, spearheading another furious campaign of political rallies and crude insults. "The snake must be hit on the head," she declared.

She also attacked his military allies - including the army commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, another liberation war veteran.

There were growing reports that Mr. Mugabe would conduct a sweeping purge of the highest levels of the military ranks to ensure that the army was neutralized.

The factional conflict, by now, was becoming so intense that Ms. Mugabe heard scattered jeers from Mr. Mnangagwa's supporters at one of her rallies. She ramped up the pressure on her husband to take action against her foes. The ruling party announced a special congress for December, where Ms. Mugabe and her supporters could be appointed to key positions.

On Nov. 6, the President fired Mr. Mnangagwa for "disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability." But in a crucial error, Mr. Mugabe's police and security agents failed to prevent Mr. Mnangagwa from slipping out of the country, where he was able to mobilize support and issue a taunting statement.

General Chiwenga, meanwhile, was on an official visit to China.

When he returned to Zimbabwe last weekend, there was reportedly an attempt to arrest him - but he had arranged to protect himself with a military unit at the airport, and the police were unable to seize him.

On Monday, he made an extraordinary appearance before the television cameras, backed up by almost every senior military commander in the country. It was a remarkable moment: the top military chief was publicly criticizing the Mugabe government in harsh and bitter words, while openly threatening that the military could intervene.

With hindsight, his words were a clear guide to the army's plans to target Ms. Mugabe and the G40 faction - yet Mr. Mugabe failed to take any steps to halt him.

While he did not name Ms. Mugabe or her G40 allies, General Chiwenga was unmistakably referring to them. He painted them as a generation too young to have legitimacy in Zimbabwe. "The history of our revolution cannot be rewritten by those who have not been part of it," he said.

"It is saddening to see our revolution being hijacked.... We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in."

Mr. Mugabe ruling party, ZANUPF, issued a brief statement to denounce General Chiwenga's comments, but its rebuke was brushed aside. Two days after the commander's warning, the military did exactly what it said it would do.

Armoured vehicles rumbled out of a military base and rolled into Harare, taking control of all key sites. Mr. Mugabe was placed under military guard in his home, permitted to leave only under military escort. Several leading members of the G40 faction, including several cabinet ministers, were arrested and taken to military barracks.

As for Ms. Mugabe herself: She vanished from public view, her whereabouts unknown, although some reports suggested that she was holed up in the presidential residence.

While the details of Mr. Mugabe's exit were still being negotiated on Friday, it was the end of the Mugabe era.

There was a time in Zimbabwe when Robert Mugabe was popular. As the leader of the main guerrilla movement that had fought white-minority rule, he swept to power in a landslide victory in the 1980 election. He outmanoeuvred every other politician, eliminating every threat from rival guerrilla leaders such as Joshua Nkomo.

But his economic mismanagement - seizing farmland, imposing state controls, fuelling inflation, destroying the industrial sector - led to widespread poverty and unemployment, which in turn eroded his popularity. Hyperinflation erupted in 2008, and the national GDP collapsed. Only a military crackdown saved him from a looming defeat in the 2008 election.

After a brief recovery under the coalition government from 2009 to 2013, the economy fell into decline again. Sporadic cash shortages and commodity shortages led to panic buying and rising economic anxieties.

In 1980, when Mr. Mugabe won his first election, Zimbabwe's economy was twice as large as that of neighbouring Zambia, and its average incomes were higher than those in most countries in southern Africa.

Today its economy is smaller than Zambia's, and its life expectancy is lower than it was in 1980.

Last Monday, in his pre-coup statement, General Chiwenga cited the deteriorating economy as one of the main reasons for his potential intervention. He made it clear that the economy has tumbled into decline since the end of the coalition government in 2013.

"As a result of squabbling within the ranks of ZANU-PF, there has been no meaningful development in the country for the past five years," he said. "The resultant economic impasse has ushered in more challenges to the Zimbabwean populace, such as cash shortages and rising commodity prices."

It is the battered economy, more than anything else, that has created public support for the military coup.

Zimbabweans are not enthusiastic supporters of the army, especially after its human-rights abuses in the past, but the army's promises have provided a glimmer of hope. So when the military seized power and put Mr. Mugabe under house arrest, there was no outpouring of support for the elderly leader. Nobody bothered to defend him.

"People have been heartily sick of Mugabe for a long time, and Grace has done him no favours with her rude behaviour," said David Moore, a Canadian scholar and Zimbabwe expert at the University of Johannesburg.

Interviews in Harare confirm that the coup was widely supported.

Tinaye Gomo, who scrounges a meagre living by selling pirated music discs on the streets of Harare, was quick to welcome the intervention. "Things were very bad," he said this week, a day after the military intervention. "There is nothing at home, so I have to work very late at night. But now things are getting better. We're very happy."

Vivid Gwede, an independent political analyst and human rights activist in Harare, says the Zimbabwean people felt a yearning for any kind of new regime after so many years of Mugabe rule. "People are desperate for change," he says.

"For a lot of people here, any kind of change is a good thing. For 37 years, they've been under one leader whose rule was dictatorial, and they've suffered a lot of economic victimization. Elections haven't worked, demonstrations are violently suppressed, and people feel under siege."

Mr. Mugabe's own blunders led to his fall, Mr. Gwede says. "When someone is in power for 37 years, there is the myth of invincibility.

And Mugabe himself believed it. He forgot that his rule was based on the security agencies, not the popular will. He showed arrogance, and the military decided that enough was enough. He was aware that something was afoot, but he couldn't stop it."

One of his biggest blunders was to allow his politically inexperienced wife to share his power. "She has an inflated sense of superiority, but she lacks the emotional intelligence to know that you shouldn't insult people in public," Mr. Gwede says. "She seems to revel in the limelight."

Ms. Mugabe and the G40 faction made another political error by pushing for a swift entrenchment of their power at the special ZANU-PF conference next month.

"I think G40 tried to move too fast to get their slate set for the December conference," Mr. Moore says.

"They figured they'd have to work fast to get their slate in, but their hubris made them move too fast, and they underestimated the savvy of their enemy. And they have no guns. Without guns they had no chance."

In the end, Mr. Mugabe became a victim of his own willingness to encourage the military to intervene in political issues - a pattern that continued from the army massacres in Matabeleland in the 1980s to the blatant military interference in the 2008 election. "He promoted military intervention in civilian affairs, and this was a direct result of that," Mr. Gwede says. "His grip on the army began loosening last year, and then he complained of military intervention in the political succession battle."

The military coup was carefully planned and shrewdly organized, with a minimum of disruption. Mr. Biti, the former finance minister, says the army commanders avoided the three biggest mistakes of most coups: they did not inflict great bloodshed, they did not disrupt the lives of ordinary people, and they did not wreak revenge on their enemies.

As a result, they have retained a significant amount of public support, and they still have a chance to gain legitimacy for their intervention by persuading ZANU-PF to drop Mr. Mugabe as the party's leader - allowing the military to maintain the fiction that this was not a coup.

"The army wants a soft landing for Robert Mugabe, because they respect him," Mr. Mudzengi says.

"They are the same guys as him. He made those guys, and they made him."

Mr. Mugabe, true to his character, stubbornly refused to resign when the generals took over. But the military has continued to play the game shrewdly, allowing him to keep his dignity. On Thursday, it permitted him to be photographed at a negotiating session with mediators and military leaders at State House, his presidential headquarters. On Friday, it even allowed him to supervise a university graduation ceremony.

This strategy might avoid bloodshed and pave the way for a peaceful transition to a new government - but it does nothing to restore democracy in a country where autocrats have long ruled.

"A family had captured the state, and now a junta is capturing the state," Mr. Gwede said. "It doesn't change the fundamentals. We're still under a militarized and undemocratic system that doesn't respect human rights. We're seeing how the military has become such a powerful force in our politics. It's hard to see who can run the country in the future without the army, and that's not what we want as human rights defenders and democrats."

He wonders if the military will allow any criticism of the next president - whether it is Mr. Mnangagwa or someone else. "It's as if the military are the commissars of the ruling party. They're not acting as a national army - they are acting as a partisan party. And that's dangerous."

Geoffrey York is The Globe and Mail's Africa correspondent

Associated Graphic

Mr. Mugabe was an iconic figure to many Zimbabweans. 'The people looked up to him,' said one political analyst, 'and now they're chasing him away.'


Despite a visible presence in the streets of Harare, the military denied staging a coup.


Mr. Mugabe began his tenure as an admirable force against white minority rule in the 1970s but was less revered in recent years.


Zimbabweans, grateful to see an end of decades of autocratic rule, still face an uncertain future.


Military leaders announced an intervention, broadcasting on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.


In his new book, Roy MacGregor documents his travels down 16 Canadian rivers
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R14

The sign at Kitchissippi Point on the Ottawa River seemed particularly apt early last spring.

The message is part of a permanent display to show how once, more than 10,000 years ago, the Ottawa Valley was completely under water. The thawing of the last Ice Age led to the formation of the massive Champlain Sea that formed an inlet for the Atlantic Ocean. The brackish water ran as much as 150 metres higher than the current levels of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers.

And now, on an early May day several millennia later, both rivers were rising dramatically - if not to those levels - as snowmelt and runoff combined with rain, rain, rain, rain ... The rain had fallen for most of a week. On May 1, alone, some areas along the Ottawa River had received 55 millimetres of downpour. Records stretching as far back as 1925 had nothing to compare to it. There was flooding throughout the watershed - cottage property sliding into the swollen Madawaska River at Combermere, basements flooded at Golden Lake, roads and streets closed in communities on both sides of the Ottawa River, two schools closed and a seniors residence evacuated in Maniwaki, far up the Gatineau River, states-of-emergency called in Saint-André-Avellin and Rigaud, homes flooded on Montreal's West Island, and Ile Mercier actually submerged - all with severe weather warnings continuing and another 55 millimetres of rain predicted for the coming weekend. By that point, the military had been called in to help the hardest-hit areas in Quebec. Farther east, along the Saint John River valley, more than 100 millimetres of rain fell over a two-day span. Water, water everywhere indeed.

Monday evening, with the rain still falling, I went to Shirley's Bay, a large, lake-like widening of the Ottawa River some 15 kilometres north of Parliament Hill. The waves were rolling in, slamming into large boulders placed as a semi-breakwater along the boat ramp. With the rainfall and fog, it was impossible to see across the wide bay to the Quebec shore. I felt like I was standing at the edge of an angry ocean rather than this usually placid river. The Champlain Sea returned.

It was a choice moment to reflect on the journeys of the past three years for The Globe and Mail: 16 Canadian rivers studied in detail for their history, people, issues and future, dozens more rivers touched upon in passing either by canoe, vehicle, air or library. A person could do this forever and never finish. Roderick Haig-Brown had it right when he said, "No book could possibly tell the whole story of Canada's rivers." There are more than 8,500 named rivers alone in the country. As a journalist interested in seeing as much as possible of the country I cover, and as a passionate canoeist endlessly intrigued by what lies around that next bend, I had to accept that reality: no book can tell the whole story, no person can journey them all. It was Mole in The Wind in the Willows who believed rivers held "the best stories in the world." True in author Kenneth Grahame's England, true in Canada, true throughout the world.

Standing on the shrinking shoreline of Shirley's Bay, I could only think about how much water there has to be in the atmosphere to permit such a prolonged rain, with even more in the forecasts. Hours away, the Toronto islands were now under threat of flooding.

One of the island ferries was at the ready should an evacuation be ordered. Water, water everywhere - and yet it is rapidly becoming a central issue of the 21st century.

Not because there is so much, because there may be too little.

We often hear that water is the new oil. George W. Bush has said "Water is more valuable than oil." The mayor of Dirt in the animated feature Rango says, "If you control water, you control everything." In Canada, no one has sounded the alarm louder or more consistently than Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians. She has argued for years that water is not, as so many believe, a totally renewable resource we can never run out of - even if last spring along the Ottawa River it certainly appeared so. If no action is taken on climate change, she and others say, the war refugees of today will seem minor compared to the water refugees of the future. By 2075, Barlow says in her most recent book, Boiling Point, "The water crisis could affect as many as seven-billion people," which is pretty much everybody on the planet.

As for Canada itself, we should not be so smug as to think our supply of renewable fresh water is endless. Canada does have more water than any other nation, but Canada also has multiple rivers - the Bow River and South Saskatchewan River in the Prairies being but two significant examples - under severe threat from over-extraction. Pollution remains a major concern, as well, whether in waters surrounding major cities or in remote areas. In the first six months of 2016, there were more than 130 drinking-water advisories issued in First Nations communities across the country. Data collected by Environment Canada says that in 2015 alone, more than 205 billion litres of raw sewage and untreated waste water was dumped into Canadian oceans and waterways.

Water is unlike oil in that it returns. Oil, once used, is gone forever, its molecular structure changed, its debatable traces gone to the atmosphere. Water, on the other hand, can be cleaned and restored and used again and again and again, whether it be to irrigate, power, drink, wash, flush. ... The water going down your toilet today might soon be going down someone's throat. Nothing is more recyclable than water.

This matter that sustains us, however, is not infinite. Nor, obviously, is it equally spread throughout this planet. Canada might have 20 per cent of earth's freshwater, but other countries are already suffering desperate shortages. Ironically, water has been part of the problem. The world's population soared in no small part because of hygiene and irrigation.

More food meant more people, and healthier humans lived longer. At the turn of the century, the world's population stood around six billion. By 2050, it is estimated that number could reach nine billion, a 50 per cent increase in barely half a century.

Potable water is a valuable commodity, obviously. But one has to wonder about values when Harrod's of London offers a bottle of Svalbardi water - harvested from 4,000-year-old icebergs off the coast of Norway - at £80 ($141.52) a bottle. Bottled water, unknown to previous generations, has today become a huge international industry, worth more than $200-billion a year and recently outstripping sales of soft drinks in North America.

Sadly, the vast majority of sales are to people living with drinking water available for pennies from their taps. Who saw water becoming a fashion accessory? It can be fairly said that Canadians are waking up to the importance of their freshwater blessings.

A 2017 survey by the Royal Bank of Canada found that 45 per cent of Canadians now consider water to be the country's most important natural resource. How this natural resource should be used is, increasingly, a growing issue.

There is a national awakening under way, and this awakening can be found in every part of the country. Earlier this year, Manitoba launched a public awareness campaign called "Spot the Stripes and Stop the Spread" that is intended to encourage the public to take up the fight against zebra mussels and other invasive species. In Ottawa, the member of Parliament for Ottawa South, David McGuinty rose in the House of Commons to introduce a private member's bill calling for the creation of an Ottawa River Watershed Council. The legislation calls for a major study on how the various levels of government could "take the management of the Ottawa River watershed to the next level," and is modelled on such initiatives as the Fraser Basin Council in British Columbia, as well as the Red River Basin Commission that includes both Canadian and American members.

Canadians need to "revamp our thinking when it comes to managing the way we do business and the way we relate to something as essential as a watershed," McGuinty told the Commons. "It is an incredible opportunity for Canada, not just in the context of the Ottawa River watershed but right across the country." McGuinty's cross-river colleague, Bill Amos, representing the Quebec federal riding of Pontiac, stood immediately to support the bill.

A few weeks after the Great Spring Flood of 2017, I took a drive along the Ottawa River to see what the situation was like now that the waters were receding. The damage was obvious - ruined carpets, furniture and appliances at the side of shoreline roads waiting for pickup, empty and filled sandbags piled to the sides of homes, some still guarding the water's edge, a few small places still jacked up in the hopes the owners could somehow escape the damage.

And yet, it wasn't all damage.

Where the river had backed away from property it had briefly claimed, daffodils and tulips were already up. Along the Deschenes and Remic rapids at the western edge of the city, some early kayakers already out dancing toward summer. At Chaudiere Falls close to Parliament Hill, you could not only see but you could feel the power of this amazing river that, within the span of a few weeks, managed to bring such destruction and then such new and welcome life to the region.

The Ottawa River - so important to First Nations, to exploration, to the fur and timber trades - was the closest and first river I wrote about.

The others (Saint John, St. Lawrence, Gatineau, Rideau, Dumoine, Muskoka, Don, Grand, Niagara, Red, North Saskatchewan, Bow, Columbia, Fraser and Mackenzie) showed me how deeply those who live along those rivers treasure them, and worry about what will become of them.

At the end of this long journey through so many, as well as so few, of Canada's rivers, I cannot help but think of Judith Flynn-Bedard who spends much of the year on her boat in the Ottawa River and dreams of a day when her grandchildren can swim in clean water that washes down from the capital.

I hope Wally Schaber gets his beloved Dumoine River declared a protected park so that it can remain that "beautiful, wild, freeflowing river" he so loves. May Floyd Roland see that "green" economy that will mean the communities along the mighty Mackenzie will thrive into the future. Let us all trust that Canada and the United States listen to Bob Sandford, who says that there is a great opportunity to "get this one right" in the renegotiation of the critical Columbia River Treaty. When Lynda Shneekloth, of the University of Buffalo, talks of the necessity of "Rethinking Niagara," it is a philosophy that could be applied to hundreds of rivers in North America that pass through urban and industrial areas.

When Michael Yee, the biologist with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, says that "people are more engaged, taking ownership" of their watersheds, he speaks of something needed across the land. Also needed are scientists like Matt Windle, of the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, who is helping the American eel up and down past the dams. And who ever imagined that the brown trout would one day return to the polluted Grand River in such numbers that Rob Heal could run a successful flyfishing and guiding operation?

When Kevin Van Tighem, once the superintendent of Banff National Park, devotes so much volunteer time to protecting the Bow River watershed, it underscores his belief that "the most important resource in the province, and the rarest, is water." It is a belief shared by people like Arlen Leeming, of the Don Valley Conservation Association, who speaks so surely of "hope" - and finds it in something as small as the return of mink to what was once the most abused and polluted river in Canada.

I think of all the inspirational young people I met - teens like the Gaspe de Beaubien cousins and their AquaHacking conventions, Kingston's Robyn Hamlyn and her campaign against bottled water - but also of older Canadians like Bill Purkis, of Bala, who says he will fight to the end to prevent another dam from rising on the Muskoka River. As Jacques Courcelles put it as he stood along the Red River where now five generations of his family have lived, "Sometimes you have to think beyond your lifetime."

I find that I agree with Gilbert Whiteduck, former chief of the Kitigan Zibi First Nation along Quebec's Gatineau River, that we must continue to fight "complacency." As another native leader, Sonny McHalie, of the Sto:lo First Nation along the Fraser River, put it, "We are the river and the river is us." And more than anything else, I take from the North Saskatchewan River the lessons of Okiysikaw Tyrone Tootoosis and Cree elder Emil Bell. "Water is life," Bell says. "No water, no life - it's that simple."

Excerpted from Original Highways: Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada by Roy MacGregor. Copyright © 2017 Roy MacGregor. Published by Random House Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

Associated Graphic

The Ottawa River rages after passing the dam at the Chaudiere Falls in Ottawa in May, 2017, when the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers reached levels unseen in millenniums.


Patrice Pepin walks with his boat down Fournier Street in the flood zone along the Ottawa River in Saint-André-d'Argenteuil, Que., in May, 2017.


Roy MacGregor says that while Canada has more fresh water than any other country in the world, we can't take the valuable resource for granted.


How an unexpected journey to Haida Gwaii reconciled a Nisga'a woman with herself
Cyndi Peal's spur-of-the-moment decision to tag along with the Canada C3 icebreaker led to a tearful 'spiritual voyage' that she won't forget. Roy MacGregor tells her story
Friday, November 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

Cyndi Peal had no intention of going anywhere.

She was merely standing at the Prince Rupert wharf in early October to watch the docking of the Polar Prince as the C3 Expedition neared the final destination of its 150-day cruise around the three Canadian coastlines.

Her cousin, Hemas Tlalalitla Bill Wilson, an elder of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation, was on board the refurbished icebreaker and Ms. Peal merely wanted to say hello and catch up on family news.

Mr. Wilson was one of several special guests - writers, musicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, Indigenous leaders - joining the Polar Prince for various legs of the 15-segment voyage celebrating the country's 150th anniversary. As one of the most respected First Nations leaders along the West Coast, the father of Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould had been an obvious choice for the organizers to invite along on the first segment to reach B.C. waters.

Ms. Peal never would have expected an invitation. The 45-year-old member of the Nisga'a Nation works part-time as a deckhand on a small fishing boat she operates out of Bella Bella with her fiancé, Herman White of the Heiltsuk Nation. "I'm not a big shot," she says. "I'm not a spokesperson." She had enough trouble getting her partner of six years, her two daughters, son and four grandchildren to listen.

But she got talking to some of the participants and they told her they'd be visiting Haida Gwaii in the days to come. She mentioned that all her life she had wanted to see the majestic totem poles of the famous islands.

"How soon can you be packed?" she was asked.

It was, for expedition leader Geoff Green, a fortuitous encounter. A previously invited Indigenous leader had just cancelled. Cyndi Peal might not be well known, but she had knowledge of the B.C. coast as a second-year student in the province's Coastal Stewardship Technician Program. She also has, he quickly noted, "this amazing spirit."

Ms. Peal decided on the spur of the moment to go. She had less than a day to pack and make arrangements. "I'm smart," she thought, "I'm fun and I like boats. I like travelling and meeting new people and trying new things. So yes, I'll go."

She thought she was sailing to Haida Gwaii.

She was really about to take the internal voyage of her life.

Ms. Peal is fiercely proud of her aboriginal heritage, but also acutely aware of realities. Her parents, Ron Peal and the late Elaine Price, met at residential school in Edmonton, hundreds of miles from their West Coast homes and families. Ms. Peal attended regular school on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver, but was bullied and discriminated against.

She sought refuge in sports, where she excelled in track and field and swimming.

From the outset, reconciliation had been a stated goal of the C3 Expedition. Ms. Peal admitted to having "mixed feelings" about such a do-good mission.

"I hold anger, confusion, hurt, sadness, frustration," she says. "I also hold a great deal of pride in being part of a next generation. I am glad we have such strong survivors."

Living in Prince Rupert means living next door to Highway 16, the notorious "Highway of Tears," a place where multiple - no exact number is known - Indigenous women have joined the chilling list of murdered and missing women.

Ms. Peal is close to families directly affected by the loss of a mother, sister, aunt, cousin. She will only go out at night in company of someone she trusts. When walking, she carries her mobile phone as if it has been drawn from a holster.

One evening on this trip, she and another participant with an Indigenous background, Kalie Ulriksen, would conduct a vigil on the ship in memory of the lost women.

Ms. Peal is also acutely aware of the historical tensions in B.C. between the First Nations and the Europeans. She had just turned 13 in the fall of 1985 when the Haida people set up a blockade to prevent logging on Lyell Island.

It was a conflict long in the making: Old-growth forest depletion against sustainable resource management, white justice and values against aboriginal land rights - and the Haida were not backing down.

With tensions running high, the police came and arrested 72 people, beginning with elders Ethel Jones, Watson Pryce and Ada Yovanovich.

"The television images of elders being arrested really struck me." she remembers 32 years later. "I was crying and crying. I couldn't believe this was happening."

The logging stopped. The Haida, who had never come to treaty agreement with Canada, had a critical victory and were keen for more. They eventually took the name "Queen Charlotte Islands," put it in a special ceremony box and hand delivered it to then-premier Gordon Campbell, telling him to send the name back to the Queen.

Their islands would be known henceforth as Haida Gwaii.

The Canadian flag and the flagpainted boat had been cheered at stops along the previous 12 stages, but this segment would test those fuzzy and warm feelings toward the federal government's birthday celebrations.

As Cam Hill, a Gitga'ata leader and school principal at Hartley Bay put it: "It's difficult for us to celebrate Canada's 150th. We welcome you to our community, but we do not welcome your project."

At Skidegate, where the Polar Prince made port, there was a panel discussion regarding the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, which the expedition would visit the following day. Parks Canada and the Haida share authority, but not with great enthusiasm.

Cindy Boyko, who has represented the Haida interests on the board for the past 17 years, told the gathering that, "It hasn't been easy working with the government of Canada. We don't trust the government ... so we are diligent every step of the way.

Government talk feels too tricky to us ... We've had to learn to co-manage. We've evolved. It has not been easy."

Later, when she and others took a tour of the museum, Ms. Peal was overcome by emotion. She learned that there was once as many as 30,000 Haida living along the shores of these emerald islands. She learned that the Europeans brought smallpox in 1862 and, within short years, the Haida numbered less than 600.

It was not just lives the Europeans took, but the very bones of those who died. The rich Haida culture was ransacked by the obsessive adventurer collectors of the Victorian era, the Haida's beautiful poles and artifacts and, in many cases, even their remains taken away to far off museums and collections.

For more than four decades now, the Haida have fought to repatriate the remains of those taken away as curiosities. More than 500 have now been brought home for burial, the most recent only two days before the arrival of the Polar Prince.

Watching a video of Haida elders talking about the importance of retrieving their property and the remains of their ancestors, Ms. Peal broke into tears.

She went for a walk to clear her mind and eyes and found herself entering the village of Skidegate.

She asked a man whose house had an incredible view of the harbour if she and others from the ship might come onto his porch to take photographs of the scene.

They got to talking and the man told his family history, mentioning his sons and how his late wife had come from Cape Mudge on Quadra Island.

This seemed an improbably coincidence, Ms. Peal thought. "My mother was from Cape Mudge!"

A little more talk and they established that they were related, distant cousins.

Ms. Peal could not get the coincidences or the connections out of her head.

She felt, for the first time, that perhaps she was supposed to be on this journey she had fallen into by accident.

The Polar Prince sailed for Gwaii Hassan and the expedition made shore by four Zodiacs, Ms. Peal sitting alongside Guujaaw, the 64-yearold elder and leader who served as president of the Council of the Haida Nation from 2000-13.

Guujaaw, a large lion of a man, talked about the 1985 standoff, where he was one of the main and most militant activists. The Canadian and international media called it a "blockade" he says, but it wasn't - "It was Haida standing up for our rights. We weren't there to be nonviolent; we were there to stop the logging, whatever it took.

"We weren't mad. We enjoyed it."

Guujaaw is proud that he spent more than a dozen years as head of the First Nation and never had an office. "I never wanted to be a manager," he says. "I'm more a freedom fighter."

Guujaaw was joining the trip to HIk'yah GawGa (Windy Bay) so that he could show the "legacy" totem pole he recently built with his sons to ensure the Haida never forget the great victory at Lyell Island.

"We have never surrendered title," he says. "That is what you would have to do for a settlement. We won't do it."s Later, the group moved along to SGang Gwaay Linagaay, a sheltered bay where a vibrant Haida village once stood. Considered a sacred site by the Haida - and declared a national historic site by Canada - the mossy remnants of foundations and collapsed roofs of loghouses can still be found, with multiple ancient totem poles still standing, their colours long lost to sun and windburn.

Strong emotion again struck Ms. Peal as she walked among the ruins and tried to imagine what the village had been like in its prime, with fishing boats landing and children playing.

Something welled up inside her and she burst into loud, agonizing sobs. Sira Chayer, a videographer with the expedition, wrapped her arms around Ms. Peal and held her until the crying stopped. Others then helped her down to the beach, where she sat on a log and stared out over the water for a long time.

These first few days of the 10-day voyage were all about reflection for Ms. Peal. She spent one afternoon kayaking along the still waters between islands, grew tired, stopped paddling and began to sing Nisga'a songs.

She remembers thinking how nice it would be to see some whales and, to her great delight, when the Zodiac was taking her back to the ship, several humpback whales put on a remarkable and close display of surfacing, spouting and diving.

On Gribble Island she stood, with remarkable calm, as a "spirit bear" fed on dying salmon in the river and then, without the slightest fear, walked out of the water and along the very path that Ms. Peal and others had been standing, watching.

Spirit bears are important in West Coast Indigenous oral histories.

Some believe the rare bears are the colour of ice and snow, reminders of times past, of hardship and survival.

"I was in awe," she says of the moment the spirit bear ambled past her as if she wasn't even there.

There were no factions aboard this leg of the C3 Expedition, no arguments. The evening "sharing" circles fell apart quickly as participants made it clear they'd rather gather informally and socialize over a beer or glass of wine. Perhaps it was because this leg featured so many stops - sometimes two and three a day - and people wanted to dwell on the present rather than the past.

Where the serious talking did take place was in the small communities - mostly Indigenous - where the Polar Prince made land and the participants visited schools and community centres.

And the lead speaker, quickly established, was the very person who thought she had nothing to say, no right even to be on board: Cyndi Peal. Unlike other participants who had offered prepared and professional PowerPoint talks on everything from oil spills to the Paralympics, Ms. Peal did not have so much a scribbled index card. She spoke from the heart.

She began each talk in her own language. She explained how her Nisga'a name means "Stone Eagle."

In English, she told of her work on the fishing boat, her parents finding each other despite the horrors of residential school, her own experiences in school and life and the importance of family and respect for elders.

She found her voice.

And she surprised herself by speaking more and more about reconciliation.

"Take time to support each other," she told the people of Hartley Bay, "through all the hurt, pain, suffering and healing. This will allow us to replace the negative with more positive."

Three weeks after she left the Polar Prince, Ms. Peal considered the journey a "spiritual voyage" for herself. It had profoundly changed her.

"I have a positive feeling for where we are now compared to 10 years ago, or 20 or 30 years ago. I have real hopes and expectations for all of our people.

"I became who I am meant to be," she said. "The trip allowed me to grow in ways I never thought I would - or could imagine with a group of people I had never met."

On a ship she never intended to board.

Associated Graphic

Top: Cyndi Peal takes an afternoon kayak ride through the still waters around Hlk'yah GawGa (Windy Bay) in Haida Gwaii. Above: Ms. Peal, shown laughing at the microphone, got a new perspective on reconciliation and her identity during her time with the Canada C3 expedition. 'The trip allowed me to grow in ways I never thought I would - or could imagine with a group of people I had never met,' she says.


Ms. Peal and others, top, talk reconciliation on the Polar Prince. The voyage had many stops along the way, which included Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site and smaller communities - mostly Indigenous - where participants visited schools and community centres.

The Saudi Prince, the Iranian threat - and the drumbeats of war
The era of Mohammed bin Salman has arrived and all of the Middle East is on edge, trying to guess how he will curtail Iran's expanding influence and what might get damaged along the way
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A12

Inside Saudi Arabia, the agenda set out by Mohammed bin Salman, the young Crown Prince, is in motion. After last weekend's sensational purge of princes and government officials, his power seems unchallenged, bolstering his credentials as the man who would modernize a patriarchal society and a sclerotic economy overly dependent on oil.

Outside Saudi Arabia, it's a different story. Saudi Arabia and its archnemesis, Iran, are engaged in proxy battles that are marking parts of the Middle East map with bloodstains. In the past week, the tension between the two countries, which had been intensifying for years, turned potentially explosive. The trigger came when the Saudis shot down a ballistic missile they said had been fired by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Iran was behind the "act of war," the Saudis declared.

Prince Mohammed seems especially eager to restore his country's influence in the Middle East. His war in Yemen, his blockade of Qatar and the surprise resignation a week ago of Lebanon's Prime Minister and Saudi ally, Saad al-Hariri, indicate the Prince is prepared to become highly aggressive in his offensive against burgeoning Iranian power. It is believed the Saudis forced Mr. al-Hariri's resignation, which was made in Riyadh, not Beirut, because his coalition government has provided cover for the Iranian-backed Shia political party and militant group Hezbollah, which is part of his coalition.

The success of the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, which have been fighting the Islamic State while spreading Iranian influence in the broken country, has surprised the Saudis. In neighbouring Syria, Iran has propped up the Assad regime.

"We have foiled the American project in Iraq and on the Syrian borders, and we have succeeded in securing the road that links Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon," Jaafar alHusseini, a spokesman for the Hezbollah Brigades, an Iranian-backed Shia force operating in Iraq, told the Associated Press.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia instructed Saudi nationals to leave Lebanon immediately. Kuwait and United Arab Emirates issued similar statements. As the tensions ratcheted up, French President Emmanuel Macron set up an impromptu meeting with Prince Mohammed, saying it was essential to preserve "stability in the region."

A day later in Beirut, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah essentially went onto a war footing.

In a TV address, he accused the Saudis of forcing the resignation of Mr. al-Hariri and detaining him, which he called an "unprecedented Saudi intervention" in Lebanese politics. "The most dangerous thing is inciting Israel to strike Lebanon," he added. "I'm talking about information that Saudi Arabia has asked Israel to strike Lebanon."

The Lebanon crisis did not seem to ruffle U.S. President Donald Trump. His only tweet came on Nov. 7, two days after Prince Mohammed's purge and the resignation of Mr. al-Hariri. "I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing," he said.

Saudi Arabia no longer seems willing to see its influence in the Middle East wane. To help restore his country's influence, Prince Mohammed has forged an unofficial alliance with Israel and Mr. Trump's United States against Iran. The question is whether the gambit will fail, triggering deeper conflicts that could destabilize Lebanon - where memories of the 1975-1990 civil war are still painful - and engulf the entire region.

Gary Sick, the senior scholar at Columbia University's Middle East Institute who was a member of the U.S. National Security Council under presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, says Prince Mohammed's foreign policy looks dangerous. "Almost everything could go wrong," he said in a phone interview. "There is the potential for civil war in Lebanon.

We are seeing a very different Saudi Arabia than we have seen before."

In an article published Nov. 5 in Al-Monitor, only hours after Prince Mohammed's purge, Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran, senior adviser on the Middle East for the previous four U.S. presidents and, now, director of the Intelligence Project at Washington's Brookings Institution, said Saudi Arabia is going through a particularly turbulent phase after decades of predictable and steady behaviour. "The kingdom is at a crossroads: Its economy has flatlined with low oil prices; the war in Yemen is a quagmire; the blockade of Qatar is a failure; Iranian influence is rampant in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. ... It is the most volatile period in Saudi history in over half a century."

The rapid rise of Prince Mohammed has gripped the media in the Middle East and the West and shattered the sense of relative calm in one of the world's last absolute monarchies. His modus operandi could well be: Move fast and break things.

Mohammed became deputy Crown Prince in 2015, when his father, Salman, was appointed King following the death of Salman's half-brother, King Abdullah. At the time, King Salman's Crown Prince - that is, the heir apparent to the throne - was Mohammed bin Nayef, who is King Salman's nephew and grandson of Saudi Arabia's founding monarch, King Abdulaziz.

That Crown Prince didn't last long.

In June of this year, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted and, according to some reports, sent into house arrest, although he was finally spotted this week at a funeral of a prince who died in a helicopter crash. His replacement was Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is known as MBS in the West.

MBS was already Defence Minister, minister of state and head of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which put him in charge of the ambitious attempt to reinvent the Saudi economy and wean it off oil - known as Vision 2030 - as well as having control over Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer and potentially the most valuable company as it heads to the stock market. On the weekend, Prince Mohammed consolidated his power through an extraordinary purge that was ostensibly an anti-corruption drive, and may well have been, but one with the pleasant (for him) side effect of eliminating some potential rivals.

The weekend's night of the long knives, as it has been called, saw the arrest, detention or ouster of no fewer than 11 princes and about 40 government officials, including several cabinet ministers. The most prominent detentions were those of the Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose holdings included Four Seasons, Citigroup and Twitter, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who had been head of the 100,000-strong National Guard, the only Saudi military force not under Prince Mohammed's direct control. Prince Miteb was once a contender for the throne and was reportedly opposed to Prince Mohammed's sprint to the top of the royal ranks.

By Thursday, 201 Saudis had been detained as part of a sweeping corruption investigation, with allegations that more than $100-billion (U.S.) had been lost to corruption and embezzlement, according to the Saudi Attorney-General. Some 1,700 bank accounts have reportedly been frozen, a figure not confirmed by the Attorney-General's office.

One rumour says King Salman is bestowing Prince Mohammed with momentous power because he is preparing to abdicate, handing the throne to his son, who is only 32.

If the Crown Prince becomes king, he could theoretically reign for 50 years.

The era of Prince Mohammed bin Salman has arrived and all of the Middle East is on edge, trying to guess how he will curtail Iran's expanding influence and what might get damaged along the way.

"He's very ambitious and sees Saudi Arabia as absolute leader in the Middle East," Prof. Sick says. "He knows that Iran has been winning."

But so far, the Crown Prince's efforts have come up short on the foreign front. His war in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who took control of the capital, Sanaa, in 2015, has bogged down, killing 10,000 people, half of them civilians, and spreading hunger and cholera throughout the country.

Prince Mohammed's blockade of Qatar, which is diplomatically closer to Iran than Saudi Arabia, has failed to persuade the Qataris to meet the Saudis' demands, which included shutting down the Al Jazeera news channel. If anything, the blockade has pushed Qatar closer to Iran. In Lebanon, the Saudis fear their vassal state is being overrun by Iranian proxies in the form of Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, Saudi sponsorship of the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has backfired. Mr. al-Assad, with the support of Iran and Russia, has reversed the rebel onslaught and, he claims, sent the Islamic State packing.

Last year, Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon, Israel's defence minister from 2013 to 2016, called for Israel to join Sunni Arab states in an effort to contain Iran. "Israel and the Sunni Arab camp are in the same boat because we share common enemies," he said in a Washington Institute policy forum speech. "Iran and its Shiite axis are a common enemy and jihadists, which are supported by specific Sunni states, are a common enemy and we have to work together to fight them. The USA must join us in supporting the Sunni Arab axis confronting Iran's [Shia] axis."

Sayed Ghoneim, a retired Egyptian army major-general who is now chairman of the Institute for Global Security & Defense Affairs in Abu Dhabi, said in an interview that there is no doubt "the Saudis and Israelis are working together to fight a common enemy" - Iran and its proxies. He does not rule out a regional war against Hezbollah.

Certainly, the Saudis are using language to suggest that war is an option. In an interview this week with Al Arabiya, the Saudi TV service, Thamer al-Sabhan, the Saudi Minister for Gulf Affairs, accused Hezbollah of involvement in every "terrorist act" that threatened Saudi Arabia. "The Lebanese must choose between peace and aligning with Hezbollah," he said.

The U.S.-Saudi alliance has been strong for years, but the Saudis found a serious backer of its antiIran stance in Mr. Trump.

Riyadh was Mr. Trump's first foreign visit after he became U.S. President. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have donated $100-million (U.S.) to the Ivanka Trump-inspired Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-inlaw, is close to Prince Mohammed.

The Saudis have agreed to buy more than a $100-billion in weapons from the United States. Mr. Trump has called Barack Obama's nuclearabatement agreement with Iran "the worst deal ever," even if he has stopped short of killing it.

The upshot is that the United States, along with Israel, has allied itself firmly with Prince Mohammed and his Sunni allies in the campaign against Iran and its proxies. How far that alliance is prepared to go is an open question. In the meantime, Prince Mohammed gives every indication he won't back down in his effort to restore Saudi Arabia's pride and power in the Middle East. Lebanon, squeezed between the Iranian and Saudi adversaries, is not ruling out another civil war.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two powerhouses in the region and are historical rivals. As the Middle East endured major wars and uprisings over the past 15 years, each side has poured money, arms and fighters into rival factions


UNITED STATES: The United States is by far Saudi Arabia's oldest ally. The kingdom was the world's second-largest importer of military equipment between 2012 and 2016, getting most of its weapons from the United States, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

ISRAEL: When it comes to Iran's nuclear and regional ambitions, Riyadh is aligned with Israel. Both see Iran as a regional threat.

EGYPT: Riyadh backs Egypt's President, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who in turn supports the Saudiled war in Yemen. But Egypt is opposed to war with Iran and Hezbollah.

JORDAN: Like Saudi Arabia, it is a Sunni Arab monarchy with deep worries about Iran's regional ambitions. King Abdullah II coined the phrase "Shia crescent" in 2004 - a warning that Iran's influence was poised to extend across Shia populations in the Middle East.


IRAQ: The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein created an opening for Iran. It holds strong influence over the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad and Iranian militia were instrumental in crushing the Islamic State in Iraq.

SYRIA: In Syria, the ties of friendship with Iran go back to the 1980s, when Syria backed Iran in its war with Saddam Hussein.

Today, Iran is backing the Assad regime with arms and fighters.

Together, with Russian military help, they have defeated Islamic State in Syria.


YEMEN: The deposed Yemeni President, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, is central to Riyadh's plan to restore Saudi influence to the south and stop Iran. The Houthi rebels, who belong to a branch of Shia Islam, seized control of the capital and have been the target of a relentless Saudi-led air war. The Saudis claim Iran is backing the Houthis.

LEBANON: In Lebanon, Saudi monarchs have backed the Hariri family. In 2005, former prime minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a car blast. The Shia Islamist group Hezbollah, which was created in Lebanon in the 1980s with Iran's help to drive Israeli troops out of Lebanon, was blamed. Iranian-backed Hezbollah forms part of the current government, which was led by Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri until he stepped down this month, fearing an Iranian plot to have him assassinated.

Ottawa drew praise when it announced last year it would label foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fat. But when experts came together to make a short list of designs, the viewpoints of government, health groups and the food industry collided, Ann Hui writes
Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A10

The group was getting restless. It was nearing the end of an all-day meeting and, despite hours around the table, they were still at loggerheads.

The purpose of the September Health Canada meeting was for government, health groups and the food industry to sit together and narrow down a list of potential designs for labels that government will soon make mandatory for food and drinks. Any packaged food high in sugar, salt or saturated fat will have to be labelled as such.

The government and health groups were in favour of a simple design, modelled after a "stop" or "yield" sign. They brought up expert after expert who testified to the benefits of a clear, easy-to-understand symbol.

But the food and drink industry reps were not having it. They termed it the "big, scary stop sign" and accused government of trying to "scare" Canadians. At the same time, they argued the designs were patronizing - overly simplistic, and not allowing for nuance or context.

By late afternoon, several of those in the room were looking visibly tired, and irritated.

"Frankly, I think taking an approach like this is just not giving Canadians the respect they deserve," said Lewis Retik, a lawyer hired by the food industry to attend the meeting. "They're not idiots."

As Mr. Retik continued to speak, one man who had been listening with growing consternation - Ian Culbert, the head of the Canadian Public Health Association - had heard enough. Video of the meeting shows Mr. Culbert shaking his head and grabbing the microphone to interject. Soon, both men were talking over one another with raised voices.

Everyone else just sat glum-faced, watching.

'Another 30 years before we get this chance' Health Canada's announcement last year that it would implement these mandatory labels drew enthusiastic responses from health organizations.

More than one-fifth of Canadians are obese, and obesity and diet-related chronic illness are estimated to cost the country up to $7.1-billion each year. Meanwhile, cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke) are among the leading causes of death in the country. Front-of-package labels, officials say, could help curb this.

The new labels are meant to clearly indicate to consumers when a serving contains more than 15 per cent of the daily value of salt, sugar or saturated fat. Once implemented, the program would make Canada a leader in food labelling - and the only country in North America mandating these types of health-related "warning" labels on food.

But, as that September meeting illustrated, the plan has its critics.

Dozens of pages of e-mails, letters and briefing notes exchanged between government and the food industry, and obtained by The Globe and Mail, make clear the uproar Health Canada has sparked. Those documents, together with video of the September meeting and interviews with attendees, reveal the fierce debate surrounding the labelling project - and the fierce lobbying against it by the food industry.

Since the Health Canada announcement, groups such as the Canadian Beverage Association (whose clients include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc.), and Food & Consumer Products of Canada (who hired Mr. Retik, and whose members include Campbell, General Mills and Dole) have put significant pressure on Ottawa to reevaluate.

They've submitted for consideration their own proposals - designs the health groups say are confusing, and defeat the purpose of labels altogether. Health Canada has met with many of the groups affected by the labelling plan - including industry and health groups. As promised last year by the government, all meetings and materials related to those meetings have been made public.

Now, with a draft regulation from Health Canada expected in the coming months, health organizations are worried. The department has yet to make public a detailed timeline. But over the past few months, it has narrowed its list down to just a few potential designs.

Despite positive signals so far, the health groups fear that the industry's influence could still lead to a softened approach. For health groups, the election of the Liberal government in Ottawa (which came with a slew of new healthy-eating policy announcements), presents to them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

They're worried the opportunity could go to waste.

"If this isn't done," said Manuel Arango, director of health policy at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, "it could be another 30 years before we get this kind of a chance."

'The Chilean approach' The information customers get from food packages now is mostly limited to the "Nutrition Facts" table on the back - a mandatory system put in place in 2007. But there's often little conformity to how this information is presented.

In the cereal aisle at a grocery store this week, three brands of granola, all made by the same company, were displayed side-by-side. The nutrition facts table on the Vector granola listed 290 calories, 14 grams of fat and 10 grams of sugar. That was based on a serving size of half of a cup of cereal with no milk. The All-Bran granola right next to it had only 200 calories, and 2.5 grams of fat. But that information was based on a different serving size - two-thirds of a cup.

And unlike Vector, there was no information for the addition of milk.

The Special K Nourish granola next to that had information based on yet another serving size - three-quarters of a cup.

Further complicating matters are the many labels producers voluntarily placed on those products - advertising everything from protein levels to "vitamins and minerals" to the absence of artificial colouring.

This confusion is why Health Canada and health groups are so eager to have in place simpler, more intuitive labels.

"While existing nutrition-labelling tools are very useful to many consumers," Health Canada wrote in its proposal, "some consumers find the information provided too complex to understand and use."

At the September meeting, it was David Hammond who responded to Mr. Retik's "idiot" comment.

Dr. Hammond is a professor of public health at the University of Waterloo and, throughout his career, has researched the effectiveness of warning labels on everything from food products to cigarette boxes to alcoholic-beverage containers. More than once that day, he referred to his experience on tobacco warnings - a comparison that earned him the ire of the food groups across from him.

Dr. Hammond pulled the mic toward him. "I would agree, Canadians are not idiots," he said. "But neither are they nutritionists and dietitians."

In his work, Dr. Hammond has studied consumers' understanding of dietary guidelines - how well they are able to interpret labels in order to evaluate the healthfulness of different foods. What he's found is that the majority of Canadians aren't able to do either.

In general, he told the meeting attendees, only 24 per cent of people are able to correctly identify their recommended daily calorie intake.

The other experts around the table, including professors from the University of Toronto, University of Alberta and a representative from the Pan American Health Organization, attested to the same.

They emphasized that the lower the socioeconomic status of a consumer - a group especially vulnerable to obesity - the less likely they are to be able to navigate the information on current food labels.

"I think making this information easier for people to understand is not treating them as idiots," Dr. Hammond continued. "It's treating them as people who are trying to make positive changes."

The approach the experts advocated at the September meeting - and that Health Canada seems keen on adopting - is based on Chile's system launched last year. With one of the highest obesity rates in the world, Chile passed a law requiring a black "stop sign" label for any food high in calories, saturated fat, refined sugar or sodium. A product deemed high in all four must carry four stop signs.

After the Chilean system was put in place, a survey showed more than 92 per cent of respondents said that the labels influenced their decisions.

And significantly, the change has driven companies to reformulate food products to avoid the warning labels.

This last point is a promising one for Health Canada. Throughout this process, Health Canada officials and health organizations have emphasized their hopes that this could be the case in Canada, too.

'Health Canada has lost its way on the obesity issue' Nine days after the September meeting in Ottawa, Pierre Sabourin, an assistant deputy minister at Health Canada, sent a follow-up letter to all of those who had attended.

In the letter, he thanked the attendees for their perspectives and invited further submissions for new designs. "Please ensure that the symbol fits within the design principles that we agreed upon at the meeting," he wrote.

The responses were scathing.

"In the attached letter, you claim that we agreed to design principles," Christopher Kyte, then-president of Food Processors of Canada wrote (including the italics). "The meeting didn't agree to anything. In fact, that meeting was an excellent demonstration that Health Canada has lost its way on the obesity issue."

(In an interview with The Globe, the FPC's new president, Denise Allen, said the group does not believe there is sufficient evidence that labels can change behaviour.)

The Canadian Beverage Association wrote to express its "deep concerns."

In a statement to The Globe, the CBA said that it hopes Health Canada will "investigate the numerous models used globally and to adopt a model similar to those of Canada's major trading partners."

The Dairy Farmers of Canada wrote in its letter that they would support the front-of-package labelling proposal - but only if "nutritious" dairy products were exempted from the rules.

Food & Consumer Products Canada also sent a note to Health Canada to express its displeasure.

In an interview, FCPC senior vicepresident of public and regulatory affairs Joslyn Higginson said that the group supports the principle behind the labelling initiative, but doesn't believe there's enough evidence to justify the Chilean approach. "We just don't think that stop signs or warning signs belong on food," Ms. Higginson said.

She also emphasized the economic impact. In addition to Health Canada, the industry has also put pressure on other departments, such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, whose mandate is to support the food industry. "It seems a bit contradictory that the government will be putting warning signs on food at the very time they're trying to grow investments in the agri-food sector," she said.

Instead, the FCPC proposed a modified version of a design used in the United States. That design would be colour-coded (red, yellow or green), and display much more information, including the calorie count, and specific amount of each nutrient (grams or milligrams of sugar, sodium or saturated fat).

But the design, Dr. Hammond said, is simply too confusing.

That "traffic light" system, he said, is cluttered and leaves too much up for interpretation. Under such a system, a package of potato chips might have a red light for sodium but green lights for saturated fat and sugar.

Some consumers might interpret two green lights out of three as healthy.

The Retail Council of Canada, which represents the major grocers, also proposed its own design, with a magnifying glass meant to refer customers to the Nutrition Facts table at the back of the box. The RCC's concern with the "stop" or "yield" symbols proposed by Health Canada, it said at the meeting, was that they looked "like a chemical warning."

Still, some companies wanted to distance themselves from the industry groups altogether.

A representative from Nestlé Canada wrote to Health Canada immediately after the September meeting. "I just wanted to say I'm a bit worried about how our industry views have been presented today, and I'm a little bit embarrassed," wrote Fiona Wallace, the company's director of regulatory and scientific affairs. "... A few of us are feeling very frustrated."

Just two months after the September meeting and all of the backlash surrounding it, Health Canada hosted yet another meeting earlier this week, where government officials revealed that it has further narrowed down its list of possible designs.

The "yield" sign has been turned upside-down and made into a triangle - but remains one of the government's favoured options. The "stop" sign has turned into red circles. And the magnifying-glass options remain on the table, too.

Notably absent from the list were the most cluttered and confusing of the food industry's designs. Health organizations are taking this as a positive sign.

Afterward, Mr. Arango from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said his concerns about industry lobbying have been somewhat alleviated - but only by a little.

"I know how this works," he said.

"And the food and beverage industry will not stop."

Health Canada, in response, said the department will continue to take into account all the groups' views.

But it emphasized that its priority is health.

"This is a public-health crisis, and a lot of this is very significantly related to diet," said Karen McIntyre, a director-general at Health Canada. "Everything we can do to turn that around is the direction we're taking."

Associated Graphic

After Health Canada's announcement, many groups have proposed their own options for front-of-package labels, trying to strike a balance that doesn't 'scare' or patronize Canadians.


'Rebel' of national park mounts new court challenge in 40-year expropriation fight
Jackie Vautour, now 88, says he'll continue to live illegally inside Kouchibouguac National Park until he gets his land back
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

PARK, N.B. -- There are two warning signs at the entrance to Jackie Vautour's ramshackle New Brunswick homestead.

"It is because of you that the government is making us suffer as you can see," one reads. "Have a good look."

"Avis," the other continues. "Parc Canada sont defendu d'empieter."

Which roughly translates as "Warning: Parks Canada are ordered not to trespass."

Mr. Vautour has squatted here, on the side of the highway in the middle of Kouchibouguac National Park, for more than 40 years in protest of the 1976 expropriation of his home, which occurred during a government land grab that uprooted more than 1,000 people in seven neighbouring communities - about an hour's drive north of Moncton - as work for the national park began. It's where he raised nine children with his wife, Yvonne.

In more tense times, this tworoom house overlooking Kouchibouguac Bay was central to a resistance movement waged by locals against provincial and federal authorities, a saga marred by violence on both sides.

Today, all other banished park residents have moved on. Tensions long ago subsided, but Mr. Vautour's resolve has not. Undeterred by decades of legal roadblocks, aborted or failed court challenges, waning public support and the fact that he's now 88, Mr. Vautour continues to fight the expropriation.

The Rebel of Kouchibouguac (a nickname he hates because he believes it implies he is doing something wrong) is mounting his latest challenge with the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick, asserting Métis heritage on behalf of himself and 126 other former park families.

Mr. Vautour and co-plaintiff Stephen Augustine, the hereditary chief for the region's Mi'kmaq people, are seeking aboriginal title to the park land. If successful, it could mean the end of Kouchibouguac National Park.

With this playing out at a time when Canada is attempting reconciliation with its First Nations people, Mr. Vautour's lawyer, Michael Swinwood, is hoping for a similar outcome to the 2014 Supreme Court decision that granted title of 1,700 square kilometres of land to Tsilhqot'in First Nation in British Columbia.

No statement of defence has been filed, but Mr. Swinwood expects the provincial and federal governments will argue that no Métis community ever existed at Kouchibouguac, a similar position taken against Mr. Vautour and his son Roy in a 20year-old hunting- and fishing-rights case pending appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada.

It's another verse in Mr. Vautour's exhaustive attempt to have the land he lives on returned to him.

"The only way I keep moving is the almighty Lord and the strength in my belief," he says. "No one can understand why I keep going. It's quite a thing. Just one day at a time."

'There is a folklore that he is the lone ranger' A tear falls from Mr. Vautour's left eye onto the page in front of him.

"I'm not crying," he mutters, wiping the drop away with a tissue.

"It's just that I have a bad eye. Had that ever since they pepper-sprayed my eye. I have a hard time crying.

If I was a person like that, I'd have cried myself to death by now."

Rather than engage in an interview, Mr. Vautour reads from a statement that takes more than an hour to get through.

As he grumbles his way through events such as the creation of the park, the expropriation and its effect on his family and his role in the resistance, Mr. Vautour barely skips a beat.

Known for his bureaucratic prowess, Mr. Vautour keeps files that stretch back to the days when Louis Robichaud, the Acadian premier responsible for first creating the park in 1969, was in power. He recalls names of long-forgotten government ministers who came to visit him. He remembers dates and places.

But his rhythm is interrupted, and he goes off-script, when he reaches the details of the violence that played out in the park's early years, specifically his family's removal from a motel at the hands of police in March, 1977.

The Vautours boarded in nearby Richibucto on the government's dime after police evicted them and bulldozed their home when they refused to abide by the expropriation.

When the province stopped footing the bill for their stay, the family refused to leave. To remove them, police used axes and tear gas before dragging Mr. Vautour and his sons to jail.

The melee was indicative of the tense and frequently violent climate around the park at the time between authorities and resisters.

One former warden described the battles as "force against force."

Mr. Vautour shakes his head at the memory and sheds another tear. This one appears to surprise him.

"I don't know what's wrong with me," he says.

Mr. Vautour's toughness and resilience is the stuff of legend. Many view him as a folk hero.

He is a short, stoic man with a perpetual scowl. What's left of his cream-coloured hair is slicked back.

He has sideburns and a handlebar mustache fit for a biker.

"There is a folklore that he is the lone ranger, standing up against big government," said Donald Savoie, the New Brunswick political scientist who grew up in nearby Bouctouche. "He became a symbol of resistance."

Mr. Vautour's popularity exploded when the public saw images and video of a government worker bulldozing his house in 1976. To that point, he was a community organizer, employed by a government agency, arguing for better deals against what were viewed as lowball offers made to local landowners who lived in the park. At the same time, the province, which was responsible for removing the inhabitants, tried to buy them out.

After his home was demolished, he became the face of a movement.

In those days, Mr. Vautour was a mainstay in the press, drawing media attention from across the country. Reporters flocked to New Brunswick to report on the unrest in the park, which finally opened to the public in 1979.

With that exposure came praise and backlash, especially in Kent County, a largely Acadian area that also includes anglophone and First Nations communities. Mr. Vautour's actions earned him both followers and detractors. He became a polarizing figure for his outspokenness and grandstanding.

He says he's been targeted with death threats and campaigns to discredit his fight. There have also been innumerable visitors who've shown up on his doorstep asking to shake his hand.

Ronald Rudin, a history professor at Concordia University and author of the 2016 book Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park, said for every person he interviewed who admired Mr. Vautour, there was another who resented him.

"It's totally mixed, it's divided," said Prof. Rudin, whose book details the creation of the park and the experiences of the expropriated families.

Attention to the land fight has faded over the years. Prof. Savoie believes people are tired of hearing about Mr. Vautour's plight.

Some locals roll their eyes at the mention of his name. Many believe he was fairly compensated because of his receiving a $228,000 payout (a far greater sum than any other expropriated family) and a deal for off-park land from then-premier Richard Hatfield in 1987.

"That's a fair chunk of change, but he didn't move," Prof. Savoie said. "That's why people think they've heard enough of him."

Mr. Vautour acknowledges receiving the money, which he says paid for his legal costs. He denies agreeing to vacate.

Roughing it in the 'castle' With the exception of a two-year period following his eviction, Mr. Vautour has lived on this property since 1934. It was once part of a community called Fontaine. All that remains is the Vautour "castle," which was rebuilt after he and his family returned to the land in 1978.

There is no running water in the house. Jackie and Yvonne Vautour use a portable toilet and bathe "the old-fashioned way."

"When people ask, I tell them, 'The same way your great-grandfather would've,' " Mr. Vautour says.

There is no cellphone service, nor do they have access to telephone or hydro lines.

A small solar panel powers the lights inside the house. Prior to its installation, a kerosene lantern was the only source of light. Any leftover juice from the panel is put into running a small television and DVD player given to them by their children.

"We've played a lot of solitaire," Mr. Vautour says.

The inside of the tiny home - a kitchen and small bedroom - is a shrine to Mr. Vautour, his fight and his family. Pinned up all around the house are old editorial cartoons, newspaper clippings and photos of the man they call the eternal rebel.

In the summer, the couple grows vegetables. Fried green tomatoes are a staple. They consume an array of boxed and canned foods, such as corn flakes and Kraft Dinner, while storing meat and produce in a cooler that costs about $7 worth of ice a day.

Every morning, Mr. Vautour gets up with the sun and goes for a walk down the road. He'll spend at least an hour exercising in his home gym, housed in the garage.

He'll bench press a rusted barbell, go through cable workouts on an old all-purpose machine and do some light cardio on a stepper. For breakfast, he eats tomatoes fresh from the garden, with a pair of eggs over easy and a bowl of cereal.

Yvonne Vautour, 85, keeps fit by skipping and jogging in the yard on sunny days.

Summer can be lovely, but winter is difficult to cope with as they grow older. A wood stove is the couple's only source of heat.

Their son Edmond Vautour worries during those cold months. As the child most involved with his father's legal fight, he is the contact for a majority of Mr. Vautour's affairs. He and Mr. Swinwood, the lawyer, are seeking approval from the government to build a home more appropriate for the winter.

But because the Vautours reside in Kouchibouguac illegally, Parks Canada forbids it.

In a statement, the federal agency said it "will not and cannot authorize the installation of new services or dwellings for illegal occupants in the park."

In keeping with recommendations in the report of a 1981 special government inquiry, Parks Canada will not forcibly remove the Vautours, but the denial of services leaves the couple in a perpetual standoff with the government, neither side willing to budge.

Rather than leave, Mr. Vautour has always said he would die here.

He changed expropriation policy The land-claim lawsuit may not change anything; Mr. Vautour could spend the rest of his days on the side of Highway 117, living illegally on land he used to own.

There are two parts of Mr. Vautour that people will remember, Prof. Savoie says. The first is the romantic idea portrayed in poems, songs, stage productions and documentaries of a man and his land, standing alone against the government.

His more tangible impact, however, is on public policy and how he changed the way land is expropriated, Prof. Savoie says. Governments no longer use the same heavy-handed approach employed at Kouchibouguac.

"What's the saying? 'Come the moment, come the man.' The moment came, and there arrived Jackie Vautour. Give him that.

Someone had to do it," Prof. Savoie says. "For anybody, an individual, not a prime minister or a political organization, just a man, to have that kind of impact on the machinery of government, for that you have to give him some credit. That is no small achievement."

A verdict in his latest case could take years. But Mr. Vautour is long on patience.

He said he would like to see his fight settled in his favour before he dies. In the meantime, Mr. Vautour says he'll do what he's always done.

"I never get tired of fighting."

Associated Graphic

Jackie Vautour's two-room home in Kouchibouguac National Park, N.B., has no running water and no access to telephone or hydro lines.


Top: Warning signs in French and English urge Parks Canada employees 'not to trespass' on the Vautours' shack in Kouchibouguac. It was once part of a community called Fontaine that was cleared away in the 1970s expropriation that built the park. Above: A kerosene lantern was the Vautours' only source of light in the house until a small solar panel was installed.


A mission to find the history hidden in the coasts
A culture-sharing expedition along the Northwest Passage unveils a depth of diverse stories, Justine Hunter writes, and a pervasive theme of how coastal communities have been affected by ecological interference
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

ABOARD THE MV POLAR PRINCE -- A tray of glistening, rosy-pink eggs, with tiny black eyes peeping out of each sphere, holds an investment by the Wuikinuxv Nation in their future.

The Chinook salmon roe are being raised in a hatchery built and run by this small Indigenous community located on one of the most isolated stretches of British Columbia's coast.

The abundant marine life in Rivers Inlet sustained communities for millenniums. But today, there are just 60 people left in the village on the banks of the Wannock River.

For one wet, rainforest-y day in October, the Canada C3 expedition - a 150-day sailing journey connecting coastal communities from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage to mark Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation - doubled the community's population. The invitation to the expedition members was extended with some hesitation: Canada's birthday, here, represents a history of oppression - of rights and title denied, of a rich culture suppressed, of children hauled away to residential schools. But in the spirit of reconciliation, the doors of the Big House opened, and the Wuikinuxv shared a feast, their dances and their stories.

Along B.C.'s coast, the C3 expedition heard similar stories: natural resources that were gathered until depleted, followed by the retreat of industry. But the Indigenous communities remain, working to meld their traditional knowledge with the latest in science and technology to help them restore and protect their territories.

A day earlier, the expedition members aboard the Polar Prince also visited the Koeye camp, where the children of Bella Bella are sent to study their Heiltsuk language and protocols, while visiting scientists and field technicians teach them to carry out mountain goat population surveys, collect grizzly DNA, and gather the baseline data for climate change modelling.

The C3 team explored the research labs based on Calvert Island, also in this stretch of B.C.'s mid-coast known as the Great Bear Rainforest. Calvert Island is the base for the Hakai Institute, a private research station working with local Indigenous communities on archeological surveys, which have confirmed occupation here going back 14,500 years - some of the oldest found in North America - along with scientific monitoring of coastal ecosystems, right up to the glaciers that feed the region's fjords.

And at the abandoned cannery at Namu, the Heiltsuk have reinterred the bones of 5,000-year-old ancestors while they push to clean up a looming environmental disaster as the structures, loaded with creosote, asbestos and rusty drums of oil, slowly sink into the sea.

Archeologists have found this stretch of Canada's coastline uniquely rich in history, with evidence of occupation going back thousands of years.

In very recent history, the story of Rivers Inlet is one of a pivotal resource brought to the edge of collapse. Rivers Inlet was home to a dozen or more commercial canneries that processed the abundant salmon runs - until they almost dried up. The last cannery closed in 1968, and the commercial fishery was shut down in 1987.

In Wuikinuxv, the community raised funds privately to build the $1.2-million salmon hatchery, which is now in its first full year of operation, preserving the genetic diversity of this very special run. The Chinook from the Wannock River are renowned for their size, but visitors who come for the sport fishing are encouraged to catch and release.

The community shared an ocean harvest with their guests - Sockeye smoked on the cedar fire burning at the centre of the Big House, along with oolichan, halibut, Dungeness crab, herring roe on kelp. The bounty is inextricably linked to the health of the people who live here.

Prior to European contact, there were an estimated 10,000 Wuikinuxv on the coast. Today, there are only two or three people who speak their Wuikkala language fluently.

But carvers, dancers and storytellers are regrouping, and with the creation of new job opportunities - including a run-of-river hydro-electric project, now under construction, which will help the community off diesel generators - people are coming home from the cities.

Hereditary Chief Ted Walkus brought visitors up the Wannock River to see the Chinook heading upstream to spawn. He has been a fishing guide for 47 years, and has been a driving force behind the catch-and-release ethic.

"My family has always looked after these fish," he said.

He says overfishing and logging around fish-bearing waterways helped contribute to the collapse.

But he notes there are other causes too, pointing to a seal in the river.

"They don't eat lettuce." The Wuikinuxv used to eat seals, but that hunt has fallen out of favour and the seal population is rising. "It's easier to order a chicken now," he said.

Mr. Walkus believes climate change is playing a role as well. Glacial melt is occurring earlier in the year. He cites some of the work done by Brian Hunt, the chief scientist on the C3 expedition, who spent three years in Rivers Inlet studying the impact climate change has had on the life cycle of plankton - the food source that juvenile salmon rely on before they make their journey into the ocean.

To witness a physical monument to unsustainability, the Polar Prince put into Namu.

Crew members - a mix of artists, musicians, scientists, Indigenous elders and educators who have signed up to experience the coast and meet the people who live there - followed by Heiltsuk hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt for a tour of his childhood home.

Namu is a ghost town now, but Mr. Humchitt, 69, remembers it as a vibrant community of 2,500, with its own power plant and a bowling alley.

"It was a great place to grow up," he says, his boots crunching on broken glass scattered across the linoleum floor of the company store.

The shelves are still partly stocked with cans of MJB coffee and pulp fiction books. In defiance of the decay, someone has installed bird nest boxes around the site to encourage at least one kind of resettlement.

Mr. Humchitt's first job, at the age of 16, was working in the local cannery, which could process 150,000 salmon in a single day. When the runs no longer supported that scale of production, the site closed. Now the abandoned plant in the middle of the Great Bear Rainforest represents an environmental threat: In addition to the creosote-soaked wood structure and asbestos concerns, there are 140 fuel barrels rusting away inside a warehouse on the pier.

The Heiltsuk are pressing the provincial government to help tackle the mess on what was once an old village site. "We have evidence that we have lived here for 14,000 years, but look at what has been done in 40 or 50 years," Mr. Humchitt said, looking around the ruins. "It's overwhelming. So much work to be done."

In the woods just behind the sprawling cannery town, the Heiltsuk have re-interred the ancestral remains of 140 people who were exhumed by archeologists. Mr. Humchitt organized the repatriation. Recounting the moment of bringing home those who died here 2,500-5,000 years ago, he was overcome with emotion. His daughter Megan Humchitt had to finish his story: "For 30 years, our ancestors were stored in bankers' boxes. We brought our ancestors home in bentwood boxes, as they were meant to be."

The Heiltsuk had lost the tradition of making bentwood boxes - so Mr. Humchitt went to his Haida friends to learn the traditional construction technique of steaming and manipulating a single piece of cedar. The endeavour was supported by the nearby privately funded scientific research institution, the Hakai Institute.

The C3 expedition visited Hakai's headquarters on Calvert Island, where pure science has, by necessity, been informed by the traditional knowledge of the Indigenous history of the region.

Hakai's founder, Eric Peterson, explained to his visitors that he wanted the institute to fill in the gap he saw in scientific research in what is now the protected area of the Great Bear Rainforest. His mission is to understand the coastal ecosystems: "to figure out, in the context of climate change, what's coming at us." Where he chose to establish this research just happens to be in a pocket of the coast that has been a gathering place for thousands of years.

In his first meeting with Heiltsuk leaders a decade ago, where he eagerly laid out his plans, he was bluntly reminded that the original occupants have a great deal of institutional knowledge to offer. "One chief at the table said to me, 'You have 310 years of collective fishery experience here at the table, I hope you respect that.' " That the institute would end up playing a role in groundbreaking archeology, Mr. Peterson said, came as a surprise to him.

"Our niche is old-fashioned science - exploration and discovery," he said. He was intent on pursuing ocean science, but as he walked along a path across Calvert Island, he described how the archeological significance of this region "insisted" on his attention.

There is an uncanny geological feature that preserved the record of human habitation in the Heiltsuk territory, where the sea levels and shore remained in balance throughout the disruptions of the previous Ice Age. Last summer, Hakai-funded researchers found evidence of a village on Triquet Island that dates back 14,5000 years - one of the oldest known settlements in North America - that had been occupied for thousands of years.

The archeological dig uncovered stone tools, charcoal and bone needles. And, buried in the mud, which provided the perfect anaerobic medium, were textiles and a perfectly round wooden ball that had been preserved for 8,000 years.

To maintain its reputation as a scientific institute, Hakai does not play an advocacy role, Mr. Peterson said. However its work is enriched by the knowledge of the Indigenous people here, and sometimes guided by their needs. Hakai produced data on herring populations, which the Heiltsuk needed to press for better resource management.

Supporting the work at Koeye camp, where Heiltsuk kids are immersed in cultural lessons as well as scientific exploration, is a natural branch of Hakai's work. Mr. Peterson sees these Heiltsuk youth as the emerging technocrats of their communities - culturally grounded scientists who are committed to restoring and protecting their environments.

Reaching the southern edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, the Polar Prince sailed from the God's Pocket marine park to Port Hardy, on the north end of Vancouver Island. The C3 expedition leader, Geoff Green, stood on the bridge of the ship, reflecting on our travels through this remote stretch of Canada's west coast.

The eerie wasteland at Namu will stay with him.

"These are symbols of the destructive force, the irresponsible force that we can be," he said.

All along the west coast, from the Nisga'a, the Haida, the Heiltsuk and more, he said the theme of ecological destruction - and rehabilitation - has been reinforced. "There's a strong lesson I have learned: It is because of the First Nations that this coast is as pristine and protected as it is today."

Justine Hunter spent six days with the Canada C3 Expedition, which concluded its 150-day voyage of circumnavigating Canada's coasts on Oct. 28.

Associated Graphic

A member of the Wuikinuxv Nation stokes a fire by the Big House near Rivers Inlet, B.C., on Oct. 14.


Salmon fishermen gather their net from a river near Rivers Inlet, B.C., on Oct. 14. Commercial fishing in the area was shut down in 1987.


Harvey Humchitt, hereditary chief of the Heiltsuk, remembers when the town of Namu, now empty, was a vibrant community of 2,500, with its own power plant and bowling alley.

The history hidden in Canadian coasts
An expedition along the Northwest Passage unveils a pervasive theme of how coastal communities are affected by interference
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A10

ABOARD THE MV POLAR PRINCE . -- A tray of glistening, rosy-pink eggs, with tiny black eyes peeping out of each sphere, holds an investment by the Wuikinuxv Nation in their future.

The Chinook salmon roe are being raised in a hatchery built and run by this small Indigenous community located on one of the most isolated stretches of British Columbia's coast.

The abundant marine life in Rivers Inlet sustained communities for millenniums. But today, there are just 60 people left in the village on the banks of the Wannock River.

For one wet, rainforest-y day in October, the Canada C3 expedition - a 150-day sailing journey connecting coastal communities from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage to mark Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation - doubled the community's population. The invitation to the expedition members was extended with some hesitation: Canada's birthday, here, represents a history of oppression - of rights and title denied, of a rich culture suppressed, of children hauled away to residential schools. But in the spirit of reconciliation, the doors of the Big House opened, and the Wuikinuxv shared a feast, their dances and their stories.

Along B.C.'s coast, the C3 expedition heard similar stories: natural resources that were gathered until depleted, followed by the retreat of industry. But the Indigenous communities remain, working to meld their traditional knowledge with the latest in science and technology to help them restore and protect their territories.

A day earlier, the expedition members aboard the Polar Prince also visited the Koeye camp, where the children of Bella Bella are sent to study their Heiltsuk language and protocols, while visiting scientists and field technicians teach them to carry out mountain goat population surveys, collect grizzly DNA, and gather the baseline data for climate change modelling.

The C3 team explored the research labs based on Calvert Island, also in this stretch of B.C.'s mid-coast known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

Calvert Island is the base for the Hakai Institute, a private research station working with local Indigenous communities on archeological surveys, which have confirmed occupation here going back 14,500 years - some of the oldest found in North America - along with scientific monitoring of coastal ecosystems, right up to the glaciers that feed the region's fjords.

And at the abandoned cannery at Namu, the Heiltsuk have reinterred the bones of 5,000-year-old ancestors while they push to clean up a looming environmental disaster as the structures, loaded with creosote, asbestos and rusty drums of oil, slowly sink into the sea.

Archeologists have found this stretch of Canada's coastline uniquely rich in history, with evidence of occupation going back thousands of years.

In very recent history, the story of Rivers Inlet is one of a pivotal resource brought to the edge of collapse. Rivers Inlet was home to a dozen or more commercial canneries that processed the abundant salmon runs - until they almost dried up. The last cannery closed in 1968, and the commercial fishery was shut down in 1987.

In Wuikinuxv, the community raised funds privately to build the $1.2-million salmon hatchery, which is now in its first full year of operation, preserving the genetic diversity of this very special run. The Chinook from the Wannock River are renowned for their size, but visitors who come for the sport fishing are encouraged to catch and release.

The community shared an ocean harvest with their guests - Sockeye smoked on the cedar fire burning at the centre of the Big House, along with oolichan, halibut, Dungeness crab, herring roe on kelp. The bounty is inextricably linked to the health of the people who live here.

Prior to European contact, there were an estimated 10,000 Wuikinuxv on the coast. Today, there are only two or three people who speak their Wuikkala language fluently. But carvers, dancers and storytellers are regrouping, and with the creation of new job opportunities - including a run-of-river hydro-electric project, now under construction, which will help the community off diesel generators - people are coming home from the cities.

Hereditary chief Ted Walkus brought visitors up the Wannock River to see the Chinook heading upstream to spawn. He has been a fishing guide for 47 years, and has been a driving force behind the catch-andrelease ethic.

"My family has always looked after these fish," he said.

He says overfishing and logging around fish-bearing waterways helped contribute to the collapse.

But he notes there are other causes too, pointing to a seal in the river.

"They don't eat lettuce." The Wuikinuxv used to eat seals, but that hunt has fallen out of favour and the seal population is rising. "It's easier to order a chicken now," he said.

Mr. Walkus believes climate change is playing a role as well. Glacial melt is occurring earlier in the year. He cites some of the work done by Brian Hunt, the chief scientist on the C3 expedition, who spent three years in Rivers Inlet studying the impact climate change has had on the life cycle of plankton - the food source that juvenile salmon rely on before they make their journey into the ocean.

To witness a physical monument to unsustainability, the Polar Prince put into Namu.

Crew members - a mix of artists, musicians, scientists, Indigenous elders and educators who have signed up to experience the coast and meet the people who live there - followed by Heiltsuk hereditary chief Harvey Humchitt for a tour of his childhood home.

Namu is a ghost town now, but Mr. Humchitt, 69, remembers it as a vibrant community of 2,500, with its own power plant and a bowling alley.

"It was a great place to grow up," he says, his boots crunching on broken glass scattered across the linoleum floor of the company store. The shelves are still partly stocked with cans of MJB coffee and pulp fiction books. In defiance of the decay, someone has installed bird nest boxes around the site to encourage at least one kind of resettlement.

Mr. Humchitt's first job, at the age of 16, was working in the local cannery, which could process 150,000 salmon in a single day. When the runs no longer supported that scale of production, the site closed. Now the abandoned plant in the middle of the Great Bear Rainforest represents an environmental threat: In addition to the creosote-soaked wood structure and asbestos concerns, there are 140 fuel barrels rusting away inside a warehouse on the pier.

The Heiltsuk are pressing the provincial government to help tackle the mess on what was once an old village site. "We have evidence that we have lived here for 14,000 years, but look at what has been done in 40 or 50 years," Mr. Humchitt said, looking around the ruins. "It's overwhelming. So much work to be done."

In the woods just behind the sprawling cannery town, the Heiltsuk have re-interred the ancestral remains of 140 people who were exhumed by archeologists. Mr. Humchitt organized the repatriation.

Recounting the moment of bringing home those who died here 2,5005,000 years ago, he was overcome with emotion. His daughter Megan Humchitt had to finish his story: "For 30 years, our ancestors were stored in bankers' boxes. We brought our ancestors home in bentwood boxes, as they were meant to be."

The Heiltsuk had lost the tradition of making bentwood boxes - so Mr. Humchitt went to his Haida friends to learn the traditional construction technique of steaming and manipulating a single piece of cedar. The endeavour was supported by the nearby privately funded scientific research institution, the Hakai Institute.

The C3 expedition visited Hakai's headquarters on Calvert Island, where pure science has, by necessity, been informed by the traditional knowledge of the Indigenous history of the region.

Hakai's founder, Eric Peterson, explained to his visitors that he wanted the institute to fill in the gap he saw in scientific research in what is now the protected area of the Great Bear Rainforest. His mission is to understand the coastal ecosystems: "to figure out, in the context of climate change, what's coming at us." Where he chose to establish this research just happens to be in a pocket of the coast that has been a gathering place for thousands of years.

In his first meeting with Heiltsuk leaders a decade ago, where he eagerly laid out his plans, he was bluntly reminded that the original occupants have a great deal of institutional knowledge to offer. "One chief at the table said to me, 'You have 310 years of collective fishery experience here at the table, I hope you respect that.' " That the institute would end up playing a role in groundbreaking archeology, Mr. Peterson said, came as a surprise to him.

"Our niche is old-fashioned science - exploration and discovery," he said. He was intent on pursuing ocean science, but as he walked along a path across Calvert Island, he described how the archeological significance of this region "insisted" on his attention.

There is an uncanny geological feature that preserved the record of human habitation in the Heiltsuk territory, where the sea levels and shore remained in balance throughout the disruptions of the previous Ice Age. Last summer, Hakai-funded researchers found evidence of a village on Triquet Island that dates back 14,5000 years - one of the oldest known settlements in North America - that had been occupied for thousands of years.

The archeological dig uncovered stone tools, charcoal and bone needles. And, buried in the mud, which provided the perfect anaerobic medium, were textiles and a perfectly round wooden ball that had been preserved for 8,000 years.

To maintain its reputation as a scientific institute, Hakai does not play an advocacy role, Mr. Peterson said.

However its work is enriched by the knowledge of the Indigenous people here, and sometimes guided by their needs. Hakai produced data on herring populations, which the Heiltsuk needed to press for better resource management.

Supporting the work at Koeye camp, where Heiltsuk kids are immersed in cultural lessons as well as scientific exploration, is a natural branch of Hakai's work. Mr. Peterson sees these Heiltsuk youth as the emerging technocrats of their communities - culturally grounded scientists who are committed to restoring and protecting their environments.

Reaching the southern edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, the Polar Prince sailed from the God's Pocket marine park to Port Hardy, on the north end of Vancouver Island. The C3 expedition leader, Geoff Green, stood on the bridge of the ship, reflecting on our travels through this remote stretch of Canada's west coast.

The eerie wasteland at Namu will stay with him.

"These are symbols of the destructive force, the irresponsible force that we can be," he said.

All along the west coast, from the Nisga'a, the Haida, the Heiltsuk and more, he said the theme of ecological destruction - and rehabilitation - has been reinforced. "There's a strong lesson I have learned: It is because of the First Nations that this coast is as pristine and protected as it is today."

Justine Hunter spent six days with the Canada C3 Expedition, which concluded its 150-day voyage of circumnavigating Canada's coasts on Oct. 28.

Associated Graphic

A member of the Wuikinuxv Nation stokes a fire by the Big House near Rivers Inlet, B.C., on Oct. 14. The village of 60 people is located in one of the most isolated stretches of the province's coast.


Rivalry leaves Lebanon on tenterhooks
PM's shock resignation brings stark reminder to people in diverse country that they're stuck in the middle of regional power struggle
Saturday, November 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A4

BEIRUT -- Enormous posters of Saad al-Hariri, the popular Lebanese Prime Minister who mysteriously vanished two weeks ago, only to surface in Saudi Arabia, hang almost everywhere in central Beirut. Mr. al-Hariri abruptly resigned while in the Saudi capital, but the Lebanese want him back and, by Friday, their man had still not made it home.

Most Lebanese, regardless of sect in this impossibly diverse and complicated Levant country, viewed Mr. al-Hariri's disappearance as a Saudiinspired coup d'état. Why else would the government head of an allegedly sovereign state resign in another country?

The answer was obvious to the Lebanese. Lebanon is not really sovereign; it is a proxy state, caught in the middle of a power struggle between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, with no control over its destiny. "We're a small country in a bad neighbourhood waiting for everyone else to make decisions for us," said Riad Tabbarah, an economist and author who was the Lebanese ambassador to the United States in the 1990s. "No major decisions are made internally here. We're merely observers."

Mr. al-Hariri's resignation in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, on Nov. 4 was evidently forced by the Saudis and has, once again, thrust Lebanon into political crisis. Lebanon's future has not looked so uncertain since the chaotic and violent era of 2005 to 2008. In those years, the country was shattered by the assassination of former prime minister Rafik alHariri, the father of Saad al-Hariri; a short but devastating war in southern Lebanon between Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed political and military group in Lebanon, and Israel; and deadly clashes between Hezbollah and Sunni militiamen in West Beirut.

While the Lebanese do not expect another civil or regional war, at least not imminently, they are well aware that peace cannot be assured as tensions between the dominant regional powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, intensify by the day. Riyadh blames Iran and Hezbollah for threatening Saudi Arabia's southern flank by sponsoring a war in Yemen, one that has embroiled the Saudis in a two-year conflict that has turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. It appears the Saudis think Mr. alHariri was overaccommodating to Hezbollah even though he, who is Sunni and leads Lebanon's Future Movement, has links to Saudi Arabia and has denounced Hezbollah as a destabilizing force within Lebanon.

Earlier this month, the Saudis accused Iran of an "act of war" when they shot down a missile over Saudi Arabia that they claimed was fired by Iranian- and Hezbollahbacked Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"Whenever we see a problem, we see Hezbollah acting as an arm or agent of Iran and this has to come to an end," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at a Riyadh news conference on Thursday.

When asked about the future of their country, Lebanese inevitably sprinkle their comments with references to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and the United States. The message: We Lebanese are merely pawns in a great regional power struggle.

Nivine Apdsouki, 30, a Beirut accountant, blames the Saudis for Lebanon's sudden bout of political instability. "It is obvious the Saudis put him under pressure to quit," she said, as she perched on a bench and fiddled with her smartphone. "The Saudis are talking about war to make Hezbollah give up their weapons and Hariri can't make Hezbollah do that."

The fresh crisis seemed to come out of nowhere and was triggered by Mr. al-Hariri's absence without leave. Most Lebanese assume he was under effective house arrest in Riyadh and will return to Lebanon only under terms set by Saudi Arabia's King Salman and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, who became Crown Prince in June and set his sights on stemming Hezbollah's power. The Saudis consider Hezbollah, whose flag is almost identical to the one used by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, as a terrorist group "that kidnapped the Lebanese regime," to use Mr. al-Jubeir's words.

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron, who went to Riyadh to try to encourage the Saudi rulers to ratchet down the tensions between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, invited Mr. al-Hariri and his family to Paris, although the Élysée Palace denied the French government was offering them exile. (France, which occupied Lebanon between the two world wars, maintains close relations with Lebanon, where French is still widely spoken.)

Mr. al-Hariri, 47, who was born in Saudi Arabia and is a dual LebaneseSaudi national, was finally expected to arrive in Paris on Friday night or Saturday and make an undignified return to Beirut early in the week.

But to do what? Would he officially submit his resignation to Lebanese President Michel Aoun and flee to France or stay put to lead a caretaker government? Would the government collapse and would new elections succeed in diluting Hezbollah's powerful influence in the Lebanese parliament or reinforce it?

Some lawmakers believe the delicate neutrality cobbled together under Mr. al-Hariri - neither officially pro-Iran nor pro-Saudi Arabia (even if certain parties overtly favour one over the other) - is about to face its most severe test.

"We are a bargaining chip in potentially destructive regional conflict," said Ghassan Moukheiber, a lawmaker who is a member of the Change and Reform parliamentary group, which is aligned with Mr. Aoun's Maronite Christian Free Patriotic Movement. "Saudi Arabia is apparently now saying, 'You are with us or against us,' but that won't work in Lebanon. The next phase for us will have to be the redefinition of what is meant by neutrality."

Lebanon has always been a governance nightmare. This tiny, ancient country, wedged between Syria and Israel on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, was a major Christian centre during the waning stages of the Roman Empire. In later centuries, the Levant (which includes modern-day Lebanon and Syria) was conquered by Muslim Arab armies. In the 11th century, the independent Druze faith, which contains elements of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, emerged from Shia Islam.

Today, Lebanon is a mosaic of more than a dozen sects, making it the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East. While no recent census has been done, Islam, of the Sunni and Shia variety, is thought to constitute a bit more than half the population, with Christians such as the Maronites making up about 40 per cent. The Druze are the biggest minority group, at about 5 per cent.

The sects have not always been able to keep the peace. The extremely violent 1975-90 civil war not only pitted Muslims against Christians (and, at times, Christians against Christians and Muslims against Muslims) but dragged in foreign powers, notably Syria and Israel. Hezbollah was born in the early 1980s, when Iran assembled various militant Shia groups under one roof, primarily to resist the Israelis, who had invaded Lebanon in 1982 in their effort to snuff out Palestine Liberation Organization forces.

Since then, Hezbollah, backed by Iran, has gone from strength to strength inside Lebanon, becoming in effect a state within a state. Hezbollah fighters deprived Israel of a clear victory in 2006, when Israel invaded southern Lebanon in response to Hezbollah rocket attacks.

"The Israelis were not successful in 2006," said Kamel Wazne, a foreignpolicy analyst in Beirut. "Hezbollah is 10 times stronger than they were in 2006. They're better trained, have weapons that can reach anywhere inside of Israel and gained a lot of fighting experience in their confrontations in Syria against Daesh [Islamic State]."

Today, Lebanon has accommodated its sects through a delicate power-sharing agreement that came into place after the civil war. Lebanon's presidential post is reserved for a Maronite Christian, the prime minister's post goes to a Sunni and the president of parliament, or Speaker, is Shia. Broadly speaking, the parties are divided into pro-Iranian and pro-Saudi camps. Mr. al-Hariri is in the pro-Saudi camp and Mr. Aoun, the President, has an alliance with Hezbollah.

Somehow, the power balance has managed to work in recent years.

Mr. al-Hariri, who became Prime Minister in December, 2016, was given considerable credit for ensuring the unity government, and the country itself, did not come apart at the seams - hence his cross-party popularity. But that peace may not last as Hezbollah gains power and irks the Saudis, who have been trying to forge an anti-Hezbollah alliance with Israel and the United States as the war in Yemen bogs down.

Samy Gemayel, leader of the Lebanese Kataeb Party, a social-democratic party that is primarily supported by Maronite Catholics and which used to be called the Lebanese Phalanges Party, said Hezbollah's power within the government is underestimated. By his calculation, 17 of the 30 current cabinet ministers are pro-Hezbollah. "No government in Lebanon is formed without the approval of Hezbollah," he said. "Now, they are the decision makers. Lebanon is not a Sunni-Shia issue. It's a sovereignty issue. ... We totally support any pressure to end Iranian interference in this country."

How would that happen? Not fast and not easily, seems to be the consensus. Even some pro-Saudi parties think Iran would never allow Hezbollah to be neutered. "Hezbollah will not disappear and will not leave Syria or Yemen," said Rached Fayed, a member of Mr. al-Hariri's Future Movement policy-making committee.

Ahead of the weekend, it was not known whether Mr. al-Hariri would have any role in shaping the crucial, although perhaps hopeless, task of keeping both Iran and Saudi Arabia happy in a country they both consider their vassal state. Lebanese politicians and technocrats of every variety expect him to officially resign as Prime Minister once he reaches Beirut - the President did not recognize the shock resignation Mr. al-Hariri announced on Saudi TV in Riyadh.

It's an open question what will happen after that. The President might ask him to lead a caretaker government leading up to new elections. He might, and run again for Prime Minister. Or he might decide he can't please either side and quit politics, leaving it up to his successor to sort out the Lebanese mess.

The wild card is Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed, who might have zero tolerance for any Lebanese government that doesn't rein in Hezbollah. "The Saudis wanted Hariri to kick Hezbollah out of government," said Mr. Tabbarah, the former ambassador. "The Saudi Crown Prince has a new view of the role of Saudi Arabia and it's an aggressive one."

In the meantime, the Lebanese are on tenterhooks, unsure whether their country will have a prime minister of a functioning government in the next weeks or whether the power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia could leave Lebanon in tatters - peace always seems to be a short-lived commodity in this country.

Perched with his girlfriend on his scooter next to Beirut's Mediterranean promenade, the Corniche, Iyad Hassanieh, 37, a supermarket employee, said he fears foreign powers have pushed his country to the precipice once again. "Saudi Arabia is making plans to control the entire Middle East and Israel is behind this plan," he said. "I think there will be a disaster. There is always a disaster here."

Associated Graphic

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who is depicted on a poster in Beirut on Friday, enjoys cross-party popularity for his role in keeping the peace among the country's many religious sects.


Charismatic dancer was likened to Nureyev
He danced at the Met and for Stravinsky before his stellar 18-year run with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S12

He was a gifted dancer with a gripping stage presence, a stunningly beautiful young man who drew comparisons to Rudolf Nureyev. He danced for Igor Stravinsky, had a love affair with the American poet Frank O'Hara and played the title role in the landmark rock ballet of The Who's Tommy.

In his later years, Vincent Warren loved to reminisce about what he called his "hour of glory," as a dancer with New York's Metropolitan Opera Ballet and then, most famously, with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal.

"He had an incredible memory," dancer-turned-filmmaker Marie Brodeur said of Mr. Warren, who passed away on Oct. 25 in Montreal from bone cancer at the age of 79. Ms. Brodeur became his close friend in recent years and chronicled his rich life in an award-winning documentary, A Man of Dance. "He was a real name-dropper," she added, recalling Mr. Warren's anecdotes about everyone from Maurice Béjart to Andy Warhol. "But it wasn't done to boost himself, it was just the life he had lived."

Wherever he went, the young Mr. Warren melted hearts. "He was very handsome," said the distinguished dancer and teacher Annette av Paul, sounding like a girl again as she remembered the years they danced together in Les Grands Ballets during the 1970s. He was Albrecht to her Giselle, she was the Acid Queen to his Tommy and, most powerfully, the pair were Robert and Clara Schumann in Adieu Robert Schumann, the R. Murray Schafer-Brian Macdonald work about the tortured composer.

In that role, his final one for Les Grands Ballets, "Vincent's dramatic power onstage was breathtaking," Ms. av Paul recalled.

In his 70s, Mr. Warren, stout and bearded, with a silver mane in place of his once dark, flowing locks, would look at photographs of himself in his prime and inevitably utter, in mock dismay, "Ach! What happened?" "That was a running joke with him," Ms. Brodeur said, laughing. "I think I must have heard him say that 2,000 times."

What happened, in fact, is that Mr. Warren aged from a glorious young dancer into a formidable scholar and a beloved teacher, whose most significant legacy is the Bibliothèque de la danse Vincent-Warren, the largest dance library in Canada, built mostly from his own acquisitions and housed in Montreal's École supérieure de ballet du Québec.

"His second career was fully dedicated to preserving the memory of dance," said Alain Dancyger, longtime executive director of Les Grands Ballets. "He had a major impact on Les Grands, certainly, but also on the study of dance itself."

As a man, he was as generous with his time and knowledge as he was with his books, and even in old age he still won hearts. "You couldn't not love Vincent," Ms. Brodeur said. "He was so cultured and elegant. He was a mix of Renaissance man and old Southern charm."

Born Aug. 31, 1938, in Jacksonville, Fla., Vincent de Paul Warren was the youngest child in a family of 14. His father, Francis Warren, a justice of the peace, came from English stock, while his mother, Agnes (née Stanley), a nurse, was of Norwegian descent. "Vincent was, from childhood, the most caring person that we knew," his brother Fritz Warren fondly recalled. Vincent, in turn, remembered his brothers as being "football stars" in their youth, and six of them - including his fraternal twin, Denis - later pursued careers in the U.S. armed forces. Vincent's athletic prowess would find a different outlet.

The seeds of his future career were sown when, at the age of 10, he saw the classic 1948 ballet film The Red Shoes. He became obsessed with the movie and, by extension, with ballet itself. At 11, he enrolled in classes with Betty Hyatt Ogilvie, who had danced for George Balanchine, and by 18 he was in New York, a scholarship student at the American Ballet Theatre School. He received a second scholarship to study at the Metropolitan Opera's ballet school, then at 19, in 1957, he won a place in the company's corps. He danced with the Met until 1959, followed by a stint with the Santa Fe Opera Ballet, where the elderly Stravinsky was a guest conductor.

During his time in New York, Mr. Warren also explored contemporary dance, becoming involved with the experimental Judson Church movement, and met Mr. O'Hara, leading poet of the postwar New York School and the love of his life. Mr. Warren served as Mr. O'Hara's muse, inspiring his poems, while in turn Mr. O'Hara introduced him to his circle of artist friends, including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

Their relationship continued after Mr. Warren accepted a position in Montreal with Les Grands Ballets. He was drawn there by Ludmilla Chiriaeff, the ballet's founder and artistic director. "He fell in love with her artistic spirit," Ms. Brodeur said. He danced in many Chiriaeff creations, from Bagatelle (Jeux d'Arlequin) in 1962 to the 1976 solo Artère. During that time, he also appeared with Margaret Mercier in the Oscar-nominated short film Pas de deux by the legendary animator Norman McLaren.

Although a striking dancer, Mr. Warren admitted he often coasted on his good looks and Met credentials. That changed in 1966, when Mr. O'Hara was killed in a jeep accident on New York's Fire Island. His lover's death devastated him, but it was also the turning point that pushed him to become a serious artist.

Not long after, Mr. Warren and Les Grands Ballets enjoyed a popular triumph with Tommy, a balletic version of the Who's seminal rock opera, created by the company's resident choreographer, Fernand Nault. The production, which premiered in 1970, played on Broadway and toured extensively, bringing a new, youthful audience to ballet. "I remember smelling marijuana from the stage," Mr. Warren recalled in A Man of Dance.

Mr. Nault further capitalized on Mr. Warren's beatific beauty with the religious Cérémonie, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.

However, it was Mr. Nault's successor, Brian Macdonald, who gave Mr. Warren the artistic challenges he needed. At Les Grands Ballets, Mr. Macdonald created roles for him in several works, including the immensely popular Quebec folk piece, Tam Ti Delam, but the choreographer and the principal dancer did not initially get along.

"Early on, Vincent thought Brian didn't like him," recalled Ms. av Paul, Mr. Macdonald's widow, "and I think Brian was sometimes impatient because Vincent was a little bit lazy.

But that changed." Their collaboration reached an apex in 1979 with Adieu Robert Schumann. The moving piece, choreographed by Mr. Macdonald to Mr. Schafer's vocal work, had Mr. Warren and Ms. av Paul dancing the roles of young Robert and Clara, while the great contralto Maureen Forrester sang the plangent narrative as an older Clara Schumann.

It was also Mr. Warren's adieu to dancing, his farewell performance after 18 years with Les Grands Ballets. At 40, he embarked on a new phase in his life and career. He turned to teaching, giving ballet classes at Les Grands' affiliated school, the École supérieure, and, at Ms. Chiriaeff's urging, also taking over the course in dance history. It was a perfect fit: Even though he had no academic degree, Mr. Warren's voluminous reading on dance, begun as a boy, had made him a fount of knowledge that he delighted in sharing with students.

"Everything I know about the history of dance, I know because of Vincent," said one of his former students, Les Grands Ballets' first soloist, Jean-Sébastien Couture.

"And I know all of it in French with an American accent," he added jokingly. (Mr. Warren became fluent in the first language of his adopted province but never shed his Floridian roots.)

"He really had a way of making the dancers from history come alive," added Ms. av Paul, who watched him teach. "They were like friends to him."

Mr. Warren's interests weren't confined to ballet, either. Beginning with the Judson Church troupe in New York and continuing through his performances with Jeanne Renaud's pioneering Montreal company, Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Mr. Warren remained a devotee of modern and contemporary dance.

Later in life, he also studied Indian classical dance and was invited to lecture in India.

It was while teaching dance history that Mr. Warren began building up the school's tiny library. In 1979, it had about 250 books, but Mr. Warren, an avid, lifelong collector, quickly began to donate his own volumes, along with prints, figurines and other dance memorabilia. Today, the library - renamed in his honour in 2010 - holds more than 27,000 titles.

"He kept buying things and bringing them to the library until the last month" of his life, said Marie-Josée Lecours, his former student and assistant, who succeeded him as head librarian when he retired in 2008. "His passion for the books and his love of everything related to dance was just overwhelming."

His apartment, on Jeanne-Mance Street in Montreal's Plateau neighbourhood, was also a shrine to dance, as well as a temporary home for visiting dancers and a second classroom. "As students, we used to go there at the end of the year, eat pizza and watch ballets on VHS," Ms. Lecours said.

Over the years, Mr. Warren received many awards. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2004 and, this past spring, to the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. In 2012, Ms. Brodeur decided that Mr. Warren's achievements also needed to be captured on film. She spent three years with him shooting A Man of Dance. In 2016, it premiered at FIFA, Montreal's international festival of art films, and won the prize for best Canadian feature.

By then, Mr. Warren was quietly battling cancer. The last time Ms. av Paul saw him was at a tea party given for him in Montreal a few weeks before his death. "He came dressed in a white suit and a beautiful tie," she said. "He knew he was not going to live for much longer, but it was a lovely gathering with all his old friends."

Mr. Warren leaves three brothers, Stanley, George (Fritz) and Denis Warren, and a sister, Anne Warren Montgomery, as well as 43 nieces and nephews, and their children.

A commemorative event in Mr. Warren's honour will be held at École supérieure de ballet du Québec in Montreal on Nov. 17. A Man of Dance is currently touring Canada.

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Associated Graphic

Vincent Warren, who danced with New York's Metropolitan Opera Ballet and then, most famously, with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, is remembered as someone who was 'so cultured and elegant. He was a mix of Renaissance man and old Southern charm.'


Diplomacy, fellowship, freedom: Global award shines light on community leaders who exemplify pluralism
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

The Global Pluralism Award honours three people around the world for their efforts to build an inclusive society in their community. Former prime minister Joe Clark, who chaired the awards committee, said that the variety of applications broadened his own definition of pluralism, and highlighted the need for pluralistic societies.

"Tensions are rising in the world," Mr. Clark said.

"There needs to be an emphasis on the ways those tensions can be addressed, and respect for differences should be encouraged."

The selection committee received applications from 43 countries and travelled to many of the applicants' countries to see what kind of impact their humanitarian work had made.

"There were 230 candidates from 43 countries," Mr. Clark said. "We bore in mind that we wanted our own selections to reflect that variety. The three prize winners and seven honorary mentions gives some sense of the variety of applications."

This is the first year that the Ottawa-based Centre for Global Pluralism has given the awards. The jury of seven international members - which also included Argentina's former foreign affairs minister, Dante Caputo, and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi - judged applicants on their impact on their community, authenticity and innovation in how they tackled conflict.

The three winners used the values of pluralism to break apart divisions of race, gender, economic status and tribal conflict.

The winners included a Kenyan mediator who battled gender norms and resolved conflicts across Africa, an Australian lawyer who worked to shift public opinion on migrants and a Colombian lawyer who would heal wounds in his community after an attack that killed dozens of his family members. Winners will receive their awards in Ottawa on Nov. 15.

Alice Wairimu Nderitu

When Alice Wairimu Nderitu goes to mediate conflicts in an unfamiliar region, she pays close attention to how the locals dress. Then she goes to a tailor, and gets a garment made that makes her fit in seamlessly. Her reasoning isn't fashion - it's because if her outfit goes unnoticed, it's one less thing to make men remember that she is a woman and an outsider.

It's just one of the ways that Ms. Nderitu has had to put extra effort to succeed as a conflict mediator in Africa, where such a role is usually filled by men.

Ms. Nderitu says she was always told that men were the people who started conflicts, so they naturally should be the ones to end them.

But she knew that including all types of people was the best way to actually solve issues.

"I keep seeing knowledge gaps between the men and women that we must fill. We need to train them, they need experience," said Ms. Nderitu, 49. "I want women to feel they've been heard."

A Kenyan national, Ms. Nderitu has worked to resolve tribal conflicts in South Sudan, Somalia, and in her home country. But some of her most extensive work has been in Nigeria.

Decades of slavery, exploitation and colonialism had fostered a sense of mistrust in the country's Kaduna region. The size of the conflict was staggering: There were 29 different tribes in the area, each brought six members to the conflict resolution process, which was moderated by Ms. Nderitu.

After years of work to try to heal their relationship, fighting restarted only three months after Ms. Nderitu left. She returned to spend months more to try to create a peace that would last.

Finally, she says, the groups have kept their peace since she last finished her work there.

"It feels like heaven," Ms. Nderitu said. "I go to bed every night and say, 'Thank you God.' " Her belief that the peace process must be inclusive has led to another side of her work. With the prize money that she'll win from her award, Ms. Nderitu hopes to build a database of women mediators.

The database would be initially made up of 30 Nigerians and 20 Kenyans, she says. The women could, like her, mediate in the opposite country. That kind of database is important, she says, because no such resource currently exists to find qualified women to do conflict resolution work.

Ms. Nderitu wound up winning the pluralism award not only because of her efforts to resolve tribal conflicts throughout Africa, but her efforts to bring women into the peacemaking process.

Organizations like the United Nations often try to include women in skilled roles throughout Africa, but she says there's also a lack of opportunity for those women to become properly qualified. After working to resolve the conflicts of so many different African peoples, Ms. Nderitu now looks to show other women that they, too, can do the kinds of important work that she's done.

"People keep saying, 'Oh, you are the only woman at the negotiating table,' " Ms. Nderitu said. "I want to make that statement obsolete."

Leyner Palacios Asprilla

Leyner Palacios Asprilla cam credit his local church for helping teach him the values of pluralism. In his hometown of Bojaya, Colombia, where it's 11,000 residents are split between Afro-Colombians and the Indigenous communities, Mr. Palacios was able to experience both sides of life in his teenage years when his priests took him to different parts of town as part of their work.

"As I was growing up, because of my [priests'] work, I always visited Indigenous communities," said Mr. Palacios, whose family was Afro-Colombian. "As I grew up, I realized how these people also lived in poverty with lack of access to health and education."

That understanding of how both of his town's peoples had the same struggles proved to be instrumental in sparking change after years of civil conflict between rebel groups in Colombia.

In 2002, a brutal fight between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC in its Spanish acronym), a Colombian rebel army involved in a decades-long civil conflict, and other paramilitary forces would ravage not only his community, but an overwhelming part of his family. FARC bombed a church during the fighting, killing 79 people.

More than half of the victims were infants, and 32 of the victims were his own family.

The town of Bojaya had tried to voice their grievances about the decades-long violence to the Colombian government, but with each of the town's 50 ethnic communities speaking out on their own, their words carried no weight.

Mr. Palacios understood that if he could bring the different groups together and unite the voices of the Indigenous and Afro-Colombian people, maybe they could finally be heard.

More than a decade later in 2014, Mr. Palacios co-founded the Committee for the Rights of Victims of Bojaya, a group that would collectively represent his entire town. As a mediator between the town's two major ethnicities, he was able to get the two groups to finally trust each other.

It was a difficult task, he said, because the two groups spoke different languages, had different cultures and lived in different parts of town. It was also difficult because FARC had used their differences against them.

"When the massacre took place, the paramilitaries told the Indigenous population that the blacks were to be blamed," said Mr. Palacios, 41.

"The armed groups just wanted to divide the people ... they started to put families against each other."

To mend these wounds, Mr. Palacios was able to get the town's different communities to actually meet in a physical place and talk out the situation. He ultimately won the award for pluralism because of his ability to bring so many of his town's people together to finally make a difference.

Today, after years of the community voicing their grief together, Mr. Palacios has been able to incite real change. FARC recently acknowledged the role they played in the massacres and the government has also taken the responsibility of properly identifying and exhuming the bodies of those that died in the church attack.

Mr. Palacios says that their work is nowhere near finished, but it has been a promising start.

"They will be able to bury their loved ones, and they'll be able to to it according to their own tradition," Mr. Palacios said. "That will help to begin healing spiritual wounds."

Daniel Webb

Daniel Webb's work is inspired by two things: a deep-seated belief that everybody deserves basic decency and respect, and an opinion that detainees in Australia's offshore detention centres have been denied their basic rights.

As a human-rights lawyer, Mr. Webb has worked for five years to end the detainment of thousands of asylum seekers at Australia's offshore detention centres and to prevent their deportation altogether.

Since 2013, he says the Australian government has actively tried to ward off migrants who are seeking asylum by boat. The government announced that year that asylum seekers would be detained indefinitely at detention centres such as Manus Island, a former naval base in Papua New Guinea.

"On a global level, it's utterly counterproductive," said Mr. Webb, 33. "If every country in the world had a single-minded focus on deterrence, then people fleeing persecution would be left with nowhere to go."

Mr. Webb has visited the centres multiple times, and describes the conditions as jail-like. His first visit came after an asylum seeker was killed. He described the situation there as inhumane, with reports of violence, sexual assault, suicide and medical neglect rampant in the facilities.

"But the thing that cause the most anguish was the uncertainty," Mr. Webb said, adding that the detainees he spoke to described it as mental torture for them to have no idea what would happen next, or when it would happen.

Many of the migrants came from countries such as Burma, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and parts of Africa.

Mr. Webb won the pluralism award not only because of his efforts to free those migrants, but because of the immense challenge that it was to change public perception about the migrants.

Political wrangling over the issue meant that the policy of holding migrants in offshore detention centres was actually popular among Australian citizens because they'd been painted as smugglers and criminals, rather than refugees.

Mr. Webb says changing Australian opinions came down to how you positioned the issue.

"Fundamentally this issue is about people, and whenever we are able to make this debate about people ... the public opinion shifts," Mr. Webb said.

Over years of work, Mr. Webb has been able to spark actual change.

Beyond changing people's perceptions, he has also managed to temporarily bring around 400 detainees into Australia for medical treatment. But their situation is uncertain and by no means permanent.

Mr. Webb says there's still a large amount of work to be done. The Australian government closed the Manus Island centre Oct. 31 and cut off all power, food and water, but several hundred refugees have refused to move to alternative accommodation, saying they aren't safe. Before the closing, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had called the situation a "looming humanitarian emergency" and protests across Australia have since called for the refugees to be brought to Australia.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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