More Canadian prisoners than ever are being locked up until their mandatory release dates. Sean Fine examines whether it's time to let them earn an early release by changing their attitudes, their resumés and themselves
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

Partway through an eight-year prison stretch for trafficking in cocaine, Jason David came up with an audacious escape plan.

For 20 years he had been in and out of federal prisons. It was 2013, the height of the tough-on-crime, war-on-drugs years of the Harper government. And Mr. David's escape required the permission of the federal authorities. He yearned to go to college; even before he became eligible for parole, he wanted the system to let him out temporarily so that he could study business administration and marketing.

"Nobody believes in you when you're inside," he says, without bitterness. "You're trafficking in drugs, that's all you are. Not a father, not a son, not a cousin.

That's what really hurts." But then he adds, "Don't get me wrong. Three or four federal 'bits,' it's hard to believe someone who is telling you the same old story."

A stocky man with some of the outward signs of the long-term inmate - a tattoo on his neck, a voice made husky by tobacco - he went to his parole officer inside Westmorland, the minimum-security unit of Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick, with a new way to frame his story. Weighed against all the negatives - the manifold failures of his past - he was not violent, and did not abuse drugs. He had a family to go home to. He had done the programs aimed at getting him to look at himself. And something had taken. Or maybe it was just that he wasn't 18 any more.

"You can take all the programs in the world. You still have to change yourself," says the 47year-old from the small community of Hammonds Plains, on the outskirts of Halifax. "There's an old saying, 'I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.' " He understood what he had made his children endure. "You're supporting your family but at the same time you're destroying them.

When your children are saying, 'Daddy, the police are outside,' that's pretty heartbreaking."

The parole officer became his accomplice. She told him that if he stayed trouble-free inside prison for a year, she would support him. "There are people who really care about you and will stick their money on the line for you," he says. She believed he could be more than a drug trafficker. And so did the warden, who granted him a pass, known as an unescorted temporary absence, that would allow him to leave the prison grounds under certain conditions. (Because he had no violence on his criminal record, he did not need the federal Parole Board's permission.)

From prison, he applied for and obtained a federal student loan.

Four times, accompanied by a guard, Mr. David took the fourhour return car trip to Success College in Lower Sackville, N.S., to fill out paperwork, including an academic entry test. (The guard respectfully waited outside the room where he wrote the test.)

Once admitted to the college, he lived at a halfway house, under conditions - no cellphone, no social media, no renewing his driver's licence. Every six weeks he had to return to prison for seven days, then renew his permission to be absent. The college administration embraced him, providing yet more self-affirmation for Mr. David.

"It was ties like that in the community that made me think I'm not an outcast. That made me work harder. I said, 'Jason, there are good people in the world.' "His academic ambition impressed the Parole Board, and eventually he was granted full parole. No more halfway house. He could return home - Hammonds Plains is 15 minutes from the college campus. A year ago, he graduated. In February, his parole ended. Free at last, with freedom's temptations, its rewards.

Mr. David is an exception in Canada's penal system - a man who shows what is possible when belief in oneself, personal initiative and the system's willingness to take a chance on someone come together.

Most federal inmates today do not "earn" their way out on parole. For the majority of prisoners, the gates open at the two-thirds point of their sentence because of "statutory release" - in other words, the law dictates that they must be let out (unless they are deemed a violent risk). It is near-automatic; no permission from a parole board is necessary.

The inmate checks out of prison without needing to prove to himself and the Parole Board that he's made the effort to turn himself around.

In 2014-15, there were 7,867 prisoners released from federal institutions. Statutory release accounted for 5,355 of them, or 68 per cent, according to the Parole Board of Canada. That represents a dramatic drop in the numbers who have earned their way back into society. The shrinking of parole is partly a legacy of the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, and partly the result of a longer-term trend. When Mr. Harper became prime minister in 2006, just 53 per cent of inmates got out through statutory release.

Thirteen years earlier, when Jean Chrétien took office, the figure stood at 40 per cent.

Officially, the rise of statutory release and the diminishment of parole has barely been noticed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who oversees corrections and parole, was silent on the issue.

But those who monitor the situation of prisoners have noticed.

"We've gone from a system based on the principle of the 'earliest possible release' to one based on the 'latest possible release,' " says Howard Sapers, who, as the country's Correctional Investigator, acts as ombudsman of the federal prison system.

The promise represented by Jason David is disappearing. The result is increasingly crowded jails, even as crime rates drop; a huge extra burden on government coffers; and, above all, a big problem for public safety. On a massive scale, Canada is releasing prisoners who have not been pronounced ready - except as measured by the clock. And yet, once cut loose, they are offered only a short period of support or supervision to help them move toward a productive life.

For them, the system holds its collective breath.

'I need to reintegrate slowly'

It all went wrong for Matthew McMillan, his previous time on statutory release. Only nine days after leaving prison, he joined in a home invasion with some former buddies in his hometown of Oshawa, Ont. Soon, he was back in maximum security. That was when he was in his early 20s. Last fall, Millhaven Institution, outside Kingston, set him free on statutory release once more. He was now 27.

The rules: He had to live at a halfway house, and physically report in there every four hours, except when he was at work. "I'm thankful, coming to a halfway house," he said. "I need to reintegrate slowly."

With a tattoo on his neck and another beside his left eye, Mr. McMillan has a face and shaved head that project toughness. The tattoo near his eye is in memory of his birth mother. The one on his neck spells out, in Chinese characters, Strength. Wisdom.

Hope. "Without those three things, I think you're pretty much screwed." He has a wry sense of humour.

There is no question that Mr. McMillan got a rotten shake in life. His father died in a car accident when he was three. His mother was a drug addict and herself a convict. When he was 5, he and his one-year-old brother were put into a foster home. And then another, and another. By age 6, he was running wild, out all night, breaking into cars with older kids. By 8, when he was separated from his brother and adopted into what he calls a caring family - two teachers - he was, by his own description, "already a bad kid."

His new parents stuck by him, took him to counselling, and finally, when he was 14, sent him to a survival camp, out of the best of intentions, he feels now. But it revived feelings of being abandoned, he says, and since that age, Mr. McMillan has lived for the most part in lockup of one sort or another. Ordinarily, someone with his high-risk background would not be taken into Kirkpatrick House, a handsome old three-storey building, home to 22 ex-cons, on a quiet residential street 20 minutes' walk from the Parliament buildings where the policies for returning prisoners to the community are written into law.

Mr. McMillan is a convicted kidnapper and home invader, and he was no angel in prison, either. But he showed some initiative: From prison, he phoned the house director, Scott Hole, to plead that he was worth the risk. Mr. Hole decided to give Mr. McMillan a chance.

"If you were to read his file, you would say, 'Who wants this guy?' " But he was impressed by the prisoner's persistence. "He kept calling me."

The least-understood part of the justice system

Parole is the system's way of taking a calculated risk.

Why take any risk at all?

Because the alternative is seen to be worse: No incentive for good behaviour. That much longer immersed in the criminal culture inside. And no help making one's way from the penitentiary's regimented world into the dangerous choices of freedom.

To be paroled, prisoners must persuade a three-member board that they are - as federal law puts it, awkwardly - not an "undue risk" to reoffend.

The two most potent risk factors? One is criminal associations - will they hang out with the wrong kind of people?

The other: criminal attitudes.

"Do they resent authority? Do they feel the law doesn't apply to them? Do they have a sense of entitlement? Do they think working at a regular job is for suckers?" asks Patrick Storey, a senior official in the board's Pacific Region.

If there is any doubt, board members are trained to say no, "because," he says, "protection of society is job one."

And yet even Mr. Storey is quick to acknowledge that, to many Canadians, parole is the very definition of justice gone soft. "Most people think of parole as a gift - like a get-out-of-jail-free card," he says. He calls parole the least understood part of the justice system.

Statutory release is indeed a getout-of-jail-free card. No Parole Board approval necessary. No matter how you behaved inside.

No matter what your prospects or your attitudes, or whether you took treatment programs and worked on your "corrections plan" - or sat around doing nothing. No matter whether you've been rejected before as unworthy of parole - or got parole, but then breached your conditions or broke the law, and were sent back to prison.

Why give inmates something that many law-abiding citizens might consider such an easy release? For the same reason as parole: because tossing such people directly back to the streets without supervision, without support, may only increase the risks they pose - may make the protection of society, in other words, anything but job one.

Not that parole and statutory release are completely different alternatives. In both, the released individuals need to report regularly to parole officers. They may be required to bed down in halfway houses. They must keep the peace and, depending on their personal history, and the circumstances of their crime, meet other conditions, such as swearing off alcohol or keeping a distance from their former associates. Hence the term "conditional release:" If they break the conditions, they can be returned to prison to complete their term.

If parole has a bad rap, it's because many see it as near-automatic -- a nine-year term, say, means just three years behind bars. But in fact, such early releases are infrequent. Over each of the past five years, an average of only 382 federal prisoners were let out each year on full parole within five days of their earliest eligibility date - that is, one-third of their full sentence - according to data supplied by the Parole Board at The Globe and Mail's request.

That's just 3.5 per cent of all releases.

Day parole, too, tends to be delayed. The eligibility starts at six months before the one-third mark. But even for those granted day parole, the average time served is now 38 per cent of a full sentence. And for those who obtain full parole, the figure is 46 per cent; that's six percentage points higher than when Mr. Harper came to power.

The Conservative government was philosophically opposed to statutory release - and ending it constituted one of its first promises on coming to power in 2006; a year later, it appointed a commission to overhaul the penitentiaries. The commission's recommendation: Earn your way out on parole, or stay till the end of your sentence.

It's a finding that Rob Sampson, a businessman and former politician who led that commission, stands behind to this day. The rationale behind statutory release makes no sense, he says: "If someone doesn't want to change, how is that helping? Whether they're let out halfway or a quarter-way - with 'supervision' - chances are you're going to see them come back again.

If you're not ready to go, you shouldn't go, period. Full stop."

And yet, for all his determination, and the government's, the end of statutory release didn't come to be.

"I don't think there was a lack of political will," Mr. Sampson says.

"There was probably a lack of bureaucratic will."

And there is some truth to that.

Mary Campbell was the directorgeneral in the Public Safety department's Corrections and Criminal Justice Directorate at the time. She is unapologetic that she and other civil servants spoke out, in no uncertain terms, against the idea.

"We vigorously pointed out the downsides of that approach," she recalls. And she pinpoints one particular downside that she thinks caught the ear of those in power.

"My conclusion is that the politicians got the message that it would be dreadfully expensive." (According to the CSC, the annual cost to house each federal prisoner was $115,310 in 2013-14.)

Mr. Sampson is a former banker who oversaw provincial jails while in the cabinet of Ontario premier Mike Harris in 1999. Now the managing director of Ceres Biosystems Ltd., which converts organic waste to fertilizer, he is aware that prisonlaw specialists such as Michael Jackson, a law professor at the University of British Columbia, consider his 2007 report harsh and uninformed.

"Did I spend my career looking at the corrections system?" he asks during an interview at the boardroom table of his downtown Toronto office. "No. My background is banking and finance. I'm able to take a realistic perspective. I'm not biased in one direction or the other."

A big problem, according to Mr. Sampson, is that there isn't time to give many prisoners - who often don't even have a high-school education - the skills they need to support themselves on the outside. He wanted the jails to become training grounds for jobs like carpentry, electrical work and plumbing, and to reduce time spent on "cognitive skills." He had hoped to create partnerships with companies like Home Depot. That, too, didn't happen.

"The institutions should give them the first chance they never got in real life," he says - before adding that, in his opinion, maybe 20 per cent of prisoners would be able to grab hold of that chance. In other words, roughly the proportion of those qualifying for parole today.

He recalls meeting a federal prisoner who was taking Grade 12 calculus. "I said, 'What are you going to do with calculus when you leave?' He didn't know. They were so proud he was taking calculus."

He shakes his head in dismay.

When interviewed last winter, exMillhaven inmate Mr. McMillan had managed to land two minimumwage jobs - one, stocking grocery shelves and sweeping floors two nights a week from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; the other, cleaning offices for a five-hour shift, four evenings a week.

"It's all about how you present yourself," he says.

During last year's football season he also worked as a shortorder cook at Ottawa RedBlacks games, earning $12.50 an hour. All Kirkpatrick House residents must work or go to school; they can't collect welfare, unemployment or old-age pensions.

All that is evidence, in the eyes of Mr. Sampson, that the system failed him: "You've got a guy who's completely motivated but he's stocking shelves. Great job, but it's hardly a career."

Mr. McMillan also landed a twobedroom apartment over a store for $900 a month. His supportive 23-year-old girlfriend joined him from Oshawa, and lived in the apartment alone until he didn't need to be at the halfway house.

But for all the progress he has made, the question is whether he has changed enough to keep himself out of jail.

He is still angry, he said when interviewed last winter. "I have a real problem: always thinking negative, always thinking the worst. I don't take any medication. I don't have any ways of dealing with things. I used to just deal with them with my fists and with alcohol."

In his stints in some of the country's toughest prisons (SteQuebec's Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Edmonton Max, Millhaven), he took programs - to discourage substance abuse and violence - but the first time around "I thought, 'Ah, this is just stupid.' " In his second stint, he paid attention. He even got his high-school diploma inside. "A lot of guys do it because you get paid for it. It's an incentive for guys to do something and get off their ass." The daily allowance in federal prison is $2.50; if you work or go to school, the allowance is $5.80, rising to a maximum of $6.90, "which goes a long way in prison."

Asked about his hopes and dreams, he replies, "I don't have any. I just don't want to fall back on my old life."

For all the Conservatives' determination, the end of statutory release never arrived, and neither did extra support for practical, skills-based job training of the kind Mr. Sampson thinks is so crucial. The system, in what seems like perpetual drift, has left people like Matthew McMillan largely to their own devices.

And how are they doing? The system doesn't even know.

The Parole Board tracks prisoners until their sentences end. But afterward - when they're out here with the rest of us - nothing.

The most recent large-scale recidivism study of federal prisoners by the Correctional Service of Canada dates from the mid-1990s.

"It is too bad," says researcher Jim Bonta, who conducted that study, "that CSC doesn't measure recidivism every few years or so to see if [the corrections system] is having an impact."

The power of basic dignities

Joey Zinck of Nova Scotia trafficked in hard drugs - cocaine, methamphetamine, acid. Like Jason David, he spent 20 years, off and on, in federal prison, including at Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia. By his own description, he feared nothing, in prison or on the outside. He expected one day to kill or be killed.

"What we've been taught as a rule is: Trust nobody in a suit," said the rugged 46-year-old, in an interview last winter, referring to himself and his fellow ex-cons. "If you ask for help, it's a weakness.

We always lived that law."

But then, three years into a 10year sentence, he suddenly looked in the mirror. "What did you do to yourself?" he asked.

Mr. Zinck made an appointment with a prison psychologist.

"I learned about my brain.

There's a lot of chemical imbalance with us, because we were never taught how to use the brain properly. To exercise your brain properly is to stop and think. We never, ever stopped. It was just take, take, take." Learning to stop and think before reacting "put my chemical balance in proper order."

Reaching offenders is an enormous challenge for any corrections system. Some of the obstacles: mental illness, low rates of prisoner literacy, and a lifetime of poor thinking skills only reinforced by being part of a criminal community in prison.

"Corrections is a most humane enterprise, a beautiful but challenging one," says Pierre Allard, who began his career as a Christian chaplain in a maximumsecurity prison in Quebec in 1972 and ended it in 2006 as assistant commissioner of corrections.

Years ago, his brother was murdered, and in a time of emotional crisis he turned to restorative justice. Now in his mid-70s, he travels to Rwanda to bring together perpetrators and victims of the 1994 genocide. He has never lost his belief in the human capacity for renewal and change. All people, he says, offenders included, have the same basic human need: "to be recognized, to be called by name, and to belong somewhere."

Mr. Zinck talked about the power of such basic dignities. During his early years in prison, he felt he was not a name but a number to most corrections staff. Still, he was fortunate to meet a well-educated fellow prisoner who had been the captain of an oil rig. "I used him," he recalls, "as a human book." And in fact the man brought books to Mr. Zinck from the prison library. "He'd pick out books that I could read. I couldn't even spell at the time."

Others he knew in prison, however, turned inward instead. They "got comfortable and shut the door, they shut the world out.

Took the key. Click."

And yet, Mr. Zinck said, Mr. Sampson is dead-on about job training: The most important thing the penal system can do is provide more training in the trades, and, even more specifically, one particular piece of paper: a pan-Canadian certification which allows its holder to work anywhere in the trades. "If you got papers, I can almost guarantee you'd lose about 60 per cent of your inmates."

Although Mr. Zinck worked as a drywall taper by trade, in his last stint in jail - 7½ years, during which the Parole Board rejected him twice - he came out with no such paper. That made it difficult to contribute to the support of his young daughter. "I've been out 10 years and I'm still struggling. As an ex-offender I feel I'm failing my child."

Addressing high-risk offenders with high-intensity services

Can treatment succeed with individuals so bound up, as Mr. Zinck was, in a lifetime of dysfunctional thinking, let alone those who shut out the world or those who struggle to support themselves and their families? In 1974, U.S.

researcher Robert Martinson declared, after an exhaustive review of 231 studies on the subject, that "nothing works." In the wake of that assessment, the tough-on-crime movement in the U.S. took off. (Mr. Martinson recanted in 1979: "On the basis of the evidence in our current study, I withdraw this conclusion.") Some states even abolished parole; after all, rehabilitation had been deemed scientifically unsound.

But then Canadian researchers stretched their muscles and gave life back to the notion that people can change - the foundation for parole. First, University of New Brunswick academics Paul Gendreau and Robert Ross found that treatments produced reductions in recidivism of as much as 80 per cent in studies published in the 1980s. Then, in 1990, a Canadian classic appeared on how best to prepare prisoners for life on the outside. The Psychology of Criminal Conduct, by Jim Bonta and the late Carleton University academic Don Andrews, had an influence that reached beyond Canada to Britain and the United States.

Dr. Bonta would later become the head of research for the federal Public Safety department, and retired early in 2015. "He's like a rock star in corrections," Ms. Campbell says. "Like Keith Richards. When you go abroad to the U.S., Scandinavia, Europe, you realize he's a big deal."

In person, Dr. Bonta is unassuming and very much unlike a rock star. The system has within its grasp, he believes, the ability to turn around prisoners' lives. He doesn't entirely accept the view expressed by Mr. David - that it is ultimately up to prisoners to change themselves.

"If that's all you say, you can wait a heck of a long time for a lot of people to change." He says it is the role of staff in the prisons to "create the conditions that motivate people to change, rather than blame it on the offender - 'He doesn't want to change' - which then becomes an excuse for making no effort to try to help him."

His central idea, known as Risk, Need, Responsivity, is the who, what and how of corrections:

Address high-risk offenders with high-intensity services (the lowrisk need few, if any, services); focus on the "criminogenic needs" that set offenders apart (such as substance abuse, unemployment and criminal ways of thinking); and use cognitive-behavioural approaches that are concrete and that give offenders practice in how to handle challenges in their lives.

Wherever Dr. Bonta went in Canada, government agencies that dealt with offenders told him they were applying his RNR approach. But he was skeptical: Were parole and probation officers really focusing on criminal thinking, and not simply substance abuse and jobs? "What do they talk about?" he asked. "The hockey game?" More than a decade ago, he deployed a test in Manitoba - audio-recording hundreds of sessions involving provincial probation officers (who perform a function akin to that of parole officers) and ex-offenders. Seventyeight probation officers agreed to participate. He gave extra training in his RNR principles to one group of officers, and none to a control group of officers. And he followed the offenders for two years.

For prisoners whose probation officers had received the extra training, the reconviction rate was 25 per cent. In the control group, it was almost exactly double that.

"Manitoba found that officers spending more time on surveillance and checking conditions had more recidivism; they actually made [their clients] worse.

That kind of in-your-face questioning is not a positive way to build a relationship," he says.

Soon, a handful of provinces were clamouring to get training from the feds. Swedish experts came to Canada to inquire.

Demand was heavy for the few federal researchers assigned to do the training.

The Public Safety department started backing away, protesting that it was a research unit, not a training unit.

"I used to argue that this is what the minister should be promoting, because this is exercising public leadership," Dr. Bonta says, of his efforts to convince the Harper government. But "effective treatment of offenders was of no interest to them."

A risk-averse culture across the corrections spectrum

Nearly a year after coming to power, the Liberals have yet to begin undoing their predecessors' tough-on-crime policies that filled jails at a time of falling crime rates - let alone start fixing a 20-year slide in parole rates.

The Conservatives took a hard line on parole from the beginning. Of 36 new members appointed to the parole board in their first two years in office, eight were retired police officers and 15 were former corrections staff. The government also passed laws ending early day parole for first-time non-violent federal offenders and deeming that anyone denied parole once must wait up to five years, instead of two, for another chance at early release.

"The Conservatives had a wellarticulated view that if you are an offender, that's all you are, and that's all you ever will be," says Ms. Campbell, the former head of the corrections and criminal justice directorate, echoing Jason David. She recalls challenging public safety minister Peter Van Loan when he and his chief of staff were referring to a sex offender as "the bad guy."

"Maybe he's not a bad guy, Mr. Minister. Maybe he's a good guy who did something wrong." Mr. Van Loan's response, she says, was "gales of laughter." (Mr. Van Loan declined to confirm or deny the anecdote.)

Even before the Conservatives came to power, however, a more risk-averse culture had begun to permeate the corrections system and the Parole Board, according to UBC's Prof. Jackson. "If you are working in a prison as a parole officer, you are primarily the one writing assessments for the parole board, and if you know you have bosses - both political bosses and people sitting over you in regional and national headquarters - who have an agenda to be more conservative, more risk-averse, and you have an eye on your future career advancement, that's the tone you take."

Justin Trudeau's Liberals have shown little interest in making big changes. "I don't get any sense that these issues are in the top five, or the top 10" for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, says Ms. Campbell.

But some observers, including those who work with ex-offenders, insist it is time for a massive rethink - one that might well call into question the very idea of parole as we know it. "Maybe we should go with a more structured statutory-release mechanism," says Catherine Latimer, executive director of the John Howard Society.

That is: Scrap parole, save $57- million on the annual administration of the parole board, and try something like the format used on youth offenders - for every two days served in prison, one day spent under community supervision. But would that take the onus off both prisoners and institutions to focus on rehabilitation that could improve ex-inmates' chances of success on the outside? "Whatever is motivating them or not motivating them," she says, "is not working now."

Whatever might work, there are no quick fixes. "It's like the whole system is ground down," says Anthony Doob, a professor emeritus of criminology at the University of Toronto. "If I were advising the minister on this, I'd say this is one of those areas that we should actually study properly."

Mr. Goodale declined to be interviewed for this story, as did Parole Board Chairman Harvey Cenaiko and Correctional Service Commissioner Don Head. Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Mr. Goodale, says the government will take an evidence- based approach as it reviews the past decade's changes.

"As with all criminal-justice policies, we will be guided by evidence of what works to facilitate an offender's safe and effective reintegration as law-abiding and productive members of society."

"Guided by evidence" is a shorthand way of saying the government favours rehabilitation over punishment. But favouring something and achieving it are different things.

'We have to help ourselves, but they could help us, too'

For Pierre Allard, the chaplain turned commissioner, the most important question facing prisoners upon their release is this: Will they belong to a community of friends - or of criminals? Mr. McMillan recalls that, although his birth mother turned herself around after getting out of prison - she got a master's degree in criminology, and a job at a halfway house in Toronto - things suddenly went awry. "Then, I don't know what happened in her life, she started drinking, doing crazy things, and committed suicide."

For Mr. McMillan himself, it has been an arduous road to whatever strength, wisdom and hope he has attained. "You can't let your past dictate your future," he says. "It's weird how maturity happens, and when it happens." He smiles mischievously. "Overnight!"

That was in January, a month before he became totally free of supervision. Today he is struggling somewhat, he says, but is holding down a job in landscaping, and living in Quebec with his girlfriend, to whom he is now engaged.

Joey Zinck did not fare as well. He had wanted to write a book about his experiences. He was working as a drywaller and living with his father in Spryfield, outside Halifax. Then, on May 18, Joey died. "His body shut down and that was it," says his father, Kenneth Zinck. He said he is still waiting for an autopsy report on his son's death.

As for Jason David, he made good on his plan to escape. He found new friends when he went to college in Lower Sackville. "My mind was spun. I wasn't used to that kind of work. Talking about real things in life. Not drugs. Not the price of kilos. Not the next quick score. School. Family. Getting a job. Completing the course. In a nutshell, we have to help ourselves, but they could help us, too."

He has a dream: He would like to create a help line that ex-convicts could call anywhere, any time they need a friendly, understanding voice. And it would be staffed by ex-offenders.

Though it has proven difficult as an ex-con to find work in business administration, he's getting by driving a truck for a bakery, and politely but firmly resisting the invitations from some in his former community of criminals to return to the old life. His spouse has stood by him through all the federal "bits."

"My God," he bursts out, "I have an angel!" And the rewards of his new life, such as respect from his children, are unimaginable, he says, to the person he once was.

One day one of his daughters stunned him, declaring that when she grows up, she wants to be a police officer. "Congratulations, honey," the former drug trafficker replied. "A wonderful occupation."

Sean Fine is the justice writer for The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Says Jason David, about his motivation to head to college and turn his life around: 'When your children are saying, "Daddy, the police are outside," that's pretty heartbreaking.'


Says ex-inmate Jason David, whose tattoos include one that spells out Father Forgive Me: 'You can take all the programs in the world. You still have to change yourself.'


Says former Millhaven inmate Matthew McMillan, above, who now holds a job in landscaping and lives with his girlfriend in Quebec: 'You can't let your past dictate your future.'


Kenneth Zinck sits in his Halifax home, where a portrait of his late son Joey, who had been making progress after serving time for drug trafficking, rests on the mantle.


With a global cult following, Toronto-based Soma makes some of the best bean-to-bar offerings on Earth. Owners David Castellan and Cynthia Leung aren't in it for the proceeds, Chris Nuttall-Smith writes, but for the satisfaction of seeing chocolate reach its full potential
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

David Castellan was tasting cocoa beans from his chocolate factory's roaster and he did not like how it was going.

Though one of the first beans he pulled from the batch was all bright citrus flavours and ripe red fruit, another one tasted cotton-ball dry; its flavour, if you had to describe it, was essence of Crayola crayon. As the roaster, a hulking, antique clockwork of jerry-rigged gas lines and spinning cast-iron gears, churned and juddered and blasted blue flames, Castellan kept on sampling. He was searching for the first glimmer of chocolate flavour to signal that the batch was done.

The beans were about as big around as almonds in the shell, coloured light brown, but growing darker. This single batch, the contents of two jute sacks weighing a total 120 kilograms, cost Castellan $2,000 (U.S). Sourced from a plantation in the famed northwestern Venezuelan cocoaproducing region called the Ocumare de la Costa, they were a blend of Trinitario and Criollo varieties, the latter a close cousin to the cocoa the Aztecs and Mayans once prized.

Castellan cracked another bean in his palm and brushed away the husk. Its dry, crumbly contents were mottled tan and ivory, with a faint background violet hue. The genetics of any one batch can vary widely, even when sourced, such as this one, from a single origin; each of the papaya-like pods that cocoa beans grow in can contain several different strains. The way the cocoa is handled immediately after harvest can make those differences taste even more pronounced.

This next bean was distinctly sour and funky, like warm, overripe cheese mixed with baby vomit, and not at all in a good way.

"Why do I get a feeling these weren't fermented properly?" one of Castellan's assistants said.

Castellan and his wife, an architect named Cynthia Leung, launched Soma Chocolatemaker in 2003 from a tiny retail and production space in Toronto's Distillery District. While Castellan, who had recently left his job as a high-level pastry chef, took charge of the company's chocolate-making, Leung developed its retail operations and product design, often dreaming up the next thing for Castellan to create.

In those first few years, the couple had to beg for one- and twobag lots of cocoa beans from brokers more accustomed to supplying tractor-trailer loads to the likes of Nestlé and Mars Inc.

There was just one other smallscale bean-to-bar chocolate company in North America at the time: California's Scharffen Berger, which is now owned by Hershey Co.

The couple's earliest creations were all but inedible, they admit.

Then, as now, Soma's dark chocolate bars were made from just three ingredients: top-quality cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and a bit of cocoa butter, to help regulate melt and texture. A founding principle at the company held that its chocolate should taste "true to the bean;" Soma's Madagascar bars would bear Madagascar cacao's characteristic bright raspberry and citrus high notes over a deep chocolate base, and its Venezuelans would taste strongly reminiscent of cashews and cream. (The company typically avoids cocoa beans from West Africa, where the industry relies heavily on child labour.)

That level of minimalism doesn't leave much room to hide. The first major review of their work, on an influential chocolate site called, described one Soma bar's taste as "burnt chocolate [very tannic], heavy tobacco smoke, twigs, nuts, sweaty off-odour," and its texture as "gummy struggle."

Yet through trial, error, plenty of expense and a lot of perseverance, the couple helped to pioneer an entire industry. Today, Soma's bars are cult objects among chocolate aficionados around Europe and North America, and the floor staff at the company's two Toronto retail stores struggle to keep the most soughtafter varieties - there are between 12 and 15 different single-origin dark bars of late, as well as two milk-chocolate offerings - in stock. These days, they're perennially low on Soma's 70-per-cent Porcelana, which tied at the International Chocolate Awards last fall for the best single-origin darkchocolate bar on Earth.

At $18 for 65 grams, that Porcelana bar is one of their more expensive dark chocolate bars.

Given that price, and the constant demand, you might think the couple have struck it rich. But Soma's bean-to-bar chocolate doesn't begin to pay the bills.

Every batch is an experiment Castellan is tall and pale, with floppy brown hair, a quiet voice and a shy smile. If the terms "bean-to-bar" and "craft" put you in mind of some twee gentleman artisan in a worsted three-piece suit and ostrich-leather apron, however, you've got him all wrong. He wears a cotton-poly blend, Dickies-brand work shirt most days. The first time I met him for this story, in January, he had machine oil under his nails.

Castellan and his most trusted chocolate-making staff spend most of their time at manual labour: sorting through bags of cocoa beans for the likes of cigarette butts and plastic flotsam, and tinkering with rickety machines.

The beans become bars in a converted clothing factory in Toronto's west end. Apart from that enormous roaster, which was designed in the 1890s, the facility's bean-processing room, the first stop in the chocolate-making process, contains a vibrating sorting table set on four giant metal springs, a vintage 1960s contraption for finding and removing stones, a commercial steam oven, a homemade hoist for lifting sacks full of beans, a pair of cyclone dust collectors for sucking up airborne cocoa chaff and an SUV-sized antique winnower, for removing the shells from roasted beans, salvaged from a former industrial chocolate factory in Novara, Italy.

That equipment is only background noise when all goes right.

The first thing that hits you is the smell of the place. The air here can hang heavy with the scent of nuts and sour cherries, of dark, bitter chocolate, baked ham, bourbon, baby Aspirin, pineapple, raisins, blackstrap molasses and even banana bread, all common flavours in top-grade beans. Yet, every Soma batch is an experiment - this is one of the first rules of chocolate-making at the company. Today, the space smelled mostly of unwashed feet.

Castellan finally pulled a lever to stop the roasting, and 120 kilograms of beans clattered into a hopper near the floor. He leaned over and picked one up, cracked it open and popped it onto his tongue. A couple of seconds later, he'd crossed the room in what looked like a panicked run, and was spitting into a garbage can.

What had he tasted? Crayon?

Baby vomit?

"Javex," Castellan said.

Craft chocolate sticker shock Here's another rule of craft chocolate-making - one that often surprises people outside the industry. The better the chocolate, the less money you make.

"Chocolate has a tendency to make people not think or act rationally," Colin Gasko, the founder of Rogue Chocolatier, in Three Rivers, Mass., said on the phone a few months ago. "People assume that because we're all batshit and have been doing this for a decade that somehow it's been, like, a fun process, and that we've made a bunch of money. And that's not usually the case."

Gasko should know. Rogue's bars, which he first started selling in 2007, are typically lauded by the fine-chocolate world's few respected critics. Gasko's handiwork, which he crafts from the likes of rare, wild cocoa foraged in the Amazon basin, or with beans from tiny Honduran cocoa gene banks, often sells out in prerelease, a little like first-growth Burgundy futures. That award that Soma won last fall for the world's best single-origin darkchocolate bar? They shared the prize with one of Gasko's creations.

Yet, the chocolate maker, who recently got married and has a toddler, is hardly rolling in the fruits of his renown. When I asked him whether he's able to support his family by making chocolate, he paused for a few seconds, before answering, "No. Ah, no."

"I live with my parents," he said.

Another long pause.

"Yeah. I feel bad because I don't know what else to say. It just bums people out when they start asking these business questions."

Though hardly so dire, the situation at Soma is not entirely different. Notwithstanding the time and love that Castellan and Leung pour into their bean-to-bar offerings, most North Americans don't wander into chocolate stores in search of chocolate. They come for chocolates. And so the vast bulk of Soma's sales, and profits - the capital that the company constantly reinvests in chocolatemaking machinery - are derived from Soma's confectionery lines: its Easter eggs and Valentine's Day assorted boxes, its buttercaramel pralines and its truffles, its spiced hot-chocolate mixes, moulded chocolate tree branches and custom wedding-favour collections. Unlike the company's dark chocolate bars, many of those confections contain just a small proportion of Soma-made chocolate, if any at all (it varies seasonally), relying heavily on a custom blend of high-grade European-sourced chocolate, called couverture, instead.

Mark Christian, an influential New York-based writer and critic who runs C-spot, that chocolate website that was so tough on Soma's early work, calls bean-tobar chocolate "the poor orphan in the specialty world."

"You look at it compared to caviar, Champagne, single malt, even the microbrews," Christian says. "Chocolate's, come on, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 bucks, and people are getting sticker shock."

Craft chocolate's new-found ubiquity is at least partly to blame for that price pressure. In the years since Castellan's first fumbled experiments, the cottage industry that he and Leung helped found is nearly as common around North America's major centres as high-end butcher shops. Here in Canada, there are at least 29 bean-to-bar makers, according to Lisabeth Flanagan, a Manitoulin Island chocolatier and chocolate blogger. Vancouver and the B.C. Lower Mainland have four craft chocolate makers by her count. Winnipeg has two, Calgary has one, Toronto has four (with another seven spread throughout Ontario), and there are another four, at least, in Quebec. Almost all of those are less than five years old.

"There's probably 20 new makers entering the [North American] market in a year," said Scott Craig, a respected, Texas-based chocolate blogger whose website,, is required reading within the industry. "None of them are great and maybe only a couple of them are even halfway decent."

The bulk of those upstarts make grainy, chewy, off-flavoured, or otherwise mediocre bars from undistinguished cocoa, which they source for as little as $5 to $10 a kilogram, compared with the $50 that the likes of Gasko and Castellan lay out for their best beans. (To be sure, there are notable exceptions: Hummingbird Chocolate Maker, based in Almonte, Ont., near Ottawa, won top prize this summer at the British-based Academy of Chocolate Awards; Palette de Bine, from Mont-Tremblant, Que., also won gold.)

And most of those companies use the relatively cheap, off-theshelf chocolate machines called CocoaTowns for processing - onepot cooking, effectively.

"I could start a chocolate company right now," said Eagranie Yuh, a Vancouver-based pastry chef turned chocolate educator; she runs tasting seminars and is the author of The Chocolate Tasting Kit. "I could go order a CocoaTown online and I'd be ready to go. To get a commercial product, it would take me maybe a year.

But to get a good commercial product? Five, 10 years for sure."

Achieving the sort of results that Soma does - chocolate that tastes true to the bean and also unambiguously delicious, with smooth, luxurious texture and a slow, even melt - is with few exceptions far more time - and capital-intensive. Soma's moulding line alone, which turns tempered chocolate into glossy, blemishfree bars that snap crisply as you bite them, cost 200,000 (almost $300,000), plus the expense of flying in a pair of installers from Turin, Italy.

Worse still, many self-described craft chocolate lovers haven't

learned to distinguish between the great, the mediocre and the abominable: The industry is far too new. "When they're facing a wall of all these options, man, they're stupefied," C-spot's Christian said.

And so great beans, expensive equipment and the quest for top quality have become competitive disadvantages. Or as Texas blogger Craig put it, "It's like spending a bunch of time with tweezers, fussing over the presentation of a bowl of dog food for your schnauzer, you know? He's just going to eat it. He doesn't care."

Does taste really matter, anyway?

In spite of the awards, Soma is still little-known outside the finechocolate industry. Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Mast Brothers, by contrast, hasn't won any notable chocolate-making awards to speak of, but just about everybody knows who the Mast brothers are.

Rick and Michael Mast began making bars in their Brooklyn apartment in 2007, selling them at flea markets, wrapped in eyepopping designer paper that they sourced in Florence, Italy. The brothers showed an almost limitless capacity for self-promotion and expansion - they were the twee gentleman artisans personified, quickly becoming known for their voluminous red beards.

They took on major wholesale customers, published a wellreceived cookbook (the chef Thomas Keller wrote the foreward), and opened boutique shops in Brooklyn and London, complete with glassed-in production areas, where you could see the banks of CocoaTown machines on display.

Early last year, though, the Mast brothers mythology began to crumble like a shelf-aged drugstore Lindt bar, with an article published in Slate and titled Chocolate Experts Hate Mast Brothers.

The story brought to light some of the long-standing complaints about the Masts' work: the bars' laughably shoddy tempering and mealy textures, the off-flavours, the lack of balance. "There are defects in every bar, and the chocolate is bad," one wellknown chocolate expert said. The article noted that nearly every specialty chocolate shop in North America, including Montreal's La Tablette de Miss Choco, refused to stock the company's products.

For those who follow the industry, the story bore troubling similarities to that of Noka chocolate, founded at the same time as Soma, coincidentally by another Toronto-area couple. In the mid-2000s, Noka, with the help of an ever-credulous international food press, became the biggest name in so-called luxury chocolate, selling their wares for as much as $2,000 a pound - wares they'd hardly had a hand in making.

The couple had been remelting European couverture and pouring into their own moulds, while letting their customers believe they'd manufactured it from the bean. It took Craig, of, to pull that curtain back.

Craig's blockbuster report, published on his website in 2006, all but ended Noka's free ride.

Last December, he set his sights on Mast Brothers, with a meticulously reported four-part series accusing the company of chocolate fraud. (Craig, who has an unrelated day job, is fine chocolate's Woodward, and also its Bernstein.)

In the Mast brothers' early years - the period when they took every opportunity to present themselves as path-breaking, brook-no-compromises artisans - the pair snuck remelted couverture into their supposedly artisanal, scratch-made product line, Craig alleged. The evidence he marshalled didn't leave much room for doubt.

"Rick and Michael Mast were the Milli Vanilli of chocolate," he wrote.

The brothers can console themselves with the stacks of money that stream into their company unabated. "I don't think the Masts have suffered at all because of the scandal," said Yuh, the chocolate educator.

"It's just a speed bump," C-spot's Christian said. This past spring, the company opened a 6,000-square-foot factory and retail space in downtown Los Angeles.

"The Mast brothers are it! Nobody's even in their rear-view when it comes to making the dime," Christian said.

Their secret? Mast is the antiSoma.

"They get it: It ain't about the chocolate, man," Christian said.

"You can hang a chocolate shingle anywhere and consumers will react. In some ways taste doesn't matter. That's what the Mast brothers figured out: Taste doesn't matter to the business bottom line."

Profits vs. purity: Soma's next big play The morning after that disastrous roasting session - the one with the Javex-flavoured taste test - Castellan and Chris Janosi, an assistant chocolate maker, poured the beans into plastic construction pails and lugged them into Soma's refining space.

The equipment here, humming away along one wall, looked a good century or two more advanced than in the factory's roasting room.

Castellan's first job that morning was to grind the beans into cocoa liquor: the bitter, shelf-stable sludge that's the foundation of any good chocolate. It would be his first chance to get a proper taste of how the batch had done.

Chocolate-making is often compared to wine-making, because ideally the best examples from both disciplines are faithful expressions of a single agricultural product. Yet, while vintners can walk out their winery doors to tend and harvest their own grapes, Castellan doesn't have that opportunity. Cocoa grows only in a narrow tropical band around the equator, and there's no cost-effective way to ship it fresh in its heavy pods. "You have to rely on sources that are very far away," he said.

By the time the beans get to Soma's factory, they've been scooped from their pods, fermented in wooden vats and then left to dry in the sun, most typically. Those first, faraway steps - the harvest, ferment and drying - largely dictate how the chocolate will taste. But with the right equipment and a bit of patience, a skilled chocolate maker can manage a trick or two.

As the cocoa liquor slumped from the grinder's spigot into a stainless steel pan, Castellan passed a spoon through the stream. The texture was chalky and astringent, and the taste acidic. I got that sour cheese flavour, mostly, the same one we smelled and tasted during roasting, but with an obvious deepchocolate undercurrent. And there were now other, unexpected notes. "There is that sort of old ashtray taste at the end that I'm not sure about," Castellan said.

Still, he was optimistic. Allowed to sit overnight and ground into a single mass, those beans had become at least slightly less godawful. He might even be able to smooth away most of the rough edges with the factory's conche, a machine that gently heats and aerates, allowing volatile acids and off-flavours to blow away. Either way, it's not like the company was desperate for another batch. Along the wall opposite those machines, the floor-to-ceiling shelves were stacked with Castellan's efforts: plastic-wrapped, 20-pound slabs of cocoa liquor, 120 of them, at least, from a dozen different origins. Another room, adjacent to the company's bar-moulding line, was crammed with plasticwrapped chocolate bricks and buckets of chocolate pieces. All told, the company had enough on hand this summer to get through months of low-season demand.

Demand, though, is a nebulous concept around Soma's factory, as are such hard-nosed business principles as profit, loss, shrinkage and margin. The company's bean-to-bar line has always been a passion project, mostly, and not a profit centre. And in any case, Leung and Castellan are as unlike your average world-beating business people as I've ever met.

Soma has never hired a publicist or issued a single press release. ("I don't even know how," Leung said. "Like, who do you write that to? I have no idea.") Until recently, their company had never taken a single bank loan; they perpetually save and reinvest Soma's revenue instead. The couple routinely declines inquiries from would-be distributors who might take the Soma brand international. They have no interest in pursuing, or accepting, large retail accounts.

"We've just been quietly doing our own thing," Leung said one day late this winter.

Another time, she told me, "We're so small that we can go from sitting in bed, coming up with something new, and then getting it out within three weeks.

If we were big, how would we do that?" Given the acclaim they've earned, many of their goals seem damnably small.

But they do have one big play in the works - one that in the next six to 12 months should triple the amount of from-the-bean chocolate Soma makes.

Last fall, Leung and Castellan bought a 10,000-square-foot industrial building in Toronto's Brockton Village neighbourhood, near Bloor and Dufferin Streets.

They plan to rent out half, and are converting the other half into the company's main factory as well as a retail and educational space. Leung designed the facility so the public can wander through to see the entire chocolate-making process from behind glass partitions. And the couple are overbuilding everything: storage, capacity, even the electrical circuits.

"Whatever we think we need right now, we're tripling or quadrupling it," Leung said.

Are they going the way of Mast Brothers, aiming at long last for world chocolate domination? Not exactly, as it turns out.

When they move into that space, Castellan and Leung plan to take their company backward, to correct a reality that's been bugging them for 13 years.

They plan to replace the European couverture Soma uses in its confectionery lines with chocolate that Soma makes itself, from the bean. In low season, they're already there, but though the peak Christmas-through-Easter period, the company still has a long way to go.

Doing so would put them in extremely rarefied company; as a rule, chocolatiers in North America, no matter how renowned, buy their main ingredient. The project will also eat sharply into Soma's margins. The European chocolate giants make good, consistent couverture far more cheaply than Soma can.

And the switch will force Castellan to radically revise his approach to much of the company's chocolate-making.

"Up until now the focus was on these 70-per-cent batches that were totally experimental, and we could mess around with roasts and tweak this and that. And if it came out great, it was amazing," he said. "But the real work is making a consistent batch of chocolate every time. That's more an industrial focus and it's a little odd for us."

As for the payoff, it's going to be karmic, mostly; it's doubtful that most of Soma's confectionery customers will ever know or care where the chocolate in their almond toffee clusters comes from.

"Well, we're chocolate makers, right?" Castellan said when I asked why they'd bother. "That's the most interesting part of what we do. I don't know that people will appreciate it that much, but it will feel good to us."

Melt-in-your-mouth science My last time at Soma's factory, Leung and Castellan were sampling a few of their own most recent experiments, including a new, single-origin milk bar that tasted richly of dulce de leche, and for Soma's confections, a raspberry-and-cocoa-butter concoction that was simultaneously so voluptuously creamy and so fresh-tasting that I could have eaten it by the pound.

Leung set a bar called Black Science Ocumare on the table and snapped it into pieces. "The Javex beans," Castellan said.

Those off-flavours, the bleach, the stinky cheese, the baby vomit and the wax crayon, had receded so they were just a faraway whisper, and a deep, reverberating chocolate base remained, with top notes of pepper, tobacco, well-steeped tea and back-ofthroat spice.

Castellan didn't seem to love it, and as he and I were talking, I overheard Janosi, the assistant chocolate maker, say it was harsher-tasting than he'd like.

He had a point. It didn't have the easy fruit-forwardness of a Madagascar, the bananas and bourbon accent of Soma's Jamaica, or the cashews and cream complexity of the Porcelana. It was, however, an excellent representation of the beans they'd used. And above all else, the chocolate was delicious.

The flavours shifted and evolved as the pieces melted: tightly knit fats and sugars, fruity acids and esthers, complex phenols, dienals, cannabinoids and a few hundred other supervolatile molecules, all bound in a single, irresistibly tasty substance that started life in a pod on a tree in a cocoa forest halfway around the globe.

"It's super-interesting," I told Castellan, my mouth full.

"I'm proud of it," he answered.

"That's the journey, man."

1 BEANS When cocoa beans arrive at Soma's factory, they've been plucked from the thick, papaya-like pods they grow in, carefully fermented and then (typically) dried in the sun. The company works exclusively with top-grade 'flavour beans,' as opposed to the commodity beans most industrial chocolate companies use.

2 QUALITY CONTROL David Castellan often uses a guillotine - it works exactly the way you'd think - to inspect cocoa samples for proper fermentation, as well as for insect damage. 'It's better when you find them dead,' he says.

3 SORTING & CLEANING Chocolate-making assistant Chris Janosi sorts a bag of beans on Soma's vibrating table, carefully inspecting for flotsam. Over the years, they've found everything from bits of coral to cigarette butts, shards of circuit board and intact lizard skulls.

4 ROASTING Soma's German-built roaster was designed in the 1890s, but Castellan has modernized it at least somewhat. Thanks to a series of sensors installed around the machine, he can track each batch's time and temperature data in a specialized app. When cocoa is properly roasted, it tastes at least slightly chocolatey.

5 WINNOWING Soma's winnower, salvaged from a Lindt factory in Italy, cracks and shells the beans, and sorts them by size.

6 GRINDING Freshly ground cocoa beans, called cocoa liquor, taste sludgy, bitter and acidic, with an often puckery, astringent texture.

7 COCOA LIQUOR Soma's cocoa liquor stockpile. The fats in cocoa are remarkably shelf-stable; if need be, the liquor can sit here for more than a year.

8 MILLING The ball mill refines coarse cocoa liquor, organic cane sugar and cocoa butter by churning them through hundreds of steel ball bearings. The process turns the liquid chocolate silky smooth.

9 CONCHING The conche is a chocolate maker's first aid kit: by heating and aerating freshly made chocolate, it allows acids and off-flavours to dissipate. Too much conching, though, makes for insipid eating.

10 AGING Castellan and Cynthia Leung age their chocolate for anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. Nobody knows exactly how and why aging works, but most in the industry agree it improves dark chocolate's flavour.

11 TEMPERING Careful tempering aligns the fats in chocolate, giving bars and bonbons a glossy, unblemished surface and noticeable snap when you bite in.

12 BARRING The barring line squirts perfectly tempered chocolate into custom bar moulds that Leung designs, before vibrating them to remove air bubbles, and then quickly cooling the newly formed bars.

Associated Graphic

Cynthia Leung and David Castellan in the converted clothing factory where Soma chocolate is made.



Meet Andrew Bevan, the most powerful political strategist in Ontario. You probably don't know him, but he changed the future of transit in Toronto. Now the Liberals need him to right their course, Adrian Morrow writes
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

As Ontario Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivered a Speech from the Throne on Monday, one person seemed to pay closer attention than anyone else in the room.

Sitting in the front row of the makeshift seating filling the floor of the Ontario legislature, the bespectacled man with the hulking 6-foot-1 frame and shaved head had good reason to hang on every word: He is counting on the address for political salvation.

Andrew Bevan, Premier Kathleen Wynne's chief of staff and principal secretary, is the most powerful person in Ontario most people have never heard of.

Ms. Wynne's confidant for some 15 years, the English-born 49year-old is at the centre of every piece of her ambitious agenda.

He has guided the Premier's $29billion transit expansion plan, overseen a wide-ranging strategy to fight climate change and worked on an expansion of the province's pension system.

But along the way, as he has helped Ms. Wynne with her grander ambitions, more day-today concerns have gotten away from them. A series of ethical imbroglios - culminating in a scandal over the provincial Liberals' cash-for-access fundraising system - and pocketbook pain, particularly over the province's high electricity rates, have conspired to drive down the government's poll numbers, costing them a crucial Scarborough byelection earlier this month and threatening their re-election in 20 months' time.

Hence the speech, signalling a government reset including a subsidy for hydro customers, a campaign-finance crackdown and new daycare spaces.

For Mr. Bevan, this is a critical moment. He's learned the hard way the political cost of losing touch with reality while getting caught up in big-picture policy adventures.

His previous high-water mark was as chief of staff to Stéphane Dion during the latter's stint as federal Liberal leader nearly a decade ago. Mr. Bevan helped craft Mr. Dion's signature Green Shift climate plan, only to watch his boss flounder as he ran up against an electorate more worried about day-to-day concerns in the face of a shaky economy.

Today, Mr. Bevan is the sort of aide who can guide a roomful of bureaucrats in mapping out a plan to electrify the GO commuter-train network one day, then work behind closed doors with Rob Ford's office the next to kill a light-rail line to win a by-election.

It helps that he has stayed firmly in the background. While he may be all-powerful in the corridors of Queen's Park, you won't find Mr. Bevan on televised political roundtables or arguing with pundits on Twitter.

Those who have worked closely with him describe a man unusually easygoing for a high-powered political aide. But his amiable personality belies an intense work ethic and a desire to be directly involved in virtually every one of the government's files - a trait he shares with Ms. Wynne.

The stakes have never been higher for him. Implement Ms. Wynne's agenda and see her reelected in 2018, and he will have left an indelible mark on the country. Fail, and he could watch another government erase his legacy and that of the Premier he serves.

From rugby fields to halls of power On the rugby pitch at Appleby College, a private boarding school in Oakville, the teenaged Mr. Bevan stood out as much for his courteous demeanour as his rough-and-tumble play.

A small, slim, 13-year-old when he arrived at Appleby in 1980, shortly after moving from Hampshire in southern England with his mother and younger brother, he started as a back before his growing physical heft allowed him to claim a place in the scrum. By the time he graduated five years later, he had moved up to the punishing, physical role of No. 8.

"He always epitomized to me the spirit of the game. Play very aggressively and tackle wholeheartedly - then leap back to your feet, help the opposing player up and carry on with the game," recalls Aran O'Carroll, who was two years behind Mr. Bevan. "A lot of the older kids in high school were superintimidating and would take the mickey out of younger kids, but Andrew was never really like that. He was always a total gentleman."

His best friend at school, Rod Taylor, remembers that Mr. Bevan's left-of-centre political views were already formed. The pair often wandered down to the lake after dinner to hash out the issues of the day.

"He was very political. We were at opposite ends of the spectrum - he was very liberal, I'm conservative," he says. "From Grade 9 all the way up through 13, we would have heated discussions."

After finishing at Appleby in 1985, Mr. Bevan moved on to political science at the University of Toronto. In his early postuniversity years, he worked odd jobs in construction and tended bar at The Fireplace, a watering hole on Toronto's Jarvis Street, while looking for a way to get into politics.

Mr. Bevan's break came in 1993, when he signed up to volunteer for John Godfrey, the Liberal candidate in the federal Toronto riding of Don Valley West. He arrived with a resumé, complete with two references, for the unglamorous and unpaid job of knocking on doors and pounding in lawn signs.

"He's just one of those quietly efficient people and doesn't make a lot of noise, doesn't say more than he needs to, but is so well-organized," Mr. Godfrey says. "He imperceptibly rose through the ranks to become deputy campaign manager."

When Mr. Godfrey won, he hired Mr. Bevan as his constituency assistant. The job mostly involved solving constituents' day-to-day problems and building the party's organization in the riding. Occasionally, it also brought the chance to work on larger files: In the summer of 2002, for instance, he helped Mr. Godfrey organize a successful caucus petition to get then-prime minister Jean Chrétien to ratify the Kyoto Accord.

During one local campaign - an unsuccessful 1999 bid by Paul Davidson for the provincial equivalent of Mr. Godfrey's seat - Mr. Bevan became friends with a particularly enthusiastic volunteer: an education activist named Kathleen Wynne. In the next election Ms. Wynne, by then a school trustee, sought the seat herself and asked Mr. Bevan to work on her campaign. She won in a landslide as Dalton McGuinty's Liberals swept to power.

In 2004, then-prime minister Paul Martin elevated Mr. Godfrey to cabinet as Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities.

Mr. Godfrey brought Mr. Bevan to Ottawa to run his ministerial office.

Jane Karwat, chief of staff to Toronto's then-mayor David Miller, remembers Mr. Godfrey and Mr. Bevan as responsive and "very easy to work with" - a contrast with some federal politicians who see municipal governments as trivial at best and a nuisance at worst.

"You could go to them and say, 'This is what we want to do, this is why we want to do it and can you help?' They were always very approachable," she says.

This taste of power was brief.

The hung Parliament lasted just 18 months, and the subsequent election brought Stephen Harper's Conservatives to office.

Mr. Bevan joined the leadership campaign of Stéphane Dion, who ran on a green-tinged platform.

One of Mr. Bevan's roles was as liaison with leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy's camp, a relationship vital to the convention deal that saw Mr. Kennedy bring his support to Mr. Dion. Mr. Dion subsequently appointed Mr. Bevan chief of staff.

At first, Mr. Dion says, some veterans were skeptical of his decision to put a relatively inexperienced staffer in charge, but Mr. Bevan's even-tempered style won them over.

"He was very professional, very competent, calm, he had a strong sense of team spirit ... he imposed himself with his own style, without antagonizing anyone," Mr. Dion says. "When he started, I had a senior Liberal who told me, 'Who is this guy?

He's a junior, what are you doing with him?' By the end, nobody was saying that."

The job also quenched Mr. Bevan's thirst for hefty policy, as he got to work on the Green Shift, Mr. Dion's marquee environmental program that included a carbon tax.

But Mr. Bevan's career high quickly crashed. In the 2008 federal election, an electorate worried by a looming recession had little time for such big-picture goals - particularly if they included more taxes. The Liberals were decimated.

How much responsibility Mr. Bevan bears for Mr. Dion's failure is a matter of debate. Some insiders say Mr. Bevan was largely sidelined during the election, and Mr. Dion and his hired campaign team disregarded his advice to put less emphasis on the Green Shift on the stump - a version of events Mr. Dion does not dispute. Nevertheless, Mr. Bevan was Mr. Dion's policy guru and ultimately failed to restrain his boss from running a disastrous campaign.

What Mr. Dion remembers most about Mr. Bevan in that election has nothing to do with tactics or policy. Instead, he says, the memory that stands out most is how Mr. Bevan offered moral support at the nadir of the campaign: During an infamous interview with CTV in Halifax, Mr. Dion struggled to understand a grammatically incorrect question about the economy. He twice asked for the question to be repeated, and viewers watched him stumble through two wince-inducing false starts.

"I was really upset. It was five days before the vote, and it had a disastrous effect on us. Andrew told me: 'Stéphane, it's because you always want to understand the question. Other politicians don't do that, they answer whatever they want no matter what they're asked, but you want to understand,' " Mr. Dion recalls.

"He had a strong sense of psychology. He knew me very well and he was able to analyze what was happening and give me advice about myself."

After Mr. Dion's fall, Mr. Bevan went first to Sustainable Prosperity, an environmental think tank at the University of Ottawa, then to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, a partnership between environmental groups and forestry companies that runs conservation programs.

But Mr. Bevan didn't stay out of the political game for long. He kept in touch with Ms. Wynne over the years and, when Mr. McGuinty announced his resignation in October, 2012, he was the first person she called to discuss a run for her departing boss's job.

For the next three months, he served as a strategic adviser on her come-from-behind bid, shaping policy and communications.

Mr. Bevan also helped Ms. Wynne craft her crucial convention speech - a rhetorical barn-burner that helped win over other candidates' delegates and clinch her victory. Mr. Bevan followed her into the Premier's office as principal secretary.

The Liberal linchpin at Queen's Park Kathleen Wynne describes herself as an "activist" politician - someone who believes in the power of government to do big things, and has a lot of ideas on what those should be. Mr. Bevan is involved at every step, the details guy who must make her ideas work and push them through the system. So in tune is he with Ms. Wynne's thinking that some insiders refer to him as "the Premier whisperer," and joke that the two "share a brain."

On a typical day, Mr. Bevan wakes up at the Riverdale home he shares with his partner, municipal civil servant Melissa Armstrong, and their six-year-old son.

The first item on his agenda is a meeting or telephone call between Ms. Wynne, Mr. Bevan and four other top advisers: deputy principal secretary Karim Bardeesy, deputy chief of staff Patricia Sorbara, communications director Rebecca MacKenzie and David Herle, the Liberals' pollster and chief electoral strategist. This is followed by an 8:30 meeting of senior staff.

Many of Mr. Bevan's days include a "four-corners meeting," involving some 40 people from Ms. Wynne's political staff, a minister's advisers and bureaucrats from both Cabinet Office and a ministry. They gather in Room 6501 of the Whitney Block, the art-deco provincial office building across the street from the legislature, to sort out how a policy will move forward. Mr. Bevan sits at the end of the table as civil servants explain the details of a complicated project, such as electrifying a line of the GO regional rail network.

"The officials come and say, 'You can't do that, it's going to cost this much, or the tracks aren't available,' but he always brings it back to: 'What is our commitment? Why are we doing this?' And he steers the officials back in the right direction," says one Liberal insider.

Mr. Bevan also meets weekly with all ministerial chiefs of staff to issue marching orders.

But he frequently likes to operate outside these official structures, kicking around ideas with policy staff, either in informal meetings or over e-mail. Nearly everyone who has dealt with him regularly, from staffers to stakeholders, says he is hyper-responsive on e-mail, typically replying within minutes. And cabinet ministers often come to see him for help pushing their policies forward.

"A lot of people go to Andrew to have a conversation about files that they're working on. So Andrew really does have an open-door policy," Deputy Premier Deb Matthews says.

Much of Mr. Bevan's job also involves dousing fires. He will often be in his office working on a file when someone rushes in to inform him of a salvo from the opposition or an unfavourable breaking news story, insiders say.

Mr. Bevan stops what he is doing, formulates the government's response to the problem in a matter of minutes and gives orders on how to deal with it, then turns back to what he was working on before.

Several people in government say the 2014 budget showed the height of Mr. Bevan's skill.

The Liberals knew they were unlikely to get another spending plan through a fractious minority Parliament. Mr. Bevan's job was to take the government's long list of policies and shape them into a budget that could double as a campaign platform and serve as a blueprint for the next term.

He put together a comprehensive package, with a plan for building transit; a $2.5-billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund; and the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, designed to supplement CPP for the roughly four million Ontarians without workplace pensions.

Mr. Herle credits Mr. Bevan with melding it into a single package and driving it through a civil service which, he says, had little appetite to put in so much work for a government that might not be re-elected.

"For Andrew to have delivered that budget out of the system - he's somebody who understands what has to happen politically, and what has to happen in policy terms," he says. "I don't actually know anybody else that could have done it."

For all his big-picture policy smarts, however, Mr. Bevan has also evinced a calculating, cynical streak. Nowhere was this more evident than in the politically expeditious deal he cut on the Scarborough subway.

In early 2012, Toronto City Council and the province agreed to replace the aging Scarborough Rapid Transit train with a new light-rail line. Then-mayor Rob Ford opposed the move, arguing for a subway extension instead.

Over the course of the next few months, several city councillors who had voted for the LRT changed their minds and started pushing for the more expensive subway, too.

At first, Queen's Park refused to change plans, reasoning that if the province allowed the city to cancel transit projects on a whim, nothing would ever get built.

Then, Liberal MPP Margarett Best resigned her Scarborough seat, setting up a by-election in the summer of 2013. The Progressive Conservative opposition made the subway a wedge issue.

So Mr. Bevan plotted with Mr. Ford's chief of staff, Earl Provost, to pull off an about-face, sources with knowledge of the discussions say: The province would agree to cancel the LRT and promise a subway extension instead, but city council had to give them political cover by first voting in favour of the move.

This would allow Ms. Wynne to spin her sudden change in policy as an act of listening to a local council. It worked.

The manoeuvring allowed Liberal candidate Mitzie Hunter to ride to victory as a self-styled "subway champion" and let Mr. Ford claim a badly needed win in his flagging mayoralty.

But the fallout has been brutal: Three years later, the price tag for the subway extension has ballooned to $3-billion, even as planners have cut back its proposed length and reduced it to just one stop. To many transit experts and urbanists, the project is a waste of money that typifies the city's haphazard, politically motivated planning.

Low polls and high stakes Listening to the Throne Speech, Mr. Bevan has never been more powerful. At the start of this year, Tom Teahen, a Queen's Park veteran who served as Ms. Wynne's chief of staff for her first three years in office, left for a job as CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Ms. Wynne gave Mr. Bevan the job on top of his principal secretary role.

In addition to his previous duties - steering policy, communications and issues management - he is now also in charge of administrative matters: Hiring and firing staff, handling caucus and managing the logistics of the Premier's schedule.

The expansion of Mr. Bevan's powers is certain to further stoke criticism from some insiders of his hands-on style.

"There's so much stuff that goes through him, it just becomes a bottleneck," says a Liberal source who has worked closely with him. "Every policy thing goes through him. Every communications thing. No matter how smart you are, you have a finite amount of time."

And the risk of losing it all has never been greater. Most polls put the Liberals a full 10 points behind the PCs. And just 11 days before the Throne Speech, the Liberals lost a by-election in Scarborough-Rouge River, a seat they had held for 17 years, after the Tories successfully hammered them over high electricity prices.

On some days, it seems the government is grappling with a never-ending series of crises.

The Liberals' privatization of electricity utility Hydro One has proven unpopular, with polls showing between 60 and 80 per cent of Ontarians opposed to privatization, and the NDP and unions stoking public furor with an anti-sell-off campaign.

Ethics controversies - over the alleged bribery of a Liberal candidate in a Sudbury by-election and a campaign-finance system in which companies and lobbyists paid thousands of dollars for face time with Ms. Wynne and her cabinet - have consumed much of the government's time and energy.

Perhaps his highest-stakes test - and the one by which Mr. Bevan himself will likely evaluate his success - is the government's plan to battle carbon emissions.

The policy itself is the most comprehensive environmental program in Ontario history, with a cap-and-trade system, incentives for electric cars and policies to switch homes and buildings from natural gas to solar and geothermal heating.

Adding to the difficulty of implementing such a massive strategy has been the unpredictability of Environment Minister Glen Murray. He has rubbed some cabinet colleagues the wrong way by not listening to their input. After a fire-breathing speech to the Empire Club last spring in which he chastised the auto industry for not doing enough to build electric cars and mused about shutting down nuclear plants, Mr. Bevan gave Mr. Murray a stern talking-to, sources say, and obliged him to sign a letter to the auto industry reassuring them the government wouldn't come after them under the climate plan.

But the rollout of the policy showed Mr. Bevan had learned the lessons of his stint with Mr. Dion: The Liberals made no mention of carbon pricing during the 2014 election, and chose capand-trade over a direct carbon tax. Unlike a carbon tax, which is a straightforward charge on consumers, cap-and-trade imposes costs on businesses, which then pass them down to customers in an often hard-to-trace way.

"That was influenced by him and his experience getting beaten down by the Green Shift - anything that's a consumer-visible tax is scary," said one insider with knowledge of Mr. Bevan's thinking.

These dual imperatives of policy and politics were also evident in the Throne Speech. The highminded rhetoric was still there - government as a "force for good in all our lives" - but the headline items were distinctly tangible and direct. An 8-per-cent cut to electricity bills; more childcare spaces; shorter waiting times for patients to see a medical specialist.

"The choices your government has made to develop its balanced plan are working," Ms. Dowdeswell said. "A renewed sense of energy and confidence can be felt."

As one of the people who helped write those words sat less than 10 metres away, listening closely to every last one of them, it was hard to escape the feeling that he's hoping they apply not only to the province, but to himself, too.

Associated Graphic

Andrew Bevan, right, Premier Kathleen Wynne's chief of staff and principal secretary, listens as the Premier talks to Toronto Mayor John Tory, left, and an aide at Queen's Park on Sept. 7.


Andrew Bevan, Premier Kathleen Wynne's chief of staff, stands on guard for the Wynne government's agenda at Queen's Park.


Stéphane Dion, right, consults with then-senior adviser Andrew Bevan in 2008.


Joanna Slater travels to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where anti-immigrant anger stoked by economic despair has made Donald Trump the man to beat in November
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon in August, dozens of Donald Trump supporters are mingling under a white tent off a busy road in Clarks Summit, Pa. The mood is buoyant: A new campaign office is about to open next door and a musician is playing Jerry Lee Lewis tunes on an electric keyboard.

Eric Trump, the billionaire's youngest son, arrives to perform ribbon-cutting duties. He poses for endless selfies, then addresses the crowd. "It's horrible what's happening out there," he asserts. He then elaborates: Obamacare is a disaster, migrants are streaming across the border, veterans are neglected, and corruption in government is beyond belief.

"Starting with Hillary!" yells out a middle-aged woman standing next to me. "Lock her up!"

Sitting in the audience is Lynette Villano, a 70-year-old grandmother who has lived her entire life in nearby Luzerne County, just south of the campaign office. A square-shaped area spanning the Susquehanna River, Luzerne County earned an unusual distinction during the primary season. It was here that Donald Trump captured the highest proportion of the vote - 77.4 per cent - of any county in America before clinching the Republican nomination.

"If you watch the show Happy Days, that's the Luzerne County I grew up in," says Ms. Villano, sitting in a folding chair after the campaign event concludes. As a child, she lived with her grandparents on a street full of German immigrants. Among seven people, they had only one bathroom and one television, but they felt fortunate. Families were close and everyone went to church.

Now, "it just seems like everything is a mess," she says. There aren't jobs to keep young people in the area, and race relations feel worse than they ever were, she says. Newcomers are no longer the same, she believes: The immigrants of her childhood "all came legally," she says. "They learned our way, they didn't come here to change our country."

This small county, known for its green rolling hills and proud industrial past, demonstrates why Mr. Trump - arguably the most implausible major-party candidate in American history - has a plausible chance of becoming the next president of the United States. And it provides a possible glimpse of a rocky global future in which nationalist discontent, fuelled by genuine economic anxiety, may well upend business-as-usual politics.

Luzerne County is a striking example of what can happen to a region grappling with and frustrated by economic, technological and societal change. In a place where the population is predominantly white and older, long-held grievances about lost jobs appear to be combining with something larger and more nebulous: a sense of a lost way of life and a feeling that the country people know is being taken from them.

Large-scale coal mining disappeared from the area decades ago, and so did the garment factories and manufacturing plants that followed the mines. New immigrants arrived in an area that hadn't seen any for generations. Repeated public corruption scandals eroded faith in government. A financial crisis where no one was held accountable was followed by a deep recession and uneven recovery.

By the time Mr. Trump declared his candidacy in June of last year, the ground was prepared.

Anger at both immigrants and political corruption

About a decade ago, Main Street in Pittston was borderline derelict. Even now, there are empty warehouses and abandoned homes slated for demolition nearby. But years of heroic work by local leaders have yielded results. There are new sidewalks, a small park and three large wall murals, including a tribute to the town's history. It depicts coal miners and "breaker boys" - the child labourers who once separated lumps of coal from rock in the era when mining dominated this area.

Inside Harry Jackett's Lunch, an old-fashioned diner, Kris Zelonis, the owner and chef, is bemoaning the alternatives in the presidential election. Choosing between Mr. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is "like picking the STD that you're most okay with having," he says, in a tone that seems only half-joking.

Mr. Zelonis detests Mr. Trump, but his mother is a devoted fan.

"She likes him because he speaks his mind and he says he'll get rid of all the immigrants," explains Mr. Zelonis.

For such voters, Mr. Trump's racially charged statements aren't troubling. They're just further evidence that he isn't a typical politician. "I just like the way he talks, it's direct and to the point," says Frederick Collins, 47, as he tucks into breakfast: a plate of eggs and a BLT. "It doesn't matter if he's offended people. Suck it up, buttercup. You don't like what he says? Don't watch him, problem solved."

Mr. Collins, a native of nearby Duryea, is a registered Democrat who nonetheless considers himself an independent. He says he will vote for Mr. Trump "in a heartbeat." Mr. Collins has no problem with legal immigration.

But anything else, he says, calls for strong measures - "Take the military, sweep the whole country, and get all the people out who don't belong here."

Home to 320,000 people, Luzerne County has more registered Democrats than Republicans: George H.W. Bush was the last Republican presidential candidate to win here, in 1988. But this time Mr. Trump has managed to appeal to voters from both parties.

The county is 84 per cent "nonHispanic white," to use the term employed by the U.S. census, and a third of the population is aged 55 or older. Only 21 per cent of residents over the age of 25 hold college degrees - the national figure is 33 per cent.

Statistically speaking, those numbers make the area a potential sweet spot for Mr. Trump.

Jonathan Rothwell, an economist at polling firm Gallup, analyzed data from 80,000 Americans surveyed about the election over a 12-month period. The two most robust factors in predicting an area's support for Mr. Trump? A higher proportion of white residents and of residents without a college degree.

Immigration also turns out to be a surprisingly resonant issue in Luzerne County. About 15 years ago, the Latino population of Hazleton, a city in the county's south, began to grow. The new residents were mostly Puerto Ricans - who are U.S. citizens - and Dominican immigrants moving from cities like New York and Philadelphia.

In response, Lou Barletta, then the Republican mayor of Hazleton, spearheaded the passage of two ordinances aimed at deterring illegal immigration in 2006.

The city threatened to impose a $1,000-aday fine on landlords renting to undocumented immigrants and to revoke the business licences of employers hiring them. It proclaimed English the official language of city business and required municipal employees to seek authorization before translating documents into other languages.

The ordinances catapulted Mr. Barletta into the national spotlight. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund sued Hazleton on the grounds that the laws were unconstitutional. The city fought a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful legal fight to defend the ordinances, a battle that ended only in 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the case.

Meanwhile, Mr. Barletta went from mayor of Hazleton to member of the U.S. Congress, representing a district that includes much of Luzerne County. In March, he became one of the first U.S. representatives to endorse Mr. Trump.

(He did not respond to requests to comment for this story.)

While Luzerne County was built by immigrants - successive waves of Irish, Germans, Italians, Poles, Lithuanians and others flooded into the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries - it has been decades since it experienced noticeable numbers of new arrivals. Immigration is a "resonant, symbolic, emotionally powerful issue," says Daniel Hopkins, a political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies racial and ethnic politics. In parts of the U.S., Britain and elsewhere in Europe, he adds, immigration policies "have come to be seen as the product of elite collusion," feeding the perception that "the government is not putting native-born citizens first."

Randy Proctor, 58, is a bus driver who lives in the hamlet of Forty Fort. He drives a route to and from New York City.

"I see people coming who can't even speak English," he says. "You wonder: 'How can they be coming back and forth?' " Mr. Proctor says he's never seen as much diversity in the area as in the last five years. "I don't know how our kids are going to raise kids in an environment like we did," he adds. Mr. Proctor grew up in poverty in New Mexico and remembers what it was like to go to food banks and to hunt rabbits to eat. When he sees food-stamp recipients filling up their carts at Wal-mart and swiping a government-issued card to pay, he chafes at what he sees as a sense of entitlement.

The sense that government services are somehow being abused - by undocumented immigrants and welfare recipients - is a common theme in Luzerne County. The anger at the supposed waste of taxpayer dollars is matched by a deep suspicion of the political system. Locals often refer with disgust to the "kids for cash" scandal that erupted here in 2008.

Two Luzerne County judges received prison sentences after taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from Robert Mericle, a local businessman. In exchange for the bribes, the judges meted out harsh or arbitrary sentences to more than 2,500 juvenile delinquents, who were sent to two private detention centres run by Mr. Mericle.

Since 2009, federal prosecutors have charged more than 30 people in cases involving political corruption in northeastern Pennsylvania, including the former state treasurer. "We've always been a pretty substantial state for public corruption, but the spate of it in the last five to seven years rivals anything in recent history," says G. Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. "That plays into Trump's anti-government, anti-establishment message."

On the wrong side of technological change

In early 1959, a group of miners was working in a Knox Coal Company mine beneath the Susquehanna River. The mine administration had ordered the men - illegally - to dig closer and closer to the river bed. On Jan. 22, the waters broke through the rock, inundating the mine and killing 12 men, whose bodies were never recovered. The catastrophe effectively ended anthracite coal mining in this part of Pennsylvania.

Garment factories sprang up in the area. And while they didn't provide enough jobs to replace the coal mines, they offered a source of income for local people, especially women, who either worked at the factories or did piecework at home. Manufacturing businesses also opened in the county, including a large Owens-Illinois plant in 1968 that produced glass plates for television screens.

Ron Faraday worked at the television plant for more than two decades. The facility was so big, he recalls, that employees drove golf carts to get around. With about 2,000 workers at its peak, the factory - later owned by Japan's NEG and christened Techneglas - was the largest employer in Luzerne County.

By the 1980s and 1990s, a second wave of economic change was sweeping through the area. Nearly all the garment factories shut down, felled by competition from elsewhere in the U.S. and from overseas. Techneglas, too, was struggling. NEG opened similar manufacturing plants in Mexico, Indonesia and China. But the bigger problem was that the Pennsylvania factory was on the wrong side of technological change: Increasingly, consumers wanted flat-screen displays, not the clunkier televisions whose glass plates were made in Pittston. Mr. Faraday, then a supervisor at the plant, recalls handing out 100 layoff slips at a time.

The end came in 2004. That's when Techneglas shut down its Pittson plant as well as two factories in Ohio. Workers were eligible for a government program created to assist people whose jobs were lost as a result of trade. Mr. Faraday used the help to get a two-year degree in hotel and restaurant management. He later completed a bachelor's degree in business administration.

But his experience over the past decade shows just how difficult the climate has been: Mr. Faraday has worked for four companies, been laid off twice, and spent nearly a year unemployed. Now he is a supervisor at a small manufacturer of plastic yogurt cups, which employs about 50 people.

In his spare time, Mr. Faraday runs the Greater Pittston Historical Society. As he reflects on the area's economic trajectory - from mining "black diamonds" of anthracite coal to working in garment factories to the present - he seems weary.

"We fuelled the industrial revolution," he says. "After that, we were relying on blood, sweat and tears. Now we kind of need a break."

Mr. Faraday sounds as if he could vote for Mr. Trump. A gun owner, he's worried about the government infringing on Second Amendment rights, and feels the U.S. is losing its identity. But this election can make voter preference hard to predict - Mr. Faraday says both candidates leave him cold.

He pulls up a YouTube video of the Techneglas factory in Pittston being demolished. As dramatic music plays, aerial footage shows an enormous industrial furnace crumbling to the ground. "How," he asks, "is Donald Trump going to bring that back?" Mr. Faraday finds Mr. Trump's promises to revive coal mining repellent. "That's ridiculous to anyone with a brain," says Mr. Faraday. "We don't want those jobs back." ("A lot of us got a kick out of when he said he was going to bring back the mines," adds Dave Janoski, managing editor of The Citizens' Voice, a paper in nearby Wilkes-Barre. In this part of Pennsylvania, "it's like saying you're going to bring back whaling.").

After the twin blows of technological change and globalization, along came the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing recession. While economic conditions have improved since then, it's easy to see why Mr. Trump's promises to bring back well-paying jobs - even if short on specifics - resonate in this part of the country.

"The electorate here is very frustrated," says Aaron Kaufer, a Republican state representative whose district includes part of Luzerne County. President Barack Obama "promised massive change, which wasn't realized, and that has really even further frustrated people."

As of July, the unemployment rate in Luzerne County was 7 per cent, according to U.S. government statistics, higher than the rate for the state and the country as a whole. That rate has fallen from its postrecession peak of 11.3 per cent, touched in 2013. But the most plentiful jobs are of the low-paying variety, locals say.

Drawn by the county's cheap real estate and labour and its proximity to interstate highways, a handful of major companies have set up distribution centres here.

There's a flourishing casino in WilkesBarre, the biggest city in Luzerne County, and a couple of small technology firms.

Among the remaining options, says Mr. Zelonis, the restaurant owner, are scraping by at an independent business or working at "Wal-mart or flipping burgers or making pizza."

There is palpable worry among middleaged white voters about how their children and grandchildren will fare in a country that no longer seems able to deliver on one of its central compacts: that each generation will fare better than the one that came before it.

'An incentive to make politics about race and identity'

Voters in places like Luzerne County may well decide the outcome of November's election. If Mr. Trump is to have a chance of victory, he must win over not only those who supported him in the primaries, but large numbers of white voters in postindustrial areas like this one. In this part of Pennsylvania, he appears to be doing just that. The latest poll by Franklin & Marshall College found that 42 per cent of registered voters in the northeastern section of the state support Mr.

Trump, compared to 35 per cent who are backing Ms. Clinton. (Intriguingly, 15 per cent said they weren't yet sure.)

Some experts believe that voters in areas like Luzerne County are merely helping to complete a decades-long realignment in American politics that began in the 1960s when Southern whites started abandoning the Democratic party.

With Mr. Trump as its standard-bearer, the Republican Party has become more closely identified with a populist, nationalist and nativist message squarely aimed at white middle- and working-class voters. By contrast, the Democratic Party is turning into the natural home of minority voters, highly educated urbanites and the well-off beneficiaries of a changing economy, who are united by their distaste for Mr. Trump's message.

The dividing line between the two parties no longer hews to questions of economic policy so much as issues of identity, says Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank New America. Leaders in both parties "have an incentive to make politics about race and identity because that's the one thing that's actually keeping their party coalitions together," he says.

"You can think of it as basically the culmination of one era in American politics and the beginning of another."

Gary Marinangeli, 65, lives in the county next to Luzerne. A few years back, he lost his job as a hospital cafeteria supervisor after three decades. He changed his voter registration from Democrat to Republican expressly in order to vote for Mr. Trump in the primary. If his candidate loses, "I really believe in my heart we're done," he says. He vows to move to Canada. "What do we have to stay here for? To watch our kids suffer? To watch our grandkids suffer?" It's common to hear Trump supporters in the area talk in near-apocalyptic terms about what will happen if their candidate loses in November.

But sometimes there are surprises.

Asked his opinion of a future with Ms. Clinton as president, Mr. Proctor, the bus driver, grows philosophical as he sit in a Luzerne County coffee shop. "I give everyone a chance," he says. "If she can prove to me that she can change things, that's great." He pauses. "Just as long as it doesn't stay stagnant."

Joanna Slater is a U.S. correspondent for The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Photography by Jake Naughton

Above: The volunteer-run campaign headquarters for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Scranton, Pa., which sits in the county next to Luzerne.

The Luzerne County borough of Swoyersville, as seen from the top of the Harry E. Culm Bank, a giant mountain made of coal waste: large-scale mining disappeared from the area decades ago,


How companies play with the books
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B9

Imagine, if you will, something terrible: A fire begins in your home and rages, uncontrolled. No one is hurt, thankfully, because you're away from the house at the time. But the structure is ruined and, financially, you've just taken a huge blow - because you failed to renew your home insurance policy.

You are devastated. But your accountant advises you not to worry. After all, the destruction of your house is merely a non-cash loss.

The example may seem extreme, but the accountant's words are not unlike the message being offered to shareholders by many large public companies in Canada when they report sales and profits each quarter. In an attempt to burnish their image with investors and drive their stock prices higher, companies are offering up a host of gerrymandered measures to make their costs appear lower, to ignore real losses, and to make their profitability seem higher.

Restructuring costs, stock payments to executives, writeoffs from deals that went badly - all of these are being removed by corporate accountants who use "adjusted" measures of earnings.

Company management justifies hiding some of these costs because, just like an uninsured house that burns down, they do not involve an immediate outflow of cash.

But the effect is often to deceive investors and to make many Toronto Stock Exchange-listed companies look healthier than they really are. Sometimes, the adjustments change the entire picture of a company's profitability. In the first quarter this year, for instance, BlackBerry Ltd. presented a number to investors that showed it broke even. But that figure excluded a litany of costs, including share payments to staff, some administrative costs, and writedowns of royalty agreements that were no longer as valuable as the company first thought.

The real bottom line for BlackBerry? Not break even. A loss of $670-million (U.S.). (BlackBerry tells investors it believes that presenting its earnings this way "enables it and its shareholders to better assess the company's operating performance ... and improves the comparability of the information presented.") The use by companies of customized earnings measures, called "non-GAAP" because they do not adhere to generally accepted accounting principles, is growing in Canada, as more companies cast aside tried-and-true accounting conventions. According to a new report from Veritas Investment Research Corp. provided exclusively to The Globe and Mail, 70 per cent of the members of the S&P/TSX 60 stock index of large public companies used some form of non-GAAP metric in their results as compiled by Bloomberg. In the United States, 63 per cent of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 do so.

In 2004, just a handful of companies in the S&P/TSX 60 used non-GAAP measures somewhere in their annual reports. Today, 59 do. The only exception: Imperial Oil Ltd.

The majority of the accounting adjustments by TSX companies - at least 80 per cent - served to put a positive spin on the numbers, mostly by boosting measures of profitability. "Management isn't going to adjust numbers to make themselves look bad," says Jerome Hass, a partner at Lightwater Partners Ltd., a Torontobased hedge fund.

And, in Veritas's view, about 35 per cent of the members of the S&P/TSX 60 may not be following the guidelines of Canadian securities regulators about how they should present financial numbers. For example, the Canadian Securities Administrators calls on companies to present their GAAP earnings figures with at least as much prominence as their nonGAAP measures - something a number of companies seem to be failing to do.

The new report from Veritas presents a quandary for both Canadian regulators and the investors they're charged to protect. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking down on abuses in nonGAAP reporting. In Canada, securities commissions have been more lax, offering "guidance" instead of firm rules, reminding companies of what to do - and weighing whether more action is needed (see sidebar).

In the meantime, investors must navigate an ocean of conflicting and contradictory measures that typically serve to inflate companies' earnings - and, as a result, the stocks' valuation.

After all, investors are paying for companies' earnings, now and in the future. And if the companies can convince investors and analysts that their earnings are higher than what accounting rules require, their stock prices will follow - at least for a while. "Valuations are attached to inflated earnings, so valuations are higher than average investors believe them to be," Mr. Hass says.

"This is the root of all evil, the current No. 1 problem in financial reporting," says Anthony Scilipoti, Veritas's chief executive officer and a co-author of the report.

"The regulators, investors, the auditors - this is a challenge for everyone involved. ... It's gotten out of control, and investors can't assess what the truth is."

The use of non-GAAP measures is not brand new. The trend began in earnest during the technologydriven stock market boom of the late 1990s. The bursting of the bubble, as well as the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals that followed, brought greater scrutiny to the use of "pro forma" earnings, or what has also been called "earnings before bad stuff."

While the SEC took action against companies for abuses in earnings announcements - the first major case, in 2002, was against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. - the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the U.S. later that year codified their regulation. Rather than ban the use of these measures, however, the United States allowed them, as long as certain rules were followed.

Chief among them was the regulation that the GAAP measure be at least as prominent as the nonGAAP measure, as well as the rule that companies must provide a clear explanation of how they calculated the latter. (This is known as a reconciliation.) Canadian regulators' guidance is markedly similar.

Once companies received the blessing of regulators to use their own accounting metrics, however, the predictable happened: More and more companies used them, and used them to exclude more and more expenses.

In a study published earlier this year, Jack Ciesielski of the Analyst's Accounting Observer found that 401 members of S&P 500 firms were reporting earnings on a non-GAAP basis; of those, just 269 were using such figures in 2009.

All told, the 380 firms that also existed in 2009 collectively reported $804-billion in nonGAAP income in 2015. But using standard accounting rules, the real profit figure was $562-billion.

For investors, the difference is a significant one. While the companies' customized measures allowed them to show a gain in profits of 6.6 per cent last year, their net income, if measured conventionally, actually fell by 10.9 per cent over the same period. "Call it 'Wonder Bread,' " Mr. Ciesielski says. "The firms make their bread, but you should wonder how." What kinds of things are companies leaving out? Canadian companies are making the same fundamental choices as U.S. companies, Veritas has found. Some of the major categories: 6 Asset impairments: Investors in energy or mining companies are well versed in this expense item.

When a company has an asset on the books that has suffered a decline in value, it must write down its value, with the amount of the writedown charged directly to earnings.

Since there's no cash used at the time of the writedown, companies often exclude the charge from their quarterly numbers. Kinross Gold Corp. is an example. In 2010, it acquired Red Back Mining Inc., creating what it billed as a "gold growth powerhouse."

But the deal proved to be a disaster and Kinross has now taken $7.5-billion in writedowns on its purchase, a number that exceeds its $5.6-billion market capitalization on the New York Stock Exchange.

Stock option compensation expenses: Companies that were heavy users of stock options, as well as industry trade groups, engaged in a multiyear battle to keep stock options from appearing on the income statement as an expense. They lost, and the cost of options began to hit the bottom line in 2005.

Since then, many companies adjust their quarterly earnings to exclude their cost. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. had $24.6-million in 2015 net income using International Financial Reporting Standards. But it added back $19.5-million in stock options expenses, along with other items, to get to $93-million in "adjusted net income."

Restructuring or other "nonrecurring" expenses: Companies argue that severance payments and other costs associated with buying another firm are one-time in nature, so they leave them out of quarterly earnings - but then, the next quarter, they announce another acquisition, and another batch of one-time charges appears, only to be excluded again. BCE Inc. has adjusted for "severance, acquisition and other costs" each year for the past five years.

"One of the more common justifications for many earnings adjustments is that they are 'noncash expenses' and therefore should be excluded," Mr. Scilipoti wrote in the Veritas report. "This line of reasoning falls down for two reasons: One, earnings are not a cash metric and are not supposed to be. Two, investors interested in cash generation can and should look at the cash flow statement."

Adjusting for items that are non-cash "simply produces earnings metrics that management has created without giving investors a clear picture of either earnings or cash flow," he writes.

In other words, these adjusted profit figures are sometimes designed to confuse or obfuscate, instead of clarify matters.

Some institutional investors are so unimpressed with the accounting games that they simply ignore profitability measures that are being promoted by management.

Take one of the most widely used non-GAAP measures, EBITDA, which stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

"It is shocking to me how many companies in heavy capitalexpenditure-required industries are touting EBITDA. For them, depreciation is a real expense," says Barry Schwartz, chief investment officer at Baskin Wealth Management in Toronto.

"We generally skip the income statement" and focus on how much cash flow the company is producing - since that's harder to manipulate than earnings disclosures.

One of the poster children for non-GAAP earnings - although surely the rest of the S&P/TSX 60 will dislike the comparison - is Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., a company that Veritas put in its crosshairs several years ago.

The Laval, Que.-based company had an explicit business model of shunning research and development costs, instead buying other companies or specific drugs that it thought it could make more profitable from cost-cutting or price increases.

However, in its earnings report, Valeant removed the cost of amortizing the assets it had acquired, saying these "non-cash" expenses didn't reflect the company's earnings power.

This made it nearly impossible to compare Valeant's earnings figures to those reported by other pharmaceutical companies that included research and development costs every quarter.

And it had the effect of allowing Valeant's preferred earnings measure to balloon, even as it posted losses. Investors bought into the growth story and Valeant briefly became the largest company on the Toronto Stock Exchange - until its share prices collapsed under the weight of questions about its sales practices and accounting. It's now under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice (and the company has acknowledged it had a "tone at the top" problem with its now-departed management).

The widespread use of these adjustments, however, suggests a belief among management that standard accounting rules - International Financial Reporting Standards for most Canadian public companies, U.S. GAAP for others - are not flexible enough to completely reflect how a company is actually performing.

"We believe that GAAP, and having a set of standards that everyone has to follow as a basis, is very important - it sets a level playing field," says Susan Campbell, the chair of the Committee on Corporate Reporting at Financial Executive International, a group for chief financial officers and other finance professionals. "However, there are many different industries, and many different things that can impact a specific company or industry that is not captured within IFRS ... so a non-GAAP measure gives a company the ability to tell more of the business story of the specific entity, something that explains its performance a little more clearly than just the strict GAAP statements do."

Regardless of the merits of the non-GAAP metrics, companies are supposed to make clear to investors exactly what they're doing - and in this, Veritas argues that many of Canada's largest public companies are falling short. The most frequent problem, Veritas says, is that companies are failing to show how they change their GAAP numbers to the non-GAAP ones: They're supposed to provide a clear reconciliation between the two. They're also supposed to tip off investors the very first time the non-GAAP number is used that there's a place where they can find that reconciliation. Veritas found 14 members of the S&P/TSX 60 with this potential issue.

A less frequent, but also problematic, issue is companies' failure to name their non-GAAP measure in a way that distinguishes it from a similar earnings metric. One company tagged by Veritas for this problem is Pembina Pipeline Corp., which in its 2015 annual report defined EBITDA as excluding not just interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, but also unrealized losses on derivatives. (A Pembina spokesman notes the company abandoned the practice this year and says his company shouldn't be used as an example of this problem.) Veritas has some recommendations for how Canadian regulators should deal with the wave of new accounting measures being crafted, and some practices companies could engage in to make them better. One may be counterintuitive: Veritas believes a company's auditors should not be responsible for reviewing any measures that don't comply with generally accepted accounting principles. When an auditor signs off on "adjusted net income" that pumps up a company's profitability, it "has the potential to create a false sense of security," Veritas writes. If the auditor reviews the metric, Veritas says, investors may view the number as correct. Instead, the firm says, "adjustments proposed by management should be carefully considered by investors."

Veritas also believes regulators should step in and explicitly prohibit companies from playing certain games with the numbers - such as excluding stock-based compensation expenses. Stock options and share units are just like salaries: a way of paying employees, and a real cost of doing business. Also, says Veritas, companies that present a metric that deviates from a standard definition, such as EBITDA, should have to refer to it as "adjusted" so as to avoid investor confusion. While regulators may react to the widespread use of non-GAAP earnings, the greater risk is that investors will take the lead and react sharply to the broad use of non-GAAP metrics, as they ultimately did with Valeant, which plunged 90 per cent from its alltime high.

"Last time we saw frequent, extensive use of non-GAAP measures was in the late 1990s, and it was used to support high valuations for companies that were not generating sufficient profits, or any profits at all, to support their valuations," says Lynn Turner, who was the chief accountant at the SEC in that period.

"At that point in time, the executives were saying the exact same thing as they're saying today, that 'GAAP doesn't really present our company as it should.' We know how that story ended: It had a very bad outcome. Investors lost something like $7-trillion [in stock market capitalization] by the time the dot-com explosion ended and the corporate scandals came to light. It's a classic story of history repeating itself, and this time isn't going to be any different."

Associated Graphic



Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L8

Hors d'oeuvre Sean MacDonald




½ cup salt

½ cup brown sugar

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic

¼ teaspoon thyme

4 cups (1 litre) water

4 cups (1 litre) ice or enough to bring total liquid up to 8 cups (2 litres)


1 pound (450 grams) pheasant legs

3 pounds (1.36 kilograms) duck fat

1 tablespoon canola oil


½ tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chives

1 tablespoon shallot

Salt to taste

Make the brine for the pheasant by placing the salt, brown sugar, bay leaf, garlic, thyme and water in a pot and cooking over high heat. Bring ingredients to a boil to dissolve salt and sugar. Place the ice in a separate container. Pour the ingredients in the pot over the ice to melt. Make sure the total volume of the brine equals 2 litres. If it doesn't, top up the liquid with cold water. Place the brine in the fridge to cool.

Clean all excess fat off the pheasant legs. Save the fat in a separate container.

Making sure the brine is completely cold, place the cleaned pheasant legs in the brine. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the fridge. Brine the legs overnight for about 12 hours. Take the legs out of the brine and set aside. Dry them off as much as possible. Discard the brine.

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Put a medium-sized pot large enough to contain all pheasant legs and fat for braising over high heat. Pour the canola oil into the pot and wait for it to almost reach the smoking point. Place the pheasant legs into the pot, searing them on all sides. Once the legs have developed a brown colour, pour in the duck fat. Add the excess fat from cleaning the pheasant legs. Cover the pot with a lid or tin foil. Place in the oven and let braise for 3½ hours.

After the legs are confit, the meat should pull off the bone easily and be very tender. Leave the confit legs in the fat to cool.

While the legs are still warm but not hot, pull the meat off the bone and reserve. Discard the bones and save the fat. Zest the lemon. Dice the shallot and chives and reserve.

Place all the confit pheasant in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, mix the confit. You can also use a potato masher to mix by hand. Slowly pour in some of the saved confit fat to make the mixture smooth and paste like. Add the chives, lemon and shallot and slightly season the mix with salt to taste. Mix the ingredients to make sure everything is combined. Scoop the rillette out of the mixing bowl and reserve.



8 cups (2 litres) crabapples

1 cinnamon stick

4 cups (1 litre) water


4 cups (1 litre) crabapple juice

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

2¼ cups sugar

1 pouch pectin

Cut apples into small pieces after removing the blossom and stem ends. Place the apple pieces along with the cinnamon stick in a medium-sized pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the water to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer covered with a lid for 10 minutes. Transfer the ingredients into a blender, removing and discarding the cinnamon stick. Slightly pulse the mixture until blended. Place back in the pot and simmer again for another six minutes. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-covered strainer and into a large pot or bowl. Let sit until the juice stops dripping. Do not compress the apple mixture or the jelly will be cloudy.

Measure apple juice, lemon juice and sugar into a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir continuously. Add in the pectin while boiling and let cook for 1 minute. (Crabapples have natural pectin but the cooking time is reduced if you use commercial pectin and you are guaranteed a good set.) Remove from the heat. Skim off any foam. Pour the jelly into 4 250-mL (8 ounce) sterilized jars. Leave enough space from the top, about 6 mm. Wipe the rims clean and screw on lids. Place the jars in boiling water bath for about 10 minutes. Pull out the jars and tighten the lids slightly.

Serve the rillette and jelly with crostinis, crackers or your favourite bread.

Serves 4 to 6.

Appetizer Haan Palcu-Chang


1 pound small or baby carrots, cleaned, skin-on 2/3 cup fresh goat cheese

3 tablespoons milk

¼ bunch picked mint

½ green onion, finely sliced on the bias

3 tablespoons grape seed oil

Salt to taste

Toasted pumpkin seeds:

½ cup pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sour cherry vinaigrette:

2½ tablespoons dried sour cherries

6½ tablespoons olive oil (more to taste)

2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 teaspoon honey

4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 300 F. Mix all ingredients for the toasted pumpkin seeds together. Lay out on a lined sheet tray and bake in oven until spices begin to lightly brown and seeds are have taken on a subtle, nutty flavour. About 15 to 20 minutes depending on oven. Set aside and let cool. Turn oven up to 450 F. Coat carrots in some grape seed oil and season with a sprinkling of salt. Put on a roasting tray and roast, turning halfway through cooking, until deeply caramelized and slightly charred. It should take about 30 minutes. Set aside and let rest at room temperature

For the vinaigrette, roughly chop the sour cherries and combine the rest of the ingredients. Let stand for at least 20 minutes and then taste the dressing. It should taste sour first and then sweet on the palate.

Place the goat cheese in a bowl with the milk. Whisk it until it has gotten some air into it and has the texture of a soft cream cheese. Check seasoning, you may need to add a little salt. To assemble the dish, take the goat cheese and smear it on to a serving dish. Scatter the carrots over the plate followed by the green onions and pumpkin seeds. Generously spoon the vinaigrette over the carrots and finish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Entree Lina Caschetto


8 tablespoons coarse grey salt, divided

2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, divided

4 chicken legs, thighs attached (approximately

2.2 pounds or 1 kilogram in total)

8 sprigs fresh thyme

4 bay leaves, fresh if possible

6 whole cloves garlic, smashed

4 cups (1 litre) olive oil

The chicken legs will need to be cured for 12 hours, so best to start this recipe the night before. Start by sprinkling half the salt, sugar and peppercorns in the bottom of a square glass baking dish. Lay the chicken legs on top, skin side down, and sprinkle with the remaining salt, sugar and peppercorns. Add the smashed garlic cloves, fresh thyme and bay leaves. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to a day.

Preheat oven to 185 F. Remove garlic, thyme and bay leaves from the salt mixture and set aside. Remove chicken legs and rinse under cold running water to remove and discard any large grains of salt or remaining peppercorns. Shake off excess water.

Place chicken legs skin side down in an enamel cast iron pot, or equivalent. Add the reserved garlic, thyme and bay leaves and pour the olive oil over top. Cover and bring up to 185 F (using a digital thermometer to test the temperature) over medium-low heat on the stove (or until small bubbles just start to break the surface of the oil).

Place the covered casserole in the oven and cook for 3 hours. When they're done, skin around the end of the leg will pull back revealing the bone, and meat will be tender and pull away easily.

Gently remove chicken with a slotted spoon, careful not to pull out the bone or tear the skin. Set aside and allow both chicken and oil to cool to room temperature (if making ahead). Once cooled, both can be combined back together and stored in the fridge until ready to serve.

To reheat, preheat the oven to 465 F. Remove legs from oil if they have been stored and place in an oven-proof dish. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until warmed through and the skin is browned and crispy. Serve immediately.


250 grams fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed and spun dry

8 medium-sized cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly

1 small red onion, sliced very thinly Ponzu dressing

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, as garnish

2 tablespoons hemp hearts, as garnish

Ponzu dressing:

Step 1 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons canola or sunflower oil

20 grams fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane

Combine and cook over medium-low heat until ginger is dehydrated, but not browning. Set aside to cool.

Step 2

2 teaspoons white sugar

½ cup water

Pinch fleur de sel

2 lemons, juice from both, zest from 1

2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar Combine and bring to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer for two minutes. Strain through a fine chinois, discard solids. Set aside to cool.

Step 3 Combine the cooled results of step 1 and 2 in a medium-sized bowl. Add the following and whisk to combine.

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons light soya sauce

1 lemon, zest only

20 grams fresh ginger, peeled and grated on microplane

To assemble salad, slice red onion very thin and marinate with 3 tablespoons of the ponzu dressing in the bottom of a large bowl for 10 minutes. Add spinach, mushrooms and more ponzu, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and hemp hearts.

Serves 4.

Dessert Tara O'Brady


Caramel and custard:

2/3 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B

2½ cups whole milk

1 tablespoon best quality black tea

2 slices fresh ginger, unpeeled is fine, each about

¼-inch thick

2 green cardamom pods, cracked

1 3-inch (7.5 cm) cinnamon stick

2 or 3 black peppercorns

1 clove

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 vanilla bean

4 ounces (115 grams) bittersweet chocolate, (at least 70% cocoa solids), chopped

4 eggs

¼ cup golden cane sugar

Sesame brittle:

1/3 cup golden cane sugar or jaggery

1/3 cup toasted black and/or white sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt Cocoa powder, to serve

Lightly grease an 8-inch (20 cm) straight-sided pan, flan mould, or similar dish and set aside. Preheat an oven to 300 F, with a rack set in the middle. In a deep, medium saucepan over high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer, and reduce syrup by half. It should take about 30 minutes. When thickened, immediately pour the syrup into the prepared pan.

While the syrup is bubbling away, put a kettle of water to boil for the bain marie.

Pour the milk into another saucepan. Strew the tea on top, then pop in the ginger, cardamom, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and clove, followed by the salt. Split the vanilla bean down its length with the tip of a knife. Scrape the seeds into the pot, then add the pod to the liquid as well. Bring the milk mixture to the barest simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove it from the heat and tumble in the chocolate. Cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Stir, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Leave to cool to warm room temperature. Beat the eggs and sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Whisking constantly, pour a steady stream of the milk mixture into the eggs until combined. Take a look at the maple caramel; it should have firmed up slightly. If it hasn't, wait until it has. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the back of a spoon, so that it flows gently, onto the caramel in the pan. Place the pan in a 9x13-inch roasting ban and place it into the hot oven. Pour hot water from the kettle into the roasting tin so that it comes halfway up the sides of the smaller pan. Bake until the custard is set around the edges, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove the pan from its water bath and set on a rack to cool. Cover with clingfilm, then chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

To make the sesame brittle, line a small sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat. Melt the sugar in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Swirl the pan if some areas melt before others. Once the sugar is entirely liquid, turn the heat to medium and cook, watching carefully and still swirling the pan (never stirring), until the syrup is a deep amber colour, and has reached the hard crack stage or 355 F on a candy thermometer. Working quickly off the heat, sprinkle the sesame seeds and salt onto the caramel. Swirl the pan to coat the seeds, or use a lightly oiled silicone spatula. Place the pan back onto the heat for a few seconds if the caramel requires loosening. Carefully spread the brittle evenly onto the prepared pan. Leave to harden completely. If making in advance, store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 day. To serve, blitz half the brittle into powder in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Keep that dust aside, then crush the other half into rubble in a mortar and pestle or pulsed in the food processor.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the crème caramel, being sure not to cut into the custard. Place a serving platter face down over the pan and then swiftly flip both to invert. Right before serving, dust with cocoa powder, followed by the sesame powder. Use a large spoon to serve the custard, including some maple caramel with each dish, and adding a scattering of crushed brittle. Leftover custard can be kept in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days. The brittle should be stored at room temperature.


If you have any trepidation about unmoulding the custard, dip the base of the pan into a dish of hot water for 30 seconds or so before flipping; the heat will help the custard slide out.

There's something special about one large crème caramel to feed everyone around the table, but if you prefer, this recipe can be divided among 6 to 8 small ramekins instead, in which case their cooking time will be closer to 45 to 50 minutes.

Serves 8.

Josh O'Kane explains why Polaris Prize-winner Kaytranada - a queer black man from an immigrant family, steeped in the worlds of hip hop and R&B - is the new face of Canadian music
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

Kaytranada was just in Rio de Janeiro, crate-digging at a private record shop. He's an astute student of sound and texture; he spent 10 hours unearthing bossa nova and Brazilian pop records to take home, study and, perhaps some day, build upon. "There's a lot of good stuff hidden that you don't know about," the 24-year-old says backstage at Toronto's Echo Beach on a humid September night. "I'm looking for all types of sounds. Anything that has soul and funk in it, no matter the genre."

The Haitian-Canadian producer and DJ, born Louis Kevin Celestin, has his own way of bending genre, stretching it, making it his own. Calling his music "electronic" doesn't really get to the soul of it. His beats have a rigid backbone and spastic limbs, flittering into funk and hip hop, house and R&B. 99.9%, his debut full-length album released earlier this year, encompassed all these worlds, with vocal contributions from the likes of Craig David, Aluna Francis and Vic Mensa. After a half-decade of full-time touring and beatmaking, it was a sign that Kaytranada had arrived.

Except he'd been here the whole time. The artist has received co-signs from his American heroes, among them Janet Jackson, Madonna and Rick Rubin. He's been the subject of fawning American and British magazine profiles. He's played for growing crowds the world over. But until this week, one of Canada's most celebrated beat-making exports was best known by many in his home country for being snubbed for a Juno nomination.

Then, this past Monday, recognition rained down. With the rip of an envelope, folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie announced he'd won the 2016 Polaris Music Prize. Coming to the microphone, Celestin - who's more accustomed to passing the mic to others - was dumbfounded. "It's an honour, man," he said, before turning to French to shout out Montreal, whose South Shore he grew up in. At a news conference soon after, his thoughts were a little clearer: As excited he was about his win, he was excited about what the win represented.

"I'm happy that, finally, it's an artist that does it himself," he said. "In hip hop, dance music, house music, electronic music. ... The Polaris finally recognizes what it is."

There's more, though. Canada has a long history of championing rock and pop, and the Polaris Prize has had a habit of affirming that. Celestin is a queer black man from an immigrant family whose winning album is schooled in the worlds of hip hop and R&B. None of these descriptions are new for a Canadian artist, but many of them are firsts for a Polaris-winner. Canada is changing. Its music is changing.

Kaytranada is changing the rules.

Beat-making as a defining obsession After last Saturday's blustery weather melted into a neon-orange sunset, Kaytranada walked onto the stage at TD Echo Beach.

He's kind of a shy guy, the kind who takes a little while to warm up to someone new. The audience was that way, too, as he started his set - well, until he cast a proclamation across the crowd: "Y'all ain't dancin'?" So they started to. And while he started the show looking like a stage-bound scientist - head down, twiddling knobs and pushing buttons, all eyes on the experiment - he warmed up, too, dancing, jumping and dabbing.

For an hour, he seamlessly ripped through his catalogue of songs and remixes such as Drive Me Crazy, from 99.9%, and All Night, his standout track on Chance the Rapper's latest album.

Backstage a half-hour later, Celestin brushes off the show as just okay. "I guess because it was raining," he demurs. He speaks English slowly and patiently, regularly peppering his thoughts with that kind of humility. It comes across not just in our interview but two nights later, too, when he told Polaris media how jarred he was at winning, and how "random" it was that a kid from Saint-Hubert could wind up opening for Madonna.

He's come far. Celestin was born in Port-au-Prince in 1992; his family immigrated to Canada a few months after. At the age of 4 or 5, his father started showing him music: Haitian songs, Bob Marley songs, Michael Jackson songs.

"That shit was blowing my mind at the time," he says. A few years later, his sisters visited their "rich" aunt back in Haiti - "she had a satellite" - and came back with a tape full of music videos from TV stations around the world. Rap entered his life.

"There was Lil' Kim videos, Puff Daddy, D'Angelo, Fugees - the holy grail of hip hop," Celestin says. He was smitten, and began rapping in English with his younger brother, mimicking words and cadences. In his early teens, his cousin introduced him to VirtualDJ software, which let him scratch digital records with his mouse. "It really blew my mind," he says. "I'd never seen a vinyl before in my life."

Soon came beat and sample looping, and an obsession with FL Studio audio software that forced him to install and delete its freetrial demos at least three times.

As he cruised toward the end of high school, beat-making became a defining obsession. At his first show in Montreal to show off beats, he says, "people were mind-blown." He began to post music online, first under the name Kaytradamus, earning accolades from taste-making YouTube channels. His parents thought he was only DJing, not producing. He told them it was just a hobby. He tried nudging his mom about trying music as a career, but she wouldn't have it: "Especially for Haitian immigrant parents, being a musician is not a job." It was only at the age of 19 that he got his mother's blessing, after his younger brother LouisPhilippe - a.k.a. rapper Lou Phelps, with whom he performs as the Celestics - talked her into it. "Kevin has a gift," he told her.

Making music and coming out When Halifax party promoter Will Robillard-Cole heard the Kaytranada and Sango song Down4U, he reached out and flew Celestin to the East Coast city for a show. It was the first time he'd been on a plane since moving to Canada. Robillard-Cole, then still a business undergrad, liked the producer's music so much he offered to manage him. "Hearing his music, I had never heard anything like it before," RobillardCole says. "I was just like, 'Why isn't he famous?' " Celestin, by then, had dropped out of high school in order to tour. "I was that close to finishing history, but I had to do the exam earlier than everybody else," he says. "When I came back from tour, and they told me, 'You didn't pass the class.' " He kept putting out releases, through SoundCloud and mixtapes such as Instrumental Hip Hop Is Dead. With a manager to steer his brand, word of Kaytranada just kept spreading.

Soon, touring consumed his life.

But the rush of it all - the drinking, the smoking, the travel - consumed him. He almost put out a proper album, but got stifled by the label. He felt as though his life wasn't going anywhere. And there was something else that he'd avoided admitting - that he was gay. "Growing up in my hood, people were like, very masculine, and when you're not masculine, you get bullied and shit like that," he says backstage at Echo Beach.

"I used to be bullied all my life, and I was like, I'm not gonna let myself get bullied again. So for me it was, like, out of the question."

Last winter, though, he hit a breaking point, and began to tell people. There's a lot about coming out he's still getting used to, including the word gay itself - in our conversation, he prefers to use the word homosexual - but being open has helped him shed a long-standing discomfort. "It was like denial, denial, denial. Like, damn - am I gonna be like that for the rest of my life? I don't know about that. So I guess it was a good thing that I came out to my parents and my family."

His life had other complicating factors, though. He wanted desperately to put out a longer project, and he'd landed a deal with XL Recordings, the British label that has shepherded releases from Adele, Radiohead and the White Stripes. Plans for an EP soon ballooned into plans for a full-length, and he faced pressure from both the label and himself.

"I really wanted my own music out - I was playing all those songs from 99.9%-in-the-making, and nobody knew what it was."

So he hunkered down for half a year and began honing his songs.

He made the whole thing at his mom's house, where he still lives - "like, the whole production, and mixing, and everything." The result was 99.9%, an album at once patient and frenetic, with bass both slinky and pulsing, drums both sparing and breakneck and synthesizers pushed to their limits. He incorporated contributions from the likes of BadBadNotGood and River Tiber, and guest vocals from the worlds of hip hop, R&B and synthpop.

He called it 99.9% for a few reasons. "There were times I was like, 'Yo, I'm done with the album - this is it.' Then I was like, 'No, there's something wrong with that track, I gotta fix it.' And it came to the point where I had to fix the whole album. It's also a double meaning about myself.

Like, am I gonna fulfill my dreams - but I'm not there yet, quite."

That and he likes the way "99.9%" looks. There's a symmetry to it - not quite perfect, but in breaking some established rules has an aesthetic to call its own.

First a snub, then 'recognition' In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Polaris Prize, four names kept popping up in Canada's music-journalism echo chamber from the 10 artists short-listed: Grimes, Carly Rae Jepsen, U.S. Girls and Kaytranada. The short list is determined by the music media, but only a small group - 11 jurors out of 196 - picks the $50,000 winner, and there seemed little consensus. Each of those four artists had strong grounds to win.

Celestin and Robillard-Cole assumed Grimes would take it, given the accolades around her album Art Angels and the fact she'd been ignored by the Junos, unintentionally turning her into the figurehead of a campaign for the awards to nominate more women. But in truth, Celestin may have had a worse snub. His song At All was nominated for the dance recording of the year Juno, then quickly relinquished after the Canadian recording academy realized that it came out in 2013.

Given that Celestin had released other material during the nomination window, he wondered if the nominating panel just put him on there to seem in touch.

"Just 'cause of the name, and not really about the music," he says.

He'd built acclaim around the world, but felt unrecognized at home. "For me, it's like, 'Ugh, here goes Canada again.' " Canada has a long legacy of hip hop, the mainstream slice of which is built on a foundation set by artists including Michie Mee, Maestro Fresh Wes, Rascalz, Choclair and Swollen Members. While these artists collected many awards and accolades, they were usually genre-specific. Since the genre-agnostic Polaris Prize started in 2006, artists such as Drake, Shad, K'naan and Cadence Weapon and hip-hop-embracing projects by A Tribe Called Red and BadBadNotGood have received nominations, but never won.

Then, this week, Kaytranada pulled it off.

"It's good recognition," he told reporters after winning. But the win was less of a turnaround than the start of a slow sea change. "It's going to be an evolution, for sure, in the Canadian music scene."

He sees lots of other Canadian artists in dance, hip hop and R&B - he namechecks Toronto's Jazz Cartier and Roy Wood$ - who get far more recognition abroad than at home. But this, he says, might be an advantage. Canada as a touring market has roughly the population of California. It's limiting. And, as Celestin points out, artists with enough support to survive just playing Canada tend to be "people who play guitar all the time." Even Drake, our country's golden boy, went to the United States for a co-sign from Lil Wayne to blow up.

Being the first artist affiliated with hip hop and R&B to win the Polaris hardly means Kaytranada is Canada's first world-class producer to play in those worlds.

Toronto's Frank Dukes and Boi-1da have laid fingerprints on most of 2016's best albums, lending a hand to Drake, Kanye West, Rihanna and more. Within Drake's orbit alone you'll find work from 40, PartyNextDoor, WondaGurl, Nineteen85 and Rich Kidd. And there's Lunice, Doc McKinney and countless others in or from Canada who've made waves in production.

Canada isn't just a country full of dudes playing guitars any more. Kaytranada's Polaris win is an early sign that the structures upholding Canadian music are recognizing that change - that anyone, of any background, with any group of influences, can make meaningful music.

Celestin, for his part, seems happy that his success came from taking fate into his own hands. This, he says, is the future of all music - not just Canadian. "I always say I want creative control," he says. "A lot of people don't think about that. And that's what every artist should think of - being creative and not just a puppet."

He's already mentally moved beyond the sounds of 99.9% - he dropped a new mixtape, called 0.001% ???, on Wednesday - and is eager to make a new album. He's plotting out music that would embrace his Haitian roots, with broader Caribbean influence, and some inspiration, too, from the samba and bossa nova he heard in Brazil. A fusion, he calls it, putting it all in his own mould. But first he needs to find some time to slow down again, and maybe a place to rest his head that isn't his childhood home. "I'm looking forward," he says, "to getting a crib."

Associated Graphic

Louis Kevin Celestin, or Kaytranada, as he's known on stage, says he's excited about what his Polaris Prize win represents.


Tables turned
Corporate Canada goes on the hunt
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B10

TORONTO, OTTAWA -- A decade after a flurry of corporate takeovers spurred worries that deep-pocketed foreign giants would turn Canada into a branch-plant economy, precisely the opposite story is playing out across North American markets.

Canadian companies are bulking up to global scale through a spate of bold mergers and acquisitions. This week, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. of Calgary announced that they are joining forces to create the world's largest cropnutrient company. A few days before, Enbridge Inc. of Calgary unveiled a U.S. deal that will result in North America's biggest energy infrastructure firm. And just a couple of weeks prior to that, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. completed a super-sized U.S. acquisition of its own to become the continent's No. 1 operator of convenience stores.

The outburst of deal making over the past month follows a year in which the value of Canadian direct investment abroad surged to its highest level ever.

Flush with cash but faced with sluggish growth prospects at home, domestic companies are eager to find new ways to expand their sales and profits.

Many are taking advantage of accommodating markets to buy foreign assets and add unprecedented heft.

Corporate Canada's appetite for growth has its risks, especially in a stock market that seems fully valued. However, it's a logical reaction to two global trends - agonizingly slow economic growth coupled with record-low interest rates.

Companies in many countries have responded to those twin factors by doing what comes naturally. They've used cheap money to take over rivals, thus boosting the acquirer's revenue despite the slow-growth environment.

The international urge to merge boosted global mergers and acquisitions activity to a record $5-trillion (U.S.) in 2015, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase. "As corporations seek external growth, businesses are increasingly turning to cross-border transactions," they note in a report published early this year.

But the Canadian passion for foreign deal making is unusual even in a world where everyone is playing much the same game.

In a Deloitte survey this year, Canadian executives topped the globe in terms of their level of interest in doing outbound M&A.

Canada already leads in terms of doing deals in the crucial U.S. market. According to law firm Paul Weiss, Canadian companies and funds have completed more than $93-billion in U.S. mergers and acquisitions over the past 12 months, putting them ahead of both German and Chinese acquirers.

It's a remarkable outburst of activity. And it all stands in stark contrast to the dark days of 2006.

The great hollowing out

The takeover frenzy of a decade ago was driven in large part by the rise of China. As companies scrambled to fill the Asian giant's seemingly bottomless appetite for raw materials, Canadian miners and steel makers became some of the world's hottest assets.

The selling of the Canadian economy inflamed public concern in 2006, when a cavalcade of Canadian corporate icons - Dofasco, Inco, Falconbridge and Fairmont Hotels (the former CP Hotels) - disappeared into the arms of foreigners within the span of 12 months. The blitz continued in 2007 with foreign takeovers of Alcan and Stelco.

When the dust had cleared, roughly $300-billion (Canadian) worth of corporate assets had slipped into foreign hands and some historically important sectors had lost their Canadian champions. In Sudbury, for instance, where two homegrown companies, Inco and Falconbridge, had long dominated global nickel production, the new bosses were either Brazilian or Swiss following Vale SA's $19billion takeover of Inco and Xstrata's $18-billion acquisition of Falconbridge.

This all fed the narrative that Corporate Canada was being "hollowed out" by foreign acquirers, putting at risk jobs, factories, head offices and national pride. In the spring of 2007, then-prime minister Stephen Harper appointed a panel of corporate leaders, headed by former BCE Inc. chief executive officer Lynton (Red) Wilson, to look at ways of making Canada more competitive in a globalized economy. A year later, the panel published 65 recommendations - many of them aimed at making Canada even more open to both inbound and outbound foreign investment.

Those recommendations remain only partly implemented, but as legislators have continued to wrestle with the issue, the facts on the ground have shifted.

Foreign acquirers continue to make Canadian acquisitions at a decent clip, but Canadian companies themselves are aggressively prowling for big foreign deals.

"We got conditioned over a number of years to think that the typical mega-transaction consisted of a foreigner buying a Canadian company," says Ed Giacomelli, managing director at Crosbie & Co., an investment bank in Toronto. "But that's just not the case any more. In many industries, from electrical utilities to financial services, Canadian companies are developing sophisticated M&A strategies to expand their scale and diversify their revenue streams."

Despite all the concern in years past about a hollowing out of the Canadian economy, this is not exactly a new trend, Mr. Giacomelli notes. Canadian companies have in fact been consistent buyers of foreign enterprises for more than a decade.

"I like to call it the Canadian M&A paradox," says Montreal lawyer Robert Yalden, co-chair of the mergers and acquisitions practice at Osler. "A lot of folks involved in public policy debates worry that Canada is getting the short end of the stick or losing more than its fair share of head offices. But year after year, Canadian companies are making acquisitions abroad at a pace and dollar volume that consistently surpasses the inbound activity."

What is remarkable is the size of the current deals. Enbridge's $37-billion (Canadian) deal for Spectra Energy, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's $4.9billion takeover of Chicagobased PrivateBancorp Inc. and Fortis Inc.'s $6.9-billion (U.S.)

purchase of ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent pureplay electricity transmission company in the United States, are just some of the jumbo transactions that have gone down this year.

Cash-rich Canadian companies

Corporate Canada's sudden eagerness for big deals appears to reflect forces that have hit here with particular impact. One such factor is the collapse in commodity prices, according to economist Jim Stanford, an adviser to the Unifor labour union and a professor at McMaster University.

"Canadian business leaders have been forced to consider a more ambitious role for themselves in the world beyond just extracting and exporting," Dr. Stanford says.

It's notable, he argues, that few of the recent acquisitions involve resource extraction companies. Instead, the most aggressive acquirers are in heavily regulated Canadian industries, such as banking, pipelines and utilities.

Those companies may be attempting to flee a restrictive regulatory environment, says Jack Mintz, a fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy. Slow approvals in Canada for pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals and a host of other infrastructure projects are chasing money out of the country, he argues.

"There are a whole bunch of areas where getting things done in Canada is difficult," he says.

"People are now taking their money abroad, where it's easier to do things."

In other cases, the issue may simply be market saturation, notes Mark Jamrozinski, Canadian managing partner for M&A at consultants Deloitte LLP in Toronto. A small number of Canadian banks, insurers and power utilities already dominate their respective sectors of the domestic economy, leaving them with few obvious ways to generate organic growth in an economy that's only trudging ahead.

"When you're struggling to generate growth internally, you have to go out and buy it," he says.

Many Canadian companies have the financial means to shop for just about anything they want, according to Walid Hejazi, an associate professor of international business at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

"When you look at the amount of cash in corporate bank accounts, Canada's cash level is the highest in the G7 when measured in terms of GDP," Dr. Hejazi says. "Basically, we're cash rich. The economy has a lot of money looking for places to go."

In addition, there's a big pentup demand for deals because of Canada's discouraging attitude toward foreign takeovers, he argues. Public policy, shaped by the hollowing-out narrative, has presented a stony face to potential foreign acquirers for years.

In 2010, Ottawa rejected a hostile bid by Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton for Potash Corp. Then in 2012, when a Chinese state oil company acquired Calgary-based Nexen Inc., Mr. Harper drew a line in the sand, warning that future attempts by state-owned enterprises to invest in the oil patch would be allowed only under exceptional circumstances.

"Many Canadian companies that would have merged with large foreign companies over the past five years probably didn't because of the signals the government was sending that such deals weren't welcome," Dr. Hejazi says.

Now, the vicious downturn in commodity prices is adding to the pressure on companies to combine forces. "Whenever you have a downturn, you tend to see sectors consolidate," he says.

That certainly seems to apply in cases such as the fertilizer merger. Both Agrium and Potash confront a market where prices for their key products are in steep decline and it's vital to wring out costs. The two businesses say their tie-up will result in $500-million a year in savings.

"We are in a low-growth environment and companies are looking for cost reductions," explains Dr. Mintz of the University of Calgary. "One of the ways you do that is through a merger or consolidation that can generate synergies."

Those synergies often cross borders. Even the Potash-Agrium merger - a made-in-Canada affair focused initially on stripping out costs - has an international dimension. Jochen Tilk, the Potash Corp. boss, and Chuck Magro, CEO of Agrium, emphasized this week that the combined company will offer a bigger platform for doing more global acquisitions and marketing.

The fact that more Canadian companies are going global is a good thing, according to Craig Alexander, vice-president and chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

"Canadian companies that focus exclusively on Canada are focusing on 3 per cent of the world's economic opportunities," he points out. "Canadian companies can't afford to just limit themselves to the Canadian market."

And right now, buying in the U.S. makes sense for Canadian companies looking for opportunity. The U.S. is growing faster that most of the rest of the world and it's this country's closest trading partner, Mr. Alexander says.

"The bottom line is that the U.S. economy is growing, it has a lot of opportunity and it's a natural destination for Canadian business," he says.

Is the price right?

But are Canadian companies paying too much? If there's one caveat about the recent wave of outbound deal making, it has to do with valuation.

Pursuing takeovers toward the latter stages of a long-in-thetooth economic recovery, when stock markets are already trading at generous multiples after an epic bull run, is usually not a recipe for finding value. That's especially true when acquirers pay lush takeover premiums for their targets.

Recent deals have featured some very generous premiums.

Halifax-based Emera Inc., for instance, paid 48 per cent more than the prevailing prices when it acquired Teco Energy, a Florida power utility, last year for $6.5billion. Fortis bought ITC Holdings in February at a price 33 per cent above where the U.S. utility had been trading, while TransCanada purchased Columbia Pipeline in March at a premium of 32 per cent.

Bay Street sources acknowledge the skepticism about rich premiums, but point out that companies can often choose to employ their stock, rather than cash, as the takeover currency.

Some recent high-profile transactions, such as Enbridge-Spectra and Agrium-Potash, have been all-share transactions. Even in a worst-case scenario, such mergers involve nothing more dire than two companies swapping equally inflated stocks for one another.

When it comes to cash deals, the great equalizer is today's low interest rates. The market's willingness to provide financing for mega-deals at historically low rates can make even premium prices attractive to the right buyer - which is to say, a buyer who doesn't want to miss out on important consolidation opportunities and doesn't mind leveraging up the corporate balance sheet.

"These are big, industry-changing deals we're talking about," one investment banker says. "In many cases, you know you're not going to see another target like this any time soon. A CEO has to decide: Are you involved in where your sector is going next or aren't you?" History suggests caution. Only about 25 per cent of mergers add significant value, while another 25 per cent turn out to be essentially break-even transactions, Mr. Jamrozinski of Deloitte estimates. The remaining half of mergers actually destroy value.

The flurry of takeovers in Canada back in 2006 underline the dangers. Vale, which acquired nickel giant Inco, has seen its stock plunge in recent years, in part because of slumping nickel prices. U.S. Steel, which took over Stelco, put the unit into creditor protection in 2014 as the entire steel industry continued to struggle with dismal prices.

The biggest winners from the current takeover frenzy will be companies that focus on what happens after the deal, Mr. Jamrozinski says. "M&A is hard to do. From our experience, where companies have been successful and created value, the key is often the discipline and approach they use post-merger rather than the price they paid going in."

Still, despite all the risks involved, he thinks the recent outburst of M&A is positive for Corporate Canada, a sign of more executives taking a longterm viewpoint. "This is a good story for Canada," he says.

"There are far more companies out there thinking about where they want to be in 2020 or 2025 and pondering the strategies and technology they need to get there."

Associated Graphic




A case as cursed as it is tragic
Minutes after Travis Vader was convicted of killing the McCanns, scholars were saying the decision contained a catastrophic error
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

EDMONTON -- On Thursday, more than six years after seniors Lyle and Marie McCann disappeared while travelling along an Alberta highway, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Denny Thomas sat before a packed Edmonton courtroom, and turned toward a television camera transmitting a live video feed.

It was the first time a decision by a criminal court had been broadcast in Alberta, an exceptional allowance recognizing public interest in a case that included allegations the RCMP manufactured and planted evidence, and even a suggestion the seniors may not actually be dead.

The accused, Travis Vader, has alleged a vast RCMP conspiracy against him, and predicted he would be found not guilty.

"Linking the facts, I have found there is no question that Mr. Vader committed homicide," Justice Thomas said. He convicted Mr.

Vader of two counts of seconddegree murder. But within minutes of the verdict, legal scholars in the province were saying the decision contained a catastrophic legal error by relying on a section of the Criminal Code that had been declared unconstitutional more than 20 years ago.

Mr. Vader's lawyer, Brian Beresh, filed a notice of appeal on Friday morning, asking that the conviction be set aside on grounds including that the judge "erred in relying upon a law no longer in force and effect in relation to second-degree murder."

From a serious mistake by the RCMP at the very beginning of the investigation in 2010, to a potentially fatal error in the judge's verdict on Thursday, the case of the missing seniors has seemed, at times, as cursed as it is tragic.

And, after six years of exhaustive police investigation, roller-coaster legal proceedings and ongoing public attention, what exactly happened to the McCanns, and where their bodies are, remains a mystery.

Lyle and Marie McCann were last seen on the morning of July 3, 2010, buying gas and groceries in St. Albert, just outside Edmonton. Lyle, 78, was quiet and hard-working, a retired truck driver who took fastidious care of his vehicles and was always up for one more game of pool. Marie, 77, loved to grow and arrange flowers, and made a great Saskatoon berry pie.

They had been married almost 60 years. They always called each other darling.

Their motorhome was found engulfed in flames in the Minnow Lake campground west of Edmonton on July 5, 2010, two days after their grocery stop, but police didn't recognize the potential significance of it at the time. RCMP phoned the couple and sent an officer to the McCanns' house, but they weren't there, so the burned husk of the vehicle was hauled to the dump and police didn't pursue it further.

The motorhome wasn't identified as a potential crime scene until the McCanns' family reported them missing five days later, when they didn't show up in Abbotsford, B.C., to meet their daughter and granddaughter as planned. By then, a week had gone by.

Mr. Vader was publicly identified by the RCMP as a "person of interest" in the couple's disappearance six days after that.

The then-38-year-old was wellknown in the areas around where the burning motorhome was found; a meth user with a hot temper who had a long criminal history that included charges for arson, theft and weapons offences, and who was already suspected in a rash of property crimes. His father, Ed, warned people at a community meeting not to try to corner his fugitive son. "They have had him in jail three or four times," he said then. "I don't know why they didn't keep him in there."

Mr. Vader would soon become a well-known figure around the province as well, his name and face inextricably linked to the McCanns' high-profile disappearance. The mugshot released by the RCMP showed Mr. Vader wearing a dark sweatshirt, redheaded and pale, his gaze cast down and away from the camera, a small spot that looked like blood on the centre of his lip.

He was arrested by an RCMP tactical team on warrants for unrelated property and weapons offences on July 19, 2010. In August, 2010, while he was in custody on those charges, the RCMP began publicly describing him as a "suspect" in the McCann investigation.

Since his arrest that summer, Mr. Vader has been released from custody and re-arrested on multiple occasions, and the case has gone through a dramatic series of twists and turns wending its way through the legal system.

Despite being quickly identified as a suspect, Mr. Vader was not charged with murder in the McCanns' deaths for nearly two years.

A preliminary hearing was cancelled shortly before it was set to begin in September, 2013, and the murder charges were then stayed in a surprise move days before his trial was supposed to start in March, 2014.

The Crown relaunched the prosecution in December, 2014, nine months later.

The case rarely left the news for long. On several occasions, Mr. Vader faced new charges, including allegations of domestic assaults and breaches. He went through multiple lawyers, was accused of threatening to kill a jail guard and has also accused guards of assaulting him. He filed a million-dollar malicious prosecution lawsuit naming 60 people, including RCMP officers, Edmonton's chief prosecutor, a police informant, and various court and justice officials.

In January, Mr. Beresh argued that the murder charges should be stayed because of abuse of process, related to the earlier stay. The application was unsuccessful, but Justice Thomas said at the time it was a close call.

Meanwhile, throughout the court process, Mr. Vader got engaged to two different women, and fathered a baby girl. (He has at least seven other children from a previous marriage.)

When his 11-week murder trial finally started on March 8, Mr. Vader, now 44, arrived late on multiple occasions and gave a variety of excuses, eventually sparking a hearing about whether he should be held in custody to ensure he would show up in court on time. He was re-arrested and denied bail in May after allegedly testing positive for methamphetamine and contacting one of the witnesses against him. Mr. Vader was also charged with theft of copper wire, and possession of a stolen truck.

Throughout the years, he has spoken to media both on and off the record, giving his version of the various allegations against him, and talking about the successful career he once had working in the oil patch. He has repeatedly accused the RCMP of harassment and abuse, including at one point saying he believed they were "looking for a chance to shoot me."

In June, he did a phone interview with the CBC in which he said the Crown put together a "very, very shoddy, incomplete case," and brashly predicted he would be acquitted of the charges.

"There's never been a time in the last six years, this entire case, that I didn't know what the outcome was going to be," he said then. "And that's found not guilty and carry on with life.

It's just why did they make it take six damn years?" The sprawling RCMP investigation generated reams of disclosure, and included a Mr. Big sting operation on Mr. Vader's sister, the use of paid informants, multiple phone taps and forensic evidence.

The resulting case against Mr. Vader was circumstantial, but damning. His blood and DNA were found in the SUV the McCanns had been towing behind their motorhome, and which was found abandoned after their disappearance. Mr. Vader's fingerprint was on a can of Boxer beer in the vehicle. His DNA was on a baseball cap that belonged to Lyle McCann, and which had a bullet hole in it and Mr. McCann's blood on top.

Marie McCann's blood, and possibly cerebral fluid, was found on cans of food inside the SUV.

Witnesses testified to seeing Mr. Vader in the SUV the day the couple disappeared, and that Mr. Vader was broke that morning but had money in the afternoon. The keys to the McCanns' SUV were found in the back of a burned, stolen truck that had been linked to Mr. Vader.

Multiple calls and texts were made from the McCanns' cellphone to Mr. Vader's estranged girlfriend starting just after 2 p.m. the day the couple disappeared. The first text began "Hey babe its me," and the second was signed, "t."

The defence argued there were multiple serious holes in the Crown's case, including that the prosecution "at best" established only that the McCanns disappeared, but failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are dead.

Mr. Beresh also urged the judge to discard the evidence of certain key Crown witnesses whose testimony he said appeared to be influenced or even "purchased" by the RCMP.

He said the DNA found inside the McCanns' SUV should be discarded as inconclusive, and that the only possible inference from the forensic evidence was that Mr. Vader had some contact with the vehicle, which could have included talking to the occupants at the window.

The defence suggested that another man, who is now dead, may have been the real killer, or that Mr. Vader was framed by two of the witnesses who testified against him. Mr. Beresh also alleged the RCMP may have manufactured and planted evidence, by cutting keys to the McCanns' SUV and then putting them in the bed of the truck that had been in Mr. Vader's possession.

In his verdict on Thursday, Justice Thomas said the idea of the planted key was an unsubstantiated allegation by defence and refuted the idea of RCMP tunnel vision or conspiracy, saying he found that the force "wove a credible, albeit circumstantial web where Mr. Vader was the obvious suspect," and that he was convinced that the RCMP and the Crown identified the right suspect.

"While I cannot reconstruct the exact detail of what occurred, I also have no doubt about the overarching relevant fact," he concluded. "The McCanns were victims of violence. Mr. Vader inflicted that violence."

Mr. Vader, who earlier exchanged smiles and a wink with his sister and another woman in the front row of the packed courtroom, looked increasingly grim as the decision was read, sometimes furrowing his brow, other times shaking his head with an expression of disbelief.

Mr. Vader had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, but Justice Thomas convicted him of second-degree murder instead. Many people around the courtroom gasped and wept when the verdict was read. Members of the McCann family embraced. The case was adjourned into October to begin sentencing proceedings.

But significant questions are now being raised about the section of the Criminal Code that Justice Thomas used to arrive at the murder conviction, with two law professors from the University of Alberta calling it, among other things, "absolutely gobsmacking" and "an error of the highest proportions." The judge's decision sites Section 230 in establishing murder over a lesser charge of manslaughter, but the section was found unconstitutional in 1990. (It was never repealed by Parliament and still appears in the Criminal Code, though with an annotation that it has been declared unconstitutional.)

Steven Penney, one of the professors who quickly raised concerns about the decision, said he believes there is a "very high probability" that the error is fatal to the conviction. There are now a number of possible outcomes, including that Mr. Vader could be convicted of manslaughter, or that a mistrial could be declared. In that case, it's possible the charges will be stayed, based on the significant delays that have already occurred bringing the case to trial.

"This is a stunning error, there is no other way of characterizing it," Prof. Penney said.

In his notice of appeal, Mr. Beresh alleged both errors in law and findings of fact. He is asking that the conviction be set aside, and that Mr. Vader be acquitted.

Members of the McCann family have spent much of the past six years dealing with their trauma in the public eye. They led their own searches through dense Alberta forest the first summer, and kept the missing couple's story in the media in the years that followed, offering a reward, appealing for tips and speaking publicly throughout the many twists and turns of the case.

Bret McCann has repeatedly said that he put his faith in the police investigation and the judicial process, and that his family hoped one day to know what happened.

For the moment, the version of events contained in Justice Thomas's decision may be the closest to an answer there is: That Travis Vader met two senior citizens on an Alberta highway some time on the afternoon of July 3, 2010, drug addicted, desperate and wanting what they had. There was violence. At least one shot was fired. And Travis Vader killed Lyle and Marie McCann.

Outside court, before the verdict was called into question, Bret McCann recalled a candlelight vigil days after his parents went missing, when it wasn't clear whether they were just lost or hurt, and when their family still believed maybe they could be brought home safe.

"I remember saying something like, 'Mom and dad, hopefully you can hear me. Know that we will never give up searching for you,'" he said.

"Well, six years later, I have to stand down. I'm sorry mom and dad, I can do no more. I hope that some day, somehow, you will be found."

Associated Graphic

From left, Nicole Walshe and her parents, Bret McCann and Mary-Ann McCann, leave the courthouse after Travis Vader's conviction in Edmonton on Thursday.


The McCann's burnt motorhome is shown in an evidence photo released at the Travis Vader trial in Edmonton in March.


Lyle and Marie McCann were last seen on the morning of July 3, 2010, buying gas and groceries in St. Albert, just outside Edmonton. Their motorhome was found engulfed in flames two days after that stop.


Weight watcher
How the decision to shed 20 pounds drew Ian Brown into the all-consuming world of calorie counting, self-denial and a nutritionist named Barbie
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

BEFORE 205 lbs. and fuelled by the 'fierce resolve of the penitent'

AFTER Doesn't look like much has changed - or has it?

Monday: 205 pounds

The triggering incident that forced me to admit I have to lose more weight was the first game of the Blue Jays series against the Rays - specifically the Sportsnet television show Tim and Sid, starring two young men I admire for their wit and knowledge.

What I didn't admire was their necks. Their necks had become large bibs beneath their faces.

Seeing the band of bap that bulged beneath their beans like an Elizabethan ruff, I was reminded of my own.

That night in the bathroom, I took a long look at my own body.

I don't have a pot, or much of a bib, relatively speaking. The problem is the back of me. It is as if another, secret human being, another layer of flesh, has clamped itself onto my back from neck to knee, and is now subsisting on my body as a supracutaneous parasite. The extra man is most noticeable above my hips, where a kind of poorly planned, non-architectural extension resembling a mattress pad has been built onto the existing structure.

This morning, first thing, I made an appointment to see a nutritionist. She offered me a slot on Friday, but I begged for Thursday, fuelled as I am by the fierce resolve of the penitent.

Research says that people who commit to weight-loss meetings or use nutritionists - which is to say, people who can afford a nutritionist - lose more weight.

The rich not only get richer; they get thinner.

The nutritionist's name is Barbie Casselman. Last spring, she helped me drop from 213 pounds - the most I've ever weighed - to 199 pounds. I was aiming to shed 20 more, but summer intervened.

I took a cruise down the Danube, through Hitler's homelands, with my mother-in-law. Drinking was essential.

Now I am afraid to see Casselman again. This is not uncommon.

Tuesday: 205 pounds

Weighed myself this morning, dry, naked and empty: 205. Ack. Perhaps my scale is broken? According to the Body Mass Index, I should weigh no more than 179 pounds - six pounds less than the goal Casselman is recommending.

My body, she says, might not let me go lower. Even at that weight, I think I'll look like a cadaver.

Casselman's regime entails twice-weekly weigh-ins at her office and maintaining a food diary of everything that goes into my mouth, all the while adhering to a calorie-reduced, balanced diet.

Why is it so hard? The theory of losing weight, according to Casselman, is simple. An average person living a sedentary life might need 10 calories per pound to maintain her or his weight and energy. Someone like me, who exercises three times a week, needs 12, in Casselman's estimation. So, at 200 pounds, I need 2,400 calories to maintain my weight. At the same time, 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat.

So if I need 2,400 calories a day, but eat only 1,800, after six days I will lose a pound. Casselman hopes for two pounds a week - although it can be more early on, with water loss.

"That's what the science says," Casselman informs me on the telephone. But I find eating is as psychological as it is physiological. Consuming carbohydrates, for instance, produces serotonin, which makes me feel (briefly) better - hence the doughnut fix when one is facing a deadline.

(One could produce serotonin by exercising, too, but the doughnuts are right there.) And the quick fixes add up. "If you eat just 100 extra calories a day, that's 10 pounds a year," Casselman reminds me. Twelve cashews are 100 calories. A glazed doughnut is 260 calories. No wonder she sees as many as 50 clients a day.

My new daily regime permits six 75-calorie servings of protein; eight 70-calorie servings of starch; three "limited" (or starchy) vegetables (40 calories a pop), but unlimited quantities of non-starchy ones; three servings of fruit (three oranges, but only 1½ apples); and three teaspoons of butter or oil or other fat. It's roughly 1,500 calories a day, although Casselman gears that low, assuming everyone underestimates their intake. A four-ounce glass of wine - a tiny glass of wine! - takes up one of those starches, or two of those fruits.

"When you're on a diet," a pal said recently, "you can either eat or drink. But you can't do both."

Wednesday: 205 pounds

Like someone who cleans their house before the cleaning lady arrives, I am predieting before my first meeting with the nutritionist. I now understand how we make 200 food decisions a day.

For breakfast I eat half a bagel; 1/3 of a cup of Greek yogurt (85 calories - I usually buy the non-fat, non-Greek kind, which allows me to have three-quarters of a cup for the same expenditure of calories, but my daughter prefers the thick stuff) with a peach and some lowfat (that is, artificially sweetened) syrup. Artificial sweeteners may do horrible things to rats when they consume dozens of packets a day, but I tell myself I am not a rat.

But these efforts come to naught, because for dinner I make (delicious) farfalle with corn, the kernels cut from three cobs and sautéed in four tablespoons (four times my daily allotment of fat!) of butter with scallions and then puréed and augmented with half a cup of grated Parmesan, no wine, two non-fat popsicles (80 calories) and - this is my weakness, apart from pasta, wine, cheese and sausages - two squares of marzipan-stuffed chocolate left over from the Danube tour. I justify them because I rode my bike, fast, for two hours this evening. But Casselman says that while exercise "is good for mental health" in that it quiets the body, "80 per cent of weight loss is diet."

To distract myself from feeling hungry mid-morning, I cruise the Internet. Weight loss is a $20-billion-plus business, driven by shame on the one hand, and the false promise of weight loss with no sacrifice on the other. More than 110 million people in North America are on diets at any given time, 85 per cent of whom are women. There is a Writing Diet ("Write yourself right-sized!") and a Premium Cleanse. There is a Pinterest page filled with "inspirational" weight-loss slogans such as "Do it for the 'Holy shit, you got hot.' " If I actually lose weight and someone says "Holy shit, you got hot" to me, I will blind them with my thumbs.

Never mind that the health benefits are beyond argument - lower blood pressure, cholesterol, stress, risk of diabetes. The strange thing about the online Diet World is that it never mentions what is actually required to lose weight - discipline, which is what makes losing weight satisfying. You think it's because your old pants fit again (the benefit most often cited by dieters), but underlying that symptom is the fact that you withstood the lure of the world. You have to "embrace the hunger" (Casselman's line).

"It requires discipline," she says.

"It requires constant vigilance."

It's the ancient reward of stoicism, of being indifferent to pleasure and pain.

Thursday: 204 pounds

My first appointment, postsummer, with the nutritionist. Casselman calls my name and, as I step into her temple of doom, asks how I have been faring, weightwise. I always say things have gone badly: That way, if they have, and I am up, not down, I will at least have displayed selfawareness.

I empty my wallet, glasses, keys, phone, notebook and change, every gram of extra weight, onto a chair. I remove my shoes and stand on the scale. First disappointment: She has to move the main weight higher, into the 200plus zone. I am 204 pounds.

She is not. At 60, Casselman is five-foot-two and 98 pounds. Forty years ago, at 20, studying nutrition at Ryerson, she weighed 131 pounds. A doctor suggested she lose some weight, and she did, permanently. She is ferociously disciplined. Her clients repeat a legendary story: Casselman once ate Chinese food, after which she gained four pounds (oil plus salt, which promotes the retention of water) and never ate Chinese food again.

"Have you been weighing yourself?" Casselman asks. Not before this week. "One of the things that is most important, not just for weight loss but for maintaining the loss, is weighing daily," she reminds me. (Diets date back to Hippocrates; the bathroom scale was introduced in 1913.) "Because there is just this denial that sets in if you don't, that your weight isn't going up." Also, I have to keep a food diary. People who keep their diaries assiduously are like people who wear Fitbits: "They want to be accountable." Ow.

But the visit has a bracing effect on my day's eating. Lunch is a chicken breast and a cup of nottoo-oily Shanghai spicy noodles, and two plums. Dinner is eight shrimp roasted with half a head of broccoli in some olive oil, and three low-calorie popsicles. I feel hungry watching television (Vikings, season three: They eat with their fingers), but virtuous and lighter, at least until I break down and have a bowl of Cheerios and 2/3 of a cup of 1-per-cent milk.

Friday: 203 pounds

The day starts well! I fry an egg in olive oil to go with half a small bagel and an Americano for breakfast, which gets me to lunch, a roasted red pepper stuffed with cheese and (more) egg, and two plums, purchased at Fresh & Wild (ly expensive), the local hipster supermarket, for $14, Jesus save me. All I can think about is my next meal. This being Friday, with my wife ensconced at the Toronto International Film Festival, I have a glass of wine and read William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner on the way home. But the wine lowers my resolve and stimulates my appetite, and I order a takeout burrito for dinner. I hold the cheese and the rice and the sauces, but then Johanna arrives home, and because we have both forgotten it is our 27th wedding anniversary, we go for a drink at a nearby Mexican place, and Johanna orders plantain chips and pork ribs and cod tacos, which I of course help her eat, which in turn makes me silently curse her for sabotaging my diet. She is not sabotaging my diet, but I refuse to be held accountable. Still, no one who eats or drinks wants anyone else to stop eating or drinking.

Saturday: 203 pounds

Today is a rare day in dietetic eating - tasty, as well as healthful.

Light ricotta and fresh raspberries on half a Montreal bagel for breakfast; an incredible tomato sandwich (because there were excellent tomatoes at the market, whose bounty otherwise made me feel like a Calvinist trapped in a Roman orgy) on toast, rubbed with half a clove of garlic and the cut face of half a tomato, striped with light Hellman's and some olive oil and - this is not on the diet - two strips of Danish back bacon, drained to a Gobi-like dryness. Two superb nectarines. I want to go for a long, fast bike ride but can't because I spend half an hour a day writing down (or, to be entirely accurate, racking my brain to remember and then writing down) what I've eaten, how much of it I've eaten, what it consisted of and how many calories that might possibly be. Keeping a food diary may be key to losing weight, but it's as painful as balancing your chequebook three times a day. But that's how I know dinner is two fried eggs and some garlicky chard (I am allowed chard til the chard cows come home) on polenta (broth, not milk) followed by another popsicle. Followed by my now daily two sinful squares of chocolate.

Sunday: 202 pounds

Stupidly, I drink Diet Coke and not enough water, which leaves me dehydrated (and therefore hungry), and fail to eat enough protein at breakfast and lunch, which digests more slowly and would have evened out my blood sugar at the end of the day; in its place, I fall prey to a bag of baked vegetable chips, 240 calories for 35, empty carbs that make insulin, which in turn makes it hard to get fat out of my cells. It's all very scientific. But I redeem my indulgence with a fantastic salad of thinly sliced heritage tomatoes, figs, toasted pine nuts and half an ounce of Roquefort in a balsamic and olive-oil dressing. Spectacular. Of course I ruin it with more chocolate. Casselman says I should brush my teeth at 7 p.m.: "Nothing tastes good after toothpaste." But it makes me feel like a seven-year-old.

Monday: 199 pounds

Despite my lack of discipline, at my next weigh-in I've lost four pounds. A true stoic would be less ecstatic. Only another 25 (12 weeks!) to go. Self-denial is a snap, and the fat fellow on my back has surely been given his notice. Then again, I'm probably delusional. It's probably just water.

I'm back to where, a summer ago, I started.

Associated Graphic


Top: Globe writer Ian Brown is seen before his diet, left, at 205 pounds, and one week in, right, at 199 pounds. Bottom: Brown stays accountable by keeping a food diary.


A portrait of Ellen Seligman in five books
Former publisher of McClelland & Stewart is remembered by her authors ahead of a memorial being held in her honour this week
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

The acknowledgments page of a book is a personal thing.

It's the place where the author, whose name graces the cover, and perhaps every single page inside, is given space to thank those who helped shepherd the book into existence: agents, publicists, family members, fellow writers, friends and former teachers. And, most of all, editors. For the past four decades, one featured name has been the cornerstone of some of the most acclaimed works of Canadian literature: Ellen Seligman.

On Tuesday, a memorial will be held at Koerner Hall in Toronto for the long-time publisher of McClelland & Stewart, who died on March 25.

A great editor possesses skills that, on the surface, seem contradictory: remove without lessening, alter without changing, add without imposing. The first time I sat down with her, at the old M&S offices on Sherbourne Street just east of downtown Toronto, she described her profession, alternately, as an "architect," as a "ventriloquist" and as a "therapist." It was true, in a way: she built up her writers, she helped them find their voice, and, in many cases, she was their closest confidante.

"The idea is not to change it," she said. "The idea is to make it more what it is."

The list of authors she worked with over the years resembles the syllabus of a first-year CanLit class: Margaret Atwood; Leonard Cohen; Rohinton Mistry; Michael Ondaatje; Jane Urquhart; Guy Vanderhaeghe; M.G. Vassanji. Her authors won 23 Governor-General's Literary Awards, six Scotiabank Giller Prizes, five Griffin Poetry Prizes and four Man Booker Prizes. Yet she dismissed me when I asked her if she felt editing was a selfless - and perhaps thankless - task.

"I do not think editors are selfless," she said. "The 'unsung heroes.' I think people don't understand the huge rewards of collaborating with an author, of taking something from here to there, and the excitement of that. I don't think it's selfless at all."

My relationship with Seligman was mostly professional, but I admired her greatly. As the summer comes to an end and we move into fall, the traditional publishing season, with book launches and awards ceremonies and the all the social obligations of the industry, it feels as though something is incomplete, like a sentence lacking a period.

"It's the writers who have taught me how to be a good editor, I think, not the other way around," she told me, all those years ago. "I've learned so much through the process. I'm not teaching them. I really don't feel that my job is to teach. I think that the editorial process is a real give-and-take thing. Believe me, what has made me a good editor is my writers. Period."

So I asked her writers - each reflecting on a specific book she worked on - what made Seligman a good editor.

Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace (1996) "Ellen was always an enthusiastic and meticulous editor with a terrific ear for the mot juste, but the book I remember most was Alias Grace. She was fond of murders and clothing - otherwise put, suspense, hidden motives and period detail - and Alias Grace gave her a lot of scope. 'Was that word in use then? Sounds too modern!' I had to justify several of my choices, and also my wardrobe picks: 'What about the red flannel petticoats?' It was the early days of the Internet - no Dropboxes or PDFs - so the ms went back and forth on paper. When it was time to check the final galleys, I was staying in rural West Cork, Ireland: to flag down the courier I hung a dishtowel on a shrub. The appropriateness of this archaic method was not lost on Ellen."

Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces (1996) "Ellen's relationship to language was intense, intuitive, rare, moral. It was a consciousness, a way of being in the world. In her friendships, she said what she meant and she meant what she said - in this lay a profound bond. In her work, she would not let go; if a word was not right she would return to it, weeks or even months later.

This was the same country I inhabited - not a word must be wasted - and so, Ellen's attention to language was an extraordinary relief to me, and a dispelling of loneliness.

"Working together in the last stages of Fugitive Pieces dispelled loneliness in another way; I had researched and worked alone for 10 years before showing it to Ellen. I knew what was left to be done, and I knew Ellen would insist on that work. Who would care, if that last work were not done, to its limit, to my limit, to our limit? The characters would care, the subject matter would care; everything worthy of naming and holding is always at stake.

"Fugitive Pieces was edited together in a small boardroom at M&S, which, in those days, was in an office tower on University Avenue. There is a line in the novel that is at the heart of everything I've written: 'There is nothing a man will not do to another, nothing a man will not do for another.' In that room together, every calibration of thought and feeling was scrutinized. The worst of history was taken in and silenced us.

Editing, like writing, is working on a detonation mechanism: to render alive. We would emerge from that boardroom punchdrunk with the unparalleled intensity of acute listening to a text, the surreal intimacy of utter surrender to the soul of a book. Ellen cared with her whole being.

"She had little patience for the writer's ego, but profound patience for the writer's soul.

The book is what matters; literature matters. This is an incredible ideal; she was in service to that ideal. Her earnestness, her goodness, her inexhaustible attention to detail: she believed in a world where perfection matters, where literature - the real thing - matters.

"Ellen's attention to detail is legend. Weeks after wrestling over a sentence, she would call and say excitedly - and in a tone meant to persuade - 'When I was in the shower this morning, I suddenly thought about that word on page 271 ...' We worked intensely, of course, but she also laughed with abandon - real hilarity - at the sly humour in the book, which always delighted her. And always, the humour between us was either very dry or very silly.

In that boardroom, 50 pages after - and hours after - coming across the phrase 'the humility of lichen,' she suddenly looked up at me across the table in the best non sequitur imaginable: 'Yes. It doesn't make a fuss.' And, just as unhesitatingly, I knew what she was talking about.

"Ellen always made a fuss - she cared fiercely - about her work and about those she loved. She worried, she took action, she never betrayed a confidence, she gave herself completely.

"Editing was her way of working - and living - towards an ideal. All through our editing of Fugitive Pieces, Ellen kept returning to a sentence that meant a great deal to her: 'We define a man by what he admires, what raises him.' At the time, I didn't understand quite why she held that sentence so close, the intensity of it. Over the years, I came to understand exactly why. Yes, dearest Ellen, yes."

André Alexis, Childhood (1998) "I worked with Ellen on Childhood, my first novel. I remember, at the start of Chapter 11, there was a passage she had me rewrite, over and over. I was happy to do it, even though she couldn't articulate what was wrong and I really had no idea why I was rewriting it or what I was trying to fix. I'd have rewritten it a hundred times more, if she'd asked, because Ellen is the first person of whom I could say, 'This is someone who loves my work as much as I do.' It was in her attitude - her willingness to protect the text, to be as emotionally open with me as I was with her.

I didn't really understand that someone could love my work so deeply. Through Ellen, I learned how to care about my writing more than about myself or my ego. When I learned that she died, I wept not just because she was my friend but because it was like a fierce love going out of the world and I was devastated to think I would never feel it again."

Guy Vanderhaeghe, Daddy Lenin and Other Stories (2015) "Over the years, a number of other writers who Ellen Seligman edited asked me, 'How is Ellen about your endings?' And I would nod my head knowingly because I knew what they were talking about - endings were where Ellen's meticulous attention to detail and pursuit of perfection came into full and relentless bloom.

"The last book of mine she worked on was a collection of short stories, Daddy Lenin, which provided her with eight opportunities to exercise her obsession with refining conclusions.

Soon the manuscript arrived, margins bordered by Ellen's looping scrawl, the two-hour phone calls commenced, the choice of a word, an image or a metaphor debated, sometimes wrangled over. Ellen tested you, forced you to rethink things, to hammer a passage a little flatter, to make a moment a bit spikier, to add a dash of astringency to dialogue. Small adjustments that can make huge differences.

"As she had with every other of the five books of mine she edited, Ellen helped make Daddy Lenin a better book than it was when it landed on her desk. If I can give Ellen an ending she fully and richly deserves, it will be to remember her as a woman who strove to make everything she touched a little better and always succeeded in doing exactly that. Ellen Seligman was a great editor, an even greater lady."

Michael Helm, After James (2016) "Ellen wrote to me as she was first reading After James. This was a sporting violation of protocol - she hadn't yet bought the book and should have been corresponding only with my agent, her good friend and business opponent, Ellen Levine - but it was all in keeping with our ease of exchange. I happened to be in Mexico and in one of the e-mails she wrote that she was thinking of me there while one of my characters was in Istanbul while she was in frozen Toronto. Ellen's imagination had a depth and reach that made her able not just to think of three people in three places at once, but in some sense to be present herself in all three. She had presence to spare, and you didn't have to be in a room with her to feel it. I felt it in Mexico and, though its character has changed, I still feel it.

"If a book gets made the way it should then maybe its true dimensions can't be taken, yet Ellen seemed able to take them.

Many writers have attested to the hours of editorial conversations she devoted to their books. I left each session with her laughter and voice still in my head, feeling elated and lucky but physically spent. Now and then I asked her how she was feeling because the work had to be as hard for her. She might admit to being busy - in her case this word was absurdly inadequate - but not tired.

"For After James all our work was by phone. Often there were three-way conversations, with my lucent U.S. editor Meg Storey on the line, too, and Ellen held in mind all three viewpoints about everything - slight dramatic pressures, nuances of character, sentences and words - and remembered them even as the pages counted down and each new set of questions rolled up.

"At some point over these months, when I asked if she was well, she confessed only to a few vague health challenges.

Her focus remained as always a kind of rhetoric, and her energy outdistanced mine. Our last exchange about After James was 17 days before she died. Those hours that she gave to the novel, the voice that she summoned for those long conversations, were a gift to me from Ellen and her partner, Jim Polk.

She would have given the gift to any of her writers. Ellen made finishes. She was in many senses a seer-through. There's no more certain and honourable a mark of self than selflessness.

Every book she worked on was for others, for us, writers and readers. Much of the life in them is hers."

Associated Graphic

Ellen Seligman passed away in March, but she is remember fondly for her meticulous work. Margaret Atwood, top right, fondly recalls the archaic way Alias Grace was edited, while Guy Vanderhaeghe, middle right, remembers her as 'a woman who strove to make everything she touched a little better.' Anne Michaels, bottom right, talks of her legendary attention to detail while André Alexis, bottom left, remembers her fierce love for the work of others.


The famous bronze statue of the Great One hefting a Stanley Cup, standing outside the Northlands Coliseum, has been a beloved Edmonton landmark for nearly three decades. Moving the legendary piece of art to its new home outside Rogers Place was no simple task, Marty Klinkenberg discovers
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

EDMONTON -- A crowd of 14,000 poured into the Northlands Coliseum on Aug. 27, 1989. Mayor Terry Cavanagh proclaimed it Wayne Gretzky Day in Edmonton and during a Sunday afternoon tribute, the Oilers star was presented with a key to the city. A bronze statue of him hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head was unveiled.

As Gretzky was driven around the darkened arena in a black Austin Healey, dignitaries waited to thank him for 10 years of unforgettable hockey - and the championships he delivered four times. Dave Semenko, Grant Fuhr and a few other former teammates attended, but Oilers executives were noticeably absent.

It was little more than a year after Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, and only months since they had eliminated the Oilers from the playoffs. Emotions remained raw.

Oilers owner Peter Pocklington didn't dare show his face, and neither did general manager Glen Sather or other club executives.

Gretzky was 28, and was accompanied by his parents and his wife, Janet Jones, who was seated with their daughter, Paulina, six months old, cradled in her arms. As her father stood onstage at one end of the rink, the infant chewed on a program printed to commemorate the day.

With the audience joining in, a friend and local musician, Tim Feehan, serenaded hockey's golden boy with a song composed for the occasion, The Memories Will Last Forever. By the last verse, fans were standing and swaying with tears streaking their cheeks.

It was after then that the monument, more than 15 feet tall from its base and 950 pounds, was revealed.

"I think it's wonderful," Gretzky told the gathering. "To me, the statue symbolizes what was most important to everyone, and that was winning."

"I hope when people walk past the statue, they think of the good times I tried to give them. I hope they think, 'It was fun to watch him play.' " When the Edmonton Oilers officially open their $480-million arena on Oct. 12, the building and most everything in it will be new. Only a few cherished pieces are special enough to be relocated: Stanley Cup banners and replica trophies, retired player numbers and the likeness of the greatest player in the history of the sport.

For nearly three decades, the Wayne Gretzky statue has stood outside the team's hockey rink.

That will not change, even though the team has moved from the historic building it played in for 42 seasons to a bigger, modern downtown arena called Rogers Place.

"It is going to be in a prominent place," says Bob Nicholson, the long-time former Hockey Canada boss who is now overseeing the Oilers' operations.

"People want to see it and touch it and, more than anything else, have their picture taken with it."

Arms and a torso in the carport

For a quarter of a century, brides wearing flowing wedding gowns and grooms in smart tuxedos have posed for photographs beside the statue. It has been treated with reverence from the day it was placed outside the front of the old coliseum, and has become a part of the landscape, like the leaping Bobby Orr rendering in Boston or the monuments at Yankee Stadium.

More than a few times, security officers found ashes scattered at the bronze Gretzky's feet.

The work of the late sculptor John Weaver has long served as a place for fans to meet. It has been photographed countless times; even No. 99 stopped to take a selfie beside himself last April before the Oilers' final game at Rexall Place.

An artist whose career spanned more than 60 years, Weaver was born in Montana and became the official state sculptor before going to work for the Smithsonian Institution and later accepting an invitation to become artist-in-residence at the Royal Alberta Museum. Between the first statue he created for an art centre in Butte and the last one he completed in 2003 for the city of Chilliwack, B.C., he produced more than 2,000 pieces for halls, parks, public spaces and private collections across Canada and the United States.

Shortly after taking his vitamins and finishing his morning exercises, Weaver collapsed from heart failure on April 10, 2012, and died at home in Hope, B.C.

He was 92 and was working on one last monument when his son, Henry, found him.

As the son of a sculptor, Henry Weaver grew up in a magical world few boys know. While his dad was the curator of a museum in Helena, Mont., Henry rode his tricycle through the halls. While his dad worked at the Smithsonian in Washington, Henry found it to be a marvellous place to play hide-and-seek.

"I had the run of the Natural History Museum," he says.

"There are secret spots only the rats and I know."

Upon moving to Edmonton, the family settled into a two-storey house, where Weaver worked out of the garage and in a studio that he built out back.

"Our house was a house that was a museum that was a house," Henry Weaver, 58, says.

"It was like the Addams Family mansion. We had parts of dismembered statues scattered all over the place and nudes lounging around. Sex was never a mystery to me."

John Weaver had moved from Edmonton to British Columbia when he was commissioned to do the statue of Gretzky.

Henry, who is also a sculptor, says his father was creating the armature, or skeletal frame, when he hung cedar renderings of Gretzky's arms and pieces of the torso in their carport.

A woman walking by saw them, and notified the RCMP. A short time later, squad cars flew down the driveway with lights flashing - then screeched to a halt. A forensics team that had been dispatched was called off.

"As soon as their headlights hit the carport, the Mounties turned them off and drove away," Henry says. "They said, 'Oh, it's just that sculptor.' It happened at least once in every location we ever lived."

Henry helped his father do the detail work on the statue. He remembers this dad poring over photos as he worked on the likeness to make sure it was just right. He even hooked Gretzky's hockey sweater into the back of his pants, just as the Great One wore it.

"It was an emotional time," Henry says. "Wayne had just moved to Los Angeles at the height of his career. He loved Edmonton, and the people there loved him."

When it was finished, the statue was sent to a studio on the outskirts of Calgary. There, it was cast in bronze by Don Begg.

'For God sakes, don't drop it'

On Aug. 4, 2016, the Gretzky statue was removed from the spot where it had stood beside Edmonton's hockey rink for 26 years. It will soon be placed outside the arena the Oilers will christen at the start of the NHL season.

A crowd of about 100 people gathered to watch as Begg, who delivered the monument to the Northlands the day it was unveiled almost three decades earlier, extricated it.

Puffs of dust scattered in the breeze as Begg used a saw to separate the statue from its granite base.

"This is like a punch in the gut," said Shaughn Butts, an Edmonton photographer. "It is something that people have an emotional connection with."

It took about an hour for the likeness to be removed, wrapped in blankets and hoisted carefully into the back of Begg's pickup truck.

For Robbie Herron, whose company operated the crane, it was a delicate and nerve-racking task.

"This job is different," says Herron, who grew up a block from the Northlands and attended Oilers games as a kid when they were part of the World Hockey Association. "This statue is so important to the city and to the people of Edmonton.

They have so much love for Wayne Gretzky." Herron had a team of eight employees on site as part of the operation. "There were actually two people working and six of us worrying," he says. "When I sent a text message to my son saying we had been hired to help with this, he said, 'For God sakes, don't drop it!' " The operation was handled smoothly and soon Begg was driving it 315 kilometres to his studio in Cochrane. He joked that he might stand it up to taunt hockey fans there as he drove through Calgary.

An artist and bronzesmith who has created or cast 250 monuments on display all over the world, Begg was hired to give the bust a look-over before it was moved to Rogers Place.

When he got it to his studio, he discovered few signs of wear.

Mostly, his job entailed ridding it of dust and dirt that collected in crevices in uniform sleeves, and scouring away bird poop.

Everyone else treats Gretzky with great respect, pigeons not so much.

"There was really not a lot to do," Begg says, analyzing the statue in his workshop. "It is in pretty remarkable shape. I have checked it 100 times over the years.

"I do a lot of work in Edmonton, so every time I was there, I would stop. I never drive by one of my statues without looking at it."

Taught to cast bronze by his father-in-law, a cowboy artist named Doug Stephens who studied under Norman Rockwell, Begg runs a 16,000-square-foot foundry. In his showroom, along with a display of some of the exquisite pieces he has cast, there are photos of the Gretzky statue, one of it outside the Northlands, another of the Great One admiring it during the unveiling.

"It is real honour to be part of this," Begg says, work shoes speckled with plaster. "How many people get to make something that is going to be around for thousands of years?" .

A new home

On the day that fans turned out to pay homage to Gretzky's greatness in 1989 on a late-summer afternoon, Joan Healey was among the dignitaries on the stage. She is an artist, and was hired by the City of Edmonton to do a painting that was also presented during the ceremonies.

The 30-by-36-inch canvas is called The Parting and shows three boys in Oilers sweaters on an outdoor rink with the city skyline in the background. In it, one youth wears Kevin Lowe's No. 4 and another wears Mark Messier's No. 11 as a blondhaired boy wearing No. 99 waves goodbye.

The painting was covered with a cloth and was sitting on an easel onstage before it was unveiled.

"I was sitting there and saw his reaction," Healey, 78, says of Gretzky. "He was standing at the microphone and kept turning to look at it. He was quite surprised.

"When I was asked to do the painting, I was honoured. I knew it would mean something to him in the future and immediately started thinking about it.

I wanted to do something that would touch him."

That night, Healey and her husband, Rich, a former defenceman who played one game in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, were invited to join Gretzky and his family at a private dinner party at the coliseum. She has a photograph autographed by Gretzky from the evening, during which she held little Paulina's hand as she tried to take a few awkward steps.

"He had to be the nicest young man you would ever want to meet," Healey says.

Years have passed, but that is the way people in Edmonton remember him - a robust young hockey star who brought distinction to a mid-sized northern city without pretension.

Come Oct. 12, when the Oilers open the regular season against their rivals from Calgary, the Gretzky statue will stand again, but outside Rogers Place.

"The fact that the statue was removed from its original place can bother you for nostalgia sake, but when you think about it, art goes to wherever it is appreciated," says Henry Weaver, the late sculptor's son. "It doesn't bother me at all as long as people see it and love it. The whole idea of art is to inspire as well as to inform.

"I kind of like the idea."

Associated Graphic

A statue of Wayne Gretzky stands outside Rexall Place, formerly Northlands Coliseum, in Edmonton in March. The real Gretzky stopped to take a selfie beside himself in April before the Oilers' final game at Rexall Place. The statue has since been moved.


Artist Don Begg polishes up the Wayne Gretzky statue in his studio in Cochrane, Alta., earlier this month.


Don Begg does some welding work on the Gretzky statue at his studio in August.


Removing the Wayne Gretzky statue from Rexall Place on Aug. 4., so it could be cleaned up and reinstalled at the new rink, was a nerve-racking experience for workers involved.


The Northwest Zone Hawks atom team climbs the statue in 1999.


Rules of engagement
As Ottawa manoeuvres toward closer relations with Beijing, China's hunt for economic fugitives strains trust that a legitimate extradition treaty with Canada is possible
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A12

BEIJING -- They have become the Mounties of a modern China, a group of tireless polyglots willing to brave deprivation and even Ebola to nab their quarry from the most distant corners of the Earth.

Few tactics are off-limits to the investigators of China's global anti-corruption operation, dubbed "Fox Hunt," as they track down businessmen and functionaries China accuses of fattening their wallets with dirty money. They sneak across borders under false pretenses, lean on family members and blanket the world with cellphone messages to cajole and threaten suspects, all in the name of doing the Communist Party's cleanup work.

But as China takes its Fox Hunt deep into foreign nations it accuses of harbouring the guilty, it has created problems for countries caught between a desire to expel people hiding illegal funds and concerns about the Chinese judicial system.

Of the fugitives China placed last year on a list of top-100 most wanted, 26 were believed to be in Canada, putting Ottawa squarely in Beijing's crosshairs.

Now, Canada's agreement to begin discussions with China on an extradition treaty has added fresh urgency to questions of whether Western nations should co-operate with an authoritarian government whose police, in the view of Canada's own Minister of Public Safety, torture and commit extrajudicial killings.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended rapprochement with China this week, saying "Canada has extremely high standards on extradition treaties" and a "very, very rigorous process that conforms with the expectations and the values of Canadians."

But lawyers, human-rights advocates and an alleged fugitive caution that greater cooperation with China's Fox Hunt threatens to further ensnare Canada in the controversial workings of an audacious Chinese global dragnet.

Through interviews, cellphone-chat transcripts, state-media accounts and Canadian court documents, The Globe and Mail has assembled a detailed look at China's continent-spanning search for those it calls fugitives - and the longstanding problems its tactics have posed for Canada and the suspects compelled to return.

'They started targeting my family members'

Corruption in China has flourished over decades of breakneck growth and heavy government spending. Between 2003 and 2012, some $1.6-trillion in illicit funds poured out of China, a study by research group Global Financial Integrity found, more than any other country. Over a similar period, the People's Bank of China estimated 16,000 to 18,000 corrupt Chinese were on the run. The operation to pursue them has become a critical component of a domestic anti-corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping: Choke off avenues for escape, and the crackdown at home becomes more effective.

In August, China said "Fox Hunt 2016" had already nabbed 409 people "hiding" overseas. (One of the top-100 most wanted returned to China from Canada on Thursday, local Chinese media reported.) A different but similar "Operation Skynet" has further expanded the number of banks and government departments that have joined the hunt, which mixes a campaign against graft with an effort to quash political rivals.

"They want to send a message that even though you run away, we are still after you," says Lance Gore, a professor at National University of Singapore who has written on the Fox Hunt. "There are cases where they persecute family members, or threaten them. In a Western context, of course, that's illegal. But in China, that's considered by the authorities as normal."

In an interview, one alleged fugitive in Canada described being contacted by an unknown man whose questions strongly suggested he was a Chinese security agent.

"After they approached me, my family members in China all ran into trouble," said the person, whom China accuses of corruption. "They started targeting my family members."

The experience has left the alleged fugitive frightened to speak out, for fear of consequences back in China. The Globe is withholding identifying details. "Initially I felt that Canada is a fair and safe place.

Now that they are going ahead with an international extradition treaty, I am a bit worried," the person said.

The problems with Chinese tactics, after all, have long been known to Canadian authorities. Chinese agents have slipped into Canada under false pretenses as far back as 2000; more recently, officers have entered as tourists, The Globe and Mail reported this week. The RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have both launched investigations.

On a visit to Canada this week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang denied knowing about surreptitious travels by Chinese police. "We strictly follow international law and international norms, and we also respect the law of other countries," he said.

Australia and the United States have both publicly called on Beijing to stop the practice, which China's own government-controlled media have acknowledged. Late last year, a report in the Communist Youth League-published Beijing Youth Daily detailed "general working procedures" for China's hunt for fugitives: "The procuratorate will contact the fugitive, or send working staff to the country where the fugitive is." It looks to influence the person's "thoughts," using negotiations "and other ways in hope that he could return to China," the report said.

Cellphone messages obtained by The Globe show the mix of incentives and threats China employs. In WeChat conversations with the family of an alleged fugitive living in the U.S., a local party discipline committee and the public procurator's office offer leniency if the woman returns to China and urge her not to consult with a U.S. lawyer.

One message says the "life and career" of the suspect's family will be affected if she does not return. "I don't think you would want to have your [family] being pulled down for your silly behaviour," reads another.

The Chinese government dispatched relatives to the U.S. to pressure the woman.

Consular officials delivered a similar message. But the woman is "very tough, very firm" and remains opposed to returning, said New York immigration lawyer Li Jinjin. "She does not believe anything from Chinese officials. She knows they cannot be trusted. She knows they lie every day."

Beijing's push for extradition treaties

China's globe-trotting graft-busters have taken on a kind of hometown celebrity, their work held up for praise by state media, which laud their cunning and dedication.

A delegation landed in Nigeria in the midst of the Ebola outbreak, only to have one person come down with a high fever.

They continued their work when the person was diagnosed with malaria.

"Behind the tough journeys are captures like those performed in Hollywood movies," state media crowed last year.

But there is only so much China can do without foreign co-operation, so it has also hunted extradition treaties, including with Western democracies. This week marked the first time since Paris ratified an extradition pact last year that France sent a person suspected of embezzlement back to China.

Australia, too, has signed an extradition treaty, and has signalled it will soon ratify it. China's "justice system is still very imperfect," said Philip Ruddock, a former Australian attorney-general who is now the country's special envoy for human rights.

But, he asked, can foreign nations push for improvement "by simply berating them?" "I would have negotiations. I think it's important," he said. "Over time, China is going to change even more rapidly than we've seen today. And it's engagement that's going to help."

A well-drafted extradition treaty "potentially raises the standards of the Chinese criminal justice system," argues John GibbCarsley in a graduate thesis on a possible Canadian deal with China. Mr. Gibb-Carsley is a lawyer with Justice Canada, although he says his views are his own.

It would also "show the world that Canada is no shelter for the corrupt," said Zhuang Deshui, deputy director of the Peking University Clean Government Center.

"This will be helpful for Canada's national image."

A formal treaty, too, could bring more stringent scrutiny to extradition requests than is typically now the case when people are deported.

And even if an extradition deal takes years to negotiate, Canada is taking other more immediate steps. In Ottawa this week, the two sides signed an agreement on the sharing and return of forfeited assets. It is a first for China, and provides a "powerful weapon for China to more effectively recover the transferred state-owned assets and reinforce the global effort to fight corruption," Xu Hong, a director-general in China's foreign ministry, wrote in a column published by the Communist Party-controlled Global Times.

Other nations have been more skeptical.

The U.S., Britain and New Zealand have refused to formalize extradition deals.

Blind to China's lack of due process?

Years of Chinese deportation demands in Canada have brought to the surface numerous problems.

Last year, the Canada Border Services Agency tried to bar a retired Chinese police officer from Canada because he had worked for China's Public Security Bureau.

In arguments before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, who oversees the border services agency, argued that the Chinese police organization had "engaged in human-rights abuses over an extended period of time."

That argument is contained in an August, 2015, decision which also found "ample evidence" of torture, unlawful arrests and extrajudicial killings by the PSB, saying Chinese police "were involved in crimes against humanity."

But in many other cases, lawyers for the Canadian government rely on the same Public Security Bureau for evidence. In one case, prosecutors in Vancouver called the deputy head of the economic-crime investigation department at the Shanghai Public Security Bureau to testify against a former steel trader accused by China of fraud.

"Simply because a witness is from an authoritarian state does not mean that their evidence is automatically unreliable," an Immigration and Refugee Board member wrote in that case.

Chinese courts, too, rely heavily on hearsay evidence and bow to orders from police and Communist Party leadership, while defendants in criminal cases rarely have proper legal representation.

When they accept evidence from China, organizations like the Canadian Border Services Agency are "closing their eyes to the reality of the lack of due process in China," said Canadian lawyer Lorne Waldman, who has represented numerous Chinese fugitive suspects in Canada.

"They're willfully blind," he said.

In some cases, Canadian diplomats have been scolded by judges in Canada for giving personal details on refugee claimants to Chinese police. The CBSA declined to respond to questions about evidence from China. "Evidence in removal cases can take many forms," wrote spokesperson Esme Bailey, giving as examples records from banks, courts, corporate documents and religious institutions.

In China, legal experts have lashed back at foreign criticism, saying it has been stoked by misinformed media and lawyers trying to keep clients from extradition.

"We are currently pushing forward reforms across the entire legal system to improve court independence in trials," said Prof. Zhuang. "This shouldn't be a major reason to refuse extradition requests. It should be up to whether a suspect's behaviour is corrupt."

A Canadian treaty with China would almost certainly demand that suspects not be executed. It could also require China to videotape interrogations and court proceedings as proof that a suspect has not been mistreated, and require pretrial access to suspects for Canadian diplomats.

Beijing has already shown willingness to agree to such demands, as it did when Canada returned accused smuggler Lai Changxing, once called China's most-wanted fugitive. Still, the issues are complicated. In the Lai case, Canada monitored his treatment before trial, but not since his life sentence. "The Lai conditions in my view were not respected because Lai is not receiving adequate medical care in prison," said Winnipeg-based David Matas, who was Mr. Lai's lawyer.

It's not the only time China's promises have been called into question.

In a case that unfolded over nearly a decade, businessman Li Dongzhe and his brother fled to Vancouver to evade corruption charges, only to spend years negotiating a return home with the Chinese consulate.

After securing a verbal promise that he would do no time in jail, his brother flew back to China. Mr. Li returned, too, when Chinese diplomats promised him leniency and said his family could reclaim any legitimate assets that had been seized. Instead, a Chinese court confiscated all of Mr. Li's assets and sentenced him to life in prison.

His brother received a 25-year sentence.

The brothers "tried the co-operative method. And it backfired on them horribly," said Douglas Cannon, Mr. Li's Canadian lawyer. "The deal was absolutely worthless to the Chinese authorities."

If Canada negotiates an extradition treaty, then, how can it rely on Chinese assurances? he asked. "They simply cannot be trusted. And they demonstrate this over and over again," he said.

Associated Graphic

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, stick handles the puck away from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they sport Montreal Canadiens jerseys on Friday in Montreal.


Ten can't-miss television series coming this fall
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Unlike the two leading U.S. presidential candidates, American television is in robust health. That's a fact. Even network TV, slandered by accusations that it is irrelevant and in poor shape, took a deep breath and decided to take some bold steps.

Will it work? That's a maybe.

But what can be said with certainty is that the fall TV season, launching this week, has some excellent shows of depth and sophistication, and enough wildly entertaining series to satisfy many tastes.

For the networks, experimentation is the new, radical health fix.

Of course, there are new versions of old hits and attempts to spin a drama or comedy from a familiar movie franchise. Old habits die hard. But there are notable "highconcept" comedies across four of the big five - ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. That is, an imaginative story nucleus that might be a shot in the dark but might click with enough viewers to build loyalty to an entire slate of programs.

NBC's The Good Place and Fox's Son of Zorn (reviewed here) are part of that pack. ABC's comedy Speechless, which stars Minnie Driver as a mom and is about a family with a special-needs child, also falls into the category. And the same network's Imaginary Mary, about a fictitious being named Mary who reappears to her now grown-up creator from her childhood, is in the same vein.

In a year in which as many as 450 scripted series will air on network, cable and streaming services in the United States - more than twice the 216 scripted series that aired in 2011 - it makes sense to want to stand out with originality. None of the Big Five networks showed growth in overall viewers last season and for several the median age of viewers is in the 50-to-59 demographic. Oldschool and old-timey TV doesn't cut it any more to increase viewership.

What younger viewers are drawn to is cable and streaming. Many cable outlets save their new series for the start of the year.

But there are major, enticing new series from HBO and FX. The latter is in the strongest position of all, with a commitment to incisive drama and comedy for the discerning viewer. The unpredictable, anchored in recognizable human experience, is FX's strength and it has already launched a landmark comedy called Atlanta, which started several weeks ago. Seemingly plotless, it is brilliantly droll. HBO has the crazily ambitious Westworld and several superb comedies.

Thematically, American TV hews to themes below the surface in the culture that sometimes rise to the surface. The fear of terrorism and dissatisfaction with government (both tackled in Designated Survivor) is evident. The fear that genuine evil lurks everywhere (Fox's reboot of The Exorcist is an example). There is also an urge to put on TV the mores and perspectives of millennials and others who are not traditionally represented. This urge is on display in numerous series.

Herewith, 10 shows worth your time and attention; can't-miss dramas and comedies from across the TV platforms.

Designated Survivor (ABC, CTV, starts Sept. 21)

The legend about this show is probably apocryphal but rings true. It's this: The producer goes into a meeting at ABC to pitch the series. An exec asks, "So, what's the show?" The response is: "It's The West Wing meets 24. And Kiefer Sutherland plays the president." The exec replies: "Deal!"

Designated Survivor is summed up in the legend. It is indeed a political drama set inside the White House while a terrorist attack is unfolding and, more, must be foiled. Sutherland is very good as Tom Kirkman. A low-level official who becomes president when a bombing during the State of the Union address wipes out the president and all senior goverment members, Tom's a family man and a bit earnest. He is initially overawed but soon understands that he needs to play the role of president or things will fall part.

He has enemies, of course - an army general has contempt for him, for a start. And then there's the plot about the attack that really must have been an inside job. The show also presents a fascinating escapist fantasy anchored in U.S. politics today - what if the most powerful were simply erased and an outsider came in as president to make a fresh start?

Westworld (HBO, starts Oct. 2)

The most lavish and anticipated HBO series in years is loosely based on the 1973 movie of the same name. In that, things went awry at a futuristic Wild West theme park. Visitors got to experience the fantasy of old west tales involving varmints, gunfights and kicking back in a saloon. The western characters were played by robots. Here, it's the same gist, but the point of view is, essentially, that of the robots. They are, it is clear, becoming cognizant of their status and beginning to rebel. Meanwhile, there's one visitor to the park - played by Ed Harris with ferocious menace - who knows there's something evil going on and wants to take advantage. In the background is the creator of everything, a deeply melancholy genius, played by Anthony Hopkins. In fact, for all its brutal violence and sex - some of the visitors merely want to kill, rape and pillage - the series is a gorgeous exercise in profound melancholy. What horrors has humankind wreaked with a mass devotion to perfection, satisfaction and entertainment? At times terrifying bleak and cynical, Westworld is lugubrious. It can have characters announcing, "Hell is empty and all the devils are here," and set out to illustrate that.

Divorce (HBO, starts Oct. 9)

The return of Sarah Jessica Parker to television will get attention, but what really matters is that this acid comedy is rather brilliant. Created by Sharon Horgan (co-creator with Rob Delaney of the equally funny Catastrophe), it is scintillatingly strange, hilarious and foul-mouthed. Frances (Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church), a long-married couple with two kids, aim to divorce after each decides the other is a bothersome, repulsive dolt. In fact, it is Frances who instigates everything, following a bizarre dinner party with friends that amounts to one of the most beautifully farcical segments in recent TV history. These are not nice people caught in a dilemma. They are awful and so are their friends.

Even Church, who tends to play oafs with a heart of gold, doesn't signal that his character is redeeming. At the same time, there is an almost festive air about the series. The jokes are excellent, the pace is rollicking and nobody ever, ever behaves well. Bracing and brilliant.

The Good Place (NBC, Global, starts Sept. 22)

It's much more assured, clever and breezy than you might expect, this comedy. A young woman, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), dies and goes to heaven. Or at least the 'hood known as "the good place." She is greeted by the chap who guides new arrivals (played with comic deftness by Ted Danson) and tries to fit in.

Trouble is, there has been a mistake and it's the wrong Eleanor.

This one is selfish, nasty and not a good person. The comedy derives from the character trying to control her nasty side and blend in with the good, decent people. Created by Michael Schur, who also wrote Parks and Recreation, this one has that show's wryness and a dollop of wildly imaginative leaps. It's quite waggish - heaven has a lot of frozen yogurt shops - and Bell is a gifted actor who can make the satire lightly defined and do an Eleanor who is both funny and compelling. A very pleasant surprise for a network comedy.

Pitch (Fox, Global, starts Sept. 22)

It sounds like a gimmick, but it's better than that. The pilot for the heavily promoted drama about Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), the first woman to play in Major League Baseball, is good. She's a pitcher and an exceptionally talented one. But is that why she's called up to the San Diego Padres, or is because she can sell tickets and guarantee TV ratings? The pilot treads lightly where you might expect clichés to run riot. It starts with an unusual coolness for new network drama these days - it takes a while to get to know the main character, and in the middle of the opener there's an emotional shift that is surprisingly strong. Bunbury is low-key for most of the pilot and the show gives space to Bob Balaban, as the club's owner, and to Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who is excellent as the team's captain, Mike, a swaggering jock who is at the end of his career and is realistic about what the arrival of a woman means.

This isn't Friday Night Lights, but it's fresh and has a feistily unpredictable heft to it.

Son of Zorn (Fox, starts Sept. 25)

Goofy as all get-out, but deceptively sly, this is a high-concept comedy that is worth watching at least once. The blend of live action and animation isn't new, but here the stakes are low - nobody goes on and about Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) being a cartoon character who is the defender of Zephyria, a mystical island somewhere. He fights against evil creatures while wearing a fur loincloth and armed with a very large sword. He decides to visit his son and his ex (the wonderful Cheryl Hines from Curb Your Enthusiasm) in California. And realizing he doesn't really know the kid, he tries to settle down in a job. A hint of the show's satiric intent comes when he is told he would be a "diversity hire." What unfolds is a sharp take on macho men and the absurd worship of superheroes.

This Is Us (NBC, CTV, starts Sept. 20)

Relentlessly promoted and with trailer that has tens of millions of view online, This Is Us is all too clearly an attempt at a dollop of pathos about ordinary people. It's not brilliant. Far from it. But interesting as an experiment. There's a large ensemble cast and the characters at first seem like random people not connected to each other. They are indeed connected, which most viewers will figure out quickly. There are Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who wait for their triplets to arrive. All characters are supposed to be ordinary, but with issues. The point is, really, to pour treacle over everything and make it uplifting. Not for the cynical, but a fascinating hodgepodge.

Incorporated (Showcase, starts Nov. 30)

Made for the SyFy channel and produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Incorporated is a wildly ambitious, dystopian drama. Set in the near-future when the big corporations control every aspect of life and have enormous power, it is in fact a world uncomfortably close to our own. The well-off live in the "Green Zone" and the poor in the "Red Zone." It is capitalism on steroids, this arena. The portrait of the key company is well done, with Dennis Haysbert playing a key executive and Julia Ormond playing the sinister figure who is the public face of the company. Seriously creepy without any scary monsters.

Better Things (FX Canada, now running and on-demand)

Pamela Adlon, familiar as Louie's love object, Kim, on Louie (Louis C.K. is a producer here), plays actress Sam Fox, an acerbic and endearing single mother. She has three daughters, an ex-husband, an English mother and, well, life to deal with. The languorous pace matched with Adlon's steely comic timing is irresistible. The show defies description or neat summary. It is, however, much more accurate about a recognizably ordinary life than This Is Us.

Insecure (HBO, starts Oct. 9)

Issa Rae, a YouTube star with her series Awkward Black Girl, gets full HBO freedom here in a show created with Larry Wilmore. It is very, very funny and treads easily through the core matter of being a black woman who is not entirely comfortable with much of black culture. Rae plays a woman in Los Angeles who works for a non-profit that helps underprivileged kids. There's that, but the show doesn't veer toward pathos.

Rae cuts like a knife through presumptions about what matters in black life.

Associated Graphic

American TV's fall season has a robust lineup of shows with depth and sophistication, such as Divorce, a new comedy series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, seen above, or Son of Zorn, a deceptively sly mix of live action and animation, bottom. Others are less sophisticated, but wildly entertaining, such as This Is Us, centre.

Clinton The Debates Trump
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - two of the most unpopular and controversial presidential candidates - prepare to square off in front of millions of television viewers for the first time on Monday night, The Globe looks at the history of U.S. presidential debates, the past experience of the two nominees and the obstacles they'll need to dodge in order to sway voters ahead of November's election
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

Reality television has never quite seen anything like The Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Show: near-fainting spells, sudden jaunts to hated Mexico, charges of bigotry and sexism and an overall toxicity that far exceeds your typical U.S. presidential race.

On Monday night, the show kicks off its finale, with the first of three live debates over the autumn that will grip tens of millions of viewers worldwide and provide a televised spectacle as two of the most unpopular and controversial presidential candidates share the same stage and slug it out.


With the emergence of the television age in the 1950s came the first set of presidential debates.

The four debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election gave Mr. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate, the edge. As one debate producer later recalled, Mr. Nixon had the on-camera appearance of "death warmed over."

The presidential debates would skip the 1964, 1968 and 1972 elections and return in 1976 before a studio audience. They have remained a fixture ever since.

In 2016, there are three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate scheduled.

According to Alan Schroeder, professor of journalism at Northeastern University and author of Presidential Debates: Risky Business on the Campaign Trail, the debates are a cornerstone of U.S. politics for two reasons: They come late in the marathon election cycle and they force the candidates to give up control and step away from the choreographed contexts on the campaign trail in front of adoring crowds.


The audience is expected to exceed the 46.2 million households, or the estimated 67.2 million viewers, who watched the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney four years ago.


Donald Trump

Experience: Real estate billionaire and TV showman

Debate experience: 12 Republican debates in 2015 and 2016

Debate style: Prickly; combative; dismissive; unprepared Hillary Clinton

Experience: U.S. Secretary of State; U.S. Senator; first lady

Debate experience: Dozens of debates going back to her 2000 and 2006 Senate races and her 2008 and 2016 presidential bids

Debate style: Methodical as a lawyer; versed like a policy wonk; a seasoned debater


Each debate starts at 9 p.m. ET and lasts 90 minutes without commercial breaks and takes place in front of a live audience that is advised not to interrupt with applause, laughter or jeering.

Audience tickets are given to each political party and the university hosting the debate. The universities generally use a lottery system open to students. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which schedules and oversees the general election debates, also hands out some tickets.

For the second presidential debate, the audience is made up of uncommitted voters picked by the Gallup polling firm. Some of those audience members will be selected to ask questions in the townhall format.

Episode 1: The much-anticipated moment when the two rivals first appear together on stage takes place tonight at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Episode 2: The second presidential debate on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., will allow voters to put questions to the candidates.

Episode 3: The third and final debate on Oct. 19 takes place at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.


1. Do not be dismissive The presidential debates will be a historic moment - the first time a female U.S. presidential candidate takes the stage. Ms. Clinton is acutely aware of how gender dynamics can play out on the campaign trail, as she recently told the blog Humans of New York.

"I'll go to these events and there will be men speaking before me, and they'll be pounding the message, and screaming about how we need to win the election. And people will love it. And I want to do the same thing. Because I care about this stuff.

But I've learned that I can't be quite so passionate in my presentation."

The reason is simple, according to Kelly Dittmar, assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics. If women get excited or passionate about something, it can be seen as if they are unstable. Why is she screaming? Why is she yelling at me? She seems out of control.

How Ms. Clinton handles Mr. Trump's likely debate-stage zingers will be another navigation of the minefield of gender dynamics that female politicians face, says Prof. Dittmar. "You want to counter him on substance and not be dismissive of him in a way that might resonate in all different ways, but for women in particular, may come across as 'bitchy.' " 2. Do try to needle your opponent One of the biggest challenges facing Ms. Clinton is how to expose her rival on the debate stage on the temperament question, according to Prof. Dittmar.

"Hillary Clinton has now made this the cornerstone of her argument against Donald Trump - that he's temperamentally unfit to be president. So will that come out [and how] will she try to demonstrate that?" There is one way to get under Mr. Trump's skin. Last year, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina attacked Mr. Trump's business record, mountains of debt and casino bankruptcies. The underlying critique was that Mr. Trump uses other peoples' money at failed businesses not unlike how politicians use public money to create bad government programs.

3. Do improvise The Democratic presidential candidate is an expert debater and can avoid appearing robotic while rolling with the punches, according to Prof. Schroeder.

"There's this great quote from Bill Clinton who likened presidential debates to playing jazz. He said, there's a melody line and you've got to remember what that melody line is and you need to play the song enough that people are able to recognize what it is.

"But you also need to be able to riff, and you also need to have some fun with it, and I think Hillary does do that."

4. Do connect with ordinary voters Ms. Clinton's attributes when it comes to debating on live television are numerous, according to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communications and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Pennsylvania.

"Hillary Clinton is an extremely strong debater. If the standard for debate is capacity to engage in argument quickly with apt evidence, she's got a lawyer's instinct to go for the core of an issue and she's got a very strong command of policy detail."

But in that strength is also a weakness that translates into an inability sometimes to connect with audiences, added Prof. Jamieson.

5. Do not forget Trump's own words An effective debate strategy for Ms. Clinton could lie in the power of Mr. Trump's own words.

On the campaign trail, the Democratic candidate has used the strategy effectively, according to Prof. Dittmar.

"You've seen that from the Clinton campaign, where she says: 'Look I don't need to imply anything, I'll just read his words. I'll read what he said or tweeted and let you decide for yourself.' " In a debate setting, forcing Mr. Trump to respond to his most incendiary comments about women, Mexicans and Muslims could be a smart low-risk strategy, she added.

But there is one pitfall: Ms. Clinton could come across as too focused on tearing down her rival rather than building herself up, said Prof. Dittmar.


1. Do your prep There is nothing as important as doing your homework when it comes debate preparation.

Mitt Romney set a record four years ago when he took part in 16 complete, start-to-finish mock debates, according to Northeastern University's Prof. Schroeder.

It paid off: Mr. Romney trounced President Barack Obama in the first debate. The White House incumbent was widely seen as flat and lacklustre against an enthusiastic and forceful challenger. But one strong debate performance was not enough to oust Mr. Obama on election day.

According to several U.S. media reports, Mr. Trump is following an unconventional debate prep regimen: no mock debates or thick binders to go over. Instead, Mr. Trump holds conversations with senior aides and exudes typical Trumpian overconfidence.

It could well be a head fake. But if it is true, Mr. Trump is on treacherous ground. In the past, he has shown incomplete understanding of U.S.-China trade policy and details of the nuclear defence triad, said Prof. Jamieson.

"There just seem to be very large gaps in what he knows. So the question is can they get him up to speed on those? Two or three serious errors about consequential matters that speak to the presidency could disqualify his candidacy in a debate."

2. Do stay in your lane In her 2000 U.S. Senate race, Ms. Clinton faced her Republican opponent in a televised debate.

At one point, Rick Lazio walked over to where Ms. Clinton was standing with a piece of paper and asked her to sign a pledge against soft money in political campaigns.

The move backfired, said Prof. Dittmar.

"In political practitioner world, that's a big no-no for male candidates. Don't look so aggressive directly to the woman candidate. And not that you can't attack her and rebut her policy issues, but that getting into her personal space really had a backlash effect for Rick Lazio."

3. Do not lie It is a pretty basic rule.

But Mr. Trump has routinely played with the truth. For example, he has claimed that he opposed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That is widely seen as untrue, according to independent factcheckers.

During the debate, there will be several layers of fact-checking.

Past presidential debate moderators have rarely stepped in to set the record straight and there is ongoing discussion about the role of moderators.

Expect Ms. Clinton to keep her rival honest. Also, look to the news organizations and cable networks to play a more robust fact-checking role, said Prof. Jamieson.

"There's a high level of fact-checking this year.

You're actually seeing the broadcast and cable networks fact-checking in real time by putting corrections up on the screen sometimes as the candidates are speaking."

4. Do not let her get under your skin Mr. Trump's maxim is: If you get hit, hit back.

That is what he demonstrated during more than a dozen Republican primary debates.

Ms. Clinton's aim in the presidential debates is to get Mr. Trump to commit an error by pressing him on immigration, the campaign's ties to racist groups, his business bankruptcies and allegations of fraud at Trump University.

Trump surrogates such as former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich are advising Mr. Trump not to let his rival get under his skin.

5. Do not be rude Mr. Trump can get rattled on the debate stage.

During Republican primary debates over the winter, he routinely used schoolyard taunts to refer to his rivals on live television as "Little Marco" (about Marco Rubio) and "Lyin' Ted" (about Ted Cruz).

The presidential debates are a completely different setting, explained Prof. Schroeder.

"What works is finding the sweet spot in terms of being aggressive toward your opponent without crossing the line into rudeness. I think that will be a difficult challenge for Trump."

6. Do remember what you're auditioning for There is a lot of focus on winning the debates.

Often, the emphasis ends up on the stumbles and zingers that happen on the debate stage.

According to Prof. Jamieson, there is a more fundamental question at the heart of the presidential debates: What do the candidates need to show in order to demonstrate their capacity to govern and their worthiness of the presidency?

"In general, their performances in debates is validating for people who already support them. So in general, candidates appear knowledgeable, in general candidates are accurate in debates, in general they appear thoughtful in debates. This year may be the exception. The question is: What does Donald Trump do in a debate?"

Associated Graphic


After the Giller, André Alexis seeks to complete his masterpiece
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

Last November, not long after winning the Scotiabank Giller Prize, André Alexis fled Toronto.

In addition to $100,000, as the recipient of the career-making literary award, he was offered a three-week residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta. "The first thing that I did was I said, 'I'm leaving.' And I left."

His escape was, in part, to avoid the potentially endless requests and obligations that come with winning the prize, but mostly it was to get back to work, and soon. Sean Michaels, who won the Giller in 2014, told Alexis that in the year after winning the prize, he hardly wrote at all.

Alexis couldn't risk the same thing happening to him. He didn't have the time.

Less than a year later, Alexis has returned with a brand-new novel, The Hidden Keys, which arrived in bookstores this week.

A twisting, playful adventure about a principled thief, it is the third chapter - technically the fourth, but we'll explain later - in the literary project that will likely define Alexis's career: the quincunx, a series of five interlocking novels that investigate the idea of faith, of community, of morality, of humanity.

It is a wonderfully ambitious suite of books that, if Alexis pulls it off, might come to rank among the most unusual, and most important, works of literature this country has ever produced.

"I think that the feeling is that I'm being not necessarily prolix, but at least prolific," Alexis says.

"For me, I'm not. I'm accomplishing one project that's taking me forever."

The morning I first sat down with Alexis, earlier this month, the long list for this year's Giller Prize had just been revealed. We were sitting in the noisy back room of a café on King Street in Toronto, and I asked him if he had seen the list of nominees.

"No," he said cautiously. "Am I on it?" Delicately, I told him that The Hidden Keys was missing from the list.


At the time, I couldn't tell if he was upset; in retrospect, I think he may have been slightly relieved. Winning the Giller Prize for his novel Fifteen Dogs, he says, "changed my life a lot."

"I wasn't ready for it. It wasn't something that I expected.

And so I had to think of myself, and my work, in a different way."

Alexis speaks rather slowly, softly, with a baritone that seems to have been designed in a lab for radio. (He's a former broadcaster with the CBC.) "I'm not naturally a happy person. The way my unhappiness works is by pulling at the strings of everything. And so I'm thinking: 'What does this mean? Is it going to change how I feel about myself? Is it going to change how people feel about me?' It just brings up a lot of questions. And so in forcing me to reconsider who I am, and what I'm doing, that's how it changed me."

Alexis underwent a similar experience when Childhood, his first novel, was published in 1998. It was among the buzziest books that season, and there were major profiles, an international book tour, deals with foreign publishers. The novel, a roman à clef about a young Trinidadian boy growing up in the care of his grandmother in rural Ontario and, after her death, with his errant mother in Ottawa, won numerous awards and was a finalist for the Giller Prize. (He lost to Alice Munro, so shouldn't feel too bad about it.)

"Emotionally, it was hard," he says of Childhood's publication. "It was nice to be appreciated, but I'm not good with a lot of people.

That's why I'm a writer, on some level. Emotionally, you're okay being by yourself for long periods of time. And I am. The opposite of that is I'm not okay being with a lot of people for even short periods of time."

Alexis had a feeling the attention wouldn't last. He was right.

His second novel, Asylum, in which a man reflects on his life in Brian Mulroney-era Ottawa, was published in 2008. It did not do well. For the next several years, Alexis bounced between publishers. Then, in the spring of 2014, Alexis published Pastoral, about a young priest who takes over a parish in the bucolic village of Barrow in Southwestern Ontario.

The book concluded with an enigmatic endnote: "Quincunx 1."

The novel - the entire project - is a response to the work of Italian artist, writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, and specifically his film Teorema, about a stranger's effect on an upper-class family.

"What I imagined at once was five completely different possibilities of doing Teorema," he says. (A playwright, too, the first part in his planned "Decalogue," ten plays examining the commandments, premiered in 2011; Alexis obviously has a thing for multipart projects.)

He had actually finished a draft of the novel in 2009, but found no willing publisher. "I was going to just shelve it," he says. "My mom and my sister forced me to keep sending it out, because they both loved it." He rewrote it, "just to appease them," and, in a nice bit of symmetry, it was acquired by Coach House Books, which in 1994 published his first shortstory collection, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa.

A year later, Alexis published Fifteen Dogs.

The novel begins with two boisterous Greek gods, Hermes and Apollo, arguing in a downtown Toronto pub. The former feels that animals would lead happier lives if imbued with human consciousness; the latter feels it will have the opposite effect. Stumbling home, they release a pack of dogs from a veterinary clinic, and the novel follows the titular canines as they come to terms with the gifts granted by the gods.

"I knew that it was going to be [special]," says his editor, Alana Wilcox. "The emotions are so interesting and profound that I had a hard time imagining anyone could read it and not be affected by it." Also, she adds a bit sheepishly, "people like dogs, so I hoped that would be a way in for people to then enjoy the broader scope of the book."

Indeed, the set-up is a sort of Trojan horse; once the dogs are unleashed, Alexis unleashes a profound investigation of what it means to be human. It's like giving someone a ticket to the latest Michael Bay movie, then screening one by Michael Haneke.

The book not only won the Giller Prize, but the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, for which he had been a bridesmaid the previous year with Pastoral. It was a mainstay on bestseller lists for most of the past year, and there are 130,000 copies in the market, making it Coach House's best-selling title ever.

People do like dogs, it turns out.

Yet, even now, Alexis wants to go back and rewrite a portion of the novel for a future edition.

"The doubt, and the self-laceration, is just part of the process," he says. "I can't imagine what it would be like to be satisfied with your work. I remember, once, reading about Ray Bradbury. He said that he would go down to his library if he couldn't sleep, pull out one of his works, and read it, think, 'That was good,' then put it back and be able to go back to bed. That man is the luckiest bas.

tard imaginable! To be able to be satisfied with what you've done in that way!"

The Hidden Keys tells the story of a twentysomething thief, Tancred Palmieri, who lives in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. He befriends an aging heroin addict, Willow Azarian, heir to a vast - i.e., billions - family fortune.

When her father dies, he bequeaths an item to each of his five children - a poem, a Japanese screen, a bottle of aquavit, a painting and a model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Willow is convinced that these are not just inheritances, but clues - her father was fond of treasure hunts and she believes that together they lead to a missing portion of his fortune. Her siblings think that she's nuts, so she hires Tancred, who is also skeptical at first, to steal the items. He calls it "the single most difficult thing I've ever written in my life, and I hope never to do it again."

Each novel in the quincunx plays with a specific genre - Fifteen Dogs was an apologue, for instance. The Hidden Keys is his take on an adventure story, and was inspired by Treasure Island.

"It's like a tremendous little moral tract disguised as a pirate story," he says of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic. "It's a relentlessly moral book. It's a book that makes you think about what is good and what is evil."

Much like Fifteen Dogs, it is also novel - deeply - about Toronto.

He maps the city's neighbourhoods in his prose, showing specific tenderness for Parkdale, where he lives. He is admittedly surprised by this. Alexis, who was born in Trinidad, moved to Canada when he was four years old.

(He grew up, mostly, in Ottawa and Petrolia, near Sarnia, Ont.)

Although he moved to Toronto in 1987, he long felt like a tourist.

"It looks like Toronto has become my city, which I never thought would happen," he says.

"I just thought that I would be here for a while, and then I would go back to Ottawa. But Ottawa no longer feels like home. And I can't really imagine, now, living anywhere else."

The Hidden Keys is actually the fourth book in the quincunx.

Alexis explains it like this: Imagine the project like the number five on a dice - a dot in each corner, and one in the middle. The third book is the one in the middle, but it must include elements of the other four, so it must be written last. Once the fifth novel is finished, he wants to collect them in an omnibus edition.

"It's such an ambitious undertaking," Wilcox said. "Where does it stand? I don't know. It's hard, in the middle of it, to see that. But to me, it's a singular accomplishment. I can't imagine another writer being able to bring such diversity of form, and character, and thought, to such different things, and still have them be, very clearly, a whole."

Alexis has been gone much of the year; in addition to Banff, he wintered in Florida, and spent a month, in late summer, in New York. He will spend the upcoming academic year as the Barker Fairley Distinguished Visitor at the University of Toronto, where he plans to finish the next book in the quincunx, Days By Moonlight, which he describes as "a ghost story where God is the ghost."

(The fifth novel is based on a Harlequin romance.) He is also working on a libretto for Calgary's Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and is already openly discussing the book he wants to write after the quincunx is complete: a version of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. Says the writer Judy Fong Bates, a longtime friend: "When it comes to writing, he's totally obsessive."

He is pleased with where he currently finds himself in life. He will turn 60 next year: "Maybe, in a sense, 60 is a rebirth, in that it's the time when I can accept my life." It has been more than two decades since he published his first book, but, maybe, finally, André Alexis is happy.

"This is exactly the life I wanted to live," he says. He pauses, apparently second-guessing himself.

"Now, of course, I'm going to die.

The confluence of so many good things means, I'm sure, I've got something horrible right around the corner. I'm just so superstitious about things going well. But, briefly, yes. Briefly, it's nice."

Associated Graphic

André Alexis surveys Toronto's Parkdale neighourhood, the setting of his new novel, The Hidden Keys.


Making the grade
U of T, UBC and McGill have slipped a few rungs in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and experts are split on whether it's the result of investments by China or indication that Canada undervalues postsecondary institutions
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

Top-ranked schools

1. University of Oxford 2. California Institute of Technology 3. Stanford University 4. University of Cambridge 5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 6. Harvard University 7. Princeton University 8. Imperial College London 9. ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich 10. University of California, Berkeley 10. University of Chicago 12. Yale University 13. University of Pennsylvania 14. University of California, Los Angeles 15. University College London 16. Columbia University 17. Johns Hopkins University 18. Duke University 19. Cornell University 20. Northwestern University 21. University of Michigan 22. University of Toronto 23. Carnegie Mellon University 24. National University of Singapore 25. London School of Economics and Political Science 25. University of Washington 27. University of Edinburgh 28. Karolinska Institute 29. Peking University 30. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 30. LMU Munich 32. New York University 33. Georgia Institute of Technology 33. University of Melbourne 35. Tsinghua University 36. University of British Columbia 36. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 36. King's College London 39. University of Tokyo 40. KU Leuven 41. University of California, San Diego 42. McGill University 43. Heidelberg University 43. University of Hong Kong 45. University of Wisconsin-Madison 46. Technical University of Munich 47. Australian National University 48. University of California, Santa Barbara 49. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 50. University of Texas at Austin 51. Brown University 51. University of California, Davis 53. University of Minnesota 54. Nanyang Technological University 55. University of Manchester 56. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 57. Humboldt University of Berlin 57. Washington University in St Louis 59. Delft University of Technology 60. University of Queensland 60. University of Southern California 60. University of Sydney 63. University of Amsterdam 64. Boston University 65. Wageningen University and Research Centre 66. École Normale Supérieure 67. University of Maryland, College Park 68. Pennsylvania State University 69. Erasmus University Rotterdam 70. Purdue University 71. University of Bristol 72. Ohio State University 72. Seoul National University 74. Monash University 75. Free University of Berlin 76. Chinese University of Hong Kong 77. Leiden University 78. University of New South Wales 78. RWTH Aachen University 80. University of Groningen 80. University of Pittsburgh 82. Dartmouth College 82. Emory University 82. Technical University of Berlin 82. University of Warwick 86. Utrecht University 87. Rice University 88. University of Glasgow 89. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) 89. University of Tübingen 91. University of Helsinki 91. Kyoto University 93. Uppsala University 94. Maastricht University 95. University of Freiburg 96. Durham University 96. Lund University 98. Aarhus University 98. University of Basel 98. University of California, Irvine

103. University of Montreal 107. University of Alberta 113. McMaster University 119. City University of Hong Kong 153. University of Science and Technology of China 155. Fudan University 173. University of Waterloo 192. Hong Kong Polytechnic University 195. University of Calgary


Canada's top three universities have slipped in global rankings this year in the face of international competition, each falling two to four places in the world's most closely watched university ratings table.

The University of Toronto landed at No. 22 (down from No. 19), the University of British Columbia is at No. 36 (34) and McGill University is No. 42 (38). They are the only three Canadian schools to crack the Top 100 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Released Wednesday, this year's list also shows schools in China and Hong Kong are on a clear upward trajectory, with two Chinese universities leaping ahead by double digits to overtake UBC and McGill.

"What is threatening Canada is that other nations are investing and improving, which means someone else has to move down," said Phil Baty, editor of the rankings.

The rankings are a crucial tool for recruiting students, faculty and staff. A lofty rank also leads to further investment from industry and international collaborations. And surveys of

employers have shown that graduates from the most highly rated universities are more competitive in the labour market.

"The rankings are hugely important for students and their families in helping them make an important decision about who to trust with [their] education, and how to invest a substantial amount of money," Mr. Baty said.

This year's decline will likely fuel the debate over whether Canada can keep up, or whether it wants to. It is not the first time that all of the top three institutions have declined in ranking at the same time: UBC and McGill experienced steeper drops in 2012. But investments in China raise the urgency of the situation.

Over the past several years, China has poured billions into its elite institutions to increase their research capacity. A year ago, the country announced that it wanted to see six of its universities crack the elite top 15 universities by 2030. In comparison, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund is investing $1.5-billion over 10 years in university-based research projects in the hope that the money will propel the grant-winners onto the world stage.

For China, the rankings go far beyond the sector and are seen as geopolitical indicators, Mr. Baty said.

"It's about 'are we seeing this huge investment pay off? Are we challenging the traditional elites?' " Some of Canada's highestranked universities have long argued that federal and provincial governments must fund postsecondary education in a way that recognizes the outsized economic and research contribution made by the top schools.

At the same time, four of the eight Canadian universities that made it into the top 200 had a better showing this year than in 2015.

"The big dilemma is should Canada be happy with a strong system," Mr. Baty said. "You don't just have one or two superstars and a weak system. You have two or three in the top, and a few in the 100-range and some in the 200 area. That's because there has been a tradition of equal funding."

According to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released last week, Canadian public spending per student in postsecondary education falls around the OECD average.

But other countries that spend only slightly more have had phenomenal success placing more of their institutions in the top 100.

Last year, for example, Netherlands counted nine universities above that marker.

As in Germany, universities in the Netherlands specialize in research that could lead to further graduate study or offer more professional training that gets students ready for work after they graduate.

"The countries that are really efficient are small countries," said Alex Usher, president of Higher Education Strategy Associates. "Netherlands have really thought about differentiation. In some ways they are much more of an interesting model for a province like Ontario," he said.

Long term, the trends in Canada are still strong, said Santa Ono, president of UBC.

The rankings "do move up and down on an annual basis, and that is true for every institution," said Dr. Ono, who came to UBC this year after leading the University of Cincinnati. "We pay attention to them but we are not obsessed with them by any means."

Still, the results should provoke a conversation about university funding, said Meric Gertler, president of the U of T.

"To what extent do we value high performance in education?" he asked. "To me, it speaks volumes about the need for Canada to double down in its investment both in research and teaching."

A medium-ranking education power

Even with 980 universities ranked on this year's table - the highest number ever - only a fraction of the world's postsecondary institutions make the grade. Excluded are schools that do not teach undergraduates or schools at which faculties have averaged fewer than 200 published articles a year.

"My sense is that we will never exceed 1,000 universities," said Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. "There are probably 20,000 higher-education universities in the world, and a lot are focused on skills and teaching."

In Canada, only 25 out of more than 90 universities were ranked in 2015, with most showing up at spots between 200 and 400. Within those numbers, many well-known higher-ed schools - including Queen's University, the University of Calgary, the University of Waterloo and Simon Fraser University - show remarkable stability, maintaining their places or improving them slightly.

Focusing on whether a university made the table or not, and where it landed, ultimately harms Canada's smaller institutions, said Michelle Stack, an associate professor of educational studies at the University of British Columbia and the author of a book on the rise of global university rankings.

"I talk to high school students who say, 'I have to get into UBC or U of T or I'm a failure,' " Dr. Stack said. "It is a detriment in the long term, because our system has been one of saying that you can go to different universities that are all equally worthy.

It depends on what [the student's] goals are."

An A in every subject? To receive an outstanding score for the overall ranking, universities must do well in most of the five areas in which schools are assessed. A majority of the mark is based on performance in teaching, research and journal citations. International outlook - measured in domestic-to-international staff and student ratios, and international collaborations - accounts for another 7.5 per cent.

Income from industry is worth 2.5 per cent.

While no school can afford a D in any category, there are differences even among closely ranked institutions, reflecting whether they are stronger in research or teaching.

"There are some institutions that will come up with a strategy," said Santa Ono, current president of UBC and past president of the University of Cincinnati. "They will dissect different components of the equation for a particular ranking scheme and see what they can do to improve," he said.

Many Canadian schools have room to increase their income from industry.

"In a lot of countries, particularly in East Asia, they say universities are the powerhouses of the knowledge economy," Mr. Baty said. "Engineering companies should be funding research and research should be creating innovations for the economy."

On the other hand, some of the high marks for industry income are the result of universities actually being owned by a company, said Alex Usher, president of Higher Education Strategy Associates. South Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology, for example, was established by a steel company.

"When making international comparisons, sometimes there is weirdness in particular countries," Mr. Usher said.

Competition among the rankers

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is such a prominent global university table that it has sometimes been called the Emmys, the Olympics or the Oscars of the university world.

"It becomes a spectacle," UBC's Dr. Stack said.

This year, for example, the publication started promoting its ranking weeks before the release, and asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to independently audit its findings.

But the World University Rankings is far from the only game in town. The Academic Ranking of World Universities focuses on research and particularly on whether alumni or faculty have won Nobel Prizes or Fields Medals, and have had their research published in key journals. The QS Rankings place more emphasis on academic reputation.

For Dr. Stack, those metrics do not fully capture the impact that universities can make on their countries or regions. "What's not looked at are things like community engagement," she said.

"What about a university that is doing good work in [Vancouver's] Downtown Eastside?" As an alternative, she points to a system such as the Carnegie Classification that includes a community-engagement measure.

For now, more universities are trying to raise their profile by becoming part of a well-known ranking scheme.

"I understand university leaders not turning their back on rankings," Dr. Stack said. "To be invisible in this market economy of education is seen as really dangerous."

Associated Graphic

The University of Toronto slipped in global rankings, to No. 22 from No. 19.



Author found fame with Shoeless Joe
The novelist, who saw poetry in baseball, was moved to tears watching Field of Dreams, the Hollywood adaptation of his book
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

Three paragraphs in, there it is: W.P. Kinsella's most famous sentence, and no doubt the most misquoted line of his writing career as well. "If you build it, he will come."

The he (not "they") referred to in the instruction was Shoeless Joe Jackson, the baseball star disgraced for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series and the eponymous hero of Mr. Kinsella's seminal novel, Shoeless Joe.

The novel, about a struggling Iowa farmer who hears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field, was adapted for film as Field of Dreams - a critically acclaimed blockbuster that made the already beloved novel a sensation.

For Mr. Kinsella, baseball wasn't simply a game - it was poetry, and a metaphor for life.

"He always said with baseball, anything's possible," says Willie Steele, Mr. Kinsella's biographer.

"There's no clock. You can play an infinite number of innings until somebody wins. There's no limit to how far somebody can hit a ball, there's no limit to how far somebody can throw a ball, it's endless possibilities. And I think when you look at his baseball fiction, that's what it is. His question he would ask as a writer was: What if? What if Shoeless Joe Jackson comes back from the dead? ... And when you start asking that 'what if' question, anything's possible."

Mr. Kinsella died Friday afternoon in Hope, B.C. It was an assisted death, under the provisions of Bill C-14. He was 81.

One of the Kinsella quotes that Prof. Steele couldn't stop thinking about on Friday was from Shoeless Joe - a line the J.D. Salinger character says to farmer Ray Kinsella: "If I had my life to live over again, I'd take more chances. I'd want more passion in my life. Less fear and more passion, more risk. Even if you fail, you've still taken a risk."

William Patrick Kinsella was born in Edmonton on May 25, 1935, and raised on a farm near Darwell, west of Edmonton, where he was home-schooled by his mother. His father, a plastering contractor, had played minor league baseball but young Bill did not play himself until the family moved to Edmonton when he was 10.

At 14 he won a YMCA contest with Diamond Doom, a two-page story about a murder weapon hidden under the turf in a baseball stadium. The story was lost in one of the family moves.

Mr. Kinsella received his bachelor of arts in creative writing at the University of Victoria the same year he turned 39. His professor W.D. (Bill) Valgardson offered a crucial piece of advice: "He told him you're warming up for two pages before you get to the story and you're sticking around for about two pages too long," says Prof. Steele, who teaches English at Lipscomb University in Nashville. "And Bill Kinsella went back and started editing his stories with that in mind and immediately started selling everything he was writing."

Prof. Valgardson had attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop and recommended his student do the same. Mr. Kinsella received his master's degree from the University of Iowa and accepted a teaching position at the University of Calgary.

Vancouver-based author Zsuzsi Gartner was in his class; so was Ronald Wright. It was the first creative writing class Ms. Gartner ever took, and her professor left an impression.

"Kinsella hated Calgary, I think, and probably hated teaching. He wasn't very good at it, at any rate," she wrote in an e-mail from Cork, Ireland, where she is on a fellowship. "But I do remember very clearly how passionate he was about the writers he loved and he had a lovely, soft, lilting reading voice that he would apply to pages from Anne Tyler or John Irving while padding back and forth as if wearing moccasins and slightly bobbing to the rhythm of the sentences."

The success of Shoeless Joe allowed Mr. Kinsella to quit that day job, leave academia - and Calgary. He moved to White Rock, B.C., and wrote full time.

He also lived in Vancouver. Later, he moved to more remote Yale, B.C.

Shoeless Joe was published in 1982, winning awards and acclaim. "W.P. Kinsella was born for fiction, or at least for this book," began a New York Times review. And later, this line: "Mr. Kinsella is drunk on complementary elixirs, literature and baseball, and the cocktail he mixes of the two is a lyrical, seductive and altogether winning concoction."

Mr. Kinsella published nearly 30 books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in his career, but he was best known for Shoeless Joe - especially after the film adaptation, Field of Dreams. The author loved it.

"The first time he read the script, it actually caused him to tear up, he thought it was so beautifully written," says Prof. Steele, who read the account in Mr. Kinsella's diary a few weeks ago. "And when he saw the film, he teared up again, watching his own work up on the screen."

A short story by Mr. Kinsella, Lieberman in Love, was the basis for a film of the same name, which won the 1996 Academy Award for best short subject.

Even with his success, Mr. Kinsella was always a hustler - showing up at his 30th high school reunion with a stack of books in his trunk to sell; he even brought books to sell at his 80th birthday party last year as well (this time as a fundraiser).

Prof. Steele says Mr. Kinsella was always an entrepreneur; when he was young, he would buy up old bicycle frames, put new paint on them and flip the bikes at a profit. Later, he opened a pizza place with his second wife. "He had never made a pizza until the day that they opened," says Prof. Steele. "The moxie this guy had was something else."

Other odd jobs he had on the way to full time writing included driving a taxi and selling insurance.

Mr. Kinsella was married four times. Three of his marriages ended in divorce. His fourth wife, Barbara Kinsella (née Turner), died on Christmas Eve, 2012.

He was also in a relationship with writer and poet Evelyn Lau; he famously sued for libel after she wrote a piece about their relationship, which was published in Vancouver magazine.

They settled out of court.

In 1997, the same year the article was published, Mr. Kinsella was hit by a car while walking on a sidewalk. He suffered a head injury.

Mr. Kinsella loved the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners. He also loved the DH rule.

He was anti-artificial turf. And he was a card-carrying scout for the Atlanta Braves in the late 1980s and early 90s.

He was an online Scrabble junkie, a staunch atheist and an outspoken critic of academia.

So it was a surprise to Prof. Steele - an academic at a Christian college - when Mr. Kinsella asked if he would be interested in writing his biography. Prof. Steele hopes to have it published next year. (He wrote his master's thesis and PhD dissertation about Mr. Kinsella's literature. The latter was later published as A Member of the Local Nine: Baseball and Identity in the Fiction of W.P. Kinsella.)

Mr. Kinsella's last work of fiction, Russian Dolls, is a collection of stories nested within one another and set in Vancouver. The book is to be published in November (moved up from 2017 as a result of Mr. Kinsella's death) by Saskatchewan non-profit literary publisher Coteau Books.

"We were very, very excited to get this manuscript from W.P.

Kinsella and now with [his death], it gives the whole project a different and a very special meaning," Coteau publisher John Agnew says.

"This is a loss for Canadian literature and literature at large," Mr. Agnew continues. "While he'll always be remembered for Shoeless Joe, the first book I remember reading of his was Dance Me Outside. ... I know the book was controversial for voice appropriation, but for a kid growing up in downtown Toronto it was quite a revelation."

When asked if Mr. Kinsella was hurt by the charges of cultural appropriation (particularly in response to his "Indian" stories), Prof. Steele said he didn't think so; that in fact the publicity helped him sell books.

Mr. Kinsella received numerous awards and honours including the Canadian Authors Association Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, the Order of B.C., the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award and the Leacock Medal for Humour.

"He was a dedicated storyteller, performer, curmudgeon, an irascible and difficult man," said his literary agent Carolyn Swayze in a statement. "His fiction has made people laugh, cry, and think for decades and will do so for decades to come. Not a week has passed in the last 22 years, without receiving a note of appreciation for Bill's stories. His contribution ... will endure."

In 1993 he was named to the Order of Canada. "He has attained international stature as an author of stories about people who pursue their dreams, despite the failures and foibles they must struggle to overcome," the citation stated, adding that "if you build it, he will come" - had become part of North American culture.

In 2001, Mr. Kinsella wrote an essay for The Globe and Mail about what it takes to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame - and advocating for the inclusion of his most famous character.

"If you go to Cooperstown, you'll read about Shoeless Joe, his flawless fielding, his scalding batting average, even his great performance in the 1919 World Series, the series he allegedly helped throw; if you visit the Hall of Fame's website you can see his glove," Mr. Kinsella wrote.

"That he's not among the 187 former players whose bronze plaques hang in the Hall is wrong. What more can I say?" In 2011, Mr. Kinsella won the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Jack Graney Award for Shoeless Joe. The award recognizes a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Canada through a life's work or a singular outstanding achievement.

"I wrote it 30 years ago, and the fact that people are still discovering it makes me proud," he said in a statement at the time. "It looks like it will stand the test of time."

On Sept. 7, Mr. Kinsella, who had lived with diabetes for years, sent Prof. Steele an e-mail saying he wouldn't be coming out of the hospital; that he probably had about a month to live, and urging him to send any outstanding questions he had for his biography. Last week, Prof. Steele received another e-mail, informing him that Mr. Kinsella was "scheduled to leave the earth Friday morning."

One of the questions Prof. Steele had sent was: How do you see your legacy? Mr. Kinsella responded, in part, with this line: "I'm a storyteller; my greatest satisfaction comes from making people laugh and also leaving them with a tear in the corner of their eye."

W.P. Kinsella leaves his daughters, Erin and Shannon Kinsella; stepchildren, Scarlet and Aaron Gaffney and Lyn Calendar; grandchildren, Dennis Christopher Gane, Jason Kirk Kinsella, Kurtis William Kinsella and Max Knight Kinsella; and his best friends, Lee and Maggie Harwood. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no memorial service.

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Author W.P. Kinsella, seen circa 1987, died Friday after a long and prolific career. He published nearly 30 books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and won many honours for his work - his first was a YMCA contest win for a two-page story he wrote when he was 14.

Canada's racial divide
A common national narrative holds the country as a bastion of multiculturalism and inclusiveness, especially compared with the United States, but it's a narrative that glosses over some harsh truths
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

A podcast about race by The Globe and Mail. Find episode four, 'The Angel Complex,' at rowing up in Jacksonville, G Fla., Rhonda Britton experienced occasional moments of racism. As the only black girl in her junior-high class, she was once told by a white friend that she wasn't allowed to come over and play.

But it was when she moved to Canada as an adult that she felt racism more overtly: In 2011, she discovered a historic plaque in front of her church in Halifax spray painted with the words: Fuck All Niggers.

It was a shock, and not the only one: She'd expected Canadians would be kinder and more welcoming than Americans.

But in Nova Scotia, where a large, historic black community has long faced racial discrimination, racist acts are both subtle and blatant.

She also found that Canadian kids didn't learn as much about black history in schools as Americans; that news articles with black subjects were often filled with hateful online comments; and that racial profiling is common, particularly in the retail sector - in one instance, she recalls a security guard following her around a drug store while white customers faced no such scrutiny.

In her 14 years in Canada, she has been surprised not by the differences in racial tensions in the two countries, but at the parallels - even if Canadians may be reticent about acknowledging it.

"Things are more similar than we think. They have not erupted to the volume that they have in the U.S. ... but I am seeing signs of things coming to a boiling point," says Dr. Britton, who has been a pastor at the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church in Halifax since 2007. "If we want to avoid that, we need to address some of these things - we can't continue to sweep them under the rug."

Lifting up that rug is the aim of this month's Globe and Mail series Colour Code, which is delving into race in Canada through a series of podcasts and articles.

It comes as events south of the border - including all-toofrequent shootings of unarmed black men and ensuing protests, along with a presidential candidate many have deemed a racist - are forcing Canadians to re-examine their own notions of race and racism.

A common national narrative holds Canada up as a country of multiculturalism and inclusiveness. But a recent survey, commissioned for The Globe and conducted by Nanos Research this year, suggests the narrative has cracks.

Seven in ten respondents said there is still "a lot of racism" in

Canada. One in five have had racist remarks directed at them.

And more than a third said they have made a racist remark in the company of others.

The poll, conducted in April and May of this year, has a silver lining: Eight in 10 Canadians believe it's possible to educate people to make them less racist in their attitudes.

Like Dr. Britton, Nova Browning Rutherford has lived in both countries. She was born in Chatham, Ont., to a black father and white mother, and raised in Edmonton and London, Ont., before spending five years in Los Angeles.

She says that a big difference in the U.S. is the separation of people based on race or ethnicity. She often felt pigeonholed.

"Black people don't do that," she was told when she'd mention to colleagues she was going hiking, or out to a Korean restaurant.

She feels relieved to now live in Toronto. But any notion that Canada is morally superior vanishes when she thinks of the deep disparities in living conditions of indigenous peoples.

"No running water for 20 years, that's racism," she says.

"I can't go to the States with this arrogant, 'We're Canadian, we're not like that,' when it's worse. And we don't even know about it."

Ms. Browning Rutherford, who is a personal development coach, found race in the U.S. is openly discussed at work and in social circles. But Canadians lack outlets for intense conversations about race. "It does feel that our nature [in Canada] is to be reserved and quiet, and just happy to be here, and we don't want to make any waves. But if we want it to be better, we have to get a little uncomfortable."

What we don't know Part of the problem is that it's hard to figure out, with much precision, what's going on.

Unlike the United States, where race-related data is routinely collected on everything from jobless rates to university-graduation rates, Canada "cannot tell its own story," says Arjumand Siddiqi, associate professor at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, who has lived and worked in both countries.

She hit a wall in 2007, when she wanted to test if race-based health inequalities varied in different societies. Most of the research at the time relied on U.S. data.

While working at the University of North Carolina, she began to analyze a joint Canada/U.S. survey of health. When she accessed the data from Canada, however, detail on race was suppressed (for privacy reasons, she was told). All she could glean was information on people who were "white" or "nonwhite." She couldn't determine whether health outcomes within racial groups varied.

"We're left with a muddy picture. We are left not knowing whether there is a problem that is specific, widespread, changing over time, whether we need to be doing more or less with some groups."

Health care could use more accurate information. One paper last year that looked at ethnicity and breast cancer noted that data about race or ethnicity "are rarely collected" in a systematic manner in Canada's health-care settings.

That data deficiency "certainly does not mean that ethnoracial inequalities do not exist in Canada; indeed, lack of data often limits the ability to accurately and adequately identify health inequalities and inequities," wrote Dr. Aisha Lofters of the University of Toronto.

In Halifax, Dr. Britton, who has four degrees, including a doctorate, has found that a dearth of data on African Nova Scotians has hurt efforts to push for racial equity in the province.

"With no data being collected, what does that mean? No funding" to address specific health issues in communities.

Researchers have hit similar roadblocks trying to analyze employment outcomes, incomes or wealth by race.

One missing piece of the puzzle is jobless stats on indigenous reserves, which the government doesn't collect on a monthly or even yearly basis.

Another piece is about wages. A widely reported study released last week in the U.S. - which found the wage gap between white and black Americans is worse today than in 1979 - isn't currently possible to conduct in Canada, says Sheila Block, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

In the justice system, data is lacking on the ethnicity of homicide victims and fatalities from police encounters.

People are often grouped as "visible minorities," in the justice system. The catch-all term is "problematic," noted U of T's Akwasi Owusu-Bempah in a 2011 report entitled Whitewashing Criminal Justice in Canada.

Lumping people together "obscures racial differences by averaging groups that are overrepresented with those that are underrepresented."

The absence of detailed data may be hiding inequalities that, ultimately, harm police effectiveness and hurt community relations, he said.

What we do know The evidence that does exist suggests Canada has challenges of its own.

Biases persist in Canadian workplaces. In one field experiment, published in 2011, University of Toronto researchers Philip Oreopoulos and Diane Dechief sent almost 8,000 résumés to employers in Canada's three largest cities, from applicants with either anglophone or foreign-sounding names. They found that job seekers with names like Matthew Wilson were 35 per cent more likely to get a callback than those with a name like Samir Sharma - regardless of work experience, education or language proficiency.

Health disparities persist, in both countries. In a study published this year, Prof. Siddiqi and a team found racial inequalities exist in health outcomes (such as heart attacks, hypertension and obesity) in Canada and the U.S. The magnitudes differ though - the gap between blacks and whites is greater in the U.S. than in Canada. However, the indigenouswhite disparity is larger in Canada than in the U.S. In terms of hate crimes, Canada has a higher recorded rate than the United States - 1,295 in 2014, or a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 people, according to Statscan.

By comparison, the FBI recorded 5,479 hate crimes in the same year in the U.S., 1.84 per 100,000 people.

Forty-seven per cent of hate crimes were racially motivated in both countries. In Canada, blacks and Arabs were most frequently targeted and the types of crimes ranged from threatening phone calls and public incitement of hatred, to harassment and assault.

In Canada, as in the United States, problems in policing are thorny issues. In July, the RCMP pulled over and questioned a black man in Bathurst, N.B., after they received calls about a "suspicious man." He had, in fact, just been reading a book.

In the same month, Abdirahman Abdi, a Somali-Canadian man, died in Ottawa after a confrontation with police. The problems go beyond just one or two incidents.

In December, 2015, the head of the RCMP Bob Paulson told indigenous chiefs "I understand that there are racists in my police force. I don't want them to be in my police force."

Acknowledging the challenges Canadian civil-rights leaders should not be forgotten. Children in both countries are well aware of American legends Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. But what about Canadian trailblazers such as Viola Desmond or Mary Two-Axe Earley?

Schools can foster a deeper sense of Canadian history and the effects of colonization by teaching such stories.

Tackling racial discrimination also requires acknowledging there's a problem in the first place, says Anthony Stewart, an English professor at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., who is Canadian and the author of Visitor: My Life in Canada.

Prof. Stewart has had a successful career in academia. But as a black man, he spent a lifetime dealing with grinding, dayto-day racism in Canada.

"If the national narrative is based on that there aren't as many lynchings in Canada, or police shootings in Canada - the national narrative needs to set its bar higher," says Prof. Stewart. "Because that isn't helping the people who are dealing with the little everyday things, all the time. And that's what gets to you."

Associated Graphic

Nova Browning Rutherford, who lives in Mississauga, has also lived in the United States. Canada, she says, lacks outlets for intense conversations about race.


The format Team North America's success has changed minds, James Mirtle writes
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

No one at the NHL's head office seems to recall precisely where the idea came from or who first brought it up.

But Bill Daly believes that its origins are more than a decade old.

Back then, the NHL was still debating what to do about Olympic participation, with the Games in Turin, Italy, and interrupting their season yet again. One concept that was kicked around briefly was sending only 23-and-under players - the way men's soccer teams do for the Olympics - instead of shutting down the entire league.

That never ended up happening. But the idea lay dormant at the NHL front office until the summer of 2014, when commissioner Gary Bettman, his right-hand man, Daly, and NHL Players' Association head Don Fehr began discussing the format for a revamped World Cup of Hockey.

They knew that six countries would be there - Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic - but the next two entries were up in the air. The goals they came up with for the event were to (a) include as many NHL players as possible, preferably drawing all 184 from within the league, and (b) to avoid the ugly blowouts that have plagued almost every recent international hockey tournament.

With those guidelines, it was thrown to Kris King, NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations, and NHLPA executive Mathieu Schneider to lead the way with some concept teams.

Dozens of options were pondered, including having A and B teams for both Canada and the United States.

Ultimately, however, a team of "young guns" - the way the NHL had attempted at various All-Star Games from 2002 to 2009 with YoungStars teams - had staying power.

Thus, Team North America was born.

"It wasn't an easy decision, by any means," said Schneider, who had the job of explaining the idea to concerned young players such as Aaron Ekblad at the 2015 AllStar Game in Columbus, Ohio.

"We waffled back and forth several times. In the end, we decided we wanted to have the best players in the world on the ice.

This is our tournament. We have a chance to do that.

"We knew we had the six core teams. We even discussed going with six, but we didn't really like the idea that so many great players wouldn't get the opportunity to play. So we started to really analyze it as a best-on-best tournament and putting together eight teams.

"We looked at what soccer does in the Olympics [with 23-and-under players] and that was kind of the idea that spurred that. When we saw the roster, that's when we were like 'Holy cow - these guys have a really good team.' But, to be honest, the first couple guys we talked to, until we showed them what the roster might look like, they said, 'We don't want to show up and be embarrassed at the thing.' " From the beginning, the notion of resurrecting the World Cup of Hockey has had its critics and skeptics. This is an event that has been held only once in the past 20 years: A 2004 tournament that had the feeling of an underwhelming cash grab, a series of forgettable exhibition games that were overshadowed by the looming lockout.

So when the NHL announced last September that the tournament would return with an unusual format, with two invented teams - North America and Team Europe, the backlash was predictable.

What wasn't was how quickly minds have changed once they hit the ice.

The 2016 edition of the World Cup of Hockey gets going in earnest on Saturday in Toronto, but the preliminary-round games have offered a glimpse of what is to come. The hockey has been surprisingly competitive, with players already shifting into something resembling a top gear.

Most of the buzz around the tournament, however, has been about Team North America, after lopsided wins over Europe were filled with highlight-reel plays by teenagers Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews.

While Team Canada's exhibition games have had the highest TV ratings in this country, North America's are not far behind, with nearly 600,000 viewers watching each of their tune-up wins. Meanwhile, tickets to see the young guns are in heavy demand on the secondary market, far surpassing that of any non-Canadian team.

Early indications are that the team many believed would hurt the World Cup's credibility will instead be what makes it memorable, bringing in an audience anxious to see the top young players in the world play against the veterans.

"These guys can play," King said. "Not that we're surprised.

But the way they play together is pretty neat. It's going to make for an interesting tournament. It looks like it's going to work. And they've become the adopted team for the younger people that I talk to. Of course, Canada's going to be the team that their dads are going to cheer for, but I think the kids are cheering for North America."

"It's new; it's exciting," Team North America forward Brandon Saad said. "Having us combined, players from the U.S. and Canada, a lot of people want to watch it.

Usually, we're the guys facing off against each other [at the world juniors]. To get us on the same team, I think it's exciting for the fans. I know we're all enjoying it."

The NHL has long hoped to bottle the youthful enthusiasm of an event such as the World Junior Championships. But selling a sexier brand of international hockey has been difficult with the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation having full control over the Olympics and world tournaments. Tradition has set the format.

And part of what makes embracing the 23-and-under concept compelling is that it fits with the larger trend of what's happening in the league. Young players are having a bigger impact in the NHL than ever - the average age of the top 50 scorers has dropped by more than a year in the past decade, down to 26.9 - and they are being rewarded with bigger contracts than ever as a result.

One-quarter of the goals scored in the NHL last season were by players under 24 years old, including dozens who hit the 20goal mark.

"A lot of the guys on the team are top scorers in the league," said North America's Vincent Trocheck, who had 25 for the Florida Panthers last season.

"We're extremely fortunate that the timing is right to have this team," Schneider admitted, noting that this is the first time in several hockey generations where a group this young will be competitive against the world's best.

"You might have to go back to [Wayne] Gretzky, [Mark] Messier and those guys when they came in with the Edmonton Oilers, really."

Veteran players offered different theories why young players seem better prepared for the NHL these days. Canada's Ryan Getzlaf mused that the fact more kids are one-sport athletes could be a factor. Team USA's James van Riemsdyk believes it's better training and conditioning early on in their development.

Canadian captain Sidney Crosby, meanwhile, praised their terrific skating skills and confidence.

"I think the courage that young people have today is a little bit different," North America coach Todd McLellan said of his team.

"They're breaking down the oldschool barriers. They aren't quite as respectful of the elder player - and I mean that the right way.

They respect the game, and the older players in the game, but they have a little more courage to go out and play against them.

Where that came from, I don't know, but I sense that. They have courage to make some riskier plays in the game."

Risk has been a theme of McLellan's as he talked about his team this week, leading up to their first game that counts on Sunday against Finland. North America's coaching staff is concerned that their players' penchant for great offensive plays will bite them defensively, which could be deadly in a short tournament where every goal matters.

They realize that their team is in tough as it is. For the young guns to advance out of their group, they'll have to finish ahead of two of Russia, Sweden and Finland - three major hockey powers filled with veteran NHL players.

If they manage that, however, they will likely get a date with either Canada or the United States in a do-or-die semi-final next weekend. Several North America players admitted that having the chance to eliminate their home country, up against some of their idols, would be strange.

But they can't wait to try.

"That's what we're striving for - to be able to play against them," Saad said. "It'll be a little weird I'm sure, but at the same time, we want to win. That would be a lot of fun to be part of."

It could go down in history as the one and only time it happens, too. Neither the NHL nor the NHLPA will commit to the idea that a successful tournament for North America would mean a return in 2020 at the next World Cup.

The stated goal, at this point, is to hold a qualifying tournament in 2019 to fill in the seventh and eighth seeds, which would mean international minnows such as Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia and Germany may return to the event.

The young guns would be one and done.

That, however, remains on the distant horizon. For now, the organizers who came up with this format are anxious to see if fans continue to get behind their concept, a controversial idea that has won a lot of converts already.

"These are the guys that are the future of the game," Schneider said. "If they can put together a magic tournament, it's a great story."

Associated Graphic

Team North America celebrates a goal in a World Cup of Hockey pretournament game against Team Europe at the Vidéotron Centre in Quebec City on Sept. 8. The tournament officially kicks off on Saturday.


A noted observer of art and architecture
During his four decades as a cultural critic, he suffered from depression and wrote a memoir about his struggle
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

At a gallery opening in the winter of 1995, John Bentley Mays hung on the wall, his imposing figure painted by the artist Gertrude Kearns on camouflage-patterned nylon. "It was really striking," Margaret Cannon, Mr. Mays's wife of 45 years, recalls of the spectacle. "You walked in and there he was, looking right at you." The exhibition, titled United States of Being, The John Bentley Mays Portraits, turned the veteran art critic into a subject. And, Ms.

Cannon says, captured him. The works "show a man of strength but also a man of considerable pain," she says. The scars that cut across the front of his shaven head, evidence of a battle with skin cancer - "I think those were, for [the artist], manifestations of his internal scars."

It was unusual for Mr. Mays to serve as an artistic subject. His life's work was as a critic and he was for four decades one of Canada's great observers, interpreters and explainers of art and architecture. Before he was struck by a sudden and fatal heart attack on Sept. 16, he had just submitted a column on residential architecture for The Globe and Mail - the last of many pieces to display his erudition, his powers of observation and his finely honed, sometimes piercing, prose.

Mr. Mays was undeniably a presence, especially while he served as The Globe's art critic from 1980 to 1998. "He wrote very intelligently and very perceptively about all sorts of exhibitions," recalls Roald Nasgaard, chief curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1978 to 1993.

"And one could always look forward to his column, because those reviews were so passionate," unlike the more "polite" work of other critics.

In person, Mr. Mays's broad frame and shorn head, and for many years his trademark fedora, made him instantly recognizable to gallery-goers. He did not shy away from an intellectual sparring match and yet, was often very kind - a citified Southern gentleman. "John carried himself with a certain bearing," remembers his long-time friend and collaborator Richard Rhodes. "Always the hat. He was always a standout in the crowd; he brought a kind of elegance to most situations."

That elegance was both bred and hard-won: A legacy of the upbringing in the American South from which Mr. Mays fled, and then returned, at least in spirit.

John Bentley Mays was born in Shreveport, La., on June 22, 1941, to a family of cotton planters; his father took on this occupation reluctantly and disappeared "with casual cruelty" at any excuse, Mr. Mays would later write in his memoir Power in the Blood. When Mr. Mays was seven, his father died in an accident "or what some called murder"; his mother died of cancer shortly afterward and Mr. Mays and his siblings were raised by a succession of often neglectful relatives. Soon afterward began the symptoms of depression, which would affect Mr. Mays profoundly into adulthood. At eight, he considered suicide, not for the last time.

Curious and ambitious, he made it his goal to leave the South, and he did - heading first to the University of Rochester, where he began a graduate degree in medieval literature and literary criticism; his studies were stalled by a breakdown, and he left school behind for a teaching job at York University in Toronto, in 1969.

Two years later, he was roadtripping through New Mexico when his new BMW motorcycle broke down in Albuquerque.

Within a few days, he met Margaret Cannon, a teacher and native Arkansan who was on her own journey toward new realms. "My friend thought I needed a diversion for the summer, and that John might be a good candidate," Ms. Cannon recalls. "We stayed up for, I think, two days talking, and that was that."

Within a few weeks, the cou.

ple had a formal wedding attended by "hippies from all over southern New Mexico. It was a tourist attraction," Ms. Cannon says. "Nobody got properly married in those days." Ms. Cannon, her eight-year-old daughter, Jackie, and Mr. Mays headed north in a convoy of Volkswagen and motorcycle to their new home.

They loved it immediately. For these Americans, peaceful, vibrant Toronto was "a liberation," Ms. Cannon recalls. "Canadians have no idea. You were leaving the catastrophe, the hatred, the malice. ... We used to literally sing [a song from] The Wizard of Oz, dancing down Spadina Avenue. Neither of us ever lost that feeling."

The city brought opportunity.

Having begun to work as a university administrator in his 30s, Mr. Mays set out to become a writer. "His resolution was, No. 1, read everything; No. 2, write every day," his daughter Erin Mays recounts. "And he did that, exactly."

Ms. Cannon is a writer as well, and Erin Mays recalls growing up in a home filled with books, with parents pursuing their own separate projects, where "they would always reconvene for dinner," she recalls. "There was never a dull discussion." And yet, Ms. Mays, who went on to a career outside of the arts, recalls unceasing warmth from her critic of a father: "I felt, always, absolutely deeply loved," she recalls.

The family settled into a writerly domesticity - eventually, in a loft apartment in a converted tool-and-die factory, where Mr. Mays each day would pray, as the devout Catholic he was; then read two to three hours; write; and often garden on the roof deck.

This was his base for explorations of Toronto. "He taught me to look up, physically, and to get lost in the city," Ms. Mays recalls. "We walked a lot, and with him I learned to look at each building as an individual, with its own personality and its own history."

During his tenure as The Globe's art critic, architecture and the shape of the city more broadly were his subjects in a column called Citysites. While colleague Adele Freedman wrote about architecture, Mr. Mays wrote around the edges of the city, interrogating the natural topography, the leftovers of past eras and forgotten periods of history. "He looked at physical sites of the city" - the Port Lands, Fort York, the city's R.C.

Harris Water Treatment Plant - "with the eye of an art critic," says the artist and architect Paul Raff. "For me, that was a revelation."

Mr. Raff would later come to encounter Mr. Mays in his role as a critic of architecture, to which Mr. Mays brought a remarkable thoroughness about the technical, personal and intellectual aspects of the discipline.

When Mr. Mays wrote in 2013 about a Raff-designed house, "he understood that what it was achieving had to do with creating a potent relationship between people and nature, or the cosmos, or maybe even God," Mr. Raff recalls. "He understood there was a spiritual dimension to architecture and could explain it to me. A work of architecture could change the one experiencing it."

That theme runs through Mr. Mays's work: that any engagement with art, or with place, involves the observer as well as the object.

In 1995, he broke with art-critical convention - of viewing works briefly in a gallery setting and quickly writing a review - by bringing home a series of works by the young painter David Urban for an extended engagement in his loft. "You have to live with a painting for a while, and just live in the world for a while, before art unfolds all its meanings," he wrote. A painting or other artwork should be understood "as one element within a volatile event of perception, an event rich in ricocheting questions and subversions." And looking hard at one work, he found himself "thinking of wounds and burns, transplants and scabs - the injuries that are as much a part of life as they are of art."

Mr. Mays wrote about his own wounds, the bouts of depression that affected him deeply each spring, with the same sort of persistent and questioning attention. His 1995 memoir, In the Jaws of the Black Dogs, traced a lifetime of struggling with profound depression, a struggle aided somewhat by Prozac, psychotherapy - and his marriage to Ms. Cannon, which he described as decades of "warmth and intimacy with a woman of hairtrigger temper and rockhard common sense."

And yet, his daughter says, "He took care of us, even in the dark times. He could do for others even when he couldn't do for himself."

"Depression dogged him, of course," Ms. Cannon says. "But removed from depression he was a very positive, forwardlooking person. He was always looking at what he was going to do tomorrow. There were always plans."

This fall, those plans included the revision of a novel, his second, which he had just finished.

But Mr. Mays also left 10 pages of instructions in the event of his death, Ms. Cannon says, and those include one important directive: To remain in Toronto.

"In his will, he specifically asked to be buried among the tall trees of Prospect Cemetery at St. Clair and Lansdowne, where he liked to walk," Ms. Cannon says.

"His forever home is here."

But first a funeral, at which Mr. Mays will be present in spirit and in image: He purchased two of Ms. Kearns's portraits of him, one for his wife, and one for his daughter. And they will be there.

His requiem mass will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St.

Vincent de Paul Church on Roncesvalles Avenue.

Mr. Mays leaves his wife, Margaret Cannon; his daughter, Erin Mays; her husband, Simon Cain; his stepdaughter, Jacquelyn Hutcheson Peters; and his grandchildren, Ava Gonzalez, Rebekkah Peters and Alyxandra Peters.

To submit an I Remember:

Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

John Bentley Mays, shown at The Globe and Mail's studio in Toronto in February, 2010, was for four decades one of Canada's great observers, interpreters and explainers of art and architecture. Mr. Mays served as The Globe's art critic from 1980-98.


Mr. Mays, seen at his Globe desk in 1994, wrote about bouts of depression he experienced each spring in his memoir.


Friday, September 23, 2016


A Thursday obit of writer John Bentley Mays and a notice in today's Globe Real Estate section incorrectly said that the requiem mass would be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The time has changed to 11 a.m. In addition, a reference in the obit to a gallery opening featuring portraits of Mr. Mays by Gertrude Kearns incorrectly said it was in 1995. It took place in 2005.

From jewelled skeletons in Bavaria to a grass bridge in Peru, the new Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders celebrates some surprising sights. Here are some of the Canadian highlights. Ever seen a gopher in a top hat?
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Midlothian Castle, Burk's Falls, Ont.

Peter Camani has a suggestion for where your earthly remains should go when you die. "Why settle for a small underground plot in the suburbs," he writes on his website, "when you have the option of joining a vibrant creation that fills the landscape?" The "vibrant creation" to which he refers is a forest of 18-foot-tall (5.5 metre) screaming heads made from cement and - if his idea catches on - the ashes of deceased humans.

The field of screams is just one component of Camani's ongoing art project on a 300-acre (1.2 km2) former farm just outside the village of Burk's Falls, Ont. It all began in 1989, when the former high school art teacher began building a house on the property. Dubbed Midlothian Castle, the dwelling features a screaming head for a turret and a dragon for a chimney that appears to breathe smoke whenever the fireplace is blazing.

In 1995, Camani began installing sculptures on the land surrounding the house. There are now over 100 scattered through the landscape - 84 screaming heads, giant half-buried hands, trees with ghoulish faces and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Inspired by the Druids, Camani intends to continue sculpting screaming heads for as long as he's able. Though he has long envisioned a forest of sculptures made from cement and human ash - with the names and bios of the deceased written on them - he has only created one so far.

Midlothian Ridge, RR #1, Burk's Falls. The castle is around 240 kilometres north of Toronto.

The Badlands Guardian, Medicine Hat, Alta.

Gaze out of an airplane window above the Badlands east of Medicine Hat and a Native American chief will stare back at you. Over millenniums, erosion and weathering fashioned the rocky terrain into the shape of a human head, complete with feathered headdress. A gas well and road leading down from the chief's ear resemble earphones.

An Australian woman going by the name of "supergranny" discovered the head on Google Earth in 2006. Following a naming competition, the 820 × 740 foot (250 × 225.5 metre) figure came to be known as the Badlands Guardian. (Rejected monikers include Space Face, Chief Bleeding Ear, The Listening Rock, Jolly Rocker and Pod God.)

The Badlands Guardian is an example of pareidolia, the phenomenon of an overactive imagination perceiving recognizable shapes in ambiguous stimuli.

Faces, particularly religious ones, are frequently found in inanimate objects - the Virgin Mary has appeared, among other places, in a grilled cheese sandwich, on an expressway underpass and in a pile of chocolate drippings at a California candy factory.

The Badlands Guardian is east of Medicine Hat, a few miles south of Many Islands Lake. It is only visible by air - there is no public access to the site.

Carcross Desert, Carcross, Yukon A one-square-mile desert, surrounded by snow-covered mountains, in a Canadian territory just south of the Arctic Circle. How can this be?

The answer is that Carcross Desert, though certainly sandy and often referred to as the world's smallest desert, is actually the remains of a glacier. The Carcross area - "Carcross" is derived from "caribou crossing" - was once a glacial lake. Over thousands of years, as the glaciers retreated, the water level lowered, leaving behind the layer of silt that once formed the bottom of the lake. This silt, shaped by the wind into dunes, became the world's most adorable desert.

Summer activities at Carcross Desert include off-roading and sandboarding. In winter, when the sand is covered in snow, bring your skis and snowboards.

The teeny desert is an hour's drive south of Whitehorse.

Gopher Hole Museum, Torrington, Alta.

Among the 50 or so dioramas at this museum is a scene of a young couple from the 1950s.

She wears a turquoise poodle skirt. He is a rebel type, clad in a black leather jacket. They stand, locked in an embrace, beside a motorcycle under the glow of a full moon. They are adorable. And they are gophers.

Gopher Hole Museum, a collection of stuffed Richardson's ground squirrels posed to resemble the townspeople of Torrington, opened in 1996. Located in a former one-room schoolhouse, the museum displays the gophers in wooden boxes with painted walls and props. There are gophers grilling hot dogs, getting married, fishing, playing Texas Hold'Em and eating cotton candy. Some have paper speech bubbles attached to their heads. The one above the gopher clutching his stomach at the dinner table reads, "Oh boy am I ever stuffed!"

208 1 Street South, Torrington, Alta. The museum is open from June to September. Look for the big plywood gophers in Torrington - they'll guide you to the door.

Narcisse Snake Orgy, Narcisse, Man.

For a few weeks every year, Interlake teems with piles of writhing serpents. In late April, tens of thousands of harmless red-sided garter snakes emerge from their winter dens, slithering over one another in search of a mate - the largest single concentration of garter snakes in the world. A multiweek reproductive frenzy follows, during which tangled balls of snakes constantly form and disperse. It's hypnotic and unexpectedly audible - on a dry day you'll hear the animals' scales rubbing together.

The dens are 6.5 kilometres north of Narcisse, Man., along Highway 17. To see the snakes mating, visit in late April or early May.

Sam Kee Building, Vancouver In 1913, Chang Toy, owner of the Sam Kee import-export company, sold most of his corner property at Carrall and Pender Streets to the City of Vancouver for the construction and widening of West Pender Street. It was not the most amicable transaction - Toy was not adequately compensated, and the city's disrespect toward him was part of the anti-Chinese sentiment that prevailed at the time.

Left with only a strip of land to call his own, Toy recruited architects Bryan and Gillam to create a two-storey building with attention-grabbing dimensions.

The six-foot-wide (1.8 metre) structure is Guinness-certified as the narrowest commercial building in the world.

8 West Pender St., Vancouver. The building is a seven-minute walk from the Stadium-Chinatown stop on the SkyTrain.

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos, B.C.

From fall to spring, there is nothing unusual about Spotted Lake. But come summer, the reason for its name becomes clear: Evaporation reveals hundreds of round pools on the bottom of the lake. Each spot is coloured according to the type and concentration of its minerals.

Spotted Lake has long been a sacred site for the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley. Its minerals, which include magnesium sulfate, calcium, sodium sulphates, and traces of silver and titanium, are believed to have healing properties. During the First World War these therapeutic minerals were harvested and used to make ammunition.

Okanagan Highway, 9.7 kilometres west of Osoyoos, B.C. The lake is on private land, but you can catch a glimpse from the highway.

Twisted Trees, Alticane, Sask.

Trembling aspen trees, so named for the way their leaves shiver in the wind, normally grow tall, straight and thin. But a grove of aspens near Alticane, known as the Twisted Trees, has somehow ended up as a crooked and mangled mess.

The oddest thing about the Twisted Trees is the fact that they are surrounded by perfectly normal trembling aspens. No one knows exactly when this patch of forest became so gnarled, but theories abound.

One local legend tells of an alien who emerged from a UFO to urinate into the soil, causing it to become contaminated and warp the trees.

The scientific explanation is more mundane. Quaking Aspen grow in vast groves consisting of what appear to be individual trees, but which are actually "clones" of an original source.

The entire stand is a single giant organism.

At some point, a genetic mutation seems to have affected how these trees grow - and not just one tree, but the entire clonal forest. Though the mutation may have made some creepy, gnarly trees, it apparently wasn't devastating enough to impede their growth.

The Twisted Trees are about five kilometres southwest of Alticane, Sask.

Val-Jalbert Ghost Town, Chambord, Que.

The village of Val-Jalbert, 150 miles (241 kilometres) north of Quebec City, sprang up in 1901 when forestry entrepreneur Damase Jalbert built a pulp mill powered by Ouiatchouan River waterfalls. Though Jalbert died just three years later, the mill survived a resulting cash shortage and began to thrive under new owners. From 1909 until the early 1920s, Val-Jalbert was a prosperous community. Its 200 mill workers and their families had access to a school, a general store, a butcher's shop and a post office, all enhanced with electricity.

In 1927, however, the reduced global demand for pulp forced the mill to close. At that time, Val-Jalbert had a population of 950. By the early 1930s, it was a ghost town. Transformed into a tourist attraction in 1960, the village is now open for exploration from June to October. Many of the buildings have been restored while others sag inward, their wooden walls splintered and ridden with holes. Much of the mill's original machinery is intact, and the old butcher's shop now houses an old-timey photo booth.

Before you leave, head to the river's viewing platform for a close look at Ouiatchouan Falls, which, at 72 metres, is taller than Niagara Falls.

Highway 169, between Chambord and the city of Roberval, Que.

Excerpted from Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders © 2016 by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton. Used with permission by Workman Publishing. $35 at

Associated Graphic

Peter Camani's ongoing art project near Burk's Falls, Ont., includes 5.5-metre tall screaming heads made from cement. The former high school art teacher has been working on the property since 1989.


Osoyoos, B.C., is home to Spotted Lake, one of many unique locations listed in the new Atlas Obscura and whose peculiar round pools are seen only during the summer. Each pool's colour is determined by the type and concentration of the minerals found within.


In Brazil, Class C now stands for 'crisis'
Families that climbed out of poverty with government help over the past decade are today drowning in debt and desperation
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B7

RIO DE JANEIRO -- In 2009, Flavia Fernandes and her family moved from a rented apartment in a poor and violent neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro to a small house they bought in a coastal suburb. It was a physical move, and much more than that: Furnishing a home of their own, something that once seemed unimaginable to her working-poor parents, they were part of a huge change in Brazil.

In the course of a decade-long economic boom, more than 30 million Brazilians moved out of poverty, and it was families such as Ms. Fernandes's who saw the biggest shift in their lives.

They benefited from the rise in wages (the minimum wage, which her parents earned as a domestic worker and a bus ticket taker, rose 77 per cent in real terms over the past 13 years) under the left-wing Workers' Party government. There was new access to credit, such as the government-backed mortgage that allowed them to buy their house with no down payment.

Ms. Fernandes, now 29, won entrance to a prestigious state university, which charges no tuition, to study biology and education - the first person in her family to pursue higher education, confident that she could delay working because of the opportunities that awaited her.

But the Brazilian boom sputtered to a rude halt midway through 2014: Brazil's gross domestic product contracted by 3.8 per cent last year and is expected to finish this year with a decline of an additional 3.2 per cent.

Nearly 12 per cent of the work force is unemployed, and there is pervasive unease and uncertainty about the future, which was little relieved by the impeachment of the president earlier this month.

The crisis, as it is simply called here, has had an impact across all of Brazil, but it is felt most keenly in Class C, as families such as the Fernandeses are known here (monthly household income of $425 to $1,400).

Brazil's wealthy elite had assets to shield them when the recession hit, says Renato Meireilles, founder of a demographic research firm focused on Class C called Instituto Locomotiva.

That's why upscale restaurants still have lineups on weeknights and flights to Miami on the "Disney Shuttle" are still full. In fact, the highest-paid group saw their income rise 2.4 per cent this past June, compared with 2015.

The poorest, predictably, have been hit hard: Those who earn less than the monthly minimum wage of about $270 (informal workers, such as street sellers) saw a 9-per-cent decline in their income on average in June compared with the same month last year, according to the latest data from the Institute for Applied Economic Research. They struggle to continue to pay for basic necessities.

But it is Class C families who saw the most dramatic change in their standard of living since the good years: They have no asset cushion, and were most likely to work in the manufacturing, construction, retail and service sectors, where the bulk of jobs have been lost.

Many are reeling both under the struggle of day-to-day survival and the emotional impact of watching the startlingly fast erosion of the gains they made.

More than 50 per cent have taken on a second source of income, either a formal job, when they can be found, or informal work, such as selling snacks or occasional driving for Uber.

Twelve per cent of families with children in private school shifted them to the lower-quality public system this year; Amabile Pacios, director of the National Federation of Private Schools, says virtually all of those are Class C families who had put their children into lower-end private schools, "something that was a dream and a first priority for all the people in this group when they had more income."

The same shift is happening in health care: In the year from March, 2015, 1.3 million Brazilians cancelled their private health insurance, according to the National Health Insurance Agency, and turned to using the underresourced public system, either because they lost their coverage when they lost their jobs or because they can no longer afford payments for a private plan.

Caixa Econômica, the main lender to Class C, says the number of foreclosures by the bank nearly doubled from 2013 to 2015.

Cristiane Curcio, who heads the National Association of Borrowers, which provides legal assistance to people who are facing foreclosure, said the great majority of those affected are first-time owners such as the Fernandes family.

The association gets the most calls from the industrial heartland of Sao Paulo, where factory towns are now "frozen," she said, and from Rio de Janeiro state, where the impact of more than 170,000 layoffs by the state energy company Petrobras has been devastating.

Renan Ataíde Mariano, 28, is fighting to stop the imminent bank auction of the home he bought in Valentim Gentil, a small town in Sao Paulo state.

Mr. Mariano is a heavy-machinery mechanic whose work has dried up in the past two years. He and his wife, a cleaner, bought the house in 2012, when both were earning steady salaries; this year, they fell six months behind on their payments, but they cannot persuade Caixa to renegotiate, and commercial loans are exorbitant.

If the bank were willing to cut their $200-per-month payments in half, they could probably manage, he said.

Across the country, people are drastically reducing their spending, said Renato da Fonseca, director of research for the National Confederation of Industry, which regularly surveys Brazilians on their spending. They have cut back on the quantity and quality of food they buy; turned to public transportation; and cut down or eliminated travel, entertainment, dining out and clothing purchases in an effort to make mortgage payments, service debts they ran up in the good years and pay the bills.

Ms. Fernandes's mother came out of retirement and went to work in a daycare centre. The family stopped eating meat regularly. She can't remember the last time she bought new clothes; when her phone broke, she didn't replace it.

They have appealed to their lender in the hope of relief on the house payments. She lost the paid internships she had. Her degree is dragging on because the professors and staff, who aren't getting paid by the broke state government, keep going on strike for months at a time.

"I'm qualifying as a teacher in a state that can't hire teachers. ... I could work in the environmental sector, except that in this economic situation, these are the first programs to be cut," she said. "The future is so uncertain.

... Everything hurts, in this crisis - it's hard on the mental health of everyone at home. Because everything in our life has changed now."

Mr. Meirelles, the Class C researcher, said this group feels the crisis most acutely because of the newness of what they are losing. While this isn't, statistically, the worst economic crisis Brazil has ever faced, almost everyone in this demographic says it is when surveyed, because in previous periods of steep recession, they weren't consumers and they didn't feel the change, he said.

There is a vicious-cycle aspect to the curtailing of consumer spending. In the good years, Ms. Fernandes's family bought furniture, a big TV, computers, a fridge. That kind of hunger, for white goods in particular, played a huge role in Brazil's boom.

Consumers contributed an estimated 50 per cent of the GDP growth during the decade to 2015.

But today, consumer confidence is barely half of what it was five years ago; no one is buying.

"There's a new aspect to this crisis, which is that people have had access to credit and now they have debt: In the past, you had a crisis, you had income but you didn't have a lot of debt - because of inflation you bought everything with a lump sum," said Mr. da Fonseca from the industry association.

"The recovery of growth in Brazil is going to take much more time because consumption is not going to come back as fast as it did before, because families are more indebted."

All of this puts additional onus on the government's recovery plan: President Michel Temer, who took over after Dilma Rousseff was impeached, ending four successive Workers' Party governments, has pledged a stringent fiscal adjustment designed to boost investment.

He has pledged to cut spending (the majority of which is fixed by law on health, education and pensions) and reform labour laws and social security, particularly Brazil's generous pension plans.

That's an additional source of stress for everyone newly struggling in Class C. Ms. Fernandes's father fears that his pension will be reduced. He is disabled, and relies on a range of medications that the family now receives free through a federal government program. She fears that may be cut too. "And then we will left choosing between eating and taking care of health."

Renan Barreto, 26, lost his job at a Rio IT company in March, when the firm saw its clients evaporate. He, too, was the first in his family to get a college education; he was able to attend thanks to a student loan program that funded his whole degree.

(Mr. Temer suspended this program in one of his first acts as President).

Now, however, Mr. Barreto has loan payments, as well as all the other expenses of life; his family recently signed up for a food basket of basic necessities for people in need. He spends his days applying for any job he sees advertised.

"It's like two lives: the one I had at the beginning of the year and the one I have now. Everything is just flipped upside down."

Associated Graphic

Flavia Fernandes attends university in Rio. She is the first person in her family to go to college, but as Brazil's economy ruptures, Ms. Fernandes and her family now struggle to pay basic bills.


How a 'small fish' triggered Amaya probe
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL -- Canada's biggest-ever insider trading investigation was blown open by the suspicious actions of a middle-class Montreal clothing industry executive who leveraged the equity in his home to make big stock bets, Quebec's securities watchdog says.

The executive is Earl Levett, the chief financial officer of Montreal apparel firm Point Zero. He is characterized by the regulator as a "small fish" in the investigation into Amaya Inc.'s $4.9-billion (U.S.) acquisition of PokerStars' parent Oldford Group Ltd. in 2014. In other words, someone who received rather than gave privileged information.

But it was his actions that fuelled the probe, according to the watchdog's investigators. Or at least a key aspect of it. The regulator is also casting a much wider net and looking at the trading done on Bay Street in Amaya ahead of the PokerStars deal in what is a sprawling international investigation.

"Most of the stuff that we were able to get from this whole operation was because of certain things that you did to trigger [suspicion]," investigator Annie Leblanc of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) told Mr. Levett during an interview with him in the morning of March 23 of this year. "This was kind of like the drawer opened, and then we just started, you know, getting more and more information."

Mr. Levett has not been charged with any offence.

The interview took place at Mr. Levett's home in the on-island suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeaux as the AMF executed a search warrant on the premises.

It was one of roughly a dozen such searches the regulator did that day on the case with the help of the RCMP. His family was home at the time and the experience visibly shook them, according to a transcript of the recorded interview filed to Quebec's Tribunal administratif des marchés financiers, an independent body overseeing securities regulation in Quebec.

At one point, Mr. Levett said: "This is a nightmare." Just moments earlier, the AMF had issued a news release alleging that the businessman was part of a group of 13 individuals who collectively made about $1.5million trading on stocks while in possession of privileged information about mergers and acquisitions transactions, including the PokerStars takeover and several other smaller deals. The AMF said some of the individuals leaked information to others in the group.

That same day, the AMF filed criminal charges against former Amaya chairman and chief executive officer David Baazov. He is alleged to have aided with trades while in possession of privileged information, influenced or attempted to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya and communicated privileged information. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Certain bank and trading accounts belonging to the 13 individuals have been frozen while the AMF's investigation into this aspect of the alleged insider trading scheme continues.

The AMF alleges in the administrative case involving the 13, since whittled down to 12, that Mr. Baazov was the source for much of the information on which the people traded.

The regulator alleges that he passed on tips on some deals to Josh Baazov, his brother, and to Craig Levett, Josh's brother-inlaw and a former consultant to Amaya. Josh passed the information onto Craig and to another man named Isam Mansour, who worked with both men at business consultancy Blackbelt, the regulator alleges. Craig passed information to several people in his entourage, including his brothers Earl and Sloan, it says. The tips made their way to other people as the web expanded, including two Montreal businessmen who run a network of popular pornography websites.

It was Earl Levett's trades that set off the alarm bells, according to the AMF investigators. It was his trades, based on information received from his brother, Craig Levett, that led them to the others, they said.

"Because of you, all this was looked at, all the transactions," investigator Hélène Guilbault, who also took part in the interview, told Earl Levett. Unlike the other individuals who were more careful about the way they were trading, he made big bets for short durations, she said.

An accountant by training, Earl Levett told the investigator that he doesn't "do that much trading" and that the majority of his investments probably consist of mutual funds. "If I make ... 10 transactions a year, it's a lot."

According to evidence outlined by the AMF in its freeze-trade application, several phone calls were made the morning of Jan. 17, 2013, between Josh Baazov and Craig Levett as well as between Craig and Earl. The investigator told Earl that there were nine calls between him and his brother in the space of a few hours and that right after the calls, Earl placed a buy order worth $200,000 (U.S.) on shares of U.S. electronic gambling and amusement company WMS Industries Inc.

The orders were made through a trading account that was nearly empty and had been largely inactive for several years, according to the AMF. When he deposited a cheque in the account to cover the trade, he told his broker that the money came from an inheritance following the death of his mother, according to the AMF.

But the regulator, which has accessed bank records, says that in fact Earl Levett borrowed $150,000 (Canadian) on his home equity line of credit to cover 75 per cent of the purchase.

Two weeks later on Jan. 30, Craig Levett sent an e-mail to Josh Baazov saying: "Josh, I can't reach your brother, any news on the stock, the news was supposed to come out," according to messages obtained by the AMF during other raids. The next day, Scientific Games announced a $1.5-billion takeover of WMS. Earl Levett made a $77,000 profit on the trade.

Asked to explain what WMS is, Earl Levett told the investigators that he could not recall exactly what the company does.

"So you're using a line of credit to pay off 75 per cent of the trade for a company that you cannot explain what really they're doing?" Ms. Leblanc asked him, according to the transcript. "To me, this does not make sense.

And to a judge, this does not make any sense either, which is why we got the search warrant."

Another bet on May 8, 2014 - the purchase of 12,500 Amaya shares at $8 for a total of about $100,000 - roughly one month before the company announced it was taking over PokerStars, netted him a profit of $155,839, according to the AMF. Again, he tapped a home equity line of credit to help buy the stock, the regulator says.

The accountant used a portion of his profit to buy a $13,682 Rolex Daytona watch for another man, Allie Mansour, the brother of Isam, the AMF alleges. The watch was a kickback for information he received, the AMF says. He paid a separate kickback to his brother Craig after the WMS trade, the AMF alleges.

Earl Levett told the investigators that he first bought shares in Amaya "maybe five years ago," again three years ago and again in the previous six to nine months. He said his interest in the gaming and online commerce industry comes in part from the fact many of his friends work in the sector.

"I'm interested in gaming and I follow it very closely, I try to educate myself," he told the two AMF officials.

Asked why he invested such a significant sum in one stock at that time, Earl Levett said there was no specific reason. He told investigators: "There's nothing in particular other than that I did a lot of research on the company; I bought that stock before in the past." His adviser at Dundee told him that Amaya stock could go to $40, he said.

Earl Levett made two more trades based on privileged information, the AMF alleges.

In the first, the regulator says he bought shares in Britain-based poker and sports betting website Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment on Sept. 17, 2014, roughly two months before its share spiked on Nov. 12 when it confirmed early stage takeover talks with unnamed suitors. Earl Levett sold off his position the next day for an $11,132 profit, at the same time as several other Quebec investors including his brother. One of the suitors was Amaya.

The second came on Jan. 19, 2016, when he bought $7,660 worth of Amaya stock at $15.32 a share, 10 days before David Baazov announced his intention to make an offer to take the company private at $21. His paper profit on the purchase was $1,435, the AMF says.

Reached by phone this week, Earl Levett declined to comment on the substance of the allegations against him. He said he was frustrated by the media's portrayal of the case, which he said has been "completely skewed" and one-sided. "It kills your reputation, believe it or not," he said of the way things have transpired.

Gary Martin, a Montreal defence lawyer representing Earl Levett, said there may be legitimate reasons explaining the timing of his client's trades, noting that there was a significant amount of industry chatter about the Amaya deal for PokerStars in particular well before it was publicly announced.

"It's a bit like Usain Bolt anticipating the gun," Mr. Martin said.

"If rumour has it that something might happen, early buyers or people that are risky will take a chance and/or jump on it."

Mr. Martin said his client will present a defence in due course if and when he is charged.

"I'm a hard-working honest citizen trying to make a living," Earl Levett told the investigators. "I'm prudent, I'm a bright guy. I've made some good investments, some not so good investments."

Associated Graphic

Amaya CEO David Baazov attends a meeting in Montreal in June, 2015. Mr. Baazov has been accused of insider trading.


Rental crunch puts tenants on edge
The shortage of affordable homes in Vancouver sometimes threatens to squeeze out the vulnerable
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

Ron Sigurdson says his new landlord had informed him he'd have to move out of his West End apartment at the end of this month because of safety concerns.

Mr. Sigurdson, who lives on a pension, was informed that his unit wasn't authorized to be lived in. Not wanting to make problems for the landlord, he agreed to sign a mutual agreement to end tenancy, he says.

Mr. Sigurdson, who is 69, has lived in the 400-square-foot apartment for five years, and he does not want to leave. The unit has a low ceiling and no kitchen, but he's outfitted it with a refrigerator, hot plate and toaster oven, which are all he needs, he says. He said he wasn't told why it was considered unauthorized, even though tenants had lived there before him.

Last week, he discovered that his apartment is advertised on Craigslist. The photos show Mr. Sigurdson's apartment, with his furniture in the pictures, as part of an advertisement to rent the suite for $1,500 a month. The minimum lease, it says, is for three months.

When he saw the ad, he requested that his owners, Plan A Real Estate Services, give him a letter in writing that explains why he's been asked to leave.

He received a letter that said, "As per our discussion in August 2016, you need to vacate 11B-1425 Haro Street as it is an unauthorized unit. The unit does not meet the required standards that make it safe to inhabit."

Mr. Sigurdson says he feels foolish for signing the agreement to leave his apartment now that he knows the plan was to re-rent it for a higher amount. A selfdescribed "fighter," he went to the Residential Tenancy Board and applied for a dispute resolution hearing.

"This will be a slap on the wrist for this guy. I have no place to go," says Mr. Sigurdson, who's been on the waitlist for permanent BC Housing for seven years. "I'd be couch surfing or go to a shelter or something."

Mr. Sigurdson has had to go to a homeless shelter before, due to a renoviction.

When reached by phone, Plan A owner Anoop Majithia said that Mr. Sigurdson wanted to vacate the apartment, to go live with his daughter.

"He said, 'If I'm leaving, I should get something. I've been here a long time.' We said, 'okay, we can offer you one month rent-free. And then there has to be something signed.' He was willing to sign this document."

Mr. Sigurdson is on a monthto-month rental. When asked why Mr. Sigurdson would not have simply given one month's notice instead, Mr. Majithia said that it was a strange situation.

"I know, but Ron is 70. And the whole interaction with Ron is very ... strange."

When asked why Mr. Sigurdson was given a letter that said he is required to leave the suite because it is unsafe, Mr. Majithia said a staff member of his had written the letter in error.

He said he was not aware that Mr. Sigurdson did not want to vacate the property.

"You are the first person to tell me that Ron does not want to leave.

"But if Ron has changed his mind, and if Ron wants to come forward, the unit hasn't been rented, I'd be happy to discuss that with him. I don't have a problem with that. If Ron wants to stay, if he lets us know he wants to stay, I am happy to reinstate his tenancy today at the same rent."

That's good news for Mr. Sigurdson, because with a vacancy rate at less than 1 per cent, his options are few.

The province announced this week that it will spend half a billion dollars toward the creation of 2,900 subsidized rental units for Metro Vancouver. The pre-election announcement includes housing for seniors who can't afford market rate rental.

Mr. Majithia says he sympathizes with tenants. However, he has costs, and he says has every right to rent his apartments at market rate.

Mr. Majithia was in the news two years ago, involving his rental property at 1168 Pendrell St. Tenants won a series of disputes after jointly filing complaints against Plan A with the Residential Tenancy Branch. They fought evictions and other violations of the Residential Tenancy Act.

West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert held a press conference at the time, calling for new provincial legislation which fines landlords that break the rules in order to make a profit.

"Regulation is next to nothing, and enforcement of the rules is pretty non-existent, so it's a bonanza," Mr. Chandra Herbert said last week.

Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs also calls on provincial intervention to protect tenants.

"I think the Residential Tenancy Act is proving inadequate on a number of fronts," he says.

It's a time consuming process, fighting a landlord. Mr. Sigurdson says he spent two hours at the Residential Tenancy Branch in order to apply for the dispute resolution. He then had to return to pick up documents a few days later.

Another tenant, Isabelle Grue Lee, 28, says she and the other tenants have received several notices since the new landlord took over.

"He said he's hired a private investigator to inform him of people who are smoking out front."

Tenant Melissa Nielsen, 27, says they'd received notification that they'd be fined if they disposed of garbage improperly. A camera has been installed by the garbage cans.

They say tenants' names have been removed from the directory at the front of the building, making it harder for people to buzz them.

Plan A also asked tenants to sign fixed-term leases with a vacate clause, giving the landlord authority to make them leave at the end of the term.

Mr. Majithia applied to the city to do a major renovation on the building. According to the city, the renovation has a cost of around $500,000. The permit is currently under review. Plan A has given tenants a letter that outlines a tenant relocation plan. It says renovations could begin in the next 12 months. If it happens, they will join the growing numbers of Vancouver renters to be "renovicted."

Mr. Majithia responds that work needs to be done because the apartment sizes right now don't make sense, what with the city's need for more rental space.

"It's an older building, and like a lot of older buildings, there is inefficient floor plans," he says. "And we are making floor plans as efficient as possible. There [are] 900-square-feet one bedrooms so that could be used for example as twobedroom units. We are reconfiguring it, modernizing it, in terms of improving the finishes, and making it so more people can stay there."

Mr. Majithia says he is adding density to the area. A block away, at 1540 Haro St. is another Plan A building. It has a development sign out front for a slightly higher density building.

"I think that there's a much larger problem and that is that there is not enough rental supply in Vancouver, in general ... It's worrisome.

"This displacement is something that's a concern to all building owners, including myself, but not something that can be tackled by a property owner alone. It's really the City of Vancouver that has to allow enough densification of the West End so there is enough supply of rental accommodations. If enough supply, the vacancy rate wouldn't be what it is."

Mr. Majithia says it is not his intention to displace anybody, but he can raise rents on apartments that become empty because that is simply what the market will bear.

"It's no secret that there is a supply problem in the West End, and that's what it comes down to. I can understand how building owners and developers can be vilified very easily but the truth is that I don't think it's right to say, you know what, if somebody owns a property that they should deliberately achieve returns below what the market is ready to pay.

"This building is designated as being a purpose-built rental.

That's the formal designation by the City of Vancouver and they are intended to be rented at market value. This is not social housing. I think it's important that this distinction is clear.

"As a building owner, we spent a lot of money on the building.

Our property taxes keep going up every year, our costs keep going up, it's an older building.

We have to pay our expenses.

We are not doing anything wrong, advertising a unit at what somebody will pay for it."

Critics argue that the city needs more tools to intervene when tenants are facing harassment because they're getting in the way of redevelopment.

"There needs to be a law that the city has the authority to take into account the behaviour of the landlord when issuing a permit," says NDP housing critic David Eby. "Because as soon as they get the permits, there's very little to protect [tenants] from an eviction."

Mr. Sigurdson appears to be safe for the moment. But the tenants are uneasy.

"At the end of day, you're stressed out wondering if there'll be another little 'love letter' on your door," he says. "This is not a safe, secure place to live."

Associated Graphic

Ron Stigurdson, seen in his West End apartment in Vancouver on Tuesday, was told his unit was unauthorized and he agreed to leave. He then saw a rental ad for his unit on Craigslist for $1,500 a month. Some property developers evict tenants to renovate buildings.


Developers reaping tax breaks, despite boom
Toronto has the hottest office market in North America, but is still handing out millions under a dated subsidy program
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

It would be the single biggest boost to downtown Toronto's inventory of high-end office space in a quarter-century: a gleaming, $1-billion, two-tower complex that would straddle the railway tracks near Air Canada Centre, and throw in a new bus terminal for Metrolinx for good measure.

But to build this massive proposed project, developer Ivanhoé Cambridge - the real estate arm of the massive Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec pension fund - is getting a handout from Toronto's cashstrapped municipal government in the form of property-tax breaks worth $142-million spread over 10 years after the project is finished.

The subsidy, approved unanimously by Toronto City Council in July, comes from the city's Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology (IMIT) tax-incentive program, which dates back to 2008, when the recession hit and the city was looking for ways to attract new office space and jobs. Today, the city is in the middle of a massive office-tower building boom, adding more than four million square feet to the core in just the past three years. With a vacancy rate of just 4.9 per cent, Toronto's downtown office market is the hottest in North America, ahead of San Francisco and even Midtown Manhattan. In the past eight years, Toronto's economy has changed dramatically, but the IMIT tax-break program has barely changed at all.

Before the Ivanhoé Cambridge deal, some of the biggest developers operating in the city had been approved for $290million in potential tax breaks on 28 projects. And the multimilliondollar handouts keep coming, even as city departments struggle to slash spending to balance next year's budget and the city considers selling off some assets, including a slice of Toronto Hydro, as its infrastructure woes grow.

City bureaucrats are due to report on a review of the program by the end of the year. Among those eagerly awaiting that is Mayor John Tory, who has said the city needs to take a good look at all of its programs, including subsidies for businesses, as it wrestles with its finances.

His office said in a statement this week that no decision had been made about the future of IMIT: "City staff are reviewing the program and will report back [later] this year on any recommended changes. The Mayor will review this report and discuss with his Council colleagues on how best to move forward."

According to city documents, projects receiving or set to receive the tax breaks include Oxford Group's WaterPark Place III at 85 Harbour St., a $139-million, 30storey new waterfront home for Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest bank. That project is getting a $13.8-million discount.

Oxford's $270-million Ernst & Young Tower, at 100 Adelaide St. W., is receiving a $7.9-million break.

The new eastern tower of the Bay Adelaide Centre, which cost $300-million to build and is now home to accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte, is getting $8.7million. First Gulf's $120-million project on King Street East, which will be home to The Globe and Mail and other tenants, is to receive $11.9-million.

To get the tax breaks, projects with construction costs larger than $150-million must be approved by council. Smaller developments are approved by the city's general manager of economic development. All must fulfill a wide range of criteria, including attracting tenants in a list of industries that ranges from biomedical to food-and-beverage but excludes retailing or warehousing. Residential buildings are ineligible.

Proponents of the program insist the city comes out ahead financially. Here's how it works: Say a developer who owns a parking lot is approved for an IMIT grant to build a massive office tower on that land. Once that tower is built, the value of the property skyrockets, as will the property-tax bills. A successful applicant will get a refund on a portion of the new tax bills, typically for 10 years after the project is completed. The refunds get smaller as the last year approaches, but can total 60 per cent or more of the increased amount of taxes that result from the construction of the project. After the discount ends, the landowner pays the higher annual tax rate.

The idea is to help developers attract tenants - and the jobs they bring - by allowing landlords to offer cheaper rents. The reason the city benefits rests on the presumption the development would not have happened without the tax break. City staff say Coca-Cola Canada's new headquarters on King Street East and the Ripley's Aquarium next to the CN Tower would not have been built otherwise.

The question now is whether Toronto needs such an expensive incentive for developers, who are already building office space at a breakneck pace. Paul Morassutti, the executive managing director of real estate services firm CBRE Ltd., said the downtown office boom is the result of market forces, not a subsidy program.

Employers are moving back downtown because their increasingly millennial work force now lives in condos there, and they want to walk or bike to work.

Even industries outside of the area's traditional banking sector are flocking downtown, he added, citing Google Canada's move into offices at Richmond Street West and York Street.

"The tax incentives, in my world, just haven't come up very much," he said.

These incentives can also create political controversy. A Globe investigation in 2014 revealed that former mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug Ford, then a councillor, helped arrange meetings with city staff about an IMIT tax break for the North York headquarters of Apollo Health and Beauty Care, which was also a big customer of the Fords' family business, Deco Labels and Tags.

Apollo later got an IMIT tax break worth $2.7-million.

The $142-million that Ivanhoé Cambridge's massive project, called the Bay Park Centre, stands to receive is the biggest tax break ever approved under the IMIT program. The three-millionsquare-foot plans qualified under the IMIT's special "transformative" category for megaprojects that are supposed to deliver benefits to an entire area. City bureaucrats and an external consultant hired to review the project say it will deliver $120-million in important public benefits that would never come to pass without the tax subsidies.

Among those benefits is a park - described as a "privately owned public space" - that would span the rail corridor, similar to Mr. Tory's proposed rail-deck park further west, space that could become an East Bayfront light-rail station, and a new GO bus terminal to replace the one at Union Station.

A 26-page external report drawn up for the city by Hemson Consulting Ltd. concluded after seeing confidential numbers from Ivanhoé Cambridge that the developer would likely not go ahead with its grand plans without the tax breaks.

Arthur Lloyd, the company's Calgary-based executive vicepresident for its North American office building business, said in an interview that without the incentives, his company would abandon its plans for what he called a "world-class trophy asset" and seek to build a smaller, standard office tower on the site without the rail-straddling park or other amenities.

"Our project actually spans the rail corridor and knits together, in a very physical way, the traditional [Financial District] and the emerging south downtown," Mr. Lloyd said. "The taxpayer is getting a lot in return. ... This really is part of a city-building effort."

He added that many other cities around the world where his company builds have similar incentive programs, including Chicago, where an office-tower project the company now has under way is benefiting from comparable tax breaks.

Veteran developer Stephen Diamond, who is not involved with Bay Park Centre, warns the city would lose the kind of public benefits this project and other developments can deliver if the IMIT is scrapped, noting that Regent Park and the technology-incubator MaRS Discovery District have also had the tax breaks.

"It's being penny wise and pound foolish," Mr. Diamond said.

He is now involved in at least two projects that are eligible for IMIT grants, including large-scale plans to redevelop the area around the sprawling office campus of electronics company Celestica at Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East. The plans include a mixed-used "regeneration" area along the route of the coming Eglinton Crosstown lightrail line with both office space and residential units. But Mr. Diamond warns that without IMIT, the office-space might not make sense financially.

One critic of the program, Councillor Gord Perks, says the IMIT forces city hall to take the word of developers that without a rebate, a given development would not happen.

"No one can prove one way or the other whether these developments would have happened with no grant," Mr. Perks said. "... One of the things members of council learn is that developers never tell you their real bottom line."


Ivanhoé Cambridge, Bay Park Centre 45 and 141 Bay St.

Total cost: $1-billion $142-million 2. CQ Dockside Property Inc.

(Corus Entertainment headquarters) 25 Dockside Dr. Total cost: $112-million $23.9-million 3. MARS Phase II, 661 University Ave.

Total cost: $180-million $17.3-million 4. Oxford Group, WaterPark Place III (RBC) 85 Harbour St. Total cost: $139-million $13.8-million 5. First Gulf KEC Development Ltd.

(Globe and Mail Centre) 351 King St. E.

Total cost: $120-million $11.9-million

Associated Graphic


When distant forces feel like dire threats
In an increasingly diverse world, says the Aga Khan, we must not trivialize difference but learn to live with its challenges
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F8

As we discuss the concept of global citizenship - and the spirit of pluralism on which it rests - it is only realistic to acknowledge an increasing frustration concerning the pluralism story. We talk sincerely about the values of diversity, about living with complexity. But in too many cases more diversity seems to mean more division - greater complexity seems to bring more fragmentation - and more fragmentation can bring us closer to conflict.

The stakes seem to get higher as time goes by. So do the obstacles.

One enormous challenge, of course, is the simple fact that diversity is increasing. The task is not merely learning to live with diversity, but learning to live with greater diversity with each passing year.

An aspect of this changing reality is the challenge of human migration. More people are moving, willingly and unwillingly, across national frontiers than ever before. In country after country, the migration question is a central issue of political life. Often it is the central issue.

And old habits of mind - including narrow, exclusionary definitions of citizenship - have not met the challenge.

That was true three months ago when Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. It is true in pre-election debates in France and in the United States. It is true in Canada, although Canada has certainly been a world leader in expanding the concept of citizenship. But the challenge is felt everywhere.

Nor is the migration challenge likely to dissipate any time soon, especially as war, and violence, and economic deprivation displace more and more people.

In such a world, the "Other" is no longer a distant someone whom we encounter primarily in the pages of a magazine, or on a video screen, or an exotic holiday trip. The "Other" increasingly is someone who appears in what we think of as "our space" - or even "in our face." And that reality can be hard to handle.

When the Other is seen as a potential competitor - for a job, for example - even when this fear is unfounded, the challenge to pluralistic attitudes becomes even more difficult. For those who feel insecure, it is tempting to look for scapegoats, for someone to blame, especially when their self-esteem seems threatened.

Often, we then find it easier to define our identity by what we are against, than by what we are for.

Such fears may be culturally based, or economically driven, or psychologically rooted. But they should not be underestimated. And they will not be driven away by nice-sounding words proclaiming lofty ideals.

This is why I emphasize our responsibility to improve the quality of life in places throughout the world where that quality is unsatisfactory. Fighting poverty, improving health and education, expanding opportunity are the first manifestations of a healthy pluralistic ethic.

Pluralism means responding to diversity not only at home, but on a global basis, creating genuine "visions of opportunity" wherever constraints or reversals are in the air.

But the growing challenge to pluralistic values does not happen only when people move physically from one place to another. As new technologies shrink the planet, distant forces become dire threats.

We worry about the perils of environmental degradation, for example, including the spectre of climate change. We see how every local economy can be affected by distant economies. We realize how dangerous forces can spread across national borders: deadly diseases or deadly weaponry, criminal networks or terrorist threats. And often, the human impulse is not to work across borders to meet these dangers, but to withdraw from a threatening world.

One element that complicates this challenge is the way in which we communicate with our global neighbours. We think sometimes that new technologies can save us. If we can connect at faster speeds, at lower cost, across greater distances, with more people - just think what could happen! We would all learn more about one another, and perhaps understand one another better.

But I am not sure that things are working out that way. The explosion of available information often means less focus on relevant information, and even a surfeit of misinformation. Thoughtful leadership often gives way to noisy chatter.

Media proliferation is another challenge. What it often means is media fragmentation. Many now live in their own media bubbles, resisting diverse views.

New technologies can make communication seem easier, but they can also make pluralism more difficult.

Yet another dimension of the challenge has to do with the realities of human nature. We often hear in discussions of global citizenship that people are basically alike. Under the skin, deep in our hearts, we are all brothers and sisters, we are told, and the secret to a harmonious world is to ignore our differences and to emphasize our similarities.

What worries me, however, is when some take that message to mean that our differences are trivial; that they can be ignored, and eventually erased. That is not good advice. In fact, it is impossible.

Yes, our underlying humanity should motivate our quest for healthy pluralism.

But such a quest must also be built on an empathetic response to our important differences.

Pretending that our differences are trivial will not persuade most people to embrace pluralistic attitudes. It might even frighten them away. People know that differences can be challenging, that disagreements are inevitable, that our fellow humans can sometimes be disagreeable. As Adrienne Clarkson once said, "the secret to social harmony is learning to live with people you may not particularly like."

My fear is that talking only about our common humanity might appear to threaten people's distinctive identities.

And that can complicate the challenge of pluralism. Who am I? Qui suis-je? We all must pose that question. Answers will grow out of basic loyalties - to family, faith, community, language - which provide a healthy sense of security and worth. But if the call for pluralism seems to dilute those old loyalties, then that new call may not be effective.

Embracing the values of global citizenship should not mean compromising the bonds of local or national citizenship.

The call of pluralism should ask us to respect our differences, not to ignore them; to integrate diversity, not to depreciate diversity. The call for cosmopolitanism isn't a call to homogenization. It means affirming social solidarity without imposing social conformity. One's identity need not be diluted in a pluralistic world, but rather fulfilled - as one bright thread in a cloth of many colors.

Perhaps the key to resolving the paradox of citizenship is to think about layers of overlapping identity. After all, one can honour a variety of loyalties - to a faith, an ethnicity, a language, a nation, a city, a profession, a school, even a sports team. One might share some of these identities with some people, and other identities with others.

My own religious community identifies proudly as Ismaili Muslims, with our specific interpretation of Islamic faith and history. But we also feel a sense of belonging with the whole of the Muslim world, the Ummah.

Within the Ummah, the diversity of identities is immense, greater than most people realize. These differences are based on language, history, nationhood, ethnicity and a variety of local affiliations. But, at the same time, I observe a growing sense within the Ummah of a meaningful global bond.

When the question of human identity is seen in this context, then diversity itself can be seen as a gift. Diversity is not a reason to put up walls, but rather to open windows. It is not a burden but a blessing.

In the end, of course, we must realize that living with diversity is a challenging process. We are wrong to think it will be easy. The work of pluralism is always a work in progress.

Some of that work will be done in our schools. What I have called the "cosmopolitan ethic" is not something that we are born with, it is something that must be learned. The process does not simply take care of itself. It requires planning, persistence and ever-fresh thinking. It is work that is never finished.

Finally, advancing the cause of global citizenship is not only a matter of building healthy, diversified societies, but also of maintaining them. Inevitably, new challenges will rise. Canada's Chief Justice, the Right Honorable Beverley McLachlin, spoke last year of how a cosmopolitan society needed to continually sort out the balance between healthy diversity and social cohesion. To do that well, she said, required a respect for human dignity, strong legal institutions, and a pluralistic institutional environment.

For me, that latter strength implies a broadly diversified civil society with a healthy array of private organizations dedicated to public purposes. For pluralism to thrive will require the successful integration of diverse institutions and diverse leadership.

The challenges of global citizenship, in sum, will be many and continuing.

What will they require of us? A short list might include these strengths: a vital sense of balance, an abundant capacity for compromise, more than a little sense of patience - an appropriate degree of humility - a good measure of forgiveness - and, of course, a genuine welcoming of human difference.

It will mean hard work. It will never be completed. But no work will be more important.

This is a condensed version of an address delivered this week in Toronto by His Highness the Aga Khan, as he accepted the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship at the inaugural Six Degrees "citizen space," presented by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Is there such a thing as 'normal' people in the opulent city-state? Amid the fast cars and casinos, Adam Hammond seeks out what counts as everyday life in Monte Carlo, and discovers an unexpected side of the tiny principality
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T1

MONTE CARLO, MONACO -- As I planned my trip to Monaco, an unexpected thought occurred to me. Maybe Monaco is a regular country, filled with normal people.

This went completely against every preconception I had of the place. An unbelievably small city-state, half the size of Central Park, filled with unbelievably rich inhabitants - tennis players, movie stars, jetsetters of all stripes. A perfect Mediterranean climate. No income tax. Gambling. Gargantuan yachts. James Bond. Princess Grace.

But the more I read about it, the more the image of a normal Monaco started to seem possible. I arrived there on a cruise ship (I'm a regular person myself, I promise!), and with lots of time to spare on the voyage, I devoured Stanford historian Mark Braude's new book Making Monte Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Despite the glitzy title, Braude's main point is that the Monaco of legend, like all great spectacles, is the result of a lot of hard work. All that glamour came at a cost.

The main cost, it seems, was human labour. Karl Marx visited the place in 1882 and was disgusted with the "economic basis" of the casino-dominated principality and its treatment of workers. In the spring of 1929, a democratic popular uprising led by disenfranchised workers nearly toppled the monarchy. When the inaugural Grand Prix race was held a few weeks later, the circuit was carefully planned to avoid the working-class neighbourhoods.

All of which implied, of course, that there were workingclass neighbourhoods in Monaco. I was dumbstruck. That's where I wanted to go.

I hate to spoil the excitement, but they're long gone. The first thing I discovered when I arrived in Monaco was that it's definitely not a regular place, and no normal people live there.

Approaching Monaco from the sea, you feel a bit like a baseball landing softly in a massive glove. The harbour is the heel, the city is the palm, and the towering, nearly vertical mountains that surround it are the outstretched fingers and webbing. The trick is that only part of the glove - the heel and the palm - are Monaco proper. The rest, the vertical parts, are technically in France. If you climb high enough, into narrow roads and areas that increasingly resemble an Italian hillside village, you will find a few casino workers and chambermaids, though most of the service staff now commute from further afield.

But in the palm of glove, in the tax haven that is modern Monaco, it's all Lamborghinis and Lalique.

So I decided to try another angle. If the working class had vanished, maybe there was something like my own urban, middle-class version of normal in Monaco. I got in touch with Monaco Tourism and asked them if there was an arts scene, if there were cafés where young people hung out and talked about books, if there were underground music clubs. Basically, were there hipsters in Monaco?

Monaco Tourism was very excited by the idea and said they would get back to me. Two days later, they informed me that, regretfully, the answer was "no."

Back to square one.

When I checked into my hotel - the effortlessly stylish Fairmont Monte Carlo, straddling the sea and perched immediately beneath the famous Casino de Monte Carlo, at the apex of the famous hairpin turn of the Grand Prix, and so in no way a normal place itself - I met with the communications director, hoping for guidance in my quest for the Monégasque quotidian.

Things did not look promising.

She was a stunningly elegant 6-foot-tall Italian with an aristocratic Austro-Hungarian last name, the Belle Époque in person.

When I asked for her impressions on the reigning monarch, she said, "Albert? We went to school together. When I see him in the street, we kiss."

And yet, for all her overwhelming exceptionalness, it was she who pointed me in the right direction. As we discussed the hotel's philosophy, she emphasized ecology - the hotel is cooled by sea water, its restaurants serve local and organic foods, it has a fanatical devotion to recycling and energy efficiency. Given Monaco's natural talent for excess, why place such an emphasis on conservation?

"Fairmont is Canadian," she told me. Even though this isn't technically true - Fairmont still has its headquarters in Toronto, but has been owned by foreign companies for over a decade and was recently acquired by Frenchrun AccorHotels - it all started to make sense.

But it isn't just the Canadian influence. All of Monaco, it seems, has gone eco-mad. What she told me next was the second fact about Monaco to blow my mind.

Albert II, her old school chum, Prince of a country crawling with Lamborghinis and famous for motorsports, has a dream.

He wants to eliminate all gasoline-powered cars from Monaco. Later, to prove her point, she sent me a photo of Grace Kelly's son beaming from behind the wheel of a microscopic electric vehicle.

Inspired by our ecocentric talk, I set out to explore Monaco's take on vegetarian food, something very much part of my everyday routine.

My first stop, on a quiet street near the Casino, was the provocatively named Eat Me, part of the principality's small but thriving health-food scene. Here was my first glimpse of something like everyday life in Monaco. On the tiny patio were some construction workers on a break, drinking Pepsi. Inside, sitting at the restaurant's 10 or so seats, were local people having lunch, talking about things that locals talk about - which is to say, shopping trips to London and how to avoid paying tax on artwork.

That night, I visited Eqvita, tennis great Novak Djokovic's newly opened vegetarian restaurant. This was the most relaxed version of Monaco yet. The wait staff were dressed in polo shirts and khakis - the local equivalent of a tank top and basketball shorts. The food was strangely affordable, with mains available for 15 ($22), the price of a coffee in some Monte Carlo cafés.

And everyone seemed to know one another.

When a waitress brought a watermelon tomato gazpacho to the man sitting next to me, he picked it up with both hands and downed it in a single gulp.

The waitress remarked, "That was insanely fast! You're like a manga character!" Inspired by her familiarity, I struck up a conversation with him. He lived in a tower nearby with his family, and he was trying to lose weight. He came to Eqvita for as many as three meals a day.

"How did you hear about the place?" I asked him.

"Oh, Novak is my neighbour."

And that, I learned, is as normal as things get in Monaco.

The writer travelled as a guest of Visit Monaco. It did not review or approve this article.


Monaco is too small to have its own international airport, so travellers must go through nearby Nice, France. Of course, Monaco being Monaco, there is an exceptional way to make the last leg of the trip. Monacair ( offers helicopter service between Nice airport and the principality from 160 ($235), about the price of a cab ride (seven-minute travel time/departs every 15 minutes).


Ask a Monégasque local for a vegetarian recommendation, and they say one of two names. The newest option, Novak Djokovic's Eqvita, is 100-per-cent vegetarian. The best things on the menu are unquestionably the Organic Energy Balls, Monaco's answer to the Timbit: moist, delicious spheres of pure bliss available in date cashew, almond cacao and almond cinnamon. Take the advice of Novak's neighbour, however, and enjoy in moderation: "Organic? Definitely. Low fat? No." 7 Rue du Portier, Despite its name, Eat Me is the more elegant alternative.

The atmosphere is reserved and chic, and the meals are as aesthetically appealing as they are delicious, heavily decorated with edible flowers and colourful vegetable shavings.

Prices are reasonable, with lunch mains from 14. Despite its vegetarian billing, however, Eat Me does serve meat - a reminder that Monaco's veggie scene is about health, not ethics. 7 rue de l'Hermitage .


The Fairmont Monte Carlo embodies all the self-assured charm of Monaco. Perched directly on the Mediterranean, immediately below the famous Casino de Monte Carlo, with the Formula 1 course leading straight into reception, it doesn't need to go out of its way to impress. The rooms - many of which face the sea, the casino, or the Grand Prix circuit - exude a 1970s vibe. Rooms from 279. Ready for the extraordinariness of Monaco but not the extraordinary prices? Stay at the Hotel Capitole in Beausoleil, France. Rooms are wellmaintained, the staff is friendly and double rooms start at 159. 19, boulevard du General Leclerc,

Associated Graphic

When you think about Monaco, certain words come to mind: monarchy, Grand Prix, tax haven. 'Regular' is not among them.


Above, race-car drivers scream down Monaco's street circuit during the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix. Despite the country's fame for motorsports, Prince Albert II wants to eliminate all gasoline-powered cars. Left, the newly opened all-vegetarian Eqvita restaurant, owned by tennis great Novak Djokovic.


IDS-Vancouver wows this year with big-name talent - Tom Dixon, Barbara Barry - and bright ideas. Laura Goldstein shares the creators and innovations not to be missed
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

'The Pacific Northwest has experienced a major design boom and we really need to recognize ourselves as world-class," says Jody Phillips, IDS-Vancouver's show director. That's why, as one of the largest design shows on North America's West Coast, IDS-Vancouver has made it its mandate to showcase artisans by positioning them on an international stage. Now in its 12th year, the international design show annually attracts 36,000 people to see 275 designers, speakers and distributors. "In addition to Vancouver's hotbed of talent, we're really excited about the Dutch Exchange: Eindhoven," Phillips says, referring to an exhibition of experimental designers from the small city in the Netherlands. As well, headliners, such as British industrial designer Tom Dixon and L.A.'s award-winning interior designer, Barbara Barry, join the jam-packed roster. From 3-D printed furniture produced by a robot to bubble-inspired lighting, here's a peek at a few show-stoppers.

Recently awarded Industrial Designer of the Year by Western Living Magazine, Vancouver's Matthew McCormick takes his inspiration for lighting shape and form "from anything - jewellery, garbage, even the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars," he laughs. In fact, the former graphic designer and ad director created one of his most popular pendants by riffing on the idea of effervescence on a dinner napkin. Halo is a bold lamp inspired by the soft warm glow that bubbles exude. Machined and hand-finished, they are available in brass, copper, nickel and 24-karat gold. When suspended in a modular system, Halo pendants resemble a sculptural piece. For IDS-Vancouver, McCormick combines Dawn, Halo and Dodeca pendants for a spectacular ceiling installation.

Prices upon request

Playfully cheeky, Dutch Studio Dirk Vander Kooij's furniture evokes an Alice In Wonderland response - "curiouser and curiouser" with products that are deceptively sculptural yet functional. When Vander Kooij couldn't find any printers large enough, he built the first 3-D-printing industrial robot for furniture in his studio in Zaandam in the Netherlands. It spits out recycled plastic from synthetic leftovers from the tip of its robotic arm. Molten disposable plastic gets the sturdiness and strength of marble for his thick-lined Chubby Chair, acquired by MOMA in 2012.

For Melting Pot Table, Vander Kooij explains, "I throw in old toys, melted pieces from refrigerators, a computer keyboard - just about anything and the result is a bold and stylish table with magnificent patterns and colours, and no two are the same."

His new SnowMEN speaker set was designed with highend speaker engineer, Henkjan Netjes, combining contemporary aesthetics with high-tech performance. Standing almost one-metre high and each weighing 65 kilograms, the speakers "allow the sound to spread in all directions, giving a mind-blowing sound experience," Vander Kooij says. Frosty, take note.

SnowMEN speaker set: $9,500

Who says wall decals are only for nurseries and kids' rooms? Vancouver graphic designer Danielle Hardy of UrbanWalls has created an international niche for every room in the house. "They're wallpaper without the expense, and because the decals are made of vinyl and can be easily removed [but not reused], they're great for renters," she says. Dye-cut or printed in a spectacular array of colours including custom, a client in Beverly Hills, Calif., opted for flamingos in the master bedroom; another, palm tree decals in the living room, graphics in a loft and romantic "wall quotes" in a bathroom.

With polka dots: from $45

With elaborate flora and fauna: $45 to $250

Designer Tineke Beunders, one half of Ontwerpduo, is the dreamer; Nathan Wierink, her partner in business and life, the mathematician. "It's where the poetic and practical converge," Beunders says from their studio in Eindhoven, where most of their quirky products are manufactured. The minimalist Novecento Collection is inspired by housewares used by their omas (grandmothers), then given a modern spin. A two-sided ash cutting board incorporates the perforations to catch the breadcrumbs; the steel- and powder-coated Cageling makes a popular indoor or outdoor perch. Premiering at IDS-Vancouver: Glow, a clear LED glass globe with white spots that slowly dissipate to a mesmerizing blue "glow" at night, lasts three hours after solar- or light-charging during the day.

Glow is available in three sizes, table or ceiling-mounted: $360 to $580

Cutting board: $74

Cageling: $2,630

Ceramicist Brett Freund's vessels are cubist riffs on architectural structures that bring to mind Frank Gehry, pop art and even Turkish delight. Originally from industrial Pittsburgh (which also informs his designs), Freund prints the initial prototype in 3-D, then pours in painted liquid slip (clay) to create the moulds in porcelain.

Freund then cuts and pastes large, gem-like chunks of clay in building blocks around each piece. Says Freund: "It's a way to express my emotions and my moods reference the way I attach things with colour and thick black lines."

Vases and pots: $75 to $250

Industrial designer Andrew Perkins of Fire Road in San Francisco brings new life to iconic and irreplaceable objects. His Profile Bottle Opener is so sleek, it's as refreshing as the beverages it opens. The silky surface and substantial weight of polished Carrara marble feels cool in the hand and the rich anodized brass and silver frame form a durable gadget.

Fire Road's Edge Dominos is a twist on the classic game that still retains the original number patterns, but resembles computer chips in Perkins's design. Travel-sized and lightweight, the set is made from durable aluminum with a black anodized matte finish and laser-engraved, everlasting number patterns on the tiles. Comes in its own wooden box.

Profile Bottle Opener: $65

Edge Dominos: $160

The award-winning Bloom Furniture Collection from mth woodworks brings the outdoors inside. Michael Thomas Host, of Vancouver, designs and handcrafts his pieces using salvaged cedar from B.C. rain forests after an area has been logged. It must be in his DNA (he's the son of a forester) as he showcases the growth rings of tree stump slices, left raw, and sanded and encased in a mould made of resin from peanuts and soy. His Bloom art in the boudoir looks uncannily like Rorschach inkblots that must instigate lots of pillow talk.

Bench: $5,500

Art: $400 a square foot Seltzer Bottle Rug.


Established in 1907, Burritt Bros., carpet purveyors in Vancouver, has partnered with the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) to bring a piece of history to home decor. The custom design team of Keith Donegani, Ainsley Jones and Nikola Boyd explored the storage vaults of MOV and discovered an evocative collection of seltzer bottles.

"They were delivered by horse and buggy to Vancouverites in the early 1900s, and we thought a colourful carpet would make a great homage to another tradition of hand-crafted goods," Donegani says. Giving a Warhol vibe in the layout while staying true to archival colours, the Seltzer Bottle Rug incarnation is created from Himalayan wool and viscose or Chinese silk, dyed and woven by hand in Kathmandu. For each carpet sold, MOV receives a royalty toward its school-tour program.

Available in all standard and custom carpet sizes.

Seltzer Bottle Rug (8 feet x 10 feet): $4,800

Award-winning British industrial designer Tom Dixon headlines IDS-Vancouver with the North American debut of his Caesarstone, multisensory Fire Kitchen. He was front and centre at Milan Design Week with four sculptural quartz working kitchens, inspired by earth, water, air and fire installed in the Restaurant. At IDS-Vancouver, a local chef will prepare in the Fire Kitchen blazing samples of food that have been smoked, seared and burned for exhibition-goers. The Fire Kitchen is inspired by charred wood and smoke, using blackened beams and hints of gold in combination with Caesarstone's dramatic vanilla, noir, raven and coastal grey quartz. An accomplished chef himself, Dixon says from London: "There's no secret that the kitchen is the most popular place at parties - everybody is a mini-celebrity chef these days."

Dixon also partners with Inform Interiors for a pop-up retail store for his newly launched accessories to the public.

Just like his beguiling, organically sculptural lighting installations seem to undergo a metamorphosis, so, too, has Nelson, B.C., designer Cameron Mathieson of Lightness experienced a life-changing catharsis. When he was studying photography at the Banff Centre in 1977, he was involved in a climbing accident in which his friend died.

Following that, Mathieson began visiting Duncan Lake in B.C.'s Kootenays for inspiration. "I discovered a boneyard of windswept driftwood that I rescue by canoe several times a year." Seeing anthropomorphic characteristics in the silvered wood, Mathieson transforms them with the addition of Japanese paper, pulp and resin over weeks and months of detailed labour.

Prices from $1,500 to $20,000 IDS-Vancouver runs Sept. 22 to 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Associated Graphic

Cameron Mathieson transforms weathered wood with the addition of Japanese paper and pulp to create Lightness.




SnowMEN speaker set.


UrbanWalls Flamingos.






Profile Bottle Opener.


Bloom Furniture Collection bench.


Fire Kitchen.




Bullied from their homes
Some West End residents say they are being pressured to sell by unscrupulous property assemblers
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

Residents in the West End, many of them elderly, say that some unscrupulous property investors are harassing them in an attempt to get them to sell their strata condos.

In some of Vancouver's overheated residential areas, owners of strata properties are under tremendous pressure to sell. One homeowners' group says that has led to bad behaviour by a small number of developers and real estate companies to force strata owners out of their buildings.

Tony Gioventu, executive director for the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC, has been advising condo owners who say they are being harassed. He says the bullying tactics started around the time the province made changes to the Strata Property Act with Bill 40, removing the requirement that all owners agree to liquidate in order to sell a building. Now, only 80 per cent of strata owners need to agree in order to start the process. That legislative change has opened the door to investors with underhanded tactics, he says. Elderly residents living on low incomes are the easiest targets. One tactic, Mr. Gioventu says, is to buy up units to obtain majority power and then try to use them as rentals. They will suggest to the minority group of owners that the new tenants may be difficult or even unsavoury.

"I'm hearing of everything from physical threats to verbal threats and harassment to threats from lawyers, and third-party agents - all kinds of aggression and attacks being targeted at the senior community and remaining owners, trying to force them out at lower-than-reasonable prices.

This is the side of industry that is really appalling," Mr. Gioventu says, stressing this is not behaviour typical of the development industry - it is something new.

"It's a form of what they call 'block busting,' " he says. "If you want to redevelop a neighbourhood or buy into a building and take control, just install drugdealer tenants or whatever it takes to make circumstances unlivable. I hate to say it, but there are unscrupulous people out there."

In one situation, an investor purchased most of the units in a larger West End building. The investor, who now holds the majority of votes on the condo board, suggested that maintenance fees would have to triple.

The majority of the building residents are seniors living on pensions who won't be able to afford higher fees.

The purchase offers, Mr. Gioventu says, are almost always lower than market value. The minority owners showed Mr. Gioventu the offers they'd received from the investor.

"They are about 30 per cent above assessed value, but really, that's about 30 per cent below market value. So it's not really fair.

"And he told them if they didn't take it within 30 days, he would do everything he could to make their lives unbearable."

For old strata-condo buildings, the pressure is on like never before.

Kirk Kuester, executive managing director at Colliers International, says the older strata buildings have become a bigger focus for his firm.

"We have never been busier putting out proposals and meeting with strata corporations and educating them on the process associated with this Bill 40 legislation," he says.

"There is an abundance of older wood-frame tired buildings not at their highest and best use. And because of the economics of multifamily real estate development in Vancouver, when condo values have moved as much as they have over the last couple of years, they are pulling land values up with them all the time. It puts all of these buildings at risk.

"It depends what side of the fence you are sitting on. Some [strata owners] are licking their chops. Others don't care."

With the new strata legislation, he's heard of investors taking over just enough of the units to make it impossible for the other owners to form an 80-per-cent majority.

"There are people that are quietly out and about in some of these prime areas, and they are identifying prime buildings and trying to aggregate 21 per cent. So guess what? You and I live in a building and there are 100 suites.

And we quietly watch 20 of our neighbours accept offers from a mysterious buyer and it's ultimately one buyer. One buyer now has 21 per cent of the control.

There is no more 80 per cent happening.

"They essentially freeze the strata."

That tactic drove one group of strata residents into a panic to sell. In the West End, a senior who lives alone said a small developer has bought the majority of units in their small building and is pushing the remaining seniors to get out. We are seated in her spacious, bright apartment just off Robson, where, like many of her neighbours on the street, she's lived for three decades. The woman, in her 70s, didn't want to be identified because she fears for her safety. One agent warned her that if she didn't move, the majority owner could triple her maintenance fees. He suggested that undesirable rental tenants could soon move into the building. He also asked her how she'd feel living next door to constant construction sounds, because the majority owner of her building also owns several buildings on the block.

The woman says she has several agents calling her constantly.

When she refused to sell to one agent who'd called, he started yelling expletives at her on the phone. In tears, she phoned police.

"There's been a lot of harassment," says the woman, who says she has health problems. "I love my place. The building is in good condition."

However, she now has to choose between a life of being bullied, which, she says, is "incredibly stressful," or moving out, so she can find peace again. The problem is, there is nothing for her in the same neighbourhood.

Like her neighbours who've sold, she'd have to move out of her community.

Another resident of the same building said the investor had divided the homeowners from the start.

"He made the first buyer and the second buyer all sign non-disclosure agreements, because he didn't want us talking to each other," says the woman, who says she's too old to fight. "He's smart.

He took us down one by one, broke up the group, and got us all paranoid and scared. We're pretty much living in fear.

"When it came down to the last five of us, I could tell everyone was scared. And everyone was sort of panicking because they didn't want to be the last one out, because he could make our lives miserable."

Lawyer Oscar Miklos is representing a group of strata residents that is being harassed by a new investor in their building. He says strata owners will always get a better deal if they stick together as a group.

"Sometimes, these people are very asset-rich but cash-poor ... and they don't have the benefits of having a lawyer on their side.

And certainly, if that's the case, then that does create a problem for them because they are victimized or prone to this type of bullying tactic.

"The developers can team up, so to speak, with their own real estate agents and the realtors can get involved as well - and depending on who the realtor is, and how aggressive, sometimes they can be the assistant to the developer and use these type of tactics."

Mr. Miklos says strata owners facing unfair actions by a majority owner can seek help through the new Civil Resolution Tribunal, where they can represent themselves. It is like a small claims court for strata property owners, but it will also handle block-busting tactics and failure to follow strata bylaws, such as pushing for rentals when the bylaw says none is allowed.

Tom Reinarz is a retired builder who's lived in his West End house for 40 years. He took a break from painting his house - an "oasis," as he describes it - to talk about the changes. He has two tenants who've been with him 17 years, but at other buildings, he's seeing unfair rent increases. Buildings along his street have been bought up in the past few years. He says he's "upset" at the inflow of money coming into the city, with little regulatory controls.

"You feel like these are people who have no tie to the West End, no tie to Vancouver ... It's just the way it's done. It's so disturbing.

"It's changing already. You see different people, people who have more money move in, and people that have less money - and they have to go to Burnaby or wherever - further out. So the whole thing is completely out of control."

Associated Graphic

A resident in Vancouver's West End walks down the street. The developer thirst for property in the area, dominated by low-rise, multifamily buildings, is so high that some residents say they are being harassed to sell.


In the midst of promoting his polarizing new film, It's Only the End of the World, the Quebec director tells Barry Hertz he desperately seeks solace from a maddening schedule
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

Xavier Dolan is exhausted. With critics. With publicity. With the sheer mechanics that it takes to get a new film out into the world. But mostly Dolan is exhausted with himself and the thousand-mile-an-hour pace he keeps in order to make film after film - seven features in the past eight years.

"I've had one day off this summer - it's not a metaphor. I've had one day off, and I've been running on no sleep for months.

Or bad sleep, I guess," says the 27-year-old director-writer-actorproducer-editor-costume designer, a multihyphenate in the truest sense of the word. "I can't have like one day off in five months - it's not a reasonable lifestyle for anyone."

It is the first weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Dolan is just entering the final stretch of promotion for his new movie, Juste la fin du monde (It's Only the End of the World).

The drama is the Quebecker filmmaker's biggest project to date, or at least his splashiest, featuring star turns from such international celebrities as Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux and Oscarwinner Marion Cotillard. But Dolan does not seem to be all that interested in discussing the film - he's more preoccupied with how his life almost fell apart this past summer on the Montreal set of the film that will mark his English-language debut, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.

"It was gruelling - gruelling.

More than anything I've ever done," Dolan says of the shoot.

"To be fair to the rest of the crew and cast, it was gruelling for everyone. I enjoyed working with these actors, but I regret making some decisions and accepting to make the film with such a lack of preparation. Unfortunately, I felt like we paid the price for the lack of preparation almost every single day. It was too much."

The film, a celebrity satire, was originally scheduled to shoot in 2015, but was pushed back in favour of It's Only the End of the World. Featuring an almost comical number of marquee names (Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Thandie Newton, Kathy Bates, Michael Gambon and Game of Thrones star Kit Harington), John F. Donovan instead started production this past July - just two months after Dolan returned from the Cannes Film Festival, partially emboldened and partially bruised.

It was on the Croisette, after all, where It's Only the End of the World was savaged by critics (Vanity Fair called it "the most disappointing film at Cannes," while the industry site Playlist groused that it "suggests a level of martyred self-involvement on Dolan's part that is tantamount to a persecution complex"). Yet, the film was also awarded the festival's Grand Prix, the runnerup to the coveted Palme d'Or.

It is easy to understand both sides of the divide. It's Only the End of the World is a far different beast than Dolan's celebrated Mommy, or I Killed My Mother, or Heartbeats, or Laurence Anyways.

Those films were lyrical, fantastical, joyous love letters to the cinematic form - bold, inventive and rife with appreciative nods to the masters who came before him. It's Only the End of the World, however, is almost unbearably cold and intense - a one-room pressure cooker that explores a broken family in extreme close-up. But it is undeniably captivating, too, and a deliberate, brave maturation on Dolan's part.

Yet, how do you move on to your next project when you're both celebrated and despised?

It's a trick Dolan may not have yet mastered.

"I'm not the guy to recover from that and not care. I'm too sensitive," Dolan says of the more harsh Cannes reviews.

"And maybe childish or spoiled or self-centred. But I'm going to be honest with you: It's mostly I'm sensitive. That's not where my strength is. It's a weakness I have. I do pay attention to what people think and what people write. If they attack me, if they are demeaning or belittling or if they mock me. Of course I'm hurt, and I'll say it. I'm not smart about it."

But Dolan is also not one to let criticism stand in the way of artistic creation, so right after Cannes, it was back to work, with a fierce, possibly unhealthy, determination. "I remember every Monday morning or whatever our first day of the week would be, I'd show up on [Donovan's] set angry and frustrated because I knew I had barely slept. While everyone was off, I was doing rehearsals, costume fittings with actors, dance rehearsals, so many things, and I didn't have an afternoon or morning to myself," he says. "I would show up to set and be frustrated and envious of people who actually had two days off. ... I don't like to create like that, be dark with the people around me. My sets are fun and people are laughing. The atmosphere should be lighthearted. It's reckless and it's dangerous."

Asked whether the pace is simply a byproduct of being so prolific - by next year, Dolan will have eight features under his belt before turning 28, five of them Cannes-certified, and that's not even counting his growing acting résumé - and the auteur demurs. "I don't mind creating constantly. You're using the word 'prolific' and I don't mind being prolific. But I was prolific before, and with Juste la fin du monde, that was a perfectly healthy shoot. But we were prepared. This time, so many hurdles felt insurmountable because of a lack of sleep and lack of energy. That's what I want to avoid."

Dolan even acknowledges he fell asleep during the filming of one Donovan scene, though "it was 4 in the morning, it was like 40 degrees in the apartment, there was no air, no oxygen, I literally fainted," he says. "It's the human body right there telling me that I gotta stop."

Still, he is unabashedly proud of the product ("Very. ... I still gave it my all") and admits to being his own worst enemy when it comes to managing the creative process. "There's this unstoppable process that, once it's started, there's no going back," he says. "It's like the story is coming out of every pore of my skin, pouring out, and I need to just do it and express that because, otherwise, I feel like ideas can be very volatile, very fleeting. If you don't grab it, you'll miss them, and someone else will steal your place in the order of things."

Fortunately, Dolan is committed to taking a break once his promotional duties for It's Only the End of the World wind down.

"Now, I have six months on my hands and for the first time in eight years I'm going to be able to, I don't know, just rent a place somewhere, drive in the country and rest," he says.

"Maybe go to Italy. Maybe Vietnam."

And he's going to ensure critics won't be able to dictate his next move - at least not directly.

Earlier this week, Dolan posted a statement on his Instagram account revealing he won't be submitting Donovan for next year's Cannes festival. Partly because the film won't be ready in time and partly because "the culture of trolling, bullying and unwarranted hatred shouldn't be an inextricable part of the cinematic or analytical adventure."

It was a bold swipe at the more acidic corners of the critical world and likely won't do him any favours when Donovan eventually makes its way to theatres. Then again, it's not as if Dolan is in the game for fame or fortune. "I'm not hoping that something will be my breakthrough or something like that, I'm not concerned with 'blowing' up," he says. "What I'm concerned about is working with talented actors I admire. That may be Anne Dorval or it might be Jessica or Marion or Meryl Streep, one day. ... I just want to do my thing."

It's Only the End of the World opens Sept. 23 in Toronto and Montreal, Sept. 30 in Ottawa and Oct. 7 in Waterloo.

Associated Graphic

Quebec director Xavier Dolan, seen at the Cannes Film Festival in May, has kept so busy that he only had one day off this summer.


Unlike Xavier Dolan's previous films, which were lyrical, fantastical, joyous love letters to the cinematic form, It's Only the End of the World is almost unbearably cold and intense - a one-room pressure cooker that explores a broken family in extreme close-up.

Great Bear Rainforest provides residents with a future
An agreement signed this year, formally establishing the site, has helped ensure the well-being of those who live and work in the region
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VICTORIA -- Chantal Pronteau's work can take her deep into the bush setting hair snares for grizzlies or leaning over the edge of a research boat surveying rockfish populations.

She grew up in Vancouver's east side, but her Tsimshian roots brought her to the small reserve at Klemtu to live with her grandmother when she was in Grade 9. At 22, she is now a Guardian in the Great Bear Rainforest, a member of an indigenous force that patrols the region to monitor commercial activity and to gather the scientific data that guides her people's traditional stewardship role.

She can't imagine living anywhere else. The agreement signed earlier this year that created the Great Bear Rainforest has helped ensure that she won't have to.

The Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network, run by First Nations communities on British Columbia's north and central coast and on Haida Gwaii, is part of the legacy that flows from the creation of the protected area.

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit a First Nations community in the heart of the region, and fly over the emerald expanse of 6.4-million hectares that make up the world's largest remaining temperate rain forest. They will officially recognize British Columbia's conservation effort to protect the forest and its wildlife.

The Great Bear Rainforest, formally established in legislation, is touted as the "jewel in the crown" of Canada's protected areas.

For the mostly indigenous residents in the region, there is an important feature that is often overlooked when visitors marvel at the old growth trees and the iconic white Spirit Bears. To secure the approval of First Nations who live in the region, the proponents committed to ensure that the people who live and work in the region would not be marginalized.

"In the city, I was very disengaged from my culture. When I came here, it was difficult at first, but I believe I was meant to live in Klemtu. I'm in love with the nature, the people here. I'm still learning everything," Ms.

Pronteau said in an interview during a break from a Guardian training session.

She said she sees a huge array of career possibilities in her future, from archeologist to nutritionist.

"The elders tell me, you never stop learning."

Respect the residents, not just the rain forest

Coast Funds was set up with more than $100-million to provide seed money to create employment and promote a conservation-based economy.

With that fund as leverage, the First Nations in the region have already generated over $200-million in investment, providing in excess of 600 new jobs in tourism, logging, science and aquaculture.

For example, Ms. Pronteau's Kitasoo First Nation monitors the Spirit Bear conservancy on Princess Royal Island.

Marilyn Slett is the chief of the First Nation, who will welcome the Royal couple to Bella Bella on Monday.

The Heiltsuk will provide a rich cultural welcome, but what she hopes Prince William will see is how her people are a holistic part of the the Great Bear Rainforest, with a long history of protecting its health.

The agreement to protect 85 per cent of the region's old-growth forests needed to respect the residents as part of the fabric, she said.

"It is something we have supported because it aligned with our values and objectives. Our peoples have been here for tens of thousands of years, and it is our responsibility to steward our traditional lands," she said. "It's part of who we are as indigenous people on the coast."

As part of the package, she sees youth benefiting from new training and employment opportunities and those opportunities, in turn, are providing a new generation with greater capacity to steward the land.

Deeper roots and more control in Haida Gwaii

The islands of Haida Gwaii, although not inside the official boundaries of the Great Bear Rainforest, are inextricably linked to the region and the Haida Nation is part of the governing council that guides land use planning and policy. The Haida have accessed Coast Funds to buy logging rights, a seafood-processing plant and to buy out licenses to shut down the bear-hunting industry.

Leslie Brown was born and raised on Haida Gwaii, but lived in Vancouver for 12 years. She returned 10 years ago with her newborn son and no plan for her future. But she no longer had to search out her culture. With the safety net of her family surrounding her, she has built a new life.

She is Xylang Jaad Xyla (Thunderwoman Dancer), a member of the St'langng Laanas clan, with three sons, a husband and a full-time job with Haida Wild Seafoods.

The company is a former momand-pop operation that has expanded into a boutique-export company owned by the Haida Nation.

Her job comes with a sense of security because the company is now rooted deeply in the Haida community. It specializes in local, indigenous seafood harvested in the wild. Ms. Brown knows where the harvest comes from and she knows the commercial salmon fishermen who supply the plant - they sail in small, often-handmade boats and are known locally as the mosquito fleet. "We have to have a sustainable economy," Ms. Brown said. "Future generations - my kids - should be able to go to the beach and get the razor clams and go fishing. ... Our nation is treading gently."

Peter Lantin, president of the Haida Nation, said cash investments were essential to allow his people to develop the skills and systems to manage the land.

"These monies have allowed us to purchase control," he said. "We are trying to affect how industry happens on Haida Gwaii. We are not against logging or fishing, it is all about how you do it. In this journey we had to show how it would be done."

When the Royal couple visits Haida Gwaii on Friday, Mr. Lantin hopes to enlist their support in the Haida's battle to keep the development of new oil pipelines at bay. "I agree there needs to be a balance between economics and the environment, and it applies to most places in Canada. But it doesn't apply to places like the Great Bear Rainforest. You have to keep the resource extraction out."

He hopes to have a chance to explain the risk of proposed oil pipelines that could put the region at risk. "The Royals' visit can help bring awareness to that."

From bear watching to cultural immersion

During the 20 years that environmentalists, forestry executives, politicians and indigenous leaders negotiated the pact to preserve the Great Bear Rainforest, Calvin Hackett left the Vancouver Island reserve where he was born and where his grandparents raised him. He moved between foster homes, learned to play rugby and soccer, became the first member of his family to graduate from high school, completed his basic military training and became a father.

Today, at 26, he is back with his Homalco First Nations community, working as a cultural ambassador and on a daily quest to learn his people's traditional laws and stewardship roles. It is because of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement that he can make a living providing wildlife and cultural tours in Bute Inlet.

Homalco Wildlife Tours used to offer bear-watching trips, but now has trained a string of young cultural ambassadors to offer a greater variety of tours that showcase the Homalco First Nations' culture and history.

For Mr. Hackett, the injection of funding turned a brief seasonal job into one that extends from spring to the end of fall. He is generous in sharing credit for his success, thanking the strict elders who raised him to the foster parents in his life. "I had an army of support. ... I'm grateful for everything I have encountered and everything I have overcome."

It was First Nations leaders who insisted that the well-being of the human residents of the Great Bear Rainforest had to be part of the package. Now the changes are starting to bring their people home. "I'm ecstatic about the future and what it holds," said Mr. Hackett.

Associated Graphic

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will fly over the emerald expanse of the Great Bear Rainforest, part of the largest remaining temperate rain forest in the world.


Above: A Kermode bear also known as the 'spirit bear' hunts for salmon in a river near Klemtu, B.C.


Left: Kitasoo/Xai'xais Watchman staff are seen paddling along a river, including Chantal Pronteau at the front.


In his parting column, Chris Nuttall-Smith reflects on 10 years as a restaurant critic and how Toronto's dining scene has evolved
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

It was easy enough in the beginning to bring a notebook into restaurants. I'd scribble discreetly in my lap when the servers left for other tables. One night, after a particularly crotchety sommelier mocked my dinner mate for inquiring about a wine - it was a different era then - my companion looked at me incredulously and demanded, "You're going to use that, right?" I was too busy writing to answer immediately. It still stuns me, years later, what he'd said: "What, and do you also want to know the size of the shoes of the man who crushed the grapes?" I scrawled it down and then looked up across the table gleefully. "You better believe I'm going to use it," I told her. "That line was solid gold."

When the notebooks got too obvious, I turned to paperback novels, which I'd fill in the margins with all manner of observations. It worked okay, though anybody paying close attention could tell I wasn't reading. Before too long, I settled on a simple hidden microphone. The on-off switch clipped to my belt, on the left side, under my untucked shirt. Switch right for on when a server approached, and left for off once I was done recording. I haven't tucked in a shirt for a good six or seven years now. I can't read a menu or see a waiter without reaching with my left hand for my belt.

But my own minor evolutions through 10 years as a restaurant critic, with nearly half of those at The Globe and Mail, have nothing on the wholesale transformation in that time of Toronto's restaurant industry and culture.

Depending on your perspective, either the barbarians won or an enormous, rising wave drove the detritus out. Eating out around the city today is almost nothing like it was in the fall of 2006.

The geography of dining here has utterly changed. In the space of 10 years, good eating - and just as important, our definition of what that is - has expanded from a few prime, downtown and midtown pockets to include just about every neighbourhood in Toronto and its suburbs. With that expanded geography, our tastes have changed, as well.

Downtowners in the know now think nothing of heading to Scarborough, Brampton, Richmond Hill and Markham - for the elaborate, Hong Kong-style desserts at Full House, the Tamil crab curries at Babu Catering, the Trinidadian doubles at Lena's Roti, the smoky, wok-seared Malaysian char kway teow at One2 Snacks and the regional Chinese dim sum at 369 Shanghai, for some of the best international cooking anywhere in the world.

And the old downtown-versussuburbs borders have been fading quickly, anyway. Some of the best supposedly "suburban" eating in the city has moved downtown, to such international standouts as Takht-e Tavoos, King Place, Saffron Spice Kitchen, Patchmon's, Lamesa, Rhum Corner and Maha's, to name just a few. Nana, the wildly delicious and spice.

fuelled Thai spot on Queen Street West, couldn't have existed downtown even five years ago, a friend suggested the other day, and I think he's right; not enough people would have braved the spice and the shrimp-paste funk. Neither, I'd argue, could Rickshaw Bar, at Queen and Bathurst, where the East African-PakistaniSoutheast Asian cooking, from a talented, young, female PakistaniCanadian first-time chef and restaurateur, is some of the more exciting food I've tried.

The industry's demography has been changing just as fast: There are more women in kitchens, and people of colour - in positions of power instead of only in the dish pit. Which isn't to sound all "mission accomplished" - there's a long way to go, still; in too many restaurant kitchens around town, it is still exponentially easier to be a white man from a well-off family than not. (Another injustice that needs to be fixed: cooks' and chefs' wages are for the most part absurdly low.)

It would be hard to overstate just how enormously the quality and selection of ingredients have improved in the city in the past 10 years. Fresh and local, and farmto-table aren't a category of restaurant any longer; they're assumed with better kitchens.

The meat is better (an example: the stunning $40, dry-aged ribeye, sourced from Olliffe, that I had one night at DaiLo), the fish is better (and it's often local; it is nice to see more pickerel around town than mahi mahi), and the produce is better and far more varied (to wit: the weird, wonderful local greens and herbs they source at the Buca restaurants).

The local drinking is better than ever, also, with the emergence of craft beer and cider and the growing (and much overdue) embrace of great local wine. As for cocktails in restaurants, though, they still far too often taste as if they were made by blind-drunk frat boys. With any luck, this will improve some time soon.

The driving force behind a lot of these more positive changes is the diners themselves. They know far more about food and drink and are more open to new tastes and ideas than their parents' generation could ever have imagined. The downside to that openness: They also herd more easily from trend to trend and don't have a lot of use for loyalty.

(By my quick count, we've pinballed through tacos, doughnuts, lardcore, charcuterie boards, smashburgers, ramen, izakaya, pseudo-tapas, actual tapas, fried chicken, Neapolitan pizza, Middleterranean and soft-serve ice cream in the past few years.)

It's harder than ever to keep a three- or four-year-old restaurant feeling fresh.

Those are just a couple of the challenges that will continue to shape the city's food culture in the coming years. The price of commercial real estate, if it keeps on climbing, will make it ever more difficult for chefs and restaurateurs to take creative risks, while making chain restaurants and multilocation hospitality companies even more commonplace. The price of residential real estate and rents, meantime, makes it all but impossible to maintain a decent standard of living in the city on a cook's wages.

If I were a betting type, I'd wager that the restaurant scenes in more affordable places such as Burlington and Hamilton, Dundas, Vaughan, Ajax and Pickering will grow and improve in coming years, largely at Toronto's expense.

The exceptions to this rule, though, are what have made eating around Toronto for a living such a strange and magnificent and inspiring profession. As for the very best restaurant in the city, I don't know any place that captures warm, all-in hospitality, extraordinary commitment, exquisite ingredients, the constant push to become better and better, and flat-out brilliant cooking quite the way that Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth's Edulis does.

Of all the questions restaurant critics get asked beyond, "Where should I eat," one of the next most common ones is, "Do you ever feel bad for the bad reviews?" Of course you do, but there's a difference between feeling bad and feeling regret. While I could quibble with a few word choices and turns of phrase in these past few years, I wouldn't change many things. Actually, I would: I'd get the number of Greg, that guy at the bar in my somewhat infamous review of America, in the Trump Hotel. I'd love to know what he's up to these days.

Last weekend, after my final regular review had run, my wife and I went out for a celebratory dinner at Café Boulud in Yorkville. The dinner was perfect, the service exemplary: a little like this city's food culture, that restaurant keeps getting better all the time.

But it felt strange eating in a restaurant as a civilian, under my own name, without a notebook or a microphone and on-off switch. I'll get used to it, I'm sure, even if it'll take a little practice.

That night, I tried something new and tucked in my shirt for the first time in years.

Associated Graphic

Whether in the city or in the suburbs, you can be sure to find a wide variety of cuisines that have made the GTA home to some of the best international cooking anywhere in the world.


Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B11

BCE and the case of recurring charges

It makes sense that a company might want to exclude a onetime expense from the earnings it reports to shareholders. But what happens if it has one "onetime" expense after another?

One company that does is BCE Inc., which has made strategic acquisitions a key part of its business model. BCE has adjusted for "severance, acquisition and other costs" each year for the past five years, Veritas says. (In 2015, BCE added $446-million back to its $2.73-billion in net earnings, on its way to $8.55-billion in "adjusted EBITDA.") The company says it excludes the expenses and uses adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and adjusted EBITDA margin so it can evaluate the "ongoing profitability" of its businesses. "The implication is that it is non-recurring," Veritas says. "If a company does a single acquisition, the costs can be reasonably argued to be nonrecurring in nature. However, we would argue that a company whose primary strategy is growth-by-acquisition should not exclude transaction-related costs as these are simply a cost of doing business."

BCE spokesman Jean Charles Robillard says "like other Canadian corporations and our major competitors, we use non-GAAP measures to ensure our business performance and comparability of our financial results is accurately reflected. These kinds of measures help investors and financial analysts better understand the value of the company and how we're performing.

"Bell has made a number of acquisitions in recent years," he says, adding that acquisitions are often a matter of "utilizations of excess free cash flow" - and including the associated costs of acquisitions in its earnings "would lead to unusual shortterm results and impact comparability with normal-course business operations."

Kinross and asset-impairment charges

Asset-impairment charges may be the king of non-cash expenses. When a company has an asset on the books that has suffered a decline in value and cannot generate the cash flows to support its stated value, the company must write it down. The amount is charged directly to earnings, which can result in a multibillion-dollar loss under GAAP. Since there's no cash used at the time of the writedown, however, companies often exclude the charge from their preferred quarterly numbers.

"When a company takes an asset-impairment charge, management is in essence telling investors that (relative to the value of the asset on their books today) they could not sell it to a third party for at least that much nor will the present value of the cash flows the asset is expected to generate recover the value of the asset," Veritas says.

While nearly all the resource companies in Canada have taken writedowns in recent years, Kinross Gold Corp. is notable. Kinross's 2010 purchase of Red Back Mining Inc. has now resulted in $7.5-billion (U.S.) in writedowns, a number greater than its $5.6billion market capitalization on the New York Stock Exchange.

Kinross spokesman Louie Diaz says that while the company presents both GAAP/IFRS and nonGAAP financial results in its quarterly news releases in equal prominence, it presents "adjusted net earnings" because it "allows shareholders and analysts to better evaluate the underlying performance of the company." Kinross has excluded asset impairments "as they do not accurately reflect the current underlying performance of the asset, and are not necessarily indicative of future operating results. Asset impairments are, as the Veritas report notes, 'inherently backwards looking,' and therefore do not impact future cash flows."

Agnico-Eagle Mines and stock option expenses

For more than a decade, accountants, regulators, investors and companies argued about whether the expense of stock options should appear in an income statement; those who wanted to see the number deducted from profit won in 2005. Today, however, companies that use stockbased compensation subtract those costs to arrive at their preferred numbers.

"The standard rationale is that the expense is 'non-cash' and therefore should be excluded," Veritas says. "In our view, stock options are a form of compensation for employees that must be accounted."

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. had $24.6-million in 2015 net income under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), but added back $19.5-million in stock options expenses, along with other items, to get to $93-million in "adjusted net income." Over the three years from 2013 to 2015, Agnico Eagle had nearly $66-million in stock options expense.

Ammar Al-Joundi, AgnicoEagle's president, says the company always lists its IFRS-calculated net income number first in its press release. However, "we break out a number of items that we have been told by analysts that they want to see broken out ... they could go into the financials and dig it up, but they want that up front, so we put it in the first paragraph."

The issue with stock option expense, Mr. Al-Joundi says, is that "the actual potential cost of stock options varies very much from the theoretical value upon the day they're issued, which is what drives the accounting." But, he says, "to me, start with the number that's consistent for everybody under the IFRS rules, identify all the different elements, and as long as it's transparent and clear, people can make an assessment as to whether they want to incorporate different pieces."

Pembina Pipeline and a shifting definition of EBITDA

EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure; it takes net income and adds back interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to arrive at its "earnings" figure. That definition is generally understood, but not prescribed by accounting rules, so some firms have found they can tweak the definition to their liking.

An example: Pembina Pipeline Corp. defined EBITDA in its 2015 annual report as "results from operating activities plus share of profit (loss) from equity accounted investees (before tax, depreciation and amortization) plus depreciation and amortization (included in operations and general and administrative expense) and unrealized gains or losses on commodity-related derivative financial instruments."

Says Veritas: "One conclusion is that investors should not assume they know what management means when they discuss EBITDA in presentations or disclosure, and should always confirm the definition of EBITDA that each company is using as part of standard due diligence."

Pembina spokesman Jason Fydirchuk says that, starting in 2016, Pembina moved to an "adjusted EBITDA" metric "and is no longer referencing the discussed 'EBITDA' measurement. ... Considering our updated reporting metrics, we believe Pembina is no longer a relevant example."

Veritas analyst Taso Georgopoulos says the company used EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter and finalized its metric in the second quarter. "I think this makes this case even more interesting, as you can clearly see a progression and change in the disclosure over a short period of time for a single company. " Mr. Fydirchuk, asked to speak to the company's evolution in disclosure, said "we review our disclosure metrics quarterly to ensure we're in line with industry best practices."

Magna International and the emphasis on non-GAAP

One of the core rules about the presentation of non-GAAP metrics - a regulation in the United States and guidance in Canada - is that GAAP measures must have equal or greater prominence to the non-GAAP measures. The idea is to keep companies from emphasizing an earnings measure that doesn't conform with accounting rules, at the expense of one that does.

Magna International Inc.'s preferred earnings measure, its disclosures suggest, is "adjusted EBIT," a metric that removes interest and taxes, but not depreciation and amortization, from net income, and then makes additional tweaks. Adjusted EBIT appears in the table in Magna's 2015 earnings release before the GAAP net income. In the annual report, the company provides discussion of its adjusted EBIT figure with less attention to net income, which seems to give adjusted EBIT more prominence than net income.

Companies also must look at its non-GAAP metric and identify the GAAP measure that's most directly comparable to it. They must then provide a reconciliation between the two figures - and alert investors to the reconciliation the first time the nonGAAP measure is used. Magna didn't make that reference on its first use of adjusted EBIT, Veritas says, and didn't provide the reconciliation until the "notes" section of its annual report, as opposed to including it in the more-prominent Management Discussion and Analysis section.

Magna spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst said the company is unable to comment for this story.

A decade ago, Ontario promised LGBTQ parents equity, but never delivered. So last spring, parents took the province to court - and won. Now, the government has until Sept. 30 to propose changes to laws that determine who gets to be a legal parent
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Donna McDonagh's daughter was born in the autumn of 2006 - an exciting time in the province of Ontario for lesbian couples. A law was about to change, allowing two moms to put their names directly onto a child's birth certificate. Their baby was the first in Ottawa to have a birth certificate listing two women as parents.

Both McDonagh and her partner, K., were in their 40s when they decided to start a family, but K. had embryos that she'd created some years earlier, using her own eggs and donor sperm. McDonagh was there when the embryo was transferred into her partner's uterus, there for the doctors' appointments, the prenatal classes and the birth.

Because K. was self-employed, and McDonagh was a federal government employee, McDonagh took parental leave and was the primary caregiver for most of the first 11 months of their baby's life.

McDonagh had every reason to be confident that she was a full parent before the law. Not only was her name on the birth certificate and their child's last name a hyphenated hybrid of the two moms' surnames, but the two women had signed an order of joint custody, declaring that their intention was to be co-parents with equal say in the child's life.

She was granted paid - and topped-up - parental leave. She'd successfully applied for the baby's health card and social insurance number and was named as "parent" on the application for a passport. Wills, powers of attorneys, codicils - everything signalled the same intent, that McDonagh and K. would play equal roles as parents. (K. denies this was ever their intention.)

"I really felt that we were good," McDonagh recalls. McDonagh was aware that birth certificates were just the beginning, that there were other laws that were still awaiting revision, but she was confident that it would just be a matter of time before everything was updated as Justice Paul Rivard had said it should be in the 2006 landmark case that made the birth-certificate changes they had taken advantage of. "I trusted in that process."

But in August, 2009, the relationship ended. At the time of the breakup, K. agreed that there would be joint custody. But there was a loophole in one of the laws governing parentage, which could be used to cut McDonagh out.

The law was the Children's Law Reform Act of 1990, and the loophole was that a nonbirth, non-biological parent could only be "presumed" to be a parent if the person both cohabited with the birth mother and was male. McDonagh isn't male. This detail was one of the several bits of law that Justice Rivard had indicated was in need of updating, saying that lesbian mothers were correct to argue that they shouldn't have to ask permission to be parents of their own children.

But those updates never happened. McDonagh's name on the birth certificate, it turned out, meant very little.

She was outraged. "If I was a man, cohabiting with a women, and my sperm didn't swim - and if we decided to use a sperm donor - nothing more has to be done. I would be recognized as a parent," she says. But a female in the identical circumstance, she learned, still had to formally adopt her child, or go to court to be legally declared a parent. That can cost thousands of dollars, and many people find it humiliating.

"That's not fair," she says. "That is a gender bias. That is constitutionally unacceptable."

Nonetheless, it was the law. The two women fought it out through the courts. In the end, after more than two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, McDonagh was granted joint custody of her daughter.

Like McDonagh, Kirsti Mathers McHenry was at her wife's side while she was giving birth to their daughter. But Mathers McHenry, a Toronto lawyer, was acutely aware that as the non-birth mother in the relationship, she had no automatic parental rights - unlike what a father in the very same situation would have. During the labour, her wife started to have heart problems. It occurred to Mathers McHenry that if her wife died, she might not even be able to legally take the baby out of the hospital.

Her wife survived, and the couple went on to have a second child. When Mathers McHenry applied for parental leave benefits through employment insurance, they were denied; a letter from Service Canada informed her she was not a parent. That was too much: Mathers McHenry and her wife decided to challenge the laws around parentage in Ontario.

The result was a private member's bill named after the couple's two kids: "Cy and Ruby's Act" was introduced last fall by Toronto MPP Cheri DiNovo, who worked with the couple and lawyer Joanna Radbord to come up with amendments to the pieces of Ontario law that discriminate against non-standard families.

The bill quickly passed first and second readings, but then, says Radbord, the government stalled.

"The law just hasn't kept pace with the diversity of ways in which people make families today," Radbord says. She'd already heard from many other parents who were facing discrimination under the law, such as a family of two women and two men, all of whom wanted to be recognized as equal parents, but couldn't be.

Another was a trans person who was pregnant, and who would be required by the Vital Statistics Act to be listed as "mother," rather than "parent." Radbord points out that even a woman who gave an egg to her spouse to gestate would not be considered a "mother" or a "parent" under the law as it stood - or even be listed on the birth certificate - if the couple used a known, rather than an anonymous, sperm donor. This, despite her genetic relation to her child.

Last April, 21 parents, McDonagh among them, sued the government of Ontario, arguing that many of the laws around parentage are discriminatory and unconstitutional.

In June, Ontario Superior court ruled in their favour, finding that the Children's Law Reform Act violates the Charter of Rights because it "... does not provide equal recognition and the equal benefit and protection of the law to all children, without regard to their parents' sexual orientation, gender identity, use of assisted reproduction or family composition." The provincial government was given until the end of this month to introduce proposed changes. "I'm cautiously optimistic," says Radbord, who won an interim settlement for the 21 parents that suggests the government might make significant changes to parenting laws.

That could include allowing up to four legal parents per family.

Parents might be able to call themselves "mother," "father" or "parent" on official documents, as they choose. The intentions people had before conception could be given greater weight than previously, so that people such as McDonagh and Mathers McHenry would be recognized as parents without legal intervention.

The role of sperm donors may also be clarified, so that a man who only ever intended to donate can't change his mind after the birth and ask to become a legal parent.

Other provinces have already tackled some of these issues. In Alberta, for instance, same-sex partners such as McDonagh are automatically recognized as parents. In British Columbia, the donor of genetic material is not by that fact alone considered a parent. Radbord hopes the proposals make Ontario the most inclusive place in the country.

McDonagh, whose access to her daughter is equal down to the hour, is excited to see what the government brings in. "People have lots to say about whether or not they believe situations like this should exist," she says, "but they do. And at the end of the day, children are born to these families. What should they share?

They should share the security that their parents are recognized legally. And that no one can disrupt that."

Associated Graphic

Donna McDonagh spent three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting for joint custody of her daughter.


Donna McDonagh sits in her daughter's bedroom in her home in Ottawa on Sept. 15. McDonagh has spent $200,000 fighting for joint custody against her ex-partner, after being denied access to her daughter because of a legal loophole.


Team studying Olympic bid raises eyebrows in Calgary
Mayor praises 'extraordinary group' while skeptics question whether panel can be objective
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

CALGARY -- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, dressed in a grey suit with a purple tie and purple checked shirt, stood behind a podium in a small room this week to make what he called a "milestone" announcement.

The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic torch sat in a small display case on the floor in the corner to his left. On his right, a framed Team Canada jacket from Sochi 2014 - autographed by Olympic bobsleigh gold medalists Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse - sat on an easel.

Mr. Nenshi, back from his vacation at the Rio 2016 Olympics, unveiled the committee that's been convened to study whether Calgary should bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics.

"I am so excited about this group," Mr. Nenshi said, emphasizing the word "so."

"It is an extraordinary group of people, an extraordinary group of citizens representing the breadth and the diversity of our community in a really exceptional way."

But whether the group of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, business folk and arts boosters can effectively evaluate whether Calgary should spend tens of millions of dollars just to bid on the mega event is questionable. Experts argue that the committee, chaired by former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson, has significant gaps and a shortage of sober voices at the table - flaws that could hurt a potential bid.

Seven of the committee's 17 voting members have direct links to Olympics and Paralympics, ranging from athletes to fundraisers; two sit on a board that recommended Calgary strike this committee; another has family ties to a privately owned group that wants Calgary to chip in millions for a new stadium and fieldhouse, which would likely be a central part of any bid.

"Do you think a bunch of Olympians are going to go into this thing with complete objectivity?" Tsur Somerville, a professor at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, asked. "The notion that it is going to be objective is somewhat hard to take seriously."

Olympic fever is contagious and even the members appointed because of their business chops can be infected.

Olympic fever is contagious and even the members appointed because of their business chops can be infected. Megaevents, Prof. Somerville noted, are often justified by perceived economic benefits - jobs, perhaps affordable housing and the expectation that governments will fund infrastructure goodies.

But Prof. Somerville cautioned: "The Olympics is a party and it is a lot of fun. And there's no reason cities shouldn't throw parties," he said. "But just understand that's what it is. It is not this economic stimulus. It is not this economic driver."

Mr. Hanson, however, argued the group will not let excitement turn them into yes-men.

"That's just not the way that I work and it is not the way that anybody on that committee wants to work," he told reporters Monday. "The worst thing we can do if somebody wants the Olympics is to colour the information, because it will quickly become apparent that you're doing that."

The committee has $5-million to spend to explore the possibility of a bid. It can prove valuable if it hands in a realistic accounting of the city's infrastructure - both the quality of existing facilities and the cost of necessary upgrades and new projects, according to expert outsiders.

Neither the provincial government nor the federal government have representatives at the table.

"You need to have all orders of government all in" from the start, said Sevaun Palvetzian, the chief executive at Toronto's CivicAction and one of the authors of a report advising that city on what it takes to host global events.

"If you don't have every order in government somehow authentically engaged, from our research it seems very hard to expect great results from the process," she said.

Even if the committee finds enthusiasm in Edmonton and Ottawa, launching a bid without formal financial agreements is risky, experts argue, and the timeline is tight.

The Olympic bid exploration committee must present a draft of its 2026 plan by the end of December; the International Olympic Committee starts consulting candidate cities next February; presentations to the Canadian Olympic Committee kick off in April; and Calgary's exploration committee must submit its final report in July, 2017.

The city, Alberta, Canada and the COC will then have a month to make a decision on whether to bid. The final deadline for "notice of intent to bid" comes on Sept. 15, 2017.

Bidding alone costs tens of millions of dollars.

A Calgary bid would not get special treatment from the provincial government, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Monday.

"We will wait to see what kinds of proposals come forward to us from the committee and we'll look at them like we'd look at any kind of proposal," she said, speaking from New York. The provincial government is investing $34.8-billion in new public works by the end of the decade, with revamped schools and wider roads being given a priority. Due to budgetary constraints as the province struggles through recession and a deep deficit, spending on Olympic infrastructure would have to prove its worth, she added.

Alberta's intraprovincial rivalry could also make preliminary funding promises difficult.

Edmonton withdrew its bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games last year, but hosting the 2026 edition remains a possibility.

Meanwhile, Quebec City earlier this year decided not to bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics, arguing Switzerland's desire to host has an unfair advantage. Two members of the group that will evaluate bids are Swiss.

Rob VanWynsberghe, a professor in the University of British Columbia's department of Educational Studies and a sustainability expert who has studied the Olympics, argues Calgary's 2026 committee hurt itself by excluding representatives from neighbourhoods which will be affected by infrastructure developments and swarms of tourists. People living in areas where new sporting facilities or the Olympic village, for example, could be constructed should be folded into the process as early as possible. Opposition - and support - flourish in these types of neighbourhoods.

"Those people in those communities should be brought to the table," he said. "To already begin to not look like they are going to be representative is a problem."

Indeed, a proposed sporting complex that would certainly be part of the Olympics and Paralympics is already controversial in Calgary. The private group that controls the Calgary Flames and the Calgary Stampeders wants taxpayers to pitch in millions to build its so-called CalgaryNEXT project. It is centred on a new stadium and fieldhouse where their two teams would play. The group estimates the project would cost $890-million and it wants the city to chip in $200million. The ownership group's proposal also includes a $240million community revitalization levy. City officials, however, believe CalgaryNEXT would ring in at $1.8-billion, with taxpayers coughing up as much as $1.4-billion. Mayor Nenshi has scoffed at the current proposal.

Sue Riddell Rose, a respected oil executive, is on the 2026 Olympic bid exploration committee. Her father is one of the billionaire owners asking the city to pay for part of CalgaryNEXT.

Mr. Nenshi on Monday dismissed questions about the family connection. There was "a little bit of debate that we certainly had, though my understanding is that she herself does not have an ownership and we don't want to reject anyone because of various family ties."

He added: "There was a real desire to have a senior leader from the energy sector on this who is also deeply committed to the community as a whole, and her name is certainly the first one that came up."

Ms. Riddell Rose was unavailable for comment.

With a report from Justin Giovannetti in Edmonton

Associated Graphic

Facilities built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, including the ski jumps, sit dormant on Friday. Several 1988 facilities would be useful if the city pursues a bid for the 2026 Games. The team assessing the merits of bidding is headed by former police chief Rick Hanson.


Bobsleigh facilities built for the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary show their age in photos taken on Friday. Some facilities, with upgrades, could be reused for a 2026 Olympics, but others being considered would be completely new, including a new stadium and fieldhouse.


B.C. rain forest offers array of opportunities
An agreement signed this year to protect the site has helped ensure the well-being of those who live and work in the region
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

VICTORIA -- Chantal Pronteau's work can take her deep into the bush setting hair snares for grizzlies or leaning over the edge of a research boat surveying rockfish populations.

She grew up in Vancouver's east side, but her Tsimshian roots brought her to the small reserve at Klemtu to live with her grandmother when she was in Grade 9.

At 22, she is now a Guardian in the Great Bear Rainforest, a member of an indigenous force that patrols the region to monitor commercial activity and to gather the scientific data that guide her people's traditional stewardship role.

She can't imagine living anywhere else. The agreement signed earlier this year that created the Great Bear Rainforest has helped ensure that she won't have to.

The Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network, run by First Nations communities on British Columbia's north and central coast and on Haida Gwaii, is part of the legacy that flows from the creation of the protected area.

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit a First Nations community in the heart of the region, and fly over the emerald expanse of 6.4-million hectares that make up the world's largest remaining temperate rain forest. They will officially recognize British Columbia's conservation effort to protect the forest and its wildlife.

The Great Bear Rainforest, formally established in legislation, is touted as the "jewel in the crown" of Canada's protected areas.

For the mostly indigenous residents in the region, there is an important feature that is often overlooked when visitors marvel at the old growth trees and the iconic white Spirit Bears. To secure the approval of First Nations who live in the region, the proponents committed to ensure that the people who live and work in the region would not be marginalized.

"In the city, I was very disengaged from my culture. When I came here, it was difficult at first, but I believe I was meant to live in Klemtu. I'm in love with the nature, the people here. I'm still learning everything," Ms. Pronteau said in an interview during a break from a Guardian training session.

She said she sees a huge array of career possibilities in her future, from archeologist to nutritionist."The elders tell me, you never stop learning."

Respect the residents not just the rain forest

Coast Funds was set up with more than $100-million to provide seed money to create employment and promote a conservation-based economy. With that fund as leverage, the First Nations in the region have already generated more than $200million in investment, providing in excess of 600 new jobs in tourism, logging, science and aquaculture.

For example, Ms. Pronteau's Kitasoo First Nation monitors the Spirit Bear conservancy on Princess Royal Island.

Marilyn Slett is the chief of the Heiltsuk First Nation, who will welcome the Royal couple to Bella Bella on Monday. The Heiltsuk will provide a rich cultural welcome, but what she hopes Prince William will see is how her people are a holistic part of the the Great Bear Rainforest, with a long history of protecting its health.

The agreement to protect 85 per cent of the region's old growth forests needed to respect the residents as part of the fabric, she said. "It is something we have supported because it aligned with our values and objectives.

Our peoples have been here for tens of thousands of years, and it is our responsibility to steward our traditional lands," she said.

"It's part of who we are as indigenous people on the coast."

As part of the package, she sees youth benefiting from new training and employment opportunities and those opportunities, in turn, are providing a new generation with greater capacity to steward the land.

Deeper roots and more control in Haida Gwaii

The islands of Haida Gwaii, although not inside the official boundaries of the Great Bear Rainforest, are inextricably linked to the region and the Haida Nation is part of the governing council that guides land use planning and policy. The Haida have accessed Coast Funds to buy logging rights, a seafood-processing plant and to buy out licences to shut down the bear-hunting industry.

Leslie Brown was born and raised on Haida Gwaii, but lived in Vancouver for 12 years. She returned 10 years ago with her newborn son and no plan for her future. But she no longer had to search out her culture. With the safety net of her family surrounding her, she has built a new life.

She is Xylang Jaad Xyla (Thunderwoman Dancer), a member of the St'langng Laanas clan, with three sons, a husband and a fulltime job with Haida Wild Seafoods. The company is a former mom-and-pop operation, which has expanded into a boutiqueexport company owned by the Haida Nation.

Her job comes with a sense of security because the company is now rooted deeply in the Haida community. It specializes in local, indigenous seafood harvested in the wild. Ms. Brown knows where the harvest comes from and she knows the commercial salmon fishermen who supply the plant - they sail in small, often-handmade boats and are known locally as the mosquito fleet.

"We have to have a sustainable economy," Ms. Brown said.

"Future generations - my kids - should be able to go to the beach and get the razor clams and go fishing. ... Our nation is treading gently."

Peter Lantin, president of the Haida Nation, said cash investments were essential to allow his people to develop the skills and systems to manage the land.

"These monies have allowed us to purchase control," he said. "We are trying to effect how industry happens on Haida Gwaii. We are not against logging or fishing, it is all about how you do it. In this journey we had to show how it would be done."

When the Royal couple visits Haida Gwaii on Friday, Mr. Lantin hopes to enlist their support in the Haida's battle to keep the development of new oil pipelines at bay.

"I agree there needs to be a balance between economics and the environment, and it applies to most places in Canada. But it doesn't apply to places like the Great Bear Rainforest. You have to keep the resource extraction out." He hopes to have a chance to explain the risk of proposed oil pipelines that could put the region at risk. "The Royals' visit can help bring awareness to that."

From bear watching to cultural immersion

During the 20 years that environmentalists, forestry executives, politicians and indigenous leaders negotiated the pact to preserve the Great Bear Rainforest, Calvin Hackett left the Vancouver Island reserve where he was born and where his grandparents raised him. He moved between foster homes, learned to play rugby and soccer, became the first member of his family to graduate from high school, completed his basic military training and became a father.

Today, at 26, he is back with his Homalco First Nations community, working as a cultural ambassador and on a daily quest to learn his people's traditional laws and stewardship roles. It is because of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement that he can make a living providing wildlife and cultural tours in Bute Inlet.

Homalco Wildlife Tours used to offer bear-watching trips but now has trained a string of young cultural ambassadors to offer a greater variety of tours that showcase the Homalco First Nations' culture and history.

For Mr. Hackett, the injection of funding turned a brief seasonal job into one that extends from spring to the end of fall. He is generous in sharing credit for his success, thanking the strict elders who raised him to the foster parents in his life. "I had an army of support ... I'm grateful for everything I have encountered and everything I have overcome."

It was First Nations leaders who insisted that the well-being of the human residents of the Great Bear Rainforest had to be part of the package. Now the changes are starting to bring their people home.

"I'm ecstatic about the future and what it holds," said Mr. Hackett.

Associated Graphic

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit a First Nations community in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, and fly over the surrounding emerald expanse.


A connection among strangers
Kio Stark challenges society's fear of talking to random people, highlighting the beauty in the social taboo
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L4

Thirty years had passed since the fleeting moment at a train station, but the woman remembered it. Her train was at a standstill with its doors open. Another train pulled up across the platform and opened its doors, too.

Waiting, the woman made eye contact with a man on the other train. They held the gaze until all the doors started closing, when they both waved goodbye.

"It was a moment of connection with a stranger that felt real and good. They didn't need to know each other," Kio Stark writes in her new book When Strangers Meet: How People You Don't Know Can Transform You. That anecdote, which belongs to a friend of hers, is just one poignant example of many.

Stark is a big believer in talking to strangers, be it the corner-store clerk, a guy manspreading on her subway car, a dog walker out for a moonlit stroll in her neighbourhood or a man sharing her elevator who is wearing beautiful shoes. For Stark, talking to random people helps rupture her daily routine, rapidly builds empathy and offers the unique thrill of gleaning something real about someone she's never met before and probably will never meet again.

In an insular and hostile world, Stark may be one of the last to relish this particular social challenge. As children, we grow up hearing about "stranger danger;" in adulthood, we fear breaking tacit codes around appropriate public behaviour. Then, there is what Stark calls the "density of purpose" of cities to contend with: the frenetic pace, the deadlines, the overtime, the errands, the gloating busyness.

All this resistance, even though "cities are machines for interaction among strangers," Stark writes.

Urban connection and loneliness have tranfixed authors and readers in recent years: Olivia Laing embraced its particular sting in New York in this year's The Lonely City and Toronto's Emily White combatted it with a year-long "belongingness challenge," described in her 2015 book Count Me In. Others sounded a wider alarm, including MIT guru Sherry Turkle in her 2015 tome Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, and developmental psychologist Susan Pinker in 2014's The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier and Happier.

All this as hordes continue to mass-empathize with the strangers featured on Humans of New York, photographer Brandon Stanton's ongoing blog of portraits and intimate interviews with people he approaches on the streets of that city and all over the world.

We seem simultaneously fixated on and completely wary of strangers today. Stark spoke with The Globe and Mail from New York about the "beautiful interruption" of talking to people you don't know.

In an age when we've got our heads buried in our tablets and earbuds in on the commute home - when people stare at their phones like zombies when they walk down the street - are we communing with strangers less than generations past?

There's a lot of conversation about technology and what it's doing to our relationships, but in this particular instance of interacting with strangers in public, it is not as dramatic an intrusion.

People on the New York subway, maybe just a quarter have headphones in.

Many are sleeping or staring off into space. Before, people used to read books a lot in the subway or the newspaper was right in front of their faces: It was massive and hid your eyes so much more.

What is this mythology that our devices are cutting us off? Maybe if you blame technology, you don't have to blame yourself?

Maybe. Everybody needs to tune out some of the time in the face of the city. Cities are overwhelming; there's a lot of stimulation. But I want people to understand that there is a pleasure and political importance to, at least some of the time, having your eyes open to the other people around you, making eye contact, having these small interactions that make us feel like we're connected to each other, like we belong to the same place.

Today, young women are increasingly vocal about street harassment and things such as "manspreading" (on public transit, men taking up a seat and a half, typically the woman's half, when they spread their legs way out), or the way some men try to get a woman's attention even when she's got her headphones on, a clear social signal that she's not interested in a conversation. At a time when there's such heated gendered debate about public space, how do you make nice with strangers?

The fact that street harassment is so pervasive is a great tragedy for many reasons, especially for women's personal experience of public space. I do talk to lots of strangers: It's a passion and a professional commitment. But I am also taking a risk every time I say "hello" to a guy on the street as he passes by me, a risk that he's going to consider it as an opening.

I take a few hits. I say "hello" to some man and he says, "hey, baby," and I feel, "blah, that didn't feel good to me." I have a certain commitment to keep taking that risk but I wouldn't tell any woman that she should do this.

Men have to be really sensitive about whether women are making eye contact before they make the civil overture of saying "hello." They have to respect the headphones and whatever signals women are giving off that say, "Get away from me." I'm speaking to men who are not ritual street harassers. They have to be good bystanders. If you want to make it a better culture where it's more possible for you to say "hello," be a good ally. If you see a woman getting harassed, call the person out on it. Even a disapproving glance helps the woman feel like what's happened has been noticed and not approved of.

You describe a somewhat clumsy exchange with a male bagel clerk who was unwilling to go past the small talk with you. What happens when we offer a stranger our particular brand of humour and it falls flat? Isn't that more alienating than it is connecting?

When you lift weights, your muscles hurt and then they get stronger. If you're trying to get more comfortable with this, you have to commit yourself to keep trying.

The exception is street harassment: If you get harassed on the street, there is no reason why you should try this again. But if it's just awkwardness, awkwardness isn't that awful. It's a very human thing. I still go back to that bodega all the time and now that guy and I are very chatty.

What's the exit strategy from this experiment, when a stranger begins saying too much?

If someone is telling you lots of things without context it becomes an uncomfortable conversation. This person isn't being human with you, they're just using you as an ear. In cities, that can happen.

People are very lonely. Listening to someone is an extraordinary gift and there are a lot of people in cities and they might take advantage of it if you seem like a listener.

I tend not to look for this realness when I'm in a situation where I can't get away, when I'm on a bus or subway or plane ride.

I'll do this sitting on a park bench or at a café. If you have an out, then if the person launches into a monologue, you can say, "I'm sorry, I'm running late," or "My phone just rang."

On the other hand if somebody's honest it also gives you an opportunity to empathize with them. You can engage with kindness and curiosity and see what happens.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Associated Graphic

Kio Stark, author of When Strangers Meet: How People You Don't Know Can Transform You, is a strong believer in talking to random people. Stark says it helps rupture her daily routine and offers the unique thrill of gleaning something real about someone she's never met.

We the Nord
As Nordstrom's director of creative projects, Olivia Kim is charged with finding the hippest new brands from Canada and beyond
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L5

Retailers are on a constant quest for cool, and thanks to dynamic fashion fanatic Olivia Kim, few are succeeding more than the Seattle-based, century-old chain Nordstrom. Raised in New York, the 38-year-old merchandise maven spent 10 years working with retailers-turneddesigners Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony before being snagged by Pete Nordstrom, co-president and director of his family's enterprise.

Understanding that in order for his business to stay relevant and grow, he needed new customers, Nordstrom gave Kim the title of director of creative projects in 2013. Since then, she's made her mark with a number of conceptual marketing initiatives, including Pop-Ins, monthly shopping experiences in some of the company's flagship stores that offer an eclectic array of merchandise from emerging labels to collectible art to luxury pieces. Credited with a knack for seeking out unpredictable things, Kim is especially excited about Nordstrom's recent foray into Canada (stores are already in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver, and two more open this fall in Toronto).

I spoke with Kim from her home base in Seattle recently about how she determines what's cool, what creates a great in-store experience and why she thinks brick-andmortar retail will never go away.

When you were first offered this job, what was it that intrigued you?

When I first met Pete about four years ago, we had a conversation that was so easygoing. He focused on all the things that they wanted to be working on, which I thought was a really humbling thing. He said, "We want to focus on the younger customer, driving more customers to our stores, creating these unique experiences..." He was interested in not only the business side of what fashion and retail are, but about this very experiential quality - this emotional side of it. I felt like it would be a really unique platform for me to try to do what I do in a way that felt much more democratic. I love that Nordstrom is very generational shopping: You can shop with your mom or with your grandmother.

You're seen as the acid test for what's hot.

Maybe it's just gut instinct, but you seem to know what the next big thing is going to be. Does it feel daunting to be responsible for predicting what will be popular?

I don't know that I'm necessarily holding a crystal ball or that there's a formula to what I think is cool. I think you nailed it when you said it's a gut instinct. I make a lot of mistakes though. I certainly don't consider myself a cool person; I am just a very curious person. I spend a lot of time talking not only with my team, but with other people in the company and customers. I'm always on the floor so I take all of that, process it and try to spit something out that seems interesting and cool to a majority of people.

I don't know that the pressure is daunting, but it's certainly exciting.

I'm sure there are young people across North America who are looking to you and thinking, "Wow! How do I get that kind of job?" How do you explain how you landed in this wonderful space?

My biggest bit of advice for anybody interested in trying to have some sort of impact in fashion is that you have to absolutely love what you're doing and you can't be afraid of making mistakes. And you can't be afraid to put yourself out there, especially as a woman. I spend as much time [as I can] with a lot of our upcoming leaders as possible. I just came back from a trip to Southern California where I met with a bunch of retail interns in our store. All I could say to them is, "I don't have an exact career path for you. But love what you do, keep in touch with me, write me all the time and ask me any questions." I've kept in touch with a lot of people via Instagram or by email or text. I think that it's not conventional, but who wants conventional?

You have been responsible for bringing in some unconventional new labels that aren't what you'd usually associate with Nordstrom. How do you decide who these hot designers are going to be?

I don't know that I'm always making the right choices about what to bring in and whether our customers will respond to it, but I think it's my job to support emerging designers and to create a place where they can develop and build a viable business.

That's something that we really focus on in Pop-In and Space - Nordstrom's in-store boutiques that feature new labels and complete looks. We'll often find designers that have never sold or wholesaled before or don't even know how to make an invoice, let alone ship to a distribution centre. We spend a lot of time trying to help them understand what customers are responding to and help make their business a bigger one. That's what I think my responsibility is in terms of supporting these younger designers: To give them an environment that makes sense for them as a brand and they're proud to be a part of.

With Nordstrom's foray into this country, are you trying to give young Canadian labels a platform?

Definitely. With the opening of the store in Toronto's Eaton Centre, we're launching a Canadian capsule with four to five Canadian designers who have done something for us exclusively, which we're really excited about. We really want to celebrate Canadian fashion designers. One of them is Vejas [Kruszewski], of Vejas, who was most recently an LVMH finalist, and we're working with Brother Vellies (the footwear label helmed by Toronto native Aurora James). We're also partnering with the [Vancouver-born] jewellery designer Wing Yau of Wwake who is developing a special capsule for us.

There are so many retailers struggling to survive. Macy's is going to be closing about 100 stores. And their CEO Terry Lundgren recently said there's just too much retail space around. How do you feel about that?

I can't comment on what anyone else is doing, but we're really focused on creating amazing in-store experiences that are drawing customers and exciting them.

I'm not necessarily interested in making sure that somebody buys something every single time they're in our store. I want them to have an incredible connection with the salesperson, have something fun to eat and maybe consider us for the next time that they do want to make a purchase. We're also doing the same things online and I think that it's important that our online experience mirrors our in-store experience and vice versa. We want to provide more content and become more aspirational and inspiring.

What are you most looking forward to in this next chapter for retail?

I'm not a huge believer in the see now, buy now, wear now moment.

I think that there is something that I still love about this oldschool mentality, where you see it on the runway and you have to wait a little while for it. But I do think that there is some validity in the fact that stores are changing and so we need to adapt to it. I've been thinking a lot about this idea of just living in these moments, because everyone's moving so fast. Everybody is telling us, "Next, next, next!" and so right now, I'm trying to figure out how to slow it down a little and to be able to wear this coat that I just bought for a season longer!

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

REMAKING RETAIL Nordstrom's Olivia Kim wants shopping to be an experience, not just a transaction.


Attempts to revitalize B.C.'s floundering salmon population are failing, and the industry faces growing fears hatcheries are producing genetically inferior fish
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Each spring, the gates open in federal hatchery facilities in British Columbia and about 295 million salmon are released in an attempt to restore stocks damaged by dams, resource development and overfishing.

But each fall, with rare exceptions, there are poor returns.

This year, so few sockeye came back to the Fraser River - about 650,000 fish instead of the 2.2 million expected - that widespread fishing closings were imposed. Coastwide, the abundance of the six Pacific species (coho, chum, chinook, pink, sockeye and steelhead) fluctuates widely over time, but the trend over the past 30 years is down.

This is occurring despite the best efforts of the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP).

Since the program was launched by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in 1977, more than $1-billion has been spent helping salmon spawn in 23 major hatcheries, in artificial spawning channels and in a number of small communitybased hatcheries. Although scientists generally blame poor ocean survival for the low returns, increasingly questions are being asked about whether hatcheries, once seen as a miraculous technological fix, could be part of the problem.

"It's hard to have a single answer to whether hatcheries are good or bad," said Aaron Hill, executive director of British Columbia's Watershed Watch Salmon Society. "They are definitely necessary in situations where you are trying to save a run of fish from becoming extinct ... But we are certainly guilty of overusing hatcheries in B.C. and not using them in the most responsible manner."

In the United States, where $15-billion (U.S.) has been spent since 1978 in a failed effort to restore salmon runs in the Columbia River, Portland's leading newspaper, The Oregonian, questioned the role of hatcheries, asking in an editorial this spring: "Is the world's most ambitious wildlife recovery plan doomed?" Hatcheries became beacons of hope because they are remarkably productive, with a 75-percent survival rate from egg to smolt. In the wild, only 4 per cent survive that life-stage transition.

But the growing fear is that hatcheries are producing fish that are genetically inferior, which more easily perish at sea.

Those concerns about genetic change were highlighted this year by a U.S. study showing that after just one generation, hatchery-raised steelhead differed from their wild relatives in more than 700 genes.

"This new study builds on a mountain of scientific evidence that hatcheries pose a number of risks to wild salmon, including the genetic risk," said Mr. Hill, whose non-profit organization is dedicated to the restoration of wild salmon in British Columbia.

"I think when a lot of these hatcheries were built back in the seventies, we didn't know how detrimental these operations could be to our wild salmon populations," he said. "Decades later, we now have a really good idea."

But it's not a black and white issue.

In some cases, streams have been brought back to life by hatcheries after wild salmon stocks were extirpated by overfishing or environmental damage. For example, in Nile Creek on Vancouver Island, a small stream where a run of pink salmon had vanished was dramatically restored by a small community-operated hatchery.

But Mr. Hill said when large numbers of hatchery fish flood the environment, they out-compete small runs of wild fish for a limited food supply. Wild fish are also accidentally killed when they mingle with hatchery fish, which are the focus of commercial fisheries.

"There is growing evidence that the North Pacific Ocean is totally overcrowded with hatchery fish and that is having real impacts on wild salmon," he said.

Data from the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission show that Canada, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States released 5.2 billion salmon from hatcheries into the Pacific last year.

Hatcheries have many supporters. One is author and former commercial fisherman Eric Wickham, who argues that British Columbia is not producing enough hatchery fish and that's why stocks are depressed. Alaska released 1.6 billion hatchery fish last year, he notes, while B.C. released 294 million.

"Alaska caught 260 million salmon this year, while the numbers for British Columbia are less than 10 million," he stated in an e-mail. He called on government to "do what our neighbours have done and be more generous helping the salmon in their critical period of spawning."

The role of hatcheries has been under scrutiny for years and the research of Michael Blouin, a professor of integrative biology at Oregon State University, is often cited by those who feel artificially reared fish are an environmental threat.

But Dr. Blouin said in an interview that his work is sometimes spun by the critics of hatcheries.

"[Hatcheries] are always going to have ecological effects.

There's no getting around that, but I really hate to opine on the greater issue of whether hatcheries should be there or not," he said. "People have taken our work and made comments that made me cringe, like you know, 'Well here's more data showing that hatcheries should be shut down' or 'Hatcheries are a failure,' and I'm like, uh, that isn't really what we said."

What he has shown is that wild fish and hatchery fish are different at the DNA level.

Dr. Blouin's most recent study found 700 genes are expressed differently in hatchery fish, giving rise to a theory that hatchery fish are adapting to the unnatural crowding that takes place in hatchery tanks. In nature, juvenile wild salmon are more solitary and hardier. But they may not survive if overwhelmed with a flood of "inferior" hatchery fish.

Despite such concerns, DFO spokesman Dan Bate said the government is committed to hatchery operations in British Columbia.

"DFO supports salmon hatcheries as a tool in the federal government's efforts to conserve, rebuild and manage Pacific salmon stocks. The department continues to evaluate and refine its hatchery operations using new, relevant information to ensure maximum benefits for fisheries and wild stocks," he stated in an e-mail.

"Since the beginning of its hatchery program in the 1970s, the department has taken steps to address concerns about the potential impact of hatcheries on wild stocks," he said. "DFO follows guidelines and operating practices designed to minimize genetic and ecological impacts on wild-salmon populations. A key goal is to minimize genetic divergence of a hatchery population from the existing local wild population."

An evaluation of SEP completed last year by the DFO concluded that "there is a continued need" for the program, which gets about $26-million a year in federal funding.

SEP is trying some new approaches. One method being studied, in conjunction with Carol Schmitt of privately owned Omega Pacific Hatchery Inc., involves raising juvenile chinook in a more "natural" way, mimicking stream conditions. By using colder water, providing less food and holding juvenile fish a year longer before release, Ms. Schmitt has more than doubled survival rates.

British Columbia runs a much smaller program for freshwater fish through the independent Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., which operates eight hatcheries, releasing more than eight million trout, char and kokanee salmon into 800 lakes.

Tim Yesaki, vice-president of operations for the society, said freshwater fisheries managers "have really been proactive in trying to reduce the impact of hatchery fish on wild fish populations," and have taken note of Dr. Blouin's latest research.

"We've been monitoring the literature and up until this study, we were quite well aware of the genetic impact of hatchery fish, or the potential impact.

However, the results of this study are more acute - within one generation. So it's on our radar screen. We're definitely looking at ways to mitigate the effects," he said.

Associated Graphic

Barry Kolodychuk with Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. releases a hatchery-raised trout into Rice Lake in North Vancouver on April 5.


Barry Kolodychuk releases a fish into Rice Lake in North Vancouver in April. B.C. released 294 million hatchery fish last year.


Eccentric inventor of diverse devices
His innovations included a revolutionary baby bottle, a vertical wind tunnel and a robot restaurant
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S8

In addition to patenting scores of inventions, Jean St-Germain also found time in his unorthodox life to father 12 children, run a parachute school and build a pyramid on his property near Montreal so he could engage in spiritual pursuits.

Mr. St-Germain, a grade-school dropout and former army paratrooper who became a prolific inventor, died Sept. 16 at a hospital in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.

He was 79. He suffered from kidney problems and had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. St-Germain was what his fellow francophone Quebeckers call a patenteux, an expression derived from the English word patent, used to describe a tinkerer, someone skilled with mechanical things.

He didn't mind the label. One of his sons, Daniel, recalled his father would sometimes answer the phone by saying: "This is St-Germain the patenteux speaking."

He was famously credited with designing, while he was still a teenager, a baby bottle with a plastic liner that collapsed to prevent infants from swallowing air - a concept he sold for $1,000.

Some of his other ideas were more lucrative but he didn't care for bookkeeping and was often in trouble with tax auditors.

"He earned a lot but he spent a lot," his son said, explaining that his father saw himself as an artist.

Mr. St-Germain's achievements came despite his lack of formal education.

He was born March 29, 1937, the seventh of the 11 children of Alphonse St-Germain and Rosalie Tétreault.

His parents were farmers in the village of Upton, an hour's drive east of Montreal.

After repeating Grade 4 twice, he dropped out of school.

He was 16 and babysitting the child of one of his older brothers when he wondered why his sisterin-law had to pat the infant's back after a bottle feeding.

He tried to find a way to alleviate the baby burping and experimented by using a condom as a liner to eliminate air pockets inside the bottle.

He said he sold the idea to an Ottawa businessman, who likely made a mint reselling it to U.S. manufacturers. "He never resented it. At the time $1,000 was a lot of money," his son said.

After working in laundry, then construction, Mr. St-Germain enlisted in the army in 1954, joining the Royal 22nd Regiment, the unit of his older brother Fernand, who had died in Korea when his patrol strayed into a minefield.

Mr. St-Germain trained as a paratrooper and was posted in West Germany.

While there, he built a sevenfoot-tall clock celebrating his regiment. Powered by the motor from a sewing machine, it played the regimental march, Vive la Canadienne.

Back in civilian life, he started a family, taught parachuting and settled in the Saint-Hyacinthe area. Filled with various inventions, his property was described by a La Presse journalist as "a mini-Disney World."

Mr. St-Germain's lifestyle gave his children an unconventional but stimulating upbringing.

"I had one of the best childhoods. At home, my father always had a project going on. There were always tradesmen coming to the house to work on his plans," his son said.

Daniel remembered machines being built and tested outside his house. Among the devices Mr. StGermain created were an ultralight aluminum plane, a miniature helicopter and a small tractor that towed cross-country skiers.

His patents included a snowmobile safety throttle, an airflow deflector that attached to the rear of trucks and a mobile construction scaffold system.

At one point, Mr. St-Germain ran a parachute school, so the family lived in an aviation hangar next to a 1930s-era DC-3 transport plane.

"Imagine you're five or six years old, you go outside after dinner and you see this iron angel parked near your home," Daniel said.

He also remembered his father sketching potential inventions on paper placemats while they sat in restaurants.

One of Mr. St-Germain's more successful ideas was the Aérodium, a 12-metre-high silo with a propeller at the bottom that acts like a vertical wind tunnel, allowing people to soar in the airflow and experience the sensation of skydiving.

Mr. St-Germain was featured in People magazine in 1982 when the American real-estate tycoon Marvin Kratter paid him $1.5-million (U.S.), for the franchising rights of the Aérodium.

Around that time, Mr. St-Germain built a 10-metre stone pyramid on his property and touted its healing powers to people who paid to meditate inside its chamber.

He wanted to build a bigger pyramid structure, a 160-metre mausoleum that would house thousands of coffins and funeral urns, along with a museum and restaurant The project was vetoed, however, by the Quebec farmland zoning board.

Mr. St-Germain meanwhile went to Atlantic City to see if pyramid power improved his luck at gambling.

He told the UPI news agency that he arrived at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino with a $1,000 investment, won up to $100,000 but ended up losing all his initial gains.

He said he had prepared by standing for five hours in his pyramid as he chose 2,000 numbers that he would play on the roulette wheel.

"It was my fault," he told the UPI reporter. "After choosing the first thousand numbers, I became tired, after standing for so long.

So then I picked the second thousand numbers too quickly."

A La Presse article from the same period said Revenue Canada alleged Mr. St-Germain owed $159,000 in back taxes. Officials obtained a court order to open his safety deposit box but the bailiff found only 50 pennies inside.

Mr. St-Germain said the 50 cents was his emergency fund - just enough to buy a pencil and a notepad, the only tools he needed as an inventor.

He said the tax auditors were harassing him. "They can keep trying, I don't even have a push bike to my name."

In 1992, he opened, near his home in Saint-Simon, a futuristic restaurant where fast food was served by mechanized robots.

Housed in a circular building capped by a flying-saucer-like roof, the eatery was called L'Extra-Terrasse, a play on the French word for extra-terrestrial being.

It was popular but Mr. St-Germain closed it after five months because managing a restaurant was not his strong suit.

His next big project - a giant roadside cross with 2,000 lights that was a pilgrimage site with a wax statue of Jesus Christ and soil from the Holy Land - was also short-lived, ending in 2000, beset with financial problems.

He filed for bankruptcy in 2002, declaring that he had only $200 in assets.

His son said Mr. St-Germain was in poor health in recent years. His kidneys were failing and after he was also diagnosed with cancer, he decided to terminate his dialysis treatments, which ultimately resulted in his death.

Daniel said his siblings each inherited some of their father's traits. One became a musician, for Mr. St-Germain could play several instruments, including the accordion, piano and guitar. Another worked in aviation. Daniel is a mechanic who has also tinkered, once inventing a mechanized dancing platform for nightclubs.

"I am very proud to be his son," Daniel said.

Jean St-Germain leaves his wife, Adrienne Roy, and their children, Diane, Lucie, Gina, Josée, JeanMichel, Sara, Daniel, Pierre, Nathalie, Anik and Alexandre. A son, François, predeceased him.

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Jean St-Germain's patents included a snowmobile safety throttle and an airflow deflector that attached to the rear of trucks. He also invented the Aérodium, a silo with a propeller at the bottom that acts like a wind tunnel, allowing people to experience the sensation of skydiving.


Wency Leung discovers how being upbeat became the right way for North Americans to be ill - and the downside of glossing over the hurt
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Suzanne Urpecz received plenty of support from family and friends after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in May. But some well-wishers' messages, aimed at boosting her spirits, left her feeling hurt and offended.

People said, "You got this," which might have been appropriate at a football game, but didn't seem right to someone dealing with cancer of the lymphatic system.

The suggestion that her six months of treatment were "going by so fast" was well-intentioned, but not entirely true. Sure, some days passed quickly, but others were utterly awful.

Urpecz, 35, of Toronto, says she realized that those responding to her cancer diagnosis with calls for positivity and perseverance may have done so because they were uncomfortable or unfamiliar with facing illness and mortality. But when you're on the receiving end, she says, "trying all the time to sort of be very positive or very warrior-like ... it sort of undermines some of the grief you have to go through."

In recent years, patients have pushed back against the idea of conquering illness or overcoming health crises with a can-do attitude and a fighting spirit.

Writers, such as Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the 2001 Harper's Magazine essay Welcome to cancerland, have challenged the assumption that cancer patients should face their disease with cheerfulness.

And even in clinical settings, health professionals recognize the importance of validating patients' negative feelings. In the past decade, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a widely used form of psychological treatment, has become much more nuanced, as psychiatrists aim to help patients constructively cope with adversity, says Ari Zaretsky, psychiatrist-in-chief at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In the past, he says, it involved a more simplistic way of working with patients, replacing negative thinking with a positive spin.

Yet, despite this resistance and limited evidence of its health benefits, beliefs about the power of positive thinking are now as strong as ever.

Contemporary virtues Not only are patients expected to remain upbeat and soldier on through serious illness, being positive now also involves trying to be grateful, resilient and mindful, says Judy Segal, an English professor at the University of British Columbia, who focuses on the rhetoric of health and illness.

The ability to laugh through difficult times has also become a contemporary virtue, Segal adds.

For example, she notes the emergence of popular memoirs tackling illness and adversity with humour, such as comedian Tig Notaro's I'm Just a Person, which delves into her experience with breast cancer and the death of her mother. Cartoonist Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant: A Memoir deals with her elderly parents' final years.

That's not to say that taking a rosy or comedic view is the wrong approach to health crises.

But the ubiquity of positive illness narratives makes it "much harder for people who are going through difficult times and who feel like complaining or crying - which are things people do, it's just that they don't do it very much in public or even in some close relationships because they feel those things are disallowed or dispreferred," Segal says.

She explains that her own experience, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, did not transform her into a better, stronger person, contrary to the typical trajectory of prevailing cancer stories.

However, Segal says people who are seriously ill often feel the need to look after others and she was no exception. "When I told somebody that I had cancer or I was with someone who knew that I did, I felt like I had to look after them. I didn't want them to be too sad," she says. "I felt responsible for how bad they felt because they felt bad for me."

So how did staying positive become the accepted way to deal with illness?

Attitudes elsewhere Associate professor Andrew Ryder, director of the culture, health and personality lab at Concordia University, says our bias toward positivity is not universal, but is something that is specific to contemporary North American culture.

By contrast, he says, individuals in China are often protected from knowing they have a serious illness. In trying to maintain a collective harmony, many people there believe that it is better for the patient not to know too much about his or her condition.

In Russia, negative emotions are to be expected, Ryder says.

There, having a full range of emotions is considered authentic or realistic, he says, noting that it can sometimes be difficult to detect depression in Russians because it's accepted as part of life that people experience tough times.

When faced with adversity, "I think they even say, sometimes explicitly, 'We don't have to [like] Americans and smile about it,' " he says. "So if you have a death sentence or you're now going to have to live with a permanent disability, then you would be sort of failing to be in touch with the truth of the situation unless you felt really bad about it."

Positivity in the air Segal suggests that the North American imperative to be positive is tied to a current focus on happiness. It's impossible to walk past a bookstore or magazine stand these days without encountering self-help titles promising advice on becoming a happier self. And many workplaces support efforts to improve emotional and physical health, she says, noting an emergence of smartphone apps aimed at mindfulness.

"If you have happy workers, then happiness cashes out in productivity, or so the thinking goes," she says.

In this cultural environment in which positivity is valued, people who feel uncomfortable or don't know how to respond to illness tend to fall back on what's familiar, that is, to emphasize positive feelings, Ryder says. In part, wellwishers may offer encouragements to stay strong because they believe that's the message patients need to hear. But this can be self-serving at the same time.

"Even if you mean well, you're kind of saying, on the one hand: 'I care about you and I want you to be happy.' But there's a sort of a subtext of 'I'd rather not have to be around an unhappy person,' " Ryder says.

Positivity research To coax patients to look on the bright side can be extremely unempathetic and can result in a kind of victim blaming, in which a relapse of illness or inability to recover may be seen as a consequence of not trying hard enough to overcome it, says Zaretsky, the psychiatrist at Sunnybrook.

And while some research indicates that one's outlook may have physical effects on one's health, Zaretsky says the findings are limited.

Studies have shown, for example, that strategies aimed at mitigating stress may have an indirect impact on the immune system, observed through measures such as reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol or the functioning of T-cells, Zaretsky says.

But to make the leap to suggest positive thinking can help people live longer, "that is not at all what the science shows," he says. Madeline Li, a psychiatrist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, adds that more recent, larger and betterdesigned studies have "pretty clearly showed there is neither a health outcome benefit to survival ... for being optimistic nor psychological therapies, like support groups, that reduce stress."

What optimism and psychological therapies can do is improve the quality of one's life - at least for some people, she says - but there's no evidence that it prolongs it.

And even if there were evidence to support the idea that people could fight disease by boosting their immune system through reducing stress, trying to be positive, for some, may itself be stressful, Li says.

"If the mechanism is that stress reduction works through your immune system to help you, it's not going to work if you have to work that hard at being positive," she says.

Dixie's works miracles with barbecue
Central Texas-style smoke shack is blowing sweet smoke through the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

Dixie's BBQ 337 E. Hastings St.; Vancouver; 778-379-4770;; Central Texas-style barbecue; brisket, $24 a pound; pork ribs, $25 for a full rack; hot links, $6 each; pulled pork, $22 a pound; fried chicken bucket, $15. Sampling platters, starting at $17.50 a person; Open Thurs. to Mon., from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (midnight on Fri. and Sat.); brunch on Sun., from 10 a.m. Takeout available. No reservations; Casual dining 3

Dixie's BBQ certainly didn't take easy street when bringing a Central Texas-style smoke shack to Vancouver.

How so? First, because it's southern barbecue, one of the hardest cuisines to crank out consistently. The best barbecue joints down South aren't fullservice restaurants with niceties such as reservations and predictable hours. They're roadside stands with outdoor pits that cook all night, open midmorning and close whenever the meat is sold out. It's first-come, first-served because smoked meat only holds for a few hours before collapsing into molten mush or seizing up like chewy cardboard.

Any barbecue restaurant striving for some semblance of regularity (without keeping the smoker burning around the clock) needs to devise crafty ways of keeping the meat hot and moist, or reviving it without overcooking and compensating with excessive sauce. This is really, really difficult to do. It's even tougher when you specialize in Central Texas-style barbecue, as Dixie's does, which eschews sticky sauces in favour of clean, simple, salt-and-pepper rubs. There is nothing to hide behind.

To make matters even more tricky, Dixie's decided to run with a wood-fired smoker, a customized Pitmaster that burns through about half a cord of alder, birch and maple every three weeks.

Now, barbecue isn't classic barbecue if the meat isn't slowly smoked over the indirect heat of low-burning hardwood. But not all smoke is created equal. Most barbecue joints in Vancouver rely on electric smokers supplemented with wood chips. (Memphis Blues is the only other barbecue restaurant using chopped logs.)

Chips and pellets can still produce decent barbecue when combined with proper technique. But the substitute is somewhat akin to baking a chocolate cake with oil and tofu instead of butter and eggs - it will never taste as good.

So why don't more places use wood smokers? Well, it's not easy to get a permit. And it's an expensive process, especially if you have to hire a certified engineer, as Dixie's did, to ensure the proper hood venting, hermetical seal and side ventilation.

But the main deterrent is because wood is just so darn labour intensive.

Beyond all the variables wood automatically adds to the mix (the weather, the humidity, the dryness of the logs), it also requires long hours and constant attention. At Dixie's, chef Jeff MacIntosh arrives at 8 a.m.

to light up the smoker and is there all day to feed the fire and ensure the enclosed chamber maintains its optimal temperature. And that's just the rig, never mind the meat.

So, no, it wasn't easy. But it was well worth the effort because Dixie's BBQ, now blowing sweet smoke through the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, is performing small miracles and serving some of the best barbecue the city has ever tasted. From the juicy brisket and crispy pork ribs to the country-music-themed bathrooms, or the simple side dishes and unpretentious drinks, this charming Southern belle has the whole package nailed down pat.

Dixie's is owned by Christina Cottell and Shoel Davidson, the proprietors of Gringo, a cheap and cheerful Mexi-Cali dive bar, best known for its no-name beer and cocktails served in plastic sand buckets. Don't hold that against them.

With Texas folklore being so ripe for the picking, Dixie's could easily have veered into similar kitschy territory. Corrugated metal siding riddled with bullet holes, the suspended tailgate of an old Ford pickup and splashes of red-white-and-blue neon push the design tropes just far enough to keep the Lone Star state front and centre.

But simple church pews and retro school chairs pull the garishness back, giving the rugged room a warm patina that doesn't feel glaringly out of place on this gritty stretch of Hastings Street.

A long wooden bar fitted with comfy swivel stools boasts four (no-name) beer taps, spiked ice tea, boozy lemonade and a long list of bourbons. Don't look for wine. (They don't serve any.)

Don't be surprised if a working girl swaggers in, plunks her change on the bar and swiftly downs a shot. (Nobody bats an eye.) Don't worry if a friendly server asks your name. (She's not trying to pick you up; that's called down-home hospitality.)

Of course, the real magic happens in the back.

Here, as in Texas, beef brisket is king. Each roast, depending on the size, takes about seven hours from start to finish. When the internal temperature reaches 175 F, Mr. MacIntosh wraps them in butcher paper so the moisture is maintained. While the protein fibres keep loosening and relaxing, the smoke and aromatic vapours infuse the liquefying fat and gelatinizing collagen with beautiful flavour, leaving its mark with a thin, bright-red smoke ring below the blackened crust.

After resting for up to two hours, the briskets (still wrapped in paper) are transferred to an insulated container.

The ideal time to dig in is between 7 and 8:30 p.m., when the fat and the protein are still conjoined in a jiggly meat pudding.

If you go earlier in the night, the muscle fibres might still be a bit tense.

After 9:30, the meat becomes so melty and the fibres so stretched the chef won't even serve it. Think of it like your favourite lycra-denim jeans - after they've been worn a few times, they no longer hold everything in.

Dixie's pork ribs are lightly glazed with peach and chipotle, which really captures the smoke, but isn't typical to Texas.

They're drier and crispier than the web ribs commonly found in Vancouver, yet tender enough that they easily slip off the bone without falling apart in the hands. Oh, they're also hugely popular and often sell out early.

The links, hand-ground daily with a mix of pork butt and brisket trim, are lightly smoked, grilled to order and perfectly rested, which gives the meat an amazingly creamy texture inside their snappy casings.

Fried chicken, brined in herbed buttermilk for two days and cooked in a bubbly potato starch and cornmeal batter, is marshmallow tender.

But make sure you order it in a bucket, which comes with three large pieces of deboned flattened leg and back attached.

The pieces on the platter are smaller, overwhelmed by crispy batter and not nearly as juicy.

Pulled pork was the only meat that didn't sing for me. Perhaps there is good reason that this cut isn't common in Texas.

Pulled pork takes much longer than brisket. At Dixie's, it isn't ready to portion until late at night, so the chef serves it the next day. Even though he pulls the fatty shoulder in thick strands (rather than shredding it into "cat food," as he puts it) and revives it gently in chicken stock and a lightly tangy barbecue sauce, the meat just isn't as succulent as it would be coming straight out of the smoker.

But who's going to quibble when they're busy licking their fingers and mopping up the smoky juices with soft white bread and tangy pickles? It may not be easy, but Dixie's BBQ does Texas proud.

Associated Graphic

Fried chicken is brined in herbed buttermilk for two days at Dixie's BBQ in Vancouver.


In northern Italy, a former agricultural property has become a model for workplace innovation worthy of a spot at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale. Nathalie Atkinson pays a visit to H-Farm
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L6

From the road, it could be mistaken for any other agricultural property in the area. The site is a little tidier, perhaps, with a discreet parking lot tucked under the shade of tall cypress trees. Even though there are no chickens and the cattle grazing on the bucolic lawn are actually sculptures made of fiberglass, the picturesque campus near one of the curves of the river Sile in the Veneto region of northern Italy is still a farm. Sort of.

Riccardo Donadon dreamed up H-Farm as Italy's fi rst private incubator for seed-stage venture capital investments with business acceleration services, specifically focused on digital businesses. The "H" of its name stands for human, and that's evident in the care lavished on a novel approach to design conducive to cultivating and harvesting ideas.

"It was born from a simple idea and a great vision," the co-founder and CEO says via email. "Simplicity, courage, ambition, curiosity, enthusiasm, ethics, determination - these are the values guiding our corporate culture and our daily approach to work, and these values have to become a standard for all the people taking part in our project." What he envisioned in 2005 was an ambitious plan of restoration and adaptive reuse of abandoned farm buildings, as well as several additions, that would nurture a new generation and reverse the flow of entrepreneurs and tech talent out of the country. The startups that now fi ll the complex run the gamut from retail to fi nancial services, tourism, food and wellness to smart homes, connected cars and fashion wearables. Eighty startups have already gone through the fourmonth mentorship program, with 19.8-million invested to date. By 2019, there will also be H-Campus, a residential and educational offshoot built next to a nearby lagoon where 250 young entrepreneurs will study, live and work.

Located between Treviso and Venice in the same region as the headquarters of Benetton, Diesel and Bottega wine, Donadon chose the location "fi rst because it is beautiful," he says. "And then, because we work with technology and innovation, it is important to have continuous contact with nature and its natural cycle." H-Farm was created out of one of the many derelict farm complexes that dot the Veneto countryside. To become a tech hub, it was transformed in stages by the Treviso-based architecture fi rm Zanon Architetti Associati. It's one of 20 projects featured in the Italian Pavilion at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale.

"The decline of agriculture that has characterized the last decades has led to the abandonment of lands and rural buildings that were traditionally dedicated to management and breeding," architect Mariano Zanon says. "A result of this phenomenon is the presence of dozens of abandoned and compromised casali [traditional farm houses] that didn't get any social conversion in the community."

Originally, Zanon restored the main building, or casone, and its loggia, a silo, barn and structure that had served as a manger into communal workspace. These main administrative buildings are now open plan with glass panel walls and exposed ceiling beams. "It is no more the classical [work]space with fi xed stations, well-defi ned roles and functions," Zanon says. "As is the technological innovation which takes place in them, working spaces are dynamic, free and informal." There are deep, bed-sized sofas for catnaps and oversized armchairs for lounging. The meeting room and computer labs are named after visionary engineers (Alan Turing, Steve Wozniak) and populated with Eiffel and bentwood chairs.

"The main element of the whole project is the green [space]: It has the role of defi ning outer space, making it enjoyable and maintaining the natural faunal and floral balance," Zanon adds. "Similarly, nature is entering the indoor aggregation areas, recreating the feeling of wellbeing transmitted by the natural environment of the countryside." It's green inside as well as out. Systems collect and redistribute rainwater for irrigation and other functions in the on-site garden, and energy is geothermal and solar. The entrepreneurs themselves are as often found in their respective huts as at the bench tables in La Serra (Italian for greenhouse), where they take breaks in the long and low central canteen building for a change of scenery. In that space, diffused light streams in through floor-to-ceiling windows lined with potted plants, and the daily gourmet meals are made from scratch on the premises. The organic offerings provide the workforce with a nearly zero-mile diet.

The pitched fully-glazed structure is fi lled with a profusion of ferns, beat-up tufted leather sofas (sometimes pulled outside onto the grass to make the most of a sunny day) and crates of leafy plants. Retractable screens and flexible bench tables change the space to suit the day's agenda.

As a result of its amenities and multifunctionality, La Serra is the farm's de facto hothouse of ideas. The building regularly hosts Hack, H-Farm's intense 24-hour hackathons; challenges are thrown down by sponsors like Jack Daniels or the Luxxotica eyewear group. During last fall's fitness-focused hackathon, Technogym brought in its cardio equipment and developers jogged as they brainstormed ways to update the workout machinery's Androidbased open-platform consoles. Startup residents also drop in to watch the Eurocup fi nals or have a drink before the Home Festival, an outdoor music gathering that temporarily dots the fields with colourful tents and revelers. When you talk of being social at H-Farm, it doesn't refer to social media but good old-fashioned face time.

On a tour of the facility last spring with H-Farm's wellness accelerator manager Benedetto Linguerri - who wore the international techie uniform of jeans, a grey hoodie and New Balance sneakers - I noticed the ways H-Farm takes its mission seriously, but doesn't take itself too seriously.

Signposts on the property point to the "Seed Village," a pun on the site's agricultural heritage and venture cap lingo. Another denotes 9,740 km, the distance to Palo Alto, the California birth place of Facebook, Pinterest and PayPal. And rather than being gendered, washrooms are separated by, well, function. Large signs on the grass are shaped like the teardrop markers that pinpoint locations on a digital map.

The group of 13 grey huts that house the startups are scattered like toy blocks among the trees and pedestrian footpaths gridded through the grounds. In one of these airy spaces, I met Nicola Peduzzi, Marco Signori and Michelangelo Ravagnan, childhood friends and startup partners who launched the peer-to-peer online boat charter platform Antlos (think Airbnb for seafarers). They were in the second, investment phase of the accelerator then and have since graduated to being capitalized as a viable business.

The north end of the property features four new pavilion buildings fl anking the canteen, with canopied galleries exposed to the outdoors and vines forming a trellis over the buildings. Inside the glass rooms, walls are emblazoned with quotes about creativity and time from Andy Warhol, Charles Darwin, Bruce Lee and Steve Jobs. One example: "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." In the case of H-Farm, design is also about embracing how one way of working in the past can still hold inspiration for the way we will work in the future.


H-Farm's office, situated on a former farm complex in northern Italy's Veneto region, is where it is because of the surrounding nature. Co-founder and CEO Riccardo Donadon (above) chose the property because he felt it was important that employees, working mostly on tech initiatives, have a connection to the outdoors. Derelict farm buildings were restored and reconstructed with things like glass-panel walls, and the company's cafeteria (pictured middle, top and above) is lined with potted plants, while meals featuring organic ingredients are made on the premises.

Team studying Olympic bid raises eyebrows
Calgary mayor praises 'extraordinary group' but skeptics question whether panel can be objective and if the cost is justified
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A17

CALGARY -- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, dressed in a grey suit with a purple tie and purple checked shirt, stood behind a podium in a small room this week to make what he called a "milestone" announcement.

The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic torch sat in a small display case on the floor in the corner to his left. On his right, a framed Team Canada jacket from Sochi 2014 - autographed by Olympic bobsleigh gold medalists Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse - sat on an easel.

Mr. Nenshi, back from his vacation at the Rio 2016 Olympics, unveiled the committee that's been convened to study whether Calgary should bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics.

"I am so excited about this group," Mr. Nenshi said, emphasizing the word "so."

"It is an extraordinary group of people, an extraordinary group of citizens representing the breadth and the diversity of our community in a really exceptional way."

But whether the group of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, business folk and arts boosters can effectively evaluate whether Calgary should spend tens of millions of dollars just to bid on the mega-event is questionable. Experts argue that the committee, chaired by former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson, has significant gaps and a shortage of sober voices at the table - flaws that could hurt a potential bid.

Seven of the committee's 17 voting members have direct links to Olympics and Paralympics, ranging from athletes to fundraisers; two sit on a board that recommended Calgary strike this committee; another has family ties to a privately owned group that wants Calgary to chip in millions for a new stadium and fieldhouse, which would likely be a central part of any bid.

"Do you think a bunch of Olympians are going to go into this thing with complete objectivity?" Tsur Somerville, a professor at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, asked. "The notion that it is going to be objective is somewhat hard to take seriously."

Olympic fever is contagious and even the members appointed because of their business chops can be infected. Mega-events, Prof. Somerville noted, are often justified by perceived economic benefits - jobs, perhaps affordable housing and the expectation that governments will fund infrastructure goodies.

But Prof. Somerville cautioned: "The Olympics is a party and it is a lot of fun. And there's no reason cities shouldn't throw parties," he said. "But just understand that's what it is. It is not this economic stimulus. It is not this economic driver."

Mr. Hanson, however, argued the group will not let excitement turn them into yes-men.

"That's just not the way that I work and it is not the way that anybody on that committee wants to work," he told reporters Monday. "The worst thing we can do if somebody wants the Olympics is to colour the information, because it will quickly become apparent that you're doing that."

The committee has $5-million to spend to explore the possibility of a bid. It can prove valuable if it hands in a realistic accounting of the city's infrastructure - both the quality of existing facilities and the cost of necessary upgrades and new projects, according to expert outsiders.

Neither the provincial government nor the federal government have representatives at the table.

"You need to have all orders of government all in" from the start, said Sevaun Palvetzian, the chief executive at Toronto's CivicAction and one of the authors of a report advising that city on what it takes to host global events.

"If you don't have every order in government somehow authentically engaged, from our research it seems very hard to expect great results from the process," she said.

Even if the committee finds enthusiasm in Edmonton and Ottawa, launching a bid without formal financial agreements is risky, experts argue, and the timeline is tight.

The Olympic bid exploration committee must present a draft of its 2026 plan by the end of December; the International Olympic Committee starts consulting candidate cities next February; presentations to the Canadian Olympic Committee kick off in April; and Calgary's exploration committee must submit its final report in July, 2017.

The city, Alberta, Canada and the COC will then have a month to make a decision on whether to bid. The final deadline for "notice of intent to bid" comes on Sept. 15, 2017.

Bidding alone costs tens of millions of dollars.

A Calgary bid would not get special treatment from the provincial government, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Monday.

"We will wait to see what kinds of proposals come forward to us from the committee and we'll look at them like we'd look at any kind of proposal," she said, speaking from New York. The provincial government is investing $34.8-billion in new public works by the end of the decade, with revamped schools and wider roads being given a priority. Due to budgetary constraints as the province struggles through recession and a deep deficit, spending on Olympic infrastructure would have to prove its worth, she added.

Alberta's intraprovincial rivalry could also make preliminary funding promises difficult.

Edmonton withdrew its bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games last year, but hosting the 2026 edition remains a possibility.

Meanwhile, Quebec City earlier this year decided not to bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics, arguing Switzerland's desire to host has an unfair advantage. Two members of the group that will evaluate bids are Swiss.

Rob VanWynsberghe, a professor in the University of British Columbia's department of Educational Studies and a sustainability expert who has studied the Olympics, argues Calgary's 2026 committee hurt itself by excluding representatives from neighbourhoods that will be affected by infrastructure developments and swarms of tourists. People living in areas where new sporting facilities or the Olympic village, for example, could be constructed should be folded into the process as early as possible.

Opposition - and support - flourish in these types of neighbourhoods.

"Those people in those communities should be brought to the table," he said. "To already begin to not look like they are going to be representative is a problem."

Indeed, a proposed sporting complex that would certainly be part of the Olympics and Paralympics is already controversial in Calgary. The private group that controls the Calgary Flames and the Calgary Stampeders wants taxpayers to pitch in millions to build its so-called CalgaryNEXT project. It is centred on a new stadium and fieldhouse where their two teams would play. The group estimates the project would cost $890-million and it wants the city to chip in $200million. The ownership group's proposal also includes a $240million community revitalization levy. City officials, however, believe CalgaryNEXT would ring in at $1.8-billion, with taxpayers coughing up as much as $1.4-billion. Mayor Nenshi has scoffed at the current proposal.

Sue Riddell Rose, a respected oil executive, is on the 2026 Olympic bid exploration committee. Her father is one of the billionaire owners asking the city to pay for part of CalgaryNEXT.

Mr. Nenshi on Monday dismissed questions about the family connection. There was "a little bit of debate that we certainly had, though my understanding is that she herself does not have an ownership and we don't want to reject anyone because of various family ties."

He added: "There was a real desire to have a senior leader from the energy sector on this who is also deeply committed to the community as a whole, and her name is certainly the first one that came up."

Ms. Riddell Rose was unavailable for comment.

Associated Graphic

Facilities built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, including the ski-jumps, sit dormant on Friday. Several 1988 facilities would be useful if the city pursues a bid for the 2026 Games. The team assessing the merits of bidding is headed by former police chief Rick Hanson.


Followers of three faiths pray under one roof
On Nuns' Island in Montreal, devotees of different religions find common cause - and friendship - in helping Syrian refugees
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A20

MONTREAL -- It is 11 short steps from the front door of the Al Jazira mosque in Montreal to the Chabad synagogue nearby. From there, the Catholic sanctuary of Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys Church rises next door. Had things been different, had no one made an effort, the space between the faiths might have remained a vacant zone of mistrust.

Instead, people took steps to make peace.

"Hello, Mourad," Rabbi Levi Itkin said one day recently, extending a hand to Mourad Bendjennet, an administrator of the mosque.

"Bonjour Roger, comment ça va?" Mr. Bendjennet said on another occasion to Roger Légaré, a warden at the church.

This tiny pocket of Montreal offers, in typically understated Canadian fashion, a minor wonder of interfaith friendship. Three houses of worship happened to find themselves neighbours in a nondescript mini-mall in a major Canadian city.

At first, they eyed one another warily. Then, they started to talk.

They already shared a roof, so they decided to share a common purpose.

Their tale of co-habitation offers a direction forward as Canadian cities increasingly navigate the choppy waters of religious diversity. Religious minorities are expanding in numbers in Canada, and zoning is pressing some of them into closer quarters.

For the three groups in Montreal, a key to getting along was finding common ground.

They communally set up a donation centre for Syrian refugees - the Muslim community first launched it, the Jewish community secured the warehouse rentfree, Christian churchgoers help staff it, and today all three groups work together organizing toys, clothes, dishes and school supplies as volunteers.

"We always say the fact we're here all together is a miracle," Mr. Itkin, a native of Scranton, Pa., said in his small sanctuary at the mall recently. "But it's what we do with it that really counts."

Their efforts are unfolding in a district of 18,000 called Nuns' Island, a residential enclave minutes from downtown Montreal that got its name from the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame who first settled there in 1664.

If there is a lesson on Nuns' Island, it is that harmony at the mall did not occur by happenstance. It took active goodwill.

And the catalyst was a set of church bells.

Last year, the Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys parish bought four bells from a church on Montreal's South Shore that was ceasing its services. It wanted to install them in a new bell tower to give its 15-year-old shoppingmall location a profile.

Seeking support and a builder, the church had approached a veteran developer on Nuns' Island, Samuel Gewurz. Mr. Gewurz, who is Jewish, was enthusiastic but wanted to make sure the project unfolded as smoothly as possible.

He was aware the Al Jazira Islamic Centre had been in the mall since 2013, offering a spiritual space for the growing population of Muslims in the area, who hail from countries as diverse as Syria, Tunisia, Pakistan and Senegal.

He also knew that Chabad, part of the Lubavitch Hasidic movement, had rented a vacant space in the mall as a yet-unopened temple for local Jewish families.

The synagogue was three doors down from the mosque, separated by a pizzeria and pet-food shop.

"You're always aware there are tensions between religious groups," Mr. Gewurz said in an interview. "I was trying to mitigate the tensions and bring them together so there would be acceptance of one another."

Mr. Gewurz made two suggestions. First, that the bells be christened the Bells of Unity, a symbolic name that could turn them "into a unifying force." The church embraced the idea.

He also urged the three communities to work together to find a joint humanitarian project.

"Anything that can minimize hatred and bring people together is a good thing," Mr. Gewurz said.

"We're not going to change the world, but we could take a small step."

One day last fall, Mr. Bendjennet, Mr. Itkin and Mr. Légaré met for the first time at a Nuns' Island café, along with city councillor Manon Gauthier, and founded the Nuns' Island Collective for Unity. Mr. Bendjennet and his wife had already started collecting goods for Syrian refugees in their family garage, and needed more space. Mr. Itkin quickly found a landlord who donated the use of a 3,000-square-foot warehouse on Nuns' Island.

As the rabbi drove to Mr. Bendjennet's house one day to deliver the warehouse keys, he was coming to the new alliance with his own personal history. Mr. Itkin lived in Israel for three years, where he witnessed the conflict with Palestinians first-hand, including bombings and other forms of violence.

"Everything you hear about Muslims, it's that they hate you and wish you dead," Mr. Itkin said. "I saw the worst of the relationship between Jews and Muslims. I was very in tune to the conflict."

Yet after handing over the keys to Mr. Bendjennet that day, the two men ended up speaking to one another for 90 minutes, both recall today. The wide-ranging conversation spanned everything from history and culture to current affairs, the start of ongoing and lengthy discussions.

"At the end of the day, I think we agree on a lot more than we disagree on, on a humanistic level," Mr. Itkin said. "He is a genuine man who wants to use his abilities for goodness and kindness. We share a lot of common values."

Mr. Bendjennet, a communityminded architect who immigrated to Montreal from his native Tunisia 15 years ago, shares the view. "I realized he was a good person and we share the same values and objectives," he said.

"It's 2016. We have to set aside our differences," Mr. Bendjennet said outside the Al Jazira mosque.

"We have been divided for centuries. Let's look at what unites us."

The refugee donation centre, a five-minute drive from the mall, has turned into a teeming storehouse of goods to help refugees begin new lives. One day recently, it was a hive of folding, sorting and hanging among a group of about a dozen women who might never otherwise have crossed paths.

"Personally, I had never been exposed to Arab culture. You hear negative things," said Anne Blanchette, a retired banking manager who was volunteering.

"This has changed my way of seeing the Muslim world. Spending time with them has opened me up to their culture. In the end, they're not so different from us."

Mr. Itkin's wife, Mushkie, came by with two of the couple's five children, who occasionally got a soothing pat on the head from a co-founder of the centre, Tunisian-born Sélima Driss.

"We are under a lucky star here," Ms. Driss said. "It is something extraordinary."

More common efforts are under way. The three religious communities are jointly sharing the cost of sponsoring a Syrian family, which has not yet arrived in Canada, and have started offering French-language lessons for newcomers. There are cooking classes, and efforts to find refugees jobs.

Meanwhile, another tangible emblem of co-operation is taking form at the mall. City officials for the borough of Verdun have renamed the square next to the three houses of worship the Place de l'unité, or Place of Unity. And workers have poured the concrete foundation of the new bell tower, alongside the Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys Church. If all goes to plan, this December, the four bells will be installed in the belfry, and together they will toll for the first time over Nuns' Island and beyond. They will carry a message the world doesn't hear often enough.

Associated Graphic

Sélima Driss admires Mushkie Itkin's baby son at a donation centre for Syrian refugees on Nun's Island on Sept. 7.


Falling far from the apple tree
Researcher inadvertently discovers trees planted at the National Research Council headquarters don't have a historic heritage after all
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A4

For years, a pair of apple trees that stand on the grounds of the National Research Council's sprawling headquarters outside downtown Ottawa have been considered descendants of the tree that famously led Isaac Newton to come up with his universal law of gravity.

Now, some scientific sleuthing has thrown shade on that pedigree by revealing that the Ottawa trees may be imposters.

"I felt like I opened a can of worms and it was my obligation to follow it through," said Dick Bourgeois-Doyle, who inadvertently exposed the historic faux pommes while working on a book project celebrating the organization's centennial.

Mr. Bourgeois-Doyle, who is the NRC's secretary-general, joked that his discovery is akin to "killing Bambi's mother." He then added, "That's not too much of an exaggeration." But while the revelation has dealt a blow to a cherished piece of institutional lore, it has also prompted one Canadian scientist to rush to the rescue with a genuine descendant of the illustrious Newton tree.

The episode began earlier this year, when Mr. Bourgeois-Doyle had the idea of including a seed from one of the NRC apple trees in each copy of a limited-edition book about the organization's 100-year history.

Getting seeds was no problem - the NRC trees produce a healthy supply. But to explain exactly how the NRC trees are connected to Newton, he had to familiarize himself with their story, an exercise that soon had him searching through old records and piecing together remembered accounts by retired staff.

"You get into it and it becomes like a game," Mr. Bourgeois-Doyle said.

The story of the famous apple tree dates back to 1666, when Newton, then 23, spent several months at Woolsthorpe Manor, his family's countryside home in Lincolnshire, England, while Cambridge University was closed by the Great Plague of that year.

For Newton, it was a remarkably fruitful period of mathematical insights, not the least of which was triggered - as he later recounted to others - by an apple he saw falling one day while in the garden.

The apple did not bonk him on the head as is sometimes depicted. However, it did get him thinking about gravity, the force that pulled the apple down. If gravity could extend from the Earth to the treetops, Newton reasoned, then why not as far as the moon? It was the crucial intellectual leap that allowed him to understand and then mathematically describe how gravity must obey the same relationship between mass and distance everywhere in the solar system.

Skeptics have dismissed the story as an embellishment on Newton's part but that did not stop devotees from preserving cuttings from an apple tree - a rare variety known as "Flower of Kent" - that was said to be the one Newton was referring to, and that continued to grow on at Woolsthorpe Manor long after Newton's day.

Fast forward to 1961, when the president of the NRC, Edgar Steacie, was offered a scion of Newton's apple tree by the director of Britain's National Physical Laboratory, in exchange for a maple tree from Canada.

The official letter, now in the NRC's archives, includes a handwritten note: "I do hope you are quite better again."

Dr. Steacie, a prominent figure in the NRC's history, died of cancer the following year. But a small apple tree, supplied by Kew Gardens, was planted in front of what was then the NRC's physics building and which still houses the atomic clocks that are used to generate the NRC time signal.

In the 1990s, the gift tree began to wither. Before it died cuttings were taken and, with the help of Agriculture Canada, grafted onto fresh root stock.

Two small trees were later replanted in the spot where the original gift tree had stood. Mr. Bourgeois-Doyle said he has not found any evidence to suggest this was not done properly, but he wanted to be sure.

Today, a well-documented relative of the original Newton tree resides at the East Malling Research Station in Kent, England. The East Malling specimen is known to be derived from a cutting taken after the original tree at Woolsthorpe Manor was damaged in a storm in 1816.

The facility also offers a DNA analysis service to help identify unknown plant varieties. While still chasing down the details of the NRC trees, Mr. BourgeoisDoyle sent a dozen leaves to East Malling to obtain an independent check on their ancestry.

In July, the answer came back: Not only do the NRC's trees not match up genetically with Newton's tree at East Malling, they appear not to match up with each other.

"It's very clear that they're not related," said Edward Dobbs, a molecular biologist who oversaw the testing. "There has to have been a mix-up at some stage."

Exactly how and where the mix-up arose is unclear. Since the gift tree from 1961 is gone, its DNA cannot be checked or its heritage independently verified.

Now, Mr. Bourgeois-Doyle faced an awkward problem. Having unexpectedly felled the NRC's Newton connection, could he recreate it?

He soon learned of the only known example of an East Malling-line Newton apple tree on public property in Canada. It was planted at York University in 1999 and is still growing today on the university's main campus in Toronto.

Hoping to find out more, he contacted the university. The inquiry worked its way to Marshall McCall, chairman of York's physics department, who told him that the not only did York have a tree, but that his wife, a physicist and amateur gardener, had managed to cultivate two seedlings from it.

By chance, a few years ago, science historian Richard Jarrell had encouraged Susan McCall to try to grow a Newton apple tree from seeds gathered from the York specimen. In the end, two of the sprouted seedlings survived and she expected to give them to Dr. Jarrell. But the historian's death in 2013 put the plan on hold and so she planted them in her yard.

"I always wanted to donate them but I didn't know who to donate them to," she said.

When she heard about the NRC's dilemma, she immediately offered to give Mr. BourgeoisDoyle one of the trees, citing all the ways that the organization had been crucial to her career, starting when she was a summer student at the Ottawa facility.

"Every day you'd walk outside and be greeted by these apple trees and you'd feel like you'd died and gone to science heaven," Dr. McCall said of her time there.

Last month, she rented a jeep and drove one of her Newton tree seedlings, now a 1.5-metretall tree, to Ottawa, where it was planted in front of the two existing trees.

A delighted Mr. BourgeoisDoyle said that the new tree will be dedicated to Dr. Jarrell who, fittingly, helped chronicle the NRC.

For Dr. McCall, who once did technical work related to the construction of LIGO, the gravitational wave experiment that made headlines earlier this year, it seems equally fitting that the late historian's influence helped her restore the NRC's symbolic link to the roots of gravitational science.

"There are so many connections," she said. "I don't think you could make up a story like this if you tried."

Associated Graphic

Landscaping supervisor Tony Arruda inspects a small apple tree planted last month at the National Research Council's headquarters in Ottawa. The tree, descended from one said to have inspired Isaac Newton, arrived after DNA tests showed that two other NRC apple trees are not relatives of Newton's tree.


A taste of something new
These bottles, featuring unique techniques or unexpected grapes, will surprise and satiate your palate into autumn
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L10

There are wines that play to our expectations (hello, oaky California cabernet or jammy Australian shiraz). Then there are wines with a twist. They may represent a style or grape from a region better known for other things - like sauvignon blanc from northern Italy or tempranillo from the Okanagan Valley. Or they may be crafted using techniques that break from tradition or revive old ones, as in the case of wines fermented in, say, concrete vats versus stainless steel or oak barrels.

Wine enthusiasts sometimes enjoy slipping in such "ringers" into informal blind tastings, where participants are invited to guess either the grape or the regional source of what they're sipping. It may sound like a pretentious exercise, but the point is always educational - to demonstrate that wines don't always fit into tidy boxes.

I've been the target of a few such party tricks, sometimes guessing correctly and sometimes - likely most of the time - not. Conveniently, all I tend to remember are my proud victories.

Like the time I sampled a white dessert wine that was a dead ringer for a luscious, botrytisaffected sauternes from Bordeaux.

It was, in fact, Noble One from Australia of all places. And like the time I was handed a delicate, perfumed pinot noir that came not from Burgundy, New Zealand nor Niagara, but from Sancerre, a Loire Valley district that most people associate exclusively with sauvignon blanc.

The list of curveball cuvées is enormous, and I don't pretend to do the subject justice with the tiny sampling of new releases below. And in fairness, not every oddity or untraditional wine will satisfy your thirst as much as your go-to cabernet or shiraz.

Winemakers can get carried away by novelty, planting new grape varieties on uncharted soils or in inhospitable climates, for example. But occasionally - and notably like the Schiopetto sauvignon in these reviews, which really turned my crank - they can be pleasantly eyeopening, even thrilling.

Schiopetto Sauvignon 2013 (Italy)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $32.95

The late Mario Schiopetto is considered a wine visionary of northeast Italy. He founded his winery in 1965, when Italian whites were generally as exciting as stale water with a squirt of lemon. By introducing modern technology, such as temperature-controlled fermentation, he helped ring in a new era for the region. This superb white is made from sauvignon blanc, specifically from vine cuttings that globetrotting Schiopetto sourced from Bordeaux, which the master planted along with more traditional local varieties, such as friulano and malvasia. Uncommonly smooth for a sauvignon, it is vinified in cool stainless steel but allowed to rest in contact with spent yeast cells for about eight months. That technique adds creamy richness - in this case without compromising the grape's classic zestiness. Light-mediumbodied, it's redolent of plump tropical and stone fruit, with little of the vegetal overtone typically associated with the grape. Even at three years of age, it's fresh and worthy of up to two more years in the cellar to develop added complexity. In two words, it's subtly sublime. Available in Ontario in limited quantities, various prices in Alberta.

Pierre Amadieu Domaine Grand Romane Cuvée Prestige Gigondas 2013 (France)

SCORE: 92 PRICE: $29.95

A modern-styled red from the southern Rhône, this was matured in new oak vats, not the more traditional used oak vessels commonly associated with the region, which tend to impart little or no wood influence to the fruit. I suspect the new wood is largely responsible for its silky texture and rich espresso-mocha and vanilla overtones. Yet the grape varieties - grenache, syrah and mourvèdre - come through with precision, particularly the syrah, with its classic plum and licorice notes. Drink now with rich stews (even a bowl of chili in front of a football telecast) or hold it for up to eight years.

Available in Ontario, $36.99 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta.

Roger & Didier Raimbault Sancerre

Rouge 2013 (France)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $28.95

Red Sancerre? It's a thing, though I'd venture to guess that most Sancerre drinkers think only of white wine made from sauvignon blanc when they think of the Loire Valley appellation. Pinot noir is the grape here, accounting for a small fraction of the district's output (and often used in rosés, too). Light and elegant, the wine veers toward the lively cherry-cranberry side of the pinot spectrum, with a gently chalky tannic grip and whisper of earth. Drink it over the next two years. A perfect red for light fish dishes. Available in Ontario.

Thirty Bench Sparkling Riesling


SCORE: 90 PRICE: $34.95

Excellent sparkling wine need not be made from the classic Champagne grapes, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Riesling can work beautifully in the right hands, as it does here. Very dry, the wine was made in the exacting bottle-fermented Champagne style and comes through with a heady bread-like yeasty note along with lemon-lime tartness on a chalky texture that reveals mineral-like zippiness on the finish. Available in Ontario.

Foreign Affair Apologetic Red

2013 (Niagara)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $69.95

The label features a sketch of a moose with the word "Sorry" written across the beast's torso. Owner Len Crispino, a former chief trade representative for Ontario in Italy, intends it as a tongue-in-cheek nod to Canadians' famous reputation for apologizing at the drop of a hat. And I have to say sorry here if you're expecting a bone-dry wine. It's, in fact, sweeter than off-dry, a Canadian cabernet franc crafted in the appassimento style of Valpolicella in northern Italy, with 52 per cent of the grapes left out to dry and concentrate flavours prior to pressing. Think of it as a Canuck Amarone, only with an extra dollop of sugar. Big and thick, at 14.9-per-cent alcohol, it's layered with nuances of spiced plum, raisin, dark chocolate, cherry jam and tobacco. A fine choice for aged, salty cheeses, such as Stilton or Parmesan. Available in Ontario.

Fontanafredda Eremo Langhe Rosso

2012 (Italy)

SCORE: 89 PRICE: $17.95

Italy's Piedmont region is best known for nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto, three red varieties that tend to be bottled on their own (as in Barolo and Barbaresco, wines made exclusively from nebbiolo). This offering is a blend, made mainly from barbera and nebbiolo. Barolo devotees might consider it a bargain because it tastes more like decent nebbiolo than the lessesteemed barbera. Medium-full-bodied, it suggests cherry jam, tar and underbrush, set against firm tannins. Drinking nicely at four years of age. Available in Ontario.

Stag's Hollow Tempranillo

2013 (British Columbia)

SCORE: 89 PRICE: $25.99

Think tempranillo and you think Spain, where the grape shines brightest in the famed reds of Rioja. But a handful of wineries in the Okanagan think differently, including Stag's Hollow, which makes this fine effort as well as an excellent abarino (also of Spanish fame). The wine is midweight and bone-dry, with a tangysavoury profile suggesting cherry, cedar, licorice and tobacco in a style fresher than most classic Riojas. Nice for roast lamb. Available direct from the winery,

JoieFarm PTG

2014 (British Columbia)

SCORE: 88 PRICE: $26

PTG stands for passetoutgrains, an unsung Burgundian wine that combines the region's two principal (and typically unblended) grapes, velvety pinot noir and spicy-crisp gamay. This is what you might call and elegant quaffer, light-medium-bodied and juicy, with a plum- and raspberry-like core set against ripe, soft, gently chalky tannins.

Perfect for grilled wild salmon. Available direct,

Colombian-Canadian helps pave long path to peace deal
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

BOGOTA -- When Frank Pearl watches Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo (Timochenko) Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), sign a peace agreement Monday in Cartagena, it will be the culmination of more than seven years of work to cultivate hope over the suspicion and anger sown from half a century of war.

It was Mr. Pearl, a ColombianCanadian, who was tasked with sending the first secret messages from the government to the infamous guerrilla organization in an effort to try to start a peace process. It has consumed his life, through clandestine meetings in tiny country towns and four years of marathon negotiating sessions in Havana.

With the signing, the FARC ceases to exist as an armed movement and becomes a political party. Its estimated 17,000 fighters are to collect at a handful of points in the country, turn over their weapons, and begin a process of integration and job training.

The FARC will send members to guaranteed seats in Congress, while a series of special courts will decide on reparations from those found guilty of crimes against humanity, after they fully disclose to a truth commission.

The FARC has pledged to end its involvement in narco-trafficking, a business it currently controls in Colombia.

The government agrees in the Havana Accord to carry out an aggressive campaign of rural development and reform land distribution, to address some of the inequities that the FARC says drove it to take up arms 52 years ago.

The deal that lays this all out is 297 pages long. Its length reflects the lack of trust on both sides - everything had to be spelled out, Mr. Pearl said, although the long years of talks helped both sides know each other better.

"Because we come from different worlds, we need to be open to listening and not thinking that our view of the country or the world is the only one that is valid and is the only one that is correct - because this is not about being correct, this is about finding a solution for the good of most people," he said.

"So, yes, in those conversations you begin to know the human being behind the role that everybody plays, and in those conversations you can also try to understand their dreams, their fears. " Mr. Pearl, 54, has first-hand experience of the guerrillas: his wife's grandfather was kidnapped, and she was also targeted.

But he has long been active in the public campaign for peace.

His grandmother made her way to Canada as a young woman, seeking better opportunities than Colombia offered in the early 20th century. She married a Canadian and had a son, but the marriage didn't last, and she came home to Colombia. Mr. Pearl's father grew up in Colombia, but maintained his ties to Canada, and sent each of his five children to study there. He earned an MBA from the Ivy School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and was on his way to work for McKinsey and Co. in Toronto when he heard the consulting firm was starting an office in Bogota - and he made the choice to come home, feeling his skills were most urgently needed in the country.

He spent years building a prominent private-sector career that led, one day, to a pro bono consulting job with the first lady's office - and that, in turn, led to an introduction to thenpresident Alvaro Uribe.

Mr. Uribe is best known for launching an aggressive effort to end the FARC problem through military means - and for his passionate opposition to the peace deal being signed Monday. But back in 2009, he asked Mr. Pearl to take on the job of running a program to reintegrate demobilized paramilitary fighters, and then made him his High Commissioner for Peace.

Mr. Pearl sought the opportunity to initiate secret talks with the FARC - and Mr. Uribe gave him the go-ahead. Mr. Pearl and his team studied Colombia's previous failed attempts to make peace with the guerrillas and made some rules: they had to have neighbouring countries on board (because it's impossible to negotiate peace when the rebels have safe haven next door); the military must be at the negotiating table, because they would not trust or enforce any deal negotiated without their involvement; and the process should be conducted in public but outside Colombia to minimize distractions.

Mr. Pearl began by using a gobetween - a businessman who had grown up with a key FARC leader - to send secret messages to the guerrillas, and used the occasion of humanitarian actions such as the release of hostages, facilitated by Brazil and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to send letters back and forth.

By early 2010, they had a secret meeting planned in Brazil, whose government had promised to guard the FARC's security. But days before they were to meet, it all fell apart when Mr. Uribe and then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez severed relations.

In June, Mr. Santos, was elected.

He had been Mr. Uribe's defence minister, charged with the war on the FARC, and he talked tough about the guerrillas in the campaign. But he called Mr. Pearl on his second day in office, asking what was going on with peace talks - and asking him to maintain them. He moved swiftly to repair relations with Mr. Chavez, knowing he would be key to peace.

Mr. Pearl, meanwhile, left Colombia to earn a masters in public administration at Harvard University - but he flew back for meetings in secret all that year, not even telling his parents that he was in Colombia. He took latenight flights from Bogota to tiny towns, drove for an hour or two, met until 4 a.m. with a guerrilla emissary, and then reversed the journey.

When the first meeting was finally set, in 2012, it happened in Cuba - the country where the FARC leadership felt safest, and, Mr. Pearl said, a country that was seeking a way to shift its image in the region.

In parallel to his work with the FARC, Mr. Pearl had also been tasked with initiating secret talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a second, smaller leftist guerrilla movement, and in January of 2014, they agreed to a first secret meeting in Ecuador.

Those talks progressed - Mr. Pearl once spent three weeks in the Brazilian Amazon in clandestine negotiations with the ELN - and when he wasn't with the ELN, he was back on a plane to Havana.

Colombians will vote in a national plebiscite on Oct. 2 on whether to accept the Havana Accord - current polls show the Yes side significantly ahead. Then the real work begins, said Mr. Pearl, trying to transform a sharply polarized country where divisions have only been deepened by the debate over the peace deal.

Mr. Pearl's role in the Havana process ends Sept. 30. He plans to take his three daughters to school each day, and to be there to pick them up, for the first time in their lives.

Oh, and to continue to talk to that other rebel faction waging war on the state, to persuade them to lay down their arms, as well. "I am not so pessimistic about us being able to solve that issue after Oct. 2," Mr. Pearl said with a smile.

Associated Graphic

Colombian High Commissioner for Peace Frank Pearl walks past a helicopter, marked with the International Red Cross logo, at the airport in Florencia, Colombia, in 2010. Mr. Pearl has long worked to negotiate a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC.


Colombian-Canadian helps pave long path to peace deal
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

BOGOTA -- When Frank Pearl watches Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo (Timochenko) Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), sign a peace agreement Monday in Cartagena, it will be the culmination of more than seven years of work to cultivate hope over the suspicion and anger sown from half a century of war.

It was Mr. Pearl, a ColombianCanadian, who was tasked with sending the first secret messages from the government to the infamous guerrilla organization in an effort to try to start a peace process. It has consumed his life, through clandestine meetings in tiny country towns and four years of marathon negotiating sessions in Havana.

With the signing, the FARC ceases to exist as an armed movement and becomes a political party. Its estimated 17,000 fighters are to collect at a handful of points in the country, turn over their weapons, and begin a process of integration and job training.

The FARC will send members to guaranteed seats in Congress, while a series of special courts will decide on reparations from those found guilty of crimes against humanity, after they fully disclose to a truth commission.

The FARC has pledged to end its involvement in narco-trafficking, a business it currently controls in Colombia.

The government agrees in the Havana Accord to carry out an aggressive campaign of rural development and reform land distribution, to address some of the inequities that the FARC says drove it to take up arms 52 years ago.

The deal that lays this all out is 297 pages long. Its length reflects the lack of trust on both sides - everything had to be spelled out, Mr. Pearl said, although the long years of talks helped both sides know each other better.

"Because we come from different worlds, we need to be open to listening and not thinking that our view of the country or the world is the only one that is valid and is the only one that is correct - because this is not about being correct, this is about finding a solution for the good of most people," he said.

"So, yes, in those conversations you begin to know the human being behind the role that everybody plays, and in those conversations you can also try to understand their dreams, their fears. " Mr. Pearl, 54, has first-hand experience of the guerrillas: his wife's grandfather was kidnapped, and she was also targeted.

But he has long been active in the public campaign for peace.

His grandmother made her way to Canada as a young woman, seeking better opportunities than Colombia offered in the early 20th century. She married a Canadian and had a son, but the marriage didn't last, and she came home to Colombia. Mr. Pearl's father grew up in Colombia, but maintained his ties to Canada, and sent each of his five children to study there. He earned an MBA from the Ivy School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and was on his way to work for McKinsey and Co. in Toronto when he heard the consulting firm was starting an office in Bogota - and he made the choice to come home, feeling his skills were most urgently needed in the country.

He spent years building a prominent private-sector career that led, one day, to a pro bono consulting job with the first lady's office - and that, in turn, led to an introduction to thenpresident Alvaro Uribe.

Mr. Uribe is best known for launching an aggressive effort to end the FARC problem through military means - and for his passionate opposition to the peace deal being signed Monday. But back in 2009, he asked Mr. Pearl to take on the job of running a program to reintegrate demobilized paramilitary fighters, and then made him his High Commissioner for Peace.

Mr. Pearl sought the opportunity to initiate secret talks with the FARC - and Mr. Uribe gave him the go-ahead. Mr. Pearl and his team studied Colombia's previous failed attempts to make peace with the guerrillas and made some rules: they had to have neighbouring countries on board (because it's impossible to negotiate peace when the rebels have safe haven next door); the military must be at the negotiating table, because they would not trust or enforce any deal negotiated without their involvement; and the process should be conducted in public but outside Colombia to minimize distractions.

Mr. Pearl began by using a gobetween - a businessman who had grown up with a key FARC leader - to send secret messages to the guerrillas, and used the occasion of humanitarian actions such as the release of hostages, facilitated by Brazil and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to send letters back and forth.

By early 2010, they had a secret meeting planned in Brazil, whose government had promised to guard the FARC's security. But days before they were to meet, it all fell apart when Mr. Uribe and then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez severed relations.

In June, Mr. Santos, was elected.

He had been Mr. Uribe's defence minister, charged with the war on the FARC, and he talked tough about the guerrillas in the campaign. But he called Mr. Pearl on his second day in office, asking what was going on with peace talks - and asking him to maintain them. He moved swiftly to repair relations with Mr. Chavez, knowing he would be key to peace.

Mr. Pearl, meanwhile, left Colombia to earn a masters in public administration at Harvard University - but he flew back for meetings in secret all that year, not even telling his parents that he was in Colombia. He took latenight flights from Bogota to tiny towns, drove for an hour or two, met until 4 a.m. with a guerrilla emissary, and then reversed the journey.

When the first meeting was finally set, in 2012, it happened in Cuba - the country where the FARC leadership felt safest, and, Mr. Pearl said, a country that was seeking a way to shift its image in the region.

In parallel to his work with the FARC, Mr. Pearl had also been tasked with initiating secret talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a second, smaller leftist guerrilla movement, and in January of 2014, they agreed to a first secret meeting in Ecuador.

Those talks progressed - Mr. Pearl once spent three weeks in the Brazilian Amazon in clandestine negotiations with the ELN - and when he wasn't with the ELN, he was back on a plane to Havana.

Colombians will vote in a national plebiscite on Oct. 2 on whether to accept the Havana Accord - current polls show the Yes side significantly ahead. Then the real work begins, said Mr. Pearl, trying to transform a sharply polarized country where divisions have only been deepened by the debate over the peace deal.

Mr. Pearl's role in the Havana process ends Sept. 30. He plans to take his three daughters to school each day, and to be there to pick them up, for the first time in their lives.

Oh, and to continue to talk to that other rebel faction waging war on the state, to persuade them to lay down their arms, as well. "I am not so pessimistic about us being able to solve that issue after Oct. 2," Mr. Pearl said with a smile.

Associated Graphic

Colombian High Commissioner for Peace Frank Pearl walks past a helicopter, marked with the International Red Cross logo, at the airport in Florencia, Colombia, in 2010. Mr. Pearl has long worked to negotiate a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the


Subtlety goes out the window with apple biscuit fritters
It turns out these sticky, caramelly, fast-food-style fried concoctions are not only possible - they're remarkably successful
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L3

Last month, cookbook author and television host Alton Brown deep fried rings of biscuit dough to make "bonuts." The creation, not dissimilar to a cronut, had more lift and layers than a traditional yeast or cake doughnut, while boasting a similar resolutely golden crust.

Deep frying biscuit dough isn't new - canned biscuit dough has been taking a hot-oil bath around campfires and in home kitchens for years - but Mr. Brown's recipe caught my attention because he used homemade biscuit dough.

I had erroneously assumed that the tubular confines of canned dough contained a magic that made the doughnut transformation possible. Now knowing that not to be the case, I wondered if a biscuit fritter was in the realm of possibility.

I wanted to meld biscuit and doughnut with the fast-food fried apple pies of my childhood. Subtlety wasn't my aim: I envisioned a sticky, caramelly, intensely cinnamon-stained fruit filling in contrast to a crispedged dough.

I started with my standard fluffy biscuit recipe, swapping in buttermilk in place of the sour cream or yogurt for a slightly wetter, lighter dough. Macerating the apples before cooking them in browned butter coaxed the rounded sweetness of the fruit into the fore. Everything came together quickly.

Some caveats: Fritters often use a yeast dough because fruit is slippery. A second rise once the fruit is worked into the dough allows the dough to expand and wrap the pieces within its clingy embrace. With a biscuit dough, there is no such expansion prior to cooking.

And, with a fritter of any sort, if the fruit is too wet, the pieces will sweat once they hit the heat: Unless that moisture is properly cooked off, the surrounding dough will be left raw.

To address both these concerns, the specific shaping of these fritters is paramount.

Most of the fruit is folded into the dry biscuit ingredients, so that any excess moisture is wicked away. The rest of the fruit is rolled into the dough roulade-style, to further delineate the layers.

I also keep the raw fritters thin - they will also expand upon cooking - and muss their edges so that the dough isn't too dense. These measures ensure the fritters are cooked properly, right through to their centres. As an added boon, the layers ruffle prettily this way.

To finish, my household's consensus was for a glaze, so I kept it to a simple one of maple syrup whisked with confectioner's sugar and vanilla. It is imperative that this lacquering be applied while the fritters are hot, so the glaze will melt and thin into a smooth, shatteringlyfine finish.

Turns out, biscuit fritters are not only possible, but actually remarkably successful.


Servings: Makes 12 to 15 smaller fritters

For the apples Juice from half a lemon

4 crisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into

1/4-inch (6 mm) dice

6 tablespoons (80 g) packed light brown sugar A pinch medium-grain kosher salt

1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the biscuits

4 cups (510 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon medium-grain kosher salt

1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, very cold

2 cups (355 ml) well-shaken buttermilk Oil, for frying

For the glaze

1/3 cup (80 ml) maple syrup, preferably Grade B

2/3 cup (95 g) confectioner's sugar Seeds scraped from a vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste A good pinch medium-grain kosher salt

Toss the lemon juice and apples together in a medium bowl. Fold in the sugar and salt. Cover, and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl until the butter begins to brown and smells nutty. Strain the juices from the apples into the pan and cook, stirring on occasion, so that it reduces to the consistency of maple syrup, five minutes or so, depending on the amount of juice there was to begin with. Tumble in the apples, and cook, stirring.

They'll release more juice, then go tender and take on some colour in eight to 10 minutes.

The pan should be relatively dry and the apples should be sticky and almost catching - you should hear faint sizzles. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, then set the fruit aside to cool.

Set out some paper towels on a plate, and a baking rack over a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pour oil to a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm) in a heavy, high-sided pot or Dutch oven with a deep fry thermometer clipped to the side. Preheat the oil to 350 F (175 C) over medium heat.

Make the biscuit dough. In a decent-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using the large holes on a box grater, shred the butter over the dry mix. Gently toss the butter strands through the flour with a fork until coated. Chill for 10 minutes.

Fork a generous half of the apple mixture through the flour and butter. Drizzle the buttermilk over all, then use the fork to stir it into a wet dough with loose flour remaining. Tip everything out onto a clean work surface. Quickly knead the dough until smooth and holding together, packing any dry flour into the dough, then folding the dough over itself to incorporate.

With a lightly floured pin, roll the dough to a rectangle about 1 /4-inch (6 mm) thick. Dust lightly with flour. Scatter the remaining apples on top and press to adhere. Then, working from a long end, roll the dough tightly into a log, forcing out any air.

Pinch the seam and edges together. Turn the roll so a short side faces you, then flatten the roll and fold top to bottom in thirds, like a letter. Press down firmly, then roll the package out to a scant 1-inch thickness. Cut into squares.

Squash one square to half its height. Fold its corners inward to form a rough round. Rustle the fritter in your palm to disturb the layers. Using a spider or slotted spoon, lower the fritter into the hot oil. Fry the fritters two or three at a time, depending on the size of your pot and taking care to maintain the oil temperature. Flip fritters as needed. When done, the fritters should be verging on chestnut brown and feel light for their size, which should take about two minutes for each side. Drain well on paper towels. Make the glaze by whisking the ingredients together, then dunk the hot fritters into this slurry. Place the enamelled beauties on the rack to set before eating.

Note Apples may still escape the dough during the frying. Skim them out with the spider, drain them on the paper towels and then add the glaze.

To feed a crowd at once, hold fritters in a warm oven until all are fried. Glaze right before serving. This is also a good trick if some thicker fritters need extra cooking.

Instead of the icing, try a spiced sugar made with 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Associated Graphic

If the fruit in a fritter is too wet, the pieces will sweat when heated. The specific shaping of Tara O'Brady's apple biscuit fritters is essential to eliminating this excess moisture.


Over his 25-year career, the Brit behind style magazines Dazed & Confused, Another and Another Man has gone from countercultural provocateur to the ultimate fashion insider. Jefferson Hack tells Karen Orton why he's still a rebel at heart
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L4

Jefferson Hack is recalling a conversation with the late David Bowie over 20 years ago and it still makes him laugh: "He told me the craziest, filthiest joke that anyone has ever told me in an interview." But when I ask to hear more, Hack demurs, "I can't, it's extremely rude, but very funny." It was 1995 and Bowie was a cover subject for style magazine Dazed & Confused. The musician regaled Hack, the 24-year-old co-founder, with tales of drinking snake wine with John Lennon and getting tattooed by the Japanese Yakuza mafia. Hack remembers it as the best interview of his career. The magazine had only started four years earlier, as a black-and-white fold-out poster. Hack and photographer Rankin, had launched the magazine as students at London College of Printing.

I meet Hack at the Dazed Media office in east London. (full disclosure: I was political editor for the publication for three years.) With his lanky frame, bomber jacket and heavy silver rings, he looks younger than his 45 years. Today, a staff of about 100 people, mainly millennials, work in the open-plan workspace.

"We were total outsiders," he says of Dazed's early years. "We didn't have friends who knew how it all worked, and we didn't come from families who did. We knew nobodies, with a capital N."

Several months ago, Hack threw a party during Paris Fashion Week, and it was clear how much had changed. "I think Jefferson is the only person to convince Karl Lagerfeld to hold not just one, but two parties at Coco Chanel's apartment," says Katie Shillingford, laughing.

She's the fashion director at Another, his luxury biannual. The party at 31 Rue Cambon was in honour of the magazine's 15th birthday; guests included Riccardo Tisci, Rick Owens and Kendall Jenner.

Another's anniversary cover featured a 3D hologram of Lagerfeld, complete with a diamond-encrusted tie pin featuring his cat Choupette. Dazed & Confused just capped off the recent London Fashion Week shows with a fete to celebrate its fall cover collaboration with iconic British brand Burberry.

Hack's journey has taken him from countercultural provocateur to fashion insider. A book published in May of this year, titled We Can't Do This Alone: Jefferson Hack The System, catalogues his ability to collaborate with culture's most unique (and famous) figures from Douglas Coupland to Tilda Swinton. And yet throughout it all, the publisher has held firm to the anti-establishment ideals that founded Dazed & Confused.

"It wasn't the world of Condé Nast that I aspired to," Hack says, "it was the counterculture." He cites Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, Rolling Stone and Oz as influences. "Dazed is a place of hope and inspiration. It gives confidence to areas in youth culture and fashion, that are purposefully ignored by the mainstream, but are incredibly positive."

If you wandered through the building, you'd find covers featuring the old Dazed guard hung on the exposed-brick walls, people like Radiohead's Thom Yorke, as well as Hack's ex, supermodel Kate Moss, whom he calls "the Godmother of Dazed."

The two have a 13-year-old daughter, Lila Grace; for the new 25th anniversary edition of the magazine, Lila and her friend Stella Jones interviewed model-of-themoment Gigi Hadid for a cover story.

In 1995, Björk, another Dazed cover star, famously phoned the office out of the blue to say she liked the magazine. Today her slogan, "Declare Independence," is emblazoned across every issue. "I love that call to action. It's a real rallying cry to stand up for what you believe in," he says.

That sentiment is still evident in Dazed today, with people like Amandla Stenberg, Grimes and Anohni on the cover, this generation's cultural protest icons.

Hack launched luxury fashion and culture biannuals Another and Another Man in 2001 and 2006 respectively. In the main office, the Dazed media staff puts out the magazines and runs an in-house creative agency. Clients include Chanel and Swarovski. Down the road is advertising operation Mad Agency and the LVMHfunded luxury-film platform Nowness; Hack is creative director of both.

In the early 1990s, the setup was considerably more low-fi. "We had a lot to prove, so we were really, really hungry," he says. He and Rankin relied on their social circle to fill the magazine's pages - the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, photographer Nick Knight, stylist Katie Grand and The Young British Artists, including the Chapman Brothers and Damien Hirst.

"There is a particular period in culture that comes along every so often," says Hack. "For us, that was the nineties here in London. It brought together fashion, music, youth culture, rebellion and fantasy. You had grunge and the fantastical storytelling of Lee McQueen, the spirituality and utopic view in rave culture, and the photography of Wolfgang Tillmans and Corinne Day."

At the time, the dialogue of fashion was changing. "We were interested in the politicization of fashion - of clothes as ambassadors of escape, community and identity," explains Hack. McQueen guestedited the Fashion-Able issue. It was shot by Nick Knight and featured model Aimee Mullens, who has prosthetic legs. Of the piece The Independent wrote, "Fashion breaks the last taboo."

"Jefferson has sought to disrupt culture with an eye to creation, rather than destruction," says John-Paul Pryor, a British author, musician and an editor at Flaunt magazine in Los Angeles, who has worked closely with Hack over the years on several books.

Shillingford agrees. "It is not just about producing great publications, Jefferson sees a much a bigger picture. He is full of surprises, ideas, and he pushes us forwards."

That drive saw Hack debut two major projects for Another within the last year.

A moving image of Rihanna on an LED screen became the first digital magazine cover, and Movement, a series of short films Hack commissioned to form collaborations between leading dance choreographers, like Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, and luxury fashion brands, like Prada.

What's next? "Science," he replies.

"I'm working with NASA on bringing new scientific discoveries into a millennial conversation and a pop-cultural context.

I've been going on trips to NASA covertly for a project launching next year. And," he says, "I'm going to launch a magazine about the world around us and the world within us - Another World. The annual is the new biannual. The coffee table is the new newsstand. The magazines people put on coffee tables are always the coolest ones," he says. "My magazine is going straight to the coffee table." Hack has the confidence of knowing both these things can be done.

"Bowie told me, 'The most unnatural place for an artist, is to feel safe. The moment you feel safe, move on.' That's been part of my motivation with everything we've done." He adds, "I still feel that there's a lot to do, a lot to prove and a lot to say."

Associated Graphic

SYSTEM OVERHAULED Earlier this year, Rizzoli released the book We Can't Do This Alone: Jefferson Hack the System (below), that catalogues the editor's collaborations with the likes of designer Rifat Ozbek and artist Manfredi Beninati (left).


OUTSIDER START Jefferson Hack launched a media empire with unique resources. "We didn't have friends who knew how it all worked, and we didn't come from families who did. We knew nobodies, with a capital N."


Rules of engagement
Opinion: Amid building concerns that Canada might be willing to co-operate with China's darker instincts, including talk between the countries of an extradition treaty, many wonder what Trudeau's end-game ambitions are
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A13

It was, for some members of the federal government, a week to cringe.

On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang launched his visit to Canada with some ebullient words: "This is the season for the fiery maple in Canada, symbolizing the prosperity of China-Canada all-round co-operation," he effused in these pages. His visit would bring together "true friends who feel close even when thousands of miles apart," he said.

That dose of syrup sat heavily atop Tuesday's news that the government is discussing an extradition treaty with China, just as a source revealed that Chinese secret agents had routinely been sneaking into Canada on tourist visas to threaten and intimidate Chinese Canadians whom they see as economic fugitives and dissidents to be brought back to justice in China.

There was an alarming sense that Canada, in order to win economic concessions, might be too willing to co-operate with Beijing's darker instincts.

After weeks of excited buzz about a lucrative free-trade deal, it felt like the Li-Trudeau bromance had crossed a boundary into awkward territory.

It heightened a question that has hung over Justin Trudeau's plans to build a new relationship between Canada and China. What is the big picture? What are Canada's goals and ambitions in devoting itself to a closer relationship with China?

Mr. Trudeau has yet to deliver a major speech or policy statement laying out his long game on China. And the Liberal government does not appear to share anything like a united vision. You hear different things about China from Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, from International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and from the Prime Minister's Office. Department of National Defence officials fret out loud about the potential dangers to Canada's relations with the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while the Canadian Security Intelligence Service drops off-record hints about data breaches, spies and political saboteurs emerging from Beijing.

"We don't have a whole-country approach to China yet, or even a wholegovernment approach," says Paul Evans, a veteran Asia diplomat and scholar based at the University of British Columbia who has briefed government officials on China policy.

"It's not as if there's a game plan pinned on the wall. The Prime Minister's Office has inclinations and instincts on things they want to do with China, but the big geostrategic question of how to deal with China at a time of deepening U.S. tensions and a power shift - some of those pieces started to fall into place during Trudeau's visit to China [in early September], but nobody's spoken about them in a comprehensive way."

Those "inclinations and instincts" are, on one level, part of a long tradition in Canadian relations with China, one Prof.

Evans chronicled in his book Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy. Canadian prime ministers from Pierre Trudeau onward have seen their mission in China as being a vaguely defined "engagement" (as opposed to isolation, containment or confrontation).

That approach involves not just doing business with the world's most populous country, but doing so in a way that will improve it or deliver it progress.

That rhetoric of engagement was easier to deliver under the previous Liberal administrations of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, who faced a liberalizing Beijing that claimed to be moving, and often seemed to be moving, rapidly toward international standards of human rights and democracy.

Stephen Harper began his decade of Conservative government by taking a more idealistic approach, attempting to confront China and denouncing its regime's humanitarian abuses. After facing the economic consequences of that stance and dire warnings from Canadian industry, he reverted to the traditional Canadian voice of engagement, hobbled by the chilly relations provoked by his earlier stance.

Justin Trudeau's big picture on China appears to fall into the Canadian tradition of engagement - but more boldly, and under rather different circumstances.

On one hand, President Xi Jinping has shifted China in a more top-heavy, Communist Party-led, centralized regime that has less tolerance for political dissent and a free press. While some China experts feel that he has a longer-term vision of a more democratic China, for the moment it's much more difficult for Canadian leaders to talk optimistically about using their influence to change China for the better.

On the other hand, Mr. Xi has made China far more economically open and diverse over the past four years, shifting the economy away from state-owned enterprises and banks and embracing private business and finance, stock exchanges and an economic model based on middle-class consumerism rather than simply low-cost exports. This has caused an explosion of investment and capital into the wider world from China, whose businesses have been snapping up Western companies (including the Canadian oil company Nexen).

And the weakness and crises provoked at home by this new model - a distrusted stock exchange, a more volatile Chinese currency - have led millions of well-off Chinese to send their savings and investments abroad, causing a rush of funds into Canadian banks, Vancouver real estate and other vehicles.

A Bank of Canada research report in April predicted that these investment and capital flows are likely to grow much larger. It's a shift of Chinese money into Canada that the bank's analysts said could stabilize both countries' economies, but means that Canada will have a very large and unmanageable economic relationship with Beijing whether it wants it or not.

Mr. Trudeau is evidently attempting to straddle these twin challenges.

Some informed observers believe that he is seeking nothing more than economic advantage for Canada, and the "engagement" language is simply a political veneer.

"From Mr. Trudeau's point of view, he wants to get the prosperity out of a rising China, he sees it as inevitable to Canada's future, and therefore he's trying to satisfy Canadians' concerns over human rights and environment, but this seems to be mostly superficial and lacking in substance," says Charles Burton, a former Canadian diplomat in China based at Brock University. "What the real substance is, is 'let's get the free trade going and see our economic bottom line show signs of improvement' - preferably before the next election."

But others feel that the Trudeau stance is less coldly realistic than that. His deals are an attempt to draw China into formal institutions and international engagements to reduce its most ad hoc and arbitrary ways. An extradition treaty, in this view, would acknowledge that Beijing is seeking to take back what it sees as miscreants, but force it to go through a formal process rather than simply send secret agents over.

"This 'rule-of-law' argument is the cornerstone of what I think they wish to try," Prof. Evans says. "If you get a 30per-cent improvement in Chinese behaviour because you have a treaty - it doesn't always work - it's a kind of hunch or bet that China can be nudged in a better direction. The argument is that it's better to have an agreement and be able to use that as your lever than simply to shout and denounce."

If that is indeed the strategy, it is a long bet on the influence of a mid-sized country that China could just as easily ignore. Whether Mr. Trudeau is motivated by this or by pure economic opportunism, it's a long-term plan that will involve plenty more cringe-inducing moments.

Why investors should care
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B11

According to Bloomberg, the S&P/TSX composite index is trading at 22.7 times trailing earnings. But what if you knew that the majority of the figures used to calculate that metric were each company's own creation, were not audited, and might not be comparable?

Now what if you knew that the same index was trading at 48.9 times earnings using the figures that were produced according to the appropriate accounting rules and independently audited?

Clearly, many investors want to believe that the lower price-toearnings metric is true. Unfortunately, what we have learned in the stock market and in life is that truth is a popularity contest. And non-GAAP measures are popular.

The root of the problem lies in an age-old accounting issue called the "expectations gap": Auditors and accountants provide historical information based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that is designed to be both consistent and verifiable. Investors, on the other hand, want to know what will happen tomorrow. Adjustments help to bridge the gap and thus non-GAAP measures are born. Unfortunately, what may have started with good intentions has had a number of potentially unintended consequences.

Our study reveals that all but one company in the S&P/TSX 60 present some form of adjusted number in their regulatory filings.

Our survey of Canada's largest money managers finds that nonGAAP measures are relied upon most when making investment decisions. And our discussions with financial executives tell us that investors demand them.

Blame human nature. As humans, we look for shortcuts, conform to what the majority is doing and seek out positive reinforcement. For many investors, coming to quick investment decisions is more often rewarded than missing out. So why read a 100plus page regulatory filing to confirm a different answer? Using the non-GAAP figure is so much easier - management prepared it; the regulatory filings highlighted its importance; analysts repeated it; journalists commented on it; your colleagues accept it; therefore, it must be true.

Of course, more than 80 per cent of all adjustments used to calculate non-GAAP measures are upwardly biased, many materially so.

There are issues with, among other things, nomenclature, comparability, consistency and calculation. Non-GAAP measures are given attractive names that include the words "cash" or "normalized." Companies within the same industry will use different calculations to arrive at nonGAAP metrics that have the same name - EBITDA or adjusted earnings. Some companies change their calculation methodologies as frequently as each quarter. And the most common adjustments used are carefully labelled as "non-cash." As billionaire investor Warren Buffett teaches: cash flow is king, so what could be wrong?

The problem is, if any expenses are "non-cash," then what exactly are accountants counting and management teams spending?

The reporting of expenses is merely a timing issue - virtually all expenses are either cash spent some time in the past, cash spent in the current period or cash to be spent in the future.

How can excluding costs associated with a patent or royalty that has a finite life (called "depreciation" or "amortization") but including the associated revenue be considered the truth? How can excluding the costs associated with closing a facility or paying employee severance (often labelled "restructuring" or "nonrecurring"), be considered anything but cash, especially when such costs are reported in consecutive periods? And finally, the next time a management team argues that stock-based compensation expenses should be excluded from earnings, ask them what would happen to employee retention if they no longer paid stock-based compensation?

The last time we had a preponderance of non-GAAP measures was in the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. Investors sought non-GAAP measures to justify companies without earnings or cash flow. The pain that was subsequently felt by equity markets was only surpassed by the recent financial crisis.

Ultimately, we are not calling for non-GAAP measures to be banned. In fact, forms of nonGAAP measures have been around since the beginning of time and serve a purpose. Instead, we are calling for all stakeholders to pay greater attention to the issue. Securities regulators and auditors must enforce compliance with issued guidelines.

Management teams must be more transparent. And investors need to stop believing blindly.

Before accepting any financial metric - GAAP or non-GAAP - investors should at least consider three items: the business facts surrounding its presentation, the accounting conventions used in its calculation, and the preparer's objectives.

Which brings us back to my original question: If everyone believes that the market is trading at 22.7 times earnings, does that mean that it is? Like all truths, they are real so long as everyone believes.

Anthony Scilipoti is chief executive officer and founding partner of Toronto-based Veritas Investment Research Corp.


Q: How does a net loss of $1.28 (U.S.) a share turn into a break-even performance?

A: By excluding 10 different expenses across 13 areas of the income statement when calculating 'non-GAAP net income,' the number BlackBerry Ltd. prefers investors look at. Here is the company's earnings statement for the quarter ended May 31, 2016, and how BlackBerry erased its big loss.

1 "LLA" stands for "long-lived asset;" in this case, BlackBerry determined some of its intangible assets for its hardware division, including royalty agreements, were no longer worth what the balance sheet said they were. The result was a $501-million writedown.

2 Goodwill is created when one company buys another and pays more than the target company's assets are worth, per the balance sheet. The same accounting rules that forced the LLA impairment also prompted BlackBerry's $57-million writedown of goodwill.

3 A company must write down the value of inventory when it can no longer sell its products for a price that recoups the cost of making it. In this quarter, the company said the writedown was for "certain BlackBerry 10 hardware." 4 BlackBerry has debt that's convertible into stock in the company, and it chose a "fair value" accounting method that requires it to revalue the debt periodically. In this quarter, the debentures gained $24-million in value, and BlackBerry actually had to reduce its non-GAAP earnings number by that amount.

5 "RAP" is the "Resource Alignment Program," a restructuring plan first announced in June, 2015, and which seems to be recurring. BlackBerry shows the effect of the quarter's charges across three separate portions of the income statement.

6 The "CORE" program is "Cost Optimization and Resource Efficiency;" in the past, BlackBerry excluded charges from this restructuring program, but in this quarter, it had a "recovery" from the program that added to net income, not subtracted from it.

7 Not only does BlackBerry report non-GAAP earnings, it also reports non-GAAP revenue, because it cannot recognize certain sales owing to business combination accounting rules. Here, they add it back in.

8 BlackBerry uses stock options and other share awards as part of its employee-compensation program. And like many other companies, it excludes the expense of those awards in calculating its non-GAAP earnings.

9 Like Valeant Pharmaceuticals, BlackBerry excludes the non-cash expense of amortization of intangible assets it picked up when it acquired other companies.

10 No matter how many companies BlackBerry acquires, it treats the expenses that go along with those deals as extraordinary, atypical enough to exclude them in its preferred earnings metric.

Associated Graphic


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Religious leaders could be key to election
In the battleground state of Ohio, Republican nominee Trump is courting disillusioned churchgoers in a bid to secure victory
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A6

After four years, Patrick Martin returns on his 1974 BMW motorcycle to the U.S. battleground states of Ohio and Michigan to see if voters' attitudes and preferences have changed as, once again, two presidential candidates are locked in a surprisingly close race. First up, Ohio, because no Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio - not in 160 years.

I n 2012, there was no doubt who Ohio's African-American community, especially those people in the Cleveland area, were voting for - Barack Obama.

They said it wasn't just because he was black, but because they always voted Democrat. Republicans, they said, had a different agenda that omitted or went against African-American interests.

I rode into Cleveland this week thinking that notion probably hadn't changed. Perhaps some African-Americans wouldn't be as enthusiastic about supporting Hillary Clinton - some might even decide not to vote, and that might cause concern - but I never imagined significant numbers of AfricanAmericans in Cleveland might actually turn to Donald Trump.

President Obama spoke of this disaffection recently. Addressing African-Americans, he said he would be personally "insulted" if they did not support Ms. Clinton, who would carry out Mr. Obama's policies - in particular, the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. So, I was intrigued to learn that Mr. Trump would participate Wednesday in an unusual meeting with a large, statewide assembly of African-American and other evangelical pastors at the church of one of the largest African-American congregations in the Cleveland area.

The New Spirit Revival Center is located in a handsome former synagogue built in 1925 whose Jewish congregation relocated to the suburbs. Its main hall and balcony were filled with some 1,300 cheering people of faith when Mr. Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, took centre stage.

Rev. Darrell Scott, founder of the revival church a decade ago, said he had decided six years ago to support Mr. Trump if he ever ran for the White House, and was disappointed he didn't run in 2012. He denounced liberal media for describing the Republican candidate as a "racist," saying he found him to be "humble, and respectful of clergy."

"If elected, he will protect and defend Christianity," Dr. Scott told the enthusiastic audience.

Deandra Smith, an AfricanAmerican member of the congregation, sat with me throughout the event.

She explained that she had been a precinct captain for Mr. Obama in the 2008 election and worked across the county for him in 2012, but that now she is supporting Donald Trump.

"And I'm not alone," the mother of two grown children insisted. "Those who think African-Americans are committed to Hillary better think again."

But isn't Ms. Clinton promising a continuation of Mr. Obama's policies?

"That is the problem," she cried out, much like a preacher on stage. "We don't like what turned out to be his policies."

"They are more about promoting the LGBTQ community than Christianity," Ms. Smith explained, her jewelled crucifix earrings glistening in the light.

"Health care?" she snorted.

"For those of us who have made it to the middle class, it's a disaster. We can't afford the premiums."

"Syrian refugees?" she exclaimed, now on a roll. "Charity begins at home. Let's find homes for our own homeless people before bringing in others."

As for Hillary Clinton, Ms. Smith said she simply doesn't trust her.

"That birther story did come from her campaign in 2008," she insisted, referring to allegations that Mr. Obama had not been born in the United States.

"She [Ms. Clinton] knew about the story being put out by her people and could have stopped it. But she didn't.

"I vowed then," Ms. Smith said, "I could never support her."

Don King, the 85-year-old former fight promoter who was born in Cleveland, introduced Mr. Trump to this, the promoter's hometown.

Some 44 years ago, Mr. King said, he had brought Muhammed Ali to Cleveland to help save a hospital that was serving the black community.

"Today," he said, "I bring you a man, Donald Trump, to save a nation."

Mr. King hailed Mr. Trump as a "gladiator" and the only politician in the United States committed to creating "a whole new system," in which African-Americans are valued as much as whites.

In a Fox program that followed, Mr. Trump revealed that he supported "stop-and-frisk" policing in troubled inner cities as a way to end violence in black communities.

The stop-and-frisk practice, criticized as an intrusion on civil liberties and stereotyping, is akin to the controversial practice of "carding" in some Canadian cities. "I would do stop-andfrisk. I think you have to," Mr. Trump said during the recording of the Fox program, responding to an audience member's question about stopping "black-on-black" crime.

"We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well."

That is a view shared by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New York police chiefs, but statistics show that New York's drop in violent crime also coincided with similar drops in several other cities that did not employ this invasive practice.

The proposal will certainly have its critics, but even African-American members of the meeting and the audience Wednesday mostly cheered the notion.

"You have to do something like this," Ms. Smith said. "Life for many of us has become too dangerous."

To be fair, when asked a similar question by a pastor in his earlier session, Mr. Trump first said he would bring jobs to the people in the inner cities, rebuild vital infrastructure and restore pride to communities.

He only added that stop-andfrisk should be employed in high-crime areas.

He also gave the pastors a sensitive assessment of recent shootings of African Americans by police in Charlotte, N.C., and Tulsa, Okla. In Tulsa, he said, the man who was shot "appeared to do everything he was supposed to do. He looked like a good man."

"That young officer," he said about the policewoman who shot and killed the man, "I don't know what she was thinking ... did she choke?" Mr. Trump said it was important to look at the makeup of police forces - perhaps some officers should not be in such a situation. Ms. Smith was very pleased with the day's events, but noted that there still will be tremendous pressure on the African-American community to support the Democrat, Hillary Clinton.

A prominent Baptist minister and Clinton supporter had said he would be watching to see just who attends the Trump meeting.

"They keep a list of people they can lean on," a livid Ms. Smith said. "We vote for who we want to," she said. "We are not bound to vote for one party because of the colour of our skin."

"That's a whole new type of racism, of slavery," she said.

Later on Wednesday, in an unexpected development, Louis Farrakhan, an African-American Muslim and leader of the Nation of Islam, told black voters in Washington that he prefers Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, saying politicians such as her and Mr. Obama have failed black voters.

Associated Graphic

Members of the audience reach out as clergy lay hands and pray over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, on Wednesday.


Clinton, Trump offer up starkly different visions in tense debate
Republican portrays rival as embodiment of status quo while Democratic nominee attacks over character
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- In their first head-on confrontation of the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clashed for 90 tense and combative minutes, seeking to sway a race that is now nearly tied.

From the opening moments, the two candidates offered starkly divergent views on the state of the country and the qualities required in its next leader.

Ms. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, launched a series of stinging rebukes of Mr. Trump, her Republican rival, suggesting he was unfit to be president by virtue of his character. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, portrayed Ms. Clinton as the embodiment of the status quo and tried to hold her responsible for the policies of prior administrations.

Monday's debate was perhaps the most important date on the campaign calendar other than election day itself. It offered a window into how the two candidates plan to fight the closing weeks of the presidential contest and how they might approach the two remaining debates.

It was a spectacle that pitted Ms. Clinton, the first female presidential nominee for a major party and a former U.S. secretary of state, against Mr. Trump, a real estate magnate and reality television star who has broken every norm of presidential campaigning.

Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump sparred not only on questions of temperament and character, but tangled over differences in policy - on trade, on easing racial tensions and on foreign affairs. Ms.

Clinton repeatedly called her opponent's policy prescriptions "trumped-up trickle-down economics." Mr. Trump suggested that Ms. Clinton was complicit in the loss of American industrial jobs, in part because of the North American free trade agreement approved by her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

Some commentators had dubbed the debate the Super Bowl of politics: It was expected to draw an enormous audience, possibly eclipsing the prior record of 80 million viewers set in 1980 when Republican Ronald Reagan squared off against Democratic president Jimmy Carter.

Where Mr. Trump favours gutlevel appeals and disdains the details of government policy, Ms. Clinton is a deeply experienced public servant who sometimes fails to connect with voters. On Monday, they met in a face-off with inconceivably high stakes, where every gesture and every glance was under scrutiny.

Despite expectations that Mr. Trump would moderate his style for his first debate with Ms. Clinton, he emerged almost as combative - if not quite as outrageous - as usual. He repeatedly interrupted Ms. Clinton as she spoke and also tussled with the moderator, Lester Holt.

Ms. Clinton noted that Mr. Trump had repeatedly refused to pay tradespeople working on his real estate projects, failed to release his tax returns and built his political career on a "racist lie" - the conspiracy theory surrounding President Barack Obama's birthplace.

Mr. Trump dismissed Ms. Clinton as a career politician, but did not lob personal insults at her in the same way he did to his opponents during the Republican primary debates. "Typical politician, all talk, no action," Mr. Trump said, responding to Ms. Clinton discussing the economy. "Sounds good, doesn't work, never going to happen."

The debate was punctuated by several memorable exchanges.

At one point, Mr. Trump decried the fact that the country's national debt has grown over Mr. Obama's tenure even as some crucial infrastructure remains outdated.

"We owe $20-trillion [U.S.] and we're a mess," Mr. Trump said.

"It's been squandered on so many of your ideas," he added, addressing Ms. Clinton.

"Maybe it's because you haven't paid any federal income taxes," she countered wryly.

Both candidates entered Monday's debate eager to seize the opportunity to persuade undecided voters and galvanize their existing supporters. In the past, debates have only rarely proven to be turning points in presidential campaigns. But the unique nature of this race and the widespread misgivings about both candidates may amplify the impact of the debates in this election.

Several recent polls indicate that the race is now too close to call. With just six weeks until election day on Nov. 8, Mr. Trump has eaten into Ms. Clinton's formerly commanding lead. According to the website FiveThirtyEight, which produces an election model based on an aggregate of national and statelevel polls, as of Monday Mr.

Trump had a 48-per-cent chance of winning, compared to a 52per-cent chance for Ms. Clinton.

That's his highest probability of victory since the end of July.

Much of the speculation prior to the debate focused on Mr. Trump's performance. He has shown that he can campaign in two distinct modes: A full-throttle version where he delights in his own unpredictability and lobs insults at his opponents, and a lower gear where he is more restrained, sticks to a teleprompter and offers something resembling concrete policy proposals.

It was not clear which of the two styles would dominate on Monday. In the end, he opted for some mixture of the two. He was vehement in his delivery, at times hectoring, but he did not enter the kind of territory he sometimes ventures into in his rallies. That combination, however, may mean that he did not meet his major challenge in the debate: to persuade Americans that he is capable of being presidential.

For Ms. Clinton, the debate offered an opportunity to bounce back from a challenging stretch, during which she took a brief pause to recover from a bout of pneumonia. While many voters consider Ms. Clinton competent and experienced, some have persistent concerns about whether she is trustworthy or likeable. Monday presented a chance to assuage such doubts.

As much as the debate was a test of the two candidates, it was also a high-wire act for Mr. Holt, the moderator. Ms. Clinton's campaign had called on Mr. Holt to play an active role in factchecking statements made during the debate, given Mr. Trump's penchant for untruths.

Mr. Holt did take on that role at times, pushing back against Mr. Trump in particular in his characterization of his record and positions.

At Hofstra University in Long Island where the debate was held, intense security measures were in place in the hours leading up to the event. Within the secured perimeter, there was a carnival-like atmosphere as hundreds of university students visited the giant stages set up by major television networks.

Kyle Mas, a 19-year-old sophomore from New Jersey, said he was watching the debate in the hopes of seeing something to redeem his faith in the presidential race. "It doesn't feel like an election so far," he said. "It honestly feels like it's a debate on Twitter - it's just people yelling at each other." Mr. Mas is leaning toward supporting Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president.

For the large cohort of Clinton supporters on campus and the smaller group of Trump enthusiasts, the debate will have little impact their votes. Matthew Corbett, 20, said he was fully behind Ms. Clinton. For him to switch now, "She would have to change all her views, say sexist and racist things, and promise to build six walls," he said, in an ironic reference to Mr. Trump's promise to erect a barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Associated Graphic

Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton engage in an exchange during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Monday night.


Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L6

Chefs are at the top of the food chain when it comes to culinary innovation. Some of the fads they cook up are fleeting (hello, cronuts). while others morph into full-fledged cultural shifts (see: 100-mile diet). But something that never goes out of style is a truly great recipe. To that end, Globe Style's new weekly column, Kitchen Cabinet - featuring Haan Palcu-Chang in Toronto, Sean MacDonald in Calgary, Una Caschetto, who has recently moved to Pans, and Tara O'Brady in St. Catharines, Ont. - will showcase these Canadian chefs' ambitious-but-approachable recipes and explore their insights on the latest food trends and ingredients. As a taste of what . you can look forward to, the foursome collaborated on an autumn meal that highlights their diverse approaches to cooking, and spoke with Amy Rosen about entertaining inspiration

Where do you find inspiration in the kitchen? "Dehciousness. That is my number one source of inspiration," says Haan PalcuChang. "When somebody eats my food, the goal is for that food to resonate with them in a way that makes them think about it, crave it and want to eat it again." Beautiful produce, constant learning, creativity and the people around him also motivate PalcuChang, but he says every new dish begins with the same question: "What's going to taste delicious?" For Sean MacDonald, inspiration comes from local and seasonal ingredients"It's inspiring to use perfectly ripe ingredients in a dish during the peak of their season." he says, "but it's also very interesting to use unripe or overripe ingredients by fermenting, pickling or salting them to enhance flavours." jara O'Brady finds inspiration in the day-to-day: "My work comes out of my home kitchen, with all of its time constraints and moods," she: says. "I'm always looking at what I legitimately want to eat next, and how I can make the most satisfying version of that dish." She pulls from influences such as travel and tradition, "but I'm led mostly by my appetitg" she admits. And the raw beauty of seasonal ingredients at their peak excites Lina Caschetto. "I salivate. at the thought of holding that fresh bounty in my hands;" ;she says. ."From there I'm into taking classic combinations and reworking them to find new ways of bringing each layer of flavour together on the plate." As a Canadian chef, what do you love and loathe about cooking today? O'Brady, who is a talented home cook but not a trained chef, appreciates the curious nature of food enthusiasts who research the history of recipes, how ingredients are grown and how dishes are created. "I love the open-mindedness of our evolving food culture, and how we're drawing inspiration from all over the place." she says, pointing towards meaningful exchanges happening online and in print media. What she's not a fan of. however, are overly complicated dishes, seemingly "created for the sake of being fancv." Meanwhile, Caschetto loves that she can travel with her work and explore other parts of the world. "As cooks we have access to so many places and jobs. That's how I made my way to Paris!! The flip side to all of this, she'explains, is that the pace of progress at home can be frustratingly slow.. "I felt like I needed to leave Canada in order to get a broader perspective on the industry.?' MacDonald also enjoys today's;accessibility of information. "There are many ways to learn and better oneself in the culinary world;®! from reading cookbooks and using the Internet, to doing stages and working internationally" he says. "Something I don't like is that early in your career, finding a balanced lifestyle is difficult. You're driven to work as hard and as much as possible, so it's difficult to relax and find time to spend with family and friends. But when fou want something great, you have to make sacrifices":" .. And PalcuChang appreciates the honesty that's required by being in a kitchen. "Because of the long hours, the stress, the fatigue, the physical exertion and the close proximity to your co-workers, there's no hiding your true self behind the hot line." he says. "I love that about Icooking!."; What are some dining trends to watch for into 2017? "A chef cooking in unexpected locations for a select number of attendees makes for a fun and intimate experience." says MacDonald. He's talking about pop-ups, where chefs can prove their mettle while foregoing the overhead attached to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant space. Meanwhile O'Brady finds there's a continuing movement towards doing one seemingly'simple thing :exceptionally well. .''You're seeing toast on menus wlieuits finest points have been considered, from the type of bread to the butter, the temperature of each,.what type of salt to use on the butter and that's not even getting to the toppings.' she says: Natural wine bars are huge in France, saysVCaschetto, especially when paired with great chefs serving seasonal small plates full of "hyper farm-driven food, being done in an affordablejyay," she says. As for PalcuChang, he describes himself as the "" least trendy person of all time. "I read military history and am into fantasy and don't even have an old-timeyffi? tattoo," he says. "I cook food that means something to me, and hope that it makes people happy. That's ali:" . To cook up the group's fall feast, turn to page 8.


Lina Caschetto grew up in White Rock, B.C., and received a fashion degree; working with Lululemon before switching gears and attending the Northwest Culinary Academy. She then worked at a series of top Vancouver restaurants, including Fable, Wildebeest and Les Faux1 Bourgeois, before buying a one-way ticket to Paris, where she's worked for the past two year$, currently as chef de cuisine at Pasdeloup.


Sean MacDonald is theexecutive chef of Calgary's Market. After graduating from the professional cooking program at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, lie became a sous chef at Teatro Restaurante in Calgary; In June, MacDonald won the Canadian title for the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition. Hewill represent Canada in the international finals this October in Milan. COLIN WAY

Tara O'Brady is the author of the bestselling cookbook Spoons, which is based on her food blog of the same name. Based in St. Catharines, Ont., she has since; gone on to write for a series of top publications, including Saveur and Jamie Oliver, while her recipes and photographs have appeared in The Guardian and Bon Appetit. STEPHANIE NORTIS Haan PalcuChang is a Chinese-Romanian who started cooking at Vancouver's Maenam restaurant. He was chef de partie at Michelin-starred restaurants Kokkeriet and Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen, and chef de cuisine at Le Mary Celeste and Hero in Paris. Now based in Toronto, he's launched Mama Flo's Ltd., where he offers restaurant consulting, along with producing popups and private dinners. STEPHANIE NORTIS

Associated Graphic






Like father, like son
Alexandre Trudeau follows in his dad's footsteps in Barbarian Lost, a travelogue that explores the 'new China'
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R13

Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China By Alexandre Trudeau HarperCollins, 289 pages, $33.99

On Sept. 18, 1960, a small delegation of Quebeckers - including the journalist and future senator Jacques Hébert, and soon-to-be prime minister Pierre Trudeau - touched down on a brand-new landing strip in Beijing aboard a Soviet-made TU-104. They were among the first Westerners to be allowed into Communist China, then in the throes of Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward. The result of their six-week tour of rural communes, Marxist music halls and a grinding array of wax-fruit and machine-part factories, was a charming, slender volume published as Deux Innocents en Chine Rouge. (Translated into Chinese in 2005, it was reissued in Canada as Two Innocents in Red China.)

The title was a wry allusion to Innocents Abroad, the Mark Twain travelogue that lampooned bumptious American reactions to Old World marvels, but also a nod to the Jesuitical spirit of inquiry these products of French-Canadian collèges classiques brought to the endeavour. Filled with observations about the similarities between Christian religious fervour and communist zealotry, the book begins with an invocation from Pope Innocent III. And innocent Trudeau and Hébert were. Invited to marvel at Mao's breakneck industrialization, the travellers were shielded from the tens of millions of famine deaths going on behind the Potemkin facade painstakingly erected by their official tour guides.

Alexandre (Sasha) Trudeau, the younger brother of Canada's current Prime Minister - whose warm welcome of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Ottawa this week is a timely reminder of his own presence on family trips to China - is too well informed to ever be considered an innocent.

Forty-six years after his father, Trudeau set out on an unchaperoned, month-long tour of the new China; he followed it up with a 2008 visit in which he filed reports on arts and culture in Beijing for CBC-TV in the runup to the summer Olympics. The result is Barbarian Lost, a travelogue in which, at his best, Trudeau fils - who is a graduate of Montreal's Brébeuf College - brings the Jesuitical spirit of contrariness and intellectual rigour of Trudeau père to his exploration of the "new China."

Trudeau never hides the fact that he is following in his father's footsteps. (He is delighted, on the contrary, that his first experience of China was in the womb, during his parents' official 1973 visit.)

Like his father's book, Barbarian Lost is organized geographically - ranging from the sweatshops of Shenzhen to a beer factory in Qingdao, by way of Shanghai and the great Yangtze River - and each chapter begins with quotes from such Chinese sages as Confucius and Lao Tzu. And, like his father, whose taste for the outdoors and physical challenge was legendary, Trudeau is never happier than when he's travelling rough: He particularly relishes a night spent listening to rats chomp through a bag of rice as he sleeps on a straw mat in a village outside Chongqing.

Trudeau, posing as a "distracted tourist," and helped by an energetic and brilliant cicerone, fixer and interpreter who goes by the English name Vivien, finds himself freer than his father ever was to have frank conversations with the participants in what has become the world's second largest economy. He meets a proponent of the new Confucianism, who wears a topknot and makes his own robes in a filthy apartment in industrial Jinan. He talks to businesspeople and technicians, among them an engineer in Qingdao who sees China's only hope for continued societal vigour in war with Japan. He stumbles upon a display of antique sex toys in Guangzhou, and interviews a professor in Shandong who edits an illustrated newsletter about safe sex for gay men.

And, like his father, he visits factories - lots of factories. We follow him to a minivan assembly line in Hefei; a robot-filled Chery compact-car factory in Wuhu; an impressively orchestrated GM plant in Shanghai. Unlike his father, Trudeau was under no obligation to tour industrial China, and there are moments when he seems to buckle under the ennui of his chosen program.

"My mission," Trudeau explains, "is to ... track chosen moments that might reveal the grand affairs that lie beneath."

Sometimes, though, he loses sight of that mission. On an alltoo-comfortable cruise down the Yangtze River, he succumbs to boredom and despair, refusing Vivien's coaxing to leave his cabin to pay a visit to the Little Three Gorges, one of the few natural sites spared by the great river's damming. He turns tail at the door of a brothel in Guangzhou, overtaken by "puritanism" and concluding that he can imagine everything he needs to know about the lives of its denizens.

(He imagines the woman who has set up the visit standing outside his room, saying: "You call yourself a traveller?") The book is at its best when Trudeau, in the intellectually rigorous Jesuitical tradition - which in China goes back to 1601 when Italian priest Matteo Ricci became the first European allowed to enter the Forbidden City - plays the devil's advocate.

In Hong Kong, he argues in favour of political oversight as a necessary adjunct to life in a resource-strained economy; in response, an editor of the South China Morning Post makes a passionate case for freedom of speech, the rule of law, and democracy. In Beijing, he goads the artist and relentless social critic Ai Weiwei into admitting that the Olympics have brought some good to China. And his conversations with Vivien - a thoughtful and sophisticated Shandong native - in which he perversely makes the case for one-party government, provide the narrative spine that keeps Barbarian Lost from turning into a series of disconnected vignettes.

"I suspect I'll always be a little lost in China," confesses Trudeau at one point. It's a healthy reaction to a nation-civilization on the brink of becoming a global superpower. The great thing is that, after a period of being closed off to the outside world, Westerners are once again able to lose themselves in the erstwhile Middle Kingdom, and - as they did in the 1920s and 30s - are coming back to write excellent books about it: Consider Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler, The Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos and this year's Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob Schmitz. Barbarian Lost joins these recent attempts to reflect on the multiple faces of contemporary China. If Trudeau's narrative occasionally reflects his confusion and despair, it's an honest response to the enormity of the task.

Trudeau is best known as a filmmaker and at times, I felt like I was reading the research notes for a documentary that was never funded. But I don't regret joining him on the ride. Given the vastness of the subject, every traveller is bound to experience a different China. They all return with tales that demand our attention.

And that's as true now as it was in 1960.

Taras Grescoe is the author of Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War. Follow him on Twitter @grescoe.

Associated Graphic

Alexandre Trudeau gives a nod to the trip his father took 46 years earlier in his new book.


Designated Survivor: a mirror of political reality
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

A terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol, an underqualified U.S. president - and chaos. One might be forgiven for finding the premise of Designated Survivor, one of the most anticipated new shows of the television season, a little too close for comfort.

As Kiefer Sutherland, the Canadian actor who stars as that unlikely U.S. President, points out, good television often mirrors what's happening in the world and people's lives. So fictional television can be eerily reflective - maybe even predictive - of the content churning away in high gear on the allnews networks.

"We made 14 episodes of 24 before the terrible events of 9/11," Sutherland says during an interview last week. "Generally, if someone chooses to write about something, it's usually topical. And it's always a terrible tragedy when someone's fiction becomes a reality. But they wrote about it for a reason ... I don't think anybody in the United States is shocked any more when there is a terrorist attack."

Sutherland plays Tom Kirkman, secretary of housing and urban development - earnest, unelected and about to be fired from cabinet and demoted to a face-saving job in Montreal (ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization).

For the State of the Union address, it is Kirkman who is chosen to be the "designated survivor" - the person in the presidential line of succession who is taken to a secure, offsite, undisclosed location in case of a catastrophic event.

He is in jeans and a grey hoodie. His wife is there, with a bowl of popcorn. He sips a beer, his sneakered feet on the table.

Before the night is over, his demotion will be history.

"The Eagle is gone, Congress, the cabinet. None of them made it," he is informed during a harried drive to the White House, sirens blaring all around them.

There has been a massive explosion at the Capitol Building.

"Sir, you are now the President of the United States."

Sutherland, 49, is best known for playing superhuman Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer on the clock-ticking, fingernailbiting 24. When I ask if he was reluctant to take on another terrorism-related series, he points out that terrorism plays a very different role on Designated Survivor.

"A terrorist act is what allows our show to start, but it is not something that is going to be part of our show all the way through potentially five years.

Whereas on 24 it was the engine and everything centred around that. So you will not find this president tackling bad guys and running down the street and armed; it's a very different show. ... It's much more about the state of the United States and the incredible political division - everything from immigration to race relations to economic issues down the line."

24 made some headlines of its own as some critics accused it of being pro-torture and antiMuslim. Now, Designated Survivor launches during the heated, one could say horrible, U.S. election campaign - a parallel that may be impossible to ignore as one watches the new show.

"I don't think anyone would disagree that this has been the most bizarre electoral cycle in modern history," Sutherland says. "Certainly within the U.S., there is a division that is palpable. When I was growing up, the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans you could almost split with a piece of paper. And now the chasm is so wide it's like a 14-lane highway.

"So to be able to play the president - (a) in the middle of a crisis and (b) who's really trying to bring a country together - within the context of crisis almost mirrors the circumstances that we're dealing with now. And it allows us to have really balanced conversations about what we at least think is dividing the country and trying to figure out a way to bring them together. Again, it's a television show, it's not real life.

But the fact that we have a story that allows us to have some of these discussions I think is really exciting."

Sutherland, who is also an executive producer on the series, is a self-described proud Canadian who lives in the United States. He is the grandson of Tommy Douglas - a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation premier of Saskatchewan and first leader of the federal NDP, who is known as the father of medicare. The actor notes that his nationality tends to get a certain reaction these days.

"I have a lot of friends joke about if a certain candidate wins, would you help me get to Canada - which always makes me smile," he says.

But even as he says he hopes for a return one day to "more moderate, civilized, smart discussion," Sutherland, with his Canadian, left-leaning political pedigree, declines to endorse a candidate for the U.S. presidency.

"I can't vote here so it's something that I keep to myself, actually," he says. "I've seen a lot of things that have concerned me and been pretty shocked, but generally I keep those thoughts to myself."

We're talking on Monday and Sutherland is still in Los Angeles, where the previous night he presented the Emmy Award for best lead actress in a drama series to fellow Canadian Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black. Sutherland, an Emmy winner himself, says he was thrilled Maslany won, and also fleetingly thought it would be great to chat with her about Toronto - what area does she live in, that sort of thing.

"But you know in that circumstance, it's not the time to do it." (Indeed.)

He did make sure she kept the envelope. "You'll want that tomorrow," he told her.

Sutherland grew up largely in Toronto and is spending a lot of time there these days; Designated Survivor is shot there - with its West Wing set and a crew Sutherland calls "extraordinary." His mother (actor Shirley Douglas) and sister still live in Toronto, and the actor says he's enjoying spending time with them.

His daughter, Sarah Sutherland, meanwhile, has found her own place on White Houserelated TV, playing Catherine Meyer, daughter of Selena Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on Veep. I ask if he and his daughter, 28, compare notes at family gatherings.

"Not at all," says Sutherland, who also recently released his debut musical album, Down in a Hole.

"It's funny; it's something that almost echoes my thing with my father [actor Donald Sutherland] as well. We so rarely talk about work, if at all, just because the time that we get to see each other - I'm working in Toronto, she was in Baltimore, now she's working in L.A. - the times we get to see each other are less frequent than we would like. So we end up talking about [things like] 'Do you have a boyfriend? What's going on in your life? What's happening?' Much more human stuff than work stuff."

Designated Survivor airs Wednesday on CTV and ABC at 10 p.m.

Eastern time/9 p.m. Central time.

Associated Graphic

Kiefer Sutherland plays a soon-to-be demoted cabinet member who is thrust into the role of U.S. President in the wake of a terror attack in Designated Survivor.

A leaner late show for Nuit Blanche
Scotiabank's departure as title sponsor cut the event's $3-million budget by 10 per cent
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M3

This is "the day and age of whatever," as the Canadian artist, writer and academic John Kissick wrote recently - a time in the visual arts when there is more in heaven and earth than was ever dreamt of in the philosophies of Vasari, John Ruskin, Clement Greenberg and other art pontiffs.

For proof of this plenitude, all you need do is wander the streets of Toronto between 6:58 p.m. Oct. 1 and 7:17 a.m. Oct. 2 as the 11th annual Nuit Blanche dusk-todawn "contemporary art thing" engulfs much of Canada's largest city under the marketing rubric, "More Art, Less Sleep."

In fact, it's a leaner presentation than in previous years, perhaps the leanest ever, with just 90 projects. (I say "just" because in 2012, the event had almost 160.) Partly this is the result of a $300,000-orso budget cut from last year's roughly $3-million, prompted by the Bank of Nova Scotia ending its long-running title sponsorship last year (The event, the bank said, "no longer [aligned] with [its] sponsorship strategy").

Partly it's because audience surveys revealed that the 2015 instalment was "a little too expansive in its footprint," according to Kristine Germann, programming manager for city cultural events.

This year, the aim "was to densify," she said, to create "hubs and clusters" so as to give visitors "a really navigable experience and allow them to see more art."

As ever, Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 expects to attract one million night owls, including an estimated 220,000 out-of-towners.

Another marketing slogan, "Rise and Shine/Up You Get, Off You Go," has been devised to encourage patrons to, in effect, break their Nuit experience in two: See a bunch of projects early, before the crush gets huge, take a catnap, then return to the action circa 3:30 a.m. as the event slips toward sunrise. (Which, perhaps not coincidentally, is a half-hour before those establishments with permission to serve alcohol for extended hours have to call it a hard night's day. Last year, seven such operations got the okay to serve until 4 a.m. during Nuit Blanche.)

Venues come and go and occasionally return with each Nuit Blanche. This year, for example, the Aga Khan Museum, near the north end of the Don Valley Parkway, is a first-time participant.

The museum itself is open, free of charge, from 6 to 11 p.m. while two installations, Charbagh: A Sensory Garden and Sparks, run outdoors at the Aga Khan Park until 6 a.m. (There's free shuttlebus service from the Art Gallery of Ontario from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.)

The Royal Conservatory of Music, meanwhile, is renewing its involvement after a three-year hiatus with three projects, including one called The Firefly Effect, "a personally actuated multimedia art event accessed via a mobile app that sends out a pulsing light, sound and vibration at the pace of a contemplative walk."

The Ryerson Image Centre dovetailed its official public opening with Nuit Blanche in 2012, but it hasn't been a participant since. This isn't because of the centre's proximity to YongeDundas Square, where last year, for example, "a riot" broke out in the waning hours of Nuit Blanche. For RIC director Paul Roth, the non-involvement is for more prosaic reasons: "It's just an enormous undertaking to bring a large sum of people on campus, put them into an orderly line [for an hour or 90 minutes], then bring them into a fairly small venue."

Nuit Blanche has tended to stay clear of programming around Yonge-Dundas Square. But, as Nuit Blanche publicist Justine Palinska has noted, the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 organizing committee has decided to celebrate its one-year countdown to the Games there the same night as this year's Nuit Blanche with the same hours.

In other words, it's going to be a crowded and busy and possibly very, well ... boisterous downtown.

With this in mind, Ms. Palinska said, "we have and continue to work closely with the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Paramedic Services to create a safe and secure event and, therefore, have well-established and robust planning protocols in place for [Nuit Blanche] as well as YongeDundas Square."

For 2016, most of the 90 projects - they include the 33 bankrolled by the city, plus all manner of "partner projects" - are going to be found in or close to four major zones.

One zone, called Militant Nostalgia or When History Meets Memory, curated by Spain's Paco Barragan, has 10 city projects sited at venues strung along John Street between Dundas and Front Streets. One of its highlights has to be a so-far-untitled new project by the award-winning Anishinaabe performance/installation artist Rebecca Belmore. It's happening at the AGO, with Ms. Belmore at work for a full 12 hours.

Another zone, And the Transformation Begins, stretches down Bay Street between Dundas and Front. Again, there are 10 cityfunded projects, curated by New York's Camille Hong Xin and presented in venues as varied as Brookfield Place, Union Station and Commerce Court. Among the most anticipated offerings, at the Design Exchange, is Vertigo Sea, a timely immersive three-screen film by John Akomfrah, described as "a sublime, poetic and haunting meditation on man's relationship with the sea and ... an exploration of its role in the history of slavery, migration and conflict."

The zone known as Facing the Sky, curated by Montreal's Louise Déry, also features 10 projects, all positioned along the Toronto waterfront between Bay Street and Harbourfront Centre. In one, Barcelona's Joan Fontcuberta has developed a "material culture museum about doubt and skepticism," the Academia dels Desconfiats, which he has installed in a boat, the Showboat Royal Grace, moored just south of Queen's Quay But without question the zone that is going to act as both the biggest centripetal and centrifugal force of Nuit Blanche 2016 is the one they're calling Oblivion.

It's going to consist of just three exhibitions, centred at City Hall - but they're going to be big. Curated by locals Michael Prokopow and Janine Marchessault, Oblivion is an elaboration of sorts of the duo's 2012 Nuit epic The Museum at the End of the World - "only this time," Ms. Germann said, "it's about what happens after The End - the transformation of the body, the end of the sun, the transformation of the elements, like water."

Each year since 2013, Nuit Toronto has extended the exhibition of some of its installations by 10 days or so. In 2015, 14 projects, a record, had their runs extended.

But this year, Ms. Germann said, because "we wanted to do a really impactful experience," only the three components of Oblivion will have a expanded lifetime, and this until Oct. 10.

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016, formerly Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, runs from sunset Oct. 1 to sunrise Oct. 2.


Associated Graphic

The Aga Khan Museum is participating in Nuit Blanche for the first time. The museum will open, free of charge, from 6 to 11 p.m., but there will also be two outdoor installations at the Aga Khan Park until 6 a.m.


How to build a more demanding board
Leaders need directors with diverse skills and perspectives, and with the courage to speak up
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B13

It's no surprise that the board of directors of theScore Inc., a Toronto media and technology company, meets in a room enclosed in glass.

The transparency that the public firm embraces is reinforced by its open-plan office, where chief executive officer John Levy sits among a growing staff focused on its popular sports apps and coverage of competitive video gaming. It extends to the dealings between senior management and theScore's corporate board, which is helping the company play at the forefront of new digital technologies.

"Each board has its own colour and characteristics; ours clearly is one of openness," says Mr. Levy. "There's no member of my board that can't talk to any member of my senior team."

Far from stuffy old-boys clubs limited to discussions of corporate governance and fiduciary responsibility, today's directors also deal with company strategy, mergers and acquisitions, talent, culture, branding and more.

Building and managing an effective board means broadening the scope, deepening the commitment and clarifying the responsibilities of directors, as well as fostering diversity, independence, expertise and an environment of trust.

"We live in an ever-more complex world and we need much greater agility in our organizations. That starts right at the board level," says Johanne Lavoie, a partner at McKinsey & Co. based in Calgary. "The CEO is pretty lonely at the top. If your board can help you elevate your thinking, elevate debate and the questions you ask, then you're going to get more value."

She says that in a McKinsey survey, 63 per cent of Canadian executives and directors said the biggest problem for business leaders is increasing pressure by boards to deliver short-term financial results. Ms. Lavoie recently advised a CEO assembling a board to think of it as a body where he could put his "most wicked problem on the table" and get helpful feedback.

Executives should not simply report to directors "with all the answers," she says. "It's a unique advantage of the board to be in a position where they can be trusted advisers and thought-partners."

Mr. Levy says the board at theScore "is like our own inhouse advisory team," and has morphed along with the company. He began in the family cable television business, which took over a channel that showed sports scores and turned it into The Score Television Network.

The cable operation was sold in 1999 and the firm went public, with a new board of directors.

The current company was founded in 2012 after the sale of the television side to Rogers Media for $167-million, with theScore retaining its digital assets. The business has grown from revenue of $5.3-million in 2013 to almost $19-million in the first nine months of this year, with the staff almost tripling to 230 full-time employees. The apps today are used by upward of 4.3 million people.

"Things are constantly evolving and there's little roadmap to follow," Mr. Levy says, noting nonetheless that the board is "fully aware where we're pointed."

Michael Hartmann, principal of the Directors College, a program of the Conference Board of Canada and McMaster University, says that high-profile board failures in the past such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco focused attention on corporate governance shortcomings. The response was regulation, legislation and even litigation, he says, but education is equally important.

"A lot of it comes down to behaviour," he explains, noting that directors must be stewards as well as team players who work closely with management. "The key is getting that balance right."

Dr. Hartmann says that while directors should resist the temptation to get involved in day-today company workings, they must have the courage to speak up. "You hear it said that there should be 'noses in and fingers out,' but that doesn't mean 'mouths shut.'" The capabilities of board members are changing, he notes, especially given the disruption related to new technologies.

Recruitment of digitally savvy directors brings a new skill-set, and other competencies can help with unique challenges organizations face.

For example, while theScore's board remains largely the same since the company's television days, Mr. Levy says, it added two new members as it moved more deeply into digital. John Albright of Relay Ventures brought muchneeded venture-capital experience and resources to the fledgling company three years ago, while Kirstine Stewart, former vice-president of media at Twitter Inc. and now chief strategy officer of the content website Diply, came on board in June to enhance its digital chops.

Board dynamics that welcome diversity and the contributions of all members are important, says Zoe Yujnovich, executive vice-president of Shell Canada's oil sands operations, who sits on two corporate boards and is former president and CEO of Iron Ore Co. of Canada.

"While it can take longer to reach conclusions, there tend to be better insights, which means you hear a broader perspective, which is why you have a board," she says. "Gone are the days when you could get together and smoke cigars and talk amongst friends and the business was not the central focus."

Rob Brouwer, Canadian managing partner for clients and markets at KPMG and Ontario chapter chair of the Institute of Corporate Directors, says the view declared by Irving S. Olds, chairman of U.S. Steel in the 1940s, that "directors are like the parsley on fish - decorative but useless," is a thing of the past.

"The roles and responsibilities and accountability of directors have continued to increase.

They're being held to higher standards," he says; indeed it's not unusual for directors on large corporate boards to work 300 to 400 hours a year.

Meanwhile, gender diversity on boards is increasingly an issue, with guidelines set by some provinces and even laws in some countries. The Board of Directors Modernization Act, recently introduced as a private member's bill in the Senate of Canada, proposes that publicly traded corporations, financial institutions and Crown corporations ensure the balanced representation of women and men on their boards.

"You get better decision-making from boards that are more diverse," Mr. Brouwer says. "It's not just the right thing to do from a societal perspective, it's the right thing to do from a corporate performance perspective, because you get better outcomes."

Mr. Levy suggests that business leaders try to find people for their boards "who are prepared to challenge your ideas and bring new ideas to the table," as well as fitting the culture and nature of the organization, understanding what you're trying to build and coming from a varied talent base.

"The significance of the board is to force yourself to open up the issues and the results and the direction of the company at least once a quarter, if not more, in front of people you trust," he adds. "It's a tremendous resource."


A look at what skills future business leaders need to have to tackle the challenges of an ever-shifting marketplace.

Associated Graphic

John Levy, CEO of theScore, in a glass-walled meeting room at the company's Toronto office. The company aims for openness as a quality in its board, Mr. Levy says.


Playbooks of little use in Ohio
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A6

WESTLAKE, OHIO -- Donald Trump is enjoying a surge in popular support and nowhere is that more evident than in Ohio, one of the handful of battleground U.S. states that will make or break the fortunes of the Republican nominee for president.

Earlier this month, a consensus of public opinion surveys painted Ohio light blue (leaning Democratic), with Hillary Clinton relishing a four- to five-percentage-point lead. The state now is painted light pink (leaning Republican) as Mr. Trump enjoys a three-point advantage.

With almost seven weeks left before voting day, and a trio of face-to-face debates on the horizon, Ohio and the overall race are likely to see more fluctuations. But, if history is any indication, the race in Cuyahoga County, a sprawling, heavily populated county that includes greater Cleveland, may be cause for concern in the Clinton campaign.

The first thing to remember is that no Republican candidate has won the presidency without winning Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes - ever.

In 2012, when I last rode into the state to report on a presidential election, the race between the incumbent Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney was surprisingly close. Democratic organizers said the race in Ohio would depend on how well the Obama team got out the vote in the AfricanAmerican community, especially in Cleveland. Then, there was no question that African-Americans pretty much unanimously supported Mr. Obama. The only question was how many would turn out to vote.

At the end of the day, Mr. Romney won all but 16 of Ohio's 88 counties but still lost the state - the President won the popular vote because his 16 victories came in most of the state's urban centres. In Cuyahoga, the get-out-the-vote campaign proved to be a success as Mr. Obama won an unprecedented 69 per cent of the ballots.

Today, it is said that Ms. Clinton is hemorrhaging votes in white working-class communities to an even greater degree than did Mr. Obama. And if the former secretary of state is to win in Ohio, as well as in the country, she must a) hold on completely to the African-American vote captured by Mr. Obama, and b) make inroads among college-educated Republicans to offset her losses in the white working-class communities.

I rode into Cuyahoga County last week expecting to find both the black community solidly behind Ms. Clinton and widespread defections from suburban Republicans who don't like Mr. Trump. I found neither.

Westlake, an affluent community of some 35,000 people west of Cleveland, is as Republican as Cuyahoga County gets. In 2012, Mr. Romney lost in Cuyahoga over all, but he won big in Westlake.

It's a funny thing - for a country that fought a war to free itself from England, Americans still find a certain appeal in things English. Whether in Kansas or in Ohio, it seems axiomatic that the greater the number of streets with quaint English names, the higher the number of Republicans you will find.

And Westlake is chock-a-block with English street names - there's Devonshire Oval, Coventry Drive, Excalibur Avenue, even Downing Street.

So how do these Republicans feel about having Mr. Trump as their party's candidate for president - sour enough to cross over and vote for Ms. Clinton? That is what Democratic organizers hope will be the case.

I came across Bob West cycling on Oxford Circle. Mr. West, 67, a retired businessman, said Mr.

Trump was, indeed, not his first choice as the Republican nominee, but he'll stick with him.

"I supported Marco Rubio," Mr. West said, referring to the conservative Florida senator who was among the last to drop out of the Republican race. "I admit I was surprised that Trump won.

I think even Trump himself was surprised.

"And no, I don't like all the things I've heard coming from his mouth," a reference to the nominee's seemingly racist views and to the possibility of someone shooting Ms. Clinton. "But a lot of those things were taken out of context by the media trying to make trouble for him," he argued.

"It's Hillary who worries me," Mr. West added. "I don't trust her, nor her husband. She'd say anything to get elected.

"But the most important factor for me is that I don't want her appointing the next four Supreme Court judges," he said.

"They would have power long after she is gone."

Over on Bishops Gate Circle, a road on which many of the houses boast a front-lawn flagpole flying the star-spangled banner, a thirty-something woman out walking her dog told me she had actually voted for Mr. Obama in both 2008 and 2012, but would be supporting Mr. Trump this time. Really?

"I just think it's easier for Congress to pass things if there's a Republican in the White House," she said, declining to give her name. (She did allow that her dog's name was Lola.)

But what about the idea that Ms. Clinton would carry on the Obama policies?

"I have different concerns now," she said, explaining that she and her husband have their own commodities trading firm.

"I'm concerned about smallbusiness issues. There are too many regulations, too many taxes," she said. "Trump will change things."

Don Richards, 83, was one of only a few people I encountered who said he would not support Mr. Trump. "People in Westlake are very much Republican," he acknowledged, "but Donald Trump scares the people in my particular community - senior citizens.

"We don't like either candidate," he added, "but Hillary is the lesser of two evils."

In nearby Crocker Park, a brand new, made-from-scratch shopping, dining and residential community made to look like small-town America at the turn of the last century, Gina Rae, a forty-something resident, was finishing a late breakfast at one of the "town's" boulevard cafés.

Ms. Rae has always voted Republican, she said, and sees no reason to change now.

"I don't like some of the things he says," she admitted, but said she dislikes Ms. Clinton even more.

"I don't want her continuing Obama's policies," she emphasized. "He's the one who divided this country and triggered a lot of racial confrontations. I really believe that."

Ms. Rae said both she and her husband are small-business owners - she owns two hair salons that employ 30 people, and her husband's copier sales company employs about 60 people.

Mr. Obama's policies "have made life very difficult for people like us," she said. "All our tax dollars are going to pay for programs to support people out of work. All that does is encourage more of them to stop working."

If Ms. Clinton is thinking she can pick up suburban votes here, she'd better think again.

Associated Graphic

Tony Ensminger, from Cleveland, sells merchandise prior to a Republican rally for Donald Trump last week in Toledo, Ohio. The Democrats were polling at a four- to five-percentage-point lead in the state earlier this month; now, the GOP is enjoying a three-point advantage.


Field ornithologist's work was legendary
He spotted 447 of Ontario's 494 avian species during his lifetime - more than any other bird watcher
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

Ornithologist Alan Wormington, affectionately known to his bird watching buddies as "The Worm," was single-minded in the pursuit of uncommon species. His vast knowledge extended to butterflies and moths, but birding was his passion. He frequently drove from his home in Ontario to Texas where, until recently, he held the record for sightings by an out-ofstate resident. Once, upon arriving in Texas, he learned that a rare Brewer's sparrow had been spotted in his home province.

Such was his devotion and commitment that he turned the car around and tore back home, speed limits be damned.

Once, he dropped off Bruce Mactavish and a friend, then teenaged birders, at the side of Highway 401 so they could hitchhike back to Ottawa following a birding trip in New York. It was October and the wind was blowing east, so the conditions were just right in Hamilton for watching seabirds called jaegers. Mr. Wormington wasn't about to miss a possible sighting for an unnecessary detour to the nation's capital. "Such was 'The Worm,' " Mr. Mactavish posted on his birding blog, "hard-nosed when it came to feeding his interest in birds but completely open when it came to sharing his knowledge."

Glenn Coady, a naturalist who taught a course in birding at the Royal Ontario Museum, wrote: "As a field ornithologist, many of Alan's achievements are the stuff of legend." Mr. Wormington found seven species of birds that were new to birding in Ontario, the most discoveries in the province by anyone in almost a century. "Five hundred years from now, if someone is researching the lesser night hawk, the name Alan Wormington will come up.

It's a little bit of immortality," Mr. Coady said.

In 1982, Mr. Wormington became a founding member of the Ontario Bird Records Committee, a group that verifies bird sightings with strict and rigorous criteria. The official list of species seen in Ontario now stands at 494. Before he died of cancer on Sept. 3, at the age of 62, Mr. Wormington spotted 447 of them, more than any other birder. That statistic will likely be surpassed eventually, but one record that will be difficult to challenge is the number of sightings he recorded within the boundaries of Point Pelee National Park in southwestern Ontario. In 1980, Mr. Wormington moved to nearby Leamington to have easy access to the bird watching mecca. He edited a newsletter about the park and recorded 349 species of birds.

"That record may never be broken. It's remarkable," Mr. Coady said.

Creatures of the air fascinated Mr. Wormington from an early age. Born on June 20, 1954, in Hamilton, Laurie Alan Wormington was the second child of Margaret and Bill Wormington. His mother, a teacher, gave him freedom to roam the parks and marshes around Hamilton, while his father, a government employee, fretted that his son would some day need to find a real job. His sister, Janne Hackl remembers her brother's intense curiosity about butterflies and the hours he spent chasing them with a net. By his early teens he'd amassed a significant collection, all meticulously preserved, mounted and pinned with correct information. His favourite book when he was 11 was A Field Guide to the Butterflies of North America, East of the Great Plains. He read every passage and species account over and over until he had them memorized and the book fell apart. On Facebook, he wrote, "I was mesmerized by the information it contained, and there is no doubt that I learned more about biology from this single book than [I did in] all the years I spent in formal education.

Young Alan did not get much formal education. Although he eventually earned a diploma in historical/natural interpretive services from Seneca College in 1979, he dropped out of Hamilton's Westdale High School after Grade 10, confident he could teach himself about his emerging passion for birds. He'd already befriended some birders and would go searching for owls late at night. Ms. Hackl recalls accompanying her brother on a birding expedition. He told her, "'If I stop, freeze. Do not say a word.' Then we'd move very slowly forward so he could see a bird. It was pretty serious stuff," she said. At the age of 16, the first of his many publications about birds and butterflies appeared in The Wood Duck, a journal of the Hamilton Naturalists Club. He wrote columns for The Globe and Mail and three books: The Birds of Point Pelee, The Butterflies of Point Pelee and The Rare Birds of Ontario. They were unfinished projects, as he kept adding new information. A group of fellow naturalists are working to complete the books - his life's work - and hope to have them published soon.

Later in life Mr. Wormington worked as an environmental consultant, often contracted to work on projects such as wind turbines, highway and bridge construction and natural area surveys. For three migration seasons, he was stationed on an oil platform offshore from Texas as part of a study by the U.S Department of the Interior on migration over the Gulf. In 2002, he was part of a team sponsored by Zeiss, a manufacturer of binoculars, to search for the ivorybilled woodpecker in Louisiana.

They had no luck.

Mr. Wormington had no luck in love either. A sad affair of the heart with a French girl when he was in his 20s led to the life of a confirmed bachelor. "Alan wouldn't have been able to do what he did if he'd married" his friend Bill Lamond said. "I don't think too many women would've put up with it."

Although he enjoyed the company of friends, Mr. Wormington tended to keep to himself, with a reserved shyness and blunt honesty that tended to come across as gruff.

"I found his directness to be refreshing, He was a genuine, kind-hearted man who cared about those he was close with," biologist Joshua Vandermeulen said. "He was well respected. All the top birders in Ontario and North America know the name Alan Wormington. He's possibly been the most influential birder in Ontario over the last 100 years."

Mr. Wormington leaves his sister, Ms. Hackl, her son and her grandchildren.

Field biologist Jeremy Bensette said Mr. Wormington's ability to identify a bird - whether from a single chirp, its profile a kilometre away, or how it moved across the water - was extraordinary. On Mr. Wormington's final outing, in Point Pelee, he and Mr. Bensette found and photographed a redknot, one of an at-risk species. "I could tell Alan was excited. A big grin spread across his face that was almost childlike."

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Associated Graphic

Alan Wormington, shown in Moosonee, Ont., in 2012, wrote columns for The Globe and Mail as a teenager, as well as three unfinished books: The Birds of Point Pelee, The Butterflies of Point Pelee and The Rare Birds of Ontario. A group of naturalists is working to have them completed and published.


Remedies for tax evasion already exist, experts say
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said he'll be watching as a parliamentary committee prepares to study how frothy real estate sales in Toronto and Vancouver are affecting the country's financial system, but tax experts say there are already some remedies within easy reach to address the problem.

Since a Globe and Mail investigation revealed possible tax evasion and fraud in Metro Vancouver's housing market, B.C.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong has urged his federal counterpart to toughen existing rules.

Experts say there are already several solutions that provincial authorities and the Canada Revenue Agency can implement, many without changing existing federal tax laws, to help curtail the speculative activity detailed by The Globe. The investigation showed how real estate speculator Kenny Gu paid almost nothing in taxes last year, while millions of dollars flowed through his personal and corporate bank accounts.

Documents suggest Mr. Gu is among a network of speculators who flip homes for a profit, then dodge taxes by classifying multiple homes as principal residences - without living in them.

Currently, the CRA requires homeowners who sell a principal residence to designate it as such on a standard form and keep it for their personal records, but they don't have to report the sale with their tax return. That has allowed taxpayers to buy and sell multiple properties without notifying the tax agency.

Owners selling their principal residence in Canada don't have to pay any tax on the sale.

Richard Kurland, a prominent Vancouver-based immigration lawyer, said this issue has become a matter of social justice, noting clients tell him they see this loophole being widely used by others. "When people who do the right thing feel badly because other people are getting away with doing the wrong thing - that's when you have to step in," Mr. Kurland said.

Here is a list of potential solutions experts say could help crack down on that practice: Tracking real estate transactions and sharing tax residency information The contract of every residential property sold in B.C. already has a box the seller ticks to declare whether they reside in Canada for tax purposes, Mr. Kurland noted. That's done so that realtors and lawyers are not liable if their client leaves the country without paying the standard withholding tax of 25 per cent on their profit from the sale.

But that information is not registered with the land title office, he said.

The provincial government could compel each home buyer and seller to disclose their tax status to the Land Title and Survey Authority of B.C. any time the ownership of a residential property changes hands, according to Mr. Kurland.

That office could then pass these details to the CRA, which would allow the federal body to cross-reference individual tax records to weed out those avoiding paying the proper fees on investment residences.

"This is the lowest-hanging fruit possible," he said.

"B.C. refuses to collect the information - without explanation. They are not publicly saying why."

Mr. Kurland said he has been told privately by Liberal MLAs that such a move would contradict their political philosophy that "government should not have the capacity to know who owns what."

B.C.'s acting Privacy Commissioner, Drew McArthur, said B.C. could force home buyers to disclose their tax status - and stay on the right side of the province's privacy law - as long as people are informed that the information is being shared with the CRA.

A spokesman at the B.C. Finance Ministry said his government began collecting social insurance numbers and citizenship information on all residential property transfers last month as part of its new tax on foreign buyers. It now shares that information with the CRA if the federal agency is conducting audits and reviews of individuals. But Mr. Kurland says that still leaves out the all-important tax status of the party in question.

Report every real estate transaction directly to the CRA Gary McDonnell, a retired accountant and former partner at KPMG, said the simplest fix regarding the abuse of principal residence claims is for every real estate transaction to be reported directly to the federal tax agency.

"If the taxpayer knows that all property transactions are being reported to CRA, they would be under no illusions of getting away without reporting the sale of a property," Mr. McDonnell said.

Stock brokerage firms have long had to report all stock dispositions to the CRA, including the social insurance number of the account holder, he said.

Before the government made that change to the rules, many critics said it was an invasion of privacy, Mr. McDonnell said.

"But they passed the law and it basically became accepted," he said.

Experts acknowledge it could take the CRA years to build the IT capability to receive - and act - on all this information.

Post tax auditors overseas Much like how Ottawa has prescreened immigrants at airports across the globe for more than two decades, the federal government could send CRA officers to key cities in East Asia and Europe - where information-sharing agreements exist - to liaise with local auditors there. This is an expensive solution, "but the payback will be astronomical, very quickly," he said.

These CRA officers would offer "boots on the ground" to dig for property and tax records held by overseas bureaucracies, some of which are not able to share digital records with ease, he said.

"They've got to step outside the Canadian pond - it's a global problem, it requires a global solution," Mr. Kurland said.

In the 1990s, the CRA sent officers down to Florida to check land-registry data and capture Canadian snowbirds that were avoiding taxes, he said.

Continuing crackdown by the CRA The CRA has doubled its efforts to catch tax cheats in B.C.'s real estate sector, completing nearly 2,500 audits related to real estate in B.C. and Ontario over the past year. The agency plans to do as many or more in the next year and now has 50 auditors looking into Metro Vancouver real estate transactions, specifically targeting 500 "high-dollar-value" deals from 2015.

Federal figures reviewed by The Globe and confirmed by the tax agency show that auditors discovered $14.3-million in unpaid taxes from 339 individuals and companies last year through increased scrutiny of flips and other real-estate transactions in the region.

But a CRA auditor, who requested anonymity for fear of being fired, told The Globe that the agency is barely scratching the surface of the tax dodging going on and its auditors won't catch many people because they are inexperienced with such files.

In a bulletin this week, the federal agency warned that it will investigate anyone who flips properties, which it defined as anyone who buys and resells a home in a short period of time for a profit.

The CRA said there are three main categories of flippers who could face penalties for not reporting their profits as business income: professional contractors, shadow flippers - those who assign contracts for profit - and people who live in a home briefly so they can claim a principal-residence exemption several times in their lifetime.

Prevenge plot
Alice Lowe plays with modern ideas of motherhood in her comic-horror film about a mother possessed by her unborn child
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R9

If necessity is the mother of invention, it is also, in the case of Alice Lowe, the unlikely mother of a film about a mother-to-be who goes on a killing spree.

Lowe, you see, is an actress who was more than halfway through her pregnancy with her first child last year when she was suddenly taken - let's say possessed, because that word might be apropos later - with the fear that the birth of her child might mean a sort of death for her career. It's a not-uncommon anxiety among professional women, and one that is often especially pronounced among those such as Lowe - a 39-yearold British actor and sometime screenwriter making her directorial debut with Prevenge, at the Toronto International Film Festival - whose livelihood depends on staying culturally current.

So she hammered out a darkly comic horror script about a heavily pregnant woman who, on the orders of her unborn child, seeks revenge for the untimely death of her former lover. "It's like I'm the vehicle, and she's driving," Lowe's antihero, Ruth, tells her unsuspecting midwife, who thinks she's speaking about pregnancy in general. "Honestly, it's like a hostile takeover."

"I kind of thought, 'How do I turn this to my benefit, this scenario?' " Lowe said the other day, in the café of the downtown Hilton Hotel, dressed in a cute black dress with a prim high collar, thankfully looking nothing like the murderous Ruth. Across the lobby, Lowe's adorable eightmonth-old daughter, Della Moon Synnott, who has a cameo in Prevenge, was being kept occupied by a friend.

"It was never my intention to make loads of films about killing people," she explained, referring to the fact that her first screenplay, Sightseers (2012), was a dark satire about a new couple who go on a road trip that leaves a trail of dead bodies in their wake. With Prevenge, "It was just more that I had to make a film about a pregnant woman," and it was more interesting to create "the antithesis of that image ... you know, someone who ought to be thinking about the future but is thinking about the past, and revenge."

Lowe's film arrives while the industry is in contortions over its stark gender imbalance - both in front of and, especially, behind the camera. Only two of the films in competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival were directed by women. As TIFF got under way, Telefilm Canada declared it would make (unspecific) moves to increase the number of women filmmakers it funds.

"You can do Women in Film panels, going, 'Oh, isn't it awful?' And actually, I just think [it's about] turning a lot of these things to your benefit. Like, I knew a man can't make this film. He can make a film about a pregnant revenge killer, of course, but he wouldn't be able to do it like me. No one's going to step in at the last minute and go, 'We're going to get him to direct this.' " The film was inspired in part by Lowe's experiences suddenly thrust into what felt like very foreign territory. At a mothersto-be class, when she expressed anxiety over her imminent loss of income and other disruptions to her career, "All these women were like, 'No, you're not supposed to say anything like that,' and it comes to their turn and they said, like, 'I'm really looking forward to getting on with the shopping, and painting the nursery.' Oh, my God."

Lowe paused, gave a little laugh, and relented a bit. "I know there's a good side to trying to relax. But for me, my personality, it didn't relax me at all.

I just felt like, I'm not meeting expectations," she added. "So I kind of felt there was room to express that in a way that women would identify with. So the film, for me, it was really cathartic, because then I just felt like I had a great pregnancy."

Prevenge has fun with the modern state of pregnancy and motherhood, soaking the bloody proceedings in cold-blooded, offhand comedy. "Children these days are really spoiled," Ruth notes with wry understatement.

"'Mummy, I want a Playstation.

Mummy, I want you to kill that man.' "Still, while the film has its modern touchstones, Lowe noted its ancient antecedents.

"I was influenced by classical plays and classical ideas - characters such as Clytemnestra and Electra and Medea, all of those things I studied at university.

You want a narrative that's timeless," she said.

"There are goddesses of revenge, the Furies, so I kind of had this idea that she's not human any more, she's become like an embodiment, an elemental force. It's almost like she's a superhero, but her special powers are her pregnancy. So whatever we traditionally think of as fragility or weakness in pregnant women, particularly, I was trying to change that into a strength.

The fact that people think she's weak enables her to kill them."

As the conversation wound down, it took a turn from the murderous to the maternal.

Lowe said that, with one film under her directorial belt, she now has the confidence to ask for more family-friendly conditions on her next. "It's going to enhance the project if I'm happy about what my child-care situation is," she explained.

"I think parents in the industry, we all need to be demanding more, in terms of protecting our family lives and our social lives, because it's a very demanding industry. People get divorced, and people don't see their kids enough, because they're working ridiculous hours, for example."

Lowe mentions the singer Amanda Palmer, who was criticized by a fan for taking crowdfunding to make music and instead had a baby. "Her conclusion was, artists have to have a life, because your art comes from your life, so this baby might be what I need to do next for my art to grow and develop.

"There's too much of a sense that having kids is separate from life. That you take time out from humanity to be a parent and then you re-enter society," Lowe said.

"I felt like, if I do this, it's going to become part of the fabric of my work, and that has to be allowed, and that has to be a good thing, rather than 'the death of art is the pram in the hall,' " she added, referring to an aphorism by writer Cyril Connolly. "Maybe the pram in the hall is art?" Lowe's friend began pushing Della in a high chair toward the table, and Lowe leaped up with a smile to greet her daughter.

She turned back for a second: "Quote me on that!"

Prevenge screens Saturday at 6:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre (

Associated Graphic

Alice Lowe is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of her pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child psychically spurs her on to murder.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

Donald Trump came into Monday night's debate with undeniable momentum. And the general consensus among pundits is that he squandered it with an ill-prepared, abrasive, petulant performance.

It's a good idea to take such assessments with a big grain of salt.

We have been here too many times before - Mr. Trump delivering a performance that by any traditional standard would be considered disastrous, then either suffering no apparent damage or recovering quickly. And with an electorate this polarized, few people are likely to have their minds changed because of broad perceptions about which candidate performed better.

Was this time different? It depends whether Mr. Trump did himself serious damage with memorable moments that will live on in clips through the rest of the campaign. In a debate's immediate aftermath, it's hard to tell what will stick. But here are a few guesses of how, if at all, Mr. Trump may have done himself real damage (and with whom).

Acting like a robber baron (white working class) To this point in the campaign, Mr. Trump - who was born into wealth and has spent much of his life bending rules to his advantage and steamrolling over the less fortunate - has managed to position himself as a blue-collar champion. Even if his personal story has not been remotely relatable, his plain-spokenness and visceral anger have been. But in at least a couple of instances on Monday, he practically rubbed his privilege in the face of supporters in economically hard-hit parts of battleground states.

The moment getting the most attention was one in which Hillary Clinton goaded him into seemingly acknowledging he had avoided paying any income tax some years - years in which people with a lot less money than him paid their fair share. "That makes me smart," he interjected.

Perhaps even worse, when Ms. Clinton accused him of having rooted for the financial crisis that cost millions of Americans their homes, savings or jobs, he couldn't help himself from another interjection: "That's called business, by the way."

Mr. Trump appears to think embracing his most cutthroat behaviour as a businessman helps his cause because it proves he would be similarly cutthroat on behalf of his country. He hasn't exactly been disproved so far this campaign. But if "cares about people like me" is as important a perception about candidates as pollsters tend to think, the Republican nominee really pushed his luck.

Reinforcing perceptions of sexism (college-educated women) As a general rule, a male politician in the 21st century should not say "She deserved it." But Mr. Trump used precisely those words to justify once calling Rosie O'Donnell "a fat pig." And that came right after he looked flustered while Ms. Clinton accused him of once referring to a Hispanic beauty-pageant contestant as "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."

It was as much a matter of tone as any one line that may have hurt Mr. Trump with female voters, though. After beginning calmly, he spent much of the rest of the debate trying to talk over Ms. Clinton - interrupting her approximately 50 times during a 90-minute debate. A candidate who desperately needs to parlay his recent momentum into headway with college-educated women - with whom he has still been polling abysmally - may have instead made it harder for many who previously voted Republican to get past his personality.

Getting bogged down in birtherism (African-Americans) Mr. Trump was unlikely to have a major breakthrough with African-American voters regardless of what he did Monday. But he's lately been trying to lower that demographic's antipathy toward him, if only to make it more difficult for Ms. Clinton to achieve the same turnout levels Barack Obama did - a potential differencemaker in key states.

It's safe to say that the way to build goodwill with those voters is not to remind them that he spent most of the first black president's time in office trying to discredit him with the lie that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya.

Mr. Trump had no choice in the matter coming up during the debate - it was moderator Lester Holt's decision. But if he had any contrition, he could have acknowledged he was wrong.

Instead, as at other points of the debate when he was put on the defensive, he went down a rabbit hole, making his latest attempt (including the invocation of political insiders most people have never heard of) to advance a replacement lie that Ms. Clinton was more responsible for birtherism than he was.

Very, very few African-Americans (or others) who take this issue as evidence of Mr. Trump's bigotry are likely to be moved positively by his absurd ramblings on it. And even fewer can be expected to buy his line that he did a "great service" to Mr. Obama by raising the profile of a racist conspiracy theory against him.

Acting unhinged (Republicans who recently came home) There's a common theory that the best way to judge a debate's impact is to watch with the sound off, because body language matters most. Anyone who did that might have noticed a bunch of instances in which Mr. Trump visibly lost his cool, while Ms. Clinton laughed him off. But there was at least one segment in which Mr. Trump's tendency to project his own liabilities onto others made for some unfortunate audio as well.

At the end of a bit in which steam practically came out of his ears as he angrily denied he had supported the Iraq War (which he is on record as doing), Mr. Trump could not stop at saying he had better judgment than his opponent. "I also have a much better temperament than her, you know?" he said to a burst of laughter from the audience.

By this point of the campaign, Mr. Trump's volatile manner is already baked into most voters' perceptions. But it is probably not a coincidence that his surge in the polls through this month - which has largely involved people who usually vote Republican deciding they could live with their nominee - came as he kept his demeanour more in check than previously. Now, he may have encouraged more talk about his stability.

Failing to land a glove on his opponent (wavering Democrats) For all the moments that may have hurt him, Mr. Trump may also suffer for his failure to sow further doubt among likely Democratic voters who have been uninspired by their candidate.

After attaching the "Crooked Hillary" label to her in recent months, he didn't so much as mention the Clinton Foundation, whose ties to the State Department over which she presided make for one of his usual attack lines. He did briefly take aim at her use of private e-mail servers while Secretary of State, but lacked the discipline to really press her on that scandal, instead circling back to a confusing defence of not making his tax returns public.

While she repeatedly got under his skin, not once during the 90 minutes did he cause her to say something she would regret.

Matt Bubbers takes a $51,000 regular-cab Dodge Ram 1500 with the 5.7-litre Hemi and 22-inch chrome wheels to his first football party. The tailgate vehicle, he got right. Everything else, not so much
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D1

It's a sunny, not-too-hot Sunday, and the smell of grilled meat pervades a parking lot on Toronto's Lake Shore Boulevard. It is a smoke signal, a call to inaction: football! The parking lot fills quickly with trucks and SUVs aligned in neat rows, their open tailgates and trunks pointing outward.

From there spills everything: barbecues - propane and charcoal - snack platters, coleslaw, condiments, candy, coolers, tables, chairs, tents, flags, wet naps, plastic cups, paper plates, spicy chicken wings, sausages and steak.

Here are entire living rooms, makeshift kitchens and dining rooms set up in a parking lot.

Cans of Bud Light or local craft cider rest on every flat surface. In some places, the parking lot is so full of stuff and people there's no choice but to walk through what feels like someone's home. It's a scene as American as apple pie, except it isn't; it's outside Ontario Place.

Arriving at 1 p.m., I'm already late. It's my first tailgate party; I'm learning as I go. Judging by some of the setups, people have been here for hours already. Evidently, it's more fashionable to be early than late for one of these.

To tailgate, the ideal vehicle is a pickup truck. Ours for the weekend is a $51,000 regular-cab Dodge Ram 1500 with the 5.7-litre Hemi and 22-inch chrome wheels. It's a "sport truck," which seems like an oxymoron, but there it is. It's cartoon-big and fire-engine red; we blend right in.

The Toronto Argonauts moved to BMO Field this season as part of a push to revitalize the team and attract new fans.

Part of that strategy involves hosting tailgate parties before home games, as has been the tradition in U.S. football since the beginning of time. Tailgate passes are $30 a vehicle.

"Football is much more than just the game itself," said Michael Copeland, president and chief executive of the Argos. "[Tailgating] has been a huge success - and we credit that to our fans. All we did was provide the framework and they built it into what you saw on Sunday."

The Argos reported nearly 1,500 people and 300 vehicles at the tailgate. An impressive figure given the team was competing for attention against the Blue Jays, who were playing to a near-capacity crowd at Rogers Centre, and TIFF, which was at its star-struck height.

Mike Wylie and his son James were among the earliest to arrive.

They have two of the biggest trucks in the lot. The elder Wylie drives a four-door Ram 2500 with a 6.9-litre turbo-diesel engine and custom Flowmaster exhaust.

"I have the junior," James says.

"It's a 1500, 5.7-litre, 2014." I note the gigantic exhaust pipes on his truck. "I'll fire it up for you," he says immediately. It's loud.

This being my first tailgate, I'm unprepared both materially and mentally. My greasy barbecue and dirty patio chairs fit into the Ram's bed with room to spare.

You wouldn't want them in the back of a car, but trucks welcome this kind of mess. But we forgot plates and our food is basic compared with the cuisine others are cooking. Juicy Jumbo hot dogs don't impress this crowd.

Carole Cross is standing behind an impressive spread wearing a blue wig and team jersey. "We cook beef tenderloin. Go big or go home!" she says. She and her family came in from Oakville, Ont. They have every kind of blue candy from Bulk Barn. Her son, fullback Declan Cross, No. 38, is in his rookie season with the Argos and she's incredibly proud of him.

At least we have cold drinks.

The Ram has built-in coolers, cubbies on either side of the bed - RamBoxes - with drain plugs at the bottom. Filled with ice, they keep our hot dogs and ginger ale cold.

Ah yes, ginger ale, because Ontario's alcohol regulations mean tailgaters can't bring their own beer. Some diehards may find ways around this, smuggling it in despite thorough vehicle searches. But beer is reasonable: $4 a can from official trolleys.

This happy meeting of parking and beer and sports could've only originated in convenience-oriented America. Should you drink too much, you can leave your car in the tailgate lot until noon the next day.

Tailgating has been around for more than a century, according to a paper by professor Tim Delaney published in the the New York Sociologist.

A two-year study of U.S. Midwestern tailgaters in a collegiate setting - by John Sherry and Tanya Bradford, professors of marketing at Notre Dame - liken tailgating to ancient Greek and Roman harvest festivals.

A marching band, the Argonotes, and an excellent drumline, 416 Beats, make their separate ways through the appreciative crowd.

Jim Cooper is at the tailgate with his daughter, who's concentrating on her hamburger.

"I was a long-snapping specialist, a utility Canadian," he says. He played in the Canadian Football League for three seasons, mostly with Edmonton, ending his career as an Argo in 2000. "It was a dream come true.

"Tailgates bring people together. It gives you a place to come and celebrate Canadian football," Cooper said. "Participating in the celebration, that's what tailgating is. People can share their love of the game and break some bread.

The more this grows, the more people are going to be in [BMO Field] and the more it becomes a place to be."

Tailgating is a family event. "No, it never gets too rowdy," Toronto police Constable Mike Harris says.

He and a few other officers are patrolling the area, mostly chatting.

"I've never seen any problems here at all."

James Wylie, with the loud truck, has a theory: "This is the oldest-running league, next to lacrosse, in Canada. ... The CFL, Argos, it's more than just a game; it's a part of being Canadian."

As Sherry told the Notre Dame News: "Tailgating, for the fans, is literally helping to create Notre Dame, or Michigan, or USC." Or, in this case, recreate the Argos.

This will be music to the ears of Copeland and the rest of the new Argos ownership.

In hindsight, I'd do some things differently for my next tailgate.

The HEMI engine was overkill, obviously. RamBoxes are a tailgate must-have. And a truck with a crew cab is better, because this is a more-the-merrier kind of event.

Associated Graphic


On a recent Sunday in September, the Toronto Argonauts reported nearly 1,500 people and 300 vehicles at its tailgate.





Mike Wylie and his son James were among the earliest to arrive to the tailgate - Matt Bubbers's first. Meanwhile, 416 Beats, right, makes its way through the crowd.


Freewheeling through Catalonia
Old railway routes in Catalonia have been rescued and turned into one of Europe's finest network of organized trails
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T5

OLOT, SPAIN -- We pedalled through a perfect silence. There had been a chill at first light, but now, slogging up the rise toward the 558metre Coll d'en Bas, the midmorning sun weighed heavily on our backs, and it was a relief to reach the top of this narrow pass. The view from the summit was modest: a pine-clad ridge, bending away to the right. But the prospect of what lay ahead was invigorating after the steep climb: A cycle journey through the heart of Catalonia to the shores of the Mediterranean, downhill all the way...

In Catalonia, in the northeast corner of Spain, the outlying ridges of the Pyrenees run right down the beaches of the Costa Brava. It's a rumpled region of pale earth, steep hillsides and dark pines dotted with ancient towns. At the turn of the 20th century, in a bid to bind together the isolated communities in the gap between the sea and the mountains, a network of narrowgauge railways was laid across Catalonia and, until the 1960s, pocket-sized steam trains puffed their way over the passes. But as road traffic increased, the railways fell out of use; tracks were ripped up and the lines became little more than overgrown field paths.

In the past 20 years, however, the old routes have been rescued and turned into one of Europe's finest networks of organized cycle trails. With a few fall days to spare, my partner, Cara, and I had headed for Catalonia, equipped ourselves with hired hybrid bikes perfect for the smooth surfaces and gentle inclines and set out to tackle the 100-kilometre journey along the Vies Verdes, the Greenway, from the mountain town of Olot, to the fabled medieval city of Girona, and onwards to the sea at Sant Feliu de Guixols.

There was a scent of coffee and fresh bread on the sunny streets of Olot that first morning. The bus companies of Catalonia are well used to cyclists and we had been able to reach the town with our bikes - supplied by a Gironabased outfitter - in the luggage compartment of a coach. From now on, however, we'd be travelling under our own steam.

The first 10 kilometres of the Greenway, from Olot to the foot of the Coll d'en Bas, passed across a fertile plateau, ringed by a toothy range of volcanic peaks. It was a perfect day for cycling. We seemed to have chanced upon the elusive sweet spot at the apex of fall, when the sun is still hot enough to burn but the slightest breeze has a whetted edge. As we topped the Coll d'en Bas and began our glorious day-long descent, we were riding into a countryside on the very cusp between the seasons. The afternoon's journey brought a welter of images, etched in the sharp sunlight: reddening foliage arcing overhead; a lineup of men in flat caps sitting in silence outside the dark doorway of a bar in a wayside village; and paragliders appeared like falling leaves from a high limestone outcrop to the east.

The initial descent from the pass was steep, down through thickets of holm oak and patches of alpine pasture ringing with the clatter of cowbells into the valley of the Brugent River. But later the route levelled out and we passed through a string of valley villages - Sant Feliu de Pallerols, Les Planes d'Hostoles, Amer - each a clutch of red-roofed houses huddled around a sturdy gothic church, and each once a small station on the Olot-Girona railway.

Just after Amer, with the sun slipping down behind the high mountains and with tiredness and hunger beginning to creep up, we chanced upon a perfect rest stop - a bar perched above the whisky-coloured Ter River, where we feasted on olives, crispy patatas bravas and peppery Catalan botifarra sausages. Suitably refreshed, we headed on along the lower reaches of the valley as the mountains fell away behind us into a lavender dusk, rolling into the brightly lit streets of Girona as darkness fell.

Come daylight, we decided to take a break from the Greenway to explore the city's beetling ramparts and cobbled alleyways.

Girona was once a way station on the Roman route from the imperial capital in Italy to Cadiz; later, it was tussled over by the Franks and Muslims; and eventually it fell under the sway of the Counts of Barcelona. Red, yellow and blue Catalan flags - reminders of a powerful regional identity hereabouts - hung from riverside balconies.

In summer, Girona gets its fair share of day-trippers, up from the beach resorts of the Costa Brava.

But this late in the year, it felt like a forgotten gem, and after dark, the buzz in the cafés around the Placa de la Independencia came from the groups of local students, not from tourist crowds.

The next morning, bright and early, we continued our journey. The Greenway onward from Girona toward the coast rolled over a wide-open landscape. This was a different place from the valley world of the earlier stage and surprisingly, there was a stronger sense of the advancing fall here in the lowlands. The fields had already been turned over to lie fallow for the winter and when we stopped for a drink on a café terrace on the outskirts of the little town of Llagostera, we had to brush the fallen leaves off the chairs.

This was a shorter section than the stretch from Olot to Girona - just 40 kilometres. The trail here traced long curves across the gently billowing contours and the villages rose like castles out of the farmland. For the most part, we were well away from the roads here, and in places the Greenway crossed other, well signposted trails through the fields - sections of the network of cycle routes that criss-cross Catalonia.

In the final stretches, running along the broad valley of El Ridaura, were traces of the route's origins: a small station, with a sign still marking the office of the jefe de estacion (station boss), but with cyclists instead of steam trains passing by; and a little further on an old engine, paintwork still gleaming, marooned in a municipal park.

Eventually, a little saddle-sore, we rolled into Sant Feliu de Guixols, following the final way markers for the route - always admirably clear where the Greenway passed through an urban area. Journey's end was a single railway buffer beside what had once been a harbour station where, until 1969, you could have clambered aboard a train for the long haul, all the way up to Olot.

Here, more than anywhere else, we could sense the coming winter. There was a chilly breeze blowing off the Mediterranean and the beach was deserted.

Inland, meanwhile, storm clouds were gathering over the Pyrenees and the memory of our magical, downhill journey from the mountains to the sea already seemed to belong to another, softer season.

Associated Graphic

Hybrid bikes are perfect for the smooth surfaces and gentle hills you'll find along parts of the Vies Verdes, or Greenway, in Spain.


Provincial plans won't cover abortion pill
Manufacturer decision to skip $72,000 review of medication prevents Mifegymiso from being added to lists of publicly funded drugs
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

When the gold standard in medical abortion drugs finally becomes available in Canada later this year, the $300 cost of the pills will not be covered by most provincial drug plans, The Globe and Mail has learned.

The company that makes Mifegymiso has bowed out of an essential step on the path to public reimbursements for new drugs over the $72,000 price tag for a standard review of the medication's cost effectiveness.

Provincial governments everywhere but Quebec say the company's decision is preventing them from adding the two-drug abortion regimen to their list of publicly funded drugs, meaning women will have to reach into their own wallets or rely on private insurance to pay for Mifegymiso.

"It's going to be a huge, significant barrier," warned Dawn Fowler, the Canadian director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which represents abortion providers in North America.

The funding impasse is just the latest obstacle for Canadian women who want to end their pregnancies with the pill originally known as RU-486, a drug that has been approved in more than 60 countries, including the United States, where it has been available since 2000.

Manufacturing problems have already delayed the sale of Mifegymiso in Canada for more than a year, while restrictive rules requiring doctors, not pharmacists, to distribute the pills directly to patients have abortion advocates warning that few physicians outside existing abortion clinics will go to the trouble of offering Mifegymiso in their offices.

The pills' price tag could be one more impediment to improving abortion access in rural and small-town Canada. Surgical abortions remain for the most part free across the country, but they are nearly impossible to obtain outside big cities.

At least one Health Minister, in British Columbia, has already asked federal Health Minister Jane Philpott to intervene on the price issue and to overhaul Health Canada's rules for Mifegymiso before it becomes available as early as November.

"Taken together, these regulations are onerous, create administrative and practical barriers for women to access medical abortion and do not contribute to patient safety," B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake wrote in a July letter to Dr. Philpott.

Mifegymiso is made up of two medications, sold together in a combination pack. The first, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to break down. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken 24 to 48 hours later, and induces contractions similar to a natural miscarriage.

Bringing the drug to Canada has been a long and sometimes arduous process. Linepharma International Ltd., a small European drug company, first applied to Health Canada to sell mifepristone here in December, 2011.

Health Canada finally approved the drug in July, 2015, with a list of conditions proposed by the company, including a requirement that doctors distribute the pills directly to patients and perform an ultrasound beforehand to make sure the pregnancy is neither ectopic (outside the uterus) nor further along than 49 days.

The rules also require women to make a return visit to their doctor to ensure the abortion is complete. In the rare instances where pregnancy has continued after the pills are ingested, there is a risk of birth defects in the baby. There have also been rare cases of sepsis, or blood poisoning, following use of mifepristone, but the risk is similar to that of surgical abortions, spontaneous miscarriages and births.

On the whole, mifepristone is considered extremely safe. A review of 45,000 medical abortions published in 2013 in the journal Contraception found serious complications in 0.4 per cent of cases.

Celopharma Ltd., the Canadian distributor for Mifegymiso, had hoped to make the drug available earlier this year, but "a change in manufacturer" of one of the drugs forced the company to submit fresh paperwork to Health Canada, a spokeswoman for the company said by e-mail.

Celopharma declined an interview request and did not reply to followup questions sent by e-mail.

Ms. Fowler of NAF, which has been providing technical support and advice to the company, said a factory in Asia that was set to supply the second drug, misoprostol, failed an inspection, prompting the company to switch to a supplier in Britain.

Ms. Fowler predicted that women would not be able to access Mifegymiso until early next year.

Even if the drug is technically available in November, it cannot be distributed until the doctors who want to provide it have taken an online course that is still being finalized, she said.

Separately, Celopharma in February submitted an application to the Common Drug Review, a committee of experts that advises the English-speaking provinces and territories on whether they should add new drugs to their formularies, the lists of drugs that are publicly funded for patients who qualify. (Quebec, which has a separate, free process, is currently reviewing Mifegymiso.)

But the company struggled to pay for the review - which costs about $72,000 start to finish - and decided tentatively to pull out in May. Celopharma withdrew formally in July.

A May 20 letter written on behalf of all the public drug plans in English Canada acknowledged that Celopharma had tried and failed to persuade the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), the independent body that oversees the Common Drug Review, to either drop or defer the fee.

CADTH refused, saying that would go against its guidelines.

The letter warned that the provinces "will not consider this product [Mifegymiso] for listing," without a recommendation from the Common Drug Review.

"It's extremely rare that we would ever encounter this kind of situation, even for drugs that I would say have a much smaller patient population," said Brent Fraser, vice-president of pharmaceutical reviews at CADTH. "I can't think of any others myself."

Paula Tenenbaum, a spokeswoman for Celopharma, declined in an e-mail to elaborate on why the company withdrew its submission.

"Celopharma is working very hard to make Mifegymiso an option to all women in urban and rural areas of Canada," she wrote.

"We are committed to providing Health Care Providers with Mifegymiso thereby allowing women of Canada improved access to abortion care."

Ellen Wiebe, the medical director of the Willow Women's Clinic in Vancouver, said paying $300 for Mifegymiso would be a challenge, especially for women who are young or poor or both.

"Women having abortions, a large number of them are new to the work force and are not covered by extended benefits through their work," Dr. Wiebe said. "It's a real problem."

Health Canada has no role in deciding which drugs provinces cover. But the federal department said it is open to changing some of the rules around the drug, so long as the risks to women can be minimized.

"In almost every other country, because of the potential risks associated with [mifepristone], there is some sort of constraints and restraints on how to access that," said Supriya Sharma, chief medical officer for Health Canada. "We're always open to making changes. [But] if I can underscore one thing, it has to be supported by appropriate science and evidence."

Hillary's clone is a Roswell Muslim
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F2

Stories attributing confusing or angering events to clandestine, malevolent forces have been with us forever and have always been of the American tradition, political and otherwise.

Some people suckle on a certainty that concrete evidence proving what they feel to be true exists, and is being withheld from them by powerful forces: We cannot be totally alone in the universe; President Obama cannot legitimately be in the White House.

That ranch in Roswell, N.M., that grassy knoll in Dallas feature large in America's psychic geography for a reason.

A relatively small emotional investment in believing that the moon landing was faked by duplicitous scientists in the service of a corrupt government pays big dividends - if, that is, you'd rather not believe that humans cause climate change, or that you should have to pay taxes.

According to a 2013 Public Policy Poll, 7 per cent - so, millions - of Americans have made that particular emotional investment and many have proven themselves not at all averse to investing elsewhere in the crackpot market.

Predictably, the arrival of the Internet - a Gutenberg press in every basement - enabled the almost folkloric conspiracy theories of yesteryear to be shared more rapidly.

Tales of fluoride causing communism, cancer, or cavities spread - like measles among the unvaccinated children of Jenny McCarthy fans.

A once largely oral tradition was quickly written down, often in all caps, and now there are new and updated editions in every comment thread.

No wonder conspiracy theories, in these less fanciful times, seem to have replaced fairy tales in the American consciousness.

Conspiracy theories generally offer the reader an almost mythic struggle between absolute good - the kind that woodland creatures might recognize and clean house for - and powerful evil, which is likely in disguise and may be trying to poison you.

It's easy to see yourself as a woodsman or whatnot in these stories, or as someone people mistake for a drudge, because dark forces are denying you your birthright.

"Jet fuel cannot melt steel beams," is the new "Somebody has been lying in my bed - and here she is!"

Admittedly there's seldom any justice to be found within the narrative of a conspiracy theory itself, but that's the postmodern gimmick. That's part of the attraction - the hero in these stories is the narrator himself, the guy sounding the alarm! Even if his warning cry is just a response down in the "comment score below threshold" section of some entirely unrelated post on Reddit.

Recording old and inventing new conspiracy theories has proven profitable for some.

American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has done very well for himself, reworking such classics as "Government controls the weather," now with bonus chemtrails, and introducing new ones.

"No one was shot at Sandy Hook," was an instant success.

"Juice boxes are designed by the government to make kids gay" a literal cult classic.

Mr. Jones is arguably the Hans Christian Andersen of our era, but Donald Trump may well become its Walt Disney - he's bringing conspiracy theories, loud and in Technicolor, into the mainstream.

Mr. Trump has been a guest on Mr. Jones's show. "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down," he said, running his hand lovingly through what was the fringe.

Conspiracy theories are the foundation of Mr. Trump's campaign. He launched himself onto the political scene by questioning, endlessly, in various outlandish ways, where Barack Obama was born, while suggesting Mr. Obama is a Muslim.

The conditions were right for his kind of candidacy.

Many of Mr. Trump's supporters, so quick to shrug off his many, bizarrely obvious lies, claim they like him because "He tells it like it is."

What they mean is "He tells stories I want to hear."

Asked this week if he still believes President Obama was born in Hawaii, Mr. Trump said "I'll answer that question at the right time, I just don't want to answer it yet," and of course he doesn't.

According to Public Policy Polling, 65 per cent of Trump supporters believe that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, and only 59 per cent believe he was born in the United State but according to every person in possession of the facts and his senses, both those things are complete nonsense.

In 2012 Mr. Trump tweeted that Mr. Obama would start a war to win the election.

He claims that Ted Cruz's father was involved with the JFK assassination and that vaccines cause autism.

The "concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese" he's stated and against all evidence claims some people "are voting many, many times."

Everyone - from these industrious over-voters, to the "disgusting and corrupt media," to the unscrupulous maximumoccupancy-enforcing fire marshals - conspires against him, Mr. Trump complains.

The Reptilian Elites must be so sad not to have got a shout-out, but there's still time.

Mr. Trump is playing Conspiracy Theory Bingo.

Short of announcing Dead Elvis, with exaggerated airquotes around "Dead," as his running mate, there's hardly a square on that card Mr. Trump hasn't stamped and he did pick Mike Pence to run alongside him.

Mr. Pence is a lung-cancer truther who's written that "Smoking doesn't kill," so, arguably, Donald gets that square as well.

Many in the media have engaged in Cirque du Soleil-worthy contortions in an effort to deflect rampant allegations that they are part of a secret cabal.

All the media seems exhausted.

Perhaps this is how serious news outlets this week came to be discussing Hillary Clinton's "body double" and the secret earpieces that feed her much-diagnosed body answers.

It's easier and more thematically appropriate in this conspiracy-theory election than delving into the 15 dumb things Donald Trump said just this past Monday. Before breakfast. All of which ranged from "highly questionable" to "thoroughly reprehensible."

It's getting harder and harder to remember a time when Mitt Romney's saying he met with MI6 was judged to be a major political gaff.

The truth is that the delicacy with which most of the media treat the "controversial racial opinions" of many - yes, many- of Mr. Trump's supporters is straight from a Jane Austen novel. No one wants to call their vigorously expressed (in person and polls) opinions about black people, Mexicans and Muslims "ugly," so they're close to going with "plain."

Donald Trump's free-association platform is indeed difficult to cover.

It's like trying to pin down a rabid orange squirrel, running on his self-proclaimed business acumen, who's strangely shy about disclosing his tax returns but really wants to show you his nuts.

To do it with any integrity you need to forget "All the news that's fit to print" New York Times, and "America's Newspaper," The Washington Times.

For the duration of this election, every paper in America should just change its motto to "There's no polite way to say this" ... and go to town.

Ottawa set to impose national carbon price
Some key provinces balking at federal government plan to force adoption of minimum rate as part of effort to reduce GHG emissions
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- The Liberal government will move this fall to impose a minimum, national carbon price on provinces that fail to adopt their own pricing system for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, a plan that is adamantly opposed by some key premiers.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna also indicated Sunday that the government will not commit to a more aggressive target for reducing emissions than the one adopted by the Harper government in 2015, though environmentalists argue that the goal is a weak one.

Ottawa will require provinces to adopt either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade approach and to meet a federally established minimum price, Ms. McKenna said on CTV's Question Period. The federal government will impose its own system on provinces that fail to meet that minimum threshold, the minister said.

"It's mandatory that everyone will have to have a price on carbon," Ms. McKenna said Sunday.

"If provinces don't do that, the federal government will provide a backstop."

Ms. McKenna said the government will outline its plan prior to a first ministers' meeting this fall at which federal, provincial and territorial leaders aim to conclude a national climate strategy.

Ottawa is looking at options for a carbon levy - likely in the form of higher taxes on fuels - that would be imposed on provinces that refuse to adopt their own plans or fail to meet the federal minimum price, sources have told The Globe and Mail.

The government's determination to implement a national carbon price is meeting with resistance and some outright opposition from premiers. Provinces that already have carbon-pricing regimes, notably Quebec, worry that Ottawa will intervene and force them to get tougher, while the premiers in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia argue that they have their own climate plans and that the federal approach will hurt key industries and consumers.

Ms. McKenna said that provinces can choose a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, which British Columbia and Alberta have adopted, or the cap-andtrade approach favoured by Ontario and Quebec.

The price will have to be sufficiently high to encourage businesses and consumers to conserve energy or switch to cleaner, renewable sources, she said. And it will have to rise over time.

British Columbia has a carbon tax of $30 a tonne of carbon-dioxide emissions, a level Alberta intends to reach in 2018. B.C.

Premier Christy Clark announced last month her government would not increase its carbon levy - which has been frozen since 2012 - until other provinces move in lockstep.

In addition to a carbon price, Ottawa wants a national strategy to include a commitment to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas extraction, a new plan to phase out coal-fired power and a host of measures to encourage the adoption of clean-energy technology, sources say.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopes to have a national plan in place ahead of the United Nations summit to be held in Morocco in early November.

The Prime Minister and premiers met in Vancouver in March and agreed on the need for a national climate plan that would reflect the country's commitments made at the Paris climate summit last December, and would include some form of carbon pricing.

The government intends this fall to ratify the Paris agreement in which nations agreed to limit global temperature increase to below two degrees C. As part of that effort, Canada committed to cut GHG emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a goal set by former prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government.

While critics complain the target is the weakest among leading industrialized nations, the Liberal government has long signalled that it considers the goal to be ambitious. Ms. McKenna argues it is more important to focus on effective measures to reduce emissions rather than targets.

"We're going to take real action.

... The Harper target was a fake target because [the Conservatives] did nothing" to achieve it, she said.

Although Ms. McKenna expressed optimism about reaching a federal-provincial-territorial deal, some provinces and territories have expressed opposition to Ottawa's plan for a national carbon price and its proposal to speed up the phase-out of coalfired power.

Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia argue that they already have a form of carbon pricing - the prairie province through its major investment in technology that captures GHG emissions from coal-fired generating stations, and Nova Scotia through costly measures to reduce GHGs in its electricity sector.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has been the most vocal opponent to Ottawa's climate strategy, saying Mr. Trudeau is reneging on his promise to collaborate with the provinces on the issue.

On Sunday, he questioned whether the country should meet its UN target, arguing that to do so could impose onerous costs on the oil-and-gas sector in Western Canada.

And he reiterated his opposition to any federally imposed carbon price. "If it's some sort of universal price that will manifest itself as a tax and be disproportionately impacting the energy sector, which is already reeling, then we have a big problem in Saskatchewan," he told CTV's Question Period.

British Columbia and Alberta indicated they are not concerned with the federal carbon price plan because they expect it to be consistent with their existing policies. It's not clear, however, whether the federal government will insist on a more aggressive increase in the carbon price than those governments would find comfortable. Ms. Clark faces a general election next May in B.C., while Alberta's NDP Premier Rachel Notley faces hostility to her government's carbon pricing from conservative opposition parties.

"We support the adoption of B.C.'s price on carbon as a national benchmark and increasing that price together in an affordable way, once other jurisdictions catch up," a spokesman for British Columbia's Environment Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

"The tax can only increase if it remains revenue neutral and every dollar is returned to citizens in the form of tax relief."

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the province is "well-prepared for whatever comes out of Ottawa" on climate policy, given its own strategy that was rolled out last year.

"This is why we took the time to consult with Albertans to establish a credible system that ensures carbon revenues are reinvested back in Alberta," she said in a statement.

Ontario's Liberal government applauded the federal role, even as it implements its own plan to establish caps on GHG emissions and join a market with Quebec and California in which companies can buy and sell carbon-emission credits.

"Ontario welcomes renewed federal leadership on combatting climate change and we are committed to working with them to build a plan that delivers on our national target," said David Mullock, a spokesman for Environment Minister Glen Murray. "A pan-Canadian price on carbon is an important part of that."

Associated Graphic

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna stands in the House of Commons during Question Period in Ottawa in March.


Blowing the whistle on phys-ed
Despite worrying trends in childhood obesity and stress, physical education is still treated as expendable, much to experts' chagrin
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L5

Patty Bromley knows every joke lobbed at her profession.

After 14 years teaching phys-ed in Ontario, she's as familiar with the stereotype as she is with three in the key or keeping your stick on the ice.

"It's the same old, 'What do you do, roll a ball out and drink a coffee while the kids are playing?' " says Bromley, who has spent the past dozen years at Ursuline College in Chatham.

It may not sink to the level of contempt, but our low estimation of physical education's importance is reflected in more than just bad jokes. It's easily gauged by cost-cutting reductions in programs across the country - from elementary schools up to postsecondary institutions - that physical-education experts say is contributing to the crisis of childhood obesity and widespread sedentary behaviour. The Conference Board of Canada, the World Health Organization and UNESCO, among many other groups, have all called for increasing the time and quality of students' physical education.

Mental health is another key area that phys-ed classes hope to address. For some students, the physical activity of a traditional phys-ed class is a way to help deal with academic pressures, Bromley says.

"We get a lot of kids who have a tough timetable who are taking tough sciences and tough math, and they'll take a fitness course just to come and relieve some of the academic stress that they have," she says.

In Canada, 27 per cent of kids between the ages of two and 17 are overweight or obese, according to a study that looked at data from 2004 to 2013 and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in May.

Less than one in 10 kids ages five to 17 get the recommended 60 minutes of heart-pumping daily activity, according to a report this year from ParticipAction, a national non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging Canadians to lead more active lives.

Despite these worrying trends, physical education continues to be treated as expendable, experts say.

Earlier this year, Queen's University made headlines following the announcement it will be suspending admissions to its Physical Health and Education program for one year starting next fall. There is no guarantee it will return.

"The number of opportunities for physical education teachers within the school system is decreasing. Many universities, including Queen's Faculty of Education, are no longer offering a teaching subject in this area," Susan Mumm, dean of the faculty of arts and science, told the Queen's Journal.

"Anecdotally, we've heard time and time again that the level of prominence that [PE teachers] get in the school has been decreasing, and also whenever there are budget cuts to be made, generally they look to the nonacademic subjects such as PE first," says Jennifer Forrest, a spokeswoman for PHE Canada, a professional organization for physical and health educators.

When programs aren't cut outright, there are often worrying workarounds, Forrest says.

For example, in March, Winnipeg School Division trustees announced that in an effort to cut costs, senior year students will be allowed to get academic credit for extracurricular activities, such as playing on a sports team.

"Imagine if you're English teacher said, 'Oh, you read a book on the weekend? That will count as your English credit.' Unfortunately, we hear stories like that all the time and it doesn't ring any alarm bells," Forrest says. "If this were to happen in math or science or English, everyone would be in an outrage."

Instead of outrage, however, the most we seem able to muster up is mild indifference.

For example, only 42 per cent of elementary schools in Ontario have a PE teacher, most of whom work part-time, according to a report last year from the People for Education, an independent charitable organization.

Manitoba is the only province where students are required to take PE class through Grade 12. In all others, PE is only mandatory in Grade 9.

As well, time requirements vary across the country. In some provinces, students get as little as 75 minutes a week of phys-ed instruction, while in others it is 150 minutes. In some cases, these are only recommendations, not requirements.

Often, classes are not taught by specialists, meaning someone who studied physical education in university, says Dan Robinson, an assistant professor in the faculty of education at St. Francis Xavier University.

Research has shown that nonspecialists report lower levels of confidence, preparation and knowledge compared with specialists.

Given the often low status of PE in schools, it is incumbent on parents to push for more it, Robinson says.

"If I was a parent, I would find out how many minutes my child is meant to be getting in the school, and if they're not, I would follow up with an administrator," he says.

Classes may also not provide the standard activities parents recollect from their childhood.

"I'm constantly battling the term 'gym,' " says Joe Barrett, an associate professor in the department of teacher education at Brock University. "If you look at the way we approach things today, it's much more comprehensive.

It's much more evidence-based and it's much more diverse in the ways in which we offer the programs, the way we teach them, the way they're assessed."

A generation ago, phys-ed teachers may have focused almost exclusively on sports. But there has been a sea change in the past 20 years.

"The emphasis is very much holistic. We're looking at students' physical, emotional, social, cognitive development," Barrett says.

Students across Canada are as likely to learn mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques as they are to be taught good freethrow form thanks to curricula that now cover mental-health coping strategies as well as playing sports, among other topics.

"We all know that our kids are facing different challenges today, and stress is certainly one that we're looking to help them develop coping strategies to manage," Barrett says.

Regardless of PE's status in many schools, there will always be teachers, such as Bromley, who make a lasting impression on students.

"Patty has a way of connecting with her students no matter what their background is," says Ashley Hosfeld, a former student now studying at Brandon University.

Talking about her former teacher and basketball coach, Hosfeld praised Bromley's "humour" and "discipline" and "dedication."

It's why Bromley is unruffled by the gym teacher stereotype.

"It doesn't bother me too much because I know what we do, and the kids know what we do."

Associated Graphic

Patty Bromley, above, fourth from left, a physical education teacher at Ursuline College in Chatham, Ont., watches as students practise a relay exchange on the school's track, Sept. 3. She says phys-ed class is just as important for students' mental health as their fitness.


National Gallery predicts triumphs ahead
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

The National Gallery in Ottawa is sighing with relief and patting itself on the back after receiving the news that its big summer show, a survey of paintings by the late 18th-century portraitist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, was seen by just more than 90,000 patrons.

That's 20 per cent more than the 75,000 it was projecting before the three-month exhibition opened June 10. Further, gallery officials see the success as one more marker of the gallery's improving circumstances and perhaps a harbinger of greater triumphs ahead.

"A wonderful surprise" is how Paul Lang characterized the news in a recent interview. The gallery's deputy director and chief curator, he also was one of the three senior curators of the roughly 90 works that made up Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842): The Portraitist to Marie Antoinette, as it was called in Canada. Not only was attendance strong, the NGC sold every copy, both the French version and English, of the exhibition's hardcover catalogue. "What makes me happy is that the people were really happy," said Lang, 58, who joined the NGC in 2011 after a lengthy museum curatorship in Geneva. "There is something that happened around this exhibition, that's for sure. It's really a public success."

The show's good fortune certainly was no slam dunk. While Le Brun is, to Lang's cultivated eye, "the most important female artist of the 18th century," she was largely an unknown quantity on these shores. This was even true, to some extent, in her native France, where she's been regarded, variously, as a society artist, a panderer to the pre-Revolutionary aristocracy and a reactionary beguiler. In recent years, though, her cachet has seen to be in the ascendant. She was, after all, largely a self-taught and self-made success, not to mention a rare female member of the Académie royale whose travels and talent took her into the highest circles of Russian, Swiss, English and Austrian society.

In short, a substantial touring retrospective seemed long overdue. Indeed, during its threeand-a-half month stay last year at the Grand Palais in Paris (the retrospective's debut venue), the show drew 237,000 visitors. Its next stop, a February-to-May run this year at New York's Metropolitan Museum, recorded 165,000 patrons.

The NGC has what could charitably be described as "mixed results" in both summer attendance and overall attendance in the past 10-plus years. While last year's summer retrospective of Alex Colville was, with almost 114,000 paying visitors, an indisputable hit, its 2014 summer survey of the oeuvre of 19th-century French illustrator/painter Gustave Doré was a thumping failure: fewer than 50,000 attendees.

The previous summer, an ambitious, path-breaking survey of international contemporary indigenous art, titled Sakahan, was similarly disappointing: just 60,000.

Of course, there have been successes - 2012's Van Gogh: Up Close enjoyed slightly more than 230,000 visitors; Renoir Landscapes 1865-1883 scored 172,000 in 2007; Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome, from 2011, had almost 109,000. But you expect venerables of this ilk to send people through the turnstiles.

Much more sobering was the attendance, in the summer of 2010, for Pop Life: Art in a Material World. An ample potpourri of modern and contemporary work by such high-recognition names as Warhol, Hirst, Koons, Haring and Murakami, it was a huge hit at London's Tate but polled only 68,000 attendees during its three-month stay here.

Still, Lang is convinced the NGC is "on an upward trajectory," especially in light of the back-to-back summer successes of Colville and Vigée Le Brun, not to mention the positive notices earned by recent non-summer presentations such as the Jack Bush retrospective and Monet: A Bridge to Modernity.

Statistics seem to confirm his optimism: The gallery had 397,000 visitors in calendar year 2015, a 47-per-cent hike over 2014's 270,208. That tally, in turn, was 12 per cent higher than the 241,173 recorded in 2013. (To date, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, the NGC has had close to 240,000 visitors.)

Lang was quick to attribute much of this renewal to "strengthened relations between curatorial and marketing" - the result, in part, of the NGC having commissioned in early 2015 a broad market research study by Ipsos Reid to get a fix on its local, regional and national audiences, both actual and potential.

The first such comprehensive survey in more than 15 years, it found Canadians generally favourably disposed toward the NGC and keen to learn about other cultures and history through the art and complementary events it might present.

Hence, at the Vigée Le Brun, the popularity of an ancillary, multifaceted presentation devoted to the "immodest" white muslin dress Marie Antoinette wore for a 1783 portrait.

Admittedly, it's unlikely the NGC will ever enjoy the mid-sixfigure tallies it did in each of the seven or eight years after opening its Moshe Safdie-designed quarters in 1988. At the same time, Lang believes the years of annual attendance being well below 300,000 are "really behind us." Certainly, guaranteed draws remain few and far between - but, as Vigée Le Brun demonstrated, audiences can be led toward (relatively) unfamiliar content. In its marketing and promotion, the NGC smartly stressed the artist's spunk as a divorced, financially independent woman in a man's world, her position as Marie Antoinette's preferred painter and the soon-to-be-beheaded Queen's status as Vigée Le Brun's most famous sitter. Also, Marie Antoinette died at 37 - only a year older than that other young, doomed and tragic royal, Diana, Princess of Wales.

"Content matters, too, of course," Lang said. "I don't think you can be successful with a poor artist or with something uninteresting. The success of an exhibition ... is to deliver something that is, in a way, already known, consciously or unconsciously, and something new. That's the balance that has to be found.

Completely unknown territory - we know that it is difficult."

Another lesson learned, or at least reinforced, by the Colville/ Vigée Le Brun tandem: "Our high season, unlike other museums in Canada or elsewhere, is definitely the summer," said Lang. "And the summer will remain our high season, that's for sure."

For 2017, Canada's sesquicentennial, this means visitors will be treated to a complete reinstallation of the Canadian and indigenous galleries. For 2018, there's an epic exhibition of paintings by John Constable (1776-1837), plus "something else I'm not ready to speak about," Lang said.

Associated Graphic

Élisabeth Louise Vigée's work La Paix ramenant l'abondance - 1780, oil on canvas, 102 x 133 centimetres - was included in a National Gallery exhibit.

Norm finds yet another comedic outlet
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

There's something funny going on with Norm Macdonald.

Not everyone is a fan of his dry, ironic brand of cracking wise, but there shouldn't be any doubt that Macdonald is a highly gifted comedian, successful by any reasonable standard. Of course, not all standards are reasonable. Some are bogus, including the pervasive one which judges that a comedian isn't at the top of their game unless they are a movie star or a sitcom headliner or a host of their own talk show.

Macdonald, who has a new book out, is none of those things. So, no matter that he is one of the funniest people alive - "I don't know anybody who is funnier," David Letterman has said - there's the perception Macdonald's talent has been squandered and that his promise has been unfulfilled. A recent deep-dive feature in The Washington Post, for example, posited that the struggle for the fiftysomething comic has always been "finding the right outlet for his humour."

But isn't the "right outlet" for Macdonald on stage, in front of a crowd? The comedian himself believes so.

"I'm not a comic actor," Macdonald says, unwittingly agreeing with most of the critics who saw the 1998 movie Dirty Work.

"I'm a stand-up comedian, and I always want to get better. Honestly, I want to be the best that ever was."

As for other outlets for his humour, Macdonald may have found it. His hilarious new book, Based on a True Story: A Memoir, is a fanciful yarn with just enough truth to qualify as an autobiography. "A comic novel would have no worth," Macdonald says, speaking from a train making its way from New York to Washington. (He does not drive.) "So I had to camouflage it as a memoir."

As memoirs go, the book is bonkers and it is gonzo. But it is revealing in its saner, more reflective moments.

"I think a lot of people feel sorry for you if you were on Saturday Night Live and emerged from the show anything less than a superstar," the former SNL Weekend Update-segment star writes. "They assume you must be bitter. But it is impossible for me to be bitter. I've been lucky."

The confusion over the status of the simple stand-up comedian is as old as the profession itself. Prior to the 1920s, comedians rarely relied on solo joketelling alone. Sidekick straight men or the use of props or other on-stage shenanigans were thought to be required. A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in the pants - that kind of thing.

Frank Fay is considered to be the very first stand-up comedian. They thought he was nuts for appearing on stage with just nerve, jokes and a suit. In fact, when he first hit the circuit in 1917, Fay billed himself as the "Nut Monologist."

Fay's chops were dynamite, though, and his winning solo act paved the way for emcees and stand-up comedians for the decades that followed.

(Fay was also a jerk and a Mussolini lover, and so his star plummeted around the time of the Second World War. America was not yet ready for fascism; Fay was ahead of his time in that respect.)

For a long time, being a monologist or a stand-up was not thought to be a mere stepping stone toward something splashier (though it often was the case). Nobody asked Mark Twain to take his white suit and snappy "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" catchphrase to Hollywood, and nobody wondered why George Carlin didn't have his own network sitcom.

Now, we have The Washington Post publishing an article with the headline "Will Somebody Please Give Norm Macdonald Another TV Show?" But here's another question: Does Macdonald, whose ABC sitcom Norm ran from 1999 through 2001, even want another TV show?

"I look at sitcoms and I think they're for kids," Macdonald says.

Accordingly, the sitcoms he says he often watches on television are of the I Dream of Jeannie variety, popular when he was a kid.

"And I don't have that much interest in comedy movies either," he says.

Macdonald, with his distinctive flat, nasal delivery, has found voiceover work in Hollywood, however. As for the notion that he's his own worst enemy, as has been suggested, Macdonald doesn't outright deny it.

"It's hard for me to be collaborative," he admits.

While some people downgrade the status of the solo comedic performer, others stand up for the stand-up. "I've never understood why it's not enough," the superb Canadian comic Mark Forward says. "It's usually the fourth question in any interview I've ever done. 'What are you going to do next? What are your goals?' But, I'm doing my goal, which is stand-up comedy."

Canadian comedy-club impresario Mark Breslin, who gave Macdonald his first job in comedy back in the early 1980s at his Yuk Yuk's outpost in Ottawa, understands what Macdonald is attempting to do. "Norm is a purist. He's not distracted in terms of a career. He sees a beauty in the purity of stand-up comedy."

Breslin tells a story about Macdonald's first show in Ottawa.

The young comedian gave a great set to an appreciative crowd, and yet he thought he had bombed. "He left the club quickly, apologizing because he didn't think it went well," Breslin says. "But every joke got a laugh.

It was a perfectly constructed set, and the club's manager, Howard Wagman, had to convince him to come back the next week."

Macdonald remembers the night. "I aim my comedy at myself, and when it came out of my mouth that night I heard it in my ear, and it didn't sound right to me. It didn't sound funny."

And he would know. The audience isn't always right, and neither are the pundits and the critics. Early in her career, Joan Rivers bombed one night in New York, at the Duplex in the Village. Lenny Bruce, who had caught the set, sent Rivers a note backstage. "You're right," it read, "and they're wrong."

As for fame, Macdonald has settled into a level he's comfortable with. "I thought it would get me the best seat in the restaurant, but I never got that. You think you're going to get girls, but I never got the girls," the divorced father of one says.

So what does he get?

"I get fat families from Iowa who want to take a picture with me," Macdonald says. "They don't know me, but they smile at me. It's the warmth from strangers on an otherwise cold street. It's the best thing that I get, and I'm okay with that."

Quebec insider's guide to 'cracking the code'
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A4

Jean-Marc Léger has written a book that only a Quebecker could write.

The famed pollster says so himself - and the bold title he's chosen gives away the reason.

Cracking the Quebec Code: The 7 keys to understanding Quebecers, makes the kind of tantalizing promises for itself that a reader might expect from a marketing guru like Mr. Léger. "For the first time," a foreword boasts, "English Canadians will have access to Quebeckers' best-kept secrets."

Here, finally, is a "skeleton key" to the "question of Québécitude."

Co-written with journalist Pierre Duhamel and business scholar Jacques Nantel, the book uses survey data, interviews with provincial leaders and a novel approach measuring reactions to hundreds of key words to come up with seven traits that define the Quebec character: joie de vivre, easygoing, non-committal, victim, villagers, creative and proud.

The project would seem presumptuous if it weren't led by Mr. Léger, the ultimate Quebec insider who is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the eponymous polling firm he founded with his late father, Marcel, a one-time Parti Québécois cabinet minister.

"He's probably right now the most experienced pollster in the province," said Jack Jedwab, executive vice-president of the Association for Canadian Studies.

"He's very visible in the Quebec media - probably one of the most visible in the last couple of decades. He knows the political and economic intelligentsia of the province very, very well."

That deep immersion in Quebec's political and social life has given Mr. Léger the confidence - some might say hubris - to channel Quebec's collective unconscious for an audience of outsiders.

"I'm saying loudly what people know deep in their mind," he said in an interview this week.

"I'm only the messenger - so don't shoot the messenger!"

The Quebec media do not appear to have their guns trained. The book comes out in English and French on Monday and is already a sensation in the province, with excerpts running in each of Montreal's three top newspapers and Mr. Léger booked for more than 50 interviews in the next week and a half. As Mr. Nantel writes in the book's final chapter, "Quebeckers like to acknowledge themselves, and they like to be acknowledged."

That maxim may be tested by some of the book's more "uncompromising" revelations, as Mr. Léger calls them. Anglos eager for a peek at dirty French-Canadian laundry will have plenty to ogle . "Many Quebeckers are unfaithful, stressed out, lack resources, wash inadequately, work unexceptionally, and live badly - but are happy," he writes, at his scab-picking best.

(The book addresses the province's anglophone and allophone populations, but focuses its analysis on the francophone majority.)

Ultimately, though, this is a proud, even boosterish account of Quebec and its people. Mr. Léger insists that the province is no more racist than the rest of Canada, even while noting that 49 per cent of Quebeckers would be bothered by a server in a hijab compared with 6 per cent who would feel the same way about a server wearing a crucifix.

"Public expressions of faith disturb Quebeckers, especially when it comes from a foreign tradition," he writes.

Mr. Léger boasts that his study will show the rest of Canada that Quebec isn't so different after all.

Seventy-one per cent of the attitudes and behaviours of English Canadians and French Quebeckers overlap, he reports.

The differences, however, are just as arresting. Seventy-six per cent of Quebeckers believe that "having pleasure" is more important than "being responsible." In English Canada, the figure is 53 per cent. Joie de vivre is the most cherished value in Quebec and only the fourth most-cherished in English Canada. (Mr. Léger notes that the English language doesn't even have a word for joie de vivre - it just borrows from the French.)

Though the book promises to overturn old stereotypes about French Canadians, it may bolster as many as it dispels.

The typical Quebecker, as Mr. Léger portrays her, is hedonistic, fun-loving, spontaneous, creative, emotional, work-shy, navelgazing and proud. She loves good food, red wine and Céline Dion. She spends more on booze (but binge-drinks less), enjoys shopping more, saves less, and is 16 per cent more tolerant of homosexuality than her Rest-ofCanada counterpart. Her heroes are Maurice Richard, René Lévesque - and Céline Dion.

Other insights may prove more counterintuitive. English Canadians will perhaps be surprised to learn that their Québécois compatriots, who veer from party to party each federal election and gave Canada two referendums on national unity, are chronically indecisive and averse to strong positions - but that's what the surveys show.

What's arguably most interesting about the book is that it could have been written at all.

For all its diversity and evolution, Quebec is still a remarkably cohesive place. The cultural mainstream is stronger than anywhere else in Canada: An astonishing 94 per cent of Quebeckers root for the Montreal Canadiens, compared with the 58 per cent of Ontarians who cheer for the Leafs. Bye Bye, a comedic end-ofyear review program, commanded a TV viewership of more than five million last year - 62 per cent of all Quebeckers.

That cohesiveness can make the province insular and alienated from the broader Canadian culture. Consider the Vancouver Olympics: While the Games were smothered with news coverage in English Canada, much of it glowingly patriotic, Mr. Léger reports that the Quebec press largely ignored the event.

Daniel Weinstock, a bilingual Quebecker and director of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, remembers a time when Quebec and English Canada were passionately, sometimes angrily, engaged with each other over federalism and the Constitution. The fizzling of the separatist threat, the relative self-sufficiency of Quebec, and a Western-oriented Harper government helped usher in a period of "benign neglect" between the province and its partners in confederation, he believes.

"We may finally be realizing that a federation is just that," said Mr. Weinstock. "Largely distinct societies that have a kind of marriage of convenience for a range of issues having to do with security and foreign affairs, but that largely go their own way."

For his part, Mr. Jedwab believes English Canada is suffering from "Quebec fatigue."

"I notice that when I'm in Toronto, my Toronto colleagues appear less interested in Quebec than when the separatist threat was more potent," he said.

Mr. Léger is making a bet that he can inject a dose of Québécois adrenalin into bored English Canadians. If he has written a book that only a Quebecker could write, he will be hoping it's not a book that only Quebeckers will read.

Associated Graphic



Gender parity just happens at Firehall
The venue's artistic director doesn't deliberately push female voices or roles, but she does have a theory about why they speak to her
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R5

VANCOUVER -- Donna Spencer, artistic director of Vancouver's Firehall Arts Centre, does not program a season with the goal of promoting women's voices or creating more roles for women. It just happens. Maybe because, as a woman, the way female playwrights approach stories speaks to her. She offers a theory on this - but predicts it will never make it into The Globe and Mail. (We prove her wrong later in this story.)

Last week, Firehall was named a recipient of an International Centre for Women Playwrights 50/50 Applause Award for its 2015-16 season. The awards - which went to 15 Canadian organizations this year - recognize theatres at which female playwrights represent at least 50 per cent of the work produced in a season.

And Firehall's 2016-17 season, which kicks off next week with Cathy Jones's one-woman show Stranger to Hard Work, is being dubbed a celebration of "women and their connections to community and family."

The season includes Tracey Power's Miss Shakespeare; Nicolle Nattrass's Mamahood: Turn and Face the Strange; Theatre Passe Muraille's ELLE, Severn Thompson's adaptation of Douglas Glover's novel about a French noblewoman abandoned off Newfoundland in 1542; Mary Vingoe's Refuge, about an Eritrean child soldier who comes to Canada; and Andrew Cohen and Anna Kuman's Circle Game, inspired by Joni Mitchell's music. And Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Motherfucker With the Hat has strong female roles - especially Veronica, an addict whose former drugdealer boyfriend is released from prison.

"It's all about women either taking a stand or trying to make a change or addressing some of their personal concerns. Or in the case of ELLE ... it's really about somebody going on an adventure," Spencer says. "I felt somehow that the spirit of all these women was going okay, this is what we do, and reminding me how important the work of women is within the community."

A recent Equity in Theatre study found that 55 per cent of Canadian theatre awards granted between 1992 and 2015 went to men, 39 per cent to women and 5 per cent to mixed partnerships.

There are significant gender divisions based on categories: 72 per cent of directing awards went to men and 62 per cent of playwriting awards were given to men.

Meanwhile, 62 per cent of awards for administration went to women.

EIT, run out of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, reports that women form the majority of theatre graduates and audiences, but hold fewer than 35 per cent of the key creative roles in Canadian theatre.

Then there's the question of the availability of interesting roles for female actors, especially as they age.

"For women it's difficult when you look at plays and the balance of roles - male versus female," says Nattrass, an actor who wrote Mamahood about her experience with late-in-life motherhood and postpartum depression. "Also, as a woman I reached a certain age where I was too old to play the super, super young roles ... and then you're too young to play mom roles. So you have to keep yourself creatively alive, and for me, writing has been wonderful."

Nattrass began writing her own work at 26. "I wanted to have more interesting characters [to play] and quite frankly ... I just wanted to work more." Jones, with CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes for more than 20 years, knows that female performers, especially aging women, face challenges men don't have to deal with. But when it comes to story, it's the art that matters.

"It's not about whether it's about a man or a woman; it's about the quality of the work. If people are doing shows that are stupid, it doesn't matter if they're male or female," she says. "Good work is good work, and women's stories are phenomenal."

Power premiered Miss Shakespeare last year; the show imagines the Bard's youngest daughter, Judith Shakespeare, as a woman with theatre ambitions at a time when women were not allowed onstage.

While the show was celebrated for the female-focused story and all-female cast (seven women, including Power), Power was frustrated that much of the focus around the production concerned gender diversity - and not the art itself.

"It shouldn't be a big deal that it's a woman's story," Power says.

"This is a show with lots of women in it. Yes, you want to celebrate that; yes, great. But what I want to be greater is the story."

The production was accused in a piece in Canadian Theatre Review of being "self-congratulatory" and "trumpeting" its allfemale cast; and the story criticized the production for being all-white. (In fact, one of the actors was of Arabic origin and another diverse actor turned down the production because of a scheduling conflict, Power says.) Power says she's adamant about the promotion of diversity, but wants to see the conversation remain civil and positive.

"As we're working toward gender equality and diversity, I hope we can remember that we're better off fighting as a community and not pointing fingers at each other, because every single artist matters," she says. "The struggle for gender equality onstage can be fought alongside diversity. In both cases we have the opportunity to reverse historic trends of marginalization."

Spencer (whose Motherfucker production last January was criticized for only having one nonwhite actor) believes she has a responsibility to program inclusive work. She doesn't try to fill a quota or select anything because it's written by a woman; it's the story that speaks to her. She believes female playwrights tell stories in a different way from men.

When I ask how, she offers that theory she predicts would not be published.

"The standard format is we go forward with the story and then we reach the climax and then there's a denouement, and that seems like a very male experience to me," she says. "When women tell stories we tend to build and then we might go back and then we build and we build.

... I'm not saying it's all tied into orgasmic climaxes, but it's sort of a different way of telling a story.

We kind of amble around the story a bit. Maybe that's a huge generalization."

Gender diversity (cultural diversity, too) remains a goal in theatre. We haven't reached the tipping point yet, but maybe we're heading there.

"It just needs to happen and let's make it happen," Power says. "Then we need to get on with the show and create amazing theatre."

Associated Graphic

Firehall's 2016-17 season kicks off next week with Cathy Jones's one-woman show Stranger to Hard Work.

Porsche tames the turbocharger
The evolution of its engine means more power, fewer kinks
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B6

VANCOUVER -- The boost comes on in a hissing surge, the red needle swings to the right, and one turbocharged Porsche chases another up a mountain. It's the wild and woolly whale-tailed past and the glossy white future together in a chain, both fast, only one furious. Both are 911 turbos, but only one is a 911 Turbo.

The slate-grey beast with the enormous spoiler is the true Turbo, a last-of-run 1989 model belonging to local Porsche Club of America president Erwin Kremser. Its air-cooled 3.3-litre flat-six is the original recipe for force-fed Porsche speed, and stands in stark contrast to the technologycrammed power plant tucked beneath the sleek lines of the modern car. Pretty much every Porsche fan knows this car by its internal company code, the 930.

The old car is hairy, laggy, characterful. Kremser hands over the keys with a warning. "Just don't floor it in a corner," he says. I settle into the seat and twist sideways to get my feet on the offset pedals. There's more than a little anticipation here - this car has a reputation for being unforgiving.

Below 4,000 rpm, there's pretty much nothing going on. Hit four grand on the tachometer and the little red needle reading BAR starts moving right, and the world goes backward. The car pulls like the proverbial freight train, surging forward on a wave of torque. It sounds like a boa constrictor in a fight with a woodchipper.

From the exhilaration of the ancestor, step into the poise of the descendant. This 2017 C4S has a horizontally opposed turbocharged six-cylinder, too, but it's a different beast. Displacement is 3.0 litres, with horsepower at 420 and torque of 368 lb-ft. The latter comes not in a surge running to redline, but in a friendly and accessible plateau from 1,700 rpm to 5,000.

Add in all-wheel drive and Porsche's seven-speed dualclutch gearbox, and you have a car that even a novice driver could master. This is the fulfilment of the promise made by Porsche's mid-1980s supercar, the 959. Relentless capability and speed come from the application technology and now, more than ever, that means turbocharging.

At time of writing, the naturally aspirated Porsche power plant is gasping its last breath. Turbocharged V-6s are the mainstream choice in the Macan, Panamera and Cayenne. The Boxster and Cayman, redubbed 718 in an attempt to use a dollop of heritage to sweeten the medicine, are powered by turbocharged flatfours instead of revvy flat-sixes.

And finally, the 911, the brand's icon, is turbocharged right through the lineup. Only the GT3 RS remains sans boost.

This leaves Porsche with a branding problem. If all Porsches are Porsche turbos, then what's a Porsche Turbo? Porsche's response? Ignore the problem the way everybody else does. A BMW 328i doesn't come with a 2.8-litre engine any more, and the AMG C63 never had a 6.3-litre V-8 (it was first a 6.2-litre model, now it's a twin-turbo 4.0-litre). If you see the famous flowing Turbo script on the back of any Porsche, then that just means it's the most-turbocharged version. Or, to put it another way, the most expensive one.

Porsche didn't invent turbocharging. The technology was born atop another mountain: the lofty Pike's Peak, in Colorado.

Sandford Moss, head engineer of General Motors, used the thin air at Pike's 4,300-metre summit to test the application of turbochargers on aircraft engines in the early 1900s. Production turbocharged aircraft engines were in use by the 1920s.

At its heart, a turbocharger is a relatively simple device. The energy of spent exhaust gases is harnessed by placing a turbine in the exhaust flow; that turbine shaft then turns a bladed fan that compresses the air fed into the cylinder. Any internal combustion engine is essentially an air pump, and feeding more air into the system means you can cram more fuel in there as well. More fuel plus more air equals more horsepower without increasing the size of the engine: it's the replacement for displacement.

Of course, there were and are all sorts of problems with turbocharging. First, look at the lag exhibited by our 930. The turbocharger can only do its work properly once the revs are up and the engine is already pumping out exhaust gases at a decent rate. The solution might be to use a smaller turbocharger, but those can't pump enough air to feed the engine's needs high up in the rev range.

Porsche's experiments with turbocharged racing cars began in the 1960s, and ran to juggernauts such as the 917 prototype endurance racers. Powered by twinturbo flat-12 engines, these firespitting panzerkampfwagens were brutal, fast and dangerous.

The final evolution, the 917 Spyder, eventually produced 1,200 horsepower in racing trim.

Encouraged by racing success, Porsche released its turbo technology to the public. The world hasn't been the same since.

The first cars arrived in 1974, boasting around 260 horsepower in European trim, and a claimed top speed of 260 km/h. Porsche conceived of its most powerful car as a grand tourer, but it could also bite you. Get on the power too early in a corner and the surging power would conspire with the 911's rear-mounted engine to spin you into the treeline.

Over the years, Porsche worked relentlessly to both increase the power from turbocharged applications, as well as iron out its kinks. Its turbocharged offerings grew faster by the decade, but also grew easier to use. Everything from intercooling the intake charge, to the application of direct-injection, to using variable nozzle technology to squeeze the exhaust flow at lower rpm helped get turbos spooling more quickly.

The new Boxster even has something called prespool technology, which gets the turbos spinning before you jump on the throttle.

The result is a modern lineup of turbocharged cars that display none of the violence of its original efforts. This should hardly come as a surprise: You can get a turbo in your family-friendly Ford Escape these days.

What's heartening is that the 2017 model 911 isn't completely anodyne. If you flick the drive mode into sport and start using the paddle shifters to select your own gears, it comes alive beneath you, whooshing and rocketing forward. No, Porsche doesn't brand this machine as a Turbo, but there's a bit of Turbo under its skin anyway.

Associated Graphic

The Porsche Turbo has undergone an exhilarating transformation from its 1989 model, left, to the 2017 model 911, right.


Parliament is back, and Liberals have some big decisions to make
From carbon-reduction targets to electoral reform to legalizing pot, the Trudeau government has promises to keep. There's also the matter of a $30-billion economic stimulus package that has so far failed to demonstrably improve Canada's economic growth rate
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

Parliament returns, Monday, with little to do. The Trudeau government, nearing a year in office, is moving quickly on several fronts, while dragging its feet elsewhere. But like majority governments before them, the Liberals are concentrating power in the offices of the key ministers and in the Prime Minister's Office. Behind those doors, some big decisions have to be made this fall.

Climate showdown

Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger confirmed Sunday that Parliament will ratify Canada's commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change in the autumn. In the meantime, "we'll continue to work closely with the provinces on that," she told The Globe and Mail, pointing to a first ministers meeting on climate change expected this fall.

But Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has already signalled that the federal government intends to mandate a national carbon-reduction strategy, that all provinces must impose either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system on businesses and consumers, that provinces that don't come up with their own solution will have one imposed on them, and that the carbon price will have to increase substantially over time, to meet the carbon-reduction targets established by the Harper government, which are now the Trudeau government's targets as well.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is already howling at having a carbon price imposed on Saskatchewan. And do not expect British Columbia and Alberta (which have a carbon tax) and Ontario and Quebec (which have cap-and-trade) to respond well to being forced to ratchet up their carbon prices, which will significantly degrade disposable income and business profits.

If this feels like the National Energy Program 2.0, that's because it is: Ottawa dictating energy policy to the provinces, this time in the cause of fighting climate change.

When the dust settles and the blood is mopped up, the feds are hoping for a comprehensive new health-care agreement targeting improved home care and pharmacare, among other priorities.

But they have also signalled there will be no new funding.

Unless Mr. Trudeau is actively looking to pick fights with the provinces, he may back off.

Trans Mountain, yes or no, once and for all

The Americans scuppered the Keystone XL pipeline (although the pipeline could be unscuppered, if Donald Trump wins the U.S. election); the Liberal government has already signalled its intention to veto the Northern Gateway proposal to Kitimat, B.C.

This leaves the Trans Mountain proposal to twin a pipeline from near Edmonton to near Vancouver, and the Energy East proposal to convert an existing pipeline to New Brunswick. The Trans Mountain decision must be made no later than Dec. 19.

Will the government's aggressive stand on fighting global warming afford enough social licence for cabinet to approve Trans Mountain? Or will environmental and indigenous opposition, combined with the objections of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, prompt cabinet to deliver a nay, which will almost certainly limit future development of the Alberta oil sands? What Justin Trudeau and his cabinet decide on Trans Mountain will say a great deal about how committed this government is to encouraging economic development as well as environmental protection.

Mali, maybe

Apart from ratifying the Paris Agreement and taking care of some legislative housekeeping, Parliament has little on its plate this fall, as the government continues to consult on some files and to centralize decision-making on others. To give MPs something to do, Parliament might debate a new peacekeeping mission, though this would break with precedent.

The executive is not obliged to consult the House when deploying the armed forces, but convention dictates that any proposed combat mission should seek parliamentary consent.

Non-combat deployments, however, are not typically debated by the House. The Trudeau government is keen to replace the Harper government emphasis on peacemaking - in Afghanistan, Libya and the Middle East - with peacekeeping, which is why Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has been scoping out possible deployments in Africa, with Mali identified as a possible mission.

Will the government ask the House to debate and endorse any future peacekeeping mission?

Precedent would say no, but the Conservative opposition is calling for a debate anyway. When asked whether she would put a resultion on peackeeeping before the House, Ms. Chagger replied: "the decisions that are made will definitely be communicated to Canadians, I can assure you of that," displaying a talent for not answering questions that has earned her rapid advancement in the new government.

We'll run big deficits, cut taxes, spend billions on infrastructure, goose the child-care benefit and get ... bupkis?

When Finance Minister Bill Morneau presents his fall economic update, he'll have to explain why an economic stimulus package that put the federal government $30-billion in the red hasn't demonstrably improved Canada's saggy rate of economic growth.

Mr. Morneau will urge patience, and thus far Canadians have obliged. But Mr. Trudeau must remember what happened when voters decided his father knew little about the economy and cared less. A tiny two-seat plurality in the white-knuckle election of 1972. Trudeau the son will surely not want to repeat that history.

Saying we're sorry

Although critics complain that federal governments have turned apologizing - for the Japanese internment, for residential schools, for turning away the Komagata Maru - into an industry, Mr. Trudeau remains resolved to offer an apology to and consider compensation for people who were criminally charged, fired from their government job or dismissed from the military for no other reason than being gay.

The government will also legislate protection against discrimination for transgender Canadians, and create a uniform age of consent for sexual acts. Mr. Trudeau is expected turn his attention to the issue whenever he returns to work in Ottawa. The Prime Minister is in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly; last weekend he was in Montreal at an international aid conference; it was China before that; and the caucus retreat in Saguenay before that ... Of pot and PR A parliamentary committee must recommend by Dec. 1 how to replace the first-past-the-post system of electing MPs, as the Liberals have pledged to do.

Some form of proportional representation, in which the number of seats a party has in the House mirrors its share of the popular vote - would have the support of the NDP and the Green Party. The Conservatives, arms folded, insist on a referendum to ratify whatever is proposed.

Meanwhile, another committee, headed by former health minister Anne McLellan, must report by November with recommendations on how to legalize the sale and purchase of recreational marijuana. Both initiatives could be introduced during the spring sitting of the House, which would make that sitting considerably busier and more interesting than this one is set up to be.

Victory is sweet for bakery founders
Cake & Loaf, started by Josie Rudderham and Nicole Miller, is the winner of this year's Small Business Challenge contest and the $100,000 grand prize. Their big plan? To expand beyond their tiny Hamilton storefront
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B8

Josie Rudderham and Nicole Miller have big dreams for the small business they started five years ago in a house in Hamilton, Ont.

The owners of Cake & Loaf Bakery Ltd. - a million-dollar business that bakes goods from scratch using local ingredients - want to expand their main location to include eat-in and meeting spaces for baking classes and community events. They also want to build a customer relationship management program that can help them maintain the personal touch that's become a key part of their brand.

It'll take a lot of cash - at least $150,000 for the space expansion alone - to turn this wish list into reality. But there's no stopping Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller now; the business partners and former college classmates have won this year's Small Business Challenge contest, sponsored by The Globe and Mail and Telus Corp., beating out more than 3,300 entries.

Now in its sixth year, the contest awards the winning business a grand prize of $100,000, giving Cake & Loaf a big chunk of the capital they need to move their plans forward. The founders also will receive $10,000 to donate to their favourite charity.

"It was a bit of a shock to find out that we had won - we were like, 'Are you sure it's really us?'" recalls Ms. Rudderham, who, together with Ms. Miller, has built Cake & Loaf into a thriving business with five departments, close to two dozen employees and two locations. "This is going to be transformational for our business."

After the initial round of judging, Cake & Loaf was shortlisted with four other semi-finalists: online babysitting platform DateNight, composting bin manufacturer Autom River Inc., high-end playhouse maker Charmed Playhouses Inc., and Caesar cocktail mix producer Brutus Beverages Inc.

Suzanne Trusdale, a Challenge judge and vice-president of small business solutions at Telus, says she and the six other judges were won over by Cake & Loaf's compelling story - of two passionate entrepreneurs committed to the craft and philosophy of fromscratch baking, and to building a business that bucks the industry trend by paying employees a living wage.

"All of the semi-finalists were amazing, but Cake & Loaf just knocked it out of the park on so many fronts," says Ms. Trusdale.

"I'm not at all surprised that they were chosen as this year's winner."

Through their written entry and in-person pitch to the judges, Cake & Loaf's owners did a great job of sharing their story and vision for the business, says Ms. Trusdale. They also impressed the judges with their rapid pace of growth.

"In the last two years, they grew from eight members to 23 - that's huge for a small business," says Ms. Trusdale. "What I find also amazing is how they've stayed true to their original vision, which is to build a neighbourhood bakery that makes high-quality products with organic, local ingredients."

Mandy Rennehan, founder and chief executive officer of Freshco, a full-service retail maintenance and construction company based in Oakville, Ont., calls Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller "enlightened entrepreneurs" whose path to success is likely to take their business beyond the boundaries of its home community.

"I believe that at some point in the near future there will be a Cake & Loaf in every city in Canada," she says. "These two women have demonstrated the true vision of entrepreneurship - with humility and creativity, they have built a scalable and sustainable enterprise with superior products and solid business fundamentals."

Since it first fired up its ovens, Cake & Loaf has become a popular destination for Hamilton residents and out-of-towners. But customers who want to linger have to make do with a few seats along the storefront sidewalk.

Armed with their $100,000 cash prize, Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller plan to raise funds from their community to help cover the cost of building a space where customers can sit down and eat, and where Hamilton residents can gather for special events.

Ms. Miller says the Challenge contest means so much more than winning a chunk of cash.

"Just entering the contest gives a small business like us an opportunity to think bigger, dream bigger and put their best face forward," she says. "It was also really interesting to meet the other semi-finalists, see what they were doing in their business and how they were thinking bigger."

The founders plan to celebrate their win with a community festival and an end-of-year party for their employees. Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller say they expect the bakery to be extremely busy between now and Christmas, but they hope to start working on the store expansion early next year.

Ms. Miller says entering the Challenge contest felt like a long shot, but she's glad she and her partner took the chance.

"I learned that, as a business owner, you have to just put yourself out there for anything and everything because you never know where things can lead," she says. "I want to encourage all the other small businesses to put themselves out there and join the next Challenge contest."


What should this year's Challenge contest winners do to drive their business to the next level? Two judges offer suggestions.

Stay the course Cake & Loaf has achieved success by staying focused on its original vision. Suzanne Trusdale at Telus Corp. encourages Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller to continue on this path.

"What they're doing is working for them," she says. "No matter how quickly they choose to grow, it's important for them to not veer from their vision."

But watch for crossroads With their $100,000 cash prize, Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller are poised for even more dramatic growth in the near term. Mandy Rennehan at Freshco advises the pair to proceed with care as they make decisions to expand their operations. "Keep your eyes open to all the crossroads that lie ahead," she says. "This is a stage where many small businesses make choices that don't pan out and end up costing them a lot of money."

Make the most of the media spotlight The Challenge contest shines a bright light on semi-finalists and winners. Ms. Trusdale urges Cake & Loaf to make the most of this valuable exposure. As successful Challenge contenders, Ms. Rudderham and Ms. Miller also have access to a large network of business experts and entrepreneurs.

"Take advantage of the expertise that's now available to you," says Ms. Trusdale.

Associated Graphic

The founders of Cake & Loaf Bakery, a million-dollar business in Hamilton that bakes goods from scratch using local ingredients, are Nicole Miller, left, and Josie Rudderham.


Signs of hope amid Apple's smartphone slump
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

They lined up at stores around the world on Friday, eager to be one of the first to own the latest iPhone.

For Apple Inc., the enthusiasm capped a week of stronger-thananticipated indicators for a device that had garnered tepid reviews when it was unveiled just 10 days ago.

"This is a BFD," U.S.-based wireless carrier T-Mobile exclaimed on Tuesday, touting a four-fold increase in preorders of the new iPhone 7 over last year's iPhone 6s.

The larger iPhone 7 Plus sold out before they could hit store shelves. Apple investors responded, driving Apple's shares to a four-day rally the likes of which the Cupertino, Calif.based giant hadn't seen since 2014.

But the iPhone 7 has arrived in the midst of a rare slump for Apple. Driven down by slowing iPhone sales, the company's revenue fell in the two most recent quarters, breaking a quarterly growth streak that had lasted 13 years. And even after this week's jump, shares remain well off their highs.

Despite the first-week iPhone 7 hype, igniting a new long-term growth streak will not be easy.

The newest iPhone has been released into what may be the softest smartphone market in years as manufacturers enter the crucial holiday season amid slowing sales that experts have blamed on an oversaturated market, weakness in China and a broad lack of innovation.

"We're not growing at the breakneck pace of five years or even a decade ago," said Ramon Llamas, research manager for wearables and mobile phones at IDC. His team expects the smartphone market will grow just 3.1 per cent in 2016. In 2015, the market grew by 11.3 per cent, in 2014 it grew by 27 per cent, in 2013 it was up 38.4 per cent (the same year the industry shipped a billion phones for the first time in a calendar year).

Apple's piece of that overall market has been slipping, too - even in the United States, which boasts one of Apple's strongest market shares. "In the U.S., in the second quarter of 2016 Apple had a 31.9-per-cent market share, down from the fourth quarter of 2015, which was closer to half at 40.8 per cent," Mr. Llamas said.

Gartner Inc.'s global tracking numbers for Apple suggest the company grabbed just 12.9 per cent of sales in the second quarter of 2016 with 44 million units shipped, a decline from the same period in 2015, which saw 14.6per-cent share with 48 million units.

One big problem area for Apple has been in the key battleground of China, where a vicious price war among home-grown players has pushed both Apple and South Korea's Samsung into a crowded race for market share.

Analysts at Trendforce reported that Huawei maintained its sales leadership in China with a 20.8per-cent share of the 139 million phones shipped in China in the second quarter of 2016. Counterpoint Research pegs Apple's share at roughly 10 per cent in the same quarter, while four other Chinese firms largely unknown in the West - OPPO, Vivo, Lenovo and Xioami - also carved off about 10 per cent each.

"Apple is facing its toughestever year in China," says Neil Mawston, executive director of global wireless practice with Strategy Analytics Inc. "To stay relevant, it ideally needs to be above the psychologically important threshold of 10 per cent. Any lower than that and Apple risks drifting from the mass market's consciousness over time.

"Chinese smartphone makers have closed the quality gap on Apple in the premium segment and are delivering improved products ... and shipping them through extensive retail or online channels in urban and rural areas."

At this stage, Mr. Llamas said it's unclear who will win China - or what the cost of that victory will be. "From what I'm seeing, it's a constant game of musical chairs; once we get [stability], we can talk about if any of these can try to stage a serious run at the big guys."

Beyond China, there remain markets with growth potential.

Analysis by market research firm Emarketer has predicted the Asia-Pacific market will add 300 million smartphone users between 2016 and 2017, with growth rates hitting 12.7 per cent in 2016, and 11 per cent in 2017.

Countries such as Vietnam, India, Indonesia and the Philippines are projected to grow at 15, 20, even 30 per cent this year. Latin America is also projected to add tens of millions of new smartphone customers, with Mexico, Peru and Argentina expanding the fastest.

And while it doesn't seem that such countries - with smaller middle classes and lower incomes - are a natural fit for Apple, there is an advantage.

"People who can afford iPhones in Latin America are 5 or 10 per cent of the population," said Tuong Nguyen, a principal research analyst with Gartner. "If there's an impact to the economy, they don't feel it. If I'm Apple, my competitors are selling to more price-sensitive users."

Apple faced criticism last week when CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 7. The company "took a year off" some critics said, citing a lack of change from previous models in the phone's appearance. Questions about innovation have plagued Apple and others in the industry in recent years.

Some say it's simply a matter of maturation; the smartphone market is beginning to behave like other product categories as it enters into a replacement-level growth cycle.

Brian Piccioni, senior technology strategist at Montreal's BCA Research issued a bearish view of Apple, saying the overall smartphone market has reached "feature saturation," in which innovation has slowed to a stop.

"This translates to low or negative revenue growth and lower margins for manufacturers as the sector commoditizes," Mr. Piccioni wrote in a note.

But Asymco writer Horace Dediu says those who say Apple's new iPhone isn't innovative enough should re-examine the word.

"People use innovation as a way to describe an invention, or a market entry or improvement or a novelty or a discovery. It's none of those things. An innovation is all of those things, multiplied by a minimum number of buyers." If you can't make people buy your new idea, you haven't really innovated, Mr. Dediu says.

"The greatest trick in business is if you can make people want something that they didn't know they wanted, whether it's an improvement or a whole new thing," Mr. Dediu said. Apple's addition to this trick is in making customers pay handsomely for those things.

Apple (AAPL) Close: $114.92 (U.S.), down 65¢

Unbeaten Eagles lead NFL in possession
Coach Pederson's focus on offence is the reason why Philadelphia has added 12 minutes to the average time it held the ball
The Associated Press
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S5

After finishing last in the NFL in time of possession each of the past three seasons, the Eagles lead the league by controlling the ball an average time of 37:43.

That's almost 12 minutes more a game than they held the ball last season.

The reason for the dramatic turnaround is coach Doug Pederson's offensive philosophy is the opposite of Chip Kelly's up-tempo, no-huddle style. Pederson runs a more traditional offence that allows Philadelphia's defence time to rest.

It's reflected in the Eagles' performance: ranked No. 4 in total yards allowed. Under Kelly, the Eagles finished in the bottom five in yards yielded three straight seasons. Players often were worn down by the fourth quarter and the defence was tired late in the season.

Kelly insisted time of possession was a meaningless stat. He used to say teams who held the ball longer were just better at wasting time in the huddle.

But Philadelphia is 2-0 heading into Sunday's game against unbeaten Pittsburgh.

Lovin' it

Burgers, fries and football. That was the menu for Todd Bowles during his playing days with Washington.

With such an emphasis on nutrition and players' health these days, the New York Jets coach was asked how prevalent diet restrictions were in the NFL back in the late-1980s and early 1990s.

"We had McDonald's every day for lunch," Bowles said, stunning reporters. "A quarter-pounder with cheese, apple pie and french fries. Yes, we did. Every single day. Friday was Italian day and we had pizza and Italian food.

Monday through Thursday, we had McDonald's."

Wait a second. An NFL team allowed its players to feast on fast food?

"It was brought in, yes," Bowles insisted. "Our lunch time was McDonald's back then. Every day, no lie."

Bowles acknowledged that teams don't go for that these days, with most NFL clubs having chefs prepare healthy choices for the players in cafeterias in their facilities.

"But it was good back then," Bowles said with a smile.

The 52-year-old coach says he probably had McDonald's during the summer with his kids and added that eating it always brings back good memories.

And, why not? Those Washington teams were regular playoff contenders and even won the Super Bowl in January, 1988 - fuelled by the Golden Arches.

"That'll tell you something," Bowles said, laughing.

Steep price

Paul Allen is considered the richest owner in the NFL and his franchise, the Seahawks, cost the most to watch in their home stadium.

According to, which surveys ticket prices for the 32 teams, Seattle's median ticket price is $372 (U.S.). That's $17 ahead of New England, which is second.

Rounding out the top five are Denver ($350), Green Bay ($319) and Minnesota ($273 in its new stadium).

The Cowboys, ranked as the most valuable sports franchise in the world by Forbes, are 14th with a $191 median ticket price.

Lowest median ticket prices are Kansas City ($88), Cleveland ($94) and Jacksonville ($95). The only other team under $100 is Buffalo ($98).

Favre on Wentz

Brett Favre likes what he sees so far from Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.

The recent Hall of Fame inductee said on his SiriusXM NFL Radio show this week that he likes Wentz's poise. Considering that Wentz played FCS ball in college - albeit at five-time champion North Dakota State, as close to an FBS program as you can get - that's high praise.

"He looked like the 10-year veteran," Favre said. "I think Philly is still without committing a turnover. And going into Chicago, whether Chicago is playing great or not so great, is a tough place to play, especially for a young kid. But I thought he handled himself extremely well. I'm impressed with him.

"And I think Doug [Pederson] and that staff - and I'm a little biased to Doug because he and I are really good friends and we go way back, and he was a teammate and a great friend of mine for a long time and still is - the play calling and design ... I thought was really good and it also fit what Carson does well."

PB&J over pain

Emmanuel Sanders, who signed a three-year, $33-million extension with the Broncos on the eve of this season's opener, has gained a reputation as a fearless receiver who can take a licking and keep on ticking.

He sustained one of his wickedest hits ever when he collided with Colts cornerback Antonio Cromartie last weekend. The collision quieted the crowd and sent both men retreating to the sideline to catch their breath.

Sanders popped up and trotted to the sideline. Cromartie was slower to get to his feet.

"Sometimes I get hit and I've got to get up," Sanders said. "I remember, my uncle always used to tell me, 'If you're not dead, you run off that field. I don't care if you've got a broken leg.' I guess it stuck with me because, man, I took that hit the other day and I wanted to lay on the ground and wanted someone to bring me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

"I went to the sideline, I looked at 'Greek' [athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos], I said, 'Do I really want to play football?' I had that conversation with myself. I couldn't catch my breath," Sanders said. "But then next play, I'm back in there. I'm loving what I do and I love my teammates and I love winning the most. So that's what it's about."

No dancin'

Bengals right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi checked out the first episode of Dancing With the Stars last season to see a former teammate's moves.

He and Denver linebacker Von Miller attended Texas A&M together for one year.

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown was on the show, too.

Brown lasted longer in the competition than Miller, who got voted off after doing a salsa dressed as Elvis Presley. By that time, Ogbuehi had stopped watching.

"I saw the first episode, but that's a boring show," Ogbuehi said. "I couldn't do that. From what I saw, [Miller] was good. It was funny, too. That's him. He's a goofy guy, really goofy. A fun guy.

What you see is really who he is."

Ogbuehi gets to block Miller when the Broncos (2-0) visit Cincinnati (1-1) on Sunday.

Associated Graphic

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz runs against Bears outside linebacker Sam Acho during an NFL game on Monday in Chicago. Brett Farve complimented Wentz's poise this week on his football radio show.


A dip in Colombia's Volcano of Youth
In The Great Global Bucket List, Robin Esrock explains why you want to go bathe in a crater full of mud
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T7

What began as roundup of Canada's can't-miss sights in The Globe and Mail has evolved into a entire industry for best-selling author Robin Esrock. For the latest book in his Bucket List series, he takes on the world, travelling to more than 100 countries on all seven continents to discover the best experiences on offer. Here is one particularly memorable moment from Colombia.

This one is straight out of Willy Wonka's sweet imagination. About an hour's drive outside Cartagena lies a natural phenomenon known as Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, a volcano with thick, mineral-rich, chocolate-textured mud bubbling in its crater.

Formed by various geological forces, mud volcanoes, free of hot lava but saturated with sedimentary sludge, are found around the world. Several volcanoes are featured in this book, and bucket listers should take great care not to fall into their craters. This particular volcano, on the other hand, wants us to jump right in.

Locals have long enjoyed the therapeutic benefits of dipping into El Totumo's mud. Lately, the pool-size crater has been seeing a lot more foreign bodies, which make the journey from the cruise port of Cartagena. First, dispel the image of Mount Doom. This is no lava-crackling cone towering in the distance, shooting gases and molten rock into the sky. In fact, when you first encounter Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, it looks like an overgrown termite hill, or a 15metre-high pile of elephant dung.

More than one bucket lister will shake his or her head disappointed, wondering if this is just another tourist scam, a two-bit natural wax museum. Well, don't judge a book by its cover, a volcano by its lava or a Colombian taxi driver by his choice of car (trust me on that last one). I climb a slippery path to the top, holding on to rickety wooden beams, quickly ascending high enough to gaze across lush tropical vegetation and a tranquil lagoon below. Several thatch huts at the base offer blessed shade from a scorching equatorial sun. Volcan de Lodo is operated by an association from a nearby village, the villagers rotating duties of collecting entrance fees, selling bottled water and offering massages (for tips) or lagoon rinses (for more tips).

The crater itself is the size of a small pool, if you can imagine a small pool full of dark, creamy mousse.

I arrive early, before the crowds, and a single villager beckons me in. The sun is already beating down hard, so I hang my shirt on the wood and eagerly immerse myself in the cool, thick slop. I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original, not the remake), and I've always fantasized about swimming in a pool of milk chocolate. Not anymore.

This mud is so thick it suspends my body as hair gel would, comfortably invading my pores with natural mineral goodness.

The mud is solid enough to support my head when I lie back; the crater, deep enough for me to stretch out in every direction and relax every muscle in my body.

Within seconds I feel like vanilla soft-serve dipped into melted chocolate, with goggles of bare skin around my eyes. The mousse masseuse effortlessly spins me over and roughly exfoliates my back by rubbing his hands up and down. Like most Colombians I have met, he is only too eager to share his culture's genuine hospitality.

Refreshingly cool in the midmorning sun, the mud envelops my body as if it were liquid black latex. Buses of tourists arrive and the small crater quickly fills up, a bowl of black-bean soup with floating white potatoes. A splash of mud gets in my eye, but fortunately another villager is on hand to wipe it away with tissue paper.

Tugging on our arms and legs, the masseuse parks us around the crater, making sure everyone gets a spot. After 30 minutes, the mud has sucked up whatever toxins it could find, and I begin to feel light-headed.

Emerging from the silt porridge, I make my way down to the adjacent lagoon, where village women await with tin bowls for the messy cleanup. My rinse-lady is fearless.

She dunks me into the warm lagoon, scrubbing me with her hands.

Before I know it, she's ripped off my shorts too. Female tourists yelp as they cling to their bikinis for dear life. Within seconds, I'm mud-free and, after awkwardly replacing my shorts beneath the water, emerge from the lagoon with rejuvenated skin glistening in the sunshine.

Local legend calls it the "Volcano of Youth," where a 50-year-old might enter the crater and leave 20 years younger. Whatever the medical or mythical benefits of this volcano may be, it's most certainly one for the Great Global Bucket List.

For more information visit

More Fountains of Youth

The legend of 16th-century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon's quest for a magical spring has long captured popular imagination. Drink or bathe in these waters and, voilà, your youth is restored! Unfortunately, de Leon's search may be as mythical as the fountain itself, since there's no actual evidence he ever went on one. Still, several springs are claimed, despite all scientific evidence, to be the real deal, including:

Coamo, Puerto Rico: These mineral-rich hot springs have long been thought to be the original Fountain of Youth, thanks to indigenous legends.

Isla del Sol, Bolivia: After climbing 206 steps to the village of Yumani, fill your water bottle from the sacred springs believed by some to grant everlasting youth. Note: I've done it twice over the years, but the grey hairs are still sprouting.

Punta Gorda, Fla.: Feel the glow of youth from these artesian waters in Charlotte Harbor. The fountain pays tribute to Juan Ponce de Leon and also warns drinkers that the waters exceed the maximum contaminant level for radioactivity.

Sanliurfa, Turkey: The father of monotheistic religions, Abraham is said to have lived to the age of 175. Might it have something to do with these sacred springs that quenched his youth?

Visitors to the Cave of the Patriarchs (a.k.a. the Sanctuary of Abraham) can take a swig from a handy water pipe.

Excerpt from The Great Global Bucket List by Robin Esrock © 2016. Published by Patrick Crean Editions. All rights reserved. ($24.99, available at

Associated Graphic

Local legend calls Volcan de Lodo El Totumo the Volcano of Youth, where locals have long enjoyed the therapeutic benefits of its mud. But lately, the pool-sized crater has seen a lot more foreign bodies.


A time to nurture co-operation
Amity between people is the key to state-to-state relations, says Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A17

I am delighted to be coming today to Canada, the beautiful land of maples. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a visit to China, during which the two sides reached extensive common understanding on the development of ChinaCanada relations. My visit to Canada at a short interval of three weeks is to inaugurate the new annual dialogue between our heads of government and further promote mutual understanding and mutually beneficial co-operation between our countries to secure fresh progress for the China-Canada strategic partnership.

As an ancient poem goes, distance cannot divide true friends who feel close even when thousands of miles apart. Though separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, our two peoples enjoy a deep bond of amity and goodwill. As early as the latter half of the 19th century, tens of thousands of Chinese workers came to Canada to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway, which linked the country's east and west and contributed to Canada's economic and social development. In the 1930s, Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor, devoted himself to the Chinese people's struggle against Japanese aggression and made the ultimate sacrifice. In the 1970s, defying all odds, the older generation of Chinese and Canadian leaders made the bold and visionary decision to open the door of relations between our countries, making Canada one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with New China. All these episodes remain fresh in the memory of many Chinese and Canadians.

Recent years have seen more such handshakes across the Pacific. We decided to set up an annual dialogue between the Premier of China and the Prime Minister of Canada, which will make policy communication between us more timely and effective. China is Canada's second-largest trading partner. Bucking the trend of steep decline in global trade, ChinaCanada trade continued to rise last year. Two-way investment has been booming, evidenced by a 126-per-cent increase in the investment by Chinese companies in Canada last year. Our people-to-people exchanges are also growing. Each week, 90 or so flights crisscross between us, making possible more than 1.3 million visits between us last year.

China-Canada relations enjoy a solid foundation and bright prospects. There are neither past grievances nor foreseeable major conflicts of interests between us.

Our economies, which are at different stages of development, are highly complementary, making us natural partners of co-operation. We both uphold multilateralism and cultural diversity, and are active players and contributors in the international system.

In the context of the sluggish world economic recovery, our countries face greater challenges in economic development and business co-operation, yet our converging interests and mutual need have also grown stronger. It remains in the fundamental interests of both countries to expand multidimensional and high-quality co-operation.

Mutual trust is the cornerstone of friendly relations and co-operation between China and Canada.

We appreciate the pro-active approach taken by the new Canadian government toward developing relations with China. We are ready to work with Canada to cultivate a healthy, stable and future-oriented strategic partnership in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and win-win co-operation. We will step up communication and co-ordination with Canada at the UN, G20, APEC and other fora to send a positive signal of China and Canada working together to promote world peace and stability, and contribute our share to the recovery of the world economy. The two sides should respect each other's concerns on issues of vital interests and the right to independently choose the path of development and overcome distractions to make sure that the ship of China-Canada relations power ahead on the right course.

Economic co-operation and trade is the driving force of China-Canada relations. Currently, China-Canada trade only accounts for 1.4 per cent of China's total foreign trade and 8.1 per cent of that of Canada. Canadian investment in China takes up less than 1 per cent of all foreign investment in China, and Chinese investment in Canada is a mere 2.7 per cent of total foreign investment in Canada. This spells out a tremendous potential to develop our trade and economic co-operation.

China is willing to open its markets wider and further increase imports of high-quality agricultural and high-tech products from Canada. We hope the feasibility study on a China-Canada freetrade area can be launched expeditiously to lay the institutional foundation for liberalized trade between the two countries. We welcome Canadian companies to make investments and do business in China to share the opportunities that come with China's economic growth. We encourage competent Chinese companies to invest in Canada to help drive the local economy and create more jobs. It is hoped that the Canadian side will view economic relations and trade with China in an objective and rational way and work to nurture a sound policy environment and favourable public opinion for such co-operation.

People-to-people exchanges are a powerful catalyst for ChinaCanada friendly co-operation.

Amity between the people holds the key to state-to-state relations.

In recent years, people-to-people and cultural exchanges have increased between our countries, deepening the bond of friendship between our peoples. Canada has become a key destination for Chinese tourists and students, with the number of Chinese students studying in Canada reaching more than 150,000. Chinese language and culture are getting popular with Canadians and more and more young Canadians take to Chinese calligraphy and kung fu. Chinese TV programs feature well-known Canadians, and the Group of Seven is popular with many Chinese.

Following the year of cultural exchange, 2015-16, our two countries have dedicated the year 2018 as the year of tourism between China and Canada. We encourage more Chinese to visit Canada and welcome more Canadian friends to come to China and see our country. I will make use of this visit to further boost people-topeople and cultural exchange, and encourage exchanges and cooperation in issues such as education, culture, tourism, sports, women, youth and local affairs to solidify popular support for China-Canada relations.

This is the season for the fiery maple in Canada, symbolizing the prosperity of China-Canada all-round co-operation. China will work with Canada to enrich our strategic partnership and tap the potential of practical co-operation to bring more benefits to the Chinese and Canadian peoples.

Associated Graphic

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang leads Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to view an honour guard at an Aug. 31 welcoming ceremony at the start of Mr. Trudeau's official visit to Beijing.


A new head space
Heidi Malazdrewich and her team are the first in Canada to attempt reimagining The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R8

How do you show the inside of a mind with autism spectrum disorder to a theatre audience?

That puzzle is at the heart of any staging of British playwright Simon Stephens's theatrical adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon's 2003 novel told from the perspective of a math-loving, touch-hating 15-year-old boy named Christopher.

Director Heidi Malazdrewich and a group of Western Canadian designers known as the ShowStages Collective are the first to take on this challenge in Canada.

They're the creative team behind the Canadian premiere of the West End and Broadway hit - now on stage at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton and then heading to the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg next month.

"If you think about the novel, it was so interesting and successful because you really get to see something from inside someone else's mind," says T. Erin Gruber, one of the three University of Calgary graduates who make up the ShowStages Collective. "The play embodies that - physicalizes that."

Like Haddon's novel, Stephens's play is a mystery that begins after Christopher discovers the dead body of a neighbour's dog - and is falsely accused of killing it.

While investigating the case in his own particular way (and getting ready for his mathematics A levels), the teenager stretches beyond his normal limits and discovers long-hidden secrets about his own family.

The original production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was directed at the National Theatre in London by Marianne Elliott in 2012 - and, after transferring to New York, her high-concept staging went on to win her a second Tony Award for best direction of a play. (Her first was for War Horse.)

On a set that looked like a threedimensional piece of graph paper and full of hidden compartments and surprise moving parts, Elliott and her designers gave audience members a sense of what it might be like to live with the constant possibility of sensory overload.

It's a hard act to follow - and indeed, the artists behind the new Citadel/MTC co-production are among the first to give it a go. "I only saw it once [on Broadway] and then I've been trying really hard not to think about it," says Malazdrewich, a Winnipeg-based director who works regularly at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, but is making her main-stage debut with this show.

For this new Canadian production, the creative team puzzled for a long time on how to create a "container" for Christopher to tell his story that might work a bit like his mind - where he is always listing and categorizing things to make sense of the world. "He remembers everything and notices everything, so his sensory experience is not limited," explains Gruber. "Inside of his mind would be an incredibly organized inventory of everything he's ever seen, felt or experienced."

In the end, after experimenting with different concepts for the set, Malazdrewich and ShowStages hit on the idea of building it out of pegboard - a hard material that has a grid of holes to stick hooks into, often used to hang tools in home workshops.

Every prop needed in the play is already organized on stage when the show begins - either on display or in baskets hanging from hooks. Similarly, nine actors stay on stage for the entire performance to help Christopher (played by Edmund Stapleton) tell his story whenever needed. In addition, there is also a series of screens, inspired by Christopher's love of geometry and math, where he can fast-forward or rewind through his memories - in the form of projections designed by ShowStages's Joel Adria.

Having everything and everyone within easy reach of Christopher at all times also happens to be helpful with a play that Gruber describes as "beyond cinematic" - with a flurry of scenes, some as short as 30 seconds long.

But is this really what it might be like inside the mind of a person with high-functioning Asperger syndrome? Perhaps, though the question of whether Christopher - a fictional character, after all - is one is actually a subject of hot debate.

In Haddon's book, the protagonist simply describes himself as a "mathematician with behavioural difficulties" - but an early edition of the novel referred to Asperger's on the cover and the diagnosis stuck. While the author has since expressed regret at the label's use on the cover, many members of the ASD community have nevertheless been drawn to his story and embraced it as their own. "We tried to figure out how to honour this concept that Christopher is just Christopher, but also engage with the community that identifies with Christopher," says Gruber.

That's a question with personal resonance for Gruber, who has a sister with a developmental condition that mirrors ASD, and Malazdrewich, who has a nephew diagnosed with ASD. In an effort to be inclusive of people like Christopher, there will be "relaxed performances" - with sound and lighting cues adjusted for audience members with ASD, a sensory and communication disorder or a learning disability - in both Edmonton and Winnipeg.

It's ultimately Stapleton, a young actor originally from Newfoundland and recently of the Shaw Festival, who has to embody Christopher at the centre of the complicated design and staging - which he admits he found a little overwhelming at first. He's been watching documentaries (Autism in Love; Life, Animated) and reading books (The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higshida) about and by people on the spectrum to help him get into character.

"There's this perception that people on the spectrum lack empathy - but it's really just kind of an inability to fully communicate what they're feeling," says Stapleton, who steps into a role that won Alex Sharp a Tony Award in 2015 for best actor in a play. "Christopher's such an amalgamation of so many different characteristics of people, though - so you're not going to find someone out there who is Christopher."

Indeed, Malazdrewich comes back to the point that Christopher, ultimately, is just Christopher. "Hopefully this play is a conduit for empathy no matter how we see ourselves, no matter how we understand our life experience," she says.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time continues to Oct. 9 at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre ( and runs from Oct. 20 to Nov. 12 at Winnipeg's Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (

Follow me on Twitter: @nestruck

Associated Graphic

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is told from the view of a boy with autism spectrum disorder.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


A Saturday Arts article on an adaption of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time incorrectly said the creative team behind it, the ShowStages Collective, is University of Calgary graduates. In fact, they are University of Alberta graduates.

Heading toward a presidential election, the United States is shocked by more police shootings of black men as protesters take to the streets in Oklahoma and North Carolina and the candidates disagree on the Black Lives Matter movement
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

WASHINGTON -- Two more shootings of black men by police. More nights of riot-filled streets full of tear gas and faceless phalanxes of heavily armed police being showered with bottles and debris while looters run amok perverting peaceful protests.

This is America only weeks before picking a new president.

Eight years after the election of Barack Obama - the first AfricanAmerican chosen president of the world's sole remaining superpower - hopes that he heralded a post-racial era have faded.

Instead, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the starkly different rivals striving to succeed him in the Oval Office are both playing the race card - with scant pretense at subtlety - as they jostle for political advantage in the rage, anger and grief of a country still cleaved along racial lines.

Mr. Trump accuses the growing Black Lives Matter movement of inciting violence against lawenforcement officers. They are "essentially calling death to the police," he said this summer after five police officers were killed by a lone gunman in the middle of mass protests in Dallas in July.

"It's time for our hostility against our police, and against all members of law enforcement, to end, and end immediately, right now," the Republican presidential nominee said.

For Mr. Trump, the latest riots in Charlotte, N.C., are just more evidence of American decline on Mr. Obama's watch. "You look at the level of hatred, the, you know, the rocks being thrown and everything happening," he said Thursday after another night of mayhem. "You know, this is the United States of America. I mean, it's so sad to see. But there's just no unity. There has to be a unity message that has to get out, and it starts with leadership."

Ms. Clinton, seeking a different moral high ground and appealing to a different slice of the voting public, has been eager to say "Black Lives Matter" just as Mr. Trump prefers "Blue Lives Matter" or "All Lives Matter."

"Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn't consider them as precious as others because of the colour of their skin" Ms. Clinton said after the grim reality of Philando Castile, a young black man in Minnesota bleeding to death from a police gunshot in July while his girlfriend and her child watched.

After two more killings of black men in the past eight days, Ms. Clinton continued to walk the fine line that she hopes will hold the African-American vote she desperately needs to win in November without alienating too many whites who regard Black Lives Matter as a cover for crime and mayhem.

"There is still much we don't know about what happened in both incidents," Ms. Clinton said cautiously, adding: "We do know we have two more names to add to a list of African-Americans killed by police officers in these encounters," she said. "It's unbearable, and it needs to become intolerable."

Whatever their differing views about Black Lives Matter - both a movement and a rallying cry - Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump both know that black votes matter.

Unless Ms. Clinton can get the sort of turnout among AfricanAmericans that Mr. Obama managed in key swing states - and the President plans to stump to help her - then Mr. Trump may have a path to victory even as he has alienated many minorities with his routinely inflammatory and racially tinged accusations.

All summer the rage and discontent has simmered, often expressed in profound, powerfully symbolic fashion, sometimes in mindless violence. At their conventions, both Republicans and Democrats sought advantage in the deeply intertwined issues of guns, security and racial profiling in a country where race still separates, still defines advantage and suspicion.

Given the thousands of police forces - many of them tiny, illtrained and often doubling as municipal revenue raising outfits preying on the poor, mostly African-Americans, with hefty fines for petty offences - it is almost impossible to establish nation-wide standards, let alone document every instance of racial disparity in policing.

Consider the radically different reactions of local authorities to the two killings of African-American men by police in the past eight days in Tulsa, Okla., and in Charlotte, N.C.

In Tulsa last Friday, Terence Crutcher, 40, was shot and killed with his hands up in broad daylight while a police helicopter hovered overhead and several officers trained their guns at him.

Police Chief Chuck Jordan quickly released footage of the shooting and confirmed that Mr. Crutcher was unarmed and there was no weapon in his broken-down vehicle.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett promised a full and fair investigation. "This city will be transparent, this city will not cover up, this city will do exactly what is necessary to make sure that all rights are protected," he said. On Thursday, the police officer who fired the fatal shot was charged with first-degree manslaughter.

In Tulsa, there have been demonstrations but no violence.

After years of deception and stalling in places such as Chicago, where video of the killing of unarmed teenager Laquan McDonald was suppressed for months, the political response in Tulsa was precisely what groups like Black Lives Matter have been demanding: transparency and accountability.

In far more racially charged North Carolina, once a slave state, where the Confederate battle flag still flies twice a year atop the state legislature, Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney refused to make public the video of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, although Mr. Scott's family did see the footage on Thursday.

Mr. Scott, 43, was either holding a book while waiting to pick up his son at a school bus stop or waving a gun when he was shot and killed by a black police officer Tuesday afternoon. That set off consecutive nights of protests that spiralled into riots, leaving more than a dozen civilians and police injured and the city's downtown filled with tear gas, glass, blood and debris.

As for Mr. Obama, he has largely avoided or ignored the country's defining racial divide. When he has intervened, it has been more in sorrow and sympathy than with any bold effort to change.

"There's a big chunk of our citizenry that feels ... they're not being treated the same. And that hurts," he said this summer. "This is not just a black issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about."

Associated Graphic

Protests erupt in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.


Pulitzer winner skewered American culture
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? writer challenged assumptions through sharp-tongued humour and dark themes
Associated Press
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S8

NEW YORK -- Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance, died Friday, his personal assistant said.

He was 88.

He died at his home in Montauk, east of New York, assistant Jackob Holder said. No cause of death was immediately given, although he had suffered from diabetes. With the deaths of Arthur Miller and August Wilson in 2005, he was arguably the United States' greatest living playwright.

Several years ago, before undergoing extensive surgery, Mr. Albee penned a note to be issued at the time of his death: "To all of you who have made my being alive so wonderful, so exciting and so full, my thanks and all my love."

Mr. Albee was proclaimed the playwright of his generation after his blistering Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened on Broadway in 1962. The Tony-winning play, still widely considered Mr. Albee's finest, was made into an award-winning 1966 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The play's sharp-tongued humour and dark themes were the hallmarks of Mr. Albee's style. In more than 30 plays, Mr. Albee skewered such mainstays of American culture as marriage, child-rearing, religion and upperclass comforts.

"If you have no wounds, how can you know you're alive?" a character asks in Mr. Albee's 1996 The Play About the Baby.

"It's just a quirk of the brain that makes one a playwright," Mr. Albee said in 2008. "I have the same experiences that everybody else does, but ... I feel the need to translate a lot of what happens to me, a lot of what I think, into a play."

Mr. Albee challenged audiences to question their assumptions about society and about theatre itself.

He did it with humour and a sense of linguistic delight, using withering barbs and wordplay to hint at deeper meaning.

Praise for the playwright came from far and wide on Twitter after his death. Mia Farrow, who was in a staged reading of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, called Mr. Albee "one of the great" playwrights "of our time."

Michael McKean wrote: "There was only one Edward Albee. #Irreplaceable."

Playwright Lynn Nottage wrote: "I will miss his wit, irreverence & wisdom. He enlivened the theatre landscape."

Mr. Albee's unconventional style won him great acclaim but also led to a nearly 20-year drought of critical and commercial recognition before his 1994 play, Three Tall Women, garnered his third Pulitzer Prize. His other Pulitzers were for A Delicate Balance (1967) and Seascape (1975).

Many of his productions in the years after Seascape were savaged by the media as inconsequential trickery, a shadow of his former works.

But after Three Tall Women, a play he called an "exorcising of demons," he had several major productions, including The Play About the Baby and The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, which won him his second Tony for best play in 2002.

Many of his works had similar things in common: domestic rancour inflamed by booze, a sense of unknown anxiety, a lost child who creates a marital friction and precise but flailing language that alternates between comic and profound.

In interviews, Mr. Albee recoiled at the idea of drawing parallels between his works or between his cynical outlook and his unhappy childhood.

"Each play of mine has a distinctive story to tell," he told The Santa Fe New Mexican in 2001.

Mr. Albee was born in 1928 and was adopted by a wealthy suburban New York couple. His father, Reed Albee, ran the Keith-Albee chain of vaudeville theatres; his mother, Frances Albee, was a socialite and a commanding presence who kept a hold on him for much of his life.

Estranged from his parents, Mr. Albee moved to New York and worked as a messenger for Western Union before gaining notice with The Zoo Story, a one-act play written in 1958 about two strangers meeting on a bench in Central Park.

With Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and 1964's Tiny Alice, Mr. Albee shook up a Broadway that had been dominated by Tennessee Williams, Mr. Miller and their intellectual disciples.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? presents an all-night drinking bout in which a middle-age professor and his wife verbally spar and unravel their illusions during a visit by a younger couple. It won five Tonys including best play, actor (Arthur Hill) and actress (Uta Hagen), and the film version won five Oscars including best actress (Ms. Taylor) and supporting actress (Sandy Dennis).

Mr. Albee also directed the American premieres of many of his plays, starting with Seascape in 1975. Seascape and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? were revived on Broadway in 2005, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was revived on Broadway again in 2013. A Delicate Balance was revived a year later, starring Glenn Close.

Mr. Albee brought back The Zoo Story to startling effect in 2007 with Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry. The shattering encounter between two strangers in a park that is The Zoo Story became the second act of the new work. The first act was based on Mr. Albee's much later Homelife.

It was one of a number of fruitful productions around the time Mr. Albee turned 80 in 2008.

That year saw the world premiere of his play about identical twins, Me, Myself and I, in Princeton, N.J.; a New York revival of two of his early one-act classics, The American Dream and The Sandbox; and the premiere of Edward Albee's Occupant, about sculptor Louise Nevelson and the cult of celebrity.

Mr. Albee was honoured by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1996 for his lifetime contributions. Then-president Bill Clinton praised Mr. Albee as a man who inspired a generation of American dramatists. Mr. Clinton also awarded Mr. Albee a National Medal of the Arts that year.

Into his 70s, Mr. Albee continued to write provocative and unconventional plays. In The Goat or Who is Sylvia? the main character falls in love with a goat.

Mr. Albee's long-time companion, sculptor Jonathan Thomas, died in 2005.

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Associated Graphic

Edward Albee, seen in New York in March, 2008, wrote plays that explored themes and situations such as domestic rancour, a sense of unknown anxiety and a lost child who creates a marital friction.


Toronto survives into the home stretch
Final days of a strange season could see the mystery team move toward mediocrity and a rebuild - or a great playoff run
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- The previous time the Toronto Blue Jays played at home, they were humiliated by the Tampa Bay Rays. Josh Donaldson had been sitting out for days with what was beginning to seem like a mystery injury. Manager John Gibbons announced that the team had hit "rock bottom."

Though the sentiment fit the moment, it was a weird thing to say about a team sitting in a playoff position. It's less odd when you think of it as what might be the beginning of the end.

Because over the next two weeks, the Blue Jays will determine through their performance if this team is something built to last, or one that needs to be turned over.

It started well on Friday evening, with a 9-0 humiliation of the flailing New York Yankees.

For more than a year, there had been nothing but joy in New Mudville. The first bit of trouble and everyone headed past panic and straight into despair.

Not the fans. The team.

They had the glazed look of men who have just watched the iceberg come and go. They don't feel it yet, but they know the ship is sinking.

Things didn't exactly go well on the West Coast. Gibbons described a 4-3 road swing by saying, "We survived it." It was intermittently awful to watch, but it was at least a winning record.

Back in town on Friday, the funeral atmosphere had bled off.

What replaced it didn't feel loose, so much as benignly resigned.

Most team members came out for batting practice wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the number, name and infantilized emoji likeness of second baseman Devon Travis.

This was all part of an inside joke that lay halfway between needlessly complicated and incredibly stupid, but at least they weren't all filling their pockets with rocks and heading toward the lake.

Close to despondent when they left, Gibbons had now veered back into irrational exuberance. With 10 games to go and 51/2 games behind Boston, which had not lost in eight, the manager said he still hadn't given up on the American League East.

"We're in a good spot, but it's not going to be easy," Gibbons said. "Ideally, we'd love a shot to go into the final three games [of the season, at Fenway Park] with a shot to win the division."

Everyone who deals with Gibbons likes him. Most like him an awful lot. That that remark was met with stunned silence instead of jeering laughter tells you just how much.

(Of course, if he'd said the obvious thing - "It's over" - people would kill him for it.)

The Jays are going to win the division like I'm going to win Mr. Olympia. The goal now is to play the wild-card at home.

"You gotta approach each game to win that game," Gibbons said of the little that remains of the regular season.

People say that all the way along, but it's finally true.

We have gone beyond the hope/anguish barrier and into the realm of pure acceptance. Sit down, cross your legs and contemplate baseball nothingness.

We are all in fate's hands now.

If there's no point in worrying any more, neither is there any compelling reason to be bullish.

Based on form and quality, the Jays are about the fourth-best team in the American League right now. They might still fall short of the playoffs or they might squeeze their way into the World Series.

You'd have to go back to those 'who-knows?' teams of the late 1980s to recall a good Blue Jays team that was so hard to figure.

Last year at this point, the Jays were the Red Sox - not yet clinched, but headed inexorably in that direction. The result was a gradual easing off that nearly killed them once the postseason began. It took Toronto three games to play its way back into mental game-shape against the Texas Rangers.

If there's anything positive about this year's September swoon, it's that that can't happen twice.

There are no opportunities to set up the rotation or rest the bullpen. There won't be any mini-vacations for position players. There is no room to tinker or think too hard. All you can do is throw your best nine out there every day and hope it works.

Enter the New York Yankees. If you're feeling a little beat up by the past few weeks of the baseball season, think of all those poor (i.e. rich) faux-Bronx Manhattanites and Connecticut wannabes who pull for baseball's Evil Empire.

Their season was supposed to end at the trade deadline. After giving away some key personnel, the Yankees inexplicably got much better (parenthetical: Scouts - what exactly do they do again?).

Facing that sort of team and perhaps shamed by the showing of western Canadians in Seattle, the fans had re-entered the fray.

For this entire run, there has been an unusually close connection between the Rogers Centre crowd and the team. When the fans are on from the start, the team often is as well.

They were up on their feet in the first when catcher Russell Martin sprawled for a foul ball near his own dugout steps (he missed). They were back up when a bases-loaded Troy Tulowitzki single brought home the first couple of runs. And again when Kevin Pillar slid down and around an awkward tag at first.

This was everyone digging in for the final push - in more senses than one.

No one wants to talk about this yet, but we could well be in the last days of the current Jays era. If the season goes sideways, the coaching staff turns over, players start leaving and hard choices have to be made.

The Jays could be a few weeks from the beginning of a rebuild.

They could be a few months away from a return to mediocrity, by design.

It's a precarious spot, but there's no sense in worrying.

There's nothing can be done about the team now. It either will be or it won't.

You don't often associate stoicism with winning. But since every other way has failed, it's worth a try.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

The Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson runs down the line on what turned out to be a foul ball during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Friday.


Our founding myths may be the end of us
To tackle climate change, writes Naomi Klein, we must quash the notion of Canada as a New World of limitless bounty
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F3

It has been one year and one week since a coalition of dozens of organizations and artists launched The Leap Manifesto, a short vision statement about how to transition to a post-carbon economy while battling social and economic injustice.

A lot has changed: a new federal government, a new international reputation, a new tone around First Nations and the environment. But when it comes to concrete action on lowering emissions and respecting land rights, much remains the same.

Our new government has adopted the utterly inadequate targets of the last government. Alberta has a climate plan that would allow tar sands emissions to increase by 43 per cent, wholly incompatible with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

And the push for new pipelines - often sold as "nation building" - continues to tear us apart.

What I find striking is the narrowness of our public discourse - how much continues to be treated as unsayable and undoable when it comes to keeping carbon in the ground. Other countries are moving ahead with policies that begin to reflect the scientific realities.

Germany and France have both banned fracking.

Even in the United States, there is a wider spectrum of debate. The new platform of the Democratic Party, for instance, states that no new infrastructure projects should be built if they substantively contribute to climate change - essentially the same position that caused all the outrage around The Leap Manifesto.

So what's going on here? Why is it so hard for Canadian political leaders, across the political spectrum, to design climate policies that are guided by climate science?

There are many factors, of course - the need for jobs in an economic downturn, the power of the fossil-fuel lobby, to name a couple. But we are hardly the only country contending with these forces.

I think there is something deeper at play, something that brings us back to the founding narratives of this nation.

The story begins with the arrival of European explorers, at a time when their home nations had slammed into hard ecological limits - great forests gone, big game hunted to extinction.

In this context, the so-called New World was imagined as a sort of spare continent, to use for parts. And what parts: Here seemed to be a bottomless treasure trove - of fish, fowl, fur, giant trees, and later metals and fossil fuels.

And in Canada, these riches covered a territory so vast, it seemed impossible to fathom its boundaries.

Again and again in the early accounts, the words "inexhaustible" and "infinite" come up - to describe old growth forests, beavers, great auks, and of course cod (so many they "stayed the passage" of John Cabot's ships).

From the start, Canada was conceived as the place of endlessness, a wilderness of such bounty that the very idea of ecological limits seemed gone for good. Except, of course, that it didn't work out that way.

The early U.S. economy was brutally extractive too, of course - but in a different way from Canada's. The Southern slave economy was based on the brutal extraction of forced human labour, used to clear and cultivate the land to feed the rapidly industrializing north.

In Canada, cultivation and industrialization were secondary. First and foremost, this country was built on voraciously devouring wildness. Canada was an extractive company - the Hudson's Bay Company - before it was a country. And that has shaped us in ways we have yet to begin to confront.

Because such enormous fortunes have been built purely on the extraction of wild animals, intact forest and interred metals and fossil fuels, our economic elites have grown accustomed to seeing the natural world as their God-given larder.

When someone or something - like climate science - comes along and says: Actually, there are limits, we have to take less from the Earth and keep more profit for the public good, it doesn't feel like a difficult truth. It feels like an existential attack.

The famed economic historian Harold Innis warned of all this almost a century ago. Canada's extreme dependence on exporting raw natural resources, he argued, stunted Canada's development at "the staples phase." This reliance on raw resources made the country intensely vulnerable to monopolies, foreign interference, as well as outside economic shocks. It's why "banana republic" is not considered a compliment.

Though Canada doesn't think of itself like that, and our national economy has diversified, our economic history tells another story. Over the centuries, we have careened from bonanzas to busts, from beaver to bitumen.

The trouble isn't just the commodity roller coaster. It's that the stakes grow larger with each boom-bust cycle. The frenzy for cod crashed a species; the frenzy for bitumen and fracked gas is helping to crash the planet.

This dependence on commodities continues to shape Canada's body politic - and for our new government, it will continue to confound attempts to heal relations with First Nations.

While Indigenous hunting and trapping skills were the backbone of wealth production in the early Canadian economy, Indigenous culture and relationships to the land were always a profound threat to the lust for extraction.

Which is why attempts to sever those relationships were so systematic. Residential schools were one part of that system. So were the missionaries who travelled with fur traders, preaching a worldview that regarded nature-worship as sinful.

Today, we have federal and provincial governments that talk a lot about reconciliation. But this will remain a cruel joke if non-Indigenous Canadians do not confront the why behind those human-rights abuses. And the why, as the Truth and Reconciliation report states, is simple enough: "The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources."

The goal, in other words, was to remove all barriers to unrestrained resource extraction. This is not ancient history. Across the country, Indigenous land rights remain the single greatest barrier to planet-destabilizing resource extraction, from pipelines to clear-cut logging.

And there can be no reconciliation while the crime is still in progress.

Naomi Klein delivered the 14th annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture, from which this piece is adapted.

Associated Graphic

A log lies in a tailings pond at the Suncor oil-sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alta. in 2014: 'Dependence on commodities,' writes the author, 'continues to shape Canada's body politic - and for our new government, it will continue to confound attempts to heal relations with First Nations.'


There may never be another Team Europe
In what will likely be the team's only tournament, it has constantly defied expectations and earned its place in the final
Monday, September 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- Andrej Sekera was chuckling as the words came out of his mouth.

Team Europe had just wiped out Sweden - by most accounts, the second-best hockey country in the world - in a 3-2 overtime win at the World Cup of Hockey.

Suddenly the misfits were moving on, to the chagrin of most of the hockey world, and some of the players saw the humour there.

A group derided as "Team Leftovers" when the format was first announced - and that had the longest odds coming in at 33 to 1 - will now face Team Canada for the championship.

They realize it wasn't what anyone expected.

"The thing is there was no team like this before," Sekera said, when asked about Team Europe - made up of European NHL players who aren't from the four main European hockey powers of Sweden, Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic - surprising everyone. "And I don't think there'll be anything like this any more. But it's a pretty good feeling."

"I think the better we do, the lower the chances might be that Team Europe gets invited back," head coach Ralph Krueger said.

"That's a joke. But it's the opportunity in this that we've tapped into."

A joke perhaps, but there is likely some truth there, too.

When the organizers at the NHL and the Players' Association first came up with this World Cup format, they settled on the Team Europe concept largely because they wanted to include worldclass players such as Anze Kopitar.

Slovenia didn't have a hope of sending a whole team to a beston-best event, which would shut out the Los Angeles Kings captain, so why not give him some help and make the games more competitive?

The problem was they may have given him too much.

Team Europe will likely be a one-and-done idea. The NHL is hoping countries such as Slovakia, Switzerland and Denmark continue to improve, to the point that in 2020, at the next tournament, there won't be the lopsided scores that have become commonplace at so many international events.

The reality, too, is as much of a feel-good story as it is having Kopitar, Zdeno Chara and netminder Jaroslav Halak - who has been this team's great equalizer - lead this team deep into the tournament, it will likely have a brutal impact on the interest level.

Attendance for Sunday's game in Toronto was dreadful, with the Air Canada Centre half full at best. Television ratings for Team Europe's games have been weak, and they're hardly the kind of rival that broadcasters were hoping for in the final.

Even overseas, the buzz has been limited. Unlike Sweden or Finland, which can draw millions of viewers because of the fervour around their national teams, none of the eight countries represented on Team Europe really helps the World Cup generate revenue.

And the fact Team Europe effectively eliminated Team USA, in their first meaningful game of the tournament, won't help anyone's cause with ESPN, after that network took another chance on hockey by buying the U.S. rights.

Much of the credit for Team Europe's run belongs with Krueger. The former Edmonton Oilers coach took a break from running the Southampton Football Club to convince this ragtag group - including long-time Swiss team captain Mark Streit, who had openly criticized the team's existence - to play hard for a made-up team in a madeup tournament.

By all accounts, it was a marvellous sales job - a huge credit to Krueger's leadership abilities, which shouldn't come as a surprise given how in-demand he has been as a keynote speaker for years in Europe. (One of his many unique credits is writing a bestselling book in Germany about team building called Teamlife - Over Setbacks to Success.)

"I know it wasn't easy for him to bring this group together," Halak said, after praising Krueger's work building team chemistry.

"Nothing can be done if you don't come together as a team and play as one, and create some great memories," Chara said of Krueger's message to him, when they first met to develop Team Europe's strategy.

"The No. 1 priority was bond as a team."

By all accounts, that is what's happened. The European team stifled Sweden for long stretches of Sunday's game, lulling the Swedes into a boring chess match that was only broken open by brief flourishes from the Sedin twins. The Swedes needed a goal from Erik Karlsson with four minutes to force overtime, but the extra frame lasted only a few minutes before Europe's Tomas Tatar scored his second of the day to seal the win.

His teammates - a handful of them fellow Slovaks, but mostly not - then piled into the corner, where they all stood in a teamwide embrace, bouncing together as their goal song (Seven Nation Army) blared.

A lot of these players "had to fight their way in [to the NHL] because they were from countries that weren't respected in terms of producing NHL players," Krueger said after the game, replicating a version of a speech he made to his team during the tournament. "We've just got a whole locker room full of guys that have had to fight to get here and had to fight to stay.

But, in the end, they're NHL players and they're great NHL players."

Team Europe's players know they are in tough against Canada. They're the oldest team in the tournament and their lineup has holes. (Defenceman Dennis Seidenberg, who doesn't have a contract in the NHL, played nearly 24 minutes against Sweden.) Several said they believed "good luck" would be one of the biggest factors in having a chance in the best-of-three final.

The fact they even made it this far, however, will go down as a victory. For once, their small hockey nations mattered.

Even if the end result is they never get a chance to again.

"Not many of us have been in the finals at international tournaments," Marian Hossa said.

"There's something new for lots of people in our dressing room.

Definitely we're going to enjoy that and try to make the best out of it."

Associated Graphic

Team Europe celebrates after Tomas Tatar scores a goal against Team Sweden in overtime to give the team a 3-2 overtime victory in the World Cup of Hockey semi-final in Toronto on Sunday.


Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R15



1 1 4 The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena (Doubleday Canada, $24.95).

2 4 3 The Perfect Girl, by Gilly Macmillan (William Morrow & Co., $19.99).

3 2 26 The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (Harper Avenue, $22.99).

4 10 87 The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins (Doubleday Canada, $24.95).

5 3 3 A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $33.99).

6 6 6 A House Without Windows, by Nadia Hashimi (William Morrow & Co., $21.99).

7 - 1 Pirate, by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell (G.P. Putnam's Sons, $39).

8 5 3 Rushing Waters, by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $37).

9 - 1 Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins Canada, $24.99).

10 8 20 I Let You Go, by Clare Mackintosh (Berkley, $24).



1 1 5 The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer (Gallery, $36.99).

2 - 3 Sins Of The Family, by Felicity Davis (Pan Macmillan, $16.99).

3 2 5 Sully: My Search For What Really Matters, by Chesley B. Sullenberger III with Jeffrey Zaslow (William Morrow & Co., $19.99).

4 3 2 Love Warrior: A Memoir, by Glennon Doyle Melton (Flatiron, $34.99).

5 - 1 In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox, by Carol Burnett (Crown, $37).

6 - 1 The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben, foreword by Tim Flannery (Greystone, $29.95).

7 8 2 Homo Deus: A Brief History Of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari (Signal, $34.95).

8 - 1 Killing The Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co., $38.99).

9 - 1 Barbarian Lost: Travels In The New China, by Alexandre Trudeau (HarperCollins, $33.99).

10 6 36 When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, foreword by Abraham Verghese (Random House, $33).

The bestseller list is compiled by The Globe and Mail using sales figures provided by BookNet Canada's national sales tracking service, BNC SalesData.



1 The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena (Doubleday Canada, $24.95).

2 A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $33.99).

3 Milk And Honey, by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel, $19.99).

4 The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins, $32.99).

5 The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood (Emblem, $22).

6 Thrice The Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, by Alan Bradley (Doubleday Canada, $29.95).

7 The Fortunate Brother, by Donna Morrissey (Viking Canada, $24.95).

8 Still Mine, by Amy Stuart (Simon & Schuster Canada, $24.99).

9 The Best Kind Of People, by Zoe Whittall (House Of Anansi, $22.95).

10 Vinyl Cafe Turns The Page, by Stuart McLean (Penguin Canada, $21).


1 Barbarian Lost: Travels In The New China, by Alexandre Trudeau (HarperCollins, $33.99).

2 The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account Of Native People In North America , by Thomas King (Anchor Canada, $22).

3 This Is Happy, by Camilla Gibb (Anchor Canada, $21).

4 A House In The Sky: A Memoir, by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett (Scribner, $22).

5 The Wealthy Renter: How To Choose Housing That Will Make You Rich, by Alex Avery (Dundurn, $19.99).

6 Hockey Abstract Presents... Stat Shot: The Ultimate Guide To Hockey Analytics, by Rob Vollman with Tom Awad and Iain Fyffe (ECW, $19.95).

7 Campaign Confessions: Tales From The War Rooms Of Politics, by John Laschinger with Geoffrey Stevens, foreword by Peter Mansbridge (A J. Patrick Boyer, $22.99).

8 Alone Against The North: An Expedition Into The Unknown, by Adam Shoalts (Penguin Canada, $22).

9 The Memory Illusion: Why You Might Not Be Who You Think You Are, by Julia Shaw (Doubleday Canada, $34).

10 The Brain's Way Of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries And Recoveries From The Frontiers Of Neuroplasticity, by Norman Doidge (Penguin, $24).




1 The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life, by Mark Manson (HarperOne, $21.99).

2 You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero (Running, $18.50).

3 The Gifts Of Imperfection: Let Go Of Who You Think You're Supposed To Be And Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown (Hazelden, $19.50).

4 How To Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie (Pocket, $21).

5 Chicken Soup For The Soul: The Power Of Gratitude, by Amy Newmark and Deborah Norville (Chicken Soup For The Soul, $17.95).

6 Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel By Changing The Way You Think, by Dennis Greenberger, Christine A. Padesky and Aaron T. Beck (Guilford, $35.13).

7 Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, And Lead, by Brené Brown (Avery, $19).

8 The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change, by Stephen R. Covey, foreword by Jim Collins (Free Press, $22).

9 What If This Is Heaven?: How Our Cultural Myths Prevent Us From Experiencing Heaven On Earth, by Anita Moorjani (Hay House, $24.99).

10 The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle (New World Library, $21.95).




1 The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer (Gallery, $36.99).

2 Sins Of The Family, by Felicity Davis (Pan Macmillan, $16.99).

3 Sully: My Search For What Really Matters, by Chesley B. Sullenberger III with Jeffrey Zaslow (William Morrow & Co., $19.99).

4 Love Warrior: A Memoir, by Glennon Doyle Melton (Flatiron, $34.99).

5 In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox, by Carol Burnett (Crown, $37).

6 Barbarian Lost: Travels In The New China, by Alexandre Trudeau (HarperCollins, $33.99).

7 When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, foreword by Abraham Verghese (Random House, $33).

8 The Last Foundling: A Little Boy Left Behind, The Mother Who Wanted Him Back, by Tom H. Mackenzie (Pan Macmillan, $18.99).

9 The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life, by John le Carré (Viking Canada, $34.95).

10 This Is Happy, by Camilla Gibb (Anchor Canada, $21).

The Canadian Fiction and Non-Fiction bestseller lists, and the Canadian Specialty Books list, are compiled for The Globe and Mail by BookNet Canada.

Challenges mount against Zimbabwe's long-time ruler
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

JOHANNESBURG -- This is Robert Mugabe's favourite time of year. Every September, despite the sanctions against him, his arch-enemies in the U.S. government are obliged to hold their noses and allow him entry to New York, where the 92year-old Zimbabwean autocrat struts onto the world stage with another defiant speech to the TV cameras at the United Nations General Assembly.

After 36 years of erratic and often brutal rule, Mr. Mugabe has outlasted most of his foes. With a combination of violence and guile, he lurches from crisis to crisis, surviving every threat, while his challengers have ended up in prison, in exile or dead.

But today Zimbabwe is facing its worst political and economic crisis since 2008. The economy is in ruins. The ruling party is split into feuding factions. The biggest protests in years have erupted in the streets. The government is so bankrupt that it has to delay its salary payments to its bloated civil service, which consumes a staggering 97 per cent of state revenue. And Mr. Mugabe himself is ailing, often mysteriously jetting off to Asia for medical treatment, while the political elite squabble over the right to succeed him.

In desperation, Zimbabwe's central bank announced last week that it will begin printing its own "bond notes" in U.S. dollar denominations. Many Zimbabweans have furiously protested against the idea, convinced it will lead to a repeat of the hyperinflation that devastated the country in 2008, when the central bank printed banknotes in denominations of 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars - an amount so worthless that it couldn't even buy a bus ticket.

Mr. Mugabe has threatened to run again in the next election in 2018, potentially keeping him in power until the age of 99. But there are growing signs that this crisis is different. Few people can see how he can survive much longer.

Here are the mounting pressures that confront him.


Late last month, Mr. Mugabe departed early from a regional summit, climbed into his airplane and disappeared for several days.

Journalists pieced together his flight path and discovered he was in Dubai for unknown reasons. A health crisis was rumoured. "Yes, I was dead," he joked to reporters when he finally returned home.

"It's true that I was dead," he said. "And I resurrected. As I always do."

But his declining health is visible to everyone. A veteran Zimbabwean journalist, Peta Thornycroft, described how Mr.

Mugabe spoke "painfully slowly" at a recent rally of his party's youth league in Harare. He delivered much of his speech "with his eyes closed," she reported.

It is difficult to imagine how Mr. Mugabe could campaign again in 2018, the journalist said.


Millions of Zimbabweans have already fled into exile, seeking jobs in South Africa or Western countries. The unemployment rate remains close to 90 per cent, most industries have shut down, the once-lucrative diamond-mining sector has nearly run out of diamonds and cash shortages have led to lengthy queues at banks.

The latest drought has left about four million people (30 per cent of the population) dependent on food aid.

Mr. Mugabe's government is so urgently in need of loans that it is seeking an injection from the International Monetary Fund. This has required Mr. Mugabe to dial back his anti-Western rhetoric and promise economic reforms.

But before he can get his hands on the IMF money, his government has to repay $1.8-billion (U.S.) in arrears to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. And so far, despite many promises, it has failed to do so.

That means the IMF cannot even discuss the normalization of relations with Zimbabwe. "There is no financing program under discussion with Zimbabwe at this point," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice confirmed last week.


In a budget speech this month, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa stunned the nation by admitting that 97 per cent of government revenue was consumed by government wages. He called it "untenable" and warned that the government might be unable to meet its payroll obligations in the future.

To reduce costs, Mr. Chinamasa announced a plan to defer wage bonuses, reduce salaries, close some embassies and eliminate 25,000 government jobs. But he was swiftly overruled, and Zimbabwe's cabinet announced that it had rejected the job cuts.

This leaves the Finance Minister struggling to save money with a range of smaller schemes. He has told the civil service to spend less on newspapers, reduce their mobile-phone allowances and park all government vehicles after hours.

This seems unlikely to solve the financial crisis. The biggest fear is that the government won't be able to pay its military and police forces, leading to a revolt by those who have weapons.


As it becomes increasingly obvious that Mr. Mugabe's health is failing and he might be unable to rule the country much longer, his ruling ZANU-PF party has been riddled with infighting. "The state of the party has never been so fractured," said Piers Pigou, a political analyst who wrote a report on Zimbabwe for the Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.

Mr. Mugabe's unpopular wife, Grace, is among those who are believed to be jostling for the right to succeed him. Another faction is led by his Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as "the crocodile" because of his political cunning. A third faction, made up of once-loyal veterans of the anti-colonial liberation war, has become increasingly critical of Mr. Mugabe. The kingmakers could be the powerful Zimbabwean military and intelligence agency. Their loyalties in the factional conflicts are unclear.


Zimbabweans have been increasingly willing to take to the streets in bold protests - the biggest that the country has seen in many years. The police have violently cracked down, but the demonstrations have continued. Eighteen opposition parties and civic organizations have united into a new alliance and joined the protests.

Mr. Mugabe's security forces are finding it difficult to crush the protests, since they are coming from a wider range of groups than ever before, Mr. Pigou said.

His security forces are reported to be hunting down the protest leaders in the suburbs around Harare. The stage is set for growing violence, political tensions and government paralysis.

Associated Graphic

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe prepares to speak during a meeting on addressing refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.


Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

At the 1906 Summer Games, Irish long jumper Peter O'Connor refused to countenance the raising of the Union Jack after he'd won silver.

In the midst of the medal ceremony, Mr. O'Connor darted from the podium, shimmied up the flagpole and began waving an Irish standard. As officials rushed over to pull him down, Irish and American athletes fended them off.

Those Olympics - since rendered "unofficial" - are remembered in large part for being the first to feature a political protest.

That trend reached its apogee at Mexico in 1968. Czech gymnast Vera Caslavska refused to stand at attention for the Soviet anthem.

Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their blackgloved fists during The Star-Spangled Banner. Other Americans winners wore black berets in solidarity.

All of these athletes suffered varying levels of professional disaster as a result of their stands.

"All that matters is what you do [in life] - whether you're prepared to do what it takes to make change," Mr. Carlos would say later. "There has to be physical and material sacrifice."

As a general rule, very few pro athletes have been willing to make those sacrifices. There was a brief flowering of political consciousness in sports - particularly black American consciousness - in the 1960s and 70s. Driven by the ethical spur of the civil-rights movement and the example of Muhammad Ali, a few high-profile pros joined in - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, et al. They were a small and often excoriated minority within the minority.

By the 1980s, that nascent movement had bled off in America. Political shifts had something to do with it, but the thing that had notably changed within sports itself was the money being thrown around.

In 1975, Curt Flood's (personally disastrous) stand against baseball's culture of indentured servitude created free agency. That season, Hank Aaron was the highest-paid player in the country's most popular sport. He made $240,000 (U.S.) - roughly 23 times the income of the median American household.

Thirty years into the free-agency era, baseball's best paid player (Alex Rodriguez) made $22-million a year - 523 times what the middle-of-the-graph American family got by on. The financial trend upward was seen across all major sports and approached vertical.

Players suddenly had a lot to lose, and they plainly feared losing it.

There was still a small bit of room for a few iconoclasts. Reactions to them varied depending on their value as employees.

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado was a superstar.

When he refused to stand for the playing of God Bless America in 2004 in protest of America's foreign wars, he was booed in New York. He went on to enjoy several cuddly years with the New York Mets.

Craig Hodges was a role player on the great Chicago Bulls teams of the early 1990s. He showed up at the White House in a dashiki and handed then-president George H.W. Bush a letter of grievance on behalf of the AfricanAmerican community. He never played in the NBA again.

These were both lessons to the rest - only certain people are allowed to make trouble. Very few elite players showed any inclination to jeopardize their shoe contracts. Others followed their lead.

Mr. Hodges's greatest sin against sports orthodoxy was probably not putting a U.S. president on the spot, but instead the time he ripped teammate Michael Jordan for "bailing out" on his political responsibilities.

"We're in war when you look at what happened in Los Angeles, what's getting ready to happen in Chicago, Newark," Mr. Hodges said in Chicago. "The poverty in the city is so hellish, just look across the street. Then you have us playing in here - how much money did we make here last night? How many lives will it change?" It sounds eerily contemporary, but Mr. Hodges said it in 1992 during the era of sports conformity.

That's ended now. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn't start this with his anthem protest, but he leads by example.

As a player, Mr. Kaepernick is an unusual spot - a household name, but not a valuable asset.

He could be easily disposed of Twenty years ago, he probably would have been.

What's remarkable about Mr. Kaepernick's anthem protest isn't the act as such, but the reaction to it.

His team lined up behind him.

"We recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem," the 49ers said in a statement.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was more cautious, but did likewise: "Players have a platform, and it's his right to do that."

Those comments, respectively, secured Mr. Kaepernick's current livelihood and his future prospects, such as they are.

If you are an optimist, this was the establishment recognizing that things need to change.

If you are a realist, it may just be football acknowledging that it is too big to be taken down by a mob of angry fans. From the NFL's perspective, why divide your own house to reassure the sort of people who are often the league's most committed customers? They're not going anywhere.

Freed of their existential worries, others are now lining up to speak out or join in. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton - a man not previously keen to say too much about anything - passionately addressed the issue of state violence against American blacks on Wednesday.

"I have a son and a daughter that I'm responsible for. So how would I be if one day they come home and there's no more daddy?" he said.

Even Mr. Jordan has had to engage the issue (though in his familiar "I can see it both ways" style).

This momentum is unstoppable now, as pros realize that their employers' timid loyalty has shifted from customers to producers. At its base, this movement - at least in sports - obeys market imperatives. It can be allowed as long as the basic financials are not put at risk. It has the salutary side-effect of allowing a brain-addling endeavour to look thoughtful and progressive. Through such compromises are revolutions made.

Mr. Carlos talked about a "material sacrifice" that was necessary to protest. It was made by his generation. As a result, this one is freed to speak with a much greater megaphone than he or any of the real athletic risk-takers through history could have imagined.

Samsung's phones are exploding? Here's how I'd spark a recall
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F2

Samsung is having difficulty convincing approximately 5,000 Canadians to turn in their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones.

The phones are subject to a global recall because, since the Galaxy Note 7 was released in August, an issue with the devices' lithium-ion batteries has caused a number of them to explode, catch fire or explosively catch fire.

There have been close to a hundred confirmed reports of smouldering phones in the U.S alone.

Giving my people the benefit of the doubt, 5,000 Canadians are being stoic about this burning possibility.

Perhaps it's because winter is coming. You say "Fire!" to a Canadian in September and a fair number of us are conditioned to see Aran sweaters and some kind of chicken-andcheese dish lovingly prepared from a recipe furtively ripped from the pages of a Canadian Living magazine at the dentist's office.

For many of us, "Fire!" conjures up the back cover of Songs of Leonard Cohen, which was always my parents' sexiest album cover.

Most of us appreciate the flashlight feature on our phones, and some of us are reluctant to reject a phone that might also have a lighter.

"Listen, Gadget Daniel Boone," I thought, as I heard the airline attendant on my flight home to Toronto last week gently plead with anyone who was carrying, or worse still had checked, a Galaxy Note 7 to alert a crew member before take-off, "don't be a folk hero about this, fork over the phone."

Between Aug. 19 and Sept. 1, 22,000 of these touchscreen tinder boxes were sold in Canada and so far only 17,000 Canadians have dutifully followed Samsung's simple instructions and registered to receive a new, admittedly less exciting, device, one that is already available.

The company is now imploring the holdouts, via forced software updates, to do the right thing and turn in their remarkably hand-grenade-like phones and I have sympathy for the company. This might be partly because I spent some time a few weeks ago trying to get my mother to stop using her potentially incendiary tablet.

"It gets very, very hot," she said casually the other day when I was at my parents' house for lunch. My mum sounded more interested than alarmed. It's like she has her own personal Weather Channel, something she'd really appreciate.

Indeed, over time, she said, her tablet is heating up so much that it eventually becomes scalding to touch, at which point, she said brightly, she just puts it in the freezer for a while until it cools down.

My dad seemed appreciative of her level-headedness on the matter. He was clearly proud of her pioneer spirit.

They are playing Little Personal Device on the Prairie.

"Isn't it almost new and still under warranty?" my also-visiting brother said, in unalarmist alarm. "You really should return it and get a new one," he suggested.

"But it still works!" my mum said.

"Once it's had some time to chill."

My brother and I offered to give them a brand-new one; they just had to say the word.

We were, at that moment, a twoperson South Korean multinational conglomerate attempting to handle a potential crisis. We were just trying to get through a difficult period without anyone catching fire.

My mother's argument was, however, that she likes the tablet she has, the one nestled beside the yogurt containers full of frozen tomato soup and the homemade ginger ice cream.

There's reason to believe that people are holding on to their Galaxy Note 7 phones for the same reason; they like the phone, which was very well reviewed and received right up until the point it started ungratefully setting people's Jeeps on fire and the like.

Perhaps we cling to our pocket kindling because, for some of us, a phone that might literally explode is a more realized version of the devices we've carried around with us for years now. The Galaxy Note 7 is just the newest version of all those phones that have often metaphorically threatened to blow up, or heat up, our lives at any moment.

Canadian Note 7 owners were not among those sent an update that only allows the phones to be charged up to 60 per cent. We're being trusted to do the right thing, but politely worded versions of "She's going to blow!" having failed, here are a few more messages and "features" that Samsung might want to look into.

Alright, Samsung, try a notification that might get the average Canadian's attention. Go with something like, "You know what makes Tim from accounting such a complete jackass? This phone. This phone is what makes Tim from accounting such a complete jackass."

Don't forget to reach out to your younger users. Try, "Hey, kid, ever wonder if your parents have seen your browsing history? Well, they have now!"

If overt pressure doesn't work, try something a bit more subtle. Without warning - look, no one will blame you for leaving something out of the patch notes in the midst of the Great Exploding Phone Crisis of 2016 - push out an update that causes Note 7 users' alarms to occasionally (just occasionally, because they do seem to crave drama) go off an hour later or earlier than the time for which they've been set.

Next, try this 2 a.m. text, "Did you mean to start a video call with your ex? Of course not, but we did it anyway! Still love this phone, dickweed?" If that fails, go with, "Please select which line from Love Actually you would like as your new ringtone," or consider, "We've just spammed all your contacts with invitations to LinkedIn and now they hate you.

Nah, that was LinkedIn, we can't take credit for that, but, seriously, you should still trade in this phone, it's going to explode." Try some new A/B testing: Send half of your Galaxy Note 7 hoarders this message, "Good morning, we have just sent your phone number to Anthony Weiner."

The other half get, "Good morning, your only emoji is eggplant."

See who turns in their phone fastest.

Send out a pop-up message, "An update is available. No, not for your phone, you flammable-phone-carrying idiot, but here's how that last episode of Mr. Robot you recorded but haven't watched yet ends..." and good luck on your recall mission, Samsung.

'High-profile' couple now own a curvy castle of calculus
Architectural landmark's new owners plan to continue using Integral House's performance space for music and arts
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page G2

A Toronto house designed around a concert hall will soon be filled with rhythm again: The buyers of Integral House are a musical family with two young children.

"It's certainly a very high-profile couple," says real estate agent Paul Maranger of Sotheby's International Realty Canada.

For now, the future residents are not revealing their identities.

Curious neighbours have heard the buyers are an American couple with ties to Canada.

Mr. Maranger disclosed that the buyers own houses around the world. They are based in Toronto and plan to continue the custom of using the dramatic performance space for music and the arts, he says.

The architectural landmark set on a Rosedale ravine was listed for sale in April, 2015, with an asking price of $28-million. By the end of 2015, the price was reduced to $22.9-million and, more recently, $19.5-million.

Toronto has seen an influx of foreign real estate buyers drawn to the conservative banking industry, stable political situation and reputable schools, agents in the luxury trade say. In recent years, more Americans and Canadian expats living in the United States have been shopping for properties here as the Canadian dollar declined in value compared with the U.S. currency.

The residence at 194 Roxborough Dr. was built for the late James Stewart, a violinist and mathematician who became wealthy from the sales of his groundbreaking calculus textbooks.

Dr. Stewart commissioned the Toronto-based firm of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects to design a dwelling that uses curves as an architectural expression of the beauty of calculus. The 18,000square-foot house, with six levels descending into a forested Rosedale ravine, took nearly 10 years to build and was completed in 2008. It went on to win the Governor-General's Medal for architecture.

Dr. Stewart was a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton who opened the house for events ranging from intimate salons to large charity fundraisers before he died in 2014.

Janet Lindsay of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd. represented the new owners, who commented via e-mail.

"James Stewart created a remarkable building, a wonderful venue for culture, performance and other arts. Our family is thrilled to own this extraordinary house in Toronto. We intend to continue to honour his community-oriented legacy by making our home available for events in the future," they say.

Mr. Maranger, who represents Dr. Stewart's executors, says the house sold more quickly than expected. In the luxury market, it's not uncommon for houses to take two years or longer to sell.

The relatively high asking price immediately reduces the buyer pool, of course, and in this case the house was a bespoke creation for a singular owner.

"We thought it could take two to three years just to find that very special buyer," Mr. Maranger says. "The more special and specific it is at the high end, the longer it takes to sell."

Mr. Maranger says some potential buyers weren't certain they could embrace the contemporary architecture. "It was more austere. The home itself was the art."

The family that purchased it, however, does have respect for modern architecture, he adds.

The most unusual aspect is the tall, double-storey performance venue with undulating windows overlooking the ravine and galleries above for onlookers. That was created first and everything else followed. "The home was built around that element of the house."

The home is acoustically perfect, he says, but also idiosyncratic - especially compared with the typical family home.

He recalls that when the new owners visited the house, the children ran down the stairs into the hall and began singing.

"They were enamoured by the idiosyncracies," he says of the family.

Mr. Maranger and his team had showings for 24 "highly qualified" prospective purchasers over the 18 months, he says. People who wanted to view the house had to be carefully vetted before they were given an appointment.

Mr. Maranger says the awardwinning residence is certainly considered a trophy home by most potential buyers. "There's nothing like it in the world."

The feedback from many of the people who looked at the house was that the bedroom level wasn't set up for parents with kids.

"Although it has four bedrooms, the configuration wasn't very family-friendly," he says, adding that he expects the new owners will make modifications to that area.

Any buyer group going through loved the sculptural blue glass staircase, he adds.

"It was also beyond sculpture - it was a feat of engineering."

The setting in the ravine with serpentine stairs winding down the slope also captured a lot of attention, he says. Almost every time a family visited, the children would run all the way down the stairs into the ravine and up again. "It was quite amazing to see."

One day a group of students studying architecture at the University of Toronto came for a tour, as they often did when Dr. Stewart was in residence. "It was so fun to see their faces."

They were most intrigued, he says, by the wall of windows that separated the swimming pool from the outdoors and operated on a hydraulic system. In warm weather, the wall could be made to slip away below grade. "The indoor pool became the outdoor pool within 60 seconds," Mr. Maranger says.

He says people who viewed the house were divided roughly into three groups: Some were musically inclined, others were charity mavens and a third group was wowed by the entertaining spaces. "People who like to party saw it as a party house."

Mr. Maranger says another party had made an offer on the house earlier this year but the two sides couldn't reach a deal.

In this case, negotiations went back and forth for a few weeks.

"It was both a happy and a sad day. Like any cycle, it's a completion of Dr. Stewart's passing."

As for the community, he says that many will be heartened to learn that the professor's contribution to architecture and the arts will be preserved. "I know people will be very pleased that it will carry on the tradition."

Mr. Maranger imagines the neighbours will be happy the house has new occupants after remaining on the market 18 months.

"Houses like that need to be lived in."

Associated Graphic

James Stewart, a violinist and mathematician, commissioned the design of Integral House, which uses curves as an architectural expression of the beauty of calculus.


A future banquet for the yield-hungry
Analysts pick seven stocks that are likely to keep dividend-devoted investors satisfied for the long term
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B14

Look back through history and you'll see that dividends make up a meaningful share of the stock market's total return over the years - more than a third, according to Standard & Poor's.

But as investors chase yield from "dividend aristocrats" - blue-chip companies that have increased their dividends steadily for many years - they have made these stocks expensive, says Grayson Witcher of Mawer Investment Management of Calgary. Mr. Witcher is lead manager of the Mawer U.S. Equity Fund.

Which firms might someday join them in offering consistent, generous yields? Here are seven picks for dividend aristocrats of the future from three analysts.

The up-and-comers

From Grayson Witcher of Mawer.

Ansys Inc. (Nasdaq-ANSS); no yield: Ansys designs simulation software that allows firms to see how new product designs will perform in the real world without having to produce a working model. This saves money and time, Mr. Witcher says. "Even swimming goggles have been simulated using Ansys's software." Much of the company's revenue is recurring from software licences, which means a more predictable business, he adds. "We believe Ansys is one of the global industry leaders in simulations and has the broadest portfolios of simulation capabilities." Over the next decade, the penetration of simulation software should continue to increase and Ansys should benefit.

Verisk Analytics Inc. (NasdaqVRSK); no yield: Verisk collects proprietary and public data, aggregates it and then publishes research and analytics based on it. Its original business was in the insurance industry: Verisk was started by a large group of insurance companies to help them with regulatory filings. Verisk has built a competitive advantage through its relationships with those companies. Its trove of data from them would be extremely difficult for a new entrant to replicate. "This unique asset should help protect the stability of the company's cash flow for many years, as should their very high customer retention rates" of 98 per cent, Mr. Witcher adds.

Well on their way

From Jeff Mo, lead portfolio manager of the Mawer New Canada Fund.

Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX-SJ); yield: 0.87 per cent: Montreal-based Stella-Jones is North America's leading lumber-treating company, manufacturing railway ties, utility poles and weather-resistant lumber. The industry across North America and Canada is not large, but "Stella-Jones is the largest player and by virtue of its size has a sustainable competitive advantage of scale," Mr. Mo says.

This allows the company to earn a high return on capital and to reinvest to increase market share, mainly through acquisitions. Its chief executive officer, Brian McManus, has executed an acquisition strategy over the last 15 years with "brilliant" results, but he has also aimed to raise the company's dividend payout ratio to 80 per cent or higher once the "acquisition runway runs out," Mr. Mo says. "We expect StellaJones will be a steady, growing dividend payer for many years."

First National Financial Corp.

(TSX-FN); yield: 5.72 per cent: First National Financial is Canada's leading non-bank mortgage lender. It is dominant among mortgage brokers, of which about one-third of Canadians seeking mortgages utilize, Mr. Mo says.

The company has close to a 20per-cent market share there.

First National has shown good capital gains and strong dividend growth. "The company has been a solid, under-the-radar executor of a simple business strategy: become the most trusted and efficient operator in the mortgage broker channel," he says. "The mortgage industry in Canada has grown at a few percentage points above GDP growth, and we expect that First National will maintain and perhaps increase its market share over the next three decades and beyond."

The enduring aristocrats

From Paul Gardner, a partner and portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management in Toronto. Here are three companies that Mr. Gardner expects to thrive over the next 30 or even 50 years.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC); yield: 1.92 per cent: Although the banking sector is frequently criticized, it is far safer today than at any other time in the history of the financial markets, Mr. Gardner says. Thanks to capital constraints and a highly regulated environment, technological disruption from competitors will be minimal, he adds.

"There will be billions spent on technology by all banks to keep disruptors away." The public will demand compliance and regulations to protect society's assets, he says. "So in the end banks will need to be big." Bank of America is the largest deposit holder in the United States. It pays out only 25 per cent of its earnings in dividends. The bank will continue to increase its dividend payout because it has room to grow, Mr. Gardner predicts.

Canadian National Railway Co. (TSX: CNR); yield: 1.80 per cent: There is no more efficient way to transport bulk goods than by rail," Mr. Gardner says. The world is going to become more interconnected, and "big bulky things" have to go from points A to B.

"The ones who own the rail lines will have the power to transport, especially since society does not seem to want to accept more pipelines. "Food, goods, fuel and chemicals are all part of our daily lives. It will continue," he says.

"CNR has the rail lines and is one of the best-run railways out there." CNR's history of steadily raising dividends will continue, too, he adds. Its payout ratio is a conservative 35 per cent.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ); yield: 2.71 per cent: Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical and retail products help power and drive the company's dividend policy, Mr. Gardner says. "Its free cash flow power and its everexpanding lineup of strong consumer products will help it retain its leading position as a dividend aristocrat for the next 30 years."

Its diversified portfolio of products allows it to withstand recessionary or deflationary trends that might affect the consumer space, he says. As well, "being number 1 or 2 in most of their global markets creates a strong barrier to entry." J&J's suite of drugs has some elements of patent protection, and its AAA credit rating - one of only two companies rated so highly by Standard & Poor's in the United States - strengthens the company's potential over the long term.

Associated Graphic





Among the companies predicted to offer generous dividends are, clockwise from top left, Bank of America, Stella-Jones, Johnson & Johnson and CN.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


A Wednesday Report on Business article on stock picks incorrectly included a photo of a CP Rail locomotive when the article included a reference to CN Rail.

Between the covers of a publisher's new office
Penguin is writing the next chapter in its corporate evolution in a new Toronto headquarters that has all the features of a library or 'someone's den,' including bookshelf-lined walls and reading nooks
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B7

TORONTO -- The iconic World's Biggest Bookstore may have closed in Toronto a couple of years ago, but what qualifies as one of the world's smallest has just opened.

The 158-square-foot Penguin Shop, the size of a typical bedroom, is located in the lobby of a downtown office building and hints at what is above. Three higher floors have been transformed into Canada's biggest hive of book publishing.

Three publishing houses with long-established cultures have been brought together under one roof in the new Toronto offices of Penguin Random House Canada Publishing Group. The effort began shortly after the 2013 merger of Penguin Group and Random House, which had previously acquired McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

President and chief executive officer Brad Martin wanted to bring together the operations, but at the same time retain their unique personalities, said Jon Pezim, vice-president and sales representative for commercial real estate broker Newmark Knight Frank Devencore.

After rejecting spaces in large towers in Toronto's financial core as too corporate, the company's search team looked at three floors of a mid-rise building at 320 Front St. W. But the original layout of the space that was formerly a bank call centre almost disqualified it, Mr. Pezim recalled. "It seemed very dark and dreary. High-walled cubicles covered much of the window area and tired carpet covered the floors."

On the plus side, the 1989 building had floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the Rogers Centre, CN Tower and Lake Ontario.

With building owner H&R REIT keen to secure Penguin Random House, it agreed to upgrades of the heating, ventilation and electrical systems to get a 10-year lease.

The 19,300-square-foot floor plates lent themselves to having one floor for each publishing house, but the design needed a way to draw the operation together.

A central staircase bridging the floors was the answer, but cutting out the middle of two floors required some further co-ordination with the landlord, Mr. Pezim said. Structural engineers determined that there had originally been a stairway joining two floors that had been filled in. It made for an ideal location for the new staircase.

There were a number of things the clients wanted to achieve in the office design, said Darryl Balaski, principal of Torontobased interior design firm Figure 3. "A main goal was to highlight the amazing view of the city and the lake and bring in the light.

We ripped out the dividers, carpeting and vinyl flooring that made it feel very industrial."

The design theme was "all things books," with feature walls that are lined with library-like wooden shelves and reading nooks that display the books being created by the teams in the office. The flooring is an engineered wood that matches the grain of the oak bookshelves that line the corridors. "We wanted to create more a feel of a library or someone's den," Mr. Balaski explained.

To add to the library-like ambience, the renovation included installing a sound-masking system in the ceilings.

Designed by Mississauga-based Environmental Acoustics Inc., a system of speakers emits sounds that are often compared to that of softly blowing air, but it's been specifically engineered to cover up speech as well as noise from general activities.

Another challenge was to connect the three cultures of companies that had been in offices across the city. The designers set up a standards team to work with representatives of the three publishing groups to see how they could connect and unite the cultures with shared facilities.

To give the floors distinctive looks, each has a different colour scheme. Penguin's floor has a palette that veers toward oranges; Random House's includes more reds and McClelland & Stewart favours blues.

"We decided to plan informal meeting spaces that would encourage employee circulation, such as booths and tables, and spaces for the staff to display the titles and the authors that they've been working with," Mr. Balaski said. Meeting and boardrooms are unassigned and employees can book them when needed with a touch-pad screen.

"A great thing is, the staff has embraced the adaptable meeting areas for in-house events - including book clubs," said Jessica Cooney, a publicist for Penguin Random House. "Everyone is reading the books on the shelves on each floor. It's become an alternative to the water cooler to meet in the reading nooks."

Books arrayed on library-like shelves in the corridors also give staff opportunities to explore books that are being done by colleagues.

Creating areas that are multifunctional, such as a kitchenette and coffee areas with tables for meetings, has brought people together, Ms. Cooney said. There isn't a cafeteria, but one large meeting area allows people who bring their own lunches to congregate.

The final addition was the bookstore that opened the last week of August in a lobby cubicle that had formerly been a shoe shine shop. Space was tight and Figure 3 came up with the concept of displaying books and merchandise on pull-out racks whose ends resemble the spines of books. The shop features limited and special editions, book-related merchandise, and sought-after branded swag, including Penguin Classics mugs, notebooks, and tote bags.

Penguin Shop will also provide readers with access to the people who create its books. There's a Penguin Picks program that features favourite titles chosen by authors and from the company's editors, designers and other staff.

Staff from the Penguin Random House imprints are also being given the opportunity to volunteer to take turns minding the store and get a feel for how readers are reacting to the books they create.

"So if you're flipping through a book, it may be the designer who laid out the book who's selling it to you, Ms. Cooney said.

The store's unique location also offers customers the chance to cross paths with their favourite authors, who may be passing by en route to the company's office, she added.

"It allows the staff and the audience for books to interact more than ever before."

Associated Graphic

Penguin has tucked a tiny retail store into the lobby of its new office building in Toronto. Upstairs, its airy floors keep the book theme going with shelves featuring Penguin titles and reading corners amid the employee desks.


Brilliant physicist studied plasma
Outgoing scientist was 'a cross between Seinfeld and Einstein' who solved problems in practical ways
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S8

Plasma physics is such an arcane subject that someone once said a particular Tudor Johnston book on the subject could be understood by maybe 50 people in the world. But the brilliant Canadian scientist, who has died at the age of 84, could explain his big ideas to the layman in just a few minutes.

"Tudor was good at explaining things orally and in writing, using precise and elegant language. He was an internationally renowned scientist and was invited all over the world to explain his work in plasma physics and related areas," said Federico Rosei, a fellow scientist at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), who described Dr. Johnston as his mentor. He suggests it is perhaps an exaggeration to say that Dr. Johnston's more complex books could be understood by only 50 people.

"But certainly by not more than five million."

The two men wrote a book together called Survival Skills for Scientists (2006), a humorous but practical guide to making a living in science.

"Scientists learn in the lab but are sometimes unprepared for the real world. Our book tells scientists how to find a job, get funding and get your ideas published," Dr. Rosei said.

Plasma, the focus of Dr. Johnston's research, is superheated matter and exists when temperatures exceed 3,000 degrees Celsius. The superheated gases in the Sun are plasma. Space vehicles re-entering Earth's atmosphere create such heat that they are surrounded by plasma. That was precisely the problem Dr. Johnston worked on for NASA while he was a University of Houston physics professor from 1969-73.

The greater part of his career was spent at INRS, in Varennes, Que., a branch of the University of Quebec. Much of his research there was devoted to creating plasma in enclosed places, which could be converted into energy.

That is nuclear fusion, the process by which the sun generates energy. If it could be harnessed there would be limitless energy with no lethal byproducts. What we use now is nuclear fission.

Nuclear fusion is a simple concept, first talked about in the 1920s. But it is elusive. Why Nuclear Fusion is always 30 years away was the title of an article in the science magazine Discover in March of this year. The field's immense potential and immense problems explain why a man such as Dr. Johnston could spend a lifetime studying it. He thought pure research was worthwhile, since it sometimes takes decades for pure research to produce results that ordinary people can see.

Plasma physics does have some practical applications today: Plasma welding, for example, is used to cut very strong metals, such as titanium.

Walter Tudor Wyatt Johnston was born in Montreal on Jan. 17, 1932, into a scientific-minded family. His father, Henry, was an engineer and his grandfather, Wyatt, took over the pathology department at McGill from Dr. William Osler. His mother, the former Beatrice Lyman, was active in the SPCA in Montreal.

Young Tudor went to Lower Canada College and then McGill University, where he graduated in engineering. He then went to Cambridge, in England, earning his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1956.

When he returned to Montreal, he became a senior research scientist at RCA's satellite division.

During his time in England he had met Anne Pickering, but being an indecisive man, he never got around to actually proposing. His son Bruce said Tudor's father forced the issue.

"My mother was in Australia and my grandfather, after speaking with her parents in England, wrote to her saying, 'I will pay for you to come and visit Canada and see if my son is up to it.' My mother arrived with her wedding dress and they were married in December of 1958."

After RCA, Dr. Johnston worked on plasma physics with a group of scientists at the University of Montreal. From 1969 to 1973, he taught at the University of Houston and worked with NASA.

When spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere they were briefly cut off from radio contact on the ground because of the plasma envelope created by the heat of re-entry caused by the Earth's atmosphere.

When he returned to Canada in 1973, Dr. Johnston stared work at the University of Quebec's research centre. An anglo-Montrealer, Dr. Johnston was totally at home conversing in French, something that was certainly not true of most of the boys he went to school with at LCC in the 1940s.

Over his long scientific career he published more than 150 scientific papers and several books.

"He never talked about his work unless you asked him about it," Bruce Johnston said.

Though he was a theoretical physicist, Tudor Johnston was an immensely practical man, perhaps owing to his early training as an engineer. He was never without a knife and pair of pliers in case he needed to fix something, and carried a pen on a lanyard around his neck in case he needed to take notes. His glasses were always held on with a strap after he lost a pair while sailing.

"If something was broken, at home or on a sailboat, he liked to come up with a solution to be able to fix it with material at hand," his son Bruce said. "My father was an outgoing man, a cross between Seinfeld and Einstein."

He retired from INRS in 2010 and became a professor emeritus in 2012. He lived in a stone house on a 100-acre farm just outside the village of Knowlton that his father had bought in 1952. His main pastime aside from work was sailing on Brome Lake at Knowlton or in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where his family has a summer house at Cap-à-l'Orignal.

Dr. Johnston died at home in Knowlton, Que., on Aug. 24. He had a rare form of cancer. He leaves his wife, Anne; his sister, Ursula; his three children, Malcolm, Bruce and Caroline; and four grandchildren.

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Associated Graphic

Much of physicist Tudor Johnston's research in Varennes, Que., was devoted to creating plasma in enclosed places, which could be converted into energy. If properly harnessed, the simple but elusive process, called nuclear fusion, could produce limitless energy with no lethal byproducts.


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