Louisiana is being washed away. In less than a century, it has lost the equivalent of Prince Edward Island, and the situation is getting worse. Globe and Mail correspondent Omar El Akkad reports on an increasingly fractious tug-of-war that may be a bellwether for the looming battle between prosperity and the planet's well-being
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F1


The biggest stingray in Louisiana's history was caught by a retired health and safety worker named Bebe McElroy in the summer of 2013.

It weighed 185 pounds. "And that's 10 hours dry," says the 65year-old, who can't be more than half the size of the broad-winged beast she somehow vanquished that day in July. Had the gatekeepers of Louisiana marine lore managed to weigh the stingray when it was still fresh out of the water, she swears it would have touched 200.

The house in which Ms. McElroy and her husband Vic intend to live out their retirement - a beautiful, single-family home built high on seven-metre stilts - is a 90-minute drive southwest of New Orleans, located along a narrow claw of land just a couple hundred feet wide in places. Three kilometres down the road, Highway 56 comes to a dead stop at the shore of Bay Cocodrie, one of a million bays and bayous that signal the eventual submission of a shredded Louisiana coastline to the vast, looming expanse that is the Gulf of Mexico. It's a place the locals sometimes call the end of the world.

It was here where the disasterresponse teams set up shop following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. It was from these shores that shrimping boats set out with oil booms instead of nets, hired to contain the spill through a program dubbed "Vessels of Opportunity."

In this part of the state, you can see the signs everywhere: The canal that borders Ms. McElroy's back yard is widening, the ridge of marshland on the other side is shrinking. Westward, in the far distance, stands a ghost forest of dead oaks, their branches like smoothed bone, victims of unbearable salinity. "The water is creeping in," Ms. McElroy says.

"That's man doing that. That's not nature."

The worst ecological crisis in North America is happening in southern Louisiana. In the time it takes to read this story, a parcel of Louisiana wetland the size of a football field will have sunk into the Gulf of Mexico.

Over the past century, some 5,200 square kilometres - a land mass roughly the size of Prince Edward Island - has vanished in one of the more culturally and environmentally exceptional regions on the continent.

This has wreaked havoc on wildlife, displaced 10th-generation homesteaders and left major population centres such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the capital, far more vulnerable to the wrath of passing hurricanes.

But as Louisiana sinks, it booms.

Thanks to a concentration of industrial plants and a 3,700-kilometre waterway leading into the heart of the country, the Mississippi River in southern Louisiana is now home to the busiest port complex in the world. Some 65,000 people make a living in the state's bustling oil and gas industry - the same industry whose vast network of canals and pipelines has emerged as one of the leading causes of Louisiana's vanishing coast.

The result is one of the more extreme illustrations of what will likely be the defining political and societal challenge of this century - the head-on collision of economic bonanza and environmental ruin.

"There's a lot at stake," says Jonathan Foret, executive director of the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center and a southern Louisiana native.

"There's the energy sector, there's a large fishing industry, but there's also the beautiful culture of a beautiful people.

"Our land is sinking."


It was a Canadian who discovered it, insomuch as someone can discover a place already inhabited. Sailing under a French flag in 1699, Quebec-born Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville navigated the delta that today makes up the southeastern end of the state of Louisiana. A few years later, one of his 11 brothers showed up and founded New Orleans.

What d'Iberville would have seen as he passed through the the yawning mouth of the Mississippi three centuries ago is a delta composed of more than 15,000 square kilometres of marsh and coastal wetland, much of it sustained by the whims of the fourth-longest river on Earth.

Left unleashed, the Mississippi is a sidewinder. For centuries, cartographers recorded a waterway that, rather than adhering to a single path, swung wildly across a 300-kilometre stretch of southern Louisiana. Everywhere it moved, the river deposited silt and sediment, the stuff of new land.

Everywhere you go in southern Louisiana, the Mississippi's impact on the state's very identity is clearly evident. In Oak Alley, a former sugar-cane plantation about a half-hour south of Baton Rouge, a tour guide points north to the grounds where the slaves who built the plantation mansion were buried. Just a few hundred metres away, partly obscured by a gently sloping, grass-lined levee, is the water.

"Some of their graves are under the river now," the guide says, "because the Mississippi, it moves."

As it moved, the Mississippi took as much as it gave, making it a dangerous neighbour to the cities on its banks. In 1927, after months of unceasing rain, the river broke through its levees in almost 150 places. When the flooding finally subsided, 500 people were dead, and another 600,000 were homeless. It was, at the time, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

In response, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was authorized by Congress to build a series of levees that essentially locked the Mississippi in place.

The levees were seen as a godsend to places such as New Orleans - a port city that lies below sea level.

But the imposition of geographic order on a naturally chaotic waterway soon began to starve the outlying wetlands.

Deprived of silt and sediment, the coastal areas beyond the river's reach began to disappear.

Today, the elaborate system of walls and levees that bridle the river is seen as a chief culprit in what is happening to the state.

"It's bad, and in a couple of different aspects of being bad," says Darryl Malek-Wiley, senior organizing representative of the Louisiana Sierra Club.

"But if that was our only problem, that would be great."


On Highway 10 just north of New Orleans, where the road is suspended over the southwestern edge of Lake Pontchartrain, a pickup truck passes in the fast lane. On its rear window is a decal - a gushing oil well circled with the words "Oilfield Trash."

In southern Louisiana, the Mississippi is a river of industry. Driving south from Baton Rouge to the southernmost edges of the state, the scenery is of stone yards, concrete plants, barge docks, refineries. A Potash Corp. fertilizer plant neighbours a Total polystyrene facility. Some of the plants are the size of small towns - a vast, labyrinthine metropolis of pipes and smokestacks whistling vapour and flame.

Other than its centuries-old fishing culture, no industry has had a greater impact on Louisiana's landscape than oil and gas. In the last century, the state has approved some 50,000 oil wells along its coast. To reach these wells and connect them to the wider infrastructure, the industry dug about 17,000 kilometres of canals.

This network of canals and pipelines, many researchers and environmentalists say, has greatly accelerated the rate of coastal land loss - not only by physically removing soil to make room for artificial waterways (which were sometimes 45 metres wide) but also by allowing saltwater to enter the Mississippi wetlands. The salinity killed off many of the trees, whose roots had helped to keep the soil in place. In most cases, because it was cheaper than diverting it to land-building projects, the sediment from digging and dredging the waterways was simply dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

But there's also no doubt that many people reaped enormous financial benefit. The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association pegs the industry's direct and indirect impact on the state economy at about $70-billion (by comparison, the total funds available for the state of Louisiana this year, according to the state budget, amount to about $25.5-billion). In areas such as Plaquemines Parish - in the far southeast, where oil and gas activity is especially high - the impact is even greater.

"Plaquemines, 50 per cent of every dollar that they have comes from the oil and gas industry," says Gifford Briggs, the association's vice-president. "So you walk into a room with 10 chairs, you take out five, you throw them away, and that's more or less what it would look like."

The other side of that monetary equation, however, is geographic. Plaquemines Parish, like so much of southern Louisiana, is disappearing.


Walking down a hallway in Louisiana State University's Energy, Coast & Environment building, John Snead points to one of the many maps lining the walls. It's a political map, concerned chiefly with hard, binary boundaries, such as those between parishes, or between water and land. It is a map of Louisiana adjusted to eliminate ambiguity.

On the wall opposite, a closeup map of the southern coast shows something entirely different. The land drawn as uniform in the political map appears here as a gold leaf, full of fractures and corrosion. Slivers of creeping water are visible everywhere. In places, there is land that isn't - marsh grass that, should you step on it, would give way instantly. This is in part why the state's analogy of choice for the rate at which the coastal land is disappearing - football fields - is so hard to pin down. Depending on where you measure, it's a football field's worth of land loss every hour, or every 45 minutes, or every halfhour. The division between water and land is anything but clear.

"The coastline in Louisiana is ephemeral," says Mr. Snead, a cartographic manager at LSU's Louisiana Geological Survey.

But the distinction between land and water matters. Resources found underground belong to the property's owner, but those found underwater belong to the government. In an area rich with oil and gas, billions of dollars are at stake.

"Coastal land loss can be a very controversial topic," Mr. Snead says. "Landowners and parishes have a very different view than scientists."

Making Mr. Snead's job even more difficult is that fact that, in some parts of the state, the landscape changes not just from year to year, but from month to month. As a result, the official illustration of the state of Louisiana - the one that adorns the highway signs, and shows the landmass as a boot-shaped whole - is a lie. Places that once existed as broad shoulders of land are now thin strips; where once residents raised cattle, they now catch shrimp.

To the people who live here, coastal land loss has been a concern for decades. Fifteen years ago, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana published a report on the crisis; it was titled "No Time To Lose."

All over southern Louisiana, attempts are being made to stem the tide. Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation, a project that diverts sediment, has resulted in 400 acres of new land in just nine months. Signs of "terracing" programs, which place small strips of land in the water to capture passing sediment, are visible throughout the region. As part of its youth outreach, the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center takes kids out to the swamps to plant marsh grass.

But compared to the overall rate of land loss, these efforts are of little practical impact.

"They're not on the scale and scope that we need to restore our coast," says Mr. Malek-Wiley of the Sierra Club. "They're Band-Aids when we need, you know, tourniquets."

By far the biggest, most sprawling weapon in Louisiana's fight to save itself is the state's Coastal Master Plan. Revised and published in 2012, the plan contains some 109 different projects to be completed in the next half-century - everything from sediment diversion to salinity control to riverbank stabilization. In a state where the interests of environmentalists, politicians and industry groups rarely align, the master plan has the blessing of all three.

However, there are several problems. For one thing, the benefits of many projects being proposed are hypothetical - it will take years to find out if they are worth undertaking in the first place. And even the master plan's best-case scenario is unlikely to stand up to the worstcase scenarios of climate change and sea-level rise over the next half-century. At best, the plan will greatly decelerate or possibly stop the coastal-land loss - most observers agree that the lost landmass equivalent of PEI is never coming back.

But more than anything, the master plan has a money problem. The midway estimate puts its cost at about $50-billion over 50 years (a recent study from Tulane University argues that the true cost is closer to $94billion). Louisiana is among the gulf states to begin receiving a greater share of federal off-shore royalty payments in 2017, but that will likely amount to hundreds of millions of dollars - far too little to finance the plan alone.

So far, the chief source of support appears to be the settlement from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The exact figures are yet to be disclosed, but the final amount is likely to be around $20-billion, most of it to be allocated to coastal projects.

The BP spill "hasn't had a silver lining - it's had a platinum lining encrusted with diamonds," says John Barry, a parttime New Orleans resident who has become a central figure in the land-loss crisis. "If it were not for the BP money, the state wouldn't have a dime to spend on the coast right now."

But that still leaves the master plan well short of its financial target. Mr. Barry, however, has found a way to make up the difference: He's suing the oil and gas industry.


"This is about three things that you hope parents teach their kids - keep your word, obey the law, and take responsibility for your actions," Mr. Barry says.

"The industry has failed on all three."

A historian by trade, he became well known as an advocate for rebuilding New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Eventually, he managed to secure a seat on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which is responsible for overseeing flood protection in an area that includes New Orleans.

Nominally, the agency is supposed to inspect measures - primarily levees - intended to ensure that New Orleans never goes through another post-hurricane devastation. But Mr. Barry turned his attention to the role played by oil and gas in eroding the coastal wetlands that serve as natural protection against severe weather events. If the industry is, indeed, part of the problem (a report with input from its own researchers holds it responsible for about 36 per cent of the damage), Mr Barry reasoned it should help to pay for a solution.

The result was a multibilliondollar lawsuit, filed by the floodprotection board, against almost 100 oil and gas companies. Both in scope and value (a settlement could well rival that of the BP spill), it is unprecedented.

"The idea that a state agency of Louisiana would sue 97 oil and gas agencies, that's amazing," says Mr. Malek-Wiley. "I didn't think I'd see that in my lifetime."

In essence, the suit claims that companies operating in the coastal areas over the better part of the last century have not adhered to the terms of their state permits - specifically, the obligation to restore and repair the myriad canals they have dug. The industry vehemently denies the accusation and, in a place where oil and gas account for 60,000 jobs and 17 per cent of the money generated by the state, the lawsuit has faced immense political opposition. The same day that Mr. Barry announced it, Governor Bobby Jindal issued a statement calling the suit nothing more than a cash grab by lawyers.

"These trial lawyers are taking this action at the expense of our coast and thousands of hardworking Louisianans who help fuel America by working in the energy industry," he said.

Mr. Barry makes no secret of the fact that he prefers a quick settlement to a lengthy trial. But the industry sees things very differently.

"The reason there won't be a settlement," says Mr. Briggs of the oil and gas association, "is because the legal exposure and the liability that gets put out there when the industry steps forward and says, 'Okay' ...

"Then every single community, every single person that's ever had their house flooded, every hurricane from now going forward, they're going to say ... 'Industry, money, pay.' "

Broadly, the industry's defence is threefold. Primarily, it argues there has been no violation of any permit (and if the state finds evidence there has been, it can take action). Mr. Briggs also echos the governor's criticism of trial lawyers, who he says stand to make billions. Finally, the industry says the levees built to lock the Mississippi in place are the prime cause of the erosion.

Mr. Briggs also complains of bias. "No one's gone to the charter-boat fishermen and said, 'We need you to put up 50 per cent or 20 per cent of the revenue you generate working on the coast.' No one's gone to the oyster fisherman and said we need you to put up 20 per cent. No one's gone to all the people that own duck camps, and the crawfish fisherman.

"We're not the only industry in coastal Louisiana; we're just the only industry that's being asked to pay."

The outcome of the suit is far from certain and, as much as Mr. Barry hopes for speed, a settlement may take months, if not years, to resolve. Whatever happens will likely set a precedent for myriad regions across the continent where the brittle balance between economy and environment is coming undone.

In the meantime, Louisiana - its history and culture along with its land - continues to vanish.


About three kilometres north of where Bebe McElroy lives near Chauvin, construction crews are busy building a levee that crosses the narrow strip of land upon which her home sits. Once complete, the levee is supposed to protect the area to the north from hurricanes and flooding.

But the unsaid message to everyone living on the six kilometres to the south is clear: In the long run, you're on your own. Signs of such calculus are evident all over southern Louisiana, as the state decides which areas are worth trying to save.

And yet Ms. McElroy has no intention of leaving the place she loves. "I was here before the levee," she says, casting a line into the canal that borders her front yard, a bucket of croaking catfish at her feet. "And I'll be here after."

Over the years, the violent ecology of southern Louisiana has created a unique base of expertise in this state. Home builders have learned how to construct houses that, when hovering on stilts above the treeline, can better withstand high winds. Some houses in the rebuilt portion of New Orleans's ninth ward are designed to float when flooded. Louisiana firms have won contracts worth hundreds of millions to use their expertise to help rebuild and protect parts of New York and New Jersey hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. In all, Louisianans have developed a knowledge base about how to cope with unwelcome water that is second only to that of the Dutch.

"People here enjoy living in a prosperous community economically," says Mr. Foret of the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center. "But they also enjoy living in a place where they can go fishing and hunting and eat things from the water - and not worry about what they're eating."

On a warm, faintly muggy afternoon, he drives to a spot near Ms. McElroy's house, a 1,000-year-old piece of Louisiana history called La Butte. Once a native burial site, and later a grave for hurricane victims, now it, too, is slowly sinking. At the mound's northern edge, the swamp has consumed half the chain-link fence; a rotting fish head lies among the gravestones.

"I think that we had a window, probably in the seventies, to really make this happen and work it out," Mr. Foret says. "I'm concerned that it's almost too late now."

Behind the billion-dollar lawsuits and grand coastal plans and all the outward optimism that a balance between environment and economy can yet be found, there hangs a fatalistic resignation in the Louisiana air - an understanding that the next Katrina may render all the state's best-laid plans moot; or that, without oil and gas, southern Louisiana's level of national influence drops precipitously; or that, should climate change cause sea levels to rise another metre, most of the land south of Baton Rouge may end up underwater anyway.

Mr. Foret pauses for a moment, thinking carefully about how best to put it.

"I think the thing that people are not saying, because they can't say it ... is that, when Mother Nature handles this issue, and finishes it, then Mother Nature will make that decision for everyone."

Omar El Akkad is The Globe and Mail's Western U.S. correspondent.

Associated Graphic

Bebe McElroy heads out on the water that threatens her home, not that she has any intention of leaving: 'I was here before the levee. And I'll be here after.'


A land of shellfish and stilts: Leroy Parfait, 68, casts a net for shrimp from shore while a trawler prepares to set sail near Cocodr

Jonathan Foret of the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center.

Chauvin, LA - 10/15/2014 - Terry Lapeyrouse, Jr.

Chauvin, LA - 10/16/2014 - Tree skeletons across Bayou Petite Caillou, the main waterway through the town of Chauvin. WILLIAM WIDMER FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P46


Sault Ste. Marie (main), Brampton, St. Thomas and Timmins

Students: 1,400

Cost: $6,400

With no graduate programs and little research activity, tiny Algoma focuses exclusively on offering undergraduate education to students in its region. A minimum entering average of 65 per cent gives students of many abilities a shot at higher education. Its accessibility could be connected to its challenge to hold on to students; a large portion drop out before their second year of studies.

Your typical classmate: Went to high school nearby. More than 94 per cent of Algoma's student body is from Ontario.

Hotshot prof: Michael Burtch ventures into the remote wilderness of Northern Ontario with his fine art students to study the Group of Seven in the setting that inspired their iconic work.


St. Catharines (main) and Hamilton

Students: 18,700

Cost: $6,400

Brock manages to achieve a good balance between research activities and quality undergraduate education. The university's biggest selling point is its co-op program, the fifth largest in the country, which boasts a 100 per cent placement rate. Its beautiful setting on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Lake Moodie is a bonus.

Your typical classmate: Enjoys the small town feel of St. Catharines.

Students say: They value the unique co-op program. "The biggest pro for me was the integrated co-op program," says Royden Thomson, second-year business. "The biggest con is [expensive food], so I have to really watch my meal plan."



Students: 25,600

Cost: $7,000

Carleton serves the capital with well-known policy and journalism programs and also shines in architecture, computer science and physical science. Despite a good reputation, Carleton's performance is mixed. Students rated the school below average on a national student survey, and its degree completion rate (the percentage of students who graduate within seven years) is notably lower than other comprehensive universities in Ontario.

Students say: That student politics rival House of Cards in nastiness. "I know six people who want to be Prime Minister," says Charles McIvor, fourth-year public affairs and policy.

This year: Carleton was in talks with the cities of Cornwall and Niagara Falls about opening satellite campuses focused on entrepreneurship.


Guelph (main), Alfred, Kemptville, Ridgetown and Toronto

Students: 23,200

Cost: $ 7,500

U of G is recognized internationally for its strong agriculture and forestry programs. Students gave it high ratings across many measures on a national student survey, and the university boasts high retention and graduation rates. With low unemployment and crime, pleasant Guelph is a great place to live.

Students say: The large intramural programs offer many opportunities to try new sports. "Dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, floor hockey and water polo, as well as the regular ball sports [are available]. And I was surprised to find out there was a quidditch team in my last year!" says recent nutrition grad Sarah Gebremicael.

This year: U of G announced plans to shutter its regional agriculture campuses in Alfred and Kemptville in response to low enrolment, a decision that triggered outcry from students, community leaders and the farming industry.


Thunder Bay (main) and Orillia

Students: 8,600

Cost: $6,900

Surrounded by boreal forest near Lake Superior, Lakehead is reflective of its region. A newly opened centre focused on sustainable mining practices will tackle challenges such as environmental impact and aboriginal treaty rights in Northern Ontario's booming resource industry. Students gave the school below-average marks on a national student survey, especially on student-faculty interaction. WiFi and electrical plug-ins in study areas need serious upgrading, according to students.

Hotshot prof: Carney Matheson and Lakehead graduate Margaret-Ashley Veall travelled to Bolzano, Italy, to study weapons and tools discovered with Europe's oldest frozen mummy, Ötzi the Iceman.

This year: Lakehead welcomed the inaugural class to its law school, the first to open in Ontario in 44 years.


Sudbury (main) and Barrie

Students: 9,100

Cost: $6,400

With 50 per cent growth in enrolment over the past decade, Laurentian is undergoing expansion of French language programs and massive construction, including a proposed $25-million campus in Barrie. For a university that focuses primarily on undergraduates, it receives considerable research funding from the private sector. Students rate their overall satisfaction with their education poorly. The tree-filled campus on the shore of Ramsey Lake is lovely.

Hotshot prof: Terrance Galvin had his architecture students build ice-fishing huts that were then auctioned off, raising $20,000 for the brand-new architecture school.

Students say: Transit options to downtown Sudbury from campus are limited.


Hamilton (main), Burlington, Waterloo and St. Catharines

Students: 28,400

Cost: $6,800

Despite being a large research university, McMaster is known for innovative teaching; its faculty netted 14 national awards for teaching excellence. Nevertheless, the school's performance on a national student survey was mixed. With cheaper tuition and fees, and a slightly lower-than-average entering grade, McMaster manages to remain more accessible than other internationally recognized research universities such as Queen's and Western. Gothic arches and stone buildings covered in ivy give the campus a magical feel, students say.

Hotshot prof: Joseph Kim redesigned his first-year psychology course, the largest class in the university, to integrate lectures with online modules, small group tutorials and opportunities to apply concepts to real-life situations.

This year: McMaster will open an $80-million health centre in downtown Hamilton, further cementing its reputation for excellence in health care.


North Bay (main), Bracebridge and Brantford

Students: 5,600

Cost: $6,800

Nipissing students say that accessible professors and plentiful learning resources make them feel like more than just a number. Cons include limited course selection. The university is home to one of Ontario's best education programs, with a unique concurrent program that allows students to get experience in real classrooms starting in first year. The campus is showing signs of wear and tear (beware the leaking ceilings).

Students say: The campus setting is beautiful. "Nipissing is situated in a pristine forest, overlooking the lake. When I first arrived, my heart skipped a beat when looking at the city of North Bay," says Bradley Gaasenbeek, second-year history.

This year: The students' union and university administration squabbled over management of Nipissing's only pub, The Wall, which remains closed as of this writing.



Students: 4,700

Cost: $6,800

Access to professors at the top of their field draws aspiring artists to OCAD U. Innovative programs include indigenous visual culture and digital painting. Students report a hyper-competitive environment and harsh criticism from professors, issues the school appears to be addressing. OCAD U's dramatic campus includes a black-and-white box balanced on six-storey-tall, pencil-like pillars in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Your typical classmate: Is stressed out. The National College Health Assessment found that OCAD U students are considerably more anxious and depressed than other Canadian students.

This year: Frustrated students and faculty banded together to push OCAD U to deal with maintenance problems, including broken sinks and chunks of falling paint.



Students: 9,100

Cost: $8,400

Just over a decade old, UOIT is a technology-rich university specializing in preparing students for careers in science, health care and the justice system. The university recently launched a new initiative exploring hydrogen production at its Clean Energy Research Lab and installed a ventilation system in laboratories that improves energy efficiency. Students rated UOIT below average on many measures in a national student survey, and the university struggles with a high percentage of students who don't make it to second year.

Students say: That paying nearly $2,500 in fees (including a mandatory laptop) on top of tuition is too much. "We pay for so much we do not use," says Courtney Brissette, a recent criminology and justice graduate.

This year: UOIT's forensic science program became the second program in Canada to receive prestigious accreditation from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.



Students: 42,600

Cost: $6,700

Bilingual uOttawa is a research powerhouse that receives nods from all the major global university rankings. Its sociology department has been recognized as one of the world's best. Dismal reviews on national student surveys indicate undergraduate education needs attention. Perhaps the university's plan to personalize courses by blending classroom instruction with online activities (the target is 20 per cent of classes by 2020) will improve student satisfaction. In 2013 a courtroom opened on campus, bringing real lawsuits directly to law students.

Students say: The massive campus is manageable. "My first impression of my campus was that its size was daunting," says Huidan Sun, second-year speech language pathology. "Over time, it had become a welcoming second home."



Students: 24,800

Cost: $7,100

Queen's offers both the benefits of a prestigious research university and a great undergraduate experience, especially in its world-class humanities and social sciences departments. Students give high ratings for its supportive campus environment. However, they don't enjoy the access to faculty that they would at a smaller university, and Queen's is working to address large class sizes by redesigning courses. With a strong school spirit and the majority of students living within a short walk, the university's vibrant campus culture is arguably the liveliest in the country.

Your typical classmate: Will have higher debt at graduation than other Ontario graduates. However, low loan default rates suggest that Queen's grads don't struggle to repay their loans.

Students say: Campus culture is fantastic. "The school fosters an environment where students take the reins of their own clubs and activities," says Garrett Vierhout, third-year engineering. "This promotes a lot of leadership among students."



Students: 31,500

Cost: $6,800

Ryerson's roots as a polytechnic institution are apparent in its career-focused offerings, such as its high-quality journalism and large undergraduate business programs. Its innovative business incubator Digital Media Zone was ranked fifth globally and tops in Canada in a recent international ranking. The university spends considerably less of its budget on financial aid and library services than other Ontario universities.

Hotshot president: Sheldon Levy is celebrated as an influential city builder for leading Ryerson's growth in Toronto's urban core, including the revitalization of Maple Leaf Gardens.

This year: Ryerson created a new course on social activism in memory of Jack Layton, who taught at the university in the 1970s and 1980s.


Toronto (main), Mississauga and Scarborough

Students: 82,000

Cost: $7,300

Heavyweight U of T is regularly recognized as one of the top universities in the world. With leading faculty and research in many fields, the school offers a breadth and depth of high-quality programs unparalleled in the country. Among all this prestige (and a student body the size of a mid-sized city), the average undergrad student can feel lost. Students rate the university low on supportive campus environment and active and collaborative learning. But U of T is working on it: first-year foundational programs with small classes, enhanced orientation and mental health services and innovative new scholarship programs are designed to help students find their own community.

Hotshot prof: Shafique Virani has won a closet-full of awards for innovative pedagogy and the use of multimedia and other technologies to enhance his history and religion classes.

Students say: That rigorous academic standards and a competitive environment cause stress.


Peterborough (main) and Oshawa

Students: 7,900

Cost: $7,500

Trent is designed after the college system at Oxford and boasts small classes. Students gave their education average ratings on a national student survey. High ancillary fees make Trent one of the most expensive universities in Ontario, but a generous scholarship program helps. The Otonabee River that snakes through campus is breathtaking, and a paved path that runs alongside provides bike access to downtown. Still, students complain that the campus location, seven kilometres from the city core, makes going out inconvenient.

Your typical classmate: Struggles to complete his or her studies in seven years; Trent has one of the lowest graduation rates in Ontario.

Students say: The university is politically active and left-leaning. "As a Conservative-minded individual, it can become frustrating," says Corey LeBlanc, second-year economics.

University of Waterloo

Waterloo (main), Cambridge, Kitchener and Stratford

Students: 33,800

Cost: $6,900

Waterloo is the closest thing Canada has to a Stanford. Students benefit from opportunities to explore business through its leading entrepreneurship offerings and the world's largest co-op program. Stand-out programs include engineering, computer science, mathematics and environmental studies. However, while the school offers great opportunities to enrich one's education, the quality of education occurring in the classroom needs attention. Students rated Waterloo poorly on a national student survey, especially on student-professor interaction and supportive campus environment.

Your typical classmate: Received a scholarship. Waterloo devotes a bigger chunk of its budget to financial aid than any other university in Ontario.

Students say: Co-op is a great opportunity for students willing to seek it out for themselves. "Co-op is preparing me for the real world, to be a successful individual postgraduation," says fourth-year bioinformatics student Ameesha Isaac. "That being said, a lot of my actions that pushed my growth were due to my own initiative."



Students: 28,500

Cost: $7,300

Western has a reputation for being a party school, but its culture runs much deeper than keggers. Students report a fun and friendly atmosphere and big school spirit. The university has good connections with the community of London, with plentiful opportunities to get realworld experience though academic projects or volunteering. Undergrad students give Western high marks on their overall satisfaction, and the university boasts one of the highest rates of student retention in the province. Hot programs include business, psychology, philosophy and English.

Hotshot prof: Riley Hinson's third-year psychology students worked with Quintin Warner House, an addiction treatment centre, to research and make changes to its intake process to address wait lists.

Students say: The community is welcoming. "[It's] very friendly and collaborative," says Lauren Neal, second-year economics. "It's very easy to join clubs."


Waterloo (main), Brantford and Kitchener

Students: 18,000

Cost: $7,000

Laurier is a university with big ambitions. With 14,000 students squeezed into its compact downtown campus, it is developing branch campuses to accommodate growing enrolment. The student body at its Brantford location has grown from 39 students in 1999 to 3,000 today, and the university hopes to secure provincial funding to build a new campus in the fast-growing GTA town of Milton. Student ratings on national student surveys hover around average on every measure.

Your typical classmate: Is business-minded; Laurier boasts a high-quality business education, and one of the largest business co-op programs in the country.

Hotshot prof: Shohini Ghose, a theoretical physicist who researches quantum mechanics, was named a TED 2014 Fellow for her work building a community of female scientists as director of Laurier's Centre for Women in Science.



Students: 15,700

Cost: $6,600

The university is playing an important role in revitalizing the city of Windsor, which continues to struggle with high unemployment. A number of downtown historical buildings are being renovated to house fine arts, executive education and social work programs. Close ties with the community extend into the classroom, and many programs integrate community-based projects into traditional learning. For example, students studying social work, business, law, geography and history collaborate with community leaders to improve social housing in Windsor and Essex County.

Hotshot students: In the faculty of engineering team up with industry or government to solve a real-life problem as part of their final capstone project. This year, students proposed solutions to traffic flow problems and helped design a new waste-water treatment facility.

This year: Administrators held back $7-million in funding from the University of Windsor Students' Alliance because of its governance problems.


Toronto (main) and Glendon (French)

Students: 53,000

Cost: $6,900

York is best known for the liberal arts. However, undergraduate enrolment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has grown significantly in recent years. York deserves credit for its inclusiveness, attracting more new immigrants than most other universities in Ontario. Almost a third of students are the first in their family to pursue higher education. Students gave the university poor ratings on a national student survey, but new plans to improve student retention and graduation rates may help.

Your typical classmate: Has strong opinions; spirited social justice debates among its politically engaged student body are frequent.

Hotshot departments: Include English, geography, history, law, archeology, philosophy and psychology, all of which were recognized as among the world's best in international rankings.

Associated Graphic

The University of toronto: huge, prestigious, rigorous and competitive.

Rryerson University: a career-focused, innovative downtown school.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Too many students - told that hard work and a university education are the ticket to the good life - are facing a different reality when they graduate. What are universities doing to help students find realistic career paths? And what should students look for from their education?
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P16

When Clair Parker graduated from high school, her parents urged her to go to college and learn a trade. However, being a strong student and ambitious, college seemed like selling herself short. "Going to university was the automatic thing to do," she says. "Prestige is the appropriate word to describe how university was presented to me in high school."

Fascinated by economics and international relations, Ms. Parker signed up for political science at Carleton University in Ottawa. Although she wasn't sure where she'd end up, she believed that getting a university education would lead her to a fulfilling career.

But when she graduated in January, 2014, she felt completely unprepared for a job related to her field. "When I came out of university, I wondered, 'Why did I just do that?'" she laments. Ms. Parker is now patching together a living working at a restaurant and an artisan deli. She plans to enroll in a public relations program at Humber College in January, 2015, in the hope of landing a communications role in the food industry. "I just hope I come out actually employable," she says.

Ms. Parker's story is all too familiar. Too many young people flounder around the margins of their chosen field, bouncing from unpaid internship to shortterm contract to coffee shop job. Youth unemployment continues to hover stubbornly around 13 per cent, only 2 per cent lower than its peak during the recession and double the national average. And the unemployment rate doesn't tell the whole story. According to a recent report published by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the rate of those underemployed - people stuck in part-time or low income jobs, unable to secure full-time work related to their field - is double the unemployment rate.

It seems like a bleak picture. And yet, if some politicians and employers are to be believed, Canada is facing a severe shortage of skilled labour. Last year, a Canadian Chamber of Commerce report estimated that skilled job vacancies would hit 1.5 million by 2016. Those most in demand are said to be in the STEM fields: scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. In multiple surveys, employers complain that not only are applicants graduating from university without the needed technical knowledge, but also with a lack of soft skills such as communication, analysis and collaboration.

Stephen Harper has blamed the situation partly on "people's choices," meaning that students are at fault for choosing to study subjects that are not in demand. Gwyn Morgan, the long-time executive and board director of some of Canada's largest corporations, points the finger at universities. "Many high school graduates who manage to gain the qualifications needed to enter STEM programs are turned away when they apply to university, even with good marks, because universities won't reallocate money to open more slots for students in those programs," he wrote in The Globe and Mail. He cites a 2013 CIBC World Markets report that argued that universities wasted funds on producing graduates in out-of-demand fields, such as arts and humanities, while turning away thousands of qualified STEM applicants.

Regardless of who's to blame, a gap has emerged between young people's expectations for their future (as cultivated by social norms, parents and even some guidance counsellors) and the realities of the labour market. "We've directed kids to university who would normally not have gone to university because we've said that it's the path to success," says Janet Lane, director of the Centre for Human Capital Policy at the Canada West Foundation. "It's an expensive way to learn what you're best at."

So wherein lies the truth? Is a university education still the leg up that it once was? A close look at the numbers reveals a more nuanced story, in which the right sort of education is still the best route to a good job, decent income and, even better, health and happiness. But what makes an education relevant to this brave new world doesn't fit neatly into the "skills shortage" narrative, and not all universities are delivering.

Ms. Parker wishes her high school and university had done a better job of providing accurate information about viable career paths. "The Carleton website lists jobs you can get with specific degrees and under political science, it lists 'diplomat.' How many people get a poli sci degree and go on to become a diplomat?"

So if young people need to readjust their expectations for their future, what should they expect? How can they reconcile the story told by those decrying Canada's shortage of skilled workers with the grim job market their generation is experiencing? And what kind of education will equip them to succeed?


"Our national welfare, our defense, our standard of living could all be jeopardized by the mismanagement of this supply and demand problem in the field of trained creative intelligence," said James Killian, former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. If Mr. Killian had used today's preferred phrase of "STEM worker" instead of "trained creative intelligence" you could easily imagine his comment fitting into the debate over a skills gap today. But, in fact, he said this in 1934.

The point is that we've heard this refrain for decades: Too few young people are studying technical fields like science and engineering, companies can't find qualified employees and it threatens our countries' competitive advantage. So, get a degree in STEM and you're practically guaranteed a job - right?

This is where the mystery begins. Why do so many people with STEM degrees end up in non-STEM jobs? According to a study conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department, only 25 per cent of the 15 million Americans who have a STEM degree work in a STEM job. And of all the people working in STEM fields, less than half hold a STEM degree. So, at least in the United States, you don't necessarily need a STEM degree for a STEM job and if you do get one, it won't guarantee a job in the field anyway.

Although we in Canada don't track the STEM graduates like our American neighbours, these statistics offer one possible explanation for the experience of recent graduate Heidi Manicke. After earning a bachelor's and master's degree in German language and literature at Queen's University, Ms. Manicke found part-time work as a translator and filled in the gaps with piece-work contracts translating documents for PhD students. "But it was too hard to scratch out a life," she says, "especially here in Vancouver."

While researching her master's thesis on the Berlin transit system, Ms. Manicke discovered a love of engineering. And so she decided to take what she thought would be an easier path to gainful employment and go back to school to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering specializing in geology and hydrology at the University of British Columbia. She earned strong marks, volunteered for Engineers Without Borders and the UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society and completed three work terms at companies including SNC-Lavalin and Norwest Corp.

With all this experience, she was confident when she started applying for jobs last October, a few months before her January, 2014, graduation. But nearly a year and 130 applications later, she has only landed two interviews and no permanent job offers. "My mind is blown," she says, adding that she has had her résumé edited by a recruiter and two executives of resource extraction companies. "I just don't know what I'm doing wrong."

Ms. Manicke is now working at a bike shop earning about $400 a week to "pay the bills" and is becoming increasingly worried about having to make student loan payments soon. She feels like she was sold a false dream. "Twice now I've been told that there is going to be a great career for me at the end a lot of hard work and then there is nothing," she says. "I don't have a sense of entitlement. I'm not looking for anything fancy. I'm happy going up north and earning my way. Just let me engineer something already." (Shortly before this article went to press, Ms. Manicke received an offer for a job she interviewed for in February. The position is a three-month temporary contract for less pay than her co-op positions, but she is delighted. "It's a fantastic opportunity to get started.")

Of course, the numbers above are American and Ms. Manicke's experience is only one story. However, over the past year, evidence has piled up suggesting that the statistics supporting the argument that Canada is facing a skills shortage may be flawed. Economist Don Drummond first sounded the alarm a year ago when he tried and failed to obtain or replicate the federal government's data at the centre of the Canada Job Grant. Then TD Bank did its own analysis and found no serious mismatch between workers' skills and the needs of employers, except in isolated job markets in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Then there were the revelations that the government depended on unsound data based on the online classified ad service Kijiji. And yet, the idea that a STEM degree leads to a guaranteed job lingers, influencing the decisions of young people like Ms. Manicke.

So is a university education still the excellent route to the good life that it once was?


In April of this year, Statistics Canada released a new report that tracked people who graduated from university in 2010. It found that two years after graduation, the unemployment rate among graduates who entered the work force (didn't go back to school for more training) was 5 per cent, two points lower than the national average. More interestingly, this number is unchanged from five years earlier when the economy was at the height of the boom. Average salaries for bachelor's degree holders actually saw a 7-per-cent increase over that period after being adjusted for inflation.

So while it's undeniable that this period of economic stagnation has affected the job market for young people more than older workers, a bachelor's degree appears to insulate graduates from the harsh job market experienced by their non-educated peers. But not all university educations were created equal. As we've discovered, getting a STEM degree does not necessarily guarantee a job. So what should students concerned about their future look for in their university education?

David Helfand, president of the liberal arts institution Quest University in British Columbia, argues that we shouldn't conflate education and training, that a university education ought to be about learning to think, not about acquiring a set of employable skills. To illustrate his point he recalls a conversation he had with Shirley Bond, B.C.'s minister for jobs, tourism and skills training. "A Quest education sounds great for some students," he recalls her saying. "But B.C. needs 40,000 pipe fitters and you aren't going to send them to me." Dr. Helfand's response: "That's true, but we might supply the one person who can show you why you only need 10,000 pipe fitters."

The idea that learning to think, regardless of a student's field of study, will prepare them for the real world may be difficult for young people to swallow while coping with anxiety about their future. But a new survey of 30,000 college and university graduates published by Gallup and Purdue University contains quantitative ammunition in support of Dr. Helfand's assertion that education is about something more fundamental than gaining skills for a job.

Gallup, the large American polling company, started looking into what made workers productive decades ago. By conducting multiple surveys internationally, Gallup learned that people are more likely to be successful at work when they have great lives. As Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education, explains, the research pointed to five elements of a great life: purpose and motivation, strong social relationships, secure financial circumstances, living in a supportive community and good health.

And so Gallup set out to figure out what sort of education would increase people's chances of having great lives and, by extension, great careers. Mr. Busteed argues that looking at well-being offers a much more valuable view of the outcomes of higher education than simply considering employment and income.

One of the most interesting results was what didn't have an impact: the prestige of the university. As it turns out, highly selective schools performed the same on the survey as accessible ones.

What had a big impact was the sort of education that a student received. The most important factor was whether a student felt "emotionally supported" during their undergraduate education.

For graduates who reported that they had at least one professor who made them excited about learning, cared about them and provided mentorship as they pursued their goals, their chances of thriving in their personal life and being engaged in their work more than doubled.

Another key finding was that graduates who reported having "experiential or deep learning" were twice as likely to be engaged in work. The survey defined this sort of learning as doing a long-term project that took a semester or more to complete, experiencing an internship or being extremely involved in extracurricular activities.

These insights are interesting in light of multiple surveys in which employers complain that they struggle to recruit employees with so-called "soft skills:" the ability to effectively collaborate, communicate, problem solve and so on. Students who complete a co-op, community-based project, international exchange or genuine research experience in a lab (the sort of learning experiences that Gallup highlights) also have more developed soft skills.

"Employers call them the 'soft skills', but they aren't soft at all; they are very hard to learn," says Canada West Foundation's Ms. Lane. She argues that university is where young people ought to be developing these skills and notes that Canadian companies are spending less on training employees with technical skills in the workplace than ever before. "There is no such thing as a 'job-ready' graduate. Everyone needs training."

The good news is that many of Canada's universities are rising to the challenge and creating new opportunities for undergraduate students to apply their knowledge, work on long-term projects with real-world impact and develop their so-called soft skills. In this year's Canadian University Report, we researched 61 Canadian universities with our lens focused firmly on which universities were innovating in order to create a truly high quality undergraduate education that would best prepare students not only to net a great job after graduation, but also thrive in all aspects of their lives.

Where Canada's universities still need work is in helping students understand how their education, regardless of their chosen field of study, can be applied to life after school. But the students who have received this sort of education, value their experience. In the words of Lauren Tucker, who graduated in psychology from Brock University in spring, 2014: "The main strength of my education at Brock was that it focused on developing well-rounded students," she said. "I not only know the material inside and out but can apply what I've learned to future roles."


Some universities are rising to the challenge and creating new ways for undergraduate students to think about how their education applies to life after school.

The Arts Pedagogy and Innovation Labat the University of Alberta is piloting a program that has arts students engaged in writing assignments that are more related to the real world than straightforward academic essays.

At Saint Mary's University, students in any major have A access to co-op opportunities.

The University of Waterloo features entrepreneurship T education through innovative programs such as its live-in community of student entrepreneurs known as VeloCity.

At the University of Windsor, the Entrepreneurial Practice A and Innovation Centre offers classes on how entrepreneurship relates to students in all fields, from computing to the arts.

At Dalhousie University, students in any major can take A a minor in sustainability, which involves completing a year-long project with a community partner.

Associated Graphic


Clair Parker is like many grads who find themselves underemployed and asking: Why?

Heidi Manicke believed her engineering degree would guarantee a full-time job.


Frank Gehry's newest building, the Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum in Paris, is a late-career masterwork - and the perfect symbol of the starchitect's evolving role as designer for the 1 per cent. Alex Bozikovic meets a master who's far from finished
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R1

PARIS -- Frank Gehry was in Paris, and he was holding court. He'd just finished a day of press to unveil his new museum, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and he was in a celebratory mood. As we sat in the café of a luxury hotel off the Champs-Elysées, friends and admirers - and Pharrell Williams - lingered to shake hands and congratulate him on the building, which is opening to critical praise and warm words from the French establishment. "You've got a real winner there," said an old friend.

"Maybe," said Gehry. "Maybe."

Is he really so unsure? At 85, he is unquestionably the leading architect in the world, and the new museum is being hailed by its billionaire patron as a "masterpiece." And yet. "I'm so fucking insecure," Gehry told me. "Still. I call it a healthy insecurity; it keeps me going."

This is a familiar tension for the man who was born Ephraim Owen Goldberg in Toronto, grew up poor and only began chasing his creative ideals in middle age.

In the 17 years since his Guggenheim Museum Bilbao put a radical twist on contemporary architecture - and made him improbably famous - he has mellowed very little.

The character of his work has changed, however. His designs once tended toward industrial materials and raw edges; the Vuitton museum is a latecareer work that shows Parisian decorum. It brings many of Gehry's ideas together into a composition that is challenging but also, without a doubt, beautiful. It is also controversial. The 126,000square-foot building is a private museum and auditorium that sits improbably on public ground, the Bois de Boulogne in western Paris.

It was commissioned by Bernard Arnault, the head of the luxurygoods conglomerate LVMH, largely to show the company's and his own considerable art collections.

The building speaks directly to the tradition of glass pavilions, including the Grand Palais in central Paris; yet getting it approved was a long and contentious process, ultimately requiring a push from France's National Assembly.

The Fondation building, whose gestation began over a decade ago, feels a bit like a time capsule from the Age of the Starchitect.

Beginning in the late nineties, many institutions chased after Gehry-like museums that, they hope, will replicate "the Bilbao effect" and transform their cities.

Many of those pursuits failed institutionally and aesthetically, and over the past half-decade many architects have aspired to more socially engaged work. Gehry's success helped elevate architecture to a prominent place in the culture - and created a school of star designers whose work most often serves the whims and the interests of wealthy patrons.

Gehry's Paris museum does just that, but on those terms it is a spectacular success. Arnault was inspired by the example of Bilbao, and his museum, richly funded and well-situated, is a showpiece that also makes a strong argument for Gehry's continuing creative power.

You first see it as a glassy, slightly indeterminate form among the trees. This is the museum's wrapper, a set of curvaceous glass forms that Gehry likens to a set of sails. The glass façades are a fairly new choice for Gehry; he used one to remarkable effect at the IAC headquarters in New York, and he is testing glass systems for the towers of the massive Mirvish Gehry condo project in Toronto.

Like the titanium outer layers that sheathe the Bilbao museum and Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Vuitton's envelope surrounds and partially obscures the structure within.

But it also produces contradictions. Gehry's designs have often been labelled as "object buildings," but this one's edges are indistinct. Where does the building end? As you linger on one of its rooftop terraces, sheltered by the sails but looking out over the city, are you within the building or outside it? Here you can touch the smooth outer walls of the museum building, made from custom panels of fibre-reinforced concrete, and also see the heavy structure that supports the great sails. Up close, the sails feel more like infrastructure: They sit on massive frames, and brawny trusses of steel and of glue-laminated larch collide at unlikely angles before your eyes.

Down below, the building consists of three irregular stacks of galleries, one of them with an auditorium space at the bottom. A glassed-in lobby at the centre brings you in at the bottom of the middle stack; from here you move up and down through a complex split-level plan. The museum's bulk goes down into the ground; it is surrounded at one end by a long, stepped waterfall and a sunken reflecting pool, lined with limestone, that reads as a very lovely moat. (The Bilbao museum has a similar one, at ground level.) The routes between include an elevator, an escalator and several staircases; one surrounded by a curtain of glass, and another by steel walls and columns that fold like origami. At times the museum feels like the world's loveliest construction site.

Sculpture and architecture, finished and unfinished, polished and rough; The building expresses several of Gehry's longstanding preoccupations. "You can't escape yourself," he told me. "It's human nature not to escape your signature, your language. I wish I could. I try and don't always succeed. But think the work looks different enough in the end." He aims to make it new, just as he has since the 1960s. Back then, the challenge for ambitious architects was how to disrupt the High Modernist language of the pristine box and move the art forward. Some of Gehry's peers turned to quoting historic forms - pediments and colonnades in concrete. This proved a dead end.

Gehry, immersed in Los Angeles, developed an architecture inspired by the ad hoc cityscape he saw around him: warehouses, oil wells, cheaply built stucco boxes. "All around me they were building tract houses, and hammer marks were part of the game," he recalled during our conversation.

"And artist friends were making paintings with trash" - Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns - "and I went with that." This preoccupation with the rough and the castoff became an important theme for his crowd of L.A. architects, including Thom Mayne.

Gehry became "the cheapo architect," as he called himself, beginning with small experiments. There was a home and studio for the artist Ron Davis, a deceptively simple wedge whose irregular shape produced a trick of perspective and which was clad in industrial corrugated steel. Then in the late seventies, Gehry attacked his own family home in Santa Monica. He took a standard suburban house and wrapped it in a sculptural assemblage of chainlink fence, two-by-fours and galvanized zinc. Inside, he pulled open walls and ceilings to reveal their wood framing.

Gehry, who until the 1970s had been designing sober buildings for corporate clients, blew up his business model and began to pursue his own aesthetic more freely.

He has never been a theorist, and he had an uneasy kinship with the deconstructivist movement (which produced, among others, Daniel Libeskind). Instead he proceeded to follow his muse, working intuitively and individually.

Over time he explored a series of other motifs and ideas, which are catalogued well (if superficially) by a major retrospective of his career at the Pompidou Centre that opened this month. He became a critical favourite by the 1980s as he continued to explore new motifs. There was the building as a village of individual rooms; the self-conscious use of familiar shapes, including a fish and a boat, in various media; and finally complex shapes that edged toward a private, idiosyncratic language of pure form.

At the Vitra Design Museum in Switzerland (1989), Gehry achieved a museum building that seemed to be literally coming apart - curves and shards that somehow contained a coherent interior. This effect was achieved using drawings on paper and conventional fabrication, but it soon became clear that more advanced tools were needed. By 1990 his office was working with CATIA, 3-D design software developed for the French aerospace industry; it allowed them to conceive complex shapes in tremendous detail, and ultimately to communicate these ideas clearly to builders.

The payoff came in Bilbao. The museum there, designed for the Guggenheim Foundation, was the first building that showed the true creative potential of digital design: Its wild exterior forms would've been impossible otherwise. The building was also sacrilegious in its approach to art galleries: Its split-level layout included nine galleries of irregular shapes and proportions.

That is true of the Vuitton museum as well. Its 11 galleries include a few large, rectangular volumes; others are smaller and idiosyncratic, topped by vertiginously high ceilings or deep, twisting skylights. They are joined together by a range of atriums and stairs, mostly glassed in and carved into unusual shapes.

For LVMH's widely varied collection of contemporary art, the museum should work well, though it does not generally provide the neutral spaces that remain preferred by most curators. "I think the folklore on what a gallery should be, to be real, is folklore, and it ain't necessarily so," Gehry told me. "I've always talked to artists, and all my artist friends love Bilbao, and all the museum curators and directors hated it." A few works in the new museum's opening show were specifically commissioned, including an installation by Olafur Eliasson of triangular columns - mirrored and lit with yellow - which sits alongside the below-ground reflecting pool. They work beautifully. A set of paintings by Ellsworth Kelly, which consist of coloured squares rotated a few degrees off pale, square bases, reflect the tension between pure form and disorder that infuses Gehry's work: As some drawings in the Pompidou show reveal, he has often developed his irregular forms by taking a shape such as a square and twisting it a bit. Within disorder, there is order.

It's not the order you find in Paris's neo-classical and Beaux-Arts buildings, which Gehry first saw in person when he worked here briefly in 1960, but there is order all the same. Gehry often thinks of precedents from the history of art and architecture, as well as his creative contemporaries: Baroque architect Borromini and the late U.S. artist Gordon Matta-Clark, who made fragments of demolished buildings into compelling sculpture, are both in his head.

But you don't have to think in terms of art to enjoy (or dislike) Gehry's buildings. His work is always open to interpretation and metaphor. The Bilbao building can look like an artichoke or a dress billowing in the wind - the New York Times critic Herbert Muschamp cast it, memorably, as "the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe." Gehry thinks in metaphors himself and doesn't mind if you do; he nicknamed an office building in Prague "Fred and Ginger," and you can easily see the couple leaning in.

This sets him apart from many of his peers. Today's architectural good taste holds that similes can be implied but never quite stated. So why the sails, and the fishshaped lamps in the café of the museum? "What's the alternative?" Gehry replies. "Forms that are strange, like Zaha [Hadid's]. I don't know. I'm not convinced." Borrowing forms is what artists do, he suggests, and have always done. Gehry cited something he'd seen a few days before at the Pompidou's Duchamp show, a Léger abstraction that borrows its forms from Duchamp's groundbreaking Nude Descending a Staircase. "It's amazing," he said. "Everybody's talking to everybody."

The Vuitton also has an openended quality. It is a ship, or a whale, or a box surrounded by sails, or as one Parisian put it to me, a butterfly about to take off. Choose your interpretation. Likewise, it has many moments that feel unfinished - the expressive heavy engineering of the sail structure, for instance, and a tall staircase that's enclosed with beams of cheap corrugated steel.

For Gehry, these details make the building friendlier and more humane. "I like the unfinished," he says, "because it's living. It's not there yet. You can add to it yourself."

In fact, though, you can't, unless you work for Bernard Arnault. The museum is a private institution - it bears the Louis Vuitton logo on its façade - and its presence on public ground has been hotly contested in France. While the site is leased and will be transferred to the city after 55 years, it remains the province of a highly profitable company.

In this sense it's an extension of a historic type, the private collection open to the public. Today's 1 per cent have taken that model to a new and more ostentatious level, including in America - Gehry's hometown will get a major new museum next year to house the collection of billionaire Eli Broad.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton museum is aimed at the sensibilities of LVMH's high-net-worth customers. By housing art from the corporate collection and hosting high-profile cultural events, it will lend the aura of art to the LVMH brand, something that is increasingly crucial as luxury consumers seek intangible qualities in the brands they buy; and by showing off Arnault's own work, it will render that work more visible and hence more valuable. Meanwhile, Gehry's office has designed shop windows for Louis Vuitton.

Does this bother Gehry? It does not. "Here's what I think: When I started in architecture, I always looked at fashion magazines," he says affably. "I always paid attention to fashion." And, he adds later, architecture has always had patrons.

Success in the practical sense remains important to Gehry, whose complex projects make for a challenging business model. He also clearly feels that the contradictions and challenges of architecture in 2014 are not his to solve.

He has few acolytes, and has never shown an interest in finding them. Instead he works. When we spoke, he was planning to fly to Bali this week to look at a new commission. Why? "They called me!" he said with a laugh. "And they're paying for the trip." It was reason enough - the chance to keep exploring, finding new forms, and in the search perhaps to find himself a bit at peace.

Meanwhile, the Vuitton museum is a late masterwork, which is settling in to its context. In the Métro nearby, I saw a sign where an illustrator had drawn a simplified version of the museum. It didn't really look like the building at all, but it was a sign all the same that this work of architecture - singular, irreducible - was already becoming part of the Parisian landscape, even as its architect keeps moving.

Follow me on Twitter:@alexbozikovic

Associated Graphic

Frank Gehry and the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a private museum built, controversially, on French public land.


Above, at top, one of Gehry's architectural models for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, currently on display at the museum.

Above, a view of an installation by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, commissioned for the museum's opening.


At right, a bird's-eye view of the new museum, set within the greenery of the Bois de Boulogne park on the outskirts of Paris, and above it, a ground-level view of the structure.


The Vuitton museum's auditorium. The site's 11 galleries include some large spaces, while others are smaller and idiosyncratic, topped by high ceilings or deep, twisting skylights.

Above, at top, Gehry's own reconfigured house in suburban Santa Monica, Calif.


Above middle, Gehry's IAC Building in Manhattan, with its glass façades, completed in 2007.


Bottom, one view of Gehry's career-changing Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1997), the project that spawned the so-called Bilbao Effect.


Friday Night Northern Lights Neville Gallimore of Ottawa brings a small, football-first school major notice
The Canada Prep Academy Raiders play four-down football exclusively against top U.S. varsity teams. The exposure attracts NCAA Division 1 scouts who wouldn't otherwise see young Canadian talent, Rachel Brady writes from St. Catharines, Ont.
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

In the belly of a small Ontario private school sits a weight room where 40 students muscle through their workouts each day. They stare at walls covered in large bulletin boards, featuring dozens of rousing colour pamphlets and posters they found nestled inside mail received from recruiters throughout U.S. college football.

"It doesn't get easier, you just get better," reads a scarlet-andgrey pamphlet from the Ohio State Buckeyes. "We've got 38 players on NFL rosters," boasts one from the Wisconsin Badgers. There's an oversized poster of fiery defensive lineman Aaron Donald from Pitt, the best defensive player in the NCAA last year, and another of Mississippi State star linebacker Benardrick McKinney leaping at the ball inside a packed stadium. Every college is campaigning for top recruits, and some live right here, in this Canadian startup.

Geoff McArthur, the head coach at this two-year-old private high school, was a premier receiver in NCAA football just more than a decade ago, smashing school records while hauling in touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers at the University of California, Berkeley. Today, the 31-year-old Los Angeles native runs Canada Prep Academy, a football-centric boarding school in St. Catharines, Ont., 20 minutes from Buffalo. The academy touts itself as the only high school in Canada playing exclusively four-down football and a full schedule of games against American varsity squads.

The Canada Prep Academy Raiders, decked out in the same white, silver and black of the NFL's Oakland franchise, travel south of the border to play an allroad schedule. They go to Michigan, Ohio, New York State, Maryland and Texas to showcase their talents against some of the most highly ranked high-school teams in the United States. They usually lose; sometimes they get crushed. But there, under the Friday night lights, they earn great experience, create valuable game film and play right under the noses of U.S. college scouts. Their top priority is exposure.

Canada Prep joins a growing list of sports schools in North America, a model vastly different from the traditional high-school experience. Many critics have blasted such academies as travel teams masquerading as schools, calling them football factories or diploma mills, with dubious academics. Many have been fly-by-night operations, going out of business because of poor academic programs or failed finances.

"You have to have the right people in charge of your academics," McArthur said, and he's convinced Canada Prep does. Still, it is unquestionably a football-first institution. "Because we play so many Top 100 schools, our total schedule is tougher than most American high school teams would play in a season, and we want to play the big schools no one else wants to face," said McArthur, who was an All-American at Cal in 2003, finishing second in the NCAA behind Larry Fitzgerald in receiving yards. "From the weight room to practice to the classroom, to the dorms and film study, we're simulating what it's like to be in a college football program here. It's still early in the year, but already it looks like we'll have at least five, six guys going on Division 1 scholarships to the U.S. next year."

Attracting scouts and students

The players at Canada Prep have come from all parts of the country, plus four from England, each paying some $16,500 a year in tuition for their schooling, on-campus boarding and meals, training and travel to games. Most players came in the hopes of earning a scholarship to play at a U.S university. While that will be decided largely on a kid's talent, McArthur promises to compile every player's video highlights and shop them to American and Canadian recruiters.

Big-name coaches from such programs as Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Oregon have made the trek to St. Catharines, arrived at the vacated old high school building the school now rents, set back on a side-street next to some train tracks. Most come first to see Neville Gallimore, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive lineman with more than 25 offers from NCAA Division I schools. ranks the Ottawa native as the 18th best at his position in the class of 2015, and he is widely considered the top high school football player currently in Canada, exhibiting a rare combination of size, speed and co-ordination. The broad-shouldered 17-year-old looks like a fullgrown man and oozes personality as he jokes with the cook in the school cafeteria, where 40 athletes rumble in like an army three times a day - to eat anything, and lots of it.

"We're like a family here," said Gallimore, who has narrowed his choices to Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Florida and Florida State. "I don't think as many recruiters would have found me in Ottawa. I wanted the chance to show how well I could stack up against American competition. For me, it's been a confidence booster and the expectations are high. The coaches who see our film are a lot more respectful of it when they see us playing other American kids. A lot of people questioned my decision, but I'm glad I came here."

Gallimore hasn't just drawn scouts, but more students too. Canada Prep had 27 students last year and saw a bump in applications after the star defensive lineman started pulling in big-time offers last spring.

"I knew Neville was here, and I wanted to see if I could make that kind of thing happen for myself," said linebacker Troy Hansen, who transferred to Canada Prep this fall from Kent Prep in Connecticut. "The coach there wasn't really getting my film out there. The academics are better here. Before I came here, I had one D1 school interested in me. Now I have an official visit planned for Cal, and I've talked to Oregon and Oklahoma. It's just better for me. You see that it's an attainable dream for a Canadian kid. I don't think I would have got that attention back home in Edmonton."

To a visitor entering its front doors, Canada Prep feels like an old high school closed for summer, with its quiet hallways and empty lockers. The 40 football players, their six coaches and five teachers have the run of the three-floor building, except a small portion inhabited by a 14student private elementary school. Many staples of traditional high school life are nowhere to be found - no other students, sports, clubs, dances, home games or proms.

The Raiders live there together 24/7, in oversized rooms partitioned into dorms for eight, their clothes strewn over the makeshift walls. They train together in the gymnasium, pore over game film together, and watch NFL football while sprawled on second-hand couches in front of a big-screen TV just like college kids; they take team sightseeing trips to nearby Niagara Falls.

"We're here all the time, together all the time, but I came here for the chance to get a Division-1 scholarship and it's all worth it," said receiver Brendan Orange of Toronto. "I think I've matured since coming here."

Building a new model

Canada Prep has risen out of the ashes of a previous failed attempt at a football private school. In 2012, McArthur was originally contracted by a football coaching business in California to coach at the Niagara Football Academy (NFA), a startup private high school in Niagara Falls which intended to play U.S. high schools. Trisha Levasseur, the owner of NFA and a mother of a high school quarterback who would play on the team, partnered with the Niagara Academy of Tennis to provide the education.

Yet four months in, Levasseur struggled to pay NFA's bills, largely because she had given scholarships and tuition breaks to many players. A legal battle ensued between the two academies, and lots of people went unpaid, including McArthur. Police investigated. The kids were left to choose between finishing their final few months of the school year at the tennis academy or going to a new academic provider with the financially uncertain NFA. The coach was caught in the middle, his only loyalty to the players he was coaching. Several other coaches quit.

"I didn't run home to California, because I never did anything wrong and I'm not a quitter, plus my name was all over this thing," McArthur said. "It was terrible, but I stuck it out. I wanted to be a man of my word to those kids, to be part of a Canadian first. Canada isn't where the U.S is at the football development level, and I thought I had something really valuable to share. I could use my college connections to help kids, and I really liked being a head coach. There was a lot of good going on too."

He had a coaching offer in hand from a D1-AA program in the U.S, but seven kids from NFA said they wanted to reinvent the program with him and hoped he would stay in Canada. So McArthur and another former Cal player, Tully Banta-Cain, who spent a couple of seasons with the New England Patriots, pitched in funds to get Canada Prep Academy started in St. Catharines for the 2013 season. They operated out of the building they inhabit today, which last year was run by a private school called Pinehurst, which provided Canada Prep its academics too.

"We didn't have much money, it was very bare bones, but everyone was paid, and we were accountable for everything we said we would do," McArthur said. "People were hesitant because of everything that had happened with the old academy, and I don't blame them. But despite everything, we had three kids on that 2012 team land scholarships in the NCAA, and of the 16 seniors on that team, 14 of them went to play college football somewhere in Canada or the U.S. Exposurewise, people saw that it worked."

A year into Canada Prep's new academic arrangement, Pinehurst School ceased operations because of low enrolment. So rather than rely on yet another outside educator, Canada Prep stayed in the building and applied to the Ontario Ministry of Education to become its own school. One of the teachers remained and became principal, built a teaching staff along with the academic program.

Today, security cameras survey the halls and team spaces at Canada Prep and feed into monitors in the office of principal Patrick Fife, a slender 26-year-old man a few years out of teacher's college who also lives in a residence attached to his office, teaches four classes a day, leads evening study hall and acts as team manager and photographer on trips.

Classes, usually of less than 10 players, cater specifically to their admissions needs and learning styles. In English, they mix in books like Friday Night Lights and The Colony, a political allegory written by former NFL running back Reggie Rivers. Fife sometimes conducts classes outdoors or has the boys run around the gym in search of information he has placed around the room.

"We gear the lessons to boys and what student athletes would have interest in; they thrive when I get them up and moving," Fife said. "As you can see, I'm not exactly athletic myself, but I know how to reach them."

They study only math, science, English and social studies and prepare to take SAT and ACT tests necessary for admission to U.S universities. Other courses, like arts and music, aren't offered.

Nor are the on-field experiences always uplifting: The Raiders sometimes get clobbered, as in last week's 42-0 bruising at the hands of St. Edward High School, a powerhouse program in Lakewood, Ohio. It's work keeping morale up.

"The fact that they're playing so many big programs is getting them lots of attention from coaches, and when you see them on the field, they're a big football team that really looks the part of big college prospects, with lots of real playmakers," said Josh Helmholdt, a recruiting analyst for who has watched the Raiders play this year. "From everything I've seen and heard, coach McArthur has done a really good job there and they have the talent to compete in the Midwest as they grow together."

McArthur and Fife imagine the ways they could grow the academy: adding more students next year and possibly a local junior varsity team that plays some games in Buffalo; perhaps a more substantial science and technology program. Down the road perhaps it could become a multi-sport academy.

"The competition here creates a character chase, these guys all want to beat each other, and the recruiting mail all over the walls kind of serves as inspiration," McArthur said. "They just eat, sleep and breathe football."

Associated Graphic

Neville Gallimore of Ottawa is six-foot-three and 300 pounds, but he doubts he'd get much attention from U.S. college scouts if he wasn't playing at Canada Prep Academy in St. Catharines, Ont. The 17-year-old defensive lineman has had more than 25 scholarship offers from top schools such as Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Florida and Florida State.


Coach Geoff McArthur, top left, heads a program that plays four-down football to get players ready for competition this season against U.S. high schools - and for U.S. colleges later on. Aspiring footballers such as defensive tackle Jadin Ash-Dawson, above (90), live at the Academy, take the same classes and practise and play together. The Raiders sometimes get crushed by the powerhouse teams they play, but students say the tough schedule gives them a shot at a college scholarship.


Results by ward
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A15

Toronto Mayoral Race

Note: 1,766 of 1,767 polls reporting

John Tory 395,141 Doug Ford 331,020 Olivia Chow 227,096 Ari Goldkind 3,914 Selina Chan 2,337 Rocco Di Paola 1,557 Don Andrews 1,012 Morgan Baskin 1,009 Ramnarine Tiwari 1,008 George Dedopoulos 941 Said Aly 801 Robb Johannes 756 Jonathan Glaister 748 Monowar Hossain 614 Mike Gallay 570 Sam Surendran 569 Michael Tramov 560 Kevin Clarke 547 Matthew Wong 492 Dewitt Lee 489 Hïmy Syed 465 Mark Cidade 453 Troy Young 411 Dave McKay 404 Michael Gordon 388 Christopher Ball 377

Toronto City Council

Ward 1 Vincent Crisanti 7,427 Avtar Minhas 3,118 Jeff Corbett 1,699 Patricia Crooks 942 Idil Burale 878 Arsalan Baig 721 Khaliq Mahmood 304 Gurinder Patri 269 Akhtar Ayub 196 Charan Hundal 173 Christopher Noor 172 Dino Caltsoudas 140

Ward 2 Rob Ford 11,629 Luke Larocque 2,158 Andray Domise 1,620 Munira Abukar 1,159 David Caravaggio 758 Ranjeet Chahal 460 Gary Paterson 439 Ataul Malick 316 Theo Lagakos 300 Doug Cronkite 269 Michelle Garcia 254 Benn Adeoba 171 George Singh 142 Edmund Bueno-Bradley 58

Ward 3 Stephen Holyday 8,086 Annette Hutcheon 5,135 John Moskalyk 2,701 George Bauk 1,611 Dean French 1,399 Greg Comeau 1,100 Peter Fenech 1,025 Roberto Alvarez 552 Paola Bauer 313 Frank D'urzo 197

Ward 4 John Campbell 8,227 Niels Christensen 6,847 Angelo Carnevale 4,968 Chris Stockwell 2,208 Adam Slobodian 384 Tony Chun 286 William Murdoch 278 Rosemarie Mulhall 267 Mario Magno 216 Oscar Vidal-Calvet 205

Ward 5 Justin Di Ciano 15,289 Kinga Surma 3,899 Guy Bowie 2,729 Walter Melnyk 1,385 Raymond Desilets 1,359 Tony D'Aversa 1,302 Nikola Samac 1,017 Magda Chelminska 645 George Lehto 565

Ward 6 Mark Grimes 11,337 Russ Ford 8,791 Tony Vella 2,718 Miroslaw Jankielewicz 1,114 Sean O'Callaghan 501 Peggy Moulder 398 Michael Laxer 305 Everett Sheppard 221 Ruthmary James 169 Robert Sysak 90 John Letonja 84 Dave Searle 64

Ward 7 Giorgio Mammoliti 6,816 Nick Di Nizio 5,274 John Chambers 827 Harp Brar 536 Chris Mac Donald 528 Keegan Henry-Mathieu 471 Larry Perlman 202 Scott Aitchison 139

Ward 8 Anthony Perruzza 8,705 Arthur Smitherman 1,326 Suzanne Narain 852 Princess Boucher 524 Antonio Vescio 431 Thomas Barclay 406

Ward 9 Maria Augimeri 6,373 Gus Cusimano 4,230 Anthony Fernando 3,367 Danny Quattrociocchi 562 Ances Hercules 248 Wilson Basantes 130

Ward 10 James Pasternak 11,183 Igor Toutchinski 3,112 David Epstein 2,126 Michael Mitchell 1,096 Randy Bucao 1,040 Liberato Masucci 796

Ward 11 Frances Nunziata 13,201 Jose Garcia 3,212 Dory Chalhoub 2,093

Ward 12 Frank Di Giorgio 4,784 John Nunziata 4,546 Nick Dominelli 3,742 Lekan Olawoye 3,441

Ward 13 Sarah Doucette 16,208 Nick Pavlov 2,633 Eugene Melnyk 1,202 Taras Kulish 1,145 Thomas Dempsey 794 Matthew Bielaski 704 Alex Perez 679 Evan Tummillo 532 Rishi Sharma 457 Greg Lada 183 István Tar 110 Bohdan Spas 55

Ward 14 Gord Perks 11,570 Charmain Emerson 6,811 Gus Koutoumanos 1,107 Tim Kirby 968 Andreas Marouchos 363 Jimmy Talpa 254

Ward 15 Josh Colle 14,733 Chani Aryeh-Bain 2,410 Ahmed Belkadi 1,382 Eduardo Harari 645 James Van Zandwijk 422

Ward 16 C. Carmichael Greb 3,949 Adam Tanel 3,680 Dyanoosh Youssefi 3,145 Jean-Pierre Boutros 2,428 Terry Mills 1,763 Steven Levitan 1,723 Michael Coll 1,609 Sean Conacher 1,309 Elana Metter 1,245 Gary Heaney 626 Charm Darby 578 Bob Williams 287 John Cannella 121 Thomas Gallezot 97 Paul Spence 93 Peter Vukosavljev 70

Ward 17 Cesar Palacio 8,293 Alejandra Bravo 7,840 Saeed Selvam 1,404 George Stevens 398

Ward 18 Ana Bailão 8,781 Alex Mazer 7,975 Mohammed Uddin 540 Jolene Hunt 356 Paul Alves 272 Elsa Romao 270 Jim McMillan 212 Derek Power 197 Bobby Beckett 182 Joseph Ferrari 176 Robert Rodrigues 130 Dennis Pavao 76

Ward 19 Mike Layton 21,220 Scott Bowman 2,556 Albina Burello 970 George Sawision 661

Ward 20 Joe Cressy 12,466 Terri Chu 3,693 Sarah Thomson 2,808 Mike Yen 1,431 Philip Morrison 1,407 Anshul Kapoor 1,063 Charles Macdonald 972 Albert Koehl 853 Tonny Louie 740 Daryl Christoff 705 Mike Andreae 590 Sam Goldstein 519 Nick Wright 395 Stephanie Carty-Kegel 376 Sam Novak 376 Graham Hollings 307 Stella Kargiannakis 286 Leanne Hicks 212 Susan Tsai 194 Michael Monaghan 128 Kat Shermack 102 Akeem Fasasi 86

Ward 21 Joe Mihevc 15,745 Ted Bustamante 1,766 Cos Licursi 1,728 Rosina Bonavota 1,223

Ward 22 Josh Matlow 24,347 Bob Murphy 1,586 James O'Shaughnessy 1,526 Sarfraz Khan 800

Ward 23 John Filion 14,128 David Mousavi 7,951 Kun-Won Park 2,049 Chris Penny 593 Scott Werle 380 Carmen Kedzior 358

Ward 24 David Shiner 10,716 Dan Fox 5,649 Randy Ai 1,299 Michael Galea 1,098 Daniela Acerra 661

Ward 25 Jaye Robinson 19,066 Richard Friedman 1,891 Tanya Hostler 850 Kim Diep 564 Nikola Streker 534

Ward 26 Jon Burnside 9,415 John Parker 6,167 Ishrath Velshi 3,055 David Sparrow 1,786 Wasim Vania 1,033 Dimitre Popov 578

Ward 27 Kristyn Wong-Tam 19,682 Megan McIver 5,340 Benjamin Dichter 1,528 Jordan Stone 1,270 David Byford 839 Susan Humfryes 794 Robin Lawrance 704 Kamal Ahmed 609 Alain Damours 378 Rob Wolvin 351

Ward 28 Pam McConnell 14,047 David Blackmore 2,852 Jonathan Hughes 2,416 Andy Melnyk 1,964 Daniel Patel 965 Mohammed Sheikh 779 Miguel Avila 456 Adam Pham 447 Christopher Brosky 349 Sean Yilmaz 307 Raj Rama 246 Michael Loomans 169 Gerald Derome 125 Sammy Shaltout 51

Ward 29 Mary Fragedakis 11,904 Dave Andre 4,950 John Papadakis 2,000 Ricardo Francis 528 Jimmy Vlachos 428 Hank Martyn 249

Ward 30 Paula Fletcher 11,924 Liz West 6,644 Jane Farrow 4,815 Mark Borden 302 Francis Russell 206 Daniel Trayes 134

Ward 31 Janet Davis 12,697 George Papadakis 3,023 Russell Rahman 1,652 Brenda Macdonald 1,291 Janet Sherbanowski 858 Mark Turnbull 462 Bob Smith 256 Michael Sokovnin 174 Stephen Prince 133

Ward 32 M.-Margaret McMahon 15,762 Sandra Bussin 4,552 Brian Graff 1,922 James Sears 797 Eric De Boer 677 Carmel Suttor 464 Alan Burke 404 Maria Garcia 402 Michael Connor 334 Sean Dawson 241 Bruce Baker 213 Jim Brookman 107

Ward 33 Shelley Carroll 9,747 Divya Nayak 3,534 Paul Bell 2,097 Dina Karzman 525 Khamphay Inthisorn 216

Ward 34 Denzil Minnan-Wong 11,761 Mary Hynes 3,953 Douglas Owen 1,171 Faisal Boodhwani 705 Amer Karaman 486 Alan Selby 453

Ward 35 Michelle Berardinetti 11,919 Paul Bocking 2,722 Sharif Ahmed 927 Christopher Upwood 890 Shahid Uddin 831 Teferi Assefa 487 Anwarul Kabir 403 Saima Shaikh 389 Jason Woychesko 277

Ward 36 Gary Crawford 10,833 Robert Spencer 6,390 Joy Robertson 994 Masihullah Mohebzada 795 Robert Mcdermott 638 Ed Green 447 Christian Tobin 320 Andre Musters 98

Ward 37 Michael Thompson 16,315 N. Balachandran 2,440 Luigi Lisciandro 1,466

Ward 38 G. De Baeremaeker 13,626 David Thomas 1,552 Ganga Sasthrigal 662 John Lewis 642 Kevin Winson 567 Theodore Rueckert 550 Theo Kalafatis 483 Justin Reid 463 Aysha Sidiq 460 Rajesh Shah 405 Tushar Shah 185

Ward 39 Jim Karygiannis 9,438 Franco Ng 2,950 Cozette Giannini 1,600 Derek Li 723 Christopher Blueman 620 Patricia Sinclair 597 Clayton Jones 160 Jude Coutinho 111 Janet Rivers 78

Ward 40 Norm Kelly 16,052 Josh Borenstein 1,347 Anthony Internicola 1,273

Ward 41 Chin Lee 10,019 Cynthia Lai 4,387 S. Prabaharan 2,069 John Kladitis 1,747 Sandeep Srivastava 875

Ward 42 Raymond Cho 11,768 Neethan Shan 7,393 Ken Jeffers 1,074 Gulam Mohamed 1,048 Neethan Sabaratnam 911 Sherri-Anne Williams 521 Dwayne Chin 363 Kabirul Mollah 273 Somu Mondal 233 G. Kulasegarampillai 107 Venthan Ramana 96

Ward 43 Paul Ainslie 12,358 Mark Harris 1,750 Jason Colterman 1,437 Alonzo Bartley 799 Andi Kodanipork 283

Ward 44 Ron Moeser 6,416 Jennifer Mckelvie 5,844 Diana Hall 5,530 Amarjeet Chhabra 2,852 Richard Ross 1,859 Mohammed Mirza 445 Paul Maguire 362 Ragu Thanabalasingam 353 Ashley Sondhi 337 Arlene Nielsen 237 Neethra Vipulanandan 202 Phil Allen 185 Marc Proctor 147 Graham Beckmann 128 Markpaul St. Bishoy 37

Toronto Public School Board

Ward 1 Michael Ford 10,511 John Hastings 5,371 Tahir Ahmad 2,934 Sandy Zajac 1,302 Dahir Galbete 1,286 Kim King 1,046 Richardo Harvey 914 Eli Sivalingam 666

Ward 2 Chris Glover 11,665 Elizabeth Mckinlay 7,653 Stephen Thiele 6,371 Suban Abdullahi 1,582

Ward 3 Pamela Gough 18,477 Shane Bennett 7,559 Tony Del Grande 7,532

Ward 4 Tiffany Ford 6,480 Matias De Dovitiis 3,230 Spiros Papathanasakis 2,836 Sabrina Gopaul 1,003 Michelle Minott 890 Giancarlo Mosca 781 Mirtha Coronel 776 Kasim Dogan 509

Ward 5 Howard Kaplan 9,991 Jordan Glass 2,698 Tibor Martinek 2,408 Stephen Kazman 2,067 Alexander Glauberzon 1,878 Jerako Biaje 1,208 Stephen Shereck 860

Ward 6 Chris Tonks 13,423 Ken Robertson 2,058 Randa Omran 1,785 Naima Mire 1,773 Kevin Milburn 1,353

Ward 7 Robin Pilkey 11,763 Linda Torry 10,767 Marcela Saitua 3,643 Jeffrey Freeman 2,118 Gordon Foster 1,928 Noel Kent 1,881 Jim Henderson 1,761

Ward 8 Jennifer Arp 8,756 Ron Singer 7,607 Aaron Grinhaus 6,298 Claudia Webb 3,916 John Vassal 1,686

Ward 9 Marit Stiles 8,462 Sandra Martins 3,904 Jacqueline McKenzie 3,195 Liz Jackson 2,199 Mary MacNeill 1,491 Marjolein Winterink 1,446 Dean Eyford 930 Kowser Omer Hashi 867

Ward 10 Ausma Malik 16,244 Colleen Kennedy 7,511 Kenneth Chan 4,436 Michael Sims 3,849 Sabrina Zuniga 3,506 Tony Aires 2,202 Ybia Anderson 1,314 Richard Klagsbrun 1,095 Hans Bathija 534

Ward 11 Shelley Laskin 24,001 Kristian Chartier 6,900 Mark Henick 6,064

Ward 12 Alexander Brown 12,476 Mari Rutka 10,299 Michael Chen 9,552 Hillar Agur 1,058

Ward 13 Gerri Gershon 16,196 Don Hedrick 12,523 P. Mathanalingam 5,522

Ward 14 Sheila Ward 17,446 Chris Moise 15,125 Murphy Browne 6,541 Michael Guenther 2,951

Ward 15 Jennifer Story 18,019 Cathy Dandy 9,893 Maria Saras-Voutsinas 4,984 Robert Johnston 2,527 Sergio Otoya 933

Ward 16 Sheila Cary-Meagher 15,245 Marietta Fox 11,552 Jen Sagar 6,705 Navarius Mombo 1,908

Ward 17 Ken Lister 6,026 Robert Cerjanec 5,801 Harout Manougian 5,592 S.-Michael Harrison 3,232 Sonny Yeung 2,594 Tracy Lamourie 1,291 Anna Sajnovic 1,170 Suwarnamala Buty 962

Ward 18 Parthi Kandavel 6,983 Elizabeth Moyer 6,618 Don Stuart 4,839 Gaye Dale 4,152 Tim Heffernan 1,738 Abida Abida 1,426 Azim Dewan 1,401 John Stergianis 1,150 Michael Opoku 939 Naser Kaid 522

Ward 19 Scott Harrison 10,266 David Smith 10,177 Marg Kerr 3,767 Muhammad Saeed 1,728 Christopher Copeman 1,676 Paul Flesias 1,048 Sameer Rabbani 770

Ward 20 Manna Wong 11,688 Sam Sotiropoulos 9,621 Matthew Gregor 3,980 S. Pannerselvan 1,763

Ward 21 Shaun Chen 15,634 K. Sarojkumaran 5,279 J. Deborah Lieberman 4,133 P. Sathiyanantham 3,418 Aasia Khatoon 2,300 Phoenix Yuan 1,601

Ward 22 Jerry Chadwick 11,752 Joseph Khargie 6,097 Roxanne Wright 5,694 Robert Marshall 3,457 Glenn Kitchen 2,443

Toronto Catholic School Board

Ward 1 Joseph Martino 7,834 Robert Pella 5,182 Jeffery Zajac 3,400 Wasyl Luczkiw 2,034

Ward 2 Ann Andrachuk 13,034 Cely Silo 3,906 Andriy Botyuk 3,023

Ward 3 Sal Piccininni 8,408 Frank Capisciolto 4,909

Ward 4 Patrizia Bottoni 5,043 Marina Laccona 4,313 Glenn Webster 2,649 Diego Lupallier 1,403

Ward 5 Maria Rizzo 5,570 Larry Colle 3,789 Jody Macdonald 2,469 Joey Abrenilla 1,867 Louise Da Re 568

Ward 6 Frank D'Amico 8,757 Daniel Kim 2,865

Ward 7 Mike Del Grande 8,108 Leo Ng 1,794 Aldo Calla 1,441 Emmanuel Yanga 1,409

Ward 8 Garry Tanuan 6,026 Jobin Jose 4,274 Robert Wicik 3,107

Ward 9 Jo-Ann Davis 8,504 David Shaw 3,639 Manuel Ching 1,861

Ward 10 Barbara Poplawski 5,651 Edith Pearson 3,068 Ralph Tassone 1,319

Ward 11 Angela Kennedy 9,045 Kevin Morrison 4,452 Desmond Alvares 2,307 Christmas Sy 1,027

Ward 12 Nancy Crawford 6,366 Paulina Corpuz 2,974 Ryan Nutter 2,648 Ace Alvarez 1,711 R. Nevins-Selvadurai 444

Conseil Scolaire Viamonde

Ward 2 Julien Baeta 499 Pascal Fenkam 432 Jean-Baptiste Foaleng 378 Mohamed Sekkak 311

Ward 3 Chloë Robert 849 Denys Bégin 831 Mohamed Boudjenane 518

Ward 4 J.-François L'Heureux Acc.

Conseil Scolaire De District Catholique Centre-Sud

Ward 3 Marie Fontin 1,244 Nathalie Bedros 669 Robert Siani 437

Ward 4 Claude-Reno D'Aigle 1,388 A. Lutumba-Ntumba 386 Mario Gunanayagam 112

Associated Graphic

As of 11 p.m., with 1766/1767 polls reporting


Legal world's No. 1 enemy strikes back, with poetic licence
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B3

His mystery novel, Bay Street, is billed as a story of "money, sex, madness" and "murder," set at a fictionalized top Toronto law firm where the backdrop includes scheming senior partners, insider trading and a blockbuster corporate takeover.

But author Philip Slayton, a former law dean at the University of Western Ontario who spent 17 years as a partner at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP in the 1980s and 1990s, says his book is too close a rendering of Bay Street's elite legal scene to be considered a caricature. Indeed, at points, the book describes some of the granular details of life inside Bay Street's most prestigious firms - with a dash of murder added in.

"I think in some respects it's quite realistic and in others it's not," Mr. Slayton, 70, says. "It's not usual that people get murdered in Bay Street law firms. So I would say it's an exaggeration, rather than a caricature."

The book, which came out earlier this year and has sold only about 1,000 copies - many at Ben McNally Books, right on Bay Street itself - is meant only as a "bit of fun," Mr. Slayton says, unlike his 2007 non-fiction work Lawyers Gone Bad, which created a bizarrely outsized storm in Canada's cloistered legal world.

That book detailed a series of scandals from years past about lawyers stealing money and having sex with clients, and argued for government oversight of what critics say is a poorly regulated "self-regulating" profession. But Mr. Slayton, perhaps partly because of a Maclean's magazine cover headline about his book that declared all lawyers "rats," found himself persona non grata in legal circles. He was even officially condemned by the heads of the Ontario and Canadian bar associations, an experience he describes as akin to being "excommunicated."

But the kerfuffle did turn the book into a bestseller.

"People went crazy," Mr. Slayton said. "I was literally called Public Enemy No.1."

His latest work returns to many of the same themes, but in a fictional law firm with fictional lawyers gone bad.

A Bay Street law firm may be the perfect murder-mystery setting: A place rife with races for power and money, and more recently, a growing sense of unease about what the future holds. Earlier this year, Heenan Blaikie LLP, a once respected firm home to former prime ministers, closed up shop after internal feuds saw a stream of its partners jump ship, despite being profitable. The collapse raised questions about the viability of some business law firms in a new era when competition increasingly comes from international legal giants. In September, an Ontario Securities Commission hearing began for former Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP partner Mitchell Finkelstein, who is alleged to have tipped a frat buddy about impending corporate mergers and received stacks of cash in return.

To discuss his law-firm thriller, Mr. Slayton suggests we meet for lunch at Turf Lounge on Bay Street, a deal-maker's haunt that features not just seafood on wooden platters, but offtrack betting. Its dimly lit booths feature TV screens showing horse racing.

The lunch crowd is thin, with the markets in the tank.

Mr. Slayton, whose longish wispy grey hair, grey beard, distinctive horn-rimmed glasses and subtle English accent typecast him as the perfect lunchtime raconteur, has eclectic interests that go far beyond pinching the legal profession's collective nose. He's the president of writer's group PEN Canada, he reviews movies with his daughter on YouTube, and he and his wife, writer Cynthia Wine, founded a small literary festival in Nova Scotia.

Turf Lounge doesn't make an appearance in Bay Street. But Mr. Slayton says it and other joints like it were the inspiration for Mario's, a "sleazy restaurant across the street" where the managing partner at the book's fictional law firm, Dibbet & Dibbet, often slides his hand onto the thigh of the book's main character, the young, beautiful female partner Piper Fantouche, whom he lures to martini-soaked lunches.

The light and fluffy thriller is peppered with inside jokes for real Bay Streeters, and goes to satirical extremes at some points. A thinly disguised Canoe, one of the city's top restaurants perched atop the TD Bank tower, is renamed "Flotsam." In describing the law firm boss's establishment household, Mr. Slayton makes a throwaway reference to the character's two children, Tory and Blake. Tory, 14, attends Havergal, the prominent Toronto private school for girls, while Blake, 11, "was a problem; he had a learning disability and went to a remedial institution that Watt did not like to talk about."

Almost every lawyer in the book is unhappy, and appearing desperately either to climb up in, or escape from, the firm. Mr. Slayton, looking over his plate of cod covered in colourful vegetables, says this is only natural. Despite pay that can shoot from six figures to past $1-million, many lawyers in big business law firms are unhappy, he says. Studies show lawyers have much higher rates of depression and suicide than other professions, he points out. And high pressure for profits and the notoriously long hours are part of it. But so is boredom.

"A lot of the law is, and, particularly the law done on this street where we are sitting having lunch right now, is tediously boring," Mr. Slayton says. "[It] consists of sitting at a desk and moving around stacks of paper. And the stacks of paper are not inherently interesting. ... And you have to do a lot of it. So if you spend hour after hour after hour, day after day after day, doing what is essentially boring and tedious work, after a while you get a bad headache, right? You may start wondering, am I in the right place?"

Plus, he adds, some lawyers who went to law school thinking they would right wrongs or help free the wrongly convicted but instead ended up on Bay Street begin to question their role as handmaidens to the powerful.

"I do think that family physicians, for example, can go home at night and console themselves with the idea that probably some people are a bit better off for what they did that day, and that in some way they are contributing to the world's welfare," he said. "I don't think certainly business lawyers, as they like to be called, can really say that. I mean, their job is essentially to make the rich a little bit richer. And in the process of making the rich a little bit richer, maybe get a little rich themselves."

That feeling led Mr. Slayton to abandon his practice in 2000, mystifying his partners at Blakes with his departure after a 17-year career that included work on some of the biggest insolvency cases of the time, including the demise of Robert Campeau's real estate empire. He had arrived at Blakes fresh from academia at the age of 39 in 1983, after a stint as law dean at Western that he found miserable, he says, because his job was to listen to complaints without any power to fix them.

He says it is wrong to assume that he didn't enjoy being a partner at one of the country's preeminent law firms, where many of the people are fiercely smart.

"You do a lot of travelling, you go to New York, you go to London, you go to Chicago, sometimes in your client's private plane," he said. "And you are making a lot of money. ... And so it seems wonderful. And in some ways it is wonderful. But I think the basic underlying truth of your circumstances becomes more prominent, undeniable and depressing."

At 55, he bewildered his colleagues by walking away from Blakes: "I had enough money that I could survive. I wanted to do something else. And I ended up writing books."

Mr. Slayton followed up his bestselling Lawyers Gone Bad with Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life in 2011, a book that takes a look at the state of the top court, where Mr. Slayton himself was a clerk in the late 1960s to Justice Wilfred Judson, whom he describes as "one of the less historically distinguished judges" and "a very dour Scot who never said anything."

His decision to write a thriller set in a Bay Street firm came as many debate the very future of these institutions. Some say the economics of the legal profession is changing in ways that mean we will need vastly fewer lawyers at high-end firms, with routine work either outsourced to India or handled more efficiently with new technology. Some have predicted that much of Canada's legal elite is destined to be swallowed up by mergers with new global mega-firms.

And many observers believe these trends could soon spell the demise of other mid-tier law firms, such as Heenan Blaikie, which was squeezed both by a new breed of low-cost law firm and by the top firms, who are increasingly seeking out mid-sized clients.

But Mr. Slayton observes that some have also been predicting the demise of Bay Street's socalled Seven Sisters elite firms for 20 years, and they are all very much still around, despite the changing landscape.

"Used to be, the only way to find a case, was to go into a lawyer's office. You'd go into the library in the firm. There was a mystique about it. You had to go to the temple. And only the priests could tell you the truth. Now all you need is a computer, you can look it up for yourself," Mr. Slayton says. "... It surprises me that there haven't been more Heenan Blaikies."

These days, Mr. Slayton, who divides his time between Toronto and Port Medway, N.S., and writes a column for Canadian Lawyer magazine, is working on another non-fiction book. Like his other two non-fiction books, it will be published by Penguin. Called Mayors of Canada, it attempts to explain not just Toronto's Rob Ford phenomenon, but nearby Mississauga's outgoing nonagenarian Hazel McCallion and other colourful mayors across the country.

His decision to write fiction was sparked by a conversation with British mystery writer Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and other novels, at a dinner party in Toronto. "I discovered from talking to him that he writes four books a year, and they are hugely successful," Mr. Slayton said. "So I thought to myself - I was mistaken, it was hubris on my part - I can do that."

Writing Bay Street took him 18 months, and the independently published book has not exactly lit up the bestseller charts. Regardless, he is now planning a sequel, in which young partner Piper Fantouche, who has left her elite law firm to become the executive legal officer of the Supreme Court of Canada, find the top court "to be a place of intrigue and bitterness," Mr. Slayton says.

"And yes, Jeff, people will die."



Philip Slayton was born in England, but his businessman father moved the family to Winnipeg in 1954 when he was 10. After attending the University of Manitoba, he went to Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, studying political science then switching to law. He clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada in 1969-70.


"There are a number of things about practising law and even legal education that tend to bring out the worst in people. For example, lawyers are highly paid - some of them - to find ways around rules. Most people, a rule's a rule; you know, you're a citizen, you follow the rule and that's sort of how everything works. But if you are a rich citizen, and you don't like the rule, you can go to your lawyer ... And the lawyer will say, let me see what I can do. So you're the kind of guy who makes a lot of money figuring out how to get around rules. And I think one of the effects of that is to make you very unimpressed by rules."


Dibbets lawyers didn't care about each other, that was clear. Good personal relationships were not part of the firm's architecture. Money was what mattered. Greed drove the firm. A partner's worth was measured by his ability to increase profits. A client's value depended on the size of the bills it paid. Unfettered pursuit of money produced brutal competition. In such a setting, thought [Detective] Vitanza, murder was indeed possible.

Another thing occurred to him, as he studied the trinacria on the wall opposite for the umpteenth time. The firm had no physical substance. It was just people in rented space, sending out bills. There was no building, no heavy machinery, no physical inventory, no minerals in the ground, no plan of exploration, no processing, no manufacturing, no distribution system, no patents, no trucks, nothing except ambitious people reading law and exchanging memoranda with each other. In the middle of the night, when everyone had gone home, except perhaps the odd articling student or very junior lawyer pulling an all-nighter and feeling the thrill of it, the firm was little more than a phantom.

Associated Graphic

Philip Slayton, legal observer and author


Tory's way
He's a former CEO and 'peacemaker' at Rogers, who led the CFL and the PCs. He's also a mayoral front-runner who can 'take things too personally' and has faced a string of political defeats. If he wins, he'd step into a divided city hall. Ann Hui and Jeff Gray offer an inside look at what he could bring to the table
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M1

As John Tory made his way out of a Bloor West Village press conference one recent Saturday morning, his spokeswoman Amanda Galbraith pulled him aside to deliver some bad news.

Like every weekend since he entered the mayoral race eight months ago, Mr. Tory's day was packed with appearances, and until that point, everything had gone smoothly.

But standing a few feet from the crowd, they spoke in hushed tones. The night before, he'd wrongly claimed that he hadn't donated money to the campaign of rival Doug Ford four years ago. Now, another rival, Olivia Chow, was calling him on it.

"I was wrong - that I donated to Doug's campaign?" Mr. Tory said, irritation creeping into his voice. "I mean, who gives a shit?"

He remained annoyed even after speaking again with reporters. "I mean, so what?" he said as he walked away toward the car. "So what?" he repeated again a few minutes later, on the phone with strategist Nick Kouvalis. "Is that the best she can come up with?"

It's understandable if Mr. Tory is tenser than usual. With just a few weeks left in what has already been a gruelling campaign, he has managed to maintain a comfortable lead in the majority of recent polls - and he is increasingly under attack by his rivals.

And, after a string of political defeats - losing the mayoral race in 2003, a provincial by-election win in 2005 quickly followed by losses in 2007 and 2009 - Mr. Tory is poised, for the first time in almost a decade, for victory on election night.

The Globe spoke with more than 20 people who have worked with him throughout his career at Rogers Communications Inc., the Canadian Football League, and Queen's Park for insight on what kind of a mayor Mr. Tory might make. Some paint a picture of a leader ideally suited to city hall: an executive with experience in turning around tough situations and a talent for bringing people together - as he did in keeping the CFL afloat. But at a time when city hall remains deeply divided and under extreme scrutiny, others speak of a man who has trouble dealing with criticism, who lacks experience and has a tendency to micromanage.

But in the car that Saturday, Mr. Tory said he was confident he could do the job.

"I know how to be a leader, and the job is to be a leader," he said.

He paused for just a second.

"Do I know how to be a leader?

The answer is yes."

Despite describing his upbringing as "normal," Mr. Tory also happens to come from one of the most well-connected families in the city, with ties to some of Canada's most powerful institutions.

His late father, lawyer John A. Tory, was a trusted adviser to the late Kenneth Thomson, whose Woodbridge Co. Ltd. is majority owner of The Globe and Mail.

And the senior Mr. Tory's father founded prominent law firm Torys LLP.

But his family instilled in him the importance of public service from an early age, Mr. Tory said, with Christmases spent delivering meals to the needy, and other regular volunteer work. "We were told that we were fortunate to be in a fortunate kind of upbringing."

By 14, Mr. Tory was a card-carrying member of the provincial Progressive Conservative party working on political campaigns - a job he would continue through Osgoode Hall Law School.

After rising to managing partner at Torys, and politically, as principal secretary to former premier Bill Davis, Mr. Tory was asked in 1995 by family friend Ted Rogers to run Rogers Media.

The ties between the two families run deep. Mr. Tory's father was a long-time friend and adviser of Mr. Rogers, who himself articled at the Torys law firm before launching into the broadcasting business.

Mr. Tory's arrival at Rogers was timed the year after the company executed a hostile takeover of Maclean-Hunter. "I was sent in to bring these companies together and to cause them to sort of form one united team," he said.

Several of his colleagues at Rogers say he was well-liked by employees, and adept at dealing with the hard-driving Ted Rogers, who died in 2008.

"So he gets everybody onside.

He's not a polarizer. He doesn't go out of his way to make you mad. He doesn't go out of his way to prove he's smarter," said David Peterson, the former Ontario premier who sits on the Rogers board. Mr. Tory acted as "peacemaker" between the Rogers family, the company's other shareholders and its directors, he said.

By 1999, Mr. Tory was promoted to CEO of Rogers' cable division, the heart of the business.

But at least one former senior insider says that Mr. Tory was distracted during his time, and that many of the big decisions were being made by Mr. Rogers and his long-time right-hand man, Phil Lind. The former insider, who would only speak to The Globe on the condition of anonymity, also said Mr. Tory had designs on Mr. Rogers's position at the helm of the parent company.

"He sort of kept the ship going," the source said of Mr. Tory. He said Mr. Tory was busy at the same time with charity work and an eye on politics: "He was never 100 per cent committed to being in there, rolling up his sleeves and running the business."

Mr. Tory denied this, pointing out that revenue rose steadily during his tenure, with new products, such as video-ondemand, introduced in that time.

He added that much of his charity and political work was done outside office hours.

He acknowledges that he would have liked the top job at Rogers, but said the real reason he left in 2003 was to pursue politics.

"He was never going to give up the reins," Mr. Tory said of Mr. Rogers. "So in that sense, you might have said 'you'd take his job if it was offered,' but it was fairly clear to me that it wasn't going to be available."

At the same time he was running Rogers, Mr. Tory was also cleaning up a mess at the CFL.

"I had to keep it alive. It was bankrupt," he said of his role as chair, then volunteer commissioner of the league. After years of declining revenues, and a failed expansion in the United States, several teams found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy.

Some owners' spending - including on player salaries - was "just outrageous and ridiculous," said former league president Jeff Giles, and Mr. Tory helped convince them that those types of decisions disrupted the salary structure for the entire league.

"They were all seeing the challenge through their own lenses.

What I remember was John's ability to focus on the common goal," Mr. Giles said.

Later, as leader of the Progressive Conservatives at Queen's Park, he exercised those same skills working with a party deep in debt, and caucus members who owed little to the new leader.

"It's a group of caucus members that will win their seats almost no matter what they do," said Brendan Howe, Mr. Tory's press secretary at the time.

"There was no pull that you have to try and get them to fall in line."

To counter this, Mr. Tory spent much of his time travelling to members' ridings, listening to their concerns, and became known for personally calling every member of caucus every Christmas Eve to wish them a Merry Christmas.

But Bill Murdoch, who was kicked out of caucus by Mr. Tory after speaking out against Mr.

Tory's promise in 2007 to extend public funding to all Ontario faith-based schools, attributes the "bone-headed decision" to his political inexperience - and warned it could be his downfall this time, too.

Mr. Tory's faith-based schools decision was widely unpopular among the public, and a misstep that would ultimately lose him the election. He also made the gamble to run in the Toronto riding of Don Valley West against then-popular minister Kathleen Wynne - a decision he defends as based on principle, but left him without a seat after he lost.

Two years later, Mr. Tory lost another by-election, after Laurie Scott stepped aside in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and he resigned as party leader.

"I think it really helps an MPP or an MP to be in municipal politics and stuff like that to work your way up," Mr. Murdoch said.

With the decision to stick to the faith-based funding issue despite it being unpopular - and then to kick him out of caucus - Mr. Murdoch said, "he was trying to prove a point, that he was a boss."

Others say Mr. Tory was simply sticking to previously-made promises. "I think John has a kind of commitment to principle that outweighs in some respect political consideration," said Senator Bob Runciman, a former MPP.

Still, Mr. Murdoch believes Mr. Tory would be a good mayor.

By 10:30 a.m., Mr. Tory is headed to his third event of the day, a giant Eid Festival celebration at the Direct Energy Centre.

On his way in, he shakes hands and greets people - many of them he knows by name through his work in the community. "I'm not showing any disrespect by walking around while they're praying?" he asks a volunteer, who shakes his head no.

He makes his way into a reception area where he was set to give a speech, and standing inside was Premier Kathleen Wynne - also there to speak.

Ms. Wynne was careful to say that she's not endorsing any candidate, but described Mr. Tory as a "friend."

"He ran against me," she says, chuckling, when asked about running against Mr. Tory in 2007.

She says she has since used the race as an example to show staffers "how I believe people need to relate to each other. We had a respectful campaign and we came out friends at the end."

But others said that Mr. Tory might face a tough transition at city hall. He wakes up at 5 a.m. every morning, and has been known to arrive at work as early as 6 a.m., leaving staffers scrambling to unlock the doors. He described himself as a "demanding" boss - "but at the same time, very encouraging."

And the bureaucracy at city hall could prove frustrating for him, given a leadership style that several staffers - at least when it comes to campaigning - describe as micromanaging.

"A normal candidate might not necessarily want to know how many signs have been ordered, are they at the stations, did we get this length of the wood of the stick, how are we pounding them into the ground, and all that sort of stuff," said a member of his campaign team - one of several members to speak with The Globe on the condition that their names be withheld.

Mr. Tory acknowledged that he can be a micromanager, but said it's only because he has worked on so many campaigns in the past. "I've done it, and that unfortunately creates a history in your head."

And if elected, Mr. Tory's every move will be dissected, and subject to fierce criticism - something that two members of his campaign say he can be prickly about. "I think he's developed more alligator skin - tougher skin than he had before, but I think it's a fair point that he can take some of these things too personally," said the member of his campaign team.

Onstage in debates, he does his best to show he has the stomach for the rough and tumble exchanges - fending off the boisterous Doug Ford, who charges him with being an outof-touch elite, with quips of his own. But he clearly does not relish it.

"It's very different from 2003," he says of the tenor of this race.

"David Miller and I ... we had disagreements on issues, but it was entirely respectful. Entirely respectful."

His mother, meanwhile, has stopped watching the debates.

"She'd call me - she's 82 - and ask 'why is he saying that? If your father saw that, he'd be upset.' " Mr. Tory himself acknowledged that he doesn't like criticism, but said he wasn't alone on this.

"I just think oftentimes politicians aren't honest when they say 'none of that stuff bothers me,' " he said. "What human being would wake up to the newspaper in the morning, read some column containing some stuff that is diminishing your career personally, and not be concerned by that?" The solution, he said, is "much of the time, I just don't bother to read it."

Later, he was asked about a recent article describing his past political defeats. "I think they described it as having gone through the 'valley of hell?' " a reporter asked him.

Without missing a beat, he corrected her: "The valley of defeat."

Associated Graphic


By age 14, Tory was a card-carrying member of the provincial Progressive Conservative party and working on political campaigns.


John Tory doesn't care for the personal attacks. 'Politicians aren't honest when they say 'none of that stuff bothers me.''


Searching for a balanced life
So many of us crave that delicate equilibrium, but is it overrated? Elizabeth Renzetti shares her thoughts, and her own busy schedule
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L6

On the morning of Aug. 7, 1974, New Yorkers rushing to work in their corduroy flares and wedge heels looked up into the blue sky and saw a man suspended between the unfinished towers of the World Trade Center.

A man in the sky, but not falling or flailing: A man perfectly balanced. For seven years, before they were even built, the French wire-walker Philippe Petit had dreamed of crossing between New York's tallest skyscrapers on a wire the width of a thumb. He and his band of miscreant friends snuck into the towers the night of Aug. 6, dodging security guards and setting up their equipment.

In the morning, the 24-year-old Frenchman took up his balancing pole, stepped out onto the wire and grinned. "I was overwhelmed by a sense of easiness, a sense of simplicity," he said later. "I was carrying my life on a path that was the simplest, the most beautiful and the easiest." He was "1,000-per-cent alive."

For 45 minutes, until the police snatched him back, Petit entertained the crowds with his amazing sense of balance - bowing, kneeling, even lying down on the wire at one point. Hundreds of feet below, a huge crowd gathered, faces turned up. For a blessed time, like Petit, they were entirely in the moment. Perhaps they were transported briefly from their crisis-rich lives: The oil crisis, the presidential crisis (Richard Nixon would resign the next day), the crisis of the meddlesome boss and the teething toddler.

We watch wire-walkers not for the danger they represent - no one actually wanted to see a splat shaped like a gingery Frenchman on the streets of Manhattan - but for the awe of that moment, seeing that focus and single-mindedness, the devotion to one task at hand. The luxury of it! The joy of seeing someone achieve balance, perfectly, when the rest of us chase after it, distracted and flailing, and fall.

For thousands of years, balance has been considered an ideal to pursue - but so too were other ideals, such as moral rectitude and piety. Those fallen away, we are left with balance as the shimmering modern grail, always just slightly out of reach. The irony is that the harder we struggle for it, the more shaky the wire beneath us becomes, and the farther away the ground seems.

Once, the equilibrium we sought was meant to be internal.

The ancient Greeks wanted everything to be in perfect harmony - your wet and dry ingredients, your vapours and fluids, your bravery and restraint. "Nothing in excess," said the Oracle at Delphi.

The Greeks gave us the idea of the bodily humours in sync (eucrasia) and out of joint (dyskrasia). There were four humours, and in each personality a balance existed, depending on which particular juices were dominant: You could be melancholic (black bile), choleric (yellow bile), sanguine (blood) or phlegmatic (I think you can guess the fluid). Illness and emotional turmoil were the result of an imbalance in humours.

For the Greeks and the Elizabethans, balance was an internal mechanism affected by external factors: age, season, temperature.

But for us, the concept is flipped on its head: Balance is not so much about what's inside as what's outside. It becomes about juggling competing demands on your time, and competing interests. It is about trying to keep 20 plates in the air, in the dark, with a small person clutching your leg.

Now, of course, the discussion almost always centres around "work-life balance," because the media conversation is dominated by people like me, who are in the scary middle of life, where there are many mirrors reflecting back our reality and none of them is flattering. All our metaphors involve frantic motion: juggling, running, flying, drowning. "I'm run off my pins!" I shriek down the phone at a well-meaning friend who asks how I am. We find weird comfort in our useless, circular motions, perhaps fearing that, like log-rolling lumberjacks, if we actually stop we'll sink.

The phrase "work-life balance" has been in use for nearly three decades. In 1991, the Wharton School of Business founded the Work-Life Integration project, and ever since has been issuing sober reports about the need for more caring, flexible, intuitive workplaces. And yet the wire keeps jiggling: Blame the stormy economy. Blame the gorgeous distractions of technology. Don't look down.

Periodically, we're transfixed when someone steps off the wire, as Mohamed El-Erian recently did. The head of the investment firm Pimco stepped down from his job, which apparently netted him $100-million (U.S.) a year, to be more available to his family.

The breaking point came when his daughter sent him a list of 22 events he'd missed, from a soccer match to a parent-teacher meeting, because he was too busy making money elsewhere.

"Of course I was experiencing what many, if not the majority of working parents experience," ElErian wrote in Worth magazine.

"Work-life imbalance is prevalent in America and is one of our greatest challenges." He went on to note, quite correctly, that the problem is worse for low-income parents. What was left out of his message is that most of us do not have the luxury of spending our lives in search of balance. We search for clean socks instead, and settle for ones that have only been worn once.

You would need another lifetime to read all the books about work-life balance, never mind the studies, never mind the research. The quest for it is now yet another thing to be anxious about. And in our swim-class-versus-projectdeadline solipsism, we forget about all the other people seeking equilibrium: The grieving, the ill, the lonely, the people who wish they could complain about the busyness of their lives.

Maybe we invest too much in this race for balance. Maybe chaos is where it's at. I once interviewed the Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway, mother of four, who had recently forgotten one of her kids at school. How, I asked gingerly, did she think she was managing? She sighed. "We just muddle through." I seriously thought about having that crossstitched on a tea towel and hung above my door.

Or, as the late, great Nora Ephron said in a commencement speech at her alma mater, Wellesley College, in 1996: "In case you're wondering, of course you can have it all. ... It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like you think it will be, but surprises are good for you."

At some point, this juggling act became a competition: I can keep 30 plates in the air. No, 40! As Brigid Schulte writes in her superb book Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, "busyness is now the social norm that people feel they must conform to ... or risk being outcasts." She goes to visit Ann Burnett, a professor of communications at North Dakota State University, who studies round-robin Christmas letters for clues to how we transmit this particular anxiety-status to our loved ones. The letters, increasingly, are full of words like "hectic," "frantic" "whirlwind" and "consumed."

It's boasting disguised as lament.

Schulte points to a survey of more than 30,000 Canadians, which revealed that 90 per cent of them feel "role overload" - that is, they're doing too many things at one time. Neuroscience has shown over and over that we are not designed to multitask: We are not meant to drive and text, or eat and walk. Philippe Petit was able to keep his balance on that wire high above New York because he had one job to do.

A story from my own life: As I'm writing this essay, I'm trying to do 10 other things, all of them badly. I have two speeches to write. There are 6,587 unread e-mails in my inbox and Microsoft is threatening to cut my electronic umbilical cord. Unlike the people in Schulte's book, I don't feel smug. I just feel slightly nauseated, because there's a mysterious message written on my hand, and I have no idea what it says.

I am constantly writing notes on my hand because all the remembering-places in my head are full. On this day, though, the combination of my terrible handwriting and indelible ink combines to foil my best intentions.

There is an important message scrawled on my body, in Sharpie, but I can't read what it says. This is doubly tormenting: There is something I should be remembering, but now I can't, and it will be there forever.

At dinner, I show my hand to my family. "Can any of you read what this says?" "Wow," says my husband. "If only you had a magical electronic device that could record these things for you."

"Does it say 'hi-bye?' " my son asks.

"Why would I write 'hi-bye' on my hand?" I say, perhaps a bit too shrilly.

My daughter grabs my hand, ponders it for a minute. "I think it says, 'worry.' " I snatch my hand back and stare at it. Maybe I've become the kind of madwoman who writes "worry" on her hand, just in case she forgets, for five minutes, to worry. Then the absurdity of the situation hits me, and I burst out laughing.

"You know what I'm going to do?" I say. "I'm going to cut off my hand. Then I won't have to think about it any more." "I have a knife," my daughter says.

The next day, with the ink still mockingly black on my hand, I realize that the scrawled message is actually the set of initials of someone I've forgotten to e-mail.

One more plate hits the floor, but it doesn't matter. I've become used to walking around ankledeep in crockery. We all have. If I may paraphrase T. E. Lawrence, or at least Peter O'Toole playing T. E. Lawrence: Certainly it's a mess. The trick is not minding that it's a mess.

The metaphorical plates appear again when I survey friends about their search for balance (most of them have abandoned the search, and are instead drinking brandy from the rescue dog's collar).

"That exact moment when I feel I am juggling too many plates I ask myself, 'Why am I doing this?

Who am I doing this for?' "says one of them, a single mother of two. "Am I trying to be perceived as 'busy' so that people will approve of me? Am I trying to prove my self-worth? Am I insecure about the way I am raising my children? Am I trying to please someone?" Another wise woman said: "Is there some magical still spot that I can settle into in the eye of the storm? I think so, but I can't seem to stay in it very long. I find it at yoga and during morning walks ... and then I lose it at work and end up looking for it in the fridge all night. I figure I ain't never gonna find it, so I might as well chill about being out of whack most of the time."

What if balance is overrated?

Not for wire-walkers, of course, but for everyone else. The British philosopher and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips makes an elegant case in his essay, On Balance.

"Faced with the stresses and strains of everyday life it is easy now for people to feel that they are failing; and what they are failing at, one way or another, is managing the ordinary excesses that we are all beset by: too much frustration, too much bad feeling, too little love, too little success, and so on."

But what if we accepted a simple proposition: That we are, as Phillips says, "too much for ourselves." We are overstuffed with longing and frustration and ambivalence, but these are homebase emotions, and we should not flee from them.

In fact, we are most alive when we are off-balance: We speak of being "swept off our feet" by love, or "bowled over with happiness" when a child graduates. We lose balance when we're captivated by a person, or a thought, or the sight of something beautiful or disturbing. All the best art is about someone who is truly messed up; nobody wants to read a novel about Ned Flanders. But Mr. Burns? He's worth a whole library.

It's been 40 years since Philippe Petit hovered like a scrawny, leotarded bird over the streets of Manhattan. You can see his walk in the great documentary Man on Wire. His balancing act was a thing of beauty, to be admired from a distance. Just don't try it at home.

Associated Graphic

Philippe Petit, a French high-wire artist, is seen walking across a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York on Aug. 7, 1974.


Secrets and lines
What do designers really think of Fashion Week? Who's planning to move their brand overseas? In the run-up to Canada's biggest fashion showcase, which kicks off on Monday, six established and rising talents open up to Anya Georgijevic about the joys and frustrations of working in the business, from good press to non-existent sales
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L8


Friends from Ryerson University, Rani Kim and Som Kong will be showing their fi rst Fashion Week collections just months after graduation. Kim, who was born and raised in South Korea, currently juggles both a full-time position as product-design assistant for Joe Fresh and her own men's line, Rank by Rani Kim. Hailing from Hamilton, Ont., Kong, whose eponymous line includes both men's and women's wear, was exposed to fashion through his mother, a seamstress for Levi's. "I sewed darts before I even knew what darts were," he says. While in school, both landed good internships: Kong at Danier and Greta Constantine, Kim at Jeremy Laing, Farley Chatto and Astrid Andersen in Denmark. "We've been head-to-head with a lot of things," Kong says, "but it's never been about competition."

As recent graduates, what does it feel like to enter the fashion world?

Som Kong: What I appreciated from school was the set schedule: You knew what was going to happen next. You're constantly learning, making mistakes.

You don't really have to worry about fi nances. Now, time is very valuable - especially if you want to own your own business. I feel more responsible.

Rani Kim: It is a little bit scary; I'm not going to lie. But I love it. I really enjoy it.

The business of fashion is a tough one. Are you prepared?

RK: It is tough. But then, what isn't tough?

SK: When you try to wrap your head around how tough the business is, it becomes tough. But when you kind of just do it without thinking, ignorance is bliss.

It's not always a great thing, but making mistakes is the best way to learn. When you have the mentality that you can do it, you're halfway there.

RK: I should really think more about the business. It's not that I don't think about it, but I'm the happiest woman when I'm sewing. If I keep doing what I love, it will eventually work out.

Many Canadian designers end up moving abroad. Do you have those aspirations?

RK: In Toronto, men's wear is really booming right now so I want to start here. I really do believe that if you can start in Toronto, you can do anything overseas as well.

SK: I was set to move to New York right after graduation. I had the money; I was ready to go. When Toronto Men's Fashion Week came along [in August], I decided to stay. I think Toronto is the best place to make mistakes and grow.

How important is keeping manufacturing in Canada?

SK: I don't think it's realistic, to be honest.

RK: It's so expensive.

SK: With any business, it comes down to the budget. I hope to have my own manufacturer one day in Cambodia, where there's no language barrier [for me], and have my own fashion house there while being located here.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

SK: I don't want to be looking for a job; I want to be creating jobs. Manufacturing comes into the picture. Sweatshops are constantly on consumers' minds, with big companies having to go to Third World countries to get cheaper prices. With the whole [labour controversy] in Bangladesh and because of social media and increased awareness, people know where their products are coming from. So if I were able to own my manufacturer, I would pay my employees enough for a decent standard of living.

RK: In Korea, all the men have to go to the army for two years after graduating, so, for two years, I'm going to do anything that I can do, anything that's available to me. Any opportunity, I'm going to take it. Eventually, I really want to have my own established brand. It doesn't have to be big, but I want to sell in stores internationally.


"I am a lot older than a lot of people in this industry," says Matt Robinson, the 44-year-old behind Toronto men's-wear label Klaxon Howl. The fashion veteran has been mentoring up-and-coming men's designer Michael Thomas Bálint, who launched his namesake line, Thomas Bálint, in 2010. The two designers first crossed paths at Toronto Fashion Week (now World MasterCard Fashion Week) in 2011 and have "become inseparable since," jokes Bálint. Robinson and his long-time business and life partner, Lena Kim, took a liking to the young designer, whose now-shuttered store was close to their own, even helping him with technique. "What we share in common is our love of classic clothing pieces, form, function and fit," says Robinson. This season, both designers are debuting women's pieces at Fashion Week.

We tend to think of fashion design as a very glamorous job. Do you think young designers have a good understanding of the industry?

Matt Robinson: They don't really know what they are in for. They are looking at blogs and fashion magazines and think that's what the industry is. And everyone wants to be a designer. Try and find somebody who wants to be a sewing-machine operator, a pattern drafter, a cutter. [Designing is] why everyone starts a line and they only last a couple of seasons.

Michael Thomas Bálint: I just closed my store [in Toronto]. A big portion of the clientele were fashion students, so it was really hard to watch these kids come in and know that they are going to have to struggle so much.

MR: It's also timing. We were going to be picked up by Harvey Nichols Hong Kong, Opening Ceremony - there are always these great opportunities and you get all excited and then it doesn't happen.

Neither of you are particularly trend-driven designers. Has that been a challenge in promoting your brands?

MTB: My grandma drafted the blazer [Robinson] wore for this shoot decades ago. She was a tailor. I use her pieces in almost every collection. It's important to the brand.

MR: We usually hit trends before they even happen. We did Hawaiian shirts last summer before Prada did theirs. But I never know until somebody in the industry is like, "Oh, you're really on trend this season."

You make these pieces that are timeless yet not boring, with great fabrics and colours, good construction and fit: Why do I have to reinvent myself every season?

MTB: For the past couple of seasons, I've been going to [my showroom in] Paris and [buyers] have a totally different mindset. You have to have a really strong history, along with your brand, and a strong story to tell with it. It's frustrating that the people who really care about this stuff are so far away; it costs so much money to be able to take your collection [to Paris]. We have an amazing Fashion Week, but it's just all press.

MR: I'm always optimistic that next season [of Fashion Week] will be better. We get some great pictures out of it and we use that.

MTB: I did get really good press last season, but that didn't translate into sales.

MR: [Fashion Week is] good for reminding people that you're there and that you're still doing what you're doing, and to create a certain desire for what you make.

Matt, in the 20-plus years you've been in the business, how has the Canadian fashion scene changed?

MR: It's definitely bigger, way more people are doing it. But there is way less manufacturing. I mean, there's still manufacturing here for the smaller labels. There's no way you can start a line and go immediately to China or India. But even when we were doing large-volume sales, our mantra has always been "made in Canada."

MTB: When I had the shop, it was always very important to tell people where the fabrics were from and where everything was made. All of my fabrics are from First World countries. There's definitely nobody dying at my expense. I think the whole Joe Fresh thing [in Bangladesh] was a pretty big eye-opener, and then everyone forgot about it.


Hilary MacMillan and Leah Antoinette met several years ago through their publicist and, as Antoinette recalls, "it was friendship at first sight." This season, both women are showing their collections at Fashion Week - a first for Antoinette, who designs under her label Elan + Castor. The line of intricate knits and captivating floral prints pays homage to Antoinette's grandmother, who taught her how to wield a pair of knitting needles, a skill she later honed while studying knitwear and textile prints at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. MacMillan, who attended the Blanche Macdonald Centre in Vancouver, is presenting at Fashion Week for the third time. Her classic ladylike silhouettes and fearless use of pattern (her spring 2015 prints are based on sunsets) have been well received - she has established a Paris showroom and is carried in boutiques south of the border.

What are some of the challenges you encounter running your own labels?

Hilary MacMillan: There were a lot of times when it was trial and error, and things didn't exactly always workout the way I wanted them to. I made some stupid mistakes, but you learn and you change. I think shipping is a nightmare. I hate shipping!

Leah Antoinette: Time and money. It's really [about] making the right decisions and trying to get yourself out there. I'll say it: I don't think there's a lot of support for Canadian designers, period. So it's trying to be aggressive in the market, trying to stay in Canada and also trying to get your name out there internationally, because that's how you're going to get more recognition here.

What does Canada need in order to support labels like your own?

LA: Because I was in the States [for school], I saw what was going on there more than what was going on here. They have CFDA [the Council of Fashion Designers of America], they have a lot start-up programs for young designers. It's superfrustrating because there's a lot of talent in Canada. A support system - even tax breaks - would help, because you can keep selling and keep selling, but the bigger you get, the more expensive it is to run a company. Both Hilary and I are lucky enough to have financial backers, but not everybody has that. And retailers don't really support Canadian designers as much as they should.

HM: Even the fact that there is not a really good Canadian trade show is telling.

How much retail buying happens at Fashion Week?

LA: None. We are past [the buying season].

HM: If someone fell in love with your line and they had extra money in their budget, they might.

LA: Or they'll keep you in mind for next season.

HM: If they like you now, they'll call you up for fall 2015. But Fashion Week is mostly for publicity.

You both manufacture in Canada. Is that important or just convenient for a small business?

HM: It's important to me. We talk about supporting Canadian designers, so at the end of the day that should include supporting Canadian manufacturers. You also get better quality control and you can do smaller numbers. If one store wanted a style no one else bought, you can accommodate that.

LA: Half of my manufacturing business is in Canada and half of it is in L.A. because I couldn't find a knitwear production house here. But if I have a chance to support Canadian manufacturers, I do as often as I can.

Do you both plan to stay in Canada?

HM: I'd like to stay here.

LA: I'd like to stay here at least part of the time. This is my home: I was born here. If I can make a go of it here, I definitely will, but I don't know.

These interviews have been condensed and edited.

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Blunt tech veteran preaches reinvention
Douglas Bergeron, tech investor, philanthropist and former CEO of VeriFone Systems Inc.
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B4

Douglas Bergeron has had a rough ride in the past few years, and he's just fine with that.

As an investor in and chief executive officer of VeriFone Systems Inc., the Windsor, Ont., native turned Silicon Valley resident made a fortune he pegs at about half a billion dollars.

Then things got a little bumpy.

He was roasted in the technology press in the summer of 2012 for his criticisms of highly touted (and valued) payment systems competitor Square, Inc. He called Square, the brainchild of Twitter Inc. founder Jack Dorsey, a modern, a pointed reference to one of the biggest failures of the dot-com bubble. "Oh boy, was that stupid," Business Insider opined at the time.

The following year, he was ousted from VeriFone, which he built into a point-of-sale payments behemoth (think of those little pads where you sign electronically for credit cards, and all the technology that processes the payment securely). Upset at his fate? Sure, a bit. But not any more. Mr. Bergeron is building a new company and his legacy by giving millions to his alma mater and several causes, including multiple sclerosis, a disease his father had. And he is preaching the gospel of reinvention.

"Not to say bad times are great," Mr. Bergeron said on a recent visit to Toronto. "But if you use your negative experiences to take inventory of who you are, what needs to improve, how you can reposition yourself, that's a really good thing. That's a gift. That's a gift from wherever."

Over coffee after a presentation on thought leadership (he was catching a plane to Pittsburgh after his talk, making lunch a no-go), Mr. Bergeron is keen to talk about his views on Canada from afar.

This tech entrepreneur's take is that Canada still does a great job in technology. Stop beating ourselves up over the failure of Nortel Networks Inc. and the struggles of BlackBerry Ltd., he advises. Stop worrying about rivalling Silicon Valley. Stop pouring taxpayer money into ill-advised venture-capital programs that compete with the pros in the industry. Start focusing on reinventing the tech economy here. Start being more proud of Canadians who make good in technology elsewhere. There's no rule that says you have to do it here.

Mr. Bergeron is an example. The 53-year-old entrepreneur is not very well known in Canada, a product of having moved away almost three decades ago. These days he lives in Atherton, a Silicon Valley community that was just named the United States' most expensive zip code.

He jokes that as he has lost his Canadian accent, he has maybe gained some American forthrightness.

Mr. Bergeron is blunt, his speech peppered with spicy language. He is wearing a sober suit, but also pointy boots that appear to be crocodile skin. Picture Dennis the Menace, had the cartoon kid grown up to become a successful entrepreneur, but never quite shed his glee at causing a stir.

He's not coming back to Canada, either, given the weather in California and the fact that his kids are there, but he remains tied to this country. He has never become a U.S. citizen. His mother still lives here, as do siblings.

Much of his giving comes to Canada, including $10-million he and his wife Sandra have donated to York University, in Toronto, where he earned his computer science degree. That money is going mostly to create a new building that will be home to the engineering school, a gift that was just announced a few weeks ago.

"Unless I come back to Canada I feel like a man without a country," he says. He still has only one passport, his Canadian one. "I'm going to have a Canadian flag in my funeral. Not an American flag."

If there's a theme to Mr. Bergeron's life, he says it's serendipity.

Take his choice of university, and his major. Neither was exactly planned. He wanted to be a journalist. Only when one of the fathers at his Catholic high school balked, pointing out that he was a math whiz and there were these new things called computers that might be big, did he consider computer science.

For a middle-class kid who needed money to pay his room and board, York was a practical choice, not an aspirational one. York was simply the closest university to Northern Telecom's offices in suburban Toronto, where Mr. Bergeron had won a job even as a student. At 19, he was writing and maintaining computer programs that helped the sales force.

He shared a townhouse in a dodgy north Toronto neighbourhood, and commuted to class at York and to work in Brampton.

After that, he took full-time work at Northern Telecom in Ottawa. For a kid from Windsor, it was cold. So when he won a scholarship for graduate studies, he chose the University of Southern California, because it was warm.

He liked California, and stayed. Eventually, he found himself on an executive track, working in financial technology at SunGard Data Systems Inc.

A few years later came what he calls his "lightning strike."

He and some partners were raising a private equity fund, and in the wake of the tech bubble's spectacular pop, they got the opportunity to buy a payments business from Hewlett Packard. HP had paid more than $1-billion (U.S.) for a business that was suddenly a money loser. HP sold the company a few years later to Mr. Bergeron's group for $50-million. Of that, all but $5-million was borrowed money.

Mr. Bergeron and his partners reaped billions as they grew the company - VeriFone - and took it public. By 2011, the company was worth more than $4-billion. However, not long after, Mr. Bergeron's time was up. After a long run of growth, VeriFone was struggling and missing earnings estimates. At the same time, Mr. Bergeron had been in that public sparring match with Square (he also accused the rival of having poor security). In March of 2013, his 12-year run as VeriFone's CEO ended.

He wrote in his goodbye e-mail to employees that the company's "terrible results" of late were "my responsibility and I accept the consequences."

Today he says he may have overstayed his time at VeriFone.

"I probably wasn't personally capable of pressing the eject chair myself," he says.

That said, Mr. Bergeron is clearly not thrilled with the decision the company's board made. He argues the board was no longer the same one that had been around in the good times.

"Now we have a bunch of 65year-old guys that just joined over the past few years, so in their lens it was like, 'Hey, we had a bad year. This guy's been around 12 years; maybe it's time for a change,' " he says. "Yeah, I was sad, but it's an opportunity to reinvent myself."

First, he prioritized family. "I've got lots of money so I was able to spend a lot of time with kids travelling around," he said of the time after his ouster. "We spent time in the jungles of Costa Rica, hanging out with monkeys and riding jet skis. We also went to a dude ranch in Montana to ride horses and shoot guns."

But only a few months later he was back at work, teaming up with his old private equity partners to launch a new venture. He is putting up $50-million, and his partners $450-million, and they are looking to get back to building a company.

They are seeking businesses that focus on software that helps companies manage risks through third party vendors. It's in a sweet spot of growing spending, where Mr. Bergeron likes to invest.

"I'm doing something now which is thoughtful, interesting," he says of the new venture. "It's not in 120 countries. It's not with 6,000 crybaby employees and a board of directors I'm having to spoon-feed the news to. I've probably added 10 years to my life."

The idea is to put a few companies together and then sell the combined group, or maybe take it public.

Which brings us to Canadian technology.

Mr. Bergeron laughs when he says he just lost an auction for a Newfoundland company called (in a funny twist) Verafin, which specializes in anti-money laundering software.

So yes, maybe BlackBerry is struggling and Nortel is gone. But Canada's contribution is still strong. There are good companies here, doing excellent things.

"We should not feel defeatist, but take pride that some of our Canadian accomplishments might be by a Canadian elsewhere," he said. "I think this Nortel and RIM experience has given us an unfair sense of defeatism."

Similarly, he's not fond of Canada's propensity to worry about recreating a Silicon Valley here, often with government money.

"These conversations take place in Boston, in Austin, in Denver - all these places where people have declared they are going to be the next Silicon Valley. There's a reason Silicon Valley has an unchallengeable lead by far. It's this network of the people, the money, the weather, the universities."

He points to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in Boston and moved it to Palo Alto because he needed access.

"I say just get over it."

He is similarly critical of Canada's attempts to use taxpayer money to fund venture capital.

"Just because we don't have a later-stage venture market it doesn't mean the government should step in and do it - that's a dumb idea," he says. "It makes politicians feel good, but they are going to blow all their money. It's really hard to beat Marc Andreessen and Vinod Khosla and some of the best VCs. You think you are going to outflank those guys? You are not." And as for his public confrontation with Square, a darling of the venture capital world, he is not backing down.

"That will end badly I'm pretty sure," he still maintains. "They are still floundering for a business model that makes money."

He says he learned at VeriFone that Square's plan to serve micro-merchants is too tough: too much fraud, too little in the way of transactions, too much turnover in the businesses. And Square's planned electronic wallet has been cancelled.

Yet so far, things haven't turned out the way Mr. Bergeron predicted. When he gave his take on Square, the company was valued at about $3.25-billion. It has now reportedly raised money recently at a valuation of $6-billion.

Still, Mr. Bergeron is unrepentant. And unlikely to stop speaking his mind.

"I learned a lesson to keep my own opinions to myself, maybe, but whatever."


Age: 53

Education: Undergraduate degree in computer science from York University. Master of Science from the University of Southern California.

Kids: Five. Two adult children from his first marriage, and an 11-year-old and a pair of 10year-old twins with his current wife, Sandra.

Hobbies: Owning professional sports organizations. He is a part owner of a NASCAR team, and he was part of a (failed) attempt to buy the Nashville Predators.

He's been cited as a billionaire in the press. True? "No, not a billionaire but my life has a billion blessings."

Philanthropy: The Bergerons' $2-million gift to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is the largest in the organization's history. (Doug's dad had the disease.) They have also endowed a professorship in Neuroscience at Georgetown University with a $1.25-million (U.S.) gift. The family has given $10-million (Canadian) to York University, the largest single amount from any alumnus. That money will help support a program to back entrepreneurial programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and build a new home for the university's Lassonde School of Engineering that will be called "the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence."

He has been invited to five straight World Economic Forum gatherings in Davos, Switzerland. He is also a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Associated Graphic


In the footsteps of a killer
Ian Brown retraces the bloody path taken by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F1

OTTAWA -- The first thing Michael ZehafBibeau had to ignore Wednesday morning in Ottawa when he pumped two bullets into Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's chest was the cenotaph the corporal was guarding. The cenotaph (Greek, empty tomb) has had only a bit part in the endless analysis of this week's two attacks on Canadian soldiers, of whether the attacks are linked to the Islamic State and how they may change the way we live and think.

Which is strange, because it's a hard monument to ignore: stout granite arch supporting bronze figures of limping Peace and struggling Freedom, through whose narrow gap a straining throng of soldiers and cannons and horses and airmen and nurses force their way. It's called The Response.

People find it moving, and there's often a crowd. It was designed by an Englishman named Vernon March in 1925 to honour Canadians in the First World War, though it now honours other veterans as well - including, last May, at Prime Minister Stephen Harper's behest, the men and women who served in Afghanistan. Mr. ZehafBibeau didn't choose it randomly.

The killer parked his plateless beige Toyota illegally on Wellington Street to the north of the monument, and approached it from behind, where he couldn't be seen. He missed the other guard with his first shot, and then turned on the unarmed Cpl.

Cirillo, a dreamily handsome guy, and father. The honour guard is a relatively new thing, added (so the story goes) a few years ago after some young men were caught peeing on the monument.

You can see the cenotaph from D'Arcy McGee's, a pub across the road, where political staffers sometimes meet. The pub is named after Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the mutton-chopped Father of Confederation, the IrishCatholic poet and journalist who championed a multicultural Canada but was assassinated on April 7, 1868, at a boarding house at 71 Sparks St., just down the road from the cenotaph, possibly for betraying the Fenian cause.

There's a plaque marking the spot, at least when it hasn't been stolen. History and vistas and humans live in close quarters all over Ottawa, and sometimes they get in each other's way. McGee's murder was Canada's first political assassination in the nation's capital. Cpl. Cirillo can be counted as the second.

He may be more important: His death could be the one that changes the open way we live.

'So that was quick'

Having left Cpl. Cirillo in a pool of blood under the soaring cenotaph, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau jumped back into his car and yanked a sharp U-turn to the left, to head west on Wellington. (He'd purchased the car the day before, and drove quickly and in surges.)

He immediately pulled up on the other side of the street, stopping in front of the curly, pretty towers of the East Block, the building that was the hub of External Affairs back when Canada was famous as a peacekeeping nation. Everything was happening fast now. He jumped out of the car, openly waving a .30-30 lever-action Winchester - the bestselling high-powered rifle in North America, used mostly to hunt deer.

That further scattered passersby who had retreated to the west after his cenotaph attack. By now there were a lot of people running away, at high speed.

There are two sets of two-foothigh bollards barring traffic from the East Bloc gate (they can retract to allow access): Once on foot, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau simply ran between them, as anyone could before Wednesday, continuing up the drive that circles the giant lawn of the House of Commons.

This is why the police say "the houses of Parliament are open access," the openness being part of their appeal. Seconds later, in front of the East Block, the gunman hijacked a government car.

He sped up the driveway recklessly, ignoring the view toward the Centre Block, which is gorgeous. Everything is spacious, green, open: Canadian. It may be a cliché, but when you're there, it's one you want to believe. The lawn is a brisk green, lined by a brow of cedar bushes and, this time of year, a thinner eyeline of bright red flowers. Yoga classes are held here on Wednesdays when the weather is fine. You can walk from Wellington Street to the front door of the Centre Block, under the gaze of a nearby statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, thinking about the character of the country you live in, in a pleasant five minutes. Mr. ZehafBibeau needed only 83 seconds.

"So that was quick," is how RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson put it. No wonder "that threats have come so readily for the Canadian public."

Firmly inside his cause

The killer ran into the austere 1916 Gothic Revival redo of Centre Block without pausing to take in its serene grandness. It's the most recognizable building in the country: long, six-storey spans of paired stone towers and soft green copper and strange secret gables, the image we know from the $10, the $20, the $50 bill. It's the Big Symbol, baby, the building that makes you think there may be some kind of centre, however abstract and quaint, to the yawn and the sprawl of the nation.

But Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau had other concepts on his mind. He ran past the bollards in front of the steps, past the lion and the unicorn and the rabidly bucky beaver carved into the front door, under the thin tongue of redand-white flag licking over the lip of the Peace Tower, up eight steps on the wide stairs, up a rise of four steps, up another of three steps, then in.

The guard at the door grabbed the barrel of the Winchester, pointed it down, and yelled "Gun!" three times, whereupon the killer shot him in the foot. Then he ran up 13 more steps and through Confederation Hall and down the Hall of Honour, the spine of Centre Block that runs (symbolism here) between the Peace Tower and the Parliamentary Library, passing the caucus rooms where hundreds of MPs were sitting ducks, Stephen Harper included (the Prime Minister found his way into a closet).

No one knows why he ran past them. Wayne Marston, a New Democrat MP, figured the killer thought he was heading to the House of Commons, where he planned to do maximum damage.

What Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau also missed, because the details would have distracted him from his blinding aim of avenging Canada's involvement in the coalition against the Islamic State, were the details of those rooms: Every surface in those halls is a shape within another shape within yet another shape, a smaller part of a greater pattern, comforting but never quite predictable. It's beautiful but also unsettling, solid but possibly impractical, not unlike the country it represents.

The details are everything: the Tyndall fern fossils, the repeating marble galleys, the limestone clustered columns, the octagonals, the carvings of Inuit and miners, the almost hallucinogenic wave patterns in the black-andwhite French-Canadian and Italian marble floors, the corbels, the galleried circle of arcaded arches branching into the stout central arch and pillar (signifying the confederated nature of the Canadian nation, don't you see?), bosses, label stops - hard stone luxuries, perfect for a cold and rocky place. The whole structure creates a confusing, unlikely order. My favourite detail is the Correspondents' Entrance to the reading room.

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau didn't see any of that. He was too firmly inside his cause. Then he was dead. The Hall of Honour has seen that before: Leaders have lain in state there.

The grand, and the unfixable

The morning after that terrible day, the House of Commons was packed. It was a Day of Resilience in the Face of Evil, and the honourable members were in a selfcongratulatory mood. Perhaps they deserved it. The clapping and the desk-thumping went on for 10 minutes without stopping.

The Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who'd helped to stop Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was singled out for commendation, and had tears in his eyes. (You might, too, if you had just killed someone.) There was a moment of silence and a moment of prayer and the national anthem.

There was also a lingering feeling of unease in the room: People in the gallery kept looking around, checking out their neighbours, as if a crazy shooter might appear again. Anything could happen. That wasn't true the day before Wednesday - not there, anyway, in that famous chamber, with its voluble, well-intentioned members, the famous green desk blotters like so many little lawns, their tended plots.

Then the speeches of the leaders began. And this is the thing: It was very grand, and almost moving, and there were many fine sentiments expressed, and many sober thoughts uttered, but beyond these grand intentions and the incessant politicking (Vote for me, I can lead us through this troubled time), the path ahead ... evaporated. There were the fine, thick feelings, and then there was the empty reality.

I know we will always stand together (the Prime Minister). We can't allow that openness ... to be rolled back (Thomas Mulcair, leader of the Official Opposition). They will not make the rules about this land we share, and they do not get to change us (Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party).

The Prime Minister got up to cross the floor and embrace Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, and Mr. Mulcair got up again to embrace the Prime Minister and Mr. Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau got up a third time to embrace Mr. Mulcair and the Prime Minister.

There was a lot of hugging. It almost obscured the other, more unfixable things they said: We live in a dangerous world. Our laws need to be strengthened in terms of surveillance. We are all aware and deeply troubled that this week's terrorist attacks were carried out by Canadian citizens.

Afterward, I walked back to D'Arcy McGee's, next to the cenotaph where Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau had set out on his trail of terror. The yellow tape and the barriers had finally been taken away, and a crowd of about 50 gazed up at the monument. It was already possible to forget the complete and total lockdown of Ottawa's downtown the day before, the way thousands of police armed with live automatic weapons instantly controlled a city of nearly a million people. I had asked one of the cops what he was holding.

"It's a Colt C8 carbine, a closequarter battle weapon that fires a higher penetrating bullet," he said.

"And what does 'close-quarter' mean?" I asked.

"From me to you."

I mentioned all this to the guy sitting next to me at the bar in D'Arcy McGee's, a law clerk in his early thirties named Anthony Oliver. He nodded. "It was certainly effective. That one guy created an atmosphere of total fear."

According to RCMP Commissioner Paulson, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau has no known connection to a larger network of terrorists, Islamic State-related or otherwise. That may be good news (he wasn't part of a bigger threat) or bad news (a lone gunman could appear at any time), which is why Mr. Paulson called the new security landscape "this difficult and hard-to-understand threat."

If the history of the West, at least since 9/11, is any guide, we will meet the new threat with more surveillance, stricter laws, and much-reduced public access.

Open access to Parliament "is the heart and soul of the country," a bystander named Ken Liao said to me on the street, as we waited for the lockdown to end. He was crying as he spoke. "They can't take it away."

But they can, and they might have to, more and more. Here's a suggestion: Pay attention to all its beautiful details while you can.

Ian Brown is a Globe and Mail feature writer.

Associated Graphic

Visitors return to Parliament Hill the day after the shooting.


Channelling Sir Winston
In London's Churchill Hotel, Mark MacKinnon interviews Boris Johnson about his new bio of the British Bulldog - and his own towering ambitions
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F1

The mayor of London - that guy with the floppy blond hair - has written a book. It's about a politician known for his "journalism, the love of show, the rhetorical flourishes" as well as "the slight air of camp and the inveterate opportunism." But Boris Johnson, the rhetorically gifted and slightly camp mayor - also an ex-journalist who recently announced he was re-entering national politics, amid whispers he wants to become prime minister - swears the work isn't even semi-autobiographical. "Any resemblance to any living politician is entirely accidental," Mr. Johnson says mirthfully, reclining in a chair set up in the library of the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in central London. "Honestly."

Mr. Johnson's 10th book, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History, is, of course, about Britain's legendary Second World War prime minister - and Mr. Johnson's personal hero - Winston Churchill. The man better known in this city as "BoJo" says he wrote the book after being asked to do so by members of the Churchill family to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's death this coming January.

But it's nonetheless impossible to separate the timing of the book's launch from Mr. Johnson's recent declaration that he is returning to national politics and will seek a seat in parliament in next year's election.

Mr. Johnson writes that Mr. Churchill, as a rising politician, "did indeed seem somehow predestined for the job [of Prime Minister], and not just in his own eyes."

The same is often said of Mr. Johnson today.

In a YouGov poll taken shortly after he announced his plan to return to Westminster, 69 per cent of Londoners said they believed BoJo's real aim was to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron. A former editor of Britain's high-brow (and small-c conservative) magazine The Spectator, Boris Johnson the journalist is ready for the questions about whether he's trying to make a connection between himself and Churchill in the minds of the public. "People will say that - and, indeed, that's what I would write if I were writing the piece; there's no question of that," he says coyly. "But it's just rubbish."

By now - just eight minutes into our hour-long interview - I understand that Mr. Johnson is the rare politician who enjoys jousting with journalists at least as much as journalists enjoy jousting with him. He's just as ready - with a cheerful and practised non-answer - for the accusation that this is all part of his campaign to lead the nation one day. "I don't think it's remotely likely that I'll be prime minister, because there's no vacancy for the job. I think that we'll win this election [next May 7], and I think by the time David Cameron retires in 2030 or so, younger, fitter candidates - almost certainly female - will be ready to take over," he begins.

Then comes the "but."

"But I still have loads of energy, and my mayoral term is coming toward its ..." His voice trails off, as if Mr. Johnson suddenly remembers his term is nowhere near an end: that he's supposed to serve until May, 2016. (He has promised Londoners that he can simultaneously serve as both mayor of the entire city, and the MP of the West London constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip. He's allowed to keep both jobs, but the same YouGov poll found that almost 50 per cent of Londoners want him to resign as mayor if he wins a seat in parliament.)

Interviewing BoJo in the library of the Churchill Hotel, while he's seated under a portrait of Sir Winston, you feel as though you're playing a part in launching not just his book, but his campaign to lead the United Kingdom.

Like his subject, Mr. Johnson is a captivating orator, someone whose charisma allows him to pull off a man-of-the-people routine even though he came up through England's most prestigious schools. (BoJo went to Eton; Mr. Churchill went to rival Harrow.) Both Mr. Churchill and Mr. Johnson had prominent Conservative politicians as fathers.

Cameron attended Oxford at the same time as Mr. Johnson, and both belonged to the infamously posh and poorly behaved Bullingdon Club, a males-only establishment. But while Mr. Cameron struggles to shake an image that he comes from a too privileged background to understand ordinary voters, no one seems fussed that the mayor of London is a direct descendant of King George II (another wartime leader, who faced down the Jacobite rebellions in Scotland, and served as monarch during the outset of the Seven Years' War with France). In fact, it's BoJo's everyman appeal that makes up for his lack of allies within the Conservative Party caucus at Westminster.

"People like him because he makes good jokes. In that way, he seems to be different from most politicians, who seem rather wooden and weird," says Sonia Purnell, the author of Just Boris, a divisive biography that portrays Mr. Johnson as insincere and calculating, to the point that he carefully messes up his hair each morning to create a perfectly Churchillian dishevelled look.

Just Boris was hailed as "excellent" in The Guardian (a left-wing paper that dislikes Mr. Johnson) but dismissed as a hatchet job on the mayor by the Daily Mail (a right-wing paper that supports him).

Ms. Purnell, a former colleague of Mr. Johnson's at The Daily Telegraph, points to last month's Conservative Party conference as the kind of performance that sets BoJo apart from other British politicians. Mr. Johnson drew gales of laughter by teasing Mr. Cameron about his impolitic remark that the Queen had "purred" with happiness when he told her the majority of Scottish voters had voted "No" in last month's referendum on independence.

"You have permission to purr, if you so choose, Dave," BoJo quipped from the rostrum as the Prime Minister smiled and squirmed. Ms. Purnell sees it all - the conference speech, the Churchill book, the hair - as part of Mr. Johnson's unofficial campaign to be the next Conservative leader. "He's the most ambitious person I've ever met," says Ms. Purnell, whose upcoming book, ironically, is a biography of Mr. Churchill's wife, Clementine.

Ms. Purnell thinks BoJo may be having something of a mid-life crisis. "He's now 50 [two years older than Mr. Cameron, though 15 years younger than Churchill when he first became PM], and politicians have a pretty short shelf life in Britain. He knows he's only got one or two years, so he's got to go for it now. He will not rest until he becomes prime minister."

But The Churchill Factor would have been a worthy contribution without the political overtones. Like Sir Winston - who somehow published 43 books (and won the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature) while not busy leading the defeat of Hitler - Mr. Johnson is a superb writer. Despite the heavy subject matter, The Churchill Factor is a light and quick read. Much of that can be attributed to Churchill's colourful personality and life story, a mixture of historic moments and astonishing behaviour.

BoJo's brisk style of writing also helps keep the book moving, challenging readers with occasional get-out-your-dictionary words and rewarding them with the odd belly laugh. It's an "explanation of Winston Churchill for the person who doesn't want to read a massive political biography," says the author, effortlessly conjuring up a jacket endorsement for his own book as he sinks deeper into his leather chair.

Mr. Johnson - who pounded out 416 pages in less than a year while doing his day job as mayor of 8.4 million people - is reverential about his subject's own ability to multitask. "No normal family man produces more published words than Shakespeare and Dickens combined, wins the Nobel Prize for literature, kills umpteen people in armed conflict on four continents, serves in every great office of state including prime minister (twice), is indispensable to victory in two world wars and then posthumously sells his paintings for a million dollars," he writes. You get the feeling Mr. Johnson occasionally wishes he'd served in a colonial war or two before going into politics.

He says he managed his own workload by cutting back on his once-tabloid-worthy social life (there are websites devoted to listing the pubs BoJo frequents most) and doing much of his writing before his daily bicycle ride to city hall. "I really did work unbelievably hard. I got up very early in the morning. I don't watch TV, and I don't really go to dinner parties and stuff like that. So, I burnt the candle at both ends," he explains. "It was fantastic fun."

But he's hardly turned into a puritan. Mr. Johnson made fresh headlines this week by claiming that he, like Mr. Churchill, "can drink an awful lot at lunch and then write very fluently and fast."

During our interview, Mr. Johnson happily opines on everything from the Islamic State ("We've got to stop the creation of a state that is deeply antithetical to all of our values, and that can do no possible good in the world") to the challenges of multiculturalism ("I want everybody in this city to be able to speak English fluently") to how Churchill might have dealt with the challenge presented by Vladimir Putin's revanchism in Eastern Europe ("I think he would have been very tough with Putin"). He compares the European Union - something he is an increasingly vocal opponent of, as he courts the Euroskeptic right wing of the Conservative Party - to Hitler's plans to unite the continent under Nazi rule. All the while, his publisher sighs in the corner and reminds us repeatedly that we're supposed to be discussing The Churchill Factor.

But neither the subject nor the author of the book are known as sticklers for the rules.

When asked about the prospect of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, and what Churchill would have said in defence of the union, BoJo delivers an impromptu address. "Without Scotland, there can be no Britain, and Britain has given as much to the world - politically and culturally - as anywhere on the planet. ... We need to keep it, to keep Britain. We're not done with it yet, and the best is yet to come," he says, unconsciously switching from his rapid conversational patter to a slower speechgiving rhythm. You get the sense BoJo has such speeches at the ready on other topics dear to his heart, such as the need for tighter immigration policies, or why Britain can go it alone outside the EU.

Mr. Johnson says his motivation in writing The Churchill Factor was to show that character and courage matter - "it's a rebuttal of the idea that history is the story of vast, impersonal economic forces." Churchill, he argues, single-handedly changed the course of Great Britain and the world by not backing down and making a deal with Hitler when some in his cabinet wanted to do just that after the fall of France, which left Britain standing almost alone against the mighty Nazi war machine.

Given the chance to write about his hero, Mr. Johnson says he "snatched at it like a seal snatching at a passing, you know, mackerel in the air - I leapt at it." The characterization is a perfect mix of camp, rhetoric and opportunism. "A lot of modern leaders try to pretend to Churchillian qualities, or whatever, and predicaments," he continues. "But I think he was a one-off. I think he was just totally sui generis." And so, we're supposed to think, is Mr. Johnson.

Mark MacKinnon is The Globe's senior international correspondent, based in London.

Associated Graphic

Of his 416-page biography of Churchill, says Mr. Johnson, seated below a portrait of Sir Winston, 'I really did work unbelievably hard... It was fantastic fun.'


Lone wolf
Is it ideology, or is it pathology? Chemicals in the brain, or ideas in the mind? Should we regard them as victims of their own damaged psyches, or agents of stark and menacing movements and world views? That is one of the great questions of our age. And it is one we need to examine closely, for such lone-wolf, disconnected figures have become, by a wide margin, the most prevalent and frequent agents of public violence in the Western world today
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F6

What drives these angry young men? How do otherwise unremarkable sad-sack guys become, almost overnight, selfsacrificing killers? These "lonewolf terrorists," as they have come to be known in criminology and intelligence circles, start out with a few troubles, perhaps mental illness or drug addiction or a history of petty crime. Then they suddenly seem to snap, disappear from the normal world, and then burst into the public eye holding the most extreme, murderous sort of ideas. Then they kill, in highly public ways - as Canada has witnessed twice in the past week.

Is it ideology, or is it pathology? Chemicals in the brain, or ideas in the mind? Should we regard them as victims of their own damaged psyches, or agents of stark and menacing movements and world views?

That is one of the great questions of our age. And it is one we need to examine closely, for such lone-wolf, disconnected loser-figures have become, by a wide margin, the most prevalent and frequent agents of public violence in the Western world today.

That overlap of pathology and ideology appears to describe Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who achieved infamy by shooting up Parliament Hill, killing a guard before dying in a hail of bullets on Wednesday; and Martin Couture-Rouleau who, two days earlier, killed a soldier in a Quebec hit-and-run before being killed himself: Both had histories of mental-health problems, petty crime, and substance abuse; both suddenly adopted an extreme jihadist ideology on their own, before killing. It also perfectly describes Justin Borque, who killed three RCMP officers in Moncton in June: a history of mental-health problems and the sudden adoption of an extreme, angry, anti-authority ideology. He was judged fit for trial, which means the courts chose ideology over pathology as the cause of his action.

It also perfectly describes Michael Adebolajo, the British child of Christian African parents who beheaded soldier Lee Rigby last year, apparently inspired by ideas he'd found online, and Anders Breivik, whose antigovernment bombing and shooting rampage in Norway killed 77 and stemmed from a detailed 3,000-page manifesto, based on popular anti-Islamic ideas, which he wrote for an organization that did not exist outside his own mind.

If we want to prevent further such explosions of public violence - and avoid grave threats to fundamental freedoms, if intelligence agencies decide to pursue anyone who fits the rather broad profile of such individuals - we ought to decide whether we are seeking out the damaged or the resolute, the troubled or the zealous.

That dividing line, however, is notoriously hard to draw.

Five years ago, after U.S. soldier Nidal Malik Hasan shot up the Fort Hood military base in Texas, Joe Lieberman, then head of the Homeland Security Committee, asked: "Some have called Major Hasan a terrorist, while others have described him as a deeply troubled man. Where do you come down?" Brian Michael Jenkins, a counterterrorism official with the RAND corporation, provided a telling answer: "The two descriptions are not mutually exclusive - terrorism is not an activity that attracts the welladjusted."

There is a long history of mentally disturbed people - notably those with conditions such as schizophrenia - seeking out narratives to give shape and meaning to the dark impulses that pollute their minds. They occasionally invent such narratives themselves, but are more likely to reach out for a pre-existing one. A century ago it was anarchism that attracted disturbed, violent people; then ultranationalism; then Marxism; then right-wing anti-government notions; then Islamism - and today we're just as likely to see any of these manifesting themselves.

On one level, the ideologies and movements are to blame: They really exist, and need to be countered. Those who act upon them are either criminals, enemies or madmen, depending how they're viewed.

As Jeffrey Simon, the Los Angeles-based head of the counterterrorism firm Political Risk Assessment Co., points out, about two-thirds of homegrown al Qaeda-inspired terrorist plots in the United States have been carried out by such lone wolves, most of whom have had no contact at all with actual terrorist groups. And the vast majority of right-wing, anti-government terrorist acts (which have become the most prevalent form of terrorism during the Obama years) are carried out by exactly such figures.

In his book Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understanding the Growing Threat, Mr. Simon describes just how fuzzy the dividing line between ideology and pathology can be.

He cites the 2002 case of Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who opened fire on passengers at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport, and "was depressed and clearly hostile toward Jews, but absent evidence of membership or connection with a political cause - was he a terrorist?" The authorities, "under pressure from the victims' families," decided in the end that he was, because "Hadayet hoped by his action to influence U.S. policy (the necessary political content)."

The same thing happened with Muharem Kurbegovic, the socalled Alphabet Bomber. According to Mr. Simon, he "carried out his campaign on behalf of the Aliens of America, a group that existed only in his mind" and claimed to be the Messiah. "Initially considered insane, he spent more than five years in the state institution for the criminally insane" but was later deemed fit to stand trial.

Also brought to trial, he points out, were: Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who carried on a 17-year terrorist campaign, wrote a 35,000-word manifesto to explain why, and initially "was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia"; Mr. Breivik, who "detonated a massive vehicle bomb in Oslo, then opened fire on a youth camp, killing 77 persons in all and published a 1,500-page manifesto on the Internet"; and Timothy McVeigh, "whose bomb killed 168 people in Oklahoma City in a war of his own imagination on the federal government."

These are not the bureaucratic, highly disciplined organizationman terrorists of al-Qaeda and its sibling organizations. As several academics have noted, one of the defining characteristics of these first-generation terrorists is that they overwhelmingly tend to hold engineering degrees. AlQaeda's obsession with expense accounts and formal chains of command (a tendency carried to its offspring organization, Islamic State) is not the world of the lone-wolf terrorist. That sort of self-abnegation would not appeal to them at all.

'Narratives are often messy'

Ramon Spaaij, an Australian scholar with Victoria University and author of Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism, has just completed a two-year study, for the U.S. Department of Justice, in which he and Indiana State University scholar Mark Hamm profiled and interviewed every known lone-wolf terrorist arrested since 1940.

"It's not a clear-cut case of either political grievance or personal victimization - it's often a kind of eclectic mix of these two things, so the personal is political and the political is personal," he says. "The lone-wolf narratives are often messy, they're fluid, they don't make sense, and they involve the more desperate and vulnerable or marginalized individuals looking for a cause - and often that cause is superimposed retrospectively, after the fact. You could ask the question of whether it's actually their true motive. It's also got a lot to do with these individuals seeking to become historical characters - the feeling that they're on a mission to actually hurt an enemy or, for the Breivik types, to open the eyes of the broader population; they feel that they're on the vanguard of a movement and the broader population haven't caught up with their sense of threat."

For the lone-wolf terrorist, the violent act is only partly about the cause and the idea; it is also, and perhaps fundamentally, about the self. Timothy McVeigh, in owning up to Oklahoma City, described his feelings this way: "Isn't it scary that one man could reap this kind of hell?"

Mehdi Nemmouche, who shot up the Jewish Museum in Brussels this year and killed four people, is described by those who've had close contact with him as a "publicity-loving sadist," as someone who, in the words of a man he held hostage and tortured for months, is fighting "not to construct an ideal but out of a lack of recognition, to fulfil himself."

"Quite a few lone wolves that I've studied are seeking to be famous, seeking to make a name for themselves - they want to be someone," says Dr. Spaaij. "That's a pretty radical way to get a sense of subjectivity in the world, but in their mind it works. Some of it may be the celebrity culture we live in. Yigal Amir, who killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, did it because he wanted to be famous. Quite a lot of these lone wolves are after something like that."

That overarching egotism is a classic symptom of many mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. It's also a trait possessed by plenty of non-disturbed, non-extremist people around us (who may be merely annoying) - which makes it so much more difficult for agencies to predict who will become the next lone-wolf killer.

It does provide one clue to how we might go about stopping them, though. As egotists, they are more likely to broadcast their new identities and their broader intentions in advance. Many analysts believe that social media have turned the lone wolf into the most popular sort of terrorist - and allowed us to detect them.

But interception is not so easy - and attempts to do so can easily veer into assaults on freedoms and outright abuse of the mentally ill and the manipulation of vulnerable minority populations.

Authorities in the U.S. adopted the practice of catching lone-wolf figures in sting operations, in which they'd find disturbed young men online, provide them with prefabricated terror plots and (fake) weapons, and arrest them a moment before they were about to carry out their planned attack. This approach has been numerically successful - that is, it has intercepted a lot of putative terrorists - but many wonder if it's simply making the problem worse, and turning police agencies into terrorism enablers.

"Often these are down-and-out losers in society who wouldn't be able to pull off a decent attack on their own," Dr. Spaaij says, "but the undercover police provide the weapons and suggest the targets ... what that does is it has sown a lot of bad blood in Muslim communities - we're out there preying on vulnerable young people and turning them into terrorists."

The Danish approach, in which lone wolves are drawn back from extremism (often having been shocked away from it during trips to Syria or Iraq) and given "reprogramming" at training camps to provide them with a new, non-extremist narrative, has earned a lot of mockery, some of it well-deserved. (It seems inevitable that a graduate from one of these programs, which are modelled after one used in Saudi Arabia, is eventually going to commit an atrocity.)

But it may be closer to what is needed: Something to unglue the bonds between pathology and ideology, to separate the troubled mind from the very bad idea. Whether the lone wolf is a figure to be dealt with through criminal law or public health - and, in practice, it will always be a combination of the two - is never going to be fully resolved. It may be enough, for now, to understand that they are creatures of mind and movement, illness and ideology, despair and determination. We may not be able to stop them all, but we may recognize them in our midst, and find a way to reach out.

Associated Graphic

Lone wolves, clockwise from top left: Mehdi Nemmouche who shot up a museum in Brussels; Michael Adebolajo, who killed British soldier Lee Rigby; Martin Couture-Rouleau, who died Monday in Quebec, and Victor Kristinsen, a troubled Danish convert who died this year in a suicide bombing.


A 'big fish' seeks a seat at the TDSB table
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M1

He is a formidable political organizer, the owner of a pub, a cancer drug research firm and a professional soccer club in Greece. Among his closest allies are former provincial ministers, city councillors and school board trustees.

And now Spiros Papathanasakis is running to become a school trustee - though many who know him say he already has significant sway over the affairs of Canada's largest school board.

His deep connections within the board were on display earlier this year, when trustees and senior staff piled into the Marquis of Granby, a downtown pub. They were greeted by Chris Bolton, their host and the board's chair at the time. Mr. Bolton worked the private, second-floor room in his silky red Chinese jacket, which he wore to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. Mr. Papathanasakis, the owner of the Church Street pub, mingled with guests, while drinks flowed.

At first glance, the pair is an odd coalition: Mr. Bolton is a left-leaning, soft-spoken Sinophile and Mr. Papathanasakis is a street-smart businessman and inner-city youth advocate whose pub caters to fans of mixed martial arts.

But during Mr. Bolton's decadelong tenure at the school board - before he abruptly resigned in June - Mr. Papathanasakis became inextricably linked to Mr. Bolton, a handful of other trustees and several of the board's highest-ranking staffers.

The 58-year-old businessman has no official role at the school board, but that has not prevented him from inserting himself into board business, 10 former and current board officials explained in interviews.

He usually met Mr. Bolton weekly for coffee and frequently spoke to trustee Sheila Ward, sources said. He has intervened in a major food-services dispute and he once joined Mr. Bolton and senior staff for part of an official TDSB trip to China for reasons that no one from the board has been willing to explain.

The fact that there is such a lack of transparency and no explanation as to why Mr. Papathanasakis has been able to involve himself in board business is symptomatic of the dysfunction and lack of proper governance at the school board. A forensic audit by Ernst & Young LLP described a "culture of fear," where staff feel pressure by trustees not to follow policies and worry about losing their jobs if they disobey orders.

And although most of his interactions with the school board have been in the background, Mr. Papathanasakis now wants a seat at the table.

He is running to become one of 22 trustees in Monday's municipal elections. His campaign in Ward 4 - a catchment north of Highway 401 that includes the Jane and Finch neighbourhood - is heavily resourced and well organized, his rivals said. "It's like he's running for mayor," said Anthony Perruzza, one of the incumbent councillors for the area.

The ward is far from Mr. Papathanasakis's roots in Cabbagetown, where he runs the Cabbagetown Youth Centre. The centre's arts, music and sports programs for at-risk youth have received $3.2-million in funding over the past five years from the school board. His 40 years of working with children have garnered him a cadre of prominent and vocal supporters."I think of Spiros as an angel," said former Ontario cabinet minister George Smitherman.

Mr. Papathanasakis says there's a much simpler explanation. "I understand the value and importance of good relationships," he said in an e-mail response to The Globe and Mail. "My relationships have served both my charitable endeavours and my business endeavours."

One former trustee described having to "kiss the ring" to obtain Mr. Papathanasakis's support for a particular initiative that was due to come before the board. Another high-ranking TDSB official described him as "the big fish" behind the trustees.

Kristyn Wong-Tam, the councillor for the downtown ward where Mr. Papathanasakis's pub is located, was one of the only public officials, former or current, contacted by The Globe who agreed to speak on the record about what she called his "sphere of influence."

When Ms. Wong-Tam successfully ran for election in 2010, she said Mr. Bolton urged her to meet Mr. Papathanasakis, a man she had never heard of, to seek his support. He was described as a "kingmaker," she said. (Mr. Papathanasakis backed an ally of Mr. Smitherman instead, she said.)

"For reasons unknown to me, he seems to have been given a lot of power by those wielding real political power," Ms. WongTam said.

And nowhere has that power been exercised more than at the school board.

The late bid

Late on a Friday afternoon in June, 2009, Mr. Papathanasakis showed up at the school board's third-floor purchasing and procurement department.

Mr. Papathanasakis was there to advocate on behalf of George Tsiopoulos, owner of food-services company Neo City Café and a supplier to Cabbagetown Youth, whose bid on a five-year cafeteria-services contract had been rejected that same day. Mr. Papathanasakis met with department head James Scott, according to sources close to the situation.

There was nothing Mr. Scott could do because the time stamp clearly showed that the bid was late. Mr. Tsiopoulos' wife, Stella, had arrived at the TDSB's purchasing department just minutes after the 4 p.m. deadline for bids.

Mr. Bolton and Donna Quan, director of education, intervened on his behalf, according to the sources and internal e-mails obtained by The Globe.

Mr. Tsiopoulos, who declined to be interviewed, sued the TDSB in August, 2009, over its refusal to accept his bid. Neo City also has a lease at Yorkdale Secondary School and Mr. Tsiopoulos was trying to renew a second food-services lease at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, which expired in July, 2012.

Mr. Bolton wrote an e-mail dated May 17, 2012, to a senior manager regarding the lease at John Polanyi and Mr. Tsiopoulos's lawsuit. "Do you know that you are exacerbating the difficult situation with this?" he wrote. "I would suggest that you take over the file and do this right."

Mr. Tsiopoulos did not succeed in renewing the lease. But a year later - days before the trial into his lawsuit over the late bid was set to begin - Ms. Quan told senior staff that Neo City Café would be submitting invoices totalling more than $200,000 that she said had never been paid.

Mr. Papathanasakis said in his e-mailed response that Mr. Tsiopoulos told him the nonpayment of the invoices, dating back three years, was "payback" for his lawsuit. "I know that he was frustrated," he said.

The Neo City invoices did not come from purchasing, which is responsible for all invoices, and its staff had no involvement in the negotiations with Mr. Tsiopoulos, the sources said. The invoices came from Focus on Youth, a TDSB employment program for at-risk youth run by Jim Spyropoulos, an executive superintendent and protégé of Mr. Papathanasakis. They were not accompanied by supporting documents.

Mr. Tsiopoulos received payment for the invoices in $200,000 in June, 2013 as part of an out-of-court settlement with the TDSB.

The trip to china

Neo City was not the only time that Ms. Quan became involved in an issue near and dear to Mr. Papathanasakis.

In March, 2011, an official school board delegation flew to Beijing to recruit students from China to study at public schools in Toronto. The group included Mr. Bolton and Mr. Quan, then associate director of education. At some point during the trip they were joined by Mr. Papathanasakis.

Neither Mr. Papathanasakis, Mr. Bolton nor Ms. Quan have explained how it came to be that someone with no role at the school board joined the delegation. Mr. Papathanasakis attended some official meetings, according to a former school board official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In response to questions from The Globe, Ms. Quan provided a one-sentence statement that said Mr. Papathanasakis "did not serve the TDSB in any capacity." Mr. Papathanasakis would only say the purpose of his trip "was to visit a friend."

About two months after the group returned from China, a numbered company controlled by Mr. Papathanasakis purchased an unused school in Port Hope, Ont., land-title documents show.

The Pine Academy opened its doors in the fall of 2012 with the aim of drawing students from China, two staffers and one student from the school said. Its three owners were Mr. Papathanasakis, his business partner Monique Lisi and Wally Quan, a brother of Donna Quan, the senior TDSB staffer who helped lead the student recruitment drive in Beijing.

Mr. Quan, the owner of several appliance stores in Southern Ontario, did not respond to a list of questions about how he became involved in the private school. Mr. Papathanasakis said that he was introduced to Ms. Quan's brother by a "lawyer friend." Donna Quan visited the school in 2012 for a tour, one former Pine Academy teacher said.

Mr. Papathanasakis said Ms. Quan's brother owns real estate close to the school. "Since I wasn't able to be physically present at the school, Wally's presence and experience managing properties seemed like a good fit," he said.

Pine Academy's principal, Rudy Maharaj, took at least one trip during the 2012-2013 academic year to China in an attempt to recruit students, two former Pine staffers and one student said in interviews.

Ultimately, the school was unable to attract any students from China. Only five students attended the school and it shut its doors some time in 2013.

"Along the way we discovered that we really didn't have the resources to grow this business," Mr. Papathanasakis said in his e-mail response, adding that the property is up for sale.

The Marquis

If there is a single aspect of Mr. Papathanasakis's life that best represents his web of interests it is his Church Street pub.

The Marquis has been used to host a party not just for Mr. Bolton, but for Friends of Community Schools, the charity he founded. Currently, the pub's third floor is serving as campaign headquarters for Megan McIver, Ms. Wong-Tam's chief rival in the Ward 27 council race.

But how Mr. Papathanasakis came to finance the purchase of the bar suggests that, if he is elected trustee, he may have to declare at least one potential conflict of interest when it comes time to vote on major construction projects.

Mr. Papathanasakis purchased the bar on Oct. 1, 2012, for $2.05million, according to land-registry records. He is the sole officer of a numbered company that made the purchase, which was financed in part with a $1.3-million loan from the Italian Canadian Savings & Credit Union Ltd.

One of the guarantors for that loan was John Aquino, the vicepresident and general manager of Bondfield Construction Co. Ltd., a major builder of new schools. Most recently, Bondfield was awarded contracts totalling $11.6-million for additions to two TDSB schools.

Michael Solano, an executive with two Bondfield affiliates, Forma-Con and BMC Masonry, is also an investor in the Church Street building that houses the bar but not involved in the business, Mr. Aquino said in an e-mail.

Bondfield is a major donor to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, and it is through the youth centre that he got to know Mr. Papathanasakis, Mr. Aquino said.

Mr. Papathanasakis said it's not surprising that some of his interests in his various endeavours overlap.

"Chris Bolton lives down the street from my bar; yes, I have financial partners; yes, we also tap them when fundraising."

With files from Stephanie Chambers

Associated Graphic

A member of Spiros Papathanasakis's team puts up signs at York Woods Library before a TDSB debate for Ward 4 on Wednesday.


Spiros Papathanasakis is running for school trustee in Ward 4.


This 10-month election campaign has seemed to ride on one issue: transit. It's certainly a top concern for Toronto - but what about the other issues that keep the city going? From housing to employment to child care and beyond, Jill Mahoney offers a breakdown of the leading candidates' positions as voters finally head to the polls
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M1

It has lasted nearly 10 full months, but Toronto's municipal election will go down as a one-issue campaign.

"If we were to kind of sum up this campaign from a policy perspective, it would be about transit and gridlock - full stop," says pollster Nik Nanos.

To be sure, in a city where commute times are long and infrastructure is aging, voters are focused on public transit. In an August poll, Mr. Nanos found that 49 per cent of respondents said they saw transit as the most important issue. By contrast, when he asked the same question during the 2010 election, responses were far more varied.

But while transit may be top of mind for many, narrowly focused campaigns do voters a disservice, Mr. Nanos argues. "It's a missed opportunity for everyone because it would be like if politics were a buffet, only having one thing on the buffet," he says.

Myer Siemiatycki, a municipal politics expert at Ryerson University, argues that the three leading mayoral candidates focused on transit in hopes that it's the overarching universal issue that resonates with all voters.

"Transit has the virtue, but in some ways it's a misfortune, of appearing as an easy issue and topic for politicians to try to reach out to an entire municipality on. There are a lot of other issues that needed an airing in this campaign."

Of the top mayoral contenders, Olivia Chow was the only one to release a comprehensive platform. To help inform your vote, The Globe has sifted through John Tory, Ms. Chow and Doug Ford's promises and statements.

Here is a look at some of their pledges on a wide range of issues: .


John Tory: Keep property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation. Maintain the existing land-transfer tax.

Olivia Chow: Property taxes should rise around the rate of inflation. Increase the land-transfer tax by one percentage point on homes that sell for more than $2-million, to raise $20-million. Reduce small business taxes by $3-million a year by extending the existing 2.5-per-cent cut to the small business tax, which is set to expire next year, to 2020.

Doug Ford: Keep property taxes below the rate of inflation. Roll back the land-transfer tax by 15 per cent annually over the next four years. Maintain commercial taxes at their current level.


John Tory: Unify and streamline the operations of Invest Toronto, the city's economic development department and the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance. Cut red tape at city hall by creating a single access point for businesspermit applications and other services. Create a "high-tech employment corridor" between Humber River Regional Hospital and York University.

Olivia Chow: Create a single agency called Global Toronto to replace Invest Toronto and take on other economic development functions. Help business owners by putting services in more locations as well as online. Establish a mentorship program to help immigrants set up businesses in Toronto.

Doug Ford: Pledges to cut unnecessary red tape and market Toronto to the world, including through trade missions.


John Tory: Double the number of companies involved with the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment in 2015, a joint cityprivate sector program that helps match disadvantaged youth with jobs. Would serve as "youth employment ambassador" and consolidate the city's youth employment services bureaucracy.

Olivia Chow: Require companies that have big contracts with the city to hire and train young people. Hire young people to work at her planned after-school recreation and tree-planting programs.

Doug Ford: Supports skills-training programs for youth, but has no specific proposals.


John Tory: Open a stand-alone music office in 2015 to reduce red tape for music festivals and live events and stimulate activity in the music community. Appoint a "creative economy advocate" within his office to act as a liaison between the creative community and the mayor.

Olivia Chow: Open a city music office, at a cost of $500,000 a year. Ensure access to affordable cultural spaces. Start a public arts foundation that could leverage private donations.

Doug Ford: Bring a "world-class" music festival to the city and hold an annual mayor's ball for the arts.


John Tory: Revamp the Toronto Community Housing Corporation by assembling a task force to consider restructuring the agency and report back next summer. Would tackle the repair backlog by accelerating funding and press the federal and provincial governments to contribute their share.

Olivia Chow: Create 15,000 affordable rental units over four years by offering private landlords a break on development fees and a fast track through the city's approval process in return for earmarking up to 20 per cent of units in new apartment towers for affordable rents. Hive off TCHC's seniors' buildings into a separate community-run housing corporation and consider further dividing the agency if the project is successful. Crack down on unscrupulous landlords by increasing fines and penalties for those who don't complete repairs.

Doug Ford: Top priority would be tackling the backlog of repairs at TCHC buildings. Conduct a review of the agency to make sure money is spent wisely. Try to rehire former CEO Eugene Jones, who left after scathing criticism of his leadership.


John Tory: Would advocate for more child-care funding from the federal and provincial governments but has questioned how the city would pay for extra day care spaces.

Olivia Chow: Create 3,000 new child-care spaces over four years, half of them subsidized, at a total cost of $15-million. Provide better integrated beforeand after-school programs for children in kindergarten through Grade 3 by working more closely with school boards. Expand after-school recreation programs for students in Grades 4 through 6.

Doug Ford: Would look to the province for additional childcare funding.


John Tory: Would maintain the police budget but reallocate resources to increase community policing efforts.

Olivia Chow: Wants to save money on police costs, including by negotiating a new contract with the Toronto Police Association that would change shifts to reduce overtime. Eliminate the controversial police practice of "carding," when officers demand identification and record interactions with residents. Would expand the use of teams of police officers and nurses to respond to people experiencing mental-health crises.

Doug Ford: Says there are savings to be found in the police budget, such as relating to fleet consolidation, procurement and human resources, but wouldn't squeeze front-line officers in labour negotiations.


John Tory: Contract out curbside garbage collection east of Yonge Street.

Olivia Chow: Would defer the issue, saying the city should further study the experience west of Yonge, where pickup has been privatized.

Doug Ford: Would contract out garbage collection east of Yonge Street, using the savings to partially offset the land-transfer tax reduction.


John Tory: Would march in the annual Pride parade as mayor, but says he would seek to cut the city's parade funding if it includes the controversial group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.

Olivia Chow: Would march in the parade as mayor and maintain the city's funding if Queers Against Israeli Apartheid takes part.

Doug Ford: After initially suggesting he wouldn't participate, he said he "absolutely" would march in the parade. Would not support funding the parade if it includes Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.


John Tory: Would wait for a planned report on the island airport's proposal to expand to accommodate jets before making a decision.

Olivia Chow: Would work to halt the airport's expansion.

Doug Ford: Supports airport expansion.


John Tory: Supports the socalled hybrid solution for the Gardiner Expressway, which would redesign the link between the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner and remove the elevated section east of Jarvis Street.

Olivia Chow: Supports the hybrid model.

Doug Ford: Opposes plans to tear down the Gardiner.


John Tory: Add queue-jumping bus lanes to key intersections outside of downtown to speed commuting times. Crack down on enforcing no-parking bylaws during rush hour. Use traffic signal technology that analyzes real-time traffic patterns to reduce red-light delays. Better co-ordinate road construction so major arteries aren't unduly blocked. Advocates conducting a market analysis to explore using "Lake Ontario's waterways for commuting."

Olivia Chow: Reduce unnecessary lane closures, enforce existing rules against drivers who idle and block intersections and expand smart traffic light technology. Hire a traffic liaison co-ordinator who would work in the mayor's office. Would advocate for penalties for construction that blocks roads where no work is being done.

Doug Ford: Bring traffic light coordination to more than 1,000 additional intersections and invest in other gridlock-fighting technology.


John Tory: SmartTrack plan would use GO Transit tracks to create a 22-stop, 53-kilometre "surface subway" rail line spanning the city that would offer service every 15 minutes. Says the line can be built in seven years at a cost of $8-billion, with the city financing its onethird portion through assessment growth, known as tax-increment financing. The province and federal government would be expected to cover the rest of the cost. Supports the planned Scarborough subway extension, to be paid by all three levels of government, as well as the province's plans to build light rail lines on Sheppard Avenue East and Finch Avenue West and finish the LRT along Eglinton.

Olivia Chow: Boost bus service at a cost of $15-million annually, buy more buses and build a new garage, which would be funded by increased land-transfer tax revenues. Promises to build the eastern stretch of a downtown relief subway line and would immediately get started on the engineering studies. Would scrap plans for the Scarborough subway extension and revert to the light-rail line that remains on the books. Supports the planned light-rail lines on Sheppard and Finch and the LRT being built along Eglinton.

Doug Ford: Adopted his brother Rob's $9-billion transit plan, which would build 32 kilometres of underground transit. The plan includes promises of new subway lines on Sheppard and Finch as well as the eastern portion of a downtown relief line. Would also bury the eastern portion of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line and go ahead with the planned Scarborough subway extension. Says the transit expansion would come at no cost to residents and would be funded by other levels of government along with other "options," such as public-private partnerships, sales of assets and air-rights over stations and taxincrement financing.

Associated Graphic

Olivia Chow, John Tory and Doug Ford.


John Tory and Olivia Chow have proposals to boost youth employment, while Doug Ford says he supports youth skills-training programs.


All three of the front-runners would take steps to stimulate live concerts and music festivals; all three would also march in the Pride parade.


Trail of memories
'From abroad, I often see Africa perceived merely as a place of war, disease and hunger,' writes Canadian author M.G. Vassanji in his new book, And Home Was Kariakoo: A Memoir of East Africa. '... Seen from the inside, the country is very different.' The two-time Giller Prize winner, born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania, recounts visits to his homeland, revealing an insider's portrait of a dynamic continent rich in overlooked history. One such trip, to the city of Tabora with his friend Joseph, takes him from chaos to quiet contemplation
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page T1

Nzega is a busy way station, a T-junction with no other character to speak of, with one road leading off north to Mwanza, another south to Tabora. One paved, the other bovu - rotten - as they say; on one side the Sukuma people, on the other the Nyamwezi, both major tribes. Which direction to pick? Our bus takes its place alongside others, waiting before a row of stalls and chai shops, all under a red metal roof painted with large white CocaCola signs. Vendors sell fruit and soft drinks from their carts, and an exuberance of coloured small cottons, plastic travellers' bags, and knick-knacks, all made in China. There is the ubiquitous cellphone kiosk, bright and adrift at the edge of the station, a link to the world. We pick a place to have our snack. And after that begins a frantic search for a suitable bus.

Touts and agents abound. The choice is still between the uncertainty of the Tabora road and the safety of the Mwanza one. We decide to risk it and buy tickets for a Tabora-bound at 1:30 p.m.; but when we push through a crowd to claim our seats, we find that they've been double-booked.

After a heated argument with the present occupants, we get off, defeated, and demand a refund. A number of buses have now left and suddenly the choices have diminished.

We resign ourselves to missing Tabora and pick a bus bound for Mwanza. It's hot and dusty and we're tired. But at the last minute the Mwanza driver decides to mend a puncture. Meanwhile the two agents who first sold us Tabora, feeling guilty, have found us another Tabora bus. We follow them to a waiting bus, where we find excellent seats behind the driver. It's too good to be true, and surely enough all are asked to get down, the bus has to go for servicing. Another hour passes. We've become a fixture, Joseph and I, earning pitying looks and sympathetic commentary from onlookers. Finally our bus returns, we sit down, and it begins to fill, and fill. Packed, it drives out slowly from the station, and our hearts leap with joy.

But rounding a corner, it stops again. The driver jumps out. More people squeeze in, the aisle is packed right up to where sits the new driver, a calm elderly man in a kofia. We depart finally at 4:30 p.m. The old driver seems to know his potholes and drives expertly. The countryside is denser than before, scattered abundantly with mango trees of a short variety with spherical crowns. Houses are intermittently strewn about next to the road.

Men sitting around doing nothing, waiting for the sun to go down. It's a strange sign of muted life: no market, no children, no cattle, no electricity. Inexplicably, after two hours the driver stops in the middle of nowhere, "kuchimba dawa," dig for medicine - a pit stop. Some 50 people clamber out, get back inside. The babies, having woken up, start hollering.

The driver looks uncertain about the road now, and for some reason he has his grandson, a little boy, next to him in his seat. An hour later he stops again, for his own convenience. The sun has set, and it's now obvious that he cannot see well any more, since he tends to drive over the potholes. The bus has become quiet, the babies are settled. The headlights beam on a partially wet and streaky road ahead, not easy to follow in the dark - a slight distraction in our captain could land us inside a ditch. The conductor, in the seat across, eyes fixed ahead on the road, begins to signal warnings of approaching road bumps by stretching out an arm or banging his hand on the dashboard. We pass a distressed bus pulled over on the side, the passengers spilled out. The young woman next to Joseph on the other side informs him that those people would not spend the night on the highway for fear of witchcraft. Finally, a few electric lamps ahead on the road. It's close to 9 p.m. when we arrive at the Tabora bus station.

The sight of the meagre settlements on the Tabora road have turned Joseph thoughtful. We are, essentially, on the old slave route.

He wonders if the pathetic, reduced state of human life we see reflects the devastation of the slave trade. He is reminded of his own village, which was divided into families along functional lines - shopkeeping, plumbing, carpentry, harvesting, auctioning.

There would be a central place for people to gather. His area, as much of Kenya, never saw the slave trade.

Am I surprised that the slave trade, on this old slave route, is the ghost we carry on our journey?

There is something pleasant about Tabora, a sense of quiet settledness, a certain self-containment. It was a vital stop on the old east-west caravan route, and is one of the few towns in the country that can be found in the old, precolonial maps. Yet it has hardly any recent urban development. You wouldn't call it pretty - there's no river flowing through it, there are no hills to modulate the landscape, though mango trees abound. Tabora's problem today - why it appears physically neglected, as though development suddenly halted some time in the 1970s - has to do with national politics, as our taxi driver the next day affirms. Chief Abdallah Fundikira of the Nyamwezi - this is traditionally their territory - had run afoul of the ruling national party, TANU, and founded his own party. He lost, and as a result Tabora was punished. None of the roads leading in and out is paved, therefore during the long rainy season the town is rendered into an island of sorts. But help is on the way now, the Chinese will soon come to build the roads. ...

The centre of Tabora consists of a main street, on one side of which are a busy bus stand and a large open-air market. The former Indian quarter lies on the other side of the street, with its typical commercial strip. Here, prominently, is the jamatini [prayer house], the Khoja khano looking very similar to the one in Dodoma and built during the same euphoric era. Tabora was an important Islamic as well as administrative centre, and the old German boma [fort] lies a short drive away from the main street.

It's used by the army now, and to get through the gate one must have permission. I tell the adjutant at the gate that I did my National Service some years ago, expecting a favour. He bids us formally to a conference room nearby and in sombre tones asks for our details, including my NS number, which of course I do not have. Suddenly I am reminded of the hair-raising bureaucracy of old, which I have not experienced in decades, and Joseph senses something similar; we eye each other across the large table, dutifully give our names and cell numbers, and depart in a hurry, hoping not to hear from the army.

We head out of town toward "Livingstone."

Says our driver, there's not a single white man who leaves his country and doesn't come to see "Livingstone." We, however, have not seen a single white man in town. And the driver doesn't really know who Livingstone was; in his mind, he was some white man who lived at the time of his father.

On the way we pass a large but plain white house that belonged to Chief Fundikira, where he is also buried. The driver is chatty, and since on our bus coming in we were told of superstitions and witchcraft in the area, we ask him, "Kuna uganga hapo?" Is there witchcraft here? The answer is strongly in the affirmative. ... "Livingstone" is off the main road, at the end of a rough unpaved trek through lush farmland scattered generously with mango trees, a long, red house with a veranda and a yard in front. Stanley was welcomed to this house by a Tabora Arab, Sheikh Syed bin Salim, in 1871 when he first arrived here from the coast, bound for Ujiji on his search for Livingstone. He immediately raised an American flag on its roof. ... Stanley found a way to continue on his journey west via a southern route. He found Livingstone at Ujiji, and the two of them explored Lake Tanganyika together before undertaking a rainsoaked journey to Tabora, where Sheikh Salim welcomed Stanley again. A plaque on the outside wall of the house says that Livingstone and Stanley stayed here during February to March, 1873; a smaller notice says that Burton and Speke were in Tabora in November, 1857. The Arab house where they stayed, however, had been destroyed when Stanley arrived. It is from here, while Burton stayed behind, that Speke made an expedition to Lake Victoria and was inspired to call it the source of the Nile.

Stanley bid Livingstone farewell and departed for the coast on March 14, 1873. Livingstone proceeded west toward the south of Lake Tanganyika, where he died.

There's a museum inside the house, but the caretaker is away at his farm. We return to town.

Back in Tabora we ask around for old houses, ruins, places where the Arabs of old might have lived. Nobody knows about them. There is utter confusion: the past? what past? Livingstone - they tell you - have you been there? We've been there. Did you go to Fundikira? We saw it. Nothing more. We are stumped. Such an old town and yet no sense of its past, which is substantial. Tabora's history has been entirely erased.

Now Joseph informs me that the girl who sat beside him in the bus had asked him, "Why are you interested in those people who put us in chains?"

It's a profound thought. In one's quest for history, in one's obsession with the past, one forgets that there are those who would rather keep it buried. But is that good enough? In the part of the world where I now come from, time is allowed to take its course, and history is revered as record. It is there to teach us about ourselves. Scholarship provides contexts, nuances, altering points of view to learn from. The past is never simply black and white, after all, never entirely good and bad, us and them, victory and defeat.

Excerpted from And Home Was Kariakoo: A Memoir of East Africa (Doubleday Canada, 384 pages, $32.95)

Associated Graphic

The author in Tanzania: 'In one's quest for history ... one forgets that there are those who would rather keep it buried.'


Touts and agents abound at the Tabora-Mwanza road junction at Nzega, but a seat on the right bus is far from guaranteed.


Author M. G. Vassanji, left, poses with his travel companion, Joseph.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P40


Vancouver (main) and Kelowna

Students: 61,200

Cost: $5,800

With 29 programs on the QS World University Ranking and about five times the research funding of the University of Victoria or Simon Fraser University, there is no doubt that UBC is the place to go in B.C. for students looking for an emphasis on those things. Competition is stiff: 24,000 students vied for 7,800 first-year seats and admitted science students boasted a 92 per cent high-school grade average. The huge school has made genuine efforts to improve undergraduate education and achieved one of the lowest student-to-professor ratios in the country. Still, students gave mixed reviews on a national student survey, landing UBC well below average on Canadian students' overall satisfaction.

Your typical classmate: Takes his or her homework very seriously; students complain that their peers can be competitive to the point of snobbishness, but getting involved in UBC's huge offering of activities and clubs is a good way to tap into a fun social community.

Students say: That a heavy workload and a huge campus can feel overwhelming. "I was very busy at times and wish I had been able to attend more school events. But, overall, there are plenty of cultural and learning experiences to be had at UBC," says Aurora Tejeida, journalism graduate.


North Vancouver (main), Sechelt and Squamish

Students: 14,000

Cost: $4,100

As a college-turned-teaching university, relatively few professors boast PhDs. What they do bring is extensive industry experience to popular vocational programs such as jazz music, animation, illustration and exercise science. This year, students and professors clashed with administration over deep cuts to art programs, including the cancellation of textile and studio arts programs. The university has currently expanded its successful certificate in the Squamish language and culture to other aboriginal languages, including Lil'wat and Sechelt.

Hotshot prof: Violet Jessen's early childhood education students created plans and 3-D models for a new playground in the community.

Students say: The commuter campus can feel impersonal at first, but an intimate and supportive student community exists for those willing to put in a little effort. "Now I think of Capilano as my second (if not first) home," says Brittany Barnes, third-year communications.



Students: 2,000

Cost: $4,400

This respected art and design school continues to stay on the cutting edge with an innovative interactive design program and a Health Design Lab that allows students to work with real clients in the health-care field. ECUAD is in the midst of a major fundraising campaign for a new $134-million campus, slated to open in 2016. The university dedicates less of its budget to financial aid than any other university in B.C., so don't expect any discount on tuition. Three in five of its graduates find work in the creative industry and 29 per cent are self-employed.

Notable alumnus: Kevin Eastwood's documentary series Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH attracted record-breaking audiences when it premiered on the Knowledge Network in January.

This year: Industrial design student Scott Forsythe was one of only three selected from around the globe for a prestigious internship at IKEA.


Abbotsford (main), Chilliwack, Mission and Hope

Students: 13,200

Cost: $4,800

Students speak highly of UFV's accessible faculty and small classes (capped at 36). However, the university's cozy size comes with some drawbacks; students complain that limited course availability makes it difficult to graduate on time. They also report a lack of study space, but a new student union building with ample study spots is on the horizon.

Hotshot prof: Michael Gaetz and a group of undergraduate volunteers use world-class brain-imaging techniques to measure and prevent concussions in student athletes.

Students say: The farmland campus overlooking Mount Baker is beautiful. "Part of UFV's goodness comes from its smallness," says Dessa Bayrock, recent English graduate, "but as I near the end of my degree, it's becoming stifling."


Surrey (main), Richmond, Langley and Cloverdale

Students: 19,200

Cost: $5,300

Surrey is home to the largest number of young people in British Columbia, so it's no wonder that KPU is experiencing record enrolment. Expansion plans include a new $20-million campus in Surrey City Centre and a new two-year diploma in craft brewery operations. Students say that a lack of extra-curricular activities on this commuter campus makes meeting new people tough, but KPU's small class sizes help.

Your typical classmate: Speaks more than one language; around half of students who go to KPU straight from high school were previously in an ESL program.

Students say: Their education is preparing them for the real world. "Because many of my profs work in the industry, I think they're more equipped to offer realistic advice and connections," says recent journalism grad Katya Slepian.


Prince George (main), Peace River, Terrace, Prince Rupert and Quesnel

Students: 4,200

Cost: $5,500

UNBC's focus on preparing students for work in the resource sector aligns with the region's strong oil, gas and forestry industries. The school, which calls itself "Canada's Green University," is heated by wood pellets made from trees killed by pine beetles. Students enjoy interesting lab opportunities, thanks to considerable research funding for its size; however, co-op placements are scarce.

Your typical classmate: Eats most meals at the cafeteria. Starting next year, a seven-day meal plan ($2,166 per semester) will be mandatory for both first- and second-year students living in residence.

Students say: They are worried about budget cuts; with a decrease in government funding and enrolment below capacity, UNBC has to make due with $400,000 less than last year.



Students: 700

Cost: $30,200

Seven-year-old, private Quest University ranked tops in Canada on a national student survey for its innovative education model in which students take one intense course each month in classes capped at 20. Despite the high sticker price, one third of Quest's operating budget is set aside for financial aid, and many students report paying tuition in line with other B.C. universities. Some students worry their Quest degree won't be recognized by employers and graduate programs, but president David Helfand's advocacy on behalf of individual grads has landed them at top universities, including Stanford and The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Students say: The best - and worst - thing about Quest is its tiny size. "I literally know the first and last name of every student," says third-year student Eva Schipper. "It's incredibly intimate, at times, too intimate. Dating can be soap opera-esque."



Students: 4,900

Cost: $8,900

This former military college reinvented itself by targeting working adults with professional graduate programs that mix online and in-person instruction. In recent years the school has added 11 undergraduate programs, including environmental science, business and tourism. High tuition and limited financial aid make this an expensive choice, but two years after graduation, RRU alumni are more likely to have higher incomes in jobs related to their fields than the average university graduate in B.C. Students give their educational experience at RRU good reviews.

Your typical classmate: Can be found studying by the classical Japanese garden pool or gazing at the Juan de Fuca Strait.


Burnaby (main), Vancouver and Surrey

Students: 33,700

Cost: $6,100

SFU is known for its flexible trimester system and strong co-op programs. The university is home to one of the top geography programs in the world and, with the recent installation of a high-powered telescope, will offer astronomy courses for the first time this fall. Large average class sizes and consistently low performance across national student survey measures suggest the university could give more attention to its undergraduate experience.

Your typical classmate: Was an honour roll student in high school; at 88.3 per cent, SFU's average entering GPA is the highest in B.C.

Students say: The concrete, mountain-top campus feels desolate. "My initial impression of campus was bleak," says Christina Ma, third-year economics and political science. "Over time, I've explored the nooks and crannies of SFU and found some inspiring architecture."


Kamloops (main) and Williams Lake

Students: 25,500

Cost: $5,100

TRU continues its long history as a pioneer of accessible education by allowing students to get credit for material learned through massive open online courses (MOOCs). Students studying at its main campus enjoy small classes and approachable professors. Although Kamloops lacks a cultural scene, ample outdoor opportunities - skiing, mountain biking and hiking - abound.

Your typical classmate: Is not on campus; 12,000 students are enrolled in distance and online courses.

Hotshot prof: Nicole Schabus was on the legal team that won an unprecedented decision at the Supreme Court of Canada in the Tsilhqot'in Nation's land rights case.


Nanaimo (main), Duncan, Parksville and Powell River

Students: 18,000

Cost: $4,700

VIU has made genuine efforts to serve disadvantaged students in its region. The school deserves credit for becoming the first university in B.C. to offer free tuition to students who were under government care as children. The percentage of the student body who identify as aboriginal has now reached 10 per cent. The city of Nanaimo leaves much to be desired, but easy beach and hiking access partly make up for the drab town.

Your typical classmate: Isn't straight out of high school; the average VIU student is 25.

Hotshot prof: Pam Shaw worked with urban planning students to develop a community plan with the Toquaht Nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island.



Students: 47,000

Cost: $5,900

UVic offers the best of two worlds: the university is home to significant research, such as its world-class undersea laboratories, and also has a more intimate feel (and much smaller average class size) than gargantuan UBC. The university's philosophy is that the best teachers are active researchers, but students rate the university poorly on student-faculty interaction. It has a teaching stream that allows professors to focus on pedagogy research and a unique scholarship program that includes research mentorship to undergrad students.

Your typical classmate: Is a bicycle commuter. With the mildest climate in Canada and great cycling infrastructure, 8 per cent of trips to the university are by bicycle.

This year: The faculty union raised concerns that fewer sessional instructors would be employed because of government funding cuts; with 60 per cent of first- and second-year classes taught by sessionals, union leadership claims this has already led to growing class sizes.

Associated Graphic

Quest: a small school with an innovative education model

Thursday, October 23, 2014

High-profile prosecutor played to win
Ukrainian immigrant was a fierce competitor who had a strong sense of fairness and justice, and loved to fight for the little guy
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S12

On Nov. 6, 1984, the city of Regina reverberated with the dramatic news that a guilty verdict had been rendered in a murder case that garnered headlines across the country.

On that fateful Tuesday, Colin Thatcher was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his ex-wife, JoAnn Wilson. Gossipy Reginans were so keen to spread the news about this high-profile former provincial cabinet minister that the local phone network, overburdened with calls, failed.

Serge Kujawa, Queen's Counsel, was the prosecutor who convicted Mr. Thatcher in Saskatchewan's most notorious domestic homicide. Thirty years after his spectacular victory, Mr. Kujawa died at 89 in Regina on Sept. 22, 2014.

Mr. Kujawa, the immigrant farm boy from St. Walburg, Sask., was an intense competitor. He was also a fierce advocate of fairness and justice. Since he knew the stakes were high in this high-profile case, he pushed his investigators to find irrefutable evidence of Mr. Thatcher's guilt before he agreed to prosecute.

The Thatcher conviction turned Mr. Kujawa into a local hero. Many Saskatchewanians had feared Mr. Thatcher would get away with murder when media reports circulated of his ex-wife's violent death in January, 1983.

Colin Thatcher, the only son of Saskatchewan Liberal premier W. Ross Thatcher, was dubbed the "J.R. Ewing of Saskatchewan," and became known for his personal troubles, which attracted public and national media attention. He defected from the Liberals to the more popular Progressive Conservative Party in 1977, became the provincial energy and mines minister in Grant Devine's government in 1982 and resigned from his cabinet post four days before JoAnn Wilson's murder, early the following year.

Regina Leader-Post journalist Murray Mandryk was 24 when he covered the sensational trial alongside reporters from news outlets across the country. Three people were there to write books on the riveting story, including Garrett Wilson, a lawyer.

Mr. Kujawa was ensconced in the presidential suite of Saskatoon's Ramada Inn while he prepared his murder case against Mr. Thatcher. Mr. Wilson, Mr. Kujawa's confidant, slept in the guestroom so he could chronicle the iconic case. Mr. Wilson and his daughter, Lesley, later co-wrote Deny, Deny, Deny: The Rise and Fall of Colin Thatcher.

Mr. Kujawa's strength resided in his even use of the power of his office. He knew all too well the personal impact of abuse of power. Mr. Wilson said Mr. Kujawa's childhood experience, when he witnessed his father's persecution by militiamen in Russian-occupied Poland, made a lasting impact on him.

"Serge was also unpretentious," Mr. Wilson says. "When he went to Ottawa to the Supreme Court on Thatcher case business, he arrived dressed in a ball cap and parka."

In 1991, Mr. Kujawa was elected to the Saskatchewan legislature for the Regina riding of Albert South. He served one term until 1995 under the NDP Roy Romanow government and then retired from politics. "Serge was naive as hell when it came to politics," Mr. Wilson says. "He was upset when he heard from Lorne Calvert that his primary duty as an MLA was to ensure the party's re-election." There was also a hurtful snub from then-attorney-general Bob Mitchell, who ignored the new MLA instead of conferring with him on legal matters.

The last leg of Mr. Kujawa's career was fraught with stress, Mr. Wilson says. The reopening of the David Milgaard case (Mr. Kujawa was director of public prosecutions when Mr. Milgaard was wrongly convicted of murder) was a painful chapter for the litigator, who prided himself on his solid track record. Mr. Kujawa didn't like to fail at anything, whether it was in the courtroom or on the baseball diamond.

Mr. Kujawa remained a fierce competitor in the realm of athletics, journalist Murray Mandryk recalls. "When we squared off in the MLA vs. press gallery baseball games, Serge insisted on pitching. Even at his age. I remember the first time he pitched when I was at bat and he buzzed me back."

"But I was smart enough never to play poker with Serge," Mr. Mandryk says. Mr. Kujawa played to win and even financed his lawschool education at the University of Saskatchewan with poker winnings and pool-hall gaming.

Mr. Kujawa was a spectacular success in the legal community, Mr. Mandryk says. "He was a Ukrainian immigrant who beat the odds." Serge was the son of Jacob and Vera Kujawa. Jacob was born in 1888 in the town of Rozyszcze, in a region formerly controlled by Poland or Russia and now part of Ukraine. During the grim era when Jacob was born, the territory was occupied by a repressive Russian regime under Czar Alexander III. It was a time, according to Mr. Kujawa's 2010 memoir, Serge K., when "willfulness was sinfulness. Compliance, conformity and acceptance of abuse were the price to be paid for receiving Russian bread."

Like most sons, Mr. Kujawa looked up to the man who "spent his nights singing Russian folk songs and reading to his children about love and war, freedom and revolution from the pages of Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky." This cultured, rural man also performed chin-ups with a single hand, broke horses the "size of houses" and pulled "a line-up of brawny neighbours into the mud at push-and-pull contests."

Serge Kujawa inherited his father's brawn, his athleticism and his appetite for competition. Jacob served eight years in the Russian Army as a feldsher, or field medic, before and during the First World War. Feldshers were rural practitioners who saw themselves as "physicians of the common people."

The Kujawa family (Jacob, Vera and children Kate, Mary, Nick and three-year-old Serge) landed at the newly opened Halifax Pier 21 in 1928. They embarked on a train pointed west until they arrived in the predominantly German settlement of St. Walburg, Sask. Jacob purchased a partly cleared parcel of 40 acres that featured a granary, a log barn and a drafty, one-room cabin.

Serge enrolled in the local school, where he learned English. After high school, he attended Normal School in Saskatoon and taught high school in Timberlost, Sask., for a year before joining the army. The Second World War ended before Mr. Kujawa could be shipped overseas.

Post-war jobs included panning for gold, playing poker and pool for profit and a brief stint at a lumber mill in Vernon, B.C. Mr. Kujawa's mill boss also valued his pitching arm and insisted he play on the Vernon team, where he excelled. The pitcher returned home to help his brother, Nick, with seeding. The appeal of farming and St. Walburg lured Serge back to the fold but fate had other plans for the farm boy-athlete.

After a farm accident maimed Serge's left hand, Jacob's lessons in respect, fairness and tolerance would serve Serge well while he made the leap from farm labourer to law student. During a demanding stint as a Ukrainian translator for a St. Walburg lawyer, Mr. Kujawa was convinced he had the temperament for law. "I had not only discovered, but revelled in my ability to listen, question, interpret, reason and express. I suspected that these were my gifts, and that if I could not be a farmer, I was destined to use them in the interest of justice," he writes in Serge K.

Upon graduation, Mr. Kujawa articled at Davidson, Davidson and Blakeney in Regina. However, the neophyte lawyer encountered racist opposition when he applied to the bar. Eric M. Miller, Secretary of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, challenged Mr. Kujawa's qualifications and character references.

"I suspect it was the intensity of Miller's hatred - and that of dozens of other racists over the years - that drove me to the prosecution side of criminal law. From a young age I had been made painfully aware of the price of injustice and was tired of always having to defend my right to occupy a spot on this Earth. I looked to the law as a way to right those kind of wrongs," Mr. Kujawa writes in his memoir.

The crown prosecutor brought skill, experience and expertise to his caseload, Mr. Wilson says. Mr. Kujawa became associated with the difficult cases in the office, such as the Shell Lake Massacre trial in 1968 and the case of axe murderer Frederick Moses McCallum in 1969. In the spirit of social justice, he also prosecuted a Montmartre, Sask., beer parlour owner who segregated aboriginal patrons.

"Serge had a soft and tender side," Mr. Mandryk says. "He loved to go to bat for the little guy." As president of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, Mr. Kujawa lobbied for an end to including rape victims' sexual history during cross-examination.

Like many men of his generation, the ambitious lawyer conceded that his personal life took a back seat to his career. Mr. Kujawa met his first wife, Betty Bridges, while he was still a student, but the couple later divorced. They had six children: Ivy, Judy, Kim, Mandi and twins Melodi and Melissa. "While Betty hunched over a kitchen appliance or washtub or calculating how she could cook dinner, iron clothes and deliver kids to their school, sports and music lessons, I'd be slouching around a smoke-filled pool hall scouting for worthy opponents, or scheming my next move at a card table at some buddy's house on a Sunday night," he wrote in his memoir.

The prosecutor was married to his second wife, Darlene WareKujawa, for 26 happy years. As Mr. Kujawa aged, his razor-sharp mind succumbed to vascular dementia and Ms. Ware-Kujawa cared for him at home up until the last six days of his life. "Serge enjoyed travelling with me and walking in the neighbourhood every day," she recalled from the couple's home in south Regina.

In his 2010 memoir, Mr. Kujawa summed up his pragmatic approach to the law with trademark eloquence: "It mattered not whether I was a lawyer crowded into a sweat box over a five-anddime battling it out over wills and mortgages, or if I was a prosecutor building a case for murder in a wood-panelled office overlooking the Regina city skyline. I came across the same broad cross-section of people labouring under the same elemental emotions, looking for retribution, justice and sometimes forgiveness."

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Serge Kujawa became a local hero in Regina as the prosecutor in the case of Colin Thatcher, who was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his ex-wife, JoAnn Wilson, in 1984.


A hot, buttered slice of fond memories
For Alan Doyle, his mother's freshly baked bread and his family are two things that simply cannot be traded
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L12

Most of my memories kick in around age five. I remember my new little sister, Michelle, coming home from hospital. I remember that upper floor finally getting developed so the empty space gradually became three small bedrooms - boys in one room, girls in the other, parents in the third. And a real bathroom down the hall, with running water ... except for the four or five months in the dead of winter when the pipes would freeze and stay frozen till spring.

We had an oil furnace in the basement. We frequently ran out of oil in the winter, which, of course, was cause for much celebration. We'd stay in the kitchen; we'd all play cards, and often some of my aunts or uncles would come over for an impromptu "out of oil" party, and after a warming drink or two, the adults would invariably start singing and playing guitar. It was on those nights that I learned that adults love it when kids sing, and if you do it well enough, you'll get to stay up later.

Before bed on "out of oil" nights, my folks would put heavy blankets across the doorway to the kitchen. They'd take the oven door off its hinges and heat up the room by turning the oven on. Then we'd warm home-sewn blankets in that room and bring them upstairs at night. Those heated blankets were enough to get us warm and falling into a cozy sleep before the real cold crept in. (To this day, my folks leave the heat off in their bedroom at night, and I cannot sleep with either heat or air conditioning in my bedroom.)

We had no car. My father hitchhiked 20 kilometres every day to get to his job at The Mental. And if he could get a ride for only part of the way, he'd walk the rest. But before leaving, if our plumbing was frozen, he would always go to the river behind our house. And in two or three trips with a fivegallon bucket, he would fill the sinks and kettles with water for our mother to feed and wash us for school.

With the exception of one new school outfit every September and maybe something at Christmas, I wore my brother's handme-down clothes till I was a teenager. The first time I ever slept in a room by myself was when I moved to St. John's to go to my second year of university. I was 19 years old.

When my wife, Joanne, who was then my girlfriend, came to Petty Harbour for the first time in our early 20s, I showed her around the house I grew up in. I shared some of our stories, like the "out of oil" parties. On our way back to St John's, she casually mentioned she was not aware I'd come from a poor family. I had no idea what she was talking about. I honestly thought she was joking. It had never occurred to me that my family may have been less well off than most other Newfoundland or Canadian families.

If I had to pick one thing that was responsible for my joyous and completely satisfied childhood, I'd say it was my family. If I had to pick two things, I'd say my family and Mom's homemade bread. And while it was the North Atlantic cod stocks that fed the Napoleonic armies, Mom's homemade bread fuelled the Doyles on Skinner's Hill. Our delicious but often Spartan meals were always well rounded with heaps of it.

We never really sat at the table as an entire family until suppertime, but we did that every single evening. Our suppers were delicious, simple and very consistent.

Most often the fare was roasted beef, pork or chicken or fried fish, with piles of potatoes and gravy.

My mom can make gravy, incredible gravy, from anything. I'm fairly certain that if you gave her a bucket of rocks, an onion and a cup of water and told her she had to make a gravy out of it, she'd find a way. And it would be awesome. From waking to sleeping, Mom is in a constant state of movement, always was. If you can get her to sit in an armchair, she'll reach to one side, grab a knitting project and in no time at all, a sock or hat will materialize in her hands. Magic.

Usually the smell of something roasting in our oven started in the late afternoon. By five, we'd all be salivating at the thought of that roast and the gravy Mom would make from it to pour over boiled potatoes and some canned peas or corn. I would venture to say that we had potatoes and some kind of gravy for supper more than 250 times per year. Which was nowhere near enough for me.

There wasn't always as much meat as we wanted, but there was no shortage of bread. "That's all the roast we have. Fill up on bread," Mom would say - a common refrain in our house. Mom would say it like it wasn't a good thing. But it was. It still is. Ask Mom what she did today, and she'll probably reply the same as she always did: "Nothing at all, honey." But if you look in the kitchen, you'll see eight freshbaked loaves of bread on the counter and a large boiler on the stove full of recently jarred homemade preserves. And there's sure to be a pot of beef stew simmering away somewhere, and every flat surface in that house is so clean, you could eat off of it.

There was no grace or any formality to our meals. It was load and go. To this day I eat like I'm in imminent danger of my food being taken away. At fancy dinners and restaurants, I've devised strategies to make myself look less like a total savage. I take a few forkfuls, lay my fork down, put my hands under the table and count to 50, or sing a verse of a song in my head before I pick up the fork again. I'm serious. I have to or I'll be staring over an empty plate while others are still buttering their bread.

Every once in a while, Mom would get adventurous with a meal and try something "exotic," like a sausage casserole she found a recipe for in the newspaper.

"Sorry, Mom. This is gross. Can we go to Maureen's [store] and get bologna for sandwiches?" "Ye crowd never wants to try anything different. All ye wants is meat and potatoes and gravy." It was true. Mom would get so upset with our attitude that she'd sometimes go upstairs by herself. But as I said, this was very rare, and most nights we inhaled every last bit of whatever was prepared. I have no memory of leftovers in our fridge. Ever. We ate everything immediately and loved it.

Life for me as an adult has been a balancing act between going away and coming back home. I've been lucky to discover faraway places, but I've always known where I belong. Only in retrospect do I realize that my childhood may have been a tad Spartan. But my family, my mom's bread: I would not have traded these for anything in the world. I still wouldn't.

Excerpted from Where I Belong: From Small Town to Great Big Sea, by Alan Doyle. Copyright ©2014 Skinner's Hill Music Ltd. Published by Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.


Alan Doyle: How do you make a loaf of bread, Mom?

Jean Doyle: Alan, honey, I don't know how to make a loaf of bread. I only knows how to make eight.

Alan: Mom, I'm trying to put your recipe in my book. Can you help me out? What ingredients do you use?

Jean: I use a bag of flour.

Alan: A whole bag?

Jean: A seven-pound bag. And about a cup of butter. And some salt in the palm of my hand.

Alan: Some salt in the palm of your hand?

Jean: Yes. Just some salt in the palm of my hand. I mix it all up, dry.

Alan: In a bowl?

Jean: In the pan I'm making the bread in. Then, I make like a hole in the centre of the flour, the flour and the butter and the salt that I just mixed up. In the hole there, I put in two tablespoons of dry yeast and two tablespoons of sugar.

Alan: Sugar?

Jean: Got to have the sugar for the yeast to rise.

Alan: I didn't know.

Jean: And then, what I do is use the whisk and just pour in the water.

Alan: How much water?

Jean: I don't know. It's about ... I'd say probably seven or eight cups. And you got to get the feel of it. I pour in the water and I whisk it. And then when it gets too heavy for the whisk, I get my hands in there.

I whack it.

Alan: You whack it.

Jean: Yes. And I knead it, until I gets it right nice and doughy. And then I make it into a ball in my pan and put some butter on it and cover it over and let it rise until it's double what I had when I started. And then I knead it down again - well, I do, but some people don't knead it down a second time. After, when it rises up again, I put the dough in the pans. This batch will make eight loaves.

Alan: How long do you cook it for?

Jean: I cook it at 415 degrees for 30 minutes. And take it out and then I brushes it with a bit of butter. And yummy.

Alan: You make it sound so easy.

Jean: Oh, it is.

Associated Graphic

Alan Doyle's mother works the dough for her bread, a staple at every meal that she baked in batches of eight loaves during Mr. Doyle's childhood.

Positioning Trudeau
A year away from the federal election and with a new biography on the shelves, Justin Trudeau is still portraying himself as a sea change in political styles from Stephen Harper. But he needs to cultivate more than differences to win the country
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A12

OTTAWA -- Justin Trudeau took only a few minutes after touring the University of Waterloo to take off his jacket and bound in front of a standing-room crowd at the Student Life Centre. For the next hour, he would speak without notes or Teleprompter, repeating questions into the mic so all could hear.

"What do I plan to do to engage youth in politics?" he said, looking around in mock surprise at the question, and then shrugged: "This."

His audience laughs. He points out that the student union has asked all party leaders to do the same. "Somehow, I don't think the Prime Minister is going to take them up on this invitation."

It's self-serving, but rings true. It is hard to imagine Stephen Harper sauntering across a college stage in shirtsleeves, promising shorter answers so more people can ask questions, or generally doing things the way Justin Trudeau does. Sometimes that seems to be the point of Justin Trudeau.

He is the anti-Harper. If the Liberals did not have him, they would be trying to build him. In some ways, they are.

Whereas Mr. Harper often paints politics as choosing between right and wrong and "standing up" for principles, Mr. Trudeau has titled the autobiography he will publish this week Common Ground. One year from an election scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015, that book is part of a bigger brand-building.

As federal politicians swing into what is effectively the county's longest-ever election campaign, Mr. Trudeau has already given glimpses of his approach.

Between talks to students in Waterloo and the Chamber of Commerce in London, Ont., The Globe and Mail sat down with Mr. Trudeau, and found a man insisting that the process of building his political platform and approach is a key factor in setting him apart, and treating the policy platform as a final exam - insisting voters will be able to test his policy substance in the end.

"If, by the time they reach the ballot box, they're not satisfied that I have demonstrated that - yeah, they have a right to ask about that," he said. "In the meantime, a year out from the election, I'm not going to shortcircuit some valuable conversations."

But it is all building around a contrast of personae, of approach, rather than policy details. Clearly, many Liberals around Mr. Trudeau think that if there is a sentiment for change next year, it will not be driven just by disagreement with Mr. Harper's policies so much as irritation with the way he does things after nine years in power. It is visceral. It will be a referendum on Stephen Harper's persona, and Mr. Trudeau wants to be the other side.

And he is different. Mr. Trudeau keeps underlining it.

Sometimes, he overreaches.

When opposing a Canadian combat mission in Iraq this month, he tried to show his reflexes are less war-like than Mr. Harper's - but slipped into a glib blooper, warning Canada should not "whip out our CF-18s to show how big they are." It played into his weakness: the perception that while Mr. Harper takes things seriously, Mr. Trudeau is not serious.

When it came to time to repair the damage, former prime minister Jean Chrétien stepped forward to defend his position on Iraq - a telling sign that the Liberal leader needed to borrow a cup of gravitas from a heavyweight.

He is open to charges he lacks policies. That has become a half-truth: He has taken stands on not reviving the gun registry, oil pipelines, RESPs, corporate taxes, the Senate, abortion, and yes, legalizing pot. But it is still a hodge-podge with many gaps.

Parties have typically waited for the writs before releasing platforms, but his opponents, notably the NDP, are revealing policies early - pressuring him.

But as he speaks to students or supporters or business people on key electoral turf along southern Ontario's Highway 401, many of the issues he raises underline the contrasts with Mr. Harper.

He talks about Mr. Harper's failure to hold a premiers' meeting, and suggests the country suffers without that kind of cooperation. He insists Mr. Harper is ideological: that his unwillingness to show concern for the environment is damaging Canada's economic prospects, encouraging other countries, and First Nations, to reject Canadian resources.

He is specific about some things. He explains why he would keep corporate taxes unchanged, or why he favours the Keystone XL oil pipeline to the U.S. gulf coast but not the Northern Gateway through B.C.

There are also a lot of generalities. But amid vague statements about values are outlines of direction for his political strategy and his policy.

The next election, he told students in London, will be about the economy and how it treats those who feel vulnerable in the middle class. Mr. Harper will offer tax cuts, but Mr. Trudeau says he will offer policies he frames as pro-growth, like spending on infrastructure and job training.

Yes, he tells a questioner, a national daycare program should be a priority, but growthoriented spending comes first, and he wants to see what the budget surplus will be.

On other social programs, you can learn Mr. Trudeau's approach, if not his policy. When a student asked about the high cost of tuition, the Liberal Leader said society has an interest in more people going to university, and so it should invest in that - up to the point where it is good for society as a whole.

So instead of giving $1,000 to everyone who goes to university, it is better to give $5,000 to those people "for whom it makes the difference of going to school" or not. In other words, government should spend up to the point that it benefits society, not just the individual.

But of course, politics can get in the way of planning, and the real trick in policy is the details.

Mr. Trudeau did not offer any.

He insists he wants people to see an "iterative" process that they can join to develop policies where he outlines "how I see the issues, how I see finding solutions to the issues."

"I think it's a big contrast against what people see a lot in politics, which is, 'These are the talking points, this is what we're sticking to, and I'm broadcasting one way to you,'" he said in the interview in London. "I'm a teacher. I believe in sort of sharing in a discussion and coming out of it with new insights on both sides."

It may not be so easy to stick with such a long process. The NDP is releasing policies now - it has already proposed a national child care plan. If Mr. Trudeau does not reply for seven months, he may find himself again facing the perception that he lacks substance.

While Conservatives complain Mr. Trudeau tops opinion polls without a complete policy book, there is another side of the equation: Mr. Harper has slipped and his policies are not really the problem.

Polls regularly show a plurality of Canadians approve of Mr. Harper's handling of the economy or foreign policy. Ipsos-Reid found 49 per cent of Canadians approve of his record - but 67 per cent want another party to take over.

Perhaps it is Mr. Harper's persona that polarizes. When another pollster, Angus Reid Global, asked Canadians what attributes they ascribe to world leaders like Mr. Harper, the composite was that he is secretive but strategic.

Those who voted Conservative in 2011 think he is strong and credible. Those who voted NDP or Liberal called him uncaring and a bully.

Many Liberals say they think that, outside his Conservative support base, irritation with Mr. Harper is solidifying. Perhaps people who feel that way will be motivated to turn out to vote, and to band behind whoever is more likely to beat him.

Perhaps they will look to someone who strikes them as very unlike Mr. Harper.

And if they want a contrast of style, it is more likely to be Mr. Trudeau than Thomas Mulcair.

The NDP Leader is sharp and strong-willed, but seen as scarcely more upbeat than the Prime Minister.

The other side of embracing Mr. Trudeau's contrasts with Mr. Harper is emphasizing what people like about the PM.

"The number one thing the Prime Minister has going for him is that he's serious," one former aide said. Even people who do not like him think he works at it, and is credible. He likes to make tough decisions, and people see that. He is not trying to look warm and fuzzy.

"He doesn't want people to see him as the guy you'd have a beer with. He says the job is making decisions."

The plan is to use a team - star candidates, a former general, and economic players such as Morneau Sheppell chair Bill Morneau or former Business Council of Manitoba president Jim Carr - to counter the public's questions about whether Mr. Trudeau has the same substance.

Liberals say their leader is not too proud to hire and rely on the right people. Now the question is whether Canadians will want a political chairman of the board, or a hands-on CEO like Mr. Harper.

There is no doubt Mr. Trudeau has remodelled Canadian politics, taking his third party in the Commons to front-runner in the polls.

Does he think Canadians take him seriously now? His eyes darken when he answers: "My opponents do."

It is clear that many voters have not drawn their conclusions yet. In every crowd, there is interest, and those who ask for pictures, and leave smiling.

At the University of Western Ontario, he followed an hour-long, no-notes talk to students with 20 minutes of posing for selfies with them. But some are disappointed. They want to know where the contrasts lead.

"The only thing I'd heard about Trudeau was the weed thing, and I was hoping he'd have some other ideas," said Alex Tonelotto, a 20-year-old international relations student. "It was more general. Bring Canada together - what does that mean?"

Associated Graphic


Former patient helped hundreds get jobs
After enduring child abuse and overcoming a heroin addiction, she assisted other mental health patients in turning their lives around
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S12

Beaten and molested as a little girl by a brutal father, repeatedly told that she was stupid and worthless, addicted to heroin by her early 20s, Diana Capponi emerged from years of psychiatric treatment stronger at the broken places. Determined to help society's most vulnerable and damaged individuals, she created work opportunities for women and men who struggled with mental illness and faced unemployment as a result. A home, a job and a friend, she believed, was what former psychiatric patients most needed.

Persuasive and determined, adept at getting governments to support her vision, she was instrumental in the development of successful businesses employing ex-patients. Then, headhunted by Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, she created hundreds of jobs for former (and current) patients within that sprawling psychiatric treatment and research centre. She insisted that they be real jobs paying real money.

By the time she died in Toronto General Hospital on Sept. 21, her ideas had been folded into Ontario's mental health policies and were influencing policy in other jurisdictions.

It is an astonishing achievement when one considers her beginnings. Diana Michele Capponi was born in Montreal on Feb. 22, 1953, one of five children and the youngest daughter of Michael and Bernice Capponi (née Cluff). Her father worked in aircraft production at Canadair and Aviation Electric when he was not terrorizing his wife and children.

"The story of my family is one of continuing tragedy, filled with psychiatric wards and labels, suicide attempts, addictions and too many failures to count," wrote Diana's sister Pat Capponi in her memoir Upstairs in the Crazy House. "We were driven crazy - every curse, every blow, every corrupted touch ended up distorting us, breaking us, shaping our separate destinies."

Anything could provoke Michael Capponi's fury. He beat his children for not eating their supper or for eating too much; for not knowing the times tables; for talking or for saying nothing. "A single fork found dirty in the drawer," recalled Pat Capponi in her book. "Everything in the kitchen - plates, pots, cutlery - emptied out and thrown on the floor, the five of us dragged out of bed, beaten and forced to wash and dry everything again ... finally released to bed as the sun rose."

Diana dropped out of school in Grade 10, convinced by her father that she was brainless. After her parents were finally divorced, she went to India to get as far away as possible from Montreal. There, at age 20, she started injecting heroin. Later she told her sister Pat that heroin, for the first time, made her feel comfortable in her skin.

Back in Montreal, now an addict, she had a disastrous early marriage and gave birth to a baby boy, Christopher, whom she put up for adoption when he was two - a decision she later regretted. Her mother, not knowing how to control Diana's erratic and dangerous behaviour, sent her to Toronto where her elder sisters Terry and Pat were already living, Pat in a group home.

"Diana, after a couple of years, also got into a group home here. She was hooked on heroin and she was also starting to suffer from mental illness," recalled her sister Pat. Diana later likened herself to "a human garbage can" during this period.

Terry, the eldest, was to die of an overdose of prescription pain medication, likely a suicide. A brother, the youngest of the five children, died of AIDS at Casey House.

In 1981, Diana gave birth to a daughter, Julia, in Toronto, and this time she was determined to raise her child. She spent five months locked up in rehab at CAMH, fighting her demons while leaving her daughter with friends. When she came out, she lived in the same run-down group residence as her sister Pat, who explained: "She could keep Julia with her there. The father also had an addiction issue. We had a nursing aide and some good people gave us a playpen and supplies. We lived in Parkdale in a home with 70 crazy people. They were three houses really side by side. It was an eyeopener for her that such places existed."

While she was shaking off the grip of heroin, Ms. Capponi attended a program at the YWCA for women who wanted to change, which gave her the impetus to enroll at Centennial College in the policing program. "She wanted to be a corrections officer to do it right," recalled her sister. Diana graduated in 1984. "Simply finishing Centennial was astonishing - that she had a brain and her professors respected her intelligence was a surprise to her."

Ms. Capponi later told an interviewer: "No one made assumptions about me because of my background. I felt supported at Centennial. Going to college was the most significant thing I could have done to change my life."

After graduating, however, she discovered that her name was in the police database as a former drug offender, making it difficult to get a job in corrections. She went to work instead at Nellie's, the downtown shelter for battered women and children, founded by the late June Callwood, who became an inspiration.

In the early 1990s, Ms. Capponi left Nellie's for management work at Fresh Start, a cleaning service run by psychiatric survivors since 1989. That led her to start OCAB, the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses (now renamed Working for Change). It eventually operated four enterprises including the cleaning service, the Raging Spoon Café and catering company, the landscaping service Green Thumbs, which maintains street planters in the Parkdale neighbourhood, and A-Way Express Courier service. All the couriers at A-Way have mental health issues, as do the employees of the other businesses. By some estimates, under her leadership OCAB provided jobs for about 1,000 people previously considered unemployable. Some of her workers were the subject of an NFB documentary, Working Like Crazy.

She obtained government grants from both the city and the province for OCAB to start these businesses; then they had to make a profit.

"OCAB was all about changing people's attitudes about [psychiatric] survivors' ability to do jobs," says Paul Quinn, who was the long-time director of the Gerstein Centre in Toronto, a small non-medical crisis centre for mentally ill people. Ms. Capponi did some overnight shifts there while still at Nellie's, and he was so impressed with her, he later put her on his board of directors.

"The best thing about her was her joy in the work and her encouragement of the workers," Mr. Quinn recalls. "The people who worked at OCAB or Fresh Start could maybe do only three or four hours of labour a week but she would praise them as though they had done 40. She celebrated their successes."

Hired away by CAMH 11 years ago, Ms. Capponi became coordinator of Employment Works, a recruitment and retention initiative within the institution for people with mental health and addiction challenges. Among other achievements, she created the Out of This World Café at CAMH, entirely staffed by former psychiatric patients. She reportedly helped 330 patients find work within CAMH, about a 10th of its workforce.

She never lacked for ideas. An unrealized project was a museum about the history of mental illness that Ms. Capponi wanted to create within CAMH.

Her own business cards, recalled her friend Fiona Crean, had the initials FMP after her name: "I asked her, 'Diana, what is this? I don't know this degree.' And she said, 'It stands for Former Mental Patient.' "

Ms. Crean, who is the Ombudsman for the City of Toronto, said Ms. Capponi made an impact on the larger community: "Diana treated everyone the same and had the utmost respect for people. I brought her in from CAMH to train public servants [at city hall] how to deal with people with diminished capacity and mental illness. That grew out of a difficult case I had.

"She had a massive impact, but if you said that, she'd say 'Don't be silly' - she was very self-effacing."

Ms. Capponi found the loving and practical-minded partner she needed 17 years ago when she met Brenda Needham. Ms. Needham worked at the Bank of Montreal in networks and systems.

"We met at a fundraiser for a homeless shelter and I asked her out the next week," Ms. Needham recalled. "We moved in two months later, and bought our first house eight months after that. Diana did not know about mortgages. She thought you had to have all the money at once. Later she became quite interested in real estate."

In 2003, they got married and had a wedding reception at The Raging Spoon on Queen Street West, the café-restaurant that Ms. Capponi had helped to create.

She collected a host of awards and Ms. Needham noted her spreading fame: "She was consulted by people from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Vancouver, from across the country. I remember a delegation arriving from Japan to talk to her. Once she was invited to speak to psychiatrists in Amsterdam - I went with her on that trip."

The marriage lasted six years. "Diana had no life - she worked all the time. We sold the house and split up in 2009 but lived in adjacent apartment buildings. We loved each other and took holidays together but we had no shared life," Ms. Needham recalled. It was she who took Ms. Capponi to medical appointments, tests and procedures that found her to have diabetes, and later, just two days before her death, long-untreated breast cancer that by then had metastasized to the liver.

Diana Capponi leaves Brenda Needham; her daughter, Julia; grandsons Quentin and Julian; sisters Sandra and Pat; and her beloved dog Bob.

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

Ms. Capponi is shown while filming the 1999 documentary Working Like Crazy, produced with the National Film Board of Canada.


Ms. Capponi, a victim of abuse, poses with Janet Mawhinney at a campaign to stop violence against women.


The wife of a small-town reverend confronts her checkered past and contemplates the meaning of existence
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R17

There is a tendency among those who have been wronged to assume that the universe has given them something only to take it away. Lila, the eponymous character of Marilynne Robinson's fourth novel, is one such person for whom happiness is a struggle, and Robinson affectingly and tenderly traces her arc from misery to safety, from abandonment to unconditional, familial love. Lila is in part a masterful portrait of a restless woman - a female hobo - and lovers of Robinson's first novel, Housekeeping, may be delighted to find that the author has returned (after over 30 years!) to the topic of itinerant women. Lila is also the backstory of Gilead, Robinson's second novel (Lila is the second wife of the Reverend John Ames, who narrates Gilead in the form of a letter to their seven-year-old son) and a companion to Robinson's third novel, Home, which explores the relationship between the Reverend John Ames's closest friend, the Reverend Robert Boughton, and his two children, Glory and Jack. The three works could be considered a trilogy, though all four novels feel linked, whether by character or theme.

Of all Robinson's works (four novels, four works of non-fiction), Lila is particularly refreshing in this time of almost crazed confessional writing: here are the inner thoughts of a person who would rather not tell all, who would rather be alone than seek company, and who, after much deep reflection and hardship, still has more questions than conclusions.

Born in Idaho in 1943, Marilynne Robinson has an unusual pedigree - she is an award-winning novelist (among many other honours, Gilead won the Pulitzer; Home, the Orange Prize) and a well-respected essayist, writing on topics from the evils of a nuclear reprocessing plant to the (never-ending) conflict between science and religion. The unusual part is that Robinson is a devout Christian - a Calvinist. When I was a student at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where Robinson has taught since 1991, she was offering a course on the Bible. She would first read us the scripture in Hebrew, then quibble over the Latin and Greek, and finally, refute (at least partly) what was printed in our Oxford versions. In many ways, it was a class on the difficulties of translation, with the Bible as an example text, and I mention it only to illustrate that the breadth of her knowledge (and her faith) is astonishing. Indeed, she is as revered in literary and intellectual circles as she is in the Iowa City church where she sometimes preaches.

Written in one long chapter, Lila begins in almost Dickensian gloom: a little girl sits alone in the dark on a cold stoop, the house behind her full of "people sleeping right on the floor, in some old mess of quilts and gunnysacks." It is the 1920s.

Filthy and neglected, the girl is snatched by a well-meaning drifter named Doll and spends her childhood as a migrant worker, learning to live off the land: "She knew how to get by so long as nobody bothered her. Plenty of fish in the river. There were dandelion greens.

Mushrooms. You can chew pine sap if you want to. You can eat the roots of things." It is Lila and Doll against the world, a timeless landscape in which there were no "other names for seasons than planting and haying." When Lila learns that they live in the United States of America, Doll quips, "Well, I spose they had to call it something."

The two roam the Dust Bowl in a pack led by a man named Doane: they "walk south ahead of the weather, walk north in time for the crops." Interspersed with these Dorothea Lange-esque scenes is the novel's fictive present: the courtship and marriage between Lila and a smalltown Reverend named John Ames. "Interspersed" is not quite the right word: the novel's past and present are woven in such a way that one bleeds into the next, creating a dream-like duality to the prose, similar to the way in which friends reminiscing are as equally in the past as they are in their present. The sentence "Once, Lila asked the Reverend how to spell Doane," for instance, gently pries us from Lila's memories of cornfields and campfires and settles us back into the love story. Stylistically, it mirrors the shifting Lila feels within herself - part wild child, part woman - and whether, given her nature, she will ever be able to accept happiness. This fracturing of the self recalls the character of Sylvie in Housekeeping, a transient woman charged with two children after her sister commits suicide. Sylvie "seldom removed her coat," the narrator of Housekeeping, Ruth, says, "and every story she told had to do with a train or bus station." Sylvie is one of contemporary literature's most fascinating creations, but Housekeeping was from Ruth's point of view. Though Lila is written in the third person, it is Lila's worldview and Lila's gaze. How wonderful to delve even deeper this time into the matter of restless women. Robinson's latest is psychological realism at its best: a journey into an unusual person's mind.

By the time Lila meets the Reverend, she has endured the Depression, Doll's death, and a terrible stint in a St. Louis whorehouse. Despite her lack of a traditional education, Lila is an introspective, philosophical woman, her interior life more real than whatever tangible reality surrounds her. Skittish and distrustful, she settles in a shack just outside of Gilead, Iowa, washing her clothes in the river and catching fish for food. Lila is, among other things, a love story, but what distinguishes it is that a woman is the stranger who has come to town. She is the one who might at any moment pack up and leave, the mysterious one with the checkered past. She describes herself as a "likeness of woman, with hands but no face at all, since she never let herself see it." One day she steps inside a church to avoid the rain and when she sees the Reverend it is, for lack of a better description, love at first sight for them both. He is much older than Lila, as gentle as you'd expect a reverend to be, a "beautiful old man" saddened by the death of his first wife and baby in childbirth so many years before. Were it not for Gilead, he might seem a little saintly. Indeed, with so much badness in Lila's past - and the hint of so many bad men - the Reverend can seem too good at times. That said, this is Lila's show. The old man may be just that to her: Beautiful.

Unsurprisingly, after Lila meets the Reverend she becomes consumed with the problem of existence. How to make sense of all the hardship she endured? Of not knowing what sorrow happened in that mess of a house to make Doll steal her away; of not knowing what badness she might have inherited and what she might pass down through her genes. Faced with the Reverend's religiosity, she struggles with how to think about a person like Doll - or Doane and the other drifters: "all those people out there walking the roads all those years, hardly a one of them remembering the Sabbath." In one of the novel's most sensual scenes, the Reverend finally baptizes her. Days later she is in the river, trying to wash it off: "If Doll was going to be lost forever, Lila wanted to be right there with her, holding to the skirt of her dress."

Instead, she and the Reverend get married and have a child. The novel ends with the birth, and a kind of quiet washes over Lila and her troubled mind. Despite this, one morning she tells her husband, "I can't love you as much as I love you. I can't feel as happy as I am." The universe has given her stillness, a husband, a child, and a home, and yet "when you're scalded, touch hurts, it makes no difference if it's kindly meant." Like Ruth of Housekeeping, the Reverend lives with the sad fact that Lila might leave him. And so he lets her wander; he tells her it's okay if one day she has to go. It's a predicament best explained in a line from Housekeeping: "It seemed ... that if she could remain transient here, she would not have to leave." Even the townspeople of Gilead give Lila a wide berth. They leave her "to her smiling quiet, since it always upset her to feel that more was wanted of her."

By the end of Lila, the problem of existence remains large (as it should). There is no reconciliation of Lila's past and present; there are no easy answers for her, not even those the Bible and her kind Reverend offer. But there is comfort. And stillness. In Lila, Robinson has made a profound statement about the safety, and therefore absolute necessity, of love. And yet, it being Iowa, there is always the possibility of a storm on the horizon, of things "caught up in the wind as if they were escaping at last, at last, from having to be whatever they were."

Marjorie Celona is the author of the novel Y.

Associated Graphic

Lila By Marilynne Robinson HarperCollins, 261 pages, $29.99

Marilynne Robinson is as revered in literary and intellectual circles as she is in the Iowa City church where she sometimes preaches.


What size university fits you?
Tall, grande, venti - the size of the undergrad population can set a campus apart from the others
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P4

The little school

Danielle Biss, Mount Allison University Class of 2014

Danielle Biss spent her first year studying at the University of Toronto. The school made sense for her - she could live with family and a scholarship covered tuition. But something didn't feel right.

"I enjoyed my courses, but I didn't feel a sense of community, or a feeling of home," she says. "For some people, it's totally their thing.

But I didn't feel part of something."

In high school, she'd toured schools in the Maritimes, and remembered loving Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. She decided she'd give that school a shot for her second year.

"It's where I was meant to be," says Ms. Biss, who graduated from MtA earlier this year with a psychology degree.

Ms. Biss got the sense of community she was looking for. Sackville is a small town - about 5,500 people - and MtA is a campus of 2,600 students. For many students, it's far away from home, but small schools like MtA inherently offer a sense of community for their students; it's easy to feel part of something.

The small school is home to many Maritimers, but it's a destination for students far and wide, too. "It was an adjustment being so far from home, and not being able to go home for the weekend," Ms. Biss says. "But being in a small community, knowing everybody, made it homey."

Small schools lend themselves to small class sizes, and Ms. Biss found herself getting to know each of her professors. "One benefit of small schools is access to profs," she says. "You never feel like you have to leave their office. At U of T, you have to line up."

It was easy for Ms. Biss to get involved on campus. She became president of her residence, and helped out at the Meighen Centre, the school's space for students with learning disabilities. Because the school is so undergrad-focused, upper-year students get access to jobs normally reserved for grad students, which allowed Ms. Biss to become a teaching assistant in an advanced statistics course and gain valuable experience.

Ms. Biss now works in member relations for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada in Ottawa. Canada's capital is great, she says, but MtA is still in her heart. When she got her degree this spring from Chancellor Peter Mansbridge, she says, "I was shaking his hand, and thought, 'I don't know how I'm going to leave this place.' "

The medium school

Allison Williams, Queen's University Class of 2009

Many students from northwestern Ontario tend to gravitate toward the geographically obvious when picking universities, says Allison Williams, usually Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, or the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. But when an English teacher extolled the virtues of Queen's University to the Emo, Ont., native, she was sold.

The community spirit, the alumni network and the beauty of Kingston all called her name; Ms. Williams was convinced Queen's was where she would go. The school, which plays host to 22,000 students, became her home for four years. For someone attuned to a smaller community, it was a logical next step.

"A medium-sized university is just right for your undergrad," says Ms. Williams, who now studies law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. "You get a lot of the benefits of larger schools - all of the sports teams, more class offerings than a smaller institution - but you also get the benefit of being part of a smaller, more intimate community."

Having since taken a master's degree in Toronto, Ms. Williams says she felt the most connected to her school at Queen's. Being located in Kingston, with many students living on or near campus, helps Queen's avoid a "commuter-school feel," she says. It's a community in and of itself.

The networks people build at the school tend to last well beyond graduation, too. "We have really active alumni branches," she says. "The alumni community there is something that's kind of envied."

Ms. Williams, who majored at Queen's in political science with a minor in gender studies, says the mid-sized school gave her more access to professors than she would have had at a megaschool in an urban centre. The quality of teaching, too, was great: "They attract a lot of wonderful professors who have a passion for teaching, as well as research."

The big school

Travis O'Farrell, McGill University Class of 2010

After commuting into Toronto from suburban Unionville, Ont., for high school, Travis O'Farrell swore he wouldn't let himself be stuck on transit for his whole university career. Still, he was drawn to the glow of big cities. So when he was picking which school he'd attend to study engineering, he decided on McGill.

It was the right school for him. Montreal still lives up to the legend of cheap rent - cheaper, at least, than Toronto, but with the same big-city amenities. He could live steps away from class, but still have access to all the culture and nightlife Montreal offered.

"It's a great balance of professional development and personal growth," Mr. O'Farrell says. "It's demanding, but there's still lots of time to have fun."

Some people worry that big-city schools can be impersonal, but Mr. O'Farrell, a Varsity rower and orientation leader, found it easy to fit into the city and campus through extracurriculars at McGill, a campus of 40,000. "It was a great way to meet people," he says.

The school's reputation precedes it - though The Simpsons once backhandedly called McGill the "Harvard of Canada," the joke was built on truth; it's regularly recognized on the world stage, and the Canadian one, too. "All the teachers are passionate," Mr. O'Farrell says. "Even though it's a research focused school, the teachers really cared about the students. I found class really engaging."

Mr. O'Farrell, now an engineer in Vancouver, finds himself regularly surrounded by colleagues who studied at more obvious engineering focused schools, such as the University of Waterloo. Being from McGill, he says, got him a strong education from a less obvious school in his field. "It makes me stand out."

And a big-city school comes with big-city networks. Mr. O'Farrell moved to Vancouver earlier this year, and the first people he reached out to were McGill alumni. He found a built-in network of connections. "They're always willing to help," he says, and "always eager to meet other McGill folks."

The focused school

Katherine Soucie, Emily Carr University of Art and Design Class of 2009 (and 2013)

It took a little while for Katherine Soucie to wind up at Emily Carr. After studying fashion design in the 1990s, she worked in Toronto as a buyer in the textile industry. She eventually realized she wanted to learn how to dye and print her own fabric, and moved to Vancouver for a diploma at what was then Capilano College.

She stuck around Vancouver, and after running a studio there for five years, didn't anticipate taking another undergrad - but when she discovered that Emily Carr would let her turn her Capilano credits into a degree, she seized the opportunity to do textile research and development there.

Today, Ms. Soucie produces a line of sustainable textiles, buying waste materials and reusing them with a zero-waste approach. Not only did she get a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr - she also stuck around, earning a Master of Applied Arts degree, too. The Vancouver visual-arts and design school served as a crucial inspiration, incubator and resource for her textile work.

"When you're going to a university that completely encompasses all aspects of art and design, you're in an environment where you never know what might inspire you," she says. "It becomes an environment that encompasses all forms of creativity."

Emily Carr's research department is "massive," Ms. Soucie says, keeping the institution dynamic. It also partners with industry in both art and design, and its faculty regularly receives grants that allow students - including undergrads - to do cutting-edge research in both the art and design worlds, giving them great experience.

By going to the small, focused school of 1,800, Ms. Soucie had access to resources she wouldn't have had otherwise, while being able to independently focus on her textile research. "It allows you to think and question and contemplate, but at the same time it motivates you to develop your voice as an artist in Canada," she says. "You're allowed a certain amount of freedom that not all universities allow you to have."

Associated Graphic

Easier access to professors is a perk at smaller schools such as Mount Allison in Sackville, N.B.



Social networks built at medium-sized schools such as Queen's in Kingston result in active alumni branches.



Big city schools such as McGill in Montreal can provide students with strong networks going forward.

Focused schools such as Emily Carr can give access to more resources.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B6

TORONTO -- Canada's newest media mogul likes to joke that his career has been built largely on luck, not intelligence.

"My mother said to me when I was quite young: 'When you have your choice in life between smart and lucky, take lucky all the time,' " says Paul Godfrey, chief executive of Postmedia Network Canada Corp. "I sort of thought about that all the way through. From politics, to sports, to the OLG, to running the National Post, this all sort of fell in my path."

The 75-year-old newspaper boss has told that story many times before and it's part of a well-worn mythology he has created about his life in which he plays the role of an everyman blessed with above-average people skills. Over the course of 50 years in politics and business, Mr. Godfrey has used those skills to cultivate a sprawling network of contacts in Toronto and beyond, famously returning every phone call. "I was never the smartest kid in class," he says during an interview in his Bloor Street office in Toronto. "But if you've got the ability to get along with people, doors will open for you that may not open for other people."

Many doors have opened for Mr. Godfrey over the years and he has also developed a knack for getting out just in time. He left city politics before costs to build Toronto's SkyDome, now called the Rogers Centre, spiralled out of control, emerging later at Rogers to buy the stadium at a steep discount. He departed Sun Media just before a round of 300 layoffs that signalled the start of more than a decade of job cuts. And he was on the board of Canwest Global Communications Inc. when it went under, once again emerging later with investors to buy key newspaper assets.

Through it all Mr. Godfrey has done well financially, pocketing close to $30-million on one newspaper deal and earning nearly $2-million last year from Postmedia.

"People see him glad-handing around, but he's pretty disciplined and he's very strategic," says Edward Sonshine, chief executive of RioCan Investment Trust who is a close friend.

Mr. Godfrey will need that discipline - and luck - to help him in his latest task: overseeing Postmedia's $316-million purchase of 175 Sun Media Corp. newspapers from Quebecor Inc. The deal has already raised concerns about media concentration in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, where Postmedia will own both major dailies. There are also questions about the influence of a group of U.S. hedge funds, which own large stakes in Postmedia. And with print advertising revenue falling at a relentless pace, the chain remains under pressure to cut costs. On Friday, Postmedia posted a $50-million fourth-quarter loss and said print revenue fell 21 per cent in the period.

For now, he is taking everything in stride. The Sun deal "gives us the scale to compete digitally with these foreign-based giants and we've given the bondholders some comfort that our leverage derisks the company. Now, we've got to convince the Competition Bureau that this makes sense for Canadians," he says. "I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I think we have a very logical argument."

The consummate strategist, Mr. Godfrey begins planning his next moves early each day during solitary walks along Toronto's Bay Street. His Labrador retriever nudges him awake around 5:30 a.m. and they set out from his home at the Four Seasons Private Residences, where a penthouse condo once sold for $28-million.

He grew up nearby, in a rented home close to the Kensington Market area. The family eventually scraped together enough money to buy a house in suburban North York and that was where Mr. Godfrey's long political career began in the early 1960s.

He'd just graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in chemical engineering when his mother stepped in with different plans. Bess Godfrey had been a long-time Progressive Conservative party operative and during a political meeting in the family's living room one day, a neighbourhood ratepayer group asked her to run for city council. Ms. Godfrey suggested someone else: Her son.

Mr. Godfrey ran and won a seat as an alderman in North York in 1964 and, by 1973, he had been appointed chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, a now-defunct role that involved co-ordinating the city's patchwork collection of independent boroughs. It was a high-power position but he was making just $69,247 a year, not enough to support the life he and his wife, Gina, wanted. So, when Douglas Creighton, founding publisher of the Toronto Sun tabloid, asked him to run the Sun newspaper in 1984, Mr. Godfrey jumped.

He had no journalism experience but recalls, "My wife was saying: 'We can't live on what you make as a politician.' " He quickly climbed the corporate ranks, becoming president and chief operating officer of Toronto Sun Publishing Group in 1991 and CEO a year later, when then-majority owner Maclean Hunter Ltd. ousted Mr. Creighton.

By 1999, he had led a management buyout of the Sun's newspaper assets, taken that company public and arranged its sale to Quebecor. The end result essentially tripled the company's value and put an estimated $28-million into Mr. Godfrey's pocket.

He left Sun Media in 2000 amid questions of a dispute with Quebecor owner Pierre Karl Péladeau and just months before layoffs began. He landed at Rogers, orchestrating the purchase of the Toronto Blue Jays at the request of company founder Ted Rogers and later overseeing the purchase of the SkyDome for $25million, a fraction of its $600million construction cost.

After the Blue Jays, Mr. Godfrey took on the job of running the National Post in early 2009, shortly before its owner, Canwest, went insolvent. Well-placed once again, he resigned his seat on the Canwest board to make a play for the company. He put together a successful offer with the backing of one of the company's biggest bondholders, New York-based hedge fund GoldenTree Asset Management. The group bought Canwest's publishing assets in a $1.1-billion deal that left the chain with close to $700-million in debt.

Hedge funds love money, not newspapers, Mr. Godfrey says, noting his initial apprehension about working for the U.S. lenders. GoldenTree has a representative on the board and Mr. Godfrey is in regular communication with the company's lender. He insists they have been "inquisitive" while hands off, but some say he doesn't make major moves without consulting the fund managers.

Management admits that Postmedia's high-yield debt, which carries certain conditions about the margins the company must operate under, has led it to cut costs faster than other Canadian newspapers. Postmedia's investors have received an estimated $300-million since 2010 on bonds with interest rates ranging from 8.25 per cent to 13.3 per cent. The chain has cancelled certain print editions, eliminated publishers, outsourced printing and page production and put most of its real estate on the market.

The one major black mark on Mr. Godfey's career came recently, during his tenure at Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. He'd been appointed chair by Ontario's Liberal government in 2009 and soon began championing a downtown Toronto casino complex.

Like the SkyDome before it, Mr. Godfrey saw the high-profile project as good city-building, but the idea met stiff opposition. He also oversaw soaring executive pay hikes, up to 50 per cent in some cases, and got in hot water over a controversial move to cancel the slots at racetracks.

A change in government led to Mr. Godfrey's dismissal in May, 2013, and he left on bitter terms, calling out Premier Kathleen Wynne for the way she handled it. The whole board soon followed, leaving the OLG in disarray, but he maintains today he has no regrets, insisting his plans had the support of the former administration.

Now free to focus entirely on Postmedia, he will have to work hard to continue to appease bottom-line-obsessed hedge fund managers. As he closes in on the end of a long career, this chapter stands in stark contrast to his first foray into publishing. "The most fun was working at the Sun in the early days. Business was booming. Even the board meetings were fun," he says, adding. "It's changed now. You can't call the environment fun today."

Ultimately, Mr. Godfrey thrives on being part of the conversation, and "buying ink by the barrel," helps ensure people will take his call, says close friend Robert Prichard, head of Metrolinx and former CEO of Torstar Corp. "He's built his whole life around being part of the action. And there's no better vehicle for staying relevant and part of the action than running the biggest newspaper company in Canada."

Associated Graphic

Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, Dec. 9, 1980.


Appointed new CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, Sept. 1, 2000.


Postmedia CEO, Oct 17, 2014.


Music as 'a wonderful mental, medical drug'
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1


The scene was a field of tall, poppy-wearing luminaries, nodding in polite conversation to Prince Charles as Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra came to the Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday night for a concert that is one of the highlights of its tour of the United Kingdom.

As the Royal Patron of the tour, Prince Charles added a certain frisson to the crowd at the reception beforehand, as he swept into the room, looking resplendent as a piece of expensive furniture, all tucked in, shiny-shoed and brushed down; festooned with appropriate bits of decoration - a poppy on his lapel, a jaunty poof in his breast pocket. Galen and Hilary Weston, who out-glammed all the women there in a neckline-plunging, long black gown, hovered nearby. They are cochairs of the tour's international advisory committee, having donated generously through the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. Gordon Campbell, Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K, and wife, Nancy; Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, and his wife, Diana, who also served on the committee; and George Lewis, Group Head RBC, the lead sponsors of the tour, and wife, Leanne, were among the crowd.

The theme of the NACO's fivecity, 10-day tour, its first to the U.K. in 20 years, is the "healing power" of music, designed to commemorate the First World War centenary. But since they arrived on Wednesday last week, landing in London as news of the shooting rampage on Parliament Hill came in through e-mails from colleagues, who were under lockdown for most of the day, there has been an added poignancy as the tour also became a tribute to Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, the soldiers who died recently in acts of violence in Ottawa and Montreal.

Throughout the tour, with stops in Edinburgh, Nottingham, London, Salisbury and Bristol, Christopher Deacon, managing director of the NACO, begins each performance with a short speech not only noting the 66,000 lost Canadians soldiers in the First World War but also the recent tragedy.

In Edinburgh last Thursday, the NACO's first tour date, the performance was particularly moving. "I don't speak from the stage," Pinchas Zukerman, music director, conductor and virtuoso violin soloist of the NACO had told me recently. "I speak from my fiddle. And I have done since I was seven." But that night, moved by the violence of the day before, he did both. Zukerman turned to the audience at the end of the performance in a rare spoken address. He briefly drew attention to the events in Ottawa, saying that the best way he knows to express gratitude "to a life and people and to peace is through music." He then led the orchestra in an encore performance of Serenade for Strings by Elgar. Earlier, as part of the planned program, he had played Bruch's Violin Concerto on his prized 1741 Guarneri del Gesu to a standing ovation.

"This tour ... reminds us that evil is no good," Zukerman explained in an interview earlier this fall, when the focus was just on the centenary of the Great War. Music is "a wonderful mental, medical drug" for healing and remembrance, the Israeliborn former child prodigy said. This U.K. tour is Zukerman's last international one as its music director. He will step down at the end of the season after 16 years. In an interview backstage at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, his wife, Amanda Forsyth, principal cellist, announced that she will leave the NACO this year as well.

"It's like jumping off a cliff, " she said of the decision. "It's a new beginning. I will miss my orchestra life," she said, adding that she and Zukerman, who recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary, will continue with their busy, international solo careers.

The mood backstage in Edinburgh was one of contained excitement. Private funding totalling roughly $800,000 through the National Arts Centre Foundation is the primary support of the trip. "These tours are no longer possible if not successfully funded from the private sector," said Peter Herrndorf, who has been president and CEO of the Crown corporation for 15 years. The theme of the First World War centenary was "important to donors and sponsors," he explained.

NACO patrons - "our groupies" as one NAC employee affectionately called them - come from across Canada. They accompany the orchestra throughout its tour, which includes various ancillary events such as a performance by a brass quartet at the Canadian war memorial in Green Park, London. In Edinburgh, they were treated to haggis canapés at a reception upstairs while Zukerman and his orchestra performed a sound-check rehearsal in the Beaux Art concert hall. When he instructed them to play certain sections of the pieces from that night's performance schedule - works from Vaughan Williams, Beethoven and Canadian composer, John Estacio - they did so, as if the music were some gorgeous, velvet cape they could simply pick up off the floor, swing over their shoulders to parade around the stage, and then drop again, just like that.

In London, they performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, of which Zukerman has been principal guest conductor since 2009. The collaboration "symbolizes that we understand one another," Zukerman noted. It was the only concert of the tour with two choral-orchestral works, Beethoven's Symphony No.9 and A Ballad of Canada by Malcolm Forsyth, Amanda Forsyth's late father who emigrated from South Africa to Canada in 1969.

"This was Dad's last piece," she told me. "It kept him alive." He died of cancer three years ago but was able to travel to Ottawa for the premiere from his home in Edmonton. The ballad, written as a "thank you to Canada for helping him become the musician he wanted to be" according to Zukerman, who worked closely with him, contains poetry from In Flanders Fields by Canadian First World War soldier and physician, John McCrae. "I feel that I am very much the ambassador of my father's music now, " Forsyth said, noting that he had written several cello concertos for his only child, including Electra Rising, which won a Juno in 1998.

Tonight, in Salisbury - described by Herrndorf as "the emotional heart of the tour" - the orchestra will perform in the 755-year-old Salisbury Cathedral, the best example of English Early Gothic architecture in the U.K. The Cathedral's construction, revolutionary at the time - built in one generation, between 1220 and 1258, using 70,000 tons of stone - was the inspiration for Ken Follett's popular book The Pillars of the Earth.

Its imposing size and spire allows the Cathedral to be seen from a distance across the plains, which is where 30,000 Canadian soldiers came to train before being sent to fight in France 100 years ago. Among them was McCrae.

During his tenure, Zukerman, who came to the NACO in 1999 from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, has been a charismatic leader. Aside from music, his great passion is education, having initiated the NAC Young Artists Program, now part of the NAC Summer Institute.

"When we travel, we also give classes. A good 30 to 35 players [in the orchestra] are teachers, and they teach master classes, individual classes, so when we arrive in a city, we don't just play. We go to conservatories, the music schools. We plant seeds in these places," he said.

Now 66 and a grandfather - he has two daughters from his first marriage to flutist Eugenia Zukerman - the world-celebrated musician, a violin protégé of the late Isaac Stern, has no plans for retirement. "If I retired, I don't know what those people [at NAC] would do. I have committed to three years of concerts," he exclaimed exuberantly. He and Forsyth, who is 48, are a formidable musical team, both exuding a passion as strong as a gale-force wind when you come into contact with it.

When they travel, they bring their prized instruments on board the airplane in executive class. "I carry mine on my shoulder and put it in the overhead compartment. Amanda has to put her cello upside down, sitting in a seat, with a seat belt. You wouldn't put a child in the hold, would you?"

Backstage in Edinburgh, they shared a dressing room. "Pinchas is the best role model and musician. He is the God of the violin and viola. It's very affirming to play together so much," she told me. "We have this telepathic understanding."

She called out to him when he disappears behind a small divider in the room. "We're a team, aren't we, honey? Like Sonny and Cher! " she joked.

"Yes, you're Sonny. I'm Cher," he retorted.

She shot back: "Then I guess I will have to get you a wig."

The National Arts Centre Orchestra concert at Salisbury Cathedral will be broadcast on CBC Radio 2 on Nov. 11 and on CBC Television as part of its Remembrance Day coverage.

Associated Graphic

Pinchas Zukerman in Edinburgh, where he made a rare spoken address to the audience.


ACTs in search of acts of faith
A program to address Vancouver's mental health crisis by taking services into the community is finding small successes. But police and politicians say a lot more could be done, Andrea Woo reports
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

Theresa Pratt sits at her dining table and lights a cigarette, the flicker of the flame briefly illuminating her otherwise dim apartment. Placing the lighter on the table - among the clutter of coffee mugs, utensils and papers - she turns her attention to a visitor, a former adversary turned friendly acquaintance.

These days, Brendan Munden's weekly visits are made up of casual chats about the past seven days.

But they weren't always so pleasant. A couple of years earlier, Mr. Munden and his colleagues in Vancouver's Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams had to track down a reluctant Ms. Pratt several times a week to make sure she was taking the anti-psychotic medication prescribed for her bipolar disorder. The 57-year-old was born at Riverview, a notorious mental hospital, to a mother with schizoaffective disorder. She says she first connected with the teams after a hospital stay during a dark period in her life.

"At first, I didn't know what to think of [their visits] but, over time, I liked it," Ms. Pratt said. "They're a very good team. They do their job well and they're a likeable bunch."

The expansion of these teams was one of a handful of urgent requests Vancouver's mayor and police chief made to senior levels of government one year ago in declaring a mentalhealth crisis in the city.

With hundreds of people with severe and untreated mental illness posing a high risk to both themselves and others, Mayor Gregor Robertson and Police Chief Jim Chu made five recommendations they said would have an immediate impact on affected populations.

But 13 months later, there are no meaningful signs of improvement: Some recommendations - such as growing the ACT teams - were implemented, while others were dismissed entirely. Meanwhile, the numbers of psychiatric emergency visits and police apprehensions of people with mental illness continue to climb year over year.

A month away from the municipal elections, mental health has also become a campaign issue, inextricably tied to Mr. Robertson's ambitious goal to end street homelessness by 2015. Kirk LaPointe, the mayoral candidate for the Non-Partisan Association, has accused the mayor of being disingenuous to the public by setting an unrealistic target.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail this week, Mr. Robertson said he was pleased that last year's call for action sparked some response from the province, such as the ACT teams. However, he said more needs to be done, and soon.

"A big gap remains with the lack of long-term-care beds," Mr. Robertson said. "That's got to be addressed urgently, as we see, in the crisis with homelessness, mental health and addictions are a big factor. There's no treatment available for many of these people who are desperately in need." The mayor has called for 300 longterm mental-health beds.

Under Section 28 of B.C.'s Mental Health Act, a police officer can immediately take a person to a physician if the officer believes that person has a mental illness and could be a safety risk to that person or others. In Vancouver, these apprehensions have grown year after year to 2,872 in 2013 and police expect this year's total to top 3,000. As of this week, there have been more than 2,400 Section 28 apprehensions in Vancouver this year.

Constable Brian Montague, a spokesman for the Vancouver police department, emphasized that these figures account only for Section 28 apprehensions - the most serious of such calls.

"This doesn't include all the calls that our officers go to every day involving individuals with mental-health issues or concerns," he said.

Of all reported incidents that police respond to, 21 per cent involve a person with mental illness - and the department feels the true figure is probably closer to 30 per cent, Constable Montague said.

"But even at 21 per cent, you're looking at tens of thousands of calls a year - like 30,000 calls a year, 75 calls a day, every day," he said. "It's a huge issue, there's no doubt about it."

Acting Inspector Howard Tran, who is in charge of the VPD's mental health portfolio, attributes Vancouver's situation largely to the "gravitational pull of the Downtown Eastside," where lax attitudes and low-barrier services can draw vulnerable populations from across the region. An increase in crystal methamphetamine use, which is linked to psychosis, and a reduction in stigma surrounding mental health may also be reasons mentalhealth cases are becoming more visible, he said.

The Vancouver Police Department created its mental-health unit in November, 2012, and it now comprises about a dozen officers dedicated to mental-health initiatives. This includes working with health authorities, serving on the mayor's task force on mental health and being embedded with the ACT teams. Vancouver's ACT teams started in 2012; two new teams added this spring bring the total to five.

The outreach teams - which comprise nurses, social workers, police officers, psychiatrists and other mental-health professionals - target some of the city's most difficult to treat by taking their services out into the community and following up with clients indefinitely.

George Scotton, manager of the Vancouver ACT teams, describes it as turning the conventional doctor-patient model on its head.

"The office space model works great for guys who can keep their appointments, know what day it is, what time it is, that sort of thing," he said. "Where it tends not to work really well is for guys at the far end of the continuum.

They're quite addicted, [with] challenging psychiatric illness, in and out of the hospital, police contact, that sort of stuff. That's our specialty; that's our bread and butter. And that's where we're most effective."

In the program's first year of operation, ACT clients had a 70-percent reduction in emergency department visits, a 61-per-cent reduction in criminal justice involvement and a 23-per-cent reduction in incidents of victimization, according to the Ministry of Health. The five teams, which each cost about $1.6-million annually, can take on a total caseload of 420 people.

"These are expensive programs and [the Ministry of Health] wouldn't be investing in this if they didn't think there were some gains," Insp. Tran said. "But I don't want to make it seem like ACT is the panacea; there should be many levels of services. Not everyone is appropriate for ACT, and ACT is not going to work for everybody."

The new teams were part of an action plan by the province released in response to Vancouver's concerns. That plan also included the development of a nine-bed behavioural stabilization unit at St. Paul's and a new intensive case management team for youth. However, the mayor's call for 300 long-term mental health beds remains unmet.

Asked about the request, B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake said the province is not confident that 300 long-term beds are urgently needed. The priority, Mr. Lake said, is to move away from the Riverview model of institutionalization and toward communitybased supports. "We have to somehow move off this idea that we need to put people behind walls," he said. "We we want to provide supports in the community to the greatest extent possible, and then go from there."


In September, 2013, Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu declared a mental-health crisis in the city and made five urgent recommendations to senior levels of government.

Recommendations met:

More significant support through Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams for psychiatric patients living in the community. Two new ACT teams were created in May.

An enhanced form of urgent care (crisis centre) at a Vancouver hospital. A nine-bed acute behavioural stabilization unit opened at St. Paul's Hospital in March.

The creation of a joint Vancouver Police-Vancouver Coastal Health Assertive Outreach Team (AOT) for people who do not qualify for ACT teams. The AOT team - which includes a nurse, social worker, psychiatrist, physician and VPD staff - came online in March and helps transition people with mental illness from local emergency departments to community services.

Still outstanding:

Add 300 long-term mentalhealth treatment beds. There remains a gap of 250 secure mental-health treatment beds. A 14-bed secure mentalhealth facility is pending.

More staffing at BC Housing sites to support tenants with psychiatric issues. More training capacity to support mental health and addictions staff is pending.

Associated Graphic

It has taken months to accomplish, but Theresa Pratt has learned to appreciate visits to her home from social worker Brendan Munden, a member of the Assertive Community Treatment team. 'They do their job well and they're a likeable bunch,' she says.



Acting Inspector Howard Tran of Vancouver police cautions that the Assertive Community Treatment program is not a panacea for mental health issues - 'there should be many levels of services.'


Being neighbourly is a requirement
Co-housing project residents share much more than a house, and are expected to contribute to each other's lives
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S7

Vancouver's first co-housing project is finally under construction and presales are almost sold out, with only three units remaining.

The 31-unit project, located at 1733 E. 33rd Ave. on Vancouver's east side, ranges from studios to four-bedroom units. The remaining units range in price from around $300,000 to $720,000.

It may be a first for Vancouver, but it's a form of housing that's been undergoing a quiet boom throughout the province. In B.C., co-housing communities are either completed or in progress in Burnaby, Langley, North Vancouver, Bowen Island, Nanaimo, Qualicum, Parksville, Courtenay, Roberts Creek, Nelson, Yarrow and Victoria, according to B.C.-based Canadian Cohousing Network. In Vancouver, on East 35th Avenue, land has been secured for another 30-unit project.

B.C. is leading the way in the co-housing movement, which has grown from the idea that community living is better for the environment, is healthier, and, in the long run, is more affordable. Outside of B.C., there are only 10 co-housing projects in Canada, including the ecoHousing Community that's getting started in Toronto.

Co-housing is also booming because it's a part of the emerging sharing economy, which includes car-sharing, ride-sharing, tool- and book-sharing and space-sharing services, such as Airbnb. In Vancouver, there's even dog-sharing. The concept has been particularly embraced by West Coasters, in both Canada and the U.S., says Ericka Stephens-Rennie, who is one of the co-founders of Vancouver Cohousing.

She says co-housing is a growing phenomenon on the West Coast, and sees a lot more cohousing in Vancouver's future.

"My own assessment of the situation is it matches up well with growing interests in the sharing economy. There is a lot of interest in that in Vancouver, Victoria and across the Lower Mainland and spreading down into Portland.

"You see the organization of people who are questioning whether or not they need to personally own everything that they want as a part of their life, or whether sharing is a better option. I think co-housing is one of those pieces. They're asking, 'Do I need to own guest rooms and a home office? Or can I share it?' "

Co-housing is a Danish idea brought to North America by American architect Charles Durrett. Mr. Durrett, who is based in California, made the concept a reality for Vancouver when he and Vancouver developer Alan Forrester helped a group of cohousing enthusiasts make the project happen. It wasn't easy. Previous attempts had failed, usually because groups couldn't compete with big developers for land.

Mr. Forrester, who put the land deal together, estimates there had been at least 20 previous attempts.

"I had [the land] under contract and started working with Chuck. From there, the whole thing came together," says Mr. Forrester, who is no longer involved in the project. "I like to work on innovative projects, and without a doubt, cohousing is socially innovative."

In July, a year and a half after they purchased three single family homes and had them rezoned for multifamily, they broke ground on the $15-million project.

Unlike the usual process of a developer purchasing the land, developing it and then selling it, a co-housing project is controlled and developed by the cohousers themselves, often from beginning to end. In the case of the Vancouver Cohousing project, the group has formed a development company that will dissolve not long after they take possession of their condo units in September, 2015. At that stage, they will form a typical strata arrangement. However, unlike the average condo strata council, they will have access to a shared 6,500-square-foot community space and every household will make decisions by consensus.

Residents also understand that they are part of a unique community, where they will contribute to each other's lives instead of living in isolation. Residents will likely help each other with daycare, elder care and shared meals. Nobody is required to participate in such activities, but the idea is that purchasers are the sort of people who are open to helping their neighbours and creating a community, rather than living behind closed doors and barely making eye contact in the elevator.

Operating by consensus is not for everyone. After attending the required meetings, some people have bowed out, Ms. StephensRennie says.

As well, there are misconceptions about co-housing. A big one is that people think it means a loss of privacy.

"People assume they don't get their own kitchen or bathroom or living room. They assume they will be living in a dorm," she says, laughing. "That's not the case."

Another fallacy is that cohousing is cheaper than regular market condos. In fact, the price can be slightly higher because buyers are purchasing a unit as well as a share of the common space.

"This is not below market housing - co-housing has an upfront cost that can be higher," Ms. Stephens-Rennie says. "The affordability gains come from things that happen after [you buy in]."

For example, Internet will be cheaper because they've struck a deal with a service provider. Units can be smaller because residents won't need the extra space for a home office or guest rooms. Office space and guest rooms will be provided in the common area. There will also be a shared laundry as an option, a multipurpose yoga studio and a place to play music. Community members have already started an inventory of all the tools and equipment they can share.

Lorne Mallin is looking forward to the yoga studio as well as jamming with his neighbours.

Mr. Mallin, 67, bought a 510square-foot unit for $317,000. He's downsizing from his current 800-plus-square-foot rental apartment with an ocean view in high-end Kerrisdale. The former newspaper editor cashed out of his Point Grey house in 2006, but he had been searching for a co-housing project as far back as the 1990s. He even tried to get one going but couldn't find enough willing participants. He's willing to make sacrifices in exchange for the communityfocused lifestyle.

"It wouldn't be my first choice to live in that neighbourhood, or to live in 510 square feet, or in a unit that hardly gets direct sun - but it was my first choice to live in co-housing. That priority trumped the others," he says.

"Mostly it's living in community, knowing your neighbours well and not being isolated. Feeling supported. It's about the opportunity to age in place. I have a daughter who may produce grandchildren at some point, but there are lots of surrogate grandchildren to connect with in this community."

That said, he does wonder how the reality of shared living will play out. A litmus test for co-housing that is offered by Mr. Durrett is to imagine a pool full of kids screaming. Ask yourself if your impulse is to go check out the ruckus or walk away.

"My impulse would be to get out of there," he says, laughing. "I can only take so much of kids screaming. It remains to be seen."

Ms. Stephens-Rennie, her husband and young son currently live in a rental apartment. She looks forward to the multigenerational aspect of her future cohousing home, which she will own.

"I have a young son and his grandparents live in Ontario and the interior of B.C., and this way he can engage with elders on [a] regular basis."

The residents have already formed a community since they started attending workshops and meetings in 2012. Because everything is by consensus, they are hammering out every conceivable concern that might arise. For example, one of the more senior purchasers expressed concern about placing garbage and recycling in the parking garage. She said it would be easier for her to pull the bins out to the lane.

"This was coming from an elder woman in our community who has had hip challenges," Ms. Stephens-Rennie says. "A couple of the younger guys said, 'Don't worry. We'll take care of that for you. You can participate in another way.' In a multigenerational community, you can sort those things out."

A major benefit for the seniors in the group is that the units are designed so they can age in place, with wheelchair accessibility throughout.

"When you have close-knit relationship with the neighbours, there's this intentionality of saying, 'I value you as a community member. We are going to figure out how to keep you in the community.' " .

Vancouver Cohousing is holding a public information meeting on Monday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at 802-5555 Balsam St. Details at

Associated Graphic

Renderings of a proposed 31-unit co-housing project in Vancouver's east side with, units ranging in size from studios to four-bedrooms. A co-housing project is controlled and developed by residents, from beginning to end.

'You need to invent your own kind of special'
Philip Treacy is the world's most famous hat-maker, a position he partially owes to the late Isabella Blow, an early champion of his fantastical fascinators. With pieces from Blow's wardrobe currently on display in Toronto, Treacy discusses his friend's legacy - and how she would have reacted to our infatuation with her style
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L4 @Jeanne_Beker

There's an air of melancholy and wonder at Hudson's Bay in Toronto, where items from the flamboyant wardrobe of the late British fashion icon Isabella Blow have been put on display for Fashion Blows, an exhibit at The Room. Blow was famous for her outrageous personal style and staunch support of young design talent.

A style editor at Tatler magazine, she discovered the late, great Alexander McQueen when he was a student at Central Saint Martins, buying up his entire graduation collection. She also commissioned numerous hats from Irish-born milliner Philip Treacy - who now designs for everyone from Lady Gaga and Madonna to members of the Royal Family - when he was still a student at the Royal College of Art. Despite Blow's unparalleled creative zest and unbridled love of fashion, she met a tragic end, taking her own life in 2007 after years of struggling with depression.

Upon Blow's death, her best friend, British fashionista Daphne Guinness, bought Blow's entire personal wardrobe (it was exhibited last year at London's Somerset House to wide acclaim) and launched the Isabella Blow Foundation to help nurture young fashion talent. Guinness and Treacy were in Toronto this week to host a gala fundraiser for the foundation. Before his arrival in Canada, I spoke with Treacy over the phone from his London studio to reminisce about his close friend and mentor.

I think anyone who loves fashion loved Isabella and certainly misses her. How have you come to terms with losing her?

Well, that's a big question, Jeanne. You never really come to terms with losing anybody in such circumstances, especially somebody who's part of your creative life and emotional life. She leaves a big void. She'd be very happy that she's irreplaceable. And I think she'd be happy that people are as interested in her as they are. She's become the superstar she never thought she would be.

How ironic is that?

The Isabella I knew would have been so entertained and laughed so hard and for so long at the idea of being referred to as an icon. She'd have loved that. That would have kept her alive if she had known.

What do you think her biggest contribution was?

Well, she was somebody who had a heart. Her contribution artistically is enormous because she was very encouraging of young creative people. She kept young talent in pocket money sometimes. Isabella will always be remembered as an original. And there are very few original people in that creative world.

How would you say her personal style evolved, even over the course of the time that you knew her?

It changed dramatically at certain points. Isabella would sometimes be surprised when people who didn't really know her thought what she was wearing was chic.

Isabella may have looked unusual but she wasn't trying to look unusual. I was just saying to Gaga that Isabella would have hated the idea of being regarded aseccentric. She thought that "eccentric" was a putdown.

I recall talking to Isabella one day after McQueen showed his fi rst collection for Givenchy. She bemoaned the fact that the art had been sucked out of fashion and that commerce was taking a toll on the fashion world.

Well, she told the truth, don't you think?

Yeah, I do.

Would you agree with her?

I would totally agree with that.

Isabella was devastated about the idea about having to go and see some designer's sock collection at 9 o'clock on a Wednesday morning. She just thought that was the most heartbreaking thing to do, but she was a fashion director, so she had to go.

If the business has become that mundane, I fi nd it curious that the Isabella Blow Foundation is all about encouraging young people to go into this industry. Will they really be prepared for it? You study your brains out and work so hard and then you go into this world that doesn't really appreciate great artistry.

Well, it's just that you don't want to hear that when you're starting out, because you're so idealistic. It's a dream. It's your perception of what fashion is. But it can really get beaten out of you.

What advice do you think Isabella would give to an aspiring designer today?

Isabella believed in originality and craftsmanship. One of the only routes for young people is to have an original perspective on what fashion can look like. It's not the only route. Very few people get to do that. But as a designer, there are millions of jackets and pairs of black, long slinky pants. You need to invent your own kind of special.

There's no question there's so much sameness out there. That's dizzying in itself. We're just all searching for some excitement, for a little shock value perhaps. And it rarely comes.

There is a lot of fashion now. You remember when there were fewer designers. Now everybody is a designer! What do you glean from the magnificent pieces from Isabella's wardrobe that have gone on display? You probably knew each of these garments intimately because you hung out with her so much.

Yes. Because Isabella didn't buy something and then wear it once. She wore it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then sometimes she slept in it, too! So they're not really clothes; they're almost relics - battle relics. She lived her life in fashion through these clothes. Someone would look at the Givenchy by Alexander McQueen kimono and think she must have worn that to some very posh event, but Isabella potentially wore it on the tube to work! And that's really what made her special - she thought clothes were to be enjoyed by the wearer and by the viewer.

And they were: I never saw Isabella get a bad reaction, even in the most unusual situations. People would say, "I like your d hat." They never would say, "What the hell is that?!" People had a sense of d humour.

She wore things with such aplomb. Not everyone has that innate sense of courage and confidence.

She wore those things like they were a navy blazer. It was just, "This is my outfit. This is what I wear today." When you en admire beautifully made things de on women, they don't always takethe complement. Sometimes you times could say, "I love your outfit!" And they say, "Oh, really? Do you like it?" Isabella would say, "Yes, isn't it amazing?!"

It was almost a childlike view.

She thought the point of fashion was to entertain us and entertain her and to make you feel good. Is that not the point?

Indeed. Well, you certainly remain true to that with the way you design. I always take such delight in all your creations.

Thank you. Isabella was fantastic for young creative people at the time bet cause she totally on your side. When I made my ship hat, she said everybody was going to want one. And I thought nobody was going to want it. But basically, I could have sold hundreds of ship hats. I sell hats but really what I sell is dreams.

Do you hold any great hope for the fashion industry and for young designers? Are you optimistic about the future?

Of course - and you have to be optimistic. Look, one of the greatest designers that England has ever known was the son of taxi driver [McQueen]. You cannot stop talent. Talent can come from anywhere. If you've got talent, it will happen. And so, now, Alexander is an international icon. I remember a moment when Isabella was his only champion.

I remember that well. And what is your hope for the Isabella Blow Foundation?

I'd like Isabella to be remembered as the extraordinary person that she was and for people to enjoy her clothes and to enjoy her and see that there are lots of different types of people in the world. These unique people, in retrospect, were icons. But there was a moment when people thought Isabella was kooky. You remember that, don't you?

I remember it. But what pains me the most is remembering how bad she felt when she felt she wasn't appreciated. It would have been wonderful for her to know how much she is now loved.

It would have cheered her up knowing.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

RUN OF THE MILLINER Philip Treacy (pictured at far left with his late friend and champion, Isabella Blow) has created hats and fascinators for some of the world's most famous women, from Victoria Beckham and Lady Gaga to such royals as Princess Beatrice (middle right) and the Duchess of Cambridge (right). The outlandish fuchsia bonnet is from Treacy's fall/ winter 2001 couture collection.


And Italy, France and Britain. Those countries, Nathalie Atkinson observes, are both innovative and aggressive when it comes to promoting their design industries. Canada would do well to take a page or two out of their books
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L7

Last month, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark made a brief but event-fi lled visit to Canada. They attended luncheons and dinners, participated in seminars on Danish design and posed at product showcases in Ottawa and Toronto. In addition to strengthening existing Canadian business relationships, the purpose of their trip, as stated in their delegation document, was to increase current Danish exports to Canada. Some 80 companies in the fields of green building, health, style and taste took part in the mission, according to consulate reports.

Contrast the vigour and enthusiasm of the Danish trade trip with Adrienne Clarkson's 2003 circumpolar tour designed to promote Canadian culture among our northern neighbours. The fi rst leg, to Russia, Finland and Iceland, saw the then-Governor General squire 51 prominent Canucks around those countries at an ultimate cost of $5.3-million, a sum that prompted howls of outrage from opposition parties. "It's another example of excessive spending on the part of government departments," Conservative MP Peter MacKay said at the time, despite the fact that his own party would go on to highlight the importance of Canada's role in the North. The second instalment of the vice-regal trip, to Norway, Sweden and Denmark, was abruptly cancelled a couple of months later.

In the years before and since, Canada has sponsored international trade missions to important emerging markets such as China. (Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is planning a week-long one to that country starting Oct. 25.) But almost all of these Team Canada sorties have been entirely commercial in nature, not related to promoting a national design identity, as Denmark's was. So how else does Canada actively promote its viable design exports - from contemporary clothing labels such as Smythe to classic furniture designs like Solair chairs - elsewhere? It doesn't, really. Not as a country, anyway. Non-governmental Montreal and Toronto Fashion Week organizations have in the past worked with local and provincial agencies to fly in and host foreign journalists and buyers, part of the funding provided by tourism and economic-development grants. Over all, though, the Canadian government doesn't organize or sponsor trade-show presence or delegations for fashion and design.

On its website, Canada's Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) lists the many sectors it helps promote and develop, categories such as "chemicals and plastics," "wine, beer and spirits" and "arts and cultural." Apparel, textiles and furniture, however, fall under the broad "consumer goods" sector, where there is but one upcoming event listed on the site: an ExpoCuba trade fair in Cuba in November.

Clearly, Canada could take a few promotional lessons from other designminded countries. Here are just a few of the things some nations are doing.

Plying them with wine as they shop

You would think that welcoming the world's top journalists and stylists to Paris Fashion Week (plus Premiere Vision, the seasonal textile market) twice a year would be enough, but UBIFRANCE, the government arm charged with promoting French companies abroad, also carves out space at North American trade shows to directly promote home-decor and fashion companies to showrooms and retail buyers. (In 2013, for instance, it installed a French pavilion at IDS in Toronto.) This year, there have been three different French pavilions subsidized or sponsored by UBIFRANCE at key New York trade shows: International Vision Expo (to which it brought 17 eyewear designers), Accessorie Circuit (11 fashion companies, mainly jewellery) and two editions of NY NOW (where primarily home designers were featured), according to information supplied by the senior trade advisor in UBIFRANCE's New York office. Last year, the organization also produced a special event, called l'Art de vivre à la française, in Los Angeles.

In Canada, two regional offices, in Montreal and Toronto, further support these efforts by organizing group events or preparing market reports, programs and visits based on individual needs. The next of these is a fashion event in Toronto on Oct. 27 and 28, when the fashion brands Jayko, Lancaster, Max, Jean Rousseau and Banen will be brought in for familiarization with the Canadian retail landscape and business-to-business meetings tailored according to their profi le and export strategy.

For the most part, the French design delegations are treated as seriously as other categories, such as fi lm or wine (the latter always abundant at these mixers). This should come as no surprise considering that haute couture is a controlled appellation (like Champagne) that the French consider as much a part of their heritage as commerce. Bottom line: French design is a cultural export.

Taking an artful route

A division of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development, Italtrade sometimes brings together the cultural and consumer sectors in its promotions, as it did when it incorporated choreography by former National Ballet of Canada soloist Roberto Campanella, who was born and raised in Rome, in one of its events.

Recently, Italtrade sponsored Holt Renfrew's Italian Immersion experience, flying in industry players such as Canali president Giorgio Canali and rising talents like Stella Jean for Canadian press events (it also sent top Canadian buyers and press to the latter's runway presentation in Rome this summer). In its promotion of Italian textiles, Italtrade even indirectly helps Canadian fashion designers: Steven Tai, a London-based Canadian known for his experimention with fabrics, was recently sent on a visit to the Filo trade show in Milan to explore creative partnerships with Italian textile factories, ideally with a view to using their wares in future collections. He most likely will.

Being extra-generous

The dynamic British Fashion Council, London Fashion Week's organizing body, does the usual things during its sartorial showcases: It brings foreign journalists and buyers to the shows, arranges showroom visits, even helps place orders. Not content to merely promote its own domestic industry, however, the Council has also been known to engage with foreign embassies and delegations to showcase designers from other jurisdictions on The Strand and at satellite locations. The gesture is a mark, of course, of a confident market and a mature nation, but it creates considerable good will among participants and a sense of occasion around such events.

Canada's sole official presence during London Fashion Week last February was spearheaded by la belle province, which is much more proactive in the promotion of its cultural industries than the federal government tends to be. For the duration of LFW, the Quebec Government Office in London hosted a contingent of the province's most promising designers (UNTTLD, Melissa Nepton and five others) in a promotion called Montreal: The White Winter Fashion City. The event came about as result of collaboration between the Office, Export-Quebec and the Fashion Designers' Council of Quebec (because they have one) and ensured the attention of the international press, buyers and the public at least for that one week.

Bringing out the big guns

There is no doubt that the star power of Prince Frederik and Princess Mary was integral to the recent Danish trade trip to Canada, a key element of which was the opening of Danish Design Obsessed, a pop-up-shop partnership with Hudson's Bay featuring the sleek tableware and accessories of the heritage silversmith brand Georg Jensen among its 30 brands. Princess Mary, an Australian who married Frederik in 2004, made small talk with design press, chatted up her country's talent and even handled the goods, holding bracelets and dresses aloft like one of Barker's Beauties from The Price is Right. And it wasn't at all vulgar. Not even when she inadvertently posed, as one observer pointed out, near a display of men's briefs.

Of course, Canada has no royals to deploy in any sector and an often fractious federal-provincial system. But we do have many homegrown stars who are popular abroad, from Rachel McAdams (her penchant is for green design solutions, something our designers have many of) to Nickelback (hey, Montreal is the largest manufacturer of denim after Los Angeles), who could be deputized to do more than occasionally wear Canadian labels and formally talk up our industrial-design talent. Celebrity ambassadors relevant to mass culture (and commerce) are the next best thing to royalty. They would certainly have a lot to promote.

Associated Graphic

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENTS During London Fashion Week, top, organizers not only showcase domestic clothing, but also provide venues for foreign designers to feature their wares, generating good will. In September, Denmark sent Crown Princess Mary, in dark suit above, to Canada to promote her country's creative industries.


THE ITALIAN WAY Italtrade, an Italian government agency, recently collaborated with Canadian department-store chain Holt Renfrew to fly in designers such as Rome-based Stella Jean, above. It also sent top local buyers and journalists to her runway show in Italy this summer.


'I was never in a perfect situation where everything was peaches and cream. I like to work from the dirt and make something out of it'
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan can recall the training camps when there were nine or 10 new Toronto Raptors to meet, and much of the familiarity built the previous season had been washed away.

He counts his blessings for the way it is today.

For most of DeRozan's early years in Toronto, each fall brought the daunting challenge of learning the tendencies of new teammates and creating new chemistry. The Raptors selected him ninth overall in the 2009 NBA draft, a 19-year-old swingman who had played just a single college season at USC. He opted to leave school early largely for what an NBA contract could do to ease the pain his mother suffered daily with lupus. The Raptors' general manager at the time, Bryan Colangelo, compared his athleticism to that of renowned Raptor Vince Carter.

"He's got a chance to be special," Colangelo had said in DeRozan's introductory press conference. "But let's let him do it on his own time."

DeRozan watched dozens come and go during his first five years in Toronto, names such as Andrea Bargnani, Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Jose Calderon, and Rudy Gay. One constant remained with DeRozan - Amir Johnson, from Los Angeles, just like him.

Together, they navigated the Raptors' painstaking process of building a roster and eventually, a winning culture. "Oh man, we had so many teammates over the years, I couldn't even count them," Johnson said. "Yeah, we've become close; DeMar and I have definitely bonded. We're happy to see the growth of this team" DeRozan's first four years in Toronto were all losing seasons, but his average points a game swelled with each year, his game improved and his value deepened. Last season, he ranked 10th in the NBA with a career-best 22.7 points a game, helping lead the Raptors to a franchise-high 48win season and their first playoff appearance since 2008. From there, the 6-foot-6 workhorse threw himself into the off-season, hiring a ball-handling specialist, pushing his conditioning to the limits back in California and doing everyday things with his left hand in the hopes it could strengthen his off-hand play on the court. Any little thing to help sustain the magic the Raptors created last season, a playoff magnetism that had sold-out crowds stoked and rollicking in Air Canada Centre and another 10,000 watching outside, just to be near it.

Now, entering his sixth NBA season, 25-year-old DeRozan has arrived. If it wasn't obvious before, reminders came in last year's all-star nod; via his 23.9 points a game in the playoffs; from how he combined with Kyle Lowry to create one the most electric backcourts in the NBA; or through DeRozan's selection to Team USA this summer for the FIBA World Cup. Lowry re-signed in Toronto to keep the duo together; the other three starters remain, too; and sixth man Greivis Vasquez declared his undying love for the city and its franchise to remain a part of it.

"I was here for the tough times and I think that put more hunger in me," DeRozan said, chatting this week in a corner of the Raptors' practice facility. "That's what it's always been for me. I was never in a perfect situation where everything was peaches and cream. I like to work from the dirt and make something out of it."

When Dwane Casey became head coach of the Raptors in 2011, he was inheriting a team that had gone 22-60 the year before, but he felt he had a special piece of the puzzle in DeRozan.

"I knew he was an athletic, skinny young man who had a lot of potential and a great approach to the game, and I thought 'This kid is a piece of clay' and I knew if he kept that same potential, he was going to be on his way," Casey recalled. "I've seen the progress of this off-season; he's got excellent command of the ball, much improved from over the last two years, so we're going to be running some pick and rolls for him because of his improved ball handling. People look at him now as a finished product, but he's far from reaching his ceiling as a player."

At the FIBA World Cup in early September, DeRozan had 43 points over nine games coming off the bench for a star-studded U.S. team en route to a gold medal. It may have appeared a bit role, but he spent valuable time sharing tricks of the trade with NBA stars such as Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry.

"When guys come back from playing with all those U.S. allstars, they come back with a little swagger, like shoot, they can play with anybody if they can make that team," Lowry said. "I think he'll bring that back to us along with leadership."

When Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri asked what DeRozan learned from his Team USA experience, the shooting guard said an appreciation for coming off the bench, which signalled to the GM a new maturity. The experience also opened DeRozan's eyes to the growing respect the Raptors are garnering from the NBA's elite.

"From being around the other elite players, now they mention coming to Toronto or losing to us, or I hear 'Damn, we have to play y'all,' " an upbeat DeRozan said at media day. "That means a lot to me, because I remember the days when teams came in here feeling like it was a cakewalk."

DeRozan chose to let athletic young Raptors guard Terrence Ross work out with him in the summer, wanting to exude his leadership and help the 23-yearold unleash his potential.

"Normally I try to work out by myself, but I wanted to be with Terrence a lot, and really push him, so he could see how hard I worked and show him what it takes to be at the next level," DeRozan said. "Seeing how far he came this summer makes me feel like a proud big brother."

The family atmosphere that bonds the core stars seems to radiate through DeRozan. That familiar fiery, snarling game face DeRozan makes to celebrate a big play elicits a different snicker, eye-roll or fist-pump from each of his teammates. Lowry affectionately calls it "terrible," but relishes the fire behind it. It was DeRozan that Lowry called before anyone when he decided to re-up in Toronto this summer and sign a four-year, $48-million (U.S.) contract extension.

"I never was worried. I never gave him a sales pitch; I just tried to be there as a friend, just support him. He had enough pressure on him," DeRozan said. "My sales pitch was all last season, all the things he and I did together - I didn't have to say nothing. I think he respected that, that I never pressured him. There aren't too many two-guards he could go play with and do what he did last year and I knew he understand that too."

Despite the attention DeRozan received last year, and his impact on the Raptors, Sports Illustrated ranked him just the 61st best player in the NBA entering this season, to which he promptly tweeted "Real disrespectful #ProveEm."

"I like having a chip on my shoulder; it gives me another reason to work hard," DeRozan said.

"I feel like they did me a favour."

Exciting as it was, the Raptors didn't make it past the Brooklyn Nets and out of the first round; they faltered in a heart-breaking Game 7 that still plays over in DeRozan's mind, one where they drew up a play to get Kyle Lowry a game-winning shot, but it was stuffed by Paul Pierce.

"I think about that last play all the time, feed off how bad that hurt - that feeling of losing Game 7 by one point, coming so close," DeRozan said. "I think we could have given Miami a better run for their money [in the next round]. I had a lot of questions in my head. Sitting at home, that was frustrating."

DeRozan was asked to address the team on the first day of training camp, and his message was clear - there's no going backward from last year, and while improvement is great, never stray from the underdog passion that got them there.

"We have a chance to do something special here, not just make this [a] one-time thing," DeRozan said. "I told them don't forget to have that chip on our shoulders every time we go out."

Associated Graphic

DeMar DeRozan drives to the basket past Maccabi Haifa players during an exhibition game in Toronto on Wednesday.


Will energy volatility be good or bad for business?
Even if companies see advantages, such as lower fuel costs, it's difficult for many to capitalize quickly on plunging oil prices
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B4

Like most other Canadians, Randy Powell has been watching fuel prices drop, but he doesn't think the plunge will affect the luxury rail business he runs in the Rocky Mountains.

"It will come into play for our guests because most of them arrive by plane," concedes Mr. Powell, president and chief executive officer of Armstrong Group Ltd., which owns the Rocky Mountaineer train touring company. Rocky Mountaineer operates high-end tours between Banff, Vancouver and, next year, Seattle, for visitors who come from Britain, Germany and the United States, as well as Canada.

Yet he suspects his guests will be indifferent; while airlines may drop or eliminate fuel surcharges they imposed on tickets when oil prices climbed, most of Mr. Powell's customers are either well-off or have saved up for a dream vacation by rail.

Nor is he certain that the company will benefit from lower fuel costs when Rocky Mountaineer's travel season opens in the spring.

"The thing is, we won't buy a significant amount of fuel until April. Who knows what the price will look like then?" Mr. Powell says.

Mr. Powell's observations underscore one of the difficulties for companies of all sorts that do business in international markets: It's not as easy as it might seem to determine whether lower energy prices will be a boost or a bane for business.

Lower oil and natural gas prices don't necessarily translate immediately into an upturn for all parts of the economy. Even energy producers themselves stand to experience a mixture of benefits and setbacks from fluctuating prices.

"It would depend whether you're a purchaser or a producer," says Amina Beecroft, president of A2B2 Analytics and a part-time professor of investments and finance at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

The price of Brent crude oil, which was $115 (U.S.) a barrel in midsummer, has fallen to around the $85 mark in October. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the other benchmark, has fallen in parallel to Brent, dropping to just over $85 (U.S.) from $105 in June. Western Canada Select, the price received for Canadian production including from the Alberta Oil Sands, traded at $66.31 (U.S.) on Oct. 23.

Even in the energy sector itself, the effect of falling prices is mixed. Some analysts argue that low prices will hit hardest among the high-cost producers such as the oil sands and the shale oil producers in places such as the Bakken in southern Saskatchewan and North Dakota, a region that has been booming in recent years.

Lower prices may strand the abundant reserves in such areas, Jeff Rubin, former CIBC chief economist, said recently.

"We're now in a different world. At the root of today's problem is global demand that is no longer growing quickly enough to support the prices necessary to keep expanding expensive unconventional sources of supply like the oil sands," he wrote in The Globe and Mail on Oct. 14.

Production will be affected if prices keep going down toward the $70-80 (U.S.) range, says Patricia Mohr, a vice-president at Bank of Nova Scotia and a commodities market specialist. "Light, tight oil from the U.S. shales has higher break-even costs and there would be a slowdown in drilling activity at that price."

Ms. Beecroft counters that while she concedes that the coming year could be "tough," the shrinking spread between Western Canada Select and WTI and Brent prices brings advantages, too.

"As I see it right now with Alberta, the Western Canadian Select price is remaining fairly strong, so that offsets any decline in WTI, at least for this fiscal year," she says.

"The weaker Canadian dollar is also helping."

At the same time, falling prices may hurt transportation and oil services companies, including the railways that have invested heavily in new cars to transport oil and the pipeline companies eager for favourable decisions on projects such as the Keystone XL and the Northern Gateway lines.

"The rail sector has just invested in a bunch of cars that are going to be empty if there's falling demand," Ms. Beecroft says.

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), rail loading capacity for Western Canadian crude is expected to more than triple by the end of 2015 to more than 1 million barrels per day, up from 300,000 barrels per day in the middle of this year.

The effect of dropping prices on the overall economy is not clear cut either, because it depends on whether prices are changing because of an increase in supply from new production or a drop in demand, as in a recession.

In the energy sector, falling prices may slow the demand for pipeline equipment (assuming there is less urgency for approval of pipeline projects). It could slow the demand for products from manufacturers of new fuel efficient engines for vehicles, locomotives and electricity turbines. It may not change the plans for turbines in the case of large electricity users, such as utilities and mines - these industries plan for years and decades ahead, when oil and gas may be less abundant and more costly.

"The outlook for oil prices in coming months depends mostly on Saudi Arabian policy, and Saudi Arabia is willing to cut output to shore up prices," says Scotiabank's Ms. Mohr. "There will be a meeting on Nov. 27, which will be key."

However, it is not clear yet whether this meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna will indeed lead to an agreement to cut output among the member countries, which still account for more than 80 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves. "If there is no OPEC cut, prices could move lower again, though I do not think prices will move to the high $70 level and stay there for long," Ms. Mohr says.

This leaves the world in a waitand-see situation as far as the price of oil is concerned, at a time when world supply exceeds demand by as much as 2 billion barrels a day. The Economist posited that a 25-per-cent price cut for oil would translate, if the cut sticks, to an increase in global GDP of about 0.5 per cent above what growth would otherwise be, but it's difficult for many companies to capitalize quickly on plunging prices.

"Oil prices are not really on our radar," says Robert Maguire, project director for Wood Wharf in London, a huge expansion of the city's Canary Wharf neighbourhood. "In London, much of the price pressure comes from the strong demand for labour and material in an industry [construction] which has lost considerable capacity since 2008. Oil prices may have slightly moderated price growth but, unfortunately, the pressure is price escalation."

Half a world away in the Rockies, it's not much different for Mr. Powell, though for different reasons.

"We structure our pricing on a rolling basis, at least 18 months in advance. With respect to our trade partners, I've already got 2015 pricing and even 2016 pricing out there," he says.

While energy prices may stay low for some time, "we look at the long-term trends," he adds, noting that, inevitably, energy prices will go up.


A drop in crude oil prices by more than 20 per cent since mid-June shuffles the deck for consumers, companies and countries, creating new winners and new losers. The winners and losers are not as obvious as it might seem.

There are conflicting reasons for the price shift. Demand dropped after the 2008 recession, and the chronically troubled recoveries in Europe and Japan are keeping it in check.

The IMF has lowered its growth forecast to 0.8 per cent in the euro zone for this year and only 1.3 per cent for 2015.

Meanwhile, supply, particularly in North America, has grown. The shale oil boom has increased shale oil production by roughly four million barrels a day since 2008.

Producers face a glut, particularly in politically tense or unstable parts of the world, because the U.S. can continue to substitute domestic oil for imports; it has already stopped bringing in crude from Nigeria.

Countries that heavily subsidize domestic energy consumption also stand to lose, as well as the coffers of national governments that depend on oil revenues.

Winners, aside from ordinary consumers, include farmers, because farming is highly energy dependent, from fertilizer production to tilling to delivery.

Airlines also benefit. Carriers slapped fuel surcharges on tickets when fuel costs were high and they're not necessarily going to come off now that it's cheaper. The average price airlines paid for fuel between 2000 and 2013 went up 272 per cent (adjusted for inflation).

Associated Graphic


Shootings followed by chaos, confusion
Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Print Edition, Page E4

OTTAWA -- The sun was shining on the national capital, a brisk but bright fall morning. When four shots rang out shortly before 10 a.m. at the National War Memorial, where ceremonial guards keep watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, bystanders had a clear view of the beginning of a terrifying day - and the end of a soldier's life.

The shooting would send the Ottawa core into lockdown amid fears that a gunman was on the loose, maybe even perched on a rooftop somewhere. Buildings were evacuated. University exams were cancelled. Alarms rang out alerting people to remain wherever they were and lock the door. Yellow police tape fluttered as sirens whirred. One police officer yelled at bystanders, "Move down! There's an active shooter! If you want to die, stay here. If you want to live, keep moving!"

From his bird's-eye view on the third floor of an Ottawa office building, an onlooker heard the first shot ring out and looked out his window to see a gunman approach the cenotaph from the west side. The shooter, described as having long hair topped with a white and black headscarf, aimed his gun at the guard and unleashed several shots, including at least one that killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

At 9:52 a.m., Ottawa police fielded multiple 911 calls reporting the shooting.

"After he shot, he pulled the scarf down so you could see him," said the witness, who asked not to be identified. "Then he held the gun up and screamed something, which I can only imagine what it was, and then ran towards Parliament Hill."

Given the chaos and conflicting reports, what happened next isn't entirely clear. A video emerged Wednesday evening of what appeared to be the suspect getting into a car on the north side of the cenotaph. It's unknown whether he abandoned the vehicle or made a U-turn toward Parliament Hill, but witnesses say the gunman entered the government precinct on foot through the east gate.

That put him just a couple hundred metres from Centre Block, where MPs from all three parties were gathering for their weekly caucus meeting, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was later described by his spokesperson as "safe and not on Parliament Hill."

Scott Walsh, who was working with a crew on the manholes near the east gate of Parliament Hill, said he saw a man run across Wellington Street toward Parliament Hill carrying a double-barreled shotgun. Once inside the precinct, the man paused near a woman with a stroller; she rushed to hide behind an RCMP vehicle, Mr. Walsh said.

By then, his co-worker, Barry Willis, was alert to the man, who at this point was just three to five metres away. "He looked at me, and the weapon came up to chest level," he said. "It was pointed at me and my partner."

Mr. Willis and his partner dove behind their van, while a young man in a three-piece suit threw himself into the back of the vehicle. Mr. Willis peered out to see the gunman continuing up the road toward a line of three black sedans. "And then I start screaming my head off," he said. "I'm yelling and screaming: 'Terrorist! Terrorist! Terrorist!' " "He looked back at me. I think he was going to walk up [to Centre Block's front doors]. But at that point, I think he realized he wasn't going to make it [on foot]," Mr. Willis said.

That's when the man approached one of the sedans and pointed his gun at the window, at which point the driver fled the car and fell to his knees. The gunman got into the vehicle and drove, calmly, past two RCMP vehicles, pulling right up to this country's most storied government building.

On Wednesday, as any other day, there would've been security staff on the other side of the heavy, wooden front doors, ready to inspect the credentials of those entering the building.

Beyond that, though, there are no physical barriers - no metal detector, no X-ray machine - preventing anyone from darting up the front stairs, down the Hall of Honour and toward the Library of Parliament.

And that's precisely what witnesses say the gunman did.

NDP spokesman Marc-André Viau was near the entrance, around 10 a.m., when someone shouted at him to get down. He took cover near the main entrance and saw a man rush into the building, chased by police officers. "Then we heard multiple shots," he said, adding he was in hiding with a woman worried about her children, who were elsewhere inside the building, too.

Liberal MP John McKay heard the shots from inside his party's caucus meeting. He had just arrived and was taking off his coat when he heard "Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!" He dismissed it as construction noise, though it was immediately clear he was wrong. He said he spoke with someone in the library who looked out a stained-glass window to see the gunman running down the Hall of Honour, rifle in tow.

Officers could be heard saying there was a shooter in the building and people ran screaming. A video recorded by The Globe and Mail shows security officials walking briskly but cautiously down the Hall of Honour, guns drawn, before one loud gunshot is fired, followed by a flurry of more than two dozen shots.

When the shooting stopped, the officers surrounded the body at the foot of the library doors. Police later confirmed the suspect was dead, and reporters were told that one guard had been shot in the leg but was okay, while another was shot in the pantleg and unharmed.

The entire incident in Centre Block lasted about three minutes. Still, officials did not declare the risk over. Parliament Hill remained under lockdown and employees were told to stay in their offices with the doors locked or barricaded.

Outside the Hill, police expanded a radius into Ottawa's normally quiet downtown core. During the two hours following the shootings, yellow tape expanded wider and wider, as police appeared visibly concerned that another shooter was in their midst.

At 10:45 a.m., one police officer ordered bystanders "out of the line of sight" from the corner of Sparks and Elgin streets because "there's a guy running around with a gun." Fewer than 20 minutes later, police warned there might be a person with a gun on a roof and ordered people indoors.

East of there, officers could be seen crouched down with guns drawn, using their cars or cement pillars near the Rideau Canal as protection. At times it seemed they were in hot pursuit of a gunman, dashing from one side of the street to the next yelling at bystanders to move back. By late afternoon, some people were allowed back into downtown office buildings, but as of late Wednesday evening, the situation remained fluid.

Around 7 p.m., an alert was circulated advising that a lockdown had been reinstated at various buildings in the downtown core.

1 9:52 a.m. (ET)

Gunfire erupts at the National War Memorial. Witnesses said a man had a large rifle, was dressed in dark clothing and had a kerchief over his face. He shot the guard point blank. The soldier later dies in the hospital.

2. Around 10a.m.

Gunfire erupts on Parliament Hill. Witnesses say he hijacked a car in the Parliamentary precinct and drove to the Centre Block entrance.

3. Roughly 10:45 a.m.

Shooting erupts in the Hall of Honour of the Centre Block, outside the entrance to the Parliamentary Library. As many as 30 shots fired. MPs in caucus meetings could hear the shots. Doors to caucus rooms are barricaded.

4. Sergeant-at-arms

Kevin Vickers is reported to have been the one who shot and killed the suspect. One parliamentary guard is shot in the leg; some reports say he was wounded when he tried to grab the suspect's gun.

5. Around 11:30 a.m.

Officers draw guns and run along Wellington towards the Chateau Laurierand Rideau Centre shopping mall. Rideau Centre is locked down. The Ottawa Police later said that "contrary to earlier reports no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre."

6. Noon

Statement from Prime Minister's Office saying he is safe, not on Parliament Hill, and being briefed by security officials.

7. 12:50 p.m.

Statement from Ottawa Hospital, saying it has received 3 patients, two of w h om are in stable condition.

8. 2 p.m.

At police press conference, officials say they are trying to secure Parliament Hill and the area around it, and advise Ottawa residents to be vigilant. They will not say if there are other suspects at large.

Being neighbourly is a requirement
Co-housing project residents share much more than a house, and are expected to contribute to each other's lives
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page G2

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver's first co-housing project is finally under construction and presales are almost sold out, with only three units remaining.

The 31-unit project, located at 1733 E. 33rd Ave. on Vancouver's east side, ranges from studios to four-bedroom units. The remaining units range in price from around $300,000 to $720,000.

It may be a first for Vancouver, but it's a form of housing that's been undergoing a quiet boom throughout the province. In B.C., co-housing communities are either completed or in progress in Burnaby, Langley, North Vancouver, Bowen Island, Nanaimo, Qualicum, Parksville, Courtenay, Roberts Creek, Nelson, Yarrow and Victoria, according to B.C.based Canadian Cohousing Network. In Vancouver, on East 35th Avenue, land has been secured for another 30-unit project.

B.C. is leading the way in the cohousing movement, which has grown from the idea that community living is better for the environment, is healthier, and, in the long run, is more affordable. Outside of B.C., there are only 10 co-housing projects in Canada, including the ecoHousing Community that's getting started in Toronto.

Co-housing is also booming because it's a part of the emerging sharing economy, which includes car-sharing, ride-sharing, tool- and book-sharing and space-sharing services, such as Airbnb. In Vancouver, there's even dog-sharing. The concept has been particularly embraced by West Coasters, in both Canada and the U.S., says Ericka Stephens-Rennie, who is one of the co-founders of Vancouver Cohousing.

She says co-housing is a growing phenomenon on the West Coast, and sees a lot more cohousing in Vancouver's future.

"My own assessment of the situation is it matches up well with growing interests in the sharing economy. There is a lot of interest in that in Vancouver, Victoria and across the Lower Mainland and spreading down into Portland.

"You see the organization of people who are questioning whether or not they need to personally own everything that they want as a part of their life, or whether sharing is a better option. I think co-housing is one of those pieces. They're asking, 'Do I need to own guest rooms and a home office? Or can I share it?' "

Co-housing is a Danish idea brought to North America by American architect Charles Durrett. Mr. Durrett, who is based in California, made the concept a reality for Vancouver when he and three other consultants helped a group of co-housing enthusiasts form a development company and hire the necessary players to make it happen. It wasn't easy. Previous attempts had failed usually because groups couldn't compete with big developers for land. But in July, a year and a half after they purchased three singlefamily homes and had them rezoned for multifamily, they broke ground on the $15-million project.

Unlike the usual process of a developer purchasing the land, developing it and then selling it, a co-housing project is controlled and developed by the residents themselves, from beginning to end. In the case of the Vancouver Cohousing project, the group has formed a development company that will dissolve not long after they take possession of their condo units in September, 2015. At that stage, they will form a typical strata arrangement. However, unlike the average condo strata council, they will have access to a shared 6,500-square-foot community space and every household will make decisions by consensus.

Residents also understand that they are part of a unique community, where they will contribute to each other's lives instead of living in isolation. Residents will likely help each other with daycare, elder care and shared meals. Nobody is required to participate in such activities. But the idea is that purchasers are the sort of people who are open to helping their neighbours and creating a community, rather than living behind closed doors and barely making eye contact in the elevator.

Operating by consensus is not for everyone. After attending the required meetings, some people have bowed out, Ms. StephensRennie says.

As well, there are misconceptions about co-housing. A big one is that people think it means a loss of privacy.

"People assume they don't get their own kitchen or bathroom or living room. They assume they will be living in a dorm," she says, laughing. "That's not the case."

Another fallacy is that co-housing is cheaper than regular market condos. In fact, the price can be slightly higher because buyers are purchasing a unit as well as a share of the common space.

"This is not below market housing - co-housing has an upfront cost that can be higher," Ms. Stephens-Rennie says. "The affordability gains come from things that happen after [you buy in]."

For example, Internet will be cheaper because they've struck a deal with a service provider. Units can be smaller because residents won't need the extra space for a home office or guest rooms. Office space and guest rooms will be provided in the common area. There will also be a shared laundry as an option, a multipurpose yoga studio and a place to play music. Community members have already started an inventory of all the tools and equipment they can share.

Lorne Mallin is looking forward to the yoga studio as well as jamming with his neighbours. Mr. Mallin, 67, bought a 510-sq.-ft. unit for $317,000. He's downsizing from his current 800-plus-sq.ft. rental apartment with an ocean view in high-end Kerrisdale. The former newspaper editor cashed out of his Point Grey house in 2006, but he had been searching for a co-housing project as far back as the 1990s. He even tried to get one going but couldn't find enough willing participants. He's willing to make sacrifices in exchange for the community-focused lifestyle.

"It wouldn't be my first choice to live in that neighbourhood, or to live in 510 square feet, or in a unit that hardly gets direct sun - but it was my first choice to live in co-housing. That priority trumped the others," he says.

"Mostly it's living in community, knowing your neighbours well and not being isolated. Feeling supported. It's about the opportunity to age in place. I have a daughter who may produce grandchildren at some point, but there are lots of surrogate grandchildren to connect with in this community."

That said, he does wonder how the reality of shared living will play out. A litmus test for cohousing that is offered by Mr. Durrett is to imagine a pool full of kids screaming. Ask yourself if your impulse is to go check out the ruckus or walk away.

"My impulse would be to get out of there," he says, laughing. "I can only take so much of kids screaming. It remains to be seen."

Ms. Stephens-Rennie, her husband and young son currently live in a rental apartment. She looks forward to the multigenerational aspect of her future cohousing home, which she will own.

"I have a young son and his grandparents live in Ontario and the interior of B.C., and this way he can engage with elders on [a] regular basis."

The residents have already formed a community since they started attending workshops and meetings in 2012. Because everything is by consensus, they are hammering out every conceivable concern that might arise. For example, one of the more senior purchasers expressed concern about placing garbage and recycling in the parking garage. She said it would be easier for her to pull the bins out to the lane.

"This was coming from an elder woman in our community who has had hip challenges," Ms. Stephens-Rennie says. "A couple of the younger guys said, 'Don't worry. We'll take care of that for you. You can participate in another way.' In a multigenerational community, you can sort those things out."

A major benefit for the seniors in the group is that the units are designed so they can age in place, with wheelchair accessibility throughout.

"When you have close-knit relationship with the neighbours, there's this intentionality of saying, 'I value you as a community member. We are going to figure out how to keep you in the community.' "

Associated Graphic

Renderings of a proposed 31-unit co-housing project in Vancouver's east side with units ranging in size from studios to four-bedrooms. A co-housing project is controlled and developed by residents, from beginning to end.

Sarah Hampson went to Tracey Emin's new show in London, hoping for a defiant, explosive exploration of sex and middle age. Instead, she found resignation - and a wasted opportunity to challenge our staid notions of women in the 'third phase' of life
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

The individual titles, scrawled Hands Open in her trademark handwritCrying ing across the bottom of figure So Soft Asleep drawings - loose, pooling lines of Wanted to Feel Good gouache on paper - read like How I Sat cryptic thoughts. Gathered into a Fist Clasped loose, poetic-like narrative, they I'm Actually Here leave you thinking Tracey Emin Good Fat has gone as soft as her body.

The British bad-girl artist, who Alone Is OK famously created the art installation My Bed - an unmade one, with stained sheets, used condoms, underwear with menstrual stains and an empty alcohol bottle, short-listed for Britain's Turner Prize in 1999 - is now 51. She is known for her in-your-face depictions and description of her promiscuous, youthful sexuality; Charles Saatchi, former husband of cookbook author Nigella Lawson, first made Emin famous when he purchased and displayed one of her seminal works - her "tent" installation in 1997.

Entitled Everyone I Have Ever Slept With, 1963-1995, the blue pup tent was embroidered on the inside with 102 names, not only those of boyfriends and casual lovers, but also family (her grandmother and twin brother), drinking partners and two aborted fetuses.

On the floor appeared the words, "With myself, always myself, never forgetting." But this new, major exhibit, called The Last Great Adventure Is You - her first in five years for influential London gallery White Cube, run by her champion and impresario, Jay Jopling - is being billed as work from a mature Emin; an examination of "the third phase of life." She wants to come to terms with herself, she explains in an accompanying video presentation, and that seems to involve calm acceptance and sedate appreciation of the lumpy middle and the sagging bosom.

"That's it?" I thought, wandering through her line drawings and bronze sculptures at White Cube this week. How disappointing. Women and age is a subject as rich as a fattening dessert: such a mix of fear, vanity, loss, serenity, wisdom, freedom, defiance, self-loathing. And there's so little discussion about it in culture, beyond menopausal comedy shows and the beauty industry's mission to fix the aging process as if it were a dreaded disease. As a feminist, confrontational artist, surely Emin would force some interesting debate?

I didn't expect resignation - something Emin didn't do, not in her youth anyway, when her response to a difficult childhood, sexual abuse, rape and failed relationships was to rise above it with a joyful, defiant spunk. The agony of youth may give way to the complacency of middle age, and acceptance of self is part of it, I suppose, but I felt cheated of some added layer of thought or insight in this show. Might she have encouraged us to mock our own vanity? To move beyond preoccupations with the body? To challenge or expand the tired stereotypes of cougar and crone?

Identity through appearance is so embedded in women's psyches that "the third phase" is not often a gentle journey into the night. That's why you have people such as Jane Fonda raving about septuagenarian sex through her face-lifted mask.

Emin's gouache drawings may have a graceful fluidity (she is said to draw inspiration from the draftsmanship of Egon Schiele), but they lack any compelling tension. It's mawkish, punchless sentimentality. Is there no regret for her choices? No reconciliation of her demons? The self-absorption seems lazy, as if the most profound insight she can offer is that she's bummed out she's not getting laid enough.

With the exception of large embroideries of line drawings of nudes and some big paintings, the works, which also include sculptures of body parts, are small and somehow tentative, half-finished-looking or half-born as though this new Tracey, this new adventure of self, is not quite certain of where it is headed or what it wants to be. Her bronze sculptures are barely recognizable as human. The neon signs feel clichéd: "The soul will always do what it needs to do,"

"Your absence only makes me love you more."

Rembrandt took on aging as a lifelong subject, painting numerous self-portraits. There's an exhibition of his late works at the National Gallery in London at the moment, and his depiction of age and a life filled with hardships (bankruptcy, bitter legal proceedings, the loss of his common-law wife and remaining son) is filled with soulful dignity.

Torrid self-absorption has always been Emin's subject. She wrote in Strangeland, a collection of her writings about her hardscrabble life in Margate, that "I thought with my body." By that, she meant dancing and drinking and shagging almost every man and woman in sight. She had left school at 13, the same year she lost her virginity by rape, and her art, after attending Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, combined a weird, sentimental sweetness alongside the anger and defiance. She would say and do anything. Once, she was embarrassingly drunk on TV. She would make bright neon signs saying things such as, "Is anal sex legal?" or "Fuck off and die you slag " (written in her scrawled handwriting), as if needing to emblazon the world with her words, her voice, of "illuminated honesty" as one critic put it, and feminine angst.

And you had to pay attention to her for the courage of her vulnerable self-revelation. It was feminist and raw. Her confrontational style underscored her desire to overcome her hardship. She was an artist of prurient, morbid curiosity at the dawn of the digital age. At the time, her one-woman investigation into dark sexuality was fresh. She was that archetypal, tortured young thing, consumed with (and liberated by) her physical self: anorexic, desirable, promiscuous, exhibitionist; a heroic victim who drew loving attention to her wobbly self.

And love her people did - and still do. One female visitor at the gallery described her as "a powerful icon for women." She represented Britain at the 2007 Venice Biennale. In 2011, she was made a professor of drawing at the Royal Academy. She owns several houses, including a £4-million (about $7-million) house and studio in London with a pool in the basement and 360-degree view from its lavender-planted roof, a pad in St. Tropez, another in New York and Miami. Works from The Last Great Adventure Is You are on sale for between £17,000 and £220,000 (approximately $30,600 and $397,000).

The enfant terrible is now an establishment fixture.

The show has received mixed criticism, which is not surprising. She is a polarizing figure. "A masterclass in how to use traditional artistic skills in the 21st century," crowed the Guardian, calling her studies of the female form - all her own self - "an attack on the patriarchal temple" of male artists who have traditionally depicted the beauty of the female nude. Others have called the show "vulgar" and her drawing skills "second-rate" - evidence of little more than the "cottage industry" of Emin's output, which includes T-shirts and home wares.

For me, the one telling comment on middle age was in the forecourt of White Cube. Called Roman Standard, Emin's sculpture is a 13-foot, thin pole with a small bird on the top. I would have missed it if she hadn't mentioned it in the video presentation. But it is poignant - a quiet statement of fragility and delicacy, of fleeting presence and the invisibility of middle age for women. And yet there it is, inspired by a Roman display of masculine power and aggression, standing tall.

She may like to still suggest that vulnerable, girlish mess of anxiety. "Oh, God, it's me giving birth to myself - or maybe it's me saying goodbye to something," she explained to one media outlet, when asked about the meaning of her large half-finished painting, Devoured by You, which depicts splayed legs (if you can figure out the scribbly body parts) and an outline of a female form in red.

But the tortured, artistic stance comes off as disingenuous, just a knee-jerk, media-practised expression of her famous public persona. The wobbliness of her being is now, prosaically, in her derrière.

The Last Great Adventure Is You runs at White Cube in London until Nov. 16.

Associated Graphic

Tracey Emin's new show, The Last Great Adventure is You, will be at White Cube gallery in London until Nov. 16.


A new study bolsters the theory that exercise can combat the root causes of depression - though, in neurobiological terms, 'we actually still don't know what depression is.' Alex Hutchinson reports on the growing research exploring the link between a healthy body and a healthy mind
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

For the teens in Dan McGann's twice-a-week running group, exercise is therapy. That's not a metaphor: They've all been referred to the group by their doctors after being diagnosed with depression or other mental illness. McGann, a therapist, has been leading the program at Trillium Health Partners Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga since 2006.

"Running is one of the biggest reasons I'm still standing on this earth today," says Josh Copperthwaite, a 17year-old who first joined the group two years ago. "When you run you can leave all the bad things in your life behind you - it's just you and the road. For a few minutes out of the day, you feel free from the weight of depression that clings to your shoulders."

There's plenty of evidence that exercise really is a powerful tool for mental health - in some cases even "as effective as antidepressants," as headlines often claim. But it's not at all clear how it works. Is exercise just something that makes you feel good, like completing your to-do list or doing a good deed for a stranger, or does it have some deeper effect on the roots of depression? A recent study by Swedish researchers offers the strongest evidence yet for the latter, suggesting that - in mice, at least - physically fit muscles play a direct role in protecting the brain from stress-induced damage.

The results are just one part of a larger puzzle: "In neurobiological terms, we actually still don't know what depression is," Dr. Mia Lindskog, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, noted in a statement when the study was published last month in the journal Cell. Understanding the link between muscle and brain - healthy body and healthy mind - not only gives us new insights on the nature of depression, it also enables researchers to zero in on exactly how much and what types of exercise will best fight depression - or prevent it from starting in the first place.

Researchers have proposed many different theories for how it works. One obvious candidate is the moodboosting brain chemicals that are produced during and after exercise: Even if you don't experience the elusive "runner's high," there's little doubt that endorphins, endocannabinoids and perhaps other brain chemicals produce immediate feelings of wellbeing.

Another possibility is the effect of exercise-triggered growth factors, such as brainderived neurotrophic factors, which are associated with the growth of new neurons - a key point, since depression is thought to be associated with neuron loss in certain brain areas.

"Psychosocial" factors likely also play a key role: "Exercise allows me to set goals and encourages me to live a healthier, active life," explains Sean Burdette, a 17-year-old who took part in McGann's run program last spring to help cope with severe depression and obsessivecompulsive disorder. Sticking to the routine and setting and achieving goals "has raised my confidence and allowed me to view life positively instead of thinking negatively," he says.

That's precisely what McGann was hoping for when he started the group after discovering that running helped him through a major depressive episode of his own. Exercise enables teens to take an active role in fighting for their own health, he says, rather than seeing themselves as the passive recipient of treatment.

"Each week the teen experientially, through running, learns that they do have the power and the ability to change their state by taking action," he says.

"I have them complete a runners' log sheet every time they come in that records their mood before the run and then after so they can see the difference."

The Swedish study offers yet another perspective. The researchers induced depressionlike behaviour in mice by subjecting them to mild stress such as loud noises and flashing lights for five weeks.

The stress caused increased production of a molecule called kynurenine in the liver, which then travelled through the bloodstream to the brain. Previous studies have found that kynurenine is associated with brain inflammation and neuron death, and patients with a variety of mental illnesses tend to have elevated levels.

But when the same experiments were repeated with mice that were specially bred to be physically fit, less kynurenine made it to the brain. The reason? Exercise causes muscles to produce more of a protein called PGC-1alpha1, which in turn produces an enzyme that transforms kynurenine into a related molecule called kynurenic acid.

The two molecules sound similar, but there's a crucial difference: Kynurenic acid can't cross the blood-brain barrier, so it's unable to get into the brain and wreak havoc. As a result, the fit mice were less likely to develop depression despite exposure to the lights and noises.

In other words, explains senior co-author Dr. Jorge Ruas, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute, it's not that welltrained muscles produce a substance that helps the brain; instead, they produce a substance that purges the body of something that would otherwise harm the brain.

Ruas and his co-workers are now planning follow-up studies in human volunteers who are using exercise to treat their depression. Attacking kynurenine may also offer a new target for drug development, although it's unlikely that any pill will be able to fully replicate the effects of real-life exercise. "Physical exercise has many components, which may contribute to the anti-depressant effect," Ruas says.

Dr. Guy Faulkner, head of the exercise psychology group at the University of Toronto and founding editor of the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity, agrees - and points to studies in which even mild walking, which is unlikely to be vigorous enough to send a surge of chemicals through the brain, helps alleviate depression.

Whatever different mechanisms are at work during exercise, the precise combination that makes any given patient feel better is likely to be "highly individual-specific," he says.

For McGann's teens, the details of the mechanism matter less than the results. About 400 kids (and some of their parents) have gone through the program so far, with several going on to run marathons and half-marathons. Other groups have now set up similar programs across the province, many with support from a charity called Team Unbreakable.

"We have a slogan in the run group: 'Hills are our friends,' " McGann says. "In other words, the challenges in our lives become easier the more we face them. Hills become easier the more that you run them."

Alex Hutchinson blogs about exercise research at


There's little doubt that exercise - even a small amount - helps fight depression. But how much do you need to get the best results?

A 2005 study found the best results from walking 35 minutes five times a week, or 60 minutes three times a week. Walking for just 15 minutes five times a week, or stretching, had smaller effects.

Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, a prominent advocate of exercise for mental health at the University of Texas, suggests three to five sessions a week of 45 to 60 minutes, aiming to reach 50 to 85 per cent of maximum heart rate.

University of Toronto researchers George Mammen and Guy Faulkner analyzed 30 studies on exercise for the prevention of depression, and published the results in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine last year. The results suggested that even modest doses - less than 150 minutes of walking a week - can reduce the risk of future depression.

Sources: Am J Prev Med, Harvard Health, The Atlantic


Dan McGann started the Trillium Health Partners Teen Run Group Therapy Program in 2006. It runs twice a year, starting in September and February. Each session lasts 12 weeks and culminates in a community 5-kilometre or 10km run with friends and family cheering on.

One of the volunteer coaches in 2006 was David Harris, who participated as a form of therapy for himself after losing his son to suicide the previous year. Since then, Harris has helped spread the program to more than 20 other organizations across Ontario through the Team Unbreakable charity.

Associated Graphic


Josh Copperthwaite, a 17-year-old who first joined the running therapy group at Mississauga's Credit Valley Hospital two years ago, says 'running is one of the biggest reasons I am still standing on this earth today,' and that it helps free him from 'the weight of depression.'


Twelve hours in Reykjavik: the layover of a lifetime
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page T1

EYKJAVIK -- While booking flights from New York to Stockholm, it came down to two choices. An expensive, non-stop flight or a cheaper seat on Icelandair with an 18-hour layover in Reykjavik.

I didn't hesitate for a moment. Icelandair, the savvy, Reykjavikbased airline that started offering direct year-round flights from Toronto to Iceland's capital city last year, has caught on with adventurous travellers. It offers passengers the ability to take layovers in Iceland for up to seven nights - at no extra charge - while en route to London, Paris, Amsterdam and a host of other European destinations. Last month, they launched their #mystopover campaign - complete with surprising one passenger with a 48-day tour of the country.

But for those of us who aren't lucky enough to get a surprise package tour, and who don't want to take a week (or even a full day) away from trips we've already planned, a shorter layover in Reykjavik is still worth it.

Thanks to the capital's size (it's home to about 120,000 people) and compactness (most of the main sights are within easy walking distances in the centre), it's easy to get a real sense of the city in even a half-day layover. Just be prepared: You'll want to come back.

Got 12 hours in Iceland? Here's how to make the most of your layover.

10 a.m.: Soak in hot springs. One of Iceland's best-known geothermal baths, the Blue Lagoon, is located about 20 kilometres south of Keflavik. Yes, it's touristic (and, at 35 - or $50 - for entrance alone, expensive). And yes, you can visit a public pool in Reykjavik instead. But it's still the ideal way to refresh yourself after a flight - and to dip your toes, literally, into an aspect of Iceland you won't see as much of in your limited time in Reykjavik: the surreal natural environment.

Soak in the steaming, milky-blue water, whose colour comes from skin-brightening silica. Book your ticket online in advance to avoid waiting in line (

Several bus companies run from the airport to the Blue Lagoon (and either back to the airport or on to Reykjavik). The one I found most economical and reliable was run by Reykjavik Excursions; tickets can be booked online ( or at the airport kiosk.

12:45 p.m.: Fish and chips. After the 40-minute bus ride to Reykjavik, grab a bite to eat. You can't do better - or, at least when it comes to fish and chips, healthier - than Icelandic Fish and Chips, where chips are oven-roasted, the fresh fish is fried in a spelt batter and organic beers are on tap (address: Tryggvagata 11).

1:15 p.m.: Waterfront stroll. Around the corner lies Reykjavik's Old Harbour, where colourful boats used for puffin and whale-watching tours line the docks. If you're hoping for a gift or souvenir, the little shops here, such as Saedis (Geirsgata 5b, +354 555 6087), for delicate jewellery created by the owner, or Gallery Fabula (Geirsgata 7), with its perfectly edited collection of handcrafted woollen sweaters, ceramics and contemporary art, are good places to start.

2 p.m.: Art that pops. Only have time for one art museum? Make it the Hafnarhus, one of the Reykjavik Art Museum's three outposts. (Your combined ticket includes entrance to all three, so squeeze in more if you have time.) Exhibits of contemporary art change frequently, but the pop of a permanent fixture - literally - is the collection of almost comic-book-like paintings by postmodern Icelandic artist Erro (

Alternatively, head out to the National Museum of Iceland. Slightly farther afield, it gives an excellent overview of Icelandic history through some 2,000 artifacts, from a millennium-old bronze figurine of Thor to one of the first Icelandic Bibles. You'll want to spend between one to two hours here, so plan accordingly (

2:45 p.m.: Visit the Vikings. The Settlement Exhibition showcases the remains of a ninthcentury homestead excavated in 2001. Like the other museums (aside from the National Museum), it's small - but its state-ofthe-art multimedia displays allow for a surprisingly in-depth tour of Viking life (

3:30 p.m.: Coffee at City Hall. Wander around the corner to the Reykjavik City Hall, a controversially industrial-looking building constructed in 1992. Duck your head inside to check out any temporary exhibits, and to orient yourself with the massive 3-D map of Iceland. At the café, sip coffee overlooking lovely, swan-dotted Lake Tjornin outside.

4 p.m.: Neighbourhood of the Gods. Wind your way up the residential streets between Njaroargata and Ooinsgata, which are named after Norse gods and lined with Iceland's characteristic, bright painted houses. (If you want to spend more time here, a podcast provides an audio tour of the area's connection to Icelandic sagas.)

4:30 p.m.: The finest view. At the top of the hill stands Hallgrimskirkja, the largest - and most recognizable - church in Iceland. Built over the course of 38 years, from 1945 to 1986, it's an extraordinary example of Expressionist architecture, although non-modern-architecture lovers will prefer to head right to the 73-metre-tall spire for a great view over the city. Pause outside to admire the Alexander Calder-made statue of Leif Eriksson; the Icelandic explorer "discovered" North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

5:15 p.m.: Sculpture garden. If you haven't tired of art yet, walk across the street to the Einar Jonsson Museum, designed by the Icelandic artist himself. It closes at 5 p.m., but you can still enter the sculpture garden in the back, a tranquil green space dotted with thought-provoking bronzes (

5:45 p.m.: Stroll the city centre. Head down the hill along Skolavordustigur, taking a right on Laugavegur for a taste of Reykjavik's compact yet cosmopolitan heart. (If you're a shopper, you'll want to hit these streets earlier in the day: They're littered with galleries and boutiques, which will start closing about now.)

Grab a drink at one of the bars here. Kaldi serves up beers from the Icelandic brewery of the same name, while Le Château des Dix Gouttes offers hard-tofind Icelandic wines in a cozy underground bistro.

7:30 p.m.: Nordic fare. If you want to make the most of your layover, food-wise, head to Dill. Chef-owner Gunnar Karl Gislason is one of the leaders of Iceland's new Nordic cuisine, which you can sample with three-, fiveor seven-course tastings ( If you're looking for a more down-to-earth taste of the reinvented Iceland, head to Kex: Located in a renovated biscuit factory on the harbour, the gastropub serves modern takes on Icelandic fare (the local lamb burger is perfect on a chilly Reykjavik night), all in a retro, book-filled space more East Village than Arctic (

9 p.m.: Live music. If you've still got time, head to a bar or nightclub to sample Reykjavik's vibrant live-music scene. To find out what's going on, check out a site like Grapevine or, better yet, just ask. That's how I found out about a concert at the spectacular Harpa concert hall, and wound up ending my layover in Reykjavik in the best way possible: listening to a medley of Icelandic performers, including famed singer-songwriter Emiliana Torrini, surrounded by musicloving locals.


Get rid of your luggage. The Keflavik Airport lacks 24-hour luggage storage. Instead, there's a separate facility called Bilahotel Luggage Storage, located a 500-metre walk from the airport's departures section. If you have carry-on luggage you don't want to drag around all day, and you're planning on returning after Bilahotel is closed, you'll have to come up with another plan. I wound up taking my bag into Reykjavik and checking it into the 24-hour storage at the BSI bus terminal. Blue Lagoon has a left-luggage facility, too.

Associated Graphic

Iceland's signature colourful houses can be seen as you wander the Neighbourhood of the Gods.

Reykjavik has a vibrant music scene, and the Harpa concert hall provides a spectacular setting to experience local sounds.


Drugs, religion key themes in attacker's troubled life
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A1

MONTREAL, OTTAWA, VANCOUVER -- The night before he attacked the heart of the nation's capital, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau went into a stairwell at his Ottawa shelter and knelt on a standard-issue white bathroom towel to pray.

For years, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, tried and failed to use prayer as a shield against the drug addiction and mental instability stalking him through adulthood, but that is just one shade in a complex portrait composed from dozens of interviews, court records and archives found along Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau's cross-country path.

This was a man who tried to divorce himself from family and moved to British Columbia to get a fresh start, only to land in the same sewer of petty crime and drugs that trapped him in Montreal. He tried to find community with fellow Muslims but drove them away. He would preach to the infidel one day and smoke crack cocaine the next. He even tried to rob a McDonald's wielding a sharp stick, hoping to go to prison and get help with his drug addiction. He served one day in jail.

The residents of the Ottawa Mission where Mr. ZehafBibeau bowed in final prayer had their own piece of the picture, and there too he failed to fit in, putting off people with his extreme religiosity.

"So as I'm walking by this guy I start singing that Christian hymn I'll Fly Away,' " said one resident, who wanted to be known only by his street name, Cakeman. "I'm a jokester. But I could see he didn't think it was funny."

Five hours later, at around 8:30 a.m., someone at the shelter pulled a fire alarm. Mr. ZehafBibeau slipped out. Ninety minutes later, he arrived at the National War Memorial, where he shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo before moving on to Parliament.

His mother, Susan Bibeau, was at a loss Thursday to explain what happened, saying her son was lost. "I am mad at our son, I don't understand and part of me wants to hate him at this time," said Ms.

Bibeau, who is a deputy chairperson in the federal immigration department. Ms. Bibeau said she had lunch with her son last week, the first time she'd spoken to him in at least five years. "I have very little insight to offer."

The gunman was born Michael Joseph Paul Abdallah Bulgasem Zehaf Bibeau on Oct. 16, 1982, in Montreal, to Ms. Bibeau and Bulgasem Zehaf, a businessman of Libyan descent. In his school years, friends knew him as Mike Bibeau.

Mr. Zihaf-Bibeau attended a strict, private, French-language high school called Collège Laval, where students wore jackets and ties and could be penalized for swearing or having an untucked shirt. He was a well-liked classmate known for his ready smile and his skill with a Ping-Pong paddle. "He was part of our little 'immigrant' gang," recalled classmate Vito Garofalo, who lost touch with him after high school.

"He was a good kid and he was funny."

Within five years of graduation, around 2004, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was repeatedly in court for petty criminality, often linked to drugs such as marijuana and PCP. He decided to break away from his troubled Montreal life and head West.

"He told me at some point in his life, I guess his 20s, he cut ties basically with his parents," said former B.C. friend Dave Bathurst.

"He worked at mining in Squamish. At some point he ended up living in Burnaby. He rented a single room, as far as I understand."

The fresh start did not endure.

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was arrested in Vancouver on a robbery charge three years ago. He was a devout Muslim - but also a crack addict looking for redemption. A psychiatric report filed in British Columbia provincial court found he wasn't mentally ill and could be released. The document, however, also describes him as a deeply troubled man.

"The accused ... wants to be in jail as he believes this is the only way he can overcome his addiction to crack cocaine," the mental status report states. "He has been a devoted Muslim for seven years and he believes he must spend time in jail as a sacrifice to pay for his mistakes in the past and he hopes to be a better man when he is eventually released." The report concluded: "I am unable to find any features or signs of mental illness." He got credit for time served and did one more day in jail.

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was also having trouble with his Muslim elders at a Burnaby mosque. Mufti Aasim Rashid, a spokesperson for the B.C. Muslim Association, said Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was asked in 2011 to stop sleeping at the mosque.

"This was after he was out of jail and didn't have a place to go," Mr.

Rashid said. "He was caught a couple of times trying to linger around when the mosque was about to be locked, and then after that he was told to never try to do that again."

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was in and out of the mosque for about four months. While he was there, elders described him as rude and in everyone's business. He picked a fight over the mosque's outreach attempts, complaining too many non-Muslims were visiting.

Then mosque officials learned Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau had somehow gained access to the facility's keys.

"They changed all the locks," Mr. Rashid said.

A man who first met Mr. ZehafBibeau at a detox centre in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in December, 2012, said they shared a shelter dorm. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau planned to hitchhike to Ottawa.

His new friend urged him to take a bus instead for his safety.

"He had some problem with his passport and wanted to get that sorted out and he wanted to go back to Libya," said the man, who identified himself only as Steve.

The RCMP says Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau told his mother he actually planned to go to Syria, where many extremists have gone to fight with Islamic State.

Steve reconnected with his friend in September at the Salvation Army's Beacon shelter. "He was working: unloading trailers, swamping and doing some kind of moving work. He told me he was getting pretty good wages."

At the Beacon shelter on Thursday, several people described him as religious; others said he was nice and seemed normal - "like you and me."

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau surfaced Oct. 2 at the Ottawa mission, one kilometre from the National War Memorial, telling people he had travelled by bus from Vancouver to sort out passport issues.

Tom Wilson, 56, says Mr. ZehafBibeau slept below his bunk, No. 294, last Friday or Saturday night, and had a heavy black hockey bag with him. "He only stayed that one night in my room because I kept questioning him about his huge bag."

One volunteer at the shelter, Abdel Kareem Abubakir, bonded instantly with Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau over their shared faith and Arabic language. "He was very pious. I tried to discuss with him these issues. But he seemed very extreme."

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau carried the Koran everywhere but couldn't beat temptation. "When he collapsed into drugs, he became isolated," Mr. Abubakir said. "He was isolating himself. He was always sleeping. For three days he wasn't talking. His intention was to get a passport and get home. He had to stay away from drugs."

While he earned praise from staff and residents for helping translate for an elderly tenant who spoke only Arabic, Mr. ZehafBibeau's demeanour soured in recent days. Several residents overheard him yelling angrily into a lobby telephone after several rental car outlets declined his business. Instead, he bought a used Toyota Corolla to drive to the War Memorial.

With reports from Ian Bailey and Mark Hume in Vancouver, Robyn Doolittle in Ottawa, Ingrid Peritz and Sean Gordon in Montreal, Colin Freeze and Tu Thanh Ha in Toronto, and the Associated Press

Associated Graphic

The Ottawa Citizen reports that this image of gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was taken by a police officer from a tourist's camera. The background is the National War Memorial, where the gunman began his shooting spree by killing Corporal Nathan Cirillo. The photo was circulated to law-enforcement agencies, but also reportedly surfaced on an Islamic State Twitter account.


Gentleman revamped Parliament's library
Under his vision and gentle but authoritarian rule, the staid old institution was streamlined into a vital research tool
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S8

Given his early estrangement from libraries, the likelihood of Erik Spicer becoming a librarian would have seemed remote; however, in 1960, Mr. Spicer was appointed Parliamentary Librarian of Canada. The position automatically conferred upon him the status of deputy minister. He was not the first to hold the prestigious position but, at the age of 34, he was the youngest as well as being the only one professionally trained in library science. Under his vision, and gentle, authoritarian rule, the staid old institution was streamlined into a vital research tool for parliamentarians. Serving eight prime ministers, from John Diefenbaker to Jean Chrétien, Mr. Spicer held his post for 34 years until retirement in 1994. He died in Ottawa on Sept. 27 of heart failure. He was 88.

Prior to the arrival of Mr. Spicer, the Parliamentary Library had been a lumbering beast of inefficiency, scarcely recovered from a devastating fire in 1952. Mr. Spicer described the library as "administrative chaos." In an interview for Canadian Parliamentary Review Mr. Spicer said, "I was appalled to find that committee reports were not indexed. A librarian could spend three or four days leafing through old volumes of reports, trying to answer some simple question from a member."

Having inherited a staff of 60, Mr. Spicer's initial goal was to make sure they were working as hard and effectively as possible. "I did not set out to make myself liked," he said. "You cannot be a good administrator if your main goal is to be liked. But you do not have to be hated either."

Another problem arose when a junior staff member approached him to ask for the day off. "Why are you asking me? Mr. Spicer said. "Because I've already asked everyone else and they said 'no,'" replied the young man. Mr. Spicer found the exchange amusing but it clearly indicated the need for a strong chain of command. Brian Land, a retired legislative librarian and friend, said Mr. Spicer's approach was, "The first rule is we're going to do things my way. There is no second rule."

Confidentiality was another issue. After Mr. Spicer inquired why some parliamentarians were going elsewhere to do research, one member told him, "As soon as I ask for a book, everyone knows what I'm working on and the opposition gets to work preparing its attack." Mr. Spicer took his staff to task for indiscretion and severely restricted access to outsiders.

One of his proudest accomplishments however was the establishment of a research branch modelled after the Congressional Research Service in Washington. By the time of Mr. Spicer's retirement, the library had a staff of 250, with more research officers than librarians. They prepared background papers, gave oral reports, hired experts and even filled in for members who were unable to address a particular group.

Mr. Spicer adopted new, emerging technologies as well as amalgamating French and English Reference and Cataloging branches. He found a dual language system "unwieldy administratively." Staff were given French and English classes well before bilingualism was introduced to the public service. The classes were so successful that members of the House of Commons asked Mr. Spicer to set up a French school for them. He was typically outspoken in his response. "No. I am trying to run a library. I don't have time to run a language school."

Bluntness aside, Mr. Spicer could be charming. Marianne Scott, a former national librarian and colleague, said Mr. Spicer was the consummate gentleman.

"He always wore a jacket and tie. Not for him the dress-down code of casual Fridays."

While formality and efficiency were important to Mr. Spicer, he loved the unpredictability of travel that came with his job. Frequently consulted to help developing countries establish their own parliamentary libraries, he delighted in adventure. Dr. Scott recalled a 1991 meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations in Moscow. "A coup against Mikhail Gorbachev had just taken place so the conference started on a very nervous basis. We all went up to my hotel room to watch what was happening on TV. Suddenly I said 'Where's Erik?' Turns out, in best military fashion, he'd gone from bush to bush right up to the barricades where protesters had tried to storm the Kremlin. He wanted to know what was going on."

Erik John Spicer was born in Ottawa on April 9, 1926, the second son of Violet and Clifford (Curly) Spicer. Unable to find work during the Depression, his father decided to return to his family's farm near Merrickville, Ont.

Violet, a city girl, refused to accompany him. She chose to remain in Ottawa, where she raised her two sons with the assistance of a large extended family.

She and Clifford Spicer divorced when Erik was 6.

Around this age, Erik made his first visit to the Ottawa Public Library Boys and Girls House. He was asked so many questions to establish his right to join that he never returned until driven by need. On another occasion he was ordered out of the reference room with a shout of, "You are ruining that book." The young Erik had been carefully tracing drawings from Jane's Fighting Ships for models he wanted to build. When he tried to explain that he was using a soft pencil on onionskin, and couldn't possibly press too hard or he'd pierce the paper, he was disregarded. He left the library feeling dissatisfied and resentful.

Libraries did not become friendly places to Erik Spicer until he was a teenager. In 1941, his mother married an American airman who moved the family to Kenmore, N.Y., near Buffalo. Erik Spicer wrote, "This library enriched my world, became my second home and showed me what a good library should be and could do."

His mother's second marriage dissolved following the birth of a daughter, and Erik Spicer found himself once again back in Ottawa.

With the Second World War under way, Mr. Spicer first joined the RCAF and then the Canadian Army. The military and its management techniques appealed to his strong sense of responsibility and order. He remained a member of the Governor-General's Foot Guards, retiring in 1962 with the rank of major.

After the war, while completing his BA at Toronto's Victoria College, he made money on summer breaks by working as a brakeman and switcher on the railways of a sand and gravel company in Paris and Waterford, Ont. The library in Paris was well stocked and friendly. Easy access to military history plus the tranquil life of a small town librarian suddenly held appeal. Shortly thereafter he enrolled at the University of Toronto Library School, earning his Bachelor of Library Science in 1949, then, 10 years later, a master's from the University of Michigan. In between degrees, he worked at two university libraries before eventually becoming deputy at the Library of the City of Ottawa.

On July 4, 1953, Erik Spicer married Helen Blair, the daughter of a parliamentarian and herself a librarian. They celebrated their 61st anniversary this year. The couple had two children, John and Erika. "The reason my dad chose that date to get married was that he knew he wouldn't forget it," Erika Scott said.

"His memory was terrible. He carried pieces of paper in his pocket so he could remember people's names. And of course, he had to meet so many people that embarrassment or hilarity invariably ensued if he connected with the wrong slip of paper," Dr. Scott said. "Life was never dull when you were around Erik."

Erik Spicer was admitted to the Order of Canada in 1994 and named Parliamentary Librarian Emeritus upon retirement. He continues to hold the record for longest-serving deputy minister. He leaves his wife, Helen; son, John; daughter, Erika; four grandchildren; brother, Clifford; and sister, Samantha.

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Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Prior to the arrival of Mr. Spicer in 1960, the Library of Parliament had been a lumbering beast of inefficiency.


Erik Spicer served eight prime ministers, from John Diefenbaker to Jean Chrétien. He held his post for 34 years, until his retirement in 1994.

The last of the boat people
What is it about having asylum seekers arrive by water? Ottawa is going to extreme lengths to see that it never happens again - which, Aparita Bhandari and Amarnath Amarasingam contend, shows just how much Canada's attitude toward providing a safe haven has changed
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F3

He came aboard in Bangkok with no idea where the ship was headed (the rumour was Australia) and was seasick for most of the journey. Only when he saw the red helicopters hovering overhead off Vancouver Island was MV Ocean Lady's final destination clear.

"All I knew about Canada," he now says, laughing, "was that it was a country, and that my uncle lived there."

That was five years ago yesterday. And yet, even as he proudly conducts a tour of his new bungalow and celebrates his hardwon permanent-resident status, he does not want to divulge his true identity.

He fears for the safety of his mother and other family members back in Sri Lanka. Before fleeing, "I was getting harassed every day by the army," he recalls.

As a child, he had seen his father go off to sell bananas one day and never returned. His mother was terrified the same would happen to him.

As a result, he is now both a homeowner and a sous chef in downtown Toronto - at a French restaurant where he started out as a dishwasher.

He also may be, if the federal government has its way, one of the last "boat people" ever to reach Canada's shores. Since the arrival of the 76 Tamils on the Ocean Lady (just five months after Sri Lankan forces had brutally ended a 26-year civil war that had claimed up to 100,000 lives) and another 492 the following August, Ottawa has made drastic changes to its immigration-and-refugee policy.

Despite its humanitarian tradition, the government had been moving toward a view of migration that takes other concerns into consideration. Experts say the appearance of almost 600 asylum seekers from a war-torn nation crystallized its thinking.

The treatment of Ocean Lady passengers was in stark contrast with the past. When 150 Sri Lankan Tamils came ashore in Newfoundland in 1986, "the instinctive response of the community ... was how to feed them, where to house them," says Chris Anderson, a political scientist at Wilfrid Laurier University.

"Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at the time had given them the welcome afforded to asylum seekers as a signal of Canada's humanitarian tradition."

In 2009, however, the future French chef was imprisoned and interrogated for three months. He was released when his uncle posted bail, and allowed to move to Toronto - now the city with the largest Sri Lankan Tamil population outside Sri Lanka itself.

Prof. Anderson says that, even though many more would-be refugees turn up at Canadian airports, the arrival of boats has, for some reason, come to strike a disproportionate amount of fear.

"There's often a very stark visual of these decrepit vessels - they are not cruise liners, right?" he explains. "And so often the arrival is a very dramatic thing." The Newfoundland arrivals were in lifeboats and, he says, "literally washed up on shore."

Over the years, the perceived nature of the drama also has changed. By the time the Ocean Lady arrived, it was seen through the post 9/11 lens - "a heightened sense that this is now a security threat," Prof. Anderson says.

So, not only have many Canadians come to consider helping people in need "a question of national security," he explains, the refugees themselves are increasingly suspected of being what the government calls "bogus."

This week, it was revealed that migrants have become so suspect here that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), now equipped with greater powers to detain them, has looked closely at using federal penitentiaries to house them - despite the risk of exposure to violent offenders.

The Australian playbook

The government's model in all this has been Australia, says Jennifer Hyndman, director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto.

After taking in boats bearing thousands of people, the Australians tightened their borders, and now make it nearly impossible to seek asylum by water. Their "Pacific solution" has them stopping boats and diverting them to islands with detention centres.

Canada followed suit in 2012 with Bill C-31, which made detention mandatory for "irregular" arrivals. As well, it has taken steps to stop potential asylum seekers from even setting sail.

The Globe reported in 2010 that Ward Elcock, former head of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, has been sent to Southeast Asia as a special envoy to prevent migrant smuggling.

Any "irregulars" who get this far now wait longer to receive permanent-resident status or to have their cases reviewed if their applications are denied, says Toronto immigration lawyer Micheal Crane. As well, health benefits for newcomers are being restricted, and work permits being delayed, "making it difficult for people to get off the dole," he explains. "That's basically a shame. It's inescapable that the government is doing that to discourage what it views as bogus refugee claimants."

However, Mr. Crane has represented almost two dozen people who arrived on either the Ocean Lady or MV Sun Sea, the boat that came a year later, and says the government seems overly keen to process those cases.

Not only must they be prepared more rapidly, he says, there is (unlike other cases) always a representative of the border service or immigration minister in court. "They also have a lot of disclosure ... they want to provide information that, if you were on the Sun Sea or Ocean Lady, you have no extra risk" if sent home.

Typically, the paperwork is at most two inches thick, Mr. Crane adds. But for the boat people, "they have maybe three or four phone books' worth for every single case."

So far, 30 of the 76 men on the Ocean Lady have been told they can stay, while seven have been issued deportation orders, and another 25 had their claims rejected. The Sun Sea had many more passengers - 492 men, women and children - of which 156 have so far been accepted, 25 ordered deported and 158 had their claims rejected while two men remain in detention.

So Canada is prepared to send back as many as half the claimants even though, despite what it argues in court, it seems to recognize the danger they may face.

Ottawa has been so critical of Sri Lanka's human-rights record that last November the Prime Minister even boycotted a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government being held in Colombo, the capital.

"Canada is deeply concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka," Stephen Harper noted in a statement. "The absence of accountability for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards during and after the civil war is unacceptable."

But many who applauded the boycott - including the Tamil diaspora in Canada - remain confused by the government's heavy-handed approach to asylum seekers. Now that tourists are flocking back, it is natural to assume that Sri Lanka no longer produces refugees, but life is precarious for many. Journalists are harassed, stories of sexual violence and land seizures are commonplace, and people vanish - something for which a UN agency that tracks disappearances ranks Sri Lanka second only to Iraq.

Also, despite the official denials, there is evidence that people who return are abused. Monitoring agencies have documented cases that involve beatings, people having their heads held underwater, and sexual attacks.

A new beginning

Back in Toronto, the sous chef looks to a happier future.

He studied ESL for a year until being allowed to work, which he now does 12 hours a day, six days a week. After renovating his home, with some help from his cousin, he now lives in the basement and rents the main floor to a Tamil family.

"The next step is to get married," he says. "I am not sure how that will happen - it's between my mother in Sri Lanka and my uncle in Toronto."

But whatever the outcome, he adds, "I am thankful to be here."

Aparita Bhandari is a freelance reporter in Toronto; and Amarnath Amarasingam a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University's Resilience Research Centre, and the author of Pain, Pride and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada (University of Georgia Press, 2015).

Associated Graphic

The sous chef holds a treasured reminder of the war-torn home he left behind.


Five years ago, he was aboard the Ocean Lady off Vancouver Island.


Reporter saw stories through a human lens
Veteran CBC broadcaster had a passion for human rights, social justice, Latin America and often travelled with his guitar
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S8

The world was Bob Carty's university. And for 30 years, he went on the radio and told Canada exactly what he'd learned.

In the 1980s, he told stories of revolution in Nicaragua and war in El Salvador. In the '90s, he reported from Mexico, where the Zapatistas had ignited a rebellion over the signing of the North American free-trade agreement.

Later, he told stories that were more local - about old-fashioned backyard ice-skating rinks in Newfoundland, a toxic fire in Hamilton, and about the stigmatized world of adoption - and reunion - in Canada.

The usually serious, analytical Mr. Carty also nailed humorous stories - in Banjo Bob, Mr. Carty played a banjo and sang about the instrument's dubious place in society.

A hard-working, brilliant reporter who had a passion for human rights, social justice and Latin America, Mr. Carty became one of Canada's most honoured radio documentary producers during his three decades at the CBC.

"He was driven in his work because he thought he had a role to play in changing the world," said Karen Levine, documentary editor at the CBC's Sunday Edition, who worked alongside Mr. Carty since 2001.

Mr. Carty died Sept. 21 at Ottawa Hospital from esophageal cancer.

He was 64.

Mr. Carty's success, colleagues said, came from his natural ability to tell "human stories" in unforgettable ways. It also came, they say, from Mr. Carty's character out of the studio. A justiceminded Catholic who often travelled with his guitar, Mr. Carty answered calls late into the night for colleagues on deadline, sang Christmas carols to hospital patients, mentored young journalists and campaigned fiercely for freedom of expression for reporters around the world.

"He was revered," said CBC Radio Ottawa's news producer Laurence Wall. "He was admired and loved and he was one hell of a guy."

Robert Vincent Carty was born April 28, 1950, to Daphne and Jack Carty in Barrie, Ont., the secondeldest of eight children. Mr. Carty's family moved to Toronto when he was about eight years old.

As a teenager, Mr. Carty began playing guitar and identified with folk music. He was a good student at Brebeuf College School, and was involved in nearly every sport and club in the yearbook.

After high school, Mr. Carty enrolled at the University of Toronto to study political science, but dropped out after one year.

"He didn't get anything out of it," his mother said.

Mr. Carty's informal education began in 1969 when he joined the Youth Corps, a Catholic activist youth movement rooted in liberation theology. Mr. Carty became active in social justice and Latin American issues and, guitar in hand, became a staple at local anti-war and political demonstrations.

"He was always playing guitar and singing," Mr. Carty's younger brother Ed, recalled.

One of Mr. Carty's first trips to Latin America was to Mexico in 1972, when he drove his Toyota down with friends to meet community activists. One of the people in the car was Frances Arbour, a missionary who had spent time in Mexico and was just as passionate about social justice in the region.

"I fell in love with his personality," she said. "He was a caring, sensitive person."

Upon their return from Mexico, Mr. Carty founded the Canadian News Synthesis Project, a youth group that analyzed Canadian media coverage.

Together, the couple joined the Latin American Working Group (LAWG), a Toronto-based research collective, and began travelling to the region regularly.

In 1973, the pair were on hand to greet Chilean refugees arriving in Toronto after the country's military coup.

They were married in 1975 in the basement of Toronto's St. Basil's Church, in what the couple's only son, Michael, now calls a "hippie wedding."

"My mother made her own dress and my father made his own music," Michael said. "They had an incredible love for each other."

In 1978, Mr. Carty travelled to Chile to investigate human rights abuses as part of his research for Canadian churches, and during this time continued publishing analyses of the region with LAWG.

By 1981, Mr. Carty, who Michael said was a complex, private man, had co-authored two books about Canada's relationship to Latin America.

"You could believe in the research that he did," said John Foster, the best man at Mr. Carty's wedding and his LAWG colleague.

"He had a clear, analytical mind."

At home, Mr. Carty also took on the role of a dedicated family man.

Michael remembered "endless paddles along beautiful lakes in Algonquin Park" and "chairlift chats" he and his father would have during ski trips. He also remembered not quite fitting in with other kids his age.

"My babysitters were refugees who had escaped the junta in Argentina," he said.

In 1981, Mr. Carty went to an interview that would change his life. Beth Haddon, the foreign editor at the CBC Radio show Sunday Morning, urged him to apply for a foreign editing position on the show in Toronto. His experience in Latin America made him desirable to the CBC when Latin America was a big story.

Mr. Carty was hired and soon became a documentary producer, travelling abroad to produce his own pieces.

"Bob was instantly fantastic," said Frank Koller, a former CBC Radio documentary producer who worked closely with Mr. Carty.

When his wife got a job based out of Costa Rica working with Guatemalan refugees in 1988, the family moved to San Jose. Mr. Carty began freelancing from there for the CBC and other outlets.

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Carty reported on Chile's return to democracy, a movement by Argentinian women to help find "the disappeared," and from the Brazilian Amazon, where the construction of a dam was causing problems for local villagers.

"He was a very, very tough journalist," Mr. Koller remembered.

Mr. Carty returned to CBC Radio in 1993, but this time to Ottawa, where he continued to produce documentaries for This Morning and later for The Sunday Edition.

Mr. Carty became one of the national broadcaster's most celebrated documentarians, winning the CBC a Peabody in 1995 for his documentary Kevin's Sentence, about an Ontario teen who killed his two best friends while drunk driving. That same year, he won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation into U.S. government attempts to patent the DNA of a group of Panamanian Indians thought to have unique genes.

"He would draw you in in the first 30 to 40 seconds," Mr. Wall said.

In 2003, Mr. Carty produced The Long Flight, a powerful documentary about the Chilean coup d'état, a Canadian whistleblower and the subsequent influx of thousands of Chilean refugees into this country.

But Mr. Carty's career was cut short when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2007.

His tumour was removed, but after his surgery, Mr. Carty suffered complications from which he never recovered, causing him enormous pain.

Mr. Carty focused on music during this time, and released his first solo folk CD, Desert Eyes: Songs of Justice and Spirit, in 2009.

In 2010, Mr. Carty produced one of his last documentaries for the CBC. No Hot Cargo was about a 1979 protest by New Brunswick longshoremen who refused to load a batch of heavy water bound for a Candu reactor in Argentina, in protest of that regime's brutality.

In July, 2014, Mr. Carty was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It spread quickly, and though doctors told Mr. Carty he would have at least four months to live, he died weeks later. At his funeral, guests were charmed by music Mr. Carty had written over the course of his life.

"Bob had a very deep spiritual faith and that's what enlightened his whole life," his wife said. "His music and his spiritual faith were very much intertwined."

Mr. Carty leaves his wife, Frances; their son, Michael; his mother, Daphne; three brothers and three sisters.

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

Bob Carty was one of the CBC's most celebrated documentarians, winning the CBC a Peabody in 1995 and an Edward R. Murrow award the same year.


How sharing ideas allowed Alberta to become the planet's great coaching incubator
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1


The year was 1980. Mike Johnston, his university playing career over, wanted to get into coaching and was about to catch a break. Camrose Lutheran College, near Edmonton, was looking. Johnston had been tipped to the opening by Andy Murray, his former coach in Brandon, Man., and recommended by Dave King, from the University of Saskatchewan.

"This was August," began Johnston, "and they told me, 'Camrose College was looking for a young coach, but he needed to be able to teach and he needed to be able to live in residence.' " Johnston applied - because everyone needs to start somewhere - and ultimately got the job. First day, they handed him a recruiting booklet, what the athletic director had been doing, recruiting-wise for hockey, after the last coach had left.

The next thing they said was, "You better order some equipment because the season's getting started." Camrose College traditionally ordered its equipment from United Cycle in Edmonton.

"So I drove right into United Cycle, and out of the back room came this big guy, and he introduces himself," Johnston said. "It's Ken Hitchcock. He said, 'I coach the Sherwood Park Chain Gang and if you ever need some players, call me.' We started a relationship from there. My first day on the job, I go into town to buy equipment and the first guy I meet is Ken Hitchcock."

What Johnston didn't realize at the time was that his first fulltime job put him right in the middle of an Alberta coaching incubator that would eventually help produce a generation of the NHL's top coaches. Some of the brightest minds in the game were plying their trade at the university level - at a time when the NHL was paying scant attention to the college game on either side of the border.

The coaches who were helping to develop some of the techniques you still see in today's game - King, Clare Drake at the University of Alberta and George Kingston at the University of Calgary - were all within driving distance of Johnston's first job.

Now, some 30-plus years after the fact, the coaching pendulum has swung in a big, meaningful way. This past summer, all three of the NHL first-time coaching hires - Johnston in Pittsburgh, Bill Peters in Carolina and Willie Desjardins in Vancouver - all came through the Canadian college coaching ranks. So, for that matter, did Barry Trotz, the long-time Nashville Predators coach, now with the Washington Capitals, and Mike Babcock, coach of the Detroit Red Wings and a two-time Canadian Olympic coach.

Babcock lists Drake as his primary mentor, dating back to the time he spent coaching Red Deer College and the University of Lethbridge. In turn, Babcock's staff in Detroit subsequently spun off Peters, Paul MacLean (Ottawa) and Todd McLellan (San Jose) to other NHL head coaching positions. Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett lists King as his greatest influence.

Babcock believes Drake is Canada's equivalent to the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, whom he met when he was coaching the Anaheim Ducks and flatly states: "I'm a head coach in the NHL because of Clare Drake. Everybody he's touched, he's made better. He's a great teacher of hockey strategies and life skills."

Soon after starting at Camrose, Johnston established a relationship with Drake and his assistant Billy Moores, along with King, Kingston and Perry Pearn, at Edmonton's Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

"For me to develop as a coach, the biggest thing for me was being in Alberta at that time," Johnston said. "The quality of coaches we had around there, they were great mentors.

"Clare Drake, I mention his name in the United States and some people don't even know who he is. He should be like Vince Lombardi, with all he's done for hockey. They had a big, big influence over me as a young coach, because I knew nothing about coaching. Nothing. Those guys in Alberta, I was just so fortunate to be in that province at that time with so many good coaches and such good influences around me."

Of course, many hardcore Canadian hockey fans have forgotten, if they were ever aware, that Drake is the coach with the most wins in CIS history, having guided a Golden Bears dynasty from the mid-1970s to the late '80s.

Peters is a generation removed from Drake's influence, but spent three formative years at the University of Lethbridge, where he landed his first head coaching position. According to Peters, he was passed over for the head coaching job in Spokane (WHL) after Babcock left, largely because he had no previous head coaching experience.

"You've got to go somewhere to get that, and the CIS allowed me to do that," Peters said. "I spent three good years in Lethbridge and enjoyed my time there, working with good people. I got to do some stuff with Hockey Canada and be around a lot of good coaches in that area so it was a good opportunity for me. Then I went back to major junior as a head coach, then to the American League and then to the National League. I'm a career coach and I don't think I've missed any steps along the way."

King, the three-time Olympic coach and now head coach of Russia's Lokotmotiv Yaroslavl, said Drake taught his peers that it was okay to share information - and the craft of coaching evolved from there.

"His teaching skills were impressive, but that can be said about a lot of people," King said. "The key with Clare was he had all this information and he was never afraid to step up to the podium and tell everybody exactly what he was doing - on the penalty killing, or on the power play.

"Some of the most successful coaches of their generation, all these guys who've won a lot of games in the NHL - Hitchcock, Babcock, Dave Tippett, Trotzy - so many of them were influenced by Clare Drake. He wasn't afraid to give you the information and that caused others to realize 'I can share too.' "What that's done for our game is absolutely unbelievable.

When you get your top people going and presenting the material to guys at coaching clinics - and helping them along with their coaching and the way they work with their young players, I mean, Clare was the catalyst for that. Suddenly, we have momentum in the coaching profession, going to seminars, making presentations. Hitch has done a whole bunch, Babcock's done tons, Trotzy. That's why our game is the way it is."

King, currently in the midst of his third stint coaching in Russia, says the appreciation for Canadian coaches has never been higher, a significant reversal from 20 or more years ago, when there was a thought that all the coaching innovations were coming from Europe.

"It's interesting for me to be in Russia and to see the renewed respect for Canadian hockey," King said. "Imagine the Russians, they're bringing over our fitness coaches, our hockey coaches, our sports psychologists, they're bringing them all to Russia - because they want to tap in to our knowledge. If you look at all that, it started with Clare Drake."

According to Peters, coaching is - and should be - a lifelong learning experience.

"In the off-season, you ask your players to get better and as a coach you've got to find a way to get better too," Peters said. "You compete against your buddies and you want to beat them more than anybody. The coaching seminars put on by Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta are outstanding, but when the coaches get together at the lake, it's those informal meetings that help you get a little better and get some good hockey discussion going. It's a learning environment and we're lucky in Western Canada. There are a lot of quality coaches here."

Follow me on Twitter:@eduhatschek

Associated Graphic

Pittsburgh's Mike Johnston is just one of the latest graduates of the Alberta school of hockey coaches to have landed an NHL job.


Rob Ford is gone, The Globe's Marcus Gee observes, but the anxiety and frustration that made him Toronto's mayor are not
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F4

Opponents of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug are hoping desperately to see them ousted from the city's leadership in Monday's municipal election. But even if Doug Ford fails in his last-minute bid to replace his ailing brother in the mayor's chair, losing to opinion-poll front runner John Tory, the discontent that helped to put the Fords in power - from inequality to taxpayer fatigue to suburban alienation - will remain.

Rob Ford was swept into the city's top job in 2010 on a wave of anxiety and frustration. Canada was recovering from the aftereffects of a global recession. Ontario was suffering from the decline of its once-dominant manufacturing sector. Toronto had just been through a 39day strike by city workers that left piles of garbage to rot in parks.

Mr. Ford's simplistic promises to fight for taxpayers, run city hall like a business, and "stop the gravy train" struck a chord with many voters. If he had a history of off-kilter behaviour and ugly rants, many voters were too fed up to care. Mr. Ford took 47 per cent of the vote, easily besting second-place George Smitherman, a former Ontario deputy premier, who took 36 per cent. "People took the biggest hand grenade they could find and they threw it," says pollster Darrell Bricker, chief executive of Ipsos Public Affairs.

Their anxieties and frustrations have not gone away. Toronto is, by almost any measure, a fantastically successful city. The centre is booming, with construction cranes crowding the sky, and the streets below teeming with urban life. Young people are flocking to live and work downtown where, according to the Toronto Foundation's annual Vital Signs report, population growth tripled in the five years up to 2011, compared with the three previous census periods. For the first time since the 1970s, it outstripped the growth rate of the suburbs.

The city is absorbing tens of thousands of new residents every year from all over the world, with hardly a twitch of racial conflict, much less the rioting that has afflicted some European cities with high immigration. As of 2011, 51 per cent of the city's 2.6 million residents were born outside Canada.

Crime is low and falling. Toronto had 57 homicides in 2013. Chicago has had 325 this year so far. International rankings give the city high marks for safety and livability. A thriving financial sector and growing cultural industries are producing thousands of jobs.

But as it grows, Toronto is changing, and not everyone is happy about it. Established, older residents in the car-dependent suburbs see their way of life under threat amid all the chatter about the evils of the automobile and the virtues of urban density. New immigrants often find it hard to get a foot on the first rungs of the economic ladder. Young couples despair of ever owning a house in a market where a narrow Victorian on a treed downtown street can go for more than a million dollars. People everywhere fume about the congested roads and crowded subways, buses and streetcars.

A quick trip around the city reveals its divides. In the city centre, wealth and success are everywhere. Four super-luxury hotels have opened in the last few years, including a showy Trump tower. Theatre impresario David Mirvish is teaming with renowned architect Frank Gehry to build two dramatic high-end condo towers. The talk of the Manhattanization of downtown Toronto no longer seems so presumptuous. The feel is electric.

In the neighbourhoods that immediately surround the core, it is the Brooklynization that stands out. Everywhere you look, new coffee bars, galleries, yoga studios and organic grocery stores are replacing old hardware stores, shoe-repair joints and travel agencies as the ceaseless wave of gentrification rolls east and west from Leslieville to the Junction. To the north of downtown, meanwhile, neighbourhoods such as Moore Park and the Annex are continuing to climb in visible wealth and status.

Travel a little farther out, to the city's inner suburbs, and it is a different story. This is Rob Ford country. He lives in a modest home on a street of big, comfortable houses with groomed lawns and gardens. But just a few minutes away is the Dixon Road community - sometimes called Little Mogadishu because of the large number of immigrants from Somalia who have settled there - that was the focus of police raids linked to the Ford drug scandal. Blocks from there is the Catholic high school where Mr. Ford once coached football; just next to it, two teenage boys were shot to death on Oct. 6.

While the central city is on the way up, these precincts are on their way down, showing a steady decrease in average individual income compared with the citywide average. In the 1970s, according to research by U of T scholar David Hulchanski, the neighbourhoods on the city's northeastern and northwestern shoulders were comfortably middle-class. Today, they are the landing spot for tens of thousands of struggling new immigrants, many of them living in the hundreds of often rundown apartment towers like those on Dixon Road. This ring of suburbs is also the home of an earlier generation of European immigrants; many of those people are aging, on fixed incomes, and worrying about the future.

To both these groups, the debates at city council about expanding the bike-path network, or whether to let jets land at downtown's Toronto Island airport, often seem to be happening on another planet. At last month's Ford Fest, the annual family barbecue and pep rally, retired electric-utility labourer Umberto Defrancesco, 70, worried about whether he could even hang on to his house if taxes went up.

"We worked all our life for that little home," he said, as he waited to cheer for Rob Ford, who is out of the mayor's race but still running for city council.

Like him or not, Mr. Ford managed to connect with marginalized, sidelined, off-the-radar and plain old angry people all over the city, but especially in its poorer quarters. It is one reason that, to the world's astonishment, he managed to keep an approval rating in the 40s even after showing up in a drug video, being caught consorting with gangsters, admitting to using crack after months of denials, clinging shamelessly to power, and turning himself into an international laughingstock.

Whether he accomplished anything for those people is another question. Much of what he did seemed designed mainly for show. One of his first moves to tackle inefficiency in government was to cut off the supply of sandwiches to city councillors at evening meetings. He toured public-housing estates to check for broken fridges and cockroaches, but a staggering repair deficit remains. With his reckless behaviour, his racial slurs, his undisciplined, haphazard way of governing, he betrayed the very people he claimed to champion. Instead of trying to heal the city's divisions, he exploited them.

His brother has been doing the same in his run for mayor, trying to whip up what he calls the "common folk" against the "downtown elites" and painting Mr. Tory as a spoiled son of privilege.

But just because the Fords aren't the solution doesn't mean there is no problem. It is a problem that so many people regard city hall, and government in general, as remote, wasteful and unresponsive. It is a problem that many newcomers aren't getting ahead. It is a problem that the suburbs feel left out of the action.

Addressing their resentments and healing the city's divisions has to be an urgent priority for whoever comes out the winner on Monday night.

Marcus Gee is The Globe and Mail's Toronto columnist.

Associated Graphic

For all his faults, Rob Ford connected with alienated citizens, many from Toronto's poorer quarters, which continue to face immense problems.


To those who have supported the outgoing mayor, the debates at city council about expanding the bike-path network, or whether to let jets land at downtown's Toronto Island airport, often seem to be happening on another planet.


How young buyers are crashing the party
Through hard work and determination these twentysomethings are proud to say they have a mortgage
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S4

Matthew Kennedy is a young man many people would consider to be the equivalent of a unicorn in Vancouver. This is, after all, the city renowned in popular mythology as a place with such astronomical house prices that its young will be forced to live in basement suites forever.

Mr. Kennedy bought his first condo four years ago when he was 20, using the money he had saved from the jobs he started right after he finished high school. The first one, at H&R Block, doing deliveries. The second, doing what his father had done and he'd loved since a kid, painting cars.

He put 10 per cent down on the $265,000 two-bedroom suite in Langley, B.C. He only needed his parents' help because the bank was antsy about him being so young. They lent him another 10 per cent, which he repaid. (His parents, with four other children and no Vancouver west-side house to cash out of, don't have money to burn.)

Mr. Kennedy, who has since married, is now looking for a slightly larger place to buy, a townhouse, with plans to rent out the original condo.

"It was a lot of work," says Mr. Kennedy, who paid rent to his parents while he was saving for his first down payment. "There's definitely sacrifices. I budgeted. I didn't eat out. Some could say I missed some life experiences. But if you have that [home ownership] as your goal, anything is possible."

Mr. Kennedy, as it turns out, is not as rare as many might think.

A recent analysis of home-ownership rates in Canada done by Vancouver-based Urban Futures shows that the proportion of young homeowners increased from 2006 to 2011, a period when prices appeared to be climbing out of reach in many urban centres, including Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa.

"The headlines that portray the current younger generation as being more challenged than previous younger generations to enter the owned side of the housing market are balanced by the data that show continued increase in home ownership rates among young age groups," the report said.

Home-ownership rates among younger people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland went up more than the national average. Vancouver homeowners in the 20- to 24year-old age bracket increased four percentage points, to 25 per cent, in those five years - putting young Vancouverites near the top of the list among Canadian cities in proportion of homeowners under 25. The rate went up to 37 per cent from 35 among those 25-29.

It stayed around 50 per cent for the 30- to 34-year-olds.

As a result, about a third of people under 30 in the Lower Mainland own homes. That's about 10 percentage points lower than in Calgary, but the same as the proportion in Toronto, says Andrew Ramlo, a director at Urban Futures.

UBC's Sauder School of Business professor Tsur Somerville says part of the reason for Vancouver's high rate of young homeowners is that the proliferation of condos and townhouses here gives them a lower-priced product to choose from compared with other cities that are dominated by houses. And they likely feel more pressured to buy early, because, like everyone else in the city, they worry they'll be priced out if they don't buy now.

Mr. Ramlo acknowledged that some of the home-ownership patterns in Vancouver are puzzling, given the disparity between incomes of young people and house prices.

An analysis of local incomes released last week by researcher and urban planner Andrew Yan, who works with Bing Thom Architects, showed that 25- to 55year-olds with BAs in Vancouver make about $41,000 a year, $10,000 a year less than the median for Canada and $20,000 less than in top-paying Ottawa.

The spread was even worse for people with master's degrees.

"The relationship between incomes and prices of homes has totally broken down here," Mr. Ramlo said. He, like others, said part of the explanation has to be that parents, who benefited from the last several decades of real estate appreciation, are transferring their wealth to their children.

But that's not all. It's clear from talking to young people who are buying homes in the expensive Lower Mainland that they're also strategizing how to crack the market on their own.

Siblings or friends will buy an apartment together until they've built up enough equity to sell and take their proceeds to buy their own dwellings. They'll buy a condo in a suburb that's affordable and rent it out to build up equity, while they continue to live in the central city. They'll definitely make do with less space.

Because it's equally clear that they've decided they're going to buy in, no matter what. Despite what many say about the young being driven out of the Lower Mainland, they've decided they're not leaving.

"People I know here couldn't imagine going somewhere else," said Kent Maier, 31, who just closed this month on a near$400,000 condo a few blocks from St. Paul's hospital downtown. Mr. Maier, a federal government employee and his partner, Fabian Gutierrez, an immigration consultant in training, came from Edmonton a year ago and say they are never returning to that city, no matter what the house prices are there. "Most people I know are buying or planning to buy. Prices are high but they're not going to change and you might as well get in."

For Jordan O'Donnell and husband Chris Richards - she works as a specialized tutor, he is a social-media consultant at the Vancouver airport - buying became an emotional decision about moving to a new life phase.

"This was the first step of being an adult," said Mr. Richards, 30, who said he and his 29-year-old wife chose Richmond because that's where they grew up and where their parents still live.

They saved enough for most of the 20-per-cent down payment needed for their $300,000 townhouse - "a real fixer-upper, 43 years old, near Garden City and Williams" - and got over the hump with the help of Ms.

O'Donnell's father. (That saved them extra costs that get tacked onto a mortgage with a lessthan-20-per-cent down payment.)

Some young homeowners have become slightly evangelical about the need for others to realize it's possible if they stop being so clueless about money.

Eesmyal Santos-Brault, a greenbuilding consultant, bought his first condo 10 years ago when he was 28 and working at a non-profit for near minimum wage.

He didn't think he'd even qualify for a mortgage, but his mother, a real estate agent, told him just to try. She also offered to lend him the $7,000 he needed for the minimum down payment on a Commercial Drive condo.

"She kept pushing me even though I was saying: 'I can't qualify, I'm poor, I'm just a kid.' " To his surprise, he found the bank would indeed lend him money.

"I keep telling all my artsy, environmental friends that they should do this," says Mr. SantosBrault, who has since bought a townhouse in Strathcona while renting out the condo.

And he worries that people - those in certain fields who believe they're above talking about money or who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds - are handicapped by the attitudes they've inherited from their families or social circle.

"They don't know anyone who owns, they don't understand money, they just don't think it's possible. I keep telling them: 'It's a conspiracy to keep you as renters. Then you can pay someone else's mortgage.' "

Associated Graphic

Matthew Kennedy says buying a home required sacrifices. 'I didn't eat out. Some could say I missed some life experiences.'



The tail on the Steve Nash phenomenon is long, but things have never looked as promising for Canadian basketball as they do right now. The feeling is so different, there is no historic point of comparison. We're on the cusp of something, Cathal Kelly writes
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S1

Canadian basketball hit its high-water mark around sunrise on Sept. 25, 2000.

At that moment, our men's Olympic team was in the process of beating the defending world champion, Yugoslavia, at the Sydney Olympics.

Steve Nash, the alpha and omega of Canadian hoops, was in the middle of it. He was a few years into what was, at that point, an unremarkable NBA career. We already knew him, but we really fell for him that first week in Australia.

It finished 83-75. Nash - all 6-foot-nothing of him - led the game in points, assists, free throws, three-pointers, minutes played and rebounds. He probably folded all the towels and worked a concession stand. The box score is sketchy.

"We've always been proud to be Canadian, but now we can be proud to be Canadian basketball players," Nash declared afterward, possibly while waving a sword.

When Canadians who aren't hockey players say this sort of thing, they should make sure to be standing on a trap door as they do so. It simplifies what comes next.

Canada hit the Olympic medal rounds tumescent with selfbelief and were predictably punctured by a middling French team.

Multigenerational Olympic highlight over. Yay.

In the decade that followed, there was no good basketball news in Canada. The Vancouver Grizzlies moved. Vince Carter left.

The Raptors got boring, a little less boring and then terrible. The national team went back to seabed-dredging performance norms. Save a brief flare from Jamaal Magloire, not a single player of consequence came out of this country.

All we had was Nash, and the foolish hope that simply by good example, he might grow something in this country.

Somehow, he did. His MVP-level performances in the second half of the decade were able to push the Canadian game through its four-minute-mile barrier. Once he became, at 30 years old, the best player in the world, it felt like anything was possible.

It has taken a while and the tail on the Nash phenomenon is long, but things have never looked as promising as they do right now. The feeling is so different, there is no historic point of comparison. We're on the cusp of something.

As Canadians, it's hard not to feel like it's a cliff's edge - that's our default. But we could be about to enjoy a long moment of significant glory for this country.

That gives this coming week an inescapable symmetry.

After announcing he will miss the entire NBA season with nerve damage in his back, Nash's professional career is over. He's 40 years old. He can't get fit. The Los Angeles Lakers are going to end up having paid him nearly half-amillion dollars a game over three years. You don't get forgiven for that sort of thing.

While he considers the end, the legacy he inspired is beginning to bloom.

Nash's obvious heir is Andrew Wiggins, whose NBA career begins Wednesday in Memphis.

Wiggins is where he is, in part, because Nash opened America up to the idea that they were ignoring a northern seedbed of unharvested talent.

Beyond that, there weren't many parallels. Nash had to build himself into a baller; Wiggins came prefab. Nash wasn't a natural athlete; Wiggins might be the most physically gifted specimen in the NBA. Nash is from somewhere that's not Toronto; Wiggins, correctly, is from Toronto.

Nobody believed in Nash, but everybody wanted to see the best in Wiggins. Until they didn't.

The No. 1 pick has been kicked about for months now, most ruthlessly by the Cleveland Cavaliers team that took him first. In the space of a year, he went from 'can't miss' to one of those 'question-marks-abound' types of players. Who gets submarined in the press and then traded as a first-overall? Canada, that's who.

The knock on him is that he drifts.

When you watch him for a while, you can see why they'd say that. He does fade in and out of games. So do most 19 year olds.

Wiggins can't be judged for at least two years. Until then, let's resist our national impulse to destroy the things we love.

Beyond Wiggins, there are plenty of other guys coming up - his Minnesota teammate, Anthony Bennett; Boston's Kelly Olynyk; Sacramento's Nik Stauskas; Phoenix's Tyler Ennis. By Rio 2016, it's likely that every man on the Canadian roster will play in the NBA. Only two guys on that 2000 team did.

The recent FIBA World Cup turned out in the best possible way for us - the U.S. won. That means Canada is spared having to go through the U.S. or hosts Brazil to qualify for the next Olympics.

It's a slog, but it's doable.

That's the future - Wiggins, the kids coming up around him, the Canadian Olympic team. It's Nash's next task as general manager of Canada's senior men's team.

He's done yeoman's work on that front as well - showing young players that not only can you play internationally as well as in the NBA, but that one can feed off the other.

It's among his many instances of patriotic charity. The greatest of them will never get nearly the attention it deserves.

Two years ago, Nash was offered the chance to come to the Toronto Raptors. He considered it, though 'seriously' is too strong a descriptor. Predictably, the Raptors went too far in the pursuit, ham-stringing themselves with a broken-down Landry Fields as an enticement. Nash still passed.

Who can blame him? That team wasn't quite a train wreck, but it had a couple of steel wheels hanging in the air.

Imagine how that would've worked out - Nash hobbling around for two or three years, Kyle Lowry seething as his backup, Andrea Bargnani asked to think as well as walk, DeMar DeRozan allowed to hide in the second-tier weeds, everyone else tugging a forelock every time Captain Canada wandered by. It would've been a goddamned disaster, even if Nash hadn't been hurt.

His last significant act as a pro was putting Canada's only NBA team on an alternate, winning path. That he didn't know he was doing it doesn't make it any less important. Nash set the stage for their emergence.

As a result, the Raptors are in the best position they've ever enjoyed, which is not to say they are the best they've ever been. The former is more important than the latter.

They're going to finish somewhere between third and sixth in the Eastern Conference. I'll guess third.

They kept their core together and added the two weapons needed in the off-season, a hammer (James Johnson) and an ice pick (Lou Williams). This is a team designed to win now. They can - scratch that, must - take one playoff series. Two is very possible. If they can manage it, they're in for a long string of success.

It's only been a few months, but the Raptors have unlocked a time capsule buried by Nash in the mid-aughties - Canadian basketball pride.

Even more than the team's success, the 'We The North' campaign is evidence of that. It has tapped into a feeling no one realized existed. If they can continue to ride this wave, the entire country is open to them. They can be what Leafs used to be and what the Jays were for a few short years.

All they need to do is grab hold of their place as Canada's basketball present. Just one playoff series - that's all it takes to keep this shuffling forward.

After that, who knows what's possible? Just ask Steve Nash.

Follow me on Twitter:@cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins, right, is just one of several Canadians expected to make their mark in the NBA this season.


In the post-Pharrell era, reports Tim Chan, men's wear is anything but boring
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L8

When British actor Eddie Redmayne showed up for the premiere of The Theory of Everything at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, he set flashbulbs and social media ablaze in a wide-lapel, double-breasted, teal-green suit. The look was from designer Christopher Bailey's spring 2015 collection for Burberry Prorsum, one the designer says was inspired by "adventure."

Although Bailey was referring to the late writer Bruce Chatwin's dreamy, nomadic travel books, he could easily have been referring to a changing perception in the way men dress as well.

Just six months earlier, singer Pharrell Williams had stepped onto the Oscars red carpet wearing a custom Lanvin tuxedo with narrow, cuffed black shorts. The man who spawned countless Internet memes with his oversized Vivienne Westwood hat had seemingly done it again.

After years of paring down their wardrobes in favour of simple "basics," guys are rediscovering their individuality, led by a crop of Hollywood leading men whose influence is crossing over from fi lm to fashion.

"There's a natural progression in men's dressing, which is a reflection of the times people live in," says Jonathan Cheung, head of global men's design for Levi's. "More information and more choice means that there are multiple trends going on at the same time. You can be modern, heritage, dressed up and dressed down all at once."

With so many options to explore, the idea is to look less like an eccentric Johnny Depp and more like Ryan Gosling, a laid-back clotheshorse who's known for pulling off traditionally formal looks during the day. This, in practical terms, might include pairing suit trousers with a polo shirt for the office, then throwing the jacket back on when heading out to dinner. It could also involve swapping out sneakers for a pair of boots that are dressy enough to wear to a wedding, yet won't get destroyed if the wearer kicks up some dirt in them.

In another interesting turnabout, today's dapperest gents are also taking a lesson or two from the ladies and upgrading their accessories, the male version of the statement handbag encompassing everything from a vintage square-dial watch to a chunky silver ring. Those who aren't into jewellery might consider adding a pocket square or patterned scarf to jazz up ensembles.

"When I think of celebrities who are taking it up a notch and taking risks with their style, I think of musicians like A$AP Rocky and Pharrell," says Cat Wright, an L.A.-based stylist who works with the band MAGIC! and E! News host Terrence Jenkins. "They're doing the classic thing and adding a little kick, whether it's swapping a white dress shirt for a denim one or wearing a necklace instead of a tie."

Another easy upgrade, according to Cheung: "Socks. You can have a bit of fun there."

While nuanced variations on the classics seem to be the direction for now, that could evolve into something even more forward: Just last month, designer J.W. Anderson showed a cable-knit crop top with his spring 2015 men's-wear collection during London Fashion Week. The Danish designer Astrid Andersen had toyed with the trend a few seasons earlier, when she sent hulking, athletic models down the runway in stomach-baring mesh and spandex outfits. Observers immediately questioned the wearability of the look, wondering if some trends are better left on the runway. In the end, though, perhaps designers are just like us, taking their style cues from celebrities. After all, rapper Kid Cudi stole the show at Coachella this year when he took the stage in front of 100,000 feverish fans in cut-off jeans and, amazingly, a bright-red crop top.

Suddenly, #PharrellsHat seems so nine months ago.

Associated Graphic

NO MATCH The newest way to rock a suit is to mix up jackets and trousers, contrasting textures and prints. Sticking to a similar colour scheme (navy with pale blue, black with grey) ensures that the over-all look is still sleek. Bonus points for wearing a spotted tie with plaid pants. ABOVE From left: Z Zegna jacket (part of a suit), $1,395, Dolce & Gabbana tie, $275 at Harry Rosen ( Hugo Boss shirt, $225 through Ovadia & Sons pants, $325 through G.H. Bass & Co. shoes, $140 at Hudson's Bay ( Paul Smith jacket, $1,190 through The Kooples shirt, $215 at Holt Renfrew ( Brunello Cucinelli pants, $995 at Harry Rosen. Tie, $79.50 at Club Monaco ( Grenson Boots, $455 at Uncle Otis ( On the coat rack, from left: Ted Baker London grey coat, $685, plaid coat, $748 at Ted Baker London ( MSGM duffel coat, $750 at Holt Renfrew.


FANCY PANTS Paisley patterned trousers? Why not? Printed trousers might seem outrageous now, but so did brightly coloured jeans several years ago. Keeping things simple up top (pairing a crewneck sweater with a chocolate-brown leather jacket, say) will balance out any excess. ABOVE Danier jacket, $599 at Danier ( Oliver Spencer shirt, $175 at Oliver Spencer Toronto and through AMI Paris sweater, $395 at Hudson's Bay. Club Monaco pants, $119.50 at Club Monaco. Louis Vuitton boots, $960 at select Louis Vuitton boutiques and through ON THE COVER From left: Cantarelli jacket, $1,295 at Harry Rosen. Burberry Prorsum Shirt, $650 through The Kooples sweater, $270 at Holt Renfrew. Club Monaco jacket, $575 at Club Monaco. Marc by Marc Jacobs shirt, $198 at Hudson's Bay. Hugo Boss Cardigan, $225 through

COLLEGE TRY For those whose campus days have long since passed, collegiate style means old-school Oxford charm that's polished enough for the office. Classic elbow-patch blazers and cuffed trousers lose their stodginess when worn in a combination of fabrics - silk and wool, tweed and cashmere - and are paired with modern pieces such as a boldly printed sweater. From left: Ovadia & Sons jacket, $1,420 through St. Laurent Paris shirt, $690 at Holt Renfrew. Scotch & Soda sweater, $159 at Hudson's Bay. Oliver Spencer pants, $325, Universal Works scarf, $75 at Oliver Spencer Toronto and through Prada boots, price on request through Junya Watanabe jacket, $1,335 at Holt Renfrew. Prada shirt, $880 through J.W. Anderson sweater, $605 through www.mrporter. com. J.Crew pants, $225 at J.Crew ( Burberry Prorsum shoes, $800 through

A FRESH COAT More elegant than a peacoat and warmer than a trench, a threequarter-length car coat is the ultimate fall topper. Done in a tweed check, it makes a statement mixed with other patterns, while a playful scarf adds pinache to a monotone palette. ABOVE From left: St. Laurent Paris coat, $4,150 at Holt Renfrew. Louis Vuitton shirt, $920 through www. YMC sweater, $220 at Uncle Otis. Hugo Boss pants, $185 through www.hugoboss. com. Prada shoes, price on request through Oliver Spencer coat, $735 through Club Monaco shirt, $159.50 at Club Monaco. Ted Baker London sweater, $195 at Ted Baker London. Hugo Boss pants, $325 through Chelsey by Joseph scarf, $125 at Harry Rosen. Burberry Prorsum Shoes, $800 through

NO TIE REQUIRED Turtlenecks are a major fall trend, cropping up in collections by Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and Pringle of Scotland. New takes on cocktail-hour dressing include ditching the necktie in favour of a fine-guage turtleneck under a loudly patterned button-up. ABOVE 3.1 Philip Lim jacket, $825, Theory pants, $260 at Hudson's Bay. Gucci cashmere sweater, $880 through Burberry Prorsum shirt, $650 through Paul Smith shoes, $495 at Davids ( Socks, stylist's own.

Toronto's big, beautiful, bifurcated canvas
Two art fairs go head to head this weekend. Far from competing, they offer complementary - for some, interchangeable - venues
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L2

When it was announced eight months ago that there would be a new visual arts fair this fall overlapping the long-established Art Toronto, headlines and articles presented the congruence as a case of "an upstart" "challenging" Art Toronto, of "Canada's No. 1 art fair" being "put on notice" that it now had "direct competition."

With both events finally under way in downtown Toronto - the "upstart," Feature Contemporary Art Fair, opened to the public Thursday, Art Toronto bows at noon today - no one seems to be characterizing the situation in quite such bare-knuckle terms. At least that was the case when The Globe and Mail recently interviewed spokespersons for each fair as well as selected art dealers who are participating in one fair or the other or both.

The arrival of Feature, brainchild of the Montreal-based Association des galeries d'art contemporain (AGAC), was, in fact, described largely positively, as "a welcome evolution," an indicator, in the words of Art Toronto director Susannah Rosenstock, "of a strong and growing, active, dynamic art market in Toronto and Canada." One prominent Toronto photography dealer, Stephen Bulger, even suggested that artists without representation should "rent a few rooms" in Toronto's trendy Gladstone Hotel and run their own commercial showcase conterminous with Art Toronto and Feature.

Such satellite events are, of course, already an established part of the fair phenomenon, which has come to shape and, in many respects, defines the contemporary art market in the last 10 years. Art Basel Miami Beach, for example, perhaps the planet's most famous art jamboree, has spawned at least 20 satellites of varying sizes and influence even as it has retained top dog status during what's now called "Basel Week" in December.

Certainly, it could be argued that Feature is more complement than competition to the mighty Art Toronto, at least for the foreseeable future.

Founded 15 years ago by Informa Exhibitions, AT 2014 is hosting more than 100 exhibitors from across Canada and countries, including the United States, Germany, France, England and Israel, at its Metro Toronto Convention Centre home. As ever, the spending-and-getting is buttressed by institutional support from the likes of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant, the Art Dealers Association of Canada and the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art as well as a program of talks, panel discussions and special events.

Feature, berthed less than a 10-minute drive east of AT in the historic Canadian Opera Company building, is, as its full name suggests, resolutely tailored to contemporary art. It features just 23 vendors, from a handful of Canadian cities but already it's claiming some impressive partners, including Calgary's Esker Foundation and the Albright-Knox Contemporary and Modern Art Foundation Canada.

Feature's arrival in Toronto is testimony to the rising fortunes of its parent organization. Although established 27 years ago, AGAC has strived to expand both membership and influence beyond Quebec only in the past five. The impetus for this has come via the popularity of the Papier art fair AGAC started in 2007 and now runs every April in downtown Montreal.

Besides being contemporary in focus, the new fair, it was agreed, would be small-ish and intimate, audience- and artistfriendly, and held in a space possessing what AGAC director Julie Lacroix called "cachet" and "atmosphere." There was consensus, too, that it should be curated. "So, we set up this advisory committee [of five corporate and museum curators, all anonymous for the time being] to pick the galleries ... and set the project of each gallery. Each gallery could only propose three artists maximum and one backup artist." From there, the committee and the gallery would discuss whether the gallery's booth would feature one artist, two or three, what "the dialogue among the artists should be," how the booths would be configured for the roughly 900 square metres of space at the COC.

For Jessica Bradley, whose artist roster includes or has included Rebecca Belmore, Derek Sullivan and Shary Boyle, the jury concept was key to her involvement. "If you've participated in the great art fairs of the world like, Frieze [London], Art Basel Miami and NADA [New Art Dealers Alliance, in Miami Beach and New York], you know a great fair is made by a rigorous jurying process. So what you end up with, in this case, is a small fair but a concentrated one; you don't get into it without passing muster; they're not selling real estate; they're selling booths to people they have approved." While Art Toronto "has done a great job over the years," it's become "too big," she said. There's "too varied a crosssection. One never had the sense there was a real process for getting in except applying and putting up your money."

This weekend Bradley, who bowed out of AT 2013, is showing three artists - Julia Dault (Brooklyn/Toronto), Jeremy Hof (Vancouver), Jessica Eaton (Montreal) - only at Feature.

Bulger, by contrast, is selling wares at both fairs. "I've got fair...

ly eclectic tastes and, increasingly, I've been delving into Canadian historical photographs as well as remaining interested in contemporary photography. I find when I try to put that eclecticism on display in an art fair it can look like a bit of a dog's breakfast. I see how it all connects but I find that people, for the most part, want to look at one or the other and ne'r the twain shall meet." With Feature, Bulger has the opportunity to do a "small, tightly focused contemporary showwhile leaving me free and clear to basically show only historical work at Art Toronto."

Returning to AT this year after a one-year hiatus is Toronto's Diaz Contemporary. The gallery, which represents the likes of Kim Adams and Garry Neill Kennedy, passed on AT last October because it had earlier "decided to alternate its arts fair program strategy" between Canada one year and other countries the next," says Diaz exhibitions head Yasmin Nurming-Por.

Nurming-Por said Diaz doesn't rule out participating at Feature in the future. But "at the moment we're really happy working with [AT]," not least because the Quebec art collective BGL, which Diaz represents, is installing a large immersive work at AT 2014 in association with the National Gallery of Canada. BGL - from the first letter of the last names of artists Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière - will be representing Canada at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The trio's installation, Canada de Fantaisie or Canada Fancy, is a functioning carousel, made of metal fences and crowd barriers, occupying some 90 square metres of AT real estate.

Rosenstock indicated AT would continue "to be a fair that is broad and inclusive and that really brings the art community together." At the same time, "we're not trying to set records in terms of having more galleries every year or showing more artists every year. We're trying to evolve and be relevant and to have some amount of spectacle and to just create something that is special and beautiful every year."

Lacroix thinks Feature may already have outgrown its current digs: an individual booth at this year's event is between 15 and 17 square metres (at AT, it can be up to 90) - "smaller than what we wanted to offer" and "it's going to be a bit busy." Nevertheless, AGAC will poll participating galleries at Feature's end before it commits to a new locale for 2015.

Art Toronto: The Toronto International Art Fair continues at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre through Monday until 6 p.m. Feature Contemporary Art Fair continues at the Canadian Opera Company headquarters, Toronto, through Sunday until 5 p.m.

Associated Graphic

The 'upstart' Feature Contemporary Art Fair will include works by Milutin Gubash, including a piece called A Doll.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


A Friday Arts article on visual art incorrectly said that Art Toronto art fair was founded in 2000 by Informa Exhibitions. In fact, The Toronto International Art Fair was founded in 2000 by Linel Rebenchuk, who ran it independently until 2008 when it was purchased by MMPI Canada. In 2012, Informa Exhibitions purchased MMPI, including Art Toronto.

Flavours to make you forget where you are
An Indonesian restaurant with a Dutch accent may seem typically Toronto, but in fact follows a long tradition of culinary synergy
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M2

How many layers of culture and interpretation can a cuisine pass through while remaining true to the original? Little Sister is a new Indonesian restaurant set in a stylish room on Yonge Street, just south of Eglinton Avenue. It's run by a Dutch chef who is best known for his Mediterranean-style bistro cooking, whose kitchen crew has almost no experience making Indonesian cuisine.

Yet, against what may seem like long odds, the four-month-old restaurant nails the palm sugar and ketjap manis sweets, the clove, ginger and turmeric depths, and the bright, spicestoked endorphin highs that make good Indonesian eating - wildly underrepresented around the GTA - such an extraordinary experience. Or here's how a Jakarta-born friend of mine put it last month, midway through a meal of spice-crusted fish, Javanese braised beef, chili and limejacked wontons and mustard greens that came soused with the low-smouldering paste called sambal oelek: "I would bring my parents here," he told me, looking surprised even as he said it.

Surprise is a common physiological state around Little Sister. In a city where Southeast Asian restaurant cooking is almost invariably watered down, the kitchen here cooks with love-it-or-leave-it confidence. It's worth noting that the room is packed, too: with Instagram-happy food tourists, certainly, but also with toddler-towing families and middle-aged midtown couples, with young eligibles out for after-work drinks and dinners, with chatty, sixtysomething men who seem overjoyed that, at long last, there's somewhere amazing close to home. What a difference not underestimating your clientele makes.

The restaurant is run by Jennifer Gittins and Michael van den Winkel, a couple who also operate Quince Bistro, just north on Yonge. Mr. van den Winkel's history is a big part of the Little Sister kitchen's fluency with Indonesian flavours: He grew up eating Indonesian twice a month in Amsterdam, he said.

The Netherlands has a 400-year history in the Indonesian archipelago, a colonial possession from the early 1600s through to the Second World War. Over time, the Dutch developed a taste for Indonesian flavours. "Instead of Chinese takeout like in Canada, in Holland people bring home Indonesian food," Mr. van den Winkel said.

As a chef in his country's navy in the 1980s, Mr. van den Winkel was expected to cook a traditional Dutch-Indonesian rijsttafel - a "rice meal" - every Wednesday, a navy tradition.

He settled into bistro cooking when he moved to Canada 19 years ago, albeit with the occasional Indonesian spicing thrown in. Yet, a few nights each year at Quince, he and Ms. Gittins served a rijsttafel. Their customers - homesick Dutch ones and otherwise - started asking for it. Last spring, the chef travelled to Bali to research, and to refresh his palate. While he hoped to do a few Dutch-Indonesian-style dishes, he wanted to cook realdeal Indonesian too.

Little Sister's skewered meats are a good starting point. The satay lilit, Balinese spiced chicken, is marinated, ground and then seasoned with galangal, turmeric and lime leaves - there are more than a dozen ingredients in the spice mix - so that it's floral and refreshing above the meatiness, charred and smoky at the edges. These are not your usual catered cocktail-hour satays.

The pangsit wontons nod to the cross-cultural nature of so much Indonesian cooking. The wrappers are Chinese, paper-thin and bubbled up from deep-frying, but the beef inside (in Indonesia, pangsit are typically filled with shrimp or chicken) is rich and dusky-tasting from cloves, and they come peppered with scallions, sided with a sauce made from red chilies and lime.

From the "snacks" section of Little Sister's menu - it is a collection of the restaurant's less traditional dishes - there are tacos filled with rendang beef. If you're rolling your eyes right now, so did I. Yet, those tacos are all kinds of brilliant. The beef is stewed in coconut milk and a ginger-turmeric-galangal spice paste, and then the chunks are dressed with iceberg lettuce, pickled red onion and thick coconut cream. The flavour builds from the upper and lower registers as you eat them: warm, brooding, beefy depth and dark-soy sweet and saltiness against tart sour cream and the onions' vinegar.

It's only after a minute that you realize there's a good deal of chilies in those tacos, also; the midrange soon fills in with lime leaf and ginger and keeps on expanding until every bit of your sensory system is engaged.

One night, four of us ordered Little Sister's entire menu, and the dishes came in a mad rush until our table was lost under a sea of food. This is by far the best way to do the place. (Better still, do it as a party of six.) The entire menu comes to less than $200.

We ate slabs of ham that had been braised with shrimp paste and tamarind; a slow-building shrimp and coconut curry; finelyflavoured mackerel in a clear, complex broth; sticky-glazed barbecue chicken that could give anything from the U.S. South an insecurity complex. (A rare fault here: the semur Java, a braised beef dish, was dry both times I had it.)

The nasi goreng - the fried rice dish that is one of Indonesia's best-known foods - is seasoned properly with that sweet ketjap manis, tamarind, chili and garlic. It's wokked blister-hot to dark and smoky and the comforting smell of it overtakes everything on arrival. (My Indonesian friend would have liked it better with a fried egg on top, he said.) We had a tiny Mason jar of cucumber spears pickled with turmeric and ground, creamy-textured kamiri nuts that add toasty richness, a way out-of-the-ordinary palate reset with deli-worthy crunch.

All that flavour comes in a room that's built and staffed for bistro tastes. It's friendly and comfortable, done up by the cool-kid downtown design firm Commute Home. There are good, simple beers and an affordable wine list by John Szabo, the consultant and master sommelier. The soundtrack - Miles Davis and Hugh Masekela one night, punctuated with Prince songs - works well somehow with both the food and the neighbourhood.

It's an Indonesian restaurant with a Dutch accent, filtered, just enough, through a distinctly Toronto lens, even if the flavours can allow some customers to forget where they are from time to time.

That night we ordered the entire menu, the floor staff seemed to appreciate our little group's enthusiasm. Another friend of mine, who has spent much of her career living and travelling around Indonesia, got to talking with one of the servers. Indonesia is made up of more than 18,000 islands; my friend wanted to know which one our server's family was from.

"Dari mana?" my friend asked, a little bashfully.

The server started laughing.

"Are you talking to me in Indonesian?" she responded, smiling.

"I'm Filipino," she said.




2031 Yonge St. (at Lola Road), 416-488-2031,

Atmosphere: A cool midtown room with a downtown vibe and an open kitchen meant to evoke a Balinese street market. Smart, friendly service, moderate volume.

Wine and drinks: An inexpensive, well-chosen wine list, a few local craft beers, complicated cocktails.

Best bets: Go with a group and order everything.

Prices: Shared plates, $3 to $16.

NB: Forty per cent of tables are allocated to reservations, 60 per cent to walk-ins.

Associated Graphic

Perhaps the best way to enjoy Little Sister's many delights is to arrive with a party of four to six people and order the entire menu, which comes to less than $200.


The Killer Bs are harmless without Big Z
When hulking blueliner plays, the Bruins are a contender, but Boston will get a glimpse at life without Chara for the next month
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S3


The enormity of the situation facing the Boston Bruins isn't lost on their players.

They know life with Zdeno Chara, the 6-foot-9 behemoth on the back end, won't be the same.

"I don't think one player can fill Z's shoes," defenceman Dougie Hamilton said after Saturday's 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. "That's impossible."

Which is true. But the reality is it's impossible for the entire team to fill them either. Chara has been so incredibly healthy, consistent and dominant as a Bruin that Boston is a completely different team when he's not on the ice.

Even at 37 years old.

Since Chara signed in Boston way back in 2006, he had missed only 20 games - and only 11 of those were due to injury. Without him, one of the best teams in the league won eight times and lost 12 (8-7-5), well below a playoff pace.

But if you extend that analysis to when Chara's been on the ice and when he hasn't, his absence is even more glaring. The last seven years, the Bruins have scored nearly 60 per cent of the goals at even strength when Chara has been on the ice, the rough equivalent to outscoring the opposition a goal a game every game for a full season.

They've also been a 55-per-cent possession team, which is as elite as it gets over that kind of extended time frame.

Without him, they've been close to average, even with all their other talent, barely outscoring teams and barely outpossessing them (50.7 per cent).

For an awful long time, he has made such a huge difference on his team - almost singlehandedly the difference between Cup contention and mediocrity. His impact may tail off as he ages, but the next 15 or so games will tell the tale of how they make do without him.

History says it will be anything but easy.

"When you lose a guy like Zdeno, you have to rely on [your structure] a lot more," coach Claude Julien said. "It's got to be a total team effort."


Taylor Hall, Edmonton

"Between Nuge [Ryan NugentHopkins] and Hall and Ebs [Jordan Eberle], they have to not only want that matchup, they have to enjoy it." That was Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on his young top line taking on the Steve Stamkos assignment, which they did quite well in one of three impressive (and badly needed) wins last week. Hall has gone a little more under the radar than he should have so far in his career, but at 22, he's already a superstar and has the ability to turn games singlehandedly. Watching him continue to evolve into one of the NHL's top talents is going to be one of the better storylines to follow as far as Canadian teams are concerned. Don't miss it.

The Minnesota Wild's top line

When the Wild went spend crazy and brought in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on enormous 13-year deals for $98-million (U.S.) in 2012, few thought it would work out like this. Which is to say: very, very well. Parise in particular has become the engine that drives this team, and his line could help them threaten some of the Western Conference powers. Only six games in, they're a dark horse.

Andre Burakovsky, Washington

One of the league's top scoring rookies with nearly a point a game, an early Calder Trophy nominee and straight out of Klagenfurt, Austria. A name worth keeping in mind.


The Leafs play at home

That odour wafting up off the ice on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre wasn't from some stale Burkie Dogs left behind a concession stand for a few months. It was the play of the home team, yet again, with their third stinker on home ice to the depleted Bruins. Toronto has now been outscored 19-10 in their five home games this season and has won only four times at the ACC in their past 14 games. The result after the latest display was a closed-door team meeting that stretched some 15 minutes after the final horn. Their conclusion? They need to compete harder. Which might sound familiar.

The San Jose Sharks

They lost to Buffalo. On home ice. Enough said. They get this week's stone of shame.

Mika Zibanejad, Ottawa

The Senators have a hole at centre and had hoped the young Swede could fill it but the early returns are awful. Zibanejad has no points and more troublingly looks out of his depth in other areas as well.


Zone matching

We've all heard of line matching, where a coach uses home-ice advantage and last change to put out the group of players he wants to get long looks at the opposition's lines.

Against Sidney Crosby, or Stamkos, or any of the NHL's other elite stars, this is imperative.

But some NHL coaches are using a different type of deployment with their lines that we'll call zone matching, which means they have certain units that only are sent out to play in certain zones of the ice.

If there's a defensive zone faceoff, the coach will always put out a line that excels at winning the draw, retrieving the puck and exiting the zone, preferably to get a faceoff in the neutral or offensive zones.

If there's an offensive zone faceoff, out come the scorers who you'd rather not have playing in their own end.

Two teams are doing this much more dramatically than any others early on - Edmonton and Nashville - and it's been working well for both.

For the Oilers, they want to keep a lot of their kids sheltered from defensive situations, so Boyd Gordon's "fourth" line has started in the defensive zone 73 times and the offensive zone only nine.

Paul Gaustad's usage in Nashville is even more extreme, as he's taken only four offensive zone faceoffs out of 89.

This is another example of how specialized roles are becoming in the NHL, especially for teams that can't simply run power versus power every night.



St. Louis at Dallas. Frankly, just fire up GameCentre and watch any game involving the Stars right now. They don't get a lot of attention down in Dallas, but this is perhaps the most exciting team in the league, in both good and bad ways, as Saturday's 7-5 loss to the Islanders showed. But the Stars have loaded their top line with Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin, and they've been the most dangerous trio leaguewide to date.

Thursday and Friday

Los Angeles at Pittsburgh, and then Detroit. The defending champs are winning a pile of games (On Sunday, they buried the Blue Jackets, 5-2), but they haven't exactly wowed while doing so. They've been outclassed by Phoenix, St. Louis and Minnesota and gotten great goaltending from Jonathan Quick to pull out wins that weren't always otherwise deserved. Only the Jeff Carter-led 70s Line is generating much on offence and the blueline looks thin minus Slava Voynov (due to suspension). You can't call it a Stanley Cup hangover given their record, but something is a little off in LA. How they fare on the road against two good Eastern Conference teams will speak volumes.

Follow me on Twitter:@mirtle

Associated Graphic

Dougie Hamilton, centre, and the rest of the Bruins will have to do without their captain for the next 15 to 20 games.


Taylor Hall

Zach Parise

Andre Burakovsky

Jamie Benn

10 hotspots for revving up or chilling out
Find your next vacation with one of these places, whether you need an adrenaline rush or just want to relax
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L10

Whether ennui has you down or you're stressed to the gills, the right vacation should help you reset, and not take too much work to plan and implement that you're exhausted when you get home. Find balance with these 10 destinations that will challenge your limits - or slow you right down.


Invade Iceland

You can be as adventurous as you want in Iceland: Explore on horseback, by hiking or ATVing, or simply driving across its nearly treeless (yet photogenic) volcanic and mountainous landscapes complete with glaciers, big screen-worthy waterfalls, hot springs and, in winter, Northern Lights. Wild West Tours specializes in the western peninsula, easily accessible from Reykjavik, and offers adventure packages via its fleet of large super-jeeps, tailored to each customer's need for speed. If you're seeking a rush, consider booking an extreme winter adventure that includes ice climbing and ATV riding. A less-active option includes the Viking Sushi boat tour with viewings of puffins, eider ducks and white-tailed eagles and samples of fresh-from-thesea scallops and sea urchins. Optional with all packages is a national must-have: Icelandic wool gloves or a cap for 3,500 krona (about $32). Tours start at $180 a person. (

Survive in the Rockies

Travellers with fantasies of retreating to a mountain log cabin or winter campsite should start with the half-day, full-day or overnight wilderness survival course offered by Inside Out Experience based near Canmore, Alta. Learn how to start fires, build shelters, purify water, identify plants to eat, master basic first aid and ground-to-air signals, among other life-saving skills. Pair the workshop with a guided outing - in winter, a snowshoe tour or ice walk (in summer, white-water rafting, mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding) for a full Canadian Rockies experience. From $72 a person. ( .

Bike the Pacific Northwest

The range of cycling tours from Washington state-based Bicycle Adventures runs from family friendly to (their word) epic, either on road or trails - and always with van support to move luggage, supplies and anyone who finds the hills too steep. The four-day, three-night Leavenworth Mountain Biking trip, for example, takes you through back-country trails with a day of white-water rafting to give your thighs and glutes a break. Participants are split into groups by ability and everyone gets a hot shower and good night's sleep (perhaps even a well-deserved massage) each night. $1,365 (U.S.) (

Stoke your ski skills

B.C.'s Revelstoke Mountain Resort, three hours' drive northeast of Kelowna, is renowned for having North America's greatest vertical (1,713 metres) and plenty of snow (about nine to 13 metres a year). But it's also the only resort in North America offering lift, cat-, heli- and back-country skiing all from the same village, making it the perfect place to push your skiing endurance. The three-day Ultimate Excursion package, intended for advanced intermediate powder skiers, starts with a prep day to refine your skills with a pro before spending a second day cat-skiing and a third on a heli-skiing tour. $1,500 a person (includes equipment rental, lift ticket and lunch). (

Go green in Ecuador

From a walking tour of Quito to a 13-night "100 species" photography expedition, Tropic is an eco-tour operator offering something for every style of adventurer. As a member of the International Ecotourism Society, one of its top tours is the six-day Green Ecuador Adventure Travel package. It takes guests through some of the country's highlights: a day in the capital city, a nontechnical climb up 4,328 metre Fuya Fuya Mountain, a hike through the cloud forest in search of quetzals and toucans and mountain biking or horseback riding with a chagra, an Ecuadorian cowboy. From $1,200 (U.S.). (


Relax in a ryokan

Thanks in part to their position on the Pacific Ring of Fire and to the plentiful natural hot springs that come with that geology, the Japanese have a long history of taking their ease in the water. After a 90-minute train ride from Tokyo, indulge in communal hot baths, sauna and spa at the 20room Hakone-Ginyu, a ryokan (or traditional Japanese inn). Choose from a Japanese- or Western-style bed and spend some quality time with your private, open-air, hotspring tub. From $300 (29,310 yen) a person a night. (

Splash about in Bath

A spa destination since Roman times, the pretty English town of Bath (90 minutes by train from London) offers many attractions, from architecture (the goldenstone Georgian buildings are exquisite) and museums, to shopping, cuisine or soaking in the country's only natural hot springs. Book a room at the Bath Priory, a 33-bedroom hotel that is walking distance from the centre of town but feels as if it were in the countryside. Play croquet in the gardens, take afternoon tea in the drawing room and sneak in a treatment at the onsite spa before dining at the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant. From $268 (£148.50) a night. (

Feel quiet in Quebec

Le Baluchon Eco Resort is a countryside retreat 45 minutes from Trois-Rivières with 22 kilometres of forest trails and a slow-moving river fit for swimming, paddling or just simple contemplation. Start with the Health Spa Retreat Package, an overnight stay that includes breakfast, a four-course dinner, two spa treatments and access to the Nordic spa, sauna, indoor swimming pool, canoes and hiking trails. Ask for one of the recently renovated rooms that is based on the principles of "slow design," which means lots of local artwork and furniture made with renewable resources. In cooler months, make sure to request one with a gas fireplace. From $259 a person a night. (

Mellow out in Mexico

Sometimes, a schedule-free beach vacation may not be enough to get the buzz out of your brain. Try a package that gives you plenty of spa treatments, yoga classes and visits to the steam room so you can really gear down. At Matlali Hotel, for example, a half-hour's drive north of Puerto Vallarta, guests can choose from the Detox & Fit or Relax & Breathe packages. Both include daily fresh organic juices and steam-room sessions, a collagen facial, two 80-minute massages and yoga and meditation sessions, but the detox package adds a 90-minute personal coaching session and two body treatments, while the relax package offers daily osteopathy therapy and two mineral-mud body wrap treatments. Wellness packages from $450 a night for single occupancy. (

Lose it at Lake Malawi

Long, narrow, landlocked Lake Malawi stretches 580 kilometres between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania in southeastern Africa. Home to more species of fish - an estimated 500 to 1,000 - than any other lake in the world, it's a popular destination for both local and international visitors. Lose yourself at Kaya Mawa, a resort on Malawi's Likoma Island and a frequent member of global travel "best of" lists. It offers a spa, restaurant and bar as well as water sports (including diving lessons) and a beautiful sandy beach. Rooms were designed in partnership with a local textile workshop that supports single mothers. Guests are encouraged to explore the island by foot, mountain bike or ATV, and visit its cathedral and markets or take in a local soccer game. From $355 (U.S.) a person a night. (

Associated Graphic

Bath, England offers pure relaxation with spas and natural hot springs to soak in, while Iceland provides straight adventure with ice climbing and ATVing.


Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B1

TORONTO -- Target Canada Co. is betting on its top stores to become a model for the struggling discounter in its recovery efforts.

Mark Schindele, president of the Canadian chain since May, is overseeing the launch of an array of practices from speeding up and sharpening store inventory stocking from trailer trucks (in Target lingo, "coming clean on trailers") to creating a service culture among staff to go the extra mile and convince shoppers to buy (internally dubbed "the vibe.") The chain is quietly experimenting with ordering more merchandise than its systems think it needs for five of its best performing stores while "over-investing" in strong selling inventory at its top 20 outlets, Mr. Schindele said during a tour of Target's Toronto Stockyards mall location, one of its premier stores.

In a program it internally calls "how high is high," it is assessing how much business its best five stores can generate amid efforts to fix its problems, especially empty shelves and high prices.

"We've seen measurable improvements," Mr. Schindele said. But he still has work to do, he asserted. In some important aisles, such as higher-margin fashions which Target is known for, "we're still stumbling."

As the retailer heads into the key holiday season, it is borrowing a page from its U.S. parent's playbook, counting on practices that helped Target Corp. become an affordable style leader.

Now the stakes are higher than ever in Canada, as the retailer's new leaders roll out their turnaround strategies amid stiffer competition and troubles at the U.S. home base, including fallout from last year's data breach.

In Canada, Target is trying to keep shelves replenished by giving employees six hours to unload trailer trucks and stock stores and back rooms accurately. It is setting up "green zones" to ensure products are in the right place and neatly folded by size and style and "4X4" processes for employees to check every four-foot section of the store to make sure products are in the right place and that shelves and pegs are filled to capacity, signs are correct and racks are clean.

It launched its "98 per cent accuracy" goal of making sure back rooms are 98 per cent stocked to keep track of the quantity of each item.

And it is empowering its employees. The initiatives entail such simple matters as asking shoppers: "Can I help you find something?" and engaging them in conversation to sway them to make purchases they might not have otherwise made.

But while Mr. Schindele said he's making progress in stocking sections such as beauty and health goods, household staples, toys and electronics - and making big bets on coats and sleepwear - he still grapples with bare shelves in many shoe, handbag and home storage aisles.

"The bareness of the shelves is the problem," said shopper Tessa Schmitz, 33, and mother of two, as she strolled the aisles. "There are huge holes."

Just back from two years in New Orleans, she notices a stark difference between the wider offerings in U.S. Target stores. For example, she regularly bought Honest Kids organic juice for her three-year-old son at American Target outlets but can't find the product here.

"I think it's improved," added Kate Hanley, 54, as she packed her cart with about $250 worth of carpets and other home goods. "But it's still not as good as Target in the States."

Industry watchers also have noticed better-stocked shelves and competitive prices at Target, despite ongoing challenges.

"They need to make it cool in Canada," said Alex Arifuzzaman, partner at retail-real estate specialist InterStratics Consultants.

"That's the reputation they had before they came here. They kind of lost it or it got diluted."

Even so, analyst Perry Caicco at CIBC World Markets sees "few examples of remarkable improvements." He predicts Target could be gone by the end of 2015 and that savvier rivals, including discounter Wal-Mart Canada Corp., grocer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. or Hudson's Bay Co., may consider buying its assets. (HBC paved the way for Target to enter Canada in 2011 by selling most of its Zellers leases to the U.S. chain.)

Mr. Schindele, wearing a Target badge bearing his first name, insists the chain is finally focusing on implementing best operational practices after moving too fast to launch 124 stores here in 2013. It now has nine more.

In its current third quarter, Target Canada's shopper traffic to stores improved from its second quarter, he said, declining to provide figures until the company reports third-quarter results on Nov. 19. It lost nearly $1-billion (U.S.) in 2013 and, in the first half of fiscal 2014, its operating loss grew 11 per cent to $415-million while sales rose 133 per cent to $842-million. In its second quarter, same-store sales at outlets open a year - an important retail metric - fell 11.4 per cent.

Mr. Schindele said he's making progress in categories in which Target can better predict sales trends and merchandise is ordered domestically rather than overseas, which can take up to nine months. Now the retailer is counting on departments such as toys, electronics and entertainment items to make it a holiday "gifting destination."

But in the fashion aisles, the retailer is still faltering. "If our estimate of how things will sell is wrong, we can't get back in stock until the next fashion season," he said. Some items, such as women's boots and children's shoes, are so popular the chain can't keep them in stock, he said.

Janna Adair Potts, senior vicepresident of stores and distribution, said she's seen a "double digit" improvement in creating 98-per-cent inventory levels in storage rooms. As for the green zones, "We're green more often than we're not" while the opposite was the case a year earlier, she said.

Sales staff are being encouraged to chat with customers, whom Target calls guests.

She cited a salesperson who recently initiated a conversation with a couple expecting a baby.

She showed them an Eddie Bauer furniture set but a piece was missing. The staff person called other stores and located the piece, put it on hold and printed out a map for the customers, resulting in a $1,400 sale. "It could have been zero."

Target (TGT) Close: $61.33 (U.S.), down 31¢

Target's lexicon for improving service

vibe informal noun The service culture being rolled out in stores, the way employees engage with customers vibe mo'ment verb A situation in which staff members demonstrate this culture

four-by-four noun (also 4 x 4) A square area, with four-foot sides, within a Target store verb Check within a designated four-by-four area to ensure it is clean, signs are correct, and shelves are filled.The entire store is monitored over a two-week period

how high is high interrogative The test, currently being piloted in five Canadian stores, in which additional merchandise is ordered to test sales potential

com'ing clean on trail'ers noun (clean: /'kli:n/) The six-hour limit given to employees to accurately place inventory on store shelves or in stockrooms after merchandise starts unloading from transport truck

green zone noun Ideal display, i.e. having a product in the right place on the shelf, neatly folded on a table, or on the right rack sorted by size and style so customers can easily find merchandise

Associated Graphic

Target Canada president Mark Schindele is still grappling with supply issues with the chain north of the border.


INSIDER Knowledge
One instructor offers tips: Plug into the material, speak up (politely) and do the work
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P37

WHAT DOES A PROFESSOR LOOK FOR when surveying the sea of faces in a jampacked classroom? What do they think when they see students using personal electronics, especially if they are obviously texting/Facebooking or sleeping or otherwise not paying attention?

Roger Lohmann, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Trent University with campuses in Peterborough and Oshawa, Ont., shares Q his point of view.


Universities are institutions for the production, care and dissemination of scientific and humanistic knowledge. They are exciting places where people are brimming with new ideas, treasuring received wisdom from the past, and are excited to share both of these in lively discussions. Universities protect and champion academic freedom, ensuring that truth is not suppressed or distorted by popular notions or vested interests of the day. Universities safeguard standards of academic integrity, to prevent falsehood masquerading as truth. Universities are places for sharing wonder and, when guided by vision, places of inspiring beauty as well. When I first became a university student, I loved all this so much that I never wanted to leave, and it's why I'm still here decades Q later as a professor.


Some university students might think of their professors as primarily teachers; however, teaching is only one of a university professor's duties. A professor's main job is, normally, to produce new research results and share these in the form of publications such as journal articles and books. Teaching is ordinarily the secondary duty of a professor. Professors design and conduct their courses, provide students with a syllabus or course outline that serves as a contract of expectations and responsibilities for instructors as well as students. When teaching, a professor's job includes writing and delivering lectures or preparing for and leading class discussions, holding office hours to meet with students, marking or overseeing the marking of assignments, and recording the grades earned by students. Third, professors aid in the administrative duties for their university such as chairing departments and programs or working with committees, and appearing at events, as well as helping to run professional and commuQ nity associations.


I look for signs of engagement in my students, like looking at me, reactions to what I say like occasional smiles, nods, quizzical glances, or expressions of surprise and interest. When students raise their hands with questions spoken for all to hear and respond to, everyone is more energized and plugged in. Feedback enhances my own enthusiasm and makes my lectures better. I don't think anyone falls asleep in a lecture on purpose or without embarrassment. However, students who chat with their neighbours or indulge their cravings for electronic devices during lectures put their own bad manners and foolishness on display. Some students seem to forget that their professors can see them, and that their classmates can hear them and are irriQ tated by the distraction and disrespect.


Interact with your profs. Come to their office hours to ask questions or share reactions about the class material or the subject. It's an opportunity to find out more about their research and their career, and get advice on your own. Students sometimes make the mistake of being either overly familiar, going straight to first names and sending fragmentary messages, or, more commonly, not being familiar enough, never saying a word. Use e-mail sparingly, and only for simple questions, but each message you send to your professors should be formal, including a subject, salutation and a signature. Unless you have been invited to use a professor's first name, students should always address their instructors as Professor X or Dr. X. But do greet them in the hallway, respond to and raise questions with them, and share the excitement of learning new things with them.


The more you put into classes, the more you will get out of them. The key is to engage. Listen attentively and questioningly to lectures, and relate what you are learning to issues in your life so they become more meaningful for you. Finish all readings before they are due, and read actively, letting the materials sink in and bounce off your previous understandings. Observe, question and share your own reactions to class materials with others inside and outside the classroom. Take detailed notes on lectures and films. Participate thoughtfully in discussions, addressing yourself to your classmates as well as your professor. You will find things you are learning about in your classes coming to mind and providing new and intriguing perspectives on your Q daily experiences.


Cheating is a kind of corruption that is damaging to all involved. Any society that tolerates cheating on assignments and exams, like copying and pasting others' work as though it were one's own, not only promotes lying, it produces people who are not really capable of doing what they are certified to do. You wouldn't want a doctor who got his or her degree by cheating to operate on you, or an accountant who got her job by cheating to handle your books. For these reasons, academic honesty is a prime directive in both the sciences and the arts for everyone's protection. Cheating during exams, getting outside assistance on assignments, and plagiarizing are usually quite obvious to markers and lead to unpleasant meetings with professors and deans, and penalties from failing marks to notations on one's transcript to expulsion. Even from a self-interested perspective, it is always better to hand in bad work honestly done than someone else's Q work no matter how well done.


On assignments, the most important thing is to follow the instructions carefully and exactly, asking questions in advance to clarify any instructions you might not be sure about. Providing extraneous material in your answers, or not providing what your professor called for, undermines your potential mark. Time management is key. Just like in the work world, deadlines are not negotiable. I advise students to set themselves an artificial deadline a few days before an assignment is due. This way, unexpected events don't get in the way of finishing. Never hand in a first draft, but read your own work with a constructively critical eye and revise at least twice, improving it each time.


On exams, I always remind students to answer the question, the whole question, and nothing but the question. To formulate your answer, carefully consider the evidence available to you in the question itself, exactly as it is worded, combined with what you have learned in the course. Double-check your own logic. To prepare for exams, review your course notes, and skim the introductions, headings, key concepts and conclusions of all your assigned readings, which you will have been sure to have already read thoroughly when they were due. Review and discuss your notes from each lecture, reading, film and class discussion with a small group of your classmates as part of your preparations for the exam. Sleep consolidates memories, so be sure to finish all your studying and get a full night's rest the day before the exam.

This interview has been edited and condensed

Associated Graphic

Roger Lohmann, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Trent University.


A step in the right direction
B.C.'s apology for hanging six war chiefs is seen as vindicating, but some wonder if there will bring any tangible benefits
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S4

NEMIAH VALLEY, B.C. -- Annie Williams was just a girl when she first heard about the Chilcotin Chiefs.

Some details have faded with time. But like most Tsilhqot'in people, she recalls the major themes as clearly as if they were carved in stone: the six chiefs went to war to protect Tsilhqot'in territory. They were tried and hanged as murderers after coming to what they thought would be peace talks. Their deaths are part of a long pattern of Tsilhqot'in people fighting to protect their land and an equally long pattern of betrayal by Canadian governments.

For more than 100 years, that history has rankled, even as the province took steps to address what the Tsilhqot'in perceive to be grievous wrongs. Those measures include a 1993 apology for wrongs done to the First Nation before and after the Chilcotin War.

On Thursday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark went further, apologizing for the wrongful hanging of the six war chiefs and saying the Tsilhqot'in people rightly regard them as heroes.

For Ms. Williams, the development is bittersweet, bringing vindication but also doubts about whether the fresh apology will bring any tangible benefits for Tsilhqot'in people.

"It would have been nice if it had happened a long time ago," Ms. Williams said in a telephone interview on Thursday after Ms. Clark spoke in the legislature. "If there is going to be real change, it will have to be more than just words."

The symbolism, however, could hardly be greater. The apology follows a June decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in a case known as Tsilhqot'in Nation v. British Columbia, in which the court, for the first time in Canada, granted a declaration of aboriginal title to a specific tract of land: about 1,700 square kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. And it represents a marked shift in the government's approach to a complex, painful chapter of B.C. history that still resonates.

Among the Tsilhqot'in, the warrior chiefs lead by legacy and example. They are credited with stopping construction of a road that would have cut through Tsilhqot'in territory, keeping the region relatively remote and providing some protection for their culture and language.

Roger William, for example, did not learn English until he was six years old and went to residential school in Williams Lake, where he travelled by horse and wagon. Mr. William - the lead plaintiff and public face of the Supreme Court case - says the chiefs have guided him all his life.

The chiefs' sacrifice helped unify the Tsilhqot'in even as smallpox, the reserve system and social and family disruption resulting from residential schools drove relatives and communities apart, he says.

"The Tsilhqot'in warriors who sacrificed their lives - that was the reason we stuck together as a nation that has won title," Mr. Williams says. "The glue holding us together was the sacrifice of our warriors who were hanged. No matter what happened, that was entrenched into our children."

The Chilcotin War flared up in 1864 as builders attempted to punch a road from the B.C. coast through Tsilhqot'in territory to Interior gold fields. In April, 1864, a Tsilhqot'in war party attacked and killed most of the men on a road crew in a dawn raid. Days later, Tsilhqot'in warriors attacked a pack train, killing two more men.

By the end of May, 20 non-aboriginal people were dead.

Six chiefs were later hanged: five in Quesnel on Oct. 26, 1864, and a sixth in July of the following year, in New Westminster.

In a 2007 court decision that led to this year's ruling, Supreme Court of B.C.'s Justice David Vickers said it it is not possible to ascribe the cause of the war to any single event. One triggering event, he said, was a dispute in which a member of the road-building team threatened Tsilhqot'in workers, whose community had already been ravaged by smallpox in 1862 and 1863, with more smallpox as punishment after they were accused of stealing flour.

"But the entire body of historical evidence reveals a statement by the Tsilhqot'in people that the road would go no farther and that there would be no further European presence in their territory.

The use of their land was clearly an issue," he said in his judgment, which the Supreme Court upheld this year.

Tsilhqot'in determination to control what they considered their land - and the legacy of the chiefs - was the backdrop to the court case and for disputes over industrial development, including the proposed New Prosperity project, a gold-and-copper mine that would fall outside the recently outlined title area.

The mine's proponent, Vancouver-based Taseko Mines, is seeking the right to sue the federal government for blocking the $1.5billion project, which Ottawa has twice rejected. A decision on that request is pending.

Meanwhile, Tsilhqot'in leaders are heralding what they see as the overdue recognition of their chiefs, which includes official acknowledgment that they were tricked.

After the colonial militia failed to track down the war party, an official sent the chiefs a sacred gift of tobacco and an invitation to discuss terms of peace, Ms. Clark said. "Chief Klatsassin and his men accepted this truce," she said. "They rode into the camp to negotiate peace, and then in an unexpected act of betrayal, they were arrested, imprisoned and tried for murder."

She also said the chiefs were not criminals or outlaws, but warriors engaged in a territorial dispute, adopting a perspective Tsilhqot'in children learn before they can walk. Rancher Raphael William, speaking before Ms. Clark made her apology in the legislature, said he did not believe the chiefs needed to be exonerated or pardoned because in his eyes, they did nothing wrong.

"They were hanged for something they didn't do," the rancher said, referring to the charge of murder. "In any war, you kill people. That's war."

Ms. Clark is expected to make a personal apology in Quesnel on Sunday, 150 years after the hangings and on the annual Klatsassin Memorial Day.

After a recent community meeting in the Xeni Gwet'in band hall, one of six communities that are under the umbrella of the Tsilhqot'in national government, the chiefs of the six Tsilhqot'in nations spoke to a reporter about the still-unfolding effects of the Supreme Court of Canada decision and the official recognition of the Chilcotin Chiefs, which they see as part of an continuing process to reset relationships between First Nations, governments and business.

"That is the first thing we are taught - we were betrayed," said Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot'in National Government. "We were betrayed - by Canada, by B.C. But it is time to heal that wound - time to move and carry on. But never to forget, because it is the big untold story of Canada. It's a shame it isn't taught in schools right across B.C., right across Canada."

Associated Graphic

Raphael William says the chiefs did not need to be exonerated or pardoned because they did nothing wrong.


Annie Williams, seen here above Chilcotin Lake on Tuesday, says the province's apology is bittersweet.

Wild horses run through the Nemiah Valley on Tuesday. The Tsilhqot'in have kept their territory relatively inaccessable.

The history of B.C. and the Tsilhqot'in has rankled, even as the province took steps to address what the nation perceives to be grievous wrongs.

Shaping a father's legacy
After being diagnosed with cancer, artist Robert Genn sorted through his archives with his children as a final family collaboration
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L4

VANCOUVER -- Artist Robert Genn wanted his home studio to be a place where he could chase his muses, and his children could discover their own. At the centre stood the easel where he painted, a sort of altar, surrounded by creative stations - a Yamaha D-80 console organ, film and photography equipment, a bird feeder, a writing desk, a loft for dreaming and writing stories. Wooded trees surrounded the place; it was not unusual to see eagles nesting. This haven to creativity is where his children - Dave, Sara and James - grew up, learning to be artists themselves.

"We think that if any of us would have become doctors or lawyers, we would have been disowned," says Dave, a composer and musician best known as guitarist for the rock group 54-40.

It was in the studio in the Crescent Beach community of Surrey, south of Vancouver, that Robert Genn's long-time family doctor told him, almost exactly 12 months ago, that he had "perhaps a year" to live. He was 77, married almost 50 years, had three children, three grandchildren, and now, pancreatic cancer. And it was in his studio that he spent his final months, painting and combing over his life's work - hundreds of canvasses depicting Canadian landscapes, especially the West, and works inspired by his travels. Since his death in May, daughter Sara, a painter and musician who lives in New York, has continued the job: cleaning, cataloguing, wrapping and communing with her father.

"Today I was on the floor of my dad's studio, a place where I've painted my own paintings for decades and lay on the floor as a child while he painted at his easel. And now I'm alone in that room going over his paintings and in a new relationship with him and his imagination and his dreams and his triumphs and every stroke is his heart," she said in a recent interview, becoming increasingly emotional. "What child has that from their parent?" This weekend, in an unprecedented collaboration, four commercial galleries - in Toronto, Banff, Alta., Kelowna, B.C., and White Rock, B.C. - will simultaneously open a final Robert Genn show, each selling 15 paintings, selected by Sara.

"It was their idea to do that.

They wanted to do it and they wanted to do it together and simultaneously and to make all the work available together," she said. "It's not the standard way they do things. And so I see it as a real testament to my dad and the kind of person that he was and the kind of artist that he was to work with."

A working painter since he was a teenager, Robert Genn - Bob to his friends; Bobby to his mother - was born in Victoria in 1936.

According to family lore, he began drawing - drawing well - at the age of three. Around that same age, he was driving through town with his grandfather when he saw "a little old lady sitting on the stool by the side of the road, painting." It was Emily Carr. "That moment left a little mark on my dad," said Sara, recounting the story.

Genn, who often worked en plein air -influenced by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and, of course, Carr - painted around the world and kept a rigorous studio schedule at home.

He was often there at 5:30 a.m., painting to classical music while his coffee went cold. With this work ethic - and his obvious talent - he was able to make a good living as an artist (and author; he also published several books). He advised his children: "Waiting for inspiration is for amateurs; professionals get to work."

They all did; in addition to the artistic successes of 45-year-old Dave and 42-year-old Sara, her twin James is a Toronto-based director whose TV credits include Seed and Call Me Fitz.

Because they are self-employed, they were each able to put their lives on hold, to some extent, after their father called to tell them the news.

They considered how to spend the time they had left together. There were thoughts of trips to Hawaii or the Galapagos, but Genn wanted to end his life as he had lived it: in his studio, making art, with his family close by. James fashioned a reclining chair so his father could continue to paint, lying down, as his illness took a physical toll. "He made it is his mission to go as long and as far as he could with a paintbrush in his hand, and he was painting small canvases right up until the last few weeks," James said.

"There's a thing in the culture that says, if you're given a year to live, what would you do differently? My dad did the exact same thing in the last year of his life as he had been doing for the first 77 years," Sara said.

But there was one thing the ticking clock demanded of Genn: He would have to deal with hundreds of works in three storage areas on his waterfront property. He did not want his artistic legacy to include anything substandard.

The difficult task of dividing his life's work into "destroy," "sign" or "keep" began the day after his diagnosis, and continued until his final week. It became a final family collaboration.

"He called it sad but fun to go over it all, and to see the experiments and the triumphs and failures and remembering all of our travels - paintings from trips we had taken, and paintings of us as youngsters. ... It's like looking through an album of your life but they're paintings, not photos," Sara said. "I'm relieved and glad that I was at a stage professionally, and maybe even emotionally equipped, to really be there for my dad and help him as a partner to cull his life's work."

A few weeks into the process, they loaded the van and drove to a friend's property and threw canvas after canvas onto a bonfire. Multiple trips to the dump followed. "We were pretty joyful," she said. "We didn't have that feeling that it was over, but that feeling that it's his world and his choice."

Because of his close relationship with his children, Genn was in the enviable position of feeling no need to make amends, share wisdom or reveal secrets at the end. "We didn't have any of that stuff to do," Sara said. "I didn't have to say, 'Hey I need all the contents of your brain in the next two weeks because I'm about to lose you and you're really smart, and I have to get some tips.' ... There wasn't a panic for any of us in that area."

Genn turned 78 on May 15 and died on May 27 - the twins' birthday. Sara has since selected 60 works for his final, crosscountry, show.

"With those seven months with dad culling the archive, and discussing each painting with him fresh in my memory," she said, "the paintings were fresh to me, with their stories, their rediscovery, and the place each work holds in the overall oeuvre."

Associated Graphic

Artist Robert Genn's three children Dave, Sara and James in their father's studio at Crescent Beach in Surrey, B.C.


Below: Robert Genn and his painting, The Long Pause.

Red wave of mayors expected to sweep across 905 cities
Liberal insiders say they expect cordial relations with Wynne's majority government to be beneficial for several GTA municipalities
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A19

The Liberal mayors across the GTA cheered on the surprise majority win of Kathleen Wynne's Grits this spring, and now Queen's Park is turning its eyes to Monday's municipal races in the region, when a red wave is expected to wash over the 905 area. If polls are to be trusted, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham and Oakville will all put Liberals into their mayors' offices.

At a time where transportation and infrastructure funding sit at the top of municipal agendas, the relationship between the Ontario Liberal majority government and mayors of its 905 cities is key to the prosperity of those municipalities in the next term of office - especially in Mississauga and Brampton. In these municipalities that have expanded rapidly in recent decades, infrastructure deficits are mounting. Funding, support and reinvigoration of these communities is vital to their success and, in turn, the prosperity of the province.

The possibility of former Liberal MPs Bonnie Crombie or Steve Mahoney being elected in Mississauga or former Liberal MPP Linda Jeffrey, who was in Ms. Wynne's cabinet, in Brampton "bodes well for good, strong relationships for both Mississauga and Brampton with the Wynne government," said Greg Sorbara, the province's former finance minister and an active Liberal party organizer. Liberals Frank Scarpitti in Markham, Maurizio Bevilacqua in Vaughan and Rob Burton in Oakville are also expected to be re-elected.

While Toronto mayoral frontrunner John Tory was once leader of the province's Progressive Conservatives, insiders say he has nurtured a good relationship with Ms. Wynne. "There's a really close relationship between John Tory and Kathleen Wynne. And it's a good relationship, not the political banner, that's important," Mr. Sorbara said.

From transit projects, to new hospitals, to university funding, the work of municipal and provincial government is "very integrated," said Mississauga-Erindale Liberal MPP Harinder Takhar, who served as a cabinet minister in Dalton McGuinty's government.

Sharing party stripes with the government of the day doesn't guarantee good municipal-provincial relations, but political watchers and Liberal insiders, including Mr. Sorbara, say it can open the door to better dialogue. As long-serving mayors in the region have shown, being able to communicate well with Queen's Park - whether through a cordial approach or a pugnacious one - is key.

After 36 years in office, Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion established herself as elder stateswoman of municipal politics in the GTA, using her audacity to help Mississauga punch above its weight.

While Ms. McCallion took a softer approach in her last few terms in office, she still maintained her "scrapper" persona when it worked in her favour, says Tom Urbaniak, who wrote a book about Mississauga's history and teaches political science at Cape Breton University. Ms. McCallion would attend meetings with provincial ministers and confront them aggressively, to the point of embarrassing them.

Neither Ms. Crombie nor Mr. Mahoney has a history of "making waves" or "carving out unique or exciting policy initiatives," Mr. Urbaniak said.

"Given their political track records, I suspect they will attempt a more low-key approach to relations with the senior levels of government than most of what we've seen for the political career of Hazel McCallion."

That said, earlier this month Ms. McCallion endorsed Ms. Crombie at a fundraiser, revealing she saw something unique in the candidate. "Bonnie is young and she's ambitious. She works hard. She's got some new ideas and I hope those new ideas will come forward," Ms. McCallion said.

Mr. Mahoney and Ms. Crombie both have ties to the Liberal party. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Crombie was a Liberal MP. Having sat on the transportation and infrastructure standing committee, she said she knows who the players are on the federal level. Ms. Crombie said she is also in with Ms. Wynne. "I have great connections with the premier and the premier's office and the provincial level of government," she said.

Mr. Mahoney served as a Liberal MPP from 1987 to 1995 and stayed under the party banner in 1997 when he switched to federal politics, which included a brief stint as a minister in Jean Chrétien's cabinet. He said he still has a good rapport with the federal Liberals.

As for Queen's Park, he said, "My connections at the province go right up to the top and throughout every ministry."

Mr. Takhar sought the leadership of the Liberal party in 2013 and was backed in his bid by Ms. Crombie. He says Ms. Crombie and her opponent are so similar that it would be easy to work with either. But he endorsed Mr. Mahoney because "he has more current relationships than [Ms. Crombie] has and he has more endorsements from the MPPs."

That is where Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell, who is seeking re-election, stumbled, Mr. Sorbara says.

Though most of Ms. Fennell's career has been spent in local politics, in 1993 she ran in the federal election on the Progressive Conservative ticket. Mr. Sorbara described Ms. Fennell's relationship with the province as "much, much rockier" than Ms. McCallion's.

Ms. Jeffrey, who represented the Brampton Centre and then Brampton-Springdale riding at Queen's Park and most recently served as Minister of Municipal Affairs, had a "terrible relationship" with Ms. Fennell, Mr. Sorbara said.

The perception of Ms. Fennell as being strongly partisan was seen across departments, according to one former Liberal official. With Ms. McCallion, he said, "You always knew that what she was talking about was what Hazel thought rather than what would benefit her politically. Whereas that was not the sense really in Brampton."

While Ms. Jeffrey is known to be close to Ms. Wynne and served in her cabinet, her Liberal stripes don't mean that every project she has on her wish list will be funded by the province if she's elected, Mr. Sorbara said.

"They're not going to build a subway to Brampton because Linda's there. When Linda needs to make a case for something, she will know who to talk to and she'll know how the system works," Mr. Sorbara said. "When issues arise, because of the personal relationship, the quality of the dialogue will be better."

For that reason, it made more sense for Ms. McCallion, rather than Toronto Mayor Rob Ford - who has never had a warm relationship with the province - to steer the ship this past winter when GTA mayors united to request ice storm relief funds from Queen's Park. This united regional approach could become even more common if a slate of Liberal mayors is elected in the 905.

A former Liberal official told The Globe and Mail he anticipates more co-ordinated plays like that in the future, and a stronger political alignment would only help the cause.

"What was interesting on that was it was Mississauga-Hazel led. Obviously the region really needs that and it'll be interesting to see who takes up that role now," he said.

Associated Graphic

Brampton mayoral candidates, from left, John Sanderson, incumbent Susan Fennell, front-runner Linda Jeffrey and Devinder Sangha take part in a debate on young professionals' issues at Lab-B, a collective of creative types and entrepreneurs, in the city's downtown on Oct. 2. Ms. Fennell once ran for the federal Conservatives.


Iraqi Kurdish fighters' long-held reputation as a swashbuckling resistance force suffered a blow recently after inexperience, old weapons and disorganized leadership led to an embarrassing retreat in the face of Islamic State militants. Now the peshmerga have allied themselves with the U.S.-led coalition and have rearmed and regrouped. Even still, one analyst says, 'the pesh are cautious.' Patrick Martin reports
Thursday, October 30, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A10

The Kurdish peshmerga were said to be the fiercest, most tenacious fighting force in the Middle East. But recent defeats at the hands of Islamic State militants have shown that their prowess has withered and that they are outgunned and outmanoeuvred by their newest adversary. As they now join forces with the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State invaders, the fighters are looking to Canadian, Australian and other Western militaries to help them recover their mojo.

With their traditional baggy pantaloons and waist-cloths, the peshmerga had established their reputation through decades of resistance to British and Iraqi rule. The term peshmerga (which means "those who confront death") was first used in the mid-1940s, when Iraqi Kurds formed a short-lived independent republic in what is now northwestern Iran. The Republic of Mahabad's fighters were led by Mustafa Barzani, father of Massoud, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq today.

For years, these swashbuckling fighters kept up a running battle against dictator Saddam Hussein, and nothing he could throw at them - not even chemical weapons - could pry them from their mountain strongholds or deter them from their goal of an independent Kurdish state.

In June, when the Sunni extremist Islamic State movement (also known as ISIL or ISIS) advanced from Syria and overran the Iraqi city of Mosul, the country's regular army turned and fled. The peshmerga would never do such a thing, people said, as they turned for help to the Kurdish autonomous zone in the north of Iraq.

In August, however, that's exactly what the peshmerga did do, deserting the towns of Zumar, Sinjar and Jalawla, and leaving people there, including hundreds of Yazidis, to the mercy of Islamic State militants.

"This was the first time we saw the peshmerga withdraw, and it had a deep impact on all the peshmerga and the whole of Kurdish society," said military spokesman General Halgurd Hikmat, speaking to reporters shortly after the unexpected defeats.

At first, they attributed the debacle to the element of surprise. "ISIS in the beginning wanted to attack Baghdad, but changed their mind to Kurdistan," Gen. Hikmat said. "That caught us by surprise."

In time, it became clear there were deeper reasons for the defeat. A great many of the Kurdish fighters, for example, had never even been in a real fight.

"Whole generations of peshmerga had done nothing but sit at checkpoints and had no real operational experience," said Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, "certainly nothing like the kind of counterterrorist operation that had been called for when ISIL attacked."

The Islamic State's method of combat is unusually fluid, taking advantage of an opponent's weak spots and moving troops around accordingly. One peshmerga veteran described it as neither a gang war nor highly organized. Only experience and extensive training can help the fighters overcome these tactics.

The Islamic State also is better armed. Its fighters have heavy modern weaponry and armoured vehicles that they've captured from Syrian and Iraqi depots, as well as more sophisticated light weapons and lots of ammunition.

Peshmerga forces, on the other hand, are mostly equipped with Soviet-era Russian weapons that they took from the Iraqi army during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In the absence of modern armoured vehicles, the Kurdish fighters have fashioned their own, enshrouding some tractors and bulldozers with heavy steel sheeting. Even ammunition, until recently, was in very short supply.

The matter of arms and ammunition has been addressed in the past two months by several Western countries. Germany has provided 16,000 new assault rifles, 8,000 new pistols and the ammunition to go with them, as well as several portable anti-tank rocket launchers. Britain has supplied 40 heavy machine guns and the training to use them. As for other training, 200 Australian special ops troops now are working with Kurdish forces in Erbil, as are 26 Canadian special ops soldiers. As many as 69 may eventually be deployed.

One shortcoming that can't so easily be addressed, however, is the peshmerga's chaotic leadership and communications. Mohammed Salih, a Kurdish journalist in Erbil, notes that there are three different political movements in the command structure, and they often are at odds.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, is the largest and most powerful of the movements and commands the greatest number of fighters. They were the ones who had so much trouble in August.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), headed by former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, has its own peshmerga forces, numbering in the tens of thousands, operating in different areas of the Kurdish north.

Then there is the Peshmerga Affairs Ministry, an organ of the regional government, whose minister hails from yet another Kurdish political movement that only recently was established. The ministry is officially responsible for integrating all Kurdish fighters, including those in regular Iraqi army units, and bringing them under the ministry's command.

"The chaos in managing these disparate forces was evident in some fronts such as Sinjar, Makhmour and Jalawla" in August, Mr. Salih said.

Indeed, the KDP peshmerga performed especially badly, Mr. Knights said. "They were poorly deployed and their heavy weapons were left back in the depots to the rear."

The situation with the PUK forces further south was better, he said, since they had been fighting since June to try to hold the Kirkuk oil fields.

"Once the KDP fixed its force's organization and mobilized, and once U.S. air power kicked in, the pesh have been solidly crunching forward," he said.

"The pesh are cautious," Mr. Knights explained. "No one wants to die to liberate non-Kurdish villages - but they are advancing, clearing the hundreds of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] in their way and rooting ISIL out of hamlets and villages."

"The pesh need air power and some heavy anti-tank weapons, and they are getting them," he concluded. "They also need IED disposal, special forces and communications training ... which is where the Canadians come into the mix."

While they have long dreamed of their own independent country, the estimated 20 million Kurds in the Middle East live across an area that straddles Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Armenia and Iran. They have fought, with varying degrees of success, to preserve their language and culture and to gain a degree of autonomy in the countries where they live. In northern Iraq, where they once faced slaughter by dictator Saddam Hussein, Kurds have built a stable fledgling democracy. In Turkey, the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has waged a 30-year guerrilla war against the state that has cost tens of thousands of lives.

Associated Graphic

A Kurdish boy has his face painted as he waits to greet peshmerga fighters in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the Syrian border, on Wednesday.


A peshmerga fighter in a convoy arrives at the Habur border crossing near the Syrian town of Kobani on Wednesday.


A peshmerga fighter launches a mortar shell at Islamic State forces near Mosul on Sept. 15.



A convoy of peshmerga vehicles is greeted by Turkish Kurds as it travels through Kiziltepe on its way to the Turkish-Syrian border.


When hackers rock the e-vote
As more municipalities experiment with electronic balloting, cybersecurity experts warn of the inherent risks
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A6

It took just one typo in one line of code to elect a malevolent computer program mayor of Washington, D.C.

In the fall of 2010, the District staged a mock election to test out a new online voting system, and invited hackers to check its security. A team from the University of Michigan took them up on the offer. They quickly found a flaw in the code and broke in.

They changed every vote. Master Control Program, the selfaware software that attempts to take over the world in the film Tron, was a runaway write-in candidate for mayor. Skynet, the system that runs a robot army in the Terminator franchise, was elected to Congress. And Bender, the hard-drinking android in the cartoon Futurama, became a member of the school board.

Incredibly, it took D.C. officials two days to realize they had been hacked.

The use of Internet voting is exploding. Nearly 100 Ontario municipalities are using it in Monday's election - including one that will even ditch paper ballots entirely. Proponents contend it is not only more convenient, but more equitable, giving people who cannot get to physical polling stations the same opportunity to vote as everyone else.

But the expansion of e-voting has also caused consternation for some security researchers and municipal officials. They worry that entrusting this pillar of democracy to computers is too great a risk, given the potential for software problems - or hackers determined to put beer-swilling robots on the school board.

To those who run e-voting systems, the rise of the machines is all but inevitable.

"It's getting easier and easier for people to get online and the natural extension is: What are all the things we can do?" said Dean Smith, founder of Halifax's Intelivote Systems. "Security issues notwithstanding, people are demanding more. You could have security stories come out every day and people would still rely on and trust technology." His company is part of a growing cottage industry. Founded in 2003, it ran eight contests in its first round of Ontario municipal elections. Now, it is running 48. Toronto's Dominion Voting, started in 2002, also supplies electronic vote tabulators for paper ballots, and handles between 1,000 and 1,500 elections every year. Barcelona-based Scytl, which entered the Canadian market in 2011, will run 22 Ontario municipal elections. Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software also has branch offices in Ontario and British Columbia.

One early adopter was Markham, a suburb of 300,000 that sprawls north of Toronto, which embraced online voting in 2003.

"It has been a very positive step towards helping voters with disabilities actually cast a ballot independently," city clerk Kimberley Kitteringham said. "And it's greener: We're not asking people to get into cars and drive to a voting place."

To keep security tight, the city hires a third-party IT firm to check the system's code before each election and report vulnerabilities to the city.

As a last line of defence, Markham only offers online voting during the advance voting period. If ever the system broke down, they could mitigate the damage by shutting and redirecting people to physical polls.

Ajax, another Toronto-area municipality, is not building in such a safety net.

In this vote, the town is going all-electronic. Electors can vote via computer or smartphone, or by telephone. They can also attend polling stations and vote on a laptop connected to the voting website. The security includes a PIN mailed to voters, a CAPTCHA challenge (which requires users to type out the letters shown in an image) and an outside IT expert monitoring the system. The town has never used online voting before, but is confident enough in its proliferation elsewhere to jump into the deep end.

"It's been used dozens and dozens of times successfully in other municipalities," said Nicole Wellsbury, the town's manager of legislative services.

"It seems extremely unlikely to me this system could be hacked."

Other jurisdictions are more wary.

Edmonton tested an e-voting system in 2012 with a mock election. But after some voters successfully registered to vote multiple times, city council got cold feet.

"If you actually open the door for hacking or security concerns or potential fraud, then you defeat the whole purpose of democracy," then-councillor Kim Krushell told CBC. Other councillors countered that, during a real election, the security would be tighter. In the end, the city scrapped the system.

Ahead of Halifax's 2012 election, security researcher Kevin McArthur scanned its Internet voting system for vulnerabilities. He said he uncovered security gaps that would allow a hacker to change votes without it showing on the system logs, by intercepting data between users' computers and the server.

He took his concerns to the Cyber Incident Response Centre at Public Safety Canada. They were worried enough to warn both the Halifax government and the software provider, Scytl.

A Halifax spokeswoman confirmed the city looked into the potential problems, but she would not say what it did to fix them. In a statement, Scytl said the company "addressed the problems in written correspondence to CCIRC, by outlining the security capabilities of our existing technology." It added it has safety measures in place to deal with the types of vulnerabilities Mr. McArthur says he found.

Despite these concerns, those who run e-voting are adamant about its security.

"If you break into a system - which has never been done - it would trigger an alarm with an elected official," said Dominion Voting CEO John Poulos. "Even if it was possible, there would be a full trace on it."

Such categorical statements make critics bristle.

They contend that, for all the safeguards companies and governments have in place, they cannot possibly cover every contingency. Mr. McArthur points to stories of governments hacking each others' intelligence networks: If spy agencies can't solve such problems, what hope do local governments have?

"Frankly, for a municipality or province to think they can take on these threats, well, it's just the height of arrogance," he said.

The Michigan geeks who hacked D.C.'s system reached a similar conclusion. "It may some day be possible to build a secure method for submitting ballots over the Internet, but in the meantime, such systems should be presumed to be vulnerable based on the limitations of today's security technology," wrote J. Alex Halderman, the professor who led the hacking team, on his blog.

He also argued it is possible to break into a system without staff knowing it - raising the troubling possibility hackers have infiltrated online voting systems before but were never detected.

Take the D.C. case. The intrusion by Prof. Halderman's team was so stealthy, officials did not discover it by monitoring the servers. They only realized something was amiss because the hackers left a calling card: They programmed the university's fight song to play whenever someone cast a ballot.

Associated Graphic

Doug Ford makes a campaign stop at a mall in Scarborough on Sunday.


John Tory greets supporters in an apartment in Toronto on Sunday.


Olivia Chow takes a photo with voter Daria Chernikova in Toronto on Sunday.


From new-style blends to old-school Chianti, the region's reds have never been more fashionable
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L14


Fifty years on, Tuscany's remarkable renaissance - the wine one, not the one involving statues and frescoes and people with names like Leonardo and Botticelli - can pretty much be deemed complete.

Exhibit A: Once known mainly for anemic, tooth-corroding reds that came in straw-bottomed "fiascos," Tuscany is now the auction market's darling. Trading activity and price growth of the Italian region's top brands in recent years have been outpacing the most famous wines of hallowed Bordeaux, according to figures compiled London-based Liv-ex, a sort of "stock" market for investment-grade wines.

Exhibit B: Those rustic fiascos, which Chianti producers abandoned in droves after the 1970s in favour of tall-shouldered Bordeaux-style bottles, have begun to re-emerge in a sort of kitschy homage to the past. The message: We're comfortable enough in our success to play the cheesy-nostalgia card.

Exhibit C: Piero Antinori, the pioneer who ignited the quality flame in the late 1960s, has just published his memoir. It's called The Hills of Chianti and it closes the circle on a career that changed everything under the Tuscan sun where wine is concerned. In it, the 76-year-old looks back on more than six centuries of a family's winemaking dynasty, now led largely by his three daughters. But 1971 may stand out as the most important date in that tale. That's when a little garage wine called Sassicaia, produced for private consumption by Antinori's uncle but commercialized at Antinori's urging, was launched on the market. An oddity, it was made from the French variety cabernet sauvignon rather than the indigenous and much lighter sangiovese mandated - along with more insipid varieties - by the Chianti formula.

An instant hit, Sassicaia thumbed its nose at the status quo by rejecting the Chianti name (the winery in fact is located on the western coast, well outside the Chianti zone) and its straightjacket of production restrictions. Dubbed the fi rst "super-Tuscan," it spawned many followers. Notable among them was Antinori's own Tignanello as well as the Frescobaldi family's magnificent Ornellaia and Masseto. Perhaps more importantly, the rogue super-Tuscans sparked a revolution in the quality of traditional sangiovese-based wines, which included Chianti as well as Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Today, most producers of my acquaintance eschew the term super-Tuscan because it suggests a hierarchy in quality that no longer exists.

Here's a selection of new-style and old-school Tuscan reds, drawn largely from today's regional spotlight at Ontario Vintages stores (with some available in other provinces). Mostly, they're not cheap, virtually all fit to improve with five or more years in the cellar. But the last two, with allusions to the real Renaissance, are nice for the price. The last even comes in a straw fiasco.

Ornellaia 2011 (Italy)

SCORE: 96 PRICE: $189.95

This Bordeaux-style red blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot hit impressive heights in 2011. An unattainable luxury to most of us with salaried jobs, it's built for the long haul, destined to hit its sweet spot between eight and 30 years. The chalky astringent tannins are dense and at the moment jarring, forming the firm backbone of a handsome, structured and rich wine. $189.99 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $189.25 in Quebec.

Luce 2011 (Italy)

SCORE: 94 PRICE: $99.95

It's been almost two decades since Luce della Vite was founded in southern Tuscany's Montalcino zone as a joint venture by Vittorio Frescobaldi and California's Robert Mondavi. As if to wink at the late, great Mondavi, this 2011 reveals a ripe, luscious mocha quality characteristic of well-oaked, sunny California reds. A velvety blend of merlot and sangiovese, it's rich and intriguingly layered, with hints of cherry liqueur, raisin, dark chocolate, mint, vanilla, coffee, leather and tobacco. The sticky tannins remain tight and dry. It would soften with four more years and I suspect would improve for up to 30. $105 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $99.95 in Manitoba.

Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino 2007 (Italy)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $45.95

My kind of Brunello, this is. Ripe but not prune-like, it dishes up stewed cherries, licorice and a hint of old wood, lifted by spices and a whiff of underbrush. It's like eating cherry jam by an old church in the woods. And there's a judicious note of funky barnyard in the mix. Drink it now or over the next eight years. Available in Ontario.

Antinori Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva 2009 (Italy)

SCORE: 91 PRICE: $44.95

Made entirely from Tuscany's traditional sangiovese grape, this full-bodied, cellar-worthy Chianti achieved extreme ripeness in the fine 2009 growing season. It exhibits a prune-like note reminiscent of young Tawny port along with tobacco, cedar, leather and spices. Crisp acidity keeps it vibrant. Drink it now or cellar it for up to eight years. $45.99 in Nova Scotia.

Poggio Verrano Chance 2006 (Italy)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $37.95

The new Tuscany is much alive in this modern red blend from an estate founded in 2000. A mix of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc from the Maremma coast, it's made by Francesco Bolla, whose father and grandfather turned out Soave and Amarone farther north in Italy's Veneto region. Chewy as ball-park gum but far more rewarding, Verrano's Chance is full-bodied and very ripe, with cherry, chocolate, vanilla and licorice notes sitting on an earthy carpet of underbrush. The formidable 15-per-cent alcohol peeks through ever so slightly. $36.25 in Quebec.

Gaja Ca'Marcanda Promis 2011 (Italy)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $48.95

Angelo Gaja, the prince of Barbaresco in Italy's northeast, turned heads when he invested in this Tuscan property farther south. Known for having little shame on the matter of exorbitant prices, he was bound to push up values here. Other critics I've spoken with like this 2011 vintage better than I do. It's plummy and rich, lifted by a suggestion of aromatic baking spices, but ultimately it's too ripe and sweet to merit the sort of high score Gaja deserves with most of his Piedmontese Barbarescos. $55.99 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $48.49 in Nova Scotia.

Vignamaggio Monna Lisa Chianti Classico 2011 (Italy)

SCORE: 88 PRICE: $19.95

The large reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous painting on this redesigned label is not arbitrary. The model who sat for the portrait was Lisa del Giocondo, wife of Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo and a member of the Gherardini family that built the Vignamaggio estate in the 15th century. (Monna is commonly used in Italian in place of the vulgar mona.) Recently made widely available in Ontario, this is textbook modern Chianti: medium-bodied, with a very dry, granular texture and notes of cherry and leather and suggestions of salt and smoke on the back end. Various prices in Alberta.

Leonardo Chianti Fiasco 2012 (Italy)

SCORE: 88 PRICE: $15.95

Medium-bodied and supple, this basiclevel Chianti shows pleasant ripe cherry and savoury notes, finishing with light, powdery tannins. $19.99 in Nova Scotia.

Moving away: Should I stay or should I go?
Leaving home to attend university has its pros and cons. Here are some points to consider when making your decision
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P58



Like a first bungee jump, leaving home as a young adult is exhilarating and frightening. It also marks the start of adulthood in Canadian culture.

Christine Proulx is a professor of human development and family studies at the University of Missouri and she feels strongly that, when it's an option, students are better off leaving home to go to university.

"The opportunity to carve out your niche and discover your independence, who you are, and learn to become an adult is greater if you're not living with your parents," explains Dr. Proulx.

Living in a university dorm can be an ideal place for this rite of passage. Students are surrounded by peers who are going through the same adjustments, which creates a natural support network.

"The tasks of that time period of your life - individuation, becoming a person, learning and growing - allow for that vulnerability to get to know someone at [a deeper] level," Dr. Proulx says. "Many people make lifelong friends from college, [like] roommates, that they may not have if they went back to their parents' house every day."

The bonds that we make when we are vulnerable become lasting connections. This dormitory camaraderie helps create a lifelong and fond sense of attachment to the university experience that many home-based students do not have. These friendships are also the start of your professional network. The dorm mates you pull all-nighters with are also the people who may eventually be working at companies where you might be seeking employment.


University location is one of the Top 6 factors students consider when choosing a university, according to research by SchoolMatch Canada, a service that helps students find a university that suits them best through data collection and algorithms.

"Students who move away from home at this time usually are moving out of home for the first time and often this shapes a large part of their future careers," says Jeff Lui, co-founder of SchoolMatch. They "generally develop deeper ties to their peers, and the larger school community."

Participating in extracurricular activities can help with future careers because students can gain employable soft skills, such as teamwork and communication.

Students who live at home are often restricted from on-campus activities and peer bonding by factors such as public transit schedules.

Ties to peers can also help with future career networks.

"Going to university away from home is important because you are able to develop relationships in different markets that may sustain you over the course of your career," says Julie Wright, general manager at the Waterloo Global Science Initiative.


According to Dr. Proulx's research, most parents experience their children leaving home for university as very positive, and enjoy the evolution to a more peerlike relationship.

"For many of [the parents] it was just a joy, they spoke with pride about their young [adult] children," Dr. Proulx says.


The university in your hometown may not be the best one for you. If you know what you want to do, there may be a school that specializes in your field. Or perhaps you are suited to a small school that emphasizes teaching, or a big school where there is more course selection and recruiters are more likely to visit, or a school with an established co-op program to help you gain valuable job experience or even finance your education.


Students who live in big cities or the suburbs can easily spend an hour or more a day getting to and from school. Cutting down commuting time means more study time, and it is better for the environment and your health.

According to a study from Lund University, Swedish researchers found that commuting more than 60 minutes a day was associated with negative health outcomes, such as poor sleep, fatigue and increased sick days.



For students who graduated in 2013, the average debt load was $28,810, according to the Canadian Federation of Students.

For students who move away from home, the cost of university includes living expenses, which can add considerably to their debt load. As an example, consider a triple room with a meal plan at Queen's University in 2014-2015: nearly $12,000 a year (their cheapest option), which comes to nearly $48,000 for a four-year degree. This is on top of the average tuition of $5,772 that Canadian students paid in 2013-2014, according to Statistics Canada. And don't forget to add the interest on a student loan, which will be greater the bigger the loan.

Student debt affects you for years, even decades after graduation. According to Statistics Canada, university graduates who borrowed money for postsecondary education had a lower net worth, were less likely to have savings and investments, or be home owners by age 29. And if you miss student loan repayments, your future credit, or ability to borrow to buy a house or car, can be affected.

On top of debt, is debt-stress. Economist John Gathergood at Nottingham University found that individuals who struggled to pay debt not only had poorer psychological health (anxiety and depression), so did their partners.


Most first-year students who leave home live in some form of shared housing such as a dorm. Sharing living space with strangers is part of maturing, but it is also stressful, even if you get along (though sometimes you may not, which is even more stressful). There may be times when you desperately need to finish an assignment or catch up on sleep, and you may not be able to do it in your room. Sometimes, this can get so disruptive that you will need to find new living arrangements.


Students may struggle at times in their relationship with their parents as they work through establishing their independence, Dr. Proulx says. "For young adult children, the focus is creating a sense of self separate from parents and family."

Homesickness can be another challenge.

"All university students miss something about home when they're way," explains Christopher Thurber, a U.S.-based clinical psychologist who co-authored a study on homesickness in university students. While most students develop healthy coping skills, a minority do not.

Dr. Thurber estimates that intense homesickness (when it interferes with behaviour) affects between 5 to 10 per cent of university students and in extreme cases can result in them dropping out.

Also, students raised in culturally distinct families may face additional challenges adapting away from home. Sustained exposure to different values, beliefs and behaviours can be a deep source of stress. The bigger the cultural contrast between the home and university environment, the bigger the adjustment, points out Dr. Thurber.

He adds that establishing a few culturally similar connections, for instance at university clubs, along with getting as familiar as possible with the campus before arriving, will help ease the transition.

Associated Graphic

Students help their fellow students move into residence at Ryerson University in Toronto.


Moving away: independence and stress.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rome's catacombs only scratch the surface of underground treasures waiting to be explored
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

ROME -- Anywhere you go in Rome, you are walking on a buried, ancient world. Beneath your feet lie the remnants of the city that ruled an empire: temples and streets, villas and churches, monuments and tombs.

This reality is not exclusive to Rome. Ground levels rise over time, a simple concept that underpins stratigraphy, one of modern archeology's main tenets. Rome's location in a valley next to a (frequently flooding) river, though, means that the ground level has risen particularly dramatically here - about six or seven metres since ancient times.

That, combined with the fact that the city's "modern" burst of construction did not occur in earnest until the 17th and 18th centuries, when the ruins were already halfburied, means that many of the older buildings were never razed completely (although Romans certainly helped themselves to their marbles and precious stones for their new churches and palaces). Often, the structures were used as the foundations for new buildings.

As a result, some of the city's finest, most fascinating historical sights and archaeological treasures are not the ones you see just walking along the street: They lie underground. In recent years, the city has opened up even more "new" (in fact, extremely old) sights. You have likely already heard of the catacombs. Here are some of our other, lesser-known favourites. (Be aware that once these sights have been excavated and open to the air, never mind to the public, they disintegrate even faster, so be careful not to touch anything: Moisture speeds up the process.)


Rome's iconic Piazza Navona has a strange shape. One end has two 90-degree angles, while the other is rounded. This is not because the Renaissance designers decided to get creative. It is because the piazza was built into (and on top of) the first-century stadium of Emperor Domitian. Although the stadium had been partly excavated for years, it was not open to the public. Only visitors who knew to take a peek just outside the piazza's northern end, where a gaping hole revealed one of the massive arches looming up from the depths, caught a glimpse.

That changed in January, when the city opened the Stadio Domiziano museum. Although the 8 ($11) price is unusually steep, for history buffs or the simply curious, it's worth it to see more of the arches, pillars and statues that lay hidden for so long.


When the city opened up two excavated, Imperial-era villas that sat beneath a 16th-century building at the Roman Forum's edge in 2007, it didn't just make the site accessible to the public. It also made it historically accessible in a way I haven't seen anywhere else in Italy. An automated, but extremely well done (and surprisingly dramatic) tour takes you through the villas' remains, from bath complex to kitchen; the rooms are lit up to recreate what they would have looked like - with lasers "repairing" the mosaics, filling in the frescoes, even adding the sounds of water splashing and children laughing. The approach manages to come off as more refreshing than corny. The video midway through also gives an excellent overview of what all of Rome would have looked like in ancient times.

The English slots fill up fast, so make sure to book in advance.


It seems hardly anyone comes to what may be Rome's most underrated museum. Located a stone's throw from Largo Argentina, Crypta Balbi offers one of the most comprehensive takes at what the ancient city centre looked like and how it evolved. Its other major draw, though, is underground. The modest museum was built on the remains of the Theatre of Balbus, which dates back to 13 BC, and access to one of its sections is included in the price of your ticket. While not the city's most exciting underground sight, it is just as spooky-feeling as you'd hope - and with what you learned from the exhibits above, it's much easier to make sense of how it fits into the fabric of ancient Rome.


Not just for pilgrims, the tour of the necropolis beneath St. Peter's Basilica provides a fascinating look at what was once an aboveground cemetery for both Christians and pagans. Seeing the burials together, sometimes in the same family tomb, erases ideas of religion being black and white in the first and second centuries. Many of the tombs retain their elaborate mosaic decoration and viewing the area said to hold the tomb of St. Peter is spine-tingling for anyone, not just Catholics. The number of visitors allowed into the tomb is limited, so you can only enter on a tour with an official Vatican guide (somewhat unfortunately, as the guides tend to be dry and have iffy English). Book in advance by e-mailing


Five years ago, the underground at the Colosseum opened to breathless excitement. Called the hypogeum, it consists of the tunnels and rooms where gladiators waited for their turns to do battle - a kind of backstage area, complete with the remnants of the elevators that brought the fighters to the arena, that gives you a better grasp of just how planned (and purposeful) the violence here really was. As with the Vatican necropolis, it can only be accessed on a tour.


Aside from San Clemente, a number of other churches in Rome have undergrounds that are, often for just a couple of euros, open to the public. My favourite is at this little church just around the corner from the Jewish Ghetto. Even from the outside, you can see how it was built directly into ancient structures: the temples of Hope, Juno and Janus, the oldest of which dates back to the third-century BC and whose columns the church uses as its own. Unsurprisingly, the basement holds some secrets; you'll find both the temples' bases and the ancient Roman path that ran between them. The massive tufa stones might not look like much compared to, say, the mosaics of the Vatican necropolis, but they are 500 years older.

Basilica of San Clemente

Just up the street from the Colosseum, this layer-cake of a church is a 12th-century basilica ... built on top of a fourth-century basilica ... built on top of ancient Roman ruins, including apartments and a pagan mithraeum (place of worship). But don't race to the bottom: The middle level, the ancient basilica, features fascinating frescoes. Don't miss the 11th-century depiction of a tale of the pagan Sisinnius, with its rare example of not only written vernacular Italian, but, shall we say, colourful Italian: Painted on the fresco are Sisinnius' words "Fili de le pute, traite!" ("Come on, you sons of whores, pull!").

Associated Graphic


Above: The Piazza Navona is shaped the way it is because it was built into and on top of the first-century stadium of Emperor Domitian. Below: The Colosseum underground can only be accessed on a tour. Bottom: The Crypta Balbi may be Rome's most underrated museum.


End of innocence? Only for the innocent
Random violence, militant Islam - whatever the attacker's motivations, this country is about to face some unpleasant questions
Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A19

The gunman who struck at the heart of Canada's government (Parliament) and its memory (the National War Memorial) knew what he was doing, but it's fortunate that he didn't know more.

The man killed a soldier at the War Memorial and slightly wounded three security officers inside Parliament. But if he had carefully studied the interior of the building before his attack, or if he had been a suicide bomber with a device strapped to his vest, the killing and damage would have been horrific.

All he would have had to do halfway down the central Hall of Honour was to turn sharply right or left. Then, he would have crashed through the doors into rooms where the Conservative and New Democratic caucuses were meeting. Armed with a shotgun, he could have killed or maimed many MPs and others.

As it happened, he was the only one who died.

What happened Wednesday was a tragedy and a national scare. We can all be thankful, because it could have been vastly worse.

What happened in Parliament should never have taken place.

That it did calls for a full investigation, not by the RCMP or House of Commons security personnel, but by a judge with power to discover what information the Mounties and other security services possessed, and how a gunman could have pushed his way into Parliament, run past security guards and threatened the heart of Canadian democracy.

The Ottawa attack, just two days after a Canadian soldier was killed in Quebec by a self-radicalized Muslim convert, challenges whatever belief might remain about this country's immunity from lethal politicized threats.

Late Wednesday, we still didn't know the background or motivation of the Ottawa killer. He was reported to be Michael ZehafBibeau, a Canadian citizen from Quebec who was known to the RCMP and had his passport revoked. But was he deranged?

Was he possessed of sick misogyny, like the killer at Montreal's École Polytechnique? Was he inspired by the killing in Quebec?

Was he another homegrown jihadi?

Whatever is revealed about the attacker's history, a few changes will quickly be evident, starting with heightened security in and around Parliament Hill, and perhaps at military and other government premises around the country. Security had already been stepped up in recent years around the parliamentary precinct; it will be now be strengthened further.

Debate will intensify about whether security agencies and the RCMP need additional powers, or the restoration of some powers whittled away by recent court decisions. It was ironic, or at least coincidental, that the gunman's attack forestalled Wednesday's planned introduction of new legislation in the House of Commons to give new powers to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Civil liberties are precious in a democracy; so is the protection of democracy from its enemies.

This week's events remind us that Canadian democracy does face enemies, or at least serious threats. How to effectively combat them, while protecting basic civil liberties, has provoked anguished debates before. These will now recommence, and there are no definitive, consensual answers.

Ottawa hadn't seen anything like this since the implementation of the War Measures Act during the 1970 October Crisis, invoked in response to requests by the government of Quebec and the mayor of Montreal following attacks by the Front de libération du Québec.

Unlike 1970, there were no tanks or military vehicles rumbling through the heart of the city Wednesday, but there were hundreds of soldiers, Mounties and Ottawa police officers out in force, shutting down the centre of the city. The usual routine of people going about their business was brought to a halt in mid-morning, as first Parliament Hill, then a widening central area were smothered in security.

Office workers were consigned to their buildings. The Château Laurier hotel and the Rideau Centre shopping centre, both near the War Memorial, were surrounded and locked down.

Rumours flew about shots being fired near both buildings and speculation about accomplices to the man who had entered Parliament. The bridges to Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, were closed. For a while, the centre of Canada's little capital looked like a scene from a U.S. television drama, like Homeland or 24.

The drama seemed so, well, unCanadian - this country being a place a historian once described as the "peaceable kingdom."

After all, didn't the British North America Act, Canada's foundational legislative document, prescribe "peace, order and good government?" Aren't acts of random or premeditated violence supposed to happen elsewhere, especially the United States? And if they were to happen here, surely it wouldn't be inside Parliament, which suggests the strong likelihood of a political motive.

If it was politics that inspired (if that is the right word) what happened Wednesday in Ottawa, as it did in Quebec, then Canada has to face the unpleasant fact that Islamic terrorism has come to this country. Other plots and attacks have been disrupted, such as the one to blow up a train travelling from Toronto to New York. There have been successful prosecutions of would-be terrorists or their accomplices.

But now there is this.

Last year, in one of his maladroit musings, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau talked about needing to understand the "root causes" of terror. It is doubtful that Canadians will tolerate such puerility now, after two attacks within days against the government and military.

It would appear that more young Muslims in the Arab world are being attracted to jihadi groups, especially the Islamic State, because it gives them a sense of communal pride against the West and a way to fight what they believe to be Islam's foes, past and present. This message of revenge and martyrdom has seeped into the minds of some people in Canada and other Western countries, and if they cannot join the movement abroad, they will choose to do harm at home.

Political partisanship will necessarily be forgotten in a political closing of the ranks in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday's attack. All parties will rhetorically defend democracy and its institutions, and declarations against yielding to terror will resound throughout the land.

Without drawing specific attention to these deeds, the incumbent government will suggest, a year out from a scheduled election, that it is best equipped to lead Canada in these uncertain times. For the Conservatives, the narrative of danger and threat, actual or apprehended, comes easily. For the opposition Liberals and New Democrats, more comfortable with blue-sky narratives of peace and progress, finding the right tone will prove more challenging.

It was said Wednesday, in haste, that the drama and tragedy in Ottawa represented the "end of innocence" for Canada. If so, it was the end only for the remaining innocents among us, because the struggle against militant Islam, which is an outgrowth of a much wider and deeper struggle within Islam itself, has been and will be with us for a very long time.

Associated Graphic

Wednesday's lockdown in Ottawa didn't quite match the October Crisis, but we can expect debate to intensify about whether Canadian security agencies and the RCMP need additional powers.


'Why are there tampons on your screen?'
A new period-products-themed video game created by two teenage coders aims to highlight a societal hypocrisy
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L7

Blood is no biggie in the context of violent video games, and yet people tend to freak out at the mere mention of a woman's period. It's a societal hypocrisy that teenage coders Andy Gonzales, 16, and Sophie Houser, 17, decided to highlight with Tampon Run, their new, retrostyle, point-and-shoot video game in which the heroine collects female hygiene products, then fires them at her enemies.

Since its early September launch, the game has been played more than 200,000 times online, and earned famous fans from Amy Poehler to Always feminine products. The breakout stars of the gaming world met at the annual Girls Who Code summit - a summer program with the goal of educating more than one million young women in computer science by 2020.

Since then, their universe has erupted with the Gamergate controversy, which originally focused on the relationships between the people who create the games and the people who review them, but has since evolved into a referendum on the role of diversity, and particularly women, in the gaming world.

Gonzales and Houser say the controversy only fuels their passion. Here, they discuss feminism, the future of their game and why talking about tampons is finally starting to feel normal.

You guys met at coding camp. At what point did it go from, 'Hi, nice to meet you,' to 'Hey, want to make a video game about menstruation?'

Sophie: It was Andy's idea to do a game. We were brainstorming and I joked that we could make a game where someone throws tampons. As soon as I said it, we realized there was actually something there. We had both experienced the menstrual taboos personally, and then we did some research and realized this was such a big issue and problem throughout the world.

Was it important to you to have a social-message component to the game?

Andy: Yes. That was the main goal. I knew that I wanted to create something with a feminist twist. My first thought was to target the hyper-sexualization of women in video games because that's such a big issue, but then Sophie mentioned tampons and I was swept away.

What kind of games did you play growing up?

Andy: I didn't play a ton of video games as a child, but I did play Nintendo - Mario Kart, Mario Party. When my dad got a PS3, I was playing first-person shooter games and I remember my mom was very upset by that. She thought, why are you okay with shooting people? That's one of the things we're trying to express with our game - why is it so normal to have these superviolent video games, and yet people get freaked out about tampons?

So periods are still subject-matter non grata in high school?

Sophie: I remember when I first got my period I was too embarrassed to even buy my own tampons, so I got my mom to do it. I still felt pretty uncomfortable talking about my period, even right before we created this game. And now I'm so fine with it.

Andy: Even when we were first introducing our game to people, I felt uncomfortable. I wasn't used to talking about tampons on such a casual level. When I was building the video game I actually didn't tell my parents about it and then they saw bits and pieces and they were asking, why are there tampons on your screen?

Do you feel like your game is making an impact?

Sophie: Definitely. What's awesome is that we've gotten feedback from both genders. Guys will e-mail us and say that the game changed their mind. That talking about a woman's period shouldn't be a big deal. We've gotten e-mails from high-school computer-science teachers, people in tech. It's been so great.

You have certainly entered the gaming landscape at a tumultuous time with the whole Gamergate controversy. I assume you've been following the story?

Andy: One of my mentors from Girls Who Code sent me an article about Gamergate right after we launched Tampon Run [in September]. I certainly didn't regret releasing the game or the timing. If anything it draws attention to the ability that women have to make a difference and to be part of this gaming world.

Sophie: Gamergate just fuels me to keep going and to represent and show that girls and women belong in the coding world and have great ideas.

Why is there is so much resistance to new voices in the video-game community?

Andy: For as long as the industry has existed, there has been this focus on marketing to the male segment of the demographic. That has made it an exclusive club even though we know that there is an even divide between men and women who play video games.

Sophie: It's also that people really love their games, so it becomes this incredibly tightknit club. They don't tend to want change, so it kind of makes sense that new voices aren't so welcome.

Do both of you consider yourselves feminists?

Sophie: Yes.

Andy: Yes. Increasingly, more so. Especially now.

I only ask because there seems to be a movement in the past couple of years, where young role models have been distancing themselves from the f-word.

Sophie: Last year I remember being worried that the word had a negative connotation, that it made me sound man-hating. After spending the whole summer at Girls Who Code, and sitting around the table with 20 young women, I realized how important girl power is and how much I want to perpetuate it. This is going to sound cheesy, but I realized that I can be the feminist I want to be and in that way I define the word myself.

Andy: I totally agree. I used to worry about the connotations of the word and the stereotypes. Definitely over the summer, I have become a lot more close with my power as a woman and with my femininity.

You don't get much closer to your femininity than creating a game about tampons! So what's next for the game?

Sophie: Our first goal is to get it mobile. We're hoping that will drop on the Google Play store any day now. We're also aiming for iTunes - that just takes a bit longer.

Andy: We definitely want to build on the game. We've gotten a lot of great suggestions from fans - incorporating maxi-pad shields and super-absorbency tampons.

Did you see that there was a model at London Fashion Week last month wearing tampon earrings?

Sophie: I didn't see they were at Fashion Week. I'll have to check that out.

Andy: I haven't figured out a way to incorporate tampons into my wardrobe. Yet.

Sophie: That's the next step.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

Andy Gonzales, 16, left, and Sophie Houser, 17, are the teenagers who created the popular point-and-shoot Tampon Run video game. The break-out stars of the gaming world met at the annual Girls Who Code summit.


Time to clean out the closet
It's human nature to hang on to things that are no longer useful, but investments should not be one of them. A portfolio stuffed with similar mutual funds, old retirement plans and one-time 'hot' picks can be detrimental to your earnings
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B10

When portfolio manager Adrian Mastracci meets new clients, looking over their accumulated investments can be a lot like opening a closet crammed with years of clutter.

Out come a jumble of funds purchased from a parade of advisers, long-forgotten retirement plans and stocks bought in yesterday's equity booms. It all adds up to "financial clutter," akin to the treasures and junk people tend to stockpile, says Mr. Mastracci, who is president of KCM Wealth Management Inc., a feeonly business in Vancouver.

One man even had 98 different investments. "There was everything under the sun," Mr. Mastracci recalls. "I have no idea how a guy with 98 investments could keep track of them."

Such a portfolio mountain would not only be unwieldy to manage, it could actually be detrimental to your future. You could be holding duplicate investments and you might be paying hefty management fees or overlooking tax write-offs in the bargain.

It's time to declutter, which includes seeking objective advice, drawing up a written investment plan and consolidating your assets. This means unpacking the emotional baggage surrounding investments, confronting the fear factor that comes from change and adopting basic financial principles to keep clutter from returning.

A foundation of most portfolios is mutual funds. Indeed, according to the research group Investor Economics, Canadians held $1-trillion worth of them at the end of 2013, accounting for one third of all investments.

People with mutual funds should be aware of what each of them covers, Mr. Mastracci says. "When you look inside the different mutual funds, they've all got the same stuff."

People tend to own too many funds because they or their advisers were looking for "insurance against making the wrong choice," says Tina Tehranchian, a certified financial planner and branch manager at Assante Capital Management Ltd. in Richmond Hill, Ont. With each fund holding as many as 50 to 300 stocks, "they end up owning the entire market" and almost certainly hold overlapping investments, known as over-diversification, which unbalances the portfolio.

"You look at the holdings and there could be 80-per-cent overlap," she says, explaining that the duplication can mean the account is heavily weighted in growth-oriented stocks, for example, or is effectively indexed to the S&P 500.

Holding multiple mutual funds can also be detrimental because the investing styles of the different managers "cancel each other out," with one of them selling a stock while the other is buying it, she notes. "They can't both be right."

Another thing cluttering up many portfolios is debris from stocks that failed. People often can't bring themselves to sell positions they took a hit on, even those they might benefit from ditching because they then can realize a loss and write it off against future gains, Ms. Tehranchian says.

The same instinct makes investors hang on to insignificant positions, which can be worth as little as $500 in a portfolio worth millions, she says.

"Leave emotions out of your investing."

Streamlining an overcomplicated portfolio means limiting the number of investments while maintaining diversity. There's "no need for radical surgery or to do it overnight," Mr. Mastracci says - it can take two or three years to declutter entirely. "Just get on with it."

Some investors are afraid of the exit charges that can come with selling assets, he says. Nobody likes to lose money, but by paying a fine upfront you can save management expenses down the road. Penalties tend to be highest early on - "in year one it hurts like the dickens," Mr. Mastracci says - but they whittle down to nothing after five or six years.

What to keep? How much? Ensure you have a mix of investments across sectors, industries, geographies, stock capitalizations, management styles and asset classes, as well as the ratio of equities to fixed-income vehicles that suits your age and needs.

"You have to have a vision for your portfolio," Ms. Tehranchian says.

The most important way to conquer clutter is to write up, follow and periodically review an investment policy statement that articulates factors such as your investing objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance, she says. "At every point in time, you need to know what each component of your portfolio is doing for you and why you own it."

Ms. Tehranchian suggests holding one managed fund in each category of asset class, capitalization and geography. "Look for the best one, don't get three," she warns. "And if you like the position, make it meaningful."

Indexed products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are an option for those who are more hands-off and want to limit fees, but a degree of control over your portfolio can be beneficial.

"Portfolio management is an art and a science," Mr. Mastracci remarks, as long as you have a basic understanding of your portfolio and what you require.

Some investors might consider all-in-one funds that include a variety of asset classes and strategies, he says, or accounts that operate on autopilot and can automatically rebalance themselves, for example through dollar-cost averaging. However, it's important to have some degree of influence over your holdings.

Mr. Mastracci recommends that his clients invest in ETFs, which are low-cost and create "instant diversification." At a minimum he suggests that those just starting out hold one ETF each from a Canadian, a U.S. and a global equity fund, as well as one bond fund. At most, a portfolio of eight to 12 ETFs "does the trick," as long as they match your needs, he says.

"Ask yourself, 'How does whatever I've got fit the goals I'm trying to achieve?' "If you can't answer that question, then maybe there's something wrong with what you've got."

Decluttering isn't only for neophyte investors, Mr. Mastracci points out.

"The clutter approach has no favourites; it finds active and passive portfolios, novice and seasoned investors," he says, suggesting that people "look carefully into your entire investment closet," because even a bit of clutter can cause problems in the long term.

"If you have stockpiled investing clutter, face it head on," he says. "Take appropriate steps now to sort things out."


Is it time for a purge of your investment closet? Portfolio manager Adrian Mastracci identifies the top 10 signs of cluttered investing:

1.) You lack a written investment plan.

2.) You have no established asset-mix targets.

3.) Your retirement projections are out of date, or nonexistent.

4.) You own too many investments.

5.) You don't understand the portfolio risks you have incurred.

6.) Your allocation to equities is too high for your comfort.

7.) You are not receiving objective advice.

8.) Your portfolio diversification is not suitable to you.

9.) You are unclear on mutual fund costs and exit charges.

10.) You own duplicate securities inside mutual funds.



Certified financial planner Tina Tehranchian on how to declutter your portfolio.

Associated Graphic

One client who came to the investment adviser Adrian Mastracci looking for help had 98 different investments in his portfolio. 'I have no idea how a guy with 98 investments could keep track of them,' Mr. Mastracci said.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P56



Students: 4,300

Cost: $6,000 (N.S. residents), $7,000 (out-of-province)

Acadia offers a great liberal arts and sciences education in a quaint university town, where students outnumber permanent residents. This year, while students at other universities kvetched on "Confessions" Facebook pages (look them up), Acadia students set up a "Compliments" page, which contains messages like, "To the wonderful girls passing out chocolates in the library, thank you!" and "To the girl who wore the R2D2 dress to open mic last night, you are awesome!" This buck of the trend says a lot about Acadia's community.

Your typical classmate: Spends time helping others; 80 per cent of students volunteer.

Hotshot student: Alex MacLean started a clothing company with an $800 loan from his dad as a project in his Venture Creation class; the company sold more than 250,000 T-shirts and hoodies in a year.



Students: 3,400

Cost: $5,600 (N.S. residents), $6,600 (out-of-province)

Students give CBU above-average ratings on national student surveys, especially when it comes to their interactions with professors. So the mystery remains: Why does the university suffer from the lowest graduation rate in Nova Scotia? Only 45 per cent of arts students graduate within seven years of starting classes. Hot programs in engineering are designed to support Cape Breton's growing oil and gas industry.

Your typical classmate: Is from another country; 30 per cent of students are international, the result of CBU's recruitment campaign.

Students say: It's easy to connect with professors. "The biggest pro is small classes," says Moses Mallam, third-year business. "The biggest con is that there aren't enough co-op opportunities."


Halifax (main) and Truro

Students: 17,500

Cost: $6,600 (N.S. residents), $7,100 (out-of- province)

If you want to study at a world-renowned research university in the Atlantic region, Dalhousie is the place to be. The university is strong in the sciences; its earth and marine science department is recognized internationally as a leader. An innovative program allows undergrads from any faculty to simultaneously earn a minor in sustainability, which involves working on a community project. Like many research universities, Dalhousie struggles to create an engaging educational experience for its undergrads.

Hotshot prof: Shawna O'Hearn arranges opportunities for health students to work in local disadvantaged communities, as well as in Tanzania and Gambia.

This year: Graduate Peter Burbridge (BA '06, MBA '09) opened North Brewing, a Halifax microbrewery dedicated to Belgian-style ales.



Students: 1,200

Cost: $6,900 (N.S. residents), $7,900 (out-of-province)

King's is Dalhousie's eccentric, artsy cousin. The two institutions share a campus, but King's distinguishes itself with liberal arts programming in an intimate community that maintains its 18th-century roots. In the words of one student, King's has a reputation for being "the artsy hipster school." Others describe it as an inspiring and challenging introduction to the humanities.

Hotshot choirmaster: Paul Halley, an organist and director of music at King's chapel, has won five Grammy Awards.

Students say: The journalism program is fantastic. "I got a full-time job within two weeks of finishing my degree," says recent grad Dan Malone. "I have so much practical experience, I can do basically anything at a newspaper. I couldn't have been better prepared."



Students: 4,000

Cost: $5,900 (N.S. residents), $6,900 (out-of-province)

MSVU was founded by nuns in 1873 as a women's college. Its mission has evolved to promote accessible education for all, but today its student body is still overwhelmingly female. The school offers small classes and the largest distance education program in the province, which attracts working students who need flexibility. The campus, an eight-minute drive from downtown Halifax, overlooks the beautiful Bedford Basin, but is short on food options.

Your typical classmate: Is not straight out of high school; a large portion of the student body is older than 24 or transferred from another university.

Hotshot president: Ramona Lumpkin was awarded the Order of Canada on July 1, 2014, which marked her 16th anniversary of becoming a Canadian citizen.



Students: 950

Cost: $5,600 (N.S. residents), $6,800 (out-of-province)

NSCAD University's studios, film school and energy-efficient kilns are housed in heritage buildings in downtown Halifax. Students receive a broad introduction to visual arts during their first-year foundation studies program before specializing in programs from metal-smithing to art history to book arts. With a burgeoning cultural scene, several dozen art galleries and more taverns per capita than any other Canadian city, Halifax is an interesting place for emerging artists to develop.

Hotshot alumna: Paula Fairfield received her sixth Emmy nomination for sound editing on the television series Game of Thrones.

This year: The university decided to remain autonomous after exploring whether to merge with Dalhousie or Saint Mary's. In its decision, the board pledged to develop collaborations with Halifax universities, which should create new opportunities for NSCAD U students.



Students: 4,800

Cost: $6,800 (N.S. residents), $7,800 (out-of-province)

Of all of the excellent liberal arts universities in Nova Scotia, St. FX is under-appreciated. While the school may not spend as much on its library or win as many faculty and student awards, its outcomes speak for themselves. St. FX boasts the highest retention and graduation rates in the province, and students report being very satisfied with their education. With nearly 40 per cent of students living in residence, campus is always lively. The iconic "X-Ring" worn by graduates is emblematic of St. FX's strong school spirit.

Hotshot prof: Jonathan Langdon leads an experiential development studies course that places senior students in summer internships with social change organizations, working in areas as diverse as municipal planning in Ottawa and community radio in Western Africa.



Students: 7,400

Cost: $6,100 (N.S. residents), $7,100 (out-of-province)

An early mover, SMU has been building ties with China since the 1980s. With 29 per cent of its student body coming from abroad, SMU has a head start on other Atlantic universities attempting to attract international students as the number of domestic students in the region decreases. Its Confucius Institute promotes Chinese language and culture. Despite being smaller than Dalhousie with less focus on research, SMU scored similarly low on measures of effective educational practice in a national student survey.

Your typical classmate: Is studying commerce; 47 per cent of students are enrolled in the Sobey School of Business.

This year: SMU co-hosted a major conference about conflict resolution; for more than a decade, SMU students studying peace have travelled to Belfast in Northern Ireland to work with children on conflict resolution strategies.

Associated Graphic

ST. FX: students report being very satisfied with their education at this liberal arts university.

NSCAD University: art and design specialization with access to Halifax's cultural scene.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In doubt about debt?
Planning ahead and budgeting are key to getting through university without a crippling debt load
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P12

Having a degree can pay dividends career-wise, but graduating with too much debt can be debilitating. If you've decided education will be your first big investment, the time to begin with financial planning is now.

Students who graduated in 2013 have an average debt load of $28,810, according to the Canadian Federation of Students. A recent poll by Gallup Inc. measured the financial health, happiness, community engagement and physical well-being of more than 30,000 U.S. postsecondary graduates. It found the higher the student debt load, the worse the graduates scored in all aspects of their well-being.

It is possible to graduate with a manageable amount of debt and still reap the benefits of having a postsecondary education. Before borrowing, you need to figure out exactly how much you are going to need. Start with your assets, such as any savings, scholarships, loans or monetary gifts from family, and then tally up your expenses. Aside from tuition, don't forget to include the cost of transit, clothing, toiletries, food and entertainment, or housing if living away from home. Consider seriously what luxuries you can live without, such as cable or dining out.

There are a lot of great tools available to prospective students to help create a budget, so you don't need to start from scratch. Most banks host student budgeting tools and resources on their websites. Websites such as the Canadian website are hubs of resources, featuring advice, financial calculators and comparison charts.

Don't forget about free money. Many scholarships and bursaries go unclaimed every year because of a lack of applicants. "Lots of that money is being left on the table because students aren't taking advantage of that service," says Janet Boyle, vice-president of unsecured lending at Bank of Nova Scotia. They can help students bridge some of their financing needs, she says. She recommends visiting, which features more than $87-million in awards.


While using savings to fund your education is ideal, 30 per cent of Canadian families don't set aside funds for their children's education, according to Statistics Canada.

However, it's not too late to save up a safety net to avoid relying on expensive borrowing products such as credit cards and lines of credit. Jeannine Mitchell, founder of, cautions students to avoid taking on any debt. Graduates with large debts don't have the freedom to take low-paying jobs or internships, which can affect their career prospects, she warns. Often, students with large debt loads are forced to accept jobs outside of their field just to make minimum payments.

"If you feel you absolutely must take that program that would put you deep in debt, I would suggest working for a year or two so you can save up," Ms. Mitchell says. "That way you'll enjoy your program more because you won't be so stressed about money."


If you do need to borrow to finance your education, Canadian students have access to a combination of provincial and federal loan programs. These are the wisest choice, as they provide various repayment assistance programs after graduation. For example, if you find yourself struggling financially as a grad, you may qualify for a program that offers temporary relief from monthly payments and provides the freedom for you to manage an entry-level job or internship.

According to Ms. Mitchell, no bank can match the favourable terms offered in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, where the provincial portion of government loans is interest-free. The provincial portion of the loan can be as high as 40 per cent of the total amount, so the savings can be significant.

Another advantage of government loans over bank loans is that you won't be required to repay any portion of the loan until six months after graduation. If you take out a line of credit however, you'll have to make interest payments while in school.

While interest rates and repayment plans vary from province to province, the federal loan program, Canada Student Loans, has two interest options. Borrowers can choose between a fixed interest rate of prime plus 5 per cent, or a variable interest rate, prime plus 2.5 per cent, according to the government's CanLearn website.


For those who don't have enough savings and don't qualify for government loans, borrowing from a financial institution is an option, but should be considered carefully.

Once you are approved for a certain amount, say $10,000, you can use as little or as much of it as you need. If you pay off a portion of the line of credit, you can re-borrow it. "It gives the flexibility of not having to draw down on the full amount, but still having some of that additional fund available should they run into an emergency," Ms. Boyle says. Depending on the length of your program and course load, you may qualify to borrow from $5,000 to $10,000 a year. For more expensive professional degrees, some banks offer larger loans. Interest rates vary, so shop around.

Unlike government loans, you are required to make interest-only payments while in school. Because of this, borrowing too much can lead to unmanageable payments. "Some students underestimate the pressure of growing interest payments on their lines of credit and I've heard of some dropping out before they graduate," Ms. Mitchell says. In most cases, you don't need to make payments on the principal until 12 months after graduation, but lines of credit don't offer repayment assistance plans such as those for government loans.


The risks are real: "A late or missed bill payment can really damage a credit rating so it's important to have a strategy in place, and, again, a realistic budget to help them monitor their spending and staying on track," says Katy Boshart, vice-president for personal and indirect lending with Toronto-Dominion Bank. "Impacting your credit rating can impact your ability to borrow money later."

If there's one thing the experts agree on, it's that seeking professional help is worth your time. Sitting down with a financial adviser at a bank is almost always free, so visit your bank to talk budgets and savings, even if you are only taking out government loans. "There are so many options out there that are available for students in terms of their banking options that it's best for both parents and students to visit their branch and talk to their financial adviser to understand what their options are as they go through that plan," Ms. Boshart says .


Alberta $14,533

British Columbia $16,087

Manitoba $11,712

New Brunswick $17,267

Newfoundland $15,496

Nova Scotia $20,218

Ontario $15,942

Prince Edward Island $21,490

Quebec* $18,574

Saskatchewan $17,881

*Quebec does not participate in the Canadian Student Loans Program and only those students from out of province are captured here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Decorate like it's 1989
Or even 1889. The rich, tactile beauty of brocade and velvet keep coming back in fashion. After years of design austerity, Ellen Himelfarb writes, it's a welcome jolt of luxury
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

One of the great paradoxes of 21st-century design - thus far, anyway - has been that the mark of a triumphant interior is the lack of anything overtly luxurious. The appreciation of Eames and Jean Prouvé has grown into an obsession with preservation, from scrapwood to quilts to teapots, and the sign of a successful business is a reclaimed wood table under a bare light bulb. All the better if the upholstery is cut from a burlap coffee sack and the palette is neutral to monochrome.

But if the slow creep of metallics, 1980s neon and velvet into our shops and our lives are any indication, people are tiring of austerity chic. And they're rebelling against "understatement overload" with the most luxurious, tactile alternatives they can get their hands on: sofas covered in brocade, gold-threaded fabrics, braided trims. Chintz is coming back to curtains, tied with tassels the likes of which we haven't seen since Dynasty was in its first run.

Like George Costanza on that rerun of Seinfeld, we want to drape ourselves in velvet. And while we're at it, we're letting some colour into the frame.

"There's a backlash brewing against what I think of as 'Frieze' decor," says Colette van den Thillart, Toronto-based creative director of NH Design, referencing the high-end art fair that just wrapped up in London.

"The public has been convinced white walls are the only way to display art. And, of course, we've been 'beiged' to death. When every chain store is sporting this look it becomes the antithesis of uplifting."

The upshot is what Orlando Soria, West Coast creative director of the by-the-hour design consultancy Homepolish, calls an ironic interest in ornate decor.

"For so many years these traditional, rich fabrics were seen as stodgy, something your grandmother would have," he says.

"But these days people are more willing to accept these formerly outdated styles as something that can give their home more character, distinguish it from everyone else's house."

Boutiques from the top end to Pier 1 are getting into the spirit with cushions in saturated blues and clarets, embroidered tapestry textiles and wallpapers with robust peony bouquets. It's like a tease of springtime in the doldrums of mid-autumn. And it's not only a reaction to sepiawashed minimalism. There's poverty-fatigue, too, a disenchantment with the "back to basics" trend. Consumer confidence is inching up and, with it, a desire to spend a little.

Hand in hand with spending power comes what van den Thillart reckons is an increased worldliness among Canadians, translated into design knowhow. "We're much savvier now, so exposed to authentic, complex and original design," she says. "And we crave this originality and emotional investment in our homes."

None too surprising - until you consider the decade fuelling the inspiration.

"Toronto in the 1980s was chockablock with pattern and colour," says van den Thillart.

"The backlash against this was enormous. Now it's become apparent that any one direction quickly becomes dull. Mixing patterns and colours is much more intellectually elevating and emotionally inspiring." To wit: Last year Jonathan Adler rolled out a canary-yellow brocade wallpaper with the emotional impact of a Zoloft cocktail.

"I call it 'Palm Springs redux,' " says Soria of today's tendency to bring eighties deco to what is trending elsewhere in design.

"People have gotten tired of style being so rigid. We like to find beauty and quirk in the decades that preceded us."

In perhaps his highest-profile project to date, the Los Angeles home of Canadian humorist Kelly Oxford, Soria added a rosetteshaped pouf in eighties teal and matching cushions to the midcentury-modern furnishings. In others he's brought back pillow fringe and tassels.

However irrational it might sound, the new ornate fabrics placate our yearning for that bigger, bolder era in recent memory. But the motifs were by no means eighties-born - rather, to the manor born. The upmarket fabric and wallpaper purveyor Zoffany may have printed its first collections in 1983, answering the call for pastoral florals and toiles, yet the aesthetic was lifted from the stately homes of 18th-century England.

"Ever since the grand tours, paisleys and chintzes have been a staple in English design," says Peter Gomez, Zoffany's head of design. "The Victorians, the Arts and Crafts movement ... they all adopted it into their interiors.

The look lingered in heirlooms and hand-me-downs and in the 1980s it mixed together into an 'English eclectic' look."

Today's eighties luxe is no rehash of Chuck and Di mania for the Cambridge generation.

Though Gomez is charged with reproducing chintzes and paisleys from the 1980s archives, he says contemporary digital printers are able to get a sharper image and reprint an entire 1.5metre hand-blocked print in one go. "Through modern technology we've managed to get closer to the original document," he says. "In the eighties, everything came down in scale in order to be printed. Today we're able to do much bigger, bolder prints."

He's seen them on fabrics as presumed-dead as chenille, which is poised for a major comeback, he warns.

For now, though, it's velvet dominating trade shows, like the recent Decorex fair in London. With new digital printers able to go deeper into the pile, the colours are more saturated than their ancestors. "The amount of print I've seen on velvet is astounding - a real statement piece," says Gomez.

"These designs tend to be quite grand in scale and fashionled."

Yes, fashion. If you haven't noticed the grand suiting fabrics and ornamental formal wear coming out of the shops, you probably haven't made it beyond your local Gap. The look seems to be staying put for the time being. Mary Katrantzou embroidered jewel-toned silks and tulles to within an inch of their lives at her Spring/Summer 2015 show, in innovative shapes that cut a modern swath through the most regal textiles.

With her 2015 resort collection, she brought back chinoiserie, chintz and brocade to sporty silhouettes that we may yet see picked up in quilts and cushions.

Dolce & Gabbana introduced trimmed silk boleros and elaborate gemstone appliqués reminiscent of Christian Lacroix's prime.

And lest we forget Kim Jones's Autumn/Winter 2013 men's wear for Louis Vuitton, cut from jacquards and a rather grotesque chintz designed by artists Jake and Dinos Chapman. It led a run of collections designed to out-Laura Ashley Laura Ashley - a U-turn from the shrunken suits and shapeless dresses of the post-recession years.

It's about time, says everyone who's been crouched over a light-therapy lamp since 2008.

"The colour, the joy, the wit, the bravado. This is going to remind people how wonderful they look and feel in colour, but also make us smile," says van den Thillart. "And when was the last time your interior made you smile?" .

Associated Graphic


Zoffany's wallpaper and textiles, left, are inspired by 18th-century English designs. Kelly Oxford's home, right, blends mid-century and 1980s motifs.


Perennial character actor gets his due
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R2

In the movie business, it's known as a showcase: a smaller-scale film that tells a good story, but mainly serves to introduce a promising talent, or allow an older actor to strut his stuff. The new drama Whiplash, which opened in select cities today, does both. Playing a jazz drummer who'll do anything to satisfy the fearsome maestro at his music school, the actor Miles Teller, 27, proves that his buzz-generating turns in 2010's Rabbit Hole and 2013's The Spectacular Now weren't flukes. And as the maestro, whose teaching technique careens from brusque to sadistic, the great character actor J. K. Simmons, 59, finally gets to play the co-lead.

He sure worked long enough to get here. Or at least, that's what I posited during a recent phone interview (he was in Los Angeles, in his car). But Simmons, ever modest, demurred. "Ah, I hesitate to say that I worked hard," he said, his voice eminently recognizable, equal parts gruff and friendly. "I mostly just hung in there." If that's true, his career should be studied by every actor interested in the mechanics of longevity.

Born in Michigan and raised in Ohio, Simmons (J. K. stands for Jonathan Kimble) did summer stock between semesters at the University of Montana, at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Bigfork, Mont. "I was horrible when I started, but I just wanted to keep doing it," he says. For the next 17 years, he did nothing but theatre, honing his craft and celebrating each step upward: graduating, moving to Seattle, getting his equity card, landing a gig at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. "The first month I paid my rent by working as an actor was an amazing and wonderful thing for me," he says.

He moved to New York, waited tables, tended bar, and went to cattle calls - for two years. At one point, he was literally down to his last $20. Roles in regional theatre eventually led to Broadway - for another five years. Then, after a year of doing eight shows a week in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls, Simmons decided to try television. Healthy runs as a police psychiatrist on Law & Order and a neo-Nazi inmate on Oz followed.

People who work with Simmons once tend to do it again. Two smallish roles in Sam Raimi's films For Love of the Game and The Gift led to the plum part of deskpounding editor J. Jonah Jameson in three Spider-Man movies. The Coen brothers hired him three times. But the best money Simmons ever spent was the extra quarter he stuck into a parking meter on the day Jason Reitman was running an hour late to audition him for Thank You For Smoking.

"I wanted to get home to my kids," Simmons says. (He and his wife of eight years, Michelle Schumacher, have two, aged 13 and 15.) "I was standing by my car, wondering if I should put in the quarter or just get in and drive away, when Jason parked next to me and introduced himself. Because I'm a complete idiot about show business, I didn't know he was Ivan's son." Eight films together later, "it's like Jason is my mentor, even though I'm old enough to be his father." (Reitman is a producer on Whiplash.)

Simmons doesn't lament that he's not a conventional leading man. "I avoided that by not being born gorgeous, and by losing my hair when I was 21," he says. "What's great is, as we age, that leading man/character actor thing begins to blend together." In his wildest dreams in Bigfork, he never thought he'd achieve what he has: "I'm living the dream on every possible level."

His longest-running role - 18 years and counting - is on a level all its own: He's the voice of the yellow M&M in the TV ads. He landed it just before Oz, when he was schlepping around to voiceover auditions, trying to get any gig. He thought he should try for the red M&M, a fast-talking wise guy, because that's the vibe he was in. But Janet Eisenberg, his voice casting director, thought he'd be better for yellow.

"She said, 'He's sweet but dumb, you can use your lower range,' " Simmons remembers. "We had this absurdly long debate. It was like I was at the Royal Shakespeare Company talking about whether I should play Othello or Iago. But it's been a sweet, sweet job."

Still, Simmons admits there are levels he hasn't reached. "When there's a part being cast that I feel I could do, I don't always get it," he says. "Nobody always gets it.

Ah, maybe Clooney." And when he's watching a great role - whether the actor is killing it, or not doing it justice - he can't help but think, "'Wow, I wish I'd had a shot at that; that would have been fun.' But listen, I have no complaints."

The maestro in Whiplash could be the great role that didn't get away. The writer/director Damien Chazelle pulled the story from his own experience, and Oscar talk for Simmons began last January, when the film won two top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival. His character is charming, cajoling, furious, envious, brutal, crazy and not always wrong - a perfectionist in search of excellence, he declares that the worst thing you can say to an artist is, "Good job." Simmons plays the hell out of him. He slaps his students, shames them, goads them to fight back - so realistically that, during a climactic tussle, Teller broke two of Simmons's ribs.

"It may as well have been a sports movie," Simmons says, chuckling. "We were like a couple of jocks driving each other to work harder. I like that the movie lets you decide whether the end justifies the means or not. I love that we [emotionally] beat the crap out of the audience for an hour and a half, and they seem to enjoy it."

Simmons is enjoying this moment, that's certain. "Unlike a drummer, an actor doesn't lock himself in a practice room and keep at it until his blisters bleed," he says. "Acting isn't ballet, or digging ditches, fighting fires or combatting terrorists, which are some of the things that I think of when I hear the words 'hard work.' It's nice to have more to do in this film, but my career arc has been gradual, and rightly so. I'm comfortable in my own skin now, even though I crawl into other people's for a living. If someone had offered me a great part when I was young, I would have crashed and burned, because I was nowhere near ready. My career unfolded as I was ready for it."

Associated Graphic

J. K. Simmons, also the voice of the yellow M&M in the TV ads, plays a harsh music teacher in Whiplash.

Alejandro Inarritu's dramedy Birdman offers wonderful visual stunts, but is hurt by a script that fails to support its boisterous performances and virtuosic camera dance
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R1

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu

Written by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo

Starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis

Classification: 14A; 119 minutes


My, but the new Alejandro G. Inarritu movie, Birdman, has some fascinating things going on. Foremost, there's a wonderful visual stunt, in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film Rope, in which the film unfolds as a long sinewy dance, that starts to jazz drumming (Antonio Sanchez), moves on through Mahler cello moans and back to jazz. The great cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Children of Men), weaves his roving lens through the corridors of St. James Theater on West 44th Street, through the claustrophobic corridors, in and out of dressing rooms, onstage and from the rafters, up noses, and under covers and on to rooftops. The technique casts a spell, as the actors' entrances and exits are choreographed around the camera's movement.

Among the living beings who are strung along the camera's moving thread, the foremost is Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton in a self-reflexive role), a 60ish former Hollywood actor, still known for his trilogy of Birdman action movies decades before. Now Riggan has staked his money and aspirations of artistic respectability on a vanity project Broadway play, and, of course, this being the theatre, everything possible goes farcically wrong.

The troubles start with the improbable material. The play that Riggan has adapted is a dramatization of Raymond Carver's chillingly bleak title story to his 1981 collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. The story, which appears to be an update on Plato's Symposium, features two couples getting sloshed on gin, swapping stories about suicide, wife abuse and a horrific car accident. Much of Carver's story makes it into the film, along with some additional scenes that return to the theme of death as life's final scorekeeper, a theme that Inarritu (21 Grams, Amores Perros, Babel) has plumbed with dreamy morbid ardour.

The cast of this four-hand play includes Riggan (in the starring role, of course) as Mel, an alcoholic abyss-treading cardiologist. There's Lesley (Naomi Watts) another insecure movie star making her Broadway debut as his stage wife. Then there's Laura (Andrea Riseborough), who is Riggan's younger, unappreciated lover. As a last-minute stand-in is Mike (Edward Norton), Lesley's strutting cock of a movie-star boyfriend who arrives knowing everyone's lines, and with some rewrites in mind. He proceeds to try to take over the entire production.

In the backstage realm, we have Sam (Emma Stone), Riggan's fresh-from-rehab daughter who is working as his antagonistic personal assistant. There's Jake (Zach Galifianakis), a fretful lawyer and yes-man producer, and Mike's noble, disappointed wife (Amy Ryan), who pops in a couple of times to wish him well.

There's one more important figure, the title character Birdman, Riggan's superhero character from decades ago, who lives on as a growling negative voice inside the cracked actor's head. Nothing's necessarily entirely literal here, but Birdman is not just the garden variety voice of inner selfloathing, and closer to depressive psychosis. Among Riggan's fantasies is that he can levitate: When we first see him, he's sitting in his underwear in mid-air in his apartment-dressing room. Riggan can move and destroy objects with his mind, rather than just smash them in a bad temper. His madness is distinctly thespian-centric: He believes he can will himself to be someone much greater than he is.

Since Birdman had its premiere in Venice in September, there's been tremendous buzz about the film. There's the shooting style, of course, but especially compelling is Keaton's antsy, funny physical performance that's as much about Riggan's physical deterioration as a mental breakdown. As his opposite, the seemingly virile usurper, Norton's Mike, struts and frets and shows off. And shows how an actor can take a speech and kill it, then smirk at his own gift.

At the same time, there's something about Birdman that makes it, while memorable, less than brilliant. There's something inherently mechanical about the Noises Off style, the farcical pairing off, the jealous triangles, the gratuitous lesbian smooch, a quickie on the catwalk. It's the sort of familiarity that would be easier to enjoy if the writing had the panache of the visual style and the big performances. When you think about some of the memorable contemporary plays about performance (John Osborne's The Entertainer, Ronald Harwood's The Dresser), the language pops, with poetic intensity and epigrammatic snap that adds to the intoxication. There are four writers credited (Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo and Inarritu) and often, the script feels as if they traded off scenes and punched up dialogue without creating an organic package. There's lots of vaguely clever name-dropping (from Justin Bieber to Roland Barthes), but also speeches that creak like an unoiled pulley from up in the rafters.

Earlier on, there's a scene where Sam (Stone) expresses her rage with her father (he was away a lot) with a diatribe about how irrelevant he is in the age of Twitter and Facebook. Never mind that this supposed dichotomy between the turmoil of artistic creation and cheap instant fame (which Riggan eventually achieves with a highly public pants-down flourish) felt tired long before the first tweet was uttered. While Stone's visage in close-up is a mesmerizing thing (like an anime character, her face is half eyeballs), the monologue has all the fake profundity of an Aaron Sorkin-penned rant.

Among the clumsiest of scenes is one in which Riggan, having slipped back to drinking, runs into a fearsome theatre critic, Tabitha (Lindsay Duncan), who, for some peculiar reason, handwrites her reviews while drinking at a bar next to the theatre. The imperious Tabitha declares to Riggan that she's going "to kill his play" on principle, because he's a toxic interloper in the world of serious theatre. That allows him to respond with a blistering takedown on the cowardice and creative deadness of critics. Maybe it's also a hallucination. Broadway as an inviolate temple of art? Since when - never.

Yes, at its best, Birdman soars, swoops and flutters with life and invention, but it parrots more than it speaks. You long for a writer as reliably, elegantly witty as Tom Stoppard, whose dramas are typically "backstage," or if not Stoppard, at least a verbal speedpuncher like Armando Iannucci (HBO series Veep), or if not Iannucci, someone as relentlessly inventive and obsessive as Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation) to make you feel like somebody is trying to say something, rather than a writing team filling in the intelligent-sounding words to support the boisterous performances and the virtuosic camera dance.

Follow me on Twitter:@liamlacey

Associated Graphic

Michael Keaton is receiving Oscar buzz for his self-reflexive role as actor Riggan Thomson.

Refuge from the storm
Stocks took a pounding this week, but the underlying market fundamentals have not changed. Here is where to hide from further volatility, and even find a smart buy or two
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B9

Location, location, location: Canadian investors looking to escape the carnage in financial markets may soon realize the wisdom of real estate agents and find benefits in living next door to an 800-pound gorilla of an economy.

That's the message from money managers as the S&P/TSX Composite index formally entered correction territory this week as concerns over growth in Europe, cooling inflation in commodity-hungry China, and the impact of the Ebola virus jolted financial markets.

Canada isn't alone. Stocks across the world have taken a pounding, too.

"It's never pretty when this happens, but as long as you believe the fundamentals have not changed - which they haven't - this is a buying opportunity," said Toronto-based Shailesh Kshatriya, associate director for client investment strategies at Russell Investments Canada.

The United States is strengthening, and Canada will continue to benefit from this, he adds. The economy in Europe is slow, but that has been true for the past couple of years, and China will still continue to grow, he says.

"Fundamentally, not a lot has changed over the past couple of months," said Mr. Kshatriya, adding the selloff is presenting buying opportunities, as many companies are now trading below fair market value.

Here are a few ideas for investors looking for refuge from the storm.


While concerns over global growth, which has weighed on commodities, are unlikely to help the TSX in the near term, the index will draw strength from a rising U.S. dollar and a strengthening economy there, money managers say.

The International Monetary Fund, which slashed its global growth forecast for 2014, recently upgraded its expectations of U.S. growth to 2.2 per cent this year and 3.1 per cent in the next.

In such an environment, stocks of companies that export to the United States, and those tied to domestic demand in North America, will do well. Grocery companies and convenience store chains such as Metro Inc. and Alimentation CoucheTard Inc. are safe bets.

"Large cap dividend stocks are the place to hide. When you have a situation where the market has dropped rather quickly, the risk is of people panicking, and liquidity drying up," said Pat McHugh, chief investment strategist at Kaspardlov, Laverty and Associates, a wealth management firm in Windsor, Ont.

Companies focused on growing dividends are another safe bet, Mr. McHugh says. That would include Canada's big banks and telecommunication service providers.

Exchange traded funds

ETFs have captured the imagination of investors and traders alike, owing to their low cost and ease of trading.

Investors have done well with popular offerings such as the iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund and SPDR Gold Trust Shares. But with innovation spawning newer and increasingly specific ETFs, some whose underlying assets aren't as liquid, investors should evaluate their holdings carefully.

"I'm not sure I want to be holding an ETF that tracks one disease indicator on a particular type of cancer, if the market really plunges," says Elvis Picardo, market strategist at Global Securities Corp. in Vancouver.

Real assets

Investing in hard assets such as pipelines, utility companies and toll roads isn't new by any means, but a lot of investors overlook them in times of volatility.

"Investing in real assets works very well," said Michael Underhill, chief investment officer at Pewaukee, Wis.-based Capital Innovations LLC, who sub-advises on the Sprott Real Asset Class fund.

With low correlation to Canadian stocks and bonds, the Sprott fund is designed to provide diversification, protect investors from inflation and capital loss, and provide strong returns over the long term. He says the fund can switch between assets that rise in an inflationary environment and those that work well at times like these, when pricing pressures aren't as visible.

He cites "master limited partnerships" that are publicly traded companies operating in energy and other infrastructure assets. An example would be a company that manages an oil pipeline gets paid a fixed rate for every barrel of oil that is transported, irrespective of the price of oil. "People will still need to drive and that oil will still need to be shipped," Mr. Underhill said.


Canadian real estate investment trusts could provide shelter from volatile markets.

"REITs would certainly be a good place to hide at a time like this," says Mathieu Roy, portfolio manager at Louisbourg Investments Inc., in Moncton, N.B.

While rising interest rates can hurt REITs, which frequently raise capital in the debt markets, analysts believe that the recent selloff has given enough of a cushion for REITs.

"Prices are falling and rates are falling, which is counterintuitive," said Heather Kirk, an analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. in Toronto. "But given how low rates have fallen, there's a lot of wiggle room in REITs if rates did start going up."

Your mortgage

Probably the biggest impact most people could have on their level of risk exposure is on their home loan.

"A house is, hands down, the single-biggest investment most investors will make," says Robert McWhirter, the Toronto-based president of Selective Asset Management.

Whether you're shopping for a condo in downtown Toronto or looking for a five-bedroom house in the pricey Shaughnessy Heights neighbourhood of Vancouver, there's no getting away from the fact that we're the closest to an interest rate hike than we have been in five years.

If rates start to rise, those once-in-a-generation low rates will vanish, pushing up debtservicing costs for those with flexible-rate mortgages.

"Someone looking to adjust [fix] their mortgage rate at 2.8 per cent for five years makes a lot of sense," Mr. McWhirter said. "To me, that is worth the peace of mind."


No discussion of safe havens is complete without a mention of gold.

Anyone who was invested in the yellow metal these past few years has probably taken it on the chin.

But given the intense selling pressure elsewhere, bullion prices could move up for the short term, as they did this past week, rising to a onemonth high.

That move, however, is more an aberration and less an emerging trend, analysts say, as the increase will likely come up against a tightening monetary stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve and a stronger U.S. dollar, which will likely offset any safe-haven inflows.

Gold prices hit a low of $1,180 in June of 2013 when then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the decision to taper bond repurchases.

The metal retested the low in December, and again recently this year.

"We've seen the low, which may well hold. But I don't see a lot of upside potential from where we are now," said Patricia Mohr, commodity market specialist at the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Satish Sarangarajan

Associated Graphic

The U.S. economy is strengthening, and Canada will continue to benefit from this, says Shailesh Kshatriya, associate director for client investment strategies at Russell Investments Canada.


Award-winning rides from auto makers keenly aware that peace of mind sells
Thursday, October 30, 2014 – Print Edition, Page D1

Canadians searching for the safest small car possible should zero in on vehicles with "the whole package," not just good airbags and a robust roof, says David Zuby, chief research officer at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

The safest cars have a cabin engineered to prevent chunks of metal or other debris from entering and causing injury in the event of a frontal or offset crash. The safety belts snug up tight to hold occupants in place. The airbags - front, side and overhead curtain - cushion passengers from potential injuries that might result from slamming into the dashboard, interior consoles, doors and window frames. That's the whole package.

The good news is that plenty of car makers understand that safety sells. Six small cars rank as best in safety, including the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, the Volkswagen Golf and GTI and the Toyota Prius. They all have earned the Institute's Top Safety Pick+ award. Another 14 earned a Top Safety Pick.

All have what Joe Nolan, the institute's senior vice-president for vehicle research, calls "state-of-the-art safety designs." But not all small cars are created equal, and in past testing, the IIHS has found that, as a group, small cars are not a complete match safety-wise with moderately-priced mid-size cars. As a rule, bigger is better. However, the IIHS has found that small cars have tested better overall than small SUVs.

All models - regardless of body style and size - do well when car makers properly and thoroughly address structural and restraint issues - and they do poorly or perform marginally when those issues are not adequately addressed.

That is, in worst-case scenarios, safety cages collapse, driver airbags move sideways with unstable steering columns and the heads of crash-test dummies hit the instrument panel with the obvious sorrowful results. When vehicles fare poorly in crash tests, says Zuby, side curtain airbags haven't deployed at all or enough to protect occupants properly.

The IIHS has been successful in uncovering these flaws in its demanding small overlap crash test - a test designed to simulate the kind of accident that accounts for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to frontseat occupants. The test, as the IIHS notes, "replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole."

Cars that ace the small overlap test can be considered the best when it comes to occupant protection. Interestingly, the six small or compact car models that have earned the IIHS's Top Safety Pick+ rating are an eclectic mix.

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid introduced several years ago, while the Toyota Prius is a standard gasoline-electric hybrid whose safety cage and systems are several years old. Vintage is good in these instances.

On the other hand, the Mazda3, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf and GTI are new designs. Nothing hybrid about any of them. Yet they, too, are Top Safety Pick+ winners.

The non-hybrids here are all priced about the same, so cost is not a factor when shopping for a safe small car. The safest small cars are not pricier than similarly sized rides suffering marginal or poor scores in IIHS testing.

Here, then, are the six small or compact cars that topped the safety rankings. THE IIHS designates its Top Safety Pick+ rating on vehicles that earn a Good or Acceptable rating for small overlap protection, a Good rating in the Institute's other four tests, and a Basic, Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention. A Top Safety Pick vehicle has earned a Good or Acceptable raging for the small overlap test and a Good rating four other tests.


Ford C-Max Hybrid

2014 Ford Focus

2014 Honda Civic two-door coupe

2014 Hyundai Elantra

2014 Kia Soul

Mini Cooper Countryman

Mitsubishi Lancer

Scion FR-S

2014 Scion tC

Subaru BRZ

2014 Subaru Impreza

2014 Subaru WRX

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Online For Jeremy Cato's full rundown of these 14 vehicles go to



IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick+

What the IIHS says: "Electric vehicles have a unique challenge in the small overlap test because of their heavy batteries. The Volt performed reasonably well, earning an acceptable rating, while the Leaf struggled," said Joe Nolan, the Institute's senior vice president for vehicle research.

Base price: $36,895, minus government incentives for Ontario and Quebec buyers.

The lowdown: The Volt is among the first mass-market plug-in hybrids. Over the years, its price has dropped. Its battery pack will give you the 25- to 40-kilometre range required for most errands without ever engaging the onboard gas engine or generator. No range anxiety with this EV or electric vehicle.


Applies only to optional front crash prevention models

IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick+

What the IIHS says: "Both the two-door and four-door versions of the Civic earn Good ratings for restraints and kinematics and structure. Dummy movement during the tests was well-controlled, and both cars had only minimal intrusion into the occupant compartment, so survival space for the dummy was wellmaintained."

Base price: $15,690

The lowdown: Canada's No. 1 selling car for 16 years is an excellent choice for buyers who simply want a reliable, safe and fuel-efficient small car. The latest version is stylish - and comfortable.


IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) .

What the IIHS says: Both earned the top pick. "Good performance in each of the Institute's crashworthiness evaluations, including the small overlap test, and available front crash prevention. The two small cars, redesigned for 2015, offer an optional forward collision warning system that earns a basic rating."

Base price: $19,995 (four-door Golf hatchback; $32,895 (GTI four-door hatch).

The lowdown: The Golf is a sophisticated small car, with an excellent interior, great seats and wonderful road manners. The GTI is a basic high-performance small car with a functional hatch in back. The Golf is pricier than its rivals.


IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick+

What the IIHS says: The Prius earned an Acceptable rating for crash-worthiness in the small overlap front test, though performed Good ratings otherwise.

Base price: $26,105

The lowdown: The cabin and packaging look taxi-cab rich, the ride quality is basic buggy, but the engineering is a marvel. The Prius last received a major makeover in 2009, yet it remains exceptionally safe and reliable.

2014 MAZDA3

IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick+

What the IIHS says: Both sedan and hatchback versions earned Good crash-worthiness ratings across the board.

Base price: $15,995

The lowdown: The Mazda3 is a sporty and stylish ride, with outstanding fuel economy and many up-market features either standard or available.

Associated Graphic







Like Canada's top justices, readers, print and digital, held court this week on whether the terminally ill and suffering should have the right to a physician-assisted death
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F8

In the mid-1970s, I was the VicePresident Nursing when the first palliative care unit was established in a Canadian teaching hospital. I am now 81, in remission from cancer and watching the assisted-death discussion carefully. I want a new law in place when my general deterioration gives me the courage to act, with enough energy left to hold a leave-taking celebration.

Palliative care is an absolute base for supporting the patient through the time that he/she first engages in the application for a Death with Dignity directive. It's time to free the discussion about dying of all the claptrap about "natural death," "reverence for life," "slippery slopes," "suicide," "assisted suicide" and "euthanasia."

Quebec's Bill 52 goes a long way toward strengthening the place of choice in how I will die. It gives legal backing for "assisted suicide" in the face of intolerable suffering. But our choices at that point in the illness deal only with how I will experience my death. A directive, with my definition of "dignity," would allow the physician to adhere to my request for the when.

Living longer presents us as individuals with a need to think about what that life will be like, for us, for our families, and for society. We are committed to a reverence for life and a natural death. Perhaps we could become as committed to a reverence for a chosen life.

Lorine Besel, Montreal

As a nurse who has seen death up close in a hospital setting, I believe Dying with Dignity's Ipsos Reid survey showing that 84 per cent of Canadians would support "assisted dying" if strong safeguards were in place asked the wrong question.

The question - "As long as there are strong safeguards in place, how much do you agree or disagree that a doctor should be able to help someone end their life if the person is a competent adult who is terminally ill, suffering unbearably and repeatedly asks for assistance to die?" - assumes that strong safeguards are relatively easy to put in place.

Another poll released earlier this year, also by Ipsos Reid, found that 81 per cent of the 1,000 Canadians surveyed said that they are worried about the quality of health care they can expect when they're older, and that six in 10 have little faith that hospitals and long-term care facilities have the resources even now to handle the needs of a rapidly greying population. How then can Dying with Dignity assume that a health-care system that appears to have lost the confidence of a great many Canadians will protect its most frail and vulnerable with "strong safeguards"?

Many Canadians are unprotected from suffering because they don't have palliative care, particularly in Quebec. Where are their safeguards? Who is protecting them?

Dying with Dignity's question should have been: "Considering the fact that not every Canadian who needs palliative care receives it, how much do you agree or disagree that a doctor should be able to help someone end their life if the person is not receiving palliative care and is a competent adult who is terminally ill, suffering unbearably and repeatedly asks for assistance to die?"

Nathan Friedland, Roxboro, Que.

People who are opposed to doctor-assisted suicide forget that many people are alive only because of medical intervention.

We can prolong the lives of many, but often at great cost to that person.

Sorry folks, life is a terminal condition. People should be able to make the choice to end it on their own terms. Ethical doctors would welcome that. Saving a life at any cost is not in tune with "do no harm."

Mary Dale Caswell Bird, Kakabeka Falls, Ont.

I count among my friends and acquaintances several people in their 90s. Their heath situations vary; while none is suffering implacable physical pain, the emotional stress is evident from their frequent comments about such conditions as loneliness, dependence on other people for day-today activities and so on. As a 98year-old of my acquaintance puts it, "That's enough."

Clearly, the "slippery slope" brigade would be totally against helping such a person end his/ her life, citing greedy relatives or some other such reason why the victim's life - and emotional suffering - should be prolonged.

It's time to recognize that suffering takes a multitude of forms, many of which could lead to a very rational desire to "end it all."

Dave Ashby, Toronto

If someone wants to die, they cannot ask someone who has taken a vow to save lives to end theirs.

Shelley Wood, Oshawa

Granting the right to an assisted death to someone terminally ill who wishes to die in no way impinges on the right of a disabled person to continue living as they currently do.

The two rights are not tangled up with each other. If a disabled person is pressured to accept suicide, that would clearly be a criminal act - and should be dealt with as such. This case is about the right to choose. That's all.

Geoff Rytell, Toronto

I hope the Supreme Court sees that "to protect the vulnerable and to preserve the sanctity of life" is not an opposing, but a supporting position to an individual's "right to life, liberty and security" under the Charter of Rights and Freedom.

While many may choose to die a natural death and wait for it to occur, why must this position be forced on all? Why should others not have the right to end their life when they no longer want to suffer pain or the indignities of age?

Who are we protecting when an individual is in constant pain and agony, can no longer feed him/ herself, is forced to sit in feces, and/or cannot carry on a meaningful conversation?

Who has judged this to be the quality of life that needs to be "preserved"? I would equate these conditions with torture.

Compassion is defined as a "strong desire to alleviate suffering." Yet when individuals request assistance to end their own suffering humanely, we deny their request. We are not protecting them. We are judging them, and denying them the liberty to end their own life when it has become unbearable by their own standards.

I hope the Supreme Court will return our right to choose - life and death - with dignity!

Judi Bachmann, Montreal

This debate could go on forever, there are so many different situations where assisted suicide would be acceptable and many where it wouldn't.

Shao Xu, Thornhill, Ont.

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include name, address and daytime phone number. Keep letters under 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. E-mail:

Associated Graphic

Lee Carter and her mother, Kathleen Carter, 89, whom she accompanied to Switzerland in 2010 to end her life. Ms. Lee is asking the Supreme Court to grant the right to physician-assisted death.


The funeral for Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was gunned down at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, was a bigger, sadder memorial than anything Hamilton has seen in decades
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A10

HAMILTON -- They were complete strangers and close friends. They were office workers and decorated generals. Some came from other countries, others needed only to stand up from their panhandling roosts to salute the casket.

Thousands of people lined Hamilton's downtown streets as Corporal Nathan Cirillo's casket idled past while pipers and drummers kept a heavy, heartbeat cadence. The 24-year-old Hamiltonian died during an attack on two cornerstone Canadian images last week: the National War Memorial, over which Cpl. Cirillo was keeping ceremonial watch, and Parliament.

The RCMP have identified a lone-wolf gunman who was driven by crazed religious interpretations, but those along the procession route preferred not to say the shooter's name or waste one thought on his motives.

It was a different kind of memorial, said those who should know - bigger, heavier than anything this region has seen in decades.

At the very start of the cortege, near the a pavilion commemorating Cpl. Cirillo's unit, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a throng of twenty-something onlookers stood in shirts bearing the fallen soldier's image. One of them was showing around a freshly inked tattoo of their late friend on his left forearm. "I met him when I was nine years old," said Karic Francella, 22, holding up the tattoo of Cpl. Cirillo watching over the National War Memorial in Ottawa, where he was gunned down last Wednesday. "I remember the day he got his consent form from the Canadian Forces. His mom didn't want to sign. She was nervous. So was I."

In light of his friend's death, he is no longer anxious about military service. "The first day I can, I'm signing up [for the Forces]," he said. "Nathan stood strong for us. I feel it's my turn to do something."

He stopped talking as his workout buddy's casket wheeled past. It sat atop a gun carriage, covered in a Canadian flag held in place with Cpl. Cirillo's white belt and bayonet. It turned along Bay Street North, where a woman held a sign that read, "Shoulder to Shoulder, soldier to soldier, We stand on guard for Corporal NATHAN CIRILLO." She didn't know him. But the morning after the shooting, a whole finished poem about the soldier flowed out of her. It has been shared dozens of times on Facebook ever since. "It was so strange how it came to me," said Joy Plourde.

"He's been on my heart and mind since this awful thing happened." One member of the Cirillo family nodded at the sign as they walked. The crowds hushed at the mere sight of them, many moved to tears, especially when they spotted five-year-old Marcus, Cpl. Cirillo's son, and the regimental cap he wore on his head.

"He's got his dad's handsome eyes," whispered one woman in the crowd.

The boy seemed unperturbed by all the people. He kept pointing out the helicopters thumping overhead. He waved a small Canadian flag in the breeze. He smiled at three photographers who moved in for a closeup.

The news would say they were walking toward Christ's Church Cathedral for his father's funeral, but he only seemed concerned with being close to his aunt Natasha.

"Carry me, carry me," he said, when she put him down for a moment. She complied. If the boy was any burden on this warm October day, she didn't let it show.

As they approached the church, the procession slowed. Soldiers stared at the boy from the windows of the John Weir Foote armoury, where friends said Cpl.

Cirillo first signed up for the Forces. On the roof of the armoury, snipers and spotters looked for any signs of trouble. For all the talk about high security, it was discrete and unobtrusive.

Outside the armoury, the family saw a makeshift memorial where hundreds of people had placed flowers and signed flags. One teary warrant officer wrote "God now protects you."

Mr. Cirillo's mother had to lean on a member of the Argylls for support. They turned a corner and walked inside the church.

The whole scene struck retired General Lewis MacKenzie, one of the country's most-decorated soldiers, as completely unique.

"There's a combination of civilians with military units and police units that I've never seen before," he said, standing across the street from the church. "This many people, it brings to mind the funeral of our greatest World War I ace, William Barker. I wasn't there, of course, but it was the biggest funeral in the area at the time."

Inside the church, Cpl. Cirillo's cousin, Jenny Holland, offered some explanation for the outpouring. "Nathan has become Canada's hero," she said to the assembled friends, family and dignitaries. "Nathan may have looked like a big tough man, but he was such a kid at heart. It was beautiful to see the joy he had while playing with his son. Marcus adored him so much. Not only was Nathan his dad, he was also his friend."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper then offered thanks on behalf of the nation. "We're better for his life, and we're diminished by his loss," he said. "And may his son, young Marcus Daniel Cirillo, some day find comfort in the fact that our entire country looks up to his dad with pride, with gratitude, with deep abiding respect."

As the funeral continued inside the church, a solemn Gen. MacKenzie agreed to photographs with a few onlookers. "Nobody should undersell Canadian patriotism," he said. "This doesn't change us. Not one lone-wolf shooter, though calling him that is an insult to wolves."

The funeral ended. One MP, Adam Vaughan, stuck around after the funeral to soak in the moment. He was in Ottawa last Wednesday, 20 feet from the shooter, when a guard pulled him into a security enclave. "A certain shock set in," he said of the hours and days that followed. "This gives a certain grace to a horrible situation."

The crowds dispersed around 3 p.m. Clouds rolled in. A pub turned up a loud Phil Collins song. The street returned to normal. City buses began running along the procession route, their route indicators flashing "Lest We Forget."

Associated Graphic

Members of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders escort the casket bearing Corporal Nathan Cirillo as it moves past the John Weir Foote V.C. Armouries in Hamilton.


TOP Marcus Cirillo, 5, covers his ears during a gun salute of the funeral procession for his father, Corporal Nathan Cirillo. Marcus is held by his aunt, Natasha Cirillo, as his grandmother, Kathy Cirillo, is supported by two members of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment.

MIDDLE People stop to pay their respect during the procession.

BOTTOM The Cirillo family attends the funeral inside Christ's Church Cathedral.


Defoe injury may spell end to season and time in Toronto
The Canadian Press
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S7

Toronto FC fans may have seen the last of Jermain Defoe.

The 32-year-old England striker has aggravated a groin injury and will miss Saturday's home finale against the Montreal Impact. His status for the season finale in New England is up in the air, as is his future in Major League Soccer, given the speculation over his status at the end of the last transfer window.

Defoe insists he is happy in Toronto. But he has not looked beyond this season, saying he can't predict the future. The door to the rest of the soccer world swings opens again in January.

Toronto coach Greg Vanney has sympathy for Defoe's physical woes, having suffered a similar injury (osteitis pubis) while playing in France.

"Once it inflames, it is a debilitating injury," Vanney said after practice Friday. "And it takes months to heal. Some players will end up in surgery and some players will miss a full season. If it's anything similar to that, then I understand his plight.

"Aside from that. I think he's a true professional. And at the end of the day, [if] he doesn't feel 100 per cent, he doesn't feel he can give what he's capable of giving and therefore he needs to get right."

Defoe has played in the past three games since missing nine of the 10 previous matches due to the groin injury. He looked like his range-finder was off, missing a penalty and lacking sharpness.

"I think between the groin injury and the migration of the pain and the inflammation, they're not exactly sure what it is," Vanney said of the injury.

"Either way, it's going to take him some time to really get over it."

Defoe, who has not had a break other than injury in backto-back seasons in England and North America, was one day from undergoing hernia surgery during his last layoff.

The former Spurs star has missed 12 games through injury and one through suspension in his debut MLS season.

He collected 11 goals and two assists in 1,169 minutes of play in the team's first 17 games of the season. He has no points in 360 minutes of play in the 15 games since.

Still, he is Toronto's leading scorer with 11 goals in 19 games.

And it speaks volumes about Toronto's sad-sack history that Defoe already stands No. 5 on Toronto's all-time scoring list.

Still, a healthy Defoe has been a considerable weapon. Toronto is 6-0-2 when he scores this season. Unfortunately, he has not scored since July 17 - 16 games ago. And his goals have come at a cost - $561,816 (U.S.) per strike.

Overall, Toronto (11-14-7) is 6-7-6 when Defoe plays this season.

Injuries to both Defoe and Brazil's Gilberto hampered their time and ability to forge a strike partnership. The two designated players have done better alongside England's Luke Moore, who can hold the ball up and plays others into the attack, than they have together, although there hasn't been much service other than from Michael Bradley and Jonathan Osorio.

While Defoe has shown he can score in MLS, he has been less successful in becoming the face of the franchise. Tim Leiweke, the outgoing CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, wanted an ambassador as well as a striker for his $6.18-million salary outlay this season.

Leiweke got only one and it seems clear that he and Defoe had different designated player job descriptions.

Defoe did not help himself by flying to England for treatment and then failing to address the rampant speculation over his future during his last injury absence. Two tweets didn't do much to win over a weary fan base that has heard too many snake-oil pitches.

One wonders just how happy Defoe has been here, despite the fact that Toronto FC has by all reports bent over backward to help him settle in. Defoe's locker stall usually featured two cellphones, presumably one for North America and one for Britain. It may make fiscal sense but it hardly screams settling in.

Defoe has been pleasant to deal with, although it is clear the media access in North America is completely foreign - and somewhat bewildering - to him.

If he was briefed on having to expect cameras in his face while he towels off, the message didn't get through.

He comes across as someone who just wants to play soccer.

Just perhaps, not here.

If that's the case, he's allowed - especially given the departure or impending exit of the people who brought him here. Fans just want some clarity, so they know who to cheer for.

Defoe won't be the only highprofile Toronto FC absentee Saturday at BMO Field. Bradley, the team's other marquee player, is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards. And, perhaps in a symbol of the franchise's run of luck this season, rookie defender Nick Hagglund is both injured and suspended.

Toronto enters the weekend in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, six points behind the Columbus Crew (12-10-10). In order to make the playoffs for the first time, Toronto needs to gain maximum points against Montreal and New England and hope the Crew lose their remaining games against New York and Philadelphia.

It's possible but improbable, although Toronto sees a sliver of hope.

"We know that there's a crack in the door for us," said Vanney.

"Crazier things have happened in this league," added Bradley.

"Stranger things have happened," echoed captain Steven Caldwell.

Should Toronto win Saturday, it will have to wait a day to see how Columbus fares against the Red Bulls.

Sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Montreal (618-8) is looking to play spoiler.

"Our main focus is to get a result to knock them out of the playoffs," said goalkeeper Evan Bush. "With the rivalry we have with them, it would be special to knock them out. They tried to do it to us last year, and they didn't feel bad about it."

Toronto has lost three straight, during which it has been outscored 7-1. Montreal, meanwhile, has been beaten just once in its last five outings (2-1-2) in all competitions.

Former Impact midfielder Collen Warner is expected to replace Bradley in a Toronto midfield featuring Osorio, Warren Creavalle and Brazil's Jackson. Doneil Henry steps in for Hagglund at centre back. Moore and Gilberto will start up front.

Montreal star striker Marco Di Vaio is available despite travelling to Italy for the midweek announcement that his old club Bologna is being bought by a consortium that includes Impact owner Joey Saputo.

Associated Graphic

Toronto FC forward Jermain Defoe is fouled by Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ownby in Toronto on Oct. 8.


Hôtel Le Germain Ottawa mixes it up with art
Public-private mixed-use project will expand the Ottawa Art Gallery, add a 120-room boutique hotel with eight floors of condos
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B9

A new hotel to be built in Ottawa puts the spotlight on public-private arrangements that are bringing cultural benefits, unique branding and prime downtown locations to mixed-use commercial developments.

Groupe Germain Hospitalité, DevMcGill and EBC Inc. will soon break ground on a 23-storey complex that includes the expansion of the Ottawa Art Gallery as well as the construction of a 120-room boutique hotel, an 82-unit condominium, a theatre, a screening room and four classrooms.

The three Quebec companies make up a consortium recently selected by the City of Ottawa for the redevelopment of Arts Court, Ottawa's 1870 courthouse, which was repurposed in 1988 and today houses 25 arts organizations, including the gallery. The project represents a $60-million investment from the private sector and a $40-million investment from the city and the nearby University of Ottawa, which will use the facility in its educational programming and events.

For Groupe Germain, a familyrun business, the project adds to a growing list of distinctive mixeduse developments that have allowed the hotel chain to strategically locate and market itself.

"Ottawa's strong visitor base and the wealth of tourism make the city an ideal place to pursue our national expansion," says Christiane Germain, co-founder and co-president of the company, along with her brother, Jean-Yves Germain.

The company owns and operates four-star Le Germain Boutique-Hôtels and "no-frills-chic" three-star Alt Hotels across the country. Mixed-use developments make it possible for smaller hotels like theirs to be built on downtown properties that would otherwise be too pricey, Mr. Germain explains, given the rising cost of land in city cores over the past 10 years.

"A stand-alone hotel in a major market is not easy, it's almost impossible," he says. "You need other components to maximize density and to be efficient on the site."

Indeed, the mixed-use formula has helped Groupe Germaine develop hotels in a number of key places. In March it opened a new Alt Hotel in Montreal's Griffintown district, in a development that includes offices as well as condos. It also combined the three functions in the new Hôtel Le Germain Calgary, which opened in 2010.

The chain currently includes 10 hotels, with four properties in the works, including Alt Hotels in Winnipeg and Calgary and one that is to open on Slater Street in Ottawa in 2016. Mr. Germain says there are another four projects in the pipeline.

The hotel market in Canada is strong, says Tony Pollard, president of the Hotel Association of Canada. An annual report released by the organization and PKF Consulting Canada forecasts that demand for rooms will rise 2.7 per cent this year, while supply will increase by just 0.7 per cent.

City cores remain popular as locations, although the cost of downtown land has more and more developers looking for mixed-use commercial opportunities there, he says. "You're able to derive revenue from more than one source."

Ms. Germain says that mixeduse developments allow for some creativity in terms of branding. For the Arts Court project in Ottawa, for example, there are plans for an art theme throughout the hotel.

"Everybody's excited about it," she says. "Cultural tourism is quite an important segment of our business. To be attached to an art gallery adds to our brand, it adds to the destination."

Peter Radke, manager of realty initiatives and development for the City of Ottawa, says the Arts Court redevelopment at the corner of Daly and Waller streets will more than triple the size of the Ottawa Art Gallery and make it more accessible and obvious, with a striking glass box design.

The project overall adds to the intensification of the downtown, he says, while increasing the stock of hotel rooms and tourism facilities, a city goal. The development is positioned between two future stations of the new Confederation Line LRT.

Under the deal with the city, the hotel and condominium are being granted development rights below and beside the existing heritage structure. Hôtel Le Germain Ottawa will extend up through the first 12 storeys of the tower, with the bottom four floors housing the hotel lobby, meeting rooms and services and eight floors above set aside for rooms.

The top eight stories will be DevMcGill's private residences, and there will be two levels of underground parking.

The design of the complex is the result of collaboration between Groupe Régis Côté Architectes and LemayMichaud Architecture Design.

Jean-Serge D'Aoust, senior vicepresident of buildings at the construction company EBC, says the mixed public-private complex "is one of the few projects of this nature in Canada and represents an example of how other public bodies may create value on their real estate holdings."

Ms. Germain cautions, however, that mixed-use projects can be "very complicated" to pursue and execute. "You often have to deal with three developers, three contractors ... the legal stuff is not as usual," she says. "It's not easy, but that's the way it has to be."

Mr. Germain notes that the end result is a hotel in a good location that is relatively simple to manage, albeit with some shared systems and common areas. Each element has its own identity and branding, with separate entrances and security systems, for example.

He says that Groupe Germain has been working for the past decade to locate in Ottawa, which is a strong and consistent market.

Hotel guests are drawn by government business during the year and the capital's many attractions in summertime.

It is hoped that the new Arts Court development will improve and even revitalize the somewhat troubled area around Rideau Street in the eastern part of Ottawa's downtown, Mr. Germain says. "A project like ours will make a difference there, that's for sure."

The redevelopment is timed to coincide with the festivities planned for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. The art gallery is to open in early 2017, while the hotel and residences are expected to be completed later in the year.


Groupe Germaine Hospitalité has established several of its hotels in mixed-use developments that include condominium residences and/or office space:

Hôtel Le Germain Calgary Opened: February of 2010 Floors: 20 Rooms: 143 Condos: 40 Offices: 87,800 square feet

Alt Hotel Montreal Opened: March of 2014 Floors: 18 Rooms: 154 Condos: 188 Offices: 75,000 square feet

Alt Hotel Winnipeg Opening: 2015 Floors: 20 Rooms: 154 Offices: 40,000 square feet

Alt Hotel Ottawa Opening: 2016 Floors: 23 Rooms: 148 Condos: 164

Associated Graphic

Entrance of the Hôtel Le Germain Ottawa, which will open in 2017 - timed to coincide with Canada's 150th birthday festivities - as part of the Ottawa Art Gallery expansion and Arts Court redevelopment project. See more renderings of the mixed-use project at


Just like makeup, clothes or jewellery, artificial limbs can be outlets for self-expression, Matthew Hague writes. Edgy prostheses use art and design to 'transcend the notion of what it means to be human'
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 30, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L1

Terry Oh's left leg is prosthetic. It's a well-engineered device: stainless steel and durable, with a jointed knee that bends naturally as he moves. But most of the time, the artificial limb is hidden behind any number of graphic, custom, interchangeable scrims called fairings. They each have the outline of a muscular lower leg - including a robust, full calf. Depending on the day, they might be etched out with a Star Wars motif, or menacing skulls, or a simple lattice illuminated from behind with a glowing LED.

The fairings, designed and produced by a Victoria-based startup called the Alleles Design Studio, have been a significant part of Oh's self-empowerment and pride as an amputee. He lost his leg four years ago in a horrific motorcycle accident. A van went through an intersection in Regina and broadsided his Harley-Davidson, sending the then-32-year-old skidding across the ground for almost 60 feet.

But instead of being traumatized by the accident (which he definitely isn't: "I was back biking again by the next spring," he says. "As soon I could."), he has turned it into a creative outlet. Going so far as to relocate to Victoria with the Alleles co-founders, Ryan Palibroda and McCauley Wanner, to help refine, promote and design the products as a partner in the business.

Design-forward prosthesis enhancements such as Oh's are a new but growing industry. They are significant because they give prosthesis users a much broader set of choices.

They go well beyond the usual options: functional but graceless, or limbs that attempt to mimic flesh but ultimately fail to do so. Much the same way that clothes, make-up and jewellery are ways that all of us attempt to gain control over our appearances and our bodies, these prosthetic enhancements do the same for amputees. They are an important outlet for selfexpression, which helps build self-confidence, and so are ultimately highly liberating. Alleles is just one of a number of a companies addressing this issue. An important genesis moment might have been Alexander McQueen's Spring/Summer runway show in 1999, when Paralympic athlete Aimee Mullins walked out wearing ornately carved elmwood legs (heels built right in, flowers climbing the thigh). Now there's also San Francisco-based Unyq. Over the summer, male model Alex Minsky wore one of their fairings on his prosthetic leg at a New York Fashion Week event. It looked like a feathered wing, wrapping up and around his leg like a modern-day Hermes sandal, as though he could take flight at any moment.

One of the most experimental proponents is Britain's Sophie de Oliveira Barata, a former specialeffects artist who now, through the Alternative Limb Project, crafts custom limbs that are couture-like in their decorative complexity. Her most noteworthy, perhaps, is a Swarovski-crystalencrusted leg worn by British singer and model Viktoria Modesta during the closing ceremonies of the London Paralympic Games in 2012. But she's also done many other prosthetics that specifically reflects the character of the user: ones covered in floral patterns, or feathers, or inset with storage compartments (for practical-minded wearers).

"Wearable prosthetics transcend the notion of what it means to be human, through art and design and [the] ability to play with your body's perception," says Modesta, who has also collaborated with de Oliveira Barata on other projects, including a leg outfitted with speakers. "There's a real power in transformation in that, and a raw glimpse of how technology affects our psychology today. ... Does it really make us less human to have these artificial add-ons when it's directly a part of our body?"

Of course, while an appendage covered in crystals or feathers is absolutely gorgeous, it's not practical for everyone. For one thing, price is an important consideration.

When Oh, for example, started looking at fairings, he found them prohibitively expensive. The ones available through his prosthesis manufacturer were costly, at $2,500, not to mention generic-looking. Then a friend of his, Michelle Salt (a Paralympic snowboarder who also lost her leg in a motorcycle accident), recommended he check out Alleles. The company, started by Palibroda and Wanner in 2010 (when Palibroda was finishing a masters of architecture, and Wanner was finishing a masters of industrial design), was using new technologies such as 3-D printers to manufacture innovative plates, affordably. So instead of thousands, their products cost hundreds of dollars.

And Oh admits that "the price, to be honest," was the reason he bought his original product - a model called the Aleks - from Alleles. At $350, as opposed to the $2,500 from his prosthetic supplier, the sticker value was more like buying a pair of shoes (albeit an incredibly fancy pair). But once he had the simple fairing (which was a lot more basic than the ones he wears now, looking more like a fishnet stocking), he started customizing it. Ultimately he wanted something totally unique to him, not something someone else might have.

"A $6,000 design makes people angry," says Wanner, as part of her impetus for starting the company. "There were no affordable choices. We wanted to give people choice. Something not flesh-coloured that still looks fake. We're not trying to replicate the body. We're doing something more abstracted."

It's that abstraction that heightens the appeal of the product. Their shape fills out the expected lines of a body, giving wearers a sense of wholeness. Oh mentions how nice it is that it fills out a pant leg, whereas the bare prosthesis is too thin, so the fabric crumples in awkwardly around it. But the patterning, which could be anything, adds humour, personality or a sense of style.

"We are trying to pattern ourselves after the fashion industry," adds Palibroda. "By releasing new collections every fall/winter and spring/summer to build up a catalogue."

Their new fall collection is highly graphic, with a range of motifs (some bionic, some more Victorian). But it all has an inherent sense of strength, and none of it shies away from or hides what it is: part of an artificial limb.

Oh's background as a tattoo artist has significantly helped him develop fairings for Alleles. In part because he's a talented illustrator who can conceptualize and draw out his ideas. But also because his years creating tattoos for himself and for others has been about achieving exactly what Alleles is ultimately striving for: Giving people creative control over their own extremities, so when they look in the mirror, they see exactly what they want to see.

Associated Graphic

The Alleles Design Studio creates custom-designed prosthetic covers.


Terry Oh, who creates custom-designed prosthetic covers for lower limb amputees, lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident.


Finding an answer to 'what is an artist'
Author and journalist's new book gives an accessible insider view of the art world
Thursday, October 30, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L2

With the word "beauty" boldly stitched onto her fine sweater, Sarah Thornton is talking art over peppermint tea at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Thornton, who was born in Kingston and raised mostly in Montreal, became a darling chronicler of the contemporary art world with her smash bestseller Seven Days in the Art World. On a break from daily art journalism (she used to cover the art market for The Economist; she'll go back to writing for several platforms in January), Thornton, who is now based in London, has written another art world page-turner, 33 Artists in 3 Acts. Short, detailpacked scenes in three acts - Politics, Kinship and Craft - illuminate this world where artists can become celebrities and earn millions with their ideas - or not.

Marina Abramovic criticizes "art pollution," Damien Hirst alarms the art world by painting his own work, Cindy Sherman reflects on why the photos that include her image sell (much) more easily than her other work. Laurie Simmons - a respected and successful photographer now best known as Lena Dunham's mom - confides "the feeling of not being seen tips me over the edge."

It's as if Thornton takes something the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says to her at one point and uses it as a mantra in writing the book: "You have to gather a lot of fragments to capture the reality."

Currently on a speaking tour, Thornton met with Western Arts Correspondent Marsha Lederman in Vancouver.

Who is your audience with these books? Are you trying to demystify the art world for the average person; trying to inform someone who already knows about it?

I write for both outsiders and insiders. It's really important to me to speak to a general audience and that's one of the reasons I chose these themes of politics, kinship and craft because they're universal and accessible themes and they're not typical of art criticism. But by the same token, I want to be amusing and insightful for an insider audience. There's not going to be anybody who's been behind the scenes with this entire roster before. And I think one of the things I do for people inside the art world is I say the things that are really not said. And so I become a little bit the tattle-tale for insiders and hopefully bring greater accessibility for outsiders.

You interviewed far more than 33 artists; how did you make your selections?

It was really tough to whittle down my artists. I did interview 130 artists around the world; there are some really important, interesting, even famous artists on my cutting room floor. I can think of one artist who had long been one of my favourites who then gave me an interview that felt overrehearsed who seemed to have a very dry slightly dead discourse. I had to cut him. It didn't matter how many years of fandom I'd had for his work; the interview was not worthy of inclusion.

Who was it?

I can't say. Because I still wish him the best and I still like his work. Although maybe not as much as I did before.

And yet Jeff Koons gives you canned answers and that becomes the whole point.

I can only have so many artists in the book giving canned answers. So he becomes the foil for the kind of honesty and openness of the rest.

No artists from Canada, eh?

I know. I really do think that is an omission; I really genuinely do. But there are also no French artists, which is probably even more scandalous to some.

The overall question you're trying to answer blossoms into these compelling scenes, but what were you trying to dig down into?

The really basic question 'what is an artist' actually opens up a huge can of worms and every worm in that can is interesting to me. So what is authenticity? What is realness? What is credibility? How is it that some artists develop cult followings and other artists are completely ignored? And sometimes artists I revisit actually shift and change their perception of what they're doing over the course of four years of [writing] the book. So Carroll Dunham is in one position and then as I revisit him and his wife Laurie Simmons, a photographer, their answers evolve.

Ai Weiwei's life also changes dramatically through this period. What did you witness?

It's quite amazing. He starts off in Shanghai at a conference, but my first interactive scene with him is a high moment - the opening at [Tate Modern's] Turbine Hall with the sunflower seeds, which in my opinion is a major ambitious masterwork.

He's full of conviction and the charismatic power of this presence kind of blows you away.

[Later], a few weeks before I'm going to visit him in his studio in Beijing, he gets put in prison.

And at that moment nobody knows where he is and I have what I think is a very poignant moment with his wife, Lu Qing, who's in a serious distress. All the computers have been confiscated, she's anxious that there are microphones [bugs] scattered through the house. Nevertheless, she gives me an open interview. And then I go back to Beijing and see him after his incarceration where his confidence had been knocked big time and he's still very much recovering. You could still feel how shaken he was, even months later. The psychological torture was pretty extreme.

Artists like Ai Weiwei or Jeff Koons employ people to actually make the work; the artists conceive it, someone else carries it out. This is not new to anyone who follows the art world, but does that play into dismissive attitudes from the my-kid-could-have-done-that crowd?

The problem for modern art was my kid could have done it; the problem for contemporary art is but he didn't make it himself. One of my messages for the general public is why should that matter? An artist today is an ideas person who's the architect of an oeuvre. You don't expect an architect to lay every brick; why would you expect an artist to do so as well? Artists are more like film directors; they rely on a team of craftsmen to create an end effect, be it an object or a performance or an installation or whatever. I think a lot of artists are pro-craft. They really care about the execution of the work but it doesn't mean they're the ones manually doing it.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Sarah Thornton appears at the ROM Theatre in Toronto on Thursday at 7 pm.

Associated Graphic

Sarah Thornton is on a speaking tour promoting her new book 33 Artists in 3 Acts.


Doctor's HIV-AIDS work was 'life-saving'
Physician helped shape understanding of how the virus was transmitted and contributed to policies that slowed the disease's spread
Thursday, October 30, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S8

Robert Remis loved to talk, to discuss, to debate, to pontificate. At conferences, he was always the first to the mic, with a biting comment or probing question, and at restaurants or the family dinner table, he would always be the last to leave, never wanting the conversation to end.

What he liked to talk about was any hot-button issue, political or scientific. But, more than anything else, he liked to discuss his passion, HIV-AIDS, whether he was at work, at home or socializing.

"Certainly I could rival any 12year-old in the world with my knowledge of HIV and the various ways it could be transmitted," his son, Samuel Lapalme-Remis, now a neurology resident, said with a laugh.

As a renowned epidemiologist, the senior Dr. Remis helped shape our understanding of how the human immunodeficiency virus was transmitted, and influence policies that helped slow the spread of the deadly disease.

He came to this role serendipitously, as always driven by curiosity and a challenge.

Dr. Remis, who died of bladder cancer last month, was born in Winnipeg on Nov. 17, 1946, to a prominent, well-to-do Jewish family.

He was a bit of a boy genius, the kind who breezed through school and garnered all the academic awards and science fair prizes.

His love of science prompted him to study physics at the University of Manitoba but, increasingly intrigued by the heady political and social changes of the 1960s, he felt stifled and restless.

Dr. Remis left the U of M after only two years and headed off to McGill University in Montreal to spread his wings. His family strongly disapproved of his hippie lifestyle and cut him off financially.

"He struggled to get through school because he was dirt poor," his son said. But, by hook and by crook, Dr. Remis managed to backpack around Europe, and graduate with degrees in physics and mathematics, as well complete medical school, graduating from McGill in 1972.

For the next decade, he was a peripatetic physician; along with spouse, Mireille Lapalme, a nurse, he worked in a number of First Nations and Inuit communities across Northern Canada, and internationally in places as diverse as India, Burundi and the Comoro Islands. The couple separated when Samuel, their only child, was still young.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Remis settled down a bit, working as a family physician around Montreal, but soon became restless. He completed a master's of public health degree at Harvard and then went to work as a "disease detective" at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

There, he played a central role in what is now a textbook case, a 1982 outbreak of food poisoning linked to a McDonald's restaurant in Oregon; the incident is well known because it was the first outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7.

Dr. Remis returned to Montreal, where he served in a number of positions with the regional public health agency, and is credited with building the province's public-health infrastructure.

But he never lost the travel bug, setting out regularly on adventures, often with his son. And the only thing he loved as much as travel was food, fancying himself a gourmet.

Dr. Remis investigated many of the early cases of AIDS in Canada, in particular among children and hemophiliacs, grim milestones that first arose in Montreal.

He took a profound interest in HIV-AIDS epidemiology, in particular understanding all the ways the disease could be transmitted, and how transmission of the virus could be prevented, particularly between mother and child.

In 1996, he was wooed to the University of Toronto and, working with the provincial government and community groups, was able to implement some groundbreaking programs, the most notable of which was universal screening of pregnant women, a policy that has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Ontario, and has been adopted by a number of countries around the world.

"This work, this life-saving work, is one of Robert's legacies," said Liviana Calzavara, a long-time colleague at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at U of T. "But he was never someone who sought personal glory, so not enough people know about his contributions." Dr. Remis also produced detailed epidemiological reports to help track the HIV-AIDS epidemic and, again, this approach was widely copied.

Dr. Calzavara said Dr. Remis was also unusual because, in addition to doing research and academic work, he worked closely with community groups to help them use his data to change policy.

Wangari Tharao, of the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/ AIDS, said this work was crucial. "He was a great advocate. He was passionate at a time when passion was needed," she said.

Ms. Tharao said Dr. Remis ruffled a lot of feathers because "He didn't sugarcoat anything. The only thing that was important to him was the truth." In particular, he angered many in the HIV-AIDS community with his belief that some people who infect others with the virus should face criminal charges. (The most common position is that criminalization is counterproductive as it will discourage people from being tested and treated.)

Dr. Remis was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2008. Colleagues recall that he was upset at missing the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City and called from his hospital room (where he was recovering from surgery) to be updated on the latest research.

His recovery went remarkably well and he embarked on new projects, such as research on the spread of HIV-AIDS among sex workers in China.

Dr. Remis was on the verge of being declared "cured" (five years cancer-free), when he suffered a recurrence last year. His health deteriorated quickly.

"Watching him slowly fade away over the last year was almost intolerable," his son, Dr. Lapalme-Remis, said. "But I think that the illness brought us closer together."

Dr. Remis was sapped of his telltale energy but, on days when he was feeling better, he continued to work on research papers.

In August, between hospital admissions, he felt a bit better and, in a burst of creativity, finished a couple of research papers that are now awaiting publication.

Dr. Calzavara said she visited Dr. Remis in hospital just two weeks before his death on Sept. 25, in Toronto. "I know I overstayed my welcome, but he wouldn't stop talking," she said.

In addition to his son, Dr. Remis leaves his long-time partner, Marilynne Dunbar; his brother, David; and his sister, Debby.

He was 67.

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Associated Graphic

Robert Remis, seen in 2003, investigated many of Canada's early AIDS cases, in particular among children and hemophiliacs.


A shaky takedown
Michael Harris wants to dismantle Stephen Harper's leadership, but his arguments land wide of the mark
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R20

Does a supervillain run our country?

According to Party of One: Stephen Harper and Canada's Radical Makeover, a new book by journalist Michael Harris, our Prime Minister is a puppet master, using the levers of government to promote the interests of his oil buddies while laying waste to his opponents: environmentalists, progressives, and even ordinary citizens.

The book pummels the reader with scandal after scandal, not trying to persuade, but to bring the reader around to the author's point of view through brute force.

Readers who love Harper will hate the book, and those who hate the Prime Minister will love the book. And in the end, neither side will learn much about the other. And they will learn even less about who our famously private Prime Minister really is.

But the book does tell you a lot about his fiercest critics.

The first step in attacking a politician is to deny they ever really won in the first place. In the United States, a famous example is the "birther" movement, which said that Barack Obama should have been ineligible to run for president because he isn't a natural-born U.S. citizen. (He is.)

For Harper's fiercest critics, he never won an election fair and square; each contest was stolen by the nefarious network of conservatives lurking behind the scenes.

In Party of One, Harper's victory in the 2006 election was the start of something new and dastardly. "Seeking power was no longer a matter of debating with honourable gentlemen over great issues," Harris writes, "but a gruesome fight to the finish with no holds barred."

But one of the main contributing factors to Harper's win, the sponsorship scandal that revealed corruption in the thengoverning Liberal party, is given only a single, passing reference.

Of much more interest is Harper's hiring of American political advisers - some of whom, gasp, worked for conservative American politicians. Never mind that Canadian politicians and strategists have been importing tactics from down south for years (a tale told in fascinating detail in Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes), or that Liberals and New Democrats have sought help in recent years from those that got Obama elected.

Party of One spends three early chapters recounting the robocalls case, a special preoccupation of Harper's critics, in which misleading phone calls were sent to residents in Guelph, Ont., during the 2011 election, directing them to the wrong polling stations with the aim that they would get confused and not vote. Conservative staffer Michael Sona was found guilty of a charge under the Elections Act this year in relation to the case, and the judge found it likely that Sona didn't work alone. The implication by some is that the Conservatives stole the election right in front of our eyes. But no one has traced this case beyond the local campaign, and no firm evidence exists there was a coordinated campaign of misleading robocalls anywhere outside of Guelph - a riding that the Conservatives ended up losing, anyway - let alone that any of it can be traced back to Harper or the party's top brass. If the robocalls case hampered thousands of voters - which is rightly a crime - there is no evidence it was what won Harper the election, in which Conservatives won a 12-seat majority in the House of Commons and 1.3 million more votes than the secondplace NDP. But by attacking the very legitimacy of an election you never have to grapple with the fact that not every voter believes in the same things you do.

Sona was just one of many scapegoats that Harper has thrown under the bus, Party of One says. There are the public servants that disagreed with him, like nuclear safety watchdog Linda Keen - but there are also those that, one would think, Harper rightly dispatched with, such as senators who billed tens of thousands in inappropriate expenses, or partisan moversand-shakers like Arthur Porter who were revealed to be involved in questionable business activities. It's all part of an attempt to depict Harper's ruthlessness as a true "Party of One," demanding loyalty from all subordinates and centralizing all power in the Prime Minister's Office.

Other recent books make the case more persuasively, however, by taking a longer view. Those books include former-Conservative-now-Independent MP Brent Rathgeber's Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada and Tragedy in the Commons by Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan, based on exit interviews with dozens of Members of Parliament. Both sketch out, through first-hand accounts, how the work of Parliament and individual MPs has become increasingly dominated by the Prime Minister and his office, a trend that dates back through Jean Chretien, Brian Mulroney and Pierre Trudeau. Obsessing about particular cases loses the larger picture, which is that the trend for consolidation of power has gotten worse under Harper, but it didn't start under him. In Paul Wells's The Longer I'm Prime Minister, Harper is presented as a pragmatic politician who believes his ultimate goal - to tilt the government rightward, and more towards the western provinces than Ontario and Quebec - is best achieved by moving policy incrementally and staying in power as long as he can by pulling together a new coalition of supporters.

Harris presents no central theme or argument in return. Instead, he recounts a list of grievances against the Conservative government: the F-35 debacle, where the price and timeline of acquiring new fighter jets has proved vexing for Canada and other countries; the shutting down of a freshwater research station in northern Ontario; the muzzling of federal scientists; difficult relations with foreign powers and our own First Nations; and the poor treatment of veterans.

"Canada was becoming the unrecognizable place that Stephen Harper had once talked about," Harris writes.

All those points are, to varying degrees, valid criticisms of the Conservative government. But they're also often picking at the edges, avoiding grappling with questions about the government that hit wider swaths of Canadian life. What about the Conservatives' economic record? What about how they've changed crime and justice laws, choosing to promote ideology over sociology? What about their unenthusiastic approach to addressing climate change? And what does it all say about Harper himself? That he has earned some enemies after nine years in power?

The book ends, remarkably, with Farley Mowat calling Stephen Harper a "son of a bitch."

It's often easier to insult your opponent than try to understand his point of view.

Chris Hannay is The Globe's digital politics editor.

Associated Graphic

Party of One: Stephen Harper and Canada's Radical Makeover By Michael Harris Viking, 534 pages, $33.95

If nothing else, Harris's book shows how Harper's opponents think.


'This needs to be for all of Montreal'
No longer languishing on a shoestring, La Biennale de Montréal director Sylvie Fortin has good reason to be looking forward
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R4

MONTREAL -- Sylvie Fortin became director of La Biennale de Montréal the way other people take possession of a house that has just been gutted. She had no staff, no program and no financing she could count on for an event that some doubted would ever happen.

That was in September, 2013. A year later, the biennale has opened its eighth edition with work by 50 artists and collectives from 22 countries, including the likes of Shirin Neshat, Thomas Hirschhorn and Isabelle Hayeur.

The pieces, half of which are new creations, will be shown in 22 venues, including some outdoor projection sites visible from the sidewalk. Fortin's budget has gone from nothing to $3.6-million, more than half of which comes from private sources - an unheard-of amount, especially in Quebec.

On the front of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MACM), which co-operated in the merger of its own Québec Triennial with the biennale a few months before Fortin was hired, the exhibition's googly-eyed logo stares out at Saint Catherine Street as if in amazement that the show is actually going on. Several audio speakers on the pavement relay bits of chatter and song from Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko's projection of homeless people, visible on the upper reaches of Place des Arts' nearby Théâtre Maisonneuve.

"This needs to be for all of Montreal," Fortin said in a recent interview. Her primary remit was "to do something that would mobilize the community, and for me that was the most important thing. Because if it were just the museum and the biennale - one plus one equals two - then why bother?"

"Why bother?" had become a question that haunted some previous biennales, before the appointment of well-respected curator Nicole Gingras as executive and artistic director two years ago. But Gingras made a swift, unpeaceful exit just six months later, after a merger engineered by money manager Cédric Bisson and tech entrepreneur Alexandre Taillefer, each a member of the separate boards that had overseen the biennale and triennial.

"There is no room for two small, nichey events, both underfunded and both failing to receive the attention they deserve," Bisson said when the merger was announced, and the eighth biennale postponed, in April, 2013. Taillefer, who is perhaps best known in Quebec as one of the panelists on the Radio-Canada version of Dragons' Den, told La Presse that, within 10 years, the new entity would be one of the "20 or 25 biennales that you absolutely have to see worldwide."

The former biennale "felt like an organization that had run out of breath," Fortin said, while acknowledging that for much of its life, she had been out of town or out of the country, most notably for a seven-year stint as editor-inchief of Atlanta-based Art Papers.

There, in the land of thin public subsidies, she learned how "not to worry about talking about money and asking for help." She also built a network of international connections that served her well when trying to conjure a new organization and large-scale art event in 13 months. But her first task on returning to Montreal last year was to persuade government agencies and the local community that the new independent biennale had a future.

In a way, "the future" had already arrived, as it was the theme chosen for the event postponed after Gingras's departure. The idea and its co-curators - Gregory Burke, former director of Toronto's Power Plant; independent curator Peggy Gale; and Lesley Johnstone and Marc Lanctôt, both curators at MACM - were retained for the current biennale. Ten of the 20 artists they had chosen for the 2013 event were also kept, Fortin said, although with different projects, more in keeping with the new event's larger scale.

The biennale's title - L'avenir (looking forward) - is timely, she said, because of what she called a 15-year period of "archival fever in contemporary art. Everything has been about digging in the past, which is very important, but what do you do with it? How do you begin to think about what the next step is? There's been an unwillingness to dare to think about the future."

The future has a peculiar resonance in Montreal, where Expo 67's date-stamped vision of a shiny, engineered Terre des Hommes still lingers in public consciousness - and on the skyline, in Buckminster Fuller's landmark geodesic dome. Burke's curatorial statement says that several biennale artists focus instead on failed utopias, the end of the modernist adventure, and even "a loss of futurity" - the notion that "we are in an epoch that has gone beyond a point of no return."

Fortin prefers to think of the event as "a rehearsal space for possible futures" - as well she might, given the recent history of her organization. She said she hasn't yet given a thought to what the next biennale might bring in 2016. "The main thing is to listen, pay close attention, see what does or doesn't get understood this time, and work from there."

L'avenir (looking forward), the eighth Biennale de Montréal, continues at various locations around Montreal through Jan. 4, 2015.


Illusions & Mirrors, Shirin Neshat

The Iranian-American's wordless video installation has a dream-like air, as a woman (Oscar-winner Natalie Portman) pursues a man - or the idea of one - across a beach and into a grand house where shadows of the past, or actual people, await. (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) .

Preuzmimo Bencic (Take back Bencic), Althea Thauberger

The Vancouver-based video artist persuaded authorities in Rijeka, Croatia, to let her and local children take over an abandoned 19th-century factory before its renovation as a cultural centre. The children dance, sing and re-enact the hopes that animated the factory as a communal workplace in postwar Yugoslavia, and the disappointments of the Balkans war era. (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal) .

Hexen 2.0, Suzanne Treister

Britain's Treister renders the intellectual prehistory of the wired age through coloured drawings of a tarot deck, tracing influences from Henry David Thoreau to cybernetics guru Norbert Wiener to NASA scientist James Lovelock, as a way to fix the environment through technology. (MACM) .

Murs aveugles (Blind walls), Isabelle Hayeur

Montrealer Hayeur's outdoor projection features a slogans, graffiti and graphics related to the Occupy movement that burst forth in the city and around the world in 2011. (StLaurent Métro station) .

Associated Graphic

La Biennale de Montréal features works by 50 artists and collectives from 22 countries, including the film Preuzmimo Bencic by Vancouver-based Althea Thauberger, featuring Croatian children.

Iconic brands' wide moats are drying up
Many investors have been overestimating the competitive strengths of some of the biggest of the blue chips
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B13

They are companies with dominant brands and lengthy histories of creating wealth for their shareholders. Their competitive strengths are so great, they are said to have "wide economic moats" - or significant barriers to entry by competitors. Some investors say these are the kinds of companies you can own "forever."

They are International Business Machines Corp., Coca-Cola Co., and McDonald's Corp. All three have been showing weakness for years. This week, though, they reported results that, coupled with stark management commentary scaling back profit expectations for the next few years, jolted many investors into realizing that there's something deeply wrong.

Their troubles also raise a point that transcends even these three iconic names: Many investors have been overestimating the competitive strengths of some of the biggest of the blue chips. Certainly, they have great company: Warren Buffett counts IBM and Coca-Cola among his four biggest, multibillion-dollar positions, and Morningstar, the research firm that has made "economic moats" a cornerstone of its research, maintains its "wide moat" rating on all three.

Increasingly, though, it seems future gains in these shares will come only if company management recognizes its problems and has the means to fix them.

"What we're seeing from a consumer packaged-goods perspective is that the value of a brand is on the decline, and the brand has been, for a very long time, these companies' moats," said BernsteinResearch analyst Ali Dibadj, referring to Coke, Procter & Gamble's Tide and other iconic brands. These brands were once aspirational or symbolic of great quality, but the products are now commoditized, and private-label goods provide higher-quality competition than before, he said. And the moat of controlled distribution has narrowed as e-commerce has risen.

"In response to that, companies have gone through several rounds of cost-cutting to try to reinvest into the top line to rebuild those moats," said Mr. Dibadj. "But many of them are running out of costs to cut, so you're seeing the end of the runway closer and closer in."

As North American consumers increasingly turn away from its core products, Coca-Cola said this week it would fail to meet its long-term earnings growth goals in 2014 and reduced its long-term revenue-growth numbers, part of its "2020 Vision" plan. The first item on CEO Muhtar Kent's list of reasons for the results, though, was a "more challenging macro environment," rather than an acknowledgement of strategic missteps.

McDonald's had its worst U.S. same-store sales performance in a decade in September because fewer people walked in the doors. Earnings fell in the third quarter by 30 per cent compared with the prior year. In a nod to evidence that young customers prefer chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., CEO Don Thompson said the company would work to allow customers greater personalization of their meals, "with locally relevant ingredients."

IBM is not a consumer-products company, but it has a powerful brand (the standard line used to be, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM"). And yet, fewer companies are selecting Big Blue. IBM missed its quarterly earnings badly and was forced to abandon a long-stated goal of $20 in earnings per share, a number that would have been achieved primarily through share buybacks, not revenue growth, as sales have been flat. CEO Virginia Rometty has emphasized a move to "cloud" computing services, but that business represents a tiny fraction of IBM's nearly $100-billion (U.S.) in annual revenue.

The companies' sheer sizes are a key part of the bullish argument about their competitive positions. Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck cites "brand-driven intangible assets and strong cost advantages as the largest beverage company in the world" for his "wide moat" rating for CocaCola, which remained unchanged this week. Morningstar's R.J. Hottovy says he will review the brand-based component of McDonald's "wide moat" rating, but he says its "strong brand equity, cohesive franchisee system and tremendous scale" justify the rating. And Morningstar's Peter Wahlstrom says IBM is an "industry leader" in enterprise software, services and hardware, and the combination of these products and services is key to the firm's unique, wide economic moat.

And yet that scale makes it so difficult to post meaningful sales growth. Even worse, it locks the companies into a certain way of doing business.

"I think a lot of these large companies, Coke included, have to think of themselves as at the endpoints, like tobacco [companies]," says Mr. Dibadj. "Volume isn't growing, so cut a bunch of costs and return it to shareholders. The fulcrum of these companies, the pivot point, is when they decide they're not growth companies anymore."

Mr. Dibadj thinks Coca-Cola is beginning to understand that, as evidenced by the $3-billion target in annual cost savings that its CEO cited this week.

McDonald's strategic plans, announced this week, are more confounding. At the same time the company wants to increase customer choice, it wants to simplify its menu because it had too many complicated items slowing down service times, particularly at its busy drive-thrus. Many of McDonald's unsuccessful items were the healthy salads and other new foods designed to appeal to people who wanted something other than the traditional burgers.

And IBM? The company made a historically successful pivot away from commoditized PCs and into high-margin computer consulting services. Cloud computing, with its simple, quickly evolving off-the-shelf software products, is the antithesis of IBM's core business. As more companies embrace the cloud, there's less demand for what IBM has to offer.

In all three cases, there are competitors swimming across these moats, getting closer than many of these companies have admitted.

The recent underperformance of IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonald's stock, coupled with their long histories of creating investor wealth, may make the shares seem cheap. But investors who buy now may have a long wait for the good times to return - if they ever do.

Disclosure: The author owns shares in P&G and Berkshire Hathaway.


Close: $162.08 (U.S.), down 10¢

Coca-Cola (KO)

Close: $41.03 (U.S.), up 17¢

McDonald's (MCD)

Close: $91.67 (U.S.), up 65¢


Coca-Cola, McDonald's and IBM have long been considered dominant names. But all three announced deeply disappointing results this week, reinforcing the fact that they've been trailing their large-cap peers for some time.

Associated Graphic

Coca-Cola said this week it would fail to meet its long-term earnings growth goals in 2014.



Commercial spaces bring life to social housing
New business can help revitalize a street, provide jobs - or even create a sense of community by offering inline skating
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B11

VANCOUVER -- The brand-new storefront space on the city's increasingly popular Main Street had sat empty for more than a year, even though the lease rate was cheap for Vancouver.

When Leon Basin was looking for a place to move his expanding inline skate shop from the edge of Chinatown a few blocks away, he realized quickly he could rent those right-sized premises for almost $35 a square foot, significantly less than the $42 to $45 in another new building a block away.

He hesitated briefly, but decided to go for it.

Why even hesitate?

The new home of his store, Shop Task, is on the ground floor of a social-housing building called First Place. Not just any social-housing building, but one of 14 being built in Vancouver exclusively for people who have been homeless or have some kind of significant problem that makes it difficult for them to get regular housing.

"It was a little bit of a concern," said Mr. Basin, six months after he relocated his business there in April. He said there's a bit more litter around the building than in other places, "but in a way, it's good too. I can open early or late or make noise and we are the last things on the minds of the people managing the building."

Mr. Basin's decision is one that more Vancouver businesses are considering as a wave of new social housing rolls over the city.

Besides the 14 towers it has built or is building, the province has acquired almost two dozen residential hotels in the city's Downtown Eastside. It has partnered with the city to pay for interim housing for the homeless in former chain hotels. And it has numerous social-housing projects that were completed in a previous wave of building. The city has also acquired a couple of hotels recently for interim housing that had businesses on the ground floor.

Creating vibrant commercial areas at the base of new social housing is an issue other cities face as well.

In Toronto's Regent Park, which is slowly being redeveloped from straight social housing to a mix of market condos, market rentals and subsidized rentals, a lot of businesses are mixed in deliberately. Sometimes the city is taking on the risk. In Regent Park and the future Lawrence Heights project, private developers are also asked to put in commercial spaces.

"[Commercial space] plays such an important role in forming a new community that it becomes a planning determinant," said Mark Guslits, an urban-development consultant who was involved in the Regent Park redesign. "Main streets are created. Community hubs. Courtyards. Squares. Parks. All potentially improved by commercial space. Particularly if it's space that is reflective of the real community and its cultural makeup."

For Regent, he said, that meant looking at commercial opportunities that aligned with an East Asian, West African, Muslim and Caribbean community.

In Vancouver, the city zoning in many of the areas where social housing is being built requires commercial space on the ground floors of any building going in, as part of the goal of creating active, mixed-use areas. So that means there's been a lot of square footage available to rent for businesses willing to move in.

Some spots have remained empty for years, like the ground floor of the Lux social-housing project. It sits dead centre in the middle of a gritty block of Hastings Street that has an impromptu flea market operating on the sidewalk almost 24 hours a day.

But others have filled up quickly and with a range of operators. On the ground floor of the Sorella project, which houses 108 women at risk of homelessness, a few blocks from the Lux, there's a sushi restaurant, a hairdresser and a Tim Hortons.

In Vancouver's expensive west side, where the province built a 51-unit project that has housed men who had been sleeping on the streets and beaches nearby, there's a pharmacy and homebuilder's office. On Main Street, next door to Shop Task is a vitamin store.

Those commercial spaces are being closely watched by residents and other businesses, because they can help bring life to a street or create a new problem.

Some groups have been critical that the city, which manages the commercial spaces in the province's towers, and BC Housing don't rent spaces to non-profit groups rather than keep them empty. BC Housing has since reassessed its policy and is now renting to non-profits that provide services to help local residents.

The city still has a strict marketvalue policy.

"People think we should just give these units away, but it's not financially feasible," says John Breckner, associate director in Vancouver's real-estate division.

The city's current rules dictate it has to get a return on money invested in these kinds of spaces.

The city also operates under a number of other restrictions. Mr. Breckner's department can't undercut nearby operations in order to get a space rented out. And he has to take into account what the community thinks a lot more than a normal leasing agent would.

"We're influenced by the public much more than a private guy," Mr. Breckner says.

Janice Abbott is the director of Atira Women's Resource Society, which owns the Sorella building.

Her non-profit also owns or manages numerous other low-income residences in the Downtown Eastside with commercial operations on the ground floor. Among them: the Lamplighter Pub and Jules, a French restaurant, both in Gastown.

It's important to her that the businesses coming in show some willingness to mesh with the existing community.

"I care that they're going to be respectful neighbours. Ideally they could provide a few jobs," Ms. Abbott said. Some don't manage even the first of those. She has dealt with at least one business whose employees make it clear they don't want residents from her project on their premises.

"It would be great if efforts were made that there's a requirement in the lease to contribute to the community somehow," Ms. Abbott said.

No one asked Mr. Basin at Shop Task to do that. But he is anyway.

Anyone who lives in the First Place building can get unlimited free skate rentals.

"It's a good cause if they want to exercise more often," he said. Not many have taken advantage of his offer yet. But he's keeping it open.

Associated Graphic

Leon Basin leases space for his inline skate store at the base of a new low-income housing tower on Vancouver's Main Street.


Autumn's rich, malty ales and Oktoberfest-style lagers are ideal tipples for an evening of jack-o'-lantern carving. Why not fill a pumpkin with one of them while you're at it?
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L13 @Beppi_Crosariol

I have a new favourite YouTube video. It has nothing to do with cats, which is a departure for me. A woman does things to a pumpkin with a paring knife.

She hollows it out from the top in the usual jack-o'-lantern way, then carves a single, small hole about the size of a dime in the side (roughly halfway between the widest "equator" point and the bottom). Into this hole, she inserts a plastic spigot, then pours several bottles of Samuel Adams Pumpkin Ale into the pumpkin. Presto: nature's perfect beer keg.

It may not be the sort of arts-and-crafts project suitable for your little Spider-Man or Cinderella at Halloween. But it's a fun trick for embellishing the adult treat I prefer at this time of year - rich, malty autumnal beer. In recent years, there's been speedy growth on Canadian shelves in two categories: pumpkin ales and so-called Oktoberfest-style lagers. They're both worth exploring, whether or not you can convince your brood that mommy and daddy's keg party is more important than carving a jack-o'-lantern for the porch.

You can easily guess what pumpkin ales might taste like.

But if you guessed pumpkin, you'd be slightly off the mark in most cases. The dominant fl avour tends to be not of the squash specifically but of pumpkin pie, the vehicle for most pumpkin-flesh consumption in North America. That means not only a rich, suggestive sweetness from the addition of actual pumpkin into the vat (these beers tend to be fairly dry, technically) but also a strong contribution from such baking spices as nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice.

Examples vary widely, with some decidedly un-pie-like - in keeping with the original pumpkin ales of 18th-century North America - and others so reliant on the spice rack that they skip pumpkin as an ingredient altogether. I generally prefer my brews heavy on rich pumpkin fl avour and light on spicing. Either way, these beers tend to be full and smooth, with moderate to low bitterness. They excel with cheeses.

A similarly broad spectrum can be found among Oktoberfest-style brews. What they have in common is a symbolic nod to Munich's mammoth annual beer festival, from which they take their name. And for the most part they are based, paradoxically, on a marzenbier - literally "March beer" - a reddish-brown, malt-forward and subtly hopped style usually weighing in at five- to six-percent alcohol.

March? Traditionally, much of the beer guzzled in copious, celebratory quantities in October came from kegs left over from spring. Before proper refrigeration, beer made in the summer tended to spoil because of all the active microbes in the air. To slake summer thirsts, German brewers would boost production in March, the last of the cold months, and stockpile casks for the warm season ahead. This marzenbier usually was crafted at higher alcohol so that it would keep better. By October, some of its aromatic hoppy bitterness would have faded, leaving a luscious, substantial, malt-forward brew that demanded to be consumed so that the barrels could be emptied and once again receive freshly made beer as the fall brewing season ramped up.

Celebrate Oktober - tap that pumpkin.

Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale (U.S.A.) SCORE: 93 PRICE: $2.50/355 ml

From an excellent New York brewery, this clear, deep-amber beer is impressively complex and balanced. Flavours of peaches, apple, nutmeg and other spices take a ride on a pumpkin carriage. It's restrained and elegant for a flavoured brew. Available in Ontario. $15.45 for a six-pack in B.C.

Tree Brewing Jumpin Jack India Pumpkin Ale (British Columbia) SCORE: 92 PRICE: $5.45/650 ml in B.C.

Tree Brewing has wisely balanced pumpkin with strongly bitter hops. Based on hyper-bitter India pale ale, this dark, cloudy-amber brew suggests peach, pine and citrus rind as well as subtle pumpkin essence and baking spices, as though Thanksgiving pie were cooling on a window ledge in an orchard near a spruce forest. It measures 6.5-per-cent alcohol. $5.35 in Ontario, $5.44 in Manitoba.

Shepherd Neame Spooks Ale (England) SCORE: 92 PRICE: $3.35/500 ml

The name might frighten a person into believing this may be little more than a novelty. Bury the thought. The colour is beautiful, ruby-brown and clear, and the texture seductively silky. Malt-forward yet not overly sweet, it shows moderate carbonation and roasted, biscuit-like overtones and caramel as well as a strong, citrus-hop bitterness. At just 4.7-per-cent alcohol, it's not scary at all. Available in Ontario.

Grand River Brewing Highballer Pumpkin Ale (Ontario) SCORE: 91 PRICE: $3.95/500 ml

Grand River's owner, Bob Hanenberg, grows pumpkins for this brew in his garden. I hope he gets a handsome tax writeoff because pumpkins, in my experience, take up a heck of a lot of precious garden space. Hazy orangeamber, the Cambridge, Ont. brew is the colour of a jack-o'-lantern. Spices come through in the aroma but are more subtle on the palate. It's smooth and creamy, with discernible pumpkin flavour along with cinnamon and nutmeg. Everything's integrated, supported by 5.2-per-cent alcohol. Available in Ontario. $5.04 in Newfoundland.

St-Ambroise Citrouille (Quebec) SCORE: 90 PRICE: $9.95/four-pack

There's a good balance here of pumpkin flavour with aromatic cinnamon and clove. The profile is refreshingly dry for a pumpkin brew.

It's flavourful yet clean, with five-percent alcohol. Available in B.C. and Ontario.

Creemore Springs Oktoberfest Lager (Ontario) SCORE: 89 PRICE: $5.95/625 ml

There's not much foamy head retention, which is likely to count as a drawback with beer enthusiasts, for whom appearance tends to count for much. I like the dry, grain, fall-foliage character in this 5.4-percent brew, subtle though it may be. Creemore seems to do that especially well. And it's creamy, with a moderately hoppy backbone to support notes of apricot and apple. Available in Ontario.

Rickard's Lederhosen (Canada) SCORE: 87 PRICE: $9.50/four-pack

This is a Molson brand and thus this new seasonal brew has some convincing to do where craft-beer aficionados are concerned. It's a good effort with a nice marketing slogan: "Grab fall by the stein." A dark-amber lager registering an impressive 6.5-per-cent alcohol, it's rich, slightly sweet and velvety, with pronounced caramel maltiness, dried date and a hint of butterscotch supported by moderate bitterness. Well done. Available in Ontario.

Brock university's sport management program has helped a few grads find high-profile jobs in the field. But the transferable skills learned can mean career choices in other arenas
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P32

"MY FIRST OR SECOND DAY at school, basically they said, probably none of you are ever going to be the general manager of a professional team," says Cory Wray, who enrolled at Brock University's sports management program in 2002.

But a few people who took the specialized program have come close: Mr. Wray, 29, is the senior manager of team operations for Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and his fellow student, Kyle Dubas, 28, made headlines when the Toronto Maple Leafs recently hired him as one of the youngest assistant general managers in the National Hockey League. Their trajectories are examples of what happens when people who are interested in a specific career, such as sports, pursue it as far as they can with the help of a specialized degree.

When they enrolled, Mr. Dubas was a scout with the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, and Mr. Wray was working in a Mississauga soccer store.

And while becoming the general manager of a professional team may or may not be in their futures, taking a degree in sports management revealed the true breadth of the career spectrum they were about to embark on. "None of us are, or maybe never will be, [a GM]," says Mr. Wray, "but it hit home that this is about a lot more than just wheeling and dealing and doing trades."

After being hired away from the Greyhounds last month, Mr. Dubas will be fully immersed in the player-acquisition side of his sport. Having worked for the OHL team since he was 11, the Soo native - and Ottawa Senators fan - had always dreamed of becoming an NHL GM, and felt that a specialized degree in sports management at the St. Catharines, Ont.-based school could only assist in achieving that goal.

"While I was working [for the Greyhounds] I'd decided that I definitely wanted to work in sports and thought that the Brock University degree was the best way for me to further my own education and to give myself the best chance to continue to work in sports and have a career in sports," he says.

But Mr. Dubas will be the first to admit that getting to where he is takes a lot more than just going to class.

"You need to really get as much experience as you can and the education and the program can serve as something that can augment your abilities and they give you lots of opportunities to find your way and find your career but it's not easy," he admits. "You're not just going to exit and get a job in hockey operations or anything like that.

"It's a long road, it's not just because you walk out with your degree that you're going to have the job that you've dreamed of your whole life."

For those who have a clear idea of where they want to go though, enrolling into a specialized degree such as sports management can pay solid dividends down the road.

"The pros of going into a specialized program are if the student has specific career goals, specialized education can help you learn the fundamentals skills of the profession," says Susanne Thorup, manager of career and planning services at Concordia University in Montreal.

It can give you some of those skills and it can be beneficial when going on the job market and it also can provide more of a linear career path; you kind of know what career you're going into."

As a die-hard soccer nut, Mr. Wray certainly knew where he wanted to go. The problem was top-level professional soccer didn't exist in Canada in 2002 when he first went off to Brock. At the time, Mr. Wray felt that he may have to relocate to Europe.

But Toronto FC came into being right around the time that Mr. Wray was looking for an internship as part of his degree, and, even though the team had no stadium and just one player, it eventually offered the Mississauga native a four-month internship with the team. That eventually turned into a part-time contract position in game-day operations, where he performed exciting tasks, such as getting coffee, photocopying and wearing a sumo suit during a halftime show.

"Being in Toronto, the largest city in Canada, a lot of people want to work here but obviously there's not an unlimited amount of jobs, so the path getting to where you might want to get [is never clearly defined]," he says. "I was very fortunate because of timing, because of a number of different things, but in this organization, you can get in at a number of different levels and work your way around. Good work is hard to hide."

But that work doesn't necessarily have to be in a sports capacity. Like other specialized degrees, the sports management degree taught transferable skills, such as business, management, economics, sport law, finance, or as Kirsty Spence, associate professor in sport management at Brock, calls it, "a liberal arts degree in sports management."

Having taught both Mr. Dubas and Mr. Wray, Ms. Spence is happy to see the pair blaze their trails through the sporting stratosphere, along with fellow Brock sport management graduate Andrew Tinnish, now the assistant general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, but says that going into sports isn't a prerequisite.

"We definitely have a number of students who graduate and then go on to non-sport-related work, but the skills are extremely transferable to mainstream or educational settings," she says. "We have a number of students who end up wanting to go into teaching or into the financial sector as financial planners, and so on."

Chantelle Grant is another graduate of the sport management program at Brock. Though she is the deputy manager in accreditation for next year's Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Southern Ontario, she knows that once those events end, she'll be looking for a new job, and it doesn't necessarily have to be in sports.

"I've had a lot of people approaching me from other industries," says the Mississauga native. "Once you can manage relationships, you can take that anywhere, so I've had people from RBC and CIBC come and I'd never thought of working for a bank, but once you have that relationship management and client service experience, it does transfer to other industries."

Associated Graphic

Hard work and a degree in sports management helped Cory Wray land his dream job with TFC.



Food for Thought
Campuses try creative strategies to woo students to healthy eating habits
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page P35

SIMPLY GETTING STUDENTS TO EAT at campus establishments became chef and food activist Joshna Maharaj's main concern when she became executive chef and assistant head of Ryerson University's food services in August last year.

Following a messy divorce with Toronto-based Aramark Canada Ltd. as the downtown Toronto school's cafeteria and catering operator last summer - which reportedly cost Ryerson as much as $5.6-million over a five-year period - food services on the downtown Toronto campus had become a political lightning rod between the faculty and the students. The onus fell on Ms. Maharaj to turn things around.

"My recommendation was around the idea that institutions actually need to invest more in their food service," she says. "The problem is that we have been outsourcing it all completely and letting operators take the complete lead and I don't think that's the right fit.

"I really heavily pushed for us to paint the utopian picture of what we wanted this good-food picture to look like. Those included things like sharp minimums on purchasing from local, sustainable suppliers, and steady growth in that over the years of the contract, a real push towards scratch cooking, a focus on seasonal menus and more conscious engagement with the campus ... because I really want to rebuild the culture of food on this campus."

A chef by trade, Ms. Maharaj had been busy revamping hospital menus before Ryerson came calling, but she went to work right away, helping write up the RFP that was ultimately won by Chartwells, part of Britain-based Compass Group. One of her recommendations was bringing on board roughly 29 new, mainly local suppliers, and shorter payment terms for those suppliers, recognizing the fact that many are small family farms that need money on a more frequent basis.

She also instituted a water bottle-free campus as of last September, harnessed her kitchen staff to become scratch cooks rather than specialists in reheating food, and instituted the Friendly Five, a daily $5 meal in three of the cafés on campus - "I made a promise it would never be a slice of pizza and a bag of chips."

Given the plethora of eating options surrounding Ryerson's campus - Ms. Maharaj estimates that there are 300 eating outlets within a 10-minute walking radius - the level of competition for student food dollars is extremely high, and it doesn't help that out of 36,000-plus students, only 800 are residents of the school.

"I want to suggest a vibe or an idea that says eating on campus is actually a political act because you're supporting a more equitable labour system and a more sustainable food system," she says.


She's not alone in the Canadian university system. To better provide for, and educate, students at the University of British Columbia, an on-campus farm was instituted, complete with thrice-weekly farmers markets to provide fresh, locally sourced and sustainable food to the students, and local residents, around UBC's Vancouver campus. But the idea is about more than feeding the young minds studying at the university.

"Mostly we try to bring the students along the whole seed-to-plate continuum," says Véronik Campbell, academic programs manager at the UBC farm. "So we make sure they're involved at the growing stage of the food. Through their classes, I'm going to work with instructors to make sure students are actually going to be asking questions about how we grow the food and they can come and grow the food with us during the growing season to get a sense of how that works."

The farm teaches between 2,400 and 2,600 students annually about what goes into the food production chain, with credit being awarded for helping out on the farm, which grows about 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables.


The University of Ottawa, along with its neighbour, Carleton University, teamed with the Ottawa Good Food Box about five or six years ago to ensure that its students get access to cheap, locally sourced and nutritious food through the program's monthly food delivery.

About 40 students during the school year pay between $5 and $25 for a box full of fruits and vegetables. Taylor Davidson, a summer assistant at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, estimates that the program offers a saving of about 30 per cent over regular grocery-store costs. One issue: The content of the box varies, so some students may not know how to use everything in it. Luckily, the program also offers cooking classes the day after the box is delivered.

It helps students "deal with what's in their box and get a little creative," Ms. Davidson says.


Creativity is certainly the name of the game at Trent University's Seasoned Spoon Café. The on-campus cafe at the Peterborough, Ont., university is a student-driven, not-for-profit co-operative offering local, organic vegetarian food. The cafe is also big on food education, offering courses and workshops to students, and employs 12 students and 40 volunteers to run the kitchen and organize events.

"It is quite different from what you'll find in the cafeterias," says Aimee Blyth, the Seasoned Spoon's manager. "Also all the other work that we're doing around making food affordable and accessible and making food skills accessible I think is ... quite unique to the Spoon."

In addition to having its own vegetable gardens and root cellar, the Spoon also fosters a sense of inclusivity through its membership scheme, all part of what Ms. Blyth describes as a "very active food culture at Trent."

The university itself also switched its food service provider earlier this year, and under its new contract with Chartwells, Trent will be offering such options as a carryover of credit on student meal plans and, like Ryerson, a $5 value meal option for students on a budget. The university is also trying to survive on fewer franchises, but acknowledges that tactic brings its own challenges, as franchises generate substantial revenue for food services as a whole.

"With food services, it's always a bit challenging because you have a number of competing things that you want," says Nona Robinson, associate vice-president of students at Trent. "One is sustainability and also supporting local farmers; another is very good value for money, and another is highly nutritious and also very delicious food."

Associated Graphic

More schools such as Ryerson are focused on creating a culture of food on campus.

UBC features an on-campus farm and regular markets.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

'This very hallway had been the scene of a tribute for soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Now guards were moving down it hunting a shooter '
Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Print Edition, Page E1

It was a typical morning in Parliament, as Wednesdays go - the MPs filed into Centre Block for their weekly caucus meetings. Terrorism was front of mind. The Justice Minister stopped and told reporters he was exploring whether to give police new powers to monitor suspects. That's the story I thought I'd file.

Instead, I would soon hear banging and screaming, see smoke and smell gunpowder. I would pull out my cellphone and begin recording, walking into the Hall of Honour connecting the rotunda to the Library of Parliament. Guards were hunting a shooter, rather than chasing one.

Minutes earlier, I'd been sitting in an alcove, just out of sight of the rotunda, headphones in my ears. I was typing. When the banging began, my first thought seemed more plausible than gunfire - I thought a bookshelf had fallen. I took the headphones off as a second bang followed, and many more. Then came the screaming. "Gunfire in pariament [sic]," I tweeted at 9:54 a.m.

As I peered toward the rotunda, I saw the smoke. Witnesses scrambled past me, fleeing toward the House of Commons side of the building as officers drew their weapons, looking down the Hall of Honour - in many ways a spine of the building, with the House on one side and Senate on the other. It seemed no one knew where the suspect was.

I pulled out my BlackBerry and started recording. I walked toward the rotunda and could hear officers talking. The rotunda has a door out toward the lawn, one the public can use freely as an exit and that MPs, staff and parliamentary journalists can go in and out of with no more than an ID card. There's no metal detector and only a handful of guards. Typically, two right at the door. All signs were the gunman came in that way.

Now, guns drawn, the guards began moving down the hallway.

I stopped recording, followed and restarted.

The next video is one you may have seen - it's been widely played in the hours I've since spent locked down in Parliament.

I was following officers going down the hall, which has pillars, alcoves, two hallways at the end on either side before reaching the Library of Parliament - a stunning enclave that's a retreat for many of us on Parliament Hill. A place of calm.

This very hallway had been the scene of a tribute for soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Now guards were moving down it hunting a shooter.

The first door, on the left, is where the Conservatives were having their weekly caucus meeting - the Prime Minister was speaking when the gunfire erupted. To the right was the NDP meeting. More than 300 MPs and senators could, in theory, have been in those rooms.

Police walked on, and I inched forward. Then another round of shooting broke out.

I ducked for cover to the left of the hallway - that's why the camera shook - while holding the phone out and recording. To be honest, it is a blur. I slid out to a pillar as the shooting continued - most or all of it from guards, aimed toward the library. I heard maybe two dozen shots. Afterward, I turned off the video to tweet photos of what, to me, appeared to be a body. I presume, but don't know, that was the shooter, whom I hadn't seen until then.

An officer pushed me away from the body, and I held my ground, and we argued about my right to be there. I relented and went back to where other journalists - most of them holding TV cameras - had gathered. I texted my fiancée and my parents, letting them know I was safe. We were held in the foyer, where Ottawa Police tactical officers arrived shortly afterward. They aimed their guns at the journalists, screaming to get down on the ground and put our hands up. They quickly moved on. We were moved briefly into the House of Commons lobby - my first time, as journalists aren't usually allowed there - and then down the steps to a ground-level corner of the building, near windows, which we were told to stay away from.

We began to talk - what did we see? What didn't we see? Is everyone safe? Some saw a man with what looked like a rifle. I didn't. One officer told us a guard had been shot in the leg but was okay, and that another was unhurt - shot in the pant leg. Officers periodically came by, sweeping the building with guns or batons - possibly a stun gun - drawn. An MP, who had her infant with her, was swept away to safety. We waited.

After several hours, we were taken to a holding room. Again, it was clear there was no firm plan. I was taken in without being searched or identified. One MP in the room came over and spoke to me, worried that an accomplice or even a shooter could be among the crowd. It seems the crowd was created simply by the room-toroom sweep of the building. We didn't know if we had a shooter in our midst.

As night fell, as I write this, we are still in lockdown. They eventually took MPs and senators out of the holding room first - not the elderly or children, which struck me as just another sign of the confusion. We were told we'd be brought to another building for questioning and to give witness statements.

The people in this room are shaken, confused, exhausted.

Mostly we are just bored and waiting. The reality of being at the heart of the attack is we didn't have all that much information about it - a TV in the corner played updates, and a hush fell over the room when the big news conference began. It was all new to me.

I watched that video again afterward, after it had been on a loop for hours. It seemed new to me, too. The Hall of Honour becoming the site of a crime, the threshold of the library now the scene of an apparent fatality. At least two people are dead in all, one I likely saw and the other a soldier whose photo I saw online. That will take time to sink in. It was chaotic, and heartbreaking. I can't imagine Wednesdays here will ever be quite the same.

Associated Graphic

The Conservative Party was having a caucus meeting near where gunfire erupted on Parliament Hill.



MPs are transported from Parliament.


Dividend stocks look hot, but beware
Thanks to last week's broad equity selloff, yields are soaring above 10-year bonds - though the risk of rate reversal still looms
Special to the Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B10

This is what was supposed to have happened: A recovery in global markets, led by the United States, would finally push up interest rates. Bond yields and rates on money-market funds and bank deposits would rise, making them more appealing to incomeoriented investors. In turn, dividend-paying stocks would lose appeal, because the downside risk of equities couldn't justify their single-digit yields.

Maybe it'll still happen in 2015, as was widely thought. But it sure didn't start this week.

Instead, all the relevant markets reversed course. Equities sold off and interest rates fell as bond prices rose. And, as a result, there was a sharp increase in the number of stocks, in Canada and particularly in the U.S., with dividend yields that beat 10-year government bonds.

Many investors will look back on this week and see a bloodbath. Some, who feel this is a blip, rather than a first step to a market collapse, will see it as a chance to buy.

"People are panicking and getting out of all equities, good and bad," says Renato Anzovino, manager of the Heward Canadian Dividend Growth Fund. "Nobody likes when the markets go down, but we've been in a higher cash position than normal, and we're using this as an opportunity to add to positions of what we think are great quality companies [whose shares] have come down."

First, let's review some basic math. As investors buy bonds, driving their prices up, yields decline. That's certainly what happened this week, as investors stampeded into nearly risk-free government bonds and sold off their stocks.

As investors sell dividend-paying stocks as part of a broad equity selloff, their prices decline and the dividend yield, the dividend expressed as a percentage of the stock's price, rises.

When these things happen simultaneously, the dividend yields of blue-chip stocks rise as bond yields fall, providing a more appealing return. Mr. Anzovino's fund now yields an average of about 3.25 per cent, or more than 50-per-cent higher than the rate on the 10-year Canadian note.

"There are no stocks out there that are risk-free, but the ones I focus on are companies with recurring revenue and the ability to grow profits on a regular basis," Mr. Anzovino says.

"In Canada, we have some highquality stocks paying dividends yielding 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, and with the dividend tax credit, you're getting a bond equivalent of over 4 per cent. That's really, really interesting."

Here are some numbers that show just how dramatic the past few weeks' action has been. At the beginning of 2014, there were 92 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 that had a dividend yield higher than the 3.03 per cent rate on a 10-year Treasury note. (The 10-year note is a better comparison than a 30-year note, because 10 years is a far more reasonable holding period for a long-term investor in equities.)

Even as the markets climbed in 2014, the 10-year rate fell, so 134 stocks beat the note as of Sept. 19, the S&P 500's high. But at the close of Thursday's trading, a little less than a month from that high mark for equities, 86 more stocks have joined the list, bringing the number of bond-beaters to 220. (All of these results come courtesy of the screening tool on S&P Capital IQ.)

The results are a little less dramatic in Canada, where there's a greater emphasis on healthy dividends among the country's blue chips. (A greater proportion of the S&P/TSX 60 pays dividends, and the dividends are relatively larger, than the members of the S&P 500.).

At the beginning of the year, 31 members of the TSX 60 topped the 2.76-per-cent rate on the 10year Canadian note. With the rate dropping to 1.93 per cent Thursday, that number has now climbed to 38.

"We have been though an unprecedented decline in overall interest rates. It was my call, and many peoples' call, that rates would rise in 2014, so egg on our faces for getting it wrong," said John Stephenson at Stephenson & Co. Capital Management. "But it misses the broader point that rates will at some point go up.

They have to. And when they do, your fixed-income investments will lose money and lose money big."

If all of this sounds familiar, it's because it's not a new theme. Our Vox column noted this phenomenon in August, 2011, soon after Standard & Poor's downgraded the United States' credit rating and stocks swooned. At that time, the 10-year note yielded a thenrecord-low 2.14 per cent - the same as Wednesday - and more than 200 stocks' dividend yields beat it out.

It got even better in June, 2012, when the 10-year dipped to 1.5 per cent. More than 300 companies beat that mark with their dividend yields, we noted at the time.

Even with the recent pullback in the S&P 500, the index is still up roughly 60 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively from those two columns. Neither predicted such stellar returns; both warned, in fact that stocks could continue to slide.

But the advice then is apropos once again: "The price of safety is high. The price of potential equity returns has gotten lower. Choose according to your needs."


These members of the S&P/ TSX 60 couldn't beat the rates on the Canadian 10-year government bond when 2014 began. Now, owing to market forces and, in some cases, an increased payout, their dividend yields exceed the government-bond rate.

Bombardier (2.79 per cent)

Cameco (2.15 per cent)

Canadian Natural Resources (2.33 per cent)

Manulife Financial (3.09 per cent)

SNC-Lavalin Group (2.01 per cent)

Suncor Energy (2.97 per cent)

Talisman Energy (4.08 per cent)

Source: Standard & Poor's CapitalIQ.


Investors were expecting a recovery to push up interest rates in 2015, making dividend-paying stocks less appealing. This week's markets sent things in the other direction, as falling rates and declining share prices made hundreds of dividend-paying stocks look attractive compared with puny bond yields.

Associated Graphic

Thanks in part to last week's selloff, Canadian airplane maker Bombardier Inc.'s dividend now soars well above the 1.93-per-cent return of 10-year Canadian bonds.



Defoe vents after disappointing season
Toronto striker led the team with 11 goals, but was injured for part of the season and now says he may have to undergo surgery
The Canadian Press
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- Unable to do his talking on the pitch, a frustrated Jermain Defoe did some venting Thursday.

The Toronto FC star said he may have to undergo an operation because of the persistent groin injury that has kept him out of 10 of the past 14 games. And the 32year-old England striker says he is upset that some have questioned both his commitment to the club and whether he is really injured.

"There are a few fans that have said certain things and I'm like 'well that's a bit harsh,' but obviously I would never retaliate," he told reporters. "But at the same time, I think if you do want someone to stay at a football club, at least support them. At least show them that you want them to be here."

Defoe, sounding more hurt than angry during his 11-minute conversation with reporters, repeated he has never come out and said publicly that he wants to leave a club. But he has stopped short of saying he will be back in Toronto next season.

"At the end of the day, I don't know what the future holds," he said. "But what I would say is that I was desperate to get into the playoffs. It's something I would love to experience."

Toronto (11-14-8) was eliminated from playoff contention last weekend and will watch the postseason from the sidelines for the eighth straight year.

Defoe leads Toronto with 11 goals in 19 games but has not scored since July 16. He has played just 387 minutes, over five six games, since then.

Head coach Greg Vanney said he has not heard that Defoe is unhappy or wants to move on.

But he said his star striker, after a season to experience the unique nature of MLS's travel and schedule, has to make up his mind now.

"Because there's a lot on the line, the club has done a lot for him, and he needs to be all-in," Vanney said. "If he's not all-in, then we have to come up with a solution and we need to find another solution for the club."

Defoe's future has been up in the air since Toronto turned down a club-record transfer bid at the end of the summer window. The new transfer window opens in January.

Defoe said such speculation is normal in Europe during the transfer window, when clubs regularly go after players.

"I can understand fans would be frustrated. Because as a fan I think I'd be a little bit frustrated, not with the player but with the situation where potentially, maybe a player could be leaving, a player that's not been here that long. So yeah, I can understand that. But at the same time I think what people need to realize is I never once came out publicly and said I want to leave the club."

Defoe did not help himself after the transfer window closed Sept. 1, limiting himself to a pair of tweets from England, where his injury was being treated, before meeting the media in Toronto on Sept. 24.

Vanney agreed that the information void did not help cap speculation.

"He could definitely have helped himself if he would have jumped out publicly immediately saying 'Hang on a second, I want to be here. There's nothing to this other than I need to get right.' I clearly think that would have helped himself for sure."

The transfer window, coupled with Defoe's injury and rumours from England led to "a perfect storm of events that is easy for people to draw a conclusion that he's not engaged or not wanting to be here," said Vanney. "I can say just personally, from his mouth to ours, I've never heard that he doesn't want to be here."

Asked if he had been unfairly characterized this year, Defoe replied "100 per cent."

"Throughout my career, I've never been criticized with my commitment because I love football," he said. "I always say I'm part of the old school, where I came from and how my parents brought me up. Not just my mom, my grandparents and everyone.

"And then you read things.

Obviously social media is powerful and I see things from the fans.

I try not to read it. But I'm only human and obviously I want to read things. And you want people to like you. You want the fans to realize that you love playing for the club and you love football.

But I suppose people over here don't really know me as well as the people back home."

Vanney will presumably hear Defoe's intentions for 2015 at endof-season player meetings.

"Candidly I'm not really sure what to expect," he said when asked whether he expects Defoe to be in training camp. "I know he plays the game, he wants to be successful, I know he wants to score goals.

"What I'm not sure is now that he's spent a year in the league, what are his true feelings about this league and the decision that he's made and does want to really see this out?" Vanney knows that the club is much better with a healthy Defoe.

Toronto went 6-0-2 this year when Defoe scored.

"He is a fantastic player when all things are right for him, so if we can get that guy back, I'll take him," he said.

Defoe will miss out on Saturday's season finale in New England because of his groin injury and plans to see a specialist in Germany. A sports hernia operation may be in the cards.

"It's something that I need fixing, because it's stopping me from what I really want to do in games," he said. "The main thing for me is shooting. At the minute, I'm shooting with pain."

Defoe said it came to a head two games ago against the New York Red Bulls, the last time he played.

"I really struggled," he said. "In the second half, it wasn't really Jermain Defoe. I couldn't really turn sharp, I couldn't really hit any shots. I was just trying to adapt my game, basically just to be on the pitch, just trying to help the team. But in a way, not helping myself because I couldn't perform how I normally do."

Associated Graphic

Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe told media Thursday he is upset some fans have questioned his commitment to the club.


Flags raised over a milk-substitute diet
Toronto-based study finds that children who avoid drinking cow's milk are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L7

If your child is allergic to milk, can't tolerate lactose (the natural sugar in milk) or eats a vegetarian diet, non-dairy beverages are popular replacements for cow's milk.

But research from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto suggests young kids who drink rice, almond, soy or goat's milk are at risk for vitamin D deficiency.

According to the study, published Oct. 20 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, children who drank only non-dairy beverages were more than twice as likely to have vitamin D levels inadequate to build strong bones compared with milk-only drinkers. The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Vitamin D supports the normal development of bones and teeth by helping the body absorb calcium from foods and supplements. Too little vitamin D can lead to low calcium levels in the blood, causing the body to pull calcium from the bones to replace what's missing in the bloodstream. In young children, vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a condition causing the bones to become soft and weak and potentially leading to bone deformities. In older kids (as well as adolescents and adults), inadequate vitamin D can increase the risk of bone fractures. Vitamin D also helps muscles contract, supports the immune system, reduces inflammation and may be important for heart health and, possibly, cancer prevention.

For the study, researchers looked at differences in blood levels of vitamin D associated with drinking cow's milk and noncow's milk among 2,831 healthy children, aged one to six, living in Toronto. Among children who drank only non-dairy beverages, 11 per cent had a vitamin D level below what's required for adequate bone health compared with 4.7 per cent of milk drinkers, even after accounting for factors that influence vitamin D levels, such as body weight, vitamin D supplementation, use of margarine, skin colour and outdoor playtime.

Vitamin D status is determined by measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the bloodstream; 25-hydroxyvitamin D reflects vitamin D from food, supplements and sun exposure. The Institute of Medicine suggests that a target above 50 nmol/L is sufficient for healthy bone development.

Even milk drinkers in the study who also drank non-dairy beverages had lower levels of vitamin D than if they just stuck to drinking cow's milk.

These findings suggest that substituting cow's milk with milk alternatives that lack vitamin D, or are lower in vitamin D than milk, could put children at risk for complications of vitamin D deficiency.

In Canada and the United States, cow's milk is required by law to be fortified with 100 IU (international units) of vitamin D per 250 ml. (The only other food with mandatory vitamin D fortification is margarine, with 50 IU per two teaspoons.) Because milk fortification is legislated, vitamin D content is monitored by the government.

Fortification of plant-based beverages, such as soy, rice, almond, hemp and coconut as well as goat's milk, however, is voluntary. While many manufacturers do add vitamin D (100 IU per 250 ml) to their products - along with calcium, B12 and other nutrients - not all do.

Parents need to carefully read labels in order to ensure nondairy beverages are vitamin D fortified. And you can't always rely on the front of the package to tell you. Check the Nutrition Facts box and look for a daily value (DV) for vitamin D of 45 per cent, which indicates 100 IU vitamin D per 250 ml.

Even if your child does drink cow's milk and/or fortified nondairy beverages, there's a good chance he or she is not drinking enough of it to meet daily vitamin D requirements. Kids would have to drink six cups each day to get the 600 IU of vitamin D that children, aged one and older, need each day. Children who are obese may require two to four times more to achieve an adequate vitamin D level.

(Infants require 400 IU daily; breastfed babies should receive a daily supplement of 400 IU since human milk, unlike infant formula, is lacking adequate vitamin D.)

Very few foods have vitamin D naturally. Salmon (447 IU per 3 ounces) and tuna (154 IU per 3 ounces) are among the best sources. Eggs (41 IU per yolk) and cheese (14 IU per 2 ounces cheddar) provide a little. Besides fortified milk and non-dairy beverages, some brands of orange juice, yogurt and breakfast cereals may also have added vitamin D.

A major source of vitamin D is sunlight; your skin produces it when exposed to ultraviolet B rays. But in Canada, synthesis of vitamin D is minimal in the fall and winter months.

For children who don't get enough vitamin D from their diet, a vitamin D supplement is recommended in the fall and winter and for some, year-round. Children's multivitamins contain 400 IU; vitamin D is also available in capsules, tablets and drops for children.

Parents should also keep in mind the fact that taking more vitamin D than required is not better. Safe upper daily limits are 2,500 IU (aged 1-3), 3,000 (aged 4-8) and 4,000 IU (aged 9 and older). Excess vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, weakness, heart rhythm problems and kidney damage.

Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is based at the Medisys clinic in Toronto. She is a regular contributor to CTV News Channel;


A parent's guide to non-dairy everages:

For children aged two and younger, soy, rice, almond, coconut and other plantbased beverages - fortified or not - are not suitable alternatives to breast milk or whole cow's milk as they are generally lower in protein, fat and calories.

If parents choose a plantbased beverage or goat's milk as an alternative to cow's milk for children aged two and older, ensure it is labelled calcium and vitamin D fortified. Or, scan the nutrition facts table: Look for 45-per-cent daily value (DV) for vitamin D and 30per-cent DV for calcium.

Kids who rely on fortified rice, almond, coconut and hemp beverages should eat a variety of protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, lentils and tofu, to ensure adequate protein intake (the protein content of soy beverages is similar to cow's milk).

Associated Graphic

St. Michael's Hospital found 11 per cent of children who drank non-dairy drinks had vitamin D levels inadequate for bone health, compared with 4.7 per cent of milk drinkers.


Rooming houses not just a downtown issue anymore
The struggle to find affordable housing means many people are living in illegal, unregulated rooming houses in the inner suburbs
Special to The Globe And Mail
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page M6

A man steps off his porch and walks down the driveway. "You going to shut that place down?" he asks, gesturing across the street. Regini David doesn't answer. She knows which property he is referring to: an illegal rooming house, one of a number in this quiet neighbourhood in central Scarborough.

As a legal aid worker and housing advocate, Ms. David has visited dozens of rooming houses across the city. This is one of the nicer ones: With a well-maintained front yard, it doesn't look out of place on this tidy residential street. "It has a beautiful, spacious garden," she says. The tenants, who live in the basement, have access to the garden. But not all rooming house residents are as lucky.

Toronto has a severe shortage of affordable housing. As of the end of July, there are more than 170,000 people on the waiting list for Toronto Community Housing. Rooming houses, many of which are unlicensed, are often the only choice for people with low incomes. But these cramped quarters can create dangerous living conditions, leading to tragedies such as the fire in March at an illegal rooming house in Kensington Market that killed two men and left 10 people homeless, including two children.

Rooming houses are legal only in the old city of Toronto and restricted areas of Etobicoke and York, leaving the inner suburbs - which are home to an increasing share of the city's poor - with many unlicensed rooming houses and a lack of oversight.

This week, the Wellesley Institute released a research paper that examines the role rooming houses play in providing affordable shelter for residents in Toronto's inner suburbs. The report, titled "Toronto's Suburban Rooming Houses: Just a Spin on a Downtown 'problem?' ", looks at how the city can adapt its bylaws to not only make this form of housing legal but also address the issues tenants in these communities face.

When suburban residents argue that rooming houses don't belong in their neighbourhoods, they are invoking an outdated ideal of the suburbs as middleclass havens where homeownership is a prerequisite for being a "good" citizen, says Dr. Lisa Freeman, the author of the report, which was based on her doctoral research on rooming house bylaws in Toronto.

"There's a wide variety of people who are living in rooming houses and they're not necessarily disruptive to neighbourhoods they are not people who are involved in crime," she says.

"A lot of people living in suburban rooming houses want to live in that neighbourhood but can't afford to unless they have that accommodation."

There is a "beggars can't be choosers" mentality around rooming houses, says Michael Shapcott, the institute's director of housing and innovation. "And when there's a tragedy, [people] think, 'That's too bad. Nothing can be done.' But there really are things that can be done."

In 1989, a rooming house fire at the Rupert Hotel on the east side of downtown killed 10 people, prompting an inquest and demands for action. As part of the Rupert Coalition, Mr. Shapcott helped revitalize more than 500 units of rooming house stock in the Parkdale area, which was funded with help from the province and the city.

The pilot project also provided social and health assistance for tenants, and offered forgivable loans to landlords who maintained their properties up to standards.

Mr. Shapcott says the threeyear program demonstrated that there was a cost-effective way to transform rooming houses into a safe and viable housing option for low-income and vulnerable populations - a conclusion that was confirmed by an independent evaluation. "But governments weren't listening at that point. All they wanted to do was cut funding."

At the West Scarborough Community Legal Services Clinic, Ms. David has seen an increasing percentage of her clients living in rooming houses, an observation supported by Dr. Freeman's doctoral research, which concluded that there is a rising number of these illegal shelters in the suburbs.

Dr. Freeman and Ms. David interviewed 75 tenants, housing workers and landlords across Toronto and found a wide variation in the type and quality of rooming houses. While some houses were in poor condition - overcrowded, with fire hazards and mould - others were well maintained and up to code, even when the landlord didn't have a rooming house licence.

"We need to change the bylaw in a way that treats every individual equally," Ms. David says, "so people can live where their family is, where their mosque is, the neighbourhood where they want to live."

Sritharan Kannamuthu moved to Scarborough to be close to his children. The tiny basement unit he rents is in a three-storey house that he shares with 10 other people. No visitors are allowed, cable access has been cut and tenants are barred from using the washing machine. He doesn't like living there, but rooming houses are the only option he has. Because of his epilepsy, Mr. Kannamuthu can't work. He receives $479 a month for shelter from the Ontario Disability Support Program. In February, his landlord suddenly hiked his rent from $400 to $500.

Mr. Kannamuthu looks down at his lap where a book is open to a highlighted page. He runs his eyes over the text, which outlines his tenant rights. He knows his landlord can't arbitrarily increase the rent but Mr. Kannamuthu has little recourse.

If he complains, his landlord will threaten to evict him or the city might shut down the house.

City council's planning and growth management committee voted to defer discussion of a staff report on the issue until after the election. A similar situation happened four years ago.

"And the way they're going, they may be able to kick it past the next election [in 2018]," says Ken Hale, legal services director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario.

"The only thing we ever talk about in relation to housing in the city is how much the value of residential property is going up," says Mr. Hale, whose organization filed an appeal of the current rooming house bylaws, arguing that the patchwork of regulations has no planning rationale. "But what about the people who can't afford to buy anything? What kind of housing do they live in?"

Associated Graphic

Sritharan Kannamuthu, left, who lives in a rooming house in Scarborough, is worried about being evicted if he complains about illegal rent increases. Regini David, right, of West Scarborough Community Legal Services, has seen a rise in rooming houses in the area.


The art of dread
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R3

Scott Walker is one of those musical iconoclasts who's considered godlike by nerds for rock and pop. Commercial success is irrelevant to his current work, but he has inspired a documentary, the reverence of major critics and hero worship from people such as David Bowie, who years ago teared up when Walker sent him an audio greeting for his 50th birthday. "I see God in the window," he told BBC's Mary Anne Hobbs at the time.

This is in spite of, or because of, the fact that Walker's music is very difficult. In fact, Soused, his new album with drone-metal band Sunn O))) (whose music has always felt to me like a lowgrade headache), is being praised as the most accessible thing he's done in years. Playing a Walker record for the first time can feel like listening in on a screaming fight in a language you don't speak - aggression without release. Once you've "cracked" it, misery is your reward, because Walker's art is horrific, not just scary. So why listen? There's no simple answer, besides the fact that it's interesting; Walker requires a little faith.

I'm a huge Scott Walker fan, which gives me conflict from time to time - like it's 2 a.m. on a Sunday, and I'm walking home through the rain to my empty apartment and I really want to listen to Tilt (from 1995's Tilt), but I know I'll end up in a mental loop about how love is illusory and reality is squalor and nothingness. I'm not sure what the song is actually about - I think it has something to do with cowboys - but you could argue that Walker's songs aren't really "about" anything besides those vague but vivid feelings beyond description, triggered by random settings and things. "You just get glimpses of it," he told Rob Young in a 2006 interview, "and so you have to desperately try and give an idea of it, and that's all you can do."

It takes some effort to get a glimpse of Scott Walker, but he does have an on-ramp: his history. In the 1960s, he played the haunted hunk in teen-idol group the Walker Brothers. After the mobs of screaming girls had become frightening, he went solo, recording Jacques Brel songs while developing his own increasingly strange, lush, theatrical tunes. He released four excellent records, but the fourth flopped, and he then descended into drinking and dreck. In the late 1970s, riding out the last of a Walker Brothers reunion with nothing left to lose, he came out with some of the weirdest songs his fans had ever heard.

The first and second halves of his career are symbiotic: His 1960s work can be schmaltzy at times, but the darkness really pops; his later, more opaque records require some trust on the listener's part, but his legend is the hook.

Soused is the fifth major studio album Walker has released since coming into his own. His methods have developed since the 1980s, and it's easier to understand how he works than what he means. From there, you can find your own way into the material.

Walker's songs start with lyrics that can take him years to write. The words determine their form - he sees them as "soldiers in a field," he told Young, and he "hone[s] those babies down," as he once told Jim Irvin, until they evoke the thing he can't say. He writes music to "dress" them, and in that way his songs become their own semantic webs of words and sounds linked by Scott's associations.

Sometimes they make conventional sense, and other times they work by dream logic. The lyrics to Jesse, from 2006's The Drift, for instance, have Elvis Presley addressing his stillborn twin while he watches the Twin Towers fall - the towers are like the dead brother in that they "have no reflective spiritual qualities," as Walker put it to the Independent's Robert Webb. He added: "Memphis is, of course, an ancient Egyptian city, not just Memphis, Tennessee." Do I know what that means? No. But when I hear the song, I get a specific feeling that I could not explain any better.

The associations on Soused are slightly more direct. Brando, its first track, refers to Marlon: "I was watching One Eyed Jacks on television one night," Walker told John Doran for The Quietus. "... I thought to myself, 'Hey, he must have it written into his contract that he has to get beaten up in the films he's in.' " So the music establishes a sense of, as he put it, "masochistic longing" - a chipper guitar lick (a lot like the intro to Sweet Child O' Mine) is hit with a blast of drone and the percussive slap of a bullwhip. As always, it's held together by Walker's voice, which might sound like baritone Gerald Finley's if you heard it from another room.

In interviews, Walker explains his songs sparingly, because it's like describing a dream: the more detailed, the less accurate. If you listen to them long enough, taking his key words as hints, you'll start to get a sense of what they are - and then you'll feel awful, because they really are like nightmares. They work by the same logic and, in the middle of the night, produce the same effects.

Human devastation often provides a subject for Walker - the Eichmann trial, the war crimes of Slobodan Milosevic, fascism, pandemic - but his music is not about these events so much as the fact that they occurred. The songs are not calls to action, and the audience receives no sense that listening is somehow an act of paying respect. Walker's music does the opposite of what we normally want music to do: It reminds us of the worst, and removes the meaning from it. Through a private alchemy, he makes things sound as bad as they are.

So, again: Why listen, and why do the work required to hear? "Masochistic longing" is a good reason. Another is access to the mind of a fascinating person. Beyond that, most of us go about our lives struggling to ignore a low hum of dread. Walker, whose music comes from an inchoate place both deeply personal and collective, amplifies the sound of that dread. There's a certain relief in it.

Associated Graphic

Sometimes Scott Walker's songs make conventional sense, and other times they work by dream logic.


Fifteen minutes of terror in the nation's capital
How events in Ottawa unfolded Wednesday morning, starting when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stepped out of his car and opened fire on Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial, then ending when he was fatally shot in the Centre Block's Hall of Honour. Jane Taber reports
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A10

1. It is just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a crisp fall morning in Ottawa, and Michael ZehafBibeau, a man in his 30s who has been living in a downtown shelter since early October, arrives at the National War Memorial, one of the capital's landmarks. He is armed with a .30-30 Winchester rifle. He parks his beige Toyota Corolla, a car he purchased just one day earlier, on Wellington Street, oblivious to the traffic. The car has no licence plates. At 9:50 a.m., according to witnesses who spoke to the RCMP, he approaches the memorial from the west and fires two shots at Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a 24year-old reservist from Hamilton, who is standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Cpl. Cirillo has no chance to defend himself. He has no warning because the shooter had positioned himself so the honour guard would not see him coming, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson revealed in a news conference Thursday. A third shot is fired at Cpl. Cirillo's partner - but the shooter misses. He yells something and then runs off, heading north. Despite the efforts of passersby and paramedics, Cpl. Cirillo does not survive.

2. The shooter runs to his parked car, makes a U-turn in the middle of Wellington, and stops on the street in front of the East Block, one of the buildings on Parliament Hill where senators and MPs have their offices. Access by car is blocked by recently installed bollards. It is 9:52.23 a.m. A woman pushing a stroller, just on the other side of the bollards, is seen running away on videotape provided by the RCMP; one pedestrian approaches the car but then backs away as the shooter, carrying the rifle, gets out of his car. Other pedestrians scatter. The shooter runs around the bollards toward the East Block where he commandeers the car belonging to junior cabinet minister Michelle Rempel. Her driver is sitting in it while she is attending the weekly caucus meeting. In the video, her driver is seen leaving the car. The shooter takes over - it is 9:53:16 a.m.

3. He drives to the Centre Block, the main building on Parliament Hill where the House of Commons and Senate are located. It is 9:53:37 a.m. when he stops the car and runs up the ramp at the west side toward the main door under the Peace Tower. Several RCMP cars are chasing him - but there are no sirens or lights flashing - in fact, he drives by a parked RCMP car on his way to the Centre Block. The building is full of MPs from all parties because Wednesday is caucus day.

4. "Our officers are in pursuit," says Commissioner Paulson. "I can tell you that as he gets to the door of the Centre Block there is an exchange of gunfire with House of Commons security officers. Our officers back up slightly as that shooting takes place and then pursue him inside."

5. It is 9:53:46 a.m. and he is now in the Centre Block. Uniformed House of Commons security guard Samearn Son is at the door. Constable Son, a 10-year veteran of the security service, sees the shooter and tries to knock down his gun. He is shot in the leg but yells "gun, gun, gun" alerting his colleagues to the imminent danger. (Constable Son is in stable condition but expected to make a full recovery.)

6. The shooter is pursued down the Hall of Honour that separates the House of Commons from the Senate. The hall leads to the Library of Parliament and is decorated with elaborately carved pillars and alcoves. The shooter passes a wooden door on the left that leads into the Reading Room, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper is addressing his caucus. Across the hall in the Railway Committee Room, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is doing the same.

7. At first MPs think the noise outside the doors is caused by something falling but then quickly realize it is gunfire. The Prime Minister's expression turns serious. His security detail keeps him safe - and the former police officers in the Conservative caucus keep everyone else calm. In the NDP caucus room, a security guard rushes in and stands in front of the door. MPs barricade the doors with furniture.

8. The gunfight continues along the hallway, at which point Sergeantat-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former RCMP officer, gets involved. His office is just off the Hall of Honour. "The suspect and Mr. Vickers were behind pillars and were exchanging fire," said Commissioner Paulson. "The suspect repositioned himself to get a better shot at Mr. Vickers when our officers engaged and you may have heard the sort of multitude of shots and that Mr. Vickers did shoot." He shot the suspect three times and is being credited with killing him. Mr. Vickers and his team have to requalify every year to be able to carry a gun - and last year, he was the best of all of his officers in shooting accuracy. Commissioner Paulson called Mr. Vickers and his team "heroes." In the Commons Thursday, Mr. Vickers was given a sustained standing ovation.

9. At 9:57 a.m. the shooting ends - the suspect, slumped on the east side of the alcove leading to the Library of Parliament, is pronounced dead at the scene.

Michael ZehafBibeau hides in vestibule to Library of Parliament.

Plainclothes officer fires at gunman but misses. Gunman fires back and continues running.

Plainclothes officer pulls gun but doesn't shoot as there are children in area.

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers hears shots from his office and approaches the gunman. He shoots Zehaf-Bibeau three times. The shooting ends at 9:57 a.m.

Security personnel flood into Hall of Honour.

House of Commons security officer tries to disarm shooter and is shot in leg.

9:53.46: Gunman races past unarmed security officers at main entrance to Centre Block.

9:53.37: Gunman exits car and enters through main entrance.

9:53.16: Zehaf-Bibeau ejects driver from ministerial vehicle and drives to Centre Block.

9:50 a.m.: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shoots Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, gets into car and drives short distance.

RCMP vehicles give chase.

9:52.23: Gunman leaves car and proceeds on foot.

Associated Graphic


In images taken from video surveillance, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is shown carrying a gun while running toward Parliament Hill on Wednesday.


Artfully structured, yet full of suspense
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R7

Concord Floral Written by Jordan Tannahill Directed by Erin Brubacher, Cara Spooner and Jordan Tannahill Starring Jessica Munk and Erum Khan At the Theatre Centre in Toronto 4

The Art of Building a Bunker Written by Adam Lazarus and Guillermo Verdecchia Directed by Guillermo Verdecchia Starring Adam Lazarus At Factory Theatre in Toronto

True story: So, in a suburb north of Toronto, these two teenage girls head out to smoke a joint in an old abandoned greenhouse - you know, Concord Floral, the one in Vaughan? And while fumbling around in the dark looking for a lighter, they stumble upon a body.

One girl screams and drops her phone - and the device not only falls onto the body, but actually sinks into it, glowing from within the decaying corpse like a soul.

The two teens run away without it, of course, and they don't tell their parents anything. But the next night, while she's getting ready for bed, the other girl's phone rings. And guess whose number is on the call display?

In his new play, Concord Floral, Jordan Tansnahill invents a very modern suburban legend - but he has more in mind than just sending chills down spines with tales of supernatural cellphone horror. He wants to confront audiences of all ages with something much scarier: the realities of being a teenager in our preapocalyptic times.

"All parents are a little stupid," says one of the teens in the play, which is cast with 10 actors between the ages of 16 and 21. "They need to make themselves that way or they'll go insane worrying about all the things they secretly know to be true."

Tannahill, who runs a theatre company called Suburban Beast and a tiny venue in Kensington Market called VideoFag, has hit his stride. His work as a director is gaining acclaim (his staging of Sheila Heti's All Our Happy Days are Stupid heads to New York in 2015), as are his plays (productions of Late Company, at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and Post Eden, at the National Arts Centre, are opening next year).

Last week, he was nominated for a Governor-General's Literary Award for Age of Minority, a collection of three solo shows featuring young protagonists.

Still just 26 years old, Tannahill seems to recall the language of teenagers vividly - and, originally from the outskirts of Ottawa, he's intimate with the textures of the suburbs. In his hands, there's nothing dull about them: He creates rich, Gothic landscapes for his plays, where lines blur unsettlingly - not just between urban and rural, but between child and adult, civilization and nature, and reality and fiction.

Concord Floral, named after an actual abandoned greenhouse and developed over the course of several years with teens, is written like a documentary play, with short, sharp scenes of dialogue mixed with bursts of direct testimonial. The point of view shifts between the 10 teenagers - as well as the occasional animal or inanimate object that bears witness to their experiments with drugs or battles with depression or hook-ups arranged with older strangers over Craigslist.

On a rectangular lawn of Astroturf, Tannahill - along with codirectors and co-creators Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner - has put together a production that is slickly designed, featuring sinister sound by Christopher Willes and spooky lights by Kimberly Purtell.

The acting is the only thing left unpolished. The decision to cast actual teenagers in a scripted play has pros and cons, as you might expect. Many in the cast - notably Jessica Munk and Erum Khan, who play the two teen girls - are excellent, though others are more limited in range.

But the roughness of these seethrough performances is part of the appeal of the show (which I saw in its second-to-last preview).

I could imagine a sleeker production with fresh theatre-school grads, but having real teenage bodies on stage and in peril adds to the hair-raising atmosphere.

The authentic phenomenology results in a deeper creepiness familiar from fake found-footage horror movies such as The Blair Witch Project.

Concord Floral is the strongest script from Tannahill to date - artfully structured, yet full of suspense, with dialogue that shifts smoothly between the poetic and observational. It's got style and substance - and is scary as all get out. Like any urban legend, you know it's made up ... but is it?

Also on stage: The Art of Building a Bunker, the season-opener at Factory Theatre, digs into our anxieties about coming plagues as well.

Elvis Goldstein, a civil servant, is worried about Ebola, climate change, the Islamic State and the disappearance of bees - and he takes out his fears and frustrations on those around him.

And so Elvis, played by co-creator Adam Lazarus, who also plays the rest of the characters in this solo show, has been forced to take a week-long sensitivity training program run by a guy named Cam, who overuses canoe metaphors and the word "Namaste."

We never hear what Elvis's specific crime was, which places this off-beat work in the realm of the Kafkaesque. But there's no doubting that he is insensitive: Elvis despises everyone on his commute - from autistic children to a Portuguese woman with too many bags - and in his internal monologues, he seems deeply comfortable with epithets both racial and sexual.

The narrative stuff doesn't really come together - and Elvis's week of sensitivity sessions, with a group of characters of various races and genders portrayed insensitively-on-purpose by Lazarus, passes slowly. The tone is comedic, but it's not particularly funny.

Where The Art of Building a Bunker, which I saw in its final preview, gets intriguing is in a final section where Elvis has a meltdown. Lazarus launches into a tour-de-force monologue about a confrontation between Elvis and a black neighbour that segues into a list of irritations and prejudices that alternates, unsettlingly, between relatable and racist. Elvis may be white, but he doesn't feel privileged - all he feels is fear for himself and his family. Here, in the end, he's no longer a straw man - and the work becomes truly provocative.

Concord Floral continues until Oct. 26. Visit for tickets. The Art of Building a Bunker continues to Nov. 2. Visit

Follow me on Twitter:@nestruck

Associated Graphic

Jessica Munk, left, and Erum Khan star in Concord Floral, a new play written by Jordan Tannahill and set in the suburbs north of Toronto.


'The idea that disaster helps create a nation seems ridiculous'
'I was ambushed,' author Michael Winter tells Alec Scott, describing what it was like to revisit Newfoundland's staggering sacrifice
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – Print Edition, Page F3

Michael Winter earned his undergraduate degree at Memorial University - established in 1925 and named to honour the roughly 1,300 Newfoundlanders who lost their lives in the First World War.

But the award-winning novelist says that somehow the Great War and its devastating impact on his home province didn't really touch him until a publisher asked him to write a non-fiction book about it.

Hundreds of men from the Rock died on one bloody day just under a century ago - July 1, 1916, during the battle of Beaumont-Hamel - part of the Allied attack against the Germans that later became known as the Battle of the Somme. "When they asked about this book," says Mr. Winter, "I said from the get-go that I couldn't see writing a potted history of Newfoundland's war; there are already some good ones out there. I wasn't sure what I would have to say, but I knew it wouldn't be that."

The book he eventually did write - Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead, to be published Nov. 4 - is part travelogue, part philosophical investigation and, yes, part history, albeit an unconventional one. He recently sat down with The Globe to discuss the making of this hybrid work.

If it wasn't a natural subject for you, how did you find your way into this project?

A few years ago, I was trying to buy a piece of land next to a house I had in Newfoundland. I discovered that the plot had been owned by a family, and the son had gone off to World War I and been killed. It began to interest me: What would have happened on that land if the son had lived, had brought up his own family there? When I was building a wall on it, I found the remains of the little house, some ceramic doorknobs, and I had this sense of what was - and might have been.

Did you find out where he died?

I even stood on the spot. In France, at Gueudecourt. Richard Sellars.

What else did you find over there?

I was ambushed by what I felt.

The fantastic thing about the memorial to the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel is that it's one of the rare examples where they've preserved a battlefield more or less as it was. You can see all the trenches, where the British were, where the Germans lined up. I took a picnic, a bottle of wine, on the evening of June 30 [2013]. No one was there; it was completely empty.

How many fought and died there?

Of about 800 Newfoundlanders - under British command - 650 went down, and there were about 250 deaths within minutes of the battle opening. The total British casualties that day were about 60,000 - the worst single day for that army in history. The night I was there, the sun was setting; and, at twilight, I had this strange feeling of so many of these men experiencing what they didn't know would be the last night of their lives.

You've written, too, about the formal parts of the memorial.

It's effective. The whole park is surrounded by 5,000 trees native to Newfoundland. These trees by now are huge, some 100 feet tall - much taller than they're able grow on the Island. The soldiers died young, and yet the trees are ancient now. They felt like witnesses, a force from home that overlooks this battlefield.

What did you think of British artist Basil Gotto's caribou sculpture?

The caribou was the emblem of the regiment. In the guidebooks, they talk about this caribou looking upon the old German lines with haughtiness, with arrogance, but they're wrong. I've seen caribou like this in the wild: It's smelling the air and sensing overwhelming danger; it's about to run into the woods. Of course, the Newfoundlanders couldn't run. When the British said to go over the top, they did, and they were mainly killed.

Some politicians talk about Canada's finding nationhood on the fields of Vimy. What were the repercussions for Newfoundland of these losses?

Before Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, there was the same sort of talk of young men sacrificing their lives so that a country might grow - that somehow it had been a great nationbuilding success for Newfoundland. After 1949, the opposite talk grew more prevalent - that this battle marked the beginning of the dissipation of nationhood: that because of this, and several economic factors, Newfoundland was forced to capitulate as a nation, and join Canada.

To me, the idea that any kind of disaster helps create a nation seems a ridiculous one. There was no family in the house on the land next to me, and there might have been.

Apart from the boy who grew up on the land next to your house, who else did you find?

One of them was Tommy Ricketts, the Newfoundland soldier who won the Victoria Cross at age 15, the youngest to do so. He was from the town, now abandoned, of Middle Arm, in the district of White Bay. There are no roads to it now, so I hiked there. While he was being pinned with his Cross by the King, his father was incarcerated, in jail for being a ne'er-do-well. After the war, Tommy wanted to go back to be a fisherman, but the Newfoundland people wouldn't let him: They wanted the war hero to be respectable. I interviewed his son, and he said the Newfoundland people captured Tommy Ricketts - "captured" was the son's word - and made Tommy become someone else.

Did you do many such interviews?

Some. But so much is there in the documents: the flesh and blood of these people, now gone. It's amazing how much specific detail is in the records, with each regiment member's whereabouts accounted for each day. What I've written about is what happens to us when the past ambushes us. That emotional, visceral thing.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Alec Scott is a Canadian writer (@Alec_Scott on Twitter) now based in San Francisco.

Associated Graphic

Left and above, Newfoundland Regiment soldiers who fought in the Allied attack that later became known as the Battle of the Somme. Below, British artist Basil Gotto's caribou sculpture, at the memorial to the regiment in Beaumont-Hamel, France.


Balanced approach pays off in the long run
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page B12

The end of a wild week for stocks is an ideal time to remind ourselves that shortterm pain and long-term investing gains still go together.

No matter what the markets do in the short term, the longterm potential from investing in stocks is not in question. A panel of investment industry people make this point in their projections on what investors can expect from a balanced portfolio over the next 10 years.

The panelists - 11 chief investment officers, portfolio managers and advisers - were asked in September to provide an estimate of average annual returns over the next 10 years for a portfolio based 60 per cent in stocks and 40 per cent in bonds. Responses began flowing in as the market decline gained momentum.

Most panelists said balanced portfolio returns will range from 5 to 6 per cent on an average annual basis. Asked about inflation, they provided estimates of between 1.8 and 3 per cent. This suggests real returns (after inflation) of at least 2 to 3 per cent.

A balanced portfolio will slog its way over the next 10 years to returns that will beat holding bonds or cash. So keep the faith in stocks.

The panelists were originally consulted for their return expectations in a Portfolio Strategy column from June, 2012, when stocks were in a lull period. Asked to re-examine their original projections, four panelists stuck by their numbers. The rest made very slight changes. Example: Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer for Sun Life Global Investments, expects balanced portfolio returns of 4.5 per cent to 5 per cent, down from 5 per cent (see the 2012 projections here: http://

Investors themselves are markedly more optimistic about future returns, even after the recent market carnage. A total of 82 people accepted an invitation I put out on Twitter and Facebook this week to complete a quick survey on their return and inflation expectations. The average for balanced portfolio returns was 7 per cent, which compares to 5.5 per cent in a similar survey back in 2012.

Return projections like these matter because they remind us that investing is an averaging game where the ups more than offset the kinds of downs we're seeing lately. They also help us evaluate how much our investments will grow over time and how much we will have in retirement saving. Finally, they act as a benchmark for evaluating our investing progress.

Three things to keep in mind as you read:

1.) You must subtract the inflation rate from the estimated portfolio gain to get the real rate of return.

2.) You must also subtract fees charged by the investments you own and, if applicable, your adviser.

3.) After-tax returns will be even lower.


A panel of people in the investment industry offer their 10-year projections for returns on a balanced portfolio that is 60 per cent in stocks and 40 per cent in bonds, and for inflation.



Sadiq Adatia

Chief investment officer, Sun Life Global Investments

Equity returns should continue to move higher over the next few years while bonds likely will be more challenged.

Tom Bradley

President, Steadyhand Investment Funds

Realistic expections are 5 to 7 per cent for stocks and 2 to 3 per cent for bonds.

John DeGoey

Vice-president and portfolio manager with Burgeonvest-Bick Securities

My projections are unchanged.

Keith Dicker

President and chief investment officer, IceCap Asset Management

We forecast a breakup of the euro zone. This will create enormous capital movements, culminating with a surging U.S. dollar and U.S. equities. During this period, sovereign bonds and currencies will experience severe stress. Thereafter, capital will flow back into bonds and away from equities and the U.S. dollar. Investors should prepare for extreme market volatility.

Andrew Guilfoyle

President, Guilfoyle Financial

The biggest challenge for retail investors is that a 40 per-cent allocation to fixed income could lead to a negative return after taxes and fees. This allocation should be subdivided (depending on the individual circumstances) and other asset classes introduced (permanent life insurance, commercial real estate, infrastructure and private equity).

Dan Hallett

Vice-president at Highview Financial Group

It's important to note that my 4-6 per-cent annual figure is before factoring in the impact of a number of factors that can increase or reduce this headline number - fees/expenses, inflation, taxes, timing of flows into and out of the portfolio.

Lori Livingstone

Portfolio manager, BMO Nesbitt Burns

Rolling ahead ten years, we can count on several corrections and a bear market. History repeats itself.

Alexandra Macqueen

Co-author of the book, Pensionize Your Nest Egg, and a certified financial planner (CFP).

My estimates of equity returns and inflation going forward have not changed. The market is telling us (via U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS) that inflation is going to remain low.

Adrian Mastracci

Portfolio manager, KCM Wealth Management

We continue to divide the period into the first and second five years.

Stocks will return 6 per cent in the first five and 7.5 per cent in the second five years. Bonds return 2.8 per cent in the first five and 4.5 per cent in the second five years. Inflation is 2 per cent for the first five and 3 per cent for the second five years.

Ted Rechtshaffen

President, TriDelta Financial

We primarily base our view on the past 100 years. So the short answer is, I wouldn't change anything because we are using the same core information to make a 10-year call today as we did two years ago.

Robert Sneddon

President and portfolio manager at CastleMoore Inc.

Our thesis remains that 2018 will see the commencement of a secular bull market in equities, give or take a year. Good returns will come from a very high-quality bond portfolio and equities that can ride through or benefit during a period of change.

Investors like you

Rob Carrick's social media community members

Highlight comments: "0 per cent a year from bonds, 8 per cent a year from slocks, so 4.8 per cent. Why the hell would you own bonds?"; "I expect closer to 8 per cent with my portfolio that is 100 per cent stocks (indexed ETFs)"; "4-5 per cent is realistic bottom, 6-7 per cent is what I expect. "

Associated Graphic


Dear Ottawa, from London
After our 2005 bombings, there was much Britain learned to do - and much we never should have
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page A15

Non-resident fellow at the Centre for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and in International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Perhaps it was only a matter of time. As the news broke about the shooting in Ottawa, my mind went back to London in 2005, after the July 7 bombings there.

The phenomenon of radical Islamist terrorism from among Western citizens has been a threat to Western communities for years - and while Canada has thus far been spared from it, that era is over. The question is where to go from here - and where not to go, in order to ensure that Canada remains secure not simply in national security, but in its fundamental values, as well.

It was almost a decade ago that I was in England when the London bombings took place. As Britons, we wondered: What happened?

How was it possible that British citizens could take aim at their own and kill in pursuit of a political objective? As deputy convenor of the British government's task force on tackling radicalization and extremism, I saw our top officials, and our average citizen on the street, become confounded by the issue. There was much we learned to do - and much we should never have learned.

Canadians stand at much the same point today. The tragedy in Ottawa did not take place in a vacuum - and the forces that were in play before this attack remain. There will be those who seek to use this incident for political gain, in a variety of fashions.

For example, there will be those who seek to put a wedge between Muslim Canadians and other Canadians, insisting that the Muslim community at large is a "problem." That Muslims are all susceptible to becoming terrorists, and thus need to be more carefully scrutinized. We saw that in the aftermath of the London bombings - the "securitization" of Muslim communities, where every issue to do with those communities, from housing policy to social integration, could be interpreted in the media through the lens of security. All too slowly, we learned how much this was to our detriment.

There will be others who will try to use these suspicions to prove to Muslim Canadians that they can never truly be at home in Canada, and that they ought to join the other side. Indeed, when the discourse of Islamic State recruiters on social media is analyzed, many of them continue to argue that Muslims have no real place in Western societies. That they will always be outsiders, and thus that they should migrate to the "true" abode of peace - under the rule of the self-proclaimed ruler of all Muslims, Abu Bakr alBaghdadi. We needn't validate their theories.

Canadians - all Canadians - have a choice. This kind of extremism cannot be explained in short articles or pithy sentences that reduce and essentialize everything about it to issues around foreign policy, ideology or pseudo-religion. It is complex - because the nature of this extremism, as we found in Britain, is complex. The motivations and factors are disparate, and they vary according to person. At the moment, there is the assumption that the shooter has been motivated by some sort of religious ideology - we haven't yet received confirmation on that - but it is important to keep in mind a number of factors.

There is indeed a neo-religious, radical interpretation of Islam that has been used to justify and motivate this kind of action. It's a vicious ideology that needs to be tackled, and not apologized for.

But we know that it has been condemned by many religious figures, including many in Canada.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, for example, a noted mainstream religious scholar in Toronto, has been clear on this point for years - not just on Wednesday. Credible, authentic religious voices from the Muslim community seldom make it into public discourse, which then leaves us stumbling.

If voices from the Muslim community speak with passionate clarity, but we don't seem to listen, it's not their fault - it's ours.

Many will be tempted to take them to task for this atrocity, as though they were somehow in tacit approval - this isn't just unfair; it will divert energies from where they really need to be focused. We have seen this before in other countries, where counterterrorism strategies rely on using energies where they are best deployed, because there is a finite amount of time and effort to be used.

But these won't be the only issues that come to the forefront in explaining the motivations of such individuals. There will be others, depending on the individual in question. For many attracted to such radicalism, ideology is indeed the most critical factor.

For others, it is more about politics. For others still, it's a youthful idealism gone astray - and for others still, it's all of the above and more. Rather than focus on one and lose track of the big picture, Canadians and their allies in other countries will need to continue to be broader in their thinking, and calm in their assessments.

Indeed, initial reports suggest the shooter suffered from mental illness, and had been evicted from his own mosque on account of suspicious behaviour. Such things would appear to be more relevant than, for instance, one broadcaster's observance that the man was wearing a scarf of Palestinian origin in a picture widely distributed online.

The calm attitude displayed by most of the Canadian media on the day of the shooting is an example to the world of how a people under attack can respond.

Rather than behaving with reactionary hysteria, Canadians composed themselves admirably.

Continuing as such will be their greatest asset.

Canada can either make its Muslim community suffer twice for this attack - first as Canadians who feel pain about what happened, then as Muslims unfairly suspected of collusion - or they can continue to stand with their compatriots against any threat.

They can succumb to panic and chip away at their own hardearned civil liberties under the rubric of a new stage in a "war on terror" - or they can stand fast, and recognize that those liberties and freedoms are precisely what were being targeted on Wednesday.

H.A. Hellyer is the author of Muslims of Europe: the 'Other' Europeans.

Associated Graphic

Many will be tempted to take Muslims to task, as if they were in tacit approval of this atrocity.


What we talk about when we talk about fashion
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L4

Included among the curlicues, corsets and couture of Fashion Blows, the new Toronto exhibition of 55 pieces from the wardrobe of the celebrated British stylist Isabella Blow by designers such as John Galliano, Hussein Chalayan and Philip Treacy, is a garment from the late Alexander McQueen's MA thesis collection. Famously, Blow was so taken with the collection that she bought the lot. Which is precisely what fashion philanthropist Daphne Guinness did with her friend's wardrobe after Blow's 2007 suicide.

Each garment, hat and shoe in Fashion Blows was coveted, chosen and worn by the eccentric Blow. Archived as found - cigarette burns are preserved, as is the high-heel tear through the train of a jacket - together they form a narrative of her life.

With respect, however, the McQueen thesis collection piece is not important because Blow wore it. It is important because it contains ideas. Biographer Lauren Goldstein Crowe writes of Blow pushing designers to be ever more creative and inventive and I like to think she'd have been the loudest to call bollocks on the worth of McQueen's creation having much to do with her participation after the fact.

It's become trendy to attempt to extricate garments from the creators and fashion system they come from, and particularly in the recent cultural conversation about women in clothes. And books such as Women in Clothes, a new anthology by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton. The premise is that the editors first went in search of a book - any book! - that might tell them "what women thought about as they shopped and dressed."

"But there was nothing like that," Heti declares, both in the foreword and, since its publication in September, in numerous interviews. In an interview with, Julavits chimes in that the relationships their book's 639 survey, interview and essay contributors express, "was never articulated, ... has prior to this been unspoken."

This is nonsense. It may be convenient for the purpose of selling books but it's either disingenuous or remarkably uninformed. Even the most cursory reading list on the subject would have easily turned up Love, Loss and What I Wore, Ilene Beckerman's eloquent 1995 book (and hit off-Broadway show) that frames her autobiography with clothing, Elizabeth Kendall's 2008 memoir Autobiography of a Wardrobe, written from the point of view of the garments of her life, or onetime Sassy editor Andrea Linett's 2012 memoir I Want to Be Her!, of her identity shaped through an appreciation of the style of friends and strangers. It's So You, Michelle Tea's 2007 anthology of women writing about personal expression and style, includes writers such as Debbie Rasmussen and Kim Gordon (who also contributed to Women in Clothes).

Cultural-studies professor Paula Rabinowitz co-edits the University of Minnesota's superb Habits of Being series on clothing and identity; the latest issue contains a consideration of girls' school uniforms in provincial Italy and a look at the language of clothes in Henry James - think Women in Clothes without the clever packaging. Not to mention Canada's own late, pretty great WORN Journal, which for 20 issues explored this very thing in its irreverent editorial mix.

Of the many books exploring the way women think about clothes and getting dressed, the Booker-nominated novelist Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser (2009) is my particular favourite. "Clothes are a lifelong journey into acquiring an identity," Grant writes, as she points out that it is often an identity as much accidental as calculated, and argues that the most defining moment in the life of a young girl is the one when she begins to choose her own clothes.

"When academics write about the language of clothes and describe the various messages that are encrypted in the garments," she continues, "they seldom include in that vast vocabulary the word 'rejoice.' " There were already enough of these books when her book was published five years ago that Grant warned against the dismissal of, and palpable disdain for, the bliss of fashion in her own.

Too late. With anthologies such as Emily Spivack's Worn Stories and Women in Clothes we have since arrived at a place that privileges the garment as object, for end use in cultural theory or the excavation of a personal and social past. Heaven forbid we admit to the simple pleasure of a Rachel Comey shift dress per se.

Even Gap's fall ad campaign emphasizes not the commodity they're selling but its value as a tool in personal style, appealing to the individual who thinks him or herself outside "the system."

What we talk about when we talk about fashion now is the relational-aesthetics trend that has flourished in the art world since the 1990s. Participation, the 2006 instalment of the Documents of Contemporary Art series edited by Claire Bishop, explains this prevailing collaborative experience as the "social dimension of participation" in art.

Ah, there's that word - art. Today's supreme memoirism of dress, in attempting to distance itself by treating fashion like a dirty F-word, also makes it the gorilla in the room. Yes, the subsequent supply chain and the environmental impact of the global garment industry are highly problematic. So is the overall fashion industry's role in undermining self-esteem. But let's not be bamboozled into thinking that when we are talking about clothes we aren't talking about fashion: Fashion as philosophy and ideas; fashion as art, and its beauty as bliss; desire; Susan Orlean's Worn Stories essay on her restless search for the perfect uniform and the impossibility of desire everlasting.

Besides, the status and meaning ascribed to the humble thrifted cardigan is also a label, and as self-conscious as the studied poses of brand-draped, street style stars.

"There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them," Virginia Woolf said. Put another way and in the simplest of terms by the legendary designer Oscar de la Renta, who died Monday at the age of 82: "I just want to make beautiful clothes."

Fashion Blows is free to the public during regular store hours at The Room, Hudson's Bay Queen Street in Toronto, Oct. 23 through Nov. 1.

Associated Graphic

Fashion Blows is a new Toronto exhibition of 55 pieces from the wardrobe of the late celebrated British stylist Isabella Blow.


The Nobel Prize as a snub of creative writing
Saturday, October 18, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R3

A waggish Wikipedia editor got away with a quick prank just after the recent Nobel Prize for literature was announced: For about 10 minutes, on the bio page of laureate Patrick Modiano, a subsection was titled "To The Reporter Now Copying From Wikipedia." It read: "Be careful boy. Primary sources are still best for journos."

The joke was on the whole of North America, pretty much. Our entire intelligentsia responded to the announcement with "Who?" Modiano, it turns out, is a wellknown novelist in France - he had already won the most prestigious literary prize there, the Goncourt, and he had co-written the screenplay for Louis Malle's Lacombe, Lucien, which was nominated for the best foreign-language film Oscar in 1975 (I found that out from Wikipedia, too).

The thing is, we don't know France. We don't know too much literature not written in English, as a matter of fact. The stern men of the Swedish Academy, who select Nobel laureates, like to rub this in American faces. They have variously hinted as hard as can be hinted that the year when another U.S. writer can expect to be awarded the prize will be an exceptional year, indeed. Don't hold your breath.

The most truculent and obvious of the anti-Americans of the Academy is the garrulous Horace Engdahl, a university professor who complained in 2008 that Yankee writers don't read any books in translation and this leaves their literature dull.

Recently, he came out with more unsolicited advice for the world's dominant culture: Your creative writing courses are not helping your literary quality, he said. Interviewed by French Catholic newspaper La Croix just before the prize winner was announced, he scorned American literary culture for being dominated by universities and their students. Even grants and teaching positions, he said, have a negative effect, because they "cut writers off from society" and create "an unhealthy link with institutions."

The result, he claimed, is literature that doesn't take many risks. He suggested that writers take jobs such as "taxi drivers, clerks, secretaries and waiters" to make a living instead.

He slammed contemporary literary journalism as well, for mixing up actual criticism with reporting on "merchandise," a practice that confuses the meritorious with the merely popular.

Engdahl regrets a lack of "hierarchization" and "centre" among genres. I would guess he sees this postmodern laxity as also an essentially American trait.

The guy basically just doesn't like the United States. That's understandable, if not exactly rational: European intellectuals don't want to see the U.S. dominate global art the way it already dominates popular entertainment and geopolitics and every other thing. Some have already detected evidence of this creep toward hegemony in the recent decision of the Man Booker Prize to admit American writers to the competition; they say it will eliminate the Commonwealth character of the prize, which it probably will.

Not surprisingly, Modiano is not a graduate of a master of fine arts program, and indeed never took any formal creative writing classes. Those things, too, are basically American, and also in the process of being exported around the world, like McDonald's and Batman. One can't help but see the acclamation of this writer as a kind of snub of MFAs themselves.

Engdahl is not the only one to question the MFA effect on literature. Indeed, creative writing as academic discipline has been under attack for some years now, including from inside the U.S. This is because a massive economic change has occurred: It is simply more difficult for literary writers to attract large enough audiences to support themselves through the marketplace, even with critical success, so universities have become their benefactors.

The result is that the ideal book-buyer for a novelist or poet is not just the reader, it is the prospective university employer.

And writers enrol in MFA programs not just to better their craft but to gain professional credentials so that they may themselves become teachers in MFA programs. It's an odd new state of affairs.

A detailed history of the discipline in the U.S., The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing by Mark McGurl, came out in 2009 and spurred animated debates about whether the fiction produced in a university environment was too uniform or precious. Then came various essays denouncing the workshop model, notably a widely circulated piece from last February in the Chronicle of Higher Education, by Eric Bennett. Called "How Iowa Flattened Literature," it described the author's disappointment with his experience at the fabled Iowa Writers' Workshop, the granddaddy of all of them.

Then novelist Chad Harbach started an important discussion about the economics of all this, with an influential essay called "MFA vs NYC." It distinguished between two current models of earning a living as a writer in the U.S. - from a university salary or from book sales. (Harbach came down on the side of the MFA as incubator of more original fiction than the bestseller lists.)

For what it's worth, I teach creative writing in an MFA program and have not, over several years, noticed any particular MFA style or subject matter emerge from the students. Their work is as varied as any national literature can be. We do have art schools for painting, after all, and we don't constantly worry over whether painting can be taught.

Nor do I think it seemly for a professor at a Swedish university to lecture artists on how they should be working as taxi drivers or waiters.

Engdahl was in fact hilariously taken down after his French interview, by a British poet named Tim Clare, whose blog entry was titled "Creative Writing Courses Aren't Killing Literature - Sanctimonious Rich White Tossers Are."

Clare suggests - in saltier language than this - that working full-time in minimum-wage jobs actually prevents people from writing literature.

All these arguments are about economics, actually, rather than about national literary characteristics. Well, they should be, anyway. The Swedish Academy has somehow managed to make a celebration of literature into a petty slight against one country's intellectual culture, and that just seems like grumpy, reactionary conservatism.

Associated Graphic

Novelist Patrick Modiano, winner of this year's Nobel Prize for literature, may not be known in the U.S., but is well known in his home country, France.


What we talk about when we talk about fashion
Monday, October 27, 2014 – Print Edition, Page L4

Included among the curlicues, corsets and couture of Fashion Blows, the new Toronto exhibition of 55 pieces from the wardrobe of the celebrated British stylist Isabella Blow by designers such as John Galliano, Hussein Chalayan and Philip Treacy, is a garment from the late Alexander McQueen's MA thesis collection. Famously, Blow was so taken with the collection that she bought the lot. Which is precisely what fashion philanthropist Daphne Guinness did with her friend's wardrobe after Blow's 2007 suicide.

Each garment, hat and shoe in Fashion Blows was coveted, chosen and worn by the eccentric Blow. Archived as found - cigarette burns are preserved, as is the high-heel tear through the train of a jacket - together they form a narrative of her life.

With respect, however, the McQueen thesis collection piece is not important because Blow wore it. It is important because it contains ideas. Biographer Lauren Goldstein Crowe writes of Blow pushing designers to be ever more creative and inventive and I like to think she'd have been the loudest to call bollocks on the worth of McQueen's creation having much to do with her participation after the fact.

It's become trendy to attempt to extricate garments from the creators and fashion system they come from, and particularly in the recent cultural conversation about women in clothes.

And books such as Women in Clothes, a new anthology by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton. The premise is that the editors first went in search of a book - any book! - that might tell them "what women thought about as they shopped and dressed."

"But there was nothing like that," Heti declares, both in the foreword and, since its publication in September, in numerous interviews. In an interview with, Julavits chimes in that the relationships their book's 639 survey, interview and essay contributors express, "was never articulated, ... has prior to this been unspoken."

This is nonsense. It may be convenient for the purpose of selling books but it's either disingenuous or remarkably uninformed. Even the most cursory reading list on the subject would have easily turned up Love, Loss and What I Wore, Ilene Beckerman's eloquent 1995 book (and hit off-Broadway show) that frames her autobiography with clothing, Elizabeth Kendall's 2008 memoir Autobiography of a Wardrobe, written from the point of view of the garments of her life, or onetime Sassy editor Andrea Linett's 2012 memoir I Want to Be Her!, of her identity shaped through an appreciation of the style of friends and strangers. It's So You, Michelle Tea's 2007 anthology of women writing about personal expression and style, includes writers such as Debbie Rasmussen and Kim Gordon (who also contributed to Women in Clothes).

Cultural-studies professor Paula Rabinowitz co-edits the University of Minnesota's superb Habits of Being series on clothing and identity; the latest issue contains a consideration of girls' school uniforms in provincial Italy and a look at the language of clothes in Henry James - think Women in Clothes without the clever packaging. Not to mention Canada's own late, pretty great WORN Journal, which for 20 issues explored this very thing in its irreverent editorial mix.

Of the many books exploring the way women think about clothes and getting dressed, the Booker-nominated novelist Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser (2009) is my particular favourite. "Clothes are a lifelong journey into acquiring an identity," Grant writes, as she points out that it is often an identity as much accidental as calculated, and argues that the most defining moment in the life of a young girl is the one when she begins to choose her own clothes.

"When academics write about the language of clothes and describe the various messages that are encrypted in the garments," she continues, "they seldom include in that vast vocabulary the word 'rejoice.' " There were already enough of these books when her book was published five years ago that Grant warned against the dismissal of, and palpable disdain for, the bliss of fashion in her own.

Too late. With anthologies such as Emily Spivack's Worn Stories and Women in Clothes we have since arrived at a place that privileges the garment as object, for end use in cultural theory or the excavation of a personal and social past. Heaven forbid we admit to the simple pleasure of a Rachel Comey shift dress per se. Even Gap's fall ad campaign emphasizes not the commodity they're selling but its value as a tool in personal style, appealing to the individual who thinks him or herself outside "the system." What we talk about when we talk about fashion now is the relational-aesthetics trend that has flourished in the art world since the 1990s.

Participation, the 2006 instalment of the Documents of Contemporary Art series edited by Claire Bishop, explains this prevailing collaborative experience as the "social dimension of participation" in art.

Ah, there's that word - art. Today's supreme memoirism of dress, in attempting to distance itself by treating fashion like a dirty F-word, also makes it the gorilla in the room. Yes, the subsequent supply chain and the environmental impact of the global garment industry are highly problematic. So is the overall fashion industry's role in undermining self-esteem. But let's not be bamboozled into thinking that when we are talking about clothes we aren't talking about fashion: Fashion as philosophy and ideas; fashion as art, and its beauty as bliss; desire; Susan Orlean's Worn Stories essay on her restless search for the perfect uniform and the impossibility of desire everlasting.

Besides, the status and meaning ascribed to the humble thrifted cardigan is also a label, and as self-conscious as the studied poses of brand-draped, street style stars.

"There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them," Virginia Woolf said. Put another way and in the simplest of terms by the legendary designer Oscar de la Renta, who died Monday at the age of 82: "I just want to make beautiful clothes."

Fashion Blows is free to the public during regular store hours at The Room, Hudson's Bay Queen Street in Toronto, Oct. 23 through Nov. 1.

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Fashion Blows is a new Toronto exhibition of 55 pieces from the wardrobe of the late celebrated British stylist Isabella Blow.


Quietly searing in its search for the truth
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page R1

Alanis Obomsawin's new film is bracketed by two long-distance journeys. The first is a canoe trip in 1905 by Duncan Campbell Scott, the poet and bureaucrat delegated by the governments of Canada and Ontario to make a treaty with the Cree of Northern Ontario. The second is a 1,600-kilometre foot trek to Ottawa in the winter of 2012 by a half-dozen young Cree from a settlement on James Bay, to protest the ways in which treaties settled a century before had been ignored or misunderstood.

The James Bay Treaty, also known as Treaty No. 9, eventually covered a vast portion of Northern Ontario. Native people regard it and the other numbered treaties as foundational charters of land-sharing, but the paper brought back to Ottawa from Scott's Northern Ontario tour tells a different story. The Cree signatories "cede, release, surrender and yield up" their lands, the document says, and though traditional hunting and fishing can continue, the province can hinder or curtail them whenever it pleases.

Few if any of the Cree who signed had enough English to read those terms, although the document claims everything was "interpreted and explained." But was it? Cree oral histories of the encounter with Scott say nothing about land surrender or regulated hunting. Obomsawin's Trick or Treaty? argues that Treaty 9 is a puzzle that can be solved only by considering everything that was said before the paper was signed.

Part of the film focuses on the quest by two very different men to understand the making of Treaty 9. John Long is a Nipissing University historian who studied the journals of witnesses to the process, and Stan Louttit was a grand chief of the Mushkegowuk Cree whose grandfather was one of those who signed the treaty.

Long's researches included close study of a little-known diary by George MacMartin, the only one of the three treaty commissioners (the others were Scott and Samuel Stewart) who did not work for the Department of Indian Affairs.

At several stops along the way, Long says, MacMartin's account revealed that the "surrender" clauses of the written treaty were neither mentioned nor explained, and that the Cree were assured "that they could hunt wherever they pleased." In a paper Scott wrote after the treaty was signed, he admitted that the explanations were far from thorough. Since the Cree could not be expected to understand Canadian law and government, he wrote, "the simpler facts had to be stated, and the parental idea developed, that the King is the great father of the Indians, watchful over their interests and ever compassionate."

Some were reluctant to buy this "paternal idea." Missabay, a blind chief at Osnaburg, told Scott that he worried his people would become bound to their reserve lands, and unable to hunt or fish as before. The commissioners' official report says Missabay was told these fears were "groundless, as [the Crees'] present manner of making their livelihood would in no way be interfered with." In fact, Indian Affairs had been restricting indigenous people to reserves in other parts of Canada since the 1880s, and Cree along the Treaty 9 tour route were already being prosecuted for trading in furs that the department thought they shouldn't have.

The film's title comes from a remark in Long's 2010 book, Treaty No. 9: Making the Agreement to Share the Land in Far Northern Ontario in 1905. Long's scholarly doubts about the fairness of the process boil over in Louttit's presentations to northern Cree communities about deception pure and simple. The grand chief, who died in June, particularly fumes over the lack of respect shown to Cree oral history. The irony is that he is obliged to point to Long's researches into the written record to prove that "we were right."

Another big part of Trick or Treaty? tells of the eruption of Idle No More in 2012 in the wake of Bill C-45, which changed several laws related to native people and the land without consultation. Obomsawin's footage of thousands converging on Ottawa plays almost as an elegy to the optimism and pride of that period of native activism. There's a lot of impassioned oratory, including a quietly searing impromptu speech by Shawn Atleo, the former head of the Assembly of First Nations, about the "poverty [that] is killing our people."

But the most moving image in the whole film may be that of a young woman in a bright blue dress and fringed shawl, dancing alone along a slushy street behind a parade of demonstrators. She looks so very assured of who she is, and where she's from, and what belongs to her.

What's missing from Trick or Treaty? is any reference to the evolution of judicial understanding of what the treaties mean. In a series of judgments since the 1990s, the Supreme Court has found that "the oral promises made when the treaty was agreed to are as much a part of the treaty as the written words," as the court wrote in R. v. Morris (2006).

Translating this theoretical understanding into workable courtroom practice is more difficult, says Aimée Craft, an Anishinaabe legal scholar and assistant law professor at the University of Manitoba. It's fine to say that oral promises and history are legally valid, she says, but how do you reconcile that with long-standing rules against hearsay evidence? The bias toward paper becomes even greater in appeal courts, she says, and pushes the indigenous view of the matter further away.

"You lose that oral value and dimension," Craft says, "and you lose the spiritual value, the connection to the land." Obomsawin makes the same point at the end of Trick or Treaty?, with words by Santee Sioux poet John Trudell ("we are the land"), and sweeping aerial imagery of the waters and lands that Duncan Campbell Scott tried to harness, a century ago, with a piece of paper.

Trick or Treaty? plays in Toronto on Oct. 25 (5:30 p.m.) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, as part of the imagineNATIVE festival (, and in Montreal on Nov. 20 (8:30 p.m.) at Cinéma Excentris and Nov. 22 (2 p.m.) at Cinéma du Parc, as part of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (

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Alanis Obomsawin's new documentary, Trick or Treaty?, is a puzzle to be solved.

An atypical Canadian success story ends
Sidelined with a back injury for the season, we've likely seen Nash take the last shot of the unlikeliest Hall of Fame career ever
Friday, October 24, 2014 – Print Edition, Page S2

Steve Nash, whose marvellous NBA career likely came to an end on Thursday, was entirely his own creation.

Tallish, but not tall. Strongish, but not strong. Athletic, but unathletically so. Everything he accomplished was the result of will. The real trick was in making it all look so effortless.

"If every basketball player worked as hard as I do, I would be out of a job," Nash once said.

No one did. And so Nash - a gawky point guard from Victoria - was able to carve out for himself the unlikeliest Hall of Fame career in professional basketball history.

He's 40 years old and plagued by injury. On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that back troubles would cost him the entire 2014-15 season.

He'd already said that this was probably his last go-round. It's not over, but it's sort of over.

For the generation that grew up watching Nash as he progressed from U.S. college to the pros, he represented a conceptual break with what we thought of as an urCanadian athlete.

Canadians played hockey. The few who didn't play hockey were sprinters. Canadians did not play glamour sports down south. If they did, they weren't any good.

Wayne Gretzky aside, they were not names.

Nash willed himself out of Canada, securing a spot at unheralded Santa Clara. It was the only school that wanted him. He dribbled a tennis ball to and from class, trying to improve his handle. He worked himself obsessively.

He also began a long association with the Canadian senior team. Over the years, Nash would piggyback the national program into something that resembled relevance. He managed it almost entirely by himself.

By his final year at Santa Clara, he'd become a figure of fascination - a dorky-looking Canadian kid in a comically oversized uniform who didn't have much by way of speed, and nothing by way of defence.

But he could shoot. Nash's release is a mechanical marvel - kinetic perfection. Imperturbable and - crucially - endlessly repeatable. No one has ever shot with his precision. He'll leave the game as the NBA's all-time leader in free-throw percentage (.904), and ninth in three-point percentage (.428).

He was drafted in the mid-first round by the Phoenix Suns. Suns fans in the draft hall booed the pick. The Suns buried him behind Kevin Johnson and, later, the other great point guard of that generation, Jason Kidd.

Being Canadian, Nash didn't complain about limited minutes.

Also being Canadian, no one in the Suns organization bothered to figure out if he was actually any good.

He was poached by Dallas, who gambled on the potential. Still, he didn't play anything like a full season until he was 26 years old - already cresting the career hill in point-guard terms.

He was good for the Mavericks, but never great. As he approached 30, he had fashioned himself into that cursed thing - a dependable careerist.

Watching him, that was more than enough. Steve Nash was doing what no other contemporary Canadian could do in the NBA: be average enough to hang on.

He wanted to re-sign in Dallas, but they thought he was too old to offer a major deal. This was in 2004. With two zeros and a four.

He returned to Phoenix, who'd long since recognized their mistake. Slotted into a frenetic running offence that took advantage of his court vision and superlative pick-and-roll skills, Nash suddenly became the best player in basketball.

He won his first MVP award that year - the first Canadian to do it. More impressively, he was only the third point guard to manage it.

Between 2005 and 2010, while Nash edged into his mid-30s, he was the most consistently excellent performer in the game. (In a perfect Canadian touch, he would only win one Lou Marsh Award as this country's top athlete - in '04, before he began that run).

He won a second MVP. Predictably, people grumbled.

Years later, Shaquille O'Neal would growl, "Steve Nash is my boy, but I don't see how the [expletive] he got it twice."

He got it by trying. No one tried harder. No one pushed more. He was a silky, cerebral player as well as the clichéd swan - elegant on the surface, paddling like mad underneath the water.

His signature moment was a war with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2007 Western Conference final.

The Spurs ruthlessly targeted the head of the snake - Nash. He was bloodied and bruised. Robert Horry nearly killed him with a late-game body check into the scorer's table - the most typically Canadian image of Nash's career.

That was the peak. He was a kid out of the back of beyond (by U.S. standards) playing hockey on the hardcourt. He was the best player in the world. He was on the cusp of glory. And then he wasn't.

The Suns lost that series. That felt like the closest they'd ever get to an NBA final. Nash would continue on for several seasons in Arizona, but the team was falling apart around him.

He finally decided to leave in 2012. The Toronto Raptors wanted him badly. Nash was interested. But he was more interested in finally getting the ring that would solidify his legacy. So he chose the Lakers. That decision, and the team around him, blew up.

His body has been slowly betraying him for the better part of two seasons. As with so many greats who have unfinished business with the game, Nash refused to see the truth of it. It's nearly impossible to imagine him going on now.

He needn't worry. His legacy is secure. His longevity and class secured it.

That's the American bit. But he means much more to us.

He didn't put this country on the basketball map. He drew the map. He changed the way a great many people in the wider world see us. Nash made Canada cool.

He was, in his sizable corner of the culture, the most crucial Canadian of the last quarter century.

Some great athletes reimagine a game. Nash reimagined a country.

Follow me on Twitter:@CathalKelly

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Two-time MVP Steve Nash, plagued with back issues, will miss the entire 2014-15 season, and will likely retire.


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