Charming, funny, troubled, and more than a little feisty, she grew up amid all the risk factors linked to violence against indigenous women. Then one day, she simply vanished. Not long before, she crossed paths with The Globe's Wendy Stueck, who traces the mystery of a lost young mother whose family desperately wants her back
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

VANCOUVER -- MISSING AND MURDERED Searching for the lost

This story is part of an ongoing Globe and Mail investigation into the hundreds of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada

Her smile lit up the night. I was on assignment, in April, 2011, working on a story about a controversial homeless shelter run by First United, a church in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

The place was overcrowded and at times chaotic. As I sat in the lobby talking to a shelter client, someone threw up nearby. A man wandered in with a bloody gash on his head. I stepped outside for some fresh air.

That's when I met Angeline.

She had come to see a cousin, Cindy Nelson, who was staying at the shelter at the time. The two were close, like sisters. They had grown up together on their home reserve on Vancouver Island and stuck together in the city. I wrote down their names and ages in my notebook, and the time.

It was 10:30 p.m.

I didn't tape our conversation or take many notes; Angeline didn't have the firsthand perspective of the shelter that I was looking for. But she drew me in. She was friendly, unlike many there, who understandably balked at speaking to a reporter or having their picture taken. She wore a baseball cap studded with rhinestones and she was funny, teasing me about my name - Windy? Your name is Windy? - and asked me as many questions as I asked her.

She talked about her son - he was smart and good looking, "just like me," she said - and how she missed him.

When I asked why she wasn't with him, she waved away the question. I didn't press.

She told me her father had been stabbed to death just down the street, a detail I used in my story. The only quote I have in my notebook from our conversation is one from Ms. Nelson, a scribbled line that reads, "Since I been here, I done nothing but wrong." I can't remember what we were talking about at that moment.

But I remember the two women laughing, standing arm in arm, as they spoke. Even so, I didn't quite make the connection a few months later while covering a press conference where Angeline's mother, Molly Dixon, said her daughter had disappeared. The penny dropped in the summer of 2012, when I got off a bus and recognized her face on a missing poster. Her reserve, Quatsino First Nation near the northern tip of Vancouver Island, was offering $5,000 for information about her whereabouts.

That reward remains unclaimed.

Angeline Eileen Pete was 28 when she was reported missing in August, 2011. Her case is now part of a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. A 2014 RCMP report put the number of those who went missing or were murdered between 1980 and 2012 at nearly 1,200; advocacy groups say the toll could be higher.

Over the past two years, The Globe and Mail has investigated issues related to missing and murdered indigenous women: human trafficking, a national DNA bank, child welfare policies.

This story is about one missing woman. It is also about many. In trying to learn as much as I could about Angeline, I learned of a woman whose life was shaped by factors known to contribute to disproportionate rates of violence against indigenous women in Canada: poverty, the legacy of residential schools, substance and sexual abuse.

I also learned about a woman who could gut a fish in record time and who boasted about being able to survive in the bush as long as she had a knife.

I learned she was a bridesmaid at an aunt's wedding, radiant in a red dress against the bright green grass. I learned she played with her mother's makeup when she was a little girl. I learned she loved to play floor hockey and was an inveterate texter.

When people go missing, their jobs, friends, habits and histories are the clues they leave behind. Sometimes those clues form a straight line. Angeline left a maze or patchwork quilt: friends, doting relatives, a reputation for being unpredictable and sometimes violent, a son she loved.

Reaching out to her Gram

There's a ragged line across the wall of Eileen Nelson's living room; a new colour runs up, gets close to the ceiling, and then ends, as if whoever was doing the job went to get more paint or fetch a ladder. Angeline started the job, promising her grandmother she'd be done before she knew it.

The wall hasn't been touched since April, 2011, when Angeline came home to Quatsino First Nation to celebrate the seventh birthday of her son, who lives with his father in nearby Alert Bay. Since then, Ms. Nelson, 71, hasn't had the heart to do anything about that wall.

To paint it would remove another trace of Angeline - another smooth surface with no sign of what was there before.

The last time Ms. Nelson spoke to her granddaughter was that spring, after Angeline returned to Vancouver.

"She phoned me one day; I felt totally helpless," Ms. Nelson recalls. "She called me one day and said, 'Gram, I just want to come home.' And I said, 'You can come home any time you want.' But she had a court order stating she wasn't allowed on this reserve."

That restriction was among more than a dozen conditions imposed on Angeline after she was convicted, in December, 2010, on three counts of assault.

According to court records, the charges related to an incident that occurred on June 16, 2009, on the Quatsino reserve, near Port Hardy.

The incident began with taunts. It escalated into an alcohol-fuelled brawl during which Angeline punched a woman in the head. The resulting charges were the most serious in a string of offences that, according to court records, began with a theft charge in 2002, when she was 20, and included several charges for breach of probation.

On that spring day in 2011, Angeline and her grandmother talked some more. Angeline said she was out of money. "I told my granddaughter, 'You can come home, but I have no money to send you,' " Ms. Nelson says. "I didn't have any at the time. I didn't want to ask my children. And that was the last I heard from her."

A difficult childhood

Angeline was born at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on Dec. 5, 1982. She weighed six pounds and six ounces, had thick black hair and chubby cheeks. Her mother was 16.

Now 50, Ms. Dixon has spent most of her life not on the reserve, but in and around Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

After Angeline went missing, she put up dozens of posters in the neighbourhood where, five years later, she lives in an apartment filled with photographs and mementos of her daughter: "I sometimes think I will see her when I turn a corner."

Ms. Dixon grew up in social housing. Her father, once a logger and a fisherman, had come to Vancouver from B.C.'s north coast as a young man. Ms. Nelson joined him when she was old enough to leave Quatsino.

Both had attended residential schools. Both became alcoholics.

For their daughter Molly, life at home was tough. An older sister stepped in to help raise Molly and other siblings. Ms. Dixon started hanging out with a rough crowd, gravitating toward booze and pot, and sometimes harder drugs.

After Angeline was born, Ms. Dixon took her to the reserve to be with Ms. Nelson, who had moved home. But Molly and the baby didn't stay for long. Once back in Vancouver, she continued to struggle with alcohol, so the authorities intervened, placing Angeline in foster care when she was a toddler.

Over the next few years, Ms. Dixon tried to get her back. But there were problems with courts and social workers and questions about whether she was complying with conditions she was supposed to meet to regain custody. Eventually, Ms. Nelson got involved, going through what she describes as a gruelling process before gaining the right to care for Angeline.

The stint in foster care ended when Angeline was about 3. She came home changed, her grandmother says - less affectionate and more withdrawn. Eventually, she told Ms. Nelson what she could remember, such as the time her foster parents forced her to eat her own vomit after she threw up during a meal.

One summer, Ms. Nelson and her second husband - she remarried after her first husband died - took Angeline to Hope Island, a reserve off the northern end of Vancouver Island.

They spent hours on the water, watching for eagles and whales.

"She loved to be out in the bush," Ms. Nelson says. "She'd say, 'Hey Grandma, why don't you give me a potato and some matches and drop me off at Hope Island - I'll survive.' " Living with her grandparents and surrounded by extended family, Angeline attended school and thrived in sports, including floor hockey.

She did not thrive in the classroom. An aunt, Tamara Dixon, says she remembers teachers complaining that Angeline was disruptive. She didn't graduate.

Another aunt, Cary-Lee Calder, suspects Angeline may have been sexually abused as a young woman, based on things Angeline said but would never discuss in detail.

Abuse - real and threatened - has shadowed generations of women in her family. Angeline's grandmother remembers being catcalled and almost dragged into a van when she was a girl in Vancouver, a frightening incident that ended only when a friend walking nearby shouted at the man, who then drove away. Molly Dixon told me Angeline's father was violent toward her in the short time they were together.

Ms. Calder experienced uncomfortable stares and touches.

"As a young aboriginal woman, you felt like a magnet," she says.

"People could feel it and scout us out."

Angeline started drinking heavily when she was a teenager. She was in and out of relationships, including one with Darryl Stauffer.

A soft-spoken man with an easy smile, Mr. Stauffer now works with B.C. Ferries on the run between Alert Bay and the mainland. He acknowledges that his relationship with Angeline was rocky. They both drank too much, and that fuelled conflict between them.

"I probably got 40 black eyes over those years ... once she had five or six drinks, she had no control," he says.

Angeline got pregnant. She was overjoyed, but the couple continued to fight.

One of those conflicts resulted in a 2004 assault charge that put Angeline in a correctional facility. She was released before Darryl Jr. was born, in April that year. Mr. Stauffer says he cut the umbilical cord, kissed mother and child, and raced back to Port Hardy, where a job awaited aboard a commercial fishing boat; the captain had agreed to wait until the baby was delivered.

When Angeline was released from custody, she went back to Quatsino. The band's housing program found her a place to live with her son, close to her grandmother and other relatives.

But when Darryl Jr. was about 3, he went to live with his father in Alert Bay. Angeline never challenged the arrangement, perhaps because she feared that her criminal record - especially after the 2010 assault convictions - would work against her.

"She gave up," says Ms. Calder.

"She gave up her house and gave away all her stuff and walked away ... she just felt overwhelmed. There was nowhere to turn and nobody to help her. She said there was no use having a home, if [she didn't] have a son."

She began spending more time in Vancouver, and she started dating a man named Robert Calden. Family members say she met him online and lived with him in his North Vancouver apartment.

Into thin air

Shortly before Angeline went missing, she fought with Mr. Calden, who by then was her fiancé. The dispute occurred on May 20, 2011, near the North Vancouver terminal for the SeaBus passenger ferry from downtown.

The dispute was physical enough to draw officers' attention. Police questioned the couple. Mr. Calden was charged, but Angeline declined to provide a statement, and the charge was eventually stayed.

That evening, Angeline had been texting with Calvin Scow, a friend from Port Hardy also living in the Lower Mainland at the time.

In a message sent at 7:44 p.m., she said: "nice my man just hit me lol he got taken away with the cops."

Mr. Scow's reply: "Really!!! What a piece of shit!!!"

Angeline replied that she was going to change, put on some makeup and head back to downtown Vancouver. Her phone was running out of minutes. She texted Mr. Scow again, saying: "gee my lip hurts," and using a sad-face emoji. "I hate him so much that I love him."

In the profanity-laced shorthand they often used, Mr. Scow texted back: "Hahahaha ... ur fucked ... lol" He has not heard from her since.

Angeline posted a photo of herself with a split lip on Facebook.

At the time of the fight, Angeline was under two conditional sentence orders: one related to her Quatsino assault convictions, and the other related to having assaulted Mr. Calden. The conditions placed on her included a curfew and a ban on drinking alcohol.

After the police spotted the couple brawling, they tried to ensure that she was complying with her conditions, including the curfew, which was 9 p.m.

According to court records, at 10:37 p.m. on May 20 - just hours after the altercation - an RCMP constable went to the apartment where the couple was living, and "performed five sets of loud door knocks" to get her attention if she were inside, "sleeping or otherwise."

She didn't reply.

On May 25, police issued a warrant for her arrest for breaching the conditions of her sentence. North Vancouver RCMP say an officer went to the couple's apartment that day to execute the warrant and found Mr. Calden on the phone with Angeline. The officer spoke to her, and she said she would call him back. She did, telling him she was no longer in the area; he encouraged her to turn herself in.

Since then, nobody, as far as police and her family know, has heard from her.

Her grandmother, Eileen, and her aunts missed her regular phone calls and noticed that she had stopped texting and posting messages or photos on Facebook. But she was known to leave town abruptly, and family members hoped she might be on the road, perhaps working with a carnival as she had done before.

Her mother was living in Prince Rupert at the time, 760 kilometres northwest of Vancouver as the crow flies, but left messages for Angeline at the First United Church shelter and at the Carnegie Centre, a Downtown Eastside community hub.

She heard nothing back. Her grandmother, worried at not having heard from Angeline, urged Ms. Dixon to call police.

She made a report, and North Vancouver RCMP opened a file on Aug. 8, 2011.

In response to inquiries from The Globe and Mail, the RCMP has outlined steps it took to try to find Angeline between the dispute with Mr. Calden, in late May, and August, when she was reported missing.

On June 20, a note was added to her file suggesting she might be in Alberta. Detachments in North Vancouver and Port Hardy were in touch - and both were aware that a warrant had been issued for breach of probation.

On July 1 and again on July 25, North Vancouver RCMP asked its counterparts in Alberta to check their databases for any sign of Angeline.

None of those inquiries yielded any information.

In the days after Angeline was reported missing, North Vancouver RCMP officers interviewed friends, relatives and a former employer. They checked with banks and government agencies to determine if she'd used a bank machine, filled a prescription or cashed a cheque.

Police issued the first public missing-persons alert for Angeline Pete on Aug. 16, 2011. It described her as Aboriginal, 28 years old, with long, dark hair and a tattoo of a butterfly on her chest.

The ongoing investigation

The RCMP in North Vancouver typically handles about 400 missing-person files a year, the majority of which are cleared in less than 24 hours.

Angeline Pete's file is one of 50, the oldest from 1964, that are currently under investigation.

In October, 2011, her case was passed to the detachment's serious crime unit, landing there after general duty officers had run down the straightforward leads - hospitals, banks, friends and family, social media - and found nothing. The file went to Corporal Gord Reid, who this year joined the detachment's professional-standards unit.

Cpl. Reid has talked to dozens of people about Angeline, including her former fiancé, Robert Calden, and her former boyfriend, Darryl Stauffer.

He and other officers have followed up on well over 100 tips, including what turned out to be a bogus claim by someone in jail that he had spoken to Angeline after she disappeared. "I would say I have invested more hours on this than any other file I have worked on in four years," he says.

RCMP say Mr. Calden was questioned, submitted to a polygraph test and has co-operated with the investigation.

Cpl. Reid has Angeline's dental records. More than once, he has taken images to the scene when alerted to the discovery of an unidentified body. He always wonders if it's her.

Police have been stung by the suggestion that they did not take the case seriously.

On Dec. 5, 2011, an article in The Province newspaper quoted Ms. Dixon as saying she didn't think investigators were "trying hard enough."

The next day, the RCMP put out a statement outlining the steps it had taken and emphasizing that the force was "actively working" to locate Angeline and ensure her safety.

Police have looked into rumours that she may have been in trouble for stealing drugs or money. They found the people involved and ruled them out as having anything to do with her disappearance.

Also, several locations have been searched, although Cpl. Reid will not say where they are, and Angeline is the subject of a Crime Stoppers video. At one time, when the spot ran on television over the weekend, Cpl. Reid would get a half-dozen calls. When it last ran, in March, he got none.

Cpl. Reid has considered the worst. "There is a possibility that she has come to harm. Had an accident. We have no crime scene. No body," he says.

Police also have no resoundingly obvious locations in which to look. Angeline travelled. She occasionally hitchhiked. As a teenager, she sometimes caught rides with friends or relatives who were working with a travelling carnival that came through Port Hardy, and went with them to the next stop on Vancouver Island. But Cpl. Reid says RCMP inquiries suggest Angeline did not travel with the carnival the year she went missing.

When I contacted West Coast Amusements, the family company that dominates the carnival circuit in Western Canada and returns each year to towns like Port Hardy, it said there is no record of an employee named Angeline Pete.

But "carnies" can also work for subcontractors who run games or food concessions for the show. Steve Holt, a long-time concessions manager with West Coast who also runs his own booths as an independent contractor, checked his records and found that he had hired Angeline - but back in 2008, and only for a couple of weeks.

A carnie who knew Angeline told me she had been close to a woman known as "Thumper."

Through Facebook, I connected with Rachealle Smith, whose nickname is "Thumper Thrasher" and who has worked the carnival circuit in Western Canada for 25 years.

Ms. Smith said she and Angeline worked together for at least two seasons, including the year she disappeared. They got along and would run kids' midway games as a team as well as set up and tear the games down together, doing so quickly to give them more free time on "jump days" (when the show moves to the next site).

On several occasions, Robert Calden showed up and appeared to harass Angeline, says Ms. Smith, who says she last saw her at a campsite near Courtenay, on Vancouver Island. The two women talked about going to North Vancouver to collect Angeline's belongings. She says Angeline was scared. That was out of character for a woman known never to back down from a scrap. "She was not scared of anything - no fear," Ms. Smith said. "So, for her not to want to go home - that's why I said, 'Wait for us, we'll go home with you' - and then she took off.

"I miss her. I just want her to come back."

Mr. Calden would not be interviewed for this story. The Globe and Mail attempted to reach him through social media, friends and relatives. But since Angeline's disappearance, he has moved out of the apartment in North Vancouver.

At one time a youth worker with the Squamish First Nation in the Lower Mainland, he grew up in Selkirk, Man., after being adopted by a white couple who had three other children. One of them says Mr. Calden was born at Sagkeeng First Nation on Lake Winnipeg, adopted as a toddler and given the new family's surname. A Robert James Calden is listed on the list of voters for Sagkeeng First Nation.

In keeping with privacy regulations, the band says it can provide no further information.

One of Mr. Calden's adoptive siblings is Hildegard Vickers, now a Lutheran Church deacon in Erickson, Man. In a telephone interview, she said that she is in occasional communication with Mr. Calden, that he is aware of The Globe's investigation and doesn't want to speak about Angeline.

She said she could not discuss Mr. Calden's background or current whereabouts - but had one thing she could say: Mr. Calden wanted to thank The Globe for telling Angeline's story.

'Each of us has a piece missing'

Cary-Lee Calder's living room in Campbell River, 175 kilometres southeast of Port Hardy, is filled with family photographs, including her 2007 wedding picture with a dozen bridesmaids - one of them a beaming Angeline, her niece.

She is missed. Ms. Calder's daughter, Rivers, was especially close to Angeline, who would braid the girl's hair, paint her nails and share secrets.

"Each of us has a piece missing. My daughter's heart is broken," Ms. Calder says.

The family holds onto hope.

They think of Angeline's strength and of her temper.

Cindy Nelson remembers once being shoved by a man in front of a Vancouver hotel - her cousin swept in like a hurricane, whacking him and yelling as he skulked away. "She just taught me to not put up with bullshit," Ms. Nelson says. "She was just that type of person."

Ms. Calder says she never thought Angeline would be hurt, because she was so strong: "I was convinced, if something happened to her, it had to be more than one guy."

Ms. Calder works with the First Nations Health Authority, which delivers health-care services to First Nations communities in B.C. In social-media postings, she is upbeat and funny, chronicling her experiences as a parent, working woman and runner.

In January, she came to Vancouver to meet Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and other officials, advocates and family members to talk about the upcoming national inquiry. After it was launched two weeks ago, she posted on Facebook, "Praying for answers about our beloved Angeline Pete."

She hopes someone, somewhere knows something that will answer the question: Where is Angeline? She wants people to care. "I want people to know she was worthy, that she mattered," Ms. Calder says.

"That she still matters."

For their loved ones, the missing are never really gone.

In May, I got a text from Darryl Stauffer, asking about the progress of this story. Darryl Jr., he wrote, "brought up his mom with tears in his eyes on Mother's Day."

The boy turned 12 in April.

He has a sheaf of photographs of his mother, and when he smiles, he looks much like her.

The last time Angeline visited her son, in April, 2011, she brought him a Detroit Red Wings jersey. They were his favourite team.

Mr. Stauffer says young Darryl is doing well in school and loves to play hockey, a sport his father says saved his own life as a teenager, by connecting him to friends who had something positive going on in their lives.

He wants the same for his son. So he does all he can to get Darryl Jr. to practices and tournaments. His aunties and his grandmother cheer him on.

"That's why he wants to play hockey - so if he gets famous, his mom will find him."

Wendy Stueck is a Globe and Mail reporter based in Vancouver.

Associated Graphic

Molly Dixon holds a photograph of her daughter, Angeline Pete, and Angeline's son, Darryl. Ms. Pete went missing in 2011.

Photography by John Lehmann

Angeline's grandmother, Eileen Nelson, runs her hand along a wall in her living room, which Angeline had begun painting when she came home to Quatsino First Nation in 2011 to celebrate the seventh birthday of her son, Darryl Jr., who lives with his father in nearby Alert Bay, B.C.

Cary-Lee Calder suspects that her niece may have been sexually abused as a young woman, based on things Angeline said.

Angeline's son, Darryl, has a sheaf of photographs of his mother and, when he smiles, he looks much like her.

Angeline's mother, Molly Dixon, holds a photo of her daughter taken with Angeline's son, Darryl. Says Ms. Dixon, who lives in an apartment filled with photographs and mementos of her daughter: 'I sometimes think I will see her when I turn a corner.'

The camera loves Justin Trudeau - and he knows it. Eric Andrew-Gee job-shadows Adam Scotti, the photographer charged with capturing every move of a Prime Minister well aware that, in the age of social media, a flattering picture may be worth far more than a thousand words
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

OTTAWA -- Justin Trudeau is being photographed signing photographs of himself. He glides a black Sharpie over the glossy printouts. A camera lens flutters nearby. The quiet is broken when one of his markers dries up.

"Tommy!" the Prime Minister cries. "I need a new Sharpie!"

His assistant, Tommy Desfossés, hurries in with a fresh writing implement.

The signing resumes. Behind the camera, and behind the photos on Mr. Trudeau's desk, is Adam Scotti, the Prime Minister's official photographer, responsible for some of the best-known images of our most image-conscious leader in a generation.

Mr. Trudeau hugging the panda cubs? That was Mr. Scotti. Son Hadrien high-fiving Barack Obama? Mr. Scotti, as well.

He is also responsible for this slightly surreal moment. For not only is Mr. Scotti photographing Mr. Trudeau. He, in turn, is being photographed for this story. The camera lenses are playing a duet.

"Now you know how I feel," Mr. Trudeau tells him.

The Prime Minister is the most photographed man in Canada.

Wherever he goes, he leaves a trail of images in his wake. The past two weeks have been a case in point: Mr. Trudeau has managed to have himself photographed without a shirt on, not once but twice - first while hiking in Quebec, and then again at an outdoor wedding in B.C.

Both images came from citizen photographers, a category that now includes virtually anyone with a cell phone. But in large measure his constant visibility is due to Mr. Scotti.

Every prime minister since Mr. Trudeau's father - even brief occupant Kim Campbell - has had a photographer to document their time in office.

What's different about Mr. Scotti is the way that his pictures are used. Never before has the role he plays been so influential in shaping the public perception of a Canadian politician.

Due to the explosion of social media and the retrenchment of the traditional press, politicians have more power than ever to communicate with voters directly. Meanwhile, the Internet has given still photos a pride of place in our media culture that they haven't enjoyed since the rise of television.

Mr. Trudeau has used that power, and that technology, to the hilt. He is the first prime minister of the Instagram age.

As the photo shoot ends, Mr. Trudeau can't resist pointing out another meticulously curated element of his persona: a pair of stylish sofas, one blue, one beige, that recently replaced the leather slabs of the Stephen Harper years. "You guys get the first view of the refreshed office furniture," he says, smiling wryly. "A little warmer than the last occupant."

With that, Mr. Scotti snaps a few final frames and takes a rare leave from the Prime Minister's side. "Thanks, boss," he says before retreating to his office, just two doors away.

Like a flare heralding the PM's arrival

Official photographers live or die by how much access they have.

By this measure, Mr. Scotti may be the most fortunate person ever to fill the post.

His proximity to the Prime Minister is remarkable. Only Mr. Desfossés and principal secretary Gerald Butts have offices that are closer. "If the door's closed, I don't have to ask," he says. "I can also count on one hand the amount of times I've been told, 'Don't come in right now.' " To get his shot, he has the run of Parliament, sprinting past Mounties built like bikers without so much as an "Excuse me."

With his bright ginger hair and fondness for Mickey Mousethemed ties, Mr. Scotti is like a flare heralding Mr. Trudeau's arrival wherever the PM goes.

Before a photo opportunity with visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, an orange blur darts through the security cordon and slips behind a pillar.

"Adam Scotti's here," says a reporter standing in the scrum.

"You know what that means."

For the press gallery, it means time to turn on the tape recorders. For the Prime Minister's Office, it means there will soon be a fresh batch of photos to post. Although nominally at arm's length from the PMO's social-media strategy, Mr. Scotti is in fact a vital part of it.

He must edit photos all day for posting, using a program on his phone that adjusts lighting with little sliding tabs. On a busy day, he'll post as many as a dozen to the photo-sharing website, Flickr - a crop he chooses on his own.

But the bigger prizes are the Prime Minister's Facebook and Instagram accounts, where Mr. Scotti's photos often garner tens of thousands of likes and shares.

These photos are meticulously selected by communications staff, with Mr. Scotti's assistance, often with a mission in mind. At one point, an aide walks into his office and asks if he has any photos of the Prime Minister's earlymorning run with his Mexican counterpart.

Mr. Trudeau's outfit was laden with meaning - a pair of Rugby Canada shorts and a T-shirt from the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival (whose logo, he'd explained to Mr. Pena Nieto, "looked like a Mexican death head"). The PMO wants to tweet at both organizations, along with the picture. As luck would have it, Mr. Scotti just happens to be editing his shots of the jogging.

He is paid out of the PMO's communications budget, and reports to director of communications Kate Purchase, who calls him "a huge asset," and says that "he really provides us with another medium to tell our story and to tell the Prime Minister's story."

Mr. Trudeau is a master of that medium. His looks and physical fitness make him photogenic, but so does his awareness of the camera, and his comfort in front of it. His sense of lighting and angle is acute, if not always accurate. ("He sometimes likes to guess what I'm doing," Mr. Scotti says, "and I'll never tell people this - but he's usually wrong.") Before journalists arrive for a photo-op with Mr. Pena Nieto in his parliamentary office, Mr. Trudeau points to a bright chandelier overhead, and quietly says, "Adam, the lights are on."

Mr. Scotti nods and mouths, "It's fine," but later explains that the chandelier's vaguely orange light is "a perennial problem."

"He is attuned to what I need to do my job," he says. "He understands what we need photos for, he understands what you [the media] need photos for, he understands what the six o'clock news needs footage for... It's not his first rodeo."

Mr. Scotti is right about that. As the first-born son of a celebrity prime minister, Mr. Trudeau was in the public eye from the day of his christening, when news photographers flocked to Ottawa's Notre-Dame Basilica - as much for his parents, resplendently dressed in furs, as for the baby swaddled in his mother's arms.

Young Justin even featured in perhaps the most iconic photograph of his father's premiership, clutched under Pierre Trudeau's arm on their way to a garden party as an RCMP officer dutifully salutes.

Of course, all politicians seek out the warm glow of a camera flash. And Mr. Trudeau is far from the only world leader to use his photographer as a political asset. The Washington Post has described the White House's Pete Souza as Mr. Obama's "secret weapon."

The difference for Mr. Trudeau is in the size of the payoff. Even photographers of other world leaders marvel at his physical grace. The Mexican President's photographer shakes his head as he examines a picture showing his boss with Mr. Scotti's.

"Look at Trudeau - he's relaxed, comfortable. My president is..." and here he imitates Mr. Pena Nieto's ramrod posture and stiff expression.

Canada has had photogenic leaders before - Mr. Trudeau's father comes to mind - but this Prime Minister's use of photography transcends his looks and comfort in the spotlight. An emotive, energetic personality like his translates especially well visually, says Tannis Toohey, a former photographer and photo editor with the Toronto Star.

She notes Mr. Trudeau's subtle gifts in front of a camera, like smiling eyes that indicate sincerity - a stark contrast with his predecessor.

"Harper was a robot. We waited and waited for him to blink, or to gesture, and to show emotion.

And that's why I think the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction: We want something, "Ms. Toohey says.

"He gets in there, he mingles ... He's a two-hand-handshake guy.

He leans in, holds on to the hand - leans in, as if to say, 'I hear you.

This is our moment.' "If there is a constant motif to Mr. Scotti's unusually various portfolio, it is that: Mr. Trudeau touching people - hugging them, shaking their hands, posing for selfies with them. That physical intimacy does double duty, says Jerald Sabin, a political science researcher at Carleton University who has studied Mr. Trudeau's public image: It conveys warmth and compassion, which has been a major political selling point for the Prime Minister.

It also plays well on social media. "Now you have your smartphone in your pocket and you're looking at Instagram on the bus, in bed, over breakfast," Mr. Sabin says. "So those images become very intimate, because they're so close to you."

What's more, online habits have shifted in recent years toward platforms like Facebook and Instagram that are dominated by photos. Where a generation of politicians had to master the "hot," kinetic medium of TV - with its emphasis on physical gesture and digestible soundbites - Mr. Trudeau has ridden to success through a mastery of Internet culture, which valorizes static images that can be shared and turned into memes.

The Trudeau team has long recognized this shift, and used Mr. Scotti to adapt. "In a campaign, in opposition, and in government, we've always taken the approach of sort of 'digital by default.' And the way you tell digital stories is through pictures. So we've really benefited from having his eye," Ms. Purchase says.

"It's not just about the policies.

The photo is able to cut through all of it in a very simple way."

Mr. Scotti's eye has been especially helpful in displacing the traditional role of the press. As journalistic resources dwindle, the high-quality handouts provided free on Flickr and Facebook by the PMO become more and more tempting. Small-town papers, especially, run Mr. Scotti's pictures all the time.

The Globe has a general policy against publishing images provided by the government, but there are exceptions, and when the wire services miss a newsworthy shot, Mr. Scotti may be the only option.

For example, when Mr. Trudeau visited a pair of baby pandas in their pen at the Toronto Zoo in March, the media were barred - but not Mr. Scotti. So it was his picture of the PM with the cuddly cubs that dominated social media that afternoon.

'We could go anywhere we wanted'

The role of official photographer has changed dramatically over the years but the fact the job even exists suggests a growing distance between prime ministers and the media.

Pierre Trudeau was the first to employ a photographer full time, during his last government in the early 1980s. Before that, the press gallery had such good access to him that there was no need.

"When we went on Trudeau trips, basically we had carte blanche," says Andy Clark, who was a photojournalist with various wire services and later one of Brian Mulroney's official photographers.

"We could go anywhere we wanted, as long as we didn't get in the way, and the country we were visiting didn't mind ...

"It was very laid back. We just got marvellous photos."

When Mr. Clark started working for Mr. Mulroney in 1985, there was no pressure - much less a mechanism, in the days before Internet - to distribute his photos. The only picture he regularly sent out was the Mulroney family Christmas card.

"My job was strictly to record for posterity," he says. "I have to give credit to the Prime Minister, who really understood the importance of that. He really did."

The eruption of social media made Mr. Clark's version of the job seem quaint. Jason Ransom was one of two official photographers to Stephen Harper, the prime minister who straddled the digital revolution.

"The appetite really changed a couple years in," he says.

"They wanted to start attaching photos to press releases, and eventually it became web galleries."

Suddenly, Mr. Ransom wasn't just stocking away his photos for a dusty archive. He had a role in choosing which images of Mr. Harper would be shared across the web. Facebook accelerated the trend, he says, turning the PMO into its own "news service."

Mr. Scotti is sensitive to the impression that he is merely a tool of the Prime Minister's communications strategists.

He's steeped in the history of the position to an unusual degree - his father, Bill McCarthy (his mother's surname is Scotti), was another of Mr. Mulroney's photographers - and the job's integrity is important to him. His responsibility is to "posterity and history first," he insists. That extends to arcane technical details, like the fact that he shoots his digital files in "raw," meaning that the final image is exactly what the lens captured, unadulaterated by the camera's special effects.

He also edits photos lightly - he may "sharpen them up," but abjures the filters and effects that some use to cast their bosses in a better light.

Meanwhile, he says he withholds interesting photos only if they may breach cabinet confidentiality or pose security issues.

"I really am a stickler," he says.

Being in Mr. Scotti's company leaves no doubt of this. He answers questions candidly, and amazes with his earnest manner and almost furious diligence.

But it's also clear that, while official photographers in the past have seen themselves basically as contractors, Mr. Scotti sees himself as part of the Trudeau team. The closeness of staffers in the PMO is endearing when it's not cloying. Mr. Scotti is affectionately known as "Ginger" - much like a famously red-headed royal. In fact, when road work halts a staff van in Mr. Trudeau's motorcade, press secretary Cameron Ahmad quips, "Tell them we've got Prince Harry."

The teasing belies a near-familial fondness, especially with Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Scotti is one of his longest-tenured staffers; he started shooting photos for him part-time in 2010 after covering the future leader when he made an appearance at McGill.

It was Mr. Scotti's first proper job out of college. He's just 27.

Before this, he was a prefect at his private high school in Ottawa - a position that came with a red blazer and his own bathtub (he was a boarder while his mother was an aid worker in West Africa) - and at McGill, he quickly rose to become photo editor of the Tribune, the mainstream campus paper. But for all his precocious achievement, he has spent most of his adult life in the Trudeau inner circle, and been formed by its worldview.

"Sure, politically, if he and I were to talk about social issues, or this and that, we very much agree," he says.

Since the launch of Mr. Trudeau's career on the national stage, the two have gone long stretches spending more time together than with their partners (Mr. Scotti is engaged to Global News journalist Monique Muise).

Those long hours have produced charged moments. Shortly after winning the Liberal leadership in 2013, Mr. Trudeau took his family on an RV road trip, and stopped at the B.C. lake where his brother Michel died after an avalanche in 1998.

While Mr. Trudeau had a private moment of reflection by the water, Mr. Scotti watched his kids.

"It was one of the few times when I talked with him about our relationship," Mr. Scotti recalls. "He basically said, 'Look, you're part of the family.' " The two have had to recalibrate their rapport slightly since Mr. Trudeau became Prime Minister. Mr. Scotti can't call out "Justin" any more - the dignity of the office won't allow it. He has settled on "Boss" instead.

But that new formality hasn't precluded occasional dinners on the road or the regular running sessions they still share. Nor has it diminished Mr. Scotti's evident fondness for Mr. Trudeau.

"I'm not sure I could work for somebody else," he says.

That deep sense of commitment helps Mr. Scotti get through the long, punishing days his post entails. Not only does he keep the same whirlwind schedule as Mr. Trudeau, he must be constantly sprinting, ducking and crouching his way into position. During the Mexican President's visit, Mr. Scotti was sweating through his shirt before lunchtime.

Sleep and square meals have become luxuries he can rarely afford. Because lunch makes him tired, he often just eats at the end of the day. Colleagues occasionally leave snacks on his desk, even though they're likely to remain untouched.

He seems to have one indulgence: craft beer. His globe-trotting job has allowed him to sample thousands of varieties (often in small quantities, mind you). Otherwise, Mr. Scotti lives like an uncommonly chipper Navy SEAL. His gear even has something of the arsenal about it: three top-of-the-line 5D Mark III Canon cameras, each with a different lens (16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 mm) for different situations, plus a Fuji X-T1 with a Leica lens for backup, and quiet spaces.

Mr. Scotti doesn't count the number of photos he shoots every day, but it's likely in the hundreds, if not the thousands; the whir of his camera is a nearpermanent soundtrack of Mr. Trudeau's working life. Amid his daily grind, Mr. Scotti has little time to mull the debate over the Prime Minister's image and his role in crafting it. "That is for the historians and the pundits to figure out," he says.

A study of Mr. Trudeau's Flickr account suggests a tentative verdict on that score: It's hard to find a picture that reflects badly on the Prime Minister.

As the Memorial University political scientist Alex Marland plausibly asks of Mr. Scotti's photos: "How many of them show the Trudeaus arguing, or Trudeau getting angry at a staff member, or wiping goop out of his eye?" It's a far cry from the archive of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's photographer, Yoichi Okamoto - still considered the gold standard of his profession almost half a century later - which is full of unflattering images of the profane, jowly Texan.

That may reflect the extraordinary self-awareness of someone who has been photographed from infancy, but Prof. Marland offers a likelier explanation: The growing ubiquity of news media and the sophistication of political strategy have thrust modern politicians into a state of constant electioneering.

"The official photographer in the Prime Minister's Office is a perfect example of permanent campaigning," he says.

That Mr. Trudeau faces no real political rivals and boasts an approval rating around 60 per cent has not stopped him from pressing his advantage. Even as the Conservatives and New Democrats tread water with lame-duck or interim leaders, Mr. Trudeau has appeared in near-daily photo ops, some 40 per cent of which featured no spoken remarks, according to an analysis by the National Post.

Even as the Liberal government pursues an ambitious policy agenda, its campaign machine continues to hum - with Mr. Scotti as a valuable piston.

'You have to be true to who you are'

Up close, Mr. Trudeau's skill at being photographed appears almost superhuman.

As he wades through a patio full of Liberal staffers and think tankers at an Ottawa cocktail lounge to celebrate a speech to Parliament by President Obama that day, he stops constantly for selfies. Mr. Scotti has the night off, but all eyes, and flashes, are on the Prime Minister.

As always, he is on. Even though he can't fail to notice that the air is thick with the smell of weed, his effervescent smile is no different from the one he flashed a day earlier for a museum full of college students.

After the barrage of selfies, Mr. Trudeau and his retinue of beefy Mounties reach my corner of the patio. Before being whisked away, he agrees to answer a couple of questions.

I ask what it is like to be the most photographed person in the country. He smiles knowingly. This is obviously a subject he has thought about.

"You figure out early on that perceptions of you can't lift you up or bring you down," he says.

"You have to be true to who you are and hope that shines through everything you do."

Soon after, he turns and leaves. The mood of the party continues to bubble like the champagne that fills so many Liberal glasses.

But not everyone is happy.

When the Prime Minister has gone, his policy director, Michael McNair, approaches me in the men's washroom. He looks upset. "That was kinda bullshit," he says.

Before making his way to the urinal, he tells me I shouldn't have asked the Prime Minister questions, or recorded the answers. The Globe should consider its "relationship" with the government before using the quotes, he says.

Mr. McNair has either gone rogue, or is responding to the day's excitement. But in a way, the episode seems suggestive.

After a night of unbridled openness to the flash of cameras, the Prime Minister's staff has bristled at a brief conversation. He gives press conferences and even occasional sit-down interviews - more, certainly, than Mr.

Harper did. But there's little doubt, as highlighted by his constant but no-comment photoops, that Team Trudeau is more comfortable with the static predictability of pictures than the messy give-and-take of answering questions.

The encounter also helps to illuminate one of the Prime Minister's responses on the patio. I asked whether he ever found Mr. Scotti's presence distracting. His reply underlines both his comfort in front of a camera, and his skill at turning that comfort to his advantage.

He said he mostly tunes it out, but sometimes "when I hear his shutter, I say, 'Okay, is he getting a good shot?' "And I'll turn to give him a better shot."

Eric Andrew-Gee is a national reporter with The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Above: As the Prime Minister awaits the arrival of Mexico's visiting President, his everpresent official photographer, Adam Scotti, prepares to capture the moment.


Photographer Adam Scotti on his way to work on Parliament Hill: But for an affection for craft beer (which he tracks with a phone app), he lives a spartan life.


The Prime Minister goes about his business apparently oblivious to the snapping of Adam Scotti, which he says he tunes out - unless there is something he can do to make a shot better.


Uruguay's eclectic beach towns are perfect for adventurous travellers who love pristine nature and a low-key vibe
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T1

PUNTA DEL DIABLO, URUGUAY -- The road into Punta del Diablo started out normal enough. My husband and I were making our our way to the most northeastern of Uruguay's beach towns, a place far off the vacation track for most Canadians. Even for some Uruguayans, since it's a solid four-hour drive from the capital, Montevideo, and just a few kilometres from the Brazilian border.

At first, the road was paved. There were a few regular-looking houses on large lots, a couple of mercados - grocery stores - and a large, treed campsite. Then some youth hostels, their large porches clearly ready for all-night hangouts.

More houses, closer together, some looking as if they'd been built from scrap materials, others closer to Dwell magazine modernism.

Suddenly, we appeared to be driving through the vendor and food-stall section of a large, disorganized music festival. The road had changed from asphalt to packed dirt and there was an almost impenetrable crowd of people milling around in front of our car. Young gods in dreadlocks carrying surfboards, families trailing kids, dozens of bronzed teenagers, locals carrying plastic grocery bags. There were restaurants with wonky wooden decks and hand-lettered signs pressed up to the sidewalk-less road.

Ramshackle stalls selling straw hats, beach wraps, jewellery, blow-up water toys and gourds for mate, a traditional hot drink.

Then, as we inched forward through the mob - the Atlantic.

The grey-green waves unfurling down a long curved cove. Men winching small wooden fish boats out of the water and onto the beach. A horse and cart pulling away from the fishmongers' stalls.

So, definitely not the Hawaiian island of Maui, or Sayulita, Mexico, or Italy's Ligurian coast, or Venice Beach, Calif., or any other seaside community we'd ever been to. As we would continue to discover, travelling up and down the coast, Uruguay's small towns and their beaches were nothing like anything we'd seen before.

My decision to visit Uruguay, a country of only 3.8 million wedged between giant neighbours Argentina and Brazil can be traced to a film I'd seen at the Vancouver film festival several years before. Por el camino, by Argentine director Charly Braun, is a road-trip movie that threw together a flaky young Belgian woman and a more conventional, upper-class Argentine man in search of various people and places in Uruguay. Predictably, the characters fell in love.

The more unexpected journey in the film was their geographic one, filled with scenes of rolling green hills, farming towns populated by gauchos with sunweathered walnut faces and beaches facing a vast expanse of ocean. It put Uruguay onto my daydream list.

And now, here we were, trying not to mow anyone down as we crawled along the oceanfront and up the hill to our Airbnb cottage, a place that turned out to be far less hippie-casual and more upscale-tourist than I had anticipated. In fact, it was one of three cottages that had been built on a single lot - one of many similar clusters - to cater to the Argentine, Brazilian and European travellers who have begun discovering this small piece of South America in the past few years.

A lot of vacationers still don't venture any further than Punta del Este, the condo-packed resort city a couple of hours from Montevideo.

But more adventurous ones have trickled northeast along the highway to places such as La Paloma, La Pedrera, Cabo Polonio, Barra de Valizas, Aguas Dulces, and our first destination, Punta del Diablo.

It's a part of the world best suited to those who love big nature and a small-town feel, one that combines some of the customs of Europe (Uruguay was heavily influenced by Spanish, Italian and Basque settlers) with the casualness of the New World.

Uruguay is considered by many travellers to be the Switzerland of South America, a country with free education, liberal attitudes - abortion and the production and sale of marijuana are legal - and an apparently large and contented middle class.

That would be enough to make Uruguay seem familiar to Canadians, but it has the added element of vast, unpopulated spaces punctuated by small towns and only the occasional city. I sometimes felt as if I was in the greener, hillier parts of Alberta, except with palm trees, pampas grass and exotic birds.

For sure, the northeastern region of the country is not for people who want or need standard tourist services at all times.

Except for La Paloma, a port that is the biggest and least attractive of these shore towns, none has any conventional hotels or more than one cash machine, pharmacy, paved road or gas station, if that.

One impromptu settlement, Cabo Polonio, doesn't even have electricity or, really, any roads at all. This offbeat enclave of shacks and small houses clustered around a lighthouse in a national park makes do with solar panels and whatever supplies can be trucked in with offroad vehicles or horses.

The beaches are the biggest lure. Every town has at least two, if not three, distinct beaches - pristine, gorgeous scalloped coves bordered by dunes and grasses, the sand pounded to velvet by the waves.

At Punta del Diablo, there was the busy, crowded one we saw the first day, Playa de los Pescaderos.

The surf-rental shacks are there and the snack shacks, and the families taking their toddlers in to jump the waves. Young men play never-ending beach-soccer games, and leathery couples bake themselves to mahogany.

We hung around there to people watch, and so my husband could hone his surfer skills on the not-too-big, not-too-small waves that crashed evenly on this "easy" beach, the one for the beginners. We'd go for an espresso afterward at the rickety Costa Mar across the road and watch the boats coming in, the crowds gathering to watch crates of fish being unloaded.

Playa Grande, to the northeast, was much emptier. With just a smattering of people, it was a place where you could walk the beach in peace, contemplating, as we did on our afternoon there, the single windsurfer, the Peggy's Cove-like boulders of the point ahead and the unusual sky in this part of the world, where the brilliant afternoon sun turns it almost white.

Playa de la Viuda was southwest of the town centre, hidden behind large dunes and almost completely empty, apparently there just for the enjoyment of the residents of the few discreetly swish small hotels facing it.

But there's more than just the beaches to these towns. Every one of them has a main street that turns into a pedestrian stroll and street party in the evening.

In Punta del Diablo, when we'd had enough of the beach, it was where we went every day to get lunch or shop for supplies: fresh fish from the boat, floppy woven-grass hats to protect us from the intense sun, the basics from the cluster of small grocery stores.

At night, the main street turned into a small party, as people filled the outdoor tables and others rambled by, everything permeated by the sound of music emanating from many of the restaurants.

One night, as we ate our meal of crab, followed by roasted chicken with herbs and rice at the newly opened Déjà Vu, run by a French guy from Lille and a group of his French and Swiss friends, the live soundtrack was provided by a four-piece jazz group. Next door, we could hear a folk singer. That's typical in these resort towns, as travelling musicians set up in one restaurant or another along the street.

After the beaches and the nightlife, the expeditions were the next biggest draw.

This is an area with a lot of nature, some of which the national government is working to preserve. Birds, turtles, sea lions, penguins, unusual types of trees, lagoons and constantly shifting dunes are just some of the things to see. Getting access to them sometimes requires effort and patience - tours fluctuate depending on whether guides are in the mood or whether a business is still in operation.

Just north of Punta was La Coronilla, the distinctly non-resortlike local-government town, all modest bungalows and gardens.

One of its beaches is home to a large sea turtle population. A Uruguayan sea turtle-preservation group, Karumbe, has a small outpost on a lot opposite the beach, providing some information about the country's sea turtle population, along with a small collection of turtle-themed knickknacks.

The information booth itself is not exactly turtle friendly, with desperate-looking captive turtles banging around in small plastic tubs set on the grass. But the volunteers - Manuela Calvo, the day I was there - do provide directions to the best places to see turtles in the wild. That's either a few kilometres down the beach from the display or nearby at the large Santa Teresa National Park just to the southeast, which is worth a visit in itself, complete with a 17th-century fortress and huge camping spaces.

Near Barra de Valizas, halfway between Punta and the much more upscale and manicured La Pedrera an hour's drive away, you can take a boat ride up the river to see the Bosque de Ombues - a forest of strange, ghostly trees unique to this part of the continent. The boat tours start at the bridge on the highway just south of Barra, although it's best to check with a local host or the tourist-information office to confirm the times.

The town also has spectacular horseback-riding tours along the beach or into the dunes.

Barra de Valizas itself has the biggest dunes on the coast, a seductive attraction for anyone who visits. Even we couldn't resist, wading through the small gulch that separates the main beach from the dunes, and then chugging our way up these small sand mountains until we got to the rocky plateaus at the top.

(Young, fit visitors sometimes keep going along the top and cross over into Cabo Polonio National Park, a 21/2-hour hike.)

And then there's Cabo Polonio, a phenomenon unto itself. There used to be the occasional truck/ dune-buggy contraption that would take people on the 30minute trip across the dunes and along the beach to the point.

Now, there's an elaborate entryway, a parking lot that can hold several hundred cars, a small museum, a café and a fleet of truck-buggies that cost about $10 a person, round trip.

We joined one of the 30-person convoys on a Sunday afternoon.

My husband was concerned that the trip was going to be boring, no doubt because of my habit of stopping to read every educational sign about flora and fauna in our own national parks. But the ride turned out to be anything but. As the truck plowed through the dunes, it swayed back and forth at times like a boat about to capsize in a heavy storm. People screamed occasionally. When we arrived, we were met by a scene reminiscent of Nevada's annual Burning Man festival, with houses, hostels, vendor stalls and eating/drinking hangouts that all appeared to have been built by whatever someone could haul in on a donkey.

As it turned out, there was lots to explore, even in this tiny settlement. The more touristy part of Cabo Polonio is the northern shore, where everyone gets dropped off. The day trippers pack the beach and the restaurants of every variety. There were places that looked like campsites and there was La Perla del Cabo, where we had one of our best meals in Uruguay, complete with a selection of unusual breads to start, a quinoa-crab appetizer and creamy risotto with seafood.

But the scene on the south side was much calmer. The houses there, Greek-village white, looked sturdier, as though someone with a passing knowledge of building codes might have been involved. It was clearly the beach favoured by locals.

The only bar, partway up the hill, was a low-key, open-air hangout filled with couches and loungers where you could easily spend an afternoon contemplating the ocean.

And then there was the point itself. All day, every time we meandered closer to the cabo of Cabo Polonio, I could hear excited screams, as though there was a high-stakes soccer game going on somewhere nearby. Finally, I realized it wasn't people yelling or a soccer game. It was the sea lions, dozens of them barking madly away on the rocky islands just off the point, a part of Uruguay's still unspoiled nature that continues to thrive.


There are no direct flights to the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, so pick your airline according to whichever stopover seems the least painful. If you're flying from Central or Eastern Canada, the most common transfer points from Toronto are Sao Paulo, Panama or Santiago. From the West, several U.S. airlines have flights that connect through Dallas and Houston.

Buses from Montevideo to the coastal towns are frequent, modern and comfortable.

There are also numerous car rental agencies in Montevideo and prices are reasonable.


The high season, when things are the most expensive and crowded, falls between Christmas and the end of January, even though Carnival extends to the end of February. We found mid-February to have enough people to provide bustle but not so many as to be overwhelming. The locals told us that the water is warm enough for swimming even in April or May. Many places close for the winter, though locals told us that more are starting to stay open at least on weekends.


All towns have a wide range of vacation rentals, usually available through Airbnb. The nicer hotels in Uruguay, as in Italy, come with a breakfast, often a hearty one, including scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, toast, croissants, fruit, cakes and coffee.

La Pedrera

Brisas de La Pedrera. This is the boutique hotel that kicked off interest in the northeastern stretch of Uruguay's coast in 2009. Operated by very friendly Laura Jauregui, who divides her time between La Pedrera and her home in the United States, the two-storey building set among upscale homes close to the beach feels like a modern convent - all tranquility and restful whites. From $130 (U.S.) a night in low season.

Barra de Valizas

Posada Valizas is one of the few non-camping, non-youth hostel, non-bungalow choices in this all-dirt-road town that is the least developed of all the popular beach towns. The inn has the feel of a French farmhouse, with its low ceilings, small bedrooms around the living room, and bright white kitchen. The owner, Cecelia Ribo, made special arrangements for us to have dinner at a restaurant run out of a friend's house, which was a special experience. From $80 a night, low season.

Punta del Diablo

Posada la Viuda del Diablo. Part of a chain of small, luxury hotels, this inn doesn't allow children and is clearly meant for people who want to stare at the ocean from the loungers on their decks and take long, romantic walks along the beach. From $125 a night, low season.

Posada Lune de Miel. One of a new style of developments in town, it features a set of cottages around a pool. Set in the eastern, more suburban-feeling part of town, it's a short distance from Playa Grande.

From $65 a night, low season.


Bon Appetit-style fine dining flourishes in Punta del Este and Jose Ignacio to the southwest, but the best you can expect at most restaurants in the northeastern towns are the kind of meals that a very enthusiastic friend with a good cookbook might make. Lots of pasta and rice dishes and many seafood specialties, along with the usual steaks.

Punta del Diablo

Il Tano. This restaurant, set in a small house in a residential section of the town, has excellent pastas (ravioli stuffed with seaweed in a cream sauce was my choice) and a comfortable deck for whiling away the afternoon or evening.

Lo de Olga. This really is run by a woman named Olga. A pleasant lunch spot on the main street with a big wooden deck and lots of local favourites: seaweed fritters, fried calamari, rice with seafood, chicken or pork.

Déjà Vu. Opposite the police station, this specializes in a French/Belgian take on cuisine. Crepes for dessert, French touches on the seafood and meat dishes. There's a houseparty atmosphere at this place run by four young men, who advertise their beer as "colder than the heart of your ex."

Barra de Valizas

Proa. The restaurant on the beach. Local fish dishes, based on the catch of the day, and very tasty seafood risotto.

Masamadre. A restaurant run by Robert Orquet out of a house on a side street. Very intimate. It was a flat 700 pesos ($35 Canadian) a person for dinner, which included pâté, shark with capers or roast pork with blueberries, and lemon pie, plus wine.

La Pedrera

La Jau. A Basque restaurant that is off the busy, pedestrianonly main street, in a small house, with items like crab fritters, and roast pork with smashed potatoes topped with cheese.

La Candombera. A pizza place on the side street Avenida de los Indios that consists of an oven and a collection of rickety tables in an open-air café. Great pizza and very warm, fun atmosophere. Cash only.

Associated Graphic

The seaside town of La Pedrera is one of eastern Uruguay's more polished destinations.


Barra de Valizas has the biggest dunes on the coast, a seductive attraction for anyone who visits.


Fishing boats rest on the shores of the Punta del Diablo beach, a popular tourist spot on the Uruguay Coast.


Playa de los Pescaderos is one of the busier beaches in Punta del Diablo. You'll find surf-rental shacks for gear and plenty of families and couples enjoying the sun.


Battered by big rivals, the coffee chain banks on a turnaround with spruced up stores and a strengthened franchise network
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B4

As a 26-year veteran of Second Cup Ltd., Bob Riche had an insider's view of the coffee pioneer's triumphs and tribulations.

The former Second Cup executive became its single largest franchisee, profiting as the company blazed the trail in Canada with upscale cafés and fancy brews, eventually dominating its field with nearly 400 stores across the country at its peak.

But bigger rivals soon declared war. Starbucks Corp., Tim Hortons Inc. and McDonald's Corp. opened thousands of restaurants and snared away customers and sales from Second Cup.

By the end of 2014, Mr. Riche and his wife Debbie, with 18 franchised cafés between them, mostly in Toronto, went into bankruptcy, owing creditors $2.8million, according to government and court documents. At least five other Second Cup franchisees have also gone bankrupt or succumbed to other insolvency proceedings over the past few years, documents show, while dozens of others have abandoned their shops or were forced to leave, unable to keep afloat.

"I didn't have a location where there wasn't four or five Starbucks surrounding me," Mr. Riche said in an interview. "It was a never-ending battle."

Today, Second Cup is in the fight of its life, suffering losses, a dwindling stock price and a shrinking store count and market share. Under new leadership since early 2014, Second Cup is working to win back customers with a chic upmarket café redesign, fresh menu offerings, and a search for new franchisees who would be ready to invest potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in its turnaround effort.

As Second Cup tries to catch up, it is grappling with losing some of its top franchisees amid messy legal battles involving some former and current operators who say they can't afford costly renovations and high rents.

At the same time, Second Cup faces an urgent deadline. A $5.99million debt facility is due on Jan. 1 and "based on expected cash flows from operations, the company will not generate sufficient funds from operations to repay the debt," the company said in a filing last month.

As a result, Second Cup said it is seeking alternative debt financing, the issuing of equity, or "other strategic alternatives," which is often code for selling a company.

In a bid to revive the chain, Michael Bregman, owner of Second Cup in its heyday of the 1990s, returned as chairman at the end of 2013 after having left more than a decade earlier. His investment firm, Tailwind Capital Inc., bought a 5-per-cent stake in the chain while a board-of-directors shakeup led to a number of his allies, including Alton McEwen, a former chief executive officer of Second Cup, being appointed as board members.

In early 2014, the chain named as CEO Alix Box, a former executive at Starbucks and, more recently, luxury fashion retailer Holt Renfrew & Co. After introducing a sleek new café prototype in downtown Toronto, she set out a three-year business plan to reinvigorate Second Cup. But she's already a year behind in reaching her goals, she said in an interview.

"It's taking a little bit longer than I'd like, for sure," she said.

"But we're still focused on revitalization of the network. ... We have ambitious goals. ... When you go through change like this, I think we can agree, not everyone is going to embrace it, and some didn't want to embrace the changes, and many did."

Some former and current franchisees say the company expects them to pay too much for the new "café-of-the-future" prototype. Some have also complained that Second Cup negotiated overly high lease rates for them and didn't disclose enough information about the company's problems before they signed on.

These and other issues are the subject of a number of the legal disputes.

Mr. Bregman insists Second Cup can solve its issues and has the means to execute a comeback. "The company has the capacity to see its way through this strategic plan," he said in an interview.

"This company was not in good shape. It is immensely better today than it was two years ago.

But it's not where it needs to be.

There's a lot more work to do."

The number of legal spats with franchisees and delinquent royalty fee payments has declined from two years ago, Mr. Bregman said. (Second Cup doesn't disclose those figures.) And its balance sheet is stronger than two years ago, with less debt, he said.

Second Cup has been in retreat for years. Its café network fell to 310 stores at the end of last year, while system-wide sales dropped to $175-million in 2015 from $182.8-million in 2014 and $191million in 2013. The company has posted persistent losses, including a loss of $441,000 in the second quarter as same-store sales slipped 1.3 per cent.

Second Cup's stock price has also taken a beating. It has fallen more than 30 per cent this year, closing at $2.37 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

Lou Brzezinski, a partner at law firm Blaney McMurtry who handles insolvency cases, said Second Cup's latest financial statements underline its problems, even though its debt has been reduced from a couple of years ago.

"The bankruptcy of franchisees in the number that they occurred in the last several years would cause concern to any franchise network," Mr. Brzezinski said.

As a reflection of a festering dissatisfaction among some franchisees, a former operator recently set up a Facebook page called "Canadian Franchisee Nightmare Association." In posting Second Cup's second-quarter results, it warned, in capital letters "do not buy a Second Cup franchise!!"

Kathy Wilkes, who launched the Facebook page and is also locked in legal battles with Second Cup over her former Hamilton café and her $60,000 of debts, said in an interview that the company is failing to support franchisees. Her complaints caused Ian Roher, a lawyer for Second Cup, to post on the Facebook page a warning "against engaging in further defamatory or otherwise actionable conduct."

Against this tense backdrop, Ms. Box is determined to revive Second Cup. She said the company is seeking franchisee feedback more than ever while lowering their fees.

"We said right from the beginning that this turnaround is ambitious," Ms. Box said. "This wasn't just a few little tweaks.

We're fundamentally turning around a ship that had lost its way."

What went wrong

For years, Second Cup was the go-to premium coffee chain in Canada. But Starbucks, Tim Hortons and McDonald's had their own big plans in the 2000s. Starbucks blanketed the country with highly concentrated locations; Tim Hortons also expanded its store base along with a broader menu; and McDonald's began to focus increasingly on coffee, touting a premium brew.

"I knew that we could do amazing things with coffee here," John Betts, CEO of McDonald's Canada since 2008, said in a recent interview. He had overseen the strategy at the U.S. parent and was intent on bringing it to this country, along with heavy promotions and free coffee.

Starbucks, which launched its first café outside its U.S. home base in Vancouver in 1987, had a North American mantra in the late 1990s to hit 2,000 cafés by the year 2000 - "2,000 by 2000" - from 1,400, said Roly Morris, a former Starbucks executive. By the early 2000s, Starbucks signalled its rising focus on the Canadian market by naming its first president here rather than running the operations from south of the border, he said. "The infrastructure was put in place to pave the way for growth."

Today, with estimated annual sales of more than $1-billion in Canada, "Starbucks continues to experience strong growth," Rossann Williams, president of Starbucks Canada, said in an e-mail.

While the Seattle-based company doesn't break out its Canadian results, same-store sales in its key international business, led by Canada, Britain and Australia, rose 2.6 per cent in its latest quarter, the U.S. parent reported.

Tim Hortons, for its part, saw sales at stores open a year or more rise 2.3 per cent in its second quarter.

Second Cup, meanwhile, has lagged. According to market researcher NPD Group, the chain's share of Canada's coffeechain traffic has fallen to just 0.5 per cent with its 300 or so stores.

It's now far behind its three big rivals in Canada: Starbucks has 1,378 cafés, Tim Hortons runs 3,692 coffee shops and McDonald's has 1,439 restaurants (most of them with a McCafé counter).

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, president of retail consultancy Shakatani Lacroix, which counted Second Cup as a past client, said its franchise structure is part of its problem: The quality of operators is inconsistent. And with its declining performance, Second Cup struggles to attract top talent to run its cafés while Tim Hortons gets the pick of the candidates, he said. Starbucks, in contrast, has more control over its operations because most of its cafés are company-owned.

In 2004, Second Cup was converted to an income trust, whose business model concentrates on returning profits to unitholders rather than using the money to expand a business. As rivals rushed to add more cafés, Second Cup was a sleepy player, Mr. Lacroix said. Starbucks had the allure of being a foreign player and, years later, became an early developer of popular mobile payment options, Mr. Lacroix said.

The sheer size of Second Cup's powerful competitors and their many locations is tough to compete with. "Coffee, to a certain degree, is convenience-driven," he said. "You're not going to go an extra four blocks to go to a Second Cup if you're walking by four Starbucks."

The fast-food business is also driven by new menu offerings, and Second Cup fell behind on that front as well, said NPD Group executive director Robert Carter. It didn't sell as many high-margin, blended coffees as Starbucks or come up with as many new menu items, he said.

Now Second Cup has a hard time getting franchisees to invest in the new prototype, Mr. Carter said. The remodelling of the flagship in downtown Toronto cost about $1-million, although subsequent remakes are less than $500,000, Ms. Box said. "A lot of franchisees have just walked away," Mr. Lacroix said.

Franchisee problems

The outspoken Ms. Wilkes had launched her café in the Hamilton suburb of Stoney Creek in early 2013 and left almost two years later, awash in more than $165,000 of red ink and unable to find a buyer, according to court documents.

Second Cup had terminated her franchise agreement and taken over her café after she racked up almost $92,000 in unpaid rent, royalties and other fees, the company said in a filing.

She sued the company for failing to disclose accurate information to her about the chain, failing to support her by negotiating rent breaks and failing to relocate her café at no cost to her, the documents say. Second Cup rejected her allegations and countersued, accusing Ms. Wilkes of spreading false or defamatory information, filings say. She tried to mobilize other franchisees to launch a class-action lawsuit against the company, but it never got off the ground.

Others, who didn't want their names used, said they couldn't afford the $300,000 to $500,000 to renovate (although Ms. Box said in some cases the amount is lower), and didn't renew their franchise agreements. "It felt more like starting over than reinvesting in a business," said one franchisee who left this year.

Jack Ahmed, a Second Cup franchisee in Montreal for 21 years who operated as many as 15 cafés, faced a different situation.

In 2011, he and Second Cup agreed to relocate one of his cafés in the coming years but by 2014, under new leadership, the company expected him to pay between $800,000 and $1-million - up to double his budget - to renovate the new site, he said. He balked at paying the higher amount and the company sued him for breaching his franchise agreement.

Last year, when the leases of two of his other cafés came up for renewal, Second Cup refused to renew them because of the pending litigation, his court documents said. He still has one café but its lease runs out early next year and he doesn't expect Second Cup will renew it. "At this point in time, I do not believe in the future of Second Cup," he said in an interview.

Long-time franchisees Mr. Riche and his wife had a thriving business until the recession hit in 2008 and competition stiffened, he said. By 2014, "we had no money for the new café concept" remodelling, Mr. Riche said.

Their franchise business went into bankruptcy and they took jobs at Second Cup's head office, although they have since left.

"Second Cup is stuck between three monsters - McDonald's, Tim Hortons and Starbucks," he said.

CEO Ms. Box said that when she arrived at the company in 2014, "it was a very messy situation" with financially challenged franchisees. Among them were Mr. Riche and his wife who "had built up large debt which we inherited ... There was really no way out for them."

Second Cup has taken steps to help franchisees. The company two years ago cut staff costs at head office and reduced franchisees' royalty fees to 7.5 per cent of their revenue from 9 per cent previously, while lowering their marketing fees to 2 per cent from 3 per cent. Currently, less than 3 per cent of franchisees are behind in their royalty payments, Mr. Bregman said.

In the meantime, Second Cup is looking for franchisees to run its 29 corporate cafés, down from a peak of 47 last year. Its strategy is to return to an "asset light" model of converting corporate stores to franchises, thus shifting costs to franchisees. Second Cup's second-quarter loss wouldn't have been so large if it had had fewer corporate cafés, Ms. Box noted.

She said the company's latest franchisee survey shows optimism for the future and a feeling that "coffee central," as she renamed head office, "is on the right track."

"In this business, you've got to have enthused and engaged owners that embrace change," Ms. Box said. "If people don't want to do that, then it is best for them to leave because not everyone does embrace the change."

As for the cost of remodelling, Mr. Bregman said it isn't more expensive than past renovations or new store constructions. Ms. Box said the tab is less than $500,000, although she did not provide specific amounts. "We take a very customized approach to each renovation so it's not possible to provide you a range.

They all vary."

So far, Second Cup has launched 14 cafés with the prototype redesign modelled on the one at King Street West and John Street in downtown Toronto. It enjoyed a 48-per-cent sales lift in its first year and is "cash flow profitable," she said.

Already, Ms. Box is making changes to the prototype that can reduce renovation costs. The once highly touted "slow bar" and high-tech Steampunk coffee brewing machine are no longer features in all the renovations, she said. But the chain is introducing new coffee blends (Batch49) and FroCho frozen hot chocolate flavours, such as salted caramel, as well as new breakfast offerings, such as a $4.25 egg white, pesto and Swiss cheese sandwich on naan bread, now in about half of its cafés. More than 20 per cent of its sales are tied to its rewards program, which it launched in April of 2015.

Despite the competitive forces against Second Cup, the company will tap the resilience that has kept it in business since 1975 as it seeks a turnaround. It is reducing the slide in its same-store sales. In the last quarter of 2015, it posted its first increase in that metric in 14 quarters and its first quarterly profit since 2012. It still has some prime sites, and some of them still attract crowds.

"This is hard work," Ms. Box said. "It's a great challenge. We're in this for the long game. We think we're doing all the right things. We would love it to happen faster. But we're not discouraged."

Associated Graphic

Former Second Cup shop owner Kathy Wilkes set up a Facebook page called 'Canadian Franchisee Nightmare Association.'


McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts oversaw its move into coffee in the U.S. 'I knew that we could do amazing things with coffee here.'


'Starbucks continues to experience strong growth,' says Rossann Williams, president of the Canadian unit, whose estimated sales top $1-billion.


Second Cup CEO Alix Box has set out a three-year plan to reinvigorate the chain. 'It's taking a little bit longer than I'd like, for sure.'


Deception at the Don
From being inundated with perfume to alleged murder, the Don River has been the 'most-messed-with river' in Canada
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M2

It was Canada's "Potemkin" moment.

It was the summer of 1958 and Princess Margaret was nearing the end of an extensive Royal Tour of Canada. Her well-covered travels even included British media speculation that the 27year-old sister of the Queen had fallen for the handsome young Montreal lawyer, John Turner, future Prime Minister of Canada, with whom she had danced and talked long into the night at a ball given at the naval base on Vancouver's Deadman's Island.

She had now come to Toronto where a cancer-treatment centre would take her name and where she would gather with schoolchildren at Riverdale Park. Her special train would be parked on the side of the Don River and she would have to cross over to the park via a footbridge.

The Don, The Globe and Mail editorialized on July 30, 1958, has "waters heavily polluted and laden with scum, its banks littered with all varieties of filth, and the whole sending up foul odours."

The city had been scrambling.

Workmen had been sent out to clean up the banks, painters to give the bridge a fresh coat.

What, however, were they going to do about the stink?

The solution in this time long before David Suzuki or environmental impact studies was simple: Mask the stink. They poured in chlorine and, according to some reports, gallons and gallons of perfume upstream, timed to be carried by the slow current to the park area just as the Princess was crossing the bridge.

The Globe compared the plan to Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin's 18th-century deception of Catherine II of Russia, when the Governor of the Crimea built fake villages, clean and freshly painted, to impress the Empress as she raced through region in her royal carriage.

The Toronto Daily Star, not to be outdone, compared the plan to "courtiers waving handkerchiefs dipped in perfume before the nostrils of the king of France as he drove through the tenements of Paris, that his majesty's nostrils might not be offended by the odour from the open drains."

"The fact that this deception at the Don is necessary," railed the Globe, "is a disgrace to Toronto and to this Province. The river should be cleaned up in fact; and not just for a day, but for good."

Nothing, of course, was done.

The Princess's official visit was a resounding success, the schoolchildren delighted and the air at Riverdale Park smelled strangely sweet - for a few hours.

Jennifer Bonnell, an urban historian at York University, believes that the Don River has been the "most-messed-with river" in Canada.

In her highly readable 2014 environmental history of the river and valley, Reclaiming the Don, Prof. Bonnell shows how this river, once so prized for its beauty, its mouth once blessed with one of the largest marshlands in Lake Ontario, saw that lovely mouth twisted and re-cast, its meandering route straightened for convenience, its tributaries paved and built over and often lost, its water fouled to the point where, twice, the river caught fire.

Little wonder that in the fall of 1969, a couple of hundred mourners paraded a casket from the University of Toronto grounds to the banks of the Don. The cortege included a "hearse," a band playing a dirge, a weeping widow in black and a pie-in-the-face for a top-hatted student portraying a greedy capitalist.

Monte Hummel, now president emeritus of WWF-Canada, was a key player in that parade. He had spent his honeymoon at Woodstock - he's the one organizing the famous mudslide in the movie - and in the summer had helped found Pollution Probe, the environmental group that came up with the idea of holding a funeral for the Don River.

"People do these things all the time now," Mr. Hummel says, "but back then, this was a new idea - it hadn't been done before.

"This whole notion that you could kill a river had never been thought of before. There was a poignant message that rose above the street theatre."

It did indeed, with the ceremony capturing the attention of the media.

"They finally had a funeral for the Don River yesterday," the Toronto Telegram reported the following day.

"Judging from the smell of the 'deceased,' it was long overdue."

The Don River runs in two branches from its headwaters in the Oak Ridges Moraine, about 40 kilometres north of the city.

The branches merge about threequarters of the way down to form the Lower Don, which travels alongside the Don Valley Parkway until the river empties into Lake Ontario. It was named by Lieutenant-Governor James Graves Simcoe, the founder of York, who felt it reminded him of the River Don in South Yorkshire, England.

Simcoe's wife, Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim, particularly loved the Don, which she travelled often, painting its scenery and exuberantly describing its beauty in her diaries. The Don became an escape for the family - there would eventually be 11 Simcoe children - from the staid military culture of Fort York.

Mrs. Simcoe had a log home modelled on a Grecian temple built on the high ground to the north and jokingly called it "Castle Frank" after their youngest son, Francis, who would later be killed in the Peninsular Wars.

Her treasured summer retreat from the muggy heat of York can be seen as the first step north to Ontario's "Cottage Country," though the wealthy seasonal dwellers on Lake Muskoka would not likely see a connection with their view from the dock and the Don River.

The Don, however, was not always "heavily polluted and laden with scum." First Nations traders found it a perfect encampment, the waters clean and the game plentiful. There was a time when the prisoners at the nearby jail protested because they were being fed too much fresh salmon from its waters.

Prof. Bonnell, in her research, discovered that the Don Valley was considered a paradise to early beekeepers. In going through the records of the Ontario Beekeeping Association from the late 1800s, she found that the valley was often sown with clover to produce sweeter-tasting honey and that the beekeepers were the first group to raise concerns about the health of the watershed.

"They were interested in environmental change because it was in their economic interest to do so," she says. "They were among the first to speak out against insecticide poisoning. They spoke out against roadside spraying."

But by then, of course, the Don River was quickly becoming a lost cause.

York had become Toronto and was spreading rapidly. The river was the perfect location for early grist and timber mills, then tanneries, brick works, chemical factories, oil refineries and the growing city's increasingly busy port.

It stands today as the most urbanized watershed in Canada, with 1.2 million people living within it and roughly 90 per cent of the catchment area having residential, commercial or industrial development.

"Over the past 200 years," Prof.

Bonnell writes, "almost all of the significant wetlands within the watershed have been drained or filled to support urban development. The six tributaries of the lower river have mostly disappeared, buried by fill or encased within sewage infrastructure."

The river and valley were once considered prime locations for such structures as the colony's first parliament buildings, but gradually it became a place for necessary structures that the establishment might prefer a distance away. In a time of fears over cholera and malaria, the hospital was relocated from the city centre to the Don. An asylum followed, then a shelter and reformatory for the poor and vagrants - "idiots," as well. The Toronto Jail and Industrial Farm (better known as the Don Jail) opened near the asylum.

"Linked to perceptions of the Don Valley as a 'space for undesirables' was its reputation as a frontier of sorts," Prof. Bonnell writes, "a place that harboured and facilitated a certain degree of lawlessness."

The valley became overrun with gangs, the most notorious being the Brooks Bush Gang. In late 1859, John Sheridan Hogan, a highly respected citizen of Toronto, set out to cross the Don in order to visit a friend. Hogan vanished, never to be seen again until a decomposing body wearing his clothes was found 16 months later by duck hunters.

As there was neither money nor papers to be found in the clothes, foul play was suspected.

The Brooks Bush Gang was rounded up.

One of the gang told police that Jane Ward had done in Hogan with a heavy stone she carried in a handkerchief and that Ward and James Brown had dumped the body over the

bridge after stripping Hogan of his money and top coat.

Ward, however, was acquitted, while Brown was sentenced to hang. It led to the first serious debate - including the presentation of a petition - on capital punishment, though to no avail, as Brown was executed on March 10, 1862.

Dismissed as a place for "undesirables" and considered worthy only of industry, the Don River had no one speaking for it in the late 1880s when city council agreed with a pitch by the Canadian Pacific Railway to straighten the river out so that the railway could have a convenient corridor into and out of the city. Ironically, that initiative was called "The Don Improvement Project." In the 1960s, more changes were made to the river's course to accommodate the construction of the Don Valley Parkway, the city's main commuter route.

"The Don once curved in an interesting way down toward the lake," says Arlen Leeming, project manager of the Don & Highlands Watersheds for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, "but they said 'We know better, and what we're going to do is straighten it and have a straight shot right out into the lake and we're going to get rid of all that water and crap and not have to worry about it.' "Basically they built a runway for water, a slip 'n' slide right down the valley to the lake."

Nor did it have the desired effect of sending all the "crap" well out into Lake Ontario, where it could be forgotten. The buildup of chemicals and pollutants continued unabated, particularly in the lowest reaches. In researching through the archives of the Port Authority, Prof. Bonnell discovered that the river had caught fire at least twice in the 1930s and 1940s - with barely a notice.

"It's a totally buried story," she says. "It's in the newspapers but it doesn't warrant any front-page mention. It's just considered the cost of doing business. All they talk about is damage to bridges, to infrastructure.

"Nothing about the river itself."

The view of the city from the Toronto Islands is nothing less than spectacular on a fine summer's day. There are no traffic sounds, no streetlights, no streetcars, subways or electric hum of a major city. There is only the stillness that more than two centuries ago Elizabeth Simcoe found here and far up the nearby Don River.


The Don is nowhere to be seen.

All that Arlen Leeming can do from his kayak is point with his paddle to show where it once was, where it now is - and where it will soon be.

"You see those 'lakers' over there?" he asks, pointing to two huge tankers anchored at port, two of the roughly 80 massive ships that call each year. "And you see where the covered tennis courts are? That's going to be the 'new' mouth of the Don."

The cost, he says, is estimated at nearly $1-billion. It is all part of a massive, hugely expensive plan to transform 125 hectares around the mouth and Keating Channel into parklands and mixed-use residential neighbourhoods. The object is to create "an iconic identity for the Don River" - words that date from a 2007 announcement by Waterfront Toronto that an international competition would be held to come up with a "worldclass" plan for the river.

Some see it as a long-overdue "apology" to the poor Don.

The winning proposal, by Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates of New York, Behnisch Architekten of Los Angeles and Toronto urban designer Ken Greenberg would create, the jury said, "a spectacular and compelling vision for the area ... balancing and integrating urban and natural environments."

The winners describe it as "a new type of territory where city, lake and river interact in a dynamic and balanced relationship."

Work has already begun, though the finished project remains years away. Once again, the Don River is being reconfigured - though for the first time with the river itself the prime consideration.

"The Don River is a story of resilience and a story of nature's refusal to ever give up," Mr. Leeming says. "The Don embodies that. It's a river that, no matter what you throw at it, no matter what you do to it, no matter how many chemicals you put down it, no matter how many buildings you put on it, no matter whether you channelize it, it will never give up.

"It will find a way."

It also had some late but much-needed help. Naturalist Charles Sauriol, who spent more than four decades at a family cottage near the forks of the upper Don, wrote exhaustively in favour of saving the river and valley. In his memoir, he talked about being a child in the early 1900s, where the river "was a wilderness at our door, an escape from home, school, discipline ... which held everything a red-blooded nature-loving boy could ask for." Mr. Sauriol died at the age of 91 in 1995, but his writings remain an inspiration for many, including Jennifer Bonnell.

The notion of restoring the Don took hold in a 1989 public forum at the Ontario Science Centre, where 500 people met and, later, created the Task Force to Bring Back the Don, a citizen advisory body to Toronto City Council. They hoped to make the river "clean, green, and accessible" and conducted riverbank cleanups, tree plantings and helped restore or create more than a half dozen wetlands.

When Rob Ford became Mayor of Toronto in 2010, he disbanded a number of advisory bodies, including the Bring Back the Don group. But it did not stop those involved from continuing to fight for its restoration.

For the past 23 years, the annual Manulife Paddle the Don event has been held to raise awareness and funds - as of 2016 more than $600,000 to support education programs.

This year, a second "paddle" was part of the Canadian Water Summit held in Toronto in late June. "In Canada," Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities told the gathering, "we cannot begin to speak about improving the quality of life without improving the quality of water."

The quality of water is still far from acceptable in the Don River. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority's own report card most recently listed the water quality throughout the watershed as "very poor," awarding it an "F" grade. The remaining forests in this once tree-rich valley were also deemed "poor" and given a "D" grade. Groundwater quality in the watershed, however, was said to be "good," with the best water found, not surprisingly, in the Oak Ridges Moraine, the source of the Don. If the river can be cleaned up as it flows south, good water will follow.

"From a funeral for the Don," says Mr. Leeming, "where they literally brought a casket down to the side of the river, to the revitalization that has occurred since then, the health of the river today is tremendously better than it was back in the 60s."

"There is a patch of green there now that is an inheritance of that day when we had the funeral," Mr. Hummel says. "We were right. We were bang on. It was an extremely effective campaign."

"It's a pretty incredible history," Mr. Leeming says. "There was a time when you could consider the Don ruined, but since then there have been massive recovery efforts and they have been quite successful. It does have a long way to go, there's no doubt about that. There's a lot of room for improvement."

Today, there are salmon in the river. Perhaps one day Atlantic salmon will again run the waters and spawn upstream. And this spring, much to the surprise and delight of those who believe this much-abused river can come back, there was a family of mink playing along the banks of the Lower Don.

Forty-seven years after they declared it officially dead with a "funeral," there was new birth along the Don River and new hope for the future.

Associated Graphic

The East and West Don Rivers merge and head south near the Lower Don River Trail.



The Don was once a place where people swam and fished, before it became polluted. Today, it winds its way down to Lake Ontario, where it enters ungraciously through the Keating Channel.

Efforts are under way to restore the Don River to its glory.


Tonight, the Tragically Hip perform the last leg of their Man Machine Poem tour in Kingston - the final stop in a trek that's left a trail of heartbreak across the nation. Marsha Lederman reports on one band's long cross-country goodbye
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

In Canada, a country where national identity is so elusive that it's often oversimplified, equated with hockey and a certain brand of coffee, it's a beautiful moment when we have something real and profound to unite us. Even if it's, well, tragic.

Who needs a double-double - or even the Olympics - to pull a country together when you've got a country pulling for a national icon and his mates? What's uniting Canada this summer is a rock band that sings of Jacques Cartier, Millhaven maximum security and, yes, the Leafs; a genius life being cut short by a brain tumour; and a long crosscountry goodbye. It has left a vapour trail of heartbreak and exhilaration, this act of enormity.

Over the past few months, and especially these past few weeks, Canada has rocked with the Tragically Hip and rallied behind Gord Downie, its lead singer. Fans have railed against scalping bots, marvelled at Downie's shiny courage, sung along to every lyric, wept openly with strangers in packed arenas. The Hip hype will reach a deafening climax on Saturday as the band plays the final show of its Man Machine Poem tour in its hometown of Kingston, Ont.

Across the country - and beyond - Canadians will be watching.

The news that stung the country broke on May 24. "A few months ago, in December, Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer," read a message on the Hip's website.

The band (also Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, Johnny Fay and Paul Langlois) said it would still tour this summer and vowed to "dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet."

The nation did not whisper. It wept.

And tweeted. "Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada's soundtrack for more than 30 years. #Courage," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote.

In the bedrooms of the nation, people woke up to the terrible news.

In Vancouver, Spirit of the West's John Mann and his wife, Jill Daum, heard the story on - where else? - the CBC.

"The news about Gord just hit John so deeply," says Daum, who assists with interviews as a result of Mann's earlyonset Alzheimer's. "I think it's [because] he knows what he's going through. It just gutted him."

Mann kept writing Downie's name on a piece of paper. And despite almost never making calls any more, he was anxious to phone bandmate Geoffrey Kelly. They had played their last shows the month before.

"Jill said John felt it was so important to talk to me about this because he just knew I'd be taken aback like the whole country was taken aback," Kelly says.

"And I was and John was especially moved by that."

In Los Angeles, Brad Schwartz's inbox was filling up. "People were concerned for me," says Schwartz, president of the CBC/ Lionsgate joint venture Pop TV.

The Toronto native has been following the band since its early days in Kingston and had seen them perform 126 times (possibly more, he says, but definitely not less). In 2006, when CTV GlobeMedia launched MTV Canada, Schwartz was senior vice-president and general manager - and the first video he played was the Hip's Ahead by a Century.

The country was whipped into a frenzy; this was going to be the show to see this summer. But as presales began, many fans found it impossible to find tickets. The scandal snowballed; fans learned that scalpers were employing bots to buy up tickets. The hottest ticket in the country became a hot issue, with politicians all the way up to the Prime Minister addressing the problem.

Calling Downie a creative force and an icon, Trudeau said, "The industry should be able to police itself without government intervention at this point, but it's something we'll follow up on."

In Edmonton, talk-show host Ryan Jespersen and three friends were at their computers as the tickets were released, with no luck. Jespersen took his desperation to the airwaves on his 630 CHED show, and, thanks to a listener, managed to secure four excellent tickets. "I was being shameless," he says.

Shows were added, more tickets released, the CBC announced that it would air the final show from Kingston live.

As the show moved across the country, city after city would declare Tragically Hip days, and money was collected for the Sunnybrook Foundation's Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.

The tour kicked off on July 22 in Victoria. Fans and even some connected to the tour were anxious about how Downie would do.

"A lot of people ... [were] on the edge, just hoping that it was going to be all right," says Izzy Camilleri, who designed Downie's colourful metallic leather suits. "That whole day, I was just completely consumed by thinking about him and everything, just hoping everything was going to be okay."

In Toronto, she stayed up late, watching social media for fan reaction from the West Coast.

She was relieved and thrilled to learn of Downie's terrific performance.

"It was amazing and it was more emotional than I thought," says B.C. MLA Lana Popham, who was in the audience, close to the stage. "I could see Gord's face and the band members' faces and I think what struck me most was at the beginning of the show they were all playing so close together like they were protecting him in a way. And you could feel so much love."

While Downie stumbled on a few words, who wouldn't with a catalogue that large, Popham muses. "Once he got into it, he was outstanding."

In Vancouver, Mann and Kelly - whose own band had been part of the Hip's Another Roadside Attraction touring festival years ago - attended the first concert together.

"It was an inspiring, triumphant evening musically, for humanity, in every respect. It was so courageous," Kelly says. "And, oh man, I was so proud to be there and be a Canadian and to have worked with those guys at a certain point; I felt a connection that I just treasure now."

The next morning, Kelly sent notes to Downie and Baker telling them how much it meant for them to be there.

"And they both wrote back and talked about the times we've had and how strange it is for both Gord and John to be hit by such horrible illnesses," Kelly says.

Mann, who is quiet these days, becomes uncharacteristically animated when asked about this subject.

"That show was fantastic," Mann told The Globe and Mail, calling Downie's performance riveting and powerful - a word he repeated several times. "It was one of the finest performances I have ever seen. I just don't think anyone else could possibly do it." Mann was in tears as he spoke. He said he was crying for both Downie and himself.

"I think John just felt like he was united with him," Daum says. "He felt a brotherhood, that's for sure."

By then, it was apparent how the shows worked: rotating set lists - a few songs from an album, then a few from another; one three-song encore, then a two-song encore.

The show's next stop was Edmonton, where Jespersen, who hosts CHED's flagship 9-to-noon program, watched with his three buddies from the second row on the floor. They had joked with each other about bringing tissues to the concert. But as soon as the band started into Long Time Running, it was no joke any more; he felt himself welling up. Halfway through the song, he let the tears flow. "I thought, I can't fight this any more." But by the end of the night, his face was hurting from smiling so much.

In city after city, the shows were not sorrowful or funereal.

They were celebrations - if bittersweet.

"I was bawling my eyes out, to be honest," says Toronto radio personality Josie Dye, who flew to Calgary for a remote broadcast on 102.1 The Edge, and to take in the show there. It was Fiddler's Green, the third song in, that had Dye, a long-time fan, in tears.

"You can't even control yourself and you're looking around at these big burly men who are also crying."

The band famously never really cracked the U.S. market, but sometimes on this tour, south came north.

Minnesota radio programmer Jim McGuinn has been playing the Hip throughout his public radio career around the United States. He is now program director at The Current in the Twin Cities. McGuinn has attended many Hip shows, but being in the United States, they've all been at fairly small venues. On Aug. 5, he and three friends - one of whom has brain cancer - drove eight hours to Winnipeg to see the show. It was wildly different from the U.S. club experience, with thousands of sweaty, emotional fans singing along.

"I found myself getting lost in the music and then something would cause me to snap back to this reality that this is probably the last time I'll see this band, and the reality of the situation that Gord and the band and their fans and their country are going through this week," he says.

"That just added a level of intensity and heaviness that I don't think I've ever experienced at a show."

Because one member of the group had worked with the Hip on their U.S. label years ago, they were able to meet the band after the show. "The crazy thing was the guys were so gracious. 'You drove up from Minnesota; thank you so much for coming to the gig.' And I'm like, are you kidding?" Back home, McGuinn picked up his guitar and started learning some Hip songs, something he had never done, despite his years of fandom. "There's a heaviness, but it's also like a celebration. It's sad and beautiful. It's life, I guess."

Finally, as the tour machined east, it reached the homeland: Ontario.

In London, Mayor Matt Brown (back at work following a temporary leave in June; he had an inappropriate relationship with his then deputy mayor) wasn't able to get a ticket but headed to the venue anyway, just to soak in the atmosphere. The preconcert vibe has been festive - radio stations broadcasting live, merchandise galore, fans milling about in order to stretch out the experience for as long as possible.

Brown noticed a short lineup - some tickets had become available. He bought two - for him and his wife.

"The show was phenomenal. I have never heard Budweiser Gardens louder," Brown says. "Each and every one of us in attendance realized that this was a memory we were going to carry with us for the rest of our lives."

He continued, "They really are a cornerstone of Canada. And when I listen to their music, even if I'm at my desk in my office at City Hall, I can be transported to a dock at a cottage, a patio at a bar and a positive memory - just like that." His music at work.

The Toronto shows, three of them, were, by all accounts, extraordinary. Schwartz, a broadcasting powerhouse who sings his young children to sleep with Long Time Running, flew out from L.A. for the first show on Wednesday - his 127th Hip show.

"I jumped up and down even though I'm in my 40s now, and I sang every word," says Schwartz, who also ran MuchMusic and was one of the producers of the Canada for Haiti broadcast that included the Hip. "The room was on fire with love and energy."

When the band exited the stage and Downie remained alone, basking in the loud love from the wildly cheering crowd, acknowledging the fans and taking it all in (he did this everywhere and it was something nearly everyone The Globe spoke with for this story talked about), "that was the first moment of the show when I felt like I'd swallowed a hockey stick," Schwartz says.

Dave Bidini, whose Rheostatics had toured with the Hip years ago, was there for that final night in Toronto on Sunday. "It was torturous in a lot of ways because of the emotion. Hard to see it through the tears, right?

But also grateful that I was seeing it that way, that my heart was so invested in it," says Bidini, who has written several books, including On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock, in large part about opening for the Hip on their Trouble at the Henhouse tour.

"There's not a word invented beyond courage to describe what Gord is doing," Bidini says. "It's a shining example for everyone ... how you turn pain into art."

Fashion designer Camilleri finally got to see the show - and her costumes (upon request, she added three more during the tour) - in person, attending all three Toronto concerts. "As each show comes and goes, he's gaining a lot of confidence and just being a lot looser and a lot more not holding back at all. I know that he's also taking care of himself and he has a lot of people taking care of him and making sure that he's taking care of himself. I personally worry about him pushing too hard. But it all seems to be going really, really well and he's being a good boy and listening to his doctor."

Even with three shows, Toronto was a tough ticket. Erica Ehm, former MuchMusic VJ (and now head of, was one of many who didn't manage to get one. So she travelled to Hamilton this week to see the show there. "It was a party," she said the next morning.

"We weren't at a wake. We were at a party to celebrate Gord and his band and what they mean to us. And he's the host of the party."

Ehm has encountered too many musicians to count and can tell the good guys from the others. "They are decent and they never have played the rock and roll game," she says. "And the audience reflected that. It was just a bunch of happy Canadians out for a great time to celebrate our own."

That night, Downie told a story about a Hamilton gig years ago, when exactly zero people showed up.

Like many others, Ehm was particularly struck by the band's physical proximity at the start of the show.

"I'm sure that's choreographed, but to me it highlighted his vulnerability. His performance was anything but vulnerable. It was aggressive, it was rock and roll, it was powerful. He took great pains to connect with people, make eye contact, he was lit right up. And if we didn't know he was sick, I would have never known," she says.

The band's penultimate show was in Ottawa on Thursday night. Musician Jim Bryson, who played keyboards with the band on tour in 2009, was there.

After one of the sets, Downie talked about the Hip's history in Ottawa. Then he told the crowd to carry on. "And it just killed me, that," says Bryson. "Then I realized that even all the time I spent around them, you don't know what it is when you're there. You only know what it [means] after." Bryson cried through the next three songs.

On Saturday, in Kingston, at the Rogers K-Rock Centre, located at 1 The Tragically Hip Way, the band will play its final show of this tour, and maybe forever - although no one is saying that.

The Prime Minister will be among the 6,700 people who will be there.

For the rest of us, there's the CBC broadcast. Many will watch in their living rooms, others at one of the nearly 200 public screenings being held across the country. In London, Mayor Brown will be at the city event at Victoria Park with his family.

Camilleri will be up north, watching by the lake - she'll pass Bobcaygeon en route. Dye will be at the show itself.

In California, Schwartz and three other industry executives have rented a Santa Monica screening room and have invited other expats - broadcaster Jay Onrait and actor Eric McCormack among them.

In Alberta, Jespersen and his buddies have PVR'd the show; they're going to miss it live because they'll be off-the-grid, hiking. But they'll have their own tribute: They've made a playlist - the set list from the show they saw together in Edmonton - and they'll listen to it around a campfire, somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

Associated Graphic


Gord Downie performs during the first stop of the Man Machine Poem Tour in Victoria, B.C., July 22. The Hip's final show of the tour, broadcast on CBC, is Saturday in Kingston.


Low interest rates have hit Canada's life insurers at home. How Manulife, Sun Life and Great-West are fighting back
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B6

Canadian life insurers have never truly recovered from the global financial crisis that struck eight years ago. If they want to make a comeback, they're going to have to start winning over people such as Kamil Ali Rextin.

The 30-year-old digital marketing guru could be a dream customer for any financial institution. He's has a master's degree in business, owns a home in Toronto and is now thinking about starting a family with his wife. As the couple contemplate children, Mr. Rextin began looking at buying a life insurance policy to make sure his family will always be taken care of. But after wading through some "dense and opaque" material, he gave up in frustration.

"I don't want to talk to anybody on the phone, I don't want to go in anywhere. I just want to find the information on my own," he says. "Because I feel like if I go and talk to somebody, they're going to try to sell me on something else I don't want to buy." He also worries that he'll miss some fine print that will void his policy, leaving his family with nothing to show for all the effort. So he has abandoned the pursuit.

Mr. Rextin and his generation - technologically savvy consumers with a healthy skepticism about financial salespeople - are less likely to buy life insurance than their parents ever were. And that's just one of a litany of issues facing a business that is a crucial part of many Canadian investors' portfolios, yet has fallen on rough times. The country's Big Three life insurers - Manulife Financial Corp., Sun Life Financial Inc. and Great-West Lifeco Inc. - represent nearly $100-billion in stock-market capitalization. Yet, all three are still trading below their precrisis highs. Manulife shares are more than 60 per cent below their peak in 2007.

Historically low interest rates have hammered life insurance companies by eroding their profitability. Low rates and volatile financial markets make it harder to earn returns on investments that are needed to pay claims. At the same time, new kinds of financial technology firms are threatening to make the insurance industry less relevant to younger people who demand simpler and more transparent products.

With no obvious change coming to markets, a strategic shift is under way in the Canadian lifeinsurance businesses. After years of building their wealth-management arms and expanding in markets such as Asia to drive higher profits, Canada's staid, stumbling lifecos are turning more focus to wringing profits out of the business they're best known for: selling life policies to Canadians.

To regain their appeal, and cut costs, the country's largest life and health insurers are rolling out a string of changes to how they do business. They've loosened restrictions on marijuana use for policy holders, relaxed the requirements for rigorous blood and urine testing, introduced rewards for customers with healthy lifestyles and fitness regimens, built apps that allow customers to manage health concerns and drug prescriptions with their smartphones and cut the time it takes to process a claim.

Finding growth will be a challenge. Canada's life-insurance market is already developed. Canadians own in excess of $2.5-trillion worth of individual life insurance, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA). That number is even higher when workplace benefits are factored in.

The demographics of some target customers have also undergone a dramatic shift. The next generation of insurance buyers has more student debt, fewer prospects for full-time employment and, compared with their parents, is more likely to delay marriage and put off having kids - key life events that have traditionally spurred insurance purchases.

But with all of this change comes opportunity. Relaxing policies and embracing technological innovation offer the potential to both entice a new wave of customers and significantly cut costs - keys to extracting profits in an era when companies can no longer count on robust returns from fixed-income investments.

Canada's big three life insurers all say they are just getting started.

A struggle against low rates

In early June, Dave Johnston stood before a group of investors at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto's downtown core.

Projecting a chart onto a screen, the retiring president of Winnipeg-based Great-West's Canadian business described a growing divide that has reshaped his company - and others - in the years since the financial crisis.

Great-West, Canada's largest individual insurer in terms of annual premium sales, had seen profit growth stall in its group and individual insurance businesses. Over the previous half decade, the compound annual growth rate for those units' earnings hovered at just 2.5 and 2.6 per cent, respectively. The wealth management business, on the other hand, was showing a fiveyear compound annual growth rate of 8.7 per cent.

"Certainly, we've had the headwinds of lower interest rates affecting our individual insurance lines over this period of time," Mr. Johnston explained. "We would not characterize our individual insurance as a high earnings growth opportunity, but very steady."

This hasn't always been the case for the country's biggest insurers.

Before the Great Recession, Manulife posted a 22-per-cent compound annual growth rate for earnings in its Canadian individual insurance business over five years. Today, the company is more focused on the growth of its global wealth management operations, which account for half of its pretax earnings, according to calculations done by Peter Routledge, an analyst who covers the sector at National Bank Financial.

He says insurance companies with the potential to expand wealth management operations will have a better chance of revenue growth than those solely focused on the life insurance business, sometimes called protection.

"That slow earnings strain is the impact of a disastrous interest rate environment for what I would call the protection business," Mr. Routledge said, adding in a note to clients that "while the balance sheets of the life insurers ... have hedged exposure to falling long-term interest rates dramatically in recent years, they have not hedged against a permanently depressed yield curve."

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, central banks around the world took action, cutting interest rates and introducing extraordinary measures in a bid to make borrowing cheaper and restart the global economic engine. But what once seemed a temporary stimulus measure now increasingly looks like a long-term reality. Interest rates have even gone negative in countries such as Japan and Switzerland. In July, the Bank of Canada lowered its forecast for economic growth this year, and rates keep dropping.

Executives at the three largest insurers said low interest rates put pressure on financial results in the most recent quarter. Manulife, which felt the impact most acutely as falling interest rates and volatile equity markets resulted in a $170-million charge against profit in the second quarter, saw flat growth in its Canadian individual insurance business. Chief executive officer Donald Guloien called the core earnings "disappointing."

The struggle against interest rates can can show up in many ways. Among other challenges, low rates can depress earnings, increase the capital that insurance companies need to hold and negatively affect competitiveness.

All of this has added to pressure to kick-start revenue.

In the two decades before the Great Recession, life insurers piled up policy sales, with annual purchases more than doubling between 1990 and 2009 to $313billion, according to figures from the CLHIA. Then growth stalled. In 2014, $318-billion worth of insurance was purchased - a 7.4per-cent decline from the year earlier.

In 2015, there were small signs of improvement. Early estimates show that Canadians bought about $330-billion of life insurance last year from the nearly 100 businesses that sell policies. More than two-thirds of that was individual insurance purchased by a person or family and the rest was group insurance sold to employees through companies. Still, sales of both lines have remained relatively flat since 2010, the CLHIA's annual fact book shows.

Slight increases in sales activity can't restore the type of profit growth once returned by robust fixed-income investments.

Consider a life-insurance policy bought a decade ago, with monthly premiums invested in bonds that comfortably yielded 6 per cent. Now, the same premiums only yield about half that. Insurers can raise prices on new policies, but that comes with its own risks.

"If you price it too high, then you're not going to have the sales,

because people can't afford it," said Marianne Harrison, CEO of Manulife's Canadian operations.

"And that's why we're constantly looking at our products. How can we redo products so that we can bring the price point down from the consumer perspective, but not increase the risk from a shareholder perspective?"

An easier customer experience

Twenty-six-year-old Maria Legault says she has always been attentive to her financial future.

In June, after meeting a broker at a community event, she purchased universal life and critical illness insurance from Sun Life.

Youth and good health allowed her to skip the awkward experience of having a nurse come to her house to collect urine and blood.

"My initial impressions have been very favourable," she said of the experience. Her broker told her that her application was one of the fastest he'd ever seen processed.

Insurance companies want more customers such as Ms. Legault - and to acquire them at less cost. That's why they're altering the way they assess, underwrite and communicate with Canadians. They're also expanding their product offerings.

Sun Life and Bank of Montreal made waves in the spring when they revealed changes to their views on marijuana use. Sun Life said clients who use marijuana will no longer be charged the same rates as tobacco smokers.

Bank of Montreal ruled that occasional use of the drug - up to two joints a week - would also receive non-smoker rates on new applications.

Other changes to coverage were already surfacing. In April, Manulife became the first in Canada to offer individual life-insurance policies of up to $2-million to those who have tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Weeks later, the insurer reduced the requirements - such as blood and urine testing - usually done for term life insurance policies up to $1-million, a new approach to invasive testing that other companies have also explored.

"One of the important pieces, from my perspective, is the ease of doing business with us. That has typically been one of the biggest pain points that we see from consumers," Ms. Harrison said, recounting the typical lengthy insurance application system: paper forms, telephone interview, nurse visit for blood and urine sample and a waiting period of up to 40 days before approval. "It's a cumbersome process."

When Manulife began to use data analytics that track the usefulness of all these steps a couple of years ago, it found some questions correlated with eventual claims more than others. So, it cut the number of questions on application forms to about 25 from approximately 40 and slashed phone interviews in half.

Making customers' lives easier comes with an added benefit to the bottom line.

"Because what the customer wants is simple, quick, electronic - all those things will make our processes more efficient at the same time," Ms. Harrison said.

"So, it really is a win-win for shareholder and for customer at the same time."

A new willingness to embrace technological solutions is also helping on the cost-cutting front.

Earlier this year, Manulife brought to Canada a program that offers savings on life insurance premiums to people who can prove they are taking steps to improve their health, by getting vaccinations or going for cancer screenings, for instance. Called Vitality, the program offers a free wearable fitness tracking device and is meant to engage and attract new customers. The company also benefits if people live longer, gaining more time to invest and earn returns.

Sun Life has also introduced predictive models and digital tools that speed the claims process and help advisers sell services to customers when they are most receptive to it, such as the arrival of a new child, marriage or retirement.

"It's not just about making it easier to do business with us, it's about having more connectivity," said Sun Life CEO Dean Connor, adding that the company has many other initiatives under way.

Changes to health insurance technology have also helped to improve the customer experience. Over the past year, GreatWest Lifeco Inc. has also overhauled its online claims-submission processes, allowing health insurance customers to file some claims by taking a photo of the bill on their phone, with payments deposited in their bank accounts shortly afterward. Customers like it and it saves money, Mr. Johnston said.

The next generation of customers looks much different than their parents', says Cameron Rose, a licensed life insurance agent with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. in Westbank, B.C.

He's 31 years old and about half of his clients are also millennials, or members of Generation Y. Previous generations seemed to have a clearer sense of their finances earlier in life, he said. "A lot of the Gen Yers, they've already started a family, or they already have a house, but it's the first time they've really looked at the full [financial] picture."

Insurers are fighting for business in a weak economy. In 2016, Canada has generated new jobs at the slowest pace since the Great Recession and household debt levels are near all-time highs.

These conditions don't bode well for selling life insurance, which requires customers to pay monthly premiums on a product that they might never use.

And there's a demographics issue. Millennials are simply not hitting major "life events" that typically trigger insurance sales at the same time their parents did.

Priced out of home ownership in many of the country's major hubs, they are settling down later.

"If you look at who we serve, trying to get at the younger generation - at the millennials who just don't even want to hear about insurance and really don't understand the importance and the value of insurance," Ms. Harrison said. "They would never put up with this process that used to exist in terms of how to do business with us. They wouldn't understand it. They'd say 'Really, this is how it works?' " Insurers say they are just getting started.

"You're going to continue to see ever-simpler underwriting rules, ever-simpler application processes for life insurance," Sun Life's Mr. Connor said. "We have to find ways to use other data - not just blood - to do underwriting of life insurance. And try to reduce, significantly, the number of days it takes somebody to buy one of our products in the industry."

Gen Y consumers have been steadily reshaping other industries through their behaviour and buying power. As companies such as Netflix, Uber and Airbnb shake up entire models, insurers have said they are watching out for online insurance sites, mobile apps and even the possibility that Internet giants such as Google and Facebook might delve into financial services.

Mr. Rextin, the digital marketing guru, who lists one of his extra bedrooms on Airbnb, remains unconvinced that life insurers can adapt to provide a better experience. "They have all these buzzwords and jargon on top, it makes it hard to understand what I am buying into," he said. Still, he says he plans to buy insurance eventually. The company that makes it easiest will get his money.

Associated Graphic

Kamil Ali Rextin with his wife, Sophie He, at their Toronto home.


Donald Guloien, Manulife Financial CEO.

Dean Connor, Sun Life CEO.


When every day is parent-teacher day
What's it like to drive to school with the principal, or get back a failing grade from your own dad? Zosia Bielski asks people who grew up with teacher-parents about the pitfalls and surprising perks of many students' worst nightmare
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Through eight years of elementary school, the first whiff of fall would see me curled up on the couch, pangs of back-to-school anxiety piercing my belly. Would the teacher be a raging tyrant again this year? Would it be my turn to get bullied by my classmates? Where would I fall in the social stratosphere this time around? This paralysis marked every September for me as a child, and my parents had to coax me off the couch and down the street to the dilapidated Catholic school.

Without a doubt, those September mornings would have been doubly painful if Mom or Dad had waltzed into school with me - the way it is for many kids whose parents are their teachers or, possibly worse, their principals.

In many smaller communities in Canada, there is often no escaping it: The only English teacher might be your mom, or that mandatory phys-ed class might be taught by your dad.

It's an awkward scenario for the already awkward years of elementary and high school. Students whose own parents teach them are a huge curiosity for their classmates: What's it like to drive in with your mom the principal every morning, or get detention from your dad, or get an essay marked up in red by a parent? How does it feel to overhear your friends dissing your mother or father at recess? Or witness all of your other teachers drinking at your house on the weekend? What do you even call these people in class? Mrs. Mom?

With back-to-school upon some of us, The Globe and Mail spoke with children of parent-teachers across Canada about the highs and the lows of this unconventional educational arrangement.

Lauren Edwards, a 28-year-old Halifax physiotherapist whose father was the vice-principal in charge of "discipline" at her junior high school, Queen Charlotte

Intermediate, in Charlottetown "It's hard to fit in anyway in junior high, but then I had this target on my back. My nickname was 'Mr. Edwards's daughter.' I was definitely unpopular. It would be nice if I could use this as an excuse.

"We got our house egged a lot and we got a lot of prank phone calls. That was interesting, growing up. One time we had 100 ripe bananas left on our doorstep. There was no note to say what they signified, but it was certainly interesting.

"Kids would say, 'I hate your dad so much. He's such a jerk. He suspended me.' I'd be like, 'Sometimes I hate him too, he grounded me.' I tried to empathize but it was a weird scenario.

"I saw the teachers at the house all the time. We would have staff parties or someone would come over for a beer. It was really uncomfortable, as a teenager, seeing your teachers having beer. I felt that this was my time where I didn't have to be at school, and here are my teachers in my living room. Later, kids would ask questions: 'Does soand-so have a girlfriend?' 'Did they bring their wife over?' 'Were they drinking alcohol?' I would try to deflect the questions because I knew my dad would really not like that.

"When he was on lunch duty in the cafeteria, though, he would get free food. Everyone would see him bring his fries over to me. In junior high, that was a pretty big perk."

Marianne Davidson, a 48-yearold high-school teacher of history and law in Prince Albert, Sask., whose father taught her Grade 10 computer science at Weyburn Comprehensive School in Weyburn, Sask.

"There were a bunch of kids in my computer science class who didn't know he was my dad. The weeks went on. I couldn't call him 'Mr. Janoski' - that just sounded weird. And I couldn't call him 'Dad' because that was a little too informal. Whenever I had a question, I'd just put my hand up and wait until he came over to answer. One time I was working with a partner and the word 'dad' just came out. Her eyes got so big and her jaw dropped. She said, 'Why did you call him Dad?' She was so embarrassed for me. I just looked at her and shrugged, 'Cuz he is my dad.' Then the teasing started from my classmates: 'I bet you're going to get good grades.' 'Could you get the test for us so we can have the answers?' "One time I was walking behind some fellow students and they didn't see me. They were trashing my dad pretty good. I wish I'd had a little more self-confidence at the age of 15 to say, 'Hey! I'm his daughter, shut up!' I felt horrible.

Everyone says things about teachers, but he was my dad first. It was hard when things like that happened.

"What people don't realize is that when your father is your teacher, you go home with your teacher. If I wasn't doing well in his class or in any other class, the teachers would talk to him. He'd know my report card before I would, which irritated me to no end.

"He was the only computer science teacher so I had to have him.

It was very awkward for us both.

How do you discipline your daughter at school? How do you motivate her when there's all this emotional baggage? My dad was very aware of trying to keep propriety. At school dances he would have to chaperone, but he would make sure he was out in the hallway so he didn't seem to be hovering over me, being the dad.

Now, as an adult, I think he did a pretty good job."

Andri Shchudlo, a 27-year-old Toronto articling student whose mother was his Grade 11 and 12 English teacher at Glenlawn Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg

"I thought it would be a little awkward and my friends thought it would be horribly awkward, but from the get-go it was a lot of fun.

My mom was well-respected and extremely well-liked by my fellow students. She really liked kids and seemed to understand teenagers.

"People thought our dynamic was funny. I did start calling her 'Mom' at some point and went into her class asking her for lunch money. We both had fun with it. It actually enhanced my social standing. I'm sure that's very different from lots of people who have their parents as teachers.

"Initially she was very concerned about any semblance of impropriety so she refused to talk about school with me outside of the classroom. She didn't want to give the appearance to anyone that she was making things easier for her son than for anyone else.

If I had issues, I still had to go to class to ask her about it.

"I got a few detentions with her for coming late to class. She was a stickler for that kind of thing. I would be sitting in detention with her at the end of the day with a couple other students who had shown up late. I was a little irritated, but my strongest feeling was that the situation was really funny: My mom is administering my detention at school. And then I'd go home with her afterwards. We lived an hour north of the city so it would be this long car ride.

We'd just needle each other about it."

Sian Bumsted, a 33-year-old Toronto analyst whose mother was her Grade 12 history teacher at St. John's Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg

"It was a new school for me so it was a bit nerve-racking. Not everyone knew I was her daughter. Somebody saw me hugging her in the hallway and said, 'That's weird.' I was like, 'No, no, it's my mom. Totally normal.

We're allowed to do this.' I would call her 'Mom' in the hallway, but in the classroom I never knew what to call her. For a whole year I didn't address her as anything. It was a 'hey you' situation.

"It was a parent-teacher conference every day. If I did something in class or did badly on a test, the other teachers would tell my mom. You're under a microscope all the time.

"She knew what all the deadlines and projects were. There was no, 'That's not due till next week,' or 'Major research project?

What are you talking about?' She knew all of it."

"She even kicked me out once.

It was either for chewing gum or for talking in class. She was showing everybody else in the class that I was not treated any differently than they were."

"There was a sense from her of 'Don't make me look bad.' It probably forced me to be a better kid than I would have otherwise been. I shudder to think what high school would have been like had I been left to my own devices."

Brian Bukowski, a 64-year-old consultant whose mother was his core teacher from Grades 1 to 6 at St. Dominic Savio and from Grades 7 to 9 at St. Michael School in Weyburn, Sask.

"I was seen as either teacher's pet or teacher's snitch. Bullying was an everyday occurrence. Kids would make fun of her in front of me. I had learned not to say anything. They would say stuff just to get me going. Then she'd pull in the kids who were giving me a hard time. She fanned the flames.

"I was always the first kid at school and the last kid to leave because I came and went with her. When I was sick, I'd still go to school because there was nobody at home to take care of me. I lived with her for those nine years almost 24 hours a day. It was hard to do anything bad.

"She was very strict. She was a 5-foot-2 woman dealing with 6-foot kids in Grade 9. Back then the strap was in. I got the strap from her in the school. It's something you don't forget.

"Her teaching degree was only good for elementary school. Graduating from Grade 6, I thought I wouldn't have to go to school with her any more. On the last day of school, she proudly announced to everybody that the school board was going to let her teach in junior high. She moved with me and taught me in Grades 7 through 9. It was devastating. I do remember crying that day. The last day of Grade 9 was a day of celebration because I knew she couldn't follow. But the last day for her was really a rough day.

"She was a great teacher. She started back in 1933 with the true one-room schoolhouse on the prairie. She taught most of my dad's brothers and sisters and thousands of kids in Weyburn.

She was proud that she could be my teacher. There's a saying that we have around the house: 'It was fun for the mum but not for the son.' ".

Shauna May, a 33-year-old Calgary librarian whose mother was her French teacher from Grades 10 to 12 at Carlton Comprehensive High School in Prince Albert, Sask.

"I was a good student, but sometimes when I'd get in trouble, my friends liked to see it. Once I was talking out of turn and my mom told me to 'be quiet!' in French. A friend looked at me and laughed,

'Ha! You got in trouble!' I replied, 'Believe me, that's not trouble.' "For years, other teachers would come over to the house for barbecues. It was in my best interest to act well so I'd have all these other people I could go to at school if I needed extra help.

"My brother, my mom and I would all get in the car together at 8 a.m. and go to school in the dark. And then you'd come home in the dark together because mom always had to stay after school to mark papers. We all got along really well but I remembered begging, 'Can we just go home now?' " .

Alex Rushdy, a 24-year-old Toronto video game designer whose mother was his principal at École Dickinsfield School in Fort McMurray, Alta.; his father was associate superintendent for the local school board "I was a little shit so I got in trouble a lot. With my own parents. I saw the classroom less as a platform for learning and more as a platform for my specific brand of comedy. I would do whatever I could to entertain my classmates.

"When they were organizing who'd be in which class, my mom tried to keep me and my closest friends in separate classes because we were too rambunctious. For us it was always, how many different ways can we secretly draw a penis on the whiteboard? She tried to split me up from my friends, but I would just make new friends in the other class.

"In Grade 8 we were in an assembly in the gymnasium. I was sitting on the floor with a bunch of my friends. There was a presentation being given, but I was more interested in cracking jokes. My mother pulled me aside and told me to sit at the side away from other people. [This had been a particularly bad week where I had been talking back to my teachers.

I'd been sent down to see my mom several times already that week.] I was sitting there and I decided it would be funny if I just started doing push-ups. She walked over to me - I could tell that she was pissed off - and said to me, 'Go home. You're suspended.' My sister, who was a really popular kid at school, said that I was an embarrassment to my mother.

"Most of my friends [even the ones I was acting like an idiot with] were all pretty respectful and they all really liked my mother. They were still willing to hang out, play video games in my basement and sleep over even though the principal and the superintendent - the biggest authority figures - were just upstairs. I do remember one or two particularly bad kids who wouldn't come over because they were getting into drugs at that age and they were too freaked out.

"I remember my gym teacher using my dad as a threat to straighten me out in class: 'I can just call up your dad - direct line - and let him know how you're acting.' My parents knew all my teachers and they knew firsthand what I was capable of. Parent-teacher night was basically my teacher and my two parents glaring at me."

Interviews have been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

Associated Graphic

Shauna May, seen with her mother and Grades 10 to 12 French teacher in a high-school graduation photo, says her friends liked to see her get in trouble.

Alex Rushdy, seen in a Grade 1 photo, says his teachers would use his parents - his mother, the principal, and father, associate superintendent - as a threat to straighten him out in class.

Brazil is, again, the sentimental favourite
After the Maracanazo in 1950, and the drubbing it took in South Africa, this men's soccer squad will be out to save face
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S5

SAO PAULO -- Imagine the Summit Series had gone very differently.

Assume that Canada had whipped the Soviets at the outset. Think of the expectation that would have created. Then picture Canada coming home and falling apart in the final three games.

Now envision a world in which that defeat defined the parameters of hockey in this country.

Every time we won after that - no matter how many victories on foreign soil - people would point back at the humiliation of 1972 and say, 'It doesn't count until we right that wrong at home.' That's what the Maracanazo is to Brazilians. In some small way, this entire Olympic adventure has been an attempt to undo its now twice-suffered curse.

The Maracanazo - very roughly speaking, 'Disaster at the Maracana' - refers to the championship game of the 1950 World Cup.

That tournament was the first held in Brazil. Brazilians assumed they'd win it easily.

They fell 2-1 to Uruguay in the final.

The loss was hung on goal keeper Moacir Barbosa. His name became a popular synonym for 'loser.' When they gave Barbosa the goal posts from the Maracana as a retirement gift many years later, he took them home and burned them in his backyard.

The Maracanazo is Brazil's twisted Woodstock. More than 200,000 fans were wedged into the Maracana stadium. Since many of them sneaked in, tens of thousands more would later claim to have been on hand.

There are (almost certainly apocryphal) stories of people throwing themselves in despair from the upper tiers once it ended. Nearly 200 people were treated on site for "fits of hysteria." It was a single game that scarred a national psyche.

In the mid-1950s, Brazil began its recovery by reconfiguring the world's soccer imagination. Others might occasionally win, but once people got a look at a teenage Pele, no one was ever again going to out-Brazil Brazil.

Pele, Garrincha, Ronaldo, Zico, et al. Just the mention of those names summoned up mental images of a very specific sort of soccer - the game as art. Fluidity, creativity and something very like kinetic perfection. Watching them play was as close as sport gets to romance.

By the seventies, a global pattern had been set. You pulled for your own national team. Once it was out, you rooted for Brazil. It was everyone's not-so-secret soccer crush.

When Brazil was awarded the Rio Olympics in 2009, that feeling remained in full flower. The senior men's team was ranked second in the world. The national focus was entirely concentrated on the 2014 World Cup, the first to be held at home since the catastrophe of 1950.

Brazil stuttered badly at South Africa 2010 - the first, faint warning siren. Nevertheless, it was heavily favoured four years later.

Rio was alight during that tournament in a way the Olympics could not hope to match. Every time Brazil played, the city did not stop. It quickened.

Everyone poured out of doors.

In the moments before Brazil matches, you could not drive the already packed thoroughfares for the number of pedestrians thronging them. People dragged TVs into the street. In favelas, games were projected onto any available flat surface. For Brazilians, watching Brazil was a necessarily communal experience. The city became their theatre.

After wins, they spontaneously lit off enormous fireworks. It would occasionally feel like Rio was being bombarded.

On the night of the semi-final against Germany, the sound hit new deafening crescendos. We've all known that feeling during a big game, when you can hear neighbours through walls or across yards reacting to goals.

In Rio during the early stages of that game, those distant ovations came during every bright move or completed long pass. In your mind's eye, you saw people coming off barstools or out of chairs in anticipation everywhere around you. More than six million people live in Rio and, for a moment, you were connected to every one of them.

Brazil took the lead. The sound amplified. Germany tied. The sound changed - now suddenly keening and nervous - but did not lessen. Germany scored again. And again. And again. And again. Four goals in the game between 23 minutes and 29 minutes.

Half an hour after the start, Rio had fallen completely, eerily silent. Three or four generations post-Maracanazo, it was happening again. This time, it was worse.

Realizing they were now tromping through an emotional graveyard, the Germans stopped celebrating their tallies. Out on the pitch, they seemed embarrassed for their hosts.

German pity may have been the hardest thing to bear. Here was the legend of Brazilian soccer supremacy - six decades in the making - being atomized in six minutes.

Afterward, Brazil's coach Luis Felipe Scolari would call it "the worst day of my life." Several Brazilian players ended their international careers as penance.

The game got its own epithet, the Mineirazo, after the stadium in which it was played.

The outrageous 7-1 loss was perhaps best summed up by a national nemesis, Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella: "Football is illogical."

Brazil has been trying, with little success, to make sense of it since.

If the Games had taken place a decade ago, the Olympic soccer tournament would not matter here. Not in any life-or-death way.

Given that it is designed for under-23 players, the Olympics have never been considered a major soccer event. Winning it confers little glory on any genuine power.

In London, Mexico beat Brazil in the men's final. Nobody back home was bothered. It was widely perceived as good experience for a few of the younger stars before playing in the thing that actually counted - the World Cup.

One is reminded of a saying at Ajax of Amsterdam's fabled academy, which features several levels of youth squads leading up to the top professional side: "The senior team must win. All other teams may win."

Brazil has only ever had one must-win team. That's changed in a couple of ways.

The most laudable side-effect of the men's failure is that Brazil's senior women's team was, for the first time, given some real attention here. In the past, it has been almost entirely ignored.

An example of the general attitude: In 2011, Santos FC was having trouble paying Neymar's salary. Its solution? Shutter the women's team. That saved it $600,000 a year - about what Neymar made in a month.

Ten years ago, Brazil's captain, Marta, was the best player in the game, and probably the best of all time. As per the hopeful usual, a great deal is made of her example, but with little actual result.

According to a 2014 FIFA survey, there are 24,000 registered female players in all of South America. In Canada, that number is about 400,000.

The Olympics was supposed to be the changing of that. It looked good early, until Brazil was derailed by Sweden. Then it had to play Canada.

Back home, we rate our women's team. Down here, they're nobodies. Actually, it's worse than that - they're Canadians.

(When Marta was asked to rattle off the major competition at last year's World Cup, she listed five countries. You'd assume that as hosts and defending Olympic medalists, we would be one of them. We were not.)

When Canada scored first at the Arena Corinthians on Friday, the crowd didn't know what to do with that information. Most decided to do nothing. Ho hum.

They just pressed on at a low, pleasant buzz.

Brazil lost - that's becoming familiar. After it ended, the crowd cheered the winning Canadian side. It's good manners, but it's not the done thing. This wasn't a Brazilian soccer crowd. It was an Olympic crowd. There's a big difference.

Whatever Brazil's result on Friday, it was only going to heap pressure on the men's team.

Every Brazilian victory or loss at this Olympics - no matter how small or large, no matter what the event - only tends to point down the road to Saturday's men's final. That game will be the measure of how Brazil did at Rio 2016. If not for good, then certainly for ill.

It's indicative of how far it has come down in the world that Brazil currently features only one player who rates mention among the world's very best - Neymar.

Problematically, he plays professionally alongside a better one - Argentina's Lionel Messi. This new notion of perpetual secondbest-ism has now attached itself to Brazil like a string of tin cans.

Brazil has become what Spain once was - a decent side that should be much better; a hardluck case. Neymar is the human embodiment of that decline.

He had one piece of good fortune during the last World Cup - someone broke his back. As a result, he was out injured during the final game and is unsullied by the Mineirazo.

When you walk the streets of Rio, you see many Neymar jerseys. A few Jarizinhos and Rivelinos. You don't see any of the players who were in that semi.

They've been disappeared from history.

Under normal circumstances, Neymar might have skipped these Games. They take place in the same summer as the Copa America, a far more meaningful event to South Americans.

When Neymar gave the Copa a pass in favour of the Olympics, that was the first signal. When the team crashed out in the Copa group stages without him, that was the second. Brazil no longer wanted to win here. It had to win.

It started miserably with goalless draws against South Africa and Iraq. The team was jeered off the pitch after that second result. Neymar was singled out for particular attention.

"Sem jogo, sem goal e sem amor," was O Globo's verdict - "No game, no goal and no love."

The country had once again begun spinning down toward despair. It was never going to win on the overall medal table, but to be gazumped at soccer?

No, no. Not possible.

One senior Brazilian sports columnist straight-facedly suggested that, on the basis of two games, Marta was now a better player than Neymar. It's a nice, egalitarian thing to say. It's also objectively ridiculous.

It speaks to the delirium Brazil's men's team creates in its closest observers (i.e. 200 million Brazilians). When the men are pretty good, they are the finest team in the country's history.

Better than the 1982 version. Better than 1970. Better than the very best there ever was.

Whenever they are average, they are objectively the worst.

How do you say, 'Hit the lifeboats, people, because this ship is going down' in Portuguese?

Because there's no in-between.

Since tying Iraq, Brazil has cruised. It put six by Honduras in the Olympic semi. Neymar scored twice. After the match, several Honduran players asked him for autographs. The local Neymar v. Marta debate dried up rather suddenly.

Realistically, the reconstruction of the Brazilian soccer program is a medium-to-long-term project. It might be competitive at the next World Cup, but it is not going to win it. The next Copa will be played here, but not until 2019.

What Brazil has in the interim is just one game with which to triage its dignity - the Olympic final.

This contest represents the collision of Brazil's two great sporting tragedies - it will be played at the Maracana; and against Germany.

Winning this game won't cure anything. Unlike Brazil, Germany didn't send a single recognizable star to Rio. This side could not even be called Germany 'B'.

You'd have to work your way through the alphabet for a good long while to put into perspective how this Germany and the real Germany compare.

By comparison, the Brazilian team represents its strongest possible side in this event format.

So at best for Brazil, this will be a face-saving victory over an ersatz opponent.

It's the worst-case the country will be thinking about.

To lose again to the same country, and this time at the Maracana? That would be inconceivable. You could not speak of it as a new low. This would be hitting the bottom and beginning to tunnel.

"Brazilian football is not yet dead," manager Rogerio Micale said after the Honduras game.

"I still believe in Brazilian football."

Perhaps, but the implication is that it is in critical condition.

Without this game as its beating heart, there is no sports culture in Brazil. Its decline makes all culture precarious.

This is a country in which a soccer player - that remarkable renaissance man, Socrates - is credited with galvanizing the movement that brought down a military dictatorship. He did it by wearing a T-shirt that read, "I want to vote for my president."

Some countries are good at soccer. Brazil is soccer.

This team is a poor simulacrum of the ones we remember.

It may never be that again. But on Saturday, Brazil becomes the world's sentimental favourite for one more day.

Because who could root against a national side that made soccer beautiful for all of us, and now only wants to reclaim a little piece of that legacy for the sake of its own pride?

Associated Graphic

Brazil's Walace and Honduras' Brayan Garcia wrestle for control of the ball during the men's soccer semi-final match between their two countries on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro.


Seat of power
Are you sitting down? Mark Medley talks to Witold Rybczynski about his new book on the surprisingly compelling history of chairs
Thursday, August 25, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

At this very moment, as you read this, the chances are fairly good that you're sitting down. Perhaps on a side chair, coffee in hand, the newspaper spread out across the kitchen table. Or you're wedged into a hard plastic seat on the subway during rush hour, reading on your phone. Or you're sitting in a sleek office chair, at your desk at work, staring at the computer screen. Or maybe it's evening, and you're relaxing in your favourite recliner, reading on a tablet, trying not to fall asleep.

Considering we spend a great deal of our waking hours sitting, especially if working in an office, people don't really think that much about chairs - at least I didn't before reading Witold Rybczynski's latest book, Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Plastic Chair - A Natural History. From timeless rockers, perfect for an evening on the porch, to elegant cantilevered designs by the likes of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to the now-ubiquitous plastic patio chairs and build-it-yourself IKEA chairs, the book is a slim, insightful introduction to the piece of furniture that shapes not only the way we sit, but the way we live, too.

"The chair is an everyday object," writes Rybczynski, "but it's an everyday object with which the human body has an intimate relationship." An award-winning architect and writer - this is his 20th book - and long-time professor at McGill University, he is currently emeritus professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. He spoke to The Globe and Mail from his home in Philadelphia.

What sort of chair are you sitting in right now?

A wing chair. It's not an antique, but the design is antique.

It's by a company in North Carolina that actually pioneered the idea of studying old chairs and reviving them. It's a funny story: When Home [his third book, and the one that established his reputation] came out, I got a call from the vice-president of this company, Hickory Chair. He said we would like to invite you to talk to our staff. We were going on a spring break, so we stopped in North Carolina, and I did that [talk] and they said we would like to offer you something in return. I said why don't you give me a couple of chairs? They were happy to do that.

It's a wonderful chair. It's the chair I sit in when I read. It surrounds you and creates this little space where you can read and go off into other places. And it's a very comfortable chair, I should say.

Speaking of reviving old designs, how does that work? Who owns the design? I noticed you can find cheap imitations of almost all the chairs in your book.

It's an interesting question, because a lot of furniture design is really interpretations of earlier models - there are millions of variations on the Windsor chair, which you could say are all copies. It's a little bit of a contradiction, I think, that the idea that copying furniture is somehow underhanded. That's how furniture evolved. People adapt and modify and interpret.

Where does your interest in chairs come from?

Like many architects, I've always been fascinated with chairs - I suppose because so many early modern architects designed chairs. And because chairs really are like little buildings. They have an important structural side, they're aesthetic objects, but they're also practical - you have to sit in them, and they have to be comfortable. So there's a kind of similarity and affinity between thinking of buildings and thinking of chairs, which attracts architects to the subject. It's also a kind of challenge, I suppose. I've never designed a chair, but so many famous architects have.

You estimate that, in your lifetime, you've owned more than 60 chairs. Which one would you grab from your house in a fire?

Well, chairs are hard to move. My wing chairs would be much too clunky to get out. Probably the most expensive chairs I own are two studio chairs that were made for me by John Dunnigan, who's a furniture maker in Rhode Island. If I was trying to save things of value, those would be the chairs I would get out first.

These are beautiful, but they never lose sight of the fact that they are chairs.

That's one of the interesting tensions in the history of chairs - this idea of the aesthetics of the chair versus the comfort. A designer chair might be a work of art, but you can fall asleep in a recliner. Which do you value more?

It's trite, but it is a balancing act.

Ultimately it's all of those things.

You do look at chairs. That's part of the pleasure of a chair - looking at it when you're not sitting in it, because, of course, when you're in it you can't see it. But I think there's an additional pleasure when it's also a chair that you enjoy sitting in. And, of course, if it's well made - I mean, a chair that falls apart is not pleasurable. I'm looking at an old office chair that I bought when we were still living in Canada - I think it's from Peterborough.

They used to call them banker's chairs - they're sort of wooden swivel chairs that lean back. I've used it a long time, but somebody used it before I bought it at a flea market. The wood is worn down where the arms are.

Whereas I have an Aeron chair, which is what I actually sit in when I'm writing, but it looks exactly the same as it did when I got it about 20 years ago. It hasn't changed a bit, because it's all rubber and metal and plastic.

And that actually takes away from the pleasure a little bit.

This book forced me to reappraise some of the simpler chairs I've owned. For instance, the folding aluminum chair that everyone has in their garage.

There's actually something beautiful in the simplicity of the design.

I'm glad you mentioned that, because I had the same experience. I built a summer cottage for my parents, and they had these aluminum chairs. I was always very insulted by them, because they weren't design-y and they felt like an intrusion. But they are actually very good chairs. They are very light, they're easy to repair, they're reasonably comfortable and for a summer cottage they are actually a perfect chair. You can leave it out in the rain and nothing happens. I was just too much of a constipated designer at that point, fresh out of school, to see all that.

You write that "the history of the chair is not evolutionary."

And one of the more fascinating aspects of the chair's history, to me, is that many of the early innovations are still relevant today. When you look at a stool, it's basically what the Egyptians used 4,000 years ago. So what's the biggest innovation in design you've seen in your lifetime.

In some ways it's the plastic chair, which, as a chair designer I quote in the book said, "It gets rid of all the joints." The fact that you get rid of the joints is really a revolutionary moment. The onepiece plastic chair represents, for better or worse, our contribution to this evolution.

You say that the golden age of sitting furniture was Louis XV's France. What made that era so special for chairs?

It was this combination of people willing - and having the means - to pay a lot of money for chairs, which meant that you could get really good craftsmen building chairs. The quality of the chairs, in terms of aesthetics, and in terms of how they were made and how comfortable they are, it all sort of comes together at that point. The French developed many models of chairs. They had chairs for relaxing in, they had more formal chairs, they had chairs for game playing, they had women's chairs and men's chairs and big chairs - there's an incredible range of types of furniture, which sort of shows you the richness of that time.

Not only are there many different types of chairs, a chair has many different types of uses. It can serve as a bookcase, a clothes rack, a ladder - a chair is not just a chair. They seem to be the most versatile piece of furniture we have.

I think the chair is the furniture which has the most character.

Tables are actually very versatile - you can eat on them, work on them, write on them and so on, but they seem to lack the character of a chair. Probably because we don't have the same intimate relationship to a table. It's just a surface with legs. It doesn't envelope us the way a chair does.

When you look at a table, just sitting there in a room, it doesn't really tell you very much. Whereas a chair actually has a character - it can look fleshy and inviting, it can look strict and severe. It actually becomes like a person.

Especially an empty chair - it looks like a person waiting for somebody. Of course, once somebody's in a chair, you kind of lose the chair and you focus on whoever's sitting in it.

A number of my colleagues are now using standing desks, eschewing chairs completely.

What do you make of the war on the chair?

I think it's a fad, so I'm not saddened in that sense. But I do think it's true that the computer has made us sit much more than we used to. On the other hand, the smaller the computer, the less we're tied to desks and chairs. Whereas the PC really meant people were sitting, with a tablet or a small computer you can lie in bed, you can sit on the ground, you can walk around.

That changes the length of time people sit. Human bodies are designed to walk and run and lie down. Sitting is really not a great position for the body. We lean back, we slump - all sorts of things go wrong. Sitting is a compromise, always. The answer is probably too much sitting is a bad thing. Standing up, walking around, changing positions, all of those things are beneficial if you're sitting for long periods of time. Lots of famous people have had standing desks. Hemingway used to type standing.

Yeah, he put his typewriter on the bookshelf.

He just improvised. The current fad for standup desks seems to me forced. And I suspect that it's not going to be around forever.

The truth is simply getting up once in a while, if you have to sit for a long period, is all you need to do.

The Globe's office is moving in a few months and so we're getting new chairs. Earlier this year, they brought in a range of chairs for us to try out, and then asked us to choose which ones we liked best. I think it was the most contentious part of the whole process.

That's not surprising. Chairs are very personal, which is, of course, the attraction. When we have a favourite chair, we have a real, personal connection to it.

But that personal connection means it varies from person to person, and finding an absolute right chair is impossible. What seems comfortable for one person will not be comfortable for the other. The answer, really, is that you should always have a variety of chairs.

Looking at contemporary chair designers, who's doing interesting work?

I don't find most of the contemporary work very interesting. I tended to ignore it in the book.

We're not in a period of great furniture. If you were drawing a graph of furniture, it would go up and down, because there are periods when it seems everything comes together - either because you've got creative furniture makers or demanding clients or enough prosperity. And so you get a moment like the invention of bentwood furniture in the late 19th century. It was a wonderful moment. [Michael] Thonet builds this industry from zero and becomes the biggest furniture maker in the world. There's nobody like Thonet today.

There's nobody that innovative.

I'm struck by the fact that, if you like modern furniture, most of the best modern furniture was designed 50 or 60 years ago, and it's still being made and still being successfully used because nothing better has come along.

You were talking about your new offices - I remember visiting the new New York Times building a few years ago. The chairs in the cafeteria are all Eames chairs, which were designed in 1940something. It's just a great chair.

There's nothing on the market that's better. It's a beautiful chair.

It's a comfortable chair. So Renzo Piano just used that chair. I suspect, in another 50 years, the Eames chairs will still be around.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

Writer Witold Rybczynski is fascinated by the link between chairs and early modern architecture.


Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

An impromptu party

On the evening of Aug. 5, I was rushing: Photographer John Lehmann and I had made a plan to watch the opening ceremony well away from the fireworks and dance routines at the Maracana Stadium - we were going to join a family in a favela, one of the informal settlements that is home to one in five residents of Rio, around their TV.

In the lead-up to the Games, there was so much focus here on the use of public money when Brazil can't pay doctors or teachers; on the people displaced to build the new transport lines and Olympic spaces; on the jacked-up police presence that was meant to keep tourists safe but was making favela residents more vulnerable to violence than ever before. The Globe thought it was important for readers to see the kickoff through more than just a spangle-filled TV screen. But hours before we were to join our hosts, a woman was killed by gang members in their community, and a no-go order went out - leaving me scrambling for a plan. So when my taxi pulled up in Praca Maua, I was rushed, stressed and filled with dark thoughts about the Games. And then I stepped out of the cab, and into ... a giant party. Maua is a new public space, a derelict part of the old port that got an Olympic makeover into an airy square fronted by two lovely museums. It opened about six months ago, but residents of Rio were slow to discover it: The old, grim reputation of this space, at the foot of Rio's first favela, has proved tenacious. But that night, there was a giant screen on the stage set up to show the ceremony later, and a band was playing samba when I arrived. There were beer and snack vendors circulating with ice chests. Everyone was dancing; most of the crowd sang along. And there was a sense of delight, among people there, to find themselves in the heart of Rio, at the centre of the world's attention, with all the best things about Brazil. That night, I stopped, for just a minute, to dance in the square. Improbable, unexpected moments of joy - those are the best ones, especially when you share them.

Undaunted, at 16 years old

As a sports reporter, you're on hand for a lot of remarkable moments in an athlete's career. You're there when they succeed or fail. Occasionally, you're there when it ends. For the most part, you see them in the middle of it, when they think it'll last forever.

What you are rarely there for is the very beginning. Sixteen-year-old Penny Oleksiak came to Rio with no advance press. This was her first major swim meet. She hit a podium on the first Saturday of competition and became that thing that every country craves in the early going - a reassuring surprise.

Five days later, she won her first gold. That changed things.

You'll remember her from the pool, but I remember her in the winner's news conference. She'd tied with Simone Manuel. The American - a more selfassured 20 years old - dominated proceedings.

Oleksiak sat there with a wide-eyed, openmouthed look we all recognize. The "how did I get here?" look. Whenever she was called on to speak, she ducked her head down so close to the tabletop, she nearly smashed into it. She seemed both delighted and deeply embarrassed by all the attention.

Afterward, she was shuffled into an anteroom to address the Canadian press. She was backed against a conference table, kneading her hands and slowly grinding one foot into the ground.

"I never thought I'd win gold," she said, really meaning it.

Most great athletes get to become that way in some form of isolation. Oleksiak was doing it from day to day and even minute to minute, while everybody in Canada watched. How daunting must that be? Oleksiak reeled, but was never daunted. At 16 years old.

What she managed in the pool was incredible. How she managed it outside the aquatic centre was, to me, even more impressive.

The electrifying Usain Bolt

When Usain Bolt emerges from a tunnel at one end of the track at the Rio Olympic Stadium, the crowd begins to roar. All Bolt is doing is walking. He hasn't begun to run yet. But it's as if this superstar moves with his own magnetic field, and the crowd cannot resist. Seeing Bolt run is its own kind of magic. You can see the race better on TV, with its close-ups and zoom-in at the finish line. To be there in person, though, is to experience the raw excitement of Olympian achievement. It is unforgettable.

I watched Bolt and the other sprinters in the 200 metres, including Canada's Andre De Grasse, on a drizzly night in Rio. As the clock ticked down to 10:35 p.m., the competitors made their way to the starting blocks and crouched into position. At this point the cheers turn to deep silence. All you hear is the thwack-thwack of a distant chopper propeller. It feels as if an entire stadium, and world, is joined in a moment of pure anticipation. The crack of the starter pistol breaks the quiet. Suddenly, the fans are on their feet, as if the adrenalin from the track has leaped over the barriers and into the stands. I covered competitions during the Olympics at the gymnastics arena, diving pool and rowing lagoon. The spectators cheer for their country's teams or their favourites. But Bolt transcends national favouritism.

The whole stadium seemed to be shouting his name. They were glimpsing a legend propel himself to the finish line and create Olympic history.

I won't pretend to know exactly how the race unfolded. Bolt flew past me at the bend and was gone. It's over in 19.78 seconds, less time than it takes to read this paragraph. But the crowd never sat down, and the roars never stopped, and soon Bolt was doing a victory lap with the Jamaican flag fluttering behind him. Over the course of the Rio Olympics, I got to witness the exaltation of Canadian medal winners and the tears of the fourthplace finishers. Bolt offered the wonder of watching the world's fastest human on the biggest stage on Earth. It was electrifying.

So close, yet so far

The Canadian duo of Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley had made a thoroughly dominating run through the preliminary rounds of the beach volleyball tournament. Along the way, they had inserted themselves into every conversation about who might win a medal in what was a glamour event here in the spiritual birthplace of the sport.

Most athletes arrive at an Olympics with expectations tempered by results they've had in competitions leading up to them. They know they are not likely to return home with a medal, but they will try their hardest nonetheless.

What it feels like to almost get to that final rung of the Olympic ladder only to slip and be forced to let go of dreams you may have had for a lifetime most of us will never know.

When I consider one moment at these Olympics that will forever stay with me, it was the sight of Pavan and Bansley outside the beach-volleyball stadium after they were knocked out of the tournament by the eventual gold medal-winning Germans.

Prior to that, they had mostly kept their emotions in check as they made their way through the corral of journalists waiting for them after the match.

After the scrum was over, I walked outside the side door of the stadium with a small group of Canadian journalists and was startled to see Pavan and Bansley both there. Bansley was sitting and sobbing into a towel; her body heaving. Pavan had collapsed into the arms of her husband, inconsolable. The moment provided a raw, heartbreaking fathom of their despair. It felt awkward and uncomfortable to stand there and watch such a private scene unfold.

As a journalist, you don't often get to witness something like that. Athletes are usually allowed to grieve an Olympic-ending loss by themselves. This time that didn't happen. Mostly, it was a powerful reminder that underneath the stoic façade that most Olympic athletes construct around themselves there are human beings as emotionally vulnerable as the rest of us.

The crowd stopped

There is nothing in sports like the moment right before the 100-metre sprint.

When the starter calls the athletes to take their marks, it's as if time stops cold.

But heading into the 100 metres in Rio, there were legitimate concerns about whether the kind of silence needed for a clean start could be achieved.

Across the board, the Rio Olympics were a rowdy, raucous and noisy affair in the stands - which was usually a great thing.

Though critics and some grumbling athletes dismissed Rio's singing, chanting and stomping fans as unruly "football crowds" - which in Brazil happens to be a huge compliment - the atmosphere at many of the venues brought energy to the events.

But what are sports if not loud and engaging?

When the packed Maracana Stadium sang the Brazilian anthem before the gold-medal soccer game against Germany on Saturday, the volume was spine-tingling. When Brazil won in penalty kicks, the noise somehow managed to grow louder.

Before the 100 metres, it seemed as though Rio's sports fans could not be tamed.

That became apparent when sprinting legend Usain Bolt walked out of the tunnel and Estadio Olimpico erupted in adulation, chanting his name.

In an already nervous atmosphere, though, worries about a false start loomed large, since it can change the complexion of a race. And the 46,000 people in attendance had already shown they could not be contained.

As the sprinters got into their blocks, the announcer called for silence. And then - as if defying the laws of sound - the place went silent. It was immediate, as if hitting mute on the television. The faint 'chop, chop, chop' of a military helicopter in the distance was the only sound. It was as if, for three or four seconds, an entire city had stopped.

Sporting events are usually defined by big plays, and big noise. But the moment before the 100 metres is eerily quiet. There is nothing like it.

The calm before the storm

Like all Olympics with athletes performing at their best and emotions running high, the days are full of incredible moments. Looking back, however, at this Summer Games, it's not one moment but the individual Brazilians I met during my long days over three weeks here on assignment.

Of the six Olympics I have now covered, this was by far the most relaxed. Sure, some of the venues were old, some unfinished and the photo positions were often in frustrating spots, but the people of Brazil made up for the shortfall left by the organizing committee.

As a photojournalist or sports photographer covering the Olympics, you're constantly looking for and shooting athletes at the peak of their performance or looking for an image that shows the emotional high of winning or the silence of defeat.

I also like to shoot the quiet moments before the events. Athletes often arrive several days early to practice and it's often a great opportunity for better access when there aren't hordes of other media around.

I arrived early one morning to cover Team Canada's women's eight rowing team and managed to arrange for access into area not normally granted to photographers. The great access and picturesque rowing venue backlit by the beautiful morning light all added up to one of my more memorable images of the women's eight leaving the dock.

Associated Graphic


Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane competes during the mens' 1,500-metre freestyle on Aug. 13. He placed sixth.

Synchronized swimming partners Karine Thomas and Jacqueline Simoneau perform during the duet free final on Aug. 16. Thomas and Simoneau placed seventh.

Crowds unable to find seats rip a hole in the screen to watch Canadians Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in action against Spain's Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez on Aug. 11. Nestor and Pospisil were beaten by the Spaniards.

Britain's Chijindu Ujah, Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Canada's Andre De Grasse compete in the 100-metre final on Aug. 14. De Grasse got the bronze medal; Bolt won gold.

Rugby sevens player Jen Kish, right, is tackled during the semi-final match against Australia on Aug. 8. Canada's women ended up winning bronze in rugby sevens.

Canadian team pursuit racers Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Georgia Simmerling compete on Aug. 13; they won bronze.

Deception at the Don
From having its course changed to being scented with perfume, the Toronto waterway has been Canada's 'most-messed-with river'
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A6

It was Canada's "Potemkin" moment.

It was the summer of 1958 and Princess Margaret was nearing the end of an extensive royal tour of Canada. Her well-covered travels even included British media speculation that the 27year-old sister of the Queen had fallen for the handsome young Montreal lawyer, John Turner, future Prime Minister of Canada, with whom she had danced and talked long into the night at a ball given at the naval base on Vancouver's Deadman's Island.

She had now come to Toronto, where a cancer-treatment centre would take her name, and where she would gather with schoolchildren at Riverdale Park.

Her special train would be parked on the side of the Don River and she would have to cross over to the park via a footbridge.

The Don, The Globe and Mail editorialized on July 30, 1958, has "waters heavily polluted and laden with scum, its banks littered with all varieties of filth, and the whole sending up foul odours."

The city had been scrambling.

Workmen had been sent out to clean up the banks, painters to give the bridge a fresh coat.

What, however, were they going to do about the stink?

The solution, in this time long before David Suzuki or environmental impact studies, was simple: Mask the stink. They poured in chlorine and, according to some reports, gallons and gallons of perfume upstream, timed to flow past the park area just as the Princess was crossing the bridge.

The Globe compared the plan to Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin's 18th-century deception of Catherine II of Russia, when the governor of Crimea built fake villages, clean and freshly painted, to impress the Empress as she raced through the region in her royal carriage.

"The fact that this deception at the Don is necessary," railed The Globe, "is a disgrace to Toronto and to this Province.

The river should be cleaned up in fact; and not just for a day, but for good."

Nothing, of course, was done.

The Princess's official visit was a resounding success, the schoolchildren delighted and the air at Riverdale Park smelled strangely sweet - for a few hours.

Jennifer Bonnell, an urban historian at York University, believes that the Don River has been the "most-messed-with river" in Canada.

In her highly readable 2014 environmental history of the river and valley, Reclaiming the Don, Prof. Bonnell shows how this river, once so prized for its beauty, its mouth once blessed with one of the largest marshlands in Lake Ontario, saw that lovely mouth twisted and recast, its meandering route straightened for convenience, its tributaries paved and built over and often lost, its water fouled to the point where, twice, the river caught fire.

Little wonder that in the fall of 1969, a couple of hundred mourners paraded a casket from the University of Toronto grounds to the banks of the Don. The cortege included a "hearse," a band playing a dirge, a weeping widow in black and a pie-in-the-face for a top-hatted student portraying a greedy capitalist.

Monte Hummel, now president emeritus of WWF-Canada, was a key player in that parade. He had spent his honeymoon at Woodstock - he's the one organizing the famous mudslide in the movie - and in the summer had helped found Pollution Probe, the environmental group that came up with the idea of holding a funeral for the Don River.

"People do these things all the time now," Mr. Hummel says, "but back then, this was a new idea - it hadn't been done before.

"This whole notion that you could kill a river had never been thought of before. There was a poignant message that rose above the street theatre."

It did indeed, with the ceremony capturing the attention of the media.

"They finally had a funeral for the Don River yesterday," the Toronto Telegram reported the following day.

"Judging from the smell of the 'deceased,' it was long overdue."

The Don River runs in two branches from its headwaters in the Oak Ridges Moraine, about 40 kilometres north of the city.

The branches merge about three-quarters of the way down to form the Lower Don, which travels alongside the Don Valley Parkway until the river empties into Lake Ontario. It was named by Lieutenant-Governor James Graves Simcoe, the founder of York, who felt it reminded him of the River Don in South Yorkshire, England.

First Nations traders found it a perfect encampment, the waters clean and the game plentiful.

There was a time when the prisoners at the nearby jail protested because they were being fed too much fresh salmon from its waters.

As York became Toronto, however, the city spread rapidly. The river was the perfect location for early grist and timber mills, then tanneries, brick works, chemical factories, oil refineries and the growing city's increasingly busy port.

It stands today as the most urbanized watershed in Canada, with 1.2 million people living within it and roughly 90 per cent of the catchment area having residential, commercial or industrial development.

"Over the past 200 years," Prof. Bonnell writes, "almost all of the significant wetlands within the watershed have been drained or filled to support urban development. The six tributaries of the lower river have mostly disappeared, buried by fill or encased within sewage infrastructure."

The river and valley were once considered prime locations for such structures as the colony's first parliament buildings, but gradually it became a place for necessary structures that the establishment might prefer a distance away. In a time of fears over cholera and malaria, the hospital was relocated from the city centre to the Don. An asylum followed, then a shelter and reformatory for the poor and vagrants - "idiots," as well. The Toronto Jail and Industrial Farm (better known as the Don Jail) opened near the asylum.

"Linked to perceptions of the Don Valley as a 'space for undesirables' was its reputation as a frontier of sorts," Prof. Bonnell writes, "a place that harboured and facilitated a certain degree of lawlessness."

The valley became overrun with gangs, the most notorious being the Brooks Bush Gang. In late 1859, John Sheridan Hogan, a highly respected citizen of Toronto, set out to cross the Don in order to visit a friend.

Hogan vanished, never to be seen again until a decomposing body wearing his clothes was found 16 months later by duck hunters. As there was neither money nor papers to be found in the clothes, foul play was suspected. The Brooks Bush Gang was rounded up.

One of the gang told police that Jane Ward had done in Hogan with a heavy stone she carried in a handkerchief and that Ward and James Brown had dumped the body over the bridge after stripping Hogan of his money and top coat.

Ward, however, was acquitted, while Brown was sentenced to hang. It led to the first serious debate - including the presentation of a petition - on capital punishment, though to no avail, as Brown was executed on March 10, 1862.

Dismissed as a place for "undesirables" and considered worthy only of industry, the Don River had no one speaking for it in the late 1880s when city council agreed with a pitch by the Canadian Pacific Railway to straighten the river out so that the railway could have a convenient corridor into and out of the city. Ironically, that initiative was called "The Don Improvement Project." In the 1960s, more changes were made to the river's course to accommodate the construction of the Don Valley Parkway, the city's main commuter route.

"The Don once curved in an interesting way down toward the lake," says Arlen Leeming, project manager of the Don & Highlands Watersheds for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, "but they said 'We know better, and what we're going to do is straighten it and have a straight shot right out into the lake and we're going to get rid of all that water and crap and not have to worry about it.' "Basically they built a runway for water, a slip 'n' slide right down the valley to the lake."

Nor did it have the desired effect of sending all the "crap" well out into Lake Ontario, where it could be forgotten. The buildup of chemicals and pollutants continued unabated, particularly in the lowest reaches.

In researching through the archives of the Port Authority, Prof. Bonnell discovered that the river had caught fire at least twice in the 1930s and 1940s - with barely a notice.

"It's a totally buried story," she says. "It's in the newspapers but it doesn't warrant any front-page mention. It's just considered the cost of doing business. All they talk about is damage to bridges, to infrastructure.

"Nothing about the river itself."

The view of the city from the Toronto Islands is nothing less than spectacular on a fine summer's day. There are no traffic sounds, no streetlights, no streetcars, subways or electric hum of a major city. There is only the stillness that more than two centuries ago Elizabeth Simcoe found here and far up the nearby Don River.


The Don is nowhere to be seen. All that Arlen Leeming can do from his kayak is point with his paddle to show where it once was, where it now is - and where it will soon be.

"You see those 'lakers' over there?" he asks, pointing to two huge tankers anchored at port, two of the roughly 80 massive ships that call each year. "And you see where the covered tennis courts are? That's going to be the 'new' mouth of the Don."

The cost, he says, is estimated at nearly $1-billion. It is all part of a massive, hugely expensive plan to transform 125 hectares around the mouth and Keating Channel into parklands and mixed-use residential neighbourhoods. The object is to create "an iconic identity for the Don River" - words that date from a 2007 announcement by Waterfront Toronto that an international competition would be held to come up with a "worldclass" plan for the river.

Some see it as a long-overdue "apology" to the poor Don.

The winning proposal, by Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates of New York, Behnisch Architekten of Los Angeles and Toronto urban designer Ken Greenberg would create, the jury said, "a spectacular and compelling vision for the area ... balancing and integrating urban and natural environments."

The winners describe it as "a new type of territory where city, lake and river interact in a dynamic and balanced relationship."

Work has already begun, though the finished project remains years away. Once again, the Don River is being reconfigured - though for the first time with the river itself the prime consideration.

"The Don River is a story of resilience and a story of nature's refusal to ever give up," Mr. Leeming says. "The Don embodies that. It's a river that, no matter what you throw at it, no matter what you do to it, no matter how many chemicals you put down it, no matter how many buildings you put on it, no matter whether you channelize it, it will never give up.

"It will find a way."

Associated Graphic

Once a prime location for swimming and fishing, Toronto's Don River today is a shadow of its former self, but efforts are under way to restore its glory. Now, the city is looking to revitalize the river and create 'an iconic identity' for it.


Donald Trump and the power of negative thinking
He wouldn't be the first to succeed by calling his country a failure, Marcus Gee reports. Americans have habit of believing the worst
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

In Sylvester Stallone's 1985 film Rocky IV, American Apollo Creed faces Russian Ivan Drago in a battle of West against East. The showboating Creed dances into the arena wearing a Stars and Stripes top hat. James Brown belts out Living in America as showgirls gyrate. Drago looks on stone-faced. "You will lose," the mountain of muscle tells Creed.

The film plays on something that gnaws at every number one - the fear of being usurped. The United States, top dog for as long a s anyone can remember, is no exception. Every little while, Americans are seized by anxiety that they are being surpassed by people who are tougher (the Russians), cleverer (the Japanese) or harder-working (the Chinese).

Political thinkers call it declinism - the belief that your society is heading into decline - and the United States is suffering from a feverish bout of it right now. Declinism is helping to fuel the rise of Donald Trump, who whips up his cheering supporters with claims that other countries are eating America's lunch. His baseball caps trumpet his promise to "Make America Great Again!" - as if the world's most powerful nation has already fallen to second-rate status. "We're like a Third World country," he laments. "We have no money."

American decline is at the very centre of the insurgent campaign that has taken the braggadocious real-estate mogul and reality-TV star from long shot to Republican candidate for president. "Our country's going to hell. We have a problem," he says.

Or, as he put it in his dark, tohell-in-a-handbasket speech to the Republican convention last month: "Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World conditions, and 43 million Americans are on food stamps." Or this masterpiece of hyperbole: "This country is a hellhole. We are going down fast.

We can't do anything right. We're a laughingstock all over the world. The American dream is dead."

His fans eat it up, cheering as loudly at the claim that their country is in the dumpster as they have in the past for the claim that "we're number one."

Mr. Trump isn't the only one complaining about American decline, even if he complains the loudest. Democrat Bernie Sanders, too, says that the country has fallen into a slough of meanness and inequality. Right and left seem to agree: A corrupt elite is bringing America down.

This sort of thing has a long history. The world sees Americans as self-confident, even cocksure, but they have a self-doubting, self-critical side, too.

Since the U.S. became the world's pre-eminent power at the end of the Second World War, it has been hit by periodic waves of insecurity. It happened when the Soviets beat them to the punch by putting the first satellite into space in 1957. It happened during the Vietnam War.

And it happened during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, when president Jimmy Carter warned that Americans were having a "crisis of the spirit."

Japan as Number One by Harvard University Asia specialist Ezra Vogel, published in 1979, saw the dynamic Japanese economy leaving the United States in the dust.

The same year, social critic Christopher Lasch wrote in The Culture of Narcissism: "Hardly more than a quarter-century after Henry Luce proclaimed 'the American century,' American confidence is at a low ebb. Those who recently dreamed of world power now despair of governing the city of New York."

In 1987, in the final years of the Cold War, Yale historian Paul Kennedy touched a tender spot when his surprise bestseller The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers reminded Americans that many pre-eminent countries overreach themselves, then decline.

The prophecies of doom have not come true. The Soviet Union collapsed not long after the book came out, and the United States was left the last man standing in the duel of the superpowers.

Japan lost its vigour and slid into decline. The idea that it might surpass the United States seems farcical now.

'Political hot air'

Although the rise of China presents another challenge, the United States still leads the world in military, economic and technological power. Its top universities crowd best-in-the-world lists. It cleans up at Nobel Prize time.

American companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are tops in the tech field. It spends more on its armed forces than the next eight countries combined.

Battered by the financial crisis and the slow recovery that followed, the American economy has been gathering steam. The unemployment rate in July stood at just 4.9 per cent. House prices have bounced back. Wages are growing. The stock market is setting records.

"All the talk of America's economic decline is political hot air," President Barack Obama told Americans in his State of the Union Address in January. "Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker.

Let me tell you something. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth.

Period. ... It's not even close."

"America is already great," he told the Democratic Party convention last month. "America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump."

In a recent article in Foreign Affairs titled The Once and Future Superpower: Why China Won't Overtake the United States, authors Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth of Dartmouth College argue that "everyone should start getting used to a world in which the United States remains the sole superpower for decades to come." Harvard foreign policy scholar Joseph Nye comes to a similar conclusion in his 2015 book, Is the American Century Over? "America has many problems, but it is not in absolute decline, and even in relative terms, it is likely to remain more powerful than any single state in the coming several decades."

'I think China owns us'

Mr. Trump is on to something, all the same. Whatever the numbers say, many Americans feel they are in a rut. Just walk into a tavern in upstate New York.

Crossway's in Ilion, near Utica, stands just across from a huge Remington firearms factory, one of the last big manufacturing outfits in a Rust Belt region. If it goes, says bartender Nancy Nabinger, 55, there will be tumbleweeds blowing through town. As for the country, "we're definitely going backwards." She works two other jobs - as a waitress in a pizzeria and as a house cleaner - to get by. Patron Ron Hodom, 62, chimes in that "I think China owns us, actually."

You would expect things to be different a short drive away at the campus of the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute. A huge new centre for research into nanotechnology is under construction there, part of a big effort to replace lost manufacturing jobs with high-tech ones.

But computer-science major Robert Robbins, 20, says the States is losing out to its overseas competitors, who have taken American jobs.

"We import so much. We're not exporting any goods, we're exporting jobs. We're giving it to them, almost," he says, a big, superpowered laptop computer that he calls The Beast sitting in front of him on a study table.

"I would definitely say we've fallen down the ranks," says friend Ashley Klumbach, a 22year-old sociology student. "We aren't as strong as we used to be, and we depend a lot on other countries."

A Pew Research Centre poll found that, although a majority of Americans believed their country was one of the best in the world, the view that it "stands above all countries" declined by 10 points between 2011 and 2014, to 28 per cent.

Polling this month from Bloomberg Politics indicated that 68 per cent of Americans thought the country was on the wrong track, up from 52 per cent in September, 2009.

Even if the financial crisis is years past, many Americans have not recovered from the blow of seeing their jobs disappear or their mortgages go under water as real-estate prices crashed.

Less-educated white Americans, in particular, seem to feel left out or left behind. One 2011 poll showed that 56 per cent of whites lacking higher education said that the country's best days are over and that the economy will take a long time to bounce back. The Atlantic magazine dug up the poll recently as evidence that these Americans, in particular, were ripe for Mr. Trump's declinist message when he jumped into the presidential race last year.

Trump voters, said the Wall Street Journal in a recent editorial, "are at heart nationalists who see the U.S. in retreat abroad and the economy failing to raise wages at home, and they are revolting against both. Unlike the Japanese or the French, they aren't going to accept decline without a fight."

Mr. Trump plays on their insecurities with crude virtuosity. He said he would build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out illegal migrants, slap a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country and get even with China for having the temerity to pull itself out of poverty by making cheap stuff for Americans to buy at Wal-Mart.

"Think of it," he said. "They have taken our money and our jobs, our manufacturing, but they have taken everything. It's one of the greatest thefts in the history of the world."

Like Ronald Reagan, who ran for election in 1980 on the almost identical slogan, "Let's make America great again," Mr. Trump promises to put the country back on top. "We will have so much winning, if I get elected, that you may get bored of winning," he said last September.

It's a false hope. No country wins all the time. Even at the height of its power from 1945 to 1970, Joseph Nye reminds us, Washington failed to stop Moscow from getting nuclear weapons, Castro from taking control in Cuba and the Soviets from crushing rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

Mr. Trump is conjuring a past that never was. Worse, he is painting a misleading picture of a hobbled country that is cheated by its competitors, humiliated by its enemies and exploited by its free-riding allies.

Every demagogue thrives on fear. Every great country fears losing its greatness.

The United States is far from alone. Britain's shocking vote to exit the European Union sprang in part from a yearning to put the great back in Great Britain.

Like Trump, Brexit campaigners warned of national decline under the pressure of runaway globalization and immigration.

Rocky's revenge

In Rocky IV, Ivan Drago hits the overconfident Apollo Creed so hard that he kills him. Hollywood being what it is, that isn't the end of it. Creed's trainer, Rocky Balboa, decides to avenge his friend's death. He travels to the Soviet Union to fight Drago.

Instead of showboating, he gets to work, training in the frozen wild by chopping wood, lifting rocks and pulling a heavily laden sleigh through the snow.

You guessed it: Rocky wins.

Marcus Gee is a Globe and Mail columnist.

Associated Graphic

What makes America great: Apollo Creed, top, pays the ultimate price for his showboating and overconfidence, while Rocky Balboa, above, puts away super Russian Ivan Drago by sticking to what the United States considers bedrock values, such as humility, hard work and dogged determination.


Rio savours the relief of being good enough
Despite dire predictions of disaster, the first week of competition has given locals and visitors much to celebrate
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S8

The first week of the 2016 Olympic Games was a triumph of expectation management.

The advance press ranged from foreboding to hysterical, and not without cause. Brazil was in the grip of political crisis, economic collapse and an outbreak of a mysterious mosquito-born disease; the state of Rio de Janeiro was so broke that it had stopped paying its police and its hospital staff. And with days to go before competition started, workers were soldering all night long on the critical metro line, while sewage poured unfiltered into the sea that would host swimmers and sailors.

Everyone from athletes to tourists to senior Olympic officials seemed prepared for the event to be a disaster, or a rolling string of them.

And then it wasn't.

And Rio is savouring the relief of being good enough.

This gloriously telegenic city looks perfect on the television screens of viewers around the world. And in the arenas and stadiums, the competitions have largely gone off without a hitch.

So it all looks fine for the outside world.

For the people actually here, the experience is somewhat less seamless. Transportation can be painful; there is a dearth of helpful signage. But the security challenges have been minor (by Rio standards), and there are no mosquitoes. Most of the issues that were big problems on Day 1 have been steadily improved through the week. And for people who made the trip to Rio, every exhausting train trip or baffling encounter with the travel card system is followed by a stroll on the beach or a new best friendship with the wildly cheering Brazilian in the next seat over. And that, it seems, makes up for a multitude of sins.

The one problem that is visible to everyone is the empty seats: These are, in the words of some Brazilian media, "The Ghost Olympics." When Canada's rugby sevens women played for a bronze medal on Monday, only about a quarter of the seats at the game were occupied. The stands at equestrian events, basketball, field hockey, even beach volleyball - a sport Brazilians love, which is played in a gorgeous oceanside venue, and one that's relatively easily reached - are often only half-occupied.

Games organizers say they are working hard to figure out why: Ticket sales are now at 85 per cent, the same level as the London 2012 Games, but seats were rarely empty there. "We've done some mapping to help us understand," Rio 2016 spokesman Philip Wilkinson said. One issue, he said, is that spectators are coming for part of, but not staying for all of, a match - beach volleyball tickets buy you four matches (the last game of the night session ends at 1 a.m.), while soccer tickets are for two 90-minute matches. "People are coming to see the team they support, and maybe another match, but they may not stay the whole time," Mr. Wilkinson said.

Transportation also seems to be a factor. The travel time between the Olympic zones can easily be three hours, and spectators may walk five or six kilometres by the time they go from a train station, through a security screen, into a venue, then to another, and back to the train. The worst area is the Deodoro Olympic Park, where rugby, canoe, BMX biking and equestrian events are held; it's 40 km from Copacabana. While the dedicated train link works well to get there, there are vast distances between the arenas - and the thought of the trip seems to be putting some ticket-buyers off.

There may also be a psychological factor at play for middleclass Brazilians who bought tickets months ago without fully realizing that to see a basketball match they would have to venture deep into the city's North Zone, which is low-income and associated with violence.

But Mr. Wilkinson defended the city's decision to put some sport venues there. "Deodoro is a different area of Rio - and it's important that the Games can reach people in different parts of the city," not just the wealthy ones, he said.

It was always the hope that having South America's first-ever Games here would both introduce Brazilians to unfamiliar sports and engage not only the wealthy with the Olympics; his own visits to Deodoro suggest that Rio residents from all social classes are taking part, he said.

Mr. Wilkinson also said that organizers' suspicions about Brazilians' social planning habits have also been confirmed: While Rio's advance ticket sale rates were considerably lower than for the London Games, they have exploded now that the Olympics are finally here. On Monday, Rio 2016 sold more than 100,000 tickets. From Day 1 to Day 6, they sold 2,285,000. So stands may look more full as competition intensifies, he said.

Little in Rio was ready in time for a usual run of test events and dry runs, and it has shown this week. The diving pool turned vivid green on Day 5, apparently because a maintenance crew mismanaged the pH level. The new metro opened just five days before the opening ceremony (but runs beautifully now that it's open).

Food, on the other hand, has been a nightmare. The takeout stands are often out of stock, or painfully slow, or their payment systems don't work.

And the Brazilian government fired the company providing security services just a week before the Games began, replacing its personnel with police from national and state forces who - it became clear painfully quickly - had no experience operating screening equipment.

Lineups to enter Olympic zones stretched to more than two km the first day of competition and many people missed part or all of an event. More than 40,000 people initiated a process with the ticketing booths that day, according to communications director Mario Andrade, but he said not all of them were people whose events were over before they got in, and so sought refunds. (Rio 2016 won't say how many did miss the event.) The lines got shorter through the week, although sometimes that was because screening officers simply threw open the barriers and waved everyone through.

Going in to the Games, the chief concern was safety: Much was made of the city's high rates of violent crime, and in July, police officers who hadn't been paid in months because of Rio's budget crisis protested at the international airport with signs reading, "Welcome to Hell." The government also made a muchpublicized arrest of 12 homegrown would-be Islamist attackers 10 days before the opening.

To secure the Games, the state government deployed 82,000 personnel - bringing in the national guard, armed forces and state and federal police.

Despite the hopes of Rio's residents (at least, many said, we'll have this, for a couple weeks, a city without robbery, to make up for all the traffic snarls), all those police have not managed to stop all crime.

When Felipe Seixas, the senior federal police officer who was in charge of security for the opening ceremony, was walking back to his car near dawn on Saturday, after the wrap on the production, he was set upon by four men with knives. Mr. Seixas had bodyguards, who killed one of the assailants.

On Tuesday night, a bus carrying reporters between Olympic venues was hit with some sort of projectile - police say it was stones, although journalists on the bus initially insisted that it was bullets and police have not made the forensic report public.

Stray bullets that originated in favelas have twice landed in the media zones of Olympic venues.

And the Rio media offer up a steady rolling count of tourists mugged in different areas of the city. (Brazilians counter on social media by reporting the times they were mugged in London or Los Angeles.)

Predictably, the most serious security incidents have not involved visitors, but rather residents of the poorest areas of the city, and underpaid police. A patrol made up of national guard officers from Brazil's far north, sent to Rio as part of the extra force deployment, got lost on Wednesday night and blundered into Maré, one of Rio's most violent communities, where they quickly came under fire. They were rescued by a taxi driver and rushed to hospital; one officer died Friday of his injuries and two more were wounded. In response to the incident, the police initiated a quasi-military occupation of the area the next morning and one civilian was dead, two more in hospital, by nightfall.

There were fierce exchanges of gunfire between police and gang members in the community called Complexo de Alemao three mornings in a row this week. But these incidents don't make the television, and inside the Olympic Park security cordon, few visitors are aware of them.

The chief complaint of Gamesgoers, once they have battled through the lines, is that the venues are utilitarian and lack any sort of spirited public space.

There is nowhere to lounge and take in the larger festival at the Olympic parks, just a stream of people trudging between blocky competition buildings and squinting at road signs. There is no shade, and no musicians or performers or anything to infuse a Brazilian spirit into the site.

Much of what makes the beach in Rio fun, or adds life to a street party, is the buskers and the beer vendors and the young woman in a fairy outfit selling flower headdresses. The Olympics is sanitized of all of that. (Consequently, there are often long lines in front of the handful of installations of Olympics rings sculptures or Rio 2016 signage that can serve as a selfie venue.)

But one new public space, in the city proper, has been a success beyond the wildest hopes of urban planners. A derelict and dangerous area around the old port has been revitalized and turned into a square and the "Olympic Boulevard." Residents of Rio and visitors have been flocking there, to walk the length of the promenade and admire a gorgeous (and enormous) multicoloured graffiti mural of indigenous people. More than 100,000 people visited on Tuesday alone, heading to a part of the city few would have dreamed of visiting just six months ago.

For so far. They loved the opening ceremony, which reminded them of the good things about this place when the news is generally so unremittingly awful.

And much of the country was charmed when an Olympics volunteer proposed to her girlfriend - who happened to be the Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo - on the pitch at the end of the tournament. (Ms. Cerullo said yes, and the picture of the pair celebrating in a long kiss became a Facebook sensation.)

Brazil's first gold medal in the Games was won by Rafaela Silva, a judoka who is Afro-Brazilian, gay and from the infamous favela City of God - a feel-good story that it will be hard to top.

And that sense - that good things are possible, that there is much here to love - has carried the Rio Games through their first week. All the city needs to do now is get through a second week without disaster.

Associated Graphic

Spectators cheer during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5. Since then, there has been a notable number of empty seats, leading some Brazilian media to dub these 'The Ghost Olympics.'


For 'Dr. Tay,' summer camp was curative
Pioneering child psychiatrist headed Ahmek and Wapomeo, which his father founded in Algonquin Park
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S11

Taylor Statten II was a decorated war hero and one of Canada's first child psychiatrists, but a generation of campers will remember him as the inspirational figure who headed the renowned summer camps founded by his father.

The rugged wilderness of Ontario's Algonquin Park, and Taylor Statten Camps (TSC) within the park (Ahmek for boys, Wapomeo for girls), meant the world to Dr. Statten. They were so important to him that having the summer off was a condition of acceptance for every prestigious position he held.

Aside from time spent as a captain during the Second World War, and until the final year of his long life, Dr. Statten never missed three months on Canoe Lake, the place he called his real home. Dr. Statten attended Camp Ahmek as a child, moving through its ranks to become director of programs.

In 1954, after the death of his father, hailed by all as "Chief," Dr. Statten assumed the role of TSC's director and president of its board.

Affectionately known to campers as "Dr. Tay," Dr. Statten dedicated himself to carrying forward the dream of his father, albeit with a slightly different philosophy. Activities such as music, theatre arts, horse riding, canoeing, portaging and sailing across halcyon summers occupied the children of prime ministers and scions of industry.

Surnames such as Eaton, Birks, Weston, Creed, Mulroney, Turner, Molson and Labatt filled the roster of attendees. Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who was a camper there in his teens, later enrolled his own three sons. After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's memoir Common Ground was published in 2014, he sent Dr. Statten a copy for Christmas. The book is inscribed, "Dearest Dr. Tay. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today." On learning of Dr. Statten's death, on July 19, at the age of 101, Mr. Trudeau tweeted "So sad to hear that Taylor Statten II - Dr. Tay - has passed away. He shaped the childhood summers of so many of us. #TSC forever."

Taylor Statten II was born on April 10, 1915, in Toronto to Ethel (née Page) and Taylor Statten.

He was the second of their three children. A veteran of the Boer War, the elder Taylor Statten worked for the national YMCA, where he established a program that rewarded children for developing social, physical and intellectual skills. Parents were delighted. Mr. Statten saw the potential for a summer camp that stressed similar goals.

In 1912, while on a family vacation, the Stattens discovered the idyll of Canoe Lake. Mr. Statten obtained a lease for a portion of waterfront land and constructed his personal cabin, which remains there today. He mortgaged his Toronto house to build his dream and embarked upon promoting it with a show business panache that ran in the family.

Circus impresario P.T. Barnum was a distant cousin whom Mr. Statten greatly admired. An impressive speaker who played upon parental expectations and the adventurous imaginations of boys, Mr. Statten soon had parents queuing to sign up. Camp brochures listed addresses of influential parents, ostensibly so campers could stay in touch. Mr. Statten understood that an address for Lady Eaton, and other members of high society, would be an irresistible lure to the status conscious. As expected, word spread rapidly among the elite.

Camp Ahmek, on Canoe Lake, was the first Canadian-owned private camp in Algonquin Park.

It opened in 1921, with 60 boys, ranging in age from 5 to 16, living in tents. While learning about woodcraft and natural lore, the boys would help clear the beach and brush, conveniently making way for subsequent buildings. Three years later, Camp Wapomeo for girls was added. It caused a minor scandal among members of the board of directors, since both sexes would be swimming in the same water at the same time.

Reason prevailed.

Taylor Statten Camps became successful enough that young Taylor was educated at Toronto's Upper Canada College and Pickering College. He continued to the University of Toronto's medical school, graduating in 1940 with the intent of becoming a pediatrician, but war interrupted. While interning at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, two older doctors invited him to join their team and head to England to defend the British Empire. They shipped out on Nov. 13, 1941.

Dr. Statten, a member of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, volunteered to serve on the front lines in Tunisia. He subsequently received the African Star for bravery. Later in Sicily, in charge of an advance dressing station, he treated horrific wounds as best he could before the injured were transported to hospital. While assisting in the rescue of a soldier behind German lines, Dr. Statten took a bullet in the arm. Despite enormous pain, he persevered at his post, continuing to treat the severely wounded for three days until a replacement doctor arrived.

In 1944, Dr. Statten was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished service in action, but the experience of war shook him deeply. It made him question his civilian vocation. In a letter home to his sister, he wrote, "Lately I have been wondering if I am even cut out to be a doctor. I have been away from it for so long now I have lost a lot of confidence and interest."

The idea of returning to regular life in Canada presented another challenge. Just before leaving for war, Dr. Statten married Alice Turner, a dietician.

During his deployment, she'd given birth to their daughter, Lyn, a child he'd never met. In a letter to the Rotary Club he wrote: "It will seem strange to get back and have a little girl, who is now two years old and whom I have only seen in pictures, call me 'Daddy.' The couple would later have two more children, Judy and Taylor.

Alice Statten died after 33 years of marriage. Dr. Statten then married homemaker Lola Ruth Hall, a marriage that lasted 23 years, until her death. Widowed for the second time, in October, 2001, he married Janet Boland (née Lang), a widow and Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario. Madam Boland-Statten remained with Dr. Statten to the end of his life. True to the advice he gave counsellors and campers, Dr. Statten never married a woman who hadn't shared a canoe trip with him.

All three of his wives had attended Camp Wapomeo.

As the war ended, after Dr. Statten had been in hospital in England for months with amoebic dysentery and hepatitis, he returned home in time to celebrate V-E Day and become reacquainted with his family. In the healing environment of Algonquin Park, where he relished fly-fishing and dabbled in painting, he contemplated becoming a trapper. Dr. Statten eventually decided to return to medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Sick Kids.

As a pediatrician, he understood childhood development and diseases but he wanted to specialize in child mental health, then in its infancy. Dr. Statten's interest was fuelled by a secret he shared with few: He suffered from dyslexia.

The condition resulted in what he once told his wife Janet was his greatest regret: He failedGrade 1. He wanted to understand his own reading disorder as well as some manifestations of mental disturbance that he had observed in young campers over the years, such as homesickness, bullying, anger and depression. So he decided to take a residency in child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, one of the only institutions that offered a residency of this kind at the time.

Despite his lifelong handicap, Dr. Statten completed the residency in 1949 and returned to Canada. In 1950, he became director of child psychiatry at the Montreal Children's Hospital, where he was given his own wing. There, he established the first program in Canada to train physicians and other professionals concerned with child mental health. His achieved goal was to make short-term psychiatric treatment available to children and their families.

During his time in Montreal, Dr. Statten served concurrently as an associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University.

In the mid-sixties, he moved his family back to Ontario to become chief of psychiatry with the University of Toronto Health Service, a position he held for almost 20 years. Throughout his distinguished career, the Canadian Medical Journal Association published many articles by Dr. Statten on topics such as depressive anxieties in childhood. In 1987, in recognition of his outstanding achievement in working with children, he was named to the Order of Canada.

Unlike his father, Dr. Statten was a quiet, reserved man, although he also exuded an athletic magnetism and maintained an adventurous spirit. He once paddled on the back of a moose swimming across Canoe Lake, a tale that became legendary among campers. Dr. Statten was instrumental in setting up a bursary fund among TSC alumni to assist less fortunate kids. He also invested his own money to maintain the low ratio of campers to staff.

In an interview with Globe and Mail journalist Roy MacGregor, Dr. Statten said a financial adviser told him he must have had holes in his head to make such a move. Dr. Statten responded, "I guess I've got a right. I'm a psychiatrist after all."

He also told Mr. MacGregor, "I knew I could never be like my dad. I like to think that I run the camps as a type of preventive mental-health experience.

We're looking after a lot of people who have money or access to money, but I'm as concerned for them as for others. Wealth doesn't mean that people are having good experiences in life.

Often they have quite the opposite."

Given his background and training, Dr. Statten was ideally suited to direct the camps and dispense wisdom. His cabin door was always open. Businessman Pierre Panet-Raymond recalled being an upset sevenyear-old seeking out Dr. Tay after he was the target of harassment because he was adopted. "For the rest of my life the words he said stayed with me," Mr. Panet-Raymond said.

"He listened then said, 'Ah yes, Pierre, but you were chosen.' " Dr. Statten leaves his wife, Madam Justice Janet BolandStatten; children, Lyn, Judy and Taylor; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. A celebration of his life will take place at the University of Toronto's Hart House on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

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

Taylor Statten is seen watching a horse show with his grandson at Camp Ahmek on Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park. Dr. Statten himself attended the camp as a child, moving up its ranks to become director of programs.


Dr. Statten stands with former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Mr. Trudeau also attended Camp Ahmek as a teenager, as did his three sons, including current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


It's hard to explain, but experts would love to try. Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, at 5 foot 9 and 154 pounds and with a running style that has his right arm flying behind him, doesn't fit the conventional mould of a world-class sprinter, reports Rachel Brady. So why is he so fast?
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

Some experts in the biomechanics of sport have been watching Canada's rising track star, Andre De Grasse, with fascination, dreaming of what it would be like to get the speedy phenom into their labs to find out how the first-time Olympian with the unconventional style runs so fast.

The 5-foot-9, 154-pound sprinter is shorter and less muscular than most of his opponents. He doesn't start races out of the blocks particularly well, and as he flies down the track, his right arm swings backward in a quirky sort of way.

To boot, the 21-year-old took up sprinting less than four years ago.

Yet Mr. De Grasse, who ran the 100metre dash in 9.91 seconds to capture an Olympic bronze medal on Sunday, is defying many conventional beliefs about how a worldclass sprinter should look and move.

The Andre arm

The youngster from Markham, Ont., repeatedly pumps his outstretched right arm behind him when hitting his top speed during a race; meanwhile his left arm is bent and pumping in a more typical way.

The asymmetry is in sharp contrast to most of his opponents, who typically pump bent arms at both sides. Mr. De Grasse told a reporter from the International Association of Athletics Federations website last year that he attributes that extended right arm swing to an imbalance in his hips caused by a minor basketball injury in his childhood.

The experts say it's no surprise that Mr. De Grasse is being left to run the way he's most comfortable.

"In most cases, an increased right arm swing compensates for something in the motion of the left leg or hip," said Reed Ferber, assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Calgary and director of its Running Injury Clinic. "If you limit that arm swing, whatever is going on in the left leg is no longer being compensated and you could limit the performance of that leg, which could slow him down or pose the risk of injury.

"You should never just force him to start tucking that arm in.

You would have to figure out the source of the injury or weakness and solve that, and maybe then that extended arm swing would go away. There's definitely an asymmetry there, but it's clearly not hurting his performance."

The outstretched arm is so noticeable that #AndreArm was trending in Canada on Sunday night, and now @degrassearm has its own parody Twitter account. It seems to be rivalling the "Ed Wing" of Toronto's Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion as Canada's most popular sports arm.

Does the arm swing affect his performance?

Naturally, some wonder if Mr. De Grasse would run even faster if he pumped both arms symmetrically.

Indeed, a debate has raged for decades among coaches, sprinters and biomechanics experts over the importance of arm swing to faster sprinting.

One expert with experience testing world-class sprinters in a locomotor performance lab says arms have little effect on what is most important to elite sprinting - ground-reaction forces.

"His arm swing is not at all consequential to performance," said Peter Weyand, professor of applied physiology and biomechanics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "The arms are light pendulums that allow runners to stay balanced as they execute strides.

Differences in the arm's motion and how it's angled at the elbow really doesn't matter to the sprinter's velocity and the interaction between the feet and the ground.

Some of the old guard still think arm motion really matters, but most today realize it's not that consequential. The old guard might have tried to bend a sprinter's elbow into place, but they wouldn't have been able to offer much scientific data about why they were doing it."

It's force, not size

Mr. De Grasse was the smallest of the eight men who ran in Sunday's 100-metre final in Rio, although only slightly smaller than American Trayvon Bromell and South African Akani Simbine. But compared with silver medalist Justin Gatlin (6 foot 1, 180 pounds) and three-time Olympic champ Usain Bolt (6 foot 5, 207 pounds), the size difference was dramatic.

Sprinters come in various shapes and sizes, from the supertall Mr. Bolt to fellow Jamaican and twotime Olympic gold medalist ShellyAnn Fraser Pryce (5 foot 3, 125 pounds). Mr. Weyand says there's no ideal weight or height for sprinting fast, but that the world's best have something in common - they apply greater ground force, a rapid punch to the ground, when their feet contact the track.

"What makes elite sprinters elite is how forcefully their feet hit the ground in relation to what they weigh," Mr. Weyand said. "Bolt gets a longer step with every stride cycle because he's so tall. In order to do what Andre does at his height, he has to have great leg mechanics to be able to attack the track. The motion of the leg through the setup phase - as it's repositioning and then as it first contacts the ground - that's the time you differentiate speed from one athlete to the next. Elite sprinters attack the ground well and get a bigger force, which makes them go fast. Based on how he races, Andre must be very good at doing that."

Slow start, big finish

For someone who achieves such fast times, Mr. De Grasse isn't very fast out of the blocks. He fell behind Mr. Gatlin and Mr. Bolt in the first 20 metres on Sunday.

"The shorter, less massive guys tend to be a bit better out of the blocks, but he's not - it's the weakest part of his race, and where he can still get better," Mr. Weyand said. "The curious thing about Andre and the strength of his racing is his top-end speed. He's so strong in the latter part of the race."

Some experts who watched Sunday's race believed that the Canadian sprinter benefits from his smaller, leaner frame down the stretch of races, maintaining his top speed longer than the others.

"De Grasse isn't carrying the kind of muscle mass that Gatlin does, for instance, so perhaps it's limiting how he can accelerate out of the blocks. But it seemed down the stretch of the race that De Grasse was able to maintain his velocity for a longer period of time," said David Frost, assistant professor in the faculty of kinesiology and physical education at the University of Toronto. "It would be interesting to explore whether De Grasse resists becoming as fatigued down the stretch as the other sprinters. Can he maintain the top speed he achieves for longer than the others? Does he contract and relax his muscles quicker than everyone else?" .

Other unique arms in sprinting

Two-time Zambian Olympic sprinter Gerald Phiri has an outstretched right arm movement nearly identical to that of Mr. De Grasse.

Many say even Jesse Owens - widely regarded as the greatest track athlete of his time, and among the top Olympians ever - had unorthodox arm movement as he blazed down the track to win gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Both of Mr. Owens's arms appeared to remain locked at a 90-degree angle throughout his races, rather than varying angles up and down throughout his race, as is more commonly seen.

"I coach a lot of kids, including my own son, and you often see young kids sprinting with one arm swinging and the other curled," said Robert Esmie, a sprinter who ran the lead leg at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics on Canada's gold-medalwinning 4x100-metre men's relay team. "It's part of De Grasse's natural makeup and you shouldn't change it - I think changing his mechanics could make him slower at this point. Let him be as natural as possible. But I don't recommend kids start running around trying to force themselves to run with that Andre arm if that's not their natural way."

Much to learn from De Grasse

Whether it's identifying the root cause of the arm swing or measuring his stride rate, the strength of his muscles or the rate of force with which his feet hit the ground, researchers are intrigued about what this unique athlete could tell them about the science of fast movement.

Sports science, after all, might also help Mr. De Grasse get even faster as he prepares for the 2020 Olympics, where he's projected to lead the next crop of world-class sprinters.

"Within weeks of Bolt coming onto the scene, researchers were writing papers about what this big, tall, fast athlete could do, because he shattered what people believed about the sport, and I suspect the same thing could happen with an interest in De Grasse," Mr. Frost said. "De Grasse has opened our eyes and minds about what we originally thought was possible in sprinting. It would be fascinating to study him."


2003 Beverley De Grasse, once a high school sprinter in Trinidad and Tobago, introduced her son to track in the fourth grade, but he dropped it to play basketball.

May, 2012 Andre De Grasse tried sprinting once again at age 17, when he went to watch a friend's high school track meet and ended up running in the 100-metre dash. Despite racing in basketball shorts and borrowed spikes, and from a standing start instead of from the blocks, he attracted the attention of veteran track coach Tony Sharpe.

2013-2014 He spent two seasons at Coffeyville Community College in southeastern Kansas, a junior track powerhouse. The Canadian won five NJCAA titles there.

August, 2013 At the Pan American Junior Championship, Mr. De Grasse captured 100-metre silver and 200-metre bronze medals after being crowned Canadian junior champion in both distances.

June, 2015 After transferring to the University of Southern California, Mr. De Grasse made headlines at the NCAA Championships when he won both the 100- and 200-metre events within a span of 45 minutes.

July, 2015 Mr. De Grasse, the face of Team Canada as it played host to the 2015 Pan American Games, won gold in both the 100 and 200 metres.

August, 2015 Mr. De Grasse earned two bronze medals at his first IAAF World Championships, finishing behind Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin in the 100-metre event and standing on the podium with Canada's 4x100-metre relay team.

December, 2015 He opted to forego his final year of NCAA eligibility and become a professional sprinter. The rising star signed a multiyear equipment contract with Puma worth some $11.25million (U.S).

Associated Graphic



'For months Joan would replay this moment, trying to decipher the look on her husband's face.' Our summer reading series continues with an excerpt from Zoe Whittall's new novel, The Best Kind of People
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R11

Joan was drying the last dinner plate, about to go wrap Sadie's birthday presents, but her husband George took the dishtowel from her hand and replaced it with a glass of red wine. She took a sip, turned back to the expansive bay window, trying to make sure Jimmy and Sadie were not in any trouble. She hated when they swam at night. She would get flashbacks of a teenaged girl she'd worked on at the hospital who had drowned and come back to life but remained essentially braindead.

The image would be of the girl's cold arm hanging off the gurney as she was wheeled down the hall at the trauma centre.

George kissed her cheek. "Come sit down, the kids are fine. Remember those nine hundred years of swimming lessons?

Those ceremonies with the badges?" "Maybe I should go check on them anyway," she said.

George gave her an affectionate squeeze.

"The water is so calm right now. They're okay."

She joined him at the table, placing an open Tupperware of lemon squares between them. She looked at the wine, tilted her glass in his direction in a gesture of what's up?

Marriage is so much about embedded routines. That night they'd had grilled salmon and rice noodles, sautéed greens.

The same as every Sunday night. Usually George was watching the news by now, head leaned back and mouth agape with a slow, murmuring snore. Joan glanced towards the window again, unable to stop herself from getting up and leaning over the sink on her tiptoes, pressing her forehead against the glass. All she was able to see in the moonlight was a dark blur of water beyond the edge of the hill, and the tip of the long wooden dock. George made a whirring sound and a helicopter motion with his hand, gently mocking her overprotective nature.

Joan surrendered with a laugh and sat back down. George raised his glass in a cheers, and pulled at the side of his lips before speaking. "Honey, for weeks I've been receiving these cryptic messages in my office mailbox," he said, handing her two scraps of torn loose-leaf paper, both folded in half, that he'd pulled from his blazer pocket. One read People Are Watching You, and the other Be Careful.

"Teenaged nonsense." She sipped her wine, swirled it around, and set it back on the table. She was excited to see Sadie open her presents in the morning at breakfast.

"Or so I thought, but today Dorothy told me to call a lawyer. She knows everything, working in the front office all day long, of course. She said there's a rumour you're being set up. It was all so Hollywood moviesounding that I laughed at her. But she looked deadly serious. She wouldn't tell me anything else. Dorothy was acting strange - stranger than normal, anyway." "She's such a nutbar, Dorothy. Set up for what? Did you believe her?" Dorothy McKnight was the secretary, and she irritated both of them, especially at parties, always wanting to talk about conspiracy theories and how Barack Obama was a Muslim.

"So I called Bennie during my spare this afternoon - he's the eldest son of my father's lawyer. You know, they're always at our Christmas parties?" "Isn't he a kid?" asked Joan.

"No, he's forty, if you can believe it," he said. "I called him again tonight. I'm on edge, Joan. I just wanted to tell you this. I don't know what's happening." He took another generous sip of wine.

"A practical joke? It's so strange."

George shook his head. "I really don't know." This was a phrase George - learned, stoic, opinionated - rarely used.

He prided himself on knowing the things that mattered.

Sadie and Jimmy jogged up the dirt path, wet bare feet on the stones between the bramble that curled into the sloping backyard. They were breathless when they reached the plateau, pausing where a row of kale and lettuces grew, waiting to be culled on her mother's gardening day the following weekend. The rectangular inground pool that bordered their back deck made its usual hum of white noise. A circular hot tub, currently on the fritz, faced out onto the lake, edging out over the sharp lip of the hill. Ornate gardens sculpted carefully to appear wild surrounded the pool. Sadie leaned down and rubbed some lavender between her palms, cupping her hands around her face to inhale the warm scent on her way to the side entrance.

They snuck up the back stairs, rubbing their wet heads on the threadbare sunburst swim towels hanging from the coat hooks by the door to the basement. Jimmy traced a finger along Sadie's spine, causing her to pause, shiver, and bat his hand away before she stepped over Payton, the fat sleeping tomcat on his designated fourth-step nap space. She headed for the kitchen barefoot, in search of iced tea. The plan to sneak up to Sadie's room and finish what they had started was immediately thwarted by the unusual presence of her parents, seated at either end of the kitchen table.

The Woodbury parents were the academic sort, floating brains in denial of the body. Sadie reasoned that it was better not to talk about sex with them, to ensure that both she and her parents retained the privacy they both needed. It was less denial, she reasoned, more maturity. The same way that they all went to church on Sundays but never talked about God. Some things were meant to stay inside our own heads. When Jimmy stayed over, she was never sure if they knew or not. She did know that neither party was eager to discuss it.

When they entered the kitchen, the adults reacted with a sudden and uncharacteristic silence. Her mother's brownishgrey bob was pushed back behind her ears with the help of her glasses. Joan usually had two facial expressions - tired from work or happy to have a day off. Her face betrayed a sense of resigned incredulity.

She never drank after dinner.

"What's up with you guys? You're not usually up this late."

"Nothing," Joan said, in a way that sounded the opposite. She picked up the container of lemon squares and held them out to Jimmy, who put a whole one in his mouth and grabbed a second, grinning appreciatively while he chewed.

"It's past midnight ..." Sadie sing-songed expectantly. Joan stared at her daughter for a few moments before realizing what she meant.

"Oh, happy birthday, darling!" Joan said, half present.

"Yes, happy birthday, beautiful daughter," said George, standing up to give her a hug.

Sadie felt a brief moment of birthday excitement, and then the house seemed to shake with a pounding on the front door, followed by an insistent baritone call: "We're looking for George Alistair Woodbury!"

"What's going on?" Sadie said, peering through the kitchen entrance and down the hall to the foyer. Red and blue flashed through the open windows, a light show for the symphony of cicadas. She approached the door tentatively. George sat back down at the table, staring into his glass of wine.

"Sadie, don't. I'll get it," Joan said as she approached the door, peering through the peephole cautiously. She opened it slowly to find two plainclothes detectives and several uniformed officers.

"Hello, ma'am, is your husband home?" They made it only a few feet down the front hall before spotting him through the living room, still at the kitchen table. He stood, knocking over his glass. It pooled, then slowly dripped onto the kitchen floor.

For months Joan would replay this moment, trying to decipher the look on her husband's face. Was it guilt? Confusion? Indignation? Stoicism? Acting? But nothing, not even a revolving camera of omniscience, a floating momentary opportunity to narrate, would allow anyone to truly understand the truth about George. He became a hard statue, an obstacle, a symbol.

The father and the husband, from that moment, had been transformed.

Excerpt from The Best Kind of People copyright 2016, by Zoe Whittall. Reprinted by permission of House of Anansi Press Inc., Toronto.


This excerpt introduces us to a family on the verge of a life-altering change, the Woodburys. Can you tell us a little bit more about them?

They are an old-money family in New England who live on a lake in a charmed community called Avalon Hills. The older son now lives in New York City, and the daughter is in her last year at a prep school, where her father teaches science.

The mother, Joan, is a trauma nurse. She grew up on the more modest middle-class side of town, and George grew up in Woodbury Lake, named after his family, which is now inhabited by the wealthiest folks in town. Both sides of the family have lived in the community for generations. George is known both for this family's prominence and also because he once thwarted a school shooting 10 years before the book begins.

Why are the police at their door?

They come to arrest George for impropriety and attempted sexual assault of students at the school where he teaches. Imagine the most trusted and beloved guy in your town and then picture him being accused of the worst thing possible.

Since publishing your last novel, you've spent a lot of time writing screenplays; how do you think this affected the book?

I think that learning to write a scene for the screen helped me wrestle with plot in a way I hadn't done before. I'm very character-driven and I started by writing poetry, so I love beautiful sentences and interior monologue and slow pacing and a lot of my early work was almost anti-narrative. Working in TV has helped me appreciate action and brevity and suspense. Writing for TV has certainly helped me write fiction more than teaching creative writing or working in journalism, which was what I had been doing for most of my 30s. I felt like those jobs really took away from my ability to write fiction, and oddly, to my delight, writing for TV is very complementary.

Associated Graphic


As the McMichael Canadian Art Collection celebrates 50 years - and the appointment of a new director and CEO - the famously woodsy gallery bets big on the past. James Adams reports on the mythology and future of a cultural institution
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

A 50th anniversary is a big deal for a cultural institution.

There's enough history to celebrate, consider and, in some instances, reconsider. There's the opportunity to refresh the institution's profile and evaluate its position within contemporary art discourse. It's an occasion, too, to strategize, to wonder, "Now what? Sure, we've made it this far - but what needs to be done to ensure another half-century?" The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is in the midst of just such a rumination - an exercise brought into even sharper focus last week when the famous woodsy gallery here, 40 kilometres northwest of Toronto, named British museum professional Ian Dejardin as its new director and chief executive officer. Lest we forget, it was 50 years ago this summer that the McMichael first opened its doors to the public as a Crown corporation of the province of Ontario. The deal that, on paper at least, transformed the McMichael from the fiefdom of founders Robert and Signe McMichael into a public trust had been reached in November, 1965. However, extensive and expensive renovations to the site meant that its roughly 200 artworks weren't ready for their close-up until July.

Called, initially, the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art, the "collection" referenced in the moniker was unashamedly Canadian. Or at least unashamedly Canuck in its devotion to art of a particular ilk, namely oil sketches, drawings and paintings by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and their contemporaries and followers, plus work by First Nations artists. Even today, after a half-century of change and turbulence, mention of "the McMichael" in conversation is guaranteed to elicit visions of a log-beamed, stone-studded barrack purveying and defending that old-time Cancon culture, a country club for the art of (mostly) old men.

Unsurprisingly then, the McMichael is choosing to mark its 50th with an all-Canadian showcase weighted heavily toward the familiar flat rectangle (a.k.a. the painting) that's been the collection's signature medium. Blessedly, it's not a tired-buttrue "greatest hits" compilation but rather three distinct yet complementary presentations existing in what McMichael chief curator/exhibition overseer Sarah Stanners calls "purposeful contrast." Taken as a whole, the three - A.Y. Jackson and Tom Thomson: Wounds of War, Colleen Heslin: Needles and Pins and Jack Bush: In Studio - constitute a 100-year haul through the collection's complicated history and prehistory at the same time as they bring forth the ignored, subterranean or implied potentials and histories of the McMichael project.

The Thomson/Jackson show is the most traditionally "McMichael-esque" of the trio.

Curated by former Canadian War Museum historian-curator Laura Brandon, it's an exploration of the artistic kinship between the two famous painters whose intense, brief friendship was sundered by the First World War.

Jackson enlisted in early 1915 and, after being badly wounded in Belgium in June, 1916, then becoming an official war artist, did not return to Canada until 1918. By contrast, Thomson, five years Jackson's senior, never did enlist (for reasons still not entirely clear yet much-speculated upon), choosing instead to serve as a fire ranger. By the time Jackson was back in Canada, Thomson had been dead for more than a year, having drowned in Canoe Lake, Ont., in the summer of 1917.

Three years later, Jackson was helping form the Group of Seven, in part to honour his dead friend.

In and of itself, the Thomson/ Jackson show would have been an effective, tightly focused, bittersweet presentation. But by displaying it in the context of the McMichael golden anniversary, adjacent to the immense, bright, bold Colour Field paintings of Toronto's Jack Bush (1909-1977) and Vancouverite Colleen Heslin's more muted and quirky field work, Stanners both highlights the peculiar history of the McMichael and creates an expansive conversation with idioms that the collection's founders deemed anathema.

So, for instance, Thomson's The Pointers (1916-17), on loan from the University of Toronto's Hart House, isn't solely a majestic autumn scene here, painted in a neo-postimpressionist key, but also a stellar example of the use of colour as form and structure - analogous, in other words, to what Bush perfected in his abstract canvases of the mid-1960s and 70s. Similarly, it's hard, at least in this context, not to see the flat, aquamarinecoloured, trapezium-like lake in Jackson's October Morning, Algoma (1920), another Hart House loan, as a kind of progenitor of the forms Heslin's affixes to the surface of, say, her 2016 construction Chain of Command.

"Peculiar" may seem a, well ... peculiar adjective for the McMichael. It's apt, however, because the gallery has been such a venerated fact in the Canadian cultural landscape that we occasionally need to be reminded just what an act of will it was by its two creators. (Robert McMichael tellingly titled his 1986 memoir One Man's Obsession.)

Remember, the original Group of Seven had been defunct for 22 years by 1955, the year 34-year-old Robert McMichael and Signe, also 34, bought their first painting, a small Lawren Harris completed in 1920. A.Y. Jackson was almost 40 in 1921, the year of their births, 83 in 1965, the year the couple "gifted" their house, land and collection to Ontarians.

The whole project, in other words, was a big bet on the past and the mythology of that past at the very moment a fiftysomething Jack Bush, working in a modest studio in his north Toronto home, was at or near the height of his powers, represented by André Emmerich Gallery in Manhattan and Waddington's London and championed by one of the century's most influential critics, Clement Greenberg.

The 20 Bushes at the McMichael, touted as the first solo show of his abstractions in a major Toronto-area public gallery since 1976, stand as the most optically engaging works of the three exhibitions. How could it be otherwise? Colour and its excitements and enticements were Bush's business. The most complex conceptually of the trio, though, is Heslin's Needles and Pins.

(Iterations of Needles and Pins and Bush's In Studio were presented together earlier this year at Calgary's Esker Foundation Gallery. In Studio is curated by Stanners who, in 2014-15, cocurated the acclaimed Bush retrospective at the National Gallery in Ottawa while the Heslin is helmed by Esker director Nancy Potter.)

Though the winner in 2009 of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Heslin, 40, is not actually a painter in the Bushian or Thomson mode. Instead of applying paint directly to a primed or unprimed canvas, her method is to hand-dye batches of discarded linen and cotton, cut these batches into various shapes, then sew the shapes together and stretch them over a frame.

The results are at once familiar and ambiguous. From a distance a Heslin can look, variously, like one of Matisse's paper cut-outs from the 1950s, a Ludwig Sander oil panel, a riff on a Bush composition (check out Earth Be Earth from 2015), even a manipulated aerial view of farm acreages. But up close, it's the precision of the stitching you notice, the tension between support and surface, flatness and texture.

Quilt then? A crafty exercise in trompe l'oeil? The domestication or "feminization" of Colour Field machismo? The mind tries on each of these interpretations (and others) without really settling on one.

In the meantime, the McMichael plans to entertain more such conversations as it enters its next half-century. Opening next February, for instance, is Higher States, a seven-month exhibition devoted to Lawren Harris's time in the United States (1934-1940) and his attempt to manifest spiritual truths and cosmic yearnings in still-controversial paintings decidedly more abstract than those from his Group heyday.

However, curators Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens won't be looking at Harris in lofty isolation. They plan to include works by such American contemporaries and acquaintances as Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Raymond Jonson and Georgia O'Keeffe, among others. In effect, it will continue the effort to position Harris more firmly as a North American painter that celebrity Harris collector Steve Martin and Art Gallery of Ontario curator Andrew Hunter undertook with the Idea of North show now up at the AGO.

Another initiative the McMichael will be entertaining under its new director is either a reconfiguration of or addition to its temporary gallery spaces. The last significant overhaul of its main physical plant was completed just over 33 years ago. Its inadequacy for contemporary art display, particularly its temporary show spaces, is highlighted by the three current contiguous exhibitions and the 80-plus artifacts displayed therein. These spaces often have felt like an alimentary canal of low-ceilinged corridors opening into rooms that, while more amply proportioned, are experienced more as glorified parlours or vestibules than full-fledged galleries. This sense of constriction is most pronounced in the Bush exhibition where his frequently (very) large paintings - some are as much as 400 metres wide, others as deep as 200 metres - just don't have the room to vibrate and respire.

Contemporary art, whatever the medium or idiom, tends to be big art. If the McMichael wants to have more conversations between its holdings - they now number around 6,000 - and the contemporary world, it's going to have to think bigger.

The exhibition of historic (A.Y. Jackson, Tom Thomson), Modern (Jack Bush) and contemporary (Colleen Heslin) art is on view at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg., Ont., through Jan. 18, 2017. (

Associated Graphic

The McMichael is choosing to mark its 50th anniversary with an all-Canadian showcase, including the work of A.Y. Jackson.


Tom Thomson's The Pointers is a stellar example of the use of colour as form and structure.


Thursday, August 18, 2016


Colleen Heslin won the 2013 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, not the 2009 edition. Jack Bush paintings can be as much as 400 centimetres wide and 200 cm deep, not 400 metres and 200 metres. Incorrect information appeared in the Saturday Arts section.

Calm, cool and connected president puts U of T's expertise to work in the community
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

To understand Meric Gertler, the president of the University of Toronto, it is instructive to examine how he decided to become involved in one of the most important and heated debates to ever engulf the city of Toronto: the question of whether police officers have the right to randomly stop people not associated with a crime.

"I get approached to sign petitions all the time, and mostly I don't," Dr. Gertler recalled recently over a lunch of pad Thai and cold rolls at a restaurant in Scarborough.

But when he was asked last year to sign a petition to Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders demanding a stop to the practice of "carding," he immediately wanted to say yes.

Students on the university's three campuses had told him frequently enough that they had been carded themselves.

"It just seemed to be a practice that could not be justified," he said.

Yet the globally renowned economic geographer with a PhD from Harvard and hundreds of publications to his name could not act on instinct alone.

Before signing the petition, he turned to professors at U of T, from criminology to law.

"I told them I want to know that this decision is not just based on emotion, but reason and evidence - so help me with this. They all said, 'We can't support it based on the evidence.' " So he signed.

U of T has often been perceived as more of a refuge from the city it inhabits rather than its public square; it is seen as protected, even isolated from the hubbub and mess of urban life. In the Gertler era, however, bold gestures are changing that perception. Raised in a family that cared passionately about cities and their impact - his father, Leonard, was an urban and regional planner and adviser to multiple levels of government - the president believes that his school's mission must include serving and changing the city.

Direct political intervention is rare. More often, under Dr. Gertler, the university provides expertise, research and models of how to make the city better. It's a gentle prod, but it's persistent.

The examples of outreach are plentiful: U of T participated in a survey of student transportation in the GTA; it held a competition to redesign and pedestrianize the central part of the downtown campus; its faculty deliver courses in Regent Park, and it is increasingly active in biotech entrepreneurship and startups.

"The more we can do to make this a livable place, the more we succeed on the global stage," Dr. Gertler said.

David Wolfe, a political science professor who worked with Dr. Gertler on research on regional innovation for many years, argues U of T's three campuses have long been active in their neighbourhoods.

"Meric being president is bringing more general recognition of what the university has to offer and how it contributes," he says.

"I think the recognition is overdue."

Working with Dr. Gertler was "a dream," Dr. Wolfe said. "He's very well-organized. One thing many have observed about him is that he never loses his cool; he's collected under any circumstances."

In previous interviews, Dr. Gertler has said that, in 2010, when he was dean of arts and science, a high-profile conflict around a proposal to roll several language and literature departments into a new, larger department taught him to "consult, consult, consult." Even those who have been skeptical about the university say they have noticed a change in tone and substance.

"It is an era of cordiality," said Sue Dexter, the university liaison for the Harbord Village Residents' Association.

Ms. Dexter has been involved in frequent discussions with the university about its real estate developments on the downtown St.

George campus, often at loggerheads. This year, she asked to speak to senior administrators about the institution's plan to redevelop University of Toronto Schools at the corner of Bloor and Huron.

Changes were made as a result of her group's suggestions.

"To be at the business board was unheard of," Ms. Dexter said.

"But to be treated with respect ... that was a very unusual thing. In the old days we would have been at war and yelling at each other," she said.

She argues that the more closely U of T works with its neighbourhoods, the more clearly they will see each other's point of view. "We would like them to be more inspired in how communities work together," she said.

"And we will be there as their partners."

Universities around the world have realized they need their regions if they are to survive, says Mamdouh Shoukri, president of York University. ("We collaborate more than compete," he said of his relationship with U of T.)

"We can't afford to have knowledge sitting on the shelf," Dr. Shoukri said. "We need to test out our knowledge and understand our communities."

One of Dr. Gertler's main frustrations is that people in the city are still uncertain, even skeptical, about what U of T does.

"People don't know how good we are and in which area," he said.

"We are ranked 10th in the world for the employability of our graduates, according to the Times Higher Education, we have gone up steadily. ... It does not seem to conform with the image that people have of this place, that we are focused mostly on research, and that somehow the fate of our graduates is an afterthought," he said.

How those students will fare in the future is something that preoccupies the school. U of T researchers participated in a study on how students at the four universities in the GTA get around the region because the university wanted to understand the impact of long commutes on students' lives and education.

The research found a third of students were travelling over two hours to get to campus. Many are choosing courses based on how long they will have to spend commuting.

"We suspected that was happening. Now we have proof," Dr. Gertler said.

He would like municipal and regional transportation planners to use the data when they make decisions about where to expand the system. Many of the discussions with the city happen formally - with the mayor, and increasingly, with chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat. Where it's heading remains to be seen.

Away from the office, the U of T president does what everyone else in Toronto does on their time off: checks out new places to eat and posts them on Instagram.

Kub Khao, the restaurant where we are having lunch, was his pick, a discovery he made with his wife on a Friday night drive to the family's cottage in Bancroft. The pit stops began as a way to beat traffic out of the city and have developed into a ritual.

His engagement with the city is long and personal: His father authored a landmark study of the Niagara Escarpment that led to the region's protection. Leonard Gertler also founded the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Waterloo University.

"We always debated," Dr. Gertler recalled. "My dad came out of an era when the public sector was seen as the primary source of solutions. ... Now we tend to think in terms of [partnerships between] public and private [and non-profit] civic organizations: How can they work together?

And what can they achieve through that kind of collaboration?" he said.

One of his children is continuing the family's urban preoccupation. His son's M.A. thesis in architecture focused on how cities deal with dead bodies.

Dr. Gertler is optimistic about Toronto's future. Even as income polarization has grown, it has not been as sharp as that of other cities with exponential increases in wealth and income.

"For a city of this size, Toronto has few neighbourhoods of serious economic deprivation," he said. "Things have gotten worse, but at a pace that has moderated."

Optimism is a character trait, colleagues note in interviews. It is something he inherited from his artist mother, Anita, although he jokes that the artistic genes skipped a generation. (His son is a photographer and artist as well.)

When his mother arrived in Canada, it was as a young woman who had survived the Holocaust.

"She was someone who was clearly revelling in life and encouraged us to do the same," he said. "As an artist, she was driven by curiosity."

He remains convinced that scholarship, ideas, evidence can help solve most of Toronto's issues. At a time of populism and skepticism toward experts, that faith seems almost idealistic.

For example, one of the major projects he hopes to see succeed is a new campus-based institute for the study of cities.

"It would possibly include a school for new mayors," he said, modelled in part on the summer school for new university presidents Dr. Gertler attended at Harvard the summer before he took over the president's job.

He knows that postsecondary schooling in general is subjected to a jaundiced eye in the existing environment of tough competition for good, permanent jobs and persistent questioning about the value of a liberal arts degree in particular. He talks about the solutions U of T has developed to address the problem, from a record of a student's extracurricular activities that they can show a prospective employer, to teaching students how to talk about the skills they acquired as they were learning German or doing philosophy.

If it is to succeed in playing all these roles - in the city, in students' lives, in the world - U of T needs more money, he says. Ontario has promised to change how it funds universities to recognize different needs among the province's institutions. U of T argues that its research heft deserves recognition.

"We appreciate the position the government is in, provincially," he said. But government funding "is a continuous source of frustration."

It's a gentle prod, but it's persistent.

Associated Graphic

University of Toronto president Meric Gertler brings the university and the city together for mutual benefit.


University of Toronto president Meric Gertler, seen walking through Kensington Market, believes in the mantra 'consult, consult, consult' as he works to build strong community relationships.


The death of a young man, allegedly shot by Gerald Stanley, has exposed the tensions between the First Nations communities and their neighbours in the province. But to the indigenous population, who have faced racism for years, his death comes as no surprise
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

RED PHEASANT CREE NATION, SASK. BIGGAR, SASK. -- Debbie Baptiste wanted to look for her son. She wasn't ready to believe he was shot dead after he and his pals stopped in at a farmyard looking for help with a flat tire on an August afternoon.

Colten Boushie and his friends went to the river for a dip that day and, around 5:30 p.m., pulled into Gerald Stanley's yard on their way back to the Red Pheasant Cree Nation reserve. A woman was mowing the grass. Mr. Boushie was killed in the yard. RCMP arrested Mr. Stanley.

The details leading up to Mr. Boushie's death on Aug. 9 are part of a second-degree murder case that has exposed Saskatchewan's racial divide and heightened the distrust between the province's indigenous citizens and their neighbours. Premier Brad Wall had to call for calm amid a flurry of hate-filled social-media posts after Mr. Stanley was charged with seconddegree murder.

When RCMP told Ms. Baptiste that her son was dead, she begged her family to come with her, to drive to look for Coco. Mr. Boushie's older brothers called him Coco when they were too young to pronounce his first name.

"She kept saying: 'Let's drive around. Maybe somebody dropped off Coco out there and we'll find him and bring him home,' " Linda Baptiste, one of Mr. Boushie's aunts, said in an interview outside Red Pheasant's community centre this week.

"She wouldn't believe that he was gone. So they drove her around."

But to many in the community, the shooting death of Colten Boushie, 22, comes as no surprise. Racial tensions here have been high for decades.

Members of the Red Pheasant community are firm in their belief about what fuelled the shooting.

"It is the Mississippi of the north," Marie Baptiste, another member of Mr. Boushie's family, said as band members made signs for a "Justice for Colten" rally.

"We shouldn't think that people are going to hurt us because we have melanin."

Many in Saskatchewan are not surprised a Cree man died as a result of an alleged shooting in a farmyard.

John Nesdoly, who is from Shellbrook, Sask., says there is anger across Saskatchewan's non-indigenous farming communities. Crime waves, Mr. Nesdoly said, stoke the hostility toward First Nations. "It is overdue," he said. "I'm surprised there hasn't been a lot more of them."

"The First Nations come on to our property and they steal," he said.

"They don't work, they are always looking for handouts."

Asked for evidence to back up the claim indigenous people are responsible for waves of thefts, Mr. Nesdoly said: "The stolen property is usually found on a First Nations reserve, trashed. Ninety-nine times out of 100, that's usually the case."

"The perception that they got, they earned."

Mr. Nesdoly, who does not live around the area where Mr. Boushie was killed, believes it is possible he would do what Mr. Stanley is alleged to have done.

"I can very easily be that very same situation," Mr. Nesdoly said. "If I was threatened in any way, shape, or form, I would probably do the same thing, actually. I don't know if I would shoot to kill, but you never know. You're not in that situation - you don't know."

It is not yet known whether the Stanleys were threatened. Mr. Stanley pleaded not guilty in a North Battleford courtroom Thursday.

The stereotype that band members are thieves and vandals puts all indigenous citizens at risk, Marie Baptiste argued.

"In a way it didn't surprise me that somebody got killed over other people's wrongdoings ... It is just that they think that just because this is another native coming into the yard that they are not going to ask for help. It is an automatic assumption that they are there to steal from them."

Those off reserve struggle to see First Nations as potential lawyers, doctors, and pipefitters, she said.

"They think that we're all bums and we're all on welfare and we're never going to amount to anything."

A judge on Friday granted Mr. Stanley bail, with a string of conditions attached. He must deposit $10,000 to Court of Queen's Bench; enroll in the electronic monitoring program; not possess any firearms, crossbow or other weapons.

The accused must stay within a four-mile radius of his house 24 hours a day, unless granted special permission, and he must not travel within a 20-mile radius of the Red Pheasant reserve, save for emergencies.

Other conditions include having no contact - either directly or indirectly - with Mr. Boushie's family and any witnesses, save for his son and wife.

He must also check in with a probation officer.

The Stanleys live in the rural municipality of Glenside, near Red Pheasant and other reserves. It is about halfway between the city of North Battleford and the town Biggar. They have plenty of supporters, including those who donated money to help cover their legal fees.

"These dirty Indians off the Rez stopped in at our farm and tried to steal our vehicles and when they couldn't, they vandalized it," one person wrote on a GoFundMe page for the Stanley family that has since been removed. "After our farm pitstop, they carried on to Gerrys where things got out of hand."

Red Pheasant, like many indigenous communities across Canada, is poorer, has less education and suffers a higher unemployment rate compared with its surrounding communities.

Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey reflects the stark differences: 43 per cent of Red Pheasant residents were unemployed, compared with 6.7 per cent in its entire census division; household income on the reserve in 2010 was $19,091, compared with $60,434 everywhere else; and a large swath of the reserve's residents lack education.

Saskatchewan has the highest rate of aboriginals in correctional services, at about 74 per cent, despite representing only 12 per cent of the adult population.

These types of statistics underlie Saskatchewan's racial tensions.

Depending on the vantage point, the numbers justify the covertly racist suggestion that aboriginal citizens are more likely to commit crime and work little; or they reflect the institutional bias toward indigenous residents.

Indeed, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations condemned the first RCMP press release regarding Mr. Boushie's shooting, saying it "provided just enough prejudicial information for the average reader to draw their own conclusions that the shooting was somehow justified."

The RCMP's release noted the "property owners" did not know the people who arrived in the vehicle; that a "verbal exchange occurred in an attempt to get the vehicle to leave the yard"; and that three of the vehicle's occupants were taken into custody "as part of a related theft investigation."

The RCMP added they were looking for another unknown male.

The Mounties have not laid charges against anyone other than Mr. Stanley.

Residents around Biggar are also frustrated with the authorities, accusing the RCMP of not doing enough to deter and investigate crime.

The RCMP declined to comment on allegations it takes a lax approach to policing rural areas such as Biggar, noting the circumstances in every incident vary.

Even the National Farmers Union issued a statement as vitriol toward First Nations bubbled online, saying "we condemn the rampant racist remarks that have circulated."

"We also commit ourselves to building relationships of solidarity, mutual respect and friendship with our indigenous neighbours and to honour our obligations as treaty people."

Mr. Boushie, who grew up in the United States and had dual citizenship, wanted to be a firefighter. At wakes, he made sure ceremonial fires burned through the night. On Facebook, he put out calls for work, asking whether people needed their lawns mowed or yards tidied. He mourned his mother's Chihuahua when it died. "Damn poor bella," he wrote on Facebook in July.

His Facebook page also shows hints of a young man with troubles.

"Back in the saddle again, throw my middle finger up to the law ain't gotta rob nobody tonight but I do it just because I'm a nut i get bored did some pills but I want more," he wrote April 29.

Mr. Stanley, 54, next appears in court Sept. 13.

The atmosphere in and around his court appearances is tense. Mounties escorted his family through the crowd of peaceful supporters of Mr. Boushie on Thursday.

"Native lives matter," one sign read.

RCMP members from other detachments were brought in to keep the calm. Only a handful of supporters showed anger when Mr. Stanley's family left the courthouse Thursday morning.

"Murder is murder," one yelled.

Thursday marked the first time Mr. Boushie's allies saw Mr. Stanley's face.

It was important to them, they said.

Band members wanted the accused's face on TV and in the papers, like so many of their brothers and sisters who have been put on display. They crowded around the backdoor of the courthouse in Battleford after Mr. Stanley's bail hearing to see him escorted out by Mounties into a waiting RCMP van.

"Justice for Colten," they chanted as soon as he appeared, trying to hide his face under orange cloth. "Justice for Colten."

Associated Graphic

Colten Boushie is shown in this undated Facebook photo. Racial tensions are flaring in Saskatchewan after the fatal shooting of Mr. Boushie, 22, who was killed Tuesday, after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm in the rural municipality of Glenside, west of Saskatoon.


Source: 2011 National Household Survey

Elder Jenny Spyglass, left, comforts Debbie Baptiste, mother of Colten Boushie, outside of court during the bail hearing for Gerald Stanley in North Battleford, Sask., on Thursday.


Gerald Stanley, 54, leaves court Thursday after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder charges in the death of Colten Boushie.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016


A Saturday news article on the death of Colten Boushie included this quote which he had posted on his Facebook page: "Back in the saddle again, throw my middle finger up to the law ain't gotta rob nobody tonight but I do it just because I'm a nut i get bored did some pills but I want more." Those were not Mr. Boushie's words. He was quoting hip-hop artist Yelawolf.

It's a jungle out there
In fighting for animal rights, documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus encounter the wild world of film financing
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R4

This past May, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus finally announced the retirement of its roster of show elephants, thanking them for more than a century of service, and wishing them well as the animals shuffled off to a sanctuary in Florida. It was a welcome bit of news as, that very same day, documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus arrived in Toronto to prepare for a long round of press to promote their new film, Unlocking the Cage - a passionate animal-rights doc that not even an elephant could not forget.

The project, which premiered at Toronto's Hot Docs Film Festival in the spring, follows American lawyer Steven Wise, who has spent his career trying to give animals such as chimps, elephants and whales "personhood" rights - to essentially protect them from abusive situations in much the same way a human could contest his or her own victimization. The film is a noble, and at times nakedly bold, plea for animal compassion - a concerted effort to make inroads that would one day find the idea of zoos or the world's remaining circuses abhorrent.

But Unlocking the Cage is more than a film about animal rights - it's a case study in just how difficult the documentary industry has become, a not-so-shining example that illustrates everything wrong with the current film-financing culture, and why even masters of the form, such as Pennebaker and Hegedus, have to fight to get their work on screen.

At 91 years old, Pennebaker is a living legend in the documentary world, and an original innovator of the cinéma vérité movement.

He has directed more than 50 features, including 1967's seminal Don't Look Back, which chronicled Bob Dylan's final acoustic tour, and 1968's Monterey Pop, which captured iconic performances from Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Together with wife and creative partner Hegedus, 64, the pair have shot everything from political docs (1993's The War Room) to indelible cultural portraits (1979's Town Bloody Hall). Pennebaker received a lifetime achievement Academy Award in 2012, and even helped build the first portable 16mm camera. He, along with Hegedus, are seemingly the last people who might struggle to get their films made. Yet, Unlocking the Cage proves that no one is immune to the industry forces currently roiling the film world.

"In a way, it's an artificial business to begin with," says Pennebaker, still dapper and droll despite climbing up two flights of stairs to get to his Canadian distributor's office. "But still, you have to survive, and the people making the films have to survive.

If you can't [shoot your doc] in a year and a half or so, you're into some sort of charitable endeavour. And that's what this kind of filmmaking is - you satisfy your curiosity at whatever cost."

For Unlocking the Cage, which took several years to make as Pennebaker and Hegedus followed Wise through various levels of courts and lawsuit filings, that cost ended up being shared by a number of stakeholders. HBO initially passed on the project, only to jump on just as the production was hitting post. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund kicked in some money, too, as did the BBC.

The directors made a short doc for The New York Times on the subject to help keep the film going. And finally, they turned to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that you might associate with fledgling first-timers, not Oscar-calibre veterans.

"It was as humbling experience for hundreds of people to support your idea. But for us as filmmakers, it was the only way to make your film," says Hegedus, who shot the majority of the doc with a small, two-person crew. "It's very hard to raise money to make these films, and we got some smaller grants, but just not enough to follow the story for three years. So it was essential for Kickstarter to keep this project going."

That meant going down an unfamiliar production path than the pair was used to. With Kickstarter, the filmmakers were expected not only to produce a feature, but to provide perks for investors along the way. "It was harrowing, I have to tell you," says Pennebaker, only half-joking.

"Collecting bits of this and that to send to 400 people is a whole job, like a drug store sending out annual benefits notices. I think it was a terrific thing to sell the picture, and you brought in all kinds of people who would have never known what you were doing, so it was probably a worthwhile thing to do. But my son Chris curses the day we ever did it - he's still sending out things." (Those items include old film frames from Don't Look Back and Pennebaker's 1973 David Bowie concert doc, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.)

While the fundraising project proved successful, it still served as a wake-up call to the couple as to just how challenging the documentary world had become. "I remember back in maybe 1998, I did a film called, about the whole rise and fall of the Internet," Hegedus recalls. "I always remember there was this one woman, an Internet guru named Esther Dyson, who said, in the future, artists will have the privilege of making art, but it's going to be free for the masses.

And I was like, 'Whaaaaaaat?' "she says with a laugh. "But it's true in a lot of ways: The business model for films is in a new shakeup, and it's kind of the Wild West. But you have to go with it, you have no choice - you have to figure out how to make it work for you."

Although the doc world was never one rife with riches - the highest-grossing doc to date is Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, and it only earned $119-million (U.S.) in its lifetime, or about $10million less than Suicide Squad tallied in its first three days - it's still more challenging than ever to stand out in the medium, thanks to both a lack of funding and, Pennebaker believes, a glut of product.

"There were a lot of people who knew how to use a camera who were just sitting around - they didn't quite see how to make a film by themselves, because filming traditionally was made by factories in Los Angeles with lots of people and lots of money," he says. "The minute that people understood it was possible to make a film by themselves, the idea spread across the world now like some sort of disease. It's such a beguiling idea that you see thousands and thousands of films all originating in somebody's head, and no studio to take advantage of whatever the current moneymaking process is."

Indeed, according to initial findings from a recent study conducted by the International Documentary Association - which was launched last January and polled industry professionals - 67 per cent of respondents said they did not earn their primary living through filmmaking, with 36 per cent saying they even spent their own money (between $5,000 and $50,000) to keep their projects going. (Full results of the IDA survey will be released in September.)

Pennebaker and Hegedus see no easy fix - at least not in the United States, where, Pennebaker says, "we don't support the arts like in Canada or Europe or Australia. We're such a wealthy country, but finding money is difficult." Although, Hegedus adds, the industry might be halfway to a solution with the advent of streaming services. "Being able to go online to view a film is such an obvious solution that a lot of people just release these films for free - we need to work out the money flow."

For now, though, the pair is optimistically pushing their new film, and, perhaps more pressingly, hoping to find a home for their huge archive of vintage camera equipment, correspondence and filmed outtakes from decades' worth of docs. (The treasure trove is currently shared between their Upper West Side townhouse and a warehouse in upstate New York.)

"We still haven't found a home," says Hegedus. "We spent so much time on this film and pushing this baby out into the world, but it's a pressing and important issue for us as filmmakers."

"It's a huge amount of material, and in some ways is a unique history of the last half of the century, not just a collection of film, but information about the most important people of the century," Pennebaker says, before turning to Hegedus with a sigh.

"I hope we can find some place for it," she adds. "In some ways, we think about it as the history of our times."

Unlocking the Cage opens Aug. 19 in Toronto, Aug. 20 in Calgary and Halifax, and Sept. 2 in Montreal.


Unlocking the Cage 3

Can you appreciate a documentary even if you wildly disagree with its central subject? That's the question Unlocking the Cage poses, at least for this reviewer. Focusing on the crusade of Steven Wise to convince the legal system that animals qualify for human rights under habeas corpus, the film constantly asks you to side with the lawyer and the PETA-esque Nonhuman Rights Project, even as it shows the advocates constantly stumbling and occasionally grasping for straws. Normally, this would be an easy way to undercut a documentary, but the powerful filmmaking duo of Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker somehow turn Wise's quest into a compelling and noble tale, no matter what your thoughts are on the views presented. (PG)

Associated Graphic

Unlocking the Cage is a noble plea for animal compassion as it follows an American lawyer who has spent his career fighting to give the likes of chimps and whales 'personhood' rights.

For the Canadians who suffered during the government's efforts to purge the public service and military of homosexuals, the Liberals' planned mea culpa is more than a symbolic gesture, John Ibbitson writes. It holds real meaning
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

In 1977, Diane Pitre had everything to look forward to. At only 19, the young supply technician had a good job in the military and a long career ahead. Until the day the military police arrived and asked her about her girlfriend.

"Interrogation several times a week, at night in undisclosed areas by men that made you feel like a nobody, and this for months," she recalled this week of what followed. Her expulsion from the service for being homosexual at the end of this misery made her feel worthless, ashamed.

Even now, almost 40 years later, "not one day goes by that I don't think of this." That's why Ms. Pitre joined an online group of people who were forced out of the military or public service because of their sexuality called We Demand an Apology. As early as this fall, she will get it.

Justin Trudeau's decision to apologize formally on behalf of all Canadians to those who were persecuted and prosecuted because of who they loved is a mostly symbolic gesture.

What matters in the here and now is the reforms that will accompany that apology: making the age of consent uniform, regardless of the type of sex people practise; clearing the records of those who were criminally convicted of gross indecency simply because they were gay; scrapping antiquated laws that still target sexual minorities, even if those laws are rarely enforced; providing training to police, lawyers, judges and border guards on issues surrounding sexual minorities; examining whether and how to compensate those who still suffer today because of opportunities lost through past injustice.

Combined, the reforms that the Liberal government plans to enact over the coming months and years are among the greatest advances for sexual minorities in this country's history, and place Canada at the forefront of countries addressing this issue.

Yet the apology is likely to be the most visible, and perhaps most contentious, act. After The Globe and Mail posted word of the government's intention to issue an apology, the Twittersphere, Facebook feeds and comment threads were virtually unanimous: Government cannot become a serial apologizer for every historical misdeed. Citizens today should not be held responsible for wrongs they did not themselves commit. Imposing today's more progressive values onto previous times is patronizing and distorts the flow of history.

These commentators "didn't have to live with this all their life," Martine Roy replies.

The Globe wrote in April about Ms. Roy's experience of being dismissed from the Canadian Forces as part of a series of stories about people who were convicted of gross indecency or fired from the military or public service simply because they were homosexual.

Most people have no idea, Ms.

Roy said on Friday, what it is like "to get kicked out of a job that you really liked, that you worked hard for, because of your sexual orientation -and they go out of their way to make you feel bad about who you are and what you did - that affects your family and your friends and your self-esteem. I had to fight the rest of my life to keep that self-esteem."

Either you know what it is like to be taken from your home and interned in a camp for years simply because the government fears you might be a traitor, or you do not. Brian Mulroney apologized for the Japanese internment in 1988.

Either you are living with the consequences of being separated from your family and community and sent to a distant school, where your race and heritage were belittled and you may have been physically or sexually abused, or you are not.

Stephen Harper apologized for First Nation residential schools in 2008.

Either you can imagine what Todd Ross went through, or you cannot. At 19, strapped to a polygraph machine, sobbing, Mr. Ross came out to himself and his interrogator by admitting he was gay, after which he was discharged from the navy.

Now, Justin Trudeau will apologize for Ottawa's persecution of homosexuals.

After Mr. Ross was expelled from the military, he was so depressed he thought about suicide. "I didn't see a vision forward for myself," he recalled this week. "But I just kept pushing through."

Now 47, happily partnered, with a job as a consultant, he celebrates the apology to come.

"It feels that I can put a chapter of my life behind me, knowing that the government is taking this action."

Gary Kinsman, a professor emeritus at Laurentian University who has written about sexual-identity issues throughout his career, believes an apology would help to inform the present by shining a light on the past.

"What happened was very serious," he reminds us. From the end of the Second World War until the late 1980s, the policy of the government of Canada was to search for alleged homosexuals in the military and public service, interrogate them, get them to confess, get them to incriminate others and then fire them. (Although the offensive slackened in the general public service in the 1980s, the military abandoned the policy only in 1992.)

Thousands of people lost their jobs or lost any hope of real advancement in what was left of their career.

For men accused of having sex with other men, the sentence could involve years in jail. One man, Everett Klippert, was designated a dangerous sexual offender and sentenced to life in prison because he refused to stop having sex with men. That sentence, upheld by the Supreme Court in 1967, led the federal government under Pierre Trudeau to decriminalize homosexual acts between two consenting adults, even as persecution of homosexuals in government and military continued unabated.

Some lost their partners. Some became depressed, some developed addictions, some committed suicide.

"What's so important is that this isn't remembered by a lot of people," Prof. Kinsman points out. "... It has been covered over, erased. And yet it is a very important, and very bad, part of Canadian history. It has to be recognized. And one way to do that is through a formal government apology."

When a prime minister rises to apologize for the actions of past governments, he or she is saying not that we are better than that now, but that we should have been better than that then. That even then, voices were warning that this was wrong, but we ignored those voices and so people suffered.

In that apology, we promise to listen to voices who warn us today of injustice: against women, against racial minorities, against sexual minorities.

Those voices remind us of the queer youth who still are at risk of suicide from bullying, of an estimated 40 per cent of street kids who are LGBT, of the risk of acquiring HIV that is still out there.

The most vexed question surrounding an apology to Canada's queer community for past wrongs involves the issue of compensation.

Should we offer payments to those who spent a lifetime carrying around a criminal record, who could not cross the border or take certain jobs or join certain organizations because they were caught kissing another man?

What of the pensions to which those who were forced out of the military or public service would have been entitled?

Were some people so traumatized by being hounded out of their job that they have never fully recovered? If so, what do we owe them?

In fact, few, if any, who suffered discrimination because of their sexuality want money. Ron Rosenes received the Order of Canada in 2015 for his years of advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS. But 35 years ago, he was one of almost 300 men who were charged with being found in a common bawdy house during the infamous 1981 bathhouse raids by Toronto police. The protest over those raids, for which Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders apologized earlier this year, galvanized the gay-rights movement in Canada.

Although he welcomes the forthcoming apology, Mr. Rosenes said he has no desire to be compensated for the trauma of being rousted from a bathhouse, charged and paraded before a judge as a young gay man.

"I'm not looking to get the $50 back that I was fined," he jokes, "though if they give it to me with interest, I might be interested." But "grievous wrongs should be righted." Making things right, for Mr. Rosenes, involves training for police, and programs in schools "to produce the shifts in cultural norms that we would all like to see."

But it is still hard for Ms. Pitre.

Even hearing the national anthem can bring back humiliating memories. "It was a lifetime dream to serve my country," she explains.

But she believes the apology will help. Whatever it may mean to others, it will mean a great deal to her.

"I just want them to recognize that they were wrong, and to apologize for the wrong that was done."

Associated Graphic

Ron Rosenes, seen in his Toronto house on Friday, was one of 300 people charged in the 1981 bathhouse raids. He was the recipient of the Order of Canada in 2015 for his years of advocacy work for people living with HIV/AIDS, and says he now welcomes the federal government's forthcoming apology.


Martine Roy holds her baby girl, Cascia Roy-Paul, in her house in Montreal in April, 2016. Ms. Roy was forced out of the armed forces when her superiors found out she was gay.


Members of Toronto's gay community and supporters march past Metro Toronto Police headquarters on Jarvis Street at a rally on May 3, 1981. About 200 individuals picketed the headquarters to protest against a series of charges as a result of the police raids on four gay bathhouses.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

This is the last week of the Globe's summer series celebrating the most influential people in Canadian food. It closes off with some high-minded individuals whose commitment to deliciousness is matched by their environmental commitment. There's an activist talking Chinese-Canadian couples out of serving shark fin soup at their weddings, a wine importer who won't touch non-organic bottles and a posse of seafood obsessives, including restaurateur John Bil, who's dedicated to sourcing honest fish even if it's complicated

John Bil cares about the fate of the planet. But he would like it very much if people stopped using the word "sustainable" to talk about seafood.

"What are we trying to sustain?" asks Bil, the respected proprietor of Toronto's laid-back fish shop and restaurant, Honest Weight. "Are we trying to sustain the food system we've established? Are we trying to sustain the Earth itself? Trying to make our guilt less?" It's time, he says, for the conversation to broaden out, to include all of the other thorny issues around seafood, from appalling labour conditions to toxic farming environments. "Sustainable," he says "has served its purpose and we have to move on. It's like, one day we took lead out of gasoline, but that didn't stop cars being [bad]. We need to say, 'Okay, we've broached the subject of sustainability, which wasn't even broached 10 or 15 years ago. Awesome!' " His knowledge of the industry is built on decades of experience, from oyster farming and shucking (with award-winning speed) to owning his own seafood shack in Malpeque Bay, PEI. And he's happy to talk about the issues with anyone who walks into Honest Weight.

"If we source our fish at the cheapest price point from the furthest-flung regions of the world, we are no longer employing people in our community or people that respect the same environmental concerns," he suggests. "It's complicated to purchase food these days, if you really want to think about it, right? I mean, it's easy to go buy food, but it's complicated if you want to be thoughtful about it. So I think what I like to do is engage people in this really complicated conversation."

Bil is one of The Globe's Food 53, the influential players we're spotlighting this summer who help shape what the country eats. Here's how, in words and deeds, six other Canadians are contributing to the discussion about "sustainable" seafood.

Steve Johansen, Organic Ocean, Vancouver For more than a decade now, Steve Johansen and his fellow independent fishermen at Organic Ocean have been supplying restaurants across the country with glistening, sustainably caught salmon, halibut, ling cod and other local species, and delivering them directly to chefs.

He spreads the word through events such as the Spot Prawn Festival, a wildly popular bacchanal celebrating (and eating) the local species, most of which used to be exported to Asia. In the winter months, he travels the country, evangelizing about British Columbia's bounty.

Johansen acknowledges that one of the objections to seafood, which is often flown thousands of miles inland to markets such as Toronto and Montreal, is the large carbon footprint. He also mentions socalled "slave shrimp," a shadowy industry in Thailand using forced labour, which the Associated Press revealed last year in a series of explosive reports.

"The chefs and the people of Toronto have two choices," he says.

"They can order a big, fat, beautiful wild spot prawn from Vancouver that's good for you; and that's, what, 3,000 miles?

Or they can do what is basically still the norm, unfortunately, and that is eat farmed Asian tiger prawns - which you'll find in every restaurant from here to Timbuktu - from 10,000 or 12,000 miles away, that are farmed unsustainably."

Mike McDermid, the Fish Counter, Vancouver While overseeing the Vancouver Aquarium's certification program Ocean Wise, Mike McDermid kept running into retailers who said sustainable seafood could never be a viable business for them. So, a few years ago, he set out to prove them wrong.

He conceived an alternative economic model, opening a seafood counter that also serves cooked food, which allows him to incorporate scraps, bones and off cuts in sauces and chowders.

"There's a big trend in the restaurant scene of snout-to-tail, but nobody's talking about that with seafood," he says If you walk into the Fish Counter, you'll immediately notice that it doesn't have the usual stacks of fish - McDermid said most fishmongers are trained to put "mounds and mounds of fillets" in their display cases to convey abundance.

"Every fish store you walk into, anywhere in the world, smells like fish. Good fish doesn't smell like fish," he says. Stacking a display case with more fish than can be sold before it spoils results in an amount of waste he finds "unacceptable," which is why the display case at the Fish Counter, on the other hand, "is very minimalist."

"It's representational of whatever's local and seasonal, and we only cut what we'll use in the day," he says. "So, we operate kind of like a bakery, where at the end of the day we'll be out of a lot of things.

And the next day, we start all over again, we cut the fish for the day. So, it allows us to maintain quality."

Ned Bell, Chefs for Oceans, Ocean Wise's executive chef, Vancouver Two years ago, when he was the executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and Yew seafood + bar, Ned Bell biked across Canada to fundraise for sustainable-seafood awareness.

"Seafood is really the last wild protein that we actually get to eat, so why aren't we protecting it more?" asks Bell, who used the money raised to start his foundation, Chefs for Oceans.

"Why aren't we paying attention to overfishing being the largest threat that faces our world's oceans?" Last May, Bell left his Four Seasons post to join the Vancouver Aquarium as the executive chef of its Ocean Wise conservation program.

"Two billion people rely on the world's oceans for their daily source of protein. The health of our oceans is vital to the success of us as a human race."

Bell believes part of the solution is aquaculture - a.k.a. farming. "That is a hot topic because I live on the West Coast, where farming Atlantic salmon is a four-letter word," he says.

"But aquaculture is a very important conversation we need to have. We actually farm-raised more fish last year than we landed wild species. So, if we're going to feed nine billion people by 2050, we're not going to do it by fishing from the ocean. We're going to do it by ranching the ocean."

Cornel Ceapa, Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, Saint John Caviar has a bad rap: Years of overfishing and poaching have threatened many species of sturgeon (which provide the eggs for the salty appetizer) with extinction. But Cornel Ceapa, a Romanian-born marine biologist who moved to New Brunswick in 2003, is trying to rehabilitate both the industry and its reputation.

Ceapa is a multiplatform sturgeon purveyor: He cultivates and ships larvae to sturgeon farms, sells live fish for restocking, sells caviar and meat from a small annual harvest of wild fish, and - his long-term project - is currently raising thousands of sturgeon in captivity while he waits for them to (soon, very soon) start spawning eggs, which he'll harvest for caviar.

But aquaculture is a delicate business, and you don't want to mess with nature. There are those, he notes, who might try to make the fish grow faster by warming the water.

"But guess what? We tried that with chickens 30, 40 years ago, and we got the broilers in two months and it didn't taste like chicken any more," he says.

He advocates for what he calls a "free-range kind of clean aquaculture" that produces tasty eggs and fish meat, and is environmentally friendly.

Kristin and Dan Donovan, Hooked, Toronto "Instead of using a word like 'sustainable,' we prefer words like 'respect,' 'thoughtful,' 'responsible,' " says Kristin Donovan who sells fish with her husband Dan in Toronto and Ontario's Muskoka region and will soon open a store in Halifax.

The Donovans have put that respect into practice by building and patronizing a network of small-boat suppliers. "The people we're dealing with are out there harvesting responsibly, either because they've fished for a really long time or they've gotten into it to do it right," she says. Hooked, for its part, commits to buying whatever is harvested.

"They're letting us know when they're going out, what we can expect or hope for. And we pay them pretty much as soon as it's landed, even before it's shipped. We ask them what they need to be paid. Which is, for a lot of them, the first time that's ever happened."

Like the others on this list, Kristin relishes conversation with customers.

"I want them to ask questions about where the food's coming from," she says.

"I want people to say, 'How do you know that's from there?

How do you know that's well-farmed? What is wellfarmed?' "The Donovans are dedicated to "slow fish," the seafood manifestation of the slowfood movement. "Really," she says, "it's about good, clean, and fair."

Associated Graphic

Selling and serving seafood involves a long list of ethical considerations, says John Bil, who owns the fish counter and restaurant Honest Weight in Toronto.


John Bil

Steve Johansen

Mike McDermid

Ned Bell

Cornel Ceapa

Kristin and Dan Donovan

What makes a woman?
The controversy surrounding gender and sport will intensify when South Africa's Semenya runs for the first time at these Games
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A3

RIO DE JANEIRO -- South Africa's Caster Semenya begins competing in the women's 800-metre qualifying rounds on Wednesday. There is widespread expectation the runner may win a gold medal and break the world record at this distance. Yet whether she wins or loses, there will be controversy: Ms. Semenya's performance will be seized on as evidence by one side or the other in an intensifying debate about gender and sport, and who gets to define the boundaries.

It has been four years since Ms. Semenya last caught world attention - with the silver medal she won in the 2012 Games in London, not long after she was cleared by track and field's governing body to run following a scandal over secret gender testing and leaked records.

Views on gender identity have expanded remarkably rapidly in much of the world in those four years. They have not, however, broadened with the same speed within the International Olympic Committee; the IOC continues to base all its activities on a binary division of gender, with no room for the greys creeping in elsewhere.

"This is the last bastion," Madeleine Pape says about the sport federation that decides who competes here. "They are differentiating, determining who are 'normal' women, and they make that distinction based on very gendered characteristics."

Ms. Pape speaks about this with a certain authority: Back in 2009, when the Semenya controversy exploded, she was two lanes over on the track - running the 800 m for Australia at the world championship, and getting left in the dust like the rest of the field by the young athlete from South Africa.

At the time, Ms. Pape says, she was on the side of most of her fellow competitors, who felt the South African should not be there - convinced that, as she smashed the record times, she could not be "normal" and must be intersex, or have freakishly high levels of testosterone, or in some other way not "really" be a woman.

The attention focused on how Ms. Semenya carried herself, Ms. Pape recalls - on how she wore full Lycra shorts, not the bikini bottoms favoured by most runners, and had sculpted biceps.

She wasn't presenting herself in the ways that most female athletes - even fiercely strong ones such as Serena Williams - do, overtly signalling femininity with painted nails and long hair.

Ms. Pape was subsequently injured, left sport and moved into the world of academia, where she met transgender people and others who challenged her view of what makes a woman, and who gets to decide and police what is normal. Today, she is working on a doctorate in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her thinking evolved to the extent that she testified as a witness a year ago when a critical case - which cleared the way for Ms. Semenya to run in Rio - was heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the athletic world's highest body, in Switzerland.

That case centred on Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, who had been told by the International Association of Athletics Federations that if she wished to compete as a woman, she must undergo medically unnecessary surgery or hormone treatment to lower her naturally occurring testosterone level, which, the IAAF said, gave her an unfair advantage. She was appealing a ban from sport that came about after she was subjected to "gender testing" by the Athletics Federation of India, without her knowledge or consent, after other competitors complained she did not look conventionally feminine.

In the court case, the IAAF argued that women who have "hyperandrogenism" - high levels of natural testosterone - have an unfair advantage and must compete with men, not women, unless they surgically or medically lower their testosterone to within levels the IAAF accepts.

Ms. Chand's lawyers (a pro bono team from Toronto) argued that there is no scientific evidence that high natural testosterone confers an advantage the way that taking synthetic testosterone does. There is no reason to think testosterone level has a more significant effect on performance than any other genetic difference such as arm length or height, they said, or that it outweighs the impact of differences in factors such as access to nutrition or coaching.

The court cautiously agreed, and told the IAAF (and the IOC, which said it would follow the ruling) to go get the evidence if it wanted to maintain the hyperandrogemism rule. In the meantime, the rule was suspended for two years - so Ms. Chand was cleared to run without having to alter her natural hormone levels, as was Ms. Semenya. And in Rio, for the first time since women began competing in the Olympics, female athletes have not had to undergo some kind of test to show that they meet the IOC's current definition of what makes a woman.

Many people in the sporting world decry this situation as fundamentally unfair. British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, who holds the world record, testified in support of testosterone testing at the CAS, and said in a debate last month that the women's 800 m is "no longer sport" with Ms. Semenya running.

Ms. Semenya's critics - many of them coaches of athletes who must compete with her - point to a steady improvement in her race times in recent months to argue that she must have stopped lowering her natural testosterone after the Chand decision, and so her performances dramatically improved.

But Ms. Semenya has never spoken about her testosterone level (except to say that she was subject to "unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being," violating her "dignity and privacy"). And the information about her having hyperandrogenism or possibly being intersex is all from unconfirmed medical records leaked from the IAAF to the media. There is no proof she was using any method to lower her natural testosterone, or has stopped using it, Ms. Pape says: Ms. Semenya may simply be faster, the way Simone Biles is a fantastically gifted gymnast of a kind never seen before.

"We assign enormous symbolic power to testosterone in modern society and particularly in the world of sport," Ms. Pape says.

"Female athletes are ill-informed - we don't question what we're told, that it is the critical factor in shaping performance."

The IOC has longed policed gender: The testing for hyperandrogenism (which can be triggered by a complaint from any other competitor) is the latest iteration of a practice that has included physical exams of women's genitalia, then testing of chromosomes, then genes and today focuses on testosterone, says Cassandra Wells, who is working on a doctorate at the University of British Columbia examining the history and sociology of sex testing in sport.

Gender testing began with a desire to keep men from sneaking into women's sports (no men have been caught doing that for nearly 100 years), but concern over fairness has crossed over into the discriminatory, Ms. Wells says. "The IOC is trying to create a level playing field for women, but they assume women are always going to be inferior to men," she says.

"The IOC sees itself as the steward of potential of human physical culture - people in the Olympics are standard-bearers of that movement, so they want to select who they are, appropriately male or female athletes."

The IOC refused multiple requests to make any member of the committee or its staff available for an interview on this topic.

Under IOC rules, transgender people who have undergone sex-reassignment are eligible to compete. Female-to-male transgender athletes face no restrictions, while male-to-female athletes are required to show they are suppressing their testosterone levels below the typical male range.

Ms. Wells says the amount of attention on Ms. Semenya on Wednesday will depend on how she runs. "If she wins, it will launch a whole new conversation," she says. "And if she loses, then it will go away - because 'real women' won the race, and that was the concern."

It will go away until the next athlete whose gender identity or how they live it challenges the IOC definition, says swimmer Mark Tewksbury, a three-time Olympic medalist and activist for LGBT inclusion in sport. He isn't anticipating rapid change in the IOC view. "Sport leadership at the international level has a very difficult time with issues they can't control," he says.

But the conversation on gender identity, including transgender athletes, is moving quickly, he says, and the IOC can't avoid it. "When I was an eight-year-old kid watching the Games in Montreal in 1976, the biggest star was Bruce Jenner; he was the icon of the '76 Games. How can you not deal with it when one of your Games' stars is Caitlyn Jenner?" Ms. Pape says she expects the IOC is eventually going to be forced to reconfigure how it defines gender. "There's a really strong alliance between all the different gender justice movements - the transgender movement has a lot of momentum, and the intersex movement and the LGBT movement mutually support one another and, together, they're pushing us toward a different future of gender," she says. "Olympic sports and the IOC might be fighting, but they're fighting a losing battle."

Associated Graphic

South Africa's Caster Semenya competes in the 800-metre event at the Diamond League in June in Rome. Ms. Semenya was at the centre of a gender controversy at the world championship in 2009.


Liberal MP was a champion for equality
He appeared in the House in June while gravely ill to support his bill to make O Canada gender-neutral
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S7

OTTAWA -- It was not at all certain that Mauril Bélanger would arrive in the House of Commons on the second Thursday of June to ensure the survival of his private member's bill to make the English version of O Canada genderneutral.

Mr. Bélanger's body had largely given out on him in the seven months since he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the Liberals were scrambling to find ways to delay the vote until the following week if he could not muster the strength to appear that day.

Without him there to introduce the legislation on third reading, Bill C-210 would have died.

But, a few minutes before 1:30 in the afternoon, a wheelchair carrying the Liberal MP was pushed to a vacant spot near the Speaker's chair.

Mr. Bélanger, a large man whose energy had been one of the trademarks of his political career, sat slack-jawed, unable to speak or even move his head, as Conservatives argued against his proposed lyrics and a New Democrat and a member of his own party defended the changes. In the end, the legislation was passed by the House.

When it becomes law - something that is all but certain to happen later this year - future generations of Canadians will sing "in all of us command" instead of "in all thy sons command."

Mr. Bélanger knew he would never be among those to belt out the revised version. His voice had left him months earlier. Its gradual departure throughout the fall federal election campaign was one of the first signs that something was desperately wrong with his health.

But, in May, with the help of text-to-speech software, he explained to fellow politicians why he believed the new lyrics were necessary.

"Canadians now are ready for an inclusive national anthem," Mr. Bélanger told the House.

"The objective of Bill C-210 is to honour the contribution and sacrifice of our Canadian women, in addition to those of our men, in our national anthem. It is to underscore that all of us, regardless of our gender or our origins, contribute to our unique country."

Mr. Bélanger was the member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier for 21 years and through eight elections, including five in which he obtained more than double the votes of his closest competitor. He died Tuesday at the age of 61.

Ottawa-Vanier, which used to be known as Ottawa-East, is the safest Liberal seat in the country. It has been held by five men, all of them Liberals, since it was created in 1935. But those who knew Mr. Bélanger say he never took his party's local dominance, or his own job, for granted.

He was a career politician, but not a partisan. He was never a prominent cabinet minister, but was the strong voice of his constituents. He cherished the symbols of Canada - the anthem, the flag and Parliament. He would likely have been elected Speaker of the House of Commons had the disease not struck when it did.

And he was, above all, a believer in equality - for women, for the various racial and ethnic groups in his riding and for linguistic minorities, including francophones in Ontario.

Mr. Bélanger was born in Mattawa, Ont., a town 45 minutes east of North Bay with a large francophone community. He was the oldest of four boys.

He was also exceedingly bright - he was a member of Mensa, the high IQ society - and excelled at the University of Ottawa where, as a student, he sat on the university's senate and was head of the student federation. The House of Commons at that time had 282 seats and Mr. Bélanger told his friends he intended to sit in one of them one day.

Immediately after graduation, he got a job as an aide to JeanRobert Gauthier, who was then MP for the riding of Ottawa East.

Then, during the 1979 election, he was seconded to work for Jean-Luc Pépin in the neighbouring riding of Ottawa-Carleton.

The Liberals lost that vote to the Progressive Conservatives, but Mr. Pépin won his seat and Mr. Bélanger met the woman who would become his wife.

Friends say Catherine Bélanger, who came to the marriage with a son, Barclay Easton, has been his closest confidante and his source of strength, especially this year, as his body gave way to the disease.

The Liberals returned to power in 1980 and, a short while later, Mr. Bélanger went to work for Mr. Pépin, who was then transport minister.

He left politics for a few years to become an investment adviser, and then to work for the chair of the Ottawa-Carleton regional council. His university dream of becoming a federal politician was finally realized in 1995, when he won the riding of Ottawa-Vanier for the Liberals in a by-election.

"He has always been a guy who spoke his mind, both privately and publicly," said Bob Rae, who led the federal Liberals on an interim basis from 2011 to 2013. "He's very much his own guy. He's prepared to buck a trend if he has to. He gets hold of an issue and he takes it and keeps going with it. And he's never been one who goes along to get along."

Mr. Bélanger's biggest accomplishments were mostly local in nature.

He helped to bring 15,000 people from Ottawa to the Unity rally in 1995 to plead with Quebeckers to vote No in the independence referendum.

He gathered 25,000 used books from his riding and sent them to Inuit children.

He was intensely proud of his role in the successful effort to keep open the Hôpital Montfort, the French-language hospital in east Ottawa that was slated to be closed by the provincial Conservatives in 1997.

In 2009, he worked with thenConservative environment minister Jim Prentice to have the Beechwood Cemetery in his riding named the National Cemetery of Canada.

And last year, when the Conservative government showed little interest in marking the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, Mr. Bélanger had a poster depicting Canada's flags since Confederation designed, printed and distributed to 13,000 Ottawa high school students.

"He saw his service as one that he owed to his constituents and to his profession," Mr. Rae said.

"He took his profession as a politician very seriously. He wasn't a mean-spirited partisan."

In that vein, Mr. Bélanger turned down the opportunity to be named one of the Liberal "critics" in favour of being the "advocate" for co-operatives and credit unions.

Tony Stikeman, the president of the Liberal riding association in Ottawa-Vanier, said Mr. Bélanger saw himself as a public servant "in the most honourable sense of the word." His constituents, he said, were like his family.

Most believed Mr. Bélanger would easily win the vote for Speaker when it was held in early December last year. But, less than a week before the ballots were cast, he was diagnosed with ALS.

"We had a group cry and discussion on the Sunday," three days after he was told the bad news, said Sheila Gervais, the former national director of the Liberal Party and a close personal friend.

Mr. Bélanger had been told by his doctor that the more he used his muscles, the faster he would lose them, Ms. Gervais said. But he was determined to let the people who had helped him in his bid to become Speaker know the situation before the news was made public.

"He just got on the phone and he could barely speak at that point, his voice was very weak, to tell them about his disease and that he was withdrawing from the race," Ms. Gervais said.

Senator Jim Munson, a longtime friend of Mr. Bélanger, recalls the trip to Africa that the two of them took this past spring as members of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association, which Mr. Bélanger co-chaired.

By that time, Mr. Bélanger could not walk or talk except by writing on his iPad. But "there he was at the airport," Mr. Munson said, "this picture of courage and determination showing two thumbs up as we had seen in the past, [indicating] let's get on board and go."

Francis LeBlanc, who ran Mr. Bélanger's last political campaigns, said he would remember his friend as a quietly effective member of Parliament with a deep respect for the institution, who exuded a profound humility in all that he did.

"At one point, I said, 'We want to know what you did for your constituents,' " Mr. LeBlanc said.

"And he stopped me right there and said, 'They're not my constituents. They are the constituents that I have the privilege to represent.' And he never deviated from that."

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

Liberal Member of Parliament Mauril Bélanger speaks in the House of Commons in December, 2015. Mr. Bélanger, a career politician who held his seat in Ottawa-Vanier for 21 years, was never a prominent cabinet minister, but was a strong voice for his constituents.


Changing narratives turn robbery affair from scandal to farce
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Gold medal-winning U.S. swimmers who claimed they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio made up the whole story, Brazilian police say, and may face criminal charges.

Investigators say they have video evidence and witness testimony that the men damaged a gas station where they stopped to use a restroom around 6 a.m., got in a confrontation with a security guard, and then fled.

"There was no robbery," Fernando Veloso, chief of police for the state of Rio de Janeiro, said Thursday afternoon, adding that two of the swimmers have confessed the story was a lie. He said the men could face charges of vandalism or making a false report to police, and that the investigation is continuing. "The only part of the story they told us that's true," he said, "is that they were drunk."

Two of the swimmers - Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz - were hauled off a plane bound for the United States late Wednesday night and taken for questioning until 2 a.m. But they were allowed to board a U.S.-bound flight on Thursday. Another - James Feigen - is believed to be still in Brazil and police say he has offered through a lawyer to speak with them.

The affair threatened to become a major diplomatic incident, but is rapidly devolving into farce. Police say that based on the surveillance video and interviews with witnesses, they have established that the four men left a party at Club France, an Olympics hospitality venue, and headed for the Athletes' Village by taxi. They stopped after dawn at a Shell gas station, tried to use the restroom, found it locked, broke it open, and then were confronted by employees and an armed private security guard.

Late Thursday, the U.S. Olympic Committee issued an apology: "On behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, we apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil."

Chief Veloso described swimming star Ryan Lochte as "very drunk and very stressed during the incident," and said that his reaction prompted the guard to aim the gun at him at one point.

"This does not seem to us an overreaction. ... He was doing his job and he had the gun in accordance with the law," Chief Veloso said. Gas station employees called police, but the swimmers were gone before they arrived.

Chief Veloso said that one of the two swimmers who were questioned Wednesday (he said he could not remember which) had told police what actually happened, and attributed the lie about an armed robbery to Mr. Lochte, the most-high profile and eldest of the group. He said that their new version of events matched the details gathered by investigators, and the two swimmers would not be detained further.

The drunken gas station imbroglio became a scandal that threatened to overshadow the Games after Mr. Lochte's mother, Ileana Lochte, told U.S. television last Sunday morning that her son had been robbed after a party.

The huge international media contingent at the Games, already preoccupied with the issue of security in a notoriously violent city, seized on the story and besieged the International Olympic Committee and Rio 2016 with demands for details. Those officials first said that the U.S. Olympic Committee had denied there had been any robbery.

Then Mr. Lochte appeared on NBC news and described how he and three teammates were in a taxi that was waved to a stop by men with police badges, who showed guns and told them to get out and lie on the ground.

The other three swimmers complied, Mr. Lochte said: "I refused. I was like, 'we didn't do anything wrong, so I'm not getting down on the ground.' And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get down,' and I put my hands up, I was like 'whatever.' " He said they were robbed of their wallets and cash, but the thieves did not take their phones or watches.

At that point, Games officials backpedalled to confirm the men had been robbed, and they issued an apology on behalf of the Rio Games.

Police sought out Mr. Lochte and Mr. Feigen for questioning on Sunday night. On Tuesday, police said they had not yet found evidence to corroborate the story the swimmers told. Security camera footage from the Athletes Village showed the men returning to their rooms, apparently unruffled and in fact goofing around.

On Wednesday, a court ordered that the men's passports be confiscated, but it emerged that Mr. Lochte had landed in the United States the day before. On Wednesday, the three remaining swimmers were headed to the United States; Mr. Feigen did not show up for his flight while the police intercepted the other two after they had boarded.

Chief Veloso said this was not an overreaction, given that the men had clearly shown they were not intending to co-operate with the investigation.

From the moment Mr. Lochte's mother first spoke about the incident, the media response in the United States was energetic and sharply critical of Brazil. Commentators asked why Rio had ever been awarded the Olympics, when it was so dangerous and competitors could not be kept safe.

But, in Brazil, the response was markedly different, with columnists and people on social media speculating about what they saw as the weird details of the supposed robbery. "I think the damage has been controlled by the fact that Brazilians immediately had a very strong sense that this was probably not true - 'We get robbed all the time, we know,' " said Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Centre, a think tank in Washington.

Initially, the incident threatened to be deeply damaging to Brazil's reputation, he said. "Now, there is considerable damage to the swimmers' reputation: These are entitled young men thinking that they can do whatever they want and hide whatever they are trying to hide - some people in Brazil think they had an excellent night but cannot tell their moms and their girlfriends what they did, so they invented this tall tale using violence in Rio, which of course does exist."

A British athlete was robbed in the early hours of Tuesday, prompting the British Olympic Committee to warn team members against leaving the Village, instructing them not to do so in their team uniforms, and to use only official Games transport.

Two Australian delegation members were robbed in Copacabana late on Wednesday.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for Rio 2016, said the organization would not be awaiting for an apology from the swimmers. "We have no hard feelings at all: The fact that the case turned around means people will draw conclusions. People who saw us in a bad light when the issue was first reported now see that we were on the right side."

Mr. Andrada described the swimmers as "kids who were trying to have fun" and then made a "mistake," saying "sometimes you take actions that you later regret." Mr. Lochte is 32, Mr. Feigen is 26, Mr. Conger is 21 and Mr. Bentz is 20.

But Brazilians also point out that the police response to this case is in no way typical. "We need to remember that fewer than 20 per cent of crimes in Rio are solved by police," said Cecilia Olliveira, who helped design an app called CrossFire, which allows citizens to report shootings in the city. "They're treating this case as a way to restore their image - they're doing all this investigating, finding all these images. These are things they never do in regular crimes in Brazil."

While police and media have been focused on the swimmer incident, she added, the deployment of additional security for the Games has had the perverse effect of making people elsewhere in the city less safe, as the infusion of additional forces upsets equilibrium in favelas and the city's poor periphery. At least 14 people (11 civilians and three security personnel) have been killed since the first day of the Games, and 32 have been injured, while reports of shootings in the first week of the Olympics were nearly double the usual number, Ms. Olliveira said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Lochte altered his account, telling NBC that the swimmers' taxi had not been made to pull over, but rather they were robbed after stopping at a gas station, and he said the gun had not actually been pointed at his head. He attributed the changes in his story to "traumatic mischaracterization" caused by the stress of the incident.

His lawyer, Jeff Ostrow, told USA Today on Thursday there is "no question" that the robbery occurred as Mr. Lochte described it.

"It's unfortunate what they have done," Edmar Bull, president of the Brazilian Association of Tourism Agencies, said of the swimmers. "Stigma will remain, but I'm confident that after police clarify this case, people will change their minds about Rio and will trust in Rio security again."

Associated Graphic

U.S. swimmers Jack Conger, front, and Gunnar Bentz are escorted into a police station in Rio de Janeiro Thursday. One of them attributed the lie about an armed robbery to fellow swimmer Ryan Lochte.


Anthropologist provided insight into Inuit
In addition to exploring her subjects' complex social and emotional lives, she produced a dictionary of Inuktitut
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S13

Known for her extensive field research among the Inuit, the internationally respected anthropologist Jean L. Briggs died July 27, of congestive heart failure at the age of 87. Her pioneering work of ethnography Never in Anger: Portrait of an Eskimo Family (1970), was based on a year and a half of research and fieldwork that she conducted on a remote Arctic shore in the mid-1960s, documenting the behaviour, language and culture of the Inuit who lived there.

Far from adopting the usual academic, detached tone, she took a more personal approach, documenting her own emotions, assumptions and responses. Key to her innovative style, Dr. Briggs said, was the idea that "not knowing is not scary, it's productive."

Inuit Morality Play: The Emotional Education of a Three-YearOld, another example of her ethnography, won two prestigious awards after it was published in 1988. It continued her exploration of social control, naming, childhood socialization, and emotional expressions and concepts. The two books became and remain classics.

They represent just a fraction of her writing, which included key work on a groundbreaking dictionary of Utkuhiksalingmiut Inuktitut, including (and preserving) 34,000 words. She began compiling this in 1970, eventually building a massive database of word components (known as word-bases and affixes) which she meticulously checked and rechecked.

She was eventually joined by co-researchers and co-authors at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and the University of Toronto, and supported by five grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The dictionary was completed in 2015.

Dr. Briggs, who taught at MUN for 47 years, "had two main passionate researches: psychological anthropology and intensive linguistic research," according to her colleague Dr. Adrian Tanner, who shared her interest in indigenous hunter/gatherers.

"Jean as an anthropologist-linguist understood the way words are used in a cultural context."

For example, the Utku nuances include saying you "don't feel like" doing something, instead of saying you "don't want to" do something, which is considered very rude.

"When I arrived in Chantrey Inlet in 1963, I knew only six words of Inuktitut: 'yes,' 'no,' 'I don't know,' 'have some tea,' 'have some more tea' and 'thank you,' " Dr. Briggs said in an interview after the dictionary was published.

At the same time, she quickly perceived that much communication was non-verbal.

"The significant signs are so tiny. If you read the screenplay of Atanarjuat [Zacharias Kunuk's 2002 feature film, which was based on an Inuit legend], you will see some of the signs pointed out - like the movement of the eye that means an urgent 'no.' I didn't see the movement of the eye that meant an urgent 'no.' " Most of Dr. Briggs's fieldwork was with camp-dwelling Canadian Inuit, but she also visited Alaskan Inupiat and Siberian Yupik.

She also wrote a number of autobiographical essays about the development of her "ways of thinking and of doing anthropology, especially fieldwork," she wrote on her website. "I have no allegiances to any particular brand of theory; my interpretations tend to develop from the ground up, using as data personal experience and perspectives expressed, verbally or behaviourally, by the actors in an accumulation of small specific incidents."

As a student of the eminent cultural/psychiatric anthropologist Cora DuBois, Dr. Briggs was a product of "the American tradition of women anthropologists, [which included] Margaret Mead," Dr. Tanner said.

"Everybody told her not to go [to the Arctic]. Jean insisted, and the camp was very far off the beaten track. Even for a male anthropologist, that was not normal. She was a pioneer and she was there for several years, it was a major commitment and the connection was kept right up to the end."

Jean Louise Briggs was born May 28, 1929, in Washington, the oldest of four children of Margaret (née Worcester) and Horace W. Briggs, a Swedenborgian clergyman. She grew up in Maine and Newton, Mass., and studied at Vassar College (BA, 1951), Boston University (MA, 1960) and Harvard University (PhD, 1967). She lived in New Hampshire, Maine, Israel, Siberia, Alaska, Italy and Nunavut, and joined MUN's department of anthropology in 1967.

"Jean was always very generous in coming to share her fieldwork experiences with my undergraduate classes - the students loved her visits - and also in participating in departmental seminars," said Dr. Robin Whitaker, who arrived as the youngest professor in the department as Dr. Briggs was leaving. Dr. Briggs was an engaging speaker: For example she was featured on a popular two-part instalment of CBC Radio's Ideas.

Dr. Whitaker also noted that when Dr. Briggs arrived at MUN, then one of two women in the department, she was listed in the calendar as "Briggs, Miss J.L., MA Boston, PhD Harvard" while the men simply had their names, initials and degrees. "In other words, MUN felt that a woman's marital status was significant enough that it had to be listed in the university calendar."

Dr. Briggs was often asked about being a woman in what was considered to be a male domain.

"My being a woman did have an influence in some ways," she said in the interview.

For example, in living with a family in Chantrey Inlet, a man would have been expected to go hunting with the other men, but she could stay with the women and children without making the men anxious. She was also allowed to stay up later than other family members so she could work on her notes.

There were potential hitches, though. She recalled a conversation from this first foray into the field, when she asked a missionary's wife about families she could potentially live with.

"There are two men down there looking for wives," the missionary's wife said.

"That wasn't exactly the role I had in mind for myself," Dr. Briggs replied. Instead, they located a household where there was already a wife, so she could be a daughter.

An ardent environmentalist determined to live close to the land, Dr. Briggs designed and - with the help of friends - built a two-storey house in Maddox Cove (just outside of St. John's, population 950). It was a kilometre from the main road, but she refused to build a road to the house. All construction materials, including big bags of cement, had to be carried there.

She had no running water, instead relying on a nearby stream. She only recently installed electricity.

"She had an impractical romantic streak on how to live, and resisted a lot of modern things," Dr. Tanner said. "Like a lot of anthropologists, she learned how to live from her research; she had a sleeping platform, not a bed, like an Inuit dwelling."

She had also incorporated four Victorian fireplaces, which she loved, into the blueprint.

She managed to live independently there until a few years ago, when she sold the house but not the land. Its sale could have brought a lot of money, but she left it to a nature conservancy so that it would be protected.

Independence was central to her character. Dr. Briggs never married. It probably wouldn't have suited her. "She had a prickly personality," Dr. Tanner said. (Dr. Briggs would say, "I don't like leading and I don't like following.") "As she acknowledged in her first book, Never in Anger, she had difficulty controlling her emotions and was unaware how inappropriate that was in some contexts. She had strong dislikes as well as likes," Dr. Tanner said.

A hiker and photographer, she seemed never to stop observing the natural world around her.

"We had a shared interest in non-human animals and their emotional, communicative and cognitive lives," Dr. Whitaker said.

"We often swapped stories about the birds at our feeders and discussed books or articles we had read about the minds of birds and other animals. I remember that I had more fascination with jays than Jean did - she found them pushy and illdisciplined in comparison to the crows, who she saw as more orderly."

Dr. Briggs was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Psychological Anthropology, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Bergen, in Norway.

"She obviously loved Newfoundland," Dr. Tanner said.

"Her stature, her many awards, her books which always sold very well, meant she could have taught at any school, but she stayed at Memorial."

As she told The Telegram in 2003, her personal motto was: "Everything that happens is data. Mistakes are a good thing.

You can learn more from making mistakes than from getting it right."

Dr. Briggs leaves her three younger siblings, Bill (Jean), Hod (Mary Ann) and Meg, as well as many nieces and nephews.

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

Dr. Jean Briggs knew only six words in the Inuktitut language when she first arrived in the North to study the Inuit people. She later published a dictionary of the language, preserving 34,000 of its words.

Carly Week wades into the heated debate about whether there's a better way than the Pap to screen for cervical cancer
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

The Pap test has been the centre of cervical cancer screening programs in the developed world for decades. Now, another test that promises more accurate results and less frequent screening is vying to take its place.

Unlike Pap tests, which look for abnormal cellular changes in the cervix that could pose a cancer risk, the newer test looks for the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cervical cancer. If the virus is found, a woman can then undergo more comprehensive and sometimes invasive tests to see whether the virus poses a cancer threat.

Proponents say the new HPV test is more reliable, is less prone to human error and could make cervical screening simpler. Lobbying efforts are under way to persuade some provinces to publicly fund HPV testing as the primary cervical cancer screening tool.

But the head of the task force that wrote Canada's national cervical screening guidelines says this new test has not been adequately studied and that the push to embrace HPV testing is being fuelled by manufacturers of the test.

Is the new test the way of the future? Or an unnecessary threat to a well-functioning screening program that is being promoted by commercial interests?

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that last year, 1,500 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, while 380 died from the disease.

Until recently, regular Pap smears were a woman's best defence against cervical cancer. If doctors could spot abnormal cell changes early, they could intervene before they turned cancerous.

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix, put on a slide and examined under a microscope by a cytologist working in a laboratory. If abnormalities are detected, the woman is typically referred for follow-up testing, which could include a colposcopy, during which a doctor uses a magnifying tool to look more closely at the cervix, or a biopsy. This helps doctors determine whether the abnormality is likely to develop into cancer and, if so, take steps to remove those cells.

The arrival of the HPV vaccine about a decade ago - arguably one of the most important public-health breakthroughs in recent memory - gave women a major new weapon in cervical cancer prevention.

The vaccine protects against several strains of HPV that commonly lead to cervical cancer.

While highly effective, the vaccine doesn't protect 100 per cent against cervical cancer, so screening programs will still be necessary even after all young women are vaccinated in the decades to come.

But as more women are vaccinated against HPV and the virus becomes much less common, it's going to be increasingly difficult to spot cellular abnormalities under a microscope, said Eduardo Franco, director of the division of cancer epidemiology at McGill University. That's because the cellular changes could be more subtle in women who have been vaccinated, or because lab workers will have a hard time spotting the one abnormal cell in a sea of normal ones, Franco said.

As a result, he said, it's time to look for other, more reliable methods of detecting the presence of HPV. Franco is a staunch supporter of the move to adopt HPV testing as a primary screening tool and wrote an article promoting its benefits on Healthy Debate, a website dedicated to a variety of healthcare topics. Unlike Pap tests, which are prone to human error and misinterpretation, HPV testing is much more accurate because it relies on a machine to detect the presence of the virus, he said.

"We need to change the whole screening infrastructure," Franco said.

He believes that, eventually, Pap screening will become obsolete because the number of cervical cancer cases will dwindle and the HPV test will be there to help spot the remaining ones.

One major body that advises on and implements cancer screening program agrees with the move to HPV testing. Cancer Care Ontario now recommends that HPV testing be used as the primary cervical cancer screening tool. Because there is no publicly funded HPV testing program in the province, the recommendations state that Pap tests should be used until such a program is created.

Dr. Linda Rabeneck, vice-president of prevention and cancer control at Cancer Care Ontario, said the recommendations reflect "the growing evidence to support HPV testing" and that the organization hopes that HPV testing will be funded.

"We have been working diligently to achieve that," she said.

But Dr. James Dickinson, head of a working group that created Canada's national cervical cancer screening guidelines, is not convinced.

While HPV testing has potential, more work needs to be done to determine how it works in women at different ages and how to properly implement the new test, said Dickinson, chair of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care's cervical cancer working group.

He said he also has concerns over the fact support for the move to HPV testing seems to originate from the company that makes one of the tests, as well as medical professionals who have been involved with the company.

For instance, Qiagen, one of the companies selling an HPV test in Canada, has hired healthcare consultancy Santis Health to lobby some provinces to adopt the HPV test as the primary screening tool for cervical cancer. Last year, three Santis employees registered in British Columbia to lobby the Health Minister on the government's "future policy direction" on HPV testing. And a lobbyist registration record filed last December with Ontario's Office of the Integrity Commissioner states that HPV testing is unequivocally better than Pap testing and that provinces "have been very slow to shift to and publicly insure HPV screening for women."

The registration goes on to say that "leading clinicians and researchers" are "educating the government, the public and cancer agencies" about the need to move to primary HPV testing.

Franco is one of those experts.

He has also served as a consultant to Qiagen and other companies involved in HPV diagnostics and is listed as an author of an industry-sponsored report touting the benefits of HPV testing.

Three other authors on that report also wrote Cancer Care Ontario's recommendations to adopt HPV testing, including Dr.

Joan Murphy, clinical lead of the CCO's Ontario Cervical Screening Program. The report was published last December by Santis Health, the lobby firm that has represented Qiagen since 2014, and concludes that HPV testing should be the primary cervical cancer screening tool.

Dickinson said this is a potentially serious conflict of interest that highlights the need for caution. "There's a balance here," he said. "If people are going to be setting public policy, they've got to look at both sides." Franco said in an interview that it is "ludicrous" to think Qiagen is influencing expert opinion on HPV testing. He said he does not have a close relationship with the company and that the report was written without any input from the company.

He argues that Dickinson has a conflict of interest and that there is resistance to moving away from Pap testing because it will cost many lab workers their jobs. He also rejects the idea that there is not enough evidence to support a shift to primary HPV testing.

Rabeneck said the three authors of the report are not CCO employees and that the organization does not constrain experts from working with commercial entities. She added that many countries are moving toward HPV testing and that it is clearly the way of the future.

Irma Alfaro-Beitz, vice-president of global health for Qiagen, said the company works with experts in the field because it wants to disseminate information about an important publichealth initiative.

"To say we are just pushing because we are focused on sales is just not an accurate statement," she said. "It is unfortunate that people perceive that we are pushing this. I wouldn't see it as a push, I would see it as support."

Dickinson said a shift to HPV testing would probably have only a small benefit because it doesn't address the biggest challenge facing cervical screening in Canada, namely the fact that a large subset of women simply do not get tested. For instance, a 2012 study in the journal Canadian Family Physician found that women living in the lowestincome neighbourhoods in Ontario were half as likely to be screened as their peers in other areas.

"Doing a better test for those who are already getting Pap tests provides a marginal benefit," Dickinson said. "The big benefit would come from getting to those who currently are not getting tested at all or tested infrequently. That's where the big problem is."

As for what the future holds, Kathleen Decker, an epidemiologist with CancerCare Manitoba, said she believes that HPV testing will play a prominent role. But not until more research is done. "No province currently offers primary HPV testing because we're not quite there yet," she said.

Associated Graphic


The Pap test has been the centre of cervical cancer screening programs for decades, but advocates say the new HPV test is more reliable.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Scholar gave Ukrainians their own history
His 1988 work helped fuel the country's independence movement as the Eastern Bloc started to crumble
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S11

For a historian, there's little more satisfying than being in the right place at the right time.

Orest Subtelny hit both marks.

An expert in the history of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Prof. Subtelny authored several scholarly yet accessible works.

But his crowning achievement is considered to be his Ukraine: A History, first published in 1988, just as Europe's Eastern Bloc began crumbling and heady talk of independence wafted over Ukraine, then one of the Soviet Union's 15 republics.

The timing was perfect.

It's surprising that a history written in Canada, in English, would have the impact that Prof. Subtelny's book did in the country it examined. Until then, histories of Ukraine, especially those officially permitted by Moscow, tended to paint a provincial picture, placing Ukraine squarely within a Soviet context.

Ukraine was the cradle of Slavic peoples and the breadbasket of the USSR, so the clichés went.

"There were no books on Ukrainian history that were objective being used in Ukraine," noted Dr. Jurij Darewych, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre and a former physics professor at Toronto's York University.

In 1982, York's history department partnered with the Canadian-Ukrainian community to fund a three-year professorship to teach courses in Ukrainian history and Soviet nationalities.

With Prof. Darewych's support, Prof. Subtleny was hired. He later won a cross-appointment to the department of political science and continued teaching at York until 2015.

Until Prof. Subtelny's book came along, the story of Ukraine "was either ignored or very skewed," said Prof. Darewych.

"Young people were kept in the dark about Ukrainian history."

Soviet authorities, he said, suppressed a lot either by omission or a distinct slant. "It was government policy in the Soviet Union to present Ukrainian history in their own particular way," he said, and that included ignoring the struggle for Ukrainian independence during the First World War and denying or minimizing the Holodomor, the man-made famine imposed by Stalin's regime on Soviet Ukraine and ethnically Ukrainian regions in the northern Caucasus in 1932-33, in which up to seven million people died.

Published to international acclaim and hailed as the best history of Ukraine in English, Prof. Subtelny's 700-plus page tome went through four English editions. In 1990, the year Ukraine adopted its initial declaration of sovereignty, copies of the book's new Ukrainian-language translation were snapped up by the thousands.

The country declared full independence on Aug. 24, 1991, and celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of statehood are expected around the world this month.

Did Prof. Subtelny's book, refreshingly free of Soviet shackles and paternalism, seep into the consciousness of those at the forefront of the independence movement and embolden them?

"Unquestionably," Prof. Darewych responded. "I was there in late eighties and one could sense that something was going to change. People were looking for information other than the Soviet point of view. His book was very important, and was devoured by students, bureaucrats and those in diplomatic circles."

Prof. Subtelny's sweeping look at Ukraine covered everything from the ancient Greek colonization to the Orange Revolution of 2004-05 and the recent Ukrainian diaspora. "It contributed enormously to the process of intellectual and moral liberation of Soviet Ukrainians, of overcoming a sense of inferiority," noted Volodymyr Kravchenko, director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta. "It was modern, fresh, a well-written historical bestseller. It made Ukrainian history attractive."

But Prof. Subtelny, who was personally pro-independence, was blunt in his assessment of the nascent country, which was characterized by both change "and the lack of it."

Although Ukraine was developing a middle class, a requirement for any European society, and had an elite, it was still "immature, self-centred and devoid of constructive goals," he wrote in the book's preface. The decline of the pillars of Ukrainian society - the village and the intelligentsia - continued. Corruption was "rampant," as it was in most post-Soviet societies.

Neither was Prof. Subtelny shy when it came to addressing controversial issues, such as Ukraine's relations with Russia, Poland and its Jewish population, Mr. Kravchenko went on.

"In fact, he departed from the traditional Ukrainian national narrative based on the heroization/victimization dichotomy, and presented Ukrainians' national history in the context of their statelessness and modernization."

Nevertheless, Ukraine was gradually becoming more like Europe, and that meant a turning point had been reached, he believed. And the Orange Revolution had been an engine of change, for it "propelled Ukraine out of a fog of incomprehension and ignorance that had so long surrounded it."

There is no doubt that a new generation of Ukrainian historians and their readers were inspired by the intellectual freedom of Prof. Subtelny's Istoria Ukrainy, Mr. Kravchenko noted in an online tribute.

"It was enthusiastically received by the Ukrainian educated community," he said.

Others also weighed in on the influence of Prof. Subtelny's history. "The book is considered to have greatly impacted the growth of Ukrainian national consciousness and identity," declared the website Ukraine Today.

Taras Kuzio, a senior research fellow at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, said the book "made a truly enormous contribution to Ukrainian nation-building. Prof. Subtelny was not an ivory-tower academic. He was an internationally acclaimed historian, civic and community activist whose roots in the Ukrainian community meant his focus was on Ukrainian national identity, the struggle for independence and achieving statehood."

Prof. Subtelny's death in Toronto on July 24 of cancer at the age of 75 was widely noted in the Ukrainian diaspora and in Ukraine, including by President Petro Poroshenko. "His contribution to Ukraine's history is priceless," Mr. Poroshenko said in a statement. He "made an invaluable contribution to Ukraine acquiring statehood.

"The bright memory of Orest Myroslavovych will forever remain in our hearts."

Orest Subtelny was born in Krakow, in Nazi-occupied Poland, on May 17, 1941. His father, Myroslav, was a lawyer who had lived in the city in the mid-1930s and returned with his wife, Ivanna, in late August, 1939, to take a government job.

"The next day [Sept. 1, 1939], the Germans invaded [Poland] and the job fizzled," said Prof.

Subtelny's wife, Maria, a University of Toronto scholar of Iran and classical Persia. The clan returned to Ukraine but Orest's mother later travelled to Krakow to give birth to her son because the city had a hospital.

The family spent the war years hunkered down in western Ukraine, then fled the Soviet Red Army, and spent 1945 to 1949 in a displaced persons camp in Germany before arriving in Philadelphia as refugees.

Prof. Subtelny earned a BA from Temple University in 1965, a master's degree from the University of North Carolina, and completed his PhD at Harvard University in 1973, in history and Middle Eastern studies.

A talented soccer player, he made the All-American team in college and while at Harvard, played with the Norwood Kickers of the Massachusetts state league.

From 2006 to 2011, Prof. Subtelny managed a development project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The $1.65-million "Promoting Ukraine's Global Integration" project was aimed at increasing the capacity and effectiveness of Ukrainian foreign missions and promoting trade. It also provided technical assistance to Ukraine's government to address boundary disputes with its neighbours.

"He was an outstanding soccer player and I think that's where he got his timing," his wife said.

"He always did things in the nick of time. The book was definitely perfect timing. The CIDA projects were perfectly timed.

His exit from Ukraine was perfectly timed."

There were many laurels: He was given the Order of Merit from the government of Ukraine in 2001; was named a Foreign Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences; and received an honorary doctorate from the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, and the Shevchenko Medal from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, for his outstanding contributions to the domestic expatriate community in education.

Recent Russian military interventions in eastern Ukraine and Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea, left Prof. Subtelny "very disappointed and disillusioned," his wife said. Even when asked, he refused to speak about the unrest.

Prof. Subtelny leaves his wife, Maria; son, Dr. Alexander Subtelny; and sister, Dr. Oksana Isajiw.

The Ukrainian journalist Vitaly Portnikov summed up one view of Prof. Subtelny's influence: "He gave us Ukraine. Not the one that was. But the one that will be."

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

Ukrainian history expert Orest Subtelny's sweeping look at the country covered everything from the ancient Greek colonization to the Orange Revolution of 2004-05 and the recent Ukrainian diaspora.


Prof. Subtelny wasn't afraid to address contentious issues such as Ukraine's relations with Russia and Poland.


Too smart for our own good
A raft of app-enhanced everyday objects, from light bulbs to pregnancy tests, have hit the market. Sarah Hampson rates them against the older, dumber versions
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Earlier this week, researchers at MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with Microsoft, announced the development of DuoSkin, a temporary metallic tattoo that allows users to control their mobile devices. The "on-skin user interfaces" can be designed as fashionable, jewelery-like adornments, turning people into a glittery tribe of artfully tattooed techies. Swipe a finger across the metallic design on your forearm, and you can scroll through information. Or use your mobile device to read data stored on your skin.

And why not? Skin is such an accessible platform. And we all have plenty of it.

None of this should surprise us. Or freak us out. Such wearable technology is the natural evolution of the solipsistic nature of smart devices.

That smartphone in your hand is a tool for efficiency and convenience, sure, but it's also a satisfying return to childhood when you did feel the world revolved around you. Who wants or needs to grow out of that illusion? Technologically armed, you're the centre of your universe, using this app to beckon a ride or that app to bring dinner from your favourite restaurant to your front door or such-and-such an app to get a barista to make your coffee so you don't have to wait in line or another app to remotely prepare your home for your arrival. They're more reliable and obedient than a nanny or spouse.

Scrolling through the app store is like a trip to a candy store. So many things to tempt you! When I view them, I imagine all these earnest tech people wanting to revolutionize modern life, making us happier, healthier, fitter, thinner, more efficient.

So I tried out a few newly launched smart products with apps of their own: La RochePosay's My UV Patch; First Response Pregnancy Pro; and Philips Hue White Ambiance lighting.

Each of them use slightly different technologies, but all promise a better life. But do they deliver?

The My UV Patch, billed as "the first connected stretchable UV patch," will be available in stores next year. (As part of the company's goal to help prevent skin cancer, next year will also see the roll-out of skin clinics that will allow people to have their moles checked.) I read the UV Patch instructions and placed the heartshaped tattoo-like film on the top of my hand. I answered questions on the app about skin type, hair colour and eye colour, and whether I easily burn.

The idea is that you wear the patch, which is made with photosensitive dyes, and then scan it via the app on your phone when you've been outside in the sun.

On a day last week in Toronto when the temperature was 30 and the UV index was 7, I held my hand out flat in the midday sun for about 30 seconds. Then I scanned the heart: "You have already used your daily sun stock for the next two days," it warned me. "You're now exposed at your own risk."

Really? That was crazy. And alarming. I put some sunscreen on the hand, over a new patch.

Same message. Was My UV Patch smart or kinda stupid? "The photo-sensitive dyes will change based on the UV in the environment and then, based on the information you inputed about your skin type, the app uses an algorithm to calculate your risk," explains Kristen King, group product manager at La RochePosay, a company under the L'Oréal umbrella. "But it doesn't measure risk protection."

In other words, putting sunscreen on over the patch doesn't help you know if you've being adequately protected. "The point of it is to help change behaviour. To act as a reminder of the need for sunscreen," King says, explaining that research in 23 countries among nearly 20,000 people showed that while nine out of 10 consumers are aware of the potential for sun damage, only 27 per cent wear sunscreen (primarily on the face), less than 5 per cent wear long-sleeved shirts and only 20 per cent try to stay in the shade.

What the app will do is keep asking if you have applied sunscreen - a bit like an annoying, over-protective mother.

On to connected pee sticks. First Response Pregnancy Pro is promoted as the first and only pregnancy test with Bluetooth wireless technology that connects the test stick to an app on your smartphone. If the verdict is positive, you get calculations on your due date and a calendar to make note of obstetric appointments.

And there's "wait support" - meaning that you can be entertained (with "cooking tips and playful animals," among other things) for the three minutes it takes to get your result.

Uh, who's the baby in this scenario? This would suggest that a grown woman is in need of preprogrammed distractions just as you might provide for a toddler, waving a funny toy in his face while you try to shovel in some broccoli.

Next up, Philips Hue White Ambiance smart light bulbs.

Philips is the world's leading lighting brand and has the largest connected lighting system. It began selling Hue connected products in 2012. The new White Ambiance, which allows you to program 50,000 shades of white ("light recipes," the company calls them) in order to "match the moment" in your life, launched this spring. Via an app, you can control or program the lights.

"We're trying to move light from an on/off proposition, in which you replace the bulb when it breaks, to have light be a supporting part of your life," explains Todd Manegold, connected home business lead, North America, at Philips Lighting. Maybe my life is boring, but it certainly doesn't have 50,000 different kinds of moments. I can think of four, maybe five, off the top of my head. Might this be tech-nerdy overkill?

The smartest thing about this is the brilliance of the marketing idea. Manegold helpfully pointed out what every human knows - that "on a sunny morning, you feel more energized and ready to get on with your day versus waking up on a rainy, cloudy day.

Lighting has a big impact on how people feel and behave."

Big tick mark. And it's kind of James-Bondy to surreptitiously press a button and change the mood of the room.

But with all these connected products, quite apart from their usefulness, there's a dark, Trumpian undercurrent - and that's about privacy.

With health-related apps, such as First Response Pro pregnancy and My UV Patch, experts are concerned about how information is used, including by third parties.

Ann Cavoukian, executive director, Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University, says: "The majority of the time, the lack of secure privacy protection is an oversight by the companies. They're just eager to get it on the market. ... You're exposing yourself, and the information you provide could impact you with your employers, with insurance companies. You have no idea, no control." Regulators in the EU have recently passed rules to help protect consumers, such as making privacy the default setting, embedded in the design of "smart" products, she explains.

Unfriendly intrusions from strangers who can access information or gain control of the devices remotely worry experts as well. "Hackers could examine when lights are on or off and could form predictions about when you're away," Cavoukian says regarding connected lighting.

Paranoia is an unfortunate byproduct of our hyper-connected world. But I'm probably like you in that I think more about apps' advantages rather than their data risks. When I do hear the warnings, a part of me starts imagining someone with a dystopian view of the world and bad hair, thinking everyone's out to get him.

That was, at least, until I read about smart, connected vibrators.

At a recent DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, two independent hackers showed that the We-Vibe 4 Plus vibrator - a type of sex toy called "teledildonics" - can easily be hacked. Not only could a third party seize control of the device - not your lover on the other side of the world who wants to remotely give you a little thrill - but the device "talks" to the manufacturer, Standard Innovation.

Consider this when you've dimmed your Hue White Ambiance lights to an appropriately sexy shade of soft white and are availing yourself of your teledildonic device. You may think it's all very private and secret, but the company will not only know when you're using it, it will know what temperature the device records as well as the level of the vibrator's intensity.

Talk about childhood and having your mother watching over you. Not very sexy.

Associated Graphic


The Philips Hue White Ambiance lighting allows users to program their home's light bulbs with 50,000 shades of white via an app.

Mounting cost of opioid abuse treatment taxes health system
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

Taking its toll Public programs spent $93-million on medications to combat addiction to painkillers in 2014, a staggering 60-per-cent increase over 2011

Losing ground Growth in spending on drugs to treat addiction outpacing provincial expenditures for opioid prescriptions, institute statistics reveal

Spending on drugs to treat patients suffering from addiction to painkillers soared 60 per cent over a four-year period in Canada, revealing the toll an epidemic of opioid abuse is taking on the health-care system.

Public drug programs spent $93-million on medications used for addiction to prescription painkillers and illicit opioids in 2014, compared with $57.3-million in 2011, according to figures for every province except Quebec compiled by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for The Globe and Mail.

In four provinces, this class of opioids ranked among the top 10 in spending on all prescription drugs - a group that traditionally includes medications for arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The figures shed new light on a mounting problem with addiction to opioids, one that medical experts say was created by the pharmaceutical industry and the health-care system. Doctors began prescribing opioids two decades ago to relieve moderateto-severe pain as pharmaceutical firms promoted their benefits.

The spending on treatment underscores the challenge policymakers face in dealing with the fallout from the overprescribing of a drug whose risks are substantial and benefits uncertain.

A recent Globe investigation found that Ottawa and the provinces have failed to take adequate steps to stop doctors from indiscriminately prescribing highly addictive opioids to treat chronic pain. In 2015, doctors wrote 53 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people in Canada, according to figures compiled for The Globe by IMS Brogan, which tracks pharmaceutical sales.

"You need a drug to get people off another drug that was prescribed by doctors," said Meldon Kahan, medical director of the Substance Use Service at Women's College Hospital in Toronto.

"That's one of the sad things about this epidemic." 9 The spending is expected to continue mounting as more doctors prescribe Suboxone, a safer but more expensive therapy than the traditional methadone treatment, and as much of the country confronts a growing number of drug-overdose deaths, owing largely to illicit fentanyl flooding the black market.

The illicit version of prescription fentanyl is manufactured in China and smuggled into Canada, where the powder is cut with other drugs and sold on the street as heroin or as fake OxyContin. In British Columbia and Alberta, the two hardest-hit provinces, fatal overdoses linked to fentanyl soared to 418 in 2015 from 42 in 2012. The scourge of fentanyl has rapidly moved east, showing up in more than a dozen communities in Ontario.

The provinces are spending more to address the harm related to opioids as they brace for cuts to federal health transfer payments. Public drug programs in the nine provinces spent just less than $300-million in 2014 on both prescriptions for opioids and addiction medications, already consuming nearly $1 of every $5 in new health-care transfers that year.

The health accord, which guarantees a 6-per-cent annual increase in federal transfers to the provinces, expires in fiscal 2017.

Payments are planned to rise at the rate of Canada's economic growth plus inflation, with a guaranteed floor of only 3 per cent.

Provincial drug programs typically pay for medications for those aged 65 and older as well as those on social and disability assistance. Just more than 40 per cent of prescription drugs are financed by the public sector, with the remainder paid for by private insurance plans and individuals paying out of pocket.

Growth in spending on drugs to treat addiction outpaced what the provinces spent on opioid prescriptions, the CIHI figures show.

"The reason the amount of these medications being prescribed is going up is because the size of the problem of opioid dependence has gone up quite substantially," said David Marsh, deputy dean and professor of clinical sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Dr. Marsh sees the problem first-hand in his role as chief medical director of the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres, a chain of 57 clinics throughout the province plus one in Winnipeg.

The clinics treat 10,000 patients a day - a third of everyone in the province on drugs for opioid addiction.

About 45 per cent of the clinics' patients remain in care for more than a year, Dr. Marsh said, long enough to sustain the benefits.

"If they leave within a year," he said, "the vast majority will relapse."

Demand for treatment will continue to grow unless doctors stop liberally prescribing opioids, medical experts say. In June, British Columbia's physician regulatory college unveiled the first mandatory standards in Canada aimed at changing these practices. The standards, modelled on new national guidelines in the United States, require doctors to first try non-drug approaches to treat chronic pain, and to prescribe opioids sparingly by starting patients with low doses and providing only a few days' supply.

Treating patients for addiction is more expensive than prescribing painkillers to them. To better monitor patients in treatment, the medications are often doled out in smaller doses at more frequent intervals, which drives up pharmacy dispensing fees. Many opioids listed on provincial drug formularies, by comparison, are less expensive, generic versions of brand-name drugs.

The provinces spent an average of $1,554 on drugs (including dispensing fees) for each patient in treatment in 2014 - 10 times what they spent on prescription painkillers for each patient, the CIHI figures show.

The figures reveal disparities among the provinces in providing people addicted to opioids with access to treatment. In Alberta, described as an "outlier" by Edmonton-based public health and addiction-medicine specialist Hakique Virani, the province's public drug program spent just more than $1-million on addiction medications in 2014, accounting for 6 per cent of the $18.1-million spent on prescription opioids.

Government officials in Alberta have been slow to address the gravity of the opioid problem, Dr. Virani said. "Deaths are a decent indicator of the overall burden of opioid problems in our population. You would think that there would be a proportional amount of effort used to treat people who have that problem."

In Atlantic Canada, by contrast, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island each spent more on drugs to treat addiction than they did on opioid prescriptions in 2014, the CIHI figures show.

The ratio was 3 to 1 in PEI.

"This speaks to the intense effort required to treat opioid addiction," said a spokeswoman at PEI's Department of Health and Wellness.

Betty-Lou Kristy of Georgetown, Ont., wishes such efforts had been made when her late son, Pete, was suffering from addiction to prescription painkillers as well as depression and anxiety.

He never had the option of getting treatment to help him with the cravings for more drugs and the withdrawal.

Pete was prescribed opioids to treat his irritable bowel syndrome. On many occasions, he was rushed to the hospital crippled in pain after running out of painkillers, Ms. Kristy said. She had no idea that her son was so sick because he was going through withdrawal. Doctors responded to her son's pain by prescribing more opioids.

"Every time he went to the hospital," she said, "he would end up with more pills. The cycle continued and continued and continued."

Pete died in December, 2001, from an accidental overdose of the prescription painkiller OxyContin and psychiatric medications. He was 25.

Ms. Kristy has channelled her grief over the loss of her only child into becoming an advocate for mental-health and addiction issues. She has overcome her own addiction to alcohol and drugs and been in recovery for nearly two decades. On the 10th anniversary of Pete's death, she embarked on what became an 18month project: getting both of her legs covered in tattoos memorializing her son.

"That's how I stayed from relapsing myself," she said.

The United States is the world's largest consumer of prescription painkillers, but per-capita usage is beginning to decline. By comparison, consumption is relatively unchanged in Canada, the second-largest per-capita consumer of prescription painkillers.

As doctors in Canada continue to liberally prescribe opioids to relieve moderate to severe pain, more patients are being treated for addiction to the drugs.

As opioid overdose deaths mount across Canada, disparities remain among the provinces in access to treatment for people suffering from addiction.

Associated Graphic

Betty-Lou Kristy, shown at her home in Georgetown, Ont., lost her son Pete when he died of an accidental overdose in 2001 after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. 'Every time he went to the hospital, he would end up with more pills,' she said.


Betty-Lou Kristy, top, got her legs tattood to memorialize her son, Pete, above, on the 10th anniversary of his death. He overdosed in 2001.


Seven decades ago, Joanne Will's grandparents crossed the Atlantic - one as a soldier reporting for duty, the other as a war bride. Now, she takes the trip in reverse aboard the newly refurbished Queen Mary 2 .
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T1

HALIFAX -- Standing at Pier 21 in Halifax, I'm gazing up at the majestic Queen Mary 2 from the same spot where my grandmother, a British war bride, completed her transatlantic crossing and arrived in Canada to begin a new life 70 years ago.

This ship will be my home for the next week as I retrace her journey, albeit in reverse. Her 1946 crossing on what was then a virtual highway of the seas was aboard the Ile de France, which met a rather undignified end as a prop in the 1960 disaster movie The Last Voyage. Today the Queen Mary 2 is the only passenger vessel regularly crossing the North Atlantic.

Launched in 2004 and refitted in 2016, the Queen Mary 2 is also the rightful heir to the "golden age" of ocean travel, which began in the 1880s and started to wind down in the 1950s when commercial transatlantic passenger flights took off.

QM2 is not a "cruise ship." She is, in fact, given her hull design and propulsion system, the last "ocean liner," replacing her predecessors Queen Elizabeth 2 - which was decommissioned in 2008 - and the original Queen Mary - decommissioned in 1967.

I join the ship in Halifax, its only scheduled port of call after leaving New York. From here on, there are no stops along the 3,000 nautical miles of open ocean to Southampton, England. Yet points of interest abound in the murky deep. Daily bridge announcements call out the nearby final resting sites of RMS Titanic and RMS Lusitania, as well as the vast underwater plateaus known as the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, and the Flemish Cap, an area rich in marine life brought to recent popular attention by George Clooney in The Perfect Storm.

My grandfather, a Canadian flying officer stationed in Yorkshire during the Second World War also travelled this route on the Cunard Line's original Queen Mary. In May 1945, just one week after my grandparents were married, he was swiftly shipped home to Hali...

fax to prepare for the war in the Pacific. He sent the shillings he won playing cards on board to his new bride in England, who had to wait nearly a year before she could secure a berth and join him.

My grandmother, who served four years in the British Army and endured the Blitz, was not alone in taking this journey. From 1941 to 1948, upwards of 44,000 war brides and their 21,000 children emigrated to Canada in the wake of a war in which romance flourished between locals and soldiers stationed overseas. The original Queen Mary carried almost 10,000 of these war brides and children from the U.K. to Canada, and even more to the United States.

As I stroll the QM2 decks, looking out across the characteristically grey North Atlantic, I try to imagine the anticipation my grandmother felt when she made the journey to join a husband she barely knew, in a land she had never seen. Even today, at age 92, the mix of excitement and sadness are fresh as she recalls leaving behind her parents and sister to reunite with her new husband.

"When we left Southampton, just as the ship was pulling out, a whole orchestra in uniform came to the dock and started playing Will Ye No Come Back Again. We were all excited to go to Canada, but suddenly it felt so emotional, the way they played it. We were all pretty tough, but that just broke us down. There wasn't a dry eye. I thought, 'Gee, that's right - I'll never come back here.' And the other women, too, said, 'What if I never come back? Have I made a mistake?' " My crossing lasts six nights, as did hers. I experience none of the incessant mal de mer she recalls: the voyage is a softer one with calmer seas and 21st-century technology, including, among many engineering marvels, three Rolls Royce bow thrusters, two matching pairs of retractable stabilizing fins, and engines that could power the city of Southampton.

On this crossing, there is plenty to do. The QM2 boasts the largest ballroom and library at sea, and the only planetarium. Her elegant promenade deck, lined with matching teak steamer chairs, is abuzz from dawn to dusk with walkers and joggers - two circumnavigations of the deck equals one kilometre.

Two panoramic exterior elevators, five swimming pools, hot tubs, a spa, pub trivia, a golf simulator, and traditional deck games such as shuffleboard keep passengers occupied. There are 13-odd restaurants and lounges, though I lost track at eight.

In addition to the largest wine cellar at sea (450 fine wines), one shipboard lounge contains an impressive collection of port - 46 vintages - beginning with 1840, the year Halifax-born Sir Samuel Cunard saw his first steamship sail from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston.

The optional formal dinners, masquerade ball, afternoon tea and captain's and senior officer's cocktail parties are long-held transatlantic traditions - as are the daily array of lectures (this trip by New York Times journalists and a retired general) and theatrical entertainment. On this crossing, London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art stages abridged versions of Shakespeare and Jane Austen, a comical overview of Cunard's 176-year history, an evening of ghost stories, and improv workshops.

But it was not so on my grandmother's trip. "There wasn't much frivolity on my ship," she recalls. "There were plenty of men if you could dance but they didn't really want that to happen and tried to keep us segregated.

We could see them if we walked on the promenade, but we were in different parts of the ship."

Then and now, there is a purpose to this trip, and that is to cross the Atlantic. Some of the 2,593 passengers, 15 dogs, and 3 cats (the ship is the only ocean liner that allows pets) are making their dozenth crossing; some their first. Some are here because they detest air travel, while others simply enjoy the slow pace of the journey, the opportunity to disconnect, and the ability to avoid jet lag with clocks that gently advance one hour each day.

Indeed, many people continue to live their regular lives onboard with opportunities for religious services, reading, card games and a fitness centre. You can keep in touch with the outside world via Internet, although, thankfully, it's slow and expensive.

"What we're selling is the opportunity to move away from the rat race, unplug and recharge the batteries," says QM2 Captain Christopher Wells, leaning on a bridge wing console. "Many people come from America to Europe to see what their families experienced. Yes, we bring the memories and we're very proud of the heritage we have, but it doesn't need to be old-fashioned.

This ship is a modern piece of technology to keep us going for the next generations."

It's this contrasting mix of the nostalgic and modern that draws me.

For my grandmother, it was all about getting to Canada and her new life. As she approached Halifax harbour in April, 1946, she and the other war brides helped each other prepare for arrival.

They couldn't wait to disembark and reunite with their husbands in this new world.

"You could feel the anticipation in the air. As Halifax came into view, I couldn't believe the white houses. I was from an English mill town, and during the war it was dirty and blackened with soot. We all thought the Halifax houses were whitewashed by the sea, and we later learned it was white paint," she says.

Unlike my grandmother, I'm not filled with joy as the QM2 approaches the port of Southampton. I'm longing for another walk around the promenade deck, a breakfast with fellow "Cunardists" describing voyages past, or a formal dinner watching adults and children alike, bursting with excitement over dolphin and whale sightings.

This journey has helped me understand and feel closer to my grandmother. We both experienced an inner peace, mirroring the gentle swells of the sea: her for the beginning of her married life; me for the opportunity to step back in time, disconnect from the bustle of our harried technological world, and connect in a deeper way to the awe I feel for her courage. Had she not made the journey, this story would be unwritten.

Transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2 start at $719 a person for an inside cabin (special introductory fare; rate includes all meals at the main restaurant, buffet and 24-hour room service).

The writer travelled as a guest of Cunard Line. It did not review or approve this article.

Associated Graphic

Far removed from the ship my grandmother travelled on in her transatlantic voyage, the Queen Mary 2 is a 'modern piece of technology' encasing a beautifully remastered atrium, more than a dozen dining rooms and lounges and beautiful suites.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

1. Usain Bolt, Jamaica, 9.81 seconds; 2. Justin Gatlin, United States, 9.89; 3. Andre De Grasse, Canada, 9.91; 4. Yohan Blake, Jamaica, 9.93; 5. Akani Simbine, South Africa, 9.94; 6. Ben Youssef Meïté, Ivory Coast, 9.96; 7. Jimmy Vicaut, France, 10.04; 8. Trayvon Bromell, United States, 10.06

USAIN BOLT made Olympic history in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night, winning his third consecutive gold medal in the men's 100-metre race. The sprinter from Jamaica crossed the finish line in a time of 9.81 seconds.

American JUSTIN GATLIN, who came into the event dogged by previous doping suspensions and questions about whether he should be allowed to compete, took silver in a time of 9.89 seconds.

"And 21-year-old Canadian ANDRE DE GRASSE, making his Olympic debut, claimed the bronze medal in a personal-best 9.91 seconds, serving notice that he could be the early favourite for gold in 2020.

Grant Robertson compiles a brief recounting of the historic night, in the athletes' own words

"9:07 p.m. (local time) Bolt and De Grasse face off in the second of three semi-final heats. Bolt lays down a lightningquick 9.86-second race - fast for a semi-final - which catches De Grasse off guard.

De Grasse: ""He just kicked it into the next gear, and I tried to go with him a little bit, and I was like, 'Wait, this is the semifinal. Why am I even trying to chase him right now?' So I just said, 'Let me just try to save it for the final.' " De Grasse qualifies for the final in second place, with a time of 9.92 seconds. It is his best time of the season. Gatlin is third-fastest, with a semi-final time of 9.94.

The 100-metre final is scheduled to start 1 hour 18 minutes later, which is a shorter break than the runners are used to at meets.

"Bolt: "Going into the [final] race, I felt confident.

My legs felt a little bit tired from the fact that it was so close, back-toback races, but I was just thinking about execution. I was like, 'You know what, as long as I execute right and I don't panic and just run through the line, then I'll be fine.' "

10:20 p.m.

"The final eight sprinters are introduced over the stadium loudspeaker, and walk out to mixed reactions from the crowd.

Bolt is greeted with a thundering roar from the roughly 46,000 people in attendance. De Grasse, who is not as well known, draws a less raucous cheer. Meanwhile, Gatlin - seen as a villain for his past doping suspensions - is greeted with a chorus of boos that fill the stadium.

"Gatlin: "People were booing, they don't even know me. But when we [the sprinters] are back in the warm-up area, I give love to De Grasse, I give love to Yohan [Blake], I give love to Usain and we all have respect for each other.

So I just would like to see everyone have respect in the audience as well."

"Bolt: "I was pretty shocked. I didn't expect [the booing] but, I really don't know what to say because it's the first I've ever seen this happen."

10:23 p.m.

As the runners warm up in their starting blocks, Bolt is toying with De Grasse, smiling at him and making jokes. The two sprinters, who are both sponsored by Puma, have met before, and De Grasse knows Bolt likes to stay loose by not taking things too seriously.

"De Grasse: "We joked a lot in the call room [and] when we got on the track we were still joking around. It kind of felt like it was a fun [race].

I wasn't thinking about it too seriously when you've got a guy like him.

"He always motivates me to try to come out there and try to beat him, but as you see, he's just a different beast, he's a different animal."

10:25 p.m.

The sprinters are called to take their marks. The stadium falls silent. The drone of a helicopter overhead is the only sound that can be heard.

When the starter's gun goes off, De Grasse's reaction time - which is the time it takes for a sprinter to respond to the gun by beginning his motion out of the blocks - is clocked at 0.141 seconds. That is faster than Bolt, who is known as a slower starter (.155), and Gatlin (.152).

"Despite his quick reaction, though, De Grasse's first 20 metres are slower than the other two sprinters. Gatlin jumps out to an early lead, while Bolt is feeling the impact of the short break between the semi-final and gold-medal final.


"My legs kind of felt dead off the start, but I knew once I got running I'd be fine. ... I knew Justin Gatlin is " always going to get his signature start, so I have to stay cool."

"De Grasse: "I probably did a couple of things wrong in the beginning of the race that cost me in the end."

"Bolt trails Gatlin for the first half of the race.

But at the midway point, roughly 4.9 seconds in, Bolt realizes the American is fading.

"olt: "I got to 50 metres, then I was like, all right, I could tell that I was going to catch him.

Probably I knew [I was "going to win] from 50 metres out."

At 70 metres, De Grasse is trying to catch Bolt, but the Canadian can sense the Jamaican sprinting legend is accelerating as the race progresses.

"De Grasse: "I saw Bolt go at about 70, 80 [metres] and I tried to go with him, but he just had that extra gear. So I knew I was in contention for a " silver medal and I just tried to lean at the line."

"Gatlin: "I just had tunnel vision going through the whole race. When I crossed the finish line, I didn't even know if I was going to be on the podium or not." At the finish line, a stunned De Grasse drops to his knees. He knows "he's won a medal, he's just not sure which one.

"De Grasse: "I was waiting for the time to pop up on the board; I felt like I had silver in me. And I was like, 'Okay, Gatlin got silver, okay, I must have got bronze.' I was just waiting - I got a personal best - and it just hit me. I was so happy."

The bronze medal makes De Grasse the first man to medal for Canada at "the Rio Olympics.

"De Grasse: "I actually didn't even know that. I was just so focused on my race, I wasn't even paying attention to that. It feels pretty good. Canada hasn't had a sprinter [medal] in 20 years since Donovan Bailey and I'm just happy to be in that same conversation. And one day hopefully ... I can be a gold medalist like him." "Gatlin, 34, is relieved to have claimed the silver.

Gatlin: ""I'm just happy to be on the podium, man.

I'm the oldest guy in the field, so for me to run and finish the race and to be able to be on the podium is an honour. Going against guys like Usain, and then guys like De Grasse who are up and coming, I'm jockeying for "position, I'm happy to be here."

After the race, Bolt heaps praise on De Grasse.

"Bolt: "For me, De Grasse is showing he's ready.

He's done it back to back from last year [when he won bronze at the world championship]. So we know that "the future of the sport is in good hands." "And Gatlin praises Bolt.

Gatlin: "I'm a competitor, he's a competitor. We both want to win. And at the end of the day, may the best man win. Today, Usain has been the best man. And so my hat's off to him."

Bolt, who set the 100metre world record in 2009 in a time of 9.58 seconds, knows the race "is far from his best.

Bolt: "It wasn't the perfect race. It wasn't. But the fact that I won, which is why we are all here - to win - the fact that I got the win, I'm happy with that."

De Grasse and Bolt joke around after the race.

Bolt tells him he has a "bright future.

De Grasse: "It's a confidence booster for me. I'm so young and these guys have been racing for so long, I still have a lot to learn in the sport."

Associated Graphic


Out the door, with a push
The new strata law makes it easier to sell multifamily buildings for redevelopment - whether you like it or not
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

VANCOUVER -- Signy Wilson's ground-level apartment has high ceilings, hardwood floors, a fireplace, a big arched living room window, and a back door onto a private garden where she and her neighbours can gather when the weather is good. Just off Oak Street, she's close to transit and shops.

It's ideal living in a city where it's increasingly hard to find community-oriented housing. Her five-unit condo building was built in the 1930s, so the rooms are unfashionably spacious and designed for long-term living. But Ms. Wilson's four neighbours have decided to work with a real estate broker who says he can put together a land assembly with the apartment building next door, which is already for sale. The broker, says Ms. Wilson, has told them it will be listed for $6-million, which she figures would land her about $400,000 more than what her unit would sell for if she sold it separately.

But Ms. Wilson does not want to sell. She loves her apartment, and she questions whether she will ever find another place like it.

When she attended the initial meeting with her neighbours, she was shocked to discover the changes to B.C.'s law governing strata - or multifamily - housing that went into effect this past month. The new Strata Property Act allows the termination of a strata with only 80 per cent of residents in agreement instead of a unanimous vote.

Ms. Wilson is against selling the building, but feels that the decision has already been made for her.

"The system is supporting the feeding frenzy that we are in," says Ms. Wilson. "The recent condo act means the 20 per cent, like myself, that doesn't want to sell doesn't have an impact. I said no even knowing it would make no difference."

She knows, too, that the building will soon require major maintenance that will be costly.

"There are no villains in this story," she says. "My neighbours aren't snakes in the Garden of Eden selling out from underneath me. They are saying, 'Boy, this will make a huge difference.' One neighbour has mobility issues.

They have to move at some point anyway.

"Everybody that comes to this kind of building already has a love for it."

Instead, she blames the relentless redevelopment in the name of density for pushing people such as herself out of their homes. That, and the failure by the city to appreciate and protect its old character buildings.

Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condo Home Owners Association of B.C., sat on a committee that researched the change to the strata act, which, he says, came out of a proposal by the development industry, which is always looking for properties to redevelop. The development industry wanted a 75 per cent vote for liquidations of stratas; however, the committee felt 80 per cent was more fair, and a level already in use and working well in Australia and Singapore.

But because the committee had concerns about potential for abuse, they recommended a court application to ratify any agreement to sell a property. Condo owners, such as Ms. Wilson, therefore have a safeguard because any offer will go before a court, where, among other things, it will be decided if the sale is in the best interests of the residents.

That part of the process is mandatory, says Mr. Gioventu. Residents who've been coerced by a developer or their neighbours into voting yes, for example, would have the opportunity to speak up.

He says he's seen many cases where elderly people don't know their rights. They can be targets.

When you're one of the last holdouts, the pressure from neighbours can be huge.

"And if you are 85 years old, and you are in the last two units out of 40 units, what kind of stamina are you going to have for that?" asks Mr. Gioventu.

And even people who aren't elderly can be intimidated by an angry mob of neighbours.

"It's generally presented as, 'You're being unfair and unreasonable. Why are you doing this to us?' People are verbally taunting them. But it happens in coops, social housing, not just strata - all types of multifamily living.

When lots of money talks, people stop thinking about things like the culture of communities, and ethics, and behaviour and decency," says Mr. Gioventu.

That's why he advises all voting to be done by secret ballot. As well, he says stratas should hold regular meetings to keep residents informed so they aren't surprised by new developments.

Maggie Leithead lives in a co-op in the West End at 1055 Harwood.

Her block is also part of the city's new plan for density, which means her three-storey walk-up can be redeveloped for a 30-storey skyscraper. As a result, her old 29-unit character building was recently sold to a developer, despite her vote against it. According to her co-op's rules, only 75 per cent had to vote in favour. Over the past year, the division turned the relationships in the building into a toxic stew. Ms. Leithead received hate mail under her door and some residents refused to talk to her.

"We went from being a happy little co-op of folks that cat sat for each other and cleaned the gutters together to hate mail under the doors," says Ms. Leithead. "It was a pretty unpleasant experience."

Their troubles started after a developer approached them last fall. He offered them a number big enough "to throw things into a tizzy." It wasn't accepted, but it led to the co-op members hiring a real estate agent. The final selling price was $40-million, and Ms. Leithead says her unit is one of the largest, so she stood to gain the most. She paid around $430,000.

"Poor me, I made a bundle, I know," she says, well aware that most people will have little sympathy for her situation. "But we only bought the place three years ago and we had gutted it and planned to be here till 90. We're two blocks from the water, two blocks from shopping, half a block from transit. This is a great little building that was completely sustainable - a gorgeous older 1948, meticulously maintained because it's been a co-op since it was built. It's sad."

Her exit strategy will be to leave the city, she says.

"We will be another pair of people with a pocket full of money going to Victoria."

She feels worse for her easygoing 91-year-old neighbour, and wonders where he will go. The city's plan includes 25 per cent social or rental housing, but that probably won't help those that are facing imminent displacement.

"He didn't need the money and didn't want to move and now at 91 is forced to go and find a home."

She doesn't have faith that the added density will go to residents in a market fuelled by speculation.

"It's going to be another row of tall buildings with no lights on at night that can't support local businesses," she says. "There are just so many different ways we could be approaching density on a human scale rather than the way we're doing it."

Residents of the building have a year until they have to move out, which is a fairly common part of the deal. But Mr. Gioventu says most people won't be able to move until they receive the money from the sale, and he wonders what will happen when the completion date rolls around and a bunch of people need to find homes.

"What will happen is on one magical day when all 100 or so of those owners with $800,000 or so in their pockets will all be on market looking for another place to live? I think we will see bidding wars ... and I think that's where we will see quite a lot of vulnerability - because there will be large concentrations of people wanting to stay in that neighbourhood.

"We will see another housing wave over the next year or so as these liquidations start to proceed."

Ms. Leithead says her neighbours have already started checking out properties on the market.

"The kicker to all this is now that our deal has gone through, they are saying, 'Wow, it's really hard to find something with space.' It's like, oh my God, did you not look for eight seconds before you decided?' "

Associated Graphic

Signy Wilson lives in a five-unit condo building that's being sold to a developer.


IPC worries Rio has run out of money
Amid fears funds have instead been used to fix problems at Olympics, committee members try to shore up financial support
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The International Paralympic Committee is raising serious concerns about Rio's ability to host the Paralympic Games, even as the city lurches toward the end of Olympics that have so far been successfully largely by dint of the disasters which were averted.

Paralympic organizers say they are critically short of funds that were supposed to be provided by Rio2016, the organizing body for both sets of Games, which reportedly has a deficit of $100-million.

And organizers are also suggesting that funding intended for their competition was used to fix last-minute emergencies at the Games now under way.

An effort to secure a last-minute bailout by the city has been blocked by a court process launched by prosecutors who say no more public money can be spent on the sporting megaevents. The federal government has also pledged funds - in clear violation of a public-accounting law that forbids funding the private organizing committee.

Meanwhile, just 12 per cent of tickets to the Paralympics, which begin on Sept. 7, have been sold.

Senior Paralympic Committee members have been holding urgent meetings with government officials at the federal, state and city levels in an effort to shore up last-minute financial support. On Monday, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes promised up to $61-million, but that help is blocked by an injunction sought by federal prosecutors who say the city can't hand over the money until it makes Rio2016 open up its books for public review.

They say various levels of government are already spending public funds on the Games in ways that were never approved. Eliseu Padilha, a federal cabinet minister, said the government would give Rio2016 $48-million - even though a transparency law bars such a transfer.

"We intend to avoid having public resources allocated anywhere there is not real need," said Sergio Pinel, a prosecutor on the case who is part of a special task team looking at Olympic spending. "We want to know why the government is being asked to take responsibility for this. And we are investigating whether the solutions being proposed are within the law. The government cannot bear costs that are not its to bear, cannot transfer funds to a private entity without proper proof of actual need. We need transparency."

Rio2016 is a the local organizing committee for the Games; it draws its funding from ticket sales, sponsors and licensing agreements, as well as some transfers from the International Olympic Committee. Because the sponsorships and licensing deals are contracts with private industry, the committee insists it cannot open its books. Twice now, Brazilian judges have ruled this is not defensible, and on Monday an appeals judge upheld an injunction on giving the committee further funds until it opens the books.

The federal government is already de facto funding Rio2016, although this is against federal law, by providing electricity and security services through the National Guard, Mr. Pinel said.

But the committee has always refused to provide access to its budgeting. Two weeks before the Olympics began, Rio2016 told prosecutors it had no deficit, he said. "And now they say that the Olympics and Paralympics may be jeopardized [without a bailout]? Monday we had a meeting with the judge and with the committee, and they persistently used the argument that without these funds there will be no Paralympics ..." Craig Spence, spokesman for the IPC, said his organization is struggling to understand even the scale of the crisis. "We've been in liaison with the organizing committee for a long period of time, and they cannot put their exact finger on how much the deficit is, which is a problem.

Each time they come to us with cuts, we negotiate and accept them. But effectively we're in their third round of cuts for the Games, and we're still missing the travel grants for our participating countries."

Each of the 165 national Paralympic committees that send athletes to the Games are meant to receive travel grants (altogether valued at about $10-million).

They still don't have it, Mr. Spence said. "One in three countries will be unable to afford to attend - for us, it would be an absolute tragedy." He said the funding situation for the Rio Games is unprecedented.

"What we fear is that budget allocated for the Paralympics was siphoned off for things like the last-minute repairs they needed on the Athletes Village, all the things Rio didn't expect," he said.

"When Rio2016 won the right to stage these Games seven years ago, they knew they had to stage two Games."

The organizing committee refused to comment on the matter on Tuesday. "Rio2016 will not discuss this, given there is an injunction in force," the committee said in a statement. But the organizers insisted the Paralympic budget has not been reallocated. "Bear in mind that the Paralympic Games have 28 sponsors, and no funding allocated for the Paralympics has been used in the Olympics."

The failure to release the travel grants presents a significant challenge for small countries where all sport, particularly for disabled athletes, is underfunded. "At the moment, because of the economic situation in Zimbabwe, it will be very difficult for us to send any team if such a situation persists," said Lewis Garaba, secretary-general of that country's Paralympic Committee.

"It's a bit difficult - we count on that money," said Francisco Membreno, who heads the committee in Honduras, which had planned to send a swimmer and a power-lifter. "It's important for our country because our profile [as disabled athletes] here in Honduras is low. The chance to participate means many people who don't know about us get a chance to see us, and that helps people all over country to have a larger participation in society."

Even larger countries rely on the funding that is committed by the host organizer, said Martin Richard, chief of communications for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Canada plans to send approximately 150 athletes and 150 support staff to the Games, and while their flights to Rio are secure regardless of whether the travel grant arrives, a funding shortfall will affect the committee's work.

"If you plan on getting a certain amount of money, whether from the public or a sponsor, you account for it in budgeting - and if the money doesn't come in, it puts the Paralympic committee at risk," Mr. Richard said. There are already programs training athletes for the 2018 Winter Games and the next Summer competition in Tokyo in 2020.

Mr. Richard is concerned about what happens when Canadian competitors get here: How much is left in the budget to ensure that their transport, media coverage, and nutrition is at the standard originally planned? "The biggest worry internationally is, will what was promised be delivered," he said. "We're hearing a lot about revisiting the operational plan."

Brazil is staging the Games in the teeth of a deepening recession with unemployment over 13 per cent. In Rio, schools have been shuttered for months because the state cannot pay teachers.

Mario Campagnani, an activist who opposed the hosting of the World Cup and Olympics, said citizens of Rio cannot be expected to bail out the Games. Their governments have already lavished resources on the events when hospitals lack staff and even oxygen, he said. "Of course, none of that is the Paralympic athletes' fault, but it's also not up to the people of Rio to pay the price for what the IOC is doing."

Mr. Spence said the IPC wants Rio2016 to open its books so the injunction can be lifted and governments can transfer funds.

"From our point of view, it's a simple solution for the committee - there's funding available.

Make your accounts public. What do you have to hide? We are urging them to make the accounts public so that public funding can start being pumped back into the organizing committee."

He said he can understand if residents of Rio are not happy at the idea of more government funding going into the event, but they underestimate the "transformative" effect the Paralympics will have. "The legacy is ... a more socially inclusive city. There is a big divide between the rich and poor, and what we want to do is bring everyone together. ... Brazil has a lot of challenges now, and when people see a Paralympian in action, they say, 'Yes, we face challenges, but there is also an opportunity here.' "

Associated Graphic

Christ the Redeemer overlooks the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro; Paralympic organizers are suggesting that funding intended for their competition was used to fix last-minute emergencies at the Games now under way.


The Hangzhou plan: build consensus, promote development
After a year of preparation, China is about to play host to the most fruitful of summits, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui says
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B3

In early September, the 2016 Group of 20 Summit will be held in Hangzhou, China. Chinese President Xi Jinping will be joined by leaders from other G20 members, guest countries and international organizations to discuss ways to advance global economic co-operation and development.

In 2014, the G20 Brisbane summit announced that China would host the 2016 leaders meeting. The next month, China, Turkey and Australia formed a new "troika" mechanism (including the current, immediate past and next host countries).

China has since participated in the overall process of the G20 policy co-ordination and taken up the heavy responsibilities of facilitating strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy.

On Dec. 1, 2015, the very day China officially took over the G20 presidency, Mr. Xi delivered a special message, expounding on China's vision and considerations. China chose "Toward an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy" as the theme for Hangzhou, and identified four key priorities: 6 Breaking a new path for growth; 6 More effective and efficient global economic and financial governance; 6 Robust international trade and investment; 6 Inclusive and interconnected development.

The proposed theme and topics have received strong endorsement and support from other G20 members. They all agree that China's vision embodies long-term, strategic considerations and demonstrates a broad perspective and ambitious goals.

Since the beginning of this year, China has been engaged in preparation for the Hangzhou summit. China adheres to an open and inclusive working style, and always attaches importance to all sorts of views and respects all sorts of voices.

China has been working closely with other G20 members, guest countries and international organizations, which has deepened mutual understanding and enhanced the ground for co-operation. China has also held outreach dialogue with almost all United Nations member states, in particular the developing countries. We have strengthened communications with the UN General Assembly, the African Union Headquarters, the G77, the Least Developed Countries, landlocked countries and small island states, and listened widely to other parties and absorbed their views and suggestions.

G20 activities run through the whole year of China's presidency, culminating in the summit.

More than 60 events have been or will be held in 20 Chinese cities, including 23 ministerial-level meetings. So far, China has convened three sherpa meetings, three finance ministerial and central bank governors' meetings and finance and central bank deputies' meetings, and four ministerial meetings on trade, energy, employment and agriculture, respectively. Major side events, such as the Labor 20, the Think Tank 20, the Youth 20, the Women 20 and the Civil 20, were also held successfully.

This series of intense and productive works has synergized consensus to the greatest extent and paved the way for the convening of the Hangzhou summit.

This year has been a difficult one for the world economy. It has been almost 10 years since the global financial crisis. Amid the still-weak recovery, the policies of the world's major economies have clearly diverged, and trade and investment protectionism is rearing its head. Traditional growth drivers have lost momentum, and the old approach of stimulating it merely through fiscal and monetary policies has become less and less effective. The international community is in urgent need of new ideas. The International Monetary Fund has twice downgraded its outlook for global growth in 2016 to 3.1 per cent. The world is full of expectations for this year's G20 Summit - that member states will build consensus and hammer out action plans.

They also expect China to play a greater role in improving global governance and boosting the world's economic growth.

The framework and main areas of summit outcomes have taken shape and arrangements for the main events have been decided.

Hangzhou is likely to achieve nearly 30 major results, which would make it the most fruitful of all such summits. Here are but a few:

Providing a new development framework for medium-to-longterm global economic growth.

At Hangzhou, the development issue will take a prominent position within the global macropolicy framework. This will be a G20 first. We aim to steady growth in the near term by addressing the symptoms and add momentum in the long term by treating the root causes. We hope this will assist in the G20's transition from a crisis-response mechanism to one focusing on long-term governance. All parties have endorsed in principle a blueprint for innovation-driven growth, as well as action plans for innovation, a new industrial revolution and the digital economy. Parties have also agreed to strengthen trade and investment mechanisms and oppose trade protectionism of all kinds. This will enable G20 members to come together toward a common vision of opening up a new path for global growth with concrete actions and specific mechanisms.

Enhancing global economic and financial governance.

The G20 is widely recognized as the premier forum for global economic governance. With China's promotion, all parties endorsed nine priority areas and 48 guiding principles of structural reforms and passed the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance Initiative. Parties also agreed to catalyze private investment in infrastructure. The inclusive framework proposed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for global implementation of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project has been endorsed at the finance ministers' and central bank governors' meetings. The Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking, another first, was approved at the trade ministers' meeting. The G20 energy ministers' meeting adopted the G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting Beijing Communiqué, and encourages members to develop energy strategies, including renewables development, and to propose action plans. With the longstalled international financial architecture working group successfully reactivated, parties are pushing forward reforms in international economic governance, focusing on deeper integration and bigger roles for emerging markets in the international financial system.

Expanding new areas of global co-operation.

With the initiative of China and the support of all parties concerned, the G20's April sherpa meeting issued the G20's firstever presidency statement on climate change, by which parties pledged to sign the Paris Agreement and complete domestic approval procedures as early as possible. The move has been acknowledged and welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon in a special statement.

China urges parties involved to quicken the pace of domestic approval so the agreement can enter into force at an early date to contribute to international cooperation on climate change. All parties have approved high-level principles on anti-corruption, fugitive repatriation and asset recovery, agreed to set up a research centre on fugitive repatriation and asset recovery in China, and approved in principle the 2017-18 anti-corruption action plan.

Enhancing co-operation with developing countries.

As the largest developing country, it's China's due responsibility and obligation to safeguard and expand the just rights and interests of developing countries. China has invited Laos (which holds the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Chad (presidency of the African Union), Senegal (presidency of the New Partnership for Africa's Development) and two representative major developing countries, Kazakhstan and Egypt, to attend the Hangzhou summit. China is also arranging for the participation of Thailand (which holds the presidency of the G77). The Hangzhou summit will see the participation of the most developing countries in the history of G20. All parties have passed the principles of an action plan on implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and an initiative on co-operation to support industrialization of Africa and the world's least developed countries. China will encourage G20 members to help Africa and LDCs speed up industrialization, reduce poverty and pursue sustainable development.

Canada is a founding member of the G20 mechanism. Almost 20 years ago, former Canadian finance minister Paul Martin trumpeted the need for a G20 in the context of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. In 2010, Canada successfully hosted the Toronto summit, attended by Hu Jintao, then China's president. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also travel to China and participate at Hangzhou.

China and Canada are key players within the G20 group and among the world's major economies - China looks forward to continuing close co-operation and co-ordination with Canada under the framework of G20 for a fruitful summit, conveying our confidence to the world and injecting new impetus to global economic growth.

The preparatory work for Hangzhou has entered a countdown. China is ready to welcome distinguished guests from all over the world. We are confident that the summit will write a brilliant chapter in G20 history, bringing good news to the people and hope to the world.

Luo Zhaohui is Chinese ambassador to Canada.

School's in for the summer
Year-round classes - spreading time off through the year more evenly - has gained a few converts, though doubts of its benefits remain
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

BRAMPTON -- On a hot morning in August, Veer Gill, 7, and two friends are sprawled on the grass at their school playground, drawing leaves of varying sizes on plain white paper. It's part of their lesson in math - a subject most kids would dare not consider during the final weeks of summer vacation.

Good thing, then, that Veer and his friends are not on holiday.

They are among the 790 children attending Roberta Bondar Public School in Brampton, as part of an educational concept slowly gaining traction across North America. About 100 public schools in Canada have adopted year-round classes, which means students have a shorter summer break but more holidays dispersed throughout the year.

The children at Roberta Bondar have the same number of instructional days as those attending school with a traditional calendar. The hope is that if kids are away from school for shorter periods, they will retain more of what they've learned and, therefore, do better academically.

Not everyone is eager to sign on. The research is mixed as to whether an alternative timetable helps or hinders the academic performance of kids, and there is intense debate among educators and parents over how much time kids should spend in the classroom and how much they should spend free of teachers and homework.

Veer is convinced that a month off in the summer is all he needs.

He spent it taking trips to the beach and to Centre Island in Toronto. He admits to being a "little bored" at home.

"You play here, and soccer is my favourite. I like doing math and exploring. That's fun," he says. Veer goes so far as to pity kids in other schools: "I think they're going to forget everything that they learned."

His suburban school is lively as kids return the first week in August. New backpacks hang on hooks that line the hallways. Children stream in and out of classrooms, running out to play at recess and at lunch. Teachers launch right into lessons, teaching fractions and English.

It may be a humid summer day, but the school is air-conditioned - a must for a yearround learning.

Joan Hamilton, the former principal, spearheaded the Roberta Bondar initiative when the school opened its doors more than a decade ago. She believed kids struggling with their schoolwork - and those who were English-as-a-second language learners - would benefit from shorter but more frequent breaks. (Roughly 90 per cent of the students at the school are English-as-second-language learners.)

Many schools in the United States, Germany and Australia have put year-round schooling front and centre. Here in Canada, public schools in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have also rejigged their school calendars.

Roberta Bondar closes for four weeks in the summer, as opposed to two months for schools on the traditional calendar. But staff and students get three weeks off instead of two at Christmas, two weeks off for March break, a two-week break in October and a week off in February.

Advocates say the nine-week summer gap negatively affects students' achievement, especially for those from low-income households who tend not to have the same enrichment opportunities as their peers. They are more likely watching television at home than enrolled in summer camps or learning to kayak at the cottage.

But for every parent at Roberta Bondar who is happy to change up the school calendar to keep kids engaged in their lessons, there are parents who say that a shrinking summer vacation robs children of a different kind of learning experience - one that includes outdoor play.

Meagan Austin, a mother of two children, says the long summer break gives her kids a chance to "turn off." Ms. Austin, who lives in Moncton, N.B., is enjoying the last weeks of summer vacation at the family cottage in Nova Scotia.

"They are in their summer mode," she says - her children are playing outdoors, being creative and exploring. "There is so much more to life and learning than just being in a classroom."

Many teachers also like the idea of a long summer vacation after 10 months of intensive teaching and marking countless papers.

"I'm not sure that, for many teachers, two months is a long time," says Heather Smith, president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation. "It always took me at least a month just to unwind and then get ... refreshed and rejuvenated for the next year."

Carolyn Shields, a professor of educational leadership at Wayne State University in Detroit, does not buy into the argument that a long break is necessary. "Children certainly do need to play, but it should happen all the time and not just two months in the summer."

In a year-round calendar, kids will still be able to enjoy trips to the zoo or to Disneyland but, at the same time, less-advantaged kids don't suffer any learning loss. "If we believe that all children are our children in a democracy, we should be concerned about those with the least advantages," Prof. Shields says.

As for those learning gains that come with a shorter summer break, the research is positive, but not definitive. Studies show that learning for all students slides in the summer, but disadvantaged students regress more than average. The effect of yearround schooling, however, has been fairly minor. Some observers say that it could be because year-round schooling has the same number of school days as the regular calendar.

A few years ago, when Peel District School Board compared the Grade 6 academic results of Roberta Bondar students to a school with a similar population on the traditional calendar, officials found no difference in marks. In the end families at Roberta Bondar like the shortened breaks, Poleen Grewal, superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the school board, says. It's enticing given that many working parents struggle to schedule two months of camps and vacations for children out of school.

"I think parents appreciate the flexibility," Ms. Grewal says. "I think they do buy into the thinking that two months is too long."

Staff joke about being able to book cheap holidays in October, but really, says principal Sheryl Johnston, students and teachers need breaks throughout the year rather than just one long twomonth stretch. "There is an impact of having frequent breaks on staff - and student-wellness. If you have a holiday to look forward to, it's more positive - and it's coming more frequently."

In the first week of school, Grade 8 teacher Jennifer Niven and her class have read The Giving Tree and are creating an abstract art project. In another classroom, Grades 2 and 3 teacher Sarah Downes is teaching her class about measuring, counting and patterns.

The teachers say they don't spend much time reviewing material from the previous year.

There is little need to do so because the students haven't been away for too long. Instead, they launch right into the curriculum.

"When the students are in Grade 3, they are doing Grade 3 work on Day 1," Ms. Downes says.

"We don't have to spend a month reviewing, or a week reviewing the rules of the school. Everybody remembers what they're doing."

Ms. Downes, who has also taught at a school with a traditional calendar, believes the year-round calendar helps students. "They know how to be at school, they haven't forgotten everything."

Mya Malhotra, a student in Ms. Downes' class, is happy enough to be back at school, chatting with her friends as she eats her lunch. The bonus of being at school in August: She got an early start on new school supplies, including a pencil case, backpack and lunch bag.

Mya says she spent her summer holidays visiting Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark in Niagara Falls, and watching The Secret Life of Pets.

The seven-year-old says she is both happy and sad to be back.

Happy? "Because I missed school."

Sad? "Because it was so fun on the break."

Luckily for Mya, she has a twoweek holiday just around the corner in October.

Associated Graphic

Never mind waiting for Labour Day, Jasmin Gill, Mya Malhotra, Jadon Basdeo and Veer Gill have already hit the books at Roberta Bondar Public School in Brampton.


Veer Gill, centre, appreciates having a month off in the summer. He got a 'little bored' on the traditional nine-week downtime.


In a Yellowknife bistro, 'I felt more Canadian than maybe anywhere else,' Dave Bidini writes. The northern city, he discovers, is an open book well worth reading
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

YELLOWKNIFE -- Yellowknife is small and openhearted, but it's also hard to find. You think you know what it is, but then it moves - from the darkness of a tavern teeming with North and South Slavey, Cape Bretoners, Métis, Saskatchewanians and old men from the Dehcho to the cool shadow of a Twin Otter cruising low enough above your dockside rock that you could poke it with a fork. Here's a fun game: When visiting, try to describe Yellowknife to your friends on a postcard (hint: buy a lot of postcards).

Yellowknife has a main street, but no one calls it that. In fact, they call it two things: 50th Avenue and Franklin Avenue, depending on how you feel about the former British explorer and northern colonialism (spoiler alert: The Dene don't feel good, while most non-indigenous shrug as if not quite understanding the question).

The main street - or 50th or he-who-willnot-be-named - has its own naked charm, including the denizens outside the main Post Office, most of them undomiciled.

If you spend any time with them, it isn't hard to walk into a story. One afternoon at the main post office, I met two men the size of compact cars - Bear and James Thrasher, both from Tuktoyaktuk - who, like many of the city's homeless, had come to Yellowknife because of greater access to services, housing and alcohol (Tuktoyaktuk is a dry community on the shores of the Western Arctic, which I visited during my eight-week stay in the Northwest Territories).

When they found out I was going to their hamlet, Bear asked for my book so he could write down the Inuvialuktun word for "white person." I handed it to him - the hardbound writing book looked like a church pamphlet in his great hands - and his tongue curved around his lip while engraving the word on the page: kabloonak. He told me in a voice like a hammer on a drum: "Now, listen, you might hear this word, but it's not necessarily bad. It depends on how someone uses it. You got that?" I told him I did.

The main street is both a way into town and a way out of it.

Downtown has the Gold Range bar, built in 1958 by Jacob Glick and, in the beginning, the only place in town outside the government where you could place a longdistance phone call. A long narrow room lit by neon Bud signs washed over aging wood-panelled walls with rows of tables running to a small stage, the Range is like an old smoking lady - menthol darts - who never takes off her parka, holed at the elbow and with grease stains along the fringe. Still, once you start talking to her, you become drawn into the tragic wealth of her story. Like Yellowknife, and like the area around the post office, it conceals very little about itself, never pretending to be something it is not.

Next to the bar is the Gold Range Bistro, which isn't a bistro at all, but a diner owned by a cancer survivor from Truro, N.S., named Mary who, every day of her post-treatment life, waits on tables dressed in gold or silver evening wear. The bistro is filled with both Dene and non-Dene; almost too obvious a symbol for people getting along, despite one group having been here for 8,000 years, and the other for almost 100.

It was at the bistro that I felt more Canadian than maybe anywhere else, owing not to a sweeping prairie or roaring mountainside - in fact, you can't see much out of the windows of the bistro other than the street - but because we were all there together: Dogrib and Tlicho and the Chinese short-order cooks. And Mary, bringing this Southerner his eggs and coffee.

Down the 50th Avenue hill, a whole other world is revealed; an alternate world. If downtown impressed a kind of poured-concrete stability on the city - the courthouse, RCMP, and municipal and territorial government houses are all here - the hill crests alongside huge bookends of Shield granite to reveal the green-blue waters of Great Slave Lake (Tu Nedhe in Dene) and Yellowknife Bay, with Old Town on one side and the Woodyard on the other.

Old Town - with its famous Bullocks Bistro fish restaurant and the Weaver and Devore outfitter - is three sections: "The Rock" (a.k.a. Pilot's Monument), Willow Flats and Peace River Flats. I stayed at Cathy Allooloo's excellent Narwal B&B - truth be told, I stayed in a cabin on the grounds - in Peace River Flats, so I had an affinity for the area.

Most of the homes are made entirely out of wood, brick being too expensive to transport to the North. Their thorny yards and bent porches suggest a place where a bearded coot might sit in a creaking chair drinking out of a jug with three Xs across it, a shotgun leaning on his knee. You couldn't walk 20 feet without coming across a motor vehicle or fishing boat swallowed in weeds, and every property seemed to have a shed that looked like a hacking cough might send it collapsing to the ground.

That said, the closer I studied them, the more I discovered the occasional artisanal touch: woodcuts screwed to the faces of homes; little hand-painted gnomes, one of which wore a Quebec Nordiques sweater; and, in some instances, small glass greenhouses with plants in full bloom. For all of the sloping ruggedness of the land and the perpetual shade cast by the rising chunks of Shield, it appeared as if the coots were going soft in their dotage.

If downtown was newish, Old Town was, well, old. It was easy to further this sense through the Woodyard, a small area of ungoverned shacks tight to the shoreline and home to the original mining settlements of the 1930s.

Just off the shoreline were the first of the 30 or so houseboats floating - also ungoverned, and also independent - in their own aquatic community. The houseboats are lived in year-round, frozen in place by the ice, and use water pumps and solar panel generators as well as peat moss honey buckets in an approximation of normal living, although that's not the goal of the community.

Because life on the water is a summertime concern as much as it is a wintertime effort, there are too many plates spinning to affect a West Coast idyll about the whole arrangement, even though that's part of it: swimming in the bay off the dock most mornings, paddling to the shore for supplies and fishing in the fish-lousy waters, to say nothing of salsa or barge parties during the solstice, or simply floating downwind in a small fishing boat, which is what I did last month with one of the original houseboaters, the Icarus's Matthew Gorgono.

I also spent time on Wade Carpenter's houseboat, who generates 80 per cent of his energy through solar panelling and whose wrap-around deck allowed us to sit outside, drink beer, have dinner and watch float planes coloured butterscotch and mint green cruise through the neighbourhood's aerodome.

Some people who spend time in Yellowknife rarely get any farther than the Gold Range or the Black Knight Pub or the fine visitors centre and the excellent Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, but here's another game: Just start walking. The cosmetic is that the undomiciled are a dissuading presence, but some of the greatest conversations I had were with Yellowknife's homeless. This is to say nothing of the indigenous men and women who are woven into life here, much more so than in most Canadian cities and towns.

Yellowknife is an open book. You don't have to start at the beginning. Just start.

Associated Graphic

The blue water of Yellowknife Bay - home to a small community of about 30 houseboats - provides a stark contrast to the concrete buildings of downtown.


Yellowknife Bay, seen above from a nearby hilltop on June 23 and left, seen from the water, is a whole other world down the 50th Avenue hill. Houseboats, floating just off the shoreline, ungoverned and independent, are lived in year-round, frozen in place by the ice.


Labour Party could fall to Momentum
The political movement, which backs Corbyn's leftist vision, is alienating Blairites - but its proponents don't seem to care
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

LONDON -- James Schneider takes a drag on his cigarette, shakes his head slowly and explains why he and his political organization are not thugs.

"It's the oldest trick of power in the book, to equate democracy with the mob, to say that people having power is unruly and dangerous in some way," he said, dismissing critics who say he is a Trotskyite radical out to destroy Britain's 116-year-old Labour Party through bully tactics. "There's abuse and intimidation, which is absolutely wrong. There's democratic accountability and debate, which is the very core of what democracy is about."

Mr. Schneider, 29, hardly seems capable of violence. He comes from a wealthy family in London, studied theology at Oxford University and founded an online magazine dedicated to covering development issues in Africa.

But in less than a year, he has helped create a political movement that is shaking the foundation of the Labour Party and could lead to its disintegration.

The group, called Momentum, has swept across the country on a scale unheard of in Britain. Like the Bernie Sanders phenomenon in the United States, Momentum is a collection of young leftists rallying around an old political warrior, 67-year-old Jeremy Corbyn, who they see as a true socialist.

This summer, Momentum has mobilized more than 100,000 people to help re-elect Mr. Corbyn as the Labour Leader and face down an internal battle that has seen 172 of the party's 232 Members of Parliament call for Mr. Corbyn to quit, saying he's too left wing to win a general election.

The dissident MPs forced the leadership vote even though Mr.

Corbyn was elected Leader last September, coming out of nowhere to win 59.5 per cent of support among party members. One of the recalcitrant MPs, Owen Smith, is now running against Mr. Corbyn and the campaign has turned bitter, with allegations of intimidation, violence and death threats coming from both sides.

Most in the party's establishment are backing Mr. Smith, including former leader Ed Miliband, but they are no match for Momentum's organizational abilities, and many experts say Mr.

Corbyn will easily win re-election when balloting of members finishes on Sept. 24. If that happens, the party's caucus could split, with the majority of MPs breaking away to form another party.

Momentum is already transforming Labour. This month it helped Mr. Corbyn's allies win control of the party's executive committee, pushing out several long-time veterans. And when the party allowed people to sign up as "registered supporters" to vote in the leadership race, around 183,000 joined in two days, with most coming from Momentum. In one year, the Labour Party's membership has more than doubled to 540,000.

Mr. Schneider calls the organization "the biggest grass-roots movement in Britain for a generation" and he adds: "What we're trying to do is show what an activist and participatory Labour-oriented campaigning organization can do."

And it isn't stopping with reelecting Mr. Corbyn. Mr. Schneider says the group plans to become a powerhouse in local ridings, working to change the way campaigns are conducted.

Some say it has also threatened to challenge the MPs who opposed Mr. Corbyn, by organizing riding associations to nominate new candidates.

The group's growing power has rattled party brass and long-time MPs who haven't faced nomination battles. Deputy leader Tom Watson has raised fears that some Momentum members are "Trotsky entryists" bent on revolutionary socialism who are not "remotely interested in winning elections." Others have complained about intimidation by Momentum members, and many worry that the party is revisiting divisions that surfaced in the 1980s, when a faction of members left to form the Social Democratic Party, which eventually merged with the Liberal Party.

Mr. Schneider played down talk of nomination battles, saying Momentum doesn't engage in intimidation and investigates all complaints. He added that if Mr. Corbyn wins, the dissidents should embrace the change.

"This is not a kind of extremist takeover of the party they love but a huge burst of new energy into it. It's something that should be worked with and empowered," he said.

For people such as Jeanette Murphy, Mr. Corbyn is a breath of fresh air. She had never been involved in politics but joined the Labour Party last year to back Mr. Corbyn. "He's different," she said. "He thinks of the little people, and no one else does."

And she could care less if the dissident MPs leave the party.

"We could actually lose 172 MPs because there are beautiful people out there who will stand for Mr. Corbyn."

Ms. Murphy was among 2,000 Corbyn supporters who packed a theatre in Salford, England, last month for the launch of his leadership campaign. The event, organized by Momentum, was more like a socialist love-in, with a range of speakers extolling the virtues of Marx and referring to those in the crowd as comrades.

When Mr. Corbyn took the podium, he talked about social justice and promised a new kind of politics. "We have to, and we will do, politics and economics differently," he said. He has promised to nationalize railways, create one million jobs, abolish university tuition fees and set up a government-run National Investment Bank that will support £500-billion ($844-billion) worth of investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and new industries.

While the event was decidedly low-tech (a computer link to gatherings in 10 other cities repeatedly failed) and Mr. Corbyn is hardly a dynamic speaker, the crowd treated him like a rock star. They chanted, cheered and wouldn't let him leave the auditorium before signing dozens of autographs and posing for pictures.

"He represents our views," Zsazsa Noszkay said. "Things that have been neglected for so long in British politics, he's got people talking about them again."

Like many at the campaign rally, Mr. Schneider came to the Labour Party because of Mr. Corbyn. He'd never even voted for Labour before and had not considered himself politically active until after the 2015 general election, which was won by the Conservatives. Mr. Schneider, who voted for the Green Party, was so disenchanted with the results that he joined Labour and volunteered for Mr. Corbyn's leadership bid.

He didn't expect the race to last, and everyone considered Mr. Corbyn a long shot. First elected in 1983, he had never held a senior party position and had been relegated to the sidelines as the party moved toward the centre under leaders Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Mr. Miliband. But two straight election defeats, disenchantment over the financial crisis and growing anger over Mr. Blair's decision to join the Iraq War had opened the door to Mr. Corbyn's message.

When Mr. Corbyn stunned the party by winning, Mr. Schneider and others created Momentum as a social movement. They want to tear down the bureaucracy within Labour and encourage more local activism. "The idea was to carry that forward, both to continue to argue for the things that Corbyn had won on within the party, but also campaign and organize on those issues in the country," he said.

He added that Momentum has attracted old stalwarts who left Labour because of the Iraq War, and thousands of young people have been turned on by a politician they see as honest and straightforward.

That's what brought Jo Bird back. She quit the party in 2003 over the Iraq War and rejoined recently to back Momentum and Mr. Corbyn, who opposed the war. For her, Mr. Corbyn and Momentum are already making a difference, and most Labour MPs focus too much attention on winning elections.

"Being in power is not the thing itself," said Ms. Bird, a co-operative business consultant based in Derry, Northern Ireland. "It's changing policy that's the thing."

And as for the MPs and other party officials opposed to Mr. Corbyn, she said, "I think the Labour Party is in the process of splitting and the sooner they get out of the way the better."

Associated Graphic

Britain's beleaguered Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, seen Tuesday, is the beneficiary of a strong groundswell of support from a controversial group within his party that has called itself Momentum and has been accused of bully tactics.


Model citizens
With a cross-country 3-D art project heading to the new Simons location in Ottawa this fall, artist Douglas Coupland aims to create a new kind of societal snapshot with the Canadian retailer
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L4

As many ponder retail's future, Quebec-based brand Simons is pushing the boundaries of what a bricks-and-mortar space can offer. With stores now in seven cities across Canada, CEO Peter Simons has collaborated with Vancouver artist Douglas Coupland and 3-D-printing expert John Biehler on a mega portraiture project. 3-D Canada is a cross-country effort that began at the Simons store in Quebec City last summer and is making its way across the country, with its next stop at the newly opened Rideau Centre location in Ottawa on Oct. 29. Simons is hosting 3-D scanning and printing booths in its stores in an effort to immortalize customers; the project will culminate in some 1,500 busts that will be showcased in 2019 at Simons's forthcoming Yorkdale location in Toronto. I spoke with Coupland, a multi-media innovator who was named to the Order of Canada in 2013, about the ambitious project, what it means to Canadians, and picked up his advice on how to safeguard ourselves from what the future may hold.

I can understand why your collaboration with Simons has been inspiring. Peter Simons is quite a visionary himself, and has a great appreciation of art.

Simons commissioned a big sculpture from me for the store they opened in West Vancouver, not far from where I live. Peter was in the studio and noticed a 3-D printer in the corner and wanted to know how it worked.

"You scan them and print them out," I said. "So this is basically the future of portraiture isn't it?" he asked. I said, "Yes, it is." You have to remember that within a year and a half or two years, all the iPhones and androids are going to have built-in scanners and pretty good ones at that. So every teenager on earth is going to have a scanner and the price of printers is collapsing. We're about to enter this new universe that everyone is calling the phygital - the physical and digital - and I think Peter just thought, "Okay, what is this new universe? What does it look like? Lets get Simons in on it." That kind of patron doesn't come around too often.

We're shopping in such different ways now. How do you feel about modern retail? And what do you think your project might do for the in-store customer experience?

I think if you want to succeed in any kind of retail store, it has to have a touch of Christmas morning to it. There has to be that feeling of, "Ooh! What will I fi nd at the bottom of the stairs?" That's the sort of magic that retailers really need to stoke the fi res with. When we did these scans in the store - we did some publicity beforehand - the fi rst people in the door were from 70 to 80. And they're like, "I don't know what a scan is but I want one!" And you get families saying, "Wow, this is my chance to get entire family portraits done!" But other people come in and they're just very curious. I think for almost every person we've done, this is their fi rst exposure to 3-D printing. In 2090, I want people to be saying, "I remember the fi rst time I saw a scanner and it was at Simons in 2016 and I knew that it was the future."

I imagine that everyone's going to want in on this. What has the reaction been like so far?

Because of the time it takes to do the scans, we really are limited to about 150 people per event. There was one in Vancouver and this kid was crying [because] we ran out of time and he wasn't going to be able to do it, so we snuck him in the line. You can just see it in their eyes... like, "I want to be part of this!" By the way, what we have found is that people with cool hair are lot more fun to scan and print out. We're trying to fi nd someone with a mohawk. Not many people have mohawks anymore.

With technology developing as quickly as it is, are you worried that this may seem old-fashioned before the project is all said and done?

I thought of that. Even since we began the project, the software's gotten better, the machines have gotten better, the fi lament used to print is more durable and sophisticated. Maybe in 20 years we'll look back on this and say, Wow, these people had these machines and all they did was make heads and wedding toppers. They didn't realize that you could do blank with it, or whatever. I think it's going to be an absolutely perfect snapshot of Canada at this exact moment in history.

You're always pushing boundaries. Do you ever scare yourself by the trails that you blaze?

What I've learned is that it gets harder to bring new people into your life as you get older. And I fi nd that unless I keep doing new projects in different realms, life gets very static, very quickly. Basically the happiest year of my life was third-year art school and I've tried to model my life after that one year. But it never works.

Why was that such a happy year for you?

I had my own studio in a woodworking shop, I did the school newspaper, I was on the student society and every part of my brain was being used. It was a great experience. I want to use all my brain while I still have it. I want to continue being curious about everything in the world.

You're really one of the few artists in this country who has managed to remain true to himself and have a commercially viable career. What would you say to other artists who wish they could do the same?

I wouldn't limit it to just artists - I'd say for everybody - the question I get most is: How do I vaccinate myself against the future?

Like, who knows what they're going to invent next week, next year, five years from now. How do I not end up being roadkill in all of this? The answer to that is, figure out what it is that you actually enjoy doing - making pancakes, making shoes, chopping tree branches - and that's what you should be doing.

Because it doesn't matter what kind of technology they come up with, you're always going to enjoy what you're doing with it.

Money doesn't buy you happiness. It buys you freedom to a certain point but after that it's not necessarily the best thing.

Just lock into what it is that you love doing. I think fascination will keep you safe in the future, no matter what the future is.

Do you think it's a good time for this country and its culture?

I am of the belief that right now is always the best time to be alive. I think we're going to look back and see that 2016 was a real high-water mark in Canadian history. We made some difficult choices, but we followed through on them. People look at Canada and think, Well at least someone's got it right. It's just a vitality and a sense of freedom in the air that doesn't exist anywhere else on Earth. And being Canadian now is not about being a version of American or being colonial. We know who we are and we know what we stand for, and that's so exciting.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

THE ART OF RETAIL Vancouver-based artist Douglas Coupland is travelling across the country visiting Simons stores to do 3-D scans of customers that will be shown in an installation in 2019. "I think it's going to be an absolutely perfect snapshot of Canada at this exact moment in history," Coupland says. Coupland scanning Peter Simons (top left), a scan appears on a computer screen (top right), the 3-D printer at work (above).

'But for all the care Lib had taken yesterday, she hadn't managed to uncover the mechanism of Anna O'Donnell's fraud yet, had she?' Our summer reading series continues with a preview of Emma Donoghue's new novel, The Wonder
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R12

In her dream the men were calling for tobacco, as always. Underfed, unwashed, hair crawling, botched limbs seeping through slings into stump pillows, but all their pleas were for something to fill their pipes. The men reached out to Lib as she swept down the ward.

Through the cracked windows drifted the Crimean snow, and a door kept banging, banging - "Mrs Wright!"

"Here," Lib croaked.

"A quarter past four, you asked to be waked."

This was the room above the spirit grocery, in the dead centre of Ireland. So the voice in the crack of the door had to be the maid's. Lib cleared her throat.


Once dressed she took out Notes on Nursing and let it fall open, putting her finger on a random passage. (Like that fortune-telling game Lib and her sister used to play with the Bible on dull Sundays.) Women, she read, were often more exact and careful than the stronger sex, which enabled them to avoid mistakes of inadvertence.

But for all the care Lib had taken yesterday, she hadn't managed to uncover the mechanism of Anna O'Donnell's fraud yet, had she? Sister Michael had been there all night; would she have solved the puzzle? Lib doubted it, somehow. The nun had probably sat there with eyes half-closed, clacking her beads.

Well, Lib refused to be gulled by a child of eleven. Today she'd have to be even more exact and careful, proving herself worthy of the inscription on this book.

She reread it now, Miss Nightingale's beautiful script: To Mrs Wright, who has the true nursecalling.

How the lady had frightened Lib, and not only at first meeting. Every word Miss N. pronounced rang as if from a mighty pulpit. No excuses, she'd told her raw recruits. Work hard and refuse God nothing. Do your duty while the world whirls. Don't complain, don't despair. Better to drown in the surf than stand idly on the shore.

In a private interview, she'd made the most peculiar remark.

You have one great advantage over most of your fellow nurses, Mrs Wright: You're bereft. Free of ties.

Lib had looked down at her hands. Untied. Empty.

So tell me, are you ready for this good fight? Can you throw your whole self into the breach?

Yes, she'd said, yes.

Dark, still. Only a quarter moon to light Lib along the village's single street, then a right turn down the lane, past the tilting, greenish headstones. Just as well she hadn't a superstitious bone in her body. Without moonlight she'd never have picked the correct faint path leading off to the O'Donnells' farm, because all these cabins looked like much of a muchness. A quarter to five when she tapped at the door.

No answer.

Lib didn't like to bang harder in case of disturbing the family.

Brightness leaked from the door of the byre, off to her right. Ah, the women had to be milking. A trail of melody: Was one of them singing to the cows? Not a hymn this time, but the kind of plaintive ballad that set Lib's teeth on edge.

But Heaven's own light shone in her eyes, She was too good for me, And an angel claimed her for his own, And took her from Lough Ree.

Lib pushed the front door of the cabin and the upper half gave way.

Firelight blazed in the empty kitchen. Something stirring in the corner: a rat? Her year in the foul rooms of Scutari had hardened Lib to vermin. She fumbled for the latch to open the lower half of the door. She crossed and bent to look through the barred base of the dresser.

She met the beady eye of a chicken. A dozen or so birds, in behind the first, started up their soft complaint. Shut in to save them from the foxes, Lib supposed.

She spotted a new laid egg.

Something occurred to her: Perhaps Anna O'Donnell sucked them in the night and ate the shells, leaving no trace?

Stepping back, Lib almost tripped on something white. A saucer, rim poking out from beneath the dresser. How could the slavey have been so careless? When Lib picked it up, liquid sloshed in her hand, soaking her cuff. She hissed and carried the saucer over to the table.

Only then did it register. She put her tongue to her wet hand: the unmistakeable tang of milk.

So the grand fraud was that simple? No need for the child to hunt for eggs, even, when there was a dish of milk left out for her to lap at like a dog in the dark.

Lib felt more disappointment than triumph. Exposing this hardly required a trained nurse.

It seemed this odd job was done already, and she'd be in the jaunting car on her way back to the railway station by the time the sun came up.

The door scraped open, and Lib jerked around as if it were she who had something to hide.

"Mrs. O'Donnell."

The Irishwoman mistook accusation for greeting. "Good morning to you, Mrs Wright, and I hope you got a wink of sleep?" Kitty behind her, narrow shoulders dragged down by two buckets.

Lib held up the wet saucer - chipped in two places, she noticed now. "Someone in this household has been secreting milk under the dresser."

Rosaleen O'Donnell's chapped lips parted in the beginnings of a silent laugh.

Outrage swelled in Lib's chest.

"I can only presume that your daughter's been sneaking out to drink it."

"You presume too much, then.

Sure in what farmhouse in the land does there not be a saucer of milk left out at night?" "For the little ones," said Kitty, half-smiling as if marvelling at the Englishwoman's ignorance.

"Otherwise wouldn't they take offence and cause a ruction?" "You expect me to believe that this milk is for the fairies?" demanded Lib.

Rosaleen O'Donnell folded her big-boned arms. "Believe what you like or believe nothing, ma'am. Putting out the drop of milk does no harm at least."

Lib's mind raced. Both maid and mistress just might be credulous enough for this to be the reason why the milk was under the dresser. Though that didn't mean Anna O'Donnell hadn't been sipping from the fairies' dish every night for four months.

Kitty bent to open the dresser.

"Get out with ye, now," she said with fond sternness. "Isn't the grass full of slugs?" She hustled the chickens towards the door with her skirts.

The bedroom door opened and the nun looked out. Her usual whisper: "Is anything the matter?" "Not at all," said Lib, unwilling to explain her suspicions to Sister Michael. Besides, she remembered, the two nurses weren't supposed to discuss the case.

"How was the night?" "Peaceful, thank God."

Excerpt from The Wonder by Emma Donoghue © 2016. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.


This excerpt introduces us to Lib, a nurse who seems to have been hired as a debunker of some sort. What can you tell us about her?

She's one of the few dozen highly trained nurses in Britain in the 1850s, the new generation who served in the Crimean with Florence Nightingale.

Lib is apparently investigating a young girl named Anna O'Donnell. What fraud does she feel Anna is committing?

Anna's family claim that she hasn't eaten anything in four months.

You're an Irish-Canadian author best known for your historical fiction, but I believe this is the first historical novel you've written that's set in Ireland. What was it about this setting, and era, that interested you?

I wanted to write a fictional story about the phenomenon of the "fasting girls" - about 50 cases from all over the western world in the sixteenth through to the twentieth centuries.

As an Irishwoman, I immediately thought of putting a case of refusal to eat in the resonant context of the aftermath of our Great Famine.

Associated Graphic


Seeing women excel in tough sports may change kids' ideas about what it means to be strong
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A6

RIO DE JANEIRO -- On the third night of the Summer Games, my kids came bursting in the door of our house in Rio. They had been at a stadium in the outer reaches of the city with their father, to watch the finals in the women's Olympic Rugby Sevens tournament.

"Mom, Mom, Canada won a medal, we won, we got the bronze," my daughter, Lizalou, 6, said all in one squashed-up, breathless sentence. "And I got to see Jen Kish!"

As I settled in to hear the blowby-blow of the match, I had a moment of silent gratitude.

Whatever the legacy of these Olympics turns out to be for Rio, the experience of watching women of all nationalities and sizes achieve extraordinary feats has given my children new ways to think about gender and sports and what it means to be strong.

When Lizalou was born, we lived in India, and when she was 3, we moved to Rio. She spent a year at an Indian preschool, and when we got here, we enrolled her at a Brazilian school. There were lovely aspects to both of these educational experiences - we joined her class to make little clay diya, or lamps, for Diwali in Delhi, and we dressed up for a family Carnaval party in Rio. But our life overseas also meant that our children were exposed to ideas about gender, and how boys and girls are different, that we would not have chosen for them. And one of the most difficult things for my partner, Meril, and me has been the way Brazil treats girl and sports.

My daughter's friends who are boys all play soccer. The ones who are girls take ballet, gymnastics and cheerleading. Not one girl is on a soccer team, or in a beach volleyball league. At school recess each day, the boys play soccer and the girls ... do each other's hair. The school held a track-and-field day in honour of the Olympics, and Lizalou racked up a staggering series of long-jump results. But there is no athletics program at the school.

Just soccer. And girls don't play.

It's not an explicit rule, but it doesn't have to be: All the kids know, and nothing would persuade Lizalou that she should venture onto the turf at lunchtime.

The schoolyard dynamic is a reflection of the larger one in Brazil. Soccer is the national obsession, and it is soccer played by men. The national women's team is one of the best in the world, but it struggles for funding and its games are never broadcast.

Back in 2015, when the team's captain, Marta da Silva, scored a goal that made her the highestscoring player in World Cup history, the news did not make the newspapers in Brazil. There was, however, front-page coverage of a friendly match played between the men's team and Honduras.

When we moved here, my soccer-mad son wanted to play in a league and we thought we would enroll both kids - but we could find only classes for boys. Finally, after our first year here, we got together with a few other expatriate parents and hired a private teacher so that our daughters could be in a co-ed football class, on the beach after school. The sight of little girls playing soccer made some Brazilians stop and stare. But after a couple of weeks, the class devolved into the boys dribbling and the girls making sandcastles. No one, not the affable teacher, not the kids, seemed able to imagine themselves into a different reality.

There is an exuberant cult of fitness in Rio that includes both men and women: The beach in the morning is full of people running, doing push-ups, shadowboxing. But the women work out in colour-co-ordinated outfits and lipstick, their long hair swinging. And the obsession with appearance starts early. When some of my daughter's five- and six-year-old Brazilian friends come for play dates, they bring a toiletries kit, so that they can be perfectly coiffed when they leave.

They wear makeup to birthday parties. I love to see Lizalou run and I relish how fast she is; she wants high heels, like the ones her friends sometimes wear, shoes that paralyze them into immobility.

Then came the Olympics. One of the surprises of these Games was the poor performance, early on, of Brazil's men's soccer team and how that sent dispirited fans into an eleventh hour embrace of the women's side. In their game, Brazilians found the football they missed - the elegant, sly game of dribbling and feints - and they belatedly embraced them, five days into the Games. (Of course, there was no small element of implied "You play like a girl" derision in this, too, as they chanted that Marta was better than the men's captain, Neymar.)

My children were twice in the stands to see Marta play in the Olympics. They saw women longjump and sprint and pole vault.

They saw women be celebrated because they were fast and they were strong. They were awestruck, in particular, by Jen Kish, the captain of Canada's rugby team: As I was prepping to cover the team, they watched videos of past games over my shoulder, fascinated by clips of Kish weaving through and over a line of defenders to slam the ball down on the try line.

At the post-medal press conference, I asked Kish and her teammates what they thought it might mean, that the first medals for Canadian women at the Games weren't for sports that women do dressed in glittery outfits, but sports in which they tackle their opponents and rip a ball from their arms. "I'm not the most feminine-looking person," Kish said with an arch raise of an eyebrow. "But I'm proud of who I am and what I've become and I think rugby has helped build that character."

Her colleague Karen Paquin chimed in. "I think it's really important that we put that image out there - that it is very cool to be strong, that it is cool to be fierce," she said. "I was never the little pretty girl, I was not good at gymnastics, I was not gracious at all. But when I went on the field of rugby, it all made sense."

Near the end of the Games, another team of tough Canadian women won the soccer bronze, defeating Marta and her team.

Afterward, I showed my children a video clip from the post-game interview with Marta. Near the end, the legendary player choked up and turned to address the camera directly.

"We managed to fill the stadiums - I think that was the biggest prize for us," she said. "Of course we wanted to climb on the podium. But the recognition, to be cheered in every place that we went, that's what we're going to take with us. Think about this, Brazilians - don't stop supporting women's football. Don't stop.

We really need you." Overcome, she turned away. It made my kids teary, too.

Marta, I think, expects that the women's football team will quickly be relegated to obscurity, especially now that the men's team has redeemed itself and won the long-coveted gold medal.

But maybe, after these two weeks of seeing women play soccer in prime time, more little girls will ask about lessons; maybe a few will break the unspoken rule and run onto the field at recess.

On the last day of the Games, Lizalou ran upstairs to get dressed in the morning and ran back down a few minutes later.

She had bypassed her usual favourites - ruffled skirts and sundresses - and put together a new outfit: athletic shorts and an old South Africa football jersey that used to be her older brother's.

It's big, on her. She'll grow into it.

Associated Graphic

A girl plays with a ball on a street in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, in 2014. Almost no girls join soccer teams in Brazil; they are far more likely to be found in ballet, gymnastics or cheerleading.


As civil war continues to rage in Syria and the Islamic State movement clings to control of territory it captured in 2014, long-time alliances and rivalries are shifting in the Middle East. Wednesday's incursion into northern Syria by Turkish tanks and infantry, backed by U.S. air support, is a case in point. Patrick Martin provides a guide to the forces at work
Thursday, August 25, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8



Turkey is a member of the U.S.led coalition against the Islamic State but, until now, its overt actions against the radical movement have been limited. Indeed, when IS fighters in 2014-15 threatened the Kurdish city of Kobani in Syria, Turkey declined to join the fight against IS forces and even shelled Kurdish positions instead. As well, IS recruits and weapons often crossed into Syria through the Turkish frontier, a situation often criticized by Washington.


The once-friendly relations between Turkey and Syria have been dashed as a result of Syria's civil war. Ankara strongly opposed the violent response by the regime of Bashar al-Assad to popular protests - anticipating the spillover effects a civil conflict would cause. Turks resent the flood of Syrian refugees they must care for, the growth of Kurdish militancy that benefited from the Syrian chaos and the spread of Shia power from Iran and Hezbollah into a widely Sunni region. For the moment, Turkey likely hopes that its incursion into Syria will stop Kurdish ambitions in northern Syria without necessarily benefiting the Assad regime.


Ankara views the militant Kur- distan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey as one of the country's greatest threats, and views the YPG (the military wing of Syria's Kurdish movement) as the off- spring of the PKK - condemning both as terrorist groups bent on establishing a Kurdish state. The YPG has taken advantage of the chaos in Syria to capture many of the communities along the border with Turkey, pushing west across the Euphrates to link up with a Kurdish enclave north of Aleppo - a move Turkey is dete mined to prevent. The YPG has condemned Wednesday's Turkish incursion as "blatant aggression in Syrian internal affairs."



For years, the Assad regime left Syrian Kurds pretty much alone and Kurds did little to push for their own state. They stayed out of Syria's civil war for the first three years and the regime let the Kurdish political movement (PYD) take control of Kurdish villages along the Turkish border. When Islamic State fighters threatened their communities in 2014, the YPG fought back and the militants partnered with other U.S.-backed groups to drive IS forces out of the area, giving control increasingly to the Kurds. Earlier this month, regime forces attacked the YPG for the first time, signalling that the Kurds had gone far enough.


Historic enmity between the two countries surfaced in November, 2015, when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that had been attacking Turkmen Syrian rebels near the Syrian-Turkish border. Russia is helping defend the Assad regime, much to Ankara's disapproval, at least until recently. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to restore friendly relations with Moscow - sending a letter of apology to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the downing of the warplane, and visiting Russia earlier this month. It is likely that Ankara also will re-evaluate its attitude toward the Russian-backed Syrian regime.


Long-standing allies in NATO, Turkey allowed the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State the use of Turkish airfields. But Mr. Erdogan was disappointed the United States did little to remove the Assad regime in Damascus, and that it supported the Kurdish YPG in Syria. However, U.S. support for Turkey's incursion into Syria on Wednesday changes things. Washington continues to view the YPG as an ally against IS, but agrees with Ankara that YPG forces must remain east of the Euphrates. Turkey and the United States continue to disagree about the possible extradition of a Turkish religious figure alleged to be the mastermind behind an attempted coup in July.


The Kurds in both Iraq and Syria have been among the most effective in combatting Islamic State fighters. In Iraq, they have won back all the territory they lost in 2014 and are closing in on Mosul. In Syria, they successfully defended their main communities, such as Kobani, and now, having partnered with other U.S.-backed forces, they have pushed IS fighters out of areas west of the Euphrates, such as Manbij, which they took in heavy fighting this summer.


Washington has come to view the Syrian Kurds of the YPG as the best fighters in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that are battling the Islamic State. With U.S. support, the SDF pushed IS fighters back from Manbij, west of the Euphrates. The victory, however, upset Turkey, which fears Kurds will come to control the border area with Turkey. This triggered Turkey's incursion into Syria Wednesday and led U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden to tell the Kurds they must return to the other side of the Euphrates River, a move that incensed the YPG.


The Islamic State, a radical Sunni movement, views Alawites such as the Assads as apostates and seeks to overturn their hold on power and to build an Islamic caliphate. Backed by money from the Gulf and armed with recruits and weapons from all over the world, the group succeeded quickly in capturing 35 per cent of Syrian territory, mostly in the east and north of the country. Regime forces, focusing on other rebel fighters, have largely left the fight against IS forces to the U.S.-led coalition and the Kurds, until now.


The Syrian regime was exhausted and vulnerable in the fall of 2015, when Russia came to the rescue. Its deployment of heavy bombers and agile helicopter gunships provided a respite to pro-regime troops. Russia views Damascus as an long-time ally and a client worth saving, and sees its best opportunity for influence in the region in backing the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah side of the regional divide. Like the United States, the Putin administration also views the Islamic State with horror and wants the group to meet its end in Syria.



Washington considers the eradication of the Islamic State to be the No. 1 job in Syria and Iraq and assembled a coalition of 40 countries to wage an air war against IS fighters. The coalition provides air support to local militias battling IS forces and Washington has deployed U.S. Special Forces to train fighters on the ground in Syria. The United States' aversion to IS has brought it into a subtle partnership with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and with Russia, an important defender of the Assad regime, in Syria.


Ostensibly backing opposing sides in Syria's civil war - Russia is helping defend the Assad regime and the United States backs rebel groups opposing the regime - the two countries find common ground in their opposition to the Islamic State. They have drafted an agreement on how to proceed jointly against IS forces, though some in Washington view it as too helpful to Damascus. Russia expressed concern Wednesday about the U.S.backed Turkish incursion into northern Syria.


While the Obama administration was quick to condemn the Assad regime at the outset of the Syrian civil war and to call for the Syrian leader's resignation, Washington has done little to make that happen. Wary of putting boots on the ground, or of backing the wrong kind of rebel forces, the United States has primarily limited its efforts to combatting Islamic State fighters from the air and to working with Russia in vain attempts to find a political solution.

Associated Graphic

Smoke billows following air strikes on the town of Jarablus on Wednesday. Turkey sent forces into northern Syria in a major plunge into the conflict, which then enabled Syrian rebels to capture the town. Jarablus and its surroundings had been the Islamic State's last major redoubt near the Turkish border.

A Turkish army tank drives through the town of Karkamis, in the southern region of Gaziantep Province, en route to the Turkish-Syrian border on Wednesday. Turkey has signalled in recent days that it is prepared to take a more aggressive diplomatic role in Syria, working alongside Iran, Russia and the United States to seek an end to the war.

Tyranny of the bland
In Vancouver these days brash new design causes a stir, but styrofoam-clad mega-mansions pass unnoticed
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S5

Tony Robins' black steel cube and glass house at 3691 Point Grey Rd. incited outrage earlier this month, as it nears completion. The architect says he's received hate mail and phone calls from people who don't even live in Vancouver, including one man in the Cariboo.

"About half the phone calls and e-mails have been congratulatory. Others are awful. I've received anonymous e-mails saying, 'you're a disgusting person,' " says Mr. Robins.

Los Angeles-based Loren Dunsworth, the listing agent for the house, says she's also getting angry calls and "crazy e-mails."

She wonders if people have taken a look around at other new houses in the Lower Mainland - houses decorated with faux black marble and Roman columns.

"When people are referring to it as the ugliest house in Vancouver, that's extreme. "My parents live out in Richmond, and it's disconcerting to me when I see a house that comes all the way to the edge of the lot and they fill in the grass with cement and put stuff on the outside that looks like they couldn't decide what style they were going with - or it was a double dare."

Ms. Dunsworth says the property is owned by a Point Grey Road resident who has been a developer in Vancouver for many years. When it came onto the market, he jumped at it. He also jumped at Mr. Robins' design.

Now that he's decided to sell it instead of live in it, it's become a highly unique spec house.

"I think there's such a huge real estate mark-up happening," says Mr. Robins. "But it is very rare. Usually I design a house and the person moves in."

Mr. Robins has designed many houses, won several awards and teaches architecture. Most will know his Boathouse Restaurant in Kitsilano, which was also the subject of controversy before it became widely praised.

Ms. Dunsworth says she's had "a ton of interest," in the cube house and "most of it has been local." Already, she's had 25 parties view the house, and it isn't even listed yet. She plans to list it for between $8.5-million and $10-million, and market it in Los Angeles as well.

Once the house is landscaped with a Japanese-style garden complete with a reflection pond surrounding the house, she says the house will be striking. The main floor is all glass, and the upper floors are flooded in natural daylight from a huge skylight. There is a glass elevator to a four-car garage.

What's more unusual than the house is the extreme public reaction to an original modern design that is tucked away in a quiet enclave of opulent waterfront homes. Meanwhile, the trend for far more confusing design is transforming the look of the entire city. Also, the Robins' house is only 2,280 square feet, which is modest compared to the massive new houses. And it isn't covered in unsustainable Styrofoam-type cladding and plastics such as so many of the new homes.

"I'm living in an area where almost every house around me has been changed to a new home," says Mr. Robins. "The houses I love in Vancouver are the old turn-of-the-centuryto-1920s-traditional-CarpenterGothic, however you call them.

"I love those, and I also love the [designs of] half a dozen architects doing really interesting new ones.

"I walk around with my eyes shut. It's all an offence to me, really," says Mr. Robins. "It seems driven by developers who think they know what the market is.

There is the French colonial look, the very large house with tall columns, whatever that is meant to be. Fake style, fake materials. People think houses can be made very cheaply and it's essentially fine, but it's not. If you look at houses in a place like Switzerland, they probably have a 100-year life span and are beautifully made for longevity.

Here, it's slapping it up to sell."

Architect and former senior heritage planner Robert Lemon has been going past the Robins' house regularly, and he applauds the bold design.

"I have kudos for whoever at city hall approved that, because it's the kind of thing the city should be encouraging - interesting new approaches to housing for the 21st century," says Mr. Lemon. "Craftsman houses were modern houses of the day. They were popular and fashionable at the time. But instead of encouraging something that reflects the 21st century, we tend to get these hybrid clumsy buildings that really speak to no era at all.

There's no reason we should be building a copy of a Tudor revival or craftsman house. It's ridiculous."

The problem is, the city guidelines encourage conservative house design, says Mr. Lemon, who used to work at the city.

He'd rather see the city downzone single-family house zoning so that if someone does tear down a fine old house, they can only replace it with a higher density dwelling. But the opposite is happening.

They're building bigger, inferior houses.

"We're struggling in creating new buildings and the irony is every new building replaces just one other building. We're not increasing density at all - just changing one house for another.

It's certainly anti-green and unsustainable. We need to have a serious increase in density if we are going to accept losing an old house - because the old house was better than what is getting built."

Historian and author Michael Kluckner has been mildly critical of the Robins' cube as fostering an inward, anti-neighbour vibe, comparing it to all the homes around the city with their blinds and curtains drawn 24/7.

"When you hear people talk about Tony Robins' house as being a pure form, and thing of beauty, I think, 'sure, but it's also a reflection of a way that a family at that socio-economic level wants to live.' " He adds: "The refreshing thing about the Robins' house is that it isn't yet another neo-traditional mansion.

At least it's different."

Mr. Kluckner believes we are in another boom-bust cycle like Vancouver experienced prior to the First World War. British immigrants showed off their wealth with big craftsman houses that they occupied for a couple of decades. Those houses eventually got turned into rooming houses as the wealth subsided. This current wealth cycle is completely out of whack because they're even bigger and only semi-occupied. And there isn't enough space for that kind of housing use.

"The curiosity now is the city is effectively built out. There isn't vacant property here, but we have a flood of international money coming in that builds stuff that doesn't seem to fit with people's lifestyles.

"It's lose-lose. If you're saying we are going to tear down all these cute little character houses and replace them with small apartment buildings and bungalow courts, or stacked townhouses, or any form of housing that would provide variety and more density, I would say, 'let's look at that - that's going in a direction of a real neighbourhood building for contemporary Vancouverites.' But instead, we're just getting another generation of crazy houses."

As for Mr. Robins, he is confident his unusual sculptural house will sell to an appreciative buyer. At first, he thought the buyer would be someone that just wants the four-car garage, but he's feeling more optimistic.

"It would be sad to be lived in two weeks a year, but I can't worry about that really.

"I think with all my houses there may be a reduced market, but a strongly interested market.

It's like buying an Italian sports car - there are fewer people, but they are fanatic."

Associated Graphic

Old Vancouver homes, such as the one at 3815 West 39th Ave., top, are being torn down and replaced with generic mansions. Infill homes that take design risks, such as Tony Robins' Cube House, above, face a backlash.


Outsiders trying to rescue heritage
Kabane77 and Les Forges de Montréal are taking initiative - and running afoul of the bureaucracy
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R3

MONTREAL -- For decades, no one paid much attention to the disused industrial hangar rusting near a raillands overpass in Montreal's Mile End district. Four years ago, it became noticeable again, when a collective of artists and community activists began cleaning it up and reinventing it as an arts and community space called Kabane77.

Artists are often the first rescuers of unwanted buildings, and the reluctant vanguard for gentrification. But the Kabane77 collective had neither title nor lease to the building at 77 Bernard Est, which is ostensibly why, last week, the borough of Le PlateauMont-Royal dispatched city workers to board the place up and destroy some of the furniture the collective had installed outside.

But behind the city's apparently straightforward defence against squatting, many other issues are in play at Kabane77. The site has become a fascinating demonstration of the disruptive power of bottom-up urban development, in a borough known for its progressive urbanism.

Gentrification was already well under way in Mile End when a handful of film workers developed the idea of Kabane77. A new economic base in software development was forming around the huge video-game company Ubisoft, installed in several large buildings nearby. The borough was brokering mixed-use developments such as Pied Carré, which included more than 20,000 square metres of what were supposed to be affordable spaces for artists.

The Kabane77 collective, which has no spokesperson or board of directors, had a different goal in mind: a cultural space controlled by everyone who uses it. They were inspired by places such as Geneva's L'Usine, a self-governing cultural space that includes 18 different groups and collectives working in numerous art forms, and which for the past 30 years has run with no hierarchy and no corporate sponsorships.

"We have many spaces that are organized from the top down, that are well-renovated and secure, and that people don't use," said one Kabane77 member, who asked not to be named out of respect for the group. "We call those places the hospitals of culture. What interests us is a new model of collective creativity, not just working away in our own corners but making something together."

The 66-year-old industrial building stands in an evolving "green corridor" bordered at one end by Lhasa de Sela Park, and at the other by Le Champ des Possibles ("the field of possibilities"), an open wild space that is owned by the city but controlled by a not-for-profit group. Kabane77 could help animate this green corridor, said its members, and sometimes act as a shelter or covered bridge, with its broad delivery doors open at both ends.

The collective's members include architects, experimental filmmakers, woodworkers, printers and artists who can't afford the rents at Pied Carré. Its numerous allies in the cultural community include Casa del Popolo, a performance venue in Le Plateau; Centre Clark, an exhibition space near Le Champ des Possibles; and the Cinémathèque Québécoise.

Kabane77 has no interior pillars, which makes it good for projection of the films that might in the past have shown at Excentris, the indie film centre that closed last winter. The collective has hosted about a dozen public screenings, as well as magazine launches, film shoots, cinema workshops for kids, and opendoor meetings at a big wooden table it built for the purpose. (Interestingly, the borough did not destroy that symbol of community consultation.) For each event, the collective successfully applied for a temporary permit to use the space. It also pitched a plan for more continuous occupation, on a self-sustaining, self-governing basis.

"We made a presentation to the city, and they said that it was a good project, but that there was no possibility for autonomous initiative," one member said. Richard Ryan, a Mile End city councillor much involved in Pied Carré, told them that the site was dangerous and that they were not following the rules, the member said.

A spokesperson for Ryan's party office at Projet Montréal, which controls the borough council, confirmed that the councillor was responsible for the file, but said he was unavailable for an interview.

The city announced last spring that it wished to demolish the building, at an estimated cost of $2-million, but has aired no firm plan as to what to do after that.

An architect member of Kabane77 said it would cost less to adapt the building to cultural purposes than to destroy it. Leaving it empty would expose the city to the continuing risks and pains of owning an unoccupied building, including fire, vandalism and high insurance premiums.

One striking feature of this dispute is that the same municipal leaders who are saying no to Kabane77 are heavy promoters of one of the collective's primary goals. A Projet Montréal campaign document from 2013 spoke of the urgent need to protect creative workshops and artists' spaces.

"The city needs to show more leadership in order to protect both local and city-wide spaces for cultural and artistic expression," the document states. Calling for more leadership from the centre of municipal power doesn't seem to leave much room for initiatives from the margins.

"City officials have an ingrained desire to have power over what they believe is their domain," said Mallory C. Wilson, one of the organizers of a three-day festival called Vivre le patrimoine!, which started Thursday at Kabane77.

"It's very difficult for community groups to come in and say, 'This is what we would like to do with the space.' " There's a culture clash between organizations based on written rules and hierarchy, she said, and groups devoted to autonomous collective action. "But communities are the people for whom we're doing all this. We have to include them in the decision-making process."

Vivre le patrimoine's closing activities on Saturday take place at Le Forges de Montréal, which has experienced the administrative culture clash in a way that could be ruinous for master blacksmith Mathieu Collette. He signed a lease with the city in 2000 for an 1887 fire station wedged under the Bonaventure autoroute near the Old Port of Montreal. Collette established a self-sustaining notfor-profit smithy on the site, where he also teaches his ancient craft to others. He has invested nearly $500,000 in improvements.

The city had planned to direct a bike path near the site, and develop it as an interpretative centre for "intangible heritage," which is protected under provincial law.

But at some point, heritage functionaries disengaged from that project, and city revenue managers began poring over the details of Collette's lease. They determined he had not invested as much as stipulated, and ordered his eviction.

"The Les Forges file is not being managed by people in heritage, it's being managed by people in real estate," Wilson said. "Les Forges needs to attract the attention of the people in authority who aren't just counting dollars."

The land under the building is owned by the federal government, but an appeal to Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly has so far gone unanswered, Wilson said. From a heritage point of view, the fit between Collette and his site could not be better.

Both Kabane77 and Les Forges de Montréal are happening in endangered buildings that are part of the city's industrial history, and "industrial heritage is very overlooked by architects and urbanists," said a member of the Kabane77 group.

But the more crucial similarity in these cases may be that both were thought up by someone who didn't fit into the usual cast of players, and who was judged not to be following the rules. Maybe it's time to ask whether some rules should bend to follow needs and community initiative, instead of the other way round.

Associated Graphic

The building before renovations were completed. KABANE77

Art and activist collective Kabane77 work to renovate a disused industrial building in Montreal's Mile End district that took their group's name.


Canada lags behind in adopting safer drug for addiction treatment
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

Many provinces are making it easier for doctors to treat patients addicted to opioids with a safer but more expensive pharmaceutical therapy, an area where Canada is a laggard internationally.

Methadone is the traditional treatment in Canada for patients hooked on popular prescription opioids such as hydromorphone and fentanyl. But the provinces are coming under pressure to improve access to an alternative addiction treatment that medical experts say is much safer than methadone and could dramatically reduce overdose deaths.

Suboxone is the drug of choice in the United States and France.

While Health Canada approved it for sale in this country in 2007, the provinces have until recently viewed the drug as a second-line treatment, to be used for patients who cannot take methadone.

British Columbia - long seen as a leader in harm-reduction strategies - added Suboxone to its drug formulary as a regular benefit in October, making it a firstline treatment for opioid addiction. Provincial public drug plans pay only for medications listed on their formularies.

B.C.'s College of Physicians and Surgeons introduced changes in July that make it easier for family doctors to prescribe Suboxone or generic versions. Previously, access was limited to doctors who are allowed to prescribe methadone.

Family doctors in five other provinces - Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - are also allowed to prescribe Suboxone.

B.C. provincial health officer Perry Kendall said he hopes the changes will make it easier for people to get treatment, especially in remote areas where specialized methadone clinics are few.

"There's big disparities around the province," he said.

Dr. Kendall declared a public-health emergency in April, after a surge in overdose deaths from illicit drugs in British Columbia: 371 in the first half of this year, compared with 480 in all of 2015.

"We don't have any evidence that deaths are tapering off yet," he said.

The cost of treating addiction is rising in lockstep with mounting overdose deaths and the growing use of Suboxone, which is more expensive than methadone. The Globe and Mail has reported that spending on drugs to treat patients addicted to painkillers soared 60 per cent over a four-year period in Canada. Public drug programs spent $93-million on medications for addictions to prescription and illicit opioids in 2014, compared with $57.3-million in 2011, according to figures compiled by the Canadian Institute for Health Information for every province except Quebec.

British Columbia's drug plan spends $1,053 to $2,797 a year on Suboxone for each patient, depending on the dose, according to a Ministry of Health spokeswoman. By comparison, the province spends $118 to $710 per patient on methadone.

Suboxone is the trade name for a pill composed of buprenorphine and naloxone. It is safer than methadone because the buprenorphine curbs cravings and withdrawal symptoms and the naloxone blocks the effects of narcotics, making the product less likely to be diverted or abused.

Ontario added Suboxone to its drug formulary in 2012 for patients unable to take methadone. Since then, the number of recipients in the province's public drug program prescribed Suboxone has grown from 362 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, to 6,956 in the current fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Health. Methadone use has grown more modestly, with 29,584 recipients in fiscal 2016 compared with 25,277 in fiscal 2012.

"We clearly are seeing a shift where people are getting prescribed more and more Suboxone versus methadone," said Bernard Le Foll, medical head of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Addiction Medicine Service and leader of a national study evaluating treatments for opioid abuse.

However, methadone remains the dominant treatment because public drug plans tend to drive doctors' choices, Dr. Le Foll said.

"If one is covered by the system and another is not," he said, "de facto you are orienting people to one prescription versus another."

Although Suboxone itself is more expensive, studies in the United States have shown significant cost savings because the requirement for daily dispensing and witnessed ingestion at a clinic can be eliminated much earlier than for methadone, says a recent report from the B.C.

Centre for Excellence in HIV/ AIDS and the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse.

Evan Wood, co-director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the Centre for Excellence and an author of the report, said Canada has been relatively slow to embrace Suboxone because there are not enough doctors trained in addiction medicine who can push for new treatment options.

"Addiction medicine as a field is really still in its infancy," Dr. Wood said. The Centre for Excellence is calling for more doctors to be trained to diagnose and treat drug addiction.

Michael Franklyn, an addiction doctor in Sudbury, Ont., said treating more patients with Suboxone is a "laudable goal." While there are more methadone clinics today than a few years ago, when he often had patients who travelled 1,000 kilometres by bus from Thunder Bay to Sudbury, many First Nations communities remain without access to the drug, he said.

Only a few doctors have been able to prescribe methadone because they need authorization from Health Canada to administer it and must be associated with specialized clinics. The federal government imposed the countrywide controls in 1972 after large quantities of methadone were diverted to the illicit drug market.

Once used exclusively for people addicted to heroin, methadone is itself an opioid. Used therapeutically, the drug reduces cravings for opioids, prevents withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of other narcotics. But methadone was linked to 1 in 4 opioid deaths in British Columbia from 2004 to 2013, the Centre for Excellence report says. In Ontario, it was involved in 1 in 5 opioid deaths during the same period, according to figures from the chief coroner's office. Most of the deaths did not involve patients being treated for addiction with methadone.

The drug is also controversial as a treatment. Many medical experts believe doctors have a financial incentive to keep their patients on methadone. In British Columbia alone, physician billings for methadone maintenance program services totalled $16.8-million in fiscal 2016.

David Marsh, chief medical director of the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres, a chain of 57 clinics throughout the province, countered that doctors do not get "any kind of financial reward" for prescribing methadone rather than Suboxone.

Nevertheless, he said, there should be no restrictions on prescribing Suboxone. "It ought to be left up to the physician to decide which medication is most effective for a given patient, the same as we would for antidepressants or antibiotics," he said.

Meldon Kahan, medical director of the Substance Use Service at Women's College Hospital, said Suboxone is becoming popular because of its relative safety and its convenience. Most methadone patients make daily visits to a clinic or pharmacy, where they take the drug under supervision. Patients on Suboxone can take the drug on their own after just a short period of supervision.

Tracy Taylor, who lives in Northumberland County in Ontario, has been on Suboxone since June, 2014. Her prescription costs $1,500 a year. She pays an annual deductible of $500, and the province's Trillium Drug Program, which helps people who have high prescription drug costs relative to their household income, pays the balance.

Ms. Taylor, 53, became a patient of Dr. Kahan's in June, 2014, when she sought treatment for her addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol. She credits his "holistic" approach, including asking her about her background and lifestyle - she was caring for her elderly mother at the time - with helping her to stop using opioids and alcohol.

"I didn't want to live like this any more," said Ms. Taylor, who works full-time in landscaping.

"Dr. Kahan gave me hope."

She knew she was going to be okay, she said, when she did not crave alcohol or drugs after her mother died in November.

"She saw me sober and clean, and died knowing I was clean," Ms. Taylor said.

A Canadian homage to The Americans
The Canadians, featuring photographs from The Globe's archives, is a sort of reimagining of Robert Frank's canonical collection
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

In comparing ourselves with Americans, Canadians usually fall into two camps. One views our neighbours to the south as being very much like ourselves, more similar than different - once, of course, you strip away those differences of politics, health care, education, historical development and the like. The other camp, by contrast, sees these differences as utterly crucial to national self-identification.

And not only are Canadians different, we're better.

A new book of photographs puts these notions gently and often charmingly to the test.

Called The Canadians, it's the first release from Bone Idle Books, a recently created division of the Archive of Modern Conflict established in the early 1990s by David Thomson, chair of Thomson Reuters Corp. and The Globe and Mail.

If by chance its title rings a bell, well ... that chiming is no hallucination. The Canadians is a sort of riff on or reimagining of Robert Frank's canonical The Americans, first published in France in 1958, then in the United States a year later and now regarded as "arguably the most significant book in the entire history of photography," to quote the distinguished Canadian art writer Robert Enright.

To get the 83 black-and-white images in The Americans, Frank, who came to North America from Switzerland in 1947, spent a total of nine or 10 months driving 16,000 kilometres across 30 states, locking in more than 25,000 pictures onto 767 rolls of film. In the end, what he created was a new American iconography, of stars and bars, forever roads and TV sets, drive-ins, jukeboxes, crosses, cars and motorcycles - what Jack Kerouac, in his famous introduction to The Americans' 1959 edition, called "a sad poem [sucked] right out of America onto film, [with Frank] taking rank among the tragic poets of the world."

No one, I think, is going to wax quite as eloquent as Enright or Kerouac about The Canadians. To get its 79 black-and-white images, its creators - veteran British photography curator Roger Hargreaves and two Toronto associates, Jill Offenbeck and Stefanie Petrilli - pored over the 20,000 photographs from The Globe and Mail print archives that are soon to be housed in the Canadian Photography Institute in Ottawa.

Hargreaves and crew initially weren't using the photographs in The Americans as a kind of medium to assess, organize and choose the Canadian content they were seeing. Their concern, in fact, was to find 200 or so pictures to divide into what eventually were 12 "narrative categories" for display in an exhibition for the 2016 Contact Photography Festival in Toronto.

(Called Cutline, the exhibition ran April 30 through late June in the former press room of The Globe and Mail.)

It's important to remember that the prints the trio were perusing weren't conceived nor seen nor used as autonomous art works. Created under often onerous deadlines, their primary function was to illustrate news stories laid out on the tightly formatted pages of the daily Globe.

Nevertheless, over time, the three curators would observe how some of these all-Canadian images appeared more, well ... artful than others. One day, Hargreaves came across a picture that made him think: "Wow, that looks an exact doppelganger for one of Robert Frank's images." Soon he was seeing "another and another and another" and soon they all were "looking back through The Americans over and over again."

When Cutline opened, it included a sidecar exhibition of their finds, titled The Canadians - 28 prints in the "key" of Robert Frank, framed against a mapleleaf red background. In the meantime, plans were afoot for both a national tour and a Canadians book.

Genre-wise, The Canadians might best be described as a parody of The Americans, albeit minus the ridicule or broad comic effect associated with the term.

Certainly its trim size, look and overall presentation echo The Americans, but, interestingly, there's not a single written reference to it anywhere, neither in the characteristically perceptive and funny introduction by Douglas Coupland (who was born two years after The Americans' U.S. publication and eight before Kerouac's death) nor on the dust jacket and flaps (which are, in fact, a blank white).

This seems to presume that would-be buyers either are aware of the photographic spectre haunting The Canadians or, if they're not, the book is sufficiently attractive on its own merits as not to require any verbal tipoff.

(To my eyes, The Canadians is best appreciated with The Americans nearby, as Canadians are to Americans in the real world.)

Most of the pictures in The Canadians date to the 1950s and '60s, although there are 12 or 13 from other eras, most prominently the 1970s. This isn't a quibble as it's clear that the book's creators and designer Lauren Wickware wanted a particular aesthetic, not a historically accurate overlap with The Americans.

Yet overlaps there are - of theme, print texture, objects, character, composition, mood, gesture.

Note how, in a 1967 Fred Ross photo, the position of Ottawa mayor Charlotte Whitton's arms and body almost match that of the visitor in Frank's Yale Commencement, shot a decade earlier.

Or how the blanketed form of a dead kidnap victim in Ontario in 1963 echoes the blanketed corpses in Frank's Car Accident - Arizona. Or the contrast between the straight-to-the-horizon medians in Frank's U.S.A. 285 and the wackily positioned lines on Toronto's Commissioners Road.

Compare, too, the five tombstone-like newspaper boxes lensed by The Globe's Fred Lum in 1996 with the five equally tombstone-like gas pumps found in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

At the same time, there are at least two pronounced absences or disconnects.

While The Americans is chock full of pictures of black men and women, there's not a plainly recognizable shot of an Indian anywhere in The Canadians.

Further, in the Frank, Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, is "as common as a shadow," to quote a Couplandism, but you'll troll The Canadians' pages in vain for the Maple Leaf or the Red Ensign.

An exterior shot of the Exeter, Ont., town hall from 1966 reveals a flagpole without a flag. Perhaps, as Coupland notes, this reflects the antipathy many felt toward the Maple Leaf when it was introduced in 1965: "Every person born before 1945," he writes, "hates [it] to their grave."

Intriguingly, for all the formal correspondences between The Canadians and The Americans, the summary impressions of each book are quite different. Frank's America is a country of motion and menace, quiet desperation, tightly coiled energy, alienation, racial tension, doggedness. The country of The Canadians, by contrast, seems pokey, parochial, almost premodern, earnest and overwhelmingly white, not to mention white-bread. Even our biker gangs back then looked less like dangerous thugs than extras on the set of a Fabian flick.

It was a world, Coupland observes, in which "people were born, became teenagers and then, magically, at the age of 21, turned into chain-smoking 50year-olds with undiagnosed cancers."

The Canadians: Photographs from The Globe and Mail Archives is published by Bone Idle Books Sept. 1. The Americans remains in print. Selected images from The Canadians will be featured in a touring exhibition called Cutline, opening Oct. 21 at the new Canadian Photography Institute in the National Gallery, Ottawa.

Associated Graphic

Left: NDP hopeful David Lewis greets bus riders in 1962. Right: A 1955 image of a New Orleans trolley from Robert Frank's The Americans.


Along the new Highway 807, there's not a sign of human habitation apart from one empty lumber camp, 1966.


Families watch the entourage of President and Mrs. Kennedy pass by during their busy round of functions in Ottawa, 1961.


Former Ottawa mayor Charlotte Whitton, who refuses to recognize O Canada as the national anthem, stays seated while others stand to sing, 1967.


MP didn't shy away from controversy
One-time mayor of Saint John served as one of just two PC MPs after the Liberal sweep in the 1993 federal election
Thursday, August 25, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

Elsie Wayne was not known for political correctness. The legendary Atlantic-Canadian politician used her direct, unapologetic and often outrageous ways to get things done, especially for her beloved Saint John.

Jean Charest, who served as one of only two Progressive Conservative members of Parliament, alongside Ms. Wayne, after the Liberal sweep in the 1993 federal election, described her as the "true people's representative."

He remembers one particular House of Commons confrontation that demonstrated everything she stood for. Following a Question Period session in the late 1990s, Ms. Wayne marched across the floor of the House to take her concerns about veterans' benefits for the merchant mariners directly to Jean Chrétien, who was then prime minister. A small group of the Second World War navy veterans looked on from the gallery above.

"She bolted up and just rushed across the aisle towards Mr. Chrétien," Mr. Charest told The Globe and Mail. "I remember her poking her finger into his shoulder saying, 'Listen to me, young man.

Listen to me. You're going to have to help those young boys up there who sacrificed so much.' Going over, we were concerned that she'd get into trouble."

After years of pressure from advocates, including Ms. Wayne, the Canadian government recognized the 12,000 merchant mariners in 2000 and provided them with a $50-million compensation package.

Aside from veterans' issues, Ms. Wayne also cared deeply about Saint John, where she served as mayor from 1983 to 1993. It was just one chapter in her 27-year political career, which included a stint as interim leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party.

"She had a very deep affection for the people of Saint John and I think that translated into the support she had," Mr. Charest said. "I think her legacy as a member of Parliament will be the memory of what we hope for in those who represent us, who are able to fight injustice with zeal and determination, to change what is wrong, as she did for the men in the merchant marine."

Elsie, as she was known, died peacefully in her sleep at her Hunter Lake, N.B., home on Tuesday. She was 84 years old and a devout Baptist.

Her son Stephen Wayne said she will be remembered for her honesty, in her political life as well as her personal life.

"I don't think they've made a more honest person - male or female - on the face of the Earth, which helped her politically," he said. "There was no hidden agenda with my mother. If she had something to say, she said it."

Ms. Wayne was born Elsie Eleanore Fairweather in Shediac, N.B., on April 20, 1932, the youngest of seven children. Her father, Paxton, was a mechanic and her mother, Ada (née Estabrooks), stayed at home with their five sons and two daughters.

Ms. Wayne attended Saint John High School and went on to work as a secretary for a local church.

Her political career started at the grassroots level. It was her involvement in community flood prevention in Glen Falls, N.B., where she was living at the time, that led her to run for the Saint John city council in 1977. She served as a councillor until 1983, when she was elected the city's first female mayor.

She worked tirelessly to promote the interests of Saint John, coining it "the greatest little city in the east." Ms. Wayne loved her community, especially its former American Hockey League team the Saint John Flames, for which she was a season ticket holder.

Her devotion to the city made her one of its most popular mayors.

"They did a survey once on the 100 most popular people [in Saint John], and she tied Wayne Gretzky here," Stephen said.

Ms. Wayne did not publicly affiliate herself with a political party until she ran for the Progressive Conservatives in the 1993 federal election. Under Kim Campbell, the party suffered a devastating defeat, however, its parliamentary representation dropping from 156 seats to just two. Ms. Wayne and Mr. Charest were the only remaining PC MPs on Parliament Hill. With Mr. Charest travelling across Canada in an attempt to rebuild the party, Ms. Wayne led the charge in Ottawa.

"She certainly had not signed on for the hand she was dealt. It was like being in charge of a train wreck," Mr. Charest said. "I think of how lucky I was to have her as a partner as we undertook the rebuilding."

When Mr. Charest resigned the party's leadership in 1998, Ms. Wayne stepped in as interim leader for seven months before Joe Clark took over the post.

Ms. Wayne was a colourful character on the Hill - literally.

She was known for wearing brightly hued sweaters, especially around Christmas time. Mr. Charest said one sweater was like "a whole holiday vacation wrapped into the top of her body, reindeer and all."

Sporting one of her notorious sweaters and antlers, she crashed a Liberal Christmas party in mid-1990s. Against the advice of her staff, she took the stage and jokingly proclaimed herself "the horniest woman in the House of Commons."

"She seemed to make this kind of an annual thing. The next year, she showed up again at the Liberals' Christmas party in a blue Santa suit. She had a knack for crashing parties," said Jeff Ferguson, who worked as Ms. Wayne's executive assistant in Ottawa from 1994 to 1999.

Ms. Wayne was also known for her straight-shooting attitude and socially conservative views, which sometimes landed her in the headlines. She openly opposed abortion and in 2003 said gay Canadians who want the right to marry should "shut up."

Although Mr. Charest said Ms. Wayne probably would have denied being a feminist, he thought of her as one. Her insistence on being treated equally made her a inspiration for women in politics, including Dorothy Shephard, member of New Brunswick's legislative assembly.

"Because she was a housewife who stood up for her community and then realized the power of speaking up and the power of escalating people to that call for action, she realized that she could make a difference on so many levels," Ms. Shephard said.

"She showed all of us that it wasn't necessarily about ... having to have the most expensive and expansive education in order to get things done."

When Ms. Wayne retired from politics in 2004, she moved back to New Brunswick to live with her husband, Richard Wayne, at the home he built on Hunter Lake. She was presented with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for her work on veterans' issues in 2008 and named an honorary gunner by the 3rd Field Regiment (The Loyal Company) in New Brunswick. She also has honorary doctorate degrees from the University of New Brunswick, in Saint John; St. Thomas University, in New Brunswick; and Husson College, in Maine.

Ms. Wayne had a stroke in 2009 and suffered from slight dementia before her death. She leaves her husband, sons Daniel and Stephen Wayne, two grandchildren and one step-grandchild.

Mr. Ferguson, who will be a pallbearer at Ms. Wayne's funeral in Saint John on Saturday, said the one-of-a-kind "people's politician" can finally rest.

"She worked very hard and never ever took a break. She was always 24/7," Mr. Ferguson said.

"She can put her feet up finally, take a break and rest in peace."

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

Elsie Wayne, seen at a 1999 news conference, cared deeply about her community, calling Saint John 'the greatest little city in the east.' Her son says she will be remembered for her honesty, in both her political and personal lives.


Sumo struggles to find a home base
As wrestling culture fades in Japan, Mongolians step into the breach - but now, even that country leans to other pursuits
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A17

ULAN BATOR -- The man once known as Maenoyu Taro has lost some weight since retiring from professional sumo wrestling. Once an imposing 170 kilograms, he has slimmed down to 150, a mere 330 pounds. It's not fighting weight, but still enough to fill out a bulky suit - and plenty to command the respect of the students he is training to join him as Mongolian sumo royalty.

History suggests their chances are good.

Sumo is woven deeply into the cultural fabric of Japan, where it has been played for centuries and still, to many, commands near-religious status. But today, no one dominates sumo as the Mongolians do.

Mongolian Asashoryu was once called the Tiger Woods of sumo - "The Japanese are no good," he told an interviewer - but even that descriptor has fallen flat next to fellow Mongolian Hakuho, who has used his towering 6-foot-4 frame to rampage through what remained of Japanese nationals in sumo's record books. Last year, Hakuho felled a 44-year-old record for total tournament championships, which had been held by the legendary Taiho, with 32 wins.

Hakuho has now taken 36 championship titles, cementing the Mongolian chokehold on sumo greatness. Today, the three wrestlers who hold the "yokozuna" champion title, sumo's highest rank, are all Mongolian. A Japanese wrestler has not held the title since 2000. Only one Japanese wrestler has won a professional tournament in the past decade.

Sumo has become Mongolia's game. The sport was once fuelled by impoverished Japanese strivers. But Japan is now a wealthy nation, and many youth have little incentive to enlist for the punishing training that sumo requires. It was into this void that Mongolians leapt. Herder children possessed the requisite hunger for riches and hardiness, after enduring poverty and brutally cold winters on the grasslands in traditional round gers, also known as yurts.

They "grew up in these harsh surroundings. I think that makes them tougher, and also able to adapt to new environments," said Maenoyu Taro, whose Mongolian name is Naranbat.

But wild success on sumo's greatest stage has done surprisingly little to kindle interest in sumo in the birth country of its greatest stars. Local television audiences for sumo have shrunk, even as Hakuho racked up wins. Only a single school in Mongolia provides professional sumo instruction: Kyokushu Beya, where Naranbat is now a coach. It opened only in September.

Japanese sumo stables today count 23 professional Mongolian wrestlers. But only 15 Mongolians currently wrestle in Japanese high schools, which often act as a sumo farm league, according to numbers compiled by Naranbat. In other words, the current crop of amateurs is smaller than the number of professionals, hardly an indication of massive interest.

It's as if the top players for the New York Yankees were British - titans in a sport their own countrymen scarcely care about, said Mark Buckton, an amateur sumo wrestler turned columnist in Japan who is among the bestversed foreigners in the sport.

"There is almost no sumo in Mongolia," he said. What that likely means is that the Mongolian sumo reign, "is ending now." When the current champions retire, "there's maybe one other guy who has a chance in the future. There's just nobody below that."

Or as Naranbat puts it, "In Mongolia we are a wrestling country" - just not a sumo wrestling one. Parents send children to learn traditional Mongolian wrestling, or other forms, such as freestyle or judo.

Sumo, meanwhile, has struggled.

"There are not many amateur sumo wrestling tournaments in Mongolia," said Naranbat, who, like many Mongolians, goes by one name.

Part of the reason lies in the nature of sumo itself, which is as much a culture as a sport. "If you enter sumo, you are supposed to become sumo," said Katrina Watts, a former sumo commentator for Japanese broadcaster NHK who is president of the Australian Sumo Federation and still does stadium announcing at international competitions.

"You have to fit in, you have to learn the language and learn the culture and be part of it."

For many sumo wrestlers, that means leaving behind the culture they were born into.

The first foreign-born sumo champion, Hawaiian Chad Rowan - better known by his sumo name Akebono - became a Japanese citizen, was briefly engaged to a Japanese television personality and made a conscious effort to distance himself from his Hawaiian roots, declining offers of food and goods from home when he first joined sumo. He once said he wanted others to see him "not as a foreigner but just as a wrestler gaining promotion."

Mongolian Asashoryu bucked the trend by cultivating a badboy image. His flouting of some sumo traditions won him condemnation in Japan, but adoration at home. Hakuho, however, is a sumo wrestler with a Japanese wife who many Mongolians see as no longer one of them.

Sumo itself has sought to limit foreign influence of foreign wrestlers, with a long-standing policy limiting sumo stables to just one non-Japanese wrestler.

In Mongolia, meanwhile, some of the ingredients for sumo success are vanishing. The herder population is rapidly declining.

Once heavily nomadic, Mongolia's population is today nearly as urban as Germany.

Still, Naranbat has begun coaching sumo in hopes of keeping the flame alive at home.

Twenty students are now enrolled, after four recently left to join high-school programs in Japan. The Mongolian Sumo Association pays all of their costs.

"I hope more kids will come to the school and sumo will be developed in Mongolia," Naranbat said.

His best current prospect is Mendsaikhan, a 100-kilogram buzz-cut 18-year-old who has been sumo wrestling since the age of eight. "Asashoryu influenced a lot of kids," he said. "I want to be an amateur champion, and then go pro in Japan."

On a recent afternoon, Naranbat watched carefully as Mendsaikhan sparred with an older wrestler. They slapped and grunted as they heaved at each other. "You were a bit slow on the tachi-ai," the explosive initial charge, Naranbat counsels after Mendsaikhan gets thrown out of the ring. Then, when the student wins a bout, he encourages him to keep pushing with his head.

"It's a good technique. Use that more often," Naranbat said.

Parked outside the gym lay the kind of prizes his young charge might one day strive for: a Bentley, Hummer and Greyhoundsized RV that are the spoils of Naranbat's sumo career.

To replicate that success, Mendsaikhan is studying Japanese and trains more than four hours a day.

But even he is hedging his bets. Only half his training is in sumo. The remainder is in judo, a sport that, in Mongolia, mints real glory. In 2008, judoka Naidangiin Tuvshinbayar won Mongolia's first Olympic gold medal, instantly making him a national hero.

"Mongolia won judo in Beijing.

People know about that and send their kids to judo," Mendsaikhan said.

Judo and sumo do not occupy exclusive worlds: wrestlers trained in other disciplines can conquer sumo, too. In fact, some attribute Mongolian sumo success to the fact wrestlers such as Kyokushuzan, one of the first to become a Japanese sumo professional, began with Mongolian wrestling, and used that background to bring new techniques and concepts to sumo.

Many Mongolian children nonetheless dream of their own country's wrestling mats, rather than the sumo ring.

Even Naranbat acknowledges sumo might be better off with less Mongolian success. A few more wins by Japanese wrestlers might be good for the sport in Japan, where waning television ratings and thin tournament crowds have reflected a diminishing appeal.

"I'm worried that Mongolians are too dominant," Naranbat said. "I'm thinking if a Japanese wrestler starts really competing with these Mongolian champions, then its popularity will rise."

Associated Graphic

Mendsaikhan,18, works out at a sumo class in Ulan Bator. Declining interest suggests the sport's reign is ending in Mongolia.


Navigate the personal finance web
These websites will give you reliable, informed answers to 20 of the most common financial planning and investing questions
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B7

You have questions about investing, and the Internet has answers.

Finding them is the challenge.

So much of what you find through online searches is dated, uninformed or presented by banks and investment firms trying to sell you stuff. For reliable answers to 20 common financial planning and investing questions, check out the websites collected below.

Should I invest in a TFSA or RRSP?

This calculator ( uses six factors to determine whether you're better off putting money in a tax-free savings account or a registered retirement savings plan. Results are tailored to the province you live in and the income tax rates that apply there.

Should I pay down debt or invest?

You won't hear many investment advisers tell you to pay down debt because they only get paid when you invest. So try this simple calculator ( offered on, which is an investor education initiative of the Ontario Securities Commission.

How much tax will I pay on my investments?

Ernst & Young's 2016 personal tax calculator ( shows you the marginal rate of tax you'll pay on capital gains, dividends and regular income generated in non-registered accounts. Numbers are provided for all provinces and territories.

What's my net worth?

It's a sign that you're financially healthy if you have a strong and growing net worth, which is the amount by which your assets exceed your liabilities. This net worth calculator ( helps you itemize assets like investments and real estate as well as liabilities such as car loans and a mortgage balance.

How ready am I for retirement?

The Globe and Mail retirement readiness calculator ( ENpb) helps you find your own personal replacement ratio, which is the percentage of your working income that you'll need when you're retired. Using the calculator's budgeting template, you'll compare your current living costs with your estimated costs in retirement. Try the federal government's Canadian Retirement Income Calculator ( to see if your savings and government benefits will deliver the annual retirement income you'll need.

Is there a handy, all-purpose investment calculator?

Try the one on ( Among other things, it lets you specify your savings goal and then tells you what you'll need to do to reach it.

How can I track both the stocks and funds I own, and the ones I'm following?

Globeinvestor's portfolio tracker ( lets you keep tabs on the specific stocks and funds that you own. Provide the stock symbol, investment date, share prices, the number of shares and indicate whether you want your dividends reinvested.

The portfolio tracker takes it from there.

For casually following stocks or funds, try the Watchlist feature ( There are eight different views for the securities in a watchlist, including dividends, key ratios and performance. I have 27 different watchlists going right now.

How have stocks, bonds and commodities performed over the l-o-o-o-ng term?

The historical chart gallery on the StockCharts website goes back as far as 1900 for the Dow Jones industrial average, 1925 for the S&P 500, 1970 for gold prices and 1983 for crude oil (

For Canadian indexes and stocks, the chart views on include a "max" view that goes back as far as 1977 for the TSX. To view a visually powerful comparison of various types of investments going back to the mid-1930s, try the Big Picture graphic available on ( The two best long-term performers are U.S. stocks and Canadian stocks, respectively.

What's happening with global stocks today? groups key stock markets in the United States, Europe and Asia at the top of its homepage and shows you at a glance how they're doing. It's worth an early morning visit if you're wondering what tone overseas markets will set for the North American trading day.

What online broker should I choose?

Your bank undoubtedly has an online brokerage arm, but is it the ideal choice for you? Find out which broker best suits your needs by using three different resources. The first is my own 17th annual broker ranking (

The second is the broker reviews published on the Sparx Trading website ( and the third is a ranking done by a consulting firm called Surviscor (

Are ETFs really that cheap to own?

Exchange-traded funds are rapidly gaining traction with investor and advisers because of their low fees. Find out how low by using the data on the ETF Insight website (, where you'll find both management expense ratios and trading expense ratios (reflects the cost of trading securities held by an ETF). Add the MER and TER and you have the full cost of owning an ETF.

How can I keep track of when companies pay their dividends?

The TMX Money website, from the people who run the Toronto Stock Exchange, is testing a new dividend calendar that tracks payments on both common and preferred shares (

Where can I find a list of preferred shares?

Persistently low interest rates have generated a lot of interest in preferred shares, which offer a way to generate reliable dividend income (the share price can be volatile). The website offers an overview of the preferreds issued by Canadian companies and there are links to commentaries about particular shares.

Where can I find a list of DRIP stocks?

Dividend reinvestment plans are a zero-effort wealth builder. You simply arrange to have the dividends you receive from a company used to buy more shares at no cost. For a list of companies offering DRIPs and a primer on how DRIPs work, try the Canadian DRIP & SPP List ( SPP stands for share purchase plan, which can be a zero-cost way to acquire more shares of a company with a DRIP you participate in. Note: Brokerage firms may also be able to set up a DRIP for you.

How can I compare rates for guaranteed investment certificates?

Please, please, please do not accept the posted rate for GICs at your bank. Better rates are available if you shop around (or ask for a rate bump from your banker). Some rate comparison websites to check out are Canadian, and

It's worth noting here that some high-interest savings accounts pay rates comparable to locked-in one-year GICs. Compare rates on these accounts on the website

What effect does inflation have on my investments?

The Bank of Canada's investment calculator ( shows you how cost-of-living increases undermine your returns.

Prepare to be shocked if you invest heavily in GICs.

How do the fees I pay my adviser compare?

Globe Unlimited subscribers have access to our investment fee disclosure tool ( Tell us what fee you're paying for investment advice and we'll show you how you compare to other investors with similar-size portfolios.

Is my adviser on the up and up?

The Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella group for provincial regulators, offers a database that lets you check an adviser's disciplinary history ( and registration (

Where can I touch base with other people about personal finance?

Reddit's personal finance Canada ( page is a great place for people to ask and answer questions about all aspects of personal finance and investing.

How can I improve my financial literacy?

The Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights has put together a list of financial literacy websites (

Associated Graphic


How Hyundai plans to sell its new luxury brand: online, featuring a concierge service
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D1

VERNON, B.C. -- Don't laugh at Hyundai for creating its own luxury brand.

It's well past 30 years since the South Korean upstart debuted in Canada - longer than it took Japanese auto makers, such as Honda and Toyota, to launch Acura (in 1986) and Lexus (1989) respectively.

Meanwhile, Hyundai has had success with the Genesis name: when the badge first appeared on a large Hyundai sedan in 2009, it promptly won both the North American and Canadian Car of the Year awards. In the United States, the Genesis sedan claims the highest owner loyalty in its segment.

So let's not accuse Hyundai of trying to run before it can walk. "We've paid our dues and the time is right," says David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motors America.

More surprising is the type of luxury vehicle Genesis is launching first - a prestige sedan - and how the car will be sold in Canada: online and delivered to your home.

In today's high-five-figures luxury market where the Genesis G90 will compete, most marques sell substantially more SUVs than traditional sedans.

Still, in the automotive pecking order, large prestige sedans (read: Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS460) are the ultimate showcases of a brand's image and capability. In Hyundai's case, launching with sedans is also a matter of product-cycle timing: Hyundai doesn't have a large-SUV architecture in its lineup but it does have a large sedan - the Equus - being phased out.

A second Genesis debutant making its debut this fall, the G80, is basically a re-badge of the Gen-2 Hyundai Genesis sedan that was new in 2015. Genesis plans to add four more models over the next five years: a G70 compact sedan and coupe, plus yet-to-be-named compact and mid-size CUVs. By that time, the brand should be moving enough volume to justify dealers making the investment in stand-alone facilities.

Meanwhile, the most contentious aspect of the venture is that it will launch without a dedicated dealer network. Canadian prospects won't even be able to find Genesis cars in Hyundai dealerships, in contrast to the United States where Hyundai dealers will carry the inventory and make the sale.

Instead, in Canada, "we will focus solely on Genesis at Home, which is concierge sales," says Michael Ricciuto, director of the Genesis brand and corporate strategy. "We bring the car to you.

We'll have Genesis at Home online purchase and Genesis at Home service."

Genesis Motors Canada will own the inventory and the dealers will conduct transactions on the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) behalf. They will bring a vehicle to the customer, who will purchase through Genesis Motors Canada. Dealers will be compensated on each sale. Initially, about a dozen Hyundai dealers will participate; ultimately, by the time a network of Genesis stores is established, Ricciuto is aiming for 33.

Meanwhile, Genesis at Home will be complemented by boutique sales locations in select malls and downtown locations "It's like a hybrid between leveraging our current dealer body and having a program where the OEM sells direct," Ricciuto says.

Industry analyst Chris Travell, of Bond Brand Loyalty, notes the growth and profitability of the luxury market, but cautions: "The challenge for Hyundai is that they will be attracting customers to the brand who have never been there before. They come armed with expectations from other luxury makes and if the brand doesn't deliver, Genesis will quickly be dropped from the consideration list.

"The concierge sales strategy is an interesting development," Travell adds. "Customers don't want their time wasted and, if Genesis can get this right, it could help attract customers to the brand. There will be challenges getting this to work at the dealership level since dealers will certainly want to be compensated for their efforts but it has the potential for making the brand stand out."

A key second element of this experiment will be fixed, no-haggle, all-inclusive pricing: "One transparent price [that] eliminates all the extra charges and fees found at the dealer level, including destination and delivery charges and admin fees," Ricciuto says. "We're taking the whole negotiation out of the equation and allowing the dealer to focus on selling the brand and the car."

Bringing the dealership to the customer also meshes nicely with how Genesis plans to mark its territory as a newcomer to the luxury landscape. Using buzz-phrases such as"enlightened and humancentric" and "showing respect," Genesis stresses the buying and ownership experience - and in particular, respect for customers' time. "Time is the ultimate luxury," says Ricciuto's U.S. counterpart, Erwin Raphael.

Customers will save time in comparing tech specs for the car.

While many rivals offer numerous models, each trailing a laundry list of options - some mutually exclusive and others required in combination - the G90 choices couldn't be simpler: two models, 3.3-litre twin-turbo V-6 or 5.0-litre V-8 engine, each with all-wheel drive and standard just-about-everything.

The V-8 does add a few features over the V-6 (notably, heated-orcooled reclining back seats) but there are no options. In particular, Genesis brags about the 11 advanced active-safety features that are standard; the most included on any rival (the S-Class) is three.

In size and roominess, the G90 is a closer fit with the competition's long-wheelbase versions (if they even offer one). Rear-seat legroom is vast, comfort supreme.

Up front, a 22-way-adjustable driver's seat is standard. A 12.3inch screen is interfaced via a rotary-knob controller, though most legacy functions can also be regulated by conventional knobs and buttons.

A 450-kilometre cruise from downtown Vancouver to the Okanagan valley in V-6 models revealed that dynamically the G90 has nailed the basics. A class-appropriate blend of rush with hush, comfort with control, delivered limo-like serenity over the Coquihalla highway yet smallercar agility in the hills above the lake. A couple of reservations will bear further investigation: turbo launch lag (which may have been aggravated by altitude power loss); and occasional, surprising rear-suspension skitter over bridge expansion joints.

Prices will be revealed closer to the fall sales debut. Expect the G90 to ask significantly more than the outgoing Equus's $64,000 but substantially less than the six-figure starting prices of less-loaded name-brand competitors.

Surprisingly, Hyundai/Genesis officials say they and are not targeting any particular niche of buyer demographics, nor relying on former Hyundai-Genesis owners. They expect Genesis-thebrand to have broad appeal. More realistically, though, the G90 (and G80) should attract the same buyer that Hyundai cited when it launched the Equus in Canada: "Savvy, modern, expressive consumers with post-recession values who earn social status more by outsmarting the Joneses than by out-spending them."

The writer was a guest of the auto maker. Content was not subject to approval.


Last week's question: Four of these vehicles are being discontinued. Which lives on?

Buick Verano 7% Chrysler 200 5% Ford Edge 66% Land Rover LR2 12% Toyota Venza 9% Correct answer: Ford Edge

This week's question: Your pick as the most intriguing new or remodelled vehicle for 2017: Audi A5 Chevrolet Bolt Infiniti QX30 Lincoln Continental Genesis G90 (new list, next week)

Associated Graphic

Thirty years after Hyundai debuted in Canada, the South Korean auto maker is launching a luxury brand, Genesis, to compete with the likes of Acura and Lexus.


The Genesis G90 will be the debut model of Hyundai's new luxury brand.


The comfortable interior of the G90 comes with a 22-way adjustable seat and a 12.3-inch screen as standard.

Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

Day 1

On the board: Canada wins its first medal of the Games as the women's 4x100 relay swim team took bronze. Canada is in third for most of the race, and 16-yearold Penny Oleksiak helps hold off the Netherlands' foursome with a strong anchor leg. Oleksiak combines with Sandrine Mainville, Chantal Van Landeghem and Taylor Ruck to finish in a time of 3 minutes 32.89 seconds. Oleksiak is far from done at the Games, having qualified for the 100metre butterfly final.

Day 2

Penny's podium: For the second day in a row, Oleksiak stands on the podium at Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Aquatics Stadium, rocketing to the silver medal in the 100-metre butterfly. She also breaks her world junior mark and sets a Canadian standard by finishing in 56.46 seconds.

Day 3

Masse effect: The rise of Canada's women's swimming team continues as Kylie Masse, from La Salle, Ont., takes the bronze in the women's 100-metre backstroke.

Canada entered the Rio Olympics without a women's swimming medal since 1996. Masse gives Canada its third in as many days.

Bang the scrum: Canada's women's rugby sevens team makes history by winning the event's first-ever Olympic medal. Canada edges Britain 33-10 after losing to top-ranked Australia in the semifinal. It becomes Canada's second medal in a team sport in as many Games after the women's soccer team captured bronze four years ago in London.

Day 4

Back-to-back bronze: Divers Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito of Laval, Que., capture their second straight bronze medal in the women's 10-metre synchronized event. They appear headed for disappointment as they are fifth heading into the final dive. But a missed attempt by the North Koreans opens the door to the podium for the duo, who nail their last dive.

Day 5

Shiny Penny: Oleksiak claims her third medal of the Games, a bronze in the women's 4x200- metre freestyle relay, to set herself up for a chance to break the record for most medals by a Canadian swimmer at a single Games the following night.

Day 6

Golden girl: Oleksiak collects Canada's first gold with a thrilling performance in the 100 m freestyle. She is well back going into the final 50 m, but shows her impressive finishing kick to tie Simone Manuel in an Olympic-record time of 52.70 seconds.

Day 7

Rosie bounces back: Rosie MacLennan proves she has fully recovered from the concussion that interrupted her training last year, winning her second-straight gold medal in women's trampoline. The King City, Ont., native becomes the first Canadian summer athlete to ever defend an Olympic title in an individual event. It's been done by two winter athletes - speed skater Catriona Le May Doan and freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau.

Relentless rowers: Victoria's Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee win a silver in the women's lightweight double sculls, four years after the devastation of finishing seventh in London. Jennerich has the word "relentless" tattooed on her wrist, a mantra for the two women in the lead-up to Rio.

Pool party: Hilary Caldwell of White Rock, B.C., gives Canada its sixth swimming medel of the Games with a bronze in the women's 200-metre backstroke. Canadian swimmers have won twice as many swimming medals as they did at the 2012 London Games.

Day 8

Pursuit power: Canada defeats New Zealand en route to a bronze medal in the women's track cycling team pursuit. Montreal's Kirsti Lay, Calgary's Allison Beveridge, Georgia Simmerling of West Vancouver, B.C., and Jasmin Glaesser of Vancouver had been hoping to improve on the bronze Canada won in London four years ago.

Bounces back for bronze: Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton roars back to win bronze in the women's heptathlon. The two-time world silver medalist from Humboldt, Sask., is in sixth place after a rocky Day 1, but solid long jump and javelin events allow her to climb up to third spot going into the final event, the 800 metres. A third-place finish in the race allows her to maintain her podium position.

Day 9

De Bronze: Canada's Andre De Grasse wins the bronze medal in the men's 100 metres, giving Canada its first medal in the marquee event since 1996. De Grasse finishes in a personal-best time of 9.91 seconds. He also becomes the first Canadian male athlete to win a medal in Rio. Canada's first 12 medals have been won by women. Day 11

Setting the bar: Canada's Derek Drouin wins the gold medal in the men's high jump, tying a personal best by clearing 2 metres 38 centimetres. Drouin doesn't miss a single attempt en route to winning the Olympic title. The native of Corunna, Ont., adds gold to the bronze he won at the London Games in 2012.

Day 13

What a debut: De Grasse continues his impressive Olympic debut by winning the silver medal in the men's 200-metre final. The 21-year-old finished in 20.02 seconds, just behind Usain Bolt, who takes gold for the third consecutive Olympics in 19.78.

Damian's decathlon: Damian Warner of London, Ont., captures bronze in the decathlon. The world silver medalist finished the 10-discipline competition with 8,666 points. He is in tough against world-record holder and defending champ Ashton Eaton, who wins gold with 8,893 points.

Golden haul: Ottawa's Erica Wiebe wins Canada's fourth gold medal in Rio. With the 75-kilogram victory, Wiebe follows in the footsteps of two-time Olympic medalist Carol Huynh, the winner of Canada's first gold in women's wrestling in Beijing eight years ago, and Tonya Verbeek, who finished on the podium at three separate Games.

Double bronze: Benfeito wins her second bronze medal of the Games, finishing third in the women's 10-metre platform event. The 27-year-old from Laval, Que., finishes with an overall score of 389.20. It is Benfeito's first individual medal in Rio after winning bronze with Filion in the 10-metre synchronized event.

Day 14

DQ special: De Grasse picks up his third medal of the Games as Canada's 4x100-metre relay team wins bronze in a Canadian-record time. It looks as if Canada is going to have to settle for a fourth-place finish before the United States is disqualified. The Canadian team finishes in 37.64 seconds, breaking the mark set by the gold-medal winning team anchored by Donovan Bailey at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Back-to-back bronze: Canada's women's soccer team takes home a bronze medal for the second Olympics in a row after beating host Brazil 2-1 in the third-place game. Christine Sinclair and Deanne Rose score for the Canadians, who equal their performance from the 2012 London Games.

Jumping for joy: Eric Lamaze picks up his second Olympic medal with a bronze in individual show jumping. Riding Fine Lady, the equestrian from Schomberg, Ont., takes third place in a jump-off of six riders with zero faults on the day. Lamaze also won gold in 2008 aboard Hickstead, which puts him among seven riders who have won two medals in the show jumping's individual event.

Day 15

Long-time coming: Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops, B.C., overcomes an early crash and equipment problems to capture a bronze medal in women's mountain biking. It is a satisfying result for the 35-year-old, who was a contender heading into the 2012 London Olympics as the reigning world champion, but wound up a disappointing ninth that came on the heels of a gut-wrenching fourth-place finish in Beijing in 2008.

Cleaning up our acts
As founder of The Honest Company, a line of non-toxic household, baby and beauty products worth $1.7-billion, actor Jessica Alba has become an unlikely business tycoon
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L6

Jessica Alba wasn't content to rest on her acting-career laurels for long. In show business since the age of 13, the California-born beauty has been on a healthy-lifestyle mission since the birth of her fi rst child in 2008. Three years later, she met Christopher Gavigan, author of Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating a Greener, Cleaner, Safer Home, and together they launched The Honest Company, an enterprise that last year was valued at $1.7-billion.

The lifestyle brand, which focuses on non-toxic household, baby and beauty products, has made a major foray into Canada this year (the line became available in 700 stores across the country, including Loblaws, Indigo and Canadian Tire). In June, Alba was in Toronto to celebrate this expansion and help spread the word. I spoke with the 35-year-old mother of two girls (Honor, 8 and Haven, 5) about her commitment to bringing safer products to the world, and the joys and challenges of trying to have it all.

This company was born from a realization when you had your fi rst daughter, Honor. How did your passion for this movement start?

I had an allergic reaction to a laundry detergent my mother used on me when I was a baby. She had told me to use it on my kids' clothes, but I did some research and tried to figure out why I had an allergic reaction and I learned all about these potentially harmful chemicals that are in everyday products.

I just trusted that if I could buy it, it was going to be safe and good for me. But that's not always the case.

So I tried to fi nd products that had safer, healthier ingredients and it was really challenging. After reading Christopher Gavigan's book that linked all of these chemicals to health issues - cancers and learning disabilities, allergies, asthma, skin rashes and sensitivities - I asked him what I could buy, but he said there wasn't one company [making safe products].

So I said, "Well, let's create that company!"

Calling a company Honest is a lot to live up to. How do you do it?

We're transparent about the ingredients in the products. We use very safe but effective ingredients and we're affordably priced, because I grew up in a workingclass family and it's important that the products are within reach.

And then the packaging is beautifully designed because millennials care about things being pretty and if these products are going to be out on your countertop, they should look cute and fit into your home decor. It's about the lifestyle. It's not an extreme version of healthy living. It's balanced, it's practical, it's doable and little things matter.

Besides putting these products out there, how much are you doing to try to push the envelope with government legislation?

The first time I lobbied for chemical reform in the United States was when I was pregnant with my second kid, Haven. That was before we launched the company. It was a very interesting but frustrating process, just navigating how laws are made and how reform happens. Then I went back about a year and a half ago and lobbied again for TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) reform, and it actually just got passed. So there now is better regulation on chemicals and a fast track to testing the most harmful chemicals to make sure that only the safest ones are used in products.

Are you conscious of being a role model, not only to your daughters, but to other young women who want to have it all?

I think having it all just means being happy and being authentic and living the life that's right for you. I don't know what my kids will ever want to do with their lives. I just want them to be happy, to feel like they have purpose, and to be fulfilled and have empathy. That, at the end of the day, is the goal.

You have shown enormous amounts of confidence from the get-go. Was that how you felt, or was it a case of fake it till you make it?

A lot of fake it till you make it! When you start from the bottom and people have no expectations of you, you can only go up.

Not many people are able to walk that line between business and creativity. Is it ever a struggle?

I fi nd that when I'm overly creative, it feels really self-indulgent, and when I'm overly analytical, it feels like I'm a robot. So that mix of being analytical and strategic, and creative, open and in the moment is how I've always lived my life.

And it works in business.

You have one foot in a world that's about gloss and appearance, yet your heart is in something more meaningful.

How do you reconcile Hollywood and those deeper values?

In Hollywood, it is about telling stories and being able to entertain.

Not everyone works at a job they love. Not everyone is living the life they want to. So to be able to give them an escape, so they can disappear for 90 minutes with popcorn and a drink and have a good time, there's no better feeling than that. I have a fun action movie with Jason Statham coming out that was shot in Thailand. I play someone who has a military background, so I got to kick some butt. And it's fun to be able to do that and tell those types of stories, but then also have The Honest Company and do something so completely different.

What, to you, is true beauty all about?

It's about confidence. I feel like the fashion industry is even tougher [than the movie industry] and the music industry is even tougher than that. Any industry where there's a high turnover, those are tough to be in. Entertainment is one of them.

So at the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself and tell the stories you feel good about telling.

And you have to be part of things you can stand behind.

Have you found that having a strong sense of self gets easier with age?

In terms of fashion, I become more adventurous the older I get. I was much more conservative and shy about fashion, but now I do like to play and have fun with it.

Are you as fearless as it appears when it comes to your various pursuits?

I think so. If you are bogged down in "what ifs?" then you never really get anything done. I like to put it out there, see if it sticks, see what needs to be worked or reworked and then go from there. But I would kick myself if I never tried anything.

What is the hardest part of this juggling act and keeping it all in sync?

Time management and trying to figure out how much time I need to spend on me, on my husband, my kids, my friends, my parents, my co-workers. I feel like I'm pulled in so many different directions and there are so many people that need so much of me all the time. It can be hard to manage.

What advice do you give to other women who aspire to be great moms and creative artists and also to have lucrative businesses?

You can't be short-sighted with your goals. You have to think long-term as a parent, as a businessperson, as a friend - about whatever it is in life you want. It helps relieve a lot of the pressure of trying to be everything to everyone in every moment.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Conscientious objectives
A sustainable kitchen; finding power in zoopoo and celebrating our city's laneways and green rooftops: Madeline Smith speaks with four Torontonians who have gotten behind a project to make their city a more livable place
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M5

Joshna Maharaj

In her time as assistant director and executive chef of Ryerson University's food services, Joshna Maharaj changed the food culture of a school where 3,500 meals are served every day.

For two years, she was a "perpetual cheerleader" for the importance of making food a central institutional focus, as well as a more sustainable - and appetizing - experience.

Ms. Maharaj reworked every level of the school's food system, from buying ingredients strictly from Ontario farms and businesses to asking kitchen staff to cook from scratch as much as possible.

(She left Ryerson but has continued her work as an activist chef.)

"I'm test-driving the idea that the sustainable approach to managing your kitchen is just something institutions should do, full stop," she says. "This is just a proper way to do this - a good way to run a kitchen, and perhaps a more responsible way to manage public money."

Ms. Maharaj is no stranger to the herculean task of managing institutional-sized food services.

She previously overhauled the menu at Scarborough Hospital and the food-purchasing network for Sick Kids. She believes good food policy, at any level, is the starting point for a sustainable approach to everything else, from community health to environmental awareness.

"The beautiful thing that my institutional work has taught me is that when you have communities that are potentially suffering because of a lack of good food connection, you can bring them back to life," she says. "I see it.

Those connections can bring people closer to each other."

Ms. Maharaj has seen the Ryerson community make a success of Rye's Homegrown, an initiative whose crown jewel is a rooftop garden on the engineering building. Last November, staff and student volunteers harvested 3,600 kilograms of produce from campus gardens.

Jonathan Silver

Jonathan Silver is a kind of environmental philosopher.

One of his recent projects, the Living Architecture Tour, is a map for Toronto visitors and residents to take themselves on a tour of some of the city's green roofs and walls - spots where vegetation is incorporated into a building's architecture.

"People spend their entire day at an office, and there might not even be living plants there. Then they get on the TTC, and they go home, and there's still nothing," Mr. Silver says. "They miss all of those really great benefits of green spaces in the sense that they're life-saving."

The map, illustrated by urban geographer and Globe contributor Daniel Rotsztain, stemmed from an idea Mr. Silver had while he was interning at Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, where he started to think about how he could increase awareness about the benefits of vegetative infrastructure. Green roofs, for instance, can help absorb storm-water runoff and make heating or cooling a building more efficient.

Twenty-six spots are highlighted where publicly accessible green spaces can be found, from the Gladstone Hotel to the City Hall podium, the largest green roof in the city. Mr. Rotsztain also drew public transit lines and recommended bike routes into the map, encouraging eco-friendly transportation options.

Mr. Silver's work focuses on finding accessible ways for people to interact with environmental issues. Some of his previous work includes setting up a booth in a park offering free coffee, and engaging takers in a conversation about how sun-grown coffee is linked to the destruction of the rainforest.

While green roofs and walls can be easily missed the city, Mr. Silver believes they represent a prime opportunity for Toronto to make a positive impact on the environment.

"We have to have it in order to move forward as a sustainable city. Cities cannot exist without more living infrastructure," he says.


Daniel Bida has spent the past five years advocating for what he calls a "poo-to-power story."

Mr. Bida, the executive director of the ZooShare Biogas Co-operative, is pushing forward plans to build a biogas plant across the street from the Toronto Zoo, where the zoo's manure and nonedible organic waste from a yetundisclosed grocery chain will be processed. As the waste breaks down in the plant, the resulting gas is captured and burned in an electrical generator, and Mr. Bida says the resulting output will be enough to power 250 homes.

"As long as we as a society continue to produce organic waste, we can always make biogas and turn it into electricity or use it for another purpose," he says.

The Toronto Zoo first floated the idea for a biogas plant in 2003, but it wasn't until 2010 that concrete plans started to materialize.

The ZooShare Biogas Co-operative spent 18 months selling community bonds for the initiative, ultimately raising more than $2-million. They received renewable energy approval from the province and have construction plans this year.

There are other biogas plants in Ontario, but Mr. Bida says none is centrally located in Toronto.

ZooShare says this will be North America's first zoo-based biogas plant, and organizers hope its presence will encourage Torontonians to think about the impact of the every-day ways they take out their garbage.

"If I tell you our emissions impact is taking the equivalent of 2,000 cars off the road, and collectively we need to remove more than a million, it doesn't really sound like very much," he says.

"I like to subscribe to the theory that small is beautiful, and I think if we each do our part, each take these small steps one at a time, we can all collectively get there."

The Laneway Project

For the founders of the Laneway Project, narrow alleyways are the perfect venue to squeeze community engagement into an already dense environment.

Ariana Cancelli, an urban planner, started up the initiative with Michelle Senayah, an architect, in 2014. They aim to change the way Toronto residents perceive and interact with more than 2,000 publicly owned laneways in the city.

Getting communities on board wasn't difficult - when project organizers issued a call for applications, they got 25, and had to narrow it down to just two. Reggae Lane, in Little Jamaica, and a residential laneway in West Queen West are currently planning a redesign with the project's help. Since then, Ryerson University has also gotten involved, and a project for O'Keefe Lane on campus is in development.

"The biggest step is to be able to provide people a place to find respite from the city," Ms. Cancelli says. "Parks are great for that but, sometimes, you need something even closer to your home."

Some of the most challenging work, Ms. Cancelli says, is changing the utilitarian perceptions about Toronto alleyways.

"'Laneways are for garbage and driving and cars,' " she says. "It's really a change in mindset - there's a long way to go before we can start using our laneways in a completely different way."

One of their pilot projects, the laneway puncture, will see "strategic incisions" in paved laneways filled with plants. The idea is that interrupting the pavement along central drainage channels, and filling it instead with soil and other permeable materials, will ease the burden on the city's stormwater drainage system.

Ms. Cancelli hopes that community-supported "green corridors" will spring up around Toronto, connecting residents over much-needed room to breathe, and maybe even giving some of the city's aging infrastructure a break.

"We need to have more of these spaces. We're intensifying and densifying as a city," she says.

Associated Graphic

At Ryerson University, Joshna Maharaj sought to make food a more sustainable - and appetizing - experience.


Ariana Cancelli wants to transform laneways to provide Torontonians 'a place to find respite from the city.'


A deliciously addictive whodunit
Former laywer and teacher from Toronto surprises the literary world with The Couple Next Door, a twisting new thriller
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R7

On Oct. 27, 2015, at exactly 9 o'clock in the evening, Shari Lapena sent an e-mail to the literary agent Helen Heller. Attached was a .doc file and PDF of a thriller called The Couple Next Door.

Along with the manuscript, Lapena included three short paragraphs describing the novel, as well as her bio. "Thank you very much for your consideration," she wrote, "and I look forward to hearing from you."

She didn't have to wait long; Heller wrote back at 11:33 the next morning with a very brief response: "Is there a number I can call you at?" Heller, the Toronto-based agent for several best-selling suspense writers, including Linwood Barclay and Kelley Armstrong, had read the first third of the novel that morning. "I always look at everything immediately, because it'll take me about a minute to work out if I want to read on or not," explains Heller, who estimates that she turns down 499 out of every 500 submissions she receives. In the case of The Couple Next Door, she says, "I didn't put it down."

On Nov. 1, Heller flew to New York, bringing along the novel's first half-dozen chapters to distribute to publishers. By the time she returned to Toronto on Nov. 6, she says, "every [publishing] house in town was after this book." By lunchtime on Nov. 9, the novel had been acquired by Pamela Dorman Books, one of Penguin Random House's many American imprints; within two weeks, it had been sold, or was at auction, in 25 territories around the world. (In France, 11 different publishers fought for the title, Heller says. "Normally, you're lucky if you get two.") Now, a little more than eight months later, The Couple Next Door arrives in North America, having already been published in Australia and Britain, where it quickly landed on bestseller lists.

It has now been sold in 30 territories - a translated version of the novel has been out in the Netherlands since June - and comes lavished with over-the-top praise from some of the genre's biggest names, including Harlan Coben ("Meticulously crafted and razorsharp") and Sue Grafton ("The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting").

"In general, this doesn't happen," Heller says. "Not in the field that I play in."

If Heller is surprised by the swiftness of the novel's publication, then Lapena, a 55-year-old former lawyer and teacher, is dumbfounded.

"Nothing like this ever happened to me before," she says, sitting in her publisher's office earlier this week, having recently returned from a book tour in England. "I hadn't even finished the book this time last year. I finished it at the end of September and then I was afraid to send it out." Like its journey from manuscript to bookstores, the plot of The Couple Next Door moves at a breakneck speed. Amy Black, her publisher at Doubleday Canada, says "it felt like the book was reading itself," when she was sent the novel last fall; Bhavna Chauhan, her Canadian editor, describes the novel as "relentless" with "twists upon twists upon twists. When you read a lot in this area, you tend to figure things out. This was one book that completely kept me surprised."

All you really need to know about the novel can be found in the first line of the plot summary Lapena sent Heller last October: "Anne and Marco Conti's baby goes missing from her crib on a hot summer night while they are at a dinner party next door." Who took Cora? What kind of parents leave their six-month-old daughter home alone? The answers to these questions transform the novel into not only a deliciously addictive whodunit, but a whydid-they-do-it as well.

"With me, it's always the premise," says Lapena, who splits her time between Toronto and a farm near Cobourg, Ont. "I don't think of [plot] from the back end, like 'Who's kidnapped the baby?' and 'Is it for ransom?' or whatever. I always think, 'What's the starting situation and how complicated can I make it?' Because it has to be complicated enough at the beginning that it can go in a lot of different directions."

The Couple Next Door does indeed go into a lot of different directions, several of them unexpected. Sure, it's a beach read that pretty much guarantees you'll get sunburn, both meticulously plotted and a bit silly, but it's also a surprisingly nuanced portrait of parenthood - specifically motherhood, with its piercing portrayal of postpartum depression. At its heart, it's a novel about being the perfect parent, and if such a thing is even possible.

"There's a tremendous amount of judgment about parenting," says Lapena, the mother of two teenagers. "Look at the pressure we put on parents now. ... When I was a kid, we didn't have car seats. Nobody wore a seatbelt.

Dad would be smoking in the car.

We went out and playing in the street until the lights came on.

Parents never watched their kids.

I walked to Grade 1 by myself.

Now the schools will tell you they don't want kids walking to school by themselves until they're in Grade 4.

"It's a very different world than it was a generation ago. Parents are in a really awkward spot because, on one hand, you're criticized if you're a helicopter parent, but you're criticized if you're not."

(Even though she "certainly wouldn't have" left the baby alone, Anne and Marco aren't "completely negligent," Lapena insists. "I don't want a lot of parents calling me and saying, 'Don't be so judgmental!' ") The novel's jacket copy refers to this being Lapena's "suspense debut," a sly bit of marketing tap dancing meant to position her as the next big thing, but she's actually the author of two previous novels, including 2011's Happiness Economics, which was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, hardly a small-time prize. Afterward, she wrote a third novel, once again literary fiction with a comedic bent, but couldn't get it published.

"I was bummed for a while," she says. "I was discouraged by it.

I think it was that I had some expectations on that book, because I had two agents both wanting it at the same time. It was very disappointing. It felt like I was beating my head against the wall. Comic literary novels don't sell very well."

Lapena wrote a handful of novels for young readers, including a series concerning a witch, but after once again being turned down by publishers, she decided to try to write a thriller, a genre she has always loved to read but never felt confident enough to write.

"I wasn't getting joy out of my writing any more," she says. "I thought, 'I'm going to write a thriller as an experiment to get my love of writing back.' " The experiment, thus far, has been an unqualified success.

She's under contract for a second thriller, which will appear in bookstores as soon as next year, and which she will spend the fall, when she's not promoting the current novel, writing.

I ask Lapena, now that she has some momentum, if she would consider resurrecting any of the books she wrote before The Couple Next Door. She looks aghast.

"Oh no," she says, vehemently.

"No. No. I want to do thrillers. It's way more fun."

Associated Graphic

Shari Lapena has received over-the-top praise from some of the genre's biggest names for her new book.


Going for Olympic gold
Calgary's Olympic spirit has been renewed and it's now considering ways to make a bid for the 2026 Winter Games without breaking its recession-troubled bank, David Ebner reports
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Three years ago, a small group of Calgarians considered a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.They didn't have much time and the list of interested cities was crowded. The Calgarians didn't push forward. Other bidders then turned away. Oslo, seen as a favourite, dropped out as potential costs cut into public support. In the end, there were only two contenders, the fewest for an Olympics in more than three decades. Beijing won, narrowly defeating Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The episode jarred the imperious International Olympic Committee and added urgency to its nascent reforms, dubbed Olympic Agenda 2020. The key changes aimed at costs: making the Olympics less expensive to bid for and to stage.

In Calgary, the Olympic spirit was renewed - and the plan to consider a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics went public in June.

It has the enthusiastic support of the mayor and city council but also attracted criticism, from questions about the IOC - called "deeply corrupt" by one dissenting city councillor - to the value of hosting the Olympics. The last Winter Olympics in Russia cost a fortune and this month's Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have been beset by problems.

Calgary believes it can set a new standard. The city - mired in a deep recession - sees a second Olympics as the road to new infrastructure: transit, housing and sports facilities. But organizers believe Calgary can do it on a budget and be a city that helps reshape the Olympics, to put on the big show at a reasonable cost.

Calgary has done it well before, in 1988, and is ready to take a lesson from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which generated a golden glow and didn't leave behind piles of debt.

"Not that we're magicians, but we're hoping that if we're successful, we set the trend of what Olympic bids should be in the future," said Doug Mitchell, chairman of the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, which has pursued the Olympics so far.

"And we're hoping we can get people across the country enthusiastic about the bid, and what it can do for Canada."

Calgary has roughly a year to decide whether to proceed with a 2026 bid. The IOC will choose a winner in July, 2019. Rivals could include Switzerland, where five cities are vying to be the Swiss candidate.

Mr. Mitchell, a 77-year-old lawyer, founded the Sport Tourism Authority, where the majority of the 10-person volunteer board is corporate or in tourism.

Mr. Mitchell has a long history in sports, philanthropy, and civic leadership. Lois Mitchell, his wife, is Alberta's lieutenant-governor.

Mr. Mitchell grew up near downtown Calgary and, in his late 30s, he led the renewal of Canada's national hockey program, after Canada hadn't sent teams to the Winter Olympics in the 1970s. It helped set the foundation of Calgary's sports economy. Mitchell then contributed to the 1988 Games.

The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics went over budget but were widely declared a success. The new sports facilities solidified Calgary as a sports city, home to national sports organizations, athletes and others such as coaches and doctors.

But the Calgary 2026 sales pitch isn't about conjuring an old flame. In 2026, the average Calgarian will not have even been born in 1988.

The idea is what Calgary can become. Yet, the Olympics, even if tempered costs materialize, are expensive.

A projection of $5.3-billion was floated in the Sport Tourism Authority's presentation to Calgary City Council in late June. The number is a ballpark figure, given the early stage, and was based on a consultant's report that looked at costs for Vancouver 2010 and projected into the future.

Step 1 is modest: Council voted to spend $5-million to study a potential bid. An actual bid could cost upwards of $50-million.

If Calgary 2026 becomes a reality, the $5.3-billion figure would require a large public investment, as was the case in Vancouver, where the federal and B.C. provincial governments were essential contributors.

Such large investments are where critics take aim.

A study entitled Going for the Gold: The Economics of the Olympics, published earlier this year in the prominent Journal of Economic Perspectives, noted the Olympic benefits of new infrastructure and the "feel-good effect," but its primary point was clear: "The overwhelming conclusion is that in most cases the Olympics are a money-losing proposition."

The pitch to Calgary City Council, however, highlighted the wins that the Vancouver region scored, from the new Canada Line transit system to the improved Sea-toSky Highway route to Whistler.

The pitch also promoted the opportunity for affordable housing as a long-term use of an Olympics athletes village.

The biggest question for Calgary is a new arena.

In Vancouver, Rogers Arena was a central venue, 15 years old in 2010, and built with private money. Having it ready was a big savings. Calgary's Saddledome, next year, will be the oldest in the National Hockey League. By 2026, it will be nearly a half-century old.

A new arena is a controversial.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Calgary Flames and Calgary Stampeders led by oil billionaire Murray Edwards, has proposed a new facility, "CalgaryNEXT." It would combine a hockey arena and a fieldhouse on the west edge of downtown and costs to build it would be split between the city and the company.

The city is now considering a new arena near the Saddledome, on the east side of downtown.

The Saddledome was built with public funds in the early 1980s, in part to win the Olympics.

The connection between the Olympics and a new arena isn't official - but they are related. Ken King, for instance, is CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment, and sits on the Sport Tourism board.

Mr. King has said it's a "very happy coincidence" the arena question and Olympics bid have emerged together. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a skeptic of CalgaryNEXT, called it a "fortuitous coincidence."

"A new event centre is important to the City of Calgary - with or without the Olympics," said John Bean, chief operating officer of Calgary Sports and Entertainment.

Calgary has some older facilities that could moderate costs. The speed skating oval, the sliding track at Canada Olympic Park and Nakiska, host of the 1988 alpine events, would together require significant money to upgrade - but less than building from scratch. "Calgary can be an example again of an exciting, vibrant Olympics that don't cost a fortune," said Ken Read, a consultant and former Olympian who hasn't been involved in the potential bid.

The lessons of Vancouver 2010 will be easy to tap. John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, is running a group for the Canadian Olympic Committee that will help Calgary.

The goal, if Calgary proceeds, is a bid that "has a very good chance to win," Mr. Furlong said.

Keeping costs contained was key in Vancouver, said Mr. Furlong. The organizers were battered by the global financial crisis in the 18 months before the Olympics but didn't suffer a glaring deficit. The IOC will decide the host city for the 2024 Summer Games in September, 2017.

Associated Graphic

Thousands of balloons are released during the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary's McMahon Stadium.


Above: Calgary's Skydome has been proposed as a possible site to host the 2026 Olympic Games should the city submit a bid.


Left: Tyler McRae carries the Olympic torch during the Winter Olympic torch relay at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary on Jan. 20, 2010.


Going for Olympic gold
Calgary's Olympic spirit has been renewed and it's now considering ways to make a 2026 bid for the Games without breaking its recession-troubled bank, David Ebner reports
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

Three years ago, a small group of Calgarians considered a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. They didn't have much time and the list of interested cities was crowded. The Calgarians didn't push forward. Other bidders then turned away. Oslo, seen as a favourite, dropped out as potential costs cut into public support. In the end, there were only two contenders, the fewest for an Olympics in more than three decades. Beijing won, narrowly defeating Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The episode jarred the imperious International Olympic Committee and added urgency to its nascent reforms, dubbed Olympic Agenda 2020. The key changes aimed at costs: making the Olympics less expensive to bid for and to stage.

In Calgary, the Olympic spirit was renewed - and the plan to consider a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics went public in June.

It has the enthusiastic support of the mayor and city council but also attracted criticism, from questions about the IOC - called "deeply corrupt" by one dissenting city councillor - to the value of hosting the Olympics. The last Winter Olympics in Russia cost a fortune and this month's Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have been beset by problems.

Calgary believes it can set a new standard. The city - mired in a deep recession - sees a second Olympics as the road to new infrastructure: transit, housing and sports facilities. But organizers believe Calgary can do it on a budget and be a city that helps reshape the Olympics, to put on the big show at a reasonable cost. Calgary has done it well before, in 1988, and is ready to take a lesson from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which generated a golden glow and didn't leave behind piles of debt.

"Not that we're magicians, but we're hoping that if we're successful, we set the trend of what Olympic bids should be in the future," said Doug Mitchell, chairman of the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, which has pursued the Olympics so far.

"And we're hoping we can get people across the country enthusiastic about the bid, and what it can do for Canada."

Calgary has roughly a year to decide whether to proceed with a 2026 bid. The IOC will choose a winner in July, 2019. Rivals could include Switzerland, where five cities are vying to be the Swiss candidate.

Mr. Mitchell, a 77-year-old lawyer, founded the Sport Tourism Authority, where the majority of the 10-person volunteer board is corporate or in tourism.

Mr. Mitchell has a long history in sports, philanthropy, and civic leadership. Lois Mitchell, his wife, is Alberta's Lieutenant-Governor. Mr. Mitchell grew up near downtown Calgary and, in his late 30s, he led the renewal of Canada's national hockey program, after Canada hadn't sent teams to the Winter Olympics in the 1970s.

It helped set the foundation of Calgary's sports economy. Mr. Mitchell then contributed to the 1988 Games. The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics went over budget but were widely declared a success. The new sports facilities solidified Calgary as a sports city, home to national sports organizations, athletes and others such as coaches and doctors.

But the Calgary 2026 sales pitch isn't about conjuring an old flame. In 2026, the average Calgarian will not have even been born in 1988.

The idea is what Calgary can become. Yet, the Olympics, even if tempered costs materialize, are expensive.

A projection of $5.3-billion was floated in the Sport Tourism Authority's presentation to Calgary City Council in late June. The number is a ballpark figure, given the early stage, and was based on a consultant's report that looked at costs for Vancouver 2010 and projected into the future.

Step 1 is modest: Council voted to spend $5-million to study a potential bid. An actual bid could cost upwards of $50-million.

If Calgary 2026 becomes a reality, the $5.3-billion figure would require a large public investment, as was the case in Vancouver, where the federal and B.C. provincial governments were essential contributors.

Such large investments are where critics take aim.

A study entitled Going for the Gold: The Economics of the Olympics, published earlier this year in the prominent Journal of Economic Perspectives, noted the Olympic benefits of new infrastructure and the "feel-good effect," but its primary point was clear: "The overwhelming conclusion is that in most cases the Olympics are a money-losing proposition."

The pitch to Calgary City Council, however, highlighted the wins that the Vancouver region scored, from the new Canada Line transit system to the improved Sea-toSky Highway route to Whistler.

The pitch also promoted the opportunity for affordable housing as a long-term use of an Olympics athletes village.

The biggest question for Calgary is a new arena.

In Vancouver, Rogers Arena was a central venue, 15 years old in 2010, and built with private money. Having it ready was a big savings. Calgary's Saddledome, next year, will be the oldest in the National Hockey League. By 2026, it will be nearly a half-century old.

A new arena is a controversial.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Calgary Flames and Calgary Stampeders led by oil billionaire Murray Edwards, has proposed a new facility, "CalgaryNEXT." It would combine a hockey arena and a fieldhouse on the west edge of downtown and costs to build it would be split between the city and the company.

The city is now considering a new arena near the Saddledome, on the east side of downtown.

The Saddledome was built with public funds in the early 1980s, in part to win the Olympics.

The connection between the Olympics and a new arena isn't official - but they are related. Ken King, for instance, is CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment, and sits on the Sport Tourism board.

Mr. King has said it's a "very happy coincidence" the arena question and Olympics bid have emerged together. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a skeptic of CalgaryNEXT, called it a "fortuitous coincidence."

"A new event centre is important to the City of Calgary - with or without the Olympics," said John Bean, chief operating officer of Calgary Sports and Entertainment.

Calgary has some older facilities that could moderate costs. The speed skating oval, the sliding track at Canada Olympic Park and Nakiska, host of the 1988 alpine events, would together require significant money to upgrade - but less than building from scratch. "Calgary can be an example again of an exciting, vibrant Olympics that don't cost a fortune," said Ken Read, a consultant and former Olympian who hasn't been involved in the potential bid.

The lessons of Vancouver 2010 will be easy to tap. John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, is running a group for the Canadian Olympic Committee that will help Calgary.

The goal, if Calgary proceeds, is a bid that "has a very good chance to win," Mr. Furlong said.

Keeping costs contained was key in Vancouver, said Mr. Furlong. The organizers were battered by the global financial crisis in the 18 months before the Olympics but didn't suffer a glaring deficit.

The IOC will decide the host city for the 2024 Summer Games in September, 2017.

Associated Graphic

Thousands of balloons are released during the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary's McMahon Stadium.


Calgary's Saddledome has been proposed as a possible site to host the 2026 Olympic Games, should the city make its bid.


Tyler McRae carries the Olympic torch during the Winter Olympic torch relay at Calgary's Olympic Park in January, 2010.


Some say style is superficial, but the real secret to switching up your look runs deep. Odessa Paloma Parker, a former personal shopper, discovers the importance of taking stock emotionally and evaluating your 'cultural inventory'
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L6

From garish lighting to pushy salespeople, venturing out to purchase new clothing has its share of challenges. None are more perplexing, though, than the inability many shoppers have to make over their style, despite very much wanting to. If you've ever wondered why you can't break away from the neutral palette or basic black garments you tend to wear, it's likely for a reason deeper than wanting to blend in with the crowd. You're actually responding to cultural signals that are embedded in your subconscious.

"We present and express something about ourselves with our clothing and accessories - that's the external influence," says London-based psychologist Kate Nightingale. She founded Style Psychology Ltd., a consultancy firm whose client list includes U.K. retail-chain Debenhams and men's-wear brand Thomas Pink, in order to shed light on the inner workings of why we buy. Nightingale says that while part of our behaviour involves an awareness of what some would describe as the art of dressing, "We also have an internal influence that shapes our mood and emotions, that shapes our self-esteem and also has a cognitive function. This hasn't been very well-known until recently."

She's referring to the myriad studies that have appeared in the last five years connecting appearance to abilities and acceptance (i.e. what your shoes really say about you). If you believe them, you'd be obliged to think that people who wear high-top running shoes are standoffi sh, while those who favour bright, colourful sneakers are more emotionally stable. These are the results from a University of Kansas study in 2012, which examined the link between footwear and personality. While some could potentially laugh off the findings as simple, buzzy clickbait, the weightier implications can help brands better market to customers. Or, more importantly, guide us to understand why we're being judged as books by our proverbial covers.

Unlike a removable dust jacket, however, our wardrobes can be extensive, accumulated over years and constantly acting as signifiers of our inner selves. In the year I spent as a freelance stylist, I also acted as a personal shopper for several clients. When people asked me what it was like, I said I felt more like a psychologist than I did a professional dresser. I heard, "I could never pull that off" more often than not, whenever a client and I spied a particularly boldly printed skirt.

I always assumed this kind of sentiment stemmed from their personalities alone - that they were shy and wanted to blend in.

What I didn't know is that during this thought process, another factor - "cultural inventory," as Eileen Fischer, a professor of marketing at York University's Schulich School of Business calls it - was also contributing to their apprehension.

"We have this abundant cultural knowledge, which we may never have consciously picked up.

We may have seen it in movies, where we see a character's reactions to an older woman wearing a loud dress."

These cues can also come from sources much closer to home, Nightingale points out, as something called cultural appreciation. "If your mom wore a lot of red, you would have a positive appreciation of the colour, or you'd have an appreciation related to her personality. Let's say she was determined and strong . if you saw someone wearing red, you would assume that they are determined and strong."

Although this culturally derived information may lie in the subconscious most of the time, shopping trips are one instance in which they manifest. And the older someone is, the more it has built up. Angela Pastor, of the Toronto-based dress-rental boutique Fitzroy, has experienced many occasions when customers have expressed interest in, but ultimately shied away from, an article of clothing based on an external set of influences. "We recently had a woman comment that she loved our ripped denim but could never pull it off. When we asked her why, she said 'Because I'm 40 and a mom!' We found it so sad that she loved the jeans but had decided to close herself off from that option because it didn't fit in with her idea of what a 40-year-old mom should wear," Pastor says. Fitzroy, which carries an abundance of brightly patterned and bohemian-detailed items, is very much a reflection of Pastor's and her partner Julie Buczkowski Kalinowski's own eclectic tastes. "We believe you should wear anything you feel good in, whatever makes you happy. We eventually convinced her to try them on and she ended up loving them and buying them."

Pastor says that since the business transitioned from retail to rental, she's noticed customers who cross their threshold are more inclined to experiment with their looks. "We've become pretty adamant about making people try on stuff that they don't think they can pull off, and so often they're surprised by how much they love it once they do have it on," Pastor says.

"It makes us feel like we've done our job when we open someone's mind a little bit."

Alexis Honce, a stylist on The Marilyn Dennis Show, shares her excitement in helping clients realize that taking a fashion risk isn't as drastic - or scary - as it might seem. Yet she adds that makeovers are not a one-time investment. "It's very hard to change someone's style unless you work with them for a long period of time," she says. Shows like What Not To Wear and Ten Years Younger, Nightingale points out, don't have a high rate of continued success - that is, shortly after the makeover process ends, individuals go back to their former style because "that is where they're psychologically and emotionally comfortable."

According to Nightingale, to truly embark on a wardrobe shake-up, a consumer must fi rst be prepared for a careful reflection of their emotions and psyche. "It's not as simple as 'This is what I want to wear,'" she says. "They also have to represent a certain company, a certain social role - for example, a mother, a daughter, a wife, an executive. There needs to be an element of consistency within that." This can be achieved by an incremental shift towards change that also addresses why you want to undertake the makeover in the fi rst place.

These questions, Nightingale says, include "Why do you want to dress this way? What are you missing in your life that you feel you need a change?" Of course it's not always easy to admit, especially to a virtual stranger like a personal shopper, why you want to overhaul your wardrobe. "I always tell them 'baby steps,'" says Honce. "Maybe they should try a coloured shoe. Or, what's their favourite part of their body - maybe get a coloured pant if it's their legs."

Ultimately these tweaks will ease someone into a more long-term wardrobe transition. After all, Nightingale notes, a speedy change would also cause distrust from others - a trust that's partially built by the cultural conditioning we have. Yet as we feel more at liberty to experiment with our style, perhaps even being complimented on a riskier rented outfit, these cues will start to shift. And one day, the only baggage we'll whisk out of a store will carry a brand new look.

Associated Graphic

DRESSING TO SUPPRESS? Years of cultural conditioning (rather than whether you think it would look good on you) could be the determining factor in your choice between Tory Burch's rainbow separates (left) or Creatures of Comfort's more neutral ensemble (right).

In aiming to cool boom, Canada's not alone
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Skyrocketing home prices. Media reports of rampant house-flipping, with speculators reaping six-figure gains reselling ramshackle properties. A political furor over what many believe is a wave of offshore money flooding into the city's housing market, pushing out local buyers.

The setting could easily be Vancouver. But in this case it is Auckland, New Zealand, where plunging interest rates, rising population growth and a growing appetite among global investors for local real estate has caused house prices to double in the past five years.

This year, Auckland overtook Toronto to become the world's top destination for luxury housing, according to a survey by Christie's International Real Estate.

As Canada grapples with how to cool house prices that have soared this year in Vancouver and Toronto, global figures show the country is hardly alone in dealing with an unprecedented real estate boom fuelled largely by low interest rates, loosened monetary policies and investors who are scouring the world in search of growth.

Real estate brokerage Knight Frank said prices are on the rise in three-quarters of the 150 cities in its global house-price index.

House prices in many of the world's leading financial centres are now "fundamentally unjustified," the firm said in a report earlier this year.

The tidal wave of global money flowing into real estate can be difficult to fathom.

Swiss investment bank UBS estimates that quantitative easing by central banks has tripled the global supply of money since 2008.

By April, there was more than $8-trillion (U.S.) worth of government bonds offering negative interest rates, according to Bloomberg, forcing investors to look for opportunities in other assets. It's not surprising that many have found their way into real estate. In an analysis earlier this year, brokerage Savills estimated that real estate makes up 60 per cent of the world's investable assets, eclipsing equities, bonds and precious metals.

"Every global region seems to be reporting asset-price inflation, particularly in the core prime markets," the brokerage's analysts wrote. "This clearly shows that there are global forces at work that act as a heavy hand on the tiller of local markets."

Like Canada, other countries are now scrambling to slow their housing markets. Many have implemented new regulations that require borrowers to have minimum down payments or rules that limit the amount of debt house buyers can take on relative to their incomes.

Others, such as Britain and Norway have targeted mortgage lenders, raising the amount of capital they must hold against mortgages, or restricting the amount that banks can lend to property investors and to borrowers with small down payments.

Hong Kong and Singapore have gone the route of B.C. and taxed foreign buyers. Australia now restricts foreigners to purchasing only newly built houses, in hopes the global appetite for real estate can help increase the country's housing supply.

Yet it is not clear how effective such measures have been in cooling housing markets in the long term, as house prices have continued to surge in many countries that have enacted changes.

In recent years, New Zealand regulators have introduced a slate of measures to slow Auckland's overheated housing market. The country has launched a registry to track foreign buyers and introduced a capital-gains tax on properties that are resold within two years to curb speculation. Its central bank requires lenders to ensure that no more than 10 per cent of their mortgages are provided to borrowers with less than 20-per-cent equity in their houses. Property investors will now be required to have down payments of at least 40 per cent, compared with the average of 20 per cent in Canada.

Yet house prices jumped an annualized 12 per cent in July, to nearly $1-million (NZD), the national real estate institute reported. Analysts estimate that nearly half of current buyers are investors. The country's opposition leaders have taken to calling for an outright ban on foreign buyers ahead of next year's national elections.

Both Sydney and Melbourne have seen house prices jump by double digits in the past year, despite the Australian government's crackdown on foreign investors that has forced some owners to sell their properties or face steep fines. In Hong Kong, where the government taxes foreign investors and speculators who sell houses shortly after purchasing them, house prices have fallen roughly 10 per cent from peak levels last fall, but remain among the most unaffordable in the world, at roughly 20 times the average household income.

In June, Sweden's financial regulator enacted changes that require mortgages with low down payments to amortize, after flagging high levels of interest-only loans that take nearly 150 years to fully pay off. House-price growth in Stockholm has slowed since then, but prices remain 10 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Britain is one example of just how hard it can be for policy makers to control housing booms in the face of sudden changes in economic circumstances.

Early last year, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called the prospect of lowering interest rates "foolish." At the time, regulators were in the midst of enacting new rules to cool London's red-hot housing market, including stricter capital requirements for banks and a 3-per-cent tax on second houses and rental properties.

Little more than a year later - after the country voted to leave the European Union - Mr. Carney slashed interest rates and introduced a round of quantitative easing to head off a Brexitinduced recession. House prices, which had cooled slightly in the wake of tighter rules, have since roared back. Average prices in London jumped an annualized 13 per cent in June, although some analysts still expect them to fall in the second half of the year.

Many of the changes to housing-market policies since 2008 are simply too recent for their effects to have been thoroughly studied by economists and academics.

However, a 2013 study for the Bank of International Settlements might hold some clues.

The study by researchers Kenneth Kuttner and Ilhyock Shim looked at more than 1,100 housing-market policy changes in 57 countries over more than 30 years.

It found that rules to raise minimum down payments or restrict the debt levels of banks had little effect on the housing market.

Measures such as limiting borrowers debt loads helped slow the growth of household debt, but not house prices. The only tool that seemed to significantly affect the housing market was the one that governments have used the least, according to the researchers' review of policy changes.

Raising housing-related taxes, such as property taxes, fees on capital gains or sales taxes appeared to be "the only policy with a measurable impact on house prices," the authors wrote.

Canada is about to become the newest test case for that theory.

Housing-market analysts are waiting to see whether the B.C. government's new 15-per-cent tax on foreign house buyers in the Metro Vancouver area, which took effect this month, has any success in cooling the country's hottest local market.

If so, it will add one more weapon to the arsenal of global policy makers as they search for a silver bullet to their housing-market woes.

Associated Graphic

Auckland, New Zealand, has overtaken Toronto to become the world's top destination for luxury housing, a survey says.



Trading places
How Anna Gunn's new high-finance thriller Equity flips the typical Wall Street script
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R3

Forget about the Bechdel Test - the new film Equity just might have inadvertently invented the Gordon Gekko Test, as in: Does the movie feature at least two women talking to each other about something other than money? The answer here: not really. But the high-finance drama shouldn't be faulted for being obsessed with cash - it's simply tackling the industry in much the same way Oliver Stone's Wall Street, J.C. Chandor's Margin Call and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street excoriated the dudebros who run and ruin the world.

Except this time, it's women calling the shots, and taking them.

That's the unfortunately novel marketing hook selling Equity: its three lead characters are women; it was directed by a woman; it was written by women; and it was largely funded by women (about 80 per cent of its 30 investors). Audiences would be hardpressed to find any recent comparisons, in any genre - and the fact that the film focuses on the testosterone-heavy world of stocks and IPOs simply makes the production that much more extraordinary. (If you can name one woman in, say, The Big Short who's not a bubble-bath-soaked Margot Robbie or a nameless stripper, then congratulations, you've tried extraordinarily hard, or at least harder than The Big Short's filmmakers.)

"What's the one thing that makes you want to get up in the morning?" the film's ostensible hero, investment banker Naomi, is asked at the beginning of Equity. Her response: "I like money."

From that point on, it's clear that director Meera Menon has no desire to play nice, or capitulate to gender stereotypes, or to give a damn about anything other than exploring the brutal and hungry capitalists who roam lower Manhattan. Which is exactly what attracted Anna Gunn to the starring role, her first feature lead since dominating the small screen on AMC's critical juggernaut Breaking Bad.

"Certainly knowing that it was fully funded and created and produced and directed and all of that by women was an amazing thing," says Gunn, "but at the end of the day, for me, the story is the most important thing - and the way that Amy Fox wrote the screenplay ... it was so smart and nuanced that I felt connected to it immediately."

That same level of nuance is what attracted Carrie Blair, a Wall Street veteran now based in Toronto, to invest in the film.

Through a New York friend, Blair connected with Equity's executive producer Candy Straight, and "was offered a chance to read the script - when am I ever going to get the opportunity to read a movie script?" says Blair, executive vice-president, chief human resources and communications officer, for Sun Life Financial. "I read it over the weekend, and - I've worked on Wall Street, I've worked in wealth management - I knew there was something there. What better thing to do then help these women get it off the ground?" It's a depressing fact that without private investors such as Blair, Equity would have never seen the light of day. After all, its leads are determined, layered women who have no patience for the niceties expected of them in typical Hollywood productions.

Take Gunn's role, the hot-shot Naomi, who finds herself surrounded by enemies and enemies of enemies as she seeks to salvage a social media startup's fishy IPO.

It's a rich and sharp role that doesn't shy away from the myriad challenges women face in the high-pressure financial industry - or any industry, the entertainment world included.

"With Naomi, we talked a lot about the idea of her boxing, and getting her aggression out. For all intents and purposes, she's a boxer in that world, a fighter and a warrior - she has to be. And that connected with me instantly," says the 48-year-old Gunn. "I didn't really get my big break, which I consider Deadwood, until my mid-30s. So I was acting for 15 years, and I was proud and happy to be a working actor. But I did wonder if it would ever get past episodic roles. So I felt a connection to [Naomi] that made me want to both play her and explore that fierce determination, where you set your goals and then you come to a crossroads, and ask yourself: Is this what I want?" It's a question that Gunn has had to ask herself many times, even after scoring that aforementioned break on HBO's acclaimed western. Although she went on to win two Emmys for her work on the drug drama Breaking Bad, her character on that AMC series - Skyler White, the suspicious wife of suburban drug kingpin Walter - engendered a bizarrely intense hostility among certain fans, some of whom mounted an online campaign to toss Gunn from the show. The vitriol led her to pen an op-ed letter for The New York Times, in which she refused to be pigeonholed by trolls: "Because Skyler didn't conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender."

Given the overall toxic atmosphere of the current online landscape - where just the notion of female Ghostbusters is cause for frothing-at-the-mouth outrage in certain corners - it is not hard to predict a similar movement forming against Equity.

Gunn herself might not dwell long on that possibility, though she is quick to admit that the entertainment industry is steeped in an atmosphere of aggressive machismo. "I was blessed with Breaking Bad to have extraordinarily strong female producers in Michelle MacLaren and Melissa Bernstein, who taught me so much about being in those leadership positions and what they had to deal with in a predominantly male-driven profession. I mean, a film set is a very macho environment," she says. "You have got to have a thick skin, a good sense of humour, and be ready to stand up and go toe to toe."

And while Equity trades on all those same high-tension workplace trappings - Naomi is constantly having to prove herself to her dismissive male superior, and every one of her co-workers would be fine with stabbing one another in the back if it meant a promotion - Gunn notes that the real Wall Street is not necessarily as cutthroat as the film makes it out to be.

"In my research - talking to women in the industry and kicking around Goldman Sachs, there really was a strong sense of sisterhood and support and compassion and empathy and understanding," says Gunn.

"Everyone underlined how important it was to have one woman at your firm who you knew had your back and vice versa."

In the meantime, Gunn and Equity's producers will no doubt be watching the box-office returns carefully - both to satisfy atypically invested investors such as Blair, and to see if the film might represent a sea change of sorts.

"All I'm hoping for, as we continue to move along this conversation about new roles for women, is that we focus on intellect, talents, the soul of a human being, more than the external trappings of what it means to be a more traditional woman," says Gunn. "And it's nice to see women pushing those boundaries."

Equity is now playing in Toronto and Montreal, and opens Aug. 19 in Vancouver.

Finding the red flags in a firm's financials
Warning signs existed for both Avigilon and CGI Group. This week, investors in one paid the price
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B9

When a company pulls its earnings guidance, sending its shares down 25 per cent to a level that wipes out nearly four years' worth of gains, it's worth asking if there were warning signs.

In the case of Avigilon, which did that Monday, we can say that there were. A little less than two years ago, I highlighted a report from Veritas Investment Research that enumerated some red flags with the company's financial picture. Investors who embraced Veritas' wariness have avoided a loss of more than 50 per cent.

But not all of the research firm's warnings pan out. More than three years ago, Veritas expressed even more concern about CGI Group Inc. and the potential fallout from its acquisition of European company Logica.

However, CGI's management has delivered on the promise of the deal, and the stock has barely missed a beat, doubling since the Veritas report. Last month, Veritas removed CGI from its "Accounting Watchlist," a compilation of companies about which it has financial-reporting concerns.

"When you find accounting issues, it alerts you to a divergence between what the business economics are doing and what the financial statements are telling you," says Anthony Scilipoti, Veritas' CEO. "If the business economics improve, it doesn't matter that the financial statements were managed. If the business operations continue to erode, taking Avigilon as a case, then you can't play with the numbers any more. It's a very nice comparison between the two [companies]."

Let the comparison begin.

Late Monday night, Avigilon reported sales that beat expectations, but it revealed a sharp decline in the gross profit margin of its security-camera products (from 58 per cent to 50.1 per cent, below the analyst consensus of 55.1 per cent.) The culprit was, as Avigilon put it, a "pricing adjustment" in which it cut prices on a line of its cameras and equipment "to drive unit sales and revenues, expand addressable market and capture additional market share."

While it was a conscious decision by management, and it increased the company's cash flow from operations, it also caused Avigilon to say that its preferred metric of "adjusted" earnings per share "may be materially lower" than the guidance released March 1, and it told "undue reliance should not be placed" on that guidance of five months ago.

(CIBC World Markets Inc. analysts Robin Manson-Hing and Todd Coupland titled their research report When The Bottom Falls Out, while cutting the stock rating to "sector perform" from "outperform.") What was Veritas' concern two years ago, in July, 2014? Well, it, and other investors, were shaken by the departure of the company's chief financial officer, one of a number of changes in the company's finance department, as well as with its external auditors. Veritas looked further and became concerned about an apparent change in the company's revenue-recognition policies, and the fact the company's auditors weren't reviewing Avigilon's quarterly reports at the time.

Veritas said that the accounting policy and the company's close relationship with distributors increased the risk of "channel stuffing," or recognizing revenues on products that hadn't truly been accepted by an end user. And while it found no strong evidence of that in the company's financial ratios, it did note negative trends in inventory turnover and accounts receivable "that investors should take note of."

Says Mr. Scilipoti, now: "The trend piqued our interest, and there was also a sudden change in the CFO position. Those two stood out to us as some smoke, and this is an industry where there are a lot of sales to distributors, so we were concerned. I think what we're seeing here is the fruition of that from a business standpoint. You have to lower price, so you have lower profits, so there you go."

Avigilon spokesman Darren Seed says the company isn't focused on analyst reports. "Fundamentally, you can't have the tail wag the dog. [Founder/CEO] Alexander Fernandes and the executives here are focused on the long-term success of the company - and it's not always a straight line - and value for our shareholders."

Mr. Seed also says the margin decrease is a temporary, strategic thing. "Avigilon is focused on growth ... It's more gross profit dollars, more revenue and unit sales, and it increases our market share. It got us into a market that we previously were not focused on - the entry-level market."

We shall see how things turn out for Avigilon. CGI, however, has emerged from Veritas' doubts in quite nearly a best-case scenario.

Here was the situation in August, 2013, when I wrote about several Veritas reports published earlier that year: CGI, a computer-services company that often serves as its customers' outsourced IT department, was beginning its integration of Logica.

In big deals - and Logica was bigger than CGI at the time - the accounting for mergers, known formally as "purchase price allocation," has the potential to impact earnings for years to come. Veritas scrutinized the numbers and felt CGI's accounting decisions had the potential to add more than a billion dollars to CGI's reported earnings over the subsequent years without a corresponding increase to the company's cash flow.

One technical example: In scrutinizing Logica's contracts and making those accounting choices, CGI "effectively reverse[d] profits on contracts already recognized by Logica," thereby meaning CGI "will recognize revenue already recognized by Logica," Veritas analyst Michael Yerashotis said at the time.

CGI's defence was that it was applying its own, more conservative accounting policies to Logica, spokesman Lorne Gorber said at the time. And, he said, "The one thing we absolutely agree on is the conclusion of the Veritas report: Cash is what the investor should focus on. Over time, the cash you're reporting will dictate whether you're a happy investor and whether the stock keeps going in the direction it has."

And with that as the test, CGI has passed. In a late-July report, Veritas acknowledged that CGI's gap between cash flow from operations and its reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is closing, and it removed CGI from its Accounting Watchlist.

Says Veritas' Mr. Scilipoti: "Over time, we expected that difference would narrow, and unless CGI could sign new contracts at higher margins than what Logica had originally booked them at, or at margins that were commensurate with the margins CGI was now reporting, then earnings would fail to meet cash flows. What happened was they actually added contracts that were high-margin, or at the margin they were reporting, and ultimately the cash flow has come up. The impact of the purchase price has worked its way through the earnings, and management has done a good job of turning Logica around."

CGI's Mr. Gorber, contacted this week, says "we both converged on one common point, which is let's wait for the cash. Now that cash flow is pretty regular and, normalized, the integration is behind us, and we're back to positive organic growth, we've got what most people in Veritas' business look for, which is the alignment between the earnings you're reporting and the cash flow you're generating."

He adds: "We're happy. We don't like to be on anyone's watch list - we want to be on their buy list."

Associated Graphic


The Dodge Challenger, made in Brampton, Ont., with its bull moose of an engine is the perfect vehicle for a Tragically Hip-inspired road trip
Thursday, August 25, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D1

WINNIPEG -- Standing here, at the longitudinal centre of Canada, just east of Winnipeg, you still feel them.

Traffic rushes past in both directions, trekking west or east across our vast country. Six time zones.

8,000 kilometres. Ten provinces stretched out over rocky coasts and mountains and deserts and prairies. The Trans-Canada highway serves as a tarmac umbilical cord, for most of us an answer to the question - what connects us as Canadians? One reply: the music of the Tragically Hip, Canada's unofficial band.

Time for an eight-cylinder-powered tribute.

This powder blue Dodge Challenger is ideal for the mission at hand. One, it's ridiculously enormous - just like Canada. Two, everybody thinks it's American - but the car's actually built in Brampton, Ont.

Three, this one happens to have an engine worthy of an angry bull moose: a 6.4-litre V-8 firing out 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque through a sixspeed manual to the rear wheels. It's not exactly a cornering machine, but the prairies are a place of straight lines and right angles.

I'll drive several hours west towards Brandon, hurtling across the flatlands toward the 100th meridian, a place made famous by the Hip's eponymous song.

"Lower me slowly and sadly and properly; get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy."

My plan is to find some nameless back road, lower the windows, and turn up the radio.

The Dodge scrawls a smoky rubber signature on the tarmac (in both official languages, naturally) as it lunges to highway speed. The long hood, with that power bulge punched through, straightens out toward the flat, endless horizon and the V-8 starts chewing up the miles - relentless, thunderous.

Who can say how many road trips have been kicked off by a Tragically Hip song? The opening riff of Little Bones drives your right foot down; the wistful melancholy of Ahead By A Century eases it off again. As we flow into Winnipeg's traffic, the Dodge's stereo comes alive with Grace, Too, a song that often starts a live set for the Hip.

Gord Downie frequently changes the lyrics, "I said I'm Tragically Hip - c'mon just let's go."

When the story of his terminal cancer broke, the nation reeled.

Since 1987, the Hip has woven themselves into the national conscious, an ever-present band that expanded to fill our borders without overspilling them. It was better for us that the Americans didn't understand - they were ours.

I pull in to the Forks, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. Winnipeg was the first Paris of the Prairies, a place where so many came to start new lives, seeding the fertile earth with labour and harvesting wheat. Some one-fifth of the Icelandic population settled north of here in Gimli, fleeing a volcanic eruption. It remains the largest Icelandic population outside of Iceland itself.

That's Canada, a refuge for some, a rangy old homestead for others. It's a broad patchwork quilt of a place, a thousand scattered communities sewn together into a whole without losing their identities.

The Dodge noses its way out of town, squeezing along through the everyday pickups and subcompacts, rumbling like a little volcanic activity wouldn't be totally out of the question. I pass a go-kart track just as the first notes of Blow At High Dough come on. It'll do as a makeshift speedway to mark the way.

The road opens and the Challenger awakes, lashing out with machine-revving tension. This is prairie thunder, bottled up in blue sheet metal. We pass combine harvesters working, hunching along through golden fields like giant green aphids.

The prairies are flat, true, but there's a form and beauty to them. 50 Mission Cap plays as I pass a sign commemorating the highway to Manitoba's fallen soldiers. You can trace a line right across the country with the places the Hip have sung about: small places in a big land, Bobcaygeon to Lake Fever.

A detour just before Brandon brings us down to the Canadian Artillery Museum. The guard at the gate gives the car the thumbs up and I briefly park the Challenger next to a howitzer, which seems fitting. Then it's on into the city's centre and a stop at the arena where the local WHL hockey team plays. They're called the Wheat Kings.

A quick fill at a Husky station ("Put 10 bucks in and just get the tank topped off" - Locked In The Trunk of a Car), and it's time to head north of the city, into the farmland. I plotted these roads out earlier, and you could mark the point where the Google mapping car turned around in despair and boredom. Driving down a corduroy road, I press further on.

And then we're there. The compass reads 100° 00' 00"W, the Dodge crunches to a stop, and I shut the engine off. Whispering zephyrs chase each other across the fields, but the only other sound is that of crickets in the long grass. I open the doors and let the melancholy slide guitar of Ry Cooder's Paris, Texas float out.

But a slow eulogy isn't right. I imagine Gord receiving that crushing diagnosis, the pain of having his skull cut open and pieces of his brain carved out, radiation, chemotherapy - steroids to control the swelling of his brain. He could have excused himself from public view, withdrawn into privacy to wait for an ending.

After all his music has done for Canada, Gord Downie and the Hip have one more lesson with us. I turn to the East. Out there, 1,000 km away, Terry Fox ran his last mile doing much the same thing.

In the face of death, both men chose to live as fiercely as they could. I fire up the Challenger, open both doors, crank the stereo as high as she'll go. One thing yet to do. "Courage!" Gord cries out, his voice a mix of defiant roar and wail, "My word!"

The song streams out, louder than any prairie storm, louder than any howling V-8. The land drinks it in like rain. Four and a half minutes of hackle-raising joy and fury, and then silence, save for the rumbling of the car and the wind in the wheat.

And yet, if I listen closely, I can hear the echo endlessly repeating out there, rolling out to fill this huge country. From coast to coast.

From the Arctic to the 49th parallel. And here, in the heart of Canada.

At the 100th Meridian.


Last week: What is the most intriguing new or remodelled vehicle of 2017?

Audi A5 24% Chevrolet Bolt 29% Infiniti QX30 5% Lincoln Continental 26% Genesis G90 16%

This week: What is the most intriguing new or remodeled SUV of 2017?

Buick Encore Cadillac XT-5 Ford Escape Jaguar F-Pace Mazda CX-9 Nissan Armada

Associated Graphic

In the wheat fields of Manitoba, Brendan McAleer takes the eight-cylinder Dodge Challenger for a drive as a tribute to the Tragically Hip.


Brendan McAleer takes a blue Dodge Challenger to the 100th meridian to a soundtrack of Tragically Hip songs.


A healthy office is a happy office
A handful of Canadian buildings are leading the way in workplace wellness. Acoustics, lighting and even the company snack bar are changing with the aim of putting employees in a better frame of mind
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B6

TORONTO -- The open-concept space was a field of workstations.

Amid a grid of blind corners and flapping cubicle doors, there was the constant risk of colliding with another worker or losing someone altogether, while primly stylish Parisian women strode by with precision.

This 1960s, ultramodern office was French filmmaker Jacques Tati's parody of workplace efficiency in his masterpiece Playtime, the joke being that efficiency immediately fails when an individual, with all his idiosyncrasies, is plunked down in the middle of it. Like any great parody (as This is Spinal Tap did to heavy metal), Mr. Tati forever made high-concept office spaces impossible to view without a slight smile and a little skepticism.

Yet planners are now embracing a new concept to correct the stultifying environment of modernism and blandness. They are emphasizing human needs, and are even welcoming human collisions (surreptitious collisions, they're now called, to foster closer communication between workers). But the planning is still high-concept.

The WELL designation for buildings, recently introduced in Canada and administered here by the Canada Green Building Council, which also oversees the environmental LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification, is positioning itself as a new seal of approval for wellness improvements.

Some features under the program are mandated, such as higher standards for water quality, as well as advanced lighting design that alters with daily circadian rhythms. And there are many optional initiatives, from sound masking for better acoustics to supplying basic bike tools for commuting cyclists. A WELL building not only mimics a more natural daytime experience, it tries to promote healthier living all day long.

Toronto-Dominion Bank has been an early adopter. It was first in the world to receive a formal WELL certification this year for its renovated 25,000-square-foot space on the 23nd floor, seating 170 employees, of its Toronto headquarters. Just one of the 50 floors it renovated was refitted to WELL's stipulations.

"At TD, typically when we enter into a new initiative like this - and this one being so new to the industry - we like to pilot things and do a gap analysis against our existing standards and projects and spaces to identify where this program specifically enhances our standards," said Martha MacInnis, design director at TD.

She is the bank's in-house interior designer.

"So, that's why we tested it on this one floor, and now we've expanded that to other projects," she said.

Next are a TD bank branch in Bethesda, Md., in an already health-conscious neighbourhood, and a bank branch in Toronto's new condo and multiuse Canary District, in the corner of the east side of the downtown in which the 2015 Pan Am Games athletes were housed.

The wellness program has been a big hit so far with employees, surprisingly so, Ms. MacInnis indicated. "We were anticipating that there might be some hesitancy with some of the features, because they're a little different.

I'm speaking particularly about nutrition and what's going to be in the vending machines, stuff that really affects people on a daily basis."

One WELL prerequisite is that no beverage sold or distributed in the office can have more than 30 grams of sugar per container.

(A 355-millilitre can of Coke, for example, has 39 grams.) There are a number of other rules about foods sold in the office needing proper labelling, with an emphasis on health.

TD workers have even been holding on-site health fairs and have had naturopathic specialists give health and wellness talks, Ms. MacInnes said. "People are really taking this from the workday into their personal life and building a culture in the office around health and wellness.

That's been exciting to watch."

Bean counters may scoff, but for companies spending most of their budget on employees, say, 60 to 70 per cent, it pays to keep workers happy and healthy.

So says the real-estate services company CBRE, which is registered for WELL certification for its Toronto West office near Pearson airport and its downtown Vancouver office. The aim was to demonstrate a better understanding of workplace wellness for its clients by adopting it themselves - as well as understanding the costs.

Wellness features were roughly 1 to 5 per cent of the cost of the new Vancouver office, which is in a building that was already a triple-A class and environmentally sound, LEED Gold office. Adding wellness features into the Toronto West office, in a lower end, class-B, suburban office block, cost more of the budget, about 10 to 15 per cent.

"We are not saying or promoting that this is what all companies should aim for, or that this is the new and only way to proceed," said Ashley O'Neill, vicepresident of corporate strategy at CBRE. Yet, this is a way for companies to show that they are part of the movement for office wellness and to communicate how much they value employees, she said.

"It's a way to certify and really walk the talk in terms of their values," said Lisa Fulford-Roy, CBRE's managing director of workplace strategy. "Those that are early adopters are going to adopt for a variety of reasons.

But right now, at the core of every conversation is, how do we engage employees? How do we increase productivity? And how is that going to contribute more effectively not only to the employee, but to the business over all?" But will WELL certification, like the LEED standard, create a new class of trophy buildings? What happens when some workers enjoy a WELL office, while others still have to toil in wellness-lacking back offices?

"I think the secret really is to address portfolios," said Simone Skopek, program manager at real-estate service firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

Companies will have some of their buildings LEED- and WELLcertified, but "you're not going to be able to do that across your portfolio [of properties]. You'll have some employees in a spectacularly green and well building, but others that aren't," she said.

Her firm has a detailed sustainability survey which Ms. Skopek developed for helping companies understand and isolate ways in which they can improve all their buildings and possibly focus on improvements that are most needed.

"Before you're going to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix a problem, make sure there is a problem," Ms. Skopek said. "The point is, let's not fix a problem because of certification. You're trying to improve the building, improve the occupants' experience. Wellness is for occupants, really."


17.3% Biggest one-week REIT gainer: Gazit Globe. CIBC

29.2% Biggest one-week REIT decliner: Lanesborough. CIBC

$2-billion Sales of residential, industrial, commercial and institutional land in the Greater Toronto Area during the second quarter, a record. Altus Group Ltd.

1.5% Vacancy rate for Metro Vancouver industrial space during the second quarter, down from 3.3 per cent a year earlier and the lowest level in a decade. Colliers

Associated Graphic

Real-estate service CBRE offers standup desks and circadian relevant lighting at its suburban Toronto office, left, to not only please its employees but also to show its clients a workplace wellness model. TD's tranquility lounge is among the amenities on its WELL floor in Toronto.


Hey @instagram, @twitter, police the haters or we're out of here
When it comes to monitoring abusive comments, Shane Dingman reports, social media could do much better
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

The most famous Justin on Instagram is no longer named Bieber. The Canadian pop singer appears to have deleted his account following incidents of harassment and bickering with fans. Millions of Beliebers anticipating photos of his latest beach vacation, backstage guest or shopping trip are met with the message "Sorry, this page isn't available."

The Biebs didn't just lock his account (which would make it available only to the people he has also followed), he deleted it.

This deployment of the nuclear option marks the latest example of a celebrity breaking up with a social network that previously acted as a useful tool for fan interaction.

How could the 22-year-old pride of Stratford, Ont., do this to the 77.8 million followers he had accumulated on the photobased social network? What appears to have happened was an uproar by "stans" (a portmanteau of "stalker" and "fan" that defines the obsessive attitude of certain social media users) who disapprove of his new girlfriend, 17-year-old Sofia Richie (daughter of singer Lionel).

The trouble started in the past few weeks while Bieber was on tour. He began posting pics of the two hanging out doing couply things in Japan, and his stans responded by suggesting Richie kill herself, among other unmentionably extreme messages.

"I'm gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don't stop the hate this is getting out of hand," Bieber declared on his account. "If you guys are really fans you wouldn't be so mean to people like that." Late on Monday, he made good on his threat.

(It probably didn't help that his high-profile ex Selena Gomez - who has 95 million Instagram followers - left comments on the post suggested that a) he didn't value his fans and b) he was a cheater. She later deleted her comments.)

The relationship that obsessive teens - now wondering if it's too late to say sorry - form with their heroes is always fraught, but what Bieber's case shows is that social-media companies are also still failing to get the balance right between allowing free and open communication among users without letting it degenerate into a rage-filled pileon.

Twitter has earned a reputation for coarseness: There are several high-profile examples of celebrities, journalists and others (mainly women) quitting the network because it hasn't done enough to stamp out harassment. Examples include Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live, who received a barrage of racist hate for her role in the Ghostbusters reboot, and New York Times editor Jon Weisman, who suffered a barrage of antiSemitic attacks.

Just this week, U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas shared her frustration with attacks that have dogged her since she won gold in London four years ago.

"When they talk about my hair or not putting my hand over my heart or being very salty in the stands, really criticizing me ... for me it was really hurtful," she told the Associated Press.

It's not a new thing and not new to Twitter. Back in 2014, Zelda Williams quit after she was harassed about her recently deceased father, beloved funnyman Robin Williams. Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said: "We suck at dealing with abuse" as far back as February, 2015.

More recently, trollish behaviour is taking its toll on Instagram stars, too. A few weeks ago, newly minted Star Wars star Daisy Ridley shuttered her Instagram and Twitter accounts after she was attacked for posting an anti-gun message (she later wrote that she just wanted to be on her phone less).

Twitter is now 10 years old, with 313 million users; the Facebookowned Instagram is younger, at five years old, but also bigger and faster-growing (500 million users, 8.5 million in Canada). Both suffer from the same problem - a reluctance to moderate content aimed at users with large followings and a basic bias to let users say whatever awful thing they want.

In Twitter's case, it's not for lack of ability. A recent BuzzFeed investigation about the platform's struggles with abuse included an extraordinary detail: The company previously used algorithmic premoderation of troll accounts, as well as a team of human moderators, to stop a live Q&A with U.S. President Barack Obama from turning into a racist tire fire - a plan that was kept secret even from some members of the Twitter product team. But it still has no plans to make such a feature available to regular users.

Instagram's community standards documentation, on the other hand, says talk that might get a user banned when aimed at a regular person - including "credible threats or hate speech ... personal information meant to harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages" - is fair game if directed at a celebrity.

"We do generally allow stronger conversation around people who are featured in the news or have a large public audience due to their profession or chosen activities," it reads. Basically, public personalities are asking for it.

In July, Instagram rolled out a "comment moderation" feature for all users that is based on filtering posts with keywords that are "reported as offensive," an opt-in feature that should help the company stop clearly racist, sexist and hateful language. It's also testing a feature with select celebrities who would help it ban customized words, which is useful given that keyword filters often become a cat-and-mouse game, with determined harassers finding new ways to say cruel things.

Another feature the company is testing, according to a spokesperson, is a way to simply turn comments off on publicly available Instagram posts. That kind of simple comment-limiting step has been available to newspapers and other online publishers for more than a decade, but is still not available to the average Instagram user.

Richie appears to be part of the test group for that system; she still has a public account with pictures of her with Bieber, including one with 195,000 likes but no comments. Further down her feed, the stans have begun to post hundreds of comments on unrelated photos that blame her for Bieber's move, posts that also frequently contain snake and poop emojis.

But this solution, and those Twitter has made widely available, have one thing in common: They still require the average user to do most of the work of manually deleting unwanted comments and blocking or reporting unwanted posters. The only real solutions for individuals who are overwhelmed is to go private (which would dramatically limit celebrity connections with fans) or, like the Biebs, delete their accounts entirely.

Famous people aren't the only reason people join social media, but it's pretty bad marketing when your most influential users tell their fans "this platform is not for me." On the bright side, Bieber fans missing more than just his body on Instagram may note that there's another Canadian Justin prone to taking his shirt off. One Mr. Trudeau, a politician of some sort, is now in sole possession of the top "Justin" related search result.

Associated Graphic

Top to bottom: Gabby Douglas, Justin Bieber and Sofia Richie, Leslie Jones.


U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has endured 'really hurtful' online attacks since she won gold in London four years ago.


After 14 years, no end in sight
Barack Obama pledged to close the prison in Cuba while running for president in 2008, but as his second term nears completion, the detention facility remains open. Patrick Martin explains why
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A8

Why was the prison at Guantanamo created?

It was set up to hold suspects in the "war on terror" declared by thenU.S. president George W. Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, as well as to house U.S. military commissions that would prosecute these suspects.

The international organization Human Rights Watch notes that such proceedings "lack the due process protections of U.S. federal courts." As such, they permit prisoners to be held indefinitely and allow testimony derived through torture.

Why does Obama want it closed?

When he was a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama said that he considered the existence of the Guantanamo facility to be a legal and moral abomination; that the military commissions' apparatus harmed the reputation of the United States as a state governed by the rule of law.

More recently, he has emphasized the radicalizing effect the existence of Gitmo has had on susceptible young men and the high cost on maintaining the operation - more than $5-billion (U.S.) and counting.

What stopped him?

Two things.

First, the President himself blinked. In May, 2009, four months after he signed the executive order to close the prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base within one year, Mr. Obama backtracked. He announced his administration would continue to use the military commissions to prosecute suspects, but with improved rules of procedure. He added, to the delight of civil-liberty advocates, that there also would be the option of trying some of the accused in U.S. federal courts wherever feasible.

The prospect of such trials was largely dashed in 2010, however, when the administration's decision to prosecute five 9/11 suspects in New York was met by a backlash from the public and political establishment and the White House climbed down.

That's when the Democratic Congress stepped in and closed the U.S. court option by passing a defence bill that prevented the military from spending any of its funding on transferring Guantanamo inmates to the United States, even for the purpose of prosecution.

An increasingly Republican Congress is unlikely to revoke such measures, even for the last of the inmates.

"As far as I'm concerned, every last one of them can rot in hell," Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said recently, "but as long as they don't do that, they can rot in Guantanamo Bay."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said that, if elected, he will fill Guantanamo with "bad dudes" and "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."

Who has been held there?

At its peak, in June, 2003, there were 684 detainees in Guantanamo. A total of 779 were held there at some point between 2002 and today. Most were from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, although suspects hailed from as many as 50 different countries.

They included suspects in the attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998; the attacks on ships in the area of the Arabian Peninsula - including the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 U.S. sailors; the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington; as well as many enemy combatants captured in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Who's left?

With the most recent transfer of detainees to the United Arab Emirates, just 61 inmates remain, 20 of whom have also been cleared for transfer out of Guantanamo.

Of the 41 not cleared, seven are still being prosecuted in trials that have lasted years and show no end in sight.

They include:

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of plotting the attack on the USS Cole;

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks;

Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who is alleged to be another senior al-Qaeda figure linked to the Sept. 11 attacks but failed to get a U.S. visa;

Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, the suspected financial chief used by Mr. Mohammed to arrange the funding for the Sept. 11 attacks;

Walid bin Attash, who allegedly helped in the preparation of the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings and acted as a bodyguard to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The lone Canadians at Gitmo Abdurahman Khadr and his younger brother, Omar, were among Guantanamo's inmates.

Omar Khadr, who was captured in 2002 and detained for 10 years, is the more famous of the two. At the age of 15, he was involved in a firefight with U.S. soldiers at a village in Afghanistan and seriously wounded. He was accused of and pleaded guilty in 2010 to throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. serviceman. Sentenced to eight years in prison, he was repatriated to Canada in 2012 to serve the remainder of his sentence and was released on bail in May, 2015, pending an appeal of his U.S. conviction.

Abdurahman Khadr was also sent to Guantanamo in 2002 (at the age of 20) but appears to have been there as a mole for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. He was released in 2003 and has lived in Toronto for most of the past several years.

15 Number of detainees transferred to the United Arab Emirates

61 Number of detainees who remain imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay

245 Number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay when President Barack Obama took office in 2009

9 Number of detainees who have died in custody 7

79 Total number of detainees who have been held at Guantanamo Bay since January, 2002

8 Number of detainees who have been convicted, though four of those convictions have been vacated by U.S. federal courts of appeal

$445 Cost, in millions of U.S. dollars, to operate the Guantanamo Bay detention mission in the fiscal year of 2015 Sources: U.S. Department of Defence, New York Times News Service

'High-valued' detainees awaiting trial

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, seen moments after his capture in Pakistan in 2003, is a citizen of Pakistan and is the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He has confessed to the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl and to a central role in 30 other attacks.

Walid bin Attash, a Yemeni citizen, has been held at Guantanamo for nearly 10 years.

The Guantanamo Review Task Force accuses him of being a senior al-Qaeda lieutenant and to helping in the planning for the attack on the USS Cole and on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, has been charged with war crimes for supporting al-Qaeda as a facilitator, financial manager and media committee member, according to the Guantanamo Review Task Force.

Ramzi bin al-Shibh is a citizen of Yemen. According to documents from the Guantanamo Review Task Force, he was a 'significant member of al-Qaeda who was selected to be the co-ordinator' for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Associated Graphic

Dawn arrives at the now-closed Camp X-Ray, top, which was used as the first detention facility for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. At centre, a detainee is seen shackled to the floor inside Camp 6 in 2010. Canadian Omar Khadr, left, is pictured through a security fence in 2010.


'Mom and pop' landlords on the rise
The housing-affordability crisis has left residents choosing to rent out secondary suites in their own homes to cover mortgage costs
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- The rapidly rising cost of rental units in Canada's largest cities, along with vacancy rates near zero, mean it's increasingly difficult for people who rely on rental units to find - and keep - their housing. Like the real estate market, rental prices have become detached from incomes and are forcing people to live in cramped apartments, find roommates well into adulthood or simply move away.

The Globe and Mail is spending the summer examining how those factors have shaped the lives of renters, landlords and their cities.

O nline classified sites are filling with posts from pilots, lawyers, construction workers and people doing all kinds of other jobs who have tacked on being a landlord as an extra way to help cover their mortgage costs.

With cities such as Vancouver and Toronto struggling to cope with a housing-affordability crisis, many people are choosing to rent out secondary suites in, or attached to, their homes as they try to keep a handle on outrageous property prices.

The rapidly increasing cost of real estate, particularly in the Vancouver region, has rippled into the rental market, pushing vacancies near zero while causing rates to increase. At the same time, the number of units outside of purpose-built rental buildings has been steadily escalating.

Vancouver and Toronto permit secondary suites as a legal renting option - provided they meet certain criteria - and encourage them as a means of generating affordable housing. Other cities, such as Calgary, have struggled with finding a smooth process for regulating such rentals, balancing the need to create more housing with complaints from neighbours wary of introducing more renters into areas currently dominated by single-family houses.

There isn't any certification or training requirements to rent out a home or condo across the country, but all landlords are covered by provincial tenancy laws that set out rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.

While renter advocates have complained that such laws aren't adequate, some landlords also say they don't have enough protection from problem tenants.

Amy, who asked that only her first name be used, is a smallscale landlord, originally from Alberta, who has lived in British Columbia for 25 years. She rents out a "mortgage helper" suite in Burnaby and a condo in Coquitlam. She's a volunteer administrator of an unofficial landlord support group on Facebook. Amy says she participates in the group because she doesn't think there are enough resources available for small-scale landlords in the province, or any forum available to register problem tenants.

While Amy doesn't deny that slumlords and bad landlords are a problem, she says there is a group of people who do the job simply as a means to get by financially.

She worries that many of these new landlords don't know how to properly vet tenants and can end up in tough situations because of it. She feels the current laws don't protect landlords enough, that the eviction process takes too long and can result in landlords spending money they can't afford in the process.

"That is the biggest failure," she said. "The government is always talking about housing and how there isn't enough rentals, and the rental [vacancy] rate is so low and prices are so high and you know ... if there was better protection in place for the landlords, I can tell you there would be a lot more small landlords."

Realtor and landlord Lola Bradfield also feels there is no venue for landlords to share information or get support in the province.

She says B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act favours one side - the tenant - over landlords.

"The assumption that there are no bad tenants is ridiculous," Ms. Bradfield said.

"What the system puts landlords through when they try to rid themselves of a bad tenant: You would think the landlord is the devil and the tenant is some angel that just fell into hell, and that's not the case."

It's difficult to get a precise handle on how many homeowners have become part-time landlords.

Some cities don't regulate, or track, secondary suites at all, and even when they do, they often measure the phenomenon differently.

In Vancouver, construction permits for secondary suites and lane-way housing have increased from just a few dozen in 2009 to nearly 1,000 in 2015. Toronto says it doesn't track secondary suites.

Andrew Sakamoto, executive director of the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, which provides legal advice and support to tenants across British Columbia, says that he's noticed that "mom and pop" landlords sometimes feel an unwarranted sense of entitlement to their property.

"Sort of an 'It's my home I can do what I want' type mentality," he said, adding that the landlords who tend to think that way often fail to educate themselves on their role as landlords, outlined in the province's legislation.

He says that in the past six months, the majority of complaints his centre has received from tenants in secondary suites were about eviction, repairs and noise issues.

Mr. Sakamoto says a member of his staff cited a trend that tenants living in secondary suites complained of being pressured out, with these types of landlords either planning to switch to Airbnb, or raising the rent by starting a new lease with new tenants.

David Hutniak, the CEO of LandlordBC - the biggest landlord industry association in the province - said his group's members recognize they are running a business and have signed a code of conduct requiring them to familiarize themselves with their own and tenants' rights.

However, Mr. Hutniak acknowledges that there is a demographic of landlords who haven't spent the time to understand the act, or who simply don't honour it. This worries him.

"They are not only harming themselves and tenants but they are also harming the broader industry," he said.

To address that, Mr. Hutniak says LandlordBC hopes to launch a voluntary landlord registry in the province that will require landlords to pass a test in exchange for receiving a certificate of competency.

"We've had so many turnovers in terms of housing here and new owners and new condos and all this and I think consequently we've had a lot of novice landlords who have entered the market." He says there are some basics to the landlord-tenant relationship, and that it's up to new landlords to learn them.

"It's all well spelled out," he said.

The B.C. government notes that the terms of the act don't differentiate between landlords who manage many properties and those who simply rent out suites in their own basements.

In Vancouver, Lloyd Cheung's phone has been ringing off the hook.

On Thursday, he posted an ad on Craigslist to rent out the basement suite of his house in East Vancouver where he lives with his family. He works in construction, but his part-time gig as a landlord helps pay his mortgage.

"I didn't realize how short on housing this city is," he said. "It gets overwhelming. " He says he asks that people e-mail him to express interest, but that he doesn't have time to respond to all the requests he receives.

High-ranking IOC official arrested in ticket scalping investigation
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Europe's top Olympic official has been arrested in Rio and charged with scalping tickets to the Summer Games, in connection with an illegal ticket resale ring.

Patrick Hickey, who is president of the Olympic Council of Ireland and an International Olympic Committee executive, was arrested in an upscale hotel near the main Olympic Park early on Wednesday morning and taken to hospital. Mr. Hickey is 71, and reportedly has had heart trouble previously.

One other Irish citizen, the director of a hospitality company at the centre of the alleged scam, is in custody, and there are warrants for seven more European men who are not in Brazil; the police say they are co-ordinating with Interpol to seek their arrest.

The ticket resale scam could be worth as much as 10 million Brazilian reais, or $4-million, police say.

"We apprehended 823 tickets with an original value of R$626,000 and they were being sold for 30 times over the original price," said Ricardo Barbosa, an investigator in the fraud department of the Rio de Janeiro state police.

He said police went to the beachfront hotel, one reserved for IOC members, around 7 a.m.

Wednesday and knocked at Mr. Hickey's hotel room, where his wife told them he had returned to Ireland.

They then began to search the hotel and found Mr. Hickey in the room next door, which was occupied by his son; Brazilian media have aired footage of Mr. Hickey opening the door to police naked and then being questioned in a bathrobe.

Det. Barbosa said police seized Mr. Hickey's passport, IOC credentials, cellphone and laptop, which contained e-mails he exchanged with his lawyer after the recent arrest in Rio of another Irish citizen whom police say had tickets bound for resale at a profit, which is illegal in Brazil.

Kevin Mallon, a director of a British hospitality company called THG Sports, was arrested on Aug. 5 at a hotel near Olympic Park and police said he had the 823 tickets in his possession bound for resale at higher than face value. They included a "significant number" of tickets earmarked for use by the Irish Olympic committee, Det. Barbosa said.

The investigator said the alleged scam worked like this: The Irish Olympic committee under Mr. Hickey accredited a newly created Irish company called Pro10 Sports Management to be the authorized reseller of Summer Games tickets allotted to the committee by the IOC. The Irish committee could not use THG Sports, which was its authorized ticket reseller for the 2012 London Games and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as the company was implicated in ticket scalping in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But the Rio investigators say Pro10 simply received the tickets and handed them to THG Sports, which resold them above face value as part of a fake "hospitality program."

Police have now issued warrants for executives of both Pro10 and THG Sports, including Marcus Evans, owner of both the parent company for THG Sports and of the English soccer club Ipswich Town FC.

"The main goal of this group was profiting from the ticket sales," Det. Barbosa said, adding it used the fake hospitality company to make it harder to track the resale. "Some of the tickets, which cost R$1,400 [at face value], were sold for $8,000 U.S. We apprehended 823 tickets during the entire operation and some of them were designated for the Irish Olympic committee [friends and family]. Also, we were able to track the others with the barcode - all of them were destined to the Irish audience. And these tickets cannot be resold."

Pro10 said in a statement its staff has "always acted properly and fully in line with [ticket resale] guidelines. ... The allegation that a portion of the [Olympic Council of Ireland]'s familyand-friends tickets were being made available by Pro10 for general sale is utterly untrue." THG Sports said Mr. Mallon had not sold or sought to sell tickets but had been holding them for collection by clients of Pro10.

The IOC will co-operate with the police investigation if approached by police, spokesman Mark Adams said.

"Mr. Hickey is entitled for the world and everyone to believe he is innocent until he is proven guilty," Mr. Adams said.

He emphasized the relatively small number of tickets known to be involved in this case so far.

"This involves 1,000 tickets from the Irish national Olympic committee. There are 6.5 million tickets on sale here; it is the biggest ticketing organization that happens at any event in world."

The Irish Olympic committee said Mr. Hickey is "temporarily stepping down" from all of his positions. He has been in charge of the Olympic Council of Ireland since 1989, was elected head of the European Olympic Committees in 2006 and has served on the IOC's executive board since 2012.

The allegations about scalping come even as Rio 2016 organizers face persistent questions about why event venues are often less than half-full - even for high-demand events that show as "sold out" on the main ticketing website. Det. Barbosa, the investigator, said the tickets being resold were for the most expensive seating at the highestprofile events, such as the opening and closing ceremonies.

The case is evocative of a similar arrest in Rio during the 2014 World Cup, when a dozen men, including Raymond Whelan, an executive from the official hospitality partner of FIFA, soccer's governing body, and a THG staff member, were arrested for ticket scalping. That case is still before the courts, with a judgment expected in September.

"Everybody followed the incidents after the World Cup and we wanted to make sure there were no similar incidents in the Games," Rio 2016 spokesperson Mario Andrada said on Wednesday. "We worked on the ticketing system for Rio 2016 consulting and gave information to the police from the beginning ... the goal here is to produce a system whereby no illegal actions are taken and where the profits of tickets sales go to the organizing committee." Rio 2016 went so far as to modify the appearance of tickets to make them easier for police to monitor, he said.

"We don't see this investigation and even today's developments as a taint to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," Mr. Andrada said.

After Mr. Mallon's arrest, the Irish Olympic committee said it would investigate how friendsand-family tickets came to be in his possession. This past weekend, Irish Minister for Sport Shane Ross flew to Rio to meet with Mr. Hickey on the issue.

After that meeting, Mr. Ross released a statement saying he was "stunned" that the Ireland committee was insisting on conducting its own investigation, with no transparency or involvement of independent parties.

Mr. Hickey has been an IOC member since 2005 and is reported to have a close relationship with president Thomas Bach. Mr. Hickey had said he planned to step down as president of the Irish committee after these Games.

Associated Graphic

Top European and Irish Olympic official Patrick Hickey, seen at a judo match on Aug. 7 at the Rio Games, is accused of being involved in a ticket-resale scam worth about $4-million.


Van Niekerk's race a controversial subject
The sprinter, who made history by setting a world record, has become an icon among mixed-race South Africans seemingly overnight
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A3

RIO DE JANEIRO -- A great many South Africans stayed up until 2 a.m. on Monday to watch Cape Town sprinter Wayde van Niekerk run 400 metres around a Rio track on his way to a world record and a gold medal. His epic win was a burst of good news in a country that has lacked for things to celebrate of late. And because Mr. van Niekerk, 24, runs for South Africa, his sprint also kicked off a bout of the country's other national sport: debating race and identity politics, and just who gets to claim the new hero.

Mr. van Niekerk's story made for instant admiration. He won Sunday in 43.03 seconds - 0.15 seconds faster than U.S. track star Michael Johnson ran in 1999.

Mr. van Niekerk is the first South African to run the 400 metres in under 44 seconds, but also the first man to run 200 metres in under 20 seconds and 100 metres under 10. He not only eclipsed Mr. Johnson's 17-year-old record, he was also the first to win the race from the outside lane. It is South Africa's first gold medal in track and field in nearly 100 years, and the first since the country's full return to international sport competition after apartheid.

His coach is a 74-year-old greatgrandmother, who watched his run Sunday night with her hands clasped to her face. His mother was herself a track star who was denied the chance to compete internationally because of apartheid.

"The whole of South Africa is jumping for joy. ... We haven't had very many good news stories in a long time, and this is the happiest story this year," Ethel Williams Abrahamse, a filmmaker and activist, said in a telephone interview from Cape Town. "Even we who don't believe in athletics, we really needed this - we needed to come together," said Ms. Williams Abrahamse, who, like Mr. van Niekerk, is of mixed-race heritage, known in South Africa as Coloured. "And we are also very excited with the fact that he does come from a less privileged-thanthe-average background: One of the things we fight a lot about in this country is access to facilities for all. He managed to do this with a 74-year-old coach. Imagine, with all that talent what he could have done if he had had access to professional coaching, and the sponsors and equipment that white athletes do?" When sports reporter Junia Stainbank interviewed Mr. van Niekerk for the South African channel eNCA at the national championships two months ago, he asked the runner what he was most proud of. The reply came instantly: "My grades."

Mr. van Niekerk is studying commerce at the University of the Free State, where Anna Botha has run the athletics program for the past 30 years, Mr. Stainbank said. Ms. Botha is widely known in South Africa as Tannie Ans, roughly translatable as Aunt Annie, and she took Mr. van Niekerk on after a devastating hamstring injury appeared to have ended a promising career while he was still competing as a junior.

Mr. van Niekerk's mother, Odessa Swarts, was a track and field competitor who set national records, but she chose to compete in the non-racial sports organization that opposed apartheid, which meant she could never compete outside the national level. The full glare of the media spotlight is on the family now, with grainy interview footage dug up of Ms. Swarts talking about how her son was born a month early ("he's always been fast") and how doctors initially told her he might not survive his first 24 hours.

Gino Fernandez, a comedian who stayed up all night huddled in blankets in the Cape Town Winter to watch the race on TV, said Mr. van Niekerk's extraordinary run has extra meaning for South Africans. "For someone to win gold and break a record is awesome," he said. "And then - it's not a white guy. That's a massive difference as well."

The Coloured community is a distinctly South African one, a people whose racial heritage results from the intermixing of Europeans and Bantu Africans as well as South Asian slaves imported in the 1600s and the Khoi-San people who were indigenous to the region. Coloureds were classified as a separate group by the apartheid government, which gave rise to a distinct cultural identity; many speak Afrikaans as a first language.

In the post-apartheid era, they have continued to occupy a separate and sometimes marginalized sphere, roughly summed up as "not white enough before, not black enough now."

"It shows everyone what's possible, you know?" Mr. Fernandez said. "South African Coloured people, we never really had a hero - we'll always be in the middle somewhere, always like a second-grade race - so for something like that to happen is just incredible."

Shortly after Mr. van Niekerk won his medal, the term "Coloured" began to trend on social media and the debate continued lustily into Monday. Some posters were quick to claim him for the community, others to make the argument (which was common in the anti-apartheid movement) that everyone who isn't white is black and that the apartheid-era label Coloured has no place in the new South Africa.

Eusebius McKaiser, a prominent radio host and political commentator in Johannesburg, said the response was uniquely and predictably South African - first in the swing from misery to elation.

The country is in a dark moment, with a limping economy, and widespread dissatisfaction with the government of President Jacob Zuma, which recently produced the most divisive municipal elections of the country's democratic history.

"Those were an expression of deep discontent with the state of the state and the state of political leadership - but this and the last few days of athletes doing exceptionally well is helping to swing us out of a state of depression and slip into a bubble bath," he said.

In that, it is reminiscent of South Africa's surprise win in the 1995 rugby World Cup (retold in the film Invictus) and success in holding soccer's World Cup in 2010, Mr. McKaiser said - another welcome respite.

It has been a good Games for South Africa: Swimmer Chad le Clos has won two silver medals, long jumper Luvo Manyonga won silver and there was also a bronze in rowing. And Mr. van Niekerk's cousin was part of the men's rugby sevens side that won bronze as well. Mr. Manyonga's is another feel-good story; he spent years addicted to crystal meth, or tik as it is known in South Africa, before making a track comeback.

Mr. McKaiser, who is Coloured, also chuckled at the fact that a sporting medal immediately set off an identity politics debate.

"How about waiting for the dude to come back here - we're ascribing all kinds of identities on to his body - without understanding his own views."

Associated Graphic

Wayde van Niekerk celebrates after winning the men's 400-metre final on Sunday. Mr. van Niekerk is part of a racial minority in South Africa, where his victory has reignited debate over race.


Vancouver's West Broadway is in the midst of a 'land rush'
Some low-rise commercial buildings have sold recently for eye-popping prices as developers anticipate a new transit line and greater density along the thoroughfare. It's all the more remarkable considering the SkyTrain extension could be still a decade away
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B4

The building at 950 West Broadway in Vancouver is unremarkable, a two-storey concrete structure that is home to an IHOP, a Japanese restaurant and an insurance broker, among other things.

But it sold last May for a phenomenal $46-million, according to B.C. Assessment Authority records, even though it had been assessed at just $18-million. It was the latest record-breaking sale in what has been a year of highwater marks for commercial properties along Broadway.

Why so high? As Colliers, the agency listing the property, put it: "Without question, the highly anticipated UBC-Broadway Rapid Transit Line has placed a spotlight on West Broadway and amplified demand for land and investment assets."

That sale and others demonstrate the impact that a future transit line - even one that has no confirmed funding or firm completion date - can have on an area.

"There's been a land rush on Broadway," says Jon Stovell, the chair of the region's Urban Development Institute. "Developers have been purchasing with an expectation it will be one of the densest areas in the region."

That's all in anticipation of the extension of the Broadway SkyTrain line from Commercial Drive in the east to Arbutus Street in the west, a plan that has been talked about for a couple of decades.

If built, the line would serve a corridor that has been called Vancouver's third downtown, a long strip that is already packed with medical offices, restaurants and stores. Some parts of it have office towers already, especially near Vancouver General Hospital, but much of it is unprepossessing and low-rise.

But hopes are high that the new transit line will actually happen this time, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made specific promises about transit funding for Broadway during his campaign last fall.

So far, only initial planning money has been committed.

Everyone is now waiting for what's called the second-phase funding, which is supposed to be negotiated this fall in anticipation of a much bigger commitment to transit projects across the country by the Liberals in their second budget next February.

Even when that comes through, though, it could be as much as a decade before the Broadway extension opens.

As well, it's unclear at this point whether the city will rezone the area for more density. At the moment, much of the central corridor is zoned to allow for buildings that are equivalent to just three times the lot size.

"Once we have confirmed funding and an annual project, we'll engage in a planning process," says Jane Pickering, Vancouver's acting general manager of planning. "Around transit stations, it's pretty clear there will be some densification."

One area that does have the green light for greater density is around the existing CommercialBroadway station, the secondbusiest in the transit system. Increased density around that station was recently approved as part of the Grandview-Woodlands community plan, which is mapping out what services are needed as the neighbourhood grows by 10,000 people over the next 25 years.

There is a Safeway grocery store with a large parking lot next to it, where developer Ian Gillespie of Westbank Corp., who has worked with Safeway on other projects in the past, is in the midst of designing a new complex of towers with residential and office space.

Mr. Stovell says he's certain the province, which has to commit to millions of dollars in funding, along with the federal money, for the project to proceed, will be pushing the city to allow more density.

"Clearly, the province is convinced the Broadway line has to go along with densification.

They're not going to allow what happened on the Expo line again," he says.

The city's first transit line opened in 1986 - the Expo line ran from downtown Vancouver to Surrey - and is remarkable for the low density of development that still exists around its stations 30 years later.

But there are no firm guarantees on exactly what density will be allowed.

That's not stopping property buyers, though.

Mr. Stovell's company, Reliance Holdings, acquired a large site eight blocks east of the IHOP restaurant, the current Mountain Equipment Co-op store that is due to move in a couple of years.

The property, currently valued at $47-million, was acquired by his company last June for a price that doesn't appear in B.C. land records.

Another noted land deal along the corridor was the purchase by the long-established Vancouver family, the Pappajohns, of the Denny's restaurant site on Broadway three blocks west of the IHOP site.

That was purchased for $26-million, double the 2015 assessed value, in February this year.

Besides those purchases, the City of Vancouver and TransLink, the transportation agency that will be building and operating the Broadway line, have bought pieces of land at key locations, several sources say.

But one problem with the early buying at high prices is that it may actually hinder development, at a time when Vancouver is suffering from a severe squeeze on housing. Both house prices and rents have been soaring in the past year, as existing and new residents, along with investors, have competed hard for the slowgrowing supply of housing.

Some of the current speculation is "stripping more supply out of the market," says Avison Young principal Mehdi Shokri. "Transit is supposed to be helping spur development, but we're going to find we're adding more pressure to the supply problem," he says.

As a result, he says, sites west of where the new line is supposed to stop are seeing more development activity because builders there know there is likely to be no change, so they're proceeding on the basis of the current zoning.

But in the hot new transit-line area, people are holding off.

For example, the buyer of 950 West Broadway is a company called Hometop Enterprises that was created just last February.

The company's incorporator is Bao Meng Wen, with an address in the city's upscale Kerrisdale neighbourhood. The company does not appear to have any development experience.

New purchasers like that feel that they can only get a return on the high prices they paid if they get considerably more density - and will wait however many years it takes to get that, says Mr. Shokri.

Mr. Stovell adds, "We won't see a lot of projects breaking ground until there is clarity on the zoning."


6.1% Biggest one-week REIT gainer: Brookfield Real Estate Services.


9.1% Biggest one-week REIT decliner: Temple Hotels.


11 Number of Canada's 12 main real estate markets that have experienced rising office vacancy rates over the past year, according to the Mid-Year 2016 North American, U.K. and Germany Office Market Report. The exception is Winnipeg.

Avison Young

12.1% Vacancy rate average in the 12 Canadian cities at mid-year, up 170 basis points from a year earlier. 8 Avison Young

Associated Graphic

The commercial building at 950 West Broadway in Vancouver sold for $46-million, even though it had been assessed at $18-million.



'Hyperactive' Elise Gravel parodies ballet
Quebecker's latest, The Cranky Ballerina, draws on the author's past to tell a funny story that subverts gender roles
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

There's little chance that the National Ballet of Canada will stock copies of Elise Gravel's latest picture book, The Cranky Ballerina, in its gift shop. The cover of this gender-stereotypethwarting story of a girl who hates, hates, hates to dance shows a tutu-clad Ada, arms crossed in obvious displeasure, proclaiming that "ballet stinks."

Inside, when she arrives at her class, she declares that "arabesques are grotesque" before wiping out her fellow students while disastrously attempting a pirouette. The book ends - spoiler alert! - with Ada taking up karate.

The author sympathizes with her diminutive reluctant dancer; like Ada, when Gravel was young, her parents enrolled her in ballet lessons. She still seems traumatized by the experience.

"It was awful," Gravel says on the phone from Vancouver, where she was vacationing with her family on the eve of The Cranky Ballerina's publication. "I was 4, I think. The only thing we had to do was run gracefully and jump over the teacher's giant purse. I couldn't do it. I fell flat on my face and all the other kids laughed. I ran crying to my parents and said, 'I never want to do this again.' That was the end of ballet."

Instead of becoming a professional dancer, Gravel has become one of Quebec's most beloved picture-book authors, not to mention one of its most prolific. Since 2003, when her first book was released, the 39year-old Gravel has published approximately 45 titles in her home province, winning the Governor-General's Literary Award for children's illustration in 2012, as well as a host of young (and not-so-young) fans.

"Elise is a rock star in Quebec," says Peggy Burns, publisher of Montreal's independent comics powerhouse Drawn & Quarterly, who first met Gravel at the Salon du livre de Montréal literary festival last year. "My daughter was dying to meet her and waited in a very long line to do so. If your child is willing to do this, you know the author is a big deal."

Gravel is increasingly a big deal outside Quebec, having published three books in English since March: I Want a Monster!, about a girl who wants a different sort of pet; The Toad, the seventh volume in her delightful Disgusting Critters series of nonfiction books, which introduce young readers to the grossest (and in Gravel's opinion, most fascinating) creatures in the world; and now, The Cranky Ballerina, which just arrived in bookstores.

After spending several years unsuccessfully trying to attract North American publishers, she's now available almost everywhere.

"I started writing books in French and trying to sell the rights in English, and now it's the other way around," says Gravel, who wrote I Want A Monster! and The Cranky Ballerina in English before translating it back into her first language. "It seems like English publishers are discovering me and are getting excited about publishing my stuff." "There's so many amazing, interesting things coming out of Quebec, especially in children's literature," says Tara Walker, publisher of Penguin Random House Canada Children's Publishing Group, which releases Gravel's work through its Tundra imprint. "But, often, they're not really suited to the English market."

Walker was the first Englishlanguage publisher to work with Gravel, having come across the Disgusting Critters series at (again) the Salon du livre a few years ago and quickly snapping up English-language rights to the entire series. "It was the best thing I'd seen all year," she says.

"It just seemed so fresh and funny."

These short, cartoonish guidebooks celebrate creatures - lice, worms, rats - that otherwise get a bad rap from society. As a child growing up in Montreal, Gravel, the daughter of awardwinning author François Gravel, says she had a soft spot for all things "unloved."

She adored bugs, for instance, and would turn over a rock just to see what creatures were squirming underneath. "I found them gorgeous," she says. "I didn't understand why people found these so gross. I still don't.

I think I have empathy for creatures that nobody loves, or that are strange or weird or different.

I want to share that with children, because I feel a lot of children are taught to hate bugs, or to hate weird or different creatures, by grown-ups. But they wouldn't if they were left to themselves. Who decided that a worm is gross? Why?

"I have a lot of other creatures I want to write about," she adds.

"There are so many disgusting animals and I love them all. My daughters really want me to write one about boys."

Renaud Plante, her editor at the Quebec publishing house Editions Les 400 Coups, describes Gravel's work as a mix of "heart and absurdity. She likes monsters and weird little creatures, but also little imperfections that make a personality richer. Her books are irreverent and funny, but talk a lot about friendship and the desire to discover."

Jill Davis, executive editor at Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, which published both I Want A Monster! and The Cranky Ballerina, says one of the things that makes Gravel's work stand out is that it's "so child-centered.

It's as if she knows what a child's reality looks like."

(Gravel agrees with this assessment: "My sense of humour is very childish and absurd and I feel very immature when I write books," she says. "I'm writing for myself, and I'm a baby. I'm really a little, very excited child.") Gravel was only in her mid-20s when she published her first book. After studying graphic design in school, and hoping to land some work as a commercial illustrator, she began working on her portfolio, which consisted solely of invented clients - "fake ads for very silly products," as she describes them. Thinking that this might make a fun picture book, she mailed her work to Editions Les 400 Coups, but never heard back. "After six months, I called them," she says.

"They said, 'Oh yeah, we got that, but we forgot to answer. It's awfully funny. We want to publish it. Come over immediately.' " Not long after, Le Catalogue des gaspilleurs - which roughly translates to "catalogue for the wasteful" - was in stores. "I got more offers from publishers right after that," Gravel says.

Those offers have never stopped coming. Looking just at her English-language releases, TOON Books, the avant-garde children's imprint started by New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly will put out The Great Antonio, a translation of her illustrated biography of the Quebec strongman, this fall, and Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere will be published by HarperCollins next spring, around the same time Drawn & Quarterly plans to publish her artist sketchbook- which she shares regularly with her 56,000 Instagram followers - If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel.

"These days, most of the time I have four projects going on at the same time, at different stages," Gravel says. "I'm hyperactive."

Associated Graphic

Arabesques are grotesque, proclaims the protagonist of The Cranky Ballerina, Elise Gravel's latest children's comic.

Elise Gravel

There's no Big Data without intelligent interface
These reams of information are a remarkable new material of the 21st century - as important to our future as water. But they're meaningless without our ability to curate, interpret and represent them, write Patricio Davila, Sara Diamond and Steve Szigeti
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B4

BY DESIGN This piece is part of By Design, a Globe and Mail/OCAD University summer series highlighting design thinking, issues and innovation.

We need the skills of designers and artists, and widespread data literacy, to ensure that Canada succeeds in the Big Data era.

We can describe data as one of the remarkable new materials of the 21st century - as important to our future as water. Data are measurements of other things: physical phenomena (such as weather patterns) or virtual phenomena (such as telecommunications packets). Every time we search for an online movie, view a video on our mobile device, tweet a comment about a news article, upload a photo to Instagram or are directed to a new location in Pokemon Go, we are producing and responding to data.

Discoverability, the ability to find what we want through harnessing our data traces, has redefined distribution. Similarly, it is through data analytics that personalized advertisements appear adjacent to or are embedded in our online experiences.

Data will be a critical part of our future. The blockchain transformation in peer-secured financial and contractual transactions relies on sophisticated analytics to produce, exchange and archive a digital database. CRISPR genome editing samples and modifies genetic data to modify human bodies. Increasingly connected devices and systems - vehicles, smart homes, health analytics, mobile devices, remote environmental controls of buildings, wearable fitness technology and embedded experiences - produce data and are driven by data management.

The ability to understand and use data-based systems is required and will be even more so in democratic life, whether urban planning, transportation, economic development, health-care improvement, security, education or social and cultural interventions. Our ability to produce, monitor and manage our personal data, sometimes described as "the quantified self," will increasingly intersect with our health and insurance data. There are implications for privacy that require that we understand the connections of our small data and Big Data. Through design thinking and foresight, we can use qualitative and ethnographic knowledge to bring human factors and needs into dialogue with the artificial intelligence and machine learning that drives data analytics. We can better identify trends and anticipate events and behaviours. We need to make informed choices about which decisions can and should be automated through the intelligent systems that are able to analyze and act on data faster than human intervention.

Here's the challenge: For humans, data are meaningless without curation, interpretation and representation. All the examples described above require elegant, meaningful and navigable sensory interfaces. Adjacent to the visual are emerging creative, applied and inclusive design practices in data "representation," whether it's data sculpture (such as 3-D printing), tangible computing (wearables) or data sonification (yes, data can make beautiful music).

Infographics is the practice of displaying data, while data visualization or visual analytics refers to tools or systems that are interactive and allow users to upload their own data sets. In a world increasingly driven by data analysis, designers, digital media artists and animators provide essential tools for users. These interpretive skills stand side by side with general literacy, numeracy, statistical analytics, computational skills and cognitive science.

OCAD University faculty, researchers and students are among those exploring data visualization's potential to provide meaningful interfaces among data, databases, machines and humans.

6 Meeting the challenges of urban congestion, traffic, transit and systems planning is a fundamental requirement for our future economic and social well-being.

The iCity project led by Eric Miller at the University of Toronto (in partnership with OCAD University, University of Waterloo and many stakeholders and industry partners, such as IBM, ESRI and Cellant) is providing sophisticated data-analysis and visualization tools for transportation planning.

These allow system managers and city planners to better see transportation networks, problems and outages. Other visualizations allow citizens to view proposals for development that could worsen or improve congestion. Actual data sets and simulations are being used to explore scenarios.

A related project, StudentMove TO, was initiated by four university presidents in the Greater Toronto Area who commissioned OCAD University researchers to develop an overview of student transit and transportation habits and needs to help cities, planners, transportation planners and the universities themselves understand how students get to school.

The resulting visualizations will help make better planning decisions about bike lanes, walking routes, transit and mobility between transit zones and modes.

Working with the digital version of The Globe and Mail, OCAD University used data about article publication time and authorship to create visualizations expressing the sentiment or emotions expressed by different news sections.

The Care and Condition Monitor is a tablet and smartphone tool developed by Anne Stevens, Hudson Pridham, Steve Szigeti, Bhuvaneswari Arunachalan and Sara Diamond of the Visual Analytics Lab that supports patients, health-care workers and families to set and realize treatment goals and outcomes together, showing changes in patient wellbeing over time.

Growing awareness of the human impact on environmental conditions has given us a new name for the current geological era: the Anthropocene. A large immersive visual interactive simulation called Chthuluscene allowed many users to simultaneously interact with and multiply images with their smartphones.

OCAD University's Zero Lab created this experience with Public Visualization Studio for the 2015 instalment of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto.

Canada has developed significant scientific skills in data analytics within its universities and knowledge industries. However, we need to remember that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines are not enough. We need to ensure that we graduate individuals with interpretive and communication skills into the world of Big Data. Children are already learning basic statistics, data analysis, basic infographics and datavisualization skills in the early years of education and in high schools in some parts of Canada and around the world. Young people use available data analysis tools regularly within social media, but they do not necessarily know what's driving the content recommendations and experiences that are pushed to them. Public education must provide data literacy, data analytics and representation knowledge.

Art and design universities and programs have leading roles to play. We are beginning to ensure that students in our fields acquire data-literacy skills as a baseline.

As well, specialized schools and programs have built curriculums that provide students with the tools for contextual, historical and critical engagement with data. We have moved from an era of concern about digital access and literacy to what should be a concern about data access and literacy.

We propose the integration of basic data training, management, numeracy, analysis and representational skills as part of the firstyear curriculum throughout the college and university system, to then be integrated throughout students' learning journey. With this knowledge, Canadians will be equipped to succeed in their fields and to contribute as local and global citizens.

The authors thank NSERC, SSHRC, Mitacs, the Ontario Research Fund - Excellence, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Centres for Excellence for supporting their research.

Patricio Davila is associate professor, director of the Zero Lab and a member of the Visual Analytics Laboratory at OCADU. Sara Diamond is president of OCADU and director of the Visual Analytics Laboratory. Steve Szigeti is a researcher and manager of the Visual Analytics Laboratory.

Associated Graphic


Home design in a new dimension
Calgary firm harnesses Pokemon Go technology for the home building industry
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

Virtual reality has been creating a buzz in the architecture and design world for a while now.

The idea of being able to build, manipulate, share and explore a to-scale virtual creation makes a lot of sense. But it has one downfall: Virtual reality excludes reality and architecture has to ultimately work in the real world.

Enter mixed reality; a merger between real and virtual worlds similar to that which is currently taking the world by storm in the form of the popular mobile game Pokemon GO.

Harnessing its potential for architecture is a piece of software called ICEreality, which was recently launched by Calgarybased DIRTT Environmental Solutions, which uses proprietary 3D software to design, manufacture and install custom, prefabricated interiors.

"Virtual reality was important but mixed reality will be profound," says the software's inventor and DIRTT co-founder Barrie Loberg.

At the product launch this June in Chicago, Mr. Loberg presented mixed reality live on stage; it was a world first for the construction industry. The audience was able to watch Mr. Loberg build a virtual timber-frame structure in front of them, watching his mixed-reality view projected onto a screen. They could then download an app to their iPhones, key in their seat number in the auditorium and see the virtual wooden-framed construction on stage for themselves.

"This is not a canned experience," Mr. Loberg said of the launch. "This is an experience in real time. Everybody sees the virtual construction from their own point of view. The people at the front see it from a different perspective to the people at the back.

We can make changes to the virtual construction and hundreds of people can see and collaborate on those changes."

The launch of a mixed-reality app is just one of the major leaps forward in putting this technology into the hands of not just architects, designers, builders and developers but also consumers.

"iPhones and tablets are going to be huge for this technology because people are already comfortable with that and they already own it. It's inexpensive."

John Brown, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary says cost has been the main barrier to adopting virtual-reality technology more widely.

"Virtual-reality simulation is increasingly being used by architects and is slowly making its way into architectural schools. But at this point, it's mostly as research as the technology is expensive."

He agrees that the advent of an app and integration with smart devices could be the catalyst for mixed reality to go mainstream and start to impact on the consumer experience as well as the industry one.

"Mixed reality provides the opportunity for enhanced levels of visual simulation that make it easier for a lay audience to understand a proposed project at both building and urban scales. Conventional modes of representation either require a high level of skill to understand, such as plans and section drawings, or are overly prescriptive and allow the designer or developer to decide how much information is to be revealed, such as in a set of fixed 3D images or animated flythrough. Mixed reality allows the viewer to be more in control of what they are looking at."

Mr. Loberg further explains the impact mixed reality could have on consumer experience.

"Developers could give the public a fully interactive view of a future development from the sidewalk, using just their smart phones. Architects could walk clients through a renovation with a tablet before it's been undertaken, while making changes and taking measurements with a real tape measure along the way. The possibilities are huge."

The accessibility of the technology and the practicalities of being able to work with your hands within the mixed-reality realm are both major points of difference from virtual reality.

"With virtual reality, you're in a totally new world and you don't exist within that world," Mr. Loberg explains. "You can't see your own body or your hands and some people are uncomfortable with that disembodied experience. We even have people experience something like motion sickness wearing the virtual-reality goggles. But with mixed reality, you're present, you can see yourself, you can see your hands and you can work with your hands."

As with all technology launches, timing is now critical for DIRTT to ensure their mixed-reality experience becomes widely available as quickly as possible.

"Two years ago, virtual reality was only available in the Calgary lab, and now it's across all our locations. We're at the same stage with mixed reality right now, but I foresee it being rolled out much faster than virtual reality was.

We're aiming to have the phone app available by the end of this year."

DIRTT president Scott Jenkins believes mixed reality will be adopted far quicker by Canada's construction industry than virtual reality has been.

"Canada's labour pool is shrinking by 300 per cent. We know that the number of retiring construction workers far outnumbers those entering the industry. The process of using ICEreality and prefabrication reduces the labour requirement in construction significantly. It's also faster and provides a completely customized

product. With traditional building methods, the budget is 70per-cent labour and 30-per-cent materials. With us, it's 70-percent materials and 30-per-cent labour.

"DIRTT is a disruptor," he continues. "We're trying to disrupt industries where labour has traditionally ruled the day. Look at companies like Uber; they're doing the same thing we are.

They're disrupting an industry, which has remained the same way for a long time, and they're using technology to do that. The day when all developers are using mixed reality to plan and build is imminent. I'm sure of that."

Mr. Loberg agrees. "I liken this to trying to explain to someone the impact the Internet would have on their life before the Internet existed. It's impossible. Mixed reality will be the next big thing we can't live without and not just in construction - across the board. This is going to be everywhere and in every industry in a few years time."

A recent report from investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted that virtual and augmented reality will be an $80billion (U.S.) market by 2025, provided the cost to access the technology becomes more accessible, and that its impact will be greatest in industries including engineering and real estate.

Unfortunately for DIRTT, this looks set to bring a whole new set of challenges to the table as they try to keep a tight grip over its software.

"We've launched a lawsuit against a large furniture manufacturer, but I can't really say much more than that at this stage. What I will say, though, is that we're growing quickly and a lot of people have taken notice of that. We have filed numerous patents. We will defend our intellectual property with every resource we have."

Associated Graphic

A trade-show attendee reacts to a demonstration of ICEreality, 3D software developed by Calgary-based DIRTT Environmental Solutions for designing and installing custom interiors.


Hospital contracts went to firms with family ties to executives, audit reveals
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

A Toronto hospital awarded the family business of its former chief executive, Vas Georgiou, $223,000 in renovation contracts after his departure. Almost all of those invoices were approved by St. Joseph's Health Centre's thendirector of redevelopment, Suman Bahl - whose husband was a subcontractor on a third of those renovation jobs.

These findings - which are detailed in a report from auditing firm Deloitte - are the latest developments in a year-long Globe and Mail investigation into hospital executives and lucrative construction contracts, an investigation that has ensnared three Toronto-area hospitals, and triggered four independent probes as well as the departures of some high-profile executives - Mr. Georgiou and Ms. Bahl among them.

At the centre of the story is Mr. Georgiou, who for decades has moved through senior positions at half a dozen Ontario hospitals, including St. Joseph's, where he was vice-president and later interim CEO.

After leaving that hospital in July, 2005, Mr. Georgiou took a top position with the province's procurement agency, Infrastructure Ontario. But outside of his day job, the former executive began working for a private family construction business, Toronto Engineering Company (TECO).

By March, 2006 - and until December, 2007 - TECO was working for St. Joseph's hospital.

During this period, Mr. Georgiou became involved in a scheme to defraud York University with bogus construction invoices.

Mr. Georgiou used two family businesses, including TECO, to invoice the university for $64,800 worth of renovation work he acknowledges his company never performed. (Mr. Georgiou was not charged criminally and reached a settlement with the university.) When The Globe presented evidence to St. Joseph's last September that the hospital had also done business with TECO, the health centre hired Deloitte to investigate.

The firm completed its probe this past spring. Deloitte found that over the course of nearly two years, St. Joseph's Health Centre processed 18 TECO invoices worth about $223,000 for repairs, painting and project management. The report shows Ms. Bahl approved all but five. (The hospital's thenproject manager of redevelopment, Doug Wilson, signed off on the rest.)

Deloitte found no evidence that Mr. Georgiou declared his TECO ties to the hospital, although internal hospital e-mails suggest Ms. Bahl was aware of his connection, the review states.

Through their lawyers, Mr. Georgiou and Ms. Bahl criticized the fairness of the reviews.

The report was not a full-blown audit and drew no conclusions.

Deloitte did not interview Mr. Georgiou, Ms. Bahl or any other former hospital employees or vendors.

In a letter to The Globe, Mr. Georgiou's lawyer, Gavin Tighe, said TECO's dealings with St.

Joseph's began after Mr. Georgiou left, so there was no conflict, but that, regardless, his client disclosed those ties. "TECO competitively bid on work at St. Joseph's Health Centre," Mr. Tighe wrote, adding that "TECO did not at any time contract or pay BJ Quality Flooring or Darwin Fisher Flooring to perform work."

Deloitte also determined that there "may also have been an attempt to conceal" the involvement of Ms. Bahl's husband in the renovation projects.

Travis Walker, a lawyer representing Ms. Bahl, wrote to The Globe that Ms. Bahl "denies any impropriety" and that "any potential conflict of interest was disclosed to senior management" and "no concerns were ever raised."

It is not clear exactly what policies Mr. Georgiou and Ms. Bahl may have violated, because St. Joseph's has refused to comment on the rules it had in 2007.

A hospital spokesperson said "gaps in the procurement process at the time are historical and have since been mitigated" and that Deloitte unearthed "no substantive findings that indicate any further exploration is required." St. Joseph's would not answer questions on the report.

When Mr. Georgiou left St. Joseph's Health Centre, he was one of the most powerful and connected members of the hospital, having served as vice-president for five years and interim CEO for 10 months.

About a month before he began working for Infrastructure Ontario in January, 2006, Mr. Georgiou's family members registered TECO in Ontario. Mr. Georgiou's wife, Helen Saoulli, and her parents were listed as directors. Mr. Georgiou acted as a project manager for TECO, according to a statement he made during the York investigation. Over the next two years, TECO invoiced St.

Joseph's for work that included installing a new security gate for the emergency department, wall patching and painting, and disposal of chemical waste, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request show.

BJ Quality Flooring, the company owned by Ms. Bahl's husband, Bojidar Danef, was listed as a subcontractor on seven of the quotes, the Deloitte review found.

The auditing firm noted there may have been an attempt to conceal Mr. Danef's involvement because, at some point in the process, BJ Quality Flooring was changed to "Darwin and Fisher" [sic] - except that the contact name, telephone number and price stayed the same.

Doug McDonald, owner of Darwin Fisher, a commercial flooring company in Mississauga, says his company has never done business with TECO and he has no idea why TECO invoices would include it. Mr. McDonald noted that during that period, Darwin was doing extensive work for St. Joseph's, and that on some occasions, he hired Mr. Danef as a subcontractor.

Last November, Mr. Georgiou's employment as vice-president of St. Michael's Hospital was terminated after The Globe revealed his involvement in the York fraud, and later the fact that he had private business ties to the president of a construction company that won a $300-million contract with the hospital that Mr. Georgiou had overseen and helped award.

After those stories were published, Markham Stouffville Hospital - where Ms. Bahl was then a senior executive overseeing a redevelopment project - launched an internal probe when a whistleblower came forward with concerns. The findings brought a wave of departures, including those of Ms. Bahl and Mr. Wilson, who had left St. Joseph's and was working with Ms. Bahl in Markham. Mr. Wilson could not be reached for comment.

The Markham Stouffville review, which Deloitte also conducted, found that Ms. Bahl hired five of the hospital's contractors to renovate her 6,480-square-foot home, received favourable pricing from some and awarded renovation contracts at Markham Stouffville to her husband's flooring company and her late uncle's window-covering business.

It appears Ms. Bahl also mixed her professional connections with her personal life when she was at St. Joseph's hospital.

Deloitte found evidence that one of the hospital's furniture vendors "assisted Ms. Bahl in procuring office furniture for her home at a 50-per-cent discount from the list price," the report said. In another instance, Deloitte noted Ms. Bahl may have tried to circumvent hospital procurement policy by counselling an art supplier to invoice through a company that was already doing work for the hospital, rather than submit a payment request directly.

"This is the only way I can cover the cost," Ms. Bahl wrote to the art supplier in an e-mail obtained by Deloitte.

Despite the enduring impression that the young and fashionable like to party hard, increasing numbers are taking a pass on alcohol. Caitlin Agnew examines the new trend towards sober living
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L5

A few years ago, my aunt announced to the family that her son, then in his early 30s, had given up alcohol. My grandmother, an outspoken Brit who immigrated to Montreal in the 1950s, responded to the news by asking, "Is he sick?" For her generation, alcohol was a fact of life. The Absolutely Fabulous feature fi lm, along with Edina and Patsy's vodka-soaked escapades on the original BBC series, presents a pretty clear idea of the baby-boomer generation's open attitude towards imbibing. But attitudes, like cocktail trends, tend to change with the times. Still, anyone who has followed Generation X's obsession with craft spirits, micro brews and biodynamic wine is likely to be flabbergasted by where drinking trends are headed next.

If it seems like the savvy millennials in your life are eschewing boozy pleasures in favour of other, more sober, pursuits, it's true. Study after study reveals that young people are drinking less than previous generations. A survey by Heineken concluded that 75 per cent of millennials say they prefer to drink in moderation. In March, The Guardian reported that less than half of youth aged 16 to 24 admitted to drinking in the previous week. In June, The New York Post published a story that a growing number of 18- to 34-year-olds prefer staying in and bingeing on Netfl ix than going out and bingeing on liquor.

While many of us are known to downplay our alcohol consumption when asked (especially if it's a family doctor doing the quizzing), the habit of drinking less is real and reflected by beverage menus across Canada. In Vancouver, the country's epicentre of healthy living, the drinks card at the swish Hawksworth Restaurant features alcohol-free mixes made with does-a-body-good ingredients like coconut water, yuzu fruit and antioxidant-rich pomegranate. At Toronto's Drake Hotel, one of the city's most beloved party spots, visitors can indulge in dry concoctions (the virgin Wanderlast combines lemon, muddled cucumber, mint, raspberry and seltzer water) designed by resident bartender Gord Hannah and sold for $7 a pop.

"Even five years ago, the only option was the Shirley Temple," says Hannah. "People are happy they can have something with dinner that's surprisingly good and more thought out than a Coke or a nonalcoholic beer. The stigma [of ordering an alcohol-free drink] is gone." Stubby bottles that once overflowed with malt liquor are even being re-appropriated for cold-brew coffee.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health differentiates between "problem drinking," where alcohol use interferes with someone's life, and being physically dependent on alcohol. According to millennials, reasons for choosing lemonade over Limoncello aren't necessarily related to believing they fit either the clinical or popular defi nition of being an alcoholic. nanholic. They range from fi nan cial reasons to health concerns, to ply having a calendar full simply of better etter things to do.

Dr. Joanna Henderson, a clinicianscientist and director of the McCain Centre for Child, Youth and Family Mental Health at CAMH, says she's noticed that young people are thinking more about their alcohol consumption and its consequences.

They've also realized that there's a lot more to life than getting wasted. "Broadly speaking, there's growing respect and acceptance of a wider range of choices in adolescents in terms of different kinds of identities and different kinds of activities as well," she says. "Young people have flexibility in how they engage with the world."

For the generation that shares everything on social media, millennials' Facebook posts, Instagram photos, tweets and Snapchat stories are fi lled with evidence of sober living, from tasteful shots of kale-fi lled smoothies to glowing selfies at early-morning yoga sessions. This premium on leading - and proudly projecting - a healthy lifestyle has infi ltrated all aspects of their lives, as evidenced by the ongoing popularity of group-fitness regimes including running clubs and CrossFit, as well as mindful-meditation apps such as Headspace.

Toronto resident Vanessa Cesario is the 24-year-old behind the style blog The Brunette Salad. Although she regularly drinks alcohol and even has a side gig as a bartender, there's nary a cocktail in sight in her digital life. "No one wants to be that person associated with alcohol," she tells me when I ask her why she chooses not to showcase that part of her life on social media. "It takes a bad toll on your appearance, body, decisions, etc., whereas juice makes you prettier, healthier and your body run at its best." And besides, no one looks good hungover, especially when morning-after selfies are now available in high defi nition.

Even notoriously hedonistic Hollywood is re-evaluating its tradition of a Champagne-fuelled lifestyle. Reality TV star and pop-culture icon Kim Kardashian doesn't drink. Millennial celebrities like Blake Lively and Kelly Osbourne appear often on lists of stars who eschew alcohol, for reasons that vary from disinterest to hitting a booze-induced rock bottom.

The fashion world is following suit, taking the lead from industry overachievers such as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, as well as designers Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott, who all claim not to drink. Ashley Rowe, a Canadian designer based in Marfa, Texas, has been sober since the spring of 2015. "I decided it was either keep partying or try to achieve the things I'd always wanted to do. I knew for me that I couldn't do both," she says. Rowe now feels more focused than ever, a mental clarity reflected in the quality and output of her work and in a spot on the racks at Selfridges in the U.K. for the fi rst time this fall. Still, she says, "I envy those who can drink, do drugs, and wake up the next day and go about their lives."

"I think we've evolved as a generation, and it's cool and admirable to be healthy," says Cesario. Don't tell my gran, but avoiding beer and liquor has never been sicker.

Associated Graphic

CULLING THE SHOTS The drinks menu at Toronto's Drake Hotel reflects a growing demand for alcohol-free beverages, such as the Wanderlast (above); Vanessa Cesario of The Brunette Salad blog is far more inclined to feature juice than gin on her Instagram feed (below); Ab Fab's Bolly-infused ways could soon be a dated notion (below centre) as famous abstainers Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian and Kelly Osbourne opt to join the sobriety club (bottom, left to right).




IN GOOD COMPANY Jessica Alba (right) partnered with Christopher Gavigan (left), author of Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating a Greener, Cleaner, Safer Home, to launch her household, baby and beauty line, The Honest Company. Both appeared in Toronto in June to celebrate the line's expansion into over 700 Canadian stores.


Jonah Hill wants to beat you to the punch line
Although he's mistakenly described as a comedian, the sometimes-funny actor can also play serious roles
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R8

This past March, Jonah Hill hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live. It was a perfectly mediocre episode in the way that late-season SNLs often are, but Hill's monologue struck a chord, if not necessarily the uproarious one producers might have been hoping for. "I've had such a crazy year, so much happened!" Hill exclaims to the audience, before deadpanning, "I had a starring role in the Hail, Caesar! trailer." Polite laughter, then uncomfortable silence. "I, uh, also saw Deadpool. On opening day!"

And that's the punch line.

While Hill hasn't been nearly as busy as some of his more prolific friends from the Judd Apatow school of comedy (we can't all be Seth Rogen, with two movies and a television series released in the span of three months), he has undeniably been more, let's call it, selective. You might think you've seen a lot of Hill over the past year, but that's probably just been cameos (Hail, Caesar!, Sausage Party) or rewatches of his Jump Street films, which have been making the rounds on Netflix. (Or worse: you're mistaking him for Rogen, apparently a thing people still do.)

Those fleeting glimpses of Jonah Hill, leading man, are not likely to increase any time soon.

Although this weekend marks the release of the dark satire War Dogs, Hill's first starring role since last year's barely watched drama True Story, it's also, at the moment, the only feature on his slate. Which is perfectly fine with him.

"Now, I feel, is the time I get to be truly selective and only act in things that I really, purely want to do. That's really lucky and exciting," the 32-year-old says in between sips of Gatorade (or possibly Mountain Dew; whatever the beverage, it was much too yellow for 9:30 in the morning) at a posh downtown Toronto hotel, the latest stop in his seemingly endless War Dogs press tour. "In the past, you can get so worried about establishing yourself that you find you're not as passionate because you signed up for a film four years ago and you've completely changed in that amount of time."

Hill isn't referring to any specific film, though a brief trip through his IMDb profile offers a few clues: barely there comedies (Just Add Water, Accepted, Grandma's Boy), lifeless blockbusters (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian), unfortunate bombs (the legitimately underrated The Sitter). But those can mostly be written off as what a young actor simply has to do early in his career, especially if that career is immediately, and presumptively, pigeonholed in the stoner-comedy genre.

"In my early twenties, my early career, comedies were the only opportunities I had," Hill says. "A few of them I really love still and am proud of, but as you grow, your taste changes.

The best movies have it all in one. That's kind of the goal. But then it's hard for people to understand. ... Almost every interview calls me a comedian, which is so disrespectful to standup comedians."

It's also a problem that should have been cleared up by now, considering Hill has two best supporting actor Oscar nominations to his name: one for 2011's Moneyball, in which he played a stoic baseball stat-cruncher, and the other for 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street, where he brought the monstrous coke-sniffing, goldfish-eating, stewardessassaulting Donnie Azoff to life.

After witnessing those performances - as different as night and day, or as Scorsese and Apatow - you'd be hard-pressed to think Hill was merely the goofy horndog in Superbad or the jittery cop in 21 Jump Street. But it's a typecasting that War Dogs just might break.

In the Todd Phillips-directed film, Hill plays Efraim Diveroli, a real-life Miami arms dealer who, in his twenties, managed to secure a multimillion-dollar contract from the U.S. government to provide guns to soldiers in Afghanistan. The character is the perfect portrait of 21st-century narcissism: entitled, brash, greedy, selfish and extremely fond of the word "bro." Hill captures the villain tidily, even though he never got the opportunity to meet the man himself, as Diveroli (who ended up serving four years in a federal prison) refused to co-operate with the filmmakers.

"By all accounts, he was manipulative and deceptive, but also charismatic and charming. I was really drawn to that challenge of someone who is being likable while they're hurting someone at the same time. It's a bizarre and scary quality," says Hill, who has become something of a specialist in playing detestable louts after his dramatic forays in Wolf, True Story and here (hell, even his part as "Jonah Hill" in This Is the End found him playing a sociopathic weasel). Which, of course, has led to confusion among certain admirers.

"I love making stuff where, after a screening, you get to see where the audience lies with their own personal morality," Hill says. "Some people are like, 'Donnie and Efraim, they're so awesome!' ... When people don't call these characters out, as opposed to embracing them, that does get uncomfortable. I was having dinner with friends three weeks ago, and these two young South African arms dealers came up and tried to fistbump me. A lot of bro-ish stock brokers did the same thing after Wolf. People see what they want to see, but in my mind, I'm calling people out."

The question is, though, if people will continue to see Hill as the oblivious bro-y comic performer, or the serious dramatic actor who's in on the joke. Hill is hoping to change the perception project by project - even if that means a "clean slate" of acting jobs and a shift in concentration toward work behind the camera.

"It's now up to me to make choices that purely reflect my tastes, which is what I'm thinking about now with my movie," he says of his script for Mid '90s, a coming-of-age skateboarding film that he hopes to make his directorial debut. "It's such a small, personal movie - it's not like I'm doing it for financial gain or anything, it's purely for love."

In the meantime, though, Hill is happy playing the part of the professional, selling War Dogs and, perhaps reluctantly, playing to certain expectations. When told of how portraying Diveroli "shows off a new side of" him, Hill quickly replies, almost sternly, but not quite: "Not of me - I always want to say that because I wouldn't want to be mistaken for this person." But then he flashes a smile and adds, "I'm just being funny. Or attempting to." The man can play both sides.

Associated Graphic

In War Dogs, Jonah Hill plays Efraim Diveroli, a real-life Miami arms dealer who, in his twenties, managed to secure a multimillion-dollar contract from the U.S. government to provide guns to soldiers in Afghanistan.

Raw versus refined
Battle of the hot hatches: Which is best to replace a Subaru STI?
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D2

SQUAMISH, B.C. -- Nature abhors a vacuum, but she sure loves boost. With the five-door version of the Subaru STI dead for the present, here are two of the hottest hatchbacks on the planet, eager to muscle in on supersonic Subie territory. To figure out which is best at filling the STI's niche, we took both up to Squamish, home of Subaru's rally team and some of the best backroads in British Columbia.

Neither car is a newcomer, strictly speaking - more a couple of European imports that finally made it through customs. Overseas, fast Ford fans have had the option of picking up an RS-designation car for decades. Usually, the new owners immediately did donuts in a car park at midnight.

The Focus RS has a DNA made for hooliganism and it looks like it - you 'avin' a giggle, mate? 'Ow 'bout a clip 'round the ear?

The Golf R, on the other hand, is the product of a more genteel evolution. Americans got the VR6-powered R32 some years back, and Canadians finally got the ultimate Golf with the previous-generation R.

This new seventh generation turns up the wick to a respectable 292 horsepower, but doesn't look all that wild from the outside. The Tornado red paint is a bit Achtung Baby, but aside from 19-inch wheels and a chin spoiler, you're looking at a $45,000 GTI.

Sorry, didn't mean to make you choke on your sauerkraut.

Let's start with the $50,000 Focus instead. Oh, dear. Are you going to be all right? Should I try the Heimlich manoeuvre? I should really have asked you to stop eating before revealing the price tag.

Yes, that's brand-new Bimmer money for a compact hatchback, but anyone who shells out for one of these smurf-blue hellions is in for the time of their lives.

It's flared out and fanged, with a front end that looks like a maneating catfish.

An enormous rear diffuser houses two exhaust cannons (you can't just call them pipes), and the black-painted 19-inch alloys are shod in the same trackready Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires you get on the Shelby GT350. Or a Porsche 918 Spyder.

The four-layer paint's called Nitrous Blue, and one of the optional drive modes is called Drift Mode. I wonder if the Bluetooth comes preprogrammed with Dominic Toretto's cell number.

Squeeze into the RS's ridiculously right Recaro seats, and ... it's a Focus. That means you get an interior that competes with stuff like the Honda Civic. It does not look like a $50,000 car in here, but hey, a boost gauge! Also, ow, these seats! If you are Taylor Swift, the Ford's Recaros will probably be nicely comfortable. If, however, you've eaten a hamburger sometime in the last decade, you're going to get pinched. It's like being squeezed in the palm of a not-very-attentive BFG. The seats are silly, but they fit the character of the RS perfectly.

Select sport mode, grab first and tear outta the hole. The Ford's 2.3-litre EcoBoost has loads more character here than it does in the turbo-Mustang, cranking out an unsubtle 350 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm. The engine feels strong from low revs, but like an old Subaru 2.5-litre turbo, needs to be flogged up above 4,000 rpm to really wake up.

The real magic is in the chassis and the steering, both of which improve upon the quick Focus ST. When equipped with the ultra-sticky Michelins, the RS feels suction-cupped to the tarmac. Even as our serpentine road to nowhere turns choppy and broken, it maintains the pace.

The steering is darty and lively, providing plenty of feedback while giving the driver a lot of work to do.

Swap into the Golf R, synapses still fritzing with Nitrous Blue sparks, and it's a whole different game. While the Focus was developed in Cologne, the Golf R feels distinctly more Germanic.

Actually, it feels like somebody re-skinned an Audi as a Volkswagen. Forty-five grand is a lot to pay for a VW, but if you ignore the badges, this interior doesn't feel like you're spending all your money on the powertrain.

Instead of race-spec seating, the Golf's seats feel more balanced between comfort and sport. The interior's a little bigger, too, and airier, despite lacking a sunroof. The central touchscreen is no easier to use than the Ford's, but it looks nicer.

Also, this particular car has VW's DSG dual-clutch six-speed and an optional tech pack that includes adaptive cruise control.

Luxury and technology department: advantage VW.

And when it comes to performance, the VW stands up to the ebullient Ford. Theoretically down on power by 58 horsepower, the Golf R throws down 0-100 km/h times that are quicker, thanks to the rapid shifts of the DSG. And it's not just the transmission, either; trap-speeds in the quarter-mile are often an indication of total power, and R has equalled RS in instrumented testing.

Enough bench racing. Selecting the Golf R's Race mode (good grief, couldn't they have just called it Sport?), we bomb down the same slithery, scaly road, working the paddleshifters to stir the 2.0-litre turbo four up. Power output for the R is 292 horsepower at 5,400 rpm, and torque is more accessible with 280 lb-ft coming in at 1,800 rpm.

The Golf R is more composed and unflappable, but less thrilling and grippy. The ride is better than the Ford's occasionally choppy suspension, but the VW's engine has less character.

Which one's the best STI replacement? The RS has all the brutish, unfiltered fun you'd expect from a rally-bred Subaru; it's an impressive engineering achievement and the closest cousin, just in a different shade of blue. However, as somebody who owns an STI hatchback, I've come to an unsettling conclusion.

I'd spend my money on the less-raw Golf R. It's slightly clinical in delivery, but the standard six-speed manual should dial up the driver engagement. The Ford would have the edge for on-track durability, and it has the better all-wheel-drive system. However, a large portion of its superior grip is thanks to its low treadwear rating rubber.

It's a question of track-Focus versus real-world usability.

Would you rather have Drift Mode and bright paint, or sleeper status, technology and comfort to soothe you in everyday traffic?

Until Subaru sees the light and offers a hot hatchback again, the Golf R feels like the grownup's choice. Nature, after all, favours a balanced approach.

Associated Graphic

The Focus RS, left, offers a thrilling ride but the Golf R is a better real-world car.


'A dream come true'
Judoka Uera, from the Pacific island country of Nauru, has had to hold barbecues and knock on doors to raise money for training
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A3

RIO DE JANEIRO -- When he was training for the Olympics on his tiny island nation, Ovini Uera began with a daily warm-up. He would first shoo away the chickens that gathered inside the gym, which had no walls, then grab a mop to dry off the rain that fell overnight through the roof, which was full of holes.

By 6 a.m., before he set off for his full-time job as catering manager at the local airline, Mr. Uera would begin preparing for his objective - to compete in judo at the Olympics. To say he had to travel far to get to Rio is an understatement. Mr. Uera lives in Nauru, the smallest independent republic in the world, a place so remote that on a map it looks as if a crumb fell onto the expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

"I always had a dream that one day I would try to be at the Olympics," the 28-year-old says.

Mr. Uera achieved his dream this month. He competed in Rio against the best in the world. Impoverished, speck-like, middleof-nowhere Nauru shared the stage with the superpowers of sport, because the Olympics are where big and small compete side-by-side, top dogs and underdogs, all intent on the same goal of being a champion.

"Being here is like a dream come true. It is overwhelming," Mr. Uera said this week at the Olympic Village, the forest of high-rise towers that house more than 17,000 athletes during the Games. The entire population of Nauru could move into the village and there would still be plenty of room for others.

Nauru, population 10,000, is the smallest country to compete at the Rio Games. When its delegation marched into Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony, you could miss it if you blinked. Elson Brechtefeld, competing in weightlifting, was the Nauru flagbearer. Mr. Uera followed behind. That completed the Nauru Olympic team. Team USA, on the other hand, was impossible to miss. It was a teeming and radiant mass of 550 athletes that included global celebrities such as Michael Phelps and Serena Williams. The U.S.

Olympic team travelled to Rio with a support staff of 1,500 people. There are team doctors, chiropractors, infectious-disease specialists, massage therapists, cooks, drivers and eight sport psychologists. There is a physical therapist whose only job was to practise cupping - the healing technique that left circular marks on Mr. Phelps - for the swim team.

The U.S. Olympic team's sheer dominance allowed it to take over facilities at Rio's Navy School for the duration of the Games and renovate the track to match the colour and surface of the Olympic Stadium.

Mr. Uera's support staff consists of his coach, Sled Dowabobo, a judoka who competed at the London 2012 Olympics. He is Mr. Uera's physiotherapist, morale booster and all-around helper. His approach toward injuries is pragmatic. "We try to be careful and fix things on our own," Mr. Dowabobo said.

To raise funds for his training, Mr. Uera holds money-raising barbecues and goes door knocking around the island. He knows everyone. They know him. It takes only 20 minutes to drive around the entire country on its only road.

A married father of one who works for Nauru Airlines, Mr. Uera also dipped into his own savings. It takes cash to participate in competitions if you live in Nauru. You can't get anywhere without a plane ticket and hours of time in the air. Australia is a five-hour flight. Nauru is near nothing except water.

There is almost no one to train with in Nauru in judo. His only real challengers are his coach and another Nauruan, who is a wrestler. To prepare for the Olympics in his 90-kilogram division, Mr. Uera studied YouTube videos of Varlam Liparteliani, a fearsome judoka from Georgia.

Mr. Liparteliani is Europe's judo champion. "He's one of my idols," Mr. Uera said.

On Aug. 10, Mr. Uera stepped into the judo competition space at Carioca Arena. He defeated his opponent, Renick James of Belize. It was Nauru's first-ever Olympic win in judo.

Then Mr. Uera faced his next opponent. It was Mr. Liparteliani.

It is safe to say that Mr. Uera swallowed hard. But Mr. Uera is an Olympian. He tried as hard as he could.

"I never actually thought I would go up against him," he said. "When I stepped onto the mat I tried just concentrate on the fighting and do my best." He heard people in the crowd cheering for him. "I didn't expect others to support me. But we are the underdog. Nobody knows about Nauru," Mr. Uera says.

"The first question people always ask me is, 'Where's Nauru?' " Mr. Liparteliani won the contest against Mr. Uera and went on to to secure the silver medal.

Mr. Uera left the stage with his head high. "I went out there and gave it my all. I had no regrets."

Mr. Uera's presence at the Olympics was a bright spot for Nauru, where the news has been bleak for many years. The island was annexed by Germany in 1888 and colonized by five different powers in quick succession. European diseases devastated its indigenous people, and massacres and other Second World War atrocities brought the island to a few hundred people.

Strip mining of phosphate deposits have left much of the island a wasteland and, like other Pacific countries, Nauru is threatened by climate change.

And now, the island is at the heart of the controversy over abuses of asylum seekers at its detention centre, which was set up by Australia.

On Aug. 10, some hope from Rio washed up onshore. The whole island stayed up until 3 a.m. to watch their hero compete.

"I feel very proud," Mr. Uera said. "Just being at the Olympics is a really big achievement. Being around all the champions of the world is a bonus."

At Rio's closing ceremony, it will be Mr. Uera's turn to carry his country's flag. Teammate Mr. Brechtefeld finished toward the bottom of his 56 kg class in weightlifting and is flying home this week, reducing the Nauru Olympic team by 50 per cent. Mr. Uera will return to Nauru as well, to its rundown gym with cement floors and mats pounded thin as if it were scaloppini from more than 20 years of use, and start to train so he can return to the Olympics again.

"Getting here has come down to a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment," he said. "I've learned you have to be fearless and aim to break your limits.

Nothing is impossible."

Associated Graphic

Nauruan judoka Ovini Uera, centre, seen behind flagbearer Elson Brechtefeld at the opening ceremony of Rio 2016 on Aug. 5, will carry his country's flag at the closing ceremony. He and Mr. Brechtefeld are the only athletes on the Nauru Olympic team at this year's Games.


Canadian women miss golden opportunity
Soccer loss against Germany highlights need for team to hand ball to emerging generation of players
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

RIO DE JANEIRO -- There is no trickier organizational business in team sport than transitioning from one generation of players to the next.

Canada's women's soccer team got caught in that trap on Tuesday, losing 2-0 to Germany in the Olympic semi-final. With a bronze-medal game remaining, this felt like the bell ringing for last orders. Everyone can have one more before they have to go home for good.

"That was the opportunity to go and take a gold medal home to Canada," coach John Herdman said. "And we missed that. We're sorry to Canada for missing that opportunity."

At this stage of major tournaments, it is unavoidable that someone take the blame for a loss.

As it ended, it was easy to spot the person who expected to get it. Defender Kadeisha Buchanan crouched miserably at midfield, her shirt pulled up over her head while teammates tried to console her.

At only 20 years old, Ms. Buchanan is the future of the Canadian program. On this day, she was its undoing.

In the 20th minute, with the game still scoreless, she chased Germany's Alexandra Popp toward the corner of the area.

The ball was running a few feet ahead of Ms. Popp. There was no threat on goal. Ms. Buchanan took the terrible decision to slide awkwardly through the German's legs.

It was an easy penalty call, and probably should have been a red card. Once Germany took the lead, it never looked like it was giving it back.

Ms. Buchanan knows the lost opportunity will be hung around her neck, but the breakdown began much farther back. Team captain Christine Sinclair attempted a long, overly ambitious pass that gave away possession in transition. When the German counterattack began tumbling toward the Canadian goal at speed, Ms. Popp was emergency call-up Rhian Wilkinson's woman to mark.

The Canadian veteran couldn't catch up to the play, and so Ms. Buchanan was put in the awkward position of trying to close much more ground than she'd anticipated. That's when mistakes like the one she made happen.

Early in the second half, Ms. Wilkinson was burned again.

Once more, she lacked the pace to catch up to her marker, Sara Daebritz. The German was gifted an open shot on goal. Ms. Wilkinson was still a good five metres behind her when she took it. The last half-hour was a formality.

Everyone knows the names and faces of the heroes of London 2012. There is probably no more loved team in Canada. It's not the shirt many people root for, but the individual women wearing it. It's difficult to let that go.

The key protagonists were there on Tuesday - Ms. Sinclair (33 years old), Ms. Wilkinson (34), Melissa Tancredi (34), Diana Matheson (32). This was the moment you realized that some of them don't belong at this level any more.

Ms. Sinclair was invisible throughout the match. It was in stark contrast to the three-goal performance she put in at this same stage in London - perhaps the greatest single game by a women's player ever.

The only time Ms. Tancredi caught the eye was while she was unadvisedly trucking the German goalkeeper out of frustration. Ms. Wilkinson was subbed out immediately after being responsible for the second goal. Ms. Matheson was a positive influence, but she didn't make the starting 11.

Aside from skill, the Germans bring something to the women's game that was unheard of until recently - cynicism and fakery.

Every time one went down, it involved an extended series of rolls, moans and grimaces. Right up until the referee was about to signal for a stretcher. At which point, they popped to their feet.

It's a reminder that the worst parts of the men's game are creeping into the women's iteration. Canada doesn't play that way. Not yet, at least. Eventually, they'll have to. The tough-minded, fair-play philosophy of Canada's golden generation will have to give way to the new realities of the game. More's the pity.

While that old guard was dithering around, looking more than a little lost, the kids were assuming control.

One major mistake aside, Ms. Buchanan was a physical force.

By the end, the Germans were flinching every time they received a ball with their back to goal. They expected to be levelled.

Canada's woman of the match was 18-year-old Jessie Fleming.

During these two weeks in Brazil, she has developed into the string-puller Ms. Sinclair once was. She's also assuming command.

At one point, Ms. Fleming was running in open space toward goal. Ms. Sinclair took a fraction of a second too long in sliding the ball to her. After Ms. Fleming was knocked to the ground, she looked back angrily at the greatest soccer player in Canadian history and shook her hands in irritation. Right there, you saw the torch being yanked away rather than passed.

The only attacker who had both the speed and guile to trouble Germany was 21-year-old Janine Beckie. Over the course of the tournament, she's been Canada's best performer.

Position by position on the Canadian team, there was a clear age divide. The younger the player, the better they performed.

Experience is wonderful, but at this level, speed kills. Germany knew that. Again and again, they targeted the weak (aging) links.

Given the personnel out on the field, no amount of tactics were going to be an effective counter.

Of course, it's not over yet: Canada will face Brazil in the bronze-medal match on Friday.

Third-place games tend to be dreary slogs by sides that no longer care after having the championship wind knocked out of them.

This will be a desperate encounter. Brazil must win. It cannot be seen missing a podium at its national obsession at a home Games. Brazilian football hasn't been in the greatest shape lately.

Being beaten at it by a bunch of jumped-up hockey players would be an insult too great to bear.

Canada will feel an equal pressure, though not the same kind.

This tournament has proved that the next major cycle - World Cup 2019 and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo - is in capable hands. By then, Ms. Fleming, Ms. Buchanan, Ms. Beckie et al will be a collective force.

So for the women who built this program into something worth inheriting, this is a last chance. A medal here will be a capstone to several great international careers.

They don't have to win it.

They've already done enough.

But they deserve to.

Associated Graphic

Germany's Alexandra Popp, top, wrestles for control of the ball against Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan during Tuesday's semi-final soccer game between the two countries. Germany went on to win 2-0. The Canadian women's squad will now play Brazil in the bronze-medal game.


One mother's fight to see her son
Dai Xiaolei has been blocked from visiting her only child by her allegedly abusive husband, who has full custody
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A13

BEIJING -- On Jan. 31, 2014, under a cloud of anger, Dai Xiaolei left her 17-month-old son with her inlaws in a small town southwest of Beijing.

She has not seen him since.

Instead, she has been thrust into a marital and legal battle with an abusive spouse, one that has made her a public face of problems mothers encounter in China, where families regularly solve child-custody cases by abduction and courts often treat possession as nine-tenths of the law, even when husbands have been violent.

For Ms. Dai, the fight in early 2014 was over toothpaste, the latest in an ongoing battle with her husband's family over how to raise Tristan, her son. The family demanded she follow local tradition, that no one should clean the teeth of a young boy. A Chinese-born Canadian with Western standards of hygiene, Ms. Dai had brushed his teeth in secret.

When her husband found out, the family was furious.

They surrounded Ms. Dai as she held her son. "You don't deserve to be a mother," she recalls them saying, her husband, his sister and his parents all denouncing her. "You have no rights to do anything. We forbid you to brush his teeth."

The next day, she returned to her home in Beijing. "I was angry, so I left," she said.

Over the next few months, her marriage foundered. She suspected her husband was unfaithful and, she says, he sometimes hit her during fights - once with a broomstick, another time with a pillow he used to smother her.

When Ms. Dai returned to her in-laws for Tristan's birthday in August, 2014, the family did not let her in the door.

"You cannot see your child," they said.

In China, grandparents commonly raise children. Ms. Dai took care of Tristan for nine months after he was born in Toronto, but he has largely lived with his grandparents since her return to China, where she built a career as a film-industry art director.

Still, she had previously travelled to see him on weekends, and she expected to continue seeing him.

But whenever she has gone back, she has been blocked from seeing her son, who now calls his aunt "mom." Ms. Dai has missed his second, third and fourth birthdays, the last just this week. Meanwhile, a Chinese court gave full custody of her son to her husband until Tristan turns 10, despite acknowledging he was abusive.

Ms. Dai is now midway through an appeal, her final avenue for securing access to her son.

She has borne the costs alone.

Like Alison Azer, the Courtenay, B.C., woman whose children were allegedly abducted to Iran, Ms. Dai has struggled to get help from home. She has written Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion and multiple people at the Canadian embassy in Beijing.

One told her to call local police if her child was in danger and declined her request for a letter of support she could use in court: "This would involve the Government of Canada in a private legal matter, which is not part of our mandate as consular officials."

Ms. Dai said she sees that as "a message to other Canadian mothers" in China that "if they get in any sort of trouble, be aware that no one can help."

In an e-mail, Foreign Affairs spokesman François Lasalle said officials are providing Ms. Dai "consular assistance" and "work hard" to support more than 300 Canadian families worldwide in similar circumstances. A new Chinese domestic-violence law, enacted this year, "is a significant improvement" but "still has important shortcomings," he said.

"We are committed to ensuring the promotion and protection of women's and girls' human rights," he said.

Ms. Dai, however, has found greater support from others in China after she took her fight public, galvanizing other mothers to confront weaknesses in their legal system and advocate for change in a country where fast-rising divorce rates are approaching U.S. levels. Ms. Dai has made advocacy a full-time job, securing a small office in Beijing and hiring three assistants.

Her story has been published by more than 200 media outlets and she has been interviewed on national television shows. She has hired the lawyer who represented Kim Lee, an American woman beaten by her famous Chinese husband, a hotly discussed case that drew national attention to domestic-abuse problems in China.

The pain Ms. Dai suffered "is more severe" than what Ms. Lee endured, her lawyer, Qi Lianfeng, said in an interview.

Ms. Dai says her former husband, movie stuntman Liu Jie, slapped her, pushed her to the ground, stomped on her face and once wrenched her leg so badly she had trouble walking.

In a trial last year, however, Mr. Liu argued that Tristan should stay with him because Ms. Dai "is irresponsible, doesn't care about the son or want to raise him" and was too busy working, according to a summary contained in the verdict released this spring. The judge found that Mr. Liu had hit Ms. Dai, but gave him custody nonetheless, citing "the principle of benefiting [their child's] healthy physical and mental growth."

Reached for comment, Mr. Liu said "it's a family matter" and asked for privacy.

The stakes in China are high for fathers and their families.

The long-standing one-child policy, recently relaxed, means a child, especially a son, is expected to "carry on the family blood," said Li Ying, a lawyer and director of a Beijing legal-assistance agency.

When those families seize their children, they also gain an advantage in court, where judges tend to view leaving the child in place as less disruptive, heavily emphasizing possession.

Courts also have little power to enforce custody rulings. And authorities try to keep problems quiet.

Ms. Dai was visited by police before holding a recent conference on custody issues and subsequently asked a Globe and Mail reporter not to attend to avoid further problems.

Still, custody problems are not unique to China, which is moving to ensure the new domestic violence law creates real change.

Officials are currently drafting detailed guidelines for its enforcement.

"In the future, things will be better, particularly in custody matters," said Yang Xiaolin, a lawyer who was part of a special team at Nanjing Normal University examining problems with child custody.

But, he said, attitudes must first change.

"The Chinese legal system has yet to treat juveniles seriously," he said. To decide custody, "a child's needs must be taken into account. Not only their material needs, but also emotional ones."

Associated Graphic

Dai Xaiolei is seen with her son Tristan, above left, in 2013. Her husband, who she says was abusive to her, now has full custody of Tristan and she has not seen him since 2014. She recorded a video on July 9 while trying to see him. An in-law is seen blocking the camera, above right, and Ms. Dai, bottom, was quickly locked out of the house.

Why you should bother with the CNE
The Ex is celebrating its 138th year and there are several old favourites to be treasured alongside the new additions
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M2

I am unabashed in my love of the Ex. I have attended the Canadian National Exhibition every year of my life. Factor in the summers I made multiple visits, and it's safe to say I've been at least 50 times.

Telling people this typically elicits one of two reactions. The first, from those who have never been, is "Why?" To them, the CNE appears to be nothing more than a nausea-inducing collection of fried-food monstrosities, questionable rides and (at best) B-list bands. I get it.

What annoys me more is the complaint from past visitors: "Why bother? The Ex isn't what it used to be."

Listen, I can't argue with that.

In my childhood, the Food Building was a dreamland full of free samples and cheap chocolate bars. Each evening ended with a spectacular fireworks show. No one had been shot at what was then the Horticulture Building.

But things change. The CNE is celebrating its 138th year. Of course it isn't the same. And while I mourn old favourites and abhor some new additions, I know where to find the little moments of joy that keep me going back. The secret is to get away from the midway and the greasy food du jour - to venture into the corners where the true "small-town fair" spirit reigns and embrace it wholeheartedly.

Here is my highly subjective guide.

As seen on TV

Enter through the Princes' Gate and the first building you hit is the Enercare Centre, divided into different shopping sections.

Blow through the Warehouse Outlets and the International Pavilion and make a beeline for the At Home Pavilion/Shoppers Market. It's like walking into an infomercial. Try out a shiatsu massage and release the tension in your neck. Get a piece of jewellery cleaned free. Watch a grown man pitch you a vegetable peeler with an amount of enthusiasm typically demonstrated by cult leaders. Don't be ashamed if you end up forking over your credit card. My friends make fun of my CNE purchases - the aforementioned peeler, a Vitamix, a Sweepa broom, a tile cutter and more - but I use them all the time.

Cheap thrills

At some point, you should pay $5 to take the Sky Ride and enjoy a bird's-eye view of the fair grounds. But I typically save that for the end of the night, when eight hours of walking is taking its toll. Earlier in the day, I'll brave the crowds thronging the midway games, because losing $10 in an attempt to win a stuffed animal worth about 50 cents is all part of the fun. My suggestion: whack-a-mole. Beating plastic rodents over the head delivers a surprising adrenalin rush. (Tip: Keep your eyes on the centre and use your peripheral vision to take in all the holes.) If you're up for a bit of gambling, please skip the casino (a depressing, soulless place) and put a couple bucks on the Crown and Anchor wheel or the spinning horserace game. Also entertaining: watching people's ego get crushed at the Guess Your Age or Weight game. (Hey, they put themselves out there.)

Eat up

I straight-up do not care about the year's "hottest" food. (Remember how the cronut burger worked out?) However, if you go to the Food Building and order Subway or Pizza Nova or any other food you can get anywhere at any time, you're doing it wrong. My CNE must-eats are classics: American Original Seafood Fish and Chips (a substitute for the departed H. Salt Fish and Chips), Tiny Tom Donuts (duh) and a hot icecream waffle sandwich (a favourite for about 75 years) washed down with a bottle of Clearly Canadian. Oh yes, that fruit-flavoured sparkling water you guzzled in the early nineties lives on at the Ex.

Talk to the animals

You must see the President's Choice SuperDogs at least once. One year, a woman danced with a large canine and it was ... um ... surprisingly intimate. Arrive early because the seats fill up fast. Opposite to the joyful pups is the cat show (Aug. 27 and 28), full of sullen felines who must endure being stretched and prodded in front of a crowd. It's perfect for cat lovers and haters alike. And finally, head to the Farm to view a variety of baby animals (seeing those cute little piglets will put you off bacon for at least a couple of days), marvel at the alpacas' ridiculous haircuts (think early Justin Bieber) and be grossed out to learn all the household products made with cow byproducts (toothpaste?!).

Small-town charm

The CNE's roots date back to a travelling agricultural fair and a few quirky and quaint traditions keep this spirit alive. The Garden Show area of the Enercare Centre is home to Canada's largest flower- and vegetable-growing competition. Alongside giant tubers and stunning orchids, you'll find the "design" categories, wherein creative greenthumb types interpret themes such as "a meal for the senses" and "motivated to move" in a floral manner. Some are rather, shall we say, abstract. At the Farm, I never miss the butter sculptures - at once delicious and artistic. Previous spreadable works have included Rob Ford and the Yonge Street dead raccoon. (This year's theme has yet to be announced.) Before you leave the building, seek out the photos of fresh-faced teens from across the province who are hoping to be crowned an Ambassador of the Fairs, a delightful reminder that city life isn't everything.


Booth 614 in the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies building is one of my favourite spots on the CNE grounds. Technically, it's the booth of Browser's Den of Magic, where Canada's oldest magic shop peddles basic trick sets - the sort your dad might have performed at your sixth birthday party.

But I prefer to think of it as a portal into a cynicism-free zone, for I have seen hipsters, geeks, teens, yuppies, you name it, gasp in wonder at the free magic show put on by Bernie Baillargeon. One trick, involving a personalized coin and a box covered in elastics, continues to puzzle me. A friend once bought the set because she just had to know how it was done, but what's the fun in that?

The Canadian National Exhibition runs until Sept. 5. For tickets and more information visit

Associated Graphic

Clockwise from top left: Domini Clark plays whack-a-mole. Connie Burstin shows off a body massager at the Enercare Centre. The Sky Ride glides over the exhibition. Topiary bears are displayed at the Garden Show. A fried pig-ear sandwich makes its CNE debut. A Reptilia Zoo handler holds an Argentine Tegu. Joh Morgan, with the Browser's Den of Magic, is seen with the Colouring Book of Magic.


Planning to avoid a fluid retirement
Couple wonder if their portfolio is solid enough to maintain their current lifestyle while living out their days free of economic stress
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B9

Ruth and Rory are in their early 50s and thinking about the day they can retire from work. He is in sales earning about $154,000 a year plus bonus. She's an administrator earning a little more than $50,000 a year. They have two children, 19 and 21.

Both Rory and Ruth have defined benefit pension plans.

Their goal is to fatten up their investment portfolio and their tax-free savings accounts and pay off their line of credit. Rory hopes to retire in three years or so, when he would be 56. Ruth plans to work longer. They hope to maintain their current lifestyle with a retirement spending goal of $110,000 a year after tax.

They are mainly concerned about investing and income-tax planning.

"Do we have a solid retirement portfolio to live out the rest of our lives without any financial stress?" Rory asks in an e-mail.

Their ace in the hole seems to be Rory's indexed pension, which will pay him $75,200 a year, including bridge benefit, at age 56.

He also has a non-indexed pension from a previous employer that will pay $30,000 a year at age 55.

We asked Warren MacKenzie, a principal at HighView Financial, to look at Ruth and Rory's situation. HighView is an investment counselling firm.

What the expert says Ruth and Rory wonder if they can afford to retire when he is 56 (in 2019) and she is 59 (in 2024). They also wonder what they can do to minimize taxes. They're in good shape financially. In addition to their pension plans - which will pay them more than they spend each month during their retirement - the combined value of their home and investment portfolio is about $1.2-million, Mr. MacKenzie says.

"On the first question, the financial plan shows that because of their indexed pensions, they can afford to retire as planned."

They had considered taking the lump-sum commuted value of their pensions but changed their minds. "They have wisely decided that at retirement, they will take the pensions rather than the commuted value."

There are a number of things the couple can do to minimize income taxes, the planner says.

They can shelter income by using their registered retirement savings plans, tax-free savings accounts and tax-exempt insurance. With tax-exempt insurance, there is no tax on the growth of the cash value in the policy and no tax on the final distribution at death. The rules for tax-exempt policies will change at the end of 2016, so if they are interested in exploring this opportunity, they should act quickly, he says.

As well, they can choose investments that will generate capital gains and dividends rather than interest income. And they can split their pension income so they are closer to being in the same income tax bracket when they retire, he adds.

They can do things that will equalize their investment income. For example, Ruth has the larger investment portfolio so she will earn most of the investment income. To keep taxes to a minimum over the long term, it would be better if they both earned the same investment income and were in the same income tax bracket, Mr. MacKenzie says.

They can achieve equal investment portfolios by having Ruth pay all the bills so that Rory can save all of his pension income and invest it. By doing this, he will eventually increase the size of his investment portfolio so that they will both earn the same amount of investment income, and with pension splitting, be in the same bracket, the planner says.

Rory and Ruth wonder where they should invest their portfolio for best returns. "The proper asset allocation and investment strategy should be goals-based," Mr. MacKenzie says. "That means the portfolio should be designed so that they take no more risk than is necessary to achieve their important financial goals."

The fact they are sitting with $115,000 in cash suggests that they are not following a disciplined process, he adds. "Over the long term, the investment process is more important than the investment products." He suggests they use some of this cash to pay off their line of credit.

"Their financial plan shows that their net worth will be growing every year, so one of the first things they should do is to sit down and have a discussion about their long-term goals," Mr. MacKenzie says. Their choices include spending more money, giving to charity or giving to their children, he adds. "If they give to charity, it will reduce tax on investment income and also give them a donation tax credit."

Because they will have more pension income than they will need based on their spending goal, they can stick to a low-risk investment portfolio heavily weighted in fixed-income securities. Conversely, if their most important goal is to leave the biggest estate possible, they could consider a portfolio invested solely in equities, Mr. MacKenzie says.

Given the long-term nature of this investment, the way to minimize income tax would be to use capital-gains-producing investments rather than interest- or dividendearning ones, he adds.

Rory enjoys picking stocks, but in order to manage their investment portfolio wisely, they should consider using robo-advisers (online portfolio managers), exchange-traded funds or best-inclass portfolio managers rather than trying to pick stocks themselves, "and they should keep it simple."

Want a free financial facelift?


Some details may be changed to protect the privacy of the persons profiled.


The people: Ruth, 50, and Rory, 53

The problem: Are they in a position to retire worry-free and live a comfortable lifestyle? How can they best keep taxes to a minimum?

The plan: Take full advantage of available tax shelters, including tax-exempt life insurance. Lean toward capitalgains-producing investments.

Try to equalize their investment portfolios by having Ruth pay the bills and Rory add to his savings. Consider gifting to children or charities.

Pay off line of credit.

The payoff: Plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of their labours.

Monthly net income: $10,845

Assets: Bank accounts $115,000; stocks $325,000; mutual funds $45,000; their combined TFSA $104,000; his RRSP $53,000; her RRSP $87,000; estimated present value of their combined pension plans $2.7-million; RESP $101,000; residence $350,000.

Total: $3.9-million

Monthly disbursements: Property tax $350; home insurance $210, heating $200; water, sewer $80; electricity $130; maintenance, garden $230; transportation $655; grocery store $980; clothing $120; line of credit $2,000; charitable $50; vacation, travel $300; other (gifts) $50; dining, drinks, entertainment $850; grooming $25; pets $125; cellphones, Internet, TV $250; RRSP and non-registered $750; TFSAs $1,000. Total: 8,355.

Surplus: $2,489 (gets spent or added to their bank account)

Liabilities: Line of credit $12,250

Associated Graphic


Vancouver real estate tax strikes a nerve with Chinese home buyers
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

BEIJING -- Three years ago, Jack Li signed to buy a modest one-bedroom condo in Richmond for about $200,000, a chance to gain a relatively cheap foothold in British Columbia's Lower Mainland.

Then he waited as his new home slowly emerged from the ground. But far more exciting than construction progress was the rapid rise in the value of his purchase as real estate prices took flight. Mr. Li, a Beijing oil and gas worker who turned to real estate when energy prices crashed, decided to buy more.

In January, he bought into another condo development in Yaletown. In July, he signed for a third, in Burnaby. His purchases are part of the rush of foreign money that has sparked a backlash in British Columbia, where Vancouver house prices were up 32.6 per cent year-over-year in July.

He was so sold on the Vancouver region, he became a licensed real estate agent in the province.

Altogether, Mr. Li is on the hook for $1.7-million in property. But the ink had barely dried on his most recent purchase when the B.C. government introduced a 15per-cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver, at a stroke upending Mr. Li's Canadian real estate dreams.

The change came only weeks before he expected to take possession of his Burnaby condo, which he expects to keep since it's a relatively small investment.

But when it comes to the other two more expensive properties, which won't be ready for another three or four years, he's already decided what to do. If the 15-percent penalty stays, he won't.

"I'm going to flip them," he says.

"I'm not going to pay that tax," which becomes due when a house purchase is registered, even for home sales agreed to before the tax was introduced. "If the government had said 5 per cent or even 8 per cent, that's reasonable.

But 15 per cent, that's a lot. That's a very heavy tax."

In China, ground zero for the foreign money that has poured into a frenzied housing market, the B.C. government's unexpectedly severe response has stoked a fury that will not soon be resolved - even if few believe the buying will stop.

"Many people believe the government's policy is reckless and irresponsible, and undermines its image and credibility," a report in China's Economic Information Daily blasted soon after the tax was unveiled.

People are "angry. I'm angry.

This is not about the real estate market. From my point of view, it's political. It's for votes. It's not for home prices," said Xie Xingyu, who specializes in overseas sales for Homelink, one of China's biggest real estate agencies.

Even the Chinese consul-general in Vancouver, Liu Fei, has publicly criticized the tax for being ineffective - building high-rises would be better, she suggested - and the B.C. government for acting hastily. "If government has no plan, any policy can be the start of a disaster," she said in an interview with Chinese media last week.

Others, such as Mr. Li, feel betrayed. Since becoming a real estate agent, he has helped Chinese investors buy 30 or 40 condos over the past two years.

He was drawn by more than roaring prices. He felt a connection to the place, too. He had lived and worked in Canada for a year and a half. He still owns a home in Fort St. John.

But the new tax is souring him on British Columbia. "It's a tragedy," he said. "It's going to have an impact on me, my family and my business, even though I made a lot of contributions to the B.C. economy. I put money there. I have brought people to B.C. And I told people Canada is a good place."

Still, he's not done with Canada. Many of his real estate clients aren't done with Vancouver, either.

Even among Chinese buyers, only a small number are truly mobile. Mr. Xie, at Homelink, estimates roughly 35 per cent of those looking at Canada are new immigrants, while another 25 per cent or more buy houses for students. "They really have no choice. They must have a house or a townhouse," he said.

It's likely, too, even those buying as an investment will eventually look past their ire directed at the B.C. Premier's office. Canada is just too tempting to ignore.

In Beijing, the agents at Global House Buyer began advising clients last year to put their cash into Canada, as the plunging dollar made houses dramatically cheaper.

Anyone who listened then is already up more than 40 per cent as a result of house price gains and a partial loonie recovery - and far more in real terms, since most buyers invest only a small fraction of the purchase price as a down payment.

A 15-per-cent tax will erase some of those gains, but not enough to change minds among those who have doubled and tripled their cash in a year.

Some clients have backed out on deals, "but only a very small percentage," said Issac Peng, a Global House Buyer agent. Others have turned their attention to Toronto - the company's website currently features the city on its front page. But "not many," Mr. Peng says.

Most remain sweet on Vancouver, where a 0.6-per-cent vacancy rate has convinced Mr. Peng the overheated market will not cool down soon.

"The key issue is not how many houses were bought by foreign investors, but that too few houses have been built," he said.

Canada still compares favourably to other places, too. Australia's economy is so closely tied to China that it's less useful for those looking to diversify, while Australian housing markets have been so hot for so long that Mr. Peng sees "big systemic risks," bigger than in Canada.

The United States is currently the most popular destination for Chinese overseas home buyers, with economic growth that gives it prized stability. In Canada, however, mortgage rates are half as high, meaning investors can expect better cash flow out of a Canadian house.

In Britain, meanwhile, the buying opportunity created by Brexit fears is partly offset by higher prices and stricter bank requirements that create an entry threshold many Chinese buyers can't clear. Buying is easier in Canada.

Still, China's wealthy face an increasing number of obstacles outside their borders. The United States has cracked down on home purchases through shell companies, while Singapore, Hong Kong and some Australian cities have raised taxes on foreign buyers.

Add to that the Vancouver tax and it's enough to prompt warnings in the state-run People's Daily.

"Buying a house abroad is not all profit and no losses," the newspaper cautioned Monday.

"The moon in a foreign country may not be rounder than it is in China."

Downie's doctor 'born and raised on Hip'
Toronto oncologist attends band's farewell tour concerts as a precaution, but says he's amazed by singer's strength, stamina, courage
The Canadian Press
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

TORONTO -- Gord Downie's chief oncologist has been to all but one of the Tragically Hip's farewell concerts and plans to attend each of the band's remaining shows, including the final stop on the tour in Kingston.

In part, Dr. James Perry is there as a member of a medical team to make sure the group's 52-year-old frontman is well enough to perform, given his diagnosis of an incurable brain tumour that was announced in May.

"That was the original plan and it's become less and less necessary, but I make myself available at the venue preshow," said Perry, a neuro-oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

"I'm helping to provide support. And thank goodness nothing has transpired. Good plans sometimes need to be made and hopefully never used, and so far that's been the case."

There were concerns that Downie - known for his energetic, often frenetic, stage presence - might not have the mental or physical endurance for the four-week, cross-Canada tour after going through surgery and six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy for his cancer, a relatively rare but aggressive and invasive tumour called a glioblastoma.

"When I wondered if he would have the stamina and not get too tired and run into problems, I never imagined him leaping around in a pink leather suit with a feathered cap," Perry said.

"It says so much about the guy."

Long before the singer-songwriter became his patient, the physician was a fan of the iconic Canadian band.

"I was and I'm exactly the right vintage to be born and raised on Hip music," Perry, 52, said Wednesday before heading down to the Air Canada Centre for Downie's preshow checkup and the first of the group's three Toronto concerts.

The day before, Perry had joined about 120 Sunnybrook staffers who gathered on the hospital grounds to sing the band's song Courage for a YouTube video to thank those who have donated money toward the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.

Sporting a Tragically Hip cap and accompanied by his wife and two youngest children, Perry belted out the lyrics by heart. And after seeing Downie and his band mates perform on their Man Machine Poem tour, he's even more in awe of the Hip.

"They have just gotten better with each show, more confident.

The one thing they did not do was to take the easy road on this. They're not going out there and singing their album Yer Favourites or their 20 greatest hits.

"They have a carefully constructed set list that changes every night. ... And I think given the potential worries about Gord's memory or about wordfinding, he's just been so brave.

He just says, 'You know, let's do this.' And it's been beyond my expectations."

Perry won't say much about his patient's current health status, except that Downie is not currently receiving any treatment.

"His last MRI [in late May] was fantastic from my point of view, and we'll get together after the Kingston show, after he's had a chance to rest a little bit, and we'll sit down and see where we're going from there."

Still, there's no getting around the fact that glioblastomas, which affect an estimated four to six in every 100,000 Canadians, are notoriously difficult to treat and have a grim prognosis.

As such, raising funds for research into these and other brain tumours can be challenging compared with more common cancers.

But Downie's decision to go public with his diagnosis and the Tragically Hip's subsequent launch of its tour has brought brain cancer into the limelight and set the stage for an outpouring of badly needed donations.

"I'm really thankful to all of the folks from all of the cities on the tour so far that have held fundraising events outside the venues - you know, house parties, all kinds of things have been going on," said Perry, likening the response to 2014's Ice Bucket Challenge in aid of ALS research.

The Sunnybrook Foundation, which is collecting donations for the Gord Downie Fund, won't tally how much has been raised until the tour's completion on Aug. 20, after which the band will decide whether the money will be directed only to research for glioblastoma or for all types of brain cancer.

Sunnybrook is also helping people who contact them about how to organize fundraising events, said hospital spokesman Craig DuHamel.

"There are quite a few taking place. People are doing everything from backyard parties to larger-scale events in theatres," he said. "Everybody feels this is a bit of a national cause right now, which is terrific."

Susan Marshall, CEO of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, said Downie's courage in publicly revealing his terminal cancer has not only raised awareness of the disease and created a spike in donations, but it has also inspired others battling brain cancer to share their own stories.

"Lots of times we find there's a stigma with brain tumours, so people don't feel that comfortable letting the whole world know," she said from London, Ont. "And now we've had some people who are just so grateful for the opportunity to be like him and be out there and say 'This is my situation.' " The foundation has also benefited from fundraising in Downie's name, including money donated through events held by Tragically Hip tribute bands, among them Practically Hip and Almost Hip.

On its website,, the foundation encourages fans attending Hip concerts to wear grey - the colour of the brain - in the same way those raising awareness and donations for breast cancer don pink.

There is also a link to a site called Dear Gord, where people can post messages of support to Downie and share memories from the band's performances or related photos.

The foundation, which will use donations to fund a national brain tumour registry, also financially supports researchers, including Perry, whom Marshall calls one of Canada's leading neuro-oncologists.

As for Perry, he eschews all the attention that being Downie's doctor has brought him.

"It isn't about me. This is about him and about all of my patients who have this disease, and it being an opportunity for awareness.

"It's what I've invested my career in. And if we can use this to take a big step forward, that will satisfy one of the goals I had for my career, which is to help make a difference."

Associated Graphic

Gord Downie leads the Tragically Hip through the band's concert in Vancouver on July 24. Downie's chief oncologist, James Perry, has been with the band for all but one of the farewell tour concerts as both medical support for the singer and as a Tragically Hip fan.


Republicans relying on a shrinking base
The GOP now seems to place all its hopes on white men without college degrees, a demographic too small to win an election
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A14

For Republicans, there are the scary numbers - the polls that suggest Donald Trump will suffer a humiliating defeat to Hillary Clinton, possibly surrendering states Democrats haven't won in decades, maybe dragging a lot of GOP legislators down with him.

And then there are the terrifying numbers, which should be keeping them up at night because they can't be blamed on their nominee alone, and could remain dire long after his grip on their party has been released.

Demographic trends, not Donald Trump, are what pose the biggest existential threat to them.

As the U.S. population rapidly changes, consistently becoming more diverse and more educated, the Republicans are increasingly beholden to one shrinking segment of it drowning in toxic nostalgia: white people, especially white men, who don't have college degrees.

It's a problem party leaders know well. As testament to that, there is the remarkable postmortem commissioned by the Republican National Committee after Mitt Romney's loss to Barack Obama in 2012 - the one that called for an embrace of "comprehensive immigration reform" and other policies that would signal to minority communities that the GOP wanted their support.

But, as they've discovered since then, with Mr. Trump accelerating rather than halting the Republicans' over-reliance on their base, they spent a half-century creating a monster they can't easily get back in its cage.

Starting in the 1960s, the party of Lincoln - the party that under Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s had been advancing civil rights for African-Americans - began a concerted effort to supplant the Democrats as the party of relatively traditionalist whites.

You can trace it back to Barry Goldwater's 1964 candidacy in direct opposition to the Civil Rights Act, although that was as much visceral as strategic - an uprising against party elites led by a candidate too kooky for the electorate's taste. A better election to start with might be 1968's, when Richard Nixon's more refined messaging about "states' rights" and law and order played to voters fearful about the era's tumult supplanting a social order that had served them well.

You can follow it through the 1980s, in Ronald Reagan's successful courting of "Reagan Democrats" - blue-collar whites who believed their previous party of choice had become too socially liberal, too wedded to policies like affirmative action, too much a coalition of minorities and coastal elites - with optimistic messaging about returning to the values of yore. Before that decade was out, George H.W. Bush benefited from some of the most notorious racial dog-whistling in U.S. history - notably the "Willie Horton" ad, playing to white voters' fear of black criminals - in a comeback win over Democrat Michael Dukakis.

You can pick it up again, more recently, in the populist anger of Sarah Palin running alongside John McCain in 2008, and the subsequent stoking of suspicions about the otherness of the country's first black president. And you can see immigration fears having entered the equation, as the country's Hispanic population has skyrocketed, to the extent that the relatively moderate Mitt Romney talked about the merits of "self-deportation" for those without status while seeking the presidency four years ago.

It has not been a completely straight line: George W. Bush, for instance, made a concerted effort to win over Hispanics, and eschewed anti-Muslim rhetoric (of the sort seen of late) after 9/11. But until recently, at least, you could see in Republicans a confidence that their party had wound up on the right side of identity politics.

And they were right about that, until they weren't.

Demographics were not the sole reason they won five of six presidential elections from Mr. Nixon's first win to the elder Mr. Bush's lone one, but they sure helped.

And demographics are not the sole reason they have lost the popular vote in five of the six elections since, with a very good chance of going six for seven, but they are certainly a very big hindrance.

As recently as 1980, exit polls showed, only 12 per cent of voters were non-white. By 2012, that share had jumped to 28 per cent.

And as it continues to grow, particularly because of growing Hispanic and Asian-American populations as well as improved turnout, those voters have turned away from the Republicans more than ever.

But it's not just about ethnicity; it's also about education.

One of Mr. Reagan's great victories, particularly in his 1984 steamrolling of Walter Mondale, was to complete the shift of whites without college degrees - key to every Democratic victory to that point - over to the Republicans. The downside was that Republicans saw their once-mighty margins among college-educated whites start shrinking.

At the time, that was a pretty good tradeoff, since non-college whites accounted for more than 60 per cent of all voters. But by 2012, exit polls showed them down to just 34 per cent - and they're expected to continue falling by two or three percentage points every four years.

Now, running against Mr. Trump, the Democrats appear poised to win college-educated whites - a population growing alongside (if not as quickly as) minority voters - for the first time.

In other words, the Republicans may be about to find themselves overwhelmingly reliant on a shrinking segment of the population that is too small to win with. But just as problematic, and more easily overlooked in the heat of this campaign, is that that segment may still be too big from which to easily move on.

In theory, if Mr. Trump loses, the Republicans could easily choose a candidate next time around who broadens their appeal.

In practice, there may again be a major obstacle to that.

That one demographic they have successfully rallied to their corner will still be big enough to overwhelm other voters in their primaries. And if the base rejected the post-2012 elite consensus, in the form of the postmortem that has already become a quaint artifact, there is no reason to believe it will suddenly have a come-to-Jesus moment after 2016. If anything, Mr. Trump's willingness to claim the election is rigged against him could harden resolve - leading to a relatively moderate nominee having to pander in ways unpalatable to the wider electorate, the way Mr. Romney did, or else someone like Mr. Trump who may be unpalatable from the outset.

About now, that gamble the Republicans took back in the halcyon days of the 1960s and 70s and 80s looks less winning. And that 34 per cent, or whatever smaller figure blue-collar whites now account for, looks like the most frightening number of all.

Associated Graphic

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, seen here in Dimondale, Mich., on Friday, has been blamed for his party's poor performance but demographic trends are also taking their toll on GOP support.


MLA hopes to top podium at Rio
Michelle Stilwell is the Minister of Social Development and a three-time Paralympic gold medalist, writes Laura Stone
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

Michelle Stilwell is the first to admit it: The past year and a half hasn't been easy.

The rookie Social Development Minister, appointed to the post last February, has faced intense criticism from advocacy groups who want the BC Liberal government to further increase income assistance to people with disabilities.

She's since been called vulgar names and even had death threats directed her way - not what she expected when she joined the political world as the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum in 2013.

"It's made me certainly have to strengthen my mental game, to be able to block those negative comments out and keep a positive attitude," she said in an interview.

Ms. Stilwell, arguably, needs both her mental - and physical - game to be stronger than most.

Along with her busy political career, she is also a world-class athlete competing in the 100metre and 400-metre wheelchair races in the Paralympic Games in Rio, which begin Sept. 7.

A quadriplegic, Ms. Stilwell is a four-time world-record holder and three-time gold medalist wheelchair racer in Beijing and London, who also won silver in London in 2012. In addition, she took a gold medal in Sydney in 2000, from her previous life as a wheelchair basketball player.

This year, however, is different: It will be the first time she'll compete in the Paralympics as a full-fledged politician.

"I actually was reflecting on that the other day, just how much strength and determination I've needed for my training this past year and a half. Because it's been - it's been in solitude," she said.

The busy schedule of an MLA means Ms. Stilwell, 42, hasn't attended training camps with her team or any international events to prepare, as she has in the past.

"I feel very removed from much of it. So it's a different atmosphere for me right now," she said.

Her days begin as early as 5 a.m. Six days a week, she trains in a wheelchair on a static treadmill-like device set up in her home gym or office. She compliments her racing with yoga, weights and swimming in the evenings, all to build strength in her arms, trapezius and back muscles.

"I get up very early in the morning or I train very late at night after my work day is done, when I can squeeze it in," she said.

She likens her time-management skills to a "triage" - always prioritizing what needs to be done first.

"If I try and put it off and say I'll do it later, work always takes over. Something always comes up, and then it affects your training," she said.

Her journey to Paralympic sport began with a remarkably mundane accident.

At 17, Ms. Stilwell broke her neck after falling off a friend's back during a piggyback ride.

Before her accident, Ms. Stilwell played ringette, baseball, basketball and ran track. "When I had my injury, life changed. But not for the worst, just different," she said.

She acknowledges going through hard times, but choosing to be positive.

"I think anybody who goes through a life-changing, altering injury has those moments. It's whether you decide to let yourself dwell on them, or whether you pick yourself up and decide this is my life, this is my one chance at it, how am I going to live it?" She took up wheelchair basketball, but left the sport because of complications from her spinalcord injury. She married and had a son, Kai, who is now 15. She thought her sports career was through.

Then, while coaching a wheelchair-basketball tournament in 2004, Ms. Stilwell met Peter Lawless. The Paralympic coach, now vice-president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, noticed Ms.

Stilwell, who was demonstrating in her wheelchair, right away.

"I couldn't get over how fast she was," Mr. Lawless said. "I figured out that she was a quadriplegic, and then I kind of freaked out a little, because I was like, that's really impressive."

(Ms. Stilwell, a C6 quadriplegic, has use of her arms but does not have full hand or wrist function.

She competes in the Paralympics "T52" category.)

"I just noted right away how quick she was already moving.

And I was like, you know, that looks like someone that we could make something special happen here," Mr. Lawless said.

Ms. Stilwell was initially resistant to the idea of racing.

"I kind of laughed and said no, no, no I'm good," Ms. Stilwell recalled. "He was very persistent.

He phoned and he phoned and he e-mailed and he kept inviting me to events where finally I gave in and I said, 'Fine I'll come and I'll try.' ""She might say I stalked her," Mr. Lawless said. "It took some months of harassment, but she saw the light eventually."

In her first attempt at racing, she lost to a nine-year-old boy.

She vowed she would never go down again.

Ms. Stilwell, who says she loves the training aspect of competition, describes her movements while racing as a "punch" - and her remarkable hand speed comes in, well, handy.

"You don't actually push the wheels, you punch the wheels, and then you flick down and back and get your hands up again on the rim as fast as you can."

Mr. Lawless, who remains her coach to this day, attributes Ms.

Stilwell's success to a delicate balance of innate talent and hard work.

"It took several years of pretty ruthless commitment to transform her into what she's become.

And then to keep that going is a lot of years and a lot of hours," he said.

"She's an exceptional person. ... Quite extraordinary, actually. I tend to talk about her in the context of being a generational athlete, just one in a million."

Although she doesn't like to say it, this will likely be Ms. Stilwell's final year in Paralympic competition.

"I need to focus on this experience and this process so that I can accomplish the goals I've set out for Rio," she said.

And what are those?

"Top the podium in the 100 and the 400 [metre races]," she said, without hesitation.

"I'm not going to Rio for the experience. I'm going to win."

Associated Graphic

Paralympian Michelle Stilwell, British Columbia Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, says training while doing her job as an MLA and minister has been a challenge.


Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, trains for the Paralympics, in Nanaimo.


Ms. Stilwell started wheelchair racing in 2004 after meeting her coach at a basketball game. She says she initially resisted his efforts to get her involved in the sport. She has four Paralympic medals.

A singing, dancing version of a hero
Nathan Carroll, a Dora Award-winning actor, will play Terry Fox in the world premiere of Marathon of Hope: The Musical
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

Is Canada ready for its first singing and dancing Terry Fox?

On Thursday, Nathan Carroll - an up-and-coming 27-year-old musical-theatre performer - will be announced as the star of Ontario theatre company Drayton Entertainment's upcoming world premiere of Marathon of Hope: The Musical, after a countrywide search for an actor to play the Canadian cancer activist and icon.

"It feels like a huge responsibility, to be honest - a thrill, but also a responsibility," Carroll said in an interview in advance of the official announcement. "I know him as this huge hero - when The Greatest Canadian competition was on [CBC], I remember being disappointed when he lost."

Carroll, who recently appeared in the Dora Award-winning ensembles of Once at Mirvish Productions and The Wizard of Oz at Young People's Theatre, certainly looks the part - in fact, he looks uncannily like Fox, the amputee who embarked on a run across the country in 1980 at the age of 21 to raise awareness and money for research into the disease that had taken his right leg.

"It's hard for me to deny that there's a physical resemblance," he says.

More useful than Carroll's appearance to this initial production of Marathon of Hope - which features songs by John Connolly and a book by Peter Colley and begins performance at the St.

Jacobs County Playhouse in Waterloo, Ont., in October - is that he has been involved in the development of several new Canadian musicals in recent years.

The George Brown Theatre School grad was in the original Storefront production of ChasseGalerie, Tyrone Savage and James Smith's entertaining twist on the French-Canadian legend now headed to Soulpepper this fall; and also the first two workshops of Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey's Prom Queen, a new musical about Marc Hall, the teen who took his school board to court to take his boyfriend to prom, that will have its world premiere at the Segal Centre in Montreal in October.

After decades of institutional sidelining of musical theatre in Canada, it's been a heady period for the genre of late with homegrown shows such as Ride the Cyclone and Come From Away headed to off-Broadway and Broadway this season.

"My favourite thing to do as an actor is new work," Carroll says.

"I'm excited to see theatre starting to take chances on the [new generation of musical theatre writers]."

Indeed, Alex Mustakas, the chief executive officer and artistic director of Drayton, is one of those taking a chance with Marathon of Hope after 21/2 decades of safely producing revues and Broadway-tested musicals and farces. He feels it was time for his company, a circuit of seven notfor-profit theatres in Southwestern Ontario that recently surpassed the Shaw Festival in attendance, to sink its teeth into a major project like this. "Less than two years ago, I went to see a workshop at Sheridan College - and I immediately fell in love with the music," he recalls.

Mustakas eventually came on board as director on the project and has shaped its current form over a lengthy and pricey - certainly by Drayton Entertainment's standards - workshop process, hiring Colley (I'll Be Back Before Midnight; Cagney: The Musical) to write a new book and encouraging the creatives to have Fox will address the audience directly. "It's been a daunting task," says Mustakas, who hopes to roll the 16-actor show out across his theatre chain in a coming season if audience response in Waterloo is positive. "This is obviously one of the great Canadian stories - how do you tell it in 21/2 hours of songs and dance and be true to it?" Connolly has spent the past 12 years figuring that out - a marathon of his own, filled with hope that he would eventually win over the Fox family with his vision. The composer first started working on the musical in September of 2004 as a second-year musical-theatre student at Sheridan College and approached the Fox family right away - but it took a decade of workshops working with different directors and book writers for the show to get to a place where they would get on board for a professional production.

"They don't suffer fools gladly," Connolly says. "If you're trying to make money off Terry, they'll say no - and they'll leave a lot of stuff on the table."

Terry Fox's own musical taste - he was a fan of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams - has shaped the music that Connolly has written.

"He was very much a typical Canadian suburban kid growing up, and I never wanted the musical or for the music and the lyrics to be elitist," the composer says. "I wanted to tap into the sound of the land, in the classic Canadian storytelling tradition, that big open sound: Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot ..." As for his lyrics, Connolly was inspired by the way Fox spoke: "Always very simply, directly and from the heart."

The musical's story focuses on the Marathon of Hope itself - Fox's fabled journey that ended after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, when his cancer spread to his lungs. Fox died nine months later, but his quest inspired an annual run that has, to date, raised more than $700-million for cancer research in his name.

Fox's tempestuous relationship with his best friend Doug Alward, who drove the famous Ford E250 Econoline that followed him, provides much of the drama. Leslie Scrivener, a Toronto Star reporter who wrote a column and later a book about Terry Fox, is a character, as are Fox's parents and his brother, Darrell, who eventually flew in to act as a buffer between Terry and Doug.

Connolly and Coller have not deviated far from the facts. "Part of our mission is to tell the story correctly and clearly," Connelly says, adding that there's an eye to the musical being done in schools well in the future. "The Fox family is really looking at this as one of the ways the story is going to be told down the line."

Both Connolly and Mustakas felt Carroll was the right one for the role as soon as he auditioned but a five-day workshop in July clinched it for them. "He has the vulnerability and toughness," Connolly says. "We're casting a 20-year-old Jean Valjean here - it's a big singing role and Nathan is crushing it."

Marathon of Hope will play at the St Jacobs County Playhouse in Waterloo, Ont., from Oct. 5 to Oct. 30.

Associated Graphic

Terry Fox runs in Northern Ontario in August, 1980, during his Marathon of Hope. A musical version of his story, produced by Drayton Entertainment, will premiere in October. After a countrywide search, Nathan Carroll was chosen to play Fox.


The Romanesque city on the Rhône offers a more urban version of the idyllic and longed-for Provençal lifestyle
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

ARLES, FRANCE -- Arles is a deeply historical city, with strong ties to Roman civilization. Its distinctive light and buildings can be found in the paintings of van Gogh, who, in the late 19th century, made its streets, even the house he lived in, his subjects. But now, Arles is back once again in the public eye and this time the focus isn't on the past, but rather the present.

Its culture and cuisine have emerged as a new draw.

Arles is growing, populationwise. It's becoming a hip city, full of artists and musicians and folks who want the Provençal lifestyle in a city, not the remote countryside made popular by Peter Mayle's books.

Situated near the mouth of the Rhône river, the city offers an inviting few days of enjoyment and respite. There can be no doubt about the Roman influence: It can be found in the thermes (baths); an oval, ancient racecourse; an amphitheatre and, most imposingly, a spectacular arena (now under restoration) where bullfighting happens every summer. Close to the larger Avignon to the north and, to the south, the wilds of La Camargue, a nature preserve at the edge of the Mediterranean, Arles has a storied past, even apart from the Romans.

In 1888, Vincent van Gogh moved here and painted the yellow Café Terrace at Night (still standing - but those in the know don't dine there), The Yellow House and his not-so-yellow bedroom. It was also in Arles that he cut off his ear, shortly before his death in Auvers-sur-Oise outside of Paris in 1890.

His paintings - of which there is an exhibition this summer, van Gogh in Provence: Modernizing Tradition at Arles's Fondation Vincent van Gogh - evoke the spectacular beauty of the area in his inimitable brushstrokes and hues. The exhibit includes one of his self-portraits; a number of the 31 works are on loan from the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

But art here extends beyond van Gogh. In an almost deserted old house, you can find the Musée Réattu, featuring paintings of the 19th-century local artist Jacques Réattu along with some modern works - an Ossip Zadkine Cubist sculpture, for instance.

And in July, the city hosts a famous photography festival that draws ambitious and seasoned artists alike.

Just outside the city centre, there is an amazing market on Saturdays. Along with clothes, tchotchkes and the like, the food stands go on for at least a kilometre. When I was there, strawberries from one vendor occupied three tables. Some were from Valence, some were gariguettes (though I noted there weren't any fraises des bois, those tiny, woodland strawberries that taste like the essence of the fruit). A dozen varieties of nougat, a regional specialty (some from nearby Montélimar) occupied another stall. To make the city even more accommodating, Arlésiens are building a cultural park, dwarfed by a Bosch-like spiral tower with glass rotunda to house multimedia facilities, designed by none other than the Toronto-born architect, Frank Gehry. The Gehry Tower, as it is currently known, can be spotted widely from various places throughout the city, and is expected to fuel a Bilbaolike resurgence of visitors.

Gehry, however, is not the only Canadian reason Arles is worth a special visit. That would be a thirtysomething sommelier from Quebec. Her name is Laura Vidal, and she and her life and business partner, Harry Cummins, are injecting new life into Arles's dining scene. Formerly of Montreal, Vidal has garnered good press for her various endeavours, including a stint at Frenchie, a highly acclaimed Paris restaurant where, in 2011, she met Cummins, an English chef with incredible culinary chops.

The two decided Paris needed a culinary boost especially to showcase younger chefs, and so Paris Popup was born. The business occupies empty restaurants on their closing days, bringing in its own chefs and staff and cooking from a limited-run menu. The first pop-up, in December, 2012, was beyond a success, with a guest list that included many other young Parisian chefs, restaurateurs and the like.

This prompted them to take the show on the road. Off they went to Spain, Morocco, Japan and now Arles, which they are revisiting for a second season.

They hold their pop-up (with new partner, Julia Mitton, from Halifax) at the lovely Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus on the Place du Forum.

A seasonal menu reflecting fresh ingredients - monkfish in a spring pea broth and freshlymade ricotta tortellini - was on offer the days I was there. As a way of offering other chefs the opportunity they had, they've just opened Chardon, a stylish restaurant just off the square, much more modern than anything in the area. With a terrace, bar and restaurant seating, Chardon will be helmed by life and business partners Oliver Truesdale-Jutras and Phoebe Oviedo, both from Ottawa, until the end of September. Torontonian chef Haan Palcu-Chang takes over for the month of October. Sommelier Josee Yeomans (formerly of Bar Isabel in Toronto) is in charge of service and wine for the season.

Les Canadiens sont arrivés. Do yourself a favour. Find yourself there this summer, one way or another.


From Paris, the TGV is approximately 180 ($260) return for first class, less for economy, and takes 31/2 hours at a minimum.


The Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus in Place du Forum has original bullfighting posters and newly renovated rooms, some overlooking the square.

Hard to beat the old Roman columns built right into the structure.

From 190 a night in low season. Next door, the mid-range Hôtel du Forum also offers views of the square. Simple, lovely rooms. From 60 a night for a single bed.

The Hôtel du Musée, near the Réattu, has a pretty courtyard and is inside the city walls.

From 60.


Paris Popup (in the Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus) and Chardon are a must. 37 rue des Arènes; Le Galoubet (also a hotel) offers locally-sourced Provençal fare in a rustic setting. Don't be fooled by the pink neon sign over the bar. 18 rue du Dr Fanton Just off the square, the Baràvin is a good alternative for a lighter dinner. Locals seem to congregate here late into the evening. 40 rue des Arènes

Associated Graphic

Arles is most famous for its Roman monuments and for inspiring Vincent van Gogh, who captured the city at night.


An amphitheatre built by the Romans, now used as a bull-racing arena, is seen in Arles, France. The ancient civilization's influence can be seen throughout the city.


Thursday, August 25, 2016


A Travel story Tuesday incorrectly included a picture of an arena identified as being in Arles, France. The arena shown is actually in Nîmes, France.

It's time to ditch the sugary beverages
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L5

Think one sugary drink (or one glass of water) won't make a difference? Think again.

If sugary beverages are a part of your usual diet, swapping just one serving with plain water can help you shed excess pounds and improve health. That's according to a new study from the University of North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Regular consumption of sugarsweetened beverages - e.g., pop, fruit drinks, iced tea, lemonade, sports drinks, energy drinks, tea and coffee drinks - is linked with increased body weight and a greater risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It's also tied to more dental cavities in kids. Probably not new information, I know.

What might surprise you, though, is that replacing just one eight-ounce serving of a sugary drink with the same amount of water can make a difference to your waistline and, in doing so, can deliver health benefits.

How much sugar?

Eight ounces isn't a huge serving these days. Consider that a standard single soft drink serving is now 16 ounces (a medium size in most fast-food outlets), which delivers 220 calories and 56 grams of sugar (14 teaspoons worth). A single can of sugar-sweetened pop (12 ounces or 355 millilitres) has 155 calories and 36 g of sugar (nine teaspoons).

You'd have to order a child'ssize drink to get an eight-ounce serving (28 g of sugar). But even that's more sugar than health authorities advise.

Guidelines from the World Health Organization, released in 2015, recommend that adults and kids reduce their intake of added sugars to less than 10 per cent of daily calories. A further reduction to less than 5 per cent of daily calories - roughly 25 g of sugar a day for women (six teaspoons) and 36 g (nine teaspoons) for men - may offer additional health benefits.

Eight-ounce drink swap beneficial For the study, published earlier this summer in the journal Nutrients, researchers used a mathematical model to estimate the impact of replacing one eightounce serving of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) with eight ounces of water on body weight in 16,429 American adults, 19 years and older. The findings: Among adults who drank one eight-ounce serving of SSB each day, replacing that with eight ounces of water cut daily calorie intake by one-third.

In addition to saving calories from added sugar, choosing water over sweetened beverages may be tied to eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweets and refined starch.

The new findings provide evidence that a water-replacement strategy is an effective weightmanagement tool (it's not the only one, though). Among daily SSB consumers, those who swapped eight ounces with water lost up to four pounds over six months. That makes sense. An eight-ounce serving of cola, for instance, has 103 calories. Multiply that by seven days a week for six months: 17,304 calories.

Since it takes a calorie reduction of about 3,500 to lose one pound, a calorie deficit of 17,304 over six months translates into almost a five-pound loss - providing, of course, that other diet and exercise factors are held constant.

Previous studies have also found that drinking water (16 ounces) before meals helps dieters increase the feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake at meals. This study was based on Americans who, data indicate, drink twice the quantity of sugary beverages than Canadians do.

Even so, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, one-third of youth, from the age of five to 19, consume sugary beverages every day.

What about diet drinks?

If you're motivated to reduce - or ditch altogether - sugar-sweetened beverages, that's great. And you might be thinking that diet drinks will fill the flavour void.

It's true that diet soft drinks are sugar- and calorie-free. But harmless they're not. Observational research suggests that long-term consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks may actually increase belly fat in older adults.

Artificial sweeteners in diet pop may also cause biological changes in the body that increase appetite and weight. They've also been shown to disrupt the balance of intestinal bacteria - in rodents and humans - in a direction that could lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Plain water is best Your best beverage choice is plain water - it's free of calories, added sugar and sodium, colouring and preservatives. If you find water boring, choose carbonated water.

Contrary to popular belief, club soda is very low in sodium - at most 50 mg for each 250 ml serving. Perrier carbonated spring water is sodium-free.

Keep a bottle filled with water handy - at your desk, at home or in the car. Sip it slowly during the day; avoid gulping water quickly to prevent too many trips to the washroom. (I'm loving my new S'well bottle; it keeps water cold for 24 hours.) Drink water during meals. Sipping water between bites will increase your fluid intake and slow your eating pace. Get kids used to drinking water so they don't become accustomed to drinking flavoured, sugary drinks when they're thirsty. Keep a pitcher of water on the dinner table.

Leslie Beck, a registered dietician, is based at the Medisys clinic in Toronto.


It's a common complaint: Plain water is boring, it has no taste.

Here are some tips to infuse flavour into water - beyond the standard slice of lemon or lime - to get you drinking more of it.

Infuse with fruit For flavourful water, fill a jug of water with fruit and refrigerate overnight. Some tasty combinations include strawberry and lime, watermelon and honeydew, lemon and raspberry, and orange and blueberry.

Flavour with herbs The essence of fresh herbs adds flavour to plain water as well as fruit-infused waters.

Add basil or mint leaves to a pitcher of water and let steep before drinking. Try mint with watermelon, basil with strawberries and ginger with lemon.

Add flavour with ice cubes Add puréed fruit or a few blueberries or raspberries to ice cube trays, then fill with water and freeze. Once the ice cubes melt, they will impart a fruity flavour to water.

Sip on iced herbal tea To make herbal iced tea, fill a tea pot with three tea bags and hot water and let steep for 10 minutes.

Once steeped, remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a pitcher or jar. Add extra water, lemon slices and ice cubes if you like. Store in the refrigerator. My favourite herbal teas to make iced tea include cranberry, raspberry, lemon and ginger peach.

Associated Graphic

A study from the University of North Carolina and Virginia Tech finds that replacing one eight-ounce serving of a sugary beverage with the same amount of water can make a difference to your waistline and overall health.

On the move in Brazil? Ditch the car
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Here is the quick lesson on how to rent a car in Brazil: Don't.

Walk. It'll be easier.

Everything about every mode of vehicular conveyance in this country is fraught. On a recent night, I ran out of the Olympic Stadium to catch a cab. The driver invites me to sit up front.

This is where the 12-inch TV is mounted to his dash. He hopes we can watch the volleyball together. While he drives.

I demur. He jacks down the front passenger seat so that my view is unimpeded. He says something very urgently to me in Portuguese. I shrug. Frustrated, he pokes at his phone.

After a quick conversation, a spectral voice fills the cab: "Hello? Hellllooo??" The driver turns back to me (still driving) and motions that this is my cue.

"Yes, hello?" "Hello. The driver wants you to know that he is stopping for gas. You should not be afraid."

Good work, Ryan Lochte.

You've traumatized a whole generation of Rio cabbies.

All of this is happening while we're Goggles Paesano'ing our way down the Avenida Paulo de Frontin, presumably named for the man who invented fiery explosions.

Any time you're being driven anywhere, you are trying to forget that more than 40,000 Brazilians die yearly in road accidents. Sadly, we can never know how many of them were watching TV at the time.

So you decide to rent your own car. You're going to game the system. You're going ... Then you get to the car-rental place and there are two people ahead of you in line. This is bad luck.

Globe photographer John Lehmann and I arrived at 8:30. At 9, we were still in line. At 9:15, we were informed that we were at the wrong desk. Where was the right one? The guy sitting right beside her. So you shuffle a foot to the left and line up again.

Once it finally got under way, this process was only slightly less complicated than adopting a child. There were 45 minutes of forms. There was a (rebuffed) attempt to take a $6,000 deposit. There was insurance, which nearly tripled the quoted price.

This was the worst car-rental experience of my life. And I've driven a Fiat Punto through the less salubrious parts of the former Soviet Union, which is like riding a motorized goat back in time.

An hour later (Lehmann timed it on a stopwatch to increase our joy in consumer outrage), we were shown to a Ford somethingsomething. We made plans to run it into a tree in order to justify expensing all that insurance.

We were headed to Sao Paulo, a short four, six or possibly eight-hundred-hour drive away, depending on how many people up ahead of us were watching TV.

It was time to get outside the Olympic bubble to see a little of Brazil (i.e. make it impossible for anyone to send us to a track meet that wraps up at 2 a.m. every night).

The trick to driving in this country is understanding the average Brazilian's geometric mindset. If he/she is piloting a vehicle that is four metres long, they need to find gaps of four metres plus one centimetre between two other automobiles and then wedge themselves in there at high speed.

Lanes don't matter. Flow of traffic certainly doesn't matter.

Just keep leapfrogging from space to vertical space. Mix in some kamikaze motorbikes.

That's how you keep the World Health Organization in the death-tabulating business.

We almost die for the first time about 20 minutes outside Rio, when a guy in a Jeep decides he must be 10 feet closer to his destination, like, right now. When I hammer the brakes, Lehmann yelps. From then on, he will helpfully yell, "WATCH OUT!" any time anyone anywhere does anything that isn't driving in a straight line.

Even after you've left the city and hit pasture land, there is so much generalized aggro going on around you, a fight is inevitable. Lehmann and I get into it after about an hour over Tim Hortons coffee. I'm for it. He calls it "as bland as your writing." We agree that that's a good enough line to end it.

I pull over to retrieve a cord from my bag in the trunk.

While I'm rooting around in there, a guy in a pickup pulls over to ask if everything's okay.

I give him a thumbs-up and he leaves.

When I get back in the car, Lehmann points me to something he's been reading about the stretch of highway we're on.

It's considered very safe - unless you are stupid enough to pull over and open your trunk.

That's when people will stop to rob and kill you. Then he gives me what I'm beginning to think of as "the Lehmann look."

We stop at a roadside diner named Bubi. It costs $15 for three coffees, three waters and a heaving selection of homemade pastries. A beer at the Olympics will run you $16.

When we get to the giant replica Statue of Liberty somewhere in ... honestly, I have no idea ... we decide to stop. Not for the 100-foot-tall plaster hood ornament, which is sitting in the parking lot of a semi-derelict shopping mall. But because it is beside a place that claims to have "the best burgers in the world." That lie cannot go unexposed, even if we have to pay to do it.

Lehmann takes a few photos. I point to a man who has fallen asleep beside a dozing dog. To my keen visual eye, this is a picture. I point it out to Lehmann.

He starts snapping. A couple of minutes later, he comes in behind me, a bit wide-eyed.

"That's the second time you've almost killed me."

"Sorry?" "The guy woke up. And he was not happy."

Oh well. I'm sure those pictures won't be bland.

We had the burgers. They're actually pretty good. Lehmann accuses me of stealing all the ketchup. We get back on the road.

Hours drag by. Traffic is ceaseless. Brake application is random. Every once in a while, you'll pass a fire. There are seven - SEVEN! - tolls to pay over 400 kilometres. We get to the hotel just before sundown.

"We're going to the stadium tomorrow," I tell the clerk.

"What's the best way to get there?" "Are you driving?" "Absolutely not."

Associated Graphic

Cathal Kelly, driving a 'Ford somethingsomething,' thought it would be easy to rent a car. Instead, it worse than driving a Fiat Punto through the less salubrious parts of the former Soviet Union.


Bearing witness
Rural Nova Scotia is explored in Advocate and The Most Heartless Town in Canada
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R13

Advocate By Darren Greer Cormorant, 256 pages, $22.95

The Most Heartless Town in Canada By Elaine McCluskey Anvil, 288 pages, $20

In an interview regarding his novel Hate: A Romance, about how "the Left became the Right" in France during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, French novelist Tristan Garcia once told me: "The novel is the art of the one who came just a little bit too late. It's often a way of trying to relive as an adult the time of one's childhood."

Garcia, who was born in 1981, was far from politically conscious during the time he writes about. But it was exactly his relation to that time, and the epidemic's position within time - "in the limbo of History and current affairs ... a comatose period that hasn't yet entered History books, but is already more or less out of the headlines" - that inspired him to write.

I thought of Garcia's comments recently while reading Darren Greer's new novel, Advocate, a book unlike Hate except for its subject, AIDS, here set in the fictional small, inland town of Advocate, somewhere near Trenton, N.S. Advocate opens in 2008. Jacob is a counsellor at an HIV support network in Toronto when his mother calls him home: His grandmother is dying.

Jump to 1984 and another return: Jacob is 11 when his uncle, David, arrives in Advocate ill with an unnamed disease.

The bulk of Advocate recounts David's final months, with occasional cuts to the present, where Jacob faces a difficult decision regarding this history.

Garcia's remarks relate to Advocate in how they outline a set of issues about the AIDS epidemic's particular position in time - in history, in the author's time, in queer time - that touch on efforts to bear witness to and to memorialize the epidemic in fiction.

In an artist's statement, Greer says: "The inspiration for Advocate came from two places: my own experience growing up under the shadow of AIDS in the 80s and 90s, and the death of my friend Steve in 98 ... I knew I would never forget Steve, but I wanted to make sure the world did not forget him, and men like him, either." "The novel is the art of the one who came just a little bit too late" - Greer was 16 in 1984.

His character, by comparison, is five years younger. Jacob (I'm not giving much away here) is gay, his sexual awakening uncomfortably simultaneous with his uncle's wasting away down the hall. That David's disease is tied, even if only by association, to Jacob's own sexuality has a profound effect on Jacob.

Some readers might question how much of a witness Jacob can amount to, but I am reminded of what Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi wrote about witnessing the death camps: "We, the survivors are not the true witnesses. The true witnesses, those in full possession of the terrible truth, are the drowned."

If an analogous statement can be made about HIV/AIDS, Mike Hoolboom's contribution to You Only Live Twice might come closest to Levi's true witness (though thankfully, Hoolboom, who lives with HIV, survives).

Still, none of us know in our own bodies the terrible conclusion to this disease. We feel morally compelled to remember it anyway.

Advocate's driving emotion is gay rage, spurred by injustice: The town that raised David turns on him in his moment of need. Jacob remembers his uncle's pariah status and Advocate's ignorance-fuelled hysteria, though it seems to him that no one else does.

For many peoples, time bears scars marking moments of pervasive trauma. These moments mark not only turning points in history, but borders of incommensurability with the past. In his contribution to Queers Were Here: Heroes & Icons of Queer Canada, historian RJ Gilmour writes about how the AIDS epidemic marked such a moment in queer time: "The learning of these elders disappeared with their dying bodies. We were losing precious repositories of knowledge as the epidemic culled an entire generation ... AIDS not only ravaged the bodies of individuals and their friends and lovers, it created a cultural vacuum, disrupting conduits of knowledge from one generation to the next."

In the decades since David's death, Jacob's anger morphs into a seething resentment over what he sees as the town's denial of its part in producing this scar tissue. As the novel's title suggests, Advocate is a central character in the story, which is not only about the epidemic in time but in place. David's journey back to Advocate is emblematic: Many young gay men who escaped their home towns to find freedom in the big city returned to those same, often hostile, towns in their dying months because they had nowhere else to go. How will Advocate bear witness to its part in this history?

A different kind of witnessing is at play in The Most Heartless Town in Canada, Elaine McCluskey's most recent novel, also about a fictional Nova Scotia town. Like Advocate, Myrtle - a

town of 4,000, an hour's drive from Halifax - is unremarkable: not pretty, not prosperous; it isn't even on the ocean. What Myrtle has is a poultry plant, where dumped entrails attract a convocation of bald-headed eagles, which the town hopes will, in turn, attract tourists.

Instead, a grisly event brings news crews, including a Toronto columnist famous for her hitand-run pieces on small-town "dying Canada."

Our Country, as the series is called, is a bald attempt to stoke city readers' sense of superiority by presenting gothic visions of small-town freaks and yokels.

(McCluskey, a former Canadian Press bureau chief, is spot-on in her media criticism.) Myrtle's blankness to those who don't know it leaves it vulnerable to definition from the outside.

When an outsider quoted in the Tribune column casually dubs Myrtle "the most heartless town in Canada," the moniker sticks.

The Most Heartless Town in Canada is explicitly about bearing false witness to a place and what that does to the people there.

(It's also extremely funny.) For the two narrators, teens featured in a famous photo that accompanied the Tribune hit piece, the only restitution is in testifying Myrtle's truth.

Myrtle is far from a heartless town. Is Advocate? "Advocate" of course has literal meanings (the town was named after a Lutheran minister's sermon demanding his congregants be advocates for the faith). Advocate is full of advocates of various stripes; Advocate, the title, could refer to the town or it could be a call to action. Advocate, the book, is a deeply moving novel that finds resolution somewhere between those meanings.

Jade Colbert covers Canadian independent publishers and debut authors for The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Darren Greer

The recent spate of fashion-focused documentaries suggest there is a surprising correlation between good looks and an aptitude for dressing well. Sarah Hampson unpacks the idea that truly stylish inclinations are born from unattractive feelings
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L8

From the time she was a girl, Diana Vreeland knew she wasn't pretty. People would fawn over her younger sister, Alexandra, the child with the violet eyes. Their mother, a noted beauty, was keenly aware of the difference between the two. "It's too bad that you have such a beautiful sister and that you are so extremely ugly and so terribly jealous of her," she once said. Routinely, she would tell the daughter who would grow up to be fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue, "You're my ugly little monster."

Who wouldn't want to analyze the psychological underpinnings of style - a democratic power available to anyone, compared to the autocracy of beauty - which can redefine notions of what is attractive.

"There was a concerted effort to be something different, to transform," says Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the granddaughter-in-law of Vreeland and a filmmaker who directed documentaries Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel and Peggy Guggenheim, Art Addict about two of the world's leading style icons, but not conventionally beautiful subjects. "That transformation was very powerful. You look at what they did. Was it motivated by their lack of beauty and because of the mean things their mothers said to them? Maybe. But it doesn't matter because they sculpted themselves into these incredible examples of women for us today."

Which brings us to the subject of prettiness versus style. Does one compensate for a lack of the other?

And which is more important?

Physical beauty has many forms, the standards of which are constantly changing. And it's in the eye of the beholder, of course. Still, there are traditional notions of it that cut across time and cultures. Is it coincidence that numerous style icons - including Diana Vreeland, Peggy Guggenheim, Wallis Simpson and Coco Chanel - were not considered traditionally beautiful? The style of these women was deliberate. Simpson only kicked her look up a notch after her relationship with Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales, began. (Vreeland, then working in a London lingerie shop, witnessed the transformation.) Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born to an unwed mother who ran a laundry, and part of her childhood was spent in an orphanage. Her determination to escape what she was not born with catapulted her to a different future; a catalyst for her fashion sense. Guggenheim had several nose jobs because she didn't like her looks, but her flamboyant style of dressing - and her money - made her alluring. Vreeland herself once wrote in her journal, "I need to be that girl. I need to stand out."

Beauty or prettiness, on the other hand, is given, not earned. That effortlessness - the opposite of what style demands - is part of its power. It is bestowed like a gift from above, making the recipient seem goddess-like; a chosen one. And it's exclusionary. You can't get it if you don't have it, no matter how hard you try. In fact, trying too hard - such as having plastic surgery - is seen as the antithesis of beautiful.

Just as style can distract from a lack of traditional beauty, so too can it interfere with prettiness. Consider the actress Helena Bonham Carter. She is beautiful; an English rose. And yet she wears wacky, bohemian clothes that are costumey, disguising her natural prettiness. On the other end of the spectrum, off-duty models often dress simply in jeans and T-shirts, without makeup, showcasing their looks with nothing else competing to seduce the eye.

After all, exquisitely beautiful people mesmerize us. We see them on the arms of rich spouses, in Hollywood films, celebrated in magazines.

Our culture salutes them, but also undermines them by provoking the assumption that there's little else of note to those who possess it. "We say someone is a dumb blond because [we assume] the woman who has been conventionally pretty all her life doesn't have to work on the inside to make people like her or to have that magnetism," says Dawnn Karen, fashion psychologist and adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. "The woman who is not conventionally beautiful, but who has style, knows how to use the exterior and internal to appear attractive."

Many feel that style has an advantage over beauty for this reason. "Style is more to do with your personality, playfulness and character," says Catherine Baba, a Paris-based stylist and fashion lover originally from Australia, known for her penchant for turbans and vertiginous heels. "For me, these attributes are more celebratory in life, en général, than just plain pretty. Pretty can be pretty boring."

Fashion and style have an inherent longevity that scores points against being beautiful. "Style is forever. Beauty is a stopwatch that's going quickly," says Linda Rodin, the silver-haired, 68-year-old model-turned-stylist and founder of the Rodin line of beauty products. A model in her youth, having been voted the most beautiful in high school, Rodin suggests that a strong sense of style might reverse the invisibility some women experience as they age. "But I have never gotten more fl amboyant to compensate for my age.

I've never been flamboyant. I like to look nice. Getting dressed is like painting. You're your own little canvas," she says on the phone from New York.

Perhaps most fundamental, is the individuality that style encourages: If beauty adheres to standards, fashion flouts them. "Anything that is contre standards, things that are standardized by the mass norm, anything that pushes any kind of barriers - I feel that is something that helps evolve society and mankind," Baba says. "There is a punkishness to style where you choose what you want to wear and how you want to wear it. And it doesn't matter what trend, what age, what level of socalled pretty you are."

We dress to communicate, to play with reality and perception, not just for the benefit of others but also for ourselves. There are times when you can look in a mirror and feel a cunning sense of duplicity - the reflection can be so much stronger, glorious and put-together than the wobbly person inside the clothes. Style is a powerful agent, capable of both winning attention and distracting it from things one would rather others didn't notice. "It's okay not to be beautiful," says Immordino Vreeland. "And that's what's so important."

Associated Graphic

WORKING IT Experts say it's no coincidence that style icons Coco Chanel, Wallis Simpson and Diana Vreeland (above left to right) - as well as Peggy Guggenheim pictured here on her Venice terrace - cultivated an attractiveness by developing unique fashion tastes that expressed their personalities.


Rio's Olympian lesson
Renewal was supposed to be the legacy. But, as Juliana Barbassa reminds us, the focus of the Games always comes down to sports
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F7

When Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2016 Olympic Games against Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago, its proposal was the most geographically spread out, and the most expensive of the lot at more than $11-billion (U.S.). Rio was also the candidate with the greatest urban challenges, even without the Games. Despite all this, when International Olympic Committee president Jacque Rogge reached into the envelope decorated with five rings in October, 2009, to reveal the winning city, the name he pulled out was Rio. The city exploded in a celebration that lasted all night.

The choice was a gamble - for Brazil and for the IOC. There was reason for optimism. The country was going through a period of great prosperity and stability; it was even shrinking the inequality gap that had historically defined it and hampered its growth. Brazil had already been chosen to host the 2014 World Cup and its final match would be in Rio. On the other hand, the city's challenges loomed large: Security was an issue, as were transportation and pollution. But the chance to make a big impact was tempting to the organization, which had grown since the 1970s from a low-key, low-budget organization into the powerful, wealthy institution we know today, in part by raising the profile of the Olympics from a sporting competition into a expensive extravaganza whose cost was justified by the impetus it created for positive urban renewal. Rio would be the ultimate example of this type of Olympics-plus.

In the years following the IOC vote, Rio authorities implemented several programs that, if successful, would have indeed changed for the better millions of lives. (These were both state and city programs; the city of Rio has more than six million residents; the greater Rio metropolitan area has more than 12 million residents, comprising the majority of the state of Rio's 16 million residents.)

The targets of two of the most promising programs - Morar Carioca, a housing improvement program, and the UPP, or Units of Pacification Police, a policing program - were Rio's favelas.

These are communities built by poor or low-income workers without other options in a city that has historically lacked affordable housing. Many lack access to basic services and are underserved by public education, health and transportation.

Set against this context, the programs proposed in the years leading up to the 2016 Olympics represented an important break with the past. In the mayor's words, Morar Carioca would be the main social legacy of the games.

It was a participative, progressive project that polled favela residents about their needs, and aimed to bring basic services - everything from sewage systems to street lighting and green recreational spaces - to all of Rio's favelas. The UPP project would bring community policing into areas long abandoned to criminal organizations, reducing violence and also helping to fold these communities into the urban fabric. Together, they could radically improve the quality of life for the nearly one in four Rio residents who live in favelas.

Now that the Games are nearing the end, it's time to re-examine those promises, not just for the sake of Rio, but because they go to the core of the urban transformation on which these bigger, more expensive Olympic Games are predicated.

The Olympics have indeed reshaped Rio, at a cost of $4.6-billion for sporting venues and of nearly $20-billion total. This is particularly true of the wealthy west side, which is the geographic heart of the Games and Mayor Eduardo Paes's political base (he started his political career as submayor of the sprawling suburban region in 1993.)

The neighbourhood has new transportation infrastructure - a Bus Rapid Transit system and an extension of the metro - and is home to the new world-class golf course, the Olympic Park and the athletes' village, among other interventions. All this has been a boon to long-term real estate values and to growth in this highrent region that, with its highways, malls and gated communities, often draws comparisons to Miami.

The other side of Rio did not fare as well. Instead of improvements to favelas, what Rio saw in these last seven years was a renewal of the favela demolitions that had scarred the city decades ago. The process started with a list of 119 communities that were designated for removal less than three months after the IOC vote, and ended with more than 67,000 people losing their homes in various redevelopment projects.

One of them, Vila Autodromo, is a short walk from the Olympic Park. It became a symbol of resistance when its residents fought off efforts to destroy their homes for years.

Now, visitors streaming toward Olympic venues can see what remains: the 20 homes of remaining residents surrounded by a vast, and nearly empty, parking lot.

The policing program, known as UPP in its Portuguese acronym, had a promising start. Its goal, unlike other police actions in the past, was not to end drug trade, but to reclaim the territory from the control of drug-dealing gangs, reducing violence and crime. Research showed that violent deaths and other crimes plummeted in the wake of the program.

But the pressure to expand it in time for the World Cup and Olympics strained the program.

There were not enough trained officers or funds to keep pace; communities such as Complexo do Alemao and the Complexo da Mare were under military occupation for more than a year, leading to serious conflict with residents and allegations of human-rights abuses. The program began deteriorating in 2013, with crimes - including murders by police officers, and of police officers - starting to go back up.

By 2016, it was stalled; no new UPPs are planned for this year, and the future of the program is in question.

Much has changed, and for the worse, in Brazil since that bright, optimistic moment when thousands crowded along Copacabana beach to commemorate the IOC vote. Many of those changes - economic and political, domestic and international - have nothing to do with Rio hosting the Olympics.

But it is possible to identify how hosting and the related obligations captured local priorities, funding and schedules, to the detriment of the majority of the population. As we remember the amazing feats of Olympic athletes, it's also time to remember that the focus of the Olympics is sports, not city planning. Let Rio be an expensive lesson for other cities who hope to host in the future.

Juliana Barbassa is a Brazilian journalist and author of Dancing with the Devil in the City of God: Rio de Janeiro on the Brink.

Associated Graphic

Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro. When the city won the Games bid in 2009, it announced several programs that could have changed millions of lives for the better.


Scrutiny of foreign worker program on rise
Threat of being named and shamed significant source of concern for employers hiring TFWs as number of federal inspections spikes
Monday, August 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- The number of federal inspections under the temporary foreign worker program is up dramatically this year and two businesses have been added to a public blacklist.

In response to complaints of poor working and living conditions, federal officials investigated Obeid Farms in Vanessa, Ont., where they concluded that 20 temporary foreign workers were consistently working seven days a week.

Officials also took issue with how the travel costs of workers were handled by AYR Motor Express, a New Brunswick-based trucking company.

Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk personally signed off on the decision to publicly ban the two companies from the program temporarily.

The minister's move comes as the Liberal government is weighing options for a further update to the temporary foreign worker program that will be announced later this year. In spite of sluggish economic growth, Canadian firms from coast to coast and across many sectors and skill levels continue to report labour shortages and insist that there is a genuine need for the controversial program.

Regarding Obeid Farms, a note to the Employment Minister submitted in Federal Court said this is the first time a public ban has been invoked in relation to the seasonal agricultural worker section of the temporary foreign worker program.

"Such determination would therefore have broader implications for this sector. It is likely that a determination of noncompliance will garner significant public and stakeholder attention," deputy Employment Minister Louise Levonian wrote in a June 17 memo.

The threat of being named and shamed is a major source of anxiety for employers who hire temporary foreign workers. Many firms have hired lawyers in order to manage what are viewed by some as excessive requests for documentation.

Data obtained by The Globe and Mail reveal that in 2014, when the federal government launched a new inspection regime, no inspections were conducted under the new rules.

That figure rose to 586 the following year.

However, officials have already conducted 1,537 inspections as of Aug. 15 of this year.

The spike in inspections is a result of sweeping reforms announced in 2014 by the thenConservative government in response to high-profile cases of abuse in the program, including companies hiring foreign workers when Canadians were available. The 2014 reforms split the program in two, maintaining a smaller temporary foreign worker program while carving out areas like intra-company transfers and student exchanges into a new international mobility program.

The reforms raised the fees for obtaining a permit, called a labour market impact assessment, from $250 to $1,000. The added revenue was meant to cover the cost of increased inspections, with a goal of "thousands" of inspections a year.

Liberal Immigration Minister John McCallum recently told The Globe that those 2014 changes went too far and that the new government will be announcing further updates to the program later this year.

Under the current inspection system, the government runs two separate public blacklists and recently added a new business to each one. Both employers dispute the findings.

Until recently, one list had no employers on it and another had four listings dating back to 2014, when a handful of companies were added amid heightened public scrutiny of the program.

A fifth employer, AYR Motor Express, a trucking company based in Woodstock, N.B., that lists clients including Purolator, Sobeys Foods, Loblaw, Molson Breweries and UPS, was added on July 21. That list is titled, "Employers who have broken the rules from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program."

The only rationale offered by the government is that the employer provided false, misleading or inaccurate information.

James Crocco, a lawyer representing the trucking company, said the owners are shocked by the government's conclusions.

"We're reeling and quite astounded by the decision of the minister," he said in an interview.

Mr. Crocco said the dispute involves what he described as "minor matters" such as whether the company can deduct fees like speeding tickets from the pay of drivers and when and how it pays for the travel costs of foreign workers. The company has had a long-running court battle with Ottawa over these issues and is considering further legal options. The government argues that the rules are clear and that travel costs must be covered up-front by the employer.

"Fundamentally, we don't feel we have been treated reasonably by the department," Mr. Crocco said.

Joe Keenan, the president of the trucking company, has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noting that there is an industry-wide shortage of truck drivers that requires companies to turn to the foreign worker program.

"To keep the Canadian economy moving, we need drivers to keep transports moving," Mr. Keenan wrote. "If 40 drivers wanting jobs walked through AYR Motor's doors today, I would hire them all."

The other recently listed company, Obeid Farms, appears on another federal blacklist run by Citizenship and Immigration Canada titled, "Employers who have been non-compliant." The website says the employer faces a two-year ban, but no reason is provided.

Federal officials declined to comment on the two specific cases.

A spokesperson for Employment and Social Development Canada said in a statement that the department takes the integrity of the temporary foreign worker program very seriously and does not tolerate any abuse or misuse.

The government's allegations against the two businesses were obtained by The Globe via Federal Court records.

The farm has filed an application for leave and judicial review with the Federal Court. "We believe the decision was unreasonable based on both the law and what information Obeid Farms provided during its inspection," said Steven Meurrens, a lawyer representing the farm owners.

Immigration lawyer Betsy Kane, who helps employers facing inspections, said the process can be excessive and she questions whether the current system represents good value for taxpayers.

"The program is working. It's just that the employer is usually subjected to at least two to three requests for information and reconciliation and it's quite costly for the employer to dig up these records, particularly if there's multiple foreign workers," she said.

"The government thought this was not going to be a big imposition of resources on the employers, but in fact it's a significant amount of resources."

Ms. Kane said that in one case, she represented a non-governmental organization that was facing questions from officials as to whether a professional foreign worker had agreed to have $1 per pay deducted toward an office birthday party fund. In another case, the employer needed to track down taxi chits used by foreign workers.

One common complaint is that these reviews can hold up requests for workers for months with no guarantee of when the audit process will end.

"Basically, an employer can be hijacked by this process in terms of their [human resources] and temporary foreign worker planning," Ms. Kane said.

Fertile ground at Summerworks
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R4

Some years, it's difficult to find a common theme in the work at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival, but this year it was difficult to escape one.

Fears about fertility and the future aren't buried but on the surface of some of the mosttalked-about new plays, such as d'bi.young anitafrika's Bleeders, Georgina Beaty's Extremophiles and Ghost River Theatre's adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story Tomorrow's Child.

In a way, you could say anxieties about infertility have always been at the heart of drama. After all, the Western idea of theatre was born at a festival in ancient Athens devoted to the worship of Dionysus, the god of fertility as well as wine, that also included processions of citizens carrying phalluses.

A search on Google News this week is proof procreative worries have morphed but endured - pulling up headlines from How your washing machine could be damaging fertility to Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson Reveals Infertility Struggle to Drop in canine fertility may be due to environmental contaminants.

And our fears may be justified: One in six Canadian couples currently experiences infertility - a number that has doubled since the 1980s. Is this simply because of societal shifts toward having children later in life - or do the degradation of the environment and our chemical lifestyles play a role? Will things get worse?

Bleeders, an invigorating, dystopian musical by the dub poet and playwright d'bi.young, imagines so. It begins in the present with a group of women protesting the Pickering nuclear station. "Reaping the blood of mother nature, sterilizing the womb, mining the minerals, poisoning the water," they chant, weaving through the audience, performing an Africaninspired dance.

Led into the theatre, the audience is transported to a future in which "the bleeders bleed no more." There may, however, still be one fertile woman still out there - a chosen one named Lakumi (a solemn Sashoya Shoya Oya).

The plot of Bleeders initially makes you think of P.D. James's 1992 dystopian novel The Children of Men - but stylistically, d'bi.young has forged her own original genre, which she calls the Afro-futurist dub opera.

Her imagined future may be scary, but it's very catchy. Our heroine finds fertility by going on a vision quest - helped by highly symbolic animals such as a crow, a monkey and an elephant, the latter played with grace and gravitas by an exceptional singer and actor named Nickeshia Garrick.

Lakumi's journey is told with little dialogue and lots of song.

The protest-chant lyrics - a cross between Bob Marley and Bertolt Brecht - are very to the point: Humanity has destabilized the planet, and is finally (not) reaping what it has sown. "Climate change is coming for you!"

chants Coyote, played by shapeshifter of a dancer Ravyn Wngz.

"Change your ways - we are living in the final days."

Though dealing with similar subject matter, Beaty's one-woman show, Extremophiles, is quiet and contained - and deeply unsettling. Beaty sets her play in that great place of the Canadian imagination, the North - only, in the year 2020, it is now a desert.

Margaret and her baby are being protected (or perhaps quarantined?) there, studied by a group of scientists and a young anthropologist named April - who soon slides over the line from observer to participant.

A little more than nine months earlier, all the women in the world - or Toronto, at least; the details, throughout, are sketchy - became spontaneously pregnant, something to do with an airborne fertilizer and an unexpected chemical reaction. Those that didn't visit the abortion clinics the government quickly set up on street corners soon miscarried bundles of seaweed. But Margaret carried something even stranger to term, which we gradually realize is living in the tank she sits perched on the edge of while telling her story.

Beaty plays both main characters with an impressive distinction in physicality and voice.

Director Watson and a team of designers - Patrick Lavender, Erin Fleck, Sarah Fairlie, Christopher Stanton - suggest the weird world around her to life simply and effectively. You can see the influence of dramaturge Karen Hines on the darkly comic flavour of Beaty's text - and, at times, you may be reminded of the collaborations between monologist Daniel MacIvor and director Daniel Brooks. Margaret calls her presentation a number of things at the start - a dissertation, a freak show, a hallucination - but tonally she hits it on the head with eulogy.

The worry that humanity may have messed up the world too much - and that it will come back to bite us in the babies - is not a new one, of course. You can rediscover how we feared the future in the past by going to listen to Tomorrow's Child - which was written in 1948, but set in 1988.

In Bradbury's short story, a couple visits a birthing centre and uses the latest technology to bring a child into the world - but, because of a malfunction of the equipment, their baby is born into another dimension. In ours, the little boy, Py, appears as a glowing, blue pyramid.

If you're wondering how the Calgary company Ghost River could possibly stage this, well, Tomorrow's Child is an audio play presented in an immersive environment. Audience members are blindfolded and led into a room surrounded by speakers - you listen to the play and the visuals all unfold in our minds. Created by Eric Rose, Matthew Waddell and David van Belle, the audio is of excellent quality.

Bradbury wrote his story 30 years before the first "test tube baby" was born, and long before the common use of IVF and fertility drugs. He was reflecting the concerns of the nuclear age - and a fear of mutants. But Tomorrow's Child differs from Beaty and d'bi.young's shows in an optimistic tone that reflects the age Bradbury was living in. Today, his story seems now more an allegory for giving birth to a child with a disability or anything that might make him or her or they have trouble fitting into this world.

And Bradbury suggests that the answer is for parents to learn that it's they who have to change, not their child.

Both Beaty and d'bi.young's plays, however, suggest that personal change won't be enough for the kids to be all right - it's the world that will have to change, if it is to continue.

In Bleeders, Lakumi can only regain her fertility when she accepts her own part of the responsibility for the environmental state of the world. "It's not me, it's them," she says at first.

Then: "Not them - we."

SummerWorks continues to August 14 (

Associated Graphic

Georgina Beaty's play Extremophiles is a quiet, contained and deeply unsettling one-woman show.


Golf Town drives for turnaround as U.S. parent hits rough patch
Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B2

The fate of Golf Town, the country's largest golf chain, is in question as its troubled U.S. parent, Golfsmith International, looks to revamp operations and potentially find a buyer amid reports it is considering filing for bankruptcy.

With 56 megastores in Canada, Golf Town, owned by the private equity division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, made the bold move in 2012 of acquiring Golfsmith, which has 109 outlets south of the border.

But the $100-million (U.S.) purchase went awry as the struggling Golfsmith took over management of Golf Town, running the Canadian chain from its head office in Austin, Tex., industry observers say.

Golfsmith acknowledged in an e-mailed statement that "the last few years have been challenging for golf retailers, as a whole, and this includes Golfsmith."

Still, the privately held company said it has made changes to its Golf Town team and approach - bringing management back from Austin to the operations here and responding better to domestic consumer demand - resulting in "strong momentum" at Golf Town. It said it has enjoyed year-to-date sales growth at outlets open a year or more - a critical retail measure - and "material increases in online revenue and strong profit improvement."

Rising uncertainty about the future of Golf Town and its parent comes as the golf sector grapples with stagnant sales and budget-conscious consumers who are thinking twice before snapping up pricey golf clubs.

Golfing is a time-consuming sport that can be expensive to take up and highly weather-dependent, said Tom Stine, partner at market researcher Golf Datatech LLC in St. Cloud, Fla.

U.S. golf-equipment sales at specialty stores fell about 5 per cent to roughly $2.6-billion (U.S.) in the six months ended June 30, compared with the previous year, according to Golf Datatech. Still, in 2015, sales picked up 2 per cent from a year earlier, its data show.

Rounds played rose 2.7 per cent in the six months ended June 30 over a year earlier, it found.

"It's up and down and it's not growing - I wish I could tell you it was," Mr. Stine said of the business. "But it's not dying either."

As a signal of the soft golf market, Nike Inc. last week announced plans to stop selling golf equipment after sales in its golf division - its worst-performing major category - dropped 8.2 per cent to $706-million (U.S.) in the past fiscal year.

Other retailers haven't had an easy time in golf. Dick's Sporting Goods Inc., the largest in the U.S. sector, closed some of its Golf Galaxy stores as it grappled with sagging sales, although it has recently started to see a turnaround.

"The golf business had been difficult," Ed Stack, chief executive officer of Dick's, told a conference this year. "We feel that that business has stabilized ... So we are cautiously optimistic about the golf business going forward."

Golfsmith, for its part, has hired financial advisers to explore "strategic options," it said. That could include looking for investors or a buyer. It hired investment bank Jefferies LLC as well as Alvarez & Marsal, the latter to help it restructure, sources said.

Golfsmith said in its e-mail despite "challenges in terms of our capital structure," it's confident Golf Town "will remain a leading specialty retail brand in Canada."

It said it "currently has the necessary liquidity to pay the company's financial obligations as they become due."

OMERS officials did not comment. Industry sources said OMERS had pushed for a new CEO at Golfsmith. David Roussy, who took the top job last year, is a former executive of Torontobased Canadian Tire Corp. and has a better feel for this domestic market, sources said. He has moved managers back to Canada.

Golf Town has sharpened product and marketing strategies "to better reflect Canadian consumer demand" by, for instance, focusing more on fashion and lower prices, the company said.

Canadian Tire may be interested in picking up Golf Town and even Golfsmith, suggested Jack Steckel, a founder of Golf Town and now a partner in investment bank Capital Canada. (In 2011, Canadian Tire acquired what was once called Forzani Group Ltd., the country's largest sporting goods retailer, including the Sport Chek chain, which carries golf products.)

Mr. Steckel said Canadian Tire has looked at buying Golf Town in the past. But he wasn't sure Canadian Tire would want to operate in the United States, given the company's poor track record in the past with U.S. acquisitions.

Stephen Wetmore, new CEO of Canadian Tire, suggested last week the company would be interested in making the kind of acquisition it has made in the past of a chain or brand. Another would-be Golfsmith suitor could be Dick's, which already runs Golf Galaxy, observers said.

Mr. Steckel said Golf Town gained an edge under the leadership of Stephen Bebis, who launched the chain in 1999 and left 12 years later, just before the Golfsmith takeover. He drew customers to the superstores with golf simulators, pro-shop services, indoor driving nets, computerized swing analyzers, artificial bent grass, on-site custom club fitting and television monitors that displayed golf and other sports events.

Mr. Steckel said when he went to a Golf Town store recently, he noticed shelves didn't have enough merchandise - just the opposite of the original Golf Town strategy of offering a broad range of goods. "For me, personally, it's very sad."

Keith Keindel, executive director of the Canadian Golf Industry Association, which represents suppliers, said Golf Town has bolstered its array of private-label goods, which can increase profit margins while lowering consumer prices. But many customers look for the prominent brands, he said.

Amid the changes, golf - a $14.3-billion industry here - is still the top sport that Canadians participate in, despite fewer young people playing and declining membership in private clubs, said Scott Simmons, CEO of Golf Canada.

Golf rounds played in Canada rose 10.6 per cent in 2015 from a year earlier, a trend that is continuing this year, said Jeff Calderwood, CEO of National Golf Course Owners Association Canada. "Compared to Canadian golf's peak years right before the recession, we aren't yet matching those exceptionally high numbers but the positive trend is encouraging."

And the return of golf to this month's Olympics could be a boon to the sport if Team Canada performs well, he said. "We have a strong team and a gold medal is not unrealistic at all."

Associated Graphic

Golfsmith International says it has made changes to its Golf Town team and approach, including bringing management back to Canada from Texas, which has resulted in 'strong momentum.'


California dreaming
Previewing the prestigious vintage car show - and its Canadian connections
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D6

To properly experience the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, one arrives by dawn.

Anyone who has ever been there says so.

The sun typically exists only as a pastel glow within the mist and fog rising from Monterey Bay, at 6:33 a.m. this particular Sunday.

You'd feel the chill if it weren't for the energy and anticipation as the classic cars begin taking their places along the 18th fairway.

A $375 ticket holder can't get in until 10:30 a.m. Only those atop the Pebble social hierarchy, the entrants, judges and exhibitors who make the show, along with those who've paid $750 for Club D'Elegance or $2,500 Chairman's Hospitality, begin the day with Dawn Patrol.

For instance, Brent Merrill of Willowdale, Ont., winner of Pebble's American Classic Closed class in 2013 with his 1931 Cadillac 452A Fleetwood Coupe.

Merrill started out collecting 1950s American cars. He was looking for more at the 2005 BarrettJackson Scottsdale auction when an apple-green 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster caught his eye. No fins! Yet its body tapered so sweetly to its conclusion, he couldn't resist. As he recalls, he paid $375,000.

Merrill, CEO of Marinecorp Management Services, has feasted on two-seater American classics ever since.

His cars amassed awards at Ault Park in Cincinnati, and at Meadow Brook and St. John's, Mich. A friend, who is a Pebble Beach judge, told the selection committee about his cars. An application form from the world's foremost concours arrived shortly after in the mail.

"Some years, my application isn't accepted," Merrill says.

"Some years, I show a car I don't expect to win its class, but I think people should see - like this year's 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Two Door Convertible Coupe, an eight-cylinder up against V12s, V16s." Merrill likes to buy cars restored by the best marque specialists - in this case, Joseph Morgan, of Windham, N.H. He addresses issues as they arise, and early this year delivered his car to RM Restoration in Blenheim, Ont., in preparation for Pebble Beach.

He figures he'll have spent $30,000 bringing the Chrysler up to standard. Shipping the car to California, another $2,500 each way. Accommodation and meals, $5,000. Competing at Pebble Beach is never done on the cheap.

He takes his mom, Gwen, 83.

"And she's up at 6:30, same as me, to get there early," he says.

"Dawn Patrol. What a spectacle as cars roll off the trucks."

Don McLellan, quality control manager for RM Auto Restoration, sets his alarm for 5 a.m., after assisting at RM Sotheby's Monterey auction Saturday night.

He needs to be on site before the high-profile clients.

RM has restored six Best of Show winners since 2001, three for Judge Joseph Cassini III, of West Orange, N.J. Cassini and wife, Margie, will arrive at dawn to drive their fresh-from-Blenheim 1931 Stutz DV32 with prototype body by LeBaron into position.

But McLellan and three RM colleagues must serve another three clients with equal attention - correcting any last-minute problems with spare bulbs, belts and fuses.

A 1957 BMW 507 owned by The Patterson Collection, and a 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante (owner unidentified) are RM's other restorations. As well, Merrill's Chrysler must perform as flawlessly as the presumed Best in Show contenders.

Nigel Matthews, of Richmond, B.C., was judging a concours at Florence, Italy, as this was written. India's Cartier Concours at New Delhi stood out among his international destinations in 2015.

Like entrants, judges pay their own expenses. He's fortunate: Hagerty Classic Car Insurance, of which he is global director of client services, covers the bills.

"When I was doing this on my own dime, I would stay in Gilroy, a 45-minute drive away," Matthews says of the self-proclaimed Garlic Capital of the World.

Matthews's father gave him a used MG Midget at the age of 17.

Classic cars came later. After emigrating from England as a steward with Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1974, he turned to repairing and restoring Rolls-Royces and Ferraris, then insurance damage appraisal, then a decade administrating the B.C. government's collector/vintage licensing and insurance, greatly expanding his expertise.

John Carlson, a Pebble Beach chief class judge, provided the introduction that led to his judging at Pebble beginning in 2005.

Carlson, of Belcarra, B.C., is chief judge at the Crescent Beach Concours, Sept. 3, at Surrey, B.C., and Cobble Beach, north of Owen Sound, Ont., Sept. 18.

Along with Dawn Patrol, Matthews relishes Thursday's Tour d'Elegance. "If the judges end up in a tie situation and one car

went in the rally and the other didn't, that breaks the tie," he explains. "The year I judged The Cars of The Maharajas, a Bentley and a Duesenberg were tied for points - but the Bentley owner had not arrived until Friday. So the Duesenberg was the class winner."

As one of three judges selecting The Elegance in Motion Trophy winner, Matthews narrows the field to three or four candidates at the tour. As well, he's judging the Delahaye and Chapron Coachwork classes. "I really do have a passion for vehicles of the thirties, particularly the French cars."

Next up for Matthews, the Canadian Concours d'Elegance within the Luxury and Supercar Weekend, as founding chief judge, at Vancouver's VanDusen Botannical Gardens, Sept. 9 to 11.

Jay Koka's studio is in Kitchener, Ont., but after 28 years of showing paintings at the Automotive Fine Arts Society's exhibition at Pebble Beach, Monterey and Carmel, they feel a lot like home.

A work he's premiering this year, 918 on Ocean, resulted from a walk along Carmel's Ocean Avenue after dinner last year.

The first Porsche 918 he'd ever seen was parked across the busy multilane. Up close, reflections of passing cars' tail lamps, the glare of approaching headlamps, arrested his eyes: He'd paint this car, in this setting.

Travel often sparks his work. A Ferrari F12 glows red within a Hanoi market. Breathless in Shangai showcases a Ferrari 488 GTB. Wherever he goes, he returns to Pebble Beach every August. "This is a judged show," he says. "There's significant prestige in winning an award here."

ONLINE Video Patrick Dell: Subaru's STI is a blast.

Associated Graphic

Kitchener, Ont., artist Jay Koka's painting, 918 on Ocean.


Brent Merrill of Willowdale, Ont., won Pebble's American Classic Closed class in 2013 with his 1931 Cadillac 452A Fleetwood Coupe.

Nigel Matthews, of Richmond, B.C., will be judging the Elegance in Motion Trophy winner.

Wondering if your impulsive shopping habit is unnatural or why you're comfortable in clutter? Wency Leung decodes our style-centric behaviour
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L7


You didn't intend to purchase that pair of buttery leather loafers, nor that sleek cotton dress shirt or airy silk scarf. Nevertheless, here you are, walking out of the department store with several new additions to your wardrobe and an unplanned dip into your bank account. What happened?

If you're vulnerable to making impulse purchases, your inquisitive hands may be to blame. Your sense of touch can have a powerful role in determining whether and what you buy.

Joann Peck, associate professor of marketing at the Wisconsin School of Business, has conducted numerous studies on haptics, the science of tactile sensations and how it influences shoppers. Peck has found that when customers handle an item "they're going to value it more, so they're going to be more likely to purchase it and often to pay more for it," she says, because the action increases people's sense of psychological ownership. "So, in a store, if you can get people to touch something, they're going to feel a little more ownership than if they don't touch it," she says.

Unlike legal ownership, Peck explains, psychological ownership is when you feel you possess something you don't actually own - or haven't yet purchased.

For instance, you may think of the seat you're occupying at a theatre or in a seminar as "your" seat, even though you have no official claim to it. Peck's work may also help explain why specific types of products lend themselves to impulse shopping. (Because let's be honest: If you're going on a shopping spree on a whim, chances are you're buying new clothes and shoes rather than household-cleaning products or computer programs.) Certain categories provoke touch more than others, Peck says. Touch is better than any other sense at assessing differences in qualities like weight, texture and temperature. "If you think about clothing [which] varies in texture and weight, people are going to be more motivated to touch that than something like software," she says.

The desire for touch may be one reason why some people fi nd browsing online less satisfying than running their hands through the racks of their favourite boutique. It may also be why the longer you hang onto a purchase or a free-trial item, the less likely you are to return it.

Peck says that when people have time to interact with an item and connect with it, they feel more ownership over it. "And it's hard to get rid of things that you really feel ownership over," she says.

Bank balance, be damned.


The world is made up of two types of people - those who thrive amidst clutter and those who can't stand it.

If you're one of the messy ones, put down that Marie Kondo book. In fact, go on and toss it into that pile of stuff accumulating in the corner of your room and think no more of it. A 2013 study, published in the journal Psychological Science, conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, found both orderly and disorderly environments promote different, but nonetheless advantageous, behaviours.

The researchers found participants donated more money to charity and were more likely to choose healthy snacks if they were in a neat and tidy room, compared to their counterparts in a disorderly room. This confi rmed the results of earlier studies that showed cleanliness and tidiness encourage virtuous behaviour. (A 2009 study in Psychological Science found even the smell of cleanliness, such as the scent of Windex, promotes charitable giving.)

But in their 2013 study, researchers at the University of Minnesota found messy environments encouraged test subjects to be more creative and open to novelty.

During an exercise that asked for new uses for ping-pong balls, participants situated at a conference table strewn with papers came up with more creative ideas compared with those gathered at the table when it was tidy, with papers organized in neat stacks.

"As is the case with many vociferous debates, it seems that both sides have a point," the researchers wrote. "Orderly environments promote convention and healthy choices, which could improve life by helping people follow social norms and boosting well-being. Disorderly environments stimulate creativity, which has widespread importance for culture, business, and the arts."

Maybe that giant pile of clothes is helping you to be more imaginative with your outfits in more ways than one?


From low-lying flower arrangements to chairs with arms, some stylish tablesetting tips have wider-reaching benefits.

When it comes to dinner parties, it helps to invite a good mix of guests, but your seating arrangement can mean the difference between a dull party and a convivial one.

Just ask Sally Augustin. As a Chicagobased environmental psychologist and founder of the fi rm Design with Science, Augustin relies on peer-reviewed research to advise clients, from service providers and design fi rms to individuals, about how their interior architecture affects people's interactions and states of mind.

"For someone in my world, seating arrangements are a pretty cool thing," Augustin says. "The coolest part of them, from my perspective, is whether they allow eye contact or not. Because of the kind of animal we are, eye contact is an important way we communicate with each other." A round table is the key to an ideal dinner party because it invites participation from everyone, she says. Unless you're inviting a high-profi le figure or any personality who naturally dominates the room regardless of the situation, you'll likely fi nd your guests at a round table feel freer to interact with each other. If you're stuck with a rectangular table, she says, keep in mind that with this configuration, people sitting along the length of the table tend to interact most with guests sitting directly across from them. So if you want to play matchmaker, don't seat your prospective couple side by side, but opposite one another.

Decorating with a floral centrepiece provides guests with a place to naturally rest their gaze during pauses in conversation. Choose "something interesting to look at, but low so it doesn't keep people from seeing each other," says Augustin. And, she adds, make sure the fragrance is subtle. You don't want everything you eat and drink to be overpowered by the scent of lavender. Also, make sure they have adequate elbow room. Gathering around a dining table almost automatically necessitates invading each other's personal space, which varies between individuals. Having chairs with elbow rests helps compensate for this spatial breach by providing a physical barrier between tablemates, Augustin says.

Associated Graphic


De Grasse bolsters his claim to Bolt's sprinting throne with 200-metre silver
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Usain Bolt has been suggesting all week in Rio that Andre De Grasse will one day inherit sprinting's throne. On Thursday night, the Canadian sprinter showed why.

When the two men faced each other in the 200-metre final, they did so as rivals competing for gold. But when Mr. Bolt crossed the finish line first, in a time of 19.78, just ahead of Mr. De Grasse, who took the silver in 20.02, and France's Christophe Lemaitre, who won bronze in 20.12, Mr. Bolt was essentially passing the torch.

The world record holder, who has hinted this may be his last Olympics, wants to leave the sport as dominant as ever, but he also seems intent on anointing Mr. De Grasse as his heir apparent. Upon winning the 200 metres, Mr. Bolt turned to Mr. De Grasse and patted him on the back. Mr. Bolt, who did a salsa dance for the audience when introduced before the race, then turned to the crowd and raised his arms in victory, as Mr. De Grasse leaned over to catch his breath.

It was part of an emerging pattern: All week in Rio, Mr. Bolt has promoted Mr. De Grasse as the future of sprinting, making a show of how much he respects him on the track.

When Mr. Bolt, who turns 30 next week, won the 100 metres on Sunday, with Mr. De Grasse taking bronze behind American Justin Gatlin, who claimed silver, Mr. Bolt compared the 21-year-old Canadian's running style to his own. More than just being generous, it was the kind of comparison Mr. Bolt rarely makes with other competitors.

And when the Jamaican beat Mr. De Grasse in the 200metre semi-final on Wednesday - grinning and waving his finger at Mr. De Grasse as he crossed the line, as if to say: not yet, but soon - it was as close to a ceremonial hand-over as the sport has seen.

Asked if he ran the race he wanted on Thursday, Mr. De Grasse said, "I can't really say, [Wednesday] I felt so good, ran a personal best. I felt pretty good in warmup and tried to execute best way I know how and came up a little bit short. Maybe I put a little too much energy into the semi-finals."

Mr. De Grasse said he gained a great deal from the race. "I learned a lot. To come in here and try to execute the race plan is pretty difficult. Sometimes it doesn't work out for the best. But I came away with two Olympic medals in my first one."

Stuart McMillan, Mr. De Grasse's coach, said the result was "initially disappointing."

"Andre is a really cool customer. He definitely wasn't intimidated. We had a strategy to try and tire out Usain [Wednesday night in the semi-final.] I think we did that. Clearly Usain was very tired tonight. That's why we're a little bit frustrated. Because he was there for the taking, and we just couldn't get it done.

"Usain Bolt in his prime is untouchable. But Usain Bolt in 2016 is touchable. And I think there was an opportunity here in both the 100 and the 200 for Usain to lose. And whether it's a part of the Usain Bolt mystique, or everyone else being slightly intimidated, I'm not sure, but there was an opportunity here that was lost."

Sprinters have a long history of leaving the sport quietly, often defeated or disgraced.

Very few, like Canadian Donovan Bailey, who won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, depart with their legacy intact.

Athletes don't usually get to pick their successors, but if the Rio Olympics are indeed the farewell party for the greatest sprinter the world has ever seen, Mr. Bolt has taken his exit to another level, ensuring it's not all about him. Instead, he's the guy working the room on behalf of Mr. De Grasse, asking everyone: 'Have you met Andre?' And Rio has certainly introduced Mr. De Grasse to the rest of the world.

As recently as two years ago, Mr. De Grasse was a relative unknown outside the sport. But the past week has marked one of the most remarkable ascents sprinting has seen.

He watched the 2012 London Olympics on television at home, having just gotten into competitive sprinting after being discovered at a high-school track meet, running in basketball shorts and wearing borrowed spikes.

At last year's Pan Am Games in Toronto, Mr. De Grasse ran the 200 metres in a Canadian record 19.88 seconds. At Wednesday's semi-final, he smashed that mark by an impressive margin, crossing the line in 19.80, behind Mr.

Bolt's 19.78. Now, Mr. De Grasse has become the first Canadian to win two individual track medals in the same Olympics since 1928.

Mr. De Grasse was confident heading into the 200-metre final Thursday night, figuring the event gave him his best shot at beating Mr. Bolt. The Canadian likes to gain speed as he progresses down the track, using the extra runway as an advantage.

Mr. Bolt, running in lane four, was in command from the beginning, while Mr. De Grasse, in lane six, found himself battling with four other sprinters, including Mr. Lemaitre, after the first 100 metres. In the final 100 metres, Mr. De Grasse pulled away, showing why he is one of the best sprinters in the world right now.

Mr. Bolt is known to the world: He's the best sprinter there ever was. But Mr. De Grasse is still a work in progress, meaning he has the potential to run faster still.

"There's a lot of things I've still got to learn," he said this week about sprinting.

He was referencing the mistakes he made in the 100 metres, coming too fast out of the blocks as he tried to push Mr. Bolt early in the race, which cost him precious time toward the end. It prevented him from catching Mr. Bolt and Mr. Gatlin.

But Mr. De Grasse's two medals in Rio, and a shot at a third in Friday's 4x100-relay final, confirm what Mr. Bolt has been telling everybody: Four years from now at the Tokyo Summer Games, it looks like Mr. De Grasse will be the man to beat.

"De Grasse is showing he's ready," Mr. Bolt said this week.

"We know that the future of the sport is in good hands."

Associated Graphic

Usain Bolt, centre, and Andre De Grasse head to the finish line in the men's 200-metre final in Rio on Thursday night.


Are you ready for the innovation economy?
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B11

This column is part of Globe Careers' Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at

If you are still talking about the knowledge economy, you might want to upgrade your narrative. It's now all about the innovation economy. And the question is - are you ready for it?

For some time now, careerists have prepared themselves for knowledge-based careers. They learned skills, acquired credentials and entered professions that had some sort of predictable road map to career success in the so-called knowledge economy.

This worked well - and for many it still does.

But disruptive technologies, new business models and an accelerating pace of change are shifting the landscape faster than we could whistle for a taxi. Or shall I say "order an Uber"? Despite doing all the "right" things, many people, businesses and industries will find themselves sidelined if unprepared. Ask any marketer or business leader who hasn't kept up with the 'digital economy' ... the old ways just don't cut it these days.

Knowledge and related professional skills will still be critically important but the market will increasingly call for people with additional skills, mindsets and abilities to drive innovation - or at least keep up. And these skills won't all be technical in nature (for example, skills of your "trade"), you will also need ample strengths from the emotional intelligence spectrum - resilience, adaptability, self awareness - and more.

Change and innovation will be the new normal - and a constant.

How's that for a paradox? Whether you are a careerist (with a "job"), a freelance/solopreneur or head of a business - it's all up for grabs in the innovation economy.

Here are six must-knows to be ready for the innovation economy: .

1. Ditch the destination mindset

If you're in the paradigm of finding (or believe that you are in) the perfect job to last for your career, or that you've finally acquired all the right skills, credentials and abilities to protect your employability for the long haul - think again.

Jobs, skills, professions will be in continual evolution and change. What you need to know and be able to do will be a moving target. And while change isn't new, the pace of change is accelerating faster than at any time before.

By all means, find the work you love and train for that - but stay on your toes and be curious and active in your learning and development throughout your career.

Watch not where the puck has landed but where it might be heading. And even then, be prepared for surprises.

2. Survival of the fittest means "adaptability" will reign

If you are a creature of habit or find it hard to shift gears, you risk being left behind. Those who have the ability to adapt ("adaptability") will have a better chance of surviving and thriving in their careers.

If adapting to or creating change doesn't yet come naturally for you there's good news.

Agility - in mindset, thinking and habits - can be developed. These competencies fall within the emotional-intelligence spectrum and are not fixed personality traits. You can learn to do better and experience change with more ease. You might not be the change leader, but if you can get on the train quicker and without resistance, well, that will serve you better. Bottom line: Add "agility and flexibility" to your personal development plan.

3. Expect crossroads and more often

Crossroads used to happen only occasionally and only to some people or at certain points in their lives and careers. They are increasingly more common and more frequent. Sometimes crossroads bring feelings of uncertainty and confusion (what to do; which way to go). Try not to sweat these times. Resistance and judging will only make it harder.

Embrace these times as part of your evolution. Keep an open mind and get the support you need to navigate them with more confidence.

4. Get comfortable with uncertainty

If only we can predict the change - then we can get ready and be prepared. Being prepared at all times is a great strategy, but in the innovation economy, chances are that some of the shifts will come almost unannounced or be invisible to you until they arrive.

The best way to prepare is to stay nimble; keep a good network; know and build on your strengths, skills and abilities. And be savvy and know how to use your transferable skills (do you know what yours are?).

5. Careful where you get your advice from

I get calls from well-meaning parents wanting me to "coach" their kids to follow more "secure" paths and "settle" into one career path, just like they did. While parents, teachers and friends may be great sources of wisdom, experience and connections, take heed: What worked for them may no longer be workable in the new paradigm of work. So by all means, listen, learn and get ideas and input from many people, but question any advice you receive with healthy skepticism when warranted.

Shout-out to parents - by all means be there for your kids and talk to them about careers, but instead of prescribing what worked for you recognize these are different times. Focus on teaching them to be resourceful, agile, innovative and self-aware.

6. There's nowhere to hide

If you are thinking that this kind of thing is only relevant to the startups and perhaps newer and "edgier" sectors and companies, then think again. There is no sector or industry that will not be transformed in some way by the innovation economy. Consider banking for example - one of the oldest, most traditional and stable sectors in our economy. The banking of today is no longer the banking of yesterday and it will likely look different tomorrow, too. Banks are driving or at least partaking in much of the innovation effort today. They are partnering with fintechs, trying on new technology and changing how we bank, work and much more. Frankly, I think the banks are starting to look sexier and more interesting these days - but that may just be me.

Ditto for most sectors - and so it goes.